All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.

Friday, November 29, 2013

The clear case of government bullying

Freedom and democracy can't be just about elections -- there is too much time between election to ignore serious abuse.   Out of control, bullying tactics have come to Washington State.  The state and local governments are using those tactics to badger and ruin individual people.  What follows is one example.


Captain Dave Petrich built his dream business--the Farm Boat--to bring local, organic produce to Washington residents. That all changed when the City of Seattle came after Dave to collect $8,000 in parking fines incurred by someone else.

The city's aggressive legal tactics shut down the Farm Boat. Dave found himself fighting City Hall alone.

In late September, Freedom Foundation intern Conner Edwards learned of Dave's battle with Seattle. Conner led the Freedom Foundation's charge to help Dave recover his business and document one more story of out-of-control government. We told Dave's story and got the word out about the City's unreasonable actions.

With the Freedom Foundation's help and the power of a story made public, the City-in a rare move-dropped its pursuit of Captain Dave Petrich and the Farm Boat.

Victories like this one are encouraging. They show the power of a story, both to secure victory for one man and one business and to make two key point: unlimited government hurts people and we can fight city hall ... and win!

"... Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights." Washington State Constitution

The video is produced by the Evergreen Freedom Foundation

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Student's Self-Defense Leads to University Disciplinary Action

The story comes from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington -- two students living in an off-campus, university-owned apartment were put on probation for the "infraction" of displaying a legally-owned firearm to thwart a home invasion by a convicted felon.

According to a CNN article, on the night of October 24, students Erik Fagan and Daniel McIntosh were in their apartment when there was a knock on the door.  Fagan told CNN affiliate KXLY in Spokane that he opened the door and a stranger, who said he'd just gotten out of jail, asked for $15.  Fagan told KXLY he offered the man a blanket and a can of food, but "didn't feel comfortable" giving the man money because he was a stranger. 

"My gut instinct was telling me I wasn't going to be able to get that door closed before he came through," Fagan said.

As the man started coming through the door, Fagan said he yelled for his roommate, McIntosh.  McIntosh said he came to the door holding his pistol.  When the man saw the gun, the students say he turned and ran away.

The story notes that all university housing is patrolled at regular intervals by campus security, but this particular apartment complex isn't gated, and secured key cards or codes are not required for entrance.

The students called 911 and campus security.  A short time later, police captured the suspect, whom they identified as a six-time convicted felon with an outstanding Department of Corrections warrant.

If the story ended here, we'd have yet another example of how a firearm was successfully used for self-defense against a dangerous criminal without the firing of a shot.  But the story continues.

Unbeknownst to Fagin and McIntosh at the time, having a firearm on university-owned property, is a violation of Gonzaga policy, whether or not that property is located on campus.  At 2:00 a.m. the next morning, campus security officers returned to the students' apartment and confiscated the pistol and a shotgun from the apartment.  The shotgun is owned by Fagan, who uses it to hunt and for sport shooting, and it was not used in the incident.  The pistol belongs to McIntosh, who has a concealed carry permit.  It was a gift to him from his grandfather.

Based on their act of self-preservation, the two students were placed on probation for the rest of their time at Gonzaga.  The penalty will also be a part of their permanent record.  The students are appealing the decision.

After quickly gaining national infamy for its actions, the university has agreed to review its policy and has returned the firearms to the two students but with the stipulation that they not be stored at any property owned or operated by the university.  In other words, Fagan and McIntosh, and all other students living in University property, remain unarmed in their own residences, a fact that will likely not escape notice of the local criminal element.

Gonzaga University reacted to the victimization of its own students on University property by punishing and disarming them. That is outrageous.

Posted at the NRA 


Gun rights -- There is too much fear and too little understanding of how gun rights are not only a matter of self-defense, collecting, hunting and target competitions--but, also a barometer of how well our other rights are protected.

Somebody ought to tell Gonzaga they can lose everything in a massive class action lawsuit if they continue to deny their student body the constitutional right to armed self-defense.

"The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired... ." Washington State Constitution Article 1, Section 24

Monday, November 4, 2013

Inslee seeks carbon tax

"We need smart new policies that encourage the use of clean energy, and technologies like carbon capture, to balance our need for energy with the need to protect the environment.  What we don’t need are ideologues insisting that using taxes and regulations to purposefully drive up the cost of energy is the only way to address these issues.

"Yet, that is essentially what Governor Inslee and his Democratic colleagues from Oregon and California said last week when they signed another version of the West Coast climate initiative.  In this pact, the three Governors – and Premier of British Columbia – pledged to raise the cost of energy by enacting cap and trade, or by simply imposing a new “carbon tax.”  Governor Inslee made it clear earlier that he intends to pursue a cap and trade strategy."

from Could cap and trade be coming to Washington State? posted at Smarter Government  


Even though the tone of the Smart Government article is to question Inslee's proposed policy changes, the whole notion of anthropogenic carbon use climate change is not well supported by genuine scientists. 

The whole cap-and-trade initiative assumes that any "global warming" is anthropogenic.  The hard science seems to indicate that "global warming" is unreal, and therefore any discussion about the human cause is futile.  

But this doesn't stop the big government crowd, who changed the name of their imaginary to "climate change."  The climate has been changing since long before humans arrived in earth, so climate change should not initiate any alarm either.

The genuine appeal of climate change, or whatever, is it will give the big government people more excuse to oppress the people with big government.  Also it furnishes a ready justification to increase taxation so the government officials can be better supported in their gold plated jobs.

Legislative Update

In my last e-mail update I talked about the transportation forums being held around the state by the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus. The forums have concluded and while I was able to attend the one in Wenatchee, I am still interested in hearing your comments and opinion about the proposed transportation tax revenue plan. Please consider taking this short transportation survey and forward to anyone you feel would be interested in taking the survey.

No decisions have been made, so it is still important to me and many other legislators to receive your input. If there is going to be a large gas-tax hike on the table, I want to make sure people have had the opportunity to share their opinions.

No one questions the importance of our transportation infrastructure, but to ensure strong bipartisan support and guarantee all voices are being heard on this issue, we need to make sure a revenue package discussion begins with reforms. It is essential we see some accountability and responsible use of gas tax dollars in our transportation system before taxpayers are asked to pay more.

The reforms need to be first in the transportation debate and not an afterthought. If reforms don’t happen first, those of us in Olympia are all too familiar with what will happen – they will get ignored. These are not just feel-good proposed reforms to be used as negotiating tools. They are important to restore the public’s trust after many botched transportation construction projects:
  • SR 520 pontoon design failure – $84 million and counting (initially $71 million); 
  • SR 520 tolling delay — $40 million in forgone tolls and $12 million not collected in legal damages for the breach of the contract;
  • Columbia River Crossing design — $172 as of March 2013;
  • Three years ago, WSDOT built a ramp in the wrong place at the I-5 and SR 16 interchange in Tacoma and had to tear it down — cost to taxpayers $900,000;
  • The history of the Chetzemoka Ferry — went into service three months late (November 2010) and $15 million over the estimated cost of construction. One of the smallest ferries in the state’s fleet, yet pound for pound it’s the most expensive ferry ever built anywhere at $80.1 million. Ferry engineers who work on board the vessels have been vocal about the boat’s list, fuel consumption and vibration problems. It has been out of service a number of times for repairs related to these issues.
When citizens of Washington are footing the bill for these errors, I do not think it is too much to ask for some accountability and transparency in our transportation system. In fact, we should not ask for one extra dime until we are sure these items are fixed and we have addressed some of the mistakes made in the past. With reforms in place, we may find out tax increases and more funds are not needed if our current transportation dollars are spent efficiently.
Here is a brief summary of some of the transportation reforms that should be under consideration:
  • Require the Washington State Department of Transportation to report costly errors to the Legislature and put forward solutions to avoid making the same mistake twice;
  • Return sales tax from transportation construction to the transportation budget;
  • Implement state auditor’s recommendations to reform the Ferry Capital Program;
  • Open a dialogue about prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements;
  • Streamline environmental permitting;
  • Add congestion relief to the state’s required list of transportation priorities;
  • Use of Public-Private Partnerships; and
  • Reform the state’s regional transit authority boards.
Please let me know if you have any questions. This is may be the biggest issue we face in the upcoming session, if not sooner, and your feedback is important. Again, I hope you will fill out the survey and share your comments and concerns. I will share the results of the survey in the near future.
Cary Condotta

What other people read on this blog

Effing the ineffable - Washington State elections sometimes have been rigged.

“It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.”
-- Joseph Stalin