Saturday, December 20, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

As you may have noticed, my posts have been more infrequent of late. The holiday season has my family pretty busy. It will probably be next year before I return to a more normal schedule. I will still be posting between now and then, but much less frequently.

I hope everyone out there has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Pop Quiz

During a phone call today, my dad gave me a very interesting quiz. I thought I would share it with my readers and ask for your answers. All of the statements below are taken from the platform of an actual political party. Two "planks" to the platform have been withheld to keep the answer from being obvious. I encourage everyone to submit your guess in the comments section below.

Name the party with all of these positions:

  1. Expanded Federal control restricting power at the State level
  2. Anti-large corporation management
  3. Anti-large financial firms
  4. Pro-worker, pro-labor organizations
  5. Mandatory profit sharing in all large firms
  6. Expanded old age insurance
  7. National health care
  8. Total separation of church and state, and reduction of religion's influence
  9. Political correctness in speech, news, and media
  10. Expanded Federal involvement in schools and youth organizations
  11. Much tougher environmental laws
  12. Animal rights
  13. Prohibition of child labor
  14. Promote organic foods, vegetarianism, alternative medicine, natural healing
  15. Vigorous national anti-smoking campaign & restrictions
  16. Restore the nations international image abroad to the favorable place it occupied previously.

Send in your guesses. Even if someone has already guessed the party you thought, send it anyway. I will tally the results and post the correct answer during this week. Good luck!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Should We Trust Democrats with Cars?

The Democrats in Congress and President Bush have been working on a bailout for GM, Ford, and Chrysler. Many of the arguments that have been used to justify this bailout were the same arguments used to justify the $700 Billion bailout of the banks and home lenders. That bailout passed, but we have seen an increase in the percentage of home's being foreclosed on. In the last few weeks it was revealed that even while the Executive and Legislative branches were hammering out a bailout, Secretary Paulson was intending to use the money in different ways than what we were told he would use it for. Congress set up an oversight group to keep an eye on how the money was spent. However, as of this writing, Congress and the President have yet to name any members to the board. With this in mind, is there any reason we should trust the government to pass emergency legislation to bail out the auto industry? Is there any reason we should trust a Democratic Party majority to try and bail out the auto industry?

If we examine the beliefs and goals of the Democratic Party they don't match up well with the interests of auto companies. The Democratic Party believes in man made global warming. They believe it is the crisis of our time. They also believe using oil and gasoline are bad. How many times have they campaigned on taxing big oil? The DNC is the party of the Unions. While Unions aren't the only reason GM, Ford, and Chrysler are in trouble, they are a big reason. No one has ever accused unions of being "pro-industry". Why would they start now? Looking at the planks to the DNC one would question why they would want the big three to survive.

The Democratic Party was trying to force the auto industry to drop lawsuits against California's fuel regulations as part of any bailout. The Democrats in Congress are still trying to force "greener" cars on the auto industry while preventing them from bringing the higher fuel economy vehicles they make overseas into the United States. Why? Because Democrats want the environmentalist and the union members happy with the party. They have never really cared how the auto companies might fare with their laws. Why should they start now?

If Congress really wanted to save Detroit, there are other more meaningful ways of doing it. They could do away with the CAFÉ standards. They could lower taxes in general on both industry and workers. They could allow Detroit to bring in the vehicles they make in Europe. I believe any sort of loan is just going to delay bankruptcy by these auto companies. Perhaps other solutions might work. But either way, why would we expect Democrats to help the auto companies?

Saturday, December 06, 2008

A New Kind of Gay Violence?

For years there has been talk of passing hate crime legislation. Some states have laws that make violence against homosexuals a hate crime. Since the passage of Proposition 8 in California, some gay activists have been using their own violence.

Proposition 8 was a move by the voters in California to define marriage as between a man and a woman exclusively. It does not affect "Domestic Partnerships" in California. Proposition 8 was a response by the voters to a California supreme court decision that allowed gay marriage. This court decision took the matter away from the elected representatives in California. The only way to overturn it was with an amendment by the voters. The voters decided they didn't want the California Supreme Court deciding this issue.

Since the election night results, there has been an increase in violence towards the Mormon Church by gay activists. The Church of Latter Day Saints encouraged its members to support Prop 8, and now gay activists are retaliating towards those members. Two churches received packages with an unidentified white powder in them. Gay activists have gone into a church and protested during the middle of the service. They posed as church members, then stood up during the service and shouted at the members, threw papers into the congregation, and had gay people kissing at the front of the church.

Much of the activity being directed at the Mormon Church is outside the boundaries of political discourse. It is ok to be upset with what a church does, or to oppose their message. It is not ok to resort to violence against the church and members of the church.

We may not all agree with the LDS Church, we may disagree with Prop 8, but we can all agree that violence against the Mormon church must stop.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Quick Notes -- Holiday's & Bailouts

Welcome to another edition of Quick Notes. I am sorry for the lack of posts over the last week or so. The holiday and the job that keeps the roof over my families head have kept me busy. I was able to catch my breath for a minute or two today, and I thought I would spend some time with my readers. Let the Quick Notes begin!

Bailouts --
The Big Three auto exec's are heading back to Congress to beg for money. Instead of private jets, they are driving hybrids this time. I still believe that it would be a terrible idea to give these companies the billions they are asking for. If the government bails them out, they won't make any of the changes they need to make to stay in business. These companies didn't suddenly discover they were out of money. This has been coming for a long time. If we bail them out, it will only delay the end. These companies have made some pretty big mistakes to get to this point. They, and not the taxpayers, need to fix those mistakes.

The conventional wisdom seems to be that a new Congress working with President Elect Obama will give the auto executives the loans they are looking for. However, most people believe these loans will come with strings. GM, Ford, and Chrysler will be forced to make more hybrids and more "green" auto's in order to get the money. Hybrids and green technology isn't going to pull these companies back from the brink of bankruptcy. It may be that nothing will save these companies. However, Toyota, Kia, and other foreign companies are making and selling cars in the United States. Maybe Ford, GM, and Chrysler should leave Congress alone and research what the other car companies are doing right.

State Government Bailouts -- The Governors of 48 states have now gotten into the bailout act. They met with President Elect Obama today to discuss a bailout package for state governments. Many of the governors are trying to avoid the term "bailout". Instead, they are asking for a "$100 billion aid package" to go with a purposed $136 billion infrastructure package. I believe Congress, Obama, and many states governors hope that we can throw money at the recession and it will go away.

California represents about half of the total projected budget shortfalls that 31 of the states are facing. California, and many of the other states, should examine their current budgets. Dump the items that aren't critical and then reevaluate your budget. Tough times require tough decisions. Governors are elected to make those tough decisions, not pass the buck to someone else.