Category Archives: Colorado

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.

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

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

Colorado Supreme Court Ruling Affirms Concealed Carry on Public Campuses

Monday March 5, the Colorado Supreme Court affirmed the right of permitted individuals to carry concealed firearms on public universities. The decision confirmed the Court of Appeals ruling that the Colorado University Board of Regents (BOR) policy banning licensed concealed carry on campus since 1994, violated the Concealed Carry Act of 2003.

The original lawsuit was filed in December of 2008 by CU students on all three campuses (Denver, Colorado Springs & Boulder, aka The People’s Republic). El Paso County’s district court initially dismissed the lawsuit which resulted in Colorado State University’s Public Safety Team recommending a ban on campus CCW to the Board of Governors (BOG).

CSU’s chapter of Students for Concealed Carry (SCC) gathered thousands of signatures on a petition against the ban before the BOG issued their ruling. CSU’s student body government, Associated Students of Colorado State University (ASCSU) voted 21-3 against the ban. The BOG directed the presidents of the Pueblo and Fort Collins campuses to generate a police reflecting the ban and then things became interesting.

The Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, a brilliant young woman by the name of CJ Huffaker and an aspiring writer bearing a remarkable similarity to myself (it was me) filed a class-action lawsuit against the BOG for violating the Concealed Carry Act of 2003 as well as violating the state constitution.

Just before the case went to court, the court of appeals overturned the district court ruling and found the CU ban violated the CCA. The BOG rescinded their ban before it was to take effect and the RMGO eventually dropped the lawsuit.

Monday’s ruling settled the law – for now – regarding CCW on public campuses. Colorado School of Mines amended their campus policy Thursday morning in accordance with the ruling but CU still seems to be struggling with the repercussions.

I disagree with most of the political views on the left, but I understand the rationale behind most of their policies. They’re primarily based on unfounded fantasies with utterly no fathomable chance of success. But on the gun control issue I am admittedly lost.

Prohibitions don’t work unless the item being prohibited is in extremely limited quantity, nuclear weapons, for example. During the Cold War nuclear weapons were decidedly difficult to get a hold of; unfortunately, once the Soviet Union collapsed they became a bit easier to attain.

But the leftist view of firearms is just bizarre to me. People who are completely rational otherwise, on the subject of firearms, just fall apart at the seams. In the libertarian view, anything that doesn’t directly harm anyone else, or create a significant direct risk (DUIs, for instance, might be considered acceptable as crimes in a libertarian utopia) is acceptable.

Thus, I really don’t care about every individual in the country who owns any form of firearm until they commit or decide to commit a crime. At which point, I honestly don’t see the value in disarming everyone else. And that’s the dilemma, because the left simply does not seem capable of recognizing the fact that the gun laws mean nothing to those who use them for harm.

In which case, you want law abiding and competent citizens surrounding these individuals carrying their own firearms as a matter of day-to-day life. But the gun control crowd in all their fervor, wants to see a world with no firearms whatsoever. They claim they only want to eliminate gun violence and so they intend to leave sportsmen and hunters alone. Bullshit.

Their agenda is the eradication of firearms completely, including military and police. And this is what happens in a society that doesn’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from, we started looking for causes to support, no matter how delusional and bound for failure they might be.

Thus, PETA now advocates 14th Amendment rights for Shamu and the Brady Campaign to End Self Defense want to ban the existence of firearms. You can’t convince me this world doesn’t need a biblical plague or flood. There’s simply too much silliness going on and the gun control debate is front and center proof that we are collectively off our rocker.

As proof, here’s the CU Independent’s take on the Supreme Court ruling from Monday. Note the second paragraph’s first sentence. This is a higher education institution’s newspaper folks, and she thinks the Supreme Court passed a law.

Say what you want about the Motor City Madman, but the Nuge knocks it out of the park with this one.

Pacifists say violence never solves anything, but it is all too often the only effective response to violence. All humans have the right to defend their lives as they see fit. In Colorado, that officially extends now to college campuses. (Except private schools and the Air Force Academy which is on federal land)

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Filed under Colorado State University, Democrats, Gun Control

Bullies

Future Boards of Governors should learn from concealed carry debate of 2009-2010

While most of western civilization celebrated Cinco de Mayo consuming vast amounts of alcohol, the CSU Board of Governors – appropriately acronymed BOG – voted unanimously to overturn their prior incomprehensible decision to ban concealed carry on campus.

Far be it from me to criticize a decision I agree with, but I have to say their initial decision to pass a policy based on unreasonable fears, talking points and a desire to make CSU more like other universities was appalling.

My hope is the BOG recognizes the outrage and consternation demonstrated by the CSU students as undeniable evidence we did not come to Fort Collins to be sheep; we came here to be Rams.

The BOG claimed their policy would put CSU more in line with other institutions of higher learning. Well, maybe I’m in the minority here but I doubt it, but CSU students seem mostly proud of the fact we’re not like CU, UNC or most of the other institutions of higher learning. We dig the fact we’ve got competent and armed protectors among the herd.

Despite the faculty and public safety team apparently feeling they were making decisions that would be accepted by a student populace that had clearly drifted to the left for the 2008 election, the student body recognized the threat presented by a gun free zone and made their collective anger known.

What gun control advocates do not seem to comprehend about gun free zones is active shooters simply do not care about the ban on firearms.

As a result, if a licensed concealed permit holder were in a classroom  or building attacked by an active shooter, there might be a chance of terminating the incident without even needing to fire a shot.

Professor Richard Eykholt responded to a similar claim made by students during the fall semester, “If you have a classroom situation where somebody starts shooting and other people are shooting back, there is a real opportunity there for more bystanders to be injured,” he said.

Well professor, since we obviously can’t use your superior intellect to help us off Gilligan’s Island; perhaps you can tell me, approximately how many students will be injured or killed when an active shooter enters a gun free zone?

My guess is, a lot.

Here’s a theoretical difference for you. An active shooter enters CU Boulder, a gun-free zone by all accounts, how many of the Buffalo die? The only hope for the students is one among them has declined to acquiesce to the gun-free policy. Thanks to the BOG – a group of bullies by all accounts – with concealed carry once again allowed at CSU maybe the active shooter is deterred, maybe he or she isn’t, but if they happen to pick the wrong room to start attacking, the game changes.

Something to consider for those of you who were trepidatious about concealed weapons being on campus in the first place. The majority of permit holders I know are combat veterans and are closer to 30 than 21. Just food for thought.

What we really need to take from this as a student body is the administration, the Board of Governors, the Public Safety Team and the faculty have zero interest in what the student body has to say about pretty much anything.

They ignored the 21-3 vote by the student senate to uphold the concealed carry policy, they ignored the protests, they ignored the petitions. When it came down to it, they only cared they were going to lose a very public lawsuit on a completely unnecessary policy.

Clearly the BOG is simply a group of bullies, and like all bullies, they backed down when they new they were being confronted.

So where do we go from here? Well, sadly it appears if the law doesn’t specifically prohibit a policy of theirs, they are going to move forward on the policy despite the concerns of the students or students’ parents.

This means this bureaucracy potentially threatens all student freedoms. My fear is the only reconciliation available to students moving forward on any of these issues is to immediately seek legal counsel and if appropriate, file a lawsuit.

The student outcry against this policy was overwhelmingly in support of allowing concealed carry on campus. We had the facts, we had the arguments, we had the history and we had the popular support.

Ultimately, the student body should make decisions affecting the student body; not a geographically separated group of adults unconcerned with the desires of the student body.

This little experience was a demonstration of politics at its worst and demonstrated conclusively the inherent dangers of a Republican Democracy.

At the end of the fight, the system worked. We didn’t turn the other cheek and forget this was happening. We galvanized, we played the game and we came out on top.

Enjoy your summer CSU, when we come back next fall, we will still have some line of defense between us and an active shooter. Well played. Today I’m proud to be a CSU Ram.

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Filed under Colorado State University, Gun Control