Wally Wonders Why No editor, no publisher, you get what you get

January 22, 2008

MVP award

Filed under: Media Issue,Politics — Tags: , — wally @ 5:12 am

Herald Blogger Sam Taylor deserves the MVP award for the most assists in the recent Slam the GOP Bowl. His copying of the Washington Outsider’s copy of a HorsesAss.org’s original slam on our local rep Doug Ericksen was a stupendous 3 level slam assist. Magnificent play! And did you notice how Sam cleverly dropped the title “The GOP’s legislative strategy is literally full of s***” during the last handoff? Perhaps the only way to push this regular play slam piece into overtime at a reputable blog. Brilliant move!

I jest of course. I’m sure there was no more thought behind this than just stirring things up. What else could it be? After all none the 3 copies actually address any issues. Do we know if any of the players are for or against sex offender registration? Do we know if any of the players are for or against legislating additional costly septic inspections.

For the record: I am for tight monitoring of convicted sex offenders, especially those who are deemed likely to reoffend. I am against less than effective, yet costly septic inspections. As the rule is written, it seems less like a safety precaution and more like a government money grab.

While I am embarrassed for those who seem to just enjoy stirring the pot, I am also heartened that we have representation like Doug Ericksen who actually are working for us.

January 20, 2008

Still a crap shoot?

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — wally @ 8:01 am

thumbsup.jpgI’ve read an article claiming a fractured Republican campaign. I’ve read articles referring to it as a rift of sorts. I recently spoke with a person who referred to the Republican side of the campaign as a crap shoot while also saying the Democrats had a real candidate race going on. I wondered, is this a crap shoot on the Republican side? I responded with something like having a competition between a half dozen qualified Republican candidates is great “crap shoot” to be in as opposed to having to choose between two unqualified Democrats.

Looking at weekend headlines including this Fox News graphic, one might think that Mitt Romney has a big head, Hillary Clinton has a big mouth, and John McCain sometimes acts like a dork. Or one might think that Mitt Romney is a front runner, Hillary Clinton has secured an insurmountable lead and John McCain sometimes acts like a dork. Right now the media is driving the show. While some trends may look like they are forming, I think it is still to close to call the race on either side. With a 1000 points still to go, does it mean a hill of beans that Huckabee is 6 ahead of McCain or even that Romney is 54 points ahead of Thompson? I am still definitely behind Fred Thompson because I think him most qualified for the position, but I certainly relish the fact that our nation has so many qualified Republicans competing for Oval Office.

So sure, things make look fractured, or even appear to be a crap shoot, but eventually it will come down to one Republican vs. one Democrat. One qualified Republican vs. one unqualified Democrat. There will be no crap shoot.

January 17, 2008

What unreasonable people say

Filed under: Local Issue,Politics — Tags: , , , — wally @ 4:46 am

This post refers to a post at the Bellingham Herald Blog and addresses a few concerns about Doug Ericksen’s character that have been raised there by a local Democrat. The Herald blog post title is Local Rep. Doug Ericksen: Republicans will target Dems ‘culture of failure’. In the post, Sam Taylor simply stated that “42nd District Rep. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, had some aggressive words for Democrats when speaking with the Seattle Times recently.” and that we could read the full story right here.

Also in the Bellingham Herald blog post Doug Ericksen is quoted

One of the top priorities of House Republicans in the next two months will be to “let people know about the culture of failure” of Democrats, he said. “We’re going to be talking about it nonstop.”

What I found to be reasonable comment made light of how out much our Democrat dominant state government has raised taxes and increased spending.

What I found to be unreasonable comments soon followed from a local Democrat.

I wonder if it’s occurred to Ericksen that someone might ask him what he’s accomplished for the 42nd Legislative District over the past two years… or maybe he’s forgotten that he’s supposed to be representing us down in Olympia.

I’m still waiting for a reply from Doug, I want to know what Bills he’ll be sponsoring this session.


… And I’m still waiting for Ericksen to respond to my question about his better ideas… what Bills will he be sponsoring this session?

Unreasonable because of the implication that Doug doesn’t do anything. Unreasonable because presenting misinformation and an indirect challenge, in a blog that Doug may not even read, is no way to actually obtain information. It is however a good way to play a little character assasination game.

So as an alternative to the game, I thought I might offer up a little different perspective on our 42nd District Rep and a little information too. I’ve found that Doug is always very good at communication. Last month Doug held a tele-forum that was open to the public. During that time he answered questions from 20 or so callers and also offered up a few issues that he is or would be working on for us.

  • Scaling back the new and expensive septic rules to save us money
  • Working on health care solutions that don’t include the bureaucracy, the high cost and ineffectiveness of socialized medicine.
  • Control state spending and to control our overall tax burden – recognizing that we can’t lower taxes unless spending is cut.
  • Working on recreation and commuter paths between parks and urban areas.

And when the unreasonable say things such as “I wonder if it’s occurred to Ericksen that someone might ask him what he’s accomplished for the 42nd Legislative District over the past two years… or maybe he’s forgotten that he’s supposed to be representing us down in Olympia.” I respond with this readily available list of bills attributed directly to Doug Ericksen in 2007.

  • HB 1563 Using environmental mitigation moneys for agricultural preservation. Fiscal Note
  • HB 1564 Creating a sales and use tax exemption to encourage the purchase of motor vehicles that reduce air pollution.
  • HB 1801 Regarding the administration of fuel taxes. Fiscal Note
  • HB 1982 Regarding public-private agreements for expansion, operation, and maintenance of a portion of the Interstate 5 corridor.
  • HB 1983 Promoting competition for video services.
  • HB 1984 Enacting the right to farm act.
  • HB 2190 Creating tax incentives to encourage construction of freight rail improvements. Fiscal Note
  • HB 2323 Regarding food service rules.
  • HB 2677 Concerning the removal of gravel from waterways to reduce the impact of flooding.
  • HB 2922 Reducing the authority of the department of health and state board of health with regard to small on-site sewage disposal systems.
  • HJM 4010 Calling on the President and Congress to enact the TUFTA.

And if you have more time to read a list of what Doug has been doing then take a look at this list of bills that he was involved with even though they were not his primary ones.

  • HB 1019 Prioritizing basic education expenditures within the state appropriations process.
  • HB 1083 Creating a pilot project to examine the impacts of small scale mineral prospecting on coastal areas.
  • HB 1168 Regarding disorderly conduct.
  • HB 1170 Limiting property tax increases to one percent by reenacting the provisions of Initiative Measure No. 747.
  • HB 1191 Making it a felony to drive or be in physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug when the person has two or more prior offenses within seven years.
  • HB 1248 Redirecting certain moneys for the benefit of department of fish and wildlife programs. Fiscal Note
  • HB 1321 Establishing parental notification requirements for abortion.
  • HB 1366 Protecting the news media from being compelled to testify in legal proceedings.
  • HB 1458 Requiring notice to property owners before condemnation decisions. Fiscal Note
  • HB 1505 Regarding physician assistants determining disability for special parking privileges. Fiscal Note
  • HB 1516 Providing business and occupation tax exemptions for new small businesses. Fiscal Note
  • HB 1538 Requiring an independent study of health benefit requirements.
  • HB 1539 Providing access to health insurance for small employers and their employees.
  • HB 1549 Exempting wholesale sales of bulk unprocessed milk from the business and occupation tax. Fiscal Note
  • HB 1566 Modifying the rural county tax credit. Fiscal Note
  • HB 1829 Addressing the nursing facility medicaid payment system. Fiscal Note
  • HB 1833 Expanding the presumption of occupational disease for firefighters. Fiscal Note
  • HB 1878 Providing vocational rehabilitation services for volunteer firefighters and reserve officers. Fiscal Note
  • HB 1916 Applying interest arbitration to certain care providers. Fiscal Note
  • HB 1938 Concerning the relinquishment of a water right. Fiscal Note
  • HB 1974 Limiting special sex offender sentencing alternatives to the immediate victim’s family members.
  • HB 2041 Clarifying goals, objectives, and responsibilities of certain transportation agencies.
  • HB 2077 Providing greater accountability for growth management hearings boards.
  • HB 2078 Encouraging agricultural activities in counties and cities planning under the growth management act.
  • HB 2117 Limiting property tax increases to one percent by reenacting the provisions of Initiative Measure No. 747. Fiscal Note
  • HB 2149 Establishing a joint legislative task force on chronic kidney disease.
  • HB 2175 Concerning the sales and use tax exemptions for low carbon generation facilities. Fiscal Note
  • HB 2197 Prioritizing existing funding for special safety corridor projects. Fiscal Note
  • HB 2198 Prioritizing existing funding for special safety corridor projects.
  • HB 2199 Enacting the Washington health opportunity act of 2007.
  • HB 2218 Protecting the rights of former owners in real property that has been acquired through eminent domain.
  • HB 2237 Creating the transportation project contingency account.
  • HB 2284 Addressing the training of and collective bargaining over the training of care providers. Fiscal Note
  • HB 2356 Modifying school impact fee provisions.
  • HB 2403 Limiting property tax increases to one percent by reenacting the provisions of Initiative Measure No. 747.
  • HB 2413 Creating the full light of day act.
  • HB 2415 Improving the resources and tools community corrections officers and law enforcement need to perform their duties protecting the public.
  • HB 2416 Reinstating the one percent property tax limit factor adopted by the voters under Initiative Measure No. 747.
  • HB 2418 Requiring voter approval to use banked property tax levy capacity.
  • HB 2419 Providing a state property tax rebate.
  • HB 2777 Creating a grant program to assist small communities in planning for new growth and development.
  • HB 2814 Providing criteria for the siting of an institution of higher education in the north Puget Sound region.
  • HB 2879 Modifying provisions regulating spyware.
  • HB 2889 Excluding car-sharing activities from the rental car tax.
  • HB 2919 Allowing motorcycles to stop and proceed through traffic signal controlled intersections under certain conditions.
  • HJM 4009 Requesting that Taiwan be allowed to participate in the World Health Organization.
  • HJM 4022 Requesting the Clinton ferry terminal be named the “Jack Metcalf Ferry Terminal.”
  • HJM 4023 Honoring Lloyd Meeds.
  • HJR 4200 Amending the Constitution to prioritize basic education expenditures within the state appropriations process.
  • HJR 4222 Limiting the power of eminent domain.
  • HCR 4400 Notifying the Governor that the Legislature is organized.
  • HCR 4401 Establishing cutoff dates for the 2007 regular session.
  • HCR 4402 Calling joint sessions for various purposes.
  • HCR 4403 Calling a joint session to honor deceased former members.
  • HCR 4405 Notifying the Governor that the Legislature is ready to conduct business.
  • HCR 4406 Providing for reintroduction of bills from last session.
  • HCR 4407 Calling for a joint session.
  • HR 4600 Adopting temporary house rules.
  • HR 4601 Notifying the Senate that the House of Representatives is organized.
  • HR 4602 Resolving to create a select committee on the Puget Sound.
  • HR 4603 Resolving to create a select committee on environmental health.
  • HR 4607 Adopting permanent house rules.
  • HR 4665 Celebrating and recognizing the life of Speaker John L. O’Brien.
  • HR 4667 Providing for interim business.
  • HR 4668 Honoring Speaker Pro Tempore John Lovick for his work in the House of Representatives.
  • HR 4669 Amending House Rules.
  • HR 4670 Notifying the Senate that the House is ready to conduct business.

Whew, that was a big list. I know some are just housekeeping, but come on. And on top of these imagine how much work it takes to oppose all the spending and taxing bills that are being proposed by the Democrat side.

Sitting on his behind, he is not. Doug is down there working for us.

January 13, 2008

Man sees ‘mark,’ cuts off hand

Filed under: Media Issue,Religion — Tags: , , — wally @ 6:44 am

The CNN headline read “Man sees ‘mark,’ cuts off hand” or in the Seattle PI, “Man cuts off, microwaves his own hand.” The headlines were both pretty eye catching but is was the same sad story regardless of which version you read.

HAYDEN, Idaho — A man who believed he bore the “mark of the beast” used a circular saw to cut off one hand, then he cooked it in the microwave and called 911, authorities said.

The Book of Revelation in the New Testament contains a passage in which an angel is quoted as saying: “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury.”

The book of Matthew also contains the passage: “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.”

It’s pretty rare that I see biblical references in AP news stories. It is also pretty unfortunate for the world that when the Bible is referenced, it is in this type of story rather than the overwhelming number of charitable acts that are done everyday as a result of God’s word and in his name. That being the case, I didn’t expect any interpretation or explanation and I was not disappointed. So here’s a look at the references and my shot at an explanation.

And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
(Matthew 5:30 KJV)

And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
(Revelation 14:9-10 KJV)

Two things come to mind when I read these passages: first that Revelations is allegory and symbolism and second, that Jesus had a penchant for hyperbole. Anyone recall this passage?

And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
(Matthew 19:24 KJV)

An alternate interpretation has this as a rope rather than a camel through the eye of a needle. But either way it is not about stuffing anything through the eye of a needle. It is about love and worship of wealth. It is about not getting into heaven because you love and worship wealth more than you love and worship Christ.

In a weird and sad way I can admire this man for his conviction. He believed so strongly in what he was doing that he both cut off his hand and he microwave cooked it, presumably so it couldn’t be reattached. But did this man really have to cut off his hand to please Christ? I’d say probably not, although he and Christ may be the only ones who know that for sure. I do feel that our message from this scripture is that we must make whatever sacrifices and take whatever risks necessary to gain eternal life. It means that if you continually sin when hanging out with certain people then quit hanging out with them. It means that if you get satellite for football, but can’t stop watching the porno channel then ditch your dish and suffer along without football. Do whatever it takes to put Christ in the forefront of your life.

And the mark? Again, Revelations is symbolism, but whether or not the mark is physically there doesn’t really matter. The message is the same. If you prefer living in an ungodly manner and worshiping ungodly things then you will be in trouble.

Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
(Matthew 10:32-33 KJV)

Christ is the bouncer at door to club heaven. If you spend your life disrespecting him then don’t expect to be on the VIP list. And you don’t necessarily have to cut off your hand to get on the list. You do however have to acknowledge your sins, believe that Christ died to forgive your sins, and confess Christ as your savior.

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