Archive for January, 2008

Ask Your U.S. Senator and Representative To Sign The Amicus Brief Against The D.C. Gun Ban Today!

January 31, 2008

URGENT ALERT: Ask Your U.S. Senator and Representative To Sign The Amicus Brief Against The D.C. Gun Ban Today!

As the most critical Second Amendment case of our lifetimes is now before the Supreme Court, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) is gathering signatures for an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief by Members of Congress.  And we need your support to back up this important effort, today.

The case is District of Columbia v. Heller — the case in which several District of Columbia residents have challenged the District’s laws that prohibit handgun ownership and armed self-defense in the home.  This brief is an opportunity to show strong congressional support for the Second Amendment as protecting an individual right to keep and bear arms and not just a “right” to bear arms while serving in a government militia.

Sen. Hutchison’s brief points out the many occasions-from 1866 to 2005-when the Congress has spoken in favor of the Second Amendment as protecting the rights of individuals, and has taken action to protect those rights by law.  Congress has also voted repeatedly to repeal the D.C. gun ban.

When Congress speaks, the Supreme Court listens.  Every Senator and Congressman who supports individual rights should step forward to be heard by signing this brief.  The brief is due within days, so we need your immediate help today. 

Please call and email your U.S. Senator and Representative today and urge them to sign on to this critically important brief, which will be a key part of the legal battle to protect the Second Amendment in the U.S. Supreme Court.

It’s getting ugly

January 31, 2008

This morning, from a cave somewhere in Pakistan , Taliban
Minister of Migration, Mohammed Omar, warned the United States that if military action against Iraq continues,
Taliban authorities will cut off America ‘s supply of convenience store managers.

If this action does not yield sufficient results, cab
drivers will be next, followed by Dell and AOL customer service reps., and then Motel 6 managers.

It’s getting ugly.

JURY NULLIFICATION

January 29, 2008

Used with permission: http://www.geocities.com/fountoftruth/jurynull.html

WHY AMERICA NEEDS TO BRING BACK JURY NULLIFICATION

By Doug Newman

January 26, 2008

Posted at Liberty Post.


Letters to the Editor
Rocky Mountain News
101 W. Colfax Avenue, Suite 500
Denver, CO 80202

Editor:

I want to commend Chris Maj on his fine letter of January 24 on the rights of jurors.

Jurors’ rights are the most forgotten rights of all. Indeed, from before the Revolution up through the Civil War, jurors had the power to judge not only the facts of a case but also the law pertaining to that particular case. If a juror thought the law under which the defendant was being tried was unconstitutional, unjust, immoral or just plain stupid, that juror could vote to acquit and the defendant would walk. The best example of jury nullification at work can be found with regard to the Fugitive Slave Laws of the 1850s. If juror Smith opposed these laws, he could, on this basis alone, vote to acquit defendant Jones. As a result, the Fugitive Slave Laws became unenforceable.

Consider some of the onerous laws on the books today and how we could combat them if jurors only knew their rights. Imagine someone on trial for violating a tax law that not even a Harvard-educated tax attorney could understand; imagine a doctor on trial for prescribing marijuana to patients who had exhausted all conventional medical avenues; imagine a woman who uses a gun to ward off a rapist, and then faces charges when it is discovered that said gun is unregistered.

Jury nullification is the ultimate check against bad laws. Today, almost no one even knows about jury nullification. Legislators concoct new laws at a rate unthinkable a few decades ago. And the people think they are powerless in the face of a runaway government.

When I present this subject, people are often skeptical. They say things like, “Why, if a juror can acquit just because he does not like a particular law, this can only result in anarchy! We cannot have people making up laws as they go along!” I respond that jurors exercising their rights are not making up new laws, but acting in defense against bad laws. An unrestrained government – i.e. one that makes whatever laws it willy-nilly wants whenever it willy-nilly wants to — is far more dangerous than an educated populace that uses every available tool to restrain that government.

Far from being a crackpot “theory”, jury nullification is a cornerstone of constitutional government and a truly free society.

Doug Newman
Aurora

Doug is one of the best “communicators” of social and political ideology that I have been exposed to over the years. Keep the great stuff coming Doug!

UPDATE ON DEER FEEDING OPERATION IN THE GUNNISON BASIN

January 26, 2008

JAN. 25 UPDATE ON DEER FEEDING OPERATION IN THE GUNNISON BASIN


The emergency feeding program by the Colorado Division of Wildlife in the Gunnison Basin is in full operation with feed being distributed to big game animals at more than 60 sites.
 
The program was started Jan. 13 because of extreme winter conditions in the area. Up to four feet of snow is covering natural food sources, and cold temperatures that have reached 40 degrees below zero are affecting the animals.
 
The feeding effort is being aimed at mule deer and pronghorn because their natural food sources are completely covered with snow. Elk, which are well-adapted to severe cold, are being provided hay in select areas only to keep them away from deer feeding sites and ranchers’ haystacks.
 
For the past 10 days Division of Wildlife personnel have been packing trails and roads into feeding areas with snow-cats and snowmobiles. Now that the snow on those trails is firm, feed is being taken into areas by snowmobile, snow-cat and on foot. Feeding is being done by DOW staff and volunteers. About 150 people have signed on to work as volunteers in the effort. At this time the DOW is not soliciting more volunteers.
 
Deer, which are naturally wary of people, are becoming accustomed to human activity and are starting to move to the feeding sites. Deer are being provided approximately 2 pounds per day of a specially formulated, high-energy feed.
 
Feed is also being provided to about 380 pronghorn in the basin. These animals, however, are notoriously skiddish and are difficult to draw to feed sites.
 
One problem facing wildlife officials is that some people are feeding deer inappropriate food. Deer are browsers, they survive mainly on shrubby-type vegetation. They cannot survive on hay, pet food, corn, birdseed, table scraps, etc.
 
“Unnatural food hurts deer more than it helps them,” said J Wenum, area wildlife manager for the Gunnison area.
 
If people want to help deer, wildlife officials recommend that property owners knock snow off of shrubs and pack down areas with snowshoes or skies to allow deer to move around in snow more easily.
 
Even though winter conditions are difficult in the basin now, snow came late which allowed deer to feed on natural vegetation until mid-December. Consequently, the body condition of many deer still appears to be good at this time.
 
Wildlife managers note, however, that the tough conditions will mean that mortality among deer will likely be higher than average. In a normal winter, 12 percent to 18 percent of the population will die. Most susceptible to harsh winter conditions are fawns and older age bucks.
 
“We’re not trying to save every deer in the Gunnison Basin. More deer will probably die this year than in average years. But our feeding program is meant to avoid a catastrophic die off,” Wenum said.
 
Colorado residents are reminded that the Colorado Division of Wildlife has posted a temporary emergency closure on wildlife-related recreational activities on public lands in the Gunnison Basin below 9,500 feet through May 15. Activities prohibited include all hunting and shed-antler collecting. Fishing is still permitted on Blue Mesa Reservoir and area streams. Collection of big horn sheep horns or skulls in sheep unit S70 is also prohibited. The full closure notice and a map can be viewed at the DOW web site:
http://wildlife.state.co.us/WildlifeSpecies/EmergencyFeedingOperation2008.htm.
 
Anyone can make a donation to the feeding effort. Go to the DOW’s home page to donate on line or for more information:
http://wildlife.state.co.us.
 
 
#   #   #
                       

For more information about Division of Wildlife go to: http://wildlife.state.co.us.

DOW MONITORING WINTER CONDITIONS IN NORTHWEST COLORADO

January 26, 2008

Winter Feeding Programs Not Yet Necessary Outside Gunnison Basin
 
District Wildlife Managers and terrestrial biologists with the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) are monitoring winter conditions throughout northwest Colorado to determine whether wildlife populations will need supplemental winter feeding.
 
“At this point we’re in fairly good shape,” explained Ron Velarde, DOW Northwest regional manager. “Fortunately, we are not seeing the difficult winter conditions that they are experiencing in the Gunnison Basin, nor do we have the same type of landscape.”
 
The DOW began a massive deer feeding operation in the Gunnison Basin more than a week ago. Deer around Gunnison are dealing with extreme snow depths, temperatures well below zero and a layer of hard-crusted snow that makes foraging for food extremely difficult. Additionally, the Gunnison Basin is an enclosed winter ecosystem and heavy snow leaves animals with no way to move to lower or more open terrain. Without the extensive feeding effort, many of the deer in the Gunnison area could face starvation.
 
“While we are seeing some very localized areas in the northwest part of the state that have heavy snow depths, there are readily available areas nearby those sites where sage brush and other critical food sources are available,” said John Broderick, senior terrestrial biologist for the northwest region. “We’ve also avoided the prolonged extreme cold temperatures and we aren’t finding heavy crusting conditions.”
 
District Wildlife Managers are monitoring herds in the Meeker, Craig, Steamboat Springs, North Park, Eagle, Middle Park and Aspen areas. Herd monitoring is accomplished in a number of ways. Wildlife managers can visually analyze body condition on deer and elk herds in their districts.
 
Wildlife professionals are also utilizing DOW airplanes to examine available habitat and animal tracks in remote areas.

“As deer become more stressed by heavy winter snows, they tend to utilize existing trails instead of exerting excess energy to break new trail,” said Perry Will, Area Wildlife Manager for Glenwood Springs. “When the animals start ‘troughing’, or using a single trail, it’s another indicator of severe conditions.”
 
DOW employees are also analyzing bone marrow of animals that are killed by vehicles. “Deer and elk have a natural fat reserve that helps sustain them during the winter months,” explained DOW Hot Sulphur Springs Area Wildlife Manager Lyle Sidener. “When that natural reserve is used up, the deer turn to the fat in the bone marrow as a last resort. Monitoring the marrow helps determine if the situation is becoming critical.”
 
Deer and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep are the primary starvation concern during hard winters. As smaller animals they are more prone to the difficulties associated with heavy snow. Elk are much more adaptable and less likely to suffer from heavy snows. Moose, the largest member of the deer family, are well adapted to more harsh winter conditions and they don’t mind waiting out the winter eating tall shoots of willow that are not covered by snow.
 
“Most of our deer have moved out of the Steamboat Springs area and far to the west where they are finding open conditions,” said Jim Haskins, DOW Area Wildlife Manager in Steamboat Springs. “We are seeing a small number of elk that are struggling, but that’s more due to their own unwillingness to move to where the food can be found than due to the winter conditions.”
 
Many of the deer and elk in northwest Colorado have never seen a hard winter or, in some cases, even a normal winter. The past eight winters have been relatively mild, leading deer and elk to stay in areas that aren’t really appropriate winter range.
 
Meeker Area Wildlife Manager Bill deVergie is seeing that exact situation. “This is certainly more snow than we’ve had in quite a few years, but it is more of a typical winter. Most of the big game in this area hasn’t seen anything but mild winters in their lifetime, so they’re trying to figure out how to adapt. For the most part the animals are finding ways to find food on areas of critical winter range.”
 
Wildlife managers are reporting some mortalities, but it is normal for some mortality to occur during the winter. Old, young and sick animals often succumb to even mild winter conditions. Two significant deer studies in northwest Colorado use radio tracking collars to monitor mule deer mortalities. The Middle Park study and the Piceance deer monitoring are both seeing mortality consistent with this time of year. The studies are another way that wildlife managers can watch for signs that intervention might be necessary.
 
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is another complicating factor in feeding decisions for northwest Colorado wildlife managers. While CWD has not been detected in the Gunnison Basin, it has been found in some parts of northwest Colorado. Any feeding of deer in areas with confirmed instances of CWD must be approved by the Colorado Wildlife Commission. This is because feeding sites create large concentrations of deer and elk, which can result in increased transmission of CWD and other diseases.
 
“As we analyze feeding decisions we have to determine if the percentage of animals we might protect from starvation will outweigh the percentage of animals that might be at risk from disease transmission,” added Broderick. “And while starvation is a rare or one-time occurrence, increased CWD transmission can negatively impact a population for multiple generations. That isn’t to say we won’t feed if it becomes necessary, but hopefully people understand more about what goes into the decision.”
 
Despite scientific and visual assurances that wildlife health is not seriously threatened at this time, DOW offices are being flooded with calls and e-mails from concerned citizens that want immediate action.
 
“We understand and appreciate the public concern for wildlife,” said Velarde. “We will intervene if the conditions worsen and we will immediately ask the public for assistance in what will be a massive undertaking.”
 
Wildlife managers will continue to monitor the situation and the DOW remains committed to preserving and protecting Colorado’s wildlife resource for the use and enjoyment of Colorado’s citizens and visitors.
 
###
 
The Colorado Division of Wildlife is the state agency responsible for managing wildlife and its habitat, as well as providing wildlife related recreation. The Division is funded through hunting and fishing license fees, federal grants and Colorado Lottery proceeds through Great Outdoors Colorado.

For more information about Division of Wildlife go to: http://wildlife.state.co.us.

In Liberty’s Two Arms

January 26, 2008

source: http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=8920

In Liberty’s Two Arms

by David Kopel

This article appeared in Legal Times on January 14, 2008.

  TEXT SIZE

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All Second Amendment clauses protect gun rights

To understand the Second Amendment, it helps to consult Justice Stephen Breyer’s book Active Liberty.

This is not because the book reveals specifically how Breyer would vote in District of Columbia v. Heller, the upcoming Supreme Court case on the D.C. ban against owning handguns and using any firearm for self-defense in the home.

But Breyer’s book, through its philosophical discussions of the meaning of liberty, does show a way to reconcile the subordinate clause of the Second Amendment (the importance of the militia to a free state) and the main clause (gun ownership as an individual right). And this reconciliation of the two clauses strongly suggests that the D.C. gun bans are unconstitutional.

One could say that the families without guns are free-riders on the benefits from families with guns.

LEGAL LIBERTY

Active Liberty reminds us of the original meaning of “liberty” in the Greek city-states: the right of citizens to participate in their government. At the best periods in ancient Greece, as in New England town meetings, important public decisions were made democratically at assemblies of the people.

Active liberty, by itself, provides democracy, but it does nothing to protect minorities from the tyranny of the majority. Thus, Enlightenment philosophers articulated a principle of negative liberty: That a person has certain rights that even a majority cannot infringe.

Breyer explains that active liberty and negative liberty are both part of the Constitution. For example, in evaluating campaign finance restrictions, Breyer would balance the negative liberty aspect of the First Amendment (that government should not control political speech) with the active liberty aspect (the right of the people to a good system of elections).

As Breyer explains, active and negative liberty can conflict. In campaign finance regulation, negative liberty (“don’t control political speech”) conflicts with active liberty (“protect democratic elections”). For the Second Amendment, however, the active and negative liberty provisions reinforce each other.

FOR THEMSELVES

The negative liberty aspect is in the Second Amendment’s main clause: “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The clause derives from a long line of human rights philosophy about the right of individuals to defend themselves and their families. As Thomas Jefferson wrote in his model constitution for Virginia: “No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms in his own lands or tenements.”

In forbidding the possession or use of any functional firearm in the home, the D.C. law violates the Second Amendment’s main clause. Lawfully registered rifles and shotguns must be kept disassembled or locked up. There is no exception for self-defense.

Although the D.C. government’s Supreme Court brief claims that local courts might find an implicit self-defense exception, the government took the opposite position in 1977. Then, in successfully defending the self-defense ban, the District argued, and the city’s highest court agreed, that the statute deliberately banned self-defense in the home. The D.C. Court of Appeals ruled in McIntosh v. Washington that, even though owners of business premises were still allowed a limited degree of self-defense, the complete ban in the home was not an equal protection violation. The court found that there was a rational basis for the self-defense ban because of the great risk that people who had functional firearms in their home would kill in a domestic rage. (Extensive social science evidence disproves that court’s dire view of people who pass a background check to own licensed, registered guns.)

AND FOR OTHERS

The introductory clause of the Second Amendment (“A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state”) comes not from the tradition of negative liberty, but from classical and Renaissance principles of republicanism, an active liberty tradition.

As David Hardy described in his 1986 law-review article “The Second Amendment and the Historiography of the Bill of Rights,” James Madison, in drafting the Second Amendment, blended the republican and human rights principles into a single amendment.

The active liberty clause is concerned with preserving citizens’ ability to contribute to the defense of their communities. For example, a threat might arise from a foreign attacker where the national army might not be able to respond in time. Likewise, the armed citizens of the founding era were often called upon by local officials to help search for escaped criminals or to protect frontier villages. More broadly, the republican philosophers worried that citizens who did not participate in the protection of their communities would become passive and dependent, and thereby lose virtues necessary to the survival of a free society.

Today, the government does not require citizens to serve in organized militias. Gun prohibition advocates claim that the Second Amendment therefore has no practical meaning.

David Kopel is an associate policy analyst at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.

More by David B. Kopel

Thomas Cooley, the greatest American legal scholar of the latter 19th century, anticipated this argument and explained why government neglect of the militia (the first clause) did not negate the second clause: If Second Amendment rights were limited to those enrolled in a militia, “the purpose of this guaranty might be defeated altogether by the action or neglect to act of the government it was meant to hold in check. The meaning of the provision undoubtedly is, that the people, from whom the militia must be taken, shall have the right to keep and bear arms, and they need no permission or regulation of law for the purpose.”

TO SUPPRESS PREDATORS

Even if the Second Amendment nullificationists were correct that the introductory clause overrides the main clause, they err in their hyperliteral reading of this initial clause.

When we see the word “press” in the First Amendment, we understand that it protects more than just the freedom to use literal printing presses. It obviously includes sharing ideas using tools that have the same purpose as the press, such as fountain pens, typewriters, and Web sites. If a newspaper abandoned printing presses entirely and published its articles exclusively online, “freedom of the press” would still protect the writing.

Likewise, the active liberty principle of the Second Amendment’s opening clause teaches us about more than just formal militias. It looks to the role of citizens in helping to carry out the government functions of a free state — particularly the essential governmental function of suppressing predatory violence.

Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that legally armed homeowners (of whom there are none in the District) use firearms to drive burglars away from their homes hundreds of thousands of times a year.

Only about 13 percent of American burglaries are perpetrated against occupied homes (known as “hot burglary”), thanks to the burglars’ fear that residents might be armed. By contrast, the rate of hot burglaries is 45 percent to 50 percent in countries such as England and the Netherlands, where defensive gun ownership is forbidden or heavily discouraged.

Thwarting or deterring a home invasion obviously is beneficial for the individual family, but it also benefits the people as a whole. Drastically reducing the number of hot burglaries reduces the number of emergency calls to which police must respond, giving them more resources for other programs.

A militiaman in 1791 did much more than protect himself alone, and the Founders understood that collective benefit. By defending communities, militias protected people not in the militia, such as the elderly, women, and children.

Likewise, modern Americans who exercise Second Amendment rights confer benefits on the whole community. About half of all American homes contain a firearm. Burglars, however, do not know which half, so they must try to avoid all occupied homes.

One could say that the families without guns are free-riders on the benefits from families with guns. Or one could say that the Second Amendment’s opening clause envisioned that the security benefits of keeping arms would inure to the whole community.

THROUGHOUT HISTORY

This view has strong historical roots. The leading constitutional commentators of the early Republic, St. George Tucker and William Rawle, described the Second Amendment as guaranteeing a right to own guns for individual defense and for community security.

Likewise, the Reconstruction Congress, when passing the Freedmen’s Bureau Act and, later, the 14th Amendment, explicitly affirmed the right of former slaves to own guns in their own homes for protection against the likes of the Ku Klux Klan. This was important for the freedmen personally and also for preventing the Klan from destroying the right of freedmen to participate in the political process.

Later, during the 1950s and 1960s, many civil rights activists in the South (including Eleanor Roosevelt, on a speaking tour in Tennessee) had guns to protect themselves while they campaigned against segregation laws and in favor of voting rights.

It is possible to imagine how the active liberty and negative liberty clauses of the Second Amendment might conflict. A law that required prospective gun owners to undergo training or take a test might advance the active liberty clause, while arguably infringing the negative liberty clause.

Yet in the D.C. case, the active liberty and negative liberty provisions are in perfect harmony. The D.C. bans on functional firearms are contrary to the purposes of both clauses of the Second Amendment. The D.C. statutes eliminate both the personal and community benefits from firearm ownership in the home. Under both the active and negative concepts of liberty discussed in Breyer’s book, these D.C. statutes should be struck down.

Bush needs to listen, again…

January 26, 2008

More Pressure Needed To Convince Bush To Withdraw Brief

Gun Owners of America E-Mail Alert
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151
Phone: 703-321-8585 / FAX: 703-321-8408
http://www.gunowners.org

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Bush administration has continued veering toward gun control.
You know it is bad when The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
salutes the administration’s support for gun control.

Why would anti-gunners praise the Bush administration? For one,
signing the first gun control legislation in over a decade, the
Veterans Disarmament Act (H.R. 2640). For another, the very anti-gun
brief the Solicitor General (the Justice Department’s lawyer) filed
in the DC gun ban case, D.C. v. Heller.

As you know, Rep. Virgil Goode is rounding up other members of the
U.S. House of Representatives to join with him on his letter to the
President asking him to withdraw that brief.

Gun Owners of America has taken the lead in building public awareness
of the Solicitor General’s action, and the need to urge all members
of Congress to support Rep. Goode’s efforts.

We know it is imperative for the NRA to encourage their members to
weigh in with their representatives on behalf of Rep. Goode.

It would be very helpful if you — and as many gun owners as you can
recruit to help — would call the NRA and urge them to publicly
encourage members of Congress to join with Rep. Goode by signing his
letter to the White House.

The toll-free number to call at the NRA is 800-392-8683. To maximize
your effort, please call rather than e-mail.

For your information, the GOA press release that explains what is
wrong with the administration’s brief is here:

http://www.gunowners.org/pr0801.htm

The D.C. v. Heller case is by far the most important Second Amendment
court case of our lifetime. Thank you for doing all you can to help
secure a pro-gun outcome.

Colorado Politics

January 26, 2008

“Castle Doctrine” Bill to be Heard on Wednesday, February 6!  Sponsored by State Representative Cory Gardner (R-63), House Bill 1066 will be heard by the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, February 6.  HB1066 would extend self-defense protections beyond the home to include businesses, and grant civil and criminal immunity for using deadly force if a person is faced with a threat of great bodily harm or death in his or her home or business.  Please contact the members of the House Judiciary Committee and respectfully urge them to support HB1066 to allow business owners to protect themselves and their place of business.  Please contact your State Representative at (303) 866-2904 or toll-free at 1-800-811-7647 and respectfully urge him or her to support HB1066 to allow business owners to protect themselves and their place of business. 

“Criminal Protection” Bill Introduced!  Legislation that would render homeowners defenseless and gives intruding criminals the upper hand has been proposed by State Senator Sue Windels (D-19).  Under Senate Bill 49, adults would be forced to put their firearms under lock and key or face an undetermined misdemeanor if a firearm was used in a suicide or crime.  No hearing date has been scheduled in the Senate Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs.  Please contact the members of the Committee today and respectfully urge them to oppose SB49.  Contact information can be found by clicking here.

ARCHER SHOOTING DEER IN COLORADO SPRINGS

January 26, 2008

Someone is using a bow and arrows to shoot deer in the Rockrimmon neighborhood in northwest Colorado Springs.  In the past two weeks, the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) has found evidence that at least three deer were shot with arrows in the vicinity of Allegheny and Oak Hills.
 
“In each case, the deer where shot with archery equipment,” said District Wildlife Manager Steve Cooley.
 
Anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity, or has information about this case, is asked to contact the DOW at (719) 227-5282.  Or, they can call Operation Game Thief toll-free at 1-877-265-6648.
 
“Not only is shooting deer outside the established hunting season illegal, but it is an extremely dangerous activity in a crowded residential neighborhood,” said Cooley.
 
The DOW urges people to call whenever they have information about illegal hunting or fishing activities.  Callers do not have to reveal their names or testify in court.  Operation Game Thief gives rewards if the information results in a ticket being issued.
 
Wildlife officers say that help from the public is often the only way that poachers are apprehended.
 
No one knows the exact figures, but some studies indicate poachers may kill almost as many animals and fish as legitimate hunters and anglers take during legal seasons.
 
The Colorado Division of Wildlife is the state agency responsible for managing wildlife and wildlife habitat, as well as providing wildlife related recreation and maintaining a balance between human activities and wildlife.  Funding for the Division of Wildlife comes from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses and the habitat fees collected in conjunction with those sales.  The Division does not receive tax dollars from the Colorado general fund.
 
####

For more information about Division of Wildlife go to: http://wildlife.state.co.us.

Parable of the Ant and the Grasshopper

January 26, 2008

TRADITIONAL VERSION:
The ant works hard in the withering
heat all summer long, building his
house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the
ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come
winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or
shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself!

*****MODERN VERSION:

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his
house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and
demands to know why the ant should be warm and well fed while others are
cold and starving.

CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the
shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.
America is stunned by the sharp contrast.
How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so? Kermit
the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when they sing, “It’s Not Easy Being Green.”
Jesse Jackson stages a demonstration in front of the ant’s house where the news stations film the group
singing, “We shall overcome.” Jesse then has the group kneel down to pray to God for the
grasshopper’s sake. Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry & Harry Reid exclaim in an interview with Larry King that
the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper , and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to
make him pay his fair share. Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity and Anti-Grasshopper Act retroactive to
the beginning of the summer! The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having
nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government. Hillary gets her old law
firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of
federal judges that Bill Clinton appointed from a list of single-parent welfare recipients. The ant loses the
case.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant’s food while the
government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant’s old house, crumbles around him because he doesn’t
maintain it.

The ant has disappeared in the snow.
The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by
a gang of spiders who terrorize the once peaceful neighborhood.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be careful how you vote in 2008.


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