Friday, August 29, 2008


How do know when you have connected with Americans? When they start calling you by your first name. While I drove home today I listened to the radio and I heard more than a few callers refer to the Republican Vice Presidential running mate as 'Sarah'. Alaska's Governor Sarah Palin seems to have that certain something that makes you take notice and pay attention. She is real. A real woman, a real mother, a real person and a real reformer. If you look at most politicians today and see car salesmen with a high priced educations in very nice suits, you probably look at Governor Palin and say, she is one of us, only she's crazy enough to get into politics.

I remember hearing her name mentioned a few weeks ago and I thought she would be a great pick, but I really figured McCain would choose Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. While Alaska and its 3 electoral votes factored little in choosing Palin, once you look at her accomplishments in the 49th state, one image starts to emerge.


Here is someone who has a solid reputation as an executive with little tolerance for BS and will stand up to special interests and the status quo, even in her own party. If you are like me, a republican who has lost faith in the GOPs ability to stop spending like democrats and cut the corrupt dead wood from inside the party, Palin seems like the perfect choice. She says no to 'feel good' legislation, pork barrel projects, and she is a true conservative.

I'm sure in the next few weeks the microscopes will be pointed at every vote, veto and personal decision Sarah Palin has made in the past few years, and guess what, we will find out that Governor Palin is human. She has obviously made a few decisions she wishes she could change, a few words she wishes she could have back, but that is where her ability to be a real person and connect will show. I am not sure what skeletons are rattling around in Palin's closet, but I'll bet she doesn't have an unrepentant terrorist as a friend and political backer.

As for those who think Senator Joe Biden will tear her to shreds in a debate, don't count those chickens too fast. Carter was going to clobber the paper thin intellect of Reagan, and Kerry was going to demolish the dim witted Bush. The great thing about Americans is their ability to see candidates for who they are. Every few decades they make a mistake, President Jimmy Carter comes to mind, but on average, they pick the right leader for the right time.

In the dangerous times we live in, who would you put your trust in, the number 1 and number 3 most liberal US Senators, or a politically moderate combat veteran and a tough, reform minded mother of 5?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wealth Tax. Constitutional Amendment and Statute.

If you have not yet heard of this, you will soon.

Look folks, I am not one to impetuously sound the 'Holy cow, this is full blown Socialism' alarm very often, but can you honesty describe this proposition any other way?

Imposes one-time tax of at least 55% on property exceeding $20 million of a California resident or held in California by nonresident. Imposes one-time tax (between 36.5% - 54.3%) on income exceeding $10 million when resident dies or leaves California. Imposes additional 17.5% tax on total incomes of taxpayers with income exceeding $150,000 if single, $250,000 if married; 35% if incomes exceed $350,000 if single, $500,000 if married.

Think about this for a minute. The State of California is going to confiscate 55% of your wealth if you own 20 million dollars worth of property. What exactly was the crime committed by these people to merit such a fine? Starting a business? Employing millions of Californians? Driving the California economy? Lending capital to small businesses? Giving millions to charity?

Oh, I get it they're rich. Everyone knows rich people made their money by screwing the little guy and keeping them down, right?

Move down to next tax, an estate tax of 36% - 54% on anyone who has income of 10 million dollars and suffers the unfortunate fate of dying within the Golden State. After all, you have already paid Federal and State income taxes on that wealth, why not let the State take half of your remaining assets before they put you in the ground? And don't even think of trying to sneak over the border into Nevada with your money, this is one border they will ruthlessly enforce.

Now for the last tax, let's slap a permanent 17% State income tax over the existing State income tax of 9.3 % for those who make 150K a year single, 250K married. Sounds great, where do I sign up?

Let me give you an even scarier proposition; Barack Obama wins in November.
Holy cow? No, Holy Crap!

Let's say you own a small business in Woodland, maybe you employ 8-12 employees. Lets say your business is established and doing well, you and your spouse still work 60 - 70 hours a week. After payroll, worker's comp, raw material costs, city fees, rent, insurance, advertising and about three hundred and fifty other bills you pay each month, you earn 255,000 a year. Not a bad living.

You had to take out a third mortgage on your house to start you business and work 10 months without a day off before you could write yourself a paycheck, but you made it through the rough times and you have hired some really great people. They depend on you so they can pay their bills and get ahead. Your kids are growing up fast and you wish you could spend more time with them, maybe if things get a little better with the bottom line, you can hire a full time, experienced general manger.

Now for the good news. You get to pay the additional taxes in California's proposed new wealth tax, and President Barack Obama is not only going to raise your federal income tax, but you will be paying social security tax on all of your income as he eliminates the cap as it currently stands at taxing the first 100,000. I am not a CPA, unlike the guy who wrote the proposition, but I would estimate you total tax burden would go from around 40% to well over 65%.

You are one doing the work, you are one paying the bills, employing your neighbors, and staying awake at night trying to figure out how you are ever going to pay off all this debt. The government is going to take, there is no better word for it, take 65% of your income?

What are they going to do with it?

Well, as for the California proposition, they want to buy common shares of, wait for it, EXXON/MOBILE!

They want to buy a significant portion of other companies as well, Chevron, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup etc. Why? To control these corporations and make them stop Global Warming!

Oh, and here is the kicker, they will, not propose but they will "Drain and restore the Hetch Hetchy Valley to its natural condition circa the beginning of the 20th century". I hope the people in San Francisco start building a desalination plant real soon, they will get awful thirsty when the Hetch Hetchy dam is gone.

What about the rest of the increased tax burden burden you will pay? What are they going to do with that? Waste a quarter of it right off the bat, spend another quarter of it on things that mean nothing to you and your family, and the other half will actually go to keeping the roads paved, ( yea right) maintaining a standing army, delivering the mail and other useful functions.

If you think there is nothing wrong with this tax-the-rich until they die, and then a little more proposition, I have news for you.

You my friend are a socialist.

Did you just hear a bunch of moving trucks start up? Good luck with California's revenues when all the business owners and wealthy taxpayers get out of dodge..... Florida anyone?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Back to school, old school that is.

If I may, I would like to fire up the time machine for a trip back to 1980. That's right, as people finally awakened from the polyester induced nightmare that was Disco, the music scene started to change and thankfully t-shirts and Levi 501 jeans were back in style. That was fortunate for me, since the only clothes I owned were jeans and t shirts.

The fall of 1980 was also the year that yours truly first walked through the doors of high school. Coming from a very small town, about the size of Rumsey, a high school with over 1,000 kids was very intimidating. Our district was a bit progressive for its time and freshmen from all three district high schools attended a 9th grade high school before going on to their respective schools as sophomores. It really worked well, no upper class hazing and students were able to meet and make friends with kids the would otherwise never meet.

My first day at Nova High School was an experience I will never forget. My elementary school was one building with three classrooms, K-2nd, a class for 3rd-5th and the last class for 7th and 8th grades. I had never had a locker, I had never needed to get from one side of school to the other in 8 minutes, and I had been deprived of the joy that is a 45 minute bus ride into town.

We all made new friends, most of us had to. It was my first real chance to play sports. I actually was fifteen minutes late to my first practice because I didn't know how to put on all the football pads, I was totally lost. Most of the kids were exited to be in a new environment, and we made it through because we were all in it together. A common experience can bring you closer, but we didn't have any other options, or distractions.

When I think about my son's generation, and the way they interact with each other, I wonder if they are missing a very important part of growing up. There were no iPods on my 45 minute bus ride to school, I didn't text my friend during class to say "I'm soooo bored right now". No IMs, no watching YouTube on your phone, nothing. Today I see kids in high school and even middle school, all sitting together, but each listening to their iPods or playing a PSP. Everyone seems to be locked into their own electronic world. Back in my high school days, you talked to the person next to you, or you relied on a skill that is almost lost among today's youth, sitting quietly and thinking without being entertained.

I hate to sound like a cranky old guy, but I wonder if today's kids could go a week without the Internet, TV, their iPod, their cell phone, their Nintendo DS or their X-box 360? They would freak out on a scale seldom encountered by today's parents.

There is nothing going on! What am I going to do?!

Growing up in the country has its advantages, I learned to entertain myself as a kid, I had to. My nearest neighbor was 5 miles away. Being comfortable with your own company is a handy trait to have, and it will serve you well throughout your life. However, close friendships are very important for a young person to have. Face to face personal interaction is not only healthy for teenagers, its at skill that will become increasingly important in their adult lives.

How many high school age kids spend time just talking about life, their future, their values? Young women are probably much better at this than young men, but high school is where you will form the values you will try to live out in your early adulthood. If you are in need of constant entertainment and stimulation to function, how are you going to focus on school, or your job, or focus on your relationships when the fun factor wears off?

This face to face time is also critical for us as parents. It is all too common to come home from work and as long as our kids are plugged into some electronic device and staying out of the way, we can get caught up in our busy lives and we may not interact with our children until dinner, if we even sit down as a family together.

As our children grow up in this portable electronic age, lets try to keep them 'unplugged' from time to time. For me, a no-iPod day on a Saturday spent together is better that a week vacation somewhere with our children locked into their electronic cocoon for most of the trip. Well, that is unless they are fighting in the back seat......

Saturday, August 23, 2008

McCain to one-up Obama, will announce VP choice using smoke signals

Okay, I'm kidding. In the rush by the Obama campaign to show how cutting edge they are, the long awaited pick of Vice Presidential running mate was first announced to the waiting throng of glossy eyed Obama supporters by text message. How neo-modern.

I will be the first to say this was a brilliant marketing campaign move, in theory. Just like signing up for that free Hawaiian vacation at Straw Hat Pizza, the folks who wanted to be the first to know about Obama veep pick are now in the system of the campaign and the DNC. How many text messages for donations will the average Obama supporter receive in the next 60+ days? My guess is forty. Every time a 'McCain attack add' comes out the Obama camp will plead for more money to rebut these mud-slinging charges. Once you're in the system, you're in.

With all the buzz over the way the Obama campaign made the announcement, the choice of running mate seems like another style over substance move. Senator Joe Biden? Really, that's your pick? Amazing.

The Delaware Senator has been in Washington since 1972. Joe Biden is an old school, democratic party insider. Maybe the thought is with Obama's entire national experience sitting at a whopping 143 days served in the United States Senate, he needs someone who has more experience in Washington. I will accept that the ticket does need more weight to it, but Joe Biden? Again I say, wow.

I read somewhere that Joe Biden is a dumb person's idea of a smart person. That fits Biden to a tee. Joe is too smart by half.

As I think about it a little more, Biden is the perfect choice for the DaliBama. You would not want a smart, concise, grounded running mate, you would want someone who is in love with himself and the sound of his own voice almost as much as Obama. The two could drone on and on, serving up class-envy, nuance and moral relativism for hours on end. All without directly answering a question. Come to think of it, its a brilliant choice.

Friday, August 22, 2008

2008 Fall Tour report

On Thursday evening at the Esparto Fire Department Hall, the Yolo County Cattlemen and Wool Growers Association held its annual Fall Tour. One of the main functions of the association is education, aimed primarily at its members but also for the public. This year’s educational program included two hot topics that will affect most rural residents, the proposed Yolo County Groundwater Ordinance and our current water situation.

Speaking to the assembled farmers, ranchers and rural landowners was Rick Landon, Yolo County’s Agricultural Commissioner. Landon spoke about how the draft ordinance came about, primarily due to the concern of County Supervisor Mike McGowan’s over water transfers outside of the county. The draft ordinance developed into three main areas. A groundwater and well monitoring program, a water transfer component and the establishment of a new county water agency. Landon went on to say the draft in its current form has been described as defective. The County has now hired a consultant to gather input from all sides and to rewrite the ordinance into a final version to send to the Board of Supervisors for a vote. As this process goes forward, Landon emphasized, public input will be crucial. Many in attendance stressed their concern over the ordinance as a solution looking for a problem. A very expensive solution whose budget, they fear will come from new permits and usage and monitoring fees.

As most everyone in agriculture will tell you, we are in a two-year drought and as we look forward, hopefully to a wet winter, the question of surface water and the health of the main underground aquifer are on our minds. Max Stevenson, Water Resource Associate from the Yolo County Flood Control & Water Conservation District gave an informative presentation on the current well and groundwater monitoring program. The number of private and public wells currently monitored dotted his map of the county. YCFC&CD monitors160 wells, and along with other agencies and districts, a total of 550 wells in Yolo County are monitored and that data is sent to the State. Stevenson drew a diagram of the Cache Creek aquifer, showing the historic levels of groundwater and how they fluctuate during drought conditions. He also explained the districts ability to maintain water delivery to farmers in dry years was greatly enhanced by the building of Indian Valley Reservoir in the late 70s. A bit of information that most water users didn’t know was the unlined canal system the district uses allows 25% of the water flowing through the system to recharge the underground aquifer.

The last speaker of the program was Matt Byrne of the California Cattlemen’s Association. Matt spoke on many current topics and pending legislation that affect the livestock industry, both statewide as well as here in Yolo County.

With the program over, the crowd of about 60 sat down to a rib-eye steak dinner prepared by the YCCWGA members.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Eating. Its just way too much work.

Can I get one for coffee?

I am so glad I started my diet this week.

Okay, I know its a big issue, but dang, this is funny

Health Care for children? Recent study of participants say no thank you.

I once hid a broken arm for three days because I didn't want to go to the doctor.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Beijing Olympics 2008, some final thoughts.

As the Chinese government tries to project the image of a happy and harmless China , with a little help from NBC, the world may watch the Olympic Games in Beijing and see only a rising power and a modern nation. The Chinese have scrubbed, waxed and shined up Beijing for the TV cameras. They have placed handlers with most of the foreign media to keep reporters from finding anyone with a dissenting opinion of the government. However, the real story of China is out there, its just harder to find. For young people who only know China as the place that makes everything we buy, there is another side of China, one the communist government doesn't want you to know about.

If you watched the President attend a state sponsored Baptist church in Beijing, you might get the impression that China is a nation that at least tolerates religious freedom. That is far from the truth. Days before the President attended church in Beijing, Chinese officials detained the head of the country's House Church Alliance. They replaced most of the regular parishioners with government employees. All forms of religion are viewed as a serious threat and when the world isn't looking, any who dare defy the government order to close their church or else, soon find out what 'or else' means.

The Chinese control the access, the information and the message that gets to the outside world. As the world press discovered when they found that all references to protests in Tibet and Tienanmen Square were blocked from the internet. Where else could you hold the Olympics and not have one single protest? Even though the government assured the International Olympic Committee there would be designated areas for protesters and that dissent would tolerated during the games, many Beijing residents who filled out the official government permits to protest were rounded up and jailed.

China is run by a communist, authoritarian government, please remember that. For all the Coca-Cola and McDonald's signs you see on NBC, if you disagree with the government in any public way, your life is in great peril. In the weeks leading up to the Olympic games, the government rounded up hundreds of 'trouble makers' for a nice long vacation in a far off province. Who knows what will really happen to them, they may be 're-educated' and returned or they could just disappear, something all too common in totalitarian countries.

If you are old enough to remember the student protests at Tienanmen Square in Beijing in 1989, you know the image of the one lone student blocking the path of the government tanks.

Lesser known are the photos smuggled out of China showing the carnage and bloodshed of the students when their protest were met with AK-47s and tanks.

I watched that week of protest by the idealistic students with great interest. I remember thinking to myself that after the fall of the Berlin Wall, I was going to see the collapse of another oppressive, cold war foe and the rise of a free China. It was not to be. The small cadre of Communist officials who held power did not want to give up that power or their extravagant lifestyles. They were surrounded by great wealth while most of the country suffered through brutal poverty and government oppression. Never forget this.

As the games come to an end, I will always remember watching the wonderful achievement of our athletes. From the super human feat of Michael Phelps' 8 gold medals to the almost anonymous success of Vincent Hancock who won a gold medal in Double Trap Shooting, we should be truly proud of our athletes for their years of hard work, sacrifice and training. As for the host nation, aside from a successful propaganda campaign, I am not sure they have much to be proud of.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A whole lot of time, a whole lot of beer and a whole lot of opossum.

Its nice to see the good folks down in Georgia, the US Georgia not the invaded by Russia Georgia, have a great sense of humor, and a butt-load of opossum.

Hey Bobby, get me nother' cold one and toss somore' posum guts on the top, that'il make look more realer.

Who knew Georgia was so dangerous? First Jimmy Carter had to fight off a killer swamp rabbit and now Bigfoot.

Please save your comments defending Georgia, I know most of you are fine citizens, but boy you have some real winners down there.

Hey what am I talking about? I'm from California. I'll trade you a few tree sitting hippies for those drunken pranksters.

McCain Obama; first Presidential Debate

I know this poor timing, but more than likely not a coincidence, that the last Saturday night of the Olympics is the first time Barack Obama and John McCain will meet in a Presidential Debate, excuse me, Civil Forum. The Forum will be hosted by Rick Warren, Pastor of Saddleback Church in So. Cal.

Saddleback is a megachurch, and for those on the far left or those suspicious of any and all things religious, let me assure you, there will be no snake handling or speaking in tongues in tonight's forum.

I really like Rick Warren. Here is a guy as real as it gets when it comes to a public face of evangelical Christianity. His book, A Purpose Driven Life, is a bestseller and has made an impact on both the American church and non believers looking for life's answers. Rick is not a pop star, you will not find a video of him in a John Edwards style, two minute hair brushing and primping session. In fact, he looks more like John Madden than a slick televangelist. As a rather chubby guy who dresses in Hawaiian shirts and Dockers, the message Rick teaches is far more important than the messenger giving it.

So what is going to happen in tonight's forum? Will this be an evangelical ambush on Barack Obama? Will it be a conservative love fest for John McCain? No on both counts. Obama will have to show evangelicals that while he sat in the pews of Trinity United Church of Christ for twenty years, listening to his pastor and friend Jeremiah Wright preach his message of black liberation theology, he is still one of them. McCain has a hard row to hoe as well. McCain is not as open about his faith as Obama and he also has the baggage of Reverend Hagee to tote around. As much as the left likes to tie the anvil of Hagee to McCain, I believe Obama has a millstone shackled to him in the form of Wright. It will be interesting to see if either of these weights will sink their candidates in the general election.

I hope tonight's forum will do two things, get each candidate's world view out in the open and answer the question as to who they look upon to solve our nation's problems. I really don't care who comes across as the 'better Christian'. I want people to see how each candidate sees the world.

One of the core principles that concerns me about Senator Obama is his rather juvenile view of the world. If we could just all get along, if we could learn more about one another, if we could find common ground, we could live in peace. Now, who could be against that? I'm not against it, but this view is very dangerous to have as the basis of your foreign policy. The Palestinians and the Jews know all about each other, they do live together in Israel, where Palestinians have full rights and citizenship, yet there are good portions of the Palestinian population who want nothing more than to spill the blood of every Jew and drive them into the sea.

I'd like to buy the world a Coke is a catchy song, is just falls flat in the face of reality. Vladamir Putin can have all the Coca-Cola he wants, he'll just invade other countries to get get it. Oh, and by the Senator Obama, the UN won't do anything to stop it because Russia has a permanent seat on the security council with full veto power. He should know that if he wants to be President.

The other issue I have is Obama's idea of who should be fixing our problems. As the Senator with the most liberal voting record in the Senate, it is an unquestionable fact he think the government should right all the wrongs, make everything 'fair' and is ultimately responsible for our success and happiness. That is not the role I would chose for my government. The people who run the DVM and Medicare are the same people who are going to fix all my problems? Yikes.

McCain has issues of his own. His foray with open borders and the absolute failure of McCain/Feingold to reform money in politics are just the first in a series of thumbing the eyes of conservatives and republicans. He is right on the big issues, the absolute necessity of defeating radical Islamic terrorists where ever they are, and I could live with his brand of middle of the road justices he would nominate to the Supreme Court. He has a solid pro-life voting record, although he is not standing on the tables and shouting it to the rooftops, which is fine with me.
McCain seems to fall in the middle when it comes to self reliance and government omniscience. He looks to the government to fix a lot of problems, but he doesn't hold socialist ideals of Obama that the reason the 'poor' are poor is because the 'rich' have stolen it from them.

So what will we learn in tonight's forum? In the end, not too much.

Obama is a master of crafting an answer in vague terms and generalities, but tonight he will not have a teleprompter. When he speaks from his head and not from his prepared text, all kinds of crazy things can come out. McCain will more than likely get caught in a tongue twist or two, mistaking places or people, and I'm sure the press will take this as fact that he is rounding the bend and is too old to be President. I will have the DVR recording tonight, it should be fun.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The further away, the better the memories.

Its been a busy summer. With work, the kids, our 20th anniversary and my first time in the pulpit, I haven't ridden a horse in over 6 months. With fall coming on, it's time to break out the harness oil and start getting my saddle and tack in shape.

As a young man, I ran cattle with my father. When I look back on the years I spent as a full time cowboy, I think the memories of that time have been skewed a bit, by time and by the romance of my youth.

The 16 hour days in the June heat gathering cattle in Murphy Canyon and Wildcat Canyon are still vivid in my mind. All the cattle trucks I loaded in the choking dust of the White Corrals at the Blue Diamond Ranch, all the cuts, bruises and smashed body parts I had after branding and vaccinating 600 head of Brahma cross steers. I still have a few scars from those days.

I remember my father telling me to learn about computers or something else besides ranching. He was right. I still enjoy gathering cattle in the hills, although I haven't had the chance for a while now. These days I prefer playing cowboy. Show up in the morning, gather cattle, have lunch, ride around the hills in the afternoon 'looking for strays' and load up the trailer around 4:00 to head home.

I am getting soft in my old age and I know it. Saddling my horse at 5am and getting to the main gate before sunup, riding all day through the brush looking for the last three head of cattle on a 6,000 acre ranch would kill me today. I have also put on a few pounds since then and I know my horse would strongly object to this endeavor.

I guess I'll stick to trail riding and hope I get invited to a ranch branding in the spring. I can still throw a pretty fair heel loop.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Google is amazing, and a little creepy.

From time to time I like to look at the referring pages that bring folks to my blog.
The ones from Google can be head scratchers. Here are some from today.

I am currently #1 in Google search ranking for Hannah Montana versus Metallic
I am currently #5 in Google search ranking for Gorilla in the intersection, motorcycle (?)
I am currently #6 in Google search ranking for Know Your Power and Pelosi

And one that I am particularly proud of, I'm #1 for Cat people suck

The internet, thanks Al Gore!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Russia invades Georgia; is the Braves vs. Cubs series canceled?

For most Americans, I'm sure they have figured out by now that Vladamir Putin has not invaded Atlanta or even Pulaski, Georgia. However, the former Soviet KGB chief is once again flexing the muscles of Russia's military and watching to see if anyone will move to stop Russia's conquest of its former republic. The Republic of Georgia isn't exactly innocent in this ordeal, but if you are in on the right side of the law, you hope someone will come to your aid if things go wrong.

Wrong is exactly what happened when, depending on who you listen to, Russian troops responded to the Georgia army's attack on rebels in Tskhinvali, the capital of the breakaway (Russian-backed) region of South Ossetia, inside Georgia.

No wonder there is confusion, a former part of the Soviet Union breaks away from Russia and becomes the Republic of Georgia, then a part of that state wants to break away from Georgia. With a little help from Putin.

If you wonder if any of this is our concern, I regret to say, yes it is. The Republic of Georgia is a pro-western democracy, its soldiers are serving as part of the coalition of forces in Iraq and it wants membership into NATO.

Vladamir Putin and the hand picked, Metallica loving President of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev would love to squash this upstart republic and remind everyone in the area that Russia is still the Sheriff in town. If you want to look a little further, I don't think it would be a stretch to say the Putin would love to have control of the Georgian oil pipelines that carry much of Asia's oil to the West.

Great you say, another war for oil. Well, not so fast. Yes the oil pipelines are a strategic interest to the world, but the bigger picture has to be taken into consideration. If Russia can annex entire nations and the world just writes 'strong condemnations' and passes resolutions calling for a cease fire, what lessons do you think Putin will take away from this little gamble?

  • The world will sit on its hands the next time Russia has an 'altercation' with one of its neighbors and has to invade the country to 'stabilize it'.
  • Former republics of the USSR, the Ukraine for instance, had better reconsider the next time Putin makes them 'an offer you can't refuse'.
  • The western anti-war protesters, who show up in droves to rally against the US military, don't seem to care when the Russian military is indiscriminately bombing civilian targets with no care whatsoever for how many people they kill.
  • To sum it up, Putin will know the application of brute force to conquer a neighboring nation will go unpunished.
What should the West and the US do? I really don't know. We certainly can't send an armored division into Georgia to protect it, so short of that, what can we do? This might be over by the end of the week and Putin will have all the chips at the table.

President Bush is pursuing aggressive diplomacy with the Russians, but I am not sure if diplomacy works when a ripe plum is within your reach and you think a slap on the wrist is an acceptable price to pay for such a prize.

I think the only way to really have any leverage with Putin is to tell him if you don't pull back, we will immediately grant NATO membership to any former republic on the Russian border. Another place to put pressure on Russia is to vote them out of the G-8. Either of those might get Putin's attention.

This is the dangerous world we live in, and for those who think the world is this way because of Neo-cons or George W Bush or some other fictional boogey man, this is the way the world has worked for a few millenniums. Ask the Polish people if someone should have taken a stand against Hitler when he took military control of the Rhineland in 1936?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Nancy Pelosi - Know your power

...And your power is not writing books Madam Speaker.

Wow, the most powerful woman in the world, second in line of presidential succession, fist woman to serve as Speaker of the House of Representatives, San Francisco's own Nancy Pelosi has penned a book that is currently ranked #1,567 on Amazon's Best Seller list.

I have seen San Fran, Grand Nan on CSPAN, the Today show, all over the media this week talking about her new book and folks just won't buy it. What is the current approval rating of Congress? 9%?

Good timing Madam Speaker, I'll bet going on vacation without allowing an up or down vote on offshore drilling will turn those numbers around. Or not.

I'll bet George Bush's Scottish terrier Barney could sell more copies if he had oppasable thumbs.

Barney, my life in the White House, and the real story of Miss Beazely.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

I couldn't resist....

Save us oh junior Senator!

Drill now, Drill Here

In the past year or so I have listened to many different reasons, from many different people about the rising price of gasoline and crude oil. Some are well thought out, backed by facts and figures, other are just plain dumb. However, if you want to really get out in the twilight zone of irrational thinking, ask someone how we get out of this mess?

The latest example of silliness comes from none other than the 'Dali Bama' himself. For a person who is supposed to be incredibly smart and full of great ideas, I am still scratching my head over this one. Why not drill for our own oil, right here at home Senator Obama? We don't need to...
There are things you can do individually, though, to save energy. Making sure your tires are properly inflated — simple thing. But we could save all the oil that they’re talking about getting off drilling — if everybody was just inflating their tires? And getting regular tune-ups? You’d actually save just as much!

As kids today say, OMG, is he serious?

John Hinderaker from Powerline did the math and it seems that Barack Obama is right, we could save "all the oil that they're talking about getting off drilling" by inflating our tires....

In 11,308 years! I'm not sure the American people are ready for that kind of forward thinking.

Look folks, oil is a commodity, a world wide commodity. As China and India, as well as other developing countries use more oil, the price will go up as demand increases. It's called supply and demand. There is another factor at work here, speculation. Speculators look for trends to determine whether the price of oil will go up or down in the future, and they bet accordingly. Here is the trend speculators have been betting on, and winning with, for the past two years.

When Democrats took control of Congress in 2006, a barrel of crude cost $53.52 on the open market, gasoline was $2.33 a gallon. With Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in charge, the speculators could depend on one thing, the United States would not increase domestic supply, even as demand from foreign markets grew. They were right. This summer oil soared to $147 a barrel and I was paying $5.09 for a gallon of gasoline. How much of this was driven by speculation and how much of it was simply the market economy working? We caught a glimpse of this when President Bush lifted a presidential ban on offshore oil drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf. We still couldn't drill for oil without Congress acting but the speculators heard the message loud and clear. The trend had ended, Americans want more domestic production. Oil prices dropped 16% in a month.

Pelosi and Reid will not bring this issue to the floor for a vote. Why? They know a bill calling for increased domestic oil production will pass, they may have the majority in Congress but $5.00 a gallon gas hurts both democratic and republican voters and those voters are angry. This came to head yesterday as Democrats adjourned Congress to go on vacation without voting on drilling for more oil. Is that the leadership America needs today?

I am all for finding alternative sources of energy. If you like the T. Boone Pickens wind plan, great, lets go for it. If you want to develop solar and nuclear power, I'm with you. Sugar cane ethanol and E85 cars? lets do it. If you want to conserve and become the leader in efficiency when it comes to using energy, I'm fine with that too. Just don't ask me to ride my bike 5o miles to work and back every day.

We need to look inside our borders for energy while we try to find alternatives to fossil fuels. The less we depend on oppressive dictators and OPEC for our economy's life blood, the better.

It seems the Obama campaign has done a little polling. They know Obama is on the wrong side of this issue and being the typical politician he is, Obama now says he may be open to a little drilling.....

I am glad to see the Junior Senator from Illinois is coming around to my way of thinking.