Saturday, May 29, 2010

California Primary 2010

This guide presumes a Republican Primary voter, although believe it or not, I do know people who vote in the Democrat primaries for "damage control" reasons.

On that note, there is actually a Primary Democrat I wish to endorse for

US SENATE: Democrat: Robert M. "Mickey" Kaus
US SENATE: Republican: Chuck DeVore

Unfortunately, Barbara "AND YOUR LITTLE DOG, TOO!" Boxer has this primary wrapped up, and may well be sent back to befoul us for another six years, but she must be defeated. Not only for the crypto-communist voting record, but also for sheer arrogance mixed with ignorance, as this clip from YouTube demonstrates.

Soldiers are trained to answer, "Yes, Ma'am / No, Ma'am" like they say "Yes, Sir / No, Sir". What a horrid little harpy.

And her condescending discussion with the Black Chamber of Commerce official is also revealing.

Anyway, Mickey Kaus doesn't have a chance, but he's a former Clinton Administration official now a reasonably thoughtful web logger "Blogger" journalist, and he comes from a long lost time when Democrats actually stood for working Joes and Janes, rather than (1) decadent and un-American academic, entertainment and media elites, and (2) ghetto parasites who threaten to riot if they don't get their welfare checks.

On the GOP side, the best of the three prominent choices is Chuck DeVore, followed by Carly Fiorina, followed by Tom Campbell, in that order.

Why DeVore? Because Chuck DeVore has worked his way up from the California State Assembly, and hasn't sold out his constituents in the process, unlike a certain Gubernator I can think of.....

Carly Fiorina, for all her money, is a newbie to the Great Game of California GOP politics, and her tenure at Hewlett-Packard was not a very successful one. I think the current and former employees of Hewlett Packard will unanimously vote against her.

Tom Campbell is a sell-out, go-along-with-the-Demunists-to-get-along, RINO (Republican In Name Only), and a three time loser in past Senate races.

But ANY of them would be better than the evil witch who has befouled California for the last 18 years.

GOVERNOR: Steve Poizner

Actually, originally I was going to go with Meg Whitman, as she appeared to have a more polished campaign and primary rival Steve Poziner was floundering at first. Meg originally had a very positive campaign, with her "Talk To Meg" advertisements. But then two things happened. First, Meg Whitman started smearing her primary rival Steve Poizner, even though she had a comfortable lead and plenty of war chest money. I am sad to see Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner both beating each other up and getting nasty. But since Meg started the nasty smears, I have to primary vote for Poizner. Second, Steve had the courage to support Arizona’s decision to enforce and in fact mimic federal immigration laws when Meg Whitman cut and ran in the face of the usual racial demagoguery.

Either one, however, would be better than former Governor Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown rising out of his political crypt, with his "era-of-limits" (for individuals, but not for nanny-state government), "small-is-beautiful" (but not for the State), "don't build things and people won't come", new-age nonsense. A political vampire indeed. But to defeat him, either Whitman or Poizner will need to stock up on the Holy Water, silver bullets, garlic and wooden stakes.


There are two prominent candidates here: Sam Aanestad and recently appointed by Ah-nold, Incumbent, Abel Maldonado. Abel Maldonado betrayed the solid GOP stand against even more tax hikes for what is already the most taxed state in the land. Abel Maldonado broke his signed taxpayer pledge and bears responsibility not only for the biggest tax increase in California’s history, but also for lack of serious spending restraints in the budgets that ran California off the fiscal cliff. Abel Maldonado also supports the half-baked and demented Proposition 14 (see below). Sam Aanestad is the better choice. He is well liked among his constituents, and like Chuck DeVore above, served them well without selling them out.


John Eastman is a legal scholar at the Claremont Institute – a public policy think tank devoted to restoring American founding principles to the public policy debate. John is a nationally renowned Constitutional advocate and scholar whose leadership is desperately needed in the Attorney General’s office. Imagine having an Attorney General who not only respects the Constitution but who understands and reveres it, and doesn't give us the "living breathing document" crap which means a rule of whims, not a rule of originally intended Constitutional Law.


Brian's primary rival, Mike Villines, was another of the sell-out Republican votes on the massive tax increase that crushed what was left of our state’s economy last year, after signing a no-new-taxes pledge.


Prop. 13 YES - No property tax increase for earthquake-retrofitting old buildings

What Prop. 13 would do: Current law allows owners of masonry buildings only 15 years of exclusion of higher property taxes that are triggered when they do earthquake retrofitting. This policy was viewed as a disincentive by California legislators who unanimously placed Prop. 13 on the ballot. This proposition forever exempts commercial property owners from higher property tax assessment on the basis of retrofitting masonry buildings to survive earthquakes.

Why YES on Prop. 13: Current law financially punishes property owners who do the right thing and reinforce old masonry buildings. Passing Prop. 13 will protect property owners’ wallets and restores basic fairness by exempting these property owners from higher taxes. The result will be more buildings that survive the next big earthquake.

Prop. 14 NO - “Jungle primary” system causing more corruption in California

This half-baked idea was soundly defeated as Proposition 62 back in 2004, but unfortunately this half-baked idea got money for slick and deceptive radio ads, and is rising up again.

What Prop. 14 would do: Prop. 14 eliminates the party primary system and replaces it with a single “jungle primary” ballot for primary elections for most state and congressional offices. The top two vote-getters on the primary ballot would advance to the general election, regardless of party. There would still be partisan primary elections for presidential candidates and political party offices. Prop. 14 was placed on the ballot in exchange for the Feb. 2009 vote of former state Senator Abel Maldonado in favor of increasing the state sales, income, and car tax.

Why NO on Prop. 14: This measure denies choice to voters by allowing general election ballots with no Democrat or Republican candidates. It also allows mischief, for example, by permitting sabotage voters of one party to go urinate in the other party's primary voting pool. More deception will occur when existing Democrat or Republican office holders utilize Prop. 14’s “No Party Preference” designation in both the primary and general elections.

Proponents claim that Prop. 14’s “jungle primary” system will get rid of entrenched incumbents. However, currently, only two states --Washington and Louisiana--use “top-two” elections. In 2008, Washington State had 139 races, but only one incumbent lost a primary. In 1992 Louisiana, the corrupt and entrenched incumbent Governor Evan Edwards used some of his money and supporters to throw support to, and in effect "choose", his primary opponent, the loathsome David Duke. Edwards took the political entitlement and patronage machine that he had built over the last decade and a half, and had a number of his supporters vote for and donate to David Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan in Louisiana. The open primary system allows sabotage voters from one party to go urinate in the other party's voting pool, and Edward's political machine did just that. The decent Republican and likely winner in a normal "closed" primary system, Buddy Roemer, was outfoxed in the primary election, and Edwards "chose" David Duke his general election opponent. The voters were faced with the choice of a crook or a neo-Nazi in the general election, and they reluctantly had to choose the crook. Manipulated by Edwards, the Louisiana primary system, which elevates the top two vote getters to the general election, regardless of party, had selected these two slimy creeps to be the choices the voters faced in November.

Now, here in California, some "reformers" want to import this system to California, through Proposition 14, as if we didn't have enough trouble already. These folks claim that our current system is insufficient-that, when you vote in your party primary to choose the person in your political party that you want to represent you in the general election, you don't know what you are doing. So-they want to use the Louisiana-style primary to choose the top two vote getters in the primary elections, regardless of party registration, to go to the general election.

Prop. 15 NO - Government funding of candidates for public office

What Prop. 15 would do: Establishes a new candidate fundraising system where candidates for California Secretary of State can qualify to receive “base funding” and “matching funds” from the state government in exchange for limiting their private fundraising, participating in debates, and submitting campaign expenditure records to the state. This new program would purportedly be funded by increasing lobbyists’ annual registration fees by 2,800%. In effect, this is "Welfare for politicians".

Why NO on Prop. 15: Government funding of political campaigns is not the purpose of government, and opens the door to abuse. Prop. 15 wouldn’t prevent these tax-funded Secretary of State candidates from raising other funds from lobbyists and special interest groups. The measure specifically allows these tax-funded candidates to raise money for “separate accounts” to pay for officeholder expenses, legal defense fees and inaugural parties. And it probably allows these tax-funded candidates to benefit from independent expenditures, another potential loophole. What’s more, if the weren’t enough revenue raised from increased lobbyist fees, this proposition allows the state general fund to be raided to make up the difference and send that money to candidates. Finally, Prop. 15 allows the California Legislature to expand government funding of campaigns to every state campaign, including those of incumbent politicians. Bottom line, Prop. 15 is the proverbial “camel’s nose under the tent” that sets the stage for incumbent politicians and their big-government “farm team” of candidates to dip their hand deep in the public trough and make off with state treasury funds.

California voters have consistently rejected taxpayer-funded campaign financing. In 2006, 74% of voters opposed Prop. 89. In 2000, two-thirds of voters rejected public campaign financing when they defeated Prop. 25. They should say “no” again. (Gee, how many bad ideas keep rising up like zombies who don't get that one shot to the head? California--State Of The Living Dead.)

Prop. 16 YES - Require 2/3rds voter approval for local government-run electricity

What Prop. 16 would do: This measure makes it harder for local governments to start up electricity entities which local residents are responsible to pay for, in addition to their normal utility bills.

What triggered this initiative is when the public power monopolies in Sacramento, San Francisco and Marin tried to take over some PG & E turf. My own public power utility, the Sacramento Metropolitan Utilities District (SMUD), tried to take over utility service from PG&E in the City Of West Sacramento. Where I live in Sac, this was bitterly opposed by we the existing SMUD ratepayers; we didn't want our rates raised to finance this empire building exercise. Nor were the people of West Sacramento (SMUD's targeted conquest area) noticably happy with the proposed change. I'm not sure what happened in Marin County or San Francisco.

The mammoth utility therefore went to the ballot with Prop. 16 to propose that a two-thirds voter approval is needed before local governments get into the electricity business. Taxpayer's right to vote" (on this one little issue only) is an overblown and deceptive slogan, but it is shorter than "Taxpayer's right to shoot down bureaucrats who want to expand their turf and ream their existing ratepayers to do it."

Why YES on Prop. 16: I was initially very skeptical of Prop. 16 due to the self-serving interest of Pacific Gas & Electric. However, Prop. 16 DOES NOT affect private energy companies entering the market should a competitive market for power ever emerge, as it did with telephone service. Moreover, the public power areas are also monopolies in their own little fiefdoms, so the claim that PG&E is somehow squelching public power "competition" is just bunk. As for public-power always being cheaper, nearby Roseville dwellers in the clutches of Roseville Electric might beg to differ, and forcing PG&E and other private utilities to divest their generating capacity back in the late 1990's has a lot to do with that claim.

I'm not thrilled with PG&E. I remember how PG&E financed attempts to destroy marriage and overturn Proposition 8, presumably to curry favor for its power projects with leftist Gay politicians.

However, watching bureaucrats think they can expropriate a private utility, even a regulated quasi-public one like PG&E, is straight out of Hugo Chavez's bandito-land.

Prop. 17 YES - Allows auto insurance companies to offer “continuous coverage” discounts to new policy holders

What Prop. 17 would do: This measure deletes a small part of the state law that currently prohibits automobile insurance companies from providing “continuous coverage” to new customers. This prohibition was a strange part of Prop. 103, which was narrowly passed in 1988 to establish a number of insurance regulations). Even Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature agreed with removing the ban several years ago, but the courts struck that down, ruling only the ballot voters can amend a ballot initiative like Prop. 103.

Why YES on Prop. 17: If you have been a long-time customer of an automobile insurance company and want to keep your "good driver" and “continuous coverage” discounts, passing Prop. 17 will mean you won't lose those when you change insurance companies. The opposition to this claims that people who let their insurance lapse and stop driving for an extended period of time will get rate hikes, but really, how many people like that are there in California?

Why is Mercury Insurance, one of the smaller California insurance companies, funding Prop. 17? Probably because they think they can win new customers, and that’s just fine. Let’s open up more competition among private insurers, which benefits consumers.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Draw Mohammed Day--What is wrong with these pictures?

Because we must not live in fear. Thanks to S.Weasel!

Here are some very respectful drawings of Muhammed, drawn by---wait for it---Muslims themselves in ancient times.

It turns out that the tradition of not picturing Mohammed is a relatively recent one - one that really only appeared in the 1600's. So for almost a thousand years after Mohammed's death, it was acceptable and even common in some Muslim regions to draw him in full form. During the Caliphate period there were even coins minted with his face on them.

So behavior that radical Islamist savages insist on today in western countries are actually traditions that got added to Islam long after it was founded.

But never mind those pictures--how about these? Cairo University, Class of 1959:

Cairo University, Class of 1978:

So far, so good, eh? Keep going. Cairo University, Class of 1995:

Cairo University, Class of 2004:

What is wrong with these pictures? Look at the women. They're going backward, not forward. By 2004, they are all pressured into wearing covering. See also here.

And if we reject assimilation and push the poison of "multiculturalism", what happens to immigrants from Egypt and other Muslim majority countries in the USA?

The wages of "multiculturalism" is cultural suicide. Mark Steyn hits the nail on the head:

Whenever I give a speech on Islam, some or other complacenik always says, "Oh, but they haven't had time to Westernize. Just you wait and see. Give it another 20 years, and the siren song of Westernization will work its magic." This argument isn't merely speculative, it's already been proved wrong by what's happened over the last 20 years. Compare the Cairo University class of 1959 with those of the 21st century, and then see if you can recite your inevitablist theories of social evolution with a straight face. The idea that social progress is like the wheel or the internal combustion engine -- once invented, it can never be uninvented -- is one of the laziest assumptions of the Western Left.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Generation X Enters Middle Age

A surprisingly interesting article by A.O. Scott in the New York Times. Unlike previous generations who had mid-life crises, for those of us in Generation X, it is better called a Mid-Life Disappointment: the realization that we aren't kids anymore, and we really missed many opportunities and made some bad choices along the way. And some recent books and films reflect this:
When markedly similar characters and stories start popping up everywhere, it’s more than a trend. It’s what those of us raised on vintage postmodernism call a historical phenomenon. So an intertextual analysis of “Greenberg,” “Hot Tub Time Machine” and “The Ask” (for starters) yields a startling composite portrait of the Gen X male in midlife crisis. Earlier versions of the crisis were, by and large, reactions against social norms. Members of the Greatest Generation and the one that came right after — the “Mad Men” guys, their wives and secretaries — settled down young into a world where the parameters of career and domesticity seemed fixed, and then proceeded, by the force of their own restlessness, to blow it all up.

This pattern repeated itself in the next decades, yielding variations on a story everyone seems to know. At a certain point, Dad buys a sports car, or starts a rock band, or has an affair or walks out on Mom or quits the law firm to make goat cheese. When this kind of thing happens to Mom, it’s not a crisis but an awakening. In any case, the driving impulse is to shake off the straitjacket of adulthood and find some way to feel young again.

But what if you never gave up adolescence in the first place? What if you donned the binding garment of maturity only tentatively, and accessorized it with mockery, as if it were a hand-me-down from Grandpa or an ugly shirt plucked from a used-clothing rack? And what if, from the start, your youthful rebelliousness had been a secondhand entitlement, without a clear adversary? These are the elements of Roger Greenberg’s predicament, which is shared by Milo Burke and the three 40-somethings who journey back to 1986 in “Hot Tub Time Machine.” They all seem stuck in an earlier phase of life, which wasn’t so great to begin with: Milo’s dorm room bull sessions and sexual escapades; Roger’s rock ’n’ roll dreams; that crazy time at the ski lodge with snow, cocaine, sex and spandex as far as the eye could see.

A far better question is, "But what if the parameters of career and domesticity were tenuous and undefined to begin with?" The midlife disappointment is, more often than not, because of an inability to reach the parameters of career and domesticity that the older generation was rebelling against, but, to many of us in Generation X, seemed just fine, we never having it to begin with. This is particularly true for those who came from broken homes.
What follows that less-than-storied youth is regret, an intimation of lost possibilities that haunts everyone. There is, first of all, the squandered ambition, the professional road not taken. Milo, who was going to be the greatest painter of his time, slowly gave that up and ran aground in the world of nonprofit fund-raising. Roger balked at a record deal and lost his chance at success, just like Nick, the pet groomer in “Hot Tub Time Machine.” And then there are the former and potential girlfriends — the ones who got away but will never quite go away, tantalizing each sad-sack midlifer with visions of a bliss that might have been if he hadn’t screwed it up.

Other exemplary figures pop up repeatedly in these stories, most notably the successful friend (or, in Roger Greenberg’s case, brother) who rubs your face in your own failure and the members of a younger generation on hand to do the same thing by different means.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Students Kicked Off Campus for Wearing American Flag Tees

And to think this happened yesterday in MORGAN HILL!

Students Kicked Off Campus for Wearing American Flag Tees

On any other day at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, Daniel Galli and his four friends would not even be noticed for wearing T-shirts with the American flag. But Cinco de Mayo is not any typical day especially on a campus with a large Mexican American student population.
And what is *that* supposed to mean?

Galli says he and his friends were sitting at a table during brunch break when the vice principal asked two of the boys to remove American flag bandannas that they wearing on their heads and for the others to turn their American flag T-shirts inside out. When they refused, the boys were ordered to go to the principal's office.

"They said we could wear it on any other day," Daniel Galli said, "but today is sensitive to Mexican-Americans because it's supposed to be their holiday so we were not allowed to wear it today."

The boys said the administrators called their T-shirts "incendiary" that would lead to fights on campus.

And what have things come to when the American flag, which all students should be able to share in common and rally around, leads to fights? These are the wages of "multiculturalism". But this is what you get when you allow leftists to take over the schools who only think they have "power" when they indoctrinate our children.
"They said if we tried to go back to class with our shirts not taken off, they said it was defiance and we would get suspended," Dominic Maciel, Galli's friend, said.

The boys really had no choice, and went home to avoid suspension. They say they're angry they were not allowed to express their American pride. Their parents are just as upset, calling what happened to their children, "total nonsense."

"I think it's absolutely ridiculous," Julie Fagerstrom, Maciel's mom, said. "All they were doing was displaying their patriotic nature. They're expressing their individuality."

But to many Mexican-American students at Live Oak, this was a big deal. They say they were offended by the five boys and others for wearing American colors on a Mexican holiday.
But it *isn't* a Mexican holiday. It is hardly noticed south of the border. It was originally for Mexican Americans much as Saint Patrick's Day is for Irish Americans, and Columbus Day for Italian Americans (although the Left has trashed that day too, come to think of it).
"I think they should apologize cause it is a Mexican Heritage Day," Annicia Nunez, a Live Oak High student, said. "We don't deserve to be get disrespected like that. We wouldn't do that on Fourth of July."
So this young lady does not think she's an American too? That is truly sad--multiculturalism at work. And with an attitude like that, times many other kids, what does this mean for the future?
The five boys and their families met with a Morgan Hill Unified School District official Wednesday night. The district released a statement saying it does not agree with how Live Oak High School administrators handled this incident.
The boys will not be suspended and they were told they can go back to school Thursday. They may even wear their red, white, and blue colors again, but this time, the day after Cinco de Mayo, there will be no controversy.
Wrong. The next day, the story gets worse:

A day after five Morgan Hill students were sent home for wearing American flag t-shirts, the controversy erupted ten fold.

Students at Live Oak High School made a mass and impromptu walk out of class Thursday.... Many support the school's decision and say they were offended by their classmates wardrobe choice.

Many of the students who walked out Thursday held Mexican flags as they left campus. The students walked to City Hall for a loud but calm noontime rally. There were about 200 students taking part in the protest.
"Multicultural Education" at work! The 5th column at home.

Related: Roger Ebert needs to hurry up and die of cancer:

Weird I haven't read anything from Mr. Ebert bashing our horrible, primitive healthcare. I wonder why that is....anyway, I got news for you, Roger. California kids ALREADY have to share tables with other kids wearing hammer and sickle shirts. And big red star shirts. And (of course) Che Guevara shirts. In many upper-middle class California neighborhoods, you can routinely see a few teenagers wearing those three designs. Coming soon, I'm sure: Mao, Fidel, and Ho Chi Minh.

Patriots can't say a word about THOSE shirts, of course. That would be a violation of freedom of expression.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Contessa Brewer can't admit the truth


I mean the thing is that- and I get frustrated and there was part of me that was hoping this was not going to be anybody with ties to any kind of Islamic country because there are a lot of people who want to use this terrorist intent to justify writing off people who believe in a certain way or come from certain countries or whose skin color is a certain way. I mean they use it as justification for really outdated bigotry. And so there was part of me was really hoping this would not be the case that here would be somebody who is not the defined. I mean he’s accused, he’s arrested you know I don’t want to convict him before it’s time to do so. He’s the guy authorities say is involved. But that being said, I mean, we know even in recent history you have the Hutaree militia from Michigan who have plans to, let’s face it, create terror. That’s what they were planning to do and they were doing so from far different backgrounds than what this guy is coming from. So, the threat is not just coming from people who decide that America is the place to be and you know come here and want to become citizens. And obviously this guy did.
The liberal media really is against Middle America. In their warped minds, they think *we* are secret terrorists, and not the Islamunists that their immigration policies import.

The Hutaree militia were oddballs, but Contessa Brewer doesn't acknowledge that the government's prosecution case against them fell apart and was dismissed. As wacky as some of them might have been, they had no plans to bomb a major city square.

Nor are the Hutaree militia Middle America, at least not until Contessa Brewer's liberal policies put Middle America on the same side of the Hutaree militia.