Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Walk out protest at the statehouse

We used to have a cocker\lab mix that hated any other animal in our yard. She would chase squirrels, rabbits, cats, dogs, and a few neighbors out of what she considered "her" territory. Each time she would prance back, head held high in victorious glory, proud in her accomplishment.

What happened today reminded me of her. The democrat legislators left the statehouse furious that two gun bills were up for debate today, stating they were "blindsided" by GOP leadership by the plans to have debate. Never mind that the NRA and IGO sent out alerts of this upcoming debate yesterday. So apparently a whole bunch of gun owners in the state knew more about the goings-ons at the statehouse than the democrat leadership.

You know, the ones who actually are paid to serve a term in the legislature.

Funny how regular joes would be fired for walking out of a job, but I guess it doesn't matter if you are an elected official.

Here's what reminded me of my dog:
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Des Moines said the chamber’s 40 Democrats decided to return after deciding they’d made their displeasure clear regarding a lack of notice about the bills and concerns the proposals would gut the state’s gun laws.
Holding their heads high, confident that they made their "displeasure clear." No matter that howls of protest and ridicule that are on comments in different online articles throughout the state.

Jim kept us informed while I was at my job. You know, one that I would be fired from if I up and left unannounced. Here's Jim over at Travis McGee Reader:
The case of the runaway hoplophobes

Update: Theeeyyyrrr Back

Iowa's Own RKBA Amendment and UPDATE: SYG approved
Since I haven't been doing my job very well lately of informing my readers on the statehouse bills, I apologize. I've been working at a job that I would be fired from if I stomped my feet and walked out.

The "Stand your ground" bill is one that got the democrats pants in a twist. HF2215 passed the full House 60-38 pretty much on party line. Here's a list on how they voted. This has been stuck in committee as HF573.

The democrat's arguments that they were blindsided is complete bovine excrement. The House Journal from February 3rd, reads:
INTRODUCTION OF BILL House File 2215, by committee on public safety, a bill for an act relating to the justifiable use of reasonable force and providing a remedy.
Read first time and placed on the calendar.
An amendment was filed three days later:
H–8004 H.F. 2215 R.
Olson of Polk
A better saga of the walkout farce by the democrats is from the Register.

Now about that Amendment to the state Constitution? It passed 61-37 and, again, the "blindsided" whining doesn't hold since it was placed on the schedule on February 24 as HJR2009 replacing HJR2005. The bill history is here for HJR2009.

The argument that the legislature should be working on important bills like reducing your property taxes (later the counties revalue your property so you end up paying more - always happens) doesn't wash. They had time to pass important bills like HF2230 to make sure that property between a levy is in an abstract. Or this bill to define the word "hydronic."

Important stuff to one and all, but don't argue that there are more important bills that those regarding your unalienable rights. Not one bill introduced is more important than a bill that protects or destroys a person's rights.

Who cares that you can pay less taxes if some thug can cause you harm and then sue you if you try to stop him? You can pay zero taxes because the thug and his\her family sued you and took it all. Who gives two wits that the state honored the Tuskegee Airmen today if you're stuck in jail convicted for defending yourself from a rapist?

Name me one bill more important than one that secures a citizen's rights.

The bills will now head over to the state senate where they will languish and die since Gronstal runs the show over there.

Thanks to all of those who held the legislators' feet to the fire and got these bills passed today.

And thanks Jim for the heads up. I was knee deep in an unappreciated but necessary activity to keep my fellow employees working.

Because if I don't do my job, I would lose it. (Unlike certain state legislators.)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Iowa legislative update 2/22/12

Nothing... Absolutely nothing.

Every gun bill in the House is mired in committee and according to Iowa Gun Owners claim, it's all political.

HJR2005 - Adding a Gun Rights Amendment to the State Constitution.

HF2114 - Reinforcing the prohibition of local, county and city gun regulations.

HF2113 - The "Constitutional Carry" bill.

HF2116 - Removing the need to obtain a purchase permit for handguns.

HF573 - Iowa's "Castle Doctrine" bill.

Good advice from IGO to contact the leadership to get things moving. Here's contact information for Speaker Kraig Paulsen

If we could pass only one bill in the statehouse this year, I would pick the Castle Doctrine bill. An anti-self-defense county attorney or an over-litigious lawyer could ruin a persons' life after they successfully defend themselves from a criminal.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Looks like True Blue Sam tagged me in the latest meme for bloggers. Not one to mess with this version of a chain letter, I'll have to list some of my daily blogs according to the rules:
1. Copy and paste the award on our blog.
2. Link back to the blogger who gave us the award.
3. Pick our five favorite blogs with less than 200 followers, and leave a comment on their blog to let them know they have received the award.
4. Hope that the five blogs chosen will keep spreading the love and pass it on to five more blogs.
Because of my moniker, I'll try to keep this Iowa-centric.

Jim over at Travis McGee Reader has the Northwestern part of the state covered. With a journalistic nose for what's going on in the pig sty called Des Moines, he adds a sharp wit to his posts. A little over a year ago I came up short in an interview and nearly became a neighbor to him in the Spirit Lake area.

Ben at Cold Hard Cashner keeps us informed from the libertarian point of view. I found his blog one day while searching for freedom-loving Iowans and his well-reasoned letters to the editor of eastern Iowa newspapers are a stark contrast to the snark-filled incoherent posts I sometimes spew out.

Speaking of snark, Bawb over at Ben and Bawb's (yes, the Cashner Brothers) sometimes channels the spirit of IowaHawk as he pulls no punches in his posts. Gleaning from multiple sources, his posts under the labels of Military Tactics and Weapons are informative and well worth the read.
(Okay, technically the blog is not Iowa-centric, but Ben and Bawb are Iowa farm boys and that counts as far as I'm concerned.)

MauserMedic at Mausers, Medicine and Motorcycles has given more than one tour of duty in the sandpile of the Middle East. As my dad was a medic in the European theater against the Huns in WWII, I have an appreciation of the service a medic gives to their comrades. There is, of course, the Ugly Gun Sunday posts that you should not miss, but there's more than just those posts.

Robert Fowler at Robert's Gun Shop is another Iowa blog I frequent. I consider him a comrade as he also keeps an eye on the cesspool that is our statehouse, especially concerning gun bills.

I'll be off to work before I get comments posted to any blogs, so I'll apologize right now for not getting them out soon.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Legislative roundup, 2/13/12

The state preemption bill, HF2114 is stuck in committee. This would clearly prevent local ordinances against carrying firearms by law-abiding citizens. The map on the right shows many counties that have enacted such barriers for us.

The "stand your ground" bill, HF573 is also in committee.

The legislation to ban automated camera systems for enforcing traffic laws, HF2214, again, is still in committee. According to the "fiscal notes" for the bill, Cedar Rapids has issued over 100,000 violations in the past 12 months at $100+ per ticket. This million dollar cash cow would end the stuffing of the police department's pension fund, where it's reportedly deposited.

A few teenagers last week, with great lamentations, tried to persuade the lawmakers to create a law to compel the underage moped\motorcycle riders to wear helmets. I didn't know there was a law prohibiting the wearing of helmets. There was nothing on the books to prohibit a young girl from wearing a helmet last year when she tragically died in an accident.

Mauser-Medic noted that at least one of these teenaged lobbyists is probably too stupid to make it on her own. Too bad in a couple of years she'll be a voter.

Here are some other bills floating around the various committees in Des Moines.
SF457 Stricter requirements for carry permits.

SF112 Regulating gun ranges.

Both of these were stuck in committees since last year but could appear on the radar, especially as a compromise amendment to a good bill.
Keep those calls, letters and emails going to the gold dome in Des Moines.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Out of Steam, 2/12/12

Weeks of planning culminated with a late-night implementation and two days of follow-up and hand-holding for our client users.

Best thing I heard late Friday was someone said they expected it to go badly because all of our projects never seem start off well. But, they added, this one went very well and they like the new system.

I'm glad they never saw the sweat pouring off me trying to find enough cable around town because people changed their minds at the last minute. And they didn't notice some of the other issues behind the scenes.

With weekend on-call keeping me on a keyboard at the homestead, I decided to start a few experiments with a couple of coffeetree seeds that Sam sent me, along with a couple of bur oak and hickory nuts. In between taking calls and email requests I tried a couple of plantings just to see what will come of things.

With more irons in the fire than a blacksmith in Kalona, I'm hoping for a little time for the dust to settle before the next project (due in 4 weeks.)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Out of steam, 2/7/12

Long hours with a project that should be finished up this week but it's kinda looking like this:

A project that is finally coming together after several hurdles have been overcome, a day before launch one individual comes forward quite upset. It seems that they can't recall a meeting where they participated in a decision months ago.

It's also like a 16-year-old getting a new car and pouting because it doesn't have a sun roof.

And people wonder why I stick with this job. They really do.

Makes me wonder as well...