Why Study Them?


In any rational debate it is important to have a command of the facts. The current gun control debate unfortunately is not informed by facts but rather conjecture and anecdotal evidence that would never fly in a court of law. You would think that in a country whose murder rate is 20 times higher than in other wealthy societies we all would want credible research to back up our positions, regardless of which side we were on.

Since 1996, Congress has prevented first the CDC and now NIH, from spending any money that could be construed as advocating or promoting gun control. The 2012 restrictions were a direct result of the conclusions reached by a group who concluded that a gun did not prevent its owner from being shot during an assault. (Nature 488, 129; 2012). This paper was dismissed by the NRA as nothing more than junk science, however this was only one paper and more research could have suggested the exact opposite to be true.

Consensus conclusions and the policies that derive from them are informed from conducting a large number of rigorous scientific studies. The NRA, supported by Senators Lee and Hatch, do not even want that.

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Flawed Reasoning


 

 

If we accept the argument that more guns in more hands would make us safer, it would logically follow that more nuclear weapons (and more countries owning them) would make the world a better place to live.

 

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They’re selling newspapers to the execution


Congratulations once again to the Salt Lake Tribune’s news and editorial staff for their blood lust passion in making a defective and dangerous member of the human race infamous. By sensationalizing the  legalized euthanasia of Ronnie Lee Gardner, you have once again shown that your true colors of greed and vengeance, are at the core of your philosophy.

One of our generations greatest poets, Bob Dylan summed up your paper’s support for revenge and profit in his opening line to his song “Desolation Row,” “They’re selling post cards of the hanging, they’re painting the passports brown.” I truly believe that you too would sell the same post cards to the ignorant masses given the opportunity.

I do believe the state had a valid reason to execute Mr. Gardner but only because he could not be incarcerated without flight risk or risk to those that protect us from people like him. In general I am opposed to the death penalty as it is applied in this country as it has proven to be cost ineffective, biased and occasionally resulted in the state sanctioned murder of an innocent person. Mr. Gardner’s blood is on my hands but I will not profit from it.

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Nigel Black


Half mile from the railroad track

lived a young fella named Nigel Black

He and his wife Della lived in a trailer shack

See some rooms from where I sat

Wood burning stove, 2 kids, one cat

Fighting and forgiving and all of that

Deer legs and heads upon his roof

Don’t believe me I have some proof

Chorus

By the Bear river

We lived, a sliver of life.

It might escape notice

to a young novice

We even shared his wife.

Got em a 76  pickup G M C

Crease down the middle, didn’t bother me

Down came the tree ,Timber yelled he

Just missed Della you see

Hot tubs and Hookers

Food Broker’s and Hooker

All in all  we were pretty tame

Because everybody looked the same

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Utah Constitutional Experts Dead Wrong


Perhaps I was too harsh with  the Republican US Senate primary candidates for Utah, Mike Lee and Tim Bridgewater yesterday. You see, since Mike Lee states he is  a “constitutional expert with deep Utah roots,” I took him at his word when he said, “The Federal government must be returned to the limited scope envisioned by the framers of the Constitution.” I was pretty sure he said the date of the document he was referring to was the one ratified in 1787 and thus before our “Bill of Rights,”  which were added in 1791. Since both Mike and Tim are adamant about securing their 2nd amendment rights I now assume the “constitutional expert” had his date incorrect and was alluding to our 1791 Constitution.

We all make mistakes and what’s a few years anyway. I should have given him the benefit of the doubt and not made a point of his error. However, since the self-professed expert is such an authority, I have to take up some serious issues with his basic premiss of reverting back to America’s imperfect Constitution’s first couple of drafts. “Imperfect you say, how impertinent and unpatriotic.”  Mike and Tim would argue. Perhaps the underfunded public schools they attended failed Mike and Tim, because there have been some pretty important Amendments to our Constitution beyond the first ten “Bill of Rights.”

I do not have time to cover all the 17 added Amendments Mike, and perhaps Tim, seem to think are not all that important so I’ll cover a few of the major ones, I think are important. Let us start with Amendment 13 which abolished slavery.

I suppose since Mike and Tim are state’s rights folks and  patently anti immigrant (primarily from the south), they might be in favor of keeping slavery an option if they had their way. Theoretically they could solve at least two problems at once;  creating wealth and eliminating the illegal immigrants. Just as in the south before the civil war,  the exploitation of other human beings created wealth. Mike could make slaves of all the illegal immigrants and exploit them too. Oh, I guess to some extent this has already happened in many areas, so perhaps my point is moot.

Another really important one, in my opinion, is Amendment 15 which allowed all “races,” the right to vote. Since the demographics of this country are changing dramatically and Caucasians  will soon be in the minority, Mike and Tim may want to reconsider eliminating this one too. Of course given the circles they run in I bet they would be in favor of keeping it out of their perfect document for as long as they could.

In many respects the 18th amendment, abolishing liquor, is still in effect in Utah. However as in the above paragraph the two may want to review this one because religions, other than The Church of Latter Day Saints, allow moderate and responsible drinking and in fact make it a part of their sacrament. In addition, since Utah is so heavily dependent on tourist dollars, and many of them like to drink, prohibition would not make sense economically.

Since women are in some sense second class citizens in the state of Utah as in other states dominated by patriarchal religions, I’m sure many men would love to rescind the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote. As according to Utah’s dominant religion’s doctrine they have difficulty getting into heaven on their own accord, so why would women want to vote anyway? Besides if they could they would probably pick a sane woman like Claudia Wright, Democratic candidate for the US House of Representatives in the 2nd congressional district of Utah.

I’ll conclude with one from my youth, “Old enough to die, old enough to vote.” Amendment 26 set the voting age to 18 since young men were being drafted and sent to our  very own hell hole in the 60’s and early 70’s: Vietnam. College, Canada or money kept you out of the  military draft. However since young people are generally more liberal than their elders the conservatives did not want them voting. Unfortunately, the youth of today generally do not vote anyway and  they volunteer to serve and perhaps die for their country willingly. Just today in my daily DoD email I learned that two more American soldiers just died in the service of our country, one marine and one army.

So if you are in favor of slavery, bigotry, teetotalers, or are anti feminist and do not mind dying without voting then, yes, our second draft is the Constitution for you. For me and millions of others, the Constitution is a living and breathing document guiding an experiment that is far from over. Our forefathers were wise and thoughtful but they could not predict the future and did not foresee all the problems facing future generations. It took over 223 years to improve on their brilliant framework and it required 27 more amendments. Amendments that Mike Lee and Tim Bridgewater and others obviously do not think are important.

Instead of moving backwards, as Mike, Tim, Morgan Philpot and the Tea Party would like, we must move forward as a country to address the challenges of today as well as tomorrow. But to do so we must think and act rationally with compassion for those who have been  marginalized within our society.

I didn’t like many of the things, soon to be retired Utah Republican Senator Robert Bennett stood for, but at least he was sane. What a  great mistake the once great Utah Republican party has made in advancing these two candidates. Sam Granato, the Democratic  US Senatorial candidate for Utah is looking better and better everyday.

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Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb on Guns


I don’t know about you but if our federal government ever came after Tim Bridgewater, one of two Republican candidates running for the US Senate in Utah’s June 22nd primary, I would be on the government’s side. Tim is so worried that Obama and the UN are going to take his guns away that he and his adherents are prepared to fight to the death. Of course Mr. Bridgewater was talking tough for the illiterate masses in Utah who mistakenly believe the “Small Arms Treaty” currently being debated will infringe on their “right to bear arms.”

On Monday June 7, 2010, KUED broadcast a pre-recorded debate, in conjunction with the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah (www.hinckley.utah.edu/), between Tea Bagger Tim Bridgewater and his opponent Tea Bagger Mike Lee. Both secessionists talked confidently and boldly about how they were going to transport all Utahan’s back to 1787 when our  US Constitution was first adopted.

Since both candidates like hyperbole I thought I would use the same tact. Just suppose the government really did want to take Timmy’s toys away how do you think they would pull it off, given our military’s dominance over any adversary on earth. Tim wouldn’t stand a chance with the “small arms” he’s got. I doubt his collection even includes a flame thrower let alone a grenade launcher.

We could take him out from virtually anywhere in the world with a remote drone. A cruise missile would be overkill and a bomber a waste of fuel. Probably just send one sniper, although we could also see a Utah version of  David Koresh’s Branch Dividian, Mount Carmel Center and his apocalypse outside of Waco,Texas in 1993. However, this time it would  go down in Happy Valley, Utah with Tim and his followers.

I’m afraid if our military is still fighting two wars they would send the FBI instead. I’m sure they would  want in on that action. If what I’ve seen on TV is true they are well equipped too. Oh, let’s not forget our own local government such as the Sheriff’s and Police’s SWAT teams. They are eager beavers and usually all they get out for are domestic disturbances-they would love the change.

If I interfered on Tim’s side they would arrest me. The prudent 56 year old in me says to stay out of their way and avoid Pleasant Grove, Utah for awhile if the need arose. I had  better go east on US 40 before going south in the state if I was traveling from Salt Lake City.

At the same time it would be the biggest  story in decades and would lead in the Salt Lake Tribune, Ogden Standard Examiner and the Desert News. I’m sure it would make it to television, radio, cyberspace and the New York Times. Just think, Tim’s very own “YouTube” video of his last day on earth.

I seriously doubt that Tim wants to “take on” the federal government but in order for him and his family to move to hot and humid Washington D.C. he must sound and act tough. Ironic for the fact that it would entail dismantling the very same government that would pay his salary and benefits. You know the one with the cushy health care, paid staffs, gymnasium, young interns, lobbyist’s money, air fare and no term limits.

However, in order to get to the promised land Tim and Mike are running a paranoid “bad government” me good campaign of states rights and a return to a literal interpretation of the constitution that was ratified 223 years ago in 1787 (Mike gave us the date).

As with their ill advised remarks about the resumption of nuclear testing in Nevada, Tim and Mike didn’t do their homework again. Someone should of told these two that the curb on the power of the federal government wasn’t ratified until 1791 in “The Bill of Rights” which includes our precious and sacrosanct  2nd amendment right to bear arms. What a choice.

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Vinnie’s comment on Tweedle Dee


Social Security has been a great success story since inception. The Feds run this program like a Swiss watch. To fix the long term finances all we need is to uncap payroll taxes. Then its good to go for 100 years.

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