Wednesday, April 27, 2005


Bumper Sticker Mentality

While visualizing whirrled peas on the way to work this morning, I saw a bumper sticker that proudly proclaimed that "War sometimes IS the answer." I was wondering when someone would create the alternative to the the silly "War is not the answer" bumper sticker.

Someone needs to come up with an alternative to the New York Times editorial page (well, I know they have, but just go with me here). As shown at Instapundit, President Bush and President Clinton have been arguing for Iraq to become a democracy since at least 1998. So the nytwits (like the spelling?) who keep complaining that W only latched on to the democratic Iraq rationale for the war only after no WMD's were found are involved in revisionist history.

And what about Syria and WMD's? Perhaps we should ask John Bolton about that (you know, the same guy that thinks the United Nations needs to be fixed which is causing the Kerryites fits). Syria has missiles and chemical weapons. Great. Now this information may be a tad old, but it appears that the Syrians have no intention of being nice guys to the world in the future regardless of what is happening in Lebanon today. Regardless of what the nytwits reported on earlier in the week after the CIA posted its report on WMD's and Iraq, the CIA cannot rule out that some Iraqi WMD's may have been shipped to Syria prior to the invasion.

I am happy to provide you, dear reader, "all the news that gives you fits." Maybe I should make a bumper sticker.

Monday, April 25, 2005


Proposition 22 and the Gay Agenda

Those who would radically change the defintion of marriage in California are at it again. Assemblyman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) has reintroduced his legislation that would, according to him, redefine a section of current civil law that defines marriage as a civil contract between a man and a woman. He argues that his bill is not unconstitutional since Proposition 22 only denies recognition for gay marriages performed in other states.


The text of the proposition that passed is as follows: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

If you wish to contact your representative in the state assembly on this matter, click here.

Thursday, April 21, 2005


Meanwhile, back at the union headquarters...

The California Teachers Assocation, the state arm of the N.E.A., is not doing the state of California, its schools nor its students any favors by supporting four silly initiatives dealing with prescription drugs, corporate taxes, used car buyers, and energy regulation. Immediately below is the text from their mailers followed by my comments in italics:

Prescription Drugs. The Cheaper Prescription Drugs for California Act requires the state to negotiate directly with drug companies to get real discounts for millions of Californians. It uses a drug purchasing pool program through Medi-Cal to leverage drug discounts for 10 million uninsured and underinsured citizens - including seniors, families and small-business owners. It allows the state to terminate contracts with drug manufacturers if prices aren't comparable to or lower than Medi-Cal.

Ronald Regan said something like, "the most feared words in the English language are: We're from the government and we're here to help." Completely ignoring the horrific problems of socialized medicine in countries like Britain and Australia, the socialists of the CTA are proposing more government intervention in the marketplace. The most likely result of this proposal is that drug companies will jack up the prices charged to those in regular insurance programs to off-set the government mandated losses of the initiative's program. The result will be an increase in overall medical costs like the programs that service little ol' people like teachers with HMO's and PPO's. That should result in some real fun contract negotions for the union in the future

The California Tax Fairness Act of 2005 The California Tax Fairness Act of 2005 is a constitutional amendment that protects homeowners and offers tax relief for seniors while requiring that big business pay its fair share of property taxes. Any increased revenue that is created by this change would provide additional fundinf for our local schools, public safety and transportation.

Bad big business! Bad, bad, bad big business! Shame on you for trying to make a profit and pay dividends to people with 401(K)'s and the like, especially those evil teachers and their state retirment fund that invests in you to help provide for teachers when they retire!

Sheesh! Let's drive more business out of the state to areas like Nevada and Texas which would only serve to drive down net tax revenues thus forcing more budget cuts from all sectors. The Left has always hated Proposition 13, and now it is taking another shot at killing the tax saving benefits enjoyed by homeowners

Used Car Buyer's Bill of Rights This initiative allows buyers to get out of a purchase within a three-day period. It also prohibits predatory loan practices by car dealers who victimize low-income car buyers, including members of the armed services. It stops car dealers from adding hidden charges to finance contracts. The Governor vetoed this measure last year in deference to his auto industry contributors.

Let me see if I can decipher this one: people are incapable of reading contracts, so we need special laws to protect them... or we could do a better job of teaching people in high school how to read basic contracts.

Regulation of Energy The risky deregulation of our resources has caused blackouts and cost the state millions. Consumer rates and terms of retail electric service need to be regulated by the Public Utilities Commission. The PUC must make "best value for ratepayers" its primary goal and establish reserve requirements to prevent future blackouts. This measure also authorizes construction of new electric plants and funds coservation and renewable energy programs.

Hello?!?!?!? Deregulation did not cause the blackouts; Governor Davis' incompetence coupled with illegal activites by Enron-types caused the blackouts and the financial problem related to energy. What is interesting here is that the initiative appears to require that the state construct power plants and run them (where are they going to get the money?). Anyone who knows the history of the Tennesee Valley Authority knows that government run power schemes when conducted on large scales usually create inefficient systems that cost more than private utilities.

Remember: the real problem is the humongous number of illegal aliens in the system. Arnold may have stumbled yesterday, but at least he is starting to talk about the real problem; but, since it is a Federal issue, we need to get President Bush to change his mind if we are to have a secure future in California and in the United States of America.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Right on Target!

Not only did the College of Cardinals get it right, but the State of Arizona is thinking clearly in other matters as well:

Marksmanship for High School Diploma Enacted - Governor Signs Bill, Teaches Actual Gun Safety

A gun-safety bill for children breaks new ground. Worth one credit toward a high school diploma, the course requires Arizona students to safely discharge a firearm at a target to pass. American high schools used to have firing ranges in the basement, but the tradition began fading in the late 1960s. Gun-rights proponents believe that training and education leads to increased safety and responsible behavior.

The bill's designers, concerned that "gun safety" could be turned into "gun avoidance" by gun-control politics, included statutory rules like the "shoot safely" requirement, to prevent unintended change. Other requirements include: Instruction on the role of firearms in preserving peace and freedom; the constitutional roots of the right to keep and bear arms; the history of firearms and marksmanship; the basic operation of firearms; practice time at a shooting range, and more.

The Arizona Game and Fish Dept. (AGFD), specified by law as the course instructors, are discussing the specifics of the curriculum. AGFD has currently trained more than 18,000 school students in archery, a shooting sport, and are pleased with the final version of the bill, which they supported.

The law began as an idea and rough draft from Bloomfield Press publisher Alan Korwin, who asked, "Why don't we make marksmanship a requirement for a high school diploma? We know many kids get no gun-safety training, and marksmanship teaches responsibility, improves concentration, and affects national preparedness." Because a required course would have budget implications and likely sink the bill, State Senator Karen Johnson introduced the class as an elective. It sailed through the Senate unanimously, and through the House by a veto-proof nearly three-to-one margin. Governor Janet Napolitano signed it into law on April 11 (the text follows).

One television reporter, obviously nervous about providing such education, asked, "Don't you think kids will rush to line up just so they can get a chance to go shooting?" Without hesitating Korwin replied, "If it's that popular, and kids get all that safety training and experience, that would be a good thing."


Pope Benedict XVI

They got it right! (I wonder what the Lutherans think?)

(links edited at 2:26 p.m.)

After you click on the link above, check out this one as well.

Monday, April 18, 2005


Not Again!

(note: I will check for typos when I have time! Thanks!)

Todd Buchholz's Bringing the Jobs Home is a light-weight book addressing the problems of outsourcing and the lack of the creation of new jobs here in America. Although this book can be deemed "conservative," it cannot, sadly, be deemed well researched. Using a style that relies more on humor than on facts, Buchholz proffers solutions that may not be based on an accurate reading of reality. As you might guess, my biggest complaint is with his shoddy treatment of the public education system in America (more later). I am, however, receptive to some of his ideas in other areas (like immigration), but it is difficult to cite him as an authorative source since much of his work sounds like it comes from a man who reads the Wall Street Journal and shares his interpretations of articles with his drinking buddies at the local high-end bar after work.

As for his attack on public education, I agree that the system is broken and needs to be fixed. I disagree on his evaluation of the problem. In brief, Buccholz argues that "we have to break out of fairy-dust land and face reality." Unfortunately, he ignores reality when it doesn't fit his solution.

Buchholz argues that:

1) Parents are overwhelmed with other things in life, so, at best, their ability to make a significant impact on the public school system and their children's education is extremely limited;

2) Teachers' unions love the credential system because "it keeps down the supply of teachers and raises wages;"

3) "Less than 40% of teachers have a degree in any academic field." Most teachers are incompetent because women now have more access to better paying careers than they did 50 years ago;

4) It is virtually impossible to fire a bad teacher. "Drinking on the job is generally not sufficient; she has to finish the bottle, smash it on the desk and then hit a kid with it."

5) Home-schooling and charter schools are better; complete competition in schools is best.

Let's take a look at his argument point-by-point:

1) Buccholz refuses to acknowledge that the most important factor in student achievement is parental involvement. He argues that parents are overwhelmed with dealing with their teens hormonal issues and paying the bills that they just cannot be reasonably expected to be too involved with the education of their children. Of course this runs counter to his citation of the growth of home schooling, but consistency does not seem to be a concern for Buchholz. It is easier for him to blame the system instead of taking into account parental responsibility.

2) Teachers' unions generally love the credential system because they are attempting to instill some sort of professionalism into the training of teachers. Buccholz does not write one word that actually shows that he knows anything about what goes on in the credential process. I do agree that some sort of compact training regimen would be better than the current system (as he suggests). However, he provides no specifics as to what courses or training should stay or go. (Yes, I know, I am not doing that either, but that will have to wait for another blog when I have more time.)

3) Yikes! Based on his poor citation skills, I am not sure if his 40% figure is something he overheard on the train or if it comes from an actual report. I am skeptical about the charge but not dismissive of it. Of course, he insults the entire teaching profession by implying that the only good teachers were women who previously prevented from pursuing other careers 50 years ago. His implication is that the rest of us are idiots to being doing something that might directly enrich the lives of children. However, this slam on doing good deeds should not be shocking since he slams Christian families who home school: "I remember when my nonreligious neighbors planned to home school their two children. The mother called a home-schooling support group and asked another mother what kind of math curriculum to use. The woman answered,'I listen and Jesus tells me." I ask you: was that slam really necessary? It certainly wasn't funny, but I expect that he thinks that it is.

4) This "example" is ludicrous on its face.

5) He may be right; but his myopic and careless analysis of the problems of education do not support his conclusion. He does a shoddy job of analyzing socio-econmomic status, parental involvement, the credential process, and bureaucratic and legal obstacles to change.

All-in-all, I would suggest that you read the book; but, if you like the ideas, you will have to do your own research in order to be satisfied.

Friday, April 08, 2005


Citizens for Paycheck Protection (hah!)

April 8, 2005

Senator Dick Ackerman
Senator Dennis Hollingsworth
Senator John Campbell
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Senators:

I am in receipt of your packet and letter dated March 25, 2005 regarding Citizens for Paycheck Protection. I agree with the statement found on the cover that states, "It's wrong for unions to take money from public employees without their permission, then use it for political purposes." I also agree with a similar statement made in the first part of the letter, "...without their approval." However, upon closer inspection of the actual text of the initiative, coupled with one sentence in the letter, it is obvious that you are not interested in protecting freedom of speech since the deductions would be prohibited "whether the deduction is voluntary or not."

The letter and the envelope are very misleading. One of the reasons why I adhere to my membership in the Republican Party is that we generally do not stoop to such misleading language and tactics. Your initiative, sponsored by corporate lobbyists, will have a chilling effect on free speech and is offensive on its face.

Should you decide to sponsor an initiative that allows for public employees to opt out of contributions from their paychecks that would otherwise be used for political purposes, I will gladly sign and circulate such a petition.

Matthew J. McKinley
Social Studies Department Chair
Northview High School
Covina, CA

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


The Death Penalty and Pope John Paul II

Click on the link above.

She may be guilty, but she is not guilty enough to be sentenced to death.

Those who are irritated that they were not able to see to the last pope lying in state and who are on the verge of rioting should remember John Paul II's teachings about the death penalty and get focused on those of us who are still in the world.


The Corporate Attack on Freedom of Speech


You may already know this, but I don't think it was made clear yesterday since your time was cut short: the initiative being sponsored by the pharmaceutical companies (by Citizens for Paycheck Protection) includes the following line about deductions, " whether the deduction is voluntary or not..." As a small "d" democrat, I find most acts, including this one, that have a chilling effect on freedom of speech to be offensive.

Also, I think that simply contacting our local representative at the state level on this particular issue is only effective if that representative does not support the initiative. I would suggest that teachers not only email their local rep.'s, but send hard copy mail to Senators Dick Ackerman, Dennis Hollingsworth and John Campbell since they are the signatories of the letter, and the letter is misleading. The letter states that "Every month, special interest unions take money from the paychecks of public employees, almost always without their approval..." The emphasis is in the original. As you can see, this emphasized portion implies that the initiative is somehow going to restore choice to employees; but, as seen in the actual text of the initiative, no choice is the final option.

Thanks again for your presentation. I would appreciate a copy of your PowerPoint presentation.

Monday, April 04, 2005


Tammany Hall Comes to Glendale, CA

The liberal factions who have no respect for the concept of American nationality and cohesiveness are at it again in the City of Glendale as they attempt to make it easier for immigrants to feed at the government trough. Tammany Hall and the other old-time politcal machines come to mind when reading Proposed Charter Amendment 16 on tomorrow's ballot. the proposed amendment changes the current law of Glendale, specifically Article XXIII, Section 9.

Below is the text of Charter Amendment 16. The words in it that have been italicized below are the ones to be struck should the charter amendment pass:

Sec. 9 Officers, etc., to be United States citizens. All officers, clerks and assistants of the city and departments thereof, except such as may be employed for special purposes,and such persons as specified by local, state or federal law must be citizens of the United States during their period of employment. (bold in the original)

Mayor Bob Yousefian, and council members Rafi Manoukian, Frank Quintero and Dave Weaver filed the following official argument in favor of the charter:

While city officers are required to be United States citizens per the Charter, the same requirement of clerks and assistants of the city is inconsistent with state and federal law. The amendment proposes to maintain the requirement that all officers be citizens of the United States, but removes the requirement regarding clerks and assistants.

The City of Glendale does not need to be consistent with state and federal laws. There is no argument that the current law of the city is unconstitutional on either a state or federal level. Thus, consitency is irrelevant.

The only thing that the current federal and state laws accompolish is that they provide easy access for non-citizens to get government jobs in the United States. Instead of changing the law in the city, the aforementioned elected leaders should be arguing that government jobs be given to citizens given that unemployment for citizens has not been eradicated.

Saturday, April 02, 2005


Pope John Paul II, R.I.P.

The best thing we can do at this point is to pray to Pope John Paul II to pray on our and the Church's behalf. He is in a position now to do his best work... and when he does, we need to thank God even more for giving him to us.

It is our faith that teaches us that the Holy Spirit will be present in the selection process and It will prevent the next Pope from teaching error. The JOY of our faith is that our last Pope is now enjoying eternal life, and that the Holy See is prevented from teaching us anything that would cause us to not to enjoy eternal life.

Grieve if you must, but do not let that grief crush the words of Pope John Paul II upon being introduced in 1978: "Be not afraid!"


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