Budget Crisis in a Nutshell
We have a deficit of over $30 billion. Democrats have been saying raise taxes and cut some spending. Republicans have said no tax hike and cut a lot of spending. Now, Republicans have suggested that we borrow money and cut some spending. Davis thinks their plan is bad. Anyone need details?
Didn't think so.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/30/2003 08:25:00 AM
California Wildlife Update
It seemed to me there was a lot of news on this topic today (links via Rough & Tumble):
There's also news about tiny freshwater shrimp (may be added to endangered species) and salmon (a good season expected).
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/30/2003 08:19:00 AM
California State Quarters
The five finalists for the design on the back are here. link
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/29/2003 07:41:00 PM
Cruise Ship Threat Followup
Last week, a Royal Caribbean ship was held at sea while the Coast Guard and other law enforcement types boarded it and investigated two threatening notes found in the ship's bathrooms. Now we know that this "prank" was pulled by a 20-year-old Orange County woman who missed her boyfriend and resented being taken on a ten-day cruise with her family. She has been arrested.
The Carnival of the Vanities has moved to Clubbeaux this week and Ravenwood remembered to send in an entry. It's not officially due until tomorrow but preview posts are up!
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/29/2003 06:54:00 PM
Recall Roundup 4/29
Signatures are at 9%. I have seen Costa say that the secretary of state has to start counting them when it hits 10%. Kaloogian has said that they need $100,000. Both seem to think that the official counting will be a big boost.
Any citizen who advocates such a process--especially less than a year after the election--is simply wishing to tear our State government down. Such an action states that such a citizen doesn't believe in the democratic constitutional system of California and is hoping to make our problems worse.
I continue to be bemused by progressives who object so strongly to a process that is part of our democratic constitutional system and was put in by progressives along with the initiative process. I have never heard a liberal democrat (or anyone besides me for that matter) complain about an intiative that seeks to pass a law that the Legislature won't pass on the grounds that we just elected that Legislature and we're disrupting the democratic constitutional system.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/29/2003 01:38:00 PM
The Language We Use
An interesting piece at City Journal on the way we distance ourselves from the notion of violence and crime so that it becomes acceptable. The author, Theodore Dalrymple, ascribes the problem to liberals but I suspect liberals don't corner the market on the problem.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/29/2003 01:02:00 PM
Clinton, D-N.Y., told about 1,550 Connecticut Democrats that an increasing number of Americans are unhappy with Bush's policies.
"There is an unease," she told the party faithful gathered at the Democrats' annual Jefferson Jackson Bailey dinner in Southington. "People know better than what they hear and what they see."
What does that last sentence mean?
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/29/2003 11:10:00 AM
Mexican ID cards
While we're on the subject of immigration, here's an article sure to ruffle feathers.
The California Assembly on Monday approved legislation that would allow legal and illegal immigrants from Mexico to obtain city and county services by displaying an identification card issued by the Mexican Consulate. link
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/29/2003 10:58:00 AM
Illegal Immigrants and a College Education
Xrlq does a fine job of fisking an LA Times article that supports illegal immigrants getting the reduced instate tuition at state universities. Now, if I had my way, we'd have open borders and all immigrants could come in legally. But I don't have my way and as long as there is legal and illegal immigration, we need a statutory scheme that makes sense. I am a little amused by conservatives fussing when the states want to take matters in their own hands but the fact is the federal government controls immigration and the power over it has already been taken away from the states. Until it is given back, the states' actions should not be tolerated.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/29/2003 10:53:00 AM
The role of government
It's time I expounded on limited government vs. no government. Generally, my political philosophy is that power lies in the people and not in the government. When I was younger, it seemed that this was a far left philosophy. In recent years, I've aligned myself with the Republicans because Democrats tend to be of the big government/nanny state philosophy. However, both parties are comprised of people in government with the power of government in their hands and its hard to resist using it. So I find myself occasionally aligned differently on a particular issue.
Now, despite my general abhorrence for government, there are some things that government does well. To spare my comment section from being dragged off on a tangent, I will refrain from giving an example of what I consider an appropriate use of government. However, my philosophy is that there are some things as a society that we should bear the weight of together. That's the original view of taxes. Everybody put some money in and then the government will pay for something that benefits society in general. We could argue all day long about whether benefiting a particular group benefits society as a whole. We could also argue all day long about the use of taxation to control behavior (eg taxing cigarettes so fewer people smoke).
I am focussing now on the original purpose -- share the burden. The California state attorney general's office is suing former dry cleaners to clean up Chico under the Superfund statute based on allegations that the dry cleaners dumped PCE into the water source. Now, there are some questions about the choice of individuals. Some claim that they followed the standard at the time of recycling PCE into storage containers and at least one claims to have bought the property after the time in question and used it to store cars. My complaint is with the entire suit (and indeed with the strict liability nature of the Superfund statute, which I have never liked).
It is unquestioned that no one knew at the time that PCE was the problem that cost millions of dollars years later. Not the dry cleaners, not the government, probably no scientists. Nor was the statute that they are being sued under in existence when they were engaging in the activities that form the basis of their liability.
Deputy Attorney General Rose Fua said in a recent interview. "However, what we're talking about is the fact that the groundwater in Chico is contaminated with PCE and someone has to pay for cleaning this up. If we don't find the responsible parties, that means the taxpayers have to clean it up.
"If somebody was 85 years old and they killed somebody, does the law not apply to them?"
1. She's confusing an intentional act (killing someone) with the strict liability Superfund statute, which can hold you liable if if you are completely innocent.
2. I think this is something that we should bear as a society. Mom and pop dry cleaners should not have to discover 30 years later that there was something wrong with what they did, when they had no way to know at the time.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/29/2003 09:17:00 AM
A City Girl Raising Chickens
I may be done in by my chicken project. On Friday, a dozen fertilized eggs arrived but the incubator did not.Well, we only want a couple of chickens so we had extra eggs for experimenting and a child who was pretty darn eager, so we jerryrigged an incubator out of a foot bath, some kitty ltter and some water. I love jerryrigging. It drives my husband nuts.
Well, the temperature was either 10 degrees too hot or 10 degrees too cold. I think the foot bath experiment would have worked if I kept it on my desk and adjusted the heat every 15 minutes or so. Even I am not crazy enough to practice law with a foot bath full of cat litter and chicken eggs on my desk. I'm worried I even thought of the idea.
Yesterday, the incubator and the brooder arrived. Amanda tried to put it together herself. She was apparently unaware that the box contained two items -- the incubator and the brooder -- and the number of additional parts was daunting. So last night, I assembled our $20 plastic bowl and lightbulb 3-egg incubator. It looks jerryrigged to me. Even the patent pending piece of chicken wire and foil that folds at a 90 degree angle looks jerryrigged. But we are a family of great faith and we turned it on and let it run so it would get to the proper temperature before 3 of the precious eggs now living in a room with the windows open (cool not cold storage) can move into their warm new home. When we went to bed last night, the incubator temperature had stabilized at ten degrees too cool. More jerryrigging lies ahead.
The brooder looks even more intimidating. The brooder, for the uninitiated, keeps the newborn chicks at the proper temperature for the first five weeks until they can move outside. Yes, they are living inside for five weeks. In Amanda's room. I'll believe it when I see it. If we get that far, I am certain that they will live in the master bath with the goldfish. The master bath is the only room with complete cat-limited access.
The brooder has no floor. And no instructions. Well, maybe by then, the nights will be warm enough that the chicks and their heater can live in the cage that should arrive any week or so. Outside.
I regularly remind myself that it is the destination, not the journey. Farm fresh eggs laid the day before are available at the farmers' market every weekend for $2.50 a dozen. It is the challenge that we have purchased and so far, we are getting our money's worth.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/29/2003 06:21:00 AM
A deal after all
A few days ago, I mentioned the conflicting reports about whether the Republicans would or would not go along with a deal that would cut $6 billion from the budget without raising taxes. You may recall that the LA Times reported that the Republicans "stunned" everyone by refusing to go along. Other papers suggested the sides were still talking and a deal was likely.
All by myself
When I checked into blogdex this morning, I was pleased to see that one of the top stories was the beatification of the friar who defeated the Muslims. I suggested yesterday that this was an odd choice in the current political climate. Aha, I thought, I'm not the only one struck by this. Alas, all the other bloggers were thrilled because he discovered cappuccino.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/28/2003 08:30:00 AM
The real Gray Davis
Now, I am no fan of Gray Davis. But I have a soft spot for remote politicians trying and succeeding at showing us their more human sides. I still tell the story of how delightful Al Gore was at the 96 (?) convention doing the Al Gore Macarena. He stands perfectly still and then says "want to see it again?" So it was with some small pleasure that I read this story of Gray Davis on the radio circuit.
"Governor," asked co-host Chris Rochester, "what would you say is your favorite food?"
Quirky. I like quirky.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/28/2003 07:06:00 AM
Spring has Sprung at the Calblog Estate
The Calblog husband and I live like Easterners. Although the lawn is lush and green year-round and most Saturday afternoons are in the shirtsleeve temperature range, we rarely venture into the yard from Oct-May. For the last several years, I have been out cleaning the patio furniture on Memorial Day weekend, swearing we will not crawl into the house like bears for our winter hibernation when fall rolls around. We even have one of those fancy, restaurant-quality patio heaters to lure us out on cooler evenings but it has not worked to lure us.
This year, the best thing I can say is that we were doing the annual clean off the patio furniture a month early. I came to the conclusion that is the light that keeps us inside during the winter, not the temperature. Once daylight savings time arrives, the yard does look more inviting. So we've planted the vegetables and marveled at the roses that have sprung into fullbloom while we gave them only a passing nod. A new squirrel-proof birdfeeder is up and we're waiting for the birds to forgive us for leaving the other one empty over the winter. The tables are cleaned off and the husband and the twins played a rousing game of croquet while I barbecued the chicken.
We also wandered onto the rise over the gully and inspected the growth. It was indeed a rough winter by California standards. We lost three trees this winter. The redwood is not showing new growth out of the stump as I had hoped. I'll give it another year. The two liquid ambers that broke appear to have recovered. They are full and bushy even though they are only three feet high. And it looks like a fig tree has taken root. In a couple of years, we'll have fresh wild figs. All is well this spring on the Calblog estate.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/28/2003 06:58:00 AM
An odd choice
As the war in Iraq was about to start, and diplomacy was being abandoned, the Pope issued a statement expressing his concern that the war not create an atmosphere of Muslims vs. Christians. Now he is beatifying a man who rallied the Christian troops to defeat the Ottoman Turks about to invade Europe. This man has been dead over 300 years. Isn't the Pope concerned enough about Christian/Muslim relations not to beatify a man who defeated the Muslims in a war right about now?
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/27/2003 04:31:00 PM
Speaking at the California College Republicans 2003 convention was Sacramento Congressman Doug Ose, who has formed an exploratory committee and expects to announce on Memorial Day weekend that he will run against Boxer. From the Daily Bulletin article:
In his remarks, Ose blasted Boxer's record on homeland and national security. She voted against granting Bush congressional authority to pre-emptively attack Iraq and supported former President Bill Clinton while for eight years he scaled back the military's ability to fight a two-front war, Ose said.
Ose said Californians would benefit by having him in the Senate because he knows how to work with his colleagues in Congress and has a relationship with the White House.
"If I make this race, I'll be talking about restoring our economy as well," Ose said.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/27/2003 08:16:00 AM
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/27/2003 08:06:00 AM
The Calblog house has 4 cats, one goldfish and 12 fertile chicken eggs which I hope will produce 2 or 3 egglaying chickens. Our youngest cat, Patrick, was orphaned at birth or soon after and handraised in the foster program at the Glendale Humane Society before he joined the Calblog house.
All of our cats are friendly to us. Patrick is the only one that is friendly to everyone and anyone who walks in the door since he requires more love and affection than even 4 of us can dish out. He also retains one habit that no other cat I've had has kept. At 2 years of age, he still nurses to calm himself down. When he was little, he nursed on fingers. Now he nurses on my blanket or one of my daughter's blankets. (The other daughter values her sleep and cats are not allowed in her room.) Usually he waits to be invited but this morning, at an early hour for a Sunday, I was awoken by Patrick pushing and prodding the blanket into just the right position before he began sucking noisily.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/27/2003 08:02:00 AM
I heard good things about Issa last night but sitting in a room of 1000 Republicans with money, it was clear to me that the focus is on defeating Boxer next year.
UPDATE: Molly has a link to a NY Times article about the recall. Interestingly, a couple of days ago, someone from the nytimes domain ended up here searching for Kaloogian's name. Kaloogian heads the unofficial campaign.
I finally got my noncritical mail opened and took a look at the latest direct mail piece from the unofficial campaign run by Kaloogian. They are asking for a donation so they can direct mail 500,000 petitions. They are hoping for 85 people to donate $1000 or more. The "conspiracy theory" quality is a bit much for me especially this unsubstantiated claim:
[The political establishment is] now threatening donors and telling them not to contribute to our campaign.
How is that possible?
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/27/2003 07:49:00 AM
Don't Know Much About History
In 4th grade in California. all the schoolkids learn about CA history. I didn't go to school in CA (for the record, I never went to 4th grade at all) so it was all new to me. I found the Spanish Conquistadors fascinating. It was all so different from what was going on in the east and I could see the influence of that different history today.
We started with Indian tribes though and this one ate acorns, berries and fish and that one ate berries, acorns and fish and that other one ate fish acorns and berries. I was pretty grumbly (can you imagine?) but I should have paid attention because now one of those tribes -- the Miwoks -- are trying to get a casino.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/26/2003 10:36:00 AM
I love the condors. I drove with my parents to see them in the wild before they were captured for the captive breeding program. I remember the protestors marching in front of the LA Zoo convinced the program would fail. One condor was part of the Zoo's bird show (and probably still is but the Calblog twins don't like the zoo). It was awesome to watch that wingspan as it soared over the audience. I even started a very intense class in animal observation in the hopes of becoming a volunteer at the condor program but taking classes while being a first year associate at a large firm was too much.
Now, after all these years, condors are indeed in the wild. The article mentions the setbacks, which are to be expected, but overall things are going well.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/26/2003 10:14:00 AM
I Smell a Mess
This paragraph in the San-Diego Union-Tribune tells me all I need to know about the Indian casinos:
Pechanga and Morongo, both of Riverside County, are adding "Class 2" machines, and the state could see many more of them. They fall under a federal category of games that aren't subject to state compacts and could be installed by the thousands in California tribal casinos.
Why are there federal categories that aren't subject to state compacts? Somebody, or more likely a lot of somebodies, screwed up. You can't pass laws piecemeal. You need a statutory scheme.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/26/2003 09:59:00 AM
Recall Roundup 4/26
Two articles in the San Jose Mercury News today here and here. Second link via Molly.
The signatures are at about 8%. It's like watching Maddy do her math homework. It moves along fine but it's just so dang slooooow.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/26/2003 09:53:00 AM
The NFL Draft
I can't believe I watch this every year. I must really really like sitting next to my husband while he pays no attention to me. That said, the commercials on this show are fabulous. As good as the Super Bowl.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/26/2003 09:42:00 AM
So here it is Friday night. What am I doing blogging? Well, Hollywood Park opens tonight and we're watching it on TVG. I had been considering a play -- Ten Little Indians with the Calblog twins who like theater and loved Mousetrap in London. (Yeah, yeah they're spoiled but who would put up with them for a week while I went to those cool places without them). But there I was working late -- on a FRIDAY night -- in a week of late nights and looking at the stacks thinking that weekend work was inevitable when the phone rang and the Calblog twins were screaming at each other. The Calblog husband's idea of Hollywood Park on the TV won out over dragging fighting girls to the theater.
So I opened a fine bottle of old vine zinfandel and I've been catching up on my email If you want a note, write NOW. If you're reading this Saturday morning: oh well.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/25/2003 08:39:00 PM
Republicans, Hispanics and California
Face it. Republicans blew it in 1994 with Prop 187, which limited services to illegal immigrants. Don't fool yourself into believing that its a coincidence that Democrats have gotten a stranglehold on elected positions since then.
Now, nationwide, Hispanics have started to tilt Republican. The large percentage of Catholics among the population, the Cubans in Florida and Bush's appeal to Hispanics, originally in Texas and then nationwide. A late-breaking piece on the Bee's website today gives a nod to that trend:
Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll, said the latest numbers don't necessarily portend a Bush victory in California in 2004, but the generally favorable outcome of the U.S.-led war in Iraq boosts the president's popularity with Hispanic voters, the fastest growing segment of the state's voting population.
"The war does offer Bush the opportunity to play a different hand with Latinos," DiCamillo said. "Latinos supported the war in much higher numbers than some other groups."
Tomorrow night, I attend a black tie event for the Lincoln Juarez Opportunity Center in Santa Ana which opened in late March. The centers name refers to the friendship between US President Abraham Lincoln and Mexican President Benito Juarez. Lincoln Clubs have long been gatherings of Republicans in CA and this organization extends the Republican "big tent" to Hispanics, offering a number of services to immigrants in the Santa Ana area. The center, though run by Republicans. will some assistance, not recruit Republicans or talk politics.
If you're one of my three liberal readers, I know the cognitive dissonance is getting to you right about now. Republicans. Help the poor. Does not compute. I know you don't trust it. Just wait.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/25/2003 08:31:00 PM
New (to me) Blog
The best thing about having comments is linking to your commentors' websites and discovering something you like. So it is with Molly's Musings.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/25/2003 06:41:00 PM
The Republican Assembly Leader Speaks
His latest newsletter is out and there's not a single word on the budget crisis. Am I the only one who finds this odd?
There is a piece about a study that concludes that raising the minimum wage does not reduce poverty. Thanks to the joys of the WWW, you can view the actual study in pdf form here. I have to admit that while I can read statistical analyses, having studied such concepts mumble mumble 25 mumble mumble years ago, I can't really critique them. So I put it out there for anyone who can take a shot.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/25/2003 06:36:00 PM
After a little bit of research and even less planning, the Calblog twins and I decided to raise chickens. The Calblog husband wants nothing to do with this. Imagine.
We decided to start from eggs because if you order chicks there's a 25 chick minimum and I'd seen too much I Love Lucy to start with 25 chicks. Today the eggs arrived and the incubator did not. The hatchery was very nice but it appears to be a UPS problem. It's Friday afternoon and it looks like it will be Monday before I'll get an incubator. So we have to spend the weekend keeping eggs cool but not cold.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/25/2003 04:08:00 PM
Democrats aren't going to wait for Issa to make up his mind. Party operative Bob Mulholland has already begun circulating a dossier reminding reporters of legal problems and other blemishes in Issa's less than spotless past. link
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/25/2003 08:11:00 AM
A compromise proposal from Assembly Democrats that would have achieved about $6 billion in state budget savings — without instituting any new taxes — was firmly rejected by Republicans on Wednesday.
The news stunned Democrats, who had crafted the plan in an effort to bring tax-wary Republicans to the table.
It evidences how hard it is to be an informed voter unless you actually show up and talk to everyone yourself. I have no idea what's really going on.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/24/2003 09:10:00 AM
Recall Roundup 4/24
It looks like the money has arrived. First, let's review:
There's a campaign to recall Governor Davis. We are on day 30 of a 160 period in which proponents have to gather approximately 1 million signatures to get the recall on the ballot.
Ted Costa heads the official campaign. (Howard Kaloogian heads the unofficial campaign. The difference has been unimportant in recent days.) Costa has spearheaded 12 propositions to ballot and passage. The recall statute and the proposition statute were put into law together and are structured very similarly.
In previous campaigns, Costa had used professional signature-gathering firms. There were two problems with that in this campaign. First, no CA firm would take it on (accusations of Davis buying them off, yada, yada, yada). Second, there's no money to pay such a firm. Right now, there's a MO firm ready to roll when there's money.
There was speculation that the internet would be a powerful tool in a grassroots effort to raise money and gather signatures. I was part of that speculation and I have been surprised that, while it has helped raise $200,000 and gather 60,000 signatures, the results so far are nowhere near what they need. What they needed was a backer.
Davis supporters attack the announcement on two fronts. First, they point to the fact that Issa is the latest in a string of names that may back the campaign. However, Issa is the first to make a public announcement. Second, they point to the fact that he spent $9.4 million to run for the Senate in 98 and lost. They overlook the fact that he managed to win Congressman and he's pairing with Costa who has a good track record. Davis' biggest problem is the likely scenario that someone like Issa gets the recall on the ballot and someone like Bustamonte runs against Davis, allowing the recall to pass.
Link via Quidnunc. link
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/23/2003 11:13:00 PM
The World's Cop
My grandmother, who tried and failed many times to teach me Czech, would be impressed to know that a column in a Czech newspaper was inspired by me. Peter of The Daily Czech Weblog, who writes a column for a paper in that language I never learned, was inspired by something I wrote here. Peter responds:
Well, no offense, Justene, but I think the world's policeman should also try to clean the mess on his own front porch before starting his huge efforts in cleaning elsewhere, as well. Talking about human rights? Okay. But then try to explain to the world how come that several states have legal penalty for some sexual activities that normal people would consider "just as normal".
Well, I generally agree that the laws about sexual choices are archaic but I'm not expecting anyone to send their military in. It's not up there with torture chambers. Do we really expect our policemen to be perfect?
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/23/2003 10:58:00 PM
The New Gig
I signed on to post over at Political State Report. I've been straying out of CA too often lately and that'll give me focus. Besides, they needed someone from the right over in the CA section. Look for my first post in the next day or so.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/23/2003 06:08:00 PM
Smuggling Iraqi Art While Working for FOX News
Here's a disturbing story. A FOX News engineer traveling with the troops in Baghdad has been arrested on his return to the US trying to smiggle in stolen Iraqi art. To FOX's credit, they have fired the guy. And I'm sure Rick Leventhal had nothing to do with it.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/23/2003 06:02:00 PM
In 1803, the back will commemorate the bicentennial of he Louisiana purchase. After that, the back will honor the Lewis and Clark expedition for two years before returning to Monticello. The article also has tidbits about the 50 states quarters and the Sacajawea dollar is going the way of Susan B. Anthony.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/22/2003 10:31:00 PM
Recall Roundup 4/22
Here's my current problem with the recall. Sure I think Davis is terrible but they're all screwing up. Why single him out? To scare the rest of them? Pshaw. They'll just use it as a chance to jockey for position. Here's Walters in the Sac Bee today:
Lawmakers were besieged with complaints from constituents over their procrastination on the budget crisis, a negative attitude reflected in a new Field Poll. The statewide poll found that just 9 percent of voters have "a great deal of confidence" in Gov. Gray Davis "to do what is right" on the budget. The Legislature scores even lower at 7 percent, but poll respondents, by a wide margin, also said they were more inclined to trust legislators than the governor.
The mounting public disgust at the Capitol's foot-dragging, coupled with a spate of newspaper articles about Assembly Speaker Herb Wesson giving high-paying jobs and consulting contracts to out-of-work politicians, appeared to be penetrating the building as legislators returned from their vacations.
That said, signatures stand at 60,148 out of 898,157 petitions -- 7% -- after 28 days of the 160 day period.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/22/2003 02:46:00 PM
I have been hit hard this year. Some years in CA, I can't even tell. I have to think about whether its March or October. This year is different and I have all the symptoms.
1. I feel like I have fallen madly in love. Not with anyone in particular mind you although my husband and kids are looking pretty cute these days and not nearly as annoying as people who are with you too many hours a day sometimes look. I just have that dreamy unable to focus kind of quality about me.
2. I have no desire to work. Granted, I am not usually blessed with a huge desire to work but that shortcoming has traditionally been offset by the fact that when work is there, I get caught up in it and get somewhat compulsive about it. I'm getting the work done but my compulsion is missing.
3. My thoughts turn to spring, spring, spring. I'm serious. This is a problem. On Sunday I ordered all the equipment and suplies for raising chickens. Fertilized chicken eggs will arrive Friday. With luck, the incubator will arrive Thursday as planned. We're planting tomatoes. Not as offcenter as chickens but I don't have time for tomatoes. I have houseplants that haven't seen water in months and I keep forgetting to throw them away.
I can't recall the cure for spring fever. I better figure it out soon though.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/22/2003 02:21:00 PM
Where I Draw the Line
Leo Lacayo has an article on ChronWatch about suffering at the hands of regimes supported by the left in Central America. I was part of that leftist support then and I am sorry. I liked the left's words about equality and support for the poor and followed them in support of some of those regimes and I am sorry. I was wrong.
This is a post about my own personal choice. A while ago, Calpundit posted his oppositon to the right. Here's the whole post, easily found because Kevin has moved Calpundit over to MT.
GAYS AND REPUBLICANS....Ted Barlow (permalinks FUBAR), reporting on the hot water that RNC chairman Marc Racicot got into merely for meeting with a gay rights group, tells us that Texas doesn't have that problem: one state legislator posted state troopers outside his door to keep gay activists from getting in to talk to him. Ted says:
I can be persuaded on a number of conservative arguments. Really, I can. But as long as Republicans are "the party that hates gay people," I'm not coming inside.
Gay rights is one of the issues on which I stand way to the left. I'm a little tense about making homosexuality a "protected class" but that stems from my general opposition to the very notiion of a "protected class". I am for full equality including gay marriage and equal access to adoption and extension of health benefits to gay partners, etc., etc. so like Kevin at Calpundit, belonging to a party that opposes that stance gives me the heebie-jeebies.
But my breaking point lays the other way. The efforts of the left that result in support of dictators, either intentionally or accidentally, forces me out. Yes, there were some downsides to the war. Fewer than the left predicted. More than I would have liked. But the torture chambers are gone. Rachel Lucas says it well:
Those 123 emaciated and dying people living underground would still be emaciated, dying, and living underground if you'd gotten your way.
They'd still be eating their scabs to stave off starvation.
This war is all about oil, right? It's about hegemony and imperialism and vendettas. Right?
Tell it to 123 Iraqis who've spent years starving in dungeons. Tell them that you made signs and you signed petitions and you screeched in the streets, all to stop the action that brought them back to the land of the living.
Xrlq wrote about the balance between freedom and life, when comparing the right to choose and the right to life:
Abortion generally is a topic that has Americans split down the middle, and for good reason: it forces us to choose between freedom and human life, two values all of us hold dear. If we err on the side of protecting human life, we end up telling women what to do with their own bodies, at least until the stage where the fetus can live outside the womb. If we err on the side of allowing women to control their own bodies, we end up effectively handing every pregnant woman a license to kill.
Now, I stated at the outset, that this post was about my personal choice. I understand fully why people land on the side of freedom. When we talk about abortion, we need to do more than outlaw abortion, we need to create a society where no woman would ever see having a child as a bad choice. We need to rally around pregnant women and let them continue their lives and provide them all the assistance in the world when the child arrives, whether it involves giving her what she needs to raise the child or letting someone else raise the child. We need another milennium to make that shift and outlawing abortion will result in illegal abortions which will kill not only the child but the mother.
Whew! I got lost in my own rant! Let's bring it back to the point I was making. Abortion/right to life/right to choice is not the issue that moves me to the right. It's those torture chambers and the fact that people on the left could take their pro-peace/anti-war position far enough that we would allow that to happen. I can't do it.
Do I want the US to be the world's policeman, knocking off everyone we consider to be a tyrant? Damn right I do.
And yes, I know that the right has policies that do not support life. Death penalty. I'm against it, against it, against it. But the number of people dying at the hands of the state is small enough that I can just oppose it. Smaller than drunk driving. Few innocent five-year-olds getting caught in its snare.
As long as the left embraces its fringe that thinks its ok to let someone like Saddam continue because Bush=Hitler, I'm over here, on the right, nodding and smiling when Santorum says something stupid about gay rights because CA is passing new domestic partner rights laws each year and what Santorum says doesn't matter.
And that's my choice. As they say on the net, your mileage may vary.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/22/2003 10:06:00 AM
Boxer is still pushing a defense system against surface to air missiles, a position she adopted back in February. "There's an ongoing war against terrorism. It's going to be with us for generations," she said. "We can't let down our guard and we have to get a step ahead of it."
She also supports guns in the cockpits. She admitted that this position was counter to her usual anti-gun stance.
So what's going on here? Did 9/11 scare her enough that she's changed her mind on some things? Or is she trying to appear strong against terrorists to bolster her 2004 campaign?
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/19/2003 11:09:00 AM
This report of his wedding reminded me of a question I had. Why was Lockyer announcing that the bodies were identified as Laci Peterson and her child?
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/19/2003 10:34:00 AM
Internet Wine Sales
I really like wine. I like good wine. I like trying wine and finding something different. I buy wine at the store, at wineries and online. Yesterday, I sent someone a bottle of Chocolate Port that I was going on about at lunch.
Apparently, there is an organized effort to legalize internet wine sales nationwide that is meeting with success. I'm thrilled. Living in CA, I have no trouble buying the wine I want. The people I send wine to are also in states where it isn't a problem. Still, I am thrilled. A broader market for wines means that more small wineries can make a profitable existence, which benefits me all the more.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/19/2003 10:15:00 AM
"I remember the fresh bread and the nice soldiers at the Presidio, everyone making a fuss over me," Illing, 102, said with a big smile. "It seemed like such fun, but then I was only 5 when it happened."
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/19/2003 09:46:00 AM
The Mark of a Good Wife
This morning's conversation:
The Calblog husband: "What wll I be doing a week from today?"
Frantic thinking before I answer correctly "Watching the NFL draft." Whew!
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/19/2003 09:44:00 AM
I keep trying to put my finger on why this story keeps haunting me. Before law school, I made my living and my life working in battered women's shelters. Man kills pregnant wife does not surprise me. In fact, my recollection is that a huge percentage of battered women reported that the violence started in pregnancy. Theories about the cause included the stress of a coming child or the physical vulnerability of the woman.
When the story was first reported, I glanced at the TV and said "husband did it." My own husband was amazed that not only did I think that, the thought had resulted in nothing more than a glance and an offhand comment. The thought of killing your pregnant wife on Christmas Eve was so horrifying to this sweet man that it took months for him to really agree. Despite my nonchalance, I keep coming ack to this case.
What bothers me is the apparent coldbloodedness of this crime and the fact that it does not seem linked to anything. Let's assume for a bit that Scott definitely did it. Why? My initial nonchalant reaction was that it was part of a pattern of violence and I still suspect that's what we'd find. But with all the press attention, the stories of violence that often pop up haven't. There was a report of a woman that disappeared ten or more years ago and Scott knew her. A couple of days later, more information came out and it was clear that Scott had nothing to do with that. No other reports. It's possible that Laci kept the violence secret but, in my experience, those are poorly kept secrets. Someone knows and participates in the secretkeeping, giving up the information after the tragedy.
Adultery could have been the motive but his adultery certainly did not seem like the kind that would provoke murder. The woman who came forward acted like it was little more than a dating relationship (which these days often includes sex). There was no indication that Scott needed to dispose of his wife so he could be with that woman or, if he felt that way, he had not shared those thoughts.
Money was most often floated as a motive and this is where the coldbloodedness turns my stomach. For money, you would kill your pregnant wife, tie concrete blocks around her body and toss it to the bay, then use that very same bay as your alibi. Wouldn't knocking over a bank be easier? Side note: when the twins were younger, one of their nannies had a boyfriend who robbed banks and I learned to my horror that it is indeed easy.
here's the only theory I canwrap my mind around: Scott killed her by accident, decided no one would believe it was an accident and then committed the only crime -- covering up the death and lying about the dogwalking. He hasn't copped to that now at this late date because he's really dumb and thinks no one will believe him so he's sticking with his "I know nothing" story, not realizing that the "I know nothing" story is even .less believable.
OK, now for the gruesome alert part. Move on if you don't want the gory details but the search words landing people here indicate that I am not the only one that is thinking about this stuff.
Why were the bodies separate? there are two choices and the first isn't really likely. The first is that the baby was born before Scott dumped the bodies. There's not enough blood anywhere for a birth to have taken place. The reason that they are separate is that there's so much decay. Laci's body was nothing more than bones. There isn't enough tissue for them to do a DNA test. They had to rely on mitchondrial DNA from the bones and the reports I have seen haven't shown results from that. The baby was less decayed because it was inside Laci at first and, thus, in the bay for less time. When Laci's body had decayed to a point that there was nothing protecting the baby and nothing for the umbilical cord to stay connected to, the baby's body floated free and began to decay more rapidly.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/19/2003 09:15:00 AM
Recall Roundup 4/19
55,357 out of 898,157 petitions
The Other Missing Pregnant Woman
When the bodies were found near Richmond, my conclusion was that they must be Laci and her unborn child because how many other missing pregnant women are there? Well, there's at least one other.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/18/2003 11:38:00 AM
The Coast Guard
The LA Times has an article on the Coast Guard patrols near LAX these days.
Last week, the cruise ship we were on sailed out of SF Bay, right under the Golden Gate bridge. Setting sail is always a big moment on the cruise and many are out on deck or at the windows. Usually, there's a tug or two and a pilot boat. The pilot travels on board the ship then transfers back to the pilot boat when we reach a certain point. Now a Coast Guard boat accompanies us out too. I don't know if the Coast Guard boat replaces the pilot boat. It was cold when we sailed and I was watching from in front of a floor to ceiling window that angled inward so I could look up as we sailed under the bridge. The only boat I saw with us was the Coast Guard boat.
Where the ocean meets the bay around the edges of the bridge, the waters are particularly choppy. Underneath the bridge was a fishing boat and it was bobbing something fierce. I pointed it out to my daughter. The bow and the stern of the ship would alternately disappear under the waves. "What is it doing there?" I wondered aloud. Smooth seas were only 20-50 feet away. As we approached the bridge, I heard similar conversations around us. No one was alarmed but it was clearly odd. Even if there weren't a state of orange alert, this boat would have drawn attention.
Then the Coast Guard boat sped up and veered slightly away from us and toward the fishing boat. No one was watching the bridge now. We all watched the boats. The Coast Guard boat seemed to be positioning itself between us and the fishing boat. Then the fishing boat turned and moved to the safety of the bay. The Coast Guard boat slowed to match our speed and fell back into its parallel course with our cruise ship. We sailed under the bridge and into the ocean. The fishing boat became a non-event. I wonder how many other non-events the Coast Guard has been ensuring.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/18/2003 08:49:00 AM
Easter is around the corner so I am putting away the Nativity sets. Yes, plural. I like Nativity sets and I have left them up until this time for years. But even I find it incongruous to look at Nativity sets during the Easter Triduum.
Ok, I admit it. I only put away two of the three. The glass one is not too obvious so I left it out.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/17/2003 11:31:00 AM
Recall Roundup 4/17
From an email update:
Remember the loyal volunteers who took our Davis Recall petitions to the Ventura County Gun Show a few weeks ago? Their efforts even made the local paper with the Ventura County Star News reporting that almost 600 signatures were gathered in short order!
Well, the GOOD news is that when this show was over our volunteers had collected over 1,000 signatures! The "bad" news is that they are just now getting ready to send them up to our Davis Recall office here in Sacramento! That means these signatures are not part of our count so far and I suspect it is not unlike many other places around California.
I don't recall those volunteers but I was on vacation.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/17/2003 11:03:00 AM
Support is slipping for Democratic U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, and former Gov. Pete Wilson is the top choice among Republicans to replace her next year, according to a new statewide poll released Wednesday.
But despite her mediocre marks and GOP insistence that the two-term senator is vulnerable, Boxer is in virtually the same position she was one year before her re-election in 1998. link
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/17/2003 11:00:00 AM
Josh Claybourn's got the background. I'm starting the day by listeing to the score of Jesus Christ Superstar, which isn't really about Jesus. It's about Mary Magdalene and Judas, who represent each of us. Both were asked to make the leap of faith and only one did.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/17/2003 10:07:00 AM
Theater of the Absurd
Fox's Steve Harrigan is on the road to Syria with a bunch of soldiers. The war's over. They're a bunch of soldiers. Gone is my ability to discern the 3rd infantry from the 4th light armored division or the 206th calvary.
Harrigan and his bunch o'soldiers were shot on and tehy are standing in the middle of the road while Harrigan goes from one to another, including his producer, asking if they should continue down the road or head back to baghdad. Some of the soldiers try to sound a little military rather than particpate in this straw poll but he gets them all to play along. They all want to go on. He's trying to show us how brave they really are. What he's showing us is how few stories are left on the battlefield.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/17/2003 09:31:00 AM
The trial of the Raiders vs. the NFL started this week. The Raiders, who screwed the City of Irwindale out of a chunk of money before moving back to Oakland, are suing because they were defrauded into moving to Oakland. I wonder if their case is stronger than the opening statement excerpted in the LA Times.
First, the City of Oakland sent them a letter that said said there was "no precedent for a team as popular and legendary as the Raiders to return home." Imagine! How could poor bumbkin Al Davis make a clearheaded decision in the throes of lies like that?
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum sent out press releases announcing that the stadium had been sold out for 1995 and most of 1996. Internal documents, however, show the claim of selling the rights to 47,000 seats was inflated by about 10,000. But that information was kept from the public and Davis.
Am I to believe that Al Davis was making decisions based on press releases? He wasn't asking for actual figures that he was relying on? He's that unsophisticated a businessman? Which lawyers were advising him on the due diligence?
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/16/2003 02:33:00 PM
Those Who Keep Us Young
I have reached the age that I remember my mother being when I was growing up and, not surprisingly, I have developed a lot of her habits. Most pronounced is my ability to type while talking on the phone to my latchkey children trying to get me to resolve whose turn it is to get the computer or take out the recycling bin. Another trait I noticed is that I listen to the songs of my youth and ignore most of the current ones. My children, like many children, roll their eyes and try to keep me somewhat aware of things that happened after 1985.
I have another influence though that she didn't have and that is the blogosphere. I did not realize what a part of my life it was until I popped a Norah Jones CD into my CD drive. Yes, she won a bunch of Grammys but I don't follow music and couldn't tell you the name of a single Grammy winner in the last ten years. Norah Jones is in my CD drive because of only one reason: Josh Claybourn says she's cool. And she is. Would've known?
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/16/2003 02:24:00 PM
37,262 out of 898,157 petitions, 4% and 139 days left
The LA Times had the Associated Press report about the polls but no other article that I could find.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/16/2003 08:19:00 AM
Energy Crisis, part deux
An editorial in the Sacramento Bee suggests we're heading into another energy crisis because the efforts to resolve the last problem have now stalled.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/15/2003 07:49:00 AM
Recall Roundup 4/15
Rough & Tumble has the recall top of the page today, noting Gov. Gray Davis' popularity has plummeted to a record low among California voters, showing that he would be in serious trouble if the effort to recall him gets on the ballot, according to a new Field Poll. R&T links to the Chronicle here and the Bee here. Highlights:
The poll found that most people are against the recall and would not sign the petition BUT if the petition does get on the ballot, more would vote for it than against it.
Recall proponents are hoping the poll numbers will bring in financial backers.
Costa has found a signature gathering organization (from Missouri) but needs $500,000 to get started.
Top replacement choices are Bustamante and Schwarzenegger, in that order.
The minority in favor of signing the petition represents a population five times the size necessary to get it passed.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/15/2003 07:21:00 AM
Recall Roundup 4/14
25,449 out of 898,157 petitions or 3%. It's tempting to say "oh, they've only gotten 3% in less than 3% of the time" or "they went from 2% to 3% in less than 1% of the time" but I have never found those analyses to be helpful. At some point, there will be a push of signatures and we won't know until it's over when that is. For all we know, it's happened.
A new poll commissioned by a respected Democratic pollster finds that Gray Davis is in serious jeopardy of being recalled.
According to the poll, 36% of Santa Clara County voters already support a recall effort against Governor Davis. Only 46% oppose a recall at this time – before the recall proponents have even begun their advertising efforts to explain why a recall is the appropriate course of action.
This is an astounding figure given the fact that this is the heartland of support for Davis in past elections. In the 2002 Gubernatorial race for example, Davis won Santa Clara County by 55.4% with his Republican challenger only receiving 32%.
I think the press release is overselling 36% support for the recall. The more interesting question, though, is why a Democratic pollster is looking at the issue. Are contenders within Davis' party seriously looking at breaking ranks? Or is this a preview to determine how much Davis should spend to defeat this recall?
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/14/2003 06:37:00 PM
2 bodies have been found, washed up and decomposed, 2 miles from the Berkeley Marina. One a woman and one a full term male fetus. "No signs" yet that it was Laci and her child but it's seems a little too coincidental to hope otherwise.
(Gruesome alert. Stop reading now if forensics holds no interest for you.)
The phrasing of the news raises questions in my mind. A "fullterm fetus"? Not a baby? Does that indicate that the umbilical cord was still attached? And fullterm? On the date of the disappearance, the due date was still six weeks away. Would a fetus six weeks premature appear fullterm? At 8-9 weeks early, one of my daughters still had a little lanugo or body hair visible that disappears in later pregnancy. Besides size, I don't know if there would be a visible difference in a deceased fetus at 34 weeks or 40 weeks.
UPDATE: The Sacramento Bee article is reporting that the umbilical cord was indeed attached.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/14/2003 06:22:00 PM
UN in Iraq
Calpundit, who can be counted on to bring the thought to a thoughtful discussion, asks what do conservatives think the UN would do to mess up rebuilding the Iraqi government. I think the answer lies in the UN's choice of participants. I also assume that liberals have the same objection to the US leading the rebuilding. Two particular areas of concern on either side:
Who will lead the interim government? Already there's "controversy" over the Iraqi exile that many suggest the US favors. Whoever is the interim leader will have a leg up on being the first elected leader and directing the course of Iraq's future.
What business interests will be selling to the Iraqis? Given the number of French weapons sold to Iraq, conservatives don't want France (or Russia) playing a big role, on the theory that they will make money first and worry about principles later. Liberals don't want American corporations like Halliburton leading the charge, on the theory that they will make money first and worry about principles later.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/14/2003 08:06:00 AM
The LA Examiner is coming
The Chicago Tribune has an article worth taking a look at regarding the LA Examiner print edition, due to launch in the fall. (link via Moreover.)
Former LA Mayor and failed gubernatorial candidate Richard Riordan is behind the venture, which already has a blogstyle website. The paper will be a free-to-readers, advertiser-supported, weekly, a la the LA Weekly. link
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/13/2003 12:14:00 PM
More POWs found
Is that great or what?
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/13/2003 11:11:00 AM
Recall Roundup 4/13
I got an email press release. Davis banned fishing around the channel islands and the recall campaign is trying to get the petitions on the counter of every bait and tackle shop in the region. The cynic in me says that will get another 20 signatures.
The count, with 142 days left, is 22,077 out of 898,157 petitions or 2%.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/13/2003 11:08:00 AM
How We Got Away
Trials got moved. Friends stepped in to cover some of the day-to-day load. I am now looking at three trials in the NEXT month. Ater a week off, though, it all seems a little more doable.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/12/2003 09:00:00 PM
A talking head on CNN said something quite logical. You need to set up the rule of law -- courts and police -- before you can have elections so you can insure the independence of those bodies. Wouldn't that be fun? Go into Iraq and help them set up a new court system. You could separate out criminal and civil and introduce ADR methods like mediation into the civil system from the beginning. Train an entire legion of mediators to go out and work in the communities so the courts could primarily handle criminal matters and matters of importance like determine whether elections are held legally.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/12/2003 08:47:00 PM
The ship had only CNN. I had dificulty following the war on CNN. Calblog husband thought it was their vastly inferior coverage. I thought it was just a rhythm thing. We weren't near the TV as much and we often caught the filler pieces and missed the big news. Then I returned home to the news of the Eason Jordan op-ed in the Times that has gotten so much coverage. It'll be hard to convince the Calblog husband that he's just paranoid now. Even when he is.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/12/2003 08:40:00 PM
Speaking of Casinos
Both the Calblog husband and I won in the casino. Almost $500 ahead between the two of us on $5 tables. Yes, we're very proud. No overeating and winning in the casino. Yep, we got this cruise thing nailed.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/12/2003 08:34:00 PM
The downside of vacation
The Calblog family rolled in from a cruise today. We had a great time, thanks for asking. No we didn't eat too much. You get over that after your first few cruises. I did put on weight from the prednisone I had to take after the smoking in the casino triggered a mega asthma attack.
There was no Fox News on the ship and I'm in serious Rick Leventhal withdrawal. My site meter indicates that most of my readers are now Rick Leventhal fans. I haven't spotted him since I turned on the TV. Feel free to update me in the comments area.
UPDATE: I have seen him now. In East Baghdad and safe, reporting on a looted building.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/12/2003 08:33:00 PM
You know the war's going well when you feel sorry for Rick Leventhal because two of the three embedded reporters on Fox have made it into Baghdad and poor Rick is trailing behind.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/04/2003 10:22:00 PM
One last post before I go. Geraldo was reporting from Kuwait City today according to the Calblog husband (I was already tending to that real life kind of stuff). This after he swore he was marching into Baghdad with the victorious troops. No reports anywhere about it that I have seen (not that I've been able to do a lot of looking!)
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/04/2003 08:39:00 PM
I will probably be offline until April 16. Traffic is up the last week and it's a terrible time to be away but real life once again takes priority.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/04/2003 09:41:00 AM
Recall Roundup 4/3
7,345 out of 898,157 petitions
152 days left
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/03/2003 07:33:00 AM
The budget crisis is about to his crisis. The California Supreme Court is considering whether state workers continue to get paid. Renew that driver's license early.
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/02/2003 07:38:00 AM
Random War Questions
Did France surrender in WWII because they couldn't defend themselves or because they thought Germany would win and they wanted to join the winning side?
Do our covert ops wear uniforms and if they don't, can we really complain about Iraqi troops fighting in ivilian clothes?
Now that we all know that the war is going to last more than a week, have we all calmed down about it?
Why does the fictional president on 24 have to be at war by morning?
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/01/2003 10:10:00 PM
Recall Roundup 4/1
As of tonight: 5,731 out of 898,157 petitions
posted by Justene Adamec at 4/01/2003 09:24:00 PM
Comments on So California news, law, and politics by Justene Adamec. There are occasional forays into other topics because, after all, it is a blog. Offline, I am a lawyer and mediator. Email justenea -at- yahoo.com.