Sunday, May 25, 2008

Fabian Nunez is a slime--the LA Times calls him on it

Nunez say that if you oppose him, or if you point out he abuses donors money, or if you are a Union demanding your money back, you are a racist. Typical.

I am impressed that a columnist from the LA Times, usually slavishly pro La Raza Demunists, called him on it.

Nuñez went on Univision's Spanish-language political program "Voz y Voto" and lashed out at reports in The Times that he had spent lavishly from his campaign funds on foreign travel and luxury goods. As you may recall, last fall this paper's Sacramento bureau reported that Nuñez had spent nearly $50,000 donated by "friends" on air travel to Europe and Argentina. He spent $5,149 for "a meeting" in the cellar of a Bordeaux wine shop. More than $2,500 went to buy "gifts" at Louis Vuitton in Paris.

One of the more interesting extravagances was the $8,745 tab the then-speaker ran up at the Hotel Arts in Barcelona, Spain. The bill included the services of a "translator." Although nobody expects the speaker of the California Assembly to speak Catalan, and although not all Catalonians speak English, they all speak Spanish, just like Nuñez. (Actually, the apogee -- or nadir, if you will -- of the former speaker's generosity was the $2,701 handmade belt buckle Nuñez bought as a gift for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The zillionaire former movie star returned it as "too lavish.")

Now that he's no longer speaker, Nuñez addressed the subject head-on this week. "Everyone's done it like this," he told his interviewer. "The difference is there are some in politics who want to judge me in a certain manner. Because of the fact I am Mexican, they think I have to sleep under a cactus and eat from taco stands. ... The only thing that really results out of this is that groups that don't like Latinos use this as a weapon to inflame anti-Mexican, anti-Latino politics."

Really? Over the last 10 years, there have been six speakers of the Assembly. Three have been Latinos -- including Antonio Villaraigosa, the current mayor of Los Angeles -- two have been African Americans and one was a white male. None of them required the services of a Catalan translator or felt the need to hold meetings surrounded by aging barrels of Bordeaux. Nuñez's attempt to attribute any objections about his thoroughly objectionable conduct to his ethnicity is a perverse moral reductionism -- a mirror image, in fact, of the sort of racist view that categorically denied a person's achievements because of his race.

People criticized Nuñez's extravagance for a simple reason: They resent seeing public office used like a personal ATM, no matter what language their parents spoke at home. Moreover, they find this sort of conduct particularly hard to accept when the elected official comes out of the labor movement, as the former speaker proudly does, and belongs to a party that claims to represent the interests of working people.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Finally! A Survey of California Judges

Every election cycle Republican voters complain about the lack of information regarding judicial candidates appearing on their ballots. Recently, Republican voters were reminded of the power of Judges to make life altering decisions. The ruling of the California Supreme Court in the Gay Marriage cases further underscored the need for Republican voters to have information regarding who they are electing to these important and powerful positions. Judges appointed by RINO Republicans, not by Demunist Commiecrats, were to blame for that fiasco. In an attempt to provide Republican voters with the information they need, the California Republican Lawyers Association has prepared a statewide Republican voter guide on Judges.

Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Judges are initially appointed by the Governor, but subject to yes/no votes in subsequent gubernatorial elections. County Municipal and Superior Court Judges are elected, and these judges are all ostensibly non-partisan.

Thanks to the leadership of Steve Baric and the California Republican Lawyers Association, we have a first time guide to help us vote for judges. The next one, for the November election will be even better.

This is what we need: aggressive leadership from patriot non-RINO Republicans like Baric. I urge you to pass this along to your friends. Let them know there is a guide to voting for judges.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Rule Of The Anus - Proposition 22 overturned

The California Supreme Court has overturned California voters' 61 percent majority, expressed in 2000's Proposition 22, in favor of affirming marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The California court's decision is the latest in a series of judicial and legislative efforts to institutionalize a social experiment in its early stages by elevating it in law to the status of the oldest of institutions: marriage.

The Rule Of Law is over, We have entered The Rule Of The Anus. Judicial Tyranny.

In California, Democrats sympathetic to gays Americans have legislated marriage in all but name -- which many Californians think is a pretty reasonable compromise. But "gay activist" courts tend to think in absolutes -- and when they intervene, woe unto the straight side.

This is destructive in three ways. First, the gay activist judges act as dishonest referees, imposing a minority set of societal preferences over a clear majority's wish to give the institution of marriage special status and not devalue it.

Second, they cheat the American people of an honest political contest, where candidates need to persuade the people of their views to put them into effect. When even the most gay-friendly of Democrats is asked point blank whether or not they favor "gay marriage", the Democrat always answers to the effect of "Hell no."

The gay-rights activists know they Demunist politician is lying -- or they would be protesting said Demunist. As supporters of liberal judicial tyranny "activism", the Demunists have the luxury of winking as the courts do their work for them. That leaves them free to pretend to hold public positions they do not actually hold -- and that they will subvert through their judicial appointments.

Finally, when courts usurp the role of the people, they inject cynicism and bitterness into America's body politic. In his dissent in Casey v. Planned Parenthood (1992), Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia put it this way:

[B]y foreclosing all democratic outlet for the deep passions this issue [legalized abortion] arouses, by banishing the issue from the political forum that gives all participants, even the losers, the satisfaction of a fair hearing and an honest fight, by continuing the imposition of a rigid national rule instead of allowing for regional differences, the Court merely prolongs and intensifies the anguish.
Plainly this is what we have seen with abortion. With the latest intervention by the California Supreme Court, it is beginning to look the same for same-sex marriage. How much healthier our politics would be if those so convinced of the rightness of their views would have equal faith in the decency of their fellow Americans -- and their openness to being persuaded by clear, fair and honest argument.

But of course, they think we are just "haters" and "bigots", never mind that if anyone shows the hatred and the bigotry--such as vandalizing churches--THEY DO.

The Churches have seen the writing on the wall, and are mobilizing. I wish them luck.

The four judges who invented homosexual "marriages" out of thin air:

1. Ron George, nominated to the California Supreme Court in 1991 by Republican Governor Pete Wilson. 2. Kathryn Werdegar , nominated by Republican Governor Pete Wilson in 1994
3. Joyce Kennard, nominated by Republican Governor George Deukmejian in 1989
4. Carlos Moreno, nominated by Democrat Governor Gray Davis in 2001

So having a GOP governor in itself is no guarantee, if the judges are not strictly checked.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

LA Times Calls Race Riot at School a "Brawl"

Move along--nothing to see here, says the LA Times.

Note how the Demuist Commiecrats are utterly silent about "racism" and "hate crimes" here, even though no doubt at least some of the African Americans involved here were innocent victims!

In the Demunist Commiecrat world, Black on White hate crimes don’t count, and Black on Asian hate crimes don’t count. But then again, Latino on Black hate crimes don’t count either.

Why is this? Because it’s the liberal agenda, baby! Import a larger and larger underclass of welfare dependents. African Americans used to be given the welfare plantation treatment all to themselves, but the Demunist Commiecrat commisars have decided they are not enough of them and they are not compliant enough. So they are importing a new underclass to augment them.

If that new underclass ends up displacing rather than augmenting them, well, you can’t make the perfect Soviet socialist omlette without breaking a few African American eggs now, can you?

Friday, May 09, 2008

"Traffic Calming": The Butt-Plug Mentality

Katy Grimes, in the Sacramento Union, points out the deceit of "Traffic Calming" schemes, which are choking off a downtown Sacramento that is finally revitalizing.

At least some of the denizens of Midtown Sacramento and the Land Park areas, those who brought us the farce of "traffic calming", have a "butt-plug" mentality; they enjoy constipating the traffic flow for those who need to commute in or through the area. Many of them are Luddites who want us to ride unicycles whereever we go. (OK, bicycles, but anyone carrying groceries and children knows this to be unrealistic.)

No, I really don't care what people do in their private lives, but the metaphor is really appropriate when you think of the demographics of the "rainbow sector".

What to do? Give these neighborhoods a Traffic Enema; perhaps perhaps many Midtowners could appreciate that metaphor.

Here's how:

1. Reopen E and F, G and H, and S and T streets to one way traffic, signals timed appropriately. I have an old city map from 1964 which shows those streets as one ways east-west.

2. Reestablish 19th and 21st streets as one way all the way up to E and F streets, and all the way down through Land Park.

Now in the old days, 19th and 21st, E and F, G and H, and S and T Streets had three lanes going one way. I would do this differently. I would have two wider and safer one way lanes, with bike lanes on each side, the way P and Q streets currently are.

Perhaps 15th and 16th and J and L Streets could get the same "fewer but wider and safer lanes" treatment.

Note to drivers: this is NOT just a sop to bicyclists; bike lanes allow for easier parallel parking maneuvers and wider and safer, albeit fewer, remaining lanes.

The "Mexico City Solution" to traffic, using paint to make more lanes that are VERY narrow, just does NOT work, as anyone from that hell hole can tell you.

Why force Midtown open? Because "traffic calming" is EVIL, that's why!

The term "traffic calming" is simply an attempt to put a favorable "spin" on tactics used to ruin traffic flow (that is, obstruct, divert and slow traffic). Proponents of these tactics are usually persons who live along urban streets in areas known as "mixed neighborhoods" who object to motor vehicle traffic passing by their homes.

Although proponents usually couch their complaints in terms like "speeders" and "reckless drivers," the true irritant for "traffic calming" advocates is "heavy" traffic. Their desired objective is to divert traffic to other streets outside their neighborhood. The devices employed to accomplish this diversion of traffic include:
--inappropriate stop signs --speed humps and bumps
--cement "plugs" blocking streets (metaphoric "butt plugs" if you will)
--lane narrowing and vehicle turning obstructions, and
--absurdly low speed limits.

Only traffic lights (properly timed) are justifiable (for example at pedestrian crossings and busy intersections), the rest are simply hazards.

Increased traffic on residential streets is often caused by misguided and ill-informed management of the main arterials and collector streets. These streets are designed to carry most of the traffic, keeping it off of residential streets.

Misguided proponents of "traffic calming" always fail to realize that the reason they are seeing more traffic on their residential streets is because the same tactics have already been applied to main arterials and collector streets. These include improper installation of stop signs, mistimed traffic signals, and under-posted speed limits on the major arterials that have no relation to actual vehicle speeds. In Midtown, major arterials were actually REMOVED in an utterly perverted attempt to "calm" traffic, such as smoothly flowing one-way streets that were blocked off or were turned into two-way traffic jams. Throw in construction and congestion, and it is no surprise that residential streets are experiencing increased commuter traffic.

The solution to this problem is not to further obstruct traffic flow by pushing the problem into someone else's neighborhood. The real solutions are:

1. To upgrade and improve the traffic handling capabilities of main thoroughfares. This means implementing physical improvements, as well as raising speed limits (major boulevards only) and synchronizing traffic controls to accommodate actual vehicle speeds. If main streets provide convenient access between home, work and shopping destinations, motorists will use them, and stop taking alternate routes through residential neighborhoods.

2. To reconsider land use away from "mixed neighborhoods" in the affected area. Although it has become vogue to have "mixed neighborhoods" (residential, commercial and light industrial closely juxtaposed) in cities, the downside of mixed neighborhoods is very clear: People from outside the neighborhood will come into the neighborhood for the workplace, commercial interest, or recreational interest, and they will drive there to do so. Even if there is an efficient bus system and lack of parking in the neighborhood to discourage driving, that bus system in itself means heavy traffic! There would be a lot less traffic in a neighborhood if it was only residential.

3. Frankly, one real solution is for people in affected mixed neighborhood areas to GET OVER IT. The price of living in an area "where the action is" (an area within walking distance to lots of cafes, "night life", nifty boutiques, and office space) is to have increased traffic. That's simply a fact of life.

Midtown is located between downtown Sacramento and the Cal State University area, and contains many office workspaces, night clubs, cafes open late hours, historical landmarks like Sutter's Fort, two major hospitals, and an industrial park located on a former cannery site. All of which will bring in traffic into and through the area.

The "butt-plugs" who lobbied for these traffic hazards live in Midtown. Middle-of-town. Get it? If they wanted nice quiet neighborhoods, they should go live out in more residential neighborhoods without the commercial and office space nearby.

4. To construct bypasses when possible.


1. Know Your Enemy

Traffic obstruction advocates are local residents, usually few in number, who have decided to rid their street of unwanted traffic. They may use a collection of "politically correct" (sic) excuses about the evils of cars, but usually they are saner and they espouse a safety concern or the "it's for the children" argument. However, their overriding concern is most often "heavy traffic." Because they are local residents, they can attend public meetings and harangue elected officials, unlike motorists who simply pass through a community. The debate is usually one sided and the local officials eventually cave in to the demands for traffic obstruction installations. From their perspective, it's the easiest thing to do.

2. Know Your Advantages

If you also live in the community and you can attend public meetings, your influence will be equal to or greater than your opponents'. Your presence puts elected officials on notice that they can't eliminate the source of their aggravation by appeasing the other side. Now they have to contend with you, your allies, and your arguments.

3. Know Your Allies

Along with other residents in your neighborhood who do not relish more irritation in their daily travels, there are other sources of support to oppose traffic obstruction projects.

Devices that physically impede vehicle speeds hinder emergency response services such as the police, EMTs, and fire trucks. These same devices create problems for public works departments, road maintenance crews, and delivery services. Indeed, I wouldn't want to be an elderly person in an area affected by "traffic calming". If you have "fallen and you can't get up", Life-Alert won't help the paramedics in their attempt to dodge all the asinine traffic barriers.

Traffic engineers are often stymied in their attempts to stop the improper use of traffic control devices, like stop signs, because they have no support from the citizenry. They only hear demands from "squeaky wheels" who want a barrier on every corner to slow down traffic, or even block it entirely. If nobody is coming out in opposition to traffic obstruction, these engineers are less likely to fight the very council that determines their promotions and raises. They may be thrilled to find that there are people in the citizenry who understand that traffic obstruction goes against the general body of traffic engineering knowledge.

Representatives from such factions, combined with a few local residents, can provide formidable opposition to traffic obstruction projects. Also, you may find elected officials who oppose traffic obstruction projects.

4. Finding And Gathering Support

Approach the editors or reporters and let them know that you are forming a citizen's group to oppose traffic obstruction projects. With a little encouragement, the paper may do a story about your efforts. This is a tremendous opportunity to explain why you think traffic obstruction tactics are harmful to your community. Including your email address and telephone number will make it possible for potential supporters to contact you. If it is not possible to arrange for this kind of article, a letter to the editor can serve the same purpose. Do not be discouraged by a small response. If you are starting this fight alone, even one more person on your side will double your capabilities. Personal visits to the police and fire chief, public works superintendent, and the city traffic engineer may encourage them to work with you or suggest other supporters. Do not overlook local car clubs, businesses on affected streets, neighbors, and like-minded friends.

Of course, this all depends upon the local paper. If they are dominated by the sort of interests who want everyone to live in hives and ride unicycles wherever they go or other such Luddites, you won't get a fair hearing. But give it a try anyway.

5. Arguments Against Traffic Obstruction Devices

Traffic obstruction devices:

A. Can increase response time for emergency vehicles. When seconds matter, having to slow to pass over speed bumps and humps or navigate narrow roadways can mean the difference between life and death, or the loss of one's home. The fact that some of these devices can seriously damage emergency vehicles and other vehicles along the roadway is also a concern.

B. Can increase congestion on other streets and create problems in other neighborhoods. If traffic obstruction devices divert traffic to other streets, they may compound congestion problems that already exist in those areas. If not successful in diverting traffic to other streets, traffic obstruction devices will compound congestion problems on the streets on which they are installed.

C. Will increase vehicle wear and tear, air pollution, and noise. Braking and accelerating in response to speed bumps, speed humps, stop signs, and traffic signals increases fuel consumption and emissions. This can contradict other efforts to reduce emissions and contribute to a community becoming or remaining a "non-attainment" air quality zone, thereby being subjected to federal mandates and restrictions. (Of course, one suspects that for the Luddites, that's precisely the idea!)

D. Can increase street maintenance costs. Speed bumps and humps impede tree pruning and leaf cleaning equipment, a serious concern in older neighborhoods. Removable devices may soon be available, although they will require additional labor to install and remove them. Municipalities must maintain and repair stop signs and traffic signals, at taxpayer expense, of course. Barriers that impede leaf removal (already a BIG problem in Sacramento proper) are that much worse.

E. Increase a community's liability for accidents attributed to such devices.

F. May cause physical discomfort, even pain, for disabled persons or persons with physical ailments. Being jolted or jostled by speed bumps and humps can be painful for persons with injuries or painful illnesses.

G. Create neighborhood friction. Road rage is a growing phenomenon, and the "traffic calming" mentality has much to do with it. Frequently, the response to unnecessary stop signs is to angrily ignore them. One suspects that the growing popularity of jacked-up pickup trucks and very large sport-utility vehicles in Sacramento has a lot to do with the fact that they can drive over speed bumps and turn the corner on those "corner chokers."

Not all persons (not even most persons) on a given street will appreciate having to run an obstacle course every time they drive to or from home or their kids' school. Some traffic obstruction opponents blow their horns or yell verbal insults when having to slow or stop for speed bumps or humps. (Personally, I liked to blow my horn loud and long whenever client business took me to the Midtown Sacramento area with such asinine devices installed. When asked why I am doing so, I always reply, "for safety, because of the children, don't you know...")

6. Presenting Your Arguments

Again, use the local newspaper to broadcast your reasons for objecting to supposed "traffic calming" projects. A letter to the editor will again substitute for an actual article. Letters from multiple supporters (of your position) will add momentum to your efforts. Remember, local officials read "letters to the editor" to gauge local opinion.

Personal visits to local elected officials will put a human face on your arguments and will add credence to the degree of your sincerity. It also puts them on notice that you are not going to go away if they decide to ignore your concerns. Encourage your supporters to make similar visits and to regularly talk with their local elected officials.

Always arrange for someone to attend public meetings where "traffic calming" projects are likely to be discussed. If public notices do not list the topics to be discussed, your friends in the public works department, or an advocate on the council or board, can probably keep you on top of the issue, should it be a topic of discussion.

7. Solving The Problem

The mere presence of organized opposition will often stop the advance of traffic obstruction projects. However, heavy traffic in residential neighborhoods will continue, as will the agitation to reduce this traffic. If the problem is not corrected, your victory will be temporary.

A strategy that encourages traffic to move to major streets only will have the greatest effect on reducing through traffic on residential streets. Raising speed limits (on major boulevards only), synchronizing traffic lights, removing four-way stop signs, and improving access to roadside businesses will bring traffic back to the main arterials, where it belongs. You can present this as a "win-win" solution.

If you offer positive alternate courses of action, your municipality cannot argue that it has no choice but to install traffic obstruction devices. You will have proven that these devices do not solve the problems of traffic congestion. You will have shown that they create new and more serious problems for city departments, emergency services, and the general motoring public. You will have offered suggestions that will reduce traffic in all residential neighborhoods, not just the ones slated for traffic obstruction devices. Finally, you will have offered suggestions for improving traffic flow on the city's main thoroughfares.

Here's a great leaflet for people in neighborhoods considering "traffic calming" measures. Tailor it for your situation:


Here are some questions we thought you'd want the answers to. You may want to reconsider signing!

Fire at your house? Well, the fire truck will eventually arrive after it makes a complete stop at each hump. Time lost at each hump will be about 15-30 seconds. Sit tight, help will arrive - later.

Relative having a heart attack? The ambulance will be there - later.

Does your youngster have skates, a skateboard or a bicycle? Speed humps attract children into the street and into traffic. It's fun to jump those humps! The ambulance will be there - later!

Has leaf removal or storm drain gutters backing up been a problem? If it hasn't, it probably will be.

Is your house attractive? How will it look with two of those 2 1/2-feet-square "Speed Hump - 20 mph" signs (the color of this page) out in front? And those foot-wide zebra stripes on the hump? Lovely! Or maybe they won't be in front of YOUR house. Do you feel lucky?

What do you think will happen to the suspension and exhaust systems on your nice car at normal, legal speeds when you cross those humps at least twice a day? Ouch! It's hard on the brakes, too. And what about your wallet? Ouch!

Some vehicles, like delivery trucks and maybe your own small car, almost have to stop at speed humps. What happens when vehicles unexpectedly stop in traffic? Back to the repair shop!

Are speed humps good for the environment? No, the unnecessary slowing and accelerating they cause results in wasted fuel and increased air pollution.

Humps can cause noise pollution, too, because some drivers who aren't happy with them will lean on the horn button.

Any way you look at them, humps are a major nuisance, and drivers may indeed avoid them so that traffic increases on neighboring streets. In any case, even if you're the only one left driving on your street, you'll have the pleasure of bounding over those humps every day, again and again and again....

Next to last question: Who's paying the bill for installing or removing the humps? (Hint: It's not the city.) You are! Ouch!

Have you thought about signing that petition? We hope you'll reconsider.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Too much immigration bad for environment?

I am impressed--one of the (usually leftist) environmentalists dares mention the unmentionable fact in leftist circles:

...elected officials and even many experts in science and the environmental movement have been cowed into silence when it comes to addressing the elephant in California's living room: population growth.


That glaring omission might be an act of self-preservation rather than an accident. As the state's ground water supplies grow ever more precarious, the well of public discourse has been poisoned.

One of the early casualties of the rancorous debate over immigration to the United States, both legal and illegal, has been the ability to discuss openly the staggering effects of population growth on critical resources such as water.

Because immigration -- and particularly illegal immigration -- is the human engine driving sustained population growth in California and the U.S., addressing population growth means wading into the immigration debate.

Thus, academics, environmentalists and elected officials alike run the very real risk of being tarred as "racist" by immigrant advocacy groups if they dare to suggest serious limitations to immigration as part of an overall strategy to stabilize our population growth.

The effect this has had is clear. There are increasing calls for new water-use policies, tougher restrictions on developers, beefed up land-use regulations and investment in research and development -- anything but a reasoned call for slowing our population growth and then reducing it to replacement levels over the next century. It is politically correct to call for dramatic reductions in overall consumption, to specifically conserve fuel or water, or to preserve what remains of arable land. But it remains verboten among political, academic and many media circles to discuss the reason for consumption run amok.

This whistling past the graveyard has taken on an absurdist pitch in various environmental groups, where it remains chic to warn against global overpopulation but absolutely unacceptable to discuss the immigration that is fueling America's population surge.

I was treated to an example of this intellectual charade not long ago while speaking with a Sierra Club representative who was working an information booth for the venerable group. We chatted amicably for a few minutes about the runaway development in Southern California that in a generation has erased the open space that once demarcated city limits. She seemed pleased as punch to meet a fellow traveler on the issue of sustainable growth.

Then I dropped the "pop-bomb," asking her about the Sierra Club's view on population growth and its effect on the environment. She quickly shifted her pleasant banter into a stock, monotone recitation of the challenges posed by global overpopulation. When I pointed to the dramatic strain on critical resources in California, such as water, and contrasted that with population growth that has us on track to hit 60 million people by mid-century, her response was immediate. She lifted her hand up in front of her, like a crossing guard ordering cars to halt, and refused to talk about the issue. And that was that.

A serious discussion on California's population growth has yet to begin. It is intellectually dishonest for academics like Fagan to proffer "adapting" as a solution without confronting the state's continued population growth. Academics, scientists, elected officials and the media must find the courage to address the issue of overpopulation despite the insidious smears they will likely suffer. The longer we put off launching that discussion in earnest, the faster Fagan's projection of a "frightening future" is going to become reality.

Not only is illegal immigration poisonous to the natural environment, as a larger underclass pollutes more and more and contributes not enough tax money for environmental programs to offset the environmental damage they cause, but it is also poisonous to the *human* environment.

What do I mean by that? Why, the very environment of good human relations, namely, the rule of law, and the necessary respect for and trust in that very same rule of law.

Bill Whittle says it well:

Large numbers of non-citizens want to live in the United States. Large numbers. A society can only assimilate so many people in a given year. If millions and millions of people come here illegally, they are loading the system to capacity at the expense of the honest, decent people who are doing the right thing by applying to immigrate legally. If we reward illegal immigration, we have allowed the illegals not only to screw our own people and laws, but even more so they harm their own countrymen who are trying to get here by cooperating.

The biggest losers in our inability to control illegal immigration are the legal immigrants. What benefit do these honest people gain from playing by the rules? This is as clear a real-world example as you are likely to see of the lack of retaliation flipping a political ecology from a pristine one based upon cooperation to a toxic one based upon betrayal.

And, by allowing this to happen, you also set a precedent, which I think is even more destructive: you are saying not only to the illegals but to the entire society that laws are for chumps. Cheaters win. How much of this do we need to be immersed in before everyone realizes the smart move is to flip from pristine cooperation to toxic betrayal? How much damage does it do when the very public officials sworn to uphold the law – uphold the rules that allow this amazing political ecosystem called America to continue — are the ones who seem most enthusiastic to reward cheating? Finding out the public officials are in on the crime is enough to drive even the most stout-hearted person to despair.

A steady diet of this message is not going to end well.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Mexico: How Oil Nationalization helped ruin a country

How can it be, you may ask, that countries awash in oil STILL remain impoverished?

Simple: They go socialist, nationalize the oil industry, never modernize, and turn the industry into a cesspool of graft and corruption.

And unfortunately, the duped populace thinks this is actually normal:

Mexican schoolchildren have been taught for generations that March 18 is a very special day. It is special, they are told each year on March 18, because it was on that date in 1938 that the Mexican president triumphed over evil foreign oil companies and expropriated all their land, equipment and interests. The result of the expropriations was a national government-run petroleum company, Petróleos Mexicanos (abbreviated as PEMEX) and the prohibition against any private company profiting from natural resources.

Now, 70 years later, the country is facing a political and economic crisis that appears unsolvable. PEMEX is failing and the revenue the government depends on from PEMEX for 40 percent of the national budget is shrinking. For 70 years, the Mexican Government squeezed the wealth out of PEMEX by over-drilling existing wells while failing to reinvest adequately those profits in new technologies or exploration. As record high crude oil prices are producing record profits for most oil producing countries, Mexico’s revenue from oil is quickly disappearing.

Mexico’s national government is continuing to strip PEMEX each year of its resources, which is slowly killing the company. Absent billions of dollars in new investments in the company’s failing infrastructure (some of which dates back to the 1930s), it will likely be unable to recover from its current decline. The profits from the oil exported from Mexico have been essential in propping up the government for years. So a decline in those profits also means more instability in Mexico.

Recognizing the obvious, Mexican President Felipe Calderón has attempted to right the wrong with recent measures to allow private foreign firms to assist PEMEX in exploring and tapping new sources of oil in Mexico in exchange for a percentage of future profits. Reaction from the opposition and public is telling.

Generations of Mexican children who learned foreign and private oil companies are evil later became members of Congress who are reacting to the initiative as if it were treason. The leftist members of the legislature opposed to Calderón’s initiative on PEMEX were so angry they shut down the Mexican Congress for two weeks. The doors were padlocked as they refused to consider giving up their “constitutional right” to all the profits of PEMEX. The President of India was forced to cancel a speech to the Mexican Congress last month given the unstable security situation in the capital as thousands marched in the streets.

But boo hoo hoo, cry the leftists. How can we insure the national wealth gets down to the poor?

Simple: Do what Alaska did, and what Iraq is doing now. Establish a "permanent fund" from taxes on oil companies, and pay the poor dividend checks out of that fund.But nationalization is a farce.

The fundamental truth is that PEMEX, the goose that lays the golden eggs, needs to be fed. American and European companies have the capital to invest in new equipment and drilling for PEMEX, but will not do so until they have some guarantee their investment can be rewarded by future profits. Calderón has backed away from his initial proposal involving a percentage fee from new discoveries and is now talking about providing foreign companies a fixed fee instead. This isn’t likely to succeed since there will be no incentive for the companies to increase their return if they find more oil. Much of the oil left in Mexico is believed to be thousands of feet below the Gulf of Mexico and PEMEX has neither the money nor expertise to access those immense oil fields.

Maybe March 18 should be changed to “Aesop’s Fables Day” so future generations of Mexican children can learn common sense that the current public discourse is lacking. If you kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, you will have nothing. Mexico has the oil reserves today to be a very wealthy nation if it could only abandon its xenophobic and socialist public policies.
Mexico’s current self-imposed crisis was accurately described by President Calderón simply as “embarrassing.”

Even President Calderon gets it, but the leftist dupes do not. Typical.

Sort of Related: Vanderleun at American Digest has a solution to the corruption of Mexico.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Your State Tax Dollars At Work -- Again

This is from an actual flyer for programs sponsored by the State Of California:

California Department of Public Health
California Department of Health Care Services

The Offices of Women’s Health and Multicultural Health Present the Seven-Part Documentary Series

“Unnatural Causes”
Is Inequality Making Us Sick?
As if it would be better if we were all equally well, like the Cubans in Fidel’s paradise.
Moreover, why is there a state-funded "Office of Multicultural Health"? What the hell? As long as the government is determined to muck with health care, I assume there is some need to target health care and health awareness campaigns to certain population subgroups, but "multicultural"? I guess people can't say "ethnic" or "minority" anymore? To me, and I think to many people, "multiculturalism" is a term with a definite political and very negative connotation. It's the one that says that people need to focus on the differences between hyphenated subgroups of Americans and maintain a mindset of victimhood and separatism. I don't want any tax money supporting actual multiculturist buncombe and I would prefer that state agencies not attach legitimacy to the term by adopting it to name agencies and offices.

Join Dr. Mark Horton and (director) Sandra Shewry for the kick-off of this provocative film series on:

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 from 12 Noon – 1:30 pm
1500 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento, CA
“Unnatural Causes” is a seven-part documentary series produced by the California Newsreel that explores the root causes of our nation’s poor health.
The nation *isn't* in poor health, aside from perhaps some of us being too fat. That premise is an alarmist one and I haven't seen any data to substantiate it.

The documentary goes beyond popular conceptions linking the determinants of health - medical care, lifestyle and genes - to explore evidence of the other powerful determinants of health status: the social conditions in which we are born, live, and work.
That there may be a strong connection between lifestyle and “the social conditions in which we are born, live, and work” is, of course *verboten* to mention.

Each episode will be shown in the auditorium and will be followed by facilitated discussion where participants will share their reactions and explore ideas for how departmental programs can better address health inequities.
"Facilitated discussions"? I know they just intend to imply that there will be someone there to start the discussion and answer questions, but that sounds a little like something one would have in a Soviet Union classroom: discussions where a facilitator makes sure people think the right things and the discussion goes a certain way...

May 6th from 12:00 to 1:30: Episode I – “In Sickness and In Wealth” presents the
series’ overarching themes: health and longevity are correlated with social class, and racism imposes an additional burden.

In other words, you are never responsible for exactly what and how much of it you put in your mouth or in your bloodstream or up your anus, it is always “The Man’s” fault. Barf. I must admit they didn’t add “homophobia” to the list of additional burdens, so l take back the anus part.

May 15th from 12:30 to 1:30: Episode 2 – “When the Bough Breaks” - Investigates possible causes for why infant mortality rates among are twice as high for African Americans.
Could some causes be: Higher rates of drug use? Fathers who run out and don’t provide support, financial or otherwise? “Baby Mamas” having kids way too young and not caring enough for their prenatal children? Naw, couldn’t’ be that; , it is always “The Man’s” fault. Hmmm. And yet, I have never heard of a white or an Asian or even a Latino “crack baby” although I suppose they could exist…

May 29th from 12:30 to 1:30: Episode 3 – “Becoming American” – Explores the “Hispanic Paradox” - why the longer Mexican immigrants live in the US, the worse their health becomes.
“Why, it’s those evil corporations, by hiring them for more wages than they would get in Mexico and then turning around and selling them junk food!” You know, if this is true, than maybe mass roundups and deportations of illegals are a must—for their own good! After all, living in evil white capitalist Amerikkka will only ruin them. Best they go back to a land of preservative-free bug-infested food and Montezuma’s Revenge tap water.

June 4th from 12:00 to 1:00: Episode 4 – “Bad Sugar” – Set on an Indian Reservation in Arizona, it explores how chronic disease may be the body’s response to “futurelessness”.
So in other words, they can never be free of what happened to their ancestors one hundred and fifty years ago. I guess it also means that the Pimas will always be traumatized by Apache raids, which happened to them long before white people even showed up. And because of that, they are magically let off the hook for any bad dietary habits they may have! Oh, let them count their casino gaming money and shut up. This "documentary" isn't even happening in California--don't we have enough problems here without going to another state?

June 11th from 1:15 to 2:15: Episode 5 – “Place Matters” – why is the health of recent Southeast Asian immigrants eroding as they move into neglected Black urban neighborhoods?
When the SE Asians get beaten or mugged and sometimes killed by the locals, it probably does have a detrimental impact on their health. Does Ice Cube’s lyric “Burn Yo’ Stores to a Crisp” still ring a bell to any Angelenos? Or anyone else?

June 24th from 1:30 to 2:30: Episode 6 – “Collateral Damage” – Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease and Kidney Disease are taking a growing toll on Pacific Islander populations.
Collateral Damage? How are Pacific Islander populations caught in the cross-fire? And what sort of cross-fire is it? Who is attacking what and hitting them in the process? Let me guess--it's all whitey's fault, too....

June 26th from 12:30 to 1:30 – Episode 7 – “Not Just a Paycheck” – How does employment policy and job insecurity affect our health?
Hey, a sop to Joe and Jane Lunchbucket! But I know what affects *my* health, namely reading this crap. It makes me sick. Spending money on this propaganda at a time when the state deficit is at an all time high. And whatever happened to Public Health campaigns that simply told all citizens to brush their teeth, eat a balanced diet and not fool around with unsafe sex?

* All Episodes will be shown in the Auditorium. Please try to come a few minutes early.
As much as it might be tempting to watch and then blog on this, I think I will wait until someone takes it to YouTube. I can only stand so much).

You know, the Department's participation in the climate change fraud was *bad enough*, but this pinko propaganda is even worse. And of course, the flyer comes out on Communist May Day.
Is Schwarzenegger really a Republican? He appointed this Sandra Shewry to office, and I had heard in her private life she was a lesbian activist. OK, so what, that’s her private life. But when it spills over to the kind of political world view depicted above and attached, paid for by your tax dollars, then, yes, character DOES matter.

I never expected “Republican” governors to appoint department directors who oversee THIS sort of thing….