Category Archives: Politics

Unintended Consequences

“Money is the mother’s milk of politics”

Jess “Big Daddy” Unruh

California Speaker of the Assembly 1961-1969

Unruh was one of our more colorful politicians – another quote of his that bears repeating for the professional politician:

On lobbyists: “If you can’t eat their food, drink their booze, screw their women and then vote against them you’ve got no business being up here.” 

He was right on both counts.

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California’s Problems Part 2

Housing

 

I had a friend with an interesting commute. He worked in San Jose for a now defunct disk drive manufacturer, Maxtor (bought by Seagate I believe). He used to write the system code for the drives.

He lived in Reno, Nevada and every Sunday night would start his long commute to San Jose. I would say that he drove almost 300 miles, down the Sierras, through the Valley, then into the Bay Area. This could be through rain, snow, traffic.

Every Friday evening, he would drive back to Reno. I can only imagine trying to navigate the Bay Area traffic gridlock on the way back to Reno after a week’s work – then, what has become common, Sacramento area gridlock.

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The GM Strike

I can remember a time, back in the 70s, when General Motors was worried about having too much market share and stirring the Justice Department for divestiture. They had close to 50% of the market. Alfred P. Sloan’s plan from the 1920s of having a model for every budget and keeping a family in GM products for a lifetime built GM into an industry juggernaut.

In the interim, because of  a bloated management – too many layers of bureaucracy – and a union that was ever more demanding with rigid work rules and some of the highest labor costs in the world, the once-mighty company was brought to its knees on June 1, 2009 declaring bankruptcy.

So you’d think that the UAW – United Auto Workers – would do every thing it could to help nurture the company and protect the jobs of its members.

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California’s Problems Part 1

Government Regulations vs. Property Rights

 

Some years ago, my family spent a Thanksgiving at Bodega Bay, made famous from Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. There really isn’t a whole lot to keep you occupied at Bodega Bay. There is a golf course, whose houses are dangerously close to the fairway.

The breaking of plate glass windows along the fairway is so routine there was a sign at the clubhouse detailing the procedures – who to call – should you hook or slice at the tee.

Knowing my errant drives (and golf game in general) I chose to chip my way up the fairways.

So there’s golf.

Not much else.

Reading, and walking.

One thing that seems to be constant at Bodega Bay is the wind.

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El Paso Part II

I’ve been trying to decide how to write this the last few days. The battle lines were set years ago, and the same arguments keep coming back.

Today, some of my early experiences with firearms seems so foreign and other-worldly.

Some public schools even taught firearms safety.

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What’s really the issue?

In a move that seems at least to me to be common sense, President Trump plans to deny issuing “Green Cards” (permission for US residence) to legal immigrants who use, or seem likely to use, social programs such as Medicade, Food Stamps, or housing assistance once here.

But these are politically contentious times.

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Chinese Copies

The Chinese are shameless at copying Western products. Some of the copies are comical and some sinister, with their pilfering through the Internet highly-classified technical documents. (which I have wondered why we put some of the most sensitive documents on the Internet, but what do I know?).

Apparently with at least one weapon, they somehow got the ingredients wrong, although the Jordanians aren’t saying much.

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