Powder Blue Report

News, finance, politics, sports, and fun from the west coast

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

How's This For Screwed Up Priorities

A former border inspector was sent to prison for six years for letting in thousands of illegal immigrants the other day. Jose Compean & Ignacio Ramos were trying to keep illegals out of the country and they get ten & eleven years in prison for doing their jobs. Whose side is George Bush on? Makes you wonder.

Monday, March 26, 2007

OC Bishop Jaime Soto & Illegal Aliens

There are a lot things wrong with the Catholic Church. I have documented and linked here numerous stories of sexual abuse by priests and their bosses(Cardinal Mahony stands out on this) that cover it up.

One of the other galling thing about the church is their total disregard for our immigration laws. Many parish churches have actually become "sanctuary" churches in this battle. They harbor illegals scheduled for deportation with the thinking that the government won't come in a la Elian Gonzales and snatch the fugitives while they are actually on church property. Well today Bishop Soto has come out for Catholics to fast at least one day a week and sign a pledge card that gets sent to congressmen advocating "reform" (read as amnesty of course) of the immigration laws. Once again Bishop Soto, the only reform that needs to be done is for the current laws to be enforced. This could be the start of a downturn in the tortilla, taco, burrito, & mexican food business. I would hate to have that happen. I have an idea. Instead of fasting, why doesn't everyone who advocates enforcing the laws get together and throw a huge bachnallian feast in opposition to Bishop Soto's directive. This could be fun. To rub salt in the wounds we should try to make sure we do this on a Friday and the meal should a huge prime rib, porterhouse, or filet mignon steak. Who's with me?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

UCLA & The Final Four

UCLA reached an NCAA record 17th Final Four appearance by whiping the Kansas Jawhawks yesterday 68-55. What can I say. I'm a happy Bruin this weekend. I'm looking into the possiblities of a roadie to Atlanta with other fellow Bruin fans. Anyone with a line on some some good seats...feel free to email me with details.

Friday, March 23, 2007

More Responses & Questions

You really didn't answer a few of my questions, but so be it. I also love how euphamisticaly refer to:
it would be much higher for obvious reasons...the population there consists of that demographic
would the obvious reasons be there are a lot of illegal aliens in Santa Ana? It's nice use of the language, but very dismissive of the problems. I believe this is the same syndrome you have of not calling illegal aliens illegal aliens.

You say problems with education in inner barrio cities(i.e East LA, Santa Ana, etc) have nothing to do with illegal immigration. I'll let that one stand on its own. If you believe that then I believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Oh well, onto some of your questions.
Do you believe there are enough U.S. Citizens or legal residents available in the U.S. willing and able to do the work currently immigrants do?
Yes and no. No...I think we should have a program like the old Bracero Program where immigrants come here for seasonal agriculture work. From what I read it seemed to work pretty well. The key to this though is we have to know all the illegals here currently, deport them, and then they can re-apply as seasonal workers and it gets strictly enforced. Yes...I think we should have more legal immigration of high skilled workers if the pool of US citizens can't fill the jobs.
Do you believe the U.S. would face an economic shock if all undocumented immigrants were deported?
Of course not. There might be a little displacement in the economy, but I don't buy for a minute that theory that your side has been saying for years. I'll tell you who will suffer an economic shock is Mexico. All those remittences drying up would send that country back to the stone age probably(some would argue they still are in the stone age).
What would be the problem if we legalized the 11 Million undocumented immigrants we currently have in U.S.?
Are you for real? Word of mouth spreads almost as fast as the internet in the illegal immigrant community. I can see it right now. They'd be on the phone the second an amnesty happened telling all their family that the door to America is now wide open. Come one come all. Did you happen to read the Heritage Foundation report I posted the other day? They are saying this would lead to over 200 million more people in our counrty in the next twenty years if this were to happen.
Do you believe the price of goods would rise if there were no undocumented immigrants willing and able to work for peanuts ?
People would get used to higher costs for things you are alluding to. We adjust to it. My perfect analogy is the price of gas. Everytime it hits a new high people bitch about it. After a few months it doesn't become a big deal.

A Little Morsel I Saw Today On Illegal Immigration

I wonder what would happen if the feds prosecuted bank robberies like they do illegal border crossers. The answer is our banks would cleaned out of money by criminals because the feds are only prosecuting illegal aliens border crossers after their "sixth strike"! You read that correctly. You have to be a six time loser to get any attention by the feds, but according to California this is not a problem.


Okay, so enforce the laws which exist currently? Hmmm No I dont think that is a good idea because if it were perfect to begin with we would not be looking to change them. As I have mentioned to you before the issue is our Govt. does not want to enforce them because there is a need for labor. What we need is to reform it, so that we are able to supply the workers for the demand.
You also mention the school system, and I would encourage you to look at the current school situation in other parts of the U.S. There are several areas, you and I would consider inner cities, which have the very same problem. St. Louis, New York, Richmond, Oakland, and Compton are but a few areas where this exists. Most of these cities one would consider not to be immigrant towns. My point for bringing these places up, is because I dont believe immigration status has much do with this problem. Although a very important policy issue (education) it, in my opinion, would be a socio-economic problem.
You asked me to pretend to be an ICE agent...I am not sure why. I dont blame them for anything that has to do with immigration enforcement, as they are simply looking to do their job. If it were up to me, I would much rather have those agents become police officers and rid are city of real crimes caused by immigrants or not.
Your next question, has to do with identity theft. I am against it. In fact, there was recently a very large sting in OC Register about identity theft, where they used the information to withdraw money from credit cards, ATMS, and bank accounts. This asian group was arrested and found to be guilty of a number of other crimes. With that said, however, undocumented immigrants for the most part do not use identity theft in the way you would like to think so. They are not attempting to cause you and I harm. They are simply looking to have an identity in order to be able to work. Is it wrong? Yes. Again the problem does not lie with them, it lies with the Govt. sending mixed messages. Come work here, you cant work here unless you have an identity, but we will not give you one, find a way? This is the problem.

Lastly you cite some numbers, and I appreciate that. I do have one question though... The numbers you describe there, did you find them on the actual FBI Website or was it found on your biased anti-immigration website. I can find it on the FBI website.
I am sure if you found out the arrest percentage in Santa Ana for undocumented immigrants it would be much higher for obvious reasons...the population there consists of that demographic. How about some numbers nationally. I bet they would not be as alarming as you would like to make them be. Crime is a product of environments. Certain areas are simply more criminally proned then others, but again, it is about socio-economics. Inner Cities usually mean, low income residents, uneducated residents, which usually lead to crime areas. There is no secret there, but the cause is not immigration status, it is poverty. Your solution to reducing crime, is deporting a poor people regardless of immigration status. That would solve your problem...is that what you would like?

Questions for you:

Do you believe there are enough U.S. Citizens or legal residents available in the U.S. willing and able to do the work currently immigrants do?

Do you believe the U.S. would face an economic shock if all undocumented immigrants were deported?

What would be the problem if we legalized the 11 Million undocumented immigrants we currently have in U.S.?

Do you believe the price of goods would rise if there were no undocumented immigrants willing and able to work for peanuts ?

My Response And A Few Questions

That's to bad Luis that you don't think this issue isn't at the top of the list in importance. Tell you what, how about then since it's not that important to you, that we go ahead and leave the laws the way the are now and just concentrate on enforcing them. That would work for me. I think your being disingenuous by saying it's not important. Your quote:
According to the State of California Website, under labor, immigrants do not provide an inbalance in the states economy
Well I guess if the state doesn't say there's major problems from illegal immigration, everything must be okay, right? That is ridiculous. That's like Bush saying everything has been going great in Iraq. Everyone knows he full of BS. The facts are the facts. In my opinion right now as it stands, California has gone down a path that we won't be able to recover from unless the law starts being enforced. Look at the state of our education system. Most kids in inner city barrio schools can't read their diplomas anymore when they graduate becuase they haven't given a damn to learn english. Their parents don't care how they do in school. It's just a disaster.

So my first question is: If you were an ICE agent, where would you go to get the most bang for your buck. In other words, what areas of the state and in particular what cities would you concentrate your efforts on to enforce the immigration laws and tell me why you came up with the cities you mention?

Next question: What is your stance on identity theft?

Last part of the post. This enough to make anyone cry:
FBI Statistical Report on Undocumented Immigrants

2006 (First Quarter) FBI Statistical Report on Undocumented Immigrants

CRIME STATISTICS 95% of warrants for murder in Los Angeles are for illegal aliens.

83% of warrants for murder in Phoenix are for illegal aliens.

86% of warrants for murder in Albuquerque are for illegal aliens.

75% of those on the most wanted list in Los Angeles, Phoenix and Albuquerque are illegal aliens.

24.9% of all inmates in California detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally

40.1% of all inmates in Arizona detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally

48.2% of all inmates in New Mexico detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally

29% (630,000) convicted illegal alien felons fill our state and federal prisons at a cost of $1.6 billion annually

53% plus of all investigated burglaries reported in California, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona and Texas are perpetrated by illegal aliens.

50% plus of all gang members in Los Angeles are illegal aliens from south of the border.

71% plus of all apprehended cars stolen in 2005 in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California were stolen by Illegal aliens or “transport coyotes".

47% of cited/stopped drivers in California have no license, no insurance and no registration for the vehicle. Of that 47%, 92% are illegal aliens.

63% of cited/stopped drivers in Arizona have no license, no insurance and no registration for the vehicle. Of that 63%, 97% are illegal aliens

66% of cited/stopped drivers in New Mexico have no license, no insurance and no registration for the vehicle. Of that 66% 98% are illegal aliens.

BIRTH STATISTICS 380,000 plus “anchor babies” were born in the U.S. in 2005 to illegal alien parents, making 380,000 babies automatically U.S.citizens.

97.2% of all costs incurred from those births were paid by the American taxpayers.

66% plus of all births in California are to illegal alien Mexicans on Medi-Cal whose births were paid for by taxpayers

I know I know, they just come here to work right? Hey the state says it's not a problem. Everyone just be happy.

Here's a couple of links to information sources that I am using to support my arguments.

Immigration Counters
FBI Uniform Crime Reports

Continuing with the debate...

Continuing with our debate, and in response to your opening statement, I will answer with the following:Your first line is already a spot in which disagree. I dont believe immigration is the most important policy issue facing the U.S. Education, our economy, Social Security, the war in Iraq, are but a few issues I find a little more important.In any event, the 1986 amnesty program is soo old, I have little to no knowledge as to what President Reagan promised, so I will take your word for it. However, it is perhaps for the same reason, I described in my opening statement, no one really wants to tackle the issue, as you would like. Immigrants just bring too much to the U.S. Economy. According to the State of California Website, under labor, immigrants do not provide an inbalance in the states economy. In fact the only apsect in which the U.S. experiences a net loss according to the report is in Education.It is for this reason, I believe any rational politician will not do away with immigrants, as it could cause a destabilzation in the economy. Why do you suppose California is the 5th largest economy in the world?You have also mentioned the U.S. being a savior to other countries, and you feel the U.S. should not always play that role. I happen to agree but find it a little contradictory for the U.S. to meddle in other affairs selectively. Either way, I dont believe one can consider the U.S. being the all mighty and earning a sainthood with its actions towards immigrants. Here is what I mean by that. A person willing to assist or be the savior usually does so without getting anything in return. In the case of immigration, the U.S. receives Mexico's greatest export, cheap labor. The labor allows for providing the supply of goods and services the consumers of the U.S. ask for. While doing so, immigrants provide an additional boost to the already broken down Social Security System. In return, the immigrants gets an Education(or their offspring) and gets usually a below average wage.This ultimately seems like a great deal, doesn't it?Most anti-immgrant activists choose to use the false statement regarding the consumption of welfare, and other social services, however, as I pointed out from my source there is no evidence, other than in education, where the U.S. is losing money by having immigrants here.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

UCLA Beats Pitt To Reach The Elite 8

I have taken a little breather tonight on the illegal immigration debate to watch my Bruins dismantle the Pittsburgh Panthers. I can't tell you how great it feels to have a coach like Ben Howland leading the team. He has brought a mindset of defensive toughness that I have never seen in a Bruin team ever. They play suffocating defense. Nothing against Steve Lavin, but thank God Dan Guerrero was able to bring Ben in from Pittsburgh to caoch the team. He gets in the players faces anytime there is a lapse on defense. I love it. So now it's on the round of eight to play the Kansas Jayhawks. I'm sticking with my prediction of a Bruin national championship. Anything less will be a disappointment.

Please Welcome Luis Rodriguez As A Guest Poster

I have taken the liberty to "deputize" Luis Rodriguez as a guest poster during our debate on illegal immigration. Please welcome him with open arms. Even though we vehemently disagree with each another on this issue, it doesn't mean we have to be disagreable.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

My Opening Statement

I will go ahead and give an opening statement now. I believe that the issue of illegal immigration is the most important policy issue in the United States today. Numerous public opinion polls verify this. For far to long our government policy makers have given a wink and a nod to all the illegal activity happening surrounding this issue and people are just fed up. We were told back in 1986 when the last amnesty was handed out that once this happened there would be strong enforcement measures acted upon. We were lied to. Nothing has really happened on the enforcement front for the last twenty years. There's been lots of lip service, but little action. How on God's green Earth are we supposed to believe anything the open border crowd tells us. If we give amnesty to the 20 million or so illegal immigrants here currently(according to a Bear Stearns report) or the 9 million figure by the Census Bureau, it will absolutely send the wrong signal to people wanting to come here that America doesn't care about its own citizens. A Heritage Foundation study on family reunification ramifications state that if amnesty is given out and all extended members of newly minted citizens are allowed to bring these extended family members into the country ahead of people already waiting in line, this number will reach 200 million people from Latin American countries in the next twenty years. How anyone can reasonably claim that this is a good idea for this country is beyond my comprehension, but that's why we're having this debate.

I think most people will agree that we live in the greatest nation in the world. There are roughly 6.5 billion people living on this Earth. Americans are one of the most giving people in the world. However it is not our responsibility to take care of these six billion people. A lot of them would like to emigrate here legally, but we have limits on how many people we can reasonably assimilate at one time. A study that came out last year in Mexico stated that roughly half the citizens of Mexico would like to come to the United States. We cannot let this happen becuase our social services are already strained to capacity. Does that make people like myself racist or bigoted to feel this way? Of course it doesn't. All those of us on this side of the issue are asking for is that the laws be enforced, nothing more, nothing less. We don't need any new laws passed. Just enforce the ones currently on the books. When Rome is burning, you don't add more fuel to the fire. If you doubt that Rome is burning, all you have to do is go to any ER or school in a lot of poor California neighborhoods...not to mention the congested highways/streets. So those are some of my thoughts on this issue to run with.

Opening Statement By Luis Rodriguez

Here is Luis's opening statement:
Okay Allan I will start with my opening remarks, they will be quick. But first I too would like to offer you my thoughts and prayers regarding your family.

As far as immigration and open borders, I am not sure I am in favor of complete open orders, as exists in the European Union, but I certainly believe should be allowed to travel where they please.
First off it is important to understand terminology. The term "illegal" I find offensive simply because a person can not be illegal, only an action. Thus a person can cross illegally, but that person would not be an illegal. In any event, an Undocumented Immigrant as per our definition is a person who crosses a border without the proper documentation. This is the topic of debate.
I believe the U.S. currently contradicts its opinion regarding these undocumented immigrants due to the pressure they receive from certain groups. This pressure causes our Govt. to pretend to enforce a "law" they truly have no desire in doing so. The reason being, immigrants (cheap labor) allow for economic growth the U.S. can not have otherwise due to its limited population growth. Immigration laws, I believe are set up only to provide a somwhat facade to constituents wishing to remove these group of people from the U.S. so they do a half hazard job of controlling it.
My belief is President Bush is right on in believing a guest worker program would be the solution, not because it is called a guest worker program but rather because he is trying to name what is already a natural process, supply and demand. He is looking to supply the demand current existing in specific fields, such as agricultural, and other unskilled labor fields.
I believe jobs in the U.S. are not in short supply, and there are not enough U.S. born workers, or documented immigrants to fill those jobs. Additionally, the line for "legalizing" themselves in countries such as Mexico are at ridiculous levels, and therefore can not be done.
I'll start with that and add more as we continue to debate.

Allan Bartlett vs Luis Rodriguez Debate Thread On Illegal Immigration

Luis Rodriguez from the OC blog Orange Juice has accepted to debate me on illegal immigration here at Powder Blue Report. The only rule is that we are to be civil to each other and debate the merits of our illegal immigration fiasco in this country. I will pretend that I have never read anything Luis has previously written on this issue and let him spell out his beliefs of what he thinks some solutions should be. He has asked me when I cite numbers, to give where they came from. This is fine with me. ICE has plenty of stats on this problem I'm sure.

Real Estate Bubble Courtesy Of The Federal Reserve

Anyone who is not on Congressman Ron Paul's email list should get on it right away. You're missing great columns like this one from a few days ago on the current real estate bubble about ready to pop.

Don't Blame the Market for the Housing Bubble

by Ron Paul

The U.S. housing market, long considered vulnerable by many economists, is now on the verge of suffering a serious collapse in many regions. Commodities guru and hedge fund manager Jim Rogers warns that real estate in expensive bubble areas will drop 40 or 50%. Mainstream media outlets like the New York Times are reporting breathlessly about the possibility of widespread defaults on subprime mortgages.

When the bubble finally bursts completely, millions of Americans will be looking for someone to blame. Look for Congress to hold hearings into subprime lending practices and “predatory” mortgages. We’ll hear a lot of grandstanding about how unscrupulous lenders took advantage of poor people, and how rampant speculation caused real estate markets around the country to overheat. It will be reminiscent of the Enron hearings, and the message will be explicitly or implicitly the same: free-market capitalism, left unchecked, leads to greed, fraud, and unethical if not illegal business practices.

But capitalism is not to blame for the housing bubble, the Federal Reserve is. Specifically, Fed intervention in the economy – through the manipulation of interest rates and the creation of money – caused the artificial boom in mortgage lending.

The Fed has roughly tripled the amount of dollars and credit in circulation just since 1990. Housing prices have risen dramatically not because of simple supply and demand, but because the Fed literally created demand by making the cost of borrowing money artificially cheap. When credit is cheap, individuals tend to borrow too much and spend recklessly.

This is not to say that all banks, lenders, and Wall Street firms are blameless. Many of them are politically connected, and benefited directly from the Fed’s easy money policies. And some lenders did make fraudulent or unethical loans. But every cent they loaned was first created by the Fed.

The actions of lenders are directly attributable to the policies of the Fed: when credit is cheap, why not loan money more recklessly to individuals who normally would not qualify? Even with higher default rates, lenders could make huge profits simply through volume. Subprime lending is a symptom of the housing bubble, not the cause of it.

Fed credit also distorts mortgage lending through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two government schemes created by Congress supposedly to help poor people. Fannie and Freddie enjoy an implicit guarantee of a bailout by the federal government if their loans default, and thus are insulated from market forces. This insulation spurred investors to make funds available to Fannie and Freddie that otherwise would have been invested in other securities or more productive endeavors, thereby fueling the housing boom.

The Federal Reserve provides the mother’s milk for the booms and busts wrongly associated with a mythical “business cycle.” Imagine a Brinks truck driving down a busy street with the doors wide open, and money flying out everywhere, and you’ll have a pretty good analogy for Fed policies over the last two decades. Unless and until we get the Federal Reserve out of the business of creating money at will and setting interest rates, we will remain vulnerable to market bubbles and painful corrections. If housing prices plummet and millions of Americans find themselves owing more than their homes are worth, the blame lies squarely with Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke.

My favorite line was the analogy of an armored truck driving down the highway with its doors open. This is going to be one painful experience for a lot of investors I'm afraid.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Debate Challenge On Illegal Immigration

This might be fun. There seems to be a very vocal minority on some OC blogs that are very pro open borders. They can't seem to have a dialogue with people like myself who just want the current laws enforced. They resort to the usual "you are a racist/you just hate brown people" smack when the heat becomes too hot. This is their chance to see if they can make some good arguments.

Luis over at Orange Juice has specifically called me out for a debate. This is his or anyone elses chance to see if they can have a debate about this issue without pulling out the racist card.

Cardinal Mahony Has A Truth Problem....

He can't seem to speak any of it! Someone needs to do an intervention at the Vatican before this guy can do any more damage to the Church. He's a walking talking disaster/child molester enabler. Please Steve Cooley do something about this.

Sen McCain Gets An Earful In Iowa On Illegal Immigration

I read this headline in The NY Times today and it warmed my heart. It looks like Sen. McCain is finally starting to understand what a disaster his open border policy is on the Presidential campaign trail. All the folks at the townhall in Iowa wanted to talk about yesterday was illegal immigration, hehehehehehe. Get used to it Senator.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Tonight's OC GOP Central Committee Meeting

I made a game time decision to head over to the Irvine Hyatt for tonight's monthly Central Committee meeting. I'm glad I went. The speaker was Brian Kennedy, President of the Claremont Institute. He spoke on a topic near & dear to my heart, illegal immigration. Most of what he said I already knew, but it's still good to hear what Mr Kennedy had to say, especially from someone as distinguished as him. The number that made most of the assembled GOPers collectively gasp was the 200 million new immigrants from Latin America in the next thirty years that they are projecting if the amnesty goes through like President Bush and a lot of Republican Presidential hopefuls want. Once given amnesty, the current "reform" being proposed would allow most family members of the illegal aliens to jump in the front of the line before immigrants trying to get here legally. The strain that this is going to put on our social services is virtually incalculable. It's basically going to turn this country into a socialistic democracy according to Mr. Kennedy(one could argue that we are practically there anyways right now). Mr. Kennedy left before I could ask him who in his opinion is the best GOP Presidential candidate on this issue out of the top three right now....Romney, Guiliani, or McCain? I asked Chairman Baugh after the meeting this question and Scott said out of the three, he thinks Romney has the toughest/best position on illegal immigration, albeit a weak one compared to what needs to be done. Scott is obviously a little biased since he's one of Romney's fundraising chairmen. Lou Penrose from John Campbell's office was not as nice to Romney when I asked him the same question. He believes all three top/big three GOP candidates are weak on the issue, but out of the three, Romney was/is our only and best hope. This is sad. It is a horrible reflection of how out of touch the would be leaders in our party are on this issue. After hearing this, I really am not optimistic about the future for this country. I'll be supporting Ron Paul in the primary.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

UCLA Makes It To The "Sweet Sixteen"

It wasn't pretty last night, but UCLA defeated Indiana University to advance into the round of sixteen. They will play Coach Ben Howland's former team of Pittsburgh.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Irvine Taxes Are Going Up

The Irvine City Council has decided that it knows what's best when it comes to mandating wages for city contractors and businesses that do work for the city. The bottomline is that is going to cost the Irvine General Fund about $700k according to Councilman Steven Choi. This is social engineering at its worst. The whole point of bidding out work that the city needs done is to save the taxpayers some money by the free market working its magic. Now instead of saving the taxpayers some money, it is going to cost us $700k.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Irvine Republican Council Board Nominations On Tap Thursday

This post is just a reminder for all IRC members to set aside some time Thursday evening to attend our monthly IRC meeting. The meeting begins at 6pm at the Irvine Ranch Water District Headquarters on Sand Canyon. We will be nominating candidates for IRC Board positions. In case anyone was wondering, I will not be running for any position. Lynn however will be trying to get reappointed as the Parliamentarian. I will be supporting Dave Sparks for President of IRC. He was the inspiration for IRC along with Charlene Hatakeyama. Speaking of Charlene, she has shown great leadership heading our organization the past two years. I want to publicly thank her for all the time she has devoted for our cause here in Irvine. She is passing the torch. Our next leader will be a very busy person getting us ready for the 2008 elections. It's a Presidential year so we should have great GOP turnout like in 2004. It will be a great shot to send Larry Agran into early retirement.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

March Madness Has Arrived

The NCAA mens basketball tournament is one of my favorite sporting events of the year. The brackets were announced today and my UCLA Bruins have limped into the tournament losing two games in a row. Instead of getting the #1 seed in the West Bracket like they should have if they played up to their potential, they got dropped down to a two seed by the selection committee. In the whole scheme of things it's not that bad. They get to play Thursday up in Suck-ramento against that powerhouse(LOL) of Weber St. This is practically a home game for them. If they take care of business Thursday, they would play the winner of the Indiana/Gonzaga game. UCLA has a history with both those teams. They of course beat Gonzaga last year in the sweet sixteen with a late steal and basket by Jordan Farmar & Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. I'll be penciling in my brackets tomorrow. I think the Bruins can get to the Final Four again this year, but they can't afford anymore let downs against inferior teams. Let the games begin.

Oh I almost forgot to mention the Forty-Niners of Long Beach St. They also made the field of 65 by winning the Big West Conference Tournament. Props to them.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

So How Was Your Week???

To all of you who have been deprived of your excellent blog posts the last week from me, please accept my apologies. I was just a wee bit busy because of what the stock market was doing. I'm writing this post at around a quarter after five on Sunday night and the S&P 500 futures are down another seven points before the market is even open. Did I mention it's not good to be an option seller when the volatility index triples? I digress though. It should be another stressful week if tonight's action is any indication. This market was overdue for a pullback, you just never know what is going to spark it. In this case, it was the Chinese stock market selling off over 10% last Wednesday. I'm hoping for a slower week this week, but I'm not holding my breath. Every now and then my life gets turned upside down by these markets. It's the nature of the business. It also will create opportunity for the long term. You just have to weather the storm.