Saturday, January 29, 2005

A Beautiful Day in SoCal

What a glorious day in this, “the greatest country on God’s green earth!” After an evening of too much good wine with a few too-good friends, I slept until 9AM and woke to a 65 degree, sunny, crystal clear day. On the way to the ritual Starbucks visit, I was struck, as I am so often, by the sparkling blue beauty of the Santa Monica Bay. As it was rather late, the regular ‘bucks crowd had thinned to only a handful: Steve, telling a funny story about the Budapest Opera; Jill, whose daughter had departed for Mammoth in her “Exploder” SUV; Tom, a bit sore from his work at Habitat For Humanity; John and Rosie, glad to be over the flu and off for a brisk walk.

Driving down the hill to 24 Hour Fitness, I was awed by the splendor of the majestic snow-capped mountains surrounding Los Angeles. If the scenery and weather in Palos Verdes don’t convince you of the existence of an almighty Creator, then the spandexed bodies at the gym are sure to make you a believer in Intelligent Design. This is an aerobics day, so I began on the LifeFitness elliptical trainer, listening to KZLA since Bill, Dennis and Rush are off on Saturday. After 500 calories and 2.75 miles, I retired to the weight room where moderation is the key; I surely don’t want to get huge and, even worse, muscles weigh more than fat. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)

Back home, I picked half a dozen lemons off the tree and sat down to a light lunch of Lee’s fab pea soup, cornbread and lemonade. (Anyone who has tasted Lee’s cooking will understand my weight problem.) I then downloaded the wonderful Ahn Trio (their songs, actually) to my IPod and set about my daily blog (that you see right here). I began by checking the stories on some favorite web sites: Real Clear Politics (, Town Hall ( and Tech Central Station (

An inspiring story is about an Iraqi-American young man who yesterday voted for his mom, who had returned to Iraq to run for the governing council. He was so upbeat and grateful to America. Listen up Senator Kennedy!

That enthusiasm was continued in the David Brooks piece in the New York Times. (Brooks is now the lone conservative voice on the Times editorial staff with the retirement of the amazing William Safire.) In “The Bushies New Groove” Brooks notes that “the Bush administration has started its second act, and it is striking how different this one feels. When you ask senior officials to remember the first term, they remember it as a time of war. There was the attack of Sept. 11. There were invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. There was the political war of the 2004 campaign. That was a time when pieces of things were cast asunder. Senior Bush officials talk about this term as a time when pieces of things will be put back together. There's almost a spring-like, postwar mood. The campaign is over. Afghanistan had its election. Even in Iraq, there will probably not be any more big military assaults like the one in Falluja. Now the Iraqis will be making most of the key decisions, and Americans will, with any luck, do more training and less fighting.” Turning to the Palestine issue, Brooks notes that “Mahmoud Abbas is doing a great job, everybody says. There might be a cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians next month.” It seems like freedom is breaking out everywhere you look.

Another huge piece of good news is contained in an L.A. Times article by Brian Anderson entitled “The Left Loses College Kids.” Anderson notes that “the left’s long dominion over the university … is showing its first signs of weakening.” Of course we’re not talking about the professoriat, that is overwhelmingly liberal and Democrat; we are talking instead about the students. In just six years, the number of college Republican clubs has tripled to 1148 with more than 120,000 members, for the first time eclipsing the college Democrats with just 900 chapters and 100,000 members. A Harvard study has found that “college students had moved to the right of the overall population, with 31% identifying themselves as Republicans, 27% as Democrats and the rest independent or unaffiliated.” (The general public is 37%, 37%, 26% respectively).

This is a very positive trend, especially when you consider that conservatism grows with maturity and responsibility. Churchill once said that “if you are not liberal at 20 then you have no soul, but if you are not conservative at 50 then you have no brain.” It looks like these kids are growing up fast.


Blogger Ralph said...

Go ahead and rub it in. PV is a gorgeous place to live and no travel is without fantastic panaramas of city, shore and ocean. My travels to Folsom and Roseville today yielded views of the totally white Sierra, glimpses of the very low Folsom Lake, and mist-shrouded Sacramento.
I'll bet it was warm and you ate on the patio. We have an almost finished backyard landscaping but no one here is ready to eat outside just yet. There are some advantages up here but I will save them for later.
Don't get hung up on weight. Worry about body fat percentage first. Heavy muscle is a great advantage as one ages.
Keep up that marketing.

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