Friday, December 29, 2006

Washington State Earns a D+ from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

Originally via Instapundit, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun violence puts out a yearly scorecard for all states giving a letter grade based on a number of criteria, and Washington State earned a D+ for 2005. The breakdown of the grades are as such:

Juvenile Possession Law B+
Juvenile Sale/Transfer Law A
Child Access Prevention Law F
Gun Safety Locks and Safer Design Standards F
Allow Cities To Regulate Guns (Non-Preempt) D-
Secondary "Private" Sales Background Checks F
Carrying Concealed Weapons Law F

The good news is that in the upside down world that is gun control, a low grade from the Brady Campaign actually means if anything, we are less prone to violent crime as Howard Nemerov writes at Chron Watch:.

Since 2001, RTC states, where more people carry guns in public, consistently average a “D”. Brady continues to be unhappy with the country’s direction regarding gun control: between 2001 and 2005, RTC states increased from 32 to 38 and Brady downgrade the U.S. average from “C-” to a “D+.” Their response is curious, since the national violent crime rate fell 7.0% during this time frame.
Even worse for Brady, violent crime trends are not spread equally across all states. RTC states (average Brady grade “D”) saw an aggregate 7.8% drop in violent crime, while non-RTC states (average Brady grade “B”) saw a 5.2% decrease. Even when Brady grades synchronize with violent crime trends, it fails to give an accurate picture: Brady dropped the national average grade from “C-” to “D+” in 2005, the same year that the violent crime rate increased 1.3%. This would seem to make sense, as a lower grade is supposed to reflect less safety for citizens. Unfortunately for Brady, most of that increase occurred in non-RTC states, which saw an aggregate increase of 2.8%, while RTC states increased 0.6%. Using Brady’s criteria of grading each state as an equivalent entity, non-RTC states averaged a 5.6% increase in violent crime, while RTC states averaged a 0.6% increase. Since 2001, the violent crime differential between RTC and non-RTC states increased from 26.0% to 27.5%, meaning that RTC states are becoming relatively more law-abiding compared to non-RTC states.3

Arms and the Law analyze the data in more detail and come to the conclusion that:

In short, your chances of being killed, raped, or assaulted are, on average, no better, and no worse, in states that got the coveted Brady A or A-, than they are in states that got a D or an F. If the laws the Brady Campaign favors were very successful in combating violence, you could not possibly get this result.

The problem the Brady Campaign has is the crime statistics are available to anyone willing to spend the time to take a look.

So sure enough, I imported the stats into a database and ran some queries and here is what I found out. If you rank the states, and the District of Columbia by violent crimes per 100,000 residents, the 5 most violent are :
District of Columbia B
South Carolina D+
Tennessee D+
Florida F+
Maryland A-

The 5 states with the least violent crimes per 100,000 residents are:
North Dakota D
Maine D-
Vermont D-
New Hampshire D-
South Dakota D

So except for Florida, all of the least violent crime states have a worse grade than the 5 most violent crime states. In fact you have to go 8 spots into the least violent list before finding a grade “better” then a D.

Look at the same results for Murder:
The worst ranking states by murders per 100,000 residents:
District of Columbia B
Maryland A-
Louisiana F
Nevada D
Alabama F

The best ranking states by murders per 100,000 residents:
North Dakota D
Vermont D
Iowa C+
Maine D-
New Hampshire D-

Off on a brief tangent, the fact that the District of Columbia lead both lists was not that much of a surprise although what was amazing was how far ahead they were. For violent crime, D.C. had 1459 crimes per 100,000 residents almost double 2nd place South Carolina which had 761, 3rd place Tennessee had 753, Florida 708, Maryland 703. For murder, D.C. had 35 per 100,000, 3.5 times 2nd place, Maryland and Louisiana each had 10, Nevada and Alabama had 8. So I decided to look at the District of Columbia and see what gave them the score of B.

Juvenile Possession Law A
Child Access Prevention Law A
Allow Cities To Regulate Guns (Non-Preempt) A
Ability of Congress to Repeal DC's gun laws F Congress has authority to repeal DC's gun laws. (DC residents and City Council do not favor repeal)
Secondary "Private" Sales Background Checks A
Carrying Concealed Weapons Law B+

Clearly the District of Columbia deserves a grade of A except for the fact that Congress has the ability to repeal DC’s gun laws. This strikes me as being dishonest. What does it matter that Congress has the ability to repeal DCs gun laws? It sure appears to me that Brady simply did not want to give the most violent murder capital of America the grade it deserved, an A. That leads to another issue, no states got an A, 7 got an A-, 1 B+, 1 B, 2 B- meanwhile there were 7 Fs, 3 F+, 7 D-, 9 D, 6 D+. 11 grades above C+, 32 below C-. Clearly Brady does not grade on a curve and that is fine, you just need to know that when you look and see how many Fs and Ds there are when looking at the most violent states compared to As or Bs.

So here is my issue with the Brady Campaign, I do not believe they truly want to reduce gun violence. If they did, one of the things they would be pushing for would be gun safety classes in schools. Now there is a way to reduce gun violence, teach and train gun safety. Additionally, what they are proposing does not and will not work. The crime statistics have shown that. I know it sounds counter intuitive that reducing the number of guns will not reduce crime but you have to remember what guns are being eliminated. Criminals are not going to give up their guns when gun laws are passed, just law abiding citizens. So the reality of what happens is criminals are the only ones with guns and they now know that the overwhelming majority of potential victims will be unarmed. Here is a simple way to understand the concept. Assume you live on a street where every house on one side of the street has a sign in the window that says “Insured by Smith and Wesson” or “Member N.R.A.”. Each house on the other side of the street has a sign that says “Gun Free Zone”. Which side of the street is going to have a higher crime rate? Which side would you rather live on? Are you willing to put a Gun Free Zone sign in your window?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Keith Ellison, Muslim Member of Congress

As many already know, the residents of the 5th district of Minnesota elected Keith Ellison, a Muslim to congress. He is the first Muslim ever elected to congress. There is a bit of a controversy over the fact that Rep. Ellison has stated an intent to be sworn in on the Quran instead of a Bible and I am assuming he is going to say so help me Allah as well. I really, really, really do not care. He could request that he be sworn in on a severed goats head and say so help me dark lord and I would not care. If anything the fact that he can be sworn in on the book of his choosing shows how great this country is because we have this thing call the first amendment which states
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...

and since the residents of the 5th district of Minnesota do not appear to have an issue with Rep. Ellison's religion or the fact that:
While a law student in 1989 and 1990, Ellison wrote several columns as Keith E. Hakim in the student newspaper, the Minnesota Daily. "The first article defended Louis Farrakhan against accusations of antisemitism "[49], defended Nation of Islam spokesman Khalid Abdul Muhammad, and spoke in the voice of a Nation of Islam advocate."[50]. The second column "called affirmative action a 'sneaky' form of compensation for slavery, suggesting instead that white Americans pay reparations to blacks,"[49]. The third suggested the creation of a separate state for black residents

I would personally be more concerned about his inability to follow laws:
Campaign finance has also been an issue for Ellison. In early 2006, the Minnesota State Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board reprimanded Ellison for unreported contributions, discrepancies in cash balances, and misclassified disbursements. These transgressions occurred in the years 2002-2004. In 2005 when the board tried to get more information about the problems in Ellison's reports, they got no response from Ellison or his treasurer (his wife Kim). When the board heard nothing, they opened the investigation. Ellison was subpoenaed and fined. The board has also fined Ellison numerous times for late filings, been sued twice by the attorney general, and has been warned many times for absent or incomplete disclosure.

Early in Ellison's campaign, his driver's license was suspended for failure to pay multiple tickets and fines. When asked how many times his license has been suspended, he said, "I don't know how many prior suspensions I've had; I don't keep count." Reports indicate that he had accumulated over forty parking and traffic tickets, and that his license was suspended twice. Ellison also failed to pay all or part of his income taxes five separate years between 1992 and 2000, forcing the state and Internal Revenue Service to put liens on his home. He later paid in excess of $18,000

What I find interesting about the situation is when Rep. Ellison recently spoke with a Muslim group and said:
"You can't back down, you can't chicken out, you can't be afraid, you got to have faith in Allah, and you got to stand up and be a real Muslim," Detroit native Keith Ellison said to loud applause. "Allahu akbar" - God is great - was the reply of many in the crowd.
Once again, I have no problem with him doing that but the response from the separation of church and state crowd... lets just say the silence was deafening.
Muslims begin annual hajj

From the Seattle Times, it is the beginning of the annual hajj pilgrimage for Muslims with 3 million expected this year.
More than 30,000 police and other security forces have fanned out to help smooth traffic around ritual sites that have been plagued with deadly stampedes. More than 360 people were killed during last year's hajj in a stampede at Mina during a ritual symbolizing the stoning of the devil, sparked when some pilgrims in the crowd stumbled over luggage.

360 dead, three and a half times more dead during a religious pilgrimage than the number of U.S. soldiers in a war zone in the deadliest of months of fighting in Iraq.

Problems are so common that Wikipedia has an entire page of "Incidents during the Hajj":
On July 2, 1990, a stampede inside a pedestrian tunnel (Al-Ma'aisim tunnel) leading out from Mecca towards Mina and the Plains of Arafat led to the deaths of 1,426 pilgrims.

On May 23, 1994, a stampede killed at least 270 pilgrims at the stoning of the Devil ritual.

On April 9, 1998, at least 118 pilgrims were trampled to death and 180 injured in an incident on Jamarat Bridge.

On March 5, 2001, 35 pilgrims were trampled to death in a stampede during the stoning of the Devil ritual.

On February 11, 2003, the stoning of the Devil ritual claimed 14 pilgrims' lives.

On February 1, 2004, 251 pilgrims were killed and another 244 injured in a stampede during the stoning ritual in Mina.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Seattle In The Winter

For all of my complaints about Seattle, and believe me, I have lots, seeing this, a Pileated Woodpecker, about half a block from my house in a city park, makes me forget some of the bad things... at least for a while.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Hamas "Opens Fire" On Crowd of 100,000

Hamas gunmen opened fire at a large political rally by the rival Fatah movement earlier Sunday, wounding three people, Palestinian security officials said. An estimated 100,000 Fatah supporters were participating in the rally.

Someone needs to check those weapons for "storm trooper" mode.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

"Holiday" Trees Removed From SeaTac

From 710 Kiro:
All Holiday trees at Sea-Tac Airport were removed this morning after several community member complaints. They say the trees don't represent all cultures and religions...The trees will not go up again...the airport policy on decorations will be reviewed after the holidays.

Let me see if I can explain this... the trees are not suppose to represent all cultures and religions because... THEY ARE CHRISTMAS TREES!

Good Lord.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Let the Sunni Slaughter Begin

I am with Ace on this one... if the Sunnis would rather we let the Shi'tes slaughter them, well OK.

A few highlights:
The Sunnis cannot win this war. They are greatly outnumbered. The best they can hope for is... well, to be slaughtered en masse and ethnically clensed from all Kurdish or Shi'ite strongholds. And make no mistake: That is the inevitable consequence of an American withdrawal. The odd truth of this war is that Sunnis are fighting their greatest protector, the American military, which will not permit slaughter on a mass scale, even against the Sunnis, who pretty much deserve it by this point.
The Sunnis will never control Iraq again; the best they can hope for is the success of the American plan to create a stable, peaceful, power-sharing and federalist Iraq in which they have, yes, a disproportionate amount of power, but not the total control they once had.

That's their best option. The other option -- the one they may finally have brought to fruition -- is to have no power at all, and to be driven out of the cities into the barren (and oil-free) wastelands of the western deserts, to live out their lives in misery and privation, and to occasionally have these sad lives cut short by Shi'ite gangs raiding villages and killing them by the dozens.

It's time to use that fact to our advantage. It's time to get "realistic." And the realistic way to settle this is to announce -- couched in diplomatic language that makes it seem less vicious than it actually is -- that unless the Sunnis disarm immediately, and before the Shi'ite militas do, the US can no longer justify the cost in lives to protect the Sunnis from Shi'ite militas. Compliant Sunni areas that give up or drive out their Al Qaeda or Ba'athists terrorists will have US/coaltion garrisons to defend them, and vigorous patrolling to protect them from murder.
But if they do not accept the terms of their defeat -- then we ought to stop attempting to disarm the Shi'ite militias, and let them do as the please.

Except for those Shi'ite militiamen who attack US forces, of course. Those should be wiped out mercilessly.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Parental Involvement

Nicole Brouder of the Seattle Times has a followup column, I found from Sound Politics, that talks about the response she got from those defending the Seattle School District from a previous column that was critical of the district.

The following quote is all you need to know about how to improve schools:

Kathleen Bose told me how she wanted to put her daughter in a Catholic school in Magnolia, but it was full.

"I wasn't happy about it," Bose wrote, "but I enrolled her at Catharine Blaine and got involved in the school."

Bose, a graduate of West Seattle High, was in one of the first waves of parents "who came into the school and began to turn it around. It wasn't easy, but we rolled up our sleeves and just did it."

The school is lucky to have her.

Here is the story about how I came to discover parental involvement as the key to a good education. I was driving home to Seattle from my wife's hometown of Eugene Oregon, the cradle of wacky liberalism, and I simply asked my wife, who always votes the way her union tells her to vote, if she could have a classroom full of kids with one characteristic, any one, what would it be. Without blinking she answered Mormon. I found this odd as she is not religious at all, baptized Catholic but does not practice. I asked why Mormon and she said she has never had a problem with a Mormon kid and the reason was both parents are always involved. The parents make sure the kids does his/her homework, makes sure the kid gets to school each and every day, they come to the parent teacher conferences, etc., etc. I then asked what one characteristic would she not want in a student and the answer was Jehovah's Witness. She claims she has never had one that was not totally screwed up. So I guess religion is not the underlying factor. She then went on to explain that any teacher that is being honest will tell you, the most important factor in educating a student is parental involvement. Without parental involvement, the student is going to struggle.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Seattle Will Never Be Able To "Fix" Its Public School System

First let me be clear, I do not think the entire Seattle School District is broken. I sincerely believe that some of the schools are very good, including my child's elementary school. My child gets a very good education and is light years ahead of where I was in first grade and is substantially ahead of many of the neighbor kids who go to private schools. The problem with the Seattle School District is some of the schools are not educating the students and for most of those schools, that is a problem that the school district will never be able to fix because the problem is not within the schools walls.

I agree with my friend over at Leaning Straight Up that fixing schools is a better solution than the race based assignment plan that was before the U.S. Supreme Court the other day, audio of which can be found here, thanks to Sound Politics for the link. Where we differ is my contention that I do not care how much you spend on the facilities or staff, the one thing missing from the poor performing schools, the most important factor by far in a child getting a good education is something the district has no control over, parental involvement.

Let's assume we could start from scratch with almost unlimited funds to build a school district where each and every kid would have access to the exact same facilities, staff and programs. If you were to take a tour of each school, look at the facilities, talk with the teachers, see what programs they offer, you could not tell one school from another. Now let’s add the students. For the first school, let’s only allow in kids that come from a two parent household. Now for the second school, only allow in those students from single parent households. Will one of these schools produce better results? Of course they will and luckily for us, the Seattle School District has compiled the data starting on page 145.

I have analyzed the data for six of the eight K-8 schools. I removed Alt. School #1 and New School @ So. Shore because of incomplete data. I choose the K-8 schools because it is a manageable number of schools to do a quick comparison, I have no connection to any of them, in fact I do not know where any of them physically exist. I compared WASL test scores with three factors, percentage of white students (ethnicity), percentage of kids on free or reduced lunch (wealth) and students from a two parent household. For three of the six schools, two parent households was clearly the best predictor in how the students scored. In two of the schools, two parent households was an extremely close second behind ethnicity, in the sixth school, two parent household was a clear second. Ethnicity placed first twice, second once and third three times. Free and reduced lunch was first once, second twice and third three times.

There is no question that based on the 2005 test data for the six K-8 schools with complete data that the higher the percentage of two parent households, the more likely the school will have higher test scores.

Now a little of my own personal observation from my own personal experience. My son’s school, a Seattle Public School, consistently has some of the highest test scores in the district. My son’s school also has 100% PTA participation. Every single family signs up for PTA. Just for comparison, my wife works in a Seattle area school district, her school has a high percentage of free and reduced lunch, high minority population, and she says the average PTA meeting has less than 10 parents present. At our school, it is standing room only. The last meeting I attended, I was not able to stand in the cafeteria, I had to stand in the hall. In addition, each and every family, 100% of the families, also contribute money to the PTA to finance additional programs. Now I know that is not something that all families at all schools will be able to do but here is something they can do and you may want to be sitting down before you read this. My son’s PTA puts on a “math night”. Let me repeat that… the PTA puts on a “math night”….and people actually go. If prior to going last year, Vegas had posted an over under number on how many students would show to math night and that number was set at 10, I would have gone with the under. When I heard the school was going to have a math night, I made all sorts of cracks about the wisdom of having that over say an Xbox night and I can make those types of remarks because one of my college degrees is in math. So here is how it works, the student and an adult “math buddy”, that would be me, go to the age appropriate class and complete 9 math related activities and get a sticker at the completion of each activity. At the end of the night, everyone gathers in the cafeteria where more fun math activities happen and then everyone who has completed all 9 activities get put into a drawing for fun and exciting math related prizes. I am going to guess that close to a third of the schools showed up for math night. Tonight was also the school Christmas Holiday Winter concert. Once again I was standing in the hall and tonight was just for grades K-2. Bottom line is the parents are involved and the test scores show it.

Nice new buildings, I am all for them. Well trained staff, let’s make sure all the schools have them. Lots of interesting programs that keep students interested in learning, super idea. You want to see high test scores, make sure the parents are involved. Unfortunately, in a city like Seattle, where nobody is willing to point a finger at anything other than a nameless faceless scapegoat like “lack of diversity” or “under funding”, there will always be schools that will always be in need of “fixing”.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Seattle School District’s Supreme Day

As most know, the Supreme Court is hearing a case based on the Seattle School Districts use of race as a "tiebreaker". The case originated when a group of parents sued the school because their children were not allowed to attend Ballard High School, their neighborhood school, which also just happened to be the brand new rebuilt school with all of the new facilities. The school district wanted to make sure the ethnicity of the kids at Ballard matched that of the kids in the district as a whole. The reason the district gives is that a diverse population is an important part of the education process. Now a little background, the Ballard area of Seattle is historically the Scandinavian section of Seattle. You can not go a block without seeing a Scandinavian flag, Norway, Sweden, Finland, etc. The area is overwhelmingly white and also overwhelmingly liberal. The Republican Party does not even bother running candidates for state offices that cover the Ballard area. I happen to live just North of Ballard, drive through it on my commute to work every day. In addition, my son’s neighborhood high school would be Ballard High if we were still in our house in another 7 or 8 years. I also had a relative who worked at Ballard High up until recently. I know Ballard and yes it is true, people in Ballard do not know how to drive.

A couple of points…

I always question when something like this is used as a "tiebreaker". I would be curious to know what constitutes a tie. This is a bigger issue when you are talking college admissions and you are truly looking at each candidate and comparing GPAs and SATs and outside activities but still, when are two potential students considered tied where race would be used?

As I have mentioned before in a previous post, this strikes me as a situation where both sides simply want the best school for their kids. I am reasonable sure that if Rainier Beach was rebuilt tomorrow with all of the latest and greatest programs, parents from Ballard would be fighting to get their kids in at Rainier Beach and Rainier Beaches neighborhood parents would be fighting to keep the Ballard kids out.

The one really, really odd thing to me is a much under publicized fact that in the district program being reviewed, often the minority child that ended up going to Ballard, did not have Ballard as their first choice. In effect both kids were being denied their first choice in order to make Ballard more diverse.

Another fact that you are not hearing about is that the racial balancing that the district deems so important is only being used at over subscribed schools. There was not a plan in place that would make the schools kids did not want to go to be more diverse. It was just the popular schools were affected by the plan. So if a school had more desks than kids, the Seattle School District was not doing anything to change the underlying racial makeup of those schools. This fact seems to undercut the district claim that diversity is an important element of the education process.

Another problem is the existence of the African American Academy. While the program under review covered just high schools, the African American Academy is a K-8 school that was specifically created to lessen the achievement gap between white and black students. Now if you were to look at the most current test scores, it is painfully obvious that the achievement gap is not being narrowed by the existence of the AAA. 5th grade, 2%, 1 out of 50 students, meet the minimum WASL standard for all 3 subjects. 7th grade, 4%, less than 1 out of 20 meet the minimum for WASL. 8th grade, 3%, 1 in 33 meet all 3 minimums. This is one of, if not the worst, performing school in the district and is also by far the most non diverse school in the district, 94% African American, 3% Hispanic, no other group above 1%. I would be interested in hearing a school district representative’s response if asked why is it important to bus kids across the city in order to make the student body diverse yet there is a school specifically designed to be segregated? It would be one thing if test results from the AAA were above average but when they are at the very bottom for all schools, that is going to require some explaining. Like I said, it would be interesting to know, I have asked and can not seem to get a reply. I would also be interested in finding out why a parent would send their child to a school that is doing such a poor job of educating the children.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

6 to 8 Black Men

For those who were at the KVI Christmas Party on Friday and were dissapointed that Bryan Suits did not tell the story, here it is.

The official reason it was not told at the party, just not the right crowd.

Friday, December 01, 2006

World Aids Celebration Day

I was informed this morning by the "walking on logs" display in West Seattle that today is Worlds Aids Celebration Day. Not sure what the proper way to celebrate is and I am not sure I want to know. According to the Seattle Times, :

World Aids Day was marked around the globe by somber religious services,
boisterous demonstrations and warnings that far more needs to be done to treat
and prevent the disease in order to avert millions of additional deaths.

It went on to say

President Bill Clinton warned in an interview with the BBC that India, which has
the largest population of HIV infected people in the world, has become the new
epicenter of the global AIDS pandemic. The challenge of controlling the epidemic
in India, with 5.7 million infected, is "breathtaking," he said, but it can be
"This is not rocket science," Clinton told the BBC. "We know what
to do."
Here is one thing we can all do to stop the spread of Aids, do not act like Bill Clinton. Far more needs to be don’t to treat and prevent the disease?!? We know how to prevent the disease. Anyone who is not aware of how to prevent the disease is purposely not paying attention.
The amazing thing about Aids is how easy it is to NOT catch the disease. For the overwhelming majority of people, do not use illegal intravenous drugs and do not have sex, especially a specific kind of sex, with multiple partners and the probability that you will get Aids is almost zero. Aids really is preventable, we as a society are not willing to hold accountable those who catch it because of their reckless behavior and until we do, it is something we will be dealing with for a long, long time.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

No Tax, No Vote?

Today on the Bryan Suits show, a potential topic is would you give up your right to vote if by doing so you did not have to pay any federal tax?

I have already submitted my answer:

This is as big of a no brainer as they come. I live inside the Seattle city limits, see here:
my vote is "counted" by King County elections. It is not like I am paying many many tens of thousands of dollars in federal taxes... yet, but it is not like my vote is really worth all that much. What potential competitive races am I voting on? Initiatives and the President once every 4 years. What are the odds that one of those races would have been decided by my vote? Let me rephrase that, what are the odds my vote is going to decide a race while Ron Sims, or another partisan Democrat, is King County Executive? Somewhere between none and none.

Does this make me non patriotic? I do not see it that way, but then I am not one of those let's all get out and vote kind of people. There are plenty of people, including many of my own family members, and most of my elected representatives, whom I would prefer would not vote.


It appears Bryan Suits does not agree with me. I am going to guess he does not get a ballot with the candidate, singular, for the 36th district.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Poverty, (lack of) Education and Fatherless Children

There have been a number of recent blog posts, here, here and here for instance, that have touched on the above topics that I have always maintained are very intertwined. They remind me of a meeting I had with a family about 8 years ago that I will never forget.

Was talking with a social worker for an adoption agency and met a single mom and her two teenage daughters, 19 and 16. They lived in a small apartment in Kent and the mom worked a fairly low wage night job in the area. The reason we were meeting was because the 16 year old was pregnant, due in a month, and considering putting the baby up for adoption. She had got pregnant during a party by a guy she met that same night after smoking some marijuana. The 19 year old was also pregnant and was due in 2 months but she was going to raise the child. She had a boyfriend who lived in Canada but the plan was for the to eventually get married. This was not a household modeled after "Leave It To Beaver". The mom was obviously not 100 percent sold on the idea of her grandchild being put up for adoption and when the baby was born, the decision was made to not place the child.

What has always bothered me about this was the way the social worker handled the situation. She repeatedly told me how the Grandma to be was this great mom doing a wonderful job with her kids. A low income single mom who will soon be sharing her apartment with her two no income single teenage moms and her two grandchildren.

I have no quarrel with the decision to parent and I am sure the mom loved her children and did as good a job with them as she could but for the social worker to go on and on about how wonderful the mom was as if this was the model we should all strive to become struck me as part of the problem of low income single parents.

As I read the posts about kids who do not know their fathers and out of wedlock babies and the solution to under performing schools is simply more money, I just want to scream that what we really need is for those in charge and people in positions of authority to say "I do not condone that behavior". We need to get back to a place where it is not socially acceptable to raise a child without a father. To praise the mom of two pregnant teens. We need to treat socially unacceptable behavior as unacceptable.
Andrew Now Plays Chess

Not well but he plays. Had our first game this evening after dinner and I really took it to him. I myself have never played much but I am going to savor this win as I can see the handwriting on the wall and it is not going to be long before I am congratulating him on his well earned win.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

I Shot Par

9 hole par 28 executive course 10 minutes from my house. They have a winter play deal where you can plan the course as often as you like Nov. 1 until Feb. 28th. I shot 28 on my 2nd round this morning. Really nice 12 foot par saving putt on 8 to keep the opportunity alive. Hit my tee shot on 9 dead center of the green 20 feet from the cup. Easy two putt and I did it. Had shot 29 about 6 times before including last week when I hit 9 out of 9 greens.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Orbusmax Exclusive: “Clear Separation Of Church And State” Gets A Little Cloudy In The Seattle Public Schools

Orb hits one out of the park! Seems the Seattle Public School District is ok with having Muslim Prayer Services during the school day, on school property supervised by a teacher and/or a school staffer and so is Orb and so am I... IF, and its a big IF, they are willing to do the same for all religions, which is yet to be determined. The Constitution has an "Establishment" clause, it does not mention "separation of church and state".
MKH or Bethany?

Are they the new "Ginger or Mary Ann"? You decide

Why are conservative female talking heads so much better looking than their liberal counterparts? Because ours is a just and decent God.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Memo To the Seattle P.I.

Carefully temper any dreams of being an operating business in 2008. I am willing to bet today that Dino Rossi will have a better November 2008 than the Seattle P.I. and the reason is Dino Rossi has something to offer, the Seattle P.I. gives us nothing that we could not get from the DNC.

Visit Orbusmax and Sound Politics for details.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Frustration of Voting in Seattle

I went to my polling place to cast my ballot on Tuesday evening and the place was packed. Not sure why as I got my ballot and of the 25 "races", 21 had only a single unopposed candidate and the other 4 races, it was fairly clear would not be all that competitive.

The saddest part of the election was looking at the results and seeing that the race for City Council, Sally Clark vs. Stan Lippman, Mr. Lippman, who is not a serious candidate who runs a serious campaign, got 25% of the vote yet in the 7th Congressional race, Republican Steve Beren, a serious candidate who really ran a campaign got just 15% of the vote. Now feel free to disagree with where Mr. Beren stands on the issues supporting the troops, wining the war on terror, limited government and reducing dependence on foreign oil, I realize none of those stances match up with your average 7th Congressional district voter, but still, he is a serious candidate. If he was running in another Congressional district, such as the 4th, 5th or even the 8th, he could have won. It is true he had about the same chance of winning in the 7th as say a Jew winning a race in Iran or Palestine, and I think that analogy for the 7th is appropriate on more than one level, but Stan Lippman, who I am sure is a decent person, is not someone that could win any election contest in the state and he got a higher percentage of the vote.

That brings us to an issue that is eventually going to cause Seattle, the Puget Sound region, Western Washington and maybe even the entire state problems in the future. Right now, the Democrats are going to win ever race in the Seattle area and the majority of races in the Puget Sound region with little to no effort. The Democrats have a monopoly in Seattle. The problem is with any monopoly comes poorer service to the customer then if there was competition. Think of that excellent customer service you get from the Department of Licensing, public schools, the way AT&T use to work hard to keep you as a customer when they were the only game in town. The Democrats do not need to do anything for the Seattle area and will still get voted into office. All you need to do is take a look at the accomplishments of Representative Jim McDermott.

Here are the first 10 listed bills that Rep. McDermott sponsored during the current session of Congress:
1. H.CON.RES.447 : Expressing the sense of the Congress that States should have the flexibility to design welfare programs that make sense in their communities with an overall goal of helping children and reducing poverty by promoting and supporting work.

2. H.RES.26 : Congratulating the Downers Grove North High School Trojan football team and the students and fans of Downers Grove North High School on their outstanding sportsmanship and on winning the 2004 Illinois Class 8A Football State Championship.

3. H.RES.52 : Congratulating the Seattle Storm for winning the 2004 Women's National Basketball Association Championship.

4. H.RES.53 : Congratulating Ichiro Suzuki for breaking the Major League Baseball record for hits in a single season.

5. H.RES.353 : Supporting a landmark initiative in bilateral energy cooperation between India and Pakistan.

6. H.RES.705 : Recognizing and congratulating Apolo Anton Ohno for his historic performances in short track speedskating at the 2006 and 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

7. H.R.751 : To reauthorize and improve the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program by promoting work, family, and opportunity, and for other purposes.

8. H.R.852 : To extend Federal recognition to the Duwamish Tribe, and for other purposes.

9. H.R.1200 : To provide for health care for every American and to control the cost and enhance the quality of the health care system.

10. H.R.1615 : To ensure that proper planning is undertaken to secure the preservation and recovery of the salmon and steelhead of the Columbia River basin and the maintenance of reasonably priced, reliable power, to direct the Secretary of Commerce to seek scientific analysis of Federal efforts to restore salmon and steelhead listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, and for other purposes.

Here are the first 10 listed bills that Rep. McDermott co-sponsored during the current session of Congress:
1. H.CON.RES.25 : Recognizing the contributions of Jibreel Khazan (Ezell Blair, Jr.), David Richmond, Joseph McNeil, and Franklin McCain, the "Greensboro Four", to the civil rights movement.

2. H.CON.RES.26 : Honoring the Tuskegee Airmen for their bravery in fighting for our freedom in World War II, and for their contribution in creating an integrated United States Air Force

3. H.CON.RES.30 : Supporting the goals and ideals of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

4. H.CON.RES.35 : Expressing the sense of Congress that the President should develop and implement a plan to begin the immediate withdrawal of United States Armed Forces from Iraq.

5. H.CON.RES.38 : Recognizing the achievements of the National Captioning Institute in providing closed captioning services to Americans who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.

6. H.CON.RES.41 : Recognizing the second century of Big Brothers Big Sisters, and supporting the mission and goals of that organization.

7. H.CON.RES.42 : Expressing the sense of the Congress that a commemorative postage stamp should be issued to promote public awareness of Down syndrome.

8. H.CON.RES.44 : Recognizing the historical significance of the Mexican holiday of Cinco de Mayo.

9. H.CON.RES.57 : Expressing the sense of the Congress that the President should grant a pardon to Marcus Mosiah Garvey to clear his name and affirm his innocence of crimes for which he was unjustly prosecuted and convicted.

10. H.CON.RES.58 : Expressing the sense of Congress that the United States Postal Service should issue a commemorative postage stamp honoring former Representative Shirley Chisholm, and that the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee should recommend to the Postmaster General that such a stamp be issued.

Now I am not looking for a representative who brings home pork but for goodness sake, if you look at the entire list of sponsored legislation, except for recognizing the Duwamish tribe, there is nothing, not one thing that specifically helps the 7th congressional district or its residents. Nothing for the viaduct, nothing for transportation, no infrastructure, no social services, no Port of Seattle, no Pacific Rim trade, nothing to make Puget Sound cleaner, no homeland security projects, nothing, nothing, nothing.

But then why should he, he just got 80% of the vote without campaigning.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Patricia Madrid, The Worst Debater Ever, Part 2

Good lord woman, get out of politics...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Uneducated Poor People Vote For Darcy Burner

In a Survey USA poll, Congressman Dave Reichert, leads Darcy Burner 51% - 45%.

Dig a little deeper and you can see that amongst those with no college education, Reichert and Burner are tied, amongst those with some college Reichert leads 53% to 43%, those with a college degree Reichert leads 51% to 44% and those with graduate college, 48% to 46%. According to income bracket, the higher your income the more likely you are to vote for Reichert. <40K, Burner leads 52% - 45%, 40K to 80K 47%-47% and above 80K Reichert leads 56%-40%.

I am just waiting to hear the Burner camp attempt to make hay with the fact that the "rich" are for Reichert and the working class are for Burner when it is the uneducated and least able to provide for themselves that support Burner.

Thanks to Sound Politics for the lead by way of Orbusmax.
John Kerry Loves the Troops?

"I make apologies to no one about my criticism of the president and his broken policy," Kerry said in a statement... and it appears that is the case with the official statement that
I sincerely regret that my words were misinterpreted to wrongly imply anything negative about those in uniform, and I personally apologize to any service member, family member, or American who was offended.
I will continue to fight for a change of course to provide real security for our country, and a winning strategy for our troops.
I am just curious what his winning strategy is. Because John Kerry really does love the terrorizing war criminals, I mean the troops.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Best Political Ad Ever?

Anyone who sees this ad and still votes for Patricia Madrid needs to have their head examined.

I almost felt bad for Ms. Madrid the first 5 times I watched it as it appears she is in need of medical attention.
Mike McGavick's Chance of Winning

While I think it is an uphill battle for McGavick to win, I was encourage while out trick or treating with the kid that a neighbor who is a typical liberal Seattle lawyer, although a good guy, told me he was thinking of voting for McGavick. As he put it, I do not want to vote for the "ice cube".

If Cantwell does win, the disappointing thing to me will be how she was able to hide from the voters during the campaign. If she was out campaigning, I did not see it, if she was running ads, they were not on the golf channel, if she was telling the voters about her accomplishments, I am not aware of them. I am fairly certain that she is not touting her recent Senate Power ranking of #99.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Congressman Jim McDermott, Working Hard for Washington's 7th Congressional District

Here is House Resolution 26 of the 109th Congress. Sponsored by my Congressional Representative, Jim McDermott of Seattle.

Congratulating the Downers Grove North High School Trojan football team and the students and fans of Downers Grove North High School on their outstanding sportsmanship and on winning the 2004 Illinois Class 8A Football State Championship.

Whereas on November 27, 2004, in front of a crowd of more than 11,000 at the University of Illinois' Memorial Stadium in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, the Downers Grove North Trojans defeated the Maine South Hawks 33-13 to win the 2004 Illinois Class 8A Football State Championship;

Whereas the State championship was the first for Downers Grove North's football team, and was the first State championship for any male sports team in the school's history; and

Whereas the Trojans used a good defense and a running-based, ball-control offense to defeat their opponents throughout the playoffs, and held Maine South 30 points below its season average in the championship game: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives congratulates the Downers Grove North Trojan football team and the students and fans of Downers Grove North High School on their outstanding sportsmanship and on winning the 2004 Illinois Class 8A Football State Championship.
In addition to celebrating Illinois high school football, Representative McDermott is also busy praising the Seattle Storm, Ichiro Suzuki, Apollo Ono, helping the victims of hurricane Katrina, which last time I checked, did no damage to his district, making sure the 7th is safe from depleted uranium and of course, his all time favorite subject, helping... wait for it... AFRICA... which last time I checked is not in the 7th Congressional district.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Very Funny Political Ad

Thanks to Bryan Suits of KVI 570

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Myth Of The "Gun Show Loophole"

The Seattle P.I. had an article about Washington Ceasefire planting bulbs at Greenlake to commemorate the 600 victims of gun violence in Washington State this year. It seems odd to me that a group can just go plant bulbs at a city park and I have a question into the Seattle Parks department asking about that but that is a post for another day. What Washington Cease Fire does not say and what the "reporter", Neil Modie, does not seem interested in knowing is the fact that about 400 of those 600 deaths were suicides.

Now Seattle police Chief Gil Kerlikowske, whose department issued handgun was stolen out of his car earlier this year was in attendance.
In 2005, two violent gun crimes were reported for every 1,000 people nationwide, compared with 1.4 in 2004, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Kerlikowske said it was the "No. 1 issue" at a national meeting of local law enforcement leaders he attended in Washington, D.C., last month.

The reasons? Kerlikowske said criminologists say that for one thing, "we are awash in firearms." Unlike a number of other states, efforts to close Washington's gun-show loophole have been blocked in the Legislature.

To understand the "gun show loophole", you first must know what it is. The gun show loophole specifically means when a non gun dealer, a private citizen, sells a gun to another private citizen at a gun show, just as they would if they had taken out a classified ad in a newspaper, a background check is not required. From Washington Ceasefire's own press release:
But at such shows, unlicensed, private sellers don't have to do the checks.
Unlike all licensed gun dealers who are required to perform the background check no matter if the sale is at a retail store or at a gun show. From Washington Ceasefire's own press release:
At Wade's Eastside Guns, anytime they sell a firearm, they have to do a background check. It's what every federally licensed gun dealer is required to do. And those rules follow the dealers even when they peddle their pistols at gun shows, like one held recently in Puyallup.

We operate exactly as if we are in the store, we have to do the background checks, he said.
But according to Chief Kerlikowske, guns from gun shows are involved in crimes:
We've traced guns back that had been involved in crimes that were obtained at gun shows, said Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske.
Notice how it is not mentioned the guns traced back were sold without a background check. Maybe the Seattle Police Department bought the gun stolen out of the Chief's car at a gun show and that gun was later used in a crime. Wouldn't that scenario fit the Chief's description?

Let's now look at the numbers to see how bad this "gun show loophole" is because Seattle P.I. "reporter" Neil Modie does not seem to be interested in doing so. According to "All you need to know about the Gun Show Loophole in 2 1/2 minutes", criminals get their guns:
39.6% of the time from family or friends
39.2% of the time from the street or other illegal methods (such as stealing from the Chief of Police's car)
8.3% from retail shops
1.0% from pawn shops
0.7% from gun shows.

But you do not need to take the word of some right wing pro gun website, Washington Ceasefire says the same thing in its Police lobby to close gun show loophole press release
Alan Gottlieb, head of a large gun lobby based in Bellevue, says requiring background checks at gun shows will only hurt law-abiding owners.

With less than 1 percent of the firearms bought by criminals at gun shows, it's really kind of stupid, it's a waste of resources, Gottlieb said.
Of course the bold headline they use is
Police say a loophole in Washington law allows people to buy guns and gun shows without having to go through a background check.
Seems misleading to me, in addition to being grammatically incorrect.

So the "gun show loophole" should probably be called the "friends and family loophole" or maybe the "classified ad loophole" or how about the "private citizen selling private property without the governments permission loophole"

If Washington Ceasefire was really about preventing gun violence, wouldn't they be putting on gun safety classes and working to make sure all Washington State school children knew proper gun safety. Wouldn't they be in favor of supplying trigger locks and lock boxes to those who asked? Wouldn't that reduce gun violence more than planting bulbs at Greenlake?

But here are my questions to Washington Ceasefire and all groups that want to outlaw guns. How do gun laws stop criminals, who by definition are those that do not follow laws, from committing gun crimes? Laws do not stop crimes, law just state what the punishment is for those convicted of a crime. How are gun laws going to get guns out of the hands of criminals? Does anyone, including Washington Ceasefire think a criminal is going to think twice about committing a bank robbery or a murder because they would be violating a gun law in the process?
Innis Arden Takes Down the Whites Only Sign

Back in April I wrote about Innis Arden, a neighborhood just north of where I live that has restrictive covenants which state that no person other than one of the white or Caucasian race may be permitted to occupy any property...

Well it seems that the rich, white, liberal Democrats of Innis Arden have finally got around to gathering enough signatures to take down the Whites Only sign.

Welcome to the 21st century.

Commentator "Carl" says that Innis Arden is the most Republican part of Shoreline. That maybe true but it does not make Innis Arden Republican. You just need to look at the 98177 zip code donations to get a feel for how Republican the area is. Not very. That big clump of blue Democratic donations... that is Innis Arden.

Saying Innis Arden is the most Reppublican part of Shoreline is like saying Patty Murray is the most powerfull Senator from Washington State. It is not that Patty Murray is powerfull, she ranks 49th, it is just the other Senator, Maria Cantwell ranks 99th, next to last.

Monday, October 23, 2006

600,000 Iraqis Dead?

Although the 600,000 Iraqis have died number has been discredited over and over, some still believe it, see the comments here. If that number is correct, then why on the news last night did I hear that violence in Iraq is at an all time high with as many as 100 Iraqis dead each day this month? Because if you do the math, 100 per day for the duration of the war, the number would be about 130,000. Now even 1 death is tragic but for someone to claim 600,000 dead is flat out absurd.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Why Does Nancy Pelosi Wants the US Military To Come Home?

Watched the 60 Minutes piece on Nancy Pelosi earlier tonight and one thing that stuck me as a potential Republican talking point was when she said, and I am paraphrasing until I can find a transcript, the Islamic terrorists are in Iraq because our military is there and that is why we need to bring them home.

So where does she think we will be fighting them if we cut and run from Iraq?

Transcript found!

"Do you not think that the war in Iraq now, today, is the war on terror?" Stahl asks.

"No. The war on terror is the war in Afghanistan," Pelosi says.

"But you don't think that the terrorists have moved into Iraq now?" Stahl continues.

"They have," Pelosi agrees. "The jihadists in Iraq. But that doesn't mean we stay there. They'll stay there as long as we're there."
The P.I. Endoreses Darcy Burner Because She Really, Really Agrees With What They Think

From today's editorial page endoresemtent:
Burner, a former Microsoft manager, is as informed in her views as she is forceful in delivering them. Frankly, at a P-I Editorial Board session, it was difficult to tell who was the incumbent because her answers carried weight.

From how to balance the federal budget (and how urgent it is to do so) to how crucial it is to reduce human contributions to global climate change to Congress' role in Iraq war policy, Burner has the better grasp of the issues and the greater passion to deal with them.
Notice there are no qualifications for Ms. Burner listed because, well she has none.

So if really agreeing with the P.I. is all that is needed. I guess these people here and here and here and here would also be endoresed over Congressman Reichart.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Sorry Jonah but You Are Wrong

Jonah Goldberg of National Review Online, who maybe my favorite columnist ever, has a new column out stating the war in Iraq was a mistake.
Truth is truth. And the Iraq war was a mistake by the most obvious criteria: If we had known then what we know now, we would never have gone to war with Iraq in 2003. I do think that Congress (including Democrats Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Jay Rockefeller and John Murtha) was right to vote for the war given what was known — or what was believed to have been known — in 2003. And the claims from Democrats who voted for the war that they were lied to strikes me as nothing more than cowardly buck-passing.
Did not think I would ever say this but Jonah Goldberg is wrong.

Saying the war was a mistake strikes me as saying President Bush lied about WMD. President Bush did not lie because he did not know there were not WMD. Now I have heard a number of times about UN inspectors and allied troops finding what should be classified as WMD but the existence of WMDs or lack of is an argument for another day. If we went to war for the right reasons, which I believe we did, through the proper channels, UN resolutions, how can that be a mistake? Now if the UN resolution had said Iran instead of Iraq and we took a wrong turn at Kuwait, that is a mistake. Feel free to point out mistakes in intelligence or planning or how we are fighting a war with 2 arms tied behind our back but going into Iraq and taking out a brutal dictator in order to install a democracy was not a mistake.

Now as Jonah says, if we had known at the time what we know now we would have not voted to go to war and I agree with him. That does not make it a mistake that we went, that just shows that we as a country do not have the will to do the right thing in the face of unspeakable evil. A mistake is knowing full well what is happening to the North Korean people and letting millions suffer. That is something that 2 or 10 or 50 years from now, whenever the world finally gets serious about human rights, we will look back at the incredible suffering of the North Korean people and all agree that waiting so long to do something was a mistake.

Jonah goes on to say that even though he feels the war was a mistake, we should not simply up and leave.
I think we should ask the Iraqis to vote on whether U.S. troops should stay.

Polling suggests that they want us to go. But polling absent consequences is a form of protest. With accountability, minds may change and appreciation for the U.S. presence might grow.

If Iraqis voted "stay," we'd have a mandate to do what's necessary to win, and our ideals would be reaffirmed. If they voted "go," our values would also be reaffirmed, and we could leave with honor. And pretty much everyone would have to accept democracy as the only legitimate expression of national will.

Finishing the job is better than leaving a mess. And if we can finish the job, the war won't be remembered as a mistake.
While I think that is a great thing to do, my hope is we finally get serious with Islamic extremists, take the gloves off and let the American military do what it is trained to do, kill bad people and destroy the bad peoples things. No more not returning fire when insurgents are shooting at us from a Mosque for fear of the bad PR if a stay bullet hits the Mosque. Overwhelm them with firepower and keep at it until they ask really politely for us to stop after they agree to put an end to the insurgency.

This strategy puts an end to the Iraq “mistake” and puts Iran and North Korean on notice that they may want to adjust their attitude about those pesky U.N. resolutions they are currently ignoring.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Rosie O'Donnell Does Not Want America To Win In Iraq

When asked if she wants America to win in Iraq, Rosie O'Donnell could not answer the question. She changed the question to can we win but would not answer does she want America to win.

Think about that.

Winning in Iraq means the following, stabilizing the country, making it a democracy and having Iraq as a partner of the USA in the war on terror. Rosie O'Donnell is not capable of saying she wants that.

Time to analyze a little deeper.

Is stabilizing Iraq a good thing? I would hope we could all agree that is the case. Is Iraq becoming a democracy in the middle east a good thing? Once again seems like an easy question. Having a Muslim nation in the middle east as a partner in the war on terror. Hard to argue against that.

So what is Rosie's issue. Well in my opinion, there could only be one reason. She does not want the President of the United States, George W. Bush to succeed. It is a simple as that. Could anyone argue that if this was Hillary Clinton as Commander in Chief that Rosie would not be 100% behind the U.S. of A. in its efforts to give Muslims and specifically Muslim women full rights?

The question comes up at 5:50 in the video:

Monday, October 16, 2006

What The Moonbat Left Does Not Understand

I read this story about a nurse who was suing because she got a ticket for having an obscene anti Bush sticker on her vehicle:
ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) -- A woman who was ticketed for having an obscene anti-Bush bumper sticker filed a lawsuit in federal court Monday against a county in the state of Georgia and its officials.

Denise Grier, 47, of Athens, Georgia, got a $100 ticket in March after a DeKalb County police officer spotted the bumper sticker, which read "I'm Tired Of All The BUSH**."

A DeKalb judge threw out the ticket in April because the state's lewd decal law that formed the basis for the ticket was ruled unconstitutional in 1990.

Grier is seeking damages from the county for "emotional distress," according to the lawsuit.
Interesting enough story but it reminded me of the time I was at the West Seattle street fair in the summer of 2004 and the 34th district Democrats had similar stickers in their booth. I asked one of the people who was at the booth if he thought those kinds of stickers were appropriate for a family event such as the street fair. The reaction was full blown Bush derangement syndrome. I told him the reason the Dems were going to lose in 2004 was because they do not see displaying stickers with profanity at a street fair with lots of children as being inappropriate. As I told him, there are a lot of people here who do not agree with President Bush but see this kind of display as something they do not want to be associated with.

I called the 34th district Democrats and left a message asking for someone to call back and also sent an email and never got a response.
Darcy Burner Pads Her Resume

In addition to the fact that I appear more qualified to be in Congress than Darcy Burner, another thing that bothers me about the Burner campaign is what seems to be fairly obvious padding of her resume. Specifically her claim that she is a “successful businesswoman”. The specific quotes from her bio are:
A successful businesswoman, community leader and mother, Darcy will fight for our priorities.
Darcy went to work for Microsoft in 2000 and became the lead manager for an initiative to change the way software was built. It was very successful and enhanced Darcy’s reputation as a successful businesswoman.

Now maybe I am splitting hairs but as someone who actually owns a business and is responsible for paying the employees and the taxes, I have an issue when someone who is an employee, a “lead manager” or “product manager” or whatever calls themselves a businessperson.

So I did what I always do when I have a question of a politician…. I called her office. I simply asked if Ms. Burner’s claim that she was a successful business person referred to her work at Microsoft since I did not see anything else in her bio that mentioned she ran a company or owned a business. The reply was she was an executive at Microsoft. I replied she was an employee but did not run the business and asked again if she had ever run a company or owned a business. After checking with additional staff I was told she worked for a number of high tech companies including being an executive at Microsoft but had never owned a company. Now I was not going to argue if in fact she was an executive or not at Microsoft. The Burner campaign seems to have ceded that point when they removed those claims from the web site although it appears they have not informed the staff. I know a number of fairly high ranking Microsoft employees who I am fairly sure are well above whatever level Ms. Burner was at and I strongly doubt any of them would refer to themselves as Microsoft executives.

Now there seems to be some confusion about what Ms. Burner’s responsibilities were at Microsoft. Her web site says she was a "lead manager", her campaign staff says she was an "executive". From Wikipedia:
She worked for a dozen years in high technology including five years at Microsoft as a Lead Product Manager, working on the .NET Framework. Burner left Microsoft in 2004 to enter politics.
But later it says:
It's not factual to say as in the introduction that "She worked for a dozen years in high technology including five years at Microsoft as a Lead Product Manager, working on the .NET Framework. Burner left Microsoft in 2004 to enter politics." Darcy worked less than 4 years at Microsoft as a marketing program manager, not as lead nor as a product manager. See Darcy's MSDN blog. She did not enter politics until 2006, after dropping out of law school, which she pursued after leaving Microsoft, at other times Darcy claims she left to raise her newborn son.
All I know is that if I were hiring and got a resume that stated the person was a “successful businessperson” and the real world activity to justify that claim was being a manager at a large company, I would have to call B.S.

Now I help coach my 7 year old son’s soccer team and we have had a very successful year so far. For the most part my responsibilities entail reminding the kids what goal we should be kicking the ball towards as I know almost nothing about soccer. This experience should not allow me to put down “successful athletic coach” on a resume. I get the feeling that Ms. Burner would.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

My Problem With Darcy Burner

The Seattle Times Editorial board seems to have a whole list of issues with Democratic candidate Darcy Burner:
"it is hard to discern where Burner differs from the Democratic Party line"... "Burner's public-service record pales in comparison to Reichert's"... "As her only public-spirited pursuits"... "Burner offers youth coaching and a stint on her community club board"... "more troubling is her spotty voting record"... "Burner has run a mean-spirited campaign"... "She continues to push the deceptive party line"... "But Burner has not made the case she will be a better member of Congress"
My problem with Ms. Burner is that based on her own bio, worked hard in school, paid her way through college, majored in computer science and economics, went to work for Microsoft, got married, had a kid, I am more qualified to be in congress than she is. I worked hard in school, paid my way through college, have degrees in computer science and math, turned down a job offer from Microsoft, got married, have a kid, am part owner of a business that employs people. There is no way I would vote for myself over Dave Reichart so why would I even consider voting for Darcy Burner?

This is the best candidate the Democrats could come up with? Unfortunately for me, being in the 7th congressional district instead of the 8th, I will not have the opportunity to vote against her.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Democracy, Seattle Style

For the 2006 general election, here are my state legislative choice, singular:
State Senate
State Rep., Position #1
State Rep., Position #2

So many choice, singular, such diversity of candidate, singular. What am I going to do?
Occasional Golf Content...

The two #1 players in the world:
Annika Sorenstam Swing Sequence

Tiger Woods Swing Vision
Does Darcy Burner Think She Is A Bad Mom?

Durning the recent Burner - Reichart debate, Darcy Burner says that the best thing she could do for her 3 year old child is to take a job 3000 miles away during the childs formative years. Click here to listen to Darcy Explain herself".

Thanks to Dan Sytman of KTTH for the audio.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Seattle Resident Dan Savage Shows Tolerance For All, Except Those That Do Not Help His Agenda, They Should Be Killed.

From Hot Air, Dan Savage wants Green Party candidate dragged behind a pickup truck.

Dan Savage feels he knows what is better for the citizens of Pennsylvania than, oh say, people who live in the state of Pennsylvania. So Dan has decided that he needs to help defeat Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. Things start to heat up when Mr. Savage is asked about the Green Part candidate Carl Romanelli, or as Dan calls him, "The Idiot Green" who should be "run over with a truck" and anyone who votes for him should be "beaten with sticks".

WARNING: THE VIDEO IS NOT SAFE FOR WORK, as the kids say these days.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Do the KosKids owe Bryan Suits Millions?

If this lady deserves 11.3 million:

A Florida woman has been awarded $11.3 million in a defamation lawsuit against a Louisiana woman who posted messages on the Internet accusing her of being a "crook," a "con artist" and a "fraud."
What does Bryan Suits,
"planted shill", "a war-loving creep", "gung-ho nut job", "a real dipshit", "manufactured, planted fake wounded 'hero'", "a hoax", "the Mole" "He's either a shitty officer, or he's lying", "badly incompetent", "just not that bright", "sounds like any number of guys that get kicked out of the VFW", "shades the truth on his own", "talking out of his ass", "he's running around making shit up and can't keep track of all of his bullshit."
deserve from the KosKids?
Do Not Question Their... Sanity

From the Seattle PI by way of Orbusmax, the crowd during last nights debate between 8th District Congressman Dave Reichert and Dem. challenger Darcy Burner reacts:

The audience jeered when Reichert said he "worked 19 years to catch a serial killer," a reference to his work apprehending Green River Killer Gary Ridgway, but he held his ground.

"It's not comic to the victims and their families," he said.
GOP Poll

I stole this from Ace 'o Spades, who stole it from Hot Air who...
and I can not get it to work so just go here...

Monday, October 09, 2006

North Korea Goes Nuclear

Seems that carrot approach did not work real well. Time to get a stick, a really big stick

Seems to me like this is an appropriate video:

Friday, October 06, 2006

Cuban Paradise

If Cuba is such a paradise, as this guy clearly thinks, why has he not gone down to Florida and built a raft and "escaped" the horror that is the United States for heaven on earth?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Ron Dotzauer, Lobbyist, Slimeball, Criminal or All of the Above?

Ron Dotzauer, registered lobbyist and political consultant to Senator Maria Cantwell, D-WA, is not having a good week, OK, would not be having a good week if the MSM was doing its job or would simply follow up on what Stefan Sharkansky @ Sound Politics has dug up.

To recap, Stefan found out that Ron, who borrowed and still appears to owe between $15,000 and $50,000 from his former girlfriend / employee / political protege, Senator Maria Cantwell, D- WA, had an affair, THE WEEK BEFORE HIS WEDDING DAY, to a former "lady friend" named "Maria". Stefan then goes on to state that it has been confirmed "Maria" is Senator Maria Cantwell, D-WA. Stefan goes on to report that:
Ron Dotzauer's brief marriage to Angela appeared to be tempestuous. The record shows at least two separations and mutual accusations of excessive drinking and minor physical abuse (their marriage counselor indicated in testimony that neither the drinking nor the abuse was as significant as the accusations suggested). Dotzauer first filed for divorce after 13 months of marriage when their daughter was 1 month old. They reconciled and he filed again a few years later. The wrangling over parenting and financial support went on for 10 years, during which period Dotzauer was cited for contempt (by my count) on 4 occasions, and jailed once, for failure to pay his obligations to his ex-wife and their daughter.

Sound Politics is now reporting that the reason Ron had problems paying his child support is all of his "income", well it seems was really not his income but what sure looks like to us non lawyer types as an attempt to get around campaign finance laws. As the scanned image from the divorce brief states:

NWS pays to Mr. Dotzauer an additional sum each month for the purpose of making such [federal political] contributions. While this is income to Mr. Dotzauer, in reality this is a necessary business expense.

So the questions now are what was the law at the time and what is the statue of limitations?

Unbelievable job Stefan! Where oh where is the Seattle Times or P.I?

Seattle Time's "political blogger" David Postman gets around to looking into the story.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Another "Gun Free Zone" School Suffers a Mass Murder

Is anyone, except for liberal lawmakers, surprised over the recent rash of multiple shootings at "gun free zones"? Can someone who believes in the foolishness of this concept please explain how passing a law making it illegal to carry a gun on school property is going to deter some psychopath who is intent on killing innocent school children? A gun free zone is as effective as passing a law saying the speed limit around banks is 10 mph in the hope that bank robbers would not dare break a speeding law while making a getaway.

The only thing gun free zones accomplish is the disarming of the law abiding citizens and make gun free areas "target rich environments" and "defenseless shooting galleries" for nut jobs intent on doing as much damage as possible before the police can arrive. I always wonder what those responsible for passing gun free zones think when they see another school shooting. Maybe the shooter did not see the gun free zone signs? How come nobody arrested the shooter when he walked on the grounds with a gun? I hope it is not my kids school? I have a question, how many more school shootings must we endure, how many more kids and school employees must die before we realize the insanity behind these laws?

There is a study that talks about "Multiple Victim Public Shootings" and shows that areas with concealed carry permits have far LOWER incidents where a shooter kills or injures multiple people. The study briefly mentions gun free zones and states:
...clearly shows that the states with the fewest gun free zones have the greatest reductions, killings, injuries and attacks.

We need to all stand up and let the politicians know we are tired of burying the dead from this failed social experiments. Please let them know that gun free zones are killing our kids, enough is enough.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Seattle School District Gets Results By Getting Parents Involved But Sadly Does Not Realize It.

Interesting article in the Seattle Times about academic success in some of the more "demographically challenged" schools in the Seattle School District.

The key sentence to then entire article
She got their parents involved.

That is it, nothing more.

Sadly the Seattle School District does not seem to recognize this fact as later in the article they say:
The district is working toward having a common curriculum among schools, said Chief Academic Officer Carla Santorno. That won't close the achievement gap on its own, she said, but it makes it easier for her to get schools to try strategies that work. Among them: teachers working together and comparing student work, using data to figure out exactly what kids don't know.

and then later:
"I'm more than confident that if we have the right environment, leadership, highly skilled teachers, connections with the families, instructional material that is very excellent, every child — black, white, Asian — every ethnicity, will be able to succeed in our Seattle public schools," said Pinchback-Jones.

But Maple Elementary Principal Pat Hunter questions whether it's really that simple. Her staff is key, she said. Her teachers are "intentional," especially in the fourth grade, when students take the WASL.

But there isn't a curriculum she can point to. There's not a model other schools can follow to achieve the same result. A couple of years ago, she said, the School Board's Student Learning Committee asked her for her secret during a presentation and she showed them a staff photo.

The closest she can come? "Hard work."

"I think so many people who are not in the classroom think that you can just go in and bottle this and sell it," she said.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Jim McDermott Votes Against Earmark Reform For Fear of Lower Taxes

From Ace 'O Spades, word that earmark reform passed the house by a vote of 245-171. Instapundit links to the actual vote which shows my Congressman, Jim McDermott, voting against the bill.

So I called Rep. McDermott's Seattle office and asked why he would vote against the earmark bill. The official answer was, while the Congressman is in favor of earmark reform, this bill had too many loopholes for tax cuts and tax breaks. For example, the bill covers tax breaks that are specific for one company but if it was for more than one company, such as Exxon and Amoco, that would not be covered.

So it sounds to me that while Congressman McDermott may be against earmarks, what he is more concerned with is lower taxes. Trust me, I am not making this up because it is not possible for me to make something like this up.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

University of Puget Sound President Ronald Thomas Talks About Race Without Saying Anything

Ronald R. Thomas is president of the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, has an Op Ed piece in the Seattle Times about race and education. His point seems to be that "people of color" are left behind when it comes to education. He specifically states that:
It's September and time to go back to school for many Americans. But not for others. The likelihood of a student of color completing college in most states is about half of what it is for whites. In some states, the odds are twice as bad. Clearly, in the race for education, too many of us are caught behind the color line.

My first question... "But not for others." Is that really a sentence? Not sure, I am just a blogger typing in my pajamas, not the President of a University.

While he may very well have a point that students of color complete college at half the rate of whites, I know if you take a look at the demographics of the University of Washington and compare those to the demographics of Seattle, King County and the State of Washington, "students of color", if anything are over represented in the U.W. student body... if of course you include Asians as students of color. The education / racism crowd never seems to want to include Asians as part of the students of color group. Now UPS does not break out its student population by race, and I am guessing there is a good reason for that. The closest they have is this page which list a total enrollment of 2785 students, of those, a grand total of 449 are "ethnic and minority". So in a state that is 18% minority, a county, Pierce, that is 22% minority and a city, Tacoma that is 31% minority, UPS has an enrollment that is 16% minority.

What really bothers me about the op-ed is the lack of anything resembling a solution. In fact there is not even any real finger pointing to a cause. The closest he comes is in the last two paragraphs:
How do we get from the conditions of today's reality to the content of the dream? We will not do it by not thinking about race. Our only hope is to think about it very hard, to learn about it as much as we can, to become more conscious about how and what we teach about race every day.

Teaching and learning make up the art and science that is at the heart of our mission as educators, and the contested subject of race provides an urgent opportunity for us to teach and to learn something fundamental about ourselves as Americans. And if we take it seriously enough, it offers the prospect of doing something constructive about it, too. It's time for all of us to go back to school.

So if we all just think very hard and learn as much as we can, that is the solution? Not sure I buy that. How about this, why don't we connect the dots between kids that are raised in one parent families and kids with low academic performance? For the most part I am not talking about kids of divorced parents but rather kids born out of wedlock who for all practical purposes do not know one parent, most likely the father. It is easy enough to go to the Seattle Public School test main page and look at the demographic numbers of students "not living with both parents" and compare that percent to test scores and see a relationship.

It is not the amount of pigment in your skin, it is not the amount of money in your bank account, it is about having parents, plural, that make sure you get to school, who make sure you do your homework when you get home from school, who go to your parent teacher conference and PTA meetings and talk with the teacher on a regular basis. As soon as President Thomas realizes this fact and spends a little more time working on keeping families together and spends a little less time thinking very hard about racism, the sooner we can get that minority enrollment percentage at the University of Puget Sound a little closer to the demographic it is suppose to serve.

Friday, September 08, 2006

CBS "Experts"

From NRO's Media Blog, here is a judges opinion on someone CBS uses as an expert:

Claimant’s credibility is the key issue in this case, both because there is frequent conflict between her version of events and that of other witnesses and because her perception of events is the principal component in her belief that she has been discriminated against for her protected activities. Accordingly, much of this part of the decision will address claimant’s credibility.

Getting right to the point, Cate Jenkins is the most disingenuous, evasive, and self- serving witness I have ever observed. She is an intense woman who believes that any means are acceptable if, in her view, the ends are desirable, including lying (even under oath), searching through co-workers' personal effects, and leaking confidential information. She further believes that any person, rule, or law which stands in her way can be ignored. She has acted and continues to act as if she believes she is the only person at EPA who is concerned with the public interest and everyone else is selling out to the industries regulated by EPA. Accordingly, she irrationally assumes that every criticism of her job performance, no matter how obviously valid, is part of a plan to impede her efforts to protect the public and the environment. It does not appear to have entered her mind that proposals which differ from hers may nevertheless be meritorious or even worthy of consideration, nor does it appear to have occurred to her that her "ends justify the means" philosophy may compromise both her credibility and that of the EPA. Dr. Jenkins' sanctimonious, condescending, and distrusting attitude toward her colleagues made it inevitable that serious problems would develop in her employment relationships.* [...]

Complainant's utter lack of credibility could only truly be appreciated through personally observing her six days of testimony. I do not often rely solely on demeanor in determining a witness's credibility, but the complainant's demeanor was so disquieting that it is dispositive here by itself. Complainant often appeared to be in her own world, divorced from reality. She frequently answered questions with long discourses that quickly became unfocused. During her period on the witness stand complainant lied with impunity and did not appear the least embarrassed when she was caught in these lies (e.g., TR 968-82, 1014-17). She bragged about her bizarre behavior which she seemed to have no idea was in any way aberrant or unusual ( e.g. TR 1245-55). In addition, she had alleged lapses of memory on unfavorable points so frequently that it was obvious the problem was one of honesty rather than memory. She has her own moral standards which are not in accord with those of the rest of society. She has no concept of team or organization, refuses to recognize the authority of her supervisors, and has no sense of loyalty to anything other then herself. She also has an enormous ego. When Thoreau wrote supportively about marching to the beat of a different drummer, I do not think this is what he had in mind.

* Complainant appears surprised that her relationship with her then-supervisor, Matthew Straus, began to deteriorate in October 1986 after she wrote a memo which was critical of Straus. See TR 767. Likewise, complainant seems not to have drawn a connection between her bizarre behavior at work, such as searching through colleagues’ offices, brandishing a fake pistol and disclosing the existence of a confidential criminal investigation, and her estrangement from the EPA staff. See TR 790-92.

Good lord.
Cantwell's Lobbyist Problem

Sounds like Maria Cantwell's cozy relationship with a lobbyist is starting to cause issues for the campaign. Sound Politics does it's normal excellent job of covering the issue here and here. Ace 'O Spades also has picked it up.

For those who know nothing of the story. Maria Cantwell and lobbyist Ron Dotzauer have a detailed history where they once dated and at one time or another each worked for the other. Her as an aid in his business and he as her campaign advisor. Mr. Dotzauer is currently an unpaid advisor to the Cantwell campaign. The odd thing to me is:
U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell's first personal financial-disclosure report, filed in 2001 with the Senate and covering the previous year, contained an usual item: a loan to Ron Dotzauer, valued between $15,001 and $50,000, the range contained in the form.

Every year since, Cantwell has reported this outstanding loan as a financial asset, a debt yet to be repaid and separate from the salary Dotzauer drew from managing her campaign in the 2000 election.

When asked about the amount and terms of the loan, Dotzauer thought for a moment, then laughed. "I actually don't remember, to be honest with you. I don't even know, I'm trying to remember why it's there. I think it's just because in six, seven years, we haven't dealt with it. I haven't had one conversation, except now."

Cantwell wouldn't talk about the issue. About the loan, Cantwell's aide, Michael Meehan, said simply: "In 2000, Ron was going through a personal circumstance."

First off, doesn't Senator Cantwell know that she is suppose to be taking money from lobbyist, not the other way around?

What I want to know is when will the MSM get an answer to what was the loan for? How can a high powered lobbyist who owes a U.S. Senator that kind of money not know what the loan was for? Any chance a reporter can, oh I don't know, investigate what could be a big story and find out?