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Saturday, August 25, 2007

McCain Castigates Colleagues for Criticizing Hillary

John McCain went out of his way to castigate his Republican colleagues for their criticism of Hillary Clinton. In fact, McCain's words cannot be construed in any other way than outright praise for Bill's wife.

There are many, many reasons as to why John McCain should not be the Republican nominee for President. We do not need to use his praise of Hillary to make that point.

But McCain's words concerning Hillary are an important indication of the mindset of the man.

Hillary's long history of advocating for government-sponsored programs for everything under the sun, including socialized medicine, are well-known. Further, in her book, 'It Takes a Village,' Hillary makes it clear that in her world-view the 'village' is actually the collectivist state that is charged with the ultimate power to raise children, rather than their parents.

One quote from the book makes this point clear: 'There is no such thing as other people's children.'

In addition, Hillary has made no attempt to hide her disdain for American free enterprise, claiming that government should confiscate profits in order to build up a centralized fund for research into alternative fuels.

What, exactly, constitutes too much profit for a corporation that must provide a satisfactory return on the investments by its stockholders?

Take the oil companies, for example. Is a profit of ten cents per gallon too much? What about eighteen cents? Would a profit of fifty cents per gallon be too much?

The big oil companies make a profit of just 13 cents per gallon of gasoline sold. Yet the federal government takes 18.4 cents per gallon in taxes. Add to that local and state taxes, and in California, for example, drivers pay 58.6 cents per gallon in federal and state taxes, and another 8.2% of the purchase price for local taxes in cities such as San Francisco.

When one considers the amount of taxes assessed on gasoline by local, state, and federal governments, the profits of the oil companies pale in comparison.

Yet Hillary and other Democrats are known for condemning the oil companies for their profits while at the same time calling for more taxes on gasoline.

It goes without saying that Hillary is also known for supporting gun control, flip flopping on the War in Iraq, castigating her Democratic opponent Barack Obama for suggesting he would open talks with America's enemies although Hillary herself proposed the exact same thing several months back.

In spite of all of this, John McCain comes to Hillary's defense when his Republican colleagues dare question her record and stance on the issues.

Given McCain's mounting woes within the Republican Party, are his words of support for Hillary an indication, a signal, that perhaps there is a major switch in the making--a deal offered by Hillary that if McCain switches to the Democratic Party she will offer him the role of her running mate in 2008?

We do know that McCain and Hillary are drinking buddies. On a joint trip overseas with a Senate delegation several years back, the two engaged in a dual to see who could drink the most alcohol.

The rumor was that she drank him under the table.

But the point is, the two are good friends, and apparently McCain views Hillary as an ideological ally.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Second Amendment News Roundup for 8/24/07

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

The McCarville Report posts this item entitled, 'Gadfly on the Wall,' which contains some words of wisdom on a variety of subjects, including bloggers and hanging out with gun-nuts:

The Ninth Stage is back after a rather lengthy absence and says that appears to be defunct:

A Keyboard and a .45 has more updated info on the National Exercise Your Rights Day on Aug. 28:

Alphecca blogs on conservative talk radio in New York City:

Cameron Bailey offers this example of how armed citizens protect society:

Of Arms and the Law reports that the Miami Chief of Police, who is a supporter of the Brady Campaign to Rob Us of Our Rights, is in legal hot water:

Red's Trading Post has more good news about the growing widespread support for gun dealers who are being harassed by the ATF:

Say Uncle says there is hope for the future because of this:

Snow Flakes in Hell blogs on the idiots in the Philadelphia media:

The Bitch Girls examine the question, is it possible to pay too much for a gun?:

Nicki at The Liberty Zone had to blow off some steam over this one:

The War on Guns points to a good summary of the Aug. 28th event here:

Gun Law News posts the Firearms Coalition's complete schedule of events and venues that the anti-gun bigots will be using for their protests on Aug. 28:

The Volokh Conspiracy examines the debate over executive power in times of national crisis:

The Buckeye Firearms Association has the complete Fred Thompson op-ed on gun rights entitled, 'A New York State of Mind':

Random Ramblings of a Republitarian posts this excellent read entitled, 'Somebody Else's Problem':

The Brewing Thompson-Giuliani Battle Over Rights

Political operatives within the Giuliani campaign have decided to go on the offensive concerning the Mayor's record while Chief Executive for NYC. Giuliani has taken a beating of late from his Republican competitors concerning the style and substance of the Giuliani administration.

Several items of interest have come to the surface concerning Giuliani's years as Mayor, including charges that he was a 'little dictator' and tended to be rather callous toward some individual rights.

Giuliani, of course, successfully trampled upon the citizens' right to bear arms in his crusade to reign in the city's horrible crime problem. Apparently the fact that Giuliani's anti-crime crusade was successful in drastically reducing the amount of violent crime within the city has led some to believe that the ends justify the means, i.e., that if robbing law-abiding citizens of their rights results in a drastic reduction in crime, then fine and dandy.

This would seem to be the tactic employed by the Giuliani campaign to attempt to short-circuit the widespread criticism of the Mayor's record on Constitutional rights--show how successfully he was able to reduce violent crime and make the city safer.

Interestingly, one of the main targets of the new Giuliani offensive is none other than unannounced GOP candidate Fred Thompson.

Obviously Thompson's consistent and strong support for Second Amendment rights, and his harsh criticism of NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's aggressive pursuit of out-of-state gun dealers that operate entirely within the laws of their own particular states, are simply too much for the Giuliani campaign to ignore.

Giuliani's political operatives used Thompson's criticism of Bloomberg to go on the offensive concerning former Mayor Giuliani's record...and to launch an attack on Thompson for suggesting that Mayors Bloomberg and Giuliani have been wrong to mount an assault on a Constitutional right in order to fight crime.

As a long-time attorney who knows the ins and outs of Constitutional law, Thompson has been highly critical of Bloomberg's use of the Courts in the state of New York to sue out of state gun dealers over the fact that some of their products wound up on the streets of the Big Apple and were used in committing crimes.

Taking Bloomberg's logic at face value, one wonders why, for example, the Mayor has not also initiated lawsuits against, say, whiskey manufacturers in Tennessee and Kentucky due to the deaths of citizens at the hands of drunk drivers who consumed out of state whiskey.

Apparently the Giuliani campaign felt that Thompson's criticism of Bloomberg was a foreshadowing of things to come, when Thompson would launch into a major attack against Giuliani for his assault on Second Amendment rights in the city when he was Mayor.

Thus, the Giuliani campaign went on the offensive, attempting to make the case that under the circumstances, i.e., high crime in New York City, the Mayor was justified in attacking Constitutional rights. Obviously Giuliani also believes that the present Bloomberg power-grab, trampling all over the boundaries of jurisdictions and separation of powers, is a proper response to gun violence at the hands of lawless thugs.

The glaring question that arises is that, given Giuliani's rationale for either weakening or suspending Constitutional rights in special situations, how, then, would he respond to a critical national emergency, such as a category 5 hurricane directly hitting the northeastern corridor from NYC to Boston, which is a mega-population center?

More critically, how would Giuliani respond to a terrorist attack, such as a dirty bomb erupting in a major metropolitan area?

Would he, as President, declare Martial Law? And if so, would that include confiscation of firearms?

After all, this is precisely what the government did in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Innocent, defenseless citizens were forced to turn over their guns, even as looting and mayhem erupted, and even as the government failed to come to the aid of its citizens, at the local, state, and national levels.

If Giuliani could so easily discard Second Amendment rights in a 'special situation' such as NYC's crime problem, then how much more easily would he discard that Amendment, and other Amendments, such as freedom of speech and peaceful assembly, in the event of a major national emergency?

These questions are of no insignificant import, for the answers go directly to the heart of the nature of the United States of America as envisioned by the Framers in the Constitution.

The Framers insisted on the Second Amendment precisely because they considered the possibility of such major national emergencies. They wanted the individual citizens to be able to defend themselves against tyranny of any kind, such as the suspension of rights during a national emergency.

To the Framers this was the ultimate national emergency. Governments that sought to rob the citizens of the rights protected in the Constitution were considered to be tyrannical, and that included our own government.

In other words, if the rights delineated in the Constitution are no good in a national emergency, then the entire rationale for including the protection of those rights in the Constitution is rendered null and void. Why protect rights at all if they can simply be suspended at the very moment they are needed the most?

The fact of the matter is that all of the rights guaranteed in the Constitution were specified precisely due to the possibility of major national emergencies. The Framers fought for these rights squarely in the middle of a major national emergency when the very future of the young, fledgling Republic was at stake, the point being that if rights are no longer valid at the precise point when they are needed the most, then what good are they?

And it is for this reason that Rudy Giuliani is highly vulnerable on the subject of Constitutional rights and Fred Thompson appears to be the man who can take him on and rip to shreds the Giuliani/Bloomberg notion that rights are expendable in 'special situations.'

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Second Amendment News Roundup for 8/23/07

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:

Nicki at The Liberty Zone nails it with her comments on the abject, asinine absurdity of the district that expelled a student from middle school for merely sketching a gun!:

A Keyboard and a .45 reports that some pro-gun Democrats are joining in the National Exercise Your Rights Day on Aug. 28:

Alphecca says what we have been wanting to say about NBC's Matt Lauer for quite some time. The man is a complete jerk:

For those of you who may be interested in the spiritual side of current events, Blogonomicon has an excellent post on why Romans 13 in the Bible is not to be misconstrued to mean that Christians should always submit to civil authority. In fact, the Bible places specific limitations on civil authority:

For those of us who lean libertarian in our thinking, Cameron Bailey makes an excellent point about decriminalizing prostitution:

Say Uncle has a MUST-read on Race and Violent Crime:

Snow Flakes in Hell posts a very important piece on untraceable gun data:

The Bitch Girls blog on budding grassroots activism, especially with regard to the food police that seem to be on the prowl everywhere these days:

The War on Guns reports some more good news for Red's Trading Post. On the heels of announcements that the GOA and the JPFO were supporting Red's, the NRA announced that it too is throwing its support behind Ryan Horsley and his fight against the BATFE:

For an eye-opening read, click here to go to 'Trouble Ain't Over.' This post is very true and provides much food for thought:

The Volokh Conspiracy has something very different that should get your juices flowing. It's entitled, 'The Right to Romance--Do College Faculty Have the Right to Sleep with Their

The Anarchangel makes an excellent point on the reasons why Fred Thompson has delayed announcing his candidacy until September--it's all about timing:

Now That We're Winning, Let's Leave?

Most observers in the realm of world politics say that the so-called 'troop surge' in Iraq is working. Some of the very pundits whose warnings were used by the Democrats to call for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq are now saying that winning the war is entirely within reach.

Even many Congressional Democrats are beginning to say the very same thing.

The Democratic leadership, however, says that our recent successes in Iraq are cause for immediate withdrawal. This view is clearly not shared by many of the rank-and-file Democrats in the Congress, however.

So, what, exactly, is happening with the Democratic leadership?

One, Party leaders are definitely beholden to extremists who make up the core of the Party faithful. From Cindy Sheehan to Michael Moore, from Sean Penn to Harry Belafonte, from George Soros to Barbra Streisand, Democratic Party activists demand an immediate withdrawal from Iraq no matter what.

Two, the Democrats have staked out the War in Iraq as the single issue with which to win the White House in 2008. Thus, whether they like it or not, and whether they admit it or not, the Democrats have a vested political interest in our losing the War.

The fact that we are now winning does not figure into the 2008 campaign playbook, which assumed that Iraq would continue to drag Mr. Bush and the Republicans further down into the abyss, leaving a golden opportunity for the Democrats to seize the supposed failures of the War as a reason to put them in the White House.

Thus, for the U.S. to turn things around and actually begin to bring a volatile situation under control in Iraq would be bad political news for the Democrats.

And whether the Dems like it or not, this is precisely the predicament in which the Party and its candidates find themselves, i.e., being the Party that wins if America loses.

Three, without fail each member of the Democratic leadership is on record utilizing the most vitriolic rhetoric one can muster to condemn the War, though most of them voted for it, and to lambast the Republicans who supposedly 'got us into this mess,' which once again could not have happened without the help and support of Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, John Kerry, Harry Reid, and Ted Kennedy in 2002.

Each of the Senators mentioned above support withdrawal in spite of the turn-around produced by the troop-surge. Add to that members of the House, such as John Conyers, Nancy Pelosi, and John Murtha, and it is clear that the Party leadership is obviously paying no attention to the members of the Democratic rank-and-file nor their chosen pundits who once supported withdrawal but who now say the surge is working.

The attitude of the Democratic leadership seems to be that of, 'Now that we are winning, let's leave.' No real need to stay until the job is done, right?

Only if you have a vested interest in making sure that we do not finish the job. After all, the 2008 elections draw near.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Second Amendment News Roundup (LATE EDITION)

News is reported on the blogosphere as it happens, and thus, often the roundup of Second Amendment news is already old by the time I post it the next day.

Thus, I am going to try an experiment...a late edition of the Second Amendment News Roundup. Instead of posting the Roundup late at night to be published first thing the following day, I am going to try to post it in the late afternoon the day of.

This way the news will be current and not 'yesterday's news.'

Thus, here is the late edition of the Second Amendment News Roundup for 8/22/07:

Alphecca reports that the latest Zogby poll shows that Americans overwhelmingly reject more gun control:

Cap'n Bob says he finally got his new Glock 26 after the punitive 10-day-waiting-period in California:

Gun Law News has an interesting quote of the day:

Dr. John Lott asks a vital question: will the shooting in the Missouri Church get churches to reconsider the concealed handgun ban?"

Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership writes about the gun control glutton on Capitol Hill:

Ryan Horsley of Red's Trading Post will be speaking on ATF abuses at the Regulatory Fairness Forum in Boise, Idaho. Ryan says that now is the time to speak up about the widespread abuses perpetrated by the BATFE:

Say Uncle blogs about the growing problem of government surveillance of ordinary citizens in this country:

Snow Flakes in Hell makes an important point about continuing the fight in spite of the fact that gun rights groups are winning the hearts and minds of the American public:

Mike McCarville reports that one of the biggest allies of gun rights in the country today, U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), has endorsed Fred Thompson for President:

The War on Guns points to a strange double-standard exhibited by the government:

The Volokh Conspiracy examines a vital issue to those of us who blog--are blogs less worthy of various protections than magazines?:

Xavier Thoughts has some information on Smith and Wesson revolver collecting:

Legal Bitch, the new blogger over at The Bitch Girls, is a woman after my own heart. She posts this wonderful item on 'food fascists':

Traction Control welcomes a brand new blogger to the blogosphere:

The Rehabilitation of Dan Rather

When one watches Dan Rather's news program on HDTV on satellite, one gets the impression that one is witnessing a curious phenomenon involving the rehabilitation of the veteran news man's reputation. Rather is thoughtful, reflective, respectful--a far cry from the tempestuous, volatile, and impulsive Dan Rather to which most Americans became accustomed in his long career at CBS News.

Mr. Rather is actually easy to watch at HDTV. His interviews are in-depth, relaxed, and perceptive, allowing the interviewee to feel at ease and thus, more apt to disclose information without any of the defensiveness one feels when confronted by an aggressive news-hound.

One is apt to wonder about the change. Has Rather grown more mellow with age? Has he finally matured in concert with his age? Or is this a more calculated plan to rehabilitate the reporter's image after the debacle at CBS where it was disclosed that he and his lieutenants had fabricated a story concerning President Bush's service in the National Guard?

Perhaps it is a bit of both, and that's okay.

With age comes wisdom, or at least that is the hope. Perhaps even more wisdom is to be gleaned from making glaring mistakes in one's senior years.

Nonetheless, the change is striking.

Long before Dan Rather became anchor at CBS News following the retirement of icon Walter Cronkite in 1981, he had been the network's chief White House correspondent. During those years many wondered if perhaps Rather's penchant for being in the center of controversy became the news that overshadowed the news.

At the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Rather was roughed up by a group of protesters demonstrating on the Convention floor. He even received a gash on the side of his head, which necessitated that he wear a white patch for several weeks thereafter.

Rather never missed a beat, however. He gave a full report on the incident, on live TV, to Cronkite who was up in the booth, and he was back on the front lines the very next day.

When Richard Nixon beat Hubert Humphrey for the Presidency in 1968, Rather could hardly contain his utter disdain for Nixon. The glee with which Rather reported on the President's woes in the aftermath of Watergate was obvious. At one point, during a Presidential news conference, Rather arose to ask a question, to which the crowd of reporters responded with applause and cheers.

Who was it that said reporters weren't biased and partisan?

The President, seeking to break the tension with some humor, responded by quipping, 'Dan, are you running for something?'

Rather responded with an acerbic, 'No, Mr. President, are you?'

Years later, after assuming the role as anchor, Rather ambushed Vice-President George H.W. Bush, who was campaigning for President in 1988. The deal was that Bush would answer no questions about Iran-Contra. Rather proceeded to ask a question about Iran-Contra anyway, which sent Bush erupting into a 3-minute tirade.

Rather never got in a word edge-wise.

Many observers believed that Bush won the Presidency precisely because of the Dan Rather interview. He had taken on the unabashed liberal anchorman and won.

And then of course there was the incident where Rather walked off the set of the CBS Evening News one night, in protest of the decision by the network to delay the news broadcast due to a sporting event. The action left CBS with a blank screen for several minutes until producers decided what they were going to do.

The one thing we all came to expect from Dan Rather was the unexpected--and the volatile.

But the fabricated story on George W. Bush's military service was the last straw. When the news came to light that the whole thing was made up, with very little evidence to lend the allegations any credibility, CBS deftly eased Rather out the door in conjunction with the announcement of his upcoming retirement.

The thing is, Rather never retired.

Thus, we now are witnessing an aging news man in the sunset of his professional life taking a 180-degree about face. Perhaps Rather wishes to be remembered by some things other than his less-than-admirable decisions earlier in his career.

After all, he even appeared 2 weeks ago on Fox News on Neil Cavuto's afternoon broadcast. For a liberal, mainstream media icon to appear on Fox, on one of the most overtly conservative programs on Fox, is ample proof that something is happening.

Either Rather has lost his mind, or he really has gained some wisdom with age.

Second Amendment News Roundup for 8/22/07

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:

Alphecca comments on a Washington Post story concerning ATF gun trace data:

Say Uncle has an important quote from Fred Thompson concerning New York City's attack on the Second Amendment:

John Lott recommends a couple of TV shows that have dealt with the gun issue of late:

Red's Trading Post has a real eye-opener on the way the ATF and the Department of Justice seem to be spending their time--at taxpayers' expense, of course:

The Buckeye Firearms Association has posted a very important article on arguing gun laws and original intent:

The Bitch Girls point to Massachusetts as a good example of 'efficient, cost-effective' government (said with tongue in cheek):

The McCarville Report does some good up-close, first-hand reporting of the latest flood problems in the state of Oklahoma:

McCarville also includes this report on the counties in Oklahoma that have been declared disaster areas:

Pamela Geller at Atlas Shrugs posts the latest information on the nefarious dealings of atheist billionaire and Democratic Party operative George Soros:

The Volokh Conspiracy has an excellent examination of how the war on drugs is actually hurting the war on terror:

Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership asks the question, 'do you need your pain?':

Cameron Bailey blogs on the latest assault on free speech in Washington State. There is a move afoot to regulate bloggers!:

Of Arms and the Law has an excellent response to those who doubt that the government could ever confiscate our firearms:

The War on Guns posts a must-read entitled, 'Can Do vs. No Can Do':

Snow Flakes in Hell makes an important point about how the Castle Doctrine benefits police officers as well as ordinary citizens:

A Keyboard and a .45 has this update on the National Exercise Your Rights Day on Aug. 28 from the Firearms Coalition:

A Keyboard and a .45 also answers a question from a reader about how to get a spouse more comfortable in using a firearm for self-defense:

Congratulations to J.R. on his first anniversary of launching A Keyboard and a .45:

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tax Talk on the Campaign Trail

The campaign trail is already rife with tax talk as the candidates in both Parties gear up for their major push leading to the early 2008 primary season. Unannounced GOP contender Fred Thompson created somewhat of a stir last week by suggesting he may support the 'fair tax.'

Simply stated, the fair tax is like a national sales tax, except no sales tax would be assessed on food or medicine. This would greatly help the poorest among us.

However, the fair tax proposal has already generated opposition on the part of those with a vested interest in keeping the present system of taxation. Tax lawyers and accountants in particular are vehemently opposed to the plan, as are the tax preparation services.

The IRS is opposed to the plan. The reason, of course, is not far to find. With the fair tax in place, there would be no need for the IRS.

Liberal politicians, such as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, are against the plan. The current system allows the socialistic notion of 'redistribution of wealth' to flourish. Plus, it is too easy to score political points by creating class warfare when a politician can always point to how 'rich people and corporations do not pay their fair share' under the current system, leading to their proposals for hefty tax increases for upper income brackets and U.S. businesses.

Curiously, however, the fair tax proposal is finding some opposition among the middle class that has greatly benefited from deductions for mortgages and charitable contributions.

Perhaps this is the one negative consequence of implementing the fair tax. The middle class would no longer have those deductions.

However, there is too much in favor of a system of taxation based upon the fair tax to dismiss it outright for failing to include provisions to which Americans have been accustomed.

For one, you get to keep your own money. No federal tax assessments will be withheld from your paycheck. With more money in your pocket, you have more choices at your disposal, such as buying a home or making provision for medical care.

In addition, when you make a purchase of food or medicine, you pay no federal tax whatsoever. Many states have already implemented this policy on the local level, meaning that food and medicine are much more affordable to the lower and middle classes.

Perhaps the most enticing advantage of all with the fair tax is that at the end of the year there are no lengthy and confusing tax forms to fill out. April 15 will no longer be known as the black day when the tax man cometh. You will no longer need to fear the heavy hand of the IRS pouring over your records for mistakes, or being told that you underpaid and owe more money.

Some critics have argued that the U.S. government could not survive under such a system. Such an alarmist point of view is a scare tactic alone. Not only would government survive but it would thrive.

For the first time in memory, corporations would pay their fair share like everyone else. So would the super-rich. With the demise of the system that makes corporate welfare possible, along with loopholes that allow some of the super-rich to escape large tax liabilities, government will actually begin to collect more money from some sectors of society.

Every person and every entity in America will owe the very same percentage on purchases except for food and medicine. This is actually a good thing. Everyone pays their 'fair share.'

For some mega-corporations this will mean millions of extra dollars flowing into the federal government.

At the other end of the spectrum government would actually lose money from those who can ill afford to make many purchases of consumer goods.

Any shortfall of funds from the fair tax would lead to a thorough consideration of the age-old question--does government live within its means? Clearly it does not. With multi-billion-dollar bridges built to nowhere by pork-barrel politicians, the Pentagon paying millions to ship 19-cent bolts, and unnecessary programs such as the BATFE and the Department of Education, the government is long overdue for some belt-tightening.

The abolition of the IRS alone would save American taxpayers billions of dollars per year.

So far, at least five of the GOP Presidential candidates are on record as either supporting or considering supporting the fair tax--Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Duncan Hunter, Tom Tancredo, and Fred Thompson.

The Liberty Sphere is glad to see this issue taking center stage in the various campaigns. We feel that the nation's broken system of taxation should be an easy one with which to hammer the Democrats.

Second Amendment News Roundup for 8/21/07

Scroll down for the news:

Graphics and images courtesy of A Human Right.

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

Snow Flakes in Hell announces the good news that The Bitch Girls won't be leaving the blogosphere after all. A new Bitch Girl has stepped forward to help Bitter Bitch. Her name is Legal Bitch, and she is a first year law student:

Bitter Bitch explains it all here:

Bitter also comments on the fact that politicians in both Parties are pro-gun in Kentucky due to the residents of the state:

Legal Bitch offers her very first post on The Bitch Girls blog, and it's a good one entitled, 'Abigail Alliance--A Right to Life Denied':

Alphecca comments on the fact that the Canadian government runs an anti-gun group...not surprising in a country that started down the slippery slope with socialized medicine:

Say Uncle gives us an update on the Boston Globe straw purchase:

The McCarville Report has information on a study that proves the premise of Dr. John Lott's famous book, 'More Guns, Less Crime':

The Buckeye Firearms Association posts this article on the Parker case which is now known as the 'Heller Case,' i.e., the D.C. gun law appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court:

Blonde Sagacity shows more proof that CAIR has strong ties to terrorism. As we have stated many times before, CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations) is actually a terrorist front organization:

Our favorite intellectual, Dr. Walter Williams, writes that the environmentalist movement has proven to be deadly for countless Americans:

Nicki at The Liberty Zone gave us a chuckle with this post that takes a look at a sign in the window of a business which said, 'We would rather do business with 1000 Al Qaeda terrorists than with one single American':

Red's Trading Post has the final results of his poll on what to do about the BATFE:

The War on Guns provides helpful info on the next step toward making the August 28 'buy some ammo' day a great success:

Blogonomicon says that he has sent a letter to the editor of his local newspaper to promote the Aug. 28 national exercise your rights day:

A Keyboard and a .45 posts this interesting piece on the fact that school shootings have forced a change in tactics:

Monday, August 20, 2007

Cauldron Still Boils Under Chinese Surface

Very little has changed in China with regard to free speech and political dissent since the 1989 Tienanmen Square Massacre. Last week a political dissident by the name of Chen Shuqing was sentenced to four years in jail after being convicted in a Chinese court for 'inciting subversion.'

Chen had written extensively on many foreign websites about the need for freedom and constitutional rule in China.

China has a constitution that supposedly grants the freedom of expressing political opinion, though it rarely, if ever, upholds such liberty.

For example, in order for Google, Inc. to do business in the Communist nation, it had to agree to censor its search engine results within the country, deleting all references to the Tienanmen Square Massacre and to Taiwan's independence.

Google's highly unethical, un-American, and anti-Constitutional practices in China remains a thorn in the flesh to those of us who use the corporation's services. We happen to question whether such policies should be legal for an American corporation.

Although China had agreed to ease some of its restrictions on freedom of the press and freedom of speech in anticipation of the 2008 Olympics, human and media watch groups say that the country is cracking down on political dissent and the growing social unrest within its borders.

A Paris-based liberty watchdog group called 'Reporters Without Borders' says that 30 journalists and 50 Internet users have been arrested and detained in China, some remaining behind bars for nearly 20 years.

The group also ranks China a dismal 163rd out of 167 countries on its press freedom index.

Reporters Without Borders condemned the harsh sentence of Chen, referring to the actions of the Chinese government as 'appalling.' Even the lawyer representing Chen, Li Jianqiang, had his license to practice law suspended for a year due to his defense of cases involving freedom of the press.

The U.S. squandered a golden opportunity to use the 'bully pulpit' of the Presidency to defend the student dissidents who were summarily slaughtered, imprisoned, and oppressed by their own government during the 1989 Tienanmen Square incident.

Chinese university students by the tens of thousands took to the streets in 1989 to demand liberty. One cannot forget the one male student facing down a Chinese military tank with its huge guns pointed at him.

The standoff did not last long.

After attempting in vain to silence the protesters with fear tactics, the Chinese government lowered the boom on its own citizens, most of whom were the brightest young intellects in the country. Using its mighty military arsenal against unarmed dissidents, China crushed the pro-liberty demonstrations with massive bloodshed.

President George H.W. Bush maintained a low profile in the wake of such a tragedy.

Many believe that Bush the First placed expediency above principle when he refused to come to the defense of the student dissidents. After all, Bush had established close friends within the Chinese government early in his career as a foreign diplomat.

One cannot even begin to fathom Ronald Reagan doing such a thing had he been President. In fact, it is a near certainty that had Reagan still been in office a very different scenario would have developed, possibly leading to a human rights showdown with the Communist country, much as he had done with the Soviet Union.

With Bush the First's capitulation to the Chinese government, the student dissidents were essentially left hanging out to dry all on their own.

Bill Clinton was no better than Bush the First. In fact, one of the driving forces of the Tienanmen Square uprising, Chai Ling, was appalled that President Bill Clinton went to China in 1999 and saluted some of the very same soldiers who killed many of her friends during the 1989 protest.

The thing that oppressive governments never learn is that the thirst for liberty never dissipates but only grows the more a society is oppressed. And since 1989 the student movement that burst forth demanding liberty has been publicly silenced but not destroyed.

In fact, the cauldron of unrest still boils just under the Chinese surface, and the Chinese government knows it.

This is the reason that despite their reassurances, the government still cracks down harshly on all political dissent.

And for this reason, American corporations such as Google are complicit in the Chinese oppression of its people. It almost goes without saying that Google and others like it deserve to be harshly condemned.

For a complete annotated pictorial of the Tienanmen Square Massacre, click here:

Second Amendment News Roundup for 8/20/07

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

A Keyboard and a .45 provides commentary on the news that over 85% of gun dealers have been forced out of business by the Feds since the mid 1990s:

A Keyboard and a .45 also posts this interesting item on the state of Wyoming's run-in with the ATF:

Alphecca blogs on the ammo shortage that has hit the nation's police departments:

Say Uncle says he is back from vacation and ready to rumble. Who were those masked men and women who wrote for him while he was gone? Well, one was none other than our very own Snow Flakes in Hell:

Speaking of Snow Flakes in Hell, Sebastian says that Pennsylvania finally got a reciprocity deal worked out with West Virginia:

The Buckeye Firearms Association interviews Robert Levy, the lawyer who challenged Washington D.C.'s gun laws:

John Lott makes an excellent point that price controls on prescription medications will cost lives:

Cap'n Bob and the Damsel want to know why Greenpeace and PETA are not protesting the killing of animals in order to promote the production of biofuels. The Orangutan in particular is being slaughtered at an alarming rate just to supply the EU with their growing need of biofuels:

Of Arms and the Law points to an excellent op-ed in the New York Post concerning the killing of the three college-bound students in New Jersey at the hands of an illegal alien:

Mike McCarville reports that the Breck Girl himself, John Edwards, is coming to Oklahoma to campaign. This is on the heels of his pulling up stakes and leaving a couple of other states due to lack of support:

Keep and Bear Arms has a run-down on news stories of interest to the gun-rights community. They even linked to an opinion piece on The Liberty Sphere concerning Bloomberg scoring a victory at the hands of an activist Judge:

The Volokh Conspiracy posts a most interesting debate on the subject of Constitutional interpretation and judicial restraint...a MUST-read:

Volokh also has this most intriguing piece on the meaning of the terms 'anarchy' and 'government,' which I believe most of you will find interesting:

Cameron Bailey comments on The Liberty Sphere's piece entitled, 'The Dilemma of the Libertarian Leaning Voter':

Cameron Bailey also throws his support behind the Aug. 28 'buy some ammo day':

Blogonomicon is another who is encouraging readers to go out and buy some ammo on Aug. 28:

David Codrea at The War on Guns spearheaded this national buy some ammo day on Aug. 28, and he has an update on those who plan to participate, including some offering discounts on their products:

Red's Trading Post did an updated interview with Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership:

Red's is also offering discounts on purchases for the Aug. 28 'Ammo Day':

U.S. Citizen at Traction Control has graciously decided to buy his ammo purchase for Aug. 28 through Red's Trading Post:

Traction Control also posts a special message to Fred Thompson:

The Open Carry Forum has info on a disturbing phone call from a Sheriff in California concerning the practice of 'open carry':

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Reagan Adviser Michael Deaver, RIP

He once stated in a television interview that he loved Ronald and Nancy Reagan. The look in his eyes, the body language, the facial expressions as he spoke those words had a congruence that told us that what he was saying was the absolute truth.

And his actions were entirely consistent with his expression of devotion.

Michael Deaver, former top aide to President Ronald Reagan, died Saturday from pancreatic cancer at the age of 69.

Deaver was part of an elite group--the inner circle that managed the political affairs of President Reagan. That inner circle was very small, consisting of Deaver, Edwin Meese III, and James Baker III.

But it was Deaver alone who had been with the President the longest and who was counted by the Reagans not only as a trusted adviser but as a very close friend.

Deaver was one of only a handful of non-family members to be allowed visits with the former President as Alzheimer's Disease had robbed him of most of his memory. One such meeting in particular was during the late-1990s. By then Reagan had lost his memory of everyone except for Nancy.

Mindful that the former President loved horses, Deaver brought Reagan a gift that day--a large book containing photographs of horses. As the frail Reagan opened the book and looked at one of the pictures, he looked up at Deaver, eyes shining, as he pointed to the picture and said, merely, 'Horse!'

It was the only thing Reagan said during the entire visit.

Michael Deaver joined the Reagan team very shortly after Reagan was elected as Governor of California in 1966. It was there that he met the woman who would become his wife, who was also a Reagan staffer.

From 1966 forward, Deaver was a key player in Reagan's political career. As a former Hollywood actor Reagan believed that public perception and image were just as important as words and substance...not that Reagan's pronouncements were in any way lacking in substance.

'The Great Communicator,' as he was called, delivered some of the most eloquent and memorable speeches in the history of the Republic.

But it was Deaver who made sure that the backdrop and settings of these magnificent speeches were every bit as memorable.

For example, when Reagan went to the beaches of Normandy to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Allied Invasion during WWII, it was Deaver who insisted that the speech be given against the backdrop of that breathtaking overlook that peered downward to the shores where the troops landed that day.

Reagan proceeded to deliver one of the most moving speeches ever given in the history of the free world.

Deaver left the Reagan White House in 1985 to pursue his own business interests, establishing Michael K. Deaver and Associates as a major public affairs firm. The pressures of life in Washington, however, took their toll on Deaver, who began drinking heavily. Although he got sober later that same year, he was convicted of perjury in 1986 and was sentenced to community service in an recovery-based organization.

Many wondered why President Reagan did not issue Deaver a pardon. When the Reagan Diaries were released for the first time earlier this year, we found the answer.

Reagan kept copious notes and was a prolific writer. In the diary we find an entry penned by Reagan which noted that a Presidential pardon was indeed offered to Deaver. But Deaver refused to accept it. He preferred instead to serve out his sentence.

And this was perhaps the glimpse into the true character of the man. Deaver had dropped the ball and made some mistakes. When he got sober he took responsibility for those mistakes. And for the next 20 years he remained involved with the recovery program in Washington called 'Clean and Sober Streets.'

For the last 14 years of his life, Deaver was prominent in Edelman, a public relations firm. He became Chairman of Edelman's Washington office in 2006, the same year he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Without exception friends and career associates of Michael Deaver attest to the character, sincerity, and loyalty of the man.

Presidents need trusted advisers with those qualities. Deaver served Mr. Reagan and his country admirably. May he truly rest in peace.