A Clear Case of Media Malpractice! Democrat National Committee…

A Clear Case of Media Malpractice!  Democrat National Committee…

IT Staffer Arrested Trying to Flee the Country

Now, have you noticed this story being covered by any of the traditional “news” outlets, such as the New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN?? Not one of the above “news” outlets has even mentioned this huge story, not even on an inside page!  This is an obvious case of media malpractice!  Here is a short list of the entities that have reported this story.  What do they all have in common?

Fox News, Washington Free Beacon, World Tribune, Daily Caller, Catholic News Service, Gateway Pundit, American Thinker.  They are all centrist or Conservative news outlets, and they all report the truth!

Here is a short synopsis, with thanks to the Washington Free Beacon:

Politico reported in March that Imran Awan was one of five House contractors under investigation for “stealing equipment from members’ offices without their knowledge” and “committing serious, potentially illegal, violations on the House IT network.”  It was said that Democrats were trying to cover up this story, due to the Muslim religion and Pakistani origin of the perpetrators.  Yeah, they hesitate to tell the truth about these criminals, because “Islamophobia”!!

So, here are links to other articles from the above news outlets.  I recommend that you read them, and get the Truth about what is going on in Washington DC.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/07/25/feds-arrest-it-staffer-for-wasserman-schultz-trying-to-leave-country.html

http://freebeacon.com/politics/debbie-wasserman-schultz-it-staffer-arrested-charged-with-bank-fraud/

http://www.catholic.org/news/national/story.php?id=75609

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/07/breaking-wasserman-schultz-staffer-imran-awan-arrested-airport-trying-flee-u-s/

Remember, this is the Democrat Party, who has been hounding President Donald Trump and his family, and his campaign staff, and his Cabinet members, about their alleged “collusion” with Russia to influence the 2016 election.  [Please note that NO evidence has been found of any collusion by Trump staff or family]  And all the time, their own party headquarters suffered from Russian infiltration caused by Stupid John Podesta falling for a Phishing attack!  And now, we find that their former Chairman was having their computers looked after by real scum!  It is criminal that this story has been totally suppressed by the “Mainstream Media”.  And who suffers?  The average American who has been kept in the dark and fed totally irrelevant crap about their duly-elected President.  I think the term “deplorable” applies to them, much more than it applies to the average Trump supporter, don’t you?

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Satisfaction…Human Ingenuity

I am always impressed with the products of human ingenuity, many of which were designed and built thousands of years ago, and still remain for us to marvel at.  Every time I drive down a mountain road, I can’t help thinking of all the engineering and labor that went into that road.  When I look at a tall building, or a huge containership, my mind says “human ingenuity”.  Some may think that other animals are as smart as we humans are, but when did any animal build something like these?

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VietNam Memorial

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BC Ferry, making its way through the Gulf Islands
Curtis Organ
Pipe Organ in recital hall at Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

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Photo Challenge~~~Unusual

Varied Thrushes and Robins are ground-feeding birds.  They are carnivores, and everyone has seen or heard of robins rooting around on the ground for worms.  I caught this Varied Thrush on the fence in my back yard.  He looks indignant, and I think this photo cries out for a caption.  Can my readers supply one?

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Some thoughts on the King County (WA) Ballot Proposition 1, “Sales tax for Cultural Access Program”

Some thoughts on the King County (WA) Ballot Proposition 1, “Sales tax for Cultural Access Program”

Here is the text of the ballot measure on the primary ballot in King County, Washington, that includes Seattle and surrounding suburbs.

King County
Proposition No. 1
Sales Tax for Cultural Access Program

The King County Council passed Ordinance No. 18513 to establish and fund a cultural access program. The program would expand access to arts, science, and heritage programming throughout King County. The program would include cultural education in schools and transportation to cultural venues for public school students. The program would also provide funding for cultural organizations to expand programming, including to serve diverse and underserved populations. The cultural access program, including administrative costs, would be funded by a county sales tax increase of one-tenth of one percent for seven years beginning January 1, 2018.  [Emphasis mine]

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Last night, and at a concert last week, the Marketing Manager of the Seattle Chamber Music Festival urged us in the audience to vote in favor of this addition to the Sales Tax in King County.  Being a Cultural Organization, the Seattle Chamber Music Society would get some funding from the sales taxes.  Vote King County a higher sales tax, so we may have some of those funds.

Here are some of my thoughts and questions about this ballot measure.

  1.  King County is the most liberal political unit in the state of Washington.  The residents of King County, and Seattle, rarely saw a tax they didn’t like.  The city of Seattle has numerous times voted to tax its property owners additionally for schools, the homeless, family programs, transportation,  ad infinitum.
  2. The liberals who live in King County are always bemoaning the “regressive” taxation scheme in Washington State, whose Constitution forbids an income tax, and its reliance on sales taxes, which disproportionately fall on the “poor”, “low-income” portion of the population. {An aside–the Seattle City Council has just voted unanimously to institute an income tax on its wealthiest citizens, knowing full well that this is illegal and will be held up by lawsuits from day one}
  3. The Sales Tax in Seattle has already broken the 10% level, and is approaching 10% everywhere else.
  4. If this measure passes, everyone in King County will be paying an extra $.01 in sales taxes on everything they buy.  Yes, those poor, underserved community members will also be paying that extra sales tax on everything they buy, in order that they may have “improved access”, whatever that means, to “cultural programs”.  There is no way to exempt the low-income from paying this additional sales tax.
  5. The money collected from this additional regressive sales tax, will cover “administrative costs”, as stated in the ballot measure above.  Did anyone opine on what percentage of the money collected will go for administration?  Administration includes the costs of collecting the money, allocating it to a special account, deciding which organizations will receive money, and deciding how much will go to each organization.  Employees will have to be hired (and paid, and provided with benefits including pension), to develop an application form and procedure, and then to evaluate the applications as they are received, to decide how the money collected will be spent.
  6. What happens when the cost of living in King County rises by the amount of this additional sales tax on everything you buy?  Might the increase in the cost of a new car discourage someone from buying a new car in King County?  The surrounding counties of Pierce, Snohomish, and Kittitas will not be raising their sales taxes, so a certain amount of purchases of expensive items might go to another county.  Those low-income residents of King County might have to defer purchases into the future, or not buy at all, since their income would not rise to cover the additional expense.  It has been shown that those who advocate for higher taxes rarely take into account the behavior changes that happen when someone experiences an increase in their cost of living.
  7. Who decides which cultural and heritage organizations will receive money from these new “access” funds?  Do faceless bureaucrats in Seattle decide how to allocate this money?  Do they solicit input from the arts community?  Do they give money to organizations whom they know and patronize themselves?  Do they favor the “charity of the month”, like the Gay Pride organization, or the Seattle Symphony?  Do they give money to the ACT Theater, which promotes liberal causes and puts on productions which take gratuitous slaps at a president they don’t like?  Will they be funding the “Resistance”?  Will they solicit input from ALL the people who will be paying higher taxes for the next seven years?
  8. What do they actually mean by “Access”?  Is there an implication that access is now denied to some of the “underserved” population?  Do they know who the underserved are?  How do they determine who is underserved?  And exactly who makes that determination?  What do they mean by “diverse”?  People of color, people of oppressed ethnic groups, people of sexual minorities?

My guess is that those promoting this new tax have not given any consideration to many of my points above, especially the one about our regressive tax system here in Washington State.  They think that everyone will just happily pay more for everything they buy, knowing that those underserved, low-income populations will benefit from their largesse.  It will make the relatively wealthy residents of Seattle feel good, knowing that they are helping those underserved populations get a dose of “culture” that they are being denied now.  Starting in the late 1960s, cultural programs in the Seattle Public Schools were reduced, in order to pay for busing students across the city for desegregation.  These days, the Seattle Public Schools have all sorts of programs devoted to sex-education, environmental education, and “white-privilege” education; and their dropout rates are much higher than they were in the 1960s.  Also, these days 40% of the schools budgets go for administration, eating up funds that could be spent on art and music in the schools.

It will be interesting to see how the residents of King County vote on this new sales tax proposal.  I do not live in King County, so I don’t get to vote on this measure.  But if it passes, I will do my best to spend as little as possible in King County.  See, people DO change their behavior in response to economic incentives.

Photo Challenge, Collage. One Natural, One Man-Made

I love living in the Pacific Northwest, where the abundant rain contributes to a profusion of plant life.  Here in the temperate rain forest ecosystem, life grows in many layers.  Green growing things have other growing things on top of them.  Take this tree, for instance, at Rockport State Park, in the foothills of the North Cascades.

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It’s a tall Douglas Fir, with moss growing on its bark, and other broadleaf plants growing up through the moss.  And if you look really closely, you can see insects which live in the moss, and in the bark of the tree.  Layers upon layers of life!

On the other hand, here’s a collage I made of the holiday cards we received from our many Ricochet friends last Christmas (and a Chanukah card from my family).  It definitely brightens up the decor, and I intend to keep it up until this Christmas as a reminder of how lucky we are to have so many Ricochet Friends.

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State of Washington to Taxpayers: All your money are belong to us.

State of Washington to Taxpayers: All your money are belong to us.

As usual, the latest session of the Washington State Legislature (third “special” session) has found ways to forcibly extract more of their hard-earned money from taxpayers.  Yes, to your ostensible “representatives”, all you are is a bottomless source of funds for them to spend (waste?).  And when a small tax reduction was attached to the latest state budget (reducing the gross-receipts “Business and Occupation” tax for all manufacturers, not just The Boeing Company), the governor VETOED it, appalled that it would COST THE STATE money!  The implied sentiment here is that all the money earned by corporations and state residents is assumed to belong first the Government, and any money they let you keep from your paycheck, costs the state those funds.  See how it works?  Here are some of the things the WA legislature did to reduce your disposable income.

They voted into law a Paid Family Leave act.  Each week, you will pay about $1.42, and your employer will pay $2.42. Which isn’t strictly true, since your employer doesn’t pay any tax, they just reduce your earnings by that amount.  Kiss future raises goodbye.  Anyone too old to have children, or single, or with no family, will now be paying, every week, for leave for those who do.  Older people staying in the work force may decide that this is not a good thing for them, and decide to retire now rather than later.

The Government created a New Agency to handle matters dealing with children and families.  Yes!  Another new agency, which will have to be staffed with political appointees, and over-paid staff who earn pensions that taxpayers will be paying, and paying, and paying for.  And if you follow the news from the state of Washington at all, you know that the current Department of Social and Health Services is a wreck, leaving vulnerable elderly and foster children in abusive homes, and paying out millions of dollars in settlements to relatives of those neglected people when they sue the state.

They increased the toll on the Highway 520 Floating Bridge in Seattle by 5%.  They also made the toll 24 hours, where before it was not collected between 11PM and 5AM.  And you can bet that, even when the new bridge is paid off, that toll will still be collected, in perpetuity.

The State Property Tax was raised, to pay for Government Education.  In reality, it gives raises to teachers who are not under-paid, and increases the amount paid to the Teachers Union.  WA residents will now pay about $243 MORE per year on a $300,000 home.  In Seattle, the median home price is now over $500,000, so the state will be taking even more from those suckers, to pay for a local school system that is falling apart.  And only a fraction of that money ever goes to classrooms-most of it goes to administrators (and for programs like White Privilege and Sexual Identity education).

They added Sales Tax to bottled water.  With sales taxes approaching 10% now, that’s a tidy chunk of change.  They have deemed that online retailers, even those with NO presence in the state, will now be required to collect and remit to the state sales taxes on all purchases.

They raised the salaries of public employees and teachers.  Higher salaries lead to higher pensions when those people retire, often at an earlier age than the poor souls who are paying their salaries.  Due to increased taxes on employers in the state, you ordinary folk will be paid less, and forgo future raises.  Don’t blame that on your  employer, blame it on Jay Inslee and the Democrat-dominated legislature.

And you can kiss your disposable income goodbye.  Perhaps they should simply confiscate all the earnings of state residents, and just give us an allowance to live on.  Since “all your money are belong to us”.

Photo Challenge..Is it a Table…Or a Bridge?

This particular dinner table is….wait for it…Both!  The people at this table journeyed from miles away to meet with the Honored Guest, a remarkable young man from Romania.  This Gentleman (capitalized because he is the epitome of Gentleman) is known to all of us online, and the friends at this table, along with dozens of other American friends, paid for his airfare to come to America, and see the country which we love so much.  All last summer, he flew, and bused, and was driven, from the East to the West Coast, staying with friends, and seeing America.

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The guest of honor is at the end of the table, with the goatee and red cravat.  He regaled us with stories of his voyage across America, and bridged the gap for us all.  At the end of the evening, when no one really wanted to leave, we had all gained knowledge, and the immense pleasure of his company.  This table is a bridge, across oceans, mountains, prairies, lakes, rivers, and people.

Oh, and I just couldn’t resist this, for Cherie Lucas Rowlands:

Bridges in Cambridge, England, the opposite number of Oxford.

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A peaceful River Cam bridge, behind Trinity Hall.
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Two bridges over the River Cam, Cambridge (seen from a punt)

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