Sunday, June 26, 2016

Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ 3)

In the article, which in my view is not terribly well written, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ 3) speaks to "Right wing extremists” (who he remarkably compares to the Orlando Pulse shooter) and the clear and present danger (my words) to public lands, pointing to the armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon at the beginning of this year.  Mr. Grijalva is the US House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member. 

“The growing threat of violence and terrorism by anti-government groups is a threat that demands timely congressional attention and action, yet the Republican leadership has willfully ignored that threat in the wake of a deadly attack this weekend in Orlando,” he said. “Americans are against demanding action from Congress to prevent dangerous people from accessing deadly weapons to kill innocent Americans.” 

And he conflates firearms ownership with public land use and feckless Republicans and “Right wing extremists” a.k.a. terrorists.  That is an awfully large brush he tars many, many people with, especially in the West.  

Also, I suspect perhaps Mr. Grijalva may be wanting to hitch a ride on the Orlando shooting; in the words of Rahm Emanuel, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” 

The feds own 30% of the land in the US, most of it out west.  The article also does not mention changes that have occurred in public land use policy in the last 30 years, and how that may be factoring into lives of private citizens who had prior land use agreements with the government either unilaterally rescinded or modified class-action. 

Also, brutish administrative rule making by the EPA, effective August 28, 2015, is suddenly vastly redefining what landowners can do on their own property.  This is evidenced by the illegal (my opinion) rule making from the Obama EPA creatively “reinterpreting” the Clean Water Act away from statutory language of “navigable waterways” to the new “WOTUS” or Waters of the US, where ponds, lakes, wadis, depressions or ravines where water may temporary collect or flow, temporary wetlands and any stream, culvert natural or manmade, that the EPA deems would have an effect on downstream navigable waters (on both public land and private property).   

This reinterpretation morphing the Clean Water Act into WOTUS pretty much encompasses the whole country in what amounts to a large land grab from landowners and the States who thought they were in charge of managing their lands (why, yes, you my buy your ‘own' property, but you first must solicit from Glorious Bureaucracy permission to, you know, do anything with it - and the State DNR’s, well, you report now to us).  The Supreme Court ruled unanimously on June 1st that private landowners have standing and can join the lawsuit by the States to challenge the legality of this particular expansion of Federal oversight.  

And notably nowhere in the article was any mention of the public land adjoining Mexico, where ,for one example, the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge is posted as off limits to US Citizens, as control has effectively been ceded to the Mexican Drug Cartels.  Other areas include Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Sonoran Desert National Monument, Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge and the Coronado National Forest.  

Where is Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva’s commentary on this public land use issue?  Where is the Department of Interior?  

If Mr. Grijalva wants to explore the origins of the problem with “Right wing extremists,” I suggest he and his power hungry colleagues (in both parties) take a long, sober look in the mirror.  

Friday, June 24, 2016

Be afraid. Very afraid

With all of the lugubrious chatter blathering away on TV since the Orlando shooting, I’ve taken to exercising my rights, and hitting the TV kill switch and jumping into my paltry but eclectic collection of books to re-ground myself.  

We have achieved rhetorical apogee, or what I prefer to call “Maximum Orwell.”  The comments from our elected leaders (so-called) give me pause.  Behold.

We must not use due-process as an excuse to support mass murder,” – Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY)   Ahh yes.  That pesky Fifth Amendment.

Law abiding citizens just shouldn’t have to carry a gun,” but when asked about armed security in Washington D.C. he [Rangel] said “Well, that’s a little different. I think we deserve… I think we need to protected down here.” – Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY)   Ahh yes.  Animal Farm, where some animals are more equal than others, and laws apply only to the ‘little people,’ and not the impotent people, like Hillary.  

We have to make sure people are vetted, we got to have background checks, and we have to make sure you aren’t on the no fly list. That’s two very simple principles,” – Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)    I have only one word to describe that statement, “Simply amazing.”  

After 9/11 we limited suspected terrorists from accessing planes. Doing same [for] guns is common sense,” – Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)  Good point.  There are a lot of black market planes changing hands without background checks.  

Due Process is killing us,” – Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV)   Ahh yes.  ibid. 

"We’ve got to make this clear, constant case that Republicans have decided to sell weapons to ISIS,” Murphy said, using an alternative term for the Islamic State militant group. “That’s what they’ve decided to do. ISIS has decided that the assault weapon is the new airplane, and Republicans, in refusing to close the terror gap [emphasis mine], refusing to pass bans on assault weapons, are allowing these weapons to get in the hands of potential lone-wolf attackers. We’ve got to make this connection and make it in very stark terms.” – Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT)  Terror gap.  First there was the Bomber Gap in 1954.  Then the Missile Gap in 1957.  Then in 1969 came The Gap store.  Then came the Gap Band in the 1970’s.  Then in 1980 came Kim Kardashian and her Gap(s).  Today, we have the Terror Gap.  I believe we have enough Terror today, and I personally believe we really don’t need to close this particular gap.  

We can fix the problem with the innocent person.” – Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)   when talking about the secret government No-Fly, No-Buy ’terror watch list’ being tied to the National Instant Background Check System (or NICS, used to verify firearm background purchases)  

"The Second Amendment only protects the people who want all the guns they can have. The rest of us, we've got no Second Amendment. What are we supposed to do?” – Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY)   Please.  Don’t ask.  

"Congressman Giffords' life was saved and so many others' when very valiant folks stood up to defend themselves and protect themselves, and they did it with ballpoint pens.” – CO State Sen. Jessie Ulibarri (D-Adams County) while testifying on Jan. 28th 2011 before the Colorado Senate Judiciary Committee that guns are unnecessary for self-defense when so many effective weapons are already handy.   I suppose we now need ballpoint pen control laws?  

"Well, you know, my shotgun will do better for you than your AR-15, because you want to keep someone away from your house, just fire the shotgun through the door.” – US Vice President Joe Biden   I say give the poor man a break - will everyone?  I mean, you would not criticize a Golden Retriever for not being the sharpest knife in the drawer, would you?  Besides, I just hang the Jehovahs Witness sign on my front porch, and that seems to work just fine.  

"We have federal regulations and state laws that prohibit hunting ducks with more than three rounds. And yet it's legal to hunt humans with 15-round, 30-round, even 150-round magazines.”  Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)    She has a good point.  I’ll have to check the California State DNR bag limit for people next time I’m California.  

"If you ban them in the future, the number of these high-capacity magazines is going to decrease dramatically over time because the bullets will have been shot and there won't be any more available.” – Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO)   So, the Colorado magazine ban will cause bullets to deplete?  Fascinating.  

And my personal favorite:

This stuff writes itself.