Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 21, 2011 16 Shevat, 5771

The Bloomberg Syndrome

By Victor Davis Hanson



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | After the recent Tucson, Ariz., shootings, Pima County Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik, a Democrat, almost immediately and without evidence claimed that conservative anti-government speech had set off alleged killer Jared Lee Loughner.

Yet the more the unfolding details informed us that the "Communist Manifesto"/"Mein Kampf"-reading Loughner was mentally unstable, apolitical and without discernible interests in contemporary issues, the more the flamboyant Dupnik went on television to expand his cast of culpable characters. He finally ended up blaming everyone from Tea Party opponents of President Obama to talk-show host Rush Limbaugh -- and became an instant celebrity and hero to left-wing partisans.

Just as disturbing as the incoherence of Dupnik's demagoguery was his apparent professional incompetence. As the sheriff's nationally televised blame narrative imploded, it was also disclosed that Loughner had a long record of aberrant behavior and substance abuse in Pima County -- known to local law enforcement, including Dupnik's own department.

More disturbing still, if Dupnik were right that a pre-existing conservative climate of hate-engendered politics was not only pervasive in Tucson, but also might prompt an unstable person to kill, why had he not dispatched at least one of his 500 officers to patrol the open-air public event sponsored by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords?

Dupnik is a good example of an increasingly common bad habit of local politicians to resort to cosmic sermonizing when more mundane challenges go unaddressed. In Dupnik's case, it is hard to monitor all the nuts like Loughner in the sheriff's department files to ensure they don't get guns and bullets and pop up at political events, but apparently far easier to deflect subsequent responsibility by sounding off on political issues.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was a past master of lecturing about the cosmic while sometimes ignoring the more concrete. Governing the boroughs of an often-chaotic New York City is nearly impossible. Pontificating on the evils of smoking, fatty foods and supposed anti-Muslim bigotry was not only far easier but had established the mayor as a national figure of sensitivity and caring, praised for his progressive declarations by supporters of everything from global warming to abortion.

But Bloomberg's carefully constructed philosopher's image was finally shattered by the December 2010 blizzard and his own asleep-at-the-wheel reaction. An incompetent municipal response to record snowfalls barricaded millions in their borough houses and apartments, amid lurid rumors of deliberate union-sponsored slowdowns by Bloomberg's city crews.

For the last three years, California has managed through poor governance to simultaneously achieve the highest deficits in the nation; the highest combination of income, sales and gas taxes; the best-paid teachers; and among the lowest school test scores in the country. After failing along with the legislature, to balance budgets, improve the schools, lower taxes, trim state expenditures, and deal with millions of resident Mexican nationals without diplomas, English-language skills or legal status, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger reinvented himself as a globally celebrated green-action hero of the solar, wind and alternative-energy lobbies.

His outgoing legacy is a $25 billion budget deficit waiting for newly inaugurated Gov. Jerry Brown and all sorts of fresh environmental regulations imposed in recessionary times on a struggling private sector that is often unprofitable or on the verge of leaving the state. So Schwarzenegger left office with a 22 percent approval rating and a high-profile schedule of engagements speaking to green groups as a heroic green celebrity.

It is a human trait to focus on cheap lofty rhetoric rather than costly earthy reality. It is a bureaucratic characteristic to rail against the trifling misdemeanor rather than address the often-dangerous felony. And it is political habit to mask one's own failures by lecturing others on their supposed shortcomings. Ambitious elected officials often manage to do all three.

The result in these hard times is that our elected sheriffs, mayors and governors are loudly weighing in on national and global challenges that are quite often out of their own jurisdiction, while ignoring or failing to solve the very problems that they were elected to address.

Quite simply, the next time your elected local or state official holds a press conference about global warming, the Middle East or the national political climate, expect to experience poor county law enforcement, bad municipal services or regional insolvency.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.


Archives

© 2010, TMS

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles