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Tuesday, December 27, 2016
This past weekend, we celebrated Christmas. It was the most enjoyable one I can recall in many years.
My weekend started Friday afternoon by getting sent home early from work. This year it was two o’clock. This is the earliest that I can recall being dismissed. Of course the drive home was a cakewalk. I arrived home to be greeted by my wife and son. We had a nice dinner and watched a Christmas movie.
The next day we went and visited some dogs that needed a home. While my son hasn’t gotten his dog yet, he knows that mom and dad are willing to get him one when the time is right. Later we had dinner with grandpa and grandma. My son got to open many gifts from his grandparents. The evening went well and my dad’s prime rib was good. We drove home—well mostly. I had the wife dump me out of the car at California Family Fitness and I walked the rest of the way home—too many calories at grandma’s. After I got home, we went to bed ready for Christmas Day.
On Christmas Day, my son was up at his usual time of 6 AM. He played on his computer until mom had breakfast ready. We ate breakfast and then went to see what was under the Christmas tree. We opened our gifts, loaded up the car and then headed to church.
Our church was closed on Christmas. Yeah, I know that’s kind of weird but it’s the pitfall of not owning your own building. There was nobody around to let us into our usual place so we had to meet elsewhere. After many false starts, a few days before Christmas, our pastor decided that we should crash the service at Christ the King in Roseville. The service there was glorious and we got to see many people that we haven’t seen in many years. The Communion portion of the service was my favorite. They had really great homemade bread and port wine. Since this is a meal with Christ, typically you get a big handful of bread and each family gets their own glass of wine. I even got seconds on the wine. Yummy.
We then went home and got ready for our lone guest for Christmas dinner; my sister-in-law. More prime rib. (I don’t mind, the turkey is being served when the child in the military gets home next weekend.)
Since Christmas was on a Sunday this year, Monday was a holiday. My day started by stepping on the scale and amazingly enough, I had lost my final two pounds for the year! Yes, I stepped off and got back on the scale just to check. It was official; I lost 50 pounds in 2016.
After breakfast, we went to look at pet supplies and accessories in anticipation of getting our son a dog. Then I took the family to lunch. (Mr. X had dibs on lunch but had to take the wife shopping so he took a raincheck.) We then went home for a while.
Mid-afternoon I had the crazy idea to go swimming. The wife and I suited-up and headed for Cal-Fit. However, it turns-out that the pool heater has been dead for a while. I can’t understand how a solar heater is broken when the sun works just fine but the water temp was definitely in the 50’s. The wife headed for the hot tub and I endured the cold water for about 15 minutes of laps and then hit the hot tub as well. After about 35 minutes we were on our way home for a warm shower and dry clothes. I did some laundry and then did some chores around the house.
After dinner and a prolonged computer project—which I may blog about later—I went for a walk to get the rest of my steps for the day. I was glad because I figured it would be the last chance to see all the lights in the neighborhood until next year.
Truly it was a good Christmas. I hope yours was as well.
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Thoughts as We Near Christmas
Normally I don’t get so personal on this blog but this time of the year, isn’t that—at least in part—what Christmas is about; preparing for Christ and what He is doing in your life?
This last month or so I have been experiencing many changes in my life.
First two friends have died rather unexpectedly.
At Thanksgiving time, I learned that Bishop Royal Grote had died.
Royal U Grote, Jr
Bp. Grote was based in Texas and for much of the time that I knew him, he was in charge of the Missionary Diocese of the West for the Reformed Episcopal Church. Bishop Grote was a fine man. He smoked cigars on important occasions, enjoyed adult beverages and loved the Lord. He was charitable with other believers and tried to be the best shepherd that he could for his flock. He took his vows of marriage and to serve God very seriously. He jealously guarded The Table from error and those living in it. Only once did I see him discipline a minister in his charge (although I am aware of other occasions). He acted firmly and decisively when needed. Like it or not, Grote was also instrumental in the formation of the ACNA (Anglican Church in North America). Grote hoped this organization would be an umbrella group to unite various splinter groups fleeing the heresy of the Anglican Church.
Link: Wikipedia Royal U Grote Jr.
A week later, another friend—George Fincke—also died.
George B Fincke
George was also ordained a Bishop in the REC. George started out as the son of a Presbyterian minister in Cape May, New Jersey. He attended college at Bob Jones University and occasionally made life there a living hell for the Jones’. He attended college there in the 1970’s. While a student, George did a play at Bob Jones that was a parody of the original Star Trek. In the play, Spock was replaced by Bob Jones and the results, while hilarious, were unsatisfactory to Mr. Jones and his family. George also admitted to putting laundry detergent in the water fountain at the college’s main gate and creating a layer of foam three feet high in the fountain. He had a wonderful sense of humor and maintained a friendship with Bob Jones Jr. who was also a student there when he was.
Later George attended the Reformed Episcopal Seminary in Philadelphia and spent the next twelve years in the Presbyterian Church. Finally, he “saw the light” and moved to the Reformed Episcopal Church. I met George when he was recruited by Bishop Grote to be the minister of the parish in Vacaville California. At the time, many people were hoping to recruit Ray Sutton as their pastor but Grote had other plans for Sutton.
George and I became good friends. While in Vacaville, George suffered a stroke. He had to learn to speak again and also to walk. I spent many hours at his home during this time. That was 16 years ago. George had been made a Bishop about two years before the stroke but his life changed when this happened. He was effectively stripped of his duties and became a Bishop without a flock. It was an awkward period. Once he was recovered enough to resume preaching, he was transferred to Fargo North Dakota. Despite many years of labor, the Mission in Fargo faded away and about two years ago, George moved to Prescott Arizona and took a church there. At this point he transferred from the REC to the Anglican Provence of America.
Link: All Saints Prescott, AZ
It was a fresh start for his family and much closer to his grandchildren. Two months before he died, he and his wife had finally purchased a home in Prescott.
I miss his emails and posts on Facebook; mostly his wonderful friendship and sense of humor. He always was laughing and enjoyed life.
I have another friend that is in the last stages of his life and will soon go to his reward. Unlike the other two that I mentioned, he hasn’t made his peace with God. Should you happen to see this post Frank, I’m praying for you to find the peace that only Jesus Christ can give you.
Also in the last month, the wife and I decided to pull our son from the private school that he has been attending for the last 8 ½ years and send him to a different school. The academic rigor is not there this year and the mandatory purchase of an Apple product for the second trimester was the beginning of the last chapter there. We had to buy him this device not for learning but so he could play even more games than he already does at home. Now he can play games at school too. It was time to go.
Back in November, the oldest child moved out. We are enjoying the relative peace and quiet. This move has provided us with the opportunity to do lots of cleaning and organizing. The biggest beneficiaries so far are Goodwill and Ikea.
Adding to this cleaning opportunity is the weight that my wife and I have lost this year. I’m back to where I was in my 20’s and the wife will be there soon if she survives the Holidays. (-:
Our first trip to Goodwill this fall was over one hundred clothing items, many that still had tags on them. This has been followed-up by several more trips.
Lastly, I was given a promotion at work. God is good and we keep pushing that Dave Ramsey snowball down the hill. A debt-free scream is still in our future but we’re getting there.
I wish all my readers a Merry Christmas.
Thanks Mr. X for your contributions this year. I hope to see you at the salsa bar real soon.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
ESPN Supports Domestic Violence?
It was a Friday night and I was watching ESPN with Mrs. X. ESPN came back from a commercial to announce breaking news regarding the Oklahoma Football Team. I wondered aloud, the team is done until their bowl game? What could the breaking news be? A coach leaving to coach elsewhere? A player being ineligible due to grades?
Neither, it involved a video that was “very violent in nature” and the public was warned “to turn away” if easily offended. Only after this admonition did the anchor state that the this video is from two years ago and the athlete shown claims he was provoked by the female calling him a racial slur and spitting on him.
At this point I’m thinking, “UMMMMMMMMM, okay?”
Then the video began playing. I was floored by what I saw. (The Oklahoma Sooners college football team has a player who is a budding star in the upcoming NFL draft named Joe Mixon) Mixon is featured in this “video” by ESPN.
Oklahoma slugger Joe Mixon
Viewer warning, the video is very disturbing and may be unsuitable for many audiences, is how the clip starts out. Then you see a white women and one other white man enter what appears to be a fast food restaurant. Shortly thereafter Mixon—a black player—walks in. He confronts the white girl; it appears that words are exchanged. Then the white girl lunges at Mixon, and Mixon throws a hard right hook at the poor girl, knocking her clean over. Mixon probably out weighs the victim by 90 pounds. After decking her, Mixon calmly leaves the store.
I will not reveal the accusers name—she has been through enough already—I want to focus on the University of Oklahoma and Mr. Mixon.
The girl btw suffered four broken bones to her face. Mixon pled guilty to a lesser crime, did some community service, and was back to playing football a year later. He was never disciplined by the school for his behavior.
Link: Mixon Video The video is on a split screen and you can clearly see the punch on the right-hand side.
Mixon is a very talented football player. I must admit that if I had not known the details or seen the video from the incident that night that I would consider taking him high in the draft next year!
ESPN closed the coverage by saying the attack was brought on by the girl calling Mixon a “Ni**er.”
Based on the punishment that Mixon received, apparently calling someone a racial slur makes it ok to coldcock someone these days.
First and foremost, regardless of what clown ESPN had hosting SportsCenter that night, Mixon is a coward…you never hit women, period.
The release of the video was held up for over two and a half years by legal proceedings. The case eventually made it to the Oklahoma Supreme Court. Mixon’s lawyers wanted no part of this footage leaking out. After the Supreme Court ruled, the video was released on a Friday afternoon/night. This is a ploy because everyone knows Fridays are very slow news days and typically end in date night, family game night, or some other form of entertainment not involving television.
ESPN foolishly took the bait and ran with it, offering up a low life host who claimed to be a journalist to try to make Mixon seem like the victim here.
Then the screen cut to commercial, no additional commentary was offered. They returned from commercial and went right on doing sports highlights as if the incident never happened. By the way, ESPN showed the video on the same day the victim graduated from Oklahoma, classy!
The victim of this assault had to have her jaw wired shut, lost feeling in the side of her face for several months, and was blamed around campus for the incident because she was trying to destroy their football team!!!
As much as I am upset with their “coverage” of this issue—the reality is that a large plurality of viewers and commentators at ESPN probably believe the women is at least somewhat at fault for what happened that night in that restaurant.
Fast forward to the following Monday, 12/19. Paul Finebaum, an ESPN SEC Network radio host and commentator, delivered a scathing analysis of Mixon, saying he had no business being anywhere near a football field following this incident and should be expelled immediately. I don’t agree with Finebaum much, but he couldn’t have said it any better.
Then Finebaum floored me. He told the audience about a meeting that took place during the pre-trial phase involving Head Football Coach Bob Stoops, Athletic Director Joe Castiglione, OU Campus President David Boren, and the local District Attorney Greg Mashburn at the Oklahoma campus. After this meeting it was agreed that Mixon would get offered a favorable plea deal, serve no jail time, and could be reinstated to the football team after one year. Keep in mind he broke a women’s face in four or five places and gets community service. It seems like a fairly light sentence.
Hang on just a darn minute. Did I hear that right? The DA who is in charge of prosecuting the case, met with the head football coach—who in a state like Oklahoma is probably as powerful as the Governor?! The DA, who is very well respected and well known in college athletics circles, and the campus President, who by the way is the same David Boren that was a former US Senator and Governor, were all in the same room, admitting to having seen the video, and agree this sentence fit the crime? I’m speechless.
Oh and on Tuesday, the ESPN website has an article up about the confrontation that night with the caption quoting Mixon, saying “I felt like I got hit by a man”. Well if that’s what you felt Mixon, imagine what your victim felt.
Link: Joe Mixon to police: ‘It felt like a dude hit me’
Mixon treats women like Michael Vick treats his hounds and everybody rallies around him to save him from himself. This gutless wonder wants a multimillion dollar contract with an NFL team to play football so he can get hit by men, talk about irony.
ESPN, stay classy, keep defending athletes for the sake of higher ratings, remember Ray Rice was just a victim of unfortunate circumstances.
Until next time,
Tuesday, December 06, 2016
I was ready to touch on the pension issue in Dallas but that will have to wait.
ESPN… seriously? This past weekend was huge for college football and you chose to push your liberal agenda. First things first, William has done a great job recently laying out the agenda that ESPN and other major television networks have been subjecting viewers to in the name of entertainment. However credit X for bringing this to the light a while back in one of his earlier articles.
Anyway back to the college football game X was watching this past Saturday night. Virginia Tech and Clemson, not because I like college football—honestly X could care less—but after working outside all day it was a nice break. The game hadn’t started yet, and Chris Fowler, the announcer of the game (more on him later) begins the game by saying, the ACC Championship game is usually held in North Carolina, but is being held in Florida this year due to HB2. (HB 2 is the so called “bathroom bill” saying use the bathroom of your gender, not the gender you think you might be that day.) In all fairness, I have no issue with this statement by ESPN resident lowlife Chris Fowler, however he couldn’t help himself. Fowler continued, “…this law is very harmful and discriminatory of transgendered people, and I support the ACC moving the game out of North Carolina.”
Sadly this has been the standard method of operation for ESPN for a while.
William and I have both laid out that ESPN has been bleeding viewers for about two years now as more and more people such as William have cut the cord. X has delayed cutting the cord as his “great deal” from Frontier has yet to run out. But back to my point, I do not tune in to ESPN to get my political news ; if I wanted that I could turn to the CRA website…..oh wait they aren’t relevant, so I would probably turn to Fox News. At least Fox News would have been fair and balanced—even Megyn Kelly would have been better than that political crusader, Chris Fowler.
In all honesty, I’m not sure what Fowler thought he was doing. I’m not sure if Fowler is a) transgendered himself, or b) has a friend or family member who is transgendered. I really don’t care whether he does or doesn’t or with whom; enough of your political rants already. I don’t want to hear it. I’m trying to watch a game and relax not get your take on the political hot button issue of the day.
Chris Fowler (photo from Internet)
Now to my commentary regarding Fowler…..Fowler is a sexual deviant. I know a very close friend who has seen it firsthand. A few years ago, Fowler was spotted by a person I will call “FOX” (a fiend of X) with fellow ESPN college game day host Kirk Herbstreit at a bar in Middle America. Both men were drinking adult beverages following a game they had announced together. What my friend observed was behavior so outrageous that it was reported by “FOX” to ESPN’s human resources department. The story relayed to me was this:
Fowler had way too much to drink, as did Herbstreit, but Fowler was acting a mad fool as the young people call it. Fowler was not only doing cat calls as young coeds walked by, he also was grabbing quite a bit of derriere. Actually Bill Cosby may have been jealous, as Fowler was so out of line. Worse yet he was openly bragging about how he worked for ESPN, and worst of all, Mr. Chris Fowler is married or at least he is when he is in his hometown…..yeah think about that for a minute, his wife, Jennifer Dempster, is a female model/bodybuilder.
Like a fool returning to his folly, Fowler stuck his foot in his mouth yet again after the broadcast. While commenting about a scenario in which the football playoffs had five eligible teams and only four could make the playoffs, Fowler, after listening to a couple guests, said he was flip-flopping on his picks and compared the situation as being similar to the winner of our recent Presidential election and his flip flopping. Thanks Fowler, you hate Donald Trump, we get it. Next time rather than listen to you, I’ll just cut the cord from cable, maybe then I can get some real rest and relaxation. I pray nightly that you make peace with your wife because based on the stories I’ve heard and those reported to me by witnesses, you need quite a bit of help.
Until next time,
Monday, December 05, 2016
SEIU Releases Settlement Framework
...and now for the rest of the story
No pay increase for 2016-17
No withholding of extra money for retiree medical on January 1, 2017
Where is the State offered 12 percent and the Union wanted 22?
9.2 percent net increase over 4 years and $2,500 signing bonus!
This type of pay increase is more inline with reality but these are hardly the numbers used previously by the media or union.
What is the signing bonus? I’ve heard of incentive pay but this, who knows?
The OPEB is the extra money withheld for retiree medical.
Fiscal year is July 1 to June 30
Saturday, December 03, 2016
SEIU Strike: Who Blinked?
What We Know So Far
The Service Employees Union International Local 1000 found themselves all dressed up this week and loaded for bear, just itching for a confrontation with the Brown Administration on Monday (12/05) when all of the sudden the Governor pulled the trigger on a preemptive legal maneuver and filed an action against SEIU on Thursday (12/01).
The Brown administration will go to court on Friday to block an unprecedented and potentially disruptive one-day strike next week by California’s largest state employee union.
The California Department of Human Resources confirmed on Thursday that it had filed a request with the Sacramento Superior Court for an injunction against SEIU Local 1000 that would prohibit the union from carrying out the strike or, alternatively, prevent certain “essential employees” from participating in the planned work stoppage.
Local 1000, which represents about 95,000 workers in nine of the state’s 21 bargaining units, announced last week that it would strike on Dec. 5 amid ongoing contract negotiations over a multiyear raise, gender pay inequities and how much members will contribute to their health care plans.
State agencies have warned their employees that the action is illegal because of a no-strike clause in the union’s contract and that they could be subject to discipline if they walk out on Monday. But Local 1000 argues that its strike would be justified because the Brown administration has committed unfair labor practices during bargaining.
CalHR’s request built on a complaint filed earlier in the day by the Public Employment Relations Board regarding approximately 5,900 employees at state prisons, veterans homes, hospitals and centers for the developmentally disabled “whose absence from or refusal to work during the strike may pose an imminent and substantial threat to the health and safety of the public.”
Then yesterday, in the early afternoon, the strike was cancelled.
A one-day strike by California’s largest state employee union, set for Monday, has been called off.
In a letter to members Friday, sent shortly after a Sacramento judge postponed a hearing requested by state officials seeking an injunction, SEIU Local 1000 announced that it would not proceed with its unprecedented work stoppage.
Today the union is saying that they have reached a tentative deal with the State.
After nearly eight months of negotiations, I’m proud to announce that our bargaining team reached a tentative agreement with the state early this morning on a contract we can all be proud of.
The state previously offered a nearly 12 percent salary increase over four years, but SEIU officials say the 3 percent annual raises would be offset by a 3.5 percent employee contribution to retirees’ health care.
As you might recall, SEIU was promising a 22 percent, across the board pay increase over four years to its members.
Other things to know
The paychecks issued to State employees this week (12/01) are the last ones for calendar 2016. The final cut-off for any type of pay to count for 2016 in upon us. (The State Controller is pushing to have any remaining payroll issues resolved during the first few days next week.) The W-2 calculations are about to begin. Traditionally, payroll for the year is audited for accuracy of calculations and any payroll adjustments are done. These are traditionally posted to accounting on December 18th. This makes any kind of retroactivity of a pay raise impractical very soon. Since the Union contract expired on June 30, 2016, there are five months of possible retroactivity on the table for negotiators to consider.
So Who Blinked?
Our tentative agreement achieves many of the goals we identified as priorities in four areas: improvements in compensation, professional development, working conditions, and health and safety. At the same time, we protected the hard-earned rights we won during previous negotiations.
We will soon share with you the details of our tentative agreement.
I think the Union blinked. Their message says “improvements in compensation” which translated means we didn’t deliver on 22 percent. Let’s face it, this was totally unrealistic to expect. However, due to the minimum wage hikes supported by unions like SEIU, members at the lower end of the payroll ladder got screwed by the Union. The only question is how badly? It would take more than a 22 percent pay increase for low paid workers just to get to a $5 an hour increase to keep up with the forthcoming hourly wage hike mandated by the State.
As for the State, I think they either lowered the 3.5 percent they were threatening to take from employee pay on January first or they split it over multiple years. Also, they probable agreed to 15 percent over four years instead of the 12 that they were offering.
The retroactivity is one factor that interests me. If so, will it be a special pay run—a literal Christmas bonus for State employees—or just tacked on to a future paycheck or water under the proverbial bridge?
However this turns out, State employees are getting a better deal than people in the real world.
Remember that the pay raises discussed as part of the current negotiations with the State and SEIU are separate from the step increases in pay received by government employees. In addition, State employees also get a 5 percent pay raise every year when they pass the anniversary date of their last promotion and they also get a 5 percent pay hike every time they are promoted. (Promotions reset the anniversary date of the 5 percent wage increases.) In reality, many State employees are going to do better than the 22 percent promised by the Union, just not the way they promised it would happen.
Thanks to the taxpayers of California for their generosity during this season of Christmas.
Friday, December 02, 2016
Television Is Bleeding Viewers—Part II: Beware Family Programs
There once was a time when television that was on before 9 PM was “family programming”. Those days are long past. If you have DirecTV or Dish you can catch the later programming three hours earlier in many instances—at least if you reside on the Left Coast. But if that was the extent of my gripes then this blog post would be nonsense.
Sadly, many programs that parents once assumed were ok for children to watch unsupervised are now stealth propaganda shows trying to subvert the beliefs and values you are trying to teach your children. While this complaint has probably been around since I was a wee lad, lately Hollywood has gone from subtlety to in your face and shove it down your throat .
The target of my ire over the last few years has been shows based on comic books. Why, because I like science fiction as a genre and comic books in particular. These have long been the things that young boys tend to gravitate towards. Lately, shows based on comics are very popular. In this discussion, I am excluding those shows targeted at adults like The Walking Dead, Luke Cage, Dare Devil, and Deadpool. Instead I’m talking about Warehouse 13, Marvel’s Agents of Shield, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Star Trek and similar shows.
If any of these titles surprise you then you are not up on current events.
All these programs and many more are pushing homosexual characters; often as normal folks that are good role models. What disturbs me is that these shows are trying to desensitize people—especially youth—to this sinful behavior and attack on the Judeo-Christian roots of Western Culture. If you are a Christian, then you need to recognize that this is a direct attack on you, your family, faith, and your God.
I will now state what many have been trying to avoid. Homosexuality is a sin. It’s acceptance by any culture has been a clear indication of that culture’s impending demise. This is a sin that is repeatedly singled-out in the Bible as one whose practitioners will not be allowed into Heaven—unless they repent. Please note that by definition, repentance requires turning away from sin and turning to what God defines as right. In this particular case that would at the very least mean being delivered from this kind of “lust of the flesh”. Ceasing and desisting of the behavior is not enough, going a different direction is. Scripture is clear that repentance and forgiveness are gifts from God, not something that we have the power to do on our own.
Many other once familiar and family friendly programs are reportedly considering moving to gender-bending characters include Fantastic Beasts (set in the Harry Potter universe), Star Wars and Wonder Woman. However, the show I wish to spend the next few paragraphs on is Supergirl.
Last year, Super Girl debuted on CBS. It was a good show and one that my son really liked. Due to the cost per episode, CBS decided not to renew it. However, CW came along and worked out a deal to pick up the program. It was well known that the budget would be reigned-in. One lead character was written-off in order to achieve fiscal viability. I was fine with this and understand that changes would be made but oh my, the changes.
Part of the premise of the show is that Supergirl was “adopted” and raised by the Danvers family and thus Supergirl has a stepsister. This year, the stepsister was given a love interest; specifically a female CSI character.
Below are a few quotes from a website ecstatic about this character development. Just so I can assure you that the context is not distorted, I’ve included long excerpts of the quotes below.
Season 2 will also be introducing the DC Comics-based Science Police, who deal with metahuman threats. The new character Maggie, an “out and proud detective,” will apparently be representing the agency in National City.
Link: Super Girl adds Characters
Dany: There’s often this misunderstanding (trust me, I wrote about The 100 multiple times, so I know all about it) that LGBTQIA TV watchers just want happy stories for LGBTQIA characters. But what we’re really after is authenticity. We want stories that feel familiar. And since it’s not Reagan 2.0 times just yet, that means something other than “two ladies fall in love and then one of them dies lol.” And the stories of Alex Danvers and Maggie Sawyer provide exactly the kind of refreshingly honest storytelling so many of us have been craving.
Late-in-life coming out stories? Yup. They happen. And that need to embrace all the things at once tends to be chaotic and even a little destructive for anyone who happens to get pulled into the intense gravity of someone figuring out they’re gay for the first time. So I absolutely believe that Alex would be magnetized to the first gay woman to truly open her eyes. And I 100% know that Maggie is right to throw up the defenses and not let Alex in so easily. That uneasy, awkward but beautiful kiss felt so real. I have been there. Gosh, have I been there.
Maybe Alex and Maggie will make it work in the long term. It seems so clear to me that Maggie does have feelings for Alex—that’s why she didn’t rush in like a fool. Maggie is mature enough to know that she wants something real with Alex, and that’s just not in the cards right now.
All of which is pretty emblematic of Supergirl so far this season. Winn and James slowly making moves to be heroes, Mon-El not immediately rushing headlong into danger, M’Gann recognizing J’onn’s need for life-giving blood and weighing her options—there’s so much maturity and depth in these characters. No one is perfect, but they’re all able to recognize the world around them and pivot when they need to.
As much as I love Alex and Maggie’s story, I might love Alex and Kara’s even more. At first I didn’t get why Kara was struggling with Alex coming out, but of course it was because she felt guilty for drawing focus with her own, alien secret. Of course Alex would temporarily get bogged down in the regret of not having seen Alex as she was for so long. And of course Kara figured out what she was feeling, sharing that honesty with Alex as they work together to help Alex work through this huge revelation in her life.
Honestly, after one of the worst weeks in recent history, I think Supergirl was genuinely saving lives tonight. Well done.
Link: Alex comes out
Anyway, gay ladies and queer-bait-but-i’ll-take-it ladies are where it’s at this episode! First you’ve got Maggie and Alex, which, to be fair, as a plot are a little shoe-horned in. Maggie’s almost-death doesn’t take up a lot of emotional space in the midst of all the action, but that’s okay. What really matters is that Alex was there for rescues. Also, Alex has a much better coming out to her mother, thank goodness. After Kara kind of pulled an “it’s all about me, this coming out,” Dr. Danvers not only knew exactly what was happening, she also was quick to let Alex know how special she is and the pride she should feel in who she is. All of which led to Alex telling Maggie that, hey, Alex isn’t just gay for Maggie—she’s gay for every lady. Despite the “well, I almost died, sooo…” reason Maggie gives before finally kissing Alex for real, the more obvious reason this coupledom could actually begin in earnest is because Alex is truly finding herself.
Link: Cyborg Superman
When I found out that CW was going forward with this character development, I told my son that it was likely that we would no longer be watching the show. Last year Supergirl was his favorite. The first two episodes this year were really fun to watch but then the homosexual card was played in episode 3 and mom and I agreed that the show was coming off the DVR. The poor little guy was devastated. He began crying. He wasn’t crying because I’m a mean dad but because something he really liked was purposely destroyed and he would have to give it up. (He already had to give up Boy Scouts due to their abandoning their vow to be morally straight.)
I have killed many shows on the DVR so far this year and a few more will be off of it by the end of the month. One show that I once enjoyed was Gotham. It is an adult show and one my son never got to watch. And yes over the years the character Barbara has been revealed to be bisexual but she was also evil and insane so deviant behavior was part of her character. I tried to fast forward (or mute the volume) thru these parts but then this year they broke new ground that was the proverbial bridge too far. The creators of the show defiled the cannon of Batman lore by making Penguin and Riddler lovers. Yuck. Having grown up with Adam West and Burt Ward as Batman and Robin, this was anathema to me.
If NBC wants to put this kind of stuff on their gay channel Bravo and I don’t want to watch it then that’s ok but when the big studios try mainstreaming homosexuality then I’m just not gonna watch. Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu are getting my business much more than these guys. Like their nightly news programs did a generation ago, I just can’t trust the big networks to do the right thing.
Oh, while I’m talking about subscription services, CBS just lost a potential subscriber when the new Star Trek announced earlier this week that they were including a homosexual character in the new series. Just for theirs and Paramount’s information, I have faithfully watched every Star Trek TV series and own multiple copies of the movies—except the last one where Sulu now has a baby and male love interest.
The point here is that I’m voting with my wallet and my time.
Oh and just to spite all you people that are angry with me, I just bought the new season of Fixer Upper on Amazon.
Thursday, December 01, 2016
Television Is Bleeding Viewers—Part I: The NFL
ESPN reportedly lost over one million viewers in a two month span.
Link: ESPN losses 1,176,000 viewers in two months
Like ESPN, the National Football League (NFL) is bleeding viewers. Like me, many have “cut the cable” and these wizards of entertainment can’t understand why. Well, I’m here to explain it to you. I will use simple words and offend people on both Coasts just by telling the truth.
Today, I want to discuss the NFL’s loss of viewers. Does anybody in the front office ever watch their broadcasts live or just using their DVR? The NFL people have given-up on anything except short term profit, and much to their detriment. Here are some reasons why:
Many NFL games are not even available via broadcast television. They are exclusively carried by ESPN and the NFL Network. As such people like me don’t even have the option to watch Monday Night Football (or its sibling on Thursday). I really miss Howard Cosell, Frank Gifford, Don Meredith and the rest.
Many commercials during the broadcast are NC-17 and as such my son doesn’t get to watch the games. The NFL has created barriers between youth and professional football. No wonder soccer is more popular than football.
Who at CBS thinks the Zale’s commercial is ok? You know—the one with two women walking down the aisle after being wed; let alone the barrage of Cialis and Viagra commercials. I want to be entertained when I watch a game on television not constantly embarrassed by what is spewing forth from the New York Studios. I’ve gotten to the point that when this stuff comes on, I have to see who else is in my livingroom and hope it’s not the children. (The Mute button on my remote gets utilized excessively during commercial breaks even when I’m by myself.) Those of us in “fly-over country” don’t need to be exposed to this crap and forced to endure small snippets of societal erosion of our values and attacks on our way of life. It makes me so angry.
Then there is the Colin Kaepernick hatred of America movement. The NFL shouldn’t tolerate this behavior for a millisecond. Kaepernick and his socialist brethren should be fined and benched. PERIOD.
If life here is really so bad—because we don’t have any problem paying black men like you millions of dollars to play a stupid game every winter—then spend some of your millions and find another country because we don’t want you here if you insist acting like a petulant child. I live in the heart of 49er Country but it will be a cold day in Hell before I will root for that team as long as this jerk is in uniform. In fact, I’m still trying to get over being angry at the NFL for the way they treated Tim Tebow.
In Part II, I hope to discuss the hijacking of family programming.
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
State Response to SEIU Strike
Below is the text of a memo sent to State employees. The memo is dated November 30, 2016
NOTICE OF STRIKE BY SEIU BARGAINING UNIT EMPLOYEES
We want to remind employees of their rights and obligations regarding picketing and job actions. You are permitted to participate in informational picketing if you are doing so on your own time (e.g., before or after work, or if you have been approved for leave).
However, as a reminder, job actions such as work stoppages, strikes, or sickouts are expressly prohibited by every labor contract between the State and exclusive bargaining representatives. Although the Memorandum of Understanding’s for several bargaining units are presently expired, their no-strike clauses continue to exist pursuant to the provisions of the Government Code section 3517.8.
The Department will act to maintain service to the public. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS) employees who participate in an illegal job action, such as a work stoppage, strike, or sick out, may be subject to disciplinary action . CDCR and CCHCS will review each job action on a case-by-case basis.
For more information, see CalHR’s website for frequently asked questions regarding informational picketing, and job actions, at: Link: CalHR Strike Policy.
Oh, in case you were curious, Monday Dec 5 is my regular day off and I plan to spend it far from people in purple shirts.
SEUI Looking for a Fight
Public employee strikes are illegal. However, the SEIU is looking for cannon fodder to take the State to court. SEIU’s only hope is to turn public opinion to their cause and they are hoping that someone will hold state employees accountable for missing work as a result of the December 5th walkout. When they do, SEIU hopes their members will call their crisis hotline and then their lawyers can jump into action in hopes that some judge will bloody the nose of the state and thus help their cause.
What other conclusion can you draw after reading their newsletter this week? Check it for yourself. SEIU Nov 30 newsletter
Below are a few sections that caught my eye.
Is it legal to go out on strike, even if we have a no-strike clause that is still in effect?
Yes. Unfair labor practice strikes have been legal for decades under state and federal law despite the existence of a no-strike clause. The fact that our Union engaged in the strike in good faith can serve as a defense to any charges of illegality.
The above statement “…can serve as a defense to any charges of illegality ” is called admission against interest. SEIU admits the strike is illegal but claims they have a good excuse to have a walkout. Of course this excuse is subject to a determination by a judge that believes in a living Constitution—or at least a malleable interpretation of the law.
Will I be disciplined for participating in the strike?
The State may take retaliatory disciplinary actions against members who go on strike. But these actions are illegal. There are legal appeals and antiretaliation laws to hold the State accountable. Our Union has a Strike Legal Defense Team that will defend you.
What should I do if I am disciplined for participating in the strike?
Please call the MRC’s Strike Hotline at 866.471. SEIU (7348). Our Union has a Strike Legal Defense Team that will defend you.
Because striking is illegal, if the State says strike participants will not be paid, does that qualify as retaliation?
If employee must use a vacation or sick day in order to be paid for striking does that qualify as retaliation?
My conclusion is that it doesn’t matter what happens, SEIU is desperate for any confrontation that they can milk for publicity. At this point any perceived reaction from the State will be called a victory.
Seems like SEIU is the rebellious teenager and the government is the neglectful parent. Talk about irreconcilable differences. Maybe it’s time for binding arbitration to be orchestrated by Dr. Phil.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
SEIU: Strike One
Just in time for Black Friday the SEIU Christmas special: Home for the Holidays —one day only special.
On Monday, December 5th, we will hold a one-day strike in protest of the state’s unlawful conduct and egregious unfair labor practices during contract bargaining.
More details when they become available.
Friday, November 18, 2016
Cyber Warfare: Why You Should Care
There is a silent war being waged all around the world and you are up to your neck in it if you own a computer, smart phone, tablet device, smart television, or recent model car. Both multinational companies and nation-states are doing their best to collect information on you.
Tracking cookies and the like are so nineteen nineties. Today, any device that you own can be accessed without your knowledge or permission. Laptop and cell phone cameras and microphones can be turned on by remote means; your television can see into your livingroom; your movement anywhere on the planet is tracked by your car, smart phone, or wrist device.
Stuxnet was just the beginning of what a carefully planned hack can accomplish. If you are not familiar with Stuxnet I recommend that you read up on it. Here are a few links:
Stuxnet is a malicious computer worm believed to be a jointly built American-Israeli cyberweapon, although no organization or state has officially admitted responsibility. However, anonymous US officials speaking to The Washington Post claimed the worm was developed during the Bush administration to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program with what would seem like a long series of unfortunate accidents.
Stuxnet specifically targets programmable logic controllers (PLCs), which allow the automation of electromechanical processes such as those used to control machinery on factory assembly lines, amusement rides, or centrifuges for separating nuclear material. Exploiting four zero-day flaws, Stuxnet functions by targeting machines using the Microsoft Windows operating system and networks, then seeking out Siemens Step7 software.
Link: Business Insider—The Stuxnet Attack On Iran’s Nuclear Plant Was ‘Far More Dangerous’ Than Previously Thought
Apple, Sony, and Lenovo are famous for putting rootkits on computers without user permission to spy on you. Visio televisions are also known to spy on users and report data back to somewhere.
WikiLeaks reportedly used spyware installed purposely by Lenovo to obtain information on the Democrat National Party and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Recently, Russia and China have been in the news on this subject.
Russia has stated that they want to move away from any software made by a foreign countries. While the biggest target for this announcement was Microsoft, they also had others in mind. They fear that the software may be compromised by backdoors programmed into the software. It is widely believed that the FBI, CIA, and National Security Agency can access any computer at will.
Link: Moscow’s government ditches Microsoft for Russian software
While Russia is trying to strengthen its defenses against spying and foreign snooping, China is again broadening its ability to keep tabs on the rest of the world. Instead of planting listening posts all over the world and circling the globe with satellites like the West, China is programming devices to report personally identifiable information to servers in their country. If you’ve been watching this subject then you know that any electronic device from their country is probably compromised or could be at a later date. Unlike us, they really have a military/industrial complex.
Here’s the latest example to be made public earlier this month. Only 700 million Android devices are affected by this one instance.
The firmware it uses receives automatic updates from the maker. The covert transmission of personal data is taking place periodically every 72 hours for text messages and call logs and every 24 hours for other personally identifiable information. The user has no ability to switch off the eavesdropping.
“The collected information was encrypted with multiple layers of encryption and then transmitted over secure web protocols to a server located in Shanghai,” Kryptowire said. “This software and behaviour bypasses the detection of mobile anti-virus tools because they assume that software that ships with the device is not malware and thus, it is white-listed.”
For about $50, you can get a smartphone with a high-definition display, fast data service and, according to security contractors, a secret feature: a backdoor that sends all your text messages to China every 72 hours.
Kryptowire has identified several models of Android mobile devices that contained firmware that collected sensitive personal data about their users and transmitted this sensitive data to third-party servers without disclosure or the users’ consent. These devices were available through major US-based online retailers (Amazon, BestBuy, for example) and included popular smartphones such as the BLU R1 HD. These devices actively transmitted user and device information including the full-body of text messages, contact lists, call history with full telephone numbers, unique device identifiers including the International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) and the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI). The firmware could target specific users and text messages matching remotely defined keywords. The firmware also collected and transmitted information about the use of applications installed on the monitored device, bypassed the Android permission model, executed remote commands with escalated (system) privileges, and was able to remotely reprogram the devices.
Link: Kryptowire finds Android firmware
So there we are. I bet many readers didn’t know that we were even in a global “Information Cold War”.
Donald Trump’s advocating the return of manufacturing back to the United States is the right thing to do—not just for economic reasons but because it’s actually a national security issue of the highest order. Most of our military infrastructure and weapons systems are dependent on parts from foreign countries—especially China. In addition, last I heard, Russian manufacturers make parts that are vital for our cruise missile weapons systems. Farming out our military to other countries might make globalists happy but in a time of national emergency it’s a suicidal foreign policy.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
I don’t know if there’s too much fluoride in the waters of Sacramento or whether there’s too much smoke from Humboldt County blowing into in the Sacramento Valley but the Purple People at SEIU are charging full ahead at the wage windmill. They have swallowed a bucket load of the economic crap cooked-up by Democrats wanting to cover-up the scope of economic malfeasance in our country.
Are they really dumb enough to believe we are in an economic recovery and the State of California is running a budget surplus?
California is the sixth largest economy in the world (according to the International Monetary Fund) and has a projected $11.5 billion budget reserve this year (according to the California Legislative Analyst Office 2016 – 2017 budget projection).
Link: SEIU Newsletter 11-16-2016
This isn’t the same story coming from the Legislative Analyst—Mac Taylor—who said today:
If all spending commitments remain unchanged, Taylor projects that California would finish the next budget year in June 2018 with $11.5 billion in total reserves. Most of it would go to required deposits in the state’s rainy-day fund, but about $2.8 billion would be available for the Legislature to spend or save as it chooses.
Link: KCRA TV-2.8 Billion Surplus
Look at this week’s posting to members.
We return to the table today, Nov. 15 and Thursday, Nov. 17, with some additional dates scheduled later this month.
Seems like SEIU is running out of time this month to negotiate, plus the State hasn’t budged on their offer. Last time SEIU met with the State, a mere week later they were scheduling the strike vote. Nothing has changed.
Yes the strike vote passed but BFD.
An overwhelming 92% majority of us voted YES to authorize any and all actions, up to and including a strike, in support of a contract we can all be proud of!
It seems like the best argument that SEIU can put forward for a 22 percent pay raise over the next four years is that it’s not nice to hit girls…at least not in the wallet.
• Our union is predominately women (66%), yet we are paid 19% less than the average for all rank-and-file state employees
• The state has made deals with male-dominated bargaining units that include wages 43% higher than our average pay
• A staggering 39% of us cannot afford a two-bedroom apartment in the county we live in
• In most parts of the state, we cannot afford childcare
Again, SEIU1000 represents non-essential government workers. They will get zero sympathy from the public which is their court of last resort.
Will they begin with a work slowdown or jump straight to a strike? Just in time for Black Friday shopping?
I think CCPOA (California Correctional Peace Officers Association) will have SEIU in court immediately to insure that their members continue to be paid despite any tantrum thrown by SEIU. CCPOA might even seek a 90 day cooling-off period just to put things off to the beginning of negotiations on the 2017-18 budget.
As stated before, many state workers will not be participating in the union action so will it make a difference?
Also, many state workers have several months of sick and vacation on the books so what will be the economic impact?
(Most have yet to learn that they don’t get paid while walking the line.)
Is Golden One Credit Union going to bail-out the striking workers like they did during the furloughs a few years ago?
Oh, lest we forget, it is illegal for state workers to strike. The union hasn’t exactly lead with that little nugget in any of their strike rhetoric.
So how can they strike? Good question. The way it works it that as part of the strike settlement, the state grants amnesty to those who participated in the strike. Thus striking remains illegal and unions are allowed to do it anyway with no repercussions.
It will be interesting to watch this drama unfold as we move into the holiday season.
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Election Night Winner and Losers
Faithful readers, your humble correspondent X spent election night holed up in a hotel in Las Vegas with the wife watching the returns come in. We had a great night! When I say “we”, I mean conservatives, not wishy-washy phony republican wannabe types. I will lay out the winners and losers as well as provide my usual commentary as I sit in McCarran Airport waiting my flight home.
The insurgents: by insurgents I mean the Trump brigade who were behind him since day 1, that would include many readers of this blog, as well as the Blog Father and myself. This group of people also known as “deplorables” carried Trump across the finish line; he somehow was able to connect with several hundred thousand more people than a traditional republican campaign could and won convincingly.
Senators and Congressman in tough districts that stood by Trump: This includes some favorites of “X” such as Ron Johnson and Pat Toomey, of Wisconsin and Pennsylvania respectively. They stood with Trump and as a result Trump voters selected them not their democrat challengers. By the way both were written off for dead by the national party! Additionally even republicans on the various networks thought we would lose more than a dozen seats in the House, as of this writing we lost only 6 seats! Once again if you stood with the silent majority you likely won, even a couple members won re-election in seats Obama carried two years in a row! Let that sink in for a minute.
Established GOP politicians and “journalists.” I am going to name names, and not be very nice. Sen. Lindsay Graham and Gov. John Kasich, you both are the two biggest losers. First neither of you ever had a good thing to say about the nominee for President, nor did either of you honor your pledge to support the winner of the nomination. Worse yet, neither of you voted for Mr. Trump. Congrats, you’re officially losers!
Also a special shout-out to the RINO nominees of the past. George H. W. Bush, John McCain, George W. Bush, and Mitt Romney. We’ve held our noses to vote for you Country Club guys every four years since 1988 but when it’s your turn to take one for the team, you wash your hands of Trump and all of us. Clearly you guys are more interested in maintaining the status quo than rescuing the country from the Democrats. It just proves that Elites like you are the problem.
Sen. Mark Kirk and Sen. Kelly Ayotte, both of you ran from Trump, and both of you lost. I’m not sure why you decided to take that strategy but as a result you are both now joining the ranks of the unemployed.
Journalist losers: This includes; George Will and Bill Kristol, neither of you are worth the skid mark on the back of your drawers now to me. Will, you looked like a bumbling idiot on election night and thankfully Fox took you off the broadcast. Kristol, I’m not even sure where to start with you, first you hate Donald Trump, no need to cover those emotions anymore. Second you tried to recruit an independent candidate throughout the entire process to play spoiler. Congrats, your independent candidate did as well on election night as I did at the blackjack table! Kristol your new nickname is Pampers, because as far as I am concerned you are both full of the same thing!
Cal Thomas: you saved yourself by penning a column on the election eve saying you were in the Trump camp. You acted like a clown during the entire election process but you saved yourself; barely, in my eyes… you are still a loser; however, unlike Hillary you were somewhat able to save face.
Now the TV and local personalities: Michelle Malkin and Joe Scarborough, congrats, you bailed on Trump, now I’m bailing on you. Michelle Park Steel, you and your buddy Jon Fleishman both bailed on Trump. Steel even went as far as calling Trump a “clown” (well I am forced to give her the benefit of the doubt since she is married to one). Also, Sheriff Scott Jones needs recognition for waffling on several important issues and then compounding it by dissing Trump. Unlike some others this cycle, Jones does get to keep his day job.
The CRA and Tea Party: both organizations wanted nothing to do with Trump. The Tea Party reluctantly came around toward the end and did all they could. The CRA? Nothing but crickets out of that group of losers; all of them. Frankly I’m convinced the CRA leadership bought the domain name http://www.tedcruz2020.com anticipating a Trump loss. Oh well, I guess your guys can run third party in 2020. (Republicans are a third party in this state already.) Sad to watch honestly, that group is so leaderless, and responsible again for the CA GOP losing seats in the state assembly. In addition, the CRA did nothing about a tax increase in Sacramento County. Thank god a couple of people put up signs and it looks as if the tax will fail. CRA, instead of doing something constructive this cycle, you endorsed Ted Cruz and made him a part of your official platform and then sat out the election when he quit in disgrace. Instead of backing the nominee, the CRA faithful defected to the Never-Trump movement! Your movement and clubs are officially dead and gone.
Bonus Commentary from “X”
Trump and Obama actually have quite a bit in common, none of it being policy related. Both brought scores of new people into the political process by the nature of their campaigns. Obama promised hope to those in the black community, and as a result, twice he was re-elected by large margins. Trump went straight to the middle class- those affected by job losses, high health insurance premiums, and loss of home and autos. As a result he waged a war against the establishment of both parties and won a convincing victory. While the CRA and others tried to stop him; he prevailed. Now he has a mandate and we will see real change. Working class members of our society came out in record numbers, and as a result an electoral landslide occurred; one that has pundits on both sides reeling and trying to figure out how this could have possibly happened.
Democrats are left leaderless and need to search for the soul of their party. They will rebound, but they must do some major platform revisions. Voters threw out the Obamacare, free college, free programs, free trade agenda, they want it replaced. Democrats need to stop attacking people’s livelihood, such as banning guns, ammo, and coal mining. Sen. Sanders even acknowledged during the campaign guns are a large part of the economy in Vermont—his home state! Why can’t we mine for coal and export it to other countries?
Also, quit calling people names; “deplorables” and “angry Americans clinging to guns and religion” just makes the other side mad, stop that immediately. Stop making people feel inadequate; saying “if you don’t go to college you’re a loser” is a recipe for high college tuition and as a direct result, massive student loan debt that will never get repaid. (Besides it’s demonstrably true that many that dropped out of college are way richer than the rest of us, Bill Gates and Rush Limbaugh are two names that come to mind.—editor)
Quit kissing up to the Black Lives Matter crowd. See them for what they really are; a group of rabble rousers just looking for an excuse to riot. Sure there are a few in the movement that may mean well, but they have quickly become a fringe group. Stop giving out freebies, there simply are not enough voters at the low end of the spectrum and Hollywood elites to sustain any success in the long term. Take Obamacare as an example: the lower class got free health care, people were tricked into thinking that everyone got a Cadillac plan, but really the middle class was stuck with something they did not want, they lost their doctors and options, had to take high deductibles and co-pays and had to deal with massive premium hikes each year. The middle class revolted, and it cost you deeply.
Until next time…..
Wednesday, November 09, 2016
Mourning in America
As the sun rises on the nation, Liberals are suffering the shock of learning that Donald Trump is the next President of the United States.
My response is “Ding dong, the witch is dead”.
Hillary is feeling the Bern of rejection.
The stock markets are suffering from the thought of having to stand on their own without the voodoo economics stimulation of Quantitative Easing.
America is in the midst of the greatest economic challenge since the Great Depression. Hopefully now the books will be audited and the truth made known. Not that Liberals care about the Truth. Government is their god and the only god with whom they have to do.
Trump has rattled the foundations of the establishment. Yeah, it’s about time.
The most pathetic thing last night was the reluctance of the media not wanting to call it for Trump. If you thought it would be hard to pry the gun from my cold dead hands, you should try extracting the truth from the media. I heard nothing good from the network talkingheads last night on CBS, NBC, or ABC. There was universal denial and doom…and still is today.
It’s morning in America for the first time since 1980. God bless you Mr. Trump. Give ‘em hell.