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Religion, Politics, & Culture: Defined and Explained


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Follow-up: CRA 2019 Convention

I was contacted by one of the potential candidates for the 2019 CRA President. He was not happy of my characterization of the CRA or the candidate field. At the end of his missive I was told that I am full of bitterness and resentment.


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response to yesterday’s blog


Without naming this individual, I would like to respond to his message.

First, I still regard you as a friend whatever you may think. However, my friend, you have a problem. You are obsessed with the CRA. The CRA can’t fix itself let alone the problems facing California. The Republican brand is toxic in California not because they are outnumbered by Democrats but because they have no core values. CRA can’t fix this problem but they helped create it.

Republican leaders learned from the vulnerabilities exploited by Barbara Alby and company back in the late 80’s and early 90’s and have blocked access to the Party apparatus by rank-and-file Party members. Statewide you can thank Charles Munger and Jim Brulte. Locally you can thank Sue Blake, Terry Mast, Duane Dichiara, and the gang in the Sacramento County Central Committee.

If I would be described as bitter and resentful about anything it is this, I let Barbara Alby and her fellow travelers use me—and willingly so much of the time—as a pawn in her grand schemes to take over the California Republican Assembly and later the California Republican Party. The way that she and her posse treated Carl Burton, River City Republicans, and many others who were once involved in CRA is shameful. Doing it in the name of Jesus Christ even more so. Not until I personally experienced this treatment did I begin to question their methods.

Sadly, I’m a slow learner. A few years later, I came back to CRA. By then, the Alby crew had kicked CRA to the curb. In terms of membership, CRA was a shell of its former glory having gone from 80,000 members to about 15,000. I also spent much time in both Yolo and Sacramento County Central Committees. After getting involved in the Sacramento Central Committee, I participated in Support The Platform and was one of the few people to write them a check in their first outing. The next election cycle STP targeted me for removal from the group that I helped to create and fund in the previous cycle. It’s the kind of gratitude I’ve come to expect from the disciples of Alby.

The bottom line is that our people wanted to play power politics in the very same manner as everyone else. They claim that they acted in the name of Christ but the way they treated others proved that they were just being good Pharisees. So, yes, I regret that I was easily duped and treated others in a way that profaned Christ.

While I have come to this conclusion, many that were once in CRA still treat others just like they did back then. Sadly, for many, winning by any means is more important. For them, knowing just how much pressure to put on the scales to win is still very much part of their stock and trade.


As for today’s CRA, the best way I can describe the group is this:

If a person was within the blast radius of a nuclear weapon detonation, all they might see is a flash. They then might seek shelter and try to survive but it’s already too late. You see, the flash exposed them to a lethal dose of radiation. They are dead, it’s just that their body hasn’t caught up with reality and may not for a period of time.

A number of recent events could be pointed too as that lethal blast for CRA but whether that was Tom Hudson and Craig Alexander not pursuing the Park Brothers, CRA endorsing Ted Cruz on the first ballot, Celeste Greig saying if you don’t support Jim Brulte as the next CRP Chairman, “there’s the door”, or something else, the point is that CRA is over. It’s time to move on and spend your time doing something more productive.


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Fonzie (Henry Winkler) jumps the shark


We’ve had a lot of good times together but with all due respect, you don’t have the financial security and fiscal independence to be CRA President; neither do you have the sales skills to build the group. You can filibuster as well as Tom Hudson but I don’t count that as a gift. Turning a twenty minute business meeting into a two hour marathon is not the way to boost membership. Your home CRA Unit is hovering below the threshold of a healthy unit and some you count as members haven’t written a check to CRA in a few years. Like the statewide group, your home chapter is on life-support. Sorry but why should this formula be replicated on a statewide basis? What you need is not a position in CRA but gainful employment. Take care of your family and then see what you can do to help in the community. Lead through what you do and then people will listen to what you have to say.

CRA talks a lot about “principles” and the old “conscience of the Republican Party” quotation but they are not now; (if they ever really were). If their support of Ted Cruz or Travis Allen is any indication, they are out of touch when it comes to where Republicans are in this state. Their endorsements have never come with any funds but an army of volunteers to get out votes. Dude, those days were gone a few decades ago. If CRA has 800 active members statewide I would be shocked. Your own unit is luck if they get five members to a meeting and you want to be President of the entire statewide organization? Hubris? In our own ways, we are both policy guys and not the ones qualified to lead.

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Windmills in the past


It’s time for you to quit tiling a windmills and join the rest of us in the real world. CRA can’t save themselves, the CRP, or California. Do what is in the best interest of your family; find employment with benefits, save for retirement, and take the wife to a nice vacation in a tropical place. In my opinion she’s earned it.

Posted by william on 06/26 at 07:15 AM
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Monday, June 25, 2018

CRA 2019 Convention Preview

Rumor has it that the current President of the California Republican Assembly is ready to step aside and let the group pick a successor. The group has reserved a birthday room at a Chuck E Cheese in Fresno for their 2019 spring gathering. Attendees are reminded to get a convention hat from their local Burger King before arriving. Also bring ten dollars for game tokens. The convention venue features entertainment for the whole family. Pepperoni pizza is included in the registration price but cheese or sausage will be extra.


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Chuck E Cheese—where CRA happens next


The highlight of the gathering will be selecting a new President. Like any other presidential race, many folks are rumored to be throwing their hats into the ring. Since the candidates have not publically announced their intentions, we have randomly assigned code names to those known to be testing out the electorate via focus groups. Thus far, the top three are Wookie, Sith Lord, and a drunken Jedi.


The Wookie is a faithful follower and companion to the fearless leader—whoever that may be. He is a certified graduate of Sidekick Academy. Always the bride’s maid and ever attending the wishes of his leadership team, he is often seen but rarely heard at public gatherings. He votes right (i.e. with leadership) and is reliable. He seems bereft of any original ideas but parrots those he serves. This brings into question why after decades in the organization as a faithful sidekick does he now fancy himself the hero that can save CRA? You can’t help but wonder who will be telling him what to do? The John Birch Society members in the group or Tea Party or elected officials or … you get the point. His principles are like water and take the shape of whatever vessel that he invests himself into.


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Wookie aspires to go from sidekick to hero


The Sith Lord is immersed in the minutia of policy and tactics, always looking for an advantage. He picks a candidate of principle in every Primary but enthusiastically will denounce them if a competitor makes him a more lucrative offer; especially going into the general election. He will declare his benefactor as more electable and throw his former choice under the bus without skipping a beat. He has a track record of convincing his apprentices to strap on bomb vests on his behalf and detonating in public while he sits back and performs bomb damage assessment on the fly. Using this updated information he is able to plot his next move while others are wondering why the apprentices acted as rashly as they did. Over the years, the pool of potential apprentices has grown shallower so he deploys them less frequently than in years past. The Sith Lord has taken a vow of poverty and has no employer to tie him down so he is able to respond with lightning speed to any situation worthy of his unique talents regardless of which part of California it may occur.


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Sith Lord stepping from shadows to assert control


The drunken Jedi is a grizzled military veteran with the charm and charism to disarm the unwary that he meets on his way. He is capable of making a great first impression and has beguiled many of the CRA Board and perhaps a few of their daughters. Think of spiders entrapping the unwary in their webs. His past is shady and seems purposely obscured. His political tactics are awkward and poorly thought out. He often acts without reason and causes harm by the rash things that he says or does. He has defacto control of much of the information that once made George and Aaron Park the real powerbrokers of CRA.  Foolishly, the Board has repeated history by putting him in sole control of their Facebook page, website, and membership lists. As a result, the drunken Jedi is the most formidable opponent of the three in the sense that no one else can campaign aggressively against his weaknesses without risking that he burns the place to the ground on his way out. Were he sober and on an upward career path, he would be an asset to the group but in his present state, he seemingly has no reason to grow-up.


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Drunken Jedi stumbling forward to lead rag-tag band


Truthfully, in the heyday of CRA, all three of these guys would have been red shirts of Star Trek fame, good for one episode and an honorable mention in the credits to mark their passing. However, these are the waning days of the organization and these guys are at least willing to step up and try to prolong the organization. Each man has some ability but I don’t have confidence that any has the skillset necessary to stop the decline of CRA.

Next year, if you happen to be in Fresno one Saturday in March, drop by the birthday room at Chuck E Cheese and you might get to see how this tale unfolds. Unless this convention turns into Second Amendment Saturday, I doubt the results will even be in your local paper.

Posted by william on 06/25 at 07:26 AM
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Saturday, June 23, 2018

Bath or Baptism?

As lamented in a previous blog, the daughter unit is persisting upon being re-baptized on Sunday. Frankly, I just don’t get it. To me it’s just more snowflake B.S. from a generation that is hell-bent on putting decorum, tradition, and once common sense in the rearview mirror.

The daughter was baptized in the Methodist Church, confirmed in an Anglican Church, and has regularly taken Communion in these and several other Presbyterian and/or Reformed Churches. She left a Presbyterian church last year with much fanfare and a send-off ceremony by the pastor and began attending a dispensational congregation. She has been regarded as a communicant member in good standing in every Church she has attended for the better part of 20 years.  A minimum prerequisite to receiving Communion in any Church is baptism—although they may require confirmation or other conditions.

The daughter decided to be re-baptized in the new congregation not due to any spiritual change in her life or theology but simply to be a part of the group. My wife is calling this farce of a ceremony an initiation.


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Baptism: Covenant symbol of Church membership


Lest you need proof, just ask her, my wife did. The daughter was asked if she had remained at the Presbyterian Church where she was taking Communion weekly would she feel the necessity to be baptized and she replied, “No.”

Knowing that she was a communicant member in other churches, why is the pastor of this new church persisting in letting this go forward? It would be proper for them to accept a letter of transfer from the previous congregation and/or require the daughter to attend a new member class just so she learns the distinctives of their church but re-baptizing is unbiblical—not that they seem to care.

Baptism is a binary thing, either you have been baptized in the Trinitarian formula of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit or you have not.  As stated in my previous post on the subject, there is no such thing in the Bible as being re-baptized—the only exception being those in the New Testament that received John’s baptism and later that of the Apostles.

The chasm of logic required to justify re-baptism in this case cannot be bridged with any amount of verbal and semantic gymnastics. Nothing short of disdain and willful repudiation of the Holy Scriptures and Historic Church justifies this act.

Had someone left the faith in rebellion and subsequently repented and desired return to the Church, I would still think it wrong but at least understandable due to a change in heart. However, in this case no change of heart is alleged thus the act is one of initiation not into the Body of Christ but to be accepted into the Sunday clubhouse.

This act is one of excommunicating the vast majority of the Church on earth and the Church Militant. It also begs the question of what other theology is defective in this group which daughter thinks is so wonderful that she can chuck her birthright for a cup of water.

Oh, her pastor will tell you that baptism doesn’t save you; so again, what purpose does it serve in this case? Nobody can answer that question. What’s more disturbing is that no one thinks to even ask it.

Posted by william on 06/23 at 01:37 AM
Christianity & ReligionPermalink

Friday, June 22, 2018

Disturbing News out of Florida

By chief correspondent

Jahseh Onfroy was a rap singer that was gunned down in Florida on Monday. His stage name was XXXtentacion. From what is known of him, he can best be described as a horrible person who spent most of his juvenile years in and out of the Florida legal system for things ranging from false imprisonment all the way to beating the tar out of his pregnant girlfriend.

XXXTentacion, who sported dreadlocks and facial tattoos, was a rising star. He notched a No. 1 album in March with his sophomore effort “?”and had a top 10 hit with “Sad!”

But he also generated controversy. In 2016, he was arrested on charges including home invasion for a 2015 incident, and less than a month later was jailed on charges that he attacked his girlfriend, who was pregnant at the time. Later, he faced more charges including witness tampering.

In a recent interview with the Miami New Times, XXXTentacion described his upbringing, which included seeing his mother infrequently and being raised by friends, family and baby-sitters. His mother bought him clothes, phones and other gifts. He said he used violence so she would engage with him.

Suspect In Murder Of Rap Artist XXXTentacion Appears Before Judge



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Rapper Jahseh Onfroy AKA XXXtentacion

On Monday, June 18, the 20-year-old was shot and killed during an apparent robbery as he was leaving a motorcycle dealership in Deerfield Beach Florida, CNN reported. The controversial talent, whose real name was Jahseh Onfroy, was departing the shop before 4 p.m. when he was gunned down by two armed men who fled the scene in a dark-colored SUV.

Bystanders attempted to check his pulse, but X was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead just after 5:30 p.m. Monday.

On Thursday, June 21, Cleopatra Bernard, mother of the slain rapper, shared an image of an ultrasound to her Instagram account inscribing the sonogram with the note, “He left us a final gift.”

URL Murdered Rapper Expecting a Child

Broward county Sheriff’s officers arrested 22 year old Dedrick Williams and charged in connection with the shooting death of rapper Jahseh Onfroy AKA XXXtentacion. 
Days after rapper’s Florida slaying, a suspect is arrested


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Dedrick Williams was arrested for murder


First of all Mr. Williams is just 22 years old, which still makes him a baby or a child.  A baby who now faces the prospect of spending every last day of his life in jail due to 1 poor decision.  Also he is a man of the cross, witness, said cross tattooed just near his eye.  I think he was just doing the Lord’s work.  Please don’t point to Mr. Williams’s criminal history and the fact that he was still on probation for Grand Theft Auto four years ago, he was still a juvenile damn it!  His past should not matter because it is not relevant! 

Court records show Williams has been charged previously with several felonies, including grand theft auto, domestic violence, cocaine possession and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

It does not appear, however, that he has ever done prison time for these charges and some of them were dropped. Williams does not appear in the Florida Department of Corrections offender database, but was on probation for the auto theft conviction.

Suspect In Murder Of Rap Artist XXXTentacion Appears Before Judge

This guy was on the straight and narrow and getting his life back together, this incident was just a mere slip-up in my eyes.  So now the State is going to take this kid’s freedom away on a permanent basis?  For this?  Look Black Lives Matter tells me police officers do this same thing daily and I don’t see any of them going to jail! Murdering someone I know isn’t really right, but there is a time and place to discuss Mr. Williams losing his freedom forever, but I don’t think it’s appropriate on the day of his arrest!  I find it extremely distasteful because this is not the time or place!

Williams was loved by all friends and family and deeply respected in the community. He had aspirations to get a degree in breaking and entering but I guess he moved on to murder.  His own mother was even quoted as saying “He a good boy!”  Word has it, William’s was owed money by Mr. XXXtentacion, that being the case he was jus gon collet his debts!  I mean he was just trying to provide for his family like any good man would!  Or maybe XXXtentacion had stolen his unlimited pass to the local Centerfolds?  Also do we even know if he committed this heinous crime?  I want to use the term “allegedly” for what he did, because I think he is a victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time!  I don’t even think there is reason to believe this crime even really happened to tell you the truth.  So now one alleged transgression is going to cut short the life of someone who had a very bright future in front of them!  I call this yet another example of a fine young man just being screwed over by our education system! Also please do not rush to judgment I’m not sure there is any direct correlation between felonies and facial tattoo’s.  Stay strong my brother!

A few more thoughts, I want to know why the police didn’t ask Williams if his actions were a coping mechanism as the direct result of President Trump’s constant racism!  Also in regard to the death of XXXtentacion, I hope grief counselors are available to all the young adults who feel they lost an artist who spoke directly to them, hopefully they can find a new role model.  Mostly I’m just in disbelief I was told there were no guns in Broward County, another reason this was likely a set up.  Where is David Hogg? By the way, just for the record, Planned Parenthood has killed more innocent blacks than this guy, why is he going away?  Does this guy have a family? I don’t know if I can stomach seeing another case of children being separated from their parents.

Just an additional note I doubt the Broward County Sheriff’s framed him, they are not known for approaching a hostile situation or shooting during times of crisis.

Note: The author of this article is attempting to illustrate the hypocrisy of the Black Lives Matter movement’s standards of “justice” by applying them to this situation. BLM is mute on the fact that Planned Parenthood kills more blacks in one year than have died in racial violence since the emancipation of slaves during the Civil War. Also the vast majority of black men murdered are killed by other black men but again BLM is silent. BLM is a political weapon to divide people on the basis of race not fix problems in the black community. The defense of Mr. Williams herein is intended as satire.

Posted by william on 06/22 at 07:17 AM
News & PoliticsPermalink

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Painting Adventures with Zinsser Cover Stain

The house that I live in was constructed in1989. It was decorated by the builder’s wife. The predominant color of the interior is pink. Light pink walls and matching trim, pink tile, pink carpet, and pink is a dominant color on the wallpaper too. The house was originally purchased by my wife’s grandparents. My wife came into possession of the house and was living there when we were married. Since she had no intention of moving into my one bedroom apartment, we opted to live in her house; thus I didn’t have a choice in the color scheme.

Anyway, the wife decided that we needed to paint the hallway and living room. She requested that I take a week off in June to help her with the task. Folks, any opportunity to purge pinkness from our home is too good to pass-up. So I jumped at the chance.

My budget was $500 for paint and supplies. We knew that we needed a special primer because the trim work in the house was a glossy oil-based paint. We both spent much time searching on the Internet for just the right primer. Sadly, like any other buying decision, what we found was lots of opinions and anecdotal stories but very few facts. We decided to go with an oil-based primer that claimed it could go over any surface-latex or oil—without sanding. Once applied, the product also said we could cover it with either oil or latex paint.

Zinsser® Cover Stain® Oil-Based Primer is an all purpose oil-based primer designed for interior or exterior applications where an oil-base primer is desired. CoverStain provides excellent penetration and flexibility and has excellent adhesion and stain blocking properties. CoverStain has excellent adhesion to dense, glossy surfaces such as enamel paints and varnishes, paneling, laminates, and ceramic tile without the need for sanding or deglossing.

Cover-Stain is recommended for application on interior and exterior surfaces that have been damaged by fire, smoke or water.  Interior surfaces include new or previously painted drywall, cured plaster and cementbased coatings, wood (including pine fir, cedar, redwood, and plywood), metal (including aluminum, iron, steel, and cooper), vinyl, PVC, masonry (including stucco, concrete block, poured concrete, and brick).

Cover Stain Technical Data CVS-03



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We purchased five gallons of Cover Stain


Based on the description above, we went with Cover Stain. However, being that we live in California finding this product was our next obstacle. Per internet information, we found two gallons in Ceres California. That was all that was available from the big box stores in the northern part of the state. It was cheaper and available in large quantities at all Reno Home Depot stores and at a lower price than anyone offered in California. My wife wasn’t keen on me driving to Reno and wanted me to wait. We found that Kelly-Moore Paints had some buried in the back of their store. Eventually we bought a five gallon bucket from them.

The Cover Stain that we got was more like syrup than paint. It also dried a light brownish green color not white as we were led to believe from their internet information. After applying, we had to use at least two coats of latex paint just to cover it and get a white color on our walls. We painted the wood trim after finishing the walls. Because we were painting our hallway, almost every door jamb in the house received paint as part of our project.

Once the hallway was done, we began putting hinges back on door jambs and removing the Frog Tape that we had used to control where paint was applied on door jambs. We weren’t painting both sides of the door jambs, just the part visible from the hall. The rooms connecting to the hall were being save for future projects or had been done previously.


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Frog Tape recommended by Consumer Reports online reviews.


It was at this point that our best laid plans and internet research all confronted reality and the results were ugly.

Here are photos of the results.


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Typical results of peeling paint following application of Cover Stain and two coats of latex paint.

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More peeling

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All ten door jambs peeled just like this one.


Remember all the claims of sticking to any glossy surface with no sanding, yeah right. Dream on baby. So guess what? We had to scrape and sand every door jamb; all ten of them. We took them all down to the wood, primed them, and then painted. This took two sanders because we killed the first one, lots of sweat equity, and five days of labor by two people. We spot checked some of the base trim and had to redo a few of them also.

We spent twice the amount of time on this project as we had estimated and three times the money. We ended up spending $500 with Kelly-Moore Paint, and split the paint supplies between Home Depot and Lowes. As the color went on the living room walls, mama began wanting to make other changes so we had to buy a new ceiling fan and lights. Since the walls were now white and not a dark pink color, we needed to change the plugs, switches, and cover plate colors from almond to white.

Finally the carpet installers arrived to replace our 29 year old floor coverings.

The finished product looks nice.


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Room during carpeting process with pad installed

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Finished room


Sadly, the front room and entry way don’t match the new paint job so guess what mama wants us to do in July. Now that we have more experience working with the pink paint from hell, I hope we knock this out quickly.

Posted by william on 06/21 at 08:54 AM
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Sunday, June 17, 2018

The CRA Decides to Leave CA

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By “X” the man with no name


It was a rough week for the CRA. The Blogfather and myself have beaten them up so badly regarding their worthless endorsement process.  With Theodore Cruz announcing he won’t challenge Trump in the 2020 primary there is nothing left for this group to do.  As a sidebar tedcruz2020.com is now a worthless domain name that CRA bought. 

That being said we have live footage of the CRA leaving the state…..

More horrific footage can be seen here

Disclaimer: any resemblance to Dr. Who’s Tardis and the vehicle shown in this video is coincidental. Author does not mean to imply that CRA can travel thru time and space. Rumors that Ted Cruz was the sole occupant and in the midst of changing into his super suit in an attempt to save CRA at the time said object entered orbit are unsubstantiated. No small animals were harmed in the filming of this incident.



As you can see the CRA left in 2 different but distinct ways.  First, they departed this state by spraying a fine mist of odious liquid on the common-sense folk.  The second attempt at leaving resulting in an outright dumping on the unsuspecting masses.

Please Ling Ling Chang run for governor in 4 years and put this group out of its misery.  This group has literally nothing to cling to anymore.

Til next time,

X

PS cranking out content on a Sunday!  Respect the hustle.  Take a report CRA
#metoo
#Jenniferanniston
#mygirlattheburritobar

Posted by william on 06/17 at 08:07 PM
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Saturday, June 16, 2018

Let’s Check in on ESPN

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By “X” the man with no name


It’s been a while since I lit up the “worldwide leader” so I figured I’ll update you all on the goings on.  First of all the President of the company, no CRA folks it’s not Donald Trump, but Johnny Skipper, abruptly resigned and admitted he had a cocaine addiction.  Actually he said he only bought drugs once, and his dealer apparently was trying to extort money from him.  Yes, that sounds really believable Mr. Skipper, I guess you just casually strolled down a street, found a nice looking guy and asked if you could try a little nasal dust.  Lucky for you, Obamacare (which your boss Bob Iger supports so much) forces your insurance company to pay for rehab, so now junkies like you get to eat, sleep and probably keep doing blow on the taxpayer’s dime!  Likely, ol’ Johnny was doing blow on the payers for a while! 


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Johnny “sniffer” Skipper


First of all, I kind of feel sorry for him. He’s not just ugly, he’s circus ugly, were talkin’ like James Carville level ugly. 


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James Carville, a face for radio


Actually a better comp would be Judge Doom from Who Framed Roger Rabbit ugly. 


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Judge Doom confronts the Rabbit


Seriously I hope he gets the help he needs and gets off the booger sugar. Worse yet, Skipper was the one who fired all of those poor employees at ESPN last year. Wanna take bets he was high out of his mind or on a bender?  Maybe that explains why that Howdy Doody looking bozo still works there?  Maybe he was Skipper’s coke dealer? 

A few other quick notes; the two race baiting low life wanna be Al Sharpton’s; Michael Smith and Jemile Hill (I know its Jamele but Rev Al pronounces it that way and I don’t want to have to go on his show to apologize) were both demoted and no longer have a show.  Not like it’s a big loss. The ratings for that show were so low, old Billy Mays infomercials hocking Oxyclean had more viewers.  By the way, rest in peace Billy, you always were hocking a new item it seemed like every month.  They replaced Smith and Hill with Keith Olbermann, nothing says you don’t have a political agenda when you hire him.  Olbermann was such a success at MSNBC they didn’t renew his contract.  Olbermann’s career can best be described as “failing upwards.” 


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Keith Olbermann sports pundit  political pundit  sports pundit


Finally if you remember all of the layoffs ESPN has had over the past 2 years, (the number is over 500 by the way) they put that savings to work in the worst way possible, they created a new morning show.  The cost of just the three hosts of the show is 15 million per year, and none of them have any talent.  Mike Greenberg knows nothing about sports and is trying to make the show like Good Morning America.  I thought maybe working at a sports channel may require sports knowledge, but I guess it just gives Greenberg more chances to bash Trump.  Jalen Rose, a former NBA star is actually really good, too bad his talents are wasted next to Greenberg.  Speaking of wasted, that describes what Michelle Beadle is most known for in her career.  Beadle was made famous by shouting “I just want to get laid” after a long night of drinking and partying at an ESPN party after the ESPY Awards.  (No word on whether she got her wish.)


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Michelle Beadle auditioning for a ride home
(note empty bottles of adult beverages in background)


These after parties are famous, and details have leaked out continuously that drugs and alcohol flow freely, so Skipper was most definitely there!  This morning show “Get UP” averages 300k viewers on a good day, which if you are wondering, those are really bad numbers.  But carry on ESPN, keep talking about why NFL players should kneel, Trump, etc.  Seems to be working out really well.

I admit this was a little harsh but we like dancing on peoples graves here!


X

Editor’s Note: While X seems to have it in for old white guys with no hair (at least in this post), he has assured me that this is just coincidence and he really does like bald guys like Patrick Stewart.

Posted by william on 06/16 at 03:06 AM
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Friday, June 15, 2018

CRA’s Great White Hope

 

As X and I have painstakingly documented on this blog, both the State of California and the California Republican Assembly (a.k.a. CRA) are in a death spiral.   In the unlikely event that the State hits bottom before the CRA, what should the last vestiges of this once great organization do for our state? Clearly, since voters overwhelmingly rejected Travis Allen as their savior (9.55 % of the vote), traditional methods are not working. CRA’s endorsements are more ineffective than campaign phone calls and going door-to-door on precinct walks. Who will deliver us from the wrath to come? (Garvin Newsom)

Most of us instinctively know that the economy of California will be crushed by the burden placed on the people and economic engine of this once prosperous place. We are transforming ourselves into a third world banana republic. No middleclass will remain; only the very rich and very poor. We will be a veritable warzone of crime, chaos, and tyranny.


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Gavin Newson waiting to crush California’s economy


No state has ever filed bankruptcy but under Jerry Brown, we are on the short list of those likely to do so. With Garvin, we should rise to the top of that list very rapidly. Who will clean-up the mess that will be created by eight years of Newsom? If the Trump-Pence Administration is running the country, Democrats won’t be successful getting a bail-out from the Great White Father in Washington. (Sorry, just trying to relate to Elizabeth Warren supporters in the audience.) CRA secretly hopes Newsom & company screw things up so bad that voters will be begging them for relief. Clearly such drastic times will need drastic measures. What will happen when California becomes financially insolvent? What is CRA’s solution?

First, we here at ReallyRight feel your pain. We’ve been warning you for years that this is coming. However, instead of just a sarcastic “told you so”, we would like to offer a humble solution and message of hope for our friends at CRA.

If Democrats turn California into a warzone then it will need reconstruction, right?  Well twice before our great nation needed reconstruction, once after the Civil War and once after the Great Depression.

Looking back, we can see how screwed-up that FDR and the New Deal left the country so this Democrat model of more big government is clearly not what California needs. We are turning into the Soviet Union just fine without another push in that direction.


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FDR gave us the Raw Deal of socialism


But the post-Civil War era was started as a reconstruction effort by Republicans lead by Abe Lincoln. Clearly CRA can draw inspiration from a guy like Honest Abe. However, reconstruction did have its drawbacks, ask any Southerner. So how can CRA stay true to their principles while avoiding the pitfalls of Southern Reconstruction?


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Honest Abe will inspire CRA to greatness


When California files bankruptcy, a Federal Court will appoint a Receiver to oversee the financial health of the State. Think of this as a czar of fiscally responsible spending and a check against the excesses of the Legislature. A Federally appointed overseer with this amount of power must be a guy who can balance several things, namely he must respect the Constitution, know the inner workings of government, and protect us from the Trump-Pence Administration.

Perceiving both the peril and opportunity that California Reconstruction will offer the CRA, clearly only one man is qualified for the job. CRA needs a proven leader that can stand-up to the Washington establishment while knowing the legacy of misfortune created by Reconstruction wrongly done. This man also has intimate knowledge of the workings of California because half of those fleeing the tyranny of California are moving to his State. Ladies and gentleman, I humbly suggest that CRA draft Senator Ted Cruz to lead California thru Reconstruction and to a new era of prosperity. With so many undocumented refugees from California in his midst, Ted won’t even have to resign as the Senator from Texas to save us.


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Ted Cruz the hope of California


Think about it. Cruz is the perfect guy and he doesn’t even have to move here to do the Receiver job. Look at the precedents that already exist in our state. California no longer requires that you be a citizen of the country to vote or have a driver’s license. You no longer must be a resident of the state to have the privilege of collect taxes for our state (thanks Amazon). You no longer have to be a California resident to buy a car meeting our fuel emissions standards. You no longer have to live in our state to be the police chief (thanks Elk Grove) I could go on but you get the point. California is a state of mind not a geographical place.

Given all the above, what can prevent Ted from saving us? The candidate that the voters rejected will be the cornerstone of our recovery. Friends in CRA you now have a reason to hang tough, your renaissance is coming. When the time comes, Ted will vindicate your trust in him. Eighty percent of you trust him implicitly, it’s just taking the rest of us time to get up to speed on this reality.

Posted by william on 06/15 at 07:06 AM
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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Prodigal Snowflake

Regrettably, CRA is not the only dumpster fire we are following these days.


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The story that you are about to read is true. Names were withheld to give plausible deniability to those involved.

A young girl lived with her mother and grandparents in a village not far from the big city. Mother and grandmother doted over the girl. Mother was thrilled that her daughter liked many of the same things that she and grandmother liked. The young girl attended the village school. The young girl was a little slower than her peers in some areas of learning and development. Mother had two options on how to deal with this problem. Option one was to tell the daughter that she needs to try harder and yes it would be difficult at times. Option two was to shelter the daughter from her learning difficulty by convincing the teacher to selectively withhold the expectation of achieving the same standards as her peers. Mother decided that option two was better for her daughter.

As the daughter grew, she did well in school. She had great short-term memory recall and as a result, she performed well on her tests; however, she was devoid of any ability to reason. If she was given “A” and “B”, she was incapable of ever getting to “C”. Others that knew her were concerned about this lack of logical thinking but since she was sheltered by mom and grandmother, nothing consequential ever resulted from her lack of sound judgement. At an early age it was even regarded as innocence and endearing. Of course, not knowing that she didn’t know, she thought this was the norm for people.

Like many in her generation, she was very self-focused. Upon meeting her, people were impressed with her confidence, poise, and demeanor. All anyone had to do was ask her about herself and she could talk for hours. Most adults thought she was wonderful, mature, and very together. Truly she does make a great first impression; however, those close to her notice that what other folks miss is that all she talks about is herself.

Now daughter is an adult; well per the calendar anyway. By exempting her from having to try harder in her youth, the daughter has not been pushed to be a fully functioning adult. Too bad for her that the real world doesn’t operate by accommodating those on the fringes of society.


Said daughter returned home after college and was offered a transitional period to move from being a student and into adulthood. She landed a job after college and was given a chance to live at home for $300 per month in rent. This “rent” covered her auto insurance, cell phone, and other expenses that mom was paying but felt her daughter should be responsible for now that she had a job. Mom continued to pay for food and did the cooking. By most standards this was a bargain. Rent also served the purpose of having her learn that along with her paycheck came the ability to pay her own way in society.

The daughter was told that one of the benefits of this stay at home was to get her up to speed with age appropriate responsibilities so that she could be a fully functional adult and not the dreaded roommate from hell. However, within a short period of time it became apparent that she was unwilling to learn. She refused requests to pick-up after herself, respect others, and do her share in exchange for living at home.

Daughter paid no heed to those around her. When the entire household was in bed, she would do things to keep others awake. This included laundry, showers, slamming doors, having tantrums about where she left her keys, and a general disrespect of others. She was asked to shower, do laundry, and other chores while others were awake and she refused. Here are three examples compiled from eye witness accounts:

Exhibit 1 Laundry
Her typical way of doing laundry was to put something in the washing machine, start the machine, and once washed, let it sit there wet for three or four days. After a time, her clothing was smelly from mold and mildew. This necessitated washing it all again and hope to remember to dry it this time. It might take five days to successfully complete a single load. Often the thing that prompted her to complete the load was the fact that others in the house needed to do their laundry. Once washed, her cloths were never folded or put on hangers in the closet, instead they were wadded-up and stored on the bedroom floor or on occasion shoved in whichever dresser door was the emptiest.

Exhibit 2 Safety
One day, her hard working mom was injured at work. Mom’s back went out and she had to take time off. For several weeks, mom needed a walker and could barely move. The daughter had the habit of deliberately leaving her stuff in the path from the hallway to the kitchen. (Purses, jackets, shoes, car keys, etc.) Her injured mom had to try to negotiate this minefield of crap in the common areas of the house just so she could fix the daughter dinner and do a few things around the house. When daughter was asked to be considerate of her mother’s injury, she retorted that it was unfair to be held to this standard of common decency. She felt that picking up after herself was an unrealistic expectation and she categorically refused to do it.

Exhibit 3 Sponges
While mom or others did the cooking, daughter was often expected to help with dishes. As you might expect by this point in the story, she approached this chore with the same gusto as laundry and other household expectations. Most but not all dishes made it into the dishwasher but wiping down the stove, countertops, the kitchen table and other surfaces was not done. Daughter dismissed the idea that cleaning the kitchen involved making it ready for the next meal. She usually left the sponge in the bottom of the kitchen sink soaking wet. In a short amount of time, the sponge would stink so bad that it could smelled ten feet away from the sink but daughter still refused to wring it out and place it next to the water faucet to dry. Daughter said that this sponge instruction was unfair and too difficult for her to be expected to remember despite her private college GPA of about 3.85 saying differently.

After about a year of constant refusals to act her age and honor and obey her mom, the daughter was given the ultimatum that many parents have issued to their children, “If you don’t like it here then move out.”

For her, the ultimatum was an invitation to try the path of least resistance. She reasoned, why change or grow-up when I can solve my problem by moving out? So she did.


After living on her own for a while, the daughter thought it would be good to have a place to entertain people and the studio apartment that she was living in was too small for that. Thru a friend, the daughter was told about some poor gal that needed a roommate. I’m sure the daughter made a good first impression so the roommate thought she knew what kind of person that she was agreeing to live with. Daughter and the new roommate agreed to rent a house and each signed on for their half of a one year lease. Prior to moving into the house, the roommate knew virtually nothing about the daughter.


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Within a short time, the roommate had had enough and asked the daughter to go live elsewhere. Three months after moving in, the daughter was shopping for a new place and by month four, the daughter had moved out. The new apartment where the daughter moved, required her to sign a one year lease.

Daughter now has two concurrent leases to pay. Daughter has maintained that it was ok to move out of the house because she could afford both leases but hoped that she could find someone to take the balance of the first lease.

Six months after signing the first lease, the daughter now wants to be excused from the balance that she owes. She tried asking the landlord to excuse her but they refused saying she signed the lease and thus is legally obligated to pay the money. Daughter thinks that it is unfair that the roommate is living by herself and really isn’t looking too hard for someone to take over the balance of the lease.

Recently the daughter has got it in her head that she was evicted by her old roommate despite the fact that she moved out voluntarily. Not only is she still on the lease for the house but she still retains a key. Currently, daughter is hunting for a lawyer to take up her cause and get her out of the remainder of the lease.

Mom is frustrated that daughter won’t listen to her anymore. She now regrets sheltering the daughter from consequences when she was a child and wishes that she had taken another path. Sadly, emotionally the daughter is still a child even if the calendar says she is approaching age 30. Mom jokes that the daughter just waited until her mid-twenties to exhibit teenaged rebellion.


If you happen to be looking on Craig’s List, Facebook, or social media for a roommate or potential spouse beware because the daughter is still out there.

Meanwhile, we here at ReallyRight send our condolences to the mom.

Posted by william on 06/14 at 01:54 PM
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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

CRA Scorecard for June 2018: Epic Failure

As you might recall (no pun intended), the week prior to the June election Secretary of State Alex Padilla reported that:

Republicans are now just a quarter of registered voters in California, with both Democrats and independents outnumbering the party that once dominated politics in the Golden State.

The percentage of voters registered as Republicans has been falling steadily over the past two decades, from 38.5 percent in 1998 to 25.1 percent in the latest figures.

Republican Party Drops to 3rd Place in Latest California Registration Numbers

I decided to take a look at the CRA endorsement list for the June election and see how they did. It doesn’t seem fair that MR. X seems to frequently whack this organization and I don’t. I looked at the statewide races of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Controller, Treasurer, Attorney General, Insurance Commissioner, Superintendent of Public Instruction, and US Senate. (These are in the order used by the Secretary of State website and not the CRA endorsement list.)

Of these nine offices, CRA failed to endorse in the following races: Controller, Insurance Commissioner, and, Superintendent of Public Instruction. Thus CRA ceded one third of the races.  Of these three, the Controller race has a registered Republican that made it to November with no help from CRA; recovering Republican Steve Poizner came in first for Insurance Commissioner; and Superintendent of Public Instruction did not indicate party on the ballot so I don’t know who they were. The implications of this inaction is that we must conclude that CRA doesn’t care about California.

Look at what each of these offices do.

Controller
First, Betty Yee is arguably the worst incumbent on the ballot. Yes, even worse that Garvin Newsom. Her track record is terrible and in my opinion, she is the worst Controller that California has seen in decades.
The backbone of California’s financial records system is a UNIX based program called CalSTARS that was implemented last time Jerry Brown was Governor back in 1983. Yeah, this is the program that caused the Y2K crisis in California. Millions were spent to pay retired state employees to return to work to patch this P.O.S. so it could handle four digit years.

For many documents that her office processes, SCO has a backlog to 2015.

Under her leadership—or lack thereof—the Controller’s Office is slower and less efficient in a state that thinks it is the technology leader of the world. Can you say Irony? Oh, her Agency still uses tractor-feed paper and dot-matrix printers to give documents to various departments because they aren’t available in digital formats.

I could go on but the thing that should really frost not only CRA but all Californians is that Betty Yee and Fiona Ma—the Treasurer candidate—are personally responsible for the disinformation campaign that dismantled the Board of Equalization last year. Since CRA’s current President, Tom Hudson, worked for BOE, I would think it a slam-dunk that CRA had a candidate they could support to “take-out” Yee but no dice. Like everything else under Hudson’s leadership, all you get from CRA is crickets.

You would think that Hudson, Sue Blake, George Runner and the other so-call Republican stalwarts would stand-up for themselves and their livelihoods even if they won’t stand-up for the taxpayers that they claim to represent at BOE. Democrats threw the token black guy (one of their own) under the bus and all you got was crickets.

Insurance Commissioner
CRA claims they hate Obamacare. We all know that Obamacare was a stopgap solution on the socialist road to single payer healthcare. So did CRA run or endorse anybody that is running for Insurance Commissioner? Heck No! Once again, their rhetoric and their actions don’t agree.

CRA has had many opportunities to change their endorsement process to conform to the “Jungle Primary” system that we have in California. They have refused to face the reality that not every race will have a Republican in it. At my last CRA convention (you know the one where they overwhelmingly endorsed Lyin’ Ted), I brought the issue before the convention and they killed it at the earliest opportunity.

In his Republican days, Poizner was a CRA endorsed candidate but in a race with no Republican, CRA didn’t have the guts to go with him when he clearly is the best guy on the ballot.

Superintendent of Public Instruction
At my last CRA Convention, much energy was spent bashing Common Core but again CRA has no dog in the hunt for this job; somehow I don’t think it’s because they figured-out that in California, Common Core is here to stay.


Secretary of State and Attorney General
CRA did actually hit two winners in the statewide offices. For Secretary of State, Mark P. Meuser, came in second. For Attorney General, Steven C Bailey also came in second. If the June results are any indicator, both Republicans will face the slaughter in November.


Sadly, this brings us to the third act of the CRA train wreck. CRA had four big misses in the endorsement department. Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Treasurer, and US Senate.

Before I get into the details, I know some will try to nitpick what I’m about to say so in the interest of full disclosure, the numbers used below are from the Secretary of State’s website on June 12, 2018.

Governor
At Convention, CRA spent much time debating the pool of potential candidates and threw their weight behind Travis Allen. Meanwhile, their arch enemy, Donald J Trump, threw his support to John Cox. From the votes tallied thus far, Cox received 25.8 percent of the votes cast while CRA’s all-star candidate received 9.55 percent. Trump’s guy got about three times the number of votes.  Oh, Allen came in fourth place  in the race while Trump’s guy will be on the ballot in November. Since the jungle primary was implemented, this is the first time a Republican gubernatorial candidate has made it to November.  For that we have Donald Trump to thank not CRA.


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Lieutenant Governor
CRA fared even worse in their choice for governor in waiting. Their choice was David Hernandez. Hernandez received 6.1 percent of the vote. Out of four republicans on the ballot, CRA’s anointed came in fourth. My prolife Facebook friends said to go with Cole Harris who ended up being the top Republican vote getter. Sadly, Harris was beat by two Dems so he won’t be going to November. Oh, CRA’s guy came in seventh place .


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Treasurer
CRA had a chance to go after Fiona Ma with their choice of a Treasurer candidate. They picked Jack Guerrero. Jack apparently didn’t know jack and came in third place . He was bested by Ma and Republican Greg Conlon.

US Senate
From a Conservative Republican point of view, if any candidate on the ballot embodies the opposite of what is good, right, and Constitutional it is Dianne Feinstein. Surely CRA had a guy to go after the ancient Senator from San Francisco. Charged with this task at their Spring Convention was the noble Tom Palzer. In a field of 32 candidates, surely the CRA endorsement would be decisive in propelling a solid Republican to the head of the pack. 11 of the candidates were Republicans. Among Republicans, Palzer placed a solid fifth place thanks to CRA. Sadly, he came in seventh place overall with 3.09 percent of the statewide total.


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Conclusion
CRA is a lost and irrelevant organization. In my mind, their “jump the shark moment” was the endorsement of Ted Cruz. Their vote of over eighty percent endorsing Ted Cruz on the first ballot proves that they are out of touch with rank-and-file Republicans. They are bleeding membership and still have many paper clubs in their midst. Tom Hudson was supposed to be a caretaker President to heal the organization and provide stability and integrity. Instead, he is the undertaker President leading the group into the wilderness to atrophy and die. They should either pull the plug on the organization or hand it over to Johnnie Morgan and his group in LA. Either way, the current leadership needs to walk away now.

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CRA—a dumpster fire waiting to be extinguished

Posted by william on 06/13 at 07:38 AM
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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

California Republicans Continue to Fail

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By “X” the man with no name

The Republican Party in California is dying a very slowly painful death by 10,000 cuts and they have no one to blame but themselves.  The CRA is the main culprit in this…..remember they are the conscious of the party!  Think about it, the CRA didn’t even offer token opposition years ago when the State Party was going to change their platform on same sex marriage.  Actually I remember seeing some CRA members, and some in leadership actively campaigning to support the platform change.  So much for being the conscious of the party, just like the national party under Bush, you decided to play nice and it cost you at the ballot box. 

Same thing is happening in Southern California, the groups down there were so incensed by Janet Nguyen, Ling Ling Chang and Young Kim winning Assembly and Senate seats that they made sure that two of them did not get re-elected later.  Yes, you read that correctly, because of a couple bad votes, the CRA wouldn’t endorse Janet Nguyen or Ling Ling Chang and as a result, we lost the ability to stop tax increases and gave the other side a super majority.  And raise taxes they did, the newly elected Senator Josh Newman voted along with several Republican colleagues to raise the gas tax to fund “transportation projects” also known as the Bullet TrainOnce again the CRA took no stand against any of the seven Republicans who voted for it, likely they endorsed their re-election as well.  Because hey, we need to play nice and it’s only a few dollars extra added to fill your tank up with gas.  This is another reason the party is failing, they usually campaign and win on the issue of taxes, but if you support higher taxes and a majority of your rank-and-file go for it, is there really any difference between the parties?


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California Republican Assembly sinking to the depths of oblivion


Now about the recall election of Josh Newman that took place last week.  Please don’t gloat too much CRA rank-and-file because your organization did nothing to lead this battle.  Mostly because Ling Ling Chang, there’s that name again, got elected to replace him.  The effort was led by Carl Demaio and a host of southern California radio hosts who had finally had enough of the steaming pile of B.S. being pushed by your organization.  The recall passed with 59%, you were once again on the wrong side of a result, maybe Ling Ling endorsed Trump?  I would love to hear the spin doctor try to spin this one, lol.

While you are at it, maybe have your fellow elected and endorsed Republicans explain this comment by Newman;

“It saddens me, colleagues, Republican colleagues, that despite all your nice…words, not a single one of you had the integrity, the decency or the courage to stand up and say…‘this is wrong. This is an abuse of the recall process.”  URL: Recalled Democratic senator condemns GOP in defiant speech


Think about that and let it set in for a moment. This now recalled Senator is basically saying to the opposition party, you guys supported me behind the scene, how come your didn’t come out publicly?  Where are the conservatives in the party?  Where is the CRA?  Like usual, nowhere to be found.  Maybe that’s why registered Republicans are now the 3rd political preference after Democrat and Decline to State?

Lastly, maybe you should take a long hard look in the mirror regarding your so called “conservative credentials”; especially, seeing that your group almost always winds up endorsing the most liberal candidate under the guise of “only they can win the seat.”

Until next time,

X

Posted by william on 06/12 at 12:28 PM
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Friday, June 01, 2018

When CALPERS Owns Your City

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By “X” the man with no name

First some history. CALPERS (California Public Employees Retirement System) is for civil service (Union) employees at state, county and local levels; excluding teachers as they have a separate pension provider.  California also has one of the most generous pension formulas in the entire country, even with the recent changes enacted by Supreme Ayatollah Jerry Brown. (Note that the State’s pension reforms are not retroactive but only affect new hires.)

In California we have a defined benefit plan, meaning we use a calculation that comes up with an amount of money that the retiree will get monthly for the rest of their life.


Defined Contribution
In the “real world”, you might have four percent of your wages set aside in a 401K or other pension plan. Then your employer will kick in an additional amount, say two percent. Whatever you manage to squirrel away in your working years is yours to live off of in retirement. This is called defined contribution.


Defined Benefit
The amount taken from a state employee’s check has nothing to do with the amount they get in retirement. As long as a state retiree draws breath, he draws a pension. 

Example. You start at 25 years old and work until 55 years old. 30 (years of service) times 2% equals 60%. You get 60% of your highest year base salary as your pension. If your highest base was 100K you now get 60K to do nothing. They usually have a cost of living increase every year as well.

URL: What does 2% @ 55 Mean?

Here is an actual table from CalPers showing how it works:
URL: CalPERS Tier 1

If you have completed 20 years of state service then government also pays your medical insurance.

FYI: State workers can also collect Social Security but in most cases teachers cannot.


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Thus if you make $6K monthly, have worked for 20 years, and retire at age 55, you get $2,400 for the rest of you days. If you live to 90, that’s $1,008,000 plus medical and Social Security!

It is not uncommon for many civil servants to retire at between ages 50-55 because “they make more money retired than still working” because retirement checks can be more than net pay while working. Couple that with life expectancy which until recently is getting longer and longer and it’s no wonder that some workers are collecting pension checks for longer than their number of years worked.  The system was not designed to work this way.  Worse yet, the generation currently entering retirement years—the generation age 50 and up—are doing everything in their power to destroy future generations long after they die.  I will outline this below.


Games People Play
Gaming the overtime system, is a big part of the pension issue. This abuse is most prevalent with prison guards and public safety workers.  Between having a colleague call-in sick or not being at work because they are enjoying the generous vacation policy while feeding at the government trough, those that wish, have abundant opportunities to work overtime shifts. Some more egregious examples in recent media reports include a BART janitor sleeping in a closet while claiming he works 20 hour shifts and CalFire firefighters that claim to work several days straight when in reality they were drinking and partying it up while on duty!  No one seems to miss a chance to game the system. 

Oh by the way, when a union renegotiates its contract with the state, or any other municipality, it frequently includes retroactive pay and bonuses for its members. 

Other cases include: applying for the same job in a more expensive area (think the bay area or coast) to get a major salary boost for the sole purpose of juicing your pension by an extra $400 or so a month!  This is known as pension spiking.

My personal favorite, promoting a colleague who intends to retire in a couple years, but due to his accrual of 999 days of sick leave he continues “working” by calling out sick for 3 years.  Nice gig if you can get it.  This cheating is very widespread, it’s going on everywhere.  There are quite a few more stories but it sounds like there is more juicing going on in the public worker sector than in all of Major League Baseball during the 2000’s. 


Pension Crisis in a Nutshell
This gets me to the meat and potatoes of this blog.  If your city, municipality, county, transportation agency, etc. belongs to CALPERS then they have to pay a set amount of money annually into the pension fund to cover the costs of their retirees.  For most of these municipalities, those costs are somewhat manageable right now, accounting for roughly 10% of their annual budgets.  Again, I said somewhat because in 2023 it will balloon to 18% of their total budgets with the increases CALPERS is charging them to participate. 

This will become an even bigger issue at some point. Right now we are in a period of economic growth—even though wages aren’t growing—but what happens when we have a major recessionary event?  One that lasts several years, like during the Bush/Obama years?  My main cause for sounding the alarm now is that cities are already claiming to be strapped for funding to do even basic things like road work.  Have you seen a government entity’s pay scale?  Guess what? It’s nothing like the private sector; every single year you get an increase, with its steps and columns.  In addition to great salary, and benefits, when was the last time the government actually laid off any workers?  (Hearing crickets) In the private sector as has been detailed here and elsewhere, when your company has a bad quarter, a percentage of the workforce is terminated. 

Again, we have current and future pension funding issues and the number of government workers and retirees continues to grow not shrink.  Just think about it. When President Obama or Governor Brown talked about creating jobs, it was the government sector that they were growing most.


Is There Hope
Now how to combat this issue?  Well honestly there is no attainable answer.  The problem is the unions along with local and state politicians control everything about this.  As we have chronicled before, government doesn’t even show future pension obligations on their financial statements. They only care about the current fiscal year. This is GAAP accounting for government entities. Want to change the contribution amounts for state workers?  Meet the same fate Gov. Arnold did, when his special election propositions went down in flames.  (This election is what caused Arnold to reject any pretense of Republican values.) Try to raise the contribution by the worker by just half a percent, the union and the workers will literally scream bloody murder.  If you are a Democrat politician and you try to change the rules for retiree pension plans, may God have mercy on your soul (if you are a believer) because you will most certainly be on the receiving end of several million dollars in attack ads aiding your opponent next election. 

Since nothing gets done at the elected level, cities and interest groups choose to push through initiatives for sales tax increases.  These increases are packaged and pushed as “we need to hire more police” or “The District Attorney won’t prosecute low level crimes without this tax hike.”  This is baloney, because the government doesn’t follow through at all. They use a straw man argument to play to your emotions to get you to agree to a tax hike that funds legacy pension costs.  My understanding from the Blog Father is Sacramento County tried to do this with Measure B, the sales tax to fix and repair roads, it BARELY failed at the ballot box.  CRA didn’t take a stand on this by the way.  (Note: CRA contacted me via the Sith Lord and said they took offense at this remark by Mr. X and did vote to oppose Measure M. I know that CRA never submitted a ballot argument against Measure M but I did.—editor)

My point is they play to your emotion by using fear, the phone may not be answered at 911 because there won’t be any police on the streets, or your house will burn down because the firefighters won’t be able to make it to your house in time. Even trying to chip away at these pension benefits comes with a steep price.  John Chiang has been one of the most vocal in California about this, and he is barely registering a blip in the polls for governor.  The big question is, what happens when these sales tax increases don’t pass? 

Last month, the Legislature actually had several chances to take a crack at mending the pension system.  The two hero legislators were John Moorloch from southern California, a Republican, and Steve Glazer from the Bay Area, a Democrat who used to work for Brown, put forth 3 different bills.  None got a hearing with the state senate committee charged with overseeing public retirement plans.  Glazer wanted a switch from the defined benefit plans to 401k plans to attract a younger work force that maybe doesn’t want to be in civil servant for life.  Moorloch wanted to slow down cost of living adjustments until CALPERS gets more solvent. Basically saying the next recession could bankrupt it.  The chair of that committee said it best, I want more people on defined benefit plans than 401k plans.  Take note, the private sector has very, very, few pension plans left.

In reality, taxes, fees, and fines (like traffic tickets) will be raised and be more plentiful due to cities needing to collect more revenue to balance budgets.  This is why your red light (Cooper Cam) violation cost $600.  It’s not because they want you to feel financial pain but they need to balance the budget.  Sales taxes can help somewhat, but tickets help the most.  We will see if Prop 13 survives this CALPERS assault on city budgets as well, I bet it won’t—especially after November.

Don’t forget that should California finally go bankrupt, the Legislature has put the union pensions first in line. As it stands now, by law, retirees will be paid in full before anyone currently working for government gets a dime of state money. I wish someone would take this pension issue to court before we get to the breaking point, as it will likely take 2 federal judges and the Supreme Court to rule this unconstitutional. But in the meantime the public pension racket in California is the union’s golden goose and is untouchable.

Hope I made you think a little,

X

Posted by william on 06/01 at 01:59 PM
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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Review: Purchasing Galaxy S9+

Earlier this year, my Lumia 950 LX began having a series of unexplained issues related to phone calls and messages. I began having to reboot my phone not because of any obvious error but because I would become aware that I was not getting text messages from my family. Upon restarting, my phone would suddenly receive three or four days’ worth of text messages in a matter of seconds. After dealing with this irritation for a while, my phone began missing calls. The phone would not ring or show a missed call. When someone dialed my number, it would ring four times and send the caller to voicemail.

Let me tell you, when mama bear calls and you don’t answer the phone then mama aint happy.  I tried it myself with the wife’s phone. I literally set her phone next to mine and called myself. Her phone rang four times and then went to the voicemail. No ring or missed call ever appeared on my phone. However, using my phone I could dial and get right thru to her.

I tried the wife’s old phone, Lumia 950, and experienced that same problems. I went to the cell carrier and bought a new sim card. This too failed to resolve the problem.

Neither my wife nor son had problems calling each other on their Android phones. I had my son try to call me and his call failed. I then took the wife’s phone and put my sim chip in her phone and had my son dial me. His call rang with no problem. Thus the sim chip was not the problem.

I did some Internet research and while not conclusive this is my best guess as to what was happening. The problem seemed to be relate to cell phone carrier frequency and signal changes. When I dialed the wife’s phone, my phone would hunt thru a series of available frequencies until it found one and then it would dial. However, the reason the wife couldn’t call me is because the carrier’s preferred frequency was not available in my coverage area. The cell network would try to reach me on a frequency that my phone couldn’t receive or in a way that my phone didn’t recognize and then it would time-out and send the call to voicemail. This behavior was intermittent and seemed to depend on which combination of cell towers that each of our phones was using.

Whether the phone hardware or Window Mobile Operating System is partially to blame was something that I couldn’t determine. My conclusion was that the cell provider did some change earlier this year that wasn’t compatible because they assumes nobody was still using Windows phones. Visual Voicemail was broken on Windows phones about three years ago and the carrier was moving on without supporting the feature on Microsoft’s platform.

I researched a bunch of different phones. I wanted a large screen, good camera, fast CPU, and reliable Bluetooth. Amazingly enough, per user reviews, most phones failed in one of these areas. Either the screen resolution or framerate were crappy, camera was poor, or Bluetooth connection was subject to failure or intermittent. In other words, manufactures took shortcuts in hardware or had poor designs that didn’t work in the real world.

Another feature that I wanted was the ability to store apps on the SD card. While the Android operating system supports this feature, many phone manufactures disable this feature.  For example, my son is using my old ASUS phone. ASUS treats the SD card as an external drive and will only allow photos and music to be stored on the SD card. My son’s 32 GB phone is full of apps and he has to delete existing apps to install new ones. He likes games and many are over 2 GB each. Can you say Pokémon Go? The phone will not allow him to move apps to the SD card. As a result, he has a 64 GB SD card sitting virtually empty in his phone. This is stupid.

My wife has a phone by Sony. The Sony Bluetooth is terrible. If her phone goes on internet, the Bluetooth will disconnect. If the Bluetooth connects to her car it will disconnect from her Samsung health band. The phone cannot support more than one radio connection at a time. She can only have internet or one Bluetooth device connected. The phone will not multitask or support multiple simultaneous radio connections. Her phone also will randomly uninstall apps every time she restarts the phone, which she must try to identify and reinstall. We did a factory reset of phone and found the SD card was identified as bad but the reset did nothing to resolve the Bluetooth issues. I love the traditional six inch format of her phone but the internals are crumby.

After much research I decided to get a Samsung Galaxy S8+. It checked most of the boxes that I wanted except screen size. I don’t like their “candy bar” screen format, I would like a bigger size. The phone is long but narrow. I would prefer a wider screen but they just aren’t available on high-end phones.

I went into my neighborhood Best Buy and looked at the phones. They had a Samsung Galaxy S9+ with a price tag of $719. That isn’t much different than the S8+ was on the Internet. I thought to myself, what a bargain, maybe I will get the S9+ instead. I waited in line and when my turn came, asked for the Galaxy S9+ from the lady in the phone area. She rung it up and asked for $906 and change. Then I knew I’d been played. They had purposely put the wrong price in front of the phone just to dupe folks like me. I’m holding the S9+ in my hot little hand and they are now asking for more money. I went ahead and bought it at the higher price. After the transaction, I went back to the in store display and checked. The Galaxy S9 has no price in front of it but the Galaxy S9+ had the Galaxy S9 price tag on it.


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Illustration showing Galazy S9+ shape being more like candy bar


Best Buy does have a two week return policy for the phone and I ended-up putting that to good use as I will now explain.

After I got home from buying the phone at Best Buy, I went onto Amazon to order a case for my phone. In my experience, Best Buy marks up phone accessories like crazy and I wanted to pay less, especially after breaking my budget like I did. As a Prime member, I knew I could get two day delivery on the case. I would have to survive only Sunday and one day at work in order to save some money. Well, amazingly enough, even with a tracking number, Amazon lost the order.

After five days of waiting, I went on the internet to see if Best Buy had a case similar to the one that Amazon lost. Best Buy actually had a similar case for five dollars more than the one I had previously ordered and not received. While on their website, I checked on the phone price just to see if what I paid was the correct price. Well guess what? Best Buy was selling the phone for the same price that I had paid but they were offering the phone with a wireless charger and 128 GB SD card.

The next day, Saturday, I went on Amazon and cancelled my missing order and got my money refunded. Oh, the Amazon service rep was Kuldeep. Thinking that I was probably dealing with an ESL (English as a Second Language) person, I used full sentences and was very polite in the chat session.

I then went to Best Buy with my receipt and asked for a charger and SD card. Best Buy did not have a charger or SD card in stock but they ordered them for me. The sales lady also helped me set-up and use the Samsung Pay app. I even got a $5 credit for using Samsung Pay for buying the case. The charger and SD card arrived three days later. I felt better for at least getting something extra for having paid cash for the phone a week earlier.


I love the Galaxy S9+. It is a great phone. I did have to hunt around for a few things.

On Windows Phone, my favorite app was Earthquake Watch. I was hoping that the developer had made an Android app. I tried to find out but unfortunately, all the contact info for the programmer and his website are stale. Most of the earthquake apps in the Google Play Store are crappy.  After several days of researching, the closest that I could find to Earthquake Watch in the Google Store was My Earthquake Alerts. After using the app for about a month, Google game me a credit for $2 for no apparent reason. I used it to upgrade to the Pro version which is identical except ad free.

My other issue was getting my address book to download into my car so I could make hands-free calls. I was able to connect my Google and Outlook accounts to my contacts but they would not download to my car. Connecting my Outlook account to the built-in Calendar app in the phone seemed to solve this issue.

My only remaining and unresolved issue is will Cortana read my text messages to me while I’m driving? Windows phones have had this ability in them for at least the last five years but Android…? If so, I can send text replies via voice commands. TBD.

Posted by william on 05/31 at 03:02 PM
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Friday, May 25, 2018

California’s Ideological Version of the Zombie Apocalypse

Given: The following logical propositions are true:

• Actions have consequences.

• Ideas have consequences.

• Elections have consequences.



Therefore, as we approach the anointing of Gavin Newsom as the next governor of California, I promise that you will see the attacks upon thought and personal beliefs accelerate in ways never seen before in the history of our nation .

Two harbingers of this have already been seen in the legislature—and be warned—they are just the beginning.


California Senate Bill 1146 (2016)

This threatens religious institutions ability to require that students attend daily or weekly chapel services, keep bathrooms and dormitories distinct according to sex, require students to complete theology classes, teach religious ideas in regular coursework, hold corporate prayer at events such as graduation, and so on. In other words, it threatens every practice that makes religious institutions distinct from secular institutions.

“The bill effectively eliminates the religious exemption under current law that allows Christian colleges and universities to operate in accordance with their beliefs, including the freedom to hire only Christian faculty and staff. If passed without amendments, the new law would also very likely disqualify students attending California Christian colleges and universities from eligibility for Cal Grants, a key state-level student aid program.”

California Bill Would Ultimately Erase Religious Schools

Religious leaders and colleges in California claimed victory this week after deflecting a proposed California bill that would have jeopardized state funding for students at religious schools that did not conform to state policy on gay rights.

At stake were hundreds of thousands of dollars in state tuition subsidies for tens of thousands of low-income students attending private religious schools. These subsidies come in the form of Cal Grants that provide substantial subsidies for poor students at private and public colleges.

The bill would have required any school whose students receive Cal Grants to comply with state nondiscrimination law and provide housing for same-sex married couples on an equal basis with heterosexual couples and to provide bathroom access to transgender students based on their chosen gender identity.

As amended, the bill would now be limited to two types of disclosure. First, colleges would have to publicize if they have requested a religious Title IX exemption from the federal government. Second, they would have to report to the state if a student is expelled for morality code violations.

This disclosure-only shift was hailed as a victory by religious schools and their advocates, but the victory may be a fleeting one.

Kristen Soares, president of the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, which opposed the bill in its earlier form, said she expects the bill’s author to be back next year.

“This gives us more time to work on this issue,” Soares said. But, she says, she is under no illusion that this compromise is anything more than a pause .

California legislature balks at pulling grants from religious schools over LGBT issues



Assembly Bill 2943 (2018)

A new bill passed by the California Assembly on Thursday would classify the selling or advertising of gay conversation therapy as a fraudulent business practice.

Assemblyman Evan Low (D) said the practice of trying to change someone’s sexual orientation is ineffective…

California bill would classify gay conversion therapy as a fraudulent practice

A supporter of the concept of the bill, Conor Friedersdorf, wrote in the Los Angeles times, “…to settle what the law really is saying will require a decade of court battles .”

Conversion therapy for gays is awful, but so is California’s bill to ban it


Both the above pieces of legislation (and others I could cite) would be passed under Newsom. Governor Brown may or may not sign the one on Conversion Therapy. The thing you must remember is that all such legislation is just the next step to something else not the end in itself.

Folks, if you are a traditional, orthodox Christian whether you call yourself Roman Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant, the State of California has placed you in their crosshairs for the purposes of extinction. You will conform or be persecuted. Sticking to your beliefs and teaching them to your children will have a cost.


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They’re coming for you brethren


The logical next step after private colleges are denied access to the Cal Grant program will be this: if you graduate from an institution that is not eligible for Cal Grants then you will be denied employment in any level of government. This may happen via the backdoor and the State may word the denial in terms of accreditation of institutions or some other weasel words. Perhaps they will require an affirmation of your support for homosexuality or abortion or whatever social issues they wish to attach. It will effectively be a Test Oath to swear allegiance to the power and wisdom of the State.

Truthfully, I’m surprised that current State employees don’t have to do this in some form already. I guess the assumption is that we really believe all the B.S. that they tell us or it just never occurred to them that many of us dissent from the wisdom of the rainbow people in government.

For example, State employees are subjected to sexual harassment training on an annual basis. Employees are required to sign-in at the training but currently no document is required with a signature saying that we agree, support, or affirm all the stuff the legislature says we need to do or believe. If you tune-out about 90 seconds of the one hour presentation then you likely just skipped the token rainbow pug for the year. I foresee the day coming when sitting in the room will not be enough, we will have to sign a pledge to tow the Party Line.


Most folks don’t understand that those elected to the Legislature are not bound by their consciences or oath to support and defend the Constitution; instead, their attitude is if you don’t like what we do then take the issue to court. Otherwise, shut-up and hold on.

The tyranny of the majority is here and they’re coming for you. The ideological version of the zombie apocalypse has begun and it’s an inside job.

 

Posted by william on 05/25 at 12:25 PM
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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Future History Today

Two thousand years from now, some poor child in a history class is going to be presented the following three headlines from today and then asked to explain what caused to downfall of the United States of America.


1 NFL considers proposed 15-yard penalty for kneeling, report say

2 Parents can kick their 30-year-old son out of their home, court rules

3 Publix wouldn’t write Summa Cum Laude on graduation cake due to profanity, SC family says

Folks what more can you really say?


Let’s look at each of these just a bit more.

NFL considers proposed 15-yard penalty for kneeling
The National Football League did this to themselves by allowing politics into the game. The San Francisco Forty-Niners and then the NFL Commissioner allowed this to happen much to my amazement. I watched zero NFL games last season and will watch none until this practice is outlawed. A penalty is not enough. It is a half measure from a group of spineless owners that have been given billions of taxpayer’s money for the sole purpose of playing a stupid game.  The owners should have their government protected monopolies removed and be forced to seek only private funding in the future.



Update 05-23-2018

On Wednesday, the league announced new guidelines that require players who are on the field during the anthem to stand, but allows individuals who decide to skip the “Star-Spangled Banner” to remain in the locker room.
Liberal media outraged after ‘racist’ NFL adopts ‘un-American’ policy to combat national anthem protests



Parents can kick their 30-year-old son out of their home.
As I have written about before, “The compassion of the wicked is cruelty.”

The man in this story is selfish and by all accounts has failed to honor his parents. The Commandment doesn’t say honor your mother and father only when you agree with them or when they deserve it, it is not qualified by such weasel words.

A verse in Proverbs comes to mind but it doesn’t really mean what you think it does.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

Accordingly, Prov. 22:6 is not so much a promise, as it is a solemn warning. Parents, if you train up your child “according to his way”—in other words, if you quit the hard work of loving discipline and just give in and let your child have his own way—you will reinforce his sinful proclivities to such a degree that, apart from supernatural intervention, “even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Proverbs 22:6: Train Up A Child His Way or God’s Way

 

Dr. Crenshaw is a smart guy and the article that I quoted above is well worth the time to read it.



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Publix wouldn’t write Summa Cum Laude on graduation cake due to profanity
For those of you on the Left Coast, Publix is a grocery store chain which apparently has a bakery with employees that were given average publix-school educations. Since Latin is no longer taught, I’m not that surprised. Most folks now-a-days only think in terms of bodily fluids and how to satisfy their base urges. The thought of these words being associated with academic excellence is clearly beyond their comprehension. Clearly Publix employees only use that word in another context when messaging their friends on social media.


So, student of the future, what did you conclude about the state of our Republic and its demise?

We had a saying in our era that “Hindsight is 20/20”. But sadly, the people living during this time never comprehended the peril that we were in. The Good Book warns us that “As in the days of Noah…”

Posted by william on 05/22 at 07:13 PM
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