Lefty48197's Journal - Archives
Here's the monthly Dow Jones closing averages during the Bill Clinton Presidency:
Note that the DJIA rose steadily during the Clinton Presidency from 3300 in Jan 1993, to 11,500 by December 1999, before settling back at 10,600 by the time Bill Clinton left office.
Now, here are the monthly Dow Jones closing averages since George W. Bush has been President.
The average was about 10,500 when he took office, and today it's about 10,500. It hasn't gone up a nickel in 5 years...
defying a decades long trend of upward growth.
The average dips around September/October 2001, due no doubt to the terrorist attack, but the average had rebounded by February 2002, when it went into a tailspin caused by all the corporate scandals by a business community run amok with no oversight from the "hands off" federal government.
The Republicans are crying that Michigan should be building new highways in their Republican districts, because failure to do so "deprives Michigan of development" and because it would "spark a faster (economic) turnaround".
They object to Governor Granholm's ongoing program to rebuild our existing highways, before building new ones.
The fact is that the highways of Detroit were left to rot by former Gov. John Engler and his "budget cutting" pals in the Republican party. In spite of the huge deficits he created, King John was still too busy cutting taxes and showing everybody how fiscally responsible he was, than to fix the roads. He wouldn't dare raise taxes for any "meaningless" project like infrastructure renewal.
After about a decade, he caved-in to public pressure and allowed money to be spent to rebuild the highways, but that was well into the twilight of his reign, and we still haven't dug ourselves out of the hole caused by his neglect. As a consequence, the millions of daily commuters in the Detroit area are forced to deal with the complete rebuilding of I-96 and I-94 through the city of Detroit.
One cannot overstate just how bad those two highways were before the re-build began. Both roads were completely covered with disintegrating asphalt. I've driven on many dirt roads that were smoother than either of those two highways were. The rebuilding of both highways should be finished next month.
Next year, M10/ "The Lodge Freeway" will undergo a major rebuild. Currently, I-75 is also undergoing a major rebuild.
Where would the right-wing Michigan Republicans rather spend the money? Led by House Speaker Craig DeRoche (of Novi), their wish list includes, "interchange improvements on I-275 in Canton Township, additional lanes in I-75 in Oakland Co., expansion of I-94 in the Kalamazoo area, and completion of the US-131 freeway from south of Kalamazoo to the Indiana border".
I've driven through all those areas the Republicans wans to "fix". None of them is anywhere near in need of improvement, as the Detroit highways were. I'm sure it's just a coincidence that all of the highways they want to fix/build are in "White" areas...
They also want to expand I-75 through Oakland Co., expand the I-96 interchange at Novi Rd., and add traffic lanes along M-59 from Rochester Hills to Ryan Rd. in Macomb Co.
Again, the skin color of the local residents is just a coincidence...
So here's what the Republicans really want: They want to take money from the general fund, and spend it in their neighborhoods.
Other people want our tax money to be spent in other places.
Just about everybody agrees that Detroit is in desperate need of a rapid transit system, either a light rail system, or an enormous expansion of the existing bus system. People have been talking about it for decades. In fact, a plan was in place to move forward with the project a few years ago, but alas, it was vetoed by King John Engler. His last great act of spite towards Detroit as he left office...
The Republican legislature hasn't lifted a finger to move the project forward since.
Others have suggested that state and/or regional tax money should be spent to expand COBO Hall in Detroit. The Republicans, led (again) by Brooks Patterson of Oakland Co. have thwarted any plans to do so. "Why should we spend any money to help rebuild Detroit?", they have asked.
Suddenly, the Republicans support the use of state and regional money to help develop certain areas.
Of course, if the proposal will help out "Black" Detroit, then they will oppose it, but if it supports a "White" community, then they are all for it.
I ask, because for years I've listened to the right wingers in the NRA tell me that they make up some sort of "civilian militia", simply by virtue of being armed, and that they ramain prepared to defend America against all enemies.
They tell me that the second amendment's reference to "a well regulated militia" doesn't refer to any organized militia at all, but rather to a bunch of individuals who own guns, but have very likely never met one another.
The NRA has told me that their membership + their guns = a well regulated militia.
Without delving into the question of their sanity, for the sake of argument, I will accept their assertion that they make up an armed militia, and that they are prepared to defend America at a moments notice.
My question is: Where are they?
We have a disaster of epic proportions still unfolding in New Orleans.
The NRA's Presidential candidate, George W. Bush has sent everybody else's "well regulated militia" (ie The National Guard) into Iraq to fight his stupid family feud with Saddam Hussein.
Meanwhile, we have mayhem in the streets of New Orleans. There are random shootings, car jackings, and countless robberies. Looting is rampant. There is a degree of lawlessness never before seen in this country, yet the self-proclaimed "militia" is nowhere to be found.
Where are they? Wouldn't a true militia step up to the plate and start policing the streets during this time of crisis? Obviously the local police are overwhelmed, and lots of help is needed.
The NRA militia is nowhere to be found. They're not guarding the medical helicopters. They're not guarding anything. They're not protecting anybody.
In spite of the fact that we need soldiers in New Orleans, and in spite of the fact that the self-proclaimed NRA "militia" is hunkered-down ala Dick Cheney, I'm STILL going to give the NRA the benefit of the doubt.
Perhaps they've all signed up for the real military, so that they can go help President Dipshit fight his useless war? Perhaps they're not back from their August vacations?
I anxiously await the moment when the self-proclaimed militia actually starts to act like a militia, and begins helping police the streets of New Orleans.
Until that time, I'll just sit her an hold my breath while I wait...
I had to register with the LA Times to read the article. It may be available on another source. The AP article appeared this weekend, and was written by Suzanne Gamboa.
"WASHINGTON -- Fellow Republicans warned House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Majority Leader Tom DeLay more than a year ago that the government would come up short -- by at least $750 million -- for veterans' health care...
...Ben Porritt, a spokesman for DeLay, said that a year ago "we didn't see any indication that there was going to be a shortfall...
New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith, as chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, had told the House GOP leadership that the Veterans Affairs Department needed at least $2.5 billion more in its budget...
Smith was rebuked by several Republicans for sounding the spending alarm, and House leaders yanked his chairmanship in January. Rep. Rob Simmons, R-Conn., lost his chairmanship of the VA health subcommittee, and Rep. Rick Renzi, R-Ariz., is no longer on the committee. They too had signed the letters to Hastert, R-Ill., and DeLay, R-Texas."
Wait one moment please. Let me get this straight. Tom DeLay says he didn't have any indication that the VA was being underfunded, yet he yanked committee membership and chairmanships from his fellow Republicans, who dared write a letter to him explaining that the VA was being underfunded?
"Now that the Bush administration has acknowledged a shortfall of at least $1.2 billion, embarrassed Republicans are scrambling to fill the gap..."
I think they should work to fill the "credibility gap" in their House leadership too.
For years we've listened to right wingers rant about "trial lawyers" and the skyrocketing cost of medical malpractice insurance that the lawyers' "frivolous lawsuits" cause. The conservatives have tried to whip up a frenzied mob that will help them put the "trial lawyers" out of business once and for all. (The fact that lawyers contribute so much money to the Democrats probably has something to do with it too)
Through legislation, the Republicans have tried to thwart malpractice claims. They've tried to cap awards. They've tried to shift the jurisdiction to federal courts where they've been more effective at controlling the courts. They've tried to do the same things for product liability. They've worked to protect the tobacco industry from liability. They've worked to protect the gun industry, and big business in general, from liability.
The Republicans have told us that "trial lawyers" are ruining our health care system. "They're driving up the costs for consumers", the Republicans have cried. "They're bankrupting honest doctors"...
Unfortunately, for the Republicans, a new study tells just what is going on with medical malpractice insurance rates.
"The new study from New York-based Center for Justice & Democracy found that major malpractice insurers collected more than twice as much in premiums between 2000 and 2004, while the money they paid in claims rose less than 6 percent. The group contends the difference has allowed the nation's leading insurers to increase their surpluses by more than a third in just a few years."
Let's see.... insurance premiums up 100%, while claims payouts are only up 6%??? "Damn those trial lawyers", say the Republicans. "Business as usual for insurance companies", say the Democrats.
Jay Angoff, former state insurance commissioner for the state of Missouri put it best: "Their losses are going down, and their premiums are going up. It's a great business to be in".
Linda Watters, financial and insurance services commissioner for the state of Michigan added, "If these carriers truly have loss ratios that are this low, and yet they are still increasing rates, one has to wonder if they're gouging."
"All this does is distract from tort reform", chimed in Lawrence Smarr, President of the Physicians Insurers Association of America, an insurance industry trade group.
I think you have it wrong, Mr. Smarr. I think the Republicans talk of "tort reform" is meant to distract from the fact that your insurance buddies are ripping off the American people. That's what I think.
"simply taking the overall claims and payouts doesn't figure in factors such as legal costs of malpractice cases or investment income that been lost by insurance companies", added Smarr.
So now they're losing money, because they have to pay out claims, and they aren't making a profit by investing that money instead? And the rates have to go up at fifteen times the rate of claims to make up for that "lost income"? C'mon, get real. It's the insurance industry that has been gouging doctors over insurance rates, and the Republicans have blamed lawyers and Democrats. Now the insurers are trying to take advantage of the clouded issue by further gouging doctors/consumers, knowing that the Republicans will blame Democrats and lawyers.
Of course the Republicans are going to do that. Are the American people going to learn the truth?
For years, American automakers have been slowly losing market share to foreign, mostly Japanese, imports. The declining market share is due in part to the perception among Americans that the Japanese, and many of the other foreign auto manufacturers build more dependable vehicles.
J.D. Powers & Associates recently released the results of their "2005 dependability survey". The survey ranks 37 automakers based upon how many complaints are reported by the owners.
It's no surprise that the survey found that four of the top five ranks were held by luxury car makers. Lexus, Porsche, Lincoln, and Cadillac were rated 1,2,3, and 5. Since most of those vehicles start at about $40,000, these rankings should be expected.
Who do you think held the 4th position? Toyota? Honda?
Nope. It was Buick.
How many Americans do you suppose, would incorrectly think that Toyota and Honda ranked higher than Buick? Mercury ranked #9, right behind Toyota, and just ahead of Honda (#9) and Accura (#10). How many Americans would have guessed that Honda and Accura ranked higher than Mercury?
Ford, Chevrolet, and Chrysler ranked #12 thru 14, right behind BMW at #11. I don't think the BMW prices can compete with Ford, Chevy, or Chrysler. Apparently, that one rung on the quality step ladder costs the BMW buyers a whole lot of extra money.
Saturn, Oldsmobile, GMC, and Pontiac followed Chrysler, but finished ahead of Mazda, Hyundai, Subaru, Volvo, Jaguar, Dodge, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Mercedes-Benz, Saab, Jeep, Suzuki, Audi, DaeWoo, Isuzu, VW, Mini, Land Rover, and Kia ( #'s 19-37))
The quality was ranked based upon the number of owner problems reported per 100 vehicles. Lexus, at #1 had 139 problems per 100 vehicles, while Kia, in 37th place had 397 problems per 100 vehicles.
Furthermore, "General Motors had the TOP ranked vehicle in 8 of the 19 different car and truck categories ranked. Ford was tops in 5, that was the most ever for both". Imagine that, the top rated vehicle in 13 of 19 categories was either a GM or a Ford. Once again, how many Americans do you suppose knew that?
FYI - Here are the categories, and the top rated vehicles as determined by J.D. Powers & Associates:
Compact Chevrolet Prizm
Entry midsized Chevrolet Malibu
Premium midsize Buick Century
Fullsize Buick LeSabre
Entry luxury Ford Thunderbird
Mid luxury Lincoln Town Car
Premium luxury Lexus LS 430
Sports Mazda Miata
Premium sports Porsche 911
Midsize pickup Chevrolet S10
Light duty full sized pickup Cadillac Escalade EXT
Heavy duty full sized pickup Chevrolet Silverado
Entry SUV Honda CRV
Midsize SUV Toyota 4 Runner
Full sized SUV GMC Yukon/Yukon XL
Entry luxury SUV Lexus RX 300
Premium luxury SUV Lexus LX 470
Midsize van Ford Windstar
Full sized van Ford E series
Here's another sad story from the history of the Republican party, that they don't want you to know. Unfortunately for them, I'm going to tell it. Please be sure to repeat this story often so that people won't be allowed to forget, and so that others can learn about the Republican party.
The story occurred during Richard Nixon's Watergate era. For those of you too young to remember the Nixon administration, I'll try to sum up just how scary they were. The Nixon administration was an evil group. They were hell-bent on punishing anybody who spoke out against them. They sought retribution against their political opponents. They black balled anybody who disagreed with them on any issue, even if the person had been a lifelong friend. They threatened people, they twisted arms, they twisted other body parts. They saw to it that those on their "enemies list" were punished, within or without the law...
Oh wait. I just thought of a metaphor that will help the younger generation understand just who Richard Nixon was: Nixon was exactly like George W. Bush. Just think total f*cking arrogant assh*le.
In that context, back during the Watergate era, when the heat was REALLY on Nixon, he was being investigated by a "Special Prosecutor". (They didn't always investigate blow jobs, once upon a time, they investigated crimes). Being the facist that he was Bush errrr... NIXON ordered his Attorney General, Elliot Richardson to fire the Special Prosecutor, Archibald Cox. "Problem solved", thought Nixon. But there was a problem. The Attorney General had scruples. I imagine Elliot protested to Nixon about "the law, about ethics, about honesty, about morality...".
Nixon wanted nothing to do with any of those things, so he fired the Richardson. Nixon then went to the number 2 man at the Justice Dept., William Ruckelshaus and ordered HIM to fire the Special Prosecutor. He too had a problem with that ethics thing, so Nixon fired Ruckelshaus too.
Tricky Dick then went to the #3 man at the justice Department, and ordered HIM to fire the Special Prosecutor. Man #3 didn't have any problems with ethics, morality, honesty, or the law. He fired the special prosecutor, and thus halted the legal investigation into Richard Nixon's crimes. As a result of the massacre, Congress introduced several bills of impeachment over the next few days.
Who was this #3 man that wasn't bothered by ethics?
Why it was none other than U.S. Solicitor General, Robert Bork, the guy George Bush the prequel nominated for a Supreme Court seat, back about 1989.
Bork's nomination was rejected by the Senate, and he never made it to the Suckpreme Court. After his rejection, the Republicans all cried FOUL! "He was rejected because he was too conservative", lied the Republicans. They even invented the term "Borked" to describe somebody who was denied a court seat "unfairly".
BULLSH*T. As usual, the Republicans lied. The truth is that Robert Bork was rejected by the Senate, for the exact same reason that he was nominated by Bush. He was rejected for his role as Dick Nixon's hatchetman during the Saturday Night Massacre. Likewise, the Republicans nominated Bork because he would do whatever the party wanted him to do. Hitchcock could not have devised a more evil villain than Robert Bork, and here the Republicans go and nominate him for the "Supreme" Court, because of how he helped squash the investigation into Nixon's wrongdoings.
And that's why the Democratic Senate rejected him.
Imagine that, the Republicans nominated a guy who tried to help Nixon dodge prosecution for the crimes he committed, and the Democrats tried to keep that co-conspirator off of the bench. That pretty much sums up the ideals of both parties when it comes to judges. The Republicans will nominated any lawbreaker, as long as he promised to be an activist judge and help implement their conservative Christian fundamentalist agenda.
I'm a little surprised that we didn't hear the term "Borked" while the right wing extremist judicial nominees were being filibustered recently. They may try to pull out the term during one of the upcoming Supreme Court nomination hearings. Just be sure to smile and tell the entire story, when you do hear the term.
All of us have watched the price of gasoline climb from about $1.25 to about $2.50 in the last couple of years. At the same time, we've watched crude oil go from about $25 to about $55 per barrel.
President Bush's pollsters have explained to him that we are "concerned" with this issue, so he has decided to go on tv and talk about a whole bunch of crazy stuff, and hope that we don't quite hear what he has to say about oil and gasoline prices. I don't blame him.
Prior to his speech, Bush had the Saudi Minister of Disinformation, Mr. al-Fullah Shiite, explain to us that it was our lack of refinery space that is the cause of our high gas prices. I don't know the guy's real name, but I saw him make the comment on TV yesterday.
He said that even if oil prices were lower, then gas prices wouldn't come down because of our lack of refinery space.
Today, I hear that Bush has a plan to help lower the price of gasoline. Bush wants to build more refineries. He wants to build them on abandoned military bases, perhaps the ones whose closure is to be announced soon?
Here's what's confusing me: For years, the Republicans have been telling us that drilling in the ANWR is the answer to our oil and gasoline needs. At times, they think more crude oil is the answer to our problems. If politically expedient, they will push the drilling issue, or at other times, the refinery issue. Whichever suits the moment.
Unfortunately for the Republicans in Congress, who are pushing the ANWR drilling bill currently, Bush and Saudi Arabia are now saying that it is the limited refinery space that is causing the high prices.
Well, which is it? Maybe they should caucus?
Let's do a quick analysis:
Two years ago, gasoline was about $1.25 per gallon, in spite of our "limited refinery capacity".
Today, gas is up near $2.50 per gallon, using the same "limited refinery capacity". The only difference this time is that Saudi Arabia has raised the price of crude oil 125% in under two years.
Oil up 125%, gasoline up 100%.
That looks like a pretty close correlation. I don't think the ability to refine larger amounts of over-priced oil is the answer to the high gasoline prices. The answer is to get the price of oil back down. Quit battling with Venezuela's leaders. Be a true friend of Mexico and Russia, and don't just patronize them. Use our strategic oil reserve, strategically. Force Haliburton to charge our military market rates, instead of black-market rates for fuel. And tell Saudi Arabia that if they don't lower the price of oil, then we are going to stop giving huge tax cuts to Bush's rich friends, and instead use the money to give tax breaks to people who drive hybrids, or fully electric vehicles, or natural gas vehicles, or vehicles that get over 35 mpg. That'll scare the hell out of them.
No Democratic President would EVER send you off to war without providing the proper armor for vehicles
No Democratic President would EVER send you off to war without the proper body armor http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,101061...
No Democratic President would EVER send you off to war without enough bullets. http://www.detnews.com/2004/business/0405/...
The Republicans will spend the rest of their lives telling you that they "support the troops". Their actions have shown otherwise:
They have controlled the Senate, the House of Representatives, the White House, and yes, the military, for the last four years, yet they still haven't done whatever is necessary to provide these basic protections to our soldiers.
They have found the money to cut taxes for their rich campaign contributors on three different occasions. They have found the money to fund corporate welfare. Pork barrel spending is at it's highest level in American history, yet the Republicans still cannot find enough money to provide the basic life saving equipment to the very people who have put their lives on the line for America.
I cannot imagine a more irresponsible way for the Republicans to treat our troops and their families.
It's a gun discussion forum that I found on the internet, that is dominated by the right wing nuts of the NRA. Serious discussion of gun rights, and the position of the Democratic party with regard to gun ownership are nearly IMPOSSIBLE in this forum, and it's gotten worse since the NRA's big victory on November 2.
Volumes could be written about the tactics used by the right wingers to obfuscate the issue. Rather than allow any serious discussion on guns to move forward, they are FOREVER trying to suffocate the Democrats' arguments with an endless string of strawmen, red herrings, and trips down trails that lead to nowhere...
I personally believe in regulated gun ownership in this country. I also believe that tighter regulation of guns can help keep them out of the hands of the murders, rapists, and robbers.
Even that last paragraph would draw accusations that I don't support/understand the Constitution, freedom, or the basic principles that America was founded upon. (AS IF!)
I would like to see more participation by Democrats in the debate about gun ownership. Most of the "discussion" to date has been between the loudmouths in the NRA, and the Democrats that they wish to silence. You can help make America a better place by joining this discussion, and lending your voice and ideas.
Please join me and millions of other Democrats in trying to bring a reasonable coherent mindset to this discussion, so that we can stop letting the right wingers in the NRA silence us with their incessant gibberish.
Before you wade into the website, I suggest that you bring your hipwaders, and a barf bucket. There's a lot of crap in there, and it's going to take a lot of effort on the part of us Democrats to bring some sense to this discussion. Thank you for your help! Lefty.
Here's a link to a story that lists George Bush's top fund-raisers who have been rewarded with ambassadorships in nice places like France, Bahamas, Spain, Sweden, Netherlands, Switzerland...
Imagine that: George Bush is rewarding his biggest campaign fundraisers by letting them live in posh mansions, giving them full-time U.S. Marine bodyguards, while they throw and attend and endless string of U.S. taxpayer funded dinner and coctail parties.
You can fight the right wingers by helping to end this reward program. You can help get these ambassadors sent packing back to Texas, or wherever they came from. If there is an anti-American/anti-George Bush sentiment in your current home, then tie the name of Bush's fund-raising ambassador to team Bush. Teach the citizens, and the activists that the ambassador that Bush has sent to their country, is every bit as odious as President Bush himself.
Encourage your friends and neighbors to organize protests, or write letters, post handbills etc. that criticize the offending ambassador for being so closely tied to George Bush. If you can stir up enough sentiment against the ambassador, then they will have to be recalled, and brought home. Perhaps their replacement will not be so closely tied to Bush Fundraising Inc.
The appointment of these fundraising "pioneers" as ambassadors, is an afront to the people of the countries where they get sent. They deserve better. Let Bush know it.
Here's a list of countries, and their ambassadors, all of whom are major fund-raisers for Team Bush:
Ireland, Richard Egan
France, Howard Leach
Spain, George Argyros
Portugal, Hans Hertell
Belize, Russ Freeman
Uruguay, Martin Silverstein
Norway, John Ong
Sweden, Teel Bivins
Netherlands, Clifford Sobel*
Belgium, Stephen Brauer
Czech Republic, Craig Stapleton*
Slovak Republic, Ronald Weiser
Hungary, Nancy Brinker
Austria, Lee Brown
Switzerland, Mercer Reynolds
Vatican, Jim Nicholson
Malta, Anthony Gioia
Mauritius, John Price
Singapore, Franklin Lavin
New Zealand, Charles Swindells
* spouse is the fundraiser
These days, you can hardly get a Republican to admit their own mistakes, let alone, criticize one of their party brethren for their mistakes. Such was the case, however, this week when Republican Congresswoman Candice Miller of Harrison Twp, MI was admonished by the House Ethics Committee for her part in a bribery and extortion scandal.
The Republicans on the committee decided not to block an investigative report that served as a "public admonishment" of both Candice Miller, and House Majority Leader, Tom DeLay. Those two are at the center of the controversy concerning a vote cast by Rep. Nick Smith-R, Addison, MI on George Bush's Medicare Prescription Drug plan last November.
Smith voted against that bill on the morning of Nov 22, 2003, but not before he was offered a bribe to change his vote to "yes". Rep. Smith had already announced his plans to retire, and his son Brad had already announced his plans to run for the seat his father was going to vacate.
After his "no" vote, Smith announced that a group of lawmakers and business people had promised to give a substantial amount of money to his son's campaign, if Rep. Smith would change his vote to "yes". Smith said he was offered $100,000 for his son's campaign. Smith also said the same "interests" threatened to support a different candidate if Smith didn't change his vote.
The committee found that, "Representative Smith fairly interpreted Representative Miller's statements to him during the vote as a threat of retaliation against him for voting in opposition to the bill." The committee didn't answer the question of whether the "threat of retaliation" was limited to opposing the candidacy of Brad Smith, or whether there were additional threats.
When asked about her role in the scandal, Candice Miller said, "I may have committed a discreet violation of the rules." She also added, "There was no evidence adduced of a pattern of misconduct."
Well that's just dandy, Congresswoman. I'm glad to hear that you weren't accused of a pattern of extortion and bribery, but rather just an isolated instance of each. When she and the committee used the phrase, "discreet violation of the rules", they were 'sugar-coating' the whole affair, to say the least.
The committee also failed to mention who the "business interests" were that participated in the bribery and extortion scheme. Since this is Michigan, it's probably possible to assemble a list of the "usual suspects", and have the guilty parties appear on that list.
To date, I haven't heard of any special prosecutors, or grand juries pursuing a possible indictment against either Tom DeLay, Candice Miller, or the "business interests".
As usual, there is a group of "pro gun enthusiasts" who are "borrowing" the right wing's usual methods of deceit and slander while attacking Democrat John Kerry.
The attack du jour concerns a recent photo of John Kerry, where he is shown shooting a shotgun, while not wearing proper eye or ear protection. The right wing, pro gun websites jumped all over the photo, and seemingly simultaneously, posted threads/stories criticizing John Kerry for being so "irresponsible".
Some even went so far as to question Kerry's ability to lead this country, if he didn't use the proper safety equipment while shooting.
The attacks were so similar, that they appear to be orchestrated. Here's a link to a few. Note that the first comes from our old friends at Freak Republicans.com.
The Republicans often use this method of getting their "talking points" posted on right wing websites, hoping that the words will soon leech into the mainstream press. One of the right wingers took the cue, and wrote this letter that was printed in USA Today yesterday.
Here's a scanned copy of the full LTTE:
The pro-Republican bias of the gun activists becomes quite apparent when you consider that even their heros George Bush Jr. and Sr. have both been photographed hunting/shooting without wearing the proper ear or eye protection. Here's a photo of the elder Bush:
Here's a photo of Bush Jr. doing the exact same thing that Kerry was criticized by countless right wing websites for doing:
Here's a link to all of the pro-gun websites that I could find that criticized George Bush for shooting without proper safety equipment:
(by now you've probably figured out that I couldn't find one single right wing/pro gun website that would criticize George Bush for shooting without safety goggles, or ear protection.)
Here's another, more recent photo of the pico arbusto doing it:
In Kerry's defense, here's a photo of him shooting, while wearing ear protection. Probably, the "ear muff" type hearing protection would have been a better choice. The posters on the right wing/pro-gun websites don't use this photo, because the other photo suits their smear campaign better. Please note that the Bushes aren't wearing hearing protection in any of their photos.
on edit: OK, I guess the chimp is actually wearing the same style ear protection in his second photo.
"The number of Americans in poverty rose by 1.3 million to 35.9 million, or one in eight people. The number of Americans without health insurance rose by 1.4 million to 45 million, or 15.6% of the population. Both sets of figures rose for the third-straight year."
What was it that President Dipsh*t was saying about the economy being strong, and getting stronger???
I'm posting this, because I've noticed that some of the "pro RKBA" advocates (not necessarily in THIS website) seem to be trying to distort American history. They seem to want us to believe that Colonial America was some sort of "gun owners utopia" where all guns are completely legal, readily available, and totally unregulated. "It was that widespread availability of guns, that led to our very freedom", they will tell us.
While reading a book about colonial American history, I found a story that seemed to state otherwise. Much of Colonial American military history started with the regiments of New Hampshire. They were considered some of the best equipped, trained, and staffed militias in the revolution. This excerpt is from "History of the Town of Wolfeborough New Hampshire", by Benjamin Franklin Parker, pg 146-47:
"In 1773 the sum of 5-10-8 (pounds, shilling, pence) was raised to purchase ammunition, and deposited with Henry Rust. There is no record to show by what method the money was obtained. It was evidently intended to meet any emergency that might arise, such as the troublesome times seemed to portend. At a town-meeting called by the selectmen through the agency of Constable Aaron Frost with a notice of only one day, the inhabitants met, June 6, 1775, and voted that the money be put in the posession of Moses Ham (I did NOT make that name up!), and that he be appointed an agent to purchase powder and lead or bullets. He was to use proper expedition in his journey to Portsmouth (NH), and receive for his services and the use of his horse, while absent, at the rate of four shillings per day. Here follows a copy of his account:--
Twenty two and 5/16 pounds powder - 2-15-8 (pounds, shilling, pence)
Seventy pounds of lead - 1-8-0
Four days service - 1-4-0
Truckage - 0-1-6
Powder purchased - 0-1-6.
The powder was taken to Wolfeborough on horseback, and the lead converted into bullets by Ham. He remained the custodian of the ammunition until Nov. 15, 1777, when it went into the posession of the proper authorities for using it. The town stock at the time of delivery was about twenty-five pounds of powder and sixty-five pounds of bullets.
August 7, 1775, Moses Ham was elected a delegate to the colonial convention, and at the same town-meeting Moses Wingate, Moses Ham, Robert Calder, John Sinkler, and James Conner were chosen a town committee of safety. The exigencies of the times required the formation of such boards of officers. The colony of New Hampshire had its committee of safety, as did the other colonies, so also did a majority of the towns. These committees were generally composed of the more active and patriotic men, who by a unity of counsel and effort secured the confidence of the people,and were able to successfully assume the responsibilities of the government at the period of its transformation."
From the above story, it seems that Mr. Ham held the entire town's (military/safety) supply of bullets and gunpowder for about four solid years. Apparently, if the militia(s) needed supplies, then they would come to the local garrison to get them.
I can't help but contrast this story with what we have going on in this country currently. We have a lot of nuts who are stockpiling arms and ammunition, because they feel that they will one day be at war with our government. There is no other way to state it. Yes, we have lots of people who own guns and ammo for entirely other reasons, but there are still MANY who are stockpiling in the belief that they are going to protect this nation from a tyrannical government, either home-grown, or invading. Would those people consider letting a town selectman store all their bullets and powder?
The ten most recommended threads posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums in the last 24 hours.
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