Monthly Archives: January 2012

So Where Are They?

As the definition states:  “In practice, the term Goldwater Republican is used by people today unsatisfied with the Republican Party’s current focus on social issues and family matters.”

Then come articles such as this one in today’s New York Times, which underscore overall Republican lack of cohesion and agreement well into the current election cycle.

Senator Barry Goldwater, 1962

What the Republican party really seems it could use in this presidential election year is a Goldwater resurrection.  Just as Barack Obama four years ago became the fresh new face of the Democratic party, it’s well past time for the GOP to present its own similar face of freshness, one that appeals not to the party’s extreme religious fringes, but rather to its much larger, more moderate and consensus-building center.  At the same time, a much more daunting and insurmountable question beckons:  How can the religious right be divorced from the Republican party, yielding a GOP much like that of 50+ years ago?

After all, “The increasing influence of the Christian right on the Republican Party so conflicted with Goldwater’s libertarian views that he became a vocal opponent of the religious right on issues such as abortion, gay rights and the role of religion in public life.” (Wikipedia)

An online posting in 2008 titled “The Future of the Right” clearly and succinctly defines three basic types of Republicans.  For all the concern four years ago over the focus and the future of the Republican party, this feeling has by no means subsided, but rather grown.  As written in 2010, Goldwater would not recognize today’s party, while being “seriously taken aback with the anti-gay and anti-choice views.”  Then, one-time possible Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, just yesterday, expressed his own thoughts on the distinct possibility of Republican self-destruction, keeping this ongoing concern very much alive into 2012.

The bottom line is this:  The Republican party can do better, to-be-determined strategy notwithstanding.  “Republican” itself is not a dirty word; rather it’s been hijacked and smeared by the figures and forces of the current time.  A Goldwater resurrection stands a decent chance of changing this course, if only such a movement could take root, gain visibility, and build viable strength in numbers.

So where are the Goldwater Republicans?  They’re not in the mainstream media it seems, nor in the current presidential election.  It’s time to find them.  This is step one.


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A Good Push…

Common sense continues to be disturbingly lacking, I write with a sigh.  While I’ve never been a particular fan or follower of U.S. Senator Rand Paul, in this case I do strongly agree with him, I write with a smile.

The Kentucky Republican senator’s interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer following yesterday’s so-called debacle sums it up very clearly, and I’m right with him.  Senator Paul should have been able to immediately pass through the scanner a second time, which would have most quickly resolved the situation– and ironically WAS the ultimate outcome– but unfortunately the needed common sense was not already in place for this to happen.

It’s not just about one little isolated incident, and this is not a case of a public figure seeking special privileges.  The fact of the matter is:  The TSA continues to prove itself an inefficient, unpredictable, anger-inducing and often non-sensical bureaucracy that’s very much in need of policy rethinking and revision.  Senator Paul’s “debacle” this week simply shines yet another light on this delicately tolerated reality, not to mention my own recent eye-rolling experiences and observations.

While change is typically inevitable, it often needs a little push, if not several big pushes.  May Senator Paul’s now-highly publicized incident serve as a good push, in addition to the hundreds of complaints per week the TSA reportedly receives.  The senator’s father, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, is already “pushing” himself, but this is another story in itself.  In any case, nothing will change overnight, but something will certainly change over time.

And that’s my opinion.


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Keeping Up The Average

The story piqued my interest, but by no means did it surprise me.  The fact of the matter is:  Cars these days do indeed last longer, regardless of one’s preference for– or ability to buy– a new one.

I’ve argued time and time again for new cars over older ones.  Since the mid ’90s, this typically seems the way to go, for the sake of technical enhancements and luxury appointments, if nothing else.  However, my argument changes tack as certain cars get older, given those classic and nostalgic elements born of days when manufacturers actually distinguished themselves from one another.  (Read:  Most everything today looks the same.)  A 1970s Mercedes or a 1980s BMW is much more head-turning than just about any average 2012 model, as long as it’s well maintained of course– not to mention the often-staggering cost of upkeep.  I suppose it boils down to the difference between a car driver and a car lover, of which naturally I’m both.

All this in mind, today I walked past the very model you see below, stopping in awe for a moment or two.  And then I thought of the story again, mindful of that average age, one that’s no doubt kept up and ever-growing by rare yet beautiful gems such as this!  In this case, “old” wins, while in other instances, it’s time for new– or newer.  After all, I’m afraid your broken-down 1981 Chevette just won’t cut it.

Keeping Up The Average!

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Posted by on January 20, 2012 in And That's My Opinion, Cars, News


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As She Sails On…

We knew she’d make it!  Not only is she very much here to celebrate this remarkable occasion, but it’s quite obvious she’s smoothly sailing right past her momentous milestone with plenty of energy for life ahead.

And of course we knew there would be a big party, televised for all of us to enjoy, a modern-day version of her classic Dean Martin dinner roast.  She undoubtedly deserves this honor, while her fans– including myself– love her for all she’s become as the most “golden girl” of all, the reigning senior queen of comedy.

May any of us who live to see this day for ourselves be as sexy, good-humored and sharp-witted as she.  January 17 is the very day for us to say, as she sails on into yet another new decade:

Happy 90th Birthday, Betty White!

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Posted by on January 17, 2012 in Current Events, Famous People, Media, News


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So Much More

One very complete menu

The roomy corner bar table must have been waiting for us.  At 6:30 on a Saturday night, we arrived just in time before the place started to really fill up.  With menus in hand and an unobstructed view of the Saints game, we were more than ready for a good dinner.

Speaking of menus, it took no time to make my selection.  After all, when liver-n-onions is on the list– especially at a place I’m visiting for my first time– of course I have to give it a go.

I love finally making it to a dining establishment that’s “on my list,” even when I haven’t previously seen the menu.  I love even more being completely impressed and satisfied.  Such is the case with the very popular Liverpool Lil’s, an obviously well-established destination that now has at least one more fan in yours truly.

The meal of meals

Accompanied by cheesy mashed potatoes and hearty mixed vegetables– including brussels sprouts– the generously portioned liver-n-onions entree proved itself one of the best I’ve had in San Francisco.  The glazed half chicken on my dining companion’s plate didn’t look too meager either, following our shared appetizer of copious, crunchy calamari.  Strong black coffee settled my full stomach perfectly.  That “good” dinner we anticipated turned out to be so much more!

Add to this friendly and flawless service in spite of the growing crowd, and it’s clear Liverpool Lil’s runs a strong show.  Established in 1973, countless have been served, as I will be again very soon no doubt.  Will you be joining?

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Posted by on January 10, 2012 in Daily Activities, Restaurants, Reviews, San Francisco


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Day to Dusk

A spectacular view by day…

…is even more impressive at dusk!

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Posted by on January 8, 2012 in Daily Activities, San Francisco


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If You Look…

Just when I think I’ve found them all, another one pops up to surprise me.  Now well into my second year of road cycling all over the topographically adventurous city of San Francisco, “new” routes are continuing to present themselves.  As such, I’m happy to report– yet again– that options abound within the city limits for a decent 20-to-30-mile spin.

Who says you have to leave San Francisco to log the mileage?  Granted I’ll admit– today I did, hammering out the always satisfying 40-mile Sausalito-Tiberon loop, in reverse for my first time.

Still, despite the obvious obstacles and annoyances of city cycling, I continue to be thrown another decent road to conquer, some with fresh new pavement even!  So, don’t think you have to drive out of town with bike in tow to get those legs seriously moving.  It’s all right here within San Francisco, if you look.  And yes, after this long, I’m still looking!

Thankfully I can say my mileage moved into three digits in this first week of 2012.

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Posted by on January 7, 2012 in Cycling, Daily Activities, San Francisco


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My First 30

The new cycling year is off and pedaling!  After a flat finish to 2011– literally, two rarely seen flat tires brought a quick end to my final ride– today kicked off my first spin of 2012.  I tell you, there’s nothing like a good 30 miles of hammering to get the year rolling.

As I mentioned on December 31, I did manage in 2011 to surpass by a hair my cycling mileage of 2010, not that either number is at all impressive.  In fact, both are just a little more than one-third my annual record, not to mention about a thousand miles less than my yearly average throughout the last decade.

Now after one ride, my mileage is up compared to this time last year.  Perhaps I’ll be “on a roll” in 2012, not that good road cycling is solely about distance.  Of course it’s distance– plus speed!

So here’s to my first 30 miles of the year.  Now where are those first-of-the-season races?

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Posted by on January 4, 2012 in Cycling, Daily Activities


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Happy New Year, Take Two

This year we get two New Year’s Days, thanks to January 1 falling on a Sunday.  After all, no start of a new year is quite complete without the Tournament of Roses Parade.  And for very established though perhaps somewhat head-scratching reasons, the parade– as well as the Rose Bowl Game— never take place on the Sabbath.

According to the Tournament of Roses Association, the longstanding “Never on Sunday” policy was instituted in 1893 “in order to avoid frightening horses tethered outside local churches and thus interfering with worship services.”  Other sources credit the push to Monday as some sort of an agreement between God and rain, which a few times in over hundred years has proven a bum deal.  In any case, like it or not, this is a longstanding tradition that has always been honored and will continue to be.

As for the Rose Bowl, apparently it skips Sunday to avoid conflict with the NFL.  As for all the parade organizers and participants, they can enjoy a real New Year’s Eve!  As for the rest of us, well–  we simply get two New Year’s Days instead of just one.  So perhaps it’s a win-win after all.  Happy New Year 2012… again!

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Posted by on January 2, 2012 in Current Events, History


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Prosperity, Wealth & Good Luck

What better way to kick off the new year than by eating?!

According to Southern tradition, so I’m told, the first big meal of the year carries quite a bit of meaning.  As such, in my home tonight, thanks to the well-planned preparations of two Southern gentlemen, the lineup consists of pork for prosperity, cabbage for wealth, and black-eyed peas for good luck.

The meanings were explained to me and seem to make decent sense.  See for yourself if you can figure them out.  Suffice to say, my first dinner of 2012 has been beyond satisfying.  I hope and rather doubt, however, that such copious consumption will be a nightly trend this year.  Happy New Year!

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Posted by on January 1, 2012 in Daily Activities, Food


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