Archive for April, 2006

Eleanor Clift Interviewing Al Gore

April 30, 2006

I can't help but post this.

I first heard Eleanor Clift on this radio show. I forget the name of it, but it was hosted by a rude right-wing talker who would constantly interrupt the round circle. There was like 3 democrats and 3 republicans at the table. And they'd always try to talk over each other.

Eleanor Clift has this annoying voice, almost like fingernails on the chalkboard. I would squirm everytime she spoke. Her power was that she would nearly shout over the other members. When she did, everyone would let her speak. Partly, they dreaded her skreechy voice. The other part because everytime she speaks, she makes a fool of her side's arguments. Her grasp of logic, shall we say, was vastly inferior to the other hosts. (If there ever was a walking logical fallacy, it would be Eleanor Clift.)

She now appears regularly on Fox News. I can't help but wonder—did they pick both Alan Colmes and Eleanor Clift to make liberals look bad? Everytime she appears, I have to mute the sound, same as I have to look away from the screen when the camera's on Alan. (Alan, at least you make sense. But you're still wrong.)

Now, Al Gore, he's a very, very boring man. Even reading his words, I can barely focus. Normal people make points when they speak, about one to three a sentence. Technical folk (my kind of crowd) pack in a point with each word or so. Sure, the points might be minor, but they are there, and are usually important in some way to the arguments being made. Al Gore, on the other hand, makes about one point every three or four paragraphs. It's going to take a full-length feature film just for him to make the point "global warming—bad".

I can't imagine being present when these two were going at it in the interview. On the one hand, I'd have shivers up my spine trying to listen to Eleanor Clift. On the other hand, I'd be half asleep with drool coming out of the side of my mouth listening to Al Gore. And when Eleanor spoke, my half-sleep state would be shattered, and I'd be back to shivering. Shiver-drool-shiver-drool, drool, drool.
Man, I'm glad they didn't show this interview on TV.

Still, it might be kind of funny, in the same way roadkill is kind of funny.

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School Budget Short, thanks to D’s in Legislature

April 30, 2006

Federal Way Public Schools is facing a severe budget deficit this year, and it is the same as far as we can see.

Why?

Simply put, teachers salaries were raised by the state, but the state only funded some of the teachers. They are forcing the districts to cover the rest of the raise.

Districts can only collect so much money from the community. (Federal Way Public Schools cannot get more money for the general fund, period.) The rest comes from the state and the federal government. Our state constitution says that the state must pay for basic education. And they do, for the most part. The problem is that our district is providing more than a basic education. We are hiring many more teachers that we need to teach a "basic education". And that money comes from the community, which we can only collect so much, no matter how willing the community is to give it to us. When the state gave teachers a raise, they only funded the part of the raise that is for teachers that teach the basic education part. All the extra teachers, in fact, all the extra staff, did not get funded. In short, they made it much more expensive to hire personnel other than basic education teachers.

So we are short money. A lot of money. People are talking about cutting sports, or music, or stuff we really, really want to keep. There's just not enough money to go around anymore, and we have no way of getting more. Even if the bond passed, we wouldn't have enough money. The bond money wouldn't have saved us anything until the first schools were replaced.

The democrats from the legislature are coming back saying, "Hooray! We have got teachers more money, and we gave districts more money too!" What they really did is gave the teachers a raise, but left the districts with a net negative balance. They are shouting for joy, but the schools are ready to burn their effigies.

Once again, this shows how when the government gets involved things get worse. Less government means fewer problems like this one. Either fund the complete raise, or don't mandate it. It's so easy to write rules, especially when other people pay for compiance, isn't it?

Democrat Mindset

April 30, 2006

I read through the Tracey Eide and Mark Miloscia fliers. They are trying to show how wonderful they were this year in the legislature.

Both start off by talking how much money they spent. No, not their money, not the government's money, your money. As if you had extra money lying around you just wanted to throw to Olympia. Democrats forget this basic fact: The government's money is the people's money, and it is always taken by force, at great cost to our economy.

At least Mark Miloscia didn't brag too much about the so-called "savings" the legislature made this year. Tracey Eide was outright proud of it. She certainly didn't mention the 2 1/2 Billion dollars in new spending this biennium. It's like she went to the grocery store, came back with $50,000 worth of groceries, and was delighted to tell her husband, "Honey! We saved a thousand dollars today!"

In Mark Miloscia's flyer, he quotes scripture. "Where much is given much is required" or something of that effect. The problem is, government isn't given anything. All the money government has is taken from the people, by force. Only in free enterprise is money freely given in exchange for goods and services, never taken. (Takers of money are called thieves, robbers, and embezzlers.) And certainly much is required of those who have been given much. But here to, the requirement to use what you are given properly is a free commandment. Nowhere does God say, "Hey, that money, you HAVE to spend it on the poor!" Many a capitalist look at their free cash, and say, "I can buy food for a week for a couple hundred homeless people, or I could hire someone with a good paying job, and then get more money out of it too boot. Hmmmm…" They choose the latter, but the Democrats would have you believe that he isn't being charitable by doing so.

I guess Democrats are trying to make me feel good. I mean, so much money was given to the poor! But I don't feel good for some strange reason. I feel like good people had their income taken away to pass it off to programs and systems that are extremely inefficient if not harmful to the poor and needy. If the Democrats had left that money in the hands of the entrepeneurs who know what to do with money (create jobs and valuable, cheap goods and services), we would be far better off than otherwise. That is the only thing they could do to make me feel good.

Oh, neither of them mentioned the death tax. What were they supposed to say? "I'm proud that I passed legislation that all but guarantees small businesses get cut to pieces when their founder dies. I'm proud that you don't get to choose who inherits your money–most of it is going to government coffers anyway! I'm proud that we are not only taxing sales tax, revenue tax, and property tax, but we are taxing it all over again when the estate changes hands after the passing of the taxpayers! I guess we can now say, honestly, that the evil grip of government extends beyond the grave and into your back pocket!"

One other thing they are harping on: The cost of housing. It's going up, if you hadn't noticed. Republicans look at this and go, "Duh! You've created an artificial housing shortage with regulation. Of COURSE housing prices are going to go up! Let's release the regulation, restore the market to normal working conditions, and get the house prices back to something reasonable." But these two Democrats suggested throwing government money into the housing market to buy houses for the poor and homeless. What will this do, you ask? Drive up prices even higher! I admit that the poor and homeless need shelter. But there is no shortage of shelter or places willing to give shelter to the poor and homeless. Their is a shortage of people willing to give the government shelter for the poor and homeless, because there is no accountability.

If these are the issues that the Democrats are planning to run on, I think they will have a difficult run. 

At Some Point, Reality Has Its Day

April 30, 2006

Al Gore: "At some point, reality has its day."

He's referring, of course, to his beliefe that global warming is inevitable, bad, and gonna kill us all.

Let's approach this topic scientifically. As a trained physicist, I believe I have some insight into the scientific process.

  1. What proof is there that the globe as a whole is warming? To what degree is it warming? (Hint: The best answers I could find is, (a) temperatures are rising steadily, and (b) maybe a couple of degrees Fahrenheit over a hundred years.)
  2. What is the cause of global warming? Is it something man is doing or is it some natural phenomena? (Hint:  There is this big ball of burning, fiery gas not too far from our planet. It seems to have a lot more affect on the surface temperature than anything else. Proof: When the sun is out, it is warm. When it is not, it is cold.)
  3. Is global warming bad or good? (Hint:  The last time we had higher global temperatures, there was a population boom, and some of the great civilizations were first formed. The last mini-ice age we've had led to mass starvation in Northern Europe.)
  4. If global warming is bad (that is, a rise of a few degree Fahrenheit over the next 100 years will cause all sorts of death and destruction), and if global warming is caused by human action (that is, the sun and the earth and the animals and plants are not causing it, but us humans), then what  can be done to reverse or minimize the damages of global warming?
  5. Finally, what is the cost of implementing those changes, and which of them is cheapest? And is the cheapest solution less costly than global warming itself?

If you really look at the global warming, you see a whole lot of politicking and not a lot of science. I've read too many papers by experts in the field that were little more than an editorial comment, not based on solid research, or "forgot" basic things like error bars and precise descriptions of the recorded measurements and the manner they were collected.

The politics behind global warming is the same politics behind class warfare. They are the socialists. They want to, in a nutshell, destroy America because America is, by definition, evil. (That is, if America does it, it is bad. But if Russia, Iran, or China does it, it's perfectly OK.) Their solutions to global warming are basically (1) America, stop being so productive, and (2) while you're at it, pay for all the work to clean up the mess China and Russia have made of the world.

I personally can't tell whether the earth is getting warmer or colder or staying the same. To be perfectly honest, I don't care. Why? Because if it gets colder, we'll just move south to the warmer area, or adapt by eating foods that grow in cooler climes, or wear more clothing in the summer. If it gets warmer, we'll wear less clothes, move north, and grow food that is adapted to warmer climes. Humans are remarkably adaptable. Even evolutionists admit that! As long as the American people are free, free to adapt, free to solve real problems, free to choose how to dedicate their resources to solve which problems, then we will be okay.

The problems with the solutions proposed by environmentalists is that they aren't efficient. If we really wanted to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere, we could do it (a) by making emitting CO2 a crime, fine those who do it, and take their assets, or (b) provide some incentive for either emitting less CO2 or consuming CO2 in the atmosphere, or (c) allow the people to figure out a way on their own to limit CO2 emissions and/or consume excess CO2. Government, unfortunately, always seems to make the wrong decision when it comes to these things. And the envrionmentalists are demanding that we make the wrong decision, even though the better decision (doing nothing, letting the people decide what to do) is far cheaper and far more efficient.

My big concern is the hyperbole that Al Gore and others are displaying. The public believes that unless President Bush shuts down all commercial activity in the US, the US will either find itself buried by a glacier that advances faster than the speed of sound or in a desert, buried everywhere except for the Appalachians and Rockies underwater. Neither of these scenarios are even close to what scientists are suggesting, and yet Al Gore and others continue to assert they are going to happen, sooner rather than later.

At some point, reality has its day.  Al Gore and the others will have to face reality. No honest scientist can say what they are saying. The solutions proposed are far more costly than the effects of global warming would ever be. The American people, like it or not, are actually far smarter than the environmentalists, and can see through the propaganda they are throwing at us. It's time Al Gore just gave up and went home.

Prediction: Al Gore's movie bombs, big time, the media firestorm about global warming surrounding the movie backfires, and by election time, Republicans win big, provided they stay off the global warming bandwagon.

May 1: Stay Away From Seattle Day

April 29, 2006

What happens when you have a city government that refuses to cooperate with federal enforcement agencies, refuses to put the rights of the people to freely travel ahead of the so-called rights of protestors to disrupt the business of the city?

You get something like what Seattle will experience May 1st.

I'm not sure that the protestors will be able to shut down the city. But I am sure that Seattle surely isn't going to stop them if they try. Let's keep Federal Way different from Seattle. Let's put the right of the people to freely move about ahead of the "rights" of protestors to stop them.

As far as the immigration issue, there's a simple resolution.

  1. Enforce the law as it is on the books. That means, illegals go home, and illegal employers get fined. Yes, it hurts, but it only hurts because we have been far too lax.
  2. Seal up the borders with a physical barrier. Expensive? Maybe. But it would be worth every penny, even if it was reinforced concrete. Patrol the borders with the military. That's what they are for–to protect our country from foreign invaders. As it is now, there are gangs crossing the border with military hardware and uniforms. Our local sheriffs and border security agents aren't equipped for that kind of battle. Our army is.
  3. Make the immigration and naturalization far less burdensome than it is now by making the rules clearer and fairer and more quickly enforced and processed.
  4. Increase the immigration allowances. We don't want people to not come here, we just want them to come here legally, naturally, and with an eye towards becoming one of us rather than hiding in our shadows.

Part of the Republican Party,hopefully a minority, thinks granting amnesty (which is simply forgiving the illegals for coming here illegally) is a good idea. I hope this doesn't move forward. Another part, hopefully the majority, want to build a fence and enforce the laws on the books. I have this picture of a giant fence with a sign that has a picture of a man crossing it with a picture of a soldier shooting at the man from the other side. That sounds like a deterrent. Or maybe we can have a giant arrow painted on the wall, pointing to the nearest legal crossing point, with the words beneath it, "Cross over there. If you cross here, you will get shot."

I've heard some people saying that enforcement is impossible. No, it isn't. It's impossible to enforce it without some collateral damage and spending some money, yes. But it's definitely not impossible. Here's probably the easiest way to enforce the law.

  1. Set up a nationwide employee identification system. The employer types in their employee's name, SSN, or whatever else, and they get a response: Illegal, or legal worker. If it is illegal, the employer is required to report it to the authorities. Make this system free to use, instant, and available to anyone.
  2. When the employer files their tax returns, they write off the cost of hiring their employees. Make them list their employees. Have the IRS do a check to see if each employee is a legal worker. If not, the employer & employee get reported, and they can't take the deduction.
  3. Hire a bunch of cops to enforce the law by pursuing employers and illegal aliens. Help the local cops that are enforcing the law by not putting any unfair burden on them, such as not picking up held aliens until there is a busful. Hold cities and states that refuse to cooperate accountable by severing federal funds until they cooperate. Build many new prisons to hold the illegals while they are waiting for trial. Hire more judges to process them. Once an illegal is caught, never let them out of sight until they have left the country.
  4. Make it clear that there are two options for illegal immigrants: get deported and blacklisted, never to return to the US again, or leave voluntarily, and we'll pretend like it never happened (unless you've committed crimes in the US, of course.)
  5. Stop all the benefits of every kind for illegal aliens. If you want to attend any government funded school, if you want to collect any kind of assistance, you have to show that you are not here illegally. Arrest those who try to get benefits and who aren't here legally.

Yes, this costs money, but it is money that the federal government should be spending on enforcing the federal laws anyway. Perhaps they can take some of the money out of the education program (which ISN'T a constitutionally authorized expenditure) and spend it on law enforcement. Besides, the fines collected from illegal aliens and from offending businesses can be used to help offset some of the costs.

Protection of our country is priority #1 of our federal government. It sickens me to no end that they have refused to enforce the law to the point where tens of millions of people have penetrated our country illegally.

Republicans ARE Fighting Spending

April 28, 2006

You'll have to read this entry at Hugh Hewitt's blog.

What's happening is you are witnessing the two factions in the Republican Party duke it out over pork. Sen. Coburn shot out an amendment that forced people to defend the pork on the floor of the senate. And all of a sudden, about half the senate doesn't want to vote for it, while the other half isn't so worried.

Yes, there is a fight in the Republican. If you want the Republican Party to embrace Reagan's vision of limited government, you have to support those Republicans who are fighting the fight!

More Vietnam From the Left

April 28, 2006

The Star Tribune reports vandalism by leftists opposed to the war.

If you can stomache it, read to the bottom. Local students helped clean up the mess the liberals left behind.

I was talking with my wife, a native Korean (soon to be naturalized) about an article she read about Iran. The question was, "If it weren't for the US military, who would be in a position to stop Iran and all the other terrorists?" Of course, she understands all too well the enormous burden America has assumed, not because it has wanted to, but because no one else would.

I think our younger generation, at least a good portion, is getting it too.

Meanwhile, in other news, Senator Kerry practically repeated himself. You know, the time he testified in front of a Senate panel against the war in Vietnam? You know, where he made up everything he said, and he was exposed for lying about it, but our country's leftists still shout about it as if it were all true?

The author of the post I linked to made a good observation. Here's my summary of the level of dialogue we are engaging in.

Democrat: How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?

Republican: So you think the War in Iraq and the War on Terror is a mistake?

Democrat: How dare you question my patriotism!

Romney’s Faith

April 28, 2006

Mitt Romney is hoping to get the Republican Party endorsement for the 2008 presidential race. So are several others, but Romney's at least in the top 3.

Mitt Romney is a clean guy, with an unspotted background. That's just who he is. When he ran against Ted Kennedy several years ago, the joke was that they tried to dig up dirt from his past. All they could find was that he lied once to his mother when he was 3.

But Mitt Romney is also a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am also a devout member of the same church. I am quite proud of that.
This isn't a problem because Republicans don't expect to get the crazy liberal left vote. They would vote against anyone who thought Jesus was more than a fairy tale used to control children and the weak-minded. It is a problem because the vast majority of religious people aren't LDS. And some of them don't like the LDS church and what it stands for. And some of these people are a very powerful part of the Republican party.
This is similar, at least in part, to the John F. Kennedy race. Would America, a largely protestant country, elect a Catholic?  If you were around back then, you probably heard rumors of how Kennedy would be the pope's pawn and America would suffer for it. I don't doubt that similar whisperings are happening now about Romney. Would he merely do whatever President Hinckley, president, prophet, seer, and revelator of the LDS church, asked?

Romney would be the first president that is a member of the LDS church. He certainly wouldn't be the first to try. The church's first president, Joseph Smith, ran for the presidency before he was assassinated. I'd like to think that he was somewhat popular. It's hard to tell exactly how popular he was, without Zogby and other polling companies to ask the public.

He wouldn't be the first LDS member in high places in government. Senator Reid is the minority leader in the Senate, and also an LDS member. President Benson, who was once the president of the church, was Secretary of Agriculture. You don't have to look very hard to find LDS members in government. There are at every level, just like representatives from almost every religion are in every level of government.

There is probably going to be a campaign, at least a whispering campaign, pointing out how odd the LDS members, or "Mormons" are. I want to encourage you not to believe what you hear, and to make sure you get information from a reliable source. That would include a devout, church-going member of the church, not someone who has a son-in-law that was once a Mormon when he was young.

The strongest charges are probably going to revolve around the "Christianity" of the LDS church. Let me emphasize a few points on this topic.

  • LDS members worship God and Christ, not Joseph Smith. Worshipping Joseph Smith would be like worshipping John the Baptist or Peter or Moses.
  • LDS members believe in the "trinity", but don't believe they are one body, only one in purpose and mind. That is one of the possible interpretations of the scriptures. The Nicean creed, which most Christian churches accept as gospel, is the source of the "one body" interpretation.
  • LDS members believe in living prophets, in addition to the dead ones. The LDS church is led by a prophet, currently, President Gordon B. Hinckley. The members believe he speaks with God and seaks for God, in the same way Moses, Isaiah, and Jeremiah have.
  • You won't find a cross anywhere on an LDS church or temple. It's not because we don't believe in Christ. It's because we don't accept that as the symbol to define our religion. The symbol of our religion should be the people who practice it.
  • LDS members absolutely believe in the Bible, as far as it is translated correctly. They also believe that God spoke to other people, and that some of those words were recorded in other scriptures. The scripture that defines the church is the Book of Mormon. This was a translation from an ancient book written on golden plates of a people, descended from Israel, living in America.
  • LDS members do a lot of strange things you've probably only heard rumors about. Yes, they seem strange, especially when you hear it from a third source. But they really aren't that strange, and there is nothing abominable about anything they do. Take the time to ask a real LDS member, one who is actively attending church and dutifully attending to their church duties. Don't trust people who say they have a son-in-law who was once a Mormon when he was young or something like that.

You really have two choices when it comes to Romney. Either you care which religion he believes in, or you don't. If you do care, then you can either trust people who are spreading rumors about the church, or you can go to the source and compare both sides of the story. You would be doing yourself a disservice if you wrote off Romney because he believes in a church that does such-and-such, without verifying it yourself.

I-912 Unresolved Issues

April 28, 2006

Remember the I-912 campaign? Yes, that was the one where we all signed an unprecedented number of petitions in an unprecedented short time to repeal the 9 1/2 cent tax imposed by "No new taxes" Gregoire and her Democrats.

During the campaign, the I-912 opponents (those who wanted the money from the gas tax to go into their coffers) sued to have Kirby Wilbur and John Carlson, hosts at KVI, to stop promoting the campaign. Apparently, too many people were listening to them, and doing a lot of good for the campaign. The reasoning was that they were in effect advertising for the campaign and thus they were making a donation and there is a limit to how much they can donate.

Of course, this was absolutely absurd. The PI doesn't have to record all the inches of editorial space they "donated" to the anti-912 campaign, but talk radio does? And what about all this nonsense about "free speech"? Since when did we give congress or any government body the right to limit it?

Anyway, the judge ruled in favor of the anti-912 folks, and now talk radio hosts can't talk but a few minutes on any particular candidate or issue they endorse.

On April 13th, I received a message from the I-912 campaign. Unfortunately it ended up in my spam folder, one of the deeper ones. But I rescued it and read it. The supreme court has agreed to hear their case in June, and they are asking for money to  help fight the case. You can go to http://www.nonewgastax.com and donate there, if you like. 

Small class pupils “do no better”

April 27, 2006

An article at the BBC News points out that "there is no evidence that children in smaller primary classes do better in maths or English".

I would've expected this was true. Education is led by the teacher. The students have to do all the real work.