Thursday, September 26, 2013

The debt limit again!

We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America. -- Barrack Obama, 30 Oct 2008, University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri
Since that man took over the Whitehouse, the national debt limit has been raised seven times. Seven times!

Congress and the putative current president have added over $43,000 in debt for every American household in just the last four years.

Now, because of the voter's insatiable desire for "free" stuff and unconstitutional big-government programs and the politician's insatiable desire to control your life with wild spending, the debt limit deadline is looming again.
The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. -- Barrack Obama, 16 Mar 2006, speech on the floor of the US Senate
Gotta agree with him on that one. But, that was then -- before he moved into the Whitehouse. What does he say about leadership on the debt now?
Now, this debt ceiling — I just want to remind people in case you haven't been keeping up — raising the debt ceiling, which has been done over a hundred times, does not increase our debt; it does not somehow promote profligacy. All it does is it says you got to pay the bills that you've already racked up, Congress. It's a basic function of making sure that the full faith and credit of the United States is preserved. -- Barrack Obama, 21 Sep 2013, speech at the Business Roundtable headquarters in DC

Instead of pursuing significant spending cuts (elimination of unconstitutional government programs and agencies) and entitlement ("free" stuff) reforms the nation desperately needs, members of Congress are proposing to suspend (AKA ignore) the debt ceiling for more than a year. That would add an estimated $1.1 trillion to the debt -- another $8,800 per household to the $43,000 per household that was added over the last four years.

Is that the "fundamental transformation" you "hope and change" voters voted for? You may not think so, but yes, it is.

What happened the last time Congress raised the debt ceiling? Did they accomplish any meaningful spending cuts before increasing the debt limit? No.

Congress and the Whitehouse are reckless and out of control. The have been for decades. That recklessness is what a majority of us vote for every two years. This cannot go on!
People look at me and say, "What are you talking about, Joe? You're telling me we've got to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?" The answer is, "Yes, I'm telling ya." - Joe Biden, US Vice President and economic idiot (No wonder we're in such trouble!)
We need smarter voters.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Pima County, Arizona pays for a SWAT assault

Arizona's Pima County has agreed to settle a lawsuit over the fatal shooting of a Marine, Jose Guerena, who allegedly pointed a gun at SWAT officers during a raid on his home two years ago. The Marine never touched the trigger of his rifle, but 22 of 71 police bullets pierced his body. Then, officers refused to allow EMTs access to the home to save Guerena's life. County officials say they'll pay a paltry $3.4 million to end a two-year legal battle.

The sad part of the story is that the taxpayers are stuck with the bill. But, it was those same taxpayers who elected the sheriff and other public officials who made the rash decision to attack an innocent man's home based on an unverified anonymous tip. It seems to me that Pima County taxpayers got off pretty light at $3.4 million. It's clear that Pima County voters, like most voters, need to make wiser decisions in the polling booth. Don't ever elect such reckless public officials again!

The tactics used in the assault on Guerena's home must be reserved solely for cases where a victim's life is in grave danger such as a hostage situation or a mass-shooting -- not to prevent a rumored suspect from flushing a joint down the toilet.

Police need to understand that when they break into the homes of a free people (we Americans are still presumed to at least be nominally free -- not living in a police state), they are are subject to be fired upon by liberty-and-life-loving occupants who have a God-given, constitutionally-protected right of self-defense and of defense of their home and family. Yes, even in Pima County.

It is not reasonable to expect those occupants to blindly submit to any intruder, especially when they have family to protect -- even when the intruders claim to be cops.

No officer who has sworn an oath of loyalty to the Constitution should ever agree to such an entry unless the reason for that entry is so important that he/she is willing to die to accomplish that mission. Because he just might. Is finding a joint worth that?
If the thief is caught while breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there will be no bloodguiltiness on his account. - Exodus 22:2.

If it's not worth dying for, it's not worth shooting over. - Unknown
Voters everywhere must demand a stop to these overused no-knock raids except in life-and-limb situations. Unfortunately, every candidate in the current municipal election in my little town of Cedar City, Utah sees no need for change in such tactics.

I call for legislation in every jurisdiction that reinforces the Fourth Amendment by protecting and emphasizing the right of law-abiding Americans to use deadly force to defend their homes -- especially against government agents.

Pariah: The coal-fired power plant

Cheap and abundant carbon-based energy is the one factor that helped man rise out of the Stone Age. There are a few areas of the Earth where the people are still in the stone age -- because they don't have access to cheap and abundant carbon-based energy.

The most efficient and cheapest way to get work done is by burning carbon in one form or another. Even creating, installing, and operating so-called "green" energy farms such as those using solar and wind require the consumption of huge amounts of carbon-based fuel.

Our traditional source of cheap and abundant energy is coal. In the United States, coal power accounted for 42% of the country's electricity production in 2011. Utilities buy more than 90 percent of the coal mined in the United States.

Coal is hardly the cleanest of fuels. But, over the years, the nation's coal-fired power plants have made incredible progress in cleaning up emissions such as soot, sulfur, and mercury. The remaining emissions are invisible, non-toxic carbon dioxide and harmless water vapor. Coal, today, produces clean and inexpensive electricity to much of the nation.

But, cleaning up those emissions have come at a cost. According to the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) regulations have led to the closure of nearly 290 coal plants this past year.

To make matters worse, Obama has announced he will make strict changes to coal-fired power plants by using his EPA to enact strict regulations. The EPA has proposed an emissions limit of 1,100 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour. New coal plants generally release about twice that. No one will be able to build a new plant and comply with the regulations.

Electricity prices could rise as much as 80% thanks to Obama and his rogue, unregulated and unlegislated Environmental Protection Agency. Unemployment will continue to skyrocket in communities that depend on coal. AS cheap carbon-based electricity is replaced by expensive solar- and wind-based electricity, the cost of recharging all those taxpayer-subsidized electric cars will force their owners into walking to work. How will the anti-carbon "greenies" among Obama's political base feel then? Back to the Stone Age.

The argument for this ever-increasing regulation is that carbon dioxide, a naturally-occurring molecule and an essential part of life itself is a pollutant! (Life is carbon-based, after all.) Carbon dioxide is a trace gas comprising only about .04% (four hundredths of one percent) of the atmosphere. Most sources of carbon dioxide emissions are natural, and are balanced to various degrees by natural carbon dioxide sinks. For example, the natural decay of organic material in forests and grasslands and the action of forest fires results in the release of about 439 gigatons of carbon dioxide every year, while new growth entirely counteracts this effect, absorbing 450 gigatons per year. Plants must have that alleged pollutant, carbon dioxide, to live!

With little proof other than computer models, it is argued that carbon dioxide is a "greenhouse gas" which contributes to global cooling or global warming or climate change or whatever the cause of the day is. So, carbon dioxide, an essential part of life itself, must be regulated.

One of Obama's faithful soldiers in the war against coal is Regina (Gina) McCarthy, of Massachusetts who is the Administrator of the EPA. She was appointed to lead the fight against carbon, the fight that seeks to return us to the Stone Age (except for the ruling class, of course).

I reject the climate-change lie. Inasmuch as the Constitution restricts the central government from regulating the environment, I reject the EPA's legitimacy. I demand that my representatives do likewise. I demand my representatives stop Obama, McCarthy, and the EPA from killing American businesses and our modern carbon-based way of life. The ERA effort to regulate carbon dioxide must be stopped!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Who's to blame for gun violence?

The Blamer-in-Chief, like all hoplophobes, blames NRA for gun violence.

Yeah, right. The world's largest gun-safety-training organization is to blame for gun violence.
- Not fatherless homes.
- Not parents who don't properly secure firearms in the home.
- Not parents who don't teach their children how to be safe around guns
- Not parents who fail to teach their children self-discipline or even right from wrong.
- Not parents who never think to to take their children to church.
- Not the pervasive practice of farming out children to day-care so both parents can work for "self-fulfillment" or to buy more toys or a bigger house.
- Not violent TV programming and movies.
- Not TV programming and movies that portray grossly unsafe firearm handling practices.
- Not violent video games and "music".
- Not government agencies and other organizations that think the civil rights of those who are mentally ill trump public safety and therefore keep those names out of the NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) system so they can buy guns.
- Not the gang culture.
- Not the drug trade.
- Not the rejection of God from schools, the public square, and from personal lives.
- Not the criminal. Definitely not the criminal!
Nope. instead, let's blame the organization with over 90,000 trainers who teach more than 750,000 Americans how to be safe and responsible with firearms each and every year. Let's blame the organization whose Eddie Eagle GunSafe program has taught over 25 million kids how to stay safe if they find a gun. The result: The firearm accident death rate is at an all-time annual low, 0.2 per 100,000 population, down 94% since the all-time high in 1904. Yup, blame the largest organization that's actually working to make gun ownership and use safer.

Anti-gun bigots also like to fuss about "military-style" firearms as if the style (appearance) is a problem. Every firearm ever made is/was derived from implements of war. The same can rightly be said of bows, knives, wheeled vehicles, computers, and baseball bats. Misused, any of them can be a tool of considerable harm. But, does their martial ancestry make any of them inherently evil? Of course not.

Anti-gun zealots need to start focusing their attention on bad behavior -- not on inanimate demilitarized objects which are almost always used safely and for the general benefit and pleasure of mankind.

Ya want to eliminate "gun crime"? Grow up, then focus on the word "crime". Fix the mental health system which was broken by the do-gooders of the ACLU and other Leftists. Stop the biggest cause of crime -- the so-called "war on drugs" which has done nothing to solve the drug problem. Stop blaming responsible people who use their "military-style" guns, bows, knives, wheeled vehicles, computers, and baseball bats safely and responsibly.

Nobody is better at the blame game than Barrack "Nobel-Peace-Prize Warrior" Obama. The saddest part of the story is that about half of Americans are ignorant enough to believe whatever he says. Pathetic.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Defund, nullify, and repeal ObamaCare

The so-called Affordable Care Act (AKA ObamaCare) must be defunded, nullified, and repealed immediately for the following reasons:

1 - There is no authority in the US Constitution for this legislation.
2 - The political trickery required to enact this bill is among the worst corruption and disregard of the People in the history of American government.
3 - In order to pass this bill, Democrat leaders had to bribe legislators with taxpayer money.
4 - ObamaCare has already caused the costs of healthcare and healthcare insurance to soar (average premium prices next year that are 30% or 40% higher).
5 - The legislation has already caused the the loss of full-time jobs.
6 - ObamaCare is spawning many thousands of new pages of incomprehensible federal bureaucratic regulation and policy.
7 - The legislation imposes new taxes upon an already over-taxed America.
8 - ObamaCare relies on, and enlarges, one of the most oppressive agencies in the US for its implementation -- the IRS.
9 - Democrat political leaders (most notably Obama) are playing favorites by waiving/exempting ObamaCare mandates for Congress and other elites.
10 - It has many provisions totally unrelated to healthcare and health insurance.
11 - It fulfils a major Communist goal -- the nationalization of private enterprise.
12 - Most Americans don't want it -- especially those who are paying attention to what ObamaCare does to the economy and Liberty.

The Affordable Care Act must be immediately defunded, then repealed in its entirety (especially all earmarks/pork found in the bill). It must be replaced with wholesale deregulation of healthcare and healthcare insurance.

Instead of government regulation of these sectors of the market, I urge the establishment of an industry safety, consulting, and certification organization similar to UL (Underwriters Laboratories) to ensure the protection of the consumer.

Instead of government-forced redistribution of wealth via healthcare and healthcare insurance, I urge the encouragement of traditional American charity to provide for those who cannot afford quality health care. That necessitates government taking significantly less money from the earnings of Americans so they can be afford to be charitable.

Just as important: The governors and legislatures of every State must protect their constituents by nullifying ObamaCare through refusal to comply with any of its provisions and by prohibiting the enforcement of its unconstitutional provisions within the borders of each respective State.

I will actively work for the removal from office any member of Congress who does not vote to immediately and permanently kill ObamaCare. I will stand behind any politician with the courage and integrity to eliminate ObamaCare and all other government oppression.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Open carry backfires again

With the liberation of Illinois, concealed carry of firearms is now legal in all 50 states, although some jurisdictions in some states persist in imposing such arbitrary and onerous restrictions that concealed carry is relatively rare in those states.

Open carry is legal in most states, although good manners dictate a preference to exercising the right to concealed carry so as to not frighten the easily-frightened (Liberals).

While far from dangerous, I think that open-carry is generally silly, but I nevertheless honor that right. Further, I find open-carry for the purpose of making a political statement to be harmful to the cause of gun rights. As described in Grant Cunningham's essay, what has happened at Starbucks is one small example.

Also, unmannerly open-carry has resulted in legislative hostility.

For example, it is virtually impossible for commoners to obtain a concealed-carry permit in many local jurisdictions in California. That left the People with only two options: 1 - Go into the public ill-equipped for self-defense or 2 - Open carry. Because of their neutrality and public refusal to be hostile to gun rights, Starbucks seemed to be a favorite gathering place for open-carriers over the protest of the above-mentioned easily-frightened. As expected, exercising the open-carry option caused the above-mentioned easily-frightened to wet their pants. The result: One of the most openly hostile-to-Liberty legislatures on Earth took away the right to bear arms openly in California.

In Utah, gun-rights advocates thought they were doing a good thing when they open-carried (including unnecessary open carry of AR-15s and other long arms) to the state capitol for gun-rights rallies and even into legislative committee meetings. The predictable result: The above-mentioned easily-frightened on legislative committees and in the executive mansion to wet their pants and long-sought improvements in gun rights were killed.

Sometimes, gun-rights activists (I am one) are their own enemies. Open-carrying gun owners owe the people who own and work at Starbucks a huge apology.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Rights misunderstood again!

Utah's Governor Gary Herbert doesn't understand the concept of rights. The same is true of reporters and editors at Deseret News. That was again highlighted today in an article that touched on Herbert's rejection of a bill that would have restored the right of responsible adults to carry a concealed firearm. Dangerous people would still have been prohibited form possessing a firearms -- concealed or in the open.

The reporter, like most Americans apparently misunderstands the concept of rights. That misunderstanding stems from the notion that rights come from government. That notion differs sharply from what the founders understood when they wrote our founding documents. They wrote that our rights come from our Creator -- not from the ruling class.

The article said, "The bill would have given Utahns the right to carry...." and "It would have changed the law to allow Utahns to pack a gun...." (Emphasis added.)

That wording is misleading and wrong. HB76 would not have given any rights nor allowed anyone to do anything. The bill would have simply restored the natural right for responsible adults to carry the best means of self-protection without a permit (government permission). That right was taken away by government only because we elected the wrong people to public office. (Because of his unwillingness to restore that right, it is quite apparent that Herbert is among those who must not be trusted with power.)

Why is it important that the right of responsible adults to carry a concealed firearm without a permit be restored? Because government agents persist in unlawfully harassing and arresting responsible adults who openly carry a gun! (Consider that not all adults can get a permit for reasons beyond their control such as age.)

We need smarter voters -- and reporters and editors.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Is the military draft coming back?

Our all-volunteer military has some big advantages -- in peacetime and brief episodes of limited conflict where whe dominate overwhelmingly. I am proud to have served for 23 years in that all-volunteer military where I cherished the honor of serving alongside good, well-trained men and women who all wanted to be there. I defended the all-volunteer concept in a college term paper while I was an ROTC cadet during the anti-VietNam war era of the late '60s and early '70s.

But, the all-volunteer concept has isolated most Americans (especially most politicians) from the wartime sacrifices borne by servicemen and their families.

A very serious consequence of having an all-volunteer military over the past 22 years has been a tiny portion of America's finest bearing the burden of executing the nation's foreign policy while the rest of America goes to the mall.

Thanks to perpetual war, that tiny portion of America is worn out, spiritually broken, divorced, dismembered, and dead. I gotta agree with Congressman Charlie "Tax Cheat" Rangel on this one. Something needs to change.

I would change Rangel's universal draft proposal in a very significant way, though. He suggests a large portion of the draftees be placed in national civilian service. Inasmuch as most of "civil service" government is unconstitutional, I would oppose that idea.

However, inasmuch as Title 10 USC § 311 defines the militia of the United States as being all able-bodied males between ages 17 and 45, I would propose drafting every male meeting that description and running him through basic military training conducted by his state's national guard upon graduation from high school or upon reaching age 18, whichever occurs first. Upon completion of basic training, these draftees would be placed in inactive status in state-organized, non-federally-regulated/funded local "unorganized militias" for 12-24 days of unpaid muster (under supervision of the state's national guard) annually until age 45. They would be subject to immediate recall to augment a unit in the all-volunteer military (described below) whenever the need arises -- such as when decades of military adventurism degrades the readiness of, or recruitment in, the all-volunteer military (described below).

Those who volunteer for service in the all-volunteer military (active or reserve federal armed forces and the national guard unit) would be recruited, trained, and assigned according to current practice. These would continue to be the core of the nation's all-volunteer armed forces.

The saddest thing about bringing back the draft as generally understood is that, thanks to "equality," our future mothers will also be drafted and sent to fight and die in places where the people we pretend to "help" do not value peace, liberty, or our help. Inasmuch as women are not included in the 10 USC § 311 definition of the unorganized militia, they would not be subject to the above-described draft.
The society which scorns excellence in plumbing [military service] as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water. -- John W. Gardner

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

More "tolerance" from the "tolerant" Left

Here are yet more stories about "tolerance" from the "tolerant" Left.

Before "In God we trust" was engraved on our money, our money said, "Mind your business". That seems like good advice to me. I believe we should be free to do what we feel is best so long as we cause no harm to others or infringe their rights.

I believe every businessman has a right to refuse service to anyone. I accept their right to limit their customer base based on any criteria they choose. For example, some businesses don't want customers who buy, sell, or carry firearms. I respect their beliefs by shopping elsewhere. I will not appeal to government to force those businesses to serve customers who buy, sell, or use firearms.

Government's only role with regard to businesses is to provide a regulatory environment -- with just enough regulation to protect the health and safety of the public -- in which businesses can thrive or die base solely on their own merits and their ability to satisfy their customers. Government only has a legitimate right to regulate discrimination in a private business if public money is involved (eg taxpayer subsidies for day-care provided to children of low-income parents).

But, not the Left. They believe they have a right to impose their will on everyone. For example, they believe they have a right to require others to take their pictures and bake their cakes for weddings -- especially when the photographer or baker feels that the conditions under which they would provide those services offends their religious beliefs.

In both of the above cases, the rejected customers had other options to satisfy their needs. But, in their quest for "tolerance" and "equality", their tool of choice to vent their bitterness and rage was to simply demand that government shut down the offending (in their minds) businesses.

The Left exploits anti-discrimination and anti-bullying laws to bully their opponents into submission and silence. They seem to believe that a silenced and cowed opponent is just as good as an ally. Why is that? Is it because they know they can't justify their agenda in a calm exchange of ideas?

Why won't the Left be at least half as tolerant and respectful of the ideals of the Right as they demand the Right tolerate and respect theirs? Is there bigotry on the Right? Yes, but they don't use intimidation, bullying, and government power to crush opponents into submission.

The fact that government was willing to accommodate Leftists in putting non-politically-cleansed businesses out of business reflects very poorly on the voters.

We need smarter voters.