Unintended consequences are results that were unforseen or not well thought out when a decision was made. For example, the uninteneded consequence of little John-John playing with a ball in the house is that he accidentally knocks over his brother's dominos. He didn't mean to, but it happened because of his decision to play with a ball near his brother's dominos.
Sometimes there are positive unitended consequences. However, more often than not, complex problems that are “fixed” with a simple solution usually lead to negative ones.
Does the KBRA have unitended consequences? Of course it does. Here are just a few:
For those living in the Klamath Basin, math has changed a bit. If you asked a local what “2+2 equals”, they would tell you “4” . If you asked someone what “4+4 equals”, they would say “8”. And if you asked them what “KBRA equals” they would reply, "Jobs."
Really? KBRA = Jobs? That's the answer?
Hmmm. Let's review the back-work to this equation to make sure there aren't any mistakes.
One of my favorite things to do during the summer is to visit an old fashioned car show. The Klamath Kruise is an annual favorite — gazing upon all those old restored cars and trucks as if they just rolled off the assembly line. It's a lot of fun looking, hearing, smelling and remembering (and wondering) what it was like "back then".
But when it comes to nature, can it be restored, like a 1952 Studebaker? Can nature be rolled back the way it was 50 years ago? How about people, can we be restored? Now thinking about it, can cars really be restored? In the case of cars, they are a non-living, man-made creation. Therefore the answer is yes, cars can be restored because all the parts can be swapped out with originals. But with living organisms, such as people and nature, restoration is not quite that simple. While face lifts, hair regrowth, tummy tucks and botox try to roll back the clock, it's a mere illusion. After the procedure is done, we are still the same age, no matter what we've had "altered" to try and say otherwise. In the end reality rules the day. The same can be said about nature. It is silly to think we can roll back the sands of time and pretend it is 1911 by removing this or adding that. It is 2011 and nature has adapted and moved on. Moreover, nature is such a complex set of systems, sub-systems and super-systems, the idea that humans can alter something and restore nature back to what it was 100 years ago is a very utopian notion.
If you have driven around the Klamath Basin within the past year you have most likely seen those yellow sign with black letters with the following equation: KBRA = Jobs! For those not in the know, KBRA stands for the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement. According to a KBRA website,
“The Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement is a settlement agreement among residents of the Klamath Basin that creates a solid path forward on long-standing, stalemated resource disputes in the region.”
The main resource disputed is water — who gets it, how much and when. In a wet year, like 2011, water disputes are all but gone. However, during a dry year like last year and 2001:
In the latest round of debates concerning the Federal Budget and Debt Ceiling, President Obama said we need a "balanced approach". The President claimed in order to solve the government shortfall we need to cut spending and raise revenue. This is the only sensible approach.
Additionally, Mr. Obama mentioned we need "shared sacrifice". But what does that exactly mean? The term stems back to World War II when the country, on whole, had to give up certain amenities in order to help win the war. The idea is if everyone gives a little, it adds up to a lot and great good can come of this. Liberals love this concept.
However, that's not what Mr. Obama is asking for. When he talks of shared sacrifice he would like to raise tax rates on those making above $250,000 a year (including businesses). Notice he is not demanding everyone contribute a little more, just those over making $250,000 a year. The President's idea is that the "millionaires and billionaires" can afford to give more and strongly suggests they have a moral obligation to do so. They ought to give more for the greater good. This is what is fair.
Earlier this week it was reported that Chuck Collins & Company have abandoned their attempt to recall Klamath County Commission Cheryl Hukill. Instead they will focus on recalling Commissioner Al Switzer only. According to Collins the reason for this change of heart is because they don't want Governor Kitzhauber selecting a county commissioner. Interesting how this wasn't discovered before their recall campaign began. I think I mentioned this in my last blog post — yeah, I did (see the fifth paragraph).
While this might be an honest admission it begins to reveal Collin's effort is an emotionally driven campaign, not a rational one. It's like the teen boy who wants to borrow his parents car for the evening. The dad says, "No you can't...." and the teenager then throws a tantrum on how his dad is unfair, and mean, and doesn't care about him or his friends. When the teen is done with his rant, the Dad explains, "... I wasn't finished. Let me try again. You can't have the car tonight,... because it is out of gas. If you have money to fill the tank, then you can use the car." In the same way, Collins & Company have decided to throw a tantrum because they don't like something. Their tantrum is to recall Al & Cheryl whom they feel most responsible for the damage done to "public safety" among other items. That said, don't you think the rational approach would've been to have first gather the facts about how replacement commissioners would be selected instead of first starting a recall for both?
In political discourse the goal has always been the same: win the argument. But today it feels a little different than yesteryear because it's: win — at all costs. Said another way, often the ends often justify the means. With this win at all cost mentality, something is sacrificed — the truth. Candidates tend to shade the facts one way or another when it concerns themselves and often outright lie about their opponent’s views.
One sad casualty in this "new politic" is the real meaning of Self Interest. Ask anyone what this term means and most wouldn't have any idea. Those who do respond usually confuse self interest with being self-centered or selfish.
Self Interest is a crucial conservative concept for the general public to understand. Without a proper understanding conservatives become easy targets, quickly labeled by opponents as greedy, mean spirited and self-serving. So what does Self Interest mean?
In Tuesday's H&N, the big story was, "Citizen starts recall effort". Before I begin to analyze the article, notice how the H&N makes this action in itself seem noble. It wasn't a person nor was it a resident. No, no. it was a citizen — inferring that this recall petition is an act of citizenry, an honorable act. No need to go any further and measure whether or not this action make sense or whether it is just. Nope, because a citizen has bravley brought this petition forth, it is now noble. By their headline, the H&N has declared it so and therefore set the tone for their report.
While I could spend an entire article talking about the motives of the H&N, it is more prudent to focus on the act of Chuck Collins (he's the virtuous citizen in this story).
According the H&N, Mr. Collins claims that the two commissioners have not,
Who said there is no such thing as a free lunch?
According to the Wall Street Journal Online, participants in the Federal Food Stamp program grew from 26 Million in 2007 to over 44 million this year. That's nearly a 70% jump in just four years. Another way to look at it is that every month, another 375,000 Americans become food stamp recipients.
America is no longer a nation of food producers; instead we are becoming a nation of food stamp recipients.
Here's an interesting question, what does the government require in return for food stamps? Yes, you read that correctly, what does the government require the food stamp recipient in return for free food? Only that you don't make too much money. Interesting. Here's a little story to illustrate:
Last week we reported on the awful consequences of giving away food during the summer months — thanks to Uncle Sam's generosity. [see “Who said there's no such thing as a free lunch?”]
In that article we reported that not only was did the Herald & News misrepresent the food-give-away program by pretending it had something to do with encouraging childhood literacy during the summer months, but then we found an ad in the paper —not just one day, but several days in a row — promoting the program.