Clear Fog Blog

Political musings from Warren E. Peterson

Archive for February, 2010

Sniper Kill Shot

Posted by Warren Peterson on February 26, 2010

Thanks to JJQ for sending me this You Tube Video link of a 2004 History Channel report on a Marine sniper in Iraq. It is not for the squeamish. Semper Fi.

Posted in Military | Leave a Comment »

Obama and Governing – Krauthammer Explains

Posted by Warren Peterson on February 20, 2010

One of the nation’s premiere columnists, Charles Krauthammer, offers an explanation for Obama’s failure to achieve his signature goals. He rejects the charges that special interests, a too restrictive Constitution, Senate rules, and partisanship are making the county ungovernable. Recalling former Presidents ranging from Teddy Roosevelt to Bill Clinton, Krauthammer makes the case that the problem is leadership – some presidents have it, some don’t. Obama falls into the latter category.

I encourage you to click on the blue and read Krauthammer’s column.

Posted in National Politics | Leave a Comment »

A Brits View of Saudi Arabia

Posted by Warren Peterson on February 20, 2010

Thanks to B.K. for alerting me about this video from 2007. Watch it with care though. It could generate a fatwa. As a bonus, in searching for a web site with the video, I found a blogger that will please my conservative readers. Amy L. Geiger-Hemmer’s post accompanies the video and if you’d like to read more commentary by her click on her blog “It’s Hemmer Time” and enjoy.

Posted in Humor | Leave a Comment »

Hell Freezes, Liberals Concerned About Higher Taxes

Posted by Warren Peterson on February 12, 2010

I had to read it twice to be sure it was true. It was. Joni Balter, Seattle Times editorial columnist, wrote a column in the February 11, 2010 issue of the Times bemoaning the tax whipsaw citizens are experiencing with the various taxing entities each seeking more money without regard to what others are doing. We must be at the infamous tipping point when even liberals start to worry about taxes. After listing some of the city, county and state planned increases she concludes: “Your wallet and head and mine begin to ache.”

Well welcome to Democrat heaven Joni. Just look at your property tax statement. If you live in Seattle, you pay a state school tax, Seattle schools construction and operating levies, emergency medical tax, surface water tax, soil conservation tax, noxious weed tax, Port of Seattle tax, King County ferry tax, flood control tax, Seattle and King County taxes that pay for the general operating expenses and voter approved taxes (we do it to ourselves) for libraries, parks, low income housing, Seattle’s Family and Education levy (separate from school levies), Stadium tax (which Balter points out officially ends in 2012 but the line is already forming for public groups who want to continue the tax for all manner of “good” causes). Add in sales tax, higher sales tax for restaurant meals, gas tax, liquor tax, tobacco tax, auto tab tax, light rail tax, utility taxes too numerous to list and the bill gets to be fairly high. But that’s not all. Business taxes passed on to customers, fees, and charges and, of course, income taxes, all totaled, explain why tax freedom day, even in a recession, falls in April.

Governments start new programs, lock in more entitlements and spend freely during the boom years and then when the downturns occur threaten to cut police, fire and schools unless the taxpayer ponies up more. Meanwhile long range financial planning to meet future needs such as bridge replacements is ignored.

In Washington State, the Left promotes their version of tax reform. Just add an income tax and we can lower property and sales taxes and provide a more predictable and fair tax system. The only problem is people look at states like California, New York, Illinois etc. and they are broke (spent more, and promised more than they could deliver). Oregon, with no sales tax, is trying the tax the rich approach. We’ll see how that works out.

The Democrats blame Tim Eyman. But Tim and phenomena like the Tea Party Movement is only the natural result of the ever-increasing growth in government and the taxes required to feed it. Obviously, we need government and taxes. The conversation now is how much of each can we afford, what is the fairest way to pay and how can we set limits to control the pressure to spend? Eyman’s initiatives are not the best way to answer the questions but until elected officials get the message, it may be the only way.

Posted in State & Local | 1 Comment »

Gays in the Military

Posted by Warren Peterson on February 10, 2010

A recently released poll of active duty military personnel shows that opposition to gays serving in the military has fallen from 63% to 51% and acceptance has grown from 24% to 30%. This change in attitude, while still opposed by a majority, is trending closer to the views of the general public which overwhelmingly supports allowing homosexuals in the military.

There are strong arguments in favor opening the doors of military service to homosexuals. It is seen as a matter of civil rights and non-discrimination. If anyone who is able to serve wants to serve, they ought to be allowed to serve. There are antidotal stories of the military losing critical skills, like translators, due to the prohibition of openly gay soldiers. Most of the world’s armed forces are open to homosexuals so what could be the harm if the U.S. did the same? Others compare it to President Truman’s order to end racial segregation of the military.

On the other hand, what happens when a group of soldiers living in the confines of a barracks – bunk beds, communal showers and all – find out that some members of the group are sexually attracted to their own sex? I think of when I was a newly minted Navy Ensign assigned to an aircraft carrier. All the Ensigns were berthed in the Junior Officer’s Bunk Room, which consisted of several four man, two-bunk bed cubicles crammed into a small space under the steam catapults. Always warm, it was tropical hot in the summer and we all slept in our Navy issue boxer shorts. I suppose there may have been a homosexual or two in the group, I just don’t know but if there were openly gay men, I am sure the rest of us would not have liked it. It would be similar to a few men living in an open barracks of women. The men may enjoy it but the women would be uncomfortable to say the least. The reason separate sleeping quarters are provided for men and women is obvious. Similarly, housing gays or lesbians in separate quarters with members of their own sex or with heterosexuals seems problematic at best. Regardless of these concerns, the pressure for a change is obvious.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mullen, and the Commander-in-Chief, Barack Obama, have expressed support for lifting the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and allow homosexuals, in or out of the closet, to join the military. But we should proceed with caution. The purpose of the military is to train for and fight wars. Any change in policy that may interfere with readiness needs to be carefully considered and the practical results well publicized so revisions can be made if the data shows a need. Maybe any problems can be managed as was done when women joined support and combat units in greater numbers or racial segregation ended. Hopefully so but the effectiveness of our fighting forces must be paramount.

Posted in Military | Leave a Comment »

A Scott Brown Ad Not to Miss

Posted by Warren Peterson on February 9, 2010

Thanks to G. S. for sending in this You Tube video.

It is a campaign ad for the newly elected Senator form the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Scott Brown. Watch an effective ad that demonstrates how his campaign resonated with the voters. Click on the url and see what you think. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nEoW-P81-0

Posted in National Politics | Leave a Comment »

 
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