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Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Dilemma of the Libertarian-Leaning Voter

During a speaking engagement some time ago I fielded a question from the participants concerning my political preferences. The question was this: given that you are obviously libertarian in your views, why, then, do you tend to support Republican candidates?

The answer that I gave at the time is still relevant. I said, 'Because the Republicans are the only ones, with a national audience, that take the Bill of Rights seriously, at least enough to talk about it.'

Of course it bears repeating my oft-cited assertion that I am neither Republican nor Democrat, but a political independent with libertarian leanings.

Further, it is essential to understand that there is a difference between belonging to the Libertarian Party, which I do not, and being one who espouses libertarian views.

A libertarian point of view toward government and politics normally centers on the belief in free market capitalism, small government that intrudes into private lives and private business only to insure a fair playing field, an adherence to Constitutional principles, particularly with regard to the Bill of Rights, and the general conviction that government is not entitled to taxes but is ultimately dependent on the people and what they are willing to allow government to collect in order to pay for the legitimate role of government as delineated in the Constitution itself.

At one time while the nation was still in its infancy, those persons who adhered to these views were known as 'Jeffersonian Democrats.'

The meanings of words certainly change over time.

Today Democrats are nearly as far away from the principles of Jefferson as one can get. Some Republican are just as bad.

Yet overall, Republicans generally claim at least verbal adherence to Jeffersonian principles. Even Rudy Giuliani, who is by no means a Jeffersonian, is alarmed at the abject socialism of Hillary Clinton and states that he would choose judges for the federal bench based upon the principle of 'strict constructionism,' which means that a candidate for a seat on the federal bench would have to consider the views of the Framers as the ultimate test of Constitutional interpretation.

Of course, Giuliani has consistently contradicted his stated philosophy by supporting measures that fly in the face of the views of the Framers, particularly on the Second Amendment.

Nonetheless, Republican voters take these matters very seriously. And thus, Rudy's apparent failure to adhere to his own stated principles is a big issue with a large portion of the GOP faithful, particularly in areas such as the South, the Midwest, and the Rocky Mountain states.

There are times, however, when the chosen Republican candidate is so repugnant when it comes to libertarian principles that voting for a third party candidate seems to be the only prudent course.

For example, during the 2006 election cycle I threw my support behind Alabama Gubernatorial candidate Loretta Nall, who was running on the Libertarian ticket. Republican governor Bob Riley had alienated many libertarian leaning Republicans in the state by proposing the largest tax increase in the state's history, although there was no budget shortfall.

It was for this exact same reason that I threw my support behind U.S. Senatorial candidate Kathrene Harris, R-FLA, in her bid to unseat Senator Bill Nelson. Harris wishes to abolish the IRS and move to a fair tax system as a means of lifting the tax burden for all.

The Democratic candidate in Alabama, Lucy Baxley, was a regular run-of-the-mill modern Democrat, complete with the expected 'big government can solve all' mentality.

I saw little difference between Riley and Baxley, and thus, I began to look at Nall.

I determined that Nall was the best choice based upon five basic reasons: she wished to cut the state income tax and supported the 'fair tax' on the national level; she supported homeschooling and private schools to protest the sorry state of affairs in public schools; she supported removing all restrictions on gun rights; she wished to end the so-called 'war on drugs' much as the nation ended Prohibition against alcohol for one reason alone--it did not work; and finally, she was refreshingly candid and honest.

Knowing early-on that Nall's chances of being elected were next to nil, I nonetheless could not bring myself to support either the Republican or the Democrat. Thus, my support went to Nall.

When this same level of deduction is applied to the national level, how far does the Republican candidate for President have to stray from basic libertarian principles before the GOP faithful begin to look to a third-party alternative?

My gut tells me that many would do exactly that--begin looking elsewhere--if the nominee happens to be Giuliani or McCain, and perhaps even Romney.

The question is, where would they go? If Giuliani is unacceptable, then support for someone like Hillary or Obama would be laughable. But there are no serious libertarian-leaning candidates to support in the Presidential race, unless it is one of the Republicans other than the RINOS.

This means that it is absolutely essential that the GOP chooses a candidate who appeals to those who value the Constitutional principles of small, efficient government, low taxes, free market capitalism, personal freedom, and the Bill of Rights--ALL of the Bill of Rights.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Bloomberg Wins This Gun Battle--For Now

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg scored a victory for gun control groups when a federal judge issued a ruling on Thursday allowing NYC to sue out-of-state gun dealers. The ruling, which was issued by Judge Jack Weinstein, enables the city to proceed with lawsuits against over a dozen out-of-state gun dealers for supposedly contributing to crime in the Big Apple.

It is not as if the Big Apple needs any help from the outside to be one of the biggest crime hubs in the nation. The city manages to do quite well as a center for violent crime quite on its own.

Yet anti-Second Amendment groups and individuals, such as Bloomberg and Judge Weinstein, have always sought to address crime and violence by attacking firearms and the law-abiding citizens who own them.

It seems that the modus operandi of such gun-grabbers these days is to attack private gun ownership by suing firearms manufacturers and the shops that sell their products, often to the point of forcing them out of business.

As reported previously on The Liberty Sphere, upwards of 85% of American gun manufacturers and gun dealers have been forced out of business by the Feds since the middle of the 1990s. Apparently Mayor Bloomberg wishes to close down the rest by suing their pants off.

The State of New York lost an identical suit against the gun industry in 2003 in the Sturm, Ruger case. A state appellate court threw out the lawsuit, citing the lack of precedent in the state's theory of liability.

The fact that Bloomberg and the City of New York would bring the exact same suit that the state lost a mere four years previously, i.e., 'public nuisance,' is odd to say the least. However, when one considers the circumstances of the present scenario, including the Judge who happens to be involved, the entire matter begins to come into focus.

Judge Jack B. Weinstein is 86 years old. In spite of his age and his senior status in the federal court system, he maintains a full schedule and docket.

Weinstein was appointed to the bench in 1967 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, one of the most liberal and corrupt politicians that has ever occupied the White House. In the Johnson tradition of vastly expanding the powers of the federal government and implementing the most far-reaching social experiment ever perpetrated on the populace, i.e., the 'Great Society,' Weinstein has been at the center of judicial activism his entire career.

The Great Society represents the beginning of the notion in America that individuals are never responsible for their own actions. If one is caught and charged with a crime, poverty is to blame, or a thousand other various and sundry excuses.

A dysfunctional family of origin, a disadvantaged upbringing, the lack of proper nutrition during childhood, sexual abuse, physical abuse, verbal abuse, emotional abuse are all likely suspects. Too bad they can't be charged with crimes.

Thus, the 'victim' mentality took root in America, meaning of course that if I get a lung disease from smoking, I am not to blame at all for smoking. It is the fault of the tobacco companies. If I walk into a crowded restaurant at lunch and open fire, killing 25 people, I am not to blame for my homicidal behavior. I probably had a cruel mother.

And more importantly, it was not I who did the killing. It was the gun I held in my hand.

Judge Jack B. Weinstein is the perfect Judge for perpetual victimhood.

A case in point is the class action lawsuit against the tobacco industry that was thrown out of court by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in 2005. In the 'Simon II Litigation' the Court ruled that Judge Jack Weinstein had exceeded the scope of federal law by certifying a non-opt-out class of smokers who had been diagnosed with smoking-related illnesses.

Weinstein is notorious for his blatantly aggressive use of the class action lawsuit and consumer protection laws in order to resolve toxicity and product liability claims.

Further, the fact that Weinstein mysteriously seems to be the one Judge who rules over these cases is curiously suspicious. As David Hardy points out, every federal district in the country utilizes a random system of assigning cases to judges. Yet this random system seems to have a rather consistent pattern of choosing Weinstein to control product liability litigation.

And it just so happens that Bloomberg gets Weinstein.

Given that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has a history of citing Weinstein for his overzealous stretching of the law, it is a safe bet that the Court will look askance at the present case in question, given that New York State has already lost the exact same lawsuit.

But for now, Bloomberg has won himself a gun battle, thanks to an 86-year old activist Judge who will not allow a tiny matter such as the law get in the way of his rulings.

However, the loss of a battle is not the same as the loss of the entire war.

Second Amendment News Roundup for 8/17/07

Scroll down for the news:

Images and graphics courtesy of A Human Right.

Focusing on guns and politics, here is today's Second Amendment News Roundup:

The Bitch Girls will no longer be least not on the blog. We are very sad to hear that Bitter Bitch is hanging it up, at least for now. We will miss her posts, which were always humorous, thoughtful, and well-written. In this post, Bitter explains her reasons for taking some time away:

Most of you know that Sebastian over at Snow Flakes in Hell is Bitter Bitch's boyfriend. Some have suggested that the two combine their blogs, which would be a great idea in our opinion:

Of Arms and the Law posts this commentary on Judge Jack Weinstein's decision to allow NYC to sue out-of-state gun shops (and I posted an opinion piece about this on today's edition of The Liberty Sphere):

Red's Trading Post points out this interesting fork in the road for gun dealers:

The War on Guns says that the Brady Gang and Jessie Jackson are staging a national protest against guns on August 28:

Open Carry supports a national 'buy a box of ammo day' on Aug. 28 as a counter-protest to the Brady-Jackson anti-gun strut:

Nicki at The Liberty Zone reports that the state of New Jersey is teaming up with the ATF in its vendetta against guns, gun owners, gun shops, and gun manufacturers:

John Lott has this example of 'the slippery slope'--the banning of twisting balloons into the shape of guns:

The Madman Raves has an example of one of our favorite pastimes--looking at hot chicks with guns:

Alphecca says that Mexico is still whining about U.S. gun laws (as if they have a right to complain about ANYTHING concerning this country!):

WorldNetDaily News posts this story on a Roman Catholic priest in the Netherlands who says that Christians should begin to refer to God as 'Allah' in order to ease tensions with Muslims (ok, repeat along with me...'HORSE SHIT'):

The Buckeye Firearms Association has an article entitled, 'While Washington Vacations, a War Rages Here at Home':

Mike McCarville reports that Fred Thompson has taken the lead in a South Carolina poll. The state is of immense importance in the GOP race:

The McCarville Report also has an article concerning the fear and trembling of the mainstream media over Rupert Murdock's impending takeover of the Wall Street Journal:

The Jet Pilot blogs on some disturbing news concerning a new screening system at the nation's airports. Facial expressions will now be used to screen passengers. Just think, a frown at a ticket agent may be enough to get you thrown into jail:

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Hole Dug All the Way to China

American corporations and the U.S. government have used the 'free trade' mantra to justify a myriad of dubious decisions that have benefited foreign governments and helped U.S. companies cut costs. With the latest news that toys made in China are lead-laden, it is becoming clear that all of these years we have been digging ourselves into a hole, and that hole leads all the way to China.

First it was the news that our beloved pets were being poisoned to death by pet food that originated in China. Then we discovered that some of our toothpaste had a Chinese connection, and that certain brands contained poison harmful to humans.

And now we are told that toys made in China are tainted with lead, a substance that has proven highly toxic to children.

The present scenario is the result of years of a misguided trade policy. We have essentially allowed foreign governments to take over a large share of the American market in the name of 'lower prices.' For example, the American toy industry is nearly non-existent. Mattel makes most of its toys using the slave labor in China.

At the same time we have allowed countries such as China to impose highly restrictive tariffs on American exports. China has taken the billions it has made off of these tariffs and promptly used that money against the U.S. by building up its military arsenal.

Republican Presidential contender Duncan Hunter was one of the first to sound the alarm about this unfair trade advantage, along with the outsourcing of American jobs overseas.

Mr. Hunter was perhaps the first to propose a 'fair trade' policy toward China and other such nations, rather than 'free trade.' Free trade is great as long as it is fair. When free trade ceases to be fair, it is no longer free.

Countries that impose tariffs on American goods should face having the same thing done to their goods when they come to the U.S. This is the only fair and reasonable way to do business.

Many have suggested that in response to the string of dangers arising from Chinese products, we should focus on buying American. However, this is much more difficult to do than in the past.

For example, Mattel is an American company, but most of its toys are made in China. Honda is a foreign company but most of the cars it sells in the U.S. are made in the U.S. Ford, GM, and Chrysler are American companies but use parts and materials made overseas.

The U.S. government and the large corporations have only themselves to blame for the present predicament. Perhaps the only method in the short term of dealing with the problem is to implement the provisions of fair trade, place tariffs on all Chinese goods, and demand that American companies stop using Chinese materials until that country cleans up its act.

Second Amendment News Roundup for 8/16/07

Scroll down for the news:

Image courtesy of A Human Right.

Focusing on guns and politics, here is today's Second Amendment News Roundup:

Alphecca alerts us to yet another Ted Kennedy special. This time 'Senator Blowhard' is pushing a federal gun microstamping bill similar to the one in California:

The Bitch Girls blog on Pro Se litigants and how they are a growing danger to us all:

Of Arms and the Law has an interesting post entitled 'Where Satire Meets Reality':

Say Uncle says that perhaps we should give Jim Zumbo another chance, given that he's apologized so many times:

Cap'n Bob and the Damsel point out that Newsweek magazine is engaging in contradicting itself on the global warming issue:

Traction Control has some much-deserved strong words for the Islamic low-lives that turned a memorial to United 93 into a shrine in memory of the hijackers:

John Lott points to a Washington Post article from 1922 which sounds the alarm about global warming and its effects in the Arctic region. Mmmmm, so what the heck happened from the 1940s until the first decade of the 21st century? (Hint: the Arctic cooled off again!!):

Snow Flakes in Hell has another example of how clueless news reporters can be about firearms:

Cameron Bailey contends that our Coast Guard doesn't exactly strike fear into the hearts of potential terrorists. They look like little boys with guns:

Random Ramblings of a Republitarian blogs on the phenomenon he calls 'gun free victim zones':

Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership issues an alert on new tools for tyranny:

Xavier Thoughts has more information on the man who began to shoot people on Interstate 35 in Dallas last week:

The War on Guns takes a humorous look at the BATFE agent who raided Red's Trading Post and got her picture taken in the process:

The Buckeye Firearms Association has a great article entitled the 'Unabridged Second Amendment':

Ryan Horsley at Red's Trading Post reports that he has been issued a speaking invitation by the small business association to talk about ATF abuses:

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

What Is Hillary Hiding Now?

Hillary Clinton's White House records from the years Bill was President are sealed until after the '08 election cycle. This is not the first time important documents that show the candidate's true colors have been hidden from public view.

For well over a decade Hillary's thesis from the time she was a student at Wellesley College was locked and sealed in the archives. Even today one must travel to the college in order to read the paper.

When the thesis was finally made available to the public, if one has the resolve to travel all the way to Wellesley to read it, we discovered that one of the main reasons she morphed from a Goldwater Republican to an avowed ultra-liberal was one Saul Alinsky, a proponent of radical community activism.

Radical schools of thought represented by extremists such as Alinsky were being pushed on college campuses during that era, and Hillary bought into it hook, line, and sinker. Her thesis speaks of Alinsky in glowing terms.

When the Clintons specifically place material off-limits to the public, one can rest assured there is something to hide. The Clinton White House had specifically requested in 1993 that the Hillary thesis be hidden from the public.

With regard to the Hillary White House records that are being kept secret, remember that these years cover such scandals as Travel-gate, the Vince Foster 'suicide,' and of course, the Monica Lewinsky ordeal.

The hidden records also contain the complete story behind Hillary's attempt to socialize the nation's healthcare system in 1993-94. The Clintons have already released a sanitized version of those years, which have been available to the public for quite some time.

What we do not have, however, is the whole story, complete with Hillary's own descriptions of her thoughts and feelings concerning the battle and those who opposed her advocacy for Socialized Medicine.

One can be sure beyond all reasonable doubt that there are some zingers in those records that would be used as fodder in the campaign, if we were allowed to see them.

Hillary is not known for being one to keep her opinions and feelings to herself, particularly behind closed doors, and sometimes in public, though of late she has been decidedly more guarded in her public statements.

The nightmare scenario that lurks in those hidden records is in the event that Hillary is elected President in 2008, only for the public to be treated to the contents of those sealed records which show who-knows-what about the new Chief Executive.

But then again, we already know enough about the Clintons to be wary of a Hillary Presidency. Scandal has been their calling card from day one. There is absolutely no reason to think that would change now, at this late date.

Couric/CBS Continue Climate Propaganda

Without missing a beat the Katie Couric/CBS News propaganda machine continued with its erroneous and misleading 'news' stories on climate change. Monday night's broadcast proved what The Liberty Sphere had predicted, i.e., that the mainstream media would deliberately bury stories about NASA's 'mistake' that led to the current climate hysteria.

Five full days had passed since the news broke concerning a Y2K bug that caused a widespread bump in temperature readings by NASA's computers. It was last Wednesday that NASA quietly leaked the information that it had corrected the bug, which resulted in an entirely different scenario concerning global warming.

The corrected information shows that the year 1934 is the hottest in recorded history instead of 1998. In addition, five of the ten hottest years on record occurred before the 1940s, and the decade of the 1930s contains three of the hottest years since records began to be kept.

None of this, of course, was reported by CBS, ABC, NBC, or CNN.

Instead, Couric and CBS News ran a special news report Monday evening that continued to spread half-truths and outright untruths concerning global warming, particularly in light of the fact that the new NASA data shows that the earth is actually 1-2% COOLER than we had originally thought.

If one listened closely to the scientists who were interviewed in the piece, one would notice that no one stated that mankind is the cause for climate change. In fact, at one point a scientist who is examining the data in the Arctic Circle stated that, 'We are continuing to attempt to determine what role humans may have played, if any, in the gradual melting of the ice.'

By anyone's estimation, this is hardly a definitive statement on 'man-made global warming.' The scientist went further to say that 150,000 years ago, the place they were standing would have been much thicker with ice, and that 150,000 years prior to that, the area would be covered with water rather than ice.

300,000 years ago, the Arctic Circle was devoid of most of its ice? Which of the oil refineries and automobiles existing at that time caused this?

In spite of the the obvious uncertainty of the scientists CBS interviewed, the piece deftly glossed over any such backtracking and hedging, and proceeded to frame the entire news story in terms of man-made climate change.

Never once was there any mention of the NASA debacle in the year 2000, which they are just now getting around to correct.

Thus, the propaganda machine is alive and well. The facts be damned.

Second Amendment News Roundup for 8/15/07

Scroll down for the news:
Photos and graphics courtesy of A Human Right.

Focusing on guns and politics, here is today's Second Amendment News Roundup:

Ryan Horsley of Red's Trading Post was able to get a meeting with 'the man' Ted Nugent. Nugent promises support for Red's in their fight against the BATFE:

Of Arms and the Law reports that the Nation of Islam has threatened to sue the NRA:

The McCarville Report says that Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor (who is a member of the Bloomberg gun-grab group) may be in legal hot water over going outside the city for a new police chief who supports gun control:

Snow Flakes in Hell blogs on more 'pants shitting hysterics' from across the Pond, this time about Florida's Castle Doctrine:

John Lott has the statistics which show that Academia overwhelmingly supports liberal Democrats. Just follow the money trail:

Alphecca says that the growing problem of gang violence worldwide has reached Norway of all places:

Cameron Bailey reports that the Protect America Act of 2007 should be renamed the Protect America from Privacy Act:

The Volokh Conspiracy posts a great video of Eugene Volokh and Jack Balkin discussing the First and Second Amendments:

The War on Guns has evidence that law enforcement officers are increasingly negligent in their duties to protect their most valuable companion other than their firearms--their police dogs. Increasingly these dogs are being left in patrol cars for hours in the hot weather with no food, water, or ventilation. We civilians would be thrown under the jail for such brutality, and rightly so:

Nicki at The Liberty Zone points to a most interesting case in North Carolina. A third year law student at Wake Forest University successfully argued for overturning the conviction of an ex-con who was charged with possessing a firearm:

Xavier Thoughts offers a follow-up to EBay's misguided and disgusting turn against firearms:

The Bitch Girls point out that Northern Virginia's politicians, both Democrat and Republican, cannot be counted on to support gun rights, except for this one member of the GOP:
(Update: Bitter stresses that she was not implying that no politicians in Virginia other than the Lt.Governor support gun-rights. There are those in both Parties who do).

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Changing Complexion of GOP Race

The Iowa GOP Straw Poll on Saturday was only a preliminary poll. No delegates were won by any of the participants. Yet already there has been a casualty as Tommy Thompson drops out of the race after posting a sixth place finish in a state where he desperately needed to be in the top three.

With former candidate Jim Gilmore dropping out of the race earlier, the slate of announced GOP candidates has now been whittled down to eight. Of those eight, only five stand a real chance at gaining the Republican nomination, and even two of those are highly doubtful.

Among the announced candidates 'the big five' are Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Mike Huckabee, and Tom Tancredo.

Although John McCain keeps campaigning and insists he will not drop out, it is difficult to imagine his candidacy going anywhere. A look at the landscape of the primaries will reveal that the candidate in all likelihood will win absolutely no states.

Duncan Hunter, the highly respected veteran California Congressman, has unfortunately had great difficulty in getting his campaign off the ground. Hunter is a good candidate, a trustworthy statesman, a man of character, and a true American patriot. But his dismal showing in Iowa shows just how difficult it has been for the Congressman to garner the attention needed to mount a competitive national campaign.

Kansas Senator Sam Brownback is another man of character who will have great difficulty in mounting a competitive national campaign. His third place showing in Iowa, despite his neighboring state status, shows that the rest of the country will probably overlook his candidacy. We fail to see any of the state primaries coming through for Brownback with a victory.

This leaves the big five. Of those Ron Paul will have the biggest trouble winning a primary. It is not that he does not have a great deal of grassroots support. His supporters are active, vocal, and energized. Yet he has alienated a massive sector of the GOP base by his statements against the War in Iraq. We simply do not see Dr. Paul winning a primary, unless it happens to be one of the New England states.

Mitt Romney is another vulnerable candidate. He may well emerge from the primaries with a few victories, but one can rest assured that the vast American heartland will not support him, no matter what the Iowa straw poll shows. The fact is Romney spent a ton of his own money to buy a victory in Iowa. This will not work in places such as South Carolina, Florida, Texas, or Arizona.

In spite of the money Romney spends and the attention he receives in the media, his national poll numbers are dismal for someone who claims 'top-tier' status.

Mike Huckabee and Tom Tancredo are rising stars among the announced candidates. Both are beginning to gain the attention that they sorely lacked at the beginning of the campaign. Both are also beginning to experience rising poll numbers. The upward mobility of these two dark horses will be an interesting phenomenon to watch.

And this brings us to Rudy Giuliani, who still maintains front-runner status. Giuliani's support runs deep in many states around the country, and there is no doubt the candidate will win some primaries in states where Republicans have had difficulty in recent years.

The question is how long can Rudy maintain his status as front-runner after Fred Thompson's announcement in September.

There is absolutely no doubt that Thompson is the man to watch. He has attracted early support across the country as very few candidates ever dream of being able to do.

Can Thompson maintain and build upon this support once he jumps into the race?

The wild card in the GOP is Newt Gingrich, who still hints around from time to time that he may announce his candidacy in the Fall. While Gingrich will bring much energy and fresh ideas to the campaign, we worry about his high negatives, which rival that of Hillary Clinton.

Only one thing may tip Gingrich in the direction of running--should Fred Thompson falter after his entry into the race, Gingrich may decide that he is the one who can save the Party from an embarrassing defeat in '08.

Second Amendment News Roundup for 8/14/07

Scroll down for the news:

Photos and graphics courtesy of A Human Right.

Focusing on guns and politics, here is the Second Amendment News Roundup for today:

Nicki at the Liberty Zone reports good news that students in some Virginia colleges are beginning to take the initiative for the sake of their own defense:

Nicki also points to an essay claiming 'a sad commentary on our times':

Xavier Thoughts posts the results of a major FBI report on those who attack cops and the broad implications for law-abiding gun owners. This is a must-read:

Alphecca shows us the convoluted 'logic' of yet another anti-gun editorial writer, this time in the Chicago Sun-Times:

The Bitch Girls make an important point about the latest random shooting, this one in Missouri in a 'gun-free zone' called a church:

Political Mavens has an interesting read entitled, 'Guns Don't Kill People; Illegal Immigrants With Guns Kill People':

Snow Flakes in Hell blogs on 'the awkward phase' when one is just beginning to get adjusted to shooting a firearm:

Say Uncle provides a 'thought for a Monday' (except now it is a thought for a Tuesday):

Front Sight, Press points to a news item concerning four students in Alabama who have been charged with murder over an argument about high school football teams:

Ryan Horsley of Red's Trading Post says he was the subject of an article in the local newspaper on Sunday that implied (erroneously) his troubles with the ATF are about sales to criminals:

Blogonomicon alerts us to a poll about gun control. Give it a look, and then go and cast your vote:

The War on Guns has this stimulating read entitled, 'A Crazed Right-Wing Militant Responds':

Monday, August 13, 2007

Iowa Straw Poll: Three Unlikely Winners

The Republican Party of Iowa held its heralded straw poll on Saturday. As expected Mitt Romney was declared the winner after garnering 31% of the 14,203 votes cast.

Romney's win, however, is not considered a major boost to the campaign of the former Massachusetts governor. Romney had visited the state no less than 17 times and spend a ton of money to bring his supporters to the polls.

The real story of this straw poll is that there were three unlikely winners.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee came in 2nd in spite of the fact that he spent very little money and has almost no presence on the Internet. Huckabee received 18.1% of the vote.

The real surprise of the day was that U.S. Congressman Tom Tancredo came in 4th with 13.7% of the vote. Under normal circumstances a 4th place finish would not be considered significant. With Tancredo, however, such a feat is a major step forward in his campaign.

Tancredo was considered the darkest horse of the dark horses in the Republican bid for the Presidential nomination. His first debate performance, to say the least, was unimpressive.

Yet the Colorado Congressman has gradually improved in his ability to field questions in these forums, and he can deliver a rousing speech. Thus, the dark horse candidate who was having trouble reaching 1 or 2 percent in polling numbers received a double-digit percentage of the vote in Iowa.

The third unlikely winner in the contest was Fred Thompson. Although the former U.S. Senator from Tennessee did not visit the state prior to the straw poll, and was not even formally listed on the ballot, Thompson still managed to to come in 7th, ahead of both Rudy Giuliani and John McCain.

Giuliani and McCain decided to skip the event.

Sam Brownback's standing in the poll was not devastating by any stretch of the imagination, but it is almost certain the candidate was not pleased with his 3rd place finish. Although the Kansas Senator received 15.3% of the vote, political observers expected Brownback to do much better.

Huckabee's 2nd place finish probably surprised the Brownback campaign as much as it did Huckabee himself.

Although Tommy Thompson came in 6th with 7.3% of the vote, campaign observers expect the candidate to drop out of the race. Thompson had stated prior to the Iowa event that unless he finished in the top three in Iowa he would announce his withdrawal.

Participation in the poll was lower than expected. GOP voters indicated that this was due to their desire for another candidate, such as Fred Thompson, who has not yet announced. Others stated that because front-runners Giuliani and McCain decided to skip this event, many of the GOP faithful stayed home.

That remains to be seen. A sizeable number of Republicans across the board in all 50 states indicate they want another choice besides the current slate of candidates.

The question is, will Fred Thompson fit the bill?

Second Amendment News Roundup for 8/13/07

Scroll down for the news:

Graphics courtesy of A Human Right.

Focusing on guns and politics, here is today's Second Amendment News Roundup:

The Bitch Girls post a thorough examination of the misleading headlines in the major media, which often lead persons to assume that gun control is back as a top issue facing the nation:

The Bitch Girls also have the statistics to prove that Congressional Democrats have proceeded to break every single promise they made concerning 'reform' during the 2006 election cycle:

Xavier Thoughts blogs about the growing influence of a woman who stated, 'I picked up a gun for the first time on my 45th birthday':

Xavier also says that the Virginia Lieutenant Governor needs our help in answering a question concerning concealed carry:

Traction Control reports that the mainstream media has once again seized on a tragedy to do some anti-gun propaganda reporting, including the use of misleading 'facts':

The McCarville Report says that Hillary Clinton went to Tulsa over the weekend and promptly raised $100,000:

Front Sight, Press has the story about an armed citizen who stopped an attack on two police officers on Interstate 35 in Dallas:

Wanna know where gun control leads? Look no further than the U.K. where a couple was sentenced to 10 years in prison for merely using pepper spray. The Jet Pilot has the story here:

Snow Flakes in Hell posts an important notice concerning a challenge from the Brady gang:

Say Uncle says that Mayor Fenty of D.C. is giving up his armed guards. Ah, Mr. Mayor, do you think announcing this publicly was prudent? As the old farmer said, 'I don't believe I would've told that!':

The War on Guns reports that a new trial has been ordered for the gun collector who was found guilty of 'possessing' a 'forbidden' firearm:

A Keyboard and a .45 has news from the world of .50 calibre shooters:

As always, Nicki at The Liberty Zone provides stimulating commentary, this time on the decline of private gun ownership in Massachusetts:

Cap'n Bob has purchased a new Glock, but has run into the 'punitive delay harassment' of the state of California:

Blogonomicon has something you MUST see! It's entitled, 'Mr. Reasoned Discourse':

Alphecca comments on the idiotic and juvenile Sunday editorial in The Washington Post that makes fun of Fred Thompson's name:

Teddy at Actions by T reports that ammunition prices are going up on September 1. Sales have been up significantly this year as well:

The Volokh Conspiracy points to a most interesting and disturbing phenomenon among college students. It seems that Cuban leader Che Guevara has reached hero status in spite of the fact that his brutality against his own people rivals that of Hitler, Stalin, and the Khmer Rouge:

The Volokh Conspiracy also asks a vital question--is illegal gun possession a 'violent felony'?:

Mr. Completely provides this update on the upcoming 'Gun Bloggers Rendezvous':

Sunday, August 12, 2007

'Hot' News: Earth Colder Than Expected

The latest news scoop concerning global warming is really hot. Earth is colder than expected. NASA scientists have admitted to a mistake which led to their conclusion that the last decade was the hottest on record.

Never mind that the scientists at NASA quietly corrected the mistake, which now makes the 1930s the hottest on record. You would never know about the mistake or its correction if you depend solely upon the mainstream media for your news.

The fact that an error led to the current hysteria in the media and in certain sectors of the scientific community is no big deal when you have a propaganda machine to run.

However, it is no small consequence that the data that many scientists, politicians, and mainstream media talking heads used to justify their fear-mongering on climate change is entirely wrong. In fact, the corrected information will nearly kill the 'man-is-to-blame-for-global-warming' bandwagon, except for the most die-hard of ideologues.

An overwhelming majority of Americans, 70% to be exact, already believe that climate change is a naturally occurring phenomenon rather than man-made. As the news gets around that the entire basis for the hysteria over global warming is erroneous, that percentage will likely rise to over 90%.

No matter what the facts prove in any realm of human endeavor, we can always depend on about 5-10% who make up the fringe-element of society to discount those facts.

The problem at NASA began with a Y2K bug in the computer program in 2000. The bug caused a widespread bump in temperature readings, leading scientists to conclude that the year 1998 was the hottest on record.

When scientists corrected the problem and ran the data without the bug in the program, an entirely new scenario presented itself. The 1930s had three of the hottest years on record, and the year 1934 now holds the title for being the warmest on record.

But here is the most damning news of all for the global warming fear-mongers. Five (5) of the 10 hottest temperatures on record were recorded BEFORE WWII. This means that the first 40 years of the 20th century produced 5 of the 10 hottest temperatures on record.

Michael Asher of DailyTech has this to say about the updated information: 'The effect of the correction on global temperatures is minor (some 1-2% less warming than originally thought), but the effect on the US global warming propaganda machine could be huge.

'Then again– maybe not. I strongly suspect this story will receive little to no attention from the mainstream media.'

Some would claim that 1-2% cooler temperatures than we originally thought is a minor, almost negligible change.

Not so fast!

Climate 'experts' who have called us 'Holocaust deniers' in their attempts to browbeat skeptics into submission have insisted from the beginning that even the slightest upward move of average global temperatures is enough to sound the alarm.

One then begins to wonder that if such a slight percentage of warming is enough to sound the alarm, then new information that shows we are actually 1-2% cooler than we thought would be enough to turn OFF the alarm.

Not when you have a vested interest in destroying American liberty, free enterprise, and free consumer choice in order to usher in an era of government control over our behavior.

The erroneous data of NASA played right into the hands of extremist environmentalists who wish to change American society from top to bottom. It is highly doubtful that a correction of the erroneous data will change anything at all about a movement that is entirely political rather than scientific.

The usual suspects such as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Ralph Nader, along with their co-conspirators in the leftwing fringe of the scientific community, will continue to attempt to scare Americans into changing their behavior 'in order to save the planet from man-made global warming.'

The 'Flat-Earth Society,' to be sure, will gladly welcome the entire lot into their ranks.

To read the full report, including links, concerning the flawed data and NASA and its quiet correction, click here: