Ol' Buffalo Soapbox

Error of opinion may be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it. -- Thomas Jefferson
As long as man's beliefs, or any part of them, are based on error, he is not completely free, for the chains of error bind his mind. -- Bruce R. McConkie
You are entitled to your own opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts. -- Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent. -- Napoleon Bonaparte

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Index to the Ol' Buffalo Soapbox

A Class in Economics American Defined
Aviation Safety Bad American
Bill of Lefts Bill of Rights
Borders, Language and Culture Duty to Country
Duty to God Duty to Others
Education Environment
Equal Pay vs Fair Pay Fairness
Family, Spiritual and Mental Health Page Forsaken Roots of the United States
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If You Don't Like My Point of View Kaye's Bill of No Rights
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Borders, Language and Culture

For decades, Congress and the Whitehouse have been grossly negligent in adequately protecting our borders from an overwhelming invasion of illegal aliens. This negligence has resulted in a situation which is rapidly becoming irreparable. Further delay in courageously attacking the problem will only further exacerbate the problem. If this invasion is allowed to continue, I have serous concerns about which language will be dominant in this nation, which constitution will guide our laws, and which national flag will fly over our government buildings.

 • Congress and the Whitehouse must immediately establish an adequate barrier of illegal immigration on our border with Mexico through increased border patrol agents, increased use of technology, formal use of volunteer “Minutemen” monitors (President Bush erroneously calls them vigilantes), and armed military troops.

 • Congress and the Whitehouse must immediately establish felony criminal penalties and loss of business licenses for employers who hire illegal aliens. Employers must be required to verify each employee thorough a computerized Social Security ID base. Employers must be required to pay the costs of all government services provided to illegal immigrants in their employ.

 • Congress and the Whitehouse must immediately establish felony criminal penalties for anyone who offers humanitarian aid to illegal immigrants.

 • Congress and the Whitehouse must immediately stop the practice of giving citizenship to anyone born in the United States unless one or both parents are already US citizens.

 • Congress and the Whitehouse must establish increased penalties including felony criminal sentences coupled with immediate deportation for those who are caught entering the Unite States illegally.

 • Congress and the Whitehouse must immediately ban all government aid to illegal immigrants including any form of welfare, medical care, and reduced/no-cost education.

 • Congress and the Whitehouse must immediately pass legislation making English the official language of the United States.

 • The government must immediately cease to provide services or publications in any language other than English for anyone who has been in the country for more than 1 year.

 • The United States does not need “guest-workers.” This term has only been developed to obfuscate the fact that our government has been grossly negligent in controlling an invasion by foreign nationals. If Congress is to establish a guest-worker program, guest-workers must be limited to stays of not more than 5-6 months in the US with at least 1 month outside the US before applying for another guest-worker visa.

 • Amnesty for current illegal aliens must be offered only to those who have no criminal record and who speak and read English and only after paying a substantial fine and only after all current applicants for legal entry are processed.

 • Congress and the Whitehouse must take decisive, courageous action now! (2 Apr 2006)

I oppose "earned" citizenship and "guest worker" programs. I support reducing immigration, enforcing our borders, and felony punishments employers who employ illegal immigrants as well as for the illegal aliens themselves. I oppose giving citizenship to children born in the US whose parents are not US citizens. (5 Apr 2006)

I am deeply concerned by the Senate's apparent cowardice regarding the issue of illegal immigration. The immigration problem stems from the unfathomable unwillingness of the Whitehouse and Congress to control our national borders for decades. Consequently, we have millions of foreign invaders crossing our borders each year. These invaders (the politically-cleansed term is undocumented immigrants) come with no regard for our sovereignty or laws. Many even have the stated desire to annex much of our territory to Mexico. The problem has grown so serious that I wonder what flag this nation will fly and what language our people in 20 years.
 • Congress and the Whitehouse must immediately secure our borders with adequate staff, technology and barriers (landmines if necessary) to stop this invasion.
 • Congress and the Whitehouse must immediately and fully integrate "Minutemen" volunteers (erroneously labeled vigilantes by our president) into our border security plan.
 • Eliminating any and all economic incentive for aliens to cross our borders is an essential part of controlling this problem. Therefore, there must be no amnesty nor any so-called "guest-worker" program for anyone who has crossed our borders illegally. All applications for any "guest worker" program must be made from the applicant's nation of citizenship.
 • Crossing our border must be a felony offense. Likewise, giving employment or any form of aid to any illegal immigrant must also be a felony offense with severe penalties to include forfeiture of the business.
 • Congress must immediately ban giving medical treatment to illegal immigrants or their children except as needed to safe life or limb long enough to complete deportation.
 • Likewise, any form of humanitarian aid, welfare assistance, or reduced-cost education must be banned except to facilitate the invader's immediate return home.
 • Congress must immediately establish English as the nation's official language and ban providing government services in any language other than English to residents who have been in the US longer than 1 year. This includes Congress members' web pages in foreign languages. (Since all citizens speak English, what is the point of a Senator having a web page or printing a ballot in Spanish?)
 • Congress must immediately terminate the practice of giving citizenship to anyone born in the United States or its territories unless at least one parent is a US citizen. This practice is based on the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution. This amendment dates to the US Civil War and was intended to ensure that former slaves were granted United States citizenship, and that they would have all the rights and privileges as any other citizen. It was never intended to give citizenship to the children of alien invaders.
 • Congress must courageously, and immediately resolve the illegal immigration problem with an eye toward the long-term best interests of our national sovereignty. (9 Apr 2006)

Some seem to assume that certain categories of persons (i.e. anyone who is not a male of English ancestry) are inherently incapable of success without some form of favoritism and legalized discrimination (i.e. affirmative action) and must receive special treatment. The same absurd logic seems to apply to those whose native language is not English. Congress and the Whitehouse seem to believe that Spanish-speakers are incapable of learning English. If all citizens presumably speak English and all voters are citizens, to whom are politicians pandering when they post websites and other communications in Spanish? Congress and the Whitehouse must immediately remove all Spanish websites, require all government business be conducted in English for anyone who has been in the US for more than 12 months, and establish English as the nation's official language. They must stop listening to professional racists (ie Kweisi Mfume, Louis Farakhan, Al Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson) who make a very good living fomenting racial unrest and bigotry. (17 May 2006)

How bad is illegal immigration? According to an article in yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle, ten percent of Mexico's population now lives in the US! Fifteen percent of Mexico's labor force is working in the US! Last year, Mexico received a record $20 billion in remittances to family members from migrant workers living in the US! That is equal to Mexico's 2004 income from oil exports and dwarfs its tourism revenue! Immigration is out of control, and Congressmen (Harry Reid, D-NV) say we're racist if we citizens are concerned! (22 May 2006)

Yesterday, the US Senate passed its "comprehensive immigration reform" bill (S.2611) which is neither comprehensive nor in any sense a true reform. This legislation, if enacted into law, throws into question the legitimacy of the entire immigration system in the United States, and its formulation exposes deep flaws in the very process how immigration laws are made in this country. If the US House goes along, this bill would send the US population skyrocketing towards a billion people by the close of the century -- with no analysis done of the impacts of this mass population explosion on housing, congestion, overcrowding, education, the environment and the overall quality of life. Local communities have not been consulted, and virtually no preparation has been undertaken to provide for the enormous burdens this legislation would entail. It reflects the degree to which the Senate is completely out of touch with the average American. The bill takes no serious steps that would improve immigration enforcement -- especially in the non-border states. It merely continues a cycle of rewarding lawbreakers and clothing a loss of border control with the patina of legality. Rather than face the reality of today's immigration crisis, the Senate has enacted a terrible bill that once again puts the interests of the American people last. The bill's cost is staggering, the administrative burdens crushing and the consequences for the cohesion of the future American nation -- no longer bound by a common destiny of the rule of law -- are severe. I am deeply disappointed that one of my senators (Bob Bennett) voted for this irresponsible and arrogant bit of legislating. (26 May 2006)

One positive addition to the border-security and immigration debate is Representative Mike Pence's bill, the "Border Integrity and Immigration Reform Act." This bill is as close to the right solution as I have seen. It sets up a four-step process starting with what is needed and universally agreed upon -- border security. Second, it does not provide amnesty for people in the United States illegally. It requires them to go home. Next, it sets up a work-visa program using electronic bio-metric security based on conservative market principles. After an American employer can, in good faith, show that no American worker will fill a job offer, a work-visa holder may be hired. The key feature is that, in order for people who are here illegally to get a work visa, they must go home, because work visas will only be issued outside of the United States. Fourth, once the program is set up, companies that continue to ignore the law will be sanctioned severely. Congress must take a serious look at Representative Pence's thoughtful and pragmatic approach to solving this issue. (4 Jun 2006)

I am deeply concerned by the Senate's egregious immigration bill. The legislation proposed by the US House is much more acceptable. The Senate amnesty bill is overwhelmingly opposed by House Republicans whose focus is on controlling the border and enforcement. Unfortunately, the House position is totally unacceptable to the liberal McCain-Kennedy coalition that currently dominates the Senate while the Senate position is overwhelmingly unacceptable to the people. The White House is reportedly trying to pressure House leaders to stack the conference with members who will cave in to the amnesty advocates. The announcement of the conference members will be a big indicator of whether the House has any hope or intention of stopping a really bad Senate bill. I urge every US Representative in the House to take every possible step to ensure the House sends Representatives to the conference who will fight fiercely for the US Constitution, US sovereignty, immediate and permanent reinforcement of border security to include mining the border if necessary, English as our official language, immediate cessation of providing services in any language other than English to anyone who has been here longer than 12 months, immediate elimination of all forms of taxpayer-funded support for illegal immigrants, immediate and retroactive elimination of automatic citizenship for children of illegal immigrants, heavy penalties for businesses who employ illegals, and NO amnesty for illegal immigrants. (5 Jun 2006)

Any "guest-worker" legislation must stipulate that a significant portion of their gross pay (perhaps 25%) be escrowed by their employer in a US bank account in the state where the "guest-worker" is employed. The remainder of each work-visa holder's pay, less deductions, must be made by electronic direct deposit into a US bank account of the "guest-worker." Such electronic payments would allow immigration officials to easily track where in the country the worker is employed and who is paying. If there is a change in the worker's status that is not approved by the INS, both the escrow account and any other bank accounts could be frozen instantly. Escrowed money would be released to the "guest-worker" immediately after they return to their home country on time provided they have not violated any US laws. Escrowed funds not qualifying, because of "guest-worker" violations, would be released to the state where the money was earned to defray costs such as education of family members. This process would create an incentive for work-visa holders to return home before their visa expires. Upon their return home from working in the United States, the escrowed funds would become a nest egg to use to start a new small business. Escrow accounts would not only give workers the incentive to return home in order to withdraw their money, it would create the motivation to dream about the day when they can open their own business back home, be their own boss and create and accumulate wealth for their families, and -- because small businesses create jobs -- for other families in their communities as well. Helping hardworking people to start small businesses in their home countries will do far more to improve the long-term health of the economies of Mexico and other Central and South American countries than any amount of US foreign aid that may be offered, which is often poorly spent and is almost never used to tackle the root causes of poverty. (19 Jun 2006)

In general, I believe that the bulk of what is in the Voting Rights Act (VRA) are mere feel-good words that are no longer needed because they accomplished their purpose long ago. I believe the VRA should be allowed to sunset. If the VRA is to be renewed, It must be purged of much of its content, particularly the provision mandating foreign-language ballots. Foreign-language ballots just don't make sense. Only citizens can legally vote. With the exception of perhaps a handful of elderly Native Americans, all citizens theoretically read, write, speak and understand English. And those few non-English-speaking Native Americans do NOT speak a foreign language -- they speak languages native to the US and are phonetically written based on the English language. In light of the Senate recently passing a bill granting unpopular amnesty to 12 million illegal aliens and importing up to 66 million additional legal immigrants, America needs linguistic unity more than ever. Offering foreign language ballots while at the same time emphasizing the importance of learning English sends mixed signals to those seeking to assimilate into American society. To whom are Congress and the Whitehouse pandering when they offer ballots, websites, and other government publications and services to people who don't speak, read, write, and understand English and therefore do not qualify as US citizens? I insist that all government services be offered only in English for anyone in the country longer than 1 year. I insist that all websites posted by Congress and the Whitehouse be in English only. I insist that HR-9 (or any other bill to renew the VRA) include the amendment offered by Representative Steve King of Iowa to repeal the requirement for foreign-language ballots. (21 Jun 2006)

Some four years ago, PBS did a report on the growing use of illegal aliens to fight fires. Private contractors, hired by western states to train "hand crews" of fire fighters, began hiring migrant workers from Mexico and Central America, many of them illegal aliens who speak little or no English. These firefighters are in the US with fake ID cards purchased on the black market. In 2003, concerned that having large numbers of people on fire crews with limited English skills might compromise safety if instructions are not understood, the Oregon Department of Forestry decided to take action. Did they decide to require new hires to be able to speak English, the language of success in this country? Did they decide to enforce the laws against hiring illegal aliens? No. According to a report from KATU-TV, Oregon enacted a new law that requires firefighter crew bosses to be bilingual or lose their jobs! Instead of requiring new firefighter recruits to speak English -- or to even be here legally -- they decided to require crew bosses to speak Spanish, or be demoted or fired! I am outraged to learn that, at a time when millions of Americans are demanding that their government secure the borders against the illegal alien invasion, English-speaking firefighter heroes are being demoted, and even fired, for refusing to bow to politically-correct pressures from government officials. This is wrong. Congress, by its refusal to enact common-sense legislation to deal with the decades-old illegal immigration problem has, predictably, made a very serious and dangerous problem much worse. The Senate must immediately pass HR-4437 with no amendments other that to ensure that...
 • the our borders are manned with adequate permanent, full-time staff, technology and barriers (including mines if necessary) to stop this invasion,
 • "Minutemen" volunteers (erroneously and maliciously labeled vigilantes by our president) are integrated into our border security plan until full-time permanent, full-time staff, technology and barriers are in place,
 • any and all economic incentive for aliens to cross our borders, or to stay once they have crossed, are eliminated,
 • there is no amnesty nor any so-called "guest-worker" program for anyone who has crossed our borders illegally,
 • crossing our border is a felony offense,
 • giving employment or any form of aid to any illegal immigrant is a felony offense with severe penalties to include forfeiture of the business,
 • medical treatment is prohibited to illegal immigrants or their children except as needed to save life or limb long enough to complete deportation,
 • any form of humanitarian aid, welfare assistance, or reduced-cost education for illegal immigrants and their families is banned except as needed to enable immediate return home,
 • English is established as the nation's official language,
 • providing government services is banned in any language other than English to residents who have been in the US longer than 1 year (including Congress members' web pages in foreign languages),
 • all employees of any company or government agency which receives Federal money must be fluent in English,
 • all elections are conducted only in English, including ballots,
 • the intent of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution is clarified so that citizenship is not automatically given to children of illegal immigrants (This practice is based on the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution. This amendment dates to the US Civil War and was intended to ensure that former slaves were granted United States citizenship, and that they would have all the rights and privileges as any other citizen. It was never intended to give citizenship to the children of alien invaders), and that
 • authority to enforce immigration laws is delegated to state and local authorities.
The United States does not need 11-12 million “guest-workers"! This term has only been developed to obfuscate the fact that our government has been grossly negligent in controlling an invasion by foreign nationals. If Congress is to establish a guest-worker program, guest-workers must be limited to stays of not more than 5-6 months in the US with at least 1 month outside the US before applying for another guest-worker visa. Rather than face the reality of today's immigration crisis, the Senate has enacted a terrible bill that once again puts the interests of the American people last. The Senate is arrogantly out of touch with the nation, its people, and its needs. S-2611 is so far from what this nation needs, it must be abandoned. We demand our Senators and the President fight fiercely for the US Constitution and US sovereignty. (30 Jun 2006)

Foreign language ballots don't make civic sense. You can't vote unless you are a citizen (at least you're not supposed to). To become a naturalized American citizen, our law requires that you demonstrate "an understanding of the English language, including an ability to read, write and speak...simple words and phrases...in ordinary usage in the English language." Foreign language ballots are costly to both taxpayers and local municipalities. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that Los Angeles County taxpayers spent $1.1 million to provide ballots and election materials in five languages in 1996, escalating to $3.3 million in seven languages in March 2002. In several counties, the cost of foreign-language ballots is more than half the entire election expense! In light of recent developments concerning illegal immigration, America needs linguistic unity more than ever. Offering foreign language ballots while at the same time emphasizing the importance of learning English sends mixed signals to those seeking to assimilate into American society. Congress must eliminate ensure any foreign language ballot provisions from Voting Rights Act, and return us to a policy of e pluribus unum: "Out of Many, One." (3 Jul 2006)

Senate bill 2611 would give amnesty to 85% of the 11 to 12 million illegal aliens in the US. Senate bill 2611 would provide for "temporary guest workers." The Heritage Foundation estimates this would legally admit at least 60 million people over the next 20 years. The Pence Plan would allow illegal aliens to regularize their status by leaving the US briefly and getting visas at so-called Ellis Island Centers. This plan also contains an open-ended "guest worker" program. The Senate bill would allow chain-migration by families of newly legalized aliens and would automatically provide them with many benefits such as Social Security for elderly parents. The Senate bill cedes American sovereignty by requiring the US to consult with Mexico before building a border fence. Everyone in Congress knows that amnesty for invaders from across our borders is not in the best interests, short-term or long-term, of this nation and its citizens. The problem is that too many in Congress and the Whitehouse do not have the courage to stand up to bullies such as Ted Kennedy, John McCain and Vicente Fox. Meanwhile nearly 3,000 new invaders cross our borders every day and the numbers are accelerating! All talk of amnesty must stop immediately. The borders must be sealed immediately -- mine the borders if necessary! All businesses that employ illegals must immediately be jailed and their businesses forfeited. All government aid to illegals must immediately be terminated. Without an economic incentive to stay in the US, the illegals will go home -- no deportation is necessary. Congress and the Whitehouse must stop stalling and act! (8 Aug 2006)

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the Senate "scamnesty" bill will cost over $126 billion over the next ten years! The non-partisan CBO is traditionally very conservative with its estimates and the $126 billion dollar figure really only measures the superficial costs of the program at the federal level. The CBO estimate doesn't include many of the "hidden costs" or the costs at the state and local level. Bottom line? $126 billion doesn't even begin to measure the REAL cost of the Senate scamnesty bill. Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation writes: "The amnesty alone will be the largest expansion of the welfare system in the last 25 years... If even a small fraction of those who come into the country stay and get on Medicaid, you're looking at costs of $20 billion or $30 billion per year." The American people overwhelmingly support secure borders and no amnesty for illegal aliens. We don't want to be burdened by the staggering costs mentioned above. We don't want our children and grandchildren to be faced with the change in national allegiance that will result when the invaders from across our borders impose their will, culture and language on our nation. Why, then, do our elected leaders keep trying to pass an amnesty bill? It's simply because too many in Congress don't have the judgment, wisdom and/or courage to stand up to the bullies in Congress such as John McCain, Harry Reid, and Ted Kennedy. We Americans demand that:
 • Congress and the Whitehouse immediately abandon amnesty and/or any so-called "guest-worker" program for anyone who has crossed our borders illegally.
 • all illegal immigrants be held accountable for violating our borders.
 • our borders be manned with adequate permanent, full-time staff, technology and barriers (including mines if necessary) to stop this invasion.
 • local and state law enforcement agencies and courts be empowered to enforce immigration laws unless and until Federal law enforcement agencies properly enforce those same laws.
 • Congress immediately establish that the 14th Amendment was never intended to give automatic citizenship to the children of anyone who is here illegally and to retroactively deny citizenship to them.
 • English be established as the official language and that no government services be provided in any other language including voters ballots, welfare applications, and government websites (including Congress and the Whitehouse). Concessions may be made to indigenous native languages but not outside their documented ancestral territory.
 • all employees of any company or government agency which receives Federal money must be fluent in English.
 • all who give employment to illegals be held accountable to include jailing employers and forfeiture of their businesses.
 • all government aid to illegals be immediately be terminated.
 • any form of humanitarian aid, welfare assistance, or reduced-cost education for illegal immigrants and their families be banned except as needed to facilitate an immediate return home.
 • medical treatment be prohibited to illegal immigrants or their children except as needed to save life or limb long enough to complete deportation.
Without an economic incentive to stay in the US, the illegals will go home -- no deportation is necessary. The United States does not need 12 million "guest-workers"! This term has only been developed as a scam to obfuscate the fact that our Federal government has been grossly negligent in controlling an invasion by foreign nationals. Congress and the Whitehouse must stop stalling and act now! (29 Aug 2006)

It's apparent that the Congressional leadership did not get the message on November 7. They do not care that Americans will not stand for amnesty for 12 to 20 millions illegal aliens. Our Senators and the President continue to thumb their noses at the American people on this issue. According to Rep. Steve King of Iowa, 12 Americans are murdered every day by illegal aliens, 13 people per day are killed by illegal alien drunk drivers, and 8 American children are molested by illegal aliens every day! 17 percent of the prison population at the federal level are illegal aliens, according to the Center for Immigration Studies. The U.S. Justice Department has estimated that 270,000 illegal aliens served jail time nationally in 2003. Of those, 108,000 were in California. Some estimates show illegal aliens now make up half of California's prison population, creating a massive criminal subculture that strains state budgets and creates a nightmare for local police forces. In Los Angeles, 95 percent of all outstanding warrants for homicide (which total 1,200 to 1,500) target illegal aliens. Up to two-thirds of all fugitive felony warrants (17,000) are for illegal aliens. Illegal aliens are overcrowding our schools and jails, mobbing our health-care facilities and gobbling up welfare benefits. That which is called "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" really means, "Come on over, the water's fine." Opposition to illegal immigration isn't just a question of preserving our language, our culture and our sanity. It's also a question of safety. The Senate and the Whitehouse must stand with the House of Representatives and immediately remove all incentive for illegals to come to the US or to stay if they are already here. (8 Dec 2006)

Passing a "guest worker" amnesty bill will only reward those who break the law (including employers of illegals) and will encourage even more illegal immigration. Amnesty is fundamentally unfair to those who follow the rules, wait for years, and come to this country legally. Any "guest worker" program is likewise unfair to US citizens who must work in a labor market flooded by illegals and "guest workers." Congress and the President must reject any attempt to pass a "guest worker" or amnesty bill for anyone who is or ever will be in this country illegally. (8 Jan 2007)

One of our neighbors here in Cedar City, VerLee Hunt, was killed on 28 Jan by the irresponsible actions of an illegal immigrant. Congress and the Administration continue to thumb their noses at the American people on the illegal immigration issue. The Congress and the Whitehouse must stand with the People and immediately remove all incentive for illegals to come to the US or to stay if they are already here. The Congressional delay in properly resolving the illegal immigration crisis is directly responsible for VerLee's death. Congress and the Whitehouse must stop stalling and act now! (30 Jan 2007)

Nearly 3,000 new invaders cross our borders every day Congress and the Whitehouse delay enforcement of our immigration laws! All talk of amnesty must stop immediately. The borders must be sealed immediately -- mine the borders if necessary! All businesses that employ illegals must immediately be jailed and their businesses forfeited. All government aid to illegals must immediately be terminated. English must immediately be established as the official language of the nation and the ONLY language in which government business is conducted (including Congressional and Whitehouse websites). Without an economic incentive to stay in the US, the illegals will go home -- no deportation is necessary. Congress and the Whitehouse must stop stalling and act! Passing a "guest worker" amnesty (or whatever other deceptive term Congress chooses to apply) bill will only reward and encourage those who break the law (including employers of illegals) and will encourage even more illegal immigration. Amnesty is fundamentally unfair to those who follow the rules, wait for years, and come to this country legally. Any "guest worker" program is likewise unfair to US citizens who must work in a labor market flooded by illegals and "guest workers". Congress and the Whitehouse must cease to insult voter intelligence by further delay or by enacting any attempt to pass a "guest worker" or amnesty bill for anyone who is or ever will be in this country illegally. (27 Mar 2007)

I expect Congress and the President to aggressively oppose any bill that includes any amnesty provisions for illegal aliens. Until the federal government is willing to enforce the immigration laws that are already on the books, I will be highly skeptical of any additional promises to enforce a new and deeply flawed approach. The so-called guest worker scam would only encourage a new wave of illegal aliens and make America's uncontrolled and unacceptable immigration debacle even worse than it is now. Such legislation is a bad idea not only because it creates a transparent path to amnesty (opening the illegal floodgates even wider), but also because it would reduce work opportunities, depress wages, and lower worker protection for US citizens and legal residents. Further, it would be impossible to administer and even more unlikely to be enforced -- just like our current immigration laws. The most important job Congress has to do right now is to secure our border against illegal immigration and force US employers to fire all illegals. Mine the damned borders if necessary! (9 May 2007)

Our federal government, "led" by Congress and the Whitehouse has demonstrated a complete unwillingness and utter incompetence with regard to enforcing the immigration laws that are already on the books. If recent history is any guide, the amnesty/guest-worker scam will only encourage a new wave of illegal aliens and make America's uncontrolled and unacceptable immigration debacle even worse than it already is. I am offended that the Senate would think that the American public is so stupid as to accept amnesty for illegal invaders. The "compromise" that is soon to be voted on in the Senate is NOT a compromise. Is is surrender to an invading and occupying enemy force. Congress and the Whitehouse must immediately secure the borders against further invasion -- mine the damned borders if necessary! Simultaneously, the Administration must begin to jail all who employ illegals and shut down their businesses. Congress must provide the resources accomplish this end while ensuring state and local law enforcement agencies are integrated into the immigration enforcement process. I expect Congress and the President to reject even the mention of any form of amnesty or guest-worker scheme. Most Americans already do. (18 May 2007)

Clearly, I am missing something in this amnesty for illegal immigrants issue. I need some answers to clear up my confusion.
 • Why have the Whitehouse and Congress failed to enforce our borders for decades?
 • Why aren't the borders being enforced right now?
 • When will the borders be enforced?
 • Other than restoring the slave class (Didn't we fight a war over that issue?) in our nation, what do congressmen and presidents gain by giving amnesty to those who violate our borders?
 • Why is the taxpayer forced to support illegals by paying their medical bills and educating their children?
 • Why is the 14th Amendment misused to give citizenship to invaders when that amendment specially restricted citizenship to persons "subject to the jurisdiction [of the United States]" -- not foreign invaders?
 • Why isn't every person who hires illegal immigrants in jail and his business closed?
 • Why do the Whitehouse and Congress forbid sate and local law enforcement authorities from dealing with those who invade our borders?
 • Why to congressmen and the President persist in having websites in Spanish when one presumably must speak English to be a citizen and one must presumably be a citizen to vote?
We are where we are in this issue because our elected officials are not doing their jobs for some obscure reason! I want to know what that reason is. And, why is that reason kept secret? (23 May 2007)

Please consider the way Mexico reacted to Miss USA at the Miss Universe pageant held in Mexico City this week. Can any reasonable person not see the extreme hostility Mexicans harbor for our nation?
 • Congress and the Whitehouse must immediately cease to discuss ways to appease the people who have invaded our borders.
 • Congress and the Whitehouse must immediately seal our borders against continued invasion. Mine the damned borders if necessary!
 • Congress and the Whitehouse must immediately provide and deploy all necessary resources to imprison all US citizens, residents, organizations and agencies who knowingly harbor, support, or employ illegals.
 • Congress and the Whitehouse must immediately clarify that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution was never intended and is not worded to give citizenship to the children of illegals and immediately terminate that practice retroactively.
 • Congress and the Whitehouse must immediately take down all non-English websites except those specifically related to tourism and legal immigration.
 • Congress and the Whitehouse must immediately mandate that all government forms (including ballots and other election materials) and business be solely in English.
Our sovereignty and cultural survival depends on the immediate action of statesmen. (30 May 2007)

Like the vast majority of Americans, I am tired of the negligence of Congress and the Whitehouse with regard to the invasion of our nation across our southern border. Congress must immediately stand up to the bullies in Congress who are allied with Ted Kennedy to give amnesty and the scam called "guest worker" status to these invaders.
 • Congress and the Whitehouse must immediately cease to discuss ways to appease the people who have invaded our borders.
 • Congress and the Whitehouse must immediately seal our borders against continued invasion. Mine the damned borders if necessary!
 • Congress and the Whitehouse must immediately provide and deploy all necessary resources to imprison all US citizens, residents, organizations and agencies who knowingly harbor, support, or employ illegals.
 • Congress and the Whitehouse must immediately take down all non-English websites except those specifically related to tourism and legal immigration.
 • Congress must immediately declare and establish our sovereignty and independence from Mexico.
 • Congress must immediately establish English as the nation's official language and terminate all government services (including all election materials and all government websites not related to tourism and legal immigration) in any other language.
 • Congress must establish that the intent and language of the 14th Amendment was never intended to give citizenship children of illegal immigrants and other invaders and terminate that practice immediately and retroactively. (5 Jun 2007)

For decades, the Whitehouse and Congress have been guilty of gross negligence with regard to illegal immigration. The last US president to have any courage whatsoever on the issue was Eisenhower. I expect nothing less from our current president! The mere existence of congressional and Whitehouse websites in Spanish is proof enough that US politicians hold no loyalty to US citizens and legal voters. Any so-called "comprehensive" immigration reform is a scam to continue to delay and even eliminate enforcement of existing immigration laws and to continue to pander to those who violate our borders and those who unlawfully employ illegals. The Whitehouse must immediately enforce all immigration and border-control laws. Congress must immediately give the Administration all resources needed to do so. Deputize all local, state, and federal lawmen to enforce immigration laws. Stop jailing border guards for doing their jobs! Both the Administration and Congress must immediately abandon any and all discussion of "comprehensive" immigration reform except to mandate English as the official language and to terminate all government functions (including non-tourism websites and all election materials) in any language other than English. (14 Jun 2007)

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Environment and Global Warming

Everyone's favorite sourpuss, Al Gore, is staring this year in his own dramatic home movie entitled "Inconvenient Truth." Perhaps it would better entitled "Exaggerated Truth." Gore has long contended that modern inventions of mankind are responsible for the imminent destruction of our globe. He is particularly fond of "global warming." (Remember that just a couple of decades ago, the same human activity was allegedly causing global cooling.) Over the past 30-40 years, industry in the western world has made unimaginable progress in reversing pollution -- a feat which Gore and his "scientists" seem unaware of. Our water, sky, and soil are cleaner than they have been for more than a hundred years. Gore and his "scientists" need to take a closer look at the science of climatology. In doing so, he will learn that throughout millions of years of geological history, the climate has made untold numbers of quite dramatic shifts in climate. In fact, just a few thousand years ago, Seattle was buried under thousands of feet of ice! Yes, global warming really does happen -- but it wasn't Gore's internal combustion engine that melted the ice that buried Seattle. I wonder if fear-mongering Gore and his "scientists" are aware that Earth was warmer during the Viking era (1000 years ago) than it is today. Gore's presumption that man is even capable of significantly affecting Earth's climate is the epitome of arrogance when you compare our effect to that of the sun. Consider the effect that just one day of heating by the sun has on Earth. Just a few minutes in the sun on a July afternoon in Las Vegas or an hour in the dark on a January afternoon in Barrow lets one know that that's a mighty powerful sphere up there. Our current warming cycle can best be explained, both logically and scientifically, by our relationship to the sun and the sun's own cycles. As Gore's "scientists" must surely know, the sun has dramatic variations in its sunspot cycle resulting in a brighter, hotter sun at times and a cooler sun at others. Perhaps Gore's "scientists" would like to blame that phenomenon on the internal combustion engine, too. Add to that Earth's precession and variations in our distance to from the sun and one has a much more valid explanation for climatological variations than the exhaust from my lawn mower. Having no desire to live in filth, I also naturally oppose any unnecessary pollution of our soil, air and water (even including the mucus and cigarette butts cads spit onto the streets and sidewalks). What Gore apparently really wants is the total dismantling of US industry and a return to the stone age. (Even the bronze and iron ages would surely be unacceptable to Gore, since such manufacturing requires the use of fire.) To abandon the technical advances of modern society to calm Gore's fears is irresponsible, unacceptable, unwise, and unscientific. Al Gore, please go away. (18 Jun 2006)

Approximately 15% of National Park properties allow at least some hunting. Most do not. Few National Parks are large enough or remote enough to be truly independent and self-sufficient ecosystems. Consequently, natural wildlife balances are usually disrupted. Overpopulation is a frequent result with subsequent destruction of habitat. In at least one case, the balance between predators (which are also protected from hunting) and their prey is out of balance. The excess of predators is taking a larger than optimum toll on elk calves and other young wildlife. Although the affected herds have overpopulated, they consist largely of older animals who have passed their prime. Without human intervention to control predators and to harvest the elderly elk, these herds may soon reach a point where they will be unable to recover once they begin to starve from overpopulation and habitat damage. I am told that employees (or contractors) of Rocky Mountain National Park, because of the anti-hunting rules under which it operates, plans to shoot some 700 elk per year and allow the meat to rot in the field -- at a cost of nearly a million dollars a year. This is unconscionable! Clearly, some National Parks are not suitable for hunting due to man-made park characteristics such as proximity to homes or extremely small park boundaries. However, most National Parks will be improved by properly managed hunting. Congress and the Whitehouse must immediately intervene and direct the National Park Service to employ hunting as a means of managing wildlife. This may entail modifying anti-hunting wording of legislation that established some of the parks. (29 Jul 2006)

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Families

Arthur Frommer, author of Frommer's Travel Guides has called for a boycott of Kanab, Utah because the town announced its support for the traditional family. I will not buy books from anyone who is an anti-family bigot. (17 Mar 2006)

My first car was a ten-year-old '63 Ford Falcon. I have owned a total of 9 Ford cars and trucks. I currently own two Fords and have never owned another brand of car or truck. Sb Because Ford has chosen to dedicate a significant portion of its advertising dollars to advertising in magazines touting the homosexual lifestyle. Tale a look at the Ford ads right next to revolting content in The Advocate. I have pledged to never buy another new Ford (or Mercury or Lincoln or Volvo, etc.) until Ford ceases to support the homosexual lifestyle through the placement of its ads. This issue was a topic at the recent Ford stockholders meeting and Ford management is fully aware that we dedicated Ford owners are disgusted by Ford's current policy of supporting the homosexual lifestyle. They don't seem to care. Because of this issue, one of my sons just bought a new Pontiac with my encouragement. My family is dead serious about this. Ford must stop supporting the homosexual lifestyle through advertising or by any other means. Surely Ford must understand that they offend a far greater market among traditional families! (24 May 2006)

"Haven't you read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall join to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh?' So that they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, don't let man tear apart." (Matthew 19:4-6) Marriage is an institution established by God. Only in relatively recent years have governments assumed the role of managing this spiritual institution. Now, courts and even legislatures are willing to "tear apart" what "God has joined together". Experts consistently say a child does best when raised in an intact home by his/her father and mother. Congress, the courts and the Whitehouse must take every possible step to avoid harming that intact traditional family through misguided government programs. Governments must also take every possible step to ensure the success of that intact traditional family. I am wary of any changes to the US Constitution, whether formally by amendment or informally, by judicial activism. Nevertheless, I see the Marriage Amendment as the last stand against anti-traditional forces. (13 Jul 2006)

I am deeply concerned by the so-called "hate crimes" bill HR 1592 (the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007) and its effect on Christians. This bill establishes the legal framework to persecute and prosecute those who refuse, for moral and religious reasons, to agree or teach their children that homosexuality, transgender, cross-dressing etc is normal and desirable. A pastor’s sermon concerning homosexuality could be considered an incitement to violence and punished with a fine or prison. The growing cry for "diversity" is simply a demand for acceptance of deviant behavior. HR 1592 will legislate acceptance of, even encourage, deviant, immoral lifestyles by criminalizing those who reject such immoral behavior. Congress and the President must oppose any efforts to pass "hate-crimes" legislation. (12 Apr 2007)

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Rights vs Privileges

Some seem to think that banning flag-burning deprives us of freedom of speech. Based on that logic, so does banning cross-burning in the front yards of blacks. Freedom of speech, as envisioned by our founding fathers, is intended to ensure free political discourse and the unfettered exchange of opinions, ideas, and philosophies contributing to the betterment of mankind -- not vandalism or pornography or desecration of sacred objects or political indoctrination of children in government schools. The idea that a handful of activist judges have twisted the US Constitution does not change that fact. (25 Mar 2006)

Due to the failures of government schools combined with a conscious effort by some people to distort the truth, few Americans understand that the US Constitution was established by "we the people," that WE granted to the government certain limited powers, and that WE retained our rights while delegating a few to the government. Our founding fathers worked under the concept that our rights are inherent and inalienable and come from our "Creator," not from the king, as in most other governments. The US Constitution does NOT grant rights to us. The Bill of Rights (including the Second Amendment) does NOT grant us rights. They only clarify that the government is prohibited from infringing on our rights. Chief among the ignorant on this issue are lawyers, educators, politicians, and journalists -- generally well-educated people who clearly ought to know better. (8 Jun 2006)

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the group that serves up scares about the food we eat, is suing the parent company of KFC over the type of cooking oil the fast-food chain uses to fry its chicken. The Declaration of Independence says, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men...are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." To me, happiness is a good piece of fried chicken. The Declaration of Independence says I have a right to that happiness. The Declaration of Independence says I have a right to the "liberty" to make that choice. I am a fairly intelligent person and feel like I can make an informed choice on the matter. And that's the key: We all know that fried foods are unhealthy. The lawyers and judges need back off and let us make that informed choice -- for ourselves! By the way, I haven't had a decent french fry since the do-gooders made fast-food restaurants stop cooking fries in lard. What's the point of living a healthier life for an extra 6 months if I get no happiness in what I'm eating? The CSPI to go back to eating its tofu and leave my fried chicken alone! (15 Jun 2006)

I am appalled by the disgusting display of censorship at this year's Foothill High School graduation in Henderson, Nevada wherein Valedictorian Brittany McComb was silenced for refusing to read a speech that had been censored by school administrators and the ACLU. Principal Gretchen Crehan must immediately be terminated for her egregious violation of a student's First Amendment rights and for conspiring with the ACLU to restrict the civil rights of a student. All employees of Clark County School District must be given thorough instruction in all aspects of the First Amendment annually. Clark County School District employees must be permanently restricted from imposing their own, or ACLU, interpretation of the First Amendment on students. Clark County School District employees must be permanently prohibited from submitting any student work to the ACLU for approval or to otherwise be politically cleansed. (22 Jun 2006)

Not one right is granted by the US Constitution. Not one. The Constitution does nothing more than describe our form of government and delegate to it certain rights and powers from the people. The Constitution need not list a right in order for that right to exist. It does, however list a few of our rights, such as the right to keep and bear arms, to ensure everyone understands the rules. But, the Constitution does not grant those rights -- it simply guarantees the rights we were born with, and prohibits the government from infringing them. The founders based the Constitution on the concept that all personal rights exist inherently and are granted by "the Creator" -- not the king. This is opposite to the principle on which most other governments are based where rights are presumed to be gifts from the king (or the government). Only in those other governments are the rights of the people restricted to those that are listed. For example, the right to drive a car is in the Constitution is in the 9th (The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.) and 10th (The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.) amendments. It is not up to the citizen to prove the Constitution grants him a right, but rather up to the state to prove where they were granted a "certain power". Where does one find the "power" of the state to license travel or any mode of travel as regards a private citizen? If you cannot find it there, that means the state is illegally licensing privileges that they have no power to do, but are usurping, illegally, the rights of the citizen. Licenses and permits turn the Constitution on it's head making the rights of individuals into privileges that flow from the State rather than the other way around. This concept of rights makes many people (most notably, liberals) uncomfortable, since they don't understand it or prefer a system where they can be the king and control every aspect of people's lives. (21 May 2007)

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Education

From its omission from the US Constitution, it is clear that the founders never intended for the Federal government to have a role in education. According to the 10th Amendment, that role is retained by the states and the people. One area that the Constitution does allow Congress to regulate is interstate and international commerce. In order to stick its nose in education and to establish the Department of Education, Congress has said that in as much as educated people are involved in interstate and international commerce, they can therefore regulate education. This is only one of countless abuses of the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. Congressional and Federal meddling in education is not authorized by the Constitution and therefore is unconstitutional. An ignorant public (says a lot about our Federally-controlled education system) and a colluding Supreme Court have allowed this abuse of the Commerce Clause to continually expand Federal intrusion into individual and states' rights. It must stop. (15 Nov 2006)

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The Lazy News Media

Michael Newdow styles himself a minister. Find out how you can be ordained a minister by the same authority at the Universal Life Church website -- online and for free! Michael Newdow styles himself a doctor. See a copy of his worthless "Doctor of the Universe" diploma at his own website. Find our how you can buy a degree similar to his for just a few dollars at the Universal Life Church website. Michael Newdow claims he is protecting his daughter from an imposition of religion upon her. Yet he never married his daughter's mother and he does not have custody of his daughter nor any control or authority whatsoever over her religious upbringing. Michael Newdow should be grateful that only in a Christian nation such as this would he even be given a forum. Michael Newdow is nothing but a fraud attempting to impose his own religion upon an entire nation. (His website says his church is based on atheism.) The ignorance and intellectual laziness of the 9th US Circuit Court, the people of this nation, and especially of the news media make them complicit in this scam. The fact that the news media allows Mr. Newdow to make a mockery of them is shameful negligence when the facts are so easily obtained. The news media, by its laziness is complicit in Newdow's demand for expelling all exercise of religious liberty from public spheres. How does this differ from a declaration that atheism is the government's officially established religion? The pro-atheism activist surely must get a chuckle from how easily reporters are hoodwinked. (18 Sep 2005)

TV station WFOR in Miami recently broadcast undercover videos with the intent to show a need for complaint forms whereby citizens can report inappropriate behavior of police officers. However, these videos display disturbing problems that have nothing to do with complaint forms. The complaint form is a red herring. The TV news reporter and his undercover "operatives" have focused on the herring, not the problem. The videos clearly demonstrate problems with police candidate selection and police officer initial and recurrent training. Both these problems, in turn, stem from poor police department leadership. Complaint forms will not fix these problems. A face-to-face complaint process is an acceptable alternative to a complaint form if a police department has adequate leadership. If a department has poor leadership, a complaint form will likely give the same results shown on the videos -- nothing at best. I am not, nor have I ever been, a police officer. I am, however, a retired military officer and commander. Problems identical to those shown in your videos sometimes exist in military units in combat (and in businesses such as TV stations and newsrooms) if leadership is deficient. All military commissioned and non-commissioned officers receive leadership training which helps to avoid leadership vacuums such as this (but not always). Police departments rarely have such leadership training. They should, but the funding is rarely there. (18 Feb 2006)

The Leftist news media has done its worst over the years at portraying Vice President Dick Cheney as evil incarnate. Their utterly false image of the vice president as a greedy and scheming oil baron has resonated so soundly with portions of the public that few would ever believe the extent of his philanthropic work. According to tax records, Vice President and Mrs. Cheney donated $6.8 million to charity in 2005. The majority of the family's income is derived from his stock options and royalties from her books. Naturally, the part of the tax return that the media reported on was the fact that Cheney made more money than President Bush, and that his fortune came from oil money. They neglected to report his vast charitable giving, just as they neglected to report Vice President Al Gore's generous $367 in charitable giving in 1997. (19 May 2006)

If we close the terrorist housing at Guantanamo, Cuba, what will we do with those terrorists? Maybe we should turn 'em loose in Hyannis Port since that senate bully Kennedy is so vocal on the subject. By the way, that camp is not closed to inspection. I recently read a news report that over 5,000 journalists have inspected the place, and NONE have reported improper treatment of inmates. Why has not the lazy news media better explained that to us? (20 Jun 2006)

The US Constitution does not guarantee the right to anyone the right to slander. But, that is just what the Atlanta Journal-Constitution did when it published a false and malicious cartoon by Mike Luckovich depicting our nation and our servicemen and women as moral equivalents of Al-Queda. Anyone who is moderately conscious of what's going on in the world knows that the handful of servicemen and women who have abused or neglected their authority have been, and will continue to be, held accountable by military leadership. The US military polices itself -- something which far too many in the news media, including political cartoonists, are unwilling to do. I am disgusted by the despicable and persistent news-media mischaracterizations of our sons and daughters who are valiantly serving in the US Armed Forces and of our nation's efforts to share the concept of individual liberty with the people of the Middle East. (25 Jun 2006)

In its editorial, "Political shell game," (28 Jun 2006), the Anchorage Daily News claimed that an anti-flag-burning amendment to the US Constitution "would have, for the first time in the nation's history, taken away freedoms from the Bill of Rights." Perhaps the editor is unaware of the effect of the McCain-Feingold Campaign-Finance Reform bill on our First Amendment rights or the effect of over 20,000 gun-control laws on our Second Amendment rights. It's just one more example of the lazy thinking of today's news media. That said, what does flag-burning have to do with free speech? Flag-burning is nothing more than childish disrespect for the one nation which still provides the greatest level of individual liberty. (29 Jun 2006)

Why has the news media chosen to not provide significant coverage of the “Small Arms Review Conference” currently being held in the United Nations? Why is the news media ignoring the threat to our Constitutionally-protected rights posed by this conference? Are news editors and reporters waiting until the UN holds a conference to establish a UN treaty to restrict news reporting or personal speech that is critical of governments? (3 Jul 2006)

The public needs and expects news to be reported in an unbiased manner by reporters who are respected for their fairness. The opinions and bias of reporters, news anchors, and editors is supposed to be displayed only in what is clearly presented as an editorial. Sadly, many reporters for the major news organizations, including ABC News clearly show their bias when selecting what news to show and how they present it. A current example of public bias is ABC's Sam Donaldson and his choice to host a fund-raising activity the Brady Campaign. Donaldson has no business hosting a fund raising event for a gun-control organization (or a gun-rights organization), and ABC News has no business allowing it. Donaldson also exposed his bias earlier this month with his silly claim that gun owners have guns so they can "shoot the paperboy and the relative coming home late at night." I demand a public apology by ABC News and by Sam Donaldson. Failing that, I demand Donaldson's immediate resignation or termination. (30 Apr 2007)

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Taxes

The only truly fair tax I can think of would be a 100% tax on all forms of income, perks and benefits in excess of $200,000 from any source received by members of Congress. This tax on members of Congress must not be indexed, must continue after the Congressman leaves office, and must not be altered without the concurrence of 75% of registered voters. Failing that, Congress must immediately replace the entire present multi-layered conglomeration of corporate and personal taxes with a single, easy-to-understand tax that is fully transparent and visible. (6 May 2004)

It is my understanding that over 50 law-enforcement agencies have been created since 1900. Why do we need dozens of different Federal law enforcement agencies (i.e. FBI, Secret Service, US Marshals, DEA, ATF, Border Patrol, etc.)? Many of these agencies have overlapping responsibilities and jurisdictions as well as redundant bureaucracies. It seems to me that most or all of these agencies could, and should, be consolidated to achieve significant improvement in efficiency and savings to the taxpayer. (7 May 2006)

As a retired career military veteran, I support HR 5881, the Disabled Veterans Tax Termination Act, introduced by Congressman Jim Marshal on 25 Jul 2006. This legislation would be included in the 2007 National Defense Authorization Act to be negotiated this month. Among other things HR 5881 would:
 • Repeal the 11 year phase in of CRDP (Concurrent Retirement Disability Pay) such that everybody receives full benefit. This would benefit some 85,000 retirees with rated disabilities between 50 and 90%.
 • Extend CRDP to those with less than 50% disability. This would benefit some 375,000 retirees now receiving no benefit from CRDP.
 • Extend CRDP (but apparently not CRSC) to Chapter 61 retirees. This would benefit some 188,000 Chapter 61 medical disability retirees. Chapter 61 ranks are now being filled with many young retirees from Afghanistan and Iraq.
 • Extend CRSC (Combat Related Special Compensation - 10 USC Section 1413a) to TERA retirees.
 • Repeal the 4 year phase in of CRDP for IU (Individually Unemployable) such that everybody receives full benefit. This would benefit some 28,000 retirees with disabilities between 50 and 90% who are compensated by the VA at the 100% level.
The argument that the Concurrent Retirement Disability Pay for all disable veterans it too expensive is hogwash. No retired disabled veteran, even those with only a 10% disability, should be asked to shoulder a larger portion of the national budget than a disabled retiree who is not a veteran. It's all about simple fairness. (11 Sep 2006)

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Politicians vs Voters

This morning, I heard a rather unsettling bit on the radio. It seems some 95% of respondents to a poll felt it would be wise to conduct a thorough inventory of Whitehouse property after the Clintons and their staffs leave. It's rather sad that our nation's political leadership has dropped to such a low level that we can't even trust them to not steal the furniture, dishes, and silverware. I think the poll is right on -- count everything, right down to the toilet paper and bath towels. We can't trust these people. And to think that they are among the brightest and most promising people in this nation! Sad. Very sad. (17 Dec 1999)

 

It is becoming increasingly clear that a substantial portion of Republicans in Congress, especially the Senate, don't have the courage to stand up to the bullying of a handful of shameless Democrats on key issues such as the handling of judicial nominees and even Senate rules that don't square with the US Constitution. In recent elections we in the "red" states have sent a mandate to Washington which is being ignored. I have become convinced that the Republican Party doesn't deserve to be the majority party. (19 Apr 2005)

It seem that the loudest voices against Bush judicial nominees are most concerned about maintaining abortion as a contraceptive option. (This nation has killed some 40 million babies since the Roe v Wade ruling in 1973.) States have made many legislative attempts to restrict abortion, only to be overruled by liberal judges. However, as far as I've been able to determine, there is no legislation that guarantees a right to abort a baby -- only judicial rulings. My simple solution is to challenge the so-called "freedom of choice" crowd in Congress and state legislatures to introduce legislation that would guarantee a right to "choice". If their stand on abortion is so good such legislation will pass on its merits and the friends of abortion will no longer need to seek out radical judges with poor judgment. Pro-life Senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee must make this point should abortion be brought up in any judicial confirmation hearing. And, I challenge pro-abortion congressmen to introduce legislation that will guarantee a woman's right to abortion and stop hindering the confirmation of qualified federal judicial nominees. Stop using the courts to make laws! (16 Nov 2005)

Thanks to CSPAN, I have followed the recent Supreme Court confirmation hearings. I am disgusted by what I've seen. I am convinced that the judicial confirmation process is broken. The blame clearly lies with the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee. Their focus during the hearings has been on political issues (the role of Congress, not the courts) rather than on judicial competence, temperament and integrity. The antics and comments of some Democrats were shameful and juvenile -- especially Senators Kennedy and Biden. All Senators, particularly the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee need to remember what Adlai E. Stevenson, a Democrat, once said, "Howling is not a substitute for thinking." (24 Jan 2006)

Congressmen have largely grown out of touch with the realities of life in the United States. The only reality most Congressmen seem to know is that of wealth and greed, since that is that class of people who seem to get Congress' ear. In an attempt to control the corruptive influence of wealthy donors, Congress has passed legislation such as the McCain-Feingold Act of 2002. Unfortunately, what this sort of legislation has consistently done is muzzle the common man. We commoners don't have the financial clout of the likes of George Soros, so we try to express our opinions through groups such as the NRA, Americans for Tax Reform, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, and the National Taxpayers Union. Instead of campaign finance reform, what this type of legislation has really done is to further concentrate the influence of powerful political insiders and to make it harder for thoughtful citizens to vote out those politicians who are harmful to our nation and to individual liberties. Vote "YES" for free speech. (10 Apr 2006)

Congress continues to demonstrate either ignorance or apathy regarding what recent elections were about. Most Congressmen refuse to acknowledge that we demand change:
• Smaller government,
• Cut taxes and stop spending tax money on programs for which there is no Constitutional authority or mandate,
• Restore and protect individual liberties including the right to keep and bear arms,
• Stop illegal immigration and deport all illegals,
• Stop handouts to able-bodied non-workers including illegals,
• Stop the processes whereby incumbents are routinely reelected contrary to the will of the people and to good of the nation,
• Preserve the sanctity of traditional marriage and family,
• Stop runaway judicial activism and impeach all activist judges,
• Learn to distinguish between the best interests of the nation as expressed by the voice of the majority and the moral destruction demanded by the screams of the ultra-liberals,
• Have the courage to do what is right,
• Remember and follow the oath taken by all Congressmen to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic [and to] bear true faith and allegiance to the same",
• Refuse to give up sovereignty to the United Nations. (17 Apr 2006)

Republicans in the Whitehouse and the Congress are failing to live up to the mandate of the recent elections. They are not adequately pushing conservative agendas and ideals. They are not adequately explaining to the public what those ideals are and why they are important. Instead, they are allowing the liberals to stay on the front page. Republicans are allowing themselves to be forced into compromise or defeat. Consequently, the Republican party does not appear to deserve to be the majority party. The only meaningful Republican successes since the 2000 election seem to have been 2 Supreme Court appointments. (24 Apr 2006)

Lobbying reform sounds like a good idea. Who could be against it? But "reform" means different things to different people, and there's the rub. What does lobbying "reform" mean to the political elites in Washington? It apparently means a chance to silence the American people. Yes, they don't want to hear from you and me. Members of the governing class seem to prefer the American people be silent, so we don't interfere with "governing." Does that definition of "reform" sound good to you? After analyzing the 50-page bill, Dick Dingman of the Free Speech Coalition warns, "While Members of Congress beat their chests about their righteousness and the need to root out lobbying corruption, the bill they are considering is fraught with potential problems for innocent parties, including many nonprofit organizations.... [HR 4975] would criminalize a citizen's failure to register as a lobbyist. The definitions as to who is required to register are, and will continue to be confusing. Now, persons contacting the Hill on legislation, or contacting the Executive Branch on matters of policy, can be threatened with criminal prosecution. This is a trap for the American public who does not carry a lawyer on retainer. The likely effect will be to chill contact with government -- just what they want." Yes, the governing class wants you and me to leave them alone. HR 4975 is not the kind of reform I want. Silencing the American people by criminalizing a citizen's failure to register as a lobbyist is absurd. You and I shouldn't have to "register" to be allowed to contact our Congressmen's offices. The US House will vote on the Lobbying Accountability and Transparency Act (HR 4975) on Thursday, April 27, 2006. I strongly urge a "no" vote (while I'm still allowed to speak). Then, repeal the McCain-Finegold Act. (26 Apr 2006)

Let me begin this rant by claiming that 53% of all statistics are made up. Given that disclaimer, I have determined that one-third of voters get their news and information through careful study of issues and political candidates through newspapers, radio and TV news, non-fiction radio and TV programs, books and magazines and discussions with other voters (including persons with opposing viewpoints) on a variety of issues. One-third of voters get their news and information from Jay Leno and David Letterman monologues, Hollywood sages (ie Barbara Streisand, Sean Penn, Pamela Anderson and Michael Moore), professional racists (ie Kweisi Mfume, Louis Farakhan, Al Sharpton, Cynthia McKinney, Ray Nagan and Jesse Jackson) and Marxist anti-American college professors and government school teachers. Finally, one-third of voters don't get any news or information at all! Consequently, the two-thirds of voters who make poorly informed choices in the voting booth are out-voting those of us who put in a little effort before voting. That is the primary reason we have our terrible government with excessive taxes and corrupt politicians. We have the democracy we deserve. It is my opinion that this problem can best be fixed with a voter test. The questions need not be difficult. For example, if you don't know your mayor's name or who pays for welfare handouts (working people and other taxpayers) or who is next in line for the presidency if both the president and vice president die, you don't get to vote. My voter test would help to reduce the number of ill-informed votes that cancel the voice of responsible voters every election. Unfortunately, it'll never happen because certain politicians (ie Ted Kennedy, Barbara Boxer, Cynthia McKinney, Harry Reid, Conyers, Chuck Schumer, Frank Lautenberg, John Kerry, Dianne Feinstein, Richard Daley, Joseph Biden, John McCain, etc.) rely on a constituency consisting of a sizeable portion of idiots to stay in power. I honestly don't care if a well-informed voter makes a carefully reasoned vote that is contrary to mine--we need everybody's good ideas to make democracy work best. But those who don't know or understand the issues or the consequences of a candidate's agenda really need to stay home on election day for the good of the country. (20 May 2006)

According to a recent AP article, just 33 percent of the public approves of Bush's job performance. Just one-fourth of the public approves of the job Congress is doing. A majority of Americans now say they want Democrats rather than Republicans to control Congress (51 percent to 34 percent). Even six of 10 conservatives say America is headed in the wrong direction! It is so bad that GOP pollster Whit Ayres admitted that "It’s going to take some events of significance to turn this around. I don't think at this point you can talk your way back from these sorts of ratings." The GOP cannot recover from this by compromising with Ted Kennedy, John McCain, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Arlen Specter or any other liberal on any issue including immigration, gun rights, activist judges, taxes, pork-barrel spending and homosexual marriage. Republican Congressmen must immediately take a courageous stand for what is right and refuse to betray the mandate proclaimed by the voters of the red states and the red counties. And, they must effectively explain their agenda and their results to the American people. Don't rely on leftist news readers such as Judy Woodward and Katie Couric to say how great the GOP is. Otherwise, the Republican party does not deserve to be the majority party and is doomed in the coming election. (23 May 2006)

The Republican Governor of Maryland, Robert L. Ehrlich, expressed his intolerant attitude toward those who hold different views from himself concerning homosexuality and homosexual marriage by firing a state Metro board member, a Catholic, who stated that his religious beliefs were opposed to homosexuality. The employee reportedly was not on the job, but expressing his personal opinion on his own time on a talk show. I find it strange that he would say his administration promotes tolerance, but is intolerant to those who hold different views. It is disturbing that the thought police have so thoroughly penetrated Maryland that "diversity" means acceptance of anything but mainstream Christianity. The dismissed employee must immediately be re-instated in his position on the Metro board and be allowed to express his personal views just as the governor allows those who hold a different view of homosexual behavior to express their views. The homosexual sourpuss who complained, Metro board member Jim Graham, must be reprimanded or terminated for his insensitivity toward non-homosexuals. (16 Jun 2006)

In 1996, US Supreme Court Justice stated, "What secret knowledge, one must wonder, is breathed into lawyers when they become Justices of this [Supreme] Court, that enables them to discern that a practice which the text of the Constitution does not clearly proscribe, and which our people have regarded as constitutional for 200 years, is in fact unconstitutional? ... Day by day, case by case, [the Court] is busy designing a Constitution for a country I do not recognize." To help repair this serious problem US Representative Todd Akin has submitted the "Judicial Conduct Act". The Judicial Conduct Act provides certain specific definitions of the grounds for impeachment of federal judges and of the termination of their terms of office due to lack of "good behavior." Specifically, this Act would designate that the entering or enforcement of orders and decisions in contradiction of the original understanding of the United States Constitution or, based upon judgments, laws, agreements, or pronouncements or foreign institutions, governments, or multilateral organizations, are impeachable offenses. One of the greatest threats to our nation and its Constitution arises if the other two branches of government continue to fail at holding the courts accountable to their Constitutional mandate, its inherent restrictions, and their own oath of office. Judges who legislate from the bench subvert our republican form of government of the people, by the people, and for the people, and threaten all these legislative aims. Therefore, we must immediately call for an end to Judicial Activism. Congress and the Whitehouse must immediately hold Federal judges accountable for their actions by enacting and enforcing the "Judicial Conduct Act". (22 Jun 2006)

There is a move in Arizona to turn the election process into a lottery. Inducing people to vote for the purpose of entering a lottery is contrary to the civic rights, privileges and duties inherent in our citizenship. In my opinion, the voting process already includes too many participants who are ignorant of the issues and the agendas of the candidates. Too many voters already cast votes based on their personal selfish interests as opposed to what is best for the nation as a whole. The voting process clearly already has too much corruption and fraud. To turn elections into lotteries will only exacerbate these problems. If a person needs the incentive of a lottery to vote, he or she doesn't take voting seriously. And I don't want anyone who doesn't take his or her vote seriously to vote against me. I don't see either a high voter turnout or a low voter turnout as inherently a problem, so long as those who vote do so with a reasonable understanding of the consequences of their vote. Instead of a lottery, I favor a voter test. Each voter should be able to correctly answer simple questions such as: "What is the name of your governor?" "What are the three branches of government?" "Who pays for government programs?" If a potential voter can't answer such basic questions -- in English -- he or she has no business influencing the direction of this nation. Congress must take immediate steps to prohibit any reward for voting, including a lottery. (20 Jul 2006)

The portion of Congressmen who have the courage to do what is right and what the nation needs is extremely small. The Republicans were voted into the majority because people grew unhappy with the direction the Democrats have taken the nation. Did that switch in parties make a difference in the direction of the nation? Not a bit. Few Republicans stand up to the bullies in Congress such as Ted Kennedy, Harry Reid, John McCain, and John Conyers and bullies outside Congress such as George Soros, Jesse Jackson, James Carville, Howard Dean, Al Sharpton, and Michael Moore. As a lifelong Republican, I have sadly concluded that the Republicans in Congress have demonstrated that they do not deserve to be the majority party. They have a bit over a month to prove otherwise. (26 Sep 2006)

I think many Americans and, especially, the politicians have taken their eyes off the ball with what's most important in this (2006), or any other, election. I agree the war on terror is important as is supporting the troops and their mission in Southwest Asia. But, this election is about the same issues as other recent elections: values and morality.
• It is about preserving the Constitution and the individual liberties it guarantees such as freedom of speech (including for conservatives, students and talk radio and the muzzling effect of the McCain-Feingold Campaign Reform Act), freedom of religion (including for Christians), the right to keep and bear arms (it's not just about hunting or other sporting purposes), the right to life (abortion should not be simply another form of birth control).
• It is about the protection of this nation from foreign invaders (illegal immigrants) who are unwilling to assimilate into our society.
• It is about protecting our freedoms and sovereignty from the UN other anti-American entities (ie IANSA).
• It is about demanding that the President, all Federal judges and all members of Congress to understand and live up to their oath to support and defend the US Constitution as written.
• It is about ever expanding government and its intrusiveness.
• It is about Congress' abuse of the Commerce Clause (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3) in the US Constitution in order to circumvent the 10th Amendment and to intrude into areas never authorized or intended by the Constitution.
• It is about the 14th Amendment giving citizenship to freed slaves in 1868 -- not children of illegal immigrants in 2006.
• It is about requiring Americans to be responsible for their own welfare whenever possible -- no more "entitlements" for able-bodied people who won't work -- make them do the work that we supposedly need "guest workers" for!
• It is about pressing "1" for English and "2" for Spanish.
• It is about voters who need ballots and other government forms printed in languages other than English.
• It is about judicial activism.
• It is about forcing Boy Scouts to accept atheism and homosexuality.
• It is about protecting our industrial base from destruction by terrorists (ie Al Gore) working under the banner of environmentalism.
• It is about the systematic destruction of the family which is the basic unit of society.
• It is about a dumbed-down education that produces graduates, even college graduates who are functionally illiterate -- especially with regard to our heritage and the plans our nation's founders had for us. Instead, our students are systematically brainwashed and indoctrinated in socialism and atheism at taxpayer expense.
I could go on, but suffice it to say that the war on terror is a mere side show when compared to the importance of all these other issues to America's future. The people gave Republicans the majority in order to accomplish these goals. They have failed. They have demonstrated that the Republican party does not deserve to be the majority party. Any Republican who loses his or her race this year will have lost because they have taken their eye off the ball. Any Republican who wins will win only by the power of incumbency. (19 Oct 2006)

The leadership (the most radical 5-10% on the left) of the Democrat Party is completely out of touch with the values and goals of mainstream Americans in general, and Utahns in particular. I challenge anyone to identify even one Republican member of Congress who is so out of touch with American values as those Democrats who will take chairmanship of the most powerful committees in Congress (Boxer, Conyers, Dingell, Frank, Leahy, Rangel, etc.) and leadership of the House (Pelosi) and Senate (Reid) if the Democrats win the majority. Unfortunately, neither the remainder of the Democrat Party nor the majority of the Republican Party has the will and courage to fight that radical leftist turn. That radical left is poised to take control of Congress in just a few days. I have asked my Democrat Congressmen, Jim Matheson, what he will do to to fight this extreme-leftist takeover of our nation. His silence has been telling. If, before election day, I do not hear his plan to fight the radical leftist takeover of Congress, I will be obliged to vote against him. (31 Oct 2006)

One of Utah's candidates for the US Senate, Roger Price (Personal Choice Party) said to the Gun Owners of Utah, "The misconception that US Citizens have constitutional rights, including our right to expressive conduct, suggests that another person or group of persons may give our rights to us or take them away by means of Constitutional changes or legislation. That is wrong! We individual humans (all mankind) have unalienable rights, not constitutional." As Mr. Price said, the US Constitution does not give or establish any personal right -- instead, it guarantees those rights by restricting the government from infringing on the rights given to us by our Creator. Sadly, due to our collective ignorance stemming from our grossly inadequate government schools, few Americans understand this concept, or most other concepts upon which the Constitution is based. Our founders believed that rights come from our existence as sons and daughters of God. Most governments infringe on those rights by allowing the king to control them. Our founders reversed that process by establishing that rights are inherent in man and man may establish governments and delegate to them only the rights necessary for government to function. This delegation of personal rights and authority in no way diminishes the citizen's rights. However, due to the neglect and ignorance of our voters, we are, indeed, losing rights by selecting politicians who usurp our rights. To illustrate our founder's concept of personal rights, Mr. Price has a page on his website quoting an essay by Rich Lowry on the right to privacy. Mr. Price takes issue with Mr. Lowry's claim that the US Constitution does not guarantee a right to privacy. It is true, as Judge Robert Bork said, the Constitution does not specify a right to privacy. But that does not mean that this right does not exist. The right to privacy is simply one of the countless unalienable rights bestowed upon us by our creator, most of which are not enumerated in the Constitution. It is true that this right to privacy has been erroneously and maliciously construed by the courts to justify immoral acts, such as elective abortion. But the right to privacy (and all other inherent rights) is just as real as any right specifically enumerated in the Constitution. I applaud Mr. Price's desire to "remove all laws of oppression or suppression, not amend them with other laws!" We desperately need people in Congress who understand and will fight for the US Constitution, who will fight to reverse the attacks on our rights, and who will put most current legislators into retirement. (4 Nov 2006)

The US Constitution gives very specific and narrow responsibilities and authority to Congress and the Federal government. One area of authority given to Congress is to regulate interstate and international commerce. The US Constitution grants no authority to enact criminal legislation at the federal level except for postal fraud, counterfeiting, piracy, and treason. According to the Tenth Amendment, the federal government of the United States has the power to regulate only matters specifically delegated to it by the Constitution. Whence, then, does Congress presume to get its authority to enact criminal legislation? Usually by misusing the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. Congress has no authority in defining, prosecuting or punishing crime except for very specific crimes: postal fraud, counterfeiting, piracy, and treason. Congress must immediately cease to misuse the Commerce Clause and rescind all federal legislation enacted through this misuse. That legislation is unlawful anyway! (5 Nov 2006)

Some Republican leaders are blaming this years election losses on an anti-incumbent movement. I believe that analysis is wrong, even dishonest or delusional. Nobody gets voted out if he or she is doing what the voters sent him or her to do. Democrats succeeded in this election only because of an arrogant and politically tin-eared Republican establishment in Washington. In the handling of key issues (including those listed below) the White House and Congressional Republicans displayed incompetence and even failed in getting the word out on accomplishments!
• This was a repudiation of waging a politically correct war with one hand self-tied behind your back. We need a new approach in Iraq, and elsewhere, that better ensures winning and defeating the terrorists or at least better reporting on our progress there. Perhaps today's Rumsfeld resignation is a step in the right direction. Even though most Americans support the effort, they are frustrated with the progress. American generals, not American lawyers should be running the war. No American soldier's life is worth a mosque. And, if Iraq won't step up to the plate and fight for their own freedom from terrorism, what are we fighting for? You're either all in...or get out.
• They failed to execute meaningful follow-through on Social Security reform. Instead, Republicans strapped the biggest "entitlement" program on our backs since Lyndon Johnson (A senior prescription drug program that we cannot afford).
• The conservatives who came into power in 1994 determined to clean up the corruption in Washington, yet they became as corrupt as the people they had run out of town. Republicans in Congress failed to stop practices (such as earmarking in the appropriations process) that let corruption run free. They squandered our tax money on these "earmarks" like drunken sailors.
• When scandal hit, they handled it badly and winked at a committee chairman's attempt to use the Congressional page school as a teenage brothel recruitment program.
• Republicans went to great lengths to ignore and alienate their base on illegal immigration. They let our nation become infested with countless millions of illegal aliens and would have us believe the solution is a 700 mile fence along a 2,000 mile border. 33% of America's prison populations are non-citizens and 95% of LA's outstanding murder warrants are for illegal aliens!
• They failed to establish English as the official language. The Republican Whitehouse and many Republican Congressmen even accommodate illegals by posting websites in Spanish!
• They failed to protect the traditional family.
• Instead of reducing the size and power of the federal government, the actually grew the government!
• Republicans failed to get the UN under control and seat an ambassador to that body.
• They neglected to impeach renegade federal judges.
• They failed to stop Congressional misuse of the Constitution's Commerce Clause to encroach on states' rights and individual freedoms.
• They failed to restore basic personal freedoms such as freedom of religion, property rights (Kelo v. City of New London), freedom of speech (repeal McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform), and gun ownership.
For all of this Republicans deserve to be punished by the voters. The Republicans in Congress proved that they don't deserve to be the majority party. They continue to ignore the constituency that elected them. The Republicans lost not because the Democrats are better, but because Americans, even the most radical Democrats, hold the Republicans to a higher standard. And they failed to live up to that standard. It's bad when anyone in public office betrays their trust, but particularly bad with a conservative, because a primary principle of conservatism is the preservation of the moral order. When conservatives misbehave and betray the trust, it goes to the very definition of who we are. It goes to our very character. And that's why it is so egregious. I think that is why people were so grossly offended by it. And it shows in the election returns. As Casey Stengel said, "Most ball games are lost, not won." This wasn't the country saying it wanted to go further left; it was the country saying Republicans had already taken the country too far left. This wasn't about taking the country in a new direction; it was about correcting the GOP's course. This wasn't swing voters swinging over to the left. This was conservative voters swinging back to the right. Congressional Republicans must completely purge the feckless and inept Republican leadership and hope that a punished and chastened Republican party will learn from this painful lesson that they can no longer betray or ignore their political base. (8 Nov 2006)

I've noticed an interesting phenomenon during the aftermath of recent elections. When when the Democrats lose, they blame voter fraud and irregularities and they accuse the Republicans of stealing the election. When Republicans lose, they look inward to see what they did wrong and what they need to do to correct their course. (11 Nov 2006)

The US Senate is poised to pass Senate Bill 1 (section 220), which would effectively restrict many organizations from providing constituents with information on bills in Congress. Apparently, the cowards in Congress are tired of getting constituent mail, e-mails and phone calls, and Senate Bill 1(Section 220) is designed to keep information from constituents that might inspire them to call or write their senators. This (as well as the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Bill ( is NOT the way to address the egregious ethical behavior that plagues Congress. And every senator knows it! Like the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Bill, this bill is nothing but a scheme to protect the incumbents in Congress! I would think that Senators would welcome the opportunity to hear from their constituency. Instead, Congress is like a bunch of cockroaches scurrying for the darkness of voter ignorance. Trying to control the information voters receive from various groups -- liberal or conservative -- is just plain wrong and is contrary to the rights guaranteed by the US Constitution. Congress and the Whitehouse must reject Senate Bill 1 (Section 220). (11 Jan 2007)

The "Fairness Doctrine" was a federal regulation imposed by the Federal Communications Commission from 1949 to 1987. It required broadcasters to present both sides of a controversial issue. While the rule was in place, radio and TV stations could face hefty fines if their stations aired controversial statements on public affairs without providing equal time to opposing viewpoints. This 38-year restriction was in direct opposition to the freedom of speech intended by our founders and which they protected with the Constitution and its First Amendment. When this rule was dropped in 1987, it led directly to the rise of talk radio that enabled average citizens to have their voices heard across America. Today, liberals are enraged by the fact that their message has failed to find a profitable market in the free-enterprise system and want to use what they call "fairness" to silence those voices which have found an audience. So, they want to restore the so-called "Fairness Doctrine". The intent of this kind of legislation is to silence the voice of free speech heard today on talk radio. Any effort now to return to the "Fairness Doctrine" would reverse 20 years of free speech rights enjoyed by citizens. This is fundamentally a First Amendment question. The "Fairness Doctrine" was not appropriately named; it was unfair in inhibiting broadcasters' and callers' free speech rights. It is not "fair" to impose any restriction on freedom of speech. Congress and the Whitehouse must reject any and all "Fairness Doctrine" bills as would effectively silence the voice of free speech heard today on talk radio. (18 Jan 2007)

Violent crimes (murder, rape, aggravated assault, robbery, kidnapping, etc.) have been felonies for a long time. I am concerned by the trend, in recent years, to felonize all sorts of relatively minor acts. Utah's HB70 is another effort to felonize relatively minor acts. This bill deals with “assaulting a police officer”, elevating this offense from a class-A misdemeanor (which it currently is) to a 3rd-degree felony. Bear in mind that “assault” does not mean striking someone, or tackling him to the ground, or kicking him, etc. That’s known as "battery", or "assault and battery". What HB70 deals with is simple assault, which can actually be a very minor act involving zero physical contact and no injury. Utah's legislators must amend HB70 to make it clear that is is dealing with physically attacking a person the perpetrator knows to be a police officer. (19 Jan 2007)

SB190, sponsored by Senator Gene Davis (D-Salt Lake) would make animal cruelty a felony offense. We recently brought into our home a dog that had previously lost a leg to a shotgun blast. As the owner of such a dog, I cannot condone abuse or cruelty toward animals. While I am repulsed by mistreatment of animals, I am also unalterably opposed to making such behavior a felony offense. I predict that if enacted, this change will be misused by "animal-rights" activists against farmers, butchers, hunters, state wildlife management employees, gardeners who are trying to protect their apple trees, and even pet owners. (I wonder if that is the true intent of Senator Davis.) There seems to be a rapidly growing feel-good movement in the legislature (particularly among Democrats from the big city) to elevate every little offense to a felony. There is also a movement to humanize animals and endow them with the same rights as man while dehumanizing humans and diminishing their rights. These movements must be stopped immediately. I cannot accept the proposal to elevate animal abuse to the level of a felony so long as this society condones the dismemberment and killing of millions of unborn humans every year. Ironically, the people who favor harsh punishment for animal abusers also oppose fully informing pregnant women and girls about the nature of abortion and the human characteristics of the child they intend to kill. These same people even oppose informing the parents of pregnant girls of the pregnancy and the abortion. Only when the animal-rights hypocrites get their priorities in order with regard to human rights can they legitimately ask for such legislation. The legislature and the governor must reject SB190 and any other attempt to elevate non-felony crimes to the level of a felony. (3 Feb 2007)

I am very concerned about the latest federal "hate-crime" bill introduced in the US House of Representatives, This bill is a dangerous threat to Constitutionally protected rights. HR-254, introduced by Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, D-Texas, (ironically, one of the most hateful people in Congress) would make certain types of speech a federal offense. So-called "hate crimes" legislation is dangerous for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the blatant unconstitutionality of such laws. "Hate crime" laws would allow federal "thought police" to interfere in the law enforcement authority of states and localities -- something our founders were clear was not to be allowed. HR-254 would require every state to pass and enforce "anti-hate" laws. It would outlaw stating a "bias" against certain "federally protected" groups such as homosexuals. So-called "hate crime" laws could even used to categorize the Bible as "hate literature" and preaching from it would be "hate speech" because of references to religious teachings on homosexuality or other harmful behaviors. Bible-believing Christians could become criminals simply because they spoke out about their beliefs. To assume a crime is more serious because some prosecutor or legislator believes the perpetrator is a bigot trivializes crimes (and their victims) committed by non-bigots. I therefore oppose any so-called hate-crimes legislation. Congress and the President must ensure HR-254 and any other so-called "hate-crime" legislation are rejected immediately and completely. (5 Feb 2007)

I am shocked that Speaker Pelosi would think that she should have personal use of a C-32 (a Boeing 757 configured for 45 passengers in business-class seating and a crew of up to 16 ) which costs as much as $22,000 per hour to operate. Her predecessor flew on a much cheaper, but still luxurious C-20 ( a Gulfstream III which seats about 12 passengers and five crew members) . If a C-20 was good enough for Speaker Hasert, it's good enough for Speaker Pelosi. Her request for a C-32 must be rejected. (8 Feb 2007)

I oppose the House resolution related to the troop surge in Iraq. The anti-war actions of Congressional Democrats is clearly intended to ensure a defeat in Iraq for the sole purpose of embarrassing Bush -- not for any other reason. Reports are now coming to light regarding anti-Vietnam-war-style abusive treatment of our servicemen and service women. The selfish and childish anti-Bush actions of Democrats in Congress are the direct cause of this abuse. (15 Feb 2007)

I thank my House Representative, Jim Matheson (Democrat), for his courage in opposing this week's irresponsible legislation to set a withdrawal date for the conflict in Iraq. This bill is irresponsible because it lets our enemies and allies alike know that radical leftist segments (the same crowd that pressed for our surrender in Viet Nam) of our nation are willing to surrender to terror. It is an egregious effort by Congress to again micromanage our military efforts from their comfortable offices on Capitol Hill. The bill is also irresponsibly packed with pork unrelated to the war, but designed to bribe fence-sitting, but unscrupulous representatives into voting for surrender. This bill clearly is motivated only by hatred and bitterness in some circles toward the president -- not of for a concern for what is best for the United States, Iraq, or the world in general. Governor Mitt Romney correctly observed, "Democrats in Washington have established a dangerous policy that essentially provides the enemy a planning calendar with a date certain surrender. By voting for such a policy, they have jeopardized our chances for success and endangered the mission of establishing democracy and defeating the terrorists in Iraq." Again, thank you, Representative Matheson, for your courage. (24 Mar 2007)

The question is frequently raised as to whether Mitt Romney's religion (he's a Mormon) should disqualify him as a presidential candidate. A recent poll indicated that 12% of voters (15% of Democrats, who claim to be so fond of "diversity") believe Romney's Mormon religion is a reason to disqualify him from being President. Ignorance is the root of bigotry. It would appear that many Americans have an egregious lack of knowledge and understanding of the Mormon religion. I suggest they get some solid information about the Mormon church from a source other than another religious bigot. May I remind all the religious bigots (most of whom profess to be Christians but don't act Christian) out there that the US Constitution (a document too few Americans, including politicians, read and understand) specifically says, "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." That includes, Catholics, Moslems, Protestants, Buddhists, Atheists, Jews, and even Mormons (who clearly are Christians). Suppose Romney's politics matched your own perfectly and his opponent were the opposite in nearly every aspect. Would you still oppose the Mormon? Although a Mormon myself, I'm not ready to support Governor Romney for president. My reservations are based on his historical stand on certain critical political issues -- not his religion. Personally, my vote will be for the candidate who best represents what I feel is best for the future of the nation and whose record best demonstrates support and defense of the US Constitution. BTW, isn't it interesting that of the current front runners for the Republican nomination, Romney is the only one who hasn't had multiple wives? (2 Apr 2007)

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has thumbed her nose at the Constitution and our nation’s laws. Her recent trip to Syria was intended specifically to embarrass the President and was also an obvious attempt to set up separate relations with a terrorist government, a regime with whom we have severed diplomatic ties. She even alleged (lied about) successes which were false! Speaker Pelosi's actions are no joke. Her actions are not a laughing matter or simple "bad behavior." Her actions are a violation of the Logan Act, and give aid, comfort and encouragement to America's enemies around the globe. Speaker Pelosi must not be allowed to get away with blatantly undermining US foreign policy by meeting with the leader of a country that supports terrorism. Why aren’t our national leaders calling for a full investigation of her actions, or censure or even impeachment? This nation is in the midst of two wars authorized by Congress. For Ms. Pelosi to flout the Constitution in these circumstances is not only shortsighted; it may well be a felony, as the Logan Act has been part of our criminal law for more than two centuries. It is time to enforce the law! Speaker Pelosi must immediately be investigated with the same zeal and tenacity Patrick Fitzgerald showed when he dogged Lewis "Scooter" Libby even though no underlying crime had been committed... the same zeal and tenacity that liberals are now showing as they ridiculously pursue President Bush and the Attorney General over the totally legal firings of U.S. District Attorneys. (12 Apr 2007)

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Gun Control

It is time for local, state, and federal governments to use some common sense with regard to firearms. Surely anyone can see that more antigun laws have not affected the behavior of outlaws, nor do they even necessarily affect the behavior of law-abiding citizens. What we need is education. We start sex education in grade schools with the idea that this will contribute to the health and safety of our children. Likewise, our governments and educators need to start working WITH (not against) the NRA to provide safety instruction in schools. The NRA has had such a safety training program in place for many years. It has been proven to contribute to responsible behavior among children with regard to firearms. In addition, television and movie producers must be held accountable for programming which teaches and even glamorizes irresponsible firearm use. Surely, they too could create entertainment which fosters responsible handling of firearms. (29 Feb 2000)

The Lautenberg Amendment to the Gun Control Act of 1968 became effective 30 September 1996. It potentially affects any soldier, police officer or any other person who has been convicted of domestic violence by voiding their right to possess a firearm. Obviously, no one defends the behavior of wife beaters and child abusers. But, the argument is about the punishment fitting the crime. If the penalty for a crime is a $50 and no jail time, permanent revocation of an enumerated Constitutional right is excessive. If the crime is deserving of revocation of rights, it is deserving of a punishment of more than a year in prison. The gun rights of all non-felons must be restored by immediately repealing the Lautenberg Amendment. This is bad law! (25 Mar 2006)

In November, 2005 Major General Charles H. Jacoby Jr., the Commanding General of US Army Alaska, put out a three-page policy statement outlining the most draconian firearms registration, storage, and transportation rules imaginable. These restrictions apply to all personnel living on post, including service members, their families, and civilians living in base housing and carry serious penalties for failure to comply. Recently General Jacoby took his gun control scheme a step farther by releasing a policy statement forbidding any US Army Alaska personnel to carry a concealed weapon any time, anywhere, on post or off post regardless of Alaska law to the contrary. The right of self-protection, including the right to posses firearms is one of our basic, God-given rights. General Jacoby has gone far beyond reason and his authority in depriving his soldiers of that right. As anyone who has a modicum of knowledge of history knows that gun-control laws do not affect criminal behavior. They only deprive law-abiding citizens of a basic human right. If General Jacoby has any soldiers in his command who are prone to crime, his new gun-control policies will not alter that behavior. They will continue to get into trouble. General Jacoby must immediately be removed from command for abuse of his authority and his gun-control policies must be immediately reversed. (20 Mar 2006)

Cedar Breaks National Monument in Utah is being considered for change of status to a National Park. My feelings on that change are neutral. However, I do support the immediate restoration of the right of a law-abiding citizen to possess a firearm within a National Park. Currently, gun possession is prohibited in most cases. I urge you to support legislation which would allow any law-abiding citizen who legally carries a firearm (including handguns) in accordance with state law to also carry that firearm for self-defense in any National Park in that state. This gun-right-restoration legislation must be passed before, or included within, any legislation establishing any new National Park, including Cedar Breaks. (20 Mar 2006)

Over the past several decades, Congress has needlessly passed seemingly countless laws restricting firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens. Over the past few years, Congress has made a feeble attempt to restore Second Amendment rights to its constituents. Specifically, over the past six years, Congress passed legislation protecting the firearms industry from frivolous and harassing prosecution for the criminal acts of others and allowed the misnamed Assault Weapons Ban to expire. Other than these two issues, Congress has done virtually nothing to redeem itself with regard to firearms rights for law-abiding citizens. Congress must act aggressively to fully restore the Second Amendment, as intended by our founding fathers, to all law-abiding citizens. For example, with “instant background check” in place, there is no longer a reasonable need to restrict interstate firearms sales. Congress must immediately amend GCA-68 accordingly. (11 May 2006)

We need legislation that would improve availability of criminal history and other records for conducting background checks on firearm buyers. At the same time, we need legislation that will resolve the problem where inaccurate or incomplete records delay lawful firearm purchases and result in wrongful denials of law-abiding buyers. Congress needs to update certain procedures applicable to commerce in firearms and remove certain Federal restrictions on interstate firearms transactions. A licensed importer, manufacturer, dealer, or collector should be able to: (1) sell or deliver a firearm (currently, a rifle or shotgun) to a resident of a State other than a State in which the licensee's place of business is located or temporarily located if the transferee meets in person with the transferor to accomplish the transfer; and (2) conduct business temporarily at any gun show or event sponsored by any national, State, or local organization, or any affiliate devoted to the collection, competitive use, or other sporting use of firearms (currently, only at such a location in the State specified on the person's license). With the successful establishment of instant background checks for gun buyers, such legislation would make good sense. (17 May 2006)

Most Congressmen consistently claim they support the Second Amendment. Nevertheless, in 1996, 97 Senators voted in favor of the egregious Lautenberg Gun Ban as an amendment to the Treasury Postal appropriations bill (HR3756). This law disarms gun owners for minor (misdemeanor) offenses in the home – “offenses” as slight as spanking a child or grabbing a spouse. This lifetime ban, in certain cases, can even be imposed without a trial by jury! It is also retroactive, so it does not matter if the offense occurred 20 years before Congress enacted this law! Because of this law, a woman who slapped her abusive husband 40 years ago, and who subsequently pled guilty to a misdemeanor under pressure from her husband, is now permanently and automatically prohibited from even touching a firearm even to protect herself from that same abusive husband! This law has unfairly and adversely affected untold numbers police officers and military servicemen and women. If someone commits a crime that is serious enough to justify depriving him or her of a right specifically listed in the US and most state Constitutions, it surely is serious enough to warrant a felony conviction – not a mere misdemeanor! Congress must act immediately to remove this harsh penalty for misdemeanor convictions. (21 May 2006)

Currently, if a grandfather gives a gun, even a family heirloom, to a grandchild who lives in a different state, that firearm must be shipped to the grandchild, passing through the hands of two Federally licensed firearms dealers -- one in Grandpa's state, the other in the grandchild's state. This is true even if the recipient is an adult and is visiting Grandpa or if ownership is transferred through a will after Grandpa's death and the grandchild is allowed to possess that firearm in both states! This is clear evidence that gun control is out of control. We have over 20,000 laws in this nation regulating firearms -- none of which have any effect whatsoever on criminal behavior. (Criminals, by definition are people who disobey laws -- including gun laws. Duh!) The last time a reasonable, common-sense Federal gun law was passed in the US was when the Second Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified. (25 May 2006)

The National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Bill, HR-4547 and S-3275 would allow any person with a valid concealed firearm carrying permit or license, issued by a state, to carry a concealed firearm in any other state, as follows: In states that issue concealed firearm permits, a state's laws governing where concealed firearms may be carried would apply within its own borders. In states that do not issue carry permits, a federal "bright-line" standard would permit carrying in places other than police stations; courthouses; public polling places; meetings of state, county, or municipal governing bodies; schools; passenger areas of airports; and certain other locations. HR-4547 would also apply to the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and US territories. The bill would not create a federal licensing system. Instead, it would require the states to recognize each others' carry permits, just as they recognize drivers' licenses and carry permits held by armored car guards. According to the the S-3275 sponsor, Senator George Allen, the murder rate has plunged 40 percent since a right-to-carry law took effect in 1995 in Virginia. All other states with right-to-carry laws have had similar effects upon restoring the people's inherent right to carry arms. No US citizen should be required to give up an inalienable, inherent, Constitutionally-guaranteed right simply because he crossed a political border. Congress and the President must enact this bill immediately and ensure that it it is worded to protect the right to carry in sub-jurisdictions within states (ie cities and counties). (6 Jun 2006)

It is often said that the US Constitution grants the right of the law abiding citizen to personally own a firearm. Wrong! It doesn't "grant" any rights to individuals whatsoever. Instead, it guarantees inherent, God-given rights which existed before the Constitution by restricting the government. There's a huge difference between "grant" and "guarantee." As indicated in the Preamble to the Constitution, the government, and its constitution were created by "we the people." Through the Constitution, we delegated to the government limited powers and responsibilities while retaining all our pre-existing rights. The Constitution need not specify or list any right (including the right to keep and bear arms) to be "granted" or "guaranteed" because it is implied that we already have our rights. (11 Jun 2006)

The 14th Amendment to the US Constitution states, in part, that "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States....The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article." What has Congress done to enforce this article with regard to the oppressive gun control laws enacted by many states? What is Congress doing to restore the right to arms for law-abiding citizens of states such as California, New York, and Rhode Island? Why? (12 Jun 2006)

An overlay map showing the extent of school-zone gun-free zones in a city shows how the law places anyone carrying or transporting a gun at high risk of continually committing a federal felony. Yet, this prohibition does nothing to stop crime of any kind, especially in school zones. What the law does do is provide a safe work environment for criminals bent on harming school teachers and their students. It also gives police and prosecutors unparalleled opportunity to destroy the lives of otherwise law-abiding citizens who wander into this twilight zone. Congress must stop assuming that criminals will obey gun laws. Congress must stop infringing on gun rights based on that flawed assumption. The "Gun Free School Zones Act" must be immediately repealed in its entirety. (21 Jun 2006)

Although these bills, in my opinion, are not strong enough, I urge Congress to work aggressively to ensure that S-1488 and HR-3436 (Second Amendment Protection Act) are enacted immediately. These bills express the sense of Congress that the United States should not provide financial support to international entities that abridge the constitutionally protected rights of law-abiding US citizens to keep and bear arms. They prohibit US funding to the United Nations for a fiscal year unless the President certifies to Congress that the United Nations has not taken action to restrict or otherwise adversely infringe upon the rights of US individuals to possess a firearm or ammunition, including the imposition of a tax that will interfere with the right to own a firearm or ammunition. Congress, the President, and the US Supreme Court must never allow our individual and national sovereignty to be diminished in any way. (2 Jul 2006)

I believe that convicted felons who have never been convicted of a violent crime or who have repented of violent behavior should have the right to defend themselves with firearms. I believe they should have the right to hunt. I believe they should be allowed to collect firearms. I believe they should be permitted to use firearms in their occupation as police officers and soldiers. I urge Congress to pass legislation that would automatically restore full rights, including gun rights, to former criminals (including those affected by the Lautenberg amendment regarding domestic violence) who have served their time, who have paid their debt to society, and who have satisfactorily demonstrated repentance for a reasonable period (such as 5 years) after serving their time. This should especially apply to those who were never charged or convicted of a violent crime. (29 Aug 2006)

Utah state law restricts to the state legislature sole authority to make laws and regulations regarding firearms. The administration of the University of Utah has violated that law by prohibiting students and employees from possessing firearms on campus -- even when they have completed the steps required to obtain a concealed firearms permit. The Utah Supreme Court has now ruled that the university does not have authority to establish that restriction on the right to keep and bear arms. The administration of the university apparently intends to pursue the matter in the federal courts. If the university administration feels compelled to further pursue this issue, the funds for that pursuit should come out of their personal pockets -- not mine. I have no desire for my tax money to be used to pay for their attempt to justify violating the law. The Utah Legislature and the Utah Board of Regents must take all necessary steps to restrict the University of Utah from using public funds to appeal the recent Utah Supreme Court ruling. (9 Sep 2006)

A 6th grade kid in out school district was just suspended for the entire year for having a clear plastic "airsoft" gun in his backpack "so he could take it home from his grandparent's house." Somebody on the bus saw it and the whole world fell apart. The best solution to this kind of situation is to get all school administrators and teachers into an NRA firearms class or a concealed firearms class, then onto the range. Teach those socialists about safety and common sense. Life on the schoolyard was a lot safer back in the late 50s and early 60's when I was growing up. We took toy guns to school with us to play "cops and robbers" and "cowboys and Indians". We took our new official Roy Rogers cap guns to show-and-tell after the Christmas break. Nobody ever got hurt. Nobody's PC (politically-cleansed) sensitivities were ever hurt. And kids had respect for guns. Nowadays, the know-nothings who run and teach our schools have screwed it all up. And, I'm ashamed to say that is is my generation, the baby-boomers, who screwed it all up. Another example of "zero tolerance" (zero common sense) gone awry: A while back a high school senior was recruited into the Army with her induction delayed 'til after graduation. For her senior yearbook picture she chose a picture of herself sitting on the fender of the old WWII tank in the city park. The school said, "No, that tank has a gun, and no guns in school -- even a photo!" Much of the problems comes from who votes in this country -- we've made it to darned easy to register to vote and to vote. One-third of voters get their news and information through careful study of issues and political candidates through newspapers, radio and TV news, non-fiction radio and TV programs, books and magazines and discussions with other voters (including persons with opposing viewpoints) on a variety of issues. One-third of voters get their news and information from Jay Leno and David Letterman monologues, Hollywood sages (ie Barbara Streisand, Sean Penn, Pamela Anderson and Michael Moore), professional racists (ie Kweisi Mfume, Louis Farakhan, Al Sharpton, Cynthia McKinney, Ray Nagan and Jesse Jackson) and Marxist anti-American college professors and government school teachers. Finally, one-third of voters don't get any news or information at all! So, two thirds of voters, with no basis for sound voting are outvoting the rest of us. To solve the problems in this country, such as socialist and anti-family indoctrination in "zero-tolerance" [for common sense] schools we need a voter's test. Each voter should be able to correctly answer a random question from a pool of questions such as, "What is the name of your mayor?", "What are the three branches of government?", "Who wrote the Declaration of Independence?", etc. If you're not informed enough to correctly answer such basic civics questions, you're not smart enough to vote. (16 Sep 2006)

In its editorial today ("Find a sensible gun policy") the Deseret News suggested Utah craft "common-sense restrictions on carrying concealed weapons in certain places." I'd say we already have more than enough "common-sense" gun laws. (The most recently enacted common-sense gun laws are the Second Amendment to the US Constitution and similar provisions in the various state constitutions.) Some of the more recent "common-sense" laws have made inadvertent felons of virtually every gun owner in this nation (i.e., guns within 1,000' of a school zone) and left millions of law-abiding citizens defenseless! It's time to start purging many of our "common-sense" victim-disarmament laws, particularly in certain other states and at the federal level. We need to stop blaming guns for crime and, instead, return to blaming bad people for their bad behavior. As for restrictions on concealed carry, Utah law regarding concealed firearms already prohibits firearms in secure areas such as courthouses and airports. Utah law allows for a respect of property rights -- one may not carry a firearm into a place where the property owner does not want a gun. This includes homes, businesses and churches. If the Deseret News really wants to add "common-sense restrictions," require those who ban firearms on their property, whether private, business, or religious, to provide bodyguards for their disarmed visitors and employees who feel a need for personal protection. The same should apply if the Deseret News' suggestion is extended to government-owned schools such as the University of Utah or the local elementary school. If you are going to provide a publicized unarmed-victim zone, you better provide personal bodyguards, too. Because the bad guys, by definition, simply don't obey laws -- even gun laws. "Common sense" says the best and most cost-effective control on violent crime, whether at home, the workplace, school, or church, is the presence of law-abiding, trained citizens as provided by the Utah concealed permit process. The cops invariably arrive just in time to do nothing more that conduct an investigation. I do, however, agree with the Deseret News' opinion that the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification needs to be given adequate resources to do the job it has been given. (22 Sep 2006)

Edward L. Lalone, Candidate for Utah House(Guns decrease campus safety, Deseret News, 23 Sep), seems to believe that banning guns on college campuses will, indeed keep guns off the campus. If a disgruntled student or teacher chooses to shoot up the campus he or she does not care whether guns (or any other weapon) are banned or whether he or she has a concealed firearms permit. If Mr. Lalone is competent to serve in the legislature, he certainly should be smart enough to know that guns do not cause crime, nor does even their presence. Crimes and upset students are a behavior problem -- not a gun problem. Statistically, more crimes are averted or stopped by the mere presence of a gun than are committed by a gun -- even on college campuses. Statistically, per capita violent crime is highest in those cities and states that have banned guns. Guns are generally banned in all school zones nationwide, yet school shootings still happen. Why? Bad guys don't obey laws -- even gun laws! (Even in Great Britain and Australia, where handguns are completely banned, the criminals still manage to get them.) Imagine the difference if the bad guys knew that there was even a 1% chance of encountering a teacher or other adult trained in the use of a gun and carried it. Utah law allows for that added level of security, even at the University of Utah. It is a good law and must stand. The Utah Concealed Firearms Permit process entails training in gun safety and handling and in the law regarding use of deadly force. Throughout the training, instructors constantly evaluate their students' attitude and are highly unlikely to certify anyone deemed to be a hazard. Then, each permit candidate undergoes a background check to eliminate anyone with a record of violence. The system works. The University of Utah should trust it and is required by law to accept it. (24 Sep 2006)

Two recent high profile murders in schools in Canada and rural Colorado prove that “gun free school” laws are a delusional scheme to make hoplophobes feel good but do not deter criminal attackers. Instead they seem to lure psychopathic killers seeking to harm others, while minimizing the risk that they may encounter an armed victim. Canada spent more than $2 billion dollars on an utterly worthless scheme to register all guns and gun owners, including all long arms. The Columbine shootings happened despite numerous state and federal laws being violated by the killers. In response, Colorado added more gun ban laws. The federal government then enacted “gun free schools” laws. This weeks killing show that they did no good. We should no longer tolerate any attempts to disarm law abiding citizens with silly schemes that criminals will never obey. Tragically, there will be school shootings again, but they will happen with, or without any gun laws anyone can think of. Disarming victims is not the solution! -- Utah Shooting Sports Council Information Alert (28 Sep 2006

Ron and Norma Molen of Salt Lake wrote to the Salt Lake Tribune to place misplaced blame for the violent and undeserved death of their son s ome 14 years ago, There is no question that Steven Molen's death was an unnecessary tragedy. Likewise, for his friend, Susan. But, for Steve's parents to blame the NRA, Republicans, or any other organization of law-abiding citizens for that tragedy is wrong, too. And they know it. Violent crime, such as this, cannot be stopped by disarming potential victims. The fact is that more violent crimes are prevented or stopped by the presence of a gun in the hands of a potential victim than are committed by a gun. Had Steven or Susan been armed and trained with a gun, they very well could be alive today. Crimes are committed by criminals -- not by inanimate objects such as a gun, knife, bat, or ashtray (other objects the killer might have used on Steve and Susan). The killer was NOT "cursed by coming to the United States where he could buy a handgun and become a murderer." He was cursed by his inability to control his emotions and by the notion taken by gun-control advocates such as the Molens that he was not responsible for his actions. As for "the deaths of 14 children every day," the Molens might take a look at the validity of that number. The fact is a typical "child" killed by gunfire is a 19-year-old gang member -- not an innocent 8-year-old. As for the concealed firearm permit, permit holders are NOT "taught to be willing to shoot to kill, and to shoot first and ask questions later." They are taught the principles of safe gun handling and they are taught the laws regarding lethal force. The permit is NOT a license to kill and does NOT, in any way, alter the permit holder's responsibility to obey the same lethal-force laws applicable to non-permit-holders. It merely gives them a tool to fight for their lives if necessary -- a tool which Steve and Susan lacked when they needed it most. (30 Sep 2006)

For the second time in less than a week, Meadow Lakes Elementary School in Wasilla, Alaska went into lockdown after school personnel heard gunshots in the distance -- probably duck hunters. In response, MatSu Borough Manager John Duffy says he wants an ordinance creating a "safe zone around schools". He obviously is oblivious to the fact that Federal law already bans firearms within 1,000 feet of any school. Additionally Alaska law says the unlawful discharge of firearms at or in the direction of a building (ie school) is a felony offense. In other words, his "safe zone around schools" already exists! The unacknowledged truth is that every school shooting has involved multiple violations of various laws. More limits on the lawful use of guns by panicky government officials such as Mr. Duffy will never change the behavior of criminals nor will they make schools any safer. (12 Oct 2006)

Utah and Oregon are the only states that allow school teachers to carry a gun for self-protection in the classroom. Most states do not. Their legislators and governors, apparently, don't trust the judgment of these well-educated people. Current events clearly demonstrate that federal, state, and local gun-free schools zones have done nothing but create unarmed-victim zones and safe working conditions for criminals and the insane. Unless there is a cop in every classroom, our teachers and children are defenseless. When there is a school shooting, the police usually arrive in time only to do the investigation. Fortunately, the Utah and Oregon legislatures have seen the poor judgment in disarming potential victims and has had the foresight to allow law-abiding citizens to obtain the means to protect themselves -- which includes training in the safe and competent use of a gun. I applauded those school employees in Utah and Oregon who are aware enough of the threat to take the training. Even without a gun, that training may very well save lives. As for government, school, and teachers' union officials who are afraid of guns in the classroom, I suggest they sign up for a concealed firearms class so that their arguments will be based on knowledge -- not prejudice. The right to self-defense, even for school teachers, must be restored and preserved. I suggest all other states immediately follow the lead of Utah and Oregon in this regard before more innocent lives are lost to this ignorant anti-gun madness. (13 Oct 2006)

The passenger terminals at the Salt Lake International Airport have signage on their entry doors which do not correctly identify restricted areas with regard to firearms and other weapons. As defined by state and federal law, the airport’s restricted area is that area where all persons must be screened for unauthorized items prior to entry (UCS 76-10-529). The signage incorrectly seem to indicate that areas outside the restricted area such as ticket counters and baggage claim are also restricted. Additionally, the signage indicates that the airport is affected by a Salt Lake City ordinance which appears to violate Utah State law (UCS 63-98-102) as well as the Utah State Constitution (Article I, Section 6). The ordinance in question is SLC Code 16.12.260 which states, “No person, except authorized peace officers, post office, customs, express and air carrier employees, members of the Armed Forces of the United States or members of the National Guard, on official duty, shall carry any loaded or unloaded firearm, explosive, ammunition or other dangerous weapon or device except an unloaded firearm being transported in a private aircraft in a manner that complies with law, or being delivered for shipment by an air carrier directly to the air freight office or the airline ticket counter in compliance with law.” Salt Lake City must immediately relocate incorrectly placed restricted-area signage and rescind its unlawful and redundant ordinance which addresses issues already covered by state and federal law. (31 Oct 2006)

The Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, which control large tracts of federal land nationwide and especially in the Western US, defer to state and federal laws governing the possession, transportation, and carrying of firearms. The National Park Service, by contrast, has a policy that effectively prohibits private citizens from bringing firearms into any national park, regardless of the laws of the state in which a park is located (with certain exceptions being made for Alaska). Although this policy is not federal law, Title 16 Section 462(k) of the US Code grants broad rulemaking authority to the Park Service and authorizes the Park Service to impose fines of up to $500 for violations of any rules it creates. Congress must immediately amend that law to require the Park Service to defer to the laws governing the possession, transportation, and carrying of firearms in the jurisdiction where a park is located, as well as the self-defense laws in that jurisdiction, while at the same time leaving the Park Service free to regulate, restrict, or prohibit the use of firearms for purposes other than lawful self-defense (ie, hunting). In other words, for example, an individual carrying or transporting a firearm in a manner compliant with both Utah law for example and federal law would be allowed to bring his firearm into Zion National Park, although Park Service policy could prohibit him from using his gun inside the park for any purpose other than legally-sanctioned self-defense (as defined in the Utah Code). (4 Nov 2006)

Today's Deseret News editorial (Guns don't belong in school, 10 Dec 2006) begins by implying that only the "very best marksmen [who] are assigned to SWAT teams" are competent to intervene in a situation such as a school shooting. That implication is myopic and naive. It assumes that those "very best marksmen" will always be in place to stop violence before it begins. The sad, but realistic, fact is that police cannot be everywhere at all times. They usually arrive just in time to do the homicide investigation. We can't afford the level of police protection the editors presume and we certainly shouldn't want such a police state anyway. As everyone who is moderately aware of the law knows, it is unlawful for anyone (with certain specifically described exceptions) to have a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school. Recent events surely have suggested to the Deseret Morning News editorial staff that criminals do not respect these gun-free (unarmed victim) zones. Fortunately, Utah's lawmakers have seen the need and right of Utahans (including school employees) to defend themselves from violence. I support the right of our school employees to defend themselves. If, in that process, they also save the lives of our children, so much the better. That said, I'm not sure I support the proposal which would permit teachers with the appropriate gun training to become "special function officers" because of the precedent it might set. No one, including a teacher, should ever need to have such a title to exercise his or her God-given right to self-defense. I see no need for requiring teachers to "undergo training above and beyond what is required by the state's concealed weapons permit laws." I am quite satisfied that the current standards for training for the Utah Concealed Firearms Permit are adequate. Candidates are not only taught firearms handling, but safety, situational awareness (including the presence of innocent bystanders), the laws regarding the use of deadly force, and how to act once the police arrive at the scene so officers can more easily sort out the bad guys. Today's editorial regarding guns in school alleged that "some state lawmakers are in lock-step with the gun rights lobby..." In fact, they are in "lock-step" with both the US and Utah Constitutions. I hardly consider that a reason for criticism. If only more of our state and federal politicians as well as news editors gave due respect to the entirety of those two documents -- and not just to the portions that fit their agendas. (10 Dec 2006)

Childish stereotyping of male home-ec teachers (Teachers and guns? What fun, Dec 10, 2006) who allegedly carry a gun only to prove their masculinity has no place in a newspaper. Likewise, trivializing the very real threat to children and school employees by criminals who shoot up schools is no laughing matter. As everyone who is moderately aware of the law knows, it is unlawful for anyone (with certain specifically described exceptions) to have a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school. Recent events surely have suggested to the Salt Lake Tribune editorial staff and columnist Holly Mullen that criminals, by definition, do not respect these gun-free (unarmed victim) zones. Fortunately, Utah's lawmakers have seen the need and right of Utahans (including male home-ec teachers) to defend themselves from violence. I support the right of our school employees to defend themselves. If, in that process, they also save the lives of our children, so much the better. I am quite satisfied that the current standards for training and screening for the Utah Concealed Firearms Permit are adequate to weed out renegade home-ec teachers and even renegade newspaper columnists. Candidates are not only taught firearms handling, but safety, situational awareness (including the presence of innocent bystanders), the laws regarding the use of deadly force, and how to act once the police arrive at the scene so officers can more easily sort out the bad guys. Mullen's patronizing column regarding guns in school shows an egregious lack of understanding of, or a blatant disregard, for both the US and Utah Constitutions which guarantee our right of self-protection. If only more of our state and federal politicians as well as newspaper columnists and editors gave due respect to the entirety of those two documents -- and not just to the portions that fit their agendas. (10 Dec 2006)

Today's Spectrum editorial ( Ban guns from all schools , 18 Dec 2006) seems to imply that only "school resource officers" are competent to intervene in a situation such as a school shooting. That implication is myopic and naive. It assumes that the police, including "school resource officers," will always be in place to stop violence before it begins. The sad, but realistic, fact is that police cannot be everywhere at all times. They usually arrive just in time to do the homicide investigation. We can't afford the level of police protection the editors presume and we certainly shouldn't want such a police state anyway. As everyone who is moderately aware of the law knows, it is unlawful for anyone (with certain specifically described exceptions) to have a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school. Recent events surely have suggested to The Spectrum editorial staff that criminals do not respect these gun-free (unarmed victim) zones -- or any other law, for that matter. Fortunately, Utah's lawmakers have seen the need and right of Utahns (including school employees) to defend themselves from violence. And that should be the sole purpose of a teacher carrying a gun -- to defend themselves. If, in that process, they also save the lives of our children, so much the better. That said, I don't support the proposal which would permit teachers with the appropriate gun training to become "special function officers" because of the precedent it might set. No one, including a teacher, should ever need to have such a title to exercise his or her God-given right to self-defense. I see no need for requiring school employees to undergo training above and beyond (ie POST) what is already required by the state's concealed firearm permit laws. I am quite satisfied that the current standards for training for the Utah Concealed Firearm Permit are adequate. Candidates are not only taught firearm handling, but safety, situational awareness (including the presence of innocent bystanders), firearm concealment and retention, the laws regarding the use of deadly force, and how to act once the police arrive at the scene so officers can more easily sort out the bad guys. In fact, statistics show that citizens with concealed firearm permits are less likely than police to err in that "split-second when the decision must be made to shoot or not" and more likely to hit the bad guy instead of a bystander. As for a teacher going "off the deep end and has immediate access to a gun," that is a management problem -- not a gun problem. Any teacher who is not "level-headed, rational, [and] stable" should be, and is, removed from the classroom. Nevertheless, all school employees undergo a background check and get another one before they are issued a concealed firearm permit. They are constantly observed by principals and other school staff for both professional and mental competence. We therefore trust them with 20-30 children. Why not trust them with an effective means of self-protection? Or, does The Spectrum believe a yardstick is sufficient? The Spectrum editors should never need a permit or special training to exercise their right to express their opinions. The same standard should apply to a law-abiding citizen's right of self-protection -- including school staff. Working in or near a school should never deprive a teacher or an editor of their rights. (18 Dec 2006)

The University of Utah continues its goal of disarming law-abiding students and employees. This time, instead of simply defying the law, the university is talking to the legislature in order to impose its gun control agenda. The university leadership seems oblivious to the fact that prohibiting guns in or around any school from kindergarten to college has failed to keep campuses safe. My question to the university and to the legislature is, "Where do we draw the line in keeping guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens?" I say the line has already been drawn: Both the US and Utah Constitutions clearly say that the right of the people to keep and bear arms "shall not be infringed." 'Nuff said! (3 Jan 2007)

The leadership of the University of Utah as well as the editors of the major Utah newspapers have contrived a gun problem where none exists. Concealed-firearm permit holders have caused absolutely no gun-related incidents on or around college or other school campuses in Utah. The university leadership and Utah's news editors seem oblivious to the fact that federal laws prohibiting guns in or around any school from kindergarten to college has failed to keep campuses safe. Why, then, are U of U leaders and newspaper editors so terrified of allowing 21-year-old coeds the option to carry an effective tool for their own protection against assault? Meanwhile, the Utah legislature put in place a process that ensures those who chose to carry a gun for self-protection have the training to do so safely. That process is working exceedingly well in Utah and in some 38 other states. My question to the universities, editors and to the legislature is, "Where do we draw the line in keeping guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens?" I say the line has already been drawn: Both the US and Utah Constitutions clearly say that the right of the people to keep and bear arms "shall not be infringed." The legislature and the governor must stand firm on that standard. (8 Jan 2007)

Currently, minors in Utah can't participate in big game hunting until they are 14 years old. HB67 would knock the requirement down to 12 years of age. Rep. Curtis Oda, R-Clearfield, who sponsored the bill, says the change would invigorate Utah's outdoor sports industry and bring the state up to speed with the rest of the region. As a life-long hunter and as a hunter education instructor, I oppose any further lowering of the legal hunting age. Most children under age 14 lack the size, weight and strength for carrying and handling firearms that are adequate (a term that is different from legal) for big game hunting or even hunting with a shotgun. Further reducing the legal hunting age simply to "invigorate Utah's outdoor sports industry" or to match the standards of other states is unjustified and unwise. (18 Jan 2007)

The poorly-named Gun Show Loophole Closing Act, associated with Sen. John McCain, was designed to close down gun shows completely. Under wording I just read, currently legal gun shows are outlawed without prior federal permission. Gun show promoters must agree to warrantless searches in order to operate They may be arrested if private citizens talk at the show about gun sales they wish to complete away from the show. The right to assemble peaceably at a gun show, or even plan for one, carries stiff prison terms unless federal licenses are issued in advance. Massive new bureaucracy is created because all shows and their exhibitors must be registered 30 days before the show, then again 72 hours before the show, and again five days after the show. That's in addition to registering anyone who walks in, plus "any other information" the Secretary of the Treasury decides, by regulation, is necessary on vendors, attendees, and the show itself. Like most anti-gun legislation, none of this bill deals with criminals (except to criminalize harmless, lawful behavior), and the rest of that bill just gets worse. Any gun-related legislation, including this, which carries John McCain’s name, must be opposed at all costs. He cannot be trusted with any of our Constitutionally-guaranteed rights. (20 Jan 2007)

The unconstitutional Lautenberg misdemeanor gun ban [922 (g)(9)] was passed as an amendment snuck into the 1996 omnibus spending bill and signed into law by President Clinton. It was was originally introduced by leading anti-gun Senators Frank Lautenberg, Dianne Feinstein, and Edward Kennedy. Under the Lautenberg ban, people who have been convicted of very minor misdemeanor offenses that include pushing, shoving or, in some cases, merely yelling at a family member are prohibited from owning a firearm for self-defense. If a crime is severe enough to warrant removal of a Constitutionally-guaranteed right, it is severe enough to warrant a felony conviction. If it is not severe enough to warrant a felony conviction, it should not void the person's Constitutional rights in any way. Every congressman and the president must support and defend the US Constitution by working aggressively for the immediate repeal of the Lautenberg gun ban. (23 Jan 2007)

On the first full day of the new Congress, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy introduced HR 297, the most massive expansion of the Brady law since it passed in 1993. Among other egregious expansions of government intrusion into private lives, his bill would expand the mental health records used in the background checks used in approving a firearm purchase. This bill could have a significant impact on American servicemen, especially those returning from combat situations and who seek some type of psychiatric care. Veterans who have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder could unjustly be deprived of their rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. Mental health records can also have a future impact on young people, as this country trends closer to mandatory mental health screening for students. A 2003 report by a subcommittee of the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health states that "The problem of emotional disorders in children is large -- 20% of all children are affected -- and it seems to be growing." It is unknown how these people will be categorized in the future. The fact that metal health 'experts,' a notoriously anti-gun community, would have a say in who is allowed to possess a firearm is, quite frankly, frightening. As a counselor myself, I know that many in the profession would just as soon consider anyone who owns a gun as 'mentally incompetent.' No one wants crazy people to have firearms. That would be insane. However, the vast majority of individuals who have sought the help of mental health professionals are competent, rational, peaceful people who must not be denied their right to possess firearms for any lawful purpose. Congress and the Whitehouse must reject HR 297, National Instant Criminal Background Check System. (23 Jan 2007)

The Utah legislature is considering some gun-rights-related bills this year:
• HB354 would clarify the law allowing a person with a concealed weapons permit to bring guns on a bus. The training and screening required of these persons is adequate to ensure the safety of bus drivers and passengers.
• HB355 would allow hotel guests to bring legal weapons into their rooms. Currently, hotels can deny guests the right to bring in any "firearms or explosives." Consequently, hunters and others might have to leave their legal firearms in their vehicles, making them vulnerable to theft. It also leaves guests vulnerable to attack in what is essentially their home for the night.
• SB201 would allow Utahns to carry concealed weapons without permits in the event of a declared emergency. The lawless aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 emphasizes the need for restoring the right of Utahns to carry guns in a state of emergency even without a permit. People must be allowed to fend for themselves in the event of a breakdown in police services.
• SB-251 would allow the University of Utah to restrict lawful firearms on campus. Any such restriction on gun rights must be rejected.
The legislature and the governor must ensure the pro-gun-rights provisions these bills become law immediately. (30 Jan 2007)

I am deeply disappointed to see Salt Lake's Mayor Rocky Anderson included in the list of mayors who have joined New York Mayor Bloomberg's assault on lawful firearms. Anyone with the slightest amount of common sense can see that Bloomberg's agenda will gave no effect on criminal behavior. His sole goal is to disarm law-abiding citizens, even if he must violate the law himself to do so. I expect Mayor Anderson to immediately and publicly disassociate himself entirely from Mayor Bloomberg and his anti-gun agenda. (2 Feb 2007)

The Utah legislature wisely retained control over all laws and regulations with regard to firearms in Utah. That process ensures consistent treatment of firearms and firearm owners throughout the state. The administration of the University of Utah has arrogantly defied the legislature and Utah's attorney general by unlawfully restricting legal firearms in the hands of law-abiding, trained citizens. The University of Utah has contrived a gun problem where none exists. Concealed-firearm permit holders have caused absolutely no gun-related incidents on or around college or other school campuses in Utah. Yet, U of U leaders are terrified of 21-year-old coeds having the option to carry an effective tool for their own protection against assault. The Utah legislature put in place a process that ensures those who chose to carry a gun for self-protection have the training to do so safely. That process is working exceedingly well in Utah and, similarly, in most other states. SB-251 is in the works as a compromise to allow university officials to restrict lawful firearms. My question to the universities and to the legislature is, "Where do we draw the line in keeping guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens?" I say the line has already been drawn: Both the US and Utah Constitutions clearly say that the right of the people to keep and bear arms "shall not be infringed." Arrogant disregard of the law must not be tolerated -- especially if that behavior is from university academics. The legislature and the governor must not compromise with any university administration with regard to firearms and the right of self-protection. SB-251 must be rejected in its entirety. Instead, the legislature must pass, at a minimum, a resolution denouncing and reprimanding the U of U administration for its actions in this issue and call for the immediate resignation of all university officials who instituted and who perpetuate this shameful infringement of individual rights. (5 Feb 2007)

SB-251 would authorize state colleges and universities to designate any staff or faculty office as a gun-free zone if the person inhabiting that office has submitted a request in writing to the university administration and has placed some sort of "no guns" sign near the entrance to his office. Not only does this bill violate a vital individual liberty specifically protected by the US and Utah constitutions, it is a poorly-worded compromise with the law-breakers (administration) who run the University of Utah. Here are some of the serious flaws in this bill: SB-251 mandates that a state college or university enact a policy requiring a gun locker to be placed in reasonable proximity to every "gun-free" office. Yet, the bill does not actually require the installation of such lockers. A university would merely have to have a locker policy. SB-251 contains no requirement for metal detectors to be placed at the entrances to gun-free offices. Consequently, such an office would not be a secure area. The state and/or university/college could be subject to civil action should anyone be harmed or killed by an attacker simply because the state and/or university/college did not take adequate steps to ensure that gun-free zones are, indeed, gun-free. SB-251 does address how to deal with offices occupied by more than one person, including offices divided into cubicles. What if two people are sharing an office and one of them wants it to be "gun-free" and the other does not? SB-251 would "authorize a higher education institution to make a rule that allows a resident of a dormitory located at the institution to have only roommates who are not licensed to carry a concealed firearm." That provision makes absolutely no sense. SB-251 provides no provision for an alternative for of protection of a person whose safety is known to be threatened by a stalker or ex spouse, etc. More than anyone, these people need 24-hour immediate protection which and only be provided by a personal weapon or by a university-paid 24-hour bodyguard. In the case of University of Utah v. Shurtleff (handed down on Sept. 8, 2006) the Utah Supreme Court ruled: "We accordingly conclude that the University is subject to Utah law prohibiting it from enacting or enforcing any policy restricting the possession or use of firearms." Nevertheless, the University continues to have at least three policies restricting firearms. The state must immediately enforce this Utah Supreme Court ruling. The legislature and the governor must not compromise with university officials (especially those at the U of U who are in clear violation of the law) in any way with regard to the lawful possession of firearms on the campus of any state college or university. Instead, the governor and the legislature must immediately terminate or demand the immediate resignation of the arrogant university officials responsible for the anti-gun policies. (7 Feb 2007)

While the news media has been silent of the matter, I have learned that the Trolley Square Mall was posted as a gun-free zone when the recent shootings occurred. Surely in the wake of this, and several school shootings, even the most ardent gun-control advocates see the folly of gun-free zones. It's only a matter of time before such a shooting happens in one of Utah's gun-free churches. Many judges understand the foolishness of gun-free zones and chose to carry a gun in their own gun-free courtrooms - even though they have an armed bailiff standing by. Instead of increasing the number or size of gun-free zones (i.e. giving colleges and universities that power), the legislature must take immediate steps to either reduce the number of gun-free zones in this state or establish civil liabilities for business and other entities who establish gun-free zones without substituting adequate protection for visitors. Why has the news media, especially in Salt Lake City, been silent on the fact that the Trolley Square Mall was posted as a gun-free zone when several innocent people were shot? Why have there been no editorials pointing out the folly of gun-free (unarmed-victim) zones? (20 Feb 2007)

Salt Lake City's Trolley Square Mall was posted as a gun-free zone, yet was was the site of some horrible murders a few weeks ago. Today, over 50 innocent persons were shot (32 fatally) in cold blood at Virginia Tech. The shooter also committed suicide at the scene. This happened in spite of a university policy that states that nearly everyone is " prohibited from carrying, maintaining, or storing a firearm or weapon on any university facility, even if the owner has a valid permit, when it is not required by the individual's job ...." Surely in the wake of this, and several other school shootings, even the most ardent gun-control advocates see the folly of gun-free zones. Obviously, the police cannot reasonably respond in time to stop tragedy before it begins. In fact, when asked what could be done to avert a tragedy like this, the president of the Virginia Tech responded, "We obviously can't have an armed guard in front of every classroom every day." Since the university president admits that he can't protect people on his campus, why does he insist on taking away people's ability to protect themselves? Many judges understand the foolishness of gun-free zones and chose to carry a gun in their own gun-free courtrooms - even though they have an armed bailiff standing by! This year's Utah's legislature was wise in not giving Utah's colleges and universities authority to increase the number or size of gun-free zones (i.e. unarmed victim zones). The legislature now must take steps to either reduce the number of gun-free zones in this state or establish civil liabilities for business and other entities who establish gun-free zones without substituting adequate protection for visitors. It's only a matter of time before such a shooting happens in one of Utah's gun-free churches. Innocent people need, and have the inherent, Constitutionally-protected right, to protect themselves. It's past time for the government and gun-control advocates to respect the US and Utah Constitutions and end their unlawful assault on that right. (16 Apr 2007)

About a year ago, I wrote to my Congressmen, the Whitehouse, and to members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees about a very serious civil-rights issue affecting soldiers in the US Army stationed in Alaska. My letters were never answered, apparently ignored. This comment is related to that same issue. In November, 2005 Major General Charles H. Jacoby Jr., the Commanding General of US Army Alaska, issued a three-page policy outlining the most draconian firearms registration, storage, and transportation rules imaginable. These restrictions apply to all personnel living on post, including service members, their families, and civilians living in base housing and carry serious penalties for failure to comply. Later, General Jacoby took his gun control scheme a step farther by releasing a policy statement forbidding any US Army Alaska personnel to carry a concealed weapon any time, anywhere, on post or off post regardless of Alaska law to the contrary. The right of self-protection, including the right to posses firearms is one of our basic, God-given rights. General Jacoby has gone far beyond reason and his authority in depriving his soldiers of that right. As anyone who has a modicum of knowledge of history knows that gun-control laws do not affect criminal behavior. They only deprive law-abiding citizens of a basic human right. If General Jacoby were to have any soldiers in his command who are prone to crime, his gun-control policies would not alter that behavior. They would continue to get into trouble. A true leader would deal with that bad behavior rather than punish all his good soldiers. Now, General Jacoby has been nominated for promotion to the rank of Lieutenant General and for the post of Commander of Fort Lewis and I Corp. I understand that his nomination is on hold in the Armed Services Committee pending answers to some serious, unrelated leadership failures in General Jacoby's past. Instead of a promotion, or even retention in the Army, General Jacoby must immediately be removed from command and punished for abuse of his authority. His gun-control policies must be immediately reversed. (17 Apr 2007)

The anti-gun crowd in Congress is exploiting the tragedy at Virginia Tech to renew their cry call for "reasonable" gun-control laws. Apparently, they seem to think that none of the more than 20,000 gun-control laws in this nation are "reasonable". I suppose I agree, since the last truly "reasonable" federal gun law was ratified in December, 1791. We call it the Second Amendment to the US Constitution and many consider it the original (and most effective) Homeland Security legislation. Of course, what the gun-control crowd really means by "reasonable" is a complete ban on guns and ammunition for all law-abiding citizens or to make their purchase so cumbersome as to effectively prohibit their purchase. Is there anyone in the gun-control crowd who understands that criminals by definition are people who disobey laws? One of their "reasonable" bills is HR-297 (S-1706 if the Senate companion bill), the NICS Improvement Act. This bill would only worsen an already bad jumble of gun-control laws. Bureaucrats have already used the Brady Law to illegitimately deny the Second Amendment rights of innocent Americans. Americans have been prevented from buying guns because of outstanding traffic tickets, because of database errors, because the NICS computer system has crashed, etc. I fear even our loyal combat veterans will be denied their gun rights because of combat-related stress. Our veterans, although mentally stable may be wrongly and unfairly denied their gun rights because of this "mental illness". I understand that some in the Senate may try to push HR-297 (S-1706)through by Unanimous Consent in the Senate, which basically means that the bill would get passed without a vote. I urge every congressman to aggressively oppose this bill and urge their party leadership to either kill it outright or amend it with pro-gun amendments such as,
• An immediate repeal of the DC gun ban,
• Full interstate reciprocity for concealed-firearm permit holders,
• Elimination of all restrictions on the interstate transfer of firearms (NICS makes this law obsolete.),
• Full restoration of gun rights to non-violent felons upon completion of their probation,
• Elimination of laws which deny gun rights to persons convicted of certain misdemeanors (If a crime is serious enough to warrant voiding a person's Constitutionally enumerated right, it's serious enough to be a felony!),
• A congressional acknowledgement that the Second Amendment guarantees individual gun rights,
• Elimination of so-called gun-free (disarmed victim) zones in and around schools,
• Federal funding for Eddie-Eagle gun-safety classes in all public and private schools and mandatory annual gun-safety training, by an NRA-certified instructor or law-enforcement officer, in all schools receiving federal funding in any form, and
• A 90-day sunset on all current and future federal gun-control laws.
In its current form, HR-297 (S-1706) is completely unacceptable, not to mention that Congress is specifically prohibited by the US Constitutional from deciding who can possess firearms! Finally, all the background checks and other gun restrictions in the world will not stop bad guys from getting firearms or devising their own tools of death. Again, is there anyone in the gun-control crowd who understands that criminals by definition are people who disobey laws? Every Constitution-respecting congressman must do everything he or she can to oppose HR-297 (S-1706) until it is amended to ensure it does not adversely affect any military veteran and is amended to enhance gun rights as suggested above. (26 Apr 2007)

The so-called "Gun Show Loophole Closing Act of 2007", HR-96 is an effort to fix a problem that doesn't exist. Everything about this bill is dishonest and preys on the ignorance and/or bigotry of certain segments of our nation. Since every gun show takes place entirely within the boundaries of a single state, Congress has no legitimate constitutional basis, under its "interstate commerce" power, to attempt to control gun shows. The US Department of Justice conducted a survey of prison inmates and determined that criminals do not go to gun stores or gun shows to buy their guns. Surprise! Criminals get their guns illegally! Additionally, all gun show transactions between buyers and dealers already undergo a background check in accordance with the law. Firearms are the most severely regulated consumer product in the United States -- the only product for which FBI permission is required for every single sale a dealer makes, even at gun shows. A few gun owners do take advantage of a gun show to sell a privately-owned firearm, but the vast majority of gun show venders who are not licensed gun dealers do not sell guns at gun shows -- they sell other products such as used books, jewelry and camping equipment. In reality, the goal of this bill is to harass gun show promoters and force them to stop producing gun shows. It is a blatant effort to limit our Constitutionally-protected right of freedom of assembly and freedom of association. Personally, I do not feel safer anywhere than in a gun show surrounded by hundreds of law-abiding gun-owners. I urge Congress and the president to defend my rights as a gun owner by opposing any and all efforts to pass gun-control legislation of any kind. If Congress really wants to do something about gun crime, pass legislation funding and mandating that positive gun-safety training, such as NRA's "Eddie Eagle" education program, be taught annually in all schools nationwide. Congress and the president must reject HR-96. (8 May 2007)

The advocates of harsh gun control have invented the term "gun show loophole" to restrict private individuals who are not gun dealers from buying and selling firearms. They want to impose criminal background checks on these non-commercial transactions. As reasonably informed people know, it already is unlawful for any person (private or businessman) to transfer a firearm to a restricted person. Closing the alleged "gun show loophole" will not augment that law in anyway. Additionally, federal studies show that criminals almost never obtain their firearms at gun shows. The "gun show loophole" is merely a scam it further infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens. Furthermore, the US Congress does not have authority to regulate private transactions at gun shows since they are not interstate in nature. Congress and the Whitehouse must reject legislation that would require criminal background checks on private gun sales at gun shows or in any other venue. (23 May 2007)

Senator Frank Lautenberg has introduced S-683 that would require child-proof handguns. This legislation would unnecessarily complicate firearms. Increased complexity invariably leads to increased chances of failure. This legislation clearly is a wrong-headed way to improve safety. Every year, there are too many tragedies because a child gets a hold of a gun and then unintentionally shoots someone, frequently another child and sometimes a sibling or a friend. This can best be resolved through better education of both parents and children. I Congress and the Whitehouse to oppose S-683. Instead, Congress must work with the NRA to get quality gun education programs such as the NRA's Eddie Eagle Course and the NRA's Home Firearm Safety Course into homes and schools. (23 May 2007)

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Support candidates who support the Second Amendment!

Aviation

S.65 is a bill to amend the age restrictions for pilots. It would amend Federal aviation law to prohibit the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, solely by reason of a person's age if the person has not attained his or her Social Security retirement age, from: (1) denying, deferring as to, or failing to renew for any such person an airman or medical certificate for the operation of a commercial aircraft; (2) imposing restrictions or limitations on an airman or medical certificate following initial or periodic competency or medical testing which has the same age discriminatory effect on the person; or (3) requiring an air carrier to terminate the employment of, or not to employ, or to take any other action having the same age discriminatory effect on, such person as a pilot of an aircraft. The current retirement age is arbitrary and has no basis in pilot performance. It terminates a pilot's career years before he becomes eligible for Social Security and Medicare benefits. In cases where a pilot's career has been adversely affected by airline bankruptcies, age 60 often interrupts his ability to put aside sufficient resources for retirement. The forced retirement of healthy pilots at age 60 needlessly eliminates the vast wealth of experience that is the core of aviation safety. (8 Nov 2005)

Congress is considering legislation that will establish an upper age limit of 65 for airline pilots within thirty days after the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) adopts this standard in November of 2006. Many nations already safely allow airline pilots to fly beyond age 60. Some even have NO age limit! The current mandatory retirement age of 60 is arbitrary and has no basis in science. It forces most pilots to leave their career when they are still healthy and alert. (How many Congressmen are over 60?) I believe that adequate safeguards are already in place to ensure pilots are fit to fly. We have a medical exam twice a year. Our proficiency is tested in simulators twice a year. In addition, we are evaluated on at least one actual flight each year. (How many physicians who are over 60 receive this level of scrutiny?) Congress must ensure that the law is promptly updated to eliminate this unfair and unscientific limitation on airline pilot careers. (15 Nov 2005)

I read and hear CEO's of ALPA carriers stating that executive bonus programs are needed to retain the talent. Companies will be left with inferior executives without such programs. This clearly is one of the biggest scams in the business world. And it's not just in aviation, but in every category of business in the US. It perpetuates because the members of the boards of directors as well as major stockholders are in on the scam. Congress won't do anything about it because many of them also profit from the scam. You don't see that same phenomenon in foreign-owned businesses of the same size. Their execs seem to be compensated at a much more reasonable level. It has long been my observation that few senior execs stay with one company or even one industry for more than a few years. They quit and move on before anyone recognizes their utter incompetence. Most senior execs look at their positions merely as a way to add to their stock portfolio with discounted stock. They almost never look for the opportunity to make a positive difference for the company's bottom line or for the employees. I was watching the well-orchestrated ballet of activity around my airplane after my arrival the other day. That impressive display of organization is put together by people earning perhaps $50k or less. I doubt any senior exec of any US carrier has the organizational skills to accomplish the same feat. Why aren't ALPA and other labor unions publishing CEO total compensation figures, campaigning against abuse, and focusing union members and public attention on the problem? Because that'd be the pot calling the kettle black. Sadly, most union execs, in ALPA and in other unions, are compensated far in excess of their ability and responsibility. (3 Jun 2006)

HR-65 (and its companion S-65) is a bill that would amend the unfair and unjustified age restrictions for airline pilots. On Thursday 28 Sep, the FAA's Aviation Rulemaking Committee met for the first time to discuss the issues of Age 60 retirement and implementation issues should the regulation change. The meeting was co-chaired by Air Transport Association President James May and ALPA (Air Line Pilots Association) President Duane Woerth. Duane Woerth had been an outspoken advocate of keeping the age-60 retirement in place. A substantial portion of his retirement will be from his work as a union officer and relatively little from his role as a pilot for his airline (Northwest, whose pilots recently took severe losses in retirement benefits). ironically, it appears very likely that Woerth will continue to work beyond age 60 as the president of ALPA, even though he advocates the mandatory age 60 retirement for his pilots. He is out of touch with the needs of the pilots he claims to represent. Woerth should not be on the FAA's committee, even as a member. That is no place for anyone whose mind is already made up. He is not capable of listening to evidence and making an unbiased decision on the issue. He must be removed immediately if he does not recuse himself. Please take immediate steps to remove Duane Woerth from this FAA Aviation Rulemaking Committee. I also urge you to cosponsor this legislation and work aggressively to ensure its immediate passage. (29 Sep 2006)

I strongly support an upper age limit of 65, or no age limit at all, for airline pilots. Many nations already safely allow airline pilots to fly beyond age 60. Some even have NO age limit! The current mandatory retirement age of 60 is arbitrary and has no basis in science or pilot performance. It forces most pilots to leave their career when they are still healthy and alert. (How many Congressmen and bureaucrats are over 60?) I believe that adequate safeguards are already in place to ensure pilots are mentally and physically fit to fly. They have a medical exam twice a year. Their proficiency is tested in simulators twice a year. In addition, they are evaluated on at least one actual flight each year. (How many physicians who are over 60 receive this level of scrutiny?) Current law terminates a pilot's career years before he becomes eligible for Social Security and Medicare benefits. In cases where a pilot's career has been adversely affected by airline bankruptcies, age 60 often interrupts his ability to put aside sufficient resources for retirement. The forced retirement of healthy pilots at age 60 needlessly eliminates the vast wealth of experience that is the core of aviation safety. Congress, the Whitehouse, and the FAA must ensure that the law is promptly updated to eliminate this unfair and unscientific limitation on airline pilot careers. (4 Nov 2006)

I am deeply concerned by reports of new or increased user fees for general aviation. These include the possibility of fees for general aviation aircraft using Air Traffic Control (ATC) and Flight Service Station (FSS) services and for landing at the larger hub airports; increased fees to issue pilot, medical and aircraft registration certificates; and a huge increase in the aviation gasoline taxes. My concern is that each of these fees will severely affect flight safety. If new fees are imposed, pilots and operators will bend to simple economics and take unsafe shortcuts to minimize or eliminate the financial impact of these fees. Those shortcuts will include using fuel that is not approved for aviation use; flying in instrument conditions without the benefit of contacting ATC; flying without filing a flight plan with an FSS; flying high-performance into and out of airports with short runways, minimal or no navigation aids, and no fire/crash service. Congress must ensure that no legislation is passed which includes or authorizes new or increased fees on general aviation. Likewise, the Whitehouse must immediately warn the FAA and the DOT that new or increased or new fees will not be tolerated. (1 Dec 2006)

The airline industry is leading the fight for user fees for services provided by the FAA such as air traffic control. The Air Transport Association, made up primarily of airlines, supports "a new 'cost-based' mechanism for generating revenues necessary to maintain, operate and enhance the national airspace system." Aviation services users already are paying fees -- through taxes on airline tickets and aviation fuel, as examples -- to cover the government's costs. The airlines, however, merely serve as collection agents for the government, eventually passing on the ticket taxes they collect from passengers and paying next to nothing to use a government system in conducting their business. Meanwhile, general aviation (virtually all flying that is not military, other government, or airline), according to a 1997 study by the U.S. General Accounting Office, is responsible for about 6% of FAA's ATC costs while paying -- conveniently -- about 6% of those costs through existing taxes. The sought change in the way the FAA is funded would severely impact General Aviation. To avoid paying new fees, General Aviation operators will avoid using the FAA services that are essential to flight safety. Examples include: obtaining weather briefings, filing flight plans, and using ATC services. Since general aviation pilots and operators will avoid paying fees by avoiding FAA services, the risk of weather-related accidents will increase. The rate of mid-air collisions because of the presence of unidentified aircraft will mushroom. Because General Aviation operators will avoid using the ATC services, I predict that mid-air collisions will even occur at jet cruising altitudes and in the busiest airport areas, such as Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles where radar contact and ATC control are mandatory simply. As an airline Captain (Boeing 747) I urge you to vigorously oppose any change in the manner of funding of the FAA and its services to pilots. My personal safety, and that of the people who ride in my airplane, depends on retaining the current means of funding the FAA and its services. (3 Jan 2007)

Today's Daily News report on Alaska Airlines confirms what I have observed about their performance in recent years. As a frequent flyer between Anchorage and points "outside", I avoid Alaska Airlines as much as possible. I am willing to pay more to fly on other airlines where transportation is more reliable and where the employees are more courteous and respectful. Alaska Airlines was once the the best, or at least very near the top. It's decline is a perfect example of what happens when management treats its employees like crap. Alaska Airlines will not get better until management learns that their number one customer is their own employees. (9 Feb 2007)

I have been a pilot for over 34 years. My logbook includes 23 years as a military pilot overlapping 21 years as an airline pilot. As an aviator, I am deeply concerned for my safety by the the FAA's desire to fund its operations through user fees. I was an active-duty Air Force pilot when President Reagan fired thousands of air traffic controllers when they went on strike in 1981. As a result of the strike, the capacity of the ATC system was severely impacted. Until capacity was restored, ATC services were provided based on the priority of the flight. Many flights were denied ATC clearances and handling because they were given low priority. I recall that many of those flights often took off anyway, flying into controlled airspace without an ATC clearance. This clearly was a serious safety problem that persisted until full ATC capacity was restored. I predict that exactly the same thing will happen if Congress agrees to impose user fees on aviation. Pilots will avoid paying fees by avoiding the services of the FAA and safety will be the victim. Europe funds its aviation services through imposition of user fees (Why must we copy the worst features of Europe?). Their fees have driven up the cost of flight training to the point that private flying now is the domain only of the very wealthy. Those who are not wealthy must come to the United States to learn to fly. If we copy Europe's user fee scheme in any way, the cost of learning to fly will skyrocket here as well. If Congress approves the FAA's user fee plan, where will our nation's airlines get future replacement airline pilots -- outsource to India? I also have my own single-engine aircraft and am a member of Angel Flight. As an Angel Flight pilot, I donate my time and pay all my own aircraft and fuel expenses to transport people who need medical care, but can't afford the cost of transportation. If Congress imposes user fees, I predict that Angel Flight will be history. Congress must reject any form of user fees in US aviation. The current funding process has given us the safest airspace in the world. Don't try to fix that which isn't broken. (23 May 2007)

For almost four-decades, the FAA has had a system of efficiently collecting aviation taxes and paying for the management of the safest skies in the world. Under pressure from airlines, the guys with the deep pockets, the FAA wants to change this successful financial structure to one of user fees. As an airline pilot and former military pilot who is concerned about the future of aviation in general, not just the short-term profitability of airlines and bonuses for their executives and lobbyists, Congress must:
 • Continue to fund the FAA and the air traffic control system through efficiently collected excise taxes.
 • Reject the Senate Commerce Committee scheme of a “surcharge” – the start of User Fees to fund aviation,
 • Reject user fees for any segment of the aviation industry,
 • Reject any movement toward privatizing the air traffic control system, and
 • Reject any attempt to cut the only tax the airlines pay themselves by eliminating their 4.3 cents per gallon fuel tax. (If money is truly needed to modernize the aviation system, then why give the airlines another huge tax break?)
The Congressional Budget Office, General Accountability Office, and the Department of Transportation Inspector General have all said the tested and proven system of aviation taxes can provide the needed financing for the aviation improvements. The current and proven manner of funding FAA services through the Aviation Trust Fund supported by taxes on aviation users under the jurisdiction of the Senate Finance Committee, not new funds under other Committees, is the best way to pay for aviation improvements. Congress reject any form of "surcharges" or user fees as found in S-1600. They will degrade safety and discourage new pilots from entering the airline employment system. (30 May 2007)

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Health and Welfare

We need legislation that will ban direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs. I agree that consumers should have adequate information about medical options, but direct-to-consumer advertising cannot feasibly provide that information. Instead, such advertising may result in patients shopping around for a doctor who is willing prescribe a drug which the patient saw advertised, but which may not be the best option for that patient. By banning direct-to-consumer advertising, patients will be more likely to get the information they need from the appropriate professionals: physicians and pharmacists. A ban on direct-to-consumer advertising would force drug manufacturers and distributors to concentrate their advertising where it belongs -- on physicians. This brings up a related issue which should be included in this legislation. Physicians should be required to attend semi-annual refresher training conferences to stay on top of new treatments, including drugs. This would be a good time for drug manufacturers to "advertise" to the appropriate audience. (6 Jun 2006)

Illegal drugs are stealing the souls of our people. The so-called "war on drugs" is a failure. It has tried to stem the illicit drug trade primarily by attacking supply. The results are more drugs on the street and a few press conferences to brag about the tiny portion of drugs that are interdicted and the handful of smugglers and distributors that get caught. The "war on drugs" has made the illegal drug trade a highly lucrative business for gangs with a consequent increase in violent crime. The most logical way to deal with the drug abuse problem is to stop the demand. How? Require frequent random drug tests of everyone receiving government aid such as welfare, long-term unemployment compensation, student financial aid, etc. While we're at it, reduce that aid by a percentage equal to the percentage by which the intended recipient exceeds normal body weight. (8 Aug 2006)

A year after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, the news media and certain politicians are still pointing fingers with glee at those they consider culpable for the lack of, and delay in, disaster relief. Unfortunately, not enough finger-pointing is directed at the people who should have born the majority of responsibility for relief: the victims (and the families of victims) who were unprepared or who chose to disregard warnings. All problems are best and most efficiently solved at the lowest possible level. The personal problems caused by personal choices in the hours prior to Katrina hitting New Orleans must not be a burden on those who made better choices (such as to never live in a coastal below-sea-level city or to leave that city when advised). When the people choose to not take responsibility for their own welfare as far as they are able, and expect government to take that responsibility, we all lose the individual freedom our nation's founders fought for and become a burden on the ever shrinking body of responsible people. The Federal government must not respond to Katrina by rebuilding New Orleans nor by expanding the size or role of FEMA. (29 Aug 2006)

As if we don't have enough laws controlling our every act, there is now a bill in Congress (HR-503) to prohibit the sale of horse meat for human consumption! In my carnivorous opinion, consumption of horse meat is no more of a problem than eating pork or beef or chicken. In fact, horse meat was not uncommon in the US until about 60 years ago. The consumption of horse meat should be regulated only by appropriate health standards and a free market. Nevertheless, I oppose any commercial use of mustangs. (9 Sep 2006)

A coworker today observed, "It should be up to every individual to decide for themselves, not the government, what they want to do with their lives." There once was a country whose leaders and citizens honored such an ideal and established a constitution and government to make it happen. Sadly, later generations of citizens abandoned that ideal, elected leaders who would take care of them from cradle to grave, and all citizens of that nation are now wards of the state at some level at great expense to those who work hardest. (12 Nov 2006)

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Judicial System

Several months ago, a woman was hired to dance at an off-campus party thrown by a Duke University lacrosse team. Members of the team have been charged in the alleged rape of that stripper -- even though there is no evidence that links them or any other of the 46 white team members (the intoxicated black stripper said her three attackers were white). Even DNA failed to link the men to the alleged attack. All members of the team have cooperated with the investigation. This ordeal has forever changed the life of each team member, especially those who have been charged, no matter what happens from here on out. One of the accused said the accuser "has destroyed everything I worked for in my life" and "split apart a community and a nation on facts that just didn't happen and a lie that should never have been told." This case clearly points out the need for stiffer penalties for making false allegations. The penalty for a false charge should be equal to the penalty for the charge itself. If an innocent Duke student has the chance of going to jail for life, his accuser should be willing to face the same penalty for a false accusation. (16 Oct 2006)

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