Monday, February 27, 2006

Mass Transit - Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Why don't we have more mass transit in California?

In London, England they have quite the mass transit system. If you've ever been there you know what I'm talking about. In contrast, look at San Francisco and Los Angeles in California. There is some mass transit, but not much.

The reason of course is that our culture is built around the automobile. Cities, towns, schools, business parks and housing developments are all built around the freeway and road systems.

Of course the price of gasoline is much higher in London which adds to the reasons why their system is used more and better developed than ours.

Some people are already working on introducing high speed bullet trains to California's transportation system.Link

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Ports - Still Our Veins To The World

Well, our government leaders have decided to give away control of some of our ports to a company owned by the United Arab Emarates, a nation in the Middle East who helped fund the Taliban. Is this a great idea or what! Now they can bring their bombs right into the country without having to worry about some of those minor infractions. This way we can keep our planes and we can curb that temptation to fake passports and IDs. We can probably even cut down on airport security now that we can figure on most terrorists choosing to come by boat instead. In fact, why don't we just hand over our airports to the Terrorists too since they would surely take better care of them then and be kinder to us. Can't we all just get along? Where's the love?

We should not give up our nation's sovreignty to any other nation, let alone a nation that has taken part in terrorist acts upon the United States by funding the Taliban.

[My concerns don't stem directly from national security issues but rather from national sovreignty issues.]

First we should never give up the governing of any part of our nation to another nation. This violates our sovreignty as well as gives that other nation the upper hand in situations with respect to that particular area of governance.

Second this could be just the start of a choking out of our international commerce by giving away our rights as part of a free enterprise economic system. There is potential here for our economic abilities to be infringed upon by this foreign company. Having a foreign power holding the position of essentially a governing agency we will be required to submit to their athority in matters involving our economy. Having a foreign country controlling our ports and having certain powers over our economic decisions (however limited they may be) could be detrimental to the stability of our economy. US shipping would become more dependent on that foreign country and would want to please them in order that they might show favoritism in return.

President Bush was quoted as saying:
“If there was any chance that this transaction would jeopardize the security of the United States, it would not go forward,”

And further:
“It sends a terrible signal to friends around the world that it’s OK for a company from one country to manage the port, but not a country that plays by the rules and has got a good track record from another part of the world,”

My question is this: How does funding the Taliban translate into a "good track record" or "playing by the rules"? Whose rules are we talking about here? The UAE may not be supporting the Taliban now but why should we risk it? What good thing will come from us trusting a nation with a "track record" like this one? What makes it worth the risk? I ask you? What?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Tenant, 93, Wins Ga. Eminent Domain Case

ALBANY, Ga., Feb. 10, 2006Link
(AP) A jury decided that a Georgia hospital is going to have to pay nearly five times what it offered if it wants to condemn a rental house where a frail, 93-year-old woman has lived for nearly three decades.

The jury said Thursday that Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital would have to buy the 60-year-old brick duplex for $200,000 _ it has been appraised at $50,000 to $60,000 _ and give the tenant $51,000 to help her move from her home of 26 years.

Bravo! Personal property rights win this round. I wish we saw more of this. People standing up for their rights and fighting to keep them. After all what good are our rights when we don't practice them? And if we don't practice them they become weak and frail and fall apart and disapear.

"Posterity: you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it."

John Quincy Adams

"It is in vain, Sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace! But there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the North will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that Gentlemen want? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"

-Patrick Henry

"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."

-Wendell Phillips

Freedom is only purchased at a great cost. We should not so easily let go of it.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Dr. Phil: Conservative or Socialist?

Is Dr. Phil promoting common sense or communism?

Dr. Phil Kurzner says:

I need your help to challenge our self-imposed status quo by bringing common sense back to government. (Link)

I can't reconcile this statement about common sense with his plan to enforce a state mandated socialized health care plan for everyone in California. How is that common sense? How does promoting self-imposed socialism in our state bring common sense back to government? Read more of what he says and you'll see it doesn't seem to add up.

Here is Dr. Phil's Statement from this link.
Dr. Phil Kurzner for Insurance Commissioner

I need your help to challenge our self-imposed status quo by bringing common sense back to government. I will work day and night to ensure your rights are protected in the Insurance Commissioner’s office. I will work tirelessly to ensure that our state government does not over-regulate small business and kill jobs. I am totally committed to working with Governor Schwarzenegger to achieve stability for government finances without tax increases.

If you agree with the Republican Party leaders and prominent Californians who have encouraged me to be a candidate for this office, please join our effort. I appreciate your assistance in my campaign. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to contact me at 916-233-0077.

More Information:

Now reconcile that with these excerpts from his plan for mandated socialized medicine. To read the full text of his plan go to this Link.

1. Every Californian should have a catastrophic coverage plan. The best form is to have each person responsible for acquiring private health plan coverage. Parents are responsible to provide coverage for their children.
2. Whether purchased by the employer or the individual, the premiums and uncovered costs are 100% tax deductible. The poor and the working lower class will require partial or complete subsidies, on a sliding scale basis.
3. Health savings accounts can be used to pay the uncovered costs and co-pay requirements.
4. To protect lower income persons, a form of a health earned income tax credit can be provided (EITC), again on a proportionate basis. This effectively amounts to a transfer of public resources to the provision of health care. And let's be honest here. To provide basic coverage to the many folks who currently do not have it, costs will rise initially.


The final question is the most profound. How do we pay for all of this? The principle here is that since every person benefits, everyone MUST contribute something. The best source of financing is a consumption-based tax for health care. This has the advantage that everyone contributes and decreases the impact of the uninsured patients. Everyone in California pays in, to some degree, whether visiting, here legally or not. This is a sustainable basis for financing that is honest, simple and adheres to basic principles.

Pretty interesting?

Someone has put together this comprehensive website showing Phil Kurzner's socialistic plan while likening it to a similar plan put together by Hillary Clinton. Link With a guy like this in office in California Hillary could really get some things done.

Unless I'm really missing something, and I don't think I am, Phil Kerzner is not the man we need in office for insurance commissioner.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Be At Peace With All Men

If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.

Rom. 12:18

This is an action we must pursue. We can't stand by idle, we must actively make peace. Hebrews states it from the acting point of view more clearly.

Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.

Heb. 12:14

Everyone deep down inside craves peace. Nobody wants to live in fear. No matter if that fear is great or small it is not appreciated or enjoyed. A terrorist does not enjoy being afraid for his life, having to continually be on the run. Neither does a relatively "good" person enjoy the fear of being pulled over by a policeman when they are speeding and having to face the dread of paying a fine or going to court. Nor does anyone enjoy being robbed of their personal property. Most never come to an understanding of the only true peace that God alone gives when a person submits their life to God's authority.
It is interesting to see how different players in the media are handling the story of how President Bush revealed today about the 2001 terrorist plot in Los Angeles. For example the Fox News heading reads "Bush Details Foiled 2002 Terror Attack" while the Washington Post headline reads "Bait and Switch".

Part of the Washington Post Article said:

Under pressure to justify his warrantless domestic spying program, President Bush today with much fanfare disclosed new details about the thwarting of a terrorist hijacking plot four years ago. But what it had to do with eavesdropping, Bush didn't say.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan whipped up the press corps early this morning with word that Bush would offer hitherto secret information about the plot to crash a plane into Los Angeles's tallest building.

The Washington Times ran an AP article quoting President Bush as saying

"We cannot let the fact that America hasn't been attacked in 41/2 years since September the 11th lull us into the illusion that the threats to our nation have disappeared. They have not."

This, I believe, is a very realistic concept that many in the nation have failed to grasp. Our nation's leaders work ceaselessly to protect us and our country. We can at least recognize their hard work when they announce a triumph and not face it with brutal negativism. When people don't see a clear and present danger often enough the become lazy and lean toward complacency. A dangerous position to be in.

The Washington Times Article

Jail Riots in Castaic, CA - Time for Change?

LA Times Article

The Mercury News

Gang leaders directing traffic at Pitchess Detention Center pointed latinos to attack blacks in an all out jail riot in Castaic, CA. This isn't the first time this has happened. In fact Pitchess Detention Center is known for its riots. I've been on a tour through one of the huge jail buildings there with a friend of mine who was a deputy there. Talk about a big place. My friend who I lived in the same house with for about 6 months was always coming home and talking about the latest riot or fight they had at the jail.

When I was a kid I toured Pelican Bay Prison on a field trip and there were a lot of similarities. High security, a tight grip on troublemakers, etc...

However this perspective of Pitchess Detention Center is a big change though from what Castaic's jail used to be. It was once a place for drunks to get their lives back together by hard work and learning how to farm and make toys.

Maybe we need to go back to making prisoners and jail inmates (such kind terms for convicted criminals) be productive. Just give them something to do. That has seemed to work for them in Arizona where they started a tent jail. Prisoners are allowed to work and go outside and it seems to have really worked. Running this prison cost a lot less money too.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Programs Evaluated

As if we didn't already know, the OMB has announced that some US Government programs just aren't working.

This information was taken from OMB

Distribution of Program Ratings

Number of Programs Assessed 793

Moderately Effective----------29%
Results Not Demonstrated----24%

Monday, February 06, 2006

Google Gives In To Full Chinese Censorship

Google has recently given into Chinese censorship of the internet that is accessable to the public in China. According to
The Times China employs 30,000 workers to monitor and block the internet from the people of China.

Islam: A Religion of Peace?

How can the world close its eyes to the violence of Muslims and claim they are a peaceful people. The truth is there for all to see. Some are trying to hide the violence to protect Islam, others are beginning to see for the first time the dramatic truth about Islam. Violence. Vengance.

Muslim violence spreads
By Mitchell Prothero
February 6, 2006

Truth is found in God's word the Bible. The true God needs no vengance on man's part to defend His name.

"Vengance is mine saith the Lord."

Our God reigns with truth. He commands us to "seek peace and pursue it".

Friday, February 03, 2006

Interesting Perspective on Preschool Initiative

According to the LA Times in an article entitled Preschool Initiative's Misguided ApproachLink and dated February 2, 2006, in regards to Rob Reiner's preschool initiative "No one disputes that such a program [Universal Preschool] would be a good thing in principle". I've got news for them. There is a very large population of people in California and the rest of the United States that argue any such program is a very bad idea and is detrimental to the welfare of children.

One would have thought that the writer of this article Michael Hiltzik Bio, having been with the LA Times for over 20 years and having won a pulitzer prize, would have done his homework. Perhapse Mr. Hiltzik has never heard of or has never heard some of the arguments listed by Child and Family Protection Association Link

Thursday, February 02, 2006

New House Majority Leader

According to the Associated Press, US Representative John Boehner (Bio) , [R-Ohio] has been installed as the new House Majority Leader filling the post left by scandal-ridden Tom DeLay.


Boehner's Biography

LA Times article


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Governor's ReElection Campaign In Debt

According to the LA Times (Link):
Arnold Schwarzenegger is entering his reelection campaign $410,000 in debt, while his Democratic rivals and union foes are armed with more than $50 million.

Pretty amazing huh? A man who has made a name for himself raising money. But get this! The article goes on to say:
He also continued supplementing his aides' government salaries by paying them additional sums in campaign money, according to campaign reports filed with the state Tuesday.

It seems to me that just maybe, there could be a problem here.