Tuesday, February 22, 2005

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Burying your Head in the Swamp

Grove City, PA has a small airport. Years ago, the facilitators dug a large ditch near a runway. The current facilitators want to fill in that ditch so they can build new hangars. Sounds simple, right?

Wrong. Enter in the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The government bureaucracy has determined that the man-made ditch is a wetland. The DEP has declared that the ditch cannot be touched.

The airport has been losing a small amount of money each year. Plane owners want hangars and would gladly pay rental to store the planes indoors. Instead, they will take their planes elsewhere, and the facilitators will have to soak up the debt.

The borough wants the airport facilitators to renew their 10-year agreement, but there is no guarantee that the DEP will allow them to build the new hangars. Obviously, the facilitators are hesitant to sign up for 10 years of debt.

Government once again trumping free enterprise. Is anyone surprised?

Blue Staters turning Red-Faced

NewsMax has a sickening article on their site today. Here's an excerpt:
Red-faced educrats at New York City's Department of Education say they will personally apologize to Pfc. Rob Jacobs and his family for sending the Iraq-bound GI a batch of letters purportedly written by six graders who trashed the troops as war criminals.

Teacher Alex Kunhardt told the New York Post that he assigned his students to write Jacobs as part of their social-studies homework. But the majority of letters Kunhardt's kids produced sounded like they were written by Michael Moore.

One girl told Jacobs that he is "being forced to kill innocent people" and challenged him to name an Iraqi terrorist. "I know I can't," she insisted.

Another girl explained, "I strongly feel this war is pointless."

A third letter predicted that because President Bush had been re-elected, "only 50 or 100 [soldiers] will survive."

A fourth accused soldiers of "destroying holy places like mosques."

"I want to think these letters were coached by the teacher or the parents of these children," Jacobs said told the Post an interview from Camp Casey in Korea, where he awaits deployment to Iraq. "It boggles my mind that children could think this stuff."

Where do you think these children learned these things? Teachers? Likely. Parents? Likely. Old media? Likely.

These young scholars have no idea why our soldiers fight and that is disgusting. Instead of praising the sacrifice, they have been taught to condem. And the blue staters think that they are enlightened and better than the rest of the country? Sounds a lot like child abuse....

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Take This Quote to the Bank

Hat tip to Y2Keith from a message board that I frequent.

A fine is a tax for doing something wrong...a tax is a fine for doing something right.

Amen, brother...Amen.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Baby, You can Track My Car...

The government wants to start taxing people by the amount of miles they drive. They want to install a GPS unit into autos, which will communicate with the gas pumps, which will assign you your very own mileage tax.

Why? Obviously, politicians love finding new ways to get their hands on your money. And in that spirit, it seems the push to buy hybrid cars has backfired on the government. Saving the environment means using less gas. Using less gas means paying less gas taxes. Get the picture?

Leave it to a conservative to save the day: maybe the government can cut waste to "recover" the lost gas taxes? Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner!

Nonetheless, the environmentalists and socialists have tried to find a way to justify the big brother tax.

One argument:

A big SUV would put more wear/tear on the public roads than a compact hybrid.
Myth alert! Myth alert! Bigger doesn't mean more damage. It's all based on pounds per square inch. Yes, SUVs weigh more, but they have bigger tires, and thus a bigger footprint. Hybrids weigh less, but have cookie-cutter tires, thus a smaller footprint. Do the math, and you can bet the PSI is very similar.

Another argument:

Those who drive SUVs are rich, so they can afford the tax. They should be taxed more.
If people wanna tax "the winners" in life, the tax-per-mile system wouldn't do it. Think of all the contractors and other folks who drive job to job each day. Or the guy who has to drive an hour to find a meaningful job. That's gonna hurt the wallet.

Plus, do you want the government to know your location at all times every day? Or the speed you are driving? Can automatic ticketing be far off?

Basically put, some use the roads more than others. Everyone pays taxes to cover infrastructure to keep the area attractive to growth. And those who drive very little still use the same roads. Citizens also pay school taxes, even though some have no children in public schools. But they pay the taxes for the betterment of the community.

Big brother, where art thou? Not in my wallet....

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Swann and Political Inexperience

So what? It is tiring to hear about candidates not being suited for office because of political inexperience. If someone has a desire to make a difference - and they have the ideas to make a difference - then they are elligible to run for office. We complain about insiders always calling the shots and running the show, yet we then complain about rookies willing to put their lives on hold to affect change in the political system. Where do you stand?

Arnold Schwarzenegger was "just an actor" in the eyes of Dems and wishy-washy GOPers. Truth is, Arnold is a tremendously successful businessman. Despite the frenzied attacks from the left, California - the most populated state in the Union - put the political rookie in charge. As we approach the 2006 elections, the CA GOP already gave Arnold the nod. Can you even name a Democratic opponent?

Lynn Swann wants to run for governor of Pennsylvania. Dems say that he's "just a football player" and doesn't know a thing about running for office. Again, just like Arnold, Swann is a successful businessman. He's a political rookie and he's already giving the Dems a fit of deja vous.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Social Security? What Security?

Social Security is a mess. It has become such a bloated program - a political tool - that it will take plenty of political will and courage to deal with it. Some facts:

- It's broke already. There is no SS fund. All the money collected goes into the general fund and is used for other programs.
- As the baby boomers retire, they will create such a burden on the system that the younger generations will have to pay more in taxes or the boomers will have to endure SS cuts...or both.
- SS has been long characterized as a retirement plan. It is only intended to be a supplement to your retirement plan. No one should be relying on SS only.
- SS only earns 1-2% interest each year. 401Ks and other investments earn 4-10% each year on average. Many people already are "secured" in 401Ks.
- The stock market has been a secure investment vehicle since the Depression. On average, it has always gone up.
- The President's plan only calls for 2-4% of contributions to be placed in personalized accounts - and this is totally voluntary.

So, what is the problem? The majority of the public likes the plan. But the Dems will lose their chess piece that they weild every election. For the past several years, this chess piece has had less and less power as the new media informs the public as never before.

The Dems continue to steer into the sunset of irrelevance. They continue to struggle to hold onto any power they can - and now the world sees what they are doing.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Soldier Kidnapped, Barbie Pleads for Release

You may have seen the media breathlessly reporting that a US soldier was kidnapped by terrorists and would soon be beheaded. They described the GI in the photo and what he is likely facing and how his parents must feel.

It turns out that it's Special Ops Cody. A toy. An action figure. Someone, somewhere pulled a major hoax and the media lapped it up. They wanted bad news. They wanted anti-military news. They wanted anti-Bush news.

They ended up with egg on their faces.

No word yet if Dan Rather has acknowledged that the photo is a fake.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Images that Define an Era

There are images that define an era. The Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima. JFK, Jr. saluting his father's coffin. The student in front of the tank at Tiananmen Square. The Germans tearing down the wall. The young Marine as the new "Marlboro Man."

Now with the Iraqi election, we have this fabulous image (photographer unknown):

Freedom isn't free. And this woman knows it. Two years ago, she would have been killed for doing what she proudly did on Election Day.

Dems lose Three Elections in Four Months

October 2004: For months, intellectuals lectured the world about how Afghanis wouldn't know how to handle democracy, yet the voters chose democracy. Despite warnings about violence at the polls, the elections were successful.

November 2004: For months, intellectuals lectured the world about how Bush was the wrong President...fighting the wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time, yet voters chose Bush. Despite warnings about Republicans disenfranchising voters, the elections were successful.

January 2005: For months, intellectuals lectured the world about how Iraqis wouldn't know how to handle democracy, yet the voters chose democracy. Despite warnings about violence at the polls, the elections were successful.

And aren't Ohio Democrats and Jesse Jackson now irrelevant babies? They whine because they had to wait for hours to vote. The Iraqis walked for miles and waited for hours - proudly - for just the chance to vote.

James Taranto from Opinion Journal said it best:
Yesterday was a great day to be an American, and an even better day to be an Iraqi. Notwithstanding the best efforts of Osama bin Laden, Barbara Boxer, Jacques Chirac, Ted Kennedy, Saddam Hussein and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, millions of Iraqis cast their first free ballots. The scenes of joyous Iraqis embracing freedom were as moving as watching Germans dance on the Berlin Wall 15 years ago--and all the more impressive given that Iraqi voters faced real physical danger from terrorists seeking a return to tyranny.

Each year is an election year. Local, regional, state, and federal races are always around the corner. Stay strong, stay active. Don't forget to look back and learn from the mistakes of the past.