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home : opinion

Climbing the ladder to unemployment
Some lawmakers in Olympia this session want to change the minimum wage law. Unfortunately, they can no more change this law, than the laws of physics or economics. In short, the market will prevail and supply and demand will not be manipulated in the long term even if it sounds good on paper.

Those that support increasing the minimum wage do so under the false pretense that people will make more money, therefore spend more money and stimulate the economy in the process. They tell you it will lead to no change in employment numbers and may actually increase jobs. And last but not least, proponents claim this will decrease the disparity between rich and poor. Once again this flies in the face of economic law that has stood the test of time and will likely continue to do so indefinitely, or until we invent the perpetual motion machine

Thursday, April 23, 2015 More...

Letters to the Editor
Thursday, April 23, 2015 More...
Bill would provide families $5,000 a year for education
"You just want to see your child succeed, you just want to see them do well..."

Katie Swingle, school choice advocate and public school parent

As lawmakers in Olympia toil on the state budget in the final weeks of the legislative session, and as students across the state embark on the final weeks of the school year, a new bill offers hope to families with children struggling in failing public schools.

SB 6079, introduced by Senator Michael Baumgartner (R - Spokane), would allow families the choice to receive up to $5,000 of the average $7,400 in public money the state spends for each child's education. Parents could use the money to access educational services for children at public or private schools. SB 6079 would save money and would help lawmakers fulfill the key purpose of education funding as ordered by the state supreme court's McCleary decision. The court has said lawmakers must do more to meet their paramount constitutional duty to provide for the education of every child residing in the state.

Thursday, April 23, 2015 More...
Ukrainian hardball and other brutal issues
Vladimir Putin denies that there are any Russian troops in Eastern Ukraine fighting with the rebels to partition themselves a sovereign country that will immediately either become part of Russia or become a vassal state under same. So let's play hardball with the macho, shirtless, horse rider wannabee Cossack who backs Syria's Assad, North Korea and Cuba simultaneously.
Thursday, April 23, 2015 More...
Home is where the hell isn't
Sometimes, rarely, I wonder why I ever came to North-Central Washington. But then, every couple of years I take a trip back east. 

Why would I ever do such a crazy thing? Well, one has kids and grandkids and old friends to visit not all of whom can fly across the US to visit me more than once every few years. 

So, it's airline time again. I have to go first class, see, because I'm big, old and a crank. That means I can't tolerate being crammed in a coach seat between two 360 lb prison guards on their way to a seminar on transgender pathological murderers. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015 More...
"How did my state lawmakers vote in Olympia?
Thursday, April 16, 2015 More...
Three Iraqs
I want Americans to write, email, or call their congressman and senators and advocate for a "three-Iraq" solution to stop the violence and the need for yet more American troops, i.e., blood and treasure, in the future and possibly for decades to come (can you say Korea?).

Let our friends and loyal allies, the Kurds, have the north. Let the Shia, with their Iranian buddies, have the south. Allow the Sunnis to have the rest.

Americans are famously ignorant vis-a-vis world geography, history and culture so allow me to illuminate the origins of modern day Iraq. Google "Ottoman Empire" and you'll see how much of the Middle East was invented out of whole cloth by the Europeans. The dissolving of the Ottoman Empire has led to several made-up countries and a power vacuum and they in turn have been the scene of sectarian strife ever since.

Thursday, April 16, 2015 More...
Corporations still have gobs of cash
For years, one of the things that excited me most about the potential of our economy was the giant amount of cash sitting on corporate balance sheets. My rationale was that someday all that cash would start to trickle into the economy. A little bit here and there to hire more employees, or buy new machinery, or upgrade software... And then that snowballs into even more jobs, and more money, and more investment - and world is a happy place.

That's how this Capitalism thing is supposed to work, but it hasn't happened yet. The economy is growing solidly, but all that cash is still sitting there. According to FactSet, corporate cash piled up to $1.4 trillion dollars at the end of 2014. That means there is still a huge ball of economic potential just sitting there waiting to be put to work. In fact, if you assume money has feelings, this becomes a question of social justice. I firmly believe every dollar bill should have a chance to reach its full potential. This is just one more way the corporate world is stomping on morality.

If all that wonderful money started to pour into the economy, we could be talking about a legitimate economic boom. But it's not happening. So why is all that money sitting around doing nothing? Can't our corporations come up with a better use for money than sticking it in a piggybank? I see two key things going on here:

Thursday, April 16, 2015 More...
Are you ready for fire season?
Last year our friends and neighbors in Okanogan County endured the worst wildland fire in the states history. It matters little what your political views are on the place fire should have in managing our forests, or in who was to blame for the disaster of that event. It's over and we must all come together to help our neighbors recover from that tragedy.

We also must recognize we live in harms way when it comes to fire. We have chosen to build our homes and our communities in the heart of fire country. What happened in Pateros and Brewster could easily occur in any of our rural communities.

Have you considered what you can do to make your home and property less vulnerable to fire if it comes to a forest near you? Do you have a plan to evacuate? Are you aware of the resources that are available to help you prepare, or if disaster strikes to help you get the assistance you might need?

Thursday, April 16, 2015 More...
Letters to the Editor
Thursday, April 9, 2015 More...
Spring Sensations and A Taste of Leavenworth
One of the benefits of our dynamic tourism economy is that it is not limited to just the summer months. The Christmas season is filled with a brilliance that continues through the New Years revelry and into spring. We often look at ways to bolster our slower business months toward creating a more vibrant year round destination. With the help of Steven's Pass the chamber has added phenomenal weekend and midweek Ski & Stay Packages for January thru March. We follow that with an April culinary promotion. And why not? Spring is always quite beautiful. It includes spring break and already has some great events with Ale Fest, Choral Fest, and often Easter. And since the upper valley is the largest national exporter of organic pears, second in regular pear production, we chose to highlight the burgeoning culinary scene in Leavenworth and honor the pear! Who wouldn't want to come?
Thursday, April 9, 2015 More...
Corruption crosses demographic lines
Human fallibility on display everywhere

Consider the following recent news facts:

1 - U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, staunch Cuban-American anti-Castro ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee being charged with corruption for taking bribes over many years from a rich Florida eye doctor for nefarious favors.

2 - New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, prominent in that state's Jewish lobby, arrested for corruption for taking bribes for years from a law firm involved in asbestos litigation.

3 - Eleven teachers, all African-American, found guilty of forgery, fraud and racketeering in Georgia for falsifying student's test scores which caused them to get bonuses and raises. They will be imprisoned.

My friends, I am not anti-politician, teacher or government, but the above three examples are exactly what I am against - unchecked power and money hungry people in positions of trust who display their human failings and allow greed to govern their actions at taxpayer expense.

Thursday, April 9, 2015 More...
Addentures in Elderland
Oh, the joys of aging. Laugh it up, young people, your time is coming.

Alright, so we mummies walk goofy, have complexions like Shih-tzus, and dress like aliens from another planet, but mark my words, your day in the old-folk barrel is coming. If you think we dress funny, wait til the first tattooed 70 year-olds show up wearing backwards ballcaps, gauged ear-loops, Che shirts, and basketball shorts hanging below their underwear ... if they're wearing any. Ponder that vision.

You won't notice aging at first because you think it isn't going to happen to you or at least if it does you'll be so medicated you won't know it. But nay. The bell tolls for thee too, youngster.

Thursday, April 9, 2015 More...
Democrats wage war on small business
In July of 2012 Barack Obama declared, "If you've got a successful business, you didn't build that...someone else helped you do that." While it angered many small business people at the time, there is at least an ounce of truth in his comment. Small businesses succeed because of dedicated employees and loyal customers. The problem is Obama and the Democrats have since declared war on businesses across America.

Listening to the political rhetoric coming from President Obama and his Democrat apparatchiks, business people are the "one percent" sucking wealth from the "middle class". They make $250,000 per year while the middle class is forced to subsist on a minimum wage that forces hard working families to live on food stamps and government welfare. While there are undoubtedly bad actors in any group. Painting all business owners as wealth sucking parasites is nothing short of bizaphobia.

Thursday, April 9, 2015 More...
How did my state lawmakers vote in Olympia?
Senate Bill 5735, to provide incentives for carbon reduction investments. Passed the Senate on March 9, by a vote of 26-23.

Senate Bill 5735, amendment stating that human activity may contribute to climate change. Passed the Senate on March 9, by a vote of 29-20.

Senate Bill 5899, to address small loans and consumer installment loans. Passed the Senate on March 10, by a vote of 30-18.

Thursday, April 2, 2015 More...
Life is a precious gift
In a guest editorial by Dr. Robert Olvera, he voices a compassionate opinion in favor of "Aid in Dying". He seems to base his opinion using his credentials as a Doctor and a Catholic, yet he really gives no medical or religious reason for his conviction. So his opinion is really no more sound than his emotions, which seem to be based on the horrible experience of watching an adult daughter die.

I am sorry for Dr. Olvera's loss but on a topic this serious shouldn't we look for a better foundation for law than emotion?

Let's clear up the terminology first. If I needed a loaded gun to end my life and you provided the weapon I'd call that assisted suicide. If someone voluntarily ends their life prematurely that's suicide and anyone who helps is an accessory. This should be clear enough; they want it legal to commit suicide to avoid the pain of dying. Fair enough, but let's not pretend it's anything more glamorous than that.

As much as I despise the idea of suicide, assisted or not, doctor assisted suicide will become law because man no longer cares about the authority or prerogative of God. The Giver of life has the final say but man, in the pursuit of making himself to be god, has usurped God's authority in so many ways already this is the next logical step following abortion I suppose.

Thursday, April 2, 2015 More...

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