Saturday, November 25, 2006

Fun with Canadians

Last week 49er had a great time volunteering most of the week as a courtesy car driver at the Pebble Beach Invitational, or as we call it around here, "The Callaway".

Carried lots of interesting golfers and family members between the courses, etc., but had a particularly rewarding time one afternoon with a trio of what turned out to be Canadian amateurs. As they were joking around while loading up the car after their round, they exchanged a few "ehs" and "abouuts". So as things quieted down when we reached the highway I asked, "What part of Toronto are you from?" They laughed and laughed. Turned out all three worked as stock brokers in the city now, but only one was a native Ontarian. Another was originally from Vancouver, and the third was Albertan, from Calgary.

They seemed tickled that an old geezer Yank could 'spot them', because - as they said - most often they're able to fly under average US radar. After exchanging pleasantries and being invited to "come visit them", I couldn't resist ranting a little bit concerning my last posting re: Calgary, just below. I told them that right now Calgary was not on my good list, and then explained why - after they'd asked. They said they hadn't heard of the issue, but agreed it stunk, too.

At trips end they came around to my side of the car to shake hand,s saying something to the effect that "Wow! A Yank who knows more about what's going on at home than we do". They were good guys, and had fun. So did I.

Wondered if bill and stephen might enjoy hearing this tale, too.


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Canada, Oh Canada! Where hast thou gone?

If this story from August is accurate, the US's northern neighbors went to sleep recently and some other beings woke in their place. How else to explain the dyfunctional disconnect with Calgary, Alberta's, police between freedom and chicanery? Reported at the time in the Calgary Sun, and Bene Diction's blog, since then the story's drawn little notice around the net.

Recently 49er commented in Outside The Box on another matter in Calgary thusly:
Calgary’s reputation as the last of CA’s ‘wild west frontiers’ has finally caught up with itself. Thus comes ‘civilisation’. Probably overdue. The cusp period will probably last another generation, but afterwards the city and province will likely become an even much more pleasant place in which to visit or live. Congrats on maturing."
That comment was wrong. If Calgarians - and Canadians in general - support the actions of their LEOs in situations similar to the story above, IMO they are not MORE civilized than others, but less. Shame on them for trading freedom for mindless and short-lived "comfort".

And here's another tip: What you think you have now ain't gonna last. The monkeys are now running your zoo, and you're about to run into a terrible shortage of bananas.

Wake up!

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Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Day God Spilled the Paint

This is not 49er's photo. Nor his honey's. She did have it emailed to her today, and thought it too breathtaking to not share. So a little further expanation.

The photo was apparently taken by a lady named Barbara Mathews, on May 14, 2005. It was said to have been taken in central California on the east side of the Carrizo plain, in the Temblor Range, about 50 miles due west of Bakersfield, California. Most of the year this country is bleak, barren, brush-covered and good for little else than cattle browsing or sheep-herding. Running through or near this range are several active earthquake faults, including the dread San Andreas. Further north about an hour is the most active earthquake zone in the North American continent, Parkfield.

Many of 49er's internet friends are from beautiful parts of the world. He generally agrees with and accepts their local self-assessments. The point to this photo is simply that God is able to bring beauty to anything, no matter how fleetingly.


Two Year Tactical Plan

Thanks to Bob Orr of either orr, who has suggested seven strategies conservatives should be considering putting into effect the next two years. They are, briefly
  • Challenge demos to come up with a real plan.
  • Encourage repubs to return to their basics.
  • Expose real demo weaknesses.
  • Waken the rearguard to search for closet skeletons.
  • Develop a knowledgable 'shadow' government.
  • Encourage and develop viable 08 candidates.
  • Don't fear intraparty disagreements.
49er is adding an eighth tactic to that list.
  • Encourage newly elected demos who might be a tad less liberal than old-guard "Pelosi-ites" to think and act for themselves. To not become dhimmocratic zombies.
Stretching opposing party discipline has always been a rewarding tactic. We conservatives should not be adverse to politely practicing this ancient artform. The results to our nation could be well worth it!


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Friday, November 10, 2006

A Brit "gets it"!

Interesting commentary by Gerard Baker in the Times on line in the UK concerning US election results. Read the entire thing for the full flavor of his reasoning, but IMO he's pretty spot on. Which is nice to see. Here is a sample . . .
As the only living Englishman who doesn’t regard the modern Republican party as the Devil’s Spawn, I might be expected to be in mourning today. On the contrary. This was mostly a good week.

The first and most obvious reason for optimism is the confirmation of Tuesday’s elections that democracy works. Republicans lost not because the American people have suddenly seen the wisdom of the collective leadership of the European Union or the editorial pages of the world’s press but because they deserved to lose
Good intellectual analysis is really fun to consider. Thanks, Gerard Baker, for bringing back a little joy this week.


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Term Limits

OK, is it just me? Or does our recent experience with GWB, WJC, the defunct "republicats" and now the new and improved "dhimmocrats" situation the US is going through, not point out the wisdom of somehow evolving [note use of 'code' word] our form of government into one that uniformly enforces national term limits?

Isn't one term enough for ANY citizen politician? And wouldn't that pretty well rule out or nullify most activities of professional [spit, spit] politicians?

While we're looking at the federal government, why do we still need two houses? Lets combine them all into one house, elect them to a single four year term, half elected during presidential election years and the others two years later. Simplify, simplify, simplify.

Go back to the idea of a concerned citizen contributing her/his efforts for one term to the process of representing one's neighbors in the nation's capitol. It would no longer be one's lifeswork. Worthwhile to do well, yes, and great on the resume, but not a long-term career thing. Think of the pork-barrel money this could save!

As an added relief to the federal budget the single term idea could be used for congressional (and presidential) entitlement reform. Pay them a good wage, sure, but nothing close to the regal structure we currently have in place. Give them a good retirement benefit, pay all reasonable living expenses, but put the onus on them to go back to honest work afterwards and reenter the private sector if they wanted to improve their eventual retirement nest eggs.

No, it won't work. Too many oxen would be gored. And it could place the burden on voters to actually be responsible for tough decisions at election-time. No, that won't do. We would rather drink our kool-aid, roll over and go back to sleep. Too bad. Snooze, snooze, snooze.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Bush's third bi-annual report card

From the perspective of a republican who voted for him twice, here is an up-to-date report card for the 2005-06 mid-term.

Domestic policies D; Foreign policies B+; Staffing appointments D-; Legislative liason D; Military leadership D-; Political skills F; Public Speaking skills D-; Personal ethics B.

Overall grade: D+


Bush completely went against his base by blocking any meaningful improvement of our border control and the flagrant illegal immigration crisis he not only ignored, but helped flaunt. That alone sank any other domestic policy gains into a vast morass of ineptitude.

Foreign policies were hit and miss, with no obvious failures in 49er's POV. Just because the rest of the world hates him is virtually irrelevant, IMHO. Because they don't vote, they don't count. Sorry. 49er doesn't always agree with their leaders, either. Tough.

Allowing Rove to stay on after the 2004 election was stupid, stupid, stupid. Weirdly brilliant - or maybe brilliantly weird - his brainpower was long ago overcome with dogmatic egomania - all to Bush's harm, but GWB seemed not to care.
Rummy should have been gone almost a year ago. His brilliance in 2003 faded to stubborn resolve by 2005, and his worth tumbled to nothing long ago. That GWB failed to understand this contributes to his "bumbling, stumbling" reputation. Totally unnecessary. Blind leading the blind.
Tony Snow's appointment was brilliant, though. Regardless of who brought it about.

Bush should have recognized how far left his majority party legislators had strayed in 2002, and by the 2004 elections dealt with it. He didn't. They didn't. The "republicats" ran amuck. And they blew it for 2006. Serves them right! Only saving grace was his ability to reach out to some elected democrats and build a few wobbly bridges during this current mid-term.

War is brutal. It breaks things and people. In 2003 the war was well fought. In 2004 it began slipping into a "rules of engagement" mindset. Stupid. War is best fought hard, fast, ugly, brutal and over! Too many post 2003 opportunities unrecognized and forever lost. Also, "rules of engagement" slowly evolve until they become counter-intuitive to the actual waging of a war. So from mid 2004 on we have been more in a WOC (criminals) situation, not WOT (terrorists). Unnecessary and costly in lives and assets.

GWB's seen as politically fiddling while Rome’s been burning for more than two years. He’s failed to either see it, or else to respond. Can anyone identify “a river in Egypt”? He apparently can’t.

Almost anyone today can learn through coaching and training to become articulate. If they want to. He apparently doesn’t care enough to do so. Shame on him. His speech and grammar reflect poorly on his ivy-league MBA. Somebody should be looking into rescinding his diploma, because the skills acquisition it seems to suggest certainly didn’t stick around very long.

49er thinks he’s probably a nice guy. Would probably make a fairly good neighbor, except for a classic lack of introspect ional skills, there are no known major gaffes.

49er is ready now to respond to instructions and corrections from other interested (and semi-interested) parties.


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Why 49er's happy his team lost - if you care

Possibly its a reflection of his own personal political death wish, but when the national republican party morphed itself (in less than a decade) into some kind of a "republicat" party, it brings glee to him now to see so many of his like-kind shot in the foot - and elsewhere - and thrown out of office by so many national voters! Good show! Spot on!

If the people wanted unethical slime balls in office they've always been able to vote for democrats. As in the old Bop Hope movie, democrats have been shown to stand around, idly, like zombies not knowing what to say or do very well, and they've done an excellent job of capturing that particular share of the market. For so many elected republicats to think they could simply take democrats' places in that environment was not only foolish and short-sighted, but incredibly stupid. Since big government doesn't work very well, why continue to "grow" a larger - but still dyfunctional - government. Dumb!

For over two decades now republicans have been being elected by voters to "govern", but in the past twelve years too many of them have only found time to prove they are as slimy as democrats, some even more so. We don't need two slimy parties. So the nation has now chozen to return to the original, patented-protected slime balls. Well done! Good choice.

The party that represents every weird and short-sighted agenda in the world has proven in the interval since the Truman years that it can't govern. So democrats now have a short window of opportunity to somehow show they've changed. News flash! They have, but not for the better! The next two years will bring us even more political disasters.

49er's prediction is the surviving republicans will shortly winnow out republicats from places of responsibility within their midst, retake the party helm, and prepare to resume "governing" in two years when voters have grows bored with weirdness, etc. per se, and throw those bums out - again. Let's hope the surviving and newly chosen republicans have learned to appreciate their roots a little more than has been recently shown. Repeat after me, "Less government is better government". Now go write it on the board 100 times. And relearn the humility rule. One is never as good or as smart as one thinks. No matter what one's mother says.


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