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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Illegal Alien Charged in N.J. Murders of Students

Once again the sad and disgusting consequences of the nation's failure to deal with illegal aliens has resulted in death. One of the two persons charged in the execution-style murders of three college-bound youths in Newark, New Jersey, is an illegal alien by the name of Jose Carranza.

A citizen of Peru, Carranza entered the U.S. illegally and embarked upon a life of violent crime, including being charged and convicted of the rape of a 5-year-old child.

Carranza was out of jail on parole when he allegedly murdered the three Newark youths.

Police state that both ballistics and the physical evidence at the scene point to Carranza. Law enforcement officials are also receiving vital information from the lone survivor of the attack, who has been recovering from her wounds in a local hospital.

Had it been true that the case of Jose Carranza is an isolated incident, that fact alone would be enough to launch investigations into the criminal justice system in New Jersey. The problem, however, is that such incidents are not rare and isolated.

In fact, in the nation's major cities illegal aliens are responsible for most of the violent crime.

Yet politicians such as Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, John McCain, John Conyers, and many more have a history of advocating amnesty for illegal aliens who disregard our nation's laws. Some of these also essentially advocate for open borders.

Activist judges in the judicial system routinely strike down the ordinances of local municipalities that are aimed at doing what the federal government has consistently failed to do--enforce the nation's laws.

Labor Unions are now routinely recruiting illegal aliens, advocating for their continued breaking of the law, in order to beef up their dwindling membership rolls and provide a new cutting edge issue for which to rattle their sabers.

Business owners in some sectors of the economy have aided and abetted the breaking of the nation's laws by employing illegal aliens in order to save a few bucks on labor costs.

From top to bottom, every major sector of society has been complicit in this massive trashing of U.S. law. Businesses, labor unions, activist judges, and politicians have been and continue to be willing accomplices in this blatant act of perpetrating the single largest assault on the United States of America in its entire history.

The average citizens, however, are alarmed, appalled, and angry.

They have every right to be. Note a few of these shocking statistics provided by the INS/FBI for the first quarter of 2006:

--95% of warrants for murder in Los Angeles are for illegal aliens
--83% of warrants for murder in Phoenix are for illegal aliens
--86% of warrants for murder in Albuquerque are for illegal aliens
--75% of those on the most wanted list in Los Angeles, Phoenix and Albuquerque are illegal aliens
--53% plus of all investigated burglaries reported in California, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona and Texas are perpetrated by illegal aliens
--50% plus of all gang members in Los Angeles are illegal aliens from south of the border
--71% plus of all apprehended cars stolen in 2005 in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California were stolen by Illegal aliens or "transport coyotes"
--47% of cited/stopped drivers in California have no license, no insurance and no registration for the vehicle. Of that 47%, 92% are illegal aliens
--63% of cited/stopped drivers in Arizona have no license, no insurance and no registration for the vehicle. Of that 63%, 97% are illegal aliens
--66% of cited/stopped drivers in New Mexico have no license, no insurance and no registration for the vehicle. Of that 66% 98% are illegal aliens.
--380,000 plus "anchor babies" were born in the U.S. in 2005 to illegal alien parents, making 380,000 babies automatically U.S.citizens and, under our laws, entitled to invite the rest of their family to join them
--97.2% of all costs incurred from those births were paid by the American taxpayers
--66% plus of all births in California are to illegal alien Mexicans on Medi-Cal whose births were paid for by taxpayers.

Americans may not be fully aware of the magnitude of these statistics, but they know that things are not right and getting totally out of hand.

An example of the growing ire of the electorate can be found in South Carolina, an area which is not known for giving top priority to the subject of illegal aliens and the nation's immigration laws.

S.C. is dominated by conservative Republican politics. Republicans control both chambers of the legislature as well as the Governor's office.

Yet U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, R-SC, finds himself in a growing hotbed of voter rage over his work to push the McCain-Kennedy-Bush immigration amnesty bill through Congress. GOP activists in the state have openly called for Graham's replacement on the ticket in the next Senatorial election. Some have even advocated removing the Senator from office now.

The source of the extreme voter discontent with Graham is not the economy, which has been very good in S.C. Nor has it been the War in Iraq, which finds overwhelming support in the state.

Graham's trouble is the result of one single issue--immigration policy and illegal aliens.

The citizens in S.C. have smelled a rat in the U.S. government, and it is not just the Democrats. They know that Democrats are lax on enforcing immigration laws because of the political payoff they get from the 'minority vote.'

But citizens are also sophisticated enough to see that some Republicans are just as guilty. And Lindsey Graham, at least at present, is the recipient of the blame.

The Liberty Sphere has observed a massive shift in voter preference over the past few months in South Carolina. We believe that Lindsey Graham is highly vulnerable and may well find himself in the political fight of his life just to keep his spot on the GOP ticket.

Graham already has two announced GOP opponents for his Senate seat--a highly unusual situation for a GOP Senator in a GOP-dominated state.

Travesties of justice such as the heart-wrenching murders of three clean-cut college-bound kids in N.J. at the hands of an illegal alien child-rapist out on parole certainly do nothing to help politicians such as Graham.

In fact, these inexcusable tragedies only further ignite the fires of rage the citizens feel toward government officials who are essentially giving away the country to Mexico and other sources of lawless illegal entry into the nation.

The very fact that many Republicans in South Carolina are so enraged about this issue that they are willing to boot one of their own from the ticket is cause for much hope. When it comes to the Constitution, the rule of law, common sense, and adhering to the traditional values most of us had instilled in us, we can no longer allow Party loyalty or familiarity to cloud our sense of judgment.

If this single issue is causing such furor in a state like South Carolina, one can be assured that this is only the tip of the iceberg. Citizens by the millions across this nation are so enraged by their elected officials that one can sense a political storm brewing.

Remember, it was the citizens and NOT the politicians that killed the doomed immigration amnesty bill. If most Democrats and some Republicans had gotten their way, the man who murdered the three youths in New Jersey would have been granted a 'path to citizenship.'

Many members of both Parties need to be shown the door. No matter what local issues bought them voter loyalty in the past, if they are contributing to the trashing of U.S. law by allowing this massive onslaught of illegals who neither understand nor value our way of life, our Constitution, our language and customs, then those politicians need to be voted out of office.

Impeachment proceedings should also begin against Judges in this nation who flagrantly violate the laws of the land by rendering decisions that are totally inconsistent with everything we know about American jurisprudence.

The U.S. Code specifically states that the aiding and abetting of illegal aliens is a felony. Why is that law not being enforced?

The families of the three students in New Jersey whose lives were snuffed out by an illegal alien who had raped a 5-year-old have been dealt a grave injustice by the U.S. government, many of its politicians and judges, and some of its citizens.

The murder of those three innocent young people is the direct result of the failure of this society to enforce the nation's immigration laws.

And until those laws begin to be enforced, the blame for every single murder of this nature can be laid squarely at the feet of the U.S. government and those politicians that refuse to obey the law in bringing an end to the illegal alien mutiny.

Friday, August 10, 2007

'08 Nominees Chosen by Thanksgiving?

In a display that gives one reason to wonder if Party leaders in the various states have taken leave of their senses, the South Carolina Republican Party announced on Thursday that it will move up its GOP primary to Jan. 19.

This action will set into motion yet another chain of events that will result in the move by other states to schedule their primaries earlier.

New Hampshire will surely be the first to make the move. By state law their primary must be the first in the nation, meaning that the New Hampshire date will more than likely be set for Jan. 12.

Iowa, however, is bound and determined to protect its status for having the very first shot at voting by scheduling their time-honored tradition of holding caucuses before the New Hampshire primary, meaning that in all likelihood the Iowa caucuses will be scheduled in December.

We have already been through this before, resulting in a ridiculously early round of caucuses and primaries--the earliest in U.S. history. The question becomes, will the other primary states follow suit and move up their dates, thus prompting South Carolina, New Hampshire, and Iowa to move up their dates even further?

If that happens, it is entirely possible that the nominees for both Parties could be chosen by Thanksgiving.

Far-fetched, you say? Well, who would have thought we be looking at having the Iowa caucuses in December?

In case you are wondering who is to blame for this blatant game of oneupmanship, look no further than the state of Florida. Defying Republican and Democratic National Committee rules that forbid state primaries before Feb. 5, Florida Republicans and Democrats decided to move their primary to Jan. 29.

The penalty for defying the rules is that the RNC and the DNC withhold half of the delegates of the offending states to the Party Conventions, meaning that those states' voting power at the Conventions is greatly diminished.

These states, however, believe that whoever is their Party's nominee will take over the national committees before the Party Conventions, which means that the rules will not be enforced.

Thus, yet another piece of the drama, credibility, and necessity of the Party Conventions is nullified.

And in the end the Parties lose, the candidates lose, and America loses.

To prevent the present undesirable state of affairs in which voters are already growing weary of the process, the national committees of the two Parties should immediately enforce the rules rather than wait until the Conventions. The penalties for moving up a primary to a ridiculously early date should be immediate and devastating.

And it should not be dependent on who is in control of the committee at any given moment in time.

Perhaps the DNC and the RNC should inform the various states that NONE of their delegates will be seated at the Conventions unless they adhere to the Feb. 5 requirement.

Then we could all watch at how quickly the various states decide to move their primaries to later rather than earlier dates.

Part of the allure of American politics is the drama inherent in the process. Through the years we have just about removed all of that drama, and the voters are yawning and going back to sleep.

Just what, exactly, are the candidates and the voters going to do if everything has been decided by Christmas? This will mean we will have to wait another eleven months for the general election. Such a situation will be ripe for even more trivializing of the political process by the tabloid-driven mainstream media.

It simply does not take eleven months to discuss and debate the issues related to a national election. Many have suggested that the present practice of having one or two debates by the candidates of the two major Parties is not enough, and that a series of debates will be much better.

But even that is a far cry from being forced to endure nearly a year of campaigning.

What do you talk about when you run out of things to talk about?

Nothing of any importance, that's for sure. And this is why I maintain that the stage is being set for tabloid journalism to have a field-day during the 2008 election cycle.

Second Amendment News Roundup for 8/10/07

Scroll down for the news:

Image courtesy of A Human Right.

Here is today's Second Amendment News Roundup:

Gun Owners of America posts an excellent op-ed on significant research showing that the nation's rates of private gun ownership do NOT correlate to rates of murder:

Gun Law News has an important response to the objection of the gun-grabbers to the effect that, 'you don't need an assault weapon to hunt':

Red's Trading Post blogs on the one movie that the BATFE and your Congressmen and Senators do NOT want you to see:

Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership produced the aforementioned movie. Read all about it, and take a look at the info on their website here:

Actions by T's Teddy Jacobson reviews the Rohrbaugh R9 9mm handgun in today's' 'helpful tip of the day':

Melanie Phillips in the U.K. has a VERY interesting read entitled, 'The Age of Unreason':

Our favorite intellectual, Dr. Walter Williams, shows how those who espouse the hypothesis that 'mankind is to blame for global warming' are silencing dissent:

Blonde Sagacity reports on the new tactic of the anti-military, anti-war, pacifist crowd--forbid recruitment on college and high school campuses:

Alphecca points to an editorial written in the aftermath of the Connecticut slaughter of a family in their home which says that perhaps the gun-rights advocates have been right all along:

Say Uncle has some important updates on the shenanigans of the BATFE:

The War on Guns posts an update on the City of Baltimore's plans to register and publicize 'gun offenders' just as they do 'sex offenders':

Snow Flakes in Hell comments on the wrongheaded notion that if gun shops can just keep a record of all ammunition sales, we can trace that ammunition back to those who use it in crime:

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Dems Debated Tuesday, 8/7/07, in Chicago

Seven of the eight Democratic Presidential candidates debated Tuesday of this week in Chicago under a big tent in the sweltering heat. Candidate Mike Gravel perhaps showed the most prudence in not showing up.

MSNBC televised the event with moderator Keith Olbermann.

They had all of three viewers.

And that was two more than normal.

The 'debate' was sponsored by the AFL-CIO. In order to participate, the candidates were required to complete a questionnaire devised by the union. Gravel did not complete the questionnaire, which gives one pause to wonder if this was a protest move of some sort by Gravel.

On the other hand, the candidate may well have concluded that his fledgling campaign would not benefit at all from appearing at an event that was destined to get very little attention.

The usual suspects were on hand to advance their propaganda, with Hillary Clinton castigating Barack Obama for proposing to meet with the enemies of the U.S., a proposal that Hillary herself propounded two months ago.

Obama wants to invade Pakistan and thus widen the War in Iraq, a proposal that flies in the face of his heavy anti-military, anti-war rhetoric thus far.

John Edwards claims that he takes no money from special interest groups, a statement that belies the facts, given that we know he has received funds from the Trial Lawyers Union (they have to support one of their own), and that he has received significant funding from atheist billionaire and Democratic operative George Soros.

Bill Richardson is now an avid supporter of gun control, despite the fact that during his term as Governor of New Mexico he made his mark by being a gun-rights advocate, even receiving the accolades of the NRA. Apparently Richardson cannot resist the power, money, and influence of the Democratic National Committee and Party activists, who are all in one accord against the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

As for the rest, Biden, Kucinich, and Dodd, it is all just more blah, blah, blah.

Thus, as always, The Liberty Sphere will rate each of the candidates based upon our exclusive Liberty rating system, which has been slightly amended to fit the special circumstances of this stellar performance in Chicago (10 is the highest score):

Mike Gravel--10, for not showing up
Hillary Clinton--0
Barack Obama--0
John Edwards--0
Bill Richardson--0
Chris Dodd--0
Joe Biden--0
Dennis Kucinich--0

In short, it is as if seven of the candidates said absolutely nothing, since one cannot depend on their words, and they change their rhetoric day by day.

Mike Gravel's score of 10 for not showing up will figure into his overall score in the debates. We congratulate him for being the one Democrat who finally exhibited some common sense.

Second Amendment News Roundup for 8/9/07

Scroll down for the news:

As always, we are greatly indebted to 'A Human Right' for these wonderful photos and graphics.

Here is today's Second Amendment News Roundup:

Snow Flakes in Hell blogs about the importance of a united gun rights community, and the fallout from H.R. 2640. I have been against the bill from the beginning, but I know others disagree. Hopefully this disagreement will not weaken our community in any way:

Front Sight, Press has an interesting takeoff on the notion that 'gun owners are compensating for something':

Nicki at The Liberty Zone blogs about the unthinkable, but a very real possibility in the thinking of the Founders, and a very real possibility today:

Red's Trading Post has a poll that asks the question, what do you think should happen to the BATFE? By the way, remember you can contribute to Red's legal defense through Gun Owners of America, which has set up a special fund on Red's behalf:

The Jet Pilot has a petition that you can sign which demands the fair treatment of all gun dealers, shop owners, and gun manufacturers by the BAFTE:

Traction Control reports that the Islamo-fascists have succeeded in turning the memorial to the brave men and women of United Flight 93, which went down on 9/11, into a memorial of the Muslim terrorists:

The Bitch Girls blog on the ridiculous state of affairs with regard to the Presidential primaries, which seem to be getting earlier and earlier. There is now a real possibility that Iowa may move its event to December, nearly a full year before the election:

The GOA has issued an alert about the McCarthy-Leahy-NRA-Brady gun bill, which has sailed through the House and the Senate Judiciary Committee without even as much as a recorded vote. This means the bill is now headed to the Senate floor for a final vote. This is a travesty, but then, you all know where I stand on this bill. 'Nuff said:

Blogonomicon has this to say about the GOA Alert on the McCarthy bill:

A Keyboard and a .45 points to a couple of examples that show that the anti-gun argument is always full of hysterics:

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

John Edwards--the Quintessential Chameleon

He is the Breck Girl, tending to his 1200-dollar, Hollywood-professional coiffure like a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model.

After all, he did say that he was more in tune to women's issues than the female candidate standing right beside him in the debate.

He is also the consummate African-American, claiming that he has done more for minorities than the African-American candidate running against him for the Democratic nomination.

We also know that he is the ultimate bubba, pandering to southern newspaper editors with all of the 'y'alls' and 'dad-gums' one would expect to hear from Andy Griffith.

The 'aw-shucks' demeanor that John Edwards seems to be able to turn on and off at will certainly did not impress one southern newspaper editor who has seen the candidate in action in a variety of settings and has concluded that he is one big phony.

And it is no wonder. Edwards is a male Hillary Clinton, except much worse.

Remember when Hillary went south early in the campaign and gave several speeches before African-American audiences using a fake black-southern accent?

Edwards uses similar tactics but to the nth degree.

He simply becomes what he thinks the people he happens to be with expect to see. When he is with the editor of a southern newspaper he quickly becomes the 'aw-shucks' bubba. When he is 'on' just prior to a speech he makes his way through the crowd with a fake smile, pretending to be a 'man of the common people.' When speaking to more sophisticated audiences he is the penultimate professional, the silvery-tongued attorney who can manipulate audiences every bit as much as he once manipulated juries.

Edwards' penchant for being the chameleon, however, is beginning to catch up with him. As Lincoln said, 'You can't fool all of the people all of the time.' For someone who has been in the public eye as long as Edwards, eventually some very important people along the way are going to catch on to the game.

And Edwards has been had.

Read the following scathing expose written by a newspaper editor in Columbia, South Carolina, whose observations of Edwards through the years have led him to conclude that the candidate, to put it simply, is a big fake:

Second Amendment News Roundup for 8/8/07

Scroll down for the news:
Here is today's Second Amendment News Roundup:

Blonde Sagacity received a distinct honor for a blogger. She was invited to participate in an interview on Fox News Channel this past Saturday night. Way to go! Here are her remarks about the experience:

Blonde Sagacity also posts the results of a very interesting online poll. Conservative bloggers were given the opportunity to choose who they wish to win the Republican nomination for President. Here are the results:

John Lott has an item of interest with regard to concealed carry. A licensed concealed carry handgunner in Seattle was able to stop a man who had just murdered his ex-wife by stabbing her over 20 times:

Say Uncle says there must be something in the water. This is two days in a row the mainstream media has had positive stories about guns:

Red's Trading Post recorded an interview to be broadcast on radio on August 25 with Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America. Pratt announced that the GOA is starting a special legal defense fund for Red's fight with the BATFE. The fund will be managed by the Gun Owners Foundation. This is great news. Read more here:

Open Carry informs us that Ron Paul has introduced legislation in the House that will prohibit any regulation barring citizens from carrying guns for protection in the nation's national parks. Rep. Virgil Goode of Virginia is now a cosponsor of the bill, but more cosponsors are needed:

The Volokh Conspiracy comments on the MSNBC/Newsweek piece entitled, 'One Nation, Under Gun':

Alphecca reports that Jessie Jackson has asked for a jury trial at his upcoming court case concerning his arrest at an anti-gun rally:

Blogonomicon points to an example of PSH propaganda. By the way, PSH is a phrase coined by Say Uncle to refer to the 'Pants Shitting Hysterics' of the anti-gun bigots:

Snow Flakes in Hell says that the anti-gun bigots have jumped into overdrive over the shootings in Newark, New Jersey. They are slinging blame far and wide without once casting any anger toward the murderers:

The Bitch Girls blow the lid on the 'Violence Policy Center's' lack of credibility:

The War on Guns makes an excellent point about cities that require law-abiding gun owners to report when their guns are stolen. This actually grants an exemption to the criminals:

A Keyboard and a .45 says it's time to help an ally help themselves:

If you haven't already, go and check out 'Actions by T,' who is a world-renown pistolsmith. He has a blog too:

Here is a post on Action's blog, entitled, 'Helpful Tip of the Day':

You may also want to take a look at this blog by the Airborne Combat Engineer:

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Well, at least he didn't repeat his earlier assertion that he had a 'gut feeling' that the U.S. is in for a major terrorist attack this summer. But he did say that we are at a heightened risk for another attack, just as it was reported at the beginning of July.

In an ABC News exclusive interview, Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff provides shocking details of the foiled airline terrorist plot in 2006 that originated in the U.K. and resulted in a limit on liquids allowed on aircraft.

As it turns out, terrorists had determined that they could sneak explosive material hidden in bottles of liquid onto aircraft bound for the U.S. The terrorists had planned to use this method on upwards of nine different planes, resulting in thousands of deaths that could have rivaled that of 9/11.

Chertoff maintains that had officials in the U.K. not received a tip concerning the plot, the terrorists probably would have succeeded in their goal of killing thousands of Americans.

Once officials in the U.K. and the U.S. became aware of the plot, Homeland Security was forced into overdrive to change the habits of millions of Americans within one day--a feat that under normal circumstances would take weeks.

While Americans complained about the inconveniences of such a sudden change in the rules concerning liquids, Chertoff insists that those inconveniences pale in comparison to the carnage that would have resulted had the plot succeeded.

The Liberty Sphere continues to believe that the risk for a major terrorist attack before the end of the summer is very high. We have maintained that the nation's terror alert level should be raised to red.

We still believe that this is the most prudent course.

This does not mean that an attempted attack would be successful. Thus far, the Americans and the British have managed to thwart such plots in the making before there was any loss of life. We have confidence that most of our brave men and women who work in counterterrorism are competent professionals who are on top of fast-breaking developments.

Yet we are in a dreadful state of denial if we believe that we are insulated from more attacks similar to 9/11.

Chertoff's sobering words on the nature of the enemy and the task before us are a stark reminder of how dangerous the world has become: 'You know, we go about our business during the summer, other times of the year. People are going to ballgames or watching their children graduate from high school,' he said, 'and it chills me sometimes to think there are people a half a world away who are spending the same period of time in a cave, trying to figure out how to kill us.'

Second Amendment News Roundup for 8/7/07

Here is today's Second Amendment News Roundup:

A Keyboard and a .45 says that for an organization that seemingly is working its way out of a job, the BATFE sure is spending more and more of our tax dollars:

Alphecca reports that the New York Times is now on a vendetta against gun bloggers:

Alphecca also points to an excellent report in a Canadian newspaper about the number of gun owners who commit murder vs. the number of persons with a prior record who commit murder (carefully note the percentages):

The Jet Pilot blogs on firearms training and has some recommendations:

Say Uncle has some thoughts on why the anti-gun bloggers have failed thus far to gain readers or to change minds:

Of Arms and the Law has more on the Black Muslim Bakery killing in Oakland:

Border Sense has some shocking statistics about illegal aliens--all verified. For example, 95% of warrants for murder in Los Angeles are for illegal aliens, 83% of warrants for murder in Phoenix are for illegal aliens, and 86% of warrants for murder in Albuquerque are for illegal aliens. Read the rest here:

My favorite intellectual, Dr. Walter Williams, has an excellent read on private vs. socialized healthcare:

Congrats to Mike McCarville on his first anniversary of taking The McCarville Report online:

Traction Control has an inventory update on handguns and long guns:

The Buckeye Firearms Association says that Ohio will begin debate about the Castle Doctrine TODAY. The Brady gang has already sprung into action:

John Lott reports on the results of the Manchester Republican Party fundraiser that centered around firing machine guns:

Red's Trading Post reports, among other things, that members of Congress are beginning to take notice of his plight with the ATF, and they are not happy with this rogue arm of the Justice Department:

The War on Guns has an excellent guest editorial on the downside of liberty:

The Liberty Zone posts commentary on Sacramento's gun control delusions:

The Bitch Girls' muse must be smiling on them today. They take a creative, humorous look at the gun control freak who wonders why there are not more anti-gun blogs:

Snow Flakes in Hell issues a special alert to gun owners in New Jersey, and for good reason:

Front Sight, Press comments on Democratic Presidential candidate Bill Richardson's movement from being a pro-gun, NRA-endorsed candidate to a gun control freak:

Blogonomicon points to a description of point shooting--very helpful for those new to handgun shooting:

Cap'n Bob reports on the Damsel's skill in using firearms and has the video to prove it:

Monday, August 06, 2007

Republicans Square Off in Iowa

The Republicans had a debate early Sunday morning in Iowa. Unless you are a news junkie you probably didn't even know a debate was taking place.

Yet Iowans get up early, and they packed the house to hear the nine Republican candidates spar on a variety of issues, one week prior to a major straw poll on Saturday, Aug. 13.

Significant in this debate was the fireworks that occurred between Senator Sam Brownback and Mitt Romney. Brownback took Romney to task for his about-face on abortion, not that it isn't admirable for Romney to change his mind but that dyed-in-the-wool pro-life candidates such as Brownback have reason to doubt Romney's sincerity.

Romney has taken an about-face on several issues since his days as a Liberal Republican Governor of the state of Massachusetts. The Liberty Sphere has often asked the question, who is the real Mitt Romney?

Nobody really knows except for the candidate himself.

Brownback's offensive played well in Iowa, where most Republican activists are pro-life. Attendees and observers however did not give the Kansas Senator top marks in the debate.

Most of those who responded to various polls believed that Ron Paul won the debate. Other top contenders were Sam Brownback, Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani, and Mitt Romney.

John McCain registered a very poor showing in the polls following the debate, which only further solidifies the contention that his candidacy is pretty much washed up.

As always, Duncan Hunter showed great strength and grasp of the issues. From the beginning he has been our favorite candidate, and it is a shame that a highly respected Congressman of his stature has not been able to break out of single digits in the polls.

Tom Tancredo also registered a strong showing in the debate. His effectiveness in handling these forums has steadily improved over time.

That brings us to Tommy Thompson. Thompson has had a distinguished career in Republican Party politics and has definitely made his mark for conservative values. His debate performances are never lackluster, but we have come to expect a consistency about them that neither buries the candidate nor catapults him to the top.

As always, The Liberty Sphere provides ratings for the candidates based upon their views on the following key issues that are central to human liberty--national defense, taxes, abortion, gun rights, the War on Terror, healthcare, immigration, and U.S. foreign policy.

Based upon these key issues, The Liberty Sphere rates the Republican candidates as follows, after Sunday morning's debate (10 is the highest score):

Duncan Hunter--10
Mike Huckabee--10
Tom Tancredo--10
Sam Brownback--8
Ron Paul--7
Tommy Thompson--7
Rudy Giuliani--6
Mitt Romney--6
John McCain--5

Second Amendment News Roundup for 8/6/07

Here is today's Second Amendment News Roundup:

The McCarville Report has a prediction of a major Republican pollster concerning the 2008 Presidential election:

A Keyboard and a .45 has a range report from the weekend. He met a fellow blogger (Traction Control) for some shooting:

Alphecca has a report on a great concert by rocker and gun-rights activist Ted Nugent:

Trouble Ain't Over blogs on Sean Penn's latest anti-American antics with his good buddy Hugo Chavez of Venezuela:

Red's Trading Post reports that the ATF has shut down the 2nd oldest gun shop in the state of Idaho:

Blogonomicon makes a very important point about guns and registration:

The War on Guns reports three new developments at Red's Trading Post:

Of Arms and the Law points to a news story about a man in Florida who used his gun to defend himself against carjackers:

Snow Flakes in Hell has an interesting news item on Canada's continuing debate on the issue of handguns:

The Bitch Girls have a post entitled, 'Never Enough Guns':

Nicki at The Liberty Zone has an interesting post on Rudy Giuliani's stance on guns--a stance which, in fact, is entirely inconsistent:

Xavier Thoughts has the story on the police officer from Noble, OK, who shot a little boy while firing at a snake. If you or I had done this, we would be in jail. What about 'we're the only ones'?:

Gun Law News is reporting that H.R. 2640 has made it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Contact your Senators NOW about this bill. This is the McCarthy bill that was proposed in the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings, which the NRA supports but the GOA opposes:

The Volokh Conspiracy alerts us to a great organization, the St Gabriel Possenti Society, which is a gun-rights advocacy group named after a heroic Catholic seminarian who rescued the town of Isola, Italy from bandits in 1860. The Society promotes St. Gabriel as the Patron Saint of Handgunners:

John Lott gives some much-deserved recognition to a man who stopped a robbery of a bank in Bessemer, Alabama, but who died on his job this weekend:

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Meddlesome Neighbors

Count me in as one of those who detest so-called 'Covenants and Restrictions' that come as a precondition to the purchase of a home within a 'planned community.' As a purchaser who owns not only the home but the land that it's built on, I should have the sole authority to make rules concerning my property.

And yes, you would be quite right if you think I am living in la-la land.

That kind of freedom went out the window years ago as the real estate industry began colluding with developers and builders to jack up the prices on homes and property.

Let me quickly state that I have nothing against real estate agents, builders, and developers. Most of these persons work hard, and the income they earn is never guaranteed but totally dependent on the market.

However, I do have a problem with the modern adage of real estate that maintains that 'approximate uniformity' within a community helps keep property values high and greatly enhances the return on one's investment.

The underlying idea behind the concept of 'uniformity' is that the more my property is maintained similarly to all of my neighbors' the more I can expect my property to increase in value.

The concept worked as long as everyone bought into the notion, and as long as the market was good. But it always seemed that such a concept was arbitrarily set and subject to manipulation.

Taken solely on its face value, WHY, exactly, should my property maintain and increase its value simply because it is almost like everyone else's?

One problem has been the buyers themselves. People these days have come to expect that when they invest in property within a planned community they get to dictate what their neighbors do so as to minimize the possibility that someone may do something that could de-value their property. These meddlesome neighbors are just as guilty as the rest of the bunch for the present state of affairs.

The problem is that this mindset has been taken to the extreme. The last set of 'Covenants and Restrictions' I read was about an inch thick and contained nearly 100 pages.

One of the things my neighbors decided I could not do was to put up a satellite dish.

I figured that perhaps the homeowners' association was run by the cable company.

Another was that I could not keep my garage door open.

After all, we wouldn't want anyone looking up in there to see that I was using a 15-year old mower. My neighbors would have a hissy over that one. If you are not using a new Toro or John Deer, somebody might get the wrong idea about the neighborhood.

It was also forbidden that a homeowner have any more than three trees in the front yard.

I kid you not.

But after all, who said that planned communities were green-friendly to begin with?

The most disgusting thing of all, however, was when neighbors would call the homeowners' association to squeal on you. At that point you would get one of those nasty letters from the association informing you that you were in violation of Code 234560-B on page 3659 of the Covenants and Restrictions.

You then had thirty days to correct the 'problem.'

It was then that strategically-placed anonymous phone calls to the homeowners' association came in handy. Such as, 'Did you know that so-and-so, who lives at such-and-such, is using the wrong kind of shearers to cut his shrubbery? And that this type of shearer would create the wrong angle and look?'

'Sir, you mean your neighbor is in violation of Code 67098634-R on page 9783 of the Covenants and Restrictions?'

'Yes, ma'am, I'm afraid so.'

Boy, that was enough to get the dirty little rat thrown out of the neighborhood.

Seriously, the restrictions that are inherent in a planned community are bordering on the ridiculous, even depriving some persons of their Constitutional rights, such as when the community insists that all residents not have firearms.

Of course, the unimportant matter of a Constitutional right pales in comparison to the need to keep up property values--at all costs.

Funny, though, that all the Covenants and Restrictions in the world cannot succeed in preventing a depreciation of property values in the present housing market. All across the country homeowners are having to drop the sales price of their homes below that of so-called 'comparative market value' just to get their homes sold.

Perhaps this correction in the overly-inflated housing market will lead to some serious thought about where we have been headed in this country. If I invest in property, I should not have to appease my neighbors about what I do with that property as long as I am not breaking any laws.

But then again, maybe I am not cut out for planned community living. I am too accustomed to smoking my pipe without some half-crazed meddlesome neighbor going on a tirade about the evils of tobacco and threatening to have me arrested.