The Klamath County League of Women Voters are petitioning to change County Commissioner positions from being partisan to nonpartisan. The exact question they are asking to be put on the ballot is
"Should all county commissioner positions become nonpartisan beginning in 2013?"
According to their editorial in the Herald & News, the League of Women Voters believe that the current process is "unfair." The way they are using the term unfair is to mean they can't do what they want to do — have more of an impact on the primary system than they do now. If you look at the article, our colleague A. Smith has done a nice job explaining why using the term unfair in this way is dishonest (as is their entire public reasoning). You can view his commentary here.
When you hear the words Subsidy or Grant what first comes to mind? Thoughts of a benefactor giving generously to a noble cause? A charity getting money to help it achieve some worthy goal? The community benefiting from an outside contributor?
Words have meaning. Using language properly helps to successfully communicate a particular message or idea. However, language can also be twisted so that one can say a particular thing and yet mean something entirely different. Political scientists call this twisting of words, to say one thing but mean another, propaganda. The Nazi's and Soviets were masters at this game. For example, the Soviet paper was called "Pravda" and pravda means truth in Russian. However, the paper was anything but true in its reporting. It was filled with Soviet lies about America, the West and how wonderful life was in the Soviet Union.
Another group that is good at twisting words and meaning are liberals. Unfortunately their success has made it so we don't stop to think what really is happening. We just accept what is said as good and noble and move on with our day. For example, the words subsidy or grant has a positive meaning in our culture. If your industry or organization receives either, it means your group is doing something right, something well and we should all be thankful for your efforts. However, that is only true when it is a private subsidy or private grant. Private subsidies and grants come from organizations that have created wealth in the free market place. They have created a good or service that people like and in return freely given their money for said product or service. Furthermore the organization has done so in such a way to make a profit. Those profits have accumulated and now that organization decides to give back to the community in the form of a subsidy or a grant. In other words a gift. It can be in the form of a scholarship, in the form of matching funds, or just a lump sum. Private gifts are good things. They are voluntary. They are of free will. They allow for the full expression of liberty.
There has been a lot emotion and bloviating since the tragedy at Sandy Hook elementary school. The main theme has been how to prevent the Sandy Hook tragedy from ever happening again. Both the Right and the Left have been strongly advocating their solutions to solve this problem.
For conservatives the Second Amendment is sacrosanct and therefore removing guns from law abiding citizens isn't the answer. The Right argues that if more people carried weapons, if schools weren't "Gun Free Zones" but if there were trained teachers and administrators who were armed, Sandy Hook would not have been nearly as bad — if it had even happened at all. Most of these murders are cowards at heart. That is why they take their own lives in the end. They only prey on the helpless and a school full of children, without armed adults to defend, is an easy target to make their point —whatever sick point that may be. If schools were armed by trained adults who worked at the school everyday, such murders would think twice, three times or just give up before trying. They wouldn't be able to roam the halls and shoot whomever stood in their way, because around the next corner might be someone who will shoot back.
On the other hand the Left blames the Guns. If we would just remove all guns from society then sick people couldn't murder. Of course they can't get rid of all the guns now, so they move slowly picking and choosing which guns look the scariest. But the Left's end game is to remove all guns from society. No guns means that no children are mass murdered.
Residents of Klamath County get ready. Your omniscient County School Board is about to ask you to foot the bill for a $30 million bond measure come this Spring. The stated purpose will be for capital improvements to county schools. You will be told that if you care about our rural school system, if you care about our children getting a good education, then you'll sacrifice just this once so the wee ones have a chance in life. However, should you have any objection whatsoever, you will be labeled an anti-education imbecile. In other words, those who oppose borrowing this amount of money are ignorant, heartless fools and should be ashamed of themselves for even thinking such horrible thoughts.
That's what you'll be told. That's what you'll be sold. But is it true?
Questions To Ask
The first question that comes to mind is how did we get here? Whoops! Sorry, we're not supposed to ask that question, let alone think it. You're supposed to assume our county school district spends every penny they receive wisely and judiciously. There is never any waste. All financial decisions — especially salaries for administrators and contracts with unions — is for the benefit of the children. Now, if you believe any of this, then I have some beachfront property in Wyoming I'd like to sell you.
On Tuesday November 21st, both Commissioners Switzer and Hukill outvoted Commissioner Linthicum to extend the KBRA for two more years.
What is curious is that only a few months prior these same two commissioners, who knew their terms would be up at the end of the year, decided to extend county employee contracts only one year instead of the normal two, three and five years. The reasoning was that since Switzer and Hukill were soon to be leaving, it didn't make sense for the outgoing commissioners to saddle Mallams and Bellet (the new commissioners) with these types of decisions. So by extending the contracts just for a year, Mallams and Bellet would be able to negotiate with the unions for the length of their first terms.
One wonders if something that important, county employee contracts, can be put off for one year so the new commissioners can be directly involved, why was it okay to extend the KBRA for another two years giving the new commissioners no say in the matter? Why didn't they just table the extension, as Commissioner LInthicum motioned, in order to allow Mallams and Bellet a say in the matter?
This 90 second video says it all.
When will the people take back control of a government that has become out of control?
President Obama just announced he wants to solve the "fiscal cliff" by raising taxes on Americans (and American businesses) that earn over $250,000 annually. Mr. Obama estimates this will create $1.6 trillion in revenue over the next ten years. However, as with most Left of center politicians, he is wrong in thinking that raising tax rates will lead to the same kind of increase in Treasury revenue. His error is thinking that Americans will behave the same way before and after a tax increase. Americans rarely do. Most Americans, when faced with an expense change behaviors to avoid that expense or to lessen its impact. "Rich people" are notorious for this, and are rich because they are smart money managers.
Changing behaviors can also be seen on the other side of the fence. When tax rates have been lowered, private savings and investment has boomed, causing an economic surge. Why? Because Americans and American businesses have more money, and most Americans change their behavior and do something good with that money. Money in private hands is always more efficient than in public hands. And that efficiency leads to productivity and productivity to growth.
However, the main problem with the President's solution is that he has misdiagnosed the problem. The Federal Government's problem is not that Washington does not have enough money. The problem is that Federal Government is spending too much. In other words, the Federal Government has a spending problem. Tax increases do nothing to fix that. Nothing.
Wednesday's (Sept. 26) Herald and News had an article (page A3) summarizing an interview of Congressman Walden by several people in the community.
However if you look at who was allowed to be part of the interview, they all had something in common: they all asked Congressman Walden questions to make sure they money keeps flowing from Washington into their pockets. They were there to make sure they get their pork from the big piggy (the Federal Government). What's worse, what they are really saying is that they want the Feds to borrow and steal from us, the taxpayer, in order to keep the money coming in for them. Here is a sampling from the article:
Toby Freeman, Pacific Power — Mr. Freeman's question was about the KBRA and whether it is moving forward in congress. (Really Mr. Freeman is asking if the KBRA is moving forward because he wants the Fed's to pay for the removal of dams under the KBRA, and doesn't want his company to be on the hook. Real Motive: Free Money.)
As Commissioner Linthicum laid out in his excellent four part series on Air Quality in Klamath County (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4), the method and the rationale used for the EPA's and DEQ's regulation on Klamath County air quality is ridiculous at best and indefensible at worst. Klamath County has one, yes, only one air monitoring station that supposedly represents air quality for the entire county. According to the U.S. Census from 2010, Klamath County covers 5,941.05 square miles. On the other hand the state of Rhode Island covers 1,033.81 square miles. So for the math impaired, Klamath County is almost 6x as large in land mass as Rhode Island. Now guess how many air quality stations are set up in Rhode Island? One? Nope. Two? No. Four, Nodda. There are seven, yes, seven air quality stations in Rhode Island for an area that is 1/6th the size of Klamath County. Hmmmm. Seems backwards wouldn't you say? Welcome to Government Think.
Now let's add to our discussion the fire in Lake County during the past four-five days. What if everyone in Klamath County had a wood stove and burned it for 24 hours a day for 12 weeks straight? I can guarantee that Klamath County wouldn't come close to the amount of pollution created by the Lake County fire. And yet, the EPA and DEQ will fine Klamath County for violating their "air quality standards" due to industrial or wood stove pollution. What? Yeah. More Government Think.
A more serious question is who the Klamath County Commissioners can hold responsible if the EPA/DEQ takes a reading of Klamath County's (from the one, single station we have to represent the entire county) and finds that Klamath County air quality standards are above their mark? If Klamath County can be fined by the EPA/DEQ for poor air quality due to a fire in a neighboring county, can Klamath County sue Lake County? Can Klamath County sue the U.S. Forest Service for an inadequate job of managing the forests (why else would this fire be out of control) and isn't that who's land is burning anyways?
U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley from Oregon has decided he knows best when it comes to financing houses — especially those properties that are underwater (the value of the home on the open market is worth less than what remains on the mortgage). His vast experiencing in the banking industry has led him to propose a fantastic plan requiring lending institutions to refinance any underwater mortgage at 4%. Apparently Senator Merkely's compassion from running Habitat for Humanity in Portland is now the principle value he is using to craft legislation.
However, once again, a liberal legislator is attacking the problem from the wrong end. Instead of finding ways to help businesses become more profitable (like lending institutions), therefore increase job opportunities and therefore increasing demand for housing, Senator Merkley is proposing even more burdens and further regulation on the banking industry.
Doesn't the Senator think that if mortgage companies found it in their best interest to offer current underwater home owners a 4% mortgage that would already be happening? But therein lies the rub: who is more important — the private industry or the collective (the banks or the State)? In Senator Merkley's view the State knows far better than the banking industry how to issue loans and stay in business, even though the Senator is void of any real world banking experience.