Monday, April 28, 2014

We need better management of wild horses & burros

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages much of the land in in the western US, including Iron County, Utah. As a part of that management, the BLM is tasked with keeping the population of feral horses and burros below a level which causes harm to the habitat and to private property. Currently, that level is a maximum of 300 wild horses in western Iron County.

However, the BLM has utterly failed to accomplish this task, there being as many as 2,000 wild horses in western Iron County. To make matters worse, there are reports of brutality by contractors the BLM hires to catch these horses and burros (see video below).

I propose a simple solution: Turn over the role of managing wild horses and burros to the respective state wildlife agency. Allow the states to manage these animals as both undomesticated livestock and as game animals. The states would then license sportsmen to harvest feral horses and burros above a target level (eg 300 animals in western Iron County) with a per-person harvest limit. Sportsmen could either live-trap the animals for adoption or harvest them for meat. Sale of the animal, live or dead, would be restricted just as with any other game animal. For those who chose to adopt, a horse/burro-trapping education program similar to Hunter Education might be appropriate.

I know the animal-rights people will have a fit over such a program, but something must be done to control the overpopulation of these animals and the damage overpopulation causes to the environment. Using sportsmen as a tool in this management can be done humanely and at no cost to the local, state, or central governments.

Why is the US Army destroying ammunition?

I am seeing and hearing reports that the US Army is destroying unneeded and/or unsuitable ammunition valued at $1.2 billion.

Transfer of this ammunition to other government agencies apparently is impeded by inefficient bureaucracy and paperwork.

As a taxpayer and US Army veteran, I am outraged that a government entity as big as the US Army is so inept at forecasting its needs that it is willing to wastefully destroy surplus material acquired at considerable taxpayer expense. The cost of the process of destruction itself has not been reported, but I wouldn't be surprised that this expense could add an additional $1 billion to the cost of these surplus munitions.

Here are my thoughts on this issue:

1 - Base-line budgeting must be abolished immediately and no government entity should ever expect a budget to grow or even say the same. Every government entity must justify every expenditure to a fiscally-prudent Congress. This will reduce the likelihood that government entities, such as the US Army, will buy unneeded or excessive supplies and equipment.

2 - If the Armed Forces or any armed non-military government agencies have surplus ammunition or ammunition components (spent cartridge cases, etc.), that ammunition must not be destroyed. Instead, an efficient process for transfer of that ammunition between agencies must be implemented immediately. (Do we really need -- and does the Constitution authorize -- over 70 federal agencies with sworn law enforcement officers?)

3 - If not transferred to another government agency which needs it within 30 days, all small arms ammunition and components (50 BMG and smaller) must be transferred to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) for disposal to CMP customers for marksmanship training and competition.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Support the NRA (National Rifle Association)

Today, I saw this comment on Facebook:
The NRA was founded by statist generals that got their arses kicked by better riflemen, every single anti-gun law happened on the NRA watch, including the NRA writing bad legislation and attacking good groups like Gun Owners of America.
Yes, the NRA (and its affiliates, NRA-ILA and NRA-PVF) compromises on gun rights. Yes, they've helped write anti-gun laws. Yes, they've supported anti-liberty politicians. Yes, the NRA was founded by Union generals who were dismayed by the poor shooting of urban Union soldiers. However, had those generals been statists as the writer alleges, they would have made the NRA a government program -- not a private organization. Please don't throw derogatory adjectives around unless they really fit.

Regarding NRA's history of compromise, another writer in that thread correctly wrote:
There is no compromise in God given rights.
I agree: There must be no compromise on God-given rights. Ever. That's why I write to NRA leadership and to my congressmen to reject compromise on the inspired principles contained in our nation's founding documents. But, because politics can be so dirty, only compromise gives one a voice when a majority of politicians are elected by idiots. Disagree with compromise on God-given rights? Then, give your full support to those who fight for those rights so they don't have to compromise!

Have you ever wondered why a purported gun-rights organization such as the NRA would compromise gun rights? Because, at only 5 million members (only 5% of gun owners) they have little power to dictate gun rights. Because of lukewarm (Revelation 3:16) support of America's estimated 100 million gun owners, the NRA can do little more than compromise. Can you imagine how bad the Gun Control Act of 1968 (and all other gun-control laws) would have been had the NRA not been there mitigate the effects of the bill? (As for the other gun-rights organizations -- GOA, SAF, CCRKBA, JFPO, (I'm a member all of these and more) etc. -- as good and valuable as the are, they are so small in comparison to the NRA, that they have no perceptible voice in the nation's capitol or in the state capitols. Sadly, lukewarm gun owners support them far less than they do the NRA.)

As far as gun rights go, most gun owners are their own worst enemy -- they blame gun control on someone else -- often the NRA. If at least 25% of America's gun owners would vote like gun owners and join and actively support the NRA and their state-level gun-rights organization, the only gun law we'd have would be the Second Amendment. Anti-gun politicians and activists must surely be delighted by the prevalence of anti-NRA gun owners.

Only membership in the NRA gives a gun-owner a voice in the NRA. NRA leadership has no obligation to listen to non-members -- especially anti-NRA people. Example of the voice of members: For years, the NRA supported Harry Reid for political expediency. At the demand of NRA members (not non-members), the NRA stopped supporting him in 2008. You might have noticed Reid's sharp turn against gun rights immediately thereafter.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A new American Revolution is overdue

We are desperately overdue a revolution in this nation to throw off this tyrannical government.

Fortunately, the founders gave us the tools for a peaceful revolution if only we had voters smart enough to take advantage of it. It involves Americans using the Constitution as it was intended. (You know about the Constitution, don't you -- that allegedly obsolete document written by dead white guys?)

How is that revolution conducted? Every two years, the Constitution gives us the opportunity to replace the entire House of Representatives and a third of the Senate with wise men and women who respect the limits on government that are written into the Constitution -- that's most of the Legislative Branch every two years! Every four years, we have the opportunity to replace the entire Executive Branch with a president and bureaucrats who respect the limits on government that are written into the Constitution. Over time, the newly-elected officials replace the existing judges with wise men and women who respect the limits on government that are written into the Constitution. Replacing a government with a new one is revolution. All without bloodshed.

Unfortunately, most American voters are fools. That is why they reelect over 90% of the very Congressmen they claim to despise. Since most American voters refuse to participate in a peaceful revolution, it seems that the only alternative is a violent one (as almost happened this month near Bunkerville, Nevada). Nobody knows how that's gonna turn out. Perhaps it'll end like the 1917 revolution which dismantled the Tsarist autocracy, replacing it with something far worse. Or, maybe it'll be more like the longer American Revolution (1775-1783) which ejected the British autocracy.

I prefer the peaceful revolution. But we need smarter voters to make it happen.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Lois Lerner: The face of an out-of-control government

Honestly, now, do you see any contempt in this woman's expression?

Some in Congress want to hold this nice lady, former IRS bureaucrat Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress for her refusal to disclose details of how and why she and her fellow bureaucrats targeted organizations she disliked politically.

Contempt of Congress? Big deal!

The elephant in the room is the fact that nearly all bureaucrats have contempt for legislators and the People alike. I defy anyone to identify just one government agency that fears Congress or state/local legislatures or respects the Constitution.

Every bureaucrat knows that Congress and state legislatures are composed of politicians -- Democrat and Republican -- who posture a lot (as they are doing n the Lerner case), but never do anything worthwhile about the problems in our out-of-control government (Lerner will never be disciplined). Bureaucrats know that no matter how evil their deeds, they will not be fired -- they likely will be promoted (as have the agents involved in Fast and Furious, Waco, and Ruby Ridge). Instead, legislators will perpetually fund and expand every agency they create. (Government even grew under the so-called "Sequester".)

Perhaps the biggest problems are that Congress adopts a bill of a few hundred or a few thousand pages creating or modifying a a government agency or program. This legislation is typically written by the very bureaucrats who would benefit from the legislation. The legislation includes the vary dangerous delegation of authority to the agencies to write tens of thousands of pages their own laws and rules which too often go beyond or counter to the will of Congress.

One thing Congress needs to do is to write a sunset clause into every piece of legislation they write so that every bureaucracy they create automatically dies in a few years unless specifically renewed -- with another sunset clause.

We need smarter voters -- voters who elect only liberty-loving limited-government statesmen -- not big-government statists who have a better than 90% reelection rate.