Much has been written about the mass killing in Roseburg last week. A great piece on the topic was penned by Dennis Linthicum at the Dirt Road Economist. Dennis does an excellent job describing exactly where we ought to place the blame for such a horrific event. Be sure to take a few moments to read it.
I’d like to take a different tact and have us see if the socialist’s view of gun-control is the answer to these kinds of tragedies. If you would, close your eyes and imagine a place where there are no guns. A place where there are no knives or weapons of any kind. In this place all suspicious activity is monitored and scrutinized by the authorities to ensure everyone’s safety. To enter this “paradise” it requires walking through metal detectors, showing photo ID and surrendering any weapon of any kind.
Sounds beautiful right? Sounds just like what President Obama is promoting. That is until you realize I am describing our maximum security prison, the Oregon State Penitentiary, located in Salem, Oregon. This all male facility does not allow weapons of any kind. If you are caught with one the punishment is severe. It is one of the most gun-free zones in Oregon and yet one of the most dangerous places to live. Now, was this the safe place you imagined as I was describing this prison in the paragraph above? What you were imaging does not exist in the real world, now or ever. It is an illusion, a dream — a violence-free society because there are no guns.
Farmer Tom Mallams responded to the charges of being above the law and flaunting water regulations with an article published in the Herald and News. What often becomes a casualty in an emotional, unfolding story are the facts. In this case the timeline is important to understand what happened and when. We have constructed the following timeline from Mallams account and the Herald and News reports.
|June 16||Klamath Project made a call on its water right|
|July 3||OWRD issued shut-off notices to junior water users, which included Mallams|
|July 21||OWRD issued a second shut-off notice|
|July 30||OWRD issued a third shut-off notice|
|Aug 7||OWRD issued a violation notice against Mallams|
|Aug 25||Mallams ceased his water usage|
|Aug 28||OWRD issued a second violation notice to Mallams|
Now at sometime (we do not know exactly when yet) Tom Mallams asked for a judicial review of his water rights. This judicial review temporarily suspended all notices made by OWRD until Mallams case can be adjudicated. Tom Mallams admits he misunderstood the administrative rule, that the OWRD rule goes into effect when issued, not received. Mallams also has said he would pay any fines if found guilty of violating the rules.
Since Tom Mallams did not receive a notice until, most likely after, he filed for judicial review, it is easy to understand why he continued to use water until late August — he thought while his case was being reviewed, any power behind the OWRD notices were suspended. The question arises is whether it reasonable to believe that Mallams knew his water rights had been terminated before he asked for a judicial review. That is a difficult point to argue one way or the other because it requires getting inside the head of Mallams. Nevertheless, there is a much larger issue at work here, and that is of Administrative Rule.
Here we are. We have finally arrived. Nirvana for the left — Pot (er... marijuana) is now legal in Oregon. Well that is not entirely true. There are some strict guidelines around the production, distribution and use of marijuana. However, if you ask the average person on the street they will tell you “Pot is legal”. However if you asked them a different question, they may give you blank stare, or fumble a bit and then say “sure, why not,... it doesn’t hurt anyone”. What is that question?
Is Legalized Pot Good for Oregon?
You see, making something legal doesn’t change whether it is a good thing or a bad thing. We should make laws based on promoting good things and laws against bad things. But if something was bad before, and then it becomes legal, that thing does not become good. Instead, all that has happened is a bad thing has become legal.
I’m sure some are rolling their eyes now thinking I’m a moralist and I shouldn’t judge the behaviors of others. Well if you think that way, then you should stop judging me and my opinions because they differ from yours. Or you should not get upset when someone hits your car or steals items from your home because, by your own thinking, you shouldn’t judge others. But back to the question at hand, is legalized marijuana is good for Oregon and Oregonians.
For those asleep during the summer, it is time to wake up and take notice that another business is closing its doors in Klamath Falls. If JELD-WEN officially moving its headquarters to Charlotte, NC for a more business friendly environment wasn’t enough, now Haggen is closing its two stores in town. What? Haggen, when did they come to Klamath Falls?
Earlier this year Safeway and Albertsons merged into one company. The merger was approved by the FTC only if they would sell off 146 of their combined stores. Haggen won that bid to purchase those stores and went from an 18 chain grocery store to 164 overnight. Talk about a growth spurt. In Klamath Falls both Safeway locations were converted into Haggen stores. However, within months of Haggen’s acquisition, Haggen was losing money — and a lot of it. Haggen needed to borrow $25 million to weather their cash flow problems, which increased their total debt to $270 million. Did Haggen bite off more than it could chew?
What Went Wrong
After Haggen took control of their new stores, Haggen immediately incurred losses in several of those stores. Local customers either did not know the brand Haggen or thought it was too pricey compared to the previous occupant. There was an error assuming business would continue as usual. Clearly this was not the case everywhere. An outside consulting firm was brought in to do some analysis. They found stores fell into two groups: core and non-core. Core stores were profitable. Non-core stores were losing money. The non-core store loses occurred because of either a lack of traffic (revenue) or they were too costly to support. Some non-core stores were also in remote locations where Haggen did not have efficient distribution. The Klamath Falls stores most likely fell into both categories and easily made it to the Haggen chopping block.
Most of our local leaders, and many of our State officials, are leftists. I use that label not to ridicule, mock or scorn them. I call them leftists because it is an accurate description. When it comes to political leadership there are only two camps: left and right. However, some may claim to be neither left or right but “moderate” (aka reasonable). Yet, a better way to describe moderates are those who sit on the fence until the political winds blow strong enough in a particular direction and then rush to the front of the line to “lead the charge”. Moderates are not moderate, they are populists. And being a populist is not leadership.
Left or Right. Socialist or Conservative. Our leaders are one or the other. If they claim to be moderate, then they are really socialists because they have no back-bone or spine to stand for anything that may appear harsh or uncompassionate towards the poor and less fortunate. Therefore these moderate-populists vote for more money to fund government programs and enable more money and benefits for public union government employees. A populist’s direction always leans the same way as a socialist’s. Populists may be slower in implementing socialist plans but make no mistake the only difference is speed, not direction.
So what does any of this have to do about JELD-WEN? Everything.
I just described the climate in Klamath and in Oregon. Socialists (socialist policies) are ruling the roost. Local county and State governments are growing everywhere and contracting no where. More taxes, more programs and more welfare (farm, corporate and personal). Utopia is just around the corner, but to get there the socialist idea says we must give more our wealth to a benevolent group of government lawmakers and bureaucrats. Only they can protect us from our selfish selves and lead us to nirvana.
Get ready. It is about to start again. The clamor by leftists — and even by the well intentioned — that we need more money for [ insert government service du jour here ]. We will soon hear about all of the good that is done by such government agencies but that once again there is a budget shortfall. For some strange reason there just isn’t enough money and without proper funding of said service the sky is going to fall and you could be seriously injured.
Fear not. The government is here to help.
One of the favorite phrases during these discussions by left-loving government bureaucrats is “sustainable revenue”. Doesn’t it sound so good and virtuous? Say it out loud, “sustainable revenue”. Who could be against such a thing?
Only selfish, uncaring, hard-hearted capitalists that’s who. Those meanies, they won’t share anything with the rest of us! However, the issue is not capitalism or people who wish to keep what they earn, but instead the unchecked machine of ever-growing government. The ugly truth is that the real problem is rarely governmental revenue shortfalls, but instead rising costs.
My fellow author’s article last week about Donald Trump seemed to stir up quite a negative reaction from those who firmly stand behind “The Donald”. After reading G.W.’s article and then the comments that followed, what I gleaned was fascinating — the term “conservative” seems to have lost any real meaning.
To be a conservative now-a-days seems to be someone who claims to back a particular set of policies.
Can we tell if someone is a real conservative if they are for:
“The Donald”, as he is often called, is #1 one in all of the summertime Republican primary polls — and all of the Washington insiders are dumbfounded. The 2016 Republican primary contest was to be like 2012, where the establishment GOP put up their candidate, this time Jeb Bush, and the rest of the field, made up of self-proclaimed conservative purists, wrestled each other for the crumbs. This is how 2012 turned out. Then the candidate of choice was Mitt Romney. Romney stood tall and smiled while everyone else tried to show why they were the best anti-Romney candidate. We all know how that turned out. Romney won the Republican primary and then lost the general election to the weakest sitting president since George Herbert Walker Bush (Bush 41).
The establishment has given us some real “winners” over the years: Bob Dole, John McCain and Mitt Romney. While all fine men, none of them were conservative in their core governing values. And without that your elected official can change their position on any issue, at any time because nothing really anchors them. They just float around looking for the popular choices to make and avoid standing out with any of the controversial ones.
So what of Donald Trump? Why is he popular? First people loved his television show. They liked that in a culture, that for decades has been feminized, here stood a masculine hero that was not afraid to tell celebrities they screwed up — “You’re fired”. Right next to celebrity is leadership. The Apprentice always made Donald Trump the leader, the man in charge. People like that. And so with celebrity and the aura of leadership Trump enters the Presidential race leveraging these two assets.
Harsh words maybe, but unfortunately true. Sometimes the truth can hurt. Greg Walden’s editorial published in the Herald and News is yet another example that demonstrates what is wrong with Washington, as well as with Mr. Walden’s thinking.
Walden’s plan is nothing but another “shuffling the deck chairs” to make you think he is working hard and that he is getting something done to better Oregon’s forests. While all the activity and smoke created by Walden & Co. might produce something slightly better, in essence all will be the same. One has to ask, is that what we want from our Representative — a lot of activity but little real change?
The problem is not how well the US Forest Service or BLM manage forests in Oregon. The problem is that the US Forest Service and BLM manage forests in Oregon.
The Founding Fathers empowered the Federal government with a very narrow scope in how to govern the union. Believe it or not, managing forests was not one of the powers granted the Federal government. Read the Constitution. Read all of the amendments. Read the Declaration of Independence. The word “forest” is absent in all of them. Why? Because the Federal government was never meant to, nor designed to, manage forests all across the nation. This responsibility was to be “reserved to the States, or to the people.”
Would you continue to hire a babysitter who, when watching your children, only honored your wishes 40% of the time? How about 50% of the time? What about 60% of the time?
If you answered no, then why do you put up with a congressman who does the same thing?
You’ve probably heard this argument before. The thinking goes that because Greg Walden is the only Republican from the State of Oregon who represents us in Washington DC, as Republicans we must support him. He is our only voice. That sounds good on the face of it. But what if that Republican (Greg Walden) votes more often like a Democrat? What if that Republican is doing a terrible job representing conservative values? Do you still believe the same thing?