Thursday, October 31, 2002

Mine is Bigger Than Yours - The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan ( is getting ready for sea trials. Much like its namesake, "The Gipper" will arrive to serve its country when it is needed the most. The ship will join the fleet operationally in May 2003. What an awesome way to honor a great American.

Rumor has it that jealous Democrats are pressing to have a ship named after BIll Clinton. My suggestion is that the Navy name a submarine after the disgraced one. After all, someone is always going down on it and it is cigar shaped!

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

life is beautiful, part 2 - looking back at these past 3 weeks at home, i am overjoyed that i have been given this chance to be at home with my son, russell. nearly every day i notice something new about him. yesterday he began sticking out his tongue at me and jenny. last week he began babbling incoherently, but in a steady stream of sounds that lasted at least 10 minutes. i managed to capture that event on video tape.

this past weekend, russell met his new cousin, andrew, for the first time. placing the babies side-by-side, i could not help but notice that russell looked enormous next to the newborn. in fact, he was nearly triple the weight of his cousin. we already have so many baby clothes that no longer fit after he wore them only a few times.

in three weeks, we will all be heading to new jersey for thanksgiving. i am looking forward to introducing russell to his grandparents, aunts & uncles and very excited cousins. it should be a blast.

Monday, October 28, 2002

Ouch - Here's my entry for the 2002 Darwin Awards:

Two demonstrators heading to Saturday's anti-war march in San Francisco were critically injured when their heads, sticking through the roof of a former school bus, hit the top of the Broadway Tunnel.

The victims, a man and woman from the North Bay, were heading east through the tunnel at 11 a.m in the privately owned bus. The pair were standing up through the sunroof of a modified van shell, which was attached to the bus roof, said San Francisco Fire Department Lt. Barry Wong.

Heard on the streets of San Francisco shortly afterwards: "Why didn't they have helmets on? When will they outlaw dangerous tunnels? How many children have to die before GW Bush does something about this mounting crisis?"

Retreads - The Democratic Party, desperate to retain control of the US Senate, is turning to has-beens Walter Mondale and Frank Lautenberg to replace the deceased Paul Wellstone (MN) and the corrupt Bob Torricelli (NJ) respectively. These guys have been out of it for so long, they probably need a refresher course in Ameican history. Here are a few facts for Walter and Frank to remember on the campaign trail:

1. Tear Down This Wall - The Soviet Union no longer exists. Its downfall was brought on and predicted by the 40th President of the US, Ronald W. Reagan.

2. Lower Taxes - The 40th President of the US lowered the top Federal Income Tax Rate from 70 to 31 percent. The 41st (George H.W. Bush) and 42nd Presidents (William J. Clinton) raised the top rate to 36 and 40 percent, respectively.

3. Rape and Other Crimes - The 42nd President was accused of rape or sexual harrassment by four different women. One of these woman, Paula Jones, settled her civil lawsuit with the President for $850,000. During his testimony resulting from the lawsuit, he committed perjury in front of a federal grand jury. The 42nd President also took over $200,000 in furnishings from the White House after he left office, and never reported over $1,000,000 in gifts as required by law. His brother-in-law was paid $400,000 by a convicted cocaine dealer to obtain a Presidental pardon, and he succeeded in getting the pardon signed by the 42nd President.

4. Treaties and Scraps of Paper- The 40th President succeeded in removing and dismantling all intermediate range nuclear missiles from Europe. He and the 41nd President also reduced by 2/3 the number of nuclear warheads held by the US and the former Soviet Union. The 39th (James E. Carter) and 42nd Presidents failed in their efforts to disarm North Korea of nuclear weapons, which violated a treaty negotiated by both men.

5. Gathers No Moss - The Rolling Stones are still performing live concerts, which should be comforting to their fellow retreads, Walter Mondale and Frank Lautenberg.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

Listen to this Man - Ya gotta love Charles Krauthammer, columnist for the Washington Post. He really nails Clinton on North Korea and the PLO in his weekly column.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Vote Early and Vote Often - Election Day is coming up, and it's time to wade through another massive voter's guide filled with spending proposals galore. On this year's Oakland ballot alone, there are 33 separate local ballot measures--this doesn't even include countless state propositions that propose to suck more and more out of my bank account each year. These days, I make my life easier by usually voting 'no' on any ballot measure that proposes to either raise taxes or issue revenue (re: tax) bonds.

Some issues require a little investigating before getting a 'Chen Veto'. One such ballot measure is Measure FF, which proposes to raise hotel, utility and parking taxes to hire 100 additional Oakland cops. In situations like this, I ask myself the question, "What would a liberal do?" and then do the opposite. Case in point:

Former Black Panther and Oakland resident Bobby Seale says that more cops is not the answer and is against Measure FF. Seale is one of the founders of the Black Panther Party, a party that promoted revolution and the violent overthrow of the U.S. Government. He was also a defendant in the Chicago Seven trial with other "revolutionaries" like Tom Hayden.

I think I'll vote 'yes' on Measure FF.

Monday, October 21, 2002

home alone - i'm getting used to the house dad thing. everything breaks down into 3 hour cycles. here's the routine:

russell drinks milk once every three hours. this process of feeding, burping and coaxing him to drink all of his milk takes around 45 minutes each cycle. afterwards, i change his diaper which usually doesn't take too long unless he poops. for exercise, i put him in his 'saucer' for around 30 minutes and play this chinese children's cd that jenny hates. next, i hold him for another 30 minutes for some baby talk and vocabulary lessons--i'm his english instructor. then, i put him in bed or on the couch to do some flipping around and pre-crawling for another 30 minutes. finally, he takes a 45 minute nap before his next feeding. believe me, it's not as easy as it sounds.

russell is now 4 months old. here are the latest pictures of russell in his 'superboy' phase. check out the action shots of him flipping over.

Thursday, October 17, 2002

bush was right - chalk up another bullseye for george w. bush on north korea. when president george w. bush declared north korea part of the ‘axis of evil’ in a speech to congress last year, he was roundly condemned by critics on the political left. With north korea’s stunning admission of the existence of a clandestine nuclear weapons program—in clear violation of the 1994 clinton-negotiated ‘agreed framework’ treaty—these same critics now sit with egg on their faces as they currently denounce bush’s policy towards iraq. I seem to remember the new york times ridiculing bush when he referred to north korea as part of the 'axis of evil'. Wrong again, huh?

three main points here for disucssion:

point one - this violated no-nukes deal was brokered in 1994 by none other than the 2002 nobel peace prize winner, former president jimmy carter. Most of the news stories that heaped praise on carter last weekend singled out this north korea deal as one of the highlights of his post-presidency peace mission. Less than a week later, we find out that pyongyang has been stringing us along the whole time, violating the agreement. Can the nobel committee take back the prize?

point two -what remains of the rotting and corrupt clinton legacy continues to decompose. Clinton and his secretary of state madeline albright must be stunned that the north koreans lied to them and violated the treaty. the disgraced former president, albright and other appeasers held up this accord with north korea as a shining example of their "third way" diplomacy. Clinton later even regretted not visiting pyongyang at the end of his second term. What absolute fools.

point three - the apparent collapse of the treaty—north korea has informed us officials that it has ‘nullified’ the agreement—provides a perfect example once again of the incredible wisdom of ronald reagan - 'trust, but verify.'

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

back to work - today was jenny's last day of parental leave, and we're both sad that jenny will have less time with little russell. ideally, i'll get a full-time job by december and then jenny can either work part-time or quit her job entirely. while i've enjoyed hanging out with russell these past two weeks, it's clear to me that the bond between mother and child is stronger than between the father and child. it's much more difficult for me to get the little boy to drink milk or take naps than for jenny. likewise, jenny's mom seems to have a spell over russell as well. it's got to be a female-thing.

Monday, October 14, 2002

have it your way - after two years of trying, berkeley school officials have thrown in the towel in their attempts to indoctrinate students on the merits of organic tofu, alfalfa sprouts and vegan hot dogs. berkeley high school's school lunch program, which featured healthy, locally-grown alternatives to standard fast food fare, failed to draw enough students to the lunch room table, and school board members are struggling to understand what went wrong. the children of berkeley high school may be the offspring of organically-grown leftists, but they still want their burgers, greasy fries and soda.

this is just yet another example of arrogant, socialist stupidity from the people's republic of berkeley. i just love to read the PC crowd's sorry excuses for this and that, but i never expect to hear the right answer. for gosh sakes, they're just kids! here's my favorite PC mantra in this article: "it takes 11 exposures to a food before a child embraces it." uh huh...stir-fried organic tofu for twelve straight days will have them hooked for sure!

Thursday, October 10, 2002

superboy - it's official: little russell is now 'superboy'. in the one week since i left work, i have seen him:

1) flip over from his back onto his stomach
2) hold his milk bottle by himself
3) pull the pacifier out of his mouth
4) polish off a 6 oz. bottle of milk (that's 180 ml)
5) completely fill a size 3 diaper with poop
6) laugh hysterically at my dancing
7) sit up at attention--briefly
8) almost crawl
9) pose for the camera
10) engage in conversation with his grandmother and grandfather

i'm glad that i was home for the transformation.

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

whitewash - two medical dramas based recently premiered on network tv, and despite their assertions to the contrary, television executives still don’t get it. both ‘presidio med' on cbs and ‘MDs’ on abc are set in san francisco, a city whose population is nearly one-third asian. but besides the common focus on medicine, the two shows also display yet another collective quality: the complete absence of asians from lead roles. true to form, cbs said it intends to cast more asians in guest roles as the series progresses—which means we’ll most likely be seeing more of pat morita (as a kung-fu sage) and possibly ming-na wen as her career as the token asian winds down.

It was a question that seemed to fluster ABC's MDs creator Gary Tieche: How real can a medical series set in San Francisco feel if it has only one [minor] actor of Asian heritage?

"What I tried to do was ground it in reality as much as possible and also . . . not be naive about prime time," said Tieche, who did create a major character of Scottish heritage for the show. "I'm trying not to bury myself. What I'm hoping is that everyone will tune in and watch us, and we'll be such a huge success, I can do whatever I want."

Translation: We'll stick minority actors in supporting roles, but anything more might make the network nervous.

somehow, this all sounds very familiar to me.

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

rats fleeing a sinking ship - the times of london reports that senior members of the iraqi regime are 'starting to look for an exit strategy' once the us declares war on iraq. my prediction is that any war on iraq will end quickly, and saddam hussein will eventually meet a fate similar to that of romanian dictator nicolae ceausescu. i just wish that hussein's death is captured on film, so that other middle east tyrants begin to get nervous and their long-suffering subjects start getting ideas on regime change.

the only question is whether iraq's military will actually use the chemical and biological weapons on any invading force, or more likely, on israeli targets via missile attack. currently, american warplanes are supposedly dropping leaflets on iraqi military installations that warn local commanders not to use their chemical and biological arsenals. it's a scenario right out of a james bond movie--will the iraqi regime risk overwhelming retaliation from the us and israel and go down in a blaze of glory? let's hope that some iraqi general bumps off hussein before most of the firing begins.

Saturday, October 05, 2002

the four phases of russell - i've just downloaded some new photos of russell, plus the four phases of russell. i hope you like them.

Thursday, October 03, 2002

bringing up baby - the past two days have been exhilarating, exhausting, eye-opening and extra-special--all the words beginning with an 'e' that i can think of. it is a joy to be at home once again with jenny and the baby. i am quickly learning about being a parent of a 3-month-old baby, from overcoming bottle rejection to better burping techniques. i can see why jenny would like to work part-time and have more time with the baby. he can be a pain in the butt sometimes--especially when he's complaining about the bottle--but he's so gosh darn cute, you quickly forget the crying. i'm feeding him 4 or 5 times a day now in preparation for jenny's return to work on october 21.

today, we took russell to the photography studio for our first family portrait. for nearly an hour, he tolerated flash bulbs and being butt naked for posterity's sake. it's expensive, but i feel that it's worth the money. already within 3 months, he's undergone at least 4 transformations--newborn baby, turtle boy, itty-bitty boy and little russell. i wish i had started that project where i took one picture a day of russell in the same pose. watching him morph in a series of photos would be neat.

i also have to start looking for a job soon. this is the only time i wish i were rich.

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

The Spirit of Gore Lives On - Desperate to keep their single-seat majority in the Senate, New Jersey Democrats scrambled Tuesday to come up with someone to replace scandal-tainted Sen. Robert Torricelli (D-New Jersey ) on the November ballot. Under New Jersey law, a party can replace a statewide nominee on the ballot if the person drops out at least 51 days before the election. However, Torricelli missed the deadline by 15 days. Democrats counter by saying that previous state court decisions put voters' rights above filing deadlines and other technical guidelines. They are asking the NJ Supreme Court, which is every bit as liberal as the Florida Supreme Court to reinterpret existing state law in their favor.

Somehow, someway, the Democrats always come up with a way to top themselves when it comes to corruption and immorality. As bad as the 2000 election was, I knew, in the back of my mind, that it was only the tip of the iceberg, the start of an avalanche of corruption which would result in the ruination of our electoral process. The Democrats realized that Torricelli was about to go down in flames, and with him possibly their hopes of hanging on to their majority in the Senate. Therefore they forced Torricelli out of the race and are trying to replace him with another candidate at the last moment. Of course, it goes without saying that this effort is in direct contradiction of existing New Jersey State law.

For Democrats, the bizarre becomes routine. Who can predict the outcome? The only thing that can be hoped for is that the NJ Supreme Court does their duty and upholds the law as written. But look where we are: we are reduced to hoping and praying that our judiciary will do what is right instead of expecting it as a matter of course. That in and of itself speaks volumes about the state of political discourse in our nation. It also reveals the ruthlessness that Democrats display in their quest for power. Law and precedent mean nothing. Results are all that matter.

In the end, the NJ Supreme Court may surprise us all, and do the right thing--follow a clearly written State Law without trying to rewrite it, like they did in Florida.