Neverland Update August 29, 2009 – Michael Jackson’s Birthday

We rode out to Neverland today to see what was happening to celebrate MJ’s birthday. The crowds braved the 105 degree heat to come out and remember Michael’s birthday. They were hefty, celebratory, and some were somber.

We got tons of photos and they are located at the link below:


Published in: on August 30, 2009 at 5:29 am  Comments (11)  

Neverland Update August 22, 2009

We decided to go out to Neverland Ranch this weekend to see what impact the announcement that Michael Jackson would be burial in Los Angeles would have on visitors to Neverland. Well it turns out that today wasn’t a good day for making that assessment because something strange happened in Northern Santa Barbara County.

It rained.

Now for those of you who wonder why this is strange well, normally it doesn’t rain in the summer in this part of country. We figured that the amount of visitors would be down considerably because of the rain.

Well on our way out we did see a stream of vehicles coming from the ranch beating the rain. When we got to the ranch there were a few diehard fans braving the raindrops.  We took a few shots but didn’t want to risk damaging the cameras so we split. You will notice that the memorial regalia has been removed from gate along with the Neverland Sign. I’m wondering if that is “the end”. Since it was announced that an agreement had been made with the estate to tour Michael Jackson memorabilia in different states if Neverland is going to be included in the tour. Just wondering.

You may recall that we’ve been battling the huge La Brea wildfire. When you look at the photos for today the skies are overcast and rain is falling. Last week that overcast was literally smoke. This week you see no smoke at all. The rain is going to be a big help to the firemen battling this blaze and it will also help improve the air quality. For the past two weeks all of the communities have been suffering from the heavy smoke and ash.

I’m sure most of you also know that the fire was caused by illegal drug activities (such as growing pot) associated with south of the border drug operations. It turns out that there is a lot of marijuana being cultivated just down the street from us. With the burning of over 87,000 acres and yes some of them pot fields, the rain clearing the air is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on your persuasion. 🙂 Trust me, there are many jokes going around this area about that smoke. One popular one is that most of the folks in this area won’t be able to change jobs for a while because they wouldn’t be able to pass a drug test. Another one is the huge increase in sales of Fiddle Faddle and Diet Rite Cola.

Anyway, although it is good to have this rain, depending on how much we receive could have a dramatic impact on the vineyards. If the rains come too early the crops can be destroyed by fungus. So, not everyone is happy. First the rain gets rid of the smoke that’s kept everyone happy in these parts and then it destroys the vineyards so you can’t make wine. That’s just not fair.

Anyway, if the rain stops we will go out and take some shots and post them tomorrow.

Here is the link to today’s photos: Galleries.html

Have a great weekend,

The 1st owl

Has the President Lost Control of the Insurance Reform Debate?

Yes he has!

And not for the reasons you think.

The President is fighting an uphill battle against a very formidable multi-headed opponent led by the big corporations. He can only count on the rag-tag group of support from Main Street.

The President needs to realize that he has entered into an extremely difficult phase of this battle now that another head of the enemy has shown his face this week. That enemy is the “progressive” component of the PROFIT MEDIA which is comprised of two components a “right” and a “left”. Like PROFIT INSURANCE COMPANIES the PROFIT MEDIA is ultimately driven to make profits and is not beholden to anyone or any cause. Nowhere was that more evident than this week.

This week in the “left” or “progressive” news media, we saw the “progressive” brain trust suffer a massive cerebral hemorrhage which led to a complete meltdown.  This was all brought about by statements made by President Barack Obama and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius about the Public Option (PO). The “progressive” media decided sometime ago that the PO component of insurance reform was going to be the be-all end-all of insurance reform. This means that the only conversations they want to have about insurance reform has to start and end with the PO and IT ALONE!

When the President and the Secretary of HHS mentioned this weekend that the PO wasn’t the sum total of insurance reform the “progressive” media lost its collective mind. Or it gave the impression that it did.  😉

Both the President and his aides have been harangued over what the “progressive” media has interpreted as shying away from an insistence on a PO after saying that the public option is only a sliver of total insurance reform. One could argue that different words could have been used but the context of the discussion that both the President and the Secretary of Health and Human services were having was total reform of the insurance industry which includes several components and that no one component was more important than the other.

The President has consistently said that he would not sign a bill into law that didn’t include a PO and has never rescinded this tenet. The “progressive” media spun out of control and may have caused more damage to the insurance reform initiative than any of the other tactics to date such as the town-hall disruptions, misinformation campaigns, and legislative stalling. The “progressive” media has taken four sentences and insist that it understands exactly what the President and the Secretary of HHS were thinking and implying regardless of their explanations. This is so reminiscent of the Rev. Wright debate where the entire media took one sentence out of context in the totality of a sermon and completely demonized the preacher in an attempt to discredit Barack Obama.

So after a week of taking statements out of context and insinuating decisions and conclusions on behalf of the President, the “progressive” media has been asking “Has the President lost control of the insurance/healthcare debate”? What kind of question is that? It’s like an Air Traffic Controller asking if a particular airplane is flying off course when he is sitting in front of the radar display. Isn’t it the job of the media to go out and mine for information and deliver it? Maybe if the “progressive” media stops worrying about the LIES that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, and Glenn Beck spew forth on a daily basis we could get some actionable information from the so-called “progressive” media which seems to have turn into a gang of clowns lately. You can’t tune into a single “progressive” news show without having to listen to valuable time being spent on right-wing LIARS and HYPOCRITES and lately we’ve had to listen to the un-doings of the President and the insurance reform movement.

When it comes to insurance reform the only thing we hear from the “progressives” is the PO. We haven’t heard a thing about the other components of the insurance reform initiative which the President was talking about over the weekend, the very thing that the “progressive” media took out of context. We have a lot to do in transforming our insurance industry and it isn’t just about the PO. The President simply wanted to make sure that we were focused and not overlooking other critical components in deference to others.

This week has been a good week to see the full Yin Yang of media operations. For the past month the “right” media has been talking about how the Republicans/Conservatives have taken control of the insurance/healthcare debate through the spewing forth of LIES, making claims, and elevating visibility of disruptions at town hall meetings. The “progressive” media (which apparently listen to these LIES) then reacts with questions about whether the President has lost control of the insurance/healthcare debate. Rather than waste our time addressing LIES, INNUENDOS, and DISTORTIONS the “progressive” media should be using that time to inform us on what is real in the progression of insurance reform transformation.

Let there be no mistake, the “right” is in command of the messages that we hear in the media. It sets the tone for the conversations we hear and participate in. The “progressive” media at best plays the wimpy competition that can never win but is there at the behest of the “right” media. It is similar to the Washington Generals who played the incredibly ineffective opposition as foils for the Harlem Globetrotters. What is sad is that many of us believe we can count on the information that we are receiving from “progressive” media outlets.

It has been disturbing listening to the “progressive” media say that the President is getting back on message when in fact not a single one can point to any statement that the President has made where he backed away from his original tenets for insurance reform. The only thing the “progressive’ media can point to are two statements which in the mind of this COMMON CITIZEN were totally taken out of context and in my opinion is a clear indication that the “progressive media cannot be trusted or counted on for information delivery. Maybe the President is being smart by engaging Michael Smerconish, Faith-based groups, and continuing to fight for bi-partisanship in his pursuit of insurance reform. Especially if the “progressive media continues to acts in this manner.

I’m afraid that our President must remain a Statesman at all costs. He must tolerate this behavior whether it is the news media taking things out of context because it knows that a ruckus will drive up listeners or a student who has an agenda to show that he is more knowledgeable on the topic of insurance reform than the President much so that he actually challenged the president to an Oxford style debate.

Student Zach Lahn had two talking points he needed to deliver at the Boulder, CO town hall meeting; the first talking point was that he didn’t want any generalities, or philosophical arguments from the President as a response. This comment was designed to put the President in his place and to make a point that somehow the President had not been clear and succinct in his previous answers; the second talking point was the question over how a private entity could compete with a government initiative.

The student was completely schooled in the first sentence of the President’s response and probably still to this day doesn’t realize it. The President said, “I’ve answered the question ONCE before” but apparently the student just didn’t realize it and yet he issued a challenge to debate the President on this topic. The President called his behavior confidence, I call it foolishness. Student Zach Lahn doesn’t even know what he doesn’t know.

The President in his statesmanship once again answered the question. He told the student that a framework would be put in place to ensure that the Public Option would conduct business as if it were a private enterprise. This would prevent it from strangling the competition because it had the unlimited assets of the US Government backing it or bailed out if it were to get into trouble because it wasn’t being run efficiently or effectively.

It does take a basic understanding of enterprise thinking in order to realize that the answer given was complete as it had been before. It was clear that the student who wants to challenge someone to a debate over this topic was either missing some of the fundamentals necessary to grasp enterprise initiatives or just doesn’t understand. I would suggest that instead of challenging the President to a debate on this topic that the student collaborate with some of his fellow students to develop a framework, model, or methodology that could be employed to ensure that a Public Option is run like a successful private business. (Instead of looking for a fight that he really isn’t equipped to fight).

So when we hear the “progressive” media constantly asking us if the President has lost control of the insurance reform message, the answer is a RESOUNDING YES because quite frankly the question is a red herring. The Presient might have a communication problem.

wildweezle(© Wildweezle Enterprises)

Neverland Update Saturday August 15, 2009

The smoke from the la Brea Fire had a small impact on the visitors to Neverland. It didn’t keep the die-hards out however. We took some fan shots and got the opportunity to photo the writings fans have left behind on the walls at the gate. In the photos what appears to be a cloudy and overcast sky is actually the smoke from the La Brea fire. More updates on Sunday.

Here is the link to the galleries: Galleries.html

Here is the link to the La Brea Fire Gallery updates: Brea Fire Galleries.html

La Brea Fire Gallery Updates

La Brea Fire Galleries

Smoke Billow

Smoke Billow