Congressman Earl Blumenauer’s Top 12 Reasons for Restricting Gun Rights

On February 11, 2015, Congressman Earl Blumenauer sent his constituents an open letter about his coming plan to undermine America’s 2nd Amendment rights. While I have paraphrased, I believe I am accurately recounting his 12 fundamental reasons America needs further restrictions on gun ownership.

  1. People do not kill people, guns kill people. Enough is enough! Murders and suicides committed with guns would never happen if it were not for those damn guns. Just look at all the countries around the world where citizens do not have the right to bear arms. They are happy and safe!

    There are 17 nations where the rate of lawful gun ownership exceeds 25 firearms per 100 in population. The average rate of violent death and suicide in these countries is 2.2 per 100,000 and 9.9 per 100,000 respectively. The US rates are 6.4 and 10.3 respectively. For "disarmed" nations, those below 25 lawfully owned firearms per 100 in population, the average risk of violent death rises to 13.1 per 100,000, while suicides remain flat at 9.4 per 100,000. The presence of lawfully owned firearms appears to have a chilling effect on global violence and no affect on global suicide rates.

    There are 17 nations where the rate of lawful gun ownership exceeds 25 firearms per 100 in population. The average rate of violent death and suicide in these countries is 2.2 per 100,000 and 9.9 per 100,000 respectively. The US rates are 6.4 and 10.3 respectively.
    For “disarmed” nations, those below 25 lawfully owned firearms per 100 in population, the average risk of violent death rises to 13.1 per 100,000, while suicides remain flat at 9.4 per 100,000. The presence of lawfully owned firearms appears to have a chilling effect on global violence and no affect on global suicide rates.

  2. In the last 20 years American gun ownership has risen 50% while America’s murder rate has dropped 50%. Enough is enough! Guns are the problem!

    As you can see, there is no correlation between rate of gun ownership and murder rates in America. Weapons are not the underlying cause of violence in our society.

    As you can see, there is no correlation between rate of gun ownership and murder rates in America. Weapons are not the underlying cause of violence in our society.

  3. Self-strangulation – suicide by hanging – is by far the most popular and effective method of suicide for the rest of world. Why not in America? Enough is enough! Now that marijuana is legal, let’s make more rope!

    Of the five most populated nations on Earth, only China has a combined violent death/suicide rate lower than America's

    Of the five most populated nations on Earth, only China has a combined violent death/suicide rate lower than America’s

  4. Guns account for 0.043% (548 of 127,792) of accidental deaths in the United States in 2012. Enough is enough! 548 “accidents” for 300,000,000 guns is just too much! Guns are much worse than automobiles and tobacco when it comes to safety! You have never heard of tobaccular homicide or tobaccular suicide, have you? No you haven’t! Therefore guns are bad!
  5. The sum total of all gun deaths (suicide, murder, accidental) does not make America’s Top 10 leading causes of death. Enough is enough! Guns are not a leading cause of death in America, and I look like a total idiot for publicly saying they are!
  6. The NRA is preventing Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies from enforcing current laws. How they physically stop the D.C. police remains a mystery, but D.C. has the highest murder rate and lowest gun ownership rate in America. It is a vast, right-wing conspiracy to embarrass D.C. politicians for making it illegal to carry empty brass shell casings in the District of Columbia, and the NRA is behind it all. Enough is enough! We need more laws and restrictions so that current laws can finally be enforced. Get the NRA out of politics!
  7. A father should never be able to pass an heirloom firearm down to his son without first doing a criminal background check. Enough is enough! My dad took me fishing, and that was good enough for me! Beat that rifle into a plowshare and go tie flies!
  8. If we close the “private sale loophole,” criminals will stop illegally selling guns to other criminals. Enough is enough! My proposed legislation will, for the first time in American history, make it illegal for criminals to break the law! Especially those crazy, right-wing, extremist D.C. politicians who defend the Constitution and still believe in the Balance of Powers therein!
  9. As a society, we have decided to let the mentally ill roam free and unchecked, and they account for over 60% of total gun-related deaths. That is 25% of Americans responsible for 60% of gun deaths. Enough is enough! Get rid of guns so the mentally ill can remain free-range!
  10. Of America’s 15 major trading partners, only 5 have a combined suicide/violent death rate worse than America’s. Enough is enough! If we cannot beat the pants off all of our trading partners when it comes to violence and suicide, we do not deserve to be the globe’s #1 economic power!
  11. Of 192 countries around the world, America ranks 92 for its violent death rate at 6.5 violent deaths per 100,000 in population. For 2014,Guatemala was #1 with 74.9 deaths per 100,000. Bahrain was #192 with no violent deaths per capita. Enough is enough! America is the greatest country on Earth and we need to have a zero violence rate, just like Bahrain and the Roman Catholic Holy See!

    Pick where you want to live. For me, there is no place like home.

    Pick where you want to live. For me, there is no place like home.

  12. Some guns, like fully automatic weapons, heavy artillery, tanks, missiles and bombs, are just not safe for public spaces. Enough is enough! We need to get military grade weaponry out of our schools and malls. Weapons like semi-automatic 22LR squirrel guns.

My fellow Americans, guns are the problem, not violence. Guns are the problem, not suicide. Rape, domestic abuse, child abuse, sex-slavery, beatings, muggings, drug addiction and stabbings all pale when compared to the problems America suffers because of its 300,000,000 lawfully, responsibly, privately owned guns.

Please see Congressman Blumenauer’s plan to curb the evilry of guns by clicking this link.

IF YOU ARE: for Recreational Marijuana, against Fiscal Responsibility, against Constitutional Freedoms, and against Government Accountability, THEN Vote for Earl Blumenauer.

 

Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer Says That Only By Increasing the National Debt Can We Save America

Despite maintaining a personal appearance similar to Bill Nye the Science Guy, Congressman Earl Blumenauer is Oregon’s most progressive, left-leaning D.C. politician. In an open letter to his constituents February 2nd, 2015, America’s favorite marijuana advocate railed against our government’s failures over the past six years. Corporate profits have doubled and America’s top 1% have given themselves hefty raises every year since President Obama took office. Technological developments are up, worker productivity is up, and profits are up, yet middle-income wages are stagnant or in decline. Student debt is crushing our young generation. Our highway infrastructure is crumbling. The Social Security Trust Fund is rapidly approaching insolvency. Our tax code is in disarray. Our government is an inefficient bureaucracy. Blumenauer thinks he knows how this happened.

We’ve created more jobs since 2009 than throughout the entirety of the previous 8 years. The Obama Administration did this despite inheriting an economy in free fall, shedding one to two hundred thousand jobs a week and despite Congress making a foolish decision to ramp back spending in the government sector which virtually all independent experts agree would have speeded the recovery.” EB

That is right folks, Congressman “Marijuana” Earl says that our left-wing, progressive legislators and our left-wing, progressive president, a group that added nearly $8 trillion to our national debt in six years, did not “borrow and spend” enough to properly get this great country back on track. Fiscal responsibility is the problem and debt in the answer. I am here to tell you his bow tie is too tight, and this squirrelly loon’s brain is oxygen deprived. Our growing Federal debt is the root system that is feeding America’s demise.

While our National Debt has increased nearly 18 fold over the last 34 years, our per capita interest payment on that debt has remained virtually flat.

While our National Debt has increased nearly 18 fold over the last 34 years, our per capita interest payment on that debt has remained virtually flat. Today every man, woman and child in America owns a $56,000 share in our National Debt.

This is the reality of our Federal Debt. The 2014 median income for an American household is about $51,000. The Federal Debt per household about $141,500 – almost three years wages. In 1980 the median household income was $16,354. The Federal Debt per household was $10,000 – less than 8 months wages. That money is owed and that money has to be paid back. The problem is that the Federal Government currently only makes interest payments. It never pays down principal. Without a plan to pay off this debt, the only other way to get it off the books is to devalue our currency with inflation. For instance, $1 trillion of 1981 money bought $1 trillion of 1981 goods. Fast forward to 2014, and that same $1 trillion only buys $380 billion of 1981 goods. Through the use of inflation the U.S. Government effectively paid off $620 billion of debt without actually paying a dime of principal.

Our Federal Debt is made of Treasury Securities (notes, bills & bonds) that people purchase at a guaranteed interest rate. In essence, people around the world lend the U.S. Government money at a certain interest rate. As long as the rate of return on Treasury Securities exceeds inflation, they are a very secure way to grow your money. The Government has to pay the interest on the note for its duration and then return the loan when the note is due. It is the annual interest payments that are the immediate problem for our Government. The Government cannot afford ever-increasing interest payments on an ever-increasing debt. The historic solution has been to cut interest rates as the debt grows to make the payments manageable. As a matter of fact, if we present the National Debt in 1981 dollars for the last 34 years, every time our National Debt doubles, the rate on 10 Treasury Notes has been halved.

In terms of inflation adjusted 1981 dollars, the rising National Debt and falling rates on 10 year Treasury Notes are inversely proportional. This keeps the cost of servicing an ever increasing Federal Debt affordable for a government that is having increasing cash flow problems.

In terms of inflation adjusted 1981 dollars, the rising National Debt and falling rates on 10 year Treasury Notes are inversely proportional. This keeps the cost of servicing an ever-increasing Federal Debt affordable for a government that is having increasing cash flow problems.

There are only so many times you can cut interest rates before the rates fall below the inflation rate. Once interest rates fall below the rate of inflation, loaning money to the U.S. Government actually becomes a money loser. Right now the rate on 10 year Treasury Notes is about 2%. If the rate of inflation is higher than 2%, then whoever owns that note is actually losing money in terms of its buying power.

This why the Government spends so much time tweaking the Consumer Price Index. Regardless of what the real inflation rate is, they have to come up with a reportable inflation rate lower than the rate on 10 year Treasury Notes. The trouble with this is that by the early 1990s our National Debt had grown to such a point that the reported inflation rate was higher than the return on 10 year Treasury Notes. So the Fed created a new way of calculating the Consumer Price Index. Instead of comparing the price of prime-rib from year to year and coming up with the rate of inflation for prime-rib, the Fed decided to compare the price of prime-rib to hamburger. If prime-rib gets too expensive, consumers are supposed to switch to hamburger. If hamburger gets too expensive, consumers are expected to switch to fried dough. As long as there exists a cheaper alternative, inflation does not exist until such time as the cost of fried dough exceeds the cost of prime-rib. Call it a Means-Tested rate of inflation. If you are poor, and never had the money to buy prime-rib in the first place, your inflation rate is higher than the inflation rate for the rich, who can switch from prime-rib to hamburger to save money.

This is why some people at The Economist very cleverly came up with the “Big Mac Index” as a way to monitor real inflation. The price of a Big Mac sandwich at McDonalds represents a composite of the cost of wages, energy, transportation, basic food stuffs, productivity and profits. Since 1990, the average annual inflation rate of the Big Mac sandwich has been 3.45%. The pre-1990 CPI calculation method says the average annual inflation rate since 1990 has been 6.0%. The Federal Government, using their new Means-Tested CPI  has reported an average annual inflation rate since 1990 of 2.63%. The average return on a 10 Treasury Note since 1990 is 4.86%. It appears as though the Government is intentionally under-reporting inflation, so I decided to average the new Means-Tested CPI, the pre-1990 CPI, and the Big Mac Index and come up with a “more accurate” estimate of inflation. For the last ten years the rates on 10 year Treasury Notes have been lower than this “averaged” rate of inflation. That is really bad news. If the government continues to deficit spend, the rate on Treasury Notes will have to continue to decrease if this game of smoke and mirrors is to continue. Unfortunately, you cannot go much lower than 2% interest, so there is little room to drop Treasury Note interest rates. If interest rates start to rise, then the cost of servicing the debt will bankrupt the country. This, folks, is the trouble with “Marijuana” Earl’s solution of spend, spend, spend.

In 2005 the rate of return on 10 year Treasury Notes fell below the real rate of inflation. The same goes for 5 year CD rates. The LIBOR rates fell below the rate of inflation when President Obama took office.

In 2005 the rate of return on 10 year Treasury Notes fell below the real rate of inflation. The same goes for 5 year CD rates. The LIBOR rates fell below the rate of inflation when President Obama took office.

The really bad news is that chronically suppressed interest rates royally screw the middle-class. Big Business is using this unprecedented access to cheap loans to further automate their businesses because low interest capital is cheaper than labor. This drives wages down as people desperately attempt to compete with machines for jobs, while driving corporate profits up. Ronald Reagan was wrong and George Bush was right. Trickle-down economics really is Voodoo economics because greed rules the world. The super-wealthy simply are not sharing these massive profits with the common man. Since Obama and his left-wing cronies took power in 2009, the wealthiest 1% of Americans have increased their wealth from 34.6% of America’s total wealth to 40% of America’s wealth, creating the greatest wealth gap since 1929. This means that new college grads, kids with massive debt at ridiculous interest rates by today’s standards, will not be able to find a good paying job courtesy of our massive National Debt.

Thanks to the National Debt, there are no “safe” ways for the middle-class to grow their money in retirement. While the super-wealthy can afford to lose risk capital, most of America’s middle-class cannot, and few middle-class Americans have the kind of investment savvy required to take investment risks after retirement. For every retired investor winner there will be a slew of retired losers. With 10,000 Baby-boomers retiring every day, how do you think their collective future is going to look from an investment perspective?

While “Marijuana” Earl accurately identifies many critical problems facing today’s America, his “deficit spending” solution is simply not viable. Perhaps the reason Congressman Blumenauer is such a strong marijuana advocate is he is counting on the drug’s ability to neutralize critical thinking skills. Perhaps he is hoping Oregonians will be too stoned to notice just how far left he has drifted.

Celebrating Three Years

Three years ago I started this blog to coincide with the publication of my first novel, The Knight and the Serpent: A Legend of Medieval Normandy (free on Kindle through 12/26/14 – a Christmas promotion). It did not take long for the blog to take on a life of its own and it has proven to be a rewarding experience. It has been fascinating to see what readers are and are not interested in! The following three articles are the most viewed of the more than fifty posts since December, 2011.

In an Ethical Lapse, New York Times Journalist, Sabrina Tavernise, Falsely Reports That Guns Cause Suicides

Valley Catholic Girls Win OSAA 3A Basketball Championship

Vote No On Oregon Measure 91: The Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act

The next three articles are the least viewed in that same time period.

Taking Off The Training Wheels – first published in Goal Lines Magazine April, 2008

Oregon’s Democratic Congressmen Attempt to Deny all of America the Benefit of the Rule of Law

THE DEATH OF RULE OF LAW – Part I of VI: The Balance of Power

It is very interesting as to what strikes a chord in people and what does not.

Oregonians Put Earl Blumenauer and Marijuana Users Behind the Eight-ball

Pot-heads nationwide are celebrating Oregon’s legalization of a fourth over-the-counter addictive, recreational drug. THC now joins caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol in the arena of legal vices Oregonians can enjoy with relatively nominal legal restrictions. Heartily supported by Representative Earl Blumenauer, the 420 crowd capped a multi-million dollar political campaign with a solid victory for their Measure 91, legalizing recreational marijuana in Oregon. Along the way, users made a lot of grandiose promises about the utterly harmless nature of smoking marijuana such as:

  • Legalization will decrease access and use by minors.
  • Students who regularly use marijuana will have the same academic successes as clean students.
  • Adults who regularly use marijuana will have the same professional and employment success as clean adults.
  • Marijuana users will not seek social services at rates greater than general society.
  • Marijuana is not a gateway drug, therefore the rates of illegal drug abuse will not rise as marijuana use increases.
  • Using marijuana products regularly will not impair thinking, decision-making or IQ.
  • Chronic users are safe drivers.
  • Smoking marijuana regularly does not impair lung function or lead to COPD or emphysema.
  • When smoked at equivalent pack-year rates to cigarettes, marijuana does not cause cancer.
  • Unlike nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol, marijuana is not addictive and has absolutely no withdrawal pattern.

Over the next several years, as data is collected from Oregon, Colorado, and Washington State, along with any other states that legalize pot, the truth of these claims will emerge. It will be a ‘put up or shut up’ moment for stoners. This entire block of our society is now under tremendous pressure to fulfill their very own prophesies. Can they ensure their own predictions will come true? Will they have the guts to own it if they are wrong?

I believe, as evidences mounts, all their claims will prove false. When that time comes, I also believe marijuana advocates will scurry away from their responsibilities like cockroaches when you turn on the light. I have seen too many of my friends, patients, and colleagues get destroyed by drug addiction and abuse over the years. I am not talking methamphetamine, heroin, PCP or fringe designer drugs. I am talking caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drugs. The ‘safe’ stuff. I know a truck driver, the husband of a former coworker, who earned a heart attack by drinking six or more energy drinks every day. A friend of mine from high school fell to his death when he was stoned. Another high school classmate began abusing steroids at the age of fourteen and continued until his death from a major cardiovascular accident at age 38. I know pharmacists, doctors and nurses, all trained to the dangers of controlled substances, that have destroyed their careers for the sake of hydrocodone or zolpidem or whatever controlled drug they fancied. One of my former pharmacy colleagues was an alcoholic who committed suicide when he was caught stealing narcotics from the pharmacy. I have patients who are chain cigarette smokers who are literally taking decades off their life. A former patient of mine murdered a man in downtown Portland over a bottle of alprazolam.  I have watched gifted friends go by the wayside for the sake of marijuana… peers with IQs well above mine who deliver pizzas for a living or hang drywall. My daughter just came home from university to attend the memorial service for one of her high school classmates. He overdosed on Molly at a party at the age of 20.

People who use drugs recreationally like to believe they are in control of the drug, not the other way round. Sometimes that is true, sometimes that is not. What most people who dabble with recreational drugs lack is a healthy respect for the power of those drugs. It does not matter if the drugs are clean and legal, or the nasty, adulterated products manufactured by some South American drug cartel. Alcohol is no exception. Marijuana is no exception. To have some childish “Fight the Power” pot-head brag that marijuana is just as safe as alcohol is not exactly reassuring. I know too many alcoholics who have destroyed their lives and families to find comfort in this comparison. The same goes for pot-heads. Your children are ashamed of your behavior.

This idea that psychoactive substances like marijuana are as safe as candy is nothing more than wishful thinking. It is harder than you think to have your cake and eat it too when it comes to recreational abuse of drugs. Whether you are rich or poor, it is harder to succeed and easier to fail in virtually all aspects of life if you get drunk or high on a regular basis. Ugly as it is, that is the truth. And when things go sideways for you, you get hooked, you O.D., you wreck your car and maybe kill someone, your kid eats your stash and ends up in the hospital, you lose your job or fail out of school, when your life slips and falls off the edge, it is the rest of us who have to pick up the broken mess you leave behind. I find the idea of having such things on my conscience quite haunting. Why so many people embrace such easily avoided risks simply to get high for a few hours also haunts me. It is as though they believe life is filled with infinite second chances, do-overs and restarts, when the truth is there are simply not that many tomorrows before it is over and we have to make account of our lives.

So now Oregon has marijuana. Mary Jane’s last dance. One more drug to ease the pain, so smoke up, Johnny!  The question is – can we handle it? Only time will tell.

Oregon’s Democratic Congressmen Attempt to Deny all of America the Benefit of the Rule of Law

Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer’s number one priority, according to his website, is fixing a broken government. The ordinary citizen believes a government that ignores the Constitution and the Rule of Law in general, is a broken government. We believe that a government beholden to special interests, PACs and large corporations is a broken government. We believe a government that is no longer subject to a controlling legal authority, one where the balance of power is dead, is a broken government. Naturally, when Blumenauer states his number one priority is to fix a broken government, his constituency believes these are the problems he wants to fix… a broken government from our point of view. Unfortunately, all the things ordinary folk believe are broken in government, Earl Blumenauer believes are solutions. His view is a backwards, negative image where black is white. Blumenauer believes that the Rule of Law is what has broken the government, not the other way around. To Blumenauer, getting the Constitution and The Rule of Law out of the way of the government’s agenda is paramount. To fix all of societies ills, the government’s power must be unrestrained.

On May 7, 2014, Oregon’s Democratic congressmen, Earl Blumenauer, Susan Bonamici, Peter DeFazio, and Kurt Schrader, all voted against HR574, the bill that found Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify about her role in the IRS’s illegal, unconstitutional targeting of America’s political conservatives. On the same day these same four Oregon congressmen voted against HR565, the bill that calls Attorney General, Eric Holder, to appoint a special counsel to investigate the IRS on this issue. These two votes are an overt stand against Constitutional Free Speech and Freedom of Association, and place all four Oregon Democratic congressmen in violation of their oaths of office. I will give each of them the benefit of the doubt, and say they voted their conscience instead of playing partisan politics against their better judgment. Unfortunately for them, this means they all believe the end justifies the means. They believe it is okay for any government agency to violate the rights of any citizen as long as it serves their agenda. They just cut a swath through the law to protect their designs for society. All four believe they know better than, and are above the Rule of Law. All four should resign. Oregonians need to vote all four out of office. Luckily for these particular congressmen they are from Oregon, a state dominated by citizens and political leaders who favor expediency and cronyism over the Rule of Law. If Oregonians do not vote them out of office, and they will not, we will have only ourselves to blame when Earl Blumenauer finally fixes America’s “broken government” and The Law no longer shields the citizens from the whims of their leaders.