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Another Horsey Cartoon

Thursday, January 24, 2008

You may have heard the new ACLU radio ad running lately imploring you to ask your senators to not renew the Bush administration's wiretap bill.
Funny, isn't it, that the ACLU wants us to ask them to not pass the wiretap bill but says nothing about asking for the impeachment of the President, the Vice-President, and their friends? I mean, the ad states very clearly that we now know the Bush administration conducted illegal wiretapping of Americans. They broke the law. Why do they get a pass on something so egregious as violating one of our most important rights: to be left alone by our government? This Horsey cartoon, I think, best exemplifies the feeling that there's simply no accountability in government.

I saw it in the Seattle PI

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

People, not guns, are the problem


Body counts garner attention from the media like a flashy neon sign. They create buzz, such as Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels' gun control stance that quotes the figure of 550 violent firearms crimes in 2005 ("Seattle weighs in on handgun ban," Wednesday).

Most people will be horrified and will fail to ask the crucial, underlying question: How many of those guns were purchased legally? After all, laws will affect guns legally acquired, not those from secondary sources. The answer: 15 percent of guns used in crimes are legally obtained. That leaves 85 percent unaffected by changes to gun control laws.

Consider how many violent crimes are thwarted around the country by guns. That's a statistic one rarely hears. The number officially reported to the police is roughly 64,615 yearly; the estimate can jump as high as 2.45 million if one factors in unreported cases. Compare those numbers to 30,000 gun-related deaths yearly and one can see the difference is, at the very least, 34,000 people saved by guns. Yet, since those people are not in a morgue, they apparently don't count.

The Second Amendment was not an invention by its author, James Madison. It has a long common-law history, a history that afforded this nation the ability to defeat the British during the Revolutionary War. Moreover, in 1856, almost 100 years after the Bill of Rights, the Supreme Court affirmed the interpretation of the Second Amendment in the Dred Scott decision, stating every man has the right "to keep and carry arms."

The problem in this country is not gun control, it's the people. That's right: you. The foundational documents were written with faith in its people. That we were the safest reservoir for absolute power to reside in, and that, if we were not free-thinking enough to exercise that power correctly, the solution was not to take power away, but to educate.

It was this vision the Founders had for our country; education as the true corrective action for the exploitation of the Constitution. They did not envision us as toddlers to be coddled by mommy government with our rights slowly taken from us one by one for our "own good."

Mommy government is not always going to be there to protect you. Have you forgotten Hurricane Katrina? It took days for the government, state and federal, to seize control of the situation. That was not unexpected. We do not live in a police state and we should be able to take care of ourselves for a few days while the government mobilizes. Now consider Katrina was an act of nature; imagine an attack from an enemy. Do you think you will be protected immediately?

The Second Amendment is designed to treat us as adults -- adults who live in a world where there are bad people. If you want absolute protection from your government, move to a communist country and you will be protected.

You will be told what to think and stripped of individual rights. Liberty comes at price. That price is acting like educated adults and accepting the inherent risks of free choice.

The mayors of the 11 cities warning the Supreme Court about jeopardizing gun control should instead be warning their residents that if we do not use education as a corrective measure we will soon be captives to our own lackadaisicalness.

Laurel S. Barton lives in Seattle.

A New Dr. Evil

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

In case you missed it, there's a new Dr. Evil in town.
Watch the new Frontline episode, Cheney's Law. It's nice to see people are finally catching on to what's been going on for the last umpteen years.

Primaries Don't Matter (If You're a Democrat)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

I was looking for information on when and where Washington State's caucuses would be held when I stumbled onto this interesting bit of information from the Secretary of State's website:
Q: How will the political parties use the results of the Presidential Primary?
Political parties retain the authority to decide if they will use the Presidential Primary to allocate delegates to the national nominating conventions. The political parties may also use caucus results, or a combination of primary results and caucus results.
The Republican Party used the results of the primary to allocate all of the Washington delegates in 1992, half of its delegates in 1996, and one third of its delegates in 2000. The State Republican Party has decided that it will use the 2008 Presidential Primary to allocate 51% of its delegates. The remaining 49% of the delegates will be allocated based on caucus results.
The Democratic Party has never used the results of the primary to allocate delegates. The State Democratic Party will only use caucuses to allocate delegates in 2008. (Emphasis added)
(Source: Washington State's February 19, 2008 Presidential Primary (.pdf), Frequently Asked Questions)
I find it interesting that the Democratic Party, the party that professes to be the champion of the little guy, doesn't even recognize the little guy's vote when it comes to selecting their delegates. Those delegates, of course, will later go on to select their party's next presidential candidate. Interesting, indeed. It makes you wonder why Democrats even bother with primary elections.

The New Face of Political Discourse in Lake Stevens

Sunday, January 06, 2008

The last Lake Stevens Journal editorial writer asked the "big question" of why our "small community" needed presidential political signs before Christmas. As an example, he reported seeing several Ron Paul for President signs along Lundeen Parkway and on 20th St. NE. The writer then admitted to not being familiar with Ron Paul so he decided to Google him. He discovered Paul had recently collected over $18 million in political donations. The author thought that amount was staggering, "...especially for someone who really [had] little chance of winning the Presidential election." It was at that point the writer wondered what politicians, in general, were planning to do "with that much money in only 10 months time?"
What do politicians plan to do with that much money, you ask? They'll probably be spending it on replacing damaged political signs. Was it a coincidence this Ron Paul billboard was seen facedown the Friday after this editorial ran? Unfortunately, I'd be willing to bet these Ron Paul for President signs weren't paid for by the Ron Paul 2008 campaign, but by a private citizen who now has to cover the costs of repairing his damaged sign.
But why are these signs needed? The writer really answered his own question when he stated he Googled Ron Paul. How else can voters learn about the candidates running for office? It surely can't be in the editorial sections of their local newspapers where they read statements like Ron Paul "has little chance of winning the Presidential election."
As a reminder, the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 29A.84.040 states, "a person who removes or defaces lawfully placed political advertising including yard signs or billboards without authorization is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable under RCW 9A.20.021. The defacement or removal of each item constitutes a separate violation".

Bill Moyer's Journal featuring Ron Paul

For an excellent interview with Rep. Ron Paul, I recommend Bill Moyer's Journal.
"In politics, it's usually the insurgent who carries the discontent of people who feel excluded from the mainstream. This campaign Ron Paul is the insurgent. Congressman Ron Paul from Texas placed fifth in Iowa with ten percent of the vote. But turn on your computer, and you'll find him at the top of the world's most watched video posting site."
~Bill Moyer's interview lead-in.

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