7/31/06

The Difference

For the Hezbollah apologists and keffiyah-wearers who seem to be having a hard time figuring it out:

Got the T-Shirt?

Some might call this right wingnuttery. Some might call it a pretty accurate statement:

http://www.cafepress.com/sayitrightwing.50923525

New Primary Jobs?

I was standing out in the backyard again, slapping away at mosquitoes and thinking about going for the Off, sprinking the Thai garlic with a bit of water, when I heard the familiar crunch of bike tires.

"Hey. Hey."

"Good morning, Billy," I said, turning to Our Stalwart, half-expecting some outlandish getup and finding just Plain Old Billy, sitting there astride his Ziggurat, flapping his Stonewall Jackson beard to rid it of mosquitoes and shaking his dreadlocks to do the same.

"Damned little bloodsuckers!" he exclaimed, "don't they spray anymore?"

"Yeah, I think they do, but you know, they seem to be thinning out a bit. I think we were dealing with a rash of 'em that were hatched following those big rainstorms we had, and now it's dried up again, so there's no replacements."

"Huh. You might be right."

"Might be."

"Hey. Hey. That pooper scooper thing is blowing up pretty good, ain't it?"

"Seems to be. I'm wondering what other 'social benefits' the city is going to get into," I said, thoughtfully.

"Hey. Hey. How about free golf tees?"

"Now there's a thought. That would set well, I think. And we could insist that the handout tees be biodegradable. Made from dried and pressed dog droppings, for example, that would wash away in the sprinkler water, since a lot of golfers just let 'em lie."

"Dog droppings? Golf tees made of dog poop?"

"Sure. Sterilized, of course. Sterilize all the dog droppings that are collected by the new Feces Control Management Office, and then run them through a press and shaper, like they do with woodchips for those new pellet burning stoves, and hand 'em out to all the tourists and babyboomers that fly in from everywhere to use our heavily marketed golf course." I was on a roll with my ingenious entreprenurial brainstorming.

"Hey. Hey. Yeah. Yeah. And the plant for doing that could be out at the industrial park! Primary jobs! Primary jobs!"

"Eggzackly. So maybe council ain't all that far out in left field - and it would have to be left field, wouldn't it, it being a kind of social benefit and all. That would never apply to Republicans, who wouldn't know a social benefit from a packet of ketchup in the school lunch program."

"Wow! Wow! Do you think I could get a job as a shit-squeezer?" Billy was really enthusiastic. That was good to see.

"I'm sure you could. The question is, will this be a new city department, manned by more non-revenue-producers? If so, would those jobs still be considered Primary Jobs? Or will it be put out for bid by a private sector entrepreneur?"

"I think they would be primary jobs," said Billy, "since the tees would be manufactured here and shipped out. I would think with the proper marketing there would be a huge market for them. I can see it now: "Getcher World-Famous Rocky Ford Melons and La Junta Shitsticks here!"

"Uh...yeah....you might want to think about that a bit more...

Billy was lost in thought, thinking about that a bit more. "I gotta go down the Barista for some coffee and think about this a bit more, " he said, "I may want to invest if it goes private sector. I see a huge new market here..."

And with that, he pedaled off, leaving me to my garlic and mosquitoes.

Foot-dragging and more whining

This editorial in the Chieftain shoots a few holes in Billy Owens claim that the recently enacted changes to Colorado's laws requiring proof of legal residency to receive public benefits is 'the toughest in the nation':

http://www.chieftain.com/editorial/1154350781/1

And we know that the social services honchos in Pueblo are whining about how 'difficult' it will be to enforce these new laws. I'm sure that if they don't want to enforce the new laws, they can make them quite difficult. Bureaucrats can be consummate foot draggers. But the closing comment in the editorial seems to put them on fair notice:

"Officials in state agencies charged with implementing the law have warned there will be problems enforcing the photo ID mandate. The taxpayers who foot the bill for public assistance expect no less than a professional effort to make this modest immigration reform as effective as it can be."

Coming to Grips With the Vital Issues of the Day

It's nice to see that Ahmadinejad can take a break from his bomb-building and regional war-mongering to address the really serious issues:

TEHRAN, Iran - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has ordered government and cultural bodies to use modified Persian words to replace foreign words that have crept into the language, such as "pizza" which will now be known as "elastic loaves" state media reported yesterday.

7/30/06

A PicklePacker Rebellion?

I have been supplied a copy of an article that purports to show - yet once again - that George W. Bush is to blame for Iraq's ills. You can read the article here:

http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/39466/

Is it just me, or is it quite apparent that this guy really doesn't like capitalism and capitalists? He misses a basic point in what is essentially yet another moonbat rant against George Bush...and make no mistake about it, that's all it is...it isn't capitalists who are toting the guns and blowing children to bits and pieces. It's displaced thugs and criminals, as well as insane jihadists driven by the tenets of the Religion of Peace. Are we to truly believe that this is all happening because these guys are displaced bureaucrats who have lost their jobs?

Fact of the matter is, if you remove the violence and bloodshed from the article, and references to Iraq and George W. Bush, you could be describing the economic woes of Otero County.

What does that say about the business and political leadership of our little slice of Americana? Not much, apparently. But I suppose that if the laid-0ff pickle packers were to rise up in arms and start shooting up the schools, churches, and hospitals, we could blame George Bush?

I can see it now:

"The mayor and county commissioners recently issued a statement," said a spokesperson who spoke on condition of anonymity. "We feel we can bring an end to the violence of the PicklePacker Rebellion if we just had more primary jobs. If George Bush had but ordered more pickles for the Whitehouse commissary, none of this would be happening....".

Historically I have always leaned more toward the Democratic Party. For the last couple of election cycles, however, the moonbat rantings of the Democratic Party have driven me - and people like me - straight into the arms of the Republican Party, where we shall remain snuggled until the Democrats get their moonbats locked back up in their cages. With the likes of Howard Dean in charge of the DNC, and the likes of Karen Finney sputtering ineffectively and downright comically on the TeeVee...that isn't likely to happen anytime soon.

The Passion of the Christ

Remember when "The Passion of the Christ" came out? All the hoohah over whether or not it was a scheme on the part of Mel Gibson to blame the Jews for the execution of Christ?

It seems that we have some insight following Gibson's recent arrest for DUI.

Here is a trackback link from the HotAir blog:

http://tinyurl.com/p3fdl

That link contains links to other news sites that have copies of the redacted reportage.

"Redacted reportage"?

Yes. It seems that the sheriff's department edited the arresting officer's report, removing several pages which described Gibson's conduct and commentary. Their justification? Gibson's tirade against Jews had nothing to do with the offense, and his inflammatory commentary could cause repercussions against Jews.

Well. So now LASD is editing for political content? Gibson is considered a 'friend of law enforcement'. He's a wealthy movie star/director/producer who has made a number of heroic if outrageously fictional cop flicks.

In cop discussion groups this morning, debate rages over the propriety of that redacting.

My question is this: Why would you edit out commentary that goes to the level of the arrestee's intoxication:

The 'quality' of the arrestee's comments goes directly to his level of impairment. In Gibson's case, he is already tap-dancing around..."Oh, those comments I made were 'despicable'..."

"Really, Mr. Gibson? Then why did you make them, especially to a group of several complete strangers?"

"Uh...I was drunk out of my mind?"

Of course he will never say that, but what do you think the jury would surmise? Or the court? Or a DMV hearings officer?

But it's OK now. He's apologized, according to CNN:

http://tinyurl.com/nlv8q

and note the picture CNN chose to publish. Then take a look at the photo of what he looked like when he was arrested.

More on the alleged cover up here:

http://tinyurl.com/rx3on

That article contains links to the redacted pages from the report.

Does anyone believe this redacting would have occurred had it been someone like Jane Fonda or Teddy Kennedy who had been bagged and who had made such offensive remarks?

7/29/06

Kyoto Redux

From today's LA News:

http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_4110057

L.A.'s big import: Overseas pollution

Excerpts:

"More than 6,000 miles from the City of Angels, Chinese factories produce toys, shoes, household goods, tools and all manner of everyday necessities.

They're also producing pollution, dust, soot, sulfur and metal that hop the Pacific Ocean and end up in the air Angelenos breathe. According to one estimate, up to a quarter of the particulates clogging up the city's already-dirty air come from China.

"Who would have thought that this would be the communist invasion?" laughed Martin Schlageter, campaign director for Coalition for Clean Air.

The Associated Press cited an Environmental Protection Agency study that says 25 percent of the particulates in Los Angeles air originate from China. Within 15 years, the NRDC says that pollution will quadruple.

"NRDC and other environmental groups recognized long ago that unless we help China solve some of its problems, everyone in the world's going to end up suffering from it," said Daniel Hinerfeld, a spokesman for the NRDC."


How is relieving China of all responsibilities, which is what has happened by exempting China - and India - from the Kyoto Protocols helping China solve some of its problems?

I'd like to hear Karen Finney's tapdance on that question.

7/28/06

Fish


Caught at an undisclosed location.

Blathering Incoherence

Karen Finney, Communications Director for the DNC, was just interviewed on The Factor. She answered not one question, and spent all her time blathering and bleating about 'we gotta do this and we gotta do that' - not mentioning how 'we're gonna do this and we're gonna do that'. And of course, there was the obligatory Bush-bashing. When pressed for a plan - we all know that the Democrats can go into high rant mode about Dubya's alleged lack of a 'plan'...when pressed for a plan for how 'we're gonna do this and we're gonna do that', all she presented was more incoherent blather.

Now I will agree that the gummint, the Bush administration, has fallen short in many ways...but before I vote to replace a Republican administration, I'm going to have to hear more than moonbat blather out of the Democratic National Committee.

It was downright pathetic. Of course, it was The Factor, so the commentator - that female standin for Wild Bill - was by definition mean and unfair. That's a real hard question to answer: "So what is the Democratic Party's plan to accomplish this?" Yup. Mean and unfair. Perhaps Karen would have been more 'comfortable' making fashion statements about the appropriate colors for one's keffiyah at Party bashes.

7/27/06

"...Chantilly Lace..."

So I did indeed Cruise on down to the Sonic this evening, though it was on the XCal rather than a vintage chariot.

I found these great old cars parked along the south side of the Sonic lot, among which mingled a convivial crowd of enthusiasts:

http://www.ci.la-junta.co.us/flashapps/sonic/index.html

As I locked up the bike to go take some pictures, the Big Bopper was going on about Chantilly lace and a pretty face, a wiggle in her walk and a giggle in her talk...Chantilly Lace was 1958 and the spread of cars and trucks had a gap for that year...but that's OK. I remembered Chantilly Lace from when it first came out, and listening to it down at The Jet Drive In just outside the gate of MCAS Cherry Point. That's the Marine Corps Air Station, home of the 2nd Marine Air Wing; most of us were Marine or Navy brats just getting ready to go into high school. None of us drove, but we watched the big guys play the role with their cars. Flashback time, triggered by the smell of French fries and chili dogs, something that hasn't changed in nearly a half-century. I saw a 1970 Dodge Challenger Sixpack. Now that would have been marked by the Stones and the Get Your Ya-Ya's Out album.

I took some pictures, then retired to the bench to snuffle down a chili dog and fries. I drifted off to yesteryear, back to the summer of 1967, when I was driving back from the beach in the wee hours, in what was at the time The Forbidden Zone. US Highway 70 was being widened to four lanes, and it was closed to traffic. So there I was, tooling along on brand new smooth blacktop in a 1966 Mustang coupe, Shelby 3/4 cam; Edelbrock manifold, a Schaeffer clutch, a 4-barrel that sounded like a battalion of Hoovers when you really goosed it, and a bunch of other whistles and bells. And it was that factory Candy Apple Red. Like, wowsers!

And up ahead I saw the twinkle of tail lights. I was idling along about 50 and still closed up quickly, noting a canary yellow GTX hemi. Like, wowsers!

We exchanged a few testosterone-laced raps and blats, and it was on! Now there was no way that 289 was going to hold up against that 426 hemi, but you know, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do...and then the GTX dropped back and behind, and little blue lights started twinkling from the grill.

Yup. It was an unmarked North Carolina State Po-leece car.

It took considerable willpower to keep from soiling my trousers.

I was had. Stick a fork in me, I was done.

It was my first experience with having a campaign hat shoved up against my forehead whilst being sprayed with spittle by 250 pounds of highly irritated former USMC drill sergeant. It was also my last. I also discovered not too much later that USAF DI's, wearing the same hat, and spraying similar spittle, couldn't hold a candle to this guy.

I even remember his name. Troopuh Sykes.

After he was done roasting me, he stepped back and said..."Well, boah, wutchew got under the hood what's so almah-tee speshul?"

We spent the next ten minutes comparing iron. He didn't write me a ticket, and I never did anything ever again that would incur that kind of wrath from a minion of the law. Call me a wimp, but it's...as Troopuh Sykes would say...'da troot'.

I didn't even know NCSP had GTX's, let alone unmarked ones. Let alone unmarked ones with the 426.

It would have been great if there had been one there tonight. But no matter...it was a good selection.

Not too bad a chili dog, either. I'm still belching it up. Some things never change.

The Airport

Here is the airport's webpage:

http://www.ci.la-junta.co.us/airport.htm

and here is the AirNav page that pilots use to find out about fuel prices, local attractions, local businesses, and to leave comments about all of those:

http://www.airnav.com/airport/KLHX

Can anyone tell me why the only motel listed is a Las Animas motel?

Can anyone tell me why no businesses are listed?

Here is another AirNav page:

http://www.airnav.com/airport/KLHX/A3

Did Landis Screw the Pooch?

I certainly hope not.

But we have this report from London:

"Tour De France Winner Flunks Drug Test

LONDON — Tour de France champion Floyd Landis tested positive for high levels of testosterone during the race, his Phonak team said Thursday.
The statement came a day after the UCI, cycling's governing body, said an unidentified rider had failed a drug test during the Tour.

The Swiss-based Phonak said in a statement on it Web site that it was notified by the UCI Wednesday that Landis' sample showed "an unusual
level of testosterone/epitestosterone" when he was tested after stage 17 of the race last Thursday."

But wait! In France, any level of testosterone would be considered excessive. Hopefully this will be resolved in Landis' favor.

Pooper Scooper Subsidies

Frank and Leslie McKenzie have written a good letter to The Fence, which letter you can find here:

http://tinyurl.com/ek5fv

an excerpt:

"We suggest that the dog owners take responsibility and not put the burden on the taxpayers to put out sanitary stations for them. Either keep your dog and its business in your back yard or take a shovel with you on your walks."

The McKenzies are referring to a suggestion made by Councilperson Moreno, and echoed by Councilperson Sneath, that the city fund pooper scooper bags for local dog owners.

http://tinyurl.com/hy9l5

When I heard that suggestion made at the last council meeting, I understood how one could be moved to utter a "Dean Scream", though mine, of course, was not motivated by premature glee.

Consider this:

If a dog owner is either too stupid or too lazy to consider removing the poop as part of the responsibility of being a dog owner, that dog owner is probably too stupid to figure out the mechanical complexities of a pooper scooper, or too lazy to walk over and grab a bag.

"Responsible dog owner?" In La Junta? Now there's an oxymoron if ever I heard one.

"This has not been deliberate targeting, but has rather been due to tactical necessity."

That is from the closing statement by Major Paeta Hess-von Kruedener, the Canadian officer who was killed while serving as a UN observer. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who is a major contender for the 'Most Ineffective Human Being of the New Millennium Award', has made statements to the effect that the Israelis deliberately targeted Major Hess-von Kruedener.

Kofi - who heads up one of the world's most corrupt organizations - has seemingly become an apologist for Hezbollah, a band of murdering cuthroat terrorists who have been slaughtering innocents for decades.

Major General Lewis MacKenzie (Ret), of the Canadian armed forces, had been in communication with Major Hess-von Kruedener. He had this to say during an interview on CBC:

"We received emails from him a few days ago, and he was describing the fact that he was taking fire within, in one case, three meters of his position for tactical necessity, not being targeted. Now that’s veiled speech in the military. What he was telling us was Hezbollah soldiers were all over his position and the IDF were targeting them. And that’s a favorite trick by people who don’t have representation in the UN. They use the UN as shields knowing that they can’t be punished for it."

Yes. Hezbollah was 'all over' the UN outpost, presuming to use it as a shield. Hezbollah has historically used civilians as shields as they go about their murderous misdeeds. Why should the UN be any different?

Kofi Annan needs to give more attention to cleaning up the UN, doing more to eliminate the atmosphere of Third World corruption and gangsterism that seems to pervade the organization.

He needs to give less effort to defending murdering thugs.

From Canadian Jewish News we have this article:

http://www.cjnews.com/pastIssues/02/aug15-02/main.asp

An excerpt:

"...Hezbollah positions look down on a child's wading pool at [Metulla's] Canada Centre..."

Meanwhile we have Howard Dean calling Prime Minister Malaki (Iraq) an 'anti-Semite'... but we have this:



Note that in the photo above, Howard is wearing a black-and-white keffiyah. From Wikipedia on that:

"Since the outbreak of the First Intifada and the emergence of Hamas as a rival to the Palestine Liberation Organization in the Palestinian Territories, the colors of the stitching in a keffiyeh are now associated with Palestinians' political sympathies. The iconic black-and-white 'Palestinian' keffiyeh is associated with the PLO and Fatah. Green, as the colour associated with Islamism, is also associated with Islamic Jihad. Red, often associated with socialism, also has a pan-Arabist association in the Arab world. It is often worn by militants of the PFLP, PFLP-GC, and DFLP. Red is also the color often worn by civilian supporters of Hamas, though militants generally wear ski masks."

We all know that the PLO is an organization dedicated to feeding starving children and making sure that the kids brush their teeth before going to bed. But Fatah? That is another Palestinian terror group dedicated to the destruction of Israel. The acronym "FATAH" is created from the complete Arabic name: HArakat al-TAhrir al-Watani al-Filastini, becoming "HATAF", which, since it means "sudden death" in Arabic, was reversed to become "FATAH". The terrorists are apparently learning a bit about PR.

I wonder if Howard got the Palestinian vote?

Oddly, Howard has never spoken out about Bill Clinton's collaborations with Yasser Arafat, and has in fact been reported by MSNBC thusly:

“In another January 1998 episode, he [Dean] also speculated that there ‘will probably be good and bad’ if Hamas takes control over the Palestinian leadership. Yasser Arafat, he said, ‘is going to leave the scene….When that happens, I think Hamas will probably take over. There will probably be good and bad out of that. The bad, of course, is that Hamas is a terrorist organization. However, if they have to run a quasi-state they may actually have to be more responsible and start negotiations. So who knows what will happen.’”

That's way back in 1998. Do you think Howard has figured out yet that maybe Hamas is not all that 'more responsible'?

But Hamas and Hezbollah are two different outfits, you say.

Right.

From WorldPress:

"Though distinct from each other, a number of commentators have speculated as to how close the relationship is between the two groups, and whether they are working together in their long-standing dispute with Israel."

http://www.worldpress.org/Mideast/2419.cfm

Hamas and Hezbollah are terrorists, Howard. Put aside that black-and-white checkered Hamas kaffiyah, Howard. "Diversity" has its limits. Is this what the Democratic Party stands for?

BTW...does anyone remember the bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beirut in 1986? 220 United States Marines died there.

That was Hezbollah.

And Howard Dean is chairman of the DNC.

I think I'll stick with Dubya for the nonce. At least I know whose side he's on.

7/26/06

1983

The question has been asked, relative to the first post on The Great Savelli:

"What's a '1983 action' "?

It's this:

United States Code
Title 42: The Public Health and Welfare
Chapter 21: Civil Rights
Subchapter 1: Generally
Section 1983. Civil action for deprivation of rights.

Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer's judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. For the purposes of this section, any Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the District of Columbia.

That is a Federal statute that causes US Attorneys and people like those late night ambulance chasers to salivate nigh on uncontrollably in cases of civil rights violations under color of police authority.

I guess Savelli slept through that class at the po-leece academy. Or maybe he was out on the alternate class that day: "Use of the Broomstick as an Interrogation Adjunct".

A Short But Fabulous Ride

As we all know, it rained fairly well last evening.

This morning, I awoke to a perfect pre-dawn morning, everything freshly scrubbed, looking and smelling like God, in whatever of his humanly-assigned countenances to which you subscribe, intended it to.

So I hopped on the XCal and hied off down through the city streets, past the cemetery, and out Road 10 to Road 21, and then up to the highway and back through Swink.

The corn, most of it well-tassled by now, gave off that distinctive odor. You know, that delicious aroma like when you shuck the husk off a single ear, but magnified to no end. The earth itself oozed magnificence.

The sun was well up by the time I was on the highway. Looking into the dawn, I could see that the sun was already beginning to heat the soaked fields, and mist and vapor was arising. The sunlight gave it some good color, and the varying density of the vapor did things to the sunlight that would have been the envy of a master jeweler looking into the depths of a fine diamond.

I didn't take the camera bag, unfortunately. The bike is a Fisher XCal, which is finely balanced. The camera bag disrupts that. This isn't all that big a deal on a leisurely trip down the road, but I was looking at working up a good sweat pedaling a clean bike, not fighting a bag-hauler.

I accomplished that physical goal, and a bit of revitalization of the soul as well.

The NYPD Solution

Well, it looks like the cops in southeast Colorado aren't quite ready to suspend the Constitution on the say-so of that mouthy retired member of New York's finest:

http://www.chieftain.com/metro/1153908734/6

An excerpt:

"We do not endorse the position that Mr. (Lou) Savelli takes regarding violating civil rights, rules and laws," Pueblo Police Chief Jim Billings said in an e-mail to City Council members, members of the Pueblo Human Relations Commission and others.

"Statements like these are very damaging to law enforcement." Billings said. "I have the responsibility to ensure that no one thinks the Pueblo Police Department condones such behavior. Not only would such conduct violate the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics, but it would also subject us to civil, criminal and administrative penalties."

And that sums it up very nicely.

I hope Chief Billings cc'd Savelli on his email. Not that it would do much good. I've found that Savelli's attitude is fairly widespread among cops up there in The Big Apple, though it is by no means universal. Savelli needs to go back to New York and work himself into a job with NYPD as Director of Professional Courtesy, Cooping Skills Development, and Marksmanship Training, while we Hicks from the Sticks continue on in our unenlightened fashion.

Update 09.19.2012: The link to the Chieftain article is dead. However, you can read about Savelli's brilliant law enforcement philosophy here.

7/25/06

A Conversation By the Side of the Road

This morning I was out on Highway 10 by Fort Tucker, enjoying the sunrise, pedaling briskly along. Way up ahead I noticed a cyclist packing up a bivvie, apparently having spent the night on the road. As I drew closer, I saw that it was...DinkyDau Billy.

I stopped and watched him complete his packing.

"Hey. Hey. Howyadoon?" Billy asked,.

"Reasonably well. You know how it is. Coming back from Walsenburg?"

"Yep. Yep. Good rides up those parts. The mountains are great," Billy enthused.

"Well...I'm going to roll around back through Swink. Catch ya later," I said, and started to push off.

"Wait! Wait!" Billy was insistent.

"Yeah?"

"I been thinkin' about this whole lodging tax thing and the assessments and how it came to be," Billy said.

"Yeah?"

"Tell me if I'm wrong," Billy challenged.

"Yeah?"

"That whole community assessment thing was city council's idea, right?" Billy asked.

"Well...Elaine McIntyre came up with the idea before she had to resign for personal reasons. I don't recall if council actually acted formally to bring in the team...but yeah, they discussed it and yeah, that's where the idea came from," I was struggling hard to dredge that up from memory.

"OK...and then we had the forums, right?"

"Yes, we did. Well-advertised in the Tribune-Democrat. Lots of people attended the four sessions," I recalled.

"But no motel owners," Billy stated.

"Nope. I don't recall seeing a one. I sure don't remember any inputs from them, either," I recalled even further.

"And one of the things that the team found to be a real problem was the lack of cooperation," Billy was getting into it now.

"Oh. Yeah, actually I remember that one from the paper verbatim," I said, "'The most notable weakness was a lack of cooperation and organization...'"

"Yeah. Yeah. Exactly," Billy said, "And didn't the CAP and the Chamber committees get together to start working out something on that lodging tax?"

"Yes. It was kind of amazing, actually. It wasn't without some pain and agony, but yeah, they did. They were acting on the recommendation brought up in the Community Assessment forum and mentioned in the paper back in February."

"The lodging tax? Right? Right?"

"Yep. You got it. That, and improving that cooperation."

"And what happened?" Billy knew where he was going with this, but he had to play it out.

"Well...you know Charlie Anderson and Steve Berg went to council in April to talk about the visitor center, and that got good reviews, and then it was actually from there that CAP got involved with the Chamber committees. There was considerable discussion, with a lot of input from a lot of people, and it was eventually decided to table the visitor center for now and work on the lodging tax so as to build up tourism first."

"Yeah. Yeah. Do you remember the business about 'making it clear that they intend to follow through with the assessment team's findings and work hard with the community to improve La Junta's situation?'"

"Oh, sure. That was in the paper on February 17. That was from the political leadership."

"The ones who started the whole community assessment thing, right?" Billy asked.

"Well...yeah...now that you mention it," I said.

"Yeah, I'm mentioning it." Billy was getting worked up, "And you remember that business of 'Vision and leadership is probably the most important area because that's where the assessment team identified shortfalls across all the forum sessions, not in vision and leadership as a whole, but how it takes its toll in all areas when it's lacking'."

"Oh yeah. Sure do. Pretty good recall you have there."

"My phone ties into the 'net. I can research the paper's archives. So tell me, how does all that fit in with this business of the CAP and Chamber committees working together, researching the issues, coming up with hard data, jumping through all the hoops, presenting to council something that could stand some scrutiny in the form of the recommendation for the lodging tax - which, by the way, neither comes out of the pockets of local shoppers nor does it come out of the pockets of the motel owners, nothwithstanding their whining about 'the burden' they would have to bear..." Billy paused for breath.

I waited for him to go on.

"...how does that tie in with one motel owner coming in with some hastily scribbled notes of questionable accuracy and getting council to do a Ross Perot on the lodging tax with that .1 percent solution? That sales tax hike? I mean, c'mon. Where is that 'vision and leadership?'"

I didn't have an answer for him.

Billy stood there, lost in thought.

I decided to get him off on another course: "There's something else, too. You know how a lot of businesses are complaining that the Chamber doesn't do anything for them?"

"Yeah. Yeah."

"So the Chamber gets together with CAP and some of the political leadership and comes up with something that has been proven, time and time again, to generate funds that help increase the occupancy load in motels...."...

"...and a motel owner, at least one of 'em, and a chamber member to boot, is going around with a petition backstabbing the hell out of the Chamber," Billy finished for me, "Yeah, I heard about that."

"Most places, that's called 'cutting off your nose to spite your face'."

"Yeah...I'd call it something else, but anyway, good point. But back to that sales tax...that sales tax hike comes out of *our* pockets. Every time we do some shopping anywhere in La Junta, it comes out of *our* pockets. You buy a car for 10 large and it's another hundred bucks," Billy was heated up now.

"Well..yeah...and you know, that motel owner's figures were really skewed because that .1 percent 'solution' isn't going to apply to all purchases in La Junta."

"Huh?" That one stopped Billy in his tracks.

"Tell me, Billy. I saw you slurpin' down some fried chicken at KFC the other day. How much did that lunch cost you? Was it more than ten bucks?"

"No...shoot, no. About five bucks, I think."

"So when does the .1 percent kick in? Remember, this is not an aggregate sales tax. It isn't going into the general fund. It's going into a restricted fund."

"Really?"

"That's what they said."

Billy thought. Then he thunk. Then it came to him. "Wow! They can't do less than a penny! It doesn't apply to sales under ten bucks! "

"You got it."

"Can they separate it after the fact? I mean, once it it's all collected, isn't it directed into the general fund? Couldn't they apply it that way and get their hooks into everything? How can you siphon that out of the general fund?"

"Good question. I have no idea. Guess it's one for the lawyer, hey?"

Billy was dumbfounded.

"Billy. Dude."

"Huh? Huh?"

"Do something about that mosquito on your nose. He's doubling in size every second."

I pedaled off, leaving Billy swatting madly by the side of the road.

Tribune-Democrat articles:

http://tinyurl.com/j78b8
http://tinyurl.com/h7jse
http://tinyurl.com/fuh3k
http://tinyurl.com/jtr28
http://tinyurl.com/ecf2a
http://tinyurl.com/zbpxv
http://tinyurl.com/jzswk
http://tinyurl.com/z83m2
http://tinyurl.com/eg3e6
http://tinyurl.com/zfdcr

"Would we have been violating his civil rights? Who gives a (expletive)?"

Oh, here's a good one from today's Chieftain:

http://www.chieftain.com/metro/1153829942/4

The STING Conference in Pueblo has received A Visitation. A Visitation from one of the Great and the Near Great. The guy who visited is a retired member of the New York Police Department.

Colorado STING: http://www.coloradosting.org/

Some excerpts:

"I don't personally care if it's not in your job description," Savelli said. "I never asked for permission. I just did it."

and:

Savelli said he never stopped cars just to write traffic tickets when he worked as a patrol officer.
"I stopped cars for the purpose of getting into the car, or finding a bad guy," he said. "You have to push the envelope."

Damn that pesky Constitution anyway.

Making stops for things like headlights out, tail lights out, no license plate lights, for the purposes of finding bigger fish to fry is nothing new, and there's nothing wrong with it. It's a very productive, and very legitimate, and very legal way for the police to find people with no driver's license, no insurance, warrants out for their arrest, people driving DUI, you name it. Why do you think the State Patrol is out there making stops for that kind of thing? That's why we have them out there. The Okie state trooper who caught little Timmy McVeigh made the stop because of an 'improperly afixed license plate', and managed - through skill and knowledge -to build up sufficient reason to hold McVeigh beyond the normal catch and release process for such a picayune offense. Had that trooper followed this character's advice..."Who gives a (expletive)..." the entire country would have been up in arms when the judge threw out the case because of illegal search and seizure. The rightwing nuts would have been screaming over 'liberal judges!" and the moonbats would have figured out a way to blame George Bush. Damn that pesky Constitution anyway. It really gets in the way of copwork, doesn't it? Maybe we should repeal it, then the government could get on with the good work of protecting us all. But then, who would protect us from the likes of Savelli?

Savelli is correct about 'pushing the envelope'. That's where we get case law; da cops make a good faith attempt to get the bad guy; it's really grey-area; it goes to court and The Robed Ones do what they've been appointed to do - weigh the facts, consider existing law and the Constitution, and come to a decision about whether or not the cops' behavior falls within the framework. Quite often it does and the cops' actions are upheld by the courts. Sometimes they are not. But that is not the same thing at all as wilfully violating the Constitution, which is what Savelli is preaching. When he talks about not asking permission, he isn't talking about asking permission to do his job, to take a legitimate police action. He's talking about searching cars without permission when he has no legal right/authority to do so. That's what he's talking about.

Savelli cites the Fowler stop of The Mad Bomber as an example of how the Podunk Police could have stopped a 'terrorist' crime spree. You know, if memory serves me correctly, I don't believe the info on The Mad Bomber had yet been entered into 'the system' at the time the Fowler gendarmes made that stop. It isn't that FPD screwed the pooch; if the data isn't there, it just isn't there.

I wonder if Savelli has ever heard of a "1983 action"?

I wonder if Savelli also gave lessons on how to hand out PBA cards and courtesy badges to family, friends, neighbors, and influential politicians? PBA cards and courtesy badges are what those northeastern metro police agencies use as 'get out of jail free' cards.

I wonder if he gave lessons on how to scarf up freebies and halfies at local restaurants. Or how to get that 'police discount' when shopping for a new car or a new suit.

I wonder if he gave lessons on how to get that famous "police discount" on favors from the local hookers?

The rightwing nuts will like Savelli...so long as Savelli is stopping po' white trash, Mexicans, and Democrats. I don't think they'd like Savelli at all if they were the target of his type of 'envelope pushing.' I don't think they're going to like it at all when a good, patriotic, flag-waving down home American is standing there by the side of the road while Savelli pulls his "Violate his civil rights? Who gives a shit!" nonsense.

I surely hope we aren't going to have this character come down to The Smile Hi City to teach this garbage.

7/24/06

The Whining Begins

As we all know, the GA passed legislation during the special session to do some enforcement, put some teeth into the ban on illegals receiving taxpayer-funded assistance. And to give credit where it's due, it was in fact a Democrat-led bill. That seems to indicate that the Democrats are not all complete moonbats. Of course, it did take a special session, and it did take a threat from Billy Owens to get them off the dime...

The Chieftain has an editorial about that:

http://www.chieftain.com/editorial/1153797901/2

An excerpt:

PUEBLO COUNTY’S top social services official was way out of line when he said checking the legal residency of applicants for public assistance is “going to be a huge workload.”

The 'top social services official' is one Jose Mondragon. He also feels that forcing parents to obtain a birth certificate for 7 bux is a real hardship, especially when the parents have a bunch of kids.

The Chieftain editorial correctly points out that 7 bux is a pittance compared to the benefits received.

The Chieftain puts it very tactfully:

"Mr. Mondragon evidently doesn’t find the new law to his liking. Whatever his personal feelings, hard-working taxpayers have a right to expect public employees to perform their legal duty efficiently and without complaint."

I think Mr. Mondragon should resign and find less stressful work, something with a workload more to his liking. Maybe he could become a janitor for the local MEChA chapter.

I hope we aren't hearing any such assinine nonsense as Mr. Mondragon is spouting from our local social services 'officials'.

Bike Trip


Michael and I rode a 28 mile loop from La Junta, west along the county roads to Rocky Ford, then back to La Junta along US 50. Hay cutting and baling seems to be moving right along. The cornfields and alfalfa along Road Z seemed a bit ratty compared to some others we have seen just south of Swink.


Killdeer are all over the place. This guy was hard to snap, but we got him as he made several passes by us trying to lure us away from the nesting area.








7/23/06

Cruise to Sonic

Thursday, July 27

7:00 PM at the La Junta Sonic

If it's neat - bring it!

Street Rod, Muscle Car, Late Model Muscle, Restored, Sports Car, Corvette, Euro, Custom Pickup, 4x4, Motorcycle

Cruises monthly on the 4th Thursday

For more information contact:

Thomas 384-2282 evenings
Mike 384-2586 days

Customer Service

I was having a chat with a couple of colorful characters over at Loaf and Jug, on the way back from a bike ride out to Rocky Vegas.

They were in a bit of a snit. One of the local gin mills apparently was bagged for having a minor in the joint, and they were there draped over the bar having a few cold ones.

According to them, the owner of the bar stood up and harangued the customers for a goodly while and in vulgar fashion about how they wouldn't be let in without ID, yadda yadda yadda.

As one of the colorful characters observed:

"What's she bitchin' at us for? It was the people what work for her let the kid in. It's their responsibility to check those things. So why's she rippin' on us, the payin' customers who stay till closing?"

The other character agreed.

Good questions, don't you think? Interesting attitude regarding customers, too.

HE DID IT!!!!


Floyd Landis, the American with the bad hip joint who slammed the entire field with his magnificent breakaway in Stage 17 last Thursday, has won the Tour de France. That breakaway has to be one of the finest moments in sports history.

Yes, he did it. This is the eighth American win in a row.

They are playing the Star Spangled Banner - the orginal English version, not that Himno Nuestro nonsense - and raising the American flag again, there on the Avenue des Champs d'Elysées.

I wonder if it bugs the Frogs? I hope so. I hope it drives them nuts, the arrogant horse's asses.

I think I'll go get a bottle of cheap French wine and pour it in the sewer while whistling La Marseillaise.

From SFGate, an excerpt from an article by C.W. Nevius about Landis:

"The Landis story really can't be told often enough. The racing is certainly remarkable. But the story of his injured hip is even better.

On a training run in San Diego in 2003, his front wheel slipped out from under him and he crashed heavily on his hip, breaking it. Despite several surgeries, the blood flow to the hip joint was cut off for too long and a condition known as avascular necrosis set in. Basically, the bone began to die. Irreversibly.

Landis has already said that he will need a hip replacement as soon as the Tour is over. It has been reported that he told friends he has trouble walking more than three blocks. The pain must be excruciating.

Cindy Corrello Hilke of Fremont said she and Landis are members of the "Royal Order of the Dead Bone." Hilke, 49, discovered she had avascular necrosis in her right knee when she collapsed on a BART train. She'll have a knee replacement in August but says the pain is so overwhelming that "at this point I'm ready to do the surgery myself without anesthesia."

"Bone pain," she says, "is not like anything else you can imagine. It is stunning. I've had a baby, and this is worse. With that said, I stand in wondered awe of Floyd Landis."

So does a significant portion of the rest of the world.

Nevius' article is here:

http://tinyurl.com/f3vfl

Rightwing Nuts

Bumper sticker seen on a Dodge Dakota, an all-American truck if ever there was one, on the way back from Pueblo yesterday:

It was an American flag, captioned: "Please don't put my flag on your foreign car."

Well...guess what, bud, it's my flag as well as yours, and your Dodge, according to information available thanks to the American Automobile Labeling Act, is made up of 79% parts made in the US or Canada. For some reason, Canadian-made parts are considered to be "American-made". The rest of the stuff used in the Dakota is made someplace other than the US or Canada.

That's a lower percentage than the Mazda B-series, the Mazda Tribute, or the Isuzu Ascender or I-series. However, the Dakota is 'more American' than the Chevrolet Uplander, Pontiac Montana SV6, Saturn Relay, or the Mercury Montego.

The flag-wavers can be as much moonbats as the more wild-eyed Lefty factions. At least they didn't invoke God, as well as the flag, in the equation.

Coldstone and the Taxes

So there we were, sitting in Coldstone, snuffling down gobs of Peanut Butter Perfection...a delicious mess of chocolate ice cream, peanut butter, squashed peanut butter cups, and fudge syrup. I was running up a cholesterol debt that would take weeks to reduce, and having a damned fine time doing it.

I pushed Michael away from the cup and reminded him of The Penguin Process:

"Hey. Back off, bud. Let Tookie have a chance. You remember watching them feed the penguins at the zoo?"

"Yes, Poppy," The Eldest Urchin said.

"Why did they hand-feed the baby penguins?"

"Because if they didn't, the bigger penguins would get all the fish and the babies would get nothing."

I slid the ice cream bowl over toward Tookie, who smiled rather engagingly at me and said "I love you, Poppy" (she can always pick the right butt to kiss) while digging in. "They have to do that because penguins have no manners. You, on the other hand, do, at least you do if I remind you."

"Yes, Poppy."

I reached over and popped Froggy on the back of the hand with a spoon as she tried to wrestle the bowl from Tookie's firm grasp. I wasn't committing any crimes; it was a disposable plastic spoon. "If you don't give your little sister some slack I'm going to feed you all to The Penguin God," I screeched in a strained whisper.

Then Tookie kicked me under the table and wiggled her eyebrows toward the door.

There was DinkyDau Billy, standing there surveying the Birkenstock-clad crowd. He had apparently been cycling hard from somewhere, as he was drenched in sweat and stood dripping it on the floor. People gave him some room as he stood there with his tats, dreadlocks, and Stonewall Jackson beard.

He saw us and came on over. He pulled up a chair from the table next to us. A pasty-faced yuppie with a belly roll over his Docker shorts said "That's OK, no one was using that chair anyway."

Billy looked at him, then at the guy's belly roll. "Yeah, bud, I could see that. Why don't you cut back a bit on that chocolate sauce. Looks like you've had more than your share."

Oh, here we go, I thought.

Tookie snickered. She likes a good dustup.

But things settled. The yuppie stuck his nose back in his little heart-stopper and things went back to a strained version of normal. Billy can have that effect on people when he gets all snake-eyed.

"Ewwww. What's that smell?" Tookie wrinkled up her nose as Billy pulled off his cycling gloves.

"Billy. Why don't you wash those things. If you set them outside the flies would have them maggot-blown in five minutes."

"Ewwwwww...Poppy, that's so gross...".

"True, though," said Michael, using the distraction to get back into the Peanut Butter Perfection.

"Hey. Hey. I been thinking about that dual-tax option," Billy said.

"Yeah? And?"

"I ain't gonna vote for either one. I ain't voting for no new taxes on nuthin till I can see some sign that the people who are going to be spending it have some clue as to what they are doing with it," Billy said.

"Really. And you don't think they do?"

"Nope. Things are too confused. There's this one bunch, or maybe two bunches, you know, that CAP thing and the Chamber thing or maybe both, and now we've got this motel owner who seems not to know what the others are doing, and some of the other motel owners who don't seem to know anything about lodging taxes. Why should I vote to give them more money if they can't all get on the same page?"

That was hard to argue against.

"Well...you know that the CAP committee did get together with both the Chamber Tourism and Visitor Center committees, and they did some research on this, and that's why Charlie Anderson presented The Four Percent Solution to Council."

"Yeah. Yeah. But what about that Visitor Center thing? Why build it before you have tourism working? People don't come to a place to visit the visitor center. They come to visit the tourism attractions, and the visitor center supports that. It's a means, not an end," Billy rather cogently observed.

Tookie dropped her spoon on the floor. Billy absent-mindedly picked it up and started eating some of the ice cream. The kids sat back in shock and dismay. I slipped Michael a Lincoln under the table. He got the message and went to get a refill. Billy continued to snuffle. Tookie stared at him. "You're going to get sick from all those germs. You didn't wash your hands. You have more germs from those gloves than from that spoon. Aliens peed on the floor, you know."

Billy stared back at her. They were in a stare-down.

Billy blinked first. He has never won a stare-down with Tookie.

Tookie snickered. Again. I wondered if the spoon-dropping was a ploy to get a refill. Tookie's no dummy.

"And anyway, aren't those motel owners Chamber members? How come they didn't know what the Chamber was doing?" Billy had some good ones.

"Good question. I don't know. I know that a lot of Chamber members are not happy with the services from the Chamber. On the other hand, a Chamber of Commerce is a cooperative membership. If the Chamber isn't working like it should, whose fault is that?" That seemed rather basic to me, yet apparently it is something that has been overlooked by a lot of people. "But as for the Visitor Center, well, you know, the committee worked pretty well on that. There was considerable discussion over several meetings, and a consensus was worked out to table the center for now, pretty much because of what you said. Actually, I thought it was a pretty good example of how things are supposed to work."

"Yeah. Yeah. So in any case, it all boils down to a lack a confidence," Billy observed, "I ain't votin' for no taxes on nuthin' till I see some sign that they know what they're doin' wit da munny. You always told me that on those Constitutional amendments. If it don't make no sense to you, vote 'No'. This don't make no sense to me."

Hard logic to argue against.

Billy stood up and pulled on his gloves. There was a general scraping of chairs as customers on either side moved away in not-too-subtle fashion.

"I had a good time in Boggsville. I love buffler burgers. I think I'll go over to Walsenburg and do that mountain trail. I wanna be back for the Cruisin' at Sonic on Thursday night. Maybe they'll have some real muscle there, like from back in the sixties. You gonna be there?"

"I think so. Sounds like a chili dog kinda night. I think I'll grab the kids and take 'em on down there."

"Yeah. Yeah. See ya." And with that, he turned and walked toward the door, leaving a noxious miasma hanging in the air.

"You FARTED! You aren't supposed to FART in here!" Tookie was outraged.

Billy hunkered his head down a bit and slunk out the door.

The Chinaman, The Indian, and The Moonbat Left

The Chieftain has an interesting point/counterpoint exchange today:

http://www.chieftain.com/editorial/1153662868/1

As we all know, the US refused to sign on to the Kyoto Protocols. As a result, Dubya has been castigated by The Left generally and The Moonbat Left in particular. Yet Dubya's reasoning actually does make some sense:

"This is a challenge that requires a 100% effort; ours, and the rest of the world's. The world's second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases is China. Yet, China was entirely exempted from the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol. India and Germany are among the top emitters. Yet, India was also exempt from Kyoto … America's unwillingness to embrace a flawed treaty should not be read by our friends and allies as any abdication of responsibility. To the contrary, my administration is committed to a leadership role on the issue of climate change … Our approach must be consistent with the long-term goal of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. "

India and China are major contributors to The Asian Brown Cloud, an environmental disaster which lies over much of south and southeast Asia, poisoning people and the environment in unrestricted manner. Yet the Kyoto Protocol exempts both countries from any of the restrictions and goals of the Protocol.

Interestingly, most of the European signatories who sharply criticized the non-signatories such as the US and Australia, have failed utterly to meet those restrictions and goals. Yet they continue to point fingers at the US.

Dubya's refusal to sign is driven at least in part by economics. We are all feeling the pinch of growing Indian and Chinese economic influence. Price of building materials, such as structural steel and concrete, is climbing off the charts due to the demand by those two countries, China in particular. The Katrina Effect is also a factor in those price increases, but the Chinese Suction Factor is by far the most significant. The most visible local effect was the need to get moving on the Lamar Repowering Project, as construction costs skewered the budget for that project.

The other economic factor that most affects Joe and Jane Sixpack, as well as their more affluent cousins, is the Chinese Suction Factor at the refineries, as the Indian and Chinese demand for petroleum products, including fuels, continues to skyrocket. The most visible local effect is right there in front of your face at the local Loaf and Jug pumps.

Yet the Kyoto supporters would have US companies - and by extension we Hoi Polloi - bearing a contractual load that would negatively affect our economy while unleashing the Chinaman and the Indians with no restrictions whatsover, to continue growing their economies and contributing to that nasty cloud of poison floating over the world from west of the Indian subcontinent, across all of southeast Asia - including China - and out to the Philippines and beyond.

Meanwhile, the moonbats could sit around the coffeeshops giving each other warm fuzzies bashing Dubya while sipping Colombian Brown from cups made of recycled paper.

Here we are out in the sticks, where any incoming business is going to be looking at costs associated with both bringing in raw materials and then shipping out those goods which current wisdom has associated with 'primary jobs'. Those costs are driven in large part by the price of fuel.

Here is an observation from CrissCross News Japan that supports the economic tie-in:

"Not surprisingly, the reality of Kyoto has caused some of its fans to rethink their position. British Prime Minister Tony Blair famously declared last Sept 15 during the Clinton Global Initiative that once the treaty expired in 2012, nations were "not going to start negotiating another treaty like Kyoto." The consensus from those meetings was that the European economy would suffer tremendously for little reduction in emissions."

The next CGI is scheduled for September, in New York City. It should be interesting to see the attitude toward Kyoto then.

Note that the increase in greenhouse gases is real. That part of it is not a moonbat fantasy. The effects of unrestricted emissions is clear from the filth being dumped into the atmosphere by the Indians, the Chinese, and the lesser dragons such as Vietnam. I read Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" when it came out back in 1962. She was right then, and she remains so today. Nothing has changed, other than in addition to the pollutants that we knew about then, we have these other factors as well.

But let's not let moonbat politics drive how we are going to deal with it.

Reality Check: Straight Talk About the Kyoto Protocol

http://tinyurl.com/zzau9

Clinton Global Initiative:

http://tinyurl.com/keby7

The Silent Spring:

http://tinyurl.com/h3u7s

'Asian Brown Cloud' Poses Global Threat (article posted back in 2002):

http://tinyurl.com/fbo9e

The United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) Study on the Brown Cloud:

http://tinyurl.com/hl7ry