According to supporters of Amendment 66, Colorado “isn’t keeping up” with education spending relative to “nearby states.” But these supporters have a funny idea of which states are “nearby” and which are not. They also use a dubious “adjustment” for “regional cost differences.”
When you look at actual per-pupil spending, Colorado spends more than do most other “nearby” states. Read my entire article over at Complete Colorado.
Of course, in this article I address only one tiny sliver of the debate over Amendment 66. Even if Colorado spent radically less per pupil on government-run schools, that would hardly count as a reason to spend more money on them. That’s a discussion for another day. But, at a minimum, I figured, those advocating higher taxes for government-run schools ought not use misleading statistics to make their case.
On September 10, voters in Colorado recalled two state senators, John Morse and Angela Giron. The next day, I Tweeted, “The reason Dems hate Constitutional recalls in CO: Recalls favor those with deep convictions over those with shallow, transitory opinions.” My suggestion was met a quick rebuke from someone I know and respect, who called my claim “intellectually dishonest” and “vapid.” But, as I replied at the time, “Clearly recalls favor the most committed voters.” And even various Democrats admit as much.
I wrote up a much longer version of my argument, and Complete Colorado published the resulting article on September 18. I argue that Democrats didn’t criticize the recalls merely as a matter of partisan cheerleading or because recalls are somehow an “abuse of the political process.” Instead, I argue,
The reason Democrats dislike recall elections—particularly when they involve a clash over guns—is that fewer people tend to vote in them. Thus, recall elections tend to favor voters with deeply held beliefs and strong political commitments—the type of voters who will go out of their way to participate in an election on an unusual day involving a single race.
Along the way, I show that the recalls involved no “voter suppression.” (I had also Tweeted that, to today’s Democrats, “voter suppression” seems to mean “That nefarious force always and everywhere at work whenever Democrats lose.”)
Complete Colorado has published my latest column about the murder of Tom Clements, former head of the Colorado Department of Corrections.
The details of the case are very disturbing; here are my concluding remarks:
Colorado’s prisons contain thousands of “active” gangsters who violently “target” each other while in prison. One of these gangs is the 211 Crew, a group of violent white supremacists that included [Evan] Ebel, that sent a Colorado judge into hiding, and that likely ordered the murder of Clements. . . . Even though Ebel violently assaulted a prison guard—a crime for which he was supposed to serve an additional four years—the government’s “clerical error” released him from prison early. After Ebel broke his ankle bracelet and went on the run, the government did nothing about it. Two days later, Ebel murdered a pizza delivery man for his uniform. Two days after that, Ebel murdered Clements at his home. Two days after that, Ebel nearly murdered a Texas law enforcement officer and attempted to murder many more.
In the midst of this chaos—of this fundamental incapacity of Colorado government to perform its central role of protecting the public from violent criminals—Colorado’s Democratic legislators and Colorado’s governor are largely concerned, not about cleaning up those obvious problems, but with redirecting government resources toward the tracking and monitoring of peaceable gun owners.
August 24, 2013
Peter Dinklage: “I Hate that Word, ‘Lucky’”
August 26, 2013
Alex Bogusky’s Self-Sacrificial “Buy American” Nonsense
September 1, 2013
Government Killed Buckyballs, Now Seeks to Destroy CEO, Too
The Objective Standard published an interview I conducted along with several of my book and film reviews in the Fall 2013 issue:
Umbehr says of his type of medical practice:
Patients want this. They want better care for less money. They want better value. They want more time with their doctors. They want quality and convenience and accessibility and all the things that we’re not offering to them right now. They want their doctors to answer the phone. They want their doctors to supply their medicine. They want their doctors to sit down and spend half an hour or an hour with them and not worry about what insurance is going to pay for or not pay for.
And here are my reviews (all largely behind paywalls):
August 4, 2013
The Government’s Obscene Assault on Apple
August 15, 2013
Harry Reid Confesses Truth About ObamaCare
August 16, 2013
NSA Domestic Spy Program Clearly Violates Citizens’ Rights
I never heard of fibroids until I learned early last year that my wife Jennifer had them. (Her mother had them as well, as did an aunt and a grandmother, so I think they’re at least partly genetic.) Fibroids of the uterus are what they sound like: Fibrous masses—noncancerous tumors—growing in the uterus. My wife had a lot of them, some of them quite large (up to six centimeters across).
Fibroids can do a variety of nasty things, such as interfere with pregnancy and cause heavy bleeding. My wife had severe anemia (for which she took iron pills), and she ended up in the emergency room once due to bleeding, which prompted us to get more serious about solving the problem.
The first OBGYN we visited (before the ER visit) wanted to cut out my wife’s uterus—do a hysterectomy—which struck me as an absurdly disproportionate “solution” relative to the problem. A hysterectomy would have required a six-week recovery, and obviously it would have made pregnancy impossible.
The second doctor my wife visited is an endocrinologist. He wanted to cut out the fibroids laparoscopically, through small slits in the abdomen. This was a considerably less-horrible alternative, but the problems were two-fold: a long recovery time and a high probability of regrown fibroids within a few years.
There is a lesson here: Don’t necessarily act on the first “expert” advice you hear from a doctor (or anyone else). The first doctor my wife saw gave her terrible advice. I chalk this up to the “hammer and nail” phenomenon: The first doctor happened to do hysterectomies, so that’s what she thought my wife needed. The second doctor happened to do laparoscopic surgery, so that’s what he thought my wife needed. In fact, she needed neither of those procedures.
Thankfully, we kept digging, and we learned about embolization. The idea is that a doctor runs a tube up through the main artery in your leg up to the uterus. Then the doctor strategically releases silicon particles to block or restrict the blood flow to the fibroids. Assuming this goes well, the fibroids shrink and are absorbed by or discharged from the body.
After a consultation and a preliminary MRI, Jennifer had the UFE procedure done by Spencer on September 6 of last year. At the six month mark she got a second MRI, and the results are very good, with some fibroids completely gone and most others significantly smaller. (The remaining fibroids are expected to continue to shrink.) Her monthly bleeding and cramping is radically less now than it was before, and her anemia is gone.
We were extremely happy with Spencer’s work and with her willingness to answer our questions in minute detail. Indeed, we were very happy with the service provided by everyone associated with RIA. Likewise, we were happy with the service provided at Littleton Medical Center, where the procedure and recovery took place.
We did have a slight hitch in the recovery. The hospital staff put Jennifer on a morphine-class drug (I believe synthetic) immediately after surgery, but the next day when they took her off of that drug and switched her nausea medication she experienced some abdominal pain and some violent vomiting. They put her back on the morphine-class drug, changed her nausea medication, and kept her a second night. So UFE is definitely not an out-patient procedure, but Jennifer was back to work five days later.
Obviously neither Jennifer nor I are doctors, so anyone reading this should consult with a qualified medical expert regarding any medical issue. That said, in our case, we’re extremely glad we pursued UFE, particularly through RIA. So thank you Dr. Spencer and team!
Leftist media critic Jason Salzman is “scared of guns” and ignorant about them. Given he has taken to writing about gun safety—and given he routinely writes about gun policy—I offered him an opportunity to learn what he’s talking about by attending a gun-safety class at my expense. Unfortunately, he has declined.
Yesterday I Tweeted to Salzman, “I offer to pay for your gun safety class we both agree to.” He replied, “You’re very kind, but I don’t own a gun and I dont want to spend the time on a class right now. Already too busy” (capitalization corrected).
I reiterated my offer to Salzman by telephone and mentioned that his lack of a gun wouldn’t be a problem, as he can use a loaner.
In short, although Salzman has the time to work toward the violation of the rights of gun owners, he does not have the time to learn about how guns operate or about gun safety.
My offer remains open, and Salzman knows how to reach me should he change his mind and accept it.
* * *
This morning I appeared on Peter Boyles’s radio program to discuss my Complete Colorado article, “Will Senator Morse Clarify His Remarks on Gun Owners Having ‘Sickness’ in Their ‘Souls’?” (You can find the audio file on the KNUS web page or on Podbean, July 30, third hour.) I discuss Salzman in that article, and Boyles discussed him extensively on his show; thus, I wanted to add a few additional notes about Salzman here.
Boyles spend much of the hour discussing a “fraudulent” contest in which Salzman played a role. I didn’t know anything about this (or I had forgotten whatever I’d heard about it), so I was not prepared to discuss the topic. After the show I did a bit of digging.
Westword‘s Michael Roberts confirms that Michael Huttner and ProgressNow “promised to give away a trip to Hawaii to the person with the best idea to improve America,” and Salzman was involved with this project. That prize was never awarded. Roberts writes that Salzman “was a contractor to ProgressNow’s national organization and had no role in the Hawaii contest beyond helping to publicize it.”
I asked Salzman if he wished to comment about the Hawaii prize or about his work now. He replied:
On the record, the Westword article is accurate about my role. Mike Huttner was my client, and I’m not authorized to talk about the project beyond what I’ve said.
I regularly post my work on ColoradoPols and Huffington Post. I used to post on Squarestate.net, which seems to have folded. Sometimes I post on other progressive outlets, and I try to get op-eds published in real-life newspapers.
As for the debate about Morse’s comments, I’ll have more to say about that at a later time.
The photo shows Jason Salzman, and I hereby release the photo under a “Creative Commons” license, with attribution and a link to this web page. —Ari Armstrong
In my latest Complete Colorado op-ed, I argue:
In context, [State Senator John] Morse does seem to imply that gun owners—at least those who robustly campaign for gun rights—have sick souls. If he meant something different from that—if he is prepared to say that rights-respecting people who own their guns of choice and who campaign for gun rights are perfectly moral to do so—now would be a great time for Morse to clarify his remarks.
I quote extensively from his March 8 comments in that article. If you still wonder about the complete context or the tone of his remarks, I have now put his entire speech on YouTube.
August 1 Update: Complete Colorado has published my follow-up article about Morse’s remarks. Morse did offer additional comments about his March 8 “sickness” speech with a March 13 release of the video of that speech. I summarize: “Although these additional remarks clarify that Morse was not claiming that all gun owners have a sickness in their souls, they do not retract Morse’s insinuation that many gun owners—namely, those who own the types of guns and gun magazines of which Morse disapproves and who campaigned against the Democrats’ anti-gun legislation—do have a sickness in their souls, in Morse’s view.” Read the complete follow-up for details.
- Dems Leave Making Sense of Gun Magazine Ban to Attorney General
- Robert Natelson on the Second Amendment and Colorado’s Legislature
Image: Wikimedia Commons
July 18, 2013
Texas Anti-Abortion Bill Abnegates Rights
Today Complete Colorado published my article reviewing the history of Colorado’s gun magazine ban, “Dems Leave Making Sense of Gun Magazine Ban to Attorney General.”
See also the web page of John Suthers (Colorado’s AG) for his media release and related documentation regarding his “technical guidance” for enforcing the legislation.
The points I make in the article include the following:
- Suthers offered the narrowest possible interpretation of the ambiguous phrases “continuous possession” and “readily convertible.” This means that gun owners can temporarily lend their 16-plus round magazines to others, and they can possess and transfer 15-minus round magazines that have removable baseplates.
- The fact that the legislation was poorly written comes as no surprise given its intent: to “spearhead a national gun control campaign orchestrated by the Obama administration and by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.”
- Suthers’s reading of the legislation runs contrary to the interpretation of the measure by its own sponsor, State Representative Rhonda Fields.
- The magazine legislation is still bad, in that it “violates the rights of peaceable gun owners to self-defense, to peaceable trade, and to private property.”
Image: John Suthers
June 22, 2013
We Already Have a “Media Shield”: The First Amendment
June 23, 2013
A Miraculous Pope?
June 26, 2013
Obama’s War on Energy Producers and Consumers
July 3, 2013
Don’t Delay ObamaCare—End It
July 6, 2013
Toast the Re-Legalization of Homebrewing
I have been using the trademark “Free Colorado” for many years, and I here assert my right to keep on using it.
Unfortunately, another group has called itself “Free Colorado,” and that group claims to be “a non-profit organization registered in the State of Colorado.” (I was not able to find a record of the group on the Secretary of State’s web page.)
This group could not possibly have failed to notice that I have registered “FreeColorado.com” or that I call my site “Free Colorado.”
Unfortunately, this other group lists no contact information on its web page, FreeColorado.net. And a “whois” search of that domain lists only Proxy, LLC of Arizona as the contact information.
I have nothing against this other group (other than it using my name), but I wish it had picked some other name, or at least asked me first if I’d sell them or give them the rights to call their group “Free Colorado.” At this point, I request that the group select some other name.
At this point, I want to clarify that I have nothing to do with this organization, and it has nothing to do with me (besides using my name without my permission).
The Objective Standard published several of my book and film reviews in the Summer 2013 issue:
Django Unchained (free)
The Intouchables (free)
The Sessions (free)
June 8, 2013
Our Spectacularly Improving World
June 16, 2013
Superman’s Moral Ambitiousness
Complete Colorado‘s Page Two recently published two of my articles.
Gun-restriction legislators displayed profound ignorance on subject
“Many of the Democrats supporting gun restrictions displayed profound ignorance about firearms, self-defense, and even their own bills.”
Bipartisan support for tax discrimination in Colorado legislature
“If the legislature wishes to create a business-friendly tax environment, it should establish lower taxes for every business, and make the effective tax rate the same for everyone.”
May 14, 2013
Gosnell Justly Convicted for Grisly Murders
May 15, 2013
IRS Violates Americans’ Rights Every Day
May 28, 2013
Zach Sobiech, Victim of Cancer, Lover of Life