Monthly Archives: October 2009

Basta Dobbs

According to the web site

Lou Dobbs uses his platform on CNN to spread myths and misinformation about Latinos and immigrants, even as his network is wooing Latino viewers. It’s time we said enough (that’s basta in Spanish). Join us in calling on CNN to get rid of Dobbs!

Here is the video that they have put together to explain the campaign.

The latest part of the campaign is to get CNN to report this issue. Follow this link to join this effort.

CNN’s iReport web site is the perfect place to tell CNN what you think of Lou Dobbs. Use the form below to upload a photo or short video. We’ve included some examples to give you ideas, but don’t be afraid to be creative. Just make sure your upload has a clear message: Lou Dobbs Must Go!

Here is the image I made to upload for the campaign.

Steve Endorsing Basta Dobbs Campaign

Gov. Schwarzenegger’s letter on why he vetoed Bill 1176

To The Members of the California State Assembly:

I am returning Assembly Bill 1176 without my signature.

For some time now I have lamented the fact that major issues are overlooked while many
unnecessary bills come to me for consideration. Water reform, prison reform, and health
care are major issues my Administration has brought to the table, but the Legislature just
kicks the can down the alley.

Yet another Legislative year has come and gone without the major reforms Californians
overwhelmingly deserve. In light of this, and after careful consideration, I believe it is
unnecessary to sign this measure at this time.


Arnold Schwarzenegger


Note: According to the San Francisco Chronicle (Oct 28, 2009), Gov. Schwarzenegger sent this message to explain why he was vetoing a bill dealing with financing for the Port of San Francisco. Bill 1176 had been submitted by San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, who (at a dinner in San Francisco on Oct. 7) had called the governor a liar and shouted from the audience to “kiss my gay ass.”

The Affordable Health Care for America Act — H.R. 3962

Follow this link to the online version of The Affordable Health Care for America Act — H.R. 3962 that Speaker Nancy Pelosi just announced today.  This is the bill from the House of Representatives.  (The link takes you to an Adobe Acrobat version of the file (pdf).)

Democrats have created a side-by-side comparison of the bill as introduced initially and in its present form. Follow this link to go directly to the comparison. Alternatively, you could follow this link to the article on Huffington Post that displays the comparison.

Before you buy into anyone’s interpretation of the bill, read it for yourself.  Read it very carefully.  All 1990 pages of it.

Actually, as I did before, when you hear some outlandish claim like death panels are in the bill, get an exact reference to where in the bill this item appears.  Then go to the bill and read it for yourself.  You will be able to quickly establish whether or not the person telling you the story has any credibility at all.

I don’t care how many times the persons swears up and down on how many bibles that the exact words are in the bill, I still suggest you look it up for yourself.  Since the bill is in computer readable form, you can actually search for words to see if they appear in the bill at all.

I have yet to find one of these outlandish claims have ever been true.  There is absolutely no reason for you to take my word for it.  Look it up yourself.

There is no excuse to be fooled by the commentators when the text of the bill is available for you to read.

Converting the Economic Preachers

Follow this link to the article in Newsweek by Michael Hirsh.

Hirsh starts off by discussing the news that George Soros has launched a $50 million effort to purge economics of its free-market zeal.

He then goes on to discuss the disarray in the field of economics at the moment. It is an enlightening discussion even if Hirsh’s understanding of it is fatally flawed.

I can’t help but wonder if Hirsh suffers from the general innumeracy of the American public. He takes ideas that require real numbers (as in the mathematical definition of real numbers) to analyze, but seems to reduce it to the two binary digits.  It is not a question of whether or not we need to have financial regulation.  We have to be able to figure out how much to have.  I get suspicious of writers or of economic experts who can only think in yes or no absolutes.  Certainly George Soros is not one of those people.

Michael Hirsh is also the author of At War with Ourselves: Why America Is Squandering Its Chance to Build a Better World.

Female Ex-Letterman Writer: Sexual Atmosphere One Reason I Quit

Follow this link to the story in Vanity Fair.

This gives another point of view on affairs of the office.

I did work in a department where the financial administrator was living with the boss of the group.  It certainly did raise a lot of speculation about how the affair affected the work at the office.

Perhaps, if the boss had an independent financial administrator, he would not have made a presentation to a Vice President about how the department was way over budget.  The VP stalked out of the meeting in anger after telling the department head that he had a lot of gall to make such a presentation.  You can imagine how long the boss remained in his position.

If you care to see what Huffington Post readers thought about the article, then follow this link.

U.S. official resigns over Afghan war

Follow this link to the story in the Washington Post.

Matthew Hoh, Foreign Service officer and former Marine captain, says he no longer knows why his nation is fighting.

Even without my passing judgment on what Hoh has to say, I think it is important to listen to what he says.  It gives some insight as to what we are facing and why we have such trouble training a military force in Afghanistan among a people who were able to expel the Soviet Union (or was it just the Russians by that time?) from their country.

Follow this link to see the discussion on Huffington Post.

I left the comment:

This answers a lot of my questions. I have been wondering how it is that we have an awful time training the Afghan military to overcome the Taliban when the Afghan people were able to throw out the Russians with just a modicum of help from us?

If you read the book, “The Kite Runner” you have an inkling of where the Pashtuns sit within the Afghanistan society. What Matthew Hoh says fits in quite well with what I learned from the book.

Trying to “give” the rural Afghanis a centralized government is to try to give them exactly what they do not want. No wonder we cannot succeed. If all we need to gain their loyalty is a little money and a promise to get out, why can’t we try that? They will be able to fight off the Taliban themselves.

It is not a matter of more troops or less troops. It is a matter of understanding the situation and applying the right strategy.

There were some interesting links in the responses on Huffington Post.  I’ll point them out here as I read them and  discover which are valuable.

Follow this link to the piece on Bill Moyers web site about Rory Stewart and his view on what we need to do in Afghanistan.  That article, in turn, has even more links for follow up research. One of these links is to the piece in the London Review of Books titled The Irresistible Illusion by Rory Stewart. This might be the most important article of the bunch.

Follow this link to the piece on The introduction to the piece explains what it is all about:

The landscape has changed dramatically since Gen. McChrystal called for a major surge in March. Andrew Exum, who helped draft that report, on the strategic upsides of Obama taking his time.

I think that all of these items point out what is wrong with the strategies being considered.  They point to a more appropriate strategy.

FCC Meeting on National Broadband Plan

Follow this link to the online record of the FCC Open Commission Meeting – September 29, 2009.

The meeting featured presentations on the status of the Commission’s processes for development of a National Broadband Plan.  I have only had a chance to review a tiny bit of the information there.  However, I saw one slide that opened my eyes to how important this initiative really is for all Americans, not just computer geeks.