The Right Opinion

Two Kinds of Crazy

By Arnold Ahlert · Dec. 27, 2012

This is a column about two different subjects. One is the slaughter of innocents in Newtown, Connecticut, the other the so-called fiscal cliff. Both have been on my mind, but not for the reasons repeated ad nauseam by the people in my profession – who make me ashamed to be one of the people in my profession.

First Newtown. I am somewhat familiar with the town because I have an acquaintance who owns a house there. It is a picture postcard type of town, that has doubtlessly been shattered, perhaps irreparably, by the kind of evil that remains as alive as it is unexplainable. The only columnist who came close to explaining the kind of insanity that prompts someone to shoot little children was Mark Steyn, who perceptively recognized that such madness is an “exercise in hyper-narcissism.” As someone from a family with more than its fair share of mental illness, I can attest that such hyper-narcissism, or more simply, being completely involved in an entire universe of one’s own making, is the primary ingredient for deranged thinking.

What part of Adam Lanza’s universe prompted his maniacal turn? Damned if I know, but I’ll tell you something I do know: nobody else, not even the so-called experts, has the slightest clue either. Which brings me to my reason for writing about this tragedy – now, as opposed to when it happened.

What ever happened to decency and decorum? The politically motivated frenzy that occurred, even as the bodies of 26 people were still lying in the classrooms and hallways of Sandy Hook Elementary School, was nearly as unspeakable as the crime itself. So were the equally despicable efforts of a news media determined to get the story out first – and fill in the correct facts later.

Why the rush? Why was it necessary to interview traumatized children, clog the town with satellite trucks and reporters, set up cameras at the funerals of children, and hammer the story home over and over, day after day, even as the worst thing that can happen to a parent, namely outliving their own child, didn’t present even the slightest impediment to the horde of sensation-seeking muckrakers? Why the endless analysis regarding cause and effect, from guns and video games to Asperger’s syndrome, and Hollywood, or any other “insightful” theory, that any expert – or two-bit columnist without a shred of credentials – cared to pony up?

Political advantage? People who exploit dead children and anguished parents to press an agenda are soulless ghouls. The people’s right to know? Spare me. I could give you laundry list of things the people had a right to know about before the presidential election, and the same self-anointed gate-keepers were more than happy to keep a ton of information suppressed until after it was over.

Ironically, the Benghazi story offers a clue as to what these people are really all about. Most of the MSM didn’t give a hoot about four murdered Americans, or the most transparent disinformation campaign in recent memory that followed those murders, until Benghazi became a story about which general was making it with which bimbo. In short, we have become a nation where sensationalism trumps substance, and decency and decorum are little more than anachronisms that only a decreasing number of dinosaurs who now constitute a minority of Americans choose to consider. I could say shame on the majority, but I’m pretty sure that word has no meaning anymore, either.

Speaking of things that lack meaning, the latest feeding frenzy surrounding the fiscal cliff is the epitome of emptiness. Even the term “fiscal cliff” is nothing more than media-promoted, sensationalist crap designed to do little more than stoke political division. The real story? We’re a nation $16 trillion in debt, running trillion dollar-plus deficits four years and counting, up against the debt ceiling again, with no end in sight. Furthermore, we’re not going broke, my fellow Americans. We are broke, and the only thing propping us up is the fact that Europe sucks worse than we do, and the Chinese aren’t completely convinced that we’re the deadbeats we’ve become.

And even as this historic tragedy becomes clearer and clearer, the level of ignorance among the public is breath-taking. If you ask a hundred people who’s lending America more money than anyone else to finance that debt, you’ll one hundred incorrect answers. It ain’t China, folks, and the correct answer to the question reveals just how little the so-called fiscal cliff matters.

The correct answer is America. In other words, were buying our owndebt. How? By printing money to purchase it. If I had a nickel for every blank stare I get when I try to explain that concept to people, I could retire. Most people cannot comprehend the utter monstrousness of debasing the currency in order to maintain the fiction that spending isn’t the problem. They don’t understand that until America’s spending addiction is forcefully addressed, every other aspect of the fiscal cliff negotiations is meaningless.

Honest to Goodness, does anyone seriously believe the even $4.6 trillion of cuts over the next ten years, which is the largest number being considered – even as it remains politically undoable – can even remotely make up for more than $5 trillion of deficit spending that just took place over the last four years? Can they possibly believe that taxing the “rich” even at the lowest threshold currently considered ($200K for an individual, $250K for a family) is the panacea they’ve been told it is? Can they possibly be so oblivious that they don’t know Republicans and Democrats are negotiating grains of sand, even as the genuine problem is a large as the Sahara?

When I started writing this column, I thought it was about two different things. Maybe it’s not. Adam Lanza was certainly insane. Yet what do you call a majority of Americans who either don’t know – or more likely, don’t care – that they are aiding and abetting their own economic annihilation, as well as that of their children?


Wayne in Hinesville, GA said:

Excellent comments on the media and the public. I am not sure which is the more blatantly stupid. The lamestream media for not reporting the facts about all the screwups committed by this administration or the idiots who have no clue of what a fiscal disaster we are facing. As to Newtown, the media has become the National Inquirer on a large scale. They follow Rahm Emmanual's playbook in never letting a crisis go to waste. Newtown was not about the tragedy of losing those innocent children, it was a reason to whine and cry about gun control. One of the worst statements made was the NRA had blood on its hands and another one called for killing all NRA members. There are no responsible journalists, and I use that term loosely, on the liberal side of the media. They have no problem with lying, hiding the facts, and sensationlizing and tragedy that fits their agenda. Disgusting bunch of jerks in the tank for the Demorats and Obama.

Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 7:04 AM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA replied:

That should be "any" tragedy!

Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 7:05 AM

Ct-Tom in NC said:

Another excellent column, Arnold. Is it any wonder that our country and western civilization, generally, are circling the drain, bound for oblivion? I am really too old to take on the study of Mandarin, but I don't know what else to do.

Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 9:29 AM

Bob in Hattiesburg, MS said:

When the collapse comes (and it will), it will be monumental.

Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Master Gunny in Tifton GA said:

The "big picture" truly scares me. Two percent of Americans are in jails or prisons. Probably another two percent have been incarcerated and have completed their sentences. The percentage of people who should be in jail but haven't been caught yet is unknowable but judging from the prevalence of anti-theft devices on nearly everything you buy it must be high. We have become a nation of thieves and whores and all the while told that our Christian heritage was a sham and hoax. "There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good..." II Tim 3. Bible prophecy is being fulfilled in front of our eyes.

Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Kevin from Arkansas in USA said:

"Why the rush? Why was it necessary to interview traumatized children,...."

Because the Left has an agenda to push and it couldn't wait. I thought that was obvious.

Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 10:16 AM

Tony in Texas said:

The fact that the sheepel could re-elect bozo tells you all you need to know.

Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 10:33 AM

d.w.hudson in Michigan said:

So incredibly well stated and written that its truth produces the appropriate reaction of nausea. The MSM immediately engaged its agenda against those Americans who have done nothing more than exercise a right which scares their progressive idiocy. They will continue to do so until they blatantly lose the ill conceived cause or they achieve the unimagineable unintended consequences of it.
Perhaps even the members of the federal reserve will eventually realize what China and Japan are already learning. We cannot and will not pay back money borrowed from them on the guarantees of earnings taken from us by illegal actions and for illegal activities persued by our own government "representatives". Let the debt limit be your guide. Our "leaders" don't care what it costs you or us as long as they keep their jobs.

Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 2:35 PM

M Rick Timms MD in Georgia said:

Amazing. The Democrat Senate cannot produce a Budget in 4 years.

But it takes less than 30 days after the election for them propose a bill to "infringe" on the 2nd Amendment, and essentially take away our right to defend ourselves against criminals and most importantly -- tyrants.

We must NEVER permit registration of our weapons. Just ask any Brit. They will then take your guns. Then they will outlaw the sale of books about guns - just as they have done in the UK. Sound ridiculous? Just wait..

Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 10:22 PM

India in GA replied:

Great point, Dr. Timms.

Friday, December 28, 2012 at 2:06 PM

MikeEcho in Orting, WA said:

Great essay as usual. We just live in a crazy world spiraling out of control. This is what happens when a people turn away from God and He in turn takes His protective hands off and leaves us to our own devices. What a mess, I hope it's not to late for our great Republic. The handwriting is on the wall for all to see, even the blind!

Friday, December 28, 2012 at 12:19 AM

India in GA said:

No shame, Mr. Ahlert. You are one of the few fighting the tide in the MSM; you should be proud!


Friday, December 28, 2012 at 2:17 PM