This Page

has been moved to new address

Bloviating Zeppelin

Sorry for inconvenience...

Redirection provided by Blogger to WordPress Migration Service
Bloviating Zeppelin: March 2006

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Friday, March 31, 2006

The French Government CONSIDERS Refusing To Cave In To Rioters

French President Jacques Chirac faced the tough decision on Thursday of whether to sign a youth job law and risk sparking more nationwide protests, or withdraw it and risk losing his prime minister.

The Constitutional Council backed the law on Thursday, with no reservations, leaving its fate in Chirac's hands. He will address the nation on Friday at 1:00 p.m. EST.

Parliamentary sources said they expected Chirac to sign the CPE jobs law on Friday, despite the risk of renewed protests.

This is the law I referenced in my Wednesday post which, if passed, would kill "job security" for French workers under 26 years old and likely would have discouraged all French businesses from hiring any workers under 26 -- knowing that any blithering idiot could not have been fired. Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said the law, if signed by Chirac, will encourage employers to hire more young workers. Because Reality smacked those under 26 right in the head, mass protests and riots, by millions of students and unions, resulted.

I retain my right to remain, well, skeptical. I will wait for conclusive decisions.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

What If The DEM Were Around In 1776

I simply could not resist skewering the DEM again -- what would have happened had our current DEM been with George W. on Christmas night, 1776:

Thanks to Deke for the e-mail!


Showing Respect To The Country One Wishes To Embrace

Photos that you won't seem in the so-called Mainstream Media or, as I term them, the Defeatist, Elitist Media (DEM).

The caption to the top photograph (thanks to Michalle Malkin):

Whittier area students from Pioneer, California and Whittier high schools walked out of classes to protest the proposed federal immigration bill March 27, 2006. The protestors put up the Mexican flag over the American flag flying upside down at Montebello High School.

The caption to the second photograph:

Michelle Marques (left), a student at Lamar Middle School in Irving, Texas, was criticized for having a US flag during an immigration protest at Kiest Park in Dallas. "My heart is with the Mexican flag and Mexico but I'm standing on American ground and I'm Mexican-American," she said.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Three Articles The Politicians (And You) Need To Read

Not only the Democrats, but the Republicans are about to pay a price for not listening to the American electorate.

Not the vocal, visible minority; no.

I mean the persons Who Pay The Bills.

You and I.



WASHINGTON, D.C. - House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement today on the "security" agenda offered by Democrat leaders Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Harry Reid (D-NV):

"The Democrats' years of negligence in addressing the real safety and security needs of the American people provide a very clear choice between Republicans and Democrats on security issues.

"While Democrats have openly advocated cutting and running from our efforts to support democracy in Iraq, Republicans continue to build upon our strong record on national security by funding our troops fighting terror around the world and supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

"While Democrats seem more interested in protecting the rights of terrorists than the American people, Republicans passed the PATRIOT Act to give law enforcement the tools necessary to combat terrorism, protect our citizens, and secure our communities.

"While Democrats focus more on protecting the rights of illegal immigrants than enforcing our immigration laws, Republicans have voted to secure our borders, give law enforcement new tools to enforce our immigration laws, and help prevent terrorist and criminal aliens from moving freely throughout our society.

"The Democrats, led by Nancy Pelosi, opposed the Patriot Act, opposed REAL ID legislation, and opposed efforts to strengthen and secure our borders. And they remain unable and unwilling to articulate a cohesive strategy for supporting our troops and winning the War on Terror.

"When it comes to national security, their answer is the same as it is for everything else: no. A media stunt will not eclipse their record of obfuscation and neglect on national and border security."


Creating Larger Entitlement Attitudes Domestically and Abroad

At left, French rioters try to wrestle a video camera from a journalist during a continuing national protest by students and unions, demanding that the French government scrap a contentious youth jobs law, during a demonstration in Paris on Tuesday.

In Britain, almost two million local government workers went on strike Tuesday, closing thousands of schools and disrupting travel. Eleven labor unions combined to stage the 24-hour protest which, they said, would be the biggest strike since 1926.

UK workers are demonstrating against a plan to force some public sector employees to work longer, or face a reduced pension if they retire at 60.

Though Bill Clinton says that Britain's government, economy and social system is the envy of the United States, Britain's state and private pensions system is straining from the rising cost of an aging workforce. The UK faces a 57 billion pound ($100 billion US) shortfall in retirement savings which is around five percent of the country's entire Gross Domestic Product.

Here, protests are still occurring over the illegal immigration issue, though the Senate Judiciary Committee panel broke with the House's "get-tough" approach to illegal immigration on Monday and sent to the floor a broad revision of the nation's immigration laws that would provide lawful employment to millions of illegal workers while offering work visas to hundreds of thousands of new immigrants every year -- ending up with a granting of citizenship if the immigrant does in fact have a job, can pass a criminal background check, learn English and pay fines and back taxes -- essentially what President Bush has proposed.

Republicans are widely split on the issue. Only 4 of the 10 Republicans on the committee supported the bill. They were the committee chairman, Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, and Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Mike DeWine of Ohio and Sam Brownback of Kansas. All eight Democrats on the committee voted in favor of the legislation.

In all, citizens of many western nations, the United States included, believe they are due certain inalienable rights, to include:

  • The right to cross into any nation and become a lawful citizen by dint of feet on soil;
  • The right to enjoy any and all benefits of that nation, as any other naturalized citizen;
  • The right to proclaim no allegiance to the nation inhabited;
  • The right to refuse to assimilate;
  • The right to complete healthcare, a "living wage" equal to that of any middle class tenured employee;
  • The right to obey only those laws one wishes, whenever one wishes;
  • The right to be assured of a job and not be fired, even for cause;
  • The right to be catered-to throughout one's lifetime by government;
  • The right to owe nothing to the government or surrounding taxpayers for largesse enjoyed;
  • The right to change these rights at any time and, of course, to always demand more.

People, all I'm seeing is this:

Screeching masses demanding more. More. MORE.

And government having the temerity to actually consider not granting these demands.

Woe be to us all when governments cave, for this does nothing but imbue these governments with their primal fuel: power.

And then we will well and truly be lost and adrift.


(An aside: you think the Balkanization of the US, BTW, isn't pondered? Go here.)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Blogging? Breathe A Sigh Of Relief


You will not need a License To Blog.

You may now exhale.

The Federal Election Commission decided Monday (03-27) that the nation's new campaign finance law will not apply to most political activity on the Internet.

In a 6-0 vote, the commission decided to regulate only paid political ads placed on another person's Web site.

The decision means that bloggers and online publications will not be covered by provisions of the new election law. Internet bloggers and individuals will therefore be able to use the Internet to attack or support federal candidates without running afoul of campaign spending and contribution limits.

"The law was never intended to regulate private citizen communication on the Internet," said Commission Vice Chairman Robert D. Lenhard. "I believe that we have achieved that goal today."

Commissioners said the new rule also specifically changes several other FEC regulations to make it clear that Internet activity, such as blogging, e-mail communications and online publications, is not covered by the campaign law.

For example, the rule says individuals can use union or corporate computers or other electronic devices for political activity, as long they do it on their own time and are not coerced to engage in such activity by the union or corporation.

Bloggers would be entitled to the same exemption from the campaign finance law that newspapers and other traditional forms of media receive.

Chalk this up to the government, specifically the FEC, actually doing the right thing.




I find it difficult to place myself into the mindset of another entire system of thinking, but I shall try, regarding the disparate sides involving illegal immigration. In truth, by even phrasing the issue as "illegal immigration" I have revealed a major portion of my mindset, say immigrant proponents. There are those who would prefer "undocumented" workers. Or what I would call "euphemisms."

Oh, there I go again. Heavy sigh.

The issue of illegal immigration has come to the forefront recently because various bills are up in the US Capitol, and the weekend has been filled with scenes of protesters in Denver, Phoenix, Los Angeles and other locations.

I will attempt to list the talking or bullet points of immigrant proponents with the following:

  • These bills are racist as they only target Mexicans
  • America enjoys the sweat from workers' brows but refuses to compensate them properly
  • The US is a nation of immigrants; why are Mexicans different?
  • We have the same rights as everyone else; we are already here in your country
  • You can't just pretend that these people aren't present

I strained my Brain Housing Group (BHG) but could elicit no further points. I'm sure this is a biased and racist conclusion.

First, let me attempt to address each above point.

-- The bills are racist? No. I don't care which nation you come from; if the issue were involving Canadians, you would be within my sights. Mexico just happens to be involved because it resides on our southern border and its people are flooding my country.

-- America benefits from Mexican workers? -- true. No dispute there. I have written at length about the tacitly corrupt and ethically improper benefits enjoyed by businesses and corporations nationwide. I'll write it again: overall, the Democrats want the "voting block" and the Republicans want "the labor." Both sides are ethically wrong on the issue. And it creates a situation where, with such a base, businesses must become corrupt in order to compete.

If business "A" can replace your roof for $17,000 using American or legal citizens, and business "B" can do it for $10,000 -- who would you pick? If you are business "A" -- how can you compete?

-- The US is a nation of immigrants? Correct. But, like everything else, there is a limit to physicality. There is a limit to expansion. There is no more Manifest Destiny. We have reached our shores and our borders. We have a capacity. And at this point I proffer: there is No Vacancy for any number of reasons. When we can no longer build infrastructure (get over this, Greens!) then we can no longer afford to pack people into central warehousing districts -- once known as cities. Where does the oil come from to power the additional cars? Where does the electricity come from to power the additional homes and drain? Where do the additional sewer systems come from to deal with the waste? Where does the water come from to slake the additional thirst? Where do the additional roads come from to deal with the additional traffic? Schools? Courts? Prisons? Law enforcement? Fire stations? Public works? Probation departments? Signage? Welfare? Entitlements? Medicare? Health care?

We will have to get down to this: do we lean towards quality, or do we lean towards quantity?

-- We have the same rights as everyone? No, you do not. You are creating an extension that does not, by law, naturally exist. We are a nation of laws -- or are we? -- my base question.

-- We can't pretend immigrants don't exist? True. They exist. It is then up to us to determine what we do with them. Do we roll them over into an amnesty program, deport them, or continue to pretend they are merely background? We either deal with this up front, now, or let it fester until it explodes in our face later. Anything paid for, later, is ALWAYS more expensive.

Now let me attempt to address what I see, starting with the above photograph.

I see people protesting the upcoming bills. These are people with an agenda, clearly. They are talking about America. I do not see an American flag. Oddly enough, I see a Mexican flag.

Allow me to stop right there. When I talk about this issue, I do not talk about the Spanish or the Hispanics. I talk about Mexicans. Because that is the issue. I do not recognize Latinos or Hispanics or Spanish. I recognize Mexicans. Because they are from Mexico. The country. Let me also allow another truism: Mexicans speak Spanish because they were conquered by Spain. They do not speak Mayan or Toltec or Aztec or any other number of formerly-indigenous indian languages. Compare the faces of those from Spain from those from Mexico.

I also see graffiti. Graffiti is commonly linked to Mexican gangs. For good reason. I also see a male on the right wearing a headband that falls so low as to shade his eyes. Also: gang related.

These are what I call Facts In Evidence.

I do not see an American flag. I do not see placards written in English. I see cards indicating "Si Se Puede." Yes We Can.

Yes, the Los Angeles school system has 78% of its students who are Mexican. Indisputable.

Here is what I see:

A Sea of Ingrates.

They wave the flag of the country they seem to be so pleased to leave, and not the flag of the country they attempt to occupy.

Why leave Mexico? Why not stay, if one's resolve is so strong?

I call these persons' character into question. It must, by its presence at these protests, be flawed. You seem to expect entitlements. And privileges. And rights. That you would expect in your own nation?

You are ingrates, all. You should be blessing this country, that it could present you with such an unhindered (until now) opportunity. But I do not see you supporting my flag. I do not see you embracing my culture. I do not see you embracing my language. Gratitude moves to comtempt. I see you contemptuous of my country and my culture.

Free education. Free health care. Taking advantage of your melanin. And then bringing your corrupt culture to my shores? You are nothing more than brigands. You bring La Mordida, inculcated in every bureaucracy you create.

But oh no, the exception exists in your country. Any human being from Honduras, El Salvador, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Cuba, is to be ignored. I have visited your country, I know this from 2003 and 2004.

Why do you want to be here anyway? If your culture is so perfect why do you not embrace it and remain?

People: if we cannot defend our own borders, our own culture, our American Identity -- then I submit we are collectively in Great Jeopardy.


Monday, March 27, 2006

To Rebecca: Only The Best!

Rebecca at Revka's Take is leaving the blogosphere. She has made her last post today. I present her final posting:

Monday, March 27, 2006

Saying Goodbye!

To those of you who spend your time reading my blog, I want to thank you for your comments, and for the things I have learned from you as well.

I am going to sign off for good either tomorrow or the next day because I have had an opportunity arise that takes precedence over blogging.

I never thought about having online buddies, but I have made a few and it has been pretty cool! Mahndisa, Suzie, Gayle, Echotig, Big White Hat, Chatterbox -of course, A.Jacksonian, Bloviating Zeppelin, Ace in the Hole: Texas Fred, Dell Gines, James, Kirkrrt, Adrianne, and supplymadam, I do apologize if I forgot anyone!

I am heading out the door right now so I have to run! You all take care, and if I have time, I may do a blog honoring the people I have met in the blogosphere! I may continue to comment on your blogs when I have the time though!

P.S. I almost forgot about my troll friend, Josh Rosenau at "Thoughts from Kansas".. Dude, what are you going to do now that I am not here? You will have to go elsewhere for material. All is forgiven on my end. You have a great day! (I mean that sincerely, not sarcastically).


I left this comment on her blog:


First, congratulations! It's good when a person knows what they want to do, finds an opportunity, and then has the commitment and wherewithal to do it. Your devotion to autism is remarkable and the support group will find themselves only better for working with you and providing them with the drive I'm sure you possess -- much to our detriment.

That said, I want to thank you personally for the times, writings, insight and humor you have provided not only me but all of us who have had the pleasure of "knowing" you in the Blogosphere.

You must do what you must do, and we all understand -- that does not makes us any less sad or melancholy.

I would only ask this, if I could be so impertinent: leave up your blog, and throw a post at us whenever you might have a spare minute. It doesn't matter how long or how frequently you write -- it's just that we've all gotten used to you and, greedy us, or at least me, we don't want to see you go away. I don't think it's more complicated than that.

Now, go do what you must and enjoy your new tasks. I know you'll do well and all those around you can only benefit from your presence.


If you have not already done so, please visit Rebecca and leave your thoughts. Perhaps now I better understand why she left this comment on my blog, Saturday, March 25th:

Blo: This is the best post i have read since I started blogging . . . By the way, you and Jacksonian are the two so far, who have caused me to think about where I stand in some areas politically, and how I can be guilty of being blind to what is really going on in our country with the two party system. If you got into blogging to change minds and hearts possibly, it is working. Keep up the good work, both you and AJ.


Thank you, Rebecca, for all your input, your comments, your insight, your drive and commitment. Thank you for being one of The Usual Suspects -- a membership you'll always possess.

Finally: Rebecca, we will all, truly, miss you. God bless.



A photograph I took in the cab of a GE Union Pacific locomotive, idling on the Gold Run siding, earlier this month.

You would do well to never forget this.


Sunday, March 26, 2006

Another Sunday's Reflection

I made a comment at the end of my last post that Gayle indicated should be a post in and of itself; I thought: why not? The cat's been interfering with my posting recently (as well as Blogger itself -- anyone else finding Blogger "twitchy" this past week?), so I cut and pasted quickly before Mose sent me to an entirely different website. Here goes:

Folks: thank you ALL for commenting, and thank you all for the kind words! Thank you for linking this post to your blogs and, thank you Revka, for your comment about the importance of the post and its ability or our abilities to change hearts and minds.

I had no idea things would go this way when I began blogging. First it was simply kinda fun. Then it got bigger and bigger and I realized, likely as does AJ, that along with being an escape valve when necessary, it can also help me to understand what I'm thinking -- and has helped to solidify and, more importantly, CLARIFY my beliefs and views.

I started out "big" on the GOP when I began to blog; now I'm more cognizant of my conservative bent and my allegiance to the overall values of "conservatism" than to a party itself -- and, to a degree, how libertarianism sneaks into my wrinkled brain.

AJ makes an excellent point about blame and about solutions. And at this point, that is the greatest difference between Conservatives and Liberals, GOP and Dems. The liberals and Dems are so quick to point, peck and burn. But where are THEIR solutions? THEIR in-depth plans? It is always, ALWAYS so much easier to follow than to lead.

The Japanese have a saying we should embrace: "Fix the problem, not the blame."

This Republic is not perfect nor will it ever be. But in terms of a Great Experiment it is a functioning wonder; we cannot ever give up on the values that created this nation -- why else is she so loved and hated?

Why else would people risk their lives to come here?

Why else would people try to bring down her achievements?

People hate what they fear and, vapid and empty, at night, alone with their own sordid thoughts, it is always easier to tear down than to build, to destroy rather than create, to let the fears overtake common sense.

We face enemies on many fronts today.

Our nation is assailed from within and from without. We must all, individually, do our best to ensure her continued survival.

We must continue to embrace the values we know are right: honesty, loyalty, bravery, strength, judgment, courage.

We must pledge our allegiance, every day, to this Great Experiment -- because it is STILL the FINEST nation on the planet.


Saturday, March 25, 2006

It's Not Just Maywood: It's The Logical Extension

This is one of the most important posts I've made in quite some time:

I've said it once and I'll say it again: A Jacksonian has a blog at Dumb Looks Still Free and I heartily endorse visiting his domain frequently. AJ has a remarkably educated insight into the issues of the times that far surpasses my own meagre "intellect," and he proves it once again by his response to my last post regarding illegal immigration. I consider myself quite fortunate to acquire his comments on my blog.

This post may end up lengthy but, please, stick with me; there are many things happening these days that no true American can possibly afford to ignore. There are forces and counter-forces afoot; an educated understanding is necessary to sort out fact from fiction.

A Jacksonian had such an incredible cogent response not only to my post, but made suggestions and offered actual solutions that could be accomplished had we but the will to do so. I should like to reproduce them here in their entirety then provide an update on the protest and what a city in Fornicalia is doing right now -- information that the DEM will NOT provide for you.

First: A Jacksonian's response and solutions:

As to political will: 'Aye, there's the rub me lad!' What President Bush must come to realize is that his party is crumbling before his eyes: 1) his hard won appeal to the black and hispanic community is based on HIM not his party, 2) his party fears being called 'callous','cold-hearted' and 'cruel' for actually wanting to enforce the law, and 3) by not pushing hard against 'Sanctuary Cities' he is making the Union crumble.

The first and second actually go together. If Mr. Bush announces that illegal migration across the border will end and that NORTHCOM is being given the immediate sentry duty until a permanent wall is put in place and that all incursions by Mexican Federal military and police will be treated as armed invasion, the entire country would gasp. He could then lay out week after week of incidents or have Rumsfeld or Gonzalez do that for him. Let the people know that Presidente Fox knows of these and does nothing to stop them: so we WILL.

For doing this and getting his damn party to actually stand *for* something he will get a large segment of the LEGAL immigrant community, galvanize the Jacksonians who will heartily applaud and let the left know that *compassion* is ruining the Nation and putting it at peril.

Back that up with an ultimatum to all Cities, Municipalities and Principalities that refuse to uphold Federal law and are trafficking in human beings, consorting with agents of foreign nations, making their own foreign policy . . . that they have 1 week to withdraw such and be considered lawful. If this is not done, such areas will also be handed over to NORTHCOM for interdiction, all traffic with the Union will stop and they will face being invaded and given regular, representative governments that understand what it means to live in a Republic.

That last will absolutely freeze the left as it is tantamount to calling such cities 'slavery zones'. And that is exactly what such declarations *are*. And once black folks realize that in those terms, they will be less than pleased with the supporters of such.

Congress is put in the indelicate position of either having to support the cohesion of the Union or not. How unfortunate.

Is this intemperate of me? Why yes, yes it is.

But the left is basically supporting the fall of the Union and making zones of illegal servitude with threat of law against leaving into areas of slavery.

Figure the Jacksonians make up about 30% of the electorate . . . you know, those folks who don't vote since the Democrats abandoned them in the 70's? And the Republicans haven't been able to figure them out in any which way, save for Reagan. Add in 10% or so for the legal immigrant population and their immediate kin. Put in about 2/3 of the Republican party, as the RINO's (Republicans In Name Only -- BZ) will bolt and you have a ruling majority of 60%.

The other 40%? Well, some of the worse are looking down the barrels of M1 Abrams tanks and doing so from unlit cities with no sewer or water. Those that want to come back can swear an Oath to the Republic and abide by the division of powers that We The People put out in 1787.

The rest can join the illegals in building a wall and then being shipped off to the country of their choice.

I am, well and truly, fed up with them.

Very, very intemperate of me.

Once that is sorted out, handling Transnational Terrorism will be easy, and I don't think that the US will be seen as a 'weak horse' by anyone.

There, that should have chilled anyone who read it right down to their toes! But do you see how the demographics show up in that line? Crosses all the traditional two-party boundaries and is pro-Republic *without* being either Conservative or Liberal.

This is a Republic, not a do-it-yourself anarchic state. The left has been eroding away at this since the 1970's with the strange idea of 'people's ambassadors' to the USSR and such like. Now we have cities making their own damn foreign policy *and* making a form of slavery possible that is *not* a due process punishment.

I do hope this was not too much cold water for anyone. But this Nation is in a pickle both overseas and at home. A Republic can survive this and thrive. What we have right now, will not.

A Zero party state will not survive. Or, more correctly, it will once a city is depopulated or disappears off the map. And then things get very nasty, very quickly.

"A Republic, madam, if you can KEEP it." - Ben Franklin to a woman wondering what sort of Government has been born.

NOW can we get a party that actually *supports* the Republic? As in 'Defend the Constitution, keep the Union whole and safe, and hunt and kill those who are the sworn enemies of the People' kind or party?

AJ made reference to "sanctuary cities;" please read his post on that. Then be prepared for this:


There is now an incorpated city in Fornicalia that embraces illegal aliens. Called Maywood and located a bit south of downtown Los Angeles, the city consists of 29,000 people with a median age of 26, with 47% of the population 25 and older having less than a 9th grade education, and comprised of a 97% Mexican, 2% white and 1% "other" population.

In Maywood, where 96% of the residents are Latino, and more than half are foreign-born, the City Council has vowed to make the municipality a "sanctuary city" for illegal immigrants, and over the last few months it has set out to prove it.

First, the city eliminated the Police Department's traffic division after complaints that officers unfairly targeted illegal immigrants. Then it made it much more difficult for police to tow cars whose owners didn't have driver's licenses, a practice that affected mostly undocumented people who could not obtain licenses.

The city website indicates that there is a Kawasaki motorcycle for sale, and a Chevrolet Caprice for sale. Why would that be? If you have no Traffic Unit, there's certainly no need for any motorcycles, is there?

As noted in the above, California Vehicle Code Section 12500 allows the vehicles of unlicensed drivers to be removed from the street and towed, its owners responsible for storage fees. Driving in the state of Fornicalia is a privilege and not a right, therefore officers may tow these vehicles under section 22651. This is done all up and down the state of Fornicalia.

Except in Maywood. Because 50% of the Maywood population consists of illegal aliens.

Maywood officially supported Cedillo's SB60.

In January, the City Council passed a resolution opposing a proposed federal law that would criminalize illegal immigration and make local police departments enforce immigration law. Now, some in the community are pushing to rename one of the city's elementary schools after former Mexican President Benito Juarez and debating measures to improve the lives of illegal immigrants.

One resident, J. Luis Ceballos, 52, said: "I'm afraid we're testing the limits of the law, and that's dangerous. I think there is a danger of people thinking that they can do whatever they want."

In a recent city council meeting, certain persons demanded that only Spanish be spoken despite there being non-Spanish-speaking persons present.

After taking office at the end of last year, the new council quickly dismantled the city's traffic department. They stopped towing. They allowed people without driver's licenses — mostly undocumented workers — to get permits for overnight parking.

The council also rescinded a law that prohibited residents from erecting shade canopies at their homes. The law, passed by the old council, was seen as a slap at undocumented residents who used the canopies to create more usable living space.The actions have been met with cheers by some of the city's illegal immigrants.

Another Maywoodian, Martha Montiel, is pleased that the city is trying to help illegal immigrants. "It's good because people try to drive respectfully, even if they don't have licenses," Montiel said as she gathered jugs of water from a Maywood shop.

If illegal immigrants don't have to have licenses, then why should you? If you drive "respectfully," shouldn't that be enough to satisfy any bureaucracy?

Another citizen, who happens to be "legal," weighed in: "If you don't have a driver's license, you shouldn't drive," said Enrique Curiel, 51, who has picketed against the church's involvement in the matter.

But Maywood's actions are being closely followed by others, including predominantly Latino immigrant communities. Several — including Pomona, Huntington Park and Bell Gardens — followed Maywood's lead by opposing a bill in Congress that would make it a crime for organizations or agencies to assist illegal immigrants. Aguirre and the council majority vowed to defy the rules if they become federal law.

For some more illuminating ideas, please visit the La Voz de Aztlan website, which sympathizes with the Palestinians and calls Fornicalia "Alta California" (c'mon, I know you can figure this one out), lists Coachella, CA as another "immigrant sanctuary."

And did you read the one very important line in the article which mentions "They said, 'Sam is anti-immigrant, he's not with our people,' " Peña said. "My parents are immigrants…. So I sympathize."

OUR PEOPLE. Meaning: not Americans. Not legals. Not his fellow Americans. Mexicans. From Mexico. How much more brazen can you get?

As MEChA wrote: "Por La Raza todo. Fuera de La Raza nada (For the Race, everything. For those outside the Race, nothing).”

Aztlan” is the group’s term for the vast southwestern U.S. expanse, from parts of Washington and Oregon down to California and Arizona and over to Texas, which MEChA claims to be a mythical homeland and seeks to reconquer for Mexico (reconquista).


My fellow Americans, let me now attempt to do what I commonly call the "logical extension."

Could this not be said to be, essentially, a foreign power exercising its influence within our sovereign borders? And their first concerted acts are: ignore laws inherent within the state in which the city lies. Because they "feel like it."

And no one stops them.

If San Francisco can flaunt the law with regard to homosexuals, Maywood can flaunt the law regarding illegal immigrants, what about a town called Smithville which, renamed to Ahmad, controlled by 97% Muslims -- why could it not decide to institute Sharia law? Two posts ago, I wrote about persons converting from Islam being sentenced to death for doing so. In my comments section, a writer called Islam Questions wrote: "My friend converted to Christianity from Islam and knows, as a result of this conversion, that his parents may kill him, or have him killed. It is a Muslim parent's right to kill a child that leaves Islam for another religion."

Well this is America, people. It isn't Saudi Arabia or Iran or any other Muslim nation. And it isn't Alta California or an extension of Mexico.


What is America, anymore? A place in which one comes to make money, demand rights, take, demand, take, demand, take, demand entitlements? And the sedentary, complacent, deadened, tattooed, pierced, MediaX'd populace is expected to provide, give, roll over, acquiesce, play dead? And, most importantly, continue cutting the checks? Including legal Mexican-Americans? Where is the allegiance to this country? Where are its commonalities? Where is the English language? Anyone remember the word "Balkanization?"

And what about Smithville, aka Ahmad? If they had sufficient people could they simply declare Sharia law and do as they please within its city limits?

So people decide to protest immigration laws?

We had all.





Friday, March 24, 2006

Since When Do Illegal Immigrants Run Our Country?

Title 8 - Aliens and Nationality

3) The term "alien'' means any person not a citizen or national of the United States.


So there were protests in Los Angeles, Phoenix and Atlanta?

Congress is considering bills that would make it a felony to be illegally in the United States, impose new penalties on employers who hire illegal immigrants and erect fences along one-third of the U.S.-Mexican border. The proposals have angered many Hispanics.

Who cares? you might ask.

Both parties care, in their most base:

Democrats care because illegals represent a further voting base;
Republicans care because illegals represent a workforce "snuck under the carpet;"

Both sides, on this issue, framed in this context, are wrong.

Illegal is illegal no matter how you frame it, reduce it, minimize it, shunt it aside, ignore it, emasculate it, put whipped cream on top, or attempt to recraft definitions.

The English language is what it is.

Illegal \Il*le"gal\, a. [Pref. il- not + legal: cf. F. ill['e]gal.]Not according to, or authorized by, law; specif., contrary to, or in violation of, human law; unlawful; illicit; hence, immoral; as, an illegal act; illegal trade; illegal love. --Bp. Burnet.

Until you look behind the obvious for the agendas. Are there agendas involved? Of course, you silly person!

La Raza: On its website, a group called "La Voz de Aztlán," the Voice of Aztlán, identifies Mexicans in the U.S. as "America's Palestinians." Many Mexicans see themselves as part of a transnational ethnic group known as "La Raza," the race. A May editorial on the website, with a dateline of Los Angeles, Alta California, declares that "both La Raza and the Palestinians have been displaced by invaders that have utilized military means to conquer and occupy our territories."

But the threat of secession is not merely from groups that might be considered on the fringe, Spencer insists, noting the declarations of Mexican leaders, up to the highest office. Former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo said in a 1997 speech in Chicago to the "National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic advocacy group, that he "proudly affirmed that the Mexican nation extends beyond the territory enclosed by its borders and that Mexican migrants are an important – a very important – part of this."

Zedillo said that because of this fact his government proposed a constitutional amendment that allows Mexican citizens to hold dual citizenship. Spencer believes that the objective is to enable Mexicans in the United States to vote in the interest of Mexico.

Ultimately, many Mexicans hope for a "reconquista," a reconquest of territory lost when Mexico signed the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo at the end of the Mexican-American War. "One could argue that while Mexico lost the war in 1848, it will probably win it in the 21st century, in terms of the numbers," Navarro told WorldNetDaily. "But that is not a reality based on what Mexico does, it's based on what this country does."

Spencer argues that misguided U.S. policies and lax enforcement have allowed a steady stream of 1 million illegal immigrants a year to enter the country. Demographers agree that instead of integrating into a "melting pot," new Hispanic immigrants, both legal and illegal, are building a distinct, politically active community.

The problem is not that they have a voice, Spencer says, but that they increasingly are acting according to the interests of Mexico.

For those willing to see what is plain, it becomes plain that Mexico plans to retake a good portion of the United States "lost" in wars and history;

Of course, that would be judgmental and non-politically-correct, wouldn't it?

Gosh; nothing more than white male paranoia.




Islam, The Religion of Peace and Understanding

What happens when someone in the United States decides to convert from one religion to another? Essentially: they do it. You won't read about it in the newspaper or see it on TV (with some exceptions; perhaps Cassius Clay, Cat Stevens, Lou Alcindor). It becomes a matter of personal choice and that is where the issue ends. Christian, Jew, Buddhist, Hindu or Muslim, it makes no difference.

Or does it?

In Islam, the religion of peace and understanding, conversion can get you killed.

Oh gosh BZ, you say, that cannot be true. That's merely an old tale perpetuated by persons wishing to smear the good religion of Islam.

I would beg to differ: it is true. Consider the following story currently in the news involving Afghan President Hamid Karzai and a man named Abdul Rahman:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel telephoned Afghan President Hamid Karzai Thursday to express her concern about the case of an Afghan man who could be sentenced to death for converting to Christianity.

The trial of Abdul Rahman, who converted from Islam to Christianity 16 years ago and who has previously lived in Germany, has triggered growing criticism around the world.

The criticism has now grown to the point that:
An Afghan Christian facing possible execution for converting from Islam was likely to be released from jail "soon," a senior government official said following huge Western pressure over the case.

Arrested two weeks prior, 41-year-old Abdul Rahman had converted from Islam 16 years ago but was "turned in" by his parents when he returned to Afghanistan recently.

Afghanistan's Supreme Court said Thursday it was trying to find a "good solution" to the case, the first of its kind here, including persuading Rahman to revert to Islam.

Sharia law, on which the Afghan constitution is partly based, rules that conversion away from Islam must be punished by death if the accused person fails to revert.

Even US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called Afghan President Hamid Karzai today, to try to stop the possible execution.

Ah yes, Islam, the religion of peace and understanding.


Thursday, March 23, 2006

One Reflection Today

For various reasons I was reflecting on yesterday's post and I came to make a realization; there are two very distinct paradigms involved in the world and American society today: ours, and one we appear to not understand in the slightest. Some do; most do not.

Our largest mistake is believing that, in truth, all others think as we Americans do. We are increasingly a society based on what we as individuals want rather than what is best for the greater good. We believe that everyone can be made to sit down and come to a non-violent, rational consensus. We think if something takes "too long" it's bad. If something is "too difficult" there must be another easier way. If someone doesn't agree with us, we can convince them to "come around." We find it difficult to believe that, in many people's lives, religion is the only thing that matters -- even over life and death.

But even so, we believe we can make people see the light and make them "understand" if only we turn the other cheek, stand down, acquiesce, rationalize or, perhaps even, give in -- because if, after all these things have failed, then it must, it must, be our fault.

How is it that we have gotten to the point where we cannot even recognize or acknowledge Evil when it exists in our midst and, moreover, realize when this Evil wishes solely to change us or kill us -- and nothing else will do?

How is it that we have reached this point?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Associated Press: Israel To Be A New Terrorism Locus?

Al-Qaida itself is making an effort "to operate both in the Palestinian territories and inside Israel proper," said Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev. A Palestinian security official in Gaza agreed that al-Qaida "is in the process of organizing cells and gathering supporters."

If the group succeeds in establishing a full-blown presence, predicted the Israeli military intelligence official, Israel can expect far larger terror attacks than it has seen in the past.

Another Israeli official said a major concern is al-Qaida's activities in Israel's neighbors, especially Jordan, where al-Zarqawi claimed responsibility for the November 2005 bombings of three hotels that killed 60 people.

Al-Zarqawi also claimed responsibility for a Dec. 27 barrage of rockets from Lebanon into northern Israel, provoking Israeli airstrikes on a Palestinian base in central Lebanon.

In my opinion, al-Qaida would be foolish to begin a concentrated attack on Israel if for no other reason than Israel is, essentially, the best prepared of all western states to defend itself and counter-attack on the terrorism front, and has the greatest amount of experience handling such events.

Hamas (the next Palestinian government) could go either way at this point, but would risk alienating western governments (with large budgets) by aligning itself with a-Q -- which is not to say they may not do so. As I have always said, never let rationality, logic, common sense and proportion get in the way of a good #$!!**!-up decision.

On the other hand, as illustrated by the above map, Israel is clearly a small, bobbing cork isolated by miles of angry oceans.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Bush: A Swaggering Dismissal Of Dissenting Views?

Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus thinks the Bush Presidency suffers from too much "manliness."

In response to the upcoming book "Manliness," by Harvey C. Mansfield (a conservative professor of government at Harvard University) -- in which his thesis is that manliness, which he sums up as "confidence in the face of risk," is a misunderstood and unappreciated attribute -- columnist Marcus says:

No wimpiness worries now. This is an administration headed by a cowboy boot-wearing brush-clearer, backstopped by a quail-shooting fly fisherman comfortable with long stretches of manly silence -- very "Brokeback Mountain," except this crowd considers itself too manly for such PC Hollywood fare. "I would be glad to talk about ranchin', but I haven't seen the movie," Bush told a questioner.

She further writes:

The undisputed manliness of the Bush White House stands in contrast to its predecessors and wannabes. If Republicans are the Daddy Party and Democrats the Mommy Party, the Clinton White House often operated like Mansfield's vision of an estrogen-fueled kaffeeklatsch: indecisive and undisciplined. (Okay, there were some unfortunate, testosterone-filled moments, too.) Bill Clinton's would-be successor, Al Gore, was mocked for enlisting Naomi Wolf to help him emerge as an alpha male; after that, French-speaking John Kerry had to give up windsurfing and don hunting gear to prove he was a real man. And Bush's father, of course, had to battle the Wimp Factor. Mansfield recalls Thatcher's manly admonition to 41 on the eve of the Persian Gulf War: "Don't go wobbly on me, George."

But is that really the problem? Marcus continues:

But the manliness of the Bush White House has a darker side that has proved more curse than advantage. The prime example is the war in Iraq: the administration's assertion of the right to engage in preemptive and unilateral war; the resolute avoidance of debate about the "slam-dunk" intelligence on weapons of mass destruction; the determined lack of introspection or self-doubt about the course of the war; and the swaggering dismissal of dissenting views as the carping of those not on the team.

I have written here at length about my agreements and disagreements with the various policies of President Bush. But one thing I will not fault Mr. Bush on is his "gumption" or "stick-to-it-iveness." And there is one issue over which I will absolutely insist on a president displaying those qualities: terrorism. I want a president unwavering in his or her commitment to keep my country safe. Marcus writes:

What this country could use is a little less manliness -- and a little more of what you would describe as womanly qualities: restraint, introspection, a desire for consensus, maybe even a touch of self-doubt.

I submit: regarding terrorism, that's precisely what we do want: more "manliness."


In a further display of heinous "manliness," President Bush said the decision about when to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq will fall to future presidents and Iraqi leaders, suggesting that U.S. involvement will continue at least through 2008.

Acknowledging the public's growing unease with the war - and election-year skittishness among fellow Republicans - the president nonetheless vowed to keep U.S. soldiers in the fight.

"If I didn't believe we could succeed, I wouldn't be there. I wouldn't put those kids there," Bush declared.

He also stood by embattled Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld.


Mr. Bush called on Helen Thomas today for the first time in literally a few years, and she wasted no time in an attempt to slam the president and his administration:

Q: I'd like to ask you, Mr. President, your decision to invade Iraq has caused the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis, wounds of Americans and Iraqis for a lifetime. Every reason given, publicly at least, has turned out not to be true. My question is, why did you really want to go to war? From the moment you stepped into the White House, from your Cabinet -- your Cabinet officers, intelligence people, and so forth -- what was your real reason? You have said it wasn't oil -- quest for oil, it hasn't been Israel, or anything else. What was it?

THE PRESIDENT: I think your premise -- in all due respect to your question and to you as a lifelong journalist -- is that -- I didn't want war. To assume I wanted war is just flat wrong, Helen, in all due respect --

Q: Everything --

THE PRESIDENT: Hold on for a second, please.

Q: -- everything I've heard --

THE PRESIDENT: Excuse me, excuse me. No President wants war. Everything you may have heard is that, but it's just simply not true. My attitude about the defense of this country changed on September the 11th. We -- when we got attacked, I vowed then and there to use every asset at my disposal to protect the American people. Our foreign policy changed on that day, Helen. You know, we used to think we were secure because of oceans and previous diplomacy. But we realized on September the 11th, 2001, that killers could destroy innocent life. And I'm never going to forget it. And I'm never going to forget the vow I made to the American people that we will do everything in our power to protect our people. Part of that meant to make sure that we didn't allow people to provide safe haven to an enemy. And that's why I went into Iraq -- hold on for a second --

Q: They didn't do anything to you, or to our country.

THE PRESIDENT: Look -- excuse me for a second, please. Excuse me for a second. They did. The Taliban provided safe haven for al Qaeda. That's where al Qaeda trained --

Q: I'm talking about Iraq --

THE PRESIDENT: Helen, excuse me. That's where -- Afghanistan provided safe haven for al Qaeda. That's where they trained. That's where they plotted. That's where they planned the attacks that killed thousands of innocent Americans. I also saw a threat in Iraq. I was hoping to solve this problem diplomatically. That's why I went to the Security Council; that's why it was important to pass 1441, which was unanimously passed. And the world said, disarm, disclose, or face serious consequences --

Q: -- go to war --

THE PRESIDENT: -- and therefore, we worked with the world, we worked to make sure that Saddam Hussein heard the message of the world. And when he chose to deny inspectors, when he chose not to disclose, then I had the difficult decision to make to remove him. And we did, and the world is safer for it.

Once again -- too much "manliness?" I think not.

Monday, March 20, 2006

H5N1 To Arrive In US This Year, Says Interior Secretary Gale Norton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Interior Secretary Gale Norton said on Monday said that it was "increasingly likely" that bird flu would be detected in the United States as early as this year.

Speaking to reporters, Norton and Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns unveiled a plan to increase monitoring of migratory birds that are likely to bring the bird flu virus to U.S. shores.

Norton said bird flu would likely first be detected in the Pacific islands in Alaska, where testing for the disease will be a priority.

Norton stressed that detecting the disease in birds in the United States would not signal the start of a human pandemic.

H5N1, by the way, has already mutated within itself, I should like to point out. It is not impossible for it to cross species lines. I find this a remarkable and honest admission by an American bureaucrat. This might be an interesting time to begin to stock up on some provisions for your home.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

On An Island

I do not customarily recommend particular musical pieces but I deviate from this norm now.

I have listened to and have had time to ponder David Gilmour's new release, On An Island.

It took at least five or six listenings before I appreciated what was present.

From the last cut, entitled "Where We Start:"

Where we start, is where we end
We step out sweetly, with nothing planned
Along by the river we feed bread to the swans
And then over the footbridge to the woods beyond

We walk ourselves weary, you and I
There's just this moment

I light a campfire away from the path
We lie in the bluebells, a woodpecker laughs

Time passes slowly our hearts entwined
All of the dark times left behind

The day is done
The sun sinks low
We fold up the blanket, it's time to go

We walk ourselves weary, arm in arm
Back through the twilight
Home again
We're home again

We waltz in the moonlight and the embers glow
So much behind us
Still far to go
So far to go.

We have, all, so far yet to go.


Saturday, March 18, 2006

Fun With Maureen Dowd

Some people think Maureen Dowd needs to be muzzled, a la Hannibal Lecter (see Left). I mirror Lecter's words when he once said: "I myself do not." She manages to step on her throat, seemingly unprodded, with sufficient pressure -- and no additional assistance necessary -- just like the Dems and the DEM themselves.

From the current March 17th issue of The Week:

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd asked an Australian newspaper last week to help her find romance. Dowd was in Australia to promote her feminist manifesto, Are Men Necessary?, when she confessed that she always had a thing for Australian guys. "If they can take a strong, sassy woman, Australian men should please apply," she told the Sydney Australian. The paper got dozens of replies.

"If she can answer this question, I'll let her have me," wrote one man. "How many blokes does it take to open a beer can? None. Maureen should have had it opened when she brought it to me."

'Nuff said, mate.


Charlotte Allen wrote recently in the Los Angeles Times: "Betty Friedan, it seems, died just in time to roll over in her grave." Why is that, you might wonder? It would seem that a new University of Virginia study has disproved feminism's principal tenet -- that traditional marriage leaves women unfulfilled and miserable.

In a survey of more than 5,000 couples, sociologists found that 52% of "stay-at-home" wives rates themselves as "very happy." That was contrasted with 41% of working wives who likewise described themselves as "very happy."

The survey also managed to challenge the so-called "utopian" notion that housework and child care should be split evenly. The survey, in a clear non-PC fashion, revealed that women are happiest when their husbands are committed to the marriage, appreciative of their wives' contributions, and emotionally open. "It doesn't much matter whether they dust and do the dishes," The Week noted.

John Tierney of The New York Times responded by writing that "the happiest wives, regardless of the family's overall income, were the ones whose husbands brought in at least 2/3rds of the money." Even feminists who said they believed in "a partnership of equals" were far happier with men who provided most of the family's income.

Further, Jenice Armstrong of the Philadelphia Daily News observed: Women may be hard-wired to prefer men who are good providers, but the findings clearly indicate women are happiest with "a loving partner" who is "romantic, affectionate, and understanding."

"In the end," she says, "the answer to the age-old question of what women want is no surprise. It's simply love."


Meghan O'Rourke from said that women still aren't sure what they want. She writes that "the more you scrutinize a relationship, the more likely you are to find fault with it. That's why," she continues, "feminists are less likely to be happy than traditional, religious women. The latter, on the other hand, are free to think (italics are from the article itself -- BZ) of themselves as traditionalists, even though many of them work outside the home (strictly for finanacial reasons, of course), and expect their husbands to share in the housework and the child-rearing."

Traditional women, in other words, are generally happier because "they're free riders on the women's movement (though they'd deny it), whereas feminists have descended into a tangle of second guesses."

Or, I might add, if you're a so-called "traditionalist" (read: a woman possessing any hint of a religious embrace): you're simply too stupid to know what you are missing.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Dems & DEM: What Sticks, Parts I and II

Senator Russell Feingold (left, of course) introduced a resolution on Monday this week to censure President Bush for the NSA wiretapping issue. From Feingold's speech on his website:

The President authorized an illegal program to spy on American citizens on American soil, and then misled Congress and the public about the existence and legality of that program. It is up to this body to reaffirm the rule of law by condemning the President’s actions.

Never mind that Clinton tapped the crap when it served his purposes -- and Carter as well. This has been documented.

Never mind that the horrendous tapping involved terrorist activity with the goal being to protect this sovereign nation.

The bottom line from all this? The Democrats voted with their feet and stayed away from Feingold in droves -- instead of lining up in lockstep. Imagine that.

Unhappy with their proverbial feetsie-vote, Feingold took the Dems to task yesterday by saying: "Democrats run and hide" when the administration invokes the war on terrorism. Feingold also said: "I'm amazed at Democrats . . . cowering with this president's numbers so low."

In addition (now that it's apprent this strike isn't sticking as hoped) another Dem, Senator Debbie Stabenow (Michigan), hit the senate floor yesterday with a huge red sign that read "dangerously incompetent" while giving a speech attacking the Bush administration over first responder and Homeland Security funding.

Apparently unsatisfied by simply submitting a $5 billion federal funding increase, she felt compelled to grandstand with the sign and her statement: “God forbid that there is another terrorist attack or a natural disaster."

Keep it up Boys and Girls; keep it up. Whereas in truth it would have been simple work (at least in theory) to chew up the GOP and completely retake the House and Senate this year -- well, Dems, you're doing your damnedest to ensure no guarantee of that outcome.

I repeat: keep it up.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Shock & Awe: McCain Faces Reality As It Is

As per the Drudge Report:


Sat Mar 11 2006 12:50:33 ET

Facing a loss at a 2008 straw poll event this weekend, Senator John McCain of Arizona told his supporters to write in President Bush as a sign of support, leaving many sputtering.

"For the next three years, with our country at war, he's our president and the only one who needs our support," McCain told nearly 2,000 party activists from 26 states gathered in Memphis. McCain, realizing the national political media had descended on the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, moved to discredit the straw poll by asking delegates to vote for Bush, insiders claim.

Instead of stopping the momentum of Majority Leader Bill Frist - widely anticipated to win the straw poll - the move seemed to expose the McCain camp's insincerity about its position with the base.

One activist said, "McCain voted against all the Bush tax cuts... maybe he should have voted for the president then, instead of waiting for a political stunt to try and distract."

UPDATE: Frist finished first with 36.9% in the straw poll.

Romney finished second with 14.4%, just under half as many votes as Frist.

Activists rejected the McCain campaign shenanigans with Allen tying Bush at 3rd.

The president received numerous standing ovations - he is still very popular among activists despite bad poll numbers.

Mccain finished 5th.


I am wondering: perhaps the Gang of 14 has caught up with our Arizona senator?

This is crushing to McCain and his supporters. He will likely minimize as much as possible -- as he clearly is doing now.

On the other hand, this bespeaks volumes about our national political agendas insofar as we are nationally holding straw polls a full two + years prior to the actual election.

The Testing of the Waters has officially begun -- and this is radically important contrasted to, say, two elections ago -- because lines are being drawn and political strengths and barriers are being analyzed.

We think we know where this is going; I submit: we haven't a clue -- as it is yet way too early to make any kind of cogent predictions.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Temporarily On Assignment

In Honor of the Academy Awards

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Random Thoughts: Setting Sail For The Lost

So there I was. And am. Sunday, early evening, watching the light diminish as rain turns snow to the proverbial Sierra Cement, listening to some classic Cat Stevens. The Academy Awards are on and, quite frankly, I couldn't care less and can't now think of a greater waste of my time than watching with the rest of the brainless masses. I already know that Brokeback Mountain will be hailed as the new Second Coming by Hollywood. It's a given.

Ooh baby baby, it really is a Wild World.

With all the things going on societally and in politics, my mind began to drop back to my last ocean cruise. If only things could be, I thought, as simple as they appeared during that time.

Far away, over there, away from sight and mind -- and my current self attached to the railing watching reeling gulls cartwheel through the mists of the narrows we navigated. I can remember that time in place so distinctly, frozen as it is in the wrinkled cortex of whatever hemisphere controls that specific thought.

The turbulent, tremulous times whirling and cascading, for a moment, and then clearing to something so free and light and unfettered by complication. Oh, to be there again, I considered for a moment; my hands on the beautiful teak veranda railing varnish, the deep green ocean hissing, literally hissing some fifty feet below me, wind buffeting my face, blowing salt droplets into my hair and collecting on the hairs of my arm. How strange that seems, I note. This ship seems so solid, such an incredible mass overcoming, by sheer power, the primal force of the sea. Is this Man, I wonder for a moment, flaunting his position in nature against God? What have we learned since 1912, I ask myself? Are we more astute, more assured in our technology?

What have we gained, vs. what we have lost?

My mind moves to politics, shifting gears abruptly. Clunk. That was jarring. . .

And I began to think of today and tomorrow.


- In about 8 months, 435 House seats and 33 Senate seats will be subject to the democratic election process.

- It is my opinion that Republicans are in Large Trouble.

- In the Senate, there are 15 Republican and 17 Democrat seats up for bid. Republicans may hold the majority here, though perhaps cut by two seats.

- In the House, (where Republicans hold a lead of 231-202), GOP insider information indicates that Republicans may lose more than 20 seats.

- Democrats need to pick up only 16 seats to take over the House.

- An "erosion of confidence" may take its toll on governors as well. Currently, there are 28 Republicans and 22 Democrats, but there are 36 gubernatorial elections this year, and Democrats will likely pick up between two and five of those seats.


You likely don't want to hear it or read it, but I can sum it up this way:

President Bush, for all the good things he has done, held the reins of Power and refused to take those reins and leave dead, burned bodies behind. He truly had a Mandate and squandered it on any number of levels -- for reasons I have yet to fully comprehend. Politics, my friends, is all about leaving dead, burned bodies behind -- and having the guts to do so.

He has managed to alienate his primal Conservative base -- myself included. In one of my earlier Blogger BZ profiles, I listed myself as "a Conservative first and a Republican second." That is true to this day. I have given my last donations to the RNC. No more until things change.

I can hear some of you squalling: "That is so fundamentally unfair! Can you imagine if we had Gore for a President! Where would we be now?" And a fundamentally flawed argument. We didn't and we have Bush now. I don't care about what could have been. I care about what is here and now. The Dems and the DEM live in the past; we cannot afford to.

All logical thinkers agree that President Bush gets high marks as Commander in Chief in the Long War against terror. Domestically, with the help of Congress, he has made good on his commitments to nominate constitutional constructionists to the Supreme Court (with one HUGE blip!) and pass modest tax cuts -- but he and the Republican Congress tend to crash from there.

Conservatives like myself expected Bush to restore constitutionally-constrained limits on government, and the promotion of free enterprise and traditional American values, as outlined in The Patriot's Statement of Principles. He has not and the Republicans have not.

Most Americans can't distinguish Republicans from Democrats on the Big Issues.

It pains me to point out that, under Republican leadership, the size and regulatory role of the central government has expanded horrendously since President Bush took office, and his fiscal budget for 2007 reflects spending increases of almost 50 percent more than Bill Clinton's last budget.

I am astounded and horrified. This is not what I stand for as a Conservative. Per the PatriotPost:

Republicans have so demoralized their conservative base that even the most staunchly ideological conservatives are suggesting that a Democrat-controlled House may be necessary to remind Republicans why, precisely, we voted them into office.

That is not to say that all Republicans have neglected their conservative base. Some Republicans are conservative, and chief among them is Rep. Mike Pence, who chairs a group of 100 House conservatives who, as "The Republican Study Committee," are charting a course to maintain their majority in '06—and beyond.

Rep. Pence and his fellow conservatives have rallied around principles that he outlined in a speech last fall, "Another Time for Choosing," picking up the central theme of Ronald Reagan's famous 1964 speech "A Time For Choosing."

If only Bush could "Rally the Troops" -- but he cannot. As the Post points out:

Strike one was signing the bloated highway bill, which became symbolic of Bush's failure to contain government spending. The second strike was his perceived failure in taking charge of the Katrina catastrophe—perception being what it is. (It was probably not advisable to be on the Left Coast political circuit the day a Cat 5 hurricane is making landfall.) Strike three was his stupefying nomination of Harriet Miers.

Bush works in ways I cannot comprehend. He leaves our borders open; he apparently allows our ports to be compromised; he makes a nuke deal with India leaving too many loopholes; he spends money like water.

George, listen: you had the power. It was in your hands. You worked it well and did what you felt needed to be done to insure our domestic security. But you won't or can't communicate. And in the end, this will be your greatest downfall.

Just explain it to me. Tell me.

Because, after all, you leave me hanging not just to your party's detriment, to the Conservative detriment, but to the detriment of your entire country.

Per Dickens: "You are the best of times; you are the worst of times."

Saturday, March 04, 2006

A Locomotive Ride

It's funny how sometimes one thing leads to another -- a chunk of synchronicity, if you will.

Yesterday, I posted a little bit of melancholia when I caught a Union Pacific freight passing one of my local crossings in the snow. The photo was taken during a very rare break in the snowstorm we had late in the week and the colors of the units were remarkable. I panned the camera as the lead units passed and only the front was in focus, leaving the rest of the train a blur of movement. I really liked the effect, and used the photo for my post.

Today, the snow melted a bit and I went out for more photos. This time I found a train idling not far from home, waiting to be cleared by the dispatcher to enter the main track. I took some photos and got closer, then struck up a conversation with the engineer, who poked his head out the window. He invited me up into the cab and he introduced me to the conductor. The dispatcher cleared him for a move onto the main track and the engineer asked: you want to go for a ride? "Hell yes," I said, not being stupid.

So I went for a ride up and over Donner Pass on a beautifully-blue day over snow-covered tracks and left my locked car many miles behind. We talked about unions, the state of the country, terrorism, what it was like to work for Union Pacific, what it was like to work for Southern Pacific before it was purchased by UP, politics, religion, locomotives, unions, locomotives, Union Pacific, bosses, locomotives, Union Pacific, and many more things.

The engineer let me hit the horn for a bunch of crossings and showed when when to do it -- when you saw the X of the horn board. He taught me to hit the horn in the standard "long-long-short-long" horn language. The bell automatically rang after you hit the horn and he showed me how to clear the bell. I told him some secrets about my job, and he told me some secrets about his.

We stopped in Truckee and I exited there, thanking the engineer and conductor profusely for allowing me into their work lives. We had some things in common and I told a few jokes and they told a few jokes and we realized we were just three American fat guys who tried to hold the country together as best we could, who worked strange and long hours and did what we did because, the bottom line was, truthfully, we enjoyed it.

Folks, I had a helluva time; and I think they enjoyed my company as well. It wasn't the first time I'd ever been invited into the cab for a ride -- but it was the longest ride I'd ever had, and they were the friendliest crew I'd ever encountered. I've been given about 7 or 8 other rides in the past 10 years -- look, I'm old, I'm short, I'm fat and essentially fuzzy and harmless -- and I take good photographs and tell good stories. Sometimes I even bring brownies and cookies. Many UP employees already know who I am and honk at me in the mountains.

They could get in big, big trouble for doing what they did, so I promised to hold them nameless and not provide any locomotive numbers in the photos. No one is supposed to be in any cab at any time, except UP employees.

It's still nice to see that people can occasionally still be people and appreciate one another's job.

Even as I write this, a few hours later, it is dark; and I can still hear the plaintive horns in the twilight as more locomotives attempt to conquer Donner Pass.


"Roll on, Southern Pacific -- on your silver rails -- in the moonlight."

-- Neil Young

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Chasing of the Trains

The horns are plaintive and insistent and sonorous.

Whistles have been gone for over 50 years.

Once again, the rails are being involved in a fight. And yet, if you weren't here, you wouldn't realize it as being so.

These, right now, are the Good Old Days.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Bush The New Katrina Anti-Christ

A new edited video (this should be your first clue, folks) was somehow released to the media yesterday, and the Associated Press characterized it this way:

The footage -- along with seven days of transcripts of briefings obtained by The Associated Press -- show in excruciating detail that while federal officials anticipated the tragedy that unfolded in New Orleans and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast, they were fatally slow to realize they had not mustered enough resources to deal with the unprecedented disaster.

This, too, is a DEM clue.

Former FEMA chief Michael Brown said yesterday:

"President told everyone to shut up, that he wanted to hear from me and he said, 'Brown, quick. Give us an update.' And my first words to him were, 'Mr. President, it is my estimation . . . at least 90 percent of the population of New Orleans has been displaced. He was truly taken aback by that."

Brown described the president throughout the crisis this way: "I think he was engaged, but I think there was an overconfidence that FEMA had handled Sept. 11, we had handled the California wildfires, we had handled the 2004 hurricanes right in the middle of the presidential elections. Hey, we could do this, too."

Homeland Security officials have said the "fog of war" blinded them early on to the magnitude of the disaster. But Brown said the transcripts and footage of the daily briefings conflict with that. "I don't buy the fog-of-war defense," Brown said. "It was a fog of bureaucracy."

The video in question is available here.

As we all know, this will result in a media blowout; the first results are in with Mayor Ray Nagin saying that he is "shocked." The CYA Mode is already beginning.

For those not aware, it is not FEMA's responsibility to be a first responder. The FR would have been the local authorities first affected; in Nagin's case, his city administration was the First Responder. Second response authority rested with the state. Further assistance can then be provided by FEMA.

The DEM will attempt to portray Bush as the absolute Anti-Christ, and Nagin and Lousiana Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco will do their best to obfuscate and Teflon out of their roles of responsibility.

Given, the federal response was mediocre; the City of New Orleans and Lousiana responses were infinitely worse -- and it was their responsibility to have plans in place, and executed properly, before Katrina even got close.

Everyone involved knew of the nature of the City of New Orleans and the nature of its levees and water systems. All knew this was inevitable.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Sheep Problems Solved

(Thanks, Mark!)

An Australian sheep farmer was puzzled at the disappearance of sheep on his farm. After a few weeks of sheep disappearing, the farmer decided to put up an electric fence. This is what he found.