NRA: a powerful civil rights group calling the shots
The National Rifle Association is 4.6 million Americans dedicated to reclaiming our most abused constitutional rights.
That's not only more dues-paying members than any other civil rights organization, it's more than a fair number of the next largest ones combined. Anywhere 158 Americans gather, it's 10 to 1 an NRA member is there.
That's what NRA is. There are two things it is not.
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NRA isn't the gun manufacturers' lobby.
American gunmakers do what 100 million American gunowners led by NRA want them to. They all remember that some years ago British investors bought Smith and Wesson and threw it under the gun-control wagon.
An NRA-led boycott bankrupted them in a few months. They sold out, at a big loss, to Americans. Ever since, folks who make guns in the U.S. are scrupulous about respecting their customers' wishes — as expressed through the NRA.
NRA also isn't an out-of-control leadership unanswerable to its members.
It was that, and ready to throw Americans under the gun-control wagon until 1976. NRA's members ousted that leadership in 1977 and got the organization completely turned around by 1980.
Since then, 40 states have guaranteed citizens the right to carry concealed handguns while forbidding municipalities' infringement of citizens' gun rights.
Only one new federal gun control law was passed, and many others were repealed.
The U.S. Supreme Court has begun invalidating gun control on constitutional grounds. And, seeing these accomplishments, Americans have joined the NRA — about a million per decade.
Health law hurts U.S.
The public pretext for the Affordable Care Act was universally inclusive health care.
In reality, it is much more ambitious than that. Obamacare also represents a fervent attempt to register new voters to enhance future progressive electoral success, coupled to a subtle but deliberate transfer of wealth from one social class to another.
It is an entitlement. Many of the people currently enrolling are low-income or habitually and chronically unemployed.
That's considered an adverse selection, because these people will require a government subsidy. Who will pay for this subsidy? The ones who'll finance it are the small business community and the working middle-class.
While there's always a legitimate role for government to help the poor, the small business community and the productive middle class should never be unfairly penalized by that process.
Everyone agrees that America is polarized. Social division usually surfaces when a segment of society has its living standard purposely lowered for the betterment of another segment.
And that's exactly what this president intended to accomplish when he defined a fundamentally transformed America by spreading the wealth around. That's not just bringing the bottom up. That's also bringing the middle down.
America has never been perfect, but it has prevailed as the most productive and exceptional nation in history. America was the first and only nation to render the philosophy of individual liberty into a rational method of governance.
Driven by widespread dependency and political misdirection, America is quietly forfeiting greatness to the ideology of collectivism.
Dangerous GOP politics
The 144 Republicans in the House and the 27 GOP senators who voted to end the full faith and credit of the U.S. should be voted out of office for this attempted extortion.
If there had been more of them, they would have destroyed our economy and caused another worldwide depression.
China's call to de-Americanize the world economy would likely force even our closest allies to end the role of the dollar as the world's reserve currency.
This could raise the price of everything we buy. The stock market and all pensions would hit rock bottom — a disaster no sane person would consider, let alone gamble with.
Sen. Ted Cruz reminds me of that power-mad Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who used his Un-American Activities Committee to intimidate and threaten the patriotism of many good Americans, including even President Dwight Eisenhower, until he was finally censured by the Senate.
President Barack Obama reminded us that our Constitution requires people to win elections to change policies, not threaten to sink the ship unless they get their way. A Fortune magazine article showed that Obama has spent much less than all other presidents since Eisenhower. The deficit caused by George W. Bush's trickle-down tax cuts for billionaires has already been cut in half.
Unfortunately, Rep. Andy Barr is a puppet of the wealthy donors who financed his campaigns. It is time to get rid of the demagogues who employ extortionist tactics, refuse to compromise and only do what benefits the billionaires like the Koch brothers.
Fix the fountain
Is the fountain in front of the courthouse on North Limestone going to be repaired for next year?
It has been broken for all of 2013 and I have missed watching the waters dancing. And the children seem to enjoy it also.
I'm hoping some of our extra money will be allocated to fix it.
Don't blame Barr
After reading Joe Palumbo's recent op-ed, it has become clear that he has been blinded to reality by his allegiance to our president and his party. He calls Congressman Andy Barr an "obstructionist," and plays the blame game that is so often played in Washington.
Since Barr took office, he has voted for our nation and his constituents, not to win popularity points. Barr sponsored the Live by the Laws You Write Act, which would require Washington politicians to adhere to the same laws as ordinary Americans.
This was courageous on his part, since many in Congress did not want to give up their benefits under the Affordable Care Act.
Barr also voted numerous times to reopen the government, which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid proceeded to block.
Once the shutdown began, Barr continued voting for such things as the Nutrition Assistance for Low-Income Women and Children Act, which would have provided assistance during the shutdown to those most affected by it. The Senate majority blocked these attempts as well.
It seems odd that Palumbo, who has now decided against challenging Barr next year, would call Barr an obstructionist when Democratic leaders in Washington consistently toss aside any opportunity to be bipartisan.
It is refreshing to be represented by someone who stands by his values and listens to his constituents.
Letters about candidates in the Dec. 10 special election for the 13th Senate District are limited to 150 words and must be received by 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2. Letters from candidates, their campaign staffs and family members will not be published.