Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

We want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

And a safe holiday. If you're traveling, be careful. Drive carefully.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Should Proprietors of "Gun-Free Zones" Where Shootings Occur Be Shielded From Liability?

This columnist laments the fact that the vast majority of media reports of incidents like these rarely ask why these shootings most often occur in "gun free zones", but he also advocates that those who block peoples rights to self-defense, and therefore their right to life deserve to pay a financial penalty.

From an op-ed column in the Las Vegas Review by Vin Suprynowicz:

Nebraska issues permits "allowing" qualified individuals to carry concealed handguns. (The Second and 14th amendments reaffirm that carrying a weapon is a right, not a privilege -- states have no more legitimate power to require a "permit" for weapons carrying than they have to require a "permit" to attend church or publish a newspaper.)

Leaving aside this "permitting" scheme, Nebraska law allows property owners, such as the Westroads Mall, to post signs banning permit holders from legally carrying guns on their property.


The question is not whether private property owners have a right to bar firearms on their property -- they do.


Rather, the first question here is whether our government agencies are making it fully clear to the managers of buildings otherwise open to the public -- such as Clark County's courthouses and public libraries -- that they will not be shielded from the financial repercussions should employees or customers die under circumstances where they could otherwise have defended themselves and others with their own firearms.


If you frequent public buildings or work for an employer who bars you from carrying your otherwise legal self-defense weapon, consider advising your loved ones in writing that -- in the event you should die under circumstances where you could have saved yourself and others with your handgun -- you want the proprietor sued personally.

Guns save lives. Since banning guns costs lives, shouldn't the individuals who ban self-defense -- not the victimized taxpayers -- pay the price?

It's an interesting column. Read the whole thing.

By the way, I've put up a poll over on the sidebar. If you have an opinion regarding proprietor liability, be sure to vote.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

We Can Barely Predict the Weather--Yet We Want to Control the Climate?

From a report published in the Canada Free Press:

Climate scientists at the University of Rochester, the University of Alabama, and the University of Virginia report that observed patterns of temperature changes (‘fingerprints’) over the last thirty years are not in accord with what greenhouse models predict and can better be explained by natural factors, such as solar variability. Therefore, climate change is ‘unstoppable’ and cannot be affected or modified by controlling the emission of greenhouse gases, such as CO2, as is proposed in current legislation.

These results are in conflict with the conclusions of the
United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and also with some recent research publications based on essentially the same data. However, they are supported by the results of the US-sponsored Climate Change Science Program (CCSP).

The report is published in the December 2007 issue of the International Journal of Climatology of the Royal Meteorological Society [DOI: 10.1002/joc.1651]. The authors are Prof. David H. Douglass (Univ. of Rochester), Prof. John R. Christy (Univ. of Alabama), Benjamin D. Pearson (graduate student), and Prof. S. Fred Singer (Univ. of Virginia).

Co-author S. Fred Singer said: "The current warming trend is simply part of a natural cycle of climate warming and cooling that has been seen in ice cores, deep-sea sediments, stalagmites, etc., and published in hundreds of papers in peer-reviewed journals. The mechanism for producing such cyclical climate changes is still under discussion; but they are most likely caused by variations in the solar wind and associated magnetic fields that affect the flux of cosmic rays incident on the earth’s atmosphere. In turn, such cosmic rays are believed to influence cloudiness and thereby control the amount of sunlight reaching the earth’s surface and thus the climate." Our research demonstrates that the ongoing rise of atmospheric CO2 has only a minor influence on climate change. We must conclude, therefore, that attempts to control CO2 emissions are ineffective and pointless. – but very costly.

So--we can barely predict the weather 5 days out, and we want to control the climate. We'll bring back the Dark Ages before that happens.

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Proud Day For New Jersey--And New Jersey Murderers.

AP photo/M J Schear

New Jersey Democrats: Proudly working to defend the rights of New Jersey's murderers.

New Jersey’s governor Jon Corzine signed legislation banning the death penalty today and commuted the sentences of 8 convicted murderers to life imprisonment without parole.

Families of murdered victims opposed the legislation, and Republicans had sought exceptions for murderers of law enforcement officials and those who murdered rape victims and children. Democrat legislators would have none of that.

Read the AP Story here.

Capital Punishment for capital crimes. If a killer is put to death, he will never kill again. There is genuine deterrent value in that fact alone.

Google ads vs. "my" ads.

Again, let me remind you that I have no control over Google ads that appear at the top of this blog, so they don’t necessarily represent my point of view.

However, ads that appear in the sidebar are there because I placed them there, and I heartily endorse those products, businesses and people.

So far, I have never received any monetary consideration for ad space on my blog. However, I'm not saying that will never change.

Okay, I'll admit it--I have issues. Here they are.

"Anthropogenic Climate Change" Activism is a Socialistic Fraud. We’ll bring back the Dark Ages before we control the climate or have any appreciable effect on climate change.

Gun Control/Second Amendment/Gun Rights/Self-Defense: Law abiding citizens have the right to keep and bear arms. "Bear arms" means to carry firearms. Law abiding citizens have a constitutional right to carry guns. Disarmed citizens aren’t citizens at all, but rather are unarmed subjects of a tyrannical government and potential victims at the mercy of criminals and thugs. Law abiding citizens have a natural right, indeed a moral obligation to defend themselves, their families, their homes and property from harm, theft, destruction or mischief.

Main Stream Media Bias/Liberal Dominated Old Media/New Media/First Amendment Freedoms–The First Amendment was designed primarily to protect the rights of citizens to free speech and free exercise of religious liberties, not as the media would have us believe, to protect the rights of an elite "professional" media. Because the media is dominated by liberals and Democrats, it has morphed into a bizarre , unelected "fourth branch of government" that has arrogated to itself the exercise of checks and balances on the "other" three branches. They have a liberal agenda to push, and they don’t let little things like facts get in their way.

Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act/Campaign Finance Reform/McCain-Feingold/Term Limits/Usurpation of First Amendment Freedoms–This act didn’t do what is was touted to do, keep big money and big donors out of the political campaign financing process and prevent them from buying political influence. People have quickly found ways around those provisions. Instead the BCRA very effectively curtails First Amendment liberties and entrenches a permanent class of professional politicians in Congress by making it extremely difficult for challengers to get elected. It makes it virtually illegal to mention incumbent Congressional members by name in campaign ads within 60 days of a Congressional election. Congress never should have passed this law, but they knew it was an incumbent protection law disguised as campaign finance reform. President George W. Bush should have vetoed this travesty of a bill, but cravenly chose not to fight Congress and signed the legislation. The Supreme Court should have overturned it on the grounds that it abridges First Amendment freedoms, but they tucked their robes between their legs and fled. The American people were betrayed by all three branches of the government in this case. Checks and balances were non-existent when it came to the BCRA. McCain/Feingold should be repealed and term limits set and imposed, but it won’t happen because Congress is a den of thieves.

Government is too big and Taxes are too high. Democrats have always been "tax and spend". Republicans have touted themselves as being conservative and fiscally responsible, but lately have been "spend and spend". Pork Barrel politics has got to end. Congress is a den of thieves.

The Constitution means what it says and says what it means. It’s not a "living document" with hidden meanings and rights emanating from "penumbrae" or any other absurd gyrations of elitist rhetoric.

Capital punishment for capital crimes. If a killer is put to death he will never kill again. There is genuine deterrent value in that fact alone.

Hate crimes legislation is bad policy because it divides society into protected and non-protected classes of citizens vying for political clout, and negates "equal protection under the law". With the deplorable backlog of cases in America’s courts, there’s the genuine possibility that "hate crimes" against minorities and homosexuals would be given prosecutorial priority, while equally serious crimes against "non-protected" classes of victims would languish in the backlog.

The Long War/The Global War On Terror/National Security, etc. We need to fight all forms of tyranny, especially Islamofacism and terrorism, not surrender to it.

The problems with Social Security can be alleviated significantly if Congress will do one thing: Refrain from plundering the funds to finance pork. Put the money in a fund to pay current and future entitlements and don’t touch it for any other purpose. That condition by itself would go a long way toward fixing the problem. But Congress is a den of thieves, and they can’t resist taking money that doesn’t belong to them.

Earthly legislatures have no authority to repeal the laws and commandments of God.

The Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:3-17) are good rules to live by.
1. Don’t worship other gods.
2. Don’t make or use any image for the purpose of worship.
3. Don’t profane the name of God.
4. Keep the Sabbath.
5. Treat your parents honorably and respectfully.
6. Don’t commit murder.
7. Don’t commit adultery, fornication or other sexual sin.
8. Don’t take what isn’t yours, neither through embezzlement, fraud, thievery, burglary or robbery, or any other exercise of unrighteous dominion.
9. Be honest and truthful in all your dealings.
10. Don’t covet what doesn’t belong to you, neither wealth, property, political power or personal relationships.

I’m not saying that the Ten Commandments should be incorporated lock stock and barrel into our civil code. However, legislatures and courts should cease and desist from waging war on religion and religious expression in the public square.

The basic building block of society is the family, and families are built on the foundation of marriage. I support a Constitutional amendment stipulating that marriage is between one man and one woman. If gays want to live together in "social unions" or whatever, I’m okay with that. But don’t call it marriage or give it the same legal status.

Gays should have the right to serve openly in the military as long as heterosexual servicemen’s rights are protected equally. Any sexual harassment or quid pro quo should be prosecuted and guilty perpetrators dismissed from the service without pension benefits.

Abortion for convenience is wrong and immoral. It’s pre-natal infanticide and a deliberate violation of the Sixth Commandment.

If tissues and organs can be grown without killing fetuses, I’m for it. But why should research be paid for by taxpayer dollars? Again, government is too big and taxes are too high.

The United Nations Opposes Democracy and Rights to Self-Defense or Individual Gun Rights. It has morphed into a dictator’s club and den of thieves where human rights are routinely trampled and abused. We should quit funding the UN, withdraw from membership and expel it from our shores.

The Law of the Sea Treaty surrenders U.S. sovereignty. Our government should not be a party to it.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Update: Dutch Ryan Petersen

Born Monday 10 December 2007, 1:04 a.m.

7 lbs. 5 oz. 19 inches.

He looks healthy, ruddy and robust. We're thrilled.

GLOBAL WARMING--It's Not About Saving the Planet.

The “Anthropogenic Climate Change ” movement is not about saving the planet from catastrophic pollution and disaster. It’s about political power and redistribution of wealth. It’s a socialist scam. What it will do is bring an end to industrial progress and prosperity, create massive worldwide poverty and therefore a (perceived) need for more socialist programs. It’s at it’s heart nihilistic. It’s in no way beneficial to mankind or the planet.

BALI, Indonesia – A global tax on carbon dioxide emissions was urged to help save the Earth from catastrophic man-made global warming at the United Nations climate conference. A panel of UN participants on Thursday urged the adoption of a tax that would represent "a global burden sharing system, fair, with solidarity, and legally binding to all nations."

"Finally someone will pay for these [climate related] costs," Othmar Schwank, a global tax advocate, told Inhofe EPW Press Blog following the panel discussion titled "A Global CO2 Tax." Schwank is a consultant with the Switzerland based Mauch Consulting firm.

Schwank said at least "$10-$40 billion dollars per year" could be generated by the tax, and wealthy nations like the U.S. would bear the biggest burden based on the "polluters pay principle."

The U.S. and other wealthy nations need to "contribute significantly more to this global fund," Schwank explained. He also added, "It is very essential to tax coal."

The UN was presented with a new report from the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment titled "Global Solidarity in Financing Adaptation." The report stated there was an "urgent need" for a global tax in order for "damages [from climate change] to be kept from growing to truly catastrophic levels, especially in vulnerable countries of the developing world."

The tens of billions of dollars per year generated by a global tax would "flow into a global Multilateral Adaptation Fund" to help nations cope with global warming, according to the report.

But others are raising their voices in opposition to a global tax, claiming that it's futile.

However, ideas like a global tax and the overall UN climate agenda met strong opposition Thursday from a team of over 100 prominent international scientists who warned the UN that attempting to control the Earth's climate was "ultimately futile."

The scientists wrote, "The IPCC's conclusions are quite inadequate as justification for implementing policies that will markedly diminish future prosperity. In particular, it is not established that it is possible to significantly alter global climate through cuts in human greenhouse gas emissions." The scientists, many of whom are current or former members of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), sent the December 13 letter to the UN Secretary-General.

Others let it slip what it's really all about: redistribution of wealth.

The environmental group Friends of the Earth, in attendance in Bali, also advocated the transfer of money from rich to poor nations on Wednesday.

"A climate change response must have at its heart a redistribution of wealth and resources," said Emma Brindal, a climate justice campaigner coordinator for Friends of the Earth.

This is incredible bald faced insanity. Read the whole thing. And check out all the links.

Friday, December 14, 2007


When I was in my first marriage I started putting money into the company employee savings plan, a 401(k). After a few months we got a statement in the mail, and for the first time, my wife became aware that we had $900.00 tucked away in that plan. She wanted that money, and she pestered me and hounded me to get it out for over two months. I told her that the taxes and penalties for early withdrawal would cost us $300, but she didn’t care. I finally relented, withdrew the money, and she took the $600 and "paid off the Mastercard", or something like that. And I forgot about putting money away in the company savings plan.

That woman and I parted company a few years later at her request, and the first thing I did was to start putting money away in the company 401(k) again. With the company match, and by watching and managing my investments carefully, that nest egg grew until four years ago when I was able to combine it with a company buy-out and retire comfortably at the age of 56.

I regretted that our marriage ended the way it did, but some things are just not meant to be. If I had stayed in that marriage, I’d be over 60 years old now, with no savings and no prospects for a comfortable retirement. I didn’t see it then, but when she demanded a divorce, it was my lucky day.

I remarried 11 years ago, to a lovely woman who had never been married before. She had always managed her own financial affairs, and we never even thought about merging our bank accounts or other financial matters. In fact, we’d been married for four years before it occurred to me that I should put her on the company health insurance, and she should do the same with me where she worked, and we’d be double covered. And because she’s always maintained a stellar credit rating, when it came time to find a home, we were able to finance the purchase of a brand new home with no income other than our monthly withdrawals from our retirement funds.

Marriage is a partnership, and ideally, it should be one that works for both parties. Saving should be a part of that partnership, and saving for retirement should be part of your saving strategy.

Woulda, coulda, shoulda, did. Thank heaven.

Announcing a New Arrival, Baby Dutch.

Some time earlier this week, we hear, our new grandson arrived.
As you can see, he has lots of curly blond hair.

His name is Dutch. Other than that we don't know much about him. We haven't heard anything of birth weight or length, or even the time and date of birth. We'll see if we can find out more.

A couple of years ago their mother gave birth to twins, a boy and girl, who were premature. They didn't survive, and we were all heartbroken. Naturally we're thrilled that this little guy was born full term and appears healthy, even robust.

Welcome, little one.

Update: Incidentally, for more details about our other recent arrival, grandson Elmer Kai Barrientos, check out my daughter Noelle's blog.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

National Review Endorses Mitt.

You read that right. National Review has endorsed Mitt Romney. Yes, I agree. It's a big deal.

From the endorsement essay:

We believe that Romney is a natural ally of social conservatives. He speaks often about the toll of fatherlessness in this country. He may not have thought deeply about the political dimensions of social issues until, as governor, he was confronted with the cutting edge of social liberalism. No other Republican governor had to deal with both human cloning and court-imposed same-sex marriage. He was on the right side of both issues, and those battles seem to have made him see the stakes of a broad range of public-policy issues more clearly. He will work to put abortion on a path to extinction. Whatever the process by which he got to where he is on marriage, judges, and life, we’re glad he is now on our side — and we trust him to stay there.

For some people, Romney’s Mormonism is still a barrier. But we are not electing a pastor. The notion that he will somehow be controlled by Salt Lake City or engaged in evangelism for his church is outlandish. He deserves to be judged on his considerable merits as a potential president. As he argued in his College Station speech, his faith informs his values, which he has demonstrated in both the private and public sectors. In none of these cases have any specific doctrines of his church affected the quality of his leadership. Romney is an exemplary family man and a patriot whose character matches the high office to which he aspires.

More than the other primary candidates, Romney has President Bush’s virtues and avoids his flaws. His moral positions, and his instincts on taxes and foreign policy, are the same. But he is less inclined to federal activism, less tolerant of overspending, better able to defend conservative positions in debate, and more likely to demand performance from his subordinates. A winning combination, by our lights. In this most fluid and unpredictable Republican field, we vote for Mitt Romney.

Hat tip: Matt Drudge and Hugh Hewitt.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Ward Christmas Party (With Santa Claus).

Last night was the ward Christmas party. I took pictures. We had a special visitor, and most the kids were thrilled. Here a charming little girl tells Santa she's not only cute, but good, too.

"Hey, weren't you just here?"

"No, that wasn't me, honest!"

This little guy's shirt read "Dear Santa, Define Good..."

This little guy was having none of this Santa Claus business. Give him a scary Jack O'Lantern and trick or treat any day.

This little boy, a twin, tried to bribe Santa with money.

This charming little girl explains to Santa all the things that are on her list.

This little girl thought Santa was pretty entertaining.

This little guy was thrilled to show Santa what was on his list.

There are lots more pictures over at the R T W photoblog. Check it out.

Friday, December 7, 2007


Here’s my choice for Miss America, Sgt. Jill Stevens, a decorated combat medic and veteran of the conflict in Afghanistan.

Hat tip: Gateway Pundit.