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Friday, February 27, 2015
Yet Another CRP Convention—So Who Cares
Freedom in the United States is experiencing a “cascade failure” as even more power is taken from citizens and given to Washington. I don’t think that it’s a matter of folks not caring; it’s that they seem powerless to stand up to the rising tide of evil and lawlessness that is modern politics. What was once the dynamic of the Evil Party versus the Stupid Party has changed into the Evil Party versus the Enabling Party.
In much of modern American politics, Republicans are irrelevant—especially on both Coasts. There is nothing to unite them except they’re not Democrats. As a group, the current crop of office holders stands for nothing and offers less. The Republican Party has forsaken the way shown them by Ronald Reagan and instead created a leadership vacuum within our country. This lack of principled leadership has transformed the Party into a playground for egotistical rich people that want instant political power without earning it. You know the names: Bush, Robertson, Romney, Isa, Munger, Trump, Fiorina, Whitman, etc.
In California, this situation is especially dire. The leadership of the California Republican Party has contented themselves with establishing a top-down organization that is nothing but a “good ‘ole boys club”. They do not care what rank and file party members feel or what is important to them. In fact, regular Republicans are nothing but sheep to be led and a macro group of potential donors.
The CRP waste millions of dollars each election cycle by hiring the most inexperienced and often incompetent people that money can buy. They filter out men and women of integrity with their ineffectiveness. As a group, their paid staff is just as useless as their consultants.
Every two years, this broken political apparatus is thrust upon well-meaning candidates who are then led to their political slaughter while staffers and consultants rape their campaign war-chests. The Party then discards the candidates that loose and promote the weakest staffers to work in Sacramento as their reward for helping to maintain the status quo. Then in two years, they do it again to a new crop of candidates.
In this dystopian political world, they do manage to persuade some to volunteer. However, the number of folks willing to volunteer in campaigns is in rapid decline. Once exposed to campaign dysfunction, many volunteers disappear long before Election Day. Few will return for the next cycle. The shortage of volunteers is regarded not as a symptom of a Party in trouble but “just the way it is”.
The trend of declining Party registration appears irreversible. The folks in power have little incentive to change. The smaller the pool of California Republicans, the bigger fish they become. That the pond is evaporating is beyond their ability to comprehend.
Barring Divine intervention, this generation of leaders and the next few are a lost cause.
Friday, February 13, 2015
CNN’s Cuomo v Moore is Really Age Old Debate
In a heated debate over same-sex marriage with Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore Thursday, CNN morning anchor Chris Cuomo exclaimed that Americans’ rights “do not come from God.”
Cuomo’s abrupt response came after Judge Moore stated, “Our rights, contained in the Bill of Rights, do not come from the Constitution. They come from God. That’s clearly stated in the Declaration of Independence.”
Cuomo, a licensed attorney, sharply interrupted Judge Moore, arguing, “Our rights do not come from God, your honor, and you know that.
“They come from man. … That’s your faith. That’s my faith, but that’s not our country. Our laws come from collective agreement and compromise.”
I know Judge Moore. I met him about 20 years ago, shortly after he posted the Ten Commandments in his court room. He is the epitome of a “Southern Gentleman”. He is soft spoken and has a spine of steel. Unlike most Ivy League and public school graduates, he actually has an education and believes in the principles on which this country was founded.
Chris Cuomo is the son of “Mario the Pius” as Rush Limbaugh often called the former New York Governor. Cuomo is just another North-East Liberal who is Catholic in Name Only. He—like many others in our country—managed to spend years being indoctrinated in classrooms while avoiding an education.
The author of the article quoted above points out that Cuomo is a licensed attorney…as if I’m supposed to be impressed. Most attorneys that I know are bumbling, incompetent, and so unfamiliar with the law that most of their legal advice is in fact contrary to the laws they are sworn to uphold.
What you see in the brief exchange quoted above is the centuries old debate between two worldviews represented by John Calvin and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. I had to read Rousseau in college and I’m sure Cuomo did too since his answer is just a regurgitation of Rousseau’s Social Contract; “Our laws come from collective agreement and compromise.”
What they don’t teach in college is that Rousseau did not write his Social Contract in a vacuum. The key is where did he live when he wrote his famous book on political theory? Geneva. Once you know where it was written (and when), then you are a big step closer to understanding its content. Rousseau’s famous work is in fact a rejection the teachings of John Calvin and an attempt to substitute a secular humanist worldview for a Christian and biblically based one.
Rousseau and Thomas Hobbs (Leviathan) are the two pillars of modern, secular, political theory. The fact that neither man is correct doesn’t seem to bother anyone. The important thing is that both man rejected any biblical basis for the existence of government. Once Scripture can be ignored then government becomes all about power. In a sense we are back the Pharaoh v Moses (the thesis of Gary North’s book on Exodus).
People like Cuomo think Judge Moore is some wild “cowboy” off doing his own thing or a scofflaw for ignoring the US Supreme Court. Federalism issue aside, Cuomo again is displaying his ignorance of history. Moore is exercising the Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate. For those who have never heard of this here is part of the Wikipedia article.
The doctrine of the lesser magistrate is a concept in Protestant thought. A lesser magistrate is a ruler such as a prince who is under a greater ruler such as an emperor. According to many figures of the Reformation and Post-Reformation eras, the lesser magistrate has the authority to rebel against the tyranny of a supreme ruler.
The doctrine of the lesser magistrate finds its origin in John Calvin, who wrote that whereas private Christians must submit to the ruling authorities, there are “popular magistrates” who have “been appointed to curb the tyranny of kings”. When these magistrates “connive at kings when they tyrannise and insult over the humbler of the people” they “fraudulently betray the liberty of the people” when God has appointed them guardians of that liberty.
The lesser magistrate is prominent in the Lutheran Magdeburg Confession of 1550, which argued that the “subordinate powers” in a state, faced with the situation where the “supreme power” is working to destroy true religion, may go further than non-cooperation with the supreme power and assist the faithful to resist.
Surprised to see John Calvin’s name here or Martin Luther? I’m not. So again, this conflict is Calvin v Rousseau.
The bottom line is that Cuomo wants the power of the State to be wielded against biblical values and see “gay marriage” imposed at the point of the sword. My response to that is what we pray in the Litany, “Good Lord deliver us”.
Monday, February 09, 2015
Amazon and Diablo 3
Amazon Dot Com has some peculiar pricing practices. My son has wanted to play Diablo III with his dad. Please understand that you need the full game of Diablo III before you can install the expansion pack so at list price this is $39.99 twice or basically $80.
Back in September I bought the expansion pack “Diablo III: Reaper of Souls” for $19.99. This price only lasted a few days. Typically each part of the game sells for between 29 and 32 dollars on Amazon. Blizzard has only dropped off their $39.99 suggested retail price once and that was only on “Black Friday” where each was $19.99. I have been waiting since December for a price drop so I can get my son a copy. Well, on Friday February 6, the original game dropped to $19.99 for one day. I placed my order. The expansion pack price did not drop at the same time. However, Diablo III went back up and then the expansion pack dropped to $19.99 on Sunday. So guess what I bought yesterday?
I don’t know if this happens to other software on Amazon but it sure makes me curious. I’m looking forward to spending time playing with my son. In the meantime, Terraria will keep us busy.
Thursday, February 05, 2015
Obama Opines About Ills of Christianity
Obama had a more non-denominational message for the audience that also included prominent leaders of non-Christian faiths. The president said that while religion is a source for good around the world, people of all faiths have been willing to “hijack religion for their own murderous ends.”
“Unless we get on our high horse and think that this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,” Obama said. “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.
“So it is not unique to one group or one religion,” Obama said. “There is a tendency in us, a simple tendency that can pervert and distort our faith.”
Obama called for all people of faiths to show humility about their beliefs and reject the idea that “God speaks only to us and doesn’t speak to others.”
Letting President Obama speak at a prayer breakfast is just wrong. This man is openly hostile to Christianity and has appointed likeminded people that choose to wield the power of the State to subjugating people’s religious beliefs to his will. Christianity is the belief that Jesus is Lord; even of the State. Obama on the other hand is a secular humanist that believes that you can believe whatever you like as long as you keep it private and out of the public square and acknowledge the State as Supreme.
Ironically, this is the same conflict that Christians faced in the Roman Empire. Romans proudly proclaimed, “Caesar is Lord” and the Christian belief that “Jesus is Lord” became viewed as treasonous.
Allowing Obama to officiate a traditionally non-denominational Christian event is like the Mormon Chaplain that was on my ship—back in my Navy days—leading the Protestant worship service. We might use similar terms but in fact we were worshipping different gods.
Read the first paragraph quoted above and then read between the lines. What Obama is doing is equating all religions and then saying that anyone who takes their beliefs too seriously is a potential danger to the rest of us.
All religion claims to be the path to Truth. Logically, if religion leads us to Truth and we don’t follow where it leads, how can that be virtuous? The fact that religions contradict each other means that they cannot all be true.
Couple this with Jesus’ statement that “I am the way, the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father but by me” (John 14: 6) and suddenly the idea that all religious beliefs are equal can’t coexist with Christianity. Christianity claims to be Truth to the exclusion of all other beliefs.
Obama then invokes the Crusades and Inquisition to prove that Christianity is just as corrupt as all other religions because terrible deeds have been done in the name of Christ. The Church has done bad things and some good ones too over its history. It is the doctrinal and human failures of Rome that led to both the Crusades and Inquisition. Some argue that the Crusades were in part a defensive reaction to Islam but the method of recruiting soldiers employed by the Pope is without biblical warrant. Forgiving sins is Christ’s job not the Pope.
Originally, the Inquisition was a church trial to prevent heresy and uphold orthodoxy. It was used as a way of suppressing movements viewed as conflicting with Roman doctrine. Typically, I think the Spanish Inquisition is in mind when the “I” word is used.
As bad as these things might be, the number of casualties is nothing compared to the number of deaths just in the 20th Century as a result of socialism. Between National Socialism and international socialism, hundreds of millions of people were killed—many by their own governments.
Slavery then gets blamed on Christianity. Ironically, it was Christian folks that were the leaders of abolition of slavery. Yes, people that thought themselves “good” Christians did own slaves but only because they did not have a proper biblical worldview. Some Christians thought better of slave ownership and freed their slaves but this doesn’t fit the narrative. Blacks in America owed slaves too but again we don’t talk about that.
Slavery in the Bible was only supposed to be for a period of up to seven years. Slaves as property can only be found in Exodus and is not portrayed as a “good” institution. Somehow the fact that Muslims in Africa were enslaving their fellow blacks and selling them to Europeans tends to be overlooked in this discussion. Pardon the pun, but the narrative of slavery in the United States has been “whitewashed” by folks with other agendas.
Christians then get blamed for Jim Crow Laws. Really? Not all those good southern Democrats. It was a majority of Republicans and minority of Democrats that passed the civil rights legislation in the 1960’s but somehow the Democrats always get a pass. It was Democrat Governors and Mayors that used Billie clubs, dogs, and water cannons against Blacks in the 60’s but Democrats get a pass. Sorry Barry, Jesus had nothing to do with Jim Crow Laws, only Democrats.
Obama then opined, “There is a tendency in us, a simple tendency that can pervert and distort our faith.” Yes, it’s called a “sin nature”. Scripture warns us “not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought” and elsewhere says “pride comes before a fall”. We are commended to “love one another as I have loved you”. Only when we lose sight of the fact that all men are created in the image of God do we elevate ourselves at the expense of others.
In the last paragraph, Obama asked that we “reject the idea that ‘God speaks only to us and doesn’t speak to others’”. Wrong again. Christians believe that God speaks thru His word—the Bible. God the Holy Spirit is in our hearts to instruct us in all Truth. Whether we listen to God’s leading is a matter of faithfulness.
Friday, January 30, 2015
Finding Adobe Acrobat 9 Updates
At my work, we use the full version of Adobe Acrobat 9 Professional. Unfortunately, Adobe has scrubbed their website of any updates for their software because this version is too old. Officially they ended support as of June 26, 2013. http://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/kb/end-support-acrobat-8-reader.html
Our IT department is deploying new Windows 7 Enterprise boxes and I get to go behind them and install Acrobat 9 Pro. Version 9.0.0 does have some bugs and security holes—which clearly doesn’t bother our IT guys too much or they would have a more up to date version. Anyway, users are experiencing some glitches—especially when opening PDF files in their Internet Explorer 9 web browser (I know, different blogging item).
Anyway, I figured that the best way I could help them was by updating Acrobat 9. Running the update within Acrobat 9.0.0 does not work on our network. Getting past our Active Directory group policies and out of the firewall seems like a constant hindrance to network performance. Anyway, I decided to try and find updates on the Internet while avoiding malware and phishing sites. After several searches and a few trips to Task Manager to kill IE 9 when I stumbled on suspicious websites, I found both an upgrade path and a secret Adobe file server.
While Adobe no longer links their webpages to any updates, it does still show the upgrade path to Acrobat 9.5.5—the final version of Acrobat 9.
http://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/kb/update-patch-acrobat-reader-7.html All upgrade links take you to error page for file not found.
I downloaded all files and installed them in order and was successful. Every few updates, you need to restart the computer.
Regrettably, I did not bookmark the site where I found Adobe’s FTP server. But as of this writing, it is located here.
As an experiment, I skipped a few updates. Skipping resulted in failed updating of Acrobat. If that happens restart the computer and then try the correct upgrade again. Here is the experiment that I did on a computer.
I started with a machine that had 9.0.0 installed.
I then ran updates in this order
9.1.2; 9.2.0; 9.3.0 restart
At this point Acrobat’s Update utility wanted to run. Just to see what happened I let it run. It tried to jump Acrobat to 9.5.5. After the computer restarted, I tried to run Acrobat. I got an error. Then I went to the Control Panel and opened Programs and Features. On Acrobat 9, I ran Uninstall/Change and ran Repair option. Then Acrobat self-repaired and 9.5.5 was able to run.
Based on this, try installing a few more updates and then if 9.5.5 wants to install, you can try it.
Thursday, January 29, 2015
Federal Government Recognizes Gay Marriage Despite State Laws to Contrary
Crippled though it may be, I thought the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) signed by President Clinton was still in effect; so I was surprised to read in the 2014 tax instructions that the Federal government recognizes gay marriage even if your state does not.
Same-sex marriage. For federal tax purposes, individuals of the same sex are considered married if they were lawfully married in a state (or foreign country) whose laws authorize the marriage of two individuals of the same sex, even if the state (or foreign country) in which they now live does not recognize same-sex marriage. Form 1040 Instructions pages 12 - 13
The US Supreme Court has not issued such a ruling. Is this another Executive Order from Obama? I’m surprised there is no pushback from defenders of traditional marriage. Also, where is Congress on this issue?
Monday, January 26, 2015
CRA: Battle of Tom Hudson Part 1
This weekend, I attended a Board meeting of the California Republican Assembly. This spectacle was chaired by their president, John Briscoe. It is the first of three board meetings he has scheduled for the first three months of 2015—technically there are two on the same weekend in March, but I digress. Briscoe can’t find a way to do the business of the Board by either email; teleconference or other modern means so he has the Board make the trek to the other end of California every few weeks to handle their business. 2014 saw at least five such meetings.
The main highlights of the meeting were the endorsement of CRP officers running for reelection (their convention and elections will be held next month) and the farce that is the Nevada County Republican Assembly.
Former California senator and current head of the California Republican Party, Jim Brulte, dropped by the CRA Board meeting and gave a speech about his accomplishments as chairman. He found a way to paint a rosy picture of success by denying the Democrats 2/3 majorities in the Senate and Assembly but left a few small items on the cutting room floor.
Under Brulte’s leadership, no California counties held regular Central Committee elections last year; in fact several counties have abolished the practice altogether. Others might hold elections once every four years but whether this will actually occur in 2016 remains to be seen. This means the current leadership in many counties will remain static; their succession is no longer elected by or accountable to voters but only an internal matter determined by a small insular group. However, these Central Committees still presume to speak for all Republicans in their county without any voter input. It is rule by oligarchy.
Brulte, like many in CRA and other Republican groups, thinks that rules are only for others and not binding on them as well. He claimed that the State Party respected to endorsement decisions of Central Committees and declined endorsement in races where Central Committees had spoken. This was a bald-faced whopper but nobody on CRA’s Board seemed to care.
John Briscoe muffed the endorsement vote for Brulte. He allowed Harmeet Dhillon (CRP Vice-chair) to remain in the room as well as many others not on the Board. Such votes are supposed to be closed decisions. Brulte got two NO votes from the Board. During the endorsement votes, Briscoe never asked for abstentions and neither the current or former parliamentarian—who were both present—corrected him on the oversight. This was some sloppy meeting management by the CRA President.
Next Dhillon was also endorsed. This time she was outside the room but Brulte was present when the vote was held. Later in the day, a regional VP from the central valley was also endorsed. The Sith Lord says this guy was missing from action for most of the last election cycle but he talks a good game.
Next was the Nevada County RA.
Charter Review wanted to discipline the group since the Jeopardy Letter had not had the desired effect. They have been messing with this group for four years but Nevada RA will not follow the rules everyone else has to follow. The vote Charter Review scheduled was to suspend the group and put them in the care of the regional vice-president; in this instance Aaron Park who was not present at the meeting.
This portion of the meeting was again mishandled, this time by Charter Review Chairman, Tim Thiesen, and CRA President, John Briscoe. First, Thiesen failed to make a cogent case as to why Nevada RA was in trouble to start with. Thiesen did not lay out in a concise format what happened or when. We were given disjointed fragments of information. Had this been done via email with an executive summary and a request to vote, I think it would have been a slamdunk; however, done in real time it was a disaster.
To add to the confusion, a representative from Nevada RA appeared to speak in defense of his unit. A motion was made from the malcontent wing of the CRA to allow this man to speak for five minutes. This motion was made after Thiesen’s disjointed presentation was concluded. The motion was approved and the Nevada RA rep was granted five minutes to speak. In addition three speakers from each side were allowed two minutes each to speak. Briscoe made two critical mistakes at this juncture. First he allowed the three speakers on each side their two minutes speaches to occur first and then allowed the Nevada RA speakers five minutes at the end to wrap this up.
The old axiom of he who frames the issue wins the debate proved true here. Thiesen failed to prove why the chapter was in trouble so the Nevada RA guy muddied up the waters even more. President Briscoe did not defend his Charter Review Committee and declined to vote on the matter. This was the last straw. The vote which required a two-thirds vote could not break fifty percent. The malcontents prevailed again. Nevada RA begged to be given until the March Convention and this was granted. I don’t think the extra time will solve the issue.
The malcontent wing as I label them consists mainly of Tom Hudson, all members present from the Sacramento RA and San Joaquin president Jim Shoemaker. They view their function in the group to oppose the current leadership just to be a pain in their butts. I think their real beef is not with President Briscoe but any member with the last name of Park. Since the Park brothers support Briscoe, they must oppose him. Simple and childish but it seems to be the only explanation.
Another thing I found out about the event was that several in attendance did not pay for lunch but helped themselves anyway. While the rest of us had to shell out thirty bucks; these guy thought they could just freeload. Thiesen was in charge of the event and they took roll at the door so how did this occur? Tim clearly does not run a tight ship. I was disappointed but not surprised. Having been stuck with the bill before, I am sensitive to this particular form of theft. In my case however, Denny’s would not give out individual bills and people were left on the honor system. Instead of paying some literally left us with the bill. Sith Lord and I split the $100 tab that nobody else paid.
The last item that will certainly be back with a vengeance is the Convention committee assignments made by Briscoe. Briscoe said his criterion was that nobody from last time would be a chairman again this year and one person per committee. Tom Hudson about had an aneurism when he found out his assignment. Under previous CRA Presidents he typically was on the three or four most powerful committees and usually served as chair or vice-chair, but this time he was just “Joe Member” on one committee. He had a tantrum from the floor but was shutdown by Briscoe. Sith Lord says that following the meeting Hudson vowed to oppose every item coming from the Bylaws Committee. I think he will oppose just about everything at the convention from every committee.
Hudson is setting himself up as the alternative to Briscoe but the real question is will he run a slate at the convention to try to wrest control of the CRA from the current leadership?
Friday, December 19, 2014
Star Wars Commander Mourned
I have played several popular smart phone games over the last three or four years that use a client/server model. Typically, in exchange for some vaguely defined reason, if you log in with Facebook they will sync your saved game somewhere “in the cloud”. Every one of these games has eventually crashed and I have permanently lost all progress in the game.
This model of saving the game somewhere other than my phone is stupid. I want the game saved on my device and I want control over where to save a backup or whether it should be backed up. I also want more than one game save. I want my son to have a saved game that he plays so he can leave daddy’s game alone and vice versa. I also would rather have the backup saved on my One Drive than have to give somebody access to my Facebook account. Also, I want different saves on each of my devices. I don’t want my Windows Phone game to overwrite the one on my Surface tablet—which has happened recently with Tiny Death Star.
Today I woke up to find my last four months of effort on Star Wars Commander gone. I turned on the game today and ended up in the tutorial. I know I can play thru the tutorial and then try logging into Facebook but I know that I will either lose my Surface game or the phone game because both are not going to be backed up. This programming model is too stupid to let me have both saves.
This happened on Tiny Death Star and Ice Age Village. Push an upgrade and break the game. So, I’m done with any games from Game Loft or Disney or anybody else that requires a Facebook login to play.
For any programmers that might read this, this is also why I won’t do any in game purchases. When I can lose the entire game save with no reliable back up, why should I buy the weapon upgrade or game currency? Talk about Vaporware.
So far, only Blizzard has been able to make the client/server model work and they needs huge amounts of hard drive storage on my desktop computer to make it work. I don’t mind a few bugs in a phone or tablet application but when they result in lost games then I won’t be investing time and money in that product.
Monday, December 15, 2014
CRA another Chartering Controversy
The Board of the California Republican Assembly is voting on approval of the formation of the Sutter-Yuba Republican Assembly. While you would think that Board members in northern California would be supporters of growth in the North, this is not universally true. A few malcontents have voiced opposition because they have been denied the opportunity to stand before the Board at a formal meeting and opine about their concerns that having two tiny counties represented in one chapter would be an offense.
Sage wisdom such as this has been put forward to delay the vote:
Not only do the two counties have different elected officials, but they are also distinctive in terms of their demographics, geographies, economies, histories, and politics. – Tom Hudson
Yeah right. Yuba City is in Sutter County and Marysville is in Yuba County across the Feather River Bridge. The towns are about 1,500 feet apart during the rainy season but somehow they are different in terms of “demographics, geographies, economies, histories, and politics”. The only thing they differ on is which has a higher unemployment rate and more folks on government assistance.
Charter Review Chairman, Carl Brickey, fire off a rebuttal to Hudson that reads in part:
1. Sutter County has a population of approximately 93,500. Yuba County has a population of approximately 73,000. This combines for a total population of approximately 166,500. This makes the purposed unit population for the proposed territory is smaller than most other CRA units in the state.
2. The Sutter-Yuba Republican Assembly would be in one Assembly District, one Senate District and one Congressional District.
Hudson has had a spotty track record of interpreting the Bylaws and providing good counsel. Had he been any good at running his parts of the CRA meetings over which he presided, there would have been two or three fewer Board meetings during the last few years. In addition, there is his assertion earlier this year that CRA chapters were not required to have minutes of their meetings even though they are subject to Robert’s Rules of Order and Secretary is a required position. Such comments—which he reportedly still stands by—undermine any credibility that I would like to grant him.
Hudson also says,
I am not permanently opposed to the concept of chartering this combined Sutter-Yuba Republican Assembly. Since we have a Board meeting already scheduled, I do not see any reason to rush into a decision on chartering this new group without a discussion.
It has been discussed at two previous Board meetings where Hudson was in attendance. His objection after a Board vote was called is the first question anyone has raised with Charter Review about this chapter. Unfortunately, this type of grandstanding is typical in CRA. Also the motion on the floor is vote Yes or No not delay; Tom is out of order.
The thing you need to know about Tom is that facts are secondary to him; he gets his way by bluffing. If he can make a statement with enough assertiveness and with enough force, people tend to defer to him because he is an attorney and therefore folks assume he has a superior understanding of the rules. This is not the case. Tom picks which direction that he wishes to push a discussion and then makes assertions of fact –true or not—that move the discussion his way. He knows that he who frames the issue wins the debate.
My advice to Tom and his minions is to allow the group to grow. Anybody that wants to identify themselves as Republicans anywhere in California should be welcome. CRA has booted enough folks out of the group over the last few years why don’t we let some new ones in?
I can’t help but wonder if Tom is setting himself up as the loyal opposition to John Briscoe in preparation for a possible run at the top spot in CRA.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Verizon Disses Windows Phone
Verizon Wireless is having a promotion today to get people to switch to their company. Missing from Connection Day is the Nokia/Microsoft brand. Windows is not on the list either but Blackberry is? This is why I plan to leave Verizon. I want better pricing and more options—they offer neither.
Friday, November 21, 2014
Obama’s Next Move On Immigration
After breaking the tablets of the Law on television last night, President Obama is reportedly traveling to an undisclosed location in Texas today where he will lay his teleprompter across the Rio Grande River so his new sheep can walk into the Promised Land on dry ground. Only after kissing his ring and pledging fealty will they be granted a permanent stay.
Thursday, November 06, 2014
Where Was Darrell Fong?
The biggest disappointment to me in this last election cycle was the campaign of Darrell Fong for State Assembly. Fong was missing in action in Elk Grove. For him to cede the entire city because Jim Cooper—his opponent—is on the city council was stupid. Cooper has the highest negatives of anyone in Elk Grove and arguable the entire county. When Cooper ran for sheriff a few years ago against Scott Jones, Cooper lost every precinct in Elk Grove to Jones. Cooper has been on the Elk Grove city council since 2000 when Elk Grove was incorporated.
Fong clearly did no meaningful opposition research on Cooper. Cooper’s public record and conduct are fertile ground in the hands of any political opponent. Grand Jury reports on Cooper’s conduct are a matter of public record. Cooper’s conduct on the city council is embarrassing.
Cooper hides behind his badge and Fong could have called him on it. Cooper is a constant “no show” at community events. Cooper never prepares for meetings. Cooper is in fact a lazy slug, but others let him hide behind his badge; if Jim can’t do the job then he needs to give-up on political life and just be a cop instead of doing a half-assed job of it.
At council meetings, I have seen Cooper offer his job as the excuse for not being prepared or attending council meetings when in fact he was attending fundraisers for himself instead.
I know a classmate of Cooper’s from his days at the University of Phoenix and it’s the same story. At Phoenix, most homework is done by small groups to encourage accountability and collaboration, Cooper never was prepared or did his share of the homework and was carried by the other members of his group. He did not earn the grade he was given.
Cooper has a reputation as a bully with a badge. He also seems to have fathered children in every assembly district in the county. While this is acceptable to many in the Democrat Party; us Republicans tend to go for the old fashioned one man-one woman relationship.
If anyone in Fong’s camp had paid attention to Cooper in the sheriff’s race, they had the golden issue to spank him with…traffic cameras. During the sheriff’s race, much was being made of the cutbacks in the department as tax revenues declined as a result of the collapse of the “housing bubble” and general economic slowdown. Cooper’s solution was to entirely fund the sheriff’s department from fines that resulted from traffic cameras. This is a matter of public record. Cooper wanted to exponentially increase their use in the county; hence my phrase “Cooper Cams”.
Fong should have tied the “Cooper Cams” around Jim’s neck like the Ancient Mariner’s albatross and sunk him with this issue. At every intersection with a traffic camera, Fong should have placed a sign that said, “Smile you’re on Cooper Cam” or “Every flash increases Cooper’s cash” or similar things. Link the traffic cameras to Cooper and he would be toast.
Lastly Fong should have contrasted his opposition to using public funds to subsidize the Sacramento Kings with Cooper’s support of using public funds for soccer in Elk Grove. Had Fong advocated this opposition and said that he would let voters decide the issue instead of committing them to the liability without asking, he would have stood a high probability of winning.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Stuff that Just Ain’t Right
OK, first we had headlines about SUVs attacking people and property and now we have rebellious body parts causing problems. (With Bill Clinton visiting a nearby college today, this remark seems even more appropriate.)
Jose’s finger is reportedly resting comfortably, it is unclear if he is now considered “dismembered”. How the rest of Jose is feeling after the accident is unclear. Presumable the gun is at fault.
This license plate frame was seen yesterday. Oh, in case you were wondering, the driver was in fact a woman.
The commonality of both of these pictures seems to be public education.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Voter Fraud-Proof It’s Election Time
Hugh Hewitt wrote a book a few years ago called, If It’s Not Close They Can’t Cheat”.
Chicago has a reputation of dead guys voting. In fact I used to say, “When you die, you don’t quit voting, you just change parties”.
Well not to be out done, New York has finally found that 850 of their active, registered voters were alive when Lincoln was President.
Here’s the URL before it gets pulled down.
A single Bronx voter listed in official records as being 164 years old led Board of Elections officials to review their files — where they turned up another 849 New Yorkers who were supposedly alive when Abe Lincoln was president.
The stunning discovery came after The Post reported last week that the birth date of Luz Pabellon, a spry 73-year-old who has been living and voting in The Bronx since the 1970s, was recorded as Jan. 1, 1850.
This week, a search of the records in all five boroughs found 849 more voters with the same wacky birth date.
New York election officials promise to try to fix this after the election.
With people like this defending the integrity of the ballot box, is it any wonder that their ilk don’t have a problem when voter turnout is 120 percent of registration? Instead they say, “Nothing to see here, move along now”.
CHICAGO — Early voting in Illinois got off to a rocky start Monday, as votes being cast for Republican candidates were transformed into votes for Democrats.
Republican state representative candidate Jim Moynihan went to vote Monday at the Schaumburg Public Library.
“I tried to cast a vote for myself and instead it cast the vote for my opponent,” Moynihan said. “You could imagine my surprise as the same thing happened with a number of races when I tried to vote for a Republican and the machine registered a vote for a Democrat.”
The conservative website Illinois Review reported that “While using a touch screen voting machine in Schaumburg, Moynihan voted for several races on the ballot, only to find that whenever he voted for a Republican candidate, the machine registered the vote for a Democrat in the same race. He notified the election judge at his polling place and demonstrated that it continued to cast a vote for the opposing candidate’s party. Moynihan was eventually allowed to vote for Republican candidates, including his own race.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Ebola is the Zombie Apocalypse
OK; actually, Ebola is The Strain meets the Zombie Apocalypse.
The Strain, by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, tells the story of an employee from the Center for Disease Control, fighting against all odds to stop a plague that nobody believes can happen. One of his chief obstacles in preventing the spread of the disease is the director of the CDC—who is personally benefitting from the misery of others—and thus won’t do his job. The director’s political power is more important than doing the right thing.
Lest you think this type of ‘politics over public health’ only happens in the 2009 novel, here is Obama’s CDC Director,
Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said during a telephone press briefing Wednesday that you cannot get Ebola by sitting next to someone on a bus, but that infected or exposed persons should not ride public transportation because they could transmit the disease to someone else.
My nephew works in the hospital in Dallas which seems to be ground zero for this disease in the United States. I am not happy with what is going on.
Matt Drudge sums it up well on his website
The second nurse to get Ebola called CDC several times to be sure it was OK to fly on commercial airliner
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that Vinson called the agency several times before flying, saying that she had a fever with a temperature of 99.5 degrees. But because her fever wasn’t 100.4 degrees or higher, she didn’t officially fall into the group of “high risk” and was allowed to fly.
Officials in the U.S. have been trying to calm fears over the Ebola crisis, but time and again events have overtaken their assurances.
In August, before the first U.S. infection, CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said: “We’re confident that we have the facilities here to isolate patients, not only at the highly advanced ones like the one at Emory, but really at virtually every major hospital in the U.S.”
What training? Nurses had none
The statement, which was played in its entirety on CNN on Wednesday morning, also reports that Ebola training at the hospital was “optional,” “nurses have been left to train each other,” and that nurses who interacted with Duncan simply continued treating other patients.
According to the statement, “there was no advanced preparedness on what to do with the patient. There was no protocol, there was no system. The nurses were asked to call the Infectious Disease Department. The Infectious Disease Department did not have clear policies to provide either.”
The union added that “advanced preparation that had been done by the hospital primarily consisted of e-mailing us about one optional lecture or seminar on Ebola. There was no mandate for nurses to attend training or what nurses had to do in the event of arrival of a patient with Ebola-like symptoms.” And “there was no hands-on training on the use of personal protective equipment for Ebola, no training on the symptoms to look for, no training on what questions to ask.”
Yeah, nurses treated the Ebola patient with no protective gear and then treated other patients. Oh, don’t forget that the hospital discharged the guy with Ebola and he returned a few days later when he was re-admitted and later died.
Memo to healthcare workings, treat this as a radiological accident (or dirty bomb attack) and your protective gear will be more in line with what you need to use.
Ok so what happens when ISIS decides to purposely shoot-up some people with this disease and dispatch them to Western countries to hang-out in shopping malls? The economic panic would be about the same as the Zombie Apocalypse. Economic chaos, government collapses, and general lawlessness. It may not result in the world of Mad Max but it could get quite far in that direction.
The end result is less personal freedom and more government control.
Oh, we are still issuing 100 Visas a day to people in the hardest hit African countries so they can travel to the United States. On the plus side, at least Aids is not the only disease with civil rights now.