It used to be that people who drive with the windows open or the top down could identify two kinds of vehicles from their smell, even at long distances: Ford diesel pickups, both old and new, and old diesel Peugeots.
The ranks of the stinkers have been supplemented by biodiesel conversions of cars and trucks that should have been scrapped long ago.
And here in Santa Cruz, there are a lot of these things.
So far none of the candidates for president has answered some of the questions I would like to hear answered:
Will, and when, will the candidate initiate a review with the purpose of repudiating Bush’s excessive signing statements?
Will the candidate promise not to use signing statements except to identify ambiguities and difficulties so that Congress may provide clarifications?
Will, and when, will the candidate repudiate the concept of the “unitary executive”?
Will, and when, will the candidate recognize that the Constitution of the United States not only limits the powers of the United States Federal government, including the executive, within the geographic borders of the United States, but everywhere.
It’s pretty obvious that the Republican party is going to try to paint Democratic candidates for US Federal offices (President, Senate, and House) as wimps who are going to hand the country over to “terrorists”.
That, of course, is utter and vacuous nonsense.
The real issue for fall 2008 is this:
Are we Citizens or Subjects?
The Democrats allow us, you and me, to have opinions, to differ from one another, and to disagree with the government. In other words, we would be citizens.
The Republican position, on the other hand, tries to make you and me subordinate to the government position. The Republicans want us to be subjects. If we differ on any subject from their position - whether it be on a war, on use of taxes to support “faith”, or on whether the government hand is put down our wife’s throat or down our pants - then we will be labelled as unpatriotic and un-American.
I’m getting pretty disgusted with the way that Congress does the dance of the neutered wimps around the president’s increasingly egregious claims of executive power.
GWB is playing a game of chicken with Congress and Congress ought to call his bluff.
The House and Senate ought to begin by sanctioning those government contractors who refuse to turn over documents because the president told them not to. Perhaps the Senate ought to begin by holding some executives from Blackwater and AT&T in contempt and tossing ‘em into the clink until they recognize that Congress has at least as much authority in this country as does the president.
And Congress, even if it does not have the votes to pass veto proof legislation or to get past the Senate’s filibuster rules, most certainly has the power to refuse to pass legislation that the president needs.
Teddy Roosevelt once sent a fleet across the seas and said that it was Congress’ problem to pay to get it back home. Perhaps Congress ought turn the tables and refuse to pass the forthcoming budget, let the Federal government go into stasis, and tell the president that it’s his problem to pay for his war.
I’ve been rather busy of late; I’ve been writing a lot of code in pursuit of my long developing ideas about self-healing networks and network troubleshooting (these may seem disjoint, but they are two ends of a spectrum.)
I needed a break, so this last weekend I fired up Doda, dropped her top, and headed south for a trip over the Santa Lucia mountains, from King City to Big Sur via the Nacimiento-Ferguson Road.
The trip encompassed landscapes covered by two of California’s greatest writers - Wallace Stegner and John Steinbeck. (All married people ought to read Stegner’s Angle of Repose and Crossing To Safety.)
They have a robust flavor - not at all your wimpy, just lie-there-on-the-plate, kind of tomatoes. I’ve found these to go well with lamb, beef, and strong fish (like salmon.)
I have found momotaro tomatoes to be by far the best variety for this. The momotaro is a solid tomato that has good flavor, can be carved into thick "steaks", and stands up to marinating and grilling. I usually use the largest ones I can find.
I find that one tomato "steak" per person is about right.