Let the West Coast B@stards Freeze In The Dark

Blackout in the Golden State

Once again, California is facing rolling brownouts this summer due to its insistence on using unproven, untested but (allegedly) “renewable” power sources. 

The epidemic of power outages and “rolling blackouts” which nearly shut down California in the early 2000s may be returning. Back then, the culprits were unscrupulous energy providers like Enron and a poorly-thought out process of deregulation. This time, renewable energy would be to blame, as the state has pushed to increase the use of solar and wind energy without ensuring that there is enough traditional power generation to keep the grid stable on cloudy, windless days. 

And more than likely, just like last time, Californians will turn to Arizona’s Palo Verde Nuclear Generation Station for help. Californians will come running to Arizona for help (again), and this time, let’s make sure our response is more than a snidely written memo.

Californians want our power? No problem. They just need to agree to…

  1. A moratorium on California-based banks arbitrarily shutting down the accounts of Arizona gun manufacturers
  2. A statement for the California chapter of the Conference of Mayors declaring that SB1070 is the settled law of Arizona and they have no right to comment on it. Oh, and the Lakers suck. That too.
  3. A sales tax holiday for all Arizona tourists from May to August of each year.
  4. CCW Reciprocity with Arizona, effective immediately. 
  5. Lifetime passes to Disneyland for all conservative Arizona bloggers. 

Ok, that last one may be stretching it a bit, but it would sure help with this year’s summer vacation plans for my family…

Learn from Alberta's mistakesThe thing is, I’ve seen this sort of thing before when I was growing up in the oil-rich Canadian province of Alberta. The Federal government in Ottawa saw Alberta’s oil wealth as money that needed to be “spread around” to the other provinces, and as a result, the oil patch in my home town tanked, taking the rest of the economy with it, which is why we moved to the U.S. 

Alberta’s loss is Arizona’s gain, I figure. 🙂 

I hope the residents of Copper State learn from the history of the Wild Rose Province and hang on to their resources, or at the very least, sell them at market prices (or better than market prices….). Californians are not going to change their overspending, hope for change-y ways if they don’t suffer the consequences of their bad decisions, and a few rolling blackouts are a GREAT way to build demand for a reality-based state-wide energy policy. 

 
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February 28th, 2013 by exurbankevin

Hit ’em where it hurts

The current push to ban the best-selling rifle in America began as a reflexive response to the tragedy in Newtown. It’s not an appeal to common sense, it’s a play on emotions, because “even if it saves just one life, it’s worth it”. 

Two can play that game. 

Hollywood, academia and big media have been fighting copyright reform for decades, refusing to abide by the letter and spirit of copyright law and extending their exclusive rights long past the intended expiration date, and they push back hard against anyone who would tear down their defensive copyright wall. 

Aaron Swartz, a wizardly programmer who as a teenager helped develop code that delivered ever-changing Web content to users and who later became a steadfast crusader to make that information freely available, was found dead on Friday in his New York apartment. 

At 14, Mr. Swartz helped create RSS, the nearly ubiquitous tool that allows users to subscribe to online information. He later became an Internet folk hero, pushing to make many Web files free and open to the public. But in July 2011, he was indicted on federal charges of gaining illegal access to JSTOR, a subscription-only service for distributing scientific and literary journals, and downloading 4.8 million articles and documents, nearly the entire library.

Charges in the case, including wire fraud and computer fraud, were pending at the time of Mr. Swartz’s death, carrying potential penalties of up to 35 years in prison and $1 million in fines.

Aaron committed suicide rather than face those charges, which now appear to be politically motivated, not based on any actual criminal activity. 

A Justice Department representative told congressional staffers during a recent briefing on the computer fraud prosecution of Internet activist Aaron Swartz that Swartz’s “Guerrilla Open Access Manifesto” played a role in the prosecution, sources told The Huffington Post.

The fight against creativity now has a body count. If Republicans were smart, they’d use copyright reform to gain supporters in Silicon Valley (a key demographic for Obama), weaken Big Media (also big fans of Obama) and it’ll help make themselves “cool” again, all in one fell swoop. 

It’s so logical, it’s almost guaranteed that Republicans won’t do it. Let’s hope they do. 

 
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February 26th, 2013 by exurbankevin

They Told Glenn Reynolds That If He Voted For Mitt Romney…

… that neo-Puritans would try to legislate everything fun and exciting out of existence, and they were right

“We will make the case that these (“assault”) weapons do not belong on the streets of our cities,” she said, during an MSNBC appearance. “I recognize it’s an uphill battle. … [But] the mothers, the women, the men of American have to make a decision as to whether their personal pleasure is more important than the general welfare.” (emphasis added) 

Well, let’s see who uses “assault weapons” for their personal pleasure, starting with the cops. Do these guys look like they’re having fun?

police_state_cops_us

Or this Border Patrol agent on Arizona’s (leaky) southern border? 

Arizona Deputy shot

Or a Secret Service agent outside of Feinstein’s Summer Palace the Capitol Building?

 Obama Transition

Sybarites and hedonists, every one of them.

Look, Senator, if the cops think an AR-15 is a great tool for self-defense, *I* think it’s a great tool for self-defense.

Ever since the days of Robert Peel, the police have used the same tools to reduce crime that the community the protect uses, and to set the police apart from the communities they protect is to reduce their effectiveness overall.

After all, the best crimes to investigate are the ones that don’t happen because criminals are afraid of their supposed victims as well as the police.

 
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February 26th, 2013 by exurbankevin

That all depends on what your meaning of Jihad is

Daniel Pipe asks, ordinary crook, or the start of something bigger

Because the media, law enforcement, and elected officials are so reluctant to give out information about the attackers’ religion, much less their motives, it’s basically impossible to tell from the outside if they represent a wave of jihadi attacks by Islamists or are just a bunch of criminals who happen to be Muslim, or a bit of both. 

Well, given the Ft Hood mass murder is being chalked up as just another incident of workplace violence and not a Jihadist bent on killing as many infidels as he could, a pattern is starting to develop. 

A incidents like this are just random acts of violence, until they can be blamed on a Republican President, at which point they’re not. 

 
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February 25th, 2013 by exurbankevin

Two Unrelated, Related Stories

K-12 Teacher Job Satisfaction At A 25 Year Low

Only 39 percent of teachers described themselves as very satisfied with their jobs on the latest survey. That’s a 23-percentage point plummet since 2008, and a drop of five percentage points just over the past year. Factors contributing to lower job satisfaction included working in schools where the budgets, opportunities for professional development, and time for collaboration with colleagues have all been sent to the chopping block.

Stress levels are also up, with half of all teachers describing themselves as under great stress several days per week, compared with a third of teachers in 1985. 

The NEA’s solution to this problem? More money for the unions, of course! 

“This news is disappointing but sadly, there are no surprises here. Teacher job satisfaction will continue to free fall as long as budgets are slashed,” said Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association. “Educators are doing everything they can to provide the best education possible for their students, but the rug just keeps getting pulled out from under them.”

But the problem with that is, the U.S. is spending more per student for education than just about every country in the world. 

If only there were some magic bullet out there that might help improve education. Some way of helping kids and parents and teachers alike. Something like…. strong families

Two-fifths of children born in the USA are born to unmarried mothers, an eightfold increase since 1960. Many succeed thanks to the heroic efforts of strong, motivated single parents and other relatives. But research shows that children of single parents suffer disproportionately high poverty rates, impaired development and low performance in school. 

Single mothers read less to their children, are more likely to use harsh discipline and are less likely to maintain stable routines, such as a regular bedtime. All these behaviors are important predictors of children’s health and development. 

In the 16 years my wife has been teaching middle school, she’s seen plenty of confirmation that strong families build strong students: The parents who come to the Parent-Teacher interviews have “A” students as kids, and the who need are failing never have their parents ask her for help.

The problem with strong families is, of course, there’s no way for unions to grow and government to make money off of them. And therefore they must be abolished at all costs. 

 
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February 22nd, 2013 by exurbankevin

Think Nationally, Vote Locally

 

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” campaign is the driving force behind most (if not all) of the recent legislation against the right of self-defence. They also have a crime rate that FAR exceeds that of concealed carry permit holders: Funny how it’s always criminals who want lawful citizens to disarm…

I digress. 

Arizona is a tremendously gun-friendly state. We have Ruger, we have GunSite, we have MacMillan, there’s NO WAY that any Arizona mayor would be stupid enough to join an organization like Illegal Mayors Against Guns, against the express wishes of the voters, right? 

RIGHT? 

Wrong

imag

Mayor Satish I. Hiremath
Oro Valley

Mayor Scott LeMarr
Paradise Valley

Mayor Greg Stanton
Phoenix 

Mayor Jennifer Eckstrom
South Tucson

Mayor Bill Rappaport
Star Valley

Mark Mark W. Mitchell
Tempe

Mayor Johnathan Rothschild
Tucson

While watching the drama over the inherit right of self-defense unfold in Colorado and elsewhere, I kept asking myself “Is there something we who live in (allegedly) gun-friendly states can do to help people in other states?” 

Well, there is. We can weaken the influence of Illegal Mayors Against Guns by making Arizona free from their bigotry and hatred towards lawful gun owners. 

Look, if my native land of Alberta can rid itself of the common rat, Arizona can rid itself of these noxious political pests. 

If it saves the life of one child, it’s worth it. 

 
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February 21st, 2013 by KevinC

A Divider, Not A Uniter

Professor Neil Synder chimes in on America’s rocky future

President Obama has done one thing superbly well: he has demonstrated skill par excellence on a national scale as a community organizer. He is second to none when it comes to inciting, agitating, race baiting, stoking fears, and motivating the masses. If you discount voter fraud, more than anything else, those skills got him re-elected. But like a snowball gathering momentum as it rolls down a hill, the forces that he has unleashed will be impossible to stop without pain and suffering.

This is the point: a perfect storm is brewing. I think we’re heading for a chaotic and violent period in this country the likes of which no one alive today has ever witnessed.  If I’m right, conditions will be ideal for criminals to ply their craft, and President Obama is pushing for gun control at precisely the wrong moment. 

 

Wrong moment for the country, right moment for him, which is the point. Pitting one faction against another is the Chicago way, it’s how politicians work in the Second City. 

In Chicago, you, the Average Joe, are, well, average. You by yourself cannot POSSIBLY fight the forces of big business/organized crime/the police/Hispanics/the blacks/the Irish/the Poles/the whomever. You need ME to stand up and FIGHT for you. 

No word of what I’ll do to you after that fight is over, of course. 

This is Chicago politics, and this is what Obama has done on a national level. He’s won re-election and has the support of the lapdog media, he doesn’t need to actually legislate anymore. All he needs to do is create crisis after crisis so people believe he’s leading the country, when in reality, he’s just running out the clock until he’s done with his Presidency, and let somebody else pick up the broken pieces he’s left behind. 

That’s what he did as a community organizer, that’s what he did in the Illinois Senate, and that’s what he’s doing now. It doesn’t matter if the country loses, as long as Obama can walk away a winner. 

 
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February 20th, 2013 by KevinC

We don’t like your kind around here, boy.

You see, we don’t like the music you listen to, because you’re not the right kind of people

(Smiths guitarist Johnny) Marr has issued several bans on (Conservative Prime Minister) Mr Cameron liking their music, repeating the warning in an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

This time he specifically ruled This Charming Man – best known for a gladioli-wielding Morrissey’s louchelygyrating performanceof it on Top of the Pops – off-limits.

Mr Marr said: “I think he likes the song. That’s probably sadder than if he didn’t know it, really. He’s entitled to like whatever he likes, as long as he doesn’t say it. It’s a good song.”

He added: “I do forbid him to like it. He shouldn’t like us because we’re not his kind of people. “

To quote from Napoleon, never interrupt your opponent when he’s in the process of making a mistake, and Johnny’s making a big one right now. The leader of the Conservative Party is open to the message that’s in The Smith’s music, and Marr doesn’t like that. 

Stupid. 

Look, if you’re of the Progressive persuasion and are reading this blog because you think I’m funny (What do you mean “funny”? Do I look funny? Am I some kind of clown?), welcome, glad to have you here, I hope I p*ss you off today, but I want you to keep coming back for the humor, when and if it shows up. I don’t *want* to preach to just my choir, as churches don’t grow by making the choir happy. By suing humor, I want to cast the net as wide as possible and snag a few wayward minnows and use a spoonful of humor to help the mixed metaphor go down. 

Or something. 

A movement that’s obsessed with ideological purity is self-limiting, and if the left-wing in Britain doesn’t like a Conservative PM listening to their music, they’ll be sidelined as the fringe, not the Tories. 

Here’s the thing, Johnny: I grew up listening to The Smiths, but I also grew up. I still love the music, but I can separate out the words from their meaning now that I’m older. Watching “Die Hard” didn’t turn me into a cop, listening to Public Enemy didn’t turn me into a black radical and listening to the Smiths isn’t going to turn ANYONE into a vegetarian. 

I mean, it’s not like there’s a book out there, Johnny, on how to handle this sort of thing. 

Oh wait, there is

And now here’s the performance of “This Charming Man” that Johnny Marr thinks I shouldn’t like. 

 
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February 19th, 2013 by exurbankevin

Show me what sequestration looks like

This is what sequestration looks like

Citing budget concerns, Luke Air Force base announced Friday they are cancelling the “Storm on the Horizon” air show scheduled for March.

“While I value the importance of this event to both the Air Force and our local community, given the budgetary pressures and expected repercussions if sequestration goes into effect, we need to cancel this year’s Luke Days,” said 56th Fighter Wing commander Brig. Gen. Michael Rothstein.

My sons were excited to go to this (as was I). They were looking forward to it, as I had been talking it up for some time now, but now the show is cancelled, thanks to budget cuts brought on by sequestration. A family outing is no more, because of cuts in Federal spending. 

And I’m perfectly ok with that. If not going to Luke Days this year means they might grow up in a country that’s on better financial footing, that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make. 

Which is the heart of the matter: Things that can’t go on forever, won’t, and we can’t go on deficit spending forever. Something has to change, and if Big Brother Uncle Sam isn’t quite as large as he was before the change, I’m just as happy with that as I am giving up an airshow with my kids. 

We have to get control of our spending, and we have to do it now, because, (to paraphrase our current Commander-In-Chief), if it secures the future of just one child, it’s worth it. 

 
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February 16th, 2013 by exurbankevin

Soy De Arizona

There are many people in the world who really don’t understand, or say they don’t, what is the great issue between the free world and Mexican drug lords. Let them come to Nogales.

There are some who say that open borders are the wave of the future. Let them come to Nogales.

And there are some who say in Washington D.C. and elsewhere that we can create a path to citizenship for all illegal aliens. Let them come to Nogales.

And there are even a few who say that it is true that granting citizenship to illegal aliens  is wrong, but it permits the Democratic Party to grow. Que vengan a Nogales. Let them come to Nogales.

 
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February 14th, 2013 by exurbankevin