San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Friday, May 3, 2013

Brainless Ben Bernanke

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is brainless.  He says amazingly stupid things all the time.  His understanding of economics is infantile, at best.  His brainlessness and the position of power that he holds is a dangerous combination.  As the "chief banker" for the Socialist Democracy of America, he is particularly positioned to do economic harm to the citizens of this land.  He should recognize his radical inability and resign immediately.  He won't, of course.  Instead he makes speeches and says things like he said yesterday.
According to Bernanke in a speech he made yesterday, "fiscal policy is restraining economic growth".  I must give Ben credit when credit is due.  He got it half right.  His reference to "fiscal policy" is a reference to the taxing and spending programs of the Obama kingdom.  When he alleges that King Obama's tax policies are harming economic growth, he is telling the truth.  Read yesterday's post to this blog entitled "Two Ironclad Economic Truths" for a further discussion of this economic reality.  Whenever something is taxed you will inevitably get less of that item.  Ben is right, higher taxes are hurting the economy.  Where Bernanke falls off the economic cliff, however, is when he alleges that budget cuts due to the "sequester" are causing economic harm.  He could not be further from the truth.
Chairman Ben is a Keynesian.  That means he believes that he can direct the overall economy of the SDA by means of monetary policy.  Monetary policy, for a Keynesian, always means one thing....inflation.  Keynesians like Ben see the solution for every economic problem in the creation of more money.  Ben has been involved in a massive build up of money for the past several years.  The policies that he has instituted at the Federal Reserve have resulted in an expansion of the monetary base that dwarfs previous monetary expansions.  Look at the graph below which shows the increase in the monetary base for the past ten years:

FRED Graph

Strangely, Ben's inflationary policies have not brought about a massive increase in prices.  Why not?  Under normal conditions an increase in the supply of money will devalue the dollar and increase prices.  That is not taking place on a scale anywhere commensurate with the rate of expansion of the monetary base.  The money supply in circulation has disconnected from the monetary base.  Look at this graph of M2, the most popular measure of the money in circulation, as it shows the expansion of the money supply in circulation over the past 10 years:

FRED Graph

If all of that money is not going into the economy, just where is it going?  The answer is not hard to find.  Federal reserve banks are sitting on all of that money.  They are keeping it on deposit with the Federal Reserve and earning a small rate of interest for doing so.  In other words, Ben Bernanke is creating massive amounts of dollars and the banks that are receiving those dollars are putting them right back into their accounts with the Federal Reserve where they earn risk-free interest.  Look at this graph of excess reserves on deposit with the Federal Reserve for the past 10 years:

FRED Graph

Despite the fact that Ben's money is not making it into the economy (which is actually a very good thing since it would create very high levels of inflation), crazy Ben continues to create more dollars.  He believes that he needs to create more dollars because the Federal government has cut spending (not actually true as we all know....all the Federal government has done is decrease the rate of increase of spending).  He believes that lower government spending will inevitably result in reduced economic growth.  It is at this point wild-man Ben shows his most extreme ignorance.
Government spending does not create economic growth.  Why not?  Because every dollar that the government spends must first be extracted from the taxpayers or created by the Federal reserve as inflationary purchasing media.  In other words, every dollar spent by the government first comes out of the pocket of the citizens of the SDA who would have most certainly done something with that dollar if the government had not taken it.  The absolute best the government can hope for is having no impact upon economic growth.  That, of course, never happens.  Government, being the highly inefficient beast that it is, finds it impossible to conduct a net zero sum transaction.  As a result, all government intervention in the economy will end up creating less "growth" than would have been truly created if the money had not been first taken from the taxpayers. 
Ben's belief that lower amounts of government spending is harming the economy is dead wrong.  The best possible scenario would be if the federal government would cease to exist and there would be no federal spending at all.  While we wait for that to happen the next best scenario is for government to spend less.  While we wait for that to happen the next best scenario is for the government to decrease its rate of spending increase.  That is what we are enjoying today.  Despite the protestations of crazy Ben, it is good for us and it is good for the economy.  Fiscal restraint is not harming economic growth in the SDA, despite what the Fed Chairman would have you believe. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Two Ironclad Economic Truths

There are many economic axioms in our world.  In his book, Man, Economy and State, Murray Rothbard elucidates most of those axioms in a way the average reader can readily understand.  Today's post to this blog will focus upon two very important axioms that he describes.  The first is that if you want less of something you should tax it.  The second is that if you want more of something you should subsidize it.  Allow me to illustrate these economic truths with examples from our daily lives.
In 2008 the federal government changed the name of its welfare program that provided access to food at taxpayer expense.  The program had previously been called "food stamps"  The name was changed to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, to lessen any social stigma that might have been associated with being on the taxpayer dole.  Food stamps are issued to anyone who can prove to the government that they are unable or unwilling to purchase food for themselves.  In the past the stamps would come as a coupon book which could be used at grocery stores and was as good as cash.  These days food stamp recipients receive the equivalent of a credit card for their purchases.
As would be expected in any government program, SNAP is rife with fraud.  The money is not supposed to be used to purchase alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs but enterprising recipients of the government largess figure out ways to make those purchases anyway.  That, however, is not the point of this post.  We are constantly being told by our government handlers that the citizens of the Socialist Democracy of America are suffering from an epidemic of obesity.  We are told that we are getting fatter and fatter all the time.  If that is true, and I will assume that it is, would you not therefore rationally believe that the need for food stamp subsidies would be decreasing at a steady rate?  After all, if folks are getting fatter all the time it is hard to argue that they are also going hungry at the same time.
Ah, but I am being rational.  We are talking about a government program here.  Rational thought does not apply to this situation.  Despite the fact that people are eating more food and consuming more calories all the time, the fact remains that the food stamp program is exploding.  In 2000 there were less than 20 million people receiving food stamps out of a population of 281 million.  That means a little less than 7% of the citizens of the SDA were getting food stamps in that year.  That still seems like a huge percentage to me but it was not enough for the good folks who administer the food stamp bureau.  Those career government employees understand that their jobs are dependent upon getting more people hooked on food stamps.  Getting people hooked on free government handouts is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel.  Once King Obama came to the throne the rules for food stamp distribution were changed.  More people needed to be placed on the government dole.  King Obama succeeded in his attempt to enslave more citizens via the food stamp program.
By the end of 2012 there were almost 48 million people receiving food stamps.  That represents 1 out of every 7 citizens of the SDA.  That comes to net payments of $134 per month in government subsidies for each person on welfare.  115 million households, representing 18% of all SDA households, now receive food stamps.  Total expenditures for the program in 2012 were $81 billion, up from $30 billion just four years earlier.
What do we conclude? When you subsidize something you get more of it.  The federal government subsidizes "hunger", whatever that is.  As a result of that subsidy we have more "hunger" in the land than we ever have before.  We have more hunger in spite of the fact that we also have record levels of obesity.  The food stamp program is a perfect example of a government subsidy creating the reason for its own existence.
On the other hand, taxing things makes them go away.  Taxes on income cause people to work less. Taxes on international trade cause people to trade less.  Taxes on particular goods cause people to buy less of those particular goods.  Taxes on luxury items result in less luxury items being sold.  Taxes on hotels cause a reduction in total rooms rented.  A tax is a barrier to trade and will always result in a lower amount of trade taking place.  Raising taxes on anything will always result in less of that thing being around.
Congress is considering a tax on internet transactions.  The federal beast is hungry for money and internet sales is a gigantic source of potential revenue.  This issue has come up in the past and enough Congressmen had the good sense to refuse to allow a tax on internet sales to pass.  I do not know how it will turn out this time.  All I do know is that taxing internet transactions is a bad idea.  It will necessarily result in less internet trade.  Less internet trade means lower sales for many companies.  Lower sales means less demand for goods and services produced by those companies who sell their wares via the internet.  Simply put, a tax on internet transactions will necessarily result in reduced economic growth.  Jobs will be lost, incomes will drop and a recession could be the result.
Particularly irritating about the concept of taxing internet sales is how it would be administered.  I have read that there are over 9600 separate taxing authorities in the SDA.  Any company that rings up a sale via the internet will be required to determine which of those 9600 taxing authorities has a right to a sales tax on the transaction just conducted.  Then that tax will have to be collected and sent to the proper authority.  Each company doing business on the internet will be expected to keep up with tax rate changes in each of those 9600 taxing authorities and make sure that all taxes collected are collected at the correct rate.  Even in today's era of super-computers, that seems like an impossible task to me.
In what is a surprisingly common bit of political hypocrisy, career politicians who campaigned (translated:  lied to you in order to get your vote) on the platform of seeking to foster economic growth are now seeking to hinder economic growth via the internet tax.  Government revenues are at stake here.  When government officials see a big fat goose just waiting to be plucked it is too much to ask for them to look the other way.  The result will be less economic growth and a lower GDP.
Despite the fact that subsidizing something will always result in an increase of that thing and taxing something will always result in less of that thing, career politicians spend most of their careers taxing and subsidizing things.  It is the nature of the beast.  It is what they do.  In some ways there is no reason to get angry with them for doing what they do since it is the very essence of their natures.  Anger should be directed at the sheep passing as people, or sheeple, who continue to participate and encourage the system.  That would be us folks. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Gross Hypocrisy At The IRS

The April 26th edition of the Denver Post had a letter to the editor from Roy Myles of Thornton.  Mr. Myles is President of the National Treasury Employees Union, Chapter 32.  I didn't realize that there is a National Treasury Employees Union, Chapter 32 (or any other chapter for that matter).  I guess job conditions are so bad at the Treasury that the employees there had to form a union to protect themselves from the evil onslaughts of their government supervisors.  Do you find it as curious as I do that the majority of union members today are in government union organizations?  If government jobs are as cushy as we are told they are (higher wages, better benefits, larger pensions, more favorable working conditions), why would employees of the various government bureaus need a union to represent them?  It makes no sense to me.  But the issue of unions and government jobs is not the focus of today's post to this blog.  IRS hypocrisy is.
Here is some of what Mr. Myles had to say in his letter to the Post, "The Internal Revenue Service will close all of its public operations on five separate days between now and August 30, telling its employees to stay home on unpaid furlough days.  These closings will severely impact taxpayers and IRS employees.   On these days, taxpayers will not be able to get help from the IRS on the telephone, nor will the agency's Taxpayers Assistance Centers be open around the country (emphasis added)."  Did I get that right?  Mr. Myles believes that closing IRS centers will have a negative impact upon taxpayers?  How can anyone in his right mind believe that the temporary closure of the world's largest citizen harassment bureau will have a negative impact upon taxpayers?  We rejoice when the IRS is closed. Several people that I know are having "The IRS Is Closed Today" parties.  I expect other people will just walk around with huge smiles on their faces on the days the IRS is closed.   Please, please, close it more often.  In fact, do us all a huge favor and close it forever!  How disconnected from reality must Mr. Myles be to believe that the taxpayers will be saddened by IRS closures?
I had to wait for a couple of minutes prior to writing this paragraph.  I was laughing so hard I could barely contain myself.  Mr. Myles believes that taxpayers who telephone the IRS actually get through to an IRS agent! He believes that taxpayers who call the IRS actually get "help from the IRS on the telephone"!  Ha! Ha! Ha!  Does anybody reading this blog have any story to tell in which you actually got through to an IRS agent on the telephone who really helped you?  I know of several people who died of old age while waiting on "hold" for an IRS agent.  I know of several other people, generally younger folks, who did manage to get through to an agent.  They all tell me horror stories of how they received conflicting tax advice from the various IRS agents.  They also tell me horror stories about how the implementation of the advice they received resulted in massive future problems with the IRS.  They all tell me how the agents at the IRS are granted legal immunity for the bad advice that they disseminate to unsuspecting callers.  Yet, Mr. Myles continues to believe that we taxpayers are saddened by the IRS closures and the fact that we will not be able to talk to them a couple of days this year.  
Mr. Myles is not content to merely misrepresent the IRS. He is not content to be self-serving and ask us to agree that he should be paid more than the rest of us.  He is not simply willing to tell us that IRS employees should be exempt from economic conditions.  He goes on to spout some economic ideas that border on the insane.  He writes, "The closing also will seriously impact our community.  In Colorado, 982 IRS employees...will suffer pay cuts from these unpaid furlough days.  This will hurt not only employees and their families, but businesses in town."  Let me get this straight.  Roy believes that giving 982 IRS employees five unpaid holidays is going to bring about the next recession?  He fails to mention that three of the five days are just before or after federal holidays for which he is paid.  I have a hard time believing that any of these poor IRS employees will perceive their furloughs as anything more than an extended vacation.  Fortunately, at least this time, the vacation days will not be at taxpayer expense. 
Most amazing to me is the fact that Roy believes that the impact of the IRS furloughs will "impact the businesses in town."  I suspect he means that the furlough days will negatively impact the businesses in town.  I can hardly conceive how that could be true.  Imagine this....982 IRS employees, set loose on the city with nothing to do for an additional five days per year.  I suspect most of them will stay home, hunched over their desks punching at adding machines in a vain attempt to audit their family budgets.  A few of them may venture out to the mall.  There they will see all sorts of shiny things in the store fronts.  They will undoubtedly rush inside and buy those shiny things.  Yes, it is true.  The furloughs will have an impact upon the businesses in town.  Many businesses will sell more shiny things to people with thick glasses and no suntans.
Roy concludes by telling us that, "Congress must stop the sequester and provide the IRS and other federal agencies with the resources they need to stay open and serve the public."  What is the IRS doing to "serve the public" after April 15th?  Nothing!  In fact, the IRS does not serve the public prior to April 15th, unless you consider spending hours on hold to get bad advice about the tax law to be a public service.  After April 15th all the IRS is doing is harassing taxpayers with unnecessary audits designed to squeeze out the last penny we have.  Roy does not seem to understand that we do not like him, his agency or his union.  We want nothing to do with the IRS.  The fact that he persists in the mistaken belief that the IRS serves the public only proves that he is delusional.  The fact that he believes he deserves to be paid for the congressionally mandated furlough days illustrates the gross hypocrisy that is on daily display at the IRS.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Jason Collins Isn't Jackie Robinson

I opened my Denver Post this morning and was treated to this front page headline, "NBA's Collins comes out as gay."  The sub-headline stated, "Veteran NBA center Jason Collins, 34, is the first gay man in major sports to come out while still active in the sport."  Get ready to label me  homophobic.  Get ready to call me harsh and intolerant.  Get ready to dismiss my views outright simply because they are not politically correct.  I do not see what all the fuss is about and I certainly do not see why the coming out of Jason Collins should be front page news.
I believe homosexuality is a sin.  Most people do not care what I believe and that is just fine with me.  I do not care what most people believe either.   If the polls are correct, about half of the citizens of the Socialist Democracy of America agree with me and the other half do not.  I do not care what those who advocate for homosexuality believe and I would expect that they would not care about those issues for which I am an advocate.  Although the biblical punishment for homosexual behavior is death, we do not live in a theonomic state so I say, given the circumstances, live and let live.  God will sort it all out in the end.  Then we will see who is right and who is wrong.  Then we will see if what we have believed is correct or not.  
The front page article went on to say that "he becomes the first active male player in the four major U.S. pro sports to come out."  Collins is quoted as saying, "I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport.  But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation.  I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, 'I'm different.'  If I had my way, someone else would have already done this.  Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand."
Militant homosexuals are extremely hypocritical.  On the one hand they insist that homosexuals are just like everybody else and should be treated as equals.  On the other hand they say that homosexuals are heroic role models simply because they are homosexuals.  Which is it?  I am told that homosexuals make up a small, but significant, minority group within our population.  I am told that they are just like everyone else....they love, they hate, they work, they play, they eat, they drink, they sleep, they go for walks, they like baseball, they vote, and they own digital watches.  Since they are so much like everyone else they should be treated like everyone else.  I can go along with that.  Since I make it my business to ignore the people around me I also make it my business to ignore the homosexuals around me.  That is where the trouble starts.
Since I am unwilling to deem homosexuals to be both tragic and heroic figures who are on the front line of social change I am defined as homophobic.  Let me make this very clear.  I am not homophobic.  I have never had a fear reaction when in the presence of a homosexual.  In fact, I may have come into contact with a couple of them over the years and in every instance when I have, I have not run screaming from the room in a blind panic.  Neither did I break into the cold sweat so often associated with phobic reactions.  I just don't see what makes homosexuals so special and I certainly do not see why some fellow in the NBA announcing that he is a homosexual should make the front page of the Denver Post.
I am (was) a redhead.  I am a Welsh redhead.  I am a Welsh redhead who lives in the Denver metropolitan area.  I am a Welsh redhead who lives in the Denver metropolitan area who works as a janitor.  I didn't set out to be the first Welsh  redhead who lives in the Denver metropolitan area who works as a janitor.  But since I am, I am happy to start the conversation.  I wish I wasn't the kid in the room who is raising his hand and saying, "Heh, look at me, I am a Welsh redhead living in the Denver metropolitan area who works as a janitor", but I am and I am saying "I'm different."  Now what do you think?  If I called the Denver Post with my story of uniqueness, do you think I would make the front page of tomorrow's edition?  Of course not.  Why not?  Because being a member of a unique minority does not give me celebrity status.  However, when the minority is that group of people who call themselves homosexuals, celebrity status is automatically attached and we are all expected to perceive them as heroic figures.  I don't and I don't see why I should.  Until someone is willing to recognize the inherent heroic nature of my unique life I will not grant an inherent heroic nature to a homosexual's life. 
My response to Mr. Collin's coming out party is, so what?  Why is any of this my business?  Why do I care if he likes men, women, cats, dogs or fish?  Why do I care anything about his personal life?  Why is his personal life being trumpeted on the front page of the paper?   And, most importantly, why is his coming out party being assessed to be a heroic action on his part?  It is not.  He is simply saying that he is sexually attracted to men.  Who cares?  What does that have to do with anything?  Why are we even having this conversation?  I just don't get it.  Homosexuals say they want to be treated just like everyone else and when they are treated just like everyone else they get mad because they are not being treated as if they are different from everyone else.  Let them be treated like everyone else.  They are not heroes.  They are not forging a new society.  They are just people. If I cared about the NBA, and I do not, I would be far more interested in Colllins' statistics.  Is he a good rebounder?  What is his shooting percentage?  Can he defend the perimeter?  Those are things that should matter.  The fact that he likes men is irrelevant.
I was not going to write about Collins in this blog today.  I didn't think it was important enough to write about.  What finally drove me over the edge is the implicit comparison of Collins to a true heroic figure from our past, Jackie Robinson.  I have not yet seen the movie "42" but I plan on seeing it soon.  I have read the reviews of the movie and, of course, I know the story of Jackie Robinson.  Do you want a heroic figure who changed society?  Jackie Robinson is a fantastic role model.  Robinson suffered in silence as he courageously broke the race barrier in Major League baseball.  His story is a story of amazing hardship and persecution.  His story is a story of amazing perseverance and courage.  His story is a story of amazing ability and eventual triumph over evil forces in society that kept him down simply because of his race.  Jackie Robinson was different.  Jackie Robinson was unique.  Jackie Robinson was a tragic and heroic figure.  If you want a front page story, retell the story of Jackie Robinson.  Leave the homosexual Jason Collins out of it.  Jason Collins is no Jackie Robinson.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Bring On Continuous Martial Law

Last week I wrote about how the state of martial law that was imposed upon the residents of Boston was both unconstitutional and immoral.  I also wrote that it was a gross overreaction on the part of career politicians and para-military police forces to order all residents of the Boston area to stay in their homes while fourth amendment violating searches were conducted on a door-to-door basis in their neighborhoods.  Not all people agreed with me.  In fact I suspect most people disagreed with me.  The prime reason why most people would disagree with what I wrote is because we do not share the same presupposition about the role of government in our lives.  Most people believe that it is the primary duty of government to ensure their personal security.  Related to that belief is the additional presupposition that government can actually accomplish that task.  Most people are fools.  They are willing to give up their right to freedom in exchange for a promise to be protected from the boogie-man.   Government cannot and will not protect you from harm.  It is not even capable of doing so.  The founding fathers of this nation instituted government for one reason and one reason protect our God given rights to life, freedom and our property.  The idea that government agents should be patrolling the streets in armored cars and carrying machine guns in order to protect us from the bad guys never entered the minds of the founding fathers (if they could have conceived of armored cars and machine guns).
Margaret Roberts of Denver disagrees with me.  She wrote to the Denver Post on Saturday to express her great pleasure and satisfaction with the state of martial law that was imposed upon Boston two weeks ago.  She was responding to a previously written letter in which a man took exception to the imposition of martial law.  She wrote, "Letter writer Reed Makazono's comments on the 'shelter in place' request that Boston area citizens stay home during last Friday's manhunt for the Boston Marathan bombing suspect show an ignorance of U.S. history.  Martial law has been invoked many, many times in our nation's history, rightly or wrongly, and is well within the purview of our top elected leaders....This notion that trained law enforcement officers and military, who every single day lay their lives on the line, cannot adequately protect us was shown to be a total lie by the events in Boston and Watertown."  Wow!  There is so much wrong with what Ms. Robert's has written I barely know where to begin the stinging criticism.  Still, I will make an attempt.
Notice how she softens the stark reality of the imposition of martial law on Boston residents.  She calls it "shelter in place".  Goebbles would be proud.  It is not martial law.  It is shelter in place.  It is not a military force standing in the street in front of your house, pointing machine guns at your front door and barking orders at you.  It is a peaceful group of armed men who love you and want to protect you from harm and bad guys.  Furthermore, the shelter in place order was not really an order.  According to her it was a "request".  I watched video of armed bands of thugs screaming orders at ordinary citizens, commanding them to get inside their homes.  It did not look like many requests were being made to me.
The most reprehensible sentence in Ms. Robert's letter states that she believes that our political and para-military leaders are above the law.  In fact, she believes that  they are the source of our morality.  She writes in regards to the invocation of martial law that, "rightly or wrongly, (martial law) is well within the purview of our top elected leaders."  She admits that the imposition of martial law can be wrong, but it is sanctified and made right when a politician imposes the order.  Why?  Because politicians have wrongly imposed martial law in the past!  So, according to Ms. Roberts, a career politician can order me to do anything he wants me to do simply because he is a career politician.  His authority to order me around, under penalty of law for disobedience to his direct order, is even more powerful if other politicians have ordered people around in the past.  Am I the only citizen of the Socialist Democracy of America who bristles at this concept?
Ms. Roberts repeats the tired old refrain that any government employee who wears a uniform is a hero who "places his life on the line everyday".  According to her, once an ordinary citizen puts on a government costume he suddenly becomes a super-hero capable of amazing feats of personal protection.  She goes so far as to assert that the para-military attack upon the citizens of Boston by SDA armed forces was an example of how the government is capable of protecting us from bad guys.  What a delusional woman Ms. Roberts must be.
Here are the facts.  On average, 40 people are murdered in the SDA every single day.  On average, the 30 largest cities in the SDA have a murder in them every day.  If it is the job of the para-military police and federal law enforcement patrols to keep us safe, why are they doing such a terrible job?  Why are they seemingly incapable of stopping this daily barrage of murders?  If they are omniscient and omnipotent, as Ms. Roberts believes them to be, why are dozens of innocent people still being murdered on a daily basis?   Ms. Robert's belief that the Boston incident is proof-positive that the government can protect all of our lives is, in addition to being delusional, not consistent with the facts.  She seems to quickly forget that the younger bomber was actually captured as a direct result of the behavior of one Boston citizen who refused to cower in his home.  And, gasp, he is also a  member of the pariah class.  He is a smoker!  This evil Boston smoker stepped outside to have a smoke and noticed that something was wrong with the cover on his backyard boat.  Calling the police eventually lead to the capture of the younger bomber.
If it is the job of the para-military police forces in the Socialist Democracy of America to protect the lives of every citizen in the land and if 40 people per day are being killed in the largest cities in this land, then it necessarily follows that martial law should be permanently imposed on each and every city in which a murder takes place.  That state of martial law should continue until each and every murderer is caught.  Even as I write this I can hear the guffaws!  How stupid the Mad Welshman must be.  Does he not realize the lunacy of what he is calling for?  What an idiot!  I must respectfully disagree.  What makes the Boston situation any different than any other city in which innocent citizens are killed by evil people?  If you are going to argue that martial law should only be imposed when innocents are killed with homemade bombs, the burden of proof is on your back to show why that should be the case.  Isn't all life sacred?  Isn't it the duty of government to protect all life?  What difference does it make what weapon is used in taking an innocent life?  If the imposition of martial law can catch a murdered, then martial law should be continuously imposed until all murderers are caught.  Bring on a continuous state of martial law in every major city of the SDA until we are all safe from bad guys forever!