Simple Solutions: Minimum Wage Reform

December 31st, 2005

Minimum wage laws are complex, with Federal and State rates often in conflict. It’s generally agreed, however, that the Federal minimum wage is not enough to live on. The math is pretty simple– minimum wage for a 40 hour work week amounts to an annual gross income of just over $10,000. There are few if any places in the US where that is enough to purchase the necessities– housing, food, clothing, and transportation — to say nothing of luxuries like health insurance. Read the rest of this entry »

Paradigm Reversal

November 6th, 2005

We take it for granted that a compass needle will point to the North, but in fact the Earth’s magnetic field has reversed its polarity many times and some think we are due for a reversal any day now. The fundamental paradigms that underlie the structure of a culture are subject to change, of course. They can and do evolve over time to reflect the nature of the world and our place in it. Seldom, however, is a core value reversed– visibly, in a matter of a few decades… Read the rest of this entry »

Fool us once….

October 22nd, 2005

We said we were done talking about the referenda and we are, for the most part, but the debate over C & D gives us a really great opportunity to talk about propaganda, which is after all one of our core themes. One of the more prominent terms in the debate is the “ratchet effect,” and it is a nearly perfect example of propaganda technique. Read the rest of this entry »

Final Election Comments

October 9th, 2005

Off-year elections in Colorado can be conducted by mail ballot, and the county electoral offices began sending out the ballots on Friday. A majority of mail ballots will be returned within a week of receipt, so further campaigning is is increasingly irrelevant as we approach Election Day. There are exceptions of course, and some genuinely unfortunate circumstances. Most counties use mail voting because it is ultimately less expensive, spreads out the vote processing work-load, and results in a significantly higher turnout. But they are not required to do so, and Adams County will require its voters to visit a polling place on November 1st. Read the rest of this entry »

Pique Appointments

September 29th, 2005

In a recent syndicated column, “shrill lefty” Molly Ivins takes the Republican administration to task for a long series of what she calls Petulant Pique (PP) appointments. These are “Bush appointees named during the administration’s frequent fits of Petulant Pique…in the immortal childhood spirit of “nanny-nanny boo-boo, I’ll show you.” The context for the article was appointment of a male veterinarian to head the women’s health section of the FDA. Which came right on the heels of the Heckofa Brownie Affair, in which a clearly incompetent administrator was removed from his post. Or not– turns out Mr. Brown is staying on as a consultant, specifically tasked with “investigating” the mess he made. Ouch! Read the rest of this entry »

Colorado Referenda C & D

September 26th, 2005

On November 1st Colorado voters will be asked to decide Referendum C and associated or conditional Referendum D, which have generated more debate in print and on the air than any other referendum in recent memory. Our recommendation? Vote no on both. Our natural inclination is to vote against anything that gives the government more power or more money. And if a power and money issue is not clearly supported by one party and opposed by the other, there must be something fundamentally wrong with it. Read the rest of this entry »

Earth from Columbia

September 6th, 2005

Here is a picture taken from the space shuttle Columbia, on its last mission. Our display format doesn’t come close to doing it justice, so please click on it to see the image in full size. Read the rest of this entry »

Katrinagate

September 4th, 2005

We posted this last Wednesday, August 31st. The scope of the disaster was only then becoming apparent, and our editorial board decided that the article should be “suspended” because it was an emotional response to a developing situation. It seemed a little early to be laying blame. The author agreed, on the basis that the article would be republished with this caveat and with some degree of amplification. Here’s the original Katrinagate article, with the amplifications following. Read the rest of this entry »

Ridiculous Editorial Cartoon

August 21st, 2005

An editorial cartoon in today’s Denver Post is ridiculous and irritating. It is a blatant propagandist approach to the issue of Supreme Court appointments, from a conservative point of view. It suggests that progressives’ belief that the Constitution is a “living document” means that the Constitution can be “interpreted” any way you like. So it is an editorial “comment” on several issues– judicial activisim, Constitutional interpretation vs “strict construction,” and Supreme Court appointments, to name three. Here’s the cartoon in its original form (click to enlarge): Read the rest of this entry »

A Big Piece of Pie

August 14th, 2005

The odds are real good that at some time during the last two weeks you paid more for a tankful of gasoline than you ever did before in your entire life. You may not be very happy about it– you have probably complained to your friends and family, and you might even have written a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, but the extent of your protest has been limited by your acceptance of the published “reasons” for high gas prices. Which are almost all lies. Or “disassembly” as our Liar in Chief would say. Read the rest of this entry »