travis' brain dump


Politicians… ugh.

by on Mar.07, 2013, under Politics, Rants

In response to many of my letters out in opposition to gun control laws I see a common thread among the replies… it reads (and this is a quote from one of the responses):

“It is Congress’s responsibility to lead, and it’s time for me to take action.”

Actually, it is in no way shape or form the Senate or Congress’s job and “responsibility to lead”… it’s their job and responsibility to *REPRESENT THE PEOPLE*. They can come up with all the ideas in the world, but if their constituents don’t agree with it, they need to sit back, shut up and do their job even if representing an ideal that they don’t, themselves, believe in.

I’m so sick of these self-righteous politicians who think that it’s their job to go out there and tell me how I’m supposed to live my life simply because they were voted into office by a majority of people.

Being voted into office is not permission to declare your opinion the voice of the people.

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Results of HB13-1224

by on Feb.18, 2013, under Politics, Rants

Well, after an obvious outrageous vote, this bill now moves on to the Senate. Regardless of what happens from here, these guys need to go when the next election comes up. There needs to be a clear message sent that ignoring the requests of your constituents will get you fired. Obviously, some of these locations are so far left it’ll be impossible, but I happen to know for fact quite a few of these reps have a constituent  base that’s made up of a majority of angry voters.

So, here’s a nice list of the representatives that voted in favor of this bill. It’s time to put them on notice! Feel free to bookmark this page so that you can reference it when the time comes to vote them out. If there’s any information that needs updating, drop me a line and I’ll fix the post, but it should be accurate as far as districts and counties go.

Out of 65 members of the Colorado House of Representatives, 34 voted in favor of this bill:

  1. John W Buckner (D) – District 40 (Arapahoe)
  2. Lois Court (D) – District 6 (Denver)
  3. Crisanta Duran (D) – District 5 (Denver)
  4. Thomas “Tony” Exum (D) – District 17 (El Paso)
  5. Rhonda Fields (D) – District 42 (Arapahoe)
  6. Randy Fischer (D) – District 53 (Larimer)
  7. Mike Foote (D) – District 12 (Boulder)
  8. Joann Ginal (D) – District 52 (Larimer)
  9. Millie Hamner (D) – District 61 (Delta, Gunnison, Lake, Pitkin, Summit)
  10. Dickey Lee Hullinghorst (D) – District 10 (Boulder)
  11. Daniel Kagan (D) – District 3 (Arapahoe)
  12. Tracy Kraft-Tharp (D) – District 29 (Jefferson)
  13. Jeanne Labuda (D) – District 1 (Denver, Jefferson)
  14. Pete E Lee (D) – District 18 (El Paso)
  15. Claire Levy (D) – District 13 (Boulder, Clear Creek, Gilpin, Grand, Jackson)
  16. Jenise May (D) – District 30 (Adams)
  17. Elizabeth “Beth” McCann (D) – District 8 (Denver)
  18. Mike McLachlan (D) – District 59 (Archuleta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, La Plata, Ouray, San Juan)
  19. Jovan Melton (D) – District 41 (Arapahoe)
  20. Diane Mitsch Bush (D) – District 26 (Eagle, Routt)
  21. Dominick Moreno (D) – District 32 (Adams)
  22. Dan Pabon (D) – District 4 (Denver)
  23. Cherylin Peniston (D) – District 35 (Adams)
  24. Brittany Pettersen (D) – District 28 (Jefferson)
  25. Dianne Primavera (D) – District 33 (Boulder, Broomfield, Weld)
  26. Paul Rosenthal (D) – District 9 (Arapahoe, Denver)
  27. Su Ryden (D) – District 36 (Arapahoe)
  28. Joseph A Salazar (D) – District 31 (Adams)
  29. Sue Schafer (D) – District 24 (Jefferson)
  30. Jonathan Singer (D) – District 11 (Boulder)
  31. Max Tyler (D) – District 23 (Jefferson)
  32. Angela Williams (D) – District 7 (Denver)
  33. Dave Young (D) – District 50 (Weld)
  34. Mark Ferrandino (D) – District 2 (Denver)
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A History Lesson

by on Jan.17, 2013, under Politics, Rants

This information has taken the better part of a week to write, mostly due to review of the documents I’ve referenced at the end of this post. This is but a summary of my original write up which exceeded even my own attention span when trying to review it. If something is missing or seems slightly out of place, it’s probably due in part to editing and removing information which I felt was covered in other places. I invite you to read the references I’ve posted, come to your own resolution on the things which I am referring to here and kindly do not comment simply to start a debate with me for the sake of debating. If you comment in rebuttal to my observation, ensure that you do so and cite with proper reference or I will simply delete your comment without bothering to entertain it with a reply.

April 19th, 1775 – September 3, 1783, the eight year war that defined a nation. It’s estimated that during this conflict, about 40-45% of the colonists supported a rebellion while 15-20% were loyal to the Kingdom. The rest, attempted to keep a low profile and stay out of the conflict. The continental congress and everyone who followed them (those 40-45% of the colonists) were declared traitors by royal decree. The answer to this charge was the Declaration of Independence and an all out war. Make no mistake, according to British law which was the law of the colonies, these people who opposed the government were acting against government order and therefore violating the law. They were for all intent and purposes traitors to the Crown. REMEMBER THIS.

What started as a war in 1775 between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Thirteen Colonies eventually grew with the aide of allies such as France, Spain and the Netherlands to a victory for the newly formed United States of America and recognition of this new nation by their allies as a free and independent nation with the Treaty of Paris in 1783. Remember, it took an all out war to build the country we know and love today. This war was not pretty. People fought on both sides and people died. This conflict happened to end with a victory by the militias and the Continental Army and thus gave our nation the ability to be born. (side note here, the United States Army was formed on June 3, 1784, to replace the disbanded Continental Army. I note this due to it’s importance later in a point I intend to make.)

So, in order to provide domestic and international legitimacy for the Continental Congress to direct the war in the first place, the initial framework of the Constitution of the United States was drafted up and called the Articles of Confederation. This document was drafted in mid-1776 and sent to the states for ratification in 1777. Full ratification did not occur until 1781, however, it’s provisions allowed the Continental Congress to operate none the less while awaiting ratification. Upon the completion of the Revolutionary War, a new document was drafted in May of  1787 at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and on March 4, 1789, the Constitution of the United States replaced the original Articles of Confederation to become the official guide to American Law and political culture.

When this document was created, and prior to its ratification, many were concerned that the President would become a king and objected to the federal court system proposed by the Constitution as well as other items found in it that were too open for interpretation. Finding the need to outline additional measures to make specific items very clear on the freedoms of the American People and to avoid allowing a strong national government that proposed a threat to individual liberties, The Bill of Rights (first 10 Amendments to the Constitution) were drafted later that year and ratified in December of 1791.

To reiterate what I just mentioned, the Bill of Rights, was designed to outline specific freedoms and measures on the American people that were never to be revoked or infringed upon. The idea of adding a bill of rights to the Constitution was originally just as controversial as not having it as opinions varied on what the Constitution truly outlined. It was argued by some that ratification of the Constitution did not mean the American people were surrendering their rights and that additional protections were unnecessary. To quote Alexander Hamilton, “Here, in strictness, the people surrender nothing, and as they retain everything, they have no need of particular reservations.” While there were many that believed that the Constitution stood on it’s own and defining rights was unnecessary, many also felt that there needed to be specific rights, outlined by this new Bill of Rights, that would ensure a protected people from specific modifications to the Constitution and laws in the future that would violate these basic rights. This point was argued strongly by the opposition and on December 15th, 1791, the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution of the United States were ratified in order to ensure specific individual liberties were never infringed upon. These Amendments were as follows:

  1. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
  2. 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.
  3. No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
  4. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
  5. No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
  6. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
  7. In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
  8. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
  9. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
  10. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Remember the original intent behind the Bill of Rights. Many were concerned that the President would become a king and objected to the federal court system proposed by the Constitution as well as other items found in it that were open for interpretation. Finding the need to outline some additional measures to make specific items very clear on the freedoms of the American People and to avoid allowing a strong national government that proposed a threat to individual liberties, The Bill of Rights was created.

This means that this document was submitted and ratified so that the government could not infringe upon any of the above items in any way. I continue to remind the context with which we’re working with here. The writers of this bill were in opposition to total government control and while keeping that in mind, they needed a way for the people to live freely, voice their opinions and to defend themselves adequately on a battle field as well as a courtroom. These rights are not just for organizations, but individual rights as well. I’m not going to argue any specific point here or openly pick apart the current policies being handed to the American People from the government. This is merely a post about the Bill of Rights that is to lead you to think for yourself. For just as many who enjoy the freedom to walk path A, there are many of you who would prefer not to and walk path  B. While that is your right, it is not your right to request of a government to operate above the established Constitution so that your right to choose is turned into a law which strips another people of their right to choose. To do so, you are in violation of the very principals that this country was founded on. No matter what. If you are unsatisfied with the country you live in because of it’s policies, I would invite you to immigrate to a more suitable country with just the right amount of restrictions to make you feel “safe” and “secure”.

When the government has failed to uphold the very nature of the founding principals of this country, it has failed to uphold it’s duty and to adhere to the Oath of Office which they have taken. Laws are to be made to improve the quality of life while not infringing upon the rights of the individual to choose for themselves how they will personally enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Sadly, there has been an erosion of these rights over the last 150 years which is inexcusable. We have found ourselves here today reflecting upon all that has been changed along the way. Much has been gained, but  equally, if not more so, much has been lost.

References for some light reading:

United States Constitutional Law: An Introduction — Paul Rodger
The War for Independence and the Transformation of American Society — Harry M. Ward
The Birth of the Bill of Rights, 1776-1791 — Robert Allen Rutland
The Bill of Rights: Its Origin and Meaning. — Irving Brant

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Common sense… or the lack thereof.

by on Dec.07, 2011, under Humor, Rants

So walking in this morning from the bus station to my office, I see a couple workers on the 16th St mall area standing by a running truck, one on the phone, one smoking a cigarette… both keep looking under the truck and discussing. I walk by and glance over to see what they’re looking at and notice what appears to be gas dripping from the tank under the rear of the vehicle. Again, I notice one of them is smoking… I hurried myself along.

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