Sunday, July 31, 2011

Freedom Ticking Away

With all of his czars and power given to his cabinet, President Obama is more like a dictator every day. He has rendered Congress nearly useless. Now, it looks like Congress is complicate in Obama’s efforts. The Congressional Black Caucus has urged Obama to invoke the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling without congressional approval.

Of course, this won’t be reported in the media, or if it is, it will be to support these efforts.

The longer this guy stays in office, the more freedom is eroded.

Higher Taxes are on the Way

This is a must read. I don’t have much comment because the article says it all.

Gotta Love Those Unions

How often have you heard from the leadership of unions that they are all about the workers and through the unions America will get back to work?

Seem that a union member, who could not find a job through the union, went behind the backs of the union and got a non-union job.

The union fined him $300,000, which was later reduced to $200.000. Very magnanimous of them to reduce the fine. I don’t know if the fine is enforceable or legally binding. I would imagine with all those hard earned dollars going into the coffers (via union dues) of the unions to pay for some pretty fancy lawyer-types, there is legal language that will force this guy to pay the fine.

Just so I understand this, a guy couldn’t get a job through his union, went on his own and found a job so he could pay his rent/mortgage and purchase food and other items on the economy (the best stimulus there is) and now the union is going to take even more money from him. Must really be nice to be represented by a union.  As I have said many times before, the unions were once a very important need in this country. They long ago outlived their usefulness.

Friday, July 29, 2011

A Trackback

Hey gang, my global warming post from yesterday made it to a scientific chat room. Go check this out if you have the time. I’m moving up in the world. Interestingly, no one left a comment on my blog; although several clicked the link provided and visited my little blog.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Intercity Buses Instead of High-Speed Rail?

Early on in my blogging career I posted several “articles” about high speed rail. You can review if you wish.

High-Speed Rail has been a gleam in the left’s eye for quite some time. But it never really gained much traction because the folks that held the purse-strings (our tax money) didn’t think Americans were anywhere near ready to put their cars in the garage and take the train. Make no mistake; Europe and Asia have had some success with high-speed rail. But none of these regions were in love with the freedom of the open road quite as much as we Americans have been.

As long as there were little to no government funding available for the projects, they were nothing more than dreams for some. That is until Barack Obama became President. Our socialist president wants us regular Americans to give up our cars and take the train. Never mind the huge outlay of cash (some estimates are well north of $1T in taxpayer money) this would require. And keep in mind we don’t even have the money because we are so far in debt now. Private business is not going to build the network because they know there is no profit in high-speed rails. He has this grand vision for a huge network of high-speed trains from coast to coast.

Image from

The Cato Institute has a better idea. Why not let the growing intercity bus market grow? Seems like a decent idea. I do remember as a kid riding the bus every summer from Redding, CA to Toledo, OR to go visit my Grandmother. The bus took us directly to Eugene, OR, where we switched to a local that took us the rest of the way. Eugene was a hub of sorts with daily (some times more often) locals heading in various directions. The bus dropped us off about a block from her house.

Could a high speed rail do that? I don’t think so. No matter how much the high-speed rail junkies try to paint it, the service for a very large percentage of Americans is just not going to cut it. I have tried to provide you with some of my opinions on the difficulties of building and sustaining a high-speed rail network with my various posts.

Please don’t get me wrong, I love taking the train. I have done so several times in my life and have loved it. But I rode for the fun, not because it was more convenient. When I drive my car, I can go door to door, so to speak. Not so with the train. I have to drive my car to the station and leave it, generally in an unsecure parking lot. Once I get to my destination, somebody has to come pick me up. Now I am at my destination and I am without a car. That’s great if I were going to an all-inclusive resort, but not so much if I am visiting family.  Yes, yes, I could rent a car and have done so in the past. But our flight to San Diego took 3.5 hours. Even on a high-speed train, it would be at least a long day, maybe even longer.

As the CATO study points out, going with buses makes sense for a lot of reasons but the one I like the most is the affordability. There is no way a train ride from San Francisco to San Diego is going to be cheaper than riding the bus. Many people are not going to be able to afford the train trip. It will be easier and cheaper to drive or ride the bus, than take the train.

Is the Global Scam Losing Steam?

Is this article a sign that the whole global warming scam has run its course? First off, the article suggests that NASA data used by the “warming” crowd has been read incorrectly.

NASA satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011 show the Earth’s atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than alarmist computer models have predicted, reports a new study in the peer-reviewed science journal Remote Sensing. The study indicates far less future global warming will occur than United Nations computer models have predicted, and supports prior studies indicating increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide trap far less heat than alarmist have claimed. (Source: Yahoo News) (Emphasis PACNW Righty)

One of the co-authors of the study, Dr. Roy Spencer had this to say:

“The satellite observations suggest there is much more energy lost to space during and after warming than climate models show,” Spencer said in a July 26 University of Alabama press release. “There is a huge discrepancy between that data and the forecasts that is especially big over the oceans.”

In addition to finding that far less heat is being trapped than alarmist computer models have predicted, the NASA satellite data show the atmosphere begins shedding heat into space long before United Nations computer models predicted. (Source: Yahoo News)

I wonder how long it will be before OwlGore explodes. The more information that gets studied, the more clear it becomes that the global warming efforts were nothing more than an attempt at controlling our lives by people who think they are smarter than us. When the communist movement fell through, these radicals had to have another outlet. They choose the environmental movement. There they met kindred spirits; people that wanted to control what, where, and how we did things. It was a match made in mother earth.

Secondly, to get us back to the original point, I do find it interesting that Yahoo would use the term alarmist. This would be a change for them. Yahoo has traditionally been on the side of the global warming crowd. So, can we surmise that with Yahoo publishing an article that calls the global warming crowd “alarmists” that the global warming scam has run its course? Will we be able to get back to using terms like drought, and “more rain than normal”, and heavy snowfall in the mountains”, and “my gosh, it is HOT this week”?

I hope so.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Some Things to Think About

My blogging friend posted a series of little anecdotes about life that I think you all should take some time to read. I will give you a sample, which is my favorite of the five, but please click the link at the bottom to read the rest.

3. Always Remember Those Who Serve

In the day when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.

“How much is an ice cream sundae?” he asked.

“Fifty cents,” replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it.

“Well, how much is plain dish of ice cream?” he inquired.

By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient.

“Thirty-five cents,” she brusquely replied.

“I’ll have the plain ice cream,” he said.

The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, neatly placed beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies.

You see, he couldn’t have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.

Click here to read “Some Stuff to Think About”.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Power Line Contest, #5

The fifth place finisher is a longer one, but worth a view.

“How Big is a Trillion?”

Power Line Contest, #6

“Pool” was the sixth place finisher.


Power Line Contest, #7

This is the number seven Power Line contest finisher

“Fiscal Child Abuse”

Power Line Contest, #8

“Weight” is the number eight finisher. Interesting take on how things compare.


Power Line Contest, #9

The number nine place is a comic posted at Instapundit.

Power Line Contest, #10

“Talking Babies” was the tenth place finisher.

"Talking Babies"

Power Line Contest

Here is another that didn’t make Power Line’s top ten. Very Entertaining.

"Shovel Ready"

Power Line Contest

Earlier this summer Power Line Blog started a contest to give away $100,000 dollars to the Power Line reader who best dramatizes the national debt.

Here are some of those:

This one did not make the top ten but they did like it:


Illegal Immigrants to Get California Student Aide

While California is mired in debt and obligations it cannot pay, a recently passed and signed bill will further tax an already collapsing system.

California is going to the banks to ask for a temporary $5 billion dollar loan in case the federal debt ceiling is not raised. At the same time California governor “Moonbeam” Brown has just signed legislation that will add more financial burden to the state. Known as the California “Dream Act”, this bill will allow illegal immigrants access to funds for a college education. The money is private, but the fallout will impact the bottom line. As private money is drained, students who don’t qualify for the private grant money will then turn to the state funding lines. (Links via Drudge Report)

BTW: I want you to notice that never does the writer for the LA Times refer to these folks as illegal immigrant students, instead using the purposefully benign term “undocumented students.”

Suit To Challenge Local Anti-Tax Initiative

A couple of years back an initiative was passed in the state of Washington that limited our state legislature’s ability to raising taxes. Initiative 1053’s language requires that there be a “super-majority” in order to pass any tax increases.

It seems there are some legislators who just don’t get it when it comes to taxation. Several democrat legislators, along with the League of Education Voters are filing suit in Superior Court to get this initiative overturned.

To support their suit the plaintiffs are cherry-picking the state constitution. According to the State Constitution “No bill shall become law unless on its final passage the vote be taken by yeas and nays…and a majority of members ge elected to each house be recorded thereon as voting in its favor.”

However, Article II, Section 1 and Amendment 7 are fairly clear in that the initiative process takes precedence over legislative actions and the legislature is bound by any initiative passed that has any impact over their actions. I am not a lawyer, so I don’t always understand the legal mumbo-jumbo, but it seems fairly clear to me that this suit doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

Take a look at who is filing this suit. It is all democrats or organizations that support democrat causes (more taxes). Since I can’t find any evidence that contradicts, I am going to assume that the League of Education Voters has pretty much supported democrats across the board. There might be instances otherwise, but I cannot find them.

Even people in a liberal state like Washington recognize that there has to be limits on how our “representatives” collect and spend our money. The people spoke loud and clear when this initiative was overwhelmingly approved with a 64% “yes” vote.

Oddly enough, even though I do support Initiative 1053, I am on the fence when it comes to the whole initiative process. We live in a representative democracy, more commonly referred to as a Republic. This has been done in order to prevent the chaos of pure democracy. Most states have chosen to emulate the national government in the sense that they too govern in a representative manner. Some states like Washington and Oregon have backtracked somewhat from this republic form of government with the initiative process inserted into their state constitutions. The initiative process allows for a “majority rules” kind of actions which is what the framers of the US Constitution wanted to avoid.

On the plus side of the initiative process is it acts as another check and balance on the government. If the people do not support actions of the legislature, they have the ability to overturn (some say hinder) legislative actions. As I have stated several times in the past, Washington is a liberal state where the population isn’t really fond of over taxation. They have proven this time and time again over the years. The voters have prevented the legislature from imposing higher taxes with the 2/3’s legislative requirement to raise taxes.

But at what point does an initiative hinder the ability of those chosen (voted in) to represent us? The state of Washington faced a $5 billion budget shortfall this past session. Initially, the avenue attempted to file the gap was a combination of higher taxes and some budget cuts. But initiative 1053 forced the legislature to make cuts only because they could not muster the 2/3’s needed to raise taxes. But was it a good thing that taxes were not raised? The state had to slash nearly every program under their purview. This included health care for the poor as well as cuts to education. User fees were raised across the board. State employee salaries were cut by 3% over the next couple of years.

This time around, I do think these things were necessary. Usage requirements for the state health care system were tightened. People who use the programs have to jump through more hoops to gain access to the state health care system, but it should be that way. If you are on the taxpayer dime, it shouldn’t be a “no questions asked” kind of access.

State employee salaries needed to be more in line with the private sector. The benefits allotted to employees are far and away better than those who work in the private sector. The retirement plan is generous, to say the least. The state contributes over 5% of the employee’s salary (not deducted from) to a retirement fund. Employees are not required to contribute anything. Health care is relatively cheap. $112.00 a month gives an entire family a robust health care plan. And there is no charge for dental or vision care. So maybe a 3% cut in salary was necessary for employees who earn an average of $53,000.00 a year.

In a way, the initiative forced the government of Washington State to act more responsibly. Legislators had to find the guts to make the necessary tough calls in order to balance the budget. And these calls were tough, especially for democrats, who have a spend now, get the funds later mentality.

Auto Industry Holding the (Short) Straw

When you are holding a soda straw and trying to negotiate with someone holding a gun, you are not bargaining from a position of strength. When it comes to the new mileage standards currently under negotiations with the Obama Administration, the auto-makers are holding a straw.

During negotiations, one of the key areas that the auto-makers are looking at is the different rules imposed by the state of California on auto-makers. This “tradition” extends back several decades, initiated with the requirement for the catalytic converter. It has continued over the years as California has required auto-makers to improve fleet gas mileage and requiring oil companies to have a so-called summer gasoline blend (costly at the pump and the refineries). The auto-makes want a concession from President Obama that rules will not be different between California and the other 49 states.

Here is where it gets a little complicated. California is a huge state with 55 electoral votes up for grabs. It has been a democrat stronghold in recent years. But that could change. A recent bill passed by both chambers, but not signed by Governor “moonbeam” Brown, would give the electoral votes to the candidate who wins the nationwide popular vote. So Obama has to tread carefully here. He needs the voters of California to pad his popular vote totals. But he also has to not piss off the rest of the nation. If he wants those 55 California electoral votes, he has to find a balance (which I hope eludes him).

But California setting its own emission standards also falls under a states right under the Constitution. If I am not mistaken, California environmental laws have already been challenged in court and California has won. And oddly enough, I support California’s right to mandate laws that regulate items in their state, as long as those mandates meet or exceed federal levels. But the cost of this additional rules and regulations are passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices for autos, which are some of the highest in the US.

There are some that say the California requirements have driven innovation. That argument does have some merit. But the marketplace also drives innovation. The auto itself and improvements therein were driven by demands from the public. Family size caused auto-makers to come up with cars that would carry the gang. Those wishing for a statement car drove the sports car market. The need for utility brought about the pickup. None of these hugely successful innovations were driven by government mandate. The marketplace demanded, the auto-makers delivered.

It is technically possible to reach the 62 mps wanted by the Obama Administration? I don’t know. But I am fairly certain that under current technology, it will be difficult AND it will be expensive. This will be a cost that you and I will have to bear.

Anyways, with the auto-makers holing the straw, I don’t see how a president who fancies himself and his branch of the government above the rest will be willing to give on this condition.

Media Enables Global Warming Hysteria Narrative

We all know that the whole global warming/climate change scam is for one purpose and one purpose only; to gain control over how you heat and cool your home, what kind of vehicle you drive, and how you spend the money that you earn (higher taxes). This will be achieved through a series of laws and regulations that will completely stifle the economy and make the government even more intrusive in our lives.

We also know that the lame stream media is completely culpable in this scam. They have continuously feed us lies and distortions of the truth to further the leftist agenda of more control through these global warming regulations and laws. The recent coverage of the US heat wave is just a small example.

They touted OwlGore as a seer of climate knowledge when in fact his movie, An Inconvenient Truth was so filled with false information that the courts in England made them release a disclaimer when showing the movie. Plus the Science and Public Policy Institute released a report that showed as many as 35 errors in the movie. Did the media jump all over these inaccuracies? Of course not; and they even let Gore try (in vain I might add) to refute the errors.

The Mann Hockey stick temperature graph was an oft-quoted and highly recognized piece of global warming propaganda used by the global warming crowd as irrefutable evidence that the world was warmer today than any period over the last 2,000 years. There was only one problem; the builder of the graph might have fudged the data to hide a medieval warming period. When “Climategate” broke, the hockey graph was history, as well as the credibility of the folks who were responsible for the data manipulation. Where was the lame stream media when it was discovered the graph had false data? I think they might have been watching the Olympics.

The media silence was deafening when it was discovered that NASA (A noted Global Warming supporter) had used a faulty correction algorithm on the temperatures between 2000 and 2006. This really upset the whole global warming narrative apple cart. One of the favorite talking points of the left was that nine of the warmest years have occurred since 1995. Once NASA was pretty much forced to recalculate the corrections, turns out that four of the hottest years actually occurred during the 1930. One must note that 1930s are at the beginning of the hockey stick graph and the correct data was not used in the graph.

Well the media is at it again. It has been a hot summer for most of the US outside the PACNW. According to the media, it has been a record breaking year. Technically speaking, they are correct, temperatures have been broken. But listening to hysteria surround these record breaking temperatures, you’d think records would be falling left and right. Not so. Statistically speaking, very few high temperature records have actually fallen during the recent heat wave. So few temperature records have actually been broken that the heat wave is statistically insignificant.

I know, if you are suffering through the heat, it is not insignificant to you. And there has been tragedy as more than two dozen have perished due to the heat. But heat waves across the Midwest are not uncommon. I lived in Omaha, NE for nine summers during the 1990's and don’t recall a year where temps didn’t soar into the upper 90’s for weeks at a time. It was oppressive and I hated it. I couldn’t wait for fall and looked at the upcoming summers with dread.

As an added note, this has been the best snowfall season in 21 years for Australia.

Monday, July 25, 2011

It has Started

I told you here that the leftist media was going to somehow try to attach the tragic attacks in Oslo Norway to the right. While it took a bit longer than the immediate reaction over the Tucson Tragedy, two days is still quite rapid, especially since very little CONCRETE information in know about the man who perpetrated the attacks. The New York Times is trying very hard to link the man accused of the killings and the Christian and right blogosphere. (NY Times link via Patterico)

OK, so let’s get a few things out on the table here. I am going to ask you a few questions. Which religion, Islamists or Christians, advocates the killing of non-believers? Which religion, Islamists or Christians, have cells around the world dedicated to wiping out those who don’t believe as they do? Which religion, Islamist or Christian, has training outposts deep in remote regions of the world that train people to kill those who do not believe as they do? Which religion, Islamist or Christian, has a religious book that espouses death at man’s hand, rather than God’s, to those who do not follow the text? How often have you read about a Christian group targeting a Muslim group? Or a Baptist group going after a Catholic group? Or a Lutheran group going after a Mormon group?

NFL Star Reads Beck; His Fans Probably Not

File this under whadda know. It seems that a highly regarded NFL wide receiver has purchased Glenn Beck’s book Broke. After buying the book, Chad Ochcinco had the “gall” to tweet about it (BTW: there are many who translate gall to a better word; brave):

“Does anyone know if Glenn Beck has a twitter account?Starting on his new book #BROKE His views on political n economical issues are #EPIC” (Source: The Blaze)

Turns out, some of his fans don’t want old Chad to educate himself. There were several tweets that indicated their displeasure with the guy for trying to understand.

Twitter user DrDeeps was among the first, writing: “Just lost a lot of respect for you for being F**king beck fan. Idiot.” (Source: The Blaze)

Another wrote:

The Left Now Targeting Marcus Bachmann

Currently Michelle Bachmann is the hottest candidate out there. She has gained significantly in the polls on Mitt Romney (thank goodness), and in a couple of cases has actually surpassed the main stream media’s GOP designated Republican that is OK. But with the gains, also comes the attacks.

As most that follow Bachmann know, she is very much against the gay lifestyle. Her husband, Marcus, has even opened up a clinic is Minnesota that counsels gays who wish to change back to straight (Pray the gay away as the MSM call it). It seems there are rumors floating around the left side blogosphere that Mr. Bachmann might be a closest gay. The rumors are completely unsubstantiated and based totally on his mannerisms and speech.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Illegal Immigrant Reporter Loses His Drivers' License

Jose Antonio Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter who recently declared his illegal status with a big old sob-story essay over at the NY Times. He is also quite unapologetic about his status and has decided he is going to become an illegal immigrant activist. Of course, he uses the rather benign term “undocumented immigrant” to describe his time here in America rather than the more accurate “person who has broken most of our immigration laws by obtaining false documents and continuously lying to his employers and the federal government about his illegal status.” (Links via Michelle

…he [Vargas] wrote that he’s tired of hiding his secret and has launched a campaign called Define American to use stories of immigrants like him to urge Congress and the Obama administration to pursue immigration reform. His high school principal and superintendent have signed on as board members. (Source: Seattle PI)

Vargas was able to maintain his fa├žade of residency, and obtain reporting jobs across the country because his grandparents allegedly provided him with false documents plus he also obtained drivers licenses fraudulently in Oregon and Washington State. Washington State does not require a SSN, only a document with an address such as a cable bill, to get a license to drive.

Friday, July 22, 2011


This is just further proof that Obama and his administration have their heads buried, umm, well, in the sand (This is a family blog after all).

The debt has tripled, the unemployment rate is standing a 9.2%, massive layoffs loom, the democrats have not passed a budget in nearly three years, fuel prices are at the highest sustained level in, like, forever, and the grow rate has stagnated at less than 2%.

This guy has the gall to say the economy is in wonderful shape. If you are a socialist heck-bent on reshaping how America ‘works’, then yes, everything, economy-wise, is just hunky-dory. However, if you are working stiff average-Joe then no, the economy is not “vastly improved.”

I am going to file this under stupid.

Norway Terrorist Attack Update


The death toll in the deadly twin bombing and shooting in Oslo Norway has risen to over 80. Police expect the number to rise.

The Police have uncovered some materials related to anti-muslim and right-wing views although they have been cautious to not lay blame just yet.

Obama Care Getting More Expensive Everyday

The cost of Obama care has just gone up. Of course, no one really has any idea just how expensive Obama care will be eventually. Estimates are north of one trillion, some well north. This health care is supposed to be fairly inclusive as well as expensive for the American taxpayer.

Guess what, it is about to get even more expensive. The Institute of Medicine is suggesting that contraception and some other woman’s health care be considered preventative and must be covered by insurance. If you are a single 25-year old male, you are going to be required to pay for this through higher insurance premiums. A one-sized fits all approach.
Mike has a new Chevy Volt post over at Confederate Yankee. Over the past many months Mike and I have been blogging about the Volt (more Mike than me). Over these post we have highlighted issues such as initial cost to purchase the vehicle ($41K to $65K), how the estimated travel distance pre charge has been greatly over-estimated (dream world 100 miles per charge vs. the real world approximately 25 miles per charge, more if you don't use the heater, headlights, wipers, radio, power windows), and the life time cost savings (you’ll never break even).

Mike has been able to dig up another issue with the Volt. Seems that has a Volt they are running through a series of tests and it recently was involved in an accident. It looks like the cost to repair the damage is pretty dang high. If you want to see what highway robbery cost, go visit the blog post.

Norway Struck By Terrorism

Terrorism has struck one of the most peaceful nations on earth. Known as the home of the Noble Peace Prize, Norway suffered a deadly attack that has killed more than 17 people with the final death toll still unknown.

The most insidious aspect of the attack was when the gunman, after detonating the bomb, went over to an island that was the site of a youth camp and opened fire, killing several campers. The gunman is in custody but the motive behind the attack is unknown. Some have been quick to blame right-wing extremists. Some are already providing cover for Islamic terrorist.

NUPI political think tank Senior Research fellow Jakub Godzimirski said he suspected a right-winger more than a militant Islamic attack. Right wing groups have grown up around the issue of immigration in Norway.

“It would be very odd for Islamists to have a local political angle. The attack on the Labour youth meeting suggests it’s something else. If Islamists wanted to attack, they could have set off a bomb in a nearby shopping mall rather than a remote island.” (Source: Yahoo News)

One thing here, Islamic terrorists don’t necessarily have a pattern. They will attack airplanes, trains, government buildings, and a whole host of other targets. The one primary goal is high casualties. As for the political angle, no one thought the muslim’s in Spain had any sort of political angle either.

I don’t think we should jump to conclusions that the attacks were done by an Islamic group, but I also don’t think the attacks should be immediately laid at the doorstep of the so-called right wing. The same kind of blame game is a continuing effort, always trying to pin a huge tragedy on someone from the right.

Thaddeus McCotter, GOP Candidate

A new individual has entered into the GOP nomination fray. His name is Thaddeus McCotter. Yes, it is an unusual name. But he bears watching.

I have been in conversation with a fellow blogger who really likes this guy and we have exchanged thoughts on the various candidates. My blogger friend really seems to like McCotter. As an individual who has yet to make up his mind as to the candidate that I plan on supporting, I do try to keep myself educated. So I have done a little digging. By and large, I do like many of his policies. However, he does have one tripping point that kind of bugs me. He is a pro-union guy. On the other hand, considering that many of the folks that he represents work in the auto industry, it is quite understandable why he votes the way he does.

I know that I have blogged many times railing against the unions. I do need to clarify something. I am not necessarily anti-union. As I have pointed out several times, the unions had their time and place and they were a driving force that built the middle class in America. Where I have the problem is that the leadership within the unions have become socialist in nature and are more focused on social agendas than they are on the workers (union members). It seems they are no longer focused on worker safety and compensation, but more so on how to drive a business into the ground.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

SEIU Thuggery Handbook Exposed

As many of you have read here, I from time to time, like to point out when union thugs at in violent manner. This is to show the peace loving, tolerant side of the left. Click on Union Thugs over under Categories over on the left side of the blog.

Although unions were once a good thing, providing a giant shove forward for the middle class, they long ago lost their way. No longer is a union a there to protect workers from so-called exploitation at the hands of “evil business owners”. They have become a leader in the socialist and communist movements in the USA.

One of the leading culprits is the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). These are the folks that beat up Kenneth Gladney, who was selling Tea Party memorabilia outside a convention. The men accused of beating Gladney were recently acquitted of the crime despite strong video evidence their attack on him was unprovoked.

In an interesting exposure, it was recently discovered that SEIU has put together a handbook on how to intimidate owners and managers of businesses SEIU wishes to organize. This booklet details ways to make it difficult for businesses to operate by interfering with potential customers and other facets of support to the businesses. The following is excerpts from a column by F. Vincent Vernuccio of the Washington Times.

SEIS’s manual details how “outside pressure can involve jeopardizing relationships between the employers and lenders, investors, stockholders, customers, clients, patients, tenants, politicians, or other on whom the employer depends for funds.”  The union advises using legal and regulatory pressure to “threaten the employer with costly action by government agencies or the courts.”

It details the use of community groups to “damage an employer’s public image and ties with community leaders and organizations.” SEIU recommends going after company officials personally. Not mincing words, SEIU states, “It may be a violation of blackmail and extortion laws to threaten management officials with release of ‘dirt’ about them if the don’t settle a contract. But there is no against union members who are angry at their employer deciding to uncover and publicize factual information about individual managers.”

The “dirt” includes charges such as “racism, sexism, exploitation of immigrants or proposals that would take money out of the community for the benefits of distant stockholders.” SEIU recommends “[l]eafleting outside meetings where [targeted managers] are speaking, their homes, or events sponsored by community organizations they are tied to are some ways to make sure their friends, neighbors, and associates are aware of the controversy.” (Source: Washington Times)

Because unions favor Obama (not necessarily the union members themselves), and drive millions of union member dues his way, the Obama Administration will do nothing to curb this. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is passing rules that will make unionization of a business easier by shortening the time between first contact of employees by the union to the time a vote can happen. The NLRB is also loosing rules that will allow unions to further intimidate owners and managers. Union leadership such as Richard Trumka (AFL/CIO President) have bragged that he’s “at the White House a couple of times a week, two, three times a week,” and that he has “conversation every day with someone at the White House or in the administration.”

Until there is an administration that is not beholden to the union leadership, this kind of tactic will continue.

Hypocrisy, Thy Name is the Main Stream Media

Don’t know if you are following the whole Rupert Murdoch story, but Ann Coulter has done a very nice job of exposing democrat/liberal/progressive hypocrisy. When Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the House, a conversation between him and another member of Congress was illegally taped, the released. No call from the media for heads to roll. When an entire news division devoted time and effort to develop a complete fabrication about George Bush back in 2004, no one called for the resignation of the president of the network.

Oh Yes, Those Civil Progressives

“I will kill you and your family”

“Oh my God, This woman is so f---king stupid. Some please shoot her in the head, again and again. And again.”

“I’m going to kill the pastor.”

If I had a gun I would have gunned you down along with each and every other supporter…”

“We’re going to kill you.”

“You’re dead. Maybe no today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon…you’re dead.”

“I’m a gay guy who owns guns, and he’s my next target.”

“I warn you, I know how to kill, I’m an ex-special forces person.”

“Get ready for retribution all you bigots.”

“Burn their f---king churches to the ground, and then tax the charred timbers.”
(Source: World Net Daily)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cain Campaign Hits A Serious Bump

The state of the Herman Cain campaign is really not in a good place. I had some high hopes for this guy. I certainly hold him in higher regard than I do Romney. Not sure he was completely electable, but he had that certain something. I liked that he spoke plainly and from the heart. I liked his experience running a major company. I also liked that he did work in banking, although some balk at his job with the Kansas City Federal Reserve.

It was that plain spoken attitude that has more than likely done him in. One too many gaffes. In today’s media environment, you certainly cannot be a conservative candidate and hope to get away with speaking things that could be considered questionable.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Auto Industry Balks at Increase Mileage Standards

In case you are interested, there are negotiations going on right now that will have an impact on what kind of car you will be driving in the future and the cost of the that car.

The Obama Administration and the auto industry are currently working on vehicle and mileage standards, with the opening “bid” at over 56 mpg by 2025.

The Environmental Protection Agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the California Air Resources Board, which has led the nation in setting rough standards, are proposing regulations that would require new U.S. cars and trucks to attain an average as much as 56.2 miles per gallon by 2025, roughly double the current level. That would require increase in fuel efficiency of nearly 5 percent a year from 2017 to 2025. (Source: Seattle Times)

Automakers say the standard is technically achievable. But they warn it would cost billions of dollars to develop the vehicles, and they express doubt that consumers would accept the smaller, lighter – and in some case, more expensive – cars.

I really have my doubts that folks in the Obama Administration give a dang about whether people will be willing to accept these cars. I think I can say with confidence that the prevalent thinking is “so what, if these are the only cars available, what are the rabble (that would be you and me) going to do, not buy a car?” Most of these people who are making these rules don’t live in the real world. These people have never had to work real jobs, jobs where people need trucks and the ability to haul their work with them. I would guess they have forgotten what it is like to have to haul your family around from school to practices to grandma’s house. You ride around in a limo often enough and you tend to forget that people actually have to drive families from place to place.

US automakers are beginning to stand a little more firm against Obama and his crew. A couple of years ago, when the auto industry was in serious danger of faltering, Obama was able to get increased mpg concessions (35 mpg by 2016) from the “Big 3” (actually, Ford wasn’t on board since they didn’t need the bailouts) as part of the bailout deals. Now that the industry is on a little firmer footing, they are pushing back a little.

Lobbyists are in full swing. Auto companies are seeking a standard at the lower end of the range by the government, citing studies that say meeting stiffer regulation would add thousands of dollars to the cost of a new vehicle and require a significant downsizing of vehicles in all classes. They also want certainly that there will be a single national standard and that California will not be permitted to pursue a tougher standard.

Companies could receive credit for using low-polluting air-conditioner refrigerants, building cars that can run mainly on biofuels, putting solar panels to provide cooling powers and other gimmicks. (Source: Seattle Times)

Just so you are aware, that while the links provided will take you to the Seattle Times web page, the linked story actually originated at the ultra-liberal NY Times.  I point this out because there are a few turns of phrases that caught my eye. Things like “other gimmicks” and “Lobbyist in full swing” were purposely put in this story by a writer that I would be willing to bet fully supports these job killing and possibly industry killing mandates.

The Civility from the Left Continues

For whatever reason it is just impossible for the left/liberals/progressives to behave in any sort of civilize manner. The other night on “Real Time with Bill Maher” two of his guests showed us why the left is such paragons of tolerance. Be forewarned, the following and the video at the links has language you probably don’t want your mother to hear.

First up is, umm, comedian Marc Maron:

“I don’t want to be crass, but I just hope that Marcus Bachmann (Republican Presidential hopeful Michelle Bachmann’s husband; PACNW Righty adds) takes all that, ya know, that rage that comes from repression and denial and brings it into the bedroom with her,” Maron said. “I hope he f^%& her angrily, because that’s how I would. And I’ve thought about it.” (Source: Daily Caller)

Next to spew his hatred for anything remotely conservative was gay-rights activist Dan Savage:

Illegal Immigrants Costing California Billions

Of all the states that are currently in a serious financial crisis, California is probably the worst. They are struggling to put together a budget, they are raising taxes and users fees, they have furloughed government workers and reduced the work week. They are so far in debt, that meeting their retirement obligations is looking like it will be mission impossible.

Add to this crushing budget woes is an illegal immigration population that is taxing the state-run hospital system. In 2010, the state of California spent $1.25B to treat illegal immigrants. Because of this cost, the state has asked the federal government, which also has no money, to bail them out.

Here is an idea. Stop treating them. I realize this is cold and I know it is against the law to turn away anyone, regardless of their immigration status, from receiving treatment. But this is just plain crazy. California and other states are spending billions of dollars to treat people that don’t even contribute to the system. I know there are liberals/progressives out there that say the illegals pay taxes. This might be true in some cases, but by and large, these folks are paid under the table.

Catching Your Own Drinking Water

Here is an interesting little story out of Seattle. I did not know that King County, in which Seattle resides, requires you to purchase your drinking water from the city. This requirement falls under a code administered by the health board. As the code is currently written, an individual can capture rain water to be used for drinking purposes only to supplement the water supplied by King County utilities. I guess if I had really thought about this a government that requires you purchase (and taxed) a necessity isn’t really all that surprising. And when you throw in a liberal city like Seattle, it continues to make sense that purchasing a necessity through a government entity is going to happen.

There are some changes afoot however. Recently, there was a proposal to allow individuals to capture rainwater as their primary source of drinking water. Are there stipulations? Of course there are stipulations, you silly people.

-A rainwater catchment system that serves as the only source of drinking water for a single family residence and that complies with each of the following conditions:

--The health officer finds that requiring connection of the plumbing system to an approved public water source or to an approved private well would cause undue hardship.

--Application for a rainwater catchment system source approval shall be submitted for review on forms provided by the health officer. The applicant shall pay to the health officer the rainwater catchment system review fee as specified in the fee schedule, payable after completion of the application review.

--Application for a rainwater catchment system source approval shall be prepared by any one or more of the following:

---a professional engineer authorized under a current, valid license to practice in Washington state;
---an environmental health professional holding a current, valid registration from either the Washington Environmental Association or the National Environmental Health Association;
---a King County licensed water system designer holding a current, valid license to design water systems in King County; and
---a rainwater designer holding a current, valid accreditation from the American Rainwater Catchment System Association. (Source: Seattle PI)

The list of requirements goes on for several pages and is filled with the typical legal gobbledygook that will bore you to tears. But the bottom line is that you cannot have a sewer hook up and you must be on a septic system if you wish to capture rainwater and use it as your sole source of drinking water. So even if you want to live off the grid, the county is still going to get its money because the county health department has to approve a system that won’t touch the county’s system. But they do it for your own good of course because you are not smart enough to take care of yourself.

The list of restrictions is going to make this nearly impossible for anyone but the truly hardy and far off the grid homesteaders. King County, far and away the most populous county in Washington isn’t exactly brimming with homesteaders and those living off the grid. Based on the stipulations, folks living within a sewer system or a well will not be able to take advantage of this change in the code.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

California Court Decision Overturned

Last week I blogged about how a California Appeals Court was going to force the military to immediately end the Clinton-era Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) policy and to implement the law that allows gays to serve openly. This appeals court is notoriously liberal, continuously rendering decisions that fall to the left of the political debate. As is normal for a liberal institution, they don’t bother to account for how the decision will impact the vast majority or even the impact on those they are supposedly favoring.

Oddly enough the Obama Administration does understand. Obama and his group have actually sided with the military and with reason with respect to orderly ending DADT and execution of the new law. For now, the DADT policy is back in effect until the military can get the training/indoctrination completed and certify the repeal of DADT.

Constitutional Rights Issue

How would you feel if a person put away for a sexual offense against a minor child but was allowed to view the pornographic materials he made while committing the crime? Accused sex offender Marc Gilbert, because he is acting as his own attorney, is being allowed to view the footage he allegedly made during his crimes while he prepares his case.

This created a great deal of outrage out here in Washington and State Senator Mike Carrell (R-Lakewood) is planning on introducing legislation that would prevent this from occurring in the future. But this effort might run into some Constitutional issues. A defendant and their attorney have a right to see all materials that are going to be presented in the case. In this particular instance, it is the video Gilbert shot.

While I am personally very disturbed by Gilbert being allowed to view this material, I am having a difficult time with the legality of not allowing the evidence to be viewed by the representation. There has to be smarter people than me running around out there that might be able to somehow prevent a guy like Gilbert from getting his hands on this kind of stuff, while protecting his rights.

If any of you that read my blog have legal experience, your input would be most valuable.