Monday, November 01, 2010

On the Election's Eve in Washington State: Starve the Beast!

An explanatory and apologetic note:  Politics, being neither adorable nor, unfortunately, trivial, is not a subject I broach often, enthusiastically, or with great specificity here at Adorable Trivialities.  In my ideal world, politics would not even be on my radar.  However, as I am a person with a brain and a soul and a patriotic heart, I cannot help but be troubled by this entirely wrong-headed direction my country's been traveling; nor can I help but desire that it get some ways back on track.  To this end, I've sort of let myself go off on the sitch here in WA.  And, I apologize as well in advance for the stronger than normal language (believe me, though, its targets are well deserving of any and all vitriol).

This is the most exciting election in WA since I moved here in 2000!  Not only do we have a GREAT candidate on the ballot for the U.S. Senate (giving us, at last, a real chance to break the shackles that have held us to the dim-witted Patty Murray lo these many years), we also have a slew of fascinating and important initiatives on which to vote.  Since almost every county in WA went to mail-in only ballots after 2008, I have already filled in mine and dropped it off at the King County ballot box (as Jason does not trust the mail -- or, really, the ballot box system for that matter, but we have no other choice).

The Senate:  Dino Rossi is, of course, my guy for the Senate.  See him above to the left?  Isn't he adorable?  I have voted for him every time he's appeared on my ballot: in 2004, when the governor's race was stolen from him; in 2008, when dispirited Republicans stayed home (not I, of course, but many, I think) and feckless Independents turned to the dark side; and now in 2010, when he is running against The-Queen-of-Spreading-About-Government-Largesse-That-We've-Borrowed-Mostly-from-China-But-Let's-Not-Mention-That-Too-Loudly-You-Know Sen. Murray.  My only qualm with electing Dino (please God!) is that he is too smart and reasonable and competent to be wasted in the Senate.  We seem to have this silly notion that senators are these august statesmen whose wisdom and expertise in law-making have elevated them to such an elite position.  In reality, "senator" is a job with little necessary qualifications in the realms of knowledge and common sense.  A pulse and a drool cup and someone to wheel you into the Capitol are about all you really need.  Dino Rossi will be (please God!) one of the smartest guys running around Capitol Hill.  It will be a boon for this great and glorious state to elect him to serve, and we should be grateful that he's willing to go through Dem mud-slinging hell for our sakes.  Thanks, Dino!

Initiative 1098:  Of all the initiatives concocted in smug, voters-are-greedy-and-stupid-ha-ha-ha hell, this one takes the cake.  I do not know whether to be more repulsed by Bill "I Gots Mine, Suckas" Gates, Sr.'s wretchedly condescending and misleading ads or the blatant attempts at class warfare in the fish tacos commercial.  Class warfare needs to stop.  It is unproductive, destructive and clearly breaks God's commandment against covetousness.  I-1098 is a diabolical attempt by mostly D.C. union leaders and a few lame rich people to impose a de facto income tax on Washington State -- one of the few blessedly non-income taxed states left in our great union.  Of course, the Yes bastards will tell you it's only going to be on households making more than $400K annually.  Oh sure, soak the rich!  There's a plan for the future!  Good one, you idiots!  This is deliberately misleading, because the state legislature can extend such an initiative to everyone by a simple majority after 2 years (unless 1053 passes -- see below).  BUT, even if the income tax were guaranteed never to extend down to the middle class and lower, this initiative is utterly disgusting because it is class warfare of the most nakedly execrable sort.  And, of course, it's all for the children.  You know what?  The last thing public schools need is more money.  Starve the beast!    

Initiatives 1100 and 1105:  I call these joint initiatives the "Gary Initiatives" after my dearest friend's husband, whose incredulous ejaculation upon hearing that liquor stores in WA are owned and run by the state was, "How is that even legal???"  Well, I-1100 and I-1105 are working hard to get the state out of the liquor business and into private hands.  Which is as it should be.  I voted "yes" on both.  They read as almost identical, with, perhaps, I-1100's going a little further in privatization and de-regulation.  Oh, the teeth gnashing and garment rending from the No people!  Don't you know that with liquor in private retail outlets teens will be drinking tequila every night?  Don't you know that children will die?  Aaaaaaaaaaaaaa! (That was my representation of a dramatic, over-the-top wail.)  This silly argument earned an excellent riposte from the Yes folks:  Are you saying that beer and wine in the hands of teens is safer, somehow?  Because, now beer and wine are in the same retail outlets that will, upon the passing of these initiatives, be selling hard liquor.  There is a false dichotomy here:  no alcohol in the hands of teenagers (surely the most stupid people on earth) is safe.  The answer to teen drinking is not a nanny state liquor store.  And, on a personal note, when I want to make a Bicardi rum cake or a Black Russian cake or Bananas Foster or Cherries Jubilee, I do not want to have to factor in whether the guv'ment store is open for business.

(I love actual, individual, flesh-and-blood children, by the way.  But, the bigger government gets and the more in-my-face it wants to be, the more I hate the generic group of "children," because they are the go-to excuse for every new tax or new regulation that the statists dream up.  Leave what's "best for the children" to their parents, you arrogant bastards.) 

Initiative 1053:  The No commercials for this initiative are laughable and ludicrous!  Ooooh -- 1053 is supported by Tim Eyman and Big Oil and Big Banks -- oooooh -- isn't that scary? -- ooooh -- don't we hate those nasty hobbitses, my precious?  Of course, what the No people do not ever want you to know is that 1053 is simply another attempt to limit the power of Olympia (that's our state capital, by the way) to raise taxes willy-nilly on us po' regular working folk.  Similar initiatives to force all proposed tax hikes to be voted on first by either the people or 2/3 of the state legislature have passed thrice before.  After the two year expiration date, Olympia has never failed gleefully to raise taxes.  Olympia -- especially under Governor Troll Woman -- simply lives for raising taxes.  Democrats never seem to have any more creative ideas for running government than "let's raise taxes and spend more money."  It is important to subdue this proclivity because of poisonous possibilities like 1098 -- see above.  So, when the Association of Washington Businesses comes out in favor of 1053, and some of those businesses may be in the fields of finance or petroleum products, 1053 is, all of a sudden, the tool of Big Banks and Big Oil.  As David Boze so excellently pointed out on his radio show last week, considering nearly identical initiatives have passed three times prior, couldn't you really say that the people most in favor of putting the brakes on Olympia's tax-and-spending sprees are Big Voters?  Another big Yes vote from me. Starve the beast!

Initiative 1082:  Open up the purchasing of Workers' Comp. insurance to private companies?  Heck yeah!

Initiative 1107:  Repeal the imposed tax on bottled water, candy and other snack products?  Sure!  Starve the beast!

Referendum 52:  Issue bonds to fund retro-fitting schools to be more energy efficient and environmentally friendly?  No way, Jose!  If it's so important, work within your budget to fund it without borrowing.  Starve the beast! 

A little known, but very insightful, American folk singer once wrote:

So, here's my advice for the folks in D.C. [or Olympia]
Please pause a moment to reflect
Just how big a boon our great nation could see
From a dose of benev'lent neglect. 

Do less for people and they'll instinctively do more for themselves.  We're not pets.  Cut taxes, cut spending, and leave people alone and you will marvel at how well they figure out their own lives.  And, for the truly helpless among us -- who are certainly far fewer in number than the sob sisters would have you believe -- there is charity and church and community.  I hope that, all across this country, my fellow Americans will vote tomorrow to starve the beast!

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