Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Don't buy gold, buy carbon credits

Walmart, others make money on Oregon's energy tax credits
When Oregon started handing out jumbo tax subsidies for renewable energy projects two years ago, one of the biggest beneficiaries was also one of the world's richest corporations -- Walmart.

No, the retail giant hasn't branched to solar panels or wind turbines.

Instead, Walmart took advantage of a provision in Oregon's Business Energy Tax Credit that allows third parties with no ties to the green power industry to buy the credits at a discount and reduce their state income tax bills.

State records show Walmart paid $22.6 million in cash last year for the right to claim $33.6 million in energy tax credits. The cash went to seven projects, including two eastern Oregon wind farms and SolarWorld's manufacturing plant in Hillsboro. In return, Walmart profits $11 million on the deal because that's the difference between what it paid for the tax credit and the amount of its tax reduction.

This kind of accounting is the future of cap and trade. As much as liberals would like to eliminate free markets this kind of trading is the logical outcome of these silly social engineering policies.

The irony is that long before being "green" was trendy saving energy was something that people did because of self-interest. Who didn't grow up with a parent who remarked that "they weren't paying to heat the whole neighborhood" when you left the front door open in the winter?

Lawmakers and enviro-nuts act as if people wake up in the morning thinking of ways to burn fuel without getting any benefit for it and that if they just offer "free money" then energy consumption that would have happened will not and this will have no consequences.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

If they can give, they can take it away

Nanny State Gone Wild: Defining Dependency Up
The greatest gifts you can give your children can't be boxed and bowed. Consider the timeless gift of self-sufficiency -- a stubborn thirst to leave the nest, make it on your own and live as a free-willed adult. It's a concept that Big Nanny Democrats are sabotaging at every legislative turn.

I propose a new symbol for the Democrats. Out: donkey. In: a giant adult pacifier.

I was installing a new garbage disposal yesterday and on the outside of the box it mentioned that the warranty gave you certain "legal rights" but that your "rights" may vary depending on which state you live in.

That means that either states can either grant and withold "rights" or that these are not rights at all but they are simply laws.

During this debate we should all remember where our rights come from: God. They are human rights that we believe to be self-evident and our founding documents tell government that they can't infringe upon them.

Congress may pass a law regarding health care but that won't give you a right to it since a future congress can simply take it away again.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

It's almost the end of the year which means time is running out to use your political tax credit.

The Political Tax Credit allows a married couple to contribute up to $100 -- a single person can contribute up to $50 -- to a qualified political cause and receive the full amount of their contribution back as a credit on their Oregon tax return.

Please note, this is not a tax deduction like your home mortgage interest deduction or contributions to a charity. This is a dollar-for-dollar credit. In other words if your total state taxes for 2004 were $500 and you made a political contribution to a qualified political committee of $100, you would only pay $400 in taxes.

Give $100 to your favorite conservative group or give it to Ted Kulongoski to hire a diversity manager. Your choice.

Some suggestions for how Daniel uses his tax credit:

Oregon Firearms Federation (make sure you select Political Action Committee)
Oregonians for Immigration Reform

NOTE: Make your donation now and during Christmas dinner you can tell your liberal relatives how you are keeping $100 away from the public schools and the poor!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Constitution? What's that?

Ensign, DeMint to Force Vote on Health Care Bill Unconstitutionality
Today, U.S. Senators Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) and John Ensign (R-Nevada), raised a Constitutional Point of Order on the Senate floor against the Democrat health care takeover bill on behalf of the Steering Committee, a caucus of conservative senators. The Senate will vote tomorrow on the bill’s constitutionality.

“Forcing every American to purchase a product is absolutely inconsistent with our Constitution and the freedoms our Founding Fathers hoped to protect,” said Senator DeMint. “This is not at all like car insurance, you can choose not to drive but Americans will have no choice whether to buy government-approved insurance. This is nothing more than a bailout and takeover of insurance companies. We’re forcing Americans to buy insurance under penalty of law and then Washington bureaucrats will then dictate what these companies can sell to Americans. This is not liberty, it is tyranny of good intentions by elites in Washington who think they can plan our lives better than we can.”

Americans who fail to buy health insurance, according to the Democrats’ bill, would be subject to financial penalties. The senators believe the bill is unconstitutional because the insurance mandate is not authorized by any of the limited enumerated powers granted to the federal government. The individual mandate also likely violates the “takings” clause of the 5th Amendment.

I heard something on the radio today that should become our refrain: We will not consent to be governed. I'm not sure what that looks like right now but our government was created to SECURE our existing rights, not to create new ones.

There were suggestions as to ways to withold our consent called in to the talk show, I'm curious if anyone has any constructive ideas here.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Last chance

Ben Nelson has received his bribes. Government takeover of health care will pass unless we can get a Christmas miracle. Make those calls, send those emails and faxes.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Hurry up and die, it's for the planet

From an eco board game:
epic fail pictures

There is so much green indoctrination out there it's not hard to catch these people saying what they really mean: humans should just die.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ann Coulter > Doonesbury

Less Health Care for More Money
The New York Times' Nicholas Kristof recently wrote a column about John Brodniak of Oregon, who developed a cavernous hemangioma, causing him great pain as blood leaks into his brain.

According to Kristof, Brodniak can't get medical help because we don't have universal health care. Senators who vote against ObamaCare, Kristof said, are morally equivalent to someone who would walk past a man "writhing in pain on the sidewalk."

In another article in the Times, William Yardley wrote about Melvin Tsosies -- also of Oregon -- who ended up with $200,000 in medical bills after having a heart attack.

As of March 2008, Yardley reported, Tsosies was waiting to find out if he would win the Oregon lottery for health insurance. But with 600,000 uninsured state residents and a "universal" health care program with only enough money to pay for about 24,000 of them, Tsosies is more likely to win a Powerball lottery.

How can this be happening? Oregon already has "universal health care"! (Probably just a coincidence, but isn't Oregon also the only state with physician-assisted suicide?)

Once again forgetting about the existence of the Internet, the Times neglects to mention its own erstwhile enthusiasm for Oregon's universal health care plan, introduced back in 1990.

Go read the rest of the column and remember, Oregon passed a 1% surcharge on your health insurance this year... to make your health insurance more affordable!

How do you spell irony: O-B-A-M-A

Did anyone else find it just a little amusing that yesterday Obama held a press conference at Home Depot, a place notorious for allowing day labor pick-up sites in their parking lot, to discuss jobs in the contruction industry, a field notorious for hiring illegal aliens, as he described putting "millions" of Americans back to work?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Can't we just dig our way out?

Time for an Immigration Moratorium
When Barack Obama completely ignored the problem of uncontrolled immigration during his Jobs Summit, my former colleague Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) issued the following statement that was signed by 21 conservative Republican congressmen:

“With a 10 percent unemployment rate, now is the time for the Obama administration to stand up for citizens and legal immigrant workers. Now is the time for the President to enforce immigration laws. When the jobs stolen by illegal immigrants are recovered for citizens and legal workers, American workers will benefit. President Obama could create eight million jobs for citizens and legal workers simply by enforcing immigration laws.”

I applaud Rep. Smith for standing up against illegal immigration, but we need to go a step further to protect displaced American workers. The first priority of our government needs to be the interests of American citizens -- both native born and naturalized -- not “legal immigrant workers.” And the 25 million American citizens out of work are not only pushed out by illegal aliens, but also by certain legal immigrants.

Even if we completely stopped illegal immigration tomorrow, the government still issues 75,000 permanent work visas and approximately 50,000 temporary work visas every month. These 125,000 jobs should go to Americans first.

Much like the teacher's union not being able to say how much is "enough" per pupil funding the advocates of unfettered immigrantion will never give the "enough" amount of people that we should allow into the United States.

Their secret answer is "how much can we get away with?" In addition to keeping jobs for America citizens at some point we need to keep our American identity. With rapid and uncontrolled immigration we don't give new people a chance to assimilate.

B-1 Business Visitor Visa
B-2 Tourist Visitor Visa
B-1/B-2 Visa Extension
E-1 Treaty Trader Visa
E-2 Treaty Investor Visa
E-3 Visa for Australians
F-1 Student Visa
H-1B Work Visa
H-2B Work Visa
H-3 Trainee Visa
J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa
K-1 Fiancee Visa
L-1 Intracompany Visa
P Visa Athlete/Entertainer
R-1 Religious Visa
TN Nafta Work Visa

Green Cards:
Green Card Lottery
Marriage to U.S. Citizen
Through Adoption
Through Employment
Through Investment
Through Relatives
As a Special Immigrant
Green Card Renewal

Next: keep a rock in your shoe

Households take up challenge to be chilly
In Laura Nichols' Maplewood, N.J., home, Poochie the dachshund is a hot commodity.

Nichols and her four teenage children vie for the use of the 30-pound dog as an overnight leg warmer to stave off the 50-degree chill in their home.

Once again, Nichols has entered a local Internet message board's "furnace abstinence" contest where bragging rights and an iceberg-shaped trophy are at stake for those who can go the longest without turning on their furnaces.

Run on an honor system, some challenges, such as the one in Maplewood, dare households to go cold turkey for as long as possible. Using space heaters and fireplaces is allowed.

The reward is knowing that participation in the challenge means helping the environment and saving on heating costs, Duke says.

This trend of "let's suffer for the planet" would be funny if there weren't people in government who believe that putting sterilants in drinking water might be necessary to lower the population.

Saving money on YOUR heating bill is a great idea if you so choose but don't use the power of government to turn down MY furnace.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

We're on the map

Senators blast Oregon for stimulus waste projects
On December 8th, U.S. Senator Tom Coburn and Senator John McCain released their Stimulus Checkup Report. The report lists 100 projects as part of the $700 billion stimulus program targeted as waste. Four Oregon projects made the list are listed below:

Recovering Crab Pots Lost At Sea ($700,000)

Renovations for Federal Building as Expensive as New Building ($133 million)
The money will go toward greening the Edith Green/Wendell Wyatt Federal Building in the hope of making it a model for energy efficient government offices in the Northwest

Removing Lead Paint from a Pedestrian Bridge ($3.5 million)

Wastewater Treatment Center with “Talking Water Gardens” ($8 million)
In order to spend the money as fast as possible, the city of Albany will issue a non-competitive contract for work on the project. According to the city‘s planning document, the waterfall component is expected to have an important acoustical impact that is the driver for the name "Talking Water Gardens." Local residents will also be facing an increase in sewer rates to pay for the new water treatment system.

At least one talking water garden saved or created! Who else can't wait to see what we get with Stimulus 3?

Monday, December 07, 2009

I really missed them

Oregon state employee compensation
By Sen. Doug Whitsett (R-Distr. 28)

Oregon public employees are being paid more to work fewer hours according to calculations by the Oregon Department of Administrative Services.

Oregon has tens of thousands of state employees. Over the past several months, the news media has stated that these “dedicated” Oregon public servants are experiencing budgetary cuts that will result in lower pay and reduced hours. They suggest that the budgetary cuts must in turn reduce services to the public. As a member of both the Ways and Means Committee and the Emergency Board, I have first hand information regarding the cost of employee salaries and benefits. That knowledge leads me to question the accuracy of some of the news releases.

According to the DAS figures, in 2008 the average state employee was paid $47,724 in salary and $20,407 in benefits for a total compensation of $68,131. In 2009 the average state employee will be paid $48,459 in salary and $20,569 in benefits for a total of $69,028. The $897 increase in average compensation is after an average of $2,682 was subtracted for mandatory time off without pay called furlough days.

I am not sure how I made it through an entire day without a MULTI-CULTURAL EDUCATION TECHNICIAN ($3208 - $4476 MONTHLY).

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Can you habla failure?

Oregon mulls native language diploma
Some Oregon high school students who possess only intermediate English skills but read and write well in their native language will be able to qualify for a diploma using those native language skills.

The Oregon Board of Education voted for the policy, which state officials estimate could apply to 300 to 400 high school seniors out of about 36,000 who graduate each year.

Oregon's new diploma will be just like Oregon's old drivers license: made easy for illegal aliens.

A child who is born here in America will be held to a higher standard for graduation than an illegal alien. And the legitimate students who can legally get a job after high school are set up for failure since they aren't taught the necessary skills to communicate verbally and on paper.

If the schools are failing with their current method of teaching ESL and "native language classes" perhaps they should try English immersion. Of course, if the schools are satisfied with lowering standards and setting kids up for failure then by all means, keep up the good work.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Another hot Ann Coulter column... get it?

Do Smoking Guns Cause Global Warming, Too?
As we now know (and by "we" I mean "everyone with access to the Internet"), the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU) has just been caught ferociously manipulating the data about the Earth's temperature.

Recently leaked e-mails from the "scientists" at CRU show that, when talking among themselves, they forthrightly admit to using a "trick" to "hide the decline" in the Earth's temperature since 1960 -- as one e-mail says. Still another describes their manipulation of the data thus: "[W]e can have a proper result, but only by including a load of garbage!"

Having claimed to have collected the most complete data on the Earth's temperature for the last half century, the CRU's summary of that data was used by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for its 2007 report demanding that we adopt a few modest lifestyle changes, such as abolishing modern technology, reverting to hunter/gatherer status and taxing ourselves into servitude.

Go read the whole column. As for my title to this post, I'm trying out for the job of "clever lead in writer" for the local news.

Pay no attention to the emails behind the curtain

Ethics Key to Fighting Global Warming
Do Oregon residents, and Americans in general, have an obligation to reduce their carbon emissions, even at great economic costs, to minimize the impacts of global warming on others? Do we have a duty to pay poor nations for the damage our emissions cause for them?

Do we have an ethical and moral responsibility to remedy this situation?

Think of it this way. How would you feel if someone did something that severely disrupted your ability to live on your property now, and permanently degraded the value of the property you wanted to pass on to your children in the future? I'm sure most people would conclude that the activity was morally wrong.

Poor nations also believe that industrialized nations have a moral responsibility to provide them with the funding and new technologies needed to help them withstand and adapt to climate change.

These equity and social justice issues will be front-and-center at next month's COP 15 meeting. About 50 African nations recently boycotted climate talks in Barcelona to protest what they see as inadequate commitments from industrialized nations to cut emissions. Many are also demanding billions of dollars in reparations for the damage rich nations have caused them.

How to people keep printing these articles in light of climategate? Do they just hope that if they don't acknowledge it then it will go away?

So based on fraudulent data the USA is expected to provide "funding and new technologies" as well as "billions of dollars in reparations" to countries that keep themselves poor.

I want to leave my children a free country where they can choose to eat meat, choose their transportation, choose how they will recreate and choose how much to heat or cool their homes. To do otherwise would be morally wrong.