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Showing posts from 2002
Why neither party can fully seize control?
The latest episode of political foot-in-mouth disease with Trent Lott explains part of why the GOP can't get over the hump. If the GOP is serious about becoming the "big tent" party, they MUST jettison the residual boarderline/outright racism that rears its head in things like the recent Trent Lott mouthing off. That is the GOP hurdle just as the democrats have to banish their looney lefties if they want any hope of recovering their standing with the majority of the public.

As an ethnic minority, I once was asked by a democrat why I wasn't a democrat which is the party that welcomes all the minority groups. Though it is true I'm likely to see more people who "look" like me at a democratic gathering, I couldn't support many parts of their party platform. At a republican gathering, I'd experience the opposite, I'd find more common ground in policy issues but I would stand out as an ethnic minority.

T…
Last week, I heard Michael Beschloss give a talk based on his book, "The Conquerors." Beschloss is a very effective speaker. He made the history come alive. If I had history teachers like that, I probably would have wanted to be a historian!

Several points that were interesting... FDR was very ill in the latter part of his presidency. This is interesting in light of the recent release of JFK's medical records. Will this mean that health concerns about Presidents and candidates will diminish? Certainly, in those old days, it was easier to "cover up" health stories. Not so today. Yet, now that we know how sickly FDR and JFK were and we regard them highly, will we be less worried about health issues?

Most disturbing was FDR's knowledge of the Holocaust and relative inaction to it. Churchill wanted to bomb the rail lines and the camps to stop the horror but apparently wasn't able to convice FDR.

The key decision by FDR was to defeat Germany totally …
Civil War within Islam or a Clash of Civilizations? That is how Friedman sees the current terrorism situation.

Wednesday (12/4), I plan to hear Michael Beschloss discuss his book "The Conquerors" which describes the complex relationship between FDR (later Truman), Churchill and Stalin as they decide how to prosecute the war against Germany in WW2. One crucial decision they made was to seek TOTAL destruction of the Nazi government. They believed anything less would mean that Germany would rise again to threaten Europe and the World. It should be an interesting discussion on that pivotal time in world history. I imagine he may also touch on how that bit of history should influence our thinking on the current war on terrorism.
I exited the subway at the Brookyln Bridge/City Hall stop, re-appeared on the city streets and was greeted by the biting chill of wind and rain. A Noreaster storm system was rolling through the Tri-State area this past weekend.

My knowledge of New York City streets is limited but I knew this subway station should leave me a mere few blocks from the World Trade Center site. How much of the tingle in my spine was due to the cold? How much was due to the palpable sense of my nearness to the WTC?

As I turned a street corner, at eye level, I saw a fence covered with items: t-shirts, hats, flags, photos, notes, banners ... the memorabilia of living people remembering the lost lives. I looked up and saw ... the open space. In the usual tall building field of view of New York, the open space was a source of dissonance. That chill ran up and down my spine again.

Like all of us, I can remember the day and time I heard the news. Tuesday, September 11, 2001 was a beautiful blue sky day…
Angels WIN!!!
Was in SF during game 6. In fact, was in SF Chinatown at a wedding banquet and the emcee announced to the Giant partisan crowd that they were leading 5-0! At that point, I just knew... because you announced the score before the game was over, the Angels will rally. So I checked my wireless internet phone and saw the score 5-0... 5-3... 5-4.... 5-6!!!!! And when the game ended, I said to my tablemates, "Its a final, Angels 6 Giants 5. The powers of the rally monkey must not be mocked!"

Was nervous listening to the radio for game 7... wondering if the Giants would mount a rally. But 24 y/o rookie Lackey, 31 y/o bounced around many a minor league team Donally, 20 y/o K-Rod with less than two handful of innings under his belt before the playoffs and then wily vet Percival closed them out.

Plaschke summed up the season nicely in the LA Times today.

Congrats Halos!!


Show me the money -- props 46, 47, 49, 50, 51On the California ballot are a number of propositions that will involve spending money. Prop 46 is a bond for homeless shelters and housing issues. Prop 47 is a bond for educational infrastructure. These two were submitted by the legislature for approval of the voters. The rest are on the ballot via the initiative process. Prop 49 seeks to allocate more funds for after school programs so it isn't a bond. This one is supported by Arnold "I'll be back" to run for governor someday Schwarzenegger. Prop 50 floats bonds for water projects and wetlands protections. Interestingly, on KPCC 89.3's AirTalk with Larry Mantle's Tuesday show October 22, he was discussing Prop 50. I emailed a question about why this bond was an initiative and not from the legislature. Mantle read the question on the air and the proponent of 51 acknowledged they went the legislative route but it got stuck. Considering that the Californ…
No on Prop 52Voter participation in California like elsewhere in the USA is dropping. Prop 52's remedy is to allow for day of election registration.

What is your gut reaction to that?

My reaction is, if you don't care to plan ahead by registering to vote, then you DON'T have the right to vote. I'd rather have a low turnout where people have given their votes some thought than a high turnout where the ballots are marked by people who haven't given any thought to their vote.

Interestingly, Iraq recently had an election with a massive voter turnout. Gee... Iraq must be a very democratic nation.

Prop 52 is stupid and even the Left Angeles Times recommends a NO on 52.
Bin Laden: Dead or Alive?Everyone has a theory on whether UBL is dead or alive. Recent reports from Al-Jezera seem to say he is still alive. Oddly, though, the messages are only voice and a signed fax. What has happened to the video clips that were the typical MO of UBL messages?

There are at least three possibilities: UBL is alive, UBL is dead or UBL is alive but injured.

If the Al-Queda leadership knows that UBL is dead, they would be very resistant to admitting that UBL was killed and buried in a mountain cave. In order to keep their movement alive and motivated, they have to keep its symbolic leader alive. Thus, the spate of murky messages would be their way of trying to keep UBL "alive" without having to resort to video tapes of a look-alike of UBL. It would be interesting to know if within the CIA, there has been thoughts of producing fake UBL remains and announcing it to the world in the hopes that UBL would be forced into making an appearance to dispel reports…
Angels Win!! It wasn't looking too good in the 7th when the Angels fell behind 5-3. But they just refuse to lose and roared back with 10 (TEN!) in the bottom of the ninth. The obvious play of the game was Adam Kennedy's at bat. Fox put up a graphic listing who has hit three homers in an ALCS and voila, AK launches his third homer into the seats for 3 runs to take the lead and win the game and the series. Wow!

The blend of pitching, hitting and tenacity has been inspiring to watch. Go Halos!
The House and Senate voted strong resolutions opening the way for the Bush administration to take action in Iraq including military force if necessary. Now, the action turns to the UN where I'm guessing the UK will back equally strong language. It seems that China is remaining pretty silent and will abstain or offer a yes vote but not say much about it. The problem is the French and the Russians who threaten a veto in the Security Counsel in the hopes of getting a weaker resolution.

It remains to be seen whether the latest news about the oil tanker attack off Yemen may influence the French thinking on Iraq. Certainly, they could claim, we should focus on Al-Queda and leave Hussein to another day. Nonetheless, the French have historically taken foreign policy positions in opposition to the USA where you wonder if they are doing that merely to say they aren't kowtowing to the USA.

The world waited far too long to take action against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Of course, th…
The Anaheim Angels got the split in Minnesota and come home for three games. Hopefully, they will put down all the decades of frustration and pick up their first World Series appearance. I am old enough to remember all too well 1986 when the Angels were one strike away from the World Series. I watched that game on TV. They lost that game and then the ALCS to that other famed cursed ballclub, the Boston Red Sox. Go HALOS!

Meanwhile, as a southern Californian, I am rooting for St. Louis to comeback against the San Francisco Giants. Whether they were throwing at Kenny Lofton or not, the Cardinals got to get fired up and set down the Giant hitters hitting behind Bonds. Go CARDS!
October 9, 2002

I was web surfing one day and stumbled across Lisa Napoli's Resume of Napoli on the Net fame. In her resume, she said she didn't want to do a blog unless she got paid for it. So what the heck is a blog?

I looked it up and found out a whole sub-culture! Try these other sites to get introduced into the world of blogs: Andrew Sullivan's Blog as he opines on the latest going on in politics and culture. For the libertarians out there, try Virginia Postrel's Blog which doubles as a site promoting her book, The Future and Its Enemies.

Stay tuned. I'll be writing sporatically in the days ahead. Hmmmm.... if a blogger writes in cyberspace but nobody surfs to that URL, does the site make a sound when it crashes....