Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Megadeth, Rust In Peace, 2010, Tucson

Megadeth played Tucson tonight at the Rialto. Exodus and Testament were their warm-ups.

Twenty years ago, Megadeth released Rust in Peace. Tonight, they played it in its entirety. They also played some classics like Symphony of Destruction, Trust, and Peace Sells. They started the whole thing off with Skin of My Teeth; take a look...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Lessons Learned from the "The Ox-Bow Incident"

The 1943 western, Ox-Bow Incident, teach us good a lesson about the rule of law. In a letter written by a falsely accused and hung man to his wife...
My dear Wife, Mr. Davies will tell you what's happening here tonight. He's a good man and has done everything he can for me. I suppose there are some other good men here, too, only they don't seem to realize what they're doing. They're the ones I feel sorry for. 'Cause it'll be over for me in a little while, but they'll have to go on remembering for the rest of their lives. A man just naturally can't take the law into his own hands and hang people without hurtin' everybody in the world, 'cause then he's just not breaking one law but all laws. Law is a lot more than words you put in a book, or judges or lawyers or sheriffs you hire to carry it out. It's everything people ever have found out about justice and what's right and wrong. It's the very conscience of humanity. There can't be any such thing as civilization unless people have a conscience, because if people touch God anywhere, where is it except through their conscience? And what is anybody's conscience except a little piece of the conscience of all men that ever lived? I guess that's all I've got to say except kiss the babies for me and God bless you. Your husband, Donald."
In today's politics, we see this rampant. There should be many more rights and wrongs than in-betweens. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Politicians justify the unjustifiable. The consciences of many have run cold.
The Light of Christ is the divine energy, power, or influence that proceeds from God through Christ and gives life and light to all things. The Light of Christ influences people for good and prepares them to receive the Holy Ghost.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spring Training End in Tucson

2010 will be the last year for MLB Spring Training -- Cactus League -- in Tucson. All 15 teams will be playing spring ball in the greater Phoenix area beginning in 2011.

Tucson's Hi Corbett Field was built in 1937, originally for minor league baseball. But in 1945, the Cleveland Indians called it Spring Training home. They did so until 1992 -- nearly 50 years. In 1993, the Colorado Rockies took over as they made their way as an MLB franchise.

Tucson's other baseball stadium and training ground, Tucson Electric Park, has been Spring Training home since 1998 for the Chicago White Sox (who left for the Phoenix area after the 2008 season) and for the Arizona Diamondbacks (who will leave for Scottsdale next year).

Both complexes are more than adequate for Spring Training. The problem is that it is 2-2.5 hours south of Phoenix. Today's pro ball players have no interest in ridding in a bus for 4-5 hours round trip. The cities in the Phoenix area have contributed large sums of money for the 30-day Spring Training period. The deals are too good for the club owners not to take them up on their offers.

I made a point of visiting both ball parks this year to see MLB Spring Training. Nice parks, including a little bit of nostalgia in Hi Corbett.

Hi Corbett will be used by the Tucson Toros, a member of the Golden Baseball League. TEP will be used for who-knows-what. The latter one carries some political baggage as it was funded by taxpayers and the revenue from the stadium will all but disappear in April 2010.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bear Canyon - Seven Falls - Coronado National Forest

In the Coronado National Forest in southeastern Arizona, Bear Canyon meanders up from the Sabino Canyon Visitors Center into the Pusch Wilderness Area. The main destination for 99% of all hikers is Seven Falls. It is a 8 mile hike round trip from the Visitors Center or 5 miles round trip if one elects to ride the $3 shuttle.

The hike is popular because it is easy, not too far, and the destination is worth it. I started hiking at around 9am. Made it there in about 1.75 hours and back in 1.25 hours. That's probably much faster than the average hiker.

On this occasion, because the Bear Canyon Creek was running, I had to cross the creek twelve times. Normally I would have spent the time trying to cross dry but as luck would have it, I slipped on the very first crossing, falling in up to my knees. It was a blessing in disguise, because I did not know how many crossing there were. With the water flowing like it was, finding rock-hopping areas would require searching and lots of extra time. I just blasted through the creek the next eleven times.

This hike is a date hike. I can't tell you how many couples I passed as I went up and came down. If solitude is your motive, this is not the place. But the Falls are wonderful, especially at this time of the year, give the snow we have had in Arizona.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Castro Approves of Obamacare. Ouch.

Obama probably does not care but it is rather telling when Fiedel Castro raises from his deathbed to congratulate Obama and the Democrat congress on passing massive healthcare reform.
Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro on Thursday declared passage of American health care reform "a miracle" and a major victory for Obama's presidency, but couldn't help chide the United States for taking so long to enact what communist Cuba achieved decades ago.
That's just what you want to hear. Oh how we admire the greatness of the Cuban society. Everyone is sailing south from Florida to embrace the promised land.

there's no doubt that nationalised healthcare is a core principle of socialism and its communist brother.

What do you bet that deep down inside, Obama is flattered?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sore Losers vs. Poor Winners

Both political sides of the health care debate leave little to admire. We must appreciate a hard fought battle, despite the sell your soul, Louisiana Purchase, Cornhusker kickback, and the few Democrats that voted for the bill based on Obama's no-federally-funded-abortion (check back in a few years). Politics has always been a dirty business. That's why they are the least admired people, aka, puppets, most who enjoy a close personal relationship with the Dark One.

Healthcare bill appeal is unlikely and may not be worth the battle. The Republicans should focus their efforts on the next supplemental, healthcare takeover bill, or whatever grow-government program Obama and the liberals desire. The Republicans fought a good fight but in the end, they did not have enough votes. Elections have consequences.

On the Obama/Pelosi/Reid side, the arrogance is sickening. It is childish to mock your opponents, like Obama is doing. Fame is fleeing. You are only on top for so long. Things will come around to bite you eventually.

Losing is painful. Winning is joyful. Regardless, there should always be proper etiquette. Respect for ones opponent is never out of style or in bad taste, whichever side you are on.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Significance of Low Ratings for Pelosi and Reid

A recent CBS News poll found Speaker Pelosi's favorable rating at 11 percent. Her unfavorable rating is 37 percent.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's favorable rating is eight percent. His unfavorable rating stands at 23 percent.

Even more disturbing is that more than half of those surveyed say they are either undecided about Pelosi or haven't heard enough to make a decision.

Face it, most Americans, that means more than half, are clueless about politics. Pelosi and Reid know this. If the masses don't event know who these congressional leaders are, there's know way they have enough information to make an educated decision about massive government-sponsored health care.

However, it does not matter what some blogger in AZ or what some conservative in Florida think about them: they are elected by their districts and states. All that matters is what the people in California's 8th District (640,000 people in 3/4s of San Francisco) think about Pelosi and what the 2.6 million people of Nevada think about Reid. If they don't vote them out, then the opinions outside of these realms mean nothing.

Pelosi is safe. It is a different story for Reid.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Healthcare Reform Passes, We Lose As A Nation

Elections have consequences. The liberal wing of the Democrat Party won a huge victory tonight. Agree with it or not, they were able to twist enough arms, provide enough spifs and convenience 219 congressional reps to vote for it (vs 212 that voted against it).

It is historical. It is an entitlement that will trump social security and medicare/medicaid. But it was not a vote for America. It was a vote straight down party lines -- not a single Republican voted for it. So Obama and Pelosi are disingenuous when they tell us otherwise.

If it were not clear prior, it is clear now: America has embraces a socialist ideology along the lines of Europe. The government has continued to increase in size, and as a result, in inefficiency, regardless of the party in power. It just moving there faster.

Obviously more people think a bigger, controlled government is better. I don't. I think it takes more freedom from us all. It rewards underachievers and idleness and disincentivizes risk taking and entrepreneurship.

This is a night I will always remember, a day that the government reached deeper into my pocket to give more of my money to people they feel need it more that I do.

This is 2 steps forward and 10 steps back. It cannot be funded. It will mandate government rationing of healthcare. This is probably what makes me the maddest because I will be the direct recipient of this rationing in my later years. That heart process or test will not be allowed because it is not in the budget.

Elections have consequences and I lost again.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Obama's New Audacity: Israel

Obama has a double standard when it comes to Israel: he wants it done his way or else; whereas he can care less about what Iran does.

The Israelis do things their own way. We many not always agree with them. In fact, they are one of the biggest espionage concerns for America. But they are -- at least have been -- one of our allies.
The Obama administration is now demanding the scrapping of plans for 1,600 new Jewish homes, whose announcement overshadowed last week's visit to Israel by the US Vice-President Joe Biden.
So let's get this straight, Obama is mad at 1600 houses being built int he West Bank, which is still part of Israel, but rarely mentions Iran as it goes on building nuclear weapons and threatens to destroy Israel.

Obama could definitely be considered anti-Semitic, as his actions and word seem to dictate. With his apparent de facto policy towards these nations, he seems pro-Iranian and anti-Israel. I wonder what he hopes but does not ever say?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Obama: A Saul Alinsky Disciple to the End

I wonder if the Obama people really listen to what he sounds like when he goes into colleges and universities with his rah-rah campaigning? Only shallow sorts will go to these staged PR efforts and cheer on cue during his populous diatribe.

He has elected to ignore the desires and demands of the American people while claiming to be doing the work of the people. The numbers don't lie. The anti-Obamacare crowd has been steady at 52-58% while pro-Obamacare crowd has been steady in the 38-44% range. Democrats favor it; Republicans oppose it along with most unaffiliated voters.

Yet Obama campaigns on. He must win as he has double-down on massive government-sponsored health care. He does not care what those he proclaims to serve prefer. His arrogance and passion for a greater governmental role in the lives of its citizens trump all opposing views.

He has absolutely no interest in other alternatives. He clearly believes that its not a lie so long as you believe it. To listen to him tell his audiences that this massive entitlement program will decrease the deficit, one wonders what he will not say or do to win.

He and his fellow Saul Alinsky disciples believe the end justifies the means. Ethics can be twisted and justified regardless. Everything must be sugar coated, draped terms like liberty, equality, common welfare, pursuit of happiness, even though the goal has nothing to do with these terms. This is the thing I dislike most about politics. The Democrats have mastered it.

Obama, like Alinsky, is a community organizer first and foremost. He sores in community political gatherings; the churches being a key hub for agitation. Alinsky's Rules for Radicals is a primer for hell raisers. It is Obama's true bible.

Republicans cannot fall victim to the Alinsky power tactic: "power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have." They need to beat them at their own game.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Arizona Opera -- Arias 2010

I do enjoy a good opera. This week, the Arizona Opera offered a glimpse of a number of classics. Joel Revzen conducted an engaging arias:

-- Overture .... Wagner's Die Meistersinger Von Nürnberg
-- Abscheulicher! wo eilst du hin? .... Beethoven's Fidelio
-- O namenlose Freude .... Beethoven's Fidelio
-- Eri tu che macchiavi .... Verdi's Masked Ball
-- La luce langue .... Verdi's Macbeth
-- Nessun dorma ....Puccini's Turandot
-- Overture ....Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades
-- Mira O Norma .... Bellini's Norma
-- Overture .... Verdi's Luisa Miller
-- Minnie dalla mia casa .... Puccini's Girl of the Golden West
-- O don fatale .... Verdi's Don Carlo
-- Walther’s Prize Song ....Wagner's Die Meistersinger Von Nürnberg
-- Intermezzo .... Puccini's Manon Lescaut
-- Dio, che nell’alma .... Verdi's Don Carlo
-- Isolde’s liebestod .... Wagner's Tristan und Isolde

It featured four amazing singers:

-- Christine Brewer, Soprano
-- Daveda Karanas, Mezzo-Soprano
-- Richard Margison, Tenor
-- Gordon Hawkins, Baritone

I went with the plan to buy the cheapest ticket I could. I ended up with the best seat in the Tucson Music Hall -- fifth row, dead center -- for $40 (sometimes it pays to be spur of the moment).

I am uplifted and thrilled every time I see and hear professional opera of this quality. The Arizona Opera meets with my approval.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Classic Ballplayers In AZ: Foster & Feller

My first opportunity to see MLB Spring Training occurred today. My favorite team, the Cincinnati Reds, was playing my fourth favorite team, the Cleveland Indians. (Twins are #2 and Rockies are #3). The Reds and Indians share the Goodyear Ballpark in the Phoenix-based Cactus League. (See the short panorama video of the Ballpark below.)

I was expecting to see the starters play 3-5 innings then see a cast of optimistic newcomers. That's what happened...for the most part. What I did not expect was to see two classic ballplayers: George Foster and Bob Feller.

Foster managed left field for the Big Red Machine for eleven seasons, playing in three World Series' (1972, 1975 and 1976). He was the NL MVP in 1977, batting .320 with 52 home runs and 124 RBI. He was one of my favorite players. A fun guy, very involved in the Cincinnati community who was nice enough to sign a photo and allow me to pose for a photo with him. His numbers will not get him into the Hall of Fame, but he was critical to the success of the Big Red Machine.

Bob Feller is a different story. He is a true Hall of Famer -- the class of 1962 -- appearing on 150 of 160 ballots. He played for 18 seasons for the Tribe. He spent 3.5 years in his prime serving in the military during WWII. He appeared in only one World Series, in 1948 -- starting and losing two games. The Tribe still won the Series in six games over the Boston Braves. BTW it was the last Series the Indians won, though they played and lost in Series' in 1954, 1995 and 1997.

While signing autographs, he was very polite. He engaged in entertaining small talk. He is now 91 years old and still gives a firm handshake. He threw out the game's opening pitch. He will not be with us much longer. He seems to have led a full life. As much as we admire his baseball prowess, we honor equally for his service to the nation during the 1940s.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

All Reconciliation Not Created Equal

The Democrats will do anything they can to handcuff America with the social program of all programs. They will attempt to use reconciliation, a.k.a., the nuclear option, to ram Obamacare down the throats of America. America be damned. They will do what they want because enough Americans voted them into office.

Elections do have consequences. The Americans that voted for Obama and their liberal Democrat Representatives and Senators got what they wished for. If they did not wish for this, or could not see this coming, then they are all ignorant dolts.

Democrats have the majority. They can do with it what they want. But not without repercussions.

The claims that the Republicans used reconciliation multiple times in the past is true. But the scope is very different. Just like all crime is not the same, the Republican reconciliation actions were nothing compares to Obamacare.

Obamacare will put a stranglehold on American forever. The cure is not worth the cost.

Obamacare has nothing to do with what is in the best interest of the American people or the solvency of this nation. It is nothing more than a liberal's dream-come-true. It is one more GIANT step towards the socialist state we have become. It makes America weaker because it will consume more and more of our GDP.

Just like Communism is great for those that have nothing. Once they get something, it becomes stifling. Obamacare will provide below average care at an above average cost. We are turning our nation's health care over to inefficient and below-average human beings, a.k.a. bureaucrats. Only the destitute will see any benefits as some care is better than none.

Assuming I live to ripe old age, whatever it will that will bring my demise will be quickly consuming because I will be too old and too insignificant to receive any costly treatment.

BTW, once Obamacare becomes enacted, part two will be total control over all aspects of human consumption, from food and beverage to exercise and leisure activities. It has to happen this way.