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June 19, 2016

In “without reservations” letter of 19 June, the author is amazed that candidates for county commissioner express “no” reservation about the coal terminal.  This candidate is amazed that people with little science background insist on using climate change as an issue.  They should know that science should not be decided by popular vote.  Today, the money trail strongly favors the sensational; no grants are given to “deniers.”...

May 25, 2016

I spent a couple of hours at the Millennium meeting on Tuesday, May 24.  That was long enough for me to see that the event clearly was only political and not scientific, and that made me sad as I ran through my mind the great harm that populism and populist science can do.  We don’t burn people at the stake, like we did when true scientific inquiry contradicted the “experts” of the day, but we do scorn the “deniers” and do wha...

April 17, 2016

The contentious intraparty (both Republican and Democrat) struggle going on has left many of us puzzled as well as apprehensive about the upcoming presidential primary as well as the November general election.  Although the matter of who is president largely should be irrelevant because the president SHOULD abide by the U. S. Constitution, Congress has allowed the president ever greater (tyrannical) powers, so in practice it d...

March 17, 2016

March 2016

Some Misconceptions:

The political climate has given rise to many recent TDN letters, repeating popular misconceptions that violate fundamental human values:  people don’t like to be told what to do, nor do they like to have the product of their labor be taken.  Nothing good comes from a utopian ideology that violates the basic human spirit.  Here are some frequent misconceptions:

  • Misconception:  that the...

February 17, 2016

February 2016

Vote individual liberty

We have drifted so far from the fundamental principles that formed this country that our salvation is in very serious question.  We have presidential candidates who are liars and opportunists; we have representatives and presidential candidates who advocate the use of force to achieve their goals.  Their tools are the IRS, bureaucratic edicts, legal but unethical loop holes, unconstitutional...

December 3, 2015

December 2015

Commissioner work is backwards

This Tuesday, the 8th, the commissioners will vote on a grant from the Department of Ecology for a project that will (taken from the grant document):

 

serve as the cornerstone of a larger effort to improve water quality and community health in

Cowlitz County. The goal is to perform a comprehensive survey of septic systems using existing geospatial data, historic records, and survey data...

August 13, 2015

August 2015

Socialism is failure

In response to some recent letters to the editor about the benefits or even beauty of socialism, I cannot find one instance in all of history in which spending other people’s money (OPM) over the long run has borne beneficial fruit for any society. 

Those who claim that socialism works well in Europe and other places (let’s exclude embarrassing counter examples like resource rich Venezue...

May 14, 2015

May 2015

Code Compliance Officer

Recently the County Commissioners voted (Joe Gardner voted No) to add a compliance officer to the County building and planning department (B&PD).  Unless we think most people are cheats and would endanger people for a few dollars, a compliance officer is superfluous.  If we need one, then something is broken.  And, if the sentiment I hear expressed about the B&PD is any indication, the department...

September 11, 2014

September 2014

Socialism and Social Security

A few days ago a letter seemed to suggest that "many" of those who claim the president is a socialist while they themselves receive social security payments are hypocrites.
 
I cannot see a breach of logic or morals to be against socialism while collecting social security.  The general public has little choice but to pay into social security, so we cannot conclude that they are/not so...

June 12, 2014

June 2014

Big government is the problem

For decades now we all laughed about the joke that we should run and hide when the caller at the door announces, “I’m from the government, and I am here to help,” but it is no laughing matter that government actions, while being manifestations of a well-intentioned public, are invariably incompetent, at best.  In the face of such recent events as the VA Hospital scandal, is this the time f...

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