Told ya so

I’ve often written about the unintended consequences from the acts of governments. Today, we have a story about an INTENDED act of government—specifically, gun confiscation by the state government of Connecticut. February 17, I wrote about an open letter to the members of the Connecticut State police. In that letter, the members were warned about the possible consequences if they follow orders to confiscate firearms from Connecticut citizens who were suddenly made potential felons by a government gone mad.

That story isn’t over.

Connecticut to gun owners: hey, did you *try* to register? …SUCKERS!

Moe Lane (Diary)  | 

Well, isn’t this just a fine how-do-you-do:

After tens of thousands of defiant gun owners in Connecticut chose not to register their semi-automatic rifles to comply with a hastily-passed gun control law, the state is now taking some action. Officials are reportedly notifying gun owners who submitted late applications that they have one last chance to get rid of their “illegal” weapons.

State officials did accept some gun registration applications that were submitted after the Jan. 4 deadline, however, not all late applications were accepted, the Journal Inquirer reports.

“But rather than turn that information over to prosecutors, state officials are giving the gun owners a chance to get rid of the weapons and magazines,” the report adds.

And completely expected, too. But it gets better! You see, these are the people that tried and failed to register their firearms… and it’s absolutely dwarfed by the people who refused to tell the state of Connecticut about their newly-illegal firearms. You know what will happen to those people? That’s right: probably nothing at all.  Those people vote, and they’ll still have those votes in November unless the state of Connecticut has suddenly developed a way to arrest, detain, and felony convict en masse several hundred thousand people.

Moral of the story?  God help you if you try and fail to comply with the State.  You’re better off by far if you just keep your mouth shut.

Like I said, intended consequences. They allowed these folks to ‘register’ their weapons late and then disapproved the application to create an excuse to confiscate them. Sounds like King George III, next door in Massachusetts in April, 1775, doesn’t it?


I’ve talked from time to time about graduates who emerge from college and are debt-ridden by tens, and sometimes, hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. For every graduate, there are three or more who didn’t graduate and also have an accumulation of tens of thousands of dollars of student debt. Debt is endemic across the country.

As I write my blogs every weekday morning, I listen, with half an ear, to Dave Ramsey‘s radio show. The show provides a microcosm of American debt. Easily, 9 out of 10 callers, have massive student debt to Sallie Mae.

Now that debt is impacting other areas of the economy…like home ownership.

Housing market recovery hamstrung by buyers’ crippling student loan debt

High school seniors — and the parents encouraging them to attend college on borrowed money — may find the American dream of owning a home out of their reach after the bill for their student loans comes due.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, loan applications for new homes fell a staggering 20 percent in the past four months. Meanwhile, student loan debt in the fourth quarter of 2013 rose five percent above the last quarter — outpacing mortgage debt, which rose only two percent in the same quarter.

“Overall debt is falling but student loan debt is increasing year-over-year and at a much faster rate,” chief executive David Stevens told The Washington Post. “[Young graduates] are already on the margin for being able to qualify for a mortgage. If you add on a large student loan debt payment of $400, $500 or $600 [a month], that’s going to impact your qualifying ability to buy a home. … First time home buyers are usually 40 percent to 45 percent of the mortgage market. Today they’re close to 35 percent and we think that’s directly correlated to student loan debt.”

Student loan debt is also non-dischargable — the federal government dispatches an army of 32 agencies to squeeze graduates for loan payments. In one remarkable case, a woman recovering from Stage 4 pancreatic cancer, an affliction for which the survival rate for patients quickly drops to zero, was told by federal agents that as long as she was still breathing, she had to pay her loans — until the Ninth Circuit Court intervened and discharged most of her debt. (RELATED: Federal loan sharks prey on cancer patients filing for bankruptcy)

“Student debt trumps all other consumer debt. It’s going to have an extraordinary dampening effect on young peoples’ ability to borrow for a home, and that’s going to impact the housing market and the economy at large,” Stevens said.

Student loan debt stands at a total of $1.08 trillion dollars, and tuition grows at an annual rate of 7.4 percent, outstripping both rising health-care costs and inflation. A college degree’s cost has grown 439 percent since 1983.

Over 37 million Americans are shackled with permanent debt, with 40 percent of households headed by Americans under 35 making the minimum monthly payments under interest rates ranging anywhere from 3.4 to eight percent.

This includes many mortgage brokers and realtors who rely on a steady influx of new customers to help pay down their own student loan debt. While home prices and mortgage interest rates are low for the time being, rising rates would likely push more young graduates out of the housing market altogether.

What is worse, guidance counselors in high schools and colleges actively encourage students to use student loans to finance their education. It’s a great deal for the colleges and universities, they have a government guaranteed stream of revenue. That stream allows them to steadily raise the cost of education because the competition is doing the same. There is no restraint on the institutions to curtail costs.

When my wife and I were in college, we had scholarships that covered most of our tuition. We had to work to cover our expenses for room and board. We often worked forty or more hours a week and also carried a full load of classes. I wasn’t in the top, grade-wise, of my classes, but I did pass and graduate with a degree. My wife’s story is similar to mine.

Student debt is a disease that, along with liberalism, has infected education. It is still possible to go to college and pay as you go. No, you won’t have time to party, go to Cancun on Spring break, or hang out with friends. But you can get a very good education, a degree from a recognized institution, and emerge with no or little debt.

It’s a lesson our local, state and federal governments need to learn.

Taking Sides

This is an election year and in Missouri, the political season started this past Monday when candidates were allowed to file for state and local offices. This week is also the start of the ‘official’ campaign season although many candidates started campaigning some time ago. For democrats, the season started the day after the last election.

The local pols assembled early Monday morning when the County Clerk’s office opened. All of them, ‘Pub and Dem, were lined up to file. All were well-dressed, prepared for the expected media photos and it was probably the last time candidates of both parties were together in a feigned friendly atmosphere.

Even the factions within the parties were present. On the ‘Pub side, the TIF proponents, those who want to spend the taxpayer’s money in the form of TIFs, were present with their list of candidates opposing the other ‘Pubs who were working to pay off the debts created by those TIF supporters in the past.

TIF financing is a gamble. The supporters of TIF are betting that reducing or forgiving revenue now…and for a number of future years, will produce huge amounts of revenue in the future. The problem with most TIF arrangements is that the local governments must put up front money, funds to expand local infrastructure, roads, water and sewage, with the expectation of pay-back at some point in the future.

What often happens, and has happened in the past, is that when the TIF expires, the businesses enticed to come to our cities and counties, move or threaten to move thus creating a new cycle of negotiations.  The city of Belton nearly bankrupted itself by allowing a large number of TIFs and when the city needed the revenue, it wasn’t there.  Belton had other problems—spending money on a rec center and water park like a drunken sailor (with apologies to members and former members of the US Navy.)

I’m trying to find an accurate label for the TIF spenders. They may claim to be republicans but they don’t follow any of the tenets of conservatism, small government, low taxes, stable budgets and spending only on those items that rightly belong to the county government, not big money-wasting projects like the failed broadband initiative where millions disappeared into the gloom of crony politics.

I note some former county commissioners are now employed by those same companies that defrauded the county. Those companies and individuals are still under investigation by federal agencies but that hasn’t stopped their plans to waste, and maybe skim, a few million of the county’s meager funds.

But the political battles aren’t just at the county level. The GOP is disintegrating. In neighboring Kansas, Dr. Milton Wolf is running against the incumbent Pat Roberts for the US Senate.

Wolf exposed Roberts lack of residency in Kansas. Robert’s residence is, and has been for decades, in Virginia. When he comes back to Kansas, he stays with friends and supporters.

Roberts is a good-old-boy of the GOP Washington establishment. Locally, he is known as the ‘absent’ Senator. The NRSC, supposedly neutral for internal GOP politics, provided opposition research for Roberts against Wolf by disclosing private comments supposedly by Wolf concerning some X-rays. The NRSC then paid a local ‘ethic’s expert’ to moan over the disclosure and berate Milton Wolf. I note it was the NRSC who did the disclosure, not Dr. Wolf. Wolf posted the X-ray to a private group. It begs the question how the NRSC acquired those private comments?

Wolf terminated his social media sites when he decided to run for the Senate. The NRSC had to really dig to find those postings. I wonder who and how much the NRSC paid for the information.

Why has the NRSC become involved in a state race? Because Milton Wolf is a Tea Partier and has the support of various local Tea Party organizations as well as the national Tea Party Express. The Washington GOP establishment, the NRSC, Karl Rove and others, has declared war against their conservative core members, the Tea Party and other grassroots organizations.

GOP_v_TeaPartyThe schism has even extended to the Young Republicans, consisting of strong conservatives. John Weaver, a Young Republican from Texas, and a campaign consultant for John McCain and Jon Huntsman, said in a Tweet, “Tea Party is full of drooling, senile angry bullies who are ‘mad at everything.’” The tweet was subsequently deleted by Weaver. Local Young Republican leaders quickly distanced themselves from Weaver. One described Weaver as ‘arrogant.’

I have been an associate member of the Young Republicans. (Memo to self: renew membership.) I can state that Weaver’s views are not common throughout the organization. However, his remarks do reflect the views of the Washington establishment who are scared to death they will lose their seats of power. In their frenzy, the GOP establishment have allowed themselves to be co-opted by the democrats into being the first line of liberal resistance to conservative opposition against liberalism, socialism and the democrats. Now, conservatives across the country must add another group to fight—the ruling class, the Washington establishment.

When we should be fighting democrats, liberals and socialists, we are spending time and treasure in an internal civil war within the GOP—just what the democrats want most. A party divided cannot win. Karl Rove, the NRSC, the Washington establishment and their tools across the country are willing agents of socialism and tyranny. Unless the conservative unite against them, we are lost.

No post again

My morning is disorganized. I’ve spent too much time taking care of morning errands and nothing in my various news feeds tickle my fancy.

Think I’ll take a nap. I’ve been a bit deprived the last couple of days.

No post today

I’m sitting with a friend at Research Hospital. His wife is having knee surgery this morning. Regular posts will return tomorrow.

Monday Morning Review

The US Supreme Court, by refusing to review two cases, removed the 2nd Amendment rights for adults between the ages of 18 through 20. One case was against Fed statute, case 13-137, and the other was an appeal against Texas law, case 13-390, Both cases, restrict access to handguns for young adults eighteen, nineteen, and twenty years old.”

Both of the new cases deal with laws — a federal law in 13-137, a Texas law in 13-390 — that restrict access to handguns for young adults eighteen, nineteen, and twenty years old.   In separate rulings, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld both laws at issue, and in the process raised serious doubts about whether the Second Amendment even applies to gun rights claims of those who are under the age of twenty-one but still regarded as adults.  But the two NRA petitions take different approaches to the issue of gun rights in public places.

The petition in the federal case is a sweeping claim that lower federal courts have been engaging in “massive resistance” to the Court’s landmark decisions on Second Amendment rights.  As one example of that resistance, the petition contends that lower courts are stubbornly resisting efforts to view the personal right to have a gun as something so important that it must extend outside the home as well as within.

The petition makes that point in urging the Court to make it clear to lower courts that its 2008 decision recognized a fundamental right, one that can be curbed only for the most compelling government reasons. The government has countered that the beyond-the-home question is not even at issue in that case, because the federal law involved is a narrowly focused issue on minors’ desire to buy guns from licensed federal dealers.

The petition in the state case, however, is a straightforward plea to extend the Second Amendment beyond the home, because it involves a state law that bars almost all youths ages eighteen through twenty from carrying a handgun in public.  Texas requires a license to carry a gun in public, but those in that age group are not eligible to get such a license.  The petition in that case said that the Supreme Court in 2008 settled that the “right to keep arms” applies within the home, so now, it argued, it is time for the Court to decide whether the “right to bear arms” means the right to carry them when one leaves home. — SCOTUSBlog.

Another case, Lane v. Holder, case 12-1401, “which is a test of whether gun purchasers have a right to sue to challenge federal gun laws that restrict their option of buying guns from dealers in a different state,”is still pending.

While these two cases are setbacks, they are not the prime show—whether citizens have the right to carry outside their homes. Heller and MacDonald affirmed the right of gun ownership and that of self-defense…inside the home. But what about outside? There are several cases about this right of self defense percolating through the federal judiciary.

On the plus side, San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore announced that he would not appeal the decision in Peruta vs. County of San Diego. That case, a challenge against the San Diego Sheriff’s restrictive policies for the issuance of Concealed Carry permits, effectively changed California CCW permits from “may issue,” giving state and local authorities wide discretion on whom would be issued a permit, to “shall issue,” requiring the issuance of a CCW permit to anyone, provided the applicant meets the statutory requirements.

Supposedly, some California areas, such as San Francisco, have said they will refuse to implement the change in their issuing policies. Orange County, however, has agreed to honor the 9th Circuit’s ruling.




Well, the post title says it all. Bumpkis. I’ve examined today’s news items, the reports, local, state, national and international, and nothing strikes my fancy. It’s tough finding topics five days a week.

A lot of people are watching the antics in Jeff City this week. We have a new RINO, Senator Bob Dixon, of the Springfield area, who now joins Dempsey and Richard as Dem-lites when it comes to the 2nd Amendment. These three have lost our trust. I suspect their days in office are now numbered.

I’ll try to do better come Monday.


My wife reminded me this morning that it’s time to comply with a family tradition—the First Robin Party! The tradition is, when the first robin of the year is seen, we have pizza. My wife  saw two robins in our neighbor’s yard this morning. Pizza for supper.

This family tradition started when my daughter was small. A friend of hers said her mother made a cake for their First Robin party. After a bit of consultation, my wife and daughter decided to substitute pizza for the cake.

Works for me.

Families follow and create traditions all the time for various reasons. Following those traditions help build family cohesiveness and solidarity.

When I was in college, the guy across the hall from my dorm room was an orphan. I can’t remember his name after all these years. We, in the dorm, called him Baby Huey after a cartoon character. He stood well over six feet and weighed accordingly. He had a twin sister and they were raised together in the same orphanage. She lived in another dorm across the street.

In Illinois, at that time, they were both wards of the state until they reached age 21. In practice, once they graduated high school, they were on their own. These two managed to acquire rull-ride scholarships so they could remain together. While still living at the orphanage, they decided they were a family and decided to create a family tradition…their common birthday party.

They both had full-ride scholarships, but the scholarships didn’t cover a lot of expenses. As wards of the state, they were allowed to live in the college-owned dorms at 25% of the standard rate. The two of them still had to cover the remaining 75%, plus the usual expenses for clothes, laundry, and personal items that aren’t free.

That meant they had to work. They opened a common bank account, both deposited their paychecks and they both created a budget and shared the costs. It was preparation for life for they knew in a few years they would be separated. It was the time of the draft. He knew he would have to enter the military on graduation…or skip off to Canada, an unrealistic choice.

One common expense both agreed upon was their birthday party. They called it their Family Day. Both were well known and liked. If I remember correctly after all these years, they decided to have a large party for their 20th birthday because it was likely to be the last one before graduation and the military for him.

They had been saving for some time. They hired a hall from one of the local churches, ordered a large cake and sent invitations to a hundred close friends including the Chancellor of the University, in whose office she interned, and the Deans of both their colleges. She was working towards a degree in government and history, he in accounting.

I was invited but didn’t go. My mother was terminal with cancer and I had obligations at home the weekend of their party. I did see photos in the college paper the following week and stories from those who were able to attend.

The Chancellor and both Deans attended the party. The invitees filled the hall. People talked about the party for months. The two of them, sole members of their family, affirmed a tradition to last their lifetime.

They graduated that year and I lost track of them. Baby Huey, as expected, entered the Army. His sister became a staffer for a local Congressman. I’ve often wondered what happened to them.

Traditions are important. I expect Baby Huey and his sister still celebrate their common birthday together. It was a tradition they created when all they had was each other. I wouldn’t be surprised if their family has grown in the last fifty years, and still celebrate Family Day, a foundation tradition  created by a pair of orphans.