Friday, July 20, 2007
Sitting in the Park Blocks. Thinking deep thoughts.
Coulda been me. There's one guy in my life that corrected me. April or May of 1970. His name was Jake McGee. Coach. History teacher.
American history was one of my early loves. In 1964 I knew as much as my much older sister. No. I knew more. I was a lover of history.
At dinner table we would talk about our day. Unfortunately for my oldest sister? While I was in 5th grade, she was in 9th grade. The dreaded American history years. But for me American history wasn't a chore. It was a pageant of what we, as Americans, had accomplished. From Washington fighting the Indians and the French, to Washington fighting the Indians and the English.
From serfdom to independence. From the pathetic influence of the Pilgrims to the valiant lives of Pilgrims. American history was a swirling pool of influence and confluence that was unprecedented. And remains, until this day, unprecedented.
In 1970 I decided that I'd turn in an essay on American History in Jake McGee's sophmore history class that ran to the Left. I mean, I had listened to all the "popular" thinkers of the day, and had decided that whatever this "old man" had wanted to teach me was no longer current. And, for a young man, I wrote well. (It was one of the things that I had been "tagged" for, before the term "tagged" had come into vogue.)
What Coach McGee did was unthinkable. He failed me.
Imagine, being a young thinker, smart, top of the world kinda guy in a major school. Getting an "F".
And to this day, I'm thankful for it. The lesson he taught me was simple.
After the "F' at the top of the page, he wrote me a note. "Before you tear down the way things are now, tell me, what will you replace it with?"
I had a lot of teachers that didn't like the long hair, the music, the dope...being a teacher during the '70's had to suck. Going to college was a reprieve from the stodginess of high school. Most of the young teachers were just as confused as I had been, before Coach McGee had asked his question.
1. Let others know who tagged you.
2. Players start with 8 random facts about themselves.
3. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts.
4. Players should tag 8 other people and notify them they have been tagged.
And finally, a random fact. I think I've fulfilled that. I quit being a hippy when I was asked, rather than destroy, what would I build. Thanks, Coach.
Radicalism has its' costs. The first victim of radiclism is the truth. It is the legacy of the anarchists following the Russian Revolution. What could, or would be, be perceived as the leading progressive thinkers of the late 19th century found themselves without portfolio in revolutionary Russia, circa 1917. Syndiclists', anarchists', libertarians' hearts swelled to the "Internationale".
"Arise, the damned of the earth,
"Arise, prisoners of hunger,
"Reason thunders in its crater,
"It is the eruption of the end!
"Let's make a blank slate of the past,
"Crowds, slaves, arise, arise!
"The world is going to change from its base,
"We are nothing, let's be everything!
"This is the final struggle
"Let us gather, and tomorrow
"Will be mankind!"
And then the words of Coach McGee, "...to be replaced with what?" And today, huh? Does anybody actually parse the words of the Internationale before swearing allegiance? The foolishness of Progressive/Leftism is fulsome. "F*ck France" simply lets you see it, in a Not Safe For Work way, where Lefty/Progressivism has taken a once great nation.
As I stated here I got tagged. The rules,
1. Let others know who tagged you.
2. Players start with 8 random facts about themselves.
3. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts.
4. Players should tag 8 other people and notify them they have been tagged.
So, WeAreLumberjacks tagged me. ClassicalValues was my first tag. And my first random fact is that I have two sons and two dogs. Random fact number two is, I've gotta thing about trains. One of my favorite trips was BC Railroad from Vancouver to Prince George. We were supposed to go all the way to Prince Rupert, but a trainwreck on the Canadian National line closed that line down, forcing a trip by bus to Jasper.
My next tag, in response to AWL is Terry Glavin at Transmontanus. If you think there is a major disconnect between Washington, D.C. and the reality of life in Oregon, imagine the disconnect between the capital of Canada and it's west coast princess, Vancouver. (Yes, I know the name of Canada's capital city. It will be found, below, if you don't remember it.)
Canada is in an interesting place. The Liberal Party ran the place for so long that the Grits--short for "Clear Grits", as if that was explanitory--that when the Conservatives took over Ottowa (Canada's national capital city) it signaled a huge policy shift for Canadian politics. And, like the Washington, D.C./New York axis is clear to most of us, Washington being the nation's capital and New York being the country's media center, likewise the axis between Ottowa and Toronto is easily misunderstood by Americans.
And Western means more to the Canadian than western does in the U.S. The West is a recognition that provinces in the East may rule in Ottowa, but the western provinces also have a degree of independence from the political fashions of the east simply due to a lack of access. You can't "get there from here" unless you hop a plane or train. A visit to Banff is like a step back across the years to a time where Tommy's had just defeated the Nazi's and Edwardian manners are still the fashion.
To separate the fashionista sense of a Toronto with the rural tastes of the West, I think you need an interlocuter. There is more to Canada than what you read in the paper or see on the news. But to get there, you need a guide. Try Transmontanus.
Not sure he's throwing enough to the Lefties back home, Gordo spouts in his latest press release that he's lost his mind when in comes to taxes.
"WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Gordon H. Smith (R-OR) assured federal funds will be available to support Oregon’s Healthy Kids proposal with the passage of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) reauthorization package today in the Senate Finance Committee. The SCHIP package includes Senator Smith’s proposal to increase the federal tobacco tax to expand available federal funds for the Healthy Kids initiative in Oregon. The SCHIP reauthorization measure also includes language by Senator Smith to provide mental health parity in SCHIP plans."
This from Captain's Quarters:Democrats have decided to pass a 20,000% tax increase as part of their new fiscal program for America. The target -- this time -- is cigars, on which they plan to escalate the current federal nickel tax to $10 per stogie..."
"The bill doesn't have much of a chance to pass in any case. Bush has already indicated that he will veto any expansion of this entitlement program to the non-indigent. Congress should be considering how to keep our current entitlement programs from sinking into red ink rather than hastening the process with more entitlements."
Gordo's press release continues to explain what the committee action purports to do, for instance:
Allowing states to cover pregnant women up to 200 percent of poverty ($34,340 for a family of four) through a state plan amendment;
Allowing states to apply for a waiver to cover children and pregnant women between 200 and 300 percent of poverty;
Freezing coverage of parents and creates a path for states to move childless adults into Medicaid; and
Correcting problems from the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act that prevent citizens from accessing
the program because the citizen documentation requirements are too stringent."
Love the last part. If you can't prove you're a citizen, we'll just remove the requirement that you prove you are. And this from the guy who opposed the illegal immigration amnesty bill earlier?
But, consistency has never been Gordo's strong point. He put out a press release showing he's a tax and spend democrat after showing the country he's a cut and run Republican.
And he's all ours!
Thursday, July 19, 2007
* Estimated 5'8" - 5'10" in height
* Approximately 250 - 280 pounds
* Shoulder length graying dark brown hair
* Mustache with about 1 - 2 weeks growth of facial hair
* Tattoo left shoulder of crest design with word "Caomanac" underneath (see photograph)
* Wearing dark colored t-shirt, Grey sweat pants, and black Converse "Chuck Taylor" high top tennis shoes
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
And, now I've got to tell you my next "7".
Thank you, LJ.
Look, I don't want to have this guy as our president. But the things he's said in the past 48 hours drive me to say, thanks.
I'm currently listening to Senator John McCain speak on the Iraq War on C-Span2. I just wish he hadn't asked us to forget our rights as Americans to speak out, under the First Amendment, against whatever things we choose to speak out against, as individuals, or as members of associations.
He is kicking ass against the losers.
And now we find out, we really were fighting this war for oil. We didn't know it. I didn't know it. But now?
Look. We're all fighting for the same thing. A safe place for us to raise our children. I know too many Iraqis for me to suggest that oil is the reason why we're fighting. Back in 1982-83 I had too many Iraqi friends that never wanted to get caught in Iraq. Fighting Iran was not something they wanted to do.
They knew about this war twenty years ago.
Why do Democrats want to cut and run?
Can't they think?
Imagine wealth and no intelligence. Can't do it? Think Democrat.
Apparently, not. Not, that is, if you control all the levers of power.
Take the example of the Chavist Revolution taking place currently in a Venezuela near you. Hoping to imitate the successful revolution fought by Cuba, Chavez is hoping to change the values of the market to the values of the revolution. Sorta like Democrats in Salem. If you can make the laws, make'em. By the way, below is a list of accomplishments of our dear leaders. But the lesson will take some time to learn.
So how does Venezuela continue to survive the onslaught of Progressivism? Oil revenue. I guess if Oregon had more oil revenue I wouldn't be so quick to judge our own little, dear leaders. And controlling the official exchange rate of the bolivar to the dollar is a great way to mask an economy's downward spiral. How bad is it? The official currency rate has been fixed since 2005 at 2,150 bolivars to the dollar.
How real is it? The unofficial rate--i.e., the Black Market Rate--is more than 4,000 bolivars to the dollar. So what do you pay your bills with? The bolivar. What currency do you hold on to? The dollar. Heard about this before?
So, while Venezuela runs, basket in hand, what has Salem wrought for mighty Utopia in Oregon?
HB 2007, The Oregon Equality Act
SB 2, Bans "Discrimination" in All Forms
SB 707, Enlarging Oregon's Bottle Bill
SB 838, Oregon's new Renewable Energy Act
HB 2250, Healthy Food for "Healthy" Students
SB 3, Gov's "Healthy Kids" Plan
SB 329, "Healthy" Oregon Act
Price tag on all this? Who cares. It's future, baby! And while costs for mere living jump as a result of this legislation, how many more Freightliners need to leave Beaver country before someone asks if we can afford Utopia?
Monday, July 16, 2007
This fellow is holding a Venezualan coin. It doesn't really matter what it's called. Due to the interference of Hugo Chavez, whatever it is won't be worth tomorrow what it was worth today.
Lefties don't worry about value. Bad Capitalists do. That's why Capitalists are bad and Lefties are good. Lefties think about what we should be doing for people. Capitalists worry about whether or not we're doing enough for money.
Too bad for the Lefties this week. While they're talking about raising taxes on the rich and the like, their economic and energy programs are creating upheavals in countries around the globe. You've probably heard about the impact in Mexico. But did you know that the new bio-fuels proposals in England are going to cost that nation it's trade surplus?
The downside is, not only are you increasing the cost of fuels to run the country, but now you're increasing the cost of feeding its' families.
So, I don't get it. At a time when Cuba's doctors are fleeing Utopia, why is it that we're supposed to want to embrace the Leftie Cool? And I know why Senator Ron Wyden doesn't get it. Didn't he go to Lewis & Clark?
But Senator Gordo? Didn't he go to Willamette? (BTW, it doesn't matter if you went to State. Even though there were 5 times the number of students of Willamette and L & C combined.They paid more for their education. Duh!)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Lou Torres
RENEWABLE ENERGY WORKING GROUP
TO MEET JULY 23 IN SALEM
The Governor's Renewable Energy Working Group (REWG) will meet in
Salem on Monday, July 23 to hear a number of topics, including a
legislative update and Solar Energy Working Group presentation and
discussion. The working group will meet from 1 to 4:30 p.m. at the
Oregon State Library, Rooms 102 and 103, 250 Winter St. NE in Salem.
Other agenda items include an update on Community-Scale Renewables and
updates on other renewables such as ocean wave, woody biomass and
biofuels. A public comment period is scheduled at the end of the
Mike McArthur, Executive Director of the Association of Oregon
Counties, chairs the 35-member working group that was appointed by the
Governor. The REWG includes legislators, utilities, renewable energy
businesses, non-profits, higher education and interest groups. The
group is implementing the Governor's Renewable Energy Action Plan,
which includes more than 50 action items.
The complete agenda and list of REWG members are posted at the Oregon
Department of Energy (ODOE) Web site at:
www.oregon.gov/ENERGY/RENEW/REWG.shtml. ODOE serves as staff to the
Renewable Energy Working Group.
To request an interpreter for the hearing impaired or for other
accommodations, call (503) 378-4040, TTY 1-800-735-2900, or fax (503)
373 7806. For more information, call 1-800-221-8035 (toll-free in
Oregon) or check the Web site at www.oregon.gov/energy.
There is a balance between what can be done and what should be done. Normally, that balance is a reflection of where the votes are. The man pictured here is one of Oregon's best. Governor, then Senator Mark Hatfield.
Oregon was picked off as an "easy" state by the unions back in the '80's. We had a prick of a State House Speaker by the name of Gratten Kerans. And before this prick, Phil Lang, a dick, but not a prick. How much prick? Lasted just a term. He was prick beyond belief. Big issues? Trying to establish a State Bank. Not state banking. (Note: the Wiki post says "owned by a state". that's not true. The correct wording should be "regulated by a state". I can't see any other objectionable reference in the citation. Just remember, you don't know who writes a Wiki entry.)
Nope. Gratten tried to establish a State Bank, owned by the state of Oregon. One of the big opponents to state banking was Frank Brawner, lobbyist for the Oregon Bankers Association.
Frank didn't like Gratten. Or, maybe more correctly, the way Gratten thought. Although, Gratts, or "Spuds O'Gratten" was definately not someone that a realist like Frank could possibly like. The problem that Frank had was that money had to have value. For a leftie like Spuds, money was something you could take and give. It only had value for what it could do. Where it came from wasn't important. If it came from business, well, business was selfish. Giving it to people Grats wanted it to go was good. He was, is, will be a leftie. Just read some of his editorials from the Em.
But here's the point. Frank fought Potatoes AuGratten. (Spuds). And he won. A lot of what Frank said has been taken out of context, for instance, "If you are going to run schools with 70 percent of the money coming from this building, that's a reason for us not to do things the old way." This quote has been taken out of context for what, 15-20 years? Frank's point was, if you take financing away from local school districts, local school districts lose control. And that's a bad thing. It is. Just listen to teachers worry about No Child Left Behind.
What we've been exposed to as Oregonians in the last session, and Governor Kitzhaber, has been a total repudiation of common sense in favor of giving the New Jersyist unions more power in Oregon, the OEA, and less power to common sense, the OBA.
Bankers don't want you to be poor. They do want you to be successful. What Spuds hated, and his ilk, was people who weren't beholden to consensus, to be successful. Strengthening the individual was forbidden. Strenthening the community was good. Even at the cost of the individual. Yes, you've heard this before. That's the tale that Democrat Hillary Clinton has been preaching. Those of us who make money are bad. We're taking money out of the pockets of the poor.
And no, I don't know how to describe this mechanism of rich to poor that she describes. But if you're poor and looking for a handout, I guess it sounds pretty good.
But why cake on Gordo? Look. Gordo has been kissing leftie butt for years. Let's just look at the last few months.
"Smith Seeks to Designate a National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month
Washington, D.C. – Senator Gordon H. Smith (R-OR) joined his colleague Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) today in introducing a Senate resolution to designate November as National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. The resolution aims to bring attention to the need for increased research funding, early detection methods and treatment, as well as public education about pancreatic cancer.
“Like many Americans, I have seen the ramifications of pancreatic cancer first hand when I lost my mother Jessica Udall Smith to this killer,” said Senator Smith. “In loving memory of the millions of Americans who have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and for my mother, I strongly support the goals of this national designation. With increased research funding, early detection methods, and effective treatments and programs, we could be one step closer to ending this devastating cancer.”
The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2007, over 37,170 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and more than 33,000 will die from this disease. Not only is pancreatic cancer the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States, but there are no early detection methods.
Senators Smith and Clinton are introducing the National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month resolution for the first time in the Senate." (From June 6th press release.)
" Smith and Clinton Introduce Bill to Combat the Severe Nursing Shortage Facing Our Nation
Washington, DC - Senators Gordon H. Smith (R-OR) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) today introduced legislation to combat the nursing shortage facing our nation. The Nursing Education and Quality of Health Care (NEQHC) Act increases the nurse workforce in rural areas, expands nursing school faculty, and develops initiatives to integrate patient safety practices into nursing education.
“Our nurses are the guardians of patient safety, but they are overworked and exhausted as our nursing shortage crisis continues to grow,” said Senator Smith. “Working to ensure we recruit and retain more nursing students and facility, especially in rural areas, is one of the smartest investments in the future of America’s healthcare system we can make.”
“This legislation is crucial to combating our nation’s nursing shortage and preventing it from turning into a crisis within our healthcare system. One of our greatest needs for nurses will be in rural areas where the pool of nurses is small and the loss of just one nurse from the workforce can have a profound impact on the health of the community. If we don’t act now, we run the risk of compromising the quality and care across the country,” said Senator Clinton.
The NEQHC Act of 2007 will provide funds for grants and programs in rural communities to encourage and enhance the recruitment and retention of nursing students, nursing faculty, and nurses who serve in rural areas. This legislation will fund projects that will increase the number of nursing faculty including programs that will improve recruitment, scholarships, educational preparation, and establish online courses and accelerated doctoral programs. This Act will also create demonstration projects that will integrate patient safety practices into nursing education programs and enhance the leadership of nurses in patient safety initiatives within the health care setting.
One issue compounding the nursing shortage across the country is that schools are turning away qualified applicants due to the lack of faculty to train them. Enhancing nursing education is imperative given recent studies linking highly educated nurses to better patient outcomes.
According to the Department of Labor, registered nurses currently constitute the largest health care occupation with 2.4 million jobs, and are projected to create the second largest number of new jobs among all occupations by the year 2014; it is estimated that there will be a need for 1.2 million new and replacement nurses in the United States.
The Nursing Education and Quality of Health Care Act is endorsed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the American Nurses Association, the American Organization of Nurse Executives, the Brooklyn Nursing Partnership, Oregon Nurses Association, and the New York State Area Health Education Center System. "
Do you see a pattern? Senator Gordo Y Senator Clinton?
Here's another Smith press release from June 29:
Washington, D.C. – Senator Gordon H. Smith (R-OR), along with Senators Kent Conrad (D-ND), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Olympia J. Snowe (R-ME) and Susan Collins (R-ME), introduced legislation today to encourage persons with disabilities to work toward gainful employment. The measure, Pathways to Independence Act of 2007, would give states flexibility in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program to help engage persons with disabilities move from welfare to work.
"The American’s with Disabilities Act embodies our commitment to protecting disabled workers from employment discrimination,” said Senator Smith. “I fear that new TANF rules threaten that commitment by limiting persons with disabilities from participating in welfare to work programs. In order to stay true to the intent of ADA, states will need flexibility – and Congress should give it to them.”
“Our legislation will give states the flexibility they need to help TANF recipients with disabilities move from welfare to work,” said Senator Collins. “Under our bill, states will be rewarded, not penalized, for investing in programs that will help individuals with disabilities succeed and achieve a higher degree of self reliance.”
States currently face a conflict between the new federal TANF requirements, as reauthorized by the Deficit Reduction Act of 2006 (DRA), and the nondiscrimination requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In order to comply with the ADA, states must make modifications to the work requirements they impose on TANF recipients with disabilities to ensure that they can participate in the program and move toward gainful employment. However, under new federal TANF rules, states only get credit when recipients participate in a narrow set of activities for a specific number of hours each week, with limited flexibility for people with disabilities.
The Pathways to Independence Act of 2007 would allow states to create modified employability plans for people with disabilities and get credit toward their TANF participation rate if recipients comply with the requirements in those plans. This would encourage states to engage people with disabilities in appropriate employment-focused activities without fear of facing federal penalties for not meeting their TANF work rates. The bill also would allow states to exclude people with pending SSI applications and severe temporary disabilities from the work rates.
The National Governors Association and more than 20 states (including Oregon), representing governors of both parties, have identified problems with how the current rules affect their ability to serve individuals with disabilities appropriately and meet the TANF work requirements. They have asked for modifications to the new TANF requirements similar to the ones proposed in this bill."
Does anyone ask why? At what point do you look at a Republican Senator and ask, "Aren't you well enough equipped with an education to see that friendly sounding words aren't enough to require the full faith and credit of the federal government to act upon what should be a local or state problem?"
The answer is, Gordo doesn't hope to represent Oregon in the panoply of issues facing the country. At least, not as a Republican senator.
Just look at this press release from the Senator's office on energy policy, from March 7th:
"Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Gordon H. Smith (R-OR) is supporting legislation that will help Oregonians driver further on a gallon of gas. The Fuel Economy Reform Act of 2007 introduced by U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL), would reduce America’s gasoline consumption by more than half a trillion gallons by 2028 and greatly decrease our dependence on foreign oil. This would be the first change in fuel economy standards in 20 years.
“Consumers are demanding fuel efficient vehicles and I believe American ingenuity is up to the task,” Smith said. “The proper mix of fuel economy standards and tax incentives can help auto manufacturers roll out a durable and safe car, truck, or SUV. This is also a national security issue. We shouldn’t keep buying oil from countries that use the profits to shoot bullets back at us.”
The Fuel Economy Reform Act scraps the current focus on a fleet wide average and authorizes the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) to develop a new system that sets fuel economy standards based on the attributes of a vehicle (such as its size and weight). The goal, under this new system, is to set individualized fuel economy targets that increase by 4 percent per year (or approximately one mile per gallon). The experts at NHTSA will be able to reduce the annual increase if they conclude that the 4 percent target cannot be reached with current technology or without compromising cost effectiveness or the safety of the entire fleet.
If this 4 percent per year improvement is maintained for 20 years, this bill would reduce gasoline consumption by 549 billion gallons. If gasoline were just $2.50 per gallon, consumers would save $1.372 trillion at the pump by 2028.
The Fuel Economy Reform Act will also:
provide incentives to support domestic automobile manufacturing and the purchase of efficient vehicles and protect incentives to keep the manufacture of small vehicles in the United States
create new incentives for vehicle manufacturers or parts suppliers to re-tool, expand, or establish manufacturing facilities that produce advanced technology motor vehicles or components certain engineering, research and development remove the tax benefit cap currently limited to the first 60,000 vehicle sold per manufacturer so that anyone who purchases an alternative fuel can receive tax benefits for the purchase of a vehicles such as a hybrid"
How brilliant is this? Sure, Obama's name is on it. And Gordo worries about being "too smart". Smart guys are racist, I guess.
But the costs of making policy based upon unthought through ideas can, and probably will be, immense.
Far be it from Gordo to think that way.
And that's why I criticise Senator Smith.