Tuesday, March 16

A step backwards for gun rights in Massachusetts

I don't think the ruling in Massachusetts will stand, especially given the implications of Heller. Now, granted, in Heller, the Supreme Court did not say that the 2nd Amendment directly translates to the States, but it did say that individuals have the right to bear arms (which is, of course, what the amendment states). Many citizens may think that the Bill of Rights automatically applies to the States as well through the Incorporation Doctrine (the due process clause of the 14th Amendment), but the 2nd Amendment hasn't made it through yet. Gun control activists are praising the ruling:

"We have seen in Bristol County, and I believe this is true throughout Massachusetts, that 95 percent of the gun violence is committed by those who have no lawful right to possess or carry a firearm," Bristol County District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter said.
"That is a powerfully compelling argument for the need for licensing requirements for the possession of firearms."
New Bedford Police Chief Ronald E. Teachman said he was "relieved" with the court's rulings.
"If the SJC had not ruled this way, where would we be? That anyone can have a gun, regardless of criminal background or mental health?" Teachman said.

Yes, Chief Teachman. That's where you'd be: in a State where anyone can obtain a firearm and protect himself and his property. There aren't any restrictions on the 2nd Amendment; it doesn't discriminate. Now, I understand that most of firearm "crimes" are committed by people who don't have a right to possess those firearms, either because they didn't fill out the correct forms or because they don't have the right "background." It's the same argument as drug "crimes." Most people in prison for drug crimes are there for possession, possession with intent, etc. If those offenses were no longer offenses, then people wouldn't be convicted. So, if there were fewer gun restrictions, more people would lawfully possess firearms. I'm sure gun control proponents would be upset by this. But I don't understand why they think that outlawing guns will somehow make crime decrease. All it does is inflate the black market. Has the "War on Drugs" done anything to limit the sale and consumption of illegal drugs? No? It's increased it?

Hat Tip: Free Talk Live

Friday, July 17

"It is really historic. It's transformation. It's momentous."

The health care bill that will usher in Obama's own special brand of reform is gaining momentum in both houses of Congress.

At a press conference earlier today, Speaker Pelosi gushed about all the goods things that are to come with this legislation, which has been approved by both the Ways and Means and Education and Labor committees.
The Senate is already working on similar legislation, which has gotten out of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee by a narrow margin.
Obama claims that the bill will change everyone's lives for the better, giving us all access to better and cheaper medical care, but at what cost? The legislation is supposed to cost $1 trillion to enact. Where would we get that money? From taxes. Now, for the people who follow Obama religiously and agree with the statement, "because everyone deserves some of what you've worked hard for," raising taxes for the higher income earners is not a problem. But of course that's not the end of the story.
Even HuffPo has problems with ObamaCare.
"We need to evaluate the message more than the messenger. The Republicans are
currently the 'bad guys.' They may oppose the President's Plan largely on partisan grounds. Nonetheless, when they say this Plan will not work, that statement (regardless whose mouth it comes out of) is true. Whether it is CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf or Rush Limbaugh saying that ObamaCare will fail, both are right."
There is a lesson here. Don't bite off more than you can chew. Listen to the people. Leave the people alone. Don't trip acid. Pick one- they're all applicable here.

Thursday, July 16

another monstrosity brought to us by the douchebag from California

As if HR 2454 wasn't bad enough, Rep. Waxman is trying to socialize America's markets even further with the help of some buddies- this time the health care system. Obama hasn't made it a secret that health care reform is at the top of his list of prospective changes. In his health care section of "Issues," it says,
"President Obama is committed to working with Congress to pass comprehensive health reform in his first year in order to control rising health care costs, guarantee choice of doctor, and assure high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans."
Now, that's a nice sentiment, isn't it? It sounds nice- Obama wants to make sure that all Americans have affordable coverage, and access to competent doctors of their choosing. There's a small rub, though. Outside of the ambiguous "promote the general welfare" in the Preamble, the US Constitution says nothing about requiring the government to provide health care to its citizens. And so, like the many bills and resolutions before it, the current health care reform bill (not yet a resolution in the House) has no grounding in the Constitution.

The unnamed health care bill is getting lots of play around the blogosphere at places like TLP and United Liberty and organizations like Reason and Cato Institute. The good news about the bill is... well... the good news must be that Congress knows that something must be done about health care. And that's about it. They are horribly misguided as to how to fix it; and of course, are suffering under the misapprehension that they should be fixing it. The bad news is that this "reform" has potential to make cap and trade look like a respite from government intrusion.

Even though Obama has been touting his "public option"-speak and claiming that citizens' private insurance coverage won't change (it'll just get better!), the truth is that the bill provides a limit. After the law is passed and becomes effective, it is no longer legal for a citizen to enroll in new private insurance. That means that the citizen, in order to have coverage, must enroll in the insurance provided by the government.

Now, for those who cannot afford health care now, and for those who don't mind having decisions made for them, this plan isn't so bad. For those who don't want a lot of freedom, and are more comfortable with the government stepping in and taking care of things, this legislation will make the way smooth.

But do we want everything the same? Do we really want to give up our choices? Those who think that this country is not walking down the road to socialism are deluding themselves, and this bill is the perfect example of that. It's a dangerous bill. I hope Americans wake up and realize the ramifications before something stupid happens, like the bill is passed.

Friday, July 3

Today we declare our independence!

Despite the cheesiness of the movie, Bill Pullman's speech in Independence Day (1996) gets to me.

Independence Day memories

Two hundred and thirty-three years ago, fifty-six men signed a document that would change the course of history and echo far into the future. On this Independence Day, I think it's worth putting that document here, as a reminder to all those who have forgotten what it meant to rebel, to start anew, and to stand up for what is right.

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions. In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Thomas Jefferson has been quoted as saying that a revolution is needed every twenty years. How long has it been since the people were revved up enough to care about something (excepting the caring about the current particular brand of "change"). Will American citizens ever rise up again and take back their country?

God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion.The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which iswrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the factsthey misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions,it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ...And what country can preserve its liberties, if it's rulers are notwarned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit ofresistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right asto the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lostin a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed fromtime to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.It is its natural manure.
-Thomas Jefferson-

Friday, June 26

Five votes

We lost by 5 votes.

HR2454 passed today at 6:18 pm CST by 219-212.

Fuck Congress.

Vote NO on HR2454!

My friends, family, and fellow citizens,

The United States Congress is voting on HR2454 today, and we must all do our civic duty and urge them to vote NO.

HR2454, or the Waxman-Markey Bill, is a piece of socialist horror that will not only raise gas prices and the unemployment rate, but the majority of the taxes collected under it will go to special interest groups, and not the government.

According to The Heritage Foundation,

"Analysis of the economic impact of Waxman-Markey projects that by 2035 the bill will:

-Reduce aggregate gross domestic product (GDP) by $7.4 trillion,

-Destroy 844,000 jobs on average, with peak years seeing unemployment rise by over 1,900,000 jobs,

-Raise electricity rates 90 percent after adjusting for inflation,

-Raise inflation-adjusted gasoline prices by 74 percent,

-Raise residential natural gas prices by 55 percent,

-Raise an average family's annual energy bill by $1,500, and

-Increase inflation-adjusted federal debt by 29 percent, or $33,400 additional federal debt per person, again after adjusting for inflation. "

I don't think it needs to be said that this bill must be defeated. Here is a link to contact your Congressman. Call him, fax him, email him, do whatever it takes to convince him that he (or she) needs to vote NO on HR 2454.

Thanks from the bottom of my libertarian heart,