Sunday, October 01, 2006

Weekend Wrap-up 10-1-2006

Hugo Chavez: Open mouth, insert foot
As a result of Hugo Chavez's comments regarding George Bush, some people are boycotting the Venezuelan company, Citgo. 7-Eleven, which had previously served Citgo gas, now will be dropping it, though they deny that it has anything to do with Chavez's comments. It certainly won't hurt them in any case to stop, because if they continued serving Citgo, they most likely would have gotten protests and such. Chavez's comments were ridiculous not only in that he didn't say anything beyond name-calling, but also that he insulted his country's biggest customer. While Americans can be tolerant to a fault, they aren't stupid, either. While I never purchased Citgo gasoline before, I certainly won't be buying it now. And I hope this boycott works, because I want to see what Hugo Chavez does once he sees that his best customers are walking out on him.

Editorial statement for October 2006
Continuing something that I started last month, here is my one sentence editorial statement for October 2006: "The easiest way to deal with the problem of illegal immigration is to deal with the reason that they're coming here: the U.S. companies that hire illegal immigrants." I am bringing this up because it is likely going to be an issue in next month's election. The thing is, most debate and discussion on this issue are going about it in the wrong way. They are dealing with the illegal immigrants themselves - which is important, but it's not the best way to take care of the problem (and yes, I believe that illegal immigration is a problem - specifically the "illegal" part). The way to look at this issue is to see why they are coming here in the first place.

It is because they know that there are companies here that will hire them, this despite the fact that they know that they are here illegally. So why would a company hire illegal aliens? It's because illegals work for much less than American workers. And illegals have no other expenses attached to them, like health insurance, overtime pay, and other benefits that the rest of us take for granted in this country. Illegals work much cheaper, and with no union to back them up, they can't complain about the working conditions, because their illegal status hangs over their head like the proverbial sword of Damocles.

So essentially, dealing with the illegal immigration problem by dealing with the illegal immigrants themselves is seeing this issue from too small a perspective. All that these critics accomplish is to plug the holes in a leaky dam while ignoring who is making the holes in the first place. And that hole-maker is the companies that hire illegals. During most of this year, the Democratic party and even unions had tried to court illegal immigrants, but this is a mistake in so many ways.

For Dems, it gives the regular working American the idea that the Dems are more concerned about people who are here illegally than for the constituency that they allege to be serving: the American people - especially the American worker. Plus, this tactic gives "ammo" to the GOP to use leading up to November's election day. For some reason, the Dems are making into an art form the handing of such political "ammo" to the GOP. It's like they want to fail, and it's disturbing. But I digest...

For the unions, there's no better way for them to shoot themselves in the foot than to support illegal immigrants - who are taking jobs that union workers could have! If an illegal works in the place of a union worker, then this deprives the union of the dues that could be paid by a union worker, along with the "clout" that being in a union brings to the negotiating table. If a union is stocked with illegals, then what power do they have in contract negotiations? None, son. If anything, unions should be the most outspoken against the practice of U.S. companies hiring illegals. But I shouldn't have to be saying all this; unions should know this already, and if they don't, then they deserve the reduction of influence that they've had in recent decades.

And last, the hiring of illegal immigrants does very little to motivate them to eventually becoming U.S. citizens. Actually, the U.S. companies that hire illegals wouldn't want them to become legal citizens, because then they'd have to pay them more, for then they'd qualify for the workers' rights that U.S. workers get - which defeats the whole purpose of hiring illegals in the first place! So the best way to deal with the influx of illegal immigrants is to deal with the reason that they risk so much coming here: the U.S. companies that hire them. A united effort to truly punish companies that hire illegals will make it less palatable to hire them, and thus, it makes the risk that illegals go through to get here not worth the trip. Deal with the people who are making the holes in the dam in the first place, rather than dealing with the holes themselves.

Texas Governor's race
As a political commentator, I love the fact that the race for the Texas governor's mansion is a four-way race. From Rick "Governor Goodhair" Perry to Carole Keeton "Grandma" Strayhorn, to Kinky "Kinky" Friedman to Chris "Who?" Bell, this is one race that's for the ages. Not surprisingly, Perry is limiting his debate appearances to just one. He has nothing to gain from appearing in these debates (at least not too many of them), and he has his governorship to lose. For Perry, all he has to do is to basically avoid doing anything stupid, and he's likely to win re-election.

However, if he does slip up, then I believe that it will be Strayhorn first, and then Friedman next who will most benefit. For Bell, he is a longshot under any scenario other than the other candidates dying under mysterious causes (and let's hope that it doesn't come to that!). The Dems really needed a more sparkling personality as a candidate, and Bell ain't it. For the rest of this month leading up to election day, I shall try to post at least two entries a week related to the governor's race - and more if certain news events call for it. Oh yeah, and I definitely need to work on making some edtoons of this. Have a seat, folks - the fun's just starting!

Haircut
For a brief moment last week, I entertained the idea of having my hair cut into a mohawk style. However, a mohawk on a person with a receding hairline is a rather sad sight, so that idea died rather quickly.

Have a great week, folks!

1 comment:

robb said...

You see this devestating piece on Good Hair Perry? Strayhorn just got my vote. She is taking it to 'em and telling it like it is.

Sept. 30, 2006, 1:18AM

GOVERNOR'S RACE
Perry accused of giving false hope for major tax cut
Strayhorn ad says savings far below $2,000, while two officials warn bills may actually grow
By PEGGY FIKAC and GARY SCHARRER
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau

AUSTIN — Remember the television ad by Gov. Rick Perry promising an average $2,000 property tax cut for homeowners? As tax notices start arriving in the mail next week, challenger Carole Keeton Strayhorn hopes so.

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Strayhorn, state comptroller and independent candidate for governor, launched a statewide television ad Friday that leads off with Perry touting the $2,000 cut, then switches to her mocking the assertion.

"Have you gotten your $2,000 property tax cut yet?" she asks, then warns, "Don't go running to your mailbox."

She says most people will get "just about $52" and most senior citizens, whose taxes already are frozen at lower levels, "get nothing."

Perry spokesman Robert Black said, "We stand by the numbers."

Paying $140 more
The GOP incumbent touted the cut in an ad in May, after lawmakers approved a school finance package lowering local school property tax rates.

Perry's savings estimate didn't take into account school districts' ability to raise local tax rates.

It was calculated over three years based on home sales price, rather than the property value figures used in actual tax levies.

Strayhorn's one-year, $52 estimate assumes higher tax rates and property value appraisals.

Bexar and Harris County tax officials said there won't be a big property tax cut.

In fact, many homeowners could find higher taxes on the way.

The average homeowner living in the Houston Independent School District with a house assessed at $160,000 will pay $140 more, or a 4.2 percent increase over last year, Harris County Tax Collector-Assessor Paul Bettencourt said.

"Anyone who is running on a big tax cut is making a mistake because the numbers don't support it. Call it what it is, it's property tax relief. It's not a tax cut," Bettencourt said.

Bexar County Tax Assessor-Collector Sylvia Romo expects her office to come under siege from angry taxpayers when the first batch of about 600,000 tax notices get mailed next week.

Romo said Perry's promise of a $2,000 tax cut for the average homeowner inflated hopes.

"They're going to say, 'Hey, they promised me I'm going to get a tax cut. Why am I paying more?' "

Romo is preparing a script to help employees deal with irate callers.

"It's my office that has to educate taxpayers and calm down the taxpayers," she said.

Romo said she figured Perry's TV and radio spots would cause trouble because she knew that average San Antonio homeowners wouldn't see the promised savings.

Most Texans will get their tax notices just days or weeks before the Nov. 7 election.

"These people are going to vote emotionally," she said. "They are going to say, 'You lied to us.' That's the bottom line."

Defending Perry
Black said Perry — who faces Strayhorn, Democrat Chris Bell, independent Kinky Friedman and Libertarian James Werner on Nov. 7 — deserves credit for tackling education and taxes and for now focusing on rising appraisals that eat into tax savings.

"Carole Strayhorn is the first comptroller in modern history to refuse to offer her own plan to reform school finance, and now she is throwing rocks to cover up her own failure," Black said.

But Strayhorn spokesman Mark Sanders said, "Carole has outlined a comprehensive education reform package, and it doesn't include a fake $2,000 tax cut. I can understand why the Perry people are so vitriolic on this issue. They know it's going to hurt them badly."

While Strayhorn is touting Perry's ad, Perry's campaign Web site isn't.

Black said the Perry camp redesigned its site and didn't re-post the May ad because "we didn't consider that a campaign ad," though it was financed with campaign funds.