MyWAG
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
  Big government deja vu

The Globe has outdone itself today...with another great op-ed, this one, by Jeff Jacoby, is about reckless govt spending. The scenerio is a time machine has advanced us 40 years into the future. Here's a small sample:

But one thing that seems familiar is budgetary politics. One political party is still running the show in Washington and still spending as mindlessly as ever. The budget is now hundreds of billions of dollars in the red, and the national debt has soared to more than $7 trillion -- well over $1.5 trillion of it added during the current presidential administration. The incumbent in the White House, a Texan named Bush, burns through money even more extravagantly than the Texan named Johnson you left behind in 1964. ''Excluding military and homeland security," the American Conservative Union notes in a statement, ''American taxpayers have witnessed the largest spending increase under any preceding president and Congress since the Great Depression."



 
  Bush's leadership: running on empty
<>

There's a great op-ed in the Boston Globe today, by Joan Vennochi, regarding the leader of our country and his lack of leadership ability. Here's a small sample:

His entire presidency is based on the premise that Americans can have it all, without sacrifice. We can wage a bloody, costly war and not feel any pinch in resources at home. We can cut taxes and still have No Child Left Behind. We can drive gas-guzzling SUVS without regard for dependence on foreign oil. We can eliminate the estate tax and still rebuild New Orleans.

This administration believes in new oil production, not conservation. It chose not to impose higher mileage standard on automakers. Bush's indifference to repeated warnings of global warming is now coming back to haunt him, too, in the form of rising seas. The next time, those waters may wash right up the Potomac to engulf Washington, D.C. The political waters already have.


VOTE FOR COMPETENCY

2006 2008
 
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
  Oil Refineries in the U.S.

Posted by: Fran 9/27/2005 11:45 AM

The president tells us that we must cut through more red tape to allow the building of new oil refineries in this country. I wonder if he's telling the truth??? (emphasis mine)

And, finally, these storms show that we need additional capacity in -- we need additional refining capacity, for example, to be able to meet the needs of the American people. The storms have shown how fragile the balance is between supply and demand in America. I've often said one of the worst problems we have is that we're dependent on foreign sources of crude oil, and we are. But it's clear, as well, that we're also really dependent on the capacity of our country to refine product, and we need more refining capacity. And I look forward to working with Congress, as we analyze the energy situation, to expedite the capacity of our refiners to expand and/or build new refineries.

Sounds to me like Dubya wants to use an emergency to by-pass the normal rules and regulations of a democracy. It sounds familiar to the Dubya, Cheney response to 9/11...keep the people panicked... WMD (gasoline prices), and do what you want...invade Iraq (build refineries).

This was an answer to a question:

And so I think if you take a good look at what it means to build a refinery, or expand a refinery, you'll find there's a lot of regulations and paperwork that are required, thereby delaying the capacity for more product to come on to the market and discouraging people from doing -- building refineries. That's why we haven't had one since 1970-something.

I assume we have increased our use of gasoline since the 1970's. How did we increase our supply without increasing our capacity?

A Dept of Energy affiliated website tells a different story about why we have fewer refineries. It seems Reagan might have had something to do with it: (emphasis mine)

Refining/Downstream
The United States experienced a steep decline in refining capacity between 1981 and the mid-1990s. Between 1981 and 1989, the number of U.S. refineries fell from 324 to 204, representing a loss of 3 million bbl/d in operable capacity (from 18.6 million bbl/d to 15.7 million bbl/d), while refining capacity utilization increased from 69% to 87%. Much of the decline in U.S. refining capacity resulted from the 1981 deregulation (elimination of price controls and allocations), which effectively removed the major prop from underneath many marginally profitable, often smaller, refineries.

Refinery closures have continued since 1989, bringing the total number of operable U.S. refineries to 149 in 2003. In general, refineries that have closed have been relatively small and have had less favorable economics than other refineries in their market area. Also, in recent years, some smaller, less-economic refineries that had faced additional investments for environmental reasons in order to stay in business found closing preferable because they predicted that they could not stay competitive in the long term.

While some refineries have closed, and no new refineries have been built in nearly 30 years, many existing refineries have expanded their capacities. As a result of capacity creep," whereby existing refineries create additional refining capacity from the same physical structure, capacity per operating refinery increased by 28% over the 1990 to 1998 period, for example. Overall, since the mid-1990s, U.S. refinery capacity has increased from 15.0 million bbl/d in 1994 to 16.9 million bbl/d in September 2004. Also in September 2004, utilization of operating capacity at U.S. refineries was averaging around 90%, down from 97% in July and August. Although financial, environmental, and legal considerations make it unlikely that new refineries will be built in the United States, expansion at existing refineries likely will increase total U.S. refining capacity in the long-run.

 
  Ungoverned Hostility? maybe, Ungoverned Country? YES

Posted by: Fran 9/27/2005 9:54 AM

I just read a piece, by WFB about the Roberts nomination. I've enjoyed WFB, whether it was Firing Line, or more recently on NRO. It's a great website with a conservative point of view.

My problem with the story did not involve Roberts, it involved Kerry and Dubya: (emphasis mine)

Senator Kerry’s ungoverned hostility to President Bush edges him toward supremacy among the Bush haters, but it is not clear that these are definitely en route to governing the Democratic Party. What cause would the left seek out, in a bid for national control first of the Democratic Party, then of the nation?

The words ungoverned, Bush haters, and then, What cause and national control really caught my eye.

It would seem to me that the nation is ungoverned by Bush.

I can't imagine that WFB agrees with the course this nation is on. And if per chance he did agree, I can't believe he accepts that the execution of the course has been handled in a competent manner.

VOTE FOR COMPETENCY

2006 2008

 
Monday, September 26, 2005
  What is the real cost of Private Schools?

This is an update from a previous post

Posted by: Fran

Just a little more info regarding private school cost. I responded to an article, “Bold, Persistent Experimentation�, by Rich Lowry, of the NRO.

It is the continued persistent pursuit of partisan political ideology, (dividing not uniting), the sad canard of school vouchers saving poor people from the democrats who just want to keep them poor.

Here's part of the article:

The education vouchers, meanwhile, make private school available to kids who had suffered in the atrocious New Orleans public system and help preserve the choice many families had already made. Out of 248,000 students in the broader New Orleans area, 61,000 went to private schools. Opponents of the voucher proposals want to say to bereft families of those private-school students, "Congratulations, you lost everything, and we hope your children now get trapped in public schools on top of it."

61,000 out of 248,000....hmmm, I wonder how many of those 61,000 weren't able to evacuate?

Here's part of an article from Fox News:

The district refunded Clark and Gray $3,415 — Shay's tuition for half the year plus an art fee.

The girl got kicked out of school because at least one of her parents didn't live a Christian life.

Let me see...this is a Christian school and 1/2 the year is $3,415, plus and art fee...that makes the total school year approximately $7,000.

People see what they want to see, that's only human. However, as stated previously...the dogmatic arguments to change the govt should be backed up by reasonable facts. The Bush administration has given us many examples of dogmatic arguments failing to produce the intended results. Please feel free to use your imagination...Iraq, EPA...mercury poisoning, budget deficits, saving Social Security....it goes on and on.

 
Sunday, September 25, 2005
  Do you trust Frist with his Trust

Posted by: Fran Sunday, September 25, 2005

Do you trust Frist with his Trust?

A "qualified blind trust", according to a govt website, is:

(1) The primary purpose of the blind trust is to confer on the independent trustee and any other designated fiduciary the sole responsibility to administer the trust and to manage trust assets without the participation by, or the knowledge of, any interested party. This includes the duty to decide when and to what extent the original assets of the trust are to be sold or disposed of and in what investments the proceeds of sale are to be reinvested;

I just heard Brit Hume on FNS talk about it doesn't look good, but there's no evidence to show he did anything wrong therefore you can't speculate that something was wrong...Wallace tried to qualify the no evidence talk to say that we don't know of any evidence and we don't know that there's not any evidence. Brit would have no qualifying....I wonder if he takes the same position all the time, with everyone...you know...Fair and Balanced???


UPDATE: 10:05 AM

In an article in the Washington Post this morning they have some quotes from Frist.

In his own words:

Maybe he did...maybe he didn't.

Also from the article:

Bill Frist...your...no...his trust is very important to him

 
Saturday, September 24, 2005
  Bill Would Permit DNA Collection From All Those Arrested

Brought to you by the same guys who promised less govt.

Your smaller Federal Govt at work for you:

Suspects arrested or detained by federal authorities could be forced to provide samples of their DNA that would be recorded in a central database under a provision of a Senate bill to expand government collection of personal data...

The provision, co-sponsored by Kyl and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), does not require the government to automatically remove the DNA data of people who are never convicted. Instead, those arrested or detained would have to petition to have their information removed from the database after their cases were resolved.

Privacy advocates are especially concerned about possible abuses such as profiling based on genetic characteristics.

You've got be aware of what smaller govt really does and doesn't mean to some people.

Small govt can:

1. Collect your DNA...first sexual predators, then violent felons and now...anyone arrested...not just those who are convicted.

2. Control your bedroom.

3. Control your right to die.

4. Collect your library information.

5. Solicit your 17 year old high school student for the military....No Child Left Behind.

6. Deny many more FOI...just protecting you from yourself.

7. Control the world.

 
Thursday, September 22, 2005
  Mental midget
Is George paying attention today....?



...of course he is, even a mental midget can learn.

Idea from American Prospect Cover.


 
  Great Moments in Political Leadership

Another great post at Billmon's website:

Great Moments in Political Leadership

"With malice toward none and charity for all, let us bind up the nation's wounds."

Abraham Lincoln
1864

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself."

Franklin D. Roosevelt
1933

"Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."

John F. Kennedy
1961

"My earmarks are pretty important."

Tom DeLay
2005

Posted by billmon at 02:05 PM

He certainly has a style all his own.


VOTE FOR COMPETENCY 2006 2008




 
  Bashing by elite group should worry Bush

Re…Bashing…should worry Bush

Posted by Fran: 9/22/2005 11:33 AM

This is a real hoot. I can't tell if Novak is trying to be funny or if he's really off his rocker.

After the Plame fiasco with Rove and the continuing implosion of
BARF…( B
ush Administration Responsibility Fiasco),
Novak continues to shill for Bush, (never acknowledging this to himself).

He stated this:

ASPEN, Colo. -- For two full days, President Bush was bashed. He was taken to task on his handling of stem cell research, population control, the Iraq war and, especially, Hurricane Katrina. The critics were no left-wing bloggers. They were rich, mainly Republican and presumably Bush voters in the last two presidential elections.

The Bush-bashing occurred last weekend at the annual Aspen conference sponsored by the New York investment firm Forstmann Little & Co. More than 200 invited guests, mostly prestigious, arrived Thursday (many by private aircraft) and stayed until Sunday for more than golf, hikes and gourmet meals. They faithfully attended the discussions presided over by PBS' Charlie Rose on such serious subjects as ''global poverty and human rights'' and ''the 'new' world economy.'' The connecting link was hostility to Bush.

Bush bashing…who would have thought?

Maybe Novak, like HSC Sec Chertoff, and FEMA's top brass, don't have access to TV, and therefore have been missing Hurricane George's effects on this country.

From AUTH of the Philadelphia Inquirer

Novak's best sentence follows in this paragraph: (emphasis mine)

I do not see myself as a defender of the Bush presidency, and I am sure the White House does not regard me as such. But as a member of the second panel consisting of journalists, I felt constrained to argue against implications that Hurricane Katrina should cause Bush to rediscover race and poverty. My comments again generated more criticism from the audience and obvious exasperation by Rose. After the closing dinner Saturday night, the moderator made clear he was displeased by my conduct.

If he's not a defender…what the hell is he?

VOTE FOR COMPETENCY 2006 2008

 
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
  Catholic Church Conspiracy to hide Child Sexual Abuse

Posted by: Fran Wednesday 9/21/2005 7:53 PM

This afternoon on NPR radio I heard an archdiocese spokesman state that they can't understand the rejection of their efforts in regards to the Child Sexual Abuse Scandal. He stated that:

1. It will never happen again.

2. The church produced 4,500…no 45,000 documents…blah, blah, blah.

The rejection of their efforts are for 2 reasons.

1. Child Sexual Abuse by priests, and bishops. (This is really bad and criminal).

2. The cover-up conspiracy by priests, bishops, and cardinals. (This is so much worse. It is criminal. It is conspiratorial).

An argument can be made that the abusive priests are/were mentally ill and therefore couldn't control their impulses. This leads then directly to the cover-up conspiracy. Planned and executed, over many years, by priests, bishops and cardinals to protect their fiefdom and power, the cover-up conspiracy resulted in many more kids who were damaged.

There should be no redemption for the conspirators.

 
  “Bold, Persistent Experimentationâ€�

Posted by: Fran Wed. 9/21/2005 3:35 PM

Rich has some very interesting arguments concerning Democratic attempts to keep the welfare state alive.

He states:

One argument that has always been advanced to block aid to poor families who want to send their children to private schools is that, in effect, the government can't afford it; it will starve public schools of funding….

… That's hard to see when President Bush increased federal education spending 65 percent during his first term.

The objection to these Bush proposals isn't fiscal, but philosophical. They serve to undermine the principle of government dependency that underpins the contemporary welfare state, and to which liberals are utterly devoted. In a reversal of the old parable, liberals don't want to teach people how to fish if they can just give them federally funded seafood dishes instead.

Why does this argument persist? Is it foolish to admit that giving school vouchers, (that cover at most 3/5ths of the cost), to poor families is disingenuous at best, if not spiteful. The families are by definition…poor: having little or no wealth and few or no possessions.

He then states:

The education vouchers, meanwhile, make private school available to kids who had suffered in the atrocious New Orleans public system and help preserve the choice many families had already made. Out of 248,000 students in the broader New Orleans area, 61,000 went to private schools. Opponents of the voucher proposals want to say to bereft families of those private-school students, "Congratulations, you lost everything, and we hope your children now get trapped in public schools on top of it."

Opponents of the voucher system might accept it if it was fully funded. If the really poor families of New Orleans, (and why not the rest of the country), want to go to private schools, why not fully fund it? Ithe argument is serious.

A table from the CATO Institute reflects the true costs, if you allow for non-sectarian schools. However, their argument does not include non-subsidized costs born by sectarian and public schools alike.

Table 1

Private School Tuition, by Type of School and Level: 1993-94

Average Type of School

Tuition ($)

All private schools

3,611

Elementary

2,138

Secondary

4,578

Combined

4,266

Catholic Schools

2,178

Elementary

1,628

Combined

4,153

Other religious schools

2,915

Elementary

2,606

Secondary

5,261

Combined

2,831

Nonsectarian Schools

6,631

Elementary

4,693

Secondary

9,525

Combined

7,056

It seems like the argument doesn't support a parents right to choose which school they'd like to send their kids to.

1. What about transportation costs specific to Louisiana?

2. Extra curricular activities…costs and transportation?

3. What about books and supplies?

Louisiana has much more info regarding the legislature appropriating funds for books, transportation costs. Don't forget…the money has to be appropriated…it's not guaranteed.

To suggest average cost is not being honest.

There's many groups that study the costs of public vs. private education. Another view is here. It seems that their view is directed towards the parents and actual costs...not the basis of dogmatic argument.

What's it going to cost? It varies widely, but according to the Washington Federation of Independent Schools 2004 survey, the average annual private-school tuition runs about: • $5,095 for first- through fourth-grade students; • $6,109 for fifth- through eighth-graders; • $8,249 for ninth- through 12th-graders. These are statewide averages. Figures are higher in Western Washington; three of out four private schools in Washington are on the state's west side. Tuition at least three Puget Sound area schools tops $19,000.

All in all the best I can say for Lowry is that he's pushing a conservative agenda. The figures just above aren't from Louisiana, but I'm sure they're geared towards a middle to upper middle class income in the state of Washington. How the poor people of New Orleans are going to meet the cost of private schools when they can't meet the basic costs of owning a car is beyond me.

 
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
  Email from arrested White House official suggests powerful congressman lied about trip


<>Posted by Fran Tuesday, 9/20/2005 9:35 PM

RawStory has a great piece, by John Byrne regarding corruption.

John Byrne

WASHINGTON -- News of David Safavian's arrest Monday ricocheted through the Washington political scene like a gunshot.

Safavian, 38, who oversaw $300 billion in federal procurement for President George W. Bush, quit Friday after an FBI operation alleged he obstructed an investigation and tried to finagle a government deal for a friend. He was appointed in 2004.

Yet what is most significant about Safavian's case isn't Safavian himself. It’s the fact that he was arrested—and that emails he sent to conservative superlobbyist Jack Abramoff indicated that those on the trip knew that a trip to Scotland in 2002 was being paid for by the lobbyist.

It's definitely worth a click.

 
  TimesSelect

Posted by: Fran Tuesday 9/20/05

The New York Times started charging for access to it's columnists. Someone, (John Tabin), thought maybe some folks could use another link.

Check it out here:

Each day, today's regular New York Times op-ed columns will be noted, each with a post title indicating the name of the columnist and the Times's title for the column. As they become available-- usually within a few days-- at least one link will be added in the body of each post to a syndicated copy of the column from a news source that doesn't charge for access.

Now that I've learned how to create links, thanks to EAPrez, if the site works out I'll create a link in a few days.

 
Sunday, September 18, 2005
  Help our Country

The Republican Party promised us good govt…

…with lower taxes. Fail (terror memo, Iraq, FEMA, deficit, deficit )

…with less govt. Fail (in reality…they're in YOUR bedroom)

…with responsibility FAIL FAIL FAIL (did I mention deficit)

I am shocked and amazed that at the lack of ACCOUNTABILITY of the rulers of this country, the Bush Administration Responsibility Fiasco.

Think about it…

…Bush Administration Responsibility Fiasco…

..............BARF

BARF assumes it doesn't stink.

BARF rewards incompetence with the Medal of Freedom.

BARF asks some people to help their country.

BARF would never ask the rest of the country to help.

It was very tough getting military numbers but it seems that only a small percentage actually fight for this country. I could guess at the active military, 1.3 million and then the total of National Guard and Reserve Forces at 1.5 million and I would probably be wrong.

The point is that BARF doesn't know what's important.

I love this country....I hate incompetent government.

VOTE FOR COMPETENCY 2006 2008

 
  Re…Hopping on the "Pork For The Big Easy" bandwagon

Sunday 9/18/05

I just replied to a post at Wizbang regarding the pork situation and hurricane Katrina.

The biggest source of pork seems to be the Highway Bill, so that's where I went. And I see that we are tied for next-to-last at $900 million, even with Hawaii and just barely ahead of Delaware (which, I believe, is almost entirely paved over already).

My post to Wizbang follows after a little update.

We really do live in a world where up is down.

The pork in the budget… is supposed to be… OK???

WE BORROW THIS MONEY FROM CHINA, AMOUNGST OTHER NATIONS.

These nations will have a greater ability to control our future.

I am so disappointed in the Republican Party. At one time they had a backbone.

Where are the deficit hawks???

The Concord Coalition is going to have to declare martial law, and take the credit card out of W and the Republican Congress' hand.

Being a US citizen, it's hard to hear people talking about our govt and pork in the same sentence.

Being a Republican, one who hasn't agreed with the party since the social conservatives took over, I look to the comments of a master politician. Tom Delay stated at this website:

http://washingtontimes.com/functions/print.php?StoryID=20050914-120153-3878r


House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said yesterday that Republicans have done so well in cutting spending that he declared an "ongoing victory," and said there is simply no fat left to cut in the federal budget.

I wonder if it's easy for Tom? Having the ability to secure money for your district, (F-anyone else), it sounds quaint, it sounds almost exactly like what he complained the Democrats did.

Except the Democrats did something silly like raising your taxes before they spent your money, not these guys. Your grandchildren will get to have their taxes raised to pay for this monstrously out of control Republican controlled Federal Govt.

All you simpletons out there should realize that the WHO had something that each generation had to hear:

We'll be fighting in the streets
With our children at our feet
And the morals that they worship will be gone
And the men who spurred us on
Sit in judgement of all wrong
They decide and the shotgun sings the song
 
I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again
 
Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!
 
Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss
 

I've written a few comments on this site and I've always appreciated the ability to express myself here.

One thing I won't do is delude myself. I love to watch sporting events, football, nascar….

…when my team commits a foul I call it.

Where are the voices of the principled Republicans?

VOTE FOR COMPETENCY 2006 2008

 
Friday, September 16, 2005
  DEFICITS & SHAME

Doesn't anyone in this country have any sense of SHAME?

Will this country ever pay it's bills?

We are going to borrow more money from China.

Congressional republicans put off discussion of the estate tax repeal due to an incidental conflict in concepts.

The concept of cutting the taxes of the top 1%, while we go to China to borrow more money.

Who or what do Republicans stand for?

Grassley, in a conference call with Iowa reporters, said he believes debate over the repeal will be postponed.

"It's a little unseemly to be talking about doing away with or enhancing the estate tax at a time when people are suffering," said Grassley, a Republican who is in charge of the committee that writes U.S. tax policy.

Republicans, the party in charge of the Federal Govt, wants to eliminate the estate, aka DEATH TAX.

A reasonable assumption would be that their goal is to help our country.

Would this really help our country?

What about the BIRTH TAX?

FoxNews carried Sen Harry Reid's (D-Nevada) response to Bush's lame SOTU.

The image “http://images.dailykos.com/images/user/3/birth_tax.jpg� cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Picture courtesy of the free speech zone.

This is our Deficit.

VOTE FOR COMPETENCY 2006 2008

 
  Re…Instapundit…FUNDING KATRINA RELIEF

This little survey was posted at instapundit on 9/14/05 at 11:02am:

FUNDING KATRINA RELIEF: Bush seems to be shoveling out the cash, which has led some people to suggest cutbacks elsewhere -- though curiously the press mostly seems to mention Iraq. Here's an InstaPundit poll on the question that explores some other alternatives. Express yourselves!

Top of Form

Bottom of Form

Where should we cut spending to finance Katrina relief?
Farm subsidies
Federal support for public broadcasting
The DARE program
Congressional travel and staff allowances
All of the above

posted at 11:02 AM by Glenn Reynolds Permalink

Great options. I wonder why there's no mention of the pork filled highway bill, or the energy bill giveaway…subsidies to oil companies who are having a hard time investing all their windfall. Even republican sites are a little astonished when it comes to the free spending/borrowing/no tax increase/no responsibility republicans of today:

Tom Delay says that congressional Republicans have done their job:

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said yesterday that Republicans have done so well in cutting spending that he declared an "ongoing victory," and said there is simply no fat left to cut in the federal budget.

Mr. DeLay was defending Republicans' choice to borrow money and add to this year's expected $331 billion deficit to pay for Hurricane Katrina relief. Some Republicans have said Congress should make cuts in other areas, but Mr. DeLay said that doesn't seem possible

"My answer to those that want to offset the spending is sure, bring me the offsets, I'll be glad to do it. But nobody has been able to come up with any yet," the Texas Republican told reporters at his weekly briefing.

Asked if that meant the government was running at peak efficiency, Mr. DeLay said, "Yes, after 11 years of Republican majority we've pared it down pretty good."

Maybe our govt, both D's and R's, have some fancy hidden plan regarding our deficit, what we owe to China and what we owe to ourselves for Social Security.

I just heard my unborn grandson's back…breaking under the weight of our obligations as we shift them, plus interest to future generations.

VOTE FOR COMPETENCY 2006 2008

 
Sunday, September 11, 2005
  Re: Barking about gas

Barking about gas

Jeff conveniently, for him, compares house prices to gas prices. I'm not sure it's even worth the mental exercise….but…you don't need to buy a house to get to work.

Jeff Jacoby thinks that it is the mystique of the market that helps stabilize the system when gas prices spike. He forgets that stability in society should extend beyond just prices.

Jeff also forgets that the true price of our oil and gas is much larger than what is at the pumps. Our military costs around the globe do not reflect the true price at the pump. It has been assumed, at the highest levels of Govt that the American public can't assimilate the association of their decadence with fuel and what it really costs.

Our boys are dying in Iraq to help fuel the auto. It's not really a vote getter.

Jeff states:

The only rational and efficient way to allocate a scarce commodity is through price. That is because the more you value something, the more you are generally willing to pay for it. By charging what the market will bear -- for gasoline or anything else -- vendors channel their product to the customers who value it the most. A mandatory cap on the price of gas may seem like kindness to the poor, but all it can do is raise demands that can't be met. The result is ''Sold Out" signs on Joe's pumps, or gasoline lines stretching around the block.

I happen to agree with most of what Jeff says. My only problem with Jeff's argument is about those profits, who gets them?

As a nation, are we benefiting from this price valuation?

Why as a nation would we allow middlemen to reap windfall profits from a crisis?

What will the middlemen do with their money to help this nation?

Will they deposit their windfall profits to a fund for homeland security?

Will they use their windfall profits to further lobby the US Govt for relief from high taxes?

Will they disburse their windfall profits to the military?

Or will the profits just contribute to the decadence of America?

We could also allow for tax deductions for gas purchases to help those who must buy gas at such a high price, compared to those who just might want to consume a valuable national resource for their own pleasure. Price controls do not stop the purchase of gas. They only control the purchase of gas by people who can't afford to buy gas. If I remember correctly, the US Govt imposed gas rationing during WWII.

I wonder why Jeff wants the private sector to be the only salvation in a disaster that involves our whole country?

He needs to account for the cost of our military commitments. Why should middlemen make a fortune while our soldiers are dying to protect our country and it's energy needs?

 
  Conscientious Objections

The Heritage Foundation had this response, "An 'Undemocratic Tide'?", to a NYT's Op-Ed regarding the pharmacist and their rights to fill/not a prescription. The post condemns the Op-Ed for it's lack of deference to personal freedom. It begins:

Here is the summary for an op-ed published today:

Allowing pharmacists not to fill lawful prescriptions based on their own moral or religious beliefs is undemocratic.

But what if that were rewritten to make the opposite argument?

Forcing pharmacists to fill lawful prescriptions that are opposed to their own moral or religious beliefs is undemocratic.

Which rings more true to you?

More broadly speaking, our country is based upon the principles of freedom and democracy, and often the two are in tension.

I agree that it is one of the many tensions of society and freedom.

We certainly accept the idea that we can agree to disagree on many of our personal beliefs. The question is how much of our personal beliefs must we subsume to allow society to function on a basic daily level?

We have rules that govern transportation of goods and people, known as common carrier laws. The law takes away some of the rights of the carriers:

First, Of Carriers Of Passengers On Land. The duties of such carriers are
1st. those which arise on the commencement of the journey.
- 1. To carry passengers whenever they offer themselves and are ready to pay for their transportation. They have no more right to refuse a passenger, if they have sufficient room and accommodation, than an innkeeper has to refuse a guest.

The carrier gives up certain personal rights in exchange for support in collecting money owed and denial of responsibility of damage to goods, unless specifically insured for loss.

The gain for society is stability.

This is from Elizabeth Anderson of Left2Right:

The operators of a private telephone system should not be able to claim a right of religious conscience to eavesdrop on telephone conversations, so they can cut off blasphemous phone calls. The operator of an ambulance service that takes public calls, who is a Christian Scientist, may not claim a right of religious conscience to refuse to transport any emergency case to the hospital, unless it is for the treatments permitted to a Christian Scientist (bone setting, pulling an infected tooth). A Talibanesque taxi driver may not conscientiously refuse to serve women unaccompanied by male relatives, on the ground that he might thereby be facilitating their sinful consorting with the opposite sex. And similarly, a pharmacist may not claim a right of religious conscience to refuse to fill a prescription for birth control to women, or to single women, on the ground that he might thereby be facilitating the sin of fornication.

… There are some public accommodations of such vital interest to each person that each has a compelling liberty interest in unfettered access to it, without being subject to the arbitrary decisions of those who operate them. The right to operate a public accommodation is not the right to inflict one's religious beliefs on others. The pharmacist's license is a license to practice pharmacy for others, not a license to practice one's religion on others. The state, in the name of freedom, properly enforces a common carrier rule in such cases.

A question for the Heritage writer:

What about the beliefs of the truck driver who delivers RU-486 to the pharmacy?

I support extending the "Common Carrier Law" to cover pharmacists.

 
Guesses concerning politics and life.

ARCHIVES
March 2005 / May 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / April 2006 / September 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 /


Powered by Blogger