Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Simple Math

A vehicle that gets 15 mpg and is driven12,000 miles per year, uses 800 gallons a year of gasoline. A vehicle at driven getting 25 mpg and driven 12,000 miles per year uses 480 gallons a year.

So, according to our governemnt, getting rid of each average "clunker" will reduce US gasoline consumption by 320 gallons per year.

They claim that 700,000 'clunkers" have been removed from our roads, saving us 224 million gallons of gas per year.

That equates to a bit over 5 million barrels of oil, which is approximately 25 percent of our daily consumption.

At $75 a barrel, 5 million barrels of oil costs about $350 million dollars.

Meaning, we all (read taxpayers) contributed to spending $3 billion to save $350 million.

And these are the same people who want to run our health care?

Remeber these facts when you hear their estimates of what the new health care plan will cost us (read taxpayers, one more time).

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Common Sense Health Care Reform Explained

This is perhaps the most articulate, common-sense article I have read about the entire health care debate, and sums up very succinctly how I feel about it.

It was written by John Mackey, Co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market, and originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Just In Case You Care About The King County Executive Race...

This was originally posted on Sound Politics, but since Brad Owen has a local connection and Brian Sonntag was elected statewide, it may be of interest to some of you...

Ex-Seattle Mayor Wes Uhlman & Lt. Gov. Brad Owen back Susan Hutchison
by Ron Hebron

An elected Democrat and a long-retired elected Democrat gave their support to Susan Hutchison for King County Executive. The race is officially nonpartisan, but everyone knows the alignment of the candidates.

Lt. Governor Owen is pretty conservative for a Democrat, but he has been elected to his state-wide office. State Auditor Brian Sontag has also endorsed Susan.

Uhlman was Mayor of Seattle from 1969 to 1977 and the loser to a surprise upstart marine biologist Dixie Ray Lee in the 1976 Democratic primary for Governor.

Seattle P-I coverage of this story

In the King 5/Survey USA poll Hutchison leads by a narrow 47% to 44% margin.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Appeals Court Overturns Kitsap's Critical Areas Ordinance

The fact a Washington State Appeals Court has overturned Kitsap County's onerous Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO) does not surprise me at all. I was a member of the Kitsap County Planning Commission when the CAO was rammed down our throats by the County.

The DCD Director at the time, Cindy Baker, routinely ignored numerous reasonable questions, especially the ones related to "Best Available Science," and why expanded buffers were necessary, when no new science had been brought forward to justify them. The County also ignored numerous other issues brought up by Planning Commission members.

For example: If a wetland buffer was determined under the CAO to be 150 feet, but a county road intersected the buffer at 100 feet, did the buffer cross the road or not? And if so, since the road negated the impact of the buffer, did this mean the county was in violation of its own ordinance or not? And if so, was it required to move the road?

Those were actually real-life examples of existing conditions - several that include major arterials intersecting mandated buffers. However, DCD Director Baker, under heavy pressure from then Commissioner Chris Endresen, was simply focused on meeting a deadline to get the ordinance passed - in spite of the fact the Planning Commissioners had not received anything even close to answers to most of their questions.

Without going into a lot of boring detail about what and why, the majority of the Planning Commission voted against adoption of the CAO in a 6-3 vote. All of the Planning Commissioners appointed by Endresen voted for it, and everyone else voted against adopting the CAO as written, saying it needed more work, and warning of exactly what has happened.

Yet in spite of the Planning Commission's warning, Endresen and current Bremerton Mayoral Candidate Patty Lent voted for the ordinance anyway, while then Commissioner, and now State Representative Jan Angel (R-Port Orchard), voted against it.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Thought Provoking Video

A friend sent me this a few minutes ago. SOME of you might enjoy it, while it will just piss off some others...

Responses To Obama's Health Care Speech And More

Here is the link to tonight's health care speech by President Obama.

Here is a link to a thoughtful response from a Republican legislator from Louisiana who is also a heart surgeon. This makes the most sense of anything I've heard yet. Also, check out the story that accompanies the video.

Here's the "official" Republican response to Obama's speech from Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. The first 6 minutes or so are just a lot of blah, blah, blah, political blather, but he gets into the meat of it after that - worth watching.

Watch them all and decide for yourself.

And if you doubt that MSNBC has been reduced to anything but a shill for the Obama administration, check this out.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Proposed Bill Would Give Obama Power To Shut Down The Web

We've all heard the inconvenient falsehood of how Al Gore invented the Internet. However, the truth is, there's a proposed Senate cybersecurity bill in the works that would grant President Obama the power to shut down the Internet. This includes both public and private networks.

Imagine the damage to our economy if the Internet were shut down for any extended period.

The Senate bill, first introduced in April by Senator John Rockefeller (D-W. Va.), and now co-sponsored by Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), touched off a storm of debate over how much power the President should have to control the operation of "critical infrastructure." It includes language giving Obama the authority to direct responses to cyber attacks and declare a cyber emergency.

Critics insist sweeping presidential power over the Internet is bad for America since private networks — which much of our economy runs on — could be shut down by government order. In addition, those same networks could be subject to government mandated security standards and technical configurations. This is NOT a good thing folks.

The original bill included the words: "The President may....order the limitation or shutdown of Internet traffic to and from any compromised Federal government or United States critical infrastructure information system or network."

A second draft of the bill, which has not yet been released publicly, rearranges those words, according to CNet, and contains even more convoluted language concerning the President's control over private computer networks. It qualifies his authority to include "strategic national interests involving compromised Federal Government or United States critical infrastructure information system or network," but says he may "direct the national response to the cyber threat" in coordination with "relevant industry sectors."

The reference to “relevant industry sectors” is new in the second draft — and is undefined. The bill still includes language that would have the President directing the "timely restoration of the affected critical infrastructure information system or network."

And who exactly will determine what both “critical and "timely restoration" means?

Earlier this year, critics expressed concern over potentially giving the President power to tell private network operators when they could turn their systems back on after a cybersecurity threat. When the bill was originally released Leslie Harris, president and CEO at the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), which promotes democratic values and constitutional liberties for the digital age, was quoted as saying, "We are confident that the communication networks and the Internet would be so designated [as critical infrastructure], so in the interest of national security the president could order them disconnected."

Network World sources said Rockefeller's Commerce, Science, and Transportation committee, which includes Senators Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), spent much of the recent Senate recess meeting with stakeholders and groups that had problems with the first draft of the bill. While who was included in those meetings is unclear, stakeholders could be expected to encompass large service provider networks such as Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, AOL, and others that offer online services and applications to corporations and consumers. As far back as April, Google confirmed it was studying the legislation.

This cybersecurity bill is very much in its early stages, but it bears watching.