Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The Kyoto Protocols, an expensive feel good exercise.

Now that the countries that ratified the Kyoto treaty have to abide by it, it make less sense than ever. Destroy the environment to earn carbon credits that government trades like commodities to each other and power companies. Sound confusing?
That is whole idea.

A global bureaucracy dealing in carbon credits or emission units penalizing people for driving cars or emitting "more than your share" of greenhouse gases. The terms arbitrary and capricious come to mind.

Give our environmental group $40 to plant trees to offset your car emissions, or what? Will I be getting a bill from the UN for driving over my allotment of miles?

A super deal on a 96 Camary!

I have hear of factory rebates, dealer incentives and no money down, but $52,000 worth of Cocaine in the gas tank is deal I would pass on..

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Germany; just why do we want to emulate them?

'Recent figures show that early this year unemployment reached more than five million people, or 12.6 percent, the highest numbers since the years before World War II.'

I do wish the folks in this country who love the European way of life, the culture, the liberal ideals, the social programs, take a long hard look at the utopia that is Europe. No thanks, keep your socialism and great wine, I will be fine without it.

Just think of what a economic disaster they would have on their hands if the US took it's troops home and they had to start spending more than 3 or 4 percent of their budgets on defense?
They would collapse, or the free medical care and fifty paid days off would have to go by the way. Canada is quite close to this trend. The Canadian government does not have to spend much on defense with the US next door.

Why doesn't the US slash it's defense spending and give everyone free healthcare?

The same reason that 8 million Iraqis voted on January 30th and 800,000 Lebanese citizens marched in the streets demanding democracy. Without a strong American military, and the will to use it for the better good, folks like Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot get the idea that they can kill as many millions as they want without anyone telling them no.

The US military is far from perfect, it is made up of people, and people are not perfected yet. Do they make mistakes? Yup. Does the military have some people who break the rules and give our country a black eye for the world to see? Yup. Does the US military still make the world a much safer place? You bet it does.

As for the free healthcare, I would not be fond of waiting months for life saving treatment. Look at the lines of Canadians in our border states spending their own money to get cancer treatment and surgery because they could die waiting for a their paperwork to get through the giant bureaucracy.

'A letter from the Moncton Hospital to a New Brunswick heart patient in need of an electrocardiogram said the appointment would be in three months. It added: "If the person named on this computer-generated letter is deceased, please accept our sincere apologies."

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

"I'm from a city, I don't know anything about sheep."

The best quote of the day from Ben Siegert, a football player from Oregon State when arrested for DUI with a stolen ram from the University sheep center. The ram was part of a study on homosexuality in sheep.........Oh just read the story.

God gets up early.

Being the lukewarm Christian that I am, I have not attended the men's morning group at my church for quite some time. I actually don't mind getting up early in the mornings, but hitting the shower at 5:30 to get to the meeting an hour later takes a bit more effort than I have been able to muster lately.

I was browsing the church web site last night looking for Easter service times and saw the men's group meeting. It was late, but I thought it would be good to get the day started with prayer and fellowship. I am glad I did not hit the snooze button. I have been thing all day about what we talked about this morning, living for heaven or living for this world.

My wife was asleep when I decided to go to the meeting last night and she was asleep when I left this morning. When she came home this evening she asked me where I went so early and I told her. She then asked why we meet at 6:30 in the morning? I said that God gets up early and we wanted to be with him.
She rolled her eyes and muttered something about my sanity.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Defense starts at home from some Iraqis.

Regular Iraqis are saying enough to foreign insurgents.
The story from the NYT is an example that the insurgency is loosing its grip on the inhabitants of Baghdad. Fear is only a motivational force until you become more afraid of doing nothing.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Back in Iraq.

Scanning some of the Iraqi and milbloggers, I came upon this story. Where is the mainstream media when Christians are killed for their beliefs?

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Do you make a difference?

This past Friday I attended the funeral of my wife's uncle, John Rouse Jr. or little John as he was known. I had known John for 17 years and always enjoyed speaking with him at family gatherings. John was a big guy, and when he was on his Harley in his leathers, he looked downright intimidating. Until he smiled. When you saw that smile you felt instantly at ease.
He was a member of the Viet Nam Vets Motorcycle Club. They were a second family to both he and his wife Rhonda. A great bunch of people, all of them.

They told stories of little Johns involvement in 'Stand Down', an event where homeless vets can come in off the streets and get help of all kind, not only a hot meal and warm change of clothes, but legal advice, a new pair of glasses, counseling, and help getting back into the mainstream of life. A few of the people John and his brothers from VNVMC helped back on their feet spoke at the memorial service, it was truly touching. I knew of John's involvement in the club and his service in Viet Nam, but I never knew how many lives he touched, and what a difference he made.

I wish I had known John Rouse Jr. better.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Oops I did it again.

Live from the rally its Bawbwa! and Chucky, Ted, Harry and Bobby Byrd.

Yep. Babs strayed from the script, again. She actually said what she thought. The problem is her thinking and the United States Constitution are very different things.
Here is her quote

"Why would we give lifetime appointments to people who earn up to $200,000 a year, with absolutely a great retirement system, and all the things all Americans wish for, with absolutely no check and balance except that one confirmation vote. So we're saying we think you ought to get nine votes over the 51 required. That isn't too much to ask for such a super important position. There ought to be a super vote. Don't you think so? It's the only check and balance on these people. They're in for life. They don't stand for election like we do, which is scary."

Here is what the Constitution says;

"He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate"

Wow, talk about scary. How about this Babs, lets just make up the constitution as we go along? I mean if its a really good idea, why not just ignore 200 years of precedent and change the rule about how judges are confirmed? There are only seven instances where a super majority is called for in the constitution, confirming federal judges is not one of them. They are; convictions related to impeachment, adoption of treaties, overriding vetoes, expelling members, amending the Constitution, 14th Amendment, and 25th Amendment.

Harry Reid must want to get back to the peace and quiet of Searchlight Nevada.
Maybe ex-senator Daschle can get him a cushy job as a lobbyist in DC.
Go ahead Harry, shut down the Senate, make my day.

Where is that CIA Gulfstream 5 ?

Do you remember the story about the CIA running a charter service to take foreign prisoners off to places to get a little more thorough interrogation?

I have an idea. Isn't Scott Peterson at San Quentin now?

"Tehran tower this is November-379-Papa, requesting clearance for final approach.
Thank you, yes we have a delivery for you."

Monday, March 14, 2005

Political Correctness is getting people killed.

There will be dozens of stories written about the events surrounding the Brian Nichols murder spree and kidnapping of Ashley Smith.

I was watching her interview today and came away with a calmness of spirit. She is a remarkable person. Her faith and compassion in the face of fear and terror is quite extraordinary. Ashley Smith is no stranger to tragedy. Her husband died after a stabbing four years ago leaving Ashley to raise her daughter alone. I can only imagine her first thoughts when she knew who had abducted her. Not me, I can't let my daughter loose the only person she has left.

The interview that I want to examine is the one where District Attorney Paul Howard, when asked if a 5'1" female officer should have been guarding Brian Nichols alone he said "Yes. Women are capable of doing anything men are capable are doing."

Really? That is a nice ideal to have and a very politically correct thing to say, I am sure that Susan Estrich would agree with Mr. Howard. That is just not true. The facts are that Brian Nichols is a very strong athletic young man. He was found to be carrying a sharpened door hinge the day before his hearing. He was a high threat individual. The idea of a 51 year grandmother controlling this man is just ridiculous. Maybe deputy Hall was a great officer, I am sure her fellow deputies liked her and she may have been a great person. That does not change the laws of physics or criminal behavior. Now four people are dead.

I have met a few female police officers that I would not want to tangle with, I have also seen dozens who couldn't stop a fight over the last pair of Bruno Magli shoes at Macy's.

Is it too much to ask that our police and firefighters have the physical ability to deal with real world situations?

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Save Cache Creek!

Save it from the Sierra Club and Federal control.
Does anyone remember the Klamath Basin water war of 2001-2002?
That is what the Lois Wolk and her friends from the environmental movement ultimately want. The open ended language in her bill does not exclude the Federal government taking control of the water in two or three years. The next drought we face here in Yolo County, the water that farmers and ranchers depend on will go down the creek, past the irrigation ditches to the creek or river or delta or wherever they find the next sucker fish to put on the endangered list.
Local water, local control, it's that simple.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Rather disappointed in Baghdad Dan.

As I watched the CBS Special; 'Dan Rather, a reporter remembers' I thought about his quote after the bad comb-over of the Rathergate debacle.

"I regret every nanosecond when I let anybody at CBS News down, and even more, when I let the audience down. It's painful to me."

Dan, when was the last time you finished first in the evening news ratings? You have consistently let down your viewers (they are leaving you), your news department ( ad sales have plummeted) and most of all yourself. In your drive to tell a story about the news you have let your opinions drive your storytelling.

"I have my weaknesses," admits Rather. "I've made my mistakes, but the one mistake I've tried hard not to make is to say, 'OK. I know which way the wind is blowing, and I'm gonna tailor my reporting to fit that.' Ain't gonna do that. Haven't. Don't. Won't."

It seems obvious to me that the boys and girls at West 57th want to make their own weather. If the wind is blowing in a direction they don't happen to like, they can always make up a story and change the air currents.
Your job is to read the news off of a teleprompter, that it. It's not to drive the news cycle by inventing stories you wish in your heart of hearts were true. Your gig over at 60 minutes Wednesday is supposed to be your link to hard journalism, where you get back to your roots as a get out your pad and pencil and get the story. I love the way you threw your four comrades under the bus and would not take the blame directly. Courage Dan, courage.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Cache Creek Wild and Scenic legislation, is it needed?

Our wonderful environmental activist are up to their tricks again. Lois Wolk (D-Davis) introduced legislation AB 1328 to "protect" the upper Cache Creek area in Yolo and Lake Counties by placing it under State control. The obvious question is why? Protect it from what?

(1) Cache Creek from
one-fourth mile below Cache Creek Dam to Camp Haswell.
(2) Nothing in this subdivision shall prejudice, alter, delay,
interfere with, or affect in any way, the existing rights of the Yolo
County Flood Control and Water Conservation District or the Lake
County Watershed Protection District, or the implementation of those
rights; any historic water use practices; the replacement,
maintenance, repair, operation, or future expansion of existing
diversions, storage, powerhouses, or conveyance facilities or other
works by the Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation
District or the Lake County Watershed Protection District; or changes
in the purpose of use, places of use, points of diversion, or
ownership of those existing water rights; nor shall anything in this
subdivision preclude the issuance of any governmental authorization
needed for utilization of those rights, except that no changes shall
operate to increase the adverse effect, if any, of the preexisting
facilities or places, or the purposes of use upon the free-flowing
and natural character of the river segment designated herein.
What Does that mean? Who deems the effects adverse?

The Sierra Club and groups like, and say they want the State to take control from the local Water and Flood control districts and the local farmers to keep the creek wild and increase access. They don't want to see a dam built on upper Cache Creek they say. That brings me to second point. When was the last dam built in California? Hmm? There was a plan to dam the creek for flood control that has been sitting for years gathering dust, however environmental groups would never let it be built anyway, not in 600 years.

How many people "hike" the trails around upper cache creek? It is a tangled mess of chemise brush and manzanita. I know, I have hunted deer in that area for years. It is very steep, very rough and a dangerous place to hike. There are many good trails on public ground all over the Blue Ridge, Cache Creek ridge and the Judge Davis trail to name a few. Why do we need to have the State of California ( they wanted the Federal Government, but backed down after major opposition) control this area that has small privately owned tracks throughout the riparian area? So the State can seize the private land at whatever they deem a fair price?

If these groups love the upper Cache Creek area, that's great, I love it too. They can hike up there right now, today, tomorrow, forever. There is no need for this legislation. The environmental lobby just hates to see land that they can control through proxy not be swallowed up by the government.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Talk about real estate values going up...

"Our island was sold for 2000 coconut plants, and stories told by our forefathers are that they were forced to leave at gunpoint," tribal member Timoci Waqalevu told the newspaper this week.

Mel Gibson just bought this island for 19 million dollars.
How many coconut plants is that now?

China leads the way on family values?

It is indeed getting strange when China cares more about marriage than the US government.

Chinese authorities are sending "think again" letters to couples applying for divorce after the number of people ending their marriages surged by 21 per cent last year.

A story from the Gaurdian.

Domino Democracy?

As I read about the dramatic events shaking up the Arab world, I am trying to shake my own sense of cautiousness about real change. While it was my hope that just such a wave of outcry from the terrorized populations that make up the majority in the Arab world would lead to a demand for some type of democratic reform, I did not foresee such a swift response.

I would like to believe that Jordan will get a chance at democracy, and that Egypt will soon hold multi-party elections, but I seem to remember having such a belief years ago. I think back in time to 1989, to what I thought I was seeing. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, I was sure that I was witnessing history seeing the student protests in Tiananmen Square. I remember thinking that I would remember this moment for the rest of my life as the students built their statue of freedom only to have the communist tanks roll in and crush the protests.

The difference between the two situations may come down to distance. The former Soviet Union’s eminent demise in Eastern Europe may as well been on the moon to the average Chinese citizen. They did not know anyone who lived there, they did not have relatives living in East Germany, and they did not have the internet and satellite TV readily available to them. The Jordanians know people in Iraq, as does everyone in the Middle East.

The students in Tiananmen Square had access to information about what was taking place around the world, the rural Chinese did not. With the popularity of satellite TV and all Arab news agencies, the citizens of the Middle East can see what is happening, even with the anti-American slant of Al Jazeera and Al Arabia. Those purple index fingers held up by over 8 million Iraqis was a message that needed no translation.

As I watch my hope is renewed.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Encumbered by my own stupidity, I presses on.

New cars are not built to last, they are built for gas mileage and profitability. Detroit has been building cars for a century or so, why can't they build a car that you can drive for a 10 years and 150,000 miles? Sure there are a few good models out there, I had over 250,000 on my 88 Chevy pickup when I traded it in, but it seems that kind of performance is very unusual in today's cars. My 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan has 75,500 miles on the odometer. The transmission has been worked on at 40k and it is now slipping in the mornings when it is cold. I took the van to my local transmission shop and discovered it needs to be rebuilt or replaced. The van's wholesale value is 5,000 dollars, that is just about what I owe on it. I am now faced with a 2,000 dollar repair that will bring its value up to $5,100.
I was just about to cry when I remembered that I did buy the extended warranty on the van. I thought is was 60 months 75,000 miles and with my luck I had just missed the deadline and would have to pony up the two grand. I wanted to double check, so I looked in the glove compartment. I don't know why they are called glove compartments, I have never kept a pair of gloves in any compartment of any car I owned. I have kept the owners manual, my purchase invoice, two tear open packages of ketchup and three unfired 270 cartridges, but no gloves. We should start calling them "document compartments". Anyway, when I did find my warranty papers I discovered that I did buy the 72 month, 100,000 mile package. I have been wondering what to do with the van for two weeks, asking my friend in the car business what I can get as a trade in on the van with the transmission going out, it has not been a fun time.

The transmission gets pulled today and I should be driving it by Thursday. Sometimes I wonder how I make it through the day.