Saturday, February 25, 2006

Rock The Vote At Rock Bottom

And so ends Rock The Vote. Rock The Vote, a political action group dedicated to registering high school seniors and college students to vote, is just about bankrupt at this current point. Now that seems like a tragedy until you consider what Rock The Vote stood for when it came to how those young voters should vote. Rock The Vote was basically a liberal-voter registration aimed at recruiting young voters who did nothing but party and get them to vote on election days for those candidates who were worthy of the youth vote – liberals. This is evidenced not only by their website’s themes (tax cuts for the rich chatter) but also by the organizations they supported. Of particular interest was when Rock The Vote joined with AARP to attack Social Security reform, even though the majority of the youth vote supported Social Security reform.

Rock the Vote's fundraising fell by 22% in 2003 to $1.3 million. The group spent $1.66 million the same year, ending $241,000 in debt. Rock The Vote is currently $700,000 in debt and has been sued for the second time in less than a year. The financial tale at Rock The Vote for the past few years has been nothing but poor management, poor revenue, and expensive parties. Now, don’t get me wrong. I want my fellow youth to vote. It’s good for the country. However, I am in no way upset about the passing of Rock The Vote and its liberal ideologies.

Perhaps someone should attempt to try something similar to Rock The Vote again. This new organization would also aim for the hoodie and flip-flop clad American youth vote. However, this organization should stay away from endorsing particular candidates and philosophies. Instead of teaming up with (sorry, but I have to say it) the old folks and going against Social Security reform that will benefit the youth, this new organization should be neutral and spend its time registering voters and not promoting liberal ideals.

and some new What ever happens, there is no doubt that Rock The Vote is very near death currently and very likely won’t survive for the 2008 elections unless someone jump-starts Rock The Vote with cash. With lawsuits pending against the organization, mounting accounts payable credits (accounting lingo for debts), and only two employees, that jump-start will need to be soon. If not, someone else will have to take up the liberal flag and register the hoodie and flip-flop clad American youth vote. In the mean time, I have to head to American Eagle and buy a new hoodieflip-flops (I got this coupon in the mail from AE, so now I feel I should buy something, LOL).

Another fine lesson from Conservative Textbook.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Colorado, Democrats, and Smokers

For once there is truly something worthwhile to talk about in my state of Colorado. However, last week’s article and this article are topics I wish I did not have to talk about in the first place. The Democratic controlled Colorado State House (35-D, 30-R) passed a ban on smoking in indoor public places with exemptions for tobacco shops, casinos and the smoking lounge at Denver International Airport. Colorado State House Bill 1175’s sponsor, State Representative Mike May (a liberal Republican, as if Republicans in this state didn’t have enough problems to deal with already) claims the bill will help improve the health of the general public and that of restaurant workers who come into contact with smokers on a daily basis.

“Your rights end where my nose begins,” is a justification for this bill according to Rep. May of Parker, Colorado.

“It is really easy to decide the fate of others,” said State Representative Bill Cadman, a Republican from my hometown of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Representative Cadman, one of the most vocal opponents of the bill, says lawmakers would better serve the general public by creating air-quality standards for indoor public venues.

What is the right thing to do in this situation? I hate cigarette smoke. It has a sickening smell and reminds me of dirty hippies who go to concerts sponsored by Viagra. However, that is not a reason to ban smoking in public places. It comes down to the topic of rights. Where is the line after which my rights override the rights of others? Generally, I have always maintained that my rights override the rights of others only when their rights are causing me harm and at the same time cannot be adjusted to not harm me. Smokers are possibly harming those who are around second-hand smoke. However, this does not mean we should ban smoking in public places. If workers dislike the smoke and the possible effects of second-hand smoke, they can get a new job or transfer to another position. If the cost of second hand smoke outweighs the benefit of their current job, they will logically leave their current job and find a new one.

A previous argument that has died down is the argument that this ban will benefit the general public when out and about on the town. For instance, what happens when two 19-year-old college students go to a bar and order some drinks (yes Democrats, you haven’t defeated underage drinking yet). They are surrounded by smokers in this scenario. Is it right to ban smoking in bars for these two college students? Of course not! Instead, if the cost of inhaling smoke to these two college students outweighs the benefit of drinking, these two college students will leave the bar and drink illegally elsewhere.

If the cost of smelling smoke outweighs the benefit of attending the establishment that has smokers, then you simply leave that establishment. It is a simple economic theory that lends itself well to real life. My personal opinion is that cigarette smoking is a dying breed (except among liberal hippies and liberal college students, oddly enough). Fewer and fewer establishments are allowing smoking on their own. We do not need big brother to force businesses to change their legal practices. By forcing bars and other establishments to not allow smoking, many bars will be hard pressed to stay in business. It appears once again the Democrats, the crusaders against the evil corporations, are making it harder and harder for small “mom and pop” businesses to stay in business.

The bill is expected to pass the Democratic controlled State Senate (18-D, 17-R). Governor Bill Owens, a liberal Republican (who lost much of the Republican Party’s respect in the 2005 election with his support of Referendums C and D), is expected to sign the bill into law.

My opposition to this bill is in principle. I dislike the smell of cigarette smoke. However, the principle says that my rights in this case do not trump those of smokers. There is not a legal or economic reason for outlawing smoking in Colorado. This should be left up to businesses (and businesses are quickly ending smoking in this state in the first place). However, this is just yet another example of big government dictating to businesses how they should run their establishments.

Another fine lesson from Conservative Textbook.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Colorado, Parents, and Democrats

Ever since the Democrats became the majority party in Colorado, the political and business climate has changed in this state. Normally I do not bring your attention to these facts because Conservative Textbook is a national-level focused blog. However, Colorado might soon be in the national news with a new law the Democratic-controlled state legislature is flirting with as we speak.

The Democrats are flexing their muscle over Colorado again – this time they are attacking the business community that not six months ago sided with them on the issue of raising taxes in the state (that was an odd marriage, believe me). Colorado State Senate Bill 66 would grant anyone who works for a company of 10 or more employees to take “unpaid parental leave” for "academic activities related to the educational advancement of the employee's child." Now there are restrictions on unpaid parental leave with this bill. No more than five hours could be used per month and parents could not exceed 30 hours total in an academic school year. Sounds fine and groovy, right?

It does until you think about the consequences. Let us take the example of a small 12-person business. They would be forced to comply with this new law. What happens when this 12-person company has only 2 people in the front office at a time and one of the employees decides to leave to attend his son’s basketball game? That leaves only one person in the office to manage the office and much of the responsibility of the company.

Or what happens when you have 2 people in the front office and one of them is single with no kids? The married one leaves to attend the basketball game while the single employee is forced to operate the office by him/herself. The single employee didn’t even have a say in the matter because the employee can’t take advantage of the parental leave option in the first place! This bill has the potential to be devastating for small and medium-sized businesses in Colorado.

If this bill passes (and since the Democrats have a strong foothold in Colorado, I suspect it will), what happens to the hiring process? What happens when you have two relatively equal job applicants, of which one is married with kids and the other is single? Who is going to be hired? Who is going to cause less stress and financial burden on the employer? Of course, the single one! Therefore, this bill has the potential to cause subtle discrimination among applicants to a company. Why would any company choose the parent over the single person if the single person has no risk of leaving one day to attend a poetry reading at the school with his kid?

Of course, it is quite amusing to see that it is the Democrats who are sponsoring this bill. As I said earlier, this bill could be devastating to small business in Colorado. In fact, the only businesses that will be able to neglect the effects of this bill to a moderate degree would be big businesses such as Qwest Communications and Wal-Mart. Large corporations have the luxury of backup employees to replace those workers who leave work for a day. However, I thought Democrats were friendly to small businesses? I thought they stood up against big corporations? Looks like the business community in Colorado might just get a wakeup call with this bill.

There are far better ways to help your child and make sure he/she grows up to be a law abiding, productive, and patriotic (well, skip the last one if you’re a liberal) citizen. Get off the couch, stop watching CBS News, and go play ball with your kids. Or take them snowboarding at the Copper Mountain Resort (I suggest the American Eagle ski lift by the way). Or take them to see a movie at the mall (and stop by American Eagle Outfitters afterwards and get them an AE All Access account). Or even better, just sit down and TALK to them (this works even with teens such as myself). Believe me, they’ll whole-heartedly appreciate it even if they give you death glares (I mean, do you really expect any self-respecting teen to show in public that he truly loves his parents?).

As a side-note (for all my Colorado readers), maybe this bill will energize the Republicans enough to take back the State Legislature. My personal opinion is that if we don’t take it back in the 2006 elections, we will never take it back for the foreseeable future. That situation will give the Democrats their much-needed stable foothold in the western states.

Another fine lesson from Conservative Textbook.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

The State of the Union

As I watched the State of the Union address, I was pleased by nearly all I saw. One of the highlights of the speech for me was the topic of alternative energies. I am a huge fan of alternative energy for several reasons. The primary reason is because alternative energies hold the promise of being kinder on my wallet than oil currently tends to be. Two other reasons are that alternative energies typically are more environmentally-friendly and do not come from countries that harbor our sworn enemies.

America is addicted to oil…” is probably the most remembered moment from the entire State of the Union speech. "America is addicted to oil" is an interesting way to put it; I prefer to think America is addicted to a high standard of living, and oil is one way we produce that unmatched standard of living. However, the quote gets the point across – America cannot survive without oil.

Since 2001, we have spent nearly $10 billion to develop cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable alternative energy sources… So tonight, I announce the Advanced Energy Initiative -- a 22-percent increase in clean-energy research -- at the Department of Energy, to push for breakthroughs in two vital areas. To change how we power our homes and offices, we will invest more in zero-emission coal-fired plants, revolutionary solar and wind technologies, and clean, safe nuclear energy.

There is good and bad in this statement. I am fully behind the government encouraging alternative energies to lessen our dependence on oil imported from hostile countries. Importing is hurting my wallet and is hurting our economic and military positions in the world. However, I disagree with the president on the way to attain energy independence. I believe it is not the government’s job to do such research. There are several reasons for this. The government does not have funding deadlines. In most cases, the government can research for years and not uncover anything because they do not have to worry about projects and funding being canceled. This creates a disincentive to get useable results quickly.

A better way to go about researching for energy alternatives is to utilize the private sector to its fullest. The government should give tax credits to companies that invest time and resources into this research. These tax credits should be massive in size; these credits should be lucrative enough that energy and oil companies cannot help but research this technology. When the private sector puts its collective mind toward something, it works. That is what has made America great – the private sector. Just look at Europe, China, North Korea, and the former U.S.S.R. to see what a government-run society accomplishes.

Bush has done an amazing job. There is no doubt in my mind that, even with government research, we are well on our way to starting energy independence from the Middle East. The private sector will no doubt spearhead alternative energy research and will quickly come up with new and innovative ideas for our future. It takes someone to get the ball rolling; Bush has done a marvelous job in that area.

Another fine lesson from Conservative Textbook.