Posts Tagged ‘Constitution

22
Feb
15

The end of red-light SCAMeras in Arizona?

redlightcamera

Ticketing cameras have been popping up in increased numbers over the last decade. Some of them only measure speed, others red-light running, some actively scan licence plates, and some do a combination of all those. To be honest, we all want to be safe on the road. Nobody likes it when someone runs a red light and certainly not when someone runs a red light and causes an accident. The question remains however of whether or not these ticketing cameras help curb the problem of speeding or red-light running. In fact, some argue that the cameras do more harm than good.

I agree with the sentiment that these cameras do more harm than good and I think anyone that lives with them would agree. I remember here in Arizona we had speed cameras on the highway and red light cameras on the corners. It was nearly a death trap on the highway where everyone would be cruising along ([above the speed limit] and when you got in the area of a speed camera everyone would slam on their brakes. Of course, logic should tell you that if everyone is suddenly slamming on their brakes that there is eventually going to be an uptick of rear-end collisions.

Whiplash anyone?

So while the cameras may have stopped people from speeding, did it actually make us more safe? If we traded decreased speed for an increase in rear-end collisions then I’d personally say that the safety of our community was degraded and I think that many would agree.

Likewise with red-light cameras and safety. We may have stopped people from running red lights but we have also increased the likelihood that people slam on their brakes at the sight of a yellow light instead of safely proceeding through and avoiding a rear-end collision. I know that I personally know where the cameras are at in my neighborhood and I try to avoid them. If I can’t avoid them then I approach them with caution – I’m always super paranoid that if I stop on yellow (to avoid running the red light) then I will be rear-ended by someone behind me who isn’t paying attention or simply isn’t expecting me to stop. I literally go through these intersections staring at my rear-view mirror! Scary – shouldn’t my eyes be forward and scanning the road in front of me?

We have all heard the reports when these cameras were being put in about how safe they made people – how people drove slower and ran less red-lights. But were those “studies” done by independent organizations, by lobbyist, or by the camera companies themselves? It seems to me that these studies very well may have been done by the latter two groups. This is even more true due to the fact of all the scandals and judgments handed down against these camera companies – everything from bribery to changing the yellow light timing to ensure more captures.

Here in Arizona we are pushing to finally rid ourselves of this cancer and return ourselves to a more sane, logical, and Constitutional way of nabbing those who break traffic laws by passing SB1167, entitled “Photo radar; prohibition.” So far the bill has managed to pass all paces and has picked up some notable endorsements, to include:

  • Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) supports a ban on photo ticketing. (citation needed)
  • Pinal County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) – Sheriff Babeu ended photo ticketing in his county immediately after taking office. He wrote Senator Ward aletter in support of SB 1167.
  • Phoenix Law Enforcement Association voted unanimously last week to support SB 1167
  • Richard Mack, a former two-term Graham County Sheriff, and current candidate for Navajo County Sheriff has been calling Arizona Senate members in support of SB 1167. (citation needed)

Tomorrow, 23 February 2015, is the day that the Arizona Senate votes on SB1167. Please consider contacting your Senator and telling them to vote YEA for SB1167. If you do not know their contact information then click here. The email I sent simply said “Please represent me by voting YEA for SB1167.”

Other items that you may want to consider that make red light cameras Unconstitutional:

  • 4th Amendment: The cameras scan the license plate and run the MVD data (your personal information) of every motorist in Arizona that passes by them, tracking people like cattle. This is a unwarranted search.
  • 5th Amendment: Photo tickets demand a fine be paid, or face the seizure of capital and possessions without offering due process. It’s simply a rubber stamp by an employee of the company who is collecting the fine.
  • 6th Amendment: There is no way to exercise your right to face your accuser, when the accuser is a machine.
  • 7th Amendment: There is no option for a trial because they’ve taken that right away from you with photo tickets, even though the fines can go as high as $350 in the state of Arizona.
  • 14th Amendment: Two sets of standards have been created for the same offenses. Red light and speed camera tickets are treated completely differently by the courts, which is a clear violation of your right to equal protection under the laws. And no machine can replace a sworn peace officer conduction traffic stops.

Below is a link with a collection of studies on whether or not red-light cameras increase public safety.

Red Light Camera Studies show increase in accidents

Arizona can do this. I reported in May 2010 about how Arizona got rid of the speed cameras on the highways – so this is totally possible, especially if we all call our politicians and tell them to support this bill!

Advertisements
23
Jul
13

Why Do We Have the IRS: Abolish It

For 126 years the United States of America had very limited taxes. In this time from 1787 until 1913 the government-funded itself by indirect taxes – mainly tariff, corporation, and other excise taxes. An indirect tax is one that is not levied on each person and can be avoided (or passed on) if you want to. An example of this is the tobacco tax – you do not have to pay the tobacco tax simply for being a resident. You only pay the tax if you voluntarily decide to participate in that activity that the tax is attached to – you can either not smoke or you can grow your own tobacco – you simply avoided that product or service to not pay an indirect tax.

CCH_Title 26Today most Americans have no idea about taxation. Even worse is that they have no idea what the difference is between direct and indirect taxation. Most Americans simply send off any paperwork they may have to a tax professional and that person does it. What is interesting is that you could send your paperwork off to five different individuals and you will come up with a different tax burden computation from each. Each tax preparer will interpret the code and take calculated risks off those interpretations. The sad part is that most of the time they are all right – the tax code is so insanely convoluted that there is an infinite amount of possibilities that one can arrive at for their tax burden – after all Title 26 was reported to be 73,954 pages (~4.5 million words) for 2013. Compare this with the 400 pages (240,045 words) the tax code was in 1913, the Bible with 1,291 pages (774,746 words), and War and Peace at 1,444 pages (866,562 words).

We are routinely told by our government that taxation is a voluntary system but yet every year the IRS sends out legions of enforcers and piles of fines to people they have somehow deemed to be delinquent.  All this despite numerous politicians stating that it is voluntary; even IRS Commissioner Steve Miller said that it was voluntary. How is a system voluntary if we are threatened with fines, court proceedings, garnishment, repossession, liens, and jail time?

Something doesn’t smell right, does it?

Obama-IRS_SMALL

But it doesn’t stop there. Recently we have learned that the Internal Revenue System has targeted political opposition to the President – and worse yet during and election year. This is an obvious abuse of power but despite this fact little to nothing has done to condemn or stop such acts. I think what bothers me about the entire connection with Obama is that a lot of people will claim that he had no knowledge of the targeting nor did he command the targeting. This may be true but I still think it begs a few pertinent questions.

The IRS Commissioner in charge during the targeting was Douglas Shulman. He was to serve for 5 years starting in 2008. So yes, Shulman was put into position during President W. Bush’s term. However, he served less than 9 months under Bush. Furthermore, the Senate that confirmed him was controlled by the Democrats and according to financial records Shulman donated to the Democrats. And this fact is evidenced even further by the White House visitor log showing that the IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman visited the White House 118 times between 2010 and 2011. By law the President can remove the IRS Commissioner if he has a cause and what a better cause than the IRS targeting certain political groups.

As the proverb goes “You may know a man by the company he keeps.” President Obama had every right to remove Shulman but didn’t. I personally I find it hard to believe that someone visited the White House 118 times in 2 years (that is about once a week) and never squeaked a word about any targeting of the hosts (President’s) opponents. C’mon.

Have you ever thought about how America was before the Tax Code? Arguably America had her biggest growth before 1913 when there were very few taxes and little to no taxes on any income. If you go over to my article entitled The Sixteenth Amendment Did Not Allow the Government to Tax You! then you will see that only 0.37% of the American population even filed for taxes. It wasn’t even until 1916 that over 1% filed and 1943 over 30% filed – mind you that the Sixteenth Amendment was implemented in 1913. Courts have repeatedly ruled that no new powers of taxation were created with the Sixteenth Amendment but that sure as hell doesn’t stop the politicians and the government from saying that is exactly what allows them to tax your paycheck.

We Americans don’t say anything about these inconsistencies because we are scared of the IRS. Check out the list entitled 10 Outrageous Facts About the Income Tax from the CATO Institute.

  1. The U.S. “tax army” is bigger than the U.S. army in Iraq.
    Income taxes are so complex that there are up to 1.2 million paid tax preparers in the country — six times more than the number of troops in Iraq. The tax army includes legions of accountants, lawyers, and computer experts — some of the best minds in the country. Unfortunately, their brainpower is adding little to the nation’s standard of living.
  2. A tax form for every special interest.
    As the income tax grows more complex, the number of IRS tax forms has jumped from 402 in 1990 to 526 by 2002. Congress hands the accountants business on a silver platter when they create special interest tax forms such as “8845-Indian Employment Credit” and “8834-Qualified Electric Vehicle Credit.” When Congress penalizes an activity, we get tax forms such as “6197-Gas Guzzler Tax.” It’s time to end the micromanaging and adopt a simple flat-rate tax. Until then, Congress needs to supplement “6478-Credit for Alcohol Used as Fuel” with form “XXX-Credit for Alcohol Used for Drinking.”
  3. Double-tax on dividends: 60 years and still not fixed.
    Sixty years ago, a Treasury report noted that “double taxation of corporate profits is the principal problem raised in connection with the corporation income tax.” In the 1930s, a Treasury report argued that the tax disincentive to pay dividends caused corporate management problems. Recent scandals proved them right. Congress should bite the bullet and reform dividend taxes now — before the next round of corporate scandals begins. 
  4. Congress promotes discrimination through the tax code.
    The front of the Supreme Court building boldly declares “equal justice under law,” yet the income tax has hundreds of discriminatory provisions. For example, homeowners are treated more favorably than renters since they can deduct mortgage interest and other itemized deductions. Consider that a higher-income homeowner can effectively deduct car loan interest by shifting around his finances but a lower-income apartment dweller cannot. Americans would not stand for such discrimination on other taxes — imagine if each shopper at Wal-Mart was assigned a different sales tax rate!
  5. Congress on tax complexity: Who us?
    Congress frequently holds hearings on tax simplification so members can denounce the tax code’s complexity. Each time, congressional experts and outside think tanks provide useful simplification ideas. Then when the TV cameras are turned off, Congress promptly ignores them and votes for more special interest breaks. The result: The number of pages in the tax code and regulations doubled from 26,300 in 1984 to 54,846 by 2003, according to tax publisher CCH.
  6. AMT designed to catch 155 taxpayers will soon catch 37 million.
    The alternative minimum tax is an unneeded parallel tax system alongside the ordinary income tax. It began life in 1969 after Congress was shocked (shocked!) to learn that 155 wealthy individuals were not paying tax because they used too many of the deductions that Congress had provided them. The AMT has been a complex nuisance ever since. But this dumb idea aimed at the rich is set to explode on the middle-class as the number of AMT taxpayers skyrockets from 3 million today to 36 million by 2010.
  7. Voluntarism works for the U.S. military, not the income tax.
    For years, officials have hailed the income tax as a voluntary system. The Treasury calls it “our voluntary tax system.” The IRS says that it pursues “enforcement programs to promote voluntary compliance” and establishes “strategies to maximize voluntary tax law compliance by emphasizing customer satisfaction.” But with 32 million IRS penalties assessed each year and about $10,000 in income taxes imposed on each taxpaying household, the tax isn’t voluntary and these customers aren’t satisfied.
  8. Congress can’t figure out how to measure “income.”
    Although the income tax is 90 years old, Congress still can’t figure out how to measure “income.” Some income such as municipal bond interest is not taxed, but other income such as dividends is taxed twice. The income tax treatment of savings is particularly incoherent and unstable. For example, there have been 25 major changes in the capital gains tax since 1922. The solution is to replace the income tax with a low-rate tax that exempts savings.
  9. Family saving shouldn’t require an advanced math degree.
    Shouldn’t saving for education, retirement, and other items be as simple as putting money in the bank? Instead, Congress has manufactured hundreds of special savings rules, such as for 401(k)s, Keoghs, deductible IRAs, nondeductible IRAs, education IRAs, Roth IRAs, traditional pension plans, annuities, SIMPLEs, SEPs, MSAs, and others. The IRS guide to IRAs alone is 105 pages long! President Bush’s initiative to consolidate the savings plans and create a universal IRA would be a good step to bring some sanity to this mess.
  10. Income taxes: A bad idea that got worse.
    The income tax is not an example of a good idea gone bad. It was bad from the beginning, and it just keeps getting worse. The income tax distorts financial planning and business investment, and it encourages tax avoidance and evasion. Because the income tax is built on an unworkable base of “income,” the law is continually changing. Let’s simplify Americans’ finances and disband the tax army by pursuing fundamental tax reform.

Why would one want to contend with the IRS or the Tax Law when even the IRS doesn’t know what it says (or apparently what it does)? Here is another list of 10 reasons why the IRS is no good from FreedomWorks.

1. The Code is Too Complex.

The code is so big that politicians can’t even agree on how long it is.  Title 26, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) code totals to about 3,400,000 million words.  The non-partisan Tax Foundation reports that the entire tax code with regulations in 2005 was over 9,097,000 words.  To put that in perspective, the Bible has 774,746 words.  The code has grown in length between 1995 and 2005 by 18.9 percent.  The directions for filing a typical form 1040 totals 161 pages.  The “EZ” version is 41 pages.

2. The Code is Beyond Comprehension.

No single person knows or understands the entire tax code– not even IRS Employees!

In 2008, the IRS was wrong on questions concerning tax law about 10 percent of the time.  Myriads of accountants and lawyers are employed to decipher the cryptic tax code.  It should be scrapped and simplified.  No small modification to the code can remove the enormous complication.  

3. The IRS is Too Big.

The IRS employed 90,647 people in 2008.  It had operating costs of $11,207,223,000.  If we simplified the code, then many of those IRS employees could go into more productive lines of work, rather than checking up on whether or not the correct amount of money was extracted from hard working Americans.  The money spent on the IRS is economic deadweight loss caused by the level of complication of the code.  If it were scrapped and replaced, billions of taxpayer dollars could be saved just by reducing the size of the IRS–not to mention all the gains from productively employing former IRS staff members in the private sector.

4. The Code Corrupts the Culture in Washington. DC.

Lobbying is the biggest business in Washington.  About $3.2 billion was spent in the 2008 on lobbying.  Many, if not the majority, of America’s 15,139 registered lobbyists are working on increasing the level of complication of the tax code by fighting for special loopholes and regulations that will save their company money or put their competitors out of business. Yet lobbying and ethics reform too often focuses on the symptoms, like gift bans, instead of the underlying cause. What would be America’s single most effective move to clean up the swamp of special interests in Washington? Scrapping the code and replacing it with a fair and simple one.

5. The Code Taxes Some Income Two or More Times.

Our code taxes certain types of income twice.  For instance, a company pays taxes on dividends that it pays out and then when stock holders earn money from the dividends, they pay taxes on them again.  When government taxes particular types of income more than others, it distorts the market economy by punishing certain kinds of behavior with double taxation. Absent government intervening through the tax code with the complicated and unfair system, the market economy would likely perform more efficiently.  

6.   Congress Uses the Tax Code to Legislate Morality.

Congress, with its recent passage of the SCHIP bill, raised taxes on cigarettes by 61 cents per pack.  Our corrupt and easily manipulated tax system allows members of Congress to pass laws that increase the cost of certain behavior.  In the case of SCHIP, they targeted smoking.  In the case of AIG, they targeted bonuses.  Frightening precedents are being set by Congress this session that will likely lead to even more explicit penalties for certain industries.  President Obama claims that he will place a cap-and-trade tax on industry that will eliminate construction of any new coal power plants.  Under a fairer and less easily manipulated tax system, government couldn’t pick winning and losing industries as we have witnessed recently.

7. High Marginal Tax Rates Penalize Success.

Marginal income taxes are higher for each dollar workers earn.  Our most productive members of society face federal taxes of 36 percent or higher.  Under our system, the top 10 percent income earners pay 70 percent of federal income taxes.  The president plans to increase top marginal rates to at least 39 percent–and that’s not even counting state income tax rates.  In virtually every state in the country, high income workers would face top marginal tax rates that would rob them of more than 50 percent of their income.  Our current code destroys the incentive of the most productive to work hard.  

Shouldn’t we be trying to give incentive to the most productive to continue working rather than taxing so much of their income away that they no longer think it’s worth working hard?  How many inventions or cures for diseases have we lost because the most productive stopped working when faced with 50 percent or higher rates on each additional hour of work?

8. Complying with the Code Costs Americans Billions.

Compliance is a multi-billion dollar industry and 59 percent of all individuals filing taxes hire someone else to do it for them totaling to 81 million returns done by accountants last year.  If we scrapped the tax code for a simpler one, people could fill out their tax forms easily.  The sum total benefit could be billions of dollars.  All those accountants and lawyers who make their living off the level of complication of the tax code could go into more productive work that would benefit all Americans.  

Compliance weighs more heavily on the poor–making our tax code more regressive than it appears.  Taxpayers with adjusted gross income (AGI) under $20,000 pay 5.9 percent in compliance costs while those with an AGI of over $200,000 pay .5 percent of their income for compliance.

9. The Code Drives Political Donations

The Congressman on the House Ways and Means Committee Received  $55,157,458  in the 2008 Election Cycle.

The Ways and Means Committee deals with taxes.  It’s responsible for “raising the revenue required to finance the Federal Government. This includes individual and corporate income taxes, excise taxes, estate taxes, gift taxes, and other miscellaneous taxes.”  It’s the busiest committee and it’s membership during the 2008 election cycle received $55,157,458 in campaign contributions.  

If we scrapped the code, the committee members would lose their power to manipulate the code in order to pay off their campaign contributors.  Our tax system leads to corruption and corporate capture of legislation .

10. Laws Should Rest on Principles of Justice.

The tax code is modified every few years along no reasonable principle.  The code is arbitrary and unpredictable, and is morphing from its stated purpose– efficiently raising government revenue– into an instrument that Congress uses to instill fear, punishment, and political control. The code should be scrapped and replaced with a more just system based on principles of fairness and equality before the law rather than on the whim of lobbyists and lawmakers.

IRS_decimal point

America grew best when she didn’t demand through a “voluntary” tax system. People were allowed to manage their finances and plan for their savings. With an ever-changing tax system in place that grows by hundreds of pages per year and is over 73,000 pages what it was originally supposed to be it makes it very difficult to plan anything – especially for businesses. It should be fairly evident by now that the taxes collected aren’t for your benefit – it is for the lobbyist and the political leaders to get ahead of their competition. If you can have the government make your competition squirm while you don’t then you gain an advantage. GE did this in 2010 when it filed a 57,000 page tax return on its $14 billion of profits and paid… no taxes at all.

We should seriously look at shutting down the IRS. While everyone thought he was crazy Ron Paul repeatedly called to end the corrupt IRS.

I want to abolish the income tax, but I don’t want to replace it with anything. About 45 percent of all federal revenue comes from the personal income tax. That means that about 55 percent — over half of all revenue — comes from other sources, like excise taxes, fees, and corporate taxes.

We could eliminate the income tax, replace it with nothing, and still fund the same level of big government we had in the late 1990s. We don’t need to “replace” the income tax at all. I see a consumption tax as being a little better than the personal income tax, and I would vote for the Fair-Tax if it came up in the House of Representatives, but it is not my goal. We can do better.

As much as I hate to say it, the Second Plank of Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto was “A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.” Why do we have such a tax system where we effectively punish those making money? Not to mention a system where people who pay no taxes repeatedly receive money and benefits for free.

Consider signing the petition here. Click below.

Cruz_Splashgraphic_abolishirs-300x177

08
May
13

Armed March on Washington DC – Good or Bad?

I am seriously conflicted as to what to believe about the armed march with loaded and slung firearms into Washington D.C. being organized by Adam Kokesh for the 4th of July. The Facebook event can be found here.

On one hand, why should we not be allowed to peacefully convene with or without firearms?

On the other hand, our government is out of control and more than half of Americans are brainwashed into thinking people shouldn’t be allowed to peacefully convene because protesters speaking… out is an “inconvenience” or “dangerous.”

I believe that civil disobedience is great. Some of the great minds and activists did it and succeeded. However, our government isn’t in the game to be just or moral. I wouldn’t doubt if they confront the crowd on the grounds of a “threat” and open fire. Check out the Veterans March of 1932, and those people weren’t even armed (that I know of).

 Alternatively there is a march planned for the 3rd of July with toy guns in Washington D.C. and is being organized by Austin Petersen. The event can be found here.
 
There is a lot of chatter about what is the best way to put the government on notice that tyranny will not be tolerated. They both employ guns however one is a real firearms while others are toys. They both address the specific issue of gun-control and the 2nd Amendment… and the underlying outcry of the government taking our freedoms. But one is illegal – open carrying firearms in D.C. is not lawful.
 
I’ve always admired the quote from Martin Luther King Jr. when he said, “One who breaks an unjust law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.” For a law is just that, words written by other humans that impose some sort of rule on another human. What is the 2nd Amendment about? Is it about citizens fighting against a tyrannical tyrannical government? To hunt? For self defense? What is it for? I personnally think it is for all the above reasons. If you have firearms you are a free individual – you can maintain a government that serves you, you can provide for yourself, you can protect yourself from attackers. All of these things are permissible by advanced weaponry such as a firearm.
 
So why does D.C. and other states/cities have firearm laws that are so strict?
 
I do not know how these will go down but I will say this – people have marched in Washington for decades and very little has changed. Behind their walls our politicians peer and jeer at us while they do what they want apart from their promises and shirk their oath to the Constitution. They have manipulated a simple document, the Constitution, to mean whatever they have pleased. Thomas Jefferson said, “A government afraid of its citizens is a Democracy. Citizens afraid of government is tyranny!” Bringing squirt guns and a message to the capitol will be viewed what they are – a toying joke. Live firearms are taken seriously and the message will be taken as such. But make no mistake about it, anything that happens on the 4th, even if peaceful, will be portrayed as radical white men trying to cause trouble.
 
And additional look at this situation is found at The Libertarian Republic.

I keep asking myself in all of this madness – when will Ameicans cry out and say enough is enough? I fear that as a whole, we won’t cry out. We will be a redux of  Martin Niemöller’s famous poem. We will be a redux of George Santayana’s famous quote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

12
Mar
13

The Militia Mentioned In The 2nd Amendment = All The Citizens

America was founded on the idea that every person should be guaranteed life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and that government should not impede their will or political motive on you. At the time this was written in 1776 the idea was novel – previously all people were subjects of the state and the state did as it wished. For the first time in history people were being deemed more powerful than the government.

please delete

As part of that promise the newly founded American government wanted to ensure that it never got out of hand and if it did that it’s citizens would be able to keep it in check. To keep it in check the first right they gave them was the First Amendment. In this right they allowed the people to tell their government that they were being wronged and to petition for a change in government. Secondly they gave the people the Second Amendment. In this right they allowed the people to bear arms equal to the government in so that if it ever got out of control or slipped back into tyranny the people (the real government) could physically fight them and change their government.

The Second Amendment as it was authenticated by the Secretary of State reads, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The co-author of the Second Amendment, George Mason, at the Convention to ratify the Consitution said, “I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” If one knows history the right to bear arms isn’t a state militia but rather an individual having the right to bear arms because an unarmed citizen was what Kings and Queen had – an enslaved subject.

It has now been over 12 months since gun owners in Australia were forced by a new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by our own governme…nt, a program costing Australia taxpayers more than $500 million dollars.
The first year results are now in:
Australia-wide, homicides are up 6.2 percent,
Australia-wide, assaults are up 9.6 percent;
Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent)!
In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent. (Note that while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, the criminals did not and criminals still possess their guns!)
While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady decrease in armed robbery with firearms, this has changed drastically upward in the past 12 months, since the criminals now are gua ranteed that their prey is unarmed.
There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the elderly, while the resident is at home.
Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort and expense was expended in ‘successfully ridding Australian society of guns….’ You won’t see this on the American evening news or hear your governor or members of the State Assembly disseminating this information.
The Australian experience speaks for itself. Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws affect only the law-abiding citizens.
Take note Americans, before it’s too late!
Will you be one of the sheep to turn yours in?
19
Feb
13

Why Is Requiring a Warrant Bad? (Arizona HB2574)

Tom Forese

Tom Forese (AZ LD17)

The Fourth Amendment reads as follows:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

To me this seems pretty straight forward – the government cannot search your person, house, papers, or other property unless there is a warrant issued. In this warrant a specific scope will be given to include what can be searched and what can be seized… permitting that a probable cause can be given under Oath or affirmation to the people who can lawfully issue a warrant.

So how is it that we now have a government that allows drones come and search us as we move about our daily lives? If you truly think that anyone is up to no good then obtaining a lawful warrant should not be difficult.

Here in Arizona we are trying to pass a bill – HB2574 – that would require a warrant to be issued before any government agency can use a drone to spy or search any citizen. It must first pass Committee so that it can be put on the floor for debate and a subsequent vote. However, Thomas Forese and Justin Pierce are both balking at this bill to keep it off the floor.

If you believe that the government should be required to obtain a warrant to search our life happenings, by drone or by person, then please consider contacting these politicians and telling them to allow it on the floor to be voted on.

Thomas Forese
tforese@azleg.gov
602-926-5168

Justin Pierce
jpierce@azleg.gov
602-926-5495

Below is a copy of my short and sweet email – please feel free to use it and edit it as you see fit.

Dear Mr Forese:

As a law-abiding citizen and a precinct comitteman (LD17) I beleive that we should be afforded the right to privacy and the law. If any citizen is believed to be involved in wrong-doing then the proper procedure has long been to obtain a warrant in a lawful court and carry out any surveilence, searching, or seizures that are needed to protect the safety of our community. If a valid threat is brough forth in this procedure then a warrant should not be difficult to obtain. I am kindly asking you to use your elected position and as a family-man yourself to allow Arizona HB 2574 entitled “Citizens Protection From Unwarranted Surveillance Act” to be brought to the floor to be properly debated and voted upon.

06
Feb
13

Assasinating American Citizens Is Now Officially ETHICAL, WISE, and LEGAL

The idea that everyone is inocent until proven guilty – also referred to as Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat – has been a staple of civilized law for centuries. I grew up with this idea that if accused of anything that I would have the chance of rebuttal. I grew up with the notion that in America I couldn’t be taken away, thrown in a cell, and held indefinitely unless someone had proven that I had done something worthy of such treatment.

assassinationThings have apparently changed in today’s world in this regard. Today as Americans we are filled with fear of the unknown. We seem far removed from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s words which were later echoed by John F. Kennedy where they said, the “only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Today we fear something on every corner – we fear that a terrorist is standing in line with us to blow up a plane, we fear that we will die of some new super-flu, we fear that Iran will bomb us tomorrow, and we fear that our neighbor will use their AR-15 to shoot down our children. Many of these things are largely unfounded – very few planes have been hijacked and used as weapons in the history of humanity, very few people die from some contagious virus, nobody has indefinitely proven that Iran is building a bomb, and you’re more likely to die from a kitchen knife or a hammer than an AR-15.

But it is fear that motivates us to do things or to give up things we normally wouldn’t do with logic and reason. Fear is irrational and our government knows this – Rahm Emanuel infamously said, “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.” In other words, when people are confused and cowering in fear, the impossible then becomes possible.

I am specifically speaking today about the idea of what we allow when we fear uncertainty. Nobody wants to be killed by a terrorist so to combat this fear we allow our government to handle the issue. However, when we allow the government to handle the issue we allow them to impede on us and our freedoms. In recent history our American government has passed legislation, implemented agency policy changes, or signed Executive Orders to seek out Americans they deem unsavory and assasinate them… without trial… or without any definitive proof that they have actually done anything other than talk bad about America or hang out with bad people who don’t like America.

When will Americans find such an action intolerable? For now the policy is distant – we are killing American citizens in other countries. Our news barely reports on it and when they do they are sure to invoke two American fears – that they are an Islamic and that they are a terrorist. In doing so, we disregard teh fact that the person was just as we are – an American citizen who is supposedly protected under law practice such as due process, burden of proof, and starting an investigation with a valid probable cause. This is what we citizens here are afforded here in Arizona, Ohio, and the rest of the United States so why isn’t this courtesy also afforded to citizens overseas?

I believe this is a very slippery slope and especially true when you consider how many times the government has accidentially killed the wrong person (for example, there was no wrongdoing found at Ruby Ridge but that didn’t stop them from shooting half a family). I am sure that Americans won’t care about this policy until they are the ones being detained or killed. Sounds like something Martin-Niemöller wrote about with Nazi Germany.

See associated article here.

Of the scores of people dubbed terrorists and taken out by American military drone strikes, three men — all killed in the fall of 2011 — were U.S. citizens.

And their lives illustrate the complexity of the issue, recently brought to light amid a newly discovered government memo that provides the legal reasoning behind drone strikes on Americans.

Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan were killed by a missile strike in Yemen on Sept. 30, 2011, while al-Awlaki’s son, Abdulrahman, was killed in the country just weeks later.

Since the attacks, family members have called the deaths unjust and sued the U.S. government, calling the killings unconstitutional.

Anwar al-Awlaki, born in New Mexico, became well known for his fiery anti-American sermons posted throughout the Internet.

Samir Khan, who’d lived in both New York and Charlotte, N.C., produced a magazine called “Inspire” that became known for its extreme jihadist views.

But the most controversial drone strike took place on Oct. 14, 2011, when 16-year-old Abdulrahman was killed by U.S. forces.

Family of the Denver-born teenager say he had no ties to terrorist organizations and was unjustly targeted because of his father.

Nassar al-Awlaki, grandfather of Abdulrahman and father to Anwar, said he tried to protect his grandson as Anwar al-Awlaki’s profile grew.

In December, Nassar al-Awlaki told CNN, “In Anwar it was expected because he was under targeted killing, but how in the world they will go and kill Abdulrahman. Small boy, U.S. citizen from Denver, Colorado.”

Nassar al-Awlaki said his grandson snuck out of their Yemen home one night, leaving a note for his mother saying he would return in a few days. The boy never returned, killed instead while eating at an outdoor restaurant.

“Since the issue regarding Anwar came, I tried to insulate the family of Anwar from everything, regarding this matter,” Nassar al-Awlaki told CNN. “I took care of him, and suddenly after 2 year absence from his father, he decided to go to our government in Yemen to seek information from his father. That was the only reason he went, and he did not tell us.”

The Obama administration has remained mostly mum regarding Abdulrahman’s death, and at times has struggled to explain it.

“I would suggest that you should have a far more responsible father if they are truly concerned about the well-being of their children,” former White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs said to a gaggle of reporters in October. “I don’t think becoming an al-Qaeda jihadist terrorist is the best way to go about doing your business.”

During his presidential campaign, Republican Rep. Ron Paul criticized the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, saying: “Al-Awlaki was born here, he is an American citizen. He was never tried or charged for any crimes. No one knows if he killed anybody. … But if the American people accept this blindly and casually that we now have an accepted practice of the president assassinating people who he thinks are bad guys, I think it’s sad.”

Anwar al-Awlaki’s ties to the United States go back to his father Nassar, who came to the country to earn a master’s degree. His son was born in New Mexico, and though the family returned to Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki came back to the U.S. for college, eventually becoming an iman.

Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, he became a popular spokesman for moderate Islam, and was often used to juxtapose perceptions that Islam is a religion that spreads hate. But less than a decade later, he was hiding in Yemen as a name on the CIA’s kill list.

“I eventually came to the conclusion that jihad against America is binding upon myself just as it is binding on every other Muslim,” he said in an audio message in March 2010.

Conversely, Khan was never interested in the peaceful side of Islam. The New York Times reports that as a teen, Khan’s attraction grew exponentially to militant sites on the Internet after 9/11. Parental concerns and intervention from community leaders proved unsuccessful. Khan was 25 when he died in Yemen.

In July 2012, Samir Khan’s mother, Sarah, joined Nassar al-Awlaki in a lawsuit against four senior national security officials.

“I don’t really necessarily agree with some of the things Anwar said against the United States, but does that mean they should kill him outside the law?” asked Nassar al-Awlaki.

25
Dec
12

Demand a Plan

How about this for a plan?

(I) All people on this video who have armed body guards are called out as they are… hypocrites.
(1) Make all public officials who are anti-2nd turn in all their weapons, body-guards, and permits.
(2) Make all celebrities who are anti-2nd turn in all their weapons, body-guards, and permits.

(II) Have an honest discussion on gun-free zones.
(1) Of the ones they listed…
(i) 1999: Columbine… gun-free zone
(ii) 2007: Virginia Tech… gun-free zone
(iii) 2011: Tuscon
(iv) 2012: Auora… gun-free zone
(v) 2009: Fort Hood… gun-free zone
(vi) 2012: Oak Creek… gun-free zone
(vii) 2012: Newtown, Sandy Hook… gun-free zone
(2) Of the ones they didn’t list…
(i) 2001: Flight 93, 11, 175, and 77 on 9/11… gun-free zone
(ii) 2006: Amish School… gun-free zone

(III) Get a sense of responsibility back. In our society nobody is responsible anymore. Default on your home loan – that’s cool, you can default and the government will help you subsidize! Make bad business deals (i.e. auto and financial sectors) – that’s cool, you can default and have the government bail you out! Go have sex and say fuck contraception – that’s cool, you can just go have an abortion at Planned Parenthood that is funded by the government! Get married and don’t have the forttude to work it out – that’s cool, you can just go and get a divorce! Don’t save for retirement – that’s cool, you can just rely on your children to forcibly donate part of their paycheck to your retirement. Don’t get a job or contribute to society – that’s cool, you can just live at home with your parents OR have the state pay for your housing AND food. Maybe if we as a society start feeling responsible for how things go they will contribute and become active in their societies and their decisions.

(IV) Kill the media. Stop letting the media glorify sickos that go on killing sprees for weeks upon weeks.

(V) Examine gun-laws vs crime rates
(1) 1976 – Washington D.C.: During the years in which the D.C. handgun ban and trigger lock law was in effect, the Washington, D.C. murder rate averaged 73% higher than it was at the outset of the law, while the U.S. murder rate averaged 11% lower. (Uniform Crime Reporting Program, United States, 1960-2008.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division.)
(2) 1968 – Britain: the homicide rate in England and Wales has averaged 52% higher since the outset of the 1968 gun control law and 15% higher since the outset of the 1997 handgun ban. (Report: “Homicides, Firearm Offences and Intimate Violence 2008/09.” Edited by Kevin Smith and John Flatley. UK Home Office, January 21, 2010.)
(3) 1982 – Chicago: Since the outset of the Chicago handgun ban, the Chicago murder rate has averaged 17% lower than it was before the law took effect, while the U.S. murder rate has averaged 25% lower. Since the outset of the Chicago handgun ban, the percentage of Chicago murders committed with handguns has averaged about 40% higher than it was before the law took effect. (2005 Chicago Murder Analysis Report.” Chicago Police Department.)
(4) 1987 – Florida: Since the outset of the Florida right-to-carry law, the Florida murder rate has averaged 36% lower than it was before the law took effect, while the U.S. murder rate has averaged 15% lower. (“Uniform Crime Reporting Program, United States, 1960-2008.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division.)
(5) 1996 – Texas: Since the outset of the Texas right-to-carry law, the Texas murder rate has averaged 30% lower than it was before the law took effect, while the U.S. murder rate has averaged 28% lower. (“Uniform Crime Reporting Program, United States, 1960-2008.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division.)
(6) 2001 – Michigan: Since the outset of the Michigan right-to-carry law, the Michigan murder rate has averaged 4% lower than it was before the law took effect, while the U.S. murder rate has averaged 2% lower. (“Uniform Crime Reporting Program, United States, 1960-2008.” Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division.)

(VI) Examine the effect of armed citizens on criminals
(1) Based on survey data from the U.S. Department of Justice, roughly 5,340,000 violent crimes were committed in the United States during 2008. These include simple/aggravated assaults, robberies, sexual assaults, rapes, and murders. Of these, about 436,000 or 8% were committed by offenders visibly armed with a gun. (“National Crime Victimization Survey: Criminal Victimization, 2008.” By Michael R. Rand. Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, September 2009.)
(2) Based on survey data from a 2000 study published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology, U.S. civilians use guns to defend themselves and others from crime at least 989,883 times per year. (Paper: “Measuring Civilian Defensive Firearm Use: A Methodological Experiment.” By David McDowall and others. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, March 2000. Data file: “U.S. Interim Projections by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin: 2000-2050, Detailed Data File.” Population Projections Branch, U.S. Census Bureau, May 11, 2004.)
(3) A 1982 survey of male felons in 11 state prisons dispersed across the U.S. found:
(i) 34% had been “scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim”
(ii) 40% had decided not to commit a crime because they “knew or believed that the victim was carrying a gun”
(iii) 69% personally knew other criminals who had been “scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim” (Book: Armed and Considered Dangerous: A Survey of Felons and Their Firearms (Expanded Edition). By James D. Wright and Peter D. Rossi. Aldine De Gruyter, 1986)

(VII) Examine why we have the Second Amendment to begin with.
(1) James Madison: “To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence.
Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” (Federalist 46)
(2) Richard Henry Lee: “A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves …” (Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republic, Letter XVIII, May, 1788.)
(3) George Mason: “I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” (Co-author of the Second Amendment, during Virginia’s Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788).
(4) George Washington: “Firearms stand next in importance to the constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence … from the hour the Pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable … the very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference — they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.”

To me the plan seems simple… IT IS ALREADY IN PLACE! Quit taking away firearms from law-abiding citizens. In fact, train them and take away their restrictions. Look at Switzerland! Hell look at the teachers carrying firearms in Israel – one of the most volatile places on Earth.




Quotes:

"We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth... For my part, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst; and to provide for it." - Patrick Henry

"Politicians and diapers both need to be changed, and for the same reason." - Anonymous

"Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it." - William Penn

"Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country" - Hermann Goering

"I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do this I keep on doing." - Romans 7:18-19

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Mark Twain

Categories