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 Grovenet Wal*Mart Visiting Poland American wine better than French.

Friday, March 25, 2005



Thank God for other (good) Polish bloggers during this high-pressure time for me (the bathroom must be finished before my wife goes to the hospital!!!)

So let me rely on my Australian blogger-friend Chrenkoff to post something about Easter.
Here's a nice Polish tradition for Easter (I think it's also popular to the east, in Ukraine and Russia) - Pisanki, or boiled eggs painted over in intricate, colorful patterns. It's part of another Polish Catholic tradition, which I don't believe is very prevalent anywhere else, of blessing the food on Easter Saturday, where people take to their local church baskets full of eggs (normal as well as painted), bread, salt, meats and other food to be blessed for the big breakfast on Sunday morning.

Another Polish tradition is Smigus-Dyngus on Easter Monday, where (mostly) young men sprinkle (mostly) young women with water. This ancient Polish precursor of the wet T-shirt competition is generally quite innocent and civilized, but if you're traveling around that time in rural Poland, beware: buckets, hoses and even fire engines are frequently used.

In my house we will prepare a basket with colorful eggs and other good Polish food and take it to our church. St. Matthew is not a Polish parish but as of last year, with help from a few Polish-Americans in our parish, we started blessing food baskets.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


Another socialist experiment fails

I said that the only hope for Poland to get out of the EU was for the French to vote 'No' in the May referendum on the EU constitution. The question was whether the French were smart enough to do it.

Well, there is another sign that the French are coming to their senses and one-by-one rejecting failed socialist policies.

France Abolishes Its 35-Hour Workweek

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

(03-22) 07:45 PST PARIS, France (AP) --

French lawmakers effectively abolished the country's 35-hour workweek Tuesday by workweek by allowing employers to increase working hours.

The National Assembly approved a government-backed bill permitting employers to negotiate deals with staff to increase working time by 220 hours a year in return for better pay.

The previous Socialist government introduced the 35-hour workweek as a means of reducing soaring unemployment. The idea was that companies would hire more employees to compensate.

But France still has an unemployment rate of nearly 10 percent, and President Jacques Chirac has criticized the shortened workweek as a "brake" on economic development and job creation.

If this reversal continues, France may one day become competitive.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


EU membership is a bad deal for Poland

The last time my father came to visit me it was before Poland joined the EU. He talked about the upcoming referendum on whether Poland should join. He was against it. He was against it for the same reason most Americans don't want to hand over our sovereignty to the UN. The media in Poland are as liberal as they are here so most Poles didn't know how rotten that deal was. President Bush didn't help when he went there with a visit and supported the referendum. He had to. The ex-communist Kwasniewski had sent some troops to Iraq so the President was grateful. It almost reminded me of Roosevelt and Churchill handing Poland over to Stalin at Yalta in 1945. Ok, maybe it wasn't as bad.

But I digress.

The referendum passed. Poland is now an EU member. And the news for Poland and other members of New Europe is not good, says Vaclav Klaus, president of the Chech Republic.

[...] President Klaus sees an unsettling new challenge: the zeal of Old Europe--France, Germany, Brussels--to impose collective choices on New Europe--Poland, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Ireland. "Ten years ago," Mr. Klaus writes, "the dominant slogan was: 'deregulate, liberalize, privatize.' Now the slogan is different; 'regulate . . . get rid of your sovereignty and put it in the hands of international institutions and organizations.' "

"The current European unification process is not predominantly about opening up," he continues, "It is about introducing massive regulation and protection, about imposing uniform rules, laws, and policies." It is about a "rush into the European Union which is currently the most visible and the most powerful embodiment of ambition to create something else--supposedly better--than a free society."

The force that is creating these pressures is indeed the European Union. Its constitution must be ratified by all member states; four of the 25 nations have done so, and referendums will be held in France and the Netherlands this spring. If ratified, the EU will become the primary source of legal authority in Europe with "primacy over the law of member states." In other words, the 25 members of the European Union Council of Ministers--not the 750 members of the EU Parliament--will make the laws for 450 million people previously citizens of 25 independent countries.
So what is making President Klaus "more and more nervous" about the Czech people's future? His conviction that the authors and enforcers of the new EU Constitution believe:

• That "competition is not the most powerful mechanism for achieving freedom, democracy and efficiency, but rather an unfair and unproductive form of dumping."

• That "intrusive regulation, ruling and intervening from above are necessary because market failure is more dangerous than government failure."

• That "the premise that government is ultimately a benevolent force, obliged to guarantee equal outcomes by redistributing benefits and privileges between individuals and groups."

Could the Brussels bureaucracy, for example, constitutionally impose France's 35-hour work week on the other 24 nations in the European Union? Indeed it could, and with a vote of only 15 of the member states (if they represented 65% of the population of the EU). A state voting "no" would have the law imposed upon it.

It seems likely that the European Union intends to centralize decision making in Brussels, while President Klaus believes in "the inherent morality of markets, in the ethics of work and saving, in the crucial link between freedom and private property. It is not possible (or desirable) to legislate a better world from above or outside."

I just can't imagine our constitution becoming secondary to the constitution of some other international body that would take "primacy over the law of member states."

But there is hope for Poland. I would never have thought I would be saying this but I hope that the French will do the right thing (notwithstanding the wrong reasons) for the first time since..., well, in awhile.
PARIS, March 21 (AFP) - Consternation gripped the government of President Jacques Chirac on Monday after a second poll in four days showed a majority of the French public rejecting the EU constitution at a referendum in ten weeks.

The Ipsos survey in Le Figaro newspaper showed 52 percent preparing to vote "no" on May 29, with 48 percent for the "yes" - a spectacular leap of 12 points in just two weeks.

It confirmed the findings of Friday's poll in Le Parisien newspaper, which put opposition to the constitution at 51 percent. That was the first time the "no" vote had led in the polls and it sent a shockwave through France's political establishment.

Both surveys found that the main factor boosting the "no" camp was the conversion of many Socialist party voters. The rise in "no" supporters coincided with a wave of strikes and demonstrations in France, and rejection of the constitution is now the majority position on the country's political left.

The figures were disastrous news for President Jacques Chirac, who has put his political weight behind the EU constitution, and showed the difficulties of mobilising support for a document that few members of the public pretend to understand clearly.

They were also an embarrassment for the opposition Socialist party (PS) which is officially campaigning for the constitution but is riven by a deep internal split.

The rise in support for the "no" campaign was being watched with anxiety in Brussels, where insiders warned that a rejection of the constitution by so important a country as France would be a disastrous setback for the European Union.

"If France votes no, the constitution is dead," said Daniel Keohane of the Centre for European Reform. "The momentum is on the ‘no’ side. It's going to be difficult to regain and it's worrying."

Let's hope the momentum continues.

Monday, March 21, 2005


Pacific University hosts war protesters

Oregon troops are coming home. They feel good about what they have done in Iraq and how things are turning around in the Middle East even if the media don't always share their enthusiasm.

One would think that most who opposed the war would be reconsidering their position by now. Well, one would be wrong. The anti-war movement is alive and still kicking (or standing in silence) at Pacific University.

Pacific University's Center for Women and Gender Equity is planning a Women in Black protest against the war on Iraq. Date: Tuesday April 5, Time: 11:00-1:00, Place: University Center (center of campus-go to www.pacificu.edu for a University map). All are welcome to participate in all or part of the event.

Women in Black is an international organization that began in Palestine to protest the occupation by Israel. It consists of people (not just women) standing silently wearing black to protest any given war. This silent, non-violent protest spread from Palestine, was used in Bosnia, and is now recognized universally. We will be protesting the continued war on and occupation of Iraq.

How ironic that Palestinians may actually have a real chance to finally have a country for the first time in their history because of actions of our president and Ariel Sharon.

I wonder how many of these protesters know the history of the Arab wars against the state of Israel that produced all those refugees.

I also wonder which side in the Bosnia war this group supported. Or was the group opposed to the war itself? If I really cared I would probably find answers to some of these questions here.

Also, the time of these protests is always in the middle of a work day so people who actually have something important to do with their lives like work and pay taxes can't attend such events. But then, if I had two hours of free time in the middle of the day I would probably fix a wobbly toilet bowl in my bathroom rather than waste the time looking at a bunch of losers.

Thursday, March 17, 2005


"It seemed like they were trying to screw up the military"

Last issue of Forest Grove News-Times has a story of two Forest Grove natives who just came back from Iraq.
Soldiers from the war in Iraq are returning and telling their stories, and two of them have returned to their native Forest Grove in recent days.

Dave Farrin, a lance corporal in the Marines, and James Gibson, a staff sergeant in the Army, have returned much the same young men as when they left, for which their families are tremendously thankful. They have come through the fires of war with their physical health and spirits intact.

They share other important similarities. Both men believe the war has received unfair coverage in the American press. This disappoints them more than it angers them because they believe that the good things accomplished by the USA far outweigh the bad.

As far as the soldiers are concerned, they say the war has overwhelming support.

The main thread of the article is the bias of the American media.
As for experiencing war for the first time, Farrin said, "I was not nervous. We had a lot of training before we left." And anyway, "a lot of stuff doesn't bother me."

What did bother him was the picture of the war given to the American public.

"The people in Iraq love us," Farrin said. "The people doing the fighting are from outside Iraq. Syria, Turkey, places like that.

"When we would go outside the gate, all the people would come running up to us and say, 'Mister! Mister! Take my picture!' They gave us peace signs and thumbs up. They tried to give us food."

While "news travels real slow" in Iraq, Farrin did not like what he heard.

"They don’t see all the good stuff," he said. "They just cover the fighting. It was kind of weird. It seemed like they were trying to screw up the military."

Gibson agrees.
Gibson's greatest moment was Jan. 30 – election day in Iraq.

"Watching thousands upon thousands of people coming to vote made it all worthwhile," he said. "Seeing all those people lined up to vote was amazing."

It was this day and other days of progress in Iraq that cause Gibson to take issue with coverage of the war.

"I don’t think people back home are getting the full picture," Gibson said. "There has been a lot of focusing on negatives. We could do 500 missions with the Iraqi army and 499 of them could be successful, and the only thing covered would be the one that went bad.

"People don't see the new schools opening, the two or three toy and supply drops every month, people getting clean water. This has been a very successful mission. One that 99 percent of the soldiers are supporting. It is being spun like everyone doesn't want to be there."

Both emphasize all the good things that happened in Iraq. Says Gibson:
"Our unit alone spent millions to build schools, irrigation facilities, city council halls, roads, and rebuilding the Iraqi army so they can take over the war. In over a year I didn't expect them to make half the progress they did. It's amazing how these guys came in and went about building a better Iraq."

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


Token conservative

My recent post (the relevant part is at the end) on the GroveNet mailing list was forwarded to John Schrag, the new editor of Forest Grove News-Time and the author of the article in question. Amazingly, he agreed that the article may have been one-sided and that the letters to the editor on the subject of social security were also one-sided. So he invited me to reword my post and send it as a letter. First, I apologized for less than flattering words directed at the paper but explained that this wasn't the first time News-Times seemed to agree with one side of a controversy. I also agreed to write a letter. Lastly, I expressed a wish for a "token conservative" that every major paper seems to have nowadays who would write from time to time on the behalf of the silent majority in our town.

John Schrag mentioned in passing my compliant in his column last week summarizing his first 30 days as the editor.
Similarly, as an on-line critic noted on grovenet last week, too many of our stories rely on a single source and fail to seek out opposing points of view. I agree.

Not only did he agree, he asked me to write a column instead of just a letter on the social security debate. And I did. It was published today. There is no electronic version so I post it here in its entirety.

The only thing they have left is fear itself

“This is a classic case of a solution in search of a problem.” This is what Congressman Wu has said about President Bush’s proposal to allow younger workers to divert some of their payroll taxes into voluntary personal accounts. Indeed, the Democrat flatly rejects that the social security program is in crisis and in need of a major overhaul.

It is very disingenuous of the Congressman to say this about the program that, after running deficits for 7 straight years between 1975 and 1981, had to be resurrected from near bankruptcy in 1983. Each time social security ran into trouble it was “fixed” by raising taxes. Changes may have been incremental but the program today is far from the retirement insurance system FDR created 70 years ago when only the first $3,000 was taxed at the rate of 2%.

Wu says that any problem (I didn't think there was a problem) can be fixed by making workers more productive. Supposedly, higher productivity would result in higher wages. The higher the wages the more money would go to the social security program.

There is one fundamental flaw with this reasoning. As the Congressman very well knows, social security benefits are indexed to wages so if the wages go up so will the benefits. So to pump more money into the ailing program, Democrats would have to raise the cap ($90,000) or the rate (12.4%) or both, resulting, yet again, in higher taxes. But how much more can we tax our incomes before the social security program brings down the whole economy?

The answer already exists. Germany, where a social security program was introduced by Otto von Bismarck in 1889, is today in dire economical straits. It has the highest unemployment (12.5%) since the 1930s and its economy will be lucky not to shrink this year. With already high taxes, high unemployment and stagnant economy, German government struggles to maintain the promises of its numerous welfare programs. But Congressman Wu hopes that following the same policies in the US will bring different results. As Albert Einstein once famously said, it is insanity.

When all other arguments fail, Congressman Wu resorts to Democrats’ favorite persuasion technique: can’t reason with them, scare them. By painting dramatic pictures of retirees losing their money on the stock market just when they need it for their retirement, Wu prefers to keep his constituents frightened and ignorant so they blindly keep on voting for the misguided policies he advocates. No wonder almost every day I encounter seemingly intelligent people who have no clue how safe long-term investing is if one follows a few simple rules (hint: ENRON employees didn't follow those rules.)

Social Security will have to be reformed without raising taxes. The reform should include indexing benefits to inflation. Younger workers should have the option of investing part of their payroll taxes in personal accounts so they can take more responsibility for their retirements.

So why would Congressman Wu oppose this and many other President Bush’s policies? Tax cuts (for the rich) have helped the economy recover from almost uninterruptible stream of adversities. Aggressive foreign policy is bringing freedom to the Middle East and security to the US. But it is the idea of ownership society -- educated people breaking the shackles of dependency on the government with financial freedom to live their own lives -- what Congressman Wu and other Democrats fear the most. They are stuck obsessing about past, blinded by partisan zeal. The party of New Deal has become the party of No Deal.

News-Times changed my title to "Fear on Social Security is party line for Democrats."


Portland's "Big Dig"

The new revelations that Boston's $14.6 billion "Big Dig" highway may not be safe to drive in make me think of our own "Big Dig" here in Portland. For now, the only similarity are the cost overruns.
Planners estimated the cost at $15.5 million -- and that sounded like a stretch, too.

Four years later, a firmed-up budget for the tram is finally in place, and the total is now a jaw-dropping $40 million.

Otherwise, so far at least, we are being told these two projects are very different.
The tram project includes zero dollars from the city's general fund, though many citizens are confused about this point. They should be reassured to learn that the tram is not competing directly with police, fire, parks and other services for scarce general fund dollars.

People may be confused because it's hard to get anybody to come clean on when the money is coming from. Did Mr. O'Rourke omit this worthy project from his list?

But the Oregonian is unfazed.
We hope the tram will be as stunning as promised, too, a postcard-worthy tourist attraction. But in time, it could become a transportation stalwart that does its job, stoutly and silently, and mostly fades into the background. That's hard to imagine now, but it could happen: The tram runs very quietly.

Although it's proved more expensive than expected, the tram is no longer farfetched. It's the transportation mode that makes the South Waterfront development work. Ingenious yet practical as a zipper, the tram will fasten OHSU's upper campus to its lower one.

And in less than 18 months, it could be zapping OHSU employees, patients, neighbors and sightseers up the hill.

I wonder how many editorials just like this one, the Boston Globe has written in the past 14 years.


Lexus or MAX

Many (less than 1% of all commuters) in this area are very proud of "our" MAX (light-rail) and will be happy to learn that there is a $52 billion provision in the new transportation bill to fund mass transit projects around the country. One of those projects will be another new line in Washington County. It would seem, given the level of deficit spending by the federal government, that such projects just can't wait. It must be because the current lines are full and new ones have to be built.

Paint P.J. O'Rourke (and me) somewhat skeptical.
There are just two problems with mass transit. Nobody uses it, and it costs like hell. Only 4% of Americans take public transportation to work. Even in cities they don't do it. Less than 25% of commuters in the New York metropolitan area use public transportation. Elsewhere it's far less--9.5% in San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, 1.8% in Dallas-Fort Worth. As for total travel in urban parts of America--all the comings and goings for work, school, shopping, etc.--1.7 % of those trips are made on mass transit.

Then there is the cost, which is--obviously--$52 billion. Less obviously, there's all the money spent locally keeping local mass transit systems operating. The Heritage Foundation says, "There isn't a single light rail transit system in America in which fares paid by the passengers cover the cost of their own rides." Heritage cites the Minneapolis "Hiawatha" light rail line, soon to be completed with $107 million from the transportation bill. Heritage estimates that the total expense for each ride on the Hiawatha will be $19. Commuting to work will cost $8,550 a year. If the commuter is earning minimum wage, this leaves about $1,000 a year for food, shelter and clothing. Or, if the city picks up the tab, it could have leased a BMW X-5 SUV for the commuter at about the same price.

Since I'm currently boycotting German products, this gas-electric Lexus would be more appropriate.

Monday, March 14, 2005



Walls are primed and texture-coated once. Tomorrow, another coat of texture paint (this is more like Venetian plaster and not that awful orange-peel thing). Wednesday and Thursday, a coat a day of acrylic white paint lightly sanded. The idea is to recreate the look of original plaster without doing all the work although at this point I'm not sure what would have been easier.

I should finish installing wainscoting on Sunday and will varnish it three times over the following week.

Installing the fixtures will take another week so I should be done the first week of April.


Requirements of citizenship

When I took the test to become the US citizen, I had to know answers to 100 questions about US history and government. Nobody told me I would be tested on my knowledge of the pledge of allegiance or the national anthem's. So I only learned the pledge when I started attending my son's Boy Scouts' meetings. But because I don't go to any sporting events, I never really learned the anthem. And I have to say, I'm ashamed and I promise to rectify this starting now.
O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?

And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?

This was just the first verse but I don't think I could sing more than one verse of the Polish anthem so it will have to do.


Open wide

The Oregonian and other lefties don't like the taste of their own medicine.
A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, as you know. And it can also spook giant federal bureaucracies into acting against common sense.

So it's not surprising that the Environmental Protection Agency has, thus far, turned down Portland's request for exceptional treatment. The city has asked the EPA for a waiver from upcoming federal drinking water rules.

The EPA first told City Commissioner Dan Saltzman no. Then it told Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., no. Now Mayor Tom Potter is gearing up to ask again for a variation on EPA's rules (he's not going to use the word "waiver"). But some say Potter will get the same response because consistency dictates that the EPA turn Portland down.


The rules, which the EPA expects to issue this summer, require unfiltered water systems, like Portland's, to filter or otherwise aggressively counteract cryptosporidium. That's the microbial parasite that made headlines in 1993, when it killed about 100 people in Milwaukee, Wis., and sickened 400,000.

If we believed cryptosporidium posed a threat to Portland water drinkers, we'd be the first to urge that a filtration or treatment plant be built, no matter how costly. Portland's unique Bull Run water, derived from a rain- and snow-fed reservoir near Mount Hood, is well worth protecting. If cryptosporidium jeopardized its purity, the cost to purify it would be a secondary issue.

Maybe. But now you know how we, on the other side, feel when idiotic regulations make our lives a living hell.

If the "Check Engine" light is on even in a relatively new car, DEQ will not test the car for emissions but instead it will fail it. The light could be on for any number of reasons not at all related to emissions. But the regulations say that the light has to be off. So the owner has to pay good money for a mechanic to remove the code that causes the light to be on; sometimes the light is on because it is faulty and there is nothing wrong with the car. If the goal of the test is to make sure that cars don't pollute air more than they really have to, do the damn test and disregard the stupid light.

I say, stick it to Portland. Most rigid, tree-hugging enviro wackos live there so let them pay through the nose for the regulations we all have to live with.

BTW, I don't believe that DEQ tests are to really test for high emissions. New cars are pretty clean and the owners of the older cars are too poor to either fix them or get better ones. I think this is all about money. But then I always think government is there to suck us dry.

Saturday, March 12, 2005


Have empties for a summer camp?

So I do like my beer. On a good week I can go through 4 six-packs. In Oregon, each beer comes with a nickel deposit for the bottle (and the can but I try to avoid canned beer) and so I had this dilemma a while ago when I got tired of trying to get rid of a handful of bottles at a time by taking them back to the store. Should I just recycle them and throw away the deposit money or should I waste time taking the bottles back to the store? I decided to buy a small plastic tool shed where I would store my bottles and when the shed was too full to hold any more I would empty it and haul all those bottles to the store to get my money back. Seemed like a good compromise. I was wasting the same amount of time but was getting more money for it.

In many stores, next to the machines that accept empty bottles and issue redemption coupons that can be used to buy groceries or exchanged for cash, many civic organizations hang boxes soliciting those coupons. The store I usually go to has a box from a local public school.

Let me be blunt: I hate those boxes, they simply offend me. So let me understand this. I have to load all those bottles into my car, drive to a store, spend time waiting in line to a machine and then spend at least 30 minutes to feed all the bottles into the machine so I can give all that hard-earned cash away to some people who are too lazy to go door to door asking for empties? No way. Once I get dirty, I keep all that cash for myself. On a good emptying-the-empties-shed day, I can even buy a twelve-pack of a premium beer for all that work. And there is nothing that tastes better than a cold one after hard work.

During this lent, I don't drink beer on weekdays so although the shed was packed to the capacity I didn't think I would have to empty it until the Easter when I would need more space for the new beer season.

This morning a kid from a local middle school came to my house asking for empties so he and his friends from school could go to a summer camp. When I pointed him toward the shed and said "Whatever you find inside is yours" he thought he would find maybe a dollar worth of old, dirty soda cans. When he opened the shed he ran back toward the street and started yelling to his friends "Bring the track, bring the track."

Now, I can go on for the next few months without being offended by those stupid boxes next to the bottle machines.

Sunday, March 06, 2005



I'm lazy. I rest on (initial) laurels too often. After successful tiling, I've only managed to tape and mud once. So I can't start painting until next weekend. Shame on me. But I have at least 4 more weeks to go.

I used to study like this too. I would wait until the last night to prepare for an important exam. And I would invite friends to plat cards and drink before the day of the exam. And I would pass. It would be close but I would pass anyway. I've learned nothing.


Don't believe communists

Or at least don't trust them. If you have to choose between two conflicting accounts and one is presented by a communist, be aware. Communists lie. They have to. If they told the truth nobody would follow them.

I don't know what happened. But I would not put much stock into what this woman is saying. If, as she insists, Americans wanted her killed, then we have the most incompetent arm forces maybe even after the French. Americans could have killed her and buried her car and nobody would have known what had happened.

Poland was enslaved by communists for 45 years. Incredibly, many of them are still in power. To stay in power they have to lie. Poland is a member of EU because they had lied before the referendum. They continue to lie. They always lie.

Saturday, March 05, 2005


Taxes and bad grammar

I know, we all do it. As a non-native speaker of the English language, I probably do it more often than others. But I still would expect that news outlets to use the correct spelling and grammar in their writings.

This article caught my eye because it used bad grammar to talk about one of my favorite topics: taxes.

First, the title:
Madison Voters May Face A Third Pricey Referenda

'Referenda' is plural of 'referendum'. So the title should have read
Madison Voters May Face A Third Pricey Referendum

Then, the first paragraph reads:
Madison Metropolitan School District voters could face a third referenda question in May -- this one for an extra $8.6 million or more.

It's clear that the author (or the editor) thinks that 'referenda' is the correct word to use.
Then, there is this paragraph:
Voters are already facing referendums to build a second Leopold Elementary School for $14.5 million and continued money for maintenance ($27 million).

Although I prefer 'referenda', 'referendums' is probably acceptable when talking about more than one 'referendum'. By now it would seem that the author really thought that 'referendums' was plural of 'referenda'.
But then the last two paragraphs point not only to bad grammar but also to a complete lack of consistency; or to multiple authors (editors).

If there is a third referendum to keep current service in place, the potential cost to the owner of a $200,000 home is an additional $163 in property taxes. That's in addition to the cost of a new Leopold school.

The board will be taking public comment on the cuts during the next 3 months, but must decide the question of a third referendum by March 14.

I almost forgot. Taxes are bad. Here, I said it.


Boycott France

I went to Rejuvenation for the 3rd time in two weeks to buy more light fixtures and shades for all those new bathrooms in my house. The way one shops in the Rejuvenation store in Portland is very simple. With a piece of paper and a pencil one writes down the desired items and than goes to the cashier's counter to pick them up and pay. I made the following selections:
1. Fixture for the bathroom downstairs.
2. Another fixture for the bathroom downstairs.
3. Shades for fixture 1.
4. Shade for fixture 2.
5. Fixture for the front porch (lucky, this one was discontinued so I got 50% off).
6. Shade for fixture 5.

There was one more item on my list. Two shades for an existing fixture in children's upstairs bathroom. I liked them a lot. They would have been perfect with the blue-stone tiles in that bathroom.

They would have but they won't. When the clerk brought them to me, I noticed a small oval label afixed to each of them. The label said "Made in France." I apologized to the clerk for changing my mind. No French wine, no French shades. Too bad. They were just perfect.



Friday, March 04, 2005


Byrd fouls Senate nest and the Oregonian notices (barely)

Byrd and many on the left have been doing this for some time. For the first time, the pressure from the blogs and conservative media outlets is forcing MSM to at least acknowledge and preferably to scorn.

The Oregonian however fails to point out that Byrd used filibuster to block Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The Oregonian doesn't even mention that Byrd was once on the other side of the argument.
In 1975 the Senators changed the filibuster requirement from 67 votes to 60, after concluding that it only takes a simple majority of Senators to change the rules governing their proceedings. As Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield (D-MT) said at the time: "We cannot allow a minority" of the senators "to grab the Senate by the throat and hold it there." Senators Leahy, Kennedy, Byrd, and Biden, all agreed.
Oh, hypocrisy! Now he complains that Republicans are considering changing it yet again to 51 votes. It's like the guys who go 5 mph over the speed limit in the left lane. If you go 10 mph over the limit they block you because you are going too fast.


PBS and other lefties are crumbling

These words from Daniel Schorr, who is only slightly less partisan than Moyers, say a lot.
The movements for democratic change in Egypt and Lebanon have happened since the successful Iraqi election on Jan. 30. And one can speculate on whether Iraq has served as a beacon for democratic change in the Middle East.

During the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, President Bush said that "a liberated Iraq can show the power of freedom to transform that vital region."

He may have had it right.

I used to turn the radio off or turn the channel to my favorite AM station when Schorr started his usual rants against Republicans and President Bush. But the other day I caught the radio version of this commentary and stayed tuned to the end to make sure that I didn't mistake him for somebody else with a similar voice.

BTW, Schorr is one of many partisan lefties who recently have admitted that Bush was right and they were wrong. I should start a list of such characters and keep it at the top for ease reference. I should also have a list of characters who haven't yet given up hoping for US failures in Middle East and Bush's failures at home. For example, this lefty stays away from politics altogether since it became apparent that she was (again) on the wrong side of history and the Ocean. Will hell freeze over? Let's hope so. Because the last thing we need is more depressed professors and fellow-Poles who haven't learned from the past.


Quote of the day

"This is a party that has steadily moved to the losing side of the key issues of our time -- from solid cold warriors to semi-pacifists; from upholders of equal opportunity to proponents of racial preferences; from upholders of free speech to proponents of speech codes; etc. Now, the Democrats seem intent on losing whatever edge they may have with young, sophisticated voters by moving to the losing side of the censorship debate and taking on the internet."

-- Powerline, 3/4/2005 speaking of Democrats in general and limiting free speech on the Internet in particular. Thanks, Mr. Fiengold. Without you, I wouldn't know how to spend my money. Without you, and your friend McCain (yes, I know he is a Republican, but with friends like these...), I wouldn't know that only MSM have the right to say whatever they want before elections even if what that say is lies.

Thursday, March 03, 2005


Support Denmark, boycott France

October 12, 2006: Buy Dannish
May 28, 2006: It's official: I'm right and French wine is over-rated
May 25, 2006: It's Dixie Chicks vs. Country Fans, but Who's Dissing Whom?
May 24, 2006: Stick it to the chicks
April 03, 2006: This one's for you, Honest Abe
April 02, 2006: We've never responded to all that hate mail. Until now.
March 18, 2006: Dispensation
February 28, 2006: Fat Tuesday
February 17, 2006: Support Denmark Part 2
February 12, 2006: Support Denmark
December 17, 2005: Let's be more like the French?
December 05, 2005: French wine
November 30, 2005: Wal*Mart
November 10, 2005: Warning
November 09, 2005: France
November 03, 2005: One week, one more to go
October 20, 2005: Poland open for business
October 20, 2005: Down with them Part I
October 03, 2005: 2000 Bordeaux
June 03, 2005: Is it over?
May 29, 2005: Memorial weekend wine tasting
April 19, 2005: Only losers like Europe
March 23, 2005: Another socialist experiment fails
March 22, 2005: EU membership is a bad deal for Poland
March 05, 2005: Boycott France
December 31, 2004: Should I start buying French wine again?
December 22, 2004: Visualize world without...
December 14, 2004: Powell who?
December 08, 2004: Thanks, but no thanks
December 02, 2004: Forgotten war
November 19, 2004: They knew what had happened to France
October 28, 2004: Why Bush must win
October 26, 2004: Carter et al.



Grovenet: This is a discussion forum for items of interest to residents of Forest Grove and the surrounding areas. Sounds innocent, doesn't it? Well, read the archives or browse through my adventures with some of the members.

March 15, 2006: Grovenet's peace-mongers exposed?
March 03, 2006: Fully invested and about to double down
March 03, 2006: I feel your pain
March 03, 2006: Have thesaurus?
February 28, 2006: Public schools
February 28, 2006: WMD and DPW
February 05, 2006: Peace-mongers give in
December 19, 2005: Somebody I know
December 13, 2005: Crusades
December 07, 2005: E Pluribus Unum? Hardly!
November 30, 2005: Wal*Mart
September 30, 2005: Grovenet watch
July 13, 2005: Grovenet goes after Karl
July 15, 2005: Good morning, Grovenet!
June 09, 2005: GroveNet watch starts
June 08, 2005: Crying wolf on GroveNet
June 08, 2005: Meant to say this...
June 08, 2005: When democracy doesn't matter
June 06, 2005: What do ACLU, NYT, peace-mongers on GroveNet...
June 02, 2005: A fan asks
May 30, 2005: More lefty kookiness in the Grove
May 24, 2005: "Fake" Christians' empathy
May 23, 2005: Answers from 'peace-mongers'
May 19, 2005: A question for 'peace mongers'
May 18, 2005: Busy but trying to catch up
March 16, 2005: Token conservative


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