July 6, 2013

Box Springs Mountain Park Hiking Trails in Riverside, CA

Box Springs Mountain Park

Box Springs Mountain Park offer some excellent hiking and biking trails suprisingly close to Riverside, CA. Box Springs is an island of wilderness. From the top of the parks high point you can look down on Riverside and Moreno Valley and the tangled freeways. I have been several times and each time the park has been empty. There are fifteen miles of trails. It can get very hot. Due to proximity to the city and the types that the city produces, there is some graffiti on some of the rocks and trash strewn about. However, the hiking, the ease of travel, and the amazing views make this an excellent half day destination.

Click here: for a map and directions.

July 5, 2013

The Price of Politics by Bob Woodward

Book Review: The Price of Politics

Author: Bob Woodward

At the end of July 2011, days before the United States defaulted on its debt limit, negotiations to pass the annual budget were at a stalemate. "We can't yield," exclaimed Biden.  "This is bullsh*t! We're not bending," cried Obama appointee Jack Lew. Reflecting, Obama said, "It was as intense a period as I've had." "Trying to put Humpty Dumpty back together again would be almost impossible," Boehner (pronounced Bay-ner) warned.

The Price of Politics timelines the steps that the government took to fix the down economy during Obama's first term. A large portion of the book covers the intense budget compromising and negotiating that took place in the summer of 2011. Obama and Boehner were the prolific figures in these negotiations. During the tense budget talks, members of the Republican Congress fought for spending cuts while the Democratic Senate fought for tax increase.

The book gives great insight into the internal workings of the United States Federal Government. And, without stating it outright, it brings to light problems that arise when a third party is thrown into a system that was designed to work as a two party system. The book reads fast and flows well. Woodward has a lot of experience with the politicians and seems to be able to get interesting and raw information from them. I would recommend this book to anybody who is interested in US politics.