January 2010 Archives

Franchise Tag Whiners

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There's a long line of players in the NFL who claim that it is a personal offense when their teams place the franchise tag on them.

These players are big fat babies.

The players agreed to the franchise tag for the owners, as a compromise. The players take advantage of everything available to them under the contract; why shouldn't the owners do the same?

Stop crying. Stop whining. Sure, you don't like it, but so what? Grow up. Those are the rules that you agreed to. slashdot.orguse.perl.org

HB 2837 puts additional regulations on some pregnancy centers if they do not offer referrals for abortions. So two clinics that are exactly the same, except that one offers abortion referrals and one doesn't, and the latter is defined as a "limited service pregnancy center," and must disclose to each client -- both verbally upon first contact, and in writing on the wall, on any advertisement, and on the home page, in English and Spanish -- that it "does not provide medical care for pregnant women."

As if offerring abortion referrals means it does provide medical care for pregnant women? Newsflash: providing a referral for "medical care" is not, itself, providing medical care. I shouldn't have to point out the obvious, but it seems it's necessary.

The center that does not provide abortion referrals also must not administer over-the-counter pregnancy tests, but instead inform the client that it is over-the-counter and give it to the client to self-administer. As if offerring abortion referrals means it should have to do differently?

It also introduces new requirements for disclosure of health care records ... again, as if offering abortion referrals means a center shouldn't have to do such disclosures?

This bill is not about protecting potential clients, it is about trying to harm anti-abortion pregnancy centers, plain and simple. If the state wants to make these restrictions apply to everyone, fine, but to single out centers for restrictions where the only differentiating factor is that they do not offer abortion restrictions is so completely off-the-wall that there's few places it could possibly happen. We in Washington just happen to live in one of those places. slashdot.org

Wow. Forgetting the incorrect claim that John Koster "has offered no long-term solution to the problems of funding ... county services," the main point of the letter -- that refusing to vote for tax increases is a "capitulation of the authority of the seat he occupies" -- is a special kind of crazy worthy of note ... especially when, at the same time, the letter-writer says that we should be cutting spending. slashdot.org

Party Lines

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A friend of mine said he thought a representative should vote the way his constituents want, thinking that many Senators are not doing their job by voting against health insurance reform that their constituents don't want.

To me, however, this is not the republican form of government our founders instituted. Edmund Burke said in 1774, in one of my favorite quotes, "Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion."

I've always loved that quote, but in the case of health insurance reform, I think the context immediately preceding that quote is even more relevant: "... his unbiassed opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men living. These he does not derive from your pleasure; no, nor from the law and the constitution. They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable."

When a legislator is bought off, or when he otherwise allows himself to be swayed for the good of the party or some other thing besides the legislation at hand, he is doing something worse than going against the will of his constituents: he is going against his own judgment, abusing a sacred trust.

I do not respect representatives who vote on legislation on a basis other than their own views of whether that legislation should or should not be law. That's their job, that's the power they've been entrusted with. But that's not how the parties expect representatives to act: they expect them to tow the party line, and at the very least, be willing to be bought off.

I understand this to some degree: parties exist to get agendas implemented. If you're a member of the party, you're expressing agreement with a significant portion of that agenda. But that is short-sighted. A strong party, long term, will nurture not fealty to specific (and ever-changing) agendas and compliance with leadership, but, rather, consistent application of the principles that support that agenda.

When you do that, you might lose some bills, but you get something much more valuable: a party comprised of representaives that the public trusts to follow their established principles and vote their conscience. slashdot.org

The Gun Banners Get Busy

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Read it and weep, if you love liberty and the Constitution. Or you just like guns.

Thankfully, this being an election year in which Democrats are already running for cover, this ban most likely has no chance whatsoever of passing. I imagine most Democrats in the legislature are angry at liberal Seattle Senators Adam Kline, Darlene Fairley, Jeanne Kohl-Welles, and Joe McDermott, because just by introducing this bill, it's going to hurt Democrats who aren't in safe districts like Seattle. slashdot.org

I am very pleased to report that Snohomish County Councilman John Koster is running for U.S. Congress in Washington's Second Congressional District against current representative Rick Larsen.

Koster's a conservative's conservative. He lost to Larsen in 2000 by a thin margin -- the only time he's ever lost a general election -- but this time, combining Larsen's many missteps with John's record and the voter mood, if Koster can get his message out, he will win.

Check out his web site, his Twitter feed, and his Facebook page. slashdot.org

Matt Shea is a Hero

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I don't know Rep. Matt Shea (R-4th LD, around Spokane), but I consider him a bit of a hero, actually standing up for rights and liberty when most people, on either side of the aisle, don't.

Here's some of his fantabulous bills dropped for this session. I don't know if any of them will pass, but here's hopin'. Some of the highlights:

House Bill 2709 (Preventing federal regulation from affecting state gun laws), House Bill 2711 (Regarding the constitutional right of self defense), House Bill 2712 (Creating a federal tax account to protect state sovereignty), House Bill 2713 (Regulating arrests and searches by federal employees), House Bill 2714 (exempting initiative and referendum signatures from public disclosure), House Bill 2715 (Changing the electoral college representatives), House Bill 2716 (Allowing first repurchase of surplus transportation property), House Bill 2718 (Concerning defendants who are found to be guilty and mentally ill). slashdot.org

Dear Google,

When you move a 32-bit x86 perl installation to a 64-bit Mac OS X 10.6 environment, you should edit $ARCH/Config_heavy.pl and add "-arch i386" to lddlflags, ldflags, and ccflags. The compiler and tools in Mac OS X 10.6 assume 64 bits unless you explicitly tell it otherwise, but some 32-bit installs don't bother putting in an -arch flag, because at the time it wasn't necessary. use.perl.orgslashdot.org

New Song: Best of You

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It's been awhile since I posted a new song. Here it is. Shiny and happy and harmony-y, called "Best of You." You can read the lyrics and watch the video I recorded a year ago, or just listen to the song.

Let's be honest here, Governor Gregoire: you are most of the problem. Our deficit problems were caused by you. And you knew it at the time. You said, several times, in previous State of the State addresses, that we needed to stop the cycle of spending during good times, followed by cutting essential programs and raising taxes during bad times.

But that's exactly what you gave us: a state budget that increased 33 percent in your first term, and now we're faced with billions of dollars in deficits.

You can talk all you like about the recession and so on, but you knew a recession could be coming, and you knew what we needed to do to reduce its impact, but you didn't take your own advice. If we'd held the budget increases to reasonable levels we wouldn't be facing significant deficits at all.

You are -- along with the Democratic legislature that passed the spending bills you signed -- the reason we have this problem. It's why your job approval ratings are the worst they've ever been.

But you can redeem yourself, a little bit. You can promise to veto any removal of the two-thirds requirement to raise taxes, or any bill that increases taxes, that doesn't get a two-thirds majority of both the House and the Senate. Back when you were running for re-election you brought back the 1 percent cap on property tax because, you said, "The voters approved Initiative 747" and "it has been in place for five years." The two-thirds requirement has been on the books for 17 years, and was reaffirmed only three years ago; does it not deserve the same respect?

Or do you really not care about whether the voters approve something, as you said you did when you were running for re-election?

You can say all you want that we can't cut our way out of this. But we know that's not true, because you spent our way into it. You know, we know it, and you can drop the charade.

"People Like What's in the Bill"

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The Big Lie the Democrats and their allies are telling of late is that while people are against the health insurance bill, they like what is in the bill. They cite polls that show people like this, that, and the other thing.

And indeed, if this, that, and the other thing were each a separate bill -- or combined with nothing else into a single bill -- the Congress would pass them overwhelmingly.

But that's not what this bill is. If you're going to poll people on specific items in the bill, it is only fair -- which is why the Democrats don't do it -- to poll them on all the provisions of the bill, not just the ones you think they'll like. The tax increases, the mandates to employers and individual citizens, the reduced choices, and so on.

It's these other things that are also in the bill that are the reason why a majority of Americans oppose the bill.

However, the Democrats do have a point, though most of them won't say it explicitly: despite all the bad in the bill, once it's implemented, people will get attached to the things in the bill they like, and it will be nearly impossible to repeal it.

Take Medicare: people would never vote to repeal it today. But if it were being proposed today as a new program -- laying out all of the facts, about how it is nearly bankrupt, and how many providers don't accept it, about its many flaws -- it would never become law.

This is also why the Democrats are stupid to be worried about the details. They should instead make whatever compromises they have to, to get it passed as quickly as possible, and have it implemented as soon as possible. That's all that matters. Once they get that, they have the whole shebang. Once implemented, it will never be repealed and they can always enlarge it later. By fighting amongst themselves and trying to include everything they can possibly get and pushing out the implementation, they give opponents more opportunity to kill it.

I am grateful for this.

<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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