Thursday, December 31, 2009

Does every state treat its citizens like this?

Apparently Governor Chester doesn't care for the opinions of his employers (us).
No one from the public attended a state budget hearing Wednesday - possibly because no one knew about it.

The only notice for the public hearing was tacked up inside the Iowa Capitol. A nonpartisan Capitol staffer was the only person to drop in, after spotting a notice on a bulletin board while the hearing was in progress.

Critics expressed frustration that so little was done to advertise the mandatory hearing in the midst of what's arguably the worst budget crisis in Iowa history.

Sen. Steve Kettering, R-Lake View, said Gov. Chet Culver and his staff chose to do "the minimum" to comply with Iowa laws on hearing notices.
So Chester technically complied with the law, so we can't fault him, right?

More at Budget hearing is quietly posted at Capitol
Gov Chester is on the left.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

History, repeat thyself

There has to be a theme going on here...

At JPFO they describe Argentina's economic downfall which sounds like a path similar to US. Don't Cry For Me, America

Via David Codrea, who wrote, "Those who do not learn from the past..."

Yep, there's more and more of these kinds of articles each day.

Sen. Tom "half-a-loaf" Harkin predicts the future

"In order to overcome the monolithic Republican opposition to reform and to get the 60 votes required to pass the bill, we have had to make painful compromises, but mark my words, decades from now people will not remember the twists and turns of debate on health reform in 2009. What they will remember is that President Obama achieved his number one domestic priority and that Congress passed a big historic bill."
And gets all the blame.

The rest of Harkin's nonsensical partisan diatribe at Harkin still champions health care bill

Woman with broom defends home

Two men broke into an east Des Moines home and demanded money before being scared off by a broom-wielding woman Wednesday evening, police said.

The men kicked in a door in the 1600 block of Capitol Avenue at about 7 p.m. and ordered four children, ages 10 and under, to get on the floor while they demanded money from an adult female in the house, police said.
The woman then decides to defend the home with her broom and chased the crooks down the street.

In the understatement of the year:
“That’s not the smartest thing in the world to do, but sometimes your instincts take over,” [Des Moines Police Capt. David] Huberty said of the unarmed woman chasing the suspects.
There are so many paths to go down with this story, especially if they refer to any of Grimm's Fairy Tales.

Read more (and groan at the headline) at Broom-wielding woman sweeps away armed crooks

Police blotter roundup 12/30/09

Johnston - You probably would never have heard of 37-year-old Mary Sarna... if she hadn't been caught for allegedly speeding and arrested for allegedly driving drunk. Sarna, of Chicago, IL, was attending a class at the Iowa Law Enforcment Academy. Polk County Sheriff's Deputy Jana Rooker said another deputy stopped Sarna for speeding at 1:45 am on September 11, 2009. "Hopefully (Sarna) is going to learn from that mistake, but yeah, it's disappointing because I think as law enforcement officers we know we're held to a little higher expectation." said Rooker. INVESTIGATOR ARRESTED: Woman allegedly drove drunk with another cop
A preliminary hearing is set for a Polk County sheriff's deputy charged with domestic assault and harassment. Deputy John Negrete will appear before a judge January 5th.

According to an Altoona Police report, Deputy Negrete displayed a gun during a domestic argument Christmas night. Six officers from the Altoona Police Department and the Polk County Sheriff's Office responded and later arrested the deputy. DEPUTY DOMESTIC: A Polk County sheriff's deputy will appear before a judge January 5th to face domestic assault charges
Maybe this is why our attorney general wants to tighten up domestic abuse laws.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Coordinated Illumination and history

Know your history, or be doomed to repeat it. Pay particular attention to the part about being taxed into poverty and becoming slaves to your god-king. I recommend choosing the Liberty and Freedom, even though it comes with a cost. We must be willing to actually fight for that freedom. Get off the sofa and fight.
In a post describing his non-political phylisophy, Sofa rolls off a paragragh similar to yesterday's post here.

I'm wondering if there's a theme going on among bloggers.

Read more at Observations. Reason. Philosophy. and check out his motivation poster.

Monday, December 28, 2009

History repeating itself

La Gabelle was the most hated tax in France - indeed, it was so hated that it was one of the reasons that King Louis was not just shuffled aside into a Constitutional Monarchy role, but had some Quality Time with Madame Guillotine. You could call the tax a mistake.

So what was it about la Gabelle that made it so despised? After all, it was just a tax (in this case, a tax on salt). You don't like the tax, don't buy so much salt. Ah, there's the rub.

You had to buy the salt. By law, everyone ten years old or older had to buy salt, at a price set by the Crown. More infuriating, different parts of the realm paid different tax - favored regions got a break. Naturally, this led to a thriving smuggling trade, with increasingly draconian penalties as time went on. In the end, the cash was too important to the financially-strapped Ancien Regime to allow for reform, and the whole system collapsed.
Borepatch posts a history lesson regarding forcing a people to buy something by government decree. La Gabelle

Sound familiar?

Iowa expected to lose two congressional seats

According to this article, Arizona Set to Add Congressional Seat, According to Preliminary Census Numbers, it looks like Iowa could lose two congressional seats.

On the brighter side, that means we will be ignored by three congressmen instead of five.

Christmas at Bastogne

It was 65 years ago this month, in a place called Bastogne, in Belgium. The bombed-out town was surrounded by brutal Waffen SS forces of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. Lauer was an artillery gunner with the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division during that siege.
Bud Lauer, a Waterloo, IA resident recalls his experiences during the Battle of the Bulge.
"I told somebody the other day that was talking about this December weather, ‘Now you get 10 blankets and an old tarpaulin. We'll go out in the backyard, scrape a little snow away' and we'll sleep the night.'
Whenever I trudge through the winter weather here in Iowa, I try to imagine guys like Mr. Lauer and my father who fought through and survived that battle. I concluded long ago that I'm not worthy to carry their boots.
One room of Lauer's home is decorated with memorabilia of his service and experience at Bastogne. His "band of brothers" grows fewer in number with the passage of time. Reunions have shrunk from 200-300 old GIs to fewer than 10.

But Lauer remembers his comrades. Even now, on outings or even shopping at a mall where there is a pianist or musicians present, Lauer will request and old favorite tune: "Lili Marleen."

" I always ask for that song. Because I always thought that was a good song."
Go read more of Bud Lauer's memories at Waterloo G.I. recalls Christmas at Bastogne

Saturday, December 26, 2009

To stand by and do nothing is unacceptable

Theologians J. P. Moreland and Norman Geisler say that "to permit murder when one could have prevented it is morally wrong. To allow a rape when one could have hindered it is an evil. To watch an act of cruelty to children without trying to intervene is morally inexcusable. In brief, not resisting evil is an evil of omission, and an evil of omission can be just as evil as an evil of commission. Any man who refuses to protect his wife and children against a violent intruder fails them morally." Self-defense?
I came across that quote earlier today while searching for something else and I thought it apt regarding my friend and his actions to save a bank robbery. John Rumley kicks ass

I don't know if the bank's policy was/is to stand back and give whatever a robber demands, but he didn't care. And I posted it in honor of him, but also as a reminder to me, that actions, not talk, bring results.

John is quiet man who had never spoken like he would "save the bank" during a robbery or any such rot. On that day he could have sat back and waited for the robbery to take place and then call police. Instead, he shunned pacifism and resisted evil.

If the circumstances were different, it may been a tragic day for his family. But his example would remain and would not have been in vain. The vision of this quiet unassuming man, defending himself, his employees and his bank, makes this story all the more remarkable.

Many of us know of people who have stated emphatically that they would resist evil on some fateful day in the future. I don't know what I will do when or if that time comes, but I will say that I predict it will be a very interesting day.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

John Rumley kicks ass

I've known John for a number of years and when I heard this story, I couldn't believe it was about the man I know. John, vice-president of a bank in Burlington, IA, was paying attention to his environment. He recognized a potentially armed robber outside his bank and reacted.

John isn't a big guy. He is a very quiet and easy-going man.
Rumley, 63, testified Tuesday of seeing a man walking on the side of the bank and covering his head with a towel. Acting on sheer instinct, the bank executive rushed to lock the outside door. However, in order for the locking mechanism to engage, someone needed to open it before locking it.

Before he had the chance, Rumley said Johnson confronted and pushed him. An altercation between the two started, which alerted others inside the building, including Steve Francis, another vice president, and Michael Perry, a bank customer, who both went to Rumley's aid.
I posted about the original article Armed man stops armed robbery but it gave no details on those involved.
"Mr. Rumley was excited that day, whether he admits it or not," [defense attorney] Liles told the jury. "It was Rumley who touched the defendant first. My client was defending himself after Rumley attacked him."
Anyone who knows John would never say he gets "excited". If he touched anyone, it was for an honest handshake.
[County prosecutor] Taylor said if not for Rumley's quick thinking, the bank would have been robbed that day. She said if Johnson's "getting change story" was true, he should have told officers at the scene the whole thing was just a misunderstanding.

"He just did not expect John Rumley," Taylor said.
I now look at John differently. I need a t-shirt with "He just did not expect John Rumley" printed on it.

One man recognized a potential threat and reacted. John wasn't carrying a weapon to defend himself that day, but his quick actions prevented some bum from getting in and robbing the bank. I'm glad it turned out the way it did.

Read more at Would-be bank robber found guilty

Summary of the IowaCarry/NRA legislation

The Des Moines Register has a good summary of what's in the bill.

Please read it at National Rifle Association updates controversial Iowa weapons proposal

Des Moines Register wants status quo

The Register editorial board doesn't see a problem with the current concealed-carry laws either.
Iowa lawmakers have plenty of important business to tend to when the Legislature convenes next month. Their priorities include reconciling a large budget gap and agreeing on ways to reorganize government to find efficiencies.
I thought governments were instituted among men to secure rights. Guess I was wrong. The legislators will be too busy trying to clean up the current mess in Des Moines this year. And who put us in this mess? Democrats (not that the Republicans were doing any better)
Neither proposal would make Iowa a better place to live. Both would increase the odds of people getting shot. It's not as if Iowa is a dangerous place, but that is exactly the message lawmakers would send by taking up this gun-rights legislation.
The old "blood-running-in-the-streets" canard. Looks like they didn't read the FBI report. Data vs opinion
More people carrying around deadly weapons doesn't make Iowa a safer place to live. Rather, it likely increases the odds of innocent people getting hurt. Nervous about someone approaching your car? View someone as a threat? Easy access to a gun means you're only one twitch of a finger away from shooting that person - killing them and perhaps landing you in prison for murder.
Possession of a gun turns one into a nervous potential murderer according to these guys.

For more hyperbole go here: Don't make it easier to carry guns

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Clinton County Sheriff is concerned about legislation

Clinton County Sheriff Rick Lincoln seems to have some issues with the legislation proposed by IowaCarry and the NRA. He doesn't like the carry permit change from a "may-issue" to a "shall-issue"
“The unfortunate aspect is if we go to a ‘shall issue’ state, and a person comes into my office, applies for that permit to carry a concealed weapon and they don’t have any of the disqualifiers, I have to give them permit to carry a concealed weapon,” said Lincoln. “The problem with that is, there are people that don’t have the disqualifiers but we all know shouldn’t be carrying a concealed weapon.”
Some interpretations of the proposed legislation is that it really isn't a "shall-issue", but we won't quibble. Sheriff Lincoln can look into someone's soul and predetermine whether they are qualified to carry concealed.

The proposed legislation that I've read stated that there are stipulations that the person has to go through beyond a background check. A state-approved testing process after paying fees and a 30 day conditional permit that can be revoked if a sheriff wants. Doesn't sound so easy nor a "shall-issue".

Rep. Tom Schueller, D-Maquoketa (one of our betters at the state house) had this to say:
“I guess, my feeling on this as a legislative body, we have far more important issues to address this year than worrying about changing how handguns are issued when it’s already working,” said Schueller.
Except it isn't working in some counties like Johnson or Linn where only a very few connected people can get a permit.

Back to what the sheriff thinks of our rights:
Lincoln said he can see the NRA’s side of the issue. However, he said the change would bring up some concerns on how well he could regulate the carrying of concealed weapons
The sheriff wants to regulate...

And icing on the cake:
“There’s other times where perhaps we have an ongoing investigation of a criminal nature on that individual. And I sure as heck wouldn’t want to issue that person a permit to carry a weapon knowing that two weeks, my deputies are going to kick his door in and go into that person’s residence and all of a sudden he’s shooting at my a deputies with a gun that he’s carrying legally because I gave it to him.”
Anyone can "legally" carry in their own home right now, Herr Sheriff. No permits required.

And that's it right there. This sheriff wants an unarmed citizenry just in case he wants to kick their door in.

Read more at: Gun permit issues concern sheriff

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Data vs opinion (updated)

We have some articles regarding the recent release of an FBI report of an increase in gun sales in 2008 corresponding with a downturn in the number of murders.
The FBI released data Monday that shows murders dropped by 10 percent from the same period in 2008. Meanwhile, according to data released by the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) shows that during the first six months of this year, gun sales were up. January 2009 background checks rose 28.8 percent over the same month in 2008, February's NICS checks were up 23.3 percent and in March they were up 29.9 percent over March 2008. The trend continued in April, with NICS checks up 30.3 percent, while May showed a slowdown, up only 15.5 percent, and in June they were up 18.1 percent.

"What this shows," said SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb, "is that gun prohibitionists are all wrong when they argue that more guns result in more crime. Firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens are no threat to anyone. Perhaps violent criminals were actually discouraged by all of those gun sales earlier this year, because the media made a point of reporting the booming gun market.

"Hard facts trump hot air," Gottlieb concluded. "These people are consistently wrong about our rights. Millions of people bought guns, especially semiautomatic sport-utility rifles that gun grabbers want to ban because they say people aren't safe with all of those guns in private hands. Well, the people disagree, and so does the data." Murder Down, Gun Sales Up; Proof That Guns Don't Cause Crime: SAF
For more, go to these Examiner columns Murder rate declined while gun sales boomed: An ‘inconvenient truth’

And FBI report points to inconvenient truth about guns and crime

With timing being everything, someone failed. Sherri Masson of Milford, Michigan the day after the release of the FBI data. Aim for safety with gun taxes
At first I was stunned by the distorted logic on why the bump in sales of guns in Michigan has been a good thing for the state ("In record numbers, guns and ammo fly off shelves," Dec. 14). How can increased revenue be worth risking lives by putting more guns into a stressed-out population?
Would that be "distorted logic" supported by the FBI report, perhaps?
What if we raised the tax on guns and ammo even more? The money could be used to cover the medical bills of hundreds of victims of gun violence, many in wheelchairs because someone in their lives or in their neighborhoods owned a gun. These taxes could be used to defray the huge cost of electronic screening devices in schools and businesses around the state.
Thus taxing the poor who have to protect themselves while the rich can pay for their own security team.
...let's treat guns and ammo like cigarettes, making the taxes so high people might stop buying them. Now that would be a positive effect of higher taxes.
They already are taxed with excise and sales taxes, just like tobacco products. In Sherri's world, poor people don't deserve an effective method of protection.

Thank you, Sherri, for your insightful opinion.

Update: David Codrea has more information on Sherri,
Still, everyone is entitled to their opinion. It's just important that we understand who is offering one in this case. Because either Masson or neglected to give us a significant piece of information:

Sherri Masson [is] the...Vice President of Million Mom March of Michigan
Anti-gun letter to editor reveals more than writer intended

Monday, December 21, 2009

Iowa legislative fight is becoming wider known

Besides David Codrea's Examiner columns, now Virginia Gun Owners Coalition President, Mike McHugh wrote a few paragraphs of support for Iowa Gun Owners upcoming legislative battle for a Vermont-style carry bill here in the state.
What about the state level?

No better example exists than the current fight by Iowa gun owners with the NRA not to sell-out Iowa concealed carry.

Believe it or not, under the NRA proposal, anyone ever arrested – but not convicted – on a felony charge would be barred from concealed carry.
That and more over at OpenCarry Bulletin Boards

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Buy a gun and help the environment

Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources will have extra funding in its coffers because of a massive increase in revenue from gun and ammo sales.

In addition to a sales tax, there is an excise tax placed on guns, archery equipment and ammunition that is redistributed to states through U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said Bob Manwell, public affairs manager for the state's DNR.

For Wisconsin, those funds are used for habitat development, wildlife restoration and environmental research, Manwell said.
Please purchase more guns and ammunition to help the environment. I'm sure Greenpeace would agree.

Read more at Increase in gun sales aids DNR, wildlife

NRA has discovered Iowa

Quiet in Iowa for years, the powerful National Rifle Association is making a major push for gun-rights legislation here - a development that is already triggering heated opposition.
The NRA proposes two bills, one the "shall issue" favored by IowaCarry and another that would prevent businesses from restricting employees from having firearms in their vehicles while at work.
Both proposals put pressure on lawmakers who generally favor restrictions on guns, especially those whose re-election might be in peril in November. In tight districts, a legislative election can pivot on, say, the votes of 100 gun owners.
Is the Register reporting that legislators favor gun control and they don't want anyone to know that fact?
House Republican Leader Kraig Paulsen, R-Hiawatha, said he thinks his fellow Republicans favor a stronger concealed weapons permit law, such as one proposed by Rep. Kent Sorenson, R-Indianola, that essentially makes permits automatic unless the applicant is a convicted felon.

"I don't think there's any question there's more support for the stronger version," Paulsen said.
That bill is the one supported by Iowa Gun Owners. On why the NRA suddenly discovered Iowa:
Asked why the NRA chose to target Iowa's gun restrictions, Baudler [R-Greenfield, who is one of the NRA's 76 national board members] said: "This year, we decided to be a player here. We feel it's good timing."
This year is going to be interesting for gun-rights in Iowa.

Read more at New push by NRA in Iowa creates firefight

One possible future?

Over at GunRights4US is a post from about a month ago of a fictional but plausible scenario of the economic collapse of the almighty dollar.

The chapters to-date are at A frightening future for our nation posted at The Tree of Liberty boards.

It's sobering because it very well could come true. I remember arguing against some of the emergency provisions that Bush put in place with conservative supporters many times and the typical response was "He'll never use them, that's just for emergencies." When explaining what a liberal like Clinton (and now Obama) would do with that power, they shrugged it off. They aren't shrugging now.

Update: In the comments, Sofa from Coordinated Illumination reports that all the episodes are at
The Day the Dollar Died Series Thanks

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Neb. Sen. Ben Nelson - political whore

Yeah, that's right. I will not apologize for it either.

The Democrat Senator from Nebraska (who former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad (R) endorsed) Ben Nelson, extracted several bribes for his state.
In its quixotic attempt to ensure everyone has health insurance, the Reid legislation greatly expands Medicaid eligibility. Because Medicaid is a program whose costs are split between the federal and state governments, this expansion in eligibility raise costs dramatically for states. States will be forced to either raise taxes or cut other services to accommodate the forced increase in Medicaid spending.

Unless that state is Nebraska.

Taxpayers in every other state will forever be responsible for the expanded Medicaid program in Nebraska.

Sen. Nelson also secured an exemption from a new insurance tax for non-profit companies in his state. Mutual of Omaha and Nebraska’s Blue Cross/Blue Shield won’t have to pay a tax other companies will be required to pay.
Read more at SOLD: Sen. Nelson’s Bribe

I want to thank the former governor for his assistance in putting this %$#*@& in office.

Sen. Mary Landrieu got the "Louisiana Purchase." Sen. Ben Nelson got the federal government to pick up most his state's future Medicaid tab -- forever. Ben Nelson's Medicaid deal

Dubuque Telegraph Herald gun editorial

This is the first (of I assume many) editorial boards that will be attacking both of the upcoming gun-rights bills in Iowa's legislature.

After trying to link the availability of carry permits and the loosening of restrictive gun laws with crime and police murders, they leave us with this:
Iowa is a "may issue" state when it comes to concealed weapons permits. The sheriff may issue a permit if an applicant meets the requirements, but he doesn't have to. May is the operative word here. The decision is left to the sheriff. The right to a permit is not automatic. wants to change "may" to "shall" -- effectively taking away the sheriff's discretion.

That's not a good idea. Responsible gun owners have every right to carry a concealed weapon. Still, we'll sleep better knowing someone in law enforcement is weighing each case and making that determination on an individual basis.
They must mean those counties where only the sheriff's family and friends receive permits. Obviously no one on the editorial board has ever tried to apply for a permit.
Shootings, intentional and unintentional, happen every day in this country. As states give more rights to gun owners, it's imperative that sheriffs maintain their discretion over the right to carry.
And some sheriff's abuse this everyday.

I can't wait until they read the Vermont-style carry bill endorsed by Iowa Gun Owners.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Iowa Gun Owners alert 12/15/09

I'm a little late getting this out:
Another provision of these dangerous proposed bills would mandate that you go through up to 8 hours of government training before being able to carry a weapon for self-defense. IGO encourages all of our members to seek training when carrying a weapon for self-defense. Many of our members seek this out on their own accord.

But to allow the government to mandate it sets a dangerous precedent. The 2nd Amendment doesn't say anything about having to sit in class, pass a test, and pay a fee before being allowed to exercise your constitutional rights. You should know that several other states have no requirement to sit through government training including our neighbors in South Dakota.

But it gets even worse. Should this proposed bill pass, the government would be able to deny you a permit if you were ever arrested for any crime of violence. Please note I did not say convicted or sentenced for a crime of violence, I said arrested. If this bill becomes law you can be arrested for a crime that you did not commit, go to court and be cleared of all charges, and then, apparently, still be denied your constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms.
Read more at: Iowa Gun Owners E-mail Alert 12/15/09

Iowa Carry's response to David Codrea

I pledged the support of Iowa Carry to the NRA. We had our own bill submitted during last year’s session after we determined the Rep. Baudler’s bill did not meet what we were seeking in Shall Issue legislation. Going into 2010, we were ready to keep running with our own bill if necessary. When we were approached by the NRA, we were not sure what we would find when we sat down with them. What we ended up seeing was legislation that would, if passed, finally provide all Iowans with a level playing field when it comes to the requirements and issuance of the Iowa Permit to Carry Weapons. We feel that it represents the best chance at getting into law something that will benefit everyone in Iowa. There are more things at play in Iowa politics than meets the eye of the casual observer. The NRA understands this, and so do we. It is taking this pragmatic “big picture” approach that leads us to the decision that we have made.
Taking the "pragmatic" approach. I think the choice of using that word wasn't the best. "Prag" "Fudd" and a few others bring out some strong responses in the gun community.

Read more at: Iowa Carry says NRA bill 'best chance at getting (concealed carry) into law'

Thursday, December 17, 2009

More Iowa Gun Owners at AmmoLand

Iowa – -( Since coming so close to passing the REAL Right-to-Carry bill in the Iowa House last session Iowa Gun Owners has continued to grow and expand our membership base across the state. This is great news as the more people we can involve the more pressure we can place on the politicians in Des Moines to support our right to keep and bear arms.

The politicians now know that we will hold them to account if they vote in a way that jeopardizes our constitutional rights. With the 2010 elections coming quickly, and the anti-gunners hoping to save themselves from a possible anti-gun backlash, this will be a great year to press ahead for your right to keep and bear arms.

As you know, our bill would allow anyone in Iowa who is not a felon or barred by federal law the right to carry a weapon for self-defense, openly or concealed, without having to first obtain government permission. We believe that this is what the 2nd Amendment intended and this is what we are committed to fighting for.
Read more at: Iowa Gun Owners Gear Up for 2010 Legislative Session

Full disclosure - I am a member of Iowa Gun Owners

Iowa Gun Owners respond to David Codrea's call

Iowa Gun Owners' executive director, Aaron Dorr has responded to David Codrea's Examiner column from a few days ago. Competing concealed carry bills in Iowa divide gun owners

From Mr Dorr:
We have a real chance here in Iowa to capitalize on the anger across the state; to propel Iowa from being one of the worst states in the country regarding concealed carry to one of the best. The REAL Right-to-Carry is our best shot. Please come and join us.
Read more at Iowa Gun Owners promote 'real right-to-carry'

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ed Dolan's letter to the NRA

A local gun rights advocate with plenty of credibility in the movement here in Iowa, Ed Dolan, published an op ed piece at AmmoLand
Central City, Iowa - -( For over two decades I have volunteered for you here in Iowa. As your Second Congressional District’s Election Volunteer Coordinator, I worked to elect pro-gun congressmen.

I served on the board of your lobbying arm, the Iowa Sportsmen’s Federation (ISF), and chaired the first two Friends of NRA fundraising dinners in Cedar Rapids. My friends and I have written numerous pro-gun letters to the local paper as well as appearing on radio and television fighting for our rights.

Yes, my support of the 2nd Amendment and the NRA has been broad, deep and consistent. However, I have long been troubled by your unwillingness to fight for political liberty in Iowa. We may be a “fly-over” state, but we have some of the worst concealed carry laws in the nation.

Years ago we had a pro-gun Republican majority in both legislative chambers and a willing Republican (Terry Branstad, 1983 – 1999) in the governor’s mansion, but the ISF refused to consider carry reform. Not enough political capital, we were told. Instead our NRA political contributions were spent on expanded deer seasons and a failed fight to shoot mourning doves.

Mr Dolan give a bit of history here in the state and encourages the NRA to back the Vermont-style carry bill from Iowa Gun Owners

Read the rest of Ed Dolan's letter to the NRA at: An Open Letter to the National Rifle Association

Reference from David Codrea at his Examiner site Competing concealed carry bills in Iowa divide gun owners

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What is today?

JPFO explains: What is Bill of Rights Day?

What does google think important:

Who is LL Zamenhof and who cares?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Jeff Knox on upcoming firearm legislation

David Codrea at his Examiner site Competing concealed carry bills in Iowa divide gun owners gives us a heads-up from the Jeff Knox report NRA Pushing Bad Bill in Iowa

I spoke with Aaron Dorr, Executive Director of Iowa Gun Owners a month ago and he gives me the impression of a no-nonsense kind of guy.

I also spoke with a rep from Iowa Carry and when I asked if they would support an Alaska/Vermont carry bill and he replied that "officially" - no.

IGO has an analysis of the competing bills Analysis of Bills for 2009

Update: I originally titled this "Neal Knox..." Don't know why.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sen Chuck Grassley, gun owner friend?

Sen Grassley offered up an amendment to the healthcare bill, one that could make Gun Owners of America proud.
An amendment offered by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, would explicitly ban health-insurance companies from denying or charging more for coverage because somebody legally owns a gun or ammunition.

Further, Grassley’s amendment would bar the government from using the health care bill to collect information about gun ownership.

The amendment has at least 10 co-sponsors, including Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont.

“In Montana, how many guns you own and where you keep them is nobody’s business --least of all the government’s or some health-insurance company,” Tester said in announcing his support of the amendment.
Is Grassley growing a pair?

Found at Bozeman Daily Chronicle Political Notes

Illinois, GOP Candidate Ryan favors gun confiscation

From the Illinois State Rifle Association:
In an Associated Press wire story released yesterday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Ryan pledged to sign a ban on “Assault Weapons” and promised to veto any “Concealed Carry” legislation that reaches his desk.

In making these pronouncements, Jim Ryan was very clear that he would wholeheartedly support legislation that would result in the ban and confiscation of most of the guns in your safe.

Just as he did in the 2002 gubernatorial race, Jim Ryan has proven himself to be cut from the same cloth as Chicago Democrats such as Richie Daley, Barack Obama, and Rod Blagojevich.
Jim Ryan Declares War On Law-Abiding Illinois Gun Owners

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Tom Harkin, Constitutional scholar

Our Sen. Tom Harkin (the guy in the middle smiling at Daniel Ortega), whom I posted earlier that Senator Tom Harkin is a financial genius has now displayed his Constitutional knowledge regarding the Senate's tradition of filibustering. Harkin considers raising bill to end filibuster
So, in 1995 as a member of the newly minority party, Sen. Tom Harkin could have exacted revenge by offering to filibuster Republicans at every turn. Instead, he pushed for reform.
One of the most partisan politicians being gracious? How kind and generous of him. I'll hold him up to the kids as an example.
Given what he sees as the abuse of power by a couple members of his own party whom he said are threatening to join the minority party if their every demand is not met, Harkin is considering reintroducing the legislation.
Oh, wait. Now Harkin is being vindictive? I'm confused.
"I did a lot of research on this back in the '90s, and it turned out the filibuster is just a Senate rule, not the Constitution or anything like that," Harkin said.

Regardless of its origins, Harkin said the filibuster has outlived its usefulness.

"Today, in the age of instant news and Internet and rapid travel -- you can get from anywhere to here within a day or a few hours -- the initial reasons for the filibuster kind of fall by the wayside, and now it's got into an abusive situation," Harkin said.

He and the constitutional scholars agree that the intention was never to hold up legislation entirely.
He did a lot of research and agreed with unamed Constitutional scholars...

But apparently Old Tom seemed like to filibuster when it came time to vote on Pres. Bush's judicial nominees. Harkin Filibuster
Iowa's Senator Tom Harkin joined his fellow Democrats – led by then-Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle -- in filibustering President Bush's judicial nominees, although for years prior he adamantly demanded "up or down" floor votes for all judicial nominees.

Hypocrisy, thy name is Harkin.

Iowa Supreme Court: making laws (again)

The Iowa Supreme Court apparently seems to think it can create laws in the state.
The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled that prosecutors don't have to give witness addresses to a central Iowa man charged with sex abuse.

The court Friday overturned a lower court decision that prosecutors must give the witness addresses to Chad Godfrey, a Nevada man charged with second-degree sex abuse, domestic abuse assault and false imprisonment. He's being held in the Story County jail.

Although Iowa law requires disclosure of witness addresses, the supreme court created an exception this year that lets prosecutors shield home addresses from defendants if they can prove substantial risk. Defendants can appeal decisions to a judge, who will decide if there is substantial risk.

The court asked a district court judge to reconsider Godfrey's request using the new rule. Iowa court OKs not disclosing witness addresses
First off, I agree with the decision, just not the method. "Although Iowa law requires disclosure of witness addresses, the supreme court created an exception this year..." Iowa law is created in the legislature not in the courts. If the law needs to be changed, then the legislature needs to change it.

Apparently, our state is run by a black-robed oligarchy.

Nullification isn't just for juries

Benjamin Cashner at Cold Hard Cashner posted an article by Michael Boldin of the Tenth Amendment Center
In response to what some opponents see as a Congress that doesn’t represent their interests, State Legislators are looking to the nearly forgotten American political tradition of nullification as a way to reject any potential national health care program that may be coming from Washington.

In 2010, residents of Arizona will be voting on a State Constitutional Amendment that would let them effectively opt out of any proposed national health care plan. Legislatures in Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania are also considering similar State Constitutional Amendments.

And now, Missouri is joining them. According to a report in The Missourian, “Rep. Cynthia Davis, R-O’Fallon, pre-filed a bill Dec. 1 that, if approved by voters, would effectively put a halt on any national health care legislation. Davis said her intent was to give voters a way to protect themselves.

”Copyright © 2009 by Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

Go read the rest atThe Growing Movement to Nullify Nat'l Health Care

Maybe I should think about not being stranded in Iowa any longer.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

No domestic bliss during a snow storm

After an earlier post on some snow removal stories, we have this from Council Bluffs, IA:
Council Bluffs, Ia. — Council Bluffs police say they arrested a man who allegedly assaulted his wife when she refused to help him shovel snow.

Officers say they went to the residence early Wednesday afternoon after the 44-year-old woman said her husband struck her in the head with his chest and attempted to pull her out of the house.
"...struck her in the head with his chest..."??? Why didn't he use the shovel?
She said she had been quarreling with her 45-year-old husband because he had accused her of being lazy around the house.
Laziness and stupidity is not a good combination in a marriage.

My wife didn't assist with the shoveling yesterday, but she has many times before. I guess I should have thumped her a good one.

(No, I didn't thump her)

In your face, America

Giving a proverbial middle finger to his political opponents, Obama's White House Christmas ball served cookies in the shape of an acorn. Iowa Rep. Steve King was a bit surprised and saved a few.
"I didn't expect to see such stark symbolism," King said in an e-mail.

"Bill Clinton redefined a two and a three-letter word," King said, a reference to Clinton's denial of the Lewinsky scandal . "But from the man who wrote 'The Audacity of Hope,' we were served the very redefinition of the word 'audacity.'"

The hubris of this administration is wearing thin on many Americans.

See more at White House's Acorn Cookies Surprises Republican Lawmaker

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snow shoveling stories

This story, Walking in the Snow, reminded me of a couple of experiences I've had through the years.

One heavy snow I shoveled my driveway and sidewalks. I then went to a widow's house down the block and shoveled her out. In the middle of that task, a neighbor joined in and helped me. We then finished her driveway and saw another neighbor and joined in their labor. And then we found another in need next door.

At the end, it was maybe 6 neighbors that had joined forces and shoveled out widow's, retiree's, and single parent's driveways and sidewalks.

It was a good thing that it didn't snow for a while after because I couldn't move for a week.

Another time was the first winter in our present house. Our elderly neighbor was a little grumpy towards the young couple (us) that moved in next door. The first snow, I shoveled her driveway. I got caught when she opened her garage door to bring out her snow blower. I refused any payment but I was the happy recipient of some homemade bread later that day. I snuck over earlier on a couple of other snows that winter, and we became good friends.

It's times like these, a large snow fall, flood, or major storm, when we find out who our true neighbors are. People who work together for a common good and reciprocate just because.

H/T to David at The War on Guns

Wisconsin legislative gun activity

In an article seething with inaccuracies and hyperbole like: "Unlike weapons purchased from a federally licensed firearms dealer, weapons bought at a gun show can be whisked away that same day without a background check on the purchaser... " comes a article on gun legislation in Wisconsin.
Observers say Democrats have largely abandoned gun-control efforts because of the well-funded and politically organized base of the NRA — especially when stacked against the less cohesive and less well-funded gun-control groups.
So in Jessica VanEgeren's eyes the pro/anti gun argument is based on who has the most money. Constitutional law has nothing to do with it.

After a three word quote from the pro-gun side, she throws in this:
“They’ve been using the same rhetoric for years,” Rodriguez [legislative assistant to Rep. Leon Young, D-Milwaukee] says. “And we disagree with 99 percent of it.”
Her conclusion:
“This isn’t government intrusiveness,” Bonavia [executive director of the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort] says. “This is just about living in a peaceful society together.”
I think we can guess which side she's on.

Read it all at: Ready, set, fire! Politicians take on NRA

What I woke up to

(All the read is "Travel not advised")

Monday, December 7, 2009

Iowa Independent - no bias here

Lynda Waddington has a cute article British press taps Iowans for comments on Palin, volatile state of society which takes a couple of Iowan's quotes from an article about Sarah Palin and her book tour: Guardian: God has chosen her to lead our country
Chuck Hurley, president of the Iowa Family Policy Center, said that Palin has “intense charisma that makes her very exciting and attractive” and that she “will be a force.”

“Watch who the left hates the most – that is somebody with high potential,” says Hurley. “They don’t shoot their bullets at someone who is not a threat to them.”

University of Iowa professor Ken Leicht, author of “The Post-Industrial Peasant,” views the current economic crunch as a key reason why so many are willing to fill a fear of the unknown with conspiracy theories regarding rampant gun-control laws, American cities being turned into massive concentration camps and even death panels for the elderly.

“We have the perfect storm for some pretty uncivil political activity,”
he says.
After using phrases like "massive book tour" and "contentious state of American political discourse", and the whole paragraph for the U of I professor, I noticed that they link to the professor, but not the guy from the Iowa Family Policy Center. They have a website, so that's no excuse.

I find it odd that the original article from the Guardian didn't link to either fellow, but the Iowa Independent decided one deserved a link and the other didn't.

I'm sure there was no intent there, absolutely none.

Another lawsuit - Hodgkins v. Holder

The Second Amendment Foundation is busy. They have another lawsuit in the courts, Hodgkins v. Holder, that could definitely affect interstate commerce. D.C. Court Ruling Could Affect Out-Of-State Gun Buying
You can buy a car from an out-of-state dealer and pick it up there. You can buy a house in another part of the country, as speculators unwisely did during the real estate bubble, sight unseen. But even though the Second Amendment protects an individual right to own firearms -- and presumably to buy them -- you can't purchase a handgun while you're visiting another state.

A gun rights group has sued the Justice Department to overturn this prohibition, which became law as part of the Gun Control Act of 1968, and the case is now in front of U.S. District Judge James Robertson in Washington, D.C.

Narrowly speaking, the Second Amendment Foundation has filed the Hodgkins v. Holder suit on behalf of American citizens who live abroad and would like to buy firearms when they return for a visit (but can't because Form 4473 requires them to list what U.S. state they live in). More broadly, it could restore Americans' right to buy handguns while traveling across state lines as long as they undergo the normal federal background check.
The courts could rule that Congress' power to regulate interstate commerce allows them to say what is legal to purchase across state lines, effectively ending the argument. But would the 2nd Amendment trump that clause? Interesting arguments here.

But do Americans have standing in this lawsuit? Obama has a different view,
The Obama administration claims that they haven't, arguing in a brief: "(Plaintiff's) vague allegation of an intention to acquire a firearm on some future visit to the United States does not give rise to a live controversy as required by Article III of the Constitution."
The conclusion of the article's author is:
In this case, for instance, the Obama administration appears to have taken the position that there's no way for anyone to challenge the 1968 Gun Control Act on Second Amendment grounds unless they're arrested for violating it first. Any volunteers?
So being denied isn't good enough, you have to be thrown into jail first.

Lawyers are [insert your own word here]

What to expect...

For Straightarrow's benefit:





See what you're missing.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Coordinated Illumination - Wayne, Henry and others

Over at Coordinated Illumination is a post of the attitude of John Wayne
John Wayne became the embodiment of what it means to be an American.
The ethos he portrayed was the essence of America in the 20th Century.

John Wayne described it this way

“I won’t be wronged, I won’t be insulted, and I won’t be laid a hand upon. I don’t do these things to other men and I expect the same respect out of them.”
The history of the Culpepper flag
The Culpeper Don't Tread On Me Flag reportedly was first used as the banner for a group of about one hundred minutemen in Culpeper County, VA who formed part of Colonel Patrick Henry's First Virginia Regiment of 1775. In October-November 1775, three hundred such minutemen, led by Colonel Stevens, assembled at Culpeper Court House and marched for Williamsburg. Their unusual dress alarmed the people as they marched through the country. The words "Liberty or Death" were in large white letters on the breast of their hunting shirts. They had bucks' tails in their hats and in their belts, tomahawks and scalping knives.
And a few quotes from Patrick Henry
On the balance of power

"Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation, that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense?"
For more go to John Wayne, Patrick Henry and All of Us

Wisconsin microstamping bill in the works

Our Wisconsin neighbors have a slew of gun-control bills being offered this year. Among those is a microstamping bill, offered by State Rep. Leon Young, D-Milwaukee. At issue: Should 'microstamps' be required on some guns?
Wisconsin would require new semiautomatic handguns sold or manufactured in the state to produce identifying codes on every shell they expend under a bill currently in the Legislature. The bill would require that semiautomatic handguns manufactured on or after Jan. 1, 2011 produce codes, known as a "microstamps," on their expended cartridges.

The bill would also require gun manufacturers and dealers who sell handguns that produce microstamps to disclose guns' makes, models and serial numbers to law enforcement agencies when microstamped expended shell casings are collected during criminal investigations.

It would become a misdemeanor crime to alter semiautomatic handguns in order to prevent law enforcement officers from identifying microstamps if the bill passes.
If someone is going to use a handgun in a crime, I doubt packing on a misdemeanor charge would stop them in their tracks. If a perpetrator was smart, they would just "seed" the area from from spent brass at a local gun range. It would also drive up the cost of firearms for little if no benefit.

But then the crooks could just switch to revolvers and there goes the whole tracking system.

Don't let your limeys grow up to be cowboys

Because they can't play with guns as a kid. Buy your children toy weapons for Christmas and you could face an armed raid, police warn parents
An innocent game of cops and robbers used to provide two benefits - lots of fun and a basic understanding of right and wrong.
But children caught playing with a toy gun today have been warned they face something far more memorable - a raid by armed police marksmen.
Officers have told parents to avoid buying youngsters plastic guns for Christmas in case passers-by mistake them for dangerous weapons.
The warning has been issued by Essex Police, where a spokesman said children who wield the toys in public places could 'get an MP5 [submachine gun] put in your face'.

The once-great Britain.

Senator Tom Harkin is a financial genius

Harkin and rep Braley have decided they want to tax financial transactions over $100,000 because the deficit is so high. Not that they should have thought about the deficit before voting for bailouts, "stimulus" bills, etc. Bill would tax stock deals over $100,000
U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley and Sen. Tom Harkin, both Democrats, are proposing a quarter-percent tax on all stock deals valued at more than $100,000. The bill would generate an estimated $100 billion or more annually, Harkin said.
If you change jobs and move your 401K to another plan, could you be hit with a tax? If the answer is yes, then you are a Wall Street fat-cat and Harkin wants your money, you rich capitalist bastard.
Harkin said Wall Street could afford the tax. He also stressed its revenue-generating capacity.

"I don't look upon it as any kind of way of punishment or anything like that," Harkin said. "I mean, we're just looking for revenue. We're looking for ways of getting out of this hole we're in."
Maybe if you hadn't dug the hole to begin with...
A similar tax was in effect for almost 50 years during the previous century, and it was doubled during the 1930s, Harkin said.
And that worked out real well, didn't it? The depression lasted another 10 years until WWII.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Kids find ATF agent's gun

Two Bettendorf, IA kids discover a revolver in a sewer in their neighborhood. The kids did the right thing by contacting an adult who contacted local law enforcement.

What could have been a tragic accident if the gun was discovered in a more accessible place, this was averted by a couple of kids smart enough to do the right thing.

Too bad we can't say the same thing about the owner of said firearm. You see he's a "special" agent of the BATFE. Noted on paragraph 5 of United States v. G Lindsey as a "firearms expert".

"Special" agent Mike Bartholomew, proud but absent-minded owner of that firearm
...lives just five houses from the storm sewer. When he heard neighbors talking about the discovery, he contacted police, saying he had misplaced a gun, and it was probably his.
That's some A-1 quality BS right there. "Misplaced". He's even so "special" he doesn't have to talk to the press:
Bartholomew politely reiterated Wednesday that he cannot talk to the media because of his role with ATF.
Isn't that "special".

Read more at Loaded gun, little kids, ATF agent
And Kids spot loaded gun in Bettendorf storm drain

And thanks to him, we have editorials calling for a new law that would make stupidity like his a crime. Zero tolerance for missing guns

More laws against regular citizens because of someone who has no concept of responsible gun ownership. Tack on the fact he's with the ATF, and you add a whole level of stupid on top of it. Lucky for me, he probably serves in my area.

This weekend I'm going to check my gun cabinet to make sure I haven't "misplaced" any of my firearms.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

NRA = terrorism

Kurt Hofmann shines light on a no-so-enlightened paid mouth piece of the Joyce Foundation, Mark Karlin.
A new twist, and the point of today's article, is, bizarrely, a call to put the NRA (around 4 million members, and growing) on the "terrorist watch list"--the very same list that we're being told should be used as a basis to deny gun rights.

"When it comes to the terrorist watch list, the NRA -- which fans the flames of armed militia and white male paranoia in the U.S. -- should be at the top of the list."

Ooh--guns, militias, and white males--the veritable Triple Crown of Terror.
Read more at To some, gun rights advocacy is 'terrorism'

What's next, put all gun owners on the terrorist watch list and we instantly can longer longer purchase or possess firearms? I think that's what Karlin is driving at.

Nerf guns are real guns

I thought our University of Iowa had some funny notions about things but Colorado University has taken it over the edge. They declared that if you possess a Nerf gun, you will be treated as if you had a firearm.
BOULDER - If you're caught walking around the University of Colorado at Boulder with a Nerf gun, you could be arrested. Notices have been posted around the campus' dorm buildings, warning students that Nerf gun sightings will be treated like real gun sightings.

Scratch Colorado off Number One's list of prospective schools. More at CU: No shooting zombies with Nerf guns

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Take David's poll

Would you help the British just as we did almost 70 years ago?

During a time when England was on the verge of invasion from Nazi Germany, thousands of gun owners in the United States gave their firearms to help our limey cousins.

David Codrea asks: Would you 'send a gun to defend a British home'?

Cedar Rapids woman defends home

This could have been a very tragic story and the woman is lucky that the burglar's heart wasn't really into robbing her, or worse.
The burglar went in through a side door and even took out the bulbs in the flood light to keep from being noticed. However, when he kicked in the door, he made so much noise that Ozella knew something was up.

“I heard that crash at the door, but I didn’t even know it was my door, I thought it was the neighbors door,” said Ozella.

When she saw a flashlight inside, she got up and went down this hallway.

“He didn’t get a chance to get out and run to the door cause I came down the hallway and I hollered and I yelled,” said Ozella.
The 911 operator's advice was much help either. More at Elderly Cedar Rapids woman scares off burglar

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Reaction to Obama's speech

The Quad City Times has a few reactions to Obama's speech from local veterans and fathers of veterans.
Ret. Army Col. Hugh Pries, who at age 59 re-entered the Army and served a tour of duty in Iraq from February 2007 through January 2008, said he grew angry as he listened Tuesday night to President Barack Obama's speech on Afghanistan.
David Pautsch of Davenport, whose son Cpl. Jason Pautsch, 20, was killed April 10 while serving in Iraq, and his other son, Jared, 24, is serving in Afghanistan, said Obama has put the troops in more danger.

"I think it's brazen cowardice," Pautsch said of the president's speech. "That you could actually talk about withdrawing the troops before you've even sent them is just sheer stupidity. It makes all our troops that much more unsafe."
Read more at Obama's speech angers some locally

I want to be like Tiger

A Solon, IA man decided to follow Tiger Wood's example and destroyed mailboxes on a rural Iowa road. Solon man allegedly mows down 16 mailboxes, 3 street signs
According to Johnson County Sheriff’s Office criminal complaints, Brandon J. Anderson, 24, left a party in Shueyville around 2:30 a.m. Nov. 29. Police said over the course of his 16-mile drive home, Anderson intentionally ran down 16 mailboxes and three street and stop sign posts.
All he got for his efforts is a class D felony charge.
While police were unable to catch Anderson in the act, he did make it pretty easy for deputies to figure out who the culprit was. According to the criminal complaints, Anderson “was kind enough to leave his front license plate alongside one of the damaged posts.”
Good job Brandon.

Des Moines County Deputy in altercation

Deputy Eric Joseph Staub (that I first posted about here Deputy beats guy and beats system) exercises extreme restraint with a couple who assaulted him.

Deputy assault ends in arrest
An off-duty Des Moines County sheriff's deputy suffered significant injuries Saturday when he was assaulted by a man apparently upset because the lawman reported an accident involving the man's daughter minutes before the downtown holiday parade.
Im not be facetious here but kudos for not shooting the guy and his wife.

Auction find for Mauser Medic

Mauser Medic found a couple of Ruskie designed rifles for a fair price for Iowa. Good thing for him, I wasn't there.

Take a look at his finds at Sino-Soviet Saturday

(I've been dealing with many issues - not much time for anything else. Please enjoy the post above and click on any of my links on the right.)