Sunday, January 30, 2011

TSA Shuts Door on Private Airport Screening

I was angered when Congress and the Bush Administration violated the Constitution by eliminating an entire segment of the free market by replacing the nation's airport security screeners with government employees. This egregious and wasteful power grab by the central government did nothing to improve airline security. In fact, the screeners who passed the hijackers of 9/11 complied with federal guidelines in effect on that day when they allowed box cutters through.

The TSA (Transportation Security Agency) has developed a well-deserved reputation for heavy-handed treatment of airline passengers -- as one would expect of any Nazi-like big-government entity. News reports are common of screeners presuming authority far beyond their role of protecting airline security. We have far too much of a police state already!

Now, the news comes out that the TSA will stand in the way of restoring the airport screening function to the private sector where it belongs.

Congress and the Whitehouse must immediately direct the TSA to phase out its airport screening role and transfer that function entirely to the private sector within one year. Congress must permanently end any and all funding for airport screening at that one-year point. The TSA must retain no authority or power over airport security screening other than to establish non-mandatory standards for screening. Instead, standards must be established, controlled, supervised, and enforced solely by the airline industry. It is they who should manage the risk not unaccountable bureaucrats.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Obama on Roe v Wade

On the 38th anniversary of the US Supreme Court decision that invalidated most laws against abortion, Acting President Obama announced:
Today marks the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that protects women's health and reproductive freedom, and affirms a fundamental principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters. I am committed to protecting this constitutional right.
Ummm, Mr. Acting President, why is killing an unborn human being a "private family matter" and a "constitutional right" yet killing a day-old human being is an egregious crime?

Why is killing an unborn human being a "private family matter" yet a parent slapping an unruly child on the butt is a sufficiently serious domestic violence crime as to deny a parent something that actually is a constitutionally guaranteed right and to justify removal of the child from the home?

Why is the "private family matter" of abortion not also classified as domestic violence since, by definition, it results in the death of a family member?

In the 38 years since the Roe v Wade decision, we have killed an estimated 53 million children through abortion. We lose more children to abortion each day than we lost in all the tragedies on September 11, 2001!

Abortion is not about a woman's right to control her own body, as its advocates say while ignoring the child's right to "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" which was "endowed by their Creator". The bottom line is that abortion is about selfishness and a woman's willingness to toss her family into the the trash heap of our modern throw-away society like an old Styrofoam cup.

Mr. Acting President, don't you think the government's (and your) understanding of, and intrusion into, "private family matters" is a bit distorted -- even evil?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Repeal ObamaCare now!

I extremely disappointed to see my congressman, Jim Matheson, missing from the list of statesmen who voted to repeal ObamaCare this week.

Until this year, my employer has provided health insurance to its employees for $30 per month plus a $10 co-pay for each doctor visit. This year, thanks to changes needed to bring the company's insurance plan into compliance with ObamaCare and its increased cost to my employer, my share of the cost for health insurance has ballooned to $238 per month (nearly an 800% increase) plus a $15 co-pay (a 50% increase). That's at least an additional $2,496 I must pay this year -- if my wife and I never see the doctor!

If I could keep that $2,496 (it's my money -- not Obama's, not Pelosi's, not Reid's), could I not pay my own medical bills, help my family with theirs, and even donate to charity to help others pay their medical bills? This really isn't about whether medical bills get paid, it's about government control over how money is distributed.

ObamaCare is unacceptable for countless reasons. Among them is the simple fact that it already has made health insurance substantially more expensive. But, the most important reason ObamaCare must be repealed is the simple fact that Congress has absolutely no constitutional authority (Constitution, Article 1, Section 8) to impose this burden on the States and on the People.

I am confident that every member of Congress knows that most of what Congress does is unconstitutional. I expect every politician to live up to his sworn duty to be faithful to the US Constitution. There is no public record that they swear an oath of fealty to a political party or platform or to a party leader, or even to the president. Instead, they swear an oath to the Constitution. That is why I wanted to see my congressman vote to repeal ObamaCare.

By voting with Pelosi, as he does 93% of the time, Jim Matheson betrayed us all -- and the Constitution.

Repeal ObamaCare now!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Restore full public access to federally-managed lands!

Much of the federal land across Utah and the West where my parents, grandparents, and Scoutmasters took me hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting back in the '50s and '60s was accessible by car. Today, many of those old roads are still in excellent condition -- good enough for a passenger car. This federal land grab is not honestly about protecting antiquities or landscapes. This land is being locked up primarily to deny access to the resources on and under that land.

Thanks to the big-city leftist radicals that infest the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Forest Service, Sierra Club, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA -- which really doesn't represent the interests of anyone in Southern Utah), etc., many of those old roads have been barricaded against all motor vehicle travel since the Clinton-Gore days. Now that I'm a disabled veteran in my 60s, I can no longer take my grandchildren on those memorable roads because my vehicle is banned.

Now, the BLM plans to remove even more public land from full public access! It’ll be accessible only to healthy young adults. That is outrageous and unacceptable. Take a look at SUWA's own map to see how much land they want to lock up. Other Western States are similarly vulnerable. I have repeatedly warned Utah's congressmen on this issue but the concerns of real Utahns doesn't seem to be very important to anyone in Washington, DC.

The public land belongs to the people -- not the BLM, National Forest Service, and especially not to the Sierra Club, SUWA, etc. The BLM and the National Forest service have a duty to manage federal land for all the people – not lock it up for a special few.

Through the Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937, sportsmen pour $4.7 million into wildlife conservation and related programs per day. (Much of this money was diverted from its intended uses by the Clinton-Gore administration. No one was ever held accountable for that malfeasance because, after all, it was only sportsmen's money.) Sportsmen's organizations such as Ducks Unlimited, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, Mule Deer Foundation, etc. add to the Pittman-Robertson effort though additional actual wildlife habitat restoration and conservation efforts. Yet, these people who do so many positive things for wildlife are among the very people so-called environmentalists intend to lock out of public lands! I challenge the handful of hippies that comprise Greenpeace, Sierra Club, SUWA to even try to come close to that. Who do they think will pay for managing all the land they lock up when the money from sportsmen dries up?

I thank Utah's Governor Gary Herbert for standing up to Bob Abbey of the BLM. Utah's congressional delegation must immediately partner with all congressmen and governors from all other Western States to push the BLM and its radical agenda back 30 years. One place to start it to prohibit the use of Pittman-Robertson money in any public land where full public access is restricted in any way.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Drop gun-owner licensing requirement

Utah State Representative Carl Wimmer plans to introduce a bill to eliminate the requirement for a state concealed firearm permit to carry a loaded concealed firearm. The legislation would change nothing with regard to people with bad judgment -- they'd still be banned from even touching a gun or ammunition.

As a state-certified firearms instructor, I have a vested interest in keeping the requirement for training and licensing of those who choose to carry a gun. On the other hand, as a freedom-loving American, I oppose those same requirement because one should not be required to seek permission of the State to exercise a Constitutionally-enumerated right. Instead, I urge all gun-owners to voluntarily get appropriate formal training in firearm safety and proficiency as well as in the laws regarding the use of deadly force -- even if it is not required.

Three other States have dropped the licensing requirement with no adverse effect. I therefore endorse Wimmer's proposed legislation.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Exploiting the recent Tucson shooting

New York Representative Peter King, chairman of House Homeland Security Committee, says he will introduce a bill to ban carrying a gun within 1,000 feet of a member of Congress or a federal judge. The measure will also apply to carrying weapons near the president or vice president. New York Representative Carolyn McCarthy, and New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg reportedly are also considering new unacceptable and unconstitutional gun-control legislation. These congressmen callously exploit last week's Tucson shooting to defeat the US Constitution and the rights it protects.

I am outraged that a member of Congress who has sworn faithfulness to the US Constitution would deny a constitutionally-enumerated right within invisible, mobile boundaries drawn around over four thousand individuals scattered in indeterminate spots across the nation! Yet, that is what King wants to do!

In response to his brazen willingness to violate the US Constitution, I demand that Representative King be immediately and permanently removed from any and all chairmanships in Congress and that proceedings begin to permanently remove him from Congress.

I also demand that every congressman live up to his Oath of Office to " 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...."

Although last weekend's shooting in Tucson was the act of a lunatic, some radicals, including King and McCarthy, are taking advantage of the tragedy to call for limitations on speech they don't like and guns in the hands responsible people they don't like. America, welcome to Stalin's Russia!

Congress, the Judiciary, and the Administration must not exploit the Giffords tragedy for any political purpose to to increase the government control over the people.

Congress and the acting president must reject any effort to exploit last week's shooting to restrict our God-given, constitutionally-protected human rights in any way.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

On reading the Constitution and reading legislation

I must applaud the reading of the Constitution in the House of Representatives last week.

Unfortunately, I also must condemn the fact that, as I expected, most House members -- especially Democrats -- didn't care to stick around to hear the reading. I suspect that those who were absent were those who most need to know what the Constitution says. What good does it do to read something if the people who need the information aren't there to hear it?

Additionally, it is outrageous that nobody noticed or cared that an entire page was skipped during the reading. After this display of incompetence does any congressman really expect us voters to have confidence when Congress asserts the right and the power to do more complicated things than reading the Constitution?

I don't expect that the reading of the constitution was anything more than a token symbol to appease us voters who are disgusted with Washington's disdain for the limits the Constitution places on the central government. In fact, the widespread absence of elected representatives and the omission of an entire page are more symbolic than the actual reading itself. Consequently, I cannot trust Congress to change its anti-constitution ways in any meaningful manner.

This brings up another issue regarding reading. I have no confidence in the House's new "read the bill" rule. I do not trust any member of the House will use the 3-day waiting period to do any study of any legislation. After all, most of the House couldn't even sit still to hear a reading of the Constitution (it only takes an hour or so to read)!

Instead of the inadequate House "read the bill" rule I urge you to aggressively work for the immediate enactment of's "Read the Bills Act." This would be a real reform because it requires
• A quorum to be present while every word of every bill is read.
• Each congressman to sign an affidavit that he has read, or heard read, every word of the bill before casting an affirmative vote.
• That courts hold citizens blameless against any legislation passed in violation of these requirements.
I would add another feature to's "Read the Bills Act:" Prohibit congressmen from voting on any legislation unless they pass, with a score of 100%, a test on the contents of that legislation, including all amendments. Any congressman who fails such a test would be required to post notice of that failure in a prominent place on his website and in all correspondence to constituents for the remainder of his term or 5 years, whichever is greater. I would also require the president to pass the same test with the same score before he can sign it. If he fails the test, the legislation would be automatically vetoed and he also would be required to post notice of that failure in a prominent place on the Whitehouse website and in all correspondence for the remainder of his term or 5 years, whichever is greater.

I urge Congress to end the meaningless symbolism and bring Congress into full compliance with the long-ignored Constitution.'s "Read the Bills Act" is a step in that direction.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The recent death of the Constitution in Tucson

By now, almost everyone in the nation has learned that 6 people were murdered (including Federal Judge John Roll) and 14 others were wounded (including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords) in a January 8 shooting in Tucson.

Those who have been willing to pay attention to facts know that the shooter was a 22-year-old leftist lunatic with a drug problem. Probably for these reasons, he was deemed unqualified for military service when he tried to enlist. Fellow students described Jared Loughner as an ultra-liberal loner who listened to heavy metal -- not talk radio, smoked pot, and burned American flags in his spare time. His list of idols includes Venezuelan Communist Hugo Chavez, Latin American Communist mass-murderer Che Guevara, American Socialist and violent revolutionary Saul Alinsky, and even Barack Obama -- not Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sarah Palin.

Those who don't care about facts have seemingly unanimously blamed the shooting on Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and others who urge respect for the US Constitution.

Ironically, the left is always quite hostile in its efforts to show how hostile the right is. Today, that hostility is being used in their campaign to place the blame for Saturday's crime on constitutionalists. Michael Savage is right: "Liberalism is a mental disorder."

The left, in their effort to blame the right for the massacre, seem to believe the shooter is another victim of the shooting and what led up to it. Rush Limbaugh made this observation on the left's approach to the shooting:
What must it feel like to be Jared Loughner, to know you've done this and to realize that the party of the President of the United States is trying to figure out a way to blame their political opponents for it, to understand that advisers to the president are telling him how to capitalize on this incident for his own political advancement? -Rush Limbaugh, 11 Jan 2011
Even the Pima County Sheriff (who is sworn to support and defend the US Constitution, including the First Amendment), Clarence Dupnik, apparently believes talk radio is more culpable than is the shooter. (It is possible that the Sheriff is only trying to divert attention from his own failures with regard to Saturday's shooing.)

Apparently, speaking favorably of the principles described in the nation's founding documents is no different from advocating violence toward elected politicians and that alone caused the shooter to go berserk. It's obvious that these people don't understand or care that the shooter, a 22-year-old leftist lunatic with a drug problem, was unlikely to be a Rush Limbaugh fan. How the left can say a leftist assassin was goaded into violence by conservative talk shows (to which almost nobody on the left listens including, most likely the shooter) is unfathomable. I know they don't listen because they characterize conservative talk programming as "vitriolic rhetoric," Anyone knows it is not -- except when leftist callers express their views.

If the shooter was influenced by anyone (which I can't say, because I don't have enough facts), I'd have to agree with Ann Coulter: "If any public figure influenced this guy, my money's on Bill Maher." I'd add professional haters like MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews.

As a result of this twisted perception of reality, many are calling for restrictions on First Amendment rights for conservative talk-show hosts and more restrictions on Second Amendment rights for law-abiding persons. Of course, none of these restrictions would affect the violent behavior of a 22-year-old leftist lunatic with a drug problem.

The leftist politicians and news media reacted quite differently when Nidal Hasan shot his fellow soldiers and when John Hinckley shot President Ronald Reagan. Those victims, after all, were not Democrats.

Some criticism toward any politician is certainly justified -- and in some cases far too often needed. However, are those who condemn the alleged harsh conservative rhetoric innocent of the unjustified yet harsh liberal rhetoric that was directed toward people such as George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Tom Delay, Newt Gingrich, Sean Hanity, Jesse Helms, G. Gordon Liddy, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Ronald Reagan, Karl Rove, Dan Quayle, Michael Savage, Luara Schlessinger, etc.? Isn't it odd that harsh rhetoric is only allowed in one direction?

When taking an objective look at political criticism, one usually finds that conservative rhetoric is focused on principles. On the other hand, liberal rhetoric is generally directed at people, because they know they loose the debate when it's based on principles. Perhaps that's why bullies like Bill Maher, Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, and Clarence Dupnik fear and hate conservatives and talk radio so much.

Now, we all expect leftists to call for further degradation of our Constitutionally-guaranteed rights and for greater government control over the people. But what I find most troubling is that few in the news media and no politician on either side of the isle, particularly on the right, is visibly standing up for liberty. Sadly, I expected that too.

Every politician in the nation -- especially Sheriff Dupnik -- must reject the opportunity to use this tragedy to impose any enhanced control whatsoever on any of our God-given natural rights -- especially those enumerated in the Constitution or to further increase the power of government beyond those powers enumerated in the Constitution.

On the surface, Saturday's shooting was the act of a leftist lunatic with a drug problem. But, the problem is deeper than that. In our nation, we don't have a struggle between Right and Left or Republicans vs Democrats or talk programming vs people who watch American Idol. Our core problem is a struggle between good and evil. Over the past few decades, we've allowed radicals to drive God out of the schools and the public square. Since then, evil has been winning. The fact that evil is winning is why some were so eager to blame innocent people and groups for the tragedy. And, it why Jared Loughner had no moral compass to guide him. Our nation is long overdue some serious repentance and a national return to God.

Coincidentally, it was Representative Giffords, entering her third term, who read the First Amendment on the floor of the House last Thursday:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or of the Right of the People peaceably to assemble, and to Petition the Government for Redress of Grievances.
And politicians on the lect and leftist members of the news media are exploiting the shooting to call for the silencing of rhetoric on the right. Ironic. Disgusting.

PS: Since this was a town-hall-style meeting held by a Democrat, one wouldn't expect to find many gun-toting citizens although Congresswoman Giffords is pro-gun and one of the persons who subdued the shooter was wearing a handgun who said he was prepared to shoot, but assisted the tackle while the shooter was in the process of reloading. The question I have is, considering that the shooter had time to empty a 30-round extended magazine and the attempts to subdue him apparently came only as he was in the process of reloading, would the victims have wanted more guns in the crowd or less? Those who think more gun control would stop a lunatic such as Jared Loughner are just as crazy as he is. He could have done just as much carnage driving a Yugo through the crowd.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

U of U bans lawful carry of guns again!

The University of Utah (U of U), in defiance of state law as well as the US and Utah Constitutions, issued a secret policy to attack a constitutionally enumerated civil right of students and staff.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, "The secret guidelines sent to police officers directs them to arrest anyone openly carrying a firearm if they don’t have a concealed-weapons permit. If the individual has a permit, officers are to instruct the gun owner to conceal the weapon or leave campus. Individuals who refuse can be cited, while repeat offenders can be arrested."

Utah has no restriction on the open carry of unloaded firearms by unlicensed responsible persons. U of U has taken upon itself the presumed authority to put these people in jail! Utah allows licensed adults to carry that firearm concealed or openly. U of U has taken upon itself the presumed authority to put these people in jail if they don't comply with the secret policy that the gun be hidden!

The mere fact that this policy was intended to be secret is sufficient evidence that the cowards in the University administration knew the policy is wrong and unlawful.

Then the cowards suspended two officers (who, like the U of U administration, have sworn faithfulness to the Utah and US Constitutions) because they were concerned about the unlawfulness of the directive and revealed its content.

Utah law (53B-3-103) "...authorize[s] higher education institutions to establish no more than one secure area at each institution as a hearing room as prescribed in Section 76-8-311.1, but not otherwise restrict the lawful possession or carrying of firearms..."

Further, Utah law (53-5a-102) states
(1) The individual right to keep and bear arms being a constitutionally protected right under Article I, Section 6 of the Utah Constitution, the Legislature finds the need to provide uniform civil and criminal firearm laws throughout the state.
(2) Except as specifically provided by state law, a local authority or state entity may not:
(a) prohibit an individual from owning, possessing, purchasing, selling, transferring, transporting, or keeping a firearm at the individual's place of residence, property, business, or in any vehicle lawfully in the individual's possession or lawfully under the individual's control; or
(b) require an individual to have a permit or license to purchase, own, possess, transport, or keep a firearm.
(3) In conjunction with Title 76, Chapter 10, Part 5, Weapons, this section is uniformly applicable throughout this state and in all its political subdivisions and municipalities.
(4) All authority to regulate firearms is reserved to the state except where the Legislature specifically delegates responsibility to local authorities or state entities.
(5) Unless specifically authorized by the Legislature by statute, a local authority or state entity may not enact, establish, or enforce any ordinance, regulation, rule, or policy pertaining to firearms that in any way inhibits or restricts the possession or use of firearms on either public or private property.
(6) As used in this section:
(a) "firearm" has the same meaning as defined in Subsection 76-10-501(9); and
(b) "local authority or state entity" includes public school districts, public schools, and state institutions of higher education.
(7) Nothing in this section restricts or expands private property rights.
Therefore, the U of U, an alleged "state institution of higher education" therefore has no authority or right whatsoever to regulate how a person carries a firearm on campus, other than within a single hearing room.

Again, the mere fact that the U of U's policy was intended to be secret is sufficient evidence that the cowards in the University administration knew the policy is wrong and unlawful.

The Second Amendment to the US Constitution states,
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
The Utah Constitution , Article I, Section 6, states,
The individual right of the people to keep and bear arms for security and defense of self, family, others, property, or the state, as well as for other lawful purposes shall not be infringed; but nothing herein shall prevent the Legislature from defining the lawful use of arms.
What is it about "shall not be infringed" that hoplophobes don't understand?

According to Webster: "infringe: to encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another." I have a right to keep an bear arms. However, Utah infringes on that right by demanding I have it's permission (a permit) to carry concealed or unloaded if openly carried. U of U further infringes on my right by demanding I only carry concealed.

Yet again, the mere fact that the U of U's policy was intended to be secret is sufficient evidence that the cowards in the University administration knew the policy is wrong and unlawful.

The U of U went through this defiance-of-State-law stage about 4 years ago. Now, they're back at it -- cowering behind secret memos. Every coward in the chain of command, up to the University president, who participated in the conspiracy to deny, in any way, the civil right of self protection or to suspend the whistle-blowing officers must undergo instruction in the content and original intent of the Utah and US Constitutions. Then, they must be terminated. The suspended officers, who have a sworn duty to support and defend the Utah and US Constitutions, must be restored to their jobs with full pay and a commendation.

By the way, criminals, by definition, carry and violently use arms without state or U of U permission. What does the U of U infringement of my rights do to convince criminals to behave themselves?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A challenge to Senator Mike Lee of Utah

On 3 Jan, Laura Ingraham interviewed newly elected Senator Mike Lee of Utah. Among the things discussed was the enactment of a balanced-budget amendment. I am troubled when I hear anyone, especially a politician who styles himself a constitutionalist, talk of a balance budget amendment. Why? Because a balanced-budget does not address the real problem: An out-of-control, expensive, and inefficient government.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the federal government took about 15% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in 1950. Today, the federal government hogs nearly 20% of GDP and is projected to take 40% of GDP by 2075! Why does the government need so much money today and even more tomorrow? It needs that money to do things which it is not constitutionally authorized to do (see Article One, Section Eight) -- things which the 10th Amendment clearly states are functions of the States and of the people themselves.

Any balanced-budget amendment must include a strict limit on the size and cost of government and a concrete plan to get there. I propose that limit be set no higher than 10% of GDP -- preferably at 5%. I propose that the plan include:
• Conduct an audit of all federal laws, rules, policies, agencies, programs, and judicial rulings to identify everything that exceeds the authority given to the federal government through the original intent of the US Constitution or which violate the natural rights of man.
• Immediately repeal all laws, rules, policies, and judicial rulings identified by the above audit as unconstitutional.
• Phase out and prohibit all unconstitutional agencies and programs within 10 years.
• Require every member of Congress to personally read each bill and pass a comprehensive test on the content of that bill before every vote. Any congressman who fails the test must be restricted from voting on that bill.
• Congress must write our laws -- not delegate that responsibility to unaccountable, unseen bureaucrats.
• Limit all legislation to one subject per bill. If a law, program, or project cannot stand on its own merit, it must not be attached to another must-pass bill!
• Impose a 10-year sunset on all new legislation.
• Immediately stop funding state and local agencies, programs, and projects while eliminating and prohibiting all federal mandates imposed on state and local governments and on the people.
• Restore to private enterprise activities that should be or which formerly were in the free market (ie airport security screening).
• Get government out of activities which are best served by charity such as care for the poor or those without health insurance.
• Repeal the 17th Amendment (direct election of US Senators by popular vote).
• Repeal the 16th Amendment (income tax). If the federal government would stay within the limits defined by the Constitution, it simply does not need this source of revenue!
• Stop bailing out businesses and people who are failures!
• Comply with Article Four, Section Four of the US Constitution by protecting the States from the ongoing invasion of illegal immigrants with no amnesty in any form whatsoever for those already here.
If Congress would take these steps, I suspect that the federal government would function quite well on 10% of GPD -- perhaps even less.

I must remind every member of Congress of his oath of office:
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.
Every member of Congress has sworn to be faithful to the Constitution -- not to a political party, party leaders, a party platform, a personal agenda, political popularity, lobbyists, or especially to the president! Properly-placed loyalty among congressmen is all that is needed to restore the government to its rightful place, size, and cost.

Monday, January 3, 2011

ABC Warns Republicans Against Challenging ObamaCare

As usual, the mainstream news media thinks it has the role of directing the political affairs of the nation instead of objectively reporting the news. ABC's Political Director (their term for Commissar), Amy Walter seems unaware that the voters have already given Congress clear guidance:
• Follow the Constitution!
• Cut government!
• Cut taxes!
• Stop bailing out businesses and people who are failures!
• Stop illegal immigration and no amnesty!
• Protect traditional marriage!
• Terminate ObamaCare!
• Again, follow the Constitution!
Giving direction to Congress is solely the role of the people! How dare ABC (or any other "news" source) or any of its Socialist-Democrat Party Commissars tell Congress how to proceed!

Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News
Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News

Arrogance: Rescuing America from the Media Elite
Arrogance: Rescuing America from the Media Elite

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Reject the Criminal Justice and Forensic Reform Act

Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont has announced legislation to reform forensic testing.

The Criminal Justice and Forensic Reform Act of 2011, as it will initially be known, would:
• Create an Office of Forensic Science and a Forensic Science Board charged with establishing and enforcing accreditation and certification standards, developing research strategies, and implementing those strategies with consistency across the field.
• Give the director of the Office of Forensic Science power to grant, deny, revoke, limit or suspend an accreditation and determine if lab employees are in compliance with certification standards.
• Promote research and provide grant funding and technical assistance to forensic labs.
I find this steady march to regulate and micromanage everything extremely troubling. This desire for omnipresent government control stifles personal and organizational creativity and independence while eliminating the need for personal and organizational responsibility.

It seems to me that no prosecutor or defense attorney would want to risk a case or his reputation on flawed forensics. They want the best possible evidence to support every case thy handle. Therefore, a case for standardized, quality forensic work by certified technicians in certified labs is warranted.

But, who should do that certification? I submit that this responsibility should lie within and be controlled by the forensics industry -- in the free market. There are countless precedents and models for industry-controlled lab certification:
• Underwriters Laboratories (UL) which partners with manufacturers to provide safe products through UL testing, certification and follow-up audits.
• American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), the largest and oldest pathology and laboratory medicine society and the gold standard in certification for laboratory professionals.
• Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute (SAAMI) which creates and publishes industry standards for safety, interchangeability, reliability and quality; coordinates technical data; and promotes safe and responsible firearms use.
By keeping the government out of the forensic lab certification process, the free market will drive innovation while keeping costs down. Historically, government bureaucracies inevitably inhibit innovation, yet cause costs to soar and introduce politics into the process.

Interestingly, the makings of a forensic lab certification organization already exists: The American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) that provides leadership to advance science and its application to the legal system. The objectives of the Academy are to promote integrity, competency, education, foster research, improve practice, and encourage collaboration in the forensic sciences.

I urge the AAFS to work with forensics labs and technicians to promptly establish of an industry-controlled lab, technician, and training certification process and organization of the highest standards to meet the current and future needs of the nation's legal process -- before the government steps in to take control.

I also urge Congress and the Whitehouse to soundly reject Senator Leahy's forensic reform legislation and allow the forensics industry police itself in a free market.

If Senator Leahy needs something to do, how about conducting an audit of all laws, rules, policies, programs, and agencies. Then, introduce legislation to phase out all laws, rules, policies, programs, and agencies which are outside the limits placed on the federal government by the US Constitution. Senator Leahy should also introduce legislation requiring that all new or expanded laws, rules, policies, programs, and agencies have a maximum 10-year sunset.