Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Let's Go For A Dunk

The Vice President of the United States of America told Scott Hennen of WDAY that the debate over interrogation was "a little silly" and that it was a "no-brainer for me" in response to a question as to whether "a dunk in the water was a no-brainer if it could save lives." He has since denied that he was referring to water boarding, that he was in fact referring to no particular interrogation tactic. President Bush stated, "This country does not torture," and Tony Snow said, " A dunk in the water is a dunk in the water." Apparently nobody knows what Dick Cheney was talking about.

Now I've been know to say I'd like to "dunk my aching carcass in a hot tub," after a hard cold day's work and I've known of some Mid-western friends to refer to a swim as a dunk, but quite frankly I can't think of any interrogation that was going on. This leads me to think that the "dunk" the V-P was referring to wasn't quite as innocuous as the White House would lead us to believe. Now I've got a son who was at one time four years old and had that unfortunate four year old disconnect from the truth, even when he was standing in the midst of his mess. The White House is standing in the midst of its own mess and denying that it exists.

The problem with secrets is that they aren't, and the problem with hiding things is that they just refuse to stay out of sight, and this Administration has gone to great lengths to be the "most" in both catagories. The so-called rebellious Congress gave the President the authority to interrogate with whatever he determined was short of torture, he apparently doesn't think a dunk is torture. Tony Snow doesn't know anything and Dick Cheney didn't mean anything. Orwell postulated a world where words had no meaning, I'm afraid somebody's been reading his book.

The President of the United States of America won't tell Americans what torture is or what his definition of torture is. So it's a secret and all you're allowed to do, until the truth leaks out, is guess. There are a whole lot of ways water and getting information can be mixed together, the problem for Americans, on whose behalf this stuff is happening, is that no reasonable person can come up with something that isn't torture. Add into the mix that Congress also handed participants in interrogation a "get out of jail free card," and the whole thing starts to look twisted.

Subjecting a helpless human being to overwhelming fear or pain is twisted. We go to movie theaters to be frightened by twisted images, or at Halloween to haunted houses, but we certainly should not be seeing it in our White House. Let's get down to the very basic part of this issue, the things done by our country are our responsibility, they are done in our name, my name, and I object. If it were your child, your cat, your neighbor's dog and you saw it you'd go nuts. Just try real hard to get me to believe that your response would be, "oh they were bad."

Have a really nice day, but stay away from the water...

Monday, October 30, 2006

Way Politically Incorrect

I'd previously mentioned something about fast cars, guns, and way left politics, so not to leave any doubts about whether I meant it or not, here's a couple of my favorites in the second category.

These are a matched pair of 3 1/2" Uberti Single Action Army Colt .45s with bird's head grips. They have all the virtues of the SAA, great balance and simplicity and point to aim, and they don't have the "hitch" of the transfer bar since the firing pin is on the hammer. That does mean an empty chamber under the hammer for safe carry.

The fit and finish is exemplary and the accuracy for a short barreled revolver is outstanding. I am building a set up for Cowboy Action Shooting Competition, thus the pair. The rest of the set up is a hammered short double barrel in 12 ga (stage coach shotgun) with screw in chokes and a .45 Colt 1873 Winchester lever action (Chaparrel), at this point what I'm missing is the rigs (holsters, scabbards) and what I'll keep missing is pointy toed boots.

The revolvers shoot nicely with 240 gr lead Cowboy Action loads, the recoil is managable for faster shooting, but they get pretty hairy with 300 gr rounds. Those will make you real sure you just fired a powerful handgun. P+ rounds and higher are not recommended and though I'm sure the guns wouldn't explode, I have no desire to beat them, either. Not to mention that trying to get an accurate second shot off would be highly unlikely.

For those who know little about guns and nomenclature, a single action is a handgun which requires cocking before firing, pulling the hammer back with your thumb cocks these, squeezing the trigger will not cock the hammer. The .45 Colt was the most powerful handgun built, until the .44 Magnum came along. It was the gun that inspired the saying, "God may have created men equal, but Sam Colt made them equal," and the .45 SAA Colt was the "gun that tamed the West." The bird's head grip in these revolvers was not a feature of the SAA Colt, it is a Uberti modification to the patent, it is in fact an old S&W feature.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The American Promise

I’m sure all of us think we know what the American Promise means, but I’m also just as sure we have some very differing ideas. My purpose is not to write a definitive essay; that would take an entire library section: my object is to encourage thinking about and discussion of the concept. At least one difficulty in this is defining what American Promise we’re discussing; Economic, Social, or Legal/Political.

Legal/Political would seem the first up as a generally referenced segment. We frequently refer to ourselves as the freest nation. We point to freedom of speech, press and religion, the First Amendment as one of the primary facets of that freedom. How relevant is free press if you don’t own one and corporations do own them? Do you have free speech if zones for it are created when the President is around? Does it have a particular value if you don’t have the money to spread your free speech in competition with those with money? Do you actually have freedom of religion when a particular religious view point is the basis of laws? Do you have that freedom when the common perception is that the nation was founded on a particular religion?

The idea of a democratically elected government is certainly a part of the American Promise; the citizens will select their government. In fact a minority of citizens select our government, in close elections it is common for less than 30% of the eligible voters to have selected.

A government of laws rather than personality is a feature of the American Promise; I’ll just leave this one alone and reference our last Congress.

The Bill of Rights and ancient English Common Law combine with the Constitution to create one of the most constrained governments in the world. That is assuming that none are abrogated, not a safe conclusion today.

The Economic Promise of America has been that hard work and smart actions would allow anyone to prosper, regardless of circumstances. The fact of this promise has always been variable, race, country of origin, assets, etc. have long played a part in success or barriers to success. These barriers’ effect has not been constant or singular; at times they have been very low, at times quite high. Today the role of race is lower than at times, the issue of capital quite a bit higher. Class has become an issue of great import, there has been a denigration of labor and its consequential depression. While the economic promise of America is great in some foreign lands the reality at home may be quite different.

The Social Promise of America was equality. Slavery as an institution has ended, but in its place is an underground economy of disenfranchised illegal workers. Class is more an issue than anytime in the last century. Race and gender still play large roles in our perception of our fellows and more egregiously, sexual orientation is increasingly legally addressed. Political discourse has become rabid enough to qualify as prejudicial.

I put these forward as a partial examination and critique, I encourage others to add to or dispute my listings, because that is a part of the American Promise – that we can think for ourselves and promote our views, even if only on a second rate Blog.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Illegal Hiring, Prices, Fences - Marquez

Marquez' questions were intelligent and reasonable, you can see "Comments" in "Smoke & Mirrors if you like, so they deserved a thoughtful response. A comment blew up into an essay, so I'll share it.

Marquez, (and others)

Until a little while ago, one of my employee's surname was Hispanic, his father was a Reagan amnesty. He's a good guy, did good work, and made more than he ever had, see, I don't care as long as the hire is legal. And we're friends still, because I do give a damn.

What I care about, and if you read back through this Blog's history, what I've written is about flooding the labor market and depressing wages. There is labor avaliable, legally, now. What isn't available is wages and it's not available because the cheating forces the market down.

In actual reality, a real wage impact on prices is small, the effect on farmers, ranchers, construction contractors, and anyone else in competition with illegal hiring is catastrophic. If the criminal hiring were ended, orchardists (for ex) would be playing on a level field, everyone's wage costs would increase as would the price of the end product - but there's the catch - the effect on the end product's price at the store is small, the catastrophy occurs on the production end if the field is not level. I am in the business of providing labor - framing, roofing, siding, finish carpentry and I am paid per square foot, I get what is left over after everybody is paid wages, insurance is paid, etc. I have no place to go with my prices, my company is replacable with one that is cheaper. My guy's wages are impacted and so am I.

GWB's plan is to "legally" flood the labor market to keep wages down. This is why minimum wage increases at the Federal level haven't happened. If we have an actual labor shortage, it's no trick to raise the limits for immigration. That's why this is BS. It's legally addressable already.

The fence is nonsense. The fence that will work is serious sanctions on illegal hiring - with a verification system - and serious action regarding document fraud - real jail time followed by immediate deportation.If "I" believed that I could get out of the corruption, racism, and feudal plutocracy that's Mexico into the US I'd find a way around that 700 mile fence. The cure for what ails Mexico (and other states) is for those people to have to change that place not run away to our place. I really don't care if they find 1776 a good example, either. GWB&CO are despicable, but those guys make them look good. It needs changed and it won't be as long as the US is the safety valve. That would certainly be hard on those who would come here instead, but the responsibility does not lie with the blue collar workers they replace or whose wages are depressed. It's one of those choices between two ills.

Do the 12-20 million illegal aliens here need to leave? Yes. I prefer a voluntary exit with some form of inducement and the alternative of immediate deportation and confiscation of all assets, a second offense carrying jail time. It is easier to induce people to leave when their employment has evaporated and other avenues are closed.

An argument is made that they've earned or deserve something, they deserve to be treated humanely, they've earned the money they've gotten. Humane means allowing them time to wind up their affairs and go, with a chance to sign up for a "first up" for work visas or something like that.It is not a simple thing, nor is it an easy thing, but the alternative is throwing up our hands and saying, "oh well" and thus demonstrating that all you have to do is get here to all those who aren't already here. As long as this is a better alternative, they will come, until parity is achieved - not good for the US.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Letter to Baker City Herald - Oct 25, 2006

Baker City Herald (news@bakercityherald.com)Subject: Letter to Editor

Mr Editor,
While I was not surprised by the Herald’s endorsement of Greg Walden, I was disappointed. The issue was made that Walden has broken with the President on a couple issues, no Democrat would have voted with the President on those issues. Then there’s the Salvage Bill, which inflames the debate rather than addressing it. The problem with Walden is the votes the President likes. The Vote Security Bill which directly threatens Oregon’s vote by mail in search of a problem that doesn’t exist (despite R Saxton). The Patriot Act, Terrorism Act, and Detainees Act all combine to create a situation in which the President can declare a US citizen an Enemy Combatant, deny them a court appearance, subject them to extraordinary interrogation (torture), and hold them for an indeterminate time. Add into the mix that your conversations are no longer secure, that the FBI can burgle your house; both with no warrants. This makes the “gun-banners” look scary? Walden voted for this mess. Carol Voisin is not a gun-banner, by the way, nor would she have voted to abridge the Constitution.

Walden voted to tie a minimum wage increase to more tax breaks exclusively for the rich. Walden voted to spend our children’s future without cost to our generation. Walden has repeatedly voted to “stay the course” in Iraq. Walden voted to make Medicare a drug company benefit. Legislation important to farmers and ranchers does not leave his committee. I ‘m seriously confused as to what it is that makes Greg Walden a superior candidate in the United States of America or the Oregon Second Congressional District. As far as I can tell, he’s an incumbent, he hasn’t stolen any money, and he doesn’t chase boys are his qualifications.

Obviously Carol Voisin and I have differences, we were opponents in the Primary; but her worst politics are a vast improvement over Greg Walden’s. I do have some basis to know this. Get to know her. Vote; it always makes a difference.

C Butcher
Baker City
Construction Contractor

Monday, October 23, 2006

This Is Fun-Maybe Not Politically Correct

This particular run at Firebird Raceway; Eagle, ID will be 13.14 sec @ 102 mph with a 1.78 sec 60 foot (0-42mph in 60'). I built this little beauty as a daily driver/weekend warrior. The left front tire is coming off the ground in the right picture. This is what constitutes fun for a political junkie. No, it's not reasonable transportation, but it sure is fun and it sure is fast, and what's cool is that it stops and handles as well as most new cars, better than some.

Fast cars, guns, and hard core left politics...what more could you want?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Hello Uncle Sammy, Am I an Enemy Combatant?

Isn't this just odd, out of my limited hit list for this Blog there is one regular visitor, US House of Representatives Information System. They don't seem to stay very long, in fact 0.00 minutes, but I must have done something to pique their interest. No search items are listed, they just hit the opening page. There are a lot of Blogs out there and it would seem like an incredible waste for them to hit all of them.

This may have something to do with this having been a political campaign blog for a US House position, then again it may have something to do with something else, entirely. It does pique my curiousity. Site meters are an interesting thing to have, they also can be a little ego deflating if a Blogger had an idea he was having some large effect. Fortunately for me, I just stick this stuff out there, for my own sake, for my own sanity; I cannot stand the idea of being kicked around without kicking back, even if I'm the only one who knows I'm kicking back.

I know I'm not a particular government target, I'm just a part of the herd that they kick around, so I take great glee from separating myself from the herd and kicking particular targets back. It's good for the soul and maybe sometimes I validate someone else's ideas or provoke some thinking; and that's a good thing, too. If I manage to piss-off the miscreants that're running this government, that'd be real nice as well, I don't scare worth spit and I can be a real handful if I get cornered. I can save them some paperwork, I am an Enemy Combatant, I am the enemy of any official who abrogates the Constitution or the Bill of Rights and the level of my combativeness is directly related to the level of offense versus remedy and just how personal they'd like to get with me.

Since the US Congress has said that the President can "disappear" American citizens one might think that ducking would be a good idea, well, I think it's a particularly bad idea. I think that the only real recourse is to push these rats as far as possible, to poke them in the eye repeatedly and enthusiastically, and then step back and say, "So?" It would really improve my hit statistics if all those alphabet soup agencies started reading this. I won't hold my breath.

Republican Demise

I believe this statement is a little premature, on two different fronts. If I were a betting man I'd pick one of two scenarios for the midterms, either moderate Dem gains, possibly not enough to control either House or Senate; or an absolute blow-out. I don't think there's a middle outcome and I don't have a bet on either. The religious right has no place else to go, "nuts" comments and the rest of the Republican disrespect, to the side. Here's the rub, these folks for the most part have little besides their religion and they want a voice that's heard. Demonizing Democrats and pointing out the loss of influence may ensure their vote. The critical factors are the Democrats getting out their base, getting a large share of the independent vote and peeling off some disaffected liberal Republicans. Democrats have shown little success with either, previously.

The other front is the more important one, a major loss in this election may bring back to the fore Republicans like John Cole, http://www.balloon-juice.com/ and his reasoned Conservatism. Make no mistake, John is no friend of leftists, he is a Conservative and these guys are formidable foes. They are not members of the cult of Bushism, they are hard core Conservatives, the fact that George II outrages them may make them friends of American Democracy but certainly not progressive allies. The Bush/Rove machine makes itself an easy target, today, but people like Cole and Sullivan require reason and carefully constructed arguments. The heated rhetoric that works with the current crop just won't do, they won't give you the ammunition and they are waiting in the wings. They want their Party back and for them the best outcome of November's election would be a Democratic blood-fest. That would eliminate or marginalize the nutcases that offend them - and offend many Americans' sensibility.

Would I like to see them back? Yes. It will make politics more difficult, but in long term these people will not harm the country. Heresy? No, whatever blows they might give to the progressive agenda will not create long term harm, maybe some short term suffering but these people do respect the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The real benefit to the left is a requirement for more rigorous reasoning, more persuasive arguments, actual Constitutional stands, and above all, principled behavior. Debating those we respect is a much more satisfying endeavor and the realization that the compromises required will not be unprincipled or stupidly ideological.

We can and should learn something from the disaffected Conservatives, and then apply those lessons beforehand.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Smoke and Mirrors or Saxton Down a Rabbit Hole

Boy, there's a nice little tempest over at Blue Oregon, Kari Chisholm seems to think this picture has something to do with Ron Saxton's credibility. So we're clear on what this image is (I know, there's one below) this is the assessor's photo of "farm building" on Ron Saxton's Cherry Farm, er, Vineyard where migrants "lived" while they did something - Ron called it his cherry farm long after it was a vineyard - so who knows what they picked. (why it stayed a cherry orchard in verbiage when it had grapes in fact is not known - maybe orchard sounds better than vineyard). Since I don't pay by the foot, I can digress further - image plays a more important Saxton role than facts. Anyhow, Ron Saxton doesn't know if the migrants were im-migrants or not or illegal im-migrants, since "it wasn't an issue at the time" (apparently pre-1997). He does know it's an issue now, since he attacks the Governor and Sec State Bradbury on the illegal immigration issue. So we're still clear, Form I-9 is a US form, previously INS, rebranded to DHS (Homeland) which identifies the legal status of an employee and it was legally required, and carries some stiff penalties for mis-use or non-use, so it was an issue, then, as well as now.

So there are two issues about this housing, a) did it house legal or illegal workers and b) does this look like something a Governor of Oregon ought to find acceptable as housing for his employees. Now some folks have made an issue of Ron's $586,000 beach house, I don't care if it is a $40,000 beach house, he can afford a "vacation" home and he can afford a lot of things that do not include reasonable housing for employees.

So you see, something is not an issue when it makes Ron Saxton money, but it is an issue when it makes Ron Saxton votes. Alice, are you paying attention, there's more, Smile...

Here's the real rub, illegal workers depress legal worker's wages - badly. Now maybe a couple of these folks are stupid enough to try to vote, but that's an immaterial percentage. Every one of these illegal workers is taking a job and depressing wages and they're getting these jobs from *GASP* employers. Illegal employers. Now there is all manner of damage inflicted on society by an illegal subculture of disenfranchised serfs but quite simply, they come here to have those jobs. And while Ron wants to do things to those nasty illegal aliens he doesn't want to do anything to the Illegal Employers. Now here's two mutual criminal enterprises going on and Ron figures we need to whack the party who benefits least. Why? Well I do know they're primarily brown and don't speak English and they're not rich enough to donate to Republican campaigns (evidently they DO vote - the ad says so), that would seem to be the dividing line between the criminals. Do not misunderstand me, I say they're all criminals and deserve exactly that treatment. But I'm not a rich Republican running for Governor.

The Party's still on Alice - pass the tea, please.

Frequently migrant workers travel with their families - you know - spouse, kids - family. I'm not real sure I'd want my children in there. But Ron Saxton cares about the kiddies. Like School Board Chair cares about the kiddies. Ron knows how to save money in eddykashun, you bet he does, this is why his Board had to go crying to Portland for more money, lots of more money. Now, don't look away, the schools are all paid on a per-student basis, yes, all of them all over the state. I live in 5J School District - most of Baker County does - um - 3500 square miles of winter, mountains, intense sun, expensive gasoline, unpaved roads with a fairly small school population with all the same required programs and student needs and - Baker City doesn't give us money. So we make do. Remember the economies of scale and all the savings Ron can find - none of that here - well, evidently he couldn't find it in Portland either. So now he wants to do it for all the schools in all the State. Baker City can't bail out 5J from Ron's type of management. Just so you don't think Ron would skirt the rules for a favored few, he might go rent an apartment in another district with a school he likes for his kiddie and use the house in the other district to run for School Board. Legal? Yes. Like it? I think it stinks, but I'm not a rich Cherry Farmer, so maybe I just don't see.

Alice, if you will go following white rabbits...

Ron offered you 10 seconds to list Ted Kulongoski's accomplishments, you could list Ron's in less than one second, none. Ted has made the hard decisions, at times offending his base, for the good of the entire State. Ron is just plain offensive. He tells you he will cut taxes, and he tells you he will restore services. Now he can cut taxes (primarily for the rich - sound familiar?) but that means something has to go away. Don't forget, Initiatives have created some Constitutionally required expenditures- no give there. He doesn't tell you what goes away, he tells you eliminating waste and private contracting will take care of it, does anybody know who his Halliburton is?

All that's left is the Cat's smile,

It's smoke and mirrors, folks, all of it. That's the real shame, six years of George Bush's smoke and mirrors and Oregon comes late to the table? All the same old tired rhetoric and double dealing features in every one of Ron Saxton's so called policy positions. It wouldn't be so bad if he were goofy on just one thing, but analyze his whole deal and it's goofy (sorry Walt - this was supposed to be Alice's deal)

Here's a PS
Ron Saxton has more campaign funds than the incumbent governor, TK was a shoo-in, not now. There are a whole bunch of "liberals" that don't care for Ted, well maybe you haven't been paying attention, but this much ought to be clear, Ron Saxton is a train wreck and you don't want to be a part of it. Link to Ted's site and see what he's actually been up to. If you like GeorgeII and Waldenbush, then Ron Saxton is for you, but there's no hope for you anyhow, so flame away, you certainly can't make that decision look more stupid.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Greg Waldenbush Endorses Saxton's Idea of Housing

Hey Ron Saxton, where's the I-9s ? Posted by Picasa

Picture pulled from Riddenbaugh Press, if you don't know this site, get acquainted for good writing and great political analysis.

C'mon, Walden endorses - School Board Chair, Rural Issues, Forest Safety, he'd be a Governor who'd look out for Oregonians...

Well this is the kind of housing he thinks is adequate for workers in Oregon, it's his Migrant Housing, you know, where they kept the workers they don't know the "legality" of. I'm sure the schooling was reasonably priced. It'd be unfair to pick on the forestry practices of whacking down the cherry trees to plant grapes, I suppose...

But really, I do better by my dog, and all he produces is slobber and dog poo. Then again, I do like him and don't accuse him of over-running the State and trying to vote. I can't get him to give up with his political persuasion - though I do know he's dead-set against UPS trucks, Coyotes, and illegal immigrant cats in his yard - and yes, 150 pounds of white dog persuades those illegal cats to leave, suddenly.

Somehow it seems as if waldenbushandsaxton ought to make a real nice couple, they both serve a very narrow set of interests and seem to be able to kid the general Republican voter that they have their interests at heart. Not that either of their records would indicate such a thing, but you don't have to give accurate information in your political ads, just not let your lies get so outrageous that they're actionable.

Here's how this works, waldenbush stands on a dike with Klamath farmers for some photos and goes back to DC and does absolutely not squat about it, saxton cries about illegals after he's a part of the problem - it wasn't an issue, then; and some of the public buys into it.

I do not agree with everything Ted Kulongoski has done, but he's been a man of principle, he's made the hard choices when they had to be made and owned them. He hasn't ducked - it wasn't an issue, then - he doesn't lie to Oregonians, and he doesn't try to scare them. When he says he cares about Oregonians nobody has a picture like this to stick in his face, he does care. He's been there, he's made something out of a very difficult beginning, he didn't inherit wealth and influence - he earned it and didn't get very rich in the process. When Ted talks about work, you hear a construction worker talking to you, and I'll flat out guarantee you that it is work.

If you like those two guys, then George II is your kind of guy and mismanagement, lies, fear, no principles, and corruption are your milk and honey.

This picture ought to be everywhere Saxton goes, too bad I'm only a little read lefty blogger...


The Washington Post ran an article regarding George II's usage of the term - unacceptable. If you haven't been paying attention there seem to be quite a few things he finds "unacceptable." He also has shown an increasing tendency to say "Listen, ..." I thought maybe he was onto something, so Congress and you administrative syncophantic cowards,

Listen up you cretins, there are some things that are Unacceptable:

The United States of America engaging in torture - or even thinking about hairsplitting what is torture

The suspending of habeas corpus - in whatever situation

Incarceration without charges or appearance

Declaring any American an "Enemy Combatant" in this country, charge the offense - or shut up

The usage of secret evidence

Engaging in economic warfare on blue collar workers - illegal hiring, guest worker programs, turning a blind eye to an illegal immigration invasion, suspension of Davis-Bacon, suspension of overtime rules, draconian bankruptcy regulations, no minimum wage increase

Spying on American citizens - no warrant equals spying

Illegal entry into private premises - no warrant - burglars can be shot on sight in many states - that probably includes Federal Burglars - see Patriot Act. A reasonable fear for life may be construed by the simple craziness of burgling a house - check your State's law.

A tax policy that rewards wealth and punishes work

Punishing schools without funding the program they're accused of failing

Attempts to create a Theocracy in the US

Engaging in unprovoked warfare, participating in the slaughter of civilians

Practicing the Propaganda of Fear

Suppression of the vote

Selling legislative interest

Free Speech Zones - anywhere I stand in the United States of America is a free speech zone

The infringement of civil liberties - The Bill Of Rights is not negotiable nor is it optional - The 1st & 2nd Amendments make that so - exercise them.

The usage of the Secret designation for political purposes

Your violation of your oath to "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States"

Blatant attempts to violate Oregon's State's Right in the matters of medicine and vote

Playing at illegal immigration/illegal hiring for votes - pandering to racism & xenophobia

Gerrymandering of Congressional Districts - all involved parties

Paid propaganda for US consumption

Practicing tax warfare on the middle class

Creating an unbearable debt for our children

Allowing the health care of Americans to disintegrate

In short, what is really unacceptable is that you people continue to dominate the political scene.

Listen, there's nothing archaic or disposable about principled actions, there's not one thing unacceptable about informed public debate, and freedom is a risky proposition, embrace it, encourage it, love it, defend it, never be afraid of it.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Independents Arise !!!

Or wake up, anyhow. Tis the season of your discontent, it's almost time for you to get to pick the candidate you dislike the least. You know, one of the two picked by other people who didn't have you in mind when they marked their ballot in the Primary. ( I know, there are actually more than 2, sort of) I'm sure you find it rude and arrogant of the major Parties to leave you out. I know the Democrats actually discussed at length letting you in, decided that:
A) sabotage voting entered in the decision
B) it's really simple to put a "D" after your name if you want to play
C) if you can't be bothered (or are disinclined) to be Party affiliated, why should you help select

Rude? Scarcely in this society is it rude to not include people who think you suck so badly that their name can't have your party designation on their voter registration. Arrogant? We work pretty hard to elect people and to have some effect on their policies, you think we suck. I think the arrogance is on the other side.

Yes, the Democratic Party has disappointed me at various times, so, I try to get them to not disappoint me. I work with them and on them. I think that's fair, they know I'm doing what I'm doing and they know it's not against them. I am active, I give a rat's patoot about the Party. I make sure that I have some kind of effect, even if it's as small as a mark on an election ballot. I don't recommend my level of activism, that's some I do. But I do have a recommendation.

Register with a Party, I know some of you can't stomach Democrats, well, the Republicans would seriously benefit from your input. I know Democratic politics would benefit from the inclusion of people high minded enough to be offended by "politics as usual." The Democrats have a lot of room for varied opinions on policy - they let me play, hell, 4000 some of them voted for me in the 2nd Congressional District Primary. (that's about 3,940 more than I know - I live in and work in a Republican dominated area) There is no good reason in a 2 Party system to have the selection of candidates left to people who don't know what you want or why you want it. I'll even make this disclaimer - my candidacy would've benefited from your voting - and I voted against your inclusion at DPO. So why am I inviting you? I'm not inviting "I's" to vote in the Primaries, I'm inviting "I's" to be Democrats, to come on in and have an effect. There's no way in hell to get away from "politics as usual" if you don't have a say from the outset.

All the things that offend you about Party politics are addressable. But only if YOU address them. It only looks so damn hopeless because so many of you are out there not addressing the problems you perceive. Sure big business and big money have a disproportionate effect on election financing, well, you aren't contributing, are you? There is no Democratic machine, if there ever was one, it ain't now, so you are only fighting against inertia and lack of information if you want to play. Maybe you haven't noticed just how serious the political problems are now, I assert that they are an outcome of 2 electorate features, low voter turn out and large numbers of unaffiliated voters.

Be a part of change ... or ... hang onto your "moral superiority" and watch other people do things.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Illegal Immigration "Crap"

There are better adjectives than "crap" for the nonsense bandied about but they tend to very rude.

Ron Saxton would like to make you very afraid that "illegals" are going to vote. Keerist! This comes from the guy who made statements about trying to make his "migrant" camps legal. Now just who were these "migrants." Were they I'm-Migrants? Were they Legal I'm-Migrants? We're to suppose that the flood of Illegal Immigrants is happening because they just can't wait to get to use a ballot. Maybe, just maybe, it has to do with economics. Like the economics of bad pay and poor housing to pick cherries beats what's at home.

My "liberal" or "progressive" counterparts bemoan my stance that illegal immigration is a serious problem. I get to hear about xenophobia and closet racism. Illegal immigration is part and parcel of illegal hiring. It's got absolutely squat to do with country of origin, culture, race, or any other damned guilt trip. It is very simply a method of depressing wages engaged in by liars and cheats and encouraged by the plutocrats running this country.

Somehow I'm supposed to give a rat's patoot that racists, xenophobes, and vote pandering Republicans think it's a bad idea. It is a bad idea. Not for their reasons. It is a bad idea because legal hard working men and women have their wages depressed so that wealthy or near wealthy can profit. The mantra is that one should feel bad for those fleeing their economically unfair nations, that somehow making those just above poverty pay for the malfunctions in foreign nations or the crap trading agreements entered into by our elites is how it should be dealt with. If this argument gets torpedoed, the next is "what ever shall we do with (x) million illegals? I know, let's encourage even more to come so that argument will really hold water. "oh but we'll plug up the border," sure you will, just like it's already been done, big fences (ummm, tunnels??). Besides, the masters of rhetorical crap - Congress - won't fund a real barrier, war, torture, and domestic spying are much more fun - and for real fun, Gay Marriage Amendments.

This stops when employers have a method of verification and then are held to real and certain consequences, like fines that'll give them an appreciation for Food Stamps and jail if they can't get the idea. This stops when illegal entry has real and certain consequences, you're gone and your property is seized as income from criminal activity. You're gone and you can either take your anchor babies with you or leave them, not very good for children - either way - but also not an excuse for illegal behavior. You're gone if you haven't committed fraud with Social Security or other, then there's jail & you're gone. There are ways beyond draconian punishment to encourage an outflow, like first up for legal entry for voluntary repatriation or...

"You're awfully harsh, you must never have done anything against the law, like speeding," well, yes I have, and I've taken the consequences for it. So what? Since a lot of people speed, we should just forget about speed limits and enforcing them? 90 mph in a school zone will then make perfect sense. About 35% of illegal employment occurs in construction, construction wages have been flat or declining since Ronnie R did his Amnesty, odd? The gateway out of poverty is now poverty, but the top 1% is getting real fat. Raise the minimum wage, well sure do it, what's that got to do with construction wages and illegal hiring?

Here's the scoop, labor creates wealth, doesn't matter if it's grown, mined, or paper, if it's worth dollars there's labor underneath it. Labor is a commodity, like any commodity if you flood the market, its value goes in the toilet. The market is flooded and worse, much of that flood isn't paying taxes, getting minimum wage, or being subject to all the other legal costs.

The argument is made that Americans won't do the jobs, no, not for substandard wages they won't. "If real wages are paid nobody could afford (x)," nonsense, labor is a small part of the cost of items in the US. Housing costs might go up a few percent, materials costs are the vast majority of the cost of a house, rising mortgage rates add considerably more. Yes, your cherries would cost more, a matter of cents not dollars. You just buy into the plutocrat arguments without doing the math, without adding in the social costs and social program costs.

We have a growing percentage of society that is underground, disenfranchised, flatly illegal and prey for every liar and cheat who'd extort them. Somehow the "nice" thing to do is just make them "legal," so nobody has to deal with it. Then what do you do with those who'd follow their example, another "legalization" in ten years? What exactly do you propose to do with the labor that slides into poverty? Tell them "tough, we've got to help these poor illegals out?" Maybe they won't like being told "tough." Maybe they'll make their objections known. No, they won't burn the houses of the namby-pamby do nothing legislators, they'll go right after the ones who "stole" their jobs, the illegals. Then you'll have racism and xenophobia enough to suit your clapped out rhetoric and "nice guy" legislation.

There's about a snowball in hell's chance this will be dealt with, it suits the plutocrats and instead of inflaming the left, leaves them fumbling and thus, the tools of the George II winners. This never gets discussed on its merits, instead it's always race and guilt, race and guilt. Too bad, there's hell to pay on its way.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Ron Saxton for Dog-catcher

Ted Kulongoski is Governor of the State of Oregon and he's had to make some decisions that haven't pleased every one, or even most of his base. Well, gee, and you want what from your Governor, that he'll just go a long to get along as the State goes in the ashcan?

Well if that's what you'd like I have just the guy for you, Ron Saxton. This guy has taken all the stands, mutually exclusive though they might be. Cut your taxes, raise your services. Fix education by spending smarter, he's proven he can spend a lot and beg for more and then raise nothing. He can fix education for his kid, he'll just move and keep the previous address for his political convenience. He really likes George II, maximum donation likes him, but he's an independent thinker (George II and thinking in the same sentence??) Boy illegal immigrants are a problem for him (not because they depress wages, but they're furriners who might vote) but when them cherries need a pickin he knows how to build an immigrant camp. He'll give you ten seconds to come up with something the Governor has done, but won't spend ten seconds telling you what the Party he represents has done to obstruct the State's business or what he's actually done. He cares about kids, he's proved he cares about his, now his little work around cost some other kid but that don't count - they're probably poor and poor people don't vote. Speaking of vote, he's all worried about votes, but he sure hasn't had a negative word about the House Voting Security Bill that'll strip you of your vote if you can't manage their BS. It's definitely in the Republican Party's favor to depress the general vote, then their narrow ideological base counts for more. See Saxtonwatch for more details on why this guy would be a disaster as dog-catcher, much less Governor. (hey Ron, G - O - V - E - R - N - O - R, Mr Eddykashun) That's not nice, it's really hard to get good help, especially with that base to work from - maybe try an immigrant for spell checking.

By the way, Ted Kulongoski is a hell of a guy, that's a story that ought to be good fiction instead of fact, and you're damn right he cares, a lot. Too bad for Ron, it's tough to run against that kind of character with so little ammunition. Hell, my dog ain't even scared.