Friday, November 13, 2015

The Million Student March (AKA Million Parasite March)

The weak of mind are striking again. A couple of years ago, it was "Occupy Wall Street". Today, it's a so-called "Million Student March" demanding free education and wages that exceed productivity. I wonder if they also think someone else should do their homework for them and should take their exams for them.
BR> Like "Occupy Wall Street", these students complain about the 1% who they think are hoarding all of the wealth and that they got that wealth unfairly or illegitimately. I challenge the students to consider the analysis by commentator Bill whittle (see video below). BTW, the 1% earned either their wealth or they inherited it from someone who earned it. You want that kind of wealth? Earn it!

I assume that the protesters would use that "free" education to get worthwhile degrees such as engineering, medicine, chemistry, etc. instead of the all-too-common pity-me studies such as women's studies, black studies, etc.

Like the "Occupy Wall Street" movement, these protesters represent what our government schools and most of our universities have become: Marxist cesspools for the indolent of mind. They cry for a "safe space", which interpreted, means only "politically correct" speech is allowed.

One student whined, "wouldnt it be nice if the system didnt enslave its people with massive amounts of debt and used some money to pay for peoples schooling" [sic]. Nobody is enslaving anyone with debt except for those who willingly take on that debt. Hence the "higher education bubble" that threatens global financial stability just as did the easy-and-cheap-mortgages-for-the-uncreditworthy "housing bubble" of a few years ago.

Wouldn't it be nice if people who are old enough to vote or [presumably] intelligent enough to attend college were also mature enough to pay their own [expletive deleted] bills? Instead, all we seem to see in this movement is people whose career aspiration is to be parasites on those who are actually working their way through life.

My wife and I worked our way through college and three graduate degrees, borrowing only $500 from my parents for my first term in college. I see no reason why everyone else can't do the same.
Hard work without talent is a shame, but talent without hard work is a tragedy. -- Robert Half, businessman
We need smarter voters!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Contrails and chemtrails

A YouTuber has posted a video about a 37-year-old report to the US Senate about attempts to use technology to assist farmers. He uses this report as proof of "Chemtrails".​ He even said it on the Internet, so it must be true!

What the report covers is not "chemtrails" (which presumably are behavior-modification toxins sprayed on the people) but cloud-seeding to modify local weather patterns. ​​As explained in the report, that sometimes​ backfire​s​.​ ​Often, those efforts are successful. Causing harm to farmers is not "purposeful" as the YouTube paranoid alleges.​ Don't take his word about the report as fact. ​Instead, read the report​ yourself​ to find out whether it really is about "chemtrails"​ or anything else with evil intent​​.​ It's always wise to do a little research before propagating nonsense like this video.

​In addition to attempting to help farmers, cloud seeding is sometimes used to temporarily dissipate fog at airports with good success. For example, in Alaska, Anchorage drops dry ice pellets over the airport, Elmendorf AFB sprays propane into the air around that airport. Both methods ​effectively ​condense the fog into precipitation, thus clearing the sky over the runways. The goal is better use of the airport -- not the sinister objectives ​presumed​ by the paranoids.

Don't blame evil government forces for "chemtrails". Blame me -- I have 42 years and 25,000 hours of spreading "chemtrails" which are nothing more than water vapor​ -- a natural product of combustion. It's exactly the same stuff as that which comes out of a car's tailpipe​ or the breath of any warm-blooded creature​. That ​water ​vapor, whether from a car​, an airplane​, or a dog, is visible when the atmospheric conditions are right.

If Alex Jones believes it, ya know it's bogus. Regarding this tiresome paranoia, here's a little fun someone had with PhotoShop:

Unfortunately, explaining science doesn't work on a certain people. But, here are some attempts:

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

More taxpayer funding for farmers, ostensibly to save the bees

Here's a segment of a recent press release from the US Department of Agriculture:
WASHINGTON, Oct. 6, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of $4 million in assistance for farmers, ranchers and forest landowners working to improve food sources for honey bees on private lands in Midwestern and northern plains states. The targeted conservation effort by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) aims to improve the health of this critical pollinator in a region where more than two-thirds of the nation’s honey bee population spends the summer months, pollinating crops and building strength to survive winter.
Am I the only one who asks how much each seed will cost under that $4 million government program?

I'm a beekeeper and have been since my youth. I encourage people to plant more flowers and flowering crops in their gardens.

But I can't understand why over-taxed Americans expect, ask, and allow government to do everything for us. Paying farmers to plant flowers (or anything else) is not a proper role of government nor is it a proper use of the taxpayers' money. Instead, let's vote for severe cuts in government power and spending while cutting taxes so that farmers (and everyone else) can afford to buy their own flowers!
"Would you be willing to give up your favorite federal government program if it meant never having to pay income tax again?" -- Harry Browne
You want to save the bees? Get your head out of the sand and plant flowers! Stop waiting for government to do it for you at greatly inflated prices!

We need smarter voters!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Gun owners who disagree with the NRA

The Washington Post (G Gordon Liddy's favorite news source) recently published an article based on their own polling claiming that "Most gun owners don't belong to the NRA — and they don't agree with it either". The article was discussed in an online forum of gun owners, some of whom also don't agree with the NRA. Here is my response to those dissidents:

1 - Gun owners who don't agree with the NRA and who are not members have no voice. If you want the NRA leadership to listen to you, join!. Get everyone you know to join. (Every member of my family, including 15 grandchildren, is a Life member. Beat that!)

2 - Although a Benefactor Life Member, I also don't agree with the compromises the NRA has made or the support they've given to the likes of Harry Reid. (Compromise with evil always moves in the direction of evil.) NRA fingerprints are on every federal anti-gun law on the books. But, think about how much worse those laws would be if the NRA weren't involved to mitigate the damage.

3 - Why does the NRA compromise? Because it has to! With only 5 million members ("somewhere between 6 and 7 percent of American gun owners" according to the Washington Post article) it does not have the power to dictate what Congress, the president, the courts, and bureaucrats do. The NRA is grossly out-gunned (no pun intended) by the numbers of voters represented by anti-rights organizations. (see partial list.) If only 20% of gun owners were NRA members, the NRA would have the influence it needs to out-lobby the anti-gun groups.

4 - The other gun-rights organizations (I'm also a life member of CCRKBA, GOA, JPFO, and SAF), as good as they are, all have a small, insignificant percentage of membership that the NRA has. Without huge membership numbers, they have no clout. Nobody in Congress listens to them. At least they listen to the NRA enough to hate the NRA. Nobody in Congress hates CCRKBA, GOA, JPFO, and SAF because they don't know who they are! (If any purportedly pro-gun-rights organization is an enemy of gun rights, it is NAGR.)

5 - In the end, I place the blame for every gun-control law squarely at the foot of every gun owner who doesn't vote like a gun owner. If the "between 73 million and 81 million adult gun owners" claimed by the Washington Post don't dominate every election by electing pro-rights politicians and voting out the bums, they deserve to lose their rights. And they are, while taking the rest of us down with them.

I can almost hear Hillary's cackle every time a gun owner rejects the NRA.

We need smarter voters.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Gun deaths, sensationalism, and statistics

A cousin is appalled at a chart created by a Leftist propaganda organization known as Center for American Progress (long known to exploit people who lack a talent for critical thinking). The chart shows that more people were killed in the US by gunfire from 1989 to 2014 than have US war deaths since 1776.

That's far too many deaths in either category, no doubt. But, gun-related deaths in the US are fewer than than poisoning deaths and fewer than motor vehicle traffic deaths over the same period. Did the Center for American Progress point that out? No, that wouldn't serve their agenda.

Firearms account for about 1.6 percent of unintentional injury deaths. As for the intentional-injury firearm deaths, a significant portion of those are lawful self-defense. Another large portion of intentional deaths is suicides -- deaths that likely would have been by some other means were not a firearm available.

As long as the Center for American Progress seems to be concerned about needless death, how about considering legal abortion? Since 1989 (the same period as that used in their article) over 35 million children have been legally killed in the womb -- usually for the mere convenience of one or both of the parents and always for profit. (Don't expect the Center for American Progress complain about that.)

My source: US Centers for Disease Control, a US government agency tasked with tracking deaths, injuries, and disease -- not the Center for American Progress which has a long history of not looking at statistics in context.

Who who needs critical thinking when ignorant emotion is so much easier? The "progressive" movement (eg, the Center for American Progress) relies on that far too-common ignorant emotion. We need smarter voters.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Utah's governor and the US Constitution

Today is Constitution. Today, we ratification of the US Constitution on this day in 1787.

In honor of this special day, Gary R. Herbert, Governor of Utah made this statement:
"How grateful I am for an inspired Constitution to unite our nation and guide us through the difficult task of governing. May we always defend, protect and adhere to it."
He went on to expand on that statement in his blog.

I wonder, does the governor mean the document the prohibits government interference (see US Constitution, Amendment 2 and Amendment 14, Section 1) with the right to keep and bear arms, yet he, himself, insists that responsible adults have written permission from one of his agents in order to carry a gun of self-defense?

Are he referring to the same Constitution that prohibits the central government from having a role in health care, education, alternative energy, environmental protection, public land management, religion, welfare, national parks, law enforcement, abortion, funding state and local projects, marriage, and countless other areas (see US Constitution, Article 1, Section 8 and Amendment 10), yet he kowtows to the feds, obeying their mandates in those areas, in order to get "free" money?

Is that the same document that was created by representatives of the States and ratified by the States to delegate a few specific roles to the central government (see US Constitution, Article 1, Section 8) while retaining sovereignty of the separate States, yet the governor leads a state government that acts as a mere functionary of the central government -- not as a sovereign State?

Is that the Constitution that says that the US Constitution is the "supreme law" of the land along with those laws that stay within the bounds of the Constitution -- not the laws, regulations, policies, and opinions of federal and state politicians, judges, and bureaucrats that go far beyond the clear limits defined in the Constitution and which he has a sworn obligation to nullify?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Abortion in the news. Again.

Abortion is in the news lately -- again -- for a very big reason: Officials of Planned Parenthood have been caught selling parts of the aborted babies for some very nice profits. This practice is not only disgusting, it is unlawful.

Firearm deaths (criminal + suicide + accidental + negligent + justified), much decried among the Left, are microscopic in comparison to what the Left loves to do to the most innocent among us.

Abortion is a major cause of death that can always be prevented. After all, as abortion advocates, like to say, it is a choice.

One woman said, "I thought this issue was settled in Roe v Wade decades ago. I don't understand why we have to revisit it."

Why? Really? Why?

Because, while legal for the most absurd reasons, abortion is morally wrong except in very, very rare cases.

Because abortion is almost always committed for the mere convenience of one or both parents -- over 3,300 times every day in the US.

Because of gross abuse of the "right to choose". Can't the parents chose to be responsible before engaging in an activity known to result in the conception of another human being?

Because the child isn't given a choice too.

Because a mother may have a right to decide what's best for her body, but the child's body is not her body! The child is genetically a completely different person -- not an extension of her body or a mere piece of tissue

Because the children have harmed nobody. Why kill (usually by dismembering) them for their pure innocence?

Because an unborn child has as much a right to live as the mother or the abortionist.

Because, as mentioned above, some very evil people have long been exploiting Roe v Wade for profit -- with taxpayer subsidies!

Because Roe v Wade is only one of the Supreme Court's very long history of horrid opinions. (They don't issue "rulings". Kings rule. Justices only have "opinions" which are almost always contradictory.)

Because the Constitution and its protections of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" belongs to the People (children are people too) -- not the Supreme Court! We, the People, have a right and duty to vote to overrule and change bad government acts and decisions. We have the last say -- not the Supremes!

We need moral voters.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Privately-owned drones and public safety

I've been an airline and military pilot for 43 years. In over 25,000 hours of flying (including flying in Afghanistan and other hot spots around the globe), the biggest threat to my life, my airplane, and the people I was responsible for was when I barely missed a remote-controlled model airplane while I was flying a 737 full of people into Seattle.

Anyone who has a pilot's license or who travels on an airliner should be terrified of the recent surge in sales of inexpensive, easy-to-fly, and easy-to-modify drones and the beer-swilling pinheads who think that mounting a firearm on one is clever and cute (see video below). Many of these drones are so inexpensive as to be considered disposable (ie a throw-away weapon or weapon carrier).

Several times, operators of these drones have interfered with, and impeded fire and rescue efforts.

I am as opposed to mala prohibita laws and regulations as anyone. But know that most of them are inspired by the boneheaded actions of people tho think they're clever and cute.

This genie (easy-to-fly and cheap drones in the hands of irresponsible people) is out of the bottle. They are just as dangerous as firearms in the hands of those same irresponsible people. Without the intervention of the heavy hand of government, I don't know how we can begin to assure the safety of the People from the abuse of these devices. We can only blame ourselves and our amusement and tolerance of this new trend in irresponsibility.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The soaring cost of higher education

Do you really want to know why a college education is so expensive, with costs soaring far faster then the CPI -- just like medical care? Blame the American voters!

Today, there are at least 225 federal statutes -- and growing -- that affect how colleges and universities must operate. Add to that any regulatory requirements imposed by the respective states. Those government mandates typically cost each college or university millions of dollars in compliance expenses.

Then, of course, we must add the cost of compliance with litigation. Whiny "victims" litigate over their perceived need for worthless pity-me courses such as gender and race studies. They litigate over college mascots and names (eg University of Utah "Utes", Dixie State University "Rebels", etc.). In their effort to get their way, these "victims" victimize every student who must then pay higher fees and taxpayers who must pay higher taxes simply to cover the cost of the litigation.

Why does all this happen? Because most voters vote for politicians who live to control their subjects. If you aren't voting for political candidates who will fight for a less intrusive and less expensive government, you are the problem!

We need smarter voters.

Saturday, June 27, 2015


The US Constitution was designed with revolution in mind.

Every two years, we have the opportunity to replace the entire House of Representatives and a third of the Senate (the folks who confirm tyrannical federal judicial nominees). That's a revolution.

Every 4 years, we have the opportunity to replace the entire administration (the folks who nominate tyrannical federal judges), the entire House, and another third of the Senate. That's a revolution.

Every six years, the entire Senate and the House can be replaced. That's a revolution.

But, with a 90-95% reelection rate in Congress despite a Congressional approval rating of 16%, ya gotta wonder whether American voters are fond of revolution -- no matter how badly they need it.

We need smarter voters.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

ADHD vs greatness

In my opinion, ADHD is one of the most sinister hoaxes ever played on mankind. ADHD is nothing more than an excuse to drug a significant portion of the population -- most notably boys -- so that we all behave like standardized factory-produced products. Worse, the drugs used to treat this fictitious malady are known to have extremely dangerous side effects.
I suspect that if we made a list of the most significant, most intelligent, and most talented historical figures, we'd find a very high percentage who, if born today, would be labeled with ADHD and drugged. On that list of people needing to be drugged, I would put
Robin Williams
Alexander the Great
Isaac Newton
Benjamin Franklin
Alfred Nobel
John Calvin
Alexander Hamilton
Orson Welles
William the Conqueror
Richard Feynman
James Dean
Nikola Tesla
Thomas Jefferson
Robert E. Lee
John Hancock
Theodore Roosevelt
John Wycliffe
Clark Gable
Miguel de Cervantes
James Madison
Johannes Gutenberg
Ludwig von Beethoven
Martin Luther
Winston Churchill
Johann Sebastian Bach
Albert Einstein
Richard Wagner
Benjamin Rush
Oliver Hardy
William Shakespeare
Gouverneur Morris
Robert the Bruce
Pablo Picasso
Marlon Brando
Thomas Edison
Charles Chaplin
Julius Caesar
Humphrey Bogart
Salvador Dali
Joseph F Smith
Leonardo da Vinci
Andy Warhol
Laurence Olivier
Vincent Van Gogh
and countless more.
Think of all the lost opportunities if those men were in grade school today and drugged into conformity for the mere convenience of teachers and parents.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Fair Tax vs Flat Tax

Advocates of both the "Fair Tax" and the "Flat Tax" ignore one basic fact: Government has become too expensive! It costs about 10 times what it would if kept to its Constitutionally-defined limits. I could support a "Fair Tax" only if:

1 - there were absolutely no other federal taxes,
2 - federal tax is capped at 3% (5% for a maximum of 1 year during periods of formal Constitutionally-declared war and to pay off war debt),
3 - the central government would keep itself on a rigidly balanced budget with peacetime spending capped at 2.8% with the remaining .2% reserved for the possibility of formal Constitutionally-declared war, and
4 - the central government would borrow only as necessary during times of formal Constitutionally-declared war.

That means that the alphabet soup of almost everyone's favorite "free" federal government program will have to go. As many as 2,000 federal agencies and over 2 million federal bureaucrats would be pulled off the backs and out of the pockets of hard-working Americans. Those people would have to find productive employment instead of focusing on how best to be a burden. That would not only be a shock to the RIFed (Reduction In Force) federal bureaucrats, but also to Americans who are addicted to "free" stuff. So, the cuts would be phased in over a period of 10 years. After that, the only things the central government would continue to do would be those specifically authorized in Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution (defense, immigration, customs, Post Roads, etc.)
"Would you give up your favorite federal programs if it meant you'd never have to pay income tax again?" -- Harry Browne

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Big-government "Conservatives"

I am always amazed by the portion of self-described small-government Conservatives who think only government is capable of providing
after-school programs
ambulance services,
convention centers,
dog parks,
fitness centers,
golf courses,
guaranteed income for businesses,
guaranteed income for families,
guaranteed income for farmers,
guaranteed income for individuals,
health care,
health insurance,
Internet service,
mass transit,
recreation centers,
safety of goods and services,
summer activities for school children,
swimming pools,
trash collection,
utilities, and
and that only government employees are competent to staff them. I expect that kind of lunacy from Leftists and Statists. But Conservatives too?

We need smarter voters.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Voters vs big money in politics

I'm bored with those who whine about big money from big business, big banks, and Chambers of Commerce buying politicians' votes.

The only reason we have politicians-who-can-be-bought in office is because most voters are idiots. Individual voters collectively elect even the most corrupt into office -- and keep them there -- not big money!

If, for a change, voters would simply vote based on principle -- not skin color or the letters "D" and "R", every politician who can be bought would be forever purged from from office and all replacement politicians would be put on notice that they also must vote based on principle -- not money.

Stop blaming money for voter incompetence!

We need smarter voters!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Repeal the so-called "Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990"

The "Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990" (GFSZA) was introduced by then-Senator Joe Biden and signed into law by George H.W. Bush. The alleged intent of the Act was to prevent individuals from possessing a firearm in a school zone. It was, as anti-rights bills typically are, sold to Congress as way to make our schools a safer place for our children.

Ironically, even the anti-rights Michael Bloomberg-funded anti-rights "Everytown for Gun Safety" has put together a convenient list showing just how ineffective the GFSZA has been. According to their own chart, there have been at least 112 school shootings since Sandyhook! They have unwittingly proven that their own anti-rights agenda is ineffective!

If the intent of the GFSZA really was to create a safe environment for America's children, then it has failed, and failed miserably.

This is unacceptable. The GFSZA has made our children and schools extremely vulnerable because it prohibits responsible adults (school staff and parents) from having the most effective means of defense of self and school children -- a gun. America's children should not be subject to these dangerous environments simply to appease the anti-gun radicals.

Earlier this week, Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) introduced HR.86, the "Safe Students Act", which would repeal the GFSZA. Originally introduced by former Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) in 2007, this Act would restore much needed sanity to our nation's gun laws by striking down this ineffective ban that has done nothing to reduce "gun violence."

From Congressman Massie's press release:
"Gun-free school zones are ineffective. They make people less safe by inviting criminals into target-rich, no-risk environments," said Massie. "Gun-free zones prevent law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves, and create vulnerable populations that are targeted by criminals.... A bigger federal government can't solve this problem. Weapons bans and gun-free zones are unconstitutional. They do not and cannot prevent criminals or the mentally ill from committing acts of violence. But they often prevent victims of such violence from protecting themselves."
While the President is likely to veto any such bill, Congress must give him the opportunity to reject a bill that would create a safer environment for children. It is up to the Republican-led Congress to man-up and make the President and congressmen on Left own their anti-rights bigotry.

I call on every member of the US Congress to cosponsor and vote for HR.86, the "Safe Students Act" and to everything they can to get it to the President's desk immediately. Our children can wait no longer!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Out-of-control health-care costs

This morning, the medic prescribed some eye drops to treat my red eyes. Allergy, he says. I just picked up the prescription. Cost: $222 for 5 ml. That works out to $44,400 per liter or $168,072 per gallon! The active ingredient makes up only .1% of the drops. This virtually pure water must be good stuff!

If I may editorialize a bit, the soaring cost of health care began with FDR's wage/price-fixing in WWII. Industry had no choice but to offer other incentives to attract skilled labor. The most significant incentive offered was health insurance. Before that, the cost of health care was covered by the consumer and by charity -- not insurance or government. Once third-party payers (insurance companies) became part of the picture, most consumers ceased to be cost-conscious and costs soared. Later, our politicians bought our votes with our own money by adding "free" socialist health care for the elderly (Medicare) and low-income consumers (Medicaid, CHIP, etc), driving health care costs even higher. (A similar predicable impact on costs came with government intervention in education.)

I know that a significant portion of that $222/5ml is to recover the producer's cost of development and testing. But I also dare say that government meddling in the free market is the primary reason my eye drops are so expensive.

Of course, all aware Americans know what the so-called "Affordable" Care Act (AKA ObamaCare) has done to health-care and health-insurance costs. Surely, we can count on ever more government to fix the problems the government created in the free market.

We need smarter voters.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Get control over spending on recreation, arts, and parks

The recently-completed Southern Utah Sports Academy shows that the private sector can satisfy our recreational needs if it doesn't have to compete with the taxing power of government. It shows that we don't need a RAP (Recreation, Arts, and Parks) tax or other taxpayer-funded projects to have nice-to-have services.

The RAP tax is only a penny added to every $10 spent. That seems quite insignificant. But, government takes a penny here, a penny there, and pretty soon we find that government consumes over half of what we earn and produce in this country -- just to provide "free" services. Add to that, the cost to simply maintain those "free" services.

Please take a few seconds to imagine how much money you'd have left in your pocket if the local, state, and federal governments weren't constantly caving in to every demand for a taxpayer-funded park, monument, trail, playground, swimming class, dance class, exercise class, after-school program, theater, skating rink, rec center, museum, library, bookmobile, etc. (Anyone want to guess how much the taxpayer pays for each book-lent out of our library and bookmobile?). All of these services can be provided by the private sector which includes non-profit organizations. But, when government steps in to provide "free" services, the deep pockets of the taxpayers are tapped to compete with, and push out, the private sector. They go far beyond the proper role of government which is nothing more than the simple protection of our rights (see Declaration of Independence, second paragraph).

The primary reason for government growth (and the "incumbent advantage") is that we've yet to convince people to refuse to be bribed with their own money. Virtually everything funded by RAP funds is at the request of small special-interest groups and you pass them just to get those few votes. RAP-tax applicants all seem to share the notion that government money is free and endless. Although all of us are taxed to pay for them, I can't think of a single RAP project that serves more than a tiny portion of the people.

Frederic Bastiat said, "Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state wants to live at the expense of everyone."

Harry Browne said, "Would you be willing to give up your favorite federal program if it meant never having to pay the income tax again?"

That "favorite program" concept applies right here in Cedar City. Getting control of government at all levels begins in the city councils and school boards all across this nation.

I prefer the abolition of the RAP tax. But, since a majority of voters seem to want to be bribed with their own money, my second choice to require projects paid with RAP funds to pay their own way with regard to maintenance and overhead. My third choice is that maintenance and overhead expenses of RAP-funded projects must be paid with RAP funds.

My one concern about this proposal is that I doubt that setting aside 10% for maintenance is enough.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

We need congressional action -- not promises on gun rights

In light of the ATF's (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) desire to restrict certain types of ammunition (suspended for now) in common use, it is obvious to me that it is past time for self-described pro-gun congressmen to find a spine and cowboy-up to protect the Second Amendment and the rights it is intended to protect. Political campaign promises and vague pro-gun letters in response to to constituent concerns over gun rights mean absolutely nothing. We need congressmen with courage and integrity to aggressively defend the US Constitution. We need action!

1 - The "sporting use" reference in federal law must be stricken. The Second Amendment clearly is not about sporting use.

2 - Defund enforcement of, then repeal all federal legislation, regulation, policies, and judicial opinions which violate the Second Amendment ("The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.") That'd be a repeal of virtually 100% of current federal firearms law.

3 - There is nothing in the US Constitution that authorizes anything in ATF's mission. The Tenth Amendment clearly states that all of ATF's roles are in the jurisdiction of the States -- not the central government. Therefore, I suggest that all ATF supervision of the manufacture and sale of firearms be immediately turned over to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and that all ATF supervision of firearm and ammunition safety be immediately turned over to the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute (SAAMI). Unlike the ATF, both SAAMI and NSSF have been true experts in the firearms industry for many years. Then defund, then dissolve the ATF.

If Congress would live up to with its mandate given in Article I, Section 1 of the US Constitution ("All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States...") there would be no need to worry about unaccountable bureaucrats making unconstitutional laws as the ATF is wont to do. Why should Congress ever need to introduce legislation to undo the rogue law-making done by bureaucrats? Congress must write all laws itself -- as the Constitution demands!

Join the NRA today!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Modify the Pledge of Allegiance

The United States of America is unusual among nations in that our public officers swear (or affirm) an oath to principles (the US Constitution) rather than to persons (a king or government).

The oath taken by Congress is typical and reads:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
Currently, the rest of us don't pledge such loyalty to the Constitution. Instead, we "...pledge allegiance to the flag..." -- a piece of cloth. According to the United States Flag Code (4 USC § 1), the current Pledge of Allegiance reads:
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
That pledge was penned by Francis Bellamy Socialist, a Socialist who apparently placed government and symbols above individual liberty.

I urge Congress to amend 4 USC § 1 to make the Pledge of Allegiance parallel the oath of office taken by public officers and employees:
I pledge allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America, and to the Republic which it describes: one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
This pledge would continue to be made while saluting the US flag -- a symbol of the republic.

Monday, February 23, 2015

The "Flow" hive -- There's a sucker born every minute

"There's a sucker born every minute" -- David Hannum (attributed to PT Barnum)

I'm not averse to innovation in beekeeping. There have been plenty of real improvements in the craft since I got started in the early '60s and you'll see most of the new ideas that have had merit over those years in my bee yard.

Now, along comes a flashy new invention that presents itself as an effortless method of harvesting honey: The "Flow" hive. While the website does briefly mention that reponsible beekeepers should still conduct regular inspections, the website seems to imply that all one need to do to bee a beekeeper is to turn a spigot. Our honey bees need and deserve better care than simply opening a spigot. They need regular inspections and, when appropriate, treatments.

Crush-and-strain has been well-tested for thousands of years. The use of a knife and extractor has been well-tested for well over 100 years. Both of these methods were readily adopted because experienced beekeepers could see the obvious merits in them. The improvement of extraction over crush-and-strain was very significant and indisputable, leading to it's very rapid adoption in the craft to the point that even people with only one or two hives often have an extractor.

I predict that the "Flow" hive no beekeeper with more than 5 years of successful beekeeping experience will pay for this gimmick with his/her own money although a handful might be willing to accept one as a gift to be used briefly as a toy. Even then, I predict that the few experienced beekeepers who give it a try will abandon the "Flow" equipment after a season or two. I know of only one experienced beekeeper who has had anything remotely positive to say about this invention -- Michael Bush -- and his remarks seem to be a bit ambiguous (he hasn't actually tested it yet).

In spite of that avoidance by experienced beekeepers, I predict that the "Flow" hive will be a huge marketing success for up to 5 years because the world is full of gullible people -- beekeepers who typically lose at least 50% of their colonies each year.

The "Flow" hive is a clever gadget designed to extract money from people who think they are beekeepers but really aren't -- people who anthropomorphize honey bees. Beekeepers who fall for gimmicks such as this are not likely to have much long-term success keeping bees. I predict that after that five-year period, this fad will collapse. The inventors will each have nice mansions and will never need to work again -- at your expense. The landfills will receive tons of abandoned "Flow" equipment.

It's a bit like thinking one can put a cow in the back yard and still pour the milk out of a jug. Experimenting on 50,000 of God's living creatures is no place for anyone with little or no experience with bees. A good beekeeper digs into his/her hives every two weeks to check for disease, strong-laying queen, and to ensure the colony has room for colony growth. "...disturbing the bees" is part of the job. One more opening of the lid to harvest is not much extra disturbance to the bees.

Beekeepers who want "to have honey on tap directly from our beehives without disturbing the bees" are probably too lazy or timid to properly manage their bees. Ya want easy, care-free local honey? Go to the farmers' market. It's a lot easier and cheaper not to mention a lot more responsible.

It really isn't all that difficult to harvest honey from a conventional comb -- even for a person with no extractor. Nevertheless, I expect the manufacturer to do quite well selling this novelty to beginners and relatively new beekeepers who want easy local honey. (They are the experts in beekeeping, after all.)

I expect to see a ton of these on the second-hand market when buyers find out that this gimmick is a lot harder to use successfully than advertised.

As Dennis Miller would say, "That's just my opinion. I could be wrong." In five years, someone will have egg on their faces -- those who fell for this gimmick or the experienced beekeepers. Feel free to contact me in 5 years to say, "I told you so" if I am wrong.

One good thing this invention might do is to steer the above-mentioned "experts" toward Langstroth equipment (although the website says it can be adapted to a few other hive designs).