Saturday, April 29, 2006

Seattle's Anti Gun Liberals still do not get it.

Cathy Sorbo writes a guest editorial in the Seattle PI called It's time to infringe on the Second Amendment. I will not reproduce the whole thing because so much of it makes no sense and it is really not worth reading.

What would happen if all personal firearms were banned? It'll never happen, but I enjoy mulling it over almost as much as I like to think about a night without car alarms, or becoming the nanny to Jude Law's children.

Last weekend there was some deadly gun action in the neighborhood of Pioneer Square. It was difficult for me to comprehend such violence, especially now with all those crime-promoting London Plane trees gone from Occidental Park. The Seattle Parks and Recreation Department had better hurry up with that proposed coffee stand and the bocce ball courts before something else goes down.

Oh, and then there was the armed man, shot and killed by Seattle police when he allegedly took aim at them after being confronted. And the cab driver in Tacoma, shot by a passenger.

Gun violence and gun control issues can quickly divide communities. Gun advocates everywhere will tout their right to bear arms while others would prefer the right to live in a society without people packing weapons down the backs of their pants.

Gun advocates have the National Rifle Association behind them. The NRA holds firmly to the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which states, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed."

Sorry, but it's been 215 years and it's time to infringe.

The recent spate of foiled schoolyard massacres is more than alarming: North Pole, Alaska, on April 22; Riverton, Kan., on April 20; Platte City, Mo., on April 17; Pierce County on April 7; Atco, N.J., on April 5; Foley, Ala., on March 24; Rochester Hills, Mich., on March 20; Greenwood, Ind., on March 2; Muscatine, Iowa, on March 1; and, most recently, Puyallup on April 24, when a 16-year old boy's massacre plan was disrupted.

First let me correct one thing you said "and then there was the armed man, shot and killed by Seattle police when he allegedly took aim at them after being confronted". Allegedly?!? Two officers, approaching from different angles, told the man to put down a handgun, apparently a .38-caliber revolver, but witnesses said he opened fire instead.

Well Cathy, let me explain to you What would happen if all personal firearms were banned? Only the bad guys would have guns. Are you really so stupid to think that criminals would voluntarily give up their guns? If a law was passed to ban guns, would they all just magically disappear? Why is it that liberals are the only ones who can not understand the concept that banning guns will simply take away an effective method of self defense from law abiding citizen? Why is it that liberals think if only we banned guns then robbers and rapists and murderers would realize they should not commit those crimes because they would be breaking a gun law? Why is it that they can not see the correlation between cities and states with the most restrictive gun ownership policies having the highest crime rates and those with the least restriction having the lowest rates? Let me ask you this, if you were a criminal and lived half way between Seattle and Tacoma and Seattle had a total gun ban and Tacoma encouraged its citizens to take advantage of concealed carry laws and taught firearm training and safety in the Tacoma public schools, which city, as a criminal, would you choose to carry out your chosen trade? Would you choose Seattle, where Joe Average law abiding citizen is forbidden from owning a gun or would you choose Tacoma where chances are the house you are breaking into has an owner who is armed and knows how to use the gun?

I have another question, lets say one day you just snap just like Kyle Huff. You decide you have had enough and are going to go out with a bang, literally, and take as many innocent people with you as possible. Where do you think you could cause more death, a gun show, a shooting range or a gun free zone such as any Seattle public school where you are 100% guaranteed there will not be anyone on the grounds armed and capable of stopping the rampage? When is the last time you heard of anyone planning on shooting up a gun show? What about a shooting range? Why is it they always target those places where they know nobody will have a gun?

And one last question Cathy, do you have a sign in your window stating that your place of residence is free of guns? If not why not? Make a stand, be proud of your convictions, encourage criminals to target you instead of me. Mull that over for a while.

Reader THBarb has an idea,
Instead of banning guns, let’s ban criminals!
While it's a great thought, Lt. Bryan Suits, already beat you to the punch. Why don't they pass a law against crime? In case you are not currently listening to Lt. Suits, you really need to start.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

People Think The Tax System Is Unjust

It has to be true, its in the Seattle P.I.,
Most Americans still say tax system unjust


Copies of President Bush's and first lady Laura Bush's 2005 tax returns provided by the White House are shown in Washington Friday, April 14, 2006 . (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
WASHINGTON -- Taxes rise and fall from one administration to the next, but the unpopularity of the income tax system is constant. An Ipsos Poll finds that almost six of 10 people say the system is unfair, a percentage virtually unchanged from two decades ago.

The perception of unfairness is spread fairly evenly across income groups - though their reasons may differ. More than half of those who make less than $50,000 a year said it's unfair, and more than six in 10 of those who make more than $50,000 felt that way.

In fact, unhappiness with the tax system was spread fairly evenly across income groups, age groups and education levels.

A majority of people said the middle class, the self-employed and small businesses pay too much in taxes, the poll found. And they think those with high incomes and big businesses don't pay enough.

The survey was conducted in the days before the mid-April deadline for filing income tax returns.

Some complain the income tax burden remains unfairly placed on those with high incomes - saying the top 5 percent pay an inordinate share. And some grouse about the wealthy getting too many tax breaks.

When the government held hearings almost a year ago on how to make the tax code simpler and more fair, complaints ranged from overly complicated laws to inequitable tax breaks to undue influence of lobbyists.

Dissatisfaction remains high after numerous changes in tax law since the late 1980s.

The Reagan administration led a tax overhaul two decades ago that significantly lowered tax rates and eliminated or reduced several deductions. The first President Bush abandoned his "read my lips, no new taxes pledge" in a 1990 budget deal that raised taxes.

The Clinton administration won passage in 1993 of a deficit-reduction measure that blended tax increases, budget cuts and rebates for the working poor.

And the second Bush administration pushed successfully for tax cuts that lowered the top income tax rate to 35 percent and slashed tax rates for individuals and manufacturers.

More than half in the poll, 58 percent, said middle-income families pay too much income tax. People were almost as likely, 54 percent, to say that about low-income families.

Six in 10 said high-income families were paying too little in taxes. Two decades ago, almost eight in 10 said high-income families were paying too little.

The poll of 1,005 adults was conducted April 11-13 by Ipsos, an international polling firm, and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Don't get me started... too late. The problem I have with this is the P.I. lack of setting the record straight. A two minute search on the internet points out that for the tax year 2003, the top 1% of income earners take in 16.77% of the total adjusted gross income but they pay 34.27% of income tax. The top 5% take in 31.18% but pay 54.36%, the top 25% take in 64.86% but pay 83.88%. The top 50% take in 86.01% but pay 96.54%. THE BOTTOM 50% PAY 3.46% OF FEDERAL INCOME TAX.

We are suppose to live in a system where all of the citizens are treated the same regardless of... race, nationality, gender and even income. The Constitution applies equally to all. Bill Gates gets one vote just like someone on welfare. I hear the argument that the rich should pay more because of all of the extra benefits they receive from the system. What extra benefit did Gates or Oprah get that is not available to all of us? They are top 1 percenters because they worked for it, not because our system choose them to be rich.

So who are these 54% of the people that say low income people pay too much tax? What would these people say if retail stores were setup so that you paid according to what you earned? The top 1% people pay $8 for a gallon of milk, the 2-5 percenters pay $6, the bottom 50% pay 25 cents. What would we call that? I would call it Un American.

We need to scrap the current system and go to a national sales tax. A national sales tax would let each person decide how much Federal tax they want to pay. A national tax discourages excess spending, while an income tax discourages, anyone? anyone? Income! Which is often created by productive work. How backwards is that? Our Federal tax system discourages productive work. The reason a national sales tax system will never happen? Anyone? Anyone? Tax lawyers and accountants give lots and lots of money to politicians.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Jim McDermott Speaks

A guest column in today's Seattle Times by my representative, Jim McDermott, outlines his case in the long, long, long running tape leak lawsuit.

Defending the people's right to know
By Jim McDermott

Special to The Times

A nation cannot be free without free speech. It's why the Framers made freedom of speech the First Amendment to the Constitution. It's why 19 major news organizations representing thousands of journalists have joined to support me in my First Amendment case.

And, it's why The Seattle Times, instead of criticizing me, ought to be standing with me to defend the people's right to know ["McDermott's leak is no better" Times editorial, April 9].

More than nine years ago, Republican congressional leaders, called together by Rep. Newt Gingrich, then speaker of the House and third in line to be president, met in secret to plot deception against the American people. We know only because one of those involved, Rep. John Boehner, attended the meeting by cellphone, thus broadcasting the entire secret meeting on the open airwaves, available to anyone who happened to be listening to a consumer scanner.

A couple in Florida heard it, recognized the voices, and understood the implications of what they were hearing. They taped the call and drove to Washington, D.C., where they stopped me in a hallway and handed me a sealed envelope. We had never met before nor have we met since. They believed the people had a right to know what Republican leaders were plotting. After listening to the tape, I agreed, and gave it to two newspapers.

For more than nine years, we have persevered in defending the First Amendment. Early on, the case was dismissed, specifically because of my First Amendment rights, only to be resurrected by Republican leaders seeking retribution.

As anyone who ever bothered to ask me knows, Republicans are not interested in settling. Although we did have discussions about settling, they got nowhere. But instead of maintaining their confidentiality, Boehner has publicized them and misrepresented what was said. He violated the privacy of our discussions in order to use rhetoric as a ruse to rally their base and raise money, so they might continue their assault on free speech.

Recently, the Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 against our position. Judge David Sentelle, a Republican appointed by President Ronald Reagan, wrote a strongly worded dissent:

"I see no distinction, nor has Representative Boehner suggested one, between the constitutionality of regulating communication of the contents of the tape by McDermott or by The Washington Post or The New York Times or any other media resource. For that matter, every reader of the information in the newspapers also learned that it had been obtained by unlawful intercept. Under the rule proposed by Representative Boehner, no one in the United States could communicate on this topic of public interest because of the defect in the chain of title. I do not believe the First Amendment permits this interdiction of public information either at the stage of the newspaper-reading public, of the newspaper-publishing communicators, or at the stage of Representative McDermott's disclosure to the news media."

From Watergate, to plotting to mislead the American people, to the Iraq war: None of it would have been uncovered without First Amendment protection. After talking with us, The Washington Post recently published an editorial titled: "Ban Snooping, Not Free Speech." That is what's at stake in my First Amendment case, but The Seattle Times is on the sidelines throwing stones. If you want to accuse me of being partisan, fine. But don't undermine my right, and yours, and every American's, to protect and defend our country against leaders who would plot in private to mislead the public.

What the Congressman fails to mention is the "couple in Florida", admitted Democrat partisans BROKE THE LAW when they made the tape. They pleaded guilty in the case years ago. He also fails to mention that when he passed on the illegal tape to the media, HE BROKE THE LAW, while he was co chair of the House Ethics committee. For years, Congressman McDermott denied involvement and refused to discuss his part in the case. As Joel Connely stated last October:

McDermott initially denied leaking the tape, an untruth he has never explained to constituents. He later switched course, depicting his defense in the long-running civil litigation as a free-speech issue and nothing less than "preservation of the First Amendment."
And why ask Washington citizens to foot McDermott's legal bills, without hearing a straightforward explanation of why he at first lied about leaking the long-ago tape?

How ethical is that? But here is the money quote... "He violated the privacy of our discussions". Unbelievable. He complains about someone "leaking" a conversation they were part of which in no way is a violation of the law, yet he thinks he has a constitutional right to break the law and leak a third parties conversation.

Sadly, I have learned not to expect anything better from my Congressman.

Question... does anyone know why Congressman McDermott did not face any charges since he broke the law? As I mentioned, the Florida couple, John and Alice Martin, were prosecuted under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and fined $1,000 after pleading guilty. I do not know why criminal charges were not filed against Congressman McDermott. Can anyone enlighten me on this subject?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Seattle Times Reader Chime In On Gun Control

We have our first response to the gun control editorials in the Seattle Times. And the award for biggest waste of ink goes to.... Mark Jensen of Shoreline. Way to go Mark, any luck on getting rid of those racially restrictive covenants in your neck of the woods? Guess not. Here is what Mark had to say:
Guest columnists Alan Gottlieb and Joe Waldron just don't get it.
It is certainly possible that Kyle Huff's actions might not have been prevented by tougher gun laws, but reasonable gun control is a simple matter of reducing risks. Do people lock their homes or cars knowing that doing so will stop all burglaries? Of course not, but they cut the risks dramatically, and the same is true where guns are kept out of the hands of those who would misuse them, even though it is not a total solution. Do sane people keep matches and lighters out of the hands of children and believe that will stop all fires? Certainly not, but doing so saves lives every day.
Remember, too, that the Second Amendment does not allow for guns to be in the hands of any person, regardless. It states that the right to have firearms for a "well regulated militia," such as a National Guard, shall not be abridged. The Supreme Court of the land has upheld that concept twice.
And please, Messers. Gottlieb and Waldron, calling a group dedicated to preventing the deaths of innocent people "extremist" is a little extreme, don't you think?

No Mark, I think you just don't get it. Short of a total ban, Kyle Huff's actions would not have been stopped be additional laws. And even if there had been a ban, do you think he would have voluntarily turned over his weapons? Most certainly not. Why is it the gun control crowd thinks people who are going to commit mass murder would see the light if there was just another gun law on the books. This person is a mass murderer, he was not going to obey a gun law.

But I have another question... getting back to the issue of gun violence being an "epidemic" as was stated in the original op-ed piece. Lets just say there was an epidemic of drownings for whatever reason. Thousands of people were drowning and a lot of those were kids. Would the gun control crowd outlaw pools? Restrict access to lakes? Or would they teach swimming and water safety classes in school? The National Safety Council reports that there are over 7,000 drowning deaths nationally each year. Drowning accidents are the leading cause of death and injury of children under 5 years of age. More than 80% of the drownings occur in residential pools or spas. It is also estimated that each year 5000 children under the age of 14 are hospitalized for near drowning events. Of these, as man as of 20% suffer severe and permanent disabilities.

One final question for now... lets say you hear on the radio that a gunman is in your childs school shooting randomly. Which situation would you rather have, A) each school is required to have at least one staff member trained in the proper use of a firearm with an emphasis on self defense, and have access to a firearm on the school property, or B) it is a crime for any school staff member to have a gun on school grounds. Well I hope you feel good about "B" because that is what we have.
Google Adsense

I added this "feature" just to see what the numbers would be. So far, about 3 months into this experiance, I have "earned" about 60 cents. The funny thing is, there is suppose to be some intelligence to the ads based on what the blogs says. Someone needs to check the algorithm as it seems when I type political, it more often than not links to Democrat related ads. So feel free to click on the links, it does not do much of anything for my bank account but is cost some liberal a couple of cents.

Click away people, click away.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Gun Control, Seattle Style

A recent Op Ed in the Seattle Times by Amy Wales, makes a number of questionable points about guns and how best to reduce gun violence.

Lets look at some of her points:

My father, Tom Wales, was murdered in 2001. The same year he was shot and killed in our Seattle home, approximately 29,000 firearm deaths were reported in the United States. About half were criminalhomicides and half suicides, with a small percentage also due to gun accidents. Gun violence is not just about crime.

Its actually closer to a 57% suicide to 40% homicide split, 16,907 suicides and 11,927 homicides, and that is all homicides, which includes all people who were killed by a gun, including justified homicides and self defense cases, not just criminal homicides.

Yes, criminals will continue to acquire firearms (legally and otherwise) and commit gun crimes with them.

According to the 1997 Survey of State Prison Inmates, among those possessing a gun, the source of the gun was from:
a flea market or gun show for fewer than 2%
a retail store or pawnshop for about 12%
family, friends, a street buy, or an illegal source for 80%

The issue we have yet to address is that of law-abiding citizens purchasing guns that later cause the intentional or unintentional death of the gun owner or someone else.

So that is the real question... how do we keep guns legally purchased by law abiding citizens from later causing the intentional or unintentional death of the gun owner or someone else.

Well, lets see... if its the intentional death of the gun owner or someone else, which would include suicide, murder or justifiable homicide / self defense, according to Ms. Wales:
While perhaps little can be done to prevent a person who is determined to commit suicide or murder, death may be avoided in cases where the impulse is temporary and bodily violence minimized.

So it sounds like there is not much that can be done about suicide or murder so I guess she is in favor of reducing justifiable homicide / self defense.

Now if its the unintentional death of the gun owner or someone else... according to Ms. Wales, of the 29,000 gun deaths in 2003:
with a small percentage also due to gun accidents.

So what she really wants to focus on are those things that "little can be done to prevent", suicide and murder, the "small percentage... due to gun accidents", and of course justifiable homicides and self defense.

Now her solution is to treat gun violence as a public health issue:
When we give flu shots to those most in need, we are exercising a public-health strategy and targeting intervention where it counts. For guns, we can also save lives but only if we look at firearm-related death as the public-health epidemic that it is.

So gun violence is an "epidemic". Now an epidemic is defined as a disease that appears as new cases in a given human population, during a given period, at a rate that substantially exceeds what is expected. The problem is that over the last 10 or 15 years, gun violence has DECREASED. Gun deaths are down about 25% nationwide since the early to mid 90s.

Now let me suggest that we SHOULD treat gun violence like an epidemic just like we do with other epidemics like certain diseases. Lets insist that we teach proper gun safety in schools and make sure all public school children have access to trigger locks and gun safes. How about it?

I just have some questions... if gun violence is caused by the number of guns and how easily available they are, why is it that most gun deaths, and almost all cases with multiple deaths, seem to happen in places where only the murderer is armed. Why do they happen in gun free zones and not at shooting ranges or gun shows or NRA conventions or police stations? Why is it the gun control crowd thinks that someone who is in a state of mind to commit a capital offense such as murder, would somehow reconsider if they were also violating a gun control law? Do people not rob banks because they do not want to break a speeding law leaving the scene of the crime? Why is it that the recent shootings at Capitol Hill by Kyle Huff only stopped shortly after he was confronted by an officer with... a gun. How many more would have died if it had been 5 minutes until someone armed showed up or 10 minutes instead of 2 minutes? How many could have been saved if someone in the house had a concealed carry permit and knew how to properly use a gun in self defense?

Friday, April 07, 2006

Speak Spanish, This Is America

100% true story... a couple of weeks ago we got a call here in the office. The lady calling asked if anyone spoke Spanish. No, nobody here speaks Spanish. The caller responded with:
No? But this is America.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Racism in Seattle

Interesting Op-Ed piece in the Seattle Times about racism in Seattle. It talks about a restrictive covenant database and highlights an area called Innis Arden, a neighborhood just north of where I live, located here. In fact close enough that we share the same zip code. It is just north of "The Highlands", which is without doubt the most exclusive area in Seattle. Now my neighborhood also had restrictive covenants that were removed something like 20 years ago. Not so with Innis Arden, in the year 2006, they still have restrictive covenants which state that no person other than one of the white or Caucasian race may be permitted to occupy any property... etc, etc, etc.

Now go back to the Innis Arden web page and you can look at the current status, as of Feb. 24, 2006, of the effort to repeal these covenants. Subdivision #1 has gathered the minimum number of signatures to remove the clause, 60. Subdivision #2 has 120 of the 150 signatures needed. Subdivision 3 has 144 of 150.

Now lets look at another web page... this is the Follow The Dollars Political Campaign website to see by zip code who is getting contributions. By a margin of 3-1, Democrats are getting more money from the 98177 zip code than Republicans.

So lets summarize what we have learned... in 2006, there are still neighborhoods in liberal Seattle that are very white, very rich, with racist restrictive covenants and those areas contribute to Democrats by a 3 to 1 margin.

Any questions?
College Not Combat part 2

It appears its not just the Garfield PTSA that wants to limit the students choice... also jumping into the mix is Seattle School Board member Sally Soriano according to the Seattle Times.
"It will send a broad message in the city about the war," said School Board member Sally Soriano. "We're using the 'College Not Combat' term so that our children won't feel like joining the military is the only way for them to get a post-secondary education."

You are doing a heck of a job Sally if the Seattle public school kids think the only way to get into college is by joining the military.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

More Wacky Seattle

According to College Not Combat, a group that is trying to get military recruiters banned from Seattle schools,

At least 90% of women in the military report sexual abuse; 30% are rape cases.

This is a classic example of the lunatic left at its worst. They insist on diversity... as long as you agree with them. They want choice... as long as its the type of choice they want you to have. They claim they are doing things to help the kids yet do everything they can to limit legitimate opportunities that in reality hurt the poor the most.

I have an email into the contact person to find out the source for the rape claim. I am not going to hold my breathe on ever hearing back.