Texas and California have in Common

Republican governors, squabbling state legislatures, and many many problems. Anybody care to elaborate?

Here we have Rick Perry. There, they have Arnold. Which is worse?

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22 responses to “Texas and California have in Common

  1. grahamfirchlis

    The fabulous thing about Ahnold is that he often acts on impulse when being a bully, failing to think things through to a logical conclusion.

    As his part of the budget mess we just endured, Ahnold decided to make a cut in the funding for state parks, deep enough that we will probably have to close around a hundred of them.
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/09/16/MNVP19N26J.DTL

    We are blessed with a lot of state parks with rugged terrain that is difficult to access. Those parks are relatively little used, and are considered to be high on the closure list. When that happens, there will be no staffing or patrolling by rangers.

    This means that huge areas of California will be open to anyone who wants to walk in, to live there and do what they will, and there seems little doubt that many homeless will do just that. Adventurous teens, looking for thrills and some privacy, are also a likely presence.

    Additionally, we already have unknown numbers of marijuana growers using our public lands on a regular basis
    http://www.malibutimes.com/articles/2009/07/30/news/news3.txt
    with predictable damage to what should be preserved ecosystems.
    http://www.insidebayarea.com/search/ci_13367738
    With the parks closed and legitimate visitors prohibited, the growers will have free rein.

    Between unsupervised campers and unfettered criminals the danger from forest fires, already terrible in California, will also be heightened. It was a Mexican cartel grow site that was Ground Zero for a 90,000- acre fire last month outside Santa Barbara, nearly a major disaster.

    And if that weren’t all bad enough it turns out that California has iron-clad contracts with independent concessionaires in our parks, and they plan to sue for lost income compensation for an $90 million annual take that approximates the $100 million value of Ahnold’s expected budget savings. With the cost of defending the lawsuits included, overall expense to the state will be more than the anticipated operating savings.

    Wide open conditions for criminal enterprises, higher risk of life-threatening billion-dollar wildfires, and near-certainty of paying out more in lawsuits than can be saved; Ahnold has hit the debacle trifecta on just this one simple bad decision, and that should settle your question – my Box Of Rocks is worse than your Box Of Rocks.

    • blacksheepone

      Oh, as far as the way he manages your public lands, at least Schwarzenegger isn’t selling them off … or giving NYC garbage and sewage contractors the right to use them as open waste receptacles. Perry, despite Susan Combs’ proof that the parks bring in substantial state revenues (and in some communities are the primary engine of the economy, like at Balmorhea), really isn’t that into saving parklands, funding parks’ maintenance, security, and upkeep, or even using the money from the sales tax on sporting goods the way the Lege intended, largely because there’s no easy way for his buds to make money off using the money meant for the parks on, you know, the parks — instead of turning our public highways into toll roads for the benefit of foreign investors.

      I’ll give you the rocks. I think we’ve got a worse box, though — Perry’s running for re-election. Is Ahnuld term-limited?

  2. grahamfirchlis

    Ahnold is termed out, and none too soon. He never really got the hang of the job, and shortly after his re-election he seemed to lose all interest in anything but posturing. Speculation was he’d be gunning for Boxer’s Senate seat but with his poll approval numbers approaching zero that seems unlikely. Too bad; I’d have enjoyed watching five-foot-nothing Boxer kick his ass from one end of the state to the other.

    I’m backing Jerry Brown for governor. He’s a good guy, scary smart and not at all fazed by the prospect of taking on big interests. I’d dearly love to see him operate what will be his swan song, freedom with nothing left to lose.

    Gavin Newsom is the darling of the starry-eyed wing of the Democratic Party, but I am decidedly not a fan. The guy gives me the willies. Bill Clinton just endorsed him, payback to Brown for having dissed Hillary back in the ’92 campaign; the Big Dog will be coming out to campaign and raise money so I guess we’ll actually have a race.

    I thought Rick Perry was running for President – of the Republic of Texas.

  3. So does Rick, apparently.

    The rest of us are not quite that wholly delusional yet.

  4. yo!

    we’ve got charlie crist, senator-in-waiting, for our gov, but at least our legislature doesn’t squabble much, seeing as how most of the year they’re not even in session.

    ca: i’d rather have brown than newsom were i living there. any day. here’s hoping …

    tx: confesion, i sent kinky friedman $$ when he was campaigning for gov. probably a good thing he didn’t win, but still …

  5. grahamfirchlis

    hipparchia likes kinky!

    Probably as a result of all that sun.

    Or the cats.

  6. I’d be good with stopping declawing. Yeah, I’m a little skinned up, but at least the psycho cats in our rescued pride can defend themselves outdoors.

    (We have one cat who came to us declawed already, and be damned if he doesn’t get more blood out of me than everybody but Bearcat, the razor-taloned 18-pounder.)

  7. maybe affinity for desktop tigers is a girl thing, I dunno.

    I do know that I’ve never been lied to by a cat. Spit up on, chewed, sneezed upon, run from, jumped over, clawed, climbed, thumped, slapped, and whizzed on, yeah. More than once I’ve been bled on and bedded down on; I’ve been stalked, yowled at, cried at, shed on, and played with. Lied to, no.

    Puts the cats one up on 85% of people right off the bat, and I’m not necessarily a believer in Dr. House’s theory that everybody lies. Some lie, some dissemble, some omit, some ignore, some answer a question you didn’t ask, some distract, some … are like John Edwards … but in general you’re going to have to spend more time and energy figuring out what’s really going on in any interaction with humans than you will in any interaction with cats, or dogs, or horses, and most interactions with cattle.

    Rabbits, goats, sheep, geese, raptors and more exotic creatures, I can not give you experience-based estimates for; but with cats, pretty much if you pay attention you can figure it out.

    That said, you have to *pay* attention *all* the time.

    Horses will throw you if they can, and if you continue to annoy them, step on you, headbutt or bite you, kick you, brush you against the fence, the tree, the overhead doorframe, or any other handy obstacle that’ll help them be rid of you. The way around this, of course, is not to make sure they know who’s boss — it’s to make sure you’re behaving in ways they can understand and work with.

    Chickens and their kin (turkeys, ducks, pigeons and peafowl, in my experience) pretty much will just crap all over you and your stuff, and go on about their business. There are some guys who are like this, too. You cannot change the poultry’s behavior, but with patience and positive reinforcement sometimes you can change the guy’s.

    Sheep will run from you. Deer will hide if they can, especially if they associate you with gunfire. Cattle pretty much don’t care; they’ll run over you or knock you out of the way with their heads; they will also butt and kick. Being slobbered on by a cow is something you’ll never forget, as is being hunched by a calf when the bottle goes dry (and you might want to be careful with that, ’cause you can get hurt).

    • graham firchlis

      “perhaps you are not very good at listening to them”

      Yeah, sure, blame the victim.

      I think it is just the opposite, that I listen and pay attention to them quite well, well enough to know what they are truly about.

      House cats are anything but honest. Have you ever caught a cat staring at you? Not a glance, but a long, steady stare? What they are doing is wondering if you are going to die soon, so they can eat you. The rest of the time they are telling you what you want to hear, in order to coerce you into doing their bidding. It is their way of passing the time, while they wait for you to die so they can eat you.

      Little yappy dogs, the ones that have been inbreed until their braincases have shrunk to the size of a thimble, are the same way; they would as soon eat you as look at you. Big dogs, ones with a full cranial capacity, at least have some loyalty, some sense of camaraderie, but little dogs and housecats are pure exploiters, craven and deceitful and ruthlessly dangerous predators. I couldn’t sleep well with one in the house.

      • What they are doing is wondering if you are going to die soon, so they can eat you.

        if you’re already dead, what does it matter if they eat you?

        but i’ve always heard that cats prefer live prey to carrion. and given their history as the mouse- and rat-killers in the granaries of ancient egypt, they’ve had a lot of generations to become small-prey specialists.

        curmudgeon cat is the only big game hunter [cars, rottweilers, burglars] that i’ve met among the tabletop cougar class so far, and even he prefers to snatch small songbirds on the wing.

      • graham firchlis

        “if you’re already dead, what does it matter” can apply to all sorts of things, can’t it?

        In this case I’m thinking of the loved one who goes to check on Auntie Hip who hasn’t been heard from for a couple of days and finds…well, no need to be graphic, let’s just say finds somewhat less than expected and inherits a visual image requiring years of therapy to overcome.

        Can’t tell you how many post-mortems I’ve seen where little old ladies – and, too be sure, little old men – had bits and pieces missing thanks to Dear Sweet Fluffy. Thankfully for fans of the open casket, morticians have become very adept with latex and make-up courtesy of Hollywood special effects advances.

        But you’re right, dead is dead and, except for the years of lost sleep due to the persistent screaming nightmares haunting that loved one who cared enough to check in on your welfare, no harm done. The really bad news, though, and stop me if you’re becoming frightened, is that the dear little creatures don’t always wait until the spirit has left the body; anything giving the appearance of death is good enough for them.

        Remember that nice French lady who got the world’s first face transplant? You might be interested to learn about why she needed one. I’ll be kind and say no more. If you choose to Google the question, however, perhaps your view of their trustworthiness will change.

        Regardless, you’ve been warned. I, as a matter of personal taste, simply do not like them.

    • Chickens and their kin (turkeys, ducks, pigeons and peafowl, in my experience) pretty much will just crap all over you and your stuff,

      isn’t THAT the truth.

      i’ve never really been around baby calves, but my horses lived for years among herds of beef cattle. horses will actually try to avoid stepping on you if they can [it’s those long fragile legs] but cows will walk/run right over you and never even notice.

      There are some guys who are like this, too. You cannot change the poultry’s behavior, but with patience and positive reinforcement sometimes you can change the guy’s.

      i dunno… i think chickens might be easier.

    • maybe affinity for desktop tigers is a girl thing, I dunno.

      nope. plenty of guys are cat lovers.

  8. blacksheepone

    Barking rats have never explained their appeal to me. The ones called Pomeranians at least have the decency to look like pampered foxes, and are perhaps smarter than the tiny toy teacup variants.

    Now, given that we have a fundamental disagreement regarding the suitability of small felines for cohabitation, let me ask you:

    do you have any rat snakes ’round or in your garden?

    • graham firchlis

      “A fundamental disagreement”?

      Maybe more a difference in taste; what say we set aside “fundamental disagreement” for use in regards to something with a grander scale of import, m’kay?

      No rat snakes in these parts, but we do have a healthy population of gopher snakes, rattlers and king snakes (my fave among the locals, had one for a pet for a while, he was a beauty and smart, too) that help keep the rodents in check. The neighbors across the street caught a four-foot gopher snake in their front yard a couple of months ago, were fixing to kill it when I saw what they had and put a stop to their nonsense. Took it off their hands and moved it to my yard, from whence it went wherever it chose; haven’t seen it since.

      Among the many problems with keeping outdoor cats is, as hipparchia points out, their bloodlust for the slaughter of songbirds. Ours here have been nearly wiped out by housecat predation, as has happened all over the country. I would trade all the feral cats on the planet for just one more song from a meadowlark.

  9. Well, okay, then. Since you’re not a cat person, and I’m really not a snake person, how about we start over with that established?

    Yes. I know the difference between a hognose and a rattlesnake. No, I have no desire to become so close an acquaintance.

    Isabelle Dinoire was mauled by a Labrador that was ordered to be euthanized after the incident. Reports of the cause of the mauling vary — the dog, Dinoire’s daughter says, became frantic when its master wouldn’t waken.

    The images are available by looking at the Wikipedia entry. The post-mauling, pre-op picture shocked me, I must admit; but the first US face transplant patient was injured by a bullet, fired by a human.

    Yep, if you’re nonresponsive, that gentle tap with a toe will become a slap, and a lick will turn nibble. Hungry animals will eat what they can find, too. That’s one of the laws of nature.

    But the risk is worth it, I think — companion animals give so much, and ask so little in return.
    Even the snakes, who mostly just want not to be squashed in the road.

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