Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ya got enough government yet?

The central government runs housing.
The central government runs research.
The central government runs the banks.
The central government runs healthcare.
The central government runs agriculture.
The central government runs the schools.
The central government runs car makers.
The central government runs mass transit.
The central government runs the environment.
The central government runs small businesses.
The central government runs the firearm industry.
The central government runs state/local elections.
The central government runs student financial aid.
The central government runs wildlife conservation.
The central government runs solar and wind energy.
The central government runs transportation security.
The central government runs state/local law enforcement.
The central government runs parks and other public lands.

Next up: Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and former Speaker of the House wants the central government to run day care (actually, it already does).

All this in spite of a Constitutional prohibition against the central government from doing any of these! And it doesn't do any of them well or efficiently.

It can't even run itself properly, yet most voters want the central government to do more things it can't do well.

We need smarter voters.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What the partial government shutdown tells those who will listen

The partial government shutdown has highlighted a few things that a few of us have been saying for many years:
1 - Most Americans have grown too dependent on government
2 - With our blessing, the central government has grown far too powerful, too expensive, too wasteful, and too far into debt
3 - At our selfish request, the central government is doing things it was never intended to do, should not do, and which the Constitution prohibits
4 - The founders were profoundly wise in writing a Constitution that decentralized power and responsibility to the States and to the People
Most Americans have consistently ignored the Constitution when casting their votes. Those who care and who are aware can see the disastrous results coming to a head under a child-king pouting in the Spitehouse when he's not on the golf course. Everyone else is at the mall with their heads buried in their smartphones.

We desperately need smarter voters.

Here comes another possible Second-Amendment infringement

While I have never pursued this path and likely never will, trusts and other legal entities are used by some to own and use machine guns (yes, they're legal to own and use in the US) and other restricted firearms and accessories regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA).

Many NFA firearm owners choose to use trusts to hold their NFA firearms and other property for estate planning reasons, one of which is to simplify the transfer of the firearms to the heirs of the owner. Another reason for using trusts is to simplify the legal and safe sharing of the pleasure of owning and using these restricted items with other responsible law-abiding persons.

It is unlawful for restricted persons (felons, the mentally incompetent, illegal aliens, addicts, etc.) to possess firearms or ammunition. Contrary to the apparent belief of some, these trusts cannot be used as a way to circumvent the firearm restrictions on such persons. Even if a restricted person were listed in a trust as having an interest in the property held in trust, that person still may not have access to firearms or ammunition.

A proposed rule change (ATF-41P) by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) would require each "responsible person" of a legal entity to get a certificate or "sign-off" from a chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) before a transfer could be approved. I know of no evidence that the heretofore absence of a mandate for a CLEO signature for trusts has been exploited for criminal purposes. However, it is a fact that some CLEOs refuse to sign non-trust applications to own NFA items, and will continue to refuse to sign, for purely arbitrary and capricious reasons -- thus unnecessarily infringing the Constitutionally-protected, God-given rights of responsible persons in the name of the law.

I know of no evidence that anyone is using these trusts or other legal entities for criminal purposes. Therefore, ATF-41P has no apparent purpose other than to further arbitrarily infringe the Constitutionally-protected, God-given rights of responsible persons in the name of the law and to satisfy the whims of certain anti-gun persons and groups.

ATF-41P must be rejected.

Friday, October 11, 2013

In denial of Socialism in America

We are dependent upon government for food, shelter, education (indoctrination), entertainment (parks, theaters, sports arenas, swimming pools, etc), and now healthcare and even cell phones.

Government tells us what kinds of cars and appliances we can own. The central government took ownership of a major US automobile manufacturer and the national banking system.

The central government owns most of the land in the collective commonly known as the Western States.

We ban God from schools and the public square -- just like Lenin, Stalin, and Mao. Government dictates what can and must be taught in our schools (indoctrination centers) and what is prohibited to be taught. Our "news" media largely broadcasts what the Party wants us to know.

When there is a slight decrease in the rate of increase in federal spending (2013 sequester) or when "non-essential" portions of the of the central government are temporarily closed, we go into a government-dependency-withdrawal panic while politicians and bureaucrats go into a "how dare you defy the government" punish-the-People mode.

We blindly submit to government agencies that eavesdrop on our phone calls without a warrant, maintain massive databases of information on us, search our persons and belongings without a warrant, conduct massive armed raids on our homes based on a suspicion we might have a joint, and confiscate our property.

We elected a president who bragged in his autobiographies that he was surrounded by and indoctrinated by communists throughout his youth and education. Most of the people we have elected to Congress as well as state and local governments also have a government do-it-all collective mindset (our local school superintendent announced last night in a town-hall meeting that all the school children in Iron County, Utah "belong to me").

Yet, most of us deny that we are a Socialist (in many aspects, Communist) nation even though that Socialist mindset has buried us in national debt.
Socialism: a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole
Communism: a political theory derived from Karl Marx, advocating class war and leading to a society in which all property is publicly owned and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs
Ya got enough government yet?

We need smarter, moral, and non-delusional voters.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Utah must take control of its public lands

The US Constitution authorizes the central government to possess only that land which is necessary for the District of Columbia and "Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings." (US Constitution, Article 1, Section 8). The Tenth Amendment reserves all other control over land to the individual states.

About 63 percent of Utah is federally owned -- in violation of of the above conditions found in the US Constitution! For many years, the central government has persistently made it ever more difficult for Utahns and visitors to enjoy our public land.

Utahns have consistently shown that we are better suited than the federal government to decide how to use the land within our state. Worse, because the land is under federal control, the state cannot collect any taxes from it.

When Utah became a state, it entered into a compact agreement requiring federal-owned land be turned over to the State. The central government has failed to comply with that compact. Utah has been far too patient.

Now, because of congressional and presidential bickering over federal spending and federal debt, a portion of the central government is shut down. Of course, this shutdown is nothing more than a political game. Nevertheless, Utah and its citizens -- especially communities near the national parks, national forests, national monuments, and national wilderness areas -- are being harmed on the sidelines of this childish political game. Tourists who are visiting Utah to see our lands are also being harmed.

Much of what federal officials are doing regarding park and other closures is absolutely childish and vindictive. It is obvious that the partial shutdown of the central government was designed specifically to focus punishment upon Americans who voted for congressmen who are willing to challenge big-government usurpation of power and reckless spending. The attitude seems to be, "How dare you defy the king!"

It seems to me that now is an ideal time for the State of Utah to assert its right of sovereignty over the lands which the central government wrongfully possesses and controls without "the Consent of the Legislature of the State".

Some of the County Commissioners in Utah have called for a declaration of a state of emergency to get Utah's national parks, national forests, national monuments, and national wilderness areas reopened. I support that move and urge Utah's Governor Gary Herbert to declare an emergency as suggested. But, I'd enhance their request for an emergency a bit:
• Include in the declaration of emergency that the more-than-generous exception in Utah HB.148 (Transfer of Public Lands Act of 2012) for national parks, national forests, national monuments, and national wilderness areas is immediately suspended until the legislature can amend the act to permanently remove the exception. Call an emergency session of the Legislature to remove the exception immediately.
• Declare immediate Utah sovereignty and control over all land currently known as national parks, national forests, national monuments, national wilderness areas, and BLM lands. Declare those lands to immediately be a part of Utah's state forest and state park systems.
• Declare that all federal employees who occupy all land currently known as national parks, national forests, national monuments, national wilderness areas, and BLM lands to be trespassers and subject to immediate arrest and punishment as trespassers.
Here is the governor's chance to enforce Utah HB.148 (Transfer of Public Lands Act of 2012) which he courageously signed in 2012. Yes, the legislation gave the central government until the end of 2014 to comply with HB.148 and with the Utah Statehood Enabling Act of 1894. But, inasmuch as the central government has shown a childish unwillingness to manage these lands in a reasonable manner for the benefit of the People, an emergency early assumption of control and ownership of these lands (which already rightfully belong to the people of Utah) is justified.

I also urge all other governors to coordinate similar actions in all other states. It is way past time to reign in the runaway central government.