Saturday, September 24, 2005

Ocean Getaway

Back to the coast for a few days of R&R. Checking out the Mendocino coast from Gualala up to Westport. No hurricanes. No politics. No MSM No weather porn.


It's a great idea. Pressure your congressmember to give back frivolous projects approved this year. Republicans have campaigned on fiscal responsibility - cutting taxes and reducing government expenditures. Having won by embracing this platform, you would think that they would govern using those same principles.
Not so. They have abandoned the supporters that gave them the majority and are trying to buy the rest of the voters with spending.
Check out Soapbox Politics for background and resources on the program.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

George Will on Arnold

George Will has been around the block and his observations on politics are always worth reading. Arnold has been bloodied recently and has made some strategic mistakes, but don't count him out just yet. Read George and remember, without Arnold we would still be dead in the Democrat swamps. He deserves every ounce of support we can give him now,

My Nomination for Porkbusters

The budget for ATSDR was $77 million for 2005. Congressional
Testimony identified the valuable service provided by this agency including creating the asbestos crisis in El Dorado Hills.

Another unfolding asbestos-related challenge is in El Dorado Hills, California, where workers found a vein of naturally occurring asbestos during construction of a soccer field at Oak Ridge High School. ATSDR has evaluated the public health threat associated with exposures to airborne asbestos fibers at the school, and will be documenting its findings. ATSDR will continue to consult with state and local agencies and the EPA to address this issue.

Given the information provided by Ms. Dyken in El Dorado Hills last week, this evaluation and documentation won't be worth a fraction of the $77 million. Granted this is a limited sample but if it is important enough to ATSDR to list in their congressional budget testimony, their other work must be even less significant.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

We're From the Government and we're here to help

From the El Dorado Hills Telegraph today, this headline-

Feds give presentation on asbestos
The subheading continues: "Officials return but offer no new information to board"
Jill Dyken from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry told Community Services District (CSD) Board members that asbestos is dangerous and can damage the human body.
Following the lecture, Board members asked what is an acceptable level of asbestos exposure. She responded that she could not tell them and that it might be years before she had a clue. We don't even know for sure whether asbestos actually causes the cancers with which it is associated, she continued.

She did know that between 1988 and 2001 there was no increase in the mesothelioma (the main cancer associated with asbestos) rate in El Dorado Hills. The cancer is a bad thing but we have no way of testing for it and it doesn't show up for decades.

So what does this woman think she is doing to help our community? Clearly we need to be scared shitless about asbestos. Clearly we need to continue to spend millions on abatement without any certainty that it will make any difference but all she can do is scare us about how bad it might be someday if the exposure rate is high enough and they actually establish causation.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Bentley Continental

Taken as I am by the Dodge Tomahawk, this seems more practical.

Where do they go next?

Now that the California legislature has protected us from the terrible dangers of unregulated vending machines on school campuses, where do they go next. There are so many risks and so little time. California is on a downward spiral. Businesses cannot afford to continue operating here. Unions and bureaucracies control every aspect of our lives. Non-accountable appointees tell us we can't have power plants or transmission lines; intead they will tell us when they don't want us to use electricity using expensive new metering devices and raise the price until we pay attention.
And what do they do for us - these highly-paid professional politicians held in place by a corrupt political agenda for design of election districts......

But I digress. You can probably guess where these folks will go next to protect us lowly citizens unable to deal with life. There are risks all around us and we, of course, are too stupid to deal with them. Parents couldn't possibly be expected to raise their children by themselves. School vending machines are only the tip of the iceberg. Erik H has their number.

Flat Tax Works

From Willisms, a report on how the flat tax works in Eastern Europe. Meanwhile in the US, Republicans and Democrats are in a drunken feeding frenzy, aided and abetted by the President. They can't be bothered to deal with real issues like Social Security or the IRS.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Big Changes in Long Beach

Not so many years ago, a weekend in Long Beach might be regarded as punishment. With the build up on the vacant lots where the Pike used to be, Long Beach has a lot to do right on the water. New restaurants and attractions make Long Beach a great destination. I was shocked because none of this was there three years ago and the land had been vacant for decades. The action spreads north on Pine Street with restaurants and building restorations as good as you see in San Diego's Old Town.

Forget Harley's!

My son discovered a true automotive marvel. Dodge, apparently wanting to impress buyers of their popular V-10 Viper, decided to show off the engine's power by converting the engine onto a motorcyle, and the Dodge Tomahawk was born. Released in 2003 as a concept, its popularity has got it in demand for cyclist enthusiasts. Statistically, this monster can surpass 300mph, but no test drivers been bold enough to make sure. This definitely isnt your dad's Harley from the old days...Inquire HERE if you've got $250k to spare.

-Blog courtesy of Ralph & Son.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

SoCal Weekend

Back to SoCal for the weekend. Mostly occupied with business in the Long Beach Convention Center but it is right there on the ocean. Maybe a Sunday brunch with my LA son- if he is in town. It would be even more enjoyable if we weren't having such splended weather here.

Why I can't support Doolittle

Aaron promises to enlighten me about why we need the baby (Doolittle) when we have a lot of dirty bathwater to throw out. Here is a case in point. There may be a competitive elective district in California but I sure don't know where. In Torrance, we have an open seat but Republicans couldn't manage to compete. The Democrat was annointed by the party - no competition there. No wonder we have legislators who feel free to vote contrary to their constituents because they are never going to be held accountable for their actions.
This is to my mind the greatest problem in California and one which Arnold identified and embraced as part of his reform program.

And Doolittle would rather raise money to protect his safe seat in Washington and let California continue down the tubes.

Not with my vote or my money.

Unintended Consequences

China faces a surplus of young men as a result of the social engineering dictating one child families. These men amount to 23,000,000 and are destined to remain unmarried creating new social problems never envisioned by the creators of the program.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


I am sick of watching the news. Not that I am, anymore, a newshound eager to hear what Huntly and Brinkley decided were the important stories like I did back in grad school. Lately, I have been captivated by Greta and her exclusive on the Dutch fumbles in the Natalie Holloway disappearance. It was a soap opera and when Greta faltered or repeated you could always use Nancy Grace as a backup.

No more. Its all Katrina all the time.

I don't want to see any more water being pumped. I don't want to see the flooded school busses that weren't used. I don't want to see the control center in the Astrodome. A five or ten minute update would cover any changes since yesterday but you would think that nothing else was happening in the world.

Isn't there something going on in the Senate? It seems like there was something that was supposed to be happening. It must not be Bush's fault or else we would surely hear aboaut it.

Thank heaven for Ophelia.

Econ 101 on gas prices

Eric H at Grimreader explains marginal costs and how they affect gasoline prices.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Canada Update

More news from our northern cousins.
Proud to be Canadian reports that the standard of living drops farther behind the US.

And Jason tells about his attempt to use Canada's Healthcare System.

Better than FEMA

Eric H at GrimReader approaches disaster releaf using Hayekian thinking. Maybe we don't need big government afterall.

A hurricane is a great big problem. If Hayek is right, lots of people working on small pieces of the puzzle will solve it more efficiently than a central authority. From that standpoint, FEMA is an idiotic idea. On the other hand, lots of people working the puzzle without coordination are likely to duplicate effort and overlook some problems. In a market, the price mechanism solves this coordination problem, but there is no price mechanism here.

Let me suggest this, though. I know that some insurance companies offer kidnapping insurance for South-bound travellers. I also know that some search and rescue operations are starting to charge wayward hikers for their services, and you can get rescue insurance. Is anyone providing disaster insurance that includes rescue attempts?

Read the rest of his analysis here.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Pink Sheep

I don’t like myself when I rant because it feels like a lapse of character. In fact, it probably is a lapse of character but is it better to deny my weaknesses, swallow my frustration and seethe or just let it out since I am probably the only person deluded enough to believe that I appear strong, resolute and confident in my judgments.

I spent the lunch hour at my desk today and as a result was looking for items on the web when two of my co-workers begin discussing the divisiveness among politicians today. Why are Republicans ragging on Democrats and vice versa. They are nice ladies but it drives me crazy to listen to them. I had to interject that I had only heard Democrats ragging on Republicans. They vehemently disagreed based on evidence undisclosed and moved on to say that there should have been a disaster plan. I interjected again that there was one and more to the point it had been tested recently and found wanting. The needed corrections were never made and even more damning, the plan was not implemented by NO officials. I emailed them links to a news article citing ABC news reporting on the plan.

One said, “Oh, that is interesting”. The other said. “I don’t follow blogs because you can’t trust them to be factual”. Apparently news from MSM sources is no longer credible after going electronic. She was so self-righteous as she told me this, there was nothing to do but shrug my shoulders. She loves Prairie Home Companion but, of course, there is no opinion there. No opinion on NPR where she gets her information.

I have been struggling to find a way to accept and respond to intelligent, educated, good-hearted, well-meaning, economically illiterate and information-stunted people like this. I am still clueless.

Bill Whittle has helped me sort this out and accept my inability to influence their thinking. They are sheep and not just sheep. They are pink sheep.

Bill disclaims being a hero as do I. But I do believe in accountability and responsibility. I will take care of myself and my family and I have learned to detest what the government has done to cripple the human spirit through public education, regulation, healthcare, welfare and now disaster recovery.

Is this the dilemma of democracy? Are the sheepdogs fated for muzzles and chains to give comfort and satisfaction to the sheep, who will always be the majority? Will the very people who benefit from their competence and commitment always ridicule grays?

I think the answer is yes. It is a result of the very nature of human beings.
Thanks Bill. I will now accept this situation as one beyond my ability to change and challenge myself to be the best gray sheepdog I can be.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

William H. Rehnquist

Thank you.

de Toqueville offers explanation for New Orleans

From PalosVerdesBlog, a refresher on de Toqueville's analysis of American democracy.

However, Tocqueville recognized a potential danger that citizens might cede their independence to a benevolent government that labored for their happiness but “chose to be the sole agent and only arbiter of that happiness.” What would remain, he said, but to “spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living.”
And a tie to New Orleans.

The barriers that separate civilization from barbarism were as weak as the levees.

Read it all.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Where are all the moonbats when you need them?

Successful conservative bloggers like Aaron have a following of Moonbats contributing comments. Newbies like me have to settle for pale imitations. When I need a good moonbat rant, I click virtual moonbat at the bottom of my sidebar.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Future Looks Bright

Andy is not the only bright high schooler out there. Peter has invented a new way to charge your cellphone.

LA Times adds value.

Colleen gets more from the Times and pays less. Such a deal!

Scalia at the top of his form

Justice Scalia was in Southern California recently and commented on the sorry state of legal opinions these days.
I am questioning the propriety — indeed, the sanity — of having a value-laden decision such as this made for the entire society … by unelected judges,” Scalia said.

Prestopundit has more.

Not a Movie Review

My son insists that the world is begging for me to review War of the Worlds. Well, I liked it pretty well although the little girl was hard to take. The son had the sense to run off before I got too sick of him. The high point was Tom Cruise taking out Tim Robbins with a shovel.

And those Martians! How can they be ominous and evil without uniforms? Naked invaders --oooh, I'm scared. And they are wandering about playing with objects just like chimps might. No wonder they couldn't master basic hygene? I think there must be a master race out there somewhere observing and I am not ready to claim victory yet. Any race with the organization to store weapons of mass destruction millions of years ahead of the invasion should not be discounted.

It was a good way to pass a hot Sunday in July and well written eoungh to carry you along without time for questions. And I may need to buy it just to see the high point again.

More interesting, however, is a blog by Josh Friedman, the screenwriter of the movie. Now I always thought that screenwriters were pretty high up the hollywood food chain but check out this post about attending the premiere. It's not quite what I imagined. His blog is a nice break from politics.

Make Your Contribution to Katrina Relief Today

I sent money to the Salvation Army today. There are many ways to help. I posted some links to bloggers with links to many charities or click on the Western Alliance logo on the sidebar for other options.
Let Thursday be the day to step up and help.