Steve Lunetta: What kind of people are we?

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I don’t know about you, but I am intrigued by the question “What kind of people are we?” Intrigued because at the core of this question is the answer to so many other questions.

How do we answer this? Of course, the world is changing around us very rapidly. Immigration patterns have certainly impacted our society. The economy influences how we think about ourselves. The speed and mechanisms of how information flows are also a huge impact.

And let us not forget our religious and ethical beliefs.

Are we a “good” people that cares about our fellow man, or are we a self-absorbed society that only cares about our own self-interest and personal benefit?

Now, before you blow off the rest of this column and flip over to the sports section, let’s think about a few implications.

If we proceed with the premise that we are a good people, a question such as health care will have a simple answer. Do we care about our fellow Americans regardless of economic or social standing? If we are good, the answer is “yes.”

And if the answer is “yes,” I would assert that the remainder is details. Let’s come up with the most cost-effective mechanism for obtaining the best outcomes for all of our people. Forget politics. We can make it happen if we just work together.

Some of you may disagree and say that government should not be in the business of health care. Churches and faith-based organizations used to provide these services, so we should go back to that model.

C’mon, folks. That ship sailed a long time ago. Government got involved for a variety of reasons (granted, not all of them good), and that is the system we are stuck with today.

Are we going to reverse 90+ years of governmental intervention in societal programs aimed at improving health care? It’s not going to happen.

It seems like a good people will take the tools that we have and work toward a better vision of health care.

What about homelessness? Would a “good” people turn their backs on a growing problem that only gets worse each day? Or do we take the selfish approach and say, “There is no problem”?

A good people would look at homelessness and find the root causes. Then they would orchestrate resources to address those causes, as well as ministering to the immediate needs of the homeless.

As in health care, we could find the solutions that are most cost-effective and apply those first. Good business practices and, dare I say, traditional conservative values could bolster good decision-making to address the problem.

What I see too much these days is conservatives throwing up their hands and walking away from the discussion, not willing to be part of the solution. In many ways, that cripples our ability to make better decisions and, ultimately, do the “good” thing.

How, then, do we choose an economic system that best serves our desire to be a “good” people? It seems the system that provides the most benefit to the most people would fit our definition.

In my opinion, the undisputed choice for this would be capitalism, since it has provided an astounding level of wealth and societal progress to those nations that embrace it. Full-blown communist and economically directed economies fail to produce at levels for all to benefit.

Unfortunately, capitalism is often associated with selfishness and greed. As the immortal Gordon Gecko stated in film, “greed is good.”

It would seem that the challenge for a “good” people is to combine the best aspects of a capitalistic society without sinking into the self-centeredness that derails efforts to be good in other areas such as homelessness and health care.

Many today equate capitalism with “income inequality” and social injustice. This would be in error as many examples exist where capitalism has resulted in excellent philanthropy and improvements in the human condition.

The Carnegie Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Nobel Awards come immediately to mind as fulfilling this criterion.

What kind of people do you want us to be? Answer that question, and maybe the answer will help move us all forward.

Steve Lunetta is a resident of Santa Clarita. He can be reached at [email protected].

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This Post Has 24 Comments

  1. Brian Baker

    “Government got involved for a variety of reasons (granted, not all of them good), and that is the system we are stuck with today. Are we going to reverse 90+ years of governmental intervention in societal programs aimed at improving health care? It’s not going to happen.”

    And therein lies the difference between being a “moderate” and being an actual conservative. You’ve thrown your hands in the air and surrendered to the idea that government has a role in health care in ways that aren’t envisioned at all by our Constitution.

    Once you’ve accepted that the primary requirement for determining the validity of any government program is “caring”, well…. you’ve essentially signed onto the Horton-style leftist ideology of governance.

    1. Anthony Breznican

      God forbid government “care.”

      1. Brian Richards

        Where does it end? On what matters should government “care”? Who determines what it should “care” about? How much “care” should it provide and who pays for it? Government should do exactly what it’s chartered to do and if people don’t like that, they can change the charter. Take illegals for example Anthony. I don’t believe government should care one iota for these people that shouldn’t be here. Others disagree obviously.

        1. Anthony Breznican

          For some the question is “where does it end”? But what they really mean is: “It should never start.”

      2. Gil Mertz

        Yes, they’ve done so much for our veterans.

        What a long, wasted day for you Anthony. You and your fellow libs were sooooooo hoping Comey would say something to bring down Trump when he mostly confirmed what we all knew was true. Millions of Americans were able to hear the actual truth and not the fantasies being spun by far-left propagandists such as CNN and MSNBC. I loved how Comey scolded the media for getting it wrong over and over again. But my favorite line was from Senator Rubio who said, “The only thing that wasn’t leaked to the media is that President Trump was not under investigation.” B-I-N-G-O-!-!-!

        But of course, that won’t stop the media’s pathological hatred and perverted political spins but at least millions of normal Americans got to hear the truth today. Enjoy your hatefest party tonight where the media will be serving up more nothing burgers and sour grape whine. The rest of America is anxious to get back to work to clean up the messes left by Barack Obama. LOL!!

        1. Anthony Breznican

          Are you seriously claiming this as a win? A HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

          Sure. Own it! Please.

          Yeah, he’s not under investigation now, as we speak. Mueller will be so happy to have his summer back.

          No one thought today would end the Trump presidency. This is infrastructure week.

          Anyway, on another topic, have you seen these reports about hate groups on the rise from Southern Poverty Law Center? Seems like this is relevant to Mr. Lunnetta’s column about civility. That organization does just an impeccable job of identifying these groups, and it seems their numbers are growing. Does that bother you?

          Or is that healthy competition?

          1. Gil Mertz

            Mueller wasn’t appointed to investigate a crime that has been committed. He was appointed to hopefully find a crime for the mad dog Democrats. And when he concludes there was no collusion with Russia, you and your side will pummel him must like you did with Comey when he re-opened the investigation against Clinton. Only a conviction will pacify your quest for the “truth”.

            And it’s no surprise to me that a CNN disciple would think the self-appointed watchdog group Southern Poverty Law Center was impeccable. Only to the left wing who support them financially and embrace their far-left ideology.

            Their partisanship got so bad that the FBI stopped using them as an
            “independent” watchdog. A few years ago a gay activists marched into the lobby of the Family Research Council with 100 rounds of ammunition to murder as many people he could find because they were labeled a hate group. When the authorities asked for his source, he said, “The Southern Poverty Law Center”.

            Far-left groups like SPLC incite the very kind of violence, hatred, and bigotry they claim to oppose. Such hypocrites. Not surprising you’re a fan.

          2. Anthony Breznican

            According to the FBI website, they still work with Southern Poverty Law Center: https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/civil-rights/hate-crimes

            I remember reading about that Corkins situation. Isn’t it terrible this threat of shootings we are constantly under? I don’t recall seeing that Corkins had any connection at all to SPCL. He was probably motivated by Family Research Council’s long history of anti-gay bigotry, but if that is your standard then FRC is owed some blame for last year’/ Pulse massacre.

            Anyway… Family Research Council is definitely hateful, but are you sure that SPLC categorized it as a “hate group”?

            Can you show me on their website where they say that?

          3. Gil Mertz

            Anthony, it’s obvious from your posts than anyone who doesn’t fit in your small ideological box is hateful, like Dr. Ben Carson. One of the most decent and respected Americans of our day but Southern Poverty Law Center attacked even him. That speaks volumes about the SPLC.

            You are exactly right about SPLC listed on the FBI website. I admit that because you provided clear evidence. I’m hoping that you will show the same intellectual integrity about your beliefs when they are countered with evidence such as Comey’s testimony today that President Trump did not interfere with his investigation. Unlike Loretta Lynch who absolutely interfered with the investigation of Hillary Clinton but because she’s a Democrat appointed by Obama, this won’t make any of the news on CNN despite Comey’s direct testimony. Democrats will quickly bury these cold, hard facts and continue to obsess over the Trump and Russia hysteria.

            As for SPLC’s tagging the Family Research Council as a hate group, if you look up FRC in the Guidestar website you’ll find these words above their name.

            “This organization was flagged as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.”

            This is what most people see. Guidestar provides a well-hidden disclaimer that some may disagree but they respect the SPLC enough to list it and people can draw their own conclusions. That’s like saying there are reports that Anthony Breznican beats his wife from respected sources. Some people may disagree but we’ll leave it up to you to decide for yourself. That’s the classic definition of prejudice. To pre-judge someone without all the facts.

            The SPLC website says that, “Hate group activities can include criminal acts, marches,rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing.” This is a perfect description of Black Lives Matter but you’ll not find them among SLPC’s list of hate groups. Why Anthony? Why is it only conservative groups that are targeted by SPLC?

            And it was disturbing at the speed in which you dismissed the attempted murders of Family Research Council employees to make them the villain. For some odd reason, I’m unable to post links on my posts with the Signal so let me encourage you to go to youtube and type in the words, “Confessed Terrorist Floyd Corkins Admits to Using SPLC Target List”. It’s very short but there you will see Corkins admitting to police about the role of the SPLC. Remember Anthony, it’s a VIDEO. For most people, it’s chilling.

            By the way, there were over 20 mass shootings that year Anthony which murdered more than 85 Americans. Only ONE was foiled. Leo Johnson who was working at the reception desk that day jumped in front of the first bullet which shattered his arm and still managed to bring the gunman to the ground and saved multiple lives. Corkins was charged with “terrorism” which had never happened in Washington, DC. And what did Obama say about this heroism that happened just blocks from the White House? NOTHING. Three soldiers foiled a killing on a train in France and were deservedly swept into the White House with the President and honored as true heroes. Obama never mentioned the name Leo Johnson or the Family Research Council. Was it because the shooter was a gay activist and the hero was a conservative Christian? Why else would Obama completely ignore this amazing story of heroism? The politics were too uncomfortable to do the right thing.

            Which goes back to your first question about the rise of hate groups. Which groups are doing the rioting, destruction, calls for anarchy, violence, and civil disobedience? Follow the facts, Anthony. It’s your fellow Trump haters.

          4. Anthony Breznican

            I’m supposed to be grateful you acknowledged a fact on the FBI website? You live in a strange, warped world. I’m surprised at how quick you are to dismiss the Southern Poverty Law Center. They are the most reputable chronicler of hate groups in the United States. Those same groups, obviously, despise them. I wasn’t familiar with their ranking of the Family Research Council, but I take your word for it. I will look it up on my own.

            It doesn’t surprise me, since hate groups have been infiltrating the extreme-right. (Richard Spencer is a perfect example.) The FRC dug in deep with homophobic stances that are shocking and indefensible. I can’t say I’ve kept up with their views, since I haven’t thought about that group in a long time. I suppose it receded once it became more like Westboro Baptist Church.

            What’s interesting is, I know older gay men who lived their younger days in total fear, persecuted and shamed. Now, the world is different, better, safer for them and younger generations of LGBTQ people. Now I have friends who never “came out” because they never had to hide. They just were who they were.

            And in this world, this better world, you’re telling me the FRC is now ranked as a hate group? I don’t know if you agree with that or not, but I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt of not being a backwards bigot.

            But it’s funny to me, the wheels of justice, karma, comeuppance…

            Now it’s okay to be gay … but it’s shameful to be the Family Research Council.

          5. Gil Mertz

            Well Anthony, I honestly tried to have a civil exchange with you but once again, you chose to completely ignore all of my reasonable questions that you find troubling. In a way, I don’t blame you as it would be impossible to justify your delusional positions. Instead, you doubled-down on your hate and irrational fear of anyone who thinks different from you. You would make Westboro Baptist Church proud.

            I have neither the time or the interest to engage in any further useless discussions that are not based in reality. You and Lois Eisenberg can continue in your hate-Trump tirades but I’m out. Just as I blocked Lois with her non-stop, bitter, mindless, hateful rants, it is now my joy to block you for exactly the same reason.

            So keep in mind as you post how much you hate me and anyone else who is different from you, I can’t see what you’re writing so don’t expect any further responses. I tried. We’re done.

          6. Anthony Breznican

            Jeez. Thought we were having a friendly discussion. Shame you’ve got to flounce away like this. But so be it. Adios.

          7. lois eisenberg

            Per Gil Mertz:
            “Don’t expect any further responses. I tried. We’re done”
            How lucky are you Anthony ????????

          8. Anthony Breznican

            To quote Bill Murray in Ghostbusters when Walter Peck is dragged away: “I’m gonna MISS him…!”

          9. lois eisenberg

            BREAKING NEWS
            “Calm and deliberate in tone, James Comey’s testimony was the most damning by a law enforcement official against a president in decades”

        2. lois eisenberg

          “The only thing that wasn’t leaked to the media is that President Trump was not under investigation.”
          Wait for the Mueller investigation. BINGO *****

  2. Anthony Breznican

    This is an optimistic column, but optimism is welcome these days. At it’s core, it seems Mr. Lunette is talking about a shortage of empathy that seems to have overtaken our culture. It’s a deficiency that makes people cruel and scared, and with that comes a degree of selfishness and defensiveness. I like his philosophy. Glad he wrote this.

    1. lois eisenberg

      DITTO*****

  3. lois eisenberg

    “What kind of people do you want us to be?”
    A people who are free from Trump and his administration ****

  4. lois eisenberg

    BREAKING NEWS
    “Calm and deliberate in tone, James Comey’s testimony was the most damning by a law enforcement official against a president in decades”

    “Upset about the investigation into Russian interference in last year’s election, President Trump sought relief from James B. Comey, then the F.B.I. director. By Mr. Comey’s account, Mr. Trump asked him to help “lift the cloud.”
    But thanks to Mr. Trump’s own actions, the cloud darkened considerably on Thursday and now seems likely to hover over his presidency for months, if not years, to come.
    Rather than relieve the pressure, Mr. Trump’s decision to fire Mr. Comey has generated an even bigger political and legal threat. In his anger at Mr. Comey for refusing to publicly disclose that the president was not personally under investigation, legal experts said, Mr. Trump may have actually made himself the target of an investigation”

  5. lois eisenberg

    ” Trump’s reckless decisions are a direct THREAT to our Democracy, our values, and our national security. He’s proven again and again his allegiance lies with Putin, not America!”

  6. lois eisenberg

    “James Comey’s testimony yesterday revealed how much of a THREASONOUS LIAR President Trump is.”
    ” Luckily, the process of impeachment is beginning”

  7. lois eisenberg

    “What kind of people are we?”
    The question should be what kind of people are we that we have allowed
    this mad, evil man to run our Country ??????
    The longer you leave him in the more damage he is going to do ***
    Wake up America and smell the stench ***

  8. Ron Bischof

    Regarding your column, of one thing I am absolutely certain, Steve: support for governmental programs does not determine what kind of person you are.

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