Friday, April 29, 2005

Dissenting Democrat

One of my favorite Democrats has some observations on the judiciary. Courtesy of Willisms.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Judicial Activism Burnout

The passion, energy and anger from last week's fixation on ending the judicial filibusters in the Senate left me with severe blog-burnout. I had little ability to divert my attention to day-to-day issues or even enjoying the wonderful, concentrated bursts of clarity and information from my favorite blogs. Willisms was just too rich for my intellect until today and the fog is just starting to clear.

I don't seem to have the emotional control to focus on politics for long because, just like Ado Annie in Oklahoma, "With me, its all or nothing". When I do, I get crazy and feel frustrated. Then I crash-- and don't care.

Perhaps my frenzied focus last week has contributed to the appearance of resolve in the Republican Senate leadership. I hope so. But if I was not joined with many other people exerting the same pressure, my efforts would fall flat. I don't want to fall into the trap of believing that the battle is won until it is won but I really don't have the energy to spend here. I have been neglecting support for Arnold's reform petitions in California and can't even bear to think about trying to get the Senate to act on other important issues (Energy, Social Security, etc).

I guess I have for too long lived the American dream of voting every two years or so and letting the government alone in between. The result of my kind of voting is there for all to see in California where the government spends money we don't have on programs that have never worked and passes laws that would never be approved by the voters. I deserve the government I have and its up to me to take more responsibility. I have been a political slackard for so long now that I don't know if I am up to it.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Posting Open Letters to Senators

Threebadfingers is posting links to letters to Senators asking support for the Constitutional Option to permit judicial nominees an up and down vote in the Senate. Add yours and join the bandwagon to get Senate Republicans to act like the mojority. Mine is posted below.

Letter to Fencesitting Senators

Dear Senator:

I urge you to support the Republican Party and your President by voting to change the rule permitting filibusters of judicial nominees. This is a crucial vote and one where you want to be seen on the right side.
You may wonder why you should be interested in the opinion of a voter from California who will probably never have the opportunity to support you in the voting booth. I will give you two very good reasons:
1. California Republicans have been very generous to Republican support groups which provide funds to Republican candidates throughout the country. We do so because we want a strong Republican majority in Congress. Now, that we have a mjority in the Senate, we are finding that a even a majority of Republicans cannot lead. I, and many others will stop making donations to any such organizations, if the Republican position is not approved next week. I will make contributions selectively and only to candidate who fully support Republican positions.
2. If you choose not to support the Republican party on this important issue, I will conclude that you have no place in the Senate and I will support with financial contributions any Republican challenger in the Primary and should you still be a condidate in the election, your Democrat oponent.
I cannot emphasize too much how important is the issue to the Republican base. A Republican majority is of no value if it cannot be trusted to support critical issues like this.
I look forward to your support on this issue.


Monday, April 18, 2005

Fear guns ? Check this.

Fat Steve reports a danger you might have missed.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

How did I miss this?

Little Green Footballs via Tim Blair. Click on the post title.

LGF Posted by Hello

Social Security and Medicare - uncontrolled entitlements

It's reform Thursday at WILLisms and his focus today is on entitlements.

Social Security and Medicare together eat up such a large portion of the budget, it is nearly impossible to achieve true fiscal responsibility, even by lowering spending on other programs. Entitlement spending is the bulk of the budget, and if Democrats and Republicans alike are truly concerned about deficits, they will reform Social Security, one of the largest entitlements, sooner rather than later.

In the future, without reform, Social Security spending as a share of the overall budget will grow, making balanced budgets exceedingly difficult and forcing painful choices, choices that we can avoid with reform.

Check out the graph and his series of Thursday reform posts.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Was Bolton wearing this at the hearings?

Courtesy of IMAO the top ten UN slogans. And you can wear them.

IMAo Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Tropical Plant Update

For anyone wondering how my tropical plants weathered the frost here in the foothills, I provide this summary:
Plumeria - All growing tips destroyed. I cut the stems back to live wood and am waiting for new sprouts. I don't believe that it will be possible for flowers to form before the cold weather starts, but stay tuned.
Cycads - small one appears completely dead. Large one has green leaves but the leaf generating center seems dead. The jury is still out.
Brugsmania - Survived nicely and has started growing.
Ficus elastica (rubber plant) needed pruning for growth tips but it sprouting.
Cymbidiums - survived. Two plants are blooming now - 3 to 4 months later than in So Cal. Summer will be a trial for them.
Epidendrums - Holding on.
Pikake - both plants seem dead. Perhaps they will sprout.
Some of the tender succulents are succumbing. Euphorbias particularly.
I will be devising new strategies for wintering the survivors. All I did this year was put them in the central entry courtyard.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Bob Hope Airport Shuffles

Bob Hope Airport Posted by Hello
Bob Hope Airport (nee Burbank) has a lot going for it, especially if your LA destination is the one of the valleys (San Fernando, San Gabriel), Hollywood or even downtown LA. It is intimate; everything is very close together and has great potential for charm (a quality hardly ever associated with airports).
The Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena bureaucrats lack even the faintest glimmer of imagination, poetry and history. The airport has a 60 year history and strong ties to Lockheed and aviation but all you are aware of when you use the terminal is that it is old, old fashioned (no jetways, just roll up stairs to the planes) and awkward in its layout.
The great old building is still there, crowded by new, ugly additions. You really don't see it on arrival because of the side access to the site. With some cleanup and a fresh paint job, the exterior could pass muster however. It is the interior which really disappoints. Just like airports everywhere, you have no sense of where you are. When you realize that Bob Hope has a tradition of aerospace innovation and is now in the center of media production, it is a great loss that nothing of that is displayed or evoked in the terminal. Even the boarding outdoors and using roll-up stairs ought to be nostalgic and exciting.
It's not.
What's missing is not so much spending more money as applying some imagination. How much more delightful would be the inspired ambiance of Pasadena (or even the less inspired ones for Glendale and Burbank) if the airport gateway engaged the visitor with its history upon arrival?

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Life Imitates Star Wars

Remember those lame looking walking tanks in the second (fifth) Star Wars movie? Apparently walking machines are in our future. This one in the woods. And this one in the city.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Sacramento Light Rail Bust

Sacramento seems to get more than its fair share of attention from Opionjournals Best of the Web Today but , hey, we are worth it. Joseph Taranto notices this article in the Bee. Apparently, light rail ridership dropps dramatically when customers are expected to pay.

Who knew?

Pasadena Rocks

Back in the boondocks after two days in Pasadena for a business meeting. I never got over to Pasadena much while living in LA. I should have. Pasadena has gone from a seedy town with a lot of vacant buildings and terrible air quality (30 years ago) to a dynamic urban environment with great street life. They have maintained all the great old California buildings and developed new urban assetts (like old town and the rebuilt old bunker of an urban mall). It's great to be back in a place which doesn't shut down at 9:00. Burbank airport (now Bob Hope) is a trip but full of missed potential. More on Bob Hope later.

Pasadena City Hall Posted by Hello

Friday, April 01, 2005

My Next Car

Professor Bainbridge has found my next car.