Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Open Carry

We can all thank God that the silly season is finally over in Sacramento. Yep, 760 new laws were passed by those otherwise unemployable legislators up there and now they've all gone home. Did you really need 760 new laws? 760? Didn't think so. And now our perennial civil servant, Gov. Jerry Brown, a man who will hopefully soon retire after an entire career completely devoid of ever having held a real, private sector job, has gone about approving some and vetoing others. And, like in previous years, many if not most of these laws were laughably ludicrous, especially when fixing our State's broken fiscal condition should have been those politicians' primary, if not only, focus.

But one of those that was passed, and then signed into law by the Guv, attracted my special attention. Assembly Bill 144 bans the open carrying of an unloaded handgun. Now we know that the open carrying of firearms by law-abiding citizens has been necessitated and provoked by California's unfair concealed carry laws, which allow citizens from one county to apply for and receive a permit while neighbors in the next county over are denied that same basic Constitutional right in an arbitrary and capricious manner. Kind of like the difference between Riverside and Orange counties, as an example.

Let me say that again. Apply for a concealed carry permit in Orange County and the Sheriff will issue a polite rejection. She came to us from up there in that vast wasteland toilet called Los Angeles, where packing hidden heat is verboten. Of course the Crips and the Bloods and every other gangbanger there is armed to the teeth, but allowing the average taxpaying citizen a means of self-protection? No way. And then there's Riverside County, just a short drive away. Make an application to the Sheriff and, assuming you're an upstanding citizen devoid of any felony convictions, you'll walk with a permit. So now, with the passage of AB 144, no more open carry in our once-Golden state. Why is this a problem?

27 little words comprise the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. I'll hereby cut to the 14 meaningful words writ therein: "…the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." Hmmm. According to my handy dandy little dictionary, "bear" is defined as: "To shoulder, carry, take, have, show, display, exhibit and present." I'm guessing the majority party miscreants in Sacto either do not have access to a dictionary, or can't read, or, more likely, simply do not care that by their action they have willfully ignored – more accurately, shot the bird – to a rather important part of the document under which our nation was founded and is supposed to operate. And the consequences? I predict not too many days will pass before the National Rifle Association, perhaps backed with amicus briefs from the Attorneys General of the more than 40 states which shall issue concealed carry permits to law-abiding citizens (no option, political or otherwise) when requested, will file suit to overturn this stupid law. And they will win. And California will waste tens of millions of dollars in legal fees in a misguided effort to defend a piece of legislation that should never have been conceived, much less passed and signed. Of course, there will be one contingent of our population overjoyed at this bill's passage: Lawyers. In fact, I predict that this piece of legislation will come to be known as "The Attorneys' Full Employment Act of 2011."

Maybe it would be simpler if we just went straight from the 1st Amendment directly to the 3rd. Oh, and the 4th and the 10th have been causing a lot of trouble lately. Maybe we could get rid of those also…

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Venture Socialism

As a member of that minority group of Americans which actually pays Federal income taxes, I have a question: Can I deduct my portion of the Country's losses on the Obama Administration's venture socialism investment in Solyndra, Inc., from my income taxes? Or from losses on any of the other $38 Billion in "green energy" loan guarantees issued by the White House?

For those too busy earning a living to follow this shocking travesty as it unfolds, the Obama folks chose to guarantee with our money a $535 million dollar loan to this Silicon Valley solar chip manufacturer, even though the Bush White House refused to do so and his own Treasury, Energy Department and Office of Management and Budget officials counseled against it. And that loan placed the public, you and me, in an unprecedented subordinated position behind private investors in the event Solyndra went upside down. And upside down it went, as of August 30th, declaring bankruptcy as of that date.

Now, the half of America that pays income taxes (does that mean we're finally paying our "fair share?") has watched one half-billion of their precious dollars go "poof" in an uncoordinated partisan flurry of activity to finally produce some of those so-called "green jobs" in time to create a little bit of positivity in advance of the 2012 general election.

So, I'd like to know if I can recoup some of that loss by declaring it on my taxes. Or as one of the ever-diminishing cadre of those who are actually pulling the wagon so that others can ride for free, do I not deserve even this small consideration? Or has half-a-billion dollars become such chump change that it becomes a rounding error? Loose change Obama could find between the cushions of his Oval Office couch, perhaps? Pardon me, but I'm growing a bit weary of this whole costly charade. How about you?