Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Daily reads for Wednesday, December 13

Nothing too exciting in the holidays today, so let's get straight to the reads.

The Register has a better story today on the rebirth of Project Destiny. Yesterday, I said it was absurd to call the plan "property tax relief" when it was being paid for by raising another tax. Today we get the numbers:

Des Moines' property tax rate would drop by about $1.85 per $1,000 of taxable value, according to an estimate from Allen McKinley of the city's finance department. After various tax breaks are factored in, the owner of a $100,000 home would save about $84 a year.

The savings, however, would be offset by the $160 that same person would pay in higher sales taxes, according to Mike Lipsman of the Iowa Department of Revenue and Finance.

The vote also would not freeze property assessments, which have climbed steadily for most homeowners, or prevent cities from increasing their property tax rates.
I think that pretty much speaks for itself.

Jim Pope of Melcher has a letter in today's Register. He wants the state to continue to support his gas guzzling habits:

I own a pickup truck, and I'm not a farmer, but I do own a fifth-wheel camper, which has to be pulled by a pickup.

I purchased my pickup in 2003 when I retired and gas was around $1.60 a gallon. Our plans to travel have changed considerably since gas has bounced upward to between $2 and $3 per gallon. When you get around six miles per gallon, I believe we pickup owners are more than making up the difference in licensing fees.
SIX miles per gallon? Let me make this perfectly clear for you, Jim. When you bought a vehicle that only got six miles per gallon, you should've paid the same registration costs (or more) that I'm paying for my 25 mpg Ford Escort, then you should have to pay more for gas, and on top of that you should've been smacked upside the head for being dumb enough to needlessly drive a vehicle that gets 6 mpg and bitch about gas prices.

Ted Sporer has a post up today on the continued efforts to change and rebuild the Republican Party of Iowa. Ted and I are kindred spirits on a few issues, but this line, in his list of problems with the existing party, was so heinous it needed to be rebutted (bolding is mine, the italicizing is Ted's):

· Lack of defining principles denies both the voting and volunteer base a rallying point because Republicans respond far more to ideas and principles than the mere partisan loyalty and class based hatred that motivates our adversaries. We must always be more than just not the Democrats.
I think I've said enough in this space over time about how much I hate blind partisanship on both sides. But I've also sat down with the Republican platform long enough to find these 33 laughably bad planks. Anyone, and I mean ANYONE with the balls to accuse the Democrats of "class based hatred" really needs to turn around for a second and take a look at some of the things his party leadership supported. If you're really still searching for the reasons why your volunteer support and vote totals are down, Ted, maybe it's because there's significantly fewer people in Iowa who want to stand a behind a party that sanctioned things like this:

3.17 We call for the repeal of the ban on reasonable corporal punishment in Iowa schools, and for legal protection for teachers and principals who reasonably punish students for misbehavior. We believe that students’ civil liberties are not being infringed upon by punishing wrong behavior.
Finally, along with many other Iowans today, my heart goes out to the children and families of the hundreds of workers detained in Marshalltown yesterday. Say what you will about immigration policies and enforcement, but there are two facts in this case that cannot be argued:

1) Meat packing plants and similar industries across the US would never be able to continue to operate without foreign labor. The people who stand on the rooftops and scream "They're taking our jobs!" are all welcome to walk into the Swift plant in Marshalltown today and apply. I doubt one of them will.

2) Hundreds of families in Marshalltown face a massive upheaval today with an uncertain future. Many of the soon to be or already deported have children that are US citizens, many have other family to support as well, and now they're left without jobs and with an uncertain future.

I don't need to tell you that the debate over immigration reform is much bigger than that and more factors come into play. Common Iowan has a good post up this morning with a starting point for a discussion on the issue. But nonetheless, it's worth asking if yesterday's raid was necessary or avoidable.



The Real Sporer said...

Snowman, couldn't you at least find something that doesn't poll so well as corporal punishment-most people favor it, for ridicule.

A paddle on ass approach would do wonders for the little boys in school. It worked for my brother. Didn't we have a lot less ADD when outbursts were promptly punished?

Maybe letting grade school teachers paddle naughty little kids, especially boys (in fact, I'm OK with limiting it to little boys)would solve a lot of problems that have appeared since the general practice stopped. You might disagree, but I don't think my argument is idiotic?

Unlike the typical liberal, you didn't attack me personally, which is the hatred of which I speak, but you did just laugh at my argument.

BTW: If our platform is indefensible why won't your leadership debate me?

BTW part two: my tech skills won't allow me to link to the IDP platform, viewership is apparantly limited to members. Please post and we'll go line by line.

The Real Sporer said...

A double dip o' the real sporer.

While I don't have any sympathy for the illegal aliens, who are, after all, criminals themselves, and particularly so in this case, I am outraged at Swift.

Swift has had far too many illegals in its workforce to be mere coincidence. Swift has cost the taxpayers of Iowa, and especially Marshall County, a lot of money-A LOT-and those costs should be placed in a liquidated sum certain and fined directly to Swift.

I mean all of the extended costs in law enforecement, education, social services, etc... that follow industries that rely on illegal aliens.

RF said...

I have to agree with Madman on the partisan hatred issue. In a year of reading R blogs, I have encountered more hatred than in all my life prior to joining the blogosphere.

I share Sporer's outrage about Swift. Some of my thoughts about that on his blog.

Nicolai Brown said...

Once you get beyond the euphemisms, this raid amounts to mass kidnapping. That's what kidnapping is: forcing someone where they don't want to go and holding them against their will.

The Real Sporer said...

nicolai-i think you have ignored the very real distinction between execution of a lawful process-like arresting illegal aliens-and the unlawful restraint that is necessary for kidnapping.

unless of course you reject the operating premise of international law-the nation state.

Nicolai said...

the real sporer: the operating logic of stopping a criminal is to keep people safe. i don't see a problem there.

in the case of "illegal" immigration, it's a crime only on paper -- there are no victims. to justify this kidnapping by calling it "lawful" or in other words by stating that's the government's position leaves no room for freedom. whatever the government wants, it gets, under the ideology of lawfulness. by your logic, you would have supported slavery and jim crow. after all, they were "lawful," which appears to be the centerpiece of your argument.

stopping a murderer: justice.
stopping an immigrant: kidnapping.