Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Where can you go?

I hope that this is a premature chicken little attitude but before the recall, I was convinced that California was doomed. I believed that the state economy was entering a death spiral where businesses and investments would flee the over-regulation, over-taxation and failing government services choking the private sector. Apparently a majority of Californians agreed because we got rid of Davis for the more appealing Arnold.

Then he made the big mistake. He conspired with Democrats to paper over the crisis and gave shortsighted sybarites (arguably the majority of Californians) room to shrug their shoulders and defeat from disinterest, the reforms Arnold early on insisted were essential to put California right. The economy rebounded. Job flight was reduced. But only temporarily and the shoes are beginning to drop.

...And Californians went back to their Alfred E. Newman 'What? Me worry' attitude.

OK, I had hope for a while that the California I found in 1970 could return, but I am beyond all that now. What I want to know now is where can you go? No state has California's climate and beauty. Nevada is dog ugly. Arizona is hot (and has no ocean). I am thinking Oregon. Anyone else getting ready to bail? What are you thinking?

Arlen Specter's Priorities

Arlen Specter promised (in the Wall Street Journal) to expediciously move judges through the approval process. That was then, this is now. Judges are languishing as the Judiciary committee refuses to act on the President's nominations. Action on the Alito appointment are deferred to January- and the Patriot Act waits for his signature before it can be passed and he wants to get Democrat signers. I have asked before, "Where is the outrage". I will ask again. Contact him and ask what happened to his promise and why he is willing to water down the Patriot Act.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter,(202) 224-4254, e-mail

What he does get excited about is Terrell Owens.

Technorati Tag

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Strange Coincidence

Stephen St. Onge observes,

Here's another strange coincidence. Before Sept. 12, 2001, al-Qaida had major successes attacking U.S. targets. And during that time, al-Qaida had sanctuary from Sudan, then Afghanistan, and possibly Iraq (from sometime in 2002 till March 19th, 2003, al-Qaida definitely had sanctuary in Iraq). And before Sept. 12, 2003, al-Qaida showed great smarts, hitting U.S. targets of high visibility.

What a coincidence that that once we removed their sanctuaries in Iraq and Afghanistan, their power declined.

The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

Day trip to LA for business and wrapped up the meeting early enough to check out one of the new Architectural statments in the Civic Center before flying home. Thinking that I could see the inside of the new cathedral I chose it over the Disney Concert Hall. The Spanish architect, José Rafael Moneo, wanted to echo the Spanish mission heritage of the church in California.
My impression is that the building is heavy-handed and sterile. Impressive and dramatic without managing to be spiritual. Monochromatic in it's concrete walls and concrete colored windows. Spacy in its lopsided basilica form. The location is a disaster, between the county mall and the freeway in one dimension and the county cogen plant and the Music Center Annex in the other. Perhaps it looks good from the freeway. From the other sides it more resembles a prison. Even when you walk around to the entrance leading to a courtyard, it lacks drama. I give it two stars, mostly for trying so hard.

Monday, November 28, 2005

The Myth of the Scandinavian Model

America’s social model is flawed, but so is France’s,” the Parisian newspaper Le Monde recently wrote. According to Le Monde Europe should adopt the “Scandinavian model,” which is said to combine the economic efficiency of the Anglo-Saxon social model with the welfare state benefits of the continental European ones.

Only if you distort and misrepresent the facts. If you are looking at Europe, Ireland has the clearly superior model. From the Brussels Journal.

Hat Tip from The Manolo

Don't wear this hat!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

They need government help.

In union-controlled California, politicians have waged war on Wal-Mart. How many times have you heard the litany - low wages, no healthcare and the political will directed to stopping the super Wal-Mart stores that challenge supermarkets which are firmly under union control. Supermarkets have a very small profit margin (one percent is what I understand it to be). One of the reasons is the union employees. (You may remember the several month long strike agains Southern California supermarkets a year ago). Wal-Mart has a four percent profit and some critics demand government control.

California Conservative cites several examples of superior service and compensation by non-union employees and asks this question:

The next time you shop at Wal-Mart, try to imagine the employees all replaced by Teamsters, auto workers, federal employees, or the French. Ask yourself what kind of service you could expect from overpaid employees who can’t be fired?

Friday, November 25, 2005

A Murtha Tradition

Murtha said the U.S. had to no choice but to pull out now, explaining, "There's no military solution. Some of them will tell you [that] to get [warlord Mohamed Farrah] Aidid is the solution. I don't agree with that."

You have heard about this, right?

Only this quote wasn't from last week, it was from 12 years ago.
After terrorists attacked U.S. troops in Mogadishu, Somalia 12 years ago, anti-Iraq war Democrat, Rep. John Murtha urged then-President Clinton to begin a complete pullout of U.S. troops from the region. Clinton took the advice and ordered the withdrawal - a decision that Osama bin Laden would later credit with emboldening his terrorist fighters and encouraging him to mount further attacks against the U.S.

As has been said and said and said again, the man is a veteran and deserves respect for that service. It doesn't, however, suggest that the man is smart.

And now we know that he is consistent as well.
HT Winds of Change

You won't believe how it ends.

I can't remember the last time I followed a television series but it may have been Mary Tyler Moore. So imagine my surprise how I was captured by the HBO series Rome from the first episode I saw. I had neard some favorable mentions on radio and some television ads while toggeling between Greta and Nancy for my nightly Aruba update, but I discounted them, thinking that it would be a PBS documentary type series. It wasn't until about halfway through the twelve episodes that I started to watch and there was no turning back. My 21 year old son saw only the last ten minutes but he has faithfully made time for the last episodes as well.
Well, the last episode ran last Sunday and now we have a profound sense of loss. There will be a second season but apparently not until 2007.
What made the series so memorable? Especially when you know how it turns out?
The characters are complex and compelling and the interweaving of fictional charazcters and history adds richness and insight into the lives of Romans, noble and plebeian.
Mark Goldblatt, a fan of the series, in the American Spectator points out how the series shows the morality of Rome to be quite different from ours in many ways.
This is the triumph of Rome. Along with the physical trappings of Caesar's world, the creators and writers of the series have sought to reconstruct the cognitive framework of Roman citizens in the first century BCE. Dignity, honor and benevolence are measured on their scale, not ours. The proposition that all men are created equal is not self-evident to them, 18 centuries before the Enlightenment

I just hope that HBO will rebroadcast the seies so I can see the first six episodes.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

McCain, Graham Warn GOP May Be in Trouble

From AP

With the war in Iraq, higher energy costs and breakneck government spending, the GOP faces a tough round of congressional elections in 2006 unless things change, two key Republican senators warned during a campaign appearance


The United States Needs To Lower Its Corporate Tax Rate

From the undefatigable Will Franklin this quote:
Other countries are catching on to the fact that globalization means economies do not exist in separate, sterile lab beakers. Countries must compete with each other, policy-wise, in order to lure (and/or keep) dynamic, job-creating, wealth-generating companies.

From 2000 to 2005, corporate tax rates around the world fell significantly, while remaining nearly unchanged in the U.S.

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Mission of the Senate

From Hugh.
Win the war.
Confirm the judges.
Cut the taxes.
Control the spending.

The mission is not 'Asbestos Litigation'. And what's with these vacations? Do you get 6 weeks off for the Holidays? Let your Senators know that you think they are not giving you your money's worth.
Senate Majority Leader Frist, (202) 224-3344, e-mail

Majority Whip Mitch McConnell, (202) 224-2541, e-mail

Armed Services Chairman John Warner, (202) 224-2023, e-mail

You can also use the Congressional switchboard to contact any other Senate office: 202-225-3121.

Where is the outrage?

Arlen Specter promised to advance the movement to the floor of the Senate of the Presidents judicial appointments. Instead, he delayed the hearings for Alito until January, has made no effort to move nominees languishing in the committee in a timely fashion and has refused to sign off on the renewal of the Patriot Act to let it out of the committee for a final vote. I have searched Technorati but no one seems to care.
Conservatives were concerned about Specter being chairman of the Judicial Committee, but were assured that he would do the job required of him. Now it appears that he has other priorities. Even Hugh despairs.
Technorati Tag

My Feelings Exactly

AARP has become America’s most dangerous lobby


Postal Rates Going Up Again

An example demonstrating the impact of the government's ability to print money.

PrestoPundit explains.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Freedom of the Press on the Line

Stephen S. points to Stephen Green as he considers the evolution of war in the 20th and now 21st centuries.

What I didn't see then - but what I do see today - is what "taking the initiative" really means.
it means communications and propaganda and has consequences.

It means, fighting a media war. It means, turning the enemy's one great strength into our own. Broadcast words, sounds, and images are the arm of decision in today's world.

He thinks that if MSM is responssible for losing the war on terror, the public will rebel and freedom of the press will be ended.

When a nation loses a war, it looks to punish the people it believes are to blame. After Vietnam, neither Washington nor our Armed Forces were ever the same again3. But if we lose this Terror War, our media will be seen as largely to blame. They'll suffer blame for their ignorance and for their petulance. They'll suffer blame for seeing al Jazeera as comrades closer than the privates and NCOs and officers fighting to protect the First Amendment. They'll suffer blame for putting their hatred of a Republican President before their love of country. Whether that assessment is fair or not, it is how the public will see things.

I don't know if it will get that far but I think if they accomplish their goal, we will be in such deep s*** that it won't matter.

Here are the consequences.

After the defeat of the Budget Proposition last week, you knew that the shoes would begin to drop. Here is number 1.
You have heard about the $50 Billion bond issue to bail California out.
PrestoPundit tells us where its going.

Senate Tribes

Hats off to Fellow Sacramentan Bat Guano who takes the pulse of the Senate Republicans and applies Bill Whittles categories of Pink and Gray. Read his post and see the breakdown.

The only thing I would add is that sheep goes with Pink and sheepdog goes with Gray.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Ruling from Weakness

The retreat of the Senate lead by a majority of Republican senators demonstrates the sorry state of this country. Despite a re-elected President with a mandate to fight this war on terror wherever it might take us, a one-note vendetta from the left and MSM has dissolved the spines of our Republican elected officials. What can one make of this retreat? How to understand the reasoning behind the revolt?

I am beyond words at this outrage. Vichy France had more principles than this Senate. And without an occupying army to threaten them. I am finished with making fun of the French, when our Republican leaders make them look courageous.

The details about the Senate resolution from Bloomberg.

The Anchoress had this to say:

I am no fan of the GOP Senate. I think they are to a one useless, meandering, and too concerned with their own re-elections, and I will not cut them some slack as I was admonished to do yesterday, because they have not earned my slack, they have earned my suspicion, my lack-of-faith, my raised eyebrow and my curled lip.

Andy at Residual Forces said,

Now is the time for those of us who still believe in America and Freedom to stand up to those who care not for such things, when their own self interests are at risk. We need to remind them that America has an old promise to fulfill. Not one made by the faint at heart. A promise for the ages. A promise made to those who could not stand up for themselves. One that should never be forgotten, or turned on. Those of us who still have faith in the dream and hope of freedom for all, must make sure that America will follow through on an old promise made by a President a long time ago.

Hugh has the phone numbers for Frist, Warner and McConnell and some comments from the left, gleeful about the retreat.

Let them know if you are displeased and cut off the money.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

You gotta love the French

Parisian demonstrators plead to stop the violence.

It's a small, decorous demonstration, only about 200 people. But they do have the French trademark.

White flags.

College Life

What problems do you think today's college students face?
Biased instsructors?
Outrageous costs?
Limited jobs after graduation?


Pomona College is in dire need of a gender-neutral restroom in the Smith Campus Center. As the situation currently stands, the campus center only has gender-specific facilities, creating an uncomfortable, exclusive and unsafe environment for students at the Claremont Colleges who do not choose to conform to heteronormative identities.

Silly me. I thought that Pomona was one of the few remaining colleges where it might be worth $40k/year to send your kid.


Since this is the week of the Harvard-Yale football game, it seems like a good time to review the score of the SCOTUS bowl. Right now, there is a strong Harvard advantage.

Harvard 5

Yale 1

But with the ball in motion, expect the advantage to decline in January when Alito takes the field.

BTW Harvard, Yale and Princeton are tied for second place so this weekend should break things loose. Brown (Brown?) is number one.


Are we there yet? California pushes the frontier.

Kleptocracy (sometimes Cleptocracy) (root: Klepto+cracy = rule by thieves) is a pejorative, informal term for a government so corrupt that no pretense of honesty remains. In a kleptocracy the mechanisms of government are almost entirely devoted to taxing the public at large in order to amass substantial personal fortunes for the rulers and their cronies (collectively, kleptocrats), or to keep said rulers in power. Kleptocrats typically use money laundering and/or anonymous banking to protect and conceal their illegal gains.

Sounds like California to me.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Enriched Uranium in Iraq?

Stephen asks if you heard about this from MSM.
According to the BBC, 1.7 metric tons of enriched uranium were removed.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

The J. Patrick Buchanan Memorial Library

We have all experienced the lemminglike waves of 'gloom and doom' books over the years and yet we are still here and coping.

Imagine if you will, a library that is stocked with books that relate to one thing, the Cassandra like predictions from the past that have failed to come true.

Varifrank tells what we would find there.

Porker of the Month

A new award from Citizens Against Government Waste.
The winner this month is John Spratt.

WASHINGTON, Nov. 10 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today named Rep. John Spratt (D-S.C.) Porker of the Month for working to thwart a budget reconciliation package that could save taxpayers $53.9 billion over five years. As ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, Rep. Spratt preaches fiscal restraint yet refuses to offer savings proposals and even held a mock hearing to misconstrue miniscule spending reductions as deep cuts. The House is scheduled to vote today on the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (H.R. 4241).

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Rampaging Rinos

'Moderate' Republicans killed the provision to allow oil drilling in the Arctic. In the name of the Republican Main Street Partnership, spokesman Charles Bass of New Hampshire, said they did it not because it was a bad thing to do but because it would jeopardize the Republican majority.

These fools, who were elected to make decisions for us citizens, would preserve the majority by letting the minority prevail. If you want a list of the fools -and there are some surprises there (Chairman of the Powerful House Rules Committee). Here is the list. Courtesy of Michelle Malkin.

Lucy, Hold that football up one more time. I want to give the Republicans more money.

Conservatives Abandoned Arnold

and California's future.

The evidence? Look at the voting from California's conservative counties.

Polipundit says,
Conservative/Republican turnout utterly was abysmal.

Gang of Fourteen Looses Another

From Carol Platt Liebau, news that Susan Collins regards a filibuster of Alito unlikely.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Go Back Machine

California voters - afraid to go forward, yesterday bought into the Democrat/Union vision of the future - the go back machine.

Why do we do it?

WunderKraut muses on a question without an answer. Why do bloggers blog?

Hang Tough on NRSC

Good old Will digs up useful information and posts it for us. Today, he notes how Republican Organizations are out performing Democrats in fundraising.

Except for the National Republican Senate Committee. These are the guys who fund attacks on conservative challengers to wimpy RINO senators like Lincoln Chafee.

If Elizabeth calls, don't respond.

Lemons – The Republican Fruit

There was a Peter, Paul and Mary song back when I was in college titled ‘The Lovely Lemon Tree’. The chorus as I remember went:

Lemon tree very pretty
And the lemon flower is sweet
But the fruit of the poor lemon
Is impossible to eat.

I am humming this song as I think about yesterday’s election in California. All that occurs to me as I read conservative posts about the election is that we have a mess of lemons in California and I am sick of making lemonade every time Republicans eat their own.

There is no good news here folks.

California Republicans would much rather be right than win.

Right isn’t even on the map for California Democrats but they have win down pat.

As a result we left Arnold to deal with the union thugs and complained that he is too liberal. Arnold has given us the only wins we have seen in decades but he, and his propositions, are not conservative enough. Arnold vetoes legislation – something Bush is unwilling to do- and has saved us from illegals with driver’s licenses, gay marriage and tax increases …..up to now.

We sent him out to slay the dragon but were not there to back him up. Now he will have to negotiate with thugs, bullies and liars and I can't wait to hear the self-annointed Republican leaders complain and criticize whatever he gets.

I am fed up with Republicans who - once they have their own- will let the rest of us go to hell.

The shoe fits, Doolittle, but its not very becoming.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Not Just Paris is Burning

Everybody has an opinion.

From Oxblog an observation from France.

Action from De Villepin.

A Poll from Daily Kos. Is it (the riots) Bush's fault?
Iranian Journalists call for probe into the unrest in France.

Jeff Jocoby has some thoughts for Prince Charles.

And finally terrorist fries.

Monday, November 07, 2005

A Prayer for Our Time

The Kansas Senate asked Minister Joe Wright to provide the opening prayer for the new session. They got more than they bargained for.

Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask Your forgiveness and to seek Your direction and guidance.

We know Your Word says, "Woe on those who call evil good," but that's exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual Equilibrium and reversed our values.

We confess that:
PalosVerdesBlog has the rest.

The Bee Says 'NO'

Reading the Bee today, I find an interesting juxtaposition on the editorial page of the Sacramento Bee. In an editorial titled 'Hey, big spenders', the Bee chides our Senators for voting no on a bi-partisan bill to reduce farm subsidies and then recommends No on propositions 73 through 80. Leave the other propositions alone for the moment and consider Prop 78 - the baudget control proposition. In light of the impossibility of controlling the California budget under current mandates, the Bee will have nothing to do with reforming the process but will criticize our senators for continuing farm subsidies at their current inflated level. Talk about a double standard.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Conservative Elites Don't Just Triumph..

They gloat!
Read the observations of HedgeHog about how full of themselves are Peggy Noonan and Tony Blankly about the Miers withdrawal. Only they speak for the conservative movement. No matter what Gallup thinks.

French Rioting

There are optomists and pessimists blogging about the French riots while MSM is largely silent. Optomists think that Europe may be coming to its senses about the crisis created from isolated muslim communities which have no use for the native culture and economy of their countries of birth.
The usually funny Scott Ott calls amusing what the French have already done.
Cicero hopes that the French riots and similar events in Belgium and Denmark signal that the era of appeasement is over.
ShrinkWrapped comments on the French assertions that the riots were part of an organized effort and signal the failure of the French foreign policy.

Me? I'm an optomist. I don't believe even the French will roll over and let their precious culture be trashed.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


ver·big·er·a·tion Audio pronunciation of "verbigeration" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (vr-bj-rshn)

Obsessive repetition of meaningless words and phrases, especially as a symptom of mental illness.

observes that Democrats like Schumer seem unable to avoid it.

Some Things Even the LAT Gets Right

This cartoon from the LAT captures the moment. HT Prestopundit

Certified Classy

Will Franklin has a weekly Carnival of Classiness highlighing classic posts from around the balogosphere. At number 6 we find Lincoln Chafee as observed by AnkleBitingPundits.
Lost in all the euphoria (at least on the conservative side of the aisle) of the Alito nomination was news that a bill to streamline the permit process for the building of new refineries, increasing refinery capacity and simplified "boutique fuel" requirement was killed in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. And who do we have to thank for the inevitable continuation of the high heating bills that will result?

None other than Lincoln Chafee
He has an opponent in the primary election coming up. The RNSC is spending money to defeat him. Be certain not to give the RNSC any money.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

New Polling on the Reform Propositions

OC Blog has the latest poling on the reform propositions. Not the Field Poll but the Stanford University/Hoover Institution/Knowledge Networks Internet poll.
The findings:

-- Prop 74 leads, 54-47

-- Prop 75 is comfortably ahead, 64-36

-- Prop 76 trails, 45-55

-- Prop 77 leads, 55-45

Support is strengthening for three of them.

And some questions about the Field poll here.

Proposition 73

Using Technorati I picked up some blog posts about prop 73

seems most concerned that parental control of minor children could endanger a woman's right to choose.

Greengabbro says letting parents know that their daughter is having an abortion is hideously bad policy. explains why. It defines a fetus as an unborn child. Clearly a hideous policy.

Highwayscribery says that Beverly Hills activists at a recent ballot party felt,
.......... which only served to point up the shoddy drafting of a conservative measure most present were convinced was designed to discourage doctors and health clinics from performing such procedures.

Theocracy not being much in favor among those gathered, the “straw vote” on this particular item was 15 against and 2 in favor

For the record I am voting for.