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Archive → April, 2013

NRA? All the way!

The National Rifle Association has agreed to run the former Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show, now to be called the Great American Outdoor Show.

Dauphin County commissioner Jeff Haste led the effort to find a suitable vendor for the huge PA Farm Show complex. The ESOS has been worth anywhere from $45 million to $88 million annually to the local economy, and losing it was a huge impact on the region.

The fact that yours truly played the key role in blowing the whistle is both happy and sad. I’ve been blamed for ruining the show and praised for calling attention to the former promoter, Reed Exhibitions, and getting them knocked out. Alex Cameron, Jr., was the vendor who tipped me off.

My friend and custom knife maker/supplier is John Johnson, and he took a financial beating because the show wasn’t held. Now he has confidence that the 2014 show will be better than several of the prior ones put together, and he can plan accordingly.

The NRA has invited all five million of its members to visit the 2014 show, so you know it’s going to be crowded, fun, and full of exciting gear and trips. And you can be sure that modern sporting rifles will be present and accounted for, in force….

Thank you to Commissioner Haste, the Corbett Administration, and the NRA for getting the show re-established. And thank you to all of the patriotic Americans who decided to take a hit to stop the British – based Reed Exhibitions this past February.

See you all next February at the Great American Outdoor Show!

UPDATE: As if you haven’t already read this elsewhere, the US Senate voted down the unconstitutional ‘background check’ federal database gun confiscation bill proposed shamefully by senators Manchin (WV) and Toomey (PA). Let’s get these two buffoons out of office post-haste. You cannot be a US senator, attack the US Constitution this way, and then be taken seriously by those of us in favor of maximum freedom for citizens.

Boston Marathon: A Bomb-Free Zone, Right?

Not that reason or logic is guiding the anti-Second Amendment crusade right now, but it’s helpful to my own peace of mind to point out that the Boston Marathon is a bomb-free zone. And several bombs were exploded there, anyhow. The point being that only law-abiding people follow laws. Passing laws that infringe upon the Constitutional rights of law abiding citizens, while doing nothing about crime, are by definition bad laws.

Drawing a parallel here with gun control laws, obviously. Not advocating bombs for everyone, obviously.

My heart goes out to the victims of today’s bombing. Hopefully, this administration will focus on Islamic terrorists and stop trying to prove that everyone else is really the threat to America.

Islam, you’ve got a problem

Watching videos from the Syrian civil war (Youtube has all you’ll ever need or want to see), it’s hard to conclude that either side is pure. Videos showing the most graphic torture of captured rebel fighters, summary executions of small children, and kangaroo courts pronouncing and then implementing the death penalty upon captured soldiers all point to a main problem: Islam.

Not one Islamic country is or has ever been peaceful. All have been violently expansionist and imperialistic. None have been kind to minorities.

Syria is a good example of what France, England, Holland, and many Scandinavian countries can expect once Moslem populations reach large enough sizes.

I’m saddened and work hard not to puke on my feet over what’s happening in Syria. Sadly, there’s not a whole lot of pure men over there. Bashar Assad’s cruelty led to the uprising, and his willingness to destroy his own country rather than leave it is, well, it’s destroying his country in a way no other kind of conflict can achieve. But his opponents know not much more about treating fellow people kindly.

Let’s pledge to make sure this dynamic doesn’t come to America.

Federal assault on land conservation continues…no surprise

Gathering enormous momentum over the past four years is an all-out assault on land conservation by the federal government. Led by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), charitable donations of land and land development value across America have been subject to incredible scrutiny and disdainful investigators who repeatedly assert that the donations of real property literally have zero value.

Private citizens defending their generous charitable contributions often spend tens of thousands of dollars. When they win in court, the IRS agents just walk away and start again with someone else.

The investigations and audits by the IRS have spawned hundreds of lawsuits by charitable donors who feel rooked, first by having donated real property value said to be worth nothing, and then by having their own government turn against their generosity.

The donors are Americans of every walk of life, from urban elites with rural second properties, to poor dirt farmers trying to preserve the home farm and their way of life. Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy, and every little local land trust in between Bangor, Maine, and Santa Barbara, California is subject to this onslaught and Gestapo tactics.

It is difficult to accept that protecting America’s inspiring landscape through private donations to registered charities is such a problem that the IRS must expend hundreds of millions of dollars on it every year. And yet the agency’s juggernaut rolls on. We aren’t talking about junk cars worth $300 in parts being claimed for $3,000. Rather, the donations run from tens of thousands of dollars to millions of dollars, carefully appraised by certified real estate appraisers.

Tax courts have repeatedly taken dim views of the investigations’ impetus and the IRS’s conclusions, often rebuking the government’s cases from the basic claims all the way through its reasoning, evidence, and methodology. It hasn’t stopped the IRS.

Why, one might ask, is this happening, even gathering steam, during the reign of such a perfect presidential administration? You know, the one which gets constant kudos, plaudits, and free passes from the usual array of environmental advocacy groups that during the Bush administration didn’t miss a second of the constant drum beat against their (alleged, supposed, manufactured, and yes, often real) faults and failures…Not that those environmental advocacy groups could ever, ever be accused of being partisan….

Here is one theory: Barack Obama hates private wealth, he hates private property, and he hates the idea that wealthy people can donate real estate value and be big heroes for it. Land conservation is very much the realm of wealthy blue bloods, big Republican foundations, land-rich-cash-poor ranchers and farmers who haven’t voted for a Democrat in oh, a few decades, and plenty of gun owners and outdoorsmen. In other words, land conservationists are mostly comprised of the very people Obama calls “enemies.”

Land conservation is underwritten and mostly run from stem to stern by the people most symbolic of America’s traditional modes of success: Land and natural resources. These are the people most at odds with Obama’s views of economics, wealth, and supposed historic injustices. So we can expect this assault on land conservation to continue. And we can expect the nakedly partisan advocacy groups who pretend to be neutral on natural resource conservation to continue to give this administration a 100% pass.

A day that will live in infamy? We will live through it

Seeing US Senator Pat Toomey cave in on gun control is a painful thing indeed. The man was elected to lead on tough issues and bring the Constitution to bear on policy and legislation. He is obviously failing on this most important count.

With his Democrat co-sponsored bill promoting universal background checks and hugely increased roles for doctors, and reportedly teachers, in unilaterally determining if a citizen is sufficiently mentally competent to enjoy their Constitutional freedoms, Toomey has entered a freak zone that no one could have imagined.
However, we have been here before. Last year it was US Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts who allowed ObamaCare to stand on the most bizarre reasoning possible. Recall that, like Toomey, Roberts was supposed to be a conservative.
If you go back far enough in other places, you’ll find similar hard left turns, like when Israel Prime Minister Menachem Begin gave up the Sinai Peninsula for a worthless scrap of paper from Egypt, or when Israel Prime Minster Yitzchak Rabin entered into the disastrous Oslo Accords, or when Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon unilaterally disengaged from the Gaza Strip, this time not for a worthless piece of paper, but for a never-ending rain of missiles.
FDR dropped the ball at the Yalta Conference, giving Stalin free rein to run amok, setting the stage for decades of nuclear stand-off that could have been averted had FDR been a strong man.
Such is the mindset of humans, that desire to be liked, to be thought well of. Especially when momentous events are upon them, so many in leadership roles are called upon to compromise as a sign of their maturity and clear thinking.
Yet, few but the strongest can resist this siren’s call. Lincoln comes to mind. Thus he earned the best monument on the National Mall. Principled all the way. Admiration from all corners.
Seeing Senator Pat Toomey’s face in the news associated with this big flop of a bill hurts. Hearing Toomey say that background checks and all of the government database that does with them isn’t gun control is like entering some weird, surreal deep-sleep dreaming phase.
And yet, Toomey has revealed himself as a mere mortal, not some great man who had the principles and the strength of character to stand tall when needed.
He is not a bad guy, but Toomey is a failure on this one count alone, and he is not the first nor the last. The Second Amendment is the greatest right of all the Constitutional rights granted to American citizens, and seeing it so badly eroded by one person who should know better is a painful reminder that we cannot stop working.
Yes, the Tea Party folks will probably primary Toomey, and he may well lose that race on the basis of this vote alone. And yes, that could possibly lead to a Democrat filling his seat, which I would not be happy about. But it will be a lesson to other Republicans: Stand with us, or quit calling yourself a Republican.

Freedom takes a lot of hard work, and we’ve got ours cut out for us…

Here is the text I presented to the Tea Party Patriots two nights ago, and I have received much positive feedback on it. Take the fight to the enemy, folks.

Josh First………….www.joshfirst.com
At Tea Party Patriots, April 8, 2013

Amendment II: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Citizen disarmament is the civil rights issue of our time. Disarmament is enslavement, and America already fought one civil war over slavery.

o 2nd Amendment is NOT about hunting or sport shooting, it IS about citizen defense against tyrannical government that usurps citizen powers & rights. Thus, if the gov’t has it, we might need it ourselves.

o State militias, comprised of citizens, were supposed to outweigh then-new federal army

o 1776 militia muster rolls required privately owned military-grade long arm and some ammunition; modern equivalent of military musket is the AR-15. Hunting, self-defense, sport guns are ancillary uses.

o “Well regulated” in 1780s means totally different action than 2013. Then: Have a militia muster roll of able bodied men with working guns and know how to quickly assemble them to fight. Now: Regulate means government intervention and control.

o Federal acts regulating the Militias were passed in the 1700s and 1800s; US Supreme Court holdings danced around the issue, addressing citizens assuming quasi-military roles in public.

o State militias fell into disuse after the Civil War; different states now address them differently. My reading of PA law allows private citizens to create their own militias, so long as they do not claim to represent the government

o Gun prohibitionists long argued that the 2nd Amendment was a “collective” right. After the Heller and McDonald decisions, they now say they agree it’s a private right, but they want to INFRINGE it out of existence: CT, NY, MD, DE, CO, CA…. magazines, ammunition, guns, taxes, insurance, slippery slope

o Fight back:
a) “Gun Prohibitionists” are extreme, not mainstream, agenda-driven, put us all at risk
b) gun control is not about crime control; does not solve problems; infringes on lawful right
c) Gun control is the new Jim Crow…utopians fear threats to their big gov’t utopia control
d) Join NRA, GOA, local shooting club
e) Write op-eds, volunteer for pro-Constitution candidates, blog & social media
f) Buy guns, teach someone to shoot or hunt, give guns as gifts, buy a hunting license
g) Constitutional principles do not change over time to suit societal whims. The quill pen and the printing press became laptops and the Internet, horses became cars, and muskets became AR-15s
h) Regulating/limiting Constitutional rights is usually read expansively, not narrowly
i) Use historical references to frame gun control efforts: Frontier America had no gun control,
and Founders’ intent: “On every question of construction (of the Constitution) let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed,” (Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823, The Complete Jefferson, p. 322). “The whole of the Bill (of Rights) is a declaration of the right of the people at large or considered as individuals…. It establishes some rights of the individual as unalienable and which consequently, no majority has a right to deprive them of.” (Albert Gallatin of the New York Historical Society, October 7, 1789). “The right of the people to keep and bear arms has been recognized by the General Government; but the best security of that right after all is, the military spirit, that taste for martial exercises, which has always distinguished the free citizens of these States….Such men form the best barrier to the liberties of America” – (Gazette of the United States, October 14, 1789.) “No Free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” (Thomas Jefferson, Proposal Virginia Constitution, 1 T. Jefferson Papers, 334,[C.J.Boyd, Ed., 1950]). “The right of the people to keep and bear…arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country…” (James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434 [June 8, 1789]). “A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves…and include all men capable of bearing arms.” (Richard Henry Lee, Additional Letters from the Federal Farmer (1788) at 169). “What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty…. Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins.” (Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment [ I Annals of Congress at 750 {August 17, 1789}]). “…to disarm the people – that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” (George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 380)

Iron lady in a soft tin world

Former English prime minister Margaret Thatcher died yesterday.

Her nickname was the Iron Lady, so dubbed by the Soviets (The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), who failed to understand either the English language or The English People well enough to recognize that such an insult would actually resonate with the dispirited people of that dreary isle, locked as it was in government-heavy economic malaise. The name stuck, and why wouldn’t it? USSR leader Stalin re-named himself after steel (Stalin means steel in Russian), for a reason.

Thatcher is credited with saving the British from socialism and restoring some of their former greatness. And to prove that the British are their own worst enemies, the over-generous people of that green island began to allow endless streams of avowed enemies into their nation. Those same people went on a rampage yesterday that left many policemen hurt and whole streets of shops in various cities in shambles, destroyed by mobs of “angry” people who believe they are due something more than opportunity for self-realization.

And now it is worth asking, is there anyone left in Western Civilization strong enough to rise to the stature and strength of character of the Iron Lady? Or is our soft-tin Western Civilization destined for continued decline, as our enemies sharpen their knives and quietly slip behind our borders under the bizarre guise of “fairness”?

My kids are mine, lady

“Professor” Melissa Harris-Perry of Tulane University says that kids do not actually belong to their families, but rather belong to the collective community around them. See the brief video here:
Collectivist talk is Marxist/ Big Brother/ tyrannical government, etc., and normally would be greeted in America with disbelief. But American culture has broken down under the weight of years of class warfare led by Obama.
Used to be that academia was for serious thinkers. Consider that Ms. Harris-Perry is a professor, or that Columbia University has hired Kathy Boudin, a convicted terrorist and murderer of a policeman. Boudin is a former Weather Underground member. She is now also a professor, worthy of teaching young people. Really!
Academia has been corrupted by people who are at war with America, with Western Civilization, with your church and synagogue. You’d better fight back, folks, or you will watch the equivalent of Rome burning in your own lifetime.

Josh to speak at Tea Party Patriots gathering

Josh will be speaking at the Tea Party Patriots gathering next Monday night at 6006 Old Jonestown Road, in Lower Paxton Township, at 7:00 PM. The venue is accessed through an entrance around the back of the old church, in an auditorium. Parking is right there. The subject will be the Second Amendment. Josh will be speaking with local attorney Marc Scaringi, who in 2012 ran in the Republican primary for US Senator from Pennsylvania while Josh was running for PA State Senate.