The big election of 2012 has come and gone. The results were a mixed bag and each side got something and yet each side didn't get all they wanted.
For the Liberal side of the ledger, the nation re-elected its most liberal President in 100 years. Despite a sputtering economy, despite a national debt that grew 1/3 larger under his first term and despite people attaching themselves to the social safety net in record numbers, President Obama outdid the wealthy Romney machine. The Senate and the House pretty much stayed the way they were as well, with the Senate in Democrat control and the House run by the Republicans.
Locally there were a few good developments: two new, more conservative, commissioners were elected to join the already conservative Dennis LInthicum. Local representative and state races were also filled by conservatives. But as with most things, local control is great as far as it goes. When under the wing of a liberal state government and an even more liberal federal government, there are only so many things local officials can do to ward off new costly regulations and mandates.
Bishop E. W. Jackson says it all. The Bishop makes a strong case why one can not be a Christian and part of the modern Democrat party. His appeal is to the African American community, but applies to all races.
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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.
We were called "crazy right-wing conspiracy theorists" for even suggesting the idea that someday local, state and federal institutions could go bankrupt. That will never happen. It never could happen. Who would be so irresponsible to let it happen?
Well, it's happening. And we knew it was possible. It didn't take a rocket scientist to see the signs of organizations out of control. Any business person worth their weight in salt (or gold for that matter) could tell you when costs continue to increase year over year faster than the rate of inflation and at a rate that revenue could only hope to see, doom was a certain future.
The U.S. Postal Service looks to default on a $5 billion payment due in just 11 days — August 1, 2012. To make matters worse, there is another $5 billion payment due around September 1st. And guess what? The Post Office doesn't have this cash available to make either. That is what is called default and without a fix, then it becomes bankruptcy — unable to pay creditors. But what in the world costs so much and is due on these dates?
Guest article by Finnious T. Fogbottom
At least one of the Forest Service camp grounds at Lake of the Woods has been subjected to great “progress” since my last visit. The old yet stout bathrooms which were capable of accommodating several desperate campers simultaneously have been replaced by new and grand nature appeasing edifices. Sadly though the men’s side now is now limited to one standing and one sitting opportunity and it has been reported to me by a reliable source that the girl side can now seat only two.
One wonders just how much it costs these days to demolish a perfectly good building, haul it away, then replace it with a larger one which accomplishes so much less. To add injury to insult, I don’t really appreciate toilets that flush themselves (occasionally and at the wrong time), lights with a mind and switch of their own, erratically automatic micro drip water faucets and strange looking hand dryers which I neither understand or fully trust. Why have space aged dryers when you can barely get your hands wet in the first place?
Then there is that both good and bad factoid. One can now see the new and expensive structure’s all-aglow second story height window from great distances: That’s good because you can find it easily in the dark. Bad because that usually means someone else has found it first.
If you haven't noticed, a reoccurring theme has permeated this blog by various writers: Public Unions. The writers at KlamathNews.net have been very careful to make the clear distinction between public and private unions. We believe there can be a place for unions in the private sector. However the public sector is completely different. The public sector is a monopoly on a particular set of services for the community. It is this very fact that because governments hold monopolies on particular services that employees of the government should not be able to unionize.
Why? We'll let's look at an illustration. Suppose the union that manages the District Attorneys office think the DA and his crew aren't getting a good deal and decide to strike. Who else can prosecute a criminal case? No one. The DA's office owns a monopoly on that activity. Because this has the potential to do great public harm, Oregon law doesn't allow a public union to strike. Instead Oregon law states that if the county and a public union can't agree on a compensation package the matter goes to mediation. Almost always the mediator will rule somewhere in the middle. While that might seem fair, it isn't. What if the county doesn't have another nickel to spare? What if the voters want the commissioners is to cut costs? Does the mediator take these factors into consideration? Of course not. At best the mediator looks at the two proposals and picks something in the middle. But that is not what the voters may have wanted, so the public union process has subverted the people's will on the county controlling costs.
You've probably heard the phrase, "A government of the people, by the people and for the people." It is the last part of this phrase that public unions totally destroy. Public unions only represent the government employee's best interest (and their own), not the public at large.
Sometimes when I hear liberals talk, there is angst against corporations, and sometimes individuals, who make too much money. (First I wonder what their definition of "too much" is. Second I wonder why liberals get to determine any amount at all.) This type of discussion usually arises when trying to figure out how to raise more money for government. According to liberals, the best way to achieve this goal is by raising taxes on the wealthy — people and businesses alike.
Taxes are a penalty on productivity. If you don't think so, just look around at the wide offering of tax accountants available to help figure out how to pay fewer taxes. I have yet to hear of an individual or company that hires a tax accountant to help them pay more taxes. People and businesses alike do as much as they legally can not to pay taxes. Why? Because, taxes are a penalty on productivity.
Question: If you want to encourage more of a particular activity, would it be wise to penalize that activity more or to reward it more? Obviously the right answer is to reward the activity you desire. This simple logic is found in training a dog, raising children or coaching a sports team. Discipline and correction follow activities that are undesirable, but rewards and praises follow activities that are wanted. Therefore, if taxing is a penalty on productivity, then what does raising taxes do? Does it increase productivity or decrease it? Answer: Raising taxes decreases productivity.
On this Memorial Day weekend, as we take care to remember those who have fought and died for this country, it's odd that in this land of liberty and opportunity that people would fall into the trap of thinking this nation was founded on the value of equality. Not equality of rights or equality under the law, but rather equality of results. During the past 30 years the Left has been indoctrinating the foreign versions of fairness and equality into our children. On their face, these two values seem as American a apple pie and Chevrolet. However, it is imperative to understand the meaning of these terms, for these are the calling cards of the Left to revolution and a Brave New World of tyranny.
Words have specific meanings. Unless those meanings are understood by all, then communication becomes confused. And confusion is exactly what the Left hopes for and inspires. The Left's revolution can take place through a brutal civil war or by causing such confusion and despair that citizens demand change by yielding more power to government. The Left is fine with either type of revolution. As long as more power is granted to an all knowing government, all is well.
It's important to define what the Left means by equality and fairness and what the American meaning is. So when you hear the Left speak of equality and fairness it becomes clear they are really intending something different than the American ideal.