Archive for September 21st, 2010

September 21, 2010

Who Is Supporting Jobs? HINT: It Isn’t The Government

by lewwaters

Economists might come out now and try to fool the American public that the “Great Recession” ended over a year ago, but with some of the highest unemployment seen in my lifetime, it is obvious we are anything but recovered.

Politicians running to stay in office or challengers wishing to replace them are all speaking of jobs, but what is actually being done? Not much, other than calls from conservatives to get government out of the way to let private industry create much needed jobs.

Industry is ready to create jobs for us and have been blocked by government, especially when it comes to hundreds of thousands of jobs in the petroleum industry and millions more related in supportive industries.

In spite of all of the calls to do away with petroleum right now from wacko environmentalists and other leftist kooks, we remain heavily dependent upon petroleum for energy needs and much more. Alternative fuels just haven’t yet been perfected to supply our needs in as economical a manner as does petroleum.

And still, government continues to turn a blind eye not only to our energy needs, but to the critical need of putting Americans back to work.

The American Petroleum Institute recently took a “bull by the horns” attitude and carried out a series of Rallies for Jobs in several states concerned over lost jobs by petroleum drilling moratoriums and drilling bans.

While primarily directed at jobs drilling for oil, it cannot be forgotten that several other job creating industries benefit from getting our petroleum industries back to work. Auto mechanics, restaurants, auto supplies, clothing manufacturers, you name it. Almost all industry somehow benefits when we have the petroleum industry working, either directly or indirectly in some supportive capacity.

Several people were able to attend and speak out for jobs at the rallies, but they were unable to be in every city. To that end, the American Petroleum Institute has now began the National Virtual Rally for Jobs where you are invited to stop by and leave a short message on why jobs are so important to us.

You do not need to be directly connected to the oil and gas industry as increased jobs in that sector can only spread to increased jobs in other sectors in support of them and begin getting us back to work, earning decent salaries to feed, clothe and care for our families.

Along with us returning to work comes revenue growth to the treasury to fund the current bills government is raising taxes to pay for, eliminating the need to raise taxes, which ends up only costing more jobs to disappear.

The demonizing of the oil and gas industry and subsequent lost jobs, numbering hundred of thousands, if not millions is getting old. So called “Green Energy” is years away from being perfected into a substantial alternative and even then, it ends up eliminating more jobs than it save, as has been discovered by Spain when they commissioned a study and discovered they were losing two jobs to every one being created.

Bottom line, we need jobs. We cannot afford to have so many people jobless for so long with no plans to allow the private sector to create them. Without those private sector jobs, the jobs government speaks of to rebuild infrastructure cannot be paid for. Tax dollars must be brought in to pay for those and those taxes must come from the private sector if they are to be paid for.

Visit the the National Virtual Rally for Jobs and leave your message telling government, regardless of which party, we are fed up with being out of work. We do not want hand outs, just the ability to work to care for our families.

Contact your representatives and urge them to end the moratorium on oil drilling and drilling our own known oil reserves within our own country now.

Americans working together, rebuilding our own oil industry is not only good for job creation; it is the only viable way to end our dependence on foreign oil.

We will still perfect alternative energy sources and the free market will invent viable “Green Energy” sources. But in the meantime, we need jobs and the Oil and Gas Industry is sitting on hundreds of thousands of them that the government has long blocked.

It is time the government got the hell out of our way.

September 21, 2010

City Council Forms Ethics Panel, Harris Travels to Germany

by lewwaters

Last nights Vancouver City Council Meeting might not have seen the fireworks of the previous week, but it was spirited. Council Chambers were filled to capacity, as they were expected to be, many in attendance to call for the ouster of embattled Council Member, Jeanne ‘gavel down’ Harris.

If you recall, Harris suffered yet another meltdown at the September 13 council meeting, lambasting citizens and fellow council member, Jeanne Stewart, covered HERE, HERE and HERE.

As expressed earlier by the Mayor, in response to allegations from fellow Council members, an “Ethics Committee” was formed last evening to “investigate” charges of violating the Charter of the Council by Ms. Harris. Mayor Leavitt appointed Council Members, Larry Smith, Jack Burkman and Pat Campbell to sit on the panel.

Mayor Leavitt asked for approval to excuse Ms. Harris’s absence from council meetings while she is travelling “on a privately-funded John Jay McCloy fellowship through the International Council of National League of Cities to travel Germany with city leaders from around the United States.” It was said last evening she is acting as a “Goodwill Ambassador” for Vancouver while travelling. It received unanimous approval.

After her meltdown last week, I cannot think of a poorer position for her to fill.

The Columbian has also brought out that Ms. Harris “is going through a very difficult divorce” which is absolutely no defense for her offensive conduct towards others. As someone holding a degree in communication, if Ms. Harris’s private life interferes in her public capacity in such a manner, she should know that she should either ask for a leave of absence or voluntarily step down from the council an allow someone to sit in who would be capable of properly performing to job.

Also of concern is a previously undisclosed email Harris sent out to council members, shortly after she issued her questionable “public apology” last week. According to the Columbian’s Andrea Damewood, Harris sent out an email to fellow council members saying,

“Looks like I’ve lost two policies and we’ve received numerous rude phone calls that my 19 year old customer service rep has had to listen to. Apparently the gavel incident is now on utube (sic). Thanks for making my life hell.”

No, Ms. Harris, no one has “made your life hell” but you and your offensive conduct. Blaming others, or even a divorce, doesn’t excuse or justify anything. Your poor overbearing conduct towards others is not new nor is it a one-time event. Many others have gone through much worse and did not find the need to attack others as you have done for so long.

Twenty eight citizens spoke last evening during Citizen’s Communication and for the most part, were well-received in Harris’s absence.24 of whom spoke on the issue of either Light Rail or Ms. Harris’s conduct. Of the 24, two were in support of light rail being extended to from Portland to Vancouver and only one person, tax happy Democratic state legislator Jim Moeller, defending Ms. Harris. 21 citizens spoke against the addition of light rail and/or Ms. Harris.

Of somewhat concern to me was seeing a Police Officer hovering around at the back of council chambers. Although I cannot attend every council meeting, this was the first time I have seen council call in an armed Police Officer for council meetings.

A query to council on the necessity of his presence brought a response from council member Smith of

“Lately, we have posted an officer for security reasons. We have no security measures at city hall like the court house. There has been no threats on Councilmembers and the crowd that has shown up has been excellent. With unemployment very high and folks stressed out coupled with a shooting in Fruit Valley by VPD, we have posted an officer to protect us all. Someone could target City Hall as an easy hit and to make a point over a city issue such as budget cuts. It is a difficult time for many folks. You never know; and I would like us to be proactive.”

However laughter erupted when a citizen, Ralph Peabody, thanked the council for the Police presence to “protect citizens from the city council.”

City Council candidate John Jenkins and County Commission candidate Alan Svehaug spoke in favor of protecting citizens’ free speech before the city council and opposing Harris’s outbursts.

The ethics panel will first meet to decide how many meetings are to be scheduled to investigate Ms. Harris’s outrageous behavior and to recommend what action, if any, is due her. The Columbian’s John Laird has said she is due a “harsh reprimand,” which I feel is way too lenient considering her history of such outbursts.

From what I hear around town, nothing short of her expulsion from the city council will do.

Jeanne Harris has become an embarrassment to the city of Vancouver, Washington. Citizens’ comments last evening reflected our concern not only over her conduct, but the inaction of fellow council members to curtail her outbursts against fellow council members and citizens’. That she was allowed to act as she did during the September 13 council meeting and not one person, other than Jeanne Stewart, spoke up to her is as embarrassing as well.

It is the job of the Mayor to oversee and conduct council meetings on a professional manner and he failed in that regard. No one interceded to calm her down or remind her she is but a representative of the people she is lambasting. No one, other than Jeanne Stewart, stood up for the citizens’ right to address council in grievance.

As I commented on John Laird’s Sunday column,

“Council isn’t elected to dictate to the public, but to represent us. How are they able to represent citizens if they refuse to listen and instead, impose the views of a majority of 7 people on some 170,000?

That is not representative governance.

Most people, left or right, are civil until they see their voices are being ignored. When government at any level so flagrantly ignores the citizens, we cease to be ‘government of the people, by the people and for the people’.”

The time has come to ‘gavel down’ Vancouver City Council Member Jeanne Harris.

UPDATE: Vancouver City Council Ethics Panel Decision HERE

September 21, 2010

Freedom, With a Side of Fries

by lewwaters