Thursday, June 30, 2005

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The Bill Comes Due for Kyoto

New Zealand expected a $500 million windfall from aggressively supporting the Kyoto Protocol. Now the nation looks to be $1 billion worse off and pulling out is becoming a political issue. Heads up from Tim Blair.

The War - An Iraqi Perspective

Iraq the Model on what the Iraqis think about the struggle in Iraq.
The truth is that with very few exceptions, most people and politicians here have thrown this argument behind their backs long time ago; whether they're supportive of the war/liberation or against it and whether they want the coalition to stay forever or they want the troops to leave now, they are now living and discussing the present and planning for the future trying to get the best results possible out of the current situation, each party from it's own perspective.

This is war, it's not a picnic and don't think that we're enjoying it and we're not expecting you to enjoy it either.
By quitting now some might think that needless losses are going to be avoided but that's-in my opinion-is a very shortsighted way of thinking because quitting now will only expose America and the rest of the world to a much greater threat.

Read it all.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Mark Steyn on the American Left

"Two years after ''the day America changed forever,'' the culture is in thrall to the same dopey self-delusion it held on Sept. 10, 2001: There are no enemies, just friends we haven't yet apologized to."
John Hawkins interviews Mark Steyn and asks why the left can't seem to deal with foreign policy threats.
There are two malign trends of the last four decades, and in the war on terror they’ve merged. For the far left, the issue is always America. So, if America's destabilizing some Marxist-Leninist socialist utopia the left takes the side of the Marxist-Leninist socialist utopia. Likewise, if America's at odds with misogynist racist homophobic theocrats, the left takes the side of the sodomite-beheaders and the freelance clitorectomy performers. That’s entirely consistent once you realize it’s simply a choice of United States vs [Your Name Here].

Read it all.

Iranian President a Key Hostage Taker

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the new Iranian President is identified as one of the key hostage takers from the 1979 takeover of the US Embassy. From LittleGreenFootballs.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Cabrillo National Monument

Point Loma guards the entrance to San Diego Harbor. There you will find two lighthouses, a statue of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo and a spectacular National Cemetary.
Cabrillo National Monument Posted by Hello
And this is in addition to the spectacular view of Coronado Island, San Diego and the harbor. Angelenos will recognize Cabrillo from the LA harbor landmarks which also have his name.

Australian Hostage Apologizes

From Powerline, Douglas Wood, the Australian hostage freed by Iraqi and American troops apologizes for his statments under duress.

Unamerican at Ground Zero

If you thought that all is well at ground zero in commemorating the dead and the heroes from 911, think again.
Powerful interests are trying to turn the memorial into an indictment of America.

Thomas Sowell on Extremist Judges

Thomas Sowell has some thoughts about 'mainstream' judges. The standard has been so eroded that mainstream is now 'touchy-feely' positions favored by liberal partisans. Those who want to restore the literal interpretation of the constitution are now regarded as extremists.

The reason it matters enormously is that, over the past half century or so, many judges have gone beyond their judicial roles to impose their own policy preferences. Since these kinds of judges have almost invariably imposed policies favored by liberals, they have been cheered on -- not only by liberal politicians, but also by most of the media, the law schools and the intelligentsia.

Any judge who might restore the Constitution by overturning some liberal precedents is now called an "extremist" or an "activist" -- even by liberals who had cheered on liberal judges when they overturned previous precedents.

Read the rest here.

Monday, June 27, 2005

When in San Diego Don't Miss the USS Midway

USS Midway a retired aircraft carrier was the high point of our recent visit to San Diego. We stumbled upon it while parking for a seafood dinner. It is huge (although small in comparison to newer carriers) and overwhelms the small park surrounding the parking lot. We had to come back for the tour before catching our flight on Sunday. It is very well handled with an audio headset to provide information as you move around the ship on your own.

USS Midway Museum Posted by Hello

Durban's Apology Posted by Hello

Jerry Ties the Knot

Jerry Brown, aka Governor Moonbeam, the one who signed my UCLA diploma, appointed Rose Bird as Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court and helped establsh the California Energy Commission - the origin of the continuing energy crisis, has moved somewhat center as Mayor of Oakland. Now, he has married and is rumored to be considering running for state office again.

Arnold's Rubicon

Pete DuPont on Arnold's reform campaign in California. If California is to have a future he needs support from rank and file Californians to restore the Golden State Dream.

Gulags of Our Time

Tim Blair find a New York Times story on real torture.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Penguins Fly!

Pete the penguin boarded our flight from Sacramento to San Diego on Wednesday with three human companions. On board we learned about Magellanic penguins and Pete toured the cabin just before we landed. Not your usual Southwest flight.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Business and Pleasure

Off to San Diego for a business conference and staying for the weekend. Politics will keep for a few days while I releave my ocean deprivation.

Monday, June 20, 2005

California Special Election

SactoDan provides a summary of the ballot initiatives for the special election this fall. These are the Governor's second phase of reform. He had hoped that the Democrats would work with him but they now believe that the Governor's appeal has been reduced from the non-stop attacks from the unions that run the state (teachers, nurses, prison guards, etc) and they are betting that they can beat them down. The California economy is recovering from total Democrat control but it can't continue unless these reforms happen.

Iran's Fake Election

Will Franklin reports from an Iranian polling place in Houston.

Is the War Worthwhile?

I hear much dithering about the war from co-workers with the recent increase in suicide killings in Iraq. Despite the incredible accomplishment of elections, the fact that all religious groups are now participating in the drafting of a constitution and the growing strength and competitance of the Iraqi military, some are calling for a firm pullout date. Now is not the time to retreat. It is time to be resolute.

PalosVerdesBlog asks the question and finds answers.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Birds vs Windmills

American Spectator reports on the conflicts for conservationists over windmills.

Weekend Diversion

Lake Tahoe Posted by Hello
Off to Lake Tahoe this weekend. We have been in NorCal for almost a year and only once to Tahoe so far. This weekend will be the second. We are only going for the day to take in an art sale at Ceasar's Palace. There is still plenty of snow. The waterfalls along Highway 50 are spectacular. Art and nature - what's not to like.

Nothing Cheap about the Teacher's Union

Betsy's Page reports that the teachers union in California takes about $900 per year from each teacher much of which goes to political funding.

King Tut Returns

Even bigger than last time (26 years ago), King Tut's treasures return to Los Angeles. People underrate the wealth of museums and culture in Los Angeles. You can exhaust San Francisco's offerings in a weekend. Los Angeles can keep you stimulated for weeks.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Arnold says I will finish the job.

In case you missed the Governor's speech like I did, SactoDan
provides the transcript.

Monday, June 13, 2005

The Good Old Days.

Roseville Conservative brings word that the late Governor of California has discovered that mistakes were made in the energy fiasco. He's not repentant however and observes that the present Governor beats him on fundraising so what was the big stink anyhow?

You sent my bag where?

Little green Footballs reports on an Australian jihadist's creative endeavor.
A former Qantas baggage handler who compiled a book outlining “short and wise” rules for fighting jihad on his computer in suburban Lakemba dedicated it to the “martyrs of Islam”.
The book concluded with praise for al-Qaeda’s “impressive success of the conquest of New York” on September 11, 2001.

No Smoking Gun

Powerline looks at the hysteria over the Blair memo from 2002 and finds no smoking gun. He reprints the entire memo but gives this analysis.
Is that a ringing endorsement? Of course not. But in our view, and that of most supporters of the war, a preemptive strike against a recidivist regime like Saddam's is clearly justified where there is reasonable apprehension of danger to our security. And, while it would be nice to have such a strike blessed by the U.N.'s Security Council, where members of the Security Council have been bribed and have promised to veto any resolution authorizing war, it is absurd to argue that such veto power means it is illegal to act in our own defense. Attorney General Goldsmith applied a narrower standard; but it is hardly a shock to learn that the Bush administration's view of what was necessary to legitimize the Iraq war was different from his or from Kofi Annan's.

It comes down to this. If you think the war was necessary you are going to see this memo as reasoned assessment of the options. If you do not think the war was necessary, then anything the administration says is a lie so it doesn't matter what is said.

"You'll shoot your eye out, kid!"

If you ever felt sympathy for Ralphie in the movie 'A Christmas Story', you will surely relate to these eighth graders from Amherst. Thanks to James Taranto.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Why We Need to Deal Now with Social Security

From Willisms a reminder of why we need to reform social security now.
Its the money!

Milton Friedman on Vouchers

Milton Friedman reviews the beginnings of his analysis of the government run schools in the US. He noted in 1955 that there may be justification for government schools for ensuring that all children receive schooling and that schools are funded: there is little to suggest that government should be involved in administration ....
"the actual administration of educational institutions by the government, the 'nationalization,' as it were, of the bulk of the 'education industry' is much more difficult to justify on [free market] or, so far as I can see, on any other grounds."
Now, he notes, there is increasing evidence that vouchers are beginning to catch on with the public, disatisfied with the poor performance and high cost of public education.

Felt Legacy is Complex

Now that we know the identity of Deep Throat, the simplistic analysis of the Watergate scandal begins to break down. Nixon is still a tragic figure who destoyed his Presidency but the heroic reporters and the noble betrayer begin to look tarnished as the LA Weekly tells us more about Felt's history of illegal breakins at the FBI.
Felt, in fact, was indicted and convicted in federal court in 1980 of directing nine illegal break-ins, aimed at domestic political targets, when he was boss of the COINTELPRO operation. Felt thus became the highest-ranking FBI official to be convicted of criminal charges since J. Edgar Hoover became head of the bureau in 1924.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Why is so much political art awful?

Terry Teachout in the Wall Street Journal examines the destructive impact of politics on theater and offers hope that art is winning. Too good to exerpt. Read the whole thing.
Here is an example of non-pc theater thriving in NY.

Better Than Affirmative Action!

Courtesy of Craig DeLuz, a way to increase college attendance. San Jose State students and teachers adopted seventh grade classes at three poor performing schools and increased attendance at four year colleges by 89%.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Ralph Nader Calls for Impeachment

Ralph Nader argues that lies and misrepresentation by the Bush administration have pushed the US into an illegal war which has created a recruiting bonanza for terrorists and a quagmire for our troops.
It is interesting that nothing we have learned about the oil for food scandal involving UN officials and European leaders affects this thinking which has not changed from the time the war began.
Everyon but the Iraqi prople were getting rich and looking the other way. Sadam refused to comply with UN orders which is exactly the behavior which suggests that he had or intended to make weapons.
That flow of money is now stopped. There were free elections in Iraq and there is an emerging government with ever improving power to manage its own affairs. Terrorists are engaging in Iraq and not here.
Nader is still clinging to the old saw that Bush had reason to know that there were no weapons of mass destruction and therefor lied. It never made sense except to Michael Moore and it won't wash now.