Poor OJ

Our “justice” system prevailed. It hung another black man. OJ Simpson was sentenced to 15 years for his heinous crime. He “stole” his own possessions back from a fence. Some of his friends helped and some of them may have had weapons. It wasn’t a wise thing to do, it may have been criminal if it were true. The evidence, as usual points both ways. But…

What is wrong with this result is that he was hung for it. for something that  is much less a hazard to society than say an armed bank rodder that may serve three years and be paroled early. That armed robber would probably serve less than a year if it was his first conviction. An arogant black man gets 15 years for his first conviction.

What about the Enron folks? how many of them really served any time and get out still rich? Their actions affected millions of people, not some criminal fence selling stolen property.

What about police thugs that assault people, finally get caught for one of their many inproprieties and then retire?

What about mortgage bankers swindling homeowners and then suffering the penanty of accepting a bailout from the government?

OJ gets to spend the rest of his life in jail for a crime similar to stealing a loaf of bread, stealing from a theif. POOR OJ! Poor us. We really need to work on our “justice’ system.

2008 Election Results

As usual with elections, you win some and lose some.

Of course Barak Obama winning is a great sign of hope for the future.

I’m really happy to see that Proposition 1A, the High Speed Rail initiative has won. As usual, California leads the way and hopefully the rest of the country will follow and rebuild our passenger rail system, a much more effective and efficient method of travel.

I’m VERY disappointed that Proposition 8 won. It is an extreme step backwards for California. It is the anti gay marriage initiative. Government should NOT support religious views as a function of government. It should maintain order, and the safety and security of ALL citizens. This measure doesn’t do that. Government should regulate marriages similar to the businesses they are. If people don’t want the government to sanction marriage for gays, it shouldn’t for straights either. Let the churches copyright the use and definition of marriage. Take all reference to marriage out of the laws and substitute civil union for all, gay and straight. It would have been a lot easier to just use marriage for all and apply it equitably instead and let the those churches that only want straights limit themselves, not others. Of course, it should have been obvious that it shouldn’t pass. No initiative modification to the constitution is ever an improvement to the original document.

Congratulations President Elect Obama!

Maybe there is hope for this country! I think the majority of the voters finally believe as I have for eight years, that we need a new direction for this country. A positive direction with hope of a more peaceful world, civilized leadership and considered judgment.

I was so glad to see the old John McCain return. He’s been gone for so long now. His campaign was almost 100% negative which has worked well for too long for the Republican party. He was supposed to be a maverick but detoured into the extreme right wing during his campaign. His concession speech was gracious, unifying, and timely. His speech occurred moments after the polls in California closed when the results were obvious. It would be wonderful if he is really back on the right track and he and Obama can both show the world a unified USA.
I now have to hope that the current president, that will remain in office for another  2 1/2 months, doesn’t burn the white house and or the country as he leaves.

I’m confident that Barak Obama will hit the ground running and get the country back in proper order rather quickly!

Previously, I estimated how the election would go.  I think, at least part of that estimate has been proven true, that Barak Obama would win with about a 5% lead. We will never know if the other estimate would have been true, that if Hillary Clinton had been the candidate, she would have done better possibly sweeping about half the states that did vote red with a 10% lead and even more differential of the electoral vote. I think it also demonstrated the 5% difference in how people say they voted and the voting result which, I believe, shows the Republicans still control a 5% adjustment in the actial vote.

Un-Real Estate

I was watching the old TV show Perry Mason as I often do at lunch time and was considering why people would murder someone for $5,000 or why someone with $50,000 would be considered wealthy. That’s a problem with old black and white TV shows, they are kind of dated. Anyway, I had to remember that up into the mid ’60′s you might be able to buy a house for that $5,000. That puts a different perspective on it.

With the recent crash of housing prices most everywhere I was trying to put it all into perspective. My parent’s bought a house about 1940 in Bakersfield that I was raised in. It probably cost them $5,000 and included 2.5 acres. It was a nice three bedroom house with big rooms and the yard made for a nice playground. They yard was actually made much bigger because there were open oilfields adjacent to it.

In the early 60′s I remember the family went house looking and similar sized houses with a much smaller lot cost about $10,000. 20 some years and a doubling of price.

In 1974, I bought my first house in South San Jose for $23,000. To me, that seemed like a lot but other areas of town and other nearby towns had ordinary housing going for the mid 30′s. A little over 10 years and another two or three times increase in price.

In 1979 we bought our house in downtown San Jose for $75,000. Five years and the price of a house tripled. The next year, our new neighbor downtown sold his house, 1/2 the size of ours and 30 years older for $130,000. He did it by placing a sign on the main street one weekend and had three offers that weekend. I measure that as one year and a 100% increase. Do you see a problem here?

In 1988 we bought our house in Bakersfield for $95,000. It remained at that price for years slowly rising to about 110,000 by the late 90′s. We decided to sell in 2005 but delayed putting it on the market to do some fixup. Similar houses were now, suddenly selling in the high $300,000 having been in the mid $200,000 just the previous year. All this in a market that one has to wonder why anyone would want a house in. We tried to sell the house ourselves when we were through fixing it up but prices were now dropping. While we were holding open houses we dropped the price each week and still didn’t sell it. When our “listing” with Help-U-Sell over, we signed with an agent who sold the house in the first weekend for our asking price which was now $70,000 less than we started at. It sold for $300,000. That house now might sell for $200,000. A really significant drop in price from the boom we saw when we decided to sell. Bakersfield is typical of much of the real estate market in California, Nevada, Arizona,Texas, Florida, and probably lots of other places to some lesser but still very significant extent.

In 1989 we bought our current house in Palo Alto for $300,000. Six months previously, the people we bought from had turned down an offer of $375,00 for the same house. The market was correcting and fortunately we got in at the bottom. Houses in the neighborhood are now still selling with 7 figure prices. There hasn’t been a drop here, yet. The price increased 300-400% in 18 years.

So what’s the story here? Housing prices rise and fall but usually they drop to their real value after an unrealistic increase to an un-real value. You usually don’t loose money if you buy when it’s priced realistically.

Another thing about housing in the US. People buy too big of a house. Nobody really needs a 2000 sq ft house unless they have more than the usual 2-3 kids. First there is the waste of extra materials and then there is the waste of extra utilities like lights and heating. I think we’re in for an extended period of adjustment in housing. Too much of it, too much of the wrong size, and too much in the wrong place. This adjustment period will take a bit longer than the adjustments in the mid 70′s, 80′s and 90′s.Of course, that’s assuming we do have a soft landing and not a crash.

What Part of Inept….

If it didn’t affect people so much it might be funny. The inept Bush administration has added another feather in their bonnet, the failure of our countries financial system. This is the result of lax regulation quite often counter to the law not just because of deregulation. This can be added to the failure of our police action in Iraq where we never should have gone in the sake of anti terrorism. Our military is near collapse due to overuse. The rights of citizens went away due to abuse of the administration.

Aren’t we fortunate that by some miracle, congress didn’t go along with the privatization of Social Security as Bush so much wanted for his cronies. If they had, this current financial problem wouldn’t seem like such a big deal at all. Of course, they only want an unrestricted check for 700 billion dollars this time, again for the cronies, not the people. Kind of makes the savings and loan failure, and the Enron collapse seem kind of insignificant doesn’t it.

A pretty good record for Bush. Failure, failure failure. Try hard to think of something he’s accomplished of benefit to the country. Try again, there must be something. How could anyone get everything wrong.

Don’t let McCain distract you either, his actions are at the root of this failure. He’s definitely not a potential savior.

I have always believed that the economy was going down toward a day of reckoning.  Mr Bush tried to liven up the economy by allowing the loan requirements to be adjusted to allow sales of homes to expand and imply a growing economy. We have been in recession for his whole term and now it may be impossible to stop. Good job George.

We’re all in for a tough time. The next president will have a lot to do and getting us out of this hole is going to be difficult. If, by some disaster, McCain is elected, the following president will have even a deeper whole, if that’s possible, to dig us out of.

I’m a retired person but so far don’t have to worry about these financial losses, if the fall can be stopped. If we continue to fall I guess I’ll be looking for work with everyone else. These past four years of retirement have been fun, I’d hate to see them end. My belief that this was going to occur is a primary reason for my early retirement.

VOTE OBAMA PLEASE! If not for your own sake, for mine!

Too Much Protection

Sometimes, laws are needed to assure people and businesses act responsibly. More often than not such laws are not well thought out. While enjoying my breakfast this morning at a new Kaiser hospital, I noticed a sign on the wall, much like you now see at all businesses in California. It’s a proposition 65 required posting about the potential for cancer causing chemicals being used. Every business posts them because everything causes cancer. So wouldn’t it be better to save the environment and not waste resources saying to obvious just to prevent some lawyer from suing you? I think the intent was to point out real hazards like air pollution, or such but it becomes less than worthless when it’s posted everywhere for everything.

This case was even worse here at Kaiser because the wording of the sign wasn’t just the standard “we may have something that causes cancer around here” type of sign. They mention in their sign that the drugs they prescribe may cause cancer but the doctor considered well before prescribing the drugs. That’s comforting but is it really necessary to tell us something everyone should already be aware of. What a waste of effort! Dreaming up the wording, posting the sign, reading the sign, all a waste of time.
Someday I’m going to have to start the campaign for a law mandating PERSONAL responsibility. You’re responsible for the obvious fellow. Someday!

Are Radical Chaplains Taking Over the Military?

I’ve thought all along that Mr Bush’s War was an evangelical crusade. While watching a report on the training of army chaplains on the News Hour on PBS I learned that more than half the army chaplains are evangelical protestants. Should that be interpreted as war mongers? Having a volunteer military is dangerous enough but adding too strong of an evangelical element to the mix is extremely dangerous. Is the mix adequate to assure extremists don’t take over the military possibly at the expense of civilian control?

Sorry folks, we really need the draft, not to fuel wars but to prevent them.

News Services Should Investigate and Analyze

If you’ve read anything on this website you probably realize I don’t think much of the press, as it exists. The primary reasons are these:

  1. Most have no resemblance to a journalist media.
  2. Some go far beyond not providing competent news and provide disinformation instead, such as Fox news.
  3. Most do not do any investigation. They just parrot what news releases have been provided or what some politician says without proofing it.

During the time approaching an election, a competent news service would listen to a politician speak. then if they don’t understand fully where the politician stands an the issues, ask questions. If the politician ducks answering the question, ask it again. Insist on an answer. If no answer is provided, make that a part of any article written.
When preparing the news report, investigate what was said and report on any discrepancies, exaggerations or lies.
Our lives as citizens are hard enough trying to make important decisions without only being supplied with inaccurate incomplete information about the issues and candidates from both candidates and the news services.
Part of the problem is there are fewer services, only one wire service now and the networks have cut their staff to almost nothing.
It seems like all the important news is now coming form the blogs, not traditional media. That’s good and bad. There is a lot of trash on the Internet. Some readers may think this blog adds to it. That’s the bad. The good is that at least, good information is available. It usually doesn’t take too much reading to realize what is probably accurate and what is trash.
What’s bad about this is that it would be much easier for everyone if we had real journalism with the appropriate standards of journalism like we’ve enjoyed in the past.
Something needs to be done to correct this.

Lipstick On A Pig

The Wrong Wing is still at it but seems to be escalating their drivel.  They are all upset because Senator Obama mentioned the effect of their actions was like “trying to put lipstick on a pig.” It’s more than clear that they are trying to make a mountain out of an ant hill. First, Senator McCain used the same words a year ago describing Clinton’s National Heath Care Plan. Why is it now inappropriate. It is actually a VERY accurate decription of the Republican’s actions.
McCain and Palin have always FULLY supported President Bush and the Republican scamming until their convention and then the only thing that has changed is they have stolen the words that the democrats have been using but still Fuly supporting all the same actions and ideas of the old republican party.
What’s changed. NOTHING! Just listen to what they say and then remember that much of it the democrats have ALWAYS been saying but not saying it with a wink and a loophole.
Forget what McCain says.
He is for big oil
He is for War.
He is against health care for everyone.
He does support radical religious orgsnizations.
He does lie, lie, lie.

Is This Another Cover Up, Or Two?


John McCain never fails to utilize his military experience as a qualification for his being prepared for the Presidency. He further uses the fact that he was a prisoner of war as an indicator of his character and a qualification for the Presidency. Neither has any relationship.
However, because he relies on them as a credential for qualification, they are both exposed to review and criticism. One problem with that review is that McCain’s military records have not been released for review. We get the story but no facts.

There are stories flying around the Internet about McCain’s graduating at the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy and of his recklessness as a pilot. He was the pilot of 5 (or6) plane losses or possibly even more if, as asserted by some, that he was responsible for the carrier Forestall’s disaster. A review of his military records could help to put such stories to rest or to confirm them. Unfortunately, the records are not available and even if they were, they might still not reflect the “whole” truth because evidently, just like his mentor, President Bush, his father, an admiral and his commander in the Navy, may have influenced the documentation.

His being a Prisoner Of War during the Vietnam War shouldn’t be questioned but again, that is not a qualification. However, reviewing his version of the story and the facts is appropriate. It appears he has at least polished the story. There were more than 600 POW’s and many were captive much longer than McCain. John McCain was injured in the crash of that plane and taken prisoner. He was injured in the crash breaking both arms and a leg and reportedly tortured when taken prisoner. Just how he was treated after it was learned he was the commanding Admiral’s son is in question. Some reports indicate his treatment improved because of that. In either case everyone’s treatment improved after about 1969 three years before his release.

We are always hearing that John McCain was seriously injured during captivity and now can’t raise either arm. That probably isn’t completely true either because after his repatriation he returned to flight status as a pilot. During that time he may or may not have crashed his 6th plane. In either case, because he was on flight status as a pilot his promotional opportunities remained and he became a Captain in the Navy and a base commander passing by the usual squadron commander experience.

What parts of the above are true or false can possibly be confirmed by providing access to his military records and being sure there are no missing records like there were for President Bush. Or is he exactly like Bush? Lying about his experience, military record, and a hothead that will take the country to unnecessary wars and expanding the loss of citizen rights? I’m not impressed with his record unless it is true and then it still doesn’t make him the best choice, or even a good choice, for president. It does indicate he served his country well, in the past, but says nothing about the future.


And then there is his choice for Vice President Sarah Palin. McCain and his folks quite evidently didn’t vet her at all or they are demonstrating the potential incompetence that a McCain presidency will bring, much like our current president has. She was quite obviously chosen mostly because she was a young women. It certainly wasn’t her experience. She, in three days has brought along numerous potential scandals which the McCain Group doesn’t want people to look into because it’s not appropriate. Not appropriate to check on the facts?

  1. She evidently fired a police commissioner because he had the audacity not to fire the estranged husband of her sister, a state trooper. There is an ethics investigation into that charge.
  2. Her daughter is unmarried and pregnant and her child’s supposed father is not interested in having children but is going to marry her, at 17 years of age.
  3. Sarah Palin’s youngest child is more likely the same daughter’s first child, born just five months ago. There is a problem with a picture of the pregnant looking daughter and the not pregnant looking Sarah and the unbelievable labor and delivery of the child and the fact the daughter was out of school for the last five months before delivery due to mono. It must have been a very serious case of mono and was more obviously very convenient. If the daughter has a miscarriage of the present pregnancy before a delivery then there is no question whose baby the previous child is. If not she may still just be very promiscuous.
  4. Palin is evidenly a book burner. She threatened to fire a librarian in the city where she was mayor for her failure to get rid of some books Palin didn’t like.
  5. And finally, so far, there is the fact she supports the secession of Alaska from the United States. I’m not sure that is necessarily a bad thing but she is trying to deny it while still supporting it as recently as a year ago. If Alaska gets to, perhaps we in California can as well.

The real problem with all of these is a thing called honesty. Did she hide facts during the vetting, or not. It all boils down to total hypocrisy on the part of McCain, Palin and their supporters.

The same can not be said about Barack Obama nor Joe Biden. They are not hiding information but they still have the Republican dis-information machine spewing its venom. Facts are or would be nice, stories are not.

1 2 3 4 8