Thursday, May 29, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
On Memorial Day we remember our US veterans who died in war. Any view that claims war is pointless discredits veterans and their service.
The US is young, recent in time and an extension of European history. Consider that we would not have Memorial Day to celebrate if world events had gone a different way than they have.
Look at this animated map to see the spread of the world’s 5 major religions. It takes only 90 seconds to view it. World history must never be divorced from an understanding of religion.
Roman Europe was influenced by Christianity as it gradually spread across Europe from the Middle East in the first six centuries A.D.
Islamic statism, beginning in the Middle East after 570 A.D. when Mohammad was born, had invaded the Iberian Peninsula (Spain), gaining a foothold in Europe. Islam was turned back at the Battle of Tours in 732 by Charles Martel of the Franks. This battle stopped the march of Islamic statism and Sharia law into Europe from the west and preserved Europe for Christianity.
If the Franks had not defeated the Islamists then, Europe may have been much different than it became. This battle alone destroys the idea that war never accomplishes anything. Europe and its American descendant may have become Islamic.
Another watershed battle occurred in 1588 when Protestant England defeated the Catholic statist Spanish Armada. After the Reformation of 1517, England was in the early stages of breaking with old Roman Catholic Europe. England became a firmly Protestant, Anglican statist nation and spawned the American Colonies. The Reformation, begun in Europe, came to fruition in America, bringing religious freedom unknown anywhere in the world prior to the formation of the US Constitution.
The American Colonists declared themselves free from Anglican statist England and fought the War of Rebellion to back up their declaration. Then we went back to Europe to free them from anti-God Nazi statism in World War II and then under President Reagan brought about the collapse of atheistic Communist statism in Eastern Europe. It cannot be denied that the Revolutionary War accomplished great things.
Ideas alone did not set people free. Those ideas lead to war to throw off the shackles of tyrannies which did not want to relinquish control of their masses or lead to war to turn back foreigners who desired to shackle them with unwanted bondage.
If we are of European descent, our very ancestors were living the Reformation a mere 20 generations ago. About 8 generations ago, our ancestors declared their independence from Anglican statism. Our fathers and grandfathers took back Europe from Nazi statism. These are not distant battles of ideas, words and swords. They are as close to us as our ancestors who shaped the world in which their descendants could live in freedom. In many cases, our very ancestors were on the opposite sides of the heated battles, not yet having learned the principles of individual freedom. We have it because some of our ancestors would accept nothing less than freedom. War indeed can be worthy. Let us be grateful. Now it’s our turn to propagate freedom.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
If it is from within me, then it is from within all. If that is so, who is the arbiter of my freedom among the freedoms of all others? How can I grant freedom to myself? What power do I have to bestow upon myself such a right? And when all of us exercise such a self-bestowed right, then our individual definitions of that freedom will certainly vary and even contradict each other.
If my freedom originates outside of me, then that is true for all. If so, who gives me, and everyone else, that freedom? Do we grant freedom to each other? Do those who know us grant freedom to us? Perhaps a social club, a school or a church grants freedom to me. Does government grant it to me? Local government? County or state? Federal government? Do I receive my freedom from world government?
If so, then I do not have lasting, enduring, inalienable freedom, for it can then be suspended or removed. This granted freedom is not inherent freedom, for granted freedom can be removed at any time, depending on the beneficence of the grantee.
As a being, I desire freedom from birth to death. I want freedom when I am strong and when I am weak. I want freedom as a defenseless, developing child in the womb to a defenseless, dying one ready to be laid in a tomb. I want freedom to think and act. I want freedom to not act. I want freedom to choose without coercion. I want to act without intimidation.
A studied look around, a mere glance around, convinces me that everyone else has the same desire. I am not unique, for it is in the heart of everyone to be free. How did we all come to have this passion in all our hearts? Why do we all like independence and self-government? Damage or cut off my leg—I want freedom to be mobile. Paralyze me completely and I still desire independence, perhaps more so precisely because my freedom has been impaired. And there I find my freedom in thought. Freedom courses through my brain.
Why do we all have freedom coursing through our minds? Is it because we all consist of the same chemical makeup? If so, how do those chemicals, mere molecules, impart freedom to us as well as the desire to exercise that freedom? How does the physical impart a desire, a passion so hard to quell that life itself may be risked to gain liberty? How do chemicals impart a passion for freedom so strong that it may include risking the destruction of those very molecules?
Freedom is indeed within each of us, but it originates not from us, but from our Creator. In granting life to each of us, our Creator bestowed freedom upon us and the desire to exercise that freedom. It is a right given and unalienable. Those who risked all to gain liberty declared:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.When our founding fathers declared their intent to throw off the yoke of the British Crown, they grounded their intent, not in political philosophy of the day, but in the Hebrew thought of the Bible that was at least 4,000 years old. The Judaeo-Christian God created and endowed each person with freedom. Further they asserted, "We hold these truths to be self-evident. . ."
We all are created equal and each of us is endowed, an act performed by our Creator, who must of necessity be free. This endowment consists of bestowing rights upon each created one that are granted by God and no one else. These rights are unalienable. They are intrinsic to our being. These rights cannot be stripped from our being because they are indelibly imprinted on each created person by the Creator. These rights include, but are not limited to, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Our freedom is a derived liberty, bestowed by the Creator. This Christian view of liberty stands in stark contrast to any view that declares government bestows liberty upon individuals. Any government that is so arrogant to conceive it grants freedom can also retract it. Any government that is so arrogant to conceive it grants rights can also retract them.
Any government that recognizes each individual has certain intrinsic, God-bestowed rights which that government should not violate, will tend to be good government. Any government that believes it grants rights will tend toward bad government because it will manufacture rights that are not inalienable and/or it will retract rights that are inalienable or even those manufactured by that government.
Our founding fathers gave us a form of government that was grounded upon individual freedom that is inalienable because it is bestowed by God. Government cannot make freedom inalienable in truth, but in practice. Can we keep it?
OLSEEN is probably right on both counts in that quote: First, Franken's problem is not over Franken's taxes but over Franken's failure to pay his taxes and second, that failure didn't result in murmurs it resulted in a public uproar that has not subsided.
This attempted parsing of words by Olseen in this matter is reminiscent of deated former DFL Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson's famous comment that he "shaved the truth!"
Friday, May 23, 2008
The state budget would not be as low as a 9.8% increase if it were not for the Republicans and Governor Pawlenty. The Dems had proposed $5 billion more spending that was not approved into law. State Dems know no fiscal limits, but demand that board members of local government units be fiscally restrained. Talk about royalty and divine right of kings and queens! Talk about arrogance!
Senator Rick Olseen (D-17) and Rep. Jeremy Kalin (D-17B) are right there with their fellows in this chutzpah.
Sen. Olseen and Rep. Kalin, powerhouses of education influence, experience, interest and promises came away essentially empty-handed. And forget about the DFL bragging about the $51 per pupil added funding - according to the Star that is a one-time deal and then we are back in the same financial troubled waters as we look to the future.
Obama is right! We need a change.
The failed energy policy of US lawmakers is coming home to haunt them. Blocking the ability to drill for oil in ANWR and large areas off-shore, plus restrictions so tough that no oil refineries have been built for thirty years (we import 20% of refined gasoline), has put US lawmakers in a bind. Gasoline and diesel fuel prices have skyrocketed and are adding costs to every other area of life.
Rather than create the opportunity to increase domestic supply, just sue foreigners. They are the problem, not our lawmakers.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Like Castro in the 50's, Obama presents himself to the American people as an amiable fellow who hides behind a broad smile and a glad hand. And, of course, the socialist media hype him to the hilt but reality will be of an entirely different kind if he should be elected.
Obama has all the qualities of a dictator and that toothsome smile can change in an instant and the other side of who he really is will be discovered only after it is too late.
Already Obama is "dictating" the terms of discussion centering about him. You can't talk about his wife, his family, his preacher, his most liberal record of all time in the Senate, you can't talk about his trafficking with extremely questionable characters over the years, you can't discuss his extremely limited qualifying experience and on and on one could go.
Any other candidate for the presidency is always subject to fine-tooth-comb examination But not Obama - close examination of him and his history is forbidden territory.
In short, Obama has nothing to offer by way of experience that would qualify him for the high office of President of the United States and to elect him would be a national disaster.
One can only hope that the American people will have sense enough to not elect this smiling socialist cum ?? If the people don't have that sense then, like the people of Cuba and other socialist countries, they will have to remember with sadness that they were warned.
Well, Kalin got his wish even if he did not influence it. Congress has passed legislation to stop buying oil to pump into the reserve. The current contract will expire in July.
The oil reserve currently holds 701,000,000 barrels. At the rate of adding 76,000 barrels/day, it has taken 9,224 days (25 years, starting in the 1970s) to fill the reserve to 97% capacity.
The oil consumption in the US is about 21,000,000 barrels per day (here and here: somewhat dated figures). That gives about 33 day’s supply of oil if the US could not buy foreign oil or pump any domestic oil. That is a small reserve. It is called the Strategic Oil Reserve for a reason.
Diverting 76,000 barrels per day from the strategic oil reserve to consumption is supposed to reduce the cost of gasoline by a few cents per gallon according to Kalin. One article above says it ". . . might help lower the price of gasoline."
President Bush has argued ". . . that such a relatively small amount of oil would not influence prices." Indeed, the President is correct because the oil that has been stockpiled per day is only 0.36% of the total oil consumed in the US per day.
Let’s assume the extra fuel actually helps reduce the cost of gasoline. Let’s assume each $3.75 gallon of gasoline is lowered by the 0.36% extra fuel. That would save 1.3 cents per gallon ($3.75 x 0.36%, best case scenario).
That’s not going to help much. But politicians, whether in the US Congress or a Minnesota Representative like Kalin, just have to "do something." After all, it all depends on them. They will help us. Neither the news media nor Kalin will do the math to show the above to present to their readers or constituents. If Kalin would, his declaration of help would be viewed as absolutely insignificant and meaningless. Leaving all the hard numbers out of view, he can come off as the helping, beneficent hand. His view and letter did no more to drop the cost of gasoline than the disinterest of my ninety year old aunt. But gullible people will think he has done a great service.
Let us now take counsel of our fears.
We're afraid of ozone and CO2. We're afraid of smog and cigarette smoke. We're afraid of Republicans because they are warmongers, and of Democrats because they are in utter denial of the real world. We're afraid the earth is warming -- or freezing. Our bee populations are now collapsing. A new kind of voracious ant is invading. Only 20,000 polar bears are left in Alaska, way down, from, oh, about 20,000 previously. Flesh-eating bacteria are attacking people in Africa, again. According to the Daily Telegraph of London, we should be afraid of fat people because they pollute more than skinny ones -- don't ask why -- but we're also worried about millions of skinny people who are finally getting their chance to eat better.
We're afraid of drilling for too much oil. But we're also afraid of pumping too little oil. We could switch to nuclear-powered electric energy, like the French have done, but that word "nuclear" just turns people off. Nuclear plants might just go up in a mushroom cloud some day, or so the naïve believe. We could exploit our huge coal reserves, but coal looks dirty.
See the pattern? It sounds like omniphobia to me, the fear of everything. Omniphobia was never seen before in the annals of medicine, at least not before the most media-maddened society in history. (That's us.) But you can't miss it today. Omniphobia is all around us, and it'll get us in the end.
Let me add a new phobia for your personal delectation. Remember, CO2 is what you breathe out. Oxygen is what you breathe in. We know that CO2 will destroy the earth through fire and ice, according to the celebrated scientist Al Gore and the Nobel Peace Prize Committee. But did you know that long before we burn, a hundred years from now, innocent little oxygen will kill you? It's a fact.
Unfortunately, with every breath you take you get more oxygen, and make more free radicals. If you have wrinkly skin, you can blame free radicals. If you're getting arthritis, it's those radicals again. If your skin is peeling after a day at the beach, guess what? Yup.
Oxygen isn't the safest molecule in the world. It's practically the scariest.
So what can we do? We are not supposed to breathe out because we're polluting the planet with CO2. We're not supposed to breathe in, because we're putting killer oxygen into our bodies. We can't pass gas, because methane is a greenhouse gas. We can't eat meat because animal protein is destroying the earth. And we can't plant and eat veggies, because trillions of plants around the globe just keep on putting out ... more oxygen.
Well, excuse me for breathing, as they used to say in Brooklyn. They thought that was a big joke. But that was before the age of ecological enlightenment.
Before I forget, will the last guy outta here please turn off the lights?
We do have a Planet to save, you know.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
FrontPageMagazine.com Friday, May 16, 2008
This division of people into groups, and groups into political blocs, is necessary because the powers that be want to negotiate with groups rather than with individual Americans, and with group leaders they choose rather than with leaders chosen by the members of the groups. And when federal dollars are doled out, they pass through the sticky hands of the groups' leaders.
And this is a party that allegedly celebrates diversity among individuals.
The Governor highlights:
The $935 million projected state budget deficit is erased and the budget is balanced for FY 08-09 without raising taxes.
Overall state government spending is reduced.
Progress is made toward resolving the projected budget deficit for FY 10-11.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
The author tells of a behind-the-scenes effort to intimidate a writer to change his article which gave too much encouragement to global warming skeptics. Jo Abbess, global warming activist, attempted to get Roger Harrabin to tone down his piece.
She bragged to her fellows:
Remember to challenge any piece of media that seems like it's been subject to spin or scepticism.
Here's my go for today. The BBC actually changed an article I requested a correction for, but I'm not really sure if the result is that much better.
Judge for yourselves...
The main article mentioned above points out that Jo Abbess did not like this article written by Roger Harrabin which reported a dropping of the world wide temperature. Jo didn’t like its message so attempted to get it changed. The editor and author explain the controversy here.
When Abbess threatened to discredit and expose Harrabin as someone who has been influenced by the global warming skeptics, she is avoiding data and evidence and making a personal attack to stifle that evidence. Evidence of cooling in the face of the ardently held view of warming unhinges these people. Refutation of fact cannot be accomplished so they resort to public embarrassment of the one propounding the evidence. This is a form of blackmail in which the activist threatened to deprive the reporter and/or commentator of his reputation.
Global warming has been sold to us without evidence and even contrary to evidence. It is popularly held among the elite to the point that politicians such as President George Bush cave to it to some degree and Senator John McCain talks the line, thinking he needs to in order to be elected.
Americans like to perceive themselves to be devoutly scientifically oriented. In reality, a large number of Americans are scientific dolts. They have no clue how to think within the guidelines of the scientific method and postulate a theory based on testable, repeatable evidence. Rather, they buy into a philosophy without any evidence. They believe in global warming on blind faith.
These same people condemn the religious for doing that. By their own practice, they are the new religionists, clinging to blind faith. Watch out for religionists because anything can be justified in the name of religion. Data and hard core evidence will not stand in their way to protect their goddess, Gaia. Ultimately, their ardently held religious view is dangerous to scientific investigation into true cause and effect because it also tends to forms of blackmail.
Friday, May 16, 2008
The horse broke an ankle. . . . they proceeded to euthanize the horse right there on the track in front of all the spectators and the millions watching on television. . . . why couldn’t they have moved the horse to the stables before they put it down? Yes, I know the horse was in unbelievable pain, but there has to be a better way than on national television. Do you have any idea how many children were watching the race with their parents? Now their parents are forced to have a very uncomfortable talk with their kids that they shouldn’t have to. Once again the television moguls think they know what is best for you and I [sic].
Matt Silver lives in a sanitized world and wants to raise children in a sanitized world. The more one avoids the realities of life, the more problems one will have. Sheltered children will not be armed to handle death. Children need pets—fish, a turtle, a bird, a kitty, a puppy, a horse—to learn to care for life that is not their own. Kids are rewarded by learning that these creatures depend on them for shelter, have hunger, feel pain, get sick and make the child happy.
With Silver’s approach, how could a hunter bring home a duck, goose or deer and clean them at home? That is an especially good opportunity to teach a child who is not psychologically attached to the game that he may eat. Living in a world in which the roast or the chicken legs are brought home from the grocery store denies the rough edges in life that many must endure to produce the sanitized product. I lived in a world where I learned as a kid to chop the head off a chicken, clean it and then thoroughly enjoy the chicken dinner. And then I went out to feed and care for the other chickens with respect for their life.
In contrast to this, kids are playing video games and watching movies that are extremely violent. Becoming an accomplished and violent killer is the aim. Exposure to real death might very well diminish this thirst for surreal death.
I am very thankful I experienced the death of my childhood dog, my pal. We raised beef calves that became our pets and then we ate their steaks. Crass? No. That’s life. And when I bowed my head in thanks to God, I knew that a living animal gave its flesh so my life could continue. Death, properly understood, creates gratitude. All life survives on other life.
I was also privileged to watch my aunt, grandma and mother die at home. Their suffering and difficult living gradually taught me to let them go out of the land of the living. It taught me that I too shall follow, that death always follows life. Death, properly understood, creates preparedness for the life to come.
It is a tragedy to shut death out of our lives and the lives of children. Perhaps we would take life more seriously if we took death seriously and not sanitize it.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
But their added tax burden has such a nice sounding ring to it how can anyone be opposed to it! What is their added tax called? It is called an INCREASE IN THE MINIMUM WAGE. Well now how can an increase in the minimum wage be an added tax? If I make more per hour how can that be other than a real good thing?
Here is an illustration and an answer. Wages are not based on an employer's charity but upon a worker's productivity of a saleable product. A sale occurs only when a willing seller meets a willing buyer. That is the classic definition of a sale. Sales and purchases are not a function of charity but rather of the exchange of goods and labor. If I try to charge you too much you don't buy and I don't make a sale!
Examples abound all over the place. But let's just use this one. For instance, if I want my lawn mowed but your minimum wage is fifty bucks an hour, I look into my available money and I find that I can't afford that. So I turn the sheep loose on the lawn and they eat it clean. Or I let the grass grow! In this case you didn't get your wages and I didn't get your service. So, in a sense, we both lose.
The reason government (that's Olseen and Kalin in our illustration) can be generous is that government (that's Olseen and Kalin again) doesn't have to be concerned with cost because they (government) don't pay the added cost, employers have to raise the prices you and other people pay while Olseen and Kalin turn around and say to you "look how good and charitable we are!"
Obviously, the "minimum wage scheme" is just a scheme! If they can mandate, say ten dollars per hour increase for you, then why in the world in the name of charity don't Olseen and Kalin mandate that the minimum wage be twenty or even thirty dollars an hour for you. If ten is good then twenty is better and thirty is best!
If somebody has to pay the worker more per hour that somebody will have to charge the customer that much more per hour because wages are never a function of charity but are an integral part of the cost of production and that additional cost always gets added on to a selling price and that is where the minimum wage scheme falls apart as a scheme and, in effect, your taxes get raised. It may be disappointing to have this pointed out and to have to acknowledge it but it is a fact. It is nothing but a scheme.
A factual presentation like the following means little to people:
If corporate "greed" is the explanation for high gasoline prices, why are the government's taxes not an even bigger sign of "greed" on the part of politicians— since taxes add more to the price of gasoline than oil company profits do?
It is clear that many people prefer to blame President Bush. Others prefer to blame the oil companies, who have long been the favorite villains of the left.
Politicians understand that. Numerous times they have summoned the heads of oil companies before Congressional committees to be denounced on nationwide television for "greed," with the politicians calling for a federal investigation to "get to the bottom of this!"
Now that is emotionally satisfying, which is the whole point. By the time yet another federal investigation is completed— and turns up nothing to substantiate the villainy that is supposed to be the reason for high gasoline prices— most people's attention will have turned to something else.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Senator Rick Olseen (D-17) voted to pass the bill (Senate Journal, page 8597). The bill passed the Senate 40-22.
The bill passed the House 83-50. Jeremy Kalin (D-17B) voted for the bill (House Journal, page 12065).
Senator Rick Olseen (D-17) voted to pass the bill (Senate Journal, page 9770). The bill passed the Senate 45-20.
The bill passed the House 82-49. Jeremy Kalin (D-17B) voted for the bill (House Journal, page 11776).
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Imagine being disappointed once again after waiting since the Revolutionary War for the weather to stay in the low 80s for a few days. Ah, the Brits like global warming, even if it lasted a few hours.
The Al[mighty] Goracle can let it break into the 70s here any day now. That would be an enjoyable improvement.
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Make a day of it. The Minnesota History Center is an impressive building with great architecture. A museum of Minnesota history is located on third floor. There is a gift shop and book store on the first floor. The History Center has a great library on Minnesota and US history. You can get a great view of the Capitol from the lobby of the library. Stop and dine at the eatery on first floor.
You and your family will remember the day with great enjoyment.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
While local writers have not be able to get Kalin to respond, his fellow Representative did. Thank you Mr. Buesgens. Kalin’s writes:
Because of partisan politics in previous years, the only major impediment to building a new bridge in North Branch was lack of state funds. The bipartisan 2008 Transportation Bill changed all that. Design on the new North Branch bridge should begin this year, with construction likely in 2009.
In March, Kalin said Mn/DOT had penciled in the bridge replacement for 2012 although he didn't give any documentation for that. He also said the City of North Branch had secured funding from Congress for it.
On April 11, 2008, Kalin stated "Passage of this [HF 2800] bill likely will allow the North Branch Bridge design to begin in 2008 with construction to follow soon after" (my emphasis).
And now, Rep. James Oberstar has announced there is federal money to the tune of "$7,120,745 for the design and construction of a new bridge on Highway 95 in North Branch."
Oberstar has potentially bailed out his buddy, Kalin. These dollars come out of money left over from projects in the 2005 federal transportation bill. Oberstar has pulled the right strings, but the bill still must be signed by President Bush.
So it is stretching the truth to say as Kalin did above, "the only major impediment to building a new bridge in North Branch was lack of state funds." Kalin is just plain lucky that there were left over federal funds and that a Minnesotan is head of the federal Transportation Committee. Without those two factors, the bridge would still not be built before 2012.
So now the question becomes, if the $7 million of federal money actually comes through, how will the state have enough money to pay for the whole project earlier than scheduled? Won’t some other bridge in Minnesota have to wait? Will a local, safe, but functionally inadequate, bridge be bumped ahead of bridges ranked lower in safety?
It’s one thing to pass a bill and authorize the money to build roads and bridges. It’s another thing for the state to collect the money and allocate each year’s resources to all the needs in priority. Projects like the highway 23 bridge in St. Cloud have a way of upsetting well-intentioned schedules. Kalin just might be out of office before anything happens on the North Branch bridge.
Monday, May 05, 2008
While local writers have not be able to get Kalin to respond, his fellow Representative did. Thank you Mr. Buesgens. Read Kalin’s response.
As is typical, Kalin admits to only a 2¢ gas tax increase, ignoring the increase coming in October and the several cent increase in years to come. It just seems to be impossible for a Dem to tell the whole truth.
Then he proposes a 3 point plan to get the US Congress to reduce gas prices. By the time his proposal might be adopted, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve could be 100% full anyway so it would take care of itself. In the end, even he admits it might not drop the price per gallon any more than he raised our gas tax.
Second, buying directly from Iraqi oil fields may reduce our cost slightly, but then why should the Iraqis absorb the loss which is our gain? Is that fair? How long can we buy on the closed market? Closed markets are not open and free markets. Closed markets disrupt the economy.
Third, I too would like to see the US get out of the subsidy business. But if Kalin gets the feds to eliminate the $51 billion in subsidies to the oil companies, what do you suppose will happen? Gas prices will rise! It’s as simple as that.
So we can have $3.50 per gallon gasoline plus the hidden cost per gallon that we pay out of the other pocket to cover the $51 billion in subsidies. Or we can have $3.50 per gallon gasoline plus the recognizable cost per gallon that the oil companies will charge to cover the $51 billion in subsidies that they formerly got out of our other pocket.
If we should get rid of subsidies for BIG OIL then let’s get rid of the subsidies for BIG ETHANOL and BIG WIND.
Here in Minnesota, Kalin supports subsidized alternative energies (corn and cellulosic ethanol, wind) to help cut our dependence on foreign oil. With his 3 point plan, we are still as dependent on the foreign market as before and just as costly.
It would be far more effective if Kalin asks the feds to allow drilling in ANWR and off-shore and to create the environment in which new oil refineries can be built. Prices comes down when supply goes up. That is a basic concept in the OPEN market which he would understand if he were a true fiscal conservative.
So far, Kalin’s efforts are to pinch the oil hose to restrict the flow.
Kalin has the audacity to take BIG OIL to the woodshed for making a profit per gallon that is far less than state and federal gas taxes per gallon. He loves BIG GOVERNMENT and hates BIG OIL. His 42% tax increase is fine. BIG OIL's much smaller profit percentage is abhorrent. That’s chutzpah.
See this post.
Our poll had asked if Kalin knocked on your door. Thirteen said yes and 17 respondents said no.
Of course those people may not have been home when he visited their abode. Ten thousand doors sound impressive, but how many people were home?
If our poll (which has a margin of error of + or - 3%!) is representative, Kalin spoke with less than 5,000 householders. My suspicion is a candidate will find a mere 30% of people at home. Even repeated visits will be unsuccessful. I don’t imagine the Representative will divulge that information.
Since Kalin said he told us he would vote for the transportation bill (funded in part by a gas tax increase), we posed the next poll question. Of those who actually talked to Kalin, only 50% said he told them he would vote for a gas tax increase. If that is any indicator, the topic was not all that important to the people or the Representative.
Those I know who have had a visit from Kalin indicate a visit goes like this. Kalin does not identify himself as a Democrat. He is friendly and asks for their vote. Political issues are avoided if possible in order to present a friendly face and an impression to remember his name at the voting booth. It’s more important to make friendly comments about the family dog, the yard flowers or their kids than to talk about political issues.
Saturday, May 03, 2008
How did the experienced Franken ever think that explanation would fly when even the "dumb jocks" have to pay taxes in most every state in which they play ball? Even the most inexperienced, tax unaware rookie will pay taxes in most every state in which he plays. They have accountants for that. This accountant at American Thinker explains why it is very likely Franken directed his accountant to file his taxes the way they were as we alluded may be the case. The accountant likely did not make any mistake; it was most likely at Franken’s direction.
Franken’s woes may have only begun. The accountant explains,
Since Franken's [sic] has become a high profile case, some of the nonresident states involved may well look back further than 2003. It is a given among Directors of Revenue that nothing encourages compliance more than a news story about a famous non filer having to pay back taxes, interest and penalties.
Both of her parents, liberal democrats, were standing there with us and I asked Catherine, "If you were President what would be the first thing you would do?"
Catherine replied "I would give houses to all the homeless people."
"Wow - what a worthy goal you have there, Catherine." I told her, "You don't have to wait until you're President to do that. You can come over to my house and clean up all the dog poop in the back yard and I will pay you $5 dollars. Then we can go over to the grocery store where the homeless man hangs out, and you can give him the $5 dollars to use for a new house."
Catherine (who was about 4) thought that over for a second, while her mom looked at me seething, and Catherine replied, "Why doesn't the homeless guy come over and clean up the dog poop and you can pay him the $5 dollars?"
Welcome to the Republican Party, Catherine.
Friday, May 02, 2008
T. W. Budig’s article at the HometownSource reports the reactions of many DFL lawmakers to Franken’s fix. Here in Chisago County we are especially interested in Senator Rick Olseen’s comments about Franken’s failure to pay his tax debt. In January, the local DFL hosted the delinquent Franken at Senator Olseen’s house.
Sen. Rick Olseen, DFL-Harris, reports not hearing many murmurs in his district over Franken’s taxes. "I think people aren’t geared up yet for an election — maybe that’s a plus for him (Franken)," said Olseen. "It’s not really on the radar screens yet," he said.
And does he think Franken’s tax delinquency is not on our minds if he does not hear about it? What self-centeredness! If these dumb answers are indicative, we can’t get rid of Olseen soon enough.
Olseen ". . . found it "disappointing" to learn about a $25,000 unpaid workers comp fine Franken faced in New York. . ." Disappointing! Just disappointing? How about wrong? This is a moral issue that speaks about the lack of integrity of a man who wants to represent us. Such a man must be exemplary and above reproach. This is an employer who stiffed his own employees by not paying what he owed on their behalf. I thought the Dems are for the little guy!
For Olseen, it’s just disappointing and a mistake, neither of which bother him for a minute because any Democrat will do in office.
"I just see it as a mistake, and he’s admitted he’s made a mistake," he said of Franken. "I don’t hold that against him," said Olseen.
At least now we know how Olseen will justify the next Republican who disappoints us by making a mistake because the issue is too complicated! We won't forget.
That it was a simple accounting error is of course a bit of a stretch, yes, quite a bit of a stretch, for if he wants to be a U. S. Senator the current problems that have arisen do not speak well for his supervisory abilities. On the other hand, just think of the purchases he could have made with the $70,000 dollars taxes and penalties he has had to pay so far and that those purchases would have gone to pay some worker's wages. Instead the greedy government gobbled up the money.
That's the way it is with taxes. Government gobbles up the money!
So, there's an urgent message here that needs to be learned by Al's local friends, Representative Kalin and Senator Olseen who seem not able or free or willing to resist the temptation to tax whatever they can and for as much as they can as in the case of Kalin's and Olseen's votes for the onerous and so-called "transportation bill" and its multiples of taxes.
These taxes, no matter how you dress them up, are horrendous burdens on the backs of the taxpayers of this District most of whom do not have the resources of the Al Frankens of this world. Clearly, even rich Al Franken or his "accountant" must have thought Franken's taxes were too high! Olseen and Kalin are you listening?
Or will Olseen and Kalen just lay low now for the time being hoping that it will all blow over? We're waiting! Impatiently - because it affects them and says something about them too!
Our medical and peace officers are being strained and stressed to pick up the slack that these politicians create. Just in one afternoon spent in the ER, the attending physician lost it, began swearing and slamming things around, as he got the call that another Somali cab driver was coming in for FREE MEDICAL care. He was furious, and asked anyone who would listen why they, and the politicians who support them, thought his services were so cheap. The officer who brought him in was angry, as he commisserated with the Dr. that immigrants do not need to learn the traffic rules, cannot read the signs, and are totally arrogant about their demands for immediate care, arguing that the other driver was at fault when witnesses provided plenty of testimony to the contrary. Insurance? talk to the cab company.
While Kalin and Olseen share the trait of arrogance with these people, let them experience just a month of taking care of a sick family member through our declining medical systems. Wait in line at an in-house pharmacy for three hours for one .75 cent pain killer, while the mass in front of you gets their hundreds of dollars of prescriptions for free. Have the pharmicist apologize and vent on you how they can't handle it anymore, they are soo sorry your loved one had to wait in line, obviously sick, while the party went on in line with the laughter, cell phone conversations and rude behaviours created by democratic largesse. Would an acknowledgement of how incredible America is with this treatment of the poor (Palm cell phones, SUV waiting outside), a tiny show of gratitude instead of arrogance, change my perception? I am naive enough to think maybe, but I won't hold my breath. My ancestors came here, worked the farms as indentured servants, rose through education, and gave my generation a future on their backs. This new wave wants it all now.
The immigrant of the past came with humble expectation, dreams and a burning desire to work to become American. The immigrant of today comes with arrogance, expectations of immediate gratification and the nod and a wink that they do not need to become American, just reap the benefits of the system. You do not need to learn the language, assimilate in the schools, learn our culture, or adopt our civility. A generalization, yes. But one the past months has impressed on me over and over. The strident cry of give me, give me, give me, and get out of my way while I take it. This is not what my great grandparents gave up everything for, and I am angry that Kalin and Olseen can be selfish enough to glibly give it all away. People like them will never see the truth of the situation they are creating.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
In January, Governor Pawlenty announced executive actions and legislative proposals to counter illegal immigration. Actions taken by the Governor included executive orders to enhance cooperation regarding immigration enforcement between state and federal officials and to require that state employees, contractors doing business with the state and recipients of state grants electronically verify employment eligibility.
The Governor also proposed legislative measures to prohibit city “sanctuary” ordinances that prevent police from inquiring about immigration status, strengthened human trafficking laws, increased penalties for identify theft, enhanced penalties for employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, and establishing the crime of aggravated forgery regarding underlying documents used to obtain identity documents.
Nearly four months into the 2008 session, the DFL-controlled legislature has refused to even hold a hearing regarding the Governor’s immigration reform proposals. The following is a statement from Governor Pawlenty regarding the failure of DFLers in the Minnesota legislature to consider proposals to combat illegal immigration.
“This week’s revelation that police in Lakeville, Minnesota recently stopped a vehicle carrying 15 illegal immigrants who had been traveling for a week highlights the fact that illegal immigration is a real problem and it’s here in our state. It’s time for DFLers to admit that and address this real concern. At a minimum they should hold hearings to debate the common sense immigration reform measures I’ve proposed. It is inconceivable that anyone would oppose measures to combat human trafficking and fight identity theft. I’m hopeful these important issues can be considered before the end of this session.”
Here is one of Senator Olseen's statements on illegal immigration.