No Freedom of Speech for Political Blogs

Guess this is why I am a republican, although some forward thinking democrats are behind free speech as well.

The concern that paid campaign bloggers would run a free for all is a little extreme. They will get found out. A guy I know, a staunch democrat, who actually does get paid to blog does not parrot the party line. Its pretty easy to see that his blogs were not an extension of a special interest group or the democratic party. I think most web folks will get to the bottom of any screwball bloggers in short order. (or maybe I should clarify, most cynical web folks will) and maybe thats the concern. I’m not sure, anyhow, it seems the libs are very very scared.

So the question is where do we go from here. Maybe someone needs to setup a blog service in another country where free speech is held above all. There was a guy that bought an island in international waters that provides free speech web hosting. Unfortunately I can’t seem to remember where it was. Its unfortunate when one has to go off shore in order to practice the rights of the first admendment.

Paid for by _____who knows___, Approved by ___who knows____

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US Oil Consumption and Anwar

20.5 million barrels/day of oil is used in the US, or 7.4 billion barrels/year

Drilling in Anwar may provide 10 billion barrels of oil, maybe more, possibly less.

Peak production form Anwar will occur in 2025, with a peak output of 876,000 barrels per day. Thus, we have roughly 3 years of oil, assuming consumption can be held at 2004 limits, 20 years from now.

Its also assumed that oil will be at $27/barrel in 2025 and that the small dent created by Anwar may cause a global price shift of under $0.50/barrel. Hmmm, our internal supplies drop multifold in years before that, and its going to be 50% less than it is now, and our consumption will remain at the same as it was in 2004.

Does anyone see how misguided and what a porker Anwar drilling is, and thats outside of any environmental issues.

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A good deal for state govt, a bad deal for the average Joe, and a terrible one for those on fixed incomes.

The state is going to rake it in big time this year with the taxes on home heating fuel. As the taxes are based on a percentage, rather than a flat rate per unit used, the revenue generated by a 70-110% increase in home heating fuel is going to be the same for the state of MN.

This is just plain wrong, the govt is adding insult to injury. Yet another case of the govt loosing its wheels. I’m going to make darn sure to send some extra contributions to our local home heating assitance org and the Salvation Army’s utilities program.

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Who is this Kelly Doran guy anyhow

Wow, talk about a ton of ads, and early on too. I went and checked out the guys website…. based upon the ads, I had no idea he was a democrat. If I did, chances are I might not have looked him up. Yes, I’m a closed minded republican. However, my longtime party has not been exactly stellar as of late, so I spent some time on his website. Interesting, the guy does have some good ideas. It would be nice to actually see them happen, but with all good things in politics, they usually end up getting so watered down, and corrupted in implemenation, its rare that anything good ever comes from them.

Some of the cool things he emphasized were a focus on education, and a focus on business involvement.

He mentioned that he paid for his education himself through working, but also mentioned that tuition was a paltry $1500 back then. Now, its over $9000, and very few students can afford to live, go to school full time, and pay that insane tuition. Sure, costs have risen, but more likely, with an increase in size, so has overhead, and probably exponentially, thus making the tuition insane. If anything, with the increased productivity brought on by technology, overhead costs should have dropped, and tuition should be more inline with inflation, rather than an exponential multiplier. Instead, students end up getting gouged, as the state funds education at a lower amount than back then, and the overhead is much much higher. The big question, is whose hand stole the money out of education (and no one wants to fess up to that) My gut feel suggests that the huge increases in criminal justice and the court systems played a huge role, but one would need to dig through the state budgets over the years in order to identify who the thief was to be certain. If truely Kelly Doran would redistribute funding away from frivilous activities (please note, I’m not saying police are frivolous, the courts, and jail systems are the big waste imho), and towards education, he would really be onto something big. Unfortunately, I doubt that any politcian would do such a thing. Students are not big money contributors, and have little political power. The court system is made up of lawyers and politicans, who know how to run the system for their own gain. It would be a rare politician to take such a stand of opposition.

One of the other things Kelly brought up was a lack of business involvement, and contrasted MN to some other more progressive states. Its interesting how the anti-tax climate of Colorado can have such huge success and growth. My republican stance would say its the anti-tax position, but realistically, I think its what Kelly alluded to. Business involvement, and the push to make things happen. Its a simliar situation to primary ed. If parents are involved, the school will do well, irrespective of funding or physical location. If the parents are not involved, it will require huge somes of cash, just to do a marginal job.

One other cool thing was Kelly’s stance on bankruptcy, and pensions. It is a raw deal for sure, that NWA will kill off their employees pensions, and thus subjecting some folks to personal bankruptcy, where in they will have no chance, while leaving the NWA mismanagement team swimming to the hills with the huge bonuses do to KERPs. At least KERP’s is now dramatically different, as well as the time frames for corp bankruptcy. Its too bad NWA didn’t screw the filing date up like they did running the company and thus be subject to the current regs. Otoh, when they liquidate the airline leaving everyone high and dry, they would be under different regs, of which I have yet to research. I do like what Kelly stated on his site. I support creating an independent system with independent oversight to manage pensions–a system that is properly funded, free from abuse of corporate insiders and insulated from corporate bankruptcies. I think that would be pretty slick, but unfortunately the stock market and investment bankers would scream bloody murder with such a stance, so its unlikely it would ever happen. Then again, if GM and Ford ditch their pension plans, and PBGC takes a major header. The millions of folks affected just might force the issue.

Kelly does take a stand on the ethanol subsidies, and I think its a misguided one. For sure, the commitment should have been upheld by out current governor, but it was a bad deal to start with imho. Ethanol introduces a whole other realm of unintended consequences, many of which we will not see for a few years. Thats the problem when you comingle science, politics, and economics. In other words a major fubar of compromise such that everyone looses, and I think our children will be the biggest losers. What a legacy we leave.

Lastly, he is anti taxpayer funding of the stadium. Cool!!! It is interesting to note that public opinion swayed big time after the vikings deal.. but from a economics standpoint, it should have still been the same slam dunk which was proposed. My gut feel suggests, it never was to start with. If an entity wants a stadium, let them build it, and cut them a deal on taxes if you want it more than the other guy, but don’t build it for them.

It will be interesting to see how things play out. While the guy is a democrat, which usually equates to spending money without accountability or results, he does have a business background. In addition, he is a self made man, and I find that an odd contrast to the strict class barriers that democrats try to build even higher to prevent anyone else from succeeding. Then again, people change as their class status changes, wealth changes, and even age. Still it is a paradox.

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