Wally Wonders Why

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Politics

2012 Election Reflection

I never thought of this election as the game changer that it is so often referred to as on the radio.  With a constitution, two houses in congress, a judicial system etc, any single presidential election won’t really rise to the level of game changing.  Rather, our elections display super tanker like agility where if you want to change direction you should have thought about that well in advance.  I see yesterday’s election that way.  Decades ago we set our course towards socialism and as we approach it, many Americans are realizing that socialism is not really a place they want to end up.  So we’ve started to turn the tanker, but it will take some time and definitely a sustained effort to make it happen.

Yesterday’s election was a testament to the sustained effort that has been going on lately.  We may still have a socialist President for the next 4 years, but our course is changing.  In 2008 President Obama was elected with a 53 to 46 percent margin, while yesterday he apparently won with just a 51 to 49 percent margin.  He has had 4 years to further his socialist causes, but is losing his edge to those of us who are turning the tanker.  It might not be too long before we reach the tipping point in the electoral college and finally elect a president that will help steer us away from socialism.

I am certainly not disappointed at all with the 2012 election.  And look at those red/blue maps, especially look at our our state red/blue map.

washington pres results

The whole East side of our state is red, and look at Clallam, Wahkiakum and Lewis counties on the West side.  Lewis County went 60 to 37 in favor of Mitt Romney which is one of the better showings in the whole state, certainly on the west side.  The Lewis County GOP should be holding seminars.  Our own Whatcom County went towards reelecting President Obama, but with solid Republican representative in our state government, we could be the next Lewis County.

And the Washington governors race, while still very close, is positive news in itself just by being close.  We have had a long reign of liberal Democrats in Olympia and yet recent elections have been so close that they indicate that we could be really close to that tipping point.  Perhaps we’ve even reached that point now as barely half the votes have been counted.  That’s nothing but good news.

Other good outcomes in this election were in favor of limiting tax increases to needing a 2/3 majority and favoring charter schools which should help our future generations from again steering a course towards socialism.

An couple of unsettling outcomes were in R-74 and I-502 that both seem to have us passing laws that rewrite reality.    R-74 not being rejected would have us believe that the state government can redefine marriage to be between two people regardless of them being both men or both women, but the reality of this world is that the natural unity is between men and women.  No piece of paper is going to change what marriage is, because marriage is and has been what it is for as long as we’ve been around.  What this law against reality will bring us is not a new definition of marriage, but rather it will bring us,  and especially our children,  much confusion.   A recent example of this type of confusion is all over the news right now.

Officials at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, said that state law renders them powerless to prevent a “transgender” man from using the women’s locker room at the school because he supposedly identifies as a woman. The 45-year-old man, who calls himself Colleen Francis, reportedly exposed himself on several occasions to young girls who were using the locker room as part of swimming clubs. But instead of having the man arrested, school officials have insisted that a state non-discrimination law protects the “transgendered” man from prosecution.

College Lets “Transgendered” Man Expose Self to Girls in Locker Room

When a law says something is reality even though it is obviously not reality, what we get is trouble and confusion.  The reality is that men are men, women are women and legislating otherwise doesn’t change that reality.  We apparently have a law that says a man can be a woman if he feels like it, resulting in having a “woman” with a penis exposing “herself” to children in a public place. No matter how the law defines a woman, the penis is a dead giveaway and reality wins out.  It’s just a waste of taxpayer time and money to deal with things like this and R-74 that are against reality.

I-502 is also a little contrary to reality, or maybe it was just a great shuck and jive by people who want to freely smoke pot.  Before the election I-502 was touted as a new approach to marijuana use that would generate new state and local tax revenue for education, health care, substance abuse and would allow law enforcement to be focused on violent crimes, yet the day after it passed the Bellingham Herald ran an article titled Washington voters legalize recreational pot use.  So what is the reality?  Is it lofty ambitions or recreational pot use?  Oh and another reality surrounding this new State law is that it is that marijuana is still against Federal law, so careful what kind of cop is standing next to you when you light up.   Oh and then there is always the reality of these anticipated tax revenues from state regulated marijuana farms and stores; check this, marijuana grows like weed ya know and if it’s legalish to possess marijuana, then who will be paying good money, let alone high taxes on something that they can grow at home?

All in all this was a good election that the real message of the election is that we just need to keep on movin’

Ok, sorry for the music, but this was really about the costumes and dance moves. ;)

Vote Now

If you’ve still got that blank ballot kicking around, it’s time to get ‘r done. There is a drop box right across the street from 9-11 in Ferndale or you can always mail it. Based on research and/or meeting the candidates in person, here’s how I voted. 

President/Vice President – Romney/Ryan

Governor – McKenna

U.S. Senate – Michael Baumgartner

U.S. Rep, District 1 – John Koster

U.S. Rep, District 2 – Dan Matthews

Lt. Governor – Bill Finkbeiner

Secretary of State – Kim Wyman

State Treasurer – Sharon Hanek

State Auditor – James Watkins

Attorney General – Reagan Dunn

Commissioner of Public Lands – Clint Didier

State Sen. District 40 – John Swapp – He’s not in my area, but I’d vote for him if I could.

State Rep. District 42, Pos. 1 – Jason Overstreet

State Rep. District 42, Pos. 2 – Vincent Buys

Public Utility District 1 – Paul Kenner

State Supreme Court Justice, Pos. 9 – Richard Sanders

Whatcom County Superior Court Judge – Dave Grant

Reject – Ref 74 current definition of marriage is fine.

Yes – I-1185 – Requiring 2/3 majority to raise taxes is a good idea.

Yes – I-1240 – Allows expansion of charter schools, current plan is not working time to try plan b

No – I-502 – Don’t think more access to drugs is good and having the State run the cartel is a super bad idea.

Approve – SJR 8221 – to keep debt limits low. More borrowing to balance the budget is a bad idea.

No – Prop. No. 1 – Add more bureaucrats is no way to fix problems in the port commission.

2010 Election: History making or not?

Nope, not a misprint, rather a reprint.  I was listening to the Morning Show on KGMI with Patti Brooks this morning and heard one of the Whatcom Democrats officers call in and aside from a little partisan bashing I was hearing him bring up the same tired old points about how we aren’t taxing enough or taxing the right people and how the Iraq war spending is to blame, yada yada yada.  It made me think of this post I wrote almost two years ago about the then upcoming 2010 election.  Upon rereading it, I have found that nothing has changed in the last two years and my advice for the 2010 election will suffice for the 2012 election.

2010 Election: History making or not?

We are fast approaching our next election and like so many other elections before, I am hearing how this one is special, critically important and history making. Ok, I can buy into this election being special and even critically important, but as for history making??   I think history making will be determined by which direction we vote, but we need history making.

Our nation is so deep in financial trouble that we may not be able to recover.  As Americans we are living and breathing this fact day in and day out.   Some say that we are in our financial mess because big corporations and the “rich” aren’t paying their share.  Some say that Reagan and Bush tax cuts created revenue shortfalls.  And then there are those myriad of other excuses about how our tax system is regressive, archaic and or ineffective.  Well guess what?  Lack of revenue, tax or otherwise, did not create our mess.

We spent our way into this mess.  Since roughly 1960 everyone we elected to office seems to have made it their personal goal to out spend everyone before them and not just out spend them a little, but out spend them in a big way.  Check the chart.  Revenues are not the problem and they haven’t been.  Spending is the problem.  And contrary to what we hear from some, defense spending is not what is breaking our nation.  In fact, even the ramped up war spending since 9/11 pales in comparison to the increases in spending as a whole.  I’m at the point now where I just laugh when I read debate points about how best to tax our nation.  Get this, it don’t make no difference to me if a tax is progressive, regressive, digressive, whether the rich, the poor, the income or the sales are taxed.  We don’t have a tax problem!  We have a spend twice as much as we bring in problem!

What will make this election historical is if the people we elect quit spending so damn much and start changing the direction that we have been going for the whole of my lifetime.

Here’s part of my voting process:

  • cut or eliminate a program – Vote YES
  • new or restructured program – Vote NO
  • Candidate with a history of spending – Vote NO
  • If the candidate won’t commit to cut spending – Vote NO

I hope everyone will do their part in making this an historical election.

Data for chart is from http://www.usgovernmentrevenue.com/ and http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/

Dancing on a Fine Line

ms I just finished listening to a podcast of The Morning Show with Joe & Patti for 7/24/12 and from his surly attitude you’d think it was about time for  Joe Teehan to take a much needed vacation, but I guess he just got back.  The topic was our State’s newly announce plan to register voters via Facebook and as you might expect if you’ve heard the show, Joe & Patti were on opposite sides of the issue. Joe was arguing for making it easier for other demographics to register while Patti was concerned that using only a drivers license or state ID, which don’t establish citizenship, could lead to non-citizens illegally registering to vote.

I’m perfectly OK with streamlining the process as we did with all mail in ballots, online voting or even Facebook registration as long as the eligibility requirements can be proven to have been met. The requirement to vote in federal elections include being over 18 and a US citizen by either birth or naturalization. Currently a regular issue Washington state license isn’t proof of these requirements.

So what made this episode of Joe & Patti worth blog post?  It was the way that Joe danced along the line between promoting change and promoting illegal activity.   He argued strongly that just because a person was undocumented, commonly referred to as illegal, didn’t mean that they hadn’t contributed to society and therefore deserved a say in the direction of that society.   But as I listened I didn’t perceive any distinction between promoting the idea that non-citizens should be able to go out and vote and promoting the idea that non-citizens should go out and vote.  You’ll have to listen to the show for yourself to get the full effect because I won’t be taking the time to prepare a written transcript.

If I were to promote the idea that non-citizens should be able to go out and vote I’d be advocating for a change in law, but if I were promoting the idea that non-citizens should go out and vote I’d be encouraging someone to break a law.  There is a huge difference between I don’t like the law so let’s change it and I don’t like the law so let’s break it.  I think in a lot of cases encouraging someone to break a law is in itself a crime, so I would wonder if an undocumented person were to register to vote as direct result of Joe’s encouragement would he be guilty of something like voter fraud?   Would KGMI be liable for a radio personality going beyond expressing their opinion by encouraging criminal activity?

Is It Mine?

capture property rights Property Rights, the Environment and Growth Management are a few of the buzz topics in the current election season and as such, the Bellingham Herald apparently chose that angle when they covered the recent Tea Party Candidate Forum.  In that article they contrasted the current State Reps for the 42nd District, Vince Buys & Jason Overstreet with their challengers for office, Natalie McClendon & Matt Krogh.

People do tend to wrap the environment in with growth management, but both are really property rights issues and on property rights there is a stark contrast between these pairs of candidates.   To understand the contrast you need to understand the property rights issue.

The property rights issue isn’t about anyone wanting to damage, pollute or harm the environment.  The property rights issue is simply about you getting to decide what is the best use of your property, as opposed to others deciding how your property will best serve the community.   That’s the crux of the property rights debate; who is in control of your property, you or the government.

At the forum, when the challengers Natalie McClendon & Matt Krogh, addressed government regulatory control of private land it was pretty evident which side of the property rights issue they land on.

“Land use regulations should be imposed or amended in a way that benefits the community.”

“The goal is the public good,”

“He agreed that private property rights should be respected, but he stressed the importance of  protecting the quality of life in Washington state…

Bellingham Herald

I guess I am in stark contrast to their way of thinking also, because my home is not a charitable contribution for the public good of the community, nor did I work to purchase my home with the intent to protect the quality of life in our state.   We just wanted a place to live.   The problem with intangible ideas like public good and quality of life is that they are often defined by public vote, committee or worse, by a non-elected non-governmental organization.  Then, shortly thereafter those definitions are put into regulation and the government enforces their control over your property use.  It’s usually not even in big ways that really jump out at you, it’s more often in small subtle ways.

Take this recent example happening in the streets of Ferndale.  A year ago land owners along some portions of Main Street could have decided to plant a few of their favorite trees in their front yard near the road and they would have had  every right to do so.  This year however, they have found that the city has seized that portion of their property from them, bulldozed it, widened the road, and then landscaped along their much smaller front yard as the city  saw fit.

Ferndale may need to go to court to assert its authority to move forward with the $4.3 million road project as a public benefit, which trumps the right of property owners to keep their land.

Bellingham Herald

I’ve sat through council meetings and I’m sure the city officials feel that what they are doing along Main Street is in the interest of public good, and that the new landscaping contributes to the quality of life for the people of Ferndale, but how is the quality of life for the homeowners who now have bike lanes and sidewalks running through what used to be their front yard?   Is that vision the homeowners had for their property when they purchased it?  Is it their vision now?   Barring any safety issues, how is it that governments like the City of Ferndale feel they have the power to “trump” your property as a property owner?  It’s the people we elect and send to Olympia to make laws.

Do you want representatives such as Natalie McClendon and Matt Krogh that seem to think along the lines of the City of Ferndale?  Do you want representatives that feel that the government has first right to your property?   I don’t.  I won’t be voting for either of these people and I hope, for the sake of all of our private property, that you don’t either.

Both Vincent Buys and Jason Overstreet have my support because they have already shown a commitment to both protecting our individual right to our own property and to protecting our environment.

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