California Dreaming

Every day, as I sit on my warm Lanai in the County of San Diego, California, I read (and occasionally write) complaints about California.

So long as California is the 6,7 or 8th strongest economy in the world, they can pretty much do as they please. Communist China does not need to change for the same reason, but Venezuela must change because they lost their oil economy. (Although oil prices may yet save them.)

Right now, California can be as “communist” or at least as Leftist as they wish to be. So long as the overall economy hums, they can lose as many manufacturing plants, say good-bye to as many Middle Class families, be as anti-Trump as they wish to be. The Democratic-For-Life government of California collects so much in taxes that they have zero reason to change, and since the federal government provides it military protection, it won’t change.

Period. -30- and all that. We can complain, but complaints don’t take money from the Sacramento coffers, and nothing is going to change.

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Complain About California?

Every day, as I sit on my warm Lanai in the County of San Diego, California, I read (and occasionally write) complaints about California.

So long as they are the 6,7 or 8th strongest economy in the world, they can pretty much do as they please. Communist China does not need to change for the same reason, but Venezuela must change because they lost their economy.

Right now, California can be as “communist” or at least as Leftist as they wish to be. So long as the overall economy hums, they can lose as many manufacturing plants, say good-bye to as many Middle Class families, be as anti-Trump as they wish to be. The Democratic-For-Life government of California collects so much in taxes that they have zero reason to change, and since the federal government provides it military protection, it won’t change.

Period. -30- and all that. We can complain, but complaints don’t take money from the Sacramento coffers, nothing is going to change.

IG Reports Rock!

Remember when there were dueling Democratic and Republican White Papers filling the news just two or three months ago?

I said: Wait for an Inspector General (IG) Report. The Democratic and Republican reports can be, and usually are partisan as hell, but at least in theory IG Reports are usually impartial.

Well the IG Report has put Andrew McCabe, former senior FBI official on the hot spot by submitting an investigation to the US Attorney for possible criminal charges.

This is just the beginning. An IG Report is coming that will address the Russian Connection. It is due next month. We will learn more from IG Reports than ANY of the Congressional reports.

Homes for Homeless

“Tiny Homes” can now be built in less than 24 hours by a giant 3D printer, and for less than $4,000 each. Of course permits, sewer connections, kitchen appliances, bathroom equipment, furniture and other costs raise this number, substantially.

There are plans to use Tiny Homes for the “homeless” which is a good idea, or at least one worthy of investigation. The question is how to find land on which to put the Tiny Homes. Apparently, the current concept calls from leasing the back yards of existing residential properties, but to say this will cause social unrest is an understatement!

Not everyone is going to welcome one of the “homeless” coming to the back door to ask for a cup of sugar and a few dollars! I’ll bet there will be volunteers, nonetheless, and I’ll bet that the distribution will be sufficiently great that it will not onerous to a neighborhood.

It’s worth a try.

Wish They Could Both Lose

I am observing the fruit fight between Comey and Trump.

It looks like a tie so far. Trump says Comey is a “Leaker” and a “liar.”

Demonstrably true.

Comey says Trump is “Untethered to the truth” and a Bully.”

Demonstrably true.

One wonders why Comey wrote the book, because there is apparently nothing new in it. I remember listening intently as Comey read the particulars of Hillary’s e-mail investigation, and saying to myself those particulars would have had me in Leavenworth when I was a Submarine Officer. I was stunned when Comey decided not to recommend an indictment!

I wondered at the time if he just decided not to step into the election process, and in his book he admits he may have let the election dissuade him from an indictment.

Since Hillary has not been found Not Guilty, I wonder why she is not indicted today?

I don’t want to reprint all of the Comey excuses, but this is enough to refresh you:

“Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. Prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before bringing charges. There are obvious considerations, like the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent. Responsible decisions also consider the context of a person’s actions, and how similar situations have been handled in the past.

In looking back at our investigations into mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts. All the cases prosecuted involved some combination of: clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or indications of disloyalty to the United States; or efforts to obstruct justice. We do not see those things here.

To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions. But that is not what we are deciding now.

As a result, although the Department of Justice makes final decisions on matters like this, we are expressing to Justice our view that no charges are appropriate in this case.

I know there will be intense public debate in the wake of this recommendation, as there was throughout this investigation. What I can assure the American people is that this investigation was done competently, honestly, and independently. No outside influence of any kind was brought to bear.

I know there were many opinions expressed by people who were not part of the investigation—including people in government—but none of that mattered to us. Opinions are irrelevant, and they were all uninformed by insight into our investigation, because we did the investigation the right way. Only facts matter, and the FBI found them here in an entirely apolitical and professional way. I couldn’t be prouder to be part of this organization.“

Russia Can’t Retaliate Militarily

Russia won’t retaliate. Syria can’t retaliate, and neither can Iran.

That leaves Russia. Russia could retaliate, but not militarily. Russia has great science, and poor manufacturing, which leaves them with about half the capability of our military. Their much shorter supply lines to Syria helps, but not in a general war. The addition of France and Britain more than offsets Russia’s shorter supply line.

Russia blusters above their actual weight, but if they want to retaliate militarily they are woefully underpowered. And, in addition to our on-scene forces, another aircraft carrier task force is to arrive in just a few days.

One of our patrolling jets may well get a missile fired at it, either from Syrian or a Russian jet. Our guys are ready, because they know this. Since our jets have standoff capability a third longer than Russian jets, so the advantage is with our guys.

Russia is left pretty much impotent. Someone recently called Russia, “A gas station with nuclear weapons.” That is accurate. Russia economy is built on selling gas and oil, but they do have nuclear weapons. They are not going to start a nuclear war, so they are left with bluster!

Just remember, Russia was tasked with removing Syria’s gas capabilities, and they guaranteed that they had done so. They obviously lied.

California Permits Driverless Cars (Sort of)

California will now permit fully driverless cars in some geographic areas.

The cars must meet Stage 4 requirements, and right now WaMo is the only service testing at that level. WaMo has ordered 2,000 Jaguars for future service as something, probably as self-driving taxis. Of course Uber is testing as well, but apparently is lagging slightly in technology.

Two recent deaths from semiautonomous vehicles (One a Tesla), makes headlines but begs the question of who was to blame? And in truth it is mostly an academic question because a fleet of Stage 4 autonomous vehicles will be demonstrably more safe than Southern California.

I am glad I got to drive for more than 60 years, even racing in licensed SCCA events. Driving well has been a skill I have enjoyed. At my advanced age, I’ll admit I like some of the safety items in modern cars, but using vehicles strictly as transportation is one step too far for me.