Friday, January 26, 2007

Clean Cars. This law requires you to get a car wash every week, doesn't it? Wrong. It's a piece of legislation so far out of left field that it must have been hit out of the park by a steroid-enhanced baseball player. If anyone wondered why I was quoted in the Sentinel newspaper saying that our Montgomery County delegation to Annapolis shares the values of the extreme left, you understand now.

Intoxicated with the hubris and power that result from an election victory of absurd proportions and decades of one-party, monopoly rule, Democrats at all levels of government are going for broke. Off the deep end. And off their rockers.

And there is who else but Brian Frosh, handing down yet another edict from on high. Here's what Mr. Frosh has in store for you:

1. Elimination of your right to own a full size van or large Sport Utility Vehicle. And that's even if you have a large family and need the extra seats! Move out of the state, Mr. Frosh will tell you, you're just part of the auto industry.

2. A whopping $3000 increase in the price of your next automobile. Not a misprint. That's what Martin O'Malley means by fighting for working families, I guess.

And this, combined with the new gas taxes Ike Leggett and state Democrats want, will certainly help working families, right? Only if you failed elementary school math.

Here is a piece of legislation that appears to have been crafted by a card-carrying Communist, or someone who thinks Al Gore is the source of all knowledge in the universe.

What I want to know is, why doesn't the extreme left ever put their money where their mouth is on "clean cars?" Specifically, why don't they use the monopoly power they hold to legislate tax credits that will make hybrid vehicles available to those working families they always talk about?

Instead, they punish the poor and middle class, and the owners of the auto dealerships in our state who are also residents. It's outrageous. They simply want to limit your ability to own a private vehicle and maximize their tax treasure chest to grow government and their power to ever greater proportions. This was revealed recently in the Washington Post's criticism of government policies in Venezuela that allow the less wealthy to own a nice car. They believe the poor should ride the bus, while they ride in limos and on chartered jets provided by your tax dollars and the special interests. And then they come out with hogwash like this legislation. They have been in power all along; if there's an environmental crisis, they are responsible and should be held accountable. Don't pass the buck to the poor. Strange how Bob Ehrlich was the only one to actually do something to help the environment. All the Democrats have done is talk for decades.

Somewhere along the way, Brian Frosh and the extreme left in the Democratic party lost the idea that public servants serve the public. They truly believe, as exemplified by their very actions, that the public serves the elected official. The public is the servant of government, according to this concept. And Mr. Frosh and his gang expect your full compliance with this new edict. Are you ready to serve them?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A major victory has been won in the culture wars this week. The flag of Western Civilization has been planted atop the headquarters of WETA FM, Washington's "new" classical music station. Of course, WETA was the "old" classical music station until it was taken over by activists who jettisoned the format for a 24 hour leftist propaganda broadcast. It continued for several years until a combination of public humiliation and low-key threats from Capitol Hill forced the station to make a very painful return to actual public radio functions.

The rejection of its role as a musical arts resource for the public - whose tax dollars fund the station - ironically, was the downfall of its new rebel radio format. Even when listeners fled, and took their financial contributions with them, the NPR shock troops at WETA stood fast and refused to acknowledge their shameful actions. Finally, the financial pressure was joined by the usually liberal Marc Fisher of the Washington Post, who wrote a number of columns on the station's outrageous shunning of its cultural and educational obligations.

Holed up in WETA's headquarters, the NPR forces covered their ears and continued to broadcast hour of hour of far-left journalism and newsmagazines that, well, just all sound the same. Then, admirable members of Congress weighed in, strongly hinting that if WETA would continue to operate as a private, for-profit station that duplicated other NPR outlets in town, then it would have to become a private station. And that meant no more public money. Oops! We made a mistake, WETA's honchos said this week, and radio listeners tuning in for another dose of Bush-bashing, the sky is falling, new-values ranting and raving crashed head on into the genius of J.S. Bach.

That's got to hurt. But I'm not feeling their pain. Even before the NPR format switch, WETA had dropped many programs from its schedule, and I had complained to the station about this in the mid-90s. Add the absence of classical music on radio to the slashing of music programs in our county middle schools, and you have two great examples of the ever-advancing assault on Western Civilization. With no opportunity to hear classical music, how will new generations enjoy and appreciate it? That's exactly the brilliant idea the anti-culture forces had. On this particular issue, they have suffered a serious setback, and WETA has gone from blue to red on the radio dial. You will now find classical music back on the air, and as before, the playlist has a depth and variety that far surpasses WGMS, which was always a "Top 40" kind of classical station. If you were a listener, this was a refreshing victory. Now, if they would just bring back those old programs...

Friday, January 19, 2007

It's a "time of great peril" indeed. Martin O'Malley, as usual, found eloquent words to describe the beginning of a new era in Maryland. One that will involve higher taxes, bigger government, and greater control over our lives. Prepare for a Bill Clinton-style speech in 2008 about how they've examined every other option, and now we'll have to raise your taxes. Anybody remember that classic? In a weepy voice, no less. "I worked harder than I've ever worked on anything in my life," and I've concluded we must raise taxes, he said. Vintage.

Our Republican counterparts in Virginia have apparently pulled a Benedict Arnold, and jumped ship from the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan to get aboard the S.S. Tax And Spend. They will find that after discarding the most basic Republican - American - values of limited government and less taxes, that Captain Kaine and Virginia voters will make them walk the plank this November anyway. That's what happens when you sell out your beliefs simply to get reelected.

Republicans in Maryland had best not follow suit. Joining the tax and spend crowd in Annapolis is a recipe for total destruction. The amount of wasteful spending I found in my own audit of only part of our County school system simply boggles the mind. Our State government does not need to get any bigger. And what of the liberals who say that only a woman can make decisions about her body, not the government? Those same liberals are now mandating a forced vaccination of every female student in the state of Maryland with a fairly new vaccine. The arguments about that particular vaccine aside, I just find it fascinating that the same people who say government has no business in a woman's health decision can turn around and forcibly vaccinate those same women, possibly against their will.

And, finally, Mr. O'Malley said it best: We are in "a time of great peril." Not just in Maryland, but internationally. China has just flexed its military muscle, and now we are under the threat of any vital satellite being shot out of the sky by Beijing. I would hope for a firm response and plan of action by President Bush. And, clearly, 2008 is no time to turn our national security over to an inexperienced, Democratic media celebrity. The times call for a strong Republican leader whom the American people can trust to protect us and our national interests. And we need no more convincing argument for a major increase in our defense budget and in the size of our military forces. Even as the Democratic Congress moves in outrageous fashion to risk the lives of our troops, we need to ensure that our military grows in size and has world class equipment and quality of life. Anything less, and we surely will find our nation in "great peril."

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Breaking news for those who supported Democrats in the November 7 election. You're not getting what you voted for. Entering office with a "mandate" from the citizens, Democratic politicians are already throwing their supporters' pet projects overboard. Remember the issue of eliminating portable classrooms? And the save-our-election plan put forward by the 2006 County Council and Dr. Weast that would supposedly phase out those dangerous trailers? Not going to happen, according to County Executive Ike Leggett.

How about this one: the "Geographic Index" for the Thornton Plan? Gone, says incoming Governor-elect Martin O'Malley. That was the most talked about promise of every Democratic candidate in Montgomery County. Every reporter asked me about that in every campaign interview. Every endorsement questionnaire asked my position on it. Now, the Geographic Index is a new spending mandate at a time when the budget is going to be tighter. And it funnels money from Montgomery and other counties to irresponsibly run schools in Baltimore without reforming the operation of those schools. But Democrats and a fair number of independents voted for it, and it's surprising to find out that Democratic officials are going back on their promise.

Compounding this news in recent days was a surprising attack by new Democratic Council Member Marc Elrich on what could be described as a sacred cow in Southwest Montgomery County: the BCC Rescue Squad. Yes, you heard that right: a politician attacking the BCC Rescue Squad in the Washington Post. And apparently hell has not frozen over. The Rescue Squad happens to be one of the most respected and valuable institutions in our community, and is primarily funded by donations. Mr. Elrich says it should stop its long-established service to NW Washington, or also serve the entire Montgomery and D.C. area. Now, if I was having a heart attack in Clarksburg or SE Washington, why would I call an ambulance headquartered in Bethesda? I'm still waiting for public reaction to Mr. Elrich's broadside against the BCC squad and it will be interesting to hear.

Trivia question: If Cuba's lauded healthcare system is so outstanding, why does Fidel Castro need a doctor from Spain?

Washington Post embarrassment of the day: Massive headline in Metro claims O'Malley to offer millions for schools. Inside, near the end of the article, it admits that O'Malley has dropped the centerpiece of the school funding plan: the Geographic Index. The Post continues to provide the poor journalism and party organ functions we know and expect.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Help me welcome back Douglas Tallman to the legislative coverage in the Gazette. After essentially going on vacation during the election season, and thereby failing to cover the District races in Montgomery County, Mr. Tallman has a tremendous amount of catching up to do. Perhaps the other reporters who were called away from their usual assignments to cover Mr. Tallman's beat can be of assistance in that.

Meanwhile, in the Washington Post, Marc Fisher continues to pontificate from on high about Washington D.C. Given a front page piece in Sunday's Outlook, he chose parked cars and litter as two critical issues for Mayor Fenty to concentrate on. With all of the serious, life and death matters Mr. Fenty has before him, those hardly seem like issues of import. And Mike Musgrove provided a column extolling the superiority of XBox 360 over the Playstation 3. Just one problem: Microsoft is one of many corporate interests financially intertwined with the Post. And it just happens to manufacture the XBox 360. Hmm.

Finally, no sooner has Gerald Ford passed than we encounter another significant American: Evel Knievel. In a front-page story in yesterday's USA Today, the paper's top sports columnist, Jon Saraceno, caught up with a depleted Knievel who suffers from multiple medical problems. But what an icon. I still remember my plastic Evel Knievel costume and the toys. Today's "extreme sports" do not compare. If Evel Knievel couldn't do it, it couldn't be done. If it seems impossible, you try your best anyway. And if you fail spectacularly, you don't quit; you try it again. Those are American ideals embodied by Evel Knievel.