Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Friday random thoughts

• The TUSD-city of Tracy agreement to share the to-be-built West High School pool is just the perfect arrangement that can satisfy our need for aquatics locales for our youth without giving even more power to developers through illegal deals that tie the city's hands for the foreseeable future. Now, if only we could find a similar creative solution for soccer, baseball and basketball fields.

• To anyone upset with my "please raise taxes" column that published today: I pay taxes, and I'm one of the people who will suffer and pay more money under increased capital gains taxes (yes, I invest as heavily as I can in Wall Street), and I also might be one of the people who will have to suffer and pay more money under the estate tax. Sure, it's money I'd love to have, but I believe my societal responsibility and moral calling to contribute to the good of society outweigh my selfishness, even though those taxes will make it harder for me to eventually buy a house.

• All wet: It's finally raining in Tracy. That's good for this season's rain total and snowpack. But with California growing by the year, not even wet winters will be able to sustain our thirst for water if we don't do something about mandatory conservation.

• A Texas statute defines a fetus anywhere between fertilization and birth as an "individual." But it doesn't make sense. How can abortion be legal while a 23-year-old man can be convicted and sentenced for murdering the unborn fetus of a teenager? (He was also convicted and sentenced to death for killing the teenager.)

• Joining the Spaced-out Lovers on the tabloid racks, I mean front pages of reputable newspapers this week: the sad ending to the life of Anna Nicole Smith. Only in America could the passing of a woman made famous for bearing her pneumatic cleavage be the biggest news of the day.

• GOP screechers and news outlets (even the Press) have pounced on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's "need" for an Air Force jet to take her coast to coast at high cost to taxpayers. They're leaving out two critical pieces on info, however. No. 1: It really wasn't Pelosi's idea, but the idea of the sergeant-at-arms, and Pelosi hasn't had anything to do with the negotiations. No. 2: Pelosi herself offered to fly on commercial airlines — a much cheaper option — but the Department of Defense said no.

• Happy trails (for now) to the Press' hard-nosed political reporter John Upton, who will be taking a vacation of indeterminable time and might find brighter pastures somewhere else. Here's hoping that he comes back — the Press won't be the same without the man who tackled Richard Pombo and the Site 300 explosions increases.

• Randomest thought of the week: I wish I could balance my checkbook the way the president is trying to balance the federal budget.

• "Calvin & Hobbes" quote of the week: "They say idle hands are the devil's workshop." "I resent that. We work darn hard at this!"

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