Commentary on the WA GOP Legislative Priority List
And now, the promised commentary on the state GOP legislative agenda. This commentary comes from the point of view of a small 'L' libertarian/Goldwater Republican who harbors thoughts of running for the legislature himself after he retires from the Army. Some of my suggestions on what they should be pushing in their areas they're choosing to concentrate on are not doable, politicaly, right now, because the GOP is in the minority in both houses. That doesn't mean they're not good ideas, and it doesn't mean you can't sharpshoot me.
Restore Tax and Spending LimitsThis is largely a response to the Dems using "emergency spending" to go around the requirements, put it by citizen initiative, for supermajority approval of spending increases beyond inflation + population growth. My proposal: increase the supermajority from the current 2/3 to 3/4 (as per the original initiative) and add a requirement for a 3/4 supermajority to declare any spending or tax increase an "emergency." Chance of passing: nil.
Sex Offenders The GOP wants to increase the sentence for child rape to an automatic 25 years to life. Personally, I think forcible rape/sodomy of a child should be a capital crime, 25 to death. As reported by the AnalogKid, Republicans in the House managed to maneuver their proposal, House bill 2476, to a floor vote Monday, only to have it voted down on a party line vote, 58-42.
Apparently the Dems think that the sentence should be lighter if the
sick perverted bastard rapist was somehow known to the victim-ie, a relative, friend, neighbor, priest, teacher, coach, etc.-the sentence should be less, reasoning that victims might be reluctant to testify if they know that daddy will be going to prison for 25 years. They think the sentence in such cases should be less.
Excuse me? Some sick freak takes advantage of a child's trust and the sentence should be LESS? What planet are these idiots from? (Oh yeah, Seattle. Right.) If the rapist is known to the victim, that should be a sentence ENHANCEMENT of at least 10 extra years, minimum. Besides which, the Dems reasoning is, IMO, flawed. Think about it: you're a kid who's been raped by someone you know. Would you feel safer, and thus more willing to testify, if you knew that they'd be locked up for 25 years, or if they'd be free to come see you again in 10?
And on to reporting requirements for registered sex offenders who have completed their sentences: I'm not sure what the current requirements are, but they seem pretty lax, especially for offenders who report that they are "homeless." I don't know what the requirements are now, but "homeless" offenders should be required to report daily. If they have to hire more parole officers, that's fine. And failure to report as required should carry a stiff penalty, say 5 more years in prison, and count as an automatic 'strike' under the 3 Strikes law.
Crime & Punishment The GOP's listed priorities here are car theft, ID theft, and meth labs. I really don't have a problem with any of those. WA state is way to lax on car theft, a crime that in my book is the equivalent to stealing horses in the frontier days, and which should carry similar penalties. ID theft is, in my opinion, an extremely nasty crime, and perpetrators should be flogged (Yes, I believe in capital punishment. Future political opponents take note.) Though I'm personally in favor of drug legalization (and taxation), meth labs are extremely dangerous and extremely toxic. Make 'em comply with all the normal zoning laws, environmental impact statements, and so on that any chemcial manufacturer has to, I say.
Property RightsFile these under "Things that would be slam dunks as Initiatives, but will die ingloriously in the Legislature because Seattle Dems don't like them."
-Kelo protection: ensure that the state constitution specifies that "public use" means actual publicly owned structures and/or facilities, and does not include things like sports stadia and arenas.
-Land Use Rules: Washington needs a law similar to Oregon's Measure 37. I'd write it so that if changes are made to land use laws and/or zoning rules for a particular piece of property, which were in effect when that property was purchased, which lower the value of said property, then the government must either compensate the property owner, or exempt them from the rules change.
Example: you own a piece of rural land, say 25 acres, with a stream and loggable trees on it. The rules in effect when you bought the land put a 25 yard buffer on development near the stream. Other than that, the rules allow you to subdivide the lot into 1 acre parcels and build single family homes on it. Then the county decides that the buffer zone for streams needs to be increased to 100 yards, with no commercial logging within 250 yards. This would lower the value of your land considerably. Under my proposed law, the county would either have to compensate you for the lowered value, or allow the rules that were in place when you bought the land to remain in effect for your land.
OK, #2 is being cranky. More on the rest of the agenda later.
I Love My Wife, Part VIII
And this time, it's not about guns. It is about, believe it or not, our diaper bag.
My older son (for those who aren't longtime readers, last week's arrival is #2. The elder is Jr.) got sick this week, nasty cold/flu type thing, lots of phlegmy coughing waking him up at night. (A newborn and a sick toddler in the house is also why I haven't had much time for blogging.) Anyway, it fell to me to take him to see the doctor. Since there was no telling how long the visit would take, and Jr isn't potty trained yet, that meant taking the diaper bag along.
But, because my wife is the wonderfully cool and amazing woman that she is, our diaper bag isn't one of those foofy, baby blue things adorned with teddy bears, etc.
Nope, our diaper bag is woodland camoflage.
I love you babe.
For All You EBR Nuts
There a nice picture of a kitted-out M4 in theater over at The Castle.
By my view, he's sporting a Harris bipod, a Surefire of some type (note the IR filter that's in the open position), an unidentified (by me, at least) scope (traditional glass, not a CQB type) and what looks to be a mount for something right behind the front sight.
Notably absent: BUIS, and either a PAQ-4B/C or PEQ-2A. He may have his carry handle on the left side barrel rail, which I've seen done when BUIS weren't available.
Via The Castle. Authenticity unverified, but still good.
"December 9, 2005 (CNN) While interviewing an anonymous Special Forces soldier, A Reuters news agent asked the soldier what he felt when sniping members of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. The soldier shrugged an replied, "Recoil." "