Sunday, February 26, 2006

American Lefties Rooting for Terrorists

Rabbi Aryeh Spero eloquently - and correctly - tells us that there are those in this country, born here and enjoying the riches available to them here, who wish to see harm come to this country.

Well said, Rabbi!

South Dakota set to ban abortion

As reported here, the South Dakota House has passed the bill banning nearly all abortions, by a margin of 50 - 18; the Senate passed a similar bill earlier, 23 - 12.

Republican Governor Mike Rounds says that he will probably sign the bill into law, which would make it a crime for doctors to perform an abortion unless it was necessary to save the woman's life. The measure would make no exception in cases of rape or incest.

Both opponents to, and proponents of, abortion say that this will probably lead to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, by the Supreme Court.

Planned Parenthood, which operates the only abortion "clinic" in South Dakota, has vowed to sue if the measure is signed into law.

Iran and Russia strike "basic" agreement

As reported here, Iran and Russia have come to a "basic" agreement regarding jointly enriching nuclear fuel, but there is no immediate indication that Iran won't continue enriching nuclear material in Iran. Both sides say that there are still "obstacles" to a full agreement, but that talks will continue.

The main stumbling block, of course, is that Iran insists on enriching nuclear material that it has mined from it's own soil, in Iran, regardless of what the rest of the world wants. And why would Iran want to do this? The answer is plainly obvious, as I've posted before - they want nuclear weapons.

This desire on their part resembles the actions of a spoiled brat bully, but with far greater implications than that of a child who throws a temper tantrum if he doesn't get his way. Iran having nuclear weapons simply cannot be allowed to happen, as that would only further de-stabilize a region that is hardly stable as things stand now.

City of Issaquah sex offender law is upheld

As reported here, the ordinance passed recently by the City of Issaquah restricting where convicted sex offenders could live (only in certain designated areas and no closer than 1000 feet to a school or day care), was upheld in King County Superior Court, after the Washington chapter of the ACLU sued to overturn the ordinance. Since Issaquah's ordinance was enacted, the City of Monroe also passed a similar ordinance, with other cities also considering similar measures. I first blogged about this here, and here.

This is good news for parents, although the ACLU will probably try to have the ordinance overturned on different legal grounds. Remember, the ACLU is the organization that has been fighting to allow child pornography, and man-boy sexual relationships, saying that "no harm" comes to children in these situations. They are also the organization that has been fighting to eliminate all mention of "God" - as applied to Christianity, that is - from anything remotely to do with government.

For more on the outrages perpetrated by the ACLU, see our friends at
Stop the ACLU.

This comes as no surprise

As reported here, Iran has pledged to financially support the new Hamas-led government in Palestine. The Iranians have been covertly supporting Hamas in their jihad against Israel for years, although they deny it.

The Israeli's say they will do what they can to prevent Iranian funds from reaching the PA, and Hamas, which they are right in doing, in that Hamas refuses to give up their goal of eradicating Israel.

I think the US should also get involved in stopping Iranian funds from getting to the terrorist organization masquerading as a "legitimate" government.

I wonder if they sang Kumbaya?

As reported here, the local chapter of the liberal group MoveOn held a candlelight vigil in Westlake Square in downtown Seattle this past Wednesday and read excerpts from the Bill of Rights, as part of a "nation wide" protest against the NSA's "domestic spying" program, claiming that what President Bush has authorized is "illegal".

I wonder if these same people gathered to hold a candlelight vigil, read excerpts from the Bill of Rights, and sing a few songs back in the 1960's when Kennedy and Johnson had the FBI wire tap Martin Luther King, Jr., and in 1977 when Carter authorized warrantless wiretaps, or in the 1990's when Clinton authorized warrantless wiretaps? Probably not.

I also wonder if they held hands, and sang Kumbaya? Probably

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Would you like to become a Muslim?

There are several problems going around right now, the cartoons printed in the Danish press, the rumors of the Quran being flushed down toilets, the destruction of holy sites in Iraq. The basic response to all of these (and there are more out there) has been violence. How can that be? I have heard the statements by several Muslim groups about the Religion of Peace, about how it "really is" all about "peace". Is the "religion of peace" really all about "submission" since that is what Islam really means? I mean, are Sunnis supposed to submit to Wahhibists or Shiites or is there some other order? I realize that us infidels are supposed to submit to any Muslim since we are "wrong" about Mohammed and Allah, but which group of Muslims is the primary one? All of the different groups say that they are the "true" followers of Allah, it makes me confused.

In my opinion, one of the main reasons that there are major problems in the middle east has to do with one of the "incontrovertible facts" of the Muslim religion, that is to say, being a Muslim and becoming a Muslim just happens to be the "natural way of progress" to "God". To be completely honest, I wouldn't become a Muslim at all, since I can't even believe that Allah is God, regardless of whatever his "prophet" might have "said" for someone else to record. I once told a Jehovah's Witness that I would rather be excluded from their idea of Paradise for eternity than believe in their convoluted theology. I feel the same way towards Islam regardless of whichever branch.

I also think that the violence towards anyone outside of Islam and inside Islam towards the "other" factions is solid evidence of their fear that they may be "wrong." Since they are "right" (at least in their own minds) there can be no tolerance for anyone's religion or lack of religion. That could easily be the reason for many in Islam to be contemptuous of our efforts to tolerate Islam. The violence may also be turning many away from Islam unless they really want to commit suicide and be greeted by 70 virgins in Paradise (presuming the supply of virgins hasn't run out).

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Spoiled brat media

In this opinion piece, Thomas Sowell takes the national media to task over the shooting incident involving Vice President Dick Cheney.

It is long past time that the national media members grow up and act like responsible adults, rather than the spoiled brats that they are.

I wonder if the New York Times, who "inform[ed] us solemnly that, if Mr. Whittington dies, there will be a grand jury investigation.", is disappointed that Mr. Whittington not only survived being wounded and having a minor heart attack, but has now gone home.

As a cartoon making it's way around the internet says, I'd rather go hunting with Dick any day, than take a ride with Ted.

Defiant Iran calls off talks, begins uranium enrichment

As reported here, Iran has put off indefinitely, talks with Russia about moving large scale enrichment from Iran to Russia because of the "new situation" - Iran being referred to the UN Security Council.

Iran claims that their nuclear program is solely for "peaceful purposes", and that they are not seeking to produce nuclear weapons. That, to be blunt, is pure hogwash! Iran has enough oil and gas reserves to cleanly produce electricity for decades, while still exporting oil and gas! Why do they even need nuclear reactors to produce electricity? The answer to that is that they don't.

Iran is an Islamic theocracy, run by radical mullahs, with a lunatic as a puppet "president". Iran exports terror to the rest of the world, and has their eyes on dominating the region. What better way to be able to bully their neighbors, and counter the influence of the US in the region, than to possess nuclear weapons? Their military does not have the strength to be dominant in the region without nuclear weapons, so in order to be dominant, they want them. It's just that simple.

Iran can deny that they desire nuclear weapons all they want, but even
France (France!) knows that they want nuclear weapons!

UN report charges abuse at Guantanamo

As reported here, "experts" from the UN Human Rights Commission (that group that has included Syria and Libya, for crying out loud!) - who refused to go look in person - have issued a report alleging "torture" and "abuse" of detainees at the prison in Guantanamo Bay, basing their report on news accounts (and we all know how "unbiased" the MSM is, right?), and notes made by attorneys for the detainees (and we all know how honest and ethical lawyers are, too, right?).

Among the allegations of "torture" and "abuse" are such horrific things as force feeding detainees who were on a hunger strike, and prolonged solitary confinement. Oh, my. Let's all wring our hands and sit in a circle and sing Kumbaya over these "horrific" examples of "torture" and "abuse".

I have one question for the UN. Where were you during the 1960's and 1970's, when US POW's were really being tortured in the "Hanoi Hilton", at the hands of the North Vietnamese? When our guys were being beaten on a daily basis; arms tied at the elbows behind their backs, and then hoisted off the ground until their shoulders became dislocated; when electrodes, connected to either hand operated generators or car batteries, were attached to various portions of their anatomy, sending electrical current through their bodies; when they were only given a small portion of rice once (if that!) a day; when medical treatment of broken bones, open wounds and diseases was denied. Where were you?!

U.S. officials rejected the draft report, saying the experts who wrote it made many errors and treated statements from detainees' lawyers as fact.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the United States would not address many of the claims until the final report is released, but defended U.S. practices generally. He focused on the experts' refusal to go to Guantanamo.

"When people hear these press reports about these outcomes and when they actually view the final report, I would urge them to look at it in the context of the fact that nobody who wrote this report actually went to Guantanamo," McCormack said.

The UN "experts" also dismissed U.S. claims that the war on terror constitutes an armed conflict, and said they would not classify the detainees as "enemy combatants." If this isn't an armed conflict, then what is it? A "police matter"? That's how the previous administration viewed it, and the result of that head in the sand naiveté was the attacks carried out on 9/11!

I have news for the UN. This IS an armed conflict, the detainees ARE enemy combatants, and as such are NOT due the protections of the Geneva Convention, no matter what the UN says, or wishes, otherwise!

Karzai provides records tracing terrorists to Pakistan

As reported here, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has provided Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf with documents detailing how suicide bombers who attack targets in Afghanistan are being recruited, trained and equipped in Pakistan.

Karzai wants Musharraf to get tough on the terrorists who are in Pakistan and are making attacks on Afghan soil, and I think he's right in doing so. However, because of the general feeling of a large number of Pakistani's toward the West - hatred - and their support for the Taliban and OBL, Musharraf is walking a very difficult line.

Musharraf has to consider how he came to power - through a military coup - and the fact that if he takes a more hard line approach to dealing with certain elements in certain areas of Pakistan that border on Afghanistan, he may suffer the same fate as his predecessor. He also has to consider that if that does happen, and his successor decides that cooperation with the West is not "in the best interests of Pakistan", Pakistan would lose all of the economic and military aid it now receives from the US. And then there is India to consider, Pakistan's bitter rival, which is also an ally of the US. If Musharraf is deposed, and Pakistan turns away from the West, India may be encouraged to do "something about the Pakistan/Kashmir issue" - i.e; invade - something that India has made noises about for decades now.

I believe that Musharraf is a Pakistani patriot who wants good things for his country, a part of which is continued good relations with the West in general, and the US in particular (if for no other reason than to keep India in check), but would really like to see the terrorist problem simply "go away" with little effort on his part - which won't happen, of course - and realizes that he is a position of weakness as far as what his military and police forces can (or are willing to) do about the terrorists operating in the border regions.

Karzai, however, is operating from a position of strength. Not only are there coalition troops operating in Afghanistan providing security, with his own nation's army and police forces growing in size and capability, but he enjoys the support of the majority of the Afghan people.

Karzai is right in pressuring Musharraf to do more to stem the terrorist activity originating in Pakistan, and taking place in Afghanistan. The question now is, will Musharraf be willing and able to do anything about this situation?

Gregoire troubled by fervor for tax breaks

As reported here, Gregoire is beginning to panic over proposed tax breaks that the State House and Senate are mulling over, saying that she expects the economy to slow down as the housing market cools down, and has threatened to veto tax breaks she doesn't like. Ironically, enough, most of the tax break bills are from those in her own party.

Some of these tax breaks would benefit the semi-conductor, aerospace, farming and movie industries, all of which have been hard hit, and could use the boost. The biggest fear, of course, is that by decreasing taxes, that revenue generation would slow, but that goes against established fact. The more money you leave in tax payers pockets, the more they spend, generating more tax revenue, not less. The flip side of that coin is that the more money you take from tax payers pockets, the less they have to spend, which decreases tax revenue as people put off discretionary spending, to buy necessities instead.

Note to Chris: You need to pay more attention to what the national economy is doing since the Bush tax cuts went into effect. It is growing at an unprecedented rate. Don't you think the state economy would similarly grow? That's a no brainer!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Is it time to abolish FISA?

In this opinion piece, The Opinion Journal points out that Congress is trying to give the FISA court unconstitutional powers by "strengthening FISA", which would therefore restrict the President in what he can do in time of war to protect the US, and by doing so, is passing the buck.

Is it time to abolish FISA? The Opinion Journal thinks so, and I agree.

All mail in voting in King County set for 2007

As reported here, King County is gearing up to go to all mail in voting by 2007. The vast majority of voters in not only KC, but in the state, vote by mail now, so I guess it was inevitable. But, there are some problems with this.

First and foremost is the claim by Dean Logan that the machinery for tabulating the all mail in votes does not yet exist (then how do the other counties - all 38 of them - do it, Dean?) in KC. Another is that doing the voting this way will not really save any money (not to mention that 4000 people will lose their part time jobs), over the way it's done now. (That figures!)

But the biggest problem, in my opinion, is that it not only opens the door to more - not less - voter fraud, but this knocks the door right of its hinges!

Here's Stefan Sharkansky's take on this, from Sound Politics.

Washington State Farm Bureau files property rights initiative

As reported here, the Farm Bureau has filed the initiative that they have been working on, which would require governments to compensate landowners who suffer a financial loss through lowered property values, or are restricted in the use of their property through regulation.

"Our ... initiative would require government to understand the impact that its laws and regulations have on landowners, both financial and personal," said Steve Appel, a Whitman County wheat grower and state Farm Bureau president. "Who can argue with that?"

In Seattle and other urban areas, the initiative could force cities to pay for stricter environmental protections, such as rules preventing landowners from building a garage close to sensitive wetlands or developing landslide-prone slopes.

"We think it's wrong," said Seattle Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis. "The real impact would be on the environmental side -- if you're increasing buffers along the shoreline, which we're doing, that probably would be something that people would seek damages or compensation for."

And the problem with that is, Tim? As I've posted before, here, here, here, and here, I think that property owners are very conscious of the environment, and what would and would not be good use of their own property, and do not need the government telling them what to do with their own property.

This initiative, if it does get on the ballot, is all about addressing the fairness to property owners issue. Enacting laws, ordinances and regulations, without regard to the people who it will have the most impact on, and without proper recompense, is not only not fair, but just plain wrong.

Just what we need - NOT!

As reported here, the State legislature wants to combine regional transportation agencies in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, into one huge monolithic agency, with the House version having Sound Transit taking over. This is the agency that has squandered billions of dollars; changed plans in mid-stream; chose a light rail gauge that was incompatible with what was originally installed in the Metro tunnel in Seattle, requiring that the tunnel be closed for two years so they can rip up the installed tracks to install new tracks (this work is in progress now); that is building a light rail line that was originally supposed to go all the way to SeaTac Airport (and has been called the light rail line to nowhere), but will now end short of that, requiring people to take shuttle buses to get to the airport.

Currently, the largest state bureaucracy is the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), which is the most arrogant, inefficient, agency in the state. Creating another huge bureaucracy would do nothing to alleviate the transportation problems in the King, Pierce, and Snohomish County region as it is a proven fact that the larger a government bureaucracy is, the less efficient it is, contrary to the "pie-in-the-sky" wishes of the Dems.

But, since our legislature and governors mansion are dominated by Dems - who just love "big government" - I'm not really that surprised that they want to do this.

City wants people to drive less

As reported here, the City of Seattle wants you out of your car, and is going out of it's way to make driving more difficult by requiring developers to provide fewer parking spaces in neighborhoods that already don't have enough parking.

The cited reason for this is the projected growth of Seattle. Over the next 19 years, the city expects to see 22,000 new housing units and 50,000 new jobs. If our current driving practices remain in effect during this time span, the city estimates that they will need to build 20 city blocks of 10 story parking garages, which they don't want to do (I don't see why not - think of all the parking revenue that would generate! - /sarcasm).

This "doomsday scenario" fits right in with the Mayors "Urban Village Utopia", which I posted about
here. Well, Mr. Mayor, if you want us out of our cars, how about setting the example for all us selfish folks who insist on living in place and working in another which requires us to drive, by getting out of your car and hopping on the bus!

Iran "leader" threatens to pull out of nuke treaty

As reported here, the lunatic who called for Israel to wiped off the map, and denies the veracity of the Holocaust, is now hinting that Iran will withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, because of the IAEA referral to the UN Security Council.

There can only be one reason for withdrawing from the NPT, and it has nothing to do with the peaceful use of nuclear energy. This lunatic wants Iran to have the bomb - plain and simple. There is no other plausible reason. With Iran being a party to the NPT, this aspiration to have the bomb cannot be overt without scrutinization by other nations, but by withdrawing from the NPT, they will "be free" to do as they please, which means producing nuclear weapons - also known as WMD, or weapons of mass destruction.

I seem to recall that another nation that did have WMD (which were secretly smuggled out, and are now probably in Syria), in the same region of the world, that was ruled by a homicidal, genocidal, lunatic of a dictator is now in the process of installing a new, permanent, democratic form of government. Now what was that other country? Oh, yeah! Iraq! Which just happens to be conviently located right next door to Iran.

Someone hasn't been paying attention to recent world events, in my opinion. But then again, what lunatic does pay attention to anything but themselves, eh?

Another government taking

Debra J. Saunders alerts us to another government land grab, in this piece.

King County enacts its Critical Areas Ordinance, restricting up to 65% of land from use, constituting an effective land grab with no compensation to the owners; the Supreme Court sides with New London, CT in the infamous Kelo decision, allowing property to be seized by a government so they can hand it over to a private developer; and now Yolo County in California wants to seize Conaway Ranch, a 17,300 acre spread north of Davis, CA which is close to Interstate 5, and has a fine view of Sacramento.

And what is the purported purpose of this potential seizure? To prevent the owners, a group of developers calling itself the Conaway Preservation Group, from maybe, at some point in the indefinable future, from developing small portions of their own property.

And just how are they going to pay for this? Through new taxes? Nope, amazing as that sounds. No, they have a "hand shake" agreement with the Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians, who will put up the front money, and who, by the way, operate a casino in the area.

What do you think the Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians will do with the property, if this latest land grab is allowed to happen? Property that is in close proximity to I-5, and an airport?

Not that I'm opposed to Indians owning property, and or operating casinos, or anything like that (we have our own Indian tribes operating casinos here in Washington State), and nothing has been said about them opening a new casino or anything like that, but I think I know what they will do with it, if this latest land grab attempt is successful.

Much ado about the wrong thing - cartoons were not the message

Mark Steyn weighs in on the cartoon controversy, which has so many people up in arms, making other people duck for cover. One question that he poses, has had me baffled as well. Where do these people get Danish flags to burn (and how do they get them so quickly)?

Victor Davis Hanson also weighs in here, and Arnaud de Borchgrave asks the question, "Cartoon war, or global intifada?" here.

Carter allowed warrantless surveillance in 1977

As reported here, former President Carter allowed warrantless surveillance of two men who were later convicted of spying for Vietnam, way back in 1977.

This is the same man who, at Coretta Scott King's funeral, and at a later rally for his son, who announced he will be running for Senate (just what we need - another Carter in government), said that Bush's NSA warrantless surveillance was illegal. Oh, and in case you have forgotten, or may not even be aware of it, he's the same man who let Americans rot in Tehran for 444 days, and didn't know what to do to get them released (although, thankfully, President Reagan did!).

So, Jimmy, it was ok for you to do it 1977, in a case that really didn't have all that much bearing on National Security, seeing as we were no longer involved with Vietnam and they were no threat whatsoever to the US, but it's not ok for President Bush to do so now, although what he and the NSA are doing have far more National Security implications, such as preventing another terrorist attack on the US, huh?

Note to Jimmy: Stick to your Habitat for Humanity efforts, and leave politics, and National Security issues to grown ups. You have as much relevance to those things, as pork does at a Jewish feast.

State Auditor highlights DSHS Medicaid expenditures

As reported here, the Washington State Auditors office will be releasing their audit report of Medicaid medical expenditures made by the Department of Social and Health Services, calling into question some of the expenditures.

Some examples are: Sex change operations; penile implants and/or repair of implants; breast augmentations; and - now get this - two cases of women getting their ears pierced! Medicaid, which is for poor and elderly folks who need medical treatment that they cannot afford, is rife with abuse, wasting billions of taxpayer dollars, and yet State Medicaid Director Doug Porter defends all of the expenditures as being medically necessary, and therefore allowable, adding that given Medicaid's multibillion-dollar budget, hundreds, even thousands of dollars that might go unaccounted for are immaterial.

I like State Auditor Brian Sonntag's reply to that ludicrous position - "Immaterial to who?" Sonntag said. "To taxpayers and in my work, any amount is material." [Emphasis added]

Now, just to be clear, I am not a doctor, and I have not read the report (it won't be released until March, at the earliest), but I do know - through common sense - that getting one's ears pierced is not, I repeat NOT, a medical necessity!

Another example of our tax dollars at work.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

New addition to our links

I received a nice e-mail today from Jay, over at Stop The ACLU, saying that he had found our blog, and that we had some good stuff (Thanks for the compliment, Jay!), and he asked if I was interested in exchanging links.

Well, I don't just add a link (as you can tell by our limited number of links) without checking out someone's blog first, which is what I did. Jay has some pretty good stuff over there, too, and I encourage you to stop by and check his blog out. You'll be glad you did.

And, to those who may stop by because they saw the link to our blog at Stop The ACLU, welcome! I hope you find something interesting here.

Next year in Miami!

Alas, the Seahawks didn't win the Superbowl. Not for lack of trying and being able to move the ball fairly well against the vaunted Steeler D, but for the lack of officiating. How in the world does a helmut across the goal line constitute a touchdown? How does a catch for a touchdown get negated simply because the offensive player touched the defender? How does a player get called for holding when no hold was evident and that cost the Seahawks a first down on the two? How does a player who is trying to tackle another player get called for a personal foul block? Yes, J. Stephens did drop two balls, and not everything went the way it was supposed to, yet the clear evidence was that the refs favored the Steelers throughout most of the game. I am not one for conspiracy theories, yet this begs the question, why were the Seahawks penalized whenever there might have been a chance that they could score on the Steelers except when there was no more chance for the Seahawks to win? Is it possible that the Refs were instructed to stop the Seahawks? Is it possible that the Refs were paid to stop the Seahawks? I hate to think that there were any shenanigans of that nature perpetrated on the fans of the game.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

At last, after a long 30 year wait!

Later today I'll be at Dither's house to watch an event that we have both been waiting for, for 30 long years, as our Seattle Seahawks take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl.

We won't be the only ones watching in Seattle, of course, as hundreds of thousands of die-hard 'Hawks fans will be glued to their TV sets as well, although some folks have had their Super Bowl party plans disrupted to a certain degree by the huge wind storm that passed through our area yesterday, knocking power out to large areas of the region. Those folks without power, though, are a resilient bunch, in that they either got portable generators before the storm hit, or they'll jsu move their party to friends or relatives houses who do have power, or go down to the local watering holes that have power.

I know, too, that hundreds of thousands of Steelers fans will be glued to their TV sets as well, which is cool! The Steelers are a great team, and I've been a fan of them for many, many years, and if the NFC team was different, I'd be rooting for the Steelers too.

But not this time! Oh, no - definitely not this time!


N.H. town rejects plan to evict Souter

As reported here, the voters in the small town of Weare, NH rejected a ballot measure aimed at claiming eminent domain on Justice Souter's property to allow the construction of the "Lost Liberty Hotel".

While this is somewhat disappointing to me, as this would have driven home the point that property owners shouldn't be shoved aside by governments or the courts, the people there have "spoken", and that's what this country is all about - the people making the decisions.

It's a start, but it doesn't go far enough

As reported here, the Washington House has passed tougher sexual predator laws, mandating a minimum 25 years sentence; the bills now go to the State Senate.

"But not everybody was happy. As he promised, victims advocate Jim Hines, a Gig Harbor candy salesman, visited the Secretary of State's Office an hour later to file a citizens initiative for tougher sentencing guidelines. "I'm done down here. I'm going to take this to the people," said Hines, who has been working with the Legislature on tougher sentencing laws the past few years.
Hines wants to make someone convicted of rape of a child older
(sic - younger, not older) than 14 ineligible for the Special Sex Offender Sentencing Alternative. He also wants to tighten the definition of family to exclude close acquaintances, such as boyfriends or other non-relatives who have spent substantial time with the victim, from qualifying for an alternative sentence.

The sentencing alternative is generally reserved for family members and other perpetrators who know their victims, are first-time offenders or whose crimes are non-violent. The bill passed Wednesday would cut out SSOSA eligibility for coaches, teachers, pastors and other authority figures.

Hines and Republicans have argued since the beginning of the session that SSOSA is overused by prosecutors and judges, resulting in sentences for dangerous predators that are counted in months, rather than years."

While the 25 year mandatory sentence for strangers who perpetrate sexual assault is good, I think that stiffer penalties should be in place for close acquaintances, and especially for family members - the people you should be able to trust! - such as life, without the possibility of parole, even if it is a first time offense, as those are the very people who commit the vast majority of sexual assaults.

As for the "non-violent" aspect of sexual assault goes, someone doesn't know what they are talking about. Any form of sexual assault is violent, whether physical abuse (such as being beaten or tortured) occurs or not. The very nature of the term "sexual assault" carries the connotation of violence, whether the assault involved penetration or not. If you don't believe me, just ask any victim of sexual assault.

Voting rights of felons still at issue

As reported here, long after illegal votes by felons in this state possibly gave Gregoire her slim victory in the 2004 election, voting rights of felons is still an "issue".

Many felons, who had not had their rights to vote restored, voted in the 2004 election (in Washington State, a convicted felon must serve their time, and pay all fines and compensation handed down by the courts, and then petition the courts to have their voting rights restored, before they can register to vote), and now there is a bill in Olympia that would make it easier for felons to vote. There is also a lawsuit pending in King County, that is challenging the state laws restricting felons from voting, which is being supported by the ACLU. The claim is that, even though a felon has completed their sentence and any probation, but cannot pay their fines, are being denied their civil rights by not being able to vote.

That argument is specious in my opinion. Felons committed a crime, and for that, should have their rights curtailed until such time as they have dotted all of the "I's", and crossed all of the "T's" put forth by the courts. After all, they violated the civil rights of their victim, did they not? As the old saying goes, "If you can't do the time (or pay the fine), don't do the crime!".

It is this writers position that, if you are convicted of a felony, you should not be able to vote - period!

Governor and State Legislature trying to head off land use initiative

As reported here, there are some bills being floated to try to head off the land use initiative that the Farm Bureau has been putting together, that I blogged about here, so as to not allow an Oregon Measure 37 type of thing to happen here. Oregon's Measure 37, which was passed overwhelmingly, requires governments to compensate land owners for lowered property values due to regulatory restrictions, or allow the property owners to develop their property.

The fear in Olympia is, if the Farm Bureau's initiative gets on the ballot and passes, that the state's growth management act would effectively be done away with, leading to unrestricted growth. They also don't want to have to compensate land owners for lower property values through land use restrictions. Of course, the various conservation groups active in the state are also against the proposed Farm Bureau initiative - in whatever form it eventually takes - making the claim that "sensitive areas" would be destroyed by "out of control development".

The state Growth Management Act, while based on "good intentions", has usurped the rights of land owners in having a say in what they can do with their own property. The recently passed King County Critical Areas Ordinance went even farther, by restricting what land owners can do with their property, by putting up to 65% of their property "off limits" to development of any kind - even making your lawn bigger - without any form of compensation to the affected land owner, whatsoever! That's like telling someone who owns a car that they can only use it on Tuesday's, Thursday's, and part of Saturday, but the rest of the week, they can't even get in it let alone drive it, while still having to pay for full coverage insurance, as well as the loan on the car itself!

It comes down to a matter of trust, with the state and local governments saying that they don't trust the property owners to do what is right with their property, and that only the government knows what's right. Well, I have a lot more trust in the individual property owners sense of what they should, or shouldn't, do with their own property, than I do in the governments ability to know what is right.

As for the conservation groups over the top fears go, I also have a lot more trust in the sense of property owners knowing what would be proper use of their property. I don't own property myself at the moment (but I do plan on it at some point), but I do know several people that do own property, and I can vouch for their sensibility when it comes to knowing what is good - and bad - use of their property. Not one of them wants to turn their property into an eyesore, or into something that is detrimental to their neighbors or the environment, yet the conservation groups all want the ability of the property owners to determine what they can, and cannot, do with their own land to be controlled not by the property owners themselves, but by the "nanny state" government, so that the big, bad, property owners won't be tempted into "out of control development".

IAEA Reports Iran to U.N. Security Council

As reported here, the UN "atomic watchdog" agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency recently held an emergency meeting of it's 35 members, regarding the "Iran issue" - Iran's desire to fully enrich uranium, which can be used to produce nuclear weapons - agreeing on a resolution referring Iran to the UN Security Council for possible economic and/or political sanctions. Iran immediately "retaliated" by stating that enrichment would be started at their main facility in Natanz, where they had previously removed some IAEA seals.

This is a good first step. However, China and Russia pegged their support for referral on the precondition that the Security Council not actions on the "Iran issue" until at least March of this year. Which means that, "Meanwhile, back at the ranch", so to speak, Iran will be free to do whatever it wants as far as producing as much highly enriched uranium as it can during that time, with no oversight whatsoever by the IAEA.

Another development in this, is that a part of the resolution calls for the creation of a "nuclear-free zone" in the Middle East. How this is going to affect Israel is anyone's guess at the moment, but I don't think it will be positive. It is this authors opinion that Israel is nuclear capable as far as their military is concerned, which I do not have a problem with. However, if the "nuclear-free zone" portion of the resolution forces Israel to demobilize their nuclear arsenal (which the neither confirm nor deny having), without verifiable reciprocity on the part of Iran (which is highly unlikely as of this writing), there is grave potential for the region to become even more destabilized than it already is. Letting Iran become nuclear capable, now that I do have a problem with!

Renew the Patriot Act

Debra Burlingame, writing in the OpinionJournal, says that Al Qaeda, not the FBI, is the greater threat to America.

She's right. Al Qaeda is the greatest threat facing the US, and our way of life. We need the protection of the Patriot Act!

Oh, and by the way. Ever hear the phrase "moral authority"? I'm sure you have. Ms. Burlingame has moral authority - in spades - for what she writes. She just happens to be the sister of Charles F. "Chic" Burlingame III, the pilot of American Airlines flight 77, which was crashed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.

Hat tip:
mightyrighty, via pizzapants.