Thursday, May 28, 2009

And they wonder why ...

Taken without permission from Pundit Kitchen.

Don't you just get tired of Wing Nuts going ballistic anytime a progressive says anything snarky about a conservative, but when its from their side they are conspicuously silent.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009

Map of the Fallen

The Map of the Fallen is a google maps project to honor American and Coalition soldiers who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. For Memorial Day go check it out.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

What could possibly go wrong?

This Wednesday, congress sneaked in legislation, as part of the credit-card reform bill, that changes the rules to now permit loaded, concealed weapons to be carried within National Parks. Prior to this, only unloaded weapons were allowed within the Park boundaries.

What could possibly go wrong?
Two people were killed and six others _ two of them children _ were wounded in a shooting at a high school graduation party, police said Sunday.

Brent Matthew Banks, 37, was arrested after a four-hour standoff with police at a house in Mesa, east of Phoenix, Mesa Police Sgt. Ed Wessing said.

Preliminary information indicated that Banks was an invited guest at the party who got into a physical fight with his ex-wife late Saturday, Wessing said.

He allegedly went to his vehicle, got a gun, returned to the party and opened fire, killing his 38-year-old ex-wife and a 32-year-old man, Wessing said.

He said six others suffered minor injuries. They included a 10-year-old boy who was grazed on the head and an 8-year-old boy injured by bullet fragments.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Insane in the membrane

My post earlier this week cast some doubt on the sanity of those currently running the GOP into the ditch. This recent reworking of the anti - Goldwater Daisy ad from 1964 by the GOP over the closing of Gitmo speaks for itself. Because clearly closing Gitmo is the modern equivalent of Nikita Khrushchev blowing up the world with hydrogen bombs. I mean its not like we have any record of successfully locking up dangerous people (second only to China) in our prisons - including those responsible for the first NY Trade Center bombing, the Oklahoma city bombing, the Unibomber, and the list goes on. These are human beings we're talking about, not terminators. Experience has shown that they can be safely contained in a Federal Supermax. Yet the GOP goes on like Obama will be creating a superfund site in small town America.

The unfortunate reality is that small towns with big prisons holding normal criminals are already a mess. Steinbeck's Salinas has been completely overrun with gangs and related crime. When you throw a gang leader into the supermax, there is a tendency for their family and associates to relocate near to the prison. Quickly the gangs learn that the small town cops aren't up to the task of policing big city gangs and it unravels from there.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Even the govenator can't save things

My friend Tim, over at Cafe Zeke also grew up in California, but is now an expat. As a former Journalist and history major, he has a pretty good take on the mess California state policies have created for themselves.

A long time ago, I covered state and local government for a variety of local newspapers. I watched, year, after year, as government, under the slowly swinging axe of Prop. 13 made cut after cut into vital social services and things like parks and libraries and shifted the tax burden to the "user" through fees. I saw politicians forced into funding needed projects through bond measures (the pay-later plan). And I saw how dysfunctional California's revenue system really was, a system where any crazy minority could hold the public hostage to its demands.

I wrote article after article on these issues, often containing warnings that these were short-sighted policies that would bankrupt the state. As an editor, I argued the same things more forcefully, pointing out the the long-term health of my community and our state depended on making more democratic reforms that allowed sensible revenue generation (taxation) and even sometimes got to make the point that those who get the most out of a society (corporations and the rich) should pay the most into it, rather than be supported by the "users" of public services (the middle class and the poor—in other words, me you, and just about everyone we know).

Read the rest here.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Tank of gas

Filled the beast's tank today. Cost over $25. The price today here was $2.19/gal. Thats an almost 20 cent jump in the last five days. Other than it being May and the beginning of summer driving season, I can't think of a single reason for a jump that big (over 10%). The previous tank was about two weeks ago, and was just under $25.

What did you pay for gas this week?

Update - I refilled again today (May 21). Its up to $2.25/gal for the holiday weekend.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Be afraid, be very afraid

At least that is what the Republican machine would like. Senate Republicans have created an unusually inane video about how this country is unable to incarcerate the Guantanamo detainees because clearly we don't incarcerate anyone dangerous already, as demonstrated in this video.

The horror

Trekkies Bash New Star Trek Film As 'Fun, Watchable'

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


Image taken without permission from Pundit Kitchen

You know I feel sympathy for people and their fear. They just don't know who to believe so they trust no one and assume the worst. They don't believe the official propaganda coming out of the administration, and who can blame them given how over the last two administrations its been nothing but lies. But its sad, since so far the swine flu is less deadly than a typical flu season, or auto accidents for that matter. We block out the danger of every day life, because we have to to function, but obsess over the danger that is novel. At least its a wake up call for those members of congress who wanted to cut public health funding. And if you have any doubt of its importance, just look south of the boarder where the flu has had a significantly worse impact.

New Photos over at Andy's blog

After a long absence Andy has updated the photos on his blog to include shots from this winter. He'll be slowly adding more photos until current over the next few weeks.