Friday, October 26, 2007
I just got back from the gun club, where I was shooting trap, and it struck me: What an authentically American pastime shooting is. This came to me in between sets as I was thinking how cool it was that there were so many people there, exercising their Second Amendment rights, demonstrating safe gun ownership, having fun and being patriotic.
Here are what some other people said about owning guns:
"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." (James Madison, The Federalist Papers #46 at 243-244)
"One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them. "
--- Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1796. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, (Memorial Edition) Lipscomb and Bergh, editors.
" ... most attractive to Americans, the possession of arms is the distinction between a freeman and a slave, it being the ultimate means by which freedom was to be preserved."
-- James Burgh, 18th century English Libertarian writer, Shalhope, The Ideological Origins of the Second Amendment, p.604
"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike especially when young, how to use them." (Richard Henry Lee, 1788, Initiator of the Declaration of Independence, and member of the first Senate, which passed the Bill of Rights, Walter Bennett, ed., Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republican, at 21,22,124 (Univ. of Alabama Press,1975)..)
"A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks. (Thomas Jefferson, Encyclopedia of T. Jefferson, 318 [Foley, Ed., reissued 1967])
Thursday, October 25, 2007
This may, at first, seem like a good idea? Why don't we punish those evil, evil rich people who are so obviously keeping the little man down. Except, can you really give an example of them keeping you down? Honestly, wealthy people create more wealth for those around them. Anyone who works at a company knows that. Some rich guy, who has earned his wealth fair and square, starting with nothing and working his way to a fortune, now employs other people--increasing their wealth. He also requires services and supplies from others, therefore increasing their wealth, and the wealth of their employees.
In their personal life, they consume more goods. Shouldn't we punish their consumption? Well, first of all, why is their consumption your business, other than jealousy? Second, their conspicuous consumption of goods and their expensive lifestyles create, you guessed it, more wealth for others. Their big ticket items are bought from companies that increase wealth. They hire people to do services such as yard work and child care that increase the wealth of their employees.
So, knowing this, what exactly is our motivation for taxing them more? Is it that they can afford a larger tax burden so its fair to tax them more? Well, let me ask you this: just because you can afford to pay more taxes, should you? Taxes, in a large part, go towards social services. Most wealthy people are not taking advantage of these social services, aside from spending on defense. People making less money, specifically below the poverty level, take advantage of these services more. If we are interested in being fair, the people utilizing the services should be taxed more due to their burden on society.
I am not actually suggesting that we tax the poor more. They don't have the money, first of all, so it doesn't make much sense--can't squeeze blood from a stone.
Here is something else to consider: If we tax these wealthy, wealth producing individuals more, what do you think will happen? Imagine this--You are independently wealthy, making $250,000 a year as the head of a small company. Your family employs a landscaper to take care of the lawn because you actually find yourself at work a lot, being the boss, and you didn't get to your position of success by being a slacker. You utilize a day care service for little Jimmy and little Sue because the Missus volunteers at church a lot, or also works. You are quite comfortable, and not exactly scraping by. Now imagine that the brain-trust that is Congress decides that your share of the income tax needs to go up by 4.5% just because you have managed to succeed (btw, does it make sense to punish success?). That comes out to an additional tax burden of $11,250 a year. Some things will probably go through your head: for instance, "hmmm. A lawn mower only costs me $300. I could fire the lawn guy I'm paying a hundred bucks a month for. Or, I could bring the wife home and save $8500 a year on day care."
As you can imagine, something would probably have to give so you could maintain your same lifestyle. Lets face it, pretty much anytime you get a raise, unless you are more frugal than the average American, you figure out a way to spend some of it. Bills always seem to rise to meet income. So, what are you going to do? Well unfortunately either option is going to end up destroying wealth. That's right. You now have less money to spend on services because you are paying more money to the government. So, now someone else is taking it in the shorts. They may even need to lay someone off. Now there is someone else needing the help of government social programs.
Sounds almost like its a conspiracy to get everyone dependent on the government, if you ask me.
What can we do, then, to increase our tax revenues in a fair manner, without penalizing success, growth and entrepreneurship? Check out The Fair Tax, also known as H.R. 25, The Fair Tax Act of 2007 (see entire bill text here). For once, the Congress has named a bill appropriately. Instituting a federal sales tax and abolishing the income tax, you will no longer be penalized for your hard work. There are no exemptions, so the truly rich, who find so many tax loopholes to protect their wealth that many of them pay almost no taxes will pay a fair share. In fact, everyone pays a fair share, and the poor get a break. It eliminates the $1 billion a year governmental burden known as the IRS and replaces the reams of current byzantine tax code with about 133 pages of easy to read text.
Check it out, then write your Congressmen to tell them what you think.... And leave a comment here to tell me what you think.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Meet Airman 1st Class Vanessa Dobos, the first female aerial gunnerin our Air Force. She currently serves with the 66th Rescue Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., Dobos “mans” a 7.62mm M134 Minigun aboard an HH-60 Pavehawk. She is a Air force's first female gunner. photo by: DENNIS CARLSON, CIV
Meet Sgt. Jamiell Goforth, as she assembles a crew served machine gun during the NCO/Soldier of the year competition of 2007. DoD photo by Jorge Gomez, Ft. Lee Public Affairs Office.
Electronics Technician 3rd Class Jade Piedra Mason is a nuclear reactor operator aboard the USS Nimitz.
Sergeant Akinoluna, playing with a sniper rifle. Photo from her blog.
Sean seems to think that Huckabee may be a viable candidate. I, too, thought so until I got some more information. It seems that Huckabee may have too many skeletons in the closet to be a viable candidate. Facts have not emerged because his poll ratings are small and he does not, yet, earn the attention of close scrutiny. Quin Hillyer, a senior editor at The American Spectator, has a good article that should raise concerns. According to Hillyer, “Huck is for Huck is for Huck. National media folks like David Brooks, dealing in surface appearances only, rave about what a nice guy Huckabee is, and a moral exemplar to boot. If they only did a little homework, they would discover a guy with a thin skin, a nasty vindictive streak, and a long history of imbroglios about questionable ethics. Once, Gov. Huckabee even had the gall to file suit against the state ethics commission. He lost.”
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
He has some stuff going against him right off the bat, I'm afraid:
He's from Arkansas
His name is kinda hick
No one has really heard of him
On the other hand, he does have a lot going for him, though. Mainly the fact that his positions on the issues are thoroughly conservative. At least according to his website, Mike Huckabee For President, his views on the issues line up almost exactly with my own. I say almost, because I don't know much about farm subsidies.
He seemed to do fairly well in the last debate.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Please read these and enjoy. Then imagine Ms. Rodham, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Teddy (hiccup) Kennedy, and/or J. Murtha saying them - it is worth the laugh.
JW opener:"Republic. I like the sound of the word. It means people can live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober, however they choose. Some words give you a feeling. Republic is one of those words that makes me tight in the throat. The same tightness a man gets when his baby takes his first step, or his baby first shaves, and makes his first sound like a man. Some words can give you a feeling that makes your heart warm. Republic is one of those words." John Wayne in "The Alamo"
(Liberal View - insert the word "Socialism.)
JW on courage:
"Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway"
(Liberal View - saddling up....to run away.)
JW on foreign relations:
"If you've got them by the balls their hearts and minds will follow.”
(Liberal View - "If you've got them by their hearts, then their minds and balls will follow." Note: this mindset has not worked in the dating world since.....well)
“Never say sorry - it's a sign of weakness"
(Liberal View - replace "never" and "weakness" with "always" and "strength")
JW on morality and foreign relations:
"A man ought to do what he thinks is right"
(Liberal View - Liberals have been emasculating men since the 60's - so this quote is useless. Men ought not think.)
"A man's got to do what a man's got to do"
JW on oration/politicking:
“Talk low, talk slow and don't say too much.”
(Liberal View - Too cowboy like. Libs prefer to shout. Typically the volume is inversely proportion to the factual support of their emotional point of view.)
JW on race relations:
"A horse is a horse, it ain´t make a difference what color it is"
(To JW, it was that simple but - Liberal View - If a horse is of a different color, and that color is not of the majority color, then it shall be afforded special privileges until it feels that is has ascended to an equal plateau
JW on "Manifest Destiny"
“I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.”
(Liberal View - Apply same guilt here as one would for being born into the majority. Guilt for such atrocities is universal and is a "one size fits all" application. Certainly we are evil, evil, people who should pay reparations, say sorry twice daily, change mascots, and rewrite all the western genre movies until the oppressors FEEL better. Let’s not forget that it is not just important that they FEEL better, but that we
(Side Note: See expansion of any civilization since dawn of time. For one to ascend another is displaced. It is survival of the fittest - not "together we shall ascend, lets forfeit a higher ascension so that the weakest of us all do not FEEL left out. See also "anchors" or "dead weight". This feeling is key to liberal thought. America is bad, we only have 'America' because we oppressed and displaced - thus America was founded on less then pure ideals from the very beginning. America is unlike the liberal heavens of Scandinavia, France, Korea, Iran....oh wait. That is not true at all. Oh no, the facts do not line up with my FEELINGs - must change facts, or redirect my argument.)
JW on philosophy:
“I stick to simple themes. Love. Hate. No nuances. I stay away from psychoanalyst's couch scenes. Couches are good for one thing.
(Liberal View - This one is too easy. Psychoanalyst's scenses are the bread and butter of the liberal world. Why dabble in the big picture when there are these details that can stymie progress.)
JW on philosophy:
“Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday.”
(To wit, all parties egregiously fall victim to this. With that stated - Liberal View - Lets continuously attempt to apply the failed doctrines of socialism, communism, Marxism, right here at home! Because it has worked so well elsewhere and throughout time. Three cheers for government controlled health care! Because they have done so well with our school systems, road repair, and the DMV!)