Head West, Turn Right

The Joint Blog of the Conservative Northwest Blogging Alliance: Red State Points of View from a Blue State Point on the Compass.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Political Protection

We over at nwrepublican.blogspot.com have been asked by the good folks of HWTR to update readers on the shenanigans in Oregon campaign finance. I know, I know, everyone has heard about how the democrtICK politicians in Washington have stolen the election. Yet there is another controversy brewing.

That is of the Oregon democratICK party hiding campaign finance irregularities and being covered by a democratICK Sec. of State (Bill Bradbury). For an update see below:

Bradbury Mafioso
Secretary of State Bill Bradbury was the recipient of thirteen letters from the state GOP detailing alleged election laws violations, including two candidates, Senator Joanne Verger and Senator Laurie Monnes-Anderson, who spent tens of thousands of dollars of in-kind donations not reported until after the election. Other campaign in - kind donations received by a number of legislators, including Ryan Deckert, also violated election laws, according to the Oregon GOP.

Laundered campaign money was received by Judy Steigler ($12,300) and others. Representative Chuck Riley neglected to report $2,000 of media buy expenditures. These are just a few examples of the violations outlined in the letters.

But Democrats are not worried. They have their fox guarding the chicken coop, in the person of Secretary of State Bradbury. This pillar of party bias and one eyed dealer of redistricting has apparently virtually ignored the issues brought before him. His mafia-like "protection" for all things Democrat has earned him a position of confidence in the Party, and democrat officials and the Democrat Party (which appears again and again in these violations) know they can count on him to polish the edges off this scandal.They are chuckling in the quotes attributed to them in articles on the issue. Business as usual, they said. I expect they are correct. Far be it from the Democrats to be overly concerned about the niceties of election disclosure law, unless the subject under discussion happens to be a Republican. After all, Bill is there. It's not personal, Sonny. It's strictly business.

Check the link to NWRepublican for other news and commentary. As for the political protection racket, we will attempt to keep HWTR up do date on traffic. Until then, contact your legislator and or newspaper and ask for a full investigation.


Tuesday, February 22, 2005

French cowboys vs. American cuisine

Thanks to Drudge for pointing spotting this gem from Associated Press.

Highlighted in the article is the almost absurd level of praise between two formerly bitter rivals. The kind of compliments Chirac and Bush trade remind one of complete denial.

BRUSSELS, Belgium -- Only months after he criticized countries "like France," President Bush was lavish in his praise of French President Jacques Chirac, one of the sharpest critics of the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

"I'm looking for a good cowboy," Bush said Monday when a French reporter asked him whether relations had improved to the point where the U.S. president would be inviting Chirac to the U.S. president's ranch in Texas.

Chirac had equally kind words to say about Bush, saying he and the American president "always had very warm relations."

Iraq? Merely a blip in ties between the two countries that have been "excellent for over 200 years now," Chirac said.

"Now, of course, that doesn't mean that because we share common values, we don't necessarily agree on everything all the time," Chirac added, "That doesn't necessarily mean we agree on everything at every time."
Sure...to say the least and thanks for putting it so nicely. Unfortunately, I think Mr. Chirac is entirely too optimistic about shared values. Later in the piece...
Then, when they addressed reporters, Chirac did not mention the dispute over Iraq but spoke instead of how much he had enjoyed food at the summit. "Over the last few days, this cuisine here in America was certainly on a par with French cuisine," he said.

"He particularly liked the cheeseburger he had yesterday," Bush quipped at the time.
Ok, that was a clever poke by Bush! To be honest, I am appalled that we in America could have served food to please a Frenchman!

In conclusion, "fence-mending" is all well and good. After all, it's not worth being enemies for the sake of being enemies. That said, it is of the UTMOST importance that there is no compromise on issues like treatment of rogue nations (Iran and Syria). So far I haven't seen anything to trigger red flags in this regard.

Crossposted at Western Washington Unraveled

Monday, February 21, 2005

Threat: Terri Schiavo in the balance

The latest word in the ongoing battle to stop the killing of Terri Schiavo is that Judge Greer has left the door open for Michael Schiavo to remove Terri's access to a feeding tube, beginning anew the slow starvation of his disabled wife at 1 p.m. tomorrow (the 22nd).

Here's the link for the latest details on blogsforterri.com. The situation is critical. The following are some avenues for action courtesy of Pro-life Blogs:

Today, the courts rejected the pleas of Terri’s parents to stop her husband, Michael, from withholding food and water from her. He has promised to begin starving her tomorrow at 1 pm.

Most of you are aware that Terri is not a "vegetable" or "brain-dead" as Michael and his lawyers claim, but responds to others and is aware of her surroundings. She laughs, smiles and, according to her nurses, has a small vocabulary.

Terri is not on life support and is healthy. She needs help eating and is fed through a tube (helping someone eat and drink who is impaired has never been considered artificial life support).

While Michael asserts he is carrying out Terri's wishes, he waited until after he received a large sum of money from a lawsuit against her doctors before making this claim . During the lawsuit, he alleged negligence and motivated a financial award with the potential cost of Terri’s rehabilitation.

However, Terri has been denied rehabilitation that experts testify could allow her to eat and talk. The courts in Florida have consistently blocked appeals to give Terri proper tests and therapy that would improve her life.

Terri may not have the capabilities she once had, but she is no less valuable and no less a person.

Here is what you can do to help Terri:

Pray for Terri and her family.
Blog - communicate the truth about what is going on and rally support for Terri and the Schindlers.
Visit BlogsforTerri (http://www.blogsforterri.com) for information.
Deluge Gov. Jeb Bush with emails and phone calls. He has the power to intervene. Here is his contact information:

Governor Jeb Bush
850 / 488-4441
850 / 487-0801 (fax)

Support HB701(click here).

More Information at TerrisFight.org
That's the latest. Please spread the word and do your part to protect the innocent in this country.

It's important to note, also, that Mr. Schiavo has denied giving up guardianship, has denied her the rehabilitation that has been recommended by many experts, has denied any option besides his own word-of-mouth claim that she wanted to die. Terri's parents are, of course, fighting for guardianship. Read up on the situation as much as you can.

Crossposted at Meneltarma

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Miles to Go Before I Pay

Thanks for the Heads Up to Vodkapundit via The Wheat Rye Guy.

Crossposted at Memento Moron.

Yesterday I added my Widow's Mite of opinion to a discussion over at Vodkapundit's Blog regarding a proposal by the state of California to tax people based on the number of miles driven, a proposal inspired (ironically enough) by decreases in gasoline tax revenues caused in turn by an increase in the fuel efficiency of newer vehicles. I not only expressed my misgivings regarding such a concept, and furthermore, my dismay that my own home state of Oregon is experimenting with such a tax. However, after reading an article in the Seattle Times (which one of VP's readers provided) regarding Oregon's experiment with the concept, I am forced to admit that for once Oregon's normally wacky state government may be on the right track. If I may be permitted to explain?

I preface my explanation by saying that in concept, road tolls or a mileage tax like this make more sense to me, and seem far fairer, than a gas tax. This is because tolls and mileage taxes charge the users of roads specifically, and charge them based on how much they use the roads. Those who benefit directly are charged directly, and in direct proportion to the amount of benefit they receive. My objections to, or rather my concerns over, such a mileage tax, have more to do with practical considerations regarding its implementation and unintended consequences that need to be addressed. The Devil is, after all, in the details. The article addressed some of those concerns, and my own reflection on the issue caused a further shift.

My first concern is that if such a tax is implemented, it would be a tax in addition to gas taxes, rather than a replacement. I'm all for re-applying a necessary tax with a more equitable form of taxation, but I'm hesitant to increase taxes unless absolutely necessary. However, the article clearly points out that in the case of Oregon's experiment with the tax, it would be a replacement for the gas tax, not an additional tax.

My second concern has to do with the unintended result such a tax might have of discouraging the use of more fuel efficient vehicles. But upon further reflection, I realized two things. First of all, if the mileage tax is a replacement tax and not in addition to a gas tax, this is not so much of an issue. Secondly, I came to the realization that opposing such a tax based on this objection would be intellectually inconsistent on my part, and here is the reason why:

I don't beleive a tax should intentionally be engineered to specifically encourage or discourage a given behavior. If by engaging in a given behavior individuals create a material burden on the general public, I have no problem with taxing that behavior in order to mitigate that burden. And if such legitimate taxation happens to have the side effect of causing the individual to reconsider the behavior, that's a bonus. But taxing the behavior JUST to discourage it, that smacks of stateism to me. If I am to be consistent, then I cannot oppose a tax simply because implementing it fails to reward GOOD behavior.

My final concern was regarding the practicality of implementing such a tax, particularly for drivers of older cars. The article addresses that as well, stating that if implemented, it would only apply to new vehicles, while older vehicles would still pay a Gas tax.

In conclusion, I still have some concerns regarding the implementation of such a concept. And while the article allayed some of those concerns, it raised others. If all of those concerns can be and are addressed, I believe that such a tax, if implemented AS A REPLACEMENT FOR a gasoline tax, is not so bad an idea (Sadly for our Washington Bloggers, the same is not true. According to the article, your state intends to implement such a tax IN ADDITION TO your gasoline tax -- beware).

Monday, February 14, 2005

Revote commentary by yours truly

Here's the link to my commentary in The Western Front. The link actually takes you to Western Unraveled (my Western blog) because of reasons that will be explained in the post. Have a look-see and tell me what you think.


Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Affirmative action: the specter of artificial diversity

Democrats are getting ready to make changes to what is allowed in school admission policies so that schools can have their race-based criteria back again--after voters rejected it via Initiative 200. I don't think they are going to benefit by it, though. From the Seattle Times:

Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, who introduced the Senate bill, said it would put Washington state in compliance with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, which in 2003 said the University of Michigan law school could consider race in admissions as long as it served "a compelling state interest in student-body diversity."

When does it ever not serve a compelling interest in student-body diversity. It always will by most university standards.

If it does pass and we are again racially profiled on campus, I think some active protesting would be in order. I really don't understand the need for it when the good people of Washington already rejected it. I've had people try just about everything they can to convince me that affirmative action is needed. I'm still not convinced.

As for this compliance with rulings bit, if they thought the high court would want us to be doing something, why don't they file a lawsuit instead?

There's no justification for giving someone preference based on their racial background--you'd think that was abundantly clear to the Democrats since they try to pretend they are champions of civil rights.

There's more than consistency at stake, though. It is a serious issue to say, as many do in academia, that the diverse atmosphere on campus is just as important as the academic quality of the student body. I don't think I've ever been excluded based on my non-minority status...it doesn't matter though because I'm supposed to thank the school administrators for providing me with all this diversity! It's such a good experience you know. I won't deny that exposure to diverse types and characters during my education could have some small positive effects on me (let me think about that one for a bit), but if the next Einstein is going to be discriminated against before he can get into higher ed, then I'd have to say no, the price is too high to create an artificial diversity which isn't even representative of the real world.

Crossposted at Western Washtington Unraveled

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


You have to go see this. The post, and its comments, are beyond caricature. See it HERE.

The Doc

Friday, February 04, 2005

A less indoctrinated German

I used to wonder why there is so much venom in Europe towards America. The truth of the matter is, I've heard different reasons from different Europeans. Some say that they see Americans as "arrogant and greedy" (see second comment). Other's who are actually here--experienced America first hand, and have American friends--tend to take the pity stance and say we are a basically good people who are ruled by oil-loving, evil war mongers. I say that because I have met some foreign students and heard what others have had to say. My conclusion is that they are simply brainwashed by the European media influence. Is it possible to convince them that many American leaders are not too much different than the Americans they have met and claim are alright?

There are those who do see straight still. There are those in Europe--few though they are--who see through the smokescreen imposed by media elites. Mathias Döpfner is one such person. He's the Chief Executive of German publisher Axel Springer AG and has gained attention for his stirring attacks on European appeasement policies in the last century. This piece has been going around for a while I think. I got it by email but it's all over the place (Which is good. Here's the original German if you read German:)

There's also a good German blogger you might want to check out as well. He posted a previous article by Mr. Döpfner here.

It's really refreshing to read something like this.

Crossposted on the Meneltarma

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


A good friend of mine posted a rather insightful anecdote regarding the political ignorance of some students. She describes a conversation about the revote effort she overheard while on the bus.

The climax is a stunner:

And then came the grand finale. “Yeah, I really only voted for Gregoire because my mom doesn’t like her and that’s enough for me.”

Is there intelligent life on earth still? Or are we all mindlessly choosing to vote for whomever our enemies are voting against? It’s easy to claim superiority. It’s a lot more difficult to prove it.
Here, here!

On the other hand, I have often heard other students from the College Republicans express that their parents vote Democrat...but they usually care enough to explain to their parents their reasons for defecting to conservatism. A shift from left to right is usually a thoughtful shift, unlike the above example illustrates of a mindless shift from right to left.

Crossposted at Western Washington Unraveled