It's more complicated
In his Aug. 21 opinion piece, Mike Masterson stated he was "a 'things-are-far-out-of-sync-and-not adding-up' theorist who, like many adult Americans with common sense, can easily recognize." One of the things he recognizes is, "murder and other serious crime rates soar out of control mostly in Democrat-controlled cities, some of which willfully slice their budgets for law enforcement."
Some Americans with common sense can recognize when an opinion writer makes a statement that is out of sync and not adding up.
On Nov. 23, 2020, Jeff Asher of AH Datalytics released an analysis of murders in 51 major cities. The study compared the number of murders for the first nine months of 2019 to the number of murders for the same period in 2020. The Democratic-led cities showed an average murder-rate increase of 36.2 percent, while the Republican-led cities showed an average increase of 35.6 percent. It appears that the political party in control of a city has no statistical effect on the murder rate.
In 2020, Houston defunded law enforcement about 2 percent, with the murder rate increasing 42.7 percent over the first nine months from 2019. Meanwhile, Tulsa increased law enforcement funding about 8 percent, with the murder rate increasing 47.6 percent over the first nine months from 2019. The murder rate was also not affected by an increase or slight decrease in law enforcement funding.
Things are out of sync and not adding up, which can make it easy to lay the blame for an increasing murder rate on the slight defunding of law enforcement or which political party is in control of a city, but it is more complicated than that. Some individuals with common sense think that factors such as the effects of the pandemic, events of social unrest that have occurred in the U.S. over the last few years, the divisive political climate, etc., could have created a "perfect storm" that erupted into a wave of violent crime and murder throughout this country.
Voters are devalued
Letter-writer Steve Irby (Tuesday) points out that California has 55 electoral votes for president and that seven states have only three votes. (The District of Columbia also has three.) Irby then questions John Brummett’s assertion that “the Electoral College … devalues California’s votes for president,” and suggests that John tell us why that is.
John is probably busy, so here is the explanation: According to the 2010 census on which the current Electoral College is based, California’s population is 37,253,956, which means that each of its Electoral College votes represents 677,345 California residents. By contrast, Wyoming gets three electoral votes with a population of 563,626 so each electoral vote represents only 187,875 residents. Each of California’s electoral votes represents greater than 260 percent more residents than does Wyoming’s.
The most populous of the eight jurisdictions with three electoral votes is Montana with a population of 989,415. This means each of its electoral votes represents 329,805 residents, still less than half the population per electoral vote of California. A result of the “Great Compromise” between the large and small states when the U.S. Constitution was being drafted, that is how the Electoral College devalues California’s and other heavily populated states’ votes for president.
On ‘true democracy’
I had to just chuckle at the letter from a Mr. Ron Hunter printed in the Sept. 2 paper in letters to the editor. Mr. Hunter’s premise was that the nation was founded as a republic and and was not a “true democracy.” His implication was that it was a good thing it was (a republic) because we wouldn’t exist as a nation without our “electoral” process featuring that minority-enhancing Electoral College. And that it ensured better fairness for voters in small states as opposed to larger, more populated states.
Really? A true democracy is dangerous? Wouldn’t a true democracy ensure that one vote in Arkansas was as important as one vote in California or New York? Obviously, Mr. Hunter would be singing a different tune if the smaller, less populated states such as Arkansas and others in the South and West voted Democrat instead of Republican. Then I am sure he would be bemoaning the question of why we didn’t have a “true democracy.” Whoa, people, we can’t have a true democracy because it would be dangerous. Duh?
I can’t understand why people think the Taliban would act any differently than they have in recent days. A quote from the science fiction classic “Star Trek: The Original Series” expresses my opinion. Several crew members returned from a violent mirror universe in which they traded places with their violent counterparts. Spock says, “It was far easier for you as civilized men to behave as barbarians than it was for them as barbarians to behave like civilized men.” Another quote from that series is, “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.” Shame on us, the people of the United States for expecting honorable yet unrealistic behavior from the Taliban. After 20 years in Afghanistan, we knew this would happen.
Just passing the buck
If you send your children to school with a good attitude about learning already in place and they fail to learn, you can blame the school. If you send your children to school without a good attitude about learning already in place and they fail to learn, that’s on you as a parent, and blaming schools is just a way to pass the buck.