Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wasting the Taxpayer's Money Again

Debra J. Saunders has an article today in that brings up an aspect of the Goofball Wormening mess that has not really been addressed. Her article entitled So Much Wasted Green for Climate Change address the cost, in both dollars and greenhouse gases of the travel to Copenhagen by the Congress and the Administration. Go read the whole thing, but keep a sick bag close by in case you...well...need to be sick. The hypocrisy has been covered before, of course. For all that was accomplished, this could have been done using the Internet. Then there is the fact that the Republicans did not exactly cover themselves in glory over the affair either. A quote:

Surely the best "offset" would have been for more Democrats to stay home. And what were all those Republicans doing in Denmark? I get Inhofe's parachuting into enviro territory to serve, as he likes to style himself, as a one-senator "truth squad." Spokesman Matt Dempsey noted that Inhofe "would prefer not to go" to an event he has dismissed as "the biggest party of the year," but someone had to counter COP-15's cap-and-trade agenda.

Surely some (or, better yet, all) of the six GOP House members -- James Sensenbrenner, Joe Barton, Fred Upton, Shelley Moore Capito, John Sullivan and Marsha Blackburn -- and their 10 committee staffers could have stayed home.

It would have been a great photo op -- in contrast to all those global warming enthusiasts ducking from the blizzard that they flew thousands of miles to experience -- if House Republicans had held a low-carbon, low-cost Skeptics Summit in D.C. at which they announced their refusal to participate in a process that, if somehow magically successful, would be harmful to the U.S. economy.

What a missed opportunity to distinguish themselves from the progressives.

Also, to whom were the "carbon offsets" paid to, and what accountability does the Congress have that the "offsets" are true offsets. On offsetting carbon, the science is once again not settled. Does planting trees constitute an offset? Saunders likens buying offsets to the medieval practice of buying indulgences for sins, and there are many similarities. The truth is that if a person truly believes that CO2 is heating up the planet, then that person would reduce his or her lifestyle and live with as small a carbon "footprint" as possible. He would not buy offsets. If, on the other hand, he does not truly believe, but he wants to foist this governemt enlarging program on the people, then I have to question what sort of a monster is he?

Finally, what about those "government rates" for airfares and hotels? Government usually negotiates rates that are lower than the current rate if you have to travel now, though somewhat higher than the rate one can get if one plans ahead several weeks. Were these truly "government rates" or was that just an excuse thrown out there? I mean, $10K....and they've known about this for years, it boggles the mind.

Update: Also read Taxpayers pay $101,000 for Pelosi's in-flight "food, booze" at World Net Daily.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Striking a Blow for Free Speech

Last week I referred to the Supreme Courts decision to strike down part of the McCain-Feingold "Incumbents Preservation Act" in Supremes Get It Right, but Just Barely. Today, John Stossel has an article in entitled A Blow for Free Speech that gets the tone of the decision exactly right. A quote from Stossel's piece:

I guess the writer is unfamiliar with the obscure opening phrase of the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law." And apparently the outraged progressives don't realize that corporations and unions are associations of individual who have rights. Dissenting Justice John Paul Stevens didn't get it, either.

The media outrage is almost funny. Under McCain-Feingold, media corporations were exempt from the prohibition -- which suits the Washington Post and New York Times just fine. But people with common sense already knew what Justice Kennedy found it necessary to say: "This differential treatment (between media and nonmedia corporations) cannot be squared with the First Amendment.

I have been having a debate with a friend through the e-mail system. My friend is outraged. He cites the misdeeds of corporations going back to our first Chief Justice John Marshall as proof that corporations need to be reigned in, and hard. The fact of the matter is that he is partially correct. The railroads sometimes committed fraud, and corrupted local officials in acquiring their rights of way. Certainly Rockefeller engaged in sharp business practices that today could seen as illegal in building his Standard Oil empire. But most of his examples, it seems to me, are examples of corporate officers committing crimes, not of legitimate advertising for or against specific candidates. And the corporate cash that he so deplores still finds its way into candidates hands. So the effect of the McCain-Feingold act was simply to shut some of us up, while others are not. This ruling merely restores everyone to a level playing field. Let the yelling begin.

Update: Robert Weissberg has a more in depth article at the American Thinker entitled President Obama Flunks Campaign Finance 101. A quote:

The president's reactions betray a profound ignorance of campaign finance. If democracy is to be safeguarded by regulating campaign spending, then America's virtue is impregnable. Justice Kennedy's opinion noted that campaign finance laws apply to seventy-one distinct entities, cover some thirty-three types of political speech, and the Federal Election Commission supplies some 568 pages of regulation, together with 1,278 pages of explanations and 1,771 advisory opinions offered since 1975 (states also have their own dense compendiums to protect our democratic virtue). Masochists are invited to visit and see for themselves. Justice Kennedy's majority opinion also noted that one hundred thousand pages of legal evidence failed to cite a single case of corporate donations purchasing a legislative vote. Indeed, these complicated laws require candidates to hire election law experts, and if anything, these requirements undermine electoral access by hindering those on shoestring budgets.

It is always that way, for every enterprise one can think of. The more red tape and regulation surrounding a particular enterprise, the more funds one needs to start that enterprise. Becoming a politician is no different, indeed it may be more important than for many others.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Malls Under Jihadi Attack

J.R. Dunn has a must read article at the American Thinker today entitled Terror At The Mall. Dunn discusses the high probability that a jihadi is planning at attack at a mall near you, and how you might respond to such an attack. It is riveting reading, since the MSM rarely has such discussions as part of the usual pablum with which they hope to keep the rest of us sedated. A quote:

Finally, we reach the trusty firearm, the easiest threat to smuggle in, and in some ways the hardest to deal with. Mall security is almost exclusively unarmed, with little training in dealing with firearm threats. While some large malls feature police substations, most rely on a warning system to call in the police in the event of an emergency. A well-armed jihadi death squad could cause considerable loss of life before local police could respond, and they might conceivably escape to strike elsewhere. Perhaps the most effective tactic would be to come in through one entrance, race through the mall firing at all available targets, and exit through another entrance where a car or van would be waiting with engine running. It's difficult to see how any official countermeasure short of a police tactical squad could handle this type of attack.
And this:

No small number of malls have gone out of their way to increase their vulnerability through participation in the "gun-free zone" movement. In 1990, Congress, in what many observers consider to have been an incremental attempt at a national firearms ban, passed a "Gun Free School Zones" act as part of that year's Crime Control bill. The law forbade ownership or possession of a firearm, apart from strictly limited conditions, anywhere within a thousand feet of a school or related institution. The attempt was ill-fated, being overturned by the Supreme Court and then reinstated in a thoroughly unenforceable form.

Congressional meddling triggered a kind of low-key craze among schools and other institutions -- including malls -- in which administrations eagerly adapted the "gun-free" pledge, often ostentatiously announcing it with signs containing menacing threats against anyone caught with a gun.

As a result, school shootings, a rarity prior to the '90s, became a commonplace. "Gun-free zones" served to attract armed loons the way that honey attracts bears. Firearms-affairs specialist John R. Lott, Jr. has gone on record to state that every major recent shooting has occurred in a declared gun-free area. This includes Virginia Tech, where in September 2007 an insane undergraduate murdered over thirty students.
It is time, and past time, that our elected "Representatives" realize that they have been pursuing a policy that has not worked, and try something else. For 75 years, if you count the NFA, or for 42 years if you count GCA68, they have been steadily restricting the rights to self defence of law abiding citizens. Meanwhile, the jihadis do not care about "gun free zones." They are willing to violate a "gun free zone" since they intend murder and mayhem anyway. Your little signs only stop those who have no criminal intent in the first place, and are worried about being caught an put in prison. (As an aside, the same goes for restaurants serving alcohol, banks, post offices, State owned buildings and grounds, theatres, parks, and...well, Ms. Ross, you get the message. What you are doing has not only not worked, but it is had the opposite effect of what you are purportedly trying to do.)

To mall operators, I know that your lawyers are saying that by restricting guns, you somehow have a defense against lawsuits should someone be shot at your mall. But what if a CHL holder is shot in your mall. Could he or she not claim to have been disarmed, and therefore still take you for everything you are worth? So in truth, you are damned if you do, and damned if you don't. Seems it makes more sense to just keep quiet on this issue.

Price Comes Down to the Little People

This video was taken I think yesterday, and appears on Randy's Right blog. The video is a segment of an unexpected meeting between Congressman David Price and the NC Freedom crowd. As usual, the group was peaceful, and understood the Constitution quite well. David Price's explanations sounded like boilerplate talking points. Also the subject of just who David Price is representing came up, with several saying he is not representing us.

Certainly I have come to feel that I have no representation in Washington or at the Statehouse. My entreaties and communications with Price and with State Representative Deborah Ross fall on deaf ears. Whoever they are representing, it is not me, or people like me.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Supremes Get It Right, but Just Barely

Mark Tapscott, writing in the Washington Examiner asks if you Want to know what campaign finance reform is really about. The article has a video embedded that is produced by the Cato Institute. Watch the video.

The McCain-Feingold bill was Unconstitutional, and then presidential candidate Bush said as much and promised to veto it. But when it was passed by both houses of Congress, then President Bush signed it anyway. I lost a lot of respect for Bush at that point. Also, as a progressive Republican (read RINO marching under false flag) I determined not to vote for McCain for President, should he make another run.

That this case only squeaked by with a 5-4 decision doesn't speak well for our Court. This should have been a 9-0 decision. The McCain-Feingold Law was always schizophrenic about corporations. GM, for example could not have express ad within 60 days of an election, but GE could, through its ownership of network NBC. Most newspapers and book publishers are corporations, so you wonder why they get special treatment. Yes, I know that the First Amendment singles out the press, but since Congress was trampling on one Constitutionally protected right, why not trample on others? You see, the corporation doesn't produce the ads, it is rather the people, working for the corporation, and utilizing its resources, who produce the ads, and determine what they want to say. Therefore, this law trampled on the free speech of the people.

Oddly, there is a way to reduce the money involved in politics, which is within the Constitution. That way is to reduce the regulation and intrusion of Government into the lives of the American people. Believe me that when nobody is worrying about what Washington will do to them next, the number of lobbyists, and the campaign cash will go away on their own. But I'm not holding my breath waiting for someone in Washington to realize this fact.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Revolutionary Holocaust

Since yesterday's post was dedicated to a Communist, I thought I would continue with
Jonah Goldberg writing for Glen Beck: Revolutionary Holocaust: Equal evil, unequal outrage. Mr. Goldberg makes several points that are often lost by people who wear Che t-shirts:

1. The Nazi's were socialists. The Communists are socialist. Both movements are heresies of the same collectivists ideas.

2. The number of people killed in the name of Communism dwarf the numbers Hitler killed in the name of Nazi-ism, hence the outrage against Communism should at least be as great.

Finally, Goldberg doesn't make this point, but I will: progressivism is yet more socialism. The totalitarian tendency is very large, and if they have their way, will be largely unobstructed. While, for example, the Supreme Court struck down parts of the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform law, Senator Shmucky Schumer plans to immediately begin trying to circumvent that ruling. The Congress should be properly chastened, but apparently their only instinct is to try to get around the ruling to make a law that the Constitution says they may not make. Unbelievable!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Che: Setting the Record Straight

I don't usually pass on articles about Che Guevara, because if they are true, they are too disgusting, and otherwise there is no truth in them. But Che Guevara Exposed: The Killer on the Lefties T-shirts by Humberto Fontova in today's seeks to set the record straight after a new movie, "Che" by Stephen Soderbergh received numerous film awards. It's a long read, but if you can stomach it, I urge you to read it all. A quote to give you a flavor of the piece:

Upon arriving in Havana in January 1959 after an utterly bogus guerrilla war (The New York Times breathlessly reported of “thousands dead in single battles!” The official tally compiled by the U.S. embassy after two years of ferocious “civil war” was 184 dead on both sides, half New Orleans’ annual murder tally.), Che Guevara immediately recognized the moat around Havana’s old Spanish fortress La Cabana as a handy-dandy, ready-made execution pit. So he promptly put his firing squads to work in triple shifts.

Edwin Tetlow, Havana correspondent for London’s Daily Telegraph, reported on a mass “trial” orchestrated by Che Guevara in February 1959, where Tetlow noticed the death sentences posted on a board before the trial had started.
It only gets more depraved from there. Contrary to the "hero of the revolution," Fontova paints a picture of a sniveling, cowardly sociopath. A ne're do well before he met the Castro brothers in 1955, it seems he couldn't really do anything else well either. He was a one trick pony, his one trick being the mass murder of defenseless men, women, and children to bring about his collectivist ideology. Some trick.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Brown Won

I am speechless. I got home last night to hear that Coakley had conceded. I was shocked, but glad. Apparently, the progressives have finally realized the danger of holding sham elections and massive, obvious voting fraud. Or maybe I am reading too much into it. Brown won by a margin of 5%, which may have been to large to manufacture a win.

My understanding is that the new Senator from MA is not a conservative as you or I understand the word. But he will not vote for ObamaCare, and maybe for now, that is enough.

Update: This piece by C. Edmund Wright in the American Thinker. I hope he is right.

Now, Why Didn't I Think Of That

A letter to the editor of the Bellingham Herald points out that If you don't like guns, don't own any. Simple!

Of course, Mr. Stevens is correct. It really is nobody's business if I own guns, and only becomes someone's business if I misuse them. If "do gooders" really wanted to do something about deaths due to objects, perhaps they should take on the auto industry, which accounts for around 24,000 deaths a year in auto accidents. But if it is simply deaths, then I would suggest they take on heart disease, which accounts for 631,000 deaths a year, then when they solve that problem, work their way down to cancer deaths at 560,000.

Here's the thing though, they could care less about the actual people who die from gunshot wounds. These people are just props to them. For them, the more society breaks down, the better. Theirs is the progressive agenda to take away the peoples' means of fighting back against crime and a tyrannical government. We can not let that happen.

But, Mr. Stevens, it's always good to ask-just don't expect them to respond.

Update: As always, David Codrea has more on the topic in an October 2008 Gun Rights Examiner article entitled Peaceable Armed Citizen:

It sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it, a peaceable armed citizen? If they like peace so much, what are they doing armed? After all, aren't we told the only purpose of a gun is to kill people?

If that's true, though, America's pea...y'know, this is getting unwieldy. Let's just agree for the rest of this column to call 'em PACs. Anyway, if that's true, you couldn't tell it by the PACs--they have pretty much been utter failures at slaughtering their fellow human beings. So I have to wonder about that--especially since I know people who have an encyclopedic knowledge of guns and their workings, people who design and build them, hunt with them, target shoot with them, carry them for defense, and even (GASP!) train with them with the intent of being "well regulated" (hey, there's another future column). And none of them go around killing people. How is it these experts and aficionados have been so spectacularly incompetent at getting their firearms to accomplish their "only purpose"?

But we know why. It is the people doing the killing, and not the tools used to kill that need to be locked up. After all, Cain killed Able with a rock, and ever since, some people have been willing to kill others with whatever means come to hand. But guns make it possible for the weaker, less strong and less skilled to be able to defend themselves from the predators. As Mr. Stevens says above, if you don't want to do that, don't own guns. Simple!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Comments on the Raleigh Gun Show

Dixie Gun Shows held a show the weekend of 16 & 17 January 2010 in Raleigh, NC at the Fairgrounds. At the C&E gun show last month, the crowds seemed smaller than those to which we had become accustomed. But this month, the crowds came roaring back, making Obama, one year after his inauguration, the still undisputed "Gun Salesman of the Year." If gun shows in other regions are showing the same pattern, I suspect that this year will be another record breaking year.

Guns of all types were being sold, but just from my observation, the great majority were handguns, closely followed by AR variants. I saw someone sitting down to fill out paperwork at nearly every gun dealer. Ammunition and supplies that had been in short supply, or were unobtainable were back on the shelves, if in limited supply. I found plenty of .380ACP, 9mm, and .45ACP at reasonable prices. Most of the reloading dealers had large pistol primers, an item that was simply unobtainable throughout last year. People were also spending money on accessories such as magazines and holsters. Of course, one can never have too many magazines when the SHTF.

I am one of the volunteers manning the table for Grass Roots North Carolina. GRNC did alright at the show. Our table was in the hallway leading to the trading floor, and I think our new position made us more visible to the public. We had many people stop by to make a comment, and as always I was impressed with how knowledgeable these people were. We also had inquiries about CHL training, and I was happy to direct them to Frontline Defense, who had a booth in the back of the hall. I also saw more families at the show. When wives become interested in a gun show, guns are no longer seen as "Dad's expensive hobby," but as a necessity to save the family. I pray for my country.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

What if Scott Brown Wins in MA

Rick Moran has an article today at the American Thinker analysing how the Democrats might react if Scott Brown wins the election. The piece, entitled Health Care Reform Scenarios if Brown Wins is a must read. Note that there are multiple ways for the Democrats to pass ObamaCare, and only a few ways it can be stopped. Hold on to your hats though, because the only way Scott Brown wins is if he wins by a margin too large to be ignored. If it is close, I believe the Dems will steal the election the way Franken did, and proceed with business as usual.

To my liberal friends, let me say that when the vote counting appeared to be going against Franken, ballots were suddenly discovered in the trunk of a car. How convenient! Oh, and look, they mostly went for Franken. How fortuitous! While it will never be proved, I can not believe that the incident represented vote manufacturing so blatant that it would have made a Chicagoan blush.

Armed and Safe: 'Licensed' defensive handgun carry: Are we doing it wrong?#links

Armed and Safe: 'Licensed' defensive handgun carry: Are we doing it wrong?#links

I am sorry I missed this several days ago. The examiner article, written by Kurt Hoffman, and linked to on his blog has an excellent analogy of the position gun rights people find themselves in:

There's an old joke in which (to be brief) a man asks a woman if she would be willing to sleep with him for a million dollars. She allows that she probably would. He then shows her a $100 bill, and says "let's go." Deeply offended, the woman asks him, "What kind of person do you think I am?" He replies, "My Dear, we have already established that. Now we are merely haggling over the price."

It's a droll little joke, but the underlying theme is perhaps not so funny. The moment a woman enters into negotiations over the price of what would otherwise have been a priceless gift, to be shared with a lover, she has degraded it to a mere commodity, to be sold to a customer. Restoring it to "priceless gift" status becomes enormously difficult.

I do not think we will ever see uninfringed gun rights in my lifetime. But gun rights are only one of the rights of a free people. They are the "canary in the coal mine" when it comes to freedom in general. All of our liberties are under assault right now, but especially our gun rights, and the sad part is that it is we ourselves who have put the noose around our own necks.

Friday, January 8, 2010

GOP Should Present the Conservative Message

As is often the case, Jonah Goldberg has hit the nail squarely on the head in his article today entitled What the GOP can learn from a Pizza Chain. Goldberg's prescription is not to try appealing to moderates and independents, as the GOP has been trying to do. Rather, admit, as Domino's Pizza is doing, to losing their way, and then propose bold, conservative policies. As Rush Limbaugh is fond of saying, they work every time their tried.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Armed and Safe: New Hampshire proposes state sovereignty law--with a twist#links

Armed and Safe: New Hampshire proposes state sovereignty law--with a twist#links

Good to see Kurt Hoffman back on the case. The New Hampshire law adds an interesting twist to the State sovereignty movement. It would make any Federal employee or contractor who tried to enforce Federal laws in New Hampshire subject to prosecution. This will be interesting to watch.