Monday, December 29, 2008

Resolutions 2009

Why do people make New Year's resolutions? It's as if starting some new behavior or stopping a destructive habit is somehow easier on January first as opposed to any other day of the year. Many people make these resolutions, if not on paper, at least somewhere in the back of their mind.

Let us turn now from the world of micro to macro, the bigger picture. I would like to propose a few New Year's resolutions for Yolo County. Here they are, in no apparent order.

Get to know your neighbors. This is important. As we become more mobile, moving, changing jobs, we have become detached from our neighborhoods. You will be less likely to become angry or hold a grudge over a barking dog or start a sprinkler war with someone if you know them as a person and not just the guy on the other side of the fence. This does take some responsibility on your end. Not everyone wants to hear your stereo blasting in your garage at 6am on Saturday or 11:30 on a Wednesday night. If you are considerate towards others, you will be amazed at how easy it is to make friends.

Watch each other’s kids. This also gets back to the first resolution. If one of my neighbors saw one my children doing something dangerous or just stupid, like riding a bicycle off the roof of the house onto a mattress, I would hope they would call me and let me know. If they know my kids and I know theirs, we can all watch out for one another. This is how it worked when I was a kid. Now we see our neighbor's kids driving down street like they are playing a street-racing video game and we just shake our heads and go about our business.

Do more with less. This goes for everyone across the board, but especially for government agencies. I have sat through a few budget meetings and everyone who comes to the microphone tells the county supervisors or city council how important their program is, and how they could not possibly make any cuts. Really? I have yet to hear anyone say, this program was started with the best of intentions, but we really are not making a big impact in our community. We are helping a few people, but we have an office full of people that serve a tiny percentage of the county or city's population. I would love to hear that at a public meeting. Look at every program and ask if you would start that same program in these hard times if it did not exist already. If you would not start it up right now, you don't really need it.

This one is a little touchy, but here it goes anyway. Let‘s not segregate ourselves, let's become more united as people. It seems the schools teach our kids to embrace and celebrate everyone's culture and recognize people's differences to help understand them. Is this making our community better? I am not sure. Focusing on culture and ethnicity leads to divisions, and then subdivisions, sub groups and ultimately into gangs. It may be time to rethink this process. How about this, lets focus on coming together as Americans. We can all do this, regardless of what color we are, what religion, or background we have. Your heritage and ethnicity is a part of who you are, and you are part of what makes up America. You can be proud of your heritage, as I am, but you should have only one flag on your car or your home, that flag should be the symbol of hope, opportunity and freedom, it should be red, white and blue. We need less pluribus, more Unum.

We should disagree without being disagreeable. Being a conservative in this county, whenever I make my views known in a crowd, I can always count on someone calling a fascist or right-wing nut job. They won't listen to your logic or reasoned point of view, they don't hear anything you say. You are just a republican apologist, and Bush is Hitler, and the war is illegal, etc. Let’s try to remember that we all want America to succeed, right? At least I hope we all do. I will listen to your point of view, and if it makes sense and it can be backed up with data, I am willing to embrace anything that works. Try to do the same.


I could go on for quite a while, but I’ll let you get back to you coffee,
Happy New Year Yolo County.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Resolutions

I am aware the calendar is reluctant to give up December and we still have a few days until the stroke of Midnight that will usher in the year of our Lord, two thousand and nine, but I am getting an early start on my New Year's resolutions.

Here they are, in no apparent order.

Get my financial house in order, rethink my allocations and expenses.
Ride my horse at least a few times a month.
Finish reading all the books on my nightstand(3)before I buy any others.
Manage my time better, keep my DayPanner updated.
Trade my CJ-7 for a motorcycle.
Try not to kill myself on motorcycle.
Set a daily practice time for my music.
Play the song all the way through no matter how bad it sounds.
Spend one day each month alone with my daughter doing what she wants to do.
Likewise with my son.
Spend time with people who make me think, and make me become a better person.
Be that kind of friend to others.
Tell my wife I love her more often.
Don't settle for average, especially from myself.

That should keep me busy.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas 2008

Wow, our front room looks like Santa's sleigh crashed during takeoff and we need a team from the NTSB to go over the wreckage and look for survivors.

Our children now need nothing, where would they put it? I have my new fuzzy slippers and I am charging my new electric razor. I have only had one cheap electric shaver and wasn't too impressed, but this is a nice one. I bought my wife a Garmin 205W GPS because she is directionally challenged and when she goes to a new city she is as lost as I would be at a Mooveon.org meeting.

Here is hoping you are recovering nicely from Christmas morning. Take it easy today, you don't want to overdose on eggnog.

Now turn to the Book of Linus, I think it's the one between the Old and New Testaments.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Twas the night

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the land
We tried to find to solace, in the troubles at hand.

The markets in meltdown, our 401's toast
The Fed cuts the rates, but the banks are all closed.

The politicians all squabble, with the dems in command
The GOP had been routed, like Custer's last stand

When out in DC, there arose such a clatter?
I turned to CNN to see what was the matter.
Team Obama and Michelle were planning their ball
With buffed pecks and cute kids, he'd come to save us all

Now Nancy, now Harry
Now Levin and Waxman
On Murtha, on Rangle
On Dodd and on Clinton!

Raise all the taxes, and raise the capital gains
Tax it if it moves by truck or by trains
Spend all you want, spend a billion here and two there
We pay it back later, nobody will care

Shouldn't we save Mr. Presidnet? Shouldn't we try to be thrifty?
Who though hope and change meant top tax rates at fifty?
But I heard exclaim as he became leader of our land
Don't worry bout a thing folks, hope and change are at hand.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Speaking of the budget

I have been reading newspaper editorials over the past few weeks, my local paper included, and have come to one inescapable conclusion. Editorial writers are full of,,, beans.

Take my local paper, the Daily Democrat. It reprinted the San Jose Merc's editorial complaining about the State's new budget, or lack thereof. So what is the problem? According to the big brains at the SJMN, the Republican won't raise taxes. It's enough to make you wonder if these editorial rooms should apply for their own medicinal marijuana license.

The state did not get into this mess by years of declining revenues, it has been steadily overspending by billions of dollars each year. It's the spending stupid. Let me say that again so there can be no misunderstanding. IT'S THE SPENDING STUPID!

So what proof do I have that democrats in the legislature are to blame for all the red ink? Here are the numbers, take a look for yourself. Thanks to Tom Del Baccaro for the chart.If the Democrats, who control both houses in the legislature, would only send a budget to the Governor spending the exact amount they spent just two short years ago, presto, budget balanced. You remember the 2006 right? Were we stepping over starving people in the streets? Did we have to ration food or gasoline because the state was out of money? No, we got along just fine.

Government is the only entity where fiscal responsibly means you never have to actually cut the amount of spending, you just cut the amount you were going to increase in spending. If you and I have to cut our spending when our revenue goes down, why is the legislature immune to this reality?

I have one more question; why don't the newspaper editors get this? Has anyone in the editorial room ever taken Econ 101? This is simple stuff, really. The bottom line is this; liberal editors are myopic in their view of politics and policy, raising taxes is good and cutting spending is bad.

I disagree. Spending other people's money to stay in the good graces of your political friends and contributors is bad, in fact, it's downright shameful.

Christmas 2008

So Yolo County, how is it going out there?

Hopefully you are sitting in a comfortable chair, reading the newspaper on Christmas morning with a warm beverage and feeling of relief that in a few hours, all the wrapping paper and gifts will be picked up and your home will return to normal. Well, except for the tree in your living room.

Are you one of those people who take down the tree on Christmas day or do you wait until after New Year's day? I usually wait until the last bowl game of the season to take the tree down, but they have so darn many bowl games these days, it's almost February before the championship game. Other folks want their house back immediately. I have seen a home fully decorated in Christmas trappings, taken down, boxed up, and de-Christmased with the speed and efficiency of a NASCAR pit crew. At seven o'clock you open presents, at eight you eat breakfast, by nine you better hide your tinsel because it's going in a box and heading to the garage by ten.

If you do not celebrate Christmas, this article should at least make you smile with the knowledge that you have saved untold hundreds of dollars and countless hours on a something you view as a silly tradition. Sometimes I wonder if the rest of us who do celebrate Christmas have become so focused on gifts, decorations and family, that we have forgotten the reason for the season. This is nothing new, Christmas has changed over the years and even the centuries from a Christian, Holy Day to a holiday. What once was Christ's Mass, a day set aside to celebrate the birth and the incredible gift given to us through Jesus, has evolved into a reason to buy a new iPhone for your spouse. I'm not sure this is progress.

Okay, I'll step down off my soap box now. Why? Because I too have been seduced by the 'Dark Side' of Christmas. You couldn't fit another present under our tree with a shoehorn. If you have kids, you know what I mean. As long as we keep the true meaning of Christmas in our hearts throughout the year, that is what matter most. At least that is what I tell myself as I buy yet another Christmas present.

It has been a wonderful experience being able to share my thoughts with you this year. I would like to thank the Daily Democrat for offering me the chance to do so. I don't always agree with the Democrat on the issues, but we should try to disagree without being disagreeable. As we look forward to a new year, one that will bring political change to our nation, I hope we remember that we are all Americans. We are all in this together, let's make the best of it.

Have a very Merry Christmas Yolo County.

Monday, December 22, 2008

What I did over Christmas vacation.

Do you remember writing these essays back in grade school? Back in sixth grade I was not a writer, in fact I hated to write, anything. I was a talker. I could spend and hour telling you what I did over the Christmas vacation, if you wanted me to write it down, one paragraph or maybe two.

Now you can't get me to stop writing, and some of you have tried.

I had taken the next two days off with the hopes of getting caught it with some outdoor chores and possibly doing a little quad riding or shooting. Now with the bad weather, I am stuck indoors for the foreseeable future. My plans of outdoor bliss replaced with the not so bliss indoor activity of cleaning the house.

Things have been pretty crazy around casa de' cowboy and with all the parties, concerts, basketball games and other dates on the calendar, things have become cluttered and a bit messy. My wife is working these next two days and if I desire any type of peace on the home front I had better do something useful with my time. Somehow the idea of spending a few hours practicing with my bass guitar or refinishing the stock on my shotgun seem to hold little or no value with my wife. She obviously does not appreciate the finer things in life, bad amateur music, the joys of do it yourself gunsmithing, etc.

Better get off this computer and get to work, because as everyone knows, if mama ain't happy,,, well, you get the idea.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I love the 1980's, Cowboy style.

If it's too loud, you're too old. I used to say this in my teenage years, now I am on the receiving end of this axiom. Tonight, I am heading down to Oakland to see Metallica on their Death Magnetic tour. This may turn out to be a mistake of epic proportions, but it could also be a heck of a lot of fun.

The last time I saw Metallica the year was 1985. Of all the people in the arena tonight, I will be one of the few Metallica fans in attendance who saw the original bassist Cliff Burton play. Day on the Green 1985 was pretty freakin' awesome. I was disappointing in Metallica's sound that day, an outdoor venue like that isn't the best forum for speed metal. The sound bouncing around the Colosseum turned the driving attack and speed of Ride the Lightning into a fuzzy mush of sound. Too bad.

My son Steven has since taken up the Metallica banner and is a much bigger fan that I ever was. He has all the albums, all of them, and knows the music, history and gear better than anyone. This will be our second concert together, I hope we get through it unscathed.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sauce for goose

I have been on a roll lately with my depiction of Obama supporters as dreamy-eyed when it comes to their view of the President elect, and their delusional hatred of George W. Bush. I thought it might be a good time to look at the other side of the political spectrum.

If I get another email about Barack Obama being a closet Muslim, or his not being born in Hawaii, and therefore not eligible to hold the office of President, I will kick one my cats. (not really, but I will think about it....) We lost, they won, get over it and start working towards 2010.

While I think in terms of sheer numbers, the amount of nutty folks on the left dwarfs those on the right, the depth of nuttiness and passion are about equal.

The latest craziness from both sides in on display right now with President elect Obama asking Pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration. The gay rights activists are outraged because of Warren's public stand in support of the recently passed proposition 8. In their minds, Obama has betrayed them. They are livid.

Not to be outdone, the far right wing of evangelicals is upset with Warren for accepting the invitation. The idea of having Warren asking for God's blessing on the new President seems almost sacrilege for those who are bitterly opposed to Obama's stance on abortion, especially his stand on partial-birth abortion.

I believe Rick Warren to be a wonderful person and someone whose compassion for the poor, the afflicted and even those with whom he disagrees is a model for the rest of us. President elect Obama will be the head of state for the next four years. Wanting somehow to withhold God's blessing on him, as if we have the power to do so, is not only petty and selfish but also downright unchristian.

Look, I am hoping and yes, even praying for our new President to be successful. I will however point out when he is wrong and if he fails to live up to his promises. I will be the loyal opposition. Giving praise where praise is due and opposing with all my efforts the policies that I feel will lead to ruin. Irrational hatred on the right is just as foolish and dangerous as the irrational hated that shown to President Bush over the past eight years. An eye for and eye or a payback mentality will not make our nation stronger, rather it will tear it apart.

The only thing worse than Bush haters would hypocritical Obama haters.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bush getting the boot, and the shoes.

Okay, I will admit the video of President Bush ducking shoes thrown by an Iraqi journalist was pretty darn funny. The President's response put the entire matter in its proper light.

"All I can report," Bush joked of the incident, "is a size 10."

When I first heard an angry journalist threw a shoe at President Bush, my first thought was, how did Keith Olbermann get that close to the President? I wonder if MSNBC will give this guy his own show when Chris Mathews runs for the Senate in Pennsylvania? One thing is for sure, no one is marking off the days until January 20th with more anticipation than President Bush. "Here are the keys Barack, the front door sticks a little, you have to jiggle the handle to open it, have a great Presidency, and good luck."

I wonder if anyone has bothered to contemplate what would have happened to the shoe-hurling reporter had it been Saddam Hussein at the podium instead of two democratically elected leaders. I wonder if Saddam’s lunatic sons would have raped Mrs. Shoe-Hurler before she too was executed. I wonder if his kids would have escaped a shallow grave outside of Baghdad. I guess he threw his shoes at the right guy. In a curious way, this is a sign of real progress. Shoe throwing aside, where else in the Arab world do democratically elected leaders hold open press conferences?

I am looking forward to watching the Bush haters go from full-blown attack mode to hunker-down defense mode as they make excuse after excuse for President Obama. You can be sure that no matter what happens in the next four years, anything good will be a direct and concrete result of President Barack Obama's leadership. Conversely, anything negative will be tied back to President Bush. The Obama supporters in the media, which is almost everyone, will be slow to respond to any wrongdoing or corruption in the Obama administration, while they have published every rumor of wrongdoing during the last eight years.

Is it fair? No, but if you want fair, go to the Olympics. Today, journalists seem to be more interested in getting their guy elected than objectively reporting the news. Reporters and editors have taken sides, and if you are not on their side, you go under the microscope. If they are behind you, you get the interviews with soft lighting and softer questions. That's life in the big leagues and if the media isn't on your side, you better have the ability to go around them and get your message directly to the American people.

So we can all laugh at the shoe jokes that are sure to come, I know I will, but a month from now the person who you have been told is the center of all evil in the know universe will take a quiet plane ride back to Texas. January 20th will come, and go. How long will it take the Bush haters to come to grips with the idea that he is gone, and they can’t just be against something any longer, they have to be for something. Now you have to defend every action and decision made by your President, both good and bad. You can look forward to the disappointment of watching the car wreck at the corner of political reality and good intentions.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Better is one day in Your house

One of the things I now look forward to are the quiet times in my life. Matt Rexroad's encouragement to be more exiting not withstanding, I have learned to appreciate the days that once passed by without much thought given to them. When people asked me how my Thanksgiving was, I answered that it was nice and boring, just the way I like it. Before you get the idea that I have always been as dull as butter knife, I can assure that I was raised in a household that was filled with enough drama, and cliff hanging excitement to make a good episode of the 80's TV show Dallas.

As for my adult life, consistency has been allusive. I have experienced periods of wealth, poverty, wealth again, poverty again, and now I am somewhere comfortably in between. I have experienced days of great joy and great sorrow. I have faced days of uncertainty where I had no idea what was coming around the next corner. I would guess that your life has taken some of the same turns as mine. I did have one precious gift that helped me make it through these tough times, God's presence in my life. Even when I was far from Him, He was never far from me.

This weekend will be a rainy one and the family and I will spend the today decorating the Christmas tree and building a fire in the fireplace. Not a red letter day to many people, but for me, I will stop and thank the Lord for it.

Psalm 118:24 tells us 'This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it."

When an exceptionally good day comes our way, we rejoice, but that is not what we are called to do. We should rejoice in every day, the good ones, the bad ones, and those that would otherwise slip past as 'ordinary' days. It can be easy to miss, but there are no ordinary days. Each one is what we make of it. A day spent with those we love, and as a Christian, a day where I concentrate on God's love and his grace is a day well spent.

We have all lost loved ones in our lives. I know that I would give almost anything to have one more 'ordinary' day with them again. The holiday season brings the feeling of that loss back to the surface. We cannot turn back the clock, we cannot go back and tell those we loved and lost how much we miss them, but there is something we can do. We can rejoice in this day and tell those people in our lives how much we love them. We can rejoice in this day God has made.

If we can rejoice in today and give thanks to the Lord for it, we draw closer to Him, and there is no better place to be.

Better is one day in Your courts
Better is one day in Your house
Better is one day in Your courts than thousands elsewhere.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Twitter

Just when I was getting the hang of this blogging stuff, along comes Twitter.
I am not sure why I have an account, I don't have a Blackberry or iPhone, but what the heck.

You can follow me here.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Not a peep out of the Democrats about corruption these days.

Seems odd does it not, those who were screaming loudest about Republican corruption seem to have lost their voices lately? Hmmm....

If anyone out there is shocked about the staggering level of corruption in Illinois politics, you must be a newbie to politics. Corruption has been turned from a vice to a refined art form in the Windy City.

Can anyone remember where President elect Obama started his political career? Oh yea, ground zero for dirty politics, the south side of Chicago. It would seem that Barack Obama has kept his hands pretty clean over the years, staying just far enough away from criminals like Tony Rezko to get a few sweet deals, but no close enough to get burned. Now it's his friend, Governor Rod Blagojevich.

Look, I know that Republicans in Congress have had an abysmal record of cleaning house when it comes to scandalous members, it was an anchor around the neck of the GOP in the 2006 election. It is a fundamental attitude that has to change in order to win back the base as well as swing voters. Stand up and do what is right, even if costs you political power. It seems Republicans are learning their lessons these days, but I don't know how you could keep a straight face and tell me the Democrats are not hip deep in corrupt politicians.

From Democratic Representative, Charlie Rangle and his tax evasion scandal, and Representative William Jefferson and his cold cash, to Democratic senator Chris Dodd and his sweetheart mortgage deal while serving on the Senate Banking Committee and now Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich and a bunch of top Illinois dems are getting frog walked downtown for trying to sell Obama's soon to be vacant Senate seat.

The greatest irony in the whole Illinois scandal is the Federal Prosecutor who is slapping the cuffs on these Democratic big wigs is none other than Patric Fitzgerald, the same guy the dems praised for his 'non-political' prosecution of Scooter Libby.

I wonder when they will start calling this a Republican witch hunt?

Stay tuned....

Monday, December 08, 2008

The two sides of the Obama adminstration

Being a pragmatists myself, I will always take yes for answer. With all the Clinton administration retreads named to President elect Barack Obama's cabinet, the left is a little upset, but I have been pleasantly surprised with most of picks so far. A smart political move, get the public on board with a few center-left nominees in the first month and wait for the domestic nominations. While Obama gets good press and a bit of good will from the right, he will have political cover to name some real believers to the Department of Education, EPA, Energy, Agriculture, Interior, Health and Human Services, etc.

I am starting to see a bit of a split in the new President's outlook. Let the people with foreign policy experience run the show overseas and concentrate your efforts on reshaping American domestic policy. Like I said, I'll take the former, but I am fearful of the latter.

With all the money and manpower given to the Obama campaign by the teachers unions, the AFL, service employee unions and the environmental lobby, along with dozens of other special interests, they will all want a little payback. This will start with the nominees at the cabinet level. If you think Barack Obama will name someone who has an adversarial relationship with the unions as Secretary of Labor, you are in for a surprise. Same with the other domestic posts.

If the world will just behave for the next few years and let him focus on domestic policy, President elect Obama will be as happy as a four year old at Chuck E Cheese's. That is the rub. The people who want to do us harm don't care about pushing through an open-boarders immigration policy, card check legislation to force unions into businesses or tripling the number of bugs on the endangered species list so they can shut down all the logging and mining on federal lands. The terrorists and those who want to see America's power diminished will act, and it will not be pretty.

As much as Obama may want his presidency defined by domestic and social issues, the world has its own agenda, just ask President Bush.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

A gift list for Obama supporters

With a month in the books since the election of Barack Obama, how is everyone in the 'Obama nation' doing? Do you still high-five and hug every fellow Obama backer you see? Has the avalanche of email, texts, and tweets slowed to a trickle? Are you feeling a bit of Obama withdrawal?

What are you doing with all your time these days? No more sitting with your fellow Obama buddies making calls and walking precincts. No more Obama parties at your house, snacking on free-range guacamole and organic chips while you plan the 'get out the vote' drive for Election Day. No more annoying the daylights out of your friends and family with how Obama is going to stop the war, stop the glaciers from melting, give us all free health care, free college and save every one's house from foreclosure. Are you marking the days until January 20th, when the world will finally be right? It must be a bit of a let down for you.

Despair not Obama supporters, the rest of us who know and love you will try and help in these gloomy days with a few Christmas gifts especially for you.

1. A book.
Yes, I know, who still reads paper books when I can get all the latest Obama news conferences live-streamed directly to my Blackberry? Have you seen the cool official seal and podium for the Office of President Elect? Impressive isn't it? Seriously, you need to unplug yourself. Turn off all your electronic devices and actually read a book. I don't mean re-read The Audacity of Hope for the third time, I would start with The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright. Wright is not a right-wing nut job, far from it, he is a Pulitzer winning author and writer for the New Yorker. The Looming Tower is the most comprehensive book written about al Qaeda, and origins of Islamic terrorism. If you want to know why President elect Obama won't be getting our troops out of the Middle East anytime soon, it because he is now receiving the President's daily briefing and finding out just how dangerous the world really is. You should too.

2. A one-year membership in the NRA.
I know, you think these people are crazy and you hate them, but if I can take someone mistakenly sending me a year’s subscription to The Sierra Club, you can handle the NRA. I learned a lot about how the environmentally unbalanced folks think. You can choose between three magazines, The American Hunter, The American Rifleman or America's 1st freedom. You won't find a bunch of rabid, Republican Nazis in these magazines, you will find your friends and neighbors. Well, maybe not your friends and neighbors, but they might be mine. You also get a free hat and sticker for your car, pretty cool eh?

3. An application for a business license.
Not that you have to start a new business, but you should at least know the process those who own our local businesses have to go through just for the opportunity to succeed or fail. Get a City or County business license application, and one for the State of California's Department of Equalization, and then just for fun, ask for a liability and worker’s compensation insurance application from your local broker. The amount of paperwork and fees it takes just to open your doors and put your financial life on the line will make your head spin. It should give you a glimpse into the world of the 'rich', you know, the ones you want to raise taxes on to pay for everything Obama is promising.

That should take you all the way through to inauguration day. It will also take you out of your Obama bubble and back into the real world, where great speeches and slogans don't amount to much. We face real challenges as a nation right now. Terrorism, a recession, and the looming crisis of entitlement spending. You need to understand all sides of these issues, both foreign and domestic. When you spend all your time talking to like minded people, it makes you intellectually lazy.

Exercise your brain this holiday season so you can explain to your fellow dreamy-eyed Obama supporters why the Utopian vision they have may need to be amended.

And yes, I am still waiting for my magic unicorn Barack Obama promised me.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Light blogging

Sorry about the lack of posts this week, I have had meeting every night this week. Thankfully, most of my meetings every month are front loaded, the first Monday and the first Thursday, but then I have weekly meetings. I need another date on my calendar like I need another cat.

I have been letting the most recent political events pass without comment, mainly because I was going through a political hangover for the past month. Well, it has been one month since the election and I guess it's time to get back in the mix. Some observations;

President elect Obama has not been sworn in yet, but he does have a nifty "President Elect" seal and podium.

The media is still giggly about the Obama win. Have you noticed when he announced his financial team, the media hailed the almost 500 point jump in the market as its confidence in Obama's leadership? A few days later, the market tanks, and it's President Bush's fault. Nice.

Will the independent journalist formerly known as Chris Mathews run for Senator of Pennsylvania?

How much money will the government borrow to throw at the economic crisis? Trillions? I fear the answer is yes.

Why won't the evening news anchors broadcast live from Iraq right now? Maybe Americans winning the war doesn't pull in enough ratings? It's amazing how American military victory isn't news worthy.

What is going to happen with India and Pakistan? If those two nuclear powers get into a shooting war, it will make Iraq look like a taffy pull. Scary, scary stuff.

Will my father-in-law's Corvette become a collector's item if GM goes under?

Will the Big Three auto makers become the big one? Will they all have to go under and reform as GFC? (GM,Ford, Chrysler) If so, how about a Chevy truck with a Cummings Diesel engine and the GM Alison transmission on the Ford frame? I would buy one in a second.

Well, that's about it for tonight. I'll try to get back into the flow this week.

Oh, still no sign of my magic unicorn from The Chosen One.....

Monday, December 01, 2008

The Holiday Season

Welcome to the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, better known as the 'holiday season'. If you are anything like me, you know exactly how many Christmas presents you have purchased so far; zero. I am not one of those highly organized people who keeps a mental list of Christmas presents and makes purchases throughout the year when they find them on sale. I hate these people. Actually hate is a strong word, let's just say I don't share their enthusiasm for methodical planning and preparedness.

Being a male, I turn to my tried and true approach to gift purchasing, procrastinate, then panic. In the first few years of our marriage I waited until Christmas Eve to start shopping, with mixed results. Not that my wife didn't need an emergency roadside kit mind you, but road flares do lack a certain element of romance. I have since learned from my mistakes and I now allow at least a three day shopping window. I actually bought my wife a cashmere sweater and scarf last year. I think it was even the right size, the scarf that is.

It's not that I hate shopping, it's just I hate the crowds, and the lines, and the grumpy people, and the parking lot nightmares. If I could go shopping at 5:30AM on a Tuesday, I think I could handle it. I wonder if I could talk the people in charge of the malls to designate a Man's Shopping Day? That would be great. Sure there would be a few fist fights and a long line at the food court, but men shop with reckless efficiency. If it looks good to you, and it's within one dress size either way, buy it. I would be done in two hours, tops.

This year, I have done a good bit of my shopping online and I plan to do more . Ordering my Christmas gifts in my slippers is my kind of shopping. I wonder if they sell road flares online?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

These people are the enlightened left?

I guess I am too far down on the evolutionary scale to see the wisdom encapsulated in this gathering of New York progressives. I just see a herd of bed wetting, angry, old hippies and young nihilists. But what do I know, I am just one of the ignorant peasants.
(warning, there is a F-bomb in the video)

Friday, November 28, 2008

From the "who would have guessed it" department

Rosie O'Donnell's variety show ties for dead last.
Rosie O'Donnell gave NBC a real turkey.

The network's attempt to revive the primetime variety show failed to draw an audience Wednesday night, tying for the evening's lowest-rated program.

Every time the networks think it's time for the variety show to make a comeback, surprise, they are wrong again. The variety show is dead as disco. Unless the show stars Hannah Montana or the Jonas Brothers, a variety show has as much chance being successful as I do being the new spokesperson for PETA.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

How thankful are you?

I have always been fascinated watching people. The way they live their lives, they way they interact with others, what makes them tick. At times it seems many people are caught up in a endless loop. They live their lives on a sort of cruise control. Get up, go to work, come home, dinner with the family, watch a little TV, go to bed, then repeat the process tomorrow. Don't get me wrong, my life is not a series of adventures taken from an action packed movie script. In fact, it is about as plain vanilla as you can get. If my life were a reality TV show, it would be canceled.

So am I caught up in the endless loop I spoke of earlier? Not a chance.

While my life is pretty sedate, I would like to think it is vibrant and full. Why? Two things, my faith and my family.

I am not sure how I would cope without my faith in the Lord. In my younger days, when I was sure I knew everything, I walked away from my faith and experienced some painful results. One thing I am sure of now, through good times and bad times, God is always there, he does not move. We are always the ones who move away from Him and our relationship becomes more distant. Through those painful experiences, I began to move closer to God. It has been a blessing in more ways than I can count.

As much as my faith grounds me, the one thing that gives me more joy than anything in this world is my family. My wife and I have been married for 20 years and our two children are truly gifts from God. Even when they are in the process of driving me crazy, I love them to pieces. My mother and sister are far away but I see them occasionally and my grandmother is still going strong at 91. I have also been blessed with a great extended family.

With all the blessings in my live, it would be foolish to take them for granted. It would be foolish to not spend as much time with my children as I could. It would be foolish not to tell, or even worse, not to show my wife how much I love her everyday. It would be foolish to ignore God when things seem to be going fine. It would be foolish to slowly drift away from my daily walk with God. It would be foolish indeed.

Well folks, you are looking at a fool.

My family is healthy, and I would like to think, relatively happy. How many families in our community are going through a medical or a family crisis right now? Our marriage, while far from perfect, is going great. How many marriages in our community are breaking apart right now? My relationship with the Lord is as strong as it has ever been, but let me assure you I am still a pretty poor excuse for a Christian.

My point is it would be easy to turn on the cruise control and just motor along for the next few years and the next few decades until I wake up in a hospital bed, ready to meet my maker. What kind of life would that be? What a waste of all the blessings poured out on me, to take them for granted and not to stop and celebrate each and every one of them. We don't know how long that road will be for us. We are not guaranteed tomorrow.

This Thanksgiving Day, I am truly thankful to God for all his blessings, and for the trials that made me grow and learn to lean on Him when times get tough. How about You?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Football games, turkey and giant balloons?

Americans are constantly changing creatures. We fiddle with and tinker with everything. In some respects, it is our genius. America has taken ideas, inventions and changed them to fit our needs and our wants, mostly our wants.

Take the celebration of Thanksgiving. From its origins as a day of public prayer and giving thanks to God for the blessing we enjoy, we have slowly turned Thanksgiving into a secular festival of consumption. Not that anyone should get the impression I don't enjoy Thanksgiving in its current form. I will be watching the Cowboys play football and enjoying the smell of the roasting turkey and pumpkin pies with the rest of you, however I will try to remind our family about the message behind the holiday. Giving thanks, and especially giving thanks to God.

2008 has been a year that has seen many changes for our nation. With all the economic turmoil we are facing, it would be easy to think 2008 has been a very bad year for everyone. For those hit hardest by the housing market crash, they are facing real pain and things can seem bleak. However, while the news gives us daily reminders of the tough times we face, there are many thing to celebrate as we gather with our families.

The long and costly war in Iraq is coming to end. Thanks to the men and women in our armed forces, the Iraqi people are slowly gaining back control of their country, a reality that would have been laughed at and ridiculed only two years ago. There are units that have been patrolling in Iraq for months and rotated out without firing a shot. The sacrifice our soldier have made is incredible, but it always is. This group of young, and not so young men and women are truly a blessing to our nation. If you see a soldier in uniform this week, take a moment to say thank you.

We have just been through a historic election and while the emotions on both sides are still a bit raw from the contest, the fact that once again Americans have peacefully passed the reins of power to a new person from the opposing party is something that is originally American. It is almost amazing considering how power is gained through most of the world.

This year I will be enjoying the holidays with my family, and for that, I give thanks. If you are hosting a big Thanksgiving day feast for a huge crowd, a word of advice, delegate, delegate, delegate. Our group will probably be around 18 or so and that is a lot of work. Some of you are probably dreading a visit by that one particular family member who gets on your nerves, but don't let them get you down. Every family has that one 'special' relative that makes you think evil thoughts when sharpening your carving knife. Just relax and take a look around your table. Enjoy this time spent with the ones you love, they will not be around forever. Cherish this time, right now, you can't get it back.

I know that for some families in our community this will be the first Thanksgiving without a cherished loved one who has been lost. Lean on your friends and family, and especially lean on God. You will make it through.

As we become busy with all the planning, cooking, and travel arrangements, lets try to remember the big picture. George Washington's original Thanksgiving Day proclamation is a far cry from the image of a 100 foot SpongeBob Square Pants floating down Broadway in a parade, but hey, this is who we are. Americans like to have fun, and I hope all those who line the streets watching the parades and those who quietly sit down to watch football have a great Thanksgiving Day. If you could, please try to remember the why behind the what.

P.S. - for all you 3AM Black Friday shoppers; I will be thinking of you as I sit in my comfy chair with my slippers enjoying a relaxing cup of coffee Friday morning.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sqeaky the pig

Okay, this is a cool pig, not that I would want one mind you, but I do admire a handy animal.....

Little Ceasars and Dr.Pepper, not bad wages either.

Heroes Weekend - a photo recap

Thank you to everyone who came out to give show your appreciation to those local heroes who serve us all.

We had fire trucks, boats, command vehicles, pursuit units and a great group of local first responders.


A beautiful day to say thanks.


Cool stuff!


I didn't ask to go to the top, but I should have, I love high places.


Going up.


We served them breakfast between the two services.


A tribute to fallen Yolo Sheriff's Deputy Jose' Antonio "Tony" Diaz


These were just some of the local heroes in attendance. Again a great big thank you to the Woodland Police Department, Woodland Fire Department, Yolo County Sheriff's Department, Yolo Emergency Communications Agency, California Highway patrol and everyone who helps make Yolo County a better place.

As Pastor John Withem of Bayside Woodland said at the service, we will be praying for you, and standing behind you, because you stand behind us.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bailout fever, catch it!

Is General Motors too big to fail? What about Ford and Chrysler?
The answer is yes and no. Yes, because the auto industry is the manufacturing backbone of the US economy and the workers, material suppliers, dealers and associated businesses that would be hurt if the Big Three closed their doors would act as an anchor on our economy for years. No, for the plain fact that if your business is encumbered by unsustainable labor contracts and a corporate mindset that has not changed with the US auto market, no amount of bailout money will save it.

Trying to save the big three by giving them money is like trying to lift a bucket while you're standing in it. Just as politicians are allergic to reality and telling their constituents bad news, GM has not stood up to the UAW or to the shareholders and said, this is just plain crazy. No one at the top of the big three has the courage to say we cannot sign these labor contracts, if you want to strike, strike. If we make it through fine, but to sign these labor contracts would be suicide for our company and just won't do it.

Mitt Romney's editorial in the Times is a great piece, you should read the whole thing.

First, their huge disadvantage in costs relative to foreign brands must be eliminated. That means new labor agreements to align pay and benefits to match those of workers at competitors like BMW, Honda, Nissan and Toyota. Furthermore, retiree benefits must be reduced so that the total burden per auto for domestic makers is not higher than that of foreign producers.

That extra burden is estimated to be more than $2,000 per car. Think what that means: Ford, for example, needs to cut $2,000 worth of features and quality out of its Taurus to compete with Toyota’s Avalon. Of course the Avalon feels like a better product — it has $2,000 more put into it.
Think about that. GM is in the hole $2,000 before they tighten a bolt on a new car. The other great point Mitt makes is the leadership must change, and not just new people who have been raised in this big three culture, they need new blood with a track record of reinventing companies. Someone from the outside who has worked hand in hand with labor and has sat down and showed them the books. Someone who will tell the UAW that you can shear a sheep year after year, but you can only slaughter it once. The AUW has a job to do, get as much money as they can for their members, but what happens when they demand so much that their member's jobs simply vanish? Is this what their members want? Is this what labor negotiations have come to?

We want what we want, and if it drives you out of business, oh well.

Back to the bailout, if GM and the rest of the big three have a burn rate of billions of dollars a month, what use is giving them 25 billion more? This is like giving someone a third mortgage on a house in foreclosure, it might keep the lights on for a little while but it doesn't change the fact that they are going broke because they spend more than they make.

It's called reality. Get used to it. Sell the corporate jets, cut your upper management, cut your executive's salaries, and then ask the UAW to rework their contracts.

It is the only way it will work. Even with the bailout, this will still need to be done to save the domestic auto industry, they will just be a year further in the hole and the taxpayers will be $25 Billion poorer.

The first rule about holes is, when your in one, stop digging.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Heroes Weekend - a tribute to those who serve


Sunday the 23rd of November, Bayside Church Woodland is celebrating its annual Heroes Weekend. This it is one of my favorite Sundays of the year. It seems perfect that Heroes Weekend falls between Veteran's day and Thanksgiving. We pay tribute to all those who have served, and are currently serving our nation on Veteran's Day, and we get together a few weeks later to give thanks for all the blessings we enjoy and the special people we share them with. To borrow a line from Lincoln,"It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this."

While many of us know someone serving our nation in uniform, we are more familiar with those who serve and protect us everyday, right here in our community. Our local law enforcement officers, fire fighters, emergency and support personnel are there for us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

At times its easy to get a little upset at the flashing red light in your mirror, especially the motorcycle officer on Gibson Road who always seems to be there when you are late getting your kids to school. It's hard to be upset with fire fighters, I have yet to be pulled over by anyone in a turnout coat and rubber boots, although they do hog up a few parking spaces at the grocery store. These heroes blend in to the background of our community, and it would be easy to take them for granted. We can forget that at a moments notice, the day to day routine of traffic stops, paperwork and firehouse duty can by shattered by a radio call that could change their lives forever. This is what they do, this is who they are. They respond to crisis situations, and they do with courage and professionalism.

Heroes Weekend celebrates their service at Pioneer High School's theater this Sunday at two services; 9:30 and 11:15. The Woodland Police Department, Yolo County Sheriff's Department, Woodland Fire department, California Highway Patrol as well as community service groups, 911 dispatch operators and all those who served our nation in uniform will be honored. We will also being giving a donation to their favorite charities as a way to say thank you.

A Sunday of great music, a great message and great big thank you. See you there.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Lincoln Bicentennial Sacramento

February 12, 2009 marks the 200 birthday of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. While most of us only know the thumbnail sketch of Lincoln; he freed the slaves, President during the Civil War and assassinated after soon after, there is so much more behind the complex man on the Five Dollar bill.

As the bicentennial nears, make plans to visit The California Museum in Sacramento this summer as the traveling exhibit from the Library of Congress makes its way West.

Scholars have literally studied Lincoln for decades and still find they only know a small portion of this great man. I would recommend Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin as a primer.

Obama banned for a week!

With the election over, I am imposing a ban on any talk of President elect Barack Obama for a week. (Unless he does something really crazy, it's my blog, my rules)

So how bout' that weather?

Lets see, with two weeks until Thanksgiving I am trying to figure our what I can eat besides turkey. I have been on a low-carb diet the last few months, nothing very structural, but I read some of the Atkins book and the South beach book and it seems sugar, starch, white flour and processed foods are bad for you.

I have not eaten a Reese's peanut butter cup in three months, and I love Reese's peanut butter cups. No potatoes, a slice or two of bread each week and more eggs than I can count. Thanksgiving will be interesting. My wife always makes my mother's secret recipe mashed potatoes with cream cheese, and sour cream. I am sure they have enough calories to feed a small village in Borneo but they sure are good. I will be letting them pass by this year. I guess I will have extra turkey maybe I'll make some of my mashed cauliflower substitute. Mashed cauliflower is not bad, but it's not mom's potatoes.

The Dallas Cowboys play the Seattle Seahawks on Thanksgiving. I know this is more a Christmas wish sort of thing, but I would give thanks if Jerry Jones would retire as President of the Cowboys and in his last act as such, trade Terrel Owens to the San Francisco 49'ers for something of equal value. Something like a Slim Whitman CD or half a bag of the orange, halloween Oreo cookies.

Maybe when Barack sends me my magic unicorn I can ask him for a new defensive sceme in Dallas, Wilson's 3-4 sceme is not working. ( Dang it, I broke my own rule in the first post)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lurch to the left?

I have enjoyed reading all the editorials and opinion pieces in the past week.

American conservatism is dead. The Reagan revolution is over. The Republican party has been repudiated and will slowly decline as the younger, enlightened generation take over.

I wonder if I was this bad at the end of the Clinton administration? I don't think so, but I could be wrong. I was more than ready to embrace George W Bush and put the Hillary Care, White Water, and Lewinsky days behind me. I remember I thought the country had finally come to its senses.

President Bush had my support in his first term and while I was alarmed at the huge spending increases taking place under his watch, we were attacked and we were at war. I was going to support the President and I would overlook the growth in entitlement spending. Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress forgot who sent them to Washington and kept spending. If you want to know why Republicans lost big in the last two elections, here it is; Republicans stopped governing like Republicans.

So what do the tealeaves tell us about the American people? Have we seen a true realignment in the electorate or is this just an angry reaction to the status quo and a a desire for something new?

I think it is the latter. For those on the left, the true believers who think President elect Barack Obama is going to legislate his way into a new utopia, they are heading for a industrial-sized case of buyers remorse. Reality is still reality and you can't wish away your enemies and hope for buckets of money to fall from the heavens.

Those Reagan Democrats and 'decline to state' voters who thought they would give Obama a chance, because he could hardly do any worse than the current crop of big spenders, they will give him a year or two but in that third year, they will say enough of this liberal nonsense.

The overall voter turnout was within a percentage point of the turnout for the 2004 election. While the youth vote went overwhelmingly to Obama, the percentage of young voters stayed within two percent of the last election. The next two election cycles will favor republicans, especially in the Senate where more Democrats will be defending seats, unlike this year. If the new administration plays it smart they will tell Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid to not propose anything crazy for at least the first year. Good luck with that.

The American electorate is not a Ferrari, it does not turn on a dime and change direction in the blink of an eye. Americans are more like a 1971 Ford station wagon. A bit slow to respond, a bit sluggish to accelerate and it wanders down the road from right to left and back again.

If you think America has finally turned from a center-right country to a center-left country, please explain why liberals have stopped calling themselves liberals. They hide behind the new label of 'Progressives'. When you have to hide who you are to get elected, you are not winning the battle of ideas, you are just better at re marketing your brand.

P.S. - It has been a week since the election and I am yet to find a unicorn in garage. So much for campaign promises.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day

For the young soldier sitting in a dusty tent, riding in a dusty Humvee or eating some meal seasoned with the taste of dessert sand, thank you does not even come close. God Bless you and my prayers for you and your families back home.

AUIEG

What is AUIEG? Is it a new lobbying group? A new mutual fund? A new disease?
Nope.

From our friends over at the LLama Butchers;

It's 'A Unicorn In Every Garage' Better know as the wild expectations of the Obama-trons who think Barack Obama is magically going to right all the wrongs and make life fair for them.

Sure its silly and childish, maybe that is why it appeals to me.

A night spent with friends

I am an old and somewhat boring person. As a young man, I burned the candle at both ends and sometimes threw the whole candle into the fire. As I have seasoned a bit, I find myself enjoying a quiet night of reading more than chasing after the frantic nightlife of my youth. My wife and I have resigned ourselves to the fact that we like a good night's sleep on the weekend. I know, it's sad, but getting home at 2 AM makes for a long, tiring Sunday.

However, sometimes you have to take one for the team. The team in this case being the Yolo County Cattlemen and Wool Growers Association. Saturday night was our fall dinner dance at the Zamora Community Hall. It is the main event on our social calendar and as the president, it is my job to worry about the details and watch my blood pressure rise during the two weeks preceding the dinner. I'm not sure why people don't RSVP, but the crowd attending our events are in desperate need of a lesson in protocol. It seems that a phone call to one of the board members two days before the event passes as proper notice in the Capay Valley. I think we had 39 written RSVPs the day of the event, we had another 75 verbal or email commitments. We had well over 150 folks show up for the event.

Trying to buy Rib Eye steaks and all the trimmings when you don't know if 120 or 150 are coming is enough to make you crazy, or at least a little unbalanced. I want to take this time to thank everyone who stepped up and made this event a success, our board members and all the volunteers who showed up and asked how they could help. From the planning and paperwork, to the decorating and setup, to buying the food and drinks, to cooking, working raffle and the final cleanup Sunday morning. Thank you, one and all.

The event was great. I was sweating the number of rib eyes we had until the last person made it through the dinner line and we still had a plenty left. Whew. The raffle was big hit with dozens of great prizes and gift certificates. This year we had the Jim Hunter band play after dinner and I think we shut the place down about 1:00.

Once the raffle was over, I had a chance to relax and enjoy the night. I was able to talk to some old friends, dance with my wife and just be a participant. My face returned to normal, I stopped looking like a bomb squad technician and I was able to smile again.

My calendar is now cleared. I am not planning or preparing for anything, except church functions, and Thanksgiving with all the family, and Christmas vacation trips, and..

Never mind.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Paul Ryan - A Roadmap For America's Future

I like this guy, I do.
Could he be the next House Minority leader, I hope so.



Preach on Brother Ryan, preach on!

No one ever told me

Okay people, if you never read another word I write, please pay attention to this.

Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are heading for economic collapse, and they will take America along for the ride.

That isn't meant to unduly scare you or sensationalize a situation, it is not a Republican fact or a Democrat fact, it is just a fact.

If you are thinking, so what; if they go broke the government will bail them out just like they did the banks, you don't understand the fundamental problem. Think of the current 700 billion bailout as a one time infusion of cash to get the economy back on its feet. The problem with the looming entitlement crisis is a long term one. These programs are growing so fast, as the boomer generation comes into its retirement years that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will soon outspend their revenues. They will need more money and the government will have to cut spending on other programs or raise taxes to keep up with the costs. Not just once, but each year they will have to cut something or raise taxes, every year. After a decade, there will be nothing left to cut and no one left to tax.

At first it will only be a billion here and a billion there, but if you are in your late 30's or 40's, by the time you retire, the current tax rates across the board will have to be doubled to keep up with the spending for these programs.

Think of it as your household budget. If you have an adjustable rate loan payment that increases every year, with this increased burden you either cut your spending on other things, or get a second job, and then a third job to increase your income. This certainly not the time to buy a new Lexus or take the kids on vacation to Hawaii. The time to act is not when you have have maxed out all your credit cards to keep living in manner that got you into the mess, the time to act is a soon as you see crisis coming. That time is now.

President elect Obama has a golden opportunity to act now, to lead, to show that sometimes you have to endure a little pain in the short term to avert a long term crisis that threatens our very viability as a nation. Will the Democrats walk the walk? They have certainly talked a great deal about fixing Social Security. I am not optimistic. I see Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid rubbing their hands together figuring out new entitlement programs to spend even more of our tax money on. Oh you can be sure they will raise taxes, but they will spend every penny and then spend even more. That is what they do, that is who they are.

The greatest danger in acquiring power is the fact you are accountable. You cannot stand on the sidelines and point fingers, you have to lead. No more blaming Bush and the Republicans, although they will for a year or two. In 2010 this will be Obama's economy, a Democrat economy. They will have been in charge of Congress for 4 years and have held the White House for 2. They will not be able to hide behind 'W' any longer.

So who will finally take on the AARP, the Labor Unions, the Defense industry and every other lobbying interest that feeds at the government trough? I am waiting for a new breed of Republican to step forward. A Republican with the courage to tell America the Federal government is not Santa Clause. That government is too big and controls too much of our lives. A Republican who is not afraid to tell us that we need to get back to fiscal conservatism. I really like a young Republican I saw on election night, Paul Ryan. I would love to see a young Republican like Ryan lead the GOP back its principles.

We need to cut spending on everything. Nothing is sacred. If the old guard Republicans complain about cutting certain Pentagon projects in their districts, let them. When the Democrats howl over cutting back on social programs and putting the bloated government bureaucracies on a diet, let them. We need to get our financial house in order now, we will need to have a game plan in place when the boomers hit the system will full force. We will need a track record of setting priorities and cutting waste when the boomers get in their 80s and head into long term, full-time care. Getting an SSI check is one thing, getting an SSI check and sending the taxpayers the bill for the nursing home is quite another. These bills will simply overwhelm us.

When the entitlement crisis 'sneaks up' on America in a few years, people will say, no one ever told me. Well folks, I just did.

P.S. - Barack Obama has been President elect for three days now and I have yet to find a Unicorn in my garage. What's the deal?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Obama wins! Ah, the cheering crowd, the tears of joy...

And that is just in the MSNBC newsroom.

It gets good about 1:50 into it.


Claiming the MSM isn't biased toward democrats is just laughable.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yolo County Cattlemen and Wool Growers Association dinner - dance is Saturday

If live in rural Yolo County or you support the county's agricultural community you should be a member. We would love to have a few more gift certificates and raffle prizes for Saturday night. As President, I have shamelessly asked dozens of businesses to donate this year and have been very surprised by their support. This year's raffle will be outstanding, but I am still asking for more donations.

I am making a pair of spur straps this year, I will even customize them with you initials or brand if you win. Tickets are limited so send me an email asap if you want to join us for Rib Eye steaks, a great raffle and live music Saturday November 8th at the Zamora community hall.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

President of the United States, Barack Obama

Barack Obama is my President. It will take me a little while to get used to the idea. My wife on the other hand, I'm not sure she ever will. I think she still has her 'Romney 08' button on.

I remember back in February, when McCain secured the nomination, I tried to find the light at the end of the McCain tunnel. Alas, it never materialized. Matt Rexroad was a McCain backer from the start. Try as I might, I could not see how this ends in anything other than a McButt-whoopin'.
I looks like McCain is our guy now. I am not close to being as short sighted as the far, far right wing of conservatives who will never vote for McCain, because given the choice between Senators Clinton and Obama, McCain is far and away a better choice for Republicans, and Americans for that matter.

PS, hope for McCain/Clinton and not McCain/Obama.

Grumpy old patriot vs. Grumpy slick politician is a fair fight.
Grumpy old patriot vs. Young dynamic dreamer is a landslide for the Democrats.
Well, the Grumpy old patriot just got his back porch painted red by the Young dynamic dreamer.
I hate to say I told you so, but I just did.

If I were still a drinking man, I would have three fingers of Crown Royal in a glass right now contemplating how to rebuild our party. I am skipping the booze, but I will take a few weeks to digest the election results and I will start working towards the 201o election. No robo-calls, no slick mailers, no yard signs, no high priced campaign gurus, just this, just this one thing.

What, you may ask is 'this one thing'?
Like Curly from City Slickers said, you have to figure that out for yourself....

Monday, November 03, 2008

The next four years

As I sit down to write this, the night of November 3rd, I am filled with competing emotions. Part of me is exited about Election Day. Could Senator McCain pull off an upset? Could a Republican presidential nominee in the midst of an economic slowdown, with an unpopular President, an unpopular war, with the worst managed campaign in a decade, overcome these challenges to win?

The other part of me is filled with trepidation. If Senator Obama wins, is America ready for the next four years with Democrats in charge of the House, the Senate and 1600 Pennsylvania Ave?

Whoever is elected, the next President will face challenges both at home and in a dangerous, yet dynamic world. A world that does not play by our rules. A world looking to see if America is the same nation who defeated German National Socialism, Japanese Imperialism and Soviet Communism, or has it turned into an isolationist nation, set on retreating behind its borders and allowing the worst of world's dictators and terrorist regimes a free hand to gather power and territory? The next four years will tell.

They will look to see if America turns away from its role as the driving force behind the world's economy and imposes protectionist tariffs. They will demand we handcuff our economy with carbon restrictions and offsets, all the while building coal-fired power plants to the tune of one a week. Will America turn down this path towards economic restriction and handicap our ability to compete in the world market? The next four years will tell.

Both Republicans and Democrats will look to the government, some will have sky high expectations of what the government will do for them, others will hope they won't screw things up any worse than they are. I fall into the latter group.

Most of the conservatives I know have no illusions about John McCain and his policies. We know Senator McCain and we know that while he was our only real choice in this election, we would all be mildly surprised if in four years we gave him a glowing review. We also know the limitations of government.

The Obama supporters on the other hand are 'all in'. They have pushed all their chips into the middle of the table and bet everything on a politician. They are so emotionally invested in Obama as the person who will make their world right and more important to them, make it fair, the reality will fall far short of their expectations. If Obama wins, no matter how effective his Presidency is, they will find with all the glowing speeches and the promises Senator Obama has made, he is just a politician and the government is still the government, no matter who is in charge.

No matter who the next President is, broken promises and government failures will be the best lessons we can learn in the next four years. The government is a blunt tool, to believe it will make your life appreciably better is to disregard every personal experience you have had dealing with it. Don't expect the same government that runs the DMV and the IRS to overnight become your fairy god mother. The next lesson we should learn is government is not in the business of making everyone equal. Some people show up to work early, stay late, work hard, continually learn and make good decisions; others watch Dancing with the Stars and buy things they don't need, with money they don't have, to impress people they don't like. No government program will fix this.

As you read this, we will know who will be the 44th President of the United States; at least I hope we will know. Obama or McCain, Democrats and Republicans, Blue states and Red states, we are all in this together. We will get through it. Our founding fathers had it right, four years is just long enough to change the nation in the direction of its leadership, and not long enough to do any irreparable damage.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Country First: Vote McCain Palin

Guest post by Mark Pruner, YoloGOP Chairman.

Whatever our political stripes may be, we can all agree that the next president will face more than a few difficult choices and challenging circumstances. Rightly so, both here at home and around the world this election and our choice for president are the subject of intense interest and lively discussion.

What is it about Republican candidates and the Republican Party that is so appealing?
History. The Republican Party formed on July 6, 1854 to oppose the evil of slavery. The Democrats took the opposite view. During the Civil War, under the leadership of Abraham Lincoln, the Republicans passed the 13th Amendment (outlawing slavery), the 14th Amendment (guaranteeing equal protection under the laws), and the 15th Amendment (securing voting rights for African Americans). Freedom was the theme.

When it came time to stand up for securing the right of women to vote, the Republican Party was the first major party to endorse women’s suffrage. Republicans, controlling Congress, passed the 19th Amendment. Members of the Democratic Party fueled the opposition. In 1917 Jeanette Rankin of Montana was the first woman elected to the Congress. Freedom was still the theme.
Through the corridors of time down to today the Republican Party remains the stalwart champion of freedom and individual rights, limited government and the unwavering belief that the individual, not the government, is best suited to make decisions about family and family income. We are boldly confident about California's future and hold dearly all that is good about California's people.

The Republican Party believes government’s role is to empower every person to reach his or her full potential. The Democratic Party believes that government has a much larger role in making decisions for people and their families – telling them what to do, even if it means limitation of personal liberties.

John McCain and Sarah Palin. It makes sense then that John McCain and Sarah Palin stand for individual freedoms and will not back down when it comes to protecting America from her enemies.

Foreign Affairs. The radicals dedicated to killing Americans are committed because we stand for freedom and in opposition to their desire to force individuals and nations to believe as they do. Mr. Obama’s clear inexperience in representing America’s interests abroad was summed up when he flatly stated he would meet with heads of state opposed to us, thereby elevating their stature, without precondition. Although he later “clarified” his position to add he would be prepared for such a meeting, he never withdrew his declared willingness to strengthen our opponents by meeting them without precondition.

The War. Senator McCain and Governor Palin stand by the mission of our troops: fight terrorism and support freedom abroad. Standing against terrorists overseas reduces the risk of attack at home. Who of us on September 12, 2001 really thought we would not suffer another attack. We have been kept safe at home by strength and vigilance. On the other hand Mr. Obama, during the primary, adamantly stated America should retreat on a fixed 16-month timetable. After the primaries were over the Democratic nominee talked of being flexible. Now, Mr. Obama states “we’ve got to look at” ending the war. He appears ready to say what he thinks needs to be said to win an election. This kind of waffling confuses our allies and gives strength to our enemies.

The Economy. It is no over simplification to say that a McCain Palin administration will grow the economy by giving all Americans the tools and opportunity to reach their dreams. When the economy grows we all do well. Senators Obama and Biden give us a completely different perspective: they want to redistribute the wealth – imposing their value judgments on who “should” and who “should not” own a piece of the American Dream. The Democratic plan might work in a soviet-style economy, but not here. The trouble is, economic vitality does not occur when you just reshuffle money. A mature economic perspective understands that actually growing the economy, not taking from some to hand out to others, is what has made American an economic success.

Health Care. Senator McCain and Governor Palin stand committed to a Guaranteed Access Plan for health care, forged from the best of what actually works. The proposals of Senator Obama borrow from the old-time tool kit of government programs. Rather than allow American ingenuity and energy to deliver reliable health care, Senators Obama and Biden want to take us back to high cost and low delivery outcomes. Please take a look at the detailed analysis of a major nonpartisan study by the Lewin Group (Lewin.com). Under the McCain Palin plan only 12.6% of American families would experience an increase in family health costs. Quite the opposite is true under the Obama Biden plan where 29.0% of families would experience increased health costs. More dramatically, the point is driven home for families making less than $20,000 in income: under McCain Palin 7.5% of these families would experience higher family health costs. Under Obama Biden 24.0% of the poorest families would pay more for their health costs. These facts explode the myth that the Democrats look after the interests of the poor. The opposite is true.

Tax Cuts. A lot has been said about tax cuts. We know that more money consistently in the hands of wage earners creates good jobs. We know that good jobs grow the economy and lift everyone up. The Obama Biden tax plan starts with a shifting definition of who is rich and should be taxed more: first $250,000, then $200,000, then most recently according to Senator Biden $150,000. The Democrats call one-time rebates tax relief. Senator McCain looks at the long term: holding the line at the tax rates, allowing people to plan and create good jobs through spending their own money.

Conclusion. Throughout its history as the leader in the cry for freedom, the Republican Party and its candidates have consistently stood for individual liberty and limited government. A president who forces upon us his personal idea of who should have and who should not have would do injury to us all. I urge you to vote for Republicans this Tuesday, November 4th.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Poles are an independant people with a.......oh the polls.

Poll watching is an interesting phenomenon. Kind of like the commercial on TV says, 90% of statistics can be made to say anything, 50% of the time.

Daily tracking polls, Rasmussen, Zogby, AP, Gallop, IBD/TIPP, there must be dozens of polling organizations out there all wanting to be the one that nails the election results down to the tenth of a percent come Wednesday. Will any of them get close? Who knows.

John Zogby nailed the 2000 election. On the day before the 2004 election he predicted an electoral college landslide for Kerry, woops. If you want to figure out who is going to be the next president, there are a few polls you really need to be watching. Battleground states. National polls and daily tracking polls are almost meaningless, almost. Zogby's daily tracking poll showed today McCain leading 48% - 48%.

A double digit swing in a week either shows a real move of undecideds one direction or a flawed sampling methodology. I am not sure, but like I say, we will know Wednesday.

I check Real Clear Politics everyday to get my polling fix. I watch the battleground state polls and take an average. Sure, most polls are over-polling democrats by 8 - 13%, thinking more democrats will turnout to vote than republicans by those margins, and that may be why Obama's supporters might wake up on Wednesday thinking the evil republicans stole another election.

Remember the Kerry/Lieberman exit polls in 2004? The Democrats and the media, like there is a difference, went absolutely bananas when Kerry did not win. He was polling so well, the exit polls showed a landslide, what happened?

Will the pollsters over sample democrats hoping to discourage republican turnout? Will the young vote turnout this time in convincing numbers? Will there be a Bradley effect? Will the LA Times release the video tape of Obama and Rashid Khalidi ? Will the Cowboys get to the Superbowl?

Stay tuned.

Oh and for the dumb ass who threw a planter through the window of the Yolo County republican headquarters downtown; very mature. I only hope the Woodland PD will get the finger prints off the planter. I don't want any jail time, I just want the names published.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Oliver Stone - bomb maker extraordinaire

When I first saw the trailer for 'W', the new Oliver Stone film, I thought, oh great another political hatchet job by the left's second favorite movie director. I happened to watch this week's episode of 'At the movies' with the two knuckle heads who took over for Siskel and Ebert. Both were fawning over 'W' saying what an important film it was and how everyone should see it.

Maybe Stone should stick to what he does best, remaking the 60s until he gets it right. So how you may ask did 'W' do in its opening weekend?

El floppo
.

Here are the movies that make more money that 'W' this weekend, even with the sponge bath given to it by the press.

1. High School Musical 3: Senior Year
It looks as though I was on it. This confirms my theory that there are only so many tween girls in the world. You can't scale up on a finite number.
Result: 42.0 million

2. Saw 5
They'll be very happy with the fourth straight $30m opening for the Saw franchise. And with the weak competition next weekend it won't drop off too badly.
Result: 30.5 million

3. Max Payne
Hey, where is Edward Norton? As it turns out my Max Payne prediction wasn't severe enough - it dropped 57% as every poor bastard who was hoping for the best saw it... and then told a friend not to. On the Max Payne commercials they don't even have a quote. Not from Hammond or Edwards or Lyons. They couldn't get one schill to help them out! Sad.
Result: 7.6 million

4. Beverly Hills Chihuahua
This film is going to hit $100m worldwide. That means we're getting a sequel. Just so we're all prepared for the horror.
Result: 6.9 million

5. Pride and Glory
The only real disaster of the weekend involves Edward Norton... but you have to hand it to the general public. Fool them once with We Own the Night, shame on them. Fool them twice with Pride and Glory? Nope.
Result: 6.3 million

6. The Secret Life of Bees
Will The Oracle begin going five for the bottom five? Yes we can!
Result: 5.9 million

7. W.
The budget was $25m, and it's only made around $19m. Not good news for anyone else trying to get financing for a "sitting president balanced satire" film.
Result: 5.3 million
Dude, you were beaten by talking Chihuahuas.
Nice.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Attention Esparto, Madison and the Capay Valley

When was the last time you went to church?

Easter? Christmas? A few years ago at a wedding or funeral service?

If you live around the Esparto area and you have been wanting to go to church but something always comes up, or you forgot, or you don't think you will know anyone there, or you think someone will hand you a live snake, or you think the roof will fall in when you step inside, or if you are just curious and want to know more about this Jesus people talk about, this Sunday is the perfect day for you.

'Fill the pews' weekend is here. Countryside Community Church in Esparto is trying to reach out to it's neighbors and invite friends, family, co-workers, and anyone else who may need a spiritual lift, to attend this Sunday's service.

Our traveling worship team will be there with guitars tuned up, ready to sing contemporary upbeat worship music for the service. The kids will have a great time, the music will be rockin' and the message will hit home.



See you there.
10:00 AM
Sunday the 26th of October
26479 Grafton St, Esparto

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My name is Walt, and I am Joe.



Iowahawk has a great idea.

Everyone in the media seems to be wetting their pants about an average Joe who dared to ask the chosen one why he wants to raise taxes on small business owners. The East coast media elites are giving a Joe Wurzelbacher a high definition proctorial exam of the first order. He's isn't a real plumber, he doesn't have a license, he owes back taxes, his name isn't even Joe.

I was talking to my friends at work and they were even jumping on Joe. He doesn't have license, he isn't even a real plumber. So I asked them, if you worked five to ten years for a plumbing firm and you were a foreman or a lead man, would you call yourself a plumber? If you worked for an electrical contractor for five to ten years, would you call yourself an electrician? No answer.

I work in the telecommunications field as a field technician. I have ten years experience and while I have recently let my State Contractor's license become inactive, I have held a C-7 for almost five years. A license hanging on my wall did not make me a 'real technician' or a better technician, it just said I could work for myself.

The New York, Washington DC Metroliner crowd does not know how to handle a real person, so they attack what they don't understand. However, they better be careful, people know real when they see it and they know a partisan media attack when they see it. An army of Joes may just show up at the polls come November 4th if the media keeps piling on Joes like me.

Don't blame me, I voted for McCain

( Thanks for stopping by, a thousand hits on this post today, so what do we do now? Read this )

I am ordering my bumper stickers today. Why? I have seen this movie before; it doesn't have a happy ending.

Folks in their twenties and thirties, who get their news from the Daily Show, only see Republicans as war mongering buffoons. To them, Democrats are all warm and fuzzy. They need to experience the pain of a Congress and executive branch controlled by liberal Democrats. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama will have total control and no one to say; are you sure this will work. As much as I hate to see the country go through it, the best lessons are learned first hand.

For all you college kids supporting Obama because he 'gets it', best of luck trying to find a good job when you graduate. Oh sure, the media will go along with Obama the first two years or so, explaining the reason Obama's economy isn't living up to his promises are the lingering affects of George W Bush. In the third year, young Americans will start saying, this is not what I signed up for.

For all the Boomers who had forgotten Jimmy Carter's disastrous economic policies, the lessons of why you don't raise taxes during an economic slowdown will become painfully obvious. In the third year, older Americans will start saying, this is not what I signed up for.

For everyone in their prime earning ages of 40-55, guess who will have to 'pay their fair share' to 'spread the wealth around’. You guessed it. I remember President Clinton promising a middle-class tax cut when he ran, once in office, he was 'shocked' how bad the economy was and those middle class tax cuts were abandoned. In the third year, middle-class Americans will start saying, this is not what I signed up for.

Take a peek at Europe if you want to see where Pelosi, Reid and Obama want to lead us. After a few decades of ‘spreading the wealth around’ through feel-good socialism, France, and Germany have elected conservative leadership, with Great Brittan soon to follow. These new conservatives have an almost impossible task in front of them, to wean the public off their total reliance on government to function.

Americans seem to be enamored with the power and promise of government to fix everything. Every time you hear Obama say, “we have to invest” (in education, health care, whatever) just substitute “we are going to hire a bunch more government employees who are not very effective at anything to try and fix this.” Not very inspiring when you think of it in those terms is it?

I admit openly the current crop calling themselves Republicans have forgotten why the people sent them to Washington in the first place, stop spending money like Democrats and stand up for the little guy. However, the Democrats who have been control of Congress for past two years are an unmitigated disaster.

Well folks, I am not signing up for four year of Pelosi, Reid and Obama.