Constitutionally Right

The only way to predict the future is to create it.

Location: Yardley, PA (Bucks County), United States

Friday, July 28, 2006

Just Politics - Courier Times July 15, 2006

I was about to write something on voter apathy when it occurred to me that I didn't care. Politics is getting so divisive and out of control that maybe one should focus on the solution and not the problem. In short, the Republican Party has become the Democrat Party and the Democrat Party has become
So what's one to do? One could, like the 71% of Bucks County's eligible voters who didn't vote last November, completely ignore the process or one could understand that they must take an interest in politics or politics will take advantage of them. You can be assured that every selfish special interest soldier is voting so everyone who doesn't vote increases the politician-buying-power of those who fund campaigns for personal gain at taxpayer expense. Quite simply, those who vote are those who get represented.
It's no wonder that we're not being represented, but we really can't blame our elected officials. They pander to groups like the teachers' union (our nation's number one crisis), who have mastered inefficiency and underperformance by playing politics with our children's education, but we have no one to blame but ourselves. Turn that 29% voter turnout into 80+% and you'll see some start honoring their Oath of Office. Otherwise, officials will continue to be elected by those who don't vote.
My 8 year old recently asked me the difference between Democrats and Republicans. I had just seen an interview with Ann Coulter and witnessed the profoundly rediculous nature of the whole "conservative vs. liberal" insanity. So I searched for an accurate answer. I said that both are more similar than different; that we're all Americans, perfectly compliment one another and agree on many things.
I continued telling mini-me that Democrats like to help people while Republicans like to help people help themselves. Democrats believe that our rights come from our government and Republicans believe that our government is the protector of our rights. And, Democrats are more inclined to look to government for answers while Republicans are more inclined to look to themselves.
I summed up the following for those of you ages 10 and up. Comparing it to a similar sentiment written by a Democrat might reveal many more similarities than differences:
Although extremely diverse, the Republican Party can best be defined by a core set of beliefs that we all share. First and foremost, we believe that the differences among all citizens are what make a community and that recognizing the complimentary nature of people's unique contributions is what makes communities great.
On a larger scale we believe that the best way to help others is to help them to help themselves; that the well-informed will find their own way. When we lend a helping hand it is often the outstretched arm of personal responsibility, accountability and self-reliance.
We cherish our rights and privileges as American citizens, but understand that they can only be maintained through duty and responsibility (and that our greatest enemies are apathy and indifference).
We believe that liberty lies in the hearts of all people and is protected in America by the Constitution. We believe that economic opportunity for all is best realized by the free and open market which follows the laws of supply and demand (to be the most effective and productive mechanism available of supplying human needs).
Lastly, we believe that true wealth is not measured in dollars, but by quality of life as demonstrated by the freedom to live as we wish with all people fundamentally equal and good, all life equally valuable and all of our individual goals worthwhile.
What does this mean? It means that being an American requires effort. It means that there will always be those who will attack what is important to us all and that changing course while going in the wrong direction is rarely easy. And it means that we all have a strong voice unless we make the conscious choice to not use it.

One Gun A Month - The Evening Bulletin June 28, 2006

As predicted, the usual response to tragic violent crime is to place restrictions on those who didn't do it. The Second Amendment, the right to keep and bear arms, does not permit individuals to misuse firearms. There are already laws against murder, rape, robbery and all other violent crimes to include very serious laws against buying firearms for others. What have we accomplished when we unfairly penalize those who pose no threat in the first place?
The answer is to deal harshly with violent criminals and leave the innocent alone. Current laws already impose appropriate restrictions on the use of any weapon. Adding another flawed law (for criminals to ignore) such as "one gun a month" only diverts attention from solutions and lets ineffective leaders off the hook for another election cycle. It's time to start getting tough on crime, which does not mean getting tough on the law-abiding gun owner. Another option is to start getting tough on politicians who would try to deceive us.

Bryan Miller - Phila. Inquirer September 11, 2006

I just read Bryan Miller's latest gun hysteria, re: "Gun law is about thugs, not suburban moms" (letters, Aug. 15th), and would like to clear up a few inaccuracies. Mr. Miller is committed to reducing the flow of illegal weapons pouring into Camden from Philadelphia. The rules of simple economics will reveal that the black market increases in direct correlation to increases in gun control. The gun-ban crowd has, in effect, created the black market that puts guns in the hands of criminals (and not "weak laws that encourage illegal trafficing" as Mr. Miller suggests).
We can all sympathize with Mr. Miller who tragically lost his brother Michael on Nov. 22, 1994 to a deranged street thug named Bennie Lawson. Special Agent Miller was killed in the line of duty by Mr. Lawson who was "settling" a gang-related "issue". Agent Miller was truly in the wrong place at the wrong time, but attacking the law-abiding gun owner will never settle Bryan Miller's "score".
The gun control that Bryan Miller has devoted his life to only disarms the law-abiding thereby giving criminals greater predatory confidence. This only makes the job of law enforcement that much more difficult. Criminal laws against murder, rape, robbery and all other violent crimes are laws that already impose appropriate restrictions on the use of any weapon. In fact, 10 out of 10 criminals favor gun control.
In my county, 40% of the adults have their concealed carry permit - a natural right of all citizens that's unavailable in New Jersey. One might even say that a state that deprives its law-abiding citizens with the means of self defense is itself a barbaric accomplice to violent crime. It's as if New Jersey politicians, with the help of laser focused elitists like Bryan Miller who seem to know what's best for everyone else, distrusts citizens more than they fear rapists and murderers.
Gun owners are among the most disciplined, responsible, safety conscious and courteous people that you could ever want to know. They are the single most law-abiding segment of our society and no one detests violence and cherishes life more than those wishing to take personal responsibility for their own safety. If Mr. Miller truly wishes to make New Jersey safer then he'll let brave law inforcement officers like his late brother do their job and stop trying to impose his superior wisdom and virtue on others.

Indivisible, With Liberty And Justice For All - Phila. Inquirer July 20, 2005

I'm stunned by the senators and congressmen pretending to be politicians who are using the comfort of denial and the inability of some to think beyond 30-second sound bites to incessantly criticize this war in their quest for political power. It's the same technique that's been used since the Revolutionary War, with varying degrees of success, among the uninformed and self-esteem challenged.
The facts are that there is a very dangerous minority of militant Muslims who believe that radical Islam should own the Middle East, then Europe and then the world. They will stop at nothing to deliver nuclear, biological and chemical weapons anywhere to kill every single person who doesn't bow to Allah; including those who cheer Michael Moore's every move.
99% of the Muslim world, however, respects other religions and wishes to live in peace. They believe that the troubles in the Middle East will fade away as they become free societies.
We have, in Iraq, created this focal point for change. Saddam Hussein was very active in his support of terrorism. A very serious threat is now gone. Hopefully, a peaceful and democratic Iraq will emerge that'll be a catalyst for positive change in the entire region.
Iraq is now beginning to enjoy the civil rights and freedoms that both liberals and conservatives stand for. How unfortunate that some are fueling the irrelevant "liberal vs. conservative" philosophical civil war for their own meaningless benefit. The foundation of liberalism, itself, is to stand strong for the workingman at home and against tyranny abroad. Sadly, these values have been hijacked by our beloved "limousine liberals" who are threatened by any success that isn't their own.
I wonder if we can let go of the "party first" madness and return to those values and traditions that we all share to restore us to one nation where truth comes first. Even George Washington said, "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue is steadily.".

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Social Security Reform - Courier Times June 1, 2005

Many of us believe that each of us has our own Social Security account for which we have rights to. The United States government set up Social Security so that, beginning on November 24, 1936, "checks will come to you as a right". However, in 1937 the court ruled in the Helvering vs. Davis case that Social Security was not an insurance program, saying that the Social Security taxes collected are to be paid into the Treasury like internal revenue taxes and are not earmarked in any specific way. Later, in 1960, the court ruled in the Flemming vs. Nestor case that Congress may, due to ever changing conditions, cut benefits, raise the retirement age, raise the tax, eliminate payments altogether or whatever else is deemed necessary.
The moral question that one might ask is: Why, in a free society, am I required by law to set aside a portion of my earnings for retirement? Under this premise, there should also be a Congressional mandate for food, housing and education. After all, many people do diligently put a small amount of money aside each month in mutual funds (or other types of accounts) with spectacular results and it's as easy as making a credit card payment. The answer is that most adults do not plan for retirement. They rely on Social Security. If Social Security goes broke, as predicted, we'll have to set up some sort of welfare system for everyone who didn't plan. Personally, I'd rather empower people now than somehow resolve the pending crisis later on.
Under the proposed plan, a small percentage of our income will be placed in an investment account, if we so desire. Many oppose this stating that Social Security wasn't set up to be an investment account. There are typically 3 ways to accumulate wealth: Hit the lottery, receive an inheritance or invest (even a small amount consistently over time).
The stock market is often associated with risk, but investing $100 per month, for example, every month allows you to buy more in a low market and have a greater value when the market is high. It all balances out and is called "dollar-cost-averaging". Diversification is also key (which is why many prefer mutual funds). Putting all of your dollars into Enron, for example, could spell disaster and did for many.
Risk itself is a misnomer. Generally, time is what reduces (or eliminates) risk. We all must educate ourselves on the basics of investing. There are countless books and websites that are available to us (and you're never too old).
President Bush's plan will introduce millions of Americans to the basic concepts of investing. Many will become empowered with the knowledge required to set up additional accounts (retirement and otherwise) as well. These and the government initiated accounts will have a widespread stimulating effect on our entire economy.
I would hope that the proposed "private accounts" will be managed by private companies. I would also hope that certain safeguards be built in to eliminate the opportunity for corruption with maximum penalties for those who abuse the system.
I'm hopeful for reform. Personally, I think that Social Security was doomed from the start and I'm saddened to see many of our elected officials putting politics over people (counting on the gullibility of the uninformed). I'd approve of President Bush's plan regardless of who thought of it. It's based on sound, solid principles.
The only risk, then, is if the market somehow gets wiped out. Money won't matter anyway if that happens, but history shows only upward trends with no indications of disaster. Clearly, the greatest security is in taking the risk.

Punishing The Law-Abiding - Courier Times April 18, 2005

As predicted, Philadelphia Mayor John Street is responding to horrifying violent crime by immediately trying to take firearms away from those who didn't do it. Firearm abuse by permit holders is virtually non-existent, yet some city and state legislators are demanding more restrictions.
No one is cheering more loudly than the greatest advocates of gun control - predatory criminals. Gun control not only makes the streets safer for rapists and murderers, but also expands the black market thereby putting more guns in their hands.
Many people see the right to protect themselves and their families as their single most important civil right. Some just have an overwhelming need to control the lives of others and it rarely stops at firearms. Our rights are not dependent upon the behavior of criminals unless, of course, they hold a public office.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Only Option - Courier Times February 27, 2005

Contrary to popular thought among the media, and some politicians and college professors who would rather see terrorism succeed than a Republican President, this war on terror is the most important issue of our lives. It's an understatement to call it extremely difficult and risky and there's sure to be additional mistakes, but it's being conducted as near perfectly as possible.
Past restraint was noble, but we're at that point of critical mass where passivity isn't an option. We're not the reason for the failures of oppressive regimes, but our freedom serves well as a useful scapegoat for their shortfalls. Ironically, replacing these hate incubators with freedom itself is the single most effective long-term measure to keep us all safe.
We didn't ask for the attacks of 9/11 and we didn't deserve them, just as we don't deserve future attacks. This war will be won or lost at home.
We're winning against this very real global threat, but those who criticize every move have proven themselves as people who cannot be counted on when needed. Putting politics above all else is likely the most costly mistake of all.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Flawed Conclusions - Phila. Inquirer January 3, 2005

I recently found myself in a conversation where a friend's wife tried to convince me that the terror attacks of 9/11 were the only way a very frustrated al-Qaida could express their "justified" rage. I felt like I was in an advance screening of Sean Penn's "When Liberals Attack" as I tried to imagine how those who jumped off of the 100th floor of the Twin Towers to escape the incinerating heat would have responded.
It suddenly became clear to me that she and other "civilized elite" like her often come to flawed conclusions that pave the way for psychopathic dictatorships. It's as if they'd even vote for Hitler if he were to promise enough "for the good of the people" legislation. Oh, wait a minute; that's how Hitler got elected in the first place.
I don't know. Maybe I'm still angry. I wonder if 160 million Americans and I can get a group discount on therapy. We didn't become the land of the free by being the home of the helpless and passive. Maybe it's just that I'm glad that I live where slightly more than half of us still understand the meaning of "Never Again".

Shallow Candidates - Phila. Inquirer November 5, 2004

Now that the dust will soon settle from the most recent political campaign season, maybe a handful of elected officials can actually lead - better yet, lead by example. I watched several debates and was stunned by the number of candidates who were simply unwilling to give a straight answer to any question. It's no wonder that most eligible voters display a lack of interest in politics.
The original concept was for candidates to run for political office in order to serve their communities for a specific period of time and then return to their "civilian" careers. It didn't matter if these "regular" people were liberals, conservatives, Democrats or Republicans. They all brought good ideas to the table. Our differences spark the healthy debate that keeps us all honest.
Maybe by the next election a few independent thinkers will step forward to replace the talkinig heads who are programmed by the party bosses. This is the only way that our political system will be restored to its original intent.
Real leaders identify those values shared by most and create an environment where our differences compliment one another. This is what has made us a great nation and is the most important challenge of our day. Political agendas, hidden or otherwise, are getting very boring and need to go away. Today's politicians must have the moral courage to think past instant gratification to the welfare of future generations.
Divided we fall.

Gun Control A False Hope Promised By An Impossible Utopia - Courier Times November 4, 2004

My faith in politicians has been restored with the expiration of the assault weapons ban. Many of us were fooled into believing that the assault weapons ban addressed fully automatic military style weapons. These were outlawed in 1934. This very flawed piece of legislation banned firearms based mostly on cosmetic features with no relevance to function.
The assault weapons ban was introduced in 1994 by politicians who are more concerned with politics than with fact and logic. On behalf of all law-abiding gun owners I thank all Democrats and Republicans who moved forward on this with common sense and moral courage.
Unfortunately, though, some unethical politicians and candidates continue to cater to the perceived ignorance of the masses. They use gun control in an attempt to scare people into voting a certain way. Hopefully the following discussion will clear up their confusion:
"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." "Militia" refers to "all able bodied men". "People", as it appears everywhere else in the Constitution, refers to "us". And "shall not be infringed" means "shall not be infringed".
Modern day gun control began with the rash of assassinations and inner city riots of the 1960's. Clearly, these incidents had absolutely nothing to do with the law-abiding gun owner, but politicians jumped on it to pretend that they're actually doing something about these tremendous problems.
Continued efforts to undermine the 2nd Amendment threaten the core concept of liberty. The right to keep and bear arms isn't about guns - it's about our inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Our Founding Fathers suggested that we were all born with certain inalienable rights and that the 2nd Amendment is their ultimate safeguard. The Constitution doesn't give us these rights; we already have them. The Constitution just ensures that our federal government can't take them away.
I'm of the firm belief that people are inherently good. That given the choice between good and evil most will choose good. Unfortunately, sometimes bad things happen to good people in a free society. It gets much worse, though, as freedoms disappear.
Gun control laws ignore intent in that they are aimed at those who haven't actually done anything morally wrong. Such laws proclaim the moral content of one's actions to be irrelevant. This sends a message that character isn't all that important, that understanding the difference between right and wrong doesn't matter and that it's more important to follow orders than to act responsibly and ethically. Plus, our freedom is not dependent on how criminals behave.
Firearms contain no independent power to cause results apart from our decisions, character and purpose. As a matter of fact, 10 out of 10 criminals favor gun control.
Gun control laws are only honored by law-abiding citizens. These laws feed the black market and have a direct effect on a rise in crime. Also, law-abiding citizens tend to remain so even after they're armed. In effect, gun control is nothing more than a false hope promised by an impossible utopia.
America was founded on the principles of personal responsibility, accountability and self reliance and hasen't remained free because of delusional activists. Giving up the right to arms is a mistake that a free people get to make only once.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Anti American - Courier Post July 19, 2004

I just read an article that used a new term, "hate-triot", that really struck a chord with me. It's been very fashionable to be anti-American for some time now in certain circles, but the American media's embracing of the concept is weird and confusing, at best.
Of course, Michael Moore and his ilk have become what they criticize most - completely irrational and removed from reality; and his latest film will likely expose him for what he is. As if making money from the blood of those killed in the Columbine tragedy wasn't enough... It's odd that he's criticizing the brave men and women who are fighting to preserve his freedom to produce a film that trivializes their efforts. These are some of the same men and women who have given their lives to allow anyone to build a mosque wherever they like in America.
The "liberal" vs. "conservative" discussion has run amuck thanks to people like Michael Moore who think only of themselves. Using the 9/11 tragedies as an example, a real liberal might be described as someone who's geared more towards helping survivors and the loved ones of those who didn't survive. A real conservative might be described as someone who's more geared towards ensuring that terrorism never again happens. Together, liberals and conservatives form a perfect union. Michael Moore shamelessly hides behind the very honorable liberal banner with his hate-triotic and destructive self-serving opportunistic agenda. Michael Moore is no liberal.
If you don't know what a hate-triot looks like (and you're curious) you may be able to find some at your local showing of Fahrenheit 9/11. I wouldn't be caught dead in there and thanks to our President and his team, chances are that none of them will be caught dead in there either.

Iraqi Prisoner Abuse Scandal - June 4, 2004

No one is more outraged by unprofessional military conduct than the 99.9% of the highly professional personnel out there working hard on our behalf. Concerning the Iraqi prisoner scandal (and any other issue), it's quite certain that the military is much more capable of policing their own than the sea of Monday morning quarterbacks who weren't even there.
Maybe the tens of thousands killed so far would still be alive today if the angry liberal left thought about anything other than themselves. They continue to use this incident in their quest for political power as they seek to weaken our nation in the same exact manner that got us all into this mess in the first place.

Jersey Ethics - Courier Post April 1, 2004

Ethics reform? You mean that honesty, good values and strong moral principles aren't already part of the job description? I'm shocked.

Gun Laws Excessive - Phila. Inquirer February 24, 2003

As was the case over 200 years ago, the 2nd Amendment IS homeland security. The armed, law-abiding citizen is our first line of defense. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is as important today as it was then, if not more so, but talking facts to gun control zealots is only likely to make them angry. Much of what they claim simply will not stand up under scrutiny. Currently, New Jersey is one of the few states where it's virtually impossible to obtain a concealed carry permit.
The 2nd Amendment isn't really about guns - it's about our inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Many who don't even own a gun understand this and completely support the Constitution of the United States of America.
America was founded on the principles of individual rights, personal responsibility, accountability and self reliance. Many of us, though, look to government for solutions to our problems. Fortunately, we have the greatest system of government that I know of, but we've gotten a bit off track. We can only enjoy true freedom by accepting reponsibility for our own safety, education, food, shelter, health care, retirement, etc.
Gun control is nothing more than a massive propoganda machine devised to gain votes, power and corruption. Clear evidence and common sense show that areas allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons experience a decreasing crime rate while tightened gun laws have a direct effect on a rise in violent crime.
Most of us in New Jersey just don't know the facts and are conditioned to believe that our politicians are actually solving the crime and violence problem when the reverse is true. Ask anyone in England today about their total gun ban and they'll speak of violent crime that has gone unimaginably out of control.
The uninformed don't take the time to understand that a person with a clean record, FBI backgroun check and a legally obtained permit is highly unlikely to commit a crime. The "civilized" elite who run our state know what's best for us and believe that we cannot be trusted to behave responsibly. A state that deprives its law-abiding citizens the means to defend themselves is itself a barbaric accomplice to violent crime.
It's almost as if the people of New Jersey have an obligation to be raped and murdered for the good of society. Our leaders will sacrifice the innocent and impose their superior wisdom and virtue on others to further their own selfish agenda. Part of that agenda includes creating an environment of dependency that swings the door wide open for all manner of abusive and self serving spending.
Handgun ownership doubled in the late 20th Century while the murder rate went down. Guns are inanimate tools. They contain no independent power to cause results apart from our decisions, character and purpose. Certainly, certain measures such as thorough background checks are welcomed by all and New Jersey leads the nation. But excessive restrictions and irrational gun phobia transcend gun control into a larger area of concern.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Gun Control Illusion - Newark Star Ledger December 30, 2002

My favorite thing about the Smart Gun Bill is that police are exempt from using the technology and the state can't be held liable when something goes horribly wrong. Childproofing a firearm is void of even a remote connection to reality. There are much better ways to keep children safe.
This technology is inherently flawed, as is the gun control movement. Both focus on the law-abiding gun owner. Four things, though, are certain:
1. Lawyers will have a field day with this one.
2. The smart gun chip descrambler market is already forming.
3. Smart guns will cost more lives than they save.
4. 10 out of 10 criminals favor gun control.
Now if I can only get my cell phone and computer to stop malfunctioning when I seem to need them most.

Gun Control Doesn't Work - USA Today November 14, 2002

Congratulations to the gun-control groups and politicians for seizing the recent Washington, DC-area tragedy to further their agenda. Certainly, we're all equally upset by the Beltway shootings and other criminal behavior.
But predatory criminals, by virtue of their job, are the greatest advocates for gun control. A free society, by definition, should not require its citizens to ask for permission to defend themselves.
Gun control does not work, never has and never will. The truth is that decreasing gun ownership has a direct correlation to a rise in crime.
The gun-ban crowd has created the black-market industry that is, in large part, responsible for the gun violence that we are all concerned about.
The rationale for disarming responsible, law-abiding citizens in the post-9/11 era is deceitful, to say the least, and may lead us to becoming a nation of defenseless victims.

Self Defense - Courier Post December 11, 2002

The leadership of New Jersey has pulled the wool over our eyes. The recent Smart Gun Bill is anything but smart, as it applies to the nonexistent technology of an inherently flawed concept. After all, who can argue with "do it for the children"? Child-proofing a firearm is void of even a remote connection to reality and is an insult.
Gun control is a galvanizing issue. The politicians appear to be the knights in shining armor while rabid gun controlers focus on the wrong target (the law-abiding gun owner) as an outlet for their personal agendas. Laws that specifically target law-abiding gun owners blame and punish the wrong people.
Gun control seems noble on the surface, but it really does not work. States and cities that institute strong gun control laws not only see no decrease in crime, but actually see crime increase. Contrast this with states that have concealed carry laws, where they experience significantly lower crime rates.
Restoring our right to self defense may not only reduce crime, but may also be a step toward acknowledging real causes and possible remedies. Is a raped and strangled woman really morally superior to a woman with a smoking gun in her hand and a dead rapist at her feet?
If for no other reason: Do it for the children.