Thursday, August 19, 2010

California Descending

Wow - it's been a while. Talk about life getting a hold of you.

Anyway, I'm back with a personal anecdote I think kind of sums up the Golden State at the moment.

My wife and I have an apartment that we rent out. It's in a nice part of So Cal, by the beach, in an area that's always been know as a fun place to live. We've rented it 4 times over the last 10 years - the last time being 6 years ago. We've always had great tenants and we've always had a choice of great tenants. But it's empty right now and we've been showing it and things have changed. Far from the young people starting out in life that our place tended to attract, we're getting a lot of single moms and people in mid-life looking for someplace they can start over or get things back on track. What's more - we're getting a LOT of people with the, "so my credit is pretty good, but..." What's most distressing is that while we're getting those people, the young people, just starting out in life are not showing up at all. That doesn't bode particularly well for California.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Turbine Tax - Tim Geithner Edition

Because sometimes, tax time means looking out for number One!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Hey! He's on a streak!

Wow! What next!

maybe he'll walk over and get it

I was just thinking, maybe Obama will take this opportunity to combine his green initiatives with his true nature and walk over to Europe to pick up his prize.

Friday, October 2, 2009

His entire job

I've often wondered at the near God-like devotion Obama's supporters have for him. We've all seen the "Mmm...mmm...mmm..." videos and it just has be scratching my head. I know there's a lot to charisma and well, the guy does give a heck of a good speech, but there's this feeling that people seem to have that he personifies them. It's almost like they see themselves in him, they feel he defines who they are. They feel that he's some sort of savior, a mystic figure who transcends culture or something. I don't get it.

I never felt that way about either George Bush and I certainly didn't feel that way about John McCain. I maybe had a touch of it for Reagan, but I was a kid then and, really, I never saw Reagan as a hero, I saw him as someone who was standing up for what I believed.

But the truth of it is that no matter who the Secret Service is guarding, no matter what party they belong to, no matter what they say or don't say about whatever the heck it is they're talking about, the fact remains that at the bottom of it all, the man (or woman) is a politician.
A politician, which means that his entire job is not unlike the man being told to dance as an outlaw bandit shoots at his feet.

Somebody get this man a prozac

Wow - so the big O lost his bid for the Olympics in Chicago. Now personally it didn't really bother me that he flew to Denmark to lobby for it, I'm sure he only wanted to help his wife in her time of great personal sacrifice, and who wouldn't want to do that? But from the looks of this presser (that I come to via the great Hotair) Mr. O is a suffering either from some hard-core jet lag or a wee-wee bit of depression that his personal magnetism and his wife's stunning personal fashion sense (to say nothing of the tragic and heroic story of her father) didn't suddenly convince the international Olympic sycophants to apply a little chapstick and pucker up for the backside of the good ol' US of A.

Subtitle this: The sound of a cheap suit folding:

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Canadian health care - shining example

According to the LA Times this past Sunday (and you could have knocked me over with a feather when I saw this on the front page) the so called Canadian system, bright and shining example to afficianados of public options everywhere is moving toward a private option.

More than 70 private health providers in British Columbia now schedule simple surgeries and tests such as MRIs with waits as short as a week or two, compared with the months it takes for a public surgical suite to become available for nonessential operations.

"What we have in Canada is access to a government, state-mandated wait list," said Brian Day, a former Canadian Medical Assn. director who runs a private surgical center in Vancouver. "You cannot force a citizen in a free and democratic society to simply wait for healthcare, and outlaw their ability to extricate themselves from a wait list."

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wagging the Dog?

Alright, allow me to indulge in some wild conspiracy-type conjecture for a moment. There's been a bit of a "why now?" feeling to the whole Roman Polanski thing. Why would the Swiss, suddenly after 30 years, deviate so wildly from making chocolate and hiding Nazi war booty and decide to arrest a guy who owns some pretty swell digs in their country?


Well there are two things here that pop into my tinfoil-clad head right off the bat.

Point One: The US Government is going after the Swiss Banking industry (primarily UBS - a case which has been largely settled) to open it's books in order to apprehend tax evaders (no doubt including several members of the current political establishment) but as this piece in the Wall Street Journal from one short month ago suggests, the proceedings are plugging along beyond the original confines of the case and seem to be enveloping other people of the Swiss persuasion.

Point Two: The Obama Administration is fighting a continually losing battle on the healthcare front (or so those of us with a libertarian tilt hope). A battle that's churning the blogosphere (both left and right) into a mighty froth, inviting the slings and arrows of outrageous tea parties and even causing fits of pique among those leaning long to the left.

How convenient it would be to get those pundits and purveyors of political opinion off topic for a moment. If only we had something else that would drive the conservatives crazy and get the Hollywood types shooting off their mouths and further driving middle America nuts. If only there were some hot button topic - something to do with, say, sex. And if ONLY we had someone who was willing to help, someone, or some country, whose whole entire system of banking we were trying to decimate. Someone like that who could help in some small way.

If only...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Roman Polanski - Sign the Petition

Most of the whirling dialogue about Roman Polanki's arrest in Switzerland swirls around a few columnists displaying the staggering scope of their ignorance about the case and yet misses this little gem, the "Petition for Roman Polanski" which, Variety reports, has been signed by 100 filmmakers including: Martin Scorsese, Michael Mann, Darren Aronofsky, Wes Anderson, Woody Allen (the comedy writes itself on that one) David Lynch, Jonathan Demme, Pedro Almodovar, Wim Wenders, Tilda Swinton and Tom Tykwer. (this list is among the reasons I began to have favorite films and NOT favorite filmmakers some years ago.)

But the actual text of the petition is almost comical. I quote:

His arrest follows an American arrest warrant dating from 1978 against the filmmaker, in a case of morals.
Uh - yeah, morals.

Roman Polanski is a French citizen, a renown and international artist now facing extradition. This extradition, if it takes place, will be heavy in consequences and will take away his freedom.
Am I missing something or isn't that the whole point? Whole thing here.

Update: I'm just thinking out loud here, but this would be a GREAT episode for the ripped-from-the-headlines types at "Law and Order."