Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, January 26, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 13



 Mountain Views News Saturday, January 26, 2013 

HOWARD Hays As I See It


GREG Welborn

“Uh, I don’t know what you mean.” - Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK)

 “I need to have more details. I, you know, I just need – you need to ask me after 
I’ve talked to our judiciary staff in our office.” - Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN)


“I’ve got – my wife’s here. I’m sorry.” - Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY)


 “I’m going to look at it.” - Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)


 “I’m still looking at it.” - Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)


 I wasn’t planning on submitting a column this week, but couldn’t help transcribing this series of 
responses from Republican senators when asked their view on a proposal that’s been prominent in the 
news lately. It’s not a complicated one, being supported by 92% of Americans, according to a recent 
CBS News / NY Times poll.

 I wasn’t going to think about a column; just enjoy 3 1/2 balmy days in Hawai’i. It was a sort of 
family reunion; my wife and I got together with in-laws from the greater-Tokyo area, meeting more-
or-less halfway.

 I was heading out to enjoy breakfast at the beach, but had to stop at the computer in the hotel lobby, 
unable to let a weekend go by without going online to learn what concerns Greg Welborn this week. 
It appears to be a hypocritical “concern for public interest out of Hollywood” despite “connections 
between the glorification of violence in movies and video games to the incidence of violence” in the 
real world that “saddens and disgusts” Greg.

 I’ve visited Japan a few times, and found they enjoy violent movies and violent video games. Here 
in the U.S. we enjoy violent movies and violent video games. In 2008, in the U.S. we had 11,030 
homicides by guns, or 3.6 per 100,000 of population. In Japan they had 11 homicides by guns, or less 
than .0001 per 100,000 of population. I’m sure “Django Unchained” will be a big hit in Japan, but I 
don’t think it’ll affect that disparity in homicide rates. We have lax gun laws. They have strict gun 
laws. The problem, Greg, is not the “violence in movies and video games”.

 Greg characterizes as “nonsense bordering on pathological falsehood” President Obama’s concern 
over “de-funding scientific or medical research into the causes of gun violence”, insisting “there is no 
group of conservatives standing in the way of science and research”. No?

 A Washington Post editorial last July told how from 1986 through 1996 the U.S. Centers for 
Disease Control conducted research on gun injuries and fatalities as it did on auto accidents. Some 
findings proved unflattering to the gun industry, such as those published in the New England Journal 
of Medicine showing that residents in households with a gun faced almost three times the incidence 
of homicide, and five times the incidence of suicide, as residents of households without guns.

 The editorial relates how the NRA turned to their “point man” in Congress, Rep. Jay Dickey (R-
AR), to mobilize other Republicans in stripping $2.6 million in funding from the C.D.C for 1997, the 
amount spent on gun research the year before. Since then, the C.D.C. spent $240 million a year on 
auto safety, and nothing on gun safety – though the number of annual fatalities from guns and auto 
accidents is about the same.

 It cites “strong agreement now that scientific research should be conducted into preventing firearm 
injuries”. The editorial quotes President Obama, “Such violence, such evil is senseless”, but notes, 
“What is truly senseless is to decry these deaths as senseless when the tools exist to understand causes 
and to prevent these deadly effects.”

 The editorial is co-authored by that same (now former) Rep. Dickey, who had a change of heart 
following last-year’s massacre at the Aurora, CO movie theater.

 I wasn’t going to do a column this week, but just send Susan this picture of me standing in front 
of a rather non-descript house on a narrow street in the hills north of Honolulu. To the North and 
East lies the University of Hawaii; across the street is a Baptist church where, on Sundays such as 
when I was there, the sides of the church roll up allowing rich voices to echo in song throughout the 

 Back in the 1960s the house was occupied by Stan and Madelyn Dunham, along with their grandson, 
Barry Obama – who stayed there until moving with his mother to Indonesia at the age of six.

 The next day I woke up early to catch the Inaugural Address. In an opening shot, the ABC 
cameraman focused on the statue atop the Capitol dome, around whose base the motto “E Pluribus 
Unum” provided the theme for the president’s speech. (I also, I think, heard Diane Sawyer mistake 
Dick Gregory for Morgan Freeman.) Later that morning, I caught a bit of the MLK Day parade down 
Kalakaua Avenue in front of our hotel, with shops offering souvenirs and memorabilia celebrating 
“Our First Hawaiian President”.

 The proposal the senators were responding to in the opening quotes was for federally mandated 
universal background checks for gun purchasers. In addition to having the support of 92% of 
Americans, it also has the support of 89% of Republicans, 93% of gun households, and 85% of 
households with NRA members.

 Lawmakers such as those quoted above are in the awkward position of lacking the courage to stand 
up to the gun lobby, while knowing they’re on the wrong side of history.

 Those senators would probably respond the same way to another suggestion involving the course 
of history – so go back and re-read their responses imagining the question was: Doesn’t it now appear 
likely Barrack Obama will be recalled as not just our first Black president, or first Hawaiian president, 
but rather as one of our nation’s truly great presidents?


 In about six hours of testimony before Congressional panels, 
Hillary Clinton finally spoke about the Benghazi disaster and “took 
responsibility” while also telling us she wasn’t really responsible for all 
that much. It’s ironic how much taking, but not taking, responsibility 
is similar to her husband’s earlier defense, “it depends on what the 
definition of the word ‘is’ is”, but the most ignominious moment came 
with her claim that trying to figure out who lied about what really 
happened won’t make a difference and is just a big waste of time.

 We will give the Secretary credit for being a skilled and well-prepped witness, and she’s 
always been a pretty darn good typical politician - in the not-very-complimentary sense of 
being able to evade answers and avoid blame. She blamed the failure to protect the diplomatic 
compounds on “the assistant secretary level or below”, and then added that Congress should 
take the heat because it hadn’t given enough aid to Libya.

 It is truly Orwellian to hear that she is not complicit in the deaths of 4 Americans, because 
she was derelict in her duty to read the actual requests for greater security written by her 
own Ambassador. For most people, the “I didn’t know it was wrong, daddy” excuse doesn’t 
work after age 5 or so. Give her credit for being able to milk that for a few more decades, and 
in front of a national audience no less. Where were the Pulitzer Prize- hungry investigative 
reporters, anyway? Does nobody in the D.C. press corps find that an implausible, pitiful 

 The same goes for the Libya aid deflection. Just in case some reporter actually cut 
through the earlier B.S. about not reading cables, it supposedly wouldn’t have mattered 
because security at U.S. diplomatic compounds in Libya are somehow the responsibility 
of the Libyans, who didn’t get enough money from the U.S. Congress to do their job well. 
If that were true, doesn’t it stand to reason that Secretary Clinton should have been upset 
several months prior about Congress’s failure to protect the embassies? Why wasn’t she 
pounding the table way back then about the risk exposure? 

 As deplorable as the “it’s not my fault” and “I didn’t know” excuses are from someone 
who has presidential aspirations, the most shameful moment came when she fired back at 
Senator Johnson for caring about who lied to the American people. “What difference, at 
this point, does it make?” she retorted, insinuating that because so much time has already 
passed and the 4 Americans are already dead it doesn’t really matter who said what to whom 
for what reason. 

 Dear readers, we have a new political doctrine: the Hilary doctrine. If enough time 
has passed and if uncovering the truth won’t bring the dead back to life, then there’s no 
legitimate reason to expose the cover up and punish those responsible. So, let me apply the 
Hilary Doctrine historically.

 To President Ronald Reagan: Investigated for, and hounded by the liberal press, for 
supposedly knowing about and covering up the Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages deal. Just a 
big waste of time looking into that one.

 To President George H.W. Bush: Told Americans to read his lips; there would be no new 
taxes. That lie shouldn’t have cost him the election. What were we thinking?

 To President Bill Clinton: Disbarred from practicing law because he committed perjury. 
What a travesty of justice that one was; aren’t lawyers supposed to lie under oath? 

 To President George W. Bush: Never heard the end of the “Bush lied and people died” 
mantra from the left. What was Kerry thinking in trying to build a presidential campaign 
around that theme? I guess I’m glad the man didn’t become president if he’s that clueless.

 The point here is not to claim that one or any of these political leaders did or did not lie to 
the American people. The point is that investigating the accusation that they lied was, is, and 
will always be a legitimate – one might even add necessary – function of political opponents, 
the press, and the American people at large. If we want to be able to trust our leaders, then 
there have to be consequences for lying to us. We’ll never change human nature. People lie, 
people steal, people commit all manner of sin. What keeps the sin in check is some sense 
that if caught there will be a consequence for those sins. 

 So, Madam Secretary, the reason that it makes a difference at this point as to who lied 
to America about Benghazi is because we want to make sure that affixing legitimate blame 
and meting out appropriate consequences sends a clear message to those who might be 
tempted to try such things in the future. As a smart women, trained lawyer and presumptive 
presidential candidate, you know that. Deterrence has always been, and will always be, a 
legitimate justification for punishments.

 As a smart women, trained lawyer, and presumptive presidential candidate, Madam 
Secretary, you also know that if you had a hand in the lie, your political career would rightly 
be brought to an end, and you are willing to insult the memory and families of 4 dead 
Americans by claiming that none of this matters in order to keep your political dreams alive. 
That’s pathetic.

About the author: Gregory J. Welborn is a freelance writer and has spoken to several civic 
and religious organizations on cultural and moral issues. He lives in the Pasadena area with 
his wife and 3 children and is active in the community. He can be reached at gregwelborn2@