The Cycle of Violence Continues Unabated

Monday’s act of cowardice in Boston provided us all a great snapshot of many things wrong with America. Within moments of the second explosion, social media began its inevitable avalanche of remorse, sorrow and generally understandable emotional responses.

But there’s a breakdown in the logic demonstrated by Americans. We have witnessed this multiple times in recent years through one tragedy or another. When Sandy Hook happened, the news coverage was unquestionably sensationalist. They saturated the coverage so effectively, people became convinced AR-15s are used daily in acts of gun violence (they’re not, they’re used in fewer than 1 percent of incidents nationwide).

The nation collectively mourned the innocent lives lost. Yet when the foreign, or alternative, press reports a loss of innocent children caused by an American drone or bomb as, “collateral damage,” we collectively ignore it and move on. How is that considered empathetic?

On the same day Americans were glued to their TVs and computers horrified by the loss of a dozen American lives, the UK’s Guardian reported a NATO airstrike killed 11 people Monday, 10 of whom were children.

These types of stories are related. There’s simply no question the foreign policy acts of the last several administrations have sown the seeds of venom in the Middle East toward Americans, but aside from a few in politics, this analysis isn’t presented to the American public because it means taking accountability for the past acts of government that occurred with consent of the people (though occasionally without their knowledge).

So it becomes an endless cycle of violence in the name of the collective. It’s so muddled at this point, it’s literally impossible to figure out who made the first move. But let’s start with Afghanistan, since it’s convenient.

We engaged in a covert war with the Soviet Union arming and training Islamic Fundamentalist Jihadists in their fight against a tyrannical Red Army which was slaughtering their people, raping their women and destroying their country.

Let me say that again. We trained and armed Islamic Fundamentalist Jihadists in Afghanistan to fight what was likely the most powerful military on Earth at the time, tied for first at worst.

When the Soviets left, so did the US support; leaving two power vacuums in one nation of warrior Jihadists. And apparently no one thought that was going to create a problem – mad props to Charlie Wilson for at least attempting to leave a positive footprint, but he failed and so did the US.

We know now the decision to train Usama Bin Laden then leave him to his laurels was a mistake which cost the lives of 3000 Americans. But do we ever take the next step and ask ourselves what effect our response has had and will have on the Afghani, Pakistani and Iraqi people in the wars which followed?

Not often enough. By undertaking the wars with the methods we used, we unquestionably created more future enemies for ourselves. And I do say we because when the American people allow two presidents in a row to do the things Shrub and Zero have – keep in mind, they legitimately have no concern for the unintended consequences of their actions – we have to assume some of the responsibility.

If we’d spent the same amount of money we did on the aggregate costs of Operation Enduring Freedom and later Operation Iraqi Freedom – estimated by Harvard to be as high as $6 trillion – to pay every Iraqi (33 million) and Afghani (36 million), they would have each received nearly $87,000.00.

You know what you’re not going to be to the people who give you the better part of a hundred large? An enemy. The Bush Administration famously blamed America’s freedom for the attacks 12 years ago, apparently attempting to rectify that issue, the Bush Administration then repealed the 4th Amendment to the Constitution with the Patriot Act. Double irony.

What can we take from this? In my perception, due to the perverted view of patriotism the country believes today, the politicians at the highest levels work with the bureaucrats to never appear weak and that means an aggressive foreign policy.

The unintended consequences of that foreign policy lead to attacks on the American people who are then frightened into paralysis by a sensationalist media taking advantage of a captive audience – by the way, you are allowed to turn off the TV and find something better to do – the audience understandably supports the, “common sense,” measures suggested by the political leaders who indirectly inspired the incident.

The people then willingly watch their rights erode before their eyes, believing they will now be safer from attack. But the attacks keep coming, because the circle hasn’t yet been broken.

If the American people want these attacks on innocent American men, women and children to stop, it’s not going to happen with more guards at the airport, cavity searches, more cops, fewer rights or more tyranny. We have to stop solving our problems overseas with violence against innocent men, women and children.

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Filed under Democrats, Foreign Policy, Libertarians, National Politics, Republicans

What the Republican Party Must Do To Return to Power

We all know the results of Tuesday’s election. No question. But why were so many more Republicans losers in this economy with such an unpopular president?

Social conservatives. Mourdock, Akin, Romney and Ryan just weren’t the right guys for the job. They believed the president was unpopular for the whole-politician-concept. He’s not. And he was vulnerable, so were the Democrats, so what happened?

Dim bulbs listened to Fox News and Limbaugh, thinking because they’re popular, that’s what a majority of the Electoral College voters would be thinking. They’re not.

The average voter doesn’t realize how bad things are economically and that the key sources of the economic troubles, namely politicians of both parties, the banks, corporations and Federal Reserve, were presenting themselves as solutions.

Far be it from me to go “Wreck It Ralph” on this one, but how exactly are the people who caused the issues going to solve them and why would I trust them to do so without unstoppable repercussions that are much worse?

My bet is they can’t. Regardless of how bad things really are, the average voter has been told their whole life the government can stimulate economies in any circumstance by both politicians who use these arguments to promise government money to make life better for everyone and a press that tends to go along with government narratives rather than get along but still question and report everything.

It’s collusion-in-effect, that or they’re all really stupid and even they don’t realize how bad things are. I say this with the assumption my readers actually do comprehend how bad things are economically for the nation, I don’t believe I have a monopoly on the information, not by any means.

What happened to cause the GOP to lose was they assumed the unpopularity of the Democrats leading up to the election was social issues. It wasn’t, but they were played by the Democrat politicians into the arena of social issues. I have to give it to the Democrats, they played this one perfectly.

Most of America still cares about social issues, I assume most have views similar to mine, namely:

Late-term voluntary non-triage abortion is the only form of abortion that should be criminalized, science supports this and the right can live with the fact only potential life is protected, not valid life. The point at which a fetus could survive without gestation.

Gay marriage and civil unions aren’t anything the federal government should be involved with, period. The states are gradually coming around on this issue, and I realize that’s not fast enough for the politically-active, but so what? Civil rights for blacks took decades and you want it immediately from the feds? Why not just keep pushing to educate people, recognizing that the government changes to reflect the people, not vice versa?

Gun control is a bad idea for the federal government to get involved with, just based on their complete inability to do nearly anything else right, federal prohibitions on anything have a tendency to empower organized crime. The states can handle it. I live in Colorado, despite Aurora and Columbine, I still don’t want D.C. making things worse. The more educated and responsible gun owners we have amongst us, the less problematic the firearms will be for the society.

Foreign Policy and Economics are the areas in which the Republican Party must differ from Democrats. The Democrats are the pro-war party historically. We forget, but Democrats put us into everything before Reagan, with the exception of Lincoln, anyway. Take a look through history, Wilson in WWI, FDR in WWII, Truman in Korea and Kennedy gets the call for Vietnam.

So why not let them keep the pro-war agenda and at least pull back the troops from Europe and Asia (except South Korea anyway, though that situation could benefit from some analysis also) and reopen the bases they closed as Reserve or Guard bases? There’s no reason not to at least outspend the rest of the world combined on defense spending in our own country, is there?

I wouldn’t feel any less safe on a global scale if the boys and girls in Europe came home, would you? We have 11 Aircraft Carrier groups, Italy and Spain each have 2, they’re tied globally for 2nd in total carriers.

And on Economics, I seriously think the Independent, Third Party and Unaffiliated voters would be inclined to lean to the right on Economics. They want a fiscal conservative to vote for, maybe not Ron Paul’s call for sound money so much, since so few understand that, but a fiscally responsible candidate would appeal to them very much, as long as he didn’t come with the “legitimate rape” stigma.

On the issue of the drug war, I seriously think most people would be fine with allowing the states to decide which drugs are safe and which aren’t. There’s so little justification for federal involvement on this issue, particularly when compared to how well they’ve executed every other war.


Filed under Colorado, Democrats, Foreign Policy, Fort Collins, Gun Control, Libertarians, Marijuana, National Politics

Mitt Romney Cannot Win in November, Gary Johnson Can

Gary Johnson was term-limited as a Republican Governor in a state with 2:1 ratio of Democrat to Republican. He climbed Everest with a broken leg, he balanced the state budget and removed onerous obstacles stifling small business growth and job creation. He makes no claims to have created any jobs and he has no interest in attacking Iran. He’s against the drug war which has had an disparately negative effect on minorities despite nearly identical drug use rates for Caucasians.

He doesn’t stick his foot in his mouth at every opportunity. He isn’t a puppet of Goldman Sachs and the rest of Wall Street. He wasn’t born to a wealthy family fortune. In other words, he’s everything Willard ‘Mitt’ Romney claims to be but isn’t.

And today a petition went out, which stands nearly no chance whatsoever of succeeding, demanding the Romney campaign recognize they can’t possibly win the election (primarily without the Ron Paul/liberty/young voters they disenfranchised in Tampa in August) and step aside in order to give Gary Johnson a clear path to the White House.

Sign and share below:


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Filed under Democrats, Gary Johnson, Libertarians, National Politics, Republicans

Fort Collins and Colorado Marijuana Movement Thwarted By Big Beer and Baby Boomers

Colorado is known to be a swing state for the 2012 general election, but it’s also demonstrating it’s a microcosm of a 40-year disaster. The federal government has successfully convinced large groups of voters marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol, a concept so far out of reality it’s … well, it’s what one expects of government.

In this Coloradoan article, reporter Patrick Malone revealed the similarities in Fort Collins’ voter views on Question 301, which would repeal the municipal ban on dispensaries, and Amendment 64, which seeks to decriminalize marijuana and regulate it in the same manner as alcohol.

One of three Larimer County Commissioners, Tom Donnelly, was quoted by The Coloradoan as saying, “I think it’s very much the purview of government to tell people things they don’t know about.” I’m admittedly incapable of showing deference to people simply because of their elected or appointed positions when they make such foolish statements; however, if Mr. Donnelly believes banning dispensaries within city limits and/or criminalizing use of a drug with far fewer harmful side effects than alcohol (a subsection of which (beer) is one of the most identifiable industries in town), is the equivalent of “informing” people of the harms of marijuana, he might be better suited for federal or state politics where reason, truth and logic have nothing to do with the statements of politicians.

The Concerned Fort Collins Citizens were active behind banning dispensaries in Fort Collins last year; when they were victorious (no thanks to pathetic turnout by the young voters who actually seem to grasp the lunacy of marijuana prohibition efforts) they were photographed celebrating with drinks in hand. I’m not sure what it is about alcohol they seem to believe is safe, but they’re wrong.

They were kind enough to provide a list of sponsor organizations and businesses right on their website. And 9News was kind enough to provide a list of businesses cited for serving alcohol to minors in March of this year and wouldn’t you know it? Three of the businesses appear on both lists. The CFCC claims the marijuana crimes increased after the dispensaries came to town. I’d like to see the proof of this claim. I’d also like to see all the ways they believe alcohol isn’t ending up in the hands of minors despite the fact it’s already illegal.

Why it is the Baby Boomer generation serving in politics seems incapable of having a grown up conversation about the failures of the drug war is beyond me, but anyone, and I do mean anyone, who has been separately both drunk and stoned knows which one is more harmful. In a conversation on Notify Fort Collins’ Facebook page yesterday, linked here and also accessible via the Facebook icon at the top right on this page, the arguments against decriminalization appeared centered not on the morality, but rather on societal productivity.

One side of the argument, admittedly not a view I share, essentially said if marijuana is decriminalized and regulated like alcohol, people will sit around in a perpetual state of stoned bliss, not contributing to society. Another claim spoke to the risk of secondhand smoke to children.

I’m not sure how it’s lost in translation, but regulating marijuana like alcohol means you’re not providing it to minors, consuming in public (though we all know this is acceptable with alcohol in certain situations), endangering others or any of the other things you’re not allowed to do while drunk or in pursuit of your legal right to drunkenness.

The strongest argument for weed when compared to alcohol is violence. In 10 years of being a military cop all over the country (mostly the west), I witnessed drunks fighting on a weekly basis. Not once in my life have I observed a stoner doing anything violent to anything other than a cheeseburger or a slice of pizza.

However, the disconnect I see in the older generations and the socially conservative starts with alcohol. I don’t see the marijuana-prohibitionists who believe weed is harmful (despite the abundant evidence to the contrary), making the argument for alcohol. I can only assume this is the fault of education. Alcohol prohibition did nothing positive for the US other than provide a blueprint for why prohibition of infinite resources is a dumb idea.

Weed is a plant. And despite every attempt for the federal and state governments to stop the influx, it’s far easier to purchase weed in every city or state than it is to purchase a firearm. Many people have listened to the anti-drug campaigns far too literally and haven’t stopped to taken the time to consider the repercussions of what is honestly among the dumbest ideas to ever come out of a city known for corruption and stupidity.

The death and harm caused by alcohol, which is perfectly legal as long as it’s not sold to persons under the age of 21, not consumed in public, not influencing any operators of automobiles and taxed with the public’s consent in most places, far exceeds the harm of marijuana.

One study indicates drivers under the influence of marijuana actually make the roads safer. The theory isn’t concrete, but the logic is sound. Drunks are aggressive and careless, stoners are paranoid and defensive.

Then there’s the legal prescription narcotics killing thousands upon thousands of Americans annually. These are the drugs deemed “safe” by the Food & Drug Administration. Yet they’re highly addictive, harmful and potentially fatal. The CDC estimated 15,500 people died in America in 2009 of prescription painkiller overdose. I’m dubious that number has decreased.

Marijuana is essentially impossible to overdose on, it’s non-addictive, it’s less dangerous than already-legal-and-socially-accepted-alcohol and it’s widely used recreationally already with no signs of that stopping anytime soon (in other words, marijuana prohibition is putting money in the hands of criminals instead of government, the same way alcohol prohibition did). So why is marijuana illegal? This is a question I want every opponent of Amendment 64 and Question 301 to ask themselves.

Then consider, is it possible marijuana is illegal because the alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceutical companies who lose money when weed is the drug-of-choice spent millions to keep a cheap product superior to theirs in many ways illegal in order to make billions selling their addictive/habit forming and harmful products? Wall Street isn’t the only area of the country known to influence legislators folks. Just think about it.

Federal laws have a history of incompetence behind them, meaning laws written without legislators understanding the long-term consequences. This applies to both foreign (Libya) and domestic policy (drug war). To support them is to support incompetence. I’d rather see Hick stand up for the state’s right to determine what the people will do than kowtow to the feds and suppress competition for his breweries.

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Filed under Colorado, Fort Collins, Marijuana

Ron Paul’s Address from University of South Florida

Well, in case you missed this story from HuffPo, the RNC/Romney Campaign offered Ron Paul a prime time slot of an hour to address the convention in Tampa. Their caveats? His speech had to be vetted by Romney’s campaign and he had to endorse Willard the Mediocre for president. Paul’s reaction? No thanks. I only give my speeches and I don’t endorse him for president.

Paul said thank you and carry forth the fight for liberty to legions of screaming fans in his usual dignified, grandfatherly way. I personally find it sad the way he was treated throughout all of this, I hoped to see just one or two mainstream press affiliates decide to report the truth of his talking points and to expose the suppression that was taking place. Sadly, money rules all in America.

Here’s Paul’s speech from “Paulfest” which arose out of need when the RNC became the last in a long line of failed special interests seeking to change Ron Paul. Runs about an hour and a half, start it at 8:30 if the coding doesn’t start it there.

Well fought sir. You’re not gone yet, but I already miss you. Raise hell these last few months before you retire. To hell with the RNC. They compromised everything they claimed to be starting in 2001 (if not significantly earlier), you stood strong.

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NYPD Opens Fire and Nine Innocent Bystanders Are Wounded

As you’ve no doubt heard, NYPD officers discharged 16 rounds Friday in an attempt to subdue suspected gunman Jeffrey Johnson. Johnson had allegedly opened fire on his former boss just minutes earlier.

However, what the media is reporting recently is every round for Johnson’s .45 have been accounted for, meaning the 9 innocent bystanders wounded in the gunfire exchange … were struck by bullets negligently fired by NYPD officers.

Here’s where things get touchy. My contention, keep in mind I was a firearms instructor and gunsmith for the USAF for 7 years, is the NYPD intentionally increased the force necessary to fire their duty firearms after previous shootings resulted in too many rounds fired into suspects (or victims, depending on your perspective).

Here is a piece from 2011 indicating all was not well at Police Plaza long before Friday’s shooting. Now, I can tell you as an expert no one in history has fired multiple excess rounds because their trigger pull was too light. The officer-involved-shootings involving absurd numbers of rounds fired at suspects can be explained with two words the NYPD will never admit. “Training,” “Deficiencies.”

One round might be negligently discharged due to a trigger that’s “too light”; however, anyone with even moderate experience on a firing range knows to remove their finger from the trigger. When officers fire excessive numbers of rounds into a suspect who is already clearly defenseless, they’re either stupid, mean or improperly trained. My professional opinion is they were not trained properly.

Now, don’t get me wrong, NYPD has over 35,000 officers by most counts. To properly train that many officers; for instance, USAF standard for Security Forces was 3-4 hours of classroom, 2-3 hours of firing range, twice a year, one of those two times was an advanced course involving night fire and quick reaction, NYPD’s budget would easily balloon another several million dollars.

Instead, after this incident, rather than correct the deficiencies and properly train the small portion of the population the Big Apple’s political brain trust allows to possess firearms, they attempt to solve the problem through changes in hardware. So, instead of the expensive route that would result in better trained officers who would not, for instance, fire a dozen rounds in Times Square at Darius Kennedy, they attempted to correct the problem by increasing the pressure required to pull the trigger.

Keep in mind, this is my theory based on what I’ve put together from news stories and my experience as a firearms instructor. The problem with increasing the trigger pull on officer pistols is it causes wild changes in the direction of the barrel during high-intensity situations requiring discharge of the firearm.

In other words, a bureaucratic decision made to prevent one person from being shot 12 times, or 4 people from being fired upon 50 times, resulted in 9 people (none of them suspects or dangerous, by the way) inadvertently receiving lead poisoning of the immediate variety.

And somehow the City that Never Sleeps still gets looked to as the benchmark for city government? Mayor Bloomberg is a passionate advocate of gun control and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly has done nothing to correct the obvious and glaring training deficiencies in his own department.

Personally I’d like to see them both unemployed, but that’s up to the voters of New York, New York.

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Ron Paul Delegate Success Harasses GOP into Threatening to Break Party Rules; Why Reality TV Fans Should Follow The Republican Primary

Ron Paul’s successes in the last month have gotten under the skin of the GOP. As their shenanigans to counter his success will undoubtedly gather steam in short order (they’ve already started), Ben Swann of Cincinnati’s Fox 19 Evening News exposed a few facts inconvenient to the GOP’s agenda of a Romney nomination.

Something awesome, this was comes.

For those of you who have a tendency to lean toward reality television or other pseudo-scripted drama, you want to start paying attention to the Republican Party process through the August convention in Tampa. Ron Paul had a very straightforward, open, declared and practical plan for the primary process and it’s paying dividends.

This letter was sent to the Maine state delegates and alternates this week.

When the pine beetles infested Colorado forests a few years back (they proceeded to decimate the forests and continue to do so), the pine trees responded to attacks by attempting to “bleed” out the parasites by pushing sap out as a natural defense. The eventual effect is the pine tree is dead, dry and standing tinder waiting to be knocked over by high winds or burnt to ashes by wildfire.

Rachel Maddow continues to be the only big time talking head willing to report the Paul campaign victories with veracity.

The Republican pine forests are becoming awful red.

Just for pure entertainment, this highly amusing clip of Shepherd Smith announcing Newt Gingrich’s campaign suspension.

Politics … is weird … and creepy.

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Filed under National Politics, Republican Primary, Ron Paul