Image courtesy Yes On 591

There are two competing gun-related citizens’ initiatives working their way through the Washington State election system. The first is the pro-gun I-591, which would vaguely ban government entities from confiscating firearms without ‘due process of law.’ It would also ban state-required background checks unless required by federal law. But it’s not alone…

The Good

I’ve already signed the petition for I-591, which is delightfully straightforward and short enough to post here in its entirety:

Initiative Measure No. 591 (I-591)

PROTECT OUR GUN RIGHTS

AN ACT Relating to protecting gun and other firearm rights; adding new sections to chapter 9.41 RCW; and creating new sections.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:

NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. A new section is added to chapter 9.41 RCW to read as follows:

It is unlawful for any government agency to confiscate guns or other firearms from citizens without due process.

NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. A new section is added to chapter 9.41 RCW to read as follows:

It is unlawful for any government agency to require background checks on the recipient of a firearm unless a uniform national standard is required.

NEW SECTION. Sec. 3. The provisions of this act are to be liberally construed to effectuate the intent, policies, and purposes of this act.

NEW SECTION. Sec. 4. If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected.

NEW SECTION. Sec. 5. This act is known and may be cited as the “Protect Our Gun Rights Act.”

— END —

It’s a little vague about ‘due process of law’, since due process means whatever the hell a court says it means. In some cases (like accusations from ex-wives) it means basically nothing at all.

The Bad

The second measure is I-594, which would require NICS background checks for all firearms transfers except those between immediate family members. It would also exempt a handful of minuscule ‘temporary transfers’ between licensed hunters or competitors. But it worries me that it would not clearly allow you to run a few magazines through your buddy’s 1911 unless you were at a formal ‘shooting range.’ I asked the measure’s sponsors for clarification, and have gotten no response. I’ll post it if I get one.

The complex and obfuscatory text of I-594 fills a 19-page roll of legislative toilet paper; read it if you wish.

The Ugly

The list of contributors to the anti-gun I-594 is a veritable Who’s Who of the Seattle tech elite. The biggest sponsor is entrepreneur Nick Hanauer, who started Overstock.com (now added to my ‘f*ck you’ boycott list), Bill and Melinda Gates, and the wife of other Nero Microsoft honcho Steve Ballmer. Microsoft, whose clusterf*ck Windows 8 is almost singlehandedly destroying the market for desktop and notebook computers, was added to my f*ck you boycott list years ago.

Their ill-gotten gains are now paying for scumbags like Kelvin Moore, who has been charged with felony-level petition fraud in Oregon. On this video, Moore is caught telling people to sign the anti-gun petition using false addresses.

Who was it who said that no honorable endeavor is ever served by lies? And what does it tell you that this measure’s backers are hiring crooks like Kelvin Moore to sell this crap to the voters?

82 Responses to Microsoft’s Gates and Ballmer Bankroll Crooked Signature Gatherers For WA ‘Expanded Background Check’ Initiative

  1. Microsoft would be on my boycott list, except Apple is guilty of making really awesome things and simultaneously also making really awful things and saying “Fuck you, that’s how it is, take it or leave it.” As an example, Apple iCloud Mail is quite possibly the worst email interface I’ve ever seen, ever, and I’ve been around computers since they cost the price of a decent used car. It sucks, most people that are in any way computer savvy know it sucks, Apple surely knows it sucks, and yet it still exists in its current form.

    That wasn’t terribly on-topic, was it. Sorry.

    • Why would you use icloud email for anything except synching your calendar and other icloud business? That’s all it’s really meant for.

      • Certain email addresses that I help administer (cough, this one, cough) are run through iCloud. It’s my first experience with it. It was a painful (is a painful transition) from the ease and configurability of Gmail.

        • iCloud mail is fully IMAP compliant, so you can use any mail client you choose (OS X Mail, iPhone Mail, MS look-out!, Android gmail, web gmail–yes, you can have your gmail account pull your iCloud mail and other accounts in and even track the associated account so replies have the correct from address, … or if you’re hardcore: mutt). I run a squirrel mail server on my VPS that aggregates all of my webmail accounts, so on the off chance I’m not near one of my computers, or my iPhone, I can check all my mail on one site.

        • I would absolutely do that if it were my email. Sadly, it’s not. I still do most of what I do in Gmail (or K9 mail on Android), but I have to go into iCloud to delete things, because I can’t delete things from iCloud from within Gmail.

    • Lol, people use iCloud mail? I have one just because it set one up for me when I signed up for iCloud but I never use it. Just stick with my old email address’.

      Apple is a bit of a hipster company but they are far better than MS and Google. They’re the only ones requiring warrants from the NSA for our data. MS and Google just willingly give it up.

      • I would, but I like having everything work, without having to wonder if it will or workaround. I’ve considered dual-booting, and I may do that the next time I refresh my system.

  2. It’s bad when intelligent people do not do the analysis to see that their gun control schemes will not save lives not stop the problems they want to stop.

  3. Bill Gates started out as a software pirate. That is why is is so against piracy. Obama and Holder let MicroSux up from a monopoly law suite when their regime took power.

    • I’ll expand upon this for people who might think it hyperbole.

      Bill Gates dumpster dived to get the source code for the original MicroSoft BASIC. He converted it to the original Altair / IMSAI 8008 / 8080 systems, but make no mistake, he (to use his own definition) stole the university’s source code.

      He then sold this BASIC to the original Altair / IMSAI community, and when his customers followed the paradigm of the day and gave copies to friends, he wrote an open letter to the community bemoaning how they were stealing from him by not paying what he asked.

      In following years, the shenanigans Bill Gates personally and MicroSoft in general pulled to steal from competitors would fill several books. I personally lost a potential job implementing software for a friend who had a very clever original idea, but could not get venture capital support because every single investor he talked to said they thought it was marvelous, but they expected that once the idea took off, MicroSoft would make them an offer they could not refuse: sell out to us cheap, or we will announce our own version and bankrupt you.

      I sometimes think MicroSoft and Apple are the Democrats and Republicans (in no particular order) of modern home computers, statists to the core, with Linux being the libertarians, and Android being some capital-L Libertarian variant. It’s not a very close analogy, but it has a (ahem) kernel of truth to it ….

      • I’ll add one more stick to the pile – Bill Gates got the idea for Windows on a trip to Xerox PARC. It was running there at the time on a machine that could best be described as a precursor to the NeXT. Coincidence? I think not…

        • Unix had the X windowing system and Motif before Windoze (“Win-doh!s” – I love it!) was even a gleam in BG’s eye. Problem was, it cost about eight grand in 1970’s dollars and only big universities and “rich, greedy” corporations could afford it. Linus Torvalds is somewhat of a folk hero.

  4. As a WA resident, I can say that this is among many of the reasons why the rest of the state hates Seattle. WA has a very strong pro-2A constitution, shall issue CCL, and state preemption that prevents municipalities and other lower entities from enacting their own anti-gun rules. Seattle-area politicians and activists have been trying to turn WA into another California for years, much to the chagrin of the rest of the state, much of which is very red and very rural – yet, Seattle and rich tech elitists like Gates and Hanauer of Amazon just continue on with whatever anti-gun cause celebre is in fashion.

    Although I live in the Seattle area, much of my family is from the eastern side of the state, which is more politically like Idaho and Montana. Many Seattle politicians and activists know little about rural WA lifestyle and even have an active hatred for that culture. Those in rural WA feel about the same towards them. The two halves of the state are very different, and in fact you could even say that the Seattle metro area is the only part of the state that leans as left as they do – but, their political clout is too strong – just like NYC.

    Frankly the state should be split in two.

    I fear that in today’s political climate, I594 is already in the bag. The signature gatherers have already likely tricked millions of gun rights supporters into singing it, by presenting both initiatives at the same time, and claiming both are pro-gun initiatives. It’s a crooked campaign being run by in and out of state money, paid signature gatherers who are dishonest and deceiving. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are just shredding the signatures for I591 and only turning in those for I594. Even if this is the case, I doubt the state will do anything about it.

    Visit Waguns.org and NWFirearms.com for plenty of examples of deceiving I594 Signature gatherers advertising the initiative as pro-gun, e.g. “protect your gun rights by preventing criminals from getting guns,” except that I594 will do no such thing, and will criminalize a large anount of normal actions amongst gun owners. I won’t even legally be allowed to let me son shoot a pistol on our own property any more. I594 is more or less a carbon copy of Manchin-Toomey.
    PS -One poster over on NWfirearms forum claims to have known Gates as a teenager and even shot trap at the range with him. I doubt Gates would even remember now.

    • +1 on Seattle being the tail that wags the dog. Trouble is that’s the way it has been since forever and until we can become two states (King County VS. the rest of the state) that’s the way it’s going to stay.

      • the funniest thing is when you bring up that possibility to some lefty Seattleite, and their comeback is the expected “well we’re tired of giving all of our tax dollars to those backwards hicks any way.”

        I think none of them have ever looked at what the state’s three primary industries are. they have no clue how much agriculture money the rural areas of WA would take with them if the state was split up.

        • “Frankly the state should be split in two.”

          Bang on. I lived in Seattle. It’s like they are part of a pan-national subculture that relates to a few “cool kid” cities and approved vacation spots, while treating the rest of the world like subjects to be ignored or exploited. Hunger games much?

          An alternative to splitting the state (and this is insanely radical) is maybe have the state recognize that not everything has to be decided at that scale. Maybe allow for different (shocking, I know) solutions in different places. When Mrs. President Obama comments that she understands why someone living in Wyoming would want to have a gun, when 4 liberals talk gun control and end up talking about why you’d want to won a gun, maybe we ought to let the people impacted decide how they want to live.

          Why is Bloomie funding state-scale gun laws in Colorado? Let the rubes go to hell in their own way, if they like. Why is Micro-Bill funding a state-scale initiative in Washington? Absent preemption, Gates could get the laws he wants in Seattle or in King county, and leave the rest of the state alone. Why is this his business?

          Self-government doesn’t mean you get to do any damn thing you can get 50% plus one vote on, one time. It doesn’t mean every time you can draw a border in which your preference wins by one vote you get to impose your will there. It doesn’t mean that once you make a department / commission / ministry to deal with, oh, I don’t know, say Health and Human Services, they can decide what’s to be done about anything that might touch health or a human forever after. We delegate certain limited authorities, for certain limited purposes in certain limited geographies. If they want to do more, they can make the case for why they should, starting with showing competence with what they’ve got.

          “…the funniest thing is when you bring up that possibility to some lefty Seattleite, and their comeback is the expected “well we’re tired of giving all of our tax dollars to those backwards hicks any way.”

          They do exactly the same thing in NYS. It’s not local, it’s a consequence of their mindset. Recall that in NYS, every single county outside the Gotham corridor and their administrative field office (NYC and Albany, respectively) voted independently *objecting to* the SAFE act.

          The retort to the imperious infliction is: “Nobody asked you to, indeed many times you’ve been asked not to. Quit inflicting help on us. Even if we are wrong and dumb, it is our right to be so. (BTW, how’s that program of yours working out?)”

        • Damn right. The Seattle progs probably don’t even realize agriculture includes wine… If they’re tired of being connected to eastern WA, let’s cut the ties. We’d get 95% of the state’s wine, and 100% of the best wine. And we could put a tariff on it that would make even Bill Gates blanch.

        • Ing, I’ve joked about that before. I think most Seattle-area folks’ only exposure to eastern Washington is in their summer winery tours to Ellensburg and Yakima.

    • I refuse to live inside the Seattle city limits ever again. Not just the politics, but more the incompetence of city leaders. But people keep electing these incompetent leaders.

      In the immortal words of a former city prosecutor (whose names escapes me at the moment)… Seattle is 88 beautiful square miles surrounded by reality.

    • Except Bill Gates doesn’t live in Seattle. Too common for him, that’s why he’s in Medina. Microsoft campus itself is in Redmond, not Seattle.

    • >> Frankly the state should be split in two.

      As a resident of Bellevue, I would very much hope not. As it is, the balance between deep blue Seattle and red Eastern Washington results in a very nice mix of centrist economics (hey, we still don’t have state income tax!) and libertarian approach to social issues – same-sex marriage, marijuana legalized, yet guns are available with few restrictions (basically SBRs and “machine guns” are banned, but that’s it), open carry with no license and shall-issue concealed carry. Most of the extreme idiocy (like their knife laws) is confined to Seattle city limits, but you don’t have to live there – in fact, real estate prices being what they are, and the transportation network being what it is, I don’t know why anyone would even want to live there for any reason.

      OTOH, if the state is split, then the West will become California 2.0 (worse, actually), while the East will go full retard on social conservatism.

      By the way, I don’t get all this gripe about Seattle being “the tail that wags the dog” etc. There’s no evil liberal conspiracy here: it just so happens that the western counties around Seattle are more populous, and so they hold more votes. This is true in most states which have large urban centers; it’s just how democracy works (and it’s also why there’s state Senate to provide for the interests of less populated counties).

  5. “The complex and obfuscatory text of I-594 fills a 19-page roll of legislative toilet paper; read it if you wish.”
    Well, I tried to read it, but I’m afraid only someone with extensive legal schooling could understand most of the legalese in it. What I do understand is this, I-594 is basically a giant middle finger to the law abiding citizens of Washington state. Luckily I’m trying to make a move to friendlier climes.

  6. The i-594 is just a lightly rewritten version of Schummer’s S.374.

    What’s really sad is how upset the people of Washington state are going to be once they learn about the “established” and “authorized” shooting range and the “legal to hunt in all places” hunting ‘exceptions.’ Which will no doubt only happen after they vote it into effect.

    From what I’ve heard talking with people almost no one knows about these new restrictions and the group pushing it are in no rush to tell anyone. After all if you like your current policy, you can keep it.

    • Might I suggest just moving to all open source software (provided you are not a gamer), Debian Gnu/Linux + Iceweasle(just renamed fire fox long story)+Libre office, can comepletely replace wind0w$, ie(barf), and ms office.

      • <OFF-TOPIC>
        Yup. And the Linux family have made great strides in making it Aunt Tillie-friendly. The only reason I don’t use it full-time (I dual-boot, Win XP SP3 and Slackware 14.0) is because nobody’s bothered to update the media player to keep up with the latest in p0rno video compression schemes. And apparently CEOs and stuff don’t trust free software that’s actually free, because it’s free and couldn’t possibly be as professional as the overpriced buggy crap. Another benefit of Linux is that because it’s based on Unix, it uses a file system and file ownership/permissions system that make it essentially immune to viruses and other malware, so it blows away the market for third-party antivirus stuff.
        </OFF-TOPIC>

        • file permissions and limited user accounts may protect the OS and applications, but they won’t protect your hard work. on a linux system, a crafty malicious script can still blow away all of the user’s precious documents. maybe they won’t touch system files, but when you just lost all of your work, why would you care?

          Windows has actually had a more secure filesystem permissions model (NT ACLs) since Windows NT.. Problem is, up until the last several years, the behavior of Windows by default was to run all users as Administrators, allowing users to bypass permissions on system files.

          UAC made using a limited privilege user-level account easy to deal with in Vista/7/8, but most Linux users, if they’re forced to use Windows, will probably whine about it and turn UAC off, complain about it being some terrible Microsoft idea, even though (again) it was something that was pilfered straight from Mac OS X.

          regardless, if someone finds an exploit to bypass your filesystem permissions on a unix OS, you’re hosed. Linux has historically had some very serious local and remote root security exploits, but since its userbase is so small, these are hardly ever leveraged by the same people who make a living by attacking the same types of security flaws in Windows.

        • Jeff, you are either joking or self-deluded. There is one, count ’em, one virus for linux, and it’s a lab rat. The Linux kernel normally runs locked. It’s obvious you’ve never heard of the “CHROOT Jail.” Or honeypots.

          Windoze, on the other hand, cannot be secured. You will never see CC EAL-3+ Windows anything, but Secure Linux has been a thing for at least a decade, beginning with the Sun/NSA partnership. Sorry to pee in your Wheaties, but… Here’s a CD – download a real operating system.

        • Bill,

          If you’re denying that Linux has had plenty of local and remote root exploits over the years, you’re the one that’s delusional. Try deploying any Linux distribution older than a few years old and see how long it lasts on the open internet.

          I spent way too much time in my first jobs patching up and securing Solaris systems just so they wouldn’t get rooted immediately on deployment. I’m pretty familiar with what sort of pitfalls exist in Linux/Unix security. You don’t have to tell me about getting a “real OS.”

          Most users don’t run anything in a chroot environment. Linux viruses? Who cares? Viruses are not the primary security risk to Unix systems – local/remote root privilege escalation exploits in the Linux kernel, root-level service processes, X window system, and end-user software are all vulnerable bits of the overall OS.

          Granted, they do get fixed very quickly when compared to Windows, but they still exist and are still frequently uncovered.

        • Jeff, you need to come up with a more secure password than ‘abcdefg999.’ I once learned the hard way about “security through obscurity.” (“Ah, heck, who’s interested in our stuff?”) I almost got fired once when we started getting complaints from people who were getting spam from our server – it turns out that username ‘user’ and password ‘pass’ don’t keep crackers out of the company LAN.

        • Jeff, I’m not denying anything. Stack a properly-secured Linux system (any flavor) against a properly-tightened M$ system, and guess which one will be owned first? And I say again – I have NEVER seen an EAL-3+ Windoze system in production. The users wouldn’t be able to use it. But the three-letter agencies use RHEL for their HSLD systems.

        • Bill,

          I’m not trying to say that Windows is a great solution for trusted systems.. Unix/Linux clearly has it beat due to the level of customization and compartmentalization that can be done.

          My main point is, a lot of Linux users are blind to the real security holes that exist in a Linux system, especially when used as a desktop OS. Not every security risk in the world comes in the form of an executable.

          Any way we have strayed far enough from the gun talk… I’ll give it up now.

        • If you don’t like Linux, don’t use it. It’s no skin off my teeth one way or the other. But the idea that Linux is LESS secure than Microsquish crap is laughable.

      • provided you are not a gamer

        Uhh…frame rates on Linux distros generally best those on Win-doh!s on the same hardware. Valve released Steam for Linux, and it is awesome. Valve is making a gaming oriented distro. Many games are available on OS X and Linux, and their numbers should match the MS numbers very soon.

        • Cool, I’m no gamer, but that was the main excuse I was given by them. (The colsest I came to gaming was trying to make roler coaster tycoon 2/3 work in wine, sadly I failed).

        • It depends on your definition of “Gamer.” In the 1980’s, I was working as a video game/pinball machine/foosball table bench tech and our company got the Mr.Do! concession. I still play MAME Mr.Do! almost daily.

  7. So why don’t we have a seperate tab on this site for a progun boycott list? preferably a list of companies maybe with a paragraph beneath each w/a reason why. (I already bocott microsux Linux/Open office ftw) Oh yeah here, rather than buying m$ office use this, http://www.openoffice.org/download/index.html Just be sure to save in .doc, ,xlsx,.ppt if you email to office lusers

    • wow could you possibly fit any more condescending linuxisms into a single post?

      I have been a unix/linux user since the late 90s and I still can’t stand this elitist speak of the linux community. get over yourself.

      • I am far from elite, I just despise microsoft and bill gates. he ripped off cpm and made dos, the basic stuff mentioned, and don’t forget he ripped off guis from xerox (as did apple) and now he is supporting gun control. I doubt this is a putz that you should defend….

        Then again re-reading I shouldn’t have called office users Lusers, that was sort of condesending. So sorry to offend.

        • Yup. everything you’ve said about BG is true. I once heard him get called a “brilliant opportunist.”

          Not that there’s anything wrong with that. 😉

  8. It doesn’t matter what the sponsors think the text means. If the text isn’t clear, the courts will interpret it as they wish (and even if it is clear . . .)

  9. There is some shady stuff going on with 594. I signed 591…at least I’m pretty sure it was that one…and it was packaged together with 594 as “protect gun rights and keep society safe.” The real pro-gun petition was on top, the problematic one beneath. The signature gatherer said “two petitions, sign ’em both,” and most people did so with only a quick glance at the top page.

    I’m a little more suspicious. I scanned the second one, didn’t like the look of it, and tried asking the guy who had handed me the clipboard more about both of them. He wouldn’t even acknowledge I existed — eyes straight ahead, fixed on the incoming targets. Pissed me off. I was tempted to take off with the whole damn clipboard (but didn’t want to break the law) or at least cross my name off. But the one I had signed looked legit, so I let it be. The guy didn’t even say thanks when I handed him the clipboard.

    What’s likely to happen is that both of them will pass — 591 on the strength of the state’s general respect for the Second Amendment, 594 on the sheer number of low-information voters on the urban west side (and the duplicity of its sponsors). Two incompatible, conflicting laws, both voted in by the people. It’s one of the potentially stupid results of the initiative process.

    When that happens, I think the legislature decides which one to keep. Or maybe they both get tossed automatically. I dunno. If it comes down to the legislature, I think we’ll be okay; they may not have passed the one great pro-2A bill that was proposed, but they did toss the post-Newtown anti-gun crap out with prejudice.

    • yep, this has happened to MANY people in WA. the frustrating thing is that I can’t seem to find anyone who will step up and call them out on it. nobody even seems to know whether or not this constitutes fraud – in my opinion, it does.

      like I stated earlier, my personal take on it is that they’re sending the I591 petitions straight into the paper shredder, and only turning in the I594 petitions.

      also keep in mind that the new Seattle mayor, Ed Murray, was one of the sponsors and authors of SB5737, which would have mandated unwarranted “security inspections” of gun owners’ homes to check for “assault weapons.” only after being caught did he remove that portion, and tried to act like it was never in there – despite the fact that the wording was found in several previous iterations of the same submitted bill.

      who even knows what sort of crap Ed Murray could try and pull with the weight that he carries as mayor of the state’s most powerful city now.

      • Why are you waiting for somebody else to take action? Step up and call the barstids out! Write letters to the editor, write your state and US congresscritters and senators, etc.

        Be sure and be polite.

  10. So if these practices are illegal, can we use it to invalidate 594 signatures?

    The good news is that if the petition does get the signatures, it goes to the legislature to review. The legislature can ignore it or vote on it as a law (the legislature already rejected the same crap post-Newtown, with a couple rural democrats voting the smart way). If the legislature ignores it, it becomes a ballot proposition.

    So if both get the votes, the legislature will likely reject both (or maybe pass 591). There’s no way they’ll pass 594 after seeing what happened in Colorado, and is about to happen a third time. And if 591 makes it’s way to Inslee’s desk, he’ll probably veto it. Then we’ll have ballot initiatives, and 594 will fail.

  11. Notice: Bill Gates is also a Big Time funder of the U.N. and any birth control he funds, and is also member of all NEW WORLD ORDER MEETINGS and has said we need to reduce about 80 % of the world’s people. (like us)

    • actually I would agree that overpopulation is a major cause of a lot of the world’s problems. are you suggesting that birth control is morally wrong? must be a catholic.

      • I’m too lazy to track down statistics, but off the top of my head, I’m pretty sure that countries with freer markets and more Liberty seem to have less of an “overpopulation problem” than those with top-down control. Just look at, say, Singapore or Hong Kong. I’d really like to see some kind of comparison done between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

        • “I’m too lazy to track down statistics, but off the top of my head, I’m pretty sure that countries with freer markets and more Liberty seem to have less of an “overpopulation problem”…”

          Your surmise is more or less correct. Most of the studies I’m aware of go on about how *birth rate* goes inversely with *relative wealth*, while other studies indicate that *relative wealth* goes with *economic freedoms*, more or less.

          The Economist has hit this theme over the last couple years. They wring their hands while dancing up the the edge of “All those Muslim and North African immigrants are out-breeding the base European stock, and they’re poor.” without actually saying it. It’s fun reading – the mix of indignation at those eeeee-vil nationalists plus wonk-worry about exactly the same thing makes a delightful contrast, like sweet and sour soup. /popcorn)

          A good entry point for the statistics is Bjorn Lomborg, of “The Skeptical Environmentalist” fame. More footnotes than you can stand. Actually he’s a good entry point for stat-studies on any social policy issue he’s gotten near. Complete data junkie. His net – the single greatest impact on quality of life is poverty, followed by access to basic (not exotic) medical care and sanitation.

          Best resource, if you want to exercise your Google-fu (or better, Duck, Duck Go) there’s a TED talk from a few years back with some great visualizations of “quality of life” vs. time, world-wide (based on UN data AIR.) Net, in a country, health, education, and most other quality of life measures(*) all correlate with “wealth”, and “wealth” correlates even stronger with rule of law, in particular property rights.

          I can’t bring myself to wade through the swamp of self-congratulatory crystal-hugging that is TED in general to find the thing right now.

          (*) Not correlating with property rights and rule of law are “economic equality” and other egalitarian measures. Nothing like putting your conclusion in your premises. Thumb on the scale much? Still it provides a useful illumination. As Lady Thatcher once said during question time (I paraphrase, but barely): “Thank you for stating at the last that you would prefer that the poor remain poorer as long as the right don’t become richer.”

        • From time to time I’ve quipped, “A rising tide may lift all boats, but for those of us who can’t afford a boat, the bottom stays the bottom.” That may be the case, but sinking everybody else’s boat doesn’t do squat for my situation. And I’m not asking anybody to steal somebody else’s boat and give it to me; I’d much prefer for a rope ladder, like a Free-Market economy where the boat owners can afford to hire a cabin boy or a burger flipper who can work his way up to navigator or boat designer.

      • The problem is ALWAYS about who gets to have children and who does not. No one should have a Chosen Elite making their choices for them.

    • Bill and Melinda Gates (through their front “foundation” tax dodge) are also dispensers to the Developing World of patented seed. What does this mean?

      Poor farmers don’t sell/eat all their crop; they save a portion of the crop to plant for the next harvest. With patented seed (think GMO: Monsanto, etc.), this practice is illegal. The only way to plant the next harvest is to buy more patented seed.

      As a side benefit, patented seed yields are not as good as the “wild” seed they displace, so farmers need to buy more patented seed to get the same yield. Win/win for patented seed producers and their stockholders (of which some of the largest are… guess).

      /RANT

  12. Dig deep into the Tech industry and the FU list will get really long. It would be a shorter list if you gave us list of pro-2a companies. The technology companies deep into social media platforms or who must serve the under 30 crowd will lean far left as they comfortably can. Many of the companies also donate time, money and employee to the last two Obama campaigns and donate to democratic causes and politicians.

    And one more thing, these companies will quickly change sides if there is a favorite law or policy that can benefit them like copyright laws or digital rights.

  13. WA state politics lean left, no doubt, but things are unpredictable. A recent initiative to label GMO food failed (boo), but then you also have things like marijuana legalized and taxed (good), charter schools pass (meh), state income tax failed (fine), etc.

    Ultimately, I hope us WA gun owners hold the line and we don’t get our rights infringed on. In fact, it’d be nice to get done things expanded on like SBRs…

    • FYI, ever since they started using hybrid seed, (about 1930), there hasn’t been any such thing as a crop that’s not “genetically modified.”

  14. I wouldn’t sign I-591. I mean I like the first part, but the last part leaves the door open. “… unless a uniform national standard is required.”

    I could see only a few states passing something minor and that be enough to seem like a national standard. No thanks.

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