Friday, December 22, 2006

Saturday Night Live: Nancy Pelosi

HT Betsy's Page Saturday Night Live does Pelosi.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Garden Update

In the continuing saga of adjusting my gardening skills and plant palette from coastal southern California to Sierra foothills, I have this observation. This year is cold. Algore notwithstanding, for me and my garden, global warming is a crock.

It has been just above freezing every night for over a week now. No frost in the morning and no snow yet (our last snow was in February and broke our African Sumac). Interestingly, one of my early cymbidiums is blooming. The poor things are so confused by the weather here but somehow this one pot got it right. This is exactly the time it would have bloomed in SoCal. Between the super hot summers and the super cold (relative to SoCal) winters, I probably should just give up and find something that will grow here but I am a stubborn cuss and will keep growing them so long as they continue to cope.

I continue to be surprized by my Brugmansia. I thought it would be among the first of my SoCal plants to succomb. Not so. In fact, there is a one which I see hanging over the fence down the hill that seems quite happy here. My plan is to plant my large potted brugmansia in the ground in my back yard. I rooted some cuttings from the big plant in late summer for backup. The ones from hard wood rooted nicely but the softwood cuttings failed to root. I have two small ones in reserve. The large one got infested with some bug or other. It amazes me that a poisonis plant can fall victim to bugs. The leaves got spotted and the new growth was covered with webs. Spraying with the stuff I use on my roses reduced it but did not eliminate it. I am not confident about planting it but intend to proceed. I missed the good planting time before it got cold so I will wait now until at least March.

My next project is to find a replacement for Agapanthis. Whey does anyone plant them here in hot Sacramento? They look awful in the Summer heat with their crispy brown leaves. I am thinking about a small Aloe of some sort or maybe Kniphofia.

The catalogues have started coming so I can begin my garden fantasies for 2007.

Those who don't srudy history are doomed to repeat it.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

LA on My Mind - Continued

Lunada Bay

I always thought that we had done great by our kids raising them in a beautiful semi-rural ocean-side enclave in the great LA megalopolis. What I have learned about parenting is that, in my case at least, it was all about me. I wanted my kids to grow up in a tony neighborhood with college prep schools so different from my Missouri farmboy childhood. If I had thought more about my sons, we might never have come to LA.

Our old house, newly rejuvenated, stands naked and defenseless with only one small, newly planted palm tree. I would love to see the renovations inside, although I am sure that they are not to my taste. I can just see the plantings in the back yard around the side of the house and recognize that some of them survive. I drive on an notice that one by one the oldest of the houses in my neighborhood are replaced by ‘tuscan’ wedding cakes. When we moved to Lunada Bay, there was an interesting mix of ordinary middle class and wealthy housing. Now that land values have risen, only the very wealthy can afford even the ordinary houses which are disappearing. The vacant lot where the old Shell gas station used to be is now a park but the core of Lunada Bay retail remains. In addition to the walkable neighborhood schools, the hardware store, grocery store and drugstore were very persuasive in selecting our house. The drug store is now a bank but the market and hardware stores are still there. Over the last five years, the neighborhood schools have reopened bringing back the appeal we originally saw in the neighborhood.
It is a delightful community, still unpretentious and accessible (none of the gates which are so fashionable these days), even with million dollar home prices and tuscan wedding cakes sprouting like mushrooms. It's the only place on the hill with neighborhood shopping. I alwlays said that if you have to live in LA, Palos Verdes is the place to choose and Lunada Bay is the best of PV.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Getting it off My Chest

Maybe you have noticed my absence from blogging lately and maybe not. After the election, I tried to keep a stiff upper lip and controll my rage at the clowns that have coopted the Republican Party. Tonight, however, my wife asnswered an 'out of area' phone call (she has this needy streak) and said that they wanted to talk to me.

It was someone calling for Mike Reagan wanting money to put out negative ads on Hillary but he started by asking who I thought could beat her. Frankly, I think she will beat herself, but I rose to the bait and told him that all the Republican candidates were a pack of fools and loosers and that I wasn't prepared to throw any money to any of them. He came back manfully with names. Did I like Sam Brownback? Now all I know about Sam Brownback is that he is a Senator and from Kansas and those two facts alone are enough to convince me that he is not the man for the job. He tried Gingrich, Guliani and on. I told him that I didn't really care because even if you elect a Republican, he turns Democrat as soon as elected so I might as well vote for Hillary because then I really would get what I voted for.
He seemed surprised by the hostility that came flowing out of my mouth and, to be truthfull, so was I. But it felt good to tell somebody that I was through trusting Republicans to stand on party principles. The Democrats may get me killed but at least I will always know where they stand.

LA on My Mind

I had a business meeting in Southern California. There was supposed to be a social event Friday night which was cancelled due to household illness so everything got turned around. As a result, I left Sacramento mid-morning and drove to LA with less urgency. I usually prefer 99 to I-5 because there is more going on. Little did I know that the new bond money is already at work rebuilding the non-freeway portion south of Merced. It was about 5:00 when I reached Valencia when I would have preferred an earlier, or later, entry to LA traffic. With KJAZZ on the radio I was ready for the traffic and my next choice was the route to my hotel in Torrance. I picked the Hollywood and Harbor Freeway route through downtown LA over the San Diego and it was a good choice. The traffic never stopped although it slowed at times and it was good to see LA again and relive the commute that had been my daily experience for twenty-some years. There didn’t seem to be any new buildings other that construction of something near Staples Center but what I found amazing was that the names at the top of the buildings were difference in many cases from those I remembered just 5 years ago. Rush hour on the Harbor Freeway is not a good time for sightseeing so I was not able to make a complete survey. I guess that putting your name on a building is a more tasteful kind of advertising that buying a billboard. There were new buildings crowding the freeway at USC which seemed to be some sort of concert hall complex from the decorations on the slab facing me. After USC, the traffic gradually lightened and I got to my hotel by 7:00.

Saturday morning I was free so I slept until I wanted to get up. I returned to the Harbor Freeway and continued the path of my old commute to the house where I lived until two years ago in Palos Verdes. We sold it when we moved to Sacramento and the buyer had done some needed improvements before selling it nine months later. Part of his improvements includeed a complete clearing of 40 year-old trees which had sheltered the studio we built for my wife from the street. Now the new owner has curtains on the French doors which open onto a grass lawn and the street. It’s no longer our house – in more ways than the legal sense – but it is still a lodestone for me every time I get back to the area.

The drive through San Pedro to Palos Verdes Drive South was much the same but The Donald’s golf course had caused some improvements on the Drive. There are now several parks along the road which overlook the golf course and the ocean. The slide area is still sliding but from the condition Saturday, the last road renovation must have been recent. I noticed a new sign for the ocean side neighborhood just past Abalone Cove. I never knew it had a name in all my years in Palos Verdes. If I had to tell anyone how to find it , I would tell them to look for the Fire Station. Now there is a sign proudly proclaiming the Neighborhood of Abalone Cove. Who knew?

Next I passed the apartment complex where my wife and son lived for the six months between selling our old house and moving to our new one in Sacramento. It looked the same. I did not have much emotional attachment to the apartment but I did love the ocean and Catalina view from our third floor balcony. When we lived there, goats grazed on the open field between the complex and the Marineland site and the exteriors for the Movie, Fun with Dick and Jane were being filmed at a false front residential street over the fence. I had heard that construction was finally started on a resort hotel on the old Marineland site but I saw nothing different.

On to Golden Cove where the ocean view Starbucks has been joined by a Subway. The Starbucks represents an upgrade from 25 years ago but the Subway is a step down from the old Golden Cove Deli. The Starbucks was there before we moved but its neighbors were still under construction. Not an improvement from my perspective.

Then on to Lunada Bay, my old neighborhood and the place my kids call home. When we moved in, I was living my dream. When I first came to California, I stayed with an Army buddy in Gardena and he first showed me Palos Verdes and I began to dream about someday living there. It took me eight years and a detour to Manhattan Beach but we purchased a home three blocks from the cliffs (no view). Number one son was nine months old and number two came along 6 years later. They have never lived anywhere else while they were growing up.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

LA's the Place

Nearly everyone has forgotten but LA used to have a slogan. LA City Nerd says bring it back.

News You Can Use

Nearly every lock you have is worthless.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Global Warming Update

Bill has been very good at identifying the flaws in the studies that claim to prove global warming.

Now, some anecdotal data on record cold temperatures this year starting in Florida.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Bush Channels David

W and the Democrats

Friday, November 10, 2006

Some Advice for Democrats

From the 'Conservatives' at LA Weekly.

So Democrats better hurry in coming up with some immediately stirring proposals for both the economy and the war. Better start searching, as well, for at least one or two compelling national leaders who can articulate those ideas in some way other than Kerry-speak. A small raise in the minimum wage, and the obfuscation built into the very word “redeployment,” aren’t nearly enough. The mood of the American electorate revealed on Tuesday is one of angry impatience, an intense distrust of the establishment, which just happened to be recently occupied by Republicans. Democrats, take a few days off to savor your victory. And then take good notice of the way the electorate shook off such reprobates as Pennsylvania’s Rick Santorum and Kurt Weldon, Montana Senator Conrad Burns, Arizona Senator J.D. Hayworth, and a few dozen others as if they were nothing but a bad case of fleas. That they were Republicans was only serendipitous.

Republican Post Mortem from Rhode Island

By putting forth a candidate like Steve Laffey, Republicans could have guaranteed a race in Rhode Island where issues like the economy could have been discussed. The fact that we currently have a great economy, and the way we got to it, was lost to Rhode Islanders this election cycle. The fact that our goal in Iraq and the Middle East is noble, and the fact that in wartime sometimes mistakes are made and things take longer than we would like, was lost in the battle between who was more anti-war and anti-Bush – Chafee or Whitehouse. Talking about these things in the Senate race would have given us the opportunity for those ideas to have trickled down to other candidates – and blunted the effect of the "I hate Bush – No, I hate him more" mantra from both parties a little bit.

Read it all.

My Name is Ralph.....

And I am a recovering Republican enabler.

I have read many commentators following the Democrat’s takeover of congress, but Rush comes closest to expressing my feelings. He said that he feels liberated.

Now I'm liberated from having to constantly come in here every day and try to buck up a bunch of people who don't deserve it, to try to carry the water and make excuses for people who don't deserve it. I did not want to sit here and participate, willingly, in the victory of the libs, in the victory of the Democrat Party by sabotaging my own. But now with what has happened yesterday and today, it is an entirely liberating thing.

I can relate. How many times in the past year alone have I been furious with the failure of my party to rule. It is criminal that a Republican senate could not approve more conservative judges. I don’t claim to understand Bill Frist but he clearly had no interest in disciplining his troops and pushing the Republican agenda. The fact that he could imagine a future as a Presidential candidate is further evidence that the world looks different inside the beltway. I felt bad about hating Frist, helpless about doing anything to change him, and demeaned about giving an impression of confidence and support for his leadership when I am frustrated and angry.

I seethed with every email from Senator Dole asking for money to shore up floundering RINO Lincoln Chaffee in his battle to win the primary against a real republican and then, to add further insult, the RNSC threw even more money down a rat hole trying to get him re-elected.

I bit my tongue when the President never vetoed any of the over-the-top spending bills or even attempted to draw a line in the sand over anything. Then he established a huge new entitlement which didn’t even earn him anyone’s respect and wanted to give away citizenship to invaders.

The house frittered away their majority on non-essentials and only the threat of voter revolt stirred them to action on illegal immigration before they abandoned their posts to seek re-election. The speaker was more motivated to protect a corrupt Democrat than to eliminating pork. Unfortunately, he survived the massacre. But at least he has withdrawn from consideration.

Now all I have left to defend is the President. I never trusted his conservatism and so it is difficult to maintain that he disappointed me. I have, however, always trusted his leadership on defense. Now, the only issue I expect him to fight the Democrats about is the war. I always feared that he was his father’s son. Bush1 got rolled on taxes. Will Bush2 get rolled on the war?

For years I have carried the burden of justifying the Republican quislings in Congress. I am known to my friends as a Republican and therefore the traitors are mine. I am forced to somehow rationalize their betrayal of the voters that elected them as behavior which, in the long run, will accomplish the Republican mission. This rationalization is tiring and demoralizing and now, with the Democrat triumph, I have a whole new perspective. The Republicans I trusted to support my conservative principles abandoned me. They still claim the Republican Party and claim to represent the principles which I thought I shared with them. If they are the Republican party then I am not a Republican.

After their betrayal, they can no longer count on my automatic support. I demand accomplishment first. I don’t know how they can manage this as minority party but it’s no longer my problem. I am not claiming them until I see something worth claiming.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Finding the Soul of the Republican Party

In their rush to select new leadership, the Republican congress runs the risk of alienating further what remains of it's loyal supporters. Each of us needs to contact our congressman (those of us who still have republicans) to urge their serious attention to this task and to select the best candidates. I sent this letter to my congressman today.

The Honorable John Doolittle
2410 Rayburn HOB
Washington D.C. 20515

Dear Congressman:

Congratulations on surviving the recent election. Despite un-proven allegations about your relationship with Jack Abromoff and reservations on my part about your commitment to a solution for the Social Security problem, I was happy to give you my vote on Tuesday.

Now I ask your commitment to electing strong, new leadership to the house. It is clear that current leadership failed us badly and must be replaced. It is equally clear that the new leadership must have strong commitment to Republican principles and be committed to knocking heads when necessary to keep members in line. I am dismayed that there is a rush to elect the new leadership and fear that this rush will do nothing but produce a leadership which differs from the old one only in the faces. I frankly distrust current leadership and ask you to search diligently for strong candidates that can lead the party back to majority status.

Your experience in Congress should provide a good background to identify and support strong candidates and I expect you to do nothing less. Please resist the rush to a decision. Use your influence to delay the election to allow more time to find and research candidates for the new house republican leadership. And finally, identify candidates which, from your experience, will be able to lead the party back to Republican principles and the hearts and minds of the voters.

You and the remaining Republicans in the house will have challenges in the next two years. I have higher expectations from you now because so much is depending on how Republicans manage their minority status. It has to start now with strong new leadership. Take your time and find the right people. There is great interest from Republicans and a focal point to examine dandidates positions in the blogging community, I encourage you explore the questions posed to candidates by voters and their responses here.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Why I voted for...

RIght Wing Duck finds a reason to vote for Tom

read more | digg story
High on Believing

If you have voted today then indulge yourself with David.
I believe!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Jihadists Support Democrats

Get yourself over to Powerline and read the details.

Europe is Pelosi's America

Americans can already see what their country’s future will be if they vote for Pelosi and her band. They only need to watch Europe. That is what America will be like 20 years from now if the Liberals succeed

Brussells Journal says that Europe is way beyond the US, but even as their world falls apart around them they pull an Alfred E. Newman.

In this scenario Europe has more to lose than America. That makes it all the more surprising that Europe’s politicians refuse to support America. They seem to be hoping that the Muslims, although they despise the Europeans, will leave them alone so they can carry on paying the taxes that the immigrants live off. I fear it will not turn out this way. Moreover, the funds are running dry because the welfare state hampers wealth creation.

New York Times Proves Saddam Had WMDs, WMD Programs!!!

In an attempt to discredit the Bush Administration, the Times acts like Karl Rove's house paper...

read more | digg story

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I Don't Vote for Democrats

because they are going to get me killed!
HT Wizbang

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

This is why I hate Chaffee

And how many of your contribution dollars to Republican committees have been wasted on this RINO?
More from Missouri

Claire McCaskill- a woman of the people for Missouri.
Study or else..

Get stuck in Iraq. Thank heaven he never made Commander in Chief.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Voter Fraud in Missouri

Kansas City officials say this is the most irresponsible and extensive voter registration abuse in Missouri in the twenty five years they have been on the job with the Kansas City Board of Elections.

Brazil Achieves Energy Independence

But it's not from their ethanol.

....Brazilian President Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva didn't celebrate the oil independence milestone out in an Amazon sugar field.

No, he smashed a champagne bottle on the spaceship-like deck of Brazil's vast P-50 oil rig in the Albacora Leste field in the deep blue Atlantic. Why? Brazil's oil independence had virtually nothing to do with its ethanol development. It came from drilling oil.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Got your shot?

There isn't enough proof that flu vaccine is effective to support public programs advocating widespread use of flu shots,

At least that is the opinion of the British Medical Journal.

South Korea Responds to NoKo Nuclear Test

Making love, not war.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Proposition Song

Short and seet summary of the California ballot initiatives.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Zucker does it again. What we can expect from a Democrat congress.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

How Reagan Would Handle Islamism

From Brussells Journal a lesson about dealing with evil from Ronald Reagan.

In dealing with Islamism in the present day, we make the very error that Reagan eschewed with the Communists. We proceed from Islamist premises — namely, that Islam is inherently peaceful; that it is inherently sane; that it is inherently just; and that it is a welcome and benign participant in our post-modern public square.

Read the rest.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Mexico is America's Enemy

John writes a letter to incumbants and challengers. Here is a sample.

The influx of illegal aliens is mostly from Mexico, a third world Socialist nation. Because of corruption, greed, and incompetence, Mexico is unable to feed, house, educate, and provide minimal health care to its citizens.

Rather than reforming the political and economic policies that make Mexico a failure, the elitist socialists there encourage their poor, uneducated peasants to migrate illegally to America.

They do so with the expectation that American wealth, provided by U.S.taxpayers, will be redistributed to the invading aliens who, in turn, will send billions of dollars back to Mexico each year.

Mexico's corrupt leaders also count on U.S. taxpayers to provide health care, education and other public services to millions of Mexican criminals that have been dumped illegally on the U.S. side of the border.

The rest here.

Don't you wish that politicians would face up to the truth here. Why is it that only the potbangers and kooks raise these issues.

What Can America learn from Bangladesh?

Ask Nobel Peace Prize winner MUHAMMAD YUNUS. He knows how to give a hand up.. not a hand out.

So at the risk of sounding presumptuous: What can the U.S. learn from Bangladesh about post-disaster economic recovery? Like many other countries, even Bangladeshis were quick with a handout after Katrina, giving the U.S. $1 million for the victims. But Americans might be surprised to learn that one of our most successful tools for rebuilding businesses is not government handouts, but rather, small loans packaged with practical business and social advice.

If, like me, you are sick of our government's policy of bailing out anyone and everyone when a disaster happens and hearing endless complaints from the recipients of these handouts for being too little, too late, you will find his suggestion appealing. Too bad our politicians wouldn't dream of handing out our money in a more responsible way.
Let me open a beer for you

Seems like overkill but when you need a beer, you use what you have.


Big Daddy Byrd brags about pork.

Monday, October 16, 2006


Duane says,

I want you to put the headphones on, close your eyes, maybe turn the lights out, and imagine the beautiful Rose Garden with a podium set up. Imagine President Hillary giving a press conference from this serene, historic backdrop, and have her sound like this.


This Just In From Londinistan

British Bag Ladies

Boycott Indonesia--Stop Murdering Christians Now!

Civil war is in the air in Indonesia. Christians are daily being slaughtered and the government does little to protect them. Two of our longtime blog-friends, Stan the Infidel and Big White Infidel, are furious over the treatment of Christians...

Dr Rusty urges action.

read more | digg story

Friday, October 13, 2006

Act Blue

Democrats must be losing hope, if this is how they rally the troops. The real President out of context and a lame impersonator acting stupid.

I never knew that there was a vast media filter keeping the Democrat story from the public. For more, venture into the fever swamp.

Campaign Fraud in Missouri

My home state of Missouri was solidly Democrat when I lived there. Now it tends Republican. The Democrats of my youth were not the 'cut and run', 'soft on crime' Democrate of today, e.g. Claire McCaskill.

They were Truman Democrats nursed on the mother's milk of the Pendergast machine. McCaskill must be in trouble because she is stooping to lies.....and amazingly enough the media caught her. The ad was pulled but you can still see it here.

Social Security's Incredible Shrinking Return

Will Franklin says,
Simply put, Social Security is an increasingly terrible investment for Americans of all income levels. Let's take a look at the rates of return for middle income Americans:

Check out the whole post.

Army Strong

There is strong
... and then there is ARMY Strong!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Serpent's Tooth Gets Sharper

Lincoln Chaffee campaigns in Rhode Island as the anti-Bush.

... he reminds voters he was "the lone Republican vote against the war in Iraq...the deciding vote to protect clean air standards...for stem cell research" and the one who "stood up to the President on Iraq."

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Too Hot for the GOP

The David Zucker Albright Ad

Drudge reports that this paean to the diplomcy of Madeleine Albright is too hot to use. It is timely, however.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Good Green Livin'

From the October issue of Wired:

Turns out, it's better to drink your latte out of a polystyrene cup than a paper one and forget the ceramic mug. A ceramic mug has an energy and pollution debt equal to 294 paper cups or 1,800 polystyrene cups.

Politically Correct Battle

The Mayor of Franklin Tennessee decrees that no Confederate Flags will be part of a commemeoration of the Battle of Franklin.

HT Instapundit

Monday, October 02, 2006

A Different Kind of Children's Book

Why Mommy is a Democrat brings to life the core values of the Democratic party in ways that young children will easily understand and thoroughly enjoy. Using plain and non-judgmental language, along with warm and whimsical illustrations, this colorful 28-page paperback depicts the Democratic principles of fairness, tolerance, peace, and concern for the well-being of others. It's a great way for parents to gently communicate their commitment to these principles and explain their support for the party.

Squirrelly, to be sure, but kids always need some new books.

Oh, and Daddy seems not to be involved. Perhaps he is a Republican or otherwise irrelevant. Jeff Emanuel has the details.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

FAQ Torture

I think I agree with Dean here.

1) Let’s get right to it. Do you support torture?

Let me say what I do support: When it comes to high value targets in the war on terror, wannabe evil-doers who possess or might possess important information, I support any measures necessary to extract that information.


15) How do you see the politics of this playing out?

The Democrats hate this issue.

Check out the rest.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

In Case You Doubted That LA Is A Union Town

The Police have been facilitating todays civil disobediance by hotel workers near LAX intended to disrupt traffic. Police have pre-booked 400 potential arrestees and will provide parking. Your tax dollars at work.

The Los Angeles Police Department has been involved at nearly every stage, advising organizers on how to proceed without endangering public safety. Experts say the close cooperation with law enforcement reflects a more powerful and mature labor movement, and a city government that is far friendlier to labor than its predecessors.
More at LA Observed.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Dilemma for Rhode Island Republicans

The victory of the RINO Lincoln Chaffee in the Republican primary campaign leaves Rhode Island republicans with unpleasant options particularly after the National Republican Committee applied artificial respiration to the listless Chaffee campaign. Some Rhode Island perspective here and here

And, of course, Hugh has his opinion with a little help from his friends.

Sharia Fine for the Netherlands

Netherlands should go into the netherworld of Sharia law if that is what the majority wants says the Dutch Justice Minister

read more | digg story

Monday, September 11, 2006

Remembering Robert R. Ploger III

Robert R. Ploger III of Annandale Virginia died on September 11, 2001 whien American Airlines flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon. He had lived a good life but was in no way ready to die. He was flying to Hawaii with his new bride of four months to celebrate a belated honeymoon.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Lincoln Loses a Vote

The flier ... which arrived at my house within the past week (fittingly, on garbage day), will stand as the final motivation for me to actually take the time to go out on primary day and actively vote against Linc Chafee.

To see what the Republican National Committee has done to help Lincoln go here.

Conservation and Efficiency - A State Religion

We have been bludgeoned for at least 30 years with the idea that it is wrong to use energy. The California Energy Commission has insisted that conservation will solve all problems. They prevented electric utilities from building power plants until the energy crisis four years ago demonstrated how foolish was their mission. They told us that we were saving money because we weren't building expensive power plants- and we were. What they didn't tell us and won't now is that those power plants would have been far cheaper than the incredible bills the state ran up to supply energy we needed from those 'unnecessary' power plants.

A similar issue is the quest for energy efficiency - one of the tools of conservation. We are constantly urged to invest in more efficient equipment to save energy. And what is the result of our increased efficiency? Has it solved all our supply problems? Not hardly, and not just because of continued population growth. There is also the efficiency paradox.
The true cost of anything has nothing to do with money. Instead, the true cost of any action is the opportunity cost. Increasing the energy efficiency of any technology lowers the opportunity cost and raises the marginal utility of the technology. Increasing the marginal utility leads to a wider use of the technology, which eventually swamps the initial energy savings.

Not that there is anything wrong with efficiency - particularly if it is cost-effective. It is just contrary to economic principles to expect that it will reduce energy use.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Coming Democrat Majority

Democrats: In Charge and Charged Up Back From Break, Dem Majority Ready to Roll

America Weakly takes us forward to the coming democrat majority. And don't miss the video.

Not Monty Python

It's almost more than I can do to hold my comments. Michael's are much better anyway.

Chaffee Campaign Recap

I have been following the republican primary campaign of Lincoln Chaffee, the most odious of the Senate RINO's all summer. Now the primary approaches and it appears that Republicans in Rhode Island may turn him out. His opponent, Steve Laffey, would have an uphill battle to be elected given the very large proponderance of democrats in RI. National republican support has been strong to re-elect Chaffee to defend the current majority status. Many mere voters are fed up with a republican senate that can't, or won't act. My feeling is that if Chaffee is the only senator standing between a republican majority and a democrat majority, there is no republican majority.

For those of you that haven't personalized the Chaffee campaign, Anchor Rising has compiled a comprehensive roundup of comments and issues so far. It is worth your attention. This is a critical race. A win for Chaffee means a continuing wimpy republican senate. A loss may give the national party some second thoughts about their failure to lead.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Sweden - One Party Rule

Sweden's social democrats have ruled for 72 years. They do not constitute a majority and yet despite a declining economy they maintain control without an agenda or any program to make reforms. What is the secret?

Since Sweden is generally known to be a well-functioning democracy, the seemingly endless rule of Social Democrats poses something of a riddle. Why is there no shift in power to other parties? Can this merely be attributed to the management and campaign skills of the Social Democrats and the lack thereof in the opposition?

It's really simple.

The phenomenon that a party after many years in power becomes one with the state, and creates an election machinery which is paid off in policy, is not unique to Sweden. It is probably one consequence of a lack of restrictions - by a Constitution, for example - on political power. Now it has gone too far.

Seems kind of like California.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

It's Miller Time in Chicago

But not at my house. Miller Brewing Company sponsored illegal immigrant marches. More at Wizbang.

AB 32, Some Call it Eco-Suicide

California is about to commit eco-suicide and wants the rest of the nation to join it. The business and industry that will flee the Golden State is incalculable. The danger of these anti-energy policies to the future of the nation is beyond comprehension.

Details here.

Monday, September 04, 2006

AB 32 Unaccountable Regulation

AB 32 which makes California the first state to regulate Carabon dioxide and other substances believed to be the cause of global warming. Most distressing about this bill is the total control of the fees charged for violation of the standards to the California Air Resources Board which is accountable to no one.

Republican Assemblymember Keith Richman voted against the global warming bill Thursday because it gives the California Air Resources Board the authority to charge fees to all emitters of greenhouse as needed to support programs to achieve the reduction goals.

Some details here and here.

What issue or group will Arnold pander to next?

And what choice do California republicans have?

Meanwhile Russian studies based upon solar emmissions data suggest that we may want all the greenhouse gasses we can get. Global cooling in 50 years.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Laffey Ahead in Poll

Rather than merely prognosticating, Victor Profughi of Rhode Island College has been asking Rhode Island voters what they think (OK, that is his job). The most recent RIC poll conducted between August 28 and August 30 has Mayor Laffey leading Senator Chafee, 51%-34% (15% undecided).

More at Anchor Rising

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Terminator Terminated

From the Wall Street Journal, national coverage of the cringing, pathetic suckup that Arnold has become. Now he is the Enabler.

The conclusion states:

But the bond proposal suggests that Mr. Schwarzenegger has given up on even trying to put California's fiscal house in order--his core promise when he took office. Instead, he has flipped the script, deciding to buy off special-interest groups by throwing even more money at their pet causes.

But read the whole thing. I guess this is the only way we can elect a Republican.

Cavalry to the Rescue

Republicans divert resources from the state victory committees of eastern states to stave off lackluster campaigning by Rhode Island incumbant and notorious RINO, Lincoln Chaffee. This is where your contributions to the Republican National Committee go so be advised.

More here.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Observations from Ground Zero

Laffey-Chafee III

Fourth: Because this was on C-SPAN, I couldn't help but wondering what the average conservative Republicans across the land must have been thinking while watching the debate. Perhaps something like, "Those are what they call Republicans in Rhode Island?"

For numbers 1 through 3 see Anchor Rising.

Of course, in California, we must consider the likes of Arnold and Poizner when we search for Republicans.

Burning Question

Are Democrats more committed to destroying Wal-Mart than Islamic Fascism? That's the question on our minds. After all, you certainly hear a lot more about the dangers of Wal-Mart than you do about the dangers of al Qaeda.

read more | digg story

Monday, August 21, 2006

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Jimmy Carter's Damage Continues

Hugh Hewitt is back just in time to nail the worst President in US history. It has been twenty-five years since we gave him the boot but his evil and incompetence seems eternal.

Carter lost Iran to the Islamist fanatics; engineered the deal that brought North Korea nukes, and now his judicial legacy is trying to blind us to the terrorists.

Hugh's advice

Don't run for your life in the fall. Vote for your life. Every vote for a Democrat (except Joe Lieberman) is a vote against victory.

Technorati Tag

Chaffee vs, Laffey redux

If Lincoln Chafee has one thing going for him in his upcoming primary, it's fear--and don't think this perennial thorn in the GOP's side doesn't know it. In a recent debate against his more conservative primary challenger, he made the choice clear to voters: "Who can win in November?"

In a WSJ piece today an analysis of the issues and prospects for Chaffee in his primary bid for reelection. Kimberley Strassel thinks that RI republicans are struggling with voting for Chaffee and holding on to a Republican Senate seat or voting for Laffey and losing the election to a Democrat If her observations hold, we might just see RI Republicans jetison the RINO.

GOP voters, frustrated by Washington earmarking, scandal and obstructionism, may have decided their particular breed of Republicans just aren't worth the trouble.

That's the mood up here in Rhode Island, where I heard the phrase "We might as well have a Democrat" so many times I quit writing it down.

I hope she is right because with friends like Chaffee, we don't need enemies.

Technorati Tag

Too Nice to Win?

John Podhoretz raises a question for western civilization.

Specifically, ... whether the West hasn't become too nice to protect its own interests and concludes,
"I think it's fair to say that we would rather our civilization die than that we commit such acts."

Read it all.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


A hudna is a strategic ceasefire that allows time for Islamic forces to regroup before re-launching their military offensive. The first Muslim leader to execute a hudna and define the paradigm was the prophet Mohammed.

I never heard the term before but it sure puts the middle east into perspective. Dean illucidates.

American Appeasement

Some call it dhimmitude.

So Stop Expecting me to be nice!

New research suggests just that older people with above-average intelligence tend to be disagreeable.

read more | digg story

Monday, August 14, 2006

Brussells Journal under Siege

By the Belgian government.

The Brussells Journal is an invaluable source for news and opinion in Europe, particularly from a Christian and democratic perspective. Increasingly, the Belgian government has attacked the Journal and it's principals. Recently Belgium has attacked home-schooling
and now accuses the Brussells Journal of racism. I read BJ regularly and have never seen any racism but don't take my word for it. Ask Howard Kurtz.

Destroy Mass Transportation

Observations on how regulation destroys innovation and improvement.

read more | digg story

Friday, August 11, 2006

Cause and Effect

What happens when you let terrorists in? There goes the neighborhood.

read more | digg story

Chaffee - Laffey Debate

MSM Reports on the Chaffee vs Laffee debate for the Senate seat in Rhode Island. Anchor Rising has the summary and links.
Earlier Anchor Rising posts summarize questions and responses. Go to the main page and scroll down to see all of them.
Some surprises - Laffey doesn't like Rumsfeld.

Technorati Tag

Deja Vu - All Over Again

For those of you who missed the 60's, you are seeing the same anti-war hysteria that drove the US to retreat with our tail between our legs. Don't be fooled again.

This means that if Democrats retake Congress, we will be back where we were in Vietnam circa 1975. Early that year the Congressional left blocked funds for our allies in the government of South Vietnam, weakening its defenses even as Hanoi massed for an attack. Within weeks, the North was on the march and the last American helicopters were leaving Saigon. The stakes are just as serious today in Iraq. The defeat in Vietnam could at least be contained elsewhere in Southeast Asia, although the Soviet Union was clearly emboldened to assert itself via proxies from Afghanistan to Central America.

Opinion Journal has a refresher course for non-baby boomers.

I Know You Were Worrying About This

It's Official! Pluto Is Still A Planet!
Just shows what happens when you start lowering your standards.
An international panel has unanimously recommended that Pluto retain its title as a planet, and it may be joined by other undersized objects that revolve around the sun.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Efficiency is Important to the Chinese

Especially when they execute 10,000 to 15,000 per year. So those clever Chinese have developed an execution-mobile.

HT Cheatseeking Missiles

All new healthy beer made with Green Tea!

The latest green tea brew isn't something from a tea pot -- but a beer bottle. Wisconsin micro brewer BluCreek is coming out with a new beer called Zen. The idea is to give a brewski the supposed health benefits of green tea.

read more | digg story

Monday, August 07, 2006

Click it

If you have driven anywhere recently, you have been bombarded by messages on the oh so usefull freeway messageboards telling you to click it. or ticket. My son was the recipient of one of those tickets recently after he un-clicked his belt 1/2 block from our house and was chased to our driveway by a friendly CHP officer. You probably think that this is the result of the nanny state being solicitous about the well-being of its citizens.

Not hardly.

State and local law enforcement agencies have a huge financial incentive to dole out as many tickets as they possibly can -- in order to qualify for the federal grant boodle dangled before their noses like a savory pork chop in front of a hungry blue tick hound.

And what about the serious crimes that aren't persued while our law enforcement officers extort money from law-abiding citizens?

California alone went through $2.6 million this year to fund its May 15-June 4 "Click It or Ticket" dragnet. This in a state with a huge crime problem (real crime; you know, murders, rapes, assaults and that kind of stuff) and a teeter-tottering fiscal situation that, you'd think, would call for austerity and reordering of priorities to the essentials. Do "seat belt checkpoints" qualify? What about it, Ahhnoold?

All we need for complete chaos is for our law enforcement organizations to complete their conversion to cash cows.

Technorati Tag

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The 2996 Project

Maybe you haven't heard about the 2996 Project. I hadn't until last week. It is a project to have one blogger post a tribute for each of the 9/11 victoms on 9/11. I just volunteered and received my asssignment.

They still need volunteers. I learned about the project here.
You can volunteer here. and spread the word.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Chaffee Can Offer Only One Thing to RI Republicans

From Anchor Rising, more background and this quote:

The continual pounding of the message that only Senator Chafee can beat Whitehouse leaves the impression that all Chafee has to offer is that he can hold the seat for the GOP. "Vote against Laffey, not for Chafee." I'm not sure if this pragmatic approach is appealing enough to the more ideologically minded GOP primary voter. And I'm not sure if it does much to help Sen. Chafee as far as laying groundwork should he win the primary and have to face Whitehouse. By leaning so heavy on the anti-Laffey tactic, he isn't giving many reasons for the General election voter to support him. It's a tough spot.

Maybe this suggests that Chaffee is in trouble. If he loses the primary, the seat will probably go Democrat. Given the damage Chaffee has done the Rpublican agenda, I would say a Dmeocrat win that takes out Chaffee is a win for Repbulicans.

Technorati Tag

Friday, August 04, 2006

Futurama on Global Warming

Our handsomest politicians have the answer.

No more free lunch in Las Vegas

It is now illegal to feed the homeless.
Council officials decided to curb the charity practice, with possible fines of $1,000 and six months imprisonment, after complaints from residents.

read more | digg story

Tax imposed to fund Spanish-American War in 1898 finally ends

The Spanish-American War has been over for more than 100 years, and now so is the tax imposed back in 1898 to help fund it. Now that this is finally accomplished, maybe we can finally look at social security.

read more | digg story

What's next for the nanny state gestapo?

Fast Food!

Cooking four normal sized hamburgers in a fast food joint emits the same amount of VOC's (volatile organic compounds) as driving a current model car for 1,000 miles.....In New Jersey, 16,000 restaurants release 2,226 tons of particulates, more than all of the heavy diesel vehicles in the state (1,329 tons).

read more | digg story

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Australia's 1,600 foot 'Solar Tower' that can power a small city

Now all we need is a small city.

""The tower will be over there," Davey says, pointing to a spot a mile distant where a 1,600-foot structure will rise from the ocher-colored earth. Picture a 260-foot-diameter cylinder taller than the Sears Tower encircled by a two-mile-diameter transparent canopy at ground level."

read more | digg story

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

NAACP and Tar Babies

“Anyone running for public office should remove from their vocabulary any language that is sensitive to any ethnic group. ‘Tar baby’ is one of those phrases,” Gordon told the Herald.

Bruce Gorden is President of the NAACP and he was deeply offended by Mitt Romney's reference to Tar Babies in connection with the catastrophic Big Dig in Boston. Well maybe not deeply offended but it was a good opportunity to attack a Republican.

Betsy wonders about his priorities.

Mendacious just doesn't cover it.

Main Entry: mendacious
Part of Speech: adjective
Definition: dishonest
Synonyms: deceitful, deceptive, duplicitous, equivocating, erroneous, fallacious, false, fibbing, fraudulent, insincere, knavish, lying, paltering, perfidious, perjured, prevaricating, shifty, spurious, untrue, untruthful, wrong
Antonyms: truthful
Source: Roget's New Millennium™ Thesaurus, First Edition (v 1.2.1)
Copyright © 2006 by Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

Words cannot do justice to this vile, hateful man. The self-righteous
doo-gooder that gave up Iran to islamofacsism before we ever knew what islamofascism was.

In the Washington Post, he argued that the the problem is that Israel keeps violating Un Resolutions.

The general parameters of a long-term, two-state agreement are well known. There will be no substantive and permanent peace for any peoples in this troubled region as long as Israel is violating key U.N. resolutions, official American policy and the international "road map" for peace by occupying Arab lands and oppressing the Palestinians. Except for mutually agreeable negotiated modifications, Israel's official pre-1967 borders must be honored. As were all previous administrations since the founding of Israel, U.S. government leaders must be in the forefront of achieving this long-delayed goal.

My vocabulary is inadequate to describe this man. Help me out.

Technorati Tag

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

German Farmer Outstanding in his Field

"I couldn't repair the roof if I only bred pigs," said Mr. Gärtner, a self-confident fellow with a spiel that is far more entrepreneurial than agricultural. "We have to compete worldwide these days. Pork from Brazil costs half as much as German pork. Our costs are simply too high."

So what does he do to make $600,000 per year? Find out here.

From Dig

Sean Lynch says,
Thank goodness I don't live in Germany. It's bad enough subsidizing all those rich Prius drivers here in California and watching them speed by me solo in the carpool lane. That is, when I’m not on my motorcycle.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Optomism About the Middle East

With all the fuss and bluster about the Israeli fight for life going on, this sounds good.

Looking at the many countries who are, for a change, siding with Israel here I'm beginning to think that what's unfolding now is something that was prepared for, as part of the next stage in the war on terror -- isolating terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah and punishing their patrons like Syria and Iran. If I'm right, that will be very good for the Lebanese, and, eventually, for pretty much everyone in the Mideast except jihadist loonies and their backers. I hope that's true, anyway.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

LA Real Estate Sizzles is your source for details about your neighbor's house - or the market in general. Here they compile property values in LA from hot to cool. If you prefer San Francisco, then go here.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Counting Votes Leading to $3 Gas

Starting with Carter, and including Clinton and the current Congress, the blame for three bucks a gallon gas lies with Democrats whose energy policy has been limited to punishing those who look for more of it.
The rest at Investor's Business Daily.

Don't Be Discouraged

Thomas Sowell says we are winning.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Forget Global Warming

Here is something serious to worry about.

The Earth could be about to turn upside down. The planet's magnetic field is showing signs of wanting to make a gigantic somersault, so that magnetic north heads towards Antarctica, and magnetic south goes north. Compasses will point the wrong way, and migrating birds, fish and turtles are going to be very confused.

Some experts have stuck their necks out to predict that we can expect the next reversal some time in the next 2,000 years. The process would probably then take anything between 100 and a few thousand years - not even a blink in the history of Earth. We can only guess what life would be like during that reversal. Anyone trying to navigate with a magnetic compass is going to have a tough time, but what is going to happen to all those birds, fish and other animals that migrate vast distances using their own internal magnetic compass? Will they have time to re-draw their magnetic maps and get new bearings?

The whole story here.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Nanny State Wrong Again

It's another summer weekend, when millions of families pack up the minivan or SUV and hit the road. So this is also an apt moment to trumpet some good, and underreported, news: Driving on the highways is safer today than ever before.

This may seem non-controversial now, but at the time the debate was shrill and filled with predictions of doom. Ralph Nader claimed that "history will never forgive Congress for this assault on the sanctity of human life." Judith Stone, president of the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, predicted to Katie Couric on NBC's "Today Show" that there would be "6,400 added highway fatalities a year and millions of more injuries." Federico Pena, the Clinton Administration's Secretary of Transportation, declared: "Allowing speed limits to rise above 55 simply means that more Americans will die and be injured on our highways."

It didn't happen that way.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Free Minnesota

Whether Ed Felien is the Pulse of Minnesota or whether he is just feeling up the Pulse of Minnesota is unclear from out here in California but he proposes a new Declaration of Independence for blue states like Minnesota. After the preliminaries, he begins:

The people of Minnesota have a long list of unresolved grievances against this President and his compliant Congress and Supreme Court.

and concludes:

Therefore, be it resolved, we shall seek all peaceful and nonviolent means to disaster

You can fill in the blanks here.

At Least It's Not from Drilling

Musk oxen, the shaggy ice age relics that once vanished from Alaska, are dying in big numbers on the North Slope.

Mysterious deaths for the reintroduced musk oxen in Alaska - but only in ANWR.
Details in the Anchorage Daily News.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

What Mexico Does Right

There are problems a'plenty south of the border but when it comes to elections Mexico scores a 10.

This city was voting to fill six seats, including that of the president and the mayor. Voters presented identification cards and were handed six large ballots, one for each open office. The names of candidates were also color-coded to assist the illiterate. Voting booths were small, waist-high writing tables enclosed by hanging plastic sheets printed with the reassuring words, "The vote is free and secret." Voters emerged from the booths, folded the ballots and slid each one into the box corresponding to the contested seat. To complete the process, thumbs were marked with indelible ink and ID cards were returned. Observers from each party monitored the flow.

I wonder why it's ok to show an ID to vote in Mexico but not here?

Danish Justice

Here is more evidence that the Danes take the defence of their principles seriously.

This week, for the very first time, a court in Europe sentenced nine members of the same family for the honour killing of a female relative.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Insanity Continued

Earlier I posted on the refusal of our national leaders to see that continuing the denial fpr any form of energy exploration in the US can only cause continued dependence on foreign energy. Here is an example of the convoluted reasoning that leads to this situation. Southern Californians are very aware of the decades-long effort to restore the condor to its historic place in the skies. They aren't very beautiful birds, particularly up close, but they are big and endangered. Now with a proposal to drill for oil in a tiny portion of the Los Padres National Forrest, we learn that the red legged frog, the steel head trout and the beloved condor may be affected. Therefore we should do nothing to make that oil available. And so it goes everywhere drilling is proposed. No matter how small the area affected, no matter how trivial the threat, we hear that this drilling must be stopped. From the LA Weekly, an example of how our energy policy is foiled by well-meaning people who understand threats to nature but not to their future.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Definition of Insanity doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome. In yet another example of the insanity of our elected leadership, let's look at our energy dependence. What should we be doing? Actually using oil and gas we know exists in the US might seem obvious.

Pierre DuPont calls it an adiction to regulation.

So expanding America's energy production is the obvious priority. Common sense would suggest that we should begin tapping into the estimated 102 billion barrels of oil sitting under America's Outer Continental Shelf and in Alaska. That domestic supply could replace America's importation of foreign oil for some 25 years.

But what we see from Congress is a continuation of the past 25 years blocking any new drilling.

But our country's political establishment, from Congress to the press and the presidency, has worked for a quarter century to prevent increases in our energy supply.

And they are not about to stop now even though these policies take us farther and raather away from energy indepence.

Technorati Tag

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Who Watches Soccer in the US?

It's apparently the American intellectual.

Soccer has become a favorite pastime of the American intellectual. "Many people would say that soccer is the latte or the Subaru of the sporting spectrum," says Matt Weiland, who, with Sean Wilsey, is co-editor of The Thinking Fan's Guide to the World Cup, a new compilation that reads like a roll call of the soccer intelligentsia.

And Laer thinks he know why.

Yeah, all well and good, but if you as me (and since you're reading this, I guess you have) it's really just the intellectual elites' herd mentality. They won't admit to it, of course, but they are social wildebeasts, thundering along in tight packs of each other, swinging this way and that with remarkable unity. Today, they're hoofing for the World Cup.

Haircut courtesy of The Manolo

Technorati Tag

Monday, June 19, 2006

Bad News for Lincoln?

From the Providence Journal June 17:
More than 14,500 Rhode Island Democrats have switched their voter affiliations within the past six months to participate in the Sept. 12 Republican primary, a figure that experts say will probably help incumbent Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee in his campaign against Cranston Mayor Stephen P. Laffey.

Anchor Rising has more.

Technorati Tag

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Lincoln Chaffee - Primary Update

Rhode Island bloggers sense desperation in the Chafee Republican primary campaign for reelection to his Senate seat. Chaffee is the quinessential RINO, opposing Republican posistions andjudicial nominations with impunity from Republican leadership and receiving money from the Senate Republican Committee while making a mockery of the Republican platform. Anchor Rising notes the lies that Chaffee is using in his campain against Steve Laffey for the Republican nomination. And check out the comments.

Technorati Tag

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Airbus Loses Altitude

Airbus is undoubtedly losing altitude while Boeing is gaining. In the past 18 months, for example, Boeing has been winning more new orders in the long-haul market. It is the success of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner that is forcing Airbus to move to an all-new design for its A350 passenger jet.

Meanwhile the 380 is requiring major overhauls at airports it will service. Read about it at the Financial Times.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Home Schooling Under Siege

Brussells Journal editor threatened with prosecution over homeschooling his child. It seems the Belgians regard homeschooling as parental neglect.

A chilling quote from his wife's post.

The fact that a growing group of children seems to be escaping from the government’s influence clearly bothers the authorities. Three years ago a new school bill was introduced. The new bill refers to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and it obliges homeschooling parents to fill out a questionaire and sign an official "declaration of homeschooling" in which they agree to school their children "respecting the respect [sic] for the fundamental human rights and the cultural values of the child itself and of others."

Technorati Tag

Up With Whole Foods

For years I avoided Whole Foods Market. I refuse to pay more for ugly organic produce and am repulsed by eco-freaks. One trip to Whole Foods, however, turned me around. The organic produce wasn't ugly. They have great fish - most markets fish is marginal- and gorgeous meats. They have bakery goods and prepared meals to take out and the stores are beautiful. So I shoped at Whole Foods until I moved 25 miles away from the only store in Sacramento. I never felt good about shopping there because I did not want to provide funds for crazy people. I refuse to eat Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream even though I know that the two lefties who started it sold out. Well now I feel better about Whole Foods.

On May 13, 2004, John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, spoke at FreedomFest in Las Vegas. He defended business and explained his path from lefty to the dark side.

Were we profitable? Not at first. Safer Way managed to lose half of its capital in the first year — $23,000. Despite the loss, we were still accused of exploiting our customers with high prices and our employees with low wages. The investors weren't making a profit and we had no money to donate. Plus, with our losses, we paid no taxes. I had somehow joined the "dark side" — I was now one of the bad guys. According to the perspective of the Left, I had become a greedy and selfish businessman. At this point, I rationally chose to abandon the leftist philosophy of my youth, because it no longer adequately explained how the world really worked.

Read the whole thing and head right over to Whole Foods.

HT Right Wing News

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Legalistic Left

Jay Tea has some thoughts about the left's dependence on the legal system for it's victories. He concludes with this comment about viewing the war through legal glasses:

the legalistic model for the war on terror is a comforting one. It is reassuring to think that no matter what happens, justice will prevail. That there is always a calm, reasoned, civilized venue for the settling of grievances. That the law is supreme, and that all men and women are equal before the bench.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Congress is Mad

Not angy mad but insane mad. They dither and rant about energy dependency on foreign oil and refuse to drill for the oil we know is here. No other country in the world is this crazy. Paul Dreissen compiles the insanity.

Canada is drilling in the Great Lakes. China and Cuba are planning to drill 45 miles off the Florida coast. In 60 years of drilling off our shores, there has only been one accident where significant oil reached shore (1969 off Santa Barbara). We cle
arly need the oil and gas. And yet Congress won’t budge.

But the governor of Oregon has the solution. It's the CAFE standards. All we have to do is legislate them higher and then nobody can buy anything but econoboxes

Friday, June 02, 2006

Losing WW IV

Shrinkwrapped looks at what it would mean to lose the war.

In the short to medium term, losing does not necessarily mean that Shariah law is instituted in the United States, though that would certainly be incontrovertible evidence that we have lost. I think we can lose in many other ways, smaller but in the long run just as deadly; in the next 5-10 years, losing the war would include any of these possibilities:

1) Europe descends into chaos or surrenders to Shariah.

2) Tel Aviv is destroyed by a nuclear weapon and/or the state of Israel is effectively destroyed.

3) Western nations descend into chronic recession and depression because the price of oil reaches unbearable heights.

4) The United States surrenders to isolationism and abandons Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.

5) The worst case scenario is one in which the United States ceases to be a functioning Democratic Republic after a series of attacks which kill enough and terrify enough.

Now possibly these seem like extreme possibilities to you but consider that there are many who believe that:

The United States economy, as currently constituted, cannot maintain itself without an international enemy. The defeat of one enemy, Soviet Communism, did not result in a "peace dividend." Instead it led to a desperate search for a new enemy to justify a continuation of the Military-Industrial-(Political-Academic-Media) complex. Then Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda and "Islamo-Fascism" – George Bush’s “Axis of Evil” – obligingly stepped forward to fill this role. And so we continue to build multi-billion dollar aircraft carriers and submarines, and an unworkable missile defense system, and we have reinvigorated our atomic weapons program, to fight the new enemy: fanatics armed with box-cutters, and armed brigands hiding in the caves of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

So long as self-defence is regarded as unnecessary, we are in serious danger. Read Shrinkwrapped here and the moonbat here.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Price Gouging 101

Betsy has more faith in our legislators than I do. She thinks they are ignorant.

Prices at the gas pump must be some of the hardest prices for sellers to manipulate through monopoly and gouging. They're posted in large letters right there at the pump for everyone to see. If politicians would learn some basic economics, they would stop making these wild accusations just so they can demonize someone and make political points.

I think they are sniveling, lying miscreants who will say or do anything do get reelcted. Excluding, of course, being straight with their constituents.

If they really wanted to learn, Betsy has the introductory course from Walter Williams.

Technorati Tag

We Are a Nation That Has a Government

Mark Steyn writing on the tone-deaf legislators in Washington is reminded of a great line from Ronald Reagan.

''We are a nation that has a government -- not the other way around.''

He skewers the legislative disasters produced by Congress - like the oppressive Sarbanes-Oxley reporting requirements that are driving businesses out of the country and then produces this zinger of a comment:

I said the other day that McCain and Specter and Sarbanes and Lott and the rest were presidents-for-life of the one-party state of Incumbistan. ... Incumbistan is a government that has a nation.

Don't miss the rest.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Bad Idea

Arizonans will consider a proposition to award $1 million to one random voter after each primary and general election. I agree with John.

Maybe Fences Do Make Good Neighbors

The illegal immigrant problem in the US is coming to a head here, but it is having an impact in Mexico too.

Ah, but there are new voices of change, of reason, of self-awareness in Mexico, in place of the hoary anti-gringo rants: the beginnings of a transformation of the debate.

Read it here.

Good Advice

In the idyllic Sierra foothills, this time of year, it's good to know your snakes.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Legal System Musing

I went to court with my son this week. He was caught in a sting at his job for selling alcohol to an under aged decoy. Naturally they had to fire him and end his six-month career as a convenience store clerk. (This could lead me into a long diatribe about the law-maker's fixation on alcohol and tobacco as the twin peaks of evil in our society but that is not where I am headed today). The court scheduled his arraignment this week and my son, in his ignorance, asked his dad for advice.

I gave him suggestions based on my understanding of court processes. Dress up, admit that you did incorrectly read the ID and that you did sell alcohol to a minor, be contrite and respectful to the judge. I was hoping that for a first offence, there might be a waived or reduced fine and a stern warning about another offence. This was based upon an understanding that the job of a judge was to make a judgment. Silly me. My understanding of the court system is based on an old vision of the courts that possibly never existed.

We get to the court, pass the metal detector and take our place in the chamber. Looking around I see two other well-dressed young men sitting with a parent. The remaining people are dressed like they just rushed in from digging a cesspool. Well, I think, so much the better for my son.

Then the judge appears. He just sidles in and sits. No "ll Rise". No robe. No ceremony. I don't think we would have noticed if he didn't start talking. He begins to tell us why we are here. What to expect and what not to expect.

“You see”, he explains, -and I am paraphrasing here-"You have two choices. You can plead guilty or not-guilty. No contest has the same result as pleading guilty." Of course he is a lawyer, so it took him much longer to say. He went on for a long time about other issues related to sentences essentially saying that he might offer something special and if he did you would have to take it now. And that if you choose 'not guilty' you had better get yourself a lawyer.

Well, my son had decided that he was guilty and unless there were mitigating circumstances regarding the 'sting''there was no way he could argue not guilty. So no problem, we sit and wait for our turn.

The first person called been arraigned for the same offence as my son (or almost, she had sold tobacco to a minor but apparently that is just as evil as alcohol). She pled guilty. The judge asked it she really meant it. She repeated that she really really meant it so he sentenced her to a fine of $724 and two year's probation during which time if she broke any other laws something bad would happen.

Well, we picked up our jaws from the floor and discussed the $724 fine. How was he going to pay it now that he has lost his job. We almost missed the judge offering payment options to the woman. It seems that he would give her payments of $50 per month until it is paid. She took his offer and the clerk called the next miscreant.

She was a nicely dressed woman appearing for DUI. Same script, only her fine was $1,000. Then my son was called. Same script again. Same fine as the first woman. We picked up the paper work, left the court house and drove home.
The whole process leaves me with several thoughts, not one of which is favorable to the justice system.

First, what was the point of the judge? There was no 'judging' going on in that courtroom. Everything was black and white, yes and no. There was no reason for the judge to be present, particularly since his salary and office expenses were probably costing $150/hour or more. There was no justification for a person of any sort. The process could have been handled by a computer program or even a dumb form. There was no reason to even go to the court house.

Second, if you insist on making people appear in a courtroom, then give it some posture. Dress the judge in a robe. Have all rise when he enters the court and treat the court process as something important rather than a borinh administrative excercise

Third, what is really important here? Do we want people to respect the law and the legal processes? Or is this just another excuse to pad government revenue? What is happening to our legal system? The only experience most people I know have with the legal system is to extort money. The only time you see a cop is when he is ticketing you for a seat belt violation or other trivial nanny state offense. And when you go to court, it is just to grind you through the process and take money. It won't be long before normal citizens start resenting the money spent on law enforcement because you can't find a policeman when you actually have a crime but you know he is right there hiding behind a tree when you forget your seatbelt.

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Friday, May 26, 2006

Phil Ochs Remembered

One of the reasons that I enjoy Shrinkwrapped is that we share coming of age in the seventies and the perspective it gives to understanding today. First of all, many of the leadership shared this with us although most seem not to have graduated to the real world after leaving the shelter of college. Second, he is a smart guy, trained in understanding the human mind and a clear writer.

Today he ties a recent appearance of Anthony Weiner, a congressman from Brooklyn on the O'Reilly Factor with the anti-Viet Nam War protest activists of the 60's and 70's and specifically Phil Ochs, about whom he says:

The signs of the Narcissistic egocentricity so much a part of the Baby Boomer generation were unmistakable in his music, but at the time we were relatively unaware of our provincialism, safe in our anti-War moral superiority and unconcerned about the fate of our brown brothers in Vietnam who we were all sure would be much happier with us gone and the country under the peace loving and justice committed Communists of the North.

Weiner told the nation that the "War is Over" and that in so many words we should leave now. So little has changed. Shrinkwrapped deserves a full read. Find it here.

Working with the Senate

Jay Tea thinks the Senate has it almost right.

...if this proposal is good enough for illegal aliens who broke our laws coming here, and break other laws by working under the table, why isn't it good enough for Americans like me who obey the laws and follow the rules? I'd gladly pay $2,000 a year for those kind of salary and job security guarantees. In fact, I'm already paying it.

After all, I'd hate to think that the government would engineer a situation where it's actually better to be an illegal alien than an American citizen...

No kidding!

More Here.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

President Carter

Wins second book award.
....the conservative panel that annually awards the J. Gordon Coogler Award for the Worst Book of the Year has conferred the 2005 prize on Jimmy Carter. Jimmy published a book; he wins the Worst Book of the Year Award -- once again. This is not Jimmy's first Coogler. He has now won the award twice. No other literary impostor can make that claim.

To this point I have always inserted 'arguably' when I describe Jimmy as the worst President in our country's history. Now that I find others who agree, I will never qualify that statement again.

Be sure and read more about this nasty man like this:

In fact no prior president has spoken as rudely and dishonestly of his successors or of his country as has Jimmy. The acerbic Harry Truman came to loathe President Dwight D. Eisenhower. In public, however, Harry minded his tongue. Jimmy's presidential achievements were even more modest than those of Bill Clinton and of Gerald Ford, and his blunders on the domestic and foreign policy fronts are unsurpassed and possibly unsurpassable. What is more, he writes bad books.

And don't forget that son Jack is running for Senate in Nevada. We can have too much of a bad thing. And Carters are a bad thing!

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