Mayor Rahm Emanuel Finds Himself Between a Rock and a Hard Place

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Theme:– Operation C.R.U.S.H. Against Gun Violence, Bias and Clouded Vision

President Obama made a visit to Chicago recently to drum-up support for Democratic candidates. His trip started out with a Business Roundtable where he “rubbed shoulders,” but was overshadowed by the Fort Hood Shooting. Meanwhile, Mayor Rahm Emanual finds himself between a rock and a hard place.

He’s faced with some serious challenges common to many urban cities. There’re the problems with school closings and street violence to name a few. The most pressing issue it seems deals with tackling the shortfall in pension funds. He’s not shrinking away from the challenge even with the clock ticking.

Some Chicago insiders and elected officials believe this issue is a game-changer. But maybe it’s the way Emanuel is dealing with it head-on that best fits the description. It could serve as a good example for how as a nation we might deal with gun violence. Every time there’s a shooting people analyze without action.

There’s a tendency to point fingers everywhere else but where it belongs. The latest complaints have been about people with mental health issues. Some want to blame the crazies when maybe the buck stops with us the sane. We keep allowing dangerous weapons to get into the hands of unstable people.

Emanuel is known as a tough-nosed guy. The challenges facing Chicagoans exists in others cities and states as well. The pension fund problem is about money and as we know “money talks.” So, is it going to take putting a dollar value on life and death to address gun violence with the same sense of urgency?

Footnote: The problems of urban plight are not fixed by simply pointing fingers at those seen as the “lazies or crazies” but by lifting fingers and empowering lives to be like the sane.

Congressman Paul Ryan Walks Back Comments on Culture and ‘Fartherless Problem’

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Theme:– Operation C.R.U.S.H. Against Gun Violence, Bias and Clouded Vision

Recently, President Obama unveiled his administration’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative. It was well received by a throng of supporters at the White House. He hopes to make a dent in dealing with some of the inner city struggles. Well, Paul Ryan had to walk back comments on the ‘fatherless problem.’

He was asked during a radio interview about the subject. He seemed to step on some toes by defining the problem in what was seen as “put down” terms. Ryan’s comments enraged a fellow congressional colleague. So he later issued a statement to clarify his take on some of the inner city culture woes.

Maybe the congressman was continuing in the realm of comments he made related to poverty. A medical doctor will say that we can’t confuse the symptom with the problem. It’s like with the issue of gun violence and attempts at passing laws on background check. Opponents say forget it while studies say differently.

This topic engenders emotional reaction to the Nth degree. It’s hard to convince parts of our culture on the merits of background checks because it’s hard to get some to do self-checks. That’s changed with women regarding breast exams and it’s also changed when it comes to wearing seatbelts. Go figure!

In order to address the effects of some of our pressing social/cultural challenges we need to be willing to see it for what it is. Increasing highway traffic fatalities caused our elected officials and culture to enact seatbelt self-check mechanisms. So has the concern for breast cancer. No clouded vision there!

Footnote: It might be hard to convince some of the merits of background checks because human nature has a tendency to shun self-checks. That’s changed for women and for drivers wearing seatbelts because they had the repercussion of public health/safety in mind.