Saturday, September 29, 2007

Push for Fairness in Media

As you know, the liberal media have billions of dollars at their disposal and control over the major information outlets. During the 2008 Election cycle they will pull out all stops—regardless of price tag—to advance the liberal agenda. That’s why our mission at the MRC is so vital and why we need your help to protect the integrity of the election process. The liberal media won’t stop, but neither will we. That’s our job. And it’s only possible because of your support and commitment.
Please sign >> Petition << push Media to be balanced and fair.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Travis County Leaders vote Higher Taxes and Spending

Thanks to Sam Bisco and his Democrat friends on the Commisioners Court, the Era of Big Travis County Government Continues, as the County passes budget, tax increase:

Travis County commissioners on Tuesday adopted a $663.6 million budget that includes a tax increase largely intended to cover raises for employees.

The average raise for the law enforcement departments is a hefty 11.5%. Public employee unions pushed this and the Statesman notes:
"The commissioners passed the budget and tax increase by separate 4-1 votes. Commissioner Gerald Daugherty was the dissenter, saying he could not justify the increases. ... The unions contributed heavily to the campaign of Commissioner Sarah Eckhardt. Last year, she defeated Karen Sonleitner, who opposed the kind of pay raises sought by the unions."

The public employee unions have gotten all the Democrats to roll over for them, and the taxpayers are the one's holding the bag. Daugherty is the lone Republican in the Travis county Commisioner's Court and is now the lone holdout against higher taxes and spending in country Government.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Science has a trust issue

Irony alert. A scientific study shows that scientific studies are mostly false:

"There is an increasing concern that in modern research, false findings may be the majority or even the vast majority of published research claims," Dr. Ioannidis said. "A new claim about a research finding is more likely to be false than true."

If you can unwrap yourself from the circular logic involved, you can consider the problem with global warming science and many other areas that have political implications or interactions. Politics demands certainty, even hyperbole to get people 'motivated'. Motivation yields to over-eagerness to make something true. This never makes it so, but makes the 'science' around it suspect as scientists either tweak statistics or get fooled into premature conclusions.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Hillary Care will become Bureau-Care

Hillary Care will become Bureau-care
By Randy Samuelson

As most have heard, Hillary Clinton has a new policy initiative for her goal of socialized medicine. Her newest initiative is to mandate that all individuals have health insurance and require all businesses to provide health care to their employees. If a business cannot provide the health insurance, the government will subsidize the insurance. Her goal seems so noble, but shouldn’t the goal be to reduce the cost of health care for all and focus on preventative check ups and not for the federal government to subsidize insurance companies? What would the Democrat trial lawyers say when they found out that Hillary desires to subsidize their courtroom opponents? To put this in simple terms, the actual implementation of this program will become a bureaucratic monstrosity and will work to drive the price of health care up.

There is a government agency called the Government Service Administration (GSA). Their job is to provide office supplies and equipment to federal bureaucracies. One of the things they provide to federal bureaucracies is vehicles. When GSA provides a vehicle, the maintenance schedule for the vehicle is dictated by GSA, not the individual driver that the vehicle is assigned to in a remote office. Preventative maintenance of these vehicles is seldom performed because it is based on the government’s timeline, not the vehicle’s timeline. If there is an emergency, such as a damaged water pump, the primary driver cannot take the vehicle to just any shop. First, they have to ask for GSA’s permission to replace the water pump and, if the GSA bureaucrat agrees to the repair, you will be given a mechanic who operates under an existing GSA contract. This mechanic can sometimes be two or three counties away and the vehicle may not be operational for that long. Do you see the dilemma? This is a common occurrence for government vehicles.

Now, think of the sentence above in terms of mandated health care or subsidized insurance. Who will dictate the schedule of maintenance? It will be a bureaucrat either in Washington or in the insurance company, not the individual seeking the care. If there is an emergency, just like in an HMO, you will be given a doctor that you will use if the emergency is deemed important enough.
And now, think about the increased cost of insurance premiums for all Americans because the government is subsidizing the cost of insurance for those whom the insurance companies deem should not be covered because of the risk factors? Not everybody has insurance because there are risks involved in selling a person insurance. If the person is at high risk, the price of their insurance will naturally be higher or the person may not be sold insurance at all. By using government subsidies to mandate health insurance for all, the cost of insurance increases for everybody as many of the new individuals will cost the insurance company a lot of money to provide health care for.

If liberals truly want to provide better health care for everybody, the policies should be defined in terms to reduce the cost and government red tape. Reducing the cost of an item will ensure that more people have the ability to purchase it and will ensure that there is more competition for that particular item. Hillary Care, and to some extent the current health care system, creates a system in which the insurance company, the government, and the doctor is the consumer (of limited revenue) instead of the provider of a service. By enacting policies that drive down the price of health care and allow for free market competition, the individual becomes the consumer, choosing which doctor to use based on cost and quality and comfort of service provided. Allowing individuals to purchase Health Savings Accounts and removing government the bureaucratic regulatory power of the Federal Drug Administration (whose goal is to protect American pharmaceutical companies, not to ensure quality drugs) are just two such examples of policies that can be implemented to drive down the cost of health care.

What this country needs now is quality health care at a reduced cost with more options to the consumer, not more liberal rhetoric. There is a trade-off cost to subsidizing health care for everybody and most Americans will not be satisfied with those trade-offs. Socialized medicine only helps those socialists who will be creating the plans and a few select insurance companies who will get rich off of those policies. Do not be suckered in by Hillary’s rhetoric and her feigned care for the poor. She is only using the poor to get herself elected.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Taiwanese Sentiment

AP Photo
Fort Worth Star Telegram, TX - Sep 15, 2007
Taipei Times, Taiwan - Sep 14, 2007
Wall Street Journal - Sep 13, 2007

Thursday, September 13, 2007

TaXDOT Derails Taxpayers

TaXDOT Derails Taxpayers
by Randy Samuelson

Recently, a report leaked from the Texas Department of Transportation that should make every taxpayer cringe. The report that leaked included a plan for TXDOT to purchase stretches of highways from the federal government and turn these roads into toll ways. No longer do the bureaucracies work to protect and maintain our public infrastructure; instead, they are looking for ways to generate additional revenue from our public infrastructure.
The audacity of generating revenue from public infrastructure is not new for this set of TXDOT Commissioners. A plan in June called for speeding cameras to be installed on certain stretches of state highways for the purpose of “generating revenue.” No longer do these unelected boards even try to hide their real intents behind the cloak of “public safety” goals. The ground swell among the government elite after the Minneapolis bridge collapse was to raise the gas tax. These commissioners are now flat out telling us that they want more money and will stop at nothing to get it and will use any means to achieve that goal. At the same time that TXDOT is claiming to be low on funds, they are funding a $10 million statewide campaign to encourage toll road use.
The audacity of using public infrastructure to generate revenue from taxpayers by charging them twice for the same service is egregious. Toll roads in themselves are the most efficient way to build new highways, but the plans of removing or cluttering existing free roads to force drivers to take a toll road is not the epitome of choice that this country is built on.
If the highway planners will not give drivers choice, then it is time the taxpayers have the ability to chose the highway planners. In looking at the State agencies and bureaucracies that are run efficiently, you will notice that the most efficient bureaucracies are the Railroad Commission, the Land Commission, and the Agriculture Commission. All three of these agencies accomplish their respective goals with a limited budget. All three of these agencies also give the people the ability to elect the head of the agency and thereby hold the entire agency accountable. It is time the Commissioners of the Texas Department of Transportation become elected officials as well. Any government agency that has the power to raise taxes, fees, and utilize public infrastructure to generate new revenue must be held accountable to the taxpayers.
In a debate this year between TXDOT Commissioner Ric Williamson and State Senator John Carona (Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee), Ric Williamson indicated that he was only accountable to the Governor of Texas and not to the State Legislature nor to the people of Texas. This attitude can start to change by asking the Legislature to enact a constitutional amendment forcing the TXDOT Commissioners to become elected officials to work for the people of Texas. The best ideas and initiatives for efficiently running the government do not come from career bureaucrats. The best ideas come from average Americans who identify problems, create solutions, and then communicate those solutions to others. When unelected bureaucrats refuse to listen to the people, the people are let down by their government. It is time to make the unelected bureaucrats in TXDOT listen to the people through an election.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

UNLimited Taiwan

I don't care much for the parsing of culture and country that makes folks want to refer to themselves in a hyphenated manner, but when your country is as mistreated as Taiwan is by China and the International community, including the US, I completely understand how love of ones root's and the country of one's residence can result in a hyphenated identity.

To check out the Taiwanese-American community via the web, click this link:

Taiwanese-Americans certainly are not all Republicans (I think more may be Democrats), but supporting Taiwan against the threats of the Communist regime in Beijing is a Republican value. To that end I commend you to this web site and urge you to sign this petition Support UN Membership for Taiwan.

And to see a video of how Taiwanese-Americans are banding together to bring attention to the seemly hopeless plight of there homeland to get International recognition as a sovereign state (and to her some interesting sounding Taiwanese rap music) watch the YouTube video below:

And in closing, I dare present to you (with a good bit of fear and trepidation) the Heavy Metal band ChthoniC (pronounced "THON-nic") from Taiwan (1st Disclaimer: In general I do not digest, or even really approve of Heavy Metal music). ChthoniC is not hyphenated, unless it be a Taiwan native Aboriginal-Taiwanese hyphenation, and it is totally committed to an Unlimited Taiwan, even though Taiwan is being UN Limited (2nd Disclaimer: As far as I am concerned the UN is a dung heap, but it stings to high heaven that Taiwan would be denied membership in this dung pile simply becasue the pile is thought of as as the de jure independence recognitionon society and China objects to Taiwaneing so recognized).

Lieutenant Colonel Brian Birdwell's speech at the RPT Texas Straw Poll Event

When I first heard Lieutenant Colonel Brian Birdwell speak at the 2006 Republican Party of Texas State Convention last year I was deeply moved. When I heard him again speak, on September 1, 2007, this time to the 1500 delegates of the RPT Texas Straw Poll Event in Ft. Worth, I was inspired. I was inspired with the idea the next President, the next Commander-in-Chief could very well be the most important leadership choice Americans will make in a generation. We must not give in to the Billary hype. We can, we must, make a difference. We must make the right choice this time.

I hope the video log below, helps you know better what kind of leader to choose.

I apologize for the quality of the video. It is my first attempt to get something I videoed posted to YouTube.

Video 1 of 7

Video 2 of 7

Video 3 of 7

Video 4 of 7

Video 5 of 7

Video 6 of 7

Video 7 of 7