October 20, 2018

White Male Gun Nuts Are Terrorists

I constantly hear each “side” of the political spectrum accusing the other “side” of speaking inflammatory language that only serves to perpetuate the anger and hatred that so severely divides this country.

In the following case, a democratic political candidate in Tennessee claims to be a “pro-gun” candidate. According to the Guns America website, the candidate and the party that is promoting his election were quoted as saying that the biggest terrorist organization in America is “White Male Gun Nuts.”

Nice! Real nice. And all this time I thought the biggest threat to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness was totalitarian fascists.<<<Read More>>>

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SAM Grades, Endorses Some Candidates

*Editor’s Note* – It appears to this editor that these grades and endorsements are based solely on the support of the Second Amendment and voting records on outdoor issues – a very general term. Not that this is necessarily wrong, but readers should understand this concept in making decisions on who to vote for.

In addition, a statement made by SAM I find troubling. “It is our policy to always endorse incumbents with a strong voting record and a good questionnaire even when their challengers receive perfect scores.” Why it is troubling for me is that I am a supporter of term limits. Career politicians are corrupt politicians. Lying, cheating, and stealing are employed in a manner of the ends always are justified by the means – i.e. get reelected. “Always endors[ing] incumbents” is playing into the hands of the corrupt two-party false paradigm system. SAM should endorse candidates based on the lies they are given if that’s the game they want to play.

Press Release from the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine:

To Whom It May Concern:

The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, ILA is happy to announce our Governor, Congressional, Senate and Legislative endorsements and grades for the important upcoming November election. In the governor’s race we are endorsing Shawn Moody and giving his opponent, Janet Mills a grade of A-. Each candidate gave a strong interview and did extremely well on the SAM ILA questionnaire.

Shawn Moody’s honesty, sincerity and genuine answers were refreshing. He was steadfast in his support of the Second Amendment and his advocacy for our natural resources and sportsmen and women was obvious and we believe he would make a great governor.

Janet Mills gave a terrific interview and the SAM Board appreciated her past support and strong voting record on outdoor issues, particularly firearm rights. She received a grade of A-.

In the Second District Congressional race, the SAM ILA endorsement went to Congressmen Bruce Poliquin. He has been a strong advocate for the Second Amendment, a tireless worker for the Second District, as well as a great congressman. We will work hard for his re-election.

His opponent, Jared Golden, after several requests and follow-ups, did not send in his SAM ILA questionnaire. We have concerns with his D grade from the NRA and his reluctance to inform our members and supporters about his positions on issues ranging from land conservation to hunting and fishing. If he had engaged in a dialogue with our ILA Board of Directors we would have explored his links to a Massachusetts PAC, (https://www.bostonglobe.com/…/QcP9SYTmWVswtPSW51…/story.html) partially funded by gun control advocate, and ex-New York Michael Bloomberg. In addition, he would have had an opportunity to explain why he hired Mr. Bloomberg’s campaign manager, Bobby Reynolds, from the recently defeated Maine referendum campaign to expand background checks to private sales and temporary firearm transfers.

Although we respect his service in the military, we are disappointed he chose not to inform our members on so many important issues effecting the outdoor community.
In the First Congressional District race our organization chose not to endorse a candidate; instead, Mark Holbrook and Marty Grohman each received a grade of A+. Both gentlemen would make great advocates for our outdoor community and hope one of them succeeds in the election. Incumbent, Rep. Chellie Pingree did not send in her ILA questionnaire.

In the U.S. Senate race between U.S. Senator Angus King and Sen. Eric Brakey, the ILA Board decided not to endorse either candidate, but gave Sen. Brakey a perfect grade of A+. Senator King, who has had a long history of supporting sportsmen and women, but recently indicated he was open to further gun control measures like magazine capacity limits, received a B grade.

Attached is a partial list of legislative endorsements as well as A and B grades for the upcoming state races. In the coming weeks we will communicate all the legislative grades and highlight several races around the state where we have two friends and supporters running from both parties.

*It is our policy to always endorse incumbents with a strong voting record and a good questionnaire even when their challengers receive perfect scores. There are times, in certain races, like House District, 106, between Rep. Strom and Stanley Short, where both are great supporters and deserve special recognition.

In our later communications, we will highlight several of these evenly balanced races around the state to give our members and supporters a fair understanding of each legislative race.

David Trahan
SAM ILA, Executive Director
205 Church Hill Road, Suite 3
Augusta, ME 04330
207-623-4589
David.trahan@sportsmansallianceofmaine.org

 

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Stupid Reasoning About Right to Hunt Ballot Initiative

It seems more and more likely that people and politicians are eager to destroy even their delegated “rights” handed down to them by the government gods. Now we hear of how it is unfair to place a ballot initiative in an upcoming election because it might motivate one political side over another to go to the polls and vote.

North Carolina is working at getting a ballot initiative for this upcoming midterm election cycle and the Democrats are complaining that it is only a ploy to get more Republicans out to vote.

SO WHAT!!!!

Is this a sin committed by only the Republican side of political corruption? Errr, I don’t think so.

Idiots pretend to teach us that this “republic” (snicker) is a government of and by the people (People) – more snickering. And yet when that creation of government is exercised by the people and they pretend to go to the polls and vote, some crybaby don’t like it because they fear the outcome.

Nonsense!!

In Maine, proposals have been made that would limit the ballot initiative process. A proposal was made that would ban certain ballot initiatives that effectively would take away the right of the people to petition the government and resulting in the full sovereign power of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Think about it for a minute. This would be quite a precedent.

And in North Carolina, what are some Democrats suggesting? Are we to, like is repeatedly suggested and accomplished in the country, set up a panel of paid politicians who will make all the decisions as to what can and cannot be placed on a ballot and attempt to make a determination for the reasoning behind this placement?

If the Republicans are placing initiatives in front of the people in hopes they will motivate voters, are the Democrats prohibited to do the same thing? If a ballot measure is given up for voters to vote on, is someone suggesting that we further take away a person’s right to at least pretend to cast a ballot?

I’ve never in my 66 years seen so many useless, idiotic, crybabies as exist today.

Grow up and get a friggin life!!

 

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An Opportunity to Make the ESA Benefit People

*Editor’s Note* – I have the utmost respect for Jim Beers. His experience and his knowledge, along with a willingness to share makes him a standout in today’s world of programmed automatons. However, it is my belief that there is insanity in thinking that just one more attempt at instituting change can happen if we vote in the “right” people to serve in Washington. The System is far too big, far too powerful, and far too corrupt to think that any person or group of persons can change that. Thinking so is explemplary to the ignorance of the Global Power Structure.

Inserting another “however,” we shouldn’t throw out the baby with the bath water. Beers latest writing contains many accurate and powerful facts that we shouldn’t forget.

Having said this, I cannot offer any solution that will cause real change in our governmental structure, especially the criminal aspects of it. In the years that I have spent in this work, which involves uncountable hours of read-searching, it has become extraordinarily clear that in government absolutely nothing has changed – only the allowed rhetoric to rile and divide the masses. 

As to the history of the Endangered Species Act, all the promises, all the talk, all the hype over the past 20 years and, like all government establishments, nothing has changed. Beers has it right in warning us not to be fooled by false promises – promises for action in exchange for your vote. This has been the history of real criminal politics and there is no hope that it will change or that you and I can actually do anything about it…short of changing ourselves and how we perceive things.

My only suggestion is to do as we have been instructed in the Scriptures to not be a part of man’s government – “Come out of Her my people” (the Whore of Babylon). Our Creator knew and knows the corruption that would rule man’s crafted cesspool of lying, cheating, and stealing. 

Put your faith and belief in God the Almighty instead of man-gods and your perspective will change. Government will not.

By Jim Beers:

As this old wildlife bureaucrat sees the “Deep State” wriggle and squirm like a nightcrawler on the hook of the President I am encouraged that there may be a remedy on the horizon for all the damage and abuse that rural America is absorbing from environmental and animal overreach by federal bureaucracies.  “Endangered” “species” from Wolves and Grizzly Bears to Mountain Yellow-Legged Frogs and Tooth Cave Spiders can be changed from tools forged by bureaucrats to decimate animal husbandry, grazing, hunting, logging and other rural pursuits necessary for rural American communities into animals that decimate such communities for a wide range of nefarious hidden agendas.

The possibility of changing this has come to mind as I have followed the political battle between the Congress, and the FBI and DOJ about if and to what extent the FBI and DOJ meddled in the last Presidential election.  Furthermore, the vitriol spewed by certain members of the last Administration, particularly in the intelligence arena, toward the President and everything he does up to and including calling him a traitor is not only stunning but suggestive of a possible remedy for Endangered Species, Wilderness and other environmental laws that use power-seeking bureaucrats as unanswerable and irresponsible tools of vote-seeking politicians that pass and protect unjust laws they then disavow as being administered by “scientists” and “experts”.

Consider the following examples.

1.) When terrorism first became a major national concern, the law enforcement “experts” made the logical case that new “secret” courts (FISA courts) were necessary to issue “secret” warrants to search and investigate the profusion of cells and individuals suspected of plotting and carrying out terrorist acts. Despite misgivings by many legal historians, Congress passed a law establishing these FISA courts.  So, what happened?

We find that the FBI, DOJ and CIA tapped phones of Congressional staff, conducted secret surveillance of the Trump election campaign, and then lied to Congress and stalled only to dribble heavily redacted documents to Congressional Committees.  When called to appear before these Committees the contempt and disdain displayed toward Congress and the Administration was stunning.  The forecast that FISA would create a Star Chamber form of “justice” wherein proceedings were secret, rulings were arbitrary and tyrannical, and there was little difference between the “Kings” enforcers and the “Kings” judges became a fact. When an investigation is launched against the President, it lasts for years while being made up of lawyers strongly opposed to the President.  The wife of an FBI official is given thousands of dollars to run for an office by the Party opposing the President.  “Lost” emails, a private server containing highly classified information kept in a private residence basement are dismissed as acceptable.

2.) When the federal government sought to “equalize” tax advantages for all political lobbying organizations under President Obama, IRS employee Lois Lerner engaged in serious discrimination against conservative groups while favoring tax exemptions for liberal groups.  When that was exposed by a Congressional Committee, Ms. Lerner took the 5th and her boss, Mr. Koskinen lied to Congress when he said her emails were lost to a computer glitch.  Ms. Lerner skated free and retired: her boss did a double arabesque and pirouetted off stage right into infamy.

3.) Gun control advocates here and in the UN began accusing American gun dealers of supplying Mexican drug lords and foreign revolutionary movements with illegal guns and ammunition early in the Obama Administration.  Soon thereafter, ATF and DOJ began a secret operation they labelled Fast and Furious.  Two thousand automatic weapons, including over 30 .50 caliber rifles, were placed in the purported flow of illegal guns into Mexico to ostensibly discover the identify of traffickers.  The guns promptly disappeared and popped up in such widespread places as Mexican drug-related executions and the personal gun collection of drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, as well as one being the murder weapon of an American Border Patrol Agent, Brian Terry.  Simultaneously, the US State Department was negotiating an unmentioned “Small Arms Treaty” at the UN that supposedly would replace the 2nd Amendment when ratified by the US Senate and signed by President Obama.

When Fast and Furious became public, the DOJ refused to give Congress, or anyone else, any information.  The Attorney General was exceptionally arrogant (shades of Strzok, Brennan, Clapper, Comey, and McCabe, et al of recent vintage) and was found in Contempt of Congress.  The UN “Treaty” ploy was abandoned and since then guns from this ATF debacle continue popping up in both US and Mexican crime scenes.

4.) When I worked for the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Washington in the 1990’s I saw the same arrogance and hubris emerge in top managers.  They began to feel the power at their fingertips and what it could do for themselves.  Contempt for hunters, ranchers, loggers, shepherds, private property rights, animal ownership, and renewable natural resource management was what the environmental laws had become.  Successful bureaucrats were those that saw themselves as accumulating power and the financial rewards and gravitas it created.  By the mid 1990’s USFWS appointees and top bureaucrats were placing beholden women and minorities in top management positions as endangered species came to the forefront and the entire concept of managing wildlife for people became bureaucrats managing people and their rights for wildlife.

This led to Budget Requests to Congress to introduce wolves into the Upper Rocky Mountains and to open an unnecessary new office in California to seal a close alliance with radical environmental and animal rights’ organizations.  When Congress refused to authorize or fund either;  USFWS simply “diverted” (either “took” or “stole” is more accurate) $45M to $60M from the Excise Taxes that by law could only go to state wildlife agencies and then surreptitiously captured and imported Canadian wolves, released them into the Upper Rockies, opened the California office, and gave the leftover funds to USFWS managers in bonus packages.

When this theft was documented in a General Accounting Office Audit and presented to the House Resources Committee, the Director was absent at the Hearing she was requested to attend.  When she and her underlings finally testified, the arrogance and contempt for American law and the American electorate was a copy of that noted in 1, 2, and 3 above examples.  Any prosecution or reprimand or accountability for the perps was lost in the approaching Presidential election. Any deterrence for other bureaucrats about ever losing a bonus or retirement for any transgression was not only foregone; the opposite or “we are untouchable” was the message sent to the “Lerners”, “Comeys” and “Holders” of the “Deep State”.

Recommendation

Each of these examples has 2 things in common:

  1. Excessive central government power in the hands of unelected political appointees and bureaucrats.
  2. Legal backing by elected central government politicians to enact and federal laws that implement political agendas disguised as “feel-good” goals such as “saving” species and wilderness, gun control, tax “fairness”, and fighting terrorism.

There is an approaching federal mid-term election coming upon us.  Some forecast the House and Senate ceding the majority to the other Party, while some forecast the opposite.  The majority Party is apparently shedding the bloc of politicians that fight the President and his proposals at every turn and the minority Party is putting forth a radical-socialism, mix based on Venezuela and Cuban governance.  It will be a tumultuous election with no guarantees.  That tumult is what has created an opportunity.

The harms and damage of the Endangered Species Act (and the Wilderness Act, FISA, and similar federal overreaches for “feel-good” purposes) can be greatly, if not entirely reduced by telling your federal politicians running for office and the incumbents that you want to amend the ESA.  Tell them you are concerned about having an environment as hospitable to truly endangered plants and animals AS CAN BE ENCOURAGED IN THE SETTLED LANDSCAPES OF THE LOWER 48 STATES WHERE YOU LIVE, WORK AND RAISE YOUR FAMILIES AND THIS DEPENDS ON LOCAL SUPPORT!

Then tell them “the problem has been and remains that there is no responsibility or accountability for the success or failure of these programs in either federal politicians that support the programs or the federal bureaucrats that administer them”.

Therefore, you want to amend the ESA to require that as of the following fiscal year, all endangered species actions other than listing must have the written concurrence of the Governor of the state in which any action shall be proposed to take place.  Such permission by the Governor should be a signed agreement for each species and include the end-point, funding to be available annually, compensation for likely negative impacts like cattle, sheep and big game losses and human and property losses due to  government actions or lack thereof.  Tell them if they won’t support this, you either won’t vote for them or you will vote for the other guy.  AMEND THE ESA is the sign you should put along the road for the local paper to run.

Do not be fooled by offers to “return management of this or that species to the state”: such “offers” disguise the precedent that what the feds “give” they can later take away under a future political situation.  Don’t be fooled by legislative proposals promising more “transparency” or “participation”: such things are meaningless smoke and mirrors.  Nothing, short of taking primary authority and jurisdiction for all non-treaty wildlife and plants from federal control and placing it back at the lowest (and therefore most responsive to people) level of government will work.  Two hundred years of American life proved no less.

I could go on, but your time is limited.  Suffice it to say that the Governor (include the state legislature if you will) is an official actually close to the impacts of such federal action and he (they in the case of the Legislature) can be recalled or voted out of office when things go south: that is not true with either federal politicians or bureaucrats when sheep are killed by “GI” (Government Issue) grizzlies or elk/moose hunting is destroyed by “GI” wolves.  Governors and state legislatures are more responsible and responsive than any federal politician or bureaucrat in nearly every state.

If you think this too hard to do, just picture Strzok or Comey smirking at the camera, or Holder defending the indefensible, or the discredited Koskinen explaining how the “computer ate my homework”.  Then think about your kids and grandkids in ten or 15 years when a President Elizabeth Warren and Vice President Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are telling Secretary of the Interior Cameron Diaz to let those fires burn over onto private property and get rid of those ranchers, farmers and sheep herders so we can consolidate and expand federal land ownership.  If they still have the authority over these unjust federal laws solely in their hands without any check or balance, it can happen in a New York nanosecond, with or without Congress.

Either we get this under control soon or we can just say goodbye to the American experience.

Jim Beers

25 July 2018

If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others.  Thanks.

Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC.  He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands.  He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC.  He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority.  He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to:   jimbeers7@comcast.net

If you no longer wish to receive these articles notify:  jimbeers7@comcast.net

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Political Partisanship is Caused by Term Limits?

I got quite a kick out of reading former Attorney General Jon Lund’s and former Executive Director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, George Smith’s perspective on term limits and the call to get rid of them. A clear example of seeing the glass either half empty or half full or long-term “experienced” politicians vs. greenhorns who don’t know how to play the game devised over many years by “experienced” members of the Maine Legislature and leadership.

Perhaps the real problem with “term limits” is they are not term limits at all. If it takes more than 8, 10, or 16 years learn who’s palm gets greased and who does the greasing and what it is that is getting greased, isn’t that the real reason for term limits? The other argument is that no legislative position, once designed to be filled by part-time volunteer community service, should be recognized and treated as a career. Has one’s imagination and reality become so clouded that we cannot see the problems with career politicians at every level? Evidently. Try blowing the smoke away or remove yourself from the accepted status quo long enough to see what the rest of us see.

Lund describes term limits as causing the loss of “the opportunity to develop and retain experienced and skillful leadership and a cadre of experienced legislators.”  There’s more than one way to look at this. Why is there a need to “develop” politicians? It is made to sound like when a person enters the fray in Augusta for the first time, they are told what they will do and how they will do it…or else. Oh, wait a minute. That is exactly how it is done according to some former Maine legislators that I have talked with. Once you have proven that you are agreeable to play politics according to the whims of those who got “developed” and “retained” by the previous good-ole-boys, then you can become one of them and with this, evidently, it is what Smith and Lund describe as “credibility.”

Lund further states: “…in order to gain credibility with their peers, a first-term legislator needs to say very little and carefully develop expertise.” Need I say more. What is wrong with a system in which when a perfectly intelligent person walks into the halls of the Legislature on that very first day and is expected by the sitting leadership to “say very little and carefully develop expertise?” There’s that word develop again. And what is expertise? Is that conforming to the way it’s always been or you’re outta here?!?!?

The author claims it takes time to “…learn the legislative process, develop leadership skills, and gain the confidence of fellow legislators.” For what purpose? How many brains does it take to learn a legislative process unless that process includes learning how things get done in Augusta? Isn’t the argument, or at least part of it, that carrying out the legislative business the way it’s always been carried out, complete with doing what you are told for long enough to “earn credibility” the problem?

And lastly, Lund blames the partisanship in Augusta on term limits: “…we did not experience the paralyzing partisanship that appears to mark the State House today. I attribute the difference, in part, to the presence of a larger proportion of experienced members in the Legislature.” (Note: I’m guessing this is a typo. Either the author meant to use the word “inexperienced” or he just seriously contradicted his entire argument of attempting to blame partisanship on term limits.)

According to Mr. Lund then there are two options available – get rid of term limits and fill the seats in Augusta with all the most experienced “politicians” completely bought and paid for so that they can get done only those things they want to be done, or, implement real term limits of one term of four years in either house…period – end of discussion. The way Smith and Lund describe it there’s only a handful of robotic puppets capable of carrying out the business of running the State of Maine. The rest of us are just too stupid. Some have argued that nobody wants the job. That may be true but have you ever considered that there would be little desire for a job that once you get there you are told to sit down and shut up because you haven’t learned how WE do things around here?

Smith mostly parrots what Lund says and says being in Augusta isn’t “fun” anymore because of term limits. He too says that lack of “experience” doesn’t make it fun anymore – no more going out to lunch and socializing like the good-ole-days.

Confusing to me, Smith cites an example of a friend of his who “in just his second term” and made the head of the Fish and Wildlife Committee, was a lone dissenter on a bill being discussed. This friend “fought his committee for several hours in a House debate, angering many of them.” And because this guy had a mind of his own and argued his case, he is unqualified to be a legislator? Would he then have had “credibility” if he just sat down and shut up and went along to get along?

The longer politicians spend in office the potential becomes exponential in the amount of corruption that can and does take place. There are many Maine citizens very capable of carrying out the business of the Maine Legislature without having first to pay tribute to the rank and file “credible” and “experienced” politicians. Isn’t this the very reason there is no respect among the citizens for politicians and they find the idea of serving in a legislative position akin to walking on hot coals?

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Gun-Owners Are Being Blamed for [Modern] Liberalism Failures

*Editor’s Note* – This is a very respectable article that appears in the American Thinker about the failures of liberalism. Which brings me to the point of my note. It should be pointed out that this author when referring to liberalism, should more accurately qualify it as Modern Liberalism or a collective ideology of several left-leaning ideologies. Ancient Liberalism contains many great qualities many of which both conservatives and liberals agree on. But not to lose the point of the piece.

It has often been stated that liberalism is a disease. This becomes obvious to those whose ideology is quite different. But Liberalism is not interchangeable with “Leftism,” “Progressivism,” or the Democrat Party.

The Modern American Liberalism version of ideology has been well-hijacked by the Left and the progressives. Leftism, progressivism, and liberalism are not the same and shouldn’t be used interchangeably. As an example, liberalism was never opposed to Capitalism. The differences in ideology between liberals and conservatives on Capitalism is who should control that show – one believing the government should control it, the other leaving it to a free enterprise/individual effort. Leftism opposes Capitalism and most think this is a liberal perspective. 

In likewise fashion, liberalism shouldn’t be interchanged with Progressivism. Progressivism is the promotion of making every aspect of our lives “modern” often in disregard of long-held moral and religious reasons as well as disregard for the rule of law or the interpretation of long-held laws, rights, and policy. We all suffer from progressivism to some degree.

The Democrat Party is a mish-mash conglomeration of anyone thinking the party supports and promotes their values. This is the same with the Republican Party. Party politics is a completely different animal and yet the use of the terms are incorrectly lumped together.

Perhaps it might even be more understandable if it was stated that a combination of some or all of the ideology of Liberalism, Leftism, Progressivism, and the Democrat Party that has created failed policies referred to in this article, as they may pertain to public safety, gun-free zones and the right to keep and bear arms.

“Liberalism is largely a process of adopting illogical and factually invalid positions and then artificially placing blame on its opponents when policies based on those positions inevitably fail.  For the blame to bear fruit, it is necessary for people of good conscience to be fooled into believing that their actions and beliefs are bad for society and have brought about shameful consequences.  At the same time, it is necessary for people whose consciences have already been deformed and co-opted by the faux morality of liberalism to be conditioned to think fellow citizens, who have caused no actual harm but hold contrary views, are evil.”<<<Read More>>>

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The NRA Are Hypocrites

Perhaps doing a slightly better job of pointing out the insanity of the newly-signed bill in Florida than the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the NRA shows their hypocrisy on their NRA-ILA website (surrounded by “Donate Now” buttons).

Evidently, the NRA completely supports parts of the new bill (as does the NSSF and others) including the blanket approval of actions to “educate” and “rat” on anyone “suspected” of having mental issues and ceding more fascist authority to the police to confiscate guns and ask questions later. As Trump stated, he preferred to confiscate guns first and worry about Due Process later. Nice…real nice! Leadership? Hmm!

This and a plea that states: “Contact your members of Congress and state lawmakers today and ask them to oppose all gun control schemes that would only impact law-abiding gun owners.”

Maybe the NRA should take a lesson out of their own playbook. If we lined up all the “gun control schemes” the NRA has been promoters and supporters of, it might make a fairly large book.

And it’s time to ask why the NRA thinks giving more power to cops to confiscate your property and at the same time allow governments to decide what is mental illness in the context of gun buying/ownership and what it is that is to be “educated” upon the people, isn’t supporting “gun control schemes” that impact law-abiding gun owners?

Wording is everything. The NRA states (above) that: “…oppose all gun control schemes that would only impact law-abiding gun owners.” (emboldening added) Are they saying that it is okay to support “gun control schemes” that impact gun owners and criminals together? Their historic record seems to indicate that, which in turn makes them an anti-Second Amendment organization. So, keep sending them money! MONEY-MONEY-MONEY!!!

The NRA also says that: “If we want to prevent future atrocities, we must look for solutions that keep guns out of the hands of those who are a danger to themselves or others, while protecting the rights of law-abiding Americans.”

According to how the NRA operates those solutions all involve giving up some of your rights. I guess they call that compromise. Either it’s a right or it’s a meted out privilege. Have we already forgotten that a previous administration in the White House believed that GIs returning from war who sought any kind of emotional assistance should be banned from owning a gun? Apparently so! What could possibly go wrong when Government decides your state of mind? Who decides theirs?

And is the NRA suggesting that we take away a person’s right to “innocent until proven guilty” and “Due Process” as a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist; a fairytale that it will prevent further crimes by “mental” people?

The answer appears to be yes. It is obvious (to me anyway) that the NRA pisses on the Second Amendment and then tells people it’s raining, so why wouldn’t they be willing to offer to give up even more of your rights to the sacrificial lamb (money and power)?

But if forget. You think the NRA is your best friend. He ain’t much of a friend, but he’s the only one you have…right?

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I Don’t Care! I Have More Money

I remember back a few years ago when Bill Clinton was approaching the time when he announced, formally, that he would seek reelection. One day as I was talking to a close friend, I mentioned something about the unfortunate fate that had befallen the American people that some would choose to cast a ballot for such a crooked and perverted man. The response I got at that time surprised me a bit. He said, “Yeah, what a little scumbag! But I’ll vote for him again because I got more money now than I did when Bush was president. The rest of that stuff doesn’t really matter…does it?”

I also remember as a young boy my father making a comment that people vote according to the content of their wallet. In other words, exactly as my friend stated.

Here we are some 20 years later, Trump having already announced that he is definitely going to run for reelection, and I wonder how many will cast another ballot, or cast one for the first time, for Donald Trump because they have more money than they did under Obama?

Money is the cause of selective blindness.

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Rural vs. Urban: The Growing Divide

It is often talked about how the “Red States” make up much of rural America and the “Blue States” are comprised of the urban dwellers. I know an entire book could be written about whether such a divide is a planned event or one of evolutionary happenstance. I’ll leave that debate for another time.

State by state we constantly hear of political and economic activities surrounding demographic differences. The reality of our existence shows that people of different ideology choose to live in areas best suited to them. This is a natural occurrence and the end result is a separation of oftentimes distinctly different cultures.

In what I believe to be a false paradigm of Left vs. Right, Liberal vs. Conservative, or Democrat vs. Republican, the “True Believers” as they become more easily convinced of political and ideological values it fuels the fire which further inflames the anger and hatred associated with political and cultural differences.

The false paradigm is in the belief that one political party is actually separate and different from the other while looking out for your best interest. While one’s own conscience, character, and personality may give us our political and moral persuasions, it is a false belief that one political party operates autonomously and isn’t controlled by higher powers, nor are they interested in your’s or my best interest short of what it takes to steal your vote.

We can easily see the results of the efforts, programmed or otherwise, in the creation of a distinct divide in this country. Not only are we subjected to more outright verbal floggings and sometimes physical ones due to our political or cultural differences (I guess we can throw in religion as well) but the segregation or the desire for such is welling up, shown in different ways, within the several states.

Because these political and cultural differences exist, suggestions on how to deal with or find a solution to this problem vary considerably.

I have written in the past some about one particular issue in the State of Maine. David Trahan, executive director for the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, has been pushing for several election cycles to change the process for public initiatives being placed on the ballot. The current process only requires a percentage of registered voters according to the number of ballots cast in the last election. These signatures can come from anywhere within the state boundaries.Trahan’s bill would require that the petition signature process obtain an equitable number of signatures from each of Maine’s two Congressional Districts -rural vs. urban.

Trahan, in testimony before the legislative committee, said, “For decades, many Mainers have argued that there are two Maine’s, North and South. Many in the North feel as though they have no voice in Augusta politics. In March of 2012, State Representative, Henry Joy of Crystal even proposed Legislation that would have allowed Aroostook, Piscataquis, Somerset, Franklin, Penobscot and parts of Washington, Hancock and Oxford counties to become their own State called Maine. Southern and coastal Maine would be renamed the state of Northern Massachusetts.”

It is no secret that the notion that “Many in the North” feel they have no voice in Augusta, is due to political and cultural differences based on a different value system. Historically, ballots cast in the State of Maine clearly reflect that there exists a distinct political difference between Northern Maine and Southern Maine.

Instead of Trahan calling for a secession from Maine by the North, he is actually suggesting one condition in which both “parties” are forced to seek out political and cultural adversaries as a means of accomplishing distinct political and cultural opposing proposals as a way of making things more equitable when it comes to the promotion of political and cultural dogma. Not only does one have to ask if this will accomplish what is intended in making the system more reasonable, but is it really possible?

Maine also has those proposing a constitutional amendment believed to guarantee and protect a Maine citizen’s right to hunt and fish. Regardless of whether you or I agree or disagree with such a constitutional reformation isn’t part of the point to be made here. What is the point is that conditions exist in this state where it is felt, due to political and cultural differences, that a threat exists because of one ideology opposing the other.

The majority of people who live in Northern Maine want to protect that right, while the majority of those to the South, find the need to protect that right as being unnecessary.

Do we then attempt to force one side to work with the other side by requiring an effort to place initiatives on the ballot, such as banning bear beating, to get a fair and honest representation of the state’s population, both north and south, or would it be better to create two states or some other remedy?

This dilemma is not endemic to the State of Maine. I was reading an opinion piece today in the USA Today Online. Written by Glenn Reynolds, he shares information about other states attempting to deal with these political, economic, and cultural differences.

Reynolds begins his piece with: “We’re starting to hear more about secession…wanting to separate from the population-dense urban areas that essentially control state decision-making…that they are governed by people in distant urban centers who know little, and care less, about their way of life.” 

This is the common theme throughout. I’ll guarantee it exists at some level in every state and perhaps every nation in the world. Can this be changed?

What is not so common is how to deal with it. In California, some are calling for a total secession and creating other distinct states. Others suggest turning the entire region into six separate zones, each recognizable due to their defined political, economic and cultural ideology.

New York is another example of how New York City seems to dominate and dictate all things to the remainder of the state, many of whom completely disagree with the rulings of the higher population.

We find the same problems in Washington State and Oregon, between the east and the west parts of each state, as well as in Illinois between the north and the south.

Is there an answer? Is this an idealistic pipe dream? Aren’t the suggestions of separation and secession nothing more than a reversal of ideology back to segregation? If so, then is segregation natural and more workable?

The author suggests some form of a stronger Federal Government presence that prohibits the states from making stricter laws than what the Feds mandate.

What could possibly go wrong?

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We’re All Going to DIE???

Promises Made, Promises Kept: Interior Releases Comprehensive List of Accomplishments under President Trump & Secretary Zinke

12/28/2017

Date: December 28, 2017
Contact: Interior_Press@ios.doi.gov

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Interior released a list of accomplishments that the Department has achieved under the leadership of President Donald J. Trump and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. The accomplishments represent the unique balance of development, conservation, and preservation that the Department is charged with overseeing, including leading in American Energy Dominance, restoring public access to public lands, and providing regulatory relief for hard working American citizens.

“The President promised the American people that their voices would be heard and that we would prioritize American interests, and I’m proud to say that this year the Department of the Interior has made good on those promises,” said Secretary Zinke. “Across the Department we are striking the right balance to protect our greatest treasures and also generate the revenue and energy our country needs. We ended the war on coal, and we restored millions of acres of public land for traditional multiple use. We expanded access for recreation, hunting and fishing on public lands, and also started looking at new ways to rebuild our National Parks. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Next year will be an exciting year for the Department and the American people.”

Throughout Secretary Zinke’s Senate confirmation process, he made many promises to the American tax payer, and the list of accomplishments shows how the Department is keeping the promises that were made. Additionally, Zinke fulfilled confirmation promises to Senators to visit DOI holdings in their home states, including FloridaNew MexicoUtahAlaskaIdahoLouisianaTennesseeMaineColoradoArizona, and Texas.

Below is a summary of major accomplishments according to Secretary Zinke’s Top Ten Priorities at the Department:

1. Create a conservation stewardship legacy, second only to Teddy Roosevelt

Under Secretary Zinke’s leadership, the Department opened public access to the Sabinoso Wilderness which contains some of the most pristine sportsmen opportunities in the country, expanded hunting and fishing access on 10 National Wildlife Refuges, and successfully defended a mineral withdrawal near the Grand Canyon and supports a withdrawal north of Yellowstone.

2. Sustainably develop our energy & natural resources

Under Secretary Zinke’s leadership, the Department held the second largest offshore wind lease sale, ended the Obama-era ban on coal mining on federal lands, and increased energy revenues to states and Tribes by more than a billion dollars.

3. Restore trust & be a good neighbor

At Secretary Zinke’s recommendation, the President restored traditional multiple-use public access to over a million acres of land in Utah while creating five distinct monument units at Grand Staircase-Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments. Under Zinke’s leadership, the Department also opened up the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge for emergency cattle grazing after a wildfire, and reopened U.S. Virgin Islands National Park ahead of the busy Christmas tourism season, helping the Islands’ economic recovery.

4. Ensure Tribal sovereignty means something

President Trump nominated the first Alaska Native woman to serve as the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs and issued the first-ever Presidential Emergency Declaration for a Tribe. Secretary Zinke signed the Pechanga water rights settlement, restored the rights of Alaska Natives to sell handicrafts, and asked Congress to formally designate Tribal co-management of Shash-Jaa area of Bears Ears National Monument.

5. Increase revenues to support DOI and national interests

Under Secretary Zinke’s leadership, the Department increased energy revenues to states by more than a billion dollars over the previous year.

6. Protect our people and the border

President Trump and Secretary Zinke began the process of working with Congress to authorize full funding of the compact with Palau in order to strengthen the United States strategic defense in the Pacific. Hundreds of DOI law enforcement officers deployed to evacuate, prepare and respond to hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

7. Strike a regulatory balance

Under Secretary Zinke’s leadership, the Department reduced the semi-annual regulatory agenda by more than 50-percent, initiated 21 deregulatory actions, saving the economy $3.8 billion over time.

8. Modernize our infrastructure

Secretary Zinke announced repairs to the historic Arlington Memorial Bridge, which carries 68,000 vehicles a day, will be completed under budget and ahead of schedule. The Secretary approved important infrastructure projects like the Boardman/Hemingway Transmission Line and the Mountain Valley Pipeline while also approving more than $80 million for parks and recreation grants.

9. Reorganize DOI for the next 100 years

The Secretary is crafting a plan to reorganize the Department of the Interior in a way that better manages our federal lands and pushes more assets to the field. The philosophy has earned bipartisan support in Congress and among governors.

10. Achieving our goals, leading our team forward

Partnership for Public Service announced in its”The Best Places to Work” survey the Department of the Interior (DOI) has improved from 11th place to 9th place among all the large agencies. Secretary Zinke has made improving the work experience a priority while at the Department, and the numbers from the report show a significant jump towards reaching that goal. Additionally, the Secretary announced the Department would be dog friendly in an effort to boost morale and attract top candidates.

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