Friday, May 7, 2010
Not for them. To them.
If you know a small businessman in your hometown, you can ask him a couple of questions. Like, are you planning to weatherize your home? Are you looking forward to paying more for electricity so that we can increase our reliance on solar and wind power? Are you going to hire another employee in order to take advantage of federal tax credits for new hires?
Rational, calm voices have been ignored for quite a while. The state of Oregon alone has increased their spending by hundreds of millions of dollars for government employees and subsidies for items on the Green Agenda. And to pay for that agenda and those government employees we've increased taxes on the private sector by hundreds of millions of dollars. And, a couple of days ago, David's Oregon Picayune reported that $3-billion of retirement benefits for Oregon's state and local employees have remained off government books.
The debt obligation is there. Governments simply have chosen to ignore it when setting their budgets.
Which brings me back to those folks you see shopping at Freddies, waiting for the light to change and mindlessly measuring life with coffee spoons. Every program of every government that seeks to achieve a socially desirable goal by spending dollars gained by tax revenues or through borrowing is a program that takes dollars out of use by the private sector while further increasing the liabilities of the private sector. Getting a public school teacher to spend money on "green" windows and doors for minimal improvements in weatherizing may be good for manufacturers of windows and doors, but I've never heard "what's good for the window and door industry is good for the U.S.A."
Throwing hundreds of millions of dollars at "Green Technology" by the State, and hundreds of billions of dollars by the federal government cannot, I assert, lower the price you end up paying for a can of asparagus at your local market. This is the first assertion of capital investment that ends up decreasing productivity, not increasing it. There is, on its face, a rational argument against funding "Green Technology." It is a waste of money. It increases the costs of production. And it wouldn't be occurring at all without massive, wasteful spending by your state, local and federal governments.
The City of Seaside recently approved an increased fee for garbage service. We're in a recession--Oregon's economy traditionally lags the national economy by two years--and the city has decided to increase the amount we pay for garbage service. Want to save money? End the mindless subsidy for recycling. Remove the recycling program. End it. That would save us hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. And end the farce that is recycling.
Governments, their employed bureaucrats and their enablers, well-intentioned elected officials, are crippling our economy with programs dedicated to provide a sense of doing something about our environment. They are simply afraid to be the first to point out that the emperor has no clothes. Leadership is being replaced by committees. Unions, like AFCME, SEIU and OEA continue to hype their social justice agenda since it's costless to them. But crippling to the private sector.
I listened for awhile, to Noam Chomsky talking about the faults of America, and I was struck; I am the enemy of Noam Chomsky. I wake in the morning, dedicated to the proposition that the goods and services I supply my customers are essential to their businesses, and that if I do my job well, both they and I will make a profit. This, in the mind of Noam Chomsky, is what is wrong with America. He sees it as the mindless pursuit of profit.
What kind of mindless automaton could listen to Noam Chomsky and not take issue with such vapid pronouncement?
I think about those I see filling their carts at the market, secretly texting as they await a change in lights or deciding which coffee shop to visit for their next cuppa java and see people who are content to view the difficulties of providing for themselves and their progeny as simply the result of a capitalist conspiracy to pull unnecessary dollars out of their wallets in order to fulfill or sustain a profit lust that will only be ended when we make the transition from a capitalist economy to a socialist economy. They don't see the silent dance that is occurring around them at every step and turn in their lives. Thousands of people who are working to provide them with cell phones, computers, jeans, shoes and canned asparagus, all doing so voluntarily, all doing so in order to reduce the costs associated with providing them with these goods and services, all dedicated to increasing the productivity of each job, each shop, each company. And hoping, at the end of the day, that their effort will result in that effort creating profit. Profit that is the return needed to keep that shop open one more day, to pay the investor for the use of his money.
All being done, thanklessly, voluntarily, every day.
All being done on shorter margins, smaller inventories and fewer employees as the private sector seeks to adjust to the hundreds of millions being squandered by our state's governments, and the hundreds of billions of dollars being squandered by our federal government. For lower productivity and higher costs. Absolutely brilliant.
Remember this as the events in Europe unfold. Greece's tiny economy is melting down, and yet the world is feeling the effects of this. What are we going to do when it's time to pay the piper for the State of California? California's economy dwarfs that of Greece. Will California get its government expenditures under control before it's too late? Can Oregon get its government expenditures under control before it's too late?
I don't think so.
I see bureaucrats, their enablers and the government employee unions gathering together to defend the value of their thievery. They are "making a difference." Sure. It's just that we can't afford the difference you're making. And it is your rice bowl being threatened, neh?
Thursday, May 6, 2010
REP. HANNA CALLS ON ATTORNEY GENERAL TO RELEASE
ALL DOCUMENTS RELATING TO FOSTER CONTROVERSY
SALEM—House Republican Leader Bruce Hanna (R-Roseburg) today sent a letter(.pdf) to the Attorney General urging him to publicly release all documents relating to Brent Foster, his former special counsel who’s currently the subject of an investigation by the Marion County District Attorney.
“Mr. Foster’s involvement in the LNG issue, as well as recent revelations regarding Hood River Juice, leads me to question your commitment to promoting a positive business climate and to defending the rights of all Oregonians,” Rep. Hanna wrote.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
8:00 a.m. Saturday, Pig & Pancake, Astoria.
If the weather is clear, it's a good reason to avoid mowing your lawn. At least until the afternoon.
You don't need to be a Republican to come. This guy, in my opinion, will make a great governor. Come and make up your own mind.
Here’s a sample from the four recent endorsements since last Monday:
“Alley is critical of the growth in state spending, and vows to make government operate more efficiently. He has experience in that area, too. As a founder of the high-tech firm Pixelworks, he built the company into a major player, and says he will bring a business executive's problem-solving skills to the governor's office.
The Mail Tribune Editorial Board recommends Republican voters choose Allen Alley.”
-Medford Mail Tribune, 5/2/10
“Alley has the voice of experience. He’s ready to lead the state in a new direction today. And he has the skills to make it happen.”
-La Grande Observer, 4/29/10
"We believe [Alley] gets the edge in this race, thanks to his command of details and his style, which is collaborative, analytical and good-humored."
-Willamette Week, 4/28/10
“[Allen Alley] has the type of experience needed to run Oregon for the future. His zero based budgeting ideas are long overdue. He long resided on the technological curve and understands how to play Oregon on the world stage.
He is the Republicans' best choice for governor.”
-Hillsboro Argus, 4/27/10
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
For an Oregon commission to oppose legal immigration is just cause for ending that commission's budget. I seriously hope--without hope--that the Oregon Legislature takes a look at the work of this particular commission and tells them either to get in line with current law on immigration, or see their funding pulled.
Here's the resolution of Oregon's Commission on Hispanic Affairs.
CONDEMNING ARIZONA LAW INVOLVING
RACIAL PROFILING OF LATINO POPULATION
ON APRIL 23, 2010, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law Senate Bill 1070. That legislation was the culmination of several efforts over some years by the Arizona legislature to enact very controversial and stringent anti-immigrant sanctions. Previous efforts were vetoed by then Governor Janet Napolitano who now heads the Department of Homeland Security.
ARIZONA WAS STRONGLY ADVISED that several provisions of SB 1070 are unconstitutional and that its provisions constituted racial profiling of Latinos. Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik stated that he will not enforce the statute because of its patent unconstitutionality and also because the law requires racial profiling and his department refuses to do so. The legislation was characterized by Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony as “the country's most retrogressive, mean-spirited, and useless anti-immigrant law”. Senator John McCain’s daughter Meghan correctly noted that it was "essentially a license to pull someone over for being Hispanic". The law has been roundly criticized by other cities and by religious and civic leaders. President Barack Obama has called the law unfortunate and called for a legal review.
ACCORDINGLY, THE OREGON COMMISSION ON HISPANIC AFFAIRS RESOLVES THAT IT HEREBY registers its strong disapproval of and disagreement with Arizona’s new anti-immigrant law. This Commission strongly condemns the codification of the racial profiling the Arizona law obviously calls for. We note that rather than provide for more security and safer communities, the new law will likely do the contrary. Mutual respect and trust are essential ingredients for law enforcement to function within communities. This law breaches and damages that trust. It also impairs the open and critical communication needed from all members of a community for law enforcement agencies to function.
THE COMMISSION FURTHER URGES Oregon institutions to review and study any connections they might have to the State of Arizona or to companies domiciled in Arizona and consider other actions they might deem appropriate.
Approved by vote of the Commission on the 30th day of April, 2010.
José Ibarra, Chair
 “Meghan McCain Slams Arizona Immigration Law,”
"The country's most retrogressive, mean-spirited, and useless anti-immigrant law..."
Which means it has real teeth. And illegal aliens in this country will be deported. They will be compelled to leave. Force has been authorized.
For all of our legal immigrants, the "walk across the border" passport is an effront. To law, to ethics, to planning and care, to dignity. For an Oregon commission to oppose legal immigration is an effront to all Oregonians. If we are, indeed Oregonians, not Hispanic-Oregonians, Asian-Oregonians, etc. One law that applies fairly and equally to all.
It's time to review the cost and expense of supporting the commissions of the State of Oregon.
UPDATE: Governor Kulongoski just announced the following appointments to Oregon state boards and commissions. This is not the entire list of appointments, simply filling the current vacancies on these boards. Take a look:
New appointment of Roger Graham, Corvallis and Charles Crackenberg, Newberg
Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission
New appointment of Commissioner Ann Lininger, Clackamas County
State Aviation Board
Reappointments of Chris Corich and Joe Smith, both Portland
Commission on Black Affairs
New appointments of Lorraine Wilson, Eugene, Samaura Stone and Phyllis Harris-John, both Portland
Reappointment of Phyllis Rand, Salem
Commission for the Blind
New appointment of Jodi Roth, Portland
Reappointments of Joyce Green, Portland, Annis Holsworth, Albany and Richard Phay, Prineville
Board of Boiler Rules
New appointment of Eric Anderson, Canby
Reappointment of Vincent Leedy, Ontario
Building Code Structures Board
New appointment of Gregory Nelson, Fairview
Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists
Reappointments of Nila Epstein, Lake Oswego, Linda Gray, Depoe Bay, and Julia Smith, Monmouth
New appointment of John Tess, Portland
Board of Dentistry
New appointment of Alton Harvey, Beaverton
Board of Denture Technology
New appointment of Ken Holden, Eugene
Electrical and Elevator Board
New appointments of Scott Hall, Eugene, and Robert Pyne, Boring
Reappointments of Daniel Maher, Happy Valley, Thomas Lindberg, Portland, Thomas Faires, Portland, and Dennis Perkins, Salem
Energy Facility Siting Council
New appointment of Barry Beyeler, Boardman
Government Ethics Commission
Reappointment of Joanne Waller, Portland
Oregon Health and Science University, Board of Directors
Reappointment of student member Rachel Pilliod, Portland
Health Services Commission
Reappointment of Bruce Abernethy, Bend
Board of Higher Education
New appointment of Dr. Lynda Ciuffetti, Corvallis
Commission on Hispanic Affairs
New appointments of John Haroldson, Corvallis and Judith Parker, Portland
Home Care Commission
New appointment of Roxie Mayfield, Eugene
State Housing Council
New appointments of Tammy Baney, Bend and Michael Fieldman, Roseburg
Trustees of the State Library
New appointment of Aletha Bonebrake, Baker City
Board of Licensed Social Workers
Reappointment of Carol Zancanella, Bend
Oregon Liquor Control Commission
Reappointment of Robert Rice, Portland
Long Term Care Advisory Committee
New appointment of William Bard, Portland
Board of Maritime Pilots
Reappointments of Capt. Anne McIntyre, Dundee, and Jeff Krug, Portland
Board of Massage Therapists
New appointment of Melanie Morin, Tigard
Reappointment of Craig McMillin, Salem
Reappointment of Guy Sperb, Aurora
Board of Medical Imaging
New appointments of Dr. David Farthing, Salem, Dr. Jacob Abraham, Portland, and Shaestagir Chowdhury, Portland
Board of Naturopathic Medicine
Reappointment of Dr. Michelle Homer-Anderson, Central Point
Board of Nursing
New appointment of Donna Cain, Rogue River
Reappointment of Becca Uherbelau, Portland
Nursing Home Administrators Board
New appointment of Sharon Van Eaton, Medford
Oregon State Hospital Advisory Board
New appointment of Dr. Kay Reichlin, Salem
Parks and Recreation Commission
New appointment of Davis Moriuchi, Portland
Patient Safety Commission
New appointment of Diane Lovell, Portland
Reappointments of Jonathan Gray, Colton, and Jack Vilendre, Portland
Port of Portland
Reappointment of Ken Allen, Portland
Board of Public Safety Standards and Training
New appointments of Joe Seibert, Lebanon, Chief Kent Barker, Tualatin, and Scott Stanton, Volunteer Fire Fighter, Hermiston
Reappointments of Sheriff Todd Anderson, Tillamook, and Chief Stuart Roberts, Pendleton
Residential and Manufactured Structures Board
New appointment of Bruce Dobbs, Portland
Reappointments of Kathryn Gray, Portland, and Doug Lethin, Salem
Board of Examiners for Speech Language Pathology and Audiology
New appointments of Lyndsay Duffus, Portland and Jennie Price, Pendleton
Reappointment of Elisa Williams, Lake Oswego
Oregon Student Assistance Commission
New student appointment of Benjamin Eckstein, Eugene
Teacher Standards and Practices Commission
New appointment of Linda Brown, Lake Oswego
New appointment of Steve Clark, Tigard
Commission for Voluntary Action and Service
Reappointments of Emily Gilliland and Eva Schweber, both Portland
Commission for Women
New appointment of Cynthia Homan, Bend
Workforce Investment Board
New appointment of Rosemary Pryor, Eugene
The Governor today also submitted appointments and reappointments for salaried positions that are subject to Senate confirmation:
Employment Appeals Board
Reappointment of Erik Larson, Salem
More government than a state can afford. That's government by committee. Why elect anyone?