Wednesday, January 31, 2007
What's the irony that two of the foremost locals fighting for noncustodials to have more parenting rights should be listed right after Slackerdad in the line up? Apparently some people don't appreciate the most basic of human rights.
My second complaint stems from the [not new] influx of violence from beyond Iraq’s borders. Given the state of this war, the borders of Iraq need to be a transformed into human fly zapper. Localized civil war aside, the difference between neighborhood centric religious terror and an international terrorist training camp is the control of the borders.
Monday, January 29, 2007
Friday, January 26, 2007
Today the Senate Human Services & Corrections committee had a hearing for two pretty important bills. Suffice to say if the issues these bills attempt to address were solved, a lot of ancillary social problems in our state would disappear, namely many of the social ills stemming from kids not having both parents in their life.
The prospect of our government having wire taps on phones doesn’t scare me half as much as much as the number of civil rights violations, violations of due process and utter disregard for the law that happens routinely in family courts. If you are a male going through a contested custody battle- expect to go into bankruptcy and possibly jail.
In my years of activism this is the most movement I’ve seen on the legislative front. Both bills have a credible number of sponsors as well as a ground swell of support from Senators and Reps not sponsoring the bill.
Those with a strong opinion on the subject of reforming family law regarding custody battles should contact their Senator ASAP. In no particular order here is the gist of the positions and testimony.
- A couple of battered women testified that the system failed them. I don’t doubt it, but there was no strong correlation to how this pertains to parenting plans and repeating it a hundred times doesn’t make it true.
- $$$$ Many clamors for more money for DV programs. Not surprisingly this came from organizations that live on divorce money. Apparently the $10 tax on every marriage license has only been spent on more employees to get in line for money at hearings like this.
- Several requests to have more screening- in other words as a father you must prove you did not beat your wife before you can be part of a parenting plan.
- No mention of child abuse…and so I brought it up in my testimony since that statistic frowns on the fairer gender by a 2:1 ratio.
Man from the State Bar
- It’s in the best interest of the child to wipe one parent out of the equation (I’m not kidding, this is what the dude said).
County Court Clerks
- Don’t put the program in place if you don’t intend to keep in place and properly funded. The amount of cash required for 5470 is large.
- Several testified on the system failing them. This was several Dads wanting to have time with their kids, but can’t. They’ve done nothing wrong, but have been reduced to less than 4 days a month with their kids.
- Grandparents and other family. We had a grandmother testify this year and she was absolutely brilliant and on point: wiping one parent out of child’s life also means wiping out half of a child’s family network.
- Child Abuse vs Domestic Violence: I brought this point up since the DV crowd lined up like pigs at a trough for cash- there was no advocate for the children. In other words instead of screening for wife beaters, resources would be more appropriately used for screen of child abuse.
- Lack of a formal definition of DV- I asked the question of whether cutting up your wife’s maxed out credit card was considered abuse. According to the current definition of abuse, it is. You controlling bastards with scissors.
- Screening for false allegations and repercussions of false allegations. Currently you can through a kitchen sink full of lies into family court with no repercussions (if you are female). I was surprised to see the opposition acknowledge a need for reducing the opportunity to game the system.
- Power of a prenup: Wouldn’t it be great if couples could have a prenup that would cover parenting plans? Currently judges will throw those out- this is preventing good conversations from happening between rational people when they get married. Credit Greg Howe of TOPS for pioneering this concept and Senator Regala for expressing dismay that this doesn’t exist.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
As it is standard for HR and interviewers to Google potential employees- here's what I have to say. It's a shame if my political beliefs [which are quite centrist BTW] are a liability to me in my career path. If you believe standing up for fiscal responsibility in government, rational discussion of current political events on my own time and fighting for kids to have access to both of their parents are liabilities in an employee- I doubt you run the sort of company I want to work for.
A healthy corporate culture values diversity. I have no desire to work for someone who requires my beliefs and values to be the same as their own, even if those beliefs happen to be the same as my own! I have no desire to work in an organization that tolerates or encourages that sort of discrimination. I also have no desire to work with the type of 'yes-men and women' who would thrive in such a place.
Further- I have never blogged on company time and I have never identified who employs me on my blog. My professional life and my political life have always been and always will be separate.
PS : One last thing, though I do proof read my entries with a once over, I don't spend hours and hours checking sentence structure, punctuation and spelling.
Since the best part of web 2.0 is the life these things have on their own, I'm going to re-enable comments.
I'm at bloggers mercy as far a managing spamming...
Monday, January 15, 2007
The issue is this:
In the absence of criminal wrong doing, proven abuse or neglect a parent who WANTS to be a part of their child's life- should be able to do so without going bankrupt in a legal battle for the right to do so.
Everyone knows two parents are better than one, however family courts prefer to wipe one parent out of a child's life whenever they get the opportunity. This is about more than the best interest of a child, the need for this bill is a civil rights issue.
SB 5234 is about a parent's right to have time with their child. It's not about changing financial support, it's not about funding the domestic violence industry; it's about the failure of judges and commisioners to protect the rights given to us by God and affirmed by the US constitution.
I don't even have kids and this issue is what brought me into the political arena. The playing field might be a little different than MLK's, but the issue is still about equal treatment under the law.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
After a decade plus of education governors, Gregoire recently offered the current class of graduating future civil servants of America a pass on math. Instead of possessing the actual ability to solve math problems- they can show employers and life’s problems the “waiver” Mrs Gregoire gave them back in 2006-7.
This week, in yet another effort to out do Locke as the education governor, Gregoire also cut the school year length for school districts wanting to cut out a little early for summer vacation. I would suspect this would be the school systems way of explaining to us what they will do if we funnel another 100 million dollars their way.
Please explain to me why a kid can’t have my tax dollars to go to a private school if he or she REALLY wants to learn!!!
We shouldn’t be too tough on the public school system. While lacking the time and resources to teach the basics that students mastered back in the 1950’s without a computer, our kids will at least know the important stuff like social evils through the eyes of Democrats. Although math, science and even reading & writing are skills far beyond this class of students, they will at least know how to address condom-less bananas and the causes of global warming. However lacking the ability to prioritize learning ahead of self-esteem, don’t expect them to really do anything with this awareness.
Yes, this graduating class will inevitably buy SUV’s anyway. Let’s hope the dealer’s finance manager sees them coming and allows them to use their awesome Gregoire math waiver to buy the Ford Excursion with zero down and a 21% APR loan.
Friday, January 12, 2007
Crazy like a fox Mike Nifong has done more for men’s civil rights in this country than a million years of stone throwing by bloggers like me.
Bottom feeding parasites from the black community [New Black Panthers, Jesse Jackson] and feminists alike DEMANDED the three accused be strung up in the nearest tree. Nifong responded in kind. Not only did Nifong prosecute, he kept pursuing the case like a pit bull – just as the hate raving bigots wanted him to; and continues to do, long after skepticism, evidence, common sense and hey even criminal liability dictate that he dismiss the charges.
Nifong and the accuser may both end up in jail before this is over, but way to go man. Talk about cosmic justice, not only will the 3 accused in this case be vindicated, but they will most likely end up suing the bejeezus out of Nifong, the entire DA office and on upward in a civil suit. The taxpayers who re-elected Nifong will justifiably have to pay $ for this too…and that’s a good thing seeing as how they reelected the guy.
However the fall out of this case really sucks for legitimate rape victims around the country and that’s nothing to cheer about. I could get on a soapbox about it- but it’s a new version of the old story of the girl who cried wolf. That’s why this accuser and Nifong MUST be prosecuted.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Cancer killed my father in 1974. He was 40. I was too young to remember him. Though my entire family is highly empathetic to families who have to survive what we did, we no longer fund cancer research. Our reason: No accountability. It’s a bucket with a giant hole in the bottom.
I’m not a fan of the Gates family or their politics, but I give them high marks in one regard: They cut off funding to organizations (like Seattle’s schools) that squander money, waste time on political cat fighting, and fail to deliver results on an investment. They've been quite foreward about not investing in orgs that can't get their act together.
My message to cancer researchers: get your act together or my dollars continue to go elsewhere. Also shame on those who build careers in this black hole and don’t fight for accountability. I’d give a million bucks if my dad could be alive today and I won’t give a nickel to any cancer research organization operating today. Do the math.
Prohibiting the payment of signature gatherers on a per-signature basis.
Rep. Larry Haler e-mailed:
I co-sponsored House Bill 1087 because I believe that if wages are paid for work performed, in this state, said wages must conform to the state's minimum wage law. That is the reason!
Let me list the other socialist dictator wanna-be's who want to keep the power in Olympia and away from the voters.
Appleton, Jarrett, Haigh, Hudgins, Hasegawa, Green, Hurst, McDermott, Hunt, Dickerson, Darneille, Simpson, Flannigan, O'Brien, Upthegrove, Eddy, Williams, Kirby, Goodman, Roberts, Walsh, Campbell, Curtis, Wallace, Eickmeyer, Dunshee, Conway, Sommers, Rolfes, Haler, Takko
Reps: You're showing your true colors- this is not about anything other than removing the voter's ability to repeal your tax hikes. Between this and removing the supermajority for school levies- it's pretty clear your respect for those of us who pay the bills is nill.
Let's hope Eyman responds in kind if this steaming load comes through. He will no doubt find no shortage of volunteers lining up to PROTECT our initiative process.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
The black helicopter brigade asks this question: How certain is the budget surplus? Others, watching Olympia far closer -for far longer than I, will point out to you that like clockwork, within 6 months of Olympia declaring a budget surplus, said surplus will disappear and probably turn into a deficit.
Call it the death, taxes, and the disappearing surplus rules of certainty of life. In fact as Brad Shannon of the Zero points out- the surplus is not really a surplus, but a forecast of a surplus. There is not a ton of cash laying around that unexpectedly appeared in the pockets of the legislature. This forecast is based on best predictions of tealeaves and tossing chicken bones in a circle on the dirt followed by consulting the Tarot cards of the current and future economy.
So one has to ask the question: Why spend money that may or may not really exist? Well- to the Governor, spending money that isn’t really there is standard practice. If we run short on cash, we can always bolster the general fund by horking money away from projects that are “for the children” and introduce a tax increase to cover the shortfall. It works perfectly everytime- hence Washington's DEATH TAX. Education and children’s health insurance seem to be the favorite practices of the current administration. Also there’s the specter of the question as to why they are not entertaining the option of using the vapor cash to cover the state’s pension “loan,” which seems to be the only fiscally responsible course of action for a “forecasted” surplus.
The situation as it turns out is far worse. The Governor is setting up a spending trap. Once you set expectations that you are going to fund a project, you get to find a scapegoat to blame when the budget falls short of your spending bill– or even better, you get to use your majority status to jack up taxes again and again. Even better, the number one agenda item for our credit card legislature is to lower the super majority to a simple majority requirement for school levies. It’s for the children, remember?
If only elections could be held on the same day as property tax bills arrive in the mail.
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
The problem with these deals seems to be that the same pattern plays out each time. It follows something like this.
- Wealthy investors tell local government that they'll co-invest in a project with major public benefit.
- Taxpayers complain, but government does so anyway.
- Wealthy investors change terms of agreement in 11th hour (sort of like the asphalt suppliers with the DOT) and/or pull out of deal completely AFTER procuring money from the government.
- Taxpayers get stuck with unprofitable tax burden of a mess and wealthy investors screw off with obscene profits at the public's expense.
If the deal were THAT awesome, the wealthy investors wouldn't be coming to the government for assistance. It's amazing that some county and city governments up north of us haven't wired all of their funds to a wealthy friend in Nigeria (or substitute your favorite country in Africa).
To their credit, the legislature hasn't been swindled by a sports team or NASCAR race track in at least 2 years. Knock on wood.
We were promised more lanes. Voters voted for more lanes. What we have gotten are traffic dots, bike trails, cable barriers and widening of side streets by the capital. Oh- and the companies who funded the push to raise the taxes in the first place also just raised the price of the projects. I have to give them credit, they really do know how to squeeze a grape.
Besides “the life or death” Chehalis bike trail overpass, the state also recently announced that it's granting $4.4 million to a non-freeway project that was not part of the promised 9.5 cent gas tax hike. This is in the wake of recent rumblings that many of the projects promised on the gas tax hike are going to be cancelled w/out additional funding. The Seattle Times and later today Sound Politics (blog) both reported out the confirmation that the new funding request is going to be on the ballot.
This is completely unacceptable. Of course so were the spending habits and the lack of accountability of the DOT prior to the gas tax hike, which is the second biggest reason opponents didn’t want the tax hike. The biggest issue is not more money- it’s that fact that the DOT magically screws off with the money every time and under delivers on promises. It’s as if the DOT were run and managed by college interns with no project management experience at all. Meanwhile, the commute from central Thurston to Seattle is up to 3 hours on some days, even in a car pool.
-Cable barriers may save lives, but they are not extra lanes on 3 hour commutes.
-Bike trails are nice, but they are not extra lanes on 3 hour commutes.
-Traffic DOTs were idiotic and they were also NOT extra lanes on 3 hour commutes.
All of these have been funded since the gas tax hike. Voters are complete financial retards if they give another penny to the DOT without serious reforms going into place about how our roads are built. The real kicker is that they are going to now hit car tabs and property taxes for this mismanagement. Obviously it would be poor sales skills to go the gas tax well again, voters need at least 2 more years to become morons on that one.