Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tyranny is coming to state near you

Last month, Washington voters passed I-594 - a convoluted 18+ page initiative to require background checks on all firearm transfers with a few limited exceptions. Now-prohibited transfers include something as benign as simply allowing a friend handle or shoot your firearm. Selling your hunting rifle to a friend whom you've known for decades and who you know is not a restricted person (felon, mentally ill, an addict, etc.) is now a crime. If they aren't extremely careful, even hunter education instructors are in jeopardy when teaching firearm safety to fellow Washingtonians. Most ridiculous of all, some basic firearm safety practices are now illegal!

Gun-owners fighting for their rights were overwhelmed during the campaign by an estimated $6-8 million thrown into the fight by a handful of anti-rights billionaires including Michael "Big Gulp" Bloomberg, Bill Gates, and Paul Allen. Washington voters ignorantly sold their souls to those billionaires.

I mentioned to some gun-rights advocates in Arizona that this anti-gun assault was on the way to the rest of the States. One of them said, "Um no. No it will not." (sic)

He needs to wake up. Having tasted blood, the billionaires have already announced their anti-rights march on the rest of the "land of the free...home of the brave." They intend to keep on doing what works for them -- use lots of money to tell ignorant people how to vote. They already have the needed signatures to get a similar initiative on the ballot in Nevada. They have announced that Arizona, Maine and Oregon are next on their list.

The Arizona Citizen's Defense League (AZCDL) has done some excellent work in the gun-rights arena through the state legislature. But it doesn't have 5% of what the billionaires are prepared spend to criminalize Arizona's gun owners by circumventing the generally rights-friendly legislature and appealing directly to the typical ill-informed and uninformed voter -- just as they did in Washington. Every gun owner in Arizona must immediately join the AZCDL and the NRA and vote like their gun rights depend on it -- then get everyone they know to do likewise and to be smarter voters.

Arizona currently has some of the best gun laws (and resulting low crime rates) in the nation thanks to the AZCDL. The billionaires know that if they crush gun-friendly Arizona by focusing on ignorant voters, the rest of of the nation will fall like dominoes.

Too many non-gun owners think this issue doesn't affect them. They need consider the words of Nazi prisoner Martin Niemöller:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.
Except for a few elites (so long as they stay in power) anyone who is unwilling to honor, and fight for, his neighbor's rights will ultimately lose his own.

We need smarter voters.

Who fact-checks PunditFact?

An entity calling itself PunditFact holds itself up as a fact-checking organization. They have announced a "scorecard" of how factual they think various news sources are. There have been several rebuttals. Here's mine.

Before taking their claims at face value, one must check who PunditFact is, what their credentials are, and what criteria they use to decide what's true or false (other than pure opinion). None of that is evident on their website. It is very clear, however, that PunditFact is a Leftist opinion/propaganda site -- not a news source -- that apparently has no intent to be unbiased or even honest.

Like CBS News and MSNBC, both CNN and Fox News provide a mix of opinion and news in their programming. Reasonable adults believe that news must always be facts -- absolute truth. News that doesn't fit the editor's agenda shouldn't be censored. Since the rise of competition from Fox News, CNN and the other networks have done a bit better in this regard. I see no evidence in their "scorecard" that PunditFact has much to say about the reliability of Fox's "fair and balanced" news reporting.

What PolitiFact appears to target is the fact that Fox's opinion segments often differ from their own Lefitist opinions. (Just as CNN has token Conservative commentators, Fox has token Liberal commentators.) Of course, opinions also should be based on facts as well as on the principles and ideals held by the person(s) expressing their opinions. Unfortunately, many opinions are based on misinformation, lack of information, flawed assumptions, a lack of sound principles, and even outright dishonesty. That means that opinions can differ widely between one persons and/or organizations. So, as Fox says, "We report, you decide."

Public dialog must be open to all opinions. Those who are open to at least considering the opinions of others learn to recognize when they have unsound opinions, then update their opinions. PolitiFact seems to be to rigid in its Leftist agenda to understand or recognize that the opinions held by others might also be valid. So, they simply label those they disagree with as liars. Isn't that much easier than actual thought?

Maybe PolitiFact should at least try to be funny like The Onion -- another "news" source that doesn't even pretend to be factual -- only funny.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Ted Cruz issues a warning to the GOP

Texas Senator Ted Cruz is warning Republicans they are about lose more elections. I think he's right.

Although "progressive" (the only thing that progresses under progressivism is government size and power) Liberals only comprise only about 20% of the voting population, Democrat politicians consistently win elections. How can that be?

It is my observation that most American voters are lazy, ignorant, and/or selfish and simply vote for the letters "R" or "D", free stuff, or some other characteristic that has nothing to do with a candidate's character, agenda, and ability (eg, physical appearance, sex, skin color, charisma, etc.). A bit less than half of these voters vote "R". A majority of the lazy/ignorant/selfish voters vote "D".

Elections are decided by the small portion of voters who actually vote based on principles. Those with Leftist, "progressive" big-government ideals overwhelmingly vote "D" and they tend to vote to win. They don't pout and stay home on election day when their favorite isn't on the ballot. Those who prefer small government and individual liberty/responsibility vote for like-minded politicians -- if one is on the ballot -- regardless of party label. If a like-minded politician isn't on the ballot, many small-government voters simply stay home and pout if they don't vote third-party (which effectively is the same as staying home).

A substantial portion of Republican politicians act like Democrats and pander to voters with "progressive" big-government ideals. Such Republican politicians get neither principled Democrat nor principled Republican votes. All they get is a bit less than half of the votes of those who simply vote for the letters "R" or "D". Republican politicians will never get votes from big-government voters nor from voters who expect/demand free stuff. By alienating the conservative voter, they throw the election to the Leftist 20%.

If Republicans would simply stick to the Constitution and to the Republican Party Platform, they'd get nearly all of the principled conservative votes as well as their share of the ignorant/selfish voters and consistently win by landslides in most of the nation -- just like Reagan did in '84 -- even in California. (My RINO senior senator, Orrin Hatch, actually condemned voters who voted for a Constitutionalist candidate! Shouldn't all politicians be Constitutionalists? Utah reelected Hatch anyway. Utah needed smarter voters.)

Instead of rejecting people like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Mike Lee (and calling them "wacko birds", the Republican establishment needs to embrace them. The Republic, the Constitution, and our liberty are at stake and depend on that reawakening.