Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Concerns, Unestimated

"The taxpayers in my estimation are concerned about layoffs, furloughs and services."

That quote was from Mayor Dickert and can be found here as part of a larger discussion about a 2.7% tax increase.

I am just one Racine taxpayer who would prefer not to have my concerns estimated. I prefer to be direct.

Here are my concerns Mayor Dickert: As you know, Racine continues to have high unemployment. Also, our properties have lost value. What this means is that Racine taxpayers have even less money and or net worth than they did a year ago. I am concerned about those people, many of whom will have great difficulty paying their taxes. I am less concerned about city employees. They have jobs with benefits that no longer exist in the private sector. They are doing just fine. But alas, something must be done. Sacrifices must be made. My concern is that all the sacrifices are being made by the taxpayers. I am also concerned about your apparent view of the role of government. It is not to ensure full employment for city workers. Rather it is to provide for the needs of taxpayers, constrained of course, by their ability to pay. I am concerned that we have reached a point in Racine where the tax burden is simply too high for many individuals and businesses to thrive in Racine. I am concerned that this burden will lead to more unemployment, more foreclosures and a weakened private economy. If you were to introduce layoffs of city employees, or furloughs, or reduction in city services with a commensurate savings to taxpayers, you would show Racine taxpayers that you understand their struggles. My final concern is that my concerns will not be shared, expressed, or represented by any Racine officials.

Friday, October 22, 2010

No to Corporate Welfare

I'll be glad to have 189 new jobs in Racine if they ever materialize (read story here). That said, isn't $5.7 million in corporate welfare from the state an admission that Wisconsin has a burdensome tax and or regulatory environment? Do we want government using our money to pick business winners and losers? My answers are yes and no respectively. Let us level the playing field and make life easier for the only people who can actually grow our economy, entrepreneurs.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Be Afraid

'I mean, look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."

Juan Williams was fired from NPR (National Public Radio) for making this statement on the O'Reilly show the other day.

Note that Williams was not advocating any kind of different treatment of apparent Muslims. He was simply nervous and worried. Some Americans might recall that several years ago some Muslims hijacked airplanes and flew them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Might that historical event have contributed to Williams anxiety?

It is not clear whether the fireable offense was being nervous or speaking about said nervousness, but I suspect the latter. After all, being nervous is not something we can easily control. I am often a bit nervous when flying, usually on takeoffs and landings. I suppose now I should be careful not to share my anxiety lest I offend all airline pilots. But somehow I don't think Williams would have been fired if he merely offended pilots.

No, Williams was fired for speaking truthfully about his anxiety about Muslims and airplanes. Obviously, speaking truthfully is not something that one should be punished for. Therefore, the answer is to address Williams' fears.

I suggest nationwide reeducation camps. We all need to learn about the benign nature of all adherents to Islam. We need to pretend that 9-11 had no connection to Islam whatsoever. The culprits were extremists. All extremists are equally dangerous.

Be afraid. Be very afraid. Just don't tell anyone.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

WW Sean Cranley Do?

Whenever you challenge the pro abortion crowd, as I have been doing recently at Kay's Blue Racine, they inevitably bring up the small percentage of abortions that pose genuine moral quandaries, such as when the pregnancy is caused by rape or if the life of the mother is at risk etc...

So I figured I would present an atypical abortion decision and see if abortion is acceptable to Sean Cranley et al under the following hypothetical circumstance:

Husband and wife are expecting their fourth child, a boy after three girls. Everything is going just fine with the pregnancy until wife discovers that husband had an affair. She files for divorce and tells anyone willing to listen that she will not give that good-for-nothing husband the boy he wanted. She even posts on Facebook her intent to abort the baby to spite her husband. Should this be legal Sean?

Husband files suit, wife makes appointment for the abortion. The fateful day arrives only the little fellow doesn't cooperate. Actually, he's just a little lucky. The abortion doc only crushes the jaw and shoulder and misses the brain. He's still alive when the husband rushes in with a duffle bag filled with cash accompanied by the world's most reknowned pediatric surgeon eager to save the boy. The abortion doc doesn't know what to do so he calls the Chief Ethicist at Burlington Secular Progressive Hospital, one Sean Cranley.

We already know what our president would do. He would nudge the little boy (or delegate the task) into the red biohazard bin. But WWSCD? Go ahead Sean, play god.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Kay's Bad Religion

I have been making the point, at Kay's Blue Racine, that dehumanization is the intellectual foundation upon which the pro-abortion argument is built. Which prompted this challenge from Kay:

"Denis, the thing about being human involves, for most people, the concept that all humans have souls. Another widespread belief is that God is omnipotent. If God is omnipotent then why would he put a soul into a cellular mass or a fetus that is not destined to be born? Are you questioning God's wisdom? Can you explain why a soul would be created not to have the ability to experience a single breath on Earth?"

Allrighty then. Let's break down Kay's theology here. Humans have God given souls. God knows all. God will not give a soul to a cellular mass that will be scooped out and discarded in the garbage bin behind the abortion clinic. Therefore, that cellular mass, without a soul, is not human. Therefore again, it doesn't matter what is done with said cellular mass. When abortion occurs, it is because God wanted an abortion.

Now that does rather convincingly prove my original point about dehumanization does it not? According to Kay's religion, a pregnant woman is carrying a soulless cellular mass. When you make that appointment at the clinic, you are doing God's work.

Kay's is a truly scary religion. Everything is known to God and part of the plan. Anything whether good or evil is part of the plan. Basically, anything goes in Kay's world since it is part of God's plan.

Ironically, Kay goes on to accuse me of playing God, as follows:

" I firmly believe that people like you are trying to play God by taking away free will from women who may die from a forced birth, lose the ability to have more children in the future or have been told that their fetus is so deformed that it will either die inside them or within minutes to days after taken from their bodies. Who are you to make those decisions for another person? What about women who cannot mentally cope with giving birth? Do you claim to be able to see into their hearts and minds? Is that not playing God? Or at the very least assuming you have a God like ability? "

Kay's accusations are ironic because, if you believe in Kay's religion, if I am indeed playing God, it would (like abortion) be known and approved by God. And I am accused of "taking away the free will from women." What free will? There is no free will with predestination. We are all going to do what we are going to do and it is because God wants it that way.

Now who is playing God here, Kay or me? In Kay's world, a woman who does not abort her child gives birth to a human with a soul. The child, oops I meant soulless cellular mass, that is aborted didn't have a soul anyway. Note that gift of a soul is entirely dependent on the woman's abort or not decision. It is the woman that decides whether the soulless cellular mass becomes a human being. The woman is playing God.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Spoiling for a Dog Fight

Kay at Blue Racine has a lengthy diatribe about aggressive dogs that morphs, predictably, into the dangers posed by Sarah Palin and her followers.

According to Kay:

Their problem is that at some point she may take that group of people to the point of no return in regards to behavior. How soon before we see a surge of shootings of gays? Afterall, Sarah thinks they're sinful and immoral. Abnormal. Is it easier for someone who might not want to kill someone they can identify with to kill someone they believe is born of Satan and isn't even "normal"?

My response to Kay:

Yes, probably. However, the best justification to kill is to claim that the victim is not even a human. I have heard them called "potentials" on this site (Kay's Blue Racine). You don't have to worry about a wave of such killings because we are already awash in their dead bodies.

I now await the gnashing of teeth, baring of fangs etc... in keeping with the aggressive dog theme.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Having It Both Ways

Have you ever noticed that Racine Unified supporters are quick to blame parents for the school children that fail? Have you also noticed that Racine Unified will point out to critics that many students do quite well, graduate, go to college etc...?

It took me a while to figure this out, but notice that Unified and their apologists take credit for successful outcomes while placing blame for lousy outcomes. In short, the education profession can do no wrong. Forget about reform, just give those heroes anything they ask for and more.

This is a great marketing strategy by Unified. But we don't have to buy it. Either we should expect Unified to own both the success and failure of its students or own neither. If they choose the former, they need to hold them accountable for poor results. If they choose the latter, it will be a de facto admission that teachers can't impact students and they should all be fired. Let's not let them have it both ways any longer.