Our rights do not originate with government, but they are to be "secured" by government.
Formerly: Libertarian Party of Citrus county

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Constitutionality of the Sporting Rifle Ban

By Tom Rhodes, 1/31/2013

The is good reasoning to think that the proposed ban on modern sporting rifles, mis-named "assault weapons," will not meet constitutional muster. Modern sporting rifles, shooting relatively low powered .223 caliber rounds, including Armalite's Model 15 rifle and other manufactures versions are not assault weapons, they do not use high powered rounds, do not shoot automatically, and Homeland Defense considers them to be "personal defense weapons." That said, Feinstein's proposed ban of AR-15 and similar weapons if passed will probably be defeated on constitutional grounds.

The right to arms is a pre-existing right that our constitution declares the government shall not infringe. In the Miller case, the SCOTUS decision justified limitations on some weapons, specifically sawed off shotguns, because the sawed-off shotgun served no military purpose and was not in common use. The SCOTUS declared that the sorts of weapons protected were those "in common use at the time." The AR-15 is in common use by our police departments and the people, and the full automatic version the M16 and its variants are the common weapon of our military at this time.

The Heller decision, the SCOTUS overturned the District of Columbia's ban on handguns, noting that are overwhelmingly chosen by American society for the lawful purpose of self-defense. "The enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily takes certain policy choices off the table. These include the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home."

In addition to a detachable magazine, the following features are what Feinstein says make a rifle an "assault weapon:" threaded barrel, barrel shroud, folding stock, telescopic stock, thumbhole stock, pistol grip, flash suppressor, etc. None of these features changes the performance or ability of the rifle, all they do is subjectively make the rifle more comfortable for the user. How does any of these features make a rifle more dangerous? What of these features overwhelming chosen by Americans and in common use today grants the government the authority to restrict their ownership? Even the liberal members of the SCOTUS are logical people, the so called assault weapons ban proposed by Senator Feinstein even if passed will not survive legal challenges.

Traditionalists my not like the look of modern sporting weapons, but like the bolt action hunting rifle so popular today was based on military assault weapons of WWI and WWII, the AR-15 style modern sporting rifle is what a modern rifle looks like. The M1 was a popular civilian rifle after WWII. Springfield's M1A civilian variant of the Korean War M14 is popular today. Today shooters use semi-automatic civilian version of the military's M16, for recreation, hunting, and self defense. Civilian rifles do not have the same capabilities that the military versions have, period.

Nearly 5 million modern sporting rifles have been sold in the past 20 years, and current manufactures aren't accepting new orders because they have more than a one year back log. Obviously the modern sporting rifle is in common use at this time. The data is clear AR-15 style weapons meet both the SCOTUS Miller and Heller decisions, they are "overwhelmingly chosen by American society" and "in common use at the time."

All Supreme Court of the United States rulings to date make it clear that banning modern sporting rifles is clearly unconstitutional.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Fiscal Conservatives Kicked Obama's Ass

By Tom Rhodes, 1/30/2013

Amazing the Tea Party Conservatives have won a major battle and most people don't even know it; the left claimed victory but in reality lost. I loathe John Boehner, but he is good, he kicked Obama's ass without the left even knowing it. Let's look at the facts. The debt ceiling fight was kicked out until May, but... that doesn't include the sequester fight. Boehner successfully separated borrowing from spending into two distinct issues, and to get massive spending cuts all the house has to do is . . . . NOTHING.

Boehner managed to engineer making the Bush Tax cuts permanent for all but about 1% of the people; and they have the ability to hide income and avoid the increase in taxes anyway, always have always will. In the WSJ he said, "Who would have ever guessed that we could make 99% of the Bush tax cuts permanent? When we had a Republican House and Senate and a Republican in the White House, we couldn't get that. And so, not bad." You just gotta love the left claiming victory, for a 3.6% increase on people making double what Obama campaigned.

The new law is set up to only allow new borrowing only to meet obligations "outstanding on May 19, 2013." Because of how government spending and budgets work this effectively put a freeze on new spending. So debt limit and spending are now separated, and new spending is frozen, and automatic spending cuts are about to go into effect. This is a BIG win for fiscal conservatism, regardless of Obama demanding ever more spending.

The New York Times reported that Democrat Senator Charles E. Schumer said, "The president stared down the Republicans. They blinked," while failing to even notice that the fiscal conservatives won the spending cut battle without a fight. The automatic spending sequester trigger that trims all discretionary programs-defense and domestic, is still in place. because it included deep defense cuts President Obama was sure Republicans would call for ending the sequester; they ignored it. Spending cuts are automatic and will happen if the GOP has the guts to do nothing, and it looks like they aren't bluffing.

The defense cuts that will happen are significant, but don't even reduce the size of the DOD to 2007 levels, hardly an inadequate budget, and not nearly the size or scope of previous postwar drawdowns. This once again put's the Tea Party in Boehner's camp, as it looks like he is acting with integrity as a genuine conservative serious about reducing spending. He claims to have significant Republican support, even from GOP defense hawks, for letting the sequester "do its work."

I hate to say it but objectively looking at what's happening, Boehner maximized the House Republican majority to force the Democrat controlled senate and President, into making real spending cuts without them even knowing it. It's hard to believe but we may see our government controlled by a Democrat President, with a Democrat Senate be the first since before the Korean War to actually reduce government spending. Hat's off to John Boehner, engineer of a fiscal conservative coup while in a minority.

If only they don't cave. Without the 100 Tea Party members of the House there can't be a law passed to stop the automatic spending cuts. Now it's time for you to put pressure on your Tea Party Republican to allow the automatic spending cuts to happen.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Limbaugh agrees with LP on the GOP and Dems

By Tom Rhodes, 1/23/2013

The almighty El-Rushbo has finally realized what the LP has been saying for decades. There is no difference between the Democrats and Republicans, they are simply two factions of the ruling elite in Washington DC.

"You know what this was? This was perhaps, folks, one of the best illustrations of the whole concept that we've spoken here about on numerous occasions of the ruling class, the political class. It doesn't matter what party, they're all part of the ruling class, the political class in DC, and when the rubber hits the road, they all circle the wagons around each other. Well, the Republicans join in circling the wagons. The Democrats never do when it's a Republican involved, but for the most part they do. They close ranks, and they protect one another because what they're protecting is themselves."

"They're protecting the ruling class, the political elites, and they're maintaining the status quo.... So what we had here, folks, was the ruling class circling the wagons and protecting each other. Party affiliation did not matter. We're always hoping at hearings like this that somebody on our side is gonna stand up and give the Democrats what-for, somebody is gonna stand up and nail 'em to the cross or whatever, ask the tough questions, get to the bottom of it just as the Democrats do with our judicial nominees or anybody in our party who falls in the crosshairs. We keep waiting for it, and it never happens. They never do it."

~ Rush Limbaugh

Monday, January 21, 2013

Do you have a right to privacy?

By Tom Rhodes, 1/21/2013

If you believe the sum of the Bill of Rights implies that you have right to privacy then what do you do about the government violating that right? Are you consistent in your belief in a right to privacy? If the decision to have an abortion is a privacy decision between a doctor and the patient, then should all medical records and choices be just as private? Should what you choose to eat or drink be a private decision between you and your chef? Should the government know what you choose to read, should your reading decisions be a choice between you and your librarian?

Right now the government commands every business and internet provider who has an email server to keep copies of all emails ever sent or received forever. The government cannot command any person from keeping their post mail forever. The idea that the government could force FedEx or UPS to open and retain a copy every document they deliver is reprehensible and clearly unreasonable. Why does modern technology, and private not public delivery systems grant them the authority to require copies of all mail be retained forever? Imagine the outcry if the government directed the post office to open and make a copy of every letter, postcard, periodical, ever sent, who sent it to whom from where and to where.

Ever read the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution? It reads: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. This begs the question: What exactly is unreasonable? The dictionary says that something that is unreasonable is not in accordance with practical realities, as attitude or behavior; inappropriate.

We instituted our government to protect our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It cannot be reasonable argued that a people under continuous government surveillance, can be free to pursue happiness, much less be happy. The constitution is clear, that for the government to look at a person, their property, and their papers (communications) the government must have some probable cause for wrong doing, and may only look for what they specifically have cause to see. That means that they have to have some reasonable suspicion of some wrong doing before they can open your mail, look in your closet, peek in your safety deposit box, etc., and have a judge affirm by warrant that they have grounds to look at your stuff.

Why is it reasonable for the government to require businesses and individuals to report activity to law enforcement agencies simply because private and legal activity is taking place. What is reasonable about the government requiring cell phone companies to keep copies of every text sent? What probable cause is there for the government to have access to that data without a warrant, is the fact that technology has negated requiring actual "paper" to record transactions and communications make them any less your papers? With no evidence of criminal behavior what is the reasonable justification to constantly monitor all persons emails, travel and financial transactions.

What reasonable justification is there to create databases of personal information, medical records, and communications without consent, probable cause, or a warrant?

What reasonable justification is there to require the registration of legally owned private property without consent, probable cause, or a warrant?

What reasonable justification is there to assume that just because a person is traveling that they consent to being searched. How is it reasonable for the government to take away persons right to travel, merely by putting their name on a secret list, without demonstrating probable cause or due process in a court of law?

Why is your email not as sacred, and as protected your physical mail? Is that reasonable? Does the fact that your papers are now composed and stored electronically make them any less your papers than if you'd created them with a quill ink on parchment? Are your computer files any less your effects because they are electronic, than a photo album in your sock drawer? The imagery of government officials coming into your house and rifling through your file cabinet, closet, attic, and sock drawer searching for some evidence of crime with no warrant and no probable cause is a tyrannical image of an abusive government that outrages us all. Yet the image of some nerdy government official tapping away at a keyboard in some fare away cubical to rifle through your neighbors files and internet activity seems reasonable, and doesn't stir emotional outrage.

As an American you should oppose the power of government at all levels to monitor, account for, and keep under surveillance its citizens, especially where there is no evidence of criminal behavior. Without a warrant the government shouldn't be allowed to force businesses and individuals to report activity to law enforcement agencies simply because private and legal activity is taking place. You as an American should oppose all laws that legitimize the means, without probable cause, to universally monitor personal mails, travel and finance. As an American you should deny your government the ability, power, and authority to create databases of personal information, medical records, and communications without consent. As an American you should reject the idea that you must register personal property. And as an American you should deny the government the use of technology to continually observe you and your neighbor. We should oppose the searching of travelers without probable cause. Not only are these violations of the Fourth Amendment of the Bill of Rights, but they in many cases universal government surveillance violate the first, second, fifth, ninth, tenth and fourteenth amendments as well.

Technology has outpaced the law. People and government can use technology in ways never before imagined. Our government now considers searching through every email and text of every person as reasonable. Not because your personal correspondence is any less your personal papers and effect, but because they now have the technology to do so. Why is that reasonable or constitutional? Why does the ability to search everything grant the government a compelling interest that justifies the authority to search every email and text without a warrant? What enumerated constitutional power grants the government have to monitor its citizens?

NYTimes Calls for Tyranny

By Tom Rhodes, 1/21/2013

New York Times op-ed Op-Ed Contributor Wendy Button clearly confirms what I've been saying. Although very politically incorrect, it is clear evidence of the fact that a segment of our population would rather suffer the consequences of being defenseless than accept the responsibility of self-security. Here is her plea<= to have the government protect her from herself and what she's willing to sacrifice to feel protected.
...our leaders should do more to keep us safe from ourselves.

Please take away my Second Amendment right. Do more to help us protect ourselves because what's most likely to wake me in the early hours isn't a man's body slamming at my door but depression, that raven, tapping, rapping, banging for relief.

I have a better chance of surviving if I never have the option of being able to pull the trigger.

OK first off, suicide is not dependent upon a firearm, Japan has a much higher rate of suicide that the US and far fewer guns. When you consider the fact that overdosing on pain meds now claims more lives than auto accidents and far more than gun related deaths of any type taking away her Second Amendment right won't make her safer from herself. It will however make any man who attempts to rape her 10 times more likely to succeed. She used government stats to support her claims, she ignored a bunch of them though. Like the fact that according to the FBI less than 3 in 100 rape attempts are successful if the woman is armed, while 3 in 10 are successful when the woman is unarmed.

The fact is women have historically proven individually and as a group to be willing to sacrifice liberty, and personal responsibility, for security. To women security is more important than liberty. You can see the evidence in the number of women who stay with an abusive relationship, because the security he provides outweighs the freedom from occasional abuse.

The problem with people like Wendy Button is that she assumes everybody believes as she does, she assumes that no rational person would prefer being self reliant than being protected by the government, even from themselves; she believes that nobody should have the liberty to take risks for themselves she doesn't want to take for herself.

I'd be willing to bet Ms. Button doesn't own a gun, so taking away her right to own one would not affect her in any way. The main stream press agrees with her, they routinely don't cover and spike stories where individuals use guns in self defense. Where was the wall to wall coverage of a mom saving her kids shooting intruders breaking into her home. Ms. Button wants to deny mothers an effective means of protecting their children, so that she can feel safe knowing that if she get's depressed she'll have to jump off a bridge instead of shooting herself. She knows she isn't capable of taking care of herself, and being responsible for her own actions, so projects her lack of confidence and fear to everybode else.

Ms. Button, the solution is far simpler, you don't need the government to keep you from owning a gun. If you are afraid on some dark lonely night that the evil call that the raven, tapping, rapping, banging desire of relief from your depression will cause you to pick up your gun and kill yourself, then don't buy a gun. What makes you think because you're an insecure person who doesn't even trust herself that nobody else can be trusted, and that nobody else should have the right to Keep and Bear arms? What evidence do you have that the government will take better care of you than you can yourself. Do all those who live off the government, in government housing, fed by the government with SNAP, WIC, etc. have better lives than those who are self reliant and provide for themselves. You may want the government to save you from yourself, but who's going to save you from the government?

If you allow them to take away your right to Keep and Bear Arms for your own good, what makes you think they won't take away your right to a jury trial for your own good; after all if we can't be trusted to keep us safe from ourselves, how could we be trusted to determine who should and shouldn't go to jail.

What about your right to privacy; if we can't be trusted to keep us safe from ourselves, doesn't the government have the right to see all your papers, medical records, and track your every purchase and movement so that they can better protect you from yourself? Who needs the Fourth Amendment, it severely impedes the government's ability to protect us from ourselves.

What about our unspecified rights; if we can't be trusted to keep us safe from ourselves, doesn't the government have the right limit our activities? Who really needs to play football or volleyball or baseball or race cars or ride horses or ride bicycles, to keep us safe from ourselves does should the government restrict us to only low impact aerobic exercise, and sports that have zero danger. In fact to protect us from ourselves shouldn't the government be even be allowed to require a certain amount of low impact aerobic exercise per week, and limit our television time, and so that we don't get any bad ideas that could lead to self destructive or dangerous behavior; shouldn't the government take away our right to read watch or produce books, movies, songs etc. that could be harmful. You might read a sad story that makes you depressed and then shoot yourself. Having a government that has the power and authority to protect us from ourselves sounds a lot like tyranny.

Obviously New York Times op-ed contributor Wendy Button is using her emotions not logic and reason to call on government to take away her rights for her own good. Clearly she hasn't thought out what a government that for her own good can determine what is and isn't in her best interest, can dictate and monitor her every action. She is clearly neither emotionally nor intellectually mature enough to handle liberty. That's the battle folks, a feminized society that feels security is more valuable than liberty and doesn't think things through. We instituted our government to protect our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, not to protect us from ourselves. You can't have liberty and be protected from yourself. The call to have a government big enough, strong enough, and powerful enough to protect us from ourselves, is a call for tyranny, as that form of government could and would dictate to us how to live, and would not be a government of a free people.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Revolution has Started

By Tom Rhodes, 1/20/2013

Obama is going to again be frustrated by the Constitution. It’s clear he doesn’t respect or embrace the constitution famously sayin that he’s frustrated at not being " able to force Congress to implement every aspect of what I said in 2008. Well, you know, it turns out our Founders designed a system that makes it more difficult to bring about change than I would like sometimes." Not it seems that he has chosen to ignore the law, and the constitution.

At least in the letter to Licensed Federal Firearm Dealers (FFL holders), he only “encouraging” them to provide background check services for private gun sales and did not make it a requirement. There is a reason why this isn’t a requirement.

The law is clear, gun sales between private individuals must be handled by FFL holders ONLY if the private parties are residents of different states. Residents of the same state may conclude the sale of a firearm without submitting to a background check, having the sale recorded or paying a fee to a FFL holder/licensed gun store. The courts would be flooded and would overthrow making that a requirement because the private transactions between citizens of the same state is not interstate commerce, and is clearly beyond the power of the federal government. Score one for limited government.

Now the law is clear on the ATF or any Federal Government agency having records of gun sales and a database of guns and their owners. The McClure-Volkmer Act states:

No such rule or regulation prescribed [by the Attorney General] after the date of the enactment . . . may require that records required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents of such records, be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political subdivision thereof, nor that any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or disposition be established.

What Obama is calling for is clearly illegal and beyond his executive powers.

Before Obama can legally implement many of his executive orders he must get congress to change the law. Even if States have firearm registration, the Federal government is prohibited from having copies of that data – period. He is ignoring both the law of the land and the Constitution.

You know why he’s getting away with what is clearly illegal and unconstitutional? Because he can. Those in congress in positions to thwart his illegal and unconstitutional acts have been removed from leadership positions by the GOP ruling elite. Obviously electing people to office to represent the will of the people is not longer an effective means to change government. What do we do now?

We’ve already answered that question. If Obama can ignore the law, so can We The People. Not only can we, we are. When was the last time you paid taxes on sales you made across state lines? You didn’t, you choose to ignore the law. If Obama succeeds in making it a legal requirement to register “assault weapons” and pay a tax for owning them, guess what, that law will be ignored and millions and millions of people will not comply, any more than we report income that the IRS doesn’t know about.

The next rebellion won’t be armed, it’s already happening, it will simply be the people ignoring the government and finding ways to get more out of the government that they pay to the government. The people will act like GE, and strangle the government by finding legal and illegal ways to starve the government. Because the government no longer honors the rule of law the people no longer have a moral compulsion to honor the governments laws.

Take performance exhausts on vehicles; it is illegal to remove the catalytic converter and install an exhaust system on a vehicle other than for “off road” purposes. Cars, motorcycles, trucks abound with high performance or no exhausts, the people simply ignore the law. So many ignore that law it is impossible to enforce. Imagine trying to enforce that law on the millions and millions of factory built Harley Davidson’s that have had their catalytic converter’s removed and carburetors modified with components designated for “off road” use only.

In Pennsylvania they use mere arrests, not convictions, as a means to deny people concealed carry permits – Why? Because they can’t get convictions from juries for non-violent drug crimes. They can and do clearly prove these crimes, but at least 1 in 12 jurors refuse to convict because they believe the law is bad. Most convictions for drug crimes in Philly happen when a person is bullied into confessing, those smart enough to go to a jury trial are not usually convicted; and as more people there have learned this, fewer and fewer of them plea bargain. This is jury nullification; where the people say government you’ve created laws that we don’t consent, and you govern at our consent, therefore we won’t convict. Half our adult population lives where they have access to a firearm there are somewhere over 100Million gun owners in the USA. Jury nullification for new Obama gun restrictions will be common.

Modern rebellion will not look like 1776, or the War Between the States. It will look more like the third world, where the government is treated with contempt, routinely ignored. But unlike the third world, the government doesn’t and won’t have a monopoly on force. As statists try to capture more and more control in the hands of fewer and fewer people, they will find that they don’t have the resources, nor will of the people to support them. Atlas will shrug, and the people will simply milk the government for what they can and ignore it wherever possible, and nullify it when they can. The feds are rapidly losing their control of the states over pot and it isn’t even a specified right, they certainly aren’t going to succeed in increasing control over the people by instituting what has been a historic precursor to disarming them, registering firearms.

When the government comes asking where the AR-15 I bought in 2012 that they traced down is, the answer will be I sold it for a huge profit in the madness following Sandy Hook, while I could still sell it without reporting the sale to the government. Retroactive laws are illegal, and the government will have to prove otherwise. That will be the refrain of millions and millions of people. Millions of AR-15’s will just disappear from government knowledge as everybody claims to have sold theirs but didn’t keep a record of who they sold it to. Non-compliance will be what the next rebellion looks like: Cheating on taxes to starve the government; refusing to answer all the questions in the Census long form; paying cash and bartering to avoid government tracking and taxes; staying on government programs while you have a cash paying job; the rebellion has started, statist in government are just too dumb to notice.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Obama Says We are a Collectivist Nation

By Tom Rhodes, 1/19/2013

During Obama’s speech outlining his 23 executive orders to advance the governments incremental ban firearms he said, “we are all responsible for each other.” That is pure Collectivist tripe, this one phrase exposes his mindset, and that mindset doesn’t include individual liberty and freedom as core beliefs. The USA is not a collectivist nation. In the USA I am not by brother’s keeper. Our Declaration of Independence made this quite clear. We are free to pursue happiness, there is no guarantee that we will achieve it, nor obligation placed on others to provide it.

Because we are a free nation, I am free to charitably help anyone I want but there is no moral rational to force me to be charitable if I choose to be a selfish bastard. Being a selfish bastard may be morally wrong, but that doesn’t justify using force to take the property of a person who is selfish. That means if my neighbor has a string of bad luck he is not my responsibility. I am free to determine what if any part of my property I choose to donate to him to help him out. I’m free to put whatever conditions on my charity I choose, as in “I’ll pay your electric bill this month, but if you don’t at least try to find a job, and clean up your yard I’ll not help you again.”

If a woman decides to have children without a husband to help her raise and provide for those children, neither she nor her children are my responsibility.

Even though a corporation is doing what the government encouraged, if it fails, sustaining that corporation is not my responsibility. The loss like the profits should be the shareholders, not mine.

Contrary to the “progressive” crap you believe this country’s Founding Fathers did not guarantee success or happiness; they guaranteed the right to pursue it. They didn’t even guarantee the ability to pursuit it, only that the government doesn’t have the right to interfere with your pursuit of happiness. The sole responsibility of the government (our country) is to protect all individual’s rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, equally under the law.

I am responsible to my God, my country, my family, and myself, and to nobody else. My God asks me to be generous to widows orphans and those who’ve fallen on bad times, he did not ask the government to take my money and do those things if I choose not to. My country was instituted at the consent of the governed and we choose to limit it severely, I am not responsible for its actions outside of its very limited scope. I am responsible to provide for, and protect my family. I don’t expect my neighbor to give me food, shelter, educate my kids, or fix my car without me paying for his goods and services. Nobody else is responsible for me, my actions, my well being, or my happiness; if I fail in that responsibility then I not my neighbor should suffer the consequences. Yes there is risk I will fail, but I prefer dangerous liberty over the safety of collectivist tyranny.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Reasons You Should Quit the GOP and Join the LP

By Tom Rhodes, 1/16/2012

Let's face it, the Republican Party does not actually support or believe in conservative ideas. So here are some reasons why you the Republican Conservatives should quit the GOP and join the LP.

1) The GOP establishment is continuously trying to abandon conservatism, and is at war with liberty. When Republicans run for office, they lie about being conservative and then move to the left. Consider GOP darling and liar Marco Rubio, while running for office he opposed amnesty for illegals, now he wants to make them citizens. It is clear that conservatives cannot trust Republicans in Congress to just do the right thing. If it weren't for grass roots organizations like the NRA and GOA you could be confident that the Republicans would cave to the Democrats on gun control, etc. They cannot be expected to actually do the jobs they were sent to Congress to do the way they claimed they would do while running for office.

2) The GOP establishment prefers liberals not conservatives, ALWAYS! The GOP leaders consistently back the liberal Republican over the Conservative or Libertarian Republican. It backed Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey, David Dewhurst over Ted Cruz, Bob Bennett over Mike Lee, Trey Grayson over Rand Paul and Charlie Crist over Marco Rubio. Our two top "leaders" in the Senate, Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn, both endorsed now Democrat Charlie Crist over Marco Rubio. The best and brightest of the GOP in the Senate are universally opposed by the GOP establishment. The message this sends to conservatives is, "You guys scare the crap out of us, and we'd rather back future Democrats like Charlie Crist and Arlen Specter than real conservatives."

3) The GOP keeps staying with the same failed people over and over again. Why are John Boehner and Mitch McConnell still in charge in Congress. What results has their "leadership" provided? McConnell has been outmaneuvered and outsmarted by Harry Reid at every turn. RNC chair Reince Priebus can raise money ok, but failed as RNC leader. The 2012 Senate sucked, didn't get anything done, and caved on almost everything, yet the same people were chosen again for leadership.

4) The ruling elite of the GOP establishment don't produce results. When the GOP was in power, they implemented Medicare Part D and wanted comprehensive immigration reform, instituted no child left behind, and spent like drunken sailors. The GOP establishment trashed any real conservatives or libertarians and gave the country John McCain or Mitt Romney because they were "electable" while both are liberals who ran from social issues, and promote big government at every turn. When the GOP establishment gets its way, they lose. The GOP ruling elite offer defeat, the LP may not win a lot of elections, but then at least they are principled. The GOP establishment offers you not only losing elections by acting liberal, but losing your respect and trust for compromising and lying about being "conservative."

5) The want to lose. Well they'd rather a liberal win over a real conservative. They run nasty campaigns against conservatives but then play nice and act like wussies when fighting democrats. Where ware Romney's attacks against Obama the way he attacked his GOP opponents. Playing nice with Democrats isn't doing the conservative cause any good. Obama is talking about overruling Congress with executive orders and minting trillion dollar platinum coins. Listening to the GOP establishment, they are acting like all is well and it's just business as usual in Washington. The GOP establishment is content to sit on the sidelines and watch Obama usurp their power and authority. The GOP controls all spending, they can say no to any spending increases, all spending and tax laws must start in the HOUSE. They have no guts to actually stand for what they believe, and have proven it.

6) The GOP doesn't represent the your values as much as the Libertarian Party does. It is clear that conservative values and beliefs have been abandoned by GOP establishment officials. You simply can't trust establishment Republicans the way liberals can trust Democrats like Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid. You can always trust Pelosi and Reid to turn left if they have the chance. You can't say that of Jeb Bush, John Boehner, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Joe Scarborough, Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, Peggy Noonan, Kathleen Parker, David Frum, Mike Murphy, Steve Schmidt, Reince Priebus, Karl Rove, David Brooks, Megan McCain, Bob Dole, Chris Christie, or Mitt Romney. They may be nice guys but they clearly don't support a conservative movement, you can't trust them to make a conservative choice or stand on conservative principles. Their agenda is clearly statist, not conservative. You may not agree 100% with Libertarians, but you can certainly trust them to do as they say far more than your current establishment.

The GOP establishment is for the government, not you the average Republican. They take you for granted, so why not go where you'd be appreciated, and accepted. The LP is not monolithic pot smoking anarchists, and no, the LP may not match your values perfectly, but the GOP lies to you saying they represent your values while doing the opposite. The values and objectives of the Libertarian Party are far closer to your own than the establishment Republican Party. Supporting the Republicans certainly hasn't proved effective in promoting your values. Make the switch and make a difference. Join the LP.

Do you want to know what the LP really stands for? Here are our objectives, they are a lot closer to your beliefs than anything the GOP establishment has or is offering.

  • Create an environment for Free markets to flourish

  • Promote Social Freedoms

  • End the wars abroad, bring our troops home

  • End the Drug war on drugs, drugs are a health issue, not a criminal issue

  • End Crony Capitalism; don't play favorites in the market

  • Repeal all laws that infringe on our rights, privacy, property

  • Audit and or End the Federal Reserve

  • Follow the Constitution

    Find out more by reading our platform at http://www.lpf.org/the-lpfs-platform.
  • Monday, January 14, 2013

    Pravda and Libertarians Agree

    By Tom Rhodes, 1/14/2013

    Even arguably the most socialist periodical in the world, Pravda, recognizes our government's actions after Sandy Hook are an opportunistic fraud. From Pravda, December 28, 2012, an article by Stanislav Mishin and is titled "Americans Never Give up Your Guns," sums up exactly what statists in the USA are doing.

    "Government will use the excuse of trying to protect the people from maniacs and crime ...No, it is about power and a total power over the people. Do not be fooled by a belief that progressives, leftists hate guns ... they do not. What they hate is guns in the hands of those who are not marching in lock step of their ideology. They hate guns in the hands of those who think for themselves and do not obey without question."

    Statists on the left in the USA's position is that that since some people are mentally off balance and we don't know where all of them are, and we can't infringe upon their rights, so we should disarm everyone, and ignore the rights of law abiding gun owners.

    Intellectually, statistically, morally, and constitutionally the anti-gun statists' position is without merit. When libertarians and Pravda agree you know the government is up to no good.

    Pravda and Libertarians Agree

    By Tom Rhodes, 1/14/2013

    Even arguably the most socialist periodical in the world, Pravda, recognizes our government's actions after Sandy Hook are an opportunistic fraud. From Pravda, December 28, 2012, an article by Stanislav Mishin and is titled "Americans Never Give up Your Guns," sums up exactly what statists in the USA are doing.

    "Government will use the excuse of trying to protect the people from maniacs and crime ...No, it is about power and a total power over the people. Do not be fooled by a belief that progressives, leftists hate guns ... they do not. What they hate is guns in the hands of those who are not marching in lock step of their ideology. They hate guns in the hands of those who think for themselves and do not obey without question."

    Statists on the left in the USA's position is that that since some people are mentally off balance and we don't know where all of them are, and we can't infringe upon their rights, so we should disarm everyone, and ignore the rights of law abiding gun owners.

    Intellectually, statistically, morally, and constitutionally the anti-gun statists' position is without merit. When libertarians and Pravda agree you know the government is up to no good.

    Sunday, January 13, 2013

    More Unintended Consequences

    By Tom Rhodes, 1/13/2012

    As usual, the emotion driven left has failed to think about or consider the consequences of their actions and desires. All they know is something has to be done about assault weapons. First, assault weapon is a political term used to identify scary looking guns that function just like other guns. You pull the trigger one time and one bullet is fired. This is technology that is well over 100 years old; functionally a double action revolver is identical. In fact experts can fire 6 rounds from a revolver, reload, and fire 6 more rounds in well less than 2 seconds, do the math, that's around 400 rounds per minute. Most normal people can fire 6 rounds, reload and fire another 6 rounds in well under 10 seconds, and with loaders or circlips shoot continuously at a rate of more than 1 round per second with a revolver. But a revolver is not considered an assault weapon, not because it functions differently (one pull = one bang), but because the gun Barney Fife carried on Mayberry RFD just isn't scary.

    The most popular "assault weapon" today is the AR-15 and its many variants. Why, because it shoots an inexpensive round, that has minimal recoil, and minimal power, but is reliable, and you can decorate with all sorts of cool stuff. Although not impossible, it is difficult and expensive, but you can hang a red dot scope, laser, flash light, and flash suppressor on a revolver, but even if you do it just doesn't look as cool. None of those scary looking attachments make it shoot any faster or give it any more power. Just like a cool paint job, and a spoiler on your car will look cool, it's not going make it any more powerful or go any faster. And a .223 rifle is a marginally powered weapon with limited range, that isn't powerful enough to be allowed for use as a deer hunting rifle in many states. All the gizmos and plastic handles in the world won't change that, and it still only fires like a revolver (one pull = one bang). In fact according to the FBI, we use rifles, not just assault rifles, less than ½ as often to murder people as we do with our bare hands. Outlawing assault weapons won't make us safer, won't make our children safer, and won't have the desired results that either hoplophobes or the government wants, any more than outlawing spoilers and painted flames on cars will make driving any safer. What more firearm laws will do is result in unintended consequences.

    The unintended consequence of restricting semi-automatic weapons and/or making them illegal will be something not thought through by most hoplophobes. The People of the US have a history of ignoring the law and going to extremes to get what they want and need, when as a population we think a law is bad. Consider pot, a mild drug used for eons and legal until relatively recently. The mild pot of 30 years ago has been replace with buds of potency never before imagined and 41% of our population uses or has used it, all from the black market. Today there is very little black market for weapons in the US, because what is available on the open legal market is good enough to meet most people's needs and wants. What black market for guns we do have, is selling what are legal guns to people convicted of smoking pot. We actually had less gun crime when you could order a Tommy Gun out of the Sears catalog than when we instituted the failed 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. If the American people have to break the law to get the weapons they need and want, rather than settle for a relatively mild semi-automatic .223, expect huge amounts of select fire 5.56mm & 7.62mm, and .30 & .50 cal machine guns, to take over what will be a growing black market for weapons. Because when the American people have to resort to the black market, like drugs, the black market will provide more performance for the dollar, the profits will make it worth it.

    If you really want massive amounts of very powerful weapons on our streets, I can think of no better way to make that happen then to use the same 'successful' methods used keep pot off our streets. The war on pot laws resulted in massive amounts of very powerful drugs readily available without any regulation or safety controls. The same will happen for firearms. A CNC machine can fit anybody's basement or home shop, the tools and materials to turn out fully automatic machine guns are easily available without any government paperwork. And unlike 50 years ago, you don't have to be a trained machinist to produce quality machined goods. All you need is a computer to direct your CNC machine to make whatever you want. Want a fully automatic 5.57 that fits in the palm of your hand, and holds 20 armor piercing rounds, then download the drawings, put some metal into the machine, push the button, and out pops the parts. Want a full auto Browning machine gun, that shoots a very nasty .30-06 hunting round at 400 rds per minute, the drawings are available on line and have been around for decades in the public domain.

    Just like the black market for drugs, the black market for full auto weapons will explode. If you think making meth is easy, gun power and explosives are easier. The materials to make gun powder and explosives are primitive and easily acquired. You'd have to outlaw manure and trees if you wanted to outlaw the materials required to make gun powder.

    During prohibition alcoholism skyrocketed, after making pot illegal its use skyrocketed. American's have historically thumbed our nose at the government, even our own. In November and December 2012, after the hoplophobic press and leaders in government threatened the people with restrictions on firearms, specifically assault weapons. The FBI had to do record numbers of approvals to purchase arms. Americans purchased enough arms to put a new firearm in the hand of every soldier in both China and India. Over 3.5 million new weapons were sold in those two months. There are several companies that make high capacity magazines for AR style weapons; the order back log for just the MagPul brand of 30rd magazines is now over 1 million. The ammo and firearm stocks of every WalMart in the nation are depleted. Gun stores have in some instances tripled their prices, but can't keep guns on the shelves. What possesses hoplophobes, statists, and anybody in the government think they are going to pass laws to restrict what the people want, and those laws will be effective.

    Already state legislatures and many local Sheriff's have pledged to nullify any federal legislation restricting or registering semi-automatic weapons of any type. The federal government can't afford the unintended costs that will be associated with more firearms laws. It cannot turn millions of people into criminals overnight, nor can it expect compliance. The government can't round up and enforce immigration laws on 12 million illegal aliens who can't vote, enforcing new weapons laws on 100 Million armed citizens who can legally vote will be less than impossible. Going after the guns of the American people has been a dream of statists for eons. Some nations have been able to disarm most of their population. The USA is not like other nations, there aren't massive numbers of people declaring they will get our guns when they pry them from our cold dead hands. That's hyperbole; the American people aren't going to go to war with the government anytime soon. We'll just treat new firearms laws the way we treat zillions of other laws, we'll ignore them. Buy a thingy from over the internet and you are supposed to keep track and pay local sales tax, that's the law, I don't know anybody who obeys it. Put a snow plow on your 4X4 and plow a few of your neighbors driveway for a few bucks, that's income, don't know anybody who pays taxes on that, so is the profits you made from your last garage sale. It's getting harder but I don't know many kids who get permits for lemonade stands.

    When statist hoplophobes cry "YOU DON NEED, and assault rifle to hunt, or to stop a burglar" or whatever, they are correct. Defense against a criminal at your home would be better with a 12ga shot gun, than an assault weapon. Defense against some criminal when away from your home would be better with a common hand gun than an assault weapon. But... Defense against a mob when the police have abandoned you and your community would be better done with an assault weapon.

    You don't have to look far back in our own history to see this. April 1992 riots broke out all over LA. White motorists were ripped from their vehicles and beaten. Entire neighborhoods were under siege from roving gangs of mostly black men. In the LA neighborhood known as Koreatown, when black looters attacked the Korean shops, the government forces designated to serve and protect those residents and shop owners, the LAPD, ran away and abandoned the residents of Koreatown, leaving them defenseless. But because the residents of Koreatown exercised their natural right to self defense, and had the means of self defense as protected by our Second Amendment, the shop owners and residents of Koreatown were not defenseless, they took up their assault weapons, shotguns, and rifles. They fired hundreds of rounds into the air and ground and drove off the rioting mobs. The rioting mob got a clear message, leave Koreatown alone! So they retreated and instead choose to attack, vandalize, loot, and murder less prepared victims. More than 4000 people were injured and over 60 murdered in the six days of rioting and looting in LA, but the people and property of Koreatown were protected because they mustered men with arms to protect their community where the government refused to do so.

    That is an example of a modern day militia; it was well regulated as it didn't shoot into the rioting mob, but used restraint and control to drive them off. This American community took responsibility for their own security. Because the government has no legal obligation to protect them, and the government choose to abandon that community when faced with rioting mobs, that community mustered the militia and defended itself from all enemies foreign and DOMESTIC.

    When the government can't or refuses to protect its citizens, the people have no other choice but to take the responsibility upon themselves. In LA's Koreatown The People mustered the militia and defended life and property with assault weapons. Saying that The People don't need assault weapons is a lie born of a fear of responsibility. The fact is every individual and every community is responsible for their own security, our government has proven and shown that and ruled in our courts that they are not and cannot be held responsible for the security of The People. Those fearful hoplophobes wanting more and stricter laws concerning firearms are about to run into a major problem, We The People have over the past 20 years purchased millions of assault weapons, and in the past two months purchased about 3.5 Million more. We The People have spoken, we will not be disarmed.

    Demonizing gun owners, who over a hundred million have never committed a crime with our guns is not going to work. If you think the 70% non-compliance rate Canada saw with its firearm registration law was bad, wait till you see how few Americans ignore any registration laws in the USA. Just as there was massive amounts of juries who refused to convict people of violating the Fugitive Slave Act, you will see massive numbers of juries failing to convict their fellow citizens when tried for failing to register their assault weapon. It only takes 1 member of a jury to refuse to convict. If you think the Occupy group exercised civil disobedience, you've seen nothing like the civil disobedience you will see if the US government tries to outlaw or even require registration of semi-automatic weapons in the USA. There may be some mild success in such statist strongholds as New York or Massachusetts, but if the government tells The People of Texas, Florida, Montana, or even Minnesota that they have to register their Ruger Ranch Rifle, and you will see non-compliance on a scale not seen since prohibition. The anti-gun statists have no idea at the size scope and determination of American gun owners.

    All the statists know is that they emotionally need something has to be done about assault weapons; ignoring the fact that they are rarely used in any crime, and are the most popular weapons in the USA today. Millions of Americans own assault weapons, millions more know people who own assault weapons, none of whom committed a crime or killed anybody because they had an assault weapon. They just haven't thought it through, nor considered how Americans react to big government in their personal lives. The fact is today a teenager can get pot easier than he can buy an AR-15, the unintended consequence of the push for more gun laws will be that tomorrow he'll be able to get a select fire M4 just as easy as a joint.

    Friday, January 11, 2013

    Security vs. Responsibility

    By Tom Rhodes, 1/11/2012

    Our country is in the midst of a national discussion; ostensibly about Guns, Healthcare, Debt, Taxes etc. Those topics are not what the discussion is about, only the topics that are attached to the emotions used to drive rhetoric on the real topic. Fear of insecurity, and responsibility. Emotions are overriding logic and reason, those in power are capitalizing on emotions not truth. The battle is between those who cherish security but don't want to accept the responsibility for that security. Let's look at some word definitions so we are clear what we're talking about.

  • Security: freedom from danger, risk, etc.; safety.

  • Responsibility: the state or fact of being responsible.

  • Responsible: answerable or accountable, as for something within one's power, control, or management (often followed by to or for ): He is responsible to the president for his decisions.

  • Now the problem, huge parts our feminized society now embraces the security as a value superior to liberty. Large segments of our population want to assign the responsibility for their security to the government. They don't want to be accountable for mitigating danger and risk to which they are exposed. They are more than willing to allow the government the power to use force to restrict the liberty of others so that they can "feel" secure. The problem is that the government isn't actually accountable for providing any individual with security.

    Another part of our society still values liberty, and are more than willing to accept the fact that to have liberty you must accept the responsibility to provide your own security. To have freedom is not free, because independence means that you are not dependent upon the government. The more things that you depend upon the government to provide, the more control of your actions you must grant the government.

  • Liberty: freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control aka independence.

    To have Liberty you must accept and embrace the fact that the government has no legal or moral authority to provide you individually with security. The government is not accountable for, nor responsible for providing you with security. You accept the risk that you must provide your own food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, happiness, and protection. In a free society the government's sole responsibility is to protect you're right to pursue those things, not grant you those things. The reason is that for the government to provide you with security it must be allowed and have the power to control. You can't be responsible to mitigate risks and provide safety if you don't have control. So if you want more security you must grant control to the entity accountable for providing that security. This is why the SCOTUS has consistently ruled that the police are not responsible to protect any individual. Since the police cannot control the movement, actions, etc. of individuals, they are not accountable for any individual's security. The responsibility for security lies with whomever controls the actions, movement, etc. for an individual. Hence parents are responsible to their children for providing security, they also have control of those children.

    Whoever is in control is responsible; period. Public schools are a prime example. Public schools exercise in loco parentis. What this means is that they have the right to act as a parent while schools children are at school. This gives them the legal authority to have much more control over students than the government normally has over individuals. They have in loco parentis because they also have the legal and moral responsibility to provide security for their students. That's why, within reasonable bounds, a school has the right to limit student behavior in schools even if that same behavior out of the school is totally legal. Hence a school can limit students from wearing gang colors while at school but not when those same students are out of school. So with responsibility comes control, and you can't be responsible for what you don't control.

    Large parts of our society don't want to be responsible for their own security so are willing to give control to the government in exchange for security. They want the emotional feeling that security provides, even if it's illusionary. This is a huge conflict with those who value Liberty over Security. Those who want to control their own lives, and determine their own destiny are not willing to give control to anybody, especially the state.

    At Newton, those responsible for the security of the students, the government school, who were granted large amounts control via in loco parentis, failed. The government school is responsible for the safety of the children in their care. The government exercised control by creating laws and rules that said nobody is allowed to have the tools to defend themselves or others at this government facility, they made it a "gun-free zone." The government was responsible for providing freedom from danger. The government not only took that responsibility, but denied others the right to exercise that responsibility. Now those in Washington want that control, but they won't subject their children to the same risks as the "public" school children in Newton. Obama, most of congress and the senate don't send their kids to "public" schools where the government is in control of security. They instead send their kids to private schools, with armed personnel specifically assigned to provide security, usually by having firearms of the type they want to deny every other citizen from having. They want and have taken responsibility for the security of their children, but don't want the general public to have the same security. They think that their ability to hire others to be that security is of greater value than poorer people taking individual personal responsibility is morally superior. That the rich ruling elite are saying, "If you can't afford to pay somebody to provide you with armed security, you aren't entitled to armed security."

    Why is the government using the example of Newton, where they failed in their responsibility to provide students with security, as an excuse to take away citizens rights to the tools that allow them to effectively provide for their own security? Why is hiring armed people to protect you and your children morally superior to arming yourself to protect you and your children?

    The ruling elite have said, because of our greater wealth and position, we deserve and will have control over the security of ourselves and our children, but you the masses cannot have control of your own security. They are clearly saying Liberty for Me but not for Thee. They simply prey on the fears of those who don't want or are afraid to assume personal responsibility. Many of the masses have proven more than willing to give the ruling elite control. Those afraid of having to be responsible for themselves, want a "right" to feel safe and secure, even if that means taking away the natural rights of others. This is a battle between those who don't want responsibility for their own security, and those who want liberty.

    If it truly was about security of children then they would be up in arms about last year's 500 deaths of school age children and thousands of injuries in Chicago alone. The truth is the government and press are only in an uproar over Newton because it was white kids killed; in Chicago the situation is black kids killed by other blacks so they just don't care. Black on black violent crime is so common the press rarely cover it. The government has created laws that target young black males, arrested them, convict them, and imprison them at massive rates, so they can deny them their second amendment (and other) rights. The liberal press's and statist politicians' cries concerning the massacre at Newton are racist, they don't care and don't say anything concerning massive deaths of blacks, they only care and want action because Newton was white kids being killed. In 2012 Chicago had the equivalent of a Newton child massacre every two week, it also has the strictest gun laws in the nation, the press and politicians know this, they aren't dumb. They know more gun laws are not the answer, but more gun laws are a way to increase state control. Until and unless they make the government legally responsible for the security of individuals, they have no moral authority to take control of the tools of providing effective security. The government wants the control but not the responsibility for security. If you can't see that you are blind.

    The fact is if you are against the restrictions on government as instituted in the Bill of Rights, you are in favor of oppression; period! Letting the state deny an individual the control of their own security without the state accepting the legal and moral responsibility for an individual's security, is in fact supporting statist tyranny. Fighting tyranny of the state is the reason the people included the severe restriction on the government known as the Second Amendment. Not because we have a tyrannical state, but because history has shown, repeatedly, that states can and do become tyrannical and an armed people have the means of fighting a tyrannical state.

    If the fact that your neighbor owns or might own an AR-15, and a few other guns scares you, move. Your fear doesn't negate your neighbor's rights; you have no right to not be afraid anymore than you have a right to feel happy, sad, or mad, your feelings are not rights, and fear is just that an emotion. Until and unless you can prove your neighbor has committed a felony or is mentally unfit, in a court of law, where he can call witnesses, cross examine, and defend himself, you have no right to control how he chooses to be responsible for his own security.

    The courts have consistently ruled against the government exercising "prior restraint." They have also consistently ruled that neither the police nor the state have a legal or moral responsibility to provide any individual with security. When thinking of security ask yourself, who is legally and morally responsible to provide that security and why? If you think it's the government you are in the wrong country and should consider moving to another, like Cuba, where the government clearly takes the legal and moral responsibility for its citizens, along with control of where they work, what they earn, what they receive, what they say, what they read, etc.

    Security vs. Responsibility the choice is yours.

  • Pelosi and Feinstein Support Law Restricting Government from Knowing Who owns Guns and Ammo

    By Tom Rhodes, 1/11/2013

    Do you remember when Nancy Pelosi told us we had to pass Obamacare in order to find out what was in it? Well you just gotta love the irony.

    In Obamacare, Democrat Senator Harry Reid slipped in amendment 3276, Sec. 2716, part c, which says the government cannot collect "any information relating to the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition"

    Do you think either Pelosi or Feinstein knew this when they voted for Obamacare? They are both officially on record as supporting and helping to pass and create government law that forbids the government from collecting any information relating to the lawful ownership or possession of a firearm or ammunition.

    It kinda makes you want to paraphrase the Bible - "He who lives by sneaky secret legislation, will die by sneaky secret legislation."

    Thanks to the Democrat party for making sure the government is forbidden by law from using any medical records as a back door method to track lawful ownership or possession of firearms and ammo.

    Thursday, January 10, 2013

    I Can Take it if You Can

    By Tom Rhodes, 1/9/12

    It was maybe 1970 when mom and dad loaded us four kids into the car towing a pop-up camper and we did the Great American Road Trip. Typical affair of the era to see as much of the USA than is reasonable in 2 weeks during July. Putting in 700 miles a day; cruising the interstates in 100 degree weather without AC (a rare option in a 1965 Chrysler Newport). Besides crossing the vast planes of Nebraska, seeing the world from the top of Pikes Peak, and staring down the depths of the Grand Canyon, and admiring the beauty of the painted desert, I learned the true meaning of liberty and limited government.

    We were stopped at a roadside motel in the high desert of New Mexico; it had been a long hot day. After dinner it had cooled down to a balmy 90 degrees, and we asked to go swimming, Dad checked out the pool water temp (80 degrees) and declared he didn't think it was a good idea, that it's too cold. Coming from Michigan where we swim in 70 degree lakes when it's barely 80 degrees out, my wisdom of 9 years or so declared that dad was nuts, it's hot and the water is warm. I argued that the previous year while in Florida we swam in an 80 degree pool when it was 90 degrees out and it was absolutely awesome. His answer was, "I can take it if you can." He told us to get our stuff ready and head to the pool, but he wasn't going swimming. Being a 9 year old I got into my swim trunks, and headed to the pool, of course forgetting a towel. I talked my little brother into going swimming too, but mom interfered and wouldn't let my little sisters go, they were mad.

    My understanding of physics, weather, etc. was that of a typical 9 year old. We ran to the pool and promptly jumped into the deep end. As soon as I surfaced I realized something was wrong. I didn't know why, but I was freezing. My little brother was too. You see when you're over 5000 feet in altitude, the relative humidity is around 2%, and the air temp is 90 degrees, water evaporates very quickly, especially off of a 98.6 degree body. Evaporating water takes away massive amounts of heat, it's called evaporative cooling. After a few minutes we were freezing and got out of the pool. That when things really got cold as the water rapidly evaporated from our bodies. I don't mean chilly, I mean it was stand in the slush naked cold. Shivering there with no towels; mom and dad were watching but playing on the playground with my sisters, we had to go over there, to get them to let us into the room to get towels. Dad was in no rush, said as I had told him that it was hot outside, 90 degrees you know, and asked how I could be cold, that I'd dry off in a few minutes, and why didn't I bring a towel when told to get my stuff? I was very cold for a while, but in this case no worse for the wear.

    My Dad, warned me but then gave me the liberty to do as I pleased, as my decision did not infringe upon his or anybody else's well being. He allowed my little brother to learn that following people who make stupid decisions may not always be in your best interest. Both of us were allowed to suffer the consequences of a stupid decision. As a kid it took a few more times to learn that when dad says "I don't think that's a good idea," then I nag him to get what I want, and he replies "I can take it if you can" that was a clue that I was about to do something stupid. When he said "I can take it if you can," he never meant I'll do the stupid thing too, but meant that it would be no skin off his nose if I did something stupid. Like challenging my dad and little brother to an ICEE chugging contest, "Not a good idea," he didn't participate but let us do it. That contest was not in our best interest. Can you say brain freeze?

    Stupid hurts, and boys growing up sometimes do stupid. Wisdom, however, is learned not by being smart (the opposite of stupid) but by learning the consequences of stupid through personal experience or observation. Swimming in an 80 degree pool, in 90 degree weather in sunny Florida at an elevation of 10 feet with a relative humidity of 80% is not only not stupid, but a wonderful way to end a day. Swimming in an 80 degree pool, in 90 degree weather in sunny New Mexico at an elevation of over 5000 feet with a relative humidity of 2% is stupid, but also a good way to learn what dad means when he says "I can take it if you can."

    Other then the physical reality of evaporative cooling at high elevations in deserts is effective, what wisdom did I gain from my dad saying "I can take it if you can?" Well I realized that choices have consequences, that experiencing some consequences is a better teacher than just being told, that it is better to learn the consequences from the experience of others than from suffering, that listening to people who've been there and done that is not stupid. Mostly I learned that in conjunction with having freedom and liberty goes the duty to live with the consequences. I learned that wisdom and intelligence don't go hand in hand, as I've seen a lot of smart people do stupid stuff.

    What my dad taught by allowing me to freeze my butt off while himself remaining dry and comfortable, was that I shouldn't expect him to suffer my stupid choices. This is a lesson I never would have learned from my mom, who not ever wanting anybody to suffer, especially her children, dictated and curtailed freedom with the threat (and reality) of a spanking if we did stuff she didn't think in our best interest. Liberty and freedom to mom were not as important as avoiding cuts, scrapes, broken bones, etc. Dad on the other hand might warn against the stupidity of an action, but if it wasn't deadly generally would allow us the joy and happiness our decisions might bring, but also to learn from stupid.

    Dad had the power to enforce his decisions, he chose however not to use that power. He believed that even as a mere boy, that I should be free to do as I please so long as I didn't infringe upon others, or in some cases scare the crap out of mom. He believed that to wisely exercise liberty a man had to grow up learning the consequences of exercising liberty. As a child I wasn't given unlimited liberty but was allowed liberty and the consequences wherever prudent. If I was shielded from the consequences of making decisions I wouldn't learn to think things through, consider the consequences, and make wise decisions. Being allowed to take risks, and enjoy both the rewards of taking successful risks and suffer the consequences of unsuccessful risks, taught wisdom. That is the pursuit of happiness, not a guarantee of happiness. Being allowed to pursue the joy of playing in a pool does not guarantee happiness, because making that decision while disregarding the wisdom of others I could freeze my butt off.

    If mom had her way, as in the often repeated words of "Don't let them do that," I'd never have suffered the consequences of bad decisions, I also would never be allowed to take any risk, and if I did, she'd try to make it better. I remember clearly mom wanting to buy me a souvenir when I didn't have the money because my brothers and sisters were getting keepsakes and I wasn't. Dad said no, I choose to spend my money on overpriced ice cream when warned that I wouldn't be able to get something later. They had a brief argument, where mom said it wasn't fair that I'd have to do without a lasting keepsake that my siblings got and I wouldn't. Dad was firm, saying it wouldn't be fair that I got ice cream when I didn't listen to the advice of mom and dad and the others didn't. Why should I be allowed to get both ice cream and a memento? That is what is not fair. "The boy's got to learn that choices have consequences"; among them sacrificing for the future has benefits over always having what you want now.

    We now have generations of people who never learned by suffering the consequences of bad decisions. They chose to live unwisely, and expect others to bail them out because of their choices don't pan out. Bankers make bad investments in people who have no realistic means of repaying mortgages, rather than going out of business and suffering the consequences of those choices, they not only expect, but receive bail outs that are paid for by people who made wise life choices. Because they did not and will not suffer the consequences of bad decisions, they can and will make those same bad decisions. When the results are continued bonuses and big paychecks, why would they change their decisions; why not take great risks, no matter the outcome they will prosper. Failure to suffer the consequences of bad decisions, both individually and corporately, not only does not discourage anybody from making bad decisions, but encourages more people to make those same bad decisions. If you want more of a behavior, subsidize it and insulate those who engage in that behavior from suffering the consequences of that behavior.

    Firearms are Not What Kill People

    Robyn Blummer, liberal columnist and long time anti-gun zealot recently wrote an article about video games and the 1st amendment. It applies to guns and the second amendment. If you use the same logic she uses concerning video games to firearms you can clearly see she isn't a logical thinker.

    Here is how her article would read if it were applied to firearms.

    Firearms are not what kill people
    By Tom Rhodes (paraphrased from Robyn Blumner's article)

    'As long as the firearms industry exists in its present forms there are no secure homes."

    This overheated warning of the insidiousness of the firearms threat came from newsmen Piers Morgan, and Ed Schultz. Both thought firearmswere "should be confiscated."

    As foolish as he sounds now, their crusade was a hit with lawmakers. Washington DC succeeded in getting the legislature to pass a ban on firearms. The bill was overturned by the SCOTUS on second amendment grounds.

    The Second Amendment has stayed the hand of many a would-be gun grabber. When this liberty isn't strongly enforced, however, terrible misjudgment reigns. Remember Diane Feinstein and the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994? She used her power to prevent the sale of scary looking guns.

    We look upon these moral dictators now as naive and quaint. But their kind still exists. Sarah Brady launched her crusade targeting handguns only 28 years ago. Her ilk then turned to assault weapons, high capacity magazines, and restrictions on inner city gun ownership, as if firearms caused rather than reflected the violence and misogyny in urban homes and neighborhoods.

    Today that same impulse has its attention focused on firearms, particularly after news reports that the Newtown, Conn., shooter, Adam Lanza, obsessively practiced with firearms before killing 20 children and six educators. Almost immediately after the attacks a measure was introduced by Sen. Diane Feinstein, to outlaw certain firearms.

    Think the California Democrat had that one in her back pocket?

    I can save the congress a lot of time. Lanza is a tragic case, but he's an outlier. There is no body of social scientific evidence demonstrating that firearms are the cause of violent acts or turn a peaceful person into an aggressor in real life.

    Just as shooting at sporting clays, plinking at tincans, listening to Ted Nubent, or reading American Rifleman, doesn't cause harm or provoke violence, neither does using a high capacity magazine. It may not be the most productive use of time, but children at a very young age know the difference between real and pretend. As the National 4-H clubs endorse, shooting sports actually have some positive effects on developing children, noting that shooting sports are one of the few sports you can take up at age 7 and still participate in at age 77.

    The research on the topic was well considered just two years ago by the U.S. Supreme Court when the majority struck down a Washington DC law criminalizing sales and possession of firearms as unconstitutional. The court looked at the competing studies, including the work of Dr. Lott. Lott claims to have found that more people owning firearms resulted in less not more violent crime.

    In the real world, as firearm ownership has increased, rates of violence by young men have gone down, not up. Arrests for violent crime for males between 10 and 24 years of age have plummeted from 850 arrests per 100,000 in 1995 to 516 per 100,000 in 2009, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    There have always been people in power who blamed firearms and crime on exposure to firearms. They have always been both wrong and dangerous to our freedoms.

    Wednesday, January 9, 2013

    Epidemiology and Gun Violence

    By Tom Rhodes, 1/8/2012

    FaceBook and many blogs are getting filled with liberal twist on the truth about gun research. Claiming the NRA is refusing to allow the government to do gun research. When the truth is applying the scientific method to research concerning guns is the farthest thing hoplophobes and the press want. Consider how vaccines were discovered and instituted. Ever hear of cow pox, and do you remember in science class being taught about the works in the 18th century, of London physician, Edward Jenner. The result was the first vaccine, and the virtual elimination of the killer disease small pox.

    This was the result of observation, hypothesis, testing, and research. Evidence based solution to the problem of communicable disease. Some liberal hoplophobes what to treat "gun violence" like a public health issue, and use "evidence-based medicine" to develop solutions to "gun violence." The problem is their solution is always the same and ignores "evidence-based medicine." Their "cure" is always the same, disarmament. The actual evidence points to something different.

    If gun violence is to be treated as a "disease" we should look at who is infected and who isn't infected by the disease, where gun violence occurs and where it doesn't. One thing is very clear, and highlighted by the horrific Netwon event, mass gun violence never infect and causes the death of people who are known to be or are potentially armed. Mass shootings happen in gun free zones, crazy criminals wanting to do massive damage go out of their way to find places where they are not likely to meet armed resistance. Shooters don't attack gun stores, gun shows, police stations, shooting ranges, or other places where the probability of armed resistance to their carnage exists. The targets for their mayhem is Gun-Free Zones. Even these criminally insane don't wage gun battles against armed people.

    Epidemiologic reasoning considers it to be a fact that disease prevention is better than treatment. Using this pardyme the deaths and sickness associated with vaccines are measured against the benefits to individuals and society that prevention of that disease offers. That methodology is not generally used by those who want to treat gun violence as a disease, as they don't consider the benefits and costs when looking at cures. Let's however consider an epidemiologic approach to "treating" gun violence. In 2003 the Center for Disease Control and again in 2004 U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2004, both failed to find any written evidence that gun control reduced violent crime, suicides or gun violence. Using FBI crime statistics for every county in the USA, Dr. John Lott, analyzed 18 years of data creating the largest national survey of gun ownership and state police documentation in illegal gun use. The conclusion of this data clearly demonstrated that adopting concealed-carry gun laws cut death rates from public multiple shootings by 69 percent, and that the Brady law and other similar laws had no beneficial results. Not only that but allowing people to carry concealed weapons deters violent crime - without any apparent increase in accidental death. If states without right-to-carry laws had adopted them in 1992, about 1,570 murders, 4,177 rapes and 60,000 aggravated assaults would have been avoided annually. When concealed-carry laws went into effect in a given county, murders fell by 8 percent, rapes by 5 percent and aggravated assaults by 7 percent. This corresponds with modern FBI data which shows that violent crime is down even while gun ownership has increased dramatically.

    Immunization from disease has side effects, some people who are inoculated contract the disease and die, and some part of the general populations has decreased risk of the disease even though they were not immunized. They call this "herd immunity." This appears to apply to guns as well. Not everybody needs to be armed for the effect of decreased crime in a community to be felt. Kennesaw Georgia, instituted a law mandating that the head of every household must be armed, although not 100% of the people followed that law and not every household is actually armed, the violent crime rate in Kennesaw dropped 80% and has varied but remained massively lower ever sense.

    Today's news reflects the fact that the general population of the US, even in liberal New York, understands the benefits of some unknown part of the population being armed. The biggest outcry over a news orginazation outing gun owners in two New York counties, was not from gun owners, but from those who were unarmed. They felt that they were now at increased risk of crime because the criminals now know they are unarmed. This is the same increased risk that "No Guns Allowed" signs on the doors of the Aurora Colorado Theater caused. That theater was farther away from the insane mass murderers apartment, then other theaters showing Batman, but was chosen because it guaranteed the shooter less chance of armed resistance. Mass shootings in the overwhelming majority of cases occur in "gun-free" zones.

    Worldwide the most massive murders of people in our history happened in the 20th century, where governments murdered hundreds of millions of their own citizens. The common thread to all these government mass murders was gun control, the people were effectively disarmed making those places gun free zones. China, USSA, Germany, Cambodia, etc. all shared the same disregard for individual right to keep and bear arms. The empirical evidence is clear; Gun-Free zones don't make those people in those zones safer. The appropriate epidemiologic inoculation against mass murder is to allow weapons to be carried by those at risk and/or their defenders.

    Some liberals point to data saying that you're 5 times more likely to be shot if you own a gun. They however ignore exposure and the fact that that the rate of being shot with your own weapon are miniscule. This is like saying because some people still get the flu who are vaccinated, nobody should get a flu vaccine. Exposure to disease increases the risk of being a victim of that disease; constant exposure will dramatically increase the likely hood of being a victim. People, who are exposed to high levels of violent criminals, are more likely to be the victim of gun violence, even if they own a gun. Violent criminals themselves are more likely to both have a gun and to be victims of other violent criminals.

    The solution to communicable disease is not outlawing exposure to germs, nor getting rid of your antibodies. You cannot keep people from being exposed to germs, some germs will always get through. Vaccinating against germs is effective. If you don't have the antibodies to fight germs you will get sick. Antibiotics and antibodies stop disease by killing germs, vaccines create antibodies that confront and kill germs. Eliminating antibiotics and antibodies is not the method to fight germs any more than removing bullets and guns from the general population is the way to prevent or stop gun violence. You don't stop germs passively; your body wars against germs, kills and eliminates them. Just as disarming your body of antibodies, and access to antibiotics is not the way to fight germs, disarming and limiting societies access to arms is not the way to stop gun crime.

    If gun violence is to be treated like a disease then we need to use the same methods we use against disease. The science and looking at violent crime form an epidemiologic perspective make it clear. Eliminate violent criminals (germs) - lock them up and remove them from society will reduce the harm they cause, and Arming (inoculating) society against future exposure to violent criminals (germs) provides prevention. We have done both and they both have proven effective, violent crime is way down as we've locked up violent criminals and the people have purchased arms at near record levels and easier concealed carry laws has resulted in more gun crime stopped. Like vaccines it is not 100% effective and we have rare instances where the inoculations results in undesired and deadly results, but the benefits far outweigh the costs. We would not eliminate vaccines because on rare occasions there are bad reactions to the vaccine. We would not make antibiotics less effective and weaker because of very rare reactions to those antibiotics. Why are the rare criminal misuses of firearms the rationale to disarm society or reduce the efficiency of the arms we allow the society to possess?
    Disarming the people as an epidemiologic response to gun violence would be like cutting off every man's penis in response to AIDs.

    If we follow in the footsteps of Dr. Edward Jenner, and use scientific method to look at gun violence rationally we must conclude that more restrictive gun control laws as a solution to gun violence are analogous to making germs illegal instead of inoculating the population against the germs. "Gun-Free" zones have proven ineffective. Allowing and having the means to confront armed violent criminals has proven to be and is far more effective epidemiologic means of dealing with the disease of gun violence.

    US Senator confirms being a sexist bigot - Press applauds sexism.

    By Tom Rhodes, 1/9/2012

    Speaking about the record number of women in the US Senate, Democrat Senator from California Diane Feinstein said, "We're less on testosterone." She continued telling Diane Sawyer, "We don't have that need to always be confrontational. And I think we're problem solvers, and I think that's what this country needs."

    Diane Feinstein clearly stated that she is sexist, believing women are different and better than men. None of that equality crap, her words were clear that she regarded men as different and the traits of women as superior. The press’s treatment of this is clearly a double standard.

    What would happen to any man in the US senate told a reporter, "We're less on Estrogen" then continued "We don't have that need to always be conciliatory. And I think we're able to look at things objectively instead of emotionally, and I think that's what this country needs." ???

    Friday, January 4, 2013

    Forced Obligation

    By Tom Rhodes, 1/4/2013

    Should the wages of a young person be garnished to make the car payment for their parent? Is it fair for a child to have to repay the credit card debt and mortgage of their grand parents? Should we as a society jail those children who refuse to pay off the medical expenses of their

    For good reasons children are not treated like adults, nor expected to have the same responsibilities. In fact by law a minor you cannot enter into any contract nor held accountable for the foolishness of somebody lending them money before they are 18 years of age. The reason is that children are not mature enough nor developed enough to make such decisions. In fact even if an legally an "adult" there are things we don't allow you to purchase or use until you are 21, like alcohol and hand guns. These rules are in general good and appropriate restrictions on people whose frontal lobes are not fully developed. Physiologically human brains cannot adequately judge the future consequences of actions until the frontal lobes are fully (or nearly fully) developed. This is a scientific fact, and our laws and restrictions on youth, like not being allowed to drive until 16 years of age, are reasonable and justified.

    For rational reasons we are not legally nor morally responsible for actions as minors when we become adults. So to consent to any legal obligation you must be 18 years of age. Now we have a problem because old people are legally obligating minors to $180,000 of debt. Once a person turns 18, they immediately have $180,000 of debt that they must pay as their share of the debt incurred by their grandparents. This is morally reprehensible.

    What will we do if those people say "I didn't consent to that debt, so won't pay it." Worse yet you know how they will pay it, they will inflate the money, so that they don't pay $180,000 with equal value. They will devalue their grandparent's holdings, lie about inflation numbers, so that they can keep more value of their earnings and in real value only pay pennies on the dollar. Grandma and Grandpa's nest egg is going to be worth squat. They are forcing today's children to pay for their lavish life style. Most of the wealth of the USA is in the hands of old people, not young people. If Social Security and Medicare were means tested, the benefits could be increased to those in need, and still cost a lot less. But the Ponzi Scheme that is Social Security puts the burden on our youth.

    Our youth is not stupid, they will inflate the money so that their wages are dramatically higher in absolute numbers (not value) than their parents and grand parents, but pay back the debt they didn't agree to incur, with dollars worth less than when the debt was created. That or they will have to do like Karl Denninger proposes and refuse to pay.

    So if the youth are forced to repay a debt that they didn't consent to through taxes imposed by people they had no choice in selecting (can't vote until your 18) what choice do they have? Didn't we revolt and succeed from England over Taxation without Representation. The young entering the work force start out with a debt of $180,000 that they never consenting to borrowing. They aren't going to pay it, they will find a way to make Grandma and Grandpa account for that money one way or another; either refusal to pay for it outright or so inflate the currency that it won't matter. Inflation has been their primary means for 30 years. Look at Shadow Stats web page, where they show what inflation would look like if we still counted it the way we did in 1980. Real inflation has been as much as 10% in recent years, but our government has have rigged it so that they only report 2% or so, in order to repay the debt grandma and grandpa forced on us, with inflated dollars. They get a 2%COLA, while their dollar buys much less. In effect taxing the retirement savings and payments to old people by the difference and forcing the old to actually pay at least part of the debt they incurred.

    We cannot keep kicking the can down the road, future generations did not consent to borrow money today, so they could pay it back tomorrow. Children have no legal or moral obligation to repay their parent's and grandparent's debts. They will find a way to avoid repaying those debts. Greece is defaulting; the US will likely suffer the same fate. I live in Florida, where Seniors move to retire, they vote for absurdly low property taxes, and to defund schools, saying "I pay high taxes up north to send my kids to school, I shouldn't have to pay to send more kids to school." In their retirement, their "income" is dramatically lower, they get tax differed earnings that they don't pay taxes on, and receive social security, medicare, and other benefits far in excess of what they paid into the system. Yet expect those same kids to pay more in taxes to pay off the debt they committed to. The fact is that old people have the money, not the young, they refuse to pay the young(real wages are lower), and even employ them (unemployment for those under 24 is at depression levels); the result will be healthcare rationing for the old, death panels, smaller COLA's, inflation to devalue savings.

    There are and will be repercussions from Baby Boomers sticking future generations with $180,000 of debt each; and the Senior Citizens are not going to like them. The youth will say screw it, develop some disability or other means of having the government support them instead of working, they will use or change the system to avoid the massive tax liability they now have. After all what obligation do they have to repay money they never consented to borrowing?