Saturday, May 23, 2009

Willow Fire...

There were an amazing number of news stories yesterday on the small (60 acres) and never very threatening Willow Fire. Even the Associated Press and Fox News picked up the story! I guess it must have been a slow news day.

In the end, there were two minor injuries and no structures damaged or lost. Roughly 60 acres were burned. The news reports are a bit sketchy on concrete information, but based on those reports and a few educated guesses, here's a rough map of the burned area.

Hope Sabers and Obi-Bam...

Mark Steyn at his best (and that's pretty darned good!). Here's just one of many demonstrations of his wit, as he talks about an ad he spotted in a Vermont newspaper, for job openings with a stimulus-funded community organizing group:
Of the eight new positions advertised, the first is:

"ARRA Projects Coordinator."

Gotcha. So the first new job created by the stimulus is a job "coordinating" other programs funded by the stimulus. What's next?


That's how they spell it. Like in "Star Wars" – Luke Grantwriter waving his hope saber as instructed by his mentor Obi-Bam Baracki ("May the Funds be with you!"). The Grantwriter will be responsible for writing grant applications "to augment ARRA funds." So the second new job created by stimulus funding funds someone to petition for additional funding for projects funded by the stimulus.

Deprogramming a Liberal...

Very interesting article at American Thinker, by “Robin of Berkeley”, about the transition of a self-described “rabid liberal” into a conservative. It reminds me of Neo-Neocon's series of articles on changing, but much more condensed. Here's a taste, but do go read the whole thing:
As I educated myself, I started thinking and rethinking. I'd wake up in the middle of the night with the sudden realization that deeply held beliefs made no sense. Take the anti war stance of the left. Noble and sanctimonious and all that. But how easy it is to sit back and preach peace when you have an army defending you; to rail against the U.S. when you are protected by free speech laws; to demonize Israel, when you've never lived through the murderous pogroms of Tsarist Russia or the Holocaust. How hypocritical to lambast Big Business while you are making money from their stocks in your mutual fund portfolio (that is, until Obama took over). And how ludicrous to admire Chavez, Castro and all things socialist, when the closest experience you've had to standing on a bread line is queuing up for goat cheese/arugula pizza at Whole Foods.

And this love affair with Radical Islam -- what's up with that? I had previously thought of Islam as a quaint, folksy religion. But when I started actually reading about it, especially Dr. Phyllis Chesler's illuminating books and web site, I realized extremist Muslims were advocating some seriously scary stuff, like destroying Israel and the West. I had been oblivious of the horrendous treatment of women: the honor killings, beheadings, genital mutilation. It now seemed like the height of naivety, if not masochism, to embrace with open arms people who want to kill you. While as a liberal I was socialized to believe everyone was good, all cultures were the same, and We Are The World, We Are The Children, I began to understand that evil exists. The emergence of evil always offers warnings signs, and we ignore them at our peril.
Hopefully we'll see more of this as the liberals start seeing the effects of the Obamanations being foisted upon us all. That's my idea of hope and change!

Quote of the Day...

By John Pitney (a political scientist at Claremont McKenna college):
Arnold's governorship was supposed to be an action movie. Now it's a disaster movie.