Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday Funnies

In today's news there is a piece on Yahoo that wonders aloud if Bob Barr is going to be a spoiler against the GOP. My take is that I could care less if McCain is sweating bullets. In fact, I hope he is wearing depends to avoid soiling himself. If an independent who is projected to max out at 4% of the vote can influence McCain, then McCain had best get his act together. I am not trying to sling mud. But it is still up to McCain to actually earn my vote rather than assume I will vote for the lesser of two evils. There are more funnies if you click the read more link.

Now here is a story that just screams "Tell me something I don't know!". Essentially it's a black eye to the public education system. Let's think about this for a second. Who should be the best arbiter of what to teach the kids? Yep, Mom and Pop. Or, the local community. But, as usual, the fed has to be involved. Just another demonstration that government subsidized schools are substandard and anti-Constitutional.

And, no Sunday would be complete without some rag disclosing national security secrets with impunity. The first amendment is clear that the press is a free entity. My objection is with the loose-lipped-anti-American-bathwater-sucking-idiots who border on treason by disclosing classified data to the press. Our young service members would be crucified via a General Court Martial for doing this. But if you are a member of the press or a "highly placed" government official, you get over. Bit of a double standard eh?

Finaly, just to remind us that states also infringe on your liberties.... New Wash. law bans hand-held phones while driving. I understand the danger. Just like listening to the radio and singing along, we have to nip these things in the bud. Let's not penalize and hold accountable the people whose behavior actually causes an accident. Instead, let's figure out how to profit from the situation.

Gotta Jet, Thanks for reading.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The 2nd Amendment and Schumer Picking on Cornyn

Have you ever had one of "those" days? Y'know the kind that just drag on and every event is designed by God Almighty himself just to personally frustrate you? So far that is my week. I bought an article bank and am working on getting it set up as a free information tool. Until the kinks are worked out (and there are quite a few) it's located here. BTW it is completely free to use, without sign ups or mailing lists, and I hope you benefit from it.

Please keep reading, it gets better... promise

Then, things at work went all crazy. And of course there is the news. I just got thru handing out Ape Hangers to the Supreme Court (Again) for the child rape decision. But, they got it right on the DC Handgun ban at least.

My friend asked if the four judges who voted against the Constitution in the hand gun case were getting Ape Hangers for their votes? Nope. The Ape Hanger goes to the guy who's actions do or will have a deleterious effect either on the peoples liberty or the several states sovereignty. So, by voting to keep the DC ban intact they were exercising their right to an opinion. Since they lost the vote they will have no effect on the Second Amendment today.

Then, in my email I get this missive from the Texas GOP. For a party that is supposed to be all about the rugged individualist, individual liberty, and against the revisionists in constitutional matters; This struck me as being pretty damn unManly if you will. Let John Cornyn face down Schumer on his own. Until I see him on the ten o'clock news lambasting Chuck; I aint gonna break a sweat. I mean, he should not need me to tell someone to shut the hell up right? If I was him I would be embarrassed to have the party try to get the rank and file to do battle in my name.

I get the GOP newsletter because a long time ago I was a registered Republican. Now I am an Independent since I cannot quite fit in with either party during polite society events. But like the rent or taxes, the newsletter arrives and is usually interesting reading.

Anyway this is what I got in my email today.

Texas G.O.P Calls On Chuck Schumer To Denounce Communications Director’s Racist, Insensitive Comments

Austin - Today the Republican Party of Texas called on The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and its Chairman Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to withdraw email and blog publications attempting to ridicule a traditional Hispanic festival in South Texas, the Republican Party of Texas said today. “Any party that claims to be sensitive to minorities should know better than to perpetuate the sort of ethnic and racial assaults represented in this week’s DSCC releases,” said G.O.P. Spokesman Hans Klingler.

The ostensible target of the DSCC attack was U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, who was featured in a state GOP convention video wearing a Tamaulipeca jacket at this year’s Charro Days celebration in Brownsville, Texas. The jacket was designed in the Hispanic tradition by a local artist and businessman, Don Breeden, and was designated as the official costume of the Charro Days event.

In an email Thursday, DSCC spokesman Matt Miller denigrated the traditional Hispanic jacket, writing that it appears Senator Cornyn “raided the wardrobe closet for the Kilgore Rangerettes.” He included with his message, sent to news media, a video link to a cable show that included racially and ethnically based attempts at humor.

The comments by Miller “were out of line,” according to a Charro Days official, Diane M. Garza. In a letter to Sen. Charles Schumer, DSCC chairman, Garza urged Schumer to “repudiate the remarks of Mr. Miller, and to remind him of the need for sensitivity, integrity and inclusiveness even in the world of politics.”

The 71st annual Charro Days Grand International Parade was held this year on Mar. 1 in Brownsville.It featured dozens of floats, marching bands, and civic organizations in a celebration of Hispanic culture. Sen. Cornyn and his wife, Sandy, walked much of the parade route, shaking hands, hugging and greeting celebrants.

Film footage of the parade was included in an introductory video played at the Texas Republican Party Convention in Houston earlier this month. It has made its way to the Internet, and the video has attracted more than 75,000 views.

Earlier this week, comedian Jon Stewart on The Daily Show played sections of the video, singling out the Tamaulipeca jacket Cornyn was wearing, and adding racially-tinged comments about Sen. Cornyn’s mythical Senate opponent. The DSCC has been circulating the Stewart segment, trying to get mileage out of it.

Said Cornyn communications director Kevin McLaughlin in a statement issued today: “The Charro Days event has a long and proud history celebrating Hispanic contributions to Texas and America. It is to be expected that entertainers in Los Angeles and New York would want to take pot shots, but the DSCC should be careful in lending its name to efforts that essentially disparage an important part of our culture.”

Click here to read the letter from constituents to Senator Schumer

These guys need to read Robert Pratt's anti-wimp updates and get a clue. Schumer rates a butt kicking, but it is up to the offended party to deliver it.

Thank you for reading, I do appreciate it.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

McClellan Appears at House Judiciary Committee Hearing

In the stories-that-will-not-die department we have two comedies that are merging into one. On the one hand we have the media sensation of the former administration mouthpiece and his muckraking book. On the other hand we have our so called public servants in the House of Representatives (specifically the Judiciary Committee) holding hearings.

Scott "Show me the money" McClellan appeared before the House Judiciary Committee headed by Democrat Rep. John Conyers of Michigan. Appearing before the committee he brought with him one copy of his tell-all book and the knowledge that his 75,000 dollar advance is safely tucked away in a bank somewhere.

Obviously with partisan politics being what it is the battle lines were clearly drawn before Scotty beamed himself in. The Democrats, forgetting that Bush is not running for another term, focused on the Plame incident and tried hard for more damning information. The Republicans, angered at the obvious money grab struck Scott with epithets and derision. Through it all;
McClellan kept his poise and seemed to deflect much criticism—"character assassination," in the words of one Democrat—during about three hours of testimony. -- Source

I know that I am supposed to be objective but this case gets under my skin on two levels. First is the character of McClellan himself. He waits until the proper moment and unleashes a book timed to make money. He obviously has no sense of loyalty and apparently his character fluctuates between being on or off depending on his finances. Secondly, we have yet another case of the fed improperly meddling. This was settled at taxpayer expense via a special prosecutor. But, thanks to partisanship it simply won't die.

The only reason Conyers isn't getting an Ape Hanger is that the investigation won't hurt the average person and isn't anti-Constitutional. Instead it is merely politics as usual by someone who likely won't ever earn the title of "Statesman".

Hey Scotty ol boy, next time you wanna write a tabloid book, do it about me. I could use the publicity.

Republicans Lambaste McClellan at Judiciary Committee Hearing

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Basic Civics on the Windfall Profit Tax

Why oh why are such monumentally stupid people able to congregate in one place and make decisions that have a negative effect on me? Congress is still beating the drum on the thrice damned Windfall Profits Tax for Big Scary Oil. Please click to read the rest of the story.

Thrice Damned.

The first damning is that more taxes already tax an overly bloated system. More auditors, more paperwork, more man-hours, more of everything will be demanded. And, lest you think this is only on the private sector, it's not. The .gov will have to add folks to the rolls to administer the program. They will also have to draft more rules and regs to add to the 67,000 (give or take) pages of the tax code.

The second damning is that this sets a bad precedent following the previous bad precedent. But each bad precedent allows the government to intrude further into our lives and into business. Instead of a hands off .gov we get a bigger brother. The last WPT failed miserably. Yet, the taxmeisters just cannot learn from history can they?

The thrice damning is (drum roll please) CORPORATIONS DON'T PAY TAXES, THE PEOPLE DO!! Boy I hope someone got that. Taxes, like payroll, like machinery, like paper clips, etc etc are a cost of doing business. These costs get all rolled up and figured into the final sale price that you and I pay. So, if and when the dunderheads in the House finally get passage of the WPT, look for gas prices to go up even more.

And as a bonus damning: Your 401K or Money Market stuff has a great chance of being partially invested into oil stocks.

Question for the day. If Congress can punish the oil companies for "excess profits" and grill the CEO's regarding thier own compensation, why can't we return the favor? Look up Feinstein, Boxer, and Pelosi on google with the terms "net worth". I'd say they need to trim some of their excess profits. They can mail me a check anyday now.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Hypocrisy Thy Name is Oil

Normally, hypocrisy of this sort would warrant an APE Hanger. But, I read the legislation and cannot find a direct assault on my rights as a citizen. Instead, it merely highlights the simpleminded stupidity of our government. There is a tenet of military leadership that goes "never give an order you are unwilling or unable to enforce". Please click the read more link to get the rest of the scoop.

Our House of Representatives, by a huge margin, passed HR 2264 onto the Senate. HR 2264 is titled: H.R. 2264: No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act of 2007. It even has a catchy acronym, NOPEC. Now aint that cool?

OK, I looked the bill up in Thomas and Govwatch. Both indicate that the bill actually passed in May of 07. Yet a Mark Steyn article on the topic is dated May of 08. So, I am not 100 percent certain exactly when, before or after the witch hunts of Big Oil CEO's, that NOPEC got the nod.

What I like is the blatant double standard. We cannot locate, close with, and exploit our own assets. But, we can sue the pants off of a sovereign nation who has the nerve to make their own decisions on what to do with their own stuff. Imagine that, the Royal House of Saud didn't seek congressional permission on this... Oh the horror.

Just for the record, these are the elected officials who voted NO on the bill. While they lost, they did the right thing. Ya might drop em a line so they know that you are keeping score and, for the moment at least, approve of their action.

MD-6 Bartlett, Roscoe [R] TX-6 Barton, Joe [R] CA-50 Bilbray, Brian [R]
UT-1 Bishop, Rob [R] MO-7 Blunt, Roy [R] OH-8 Boehner, John [R]
OK-2 Boren, Dan [D] LA-7 Boustany, Charles [R] TX-8 Brady, Kevin [R]
IN-5 Burton, Dan [R] CA-44 Calvert, Ken [R] UT-3 Cannon, Christopher [R]
NC-6 Coble, Howard [R] OK-4 Cole, Tom [R] TX-11 Conaway, K. [R]
CA-20 Costa, Jim [D] WY-0 Cubin, Barbara [R] TX-28 Cuellar, Henry [D]
GA-9 Deal, Nathan [R] CA-4 Doolittle, John [R] CA-26 Dreier, David [R]
OK-5 Fallin, Mary [R] FL-24 Feeney, Tom [R] AZ-6 Flake, Jeff [R]
NC-5 Foxx, Virginia [R] AZ-2 Franks, Trent [R] NJ-11 Frelinghuysen, Rodney [R]
CA-24 Gallegly, Elton [R] NJ-5 Garrett, E. [R] GA-11 Gingrey, John [R]
TX-12 Granger, Kay [R] IL-14 Hastert, J. [R] WA-4 Hastings, Doc [R]
TX-5 Hensarling, Jeb [R] MI-2 Hoekstra, Peter [R] MO-9 Hulshof, Kenny [R]
CA-49 Issa, Darrell [R] IA-5 King, Steve [R] GA-1 Kingston, Jack [R]
MN-2 Kline, John [R] CO-5 Lamborn, Doug [R] GA-7 Linder, John [R]
OK-3 Lucas, Frank [R] CA-3 Lungren, Daniel [R] FL-14 Mack, Connie [R]
TX-24 Marchant, Kenny [R] UT-2 Matheson, Jim [D] CA-22 McCarthy, Kevin [R]
CA-25 McKeon, Howard [R] CA-42 Miller, Gary [R] TX-19 Neugebauer, Randy [R]
CA-21 Nunes, Devin [R] TX-14 Paul, Ronald [R] IN-6 Pence, Mike [R]
PA-16 Pitts, Joseph [R] TX-2 Poe, Ted [R] GA-6 Price, Tom [R]
CA-19 Radanovich, George [R] AZ-1 Renzi, Rick [R] CA-46 Rohrabacher, Dana [R]
ID-1 Sali, Bill [R] TX-32 Sessions, Peter [R] AZ-3 Shadegg, John [R]
ID-2 Simpson, Michael [R] NE-3 Smith, Adrian [R] AR-2 Snyder, Victor [D]
CO-6 Tancredo, Thomas [R] NE-2 Terry, Lee [R] KS-4 Tiahrt, Todd [R]
MI-7 Walberg, Timothy [R] GA-3 Westmoreland, Lynn [R] AK-0 Young, Donald [R]

Yep, that is it. IF your rep is on the list then he or she might actually have a spine. At least in this instance they did the right thing. IF your rep aint on the list then they either voted for the measure, thus exposing a hypocritical bent, or didn't vote. The non-voters are potentially the real schemers since they can make any claim they wish depending on which way the winds are blowing.

So there it is, your government in action. Check thru the older posts. Are your guys living up to the ideals we rightfully demand of them? If not, then here is one more branch on the tree of liberty to hang em from. Get A Rope.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Basic Civics: Public Service Announcement

This is a public service announcement.

[Camera Zooms in on old Distinguished Politician talking to one of the newly elected]

[Old Pol]
Boy, Ah say Boy, come on over heah. We need to talk.

[Young Pol]
Yes Sir?

[Old Pol]
Son, Ah need your help on a bill. Can Ah count on your support at the vote?

[Young Pol timidly]
I don't know Sir, my constituants are not really for this issue....

[Zoom out and focus on the Old Pols pained, but indulgent expression as he strikes a pose]

[Old Pol]
Son, you have no worries. Your constituents won't remember this vote. That's why it was timed to take place when the new freshmen were sworn in. Let me tell you the facts of life in Congress.

[Old Pol continues] First thing you need to know is that we incumbents get reelected 96 percent of the time. So, by breaking in, your job is secure pretty much no matter what you do.

[Young Pol]
But, the uh voters in my district...

[Old Pol]
Son, don't sweat the voters. Look out of 100 folks back home that are entitled to vote only 46 Percent will actually register and vote. So you can ignore 54 people altogether. Those are the sheep that will bleat when we herd em. But they don't amount to nothing. Now, out of those 46 folks, about 20 percent are ignorant and don't even pay attention. That leaves 36 folks. Out of them, you can write off about half to party line or single issues. So, all you really need to look out for is 18 out of every hundred folks.

[Young Pol]
Wow. I had no idea. So it is all about numbers?

[Old Pol]
Yep. And as a bonus, we get the media. Folks are conditioned to get their news in thirty second increments. So, if you make your press releases right, you can control how the info is spun. But, since you are going to help me with the bill.... Ah will be around to keep you afloat till you learn how this river runs. Fair 'nuff?

[Young Pol with relief evident on his face]
Yes Sir. I'm with you. Thanks.

[Old Pol]
No sweat son. Let's get out of this back room and into some sunshine. The cigar smoke is killin me. About that committee appointment, we've got big plans for you.....

[Zoom out as the pair exit the room]

This has been a public service announcement.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Planet of the APES

In my last posting we talked about the Democrats and an APE bill that got shot down by a Republican filibuster. Well, APE is an acronym that I invented in a moment of sheer genius while listening to Sirius Radio during a Tuesday road trip.

So here it is. In keeping with the highest traditions of Robert Pratt and his Dust Storm Award and Mike Church who points out that "Liberals Say the most Damn Dumbass Things" I have identified the APE.

APE (Anti Patriot Extremist):

Those who deliberately pursue an agenda that is obviously against the best interests of the USA as a whole, or personal liberties. These are the folks that will spout constitutional platitudes without understanding that the power is vested in the States or People respectively. APEs can be identified by a yearning to control virtually every aspect of your life via ever bigger government and ever more regulations. APE doctrine holds that taxation is something to embrace and that failure to embrace being taxed indicates that you are stupid or socially awkward.

To positivily identify an APE look for any of the following:
  • A burning desire to increase taxation on the rich while investing in tax free monetary vessels.
  • A fervent belief that getting ahead is only for those of the appropriate social class and standing.
  • Frequent references to the appropriate college or university where they received anti-American indoctrinations.
  • The absolute belief that the individual is morally required to give up what has been earned to those who didn't earn it. This believe is firmly shackled to the policy of confiscation of assets if the earners don't agree with the moral requirement.

This is not an exhaustive list by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, if you like, hit the ol comment button and add your observations of APE like behavior.

Finally, beware an APE quoting the Constitution or Declaration of Independence. Just as the devil can quote Scripture, so can an APE pretend to revere the foundations of liberty in these United States.

Planet of the APEs moment for this week: Hillary Clintons abject public surrender to Barack Obama. True Americans can lose the fight. Real Americans can acknowledge the loss. But even in defeat, non-Apes won't compromise on principle and throw themselves with abandon to the other side. But this concession following such a bitter campaign merely shows that Roddy McDowell was right.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Politics Of Oil

The oil wars in the nations capital are heating up. The Democrats in Congress have introduced two different energy related bills that the Republicans managed to kill. The first was previously blogged in an open letter to my senators. So, right up front I want to extend my thanks to Senators Kay Bailey Hutchinson and John Cornyn. They did what had to be done in order to make sure the APE bills didn't make it. By the way, the next post will answer just what an APE is.

For those that didn't understand the significance of todays Republican filibuster, an attempt by the Senate to demonise the oil companies was stopped. They wanted to impose a "Windfall Profits Tax" on Big Oil. The problem with that is that no matter what accounting procedures you use the ultimate truth is that corporations don't pay taxes. So, the WPT would have been paid by you and I at the pump.

To fully restate the (to some) obvious: Taxes are simply an expense associated with the final delivery of the service or product. If the material or labor that goes into making a widget goes up, so does the final price. Taxes are the same way.

The current crop of Democrats in the Congress doesn't seem to get it. I can only ask: Are they always this stupid? Or is this millennium a special occasion?

What can we do about it? First, educate yourself. Then educate your friends, neighbors, family members, and co-workers. Finally, maintain a close contact with your elected officials.

Good Luck.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

In Opposition to S. 2191

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX)
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)

I am writing to strongly oppose passage in any current form of S. 2191.

This bill has taken unproven theories and elevated them to the status of holy writ and will prove to be disastrous to the economy of the United States and detrimental to our citizens fundamental liberties.

The immediate effect is to establish an even larger bureaucracy within a government not noted for being able to actually function in a swift, sure, or efficient manner. Creation of the additional agencies will be yet another step away from a republic and towards a European socialist state. In other words Senator, forget about states rights or the Constitutional mandate of a small central government where the majority of the power is wielded at the base instead of the tip.

Additionally, this bill appears to voluntarily give away our national sovereignty in regards to the International Emissions Allowances. This bill specifically subordinates our legitimate national interest to globalists and various special interest groups.

Rather than this yoke which will ship even more jobs to countries not shackled with such restrictions and administrative burdens we should be urging private industry to develop the technology to lease to the world at large. A reasonable team of dedicated conversationalists and industrial technology would create jobs and accomplish the mission.

I have no desire to pollute the atmosphere. I have no desire to take the risk that the unproven theories may prove true. Instead the Senate could take the lead in bringing together realistic experts to defend against the risk without destroying our economy, letting down the American worker, and selling our Constitution down the river.

I will look forward to your very public opposition to this bill and to those who are subverting our future. Sometimes it is better to fight the good fight and honorably lose than it is to appear pragmatic to “fight another day”. I will refer you to President Roosevelts’ comments:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

I Am Respectfully Yours,

MSgt Phillip E. Gwinn USMC/ret
Slaton, TX

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Texas Finally Gets It Right

A bit of a while back I posted my shame that Texas has reached in and grabbed ahold of 400+ kids from their parents. I was ticked. And I have to say that I am glad that the Texas Supreme Court got involved.
SAN ANGELO, Texas -- The e-mail sent by a legal aid firm moments after a Texas Supreme Court ruling Thursday said it all - Supreme Court to CPS: Send these children home.
By a 6-3 majority, the justices agreed an appeals court was correct in deciding a district court judge erred in keeping about 450 children from a polygamous sect in state custody.
It said 51st District Judge Barbara Walther must vacate her April 18 order, made two weeks after a raid on the sect's west Texas ranch.
But key questions - when, how and under what conditions - still must be resolved, which could happen as soon as today. -- Source

But there are still a few sticking points that bother me. Please click to read more...

Even though an appeals court and eventually the state supreme court made the correct ruling, the agencies scared the hell out of me. I mean, a phone call from an unidentified caller triggered the raid. If one of my neighbors decides to make a call, who is coming to my door in the night? Fair Warning: I am trained, armed, and have the will to apply both.

And from an earlier edition of the same source (emphasis added):

Until women from a polygamous sect "unequivocally" identify their offspring, they have no standing to contest a judge's decision to remove the children from a west Texas ranch, state officials argue.
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services contends in a court filing released today that FLDS mothers have engaged in a "conspiracy of silence" that forced the en masse custody hearings they now want to do over.
The document was filed in response to a petition filed with the Third Court of Appeals in Austin on behalf of 50 women from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
The state filing lists 468 children as being in custody, something a spokesman said today was a typographical error. There are 464 children in custody.
The mothers' petition, filed by Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA), sought to reunite them with their children as they work to comply with any service plan devised by the state.
But Texas DFPS argues the pleadings do not identify which children belong to each mother, which the women have "repeatedly declined to do" and calls into question their right to dispute the state action

The State removed the kids for being in danger of abuse. Obviously every parent was a suspect. And yet the state argued that application of ones 5th Amendment right to remain silent ... or am I just a nutjob with an unwarranted fear of the .gov?

Even though the court ruled that the state was wrong, conditions were imposed to get the kids back. This is about halfway down the article and continues from there.

A draft agreement released by CPS attorney Gary Banks earlier Friday said the parents could get their children back beginning Monday after showing identification and pledging to take parenting classes and remain in Texas.-- Source

This whole mess still stinks. But, it's better than before. Like it or not, the state still must comply with the Supremes. Hopefully the ongoing investigation will properly observe the affected Texans rights while getting to the truth.

Even so, I'd keep a weapon in plain sight.... just in case.