June 2010

The leadership problem

Here are three articles written in the last two days on the Israeli military act of piracy against the flotilla of people and supplies headed for the Gaza Strip. Each has valuable insights from experienced, different angles. We think, however, that the most immediate lesson for us may be Patrick Cockburn's theory of why Israel leaders are so stupid: "The problem is that nobody believes Israeli propaganda as much as Israelis." The same phenomenon explains the idiocy of our own leaders here in the Valley.
Maybe they all go to the same leadership training classes.

What did we get for the destruction?

Did Merced get a high-tech, bio-tech "engine of growth" when it became the home of UC Merced. Rep. Dennis Cardoza, the Pimlico Kid, may be the only "local" leader so out of touch he still uses the phrase. Or did Merced get a baby dinosaur?
Badlands Journal editorial board
Higher education's bubble is about to burst...Glenn Harlan Reynolds

The Hun's electric train

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Our Hun, a man of action tragically restrained by mere government throughout his political career, has decided to build a "demonstration"
high speed rail link between LA and San Diego.
"...Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn't want to wait that long to give the state a taste of the European-style system..."
Baloney. Our Hun just wants to put his hand on the transformer and run a great big electric train somewhere in California before he retires.

Not a boondoggle!

Boondoggle -- a trivial, useless or wasteful expenditure, usually of public funds.
In the current economic climate, critics have suggested that high-speed rail is a boondoggle. They couldn't be more wrong. The lack of funding may slow down the project, but it will eventually become a reality.
Projects of this magnitude must not be stopped by economic cycles. Our economy will rebound and one day high-speed rail will be an important part of California's transportation mix.

Three bars across for Denham?

This article, written two days before the Primary Elections, suggests something that only campaign finance reports not yet published can verify. It might explain how two candidates went into the last weekend of the campaign for the 19th Congressional District essentially even, and one of them won by 10 points the following Tuesday.


"I think it's actually a brilliant opinion in that it finally says we have to look at the big picture here, and not that endangered species trump everything," said Roger Marzulla, a Washington, D.C., lawyer who frequently sues the federal government over endangered species rules. "Don't we have to take some other things into consideration here?"
Others question the logic of requiring scrutiny of species protection rules under a second environmental law.


Porky Stables
On June 17, residents of the 18th congressional district of California were informed by McClatchy Chain local outlets that a new star was rising in the world of horse racing, Rep. Dennis Cardoza, Pimlico Kid-Merced.
The owner of what is known in his district as Porky Stables has long been known as an addicted gambler and recently reported $1,500 in winnings from online bookie services and tens of thousands in winnings from his horses.