Tuesday, October 29, 2002

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!!


Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Show me the money -- props 46, 47, 49, 50, 51

On 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 California legislature is controlled by the Democrats, it is surprising that anything with strong support would get stuck. Prop 51 is devoted to transportation and public transit projects by trying to earmark funds so it isn't a bond.

In an ideal world, we could spend all the money we want to fund all these things. However, we don't live in that world and we have to pick and choose which items to approve. So this time around I plan to support 46, 47 and 49.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

No on Prop 52

Voter 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.

Monday, October 14, 2002

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 of his death. Such a plan of course would probably be rejected because it would entail embarrasment to those who forged the remains!

UBL may well be alive. UBL might simply be waiting for another large operation before making an appearance. Al-Queda has shown considerable tenacity over the years and willingness to wait. However, if indeed UBL is alive and well, why send out these messages where authenticity could be questioned?

Lastly, if UBL was injured and if a video appearance would reveal that, then the recent messages would be the way Al-Queda can get the message out without revealing too much.
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!

Friday, October 11, 2002

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, there are still problems and will be for a long time in that broken country. However, few would dispute that the lot of the average Afghani, espcially women, has improved.

Iraqi's people have suffered much under Hussein's rule. Money that should go to the purchase of food and medicine instead gets diverted to building weapons of mass destruction and military power to keep himself in power. Why do the Iraqi's need chemical, biological and nuclear weapons? Most countries in the world do not have them and see the folly of wasting valuable resources in getting them.

I do not want war as the first option. Who does? But you listen to some of the critics and you think the USA is going to bomb Bagdad for breakfast tomorrow. The strong show of resolve is essential. Making this point with much more flair was NY Times Friedman.

Hussein has a sorry history of mis-calculation. Hopefully, he won't this time. Or perhaps some in his inner circle will take it into their own hands to make sure he won't mis-calculate.

Thursday, October 10, 2002

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!

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

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....