Monday, February 28, 2011

Is Collective Bargaining A Right?

Among all the things that bother me about all these protest going on right now, starting in Wisconsin, is the term “collective bargaining rights”.  I just don’t see the ability to bargain as a right. Free speech, a free press, no discrimination in voting, and others outlined in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are what I’d call rights. 

I think a better term would be “collective bargaining privileges”.  When you boil it down, that is what it is, a privilege, granted by the taxpayer and government. There is nothing in the US Constitution that grants you the right to a job or to collective bargain. It is true there are laws on the books that protect folks and organizations that are unionized, but these laws do not grant rights.

 At the state, and to a lesser extent, and federal level this privilege has been abused. Whenever a group can hold a government hostage in an attempt to get more of the taxpayer’s money that would qualify as abuse in my book.  FDR had it right when he said, “The very nature and purposes of government make it impossible for…officials…to bind the employer…The employer is the whole people, who speak by means of laws enacted by their representatives…  In other words, you work for the taxpayer, not General Motors or US Steel.

Getting Back Union Dues

For those of you who have been part of the union either now or in the past, here is a way to get back some of those union dues that have not been used for direct representation, such as for political campaigns or charitable causes. has a fairly simple way to generate a letter requesting a refund of your dues.  The Communications Workers of America v. Beck decision by the SCOTUS entitles union members a refund of their dues not used for representation.
I have not used the site, nor should this be considered an endorsement of the site, use at your discretion and caution. As far as I can tell, it does not ask for security information such as your SSN.

As a sampler, I ran Service Employees – Local 49 or Portland, OR just to get some idea of the numbers.  SEIU – Local 49 represents approximately 7000 nurses and health care employees.  According to the number crunched, just that one local owes over $240K in total Beck Funds for 2009. That works out to be $35.00 for each union member. Keep in mind that 2009 was NOT an election year. I’d really be curious how much they spent in 2008 or 2010 but as far as I could tell that function was not available.

One last caveat: If you do decide to move forward with requesting a refund of your dues that were not spent on direct representation, you might be required to resign from your union. Resignation from a union would mean loss of union privileges like voting on matters such as union board members and collective bargaining agreements.  It could also mean the loss of your job if you are not in a state that is a “right to work” state. The example above is from Oregon, which is NOT a right-to-work state.  I would most definitely check with you union steward before submitting anything to your local.

Protesters Won't Depart Wis Capital Building

Wisconsin protesters are defying orders to leave the state capital building.  After occupying the building rotunda and other parts of the building 24/7 for the two weeks or so, the place has become a pigsty and Gov Walker had ordered the capital police to get the building vacated so cleaning could be done. After the clean up, the protesters are going to be allowed back in, but not for overnight stays.

Some are claiming it is the “people’s house” and they do have a point. But like most any visitor to any house, they have overstayed their welcome.  It is time to start arresting the protesters who refuse to move.  If Gov Walker is going to start layoffs, I would begin with the folks who refuse to depart the capital building.

Obama Bumbles Yet Again

This is completely unbelievable. The American government is expecting American citizens, who have been trapped by the violent unrest in Libya, to reimburse the government for the evacuation. Can the Obama Administration be any more unless.  2012 cannot come soon enough. If we re-elect this man to a second term them we get what we deserve.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Weekend Links

Washington State Legislators are wondering if state workers have given their fair share to help balance the state budget.  Washington is one of the most unionized states in the nation (think Boeing and its 55,000 employees).  The state is also one of the more leftist states in the Union.  Like in Wisconsin, that is a volatile combination.  Right now, it is only a low murmur in the Capital hallways but when the noise starts to become  louder (and it will), the state workers and their union cohorts will be un in arms and it would not surprise me to see a repeat of Wisconsin here in Washington.

Gov Walker is talking layoffs if the bill is not passed due to the runaway state Senators.  I say he should start the layoff process tomorrow. See how the union folks start to eat themselves as people begin to get laid off. The people are so blinded by their hatred for Walker and their desire to keep the union sucking at the teat of the taxpayers they are willing to sacrifice fellow teachers and other employees.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Indoctrination Begins

According the senior enlisted man in the Army, the indoctrination training of troops on the new gays in the military policy will being in the very near future for those currently serving in the combat zones.  Please check out the previous posts that I have made on this subject here and here.

As a retired service member, I am concerned for the men and women who cannot support the lifestyle of openly gay service members due to their religious or moral beliefs. I think I can be fairly confident there will be no compromise for these folks.  I have heard the argument that people who are strongly against gays serving because of their beliefs are a very small percentage.  I think we could also say the opposite is also true. The number of gay service members is going to remain a very small percentage. The military is a largely conservative arena and gays tend towards the liberal side of the spectrum. It is very true there are gay conservatives as well as liberal service members, but both of those are a minority in their respective populations. So when you do the math, the number of gays serving is going to be small, even with allowing them to serve openly.  What we have here is two polar opposites; the openly gay serving, and those completely opposed to their service.  But only one is being forced to accept and adapt, the other will be put out of the service.

More Protests Turn Violent

Protest against Seattle perceived police brutality turned violent last weekend. Kind of ironic that a group that would protest violence would use violence to make their point. When one considers recent events in Wisconsin, Ohio, Massachusetts, and other locations in recent days, it is really not surprising that a protest that involves the left would turn violent.

 There is a bright side to the lefty violence if you choose to look for it. It means they are losing the battle for America. As the right continues it slow and steady march to regain control of our country the left sees they are losing. Since words have not been able to either hold or convince people the left way is the best way, they need to resort to these tactics. I just hope that no one gets seriously hurt or killed by these nut jobs as they continue to try to drown out the voice of the right.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Oil Prices Surge on Middle East Unrest

If there ever was an argument for opening up our own shores and land for development of the oil resources waiting for us, this article should be on every democrats and President Obama desk. I’m sure Sarah Palin knows these numbers. I have touched on this subject before.  We have the ability to be self sufficient, not with just opening areas closed to drilling and exploration, but using our technology such as nuclear power and clean coal.  And yes, even a small portion of our power generation could come from the so-called green sources such as wind and solar (but only if the greenies get out of there own way).

Oil has risen above $100 a barrel for the second time in history and it is due to the jitters being felt in the market due to the violence in the Middle East. No oil is being shipped out of Libya, the recent unrest in Egypt has folks concerned about shipping through the Suez Canal, and the unsettled across the entire region is causing speculation to drive up the price of a barrel of oil.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Local Boeing wins $35B Tanker Contract

Boeing has won the coveted US Air Force tanker contract (here and here). That will be boon to the local economy, with estimating 11K direct and indirect locally generated jobs due to the tanker contract. Another 39K jobs are expected nation-wide as several Boeing facilities will build pieces of the aircraft.

This has been a very long process to get this contract awarded. The current 707 model was first developed in the 1950’s and has been showing its age for quite sometime. The USAF also has a DC-10 tanker variant with a larger capacity and range. It too is quite old so the Air Force needed to replace the current tanker program.

There were also some shady dealings in the original contract award, which some folks did a little jail time. So it was back to the drawing board and this time Airbus got involved.  But the Boeing aircraft was a bit more fuel efficient so long term cost were lower than with the Airbus.

High Volt(age) Price Gouging

Mike over at Confederate Yankee (here and here) and I have been blogging a little (him way more than me) about the Chevy Volt, the electric car that the greenies and Obama are so in love with.  Today Mike has another update, discussing the cost of the Volt now that it at the dealers in limited quantities. It seems that dealers have bumped up the price just a tad, to over $65K.  That is revolting (OK, I shouldn’t done that, and I am ashamed).  Anyway, Mike has more here (scroll down just a bit).

Local Washington News: Fed Budget Cuts are Going to Hurt

The federal government budget cuts are going to have an impact. The budget passed by the House recently calls for significant reductions in money available for higher education, namely Pell Grants. In my home state of Washington there would be $82 million less for students attending college.

You know, everyone is going to complain about something when/if the House budget becomes law. Fewer dollars for transportation projects, so roads will continue to deteriorate. Fewer dollars for education, so class sizes might have to increase and some programs will have to be eliminated. Fewer dollars for the elderly, so now they will have to pay more out of pocket expenses.  All of these are going to hurt, and in some cases, hurt a lot. But what can we do about it? Federal programs have becomes much too expensive and there just isn’t enough money out there to pay for it all.

The Government has a Right to Regulate Your Mental Activity

A must read on the recent decision in a Washington DC District that has upheld the constitutionality of Obama Care.  Before you read the analysis, it might be a good idea for you to read Judge Keesler’s decision paper.  This will arm you with the knowledge necessary to fully understand the analysis.

The analysis at the link provided above does a decent job of cutting to basics and also outlining a couple in interesting points.  The one that jumped out at me when I read the analysis was the point on mental activity.

When I read through the decision the first time, I was a little floored that a judge was basically saying that the federal government had a right to regulate your decision-making process. I am not a lawyer so I don’t always understand the intricacies of the law, but I can read. To me, the Commerce Clause in the Constitution is quite clear. The government can regulate activity, but now this judge is saying the government can regulate inactivity, which in her mind is actually activity because your mental process (thinking) is actually making a decision, which is an activity and subject to federal laws and regulations.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

DOMA Unconstitutional?

President Obama believes the Defense of Marriage act in unconstitutional and orders his Justice Department not to defend the law.

I never actually thought I would see the end of the American greatness in my lifetime. But here I am, middle age, witness to the downfall of probably the greatest country the world has ever seen. Hard to believe that we existed for about 250 years, with about 150 of that in true greatness.

Union Thugs

This is the reason why I posted a few days ago that I don’t want the conservative movement to use the lefty’s tactics. Today a union thug struck a young female because he didn’t like her videoing him. As long as we stay away from these tactics, we will win the day. It may take a while, but it will happen.

Here are a couple more examples over at Michelle Malkin’s site:

Term of Endearment?

Using a twist on the term the left use for the Tea Party and new term has come to pass; Fleebagger.  No sure who coined the term, but I first saw it over on Michelle Malkin’s site.

Wisconsin Teacher's Union Fumbles

Megan Kelly over at Fox News takes Wisconsin Teacher’s Union President Mike Langyel to task. Kelly spent the first half of the interview trying to get this guy to either repudiate or support the fake doctor’s notes.  Instead, he kept “referring” to his talking points.

Kelly tried five times to get him to answer the question and each time was the usual talking point answer.  Several times she grows quite frustrated visibly frustrated with him.

Interestingly, when asked if supported the democrat Senators absence from Madison, he answered directly.

Protest Rundown

Here are some links about protests occurring locally, nationally, and around the world.

Union activists invaded the lobby of the Association of Washington Businesses to have “a sit-down talk with AWB over the closing of tax breaks to pay for health programs…”

Union members rallied in Olympia to show support for the protesters in Wisconsin

The public union protests have spread to Ohio. Here is a completely <sarc> unbiased </sarc> report on the Ohio protest from the World Socialist Web Site.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

Rally in Olympia Supports Wisconsin Protests

Washington State employees used the holiday to show solidarity with the protesting (striking, work-stoppage?) state employees of Wisconsin.  Even Dennis Kucinich, former Democratic Presidential hopeful was there to lead support.

You cannot have a democracy if you don’t have people in a position to be able to negotiate for their wages and to have decent benefits,” Kucinich said, lauding Washington as being a “bastion for workers’ rights,” where people have the capacity to push back.

He also hopes the ‘rally in Olympia would ripple across the country’.

Based on his statements I am fearful that Kucinich is speaking about the truest form of democracy where the mob rules. Unbeknownst to him, we don’t live in a ‘true’ democracy, we live in a Republic.  The Founding Fathers abhorred democracy, preferring a representative government that while working for the majority, was in place to protect the minority.

SEIU Protest in Washington State?

Budget cuts in the State of Washington are starting to be felt. Over 17,000 “poor people” are about to be cut from the rolls of the state’s Basic Health Plan. Most of those dropped are at or above 133% of the federal income guidelines or have not established legal residency.

In light of all that is going on in Wisconsin and likely to happen in Ohio in the coming days, I wonder how many of Washington State workers would be willing to up their Health Care contributions to keep these other folks on the Basic Health Plan.

War Hero Heckled at Columbia University

During a town-hall meeting to discuss Columbia University’s stance on banning ROTC programs on campus, Anthony Maschek was booed and heckled by university students.  Maschek, who was injured in a firefight in Kirkuk, Iraq, was there to speak about the ROTC ban.

Apparently, even though the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy, which was passed during the Clinton Administration, has been overturned by the Obama Administration, there is still some very strong resistance to allowing ROTC on the Columbia campus. Personally I think the school should lose any federal funding if it does not comply with the requirement to allow ROTC on campuses. This law has been ignored for many years, unenforced by federal officials for reason unknown to me. But with the lifting of the ban on gays serving in the military, there is no longer an ‘official’ excuse for these lefty institutions to not allow ROTC on campus. If they continue to ban them, then I say no more tax dollars.

Using Leftist Tactics?

While there have been times where I feel like doing the same thing, I don’t think this is a good idea.  Conservatives are better than this.  I think the person who original posted this either had second thoughts or enough people told him to back off because his original post has been taken down.

It is very frustrating that the left continues to control to dialogue based on their in-your-face tactics.  For Conservative to repeat these actions would backfire on us for certain.  The press, which as we all know has a decidedly leftist bent, would side with the left on any issues.  Do some of you remember the leftist trolls who infiltrated a few Tea Party events as the movement was starting to gain traction? Barely a peep from the MSM. What do you think would happen if a conservative tried to do the same thing at a progressive event? If you answered the MSM would go nuts, the NY Times would make the story Page 2, Paul Krugman would be beside himself condemning the right for these actions, and the Huffington Post would do up a whole story about how these tactics have been used by the right since Teddy Roosevelt.

Humor: If You Were Born Between 1939 - 1979

No matter what our kids and the new generation thinks about us:

To Those of Us Born 1928 – 1979

At the end of this e-mail is a quote of the month by Jay Leno.  If you don’t read anything else, please read what he said
Very well stated Mr. Leno

To All the Kids Who Survived the 1930’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s!!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can and didn’t get tested for diabetes.

Slow Blogging

Sorry about the slow blogging the last day or so.  Been very busy with the chair orders and family obligations.  Spent a good deal of time in Church yesterday. The first Pastor of our Church did the evening preaching in honor of the Church’s 28 anniversary.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Is Inflation Around the Corner?

The possibility of inflation in the coming months has been a little talked about item, unless you are a listener/watcher of Glenn Beck. Inflation is coming, and we are already seeing it. Gas just shot up $0.15 in the last three days in my local area. Commodity prices have been going up in recent weeks, which will impact the cost of nearly everything from the food we buy to the appliances. Milk has also gone up about $0.20 in the last several weeks.  Now it looks like clothing prices are about hit the launch button.  Clothing manufacturer are expected to increase their prices 10 to 20% in response to the increase cost of cotton and other materials used to make your favorite jeans.

Wisconsin Public Workers and Teachers

The growing debate, harsh rhetoric, and building animosity between local and state governments and their employees in Wisconsin is spreading to other locations.

Yesterday, a Nampa, ID school official, Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna had his vehicle vandalized. Two tires were apparently slashed and Luna’s name was spray painted on the side of his pickup truck, then crossed out.  This was done during the overnight hours while the pickup was parked in his driveway.

The issues in Wisconsin is over a bill in the legislature that would have state and local government workers (teachers) contribute more to their retirement accounts and health care costs.  Also, the Wisconsin Legislature is attempting to take away some of the collective bargaining abilities of the unions. The bill will leave the unions with the ability to bargain for wages, just not other aspects like health care and retirement accounts.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Nanny State of Washington

In previous post and in my about me I have mentioned that I love living in the Pacific Northwest despite the fact the place is crawling with liberals. Here in Washington they tend to practical on a lot of matters. But every once in a while some State Legislator wants to be my mama.

State Representative Laurie has introduced a bill that would limit sodas “to no more than one-fifth the drinks sold by vendors or in vending machines.”  Fried foods and food with added sugar would also be limited.

This is NOT something I like about living in a state that thinks they have to do “what’s good for me”.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

How Two States Deal with Coyotes

This was posted over at Rural Revolution, and with their kind permission I’m posting here for my readers enjoyment.  When done, please go visit.

The Governor of California is jogging with his dog along a nature trail.  A coyote jumps out and attacks the Governor’s dog, then bites the Governor.

1. The Governor starts to intervene, but reflects upon the movie “Bambi” and then realizes he should stop because the coyote is only doing what is natural.

2. He calls animal control. Animal Control captures the coyote and bills the state @200 testing it diseases and $500 for relocating it.

3. He calls a veterinarian. The vet collects the dead dog and bills the State $200 testing it for diseases.

4. The Governor goes to hospital and spends $3,500 getting checked for diseases fro

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Links (Washington State Local)

Here are a few links from my local area (Washington State)

This is probably the biggest news in the area. Several months ago a Seattle PD officer shot and killed a man he thought presented a threat. The case has been a hot-button issue for several months. Yesterday, it was announced the Prosecutor was not going to file criminal charges against Birk.  On the other hand;

…, Seattle Police Chief John Diaz announced during a news conference that the department’s Firearms Review Board has found the shooting was not justified.  He said Williams (the victim, PACNW Righty adds) did not pose a serious threat of harm and use of a firearm was not justified, according to the board’s finding


CBS Reporter Assaulted (Update)

See Update below.

CBS reporter Lara Logan was in Cairo covering the anti-Mubarak demonstrations and was attacked by a gang of 200 Muslim men and repeatedly sexually assaulted. (here, here)  Her rescue was initiated by a group of Muslim women who told the Egyptian army Logan needed to be saved.

Just more proof that Islam is a religion of peace and serenity. I know I shouldn’t group all of them in one sweeping statement, but why was it that the women had to go get the army to rescue this poor woman?  Why didn’t some of the 200 that surrounded her think this was a bad idea?  Will any of her attackers be brought to justice? Makes me sick. I pray for her full recovery and hope that she can eventually move on with her life.

UPDATE: Go here for a series of updates on the assault on Lara Logan while covering events in Egypt. If it turns out it wasn’t as bad a initially reported, I will update completely.  BTW: Nir Rosen seems to be NOT a nice guy.  Go find out what he said, and what has happened to him since the moment he caught foot in mouth disease.

Food Prices Set to Increase

In recent months Glenn Beck has been saying that we are headed for inflation in food. It looks like that is about the happen (h/t, rural revolution).

The harsh weather across the southern US and northern Mexico has done some serious damage to crops which will have an impact on our pocket book. If you like produce like peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, and asparagus, expect to pay double or triple, if you can find it.

I wonder if when OwlGore will come along and say, “I told you this global warming was going to have an impact”?

Defector Lied about Iraq's WMDs (Update)

Interesting story here about the Iraqi defector who lied about the WMDs in Iraq that was the basis for our invasion. He is not sorry that he lied.

UPDATE: With the news today that “curveball” lied to Americans about Iraq’s WMDs, Gen Colin Powel is a little PO’ed. He has every reason to be and he wants answers from the CIA. Colin Powel put his reputation on the line when he ‘testified’ in front of the UN, using information from Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi (Curveball) to request the go-ahead for the US’s planned invasion.

One more thing. Both links that I have provided today for this story mentions the 100,000 Iraqi civilians that may have been killed during the 8-year long war. Why don’t they mention the hundreds of thousands of Kurds killed by Hussein and his sons?  Just askin’.

Israel and the Left (Part 2, Media Edition)

It is really interesting when you sit down and think about the alliance between the far left and the Muslim Brotherhood.  The far left has made it clear that they support Palestine and Muslim desires in the Middle East over Israel’s right to exist.  Here are several examples; (Thanks Legal Insurrection)

Glenn Greenwald over at Salon goes on and on about how the IDF ruthlessly attacked and killed several defenseless humanitarian aid workers.

“Late last night, Israel attacked a flotilla of ships in international waters carrying food, medicine, and other aid to Gaza, killing at least 10 civilians on board and injuring at least 30 more (many reports not put the number at 19 dead and 60 injured). The Israeli Defense for is claiming its soldiers were attacked with clubs, knives and ‘handguns’ when they boarded the ship without permission.” (emphasis added)

If you have the time, you must read the first few pages of the comments sections. I never realized how many of the left truly hated Israel and wish for its demise.  It was quite stunning to read.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Will the MSM Highlight this?

Tax Breaks for Electric Cars? (Update 2)

Updates below (Thanks Mike at Confederate Yankee [CY]):

Update 2: Link to FOX News story about the federal government subsidizing the electric car market by giving money to cities to put up charging stations.  No one ever offered to purchase tires that get better gas mileage, or to get me a tune up. As usual, FOX News makes points that the other networks won’t like the cost to us taxpayers.

The other day Seattle PI blogger Robert Brown asked the following question:

16 people responded to his question, and a little less than half thought we should NOT tax electric cars. A couple of the responses were of the “nanny state take care of me” variety.

One commenter called Orcas Island said:

“I think we should raise the gas tax on combustion engines then use those funds to reward those who purchase either high-mileage hybrids or electric transportation.

Your Fred Flintstone, gas-combustion Klown Kar is no longer a status symbol. Get over it already.”

Mr. or Mrs. Island is a little short-sighted, in my opinion.  When I first read the question at the top of the article, I was just going to give a quick short response, but “Island” got my dander up a tad.  My response actually turned out to be quite lengthy.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Iranians Take to the Streets

The Iranians are at again. Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Tehran to protest the oppressive government of Dictator President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. One protester was killed. The uprising are supposedly in support of the recent protests in Egypt, which successfully pushed out Mubarak. Iranian security police were out in force, clamping down on the protesters and blockading the home of a leader of an opposition group.

So far, it appears the protests have not crossed over to be against the Iranian government. But one wonders how much crack down by government forces will push the protesters into the same mode they were in the last time there were massive protests in 2009.  If Iranians who wish for a different form of government continue to protest, will President Obama ignore them like the last time?  And will the MSM latch on to these protests as they did with the Egyptian protests?  Will the media see these protests as a desire for freedoms?  Only time will tell.


For the life of me I cannot recall where I found this. I didn’t receive in an e-mail, I keep almost everything. If are the owner of this, please let me know. I’ll give credit where credit is due.

Excerpts for a Dog’s Diary…

8:00 am – Dog food!  My favorite thing
9:30 am – A car ride!  My favorite thing
9:40 am – A walk in the park!  My favorite thing
10:30 am – Got rubbed and petted!  My favorite thing
12:00 am – Lunch!  My favorite thing
1:00 pm – Played in the yard!  My favorite thing
3:00 pm – Wagged my tail!  My favorite thing
5:00 pm – Milk bones!  My favorite thing
7:00 pm – Got to play ball!  My favorite thing
8:00 pm – Wow! Watched TV with the people!  My favorite thing
11:00 pm – Sleeping on the bed!  My favorite thing

Excerpts from a Cat’s Diary…

Weekend Links

Weekend Links (Mostly Washington State Local)

Just a few notes today

The Alaskan Way Viaduct, a main north-south route along Seattle’s waterfront, is scheduled for replacement, and a tunnel was selected by the Seattle City Council (Mayor Mike McGinn has vowed to veto the project). There are some concerns about how the tunnel design would handle various disasters. The article linked here discussed how the designers will overcome these issues.

Lufthansa and Korea Air are first in line for Boeings latest version of the venerable 747 (Boeing’s flagship since 1969) which was unveiled to much fan-fair today. The latest version stretches out the upper deck to the wings, increasing upstairs capacity and has the latest gee-whiz-bang engines.

Israel and the Left (Part 1)

One thing that has always confused me over the years was the support of the Democratic Party by American Jews. Looking back, it seems to me the staunchest supporters of Israel’s right to exist has been the Republican Party, while the Democrats and their supporters have been negligent at best, and downright hostile at worst. (Mild disclaimer at the bottom of the post)

American leadership support for Israel has waxed and waned over the years, depending on who controlled the White House and/or Congress. I seem to recall that Presidents Reagan and Bush (I & II) we firm supporters of Israel as were Republican Congresses. Carter, Clinton, and now Barak Obama not so much. Republicans want to see a strong Israel to promote stability in the region, a region that is highly important to our national interests. Conservatives firmly believe in Israel’s right to exist in the region and we believe in their right to protect themselves.

Leftists and Progressives on the other hand seem to want to see Israel defeated and no longer be a viable country.  When you have the likes of Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn and organizations like Code Pink protesting the Israeli blockade of ships bringing “humanitarian” supplies into Palestine who also support the Democrat causes, it makes one wonder.  When the Obama appointed US Intelligence Directors says things like the Muslim Brotherhood is largely secular, it points to not having Israel’s best interest at heart. Yet the Jewish population in American continues to support Democratic politicians. In 2008 78% of the Jewish voters voted for Barak Obama, and John Kerry won 74% of the Jewish vote in 2004. I find this very interesting when you consider that some of the groups that vocally support Democrat candidates are also vocal supporters of Hamas, like Code Pink.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Slow Blogging

Slow blogging day today. I received a couple of orders for my Adirondack Chairs and had to get working on those.  I am also working on a longer post on the Egypt situation and the possible impacts to Israel. Stay tuned for that, most likely tomorrow.  For my local area readers, I will put up my weekend links very soon tonight.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

California No Longer "Cruising" Along

The bad news for California continues unabated. First off, they cannot seem to get control of their debt, the unemployment rate continues to remain above 12%, and businesses are leaving in droves (here are 10 reasons why).  Now comes word that the Cruise industry is abandoning California ports due to the economy and tourists’ fears of violence in Mexico.

See my previous posts (here and here) on the state of The State of California. But they do have nice weather.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Obama, The Job Creator?

Small little story over at the Weekly Standard. Seems that Obama Care might not be all that great at creating jobs. If this is true, all I can say is WTF [(win the future) sarc off].

Who Will Fill the Vacuum?

So who will fill in the vacuum with Mubarak finally heeding calls to step down?  Will Egypt follow the example set by Turkey in the first half of the 20th Century and form a more secular government, with a Constitution that separates the rule of the state from the practice of religion?  Or will in follow the example of Iran, who in 1979 exiled the despotic Shah and replaced him with a despotic theocracy?

In the early half of the 20th century the Ottoman Empire had essentially collapsed after WW I. While the Sultan of the Ottomans retained some power, a democratic movement was taking hold, with Kemal Ataturk as one of democracies leading proponents, actually resigning his commission in the Ottoman Army to basically lead the Independence movement.  In the early to mid 1920s Turkey emerged from the old Ottoman Empire as an independent secular nation whose constitution borrowed liberally from the constitutions of the nations across Europe. Until very recently, Turkey has been governed with little eye towards Islamic input on governance.

Mubarak Resigns (Who Comes Next?)

Mubarak has resigned as most of you probably already know. I haven’t blogged about this much due to the ever changing conditions in Egypt. Now that one major decision has been made, what happens next? VP Suleiman does take over, most likely backed by the respected military. But happens after that? Do we have an 1979 Iran on our hands and a mid ’00 Palistine with Hamas (Muslim Brotherhood)? Or do we have a Turkey from last century?

In 1979 a hated autocratic ruler was forced out, to be replaced by a democratic system that soon collapsed and allowed the Ayatollah to move in. Iran has been a hard line Theocracy ever since, exporting terrorism for 3+ decades. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood is the most and best organized group and this organization could be the difference maker. The MB even has some tacit approval from the Obama Administration, which is just a completely bad idea.  The MB dudes are bad news, and they have been quite clear on their intentions for both Israel and long range goals.

I'll provide more later.

Local Washington State News

Here are a few stories from around the local (Washington State) area from the Seattle PI and the Seattle Times (occasionally I throw on a link to Crosscut, a kind of funky Seattle news site).

WA State resident may have to pay higher licensing fees if they own what is deemed as a “gas guzzler”. State legislators are floating ideas that could possibly increase the price drivers pay at the pump, or to register a vehicle, especially if that vehicle is larger. The extra taxes would go to support already heavily subsidized mass transit in King and Pierce counties.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Oil Boom in the West

A week or so back I blogged about the high-speed rail and peak oil, pointing out that peak oil has been a moving target ever since the term appeared back about 35 years ago.  Well, new drilling techniques just might push the peak oil further to the right yet again.

The new technique, which forces oil to be released from shale, has made possible the extraction of oil in North Dakota and South Texas.  Further discoveries in Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, New Mexico, and California have looked very promising. (source: Yahoo Finance via TigerHawk)

The oil extraction has brought a bustling economy to North Dakota, which has an unemployment rate of 3.8%.

Coldest Jan in Quite A While

The average temperature for January 2011 was -0.8F cooler than the 1901-2000 average.  It was also the coldest since 1994.

It is possible Georgia could set the record for their coldest winter ever.

The state of Oklahoma has set their all time record for the coldest temperature ever recorded.

House Republicans Experience Some Bumps

Things are getting a little bumpy for Republicans who now control the House of Representatives (source:  After a couple of early successes, most notably the passage of the bill to end Obama Care, it has slowed down a bit. More recently Republicans have not been able to pass two bills, and a third struggle is looming on the horizon.

1. On Tuesday, several House Republicans broke ranks and shot down an extension to the PATRIOT Act. The break-away Republicans were basically telling the leadership that you didn’t give us enough time to study the bill and we don’t like you break the rules to get this to the floor. The bill is expected to pass later once it is brought back “under rule”.

Curbing the EPA

Today, I have been in conversation with a couple of other Big commenters over EPA accountability and whether the EPA should even exist.  In the article that got the conversation started, writer AWR Hawkins feels that recent efforts by the now Republican controlled House to curb the EPA and their wacky ways don’t go far enough:

“Fortunately, Republicans in the new Congress have seen the EPA’s latest power-grab for what it is and have offered two pieces of legislation to curtail the power of the mammoth agency. The bills, one of which was introduced by Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) and the other by Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) and Representative Fred Upton (R-MI), bar the EPA ‘from using its regulatory authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate industrial emissions of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide.’ In doing this, the bills literally roll back the clock by taking away powers the EPA has unilaterally given itself during the last 40 years (like the power to regulate CO2 emissions)”

“The only disappointing thing about Barrasso, Inhofe, and Upton are doing is that they don’t go far enough. In other words, it’s not just to rein in the EPA but to abolish it.”

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Republican Congressman Scandal Breaks

Just to prove that neither party has the market cornered on sleaziness NY Republican Representative Chris Lee goes a does something really, really, really, really stupid.  Seems he answered a woman’s personal posting on Craigslist with a bare-chested picture of himself.

He resigned effective today.  Very good on him. While a scandal is a scandal, trolling a website like Craigslist is not the same thing as having $90K in your freezer. CNN has the full story.

Obama Care Going Bye-Bye?

Here are a couple of links from the Drudge Report on the continuing slide of Obama care. Congress will move to defund next week, and public support continues to wane.

Obama and Internet Controls

Big article here about the Obama Administration’s desire to control the Internet. I have already said my piece about this issue so I won’t add too much commentary. It is a long read, but well worth your time if you want to know what might lie ahead when it comes to the Internet.

5 Business Unfriendly EPA Regulations

During his SOTU speech last month, President Obama said he wants to help businesses get back to hiring and one of the ways he is going to help is to get rid of job killing regulations. Over at the Daily Caller, they have a list of five regulations Obama could get rid to help stimulate job growth. I’ll give you the highlights and my take, but read the whole story here.

1. EPA Climate Change Regulations. Since Congress thwarted Obama’s plans to pass a massive Capt and Trade bill, he has directed the EPA to put many of the Cap and Trade provisions in to effect through EPA regulations. Many businesses and even some homeowners could be impacted if the EPA has their way. Hopefully Congress will be able to dull the fangs of the EPA.

Public Sector Union Chief Opens Mouth, Inserts Foot

For all of you non-government workers out there who still have a job the video at this link might interest you. For those non-government workers who have been laid off in these tough times and have struggled to find work, the video is probably going to tick you off.

At what point in time will these people realize cuts have to be made and there will be some things cut that had been off limits in the past?  Right now, we are involved in one war and one peacekeeping/training mission that costs gobs of money, yet the DoD is going to see the axe fall on their budget. Although Obama has asked for additional funding for high-speed rail, the transportation budget is going to see cuts. Environmental issues are going to see fewer dollars. Public sector employees earn anywhere from 10-15% more than their private employee counterparts, yet the head of the civil-service union is crying like a baby. Public sector employees (at the fed level) are nearly immune to layoffs, while the unemployment rate remains above 9%. In fact, under the Obama administration, public sector jobs have increased. Since the start of the recession 7.9 million jobs were lost in the private sector, while the public sector gained almost 600,000 jobs (source: National Review Online) The only part of the nation that hasn’t been hit hard by unemployment is the DC area, while the rest of us hope to hang onto our jobs or are struggling to find work.

Blizzard of 2011, Round II (A Letter to OwlGore)

Dear OwlGore,
  Hello from the Midwest! (actually, I'm not from the Midwest) How are you doing these days? Are you staying nice and warm in your massive Cadillac SUV, your 20 room mansion that uses more energy to heat then many small towns, or one your private fuel-sucking jet as you fly to far-flung locations around the world? It is a little chilly where a lot of us are from. See the maps that I have attached to this letter.

Minimum Temperatures

Medal of Honor Awardee Moves Forward

Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Staff St Salvatore Giunta has decided to not re-enlist in the Army, but has decided to go back to school. While I think it would be great to have the one living CMH recipient from the current wars stay in and be an example for other troops, he is making a great decision to move on with his life.  I wish him all the best as he moves forward. Read the full story here.

God Bless You Salvatore!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Replacing God, Not A Good Idea

One of my favorite bloggers is a woman who writes about her and her family’s life in rural Idaho. As it says in the “About me” section of her blog, Rural Revolution, she is “a practical constitutional conservative stay-at-home gun-toting, homeschooling cow milking rural-living Christian mom.” She also writes a weekly column for World Net Daily. This week she takes on big government replacing God in our lives. It is well worth a read and she pulls no punches. If you haven’t read her blog or columns, I highly recommend you bookmark her blog. I’ve been a reader for more than two years and have enjoyed reading her take on life.

Obama Budget Cuts

During his SOTU address and again with Bill O’Reilly, President Obama talked about his proposed budget cuts, somewhere in the neighborhood of $775 billion. Doug Ross has an interesting look at the proposed budget cuts.

Obama Wants $53B for High-Speed Rail

President Obama is asking for $53 billion for high-speed rail as part of his WTF (win the future) program to rebuild the USA infrastructure. I have posted several times that I don’t see high-speed rail as a way to the future for the US, we are too spread out and too in love with our autos.  Michelle Malkin has more.

 I really believe that the money would be better spent on improving our roads and freeways.  These are going to have to been done eventually, why not now? The $53 billion could be used for several projects that would improve traffic flow. There are two examples in my local area. The first is the I-5 Columbia River Bridge between Portland and Vancouver which will cost $6-$7 billion. The Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement is expected to cost $3.1 billion (not holding my breath) for a bored tunnel under the western side of downtown Seattle (essentially under the existing viaduct). Both of these projects would increase trafficability tremendously in the respective areas. I am sure the cost per user would be much less than the per user cost for high-speed rail.