Some Historical Context…

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Most would say that’s just your standard political ploy… And they would be right, mastered through the ages by previous despots.

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How important is this principal for this type of political game?  It’s so important that Hitler inscribed it in Mein Kampf:

“The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people.”

-Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler, Publ. Houghton Miflin, 1943, Page 403

While what we have heard today so far on the executive order is by no means life shattering, we must remain ever vigilant as this is by no means a guarantee we’re out of the woods.  Doubly so since he pointed to congress to do more.

As Joe said yesterday, you should be afraid and the hair should be standing up on the back of your neck.

As a buddy of mine said:

The Taliban aren’t the only people who use human shields.

A Response from a Representative…

So as mentioned previously my wife sent a pretty direct letter to our federal representatives.  Patty Murray responded today.

Dear Mrs. Barnett:

Thank you for contacting me regarding your thoughts on new gun control legislation. I appreciate having the benefit of your views on this matter.

The views of Washingtonians are very important to my work. I will keep your thoughts in mind, and I encourage you to stay in touch. If you would like to know more about my work in the Senate, please feel free to sign up for my weekly updates at http://murray.senate.gov/updates. Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

Sincerely,

Patty Murray
United States Senator

Janelle’s comment to me when forwarding it was a perfect descriptor:

She answered with a non answer.  Way to talk around the issue.

Murray however gave a much different response to a friend of mine:

Dear Mr. Willington:

Thank you for writing me regarding the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. It was good to hear from you.

As a mother, grandmother, and former preschool teacher I was shocked by the tragedy that unfolded in Newtown. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of the victims whose loss is difficult to comprehend.

Unfortunately, this horrific tragedy was another in a long line of gun violence episodes that have ranged from places like Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Aurora to coffee shops in Lakewood to the corner of South Byron Street and McClintock Ave South in Seattle. These episodes have plagued our cities, our schools, and our shared sense of security. This cannot go on. As a society we need to come together to begin a real conversation on all the factors contributing to those horrific instances of gun violence, but we also need to take specific action to bolster our current gun safety laws.

There is no question that we can and should limit access to the assault style weapons of war that are on our streets and that are too often being used to kill innocent people indiscriminately. I have repeatedly voted for an assault weapons ban and will do so again as soon as we can get a bill to the Senate floor.

But preventing tragedies like the one in Newtown will take more than just common-sense gun policies and enforcement. It will also take a renewed commitment to understanding and dealing with the root causes that lead isolated individuals to carry out these atrocities. At this moment, everything needs to be on the table for scrutiny.

Our nation is at a crossroads moment, and we must take the path that protects future generations from re-living these gun violence tragedies over and over again. It will take the courage of people with opposing views but a common purpose sitting down with one another and agreeing that the status quo is unacceptable.

Please be assured I will keep your views in mind as I work with my colleagues and please feel free to share with me your ideas on how to address this crisis. If you would like to know more about my work in the Senate, please feel free to sign up for my updates at http://murrav.senate.gov/updates. Thank you for contacting me, and please do not hesitate to contact me again.

Sincerely,
Patty Murray
United States Senator

We haven’t gotten a response from Cantwell regarding her specific letter though here is her response to my letter:

Dear Mr. Barnett,

Thank you for contacting me regarding the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

All Washingtonians – and all Americans – offer our deepest condolences to the families of the 20 children and six school staff members who were killed in this senseless attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with the community of Newtown, as its residents heal from this incomprehensible tragedy.

This horrific attack highlights several issues that must be addressed promptly in order to better protect against such inexplicable violence.    We need to get powerful assault weapons off our streets.  And we need to strengthen services for the mentally ill and their families.

In the past, I supported the original Assault Weapons Ban and the Brady Bill, as well as the Youth Handgun Safety Act of 1993, which prohibits juveniles from possessing or receiving handguns. I look forward to work with my colleagues in the Senate to strengthen responsible legislation to rein in gun violence. We need to work to close the loopholes in existing laws that allow criminals and children to gain access to firearms contrary to the law’s intention. One example is the well-known "gun-show loophole" which allows people to purchase firearms at gun-shows without undergoing the background check required when guns are bought from licensed dealers. Lastly, I believe we must support increased gun-safety and gun-use education.

I support the Second Amendment and the rights of law-abiding Washingtonians who own guns.  I also remain focused on addressing the deeply troubling violence in this country and making our state and our country as safe as possible for all people, including our most vulnerable citizens, our children. I believe both of these goals are important and can be simultaneously accomplished through common-sense gun laws and stricter enforcement of existing laws.

Along with addressing gun violence, making services for the mentally ill and their families more accessible will encourage those suffering from mental illness to seek needed care and support. Mental health care is a critical component of our healthcare system and an individual’s overall health status. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately one in 17 Americans suffers from a seriously debilitating mental illness. I care deeply about mental health care and understand the important role behavioral health services play in the lives of both those who suffer from mental illness and their family and loved ones.

Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.
Sincerely,
Maria Cantwell
United States Senator

If you live in the state of Washington.  Light up their phones and crank up the heat.  I am liking the idea Robb had, especially since the local gun shows draw from both Idaho and Washington so we’d get a decent set of calls into multiple districts.  Combine that with methods for people to send letters to congress critters it could be quite effective.  Especially if you had people there who could help them personalize them instead of form letters.

As you will notice on the right hand side, I’ve added a Join the NRA link.  I know some aren’t too happy with the NRA, I’m one of them.  As Sebastian said though, we have the NRA we’re going into this fight with, it’s not going to change and you’re not going to wish up an alternative.  Do what you can, voice your opinion to the NRA, they have a better record of listening than congress, and get active.  If all you do is bitch in the corner about how they don’t represent you, of course they won’t.  You haven’t lifted a finger to guide them in representing you.

I’ve also added a quick box to aid people in contacting their legislators.  Do it if you haven’t already.  There is nothing to loose by doing so and you have everything to gain.  As you can see folks, this is going to be an up hill battle and this is one we can not loose.  A quote worth remembering of which I was reminded of it by a friend of mine:

“Never give in, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never Yield to a force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
― Winston S. Churchill

We must stand and fight.  We must not waiver, we must not flinch.  We must come out on top, our very culture depends on it.

Quote of the Day – Sebastian (1/10/2013)

If you know someone sitting this one out because they think the anti-gun groups don’t matter, slap them silly. We’re not facing the anti-gun groups, we’re facing the White House and the whole Obama coalition, and if you think that doesn’t matter, just ask Mitt Romney whether he agrees with you.

SebastianWhy This is Serious

January 10th, 2013


[Like Sebastian I’m nervous.  I keep hearing from more and more people who they’re “voting with their wallet” to indicate their opinion.  Well that’s all well and good but it doesn’t really help where the real fight is.  Currently I’m working on creating a kiosk for the local gun shop so people can contact their representatives right there.

Form letters should be avoided I know, and I will help anyone who asks write a letter.  I have been meaning to post my letter but keep forgetting.  I will however post a copy of Janelle’s because honestly it was much better and probably considerably more effective, it’s also what I have a copy of handy.

Honorable xxxxxxxx,

The tragedy at Sandy Hook elementary school has sparked new proposed legislation regarding firearms.  Currently many throughout the country are riding on emotion and crying for something, anything, to be done.  Even if ultimately what is done would have no bearing on what happened.

The actions of that lone monster belong to him and him alone.  His actions should not affect the law-abiding gun owners in this country.  The calls for “gun control”, a new “assault weapons ban”, and “magazine ban” stem from an emotional reaction to the tragedy.  The emotional response is placing blame on the law abiding instead of the deranged individual who is actually responsible.

If any new gun control is passed, it will not only affect the able-bodied law-abiding gun owners, but the disabled as well.  As a disabled woman, it is very discriminating to me and others like me.  A new assault weapons ban, as well as a magazine ban, will risk my life as I will have no other effective means to defend myself.

The AR-15 is by far the easiest and most comfortable rifle for me to shoot and operate with my disability which limits function of my dominate hand.  Many of the features being attacked are what make that rifle functional for myself and others who are disabled like me.  Having an adjustable stock merely allows the rifle to properly fit the user.  A pistol grip allows my disabled hand to form a more natural angle and operate the rifle.  The rail system allows me to attach things to aid in supporting the rifle with my functional arm.

Yet legislation being brought to the floor wants to strip me of a tool that allows me to level the playing field with men stronger and fully able-bodied; a tool that actually allows me to enjoy hunting with my husband since I can properly use and employ it.  Currently due to a work related injury to my other hand the AR-15 is the only firearm I can operate safely.

Further my defensive pistol, which is much less comfortable to operate, would be rendered much less useful as well.  Magazine restrictions stand to require me to have to reload and work considerably harder to keep the weapon in the fight.  Instead of focusing on stopping the threat I will have to focus more on worrying about running out of ammo.  This magazine restriction will not stop an able-bodied attacker, it will not even slow them down, it will however slow me down.

Why must I be disarmed and rendered less able because of the actions of a lone mad man?  Why are technological advances that benefit women and the disabled being thrown under the bus?  Why do you support the disenfranchisement of disabled women?

I implore you, respect and defend the rights of gun owners and in so doing respect and defend the rights of disabled women to have a choice in what their most effective means of self-defense is.

Thank you,

Janelle Barnett

Now this was a targeted letter sent to the two Senators, both of whom support gun control.  We sent this over a week ago, we still haven’t gotten a response from either Senator.  There was a modified version that was sent to the more gun friendly representatives.

I will say I was quite pleased with one of my state representatives.  He actually sent a reply the Saturday after we sent it.  The good news on that one is he’s evidently been hearing from all over his district to head off new gun control.

On that same front, I will say I do have some good news for Sebastian if he’s reading this.  There are many people I know of who also were just consistently on the bench who are now moving to become active in the political fight.  Hopefully we can keep the momentum and keep growing.

If you haven’t contacted your representatives yet, do so now.  -B]

Quote of the Day – A Girl and Her Gun (01/02/2013)

Unless you are planning on using your gun to kill or giving it/selling it to someone who is, your buy back is nothing more than another thing to make you feel good. Listen closely to what has been said a million times by a million smart folks…your feel good move WILL NOT make a flying flipping bit of difference in terms of keeping your kid, my kid, any kid safe in schools, movie theaters, banks, parks…

(Emphasis mine)
A Girl and Her Gun – I Got Your Buy Back…
January 1st, 2013


[Most of the clamoring I’ve heard recently, including the BS being introduced in congress is the same old song and dance we’ve always heard.  It’s the classic, “Do it again but only harder.”

What’s the definition of insanity again?  It happens to be the same as futility.

 The act of doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.

As Joe has so rightly pointed out though we need an orthogonal solution.  The problem is, they are unwilling to accept any solution but that which they want.  To them that is the only answer to the problem, their problem as defined by them.  Both sides of the debate admit there is a problem and want to find a solution.  One side of this debate doesn’t want to debate though, they want to lecture and do what they want.

Currently I’m sick of the BS being spouted by that particular group and as far as I’m concerned can be run out of the discussion.  We had the discussion on their talking points and they lost.  If they don’t want to grow up and actually discuss things like a reasonable and rational person, difficult given the prevalence for Peterson Syndrome, they can go sit at the kids table and eat while the grownups talk.

Ultimately A Girl’s conclusion is right:

So when another attack happens because no effective change took place I hope you are still feeling good about yourself. As for me, I prefer to do what at least has a chance of working. You will not be getting my gun. Not for 200 bucks or for $500 or for $1000 or…you get the picture.

Another attack will happen, it is an inevitability.  The choice of tool by the killer may change, but this tragedy will happen again as long as we keep redoing the same failed solutions.  China has had a string of similar incidents where a knife was used instead of a firearm.

For those of you who think that we can negotiate and retain some of our rights.  What happens when the next attack occurs? Or the one after that?  They will come and nibble again and again, stripping your rights away.  Ultimately to the point where they are trying to outlaw kitchen knives.

We stand to gain nothing by negotiating with the enemy on this front, instead we stand to lose everything.  Now is the time to stand up and fight.

If you haven’t contacted your reps, do so now.  That link will allow you to contact all your reps in one shot.  I spent some time last weekend and wrote individual personalized letters to each of my reps.  If you have the time, do it.  Don’t let the work of the past 19 years undoing the damage sink and fade into the darkness. -B]

Quote of the Day–11/15/2012

The arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and assistance to foreign hands should be curtailed, lest Rome fall.

Cicero, 55 BC 


[So, what’s changed in the last 2067 years that some how makes this republic exempt?

My mom emailed this to me after the previous post on the budget.

"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed, lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work instead of living on public assistance."

She added the comment we have learned nothing in the last 2067 years.  She’s right.  Those who don’t learn from history are bound to repeat it.  The problem is though is you have a large segment of the population getting free stuff from the government.  They don’t want that to stop until every last drop is sucked out.

Get ready folks because the fall of the Roman Empire wasn’t exactly a fun ride.  -B  ]

Who Needs A Budget?

Apparently Congress doesn’t need one says Patty Murray…

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) confirmed Thursday that she will seek the chairmanship of the Senate Budget Committee next year but told The Hill that she cannot commit to doing a budget.

This opens up the possibility that Senate Democrats will avoiding passing a budget resolution for the fourth year in a row.

Why doesn’t everyone just give up operating within a budget.  Since government doesn’t need to, why should I?  Hell the government can increase their debt limit too!  The credit agencies should just allow me to borrow as much money as I want.  If it isn’t a problem for the government why is it a problem if I do it?

Seriously, someone answer the question.  How is it OK for the government to keep writing check, using my name I might add for part of the bill, but they don’t need to have a budge to live within.  Not only do they not have a budget, but when they run out of money they just borrow more.

Most people I know are tightening their belts.  It appears Washington has decided to go Robb Allen and ditch the pants and belt.  Obviously they missed the part where Robb doesn’t do debt which is why he doesn’t need a belt.

Adventures in Venture Capitalism

It’s been known for a while that green-energy is suspect and has serious issues.  Yet our fearless leader has shoved more money at failed projects that most could comprehend.  If this man ran a venture capitalist firm his clients would have left long ago because he was driving them to be broke.

What exactly am I talking about, well here’s a list of companies that have failed that received funding from Obama.

  1. Evergreen Solar ($24 million)*
  2. SpectraWatt ($500,000)*
  3. Solyndra ($535 million)*
  4. Beacon Power ($69 million)*
  5. AES’s subsidiary Eastern Energy ($17.1 million)
  6. Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)
  7. SunPower ($1.5 billion)
  8. First Solar ($1.46 billion)
  9. Babcock and Brown ($178 million)
  10. EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*
  11. Amonix ($5.9 million)
  12. National Renewable Energy Lab ($200 million)
  13. Fisker Automotive ($528 million)
  14. Abound Solar ($374 million)*
  15. A123 Systems ($279 million)*
  16. Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($6 million)
  17. Johnson Controls ($299 million)
  18. Schneider Electric ($86 million)
  19. Brightsource ($1.6 billion)
  20. ECOtality ($126.2 million)
  21. Raser Technologies ($33 million)*
  22. Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)*
  23. Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*
  24. Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*
  25. Range Fuels ($80 million)*
  26. Thompson River Power ($6.4 million)*
  27. Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*
  28. LSP Energy ($2.1 billion)*
  29. UniSolar ($100 million)*
  30. Azure Dynamics ($120 million)*
  31. GreenVolts ($500,000)
  32. Vestas ($50 million)
  33. LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($150 million)
  34. Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*
  35. Navistar ($10 million)
  36. Satcon ($3 million)*

*Denotes companies that have filed for bankruptcy.

Total waste?  $8.108 Billion dollars.  Yes that’s billion with a B.  People keep insisting that to fix the budget problem we need to make massive cuts to the big pieces of the pie.  What people don’t seem to understand is that the biggest pieces are all the small tiny pieces added together.

Look at all that money that’s been wasted.  Debt that has now been laid upon our children and working class.  For what?  So that some donors to the Obama administration can go buy a new vacation house?  So that some leftist can feel good about his view on the environment and forcing others to pay for his moral views?

Seriously, why is anyone even thinking about continuing to vote for a man who so willingly and blatantly has been robbing the American public blind.  Not only is he robbing them but selling your children into slavery.  There is no such thing as a free lunch yet everyone seems to think they’re getting one.

That stimulus so heavily lobbied for has $80 billion in politically tied energy projects.  Yet we see how those projects actually worked, not to mention how it actually delayed existing projects.  Over 1900 investigations have begun to look into waste, further costs to the American tax payer.

To put this into even greater perspective, 10% of the funding for energy projects provided by the stimulus is nothing but waste.  That’s to a cost $25.82 per every man, woman and child, just in waste.  If you just count the tax payers, it’s an extra $70.81 in cost.  If you don’t believe me, do the math yourself.  Here’s where I got the numbers for population and taxpayers.  To take it further we have another 6 trillion in debt overall, that comes out to be another $51,000 dollars for every man, woman, and child.  The overall debt burden in this country is enough for most people to buy a house, again, every man, woman, and child, even babies.

Lets look at the issue in another way focusing on spending during 2012 overall:

Under Obama, for every $7 we’ve had, we’ve spent nearly $11 (or, to be more exact, $10.95).  That’s like a family that makes $70,000 a year — and is already knee-deep in debt — blowing nearly $110,000 a year.

Joe also put it really well a while ago before we ended up even further in this hole:

If your family income were $50,000 then:

Now that has brought the spending problem into a better perspective, let me ask, why is the out of control spending and economy not at the fore front of the presidential race?  I hope all of you who continue to not see a problem with this reckless spending and endless growth of government are happy selling your soul and children’s soul into slavery.  Because you honestly have no business writing checks your ass can’t cash and putting your kids name or my name on it.  Period.

A Compare and Contrast Exercise…

Let’s compare and contrast the following two people, what they did, and the reactions by the American Media.

GonzalesVSHolder

For those who don’t recognize the pictures, on the left we have former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, on the right we have Attorney General Eric Holder.

The significant similarities necessary for this discussion:

  • Both are tied to the highest position within the Department of Justice.
  • Both committed questionable acts while in that position.
  • Both were disliked by large parts of the American people for their actions.
  • Both acted in a manner with the express intent of undermining and destroying enumerated rights.

Differences:

  • Eric Holder’s decisions resulted in the deaths of both American and Mexican civilians.
  • Eric Holder refused to process cases where the American public was intimidated from exercising their rights.
  • Alberto Gonzales was forced to resign while Holder continues to retain his position.
  • Eric Holder was found in contempt of congress.  Eric Holder has not been arrested despite the ability for congress to do so.
  • The Congressional “no-confidence” vote against Gonzales did not succeed.
  • Alberto Gonzales was appointed by President George Bush.
  • Eric Holder was appointed by President Barack Obama.

For those who may not remember the details.  Here is the quick rundown of the two big scandals under Holder.

The details you more likely need a reminder of is the incidents involving Alberto Gonzales

So while the comments and behavior of Gonzales was despicable and worthy of question, why has AG Holder been allowed to remain?  There is a man responsible for creating programs with the express purpose of illegally undermining a constitutional right.  Programs that resulted in the deaths of members of the public.  A man who has been found in contempt of congress, yet no one seems to have the balls to actually fire him.

Ultimately the biggest difference between these two is the men who were responsible for appointing them.  Because honestly that’s the only reason Eric Holder has been able to continue in his position.  Remember that the next time some tells you about how the media isn’t biased.