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

August 30, 2012

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/

July 25, 2012

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?

January 8, 2009

Poor analogy

Filed under: Media Issue,National Issue — Tags: , , , , , — wally @ 5:18 am

pw Back when Brett Bonner was still around I suggested that he team up with Joe Teehan for a show like KVI’s commentators in which liberal Ken Schram and conservative Jon Carlson host a daily show.

Joe on the other hand I see as liberal and not very sensible.  Most of the time I can’t stand listening to him or his even more liberal and less sensible guests.  But I have noticed that when talking with a conservative guest rather than a conservative caller, he quickly tones things down to a point that I can understand and sometimes appreciate his opinion.  Then I heard the blurb you did about him and I wondered if Bellingham might be into a show with you two together.  I think it would have mass appeal in Whatcom County.

It’s not in my work schedule hear much talk radio, but every now and then I like to indulge myself with one of KGMI’s podcasts.  As you can tell from my last few posts, how the world reacts to the situation in Gaza if of great interest to me.  So I downloaded a copy of the Morning show with Joe & Patti that listed Gaza as a topic.  After a few minutes on this polarizing topic I found it was quite an interesting twist that with the all the shuffling at KGMI, and Brett Bonner’s exit, we now have the type of show that I wanted when Brett was around.  We have a toned down yet still liberal Joe Teehan teamed with the obviously conservative, yet not line toting, Patti Brooks.

On this episode I found the Joe & Patti lined up pretty much where I hear most who identify themselves with the left and right; Joe claiming that Israel has their rights, but that they are way out of line with the amount of force, and Patti more in line with myself in that Israel is just doing what they feel is necessary to put an end to the years of bombardment from Gaza.

In the show, Joe refers to the Hamas as a small minority and in his analogy to Whatcom County uses the example of a few guys lobbing rockets into Canada.  While this is very similar to other analogies I’ve heard from the left, it is still just as wrong.  Joe’s assessment of Hamas as a minority and similar to a few guys in Whatcom county is totally inaccurate.  The Palestinian people elected officials from the Hamas Party, the same way we elect Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, etc.

Saturday, January 29, 2005
Hamas, a radical islamist party, has won by a large majority in the Gaza Strip council elections held last month. Hamas won 75 out of the 118 seats, with Fatah, the party of Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas only managing to secure 39 seats. Of the ten council areas in Gaza, Hamas has control of seven.

The rockets are not fired off by a minority or a few guys as Joe says, they are smuggled into the area and fired off by members of Hamas.  The same Hamas that was elected with 64% of the vote.  The Democrats are the majority party in our state and in the last election, showed not dissimilar percentages.

So a more correct analogy might be one where our state government under Democrat Christine Gregiore’s leadership secretly truck in rockets from Oregon and local Democrats set them up in public school yards.  The Democratic Party, still angry over the Great Pig War, launch rockets North for 7 years before Canada finally fights back.  They target government and public facilities; they target high ranking Democratic Party officials.
In fear for their life, Republicans steer clear of public schools, City Council meetings, Neighbors with lingering Obama ’08 signs, the Federal building, the college and any other known Democrat hangouts.  The Canadians make a valiant effort to target only hate mongering Democrats, yet sadly many peaceful Republicans are caught in the crossfire.  International news condemns Canada for allowing the deaths of Republican children.
Many Democrats die at the hands of Canada before Canada returns home.  In Washington, we Republicans pray that Canada has made a big enough impact on the Democratic Party that the Republicans will be triumphant in the next election.  Even though Washington is made up of both Democrats and Republicans, we Republicans are willing to put generations of Pig War anger and forge a lasting peace with Canada.
(previous analogy is completely fictional and any similarities between Democrats and Hamas are purely coincidental)

Not every Palestinian wants to wipe Israel off the world, but enough of them apparently do that they elected a ruling party who indiscriminately fires rockets into Israel.  Israel will hopefully kill or chase out enough Hamas supporters, so that the more peaceful Fatah party might flourish and not shoot rockets into Israel.  As the threat from Gaza diminishes, trade with Israel and the world will increase and Gaza may become a peaceful and prosperous place to live.

The ball is, as it has been, in Gaza’s court.  If they choose violence towards Israel, then there will be violence towards Gaza, but if they choose to live peacefully with Israel then there will in Gaza.

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