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Seattle Radio talk show host Dave Ross interviewed Lisa on-air yesterday afternoon. I took a quick look to see if there was a transcript or audio file of the interview on site and found the Carpool Song instead.
Sidebar: In Californicate you only need two people in the car to use the car pool lanes.
My Better Half explains why Congress is Paula and GWB is Simon in today's Orange County Register Commentary pages.
While much less entertaining than "American Idol's" evaluation process, the Bush administration recently conducted a merit-based evaluation of the effectiveness of taxpayer-funded federal education programs. As a result, 48 programs were voted off the taxpayer payroll.
Registration may be required. You may be able to get in using joeragas both your password and your login id.
It was a mystery for years but TWC finally realized that Albertson's contract with the Retail Clerks Union requires that quart bottles of apple juice and any excessively large canteloupes are to be packed in the same bag with your bread products.
And it's another fav blonde chick's birthday. Happy Happy Michelle V.
TWC unchained himself from the desk and was rewarded by a Saturday afternoon along the Newport Coast that was quite simply the distilled essence of California. It was the OC without the TV-hyped myth (Orange County was never the OC before Fox hired those dopey screenwriters). So on a lovely hillside above the ocean with Catalina Island as a backdrop Jeff & Alissa said "I do". Then we drank wine and danced and drank more wine.
Spent some time chatting with George, a guy from Syria, and his Armenian wife (apparently there is a sizable Armenian community in Syria). You know the drill, chit chat, got kids, groom side, bride side, how do you know them, where do you live, and all that.
And then she says, "Well, that's why we came to America you know. To give our kids that chance, that opportunity". Then she smiles, a proud mom with a warm and loving family. So they took a family picture with TWC (ten years from now somebody is going to wonder who the heck the guy with the half-gray beard and the wine glass is)
How did opportunity pan out for these Syrian-Armenian immigrants? The oldest daughter is an LA lawyer, the middle girl is a doctor, and youngest is finishing up engineering school at UCLA.
And that IS America, a nation of immigrants who just want a better life for themselves and especially for their children. Exactly the reason why all of us are here. How can anyone hate them for that?
Yesterday Californicate's Governator capitulated to powerful public employee unions and dumped his plan for pension reform. George Passantino explains why that was a really bad idea.
Just five years ago, California paid $160 million to support the retirement costs of state workers. This year, the state will kick in more than $2.6 billion, more than a 1,500 percent increase in five years. And by 2009, the taxpayer bill for state retirement costs is projected to hit $3.5 billion per year.
Whole thing in the April 7 op-ed pages of the Orange County Register (registration required) or here. I'd pick option two if I were you.
George Passantino is a director on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's California Performance Review team and author of a forthcoming Reason Foundation study on the pension crisis that threatens to overwhelm state and local governments across the nation.
Been trying to get this up on the site for a week or better. Melissa G guest blogs this morning with a touching, first-hand, real world account of what it's like to face personal tragedy in the absence of a Living Will.
TWC discussed Living Wills here and Melissa's note is a response to that post. I thought it was important enough to share.
Last year we thought my other half had about a week to live and all of a sudden the nurses and the doctors were asking me about a Living Will. I was greeted with that question every morning.
At 39, it seemed impossible for him to be this sick. When I approached him to ask about it, he was so full of meds that it didn't even hit him. His parents refused to deal with it, pushing it back into my lap and I can't tell you how horrible it was, lying awake every evening wondering what I should do. I finally called my brother the attorney, and he told me that if he didn't have a Living Will signed already there was nothing I could do.
Each of us should have a living will that describes exactly what we want done in a tragic situation. This should not be left to a parent, who may hold a different idea about right to life, or to a sibling who is under severe stress and isn’t sure what to do, and will have to live with the decision. A Living Will should be as important as getting your teeth cleaned, getting your car worked on, or even getting a job.
This is so essential and everyone wants to forget about it. But it is a LOT more painful in a stressful situation, as the partner, to have to make these decisions. I don't know about everyone else, but I surely don't want Uncle Sam determining my fate.
I was lucky, through a real miracle my other half improved and eventually came home.
Thanks Melissa. We're happy for you and David, our thoughts are with you.
Click the above link. Scroll down about three screens to the .mp3's. Right click on Whippin' Post and save it to your hard drive rather than sucking up Ricky's bandwidth by playing it directly from the site.
TWC has attacked social security any number of times on purely pragmatic and economic grounds. It's a Ponzi scheme that's obligated for more than the entire wealth of the country. Same. Same.
But how about the moral aspects? Aside from the obvious in that the government takes 15% of your salary without your permission, then gives it to someone else, and leaves you with a vague assurance that someday you'll get yours, there is the ownership issue.
Rossputin.com has a copy of the March 25, 2005 memo from Ed Crane, President of Cato Institute, to Karl Rove nicely summing up the steps GWB should take if he expects to save social security reform. In it Crane reminds all of us that we have no legal right to collect social security. None.
You want to get people excited about personal accounts? Tell them about the 1960 Supreme Court case, Flemming v. Nestor, which explicitly says Americans have no ownership rights to the money they pay into Social Security. It is, the Court ruled, a social program of Congress with absolutely no contractual obligations. What you get back at retirement -- indeed, when you can retire and receive benefits -- is entirely up to the 535 members of Congress.
Imagine how many folks would line up to buy life insurance under those terms.
Of course one of the big arguments against reform is the "risky scheme" argument that arrives on a D-10 Cat every time reform comes up.
The investment-risk argument was used in 1983 when the Greenspan Commission refused to even consider personal accounts. Yet, the DJIA is now ten times higher than it was at the peak in 1983 (adjusting for inflation and including dividends).
Never doubt for a moment that the people who insist on forcing you to participate in the social security scheme are elitists who are smugly confident that they are better able to plan your future than you are.
Finally, with regard to the 'risky scheme' arguments of opponents, I think it is ironic that the very same people who appear so concerned over the growing wealth gap in America are the one's who refuse to allow low and moderate-income Americans to accumulate wealth.