Firefighters Pay

If this is a risk equals reward system, as we like to think, a Marine Sgt. in Iraq would be making what a Firefighter makes and a Firefighter would be making what a Sears tire-changer makes.

GOP Convention

Politico reports that “most” of the GOP Convention will be “suspended” on Monday.


I wish it was just canceled – I spent an inordinate amount of time searching for :anything but the Convention” during the last convention, and can’t imagine suffering through another week of that.


HOWEVER, in preparation, I have loaded my DVR with almost 24 hours of recent sport car racing, history channel, Grand Prix racing, etc, to carry me through a GOP Convention if they insist.


I think a DVR is the greatest invention since the mute button – which allows me to mute John Coleman on the 10 p.m. Ch. 9 News.

Sunday Morning News Shows

One thing appears certain – the advantage Biden has on foreign affairs, he loses to Palin on energy. In an interview Palin remarked that Biden had been wrong in voting against the Trans-Alaskan pipeline 30 years ago – the pipeline that has brought 15 BILLION gallons of fuel to the lower 48 – and he is wrong on that subject today.


No one is a perfect match – I think Palin’s pro-life and creationism positions are stupid, but may (like Reagan’s) be more philosophical than political – but at least the inexperience on the Republican ticket is at the bottom end of the ticket, not the top!


Style points to Palin – when she took over as Governor, she ended the use of the Governor’s plane, and fired the Governor’s chefs.


There are many positive points – and negative points – to be made for and against all four candidates. All but Kool-Aid drinkers on both sides will have lots to consider before election day.  


My vote is still against Obama, because as Brian Williams quoted an observer of the Obama speech said, in essence: The guy is a spell-binder, but he is going to give us everything!


“A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have,” – Gerald Ford

And I am Still Greener than Al Gore!

Has anyone noticed that the red-hot subject of Global Warming has cooled?


As usual, the politicians are way behind the power curve, but almost no one else seems particularly agitated by it, perhaps because there is no current evidence for “anthropologic Global Warming” beyond the predictions.


Florida is not yet sinking as per Al Gore’s breathless predictions, tidal waves have not yet engulfed New York City, and the planet appears to be decidedly “normal” or within normal ranges.


I am not certain that even if there is Global Whatever, that by replacing my incandescents with CFLs, I can visibly offset the one cola-powered electric plant that China opens each week!


Mean while, the Governator continues his frequent private Gulfstream flights from Los Angeles to Sacramento while lecturing on Going Green!

Jury Duty — NOT!

Jean just sent back my Jury Duty summons getting me an excuse for age and medical reasons – so it looks as if I will never serve on a jury.


I have tried. Lord, have I tried. I have had one Judge recognize me from the photo on my columns, and dismiss me, “With the thanks of the Court.”


A month later, a Judge recognized my wife’s name, asked her is she was married to me, and dismissed her!


I have been dismissed by a Prosecutor on a male-on-male rape case, for no apparent reason.


I was dismissed from the panel of a case of prostitution when I told the Judge that I could not in all conscience find a 21-year old woman guilty of prostitution because I could not agree with spending tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of taxpayer jury hours for a $35 offense that was never consummated! At least I got to write a column in the North County Times about that fiasco. (She was found guilty – I should have kept my mouth shut and hung that jury!)


Then I was dismissed from a jury panel in a civil case, a charge of Attorney Malpractice, when the Defense Attorney as ked the panel if anyone understood the term, “fiduciary relationship.” I held up my hand. Dismissed!


Finally, I was dismissed from a panel on a case of drug possession, transporting weed, and driving under the influence. The Judge asked if all of us could find the Defendant guilty of all counts if it could be proven. I said “NO” – if the defendant could be proven to have had drugs in his possession while driving, the Judge could put him away for life for all I care, but not for “possession.” Why do I care what someone does with their body in the privacy of their home, if they did not commit a crime to get their booze or drugs?


Dismissed! Just think of all the havoc I could have created if I could keep my mouth shut, but at least I got to get under the skin of a couple of Judges.

Gov. Palin

Two lawyers (with a potential lawyer First Lady) running against two non-lawyers.

That makes it easier.

McCain’s Standing at Annapolis

Various Bloggers have remarked that McCain got into Annapolis through the political pull of his Admiral father, and stood near the bottom of his Annapolis class.

I have told this story before but it bears repeating. I had a roommate whose father was not just an Admiral but while at Annapolis was a College Football Hall of Fame member — and even more was at the time I was a Midshipman, the Athletic Director of Pitt!

Still more, my roommate’s brother was an Annapolis graduate — because although all Admirals prep and “guide” their children to all academies, they can’t take the several day battery of tests for them.

I won one of my several nominations for appointments through competitive examinations as an enlisted man, and other nominations through Civil Service competitive examinations used by Congressmen, Senators and the Vice President. This is how almost ALL nominations for Academy appointments are made. The final appointments are made ONLY through a further entrance examination given by each Academy.

Every one of the 4,000 members of the Brigade that I knew, comprising all four classes, went through the same processes.

My roommate bilged a single course in his “sophomore” year, and was sent home without the opportunity to take a more difficult final exam, or being placed back a full year and re-taking ALL courses, despite his supposed “Admiral family pull.”

I also had a classmate and friend who grew up the son of a poor coal-mine family who received 12 re-exams! (It may have even been 13!) He is a retired Marine Colonel.

The Academies have a different culture unknown to the general public, with the application of constant extreme pressure, to divine “aptitude for the service” that entails some combination of academics, social skills, “honor” and grace under fire. I do not know their “inner workings and hidden mechanisms” because when I offered to return to the Academy in the Executive Department. the gales of laughter were palpable. The Academy reminded me of the comment of Colonel “Bosco” Parish, USMC on my graduation: “He has broken more rules, and been caught less than anyone in the history of this institution.” to which I proudly replied: “Thank you, SIR!” — although it was not literally true. Those better than I were naturally caught even less. “Bosco” whom we called “Bonzo” just had a personal thing with me because I put a bowling ball through the half-glass door of his sleeping room on one 2 a.m. morning — or so he correctly surmised.) 

McCain, whom I did not know but knew of, had a similar reputation.

As I have expressed before, McCain is not my choice for president and I am not a supporter, but may have to vote for him as the lesser of two evils — and yes, I know that is still evil. It is similar to the choice between the noose and the firing squad — I would prefer “None of the Above.”

Whatever their past accomplishments or foibles, they are who they are today. Neither candidate will ruin the country, or bring rain on demand. Obama is not the messiah of some, or the devil of others.

Most people who vote for McCain will be voting against two of the most liberal candidates ever to grace a campaign, however and whomever you choose to measure such things.

The nation will survive.

The Governor’s Tax Plan

Apparently, the Governor’s tax proposal to offset part of the State Budget Deficit, is to raise the State Sales Tax by 1% for three years, then reduce the sales tax by 1.25% BUT to apply that new lower sales tax over a much wider group of products and more importantly, services.


The plan is to apply the tax to haircuts and coiffures, legal fees, Doctors fees, landscaping, health club memberships – the list of “services” to which a sales tax will now be placed, is endless. While it is not mentioned as part of the plan, the State has put into place a mechanism to track the value of house sales, for a future tax on home sales.


So long as this State continues to spend on new programs, the need for more and newer taxes will continue. Politicians decry the extra money we must pay in gasoline, and medical care, while continuing to plan new bonds and new taxes – as if those new and higher costs for government do not come from the same strained wallets and purses.

North County Hospital Bond

It looks as if will fail.

There is no statute forbidding all of those who support the bond issue from writing a check directly to the hospital district!

Write a check! Today! If 60% of the people actually do support the hospital plans, tens of thousands of checks for, say $100 or $200 each, will get things started quite nicely.

Put your money where your mouth is! Step right up.

(Same goes for school bonds!)

White Elephant Review

I wrote my first letter to the Editor of the NC Times railing against the “California Center for the Arts” before it was ever built. It was obvious.


The Russians under the Czars were embarrassed that they were considered untutored Boobs by the cultured Europeans, so the Czars bought tons of Renaissance Great Art – only to find that the Europeans consider them as untutored Boobs who owned tons of Renaissance Great Art!


The politicians who first approved this White Elephant have retired and continue to collect their pensions, while being addressed at cocktail parties as “Mr. Councilman…”


Could we possibly design an accountability system whereby politicians must pay a price for stupidity when their grand scheme does not work and costs the taxpayers forever?


This was a pure case of Edifice Complex! Somewhere on this complex there is doubtless a brass memorial to the “Founders” (who “founded” this with other people’s money!) and it should not be a great problem for a NCTimes reporter to go and interview these “Worthies” as to the result of their failed idea!