Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Hurricanes and the 2nd Amendment

States in the gulf coast have begun a campaign urging self-reliance and preparation to defend themselves against another season of nature's windy onslaught. The citizentry have been told to rely upon themselves and their stockpiled provisions if they do not evacuate the area when they are warned that a storm is coming. Aside from citizens who are immobile for health and age reasons, all able-bodied citizens have been in a sense told that they are left to their own in the event of an emergency.

While the state governments of many states realize they can't come to your personal aid in the event of an emergency, these same states still restrict an able-bodied, and law abiding citizen from keeping a firearm in their homes.

I think once the government has admitted that protecting individual life and property is not the priority of government in any emergency, they've lost the argument to keep you from owning what the 2nd amendment guarantees as a right.

To our politicians this is what the 2nd Amendment means:

To Republicans: The 2nd Amendment guarantees your right to own certain arms, in certain states unless those weapons look military in nature. Even if they are less powerful and useful than say a hunting rifle they'd like to stay on the safe side because a military-looking weapon (even in the hands of a law abiding citizen) is just too much temptation to shoot up an elementary school playground.

To Democrats: The 2nd Amendment guarantees your right to play army one weekend a month and help border patrol agents give water to Mexicans crossing the Arizona desert.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Memorial Day

Memorial Day brings about many thoughts for me. Number one among them is that it is the first 3-day weekend in the Seattle area where you wish the weather was nice, but it never is. It rained nearly all weekend...again.

Another of my thoughts is drawn to the tremendous sacrifice made by our fighting men and women. I've talked to several people in my life that have experienced combat and I'm always very awestruck as they attempt to explain the unexplainable.

I love this country. I desire for my country to have so many freedoms that if someone dared think they could take them away, they'd experience a fight like they've never seen before. I never want to see a soldier die so that you and I could have 'relative freedom.'

The most fitting tribute to the memory of those who died to protect this country is to do our part at home keep our country free.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Which is worse - Tax Preparation or going to the Dentist?

This poll does a state-by-state breakdown of how they view raising or lowering taxes in terms of how it impacts the economy. The poll does nothing except explore the general perception of taxes.

I think the best part of it is the column that compares tax preparation versus going to the dentist.

Gas Prices

I paid $47 dollars to fuel my car this morning. I realize many of you pay more but you must realize that I drive a humble compact car with a small gas tank. Because I ride my motorcycle as often as possible I fill up my car about every other week.

I had a conversation with a Seattle lefty about the price of gas, and she complained endlessly about 'big oil' and their price gouging. I told her that she should be thankful as I know in the past that she and other Puget Sound Bolsheviks have dreamed of the days where gas prices would be higher so that we would all pile into buses or take the upcoming light rail that goes nowhere. She has just had a baby and doesn't see the practicality of taking the bus at this time. I find it amazing how 'progressives' are experts in how everyone else should live.

She demanded that our government do something about the price of gas. Knowing this is just a trap and the average Seattle-ite knows bumpkus about real life economics I just let her continue. I asked, "What would you have them do?"

It didn't take but a minute to uncover what it is she really wanted. She suggested finally that the price be controlled. I did my best to explain to her that the laws of economics cannot be changed anymore than the laws of gravity.

She said, "Yeah, yeah...the law of supply and demand. I believe that's just an excuse to charge more so they can take in all these outrageous profits."

Unfortunately this country doesn't have a supply and demand problem, it only has a demand problem. Our supply will not grow without more refineries. Everytime we (and other emerging nations) demand more oil, the supply in our country stays the same. Under this arrangement our prices will always go up until we either increase supply or demand far less.

I can't increase the supply of oil in our country so I'm demanding less. I drive less and take my motorcycle anywhere that I can in place of a car.

If the government fixes the price of fuel we will see gas lines and shortages. There won't be any left to even fill up my motorcycle that gets 60+ mpg.

Here's a tip for my Seattle area liberal friends: Wanna get prices lower? Tell your congressman to let oil companies build more refineries and then find a way to use less YOURSELF. Try taking some of the advise you so willingly dish out to others.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Bump or Dip?

On a road I take to work everyday there has been some sinking in one of the lanes. I don't know what is causing it but the left side of the lane has been sinking for the last year or so. Finally the DOT put up a sign that read "DIP".

Last week they patched the roadway to remove the dip. The patch job does not exactly make the road surface smooth, in fact it looks like the asphault was dropped from a helicopter. Now instead of a sinking lane you have to drive over this clumpy raised area. Today the DOT replaced the DIP sign with a new sign that reads "BUMP".

Sorry, no libertarian rant about roads. I think government should oversee things that cannot be compartmentalized and roads would fall under that category.

I really preferred the DIP over the BUMP.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Border walls, boredom, and a homeless guy with a lawnmower

Even though our government is spending tons of our hard earned dough, they've decided to take advantage of the extra receipts coming in from the strong economy to build a fence between the United States and Mexico. I don't know anyone who wants to build a fence so this must be one of those jobs that "Americans aren't willing to do." So we'll have to hire illegal immigrants to build the wall.

Our only instructions will be: When you're done building the wall, please be on the other side of it. Thank you.

I think boredom is a modern invention. I may write about how I'm beginning to win the battle against boredom in a future blog.

I came across a new homeless guy approach. The fellow I ran into had a cardboard sign that read, "I need food. Please let me mow your lawn." Resting beside the homeless man was a push lawn mower. He was getting money from lots of people in cars. I don't know if he really was going to mow anyone's lawn but that is a creative prop at least. Good on him.

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Modern Republican Movement

This is a good summary of the modern Republican movement:

"Other than telling us how to live, think, marry, pray, vote, invest, educate our children and, now, die, I think the Republicans have done a fine job of getting government out of our personal lives." -Editorial Page, Sunday, June 19 Portland Oregonian

A tip of the hat to Platinumgirl for bringing this quote to my attention.

Sigh, at least they have Ron Paul.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

My dumb Cat

I went downstairs to feed my cat. While I was grabbing the bag of feed he went upstairs and jumped up on my desk.

I returned upstairs to find him eating some lemon pound cake I had just sliced for myself before realizing he was out of food.

I have to hand it to him; his plan was well-executed. He distracted me by acting hungry and then made a break for my food while I was feeding him.

My cat is a jerk.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Another kind of soft target

Let me 'splain to you a scenario I encountered recently.

A young man turned in his cousin who had several warrants out for his arrest. Because the young man had a job and a fairly predictable schedule, bounty hunters routinely 'hung around' to see if said cousin would show up. Growing tired of being trailed he finally turned his cousin in when he had shown up at the young man's place of business.

The mom of the cousin (the young man's aunt) became enraged as did the cousin's sister (yet another cousin) and expressed their disgust at the young man in their best Jerry Springer Show vernacular.

The next day a calling card from Child Protective Services (CPS) appears on their door. They had come to inspect the home of the young man who lives with his wife and 1 year old daughter. Apparently an anonymous call to CPS initiated the need for an inspector to look for signs of abuse. They called CPS back and told them to come to the house the next possible day.

During that evening the couple called around to find out who would've done this. After only a little investigation it seems all evidence points back to the Aunt and the Sister Cousin. There was word also that the aunt and the cousin intended to have more people (their friends) call anonymously to CPS.

When CPS did their inspection they found the same things I've found whenever I personally have visited their home. A well-fed, cared for, happy, and loved 1 year old girl. The young man and his wife explained what had transpired over the week and explained that more 'anonymous' tips were likely to come.

The CPS inspector said if more tips came in (whether they were false or not) they would have to follow-up on them and eventually demand that the young man and his wife take a drug test. Hearing this the young man and his wife asked where they could take a drug test that very day to get it cleared up. They had the test taken but the problem was still up-in-the-air because follow-up would be necessary if more reports came in.

"Can't something be done about them making false reports?" The young man asked. The CPS inspector explained that they do not require those who make anonymous reports to be accountable so that people are not discouraged from calling if they suspect abuse.

What will happen to the young man and his wife? Maybe something, maybe nothing. But because they are attempting to comply with the law they have become the soft targets of law enforcement. CPS will return to their home and pile up a big long record on them only because they are cooperating with the law.

Wouldn't it be nice if law enforcement focused on the initiation of force, theft AND fraud?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

It's time for supply-siders to put up or shut up for good

The economy is booming right now. Economic growth is flirting with 5% over this quarter. The Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke (if that's his real name) is likely to raise federal reserve lending rates again. If I'm to believe the heart and soul of supply-side economics then this is the time that our deficits should be disappearing.

I'm not going to argue with anyone about how lower tax rates can increase actual tax receipts. Every serious economist from Friedman to some schlub down at Schwab understands this is true. Hell, play Sim City for awhile and you'll understand it's true...anyway....

But where supply-siders continue to LIE to us is that they're not really interested in reducing the deficits. They only sell that as one of the benefits to lowering tax rates for high wage earners. Because of this they're always being accused of giving tax breaks to their rich buddies. Whether it's really true or not doesn't matter to looks true.

It's time for supply-siders to take this cash that has been bringing in federal receipts hand over fist and start paying down. Don't let it sit around in your precious general fund to be yet again swallowed up by another omnibus package.

Will they do this? Probably not and this is one reason alone that anyone in Washington who claims to be a fiscal conservative is a liar. If you keep sending fiscal conservatives to Washington then be prepared to watch your dollar shrink in your wallet.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Illegal Immigrants Play Hardball

I was ready to deport all illegal immmigrants until I read this sign from a demonstration yesterday.

I think it is clear that they are playing for keeps. I think as a country we really need to ask ourselves: "Can we live without burritos?"

I am one American who does not even want to begin to picture my nation sans burrito.

Viva La Raz!