Showing posts from March, 2015

What "conservative" really means.

Late Thursday night I was listening (somewhat involuntarily) to the John Batchelor Show on KGO radio. Batchelor is an uncommon well-mannered right-wing talk show host who spends a lot of time bashing president Obama and liberals in a soft-spoken, intellectual fashion rather than by shouting insults. That night he was complaining that the New York Times and the “liberal” media in general have been using the word “conservative” to describe the hard-line leaders of China and Iran. He argued that the word “conservative” has a very specific meaning in America as a political ideology favoring limited government, low taxes, and that sort of thing - the very opposite of what the heads of China and Iran represent. He then stretched his “logic” to conclude that because liberals (in his mind) associate “conservatives” with “enemies” they now use the two words interchangeably as if there is no distinction, hence their use of the word “conservative” to describe unscrupulous lead

Emergency Mysteries

Last Thursday, March 19 th , shortly before 10:00 PM, I was channel surfing and stopped for a few minutes to watch the live broadcast of the Seaside city council meeting. I came in at the end of a presentation about the library, and after a minute or so they invited public comments. I probably would have moved on to better entertainment, but the first person to speak happened to be someone I knew, so I stuck around. As she was speaking someone in the council chambers began moaning very loudly. The woman stopped speaking, turned around and said “We need an EMT.” The video cut to a wide shot of the dais where I saw councilman Dennis Alexander's chair turned around and his right arm was moving erratically. Men in police or fire uniforms were rushing to his aid as councilman Jason Campbell jumped out of their way. The mayor called a recess and the screen went dark. It was such a disturbing scene that I was shaking for the next ten minutes.   I tuned into the 11:00 news to

Seaside has a long history of poor land use decisions.

Monterey Downs, the controversial horse race track, hotel, and other assorted components proposed for an undisturbed portion of Fort Ord land, was a hot item at last Thursday's Seaside council meeting. I did not attend in person, but I did watch much of it on TV. The question of the day was whether the city should extend an exclusive negotiation agreement with the developer, Brian Boudreau, for another year or give up on it now. In the grand scheme of things, it wasn't a major turning point or an earth shattering decision, but it drew an enormous crowd anyway. After two and a half hours of public testimony with a majority opposing the project, the council voted 4-1 to approve the extension. No surprise there. With the exception of Jason Campbell, Seaside city council members have been known to drool excitedly over the prospect of any new development in Seaside, and something on this scale is beyond anything dreamed of before Boudreau came along. In short, t

Going out on a limb with a suggestion for Seaside

There was an article in the Monterey Herald last weekend about a public meeting in Seaside to develop a new violence prevention program. Always willing to offer my two cents, I e-mailed the following outside-the-box suggestion to the city's youth violence prevention coordinator. In typical Seaside IT fashion, it bounced back as undeliverable last weekend, but it went through when I tried again on Tuesday. I got a response saying my suggestion would be taken under consideration as part of the overall program. My three regular readers may or may not be interested in my unconventional idea, so here it is. Plant trees. It has long been my observation that communities with lots of trees have fewer problems with violent crime than communities like Seaside which have few trees. If you look at Seaside from Cannery Row you can see Seaside's borders defined by the timberline. This is speculation on my part, I don't have any scientific evidence to back me up, but I believe trees h