Monday, December 31, 2007

I'm takin' what they're givin' 'cause I'm workin' for a livin'

Before I throw out the Sunday Sacramento Bee, I often give it one last once-over to ensure I didn't miss any nuggets of wisdom or stupidity. This afternoon, I discovered an example of the latter. There was a letter to the editor which took columnist Daniel Weintraub to task about a column he wrote last Sunday, in which Weintraub opined that economically, Americans are better off now than they were ten years ago. Whether or not this is true is not what I am here to argue, nor am I here to argue with the letter writer's opinion, which is obviously that he disagrees with Weintraub. No, I simply wanted to point out a position held by the letter writer that many ignorant and envious people often share: unabashed class envy.

Here is the head-shaking part of the letter to the editor:
...So, if you are well-off, upper income and live in a suburb - or if you send your child to private school - then life is indeed better today. However, if you work for a living and send your children to public schools - it is time for a change.
Did you catch that? If you work for a living. So, if I am well-off, upper income, and live in a suburb, then I don't work for a living?

My wife and I are friends with a family here in the Sacramento area who fit the letter writer's smarmy description of "well-off". The husband is a podiatrist, the wife is a lawyer. They have three children (all of whom attend public schools, by the way). Both husband and wife put in long hours at their jobs as doctor and lawyer, and yes, because of their joint income, they live on a couple acres of land in a multi-story house in nearby Carmichael. But do they work for a living? You bet your ass they work for a living. The fact that they own more land than I, own a bigger house than I, and take a yearly vacation to Catalina doesn't bother me in the least. Just imagine the bills they faced after they graduated from medical school and law school, and the hell and long hours they endured in order to obtain their degrees.

Maybe I am tearing apart this quote from the letter a little too much when I also notice that when talking about where well-off people send their kids to school, the letter writer uses the word "child", but when talking about where people who "work for a living" send their kids to school, the letter writer uses the word "children". I guess he thinks that rich people are rife with only-children while poor people squeeze out puppy after puppy. Actually, I half-agree with the letter writer, but only half. When well-off families have three, four, or five-plus children, they can actually afford to do so. Who pays for the 17 children that a Russian family in the Sacramento suburb of Rancho Cordova is currently raising? I'll give you a hint: it's not the parents.

This whole line of thinking comes from the same poisonous school of thought that prompts those populist lefties out there to refer to "working families". The implication of course is that if you are rich, or simply well-off, then you don't work. A prominent Democrat from a few years back - former Missouri representative Dick Gephardt - was actually called on this "working family" bit a few years ago. While appearing with Brit Hume on Fox News during the 2000 election, Hume asked Gephardt for more clarification on what is a "working family". The Media Research Center took note of the clarification. Here is how the conversation went:
Earlier, Hume quizzed Dick Gephardt about the definition of "working family," a phrase frequently employed by liberals. Gephardt said it only means "If you work," leading Hume to ask: "If you work at all? So George W. Bush's family, that's a working family, right?" Gephardt agreed: "I think so." Hume replied: "And Bill and Hillary Clinton, the First Family, they work, right?" Gephardt went along: "I think so." Hume followed up: "Now, is there an income limit?" Gephardt: "No, no income limit. "Hume: "So you could be extremely rich, but as long as you still work, so Steve Forbes' family is a working family?" Gephardt decided: "Working is good."
Hmmm, do Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama work for a living? Just wondering.

Good Day to You, Sir

McCain? No, thank you!

Apparently, John McCain has made a huge surge in the polls, both nationally and in New Hampshire. This summer he had been written off as an also-ran, but now that he is the only Republican front-runner without a personal scandal making the news, his numbers have shot up.

I would no more vote for John McCain than I would Hillary Clinton, and for the same reason. They are both political opportunists who do the popular thing, rather than the right thing. Yes, I know that description fits the bill of many, if not most, politicians. But I am talking front-runners here. While McCain may not have any personal scandals, he has more than his share of what I would call political scandals. These scandals would involve the two biggest reasons I would never vote for John McCain for president: The McCain-Feingold "Campaign Finance Reform" law, and the Illegal Alien Amnesty bill that McCain supported this summer.

McCain-Feingold is an atrocious law that absolutely guts the First Amendment. It tells people how they can spend their money when legitimately working to elect a political candidate. The worst part of the law was the section that prohibited ads that mentioned a candidate's name from being run at least 30 days before a primary, or 60 days before a general election. I believe that the Supreme Court found that little gem to be unconstitutional, but just the fact that John McCain would support a blatantly unconstitutional proviso like that makes him absolutely unacceptable as president, just as George W. Bush became unacceptable when he signed the stupid bill into law.

Then there is this summer's amnesty bill that got shot down when the American people (via talk radio) went apeshit. Oh, the supporters of the bill insisted it wasn't an amnesty bill, but if it quacks like a duck.... McCain was a big supporter of that bill too, which again, makes him totally unacceptable.

So your next question is probably, "OK, Chanman, so who do you support for president?" My answer is, "That's a very good question."

John McCain - I just covered that.
Mike Huckabee - Wants to be compassionate with YOUR money. He's a Republican socialist and a political lightweight, and his pro-stance on illegal immigration is even more disgusting than McCain's.
Rudy Giuliani - Pro-gun control, pro-abortion, and appeared to be fully in favor of New York City being a sanctuary city for illegal aliens. That, and he was able to be elected mayor of that bastion of conservatism called New York City. Next!
Mitt Romney - Flip-flopped on his positions regarding gun control and abortion, and was able to be elected governor of that bastion of conservatism called Massachusetts. Next!
Fred Thompson - He has promise, but he is just too wishy-washy, too insider, too CFR member.
Ron Paul - I agree with him on every issue I can think of, with the exception of his isolationist stance. He keeps blaming 9/11 on our foreign policy. While I agree that our international meddling has pissed off some people over the years, does Paul really think that the radical Muslims would leave us alone if we just turned inward? I don't see Thai or Filipino aircraft carriers patrolling the seas, yet those two countries both have Muslim insurgencies on their hands. Radical Muslims don't want us dead because we're in Muslim countries, they want us dead because we're not Muslim.
Duncan Hunter - Is he still in the race?

There is no need for me to list the Democrats. No, wait, I'll be fair:

All the Democrat candidates - They're a bunch of totalitarian socialists. Next!

So, for whom will I vote? I would write in Margaret Thatcher, but she's not eligible.

Good Day to You, Sir

Sunday, December 30, 2007

CD stands for Cranial Dysfunction

Remember when the recording industry (called the RIAA) went after people who downloaded and shared free music off the Internet? They are still doing it and making people pay thousands of dollars in restitution.

About five years ago, I downloaded - for free - a whole bunch of songs by using Kazaa. That was right around the time the RIAA started cracking down, and I then dumped Kazaa off my computer. Now, the RIAA is widening its net. Incredibly, they are going after a guy who burned songs from his purchased CDs to his computer. If that "crime" is something that can get you in trouble, then half our country's population is up the creek. I can only guess, but I would say that I have ripped at least a thousand songs from my CDs and stored them on my computer hard drive, and transferred many of those songs to my MP3 player. There you go, RIAA! I have now confessed - come and get me!

The movie industry tried something similar when VCR tapes made their appearance in the late 1970s. You can see that worked out really well for them. I'm sure the RIAA will have similar luck with their court proceedings regarding this CD case. These suits in the RIAA are textbook examples of corporate inertia. They have been riding the gravy train for so long, they don't know what to do when their business model doesn't work anymore. Their current strategy of trying to hold up progress with music-sharing technology is like trying to hold back a flood with a bucket and a spoon.

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I will go rip a few more songs from my CDs. Just think of it as my own little act of civil disobedience. How about all you tech-savvy fellow readers out there do the same thing in solidarity with me?

Good Day to You, Sir

"Well, shoot any black you see"

Must be the words of a white supremacist, right? Some dragon from the KKK in the 1920s? Neither of those assumptions would be correct. Those are the words from a leader of a Latino gang in Los Angeles. This Associated Press article tells us the news about a brewing race war that is going on in the City of the Angels.

There is a violent turf war going on in LA that the press really isn't talking about all that much, and is only now beginning to report on as the war gets worse. The lack of media attention is mostly because the violence involves two different groups of minorities, with not a white man to be seen. As you know, the mainstream media usually eats up interracial violence only when the perp is white and the victim isn't.

What is happening is that the Latinos/Hispanics (I can never figure out what they want to be called) are taking over the greater Los Angeles area, and blacks are being pushed out. South Central LA, which has long been associated with being a "black" section of the city, is now something like 70% Latino. This demographic shift is being hastened by Latino gangs who started out targeting black gang members, but are now spreading their sights to any black they see.

Two good resources for finding out more about this Latino-on-black violence are the blogs of Michelle Malkin and LaShawn Barber. They were talking about this subject long before the MSM picked up on it.

Good Day to You, Sir

Smackdown in the savannah

Here is a video you must see if you already haven't. Apparently, this was one of the biggest hits of 2007 on YouTube, but I knew nothing about it until it was profiled on 20/20 last Friday night.
The video is just over 8 minutes, but I urge you to watch the whole thing and not skip ahead. I won't give you any details except to say that it involves a pride of lions, two crocodiles, and an angry herd of water buffalo. Check it out!

Good Day to You, Sir

Riverdance rocks!

I went to the Sacramento Community Theater tonight and saw Riverdance. My wife and her mother saw it yesterday, but my wife didn't know that I have loved Riverdance for many years - I saw the VHS version - so, being the thoughtful wife she is, she bought me a ticket for tonight.

Seeing it on TV is one thing, but seeing Riverdance live is absolutely jaw-dropping. One thing that was hard for a clarinet player like me was to take my eyes off the musicians' fingerwork and actually watch the dancing.

In case you have never heard of it, Riverdance is a music and dance show featuring Irish step dancing and traditional Irish folk music, complete with fiddle and uilleann pipes, which is a smaller version of bagpipes that doesn't require the player to blow. A solo by the uilleann pipe player literally brought tears to my eyes.

I don't have enough good things to say about Riverdance. If you ever get the chance to see it live, do it! Here is the Riverdance website in case you're interested.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Notable Quotables - 2007

At the end of every year, Media Research Center (see blogroll at left) comes out with its list of the most zany, most ridiculous, most inane statements made by members of the Mainstream Media during the last 12 months. It takes a little time to read, but I have posted the PDF file for your enjoyment.

Here is just one quote out of many that gives you an idea of what is listed:
Matt Lauer: “From your point of view, if you were to
run for President you could take this issue [global warming]
to the next level, even during just a campaign. And if
you were fortunate enough to win the presidency, you’d
sit in the most powerful office in the free world with a real
chance to make — you could be in a position to save the
planet, without putting too much emphasis on it. Wouldn’t
that be enough of a reason to run for President for you?”

Former Vice President Al Gore: “Well, I appreciate the
impulse behind the question. I am not planning to run....”

Lauer: “But as someone who feels as passionately about
the subject as you do, and your documentary is evidence
of that, why pass up the opportunity to have that world
stage again?”

— Exchange on NBC’s Today, December 6, 2006. [43]
I remember hearing that little ditty being played on talk radio last December. As you can see, it had staying power.

Good Day to You, Sir

"A horrible inevitability"

That is how blogger/columnist Mark Steyn described today's assassination of former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto. I couldn't agree more. After all the previous attempts to take her life, and with her insistence that she continue to make public appearances, it was only a matter of time before someone was successful in taking her out.

It is scary to see what is going on in Pakistan, because that basket-case of a country is one of the ground zeros in our war on Islamic terrorism, and is a country of over 160 million people that is full of radicalism and instability. Ann Coulter describes Pakistan best in one of her recent columns:
The entire history of Pakistan is this: There are lots of crazy people living there, they have nuclear weapons, and any Pakistani leader who prevents the crazies from getting the nukes is George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison all rolled into one.
Good Day to You, Sir

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Breaking the Code of Silence

I'm sure that you are all familiar with the "I ain't no snitch" mentality that runs through our prisons and ghettos. Unfortunately, this attitude also permeates our schools. I can't say for sure that middle school is the worst for this, but having taught both high and middle, it sure seems like it.

During the last week of school before the Christmas Break (which mercifully began yesterday), a situation happened in my classroom that required the code of silence to be broken. The question is, would anyone have the guts to come forward?

On Wednesday the 19th, I was standing in the doorway of my classroom as I greeted my incoming 6th period students. I have mentioned this period before, as it is my absolute worst group of students this school year. As I said hello to two students walking toward the classroom door, I heard the sound of breaking glass from inside my classroom, along with the sound of commotion and students softly saying, "Ooooooooooh." I could tell that something had been broken; the question was, what? I walked into my classroom and asked, "OK, what happened." No one said a word. I looked around on the floor, thinking that something had been dropped, but I didn't see anything. About thirty seconds had passed, and I still couldn't find anything broken, and no student would speak up and tell me what it was. As I walked along, I heard a student excitedly whisper, "He didn't see it!" I turned around, and that is when I noticed that the glass plate on my overhead projector was shattered and had collapsed inward. So that was it. Knowing I would get no response, I went ahead and asked it anyway: "Can anyone explain what happened here?" Nothing. No one saw anything. Apparently, the overhead just broke on its own. Looking at all the broken glass, I then asked, "Is anyone bleeding?" Nothing.

I called for a janitor to clean up the broken glass and haul the overhead away. At the end of the day, I made sure the Principal and VP knew about what had happened. The next day, Thursday, 6th period came and went with no word from anyone about how the overhead was broken. But then, that night, I happened to check my work email before I went to bed. There in my inbox was an email from a parent of one of my good students in that class. The parent gave me the name of the student who had broken the overhead. Apparently, the student slammed his fist onto the overhead as he walked by it. The parent told me that her child was appalled by what had happened, but was too afraid to come to me because of possible repercussions by her classmates. I printed this email and took it to my principal first thing on Friday morning.

Later that same day, the student named in the email was called to the VP's office and the student - we'll call him Moe - denied everything. Moe's mother also backed him up 100%, saying that he wouldn't do such a thing and that he was being persecuted. So it came down the word of one student against another. The VP did something risky, but ballsy. The VP called in two more known troublemakers from that class - we'll call them Larry and Curly - and told them that they had been implicated and were being suspended for two days. Not surprisingly, Larry and Curly had a conniption in the VP's office as they protested their innocence. The VP told Larry and Curly that he knew that they knew who did it, and if they named the perpetrator, their suspensions would be vacated. If they kept mum, they would be suspended. Later, Moe, Larry, and Curly were all in my 6th period class when the VP walked in, told them to grab their things and prepare to go home. As Larry and Curly departed, the rest of the students in the class waxed indignant about how unfair it was that the two were being suspended. That is when I pounced.

I said something akin to the following: "Folks, this code of silence crap is boring me to death. You all know who broke that overhead, yet here you are not saying so." I then imitated them: "Bye Larry! Bye Curly! Sorry you got suspended for nothing! I know you didn't do anything, but I'm not gonna say who really did it! See ya!"

After my animated diatribe, the students in the class did something I did not expect: they huddled. After talking for about 30 seconds, they broke huddle and walked up to me. The students then pretty much simultaneously said, "Moe did it." Keep in mind, I never once mentioned Moe's name in all this; the students gave me his name on their own, thereby verifying what the parent email had said in the first place. As individual students told me it was Moe, I was writing their names down as a witness list. After the period ended, I sprinted to the VP's office and told him what had happened. The VP still had Larry and Curly in his office, and he told them, "Your friends just did the right thing and saved your bacon." And then the VP let Larry and Curly go. Moe on the other hand, will not be joining us for the first five days when we come back from the break. I was very proud to see my students reach some sort of critical mass and agree to break the code of silence that had compelled them to protect a fellow student who had destroyed school property right in front of them.

Good Day to You, Sir

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Get him off me! Get him off me!

Remember earlier this week when I told you about hanging this poster behind my desk in my classroom?

I have already had a few encounters with some of my students regarding the poster. The first one was rather humorous and disturbing all at the same time. At the end of class, a female student walked up to me and asked, "Who is that guy?" I told her the truth: "He was a mass-murderer who helped bring communism to the country of Cuba." She said, "What do you mean, 'mass-murderer'?" I told her about the 14,000 Cubans that Che was either directly or indirectly responsible for executing. The student got this ashen look on her face and then lifted up the bottom of her shirt enough to reveal her belt. Her belt and buckle looked very similar to this:
The student asked me, "Is this guy on my buckle the same as on your poster?" After I answered in the affirmative, she turned to a friend standing next to her, and said, "Omigod, I want to take this belt off right now!" I then asked this student, "Where did you get that belt anyway? Why are you wearing it?" The student told me it belonged to her older sister and that she had picked it up off the bedroom floor because she needed a belt to wear.

I have another student - this one is male - who now comes to class wearing a Che button on his jacket lapel. He also showed me his wallet the other day, which has a red communist star on it. Isn't communist-chic just the cutest thing? Imagine a student proudly pulling out a wallet with a swastika on it and sticking a Heinrich Himmler pin on his lapel! Yes, you can only imagine.

Good Day to You, Sir

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A leftist's idea of "enlightened"

In the Forum section of today's Sacramento Bee, there is a column written by Eugene Robinson entitled How scary is Huckabee?. I'm not too enthused about the idea of Mike Huckabee as president either, but that is not why I am writing this post.

What caught my eye was what Mr. Robinson thinks about certain issues of the day. While comparitively speaking of the good and bad of Rudy Giuliani, Robinson says,
But at least Giuliani, when pressed, admits harboring fairly cosmopolitan and enlightened views on domestic issues such as abortion, immigration, and gun control...
So, dismembering and sucking out the brain of an unborn child is "enlightened"? Allowing people to enter our country in violation of our immigration laws, thereby increasing crime and government spending, and lowering wages is "enlightened"? Stopping people from being able to defend themselves and leaving them to the mercy (or lack thereof) of criminal predators is "enlightened"? What a presumptive and elitist term for Robinson to use.

That wasn't Robinson's only tongue-cluck-inducing tidbit from his column. Referring to a statement from Mitt Romney, Robinson states,

And down at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson - who famously distrusted organized religion - must have been whirring like a turbine at Romney's declaration that "freedom requires religion"...

Way to cherry-pick your founding fathers, Mr. Robinson. First of all, Romney didn't say "organized religion", he said "religion", and on that note, I wholeheartedly agree with Governor Romney. Here is what another founding father, George Washington (you might have heard of him) had to say about religion and freedom:
And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
But wait! You might say, Washington only speaks of religion and its relationship to morality, not freedom. Good point, but do you really think that an immoral nation is a free nation?

Luckily, we have the wise words of yet another founding father to clear up any confusion on this issue. John Adams had this to say about morality and its relationship to freedom:
We have no government armed in power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a religious and moral people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.
Adams knew that if people didn't have the power to govern themselves, then an oppressive government would have to control them instead. Naturally, the more control the government has over you, the less freedom you have. Hence, you cannot have freedom without morality, and from where does morality spring? Religion. So when Mitt Romney says that freedom requires religion, he is most certainly correct.

There is one more point Robinson makes, on which I must take him to task. While addressing Huckabee's religiosity, Robinson pulls out one of the most tired and inane arguments in the left's rusted arsenal of tired and inane arguments. See if you recognize this oldie/goodie: governor of Arkansas, Huckabee didn't behave like the theocrat he makes himself out to be. His absolute reverence for human life didn't stop him from enforcing the death penalty, for example....
Like I always ask a lefty who compares abortion to the death penalty, am I assuming correctly that you are comparing an innocent child to a ruthless murderer? This comparison is a textbook example of the left's proclivity for moral equivalence. It's the same reason that for the left, "War is not the answer." It doesn't matter if you are killing the bad guys - for the left, it is bad that you are killing someone, no matter who it is. Except, unborn babies don't count, since the left sees them as a blob of tissue or something along those lines.

Again, I write this post not to stick up for any of the Republican presidential candidates; I freely admit that I don't want Huckabee, Giuliani, or Romney as president. I do write this post to address the same tired canards that the left brings up again and again, hoping that the bigger is the lie, the more people will hopefully believe it.

Good Day to You, Sir

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Carnival of Education

This week's edition is going on at the fine blog of the Delaware persuasion, Colossus of Rhodey (see blogroll).

Good Day to You, Sir

What is on your classroom wall?

Here is a post that I figured I would have done years ago, but I just never got around to it... until yesterday, when I had the presence of mind to remember the digital camera before I trotted off to work.

You can often tell a lot about a teacher based on what he or she plasters on the classroom wall. Since our classroom is essentially our second home, it helps to put up posters and paraphernalia that comfort us, and not just our students. Here are some examples of what adorns the walls of my classroom, and remember to click on the image if you can't read it:

Many a student has been amused and informed by this political philosophy poster. The different philosophies are explained through the ownership of cows. My favorite is the one on democracy. It pulls no punches on that extremely flawed system.

I often have to explain this one to my students, but the light bulb is bright once it appears over their heads. You can see the sheep following each other over the cliff to their deaths, but right in the middle of the crowd is one sheep headed the other direction, and saying, "excuse me, excuse me". The poster harks back to that parent tested/parent approved line, "Well, if your friends jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?"

This poster shows the city of Rome as it looked at its height of power. I bought this poster in 2003 at a kiosk inside - where else? - the Coliseum in Rome.

Above the sink is my shrine to Mount Shasta. Above that is my beloved Navy Jack "Don't Tread on Me" flag. When students ask me what that means, I tell them it was our polite and patriotic 18th century way of telling the world not to "ahem" with us.

To prove I'm not a total political partisan in my classroom, I have dedicated this section of the wall to political campaign posters and paraphernalia. The two little buttons off to the left are of the Gore/Lieberman campaign of 2000 and the Clinton/Gore '96 campaign. I'm looking forward to this next election cycle so I can get some truly memorable campaign signs!

A U.S. History classroom wouldn't be a U.S. History classroom without a framed reproduction of the Declaration of Independence!

I forget the first time I ever heard this statement, but it has stuck with me for years. This is for all those students who screw off all semester, and then want me to spend hours grading and entering all their late work so they can play in that basketball game tomorrow. Perhaps that is why I stopped accepting late work this semester. The only problem with that sign is that my students never seem to know what necessitate means.

I bought this photo of General Robert E. Lee in early 2001 at the gift shop located within the Gettysburg Battlefield in Pennsylvania. Touring that battlefield was one of the best days of my life. I did it on foot, and I did it alone.

I have a quite a few somber posters on my wall as well. The first one is this picture and quote of Simon Wiesenthal. In a very eloquent way, he is saying, "Freedom isn't free."

On September 11, 2002, the Sacramento Bee ran this special insert that I laminated and has adorned every classroom of mine ever since. Students are often cowed by the sheer number of names on the paper. Seeing that has a lot more impact than just simply hearing the number.

I do my best to never let my students forget the sacrifices our members of the military of have made since the founding of our country. That list on the green sheet shows the dead and wounded from every major conflict in which our country has fought. The hardest part for me is occasionally updating the figures from our current war. Notice I don't call it "The War on Terror."

And finally, my latest addition, which I put up just two days ago. Yes, it arrived in the mail, and I finally found the time to post it behind my desk. I got a lot of curiosity about it from my students, including one Hispanic girl who told me, "You know, a lot of people in Mexico like him."
The teacher who occupies the classroom next door to mine - the one who has an actual Che Guevara poster hanging above his desk - has yet to see this poster. I'm not sure what his reaction will be. I mean, this guy's emails have an automatic signature that says Hasta La Victoria Siempre, which Che was fond of saying. That's how much of a Che-phile this guy is. The teacher is a great guy, but his politics are scary.

Good Day to You, Sir

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Friends of the Blog say hello

Within the last week, comments have been left on Buckhorn Road by two celebrities - one local, one national - who have jumped on the Buckhorn bandwagon and found out what other people have been missing!

The first visit was from Sacramento radio talk show host and left-wing gasbag, Christine Craft, who is apparently still smarting from me continually referring to her as a left-wing gasbag... or maybe it was when I called her a nasally witch - you'll have to ask her. Anyhoo, in this post from May of this year, Christine just recently left this comment:
hey sure to listen to KGO 810 am out of San Francisco on saturday ...dec. 8 at 4pm...I have a special version of your description of me..Christine Craft
Mizz Craft sometimes does host-subbing duties at KGO. All I can say is that when she mentioned me on the radio, she better have mentioned my blog and its web address. San Francisco is a big market, and I would welcome the plug - even if it was only Christine's minions logging on in order to flame me. The tragedy is that I had inadvertently let a couple days go by without checking my online email, so by the time I read her comment, Saturday the 8th had come and gone. Pity. Christine, if you're reading this, do you think you could give us the Reader's Digest version of what you said on the radio?

But it gets even better! Early this morning, I wrote my thoughts on the mass shootings in Colorado Springs and Omaha, along with listing a rogue's gallery of past mass-shootings which were fortunately stopped by private citizens carrying firearms. In describing the woman who stopped the lunatic in Colorado the other day, I got an important detail wrong. This literary hero of mine wrote in to correct me, and I happily stand corrected!
Jeanne Assam was a volunteer security guard. She apparently suggested to the minister that she be allowed to carry her permitted concealed handgun with her when she was at church. Others were also allowed to do so. These were just private citizens who were members of the church and who offered to provide these protective services as members of the congregation.
# posted by John Lott : 4:20 PM
Yes folks, that John Lott! He of well-known books such as More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun-Control Laws, which totally rewrote the conventional wisdom about the role of the use of guns in self-defense, and the recent book Freedomnomics: Why the Free Market Works, and Other Half-Baked Theories Don't.

Thank you to both VIVs (very important visitors) for patronizing my humble blog... yes, even you Christine.

Good Day to You, Sir

When your moral compass spins

Definition of Beyond the Pale: Dressing up on Halloween as a murder victim from the Virginia Tech massacre where 32 students and teachers were killed earlier this year.

Take a look at the moron on the right in the picture. Yes, those are simulated gunshot wounds and a Virginia Tech t-shirt he is wearing. I barely know what to say. What might bug me most of all is that gleeful shit-eating grin on his face. I guess his mommy and daddy never told him that doing things like what he is doing there are socially unacceptable. The problem is that in the self-centered, conscience-less generation of which he is a part, what he is doing is socially acceptable.

Aaron Hanscom of Pajamas Media has some interesting things to say about how young people are beginning treat murder as a "victimless crime". Check it out.

Good Day to You, Sir

Riots in Poland over "Christmas toilet paper"

Christian protesters brandishing machetes and assault rifles marched through the streets of Lublin, Poland yesterday, chanting, "Kill the blasphemers!" and carrying signs saying, "Behead those who insult Christianity".

The protesters were angry about a local pharmacy selling rolls of toilet paper that say "Merry Christmas" on the sheets. Once the protesters reached the pharmacy, the building was burned to the ground and the proprietors were dragged out and shot.

Well, OK, I embellished the story a little bit. The toilet paper part is true, but all the Christian protesters have done is sign a petition asking that the toilet paper not be sold.

I imagine you see where I'm going with all this. Picture what would happen if toilet paper was printed with "Happy Ramadan" or something like that. Actually, I have a picture right here that would be a good example:

This sign was carried in London in response to the Danish political cartoons that dared to show images of Muhammad.

Good Day to You, Sir

If the "metal health" doesn't drive you mad, the cocaine will

Here is something I didn't know: Last month, Kevin Dubrow, the lead singer for Quiet Riot, died of a cocaine overdose.

I was never much of a Quiet Riot fan, but as a young man of 10 or 11 years of age, I do remember the buzz when they came on the scene. A few years ago, I watched a VH1 Behind the Music episode about Quiet Riot. With the popularity of '80s Hair Metal having waned, they were reduced to playing a gig at a nudist colony in Idaho... seriously! That doesn't condone the cocaine use, but perhaps it explains it.

Good Day to You, Sir

Revisiting the culture of self-defense

A commenter chastised me for my recent post regarding the shooting at a mall in Omaha that took eight innocent lives. Here is what the commenter said, without any edits:
wow. you really think that if the people would have had guns, they would have had time to pull them out and defend themselves?
the second this man stepped off the elevator he began firing. and do you realize that SIX of these eight killed were employees?? you really think employees would have guns behind the counter "just in case" i think you need to let the victims and their families deal with the situation without your input.
I commented back, but in the wake of yesterday's shootings at churches in Colorado that took four innocent lives, let's talk basics about guns, mass-shootings, and self-defense.

One of the toughest crimes to deal with is a mass-shooting. A shooter opens fire without warning in a public place with lots of people, and the shooter is usually bent on suicide. The common factor of all the mass-shootings that I can think of that have happened over the years is that the rampage was ended with a gun. The million-dollar question is: Whose gun will end the shooter's rampage? The gun can belong to the shooter; in which case, he has finished his gruesome business and taken possibly dozens of lives before turning the gun on himself. The gun can belong to the police, who show up as quickly as possible, but not quickly enough to save the lives of 32 people at Virginia Tech this year, or 13 people in Littleton, Colorado in 1999, or 23 people in Killeen, Texas in 1991, or 21 people in San Ysidro, California in 1984. Finally, the gun can belong to a private citizen who is at the scene when the shooting starts. Time and again, private citizens have ended mass shootings; you just don't often hear about it.
  • Salt Lake City, Utah, 2007 - Ken Hammond, an off-duty police officer having a Valentine's Day dinner with his wife engaged a mass-shooter at the Trolley Square Mall. Police credited Hammond with saving countless lives
  • Grundy, Virginia, 2002 - A disgruntled student opens fire at the Appalachian School of Law, killing two teachers and a student. As the shooter exited a building, two students - who had retrieved their guns independently of one another - rushed the shooter and subdued him while other students then piled on and wrestled the shooter to the ground.
  • Pearl, Mississippi, 1997 - After killing his mother at their home, a high school student drove to his school, and upon arriving, shot and killed two female students, and wounded seven others. While that was going on, an assistant principal named Joel Myrick retrieved a pistol from his car, and used it to subdue the shooter. Police soon arrived and arrested the shooter. Myrick was credited with stopping the shooter from continuing his massacre at a nearby middle school.
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado, 2007 - Just yesterday, an armed security guard shot and killed a deranged man who shot up two different churches, killing a total of four people. While the security guard wasn't totally a private citizen with a firearm, she was still someone who was armed and who was on-scene when the shooting started; she wasn't a police officer who had to rush from miles away. But how many churches have the money to employ armed security guards? You can't post security guards everywhere.
The bottom line is that the way to stop or severely limit these shootings is to arm the public, as they used to be armed. We need to go back to what blogger Michelle Malkin calls a "Culture of Self-Defense". My commenter nitpicks the fact that six of the dead in Omaha were employees, and his sudden shooting just off of the elevator gave no warning, blah, blah, blah. Chances are, if we had a culture of self-defense again in this country, that shooter would never have started his massacre in the first place.

Mass-shooters may be psychotic, but they're not stupid. Notice that even in the midst of their irrationality, they are rational enough to go to places where people are almost assuredly unarmed? You don't see mass shootings taking place at police stations and gun shows; those places have a lot of people in them too. The thing to do is take away the locations where disarmament is almost guaranteed.

It's amazing how topsy-turvy our society has become. Once upon a time in our colonies, male citizens were required by law to be armed when they left the house. They were fined if they were found to be unarmed. That, and many other interesting facts about firearms can be found in a new book by Dr. John Lott, called Freedomnomics: Why the Free Market Works, and Other Half-Baked Theories Don't.

You either want people to have the power to defend themselves and others, or you want them to cower in helpless fear. On which side are you?

Good Day to You, Sir

Friday, December 07, 2007

An infamous day

Sixty-six years ago today...

Good Day to You, Sir

Hate Crime on the "A" Train

Where's Bernie Goetz when you need him? Here's a video (hat tip: The Smoking Gun) of a man on a subway train in New York being screamed at for a few minutes before being assaulted, all while sheepish bystanders sit there.

Stuff like this makes me want to pack up the wife and kids and move to the moon.

Good Day to You, Sir

I have often wondered the same thing!

In one of his beloved Random Thoughts columns, Thomas Sowell asks a question that I have pondered for years:
Since electricity is generated mostly by burning coal, has anyone calculated how much pollution is created by electric cars, even though none of that pollution comes out of their tailpipes?
I have said more than once to anyone who will listen that the more electric cars purchased, the more burning coal and hydroelectric dams we will need.

Good Day to You, Sir

We have ruined the country... sorry about that

One of my favorite radio talk show hosts, Dennis Prager, has written a wonderful column in which he takes it upon himself to apologize on behalf of the Baby Boom generation for the devastation many members of that generation have wrought upon the United States and its culture and institutions.

I will provide you with the first apology. If you want to read the rest, the link is right above
First and perhaps foremost, we apologize for robbing many of you of a childhood.

We baby boomers were allowed perhaps the most innocent childhoods known to history. We grew up without material want, in one of the most decent places in world history, with media that preserved our sexual and other innocence, in schools that generally taught us well, and we were allowed childhood play from boy-girl play to rough and tumble boy-boy play to monkey bars and ringalievio. Our generation has deprived you of all these things. And while we were aware of the threat of a nuclear war with the Soviet Union, few of us believed that we were threatened with death anywhere near the amount we have scared you about death from secondhand smoke, global warming and heterosexual AIDS, to mention just a few of the exaggerated death scares we have inflicted on you.
Good Day to You, Sir

Thursday, December 06, 2007

...Now, if he were a CONSERVATIVE talk show host...

It is currently 11:51pm. It is a lead story on the homepage of Drudge and FoxNews, but there is nothing to be found anywhere on the homepages of ABC News, CBS News, MSNBC, or CNN. That would be the news that KGO-San Francisco talk show host - and screaming lefty - Bernie Ward, has been indicted on charges of child pornography.

Now, I realize that Ward does not have the popularity or visibility of Limbaugh, Hannity, Savage, et. al., but you would think that it would at least be mentioned somewhere by the major news agencies besides Fox News.

Now, reverse the scenario. Imagine a second-tier conservative host like Hugh Hewitt, Lars Larson, or Mike Smerconish got popped for the same crime, do you imagine the left media would ignore it like they have Ward's predicament? And no, Fox News and Drudge would not ignore it if the host were on the right. They have always proved themselves to be equal-opportunity slime-peddlers. How many Larry Craig bathroom news stories did I have to endure from Fox News before that story finally played itself out?

Good Day to You, Sir

Thank God the mall was a "Gun Free Zone"

I'm sure you have all heard by now about the mass-murder at the Westroads Mall in Omaha, Nebraska. The tally is 8 dead and 5 wounded. What you may not have heard is that you can partially blame the carnage on the emotion-based policy of not allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons into places of business, and many other locations for that matter. According to economist and author John Lott, Westroads Mall had Gun-Free Zone signs posted everywhere. A lot good that did, huh? Were it not for those signs, you might have people walking in and shooting up the place!

Earlier this year, Nebraska approved a concealed-carry law, however, if you listened to the Mike Gallagher show tonight, he took the time to reference that law and list all the places that the law states you cannot take that concealed weapon - and the list was lengthy. Then of course, private businesses can also prohibit customers and employees from packing heat into the establishment as well. Mike Gallagher brought on a guest named Suzanna Hupp, whose parents and 21 others were killed by another mass murderer at Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas in 1991. Dr. Hupp barely escaped with her life by jumping through a window. Hupp, who had left her gun in her car to be in compliance with Texas state law, was instrumental in getting Texas to pass a concealed-carry law. She made a good point in saying that she hoped the families of the Omaha mall victims "sue the snot" out of the mall for not allowing people to carry weapons in self-defense. She brought up a good point: if you are not going to allow people to carry the means to defend themselves, then you as a business owner should accept the liability should something happen, such as, say, an evil crazed gunman opening fire in said business.

I know the anti-gun crowd is already salivating over this incident; furiously typing press releases that say, See! See what happens when you let people have guns?! To which I say, See? See what happens when you don't let people have guns so that they might defend themselves and others? See what happens when you emasculate people and leave them to the mercy of the inevitable evil out there that would do us harm?

Aside from the murderer himself, the other people with blood on their hands are the anti-gun activists and legislators whose every waking moment is spent trying to stop me from protecting myself, my wife, my children, and anyone else who is put in harm's way.

Good Day to You, Sir

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Michael Savage takes on CAIR

When president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, visited the United States and spoke at Columbia University earlier this year, radio talk host Michael Savage went on a predictable tirade or two about the rodent-like leader of Iran and his twisted ideas about Islam.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) lifted a few minutes of excerpts of Savage's tirades, posted the sound files on their website, and sent the sound files to Savage's sponsors in an effort to de-fund Savage and kick him off the airwaves.

Michael Savage is now suing CAIR for using copyrighted material without his permission. I haven't even fully read up on this case, and I can only take small doses of Savage on the way home from work before I need a breather, but I came across one thing tonight that really stood out, and that would be one of the most biased headlines I have seen in awhile.

Drudge linked to a story about Savage vs. CAIR, and when the Associated Press article on Yahoo News appeared, the headline might as well have had neon lights surrounding it. It says:

Radio host sues group that quoted him

Do you see what the headline did? It totally misrepresents why Savage is suing CAIR, and it gives a subtle little dig toward Savage as being some kind of dolt or bully who is suing someone for simply repeating what he said on his show.

Savage is not suing CAIR for quoting him. He is suing them for copyright infringement. He is suing them because while using this copyrighted material, they attributed what he said as applying to every Muslim instead of Muslims like Ahmadinejad, and then used those out-of-context remarks as a sledgehammer against his own show by complaining to sponsors about what he said.

I'm no legal scholar - especially when it comes to copyright law - so I have no idea if Savage has a case or not. What I do know is that the Associated Press is once again showing its bias with one doozy of a headline.

I think that Radio host sues group for copyright infringement would have been much more appropriate and neutral. Too bad the lefty media just can't help themselves.

Good Day to You, Sir

Monday, December 03, 2007

Sean Taylor, ghoulish statistics, and the Black KKK

One of this week's big news stories was the murder of Washington Redskins football player Sean Taylor, who was shot in his own home in front of his wife and daughter.

Even before any suspect had been caught, at least one columnist - using what he called "aggressive speculation" - guessed that the perpetrator(s) would be black. For the record, Sean Taylor was black, and the columnist, Jason Whitlock, is black as well. In an opinion piece entitled Taylor's death a grim reminder for us all, Whitlock describes a deadly, albeit, unofficial force in this country called the Black KKK. According to Whitlock, the Black KKK has claimed another victim in Sean Taylor. No, there is no organized terror group called the Black KKK, but as Whitlock writes,
There's a reason I call them the Black KKK. The pain, the fear and the destruction are all the same...

Well, when shots are fired and a black man hits the pavement, there's every statistical reason to believe another black man pulled the trigger. That's not some negative, unfair stereotype. It's a reality we've been living with, tolerating and rationalizing for far too long.

When the traditional, white KKK lynched, terrorized and intimidated black folks at a slower rate than its modern-day dark-skinned replacement, at least we had the good sense to be outraged and in no mood to contemplate rationalizations or be fooled by distractions.

Our new millennium strategy is to pray the Black KKK goes away or ignores us. How's that working?
Jason Whitlock touches upon an ugly truth. According to the Tuskegee Institute, the total number of lynchings of blacks in the United States between the years 1882 and 1951 - when post-Reconstruction racism in this country was at its most virulent - was 3,437 (1,293 whites were also lynched during that same time period). While this is certainly a tragic number of black lynching victims, let's put some perspective on it. While 3,437 blacks were lynched over that 70-year period, in 2006 alone, 7,421 blacks were murdered in the United States. Of that 7,421, about 92% were murdered by other blacks - again, in 2006 alone! Sean Taylor is yet another number in a statistic that far too many people have accepted as a normal part of 21st-century life.

While Jason Whitlock was guessing the race of the killer(s) before anyone had yet to be arrested, another columnist was a little more cautious. Leonard Pitts (also black) of the Miami Herald had this to say on Sunday in the Forum section of the Sacramento Bee:
Note that even before four people were arrested Friday, it was being taken for granted by some Internet posters and at least one black columnist (presumably Whitlock -Chanman) that Taylor's assailant or assailants would prove to be black. That is a dangerous and potentially embarrassing assumption. But at the same time, no one was exactly shocked when police released booking photos that proved that assumption to be valid.
Potentially embarrassing for whom Mr. Pitts? For an assuming speculator who turns out to be wrong? Or for the black community when the assumption turns out to once again be correct? It's very sad to say this, but what is "dangerous" Mr. Pitts, is to not base your assumption of being a crime victim on the race of your potential assailant. When approximately 3-6% of our country's population (young black males) are committing about 50% of our country's murders, you tell me what is potentially embarrassing or dangerous about being wary around young black males.

Ooooh, Chanman didn't just go there did he? Before you start pulling out the "R"-word, let's ask none other than Jesse Jackson what he thinks about this subject. In 1993, Jackson stated:
"There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life, than to walk down the street and hear footsteps . . . then turn around and see somebody white and feel relieved."
Jesse Jackson felt compelled to state the obvious: that young black males commit a vastly disproportionate number of the murders and violent crimes in the United States each year. Jesse Jackson knows it, Jason Whitlock knows it, and even Leonard Pitts - although he is obviously loathe to admit it - knows it as well.

Whitlock ends his column with these final words about the Black KKK, which is wreaking so much havoc on blacks in the United States:
Blame drugs, blame Ronald Reagan, blame George Bush, blame it on the rain or whatever. There's only one group of people who can change the rotten, anti-education, pro-violence culture our kids have adopted. We have to do it.

According to reports, Sean Taylor had difficulty breaking free from the unsavory characters he associated with during his youth.

The "keepin' it real" mantra of hip hop is in direct defiance to evolution. There's always someone ready to tell you you're selling out if you move away from the immature and dangerous activities you used to do, you're selling out if you speak proper English, embrace education, dress like a grown man, do anything mainstream.

The Black KKK is enforcing the same crippling standards as its parent organization. It wants to keep black men in their place — uneducated, outside the mainstream and six feet deep.

In all likelihood, the Black Klan and its mentality buried Sean Taylor, and any black man or boy reading this could be next.
By the way, in case you didn't catch the answer to the mystery of whodunit in the Sean Taylor murder, here are the four suspects, some of whom have already confessed:

I doubt Jason Whitlock is embarrassed about his assumption, but (allegedly) because of these four unnecessary consumers of oxygen, a husband and father is dead.

Good Day to You, Sir

Saturday, December 01, 2007

"What she did requires her life to be taken"

That is a quote from Yassin Mohamed al-Mubarak, a Sudanese protester who the the other day, was calling for the murder of Gillian Gibbons, a British school teacher working in the north African country of Sudan who had the absolute gall to allow her 7 year-old students to name their class teddy bear, "Muhammad."

This teddy bear case worked its way through the media wringer all last week, culminating in a 15 day sentence in a Sudanese jail for Ms. Gibbons. As absurd as it might sound for someone to receive 15 days in jail for naming a teddy bear Muhammad, her final sentence is actually the least absurd feature of this entire farce. Instead of 15 days in the pokey, Gibbons could have been facing years in prison along with 40 lashes of a whip. Now that she has been given such a "lenient" sentence, her real troubles have only now begun. Now she must face the fury of the practitioners of the Religion of Peace, whose blood lust has not been satisfied. In fact, another protester was quoted as saying, "Imprisoning this lady does not satisfy the thirst of Muslims in Sudan." Thirst for what? Ice water?

Last Thursday, Ms. Gibbons received her jail sentence. The next day, thousands of Muslims poured out of their Mosques after being riled up by the sermons of their Imams at their Friday prayers and marched through the streets of Sudan's capital city of Khartoum. Apparently, 15 days in jail for naming a teddy bear Muhammad wasn't what they were looking for as far as an acceptable punishment. Instead they were chanting charming little ditties such as, "Kill her, kill her by firing squad!" and "No tolerance: execution!" Did I mention that this was all because of a teddy bear being named Muhammad?

What I find most amusing was the mob's assertion that, despite Gibbons' protests to the contrary, the British school teacher INTENTIONALLY named the teddy bear Muhammad. Let's ask Yassin Mubarak what he thinks:
"It is a premeditated action, and this unbeliever thinks that she can fool us?" said Yassin Mubarak, a young dreadlocked man swathed in green and carrying a sword. "What she did requires her life to be taken."
You can't make this stuff up folks. Notice how Mubarak refers to Gibbons as an "unbeliever". Makes you wonder what pisses him off more: that a teddy bear was named Muhammad, or that it was an "unbeliever" that did it? And he was carrying a sword for crying out loud. Was that just in case he had a chance face-to-face run-in with Gibbons? I don't fully know what kind of copyright violations I am committing here - here is a link to the full article with picture - but I have to show you this guy. His image serves as a perfect representation of the insanity that is running rampant in the Islamic world. I give full credit to the Associated Press for running a picture of this clown:

There is the face of the Religion of Peace as he calls for the violent murder of a 54 year-old British woman who allowed her 7 year-old Sudanese students to name a teddy bear Muhammad. I mentioned in the beginning of the post that the full name of the above clown is Yassin Mohamed al-Mubarak. That made me wonder about something. If it is blasphemous to name a teddy bear Muhammad, why isn't it blasphemous to name a person Muhammad? Muslims are not even supposed to draw pictures of Muhammad - imagined or otherwise. Yet, Muhammad is one of the most popular names for Muslim boys. That has always confused me.

The most important part about Mubarak's statement is his outrage from believing that Gibbons intentionally insulted his dear prophet Muhammad. The important thing to consider is: SO WHAT IF SHE DID! That is the true difference between us (the decent) and them (the indecent): Decent people rationally discuss disagreements; they don't arbitrarily threaten to shoot or decapitate the person with whom they disagree.

Whether it's Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses, or the murder of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh over a film about the abuse of Muslim women, or the political cartoons featuring images of Muhammad (See? That drawing thing again), or a teddy bear named Muhammad, it seems the Muslim world always has its collective beard tied in a knot about something. In each of these cases, murder has been either threatened or carried out. The worst thing that the western world could do would be to kowtow to these religious thugs who would have us abide by their rules, by their definition of what offends and what does not. I believe in respecting someone's culture just as much as anyone, but only because I want to, not because I am threatened with violent death if I do not.

Good Day to You, Sir

Is Hillary Clinton "blacker" than Barack Obama?

The man to ask is author, Shelby Steele. He has penned an intriguing article about the problems that Barack Obama has in selling himself to whites or blacks, because he is not able to please both. Steele divides the black camp into "bargainers" and "challengers". Bargainers are those blacks who, as Steele puts it,
make a deal with white Americans that gives whites the benefit of the doubt: I will not rub America's history of racism in your face, if you will not hold my race against me.
Steele offers Oprah Winfrey as the ultimate example of a bargainer. The other group of blacks are the "challengers", whom Steele describes as such:
Challengers never give whites the benefit of the doubt. They assume whites are racist until they prove otherwise. And whites are never taken off the hook until they (institutions more than individuals) give some form of racial preference to the challenger. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are today's best known challengers.
In the end, Shelby Steele admits that politically, Hillary Clinton is indeed more "black" than Barack Obama. How can this be possible? Notice I said "politically", not "physically":
Barack Obama is a plausible presidential candidate today because he is a natural born bargainer. Obama--like Oprah--is an opportunity for whites to think well of themselves, to give themselves one of the most self-flattering feelings a modern white can have: that they are not racist. He is the first to apply the bargainer's charms to presidential politics. Sharpton and Jackson were implausible presidential candidates because they suffered the charmlessness of challengers. Even given white guilt, no one wants to elect a scold.

But the great problem for Obama is that today's black identity is grounded in challenging. This is the circumstance that makes him a bound man. If he tries to win the black vote by taking on a posture of challenging, he risks losing the vote of whites who like him precisely because he does not challenge. And if his natural bargaining wins white votes, he risks losing black votes to Hillary Clinton. Why? Because Hillary Clinton always identifies with black challengers like Al Sharpton. This makes her "blacker" than Barack Obama.
I mean, why not? Don't forget that Bill Clinton was the "first black president". I guess Hillary Clinton would be the second.

Good Day to You, Sir

Location, location, location

My wife and I put our house on the market two weeks ago. No bites yet, but we're not sweating it. In the meantime, we have been perusing the listings of homes for sale, trying to find the one that we want to buy and move into... that is, once our home is sold.

The biggest problem with Sacramento is that the difference between a wonderful neighborhood and a dumpy one can literally be the distance of one street. There is often no clear-cut "good" side of town and "bad" side of town. You can have a dumpy area, and then right smack dab in the middle of it will be this island of prosperity and a desirable neighborhood to go with it - if you're a local, think Pocket area (nice) right next door to Meadowview (horrible). I don't know if this is unique to a "diverse" city like Sacramento, or if every city sees this issue, but in an environment like that, it is not easy finding a house that meets our every desire. It seems that every house we look at in the listings has one positive, but two or three negatives. Examples abound of what we have been up against:
  1. Beautiful house with a big lot in a dumpy neighborhood or on a busy street (lots of these)
  2. Great neighborhood, but a dumpy house on a tiny lot (big price tag anyway)
  3. Great neighborhood, beautiful house, but a tiny lot (again, big price tag)
  4. Great house, great neighborhood, great price, tiny lot, in the suburbs, terrible commute
  5. Great neighborhood, beautiful house, big lot, but the public schools stink (lots of these too)
Number 5 stymies me the most. We have toured the most beautiful neighborhoods with the most gorgeous homes, only to look at the public schools that are zoned for that area and find that they are terrible. My first thought is always, how can the people who live in this area let that happen? What I'm sure has occurred is that the rich people with the nice homes in that area have put their kids in private school, and it's the people in the apartment complexes and rentals a few streets over who are sending their kids to the public schools.

My wife and I know that it will be just a matter of time before we find the house that is just right for us and our kids. We just hope that when we find it, our current house will at least be almost out of escrow! In today's market, who knows when that will happen.

Good Day to You, Sir