Thursday, April 21, 2011

"Atlas Shrugged" Now At More Theaters

After racking up a respectable first week of box office grosses for an independently produced and distributed film, "Atlas Shrugged- Part 1" producers hope to increase the number of theaters showing it from the current 300 to about 1,000 by this weekend. This translates to more screens showing the film here in Iowa.  Here's an updated list:

Cedar Rapids

Carmike Wynnsong 12

2435 Edgewood Road SW, Cedar Rapids , IA 52404


Rave Motion Pictures 53-Davenport

3601 East 53rd Street, Davenport, IA 52807


Carmike Wynnsong 16

5233 Stoney Creek Road, Des Moines, IA 50131

Sioux City

Carmike Southern Hills 12

4400 Sergeant Road #15, Sioux City, IA 51106

West Des Moines

Century 20 Jordan Creek and XD

101 Jordan Creek Parkway, West Des Moines, IA 50266

Sunday, April 17, 2011

TSA Tyranny Update

Groping Kids on the Taxpayers' Dime

TSA: Making the world a safer place... one sobbing child at a time.

DHS: We Have the Authority to Routinely Strip-Search Air Travelers

According to the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC):
The Department of Homeland Security told a federal court that the agency believes it has the legal authority to strip search every air traveler. The agency made the claim at oral argument in EPIC's lawsuit to suspend the airport body scanner program. The agency also stated that it believed a mandatory strip search rule could be instituted without any public comment or rulemaking. EPIC President Marc Rotenberg urged the Washington, DC appeals court to suspend the body scanner program, noting that the devices are "uniquely intrusive" and ineffective. EPIC's opening brief in the case states that the Department of Homeland Security "has initiated the most sweeping, the most invasive, and the most unaccountable suspicionless search of American travelers in history," and that such a change in policy demands that the TSA conduct a notice-and-comment rule making process. The case is EPIC v. DHS, No. 10-1157.
TSA Agents Busted for Stealing From Checked Bags

According to the New York Post two TSA agents, Davon Webb and Couman Perad, were arrested in February for stealing $160,000 in cash from passenger luggage at JFK Airport.  According to the article, "Perad and Webb would screen bags looking for loot, then swipe the cash once the luggage was opened in a private screening room, sources said."  These two got caught, but a lot of luggage goes missing every year.

John Locke philosophised that man has three basic rights: to life, liberty and property.  From their invasive searches and gropings, it's clear that the TSA doesn't care about the American people's liberty.  When they're stealing from us, they apparantly don't care about our property.  Perhaps Congress should bring the TSA to heal before the other right on Locke's list begins to fall victim to abuse by the TSA or its sister agencies.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Atlas Shrugged Movie- Now In Theaters

The movie based upon Ayn Rand's classic novel "Atlas Shrugged" hit theaters today.  The book, a defense of laissez-faire capitalism, had been in Hollywood "development hell" for almost four decades before finally making it to the big screen.  Check out the trailer:

The film is currently playing at the following Iowa theaters:


Rave Motion Pictures 53

3601 East 53rd Street, Davenport, IA 52807

West Des Moines

Century 20 Jordan Creek and XD

101 Jordan Creek Parkway, West Des Moines, IA 50266

Check out the film's website to find the latest theaters and news about the movie.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Iowa DNR Proposes Ban on Lead Shot

Iowa’s Natural Resources Commission recently announced its intent to ban hunters’ use of lead shot on numerous state and federal wildlife areas across Iowa, except for use in turkey and deer hunting. The ban will also prohibit the use of lead shot in target shooting.

According to the Commission, the purpose of imposing this ban is to “begin limiting the use of lead for all hunting and fishing on all public areas”. The proposed ban would also designate three wildlife areas as completely “lead free,” including rifle ammunition and fishing tackle. The announcement does not mention any research showing that the use of lead shot is having a negative impact on the state’s wildlife populations. The DNR should base any proposals to restrict hunting on science, not politics and emotion. Unfortunately this is not the case in this instance.

This proposal should be treated as a statewide ban because of the size of the area it covers and because of the Commission’s intent to extend it to all public lands in the future. It is critical that the Commissioners hear strong opposition to its proposal from hunters, shooters, and anglers across the state. Written comments are being accepted until April 27 and can be sent to Dale Garner, Wildlife Bureau Chief, at

The Commission is not alone in advocating a ban on lead ammunition and fishing tackle. They are keeping company with anti-hunting extremists, anti-gunners, and radical environmentalists who are campaigning for a nationwide ban.

Lake Delhi- We Will Be Back- Trailer

Someone is making a documentary about Lake Delhi and the 2010 flooding and dam breach.  The trailer looks interesting.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hein Responds

In the previous post I discussed state Representative Lee Hein's apparent flip-flop on Constitutional Carry.  Hein emailed me back and rather than translate his position (and potentially put words in his mouth) I decided just to include our correspondence below.
Sent: Friday, April 01, 2011 9:13 PM
To: Hein, Lee [LEGIS]
Subject: Constitutional Carry

Dear Representative Hein:

I was disappointed to hear from Iowa Gun Owners that although you said you would support a "Constitutional Carry" bill while campaigning you now say that you will not. I realize that gun issues have gotten a lot of media attention and have become a contentious issue this year, but I hope that you will reconsider and SUPPORT Constitutional Carry as you originally said you would.

As you know, Constitutional Carry is a simple, straight forward idea. If passed, it simply permits anyone who is eligible to own a firearm to carry a firearm concealed without a permit. This legislation would not get rid of the current permit system, but it would merely give gun owners another option for exercising their right to bear arms. For reciprocity between states, citizens might still want a permit, but that’s their choice under the Constitutional Carry system. Constitutional Carry is currently law in Alaska, Arizona, Vermont and now Wyoming.

Again, please support Constitutional Carry in Iowa. Thank you for your time.

 Benjamin R. Cashner
[Address redacted]

Here's Hein's response, which I received April 4th:


I want you to hear my position on the Constitutional Carry bill. I would support the bill if they would add some education to the bill. I believe everyone who carries a firearm should understand the law before they get put into a situation. The education can be as simple as a pamphlet that they receive when they get the Right to purchase permit. I want to protect the average citizen who needs to understand the consquences [sic] of what can happen after he or she pulls and points the firearm.

I believe that law abiding citizens who wants [sic] to carry should be able to. What I do not want, is to have to put that citizen in prison because he did not understand the laws of the state of Iowa. I do not think this is to much to ask. I would like to hear your views on this.
Rep. Lee Hein

Lastly, here's my reply which was sent April 7th:

Dear Representative Hein:

Thank you for your prompt reply and for explaining your position on Constitutional Carry.  I'm still somewhat confused since I believe that HF 2241, which you expressed support for while campaigning, contained no education requirements for citizens who choose to carry firearms without a permit, which you now say is needed for your support.  Some are characterizing this as a deliberate misrepresentation on your part.

I can appreciate your not wanting citizens going to jail because they don't fully understand Iowa's self-defense laws.  While that danger would exist under a Constitutional Carry system, it already exists under current law.  I doubt, for instance, that many of the people now getting their permits to carry using their military discharge papers as proof of training received much instruction on the intricacies of Iowa weapons and self-defense laws.  Ultimately the duty to educate oneself resides with each individual.  With freedom comes responsibility.

If it turns out that some Iowans are going to jail because Iowa laws run contrary to the average Iowan's concept of what is "self-defense," then the laws need changed. (Your support of the Enhanced Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground bill was a good step in that direction.)

That said, if the state did want to create some type of public awareness campaign or pamphlet (as you suggest), that might not be a bad idea.  However, I don't think that the people's right to freely exercise their pre-existing Constitutionally-protected right to bear arms should be made contingent upon it.

Once again, thank you for your time.

Benjamin R. Cashner

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Lee Hein Backpedaling On Constitutional Carry?

Since I'm a newly-minted member of Iowa Gun Owners (IGO) who happens to live in state Representative Lee Hein's district, IGO Executive Director Aaron Dorr recently let me know of an about-face Hein has done on the issue of Constitutional Carry. 

When campaigning for the House District 31 seat against incumbent Democrat Ray Zirkelbach, Hein filled out IGO's candidate survey.  The very first question dealt with Constitutional Carry, IGO's pet issue.  It read: 
1. In 2010 the legislature passed SF2379 which took Iowa from a 'may issue' state, regarding permits to carry weapons, to a 'shall issue' state. This was an important first step. However, the REAL Right-to-Carry bill (HF2241) did not pass, falling 6 votes short in both chambers.  REAL Right-to-Carry recognizes that every law abiding citizen has the right to carry a gun, openly or concealed, for any reason they want to, except to commit a crime. Thus, with no government bureaucracy or license, Iowa citizens can defend themselves and criminals who use arms are severely punished. This is the law in Vermont, Alaska and most of Montana. This concept is close to becoming law in Arizona and Wyoming as well. If passed in Iowa, this law will allow thousands of people the right to carry a firearm for self-defense who currently are required to beg government permission, pass a class and shooting test every 5 years, pay fees, and be subject to a background check like a common criminal.

Would you support House File 2241 or similar legislation, known as Vermont carry legislation, which would allow all law abiding Iowans the right to carry a weapon, either concealed or openly, without having to first beg government permission as is done in several other states?
Hein answered in the affirmative.  Largely because of this promised support (and because Zirkelbach was no friend of gun owners) IGO supported Hein and spent their own money sending out mass mailings in his district urging gun owners to support him.  Hein eventually defeated Zirkelbach.  Now that he's safely in office, Dorr says that Hein has told him that he will NOT support any Constitutional Carry bill.

I don't want to give the idea that Hein is entirely bad on Second Amendment issues.  In a recent email he assured me that he would vote for the Enhanced Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground bill and the bill that would have prevented gun seizures during declared emergencies.  Perhaps Hein is only hearing the shrill squawking of the media and others in opposition to Constitutional Carry. 

If you live in Hein's district and support Constitutional Carry, please politely let him know that there IS support out there and that he should honor his campaign promise.  His email is and his capitol phone is 515-281-3221.

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