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In response to:

Nevada Showdown: All Hat, No Cattle

Geoff34 Wrote: Apr 15, 2014 10:58 AM
You are witnessing the famous "4 box theory" at work here. First, the local ranchers tried the "soap box," and told their story publicly, but no one would listen (or perhaps most of the country just didn't care because they didn't see how such govt overreach impacts them personally), then they tried the "ballot box" without success (they're a minority so their rights got trampled - that's not how it is supposed to work in this country), then they tried the "jury box", but lost to technicalities - they are technically violating an, albeit illegal, law, so now it has come down to resorting to the last box of the four, the "cartridge box," and an armed refusal to obey illegal laws finally got some, at least temporary, results. Where in the Constitution does the federal government get their authority to charge fees for the use of public land? Don't even think "Commerce Clause," because if THAT is the justification, it would require the feds to help improve (ie, "regulate" which at the time the constitution was written, meant to "make regular," more common, or easier) the commercial use of the land, which is what the Bundy's wanted them to do, or at least wanted them not to prevent, in the first place. Remember Mr. Bundy paid his grazing fees for all the years the BLM functioned like that. So far, the only folks who have done anything to improve the land in question are the Bundy's themselves, by building water tanks, and other improvements there. There is no constitutional rationale that would permit impairing (ie, making LESS regular) the commercial use of federal land, certainly not just to save an endangered tortoise (completely leaving alone the issue of whether or not the Desert Tortoise is actually endangered, which is another whole question). If the BLM (ie, the federal govt) were doing something to improve the land there (that is, if they were adding value to it) their fees might reasonably be justified on that basis, as a sort of "Value Added Tax" (VAT), but they are not, in fact, they are doing quite the opposite. Maybe it's finally time we all stopped to listen to the ranching community for once. Going back to the level of the "soap box" would be a lot less tense and potentially dangerous for all concerned.
In response to:

Nevada Showdown: All Hat, No Cattle

Geoff34 Wrote: Apr 15, 2014 10:17 AM
You missed the whole point! It would have been simple (and the normal procedure) for the local Sheriff to go visit the Bundy's and tell them they were going to go to jail if they didn't pay up or stop grazing their cattle on that part of their ranch. Mr. Bundy was correct when he said that this was all about the federal govt sending the message that they can do whatever they want to the citizens and we will have to take it. This is exactly how the incident at Waco started. It was not only unnecessary, but unacceptable for the BLM to use such coercive, thuggish tactics. It was gross (and illegal) over reach, to set up "1st Amendment zones" and Tase those who taped BLM officers from outside those zones, it was wrong to destroy the corrals and water tanks built on the grazing area by the Bundy's at their expense, it was wrong to steal his cattle, I could go on... In fact, the BLM behaved in an arrogant, threatening manner and they needed to learn who they work for, and that isn't the federal govt, it is the Citizenry. Had they not decided to prohibit his cattle from grazing on thousands of acres for no good reason, and the desert tortoise is not a good reason, the Bundy's would have continued, albeit grudgingly, to pay their grazing fees as they had done until 1993. Keep in mind that the BLM has intentionally killed hundreds of Desert Tortoises themselves because there were too many of them. The idea that the Bundy's could have stopped the BLM from trying to destroy their livelihood by voting or petitioning the govt is simply laughable. Harry Reid is a Democrat, so he gets elected by the Las Vega union vote, and that vote outnumbers the state ranchers every time. Trying to petition the BLM is essentially impossible, unless one has some sort of serious bargaining chip with which to get their attention. That might be something like angry armed citizens, cowboys, and civilian militia. When the govt keeps getting larger and larger, and taking on powers not delegated to it, and when they keep hurting the very people they are supposed to be helping, the time will come (as it now has) when the people will stand up and say "No More." The idea that Mr. Bundy was violating a federal law is no longer as important as whether or not that law was reasonable in the first place, nor is it as important as telling the govt that it is not OK to arrogantly threaten, injure, and terrorize their citizens. THAT is what this was really all about!
Chuck, please note that Spec. Lopez was "being evaluated for PTSD" but was being treated for depression and anxiety. It would be routine for anyone in his circumstances, who is being treated for depression or anxiety, to be evaluated for PTSD as well. There is no evidence yet that he had it. Also, individuals with PTSD are no more likely than anyone else in the general population, to engage in this kind of violent behavior. While I certainly think the military and VA need to address the PTSD issue better, we all have to remember that many will be too embarrassed, ashamed, or fearful of the possible social/political consequences of that diagnosis, to come forward or admit to symptoms, which makes finding and treating them much more difficult. I personally think that a good place to start with the issue of "hardening" military bases in CONUS, would be to require those service members who would normally go armed in a combat zone, to go armed as a matter of course when stateside, as well. There is no conceivable safety rationale involved, since we expect them to be safe carrying a weapon in combat zones, where they are under much greater stress, and they are, in fact, safe with them there. Not only would it make our stateside bases safer, but it would keep those combat arms troops familiar with their weapons throughout their careers, enhancing their training. If they aren't safe with a weapon in CONUS, then they also aren't safe with one in a combat zone, and they need to be retired or reassigned to different, noncombatant, duties.
Very good post! But I'm still a little confused. If "Freedom to associate, implies freedom not to associate," wouldn't the same reasoning find that "Freedom of religion, implies freedom from religion?"
Actually, the best way, by far, to achieve peace is be prepared for war - and to make sure everyone knows you are. That has worked for everyone from ancient Greece, to Rome, to the recent "Pax Americana." Both justice and mercy can only be found in places where there is already peace. So...if you want peace, prepare for war.
Ms. Korn has fallen for a simple fallacy in her beliefs about justice. In a nutshell, it is utterly impossible to achieve any degree of justice (just as it is impossible to solve problems effectively) without first understanding the problem. That understanding cannot be achieved without first learning the objective truths underlying the matter in question. She erroneously thinks she knows them now, a common failing particularly among college undergraduates - whence comes the term "Sophomoric." Perhaps she is correct, although I suspect she is simply immature (if amazingly arrogant) in her understanding. Nonetheless, the fallacy of her argument for "academic justice" is that it must necessarily be preceded by "academic knowledge/truth." The entire concept of "academic freedom" stems from the need to be able to hear all sides and possible arguments in order to learn the truth. This is the preeminent principle involved here, if only because without the freedom to learn the truth, there can never be real justice. The absence of such freedom is what caused the European Dark Ages to last for so long. Let us not precipitate our own American Dark Ages because our children can't deal with ambiguity or insufficient knowledge, a la Ms. Korn.
I think there IS some "hatred behind voter ID laws." Personally, I hate fraudulent voting and those who engage in it. Further, I think such fraud is rampant, particularly on the part of the Democrat party (although I realize the GOP may do some of it too). That's why I so strongly support voter ID laws. Biden apparently believes (he must, in fact believe this if he's telling the truth) that there is an ENORMOUS conspiracy involving millions and millions of bigoted racists in the GOP, the TEA Party, state legislatures and courtrooms everywhere across the land, all dedicated to depriving black people of the right to vote in some mysterious inexplicable manner. Talk about a ridiculous conspiracy theory! Yet he has the brass to call us TEA Party folks the conspiracy theorists!
In response to:

Eric Holder's Law

Geoff34 Wrote: Feb 25, 2014 5:26 PM
Very interesting perspective! Following his logic, one must also assume that state Attorney's General should not have to enforce any federal gun laws with which they disagree too, right? After all, the Second Amendment very specifically states that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, and quite literally ALL federal gun laws, infringe on that right, by definition. Indeed, infringing on the citizen's right to have and carry arms is the only possible reason to pass anti-gun laws in the first place. The fact that they are enforced under the "Commerce Clause" doesn't make them any less of an infringement. Sooo, maybe this ruling of his could be a good thing, right!??
In response to:

Cruz Control? Part II

Geoff34 Wrote: Feb 20, 2014 10:21 AM
First off, it wasn't Ted Cruz' filibuster that got the GOP blamed for the government shutdown, it was the GOP's failure to aggressively support him and put forth their opposing viewpoint to the public. Second, it is simply not true that keeping the existing GOP structure in office will much benefit the country. They are little better than the Democrats, to whom they now routinely capitulate anyway. So what good are they? Here's an apt analogy, that anyone should be able to understand, for the difference between Ted Cruz' behavior, and that of the GOP "establishment," regarding his filibuster and what happened over the debt ceiling raise and Obamacare votes in the Senate: Suppose you and your wife have a three year-old child, who has been told never to step off the curb into the street unless she is holding your hand. You and your wife see her about to step off the curb in front of an oncoming car, but are too far away to physically stop her. All you can do, all that is within your power at the moment, is to yell at her to stop. You open your mouth to yell, but your wife says, "Don't yell at her Honey, it'll just upset her. Besides, it'll be a good teaching moment for her. After the car hits her we can point out that all her pain and suffering is really her own fault for not listening to us." Knowing you probably can't stop her anyway, do you at least try, by yelling at her to stop, even though it may upset her, or do you follow your wife's advice and wait until later when yuou can say, "I told you so?" Ted Cruz yelled, as would have Rep. Stockman, while Cornyn, McConnell, and the GOP establishment followed the wife's advice, and are still waiting for a later "teaching moment." And that's why Stockman is going to replace Cornyn representing Texas in the Senate after the 2014 election cycle.
In response to:

Cruz Control?

Geoff34 Wrote: Feb 19, 2014 6:06 PM
Ted Cruz isn't the one who screwed up. If the gutless mainstream GOP had supported him, and gone before the press to blame the POTUS and his Democrat party, who were clearly unwilling to negotiate, the GOP would not have come out looking bad. For that matter, I'm not really sure the polls saying the GOP was blamed are actually all that accurate. I suspect many Americans saw what really happened. In any case, if the establishment GOP had publicly gone on the offensive (I mean against the Democrats and the POTUS - not against their grassroots members) they could easily have swayed public opinion despite the left media bias.
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