Tuesday, May 17, 2005

What if?

Republican Strategy as Fast Food Diet
What if the Republicans' strategy was something like this... Get control of Washington (the senate, White House, etc.) and stay there as long as possible. While there, reduce taxes, raise spending and balloon the deficit. Ignore international relations by making decisions that are popular domestically but extremely unpopular in the international community. Do this while knowing they are not good strategies for the long haul but make for easy political gain now. Then, every so often, know that the Democrats will regain control. The Democrats, being the responsible parent, will then make unpopular but necessary adjustments like raising taxes, reducing the federal deficit and taking a global view in international policy.

After a few years, the Republicans will regain control with empty proposals. This will return America to it's fast-food diet of lower taxes, higher deficits and self-centered international policy. The strategy requires the Republicans to periodically lose control but they would always be the popular guys working for the concerns of the regular (albeit misinformed) American. Under this strategy, the Democrats would be forced to become the strict parents, the ones making the un-popular but necessary decisions. Secretly, the Republicans would be happy to have the adjustments the Democrats provide. They know that their own policies, if left unchecked, would bankrupt the country. Publicly they would bitch and moan so that once the necessary adjustments are made, they could rush back into office with more tasty promises full of empty calories.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Hiking Pinnacles
Anne and I spent last weekend at Pinnacles National Monument near Soledad, CA. Definitely deserves more traffic than it seems to get but we were happy to have the peace and serenity. The rock formations are not as dramatic as Yosemite but they are great given their proximity to the Bay Area. There are 2 trails that take you through caves. They were formed over time by rockslides into the valley so technically they’re not caves. But they make for a great little hike, climb and crawl adventure. Both get quite dark in the middle so flashlights are required. The hike to the top also offers a number of loops and diversions that can keep you busy for an afternoon. Lots of great rock perches that make for great lunch spots overlooking the surrounding valleys. We also stayed at the Inn at the Pinnacles, a B&B 3 miles from the West entrance to the park. The B&B is surrounded by vineyards and has some nice views of the valley and hills. The owners are very nice. The only down side is that there is not much in the way of culinary adventures in the area. To compensate, the owners outfitted every room with a fridge and outdoor grill so you can bring your own food and cook. If you want to sample the local wines, the owners will sell you one or let you sample it for free at the daily wine & cheese hour. The B&B and the Park are an easy 2 – 3 hour drive from San Francisco. We’ll definitely be going back. There is a private camping ground near the East entrance so maybe we’ll try that next time.Posted by Hello