Thursday, December 23, 2004



Pixar does incredible technical work in moviemaking, and also has some of the best storytellers in Hollywood.

National Review Online interviewed Craig Good about Pixar. Read it.

Thursday, December 16, 2004


San Francisco, the Un-American City

Five members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors have signed a petition to put a complete ban on handgun possession in the city (with exceptions only for law enforcement, the military, and security personnel) on the next ballot. This apparently is sufficient by itself to qualify the measure for the ballot. The Contra Costa Times covers the story.

Well, since San Francisco doesn't seem to care about state preemption law or the Constitution, it seems that San Francisco has proven itself incapable of rational self-government. [Even if you think that a municipality has the right, consistent with the Second Amendment, to prohibit ownership and possession of handguns, the proponents don't seem to like the Fourth and Fifth Amendment much either. "The hope is twofold, that officers will have an opportunity to interact with folks and if they have a handgun, that will be reason enough to confiscate it," said an aide for one of the Supervisors.]

It's time for the Calfiornia legislature to recognize that the experiment with the City and County of San Francisco has failed, and to decharter it as both a city and a county, and fold it in as an unincorporated area of another county.

[edited for typo]

Bill Lockyer, gross polluter

Today's San Francisco Chronicle has an op-ed by Attorney General Bill Lockyer defending California's bizarre law to regulate fuel efficiency by curbing the carbon dioxide that can be emitted by motor vehicles. Carbon dioxide, of course, is one of the two desired products of combustion of hydrocarbons (along with water). There are three ways to produce less carbon dioxide while driving - use less fuel per mile driven, use a non-hydrocarbon energy source, or produce more of other pollutants (like carbon monoxide and nitric oxide) because combusition is less complete. The third choice is highly undesirable, so the other two ways are to force cars to have greater fuel economy or to become hybrids or electric cars. Lockyer, as it states in the byline of the article, drives a hybrid, and apparently wishes to force the rest of us to join him.

Lockyer calls carbon dioxide emissions "environmental pollution". He fails to mention that he himself is an ongoing and unpermitted carbon dioxide emitter, whose emissions have increased severalfold during his lifetime.

Perhaps Bill Lockyer should be required to reduce his individual carbon dioxide emissions by 30% before cars and trucks in California are required to do the same.

Monday, December 13, 2004


MICRA is not the problem

Doug Lorenz beat me to the punch on explaining what's wrong with Jamie Court's L.A. Times op-ed attacking MICRA. I'll just add one point.

MICRA caps general damages at $250,000. The two cases Court references resulted in settlements of $25,000 and $100,000. Neither settlement was limited by the cap, because neither was for even as much as half the cap.

Personally, I think both of these settlements show a poor job of legal representation, and Court should be asking why we have made it so difficult to go after the plaintiff's attorneys involved for malpractice. Of course, that would be biting the hand that feeds him.

Mark Sanford for President

I've made my choice for President in 2008: South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford.

He has not announced a run, but there is an active Draft Sanford movement going, with an online petition to register your support (and collect supporter information to be used in a campaign.

Rather than rehashing what's on the site, I'll simply mention that the American Conservative Union has called him America's best governor. Check out the rest yourself.

Thursday, December 09, 2004


Moronic blather

The California Republican Party and JOBS PAC (the CA Chamber of Commerce's PAC) sponsored ads against Nicole Parra and Juan Arambula (Democrat candidates for the 30th and 31st Assembly Districts, respectively) that included "fliers that criticized Arambula on issues ranging from drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants to his one-time membership on a Mexican council. The party also paid for a mailer knocking Assembly Member Nicole Parra's voting record on the immigrant drivers license issue." Fresno Bee article.

Now, a month after the election, here comes California Democrat State Senator Martha Escutia, chair of the legislature's Latino Caucus, to complain that the ads are racist and to ask Governor Schwarzenegger to disavow them.

Here's Escutia's "justification" for her position.
"Were they attacked because of their qualifications? No. Were they attacked because of their positions? Some of these members have never even taken a vote here in the state Legislature"

Earth to Escutia. You don't have to have taken a vote in the state legislature to have a position. All you have to do is to have come to a position on an issue.

The California Republican Party issued its usual weak and self-loathing response:
"Karen Hanretty, a spokeswoman for the state Republican Party, said the fliers were intended to educate voters about Democrats' positions on immigrant issues. The party, she said, did not mean to offend anyone.
Hanretty said members of the Latino Caucus, in speaking out Tuesday against the mailers, want to advance their own political careers."

A proper response would be something on the order of:
"The candidates we targeted are whining because they didn't like having their radical and harmful views exposed to the voters. They can't defend their extremist positons, so they are screaming 'racism'. It's a false charge, made by people who know they will lose as more voters hear about where they stand, so they hope to shut us up by spurious charges. We will not be cowed."

Meanwhile, Arambula torpedoed Escutia's claims with his own comments:
"Arambula, formerly a Fresno County supervisor, said the mailers distorted his views."

Maybe Arambula is right. I don't know what his views are on these issues, nor do I know what the mailers said. I didn't pay much attention to the details of the campaign there - it's not exactly in my neighborhood. But when you complain that a mailer distorted your views, you're acknowledging that it is about issue positions.

Monday, December 06, 2004


The Dance of the Grizzly Bear

"I'm all in favor of people getting justice for their crimes and all that stuff. But there are some mistakes whose consequences are so severe that further legal punishment really doesn't make any sense. For example, I think people should pay a fine if they try to feed cigars to bears at the zoo. But, if in the process the bear bites off half your face, the courts should pretty much stay out of it."
Jonah Goldberg

He's right, and this is one of the best ways to convince people to adopt libertarian policies as opposed to the nanny state. Want to ride a motorcycle without wearing a helmet? Well, if you redecorate the asphalt with your gray matter, there's not much point in punishing you, and since the risk of not wearing a helmet is precisely that sort of injury, why should we attempt to punish you for endangering yourself?

How not to be a majority

Redstate has the Democrat Senate Caucus's wish list for committee spots. That's not the problem. The problem is that none of the committees have more than a 2 seat GOP majority. In the context of a 20-member committee, that gives an 11-9 breakdown, which exactly mirrors the 55% GOP makeup of the Senate. In the context of a larger committee, that means the committee is less than 55% GOP.

That is unacceptable, and endangers the GOP agenda - all it takes is one Republican on a committee like Appropriations (15-13 split) to break ranks and vote with the Democrats to kill a bill.

With the exception of Ethics (traditionally an even split), the ratios must be reset, and no committee should be less than 55% GOP in its membership.

Just when I think I've posted, they pull it back out

Well, I was getting back to posting, but Blogger is not cooperating. Twice in a row, I've lost posts to busy servers and server errors. Let's see if the third time's the charm.

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