Archive for July, 2006

I am a hunter

July 23, 2006

I am a hunter and fisherman. I will make no excuses for my behavior. Indeed, those that disparage such activities bear the task of presenting why they deny their very humanity need to explain their choice.

I hunt with archery tackle, firearms, and black powder arms. I fly fish primarily, but will do what I need to in order to catch fish. I use every part of what I kill that I am able to.

Dude! Don’t buy a Dell!

July 23, 2006

The NRA

July 23, 2006
Whether you’re a new or prospective gun owner or hunter in search of training, whatever your age or level of expertise, whatever type of firearm you’re interested in, NRA’s Education & Training Division is here to help you.TRAINING DEPARTMENT
From beginner to developing competitor, the NRA Training Department develops safe, ethical, responsible shooters through a network of 50,292 instructors, 1,252 coaches, and 1,272 training counselors. NRA Training Counselors recruit and train instructors to teach NRA’s basic firearm courses. NRA Coaches, in turn, develop competitors at the club, high school, collegiate and national levels.

HUNTER SERVICES
With over 2.3 million members who hunt, the NRA offers hunters a wide range of programs addressing all aspects of hunting, including youth hunter skills, advanced skills training and the conservation of our natural and wildlife resources. All Hunter Services Department programs work toward the common goal of instilling and promoting the skills and ethics that will ensure the continuance of America’s proud hunting heritage.

YOUTH PROGRAMS
The NRA helps America’s adult leaders and national youth serving organizations set up shooting programs, introduces the first-time or intermediate shooter to a lifetime of recreational and competitive opportunities, and develops programs for NRA youth members and NRA-affiliated youth clubs.

GUNSMITHING
NRA short term gunsmithing schools offer courses on topics such as general gunsmithing, bluing, stockmaking, checkering, engraving, and parkerizing. More specialized courses focus on topics such as accurizing the AR-15 rifle; accurizing varmint rifles; fine tuning single-action revolvers and long guns for cowboy shoots; accurizing the Colt Model 1911 pistol; and English Gunsmithing. Law enforcement armorer classes are also offered.

To join NRA today, or for additional information regarding membership, call 1-800-NRA-3888 or click here. Your membership dues can be charged to VISA, MasterCard, American Express or Discover.

For more information, call 703-267-1500

Gun Rights

July 23, 2006

http://www.gunowners.org
Mar 2006

Who Is GOA?

Gun Owners of America (GOA) is a non-profit lobbying organization formed in 1975 to preserve and defend the Second Amendment rights of gun owners. GOA sees firearms ownership as a freedom issue.

GOA was founded in 1975 by Sen. H.L. (Bill) Richardson (now retired). Richardson continues to serve as the Chairman of Gun Owners of America, bringing his many years of political experience to the leadership of GOA. Richardson is also an avid hunter and outdoorsman.

The GOA Board of Directors brings over 100 years of combined knowledge and experience on guns, legislation and politics. GOA’s Board is not satisfied with the “status quo.” Americans have lost some of our precious gun rights and WE WANT THEM BACK! This is why GOA is considered the “no compromise” gun lobby.

From state legislatures and city councils to the United States Congress and the White House, GOA represents the views of gun owners whenever their rights are threatened.

GOA has never wavered from its mission to defend the Second Amendment — liberty’s freedom teeth, as George Washington called it.

Over the last 30 years, GOA has built a nationwide network of attorneys to help fight court battles in almost every state in the nation to protect gun owner rights. GOA staff and attorneys have also worked with members of Congress, state legislators and local citizens to protect gun ranges and local gun clubs from closure by overzealous government anti-gun bureaucrats.

As an example, GOA fought for and won, the right of gun owners to sue and recover damages from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) for harassment and unlawful seizure of firearms.

Associated with GOA are: Gun Owners of America Political Victory Fund, Gun Owners of California and Gun Owners Foundation.

Gun Owners of America Political Victory Fund is the political action arm of GOA. It raises funds to support the election of pro-gun candidates at all levels of government. GOA has a record of helping pro-gun candidates defeat anti-gunners in hundreds of races across the country over the past 30 years, and will continue to do so as long as our supporters provide the necessary financial resources.

Gun Owners of California operates solely within California, where it was also founded by Senator Richardson to address the pivotal gun issues arising in that state.

Gun Owners Foundation is a non-profit, tax-deductible education foundation. It is the research arm of GOA. Among the activities sponsored by GOF are seminars which inform the public, the media and government officials about key issues affecting the Second Amendment. GOF also publishes books and articles concerning gun issues as they affect people throughout the world.

Strength comes with numbers, and the more concerned Americans join Gun Owners of America, the more we can do to protect the Second Amendment and our freedom. We need you! Shouldn’t you become a member of Gun Owners of America? Join here.



Copyright, Contact and Credits

Economics 101

July 23, 2006

Economics

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Buyers bargain for good prices while sellers put forth their best front in Chichicastenango Market, Guatemala.

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Buyers bargain for good prices while sellers put forth their best front in Chichicastenango Market, Guatemala.

Economics is a social science that seeks to analyze and describe the production, distribution, and consumption of wealth. [1]

The word “economics” is from the Greek οἶκος [oikos], “family, household, estate,” and νόμος [nomos], “custom, law,” and hence means “household management” or “management of the state.” An economist is a person using economic concepts and data in the course of employment, or someone who has earned a university degree in the subject.

The classic brief definition of economics, set out by Lionel Robbins in 1932, is “the science which studies human behavior as a relation between scarce means having alternative uses.” Absent scarcity and alternative uses, there is no economic problem. Briefer yet is “the study of how people seek to satisfy needs and wants” and “the study of the financial aspects of human behaviour.”

Economics has two broad branches: microeconomics, where the unit of analysis is the individual agent, such as a household, firm and macroeconomics, where the unit of analysis is an economy as a whole. Another division of the subject distinguishes positive economics, which seeks to predict and explain economic phenomena, from normative economics, which orders choices and actions by some criterion; such orderings necessarily involve subjective value judgments.

Since the early part of the 20th century, economics has focused largely on measurable quantities, employing both theoretical models and empirical analysis[1]. Economic reasoning has been increasingly applied in recent decades to social situations where there is no monetary consideration, such as politics, law, psychology, history, religion, marriage and family life, and other social interactions.

This paradigm crucially assumes that:

  • Resources are scarce because they are not sufficient to satisfy all wants;
  • “Economic value” is willingness to pay as revealed for instance by market (arms’ length) transactions.

Rival schools of thought, such as heterodox economics, institutional economics, Marxist economics, socialism, and green economics, make other grounding assumptions, such as that economics primarily deals with the exchange of value, and that labor (human effort) is the source of all value.

 Why the “Austrian School of Economics is not mentioned I haven’t a clue.

July 23, 2006

Freedom vs. Unlimited Majority Rule 

The concept of freedom rests on a government limited to the protection of individual rights, while the concept of democracy rests on a government run by unlimited majority rule; we need to stop confusing these two opposite ideas. 

By Peter Schwartz 

America’s foreign policy has led to a bizarre contradiction. President Bush claims to be pursuing freedom in the world, so that Americans will be safer. Yet this campaign’s results–a more zealous proponent of terrorism in the Palestinian Authority, and the prospect of theocracy in Iraq–are posing even greater threats to us. 

The cause of this failure is Mr. Bush’s hopeless view that tyranny is reversed by the holding of elections–a view stemming from the widespread confusion between freedom and democracy. 

Ask a typical American if there should be limits on what government may do, and he would answer: yes. He understands that each of us has rights which no law–regardless of how much public support it happens to attract–is entitled to breach. An advocate of democracy, however, would answer: no. 

The essence of democracy is unlimited majority rule. It is the notion that the government should not be constrained, as long as its behavior is sanctioned by majority vote. It is the notion that the function of government is to implement the “will of the people.” It is the notion we are espousing when we tell the Iraqis, the Palestinians and the Afghanis that the legitimacy of their new governments rests essentially on their being democratically approved.  

And it is the notion that was repudiated by the founding of the United States. 

America’s defining characteristic is freedom. Freedom exists when there are limitations on government, limitations imposed by the principle of individual rights. America was established as a republic, under which government is restricted to protecting our inalienable rights; this should not be called “democracy.” Thus, you are free to criticize your neighbors, your society, your government–no matter how many people wish to pass a law censoring you. But if “popular will” is the standard, then the individual has no rights–only temporary privileges, granted or withdrawn according to the mass sentiment of the moment. The Founders understood that the tyranny of the majority could be just as evil as the tyranny of an absolute monarch. 

Yes, we have the ability to vote, but that is not the yardstick by which freedom is measured. After all, even dictatorships hold official elections. It is only the context of liberty–in which individual rights may not be voted out of existence–that justifies, and gives meaning to, the ballot box. In a genuinely free country, voting pertains only to the particular means of safeguarding individual rights. There is no moral “right” to vote to destroy rights. 

Unfortunately, like Mr. Bush, most Americans use the antithetical concepts of “freedom” and “democracy” interchangeably. Sometimes our government upholds the primacy of individual rights and regards one’s life, liberty and property as inviolable. Many other times it negates rights by upholding the primacy of the majority’s wishes–from confiscating an individual’s property because the majority wants it for “public use,” to preventing a terminally ill individual from gaining assistance in ending his life because a majority finds suicide unpalatable. 

Today, our foreign policy upholds this latter position. We declare that our overriding goal in the Mideast is that people vote–regardless of whether they care about freedom. But then, if a Shiite, pro-Iranian majority imposes its theology on Iraq–or if Palestinian suicide-bombers execute their popular mandate by blowing up schoolchildren–on what basis can we object, since democracy is being faithfully served? As a spokesman for Hamas, following its electoral victory, correctly noted: “I thank the United States that they have given us this weapon of democracy. . . . It’s not possible for the U.S. . . . to turn its back on an elected democracy.” The Palestinians abhor freedom–but have adopted democratic voting.  

The Iraqis may reject freedom, in which case military force alone–as dismally inadequate as our efforts in that realm have been so far–will have to ensure our safety against any threats from them.  But if we are going to try to replace tyranny with freedom there, we must at least demonstrate what freedom is. We should have been spreading the ideas and institutions of a free society, before allowing elections even to be considered. For example, we should have written the new constitution, as we did in post-WWII Japan. Instead, we deferred to the “will of the people”–people who do not understand individual rights–and endorsed a despotic constitution, which rejects intellectual freedom in favor of enforced obedience to the Koran, and which rejects economic freedom and private property in favor of “collective ownership.” The consequence: looming neo-tyranny in Iraq. 

We need to stop confusing democracy with freedom. Morally supporting freedom is always in our interests. But supporting unlimited majority rule is always destructive–to us, and to all who value the rights of the individual. 

Peter Schwartz is a Distinguished Fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute (http://www.aynrand.org/) in Irvine, California. The Institute promotes Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand–author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. 

[b]I received that in an email/newsletter. Seems like a windy way of repeating what Franklin said about “Two wolves and a lamb deciding on dinner.” Could this be a root part of the contemporary problem here in the United States? Have we unknowingly slipped from a  representative republic into the morass of unfettered democracy?[/b] 

My own feelings are that the politicians ( with but a notable handful of rebels) have taken the nation to it’s very knees.  

There has been, in my opinion, a veritable silent revolution going on for decades, if not longer. Rampant feminism (political not ethical) has twisted the entire concept of life and liberty. The authoritarians within our society have issued blanket pronunciations that require one and all to conform to their ideas of so-called freedom. Those chicken littles that so love the earth more than their own children have strangled innovation to the point of causing serious gaps in national security. The resultant collective guilt of the populace has resulted in a lack of national pride that turns us against our own with subdued viciousness. 

I believe that the sole purpose of any government is to ensure the rights of the individual and that all legitimate uses of government power derives from that  basic sense of purposiveness. Hence the necessity of law, military forces and so on. 

I believe in opportunity for all through ones own resourcefulness, not by government fiat. I believe that in free markets the source of wealth can be found. 

I believe that the Constitution of these United States is the expression of the Declaration of Independence and that the concepts within have never changed, or left. Only the twisted interpetations of certain lawyers and politicians with the express purpose of personal gain. That the rights granted within the Constitution are inalieanable rights, that is God given, and cannot be subrogated by any man, or group of men.

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July 19, 2006

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