Top Of My Head

Thoughts on everything from Politics to Video Games

Category: Politics (page 4 of 4)

Wisconsin Attorney General

I said every day I would address the issue of Van Hollen and today is no exception. He should resign. He apparently doesn’t want to defend our state’s laws from an attack and he shouldn’t be our Attorney General.

Wisconsin Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen doesn’t stand up for Wisconsin Laws.

God Bless

Wisconsin Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen doesn’t stand up for Wisconsin Laws…

But Fair Wisconsin does. (Read their announcement here) Everyday until the next election or someone who knows how to organize a recall against Van Hollen, I’m going to remind Wisconsin voters just how 1) he doesn’t defend laws passed by our legistlature and 2) how that costs Wisconsin taxpayers $175.00 per hour to bring in an outside attorney. Apparently, Van Hollen only stands up for those constituents who are as small minded and backward as he is.
Let’s all join together and make him a one-term attorney general. Let’s send a message to future attorney generals that we want them to uphold our laws. Period.
In case you’re wondering if I only want him to support laws I support, I support the Federal Justice Department’s stance to support DOMA in court. I believe that’s what attorney generals should do — even if they disagree with the law.
Apparently, Republicans don’t think that way. They think that somehow you have some made up right to only do your job as long as you agree with it — the exception is you shouldn’t have to do something unethical or illegal. Silly Republicans, running the government is an intellectual’s job.
Defend the law, Van Hollen, or suffer the consequences and lose the next election.

God Bless

Today’s Vote!

According to JSONLINE, the Republicans don’t expect anyone to put up much of a fight regarding today’s vote on the anti-gay ban. They figure it’s a slam dunk and they can all go home and pat themselves on the back. (And, pray to God that He forgives them for their sins, I’m sure.)

Anyway, I just received an email from a buddy of mine who let me know what happened on the floor. I’m posting it here, verbatim.

“I have to share with you what just happened on the Assembly Floor. Representative Jon Richards (Dem-Milwaukee) introduced a constituent in the gallery who fought on the U.S.S. Wisconsin. A real war hero. Everyone stood up and cheered — the Republicans cheering the loudest. (They love their war heroes). Then Representative Richards introduced this man’s gay partner to much cheering from the Democrats and much less from the Republicans. :-)”

Guess Republicans aren’t too keen on gay war heroes and their husbands.

Keep good thoughts that right will win over might and somehow this won’t pass.

God Bless us all.

Morality

Yesterday, the public hearing — the one and only public hearing — regarding the anti-gay amendment was held in Madison.

According to an article in this morning’s Journal Sentinel, Jenny Baierl said, “I’m concerned the state is going to determine what is morally acceptable for my child to be taught in sex education and not allow me to be the ultimate authority.”

Excuse me, but who said that allowing gay marriage would take away your ability to determine what is morally acceptable for your children? That isn’t even a logical statement. Drinking is legal in this state and it doesn’t stop me from informing my children about the evils of alcohol. So, if you don’t want your children to support gay marriage, then tell them not to and don’t support it yourself. But, don’t take away my ability to live my life with dignity and in a legal matrimonial state because YOU don’t agree with it.

If you don’t like gay marriage, then don’t have one.

Hate-monger Mark Gundrum said the bill was drafted to address only “legal status” and didn’t get into specific benefits, as laws and amendments in other states have. The intent was to prevent the state only from creating a new kind of marriage recognized in Wisconsin, Gundrum said.

“If a private hospital wants to have a policy allowing visitation for someone, there’s nothing to prohibit that,” he said.

Yeah and there is nothing to prohibit them from barring the life partner of someone gay, either. But they do it.  Such as in the case of “Michael Thomas, a Health and Family Services administrator for Manitowoc County, choked back tears as he talked about his former partner who he said was shot – in front of Thomas – because he was gay; Thomas was kept from him in the hospital. ‘He died alone in a room with me peering through the glass because they wouldn’t let me be with him,” Thomas said. After 20 years with a new partner, he said, “I don’t want the same thing to happen again.’”

So, don’t tell me that an anti-gay amendment somehow protects families and marriages – all it does is harm the gay families that are out there.

Amen, I say to you, if you support this amendment, you are only showing your own fear and hatred of gay people. Period. You aren’t protecting anything, but your own ability to legalize hatred and contempt.

God Bless

Concealed Carry Revisited

I’ve been thinking about Concealed Carry. If you remember, Owen from Boots & Sabers wrote a rebuttal to the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence press release. Then, I wrote a rebuttal to his rebuttal. Well, since then, I’ve been doing some more thinking about the subject.

First, I should mention that I am NOT against Concealed Carry. I believe that some citizens have legitimate needs to carry a concealed weapon. That is to say, I don’t believe that every Tom, Dick and Harry should be allowed to pack heat. I believe their needs to be very stringent restrictions. The Second Amendment states: “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.” Well, we have a well regulated militia and, further, it doesn’t state that we can’t regulate just who those people are. Plus, I don’t believe bear arms translates into concealed carry. In the great state of Wisconsin, you are allowed to strap a gun to your hip and walk in public. Some municipalities will arrest you for disorderly conduct, just so you are forewarned.

Second, I do not like the bill as it is written. I have quite a few beefs, but I’ll only list my top four here:

  • There is a $25.00 fine for failure to give a peace officer your permit when requested and the same fine amount for failing to carry said permit.
  • I believe if you don’t hand over your permit to a police officer, you should have your permit revoked. Period. No appeal, no getting it back. If you are responsible enough to carry a loaded weapon in the public streets of this state, then you should be responsible enough to identify yourself to a police officer when asked. Period. End of story.
  • No permit while carrying needs to be a much higher fine than just $25.00. You won’t even notice the fine at that small amount. The fine should be at least $100.00. We’re talking about someone who is carrying a loaded weapon, for Pete’s sake! We have a much higher fine for someone who sells cigarettes to minors!
  • The permit cost of $75.00 is not high enough to cover the added cost of the new duties the Department of Justice will have to perform to ensure the proper compliancy with the new law. Plus, has anyone done a study to determine how much money will be spent at the DOJ to cover the coverage of permit carriers? Permit carriers should have to pay at least $150.00 in order to be allowed to carry a loaded handgun in public. The renewal could be less money.
  • Police Officers need to be given access to who has a Concealed Carry Permit. This is not an invasion of privacy. Officers can research and discover any license you might have, why should a Concealed Carry Permit holder be given any special treatment?
  • Concealed Carry Permit holders from other states are allowed to have the permit, with no background check, in our great state. Are they kidding? I’ve all ready pointed out how two states don’t even have permits – Alaska and Vermont. I barely trust our DOJ to run a proper background check, I’m going to trust a background check run in another state? No, we must perform checks on those who want the permit in our state. The only exceptions would be out of state police officers and military personnel.

Finally, I’d like to mention a fallacy that is found on many pro-conceal carry sites and blogs. The idea is that if a criminal doesn’t know just who is carrying a weapon, they won’t commit the crime. Well, I did some research and discovered that that statement is just not true. There are more, not less, murders committed in Concealed Carry states than in the five non-Concealed Carry states per 100,000 people. Further, there are more, not less, of the major crimes, such as Rape, Aggravated Assault and Robbery; in Concealed Carry States than in non-Concealed Carry states.

I’m not saying that I believe that Concealed Carry is responsible for the higher crime rates, I’m merely pointing out that being a Concealed Carry State does not mean less crime. It means that Concealed Carry is not preventing crime, despite what the pundits will try to lead you to believe.

I urge all my Wisconsin readers to take the time to actually read either the Senate’s version or the Assembly’s version of the Concealed Carry bill. Then, use your own thought process to decide if you are for it or against it. I urge you, once you’ve made your decision, to write your representative or your state senator or both and let them know exactly how you feel.

God Bless.

WISCONSON — AB 763 and SB 403

Concealed Carry Law in Wisconsin…

Are you as sick and tired of this law wasting our law makers’ precious time as I am? Governor Doyle has all ready vetoed it and he’ll veto it again.

The blog written by Owen on Boots & Sabers implies that only leftist people want this bill to not pass. This is not true. According to a recent survey conducted in Racine, 57% of Racine citizens do not support a concealed carry law.

One of the reasons that I even bring it up is because of this post from the Boots & Sabers blog. (Please click the link to read their blog. It will open in a new window.) Owen read the press release from The Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence regarding this law and determined that 1) The Coalition does not know about which it is talking and 2) it is a leftist organization.

I didn’t realize that only people on the left side of the aisle cared to prevent Domestic Violence and that people on the right side of the aisle didn’t.

Anyway, I am continuing this blog on the assumption that you have read both the .pdf from The Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence AND the Boots & Sabers reply.

Here’s how I’m going to do this. What Owen wrote will be in Red and what The Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence released will be in Blue (from where did I get that color scheme). Anyway, my responses will be in purple, because, well, that’s my favorite color and it’s my blog.

The Wisconsin Coalition wrote that:

as a largely unfunded mandate, it will raise taxes on Wisconsin residents

Owen wrote:

it is supported by fees and will not impact the tax burden.

I thought that Owen and I might agree on this, but I re-read the bill and it seems like the Department of Justice will have to do a lot of work to ensure that EVERYONE who has a Concealed Carry Permit or applies for one follows all of the guidelines. Just how will they
“revoke a license to carry a concealed weapon if the licensee no longer meets all of the requirements for licensure?”

The Wisconsin Coalition wrote:
unknown permit holders from other states will be allowed to carry concealed weapons here without any background check

Owen responded with:
Permit holders from other states would have had a background check in their own state.

Yeah, but that’s not good enough for me. Some states have very laxed requirements for background checks. I don’t agree that we should allow someone from Indiana enter our great state with a concealed weapon without a background check being performed here. I’d like to point out that of the 45 states that allow Concealed Carry Permits, 2 of them (Vermont and Alaska) do not require a permit. Vermont only processes a background check at the state level. Alaska processes a background check at the Federal level. Both states do not have either a requirement for a permit, nor do they require a waiting period.

The Wisconsin Coalition wrote:
the law enforcement officers will be placed at higher risk as the names of permit holders will remain private and confidential.

Owen responded with:
This presumes that permit holders would pose a greater threat to police officers than non-permit holders. Evidence from other states shows that concealed carry permit holders are statistically much less likely to commit any crime – much less a violent crime.

Owen, how do you know they won’t? We’re assuming that somehow people who wish to carry concealed weapons are more lawabiding than those who do not. Also, last I heard (and I’ll look for the article), Wisconsin Law Enforcement was AGAINST the concealed carry. Maybe, they don’t feel safe.

The Wisconsin Coalition wrote:
Law enforcement will not know who is lawfully carrying a weapon and who is not.

Owen responded with:
Permit holders are required to present their permit whenever they come in contact with a law enforcement officer. Although the officer would not know if a person was legally permitted to carry a concealed weapon without first identifying the person, neither would the officer know if anyone else is carrying a weapon legally or not. Possessing a permit does not pose any threat to either the public or the police.

Owen, please take the time to read the bill again. There isn’t a provision for permit carriers to identify themselves to law enforcement officers. It is only “upon the request of a law enforcement officer”. So, if the officer doesn’t ask, they won’t know. I would assume that most officers will not automatically remember to ask someone stopped for a speeding violation. Plus, it is almost a joke if the permit carry fails to display their license. It’s a forfeiture of $25.00.

The Wisconsin Coalition wrote:

The notion that more guns will lead to increased safety is not only ludicrous, but also flies in the face of any credible research evaluating access to firearms, increased injury and safety.

Owen replied:
No it doesn’t. This group is referring to studies done in the controlled environment of a clinical setting. But the real world tells us that firearm ownership rates and crime rates are only marginally related. For instance, almost everyone in Alaska and Switzerland owns a weapon, but the crime rates are well below that of New Jersey or Britain. Culture has a far greater effect on these things than firearm ownership rates.

So, I did some checking. I wanted to know if there are less murders in states that allow Concealed Carry over those that do not. Since it is easy to identify the five states that do not allow Concealed Carry, I merely went through the population statistics and matched them up with states with a pretty close population. Example, I matched Illinois (population 12,419,293) with Pennsylvania (population 12,281,054). I realize that this isn’t a perfect system, but it works.

The results that I received are as follows:

In the five states that do not allow Concealed Carry, there were a total of 24.1 murders per 100,000 people. In states that do allow Concealed Carry, there were a total of 27.4 murders per 100,000 people.

So, what does this tell us? Owen is partially correct. Whether or not your state allows Concealed Carry, you still have about the same chance of being murdered.

My conclusion would be that Concealed Carry does not necessarily make a state safer. If I had more time to research this, I could compare stats for other crimes, such as rape and and aggravated assault.

Now, before you comment that I must have jiggled with the figures, feel free to look them up yourselves. (Link opens in a new window.) Also, I’m uploading the spreadsheet I used to gather my totals. One more item on this, I looked up what states allowed Concealed Carry and compared their population. I didn’t go out of my way to lean the results to one side. If I had wanted to do that, I would’ve chosen Missouri over Arkansas. They had 9 murders per 100,000 — which is even higher than both Texas and California and both of those states have more than triple the population of Missouri!

Now, I wish I had more time to answer all of the points Owen brought up in his blog, but I don’t. Please take the time to read both documents yourself and then contact your representative and tell them how you want them to vote.

In the News

Wow, where to begin!?!

President Bush announced today his Supreme Court Justice to replace Sandra Day O’Connor. Her name is Harriet Miers. She is sixty years old and has never been a judge. Let me repeat that last part, just in case you missed it. She has NEVER been a judge.

I’m not so sure I like that idea. I will stand by my statement regarding John Roberts that I wasn’t too sure he could serve because he hadn’t been a judge long enough and this new appointee hasn’t been a judge at all.

I’ll give Bush credit — she is a smart choice, as Roberts was. No rulings, nothing bad to report during the confirmation hearings, except, now we have a Supreme Court where two members have little or no experience and one of those members is the Chief Justice of the United States!

Another interesting tidbit…

Friday, I wrote in my blog that Cathy Stepp, for the most part, had lied about co-sponsoring the Eminent Domain bill in the State Senate. Today I read in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that State Senator Stepp will not seek re-election, citing that she wants to spend more time with her family. Hmmmm, did my blog run her out of office?

Well, I can dream, can’t I? I’m sure my blog had nothing to do with it. I do have to admit that it is a little bit of a letdown. I was looking forward to helping John Lehman beat her in the state senate race. Hmmmm, now what will I do? According to the blip in the Milwaukee paper, two possible candidates to replace Stepp are Racine County Executive Bill McReynolds and first-term Rep. Robin Vos. I don’t know much about either of them, but I’ll do some research and get back to you on it.

And, finally, for today, a rant against the right-wing. Cindy Sheehan visited New Orleans and wrote a blog piece for Michael Moore’s website. In it she stated, “pull our troops out of occupied New Orleans”. That’s it. They don’t tell you the end or the beginning of the quote. Pulled out of context, this sounds like a nutty idea from a left-wing nut. Even I thought it was crazy, but I (unlike the right-wingers who will pass this information around the Internet and hail it as if it is Gospel) did the research and read the entire blog. Just in case you, my gentle readers, come across the line, I wanted you to be able to read the whole piece for yourselves. Don’t just listen to my rants, form your own independent opinion and judge for yourself.

Wow — Isn’t that a refreshing idea?

Oh, wait, hold the phone, one last item. While on Michael Moore’s website, I found a link to a site called Books for Soldiers. What a great idea. The soldiers request DVDs, books, etc. and volunteers send the items to them. Help support our troops in this manner and check out the site. I’m going to leave this information up for you.

God Bless,

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