Attacking

I find it interesting that during Bush’s two terms most of the critical comments made toward President Bush centered around his ability to speak, his intelligence, his supposed dodging of military service and so on. There were a few attacks that could be argued legitimately, such as the war in Iraq; however, this constituted the minority of attacks on President Bush. Now that Obama is in office the exact same attacks continue on the man that is no longer president.

For example, while cruising Facebook I recently viewed a picture of Barack Obama talking on a cell while walking across the tarmac. One person commented on the photo as follows: “So thankful we elected a president who not only can communicate in complete sentences, but knows how to use a cell phone!”

Right-wingers have attacked Obama on matters of substance with very few attacks lowering to the level of malicious and unfounded personal attacks. Yet again, the left and the right set themselves apart. While the left spent eight years calling Bush a bumbling idiot (a tactic which was not eliminated, just shifted to Sarah Palin), our current president is trying to fundamentally change our country by destroying everything good that America stands for. And the left has nothing to say about that. In fact, they can’t wait to help.

What’s more, the left constantly demanded records on Bush’s military service, univeristy transcripts and more. They jumped on the forged documents like they were candy because they were so eager to have some dirt on the president. If I remember correctly, I don’t think it took even 24 hours for the documents to be proven false. When Bush’s university transcripts were finally released, lefties dropped the subject fast because it showed that Bush (the “dummy”) actually had higher scores than John Kerry (the “intellectual”).

Now, when a legitimate question about Obama’s citizenship comes up they refuse to press the matter. If Obama is a citizen, simply release the birth certificate and end the debate. The continued denial and secrecy about the matter only makes President Obama look guilty.

While the right generally seeks to hold both sides accountable, the left will support any corrupt politician on their side and denounce any opposed. If we could work together instead of divided, we wouldn’t be in the mess we are now. We aren’t going to get out of this mess until those on the left recognize Obama for what he is.

Guns Don’t Kill People, Cars Do

I’m not one to watch local news on TV (as much as I love a good flub), but I saw two separate stories recently that were enough to make my brain ache. First, the question was asked, “Why is it easier to get a conceal carry permit than it is to get a driver’s license?” The second story asked, “What can we do in Reno to bolster our local economy during this economic downturn?” I believe the CCW story was on two different stations and they both asked the same thing. I’ll give credit to the reporter I watched, although I have no idea who she is. She took the CCW class at Scheel’s and the story was fair. I didn’t perceive it as positive or negative, with the exception of the one ridiculous question. I’m not an expert and I’m certainly not a journalist, but let me take a stab at answering the question. The reason it is easier to get a CCW than it is to get a driver’s license is…(drumroll)…because cars are far more dangerous than guns.

Here are some rough numbers pulled from the web. Death statistics were acquired from the NCHS (CDC) web site and other statistics were collected from Wikipedia (I know the information may be incorrect, but this isn’t a scientific study – it’s just a goofy blog entry). In 2005 (the most recent statistics I could find) there were about 45,000 motor vehicle related deaths. This comes from about 199,000,000 drivers. That should put the accident death rate at about .023%. That same year there were about 800 deaths as a result of accidental discharge of firearms. That is with about 80,000,000 gun owners. That puts the accident rate at about .001%. The only way to make guns to look more dangerous is to include all gun-related homicides (about 12,000) and suicides (about 17,000). This brings the total to .037% – just slightly higher than the car accident death rate. This is not fair, though, because this makes the assumption that all gun-related suicides and homicides would not happen if guns were not available. This may be true in a limited number of cases, but not in general.

Of course, these numbers slight the real issue. 1) Gun ownership is a consitutional right and 2) carry permits deter crime and make our communities safer. To speak as though there is imminent danger in allowing law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons – after required training, background checks and registration, mind you – is ridiculous. It’s difficult to argue since both sides of the discussion have their own statistics to point to. Of course, holes have been repeatedly poked in the gun control crowds statistics, but that won’t change their minds.

In case you want some good reading on the issue, here is a link to a brief interview with John R. Lott, Jr., author of More Guns, Less Crime:

http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/493636.html

Improving Reno’s Economy – I Have an Idea

I’m not one to follow local news very closely, except as it relates to me directly. Occasionally the local news will come on and for one reason or another it doesn’t get changed. Not that there’s any point in sharing this. In the not too distant past a couple of stories were played that I found either infuriating or humorous. I’m still undecided. I’ll only touch briefly on one of the topics – I’ll save the other for another day since it will likely be more involved to get all the information straight.

In this particular story the reporter was discussing Reno’s economic health during this downturn. I didn’t catch every word, but it looked like they were talking to Jessica Sferrazza so it seemed pretty official. At the end of the story, either the city or the reporter asked the viewers, “What ideas do you have to help Reno work this the economic crisis?” I may be paraphrasing.

I’m sure everyone was thinking what I was thinking: Station Casinos. Our city council sometimes seems hell-bent on looking for any opportunity it can find to grab a quick buck through taxation of casinos. We do live in Nevada, and that’s a choice I’ve made along with pretty much everyone else, but don’t complain to the public when the gambling industry begins to suffer.

Station Casinos was heavily protested by all the people who live in the area that would be affected. Petitions were signed and the people made it clear that they do not want a casino in this area. People also flooded the halls when the city council discussed the project. Wisely, the city council listened to the people and did not approve the casino permit; however, as our city council is prone to do, they quietly met a short time later and approved the permit when they didn’t have those nasty constituents breathing down their necks and forcing their opinions on the council representatives.

As Indian gaming and internet gaming grows and other states consider legalizing gambling, Reno must stop this foolish money grabbing. This recession/depression should be a lesson that we are putting our eggs in one basket. Let Las Vegas have the gaming tourism – Reno will never be able to compete. Northern Nevada needs to focus on other business and finding ways to make Northern Nevada attractive to a variety of industries. This means abandoning our city’s current policy of “A Casino on Every Corner”, also known as “No Compulsive Gambler Left Behind”.

Reno can correct a number of issues by taking my advice. The obvious benefits include fewer suicides, fewer alcoholics, less drug use and trafficking and a better enviroment and community for everyone. I would imagine there would be less tobacco use and fewer people killed by drunk drivers, but I’m not sure if there are statistics to back me up. That’s just my opinion.

While opining, I believe that the county should overhaul WCSD and encourage school vouchers and better school choice. Nevada spends a fortune on our kids and they are getting a very poor education in many cases. Yet, everywhere I look I see billboards (horrible, evil billboards) saying the educators need more money. Every election there is a bond issue on the ballot. I’m pretty sure that every bond measure passes, too. But it’s never enough. It will never be enough. The only thing that will improve our school district is some good old-fashioned competition – not more money.

So, to try to wrap this up into some type of coherent statement, quit focusing so much on gaming and tourism and try to find ways to attract businesses to Reno. Quit putting casinos outside of downtown. Quit taxing the living snot out of existing casinos to fund a failing school district that shows little tolerance for competition.

For additional reading about how our current funding helps our schools, check out this article at the Nevada Policy Research Institute: http://www.npri.org/publications/spending-for-spendings-sake

Oh, and quit raising my taxes every time I turn around. Okay, I’m done.

The Left Evolving Backwards

With all the thrilling talk lately about Ida, I guess this is another excuse to wonder about Darwinian ideas. Of course, I’m joking about Ida being thrilling. I think it was news for about half a day and then no one cared again.

So, the left pushes Darwin on everyone else. The right pushes religion. I think this is true generally enough that I can make those assumptions. I’ve already asked the question before, but to briefly recap, the left insists that we all accept homosexuality as a normal lifestyle, while simultaneously preaching that we all evolved. This means that homosexuality is a defect that will ultimately lead to the extinction of gays. AGAIN, let me state that this is what the left believes and isn’t even close to what I personally believe.

So, how does this line of thinking apply to our economy? Companies and people that are big and successful must give what they have to the weak and helpless. I believe the general idea behind Darwinism is that the strong survive while the weak die off. So, why should the wealthy be forced to give to the poor? Shouldn’t the lefties leave the rich (strong) alone and let the poor (weak) fight for themselves? If evolution is going to be shoved down our throats then why don’t those who espouse evolution practice what they preach?

I guess the left hasn’t always been such a bunch of hypocrites. Not that long ago, they not only preached evolution but also got involved in their communities and tried to speed up the process. But they were also taxing the wealthy at >80% at the same time, so I guess they always have been hypocrites.

If evolution is so great and everyone who disagrees is a fool, then why do those on the left refuse to let it work? I believe that evolution applied to the economy is called capitalism. And evolution applied to sexuality is bigotry. And hypocrisy applied to liberalism is called typical.

I was going to end it there, but let me anticipate an argument. I suppose it could be argued that compassion for the poor and sexually-disoriented is what makes us human – the result of the miracle of evolution. Whether we arrived at this point in time as the result of millions of years of gene-refinement or much quicker thanks to God, the end result is the same. And that’s not a good thing for the lefties.

Prison Break’s Awesome Finale!

One chapter of my television viewing habits recently came to a close. Fox’s Prison Break recently ended and it was clearly time. The first season was great, the second season was okay and the rest of the series was good, although never as good as the first season. In case you haven’t seen the show, it’s a lot like watching basketball. The good guys against the bad guys and everyone scores a ton of points in every episode. It got a little monotonous, but was always a good watch.

Anyway, the guys over at the show sat down and said, “It’s time to end the series. People just aren’t buying into it anymore. How can we really make this show go down in a ball of flames so big no one will ever forget the finale?” I would love to slap the masterminds behind the final episode because it was pretty darn lame.

The final season was based around a storage device called “Scylla” that had all the world’s best technologies stored on it. Weapons technology, agricultural technology, and so much more. Whoever had the device would rule the world. So, the last season was a big battle for control of the device. Some people wanted it to use against their enemies and others just wanted to keep it from being used by anyone. So, what can you do to guarantee that it will never be used for evil and everyone in the world will benefit from this information?

If you’re thinking what I was thinking then you’re right! Give it to the UN! It goes without saying that the minds behind the Oil for Food scandal, the international sex scandal and the UN Human Rights Commision scandal would be the best ones to control this kind of information. They could probably right a lot of wrongs by giving this technology to Iran, Sudan, North Korea and all the other countries that have been beat up for no good reason. Blah blah blah…

Whatever.

Coming Out of the Closet

I consider myself to sit pretty far to the right. But there is one area that I struggle with. It happens to be one of the main reasons why I could never become a libertarian. I mean, there are a lot of reasons, but that’s a topic for another day. I’m talking about the legal sale of tobacco and alcohol.

The thing that got me to thinking about this is the current marketing campaign about seat belts. Click it or TICKET! I’m still not sure whether not wearing a seat belt is a primary offense or not. I thought they announced that it was, but now I hear people talking about it again. What business is it of the governments to mandate seat belt usage? I am totally down with requiring kids to wear seat belts. But an adult? That’s ridiculous. And to waste public safety officer resources enforcing seat belt usage? This has to be a joke.

So, my question is this: Why is it illegal not to wear a beat belt? No one is affected in any way by my choice to use or not use a seat belt. Compare this issue to alcohol. How many lives are ruined by alcohol? How much domestic violence is caused by alcohol? How many people are killed on the roads as a result of alcohol? Granted, it’s not legal to drive drunk. But doesn’t alcohol obstruct judgement? So, once you’ve legally consumed alcohol you have lost the ability to rationally decide whether to drive or not.

In my opinion, alcohol is a no-brainer. There is no reason why it should continue to be legal. Tobacco is much trickier. If tobacco is illegal, then what’s next? Caffeine? If tobacco continues to be legal, then so should marijuana. And then what? Tobacco is slippery on both sides.

I’ll just say that it’s probably best to leave all the laws as they are; however, I don’t enjoy having to walk through a cloud of smoke whenever I go to Wal*Mart to get my delicious Hostess Fruit Pies. I love that I can go to a restaraunt and not have to deal with smoking areas that never properly confine themselves.

I know that conservatives think that this is an infringement on personal freedom, but I don’t see how it’s any different than having a stranger punch you in the face without provocation. Democrats tend to like the laws that limit the legal use of tobacco.

So, I’ve said it. The democrats have one good thing going for them. But now that I think about it, why are democrats opposed to tobacco but love marijuana so much? Dang it! For a second there I was starting to think they might have had a coherent argument about something. Never mind.

Monopolizing

I like Monopoly , but generally I don’t have the time nor enough interested friends to break out the board game on a regular basis. I usually play video game versions, which offer two significant advantages. First, you can blast through a full-blown game in 30-45 minutes. Second, you can be absoutely ruthless and don’t have to worry about offending the computer players.

Electronic Arts is the creator of the newest video game version of Monopoly, which I acquired a while back for the Wii . Unless you can pick it up for one or two bucks at a garage sale I wouldn’t bother purchasing this one. The game play is horrible and it just isn’t fun at all. If you want a fun video game version of Monopoly then grab Monopoly Party for Gamecube or PS2. ANYWAY, this isn’t a video game review, so let me get back on topic…

Born of the Great Depression, Monopoly is basically a caricature of capitalistic ideas. Now, EA has corrected that problem. Although EA’s Monopoly is horrible, they added a version of the game called the "Richest Edition", or as I call it, the "Obama Edition". In this version of the game, every time someone lands on a Community Chest space, the poorest player gets to take properties – including whole monopolies – away from the winning players. Additionally, the winning players are always put at a disadvantage when playing mini games as the start of each round. Often, the best strategy is to stay behind the other players so that you can be awarded all their property as the game goes on.

As frustrating as it is to always have your winnings taken away and given to the players who are not very good, it must be truly maddening to have this happen in real life. If nothing else, the game gives you a good taste of what life under Obama will be like. If Obama has a heart, he’ll take my Monopoly game away and redistribute it to someone else.

Where Can I Get Some Whale Stew?

By no choice of my own, the show Whale Wars was on the TV this evening. This show featured Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, but was reminiscent of other groups such as Greenpeace. I will state that I didn’t watch the show long enough to speak with any knowledge of what the show was about. It essentially had something to do with terrorizing ships that were harvesting whales.

For the record, if a company is committing a crime then I don’t care what these people do. If Japanese whaling ships are whaling in Australian waters, for example, then do whatever you want to stop them. It isn’t a lot different from the Minuteman Project. If law enforcement is unable or unwilling to sufficiently police the territory, then let the citizens fill in the holes. If this is the full extent of the activities of these groups, then I’m behind them 100%.

Unfortunately, this is usually not the case. These eco-warriors often target ships simply because they disagree with the business of the ship, even though laws are being broken . I find it interesting that they often exhibit the cowboy attitude that these same people regularly accused George W. Bush of having. They do not respect the laws of country they are attacking and they themselves do not necessarily act within the confines of the law. In some cases they even endanger the lives of others.

It’s late and this is basically an incoherent mumbling. I guess the bottom line is that it’s awfully hypocritical for these people to go out and attack people that are performing business within the confines of the law. You cannot terrorize others simply because you disagree with them. Of course, this has always been a popular method for those on the left. As always, you can clearly identify their tactics simply by listening to what they are accusing the right of doing.

So You’re Stuck with McCain

Polls these days suggest that there are still somewhere between five and eight percent of the population that hasn’t decided on who to vote for.

Let me make this easy for you. Do NOT vote for Bob Barr! It’s true that you probably agree more with Bob Barr than John McCain; however, voting for Bob Barr will only create a repeat of the 1992 election in which Ross Perot handed the election to Bill Clinton.

All kidding aside, I understand that none of the undecideds are considering Bob Barr. Even though I agree with  much of what Bob Barr says I could never throw my support behind a candidate that aligns himself with the Libertarians . But that’s a subject for another post. The real issue is more serious.

How can a person be undecided? The differences between McCain and Obama are dramatic. I certainly don’t want to get into a lengthy discussion of all the differences but I would like to point out just a few of the obvious ones. Or at least the ones that matter most to me.

  • Abortion – Obama has even argued for murdering children born after unsuccessful abortions (more on this later)
  • Income redistribution
  • Personal Responsibility

Whenever I hear someone from the Obama campaign (or any other Obama supporter) get asked about Obama’s support of infanticide they always say the same thing: “Oh, come on! Do you really believe Obama wants to kill babies?” They never deny it and they cannot dispute it. Although not exhaustive, FactCheck.org provides a reasonable introduction to the discussion. Even if this is inaccurate (which I don’t believe it is), the fact of the matter is that Obama’s stance on abortion is appalling.

I’m a little confused that there are so many people with either missing or broken moral compasses (another topic for an upcoming post). If you believe in life, freedom and all the other wonderful things the United States has to offer then you only have one choice. No matter how hard it is to put a check mark next to McCain’s name.

Bailout Winners and Losers

Just like Republicans occasionally do really stupid things (think Larry Craig and amnesty for illegals), Democrats can occasionally do good things. It’s rare, but not unheard of.

Yesterday, Shelley Berkley voted against the bailout plan along with Dean Heller. I’ve always liked Dean Heller, but I’m gaining a much deeper respect for him. I have to say that Berkley’s vote was even more impressive since it went against her own leadership. Having a proposal written by Reid, Pelosi, Frank and Dodd scares me to death. Even throwing some Republicans in the mix doesn’t decrease the fear factor.

Because Berkley and Heller did the right thing I have to commend them.

On the other hand, there are two big losers in this deal. First is Jon Porter. Second is President Bush. Unfortunately, Porter took the standard liberal line. I’m not sure what Bush is thinking.