WUI (Writing under the influence)
Somebody once said we are all Americans, sometimes born in the wrong places.
On a warm autumn day in 1986, while enjoying beer with my college buddies,
I decided to join my new homeland.
I've come to appreciate the ideals that helped create this great country.
Liberalism, political-correctness, multiculturalism and moral equivalence
are destroying it.
This old house
American wine better than French.
Sunday, October 31, 2004
Article of faith
-- John Kerry
I left the following prediction on DJ Drummond's blog
Popular Vote Bush 50.5 Kerry 47.5
Electoral Vote Bush 374 Kerry 164
OK, it's more than a prediction, it's a hope for a complete blowout so there is no chance for prolonged recounts.
I came up with these numbers by assuming that Bush would win all states where he is winning and the states where Bush is losing but where there are twice as many undecided voters as voters separating Kerry and Bush. So I came up with 39 states for Bush and the following 11 for Kerry (and D.C.):
WA, CA, IL, NY, MD, DE, RI, CT, MA, VT, and ME.
I was really hoping for 40 states but I just don't think that either WA or CA will go for Bush.
I'm also hoping that Daschle and Feingold both lose. That would mean at least 5 GOP senate seat pick ups.
Call me a dreamer. But as our slogan says "Oregon, We Love Dreamers
" so I dream...
Abandoned ammo dumps
In today's editorial, the Oregonian is insisting
that there are not enough troops in Iraq to secure all ammo dumps. The Oregonian concludes that al-Qaqaa is not an exception but probably the norm
and the soldiers are dying in Iraq because "insurgents" have access to unguarded explosives.
According to the Oregonian today's editorial is not "an 11th-hour round of acrimony in the battle for the presidency.
Color me skeptical. The editorial traces the original story from the day it was first "broken" by NYT and then corroborated by an ABC affiliate from Minnesota. Conveniently, the discrepancy in the amount of "missing" explosives is never mentioned. Neither is the satellite photo showing trucks parked at the site two days before the invasion.
I'm not sure why nobody considers the possibility of Hussein's thugs having removed large quantities of those explosives days before the invasion from any number of ammo depots for the sole purpose of using them to conduct gorilla warfare after Iraq failed. There is really only one way to protect our soldiers from dying. The last time US exercised that option was on August 6, 1945.
Saturday, October 30, 2004
I often ask why the country is seemingly so divided. I took the picture below earlier today (Matt, thanks for letting me use your camera.) I'm not sure if this is a single family house where the wife (click on the picture to enlarge; look at the small sign in the window on the left; the exposed text says "stands for women
"; I don't think the whole sign reads "Kerry stands for women
") is for Bush and the husband for Kerry. In any case, November 2nd
(please, God) will tell us how divided we really are.
Divided until the bitter end?
Friday, October 29, 2004
Separation of dress code and state
I'm more offended by the dress code in public schools than by a little girl sharing her Christian views
. And I don't care what other parents think. If you don't like it, set the children free.
When a budget cut is not a cut
When Republicans propose not to increase a budget, it's called a budget cut. In fact, when they propose to increase a budget by a smaller amount than what was requested, it's a budget cut. When the glove is on the other hand, the media go out of their way to clarify
Money is free speech
I don't care much for campaign finance reforms. I think they are unconstitutional. I think one should be able to donate all the money he wants to any candidate he wants. With full disclosure, of course.
Speaking of full disclosure, this
is very interesting. I don't particularly like lawyers. Lawyers who make millions (e.g., Edwards) while destroying entire industries in the process I could do without. I don't think however that Washington can come to its senses and elect Rossi.
Thursday, October 28, 2004
Bush's big government
Except for national defense, I like my government small. I've been coming to this realization however that the big government is here to stay. So if it has to be big at least it should spend my money the way I want to spend it. It seems this is exactly what Bush has in mind
By now, the story is blowing in Bush's critics' faces
. When NYT "broke" it on Monday I wasn't surprised. I wasn't even mad. I did however get somewhat annoyed by an editorial
in Oregonian on Tuesday. Not only did Oregonian put the story from NYT on the first page above the fold, it actually believed it!
I wrote to the public editor asking him if it wasn't premature to criticize Bush based on a story that was likely not a piece of news but a piece of election propaganda meant to damage one of the candidates. I got this reply:
I am not sure that The Oregonian has reason to apologize for running the story, but it will continue to publish wire stories that examine the issue.
I don't think any reports, including those from NBC, have proven that the premise was false, although they have raised several questions about the explosives.
Thanks for writing,
Mr. Arrieta-Walden doesn't answer my question. I understand why Oregonian goes with the original "news" story. But what about the editorial?
UPDATE: I must not have been the only one to send Mr. Arrieta-Walden a friendly reminder that media should not try and influence an election. Oregonian got very defensive
UPDATE: On 10/29/04 Oregonian published a story on another unguarded ammunition dump
. I couldn't find it anywhere else.
voting yes on this one.
Weird from Madison, WI
Why Bush must win
I believe there is only one solution to terrorism and Bush is pursuing it. So I hope he wins next Tuesday. Some predict he will indeed win
But there are many other reasons that would make this victory especially sweet:
1. Liberal media in US
2. BBC (almost spoiled my vacation last winter) and Guardian (for interfering with our election) in UK
3. France and Germany, hell, the whole old Europe
5. Michael Moore and his fans
6. Global warming crowd
7. Kyoto crowd
8. Crazy librarians who reject Patriot Act and embrace Michael Moore
. (but I'm being redundant, see 4)
10. Teachers again No Child Left Behind
11. Amnesty International
12. And this guy
UPDATE: Gerard Baker's list
is somewhat shorter but it's nice to see that I'm not alone in my spite.
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Catholic schools and liberal bias
When I decided to send my children to a Catholic school, I hoped that, in addition to a decent education, they wouldn't be exposed to liberal bias. I may have been hoping in vain. For the past three years I've been hearing stories from different corners of the country about teachers and even entire schools being very liberal. Michael Medved had as a guest a few months ago a teacher from California who had written a book on Bush comparing him and his administration to Hitler and Nazis. When asked about abortion and other "non-negotiables" she refused to answer. So I've been planning on talking to the principle of my sons' school to ask about her views on liberal teachers infiltrating Catholic schools and indoctrinating our children. I've been procrastinating until now. After reading this
, I've decided to send her an e-mail to set up a meeting.
story talks, among others, about Catholics for choice. I wonder how many teachers are members of such organizations.
Michael Medved makes this argument from time to time: if you think that USA is overall a force for good, there is a very good chance you are a patriot. Otherwise, you are America hater, somebody like Michael Moore. I always wonder what drives such people, where they live what they do. Well, I think I've found one here in Forest Grove. The following e-mail was sent to the West County Coalition for Human Dignity
Yahoo group as a response to an invitation to an election party.
What is interesting is author's consistency. Many Democrats consider JFK to have been a decent president. But by today's standards, a self-respecting lefty should in fact hate him with the same passion as he hates Bush.
In that vein, I've attached an article from commondreams.org by Medea Benjiman (founder of CodePink) specifically around what we can do on Nov. 3 of this election is stolen ala 2000.
Or ala 1960 when the Chicago Democratic machine stole the election for Kennedy (whose legacy of an invasion of Cuba and a war in south-east Asia probably marks him as the only president of my lifetime worse than the present monster.) ...or, as near as I can tell, any other close election in Amerikkkan history. The myth of free and fair elections here is one of the mainstays of the fascist corporate state.
Were I not so happy to be out of this place on November 2nd, I'd be sad to say that we will not be able to be at the party. We'll be on a Global Exchange* tour of the Mexican border area, looking at fascism from the outside and, appropriately, celebrating The Day of the Dead. Unfortunately, like our Mexican sisters & brothers, we will probably be compelled by economic necessity to return.
For a weaker Amerikkka,
*(another of Media’s organizations – store on Hawthorne in Portland for your holiday shopping)
I wonder if anybody responds with at least a hint of admonishment.
Ironically, I share author's frustrations with our elections but for different reasons. For example, I would like to make sure that our Mexican brothers and sisters who are not yet US citizens didn't participate.
is a funny story. So when a candidate for elected office hosts F911 viewing parties and somebody calls her on it, she gets all indignant about it. Her opponent did exactly what I did in this letter
. BTW, I have to check the latest News-Times.
From NRO's Battlegrounders
GOP candidate Mel Martinez is turning into a new Reagan-like cross-party populist with a wonderful story and great appeal not just to all Cuban-American voters, but all immigrants who struggled to get here and make it.
Indeed. I'd like Mel to win. We need more immigrants turned politicians (and Republicans, of course.)
Another one for Bush
I'm not sure what the circulation of Argus is but it's nice to see even a small local paper endorsing
your guy from time to time.
Are there others?
Apparently, there are only two of us
. BTW, Chrenkoff had good info from Iraq and Australia and he is right.
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Bush endorsed by WSJ
I'm pretty sure it will not surprise many when Wall Street Journal endorses Bush. But for Wisconsin State Journal to do so
is an act of courage. Madison is not a friendly place to Republicans this year and it may became dangerous on November 3.
Carter et al.
It's not a secret I don't like Carter. The guy is a disgrace. Not just because he was one of the weakest presidents in 20th
century but because of what he does as ex-president. The Nobel peace prize he got proves that only international peace mongers like his politics. But there is another guy I may like even less. His name is Zbigniew Brzezinski, Carter's national security advisor. I wonder if Carter was weak because he had weak advisors or if he on purpose selected advisors who shared his views. In his latest rant
in NYT Brzezinski argues that we really need Europeans to solve all Middle East problems.
When Brzezinski talks about Europeans, he obviously means France and Germany. As a Pole, I can't understand why another Pole, especially an older, highly educated one insists that Germany or France can be anybody's friends. Besides, these two countries and many if not most other European countries can't and won't send any more troops or commit more money because their socialist economies can't sustain such expenses. They use Bush only as an excuse.
I don't even know if anybody is taking him seriously anymore. I only see him on PBS once a year. His ideas and the ideas of his boss have been proven to be completely bankrupt. When my children ask me to name famous Poles, Brzezinski will not make the list.
Thursday, October 21, 2004
Debunking Fahrenheit 9/11
As it happened with Bowling for Columbine
, there is now plenty of material
taking the new MM's movie to the cleaners.
Fahrenheit shows an interview in Walter Reed Army Medical Center with Massachusetts National Guardsman Peter Damon. Damon lost parts of both his arms in Iraq, and is learning how to use prosthetic arms. The footage comes from an interview Damon granted to NBC Nightly News. Damon's wife says that he never granted Moore permission to use the footage, was never asked, and strongly objects to being used in the film. As of July 15, it is not clear whether Moore's usage of the footage was illegal. But it hardly seems ethical for a film-maker who dedicates his film to the soldiers in Iraq to put a double-amputee veteran into the film without even bothering to ask for permission. Damon complained, "The whole movie makes soldiers look like a bunch of idiots...I'm not a child. We sent ourselves over there...It was all our own doing. I don't appreciate him calling us children...."I agree with the President 100%. A lot of the guys down at Walter Reed feel the same way."
Somehow I don't think this school district would be as sensitive
to Christians. A daughter of some acquaintances from our church couldn't pray silently before eating in the school cafeteria because it included making a sign of cross which could have offended somebody. She is now attending the same Catholic schools as my sons.
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
I've received an apology from City Recorder regarding a misspelling in my name on the ballot. The explanation doesn't make sense because I either spell my name "Krystof" or "Krzysztof" but never "Krzystof" or "Krysztof". So it seems somebody had used my legal name, noticed the mistake and when correcting only removed one Z. Not a big deal. I complained
only because I like giving them hard time.
This is the apology:
Dear Mr. Zmudzinski,
Your concern was brought to my attention this morning by Washington County Elections. Please accept my sincere apology for causing this error. During the certification process of your name, your name was unintentionally misspelled, adding a z in error; even though the process includes submittal of your filing, County Elections takes the information directly from the letter of certification and not the filing form. The ballot device detects some common mistakes, but unfortunately did not detect this one. In verifying with County Elections, they do not feel this would cause confusion to voters, because your name is listed correctly in the voters pamphlet and will not change any votes cast for you. Also, the uniqueness of your name in the Forest Grove area should not cause confusion to voters. We also plan to do a press release in our local paper clarifying the error. Now that we are aware that County Elections takes the information from the certification letter and not the filing form, we will have second person verification on the certification letter before it is submitted to County Elections. It is our sincere hope that you will accept this heartfelt and sincere apology on my behalf. If I can be of any assistance, please call me. Thank you.
Anna D. Ruggles, City Recorder
City of Forest Grove
PO Box 326
Forest Grove, OR 97116-0326
Gallegos everybody's favorite
Why is Gallegos endorsed by Oregonian
? Because she is moderate. I hate that word. Moderate means spineless, standing for nothing, void of principles.
BTW, in its endorsements
, Oregonian is right only on Measure 34 but for the wrong reasons. It says that people are too stupid to make such important decisions.
A while ago I was somewhat apprehensive about voting for Cox because of his "boss's" views on the war. I knew he would not disappoint
me. He knows he will probably get Riley elected by he doesn't mind. In fact, he wants Gallegos to lose
. I wouldn't mind if he won but I'm a realist. Republicans will keep the house so this is a good time to teach a RINO a lesson.
Color me skeptical
Taxes in Madison, WI must be really high when even libs make pledges
not to rise them.
Devil in details
? I don't think so.
It's depressing to read some of these letters
. Mine is last.
Christmas out, Ramadan in
is another reason to oppose government-run schools and send your children elsewhere in the meantime.
We've been joking that the French have the following homeland security alert levels: Run, Hide, Surrender, Collaborate and that for the past few years they've been in the Surrender mode. This
shows that have just switched to the highest alert level. They want to invite Iraqi "insurgents" (I thought that the definition of one who kills civilians is terrorist) to any future summits.
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Vote is on
I received my ballot on Friday. It came together with the Washington County Voters' Pamphlet
. Forest Grove candidates' info starts on page 12. The ballot
has my first name misspelled. If the election is close and I lose, I'm calling Al Gore's lawyers!!!
In the meantime, I've e-mailed the following to firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm running for Forest Grove City Council. My name on the ballot appears misspelled. It is spelled correctly in the Voters' Pamphlet. I hope this doesn't cause voters any confusion.
Whoever is responsible should read my statement from the pamphlet, especially the part about mediocrity.
Nobel laureate backs me
During the councilor forum
last Monday, I mentioned that to keep taxes low or even cut taxes for business we must cut some government services and programs or we can kiss the remaining businesses good bye. It seems that a Nobel prize winner in economics agrees
What liberal academia?
This is a funny story. Mike Adams is frisking a liberal prof from California. The prof teaches English and has a web site
that explains to students how to write the final paper. The problem is that according to the prof, some issues have only one side unless you are a homophobe, racist, or [insert your favorite label here
One of the students can't take it and Mike Adams takes his case, the prof objects and makes an ass of himself
Have you talked to a liberal lately?
If you've had an experience like this
and you really have to repeat it, there is help.
They will smoke anyway
I wonder what would happen if teachers insisted that no matter what we tell them about dangers of smoking high school students will smoke anyway and we may as well give up and start distributing cigarettes at school and even teach students "safe" smoking techniques. Why then, are we insisting that abstinence can't be even a small part of sex ed in schools. I hope Texas starts a trend
that other states will follow.
I've solved this problem by sending my children to a private school and taking responsibility as a parent for this part of their education.
Chickens are safe with me, said fox
After invalidating 300 signatures
for each mistake he found on petition sheets to get Nader on the Oregon ballot, he thinks he can fool us
Intelligent lefties get it
on a lefty's analysis why there is shortage of flue vaccine shows that with enough hard facts even a lefty can get it.
Monday, October 18, 2004
Patriot act revisited 2
Every time I find something in support of Patriot Act I can use against some of the numbskulls on the city council I will post it on my blog. This is one is especially good because it takes NYT to the wood shed
It took place at noon in the Forest Grove auditorium where City Council normally meets. I arrived last but still on time. The questions were easy but I was still nervous enough to only say half of what I should have. But I managed to cover the most important issues: taxes and regulations, library levy, aquatic center fess, certain subsidies and light rail. Too bad that the closing statement was limited to 60 seconds. Not enough to make a compelling story.
Out of the 7 candidates I would only for Aldie Howard. All supported the library levy but he at least was very pro-business, including far reaching tax breaks and development subsidies. BTW, I knew Aldie before we started running. He lives just 3 houses away. When his daughter comes visit him, she often comes over to play with my sons.
I don't think I will be doing any campaigning. I have a full time job after all, a family and still one unfinished bathroom (I've promised my wife I will finish it by Christmas.)
I've decided that if I don't win I will apply for a spot on of several citizen commissions to get more experience and I will try again in two years. If Aldie wins, I will be talking to him often.
Now I know
$10k a year per student for 13 years and these are the results
At least they know how to use a condom.
Voter fraud projection
I got this e-mail from a local pro-Kerry, pro-Democrat group:
We're seeing voter suppression efforts already here in Washington County, along with what may or may not be a widespread problem with ballots.
If you have or know directly of someone who has had the following happen:
- Been called by someone representing themselves as Elections employees and saying that there was a mistake in printing the ballot and that any current ballots should be destroyed
- Been approached or offered to have a ballot picked up and/or delivered to the Elections office by someone representing themselves as a Kerry supporter or volunteer WITHOUT a badge and receipts
- Any intimidation of non-English speaking or immigrant citizens who are told to vote for the President or risk losing citizenship
- Employees being told to vote for any candidate or measure along with an explicit or implied threat of termination for not voting along with the employer's wishes
- Former inmates being told they can't vote (is a parole violation, etc.) ex-convicts can vote the minute they are released from prison in Oregon (provided they are registered)
- Incomplete ballot mailing - missing either the secrecy or return envelopes, or the ballot itself
- Any other scams that prevent people (especially Democrats) from voting
Call 1-877-640-8811 and report the problem to the Democratic Party elections hotline that has a number of attorneys working these issues
If you did not receive all of the ballot materials, also call 1-866-673-8683 to request a replacement ballot.
Do the same if you haven't received your ballot by the 21st (call today if you're not sure your registration went through given the high jinks we've seen so far).
I think Oregon is very close. In every state where the election is close, Democrats will use tactic of pre-emptive claim of voter fraud to have grounds for court cases if they lose.
I also think that this is a case of projection (you know, when you suspect that somebody will do what you are willing to do) than a legitimate complaint about something happening on the ground.
Thursday, October 14, 2004
Forest Grove News-Times
, in its 10/6 issue, published profiles of 7 candidates running for 3 city councilors positions. There is no electronic version of the article. This is what News-Times said about me based on this questionnaire
Krystof Zmudzinski, an Intel software engineer, immigrated from Poland in 1988, becoming a U.S. citizen in 1994.
As an immigrant, he says he can empathize with people trying to get ahead in life, but that helping the truly needy should be left to churches and charitable organizations. Government's job is to provide basic services and he would work to abolish public instruction in any languages other than English; end housing, utility and transportation subsidies; and stop special preferences in awarding of government contracts.
He would like to see many city services contracted to private businesses. He also would adjust some services, such as reducing library hours, raising aquatic fees and require parks users to raise funds for their use.
"Government should be accountable to its citizens," he said. "Taxation and regulation of private property should be limited to the absolute minimum lest our constitutional rights be infringed."
Together with the profiles of other candidates, News-Times omitted some very important details. First, the light-rail line that some on the council would like to bring to Forest Grove has a potential to damage values of many properties. Second, it would be worth reminding the voters how misguided certain members of the council are in their opposition to the Patriot Act even today, after it was affirmed by the 9/11 Commission.
So I asked the editor of News-Times if I could submit a letter. She agreed. 200 words limit. I will submit the following tomorrow morning, it will be published next Wednesday. I will link to the final copy when it becomes available online.
Vote for sanity
News-Times omitted important details in its description of 7 candidates running for the Forest Grove City Council.
Most current council members support extending a MAX light-rail line into Forest Grove. This will destroy value of properties along the tracks. The council just passed a resolution opposing Measure 37. If Measure 37 fails, property owners will not be compensated for their losses. This "progressive" experiment will have to be heavily subsidized with new property taxes.
Last December, the city council debated whether to oppose the USA Patriot Act. Fortunately, the wiser members of the council understood the silliness of that position and voted it down. They were vindicated by the 9/11 Commission. Blinded by hate for our duly elected President, the minority still regrets not having pushed hard enough. Only Michael Moore's fans can justify this misguided attitude.
I support President Bush in his efforts to combat terrorism and I will vote to reelect him. I will also vote for Ameri, Cox, Yes on Measures 35, 36, 37 and 38, and No on 34 and the library levy. Bring fiscal responsibility and sanity back to the Forest Grove City Council, vote for Krystof Zmudzinski and watch FahrenHYPE 9/11.
I'm leaving in 30 minutes to attend the debate between Riley, Gallegos and Cox. If there is time for public comment, I intend to say something about my disappointment with Gallegos and my decision to vote for Cox. Just today, I received a postcard from NRA (I'm a member) imploring me to vote for Gallegos. But I can't. The only thing that could turn me away from Cox would be his opposition to our war in Iraq. So I'm going to ask him if he shares the views of his "boss", Mr. Bandarik.
UPDATE: I didn't get to ask any questions. We simply ran out of time. This was a moderated debate with very little time left for public participation. I have to say that Cox is a much better candidate than Gallegos. I'm not sure why he insists that we do have to spend $6B for K-12. He does say that we need to move more money to the classroom and that the establishment causes most of the gridlock. So I think he wants to prove to the unconvinced that it is possible to move money around and produce savings. Once those savings are realized, there would be less pressure to increase school budgets. So eventually, population increase would be higher than budget increase, and in 5-10 years we would arrive at an acceptable spending levels. Obviously, I would prefer to break the government monopoly and allow for school choice.
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
The details are unclear. But it doesn't matter. This
could all be solved with breaking the hold of teacher unions on public schools.
Europe abandons US again
This time, it's because Saddam may be put to death. See the last section of this
from BBC (hold your nose).
During the second debate somebody asked about all that sympathy we had after 9/11. Well, it's to sympathize with victims. Then again, it's not even true
. More, here
The hate is coming from you
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
So called ban
Is abortion banned in the US? No. Yet the federal government doesn't fund it even if, as it stands today, abortion is a right guaranteed by the constitution. It is so because of the Hyde amendment. Abortion is simply considered immoral by too many people.
So why is there so much talk about Bush banning embryonic stem cell research? By not funding it, Bush is not banning it. In fact, he is the first president that funded limited research on existing lines, which many still considered wrong.
BTW, Washington County funds abortion for poor women. But that's another story.
Speaking of constitution. Why is it OK to pass gun control laws with 24 hour waiting periods and not abortion control laws with similar restrictions? As I see it, if all abortions are protected by the constitution, all guns should be too.
My list of vacation spots
is growing shorter by the minute. It is still slightly longer than my wine option list.
I'm not sure what to say about this
. I could probably go for hours on different tangents but it's late. So let's just say, I'm glad I live in the greatest country on God's green Earth.
and maybe you will be too busy to milk
I'm voting for Goli Ameri but if she wins because of this
, I'll not be happy. This is dirty politics regardless of which side does it
Incidentally, I'm starting Wu sign watch on my street. I want to see if any of the signs disappear. I don't worry about Republicans stilling them. I want to see how many Democrats change their minds or at least become to ashamed to show them.
Most of the new poor are immigrants
. Most of them are here illegally and they exhort huge costs
on our society. Because, as a city, we can't control illegal immigration, we have to at least discourage it. San Diego, CA has a business registry that only lists businesses that do not employ illegal immigrants. I'm not sure how this is done but I'm sure I'd like to see it in Forest Grove.
(I'm trying to locate some information on that San Diego registry and will post here.)
UPDATE: Some are already rising
A Nobel laureate in economics thinks we are paying too much in taxes
. I think the Nobel peace or literature prize is as valuable as Oscar or whatever one gets in Cannes because, predictably, they go to communists, anti-Semites and America haters. But I have mixed feelings on other areas.
My problem with taxes is not how much I pay but what how much others pay and whether what they pay is fair. So the question is: what is a fair tax?
In my opinion, whatever tax scheme we use, it should be based on one's ability to pay.
So both income tax and property tax are out.
Sales tax is pretty good
But fair tax is fair
Monday, October 11, 2004
US wants to be EU, EU has to be US
The libs tell us we should be more like Europe. Apparently, Europe thinks that to survive it has to be more like us
. I hope US will not act as an angry teenager to mindlessly oppose the wiser parent. No, actually, I want US to oppose its parent or do I?
You have no idea how much I'd like Feingold to lose this year. 6 years ago I was in Madison, WI and I voted against him (surprise, surprise.) It was very, very close. What bothered me the most was that he won because of one ultra-liberal county, Dane County, in otherwise conservative state. At the time I didn't understand that almost each state had the same problem: WA - King County, OR - Multnomah, etc.
So I'm following this year's race with acute interest and I'm getting greedy: it's seems the most liberal US senator may have to look for a new job
I think this horse is still moving
So let's kick it some more.
You are riding a ferry somewhere in Washington state (I used to live in Seattle when I went to UW and I took the ferry from time to time so I understand) and suspicious middle eastern men are taking a lot of pictures
of places you would never consider interesting. What do you do? Do you say, "Well, we have to be understanding of different cultures" or do you call FBI?
Remember, the Patriot Act gives FBI new powers and Mr. Truax doesn't like it.
I hope that your survival instinct is still intact.
You want to get a shot?
First, vote for Measure 35. Second, do whatever you can to discourage your children from becoming ambulance-chasing lawyers, like Edwards. Third, vote for Bush (especially, if your children are already ambulance-chasing lawyers.)
Predictably, it's all Bush's fault
So property taxes in Madison, WI are going up
yet the city is able to find money to pay for washable art
. Another quarter goes into "Thank-God-I've-Got-Away" jar (when the jar is full, I go bar-hopping.)
Schools and money
Public schools, that is. As I've said earlier, I pay $530 a month for my two sons to go to a private school. Yet the left insists that public schools need more than what they have today even if, in many school districts, it approaches about $10k per student per year. But more money is not an answer
One thing that all schools could do right away to save money is abolish instruction in any other language than English. Another is to force teachers to bear more of the health insurance costs more in line with what average private-sector employee has to pay.
Patriot act revisited
One of the city council candidates, Mr. Truax, fought hard and unsuccessfully to pass a resolution to oppose the Patriot Act. That was in December. The 9/11 commission credited
the act with improved safety we now enjoy. During the last debate, Kerry could only list two cases when Patriot Act was abused. I wonder if Truax will reconsider his stance.
Liberal-in-Chief and taxes
They want to tax our incomes instead of their wealth. The end result, Kerry's taxes on 6.2M is only 13%
. This is less than what middle class pays. No wonder Kerry has a lawyer as his running mate.
UPDATE: I changed the link to the original source. Consider joining
the Club for Growth. It's free and educational
Thought (word) police
is still happening only in Canada. And this is not the first time I hear about it. Now, it's just fines, eventually quoting Bible will result in jail time.
Sunday, October 10, 2004
Political speech of the left
Warning! If you have any Bush bumper stickers attached to you car and live in the Portland, OR area, beware. The political speech of the left is getting more shrill
and your car may require a paint job.
I've received the following invitation by e-mail:
"Tuesday evening, October 12 has been scheduled by the Forest Grove Library Foundation Board to hold a City Council Candidate Forum at the home of [deleted for privacy reasons]. We would like to have you attend this forum if at all possible. The board members of the Library Foundation, the Library Commission, and the Friends of the Library will be in attendance. We would like an opportunity to learn more about each of you candidates and your opinions regarding the Forest Grove City Library."
OK, this is what I said:
"If there were a chance to convince anybody that mine is a reasonable approach to so called "funding problem" [of FG library], I might consider attending. But I suspect the forum is mostly people interested in raising more taxes. If I'm wrong, accept my apologies.
In any case, I oppose the library levy and would prefer to close the library for at least one day a week. Forest Grove News-Times will publish an article about the candidates in the near future. Attached is the questionnaire I completed for that article."
My wife says I should have accepted. Maybe she is right. There will be some refreshments.
UPDATE: I've been also invited by the Forest Grove Chamber of Commerce
and I've accepted the invitation. The issue of the library funding will also be discussed then so I will be able to present my views.
Riley, Gallegos, Cox debate
I'm going to attend. In fact, I want to tell Gallegos why I'm not voting for her. I will have to say something about this later. For now, some info:
What: Chuck Riley - Mary Gallegos - Tom Cox debate
When: Thursday October 14, 20047:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Where: Alterra Retirement - 3110 - 19th Avenue, FG
...Zmudzinski. Yes, I'm proud to announce that I've joined a very prestigious club of Anybodies But
. (or is it Anybody Buts
This is from an e-mail to a local liberal group:
"For what it's worth, I'd endorse ANYBODY except Zmudzinski and Howard. I lean toward Pete Truax (of course), Lommen and Wallard."
Please note that this writer endorses Pete Truax (of course) because of his support for a resolution to condemn the Patriot Act.
In fact, another e-mail says:
"Pete Truax: he deserves our backing after his strong support of the Patriot Act resolution.
Krystof Zmudzinski: by his own description in the Oregonian he is extremely right wing."
The resolution never passed. But Mr. Truax still doesn't get it. In the same article
in the Oregonian mentioned above he says:
"Looking back, he said he would have pushed more in December to have the council take a stand against the USA Patriot Act."
To be fair, the article also says:
"He wants to extend the MAX light-rail line into Forest Grove [...]"
This gives the libs another "good" reason to support him. But it is still telling that his only qualification to be a city council in Forest Grove as far as this liberal group is concerned is his opposition to a piece of federal legislation.
BTW 1, Truax has been teaching in Forest Grove school district since 1977. And people ask me why I spend over $500 a month to send my two sons to a private school.
BTW 2, I oppose the light rail in Forest Grove (of course.)
Today, the Oregonian endorsed
John Kerry. It's not surprising even thought 4 years ago the Oregonian endorsed Bush. (There is an interesting article
in the Oregonian about the endorsement process.)
The headline of the endorsements reveals the self-hatred of the left:
"The Democrat could help rebuild the United States' standing in the world while restoring balance at home."
So the most important thing for the Oregonian is how we are viewed by the rest of the world. (What's balance at home?)
And this is interesting:
"...Bush campaigned as a moderate and his narrow, contested election was anything but a mandate for sweeping change."
What the hell does this mean? I thought you either win or lose; there is no gradation of victory. And once you win, you should be able to make certain principled decisions. I don't think the left would hesitate for one second in a similar situation. Hell, they are minority party right now and are blocking many of the president's initiatives and judges by filibuster.
And there is this:
"On fiscal policy, the White House and leaders in Congress have failed to fully acknowledge the threat posed by the giant deficits that the current recipe of tax cuts and profligate federal spending has brewed. Addressing this will not be as simple as paying for tax cuts through spending cuts."
Why not? If you don't like deficits, stop spending. You have no right to my money unless a particular spending is enumerated in the constitution; taking money from one person and giving it to another, no matter how needy, without the consent of the giving is theft (some of Bandarik
's lines are not bad. )
But I blame Bush here too. I understand that he has to buy votes by legislating pork but it never works. I wonder how many Medicare recipients will vote for Bush because of the drug bill. There is no right to healthcare. People get old, sick and die. Get used to it! If you have to choose between food and medicine, choose medicine if you are fat. You may actually get better. OK, I know it's harsh but there must be limits on how much even a capitalist economy can support to benefit as many people as possible without wasting money on things that are impossible to achieve: we will never live forever!
The good news is that the Oregonian also endorsed
Goli Ameri. But like with anything the libs do, I suspect it was done for all the wrong reasons.
Saturday, October 09, 2004
The abortion question
I've read many analyses of the yesterday's debate. Many touched on the abortion question directed to Kerry. Depending on your views, you may think he answered well
or that he bumbled
and Bush did much better
. I think Kerry could have given only one good answer:
"I was wrong when I voted 'No' on the partial-birth abortion bill."
The left couldn't have faulted him. In fact, many would have suspected he was just saying it because of the election expediency. After all, many will vote for him thinking he's only pretending to be a hawk and will get out of Iraq on January 21 (I actually think they are right.
But more importantly, many Catholics I know are looking for a reason to vote for him. Catholics in Oregon are pretty liberal. I think at least 50% will in fact vote for Kerry. Many oppose the war on moral grounds. But they also oppose abortion, stem-cell research, homosexual marriage and death penalty. However, many know that one must prioritize those issues and vote accordingly. War and death penalty are actually not even on the main list
. Catholics constitute 25% of electorate in the US and it seems they were already leaning toward Bush
before the 2nd
I went to rent some movies this morning. Last week I was twice unsuccessful in renting what I wanted: Home on the Range
for the kids and the Ladykillers
for me and wife. So today I went early and found the Ladykillers. I couldn't find Home on the Range at all, not even the empty placeholders so I went to the counter and asked. The movie was in the children section but all copies were gone.
While paying, I noticed on a billboard above my head that Fahrenheit 9/11
was this week's new release and it was guaranteed to be in stock. I jokingly asked the cashier:
"Man, this is the second week I'm trying to rent a movie for my kids and the only thing I find is F911, maybe I should rent it for them?"
She replied, "Oh, that's a very good movie!"
I said I was just joking and was somewhat surprised that somebody working in this business would praise this piece of propaganda in public. A few coworkers, some even with Ph.D.s expressed similar opinions but even educated people say stupid things over a beer after work.
She looked at me and said with a straight face:
"No, really, it is very educational."
I remained speechless, finished paying, and left in disbelief. Can porn be also considered educational?
On my way home, I wondered if this was just an opinion of a very young and very uneducated woman or whether it was the official line of the rental place
. Maybe I should send an e-mail and ask.
Bush 1, Kerry 0.5
Spain is out, Australia is still in
. Good, I worried I would have had to narrow my wine choices to California and Italy only.
But the media will only talk about Afghanistan
and blame the president. Was Jimmy Carter involved
in this in any way?
All men are created equal
If you can cut through the spin, this piece
has some interesting data about diversity and affirmative action. The article tries to explain away why "few high school students understand what "affirmative action" really means".
I think they know exactly what it means.
Do colleges use race/ethnicity as an admissions factor?
Is it fair?
- 74% believe colleges and universities do use race, ethnicity, or religious background as an admission factor
What are other consequences?
- 82% said it would not be fair to do so
- 87% of Caucasians, 77% of Asian Americans, 76% of African Americans, ands 75% of Latinos said no
- 53% using these as factors for admission lowers admission standards
- 74% said using these factors affects the way minority students feel about themselves
- 78% said using these factors affects the way non-minority students feel about minority students
What does it mean?
Do adults overemphasize diversity issues?
- 30% said it means admission of a certain number of students of specific racial, ethnic, or religious background
- 22% said colleges can give positive consideration to race and ethnicity
- 19% said it means colleges must admit students based on their academic achievements only
- 16% said Caucasian students may be denied (admission) due to the admission of students of specific racial, ethnic or religious background
- 8% had no idea
- 21% of Caucasian students said "affirmative action" means Caucasian students may be denied admission compared to 6% of African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latinos
- 56% believe adults over-emphasize the importance of racial, ethnic, and religious diversity and related issues
- 60% of Caucasian students, 54% of African American students, 51% of Latino students, and 49% of Asian American students believe it is overemphasized
To infinity and beyond!
Government is pretty good at protecting us and building roads (most of the time
.) Almost everything else, including space travel
, should be left to the private sector.
Friday, October 08, 2004
No, not that
debate. I will let the experts analyze
I want to talk about another debate I just saw on OPB
TV. The one about Measure 36
I love politics! The pro
side was represented by a young, attractive black woman (of course she was intelligent; aren't they always?) Good choice. We often hear that "banning" gay marriages is like banning inter-racial marriages.
First, let's get the language straight: you can't ban what doesn't exist. The end result will be a better definition of marriage. What Oregon has on the books today is a union into which men and women above age of 18 (?) may enter. Everybody (except for about 5%) understands the intent. But with today's lawyers we need to be very precise. We have to spell it out: a union between one woman and one man.
side was represented by a very nice, soft-spoken granny, happily married for 51 years. Nice, indeed!
Second, even though I'm a registered Republican, I'm more of a libertarian in many ways. On principle, I oppose any government involvement in arrangements adult people make. But once the government gets involved and there is no chance of getting it un-involved, I want to regulate the hell out of those arrangements. For example, I'm against redistribution on wealth through taxes. Unfortunately, it seems it's here to stay. The question then is how far do we go? The answer is only as far as it benefits the society. So I'll pay for your bread but not your butter because it will make you fat and I will have to provide free healthare for you. I will for sure not pay for your Viagra.
I've been listening to Michael Medved
's Three Big Lies About the Vietnam War
and now I'm convinced that if Kerry wins, Iraq will be another Vietnam.
You can listen
to the show for free until Monday 3pm Pacific.
Also, watch the latest Kerry on Iraq documentary
Thursday, October 07, 2004
Eureka in reverse
means 'I have found it!'
(supposedly exclaimed by Archimedes upon discovering how to measure the volume of an irregular solid and thereby determine the purity of a gold object), what does one exclaim when he's been found by others?
After sending a plea to the first blog I ever read (and still read every day) asking to mention my humble beginning, the good folks at Power Line
(I forgive them for misspelling my name; when I type fast, especially after a few beers, I misspell it too.) A few minutes later, I started receiving my first visitors and e-mails of encouragement. One came from a local blogger
who may influence his friends from Forest Grove to vote for me.
One visitor, turned out to be the owner of a blog
I read from time to time but apparently not closely enough. It turns out we spent some time together in Italy after having left Poland. I'm still trying to figure out if we met back then and there.
Questions, questions, questions...
As promised below...
Please describe your background (family, education, social, business, political), including how long you have lived in Forest Grove.
I’ve been married for 12 years and have 3 children (9, 6 ½, and 2 ½.) I hold a B.S. in Computer Science from University of Washington and a M.S. in Computer Science from University of Wisconsin-Madison. My family moved to Forest Grove in 2000. I have 12 years of software engineering experience and work for Intel Corporation.
I immigrated to US from Poland in 1988 and became US citizen 6 years later. I worked as a helper in a furniture shop. Working part-time on weeknights and weekends, with the help of student loans and my wife’s dedication and sacrifice, I managed to put myself through college.
How will your background help you in your duties on the Forest Grove City Council?
As an immigrant I can empathize with other immigrants and, in general, with all people trying to get ahead in life. I also witnessed disastrous policies of a centralized and overreaching government and faults of socialized economy. My experience provides me with a unique perspective on the role of the government in people’s lives and its influence on market forces. Individual success has less to do with help we receive from the government and more with the opportunities this country offers, our own aspirations, willingness to work hard and to sacrifice. Helping the truly needy should be left to churches and other charitable organizations.
I would work to abolish preferences for so called “minorities” and would treat all residents of Forest Grove equally. This would mean discontinuing instruction in public schools in any language other than English. It would also mean ending housing, utility or transportation subsidies and ending special preferences in awarding government contracts.
What do you see as the biggest asset of the city of Forest Grove? How can that asset be used to improve the quality of life for Forest Grove citizens?
My family moved to Forest Grove for its small town charm, big back yards and somewhat lower property taxes as compared to other urban areas. Unfortunately, some on the city council want to change this by encouraging higher-density construction and by extending the light rail to Forest Grove. The former will create more traffic and the latter will raise our property taxes, lower values of properties along the tracks and further increase traffic noise. The light rail in Forest Grove would serve only a very slim minority of commuters and the overwhelming majority would be paying for it. It would also be disastrous for local businesses. Many of the 2,200 Pacific University students would leave our bars, restaurants and abandon our shops for more “attractive” areas. Instead, we should encourage influx of more entertainment venues to make our town more attractive by offering tax breaks, especially for rehabilitated properties.
What do you see as the biggest challenge/problem facing the City of Forest Grove, it’s [sic] citizens and what are your solutions?
Increasing cost of fringe benefits for public employees and the flood of illegal immigrants threaten the economic well being of the city and surrounding areas.
Hiring of non-essential public employees should be kept to minimum and many of the city services should be contracted out to local businesses. The city should establish a certification process to verify that all contracted employees are authorized to work in US. This process should be open to all businesses and the directory of those businesses should be made public.
The level of certain services should be adjusted. The library could be closed at least one day a week. The fees for aquatic center services could be raised to keep up with the cost of operations and maintenance. New parks and improvements should be financed in larger part from fundraising by likely users.
How can the City keep its small town feel and deal with increased population/businesses?
The current level of density should not be compromised. The city should resist any pressure from the county or the state to do otherwise. Increasing construction density would increase traffic, force the light rail on us and increase our property taxes. If the city must accommodate more residents, it should expand outward. The growth of government and the services it offers should be limited to remove incentives to increase the residential tax base by increasing density.
Please detail anything else you might like the readers of the News-Times to know about you.
I believe that the primary responsibility of government is to protect its citizens and their property, and to provide basic infrastructure and services.
Those services should benefit most citizens and should be delivered at the lowest possible cost. To be cost-effective, many of those services can and should be delivered by contracting private enterprise through open competition, respecting the forces of free markets.
Government should be accountable to its citizens. The employees government must hire should be rewarded for their work at the same levels as their counterparts in the private sector. Good performance should be rewarded; mistakes should be corrected; mediocrity should not be accepted.
The growth of government should be limited, subject to population growth and inflation. Inefficient and unnecessary programs should be eliminated.
Taxation and regulation of private property should be limited to the absolute minimum lest our constitutional rights be infringed.
Government should resist the temptation to socially engineer lives of its citizens. I believe that individuals know best how to lead their lives.
I support President Bush in his efforts to combat terrorism and I will vote to reelect him. I will also vote for Ameri, Cox, Yes on Measures 35, 36, 37 and 38, and No on 34 and the library levy.
I was asked by our local paper
the other day to answer a candidate questionnaire. I will publish links to the questionnaire and the final article later. I was also asked to stop by for a picture so people could vote for me based on my hair not the views (so passé!) When I submitted completed questionnaire, I asked the editor, no matter how badly she wanted to misinterpreted and misrepresent my views, to at least leave the last paragraph intact. In that paragraph I wrote:
"I support President Bush in his efforts to combat terrorism and I will vote to reelect him. I will also vote for Ameri, Cox, Yes on Measures 35, 36, 37 and 38, and No on 34 and the library levy."
Most of what I said in this short paragraph will only make sense to people from my town, district and state. The first sentence, however, should be clear to everybody but only roughly half (hopefully more on November 2) will understand.
So I meant to put it in words. I'm glad I procrastinated. Somebody else just did it for me. I couldn't have done it better; I'm Polish, remember? And blond.
So here it is: Part 1
and Part 2
Osama is dead!
Well, it must be true. According to most in liberal media and my local fish wrap, the Oregonian, we didn't find any WMD in Iraq thus there were no WMD in Iraq hence Iraq posed no threat
If I had a newspaper, the headline today would be "Osama is dead!" and my reasoning would be something like this: since we haven't yet found Osama, he doesn't exist, he is dead. Good job, president!
Incidentally, I didn't think that the final report
said Iraq posed no threat. So I thought that the only sane conclusion was that the war was justified
But what do you expect from fish wrap journalism? Only in the 8th
paragraph does the Oregonian say:
"There is no doubt that Saddam was a threat to our nation, and there is no doubt that he had WMD capability, and the Duelfer report is very clear on these points," said James Wilkinson, a White House deputy national security adviser, using the abbreviation for weapons of mass destruction.
Unfortunately, our public school educated populace stops reading shortly after the headline.
Speaking of fish wrap journalism, the same report states that our French "friends" got pretty rich
supporting Saddam but this never made it into the Oregonian piece. So how do you pass the global test with professors like these
BTW, only the 8th
paragraph in my article would quote somebody who thinks Osama is still alive
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
It was just a matter of time. We all knew it was coming. Now, it's here. The funny thing is that when I first heard about us going (back) to Iraq, somehow it made sense to me. I was in a community college during the first Gulf war. I never understood why we didn't finish it. The president didn't have to justify his actions with WMD. But he did. He didn't emphasize the most important reason: we were still in war with Iraq and after 9/11 we just had to get serious. And starting with unfinished business seemed like a prudent (it's all his fault) thing to do. I'm not making any excuses. In case you need some, visit my friends at NRO.
It's about children
If there is one thing I'd like to see change in my lifetime it's the public school situation. I'm for choice, school choice, that is. Each time I read the story like this, I know I'm right when I say there is a reason why we have the best higher education system in the world and one of the worst and most expensive K-12 systems in the universe (didn't John Kerry say the other day that the global test is for people on Earth and elsewhere?)
Glad to be here
I often check news from Madison, WI. After all, I've spent a big chunk of my life there. In fact, I almost stayed there for good after the graduate school. I bought a house, had a good job, had my first two children. But I just hated the politics and taxes.
Well the politics is still the same but the taxes are not: they are going up
yet again. I pay 50% for almost twice the house and twice the back yard here than I used to pay there. And voting here is still exciting: 50-50 chance that my candidate wins. In Madison it was more like 75-25 that he would lose.
There’s a very interesting Senate race in North Carolina. Republican Richard Burr, who was 10 points behind Democrat Erskine Bowles, is rapidly moving up and the race is now dead even. It’s only going to get better for Burr. North Carolina has no business electing a Democrat senator and this seat will be an easy GOP pickup in 2004.
However, Burr needs your help. The wealthy Bowles is pouring his own money into the race and Burr needs to counter him. If you don’t want Democrats controlling the Senate, then please contribute whatever little you can to Burr’s campaign
Today is Wictory Wednesday. Every Wednesday, hundreds of bloggers ask their readers to donate to an important Republican Senate campaign.
If you’re a blogger, you also can join Wictory Wednesdays.
So Why Another Blog?, you ask. Good question. I'm running for a city councilor in Forest Grove, OR and may need some advice.
I've never held a public office, nor have I participated in public life. Unless you count that time in Madison, WI when I brought some neighbors together and convinced the city to install speed controlling devices on our street. It was fun. Many opposed the idea. After they were installed, I moved to Oregon. I bet the snow plow drivers curse me under their breath ever since. You know, the winter in WI lasts 5 months.
In any case, I'm running because I've got tired of busy bodies spending my money on social engineering. You may have heard about that failed experiment called light rail or MAX. Well, some on the city council want to bring it to Forest Grove, population 18,000. Since, statistically, fewer than 1% of commuters use light rail, that would amount to 1% of Forest Grove commuters. You should know that Forest Grove has the highest population of old folks in the country because many retirement houses are here. I don't think they commute that much; besides, they can't ride light rail because most of them have trouble walking and you have to walk to ride light rail. Then, there are children, they don't commute either. They take school buses. Who's left? Me. And I'm not taking any light rail anywhere.
Do I have a chance? There are 6 of us running for 3 positions. 5 are busy bodies, 1 (me) wants to close the library for at least 1 day a week and supports President Bush, Patriot Act and Measure 36. So I guess I have no chance. We'll see.
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
I've finally arrived. It has taken me 16 years to come to the shores, to take roots, to move to the right and to discover blogs. I'm here to stay so I may as well take part. Start another dream and another blog. Let's hope at least one will live.