Saturday, April 30, 2005

The Minuteman, the Mexicans and Ahnold.

I cannot for the life of me figure out what is wrong with saying that the Federal Government should strongly enforce the border to stop illegal immigration. Can someone out there enlighten me?

The Minuteman Project is proof positive that all it takes to slow down this tidlewave to a trickle is effort and the will to enforce the law. Nothing deters illegal crossings better than 'boot on the ground' patrolling the border. Do we need more Border Patrol Agents? Yes. Are they the answer? Not entirely.

There will always be illegal immigration into the US as long as the opportunities exist to go from living in abject poverty to relative wealth and comfort here in the US. If were born in Mexico City's huge shanty towns that surround the Capitol, I would take my family to the US in order to have a better life for my children. This does not make crossing into the US without the proper documents legal, no matter how poor you are, the law is still the law.

I am under the impression that Carl Rove is a smart man, he knows more about politics and demographic politics more than anyone I can think of. I just wish I knew the reason why the President does not see illegal immigration problem for the huge crisis it is. I know that those on the left will say the Carl and W. and just pandering to Big-Business interests that rely on illegal workers as a cheap source of labor. That is not it. The majority in this country wants illegal immigration stopped or slowed down substantially, the Republicans would be poking themselves in the eye if they put this small special interest group in front of the party as a whole. Carl Rove is not that dumb.

I have also heard that the majority of Mexicans that cross the border are Catholic, family oriented, and hard working folks that given the choice would be more apt to vote Republican that Democrat. This makes a little more sense, but still does not deal with the reality of the party's resistance to illegal immigration. If you are bringing in new voters to the party, you will be alienating far more.

A family crossing the border to make a better life is a problem that we can handle, maybe with some type of guest worker card that they can use to stay here for two or three years. We will know who and where they are, they will pay taxes and they can apply for citizenship when they get back to their country of origin and wait their turn to become citizens. They would not be eligible for welfare or medical, but there kids should be able go to school. Here is the catch, we must enforce the border to stop all the rest of the immigration or the plan will fail. Farmers, restaurant owners and construction companies will hire the cheaper non-guest workers. There will be a black market of illegal workers. We will be back to square one.

The biggest problem I see, is the illegal aliens that make up close to 20 % of our prison population here in California. Why should we pay 70,000 dollars a year to house these criminals? I know that we buy a few billion dollars in crude oil from Mexico, why doesn't President Bush tell Vincent Fox to build a couple dozen prisons on their side on the border? Heck, I would even be willing to subsidize them. I would rather pay a $5,000 dollars per Mexican criminal to be held in Mexico than $70,000 to have him here. Mexico gets the jobs that come with building the prisons, they staff them, and we pay them to keep them there. Everyone wins.

I hope the Governor will get behind this effort to curb illegal immigration. He should fire the folks on his staff that think that "enforce the border" is hate speech. Come to think of it, maybe the President should do the same.

Hat tip to Miller Time.

Friday, April 29, 2005

What are you doing May 4th? How about a BBQ?

May 4th has been named International Respect for Chickens Day. No, I am not kidding. Just what kind of lunatics spend their time making up fake holidays? The people at United Poultry Concerns of course.
I am making a point to stop by KFC for lunch on May 4th for some popcorn chicken. I respect chickens enough to eat all the little pieces. When I get home that evening, I will fire up the grill have some marinated chicken breasts. Fire roast a few ears of corn and a fresh salad.

Heck, I might see if KFC has gift certificates available and buy them to hand out a Halloween.
Chicken eaters of the world unite!

What ever the Animal Rights folks want people to do, do something else, it makes them crazy.
OK, crazier.

Commies aren't cool.

I was just over at beekeeper's site and found this.

Che-mart. Classic, this wil be my site of the month for sure.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Democrats in D.C. are wrong or stupid, take your pick.

Lets take the time to look at the post for which John Bolton is being nominated. The United States ambassador to the United Nations. An organization that is as useful in it's current state as nipples on a boar hog. To prove the point, yesterday the U.N. re-elected Zimbabwe to its Human Rights commission for a three year term. Zimbabwe? If anything underscores the need for real, drastic and fundamental reform, this would the sign. Right in the middle of the billion dollar Oil for Food corruption scandal, the UN slaps the world in face with Zimbabwe.

I just hope John Bolton is tough enough to change this giant waste of our tax money back into something resembling an effective world body. I would like to suggest someone even better suited to this task.

Allan Keyes.

Sure he is a little crazy, but I would love to see him stand up at the podium at the UN and tell the world's despots and dictators that you will not receive a penny of US money, period. Tell the UN that we will give our money to World Vision for humanitarian outreach, we will spend our money for NATO lead peacekeeping forces, not child molesting UN thugs.

It will never happen, but one can always wish. Someone tell Senator Voinovich that he needs to visit the UN and see what kind of Dictator Disneyland they are running on their 18 acres in Manhattan.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

A scene from Magnolia?

I still think frogs falling from the sky is pretty darn weird even for a movie, but exploding toads, now that's entertainment.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Best feed year ever, now if I only had some land.....

The heat of the oversized BBQ was scorching the hair off my arms as I cooked tri-tip roasts for the Glen-Colusa-Yolo cattlemens event at a Hamblet Ranch just south of Dunnigan. I didn't mind a bit, in fact I had a great time. Around 80 people attended the field day to discuss the various ways to work with State and Federal government agencies to improve conservation and rangeland habitat. Agencies presenting information to ranchers and land owners were from the NRCS, the RCD and UCCE. Having once ran cattle on large ranches in the area I was a bit sad that I could not take advantage of the experience and resources that are available. I am limited to my own small 27 acres of irrigated pasture. Although I do not feed off my pastures and always leave the edges of my fields for the local pheasants and other critters that need a place to nest. I guess if you have a quarter acre back yard in the city or 10,000 acres of grass and oaks, we can all do something.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

When was Barbara Boxer's thinking tube removed?

When ever I travel out of state, I usually ask the locals where to eat, what to see and what to avoid. I have had great luck in finding some great sites and met some very nice people off the beaten path. I do find that when an stranger visits a local hangout, one of the first questions they ask is where I am from. I find it harder and harder to say I am from California with any sense of pride. With the exception of Chuck Schumer and Tedd Kennendy, I am not aware of a more embarrassing person to represent me in the Senate than Barbara Boxer. She is truly a bizarre woman. Mark Steyn is one of my favorite pundits. His piece this week is another exhibit of Boxer's lunacy.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Senator Frist, call the vote to the floor.

Listing to Senator Santorum on Hugh Hewitt's show I am growing more and more angry with the Republican leadership in the Senate. Bill Frist needs to remember who gave him the keys to the car he is driving. We in his base are the ones who wrote the checks and walked the precincts that gave him 55 Republicans in the Senate in 2004. If he doesn't have the votes to pass a simple majority rule on judicial nominees we need to know who is caring the daggers to stab the GOP in the back. I agree with Hugh that I would rather loose on the vote now and re-group for another battle. I am also on board with sending money to the conservatives that will run against those republicans who jump ship.

Let's separate the sheep from the goats.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Kiss up, kick down?

From the Bolton hearings today Carl Ford, former head of the department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, said that he had serious misgivings about Mr. Bolton suitability for high office. No where in the piece is the fact that Mr. Ford was not present at any of these chewing out sessions of Ford's subordinate. Mr. Ford is passing out hearsay evidence at a Senate hearing? Is this best the democrats can muster?
Bolton seems to be the right man for the job.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Resistant to resistance free training?

Anyone who owns a horse, has read any horse magazines or watched RFDTV on dish network has seen or read about resistance free training. Many horse owners ask, who are these folks and what does whispering to horses do anyway? Why doesn't my local trainer do this type of training if its so good. You may not have asked, but I will give you my take on this subject.

A little background first, I was raised on cattle ranches in California and Oregon. My father would tie me to my horse with the saddle strings when I was two years old and send the horse on his way to the bunk house where the cook would find me asleep on my old horse, get me down, give me a treat and reverse the process sending me back. My mother was not a fan of this method in case you are curious. I can honestly say that I grew up on horses, and have spent a lot of time polishing the seat of a saddle. I have managed 2,000 head of cattle on a 14,000 acre ranch here in Northern California. Does this make me a horse trainer? No.
Let me re-phrase that, hell no. I have ruined more horses that I have ever trained. I may fool some folks because I can stay on a rough horse but that doesn't mean I am training him. I hope I am getting better, as I grow older and more patient.

Back to the clinicians. I have been a reader of Western Horesman for 20 years or more, and I first saw articles on Ray Hunt and Tom Dorrnance there. Most of the resistance free training you see today in one way or another can be traced back to them. Pat Parelli, Dennis Reis, and a slew of top clinicians have been influenced by these people. So does it work? Yes. Do I use some of their techniches and methods? Yes. Do I own a shelf full of DVDs and books from Pat Parelli? No.

You may ask why, if it works, are you not a follower of Parelli or Clinton Anderson or Dennis Reis? The answer may lie in the question. There are many 'followers' of Pat Parelli and others, and boy do I mean followers. The vast majority of these folks are novice owners. They see what Pat and his wife Linda can do with horses and they buy into the marketing. It is a very impressive, and effective marketing strategy. There are legions of Parelli followers who believe that if Pat didn't say it, it is wrong. That's too bad.

I am sure that the Parellis' are good people and they started their horse training business to spread the word about a new way of training that most people could do regardless of their prior experience. Somewhere in the past few years it seems to me that it is becoming more about the business and less about the horses. I could be wrong.

How about the horse whisperer? Whenever I talk with someone and they find out I have horses, one of the first things they ask me is if I have seen the guy that whispers to horses? Most of the time they are talking about Monty Roberts. I have seen Mr. Roberts program and while I think he is a capable trainer, I get a strange feeling about him and his background.

So, why doesn't my local trainer use this stuff? A couple of reasons. First, he or she may not be a very good trainer, they can ride the buck out of most horses and get them to stop, go, turn, and that's about it. That may be all they know. Second, they may be very good at what they know, say reining cow horse work, or dressage or western pleasure, they have won some ribbons or national championships by doing it their way, so why change. The last reason is fear, most of the people selling DVDs and two day clinics want to become your new trainer. Your local trainer may tell you what a load of manure these new guys are because a starter course on DVD may cost less than one month at the trainers place and you can do it yourself.

Here is where I have a problem with the 'clinic in a box' approach. No one is there to see how the person is handling the training. What I mean is I have seen some people who should not own horses, or at least not handle the horses they own. They are afraid of their horse in a way that is very dangerous to themselves and others. I have a healthy respect for horses, you could say that as much as I like my horse, I am afraid of a 1,200 pound quadruped that can run faster, jump higher and bite harder that I can. The people I am talking about are the novice owners who buy a training DVD, the new halter and stick, then walk into the pasture with 'fluffy' and get so petrified with fear that they loose control of the horse as soon as they feel pressured. I see it more often than you would think.

If you are a Parelli student, or anyone of the top clinicians, please don't take offence, I am sure they have thousands of happy customers, if there were not, they would not be on TV. I just think there are many ways to skin a cat, I may just not be ready for the 'Catskinner 2000' video series.

I would like to attend a week long course taught by one of these trainers I have mentioned above, Parelli or Reis or Clinton Anderson, I just don't want to be beaten over the head into buying $1,000 worth of videos if I do.

Please feel free to comment.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Does Europe hate us? Should we care?

I just finished watching a Discovery Channel special by Thomas Friedman. The piece called 'Does Europe hate us?' finds Mr. Friedman in the EU talking to folks on the streets. The amount of disdain for America and Americans is striking. While most of the young people interviewed by Friedman find George W Bush the object of their anger and outrage, it must be said that these sentiments did not sprout up in November 2000. The European hatred of the America started decades ago and has now found a convenient target of ridicule in President Bush.

A few highlights for me were the gentleman Friedman interviews about religion in Europe and France in particular. I can't find the transcript at this time, however to paraphrase, he said that there are four major religions in France. Christianity, Islam, Judaism and secularism. I found that very intriguing indeed. Secularism is a religion,, plain and simple. As much as it offends the French that our President swears an oath of office on a Bible, it is our tradition and our right. The freedom to practice your religion without fear of oppression from the government should be celebrated, not condemned.

Mr. Friedman also interviews an American living in Germany. The couple have four children and receive 9 hours a day, five days a week of free childcare. They also have free healthcare and three years of unpaid leave for the birth of a child. When asked if he paid more in taxes, the man said he wasn't sure, but didn't think it was any more than he paid in the US. I was talking to the television (again) asking Mr. Friedman what it was like looking years for a job in Germany with its staggering 12% unemployment rate?

I refer back to my post last week on Germany and Europe.

Do I wish to see our relationship with the EU improve? Absolutely. Do I hold much hope for such improvement, no. The two ways to think about our relationship are the same as the two ways we fight the war on terror. The EU wants America to submit our ideals and assimilate to their ways, period. The US believes that it is right to stand up for freedom and confront serious threats now rather than wait until we have another smoking hole in the ground.

As socialist Europe surrenders its identity and becomes predominantly Muslim, they will become more antagonistic towards the US.

Should we join them in march towards a two religion state, secularism and Islam?

Monday, April 04, 2005

Could California be back in play in 08?

Interesting demographic info released from the 2004 election could give the battered golden state GOP something to lift their spirits.
If the Governor can get the fair districts initiative passed, California's 55 electoral votes may again come into play in 2008.