I am asking for some help friends and neighbors. I am limited on how much I can post, so please feel free to comment on anything that has your attention in the political world. Be it local or national.
Thanks for the help.
I am asking for some help friends and neighbors. I am limited on how much I can post, so please feel free to comment on anything that has your attention in the political world. Be it local or national.
Thanks for the help.
Most everyone has at least heard something about the recent dust-up over slot machines in the VFWs and other veterans clubs.
It seems as though the state of Delaware was fine with looking the other way for quite some time, while the vet clubs were taking in thousands of dollars off of what can only be described as, illegal gaming machines.
It seems as though no one cared that these organizations were breaking the law by having these machines in their clubs and using them to raise money and paying out winnings to their members, which was clearly against the law.
That was until Gov. Jack Markell decided that it was time to shut them down. The clubs and organizations received letters stating that they would have to remove the machines immediately, or face prosecution and punishment.
This led to an outcry from both the organizations and the community, how dare the state and the Governor dare to enforce a law that they had ignored for ten or more years? How dare they hold the veterans to the same standard of the law that they held everyone else to?
I actually heard some people say that the state should just go back to the way it had been, in other words, ignore the law and those who were breaking it.
If this had been some immigrant who owned a gas station with these machines, would there have been the same reaction? I doubt it. It is obviously due to the fact that it involves veterans, that accounts for the fact that many of the same people who would normally be demanding that the law be exercised equally, would now be in favor of not only an exemption, but out right calling for the law to not be enforced.
Let me first say that I am against any exemptions of any law. For a law to have any effect, to have any real meaning, then the law must be enforced upon society in an equal manner upon all its citizens, otherwise the law is meaningless.
So if there is a law that says these machines can only be placed at the three racinos run by the state, (oh! I am sorry, I meant regulated by the state), of Delaware, then that should be the way the law is enforced.
If on the other hand some feel that the law gives unfair advantage to one group or against another, then it is correct to work to change the law, which is what the veteran organizations have done, with the backing of the community they have lobbied the Delaware legislators to do just that.
That is where we are now, the Delaware legislators have passed a three-month stop-gap bill that buys them and the vets time for the legislators to come up with a permanent solution, one that I am sure will look a lot like the three-month stop-gap bill.
Basically the bill states that the vet organizations can keep the machines in their clubs, the machines will be mandated to pay out between 50 and 70%, of the proceeds left, the clubs will be mandated to pay 45% to the state. Unlike the machines at the three race track casinos who have a mandated payout of 89% at a 45% tax rate. I make no claim to be good at math, but to me this seems to me to mean that the state will take a larger cut of the overall proceeds from the vet clubs than it currently takes from the state-run (oh! I did it again, I mean regulated by the state) casinos. The state will also decide who the venders will be who supply the machines and they will be tied into the state Lottery system.
So, what has the state of Delaware gotten from now enforcing the law?
Well first of all it has gotten the respect of those who believe that the law must be enforced in an equal manner, not based on emotions and special interest considerations.
Beyond that what the state has gotten is another flow of revenue, the state will now be able to use this stream as another projection towards balancing the budget. Let us never forget that the state of Delaware has a constitutionally mandated balance budget amendment. Of course this is the biggest lie in all of government, because the way in which the state balances its budget is to first decide how much it wants to spend on all of the different programs and agencies, it then has to come up with the matching funds, or revenues.
The way this is done is to first look at the more reliable revenue streams, such as income taxes and corporate taxes and any other form of taxes that from year to year are little changed. Of course since government grows every year without fail, there is always a short fall between the revenue stream and the expenditures, so how does the state fill this gap?
Why with projections of course! And the most seductive form of projections in recent years for the state of Delaware has been gambling revenue. These projections are such a favorite of law makers because there is really no way to determine how much people will or will not gamble in any given year. At best the state can only hope to hold to the previous year’s rate, but of course since the cost of government goes up every year, so must the revenue projections.
The only way this is possible is to constantly increase the amount of gambling within the state. Delaware has continued to do this by adding more and more types of gambling, from slots to table games, from sports betting to now keno. The state is running out of types of gambling that it can constitutionally run,( damn! did it again, REGULATE), so they are now going to begin looking to expand who can legally be involved in getting the state’s product out to the people in a hope of expanding the number of people who will throw their money into the rat hole of state-run gambling,(Oh! hell, let’s face it the state of Delaware runs gambling in the state of Delaware).
The veteran’s organizations are simply the next step in this experiment of expanding gambling beyond the casinos. We have seen sports betting in bars, we are now seeing keno in any number of locations, and now we will have state sanctioned gambling in private clubs. And the best part for the state? These organizations demanded that they be allowed to be controlled by the state.
These groups are populated by people who are also some of the same people who have been politically active in recent years, they have been vocal in pointing out the ever-expanding government and the tax burden that goes along with it, yet they took no time to consider the ramifications of their actions in demanding that the state allow them to keep these slot machines.
The fallout from this for these organizations and the rest of the state could be extremely negative.
These groups will now fall under the regulatory arm of the state of Delaware, this means that they will be mandated on every aspect of the operation of these slot machines, and one has to wonder how the state will be able to expand just what that will cover? Will it for instance in the future mean that the state will be able to mandate certain aspects of how the vets spend their take of the proceeds? Will for instance the state be able to mandate that these groups must spend equal amounts in their charitable spending on diverse groups? Say if an organization gives to an all boys team, will they be mandated to give an equal amount to an all girls team? Or will there be mandates on percentages spent on minorities?
These are all things that the vets have not considered. They were in such a hurry to cry foul at being held to the same standard as everyone else that they did not consider the end game here for the state, that being to create another revenue stream and to control it as the state controls all gambling in this state, with an iron fist.
The main fallout for the vet groups will be a loss of independence, ironic, seeing as they fought to protect independence for the rest of us and they did not simply give it away, they demanded that it be taken from them.
There will also be political fall out from this as well. By Gov. Markell’s move on this, he has positioned Republicans between the dog and the hydrant. Delaware Republicans in general, and Sussex Republicans in particular have been historically opposed to expanding gambling within the state. What this case does is it puts Republicans in the position of either continuing to oppose gambling and in doing so, opposing veterans, or Republicans would have to reverse their position on gambling to be able to be seen as supporting the veterans.
Since the stop-gap bill has already passed that is in the past. In the coming three months I would recommend to the veteran’s organizations that they reconsider their position on this. I would recommend that they take the time to seek other forms of revenue that would allow them to maintain their independence as a non-profit organization.
I would suggest that any Republican who supported the stop-gap bill also reconsider their position. I feel that any who have opposed the expansion of gambling have been on the right side of that issue, not because of any of my personal faith beliefs, but because government should not be in the business of, well that pretty much says it, government should not be in any business.
This issue is not and never has been about the veterans, though certain opportunistic politicians have played this to their advantage coming out with this stop-gap bill in an attempt to make it seem as if they are on the side of the vets. This couldn’t be further from the truth. This bill is not intended to help the vets, it is intended to enslave these organizations to the state. They will become little more than satellites of the casinos, they will lose their ability to make certain decisions for themselves and they will no longer represent the veterans who are their members, but will have become another branch of the government growth that so many of them have stated an opposition to.
It is good to see that the Delaware GOP is not allowing the Delaware Democrats and the Governor get too far out in front of them in doing nothing on gun violence.
This morning I heard that the Delaware Republicans in Legislative Hall have come up with their own set of proposals, and while I am at work and have not been able to actually study them in-depth, from what I am hearing reported these will be as worthless as the democrat proposals.
it seems that the Republicans think that by simply increasing the penalty for existing laws, that this will some how deter insane people from acting insane. Really? This is the best we can do?
I still fear that we are working towards a compromise that will boil down to nothing but increased background checks, that will boil down to nothing but increased numbers of law-abiding citizens being denied gun ownership.
As Senator Dianne Feinstein stated in her presentation announcing her sweeping gun ban bill, the intention is, “to dry up the supply of these weapons over time.”. I believe that the background checks being proposed are intended to aid in this “drying” up of those who will be able to legally purchase guns.
One other proposal was for a “panic” type button, much like banks use to be pushed in the case of an event. I can see the usefulness of this in quickening the response time of law enforcement, and I see more merit in this as opposed to the “panic’ doors previously suggested.
I am glad that there is give and take on both sides here, my only concern is the final outcome and how it will negatively affect gun ownership.
We as Republicans have been asking ourselves for sometime now, why does it seem that we are losing the battle of ideas, when it comes to convincing voters that we are the party best suited to lead the nation, and for that matter the state of Delaware.
Now I know that some of my more liberal friends will tell us that it is because the ideas, the principles and the values of the Republican party, and that of conservatism, no longer represent those of a majority of the American people.
Then again, there are members of the Republican party that will say it is because the Republican party no longer holds true to the conservative values that once placed the GOP at the center of American politics.
There may possibly be truth in both of those views, however, I have come to believe that the Republican party and the conservative movement are not losing the battle of ideas, it is not that the ideals and values of the GOP and conservatism are not representative of those of the American people.
In my view we are losing the battle of perception. The problem we are having in winning over new voters, both for the GOP and from the ranks of the growing pool of independent voters is how we are perceived by the majority of voters.
So what is the perception of the Republican Party and the conservative movement?
Currently that perception is most influenced by what has become known as the TEA Party, but what is more accurately titled the TEA movement. The term TEA grew out of the feeling by a large number of citizens that we were, “taxed, enough, already”, but has grown into a movement that now seems to have no real direction nor goal. The TEA movement has been taken over by any number of sub groups with wide-ranging, separate agendas.
What was once a movement of rallies and marches to demonstrate a discontent with the size of government and the tax burden that goes along with it, has now become little more than a hodge-podge of groups that spends most of their time attempting to show their conservative credentials.
In reality there isn’t really even a TEA movement any longer, due to the constant bickering the movement has splintered into any number of movements.
Now you would think that since the TEA movement has splintered, that it would have lost any influence that it once held over the GOP, and to some extent, this is true. However what is happening, is that though the TEA movement no longer seems able to move the GOP in one direction or another, even so, the sub groups are still seen as being the face and voice of the Republican party, or at least the media is more than willing to paint them as such. And in so doing, any negative behaviour of these groups is attributed to the GOP.
We as a nation, and as a state here in Delaware are currently having a debate how best to solve the ongoing issue of gun violence and mass shootings. I do not want this to turn into a debate about that problem, I am merely using it as an example of how we in the conservative movement and the Republican party are losing the battle based largely on perception.
The problem as I see it is that there is a loud and vocal faction within the GOP and the conservative movement that believes the best way to make their argument is to constantly state that the liberals and the Democrats and government are coming to take our guns, that the proposals that have been made by Pres. Obama and in Delaware by Gov. Markell are a direct assault upon the 2nd Amendment.
These people use words like tyranny and confiscation. They become loud when speaking on the issue. Some of them speak of armed revolution. They say things like, “they can have my gun when they pry it from my cold dead fingers”. When they are opposed they resort to calling people names like RINOs, liberals, tyrants, stupid or worse.
Their clarion cry is, “UNCONSTITUTIONAL!”. Any law that they disagree with become unconstitutional. Many of these people have but a passing relationship with the document at best, and have mostly gathered what they do know, from the talking points hurled at them at some sub group meeting that gathers to make their members feel as if they are actually making a difference.
Some of these angry people have actually run for office, they delude themselves that they are in the majority and cannot lose, and when they do lose elections, well then it is always some grand conspiracy, it is never because they are angry and out of touch with the citizens.
It is when these angry, narrow-minded, intellectually vacant people run for office and are afforded a stage to propagate their tiny shriveled view of what conservatism is, that they are most dangerous to the conservative movement, the Republican party, and to the future of the nation.
It is when they have any sort of stage at all that the media then is able to label them Republican, they are said to be representative of Republicans and conservatism, and why not? Do they not continually tell everyone and anyone that they are the deciders of who is or is not a true conservative?
These people are held up as examples, when in reality they are little more than a noisy pest.
The question that the Republican party and conservatives must ask ourselves is, do we want to be known for shouting down our opposition as we run up and down the aisle of some meeting, waving our arms in the air, shouting “TYRANNY! TYRANNY!”? And be perceived as nothing but the fringe lunatic?
Or do we want to be known for being reasonable and for winning, by using logic and reason to convince people our ideas and values are actually the better alternative?
Let us take the issue of gun ownership once again, instead of talking about the attack on the 2nd Amendment, something that most average citizens, either doesn’t understand or doesn’t believe is happening, maybe we should be talking about why the proposals that have been made will not help protect our children in schools.
Maybe instead of dividing our citizens, we should be attempting to unite them. Instead of calling the people we disagree with names, maybe we should be seeking ways to communicate our ideas better.
As long as we allow these fringe elements to be the face and the voice of the GOP and conservatism, we will be allowing the media and our opposition to paint the entirety of conservatism and the Republican party as the fringe lunatic, and we will continue to lose elections, not because our ideas are not good and right, but because of how we are perceived in the media and by the citizens.
This is a post I have posted over at Delaware Politics, for those who were not aware, I was also a contributor at that site, that will no longer be the case. Anyone who has followed me at that site, I would hope will now follow me here. Thank you.
I had planned to write a post this weekend talking about how there is currently a group of people who do nothing but run around with their hands in the air shouting about tyranny.
I was going to point out that they present themselves as both the voice of the GOP and the conservative movement. They are neither. They are small minded people who can never do more than challenge the ideas of others, while being unable to put forth more than talking point, bumper sticker rhetoric. They seek power, yet are unable to recognize that with power comes responsibility, not only to use said power to help people, but to be responsible in their personal actions.
I have instead, after some thought and after certain actions by others here at Delaware Politics, decided to go in a different direction, both with this post and with my so called contribution to the political conversation.
I have come to the conclusion recently that Delaware Politics has taken a turn down a path that I am no longer comfortable with traveling. there are some who will say it was I who made a turn, and that may be fair, but whatever the case, I see myself and the management here heading in two separate directions.
I have always felt that the best way to learn, is to listen to the ideas of others, even those whom we may disagree with. It has become clear that here at Delaware Politics there has been a decision made to silence opposition. Certain ideas and opinions are no longer welcome here. This site belongs to David Anderson, he is free to use it as he sees fit and to allow whomever he sees fit to do as they please.
I personally in the past was given that same freedom to write about topics that were not always in agreement with David, yet he never attempted to silence me or my views. That is no longer the case. There has been a clear new direction here, where one person has taken it upon themselves, with David’s blessing, to delete comments not only from myself, but from anyone who dared to disagree, under the thinnest excuse of them being personal attacks.
The site no longer, in my opinion, welcomes the open and free exchange of ideas that it once did and has instead become a site being run as a totalitarian site by proxy.
Therefore, and I am sure some will welcome this, I have also decided to take myself in a new direction. I will no longer be contributing to Delaware Politics, I will limit my writing to my own site www.politicallyfrank.wordpress.com and facebook .http://www.facebook.com/#!/frank.knotts.1I welcome all to friend me on facebook as I will be linking to my site any post I write. I hope that many of you will follow me, not to be in competition with Delaware Politics, but so that there can be a place for that open and free exchange of ideas that Delaware Politics once was, I welcome all. I even welcome that person who is so determined to silence that exchange.
This has been a tough decision for me, I was once kicked off of this site for my opinion on abortion, David Anderson asked me to return and made me feel welcome, I no longer feel welcome, therefore I will take my opinions and express them elsewhere.
I have in the past been very critical of Rep. John Atkins(D), when I felt he deserved it, and I hope that I have been fair when he deserved that as well.
I have had conversations with Mr. Atkins that would be described as friendly, and some that would be described as tense.
I would like to thank Rep. Atkins and encourage him to keep doing what he did yesterday and this morning, and that is to be outspoken in opposition to the five point proposal of Governor Jack Markell to further restrict gun ownership.
When this issue first came up I was pretty sure that Rep. Atkins would oppose any legislation that restricted gun ownership, he has always been a defender of the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms.
Yesterday he was on The Susan Monday Show on 105.9 and took time to explain his concerns about the Governor’s proposals, as well as what might come from the federal government, though he would have little to do with or about that.
This morning he was on The Bill Colley Show on 92.7, he again attempted to explain his views on how best to combat these proposals. However the audience of the Colley show is quite different from that of Susan Monday.
Rep. Atkins was presented with call after call decrying the view that the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was under attack and that this was nothing more than a gun grab by the government.
Rep. Atkins attempted to explain that he could only work against the Delaware proposals based on the Delaware constitution, and that is why he was focussing on hunting and sporting. The callers in my opinion couldn’t or wouldn’t understand the difference, and so Rep. Atkins points were falling on deaf ears and closed minds.
Let me take just a moment here to say that I feel that if all that heard in opposition of these proposals, both from the Governor and the President, is the battle cry of “UNCONSTITUTIONAL!!”and “CONFISCATION”, then it will make it very easy for those who would restrict our right of gun ownership, to paint all of us as fringe and lunatic. We would be better served to speak reasonably and to point out the flaws in these proposals, and maybe even have some alternatives.
I hope that Rep. Atkins will continue to speak out for the rights of gun owners here in Delaware, he is bucking the Democrat party line to do so, and is in a unique position to do so, since if Republicans speak out too loudly, they will be accused of not caring if children are murdered.
Good job Rep. Atkins, and thank you.
Since Mr. Corn is a Democrat and to avoid accusations of partisan politics I will only link to a post at Delaware Liberal.
As Delaware Governor Jack Markell unveiled his plan for so-called gun control we find that for the most part there is nothing new in the Democrat agenda to oppose the rights of gun owners.
Gov. Markell announced, with the help of Lt. Gov. Matt Denn and Attorney General Beau Biden, yesterday his five point plan, which includes the usual ban on so-called assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, a mandatory reporting of lost or stolen guns, a restriction on possessing a gun within 1000 feet of a school, and finally background checks designed to close the so-called gun show loop-hole.
I have heard a lot of people voicing their concern over the ban on certain guns and the high-capacity magazines, personally I am more concerned about the background checks and how intrusive they may end up being.
In Maryland it is being proposed that anyone buying a gun be forced to submit their fingerprints as well as going through a background check.
One has to wonder whether this will also end up in the final Delaware plan, as well as the federal plan?
Of course we will now hear from the supporters of these intrusive measures that if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear.
The problem I see, is that the collection of fingerprints prior to committing a crime may constitute illegal search and seizure. I also am concerned with the collection of such information that may in the future be used if we ever reach the point where the government actually does try to confiscate guns.
Let me say that I do not believe, as others do, that we are currently at that point, but we certainly are looking down a very dangerous road.
While I agree that we need to be as concerned about certain weapons being banned, I feel that the larger danger to our freedoms is the intrusion into the private live of law-abiding citizens.
Have you noticed the amount of fear in the world today? It seems that people are afraid of just about everything.
Of course we have the usual fears of being killed in a car accident, or dying of some disease.
We now add to these, the fear of wars and world destruction, and people are in a constant state of fear.
There is also the fear of opposition. The fear, that to stand for something in the face of opposition is just to trying for some. Even though some people tout their own great ability to stand for their principles, they seem incapable of actually defending their opinions, beyond stating them and then saying something smart like, “oh yeah!”.
These people, when challenged, will without doubt first attack with insults, and when that has no effect, they will simply decide to terminate contact and state that they are above those they disagree with, and will not sully themselves by defending their so-called principles and ideas.
This is most likely the most incapacitating fear of all, because it causes people to look inward, to ask themselves do they truly believe in what it is they say they believe, or are they simply repeating talking points from others.
Personally I enjoy defending my principles and ideas, I welcome a debate, it allows me to demonstrate that I have more than a passing understanding of that which I am speaking of, rather than the person who reads an article and then professes to be expert on the topic.
Instead of cowering from opposition, I would suggest that these people face their fear, they should actually take the time to learn about that which they profess to be expert upon, so that they can defend the positions they take on issues. Instead of fearing the people who oppose them, attempt to demonstrate that they are wrong or at least mis-informed. Instead of being afraid to tackle a debate, welcome it. It is through the free exchange of ideas that we are able to learn from others, even from those we most fear and disagree with.
I am not a criminal, and so I am asking President Obama, Vice President Biden and every state legislator who are now rushing to pass legislation to further restrict gun ownership, to please not make me a criminal.
There has been a constant battle cry from the anti-gun lobbies since the Sandy Hook shooting, for there to be action taken by law makers to pass laws and restrictions in an attempt to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, there is no law, no restriction, that can stop a person from killing another person if they truly want to do so. Let us remember that Abel was murdered with a rock.
What I find most troubling is the rush to act, to do something, anything, no matter if it is the right thing, or if it will actually do what it is proposed to do.
The fact is, nothing that I have heard proposed would actually stop even one person from killing another, in my opinion, because all of the laws will do nothing except punish someone after the fact.
We know that most, if not all, of the recent shooters have broken existing gun laws, yet some believe that if we only pass more laws we can stop future shooters.
Some think that if we reduce the size of a gun’s magazine capacity, then we will reduce the number of people killed in these types of events. Maybe, but are we saying that to kill only ten people as opposed to thirty is morally acceptable? And even so, if a person goes out and buys an illegal magazine, they are unlikely to be arrested until they use it in some other illegal act. So this means that if they buy it illegally, then they shoot up a school, the people are just as dead, even if the shooter is later charged with owning an illegal magazine. The same goes for banning certain types of guns.
Now let us talk about another favorite of those who would restrict gun ownership, background checks.
Some believe that if only every person who buys a gun would go through a background check, then there would be fewer gun crimes. Sorry but I don’t see this either.
If I buy a gun from a friend or a relative for home protection and never use it, then why should I be a criminal for having bought it? If on the other hand a person buys a gun on the street and then kills ten people with their legal sized magazine, how does charging them after the fact for not having gone through a background check solve anything, or help those murdered?
This would also do nothing to stop the cases where a person buys a gun and completely follows the letter of the law, is sane, has no criminal background, yet at some point after buying the gun has some mental breakdown and use the legally purchased gun with its legal sized magazine to kill ten people.
Now let us look to legislation that is being proposed by a Delaware state senator, Sen. Robert Marshall of Wilmington(D). Sen. Marshall has of course jumped onto the Democrat bandwagon of banning so-called assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, but he has gone even further in suggesting that along with any state restriction upon gun owners, that local town and counties within the state be given the authority to also impose even more gun owner restriction such as requiring local licensing laws.
This could mean that every town in the state could require a gun owner to apply for and of course pay for a separate license, or to totally ban guns from within their limits.
This is completely absurd. The logistical nightmare alone should be prohibitive of such a law. Under the proposal, the state would be in charge of setting the punishment for breaking these laws and in many cases for enforcing them, since many of these towns do not have their own law enforcement.
But let us look at this from the view-point of a gun owner. I would have to be aware of possibly thirty to forty different gun laws just to travel through the small state of Delaware, how many laws might I break just going from one side of Sussex County to the other? Not to mention people traveling through the state from other states.
Even if it was limited to just allowing the three counties to set their own restrictions, is this a good idea? Again I think not. I am a citizen of the state of Delaware, why should I be required to have a law degree just to be able to travel legally through my state with a weapon that I obtained legally and which I have a state permit to carry concealed.
There is of course much here to be supposed upon. Would this be a case of the stricter law taking precedent, so that if the state law is stricter then that is the law, or if the town law is stricter then that is the law.
Now before some of my fellow conservatives begin to see this as a way to gain more local control, think this out my friends.
I feel that of course it will be a case of the stricter laws taking precedent. So what that means is, if one town wants to pass a total ban on guns they will be allowed to do so, however if another town wished to allow gun owners to own high-capacity magazines and assault weapons they would not be allowed to because the state would have already banned them.
This clearly brings up a question of equal protection under the law. Is it equal protection under the law if one community has the power and authority to make and pass laws that reflect their views and wishes on gun issues, yet another community ten miles down the road is not afforded the same powers and authority?
Clearly Sen. Marshall is anti-gun, and I will give him the benefit of the doubt that he is in his own mind, acting in the best interest of the citizens of his district. However, I feel that if such legislation as he and others are proposing were to be passed, they would actually be putting the very people they profess to want to protect at the greatest risk. That is the law-abiding citizens, and they would be making criminals of those who would still seek to protect themselves, even at the risk of being made a criminal.
The final word as always on this topic is that criminals will always be criminals, we do not create fewer criminals when we rush to pass new and expanding laws, we create new criminal, and usually they are what in any other case would be considered law-abiding citizens.
I would ask the Delaware legislators to slow down, do not take the lead of Washington, please think about what it is you are doing and whether or not it is actually going to change anything, or are you simply acting so that you can say you acted this time, so that the next time, you have cover?
Don’t make a criminal out of me and my fellow citizens who simply want to protect our families and home. I am not a criminal, so don’t make me one.