Showing posts from September, 2008

Politics: the blame game

The bailout bill was defeated yesterday. Here is the roll call.

Whether this particular bailout package was a good option or not is a separate issue but of course, the media blame the House Republicans.

Indeed, 133 of the no votes came from the GOP side of the House. However, the reality is that 95 Democrats cast no votes as well. Thus, the instant blaming of the House Republicans doesn't tell the whole story.

As for the blame game for the whole financial mess to begin with, it has landed on the Republican doorstep as well.

Again it is more complicated as both sides wanted more "affordable housing" made available. By loosening lending criteria, the affordable housing problem was "solved" by making the mortgage lending problem which has snowballed into what we have now.

Good intentions, bad consequences.

UPDATE: Check out this item that spreads the blame pretty much everywhere. Excerpt:

So who is to blame? There's plenty of blame to go around, and it doesn…

Politics: Trying to cut through the feldercarb

Feldercarb ... if you watched the original Battlestar Galactica, you know what that is!

Who would you choose to be your vice-presidential candidate?

Someone who has served two terms in the US House and is serving a second term in the US Senate
A one term US Senator?

Who would you feel better about being president?

A two term state senator and one term governor
Someone who served as a city council member, mayor and is serving a first term as governor?

Who would you elect?
A graduate of Yale and Boston College Law School
A graduate of Yale and Harvard Business School?

For political news nuts, you know what I'm getting at!

John Kerry is a graduate of Yale and Boston College Law School while George W. Bush is a graduate of Yale and Harvard Business School. Bush was considered by critics to be too stupid to be president.

Jimmy Carter was a two term state senator and one term governor and was elected president and Sarah Palin served as a city council member, mayor and is serving a first ter…

Sports: Dodgers In October!!!

Its been a rocky year but they did it!

Weisman over at Dodger Thoughts has been my go to place for commentary beyond the box score.

He put it this way:

We celebrate the hit, even though we're rooting for the run. We celebrate the run, even though we're rooting for the win.

And today, at 2:32 p.m., we celebrate the division title, even though we're rooting for the bigger prize.

Congratulations, Dodgers and Dodger fans. Being the best in anything over 162 games is no easy road. Live it up!

Its been an incredible year from the special exhibition at the Coliseum, to the moving "Field of Dreams" opening day ceremony, the highs and lows of a long season with injuries and surprise stars, dramatic late season trades and the exciting and strong finish by a team that is coming together.

Go Dodgers!

Politics: This bailout thing is so huge and complicated ...

Am trying to get my head around the issue.

Robert J. Samuelson of Newsweek tries to explain. Excerpt:

Under Paulson's proposal, the Treasury could buy distressed mortgage-backed securities. Consider a batch of hypothetical securities originally worth $100 million and paying an interest rate of 6 percent. They're no longer worth $100 million because half of the homeowners have stopped making their monthly payments. Suppose, then, that the government buys the mortgages for $50 million. It earns 6 percent on its $50 million, and if it borrowed money at 4 percent to buy the securities, it would make a tidy profit. If the government holds the securities until maturity and all the remaining homeowners repay their mortgages, the government would come out ahead.

Would something like this happen? It could, and Pimco's Bill Gross argued in the Washington Post that it might, but there are several reasons it might not.

One of the reasons is the uncertainty of the price the Treasury w…

Politics: A video from

When we consider supporting a candidate, we ask ourselves: does this person represent, more often than not, the values I hold?

Though I am not Catholic (I am in the evangelical Protestant category), I appreciate the part where the video points out that some issues are more important than others.

HT: Hugh Hewitt.

Travel: July 2008 - Mississippi and New Orleans

In July, I joined up with other people from various Southern California Presbyterian churches to go to Mississippi to do some house repair work as part of the ongoing post-Hurricane Katrina efforts ...

Youth: What we are talking about at youth group ...

Life: 9/11, 7 years later

It was a cloudless day in New York city when the events of that day unfolded.

On, a search of 9/11 brings up many items.

The editors of Youtube placed this item near the top of the search results about one New Yorker's reflections on the cloud of paper that drifted over where he was ...

Another item brought up in the search that I clicked on was the work of computer scientists to animate one of the planes striking the WTC.

Here is a news clip about the memorial at the Pentagon.

As I thought about what to post, I decided to look back in the archives ...

From 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006.

The posts were brief and usually focused on "getting back to normal."

There was no post on 2007.

I don't want to forget for there are those who feel the absence of someone lost.

I don't want to forget for there are those in far away lands fighting the people who want more 9/11's in the USA, 10/12's in Bali, 3/11's in Madrid and 7/7's in London.

I don't want to f…

Sports: Dodgers still alive ...

Previously, I posted on the Dodgers when they were 54-54. Well, they are now 70-70.

I thought they would need to win 85 games to win the NL West. Well, there are now only 22 games left and the thought of them going 15-7 seems unlikely.

But they are still alive because the Dbacks are only 71-68!

Both teams have been streaky ... winning a bunch of games in a row and then dropping a bunch of games in a row.

The Dbacks are on pace to finish 83-79.

Can the Dodgers get to 84-78?

Can they go 14-8 down the home stretch?

3 games at home against the Dbacks.
3 games at SD.
3 games at Colorado.
4 games at Pittsburgh.
3 games at home against the Giants.
3 games at home against the Padres.
3 games at San Francisco.

If they win each series and split at Pittsburgh, they get to 84 wins!

They will face the top pitchers of the Dbacks in this weekend series. Taking the series gets them in front which is something they haven't done. They've tied the Dbacks but haven't been able to get past them.


Politics: Comparing the Experience of Gov. Palin and Sen. Obama

No doubt about it, Gov. Palin was a surprise pick.

The immediate criticism of her was her lack of experience.

Of course, that charge has been leveled at Sen. Obama!

Obama's "resume"
Community organizer in a Chicago non-profit
Law school teacher
Illinois State Senator
US Senator

Palin's "resume"
Wasilla City Council Member
Wasilla Mayor
Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission
Governor of Alaska

How "big" is the job of Alaska governor?

Alaska's budget is more than 11 billion, and the state employs 15,000 people.
HT: HH FYI: Alaska FY2009 budget summary.

In all fairness, Alaska's budget is 1/10th the size of California's budget but it is not trivial and the dismissive attitude of Gov. Palin's critics is unfair to the good people of Alaska and to her role as the chief executive of that state.

Fairness also requires us to admit both resumes are relatively thin in terms of a lifetime of experience compared to both Sen. Biden and Sen. McCain.


Politics: One Alaskan's View of Gov. Palin

Check out this post ...

Excerpt:Please, please, please don't vote McCain in November. Sarah Palin is BEST thing that has ever happened to this state and we don't want to lose her. IF however you feel compelled to vote for the best then it's an easy choice. I can't stress enough how much we love her.

The very first thing she did on taking office was sell on EBAY the Gulfstream jet that her predecessor bought for himself on the states tab. She bullied the oil companies to start building a gas pipeline (the largest construction project ever in North America) to the lower 48 that no governor or legislature has been able to do for the last 15 years. She is absolutely transparent and holds everyone in her government to the same standard.

Non-profit of the month: August, 2008 - MIssion Year

One of my friends is participating in a year of work in the inner city through Mission Year.

What do the people who join do?

Straight from their program page:

Mission Year is a year long program where Christian young people live in an urban neighborhood volunteering, worshiping, and loving their neighbors. It is an opportunity for 18 to 29 year olds, both single and married, to spend a year following Jesus' command to “Love the Lord your God, and love your neighbor as yourself.” By partnering with a local church, volunteering at a service site, and spending time with neighbors, Mission Year Team Members effectively impact their communities while catching a deeper vision for what the Kingdom of God is like.

My friend will be doing this project in Wilmington, Delaware.

The organization is on the ground in six cities.

If you know someone who is offering a year of their lives to this kind of community work, please consider offering some support to them.