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Tuesday, December 27, 2016
This past weekend, we celebrated Christmas. It was the most enjoyable one I can recall in many years.
My weekend started Friday afternoon by getting sent home early from work. This year it was two o’clock. This is the earliest that I can recall being dismissed. Of course the drive home was a cakewalk. I arrived home to be greeted by my wife and son. We had a nice dinner and watched a Christmas movie.
The next day we went and visited some dogs that needed a home. While my son hasn’t gotten his dog yet, he knows that mom and dad are willing to get him one when the time is right. Later we had dinner with grandpa and grandma. My son got to open many gifts from his grandparents. The evening went well and my dad’s prime rib was good. We drove home—well mostly. I had the wife dump me out of the car at California Family Fitness and I walked the rest of the way home—too many calories at grandma’s. After I got home, we went to bed ready for Christmas Day.
On Christmas Day, my son was up at his usual time of 6 AM. He played on his computer until mom had breakfast ready. We ate breakfast and then went to see what was under the Christmas tree. We opened our gifts, loaded up the car and then headed to church.
Our church was closed on Christmas. Yeah, I know that’s kind of weird but it’s the pitfall of not owning your own building. There was nobody around to let us into our usual place so we had to meet elsewhere. After many false starts, a few days before Christmas, our pastor decided that we should crash the service at Christ the King in Roseville. The service there was glorious and we got to see many people that we haven’t seen in many years. The Communion portion of the service was my favorite. They had really great homemade bread and port wine. Since this is a meal with Christ, typically you get a big handful of bread and each family gets their own glass of wine. I even got seconds on the wine. Yummy.
We then went home and got ready for our lone guest for Christmas dinner; my sister-in-law. More prime rib. (I don’t mind, the turkey is being served when the child in the military gets home next weekend.)
Since Christmas was on a Sunday this year, Monday was a holiday. My day started by stepping on the scale and amazingly enough, I had lost my final two pounds for the year! Yes, I stepped off and got back on the scale just to check. It was official; I lost 50 pounds in 2016.
After breakfast, we went to look at pet supplies and accessories in anticipation of getting our son a dog. Then I took the family to lunch. (Mr. X had dibs on lunch but had to take the wife shopping so he took a raincheck.) We then went home for a while.
Mid-afternoon I had the crazy idea to go swimming. The wife and I suited-up and headed for Cal-Fit. However, it turns-out that the pool heater has been dead for a while. I can’t understand how a solar heater is broken when the sun works just fine but the water temp was definitely in the 50’s. The wife headed for the hot tub and I endured the cold water for about 15 minutes of laps and then hit the hot tub as well. After about 35 minutes we were on our way home for a warm shower and dry clothes. I did some laundry and then did some chores around the house.
After dinner and a prolonged computer project—which I may blog about later—I went for a walk to get the rest of my steps for the day. I was glad because I figured it would be the last chance to see all the lights in the neighborhood until next year.
Truly it was a good Christmas. I hope yours was as well.
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Thoughts as We Near Christmas
Normally I don’t get so personal on this blog but this time of the year, isn’t that—at least in part—what Christmas is about; preparing for Christ and what He is doing in your life?
This last month or so I have been experiencing many changes in my life.
First two friends have died rather unexpectedly.
At Thanksgiving time, I learned that Bishop Royal Grote had died.
Royal U Grote, Jr
Bp. Grote was based in Texas and for much of the time that I knew him, he was in charge of the Missionary Diocese of the West for the Reformed Episcopal Church. Bishop Grote was a fine man. He smoked cigars on important occasions, enjoyed adult beverages and loved the Lord. He was charitable with other believers and tried to be the best shepherd that he could for his flock. He took his vows of marriage and to serve God very seriously. He jealously guarded The Table from error and those living in it. Only once did I see him discipline a minister in his charge (although I am aware of other occasions). He acted firmly and decisively when needed. Like it or not, Grote was also instrumental in the formation of the ACNA (Anglican Church in North America). Grote hoped this organization would be an umbrella group to unite various splinter groups fleeing the heresy of the Anglican Church.
Link: Wikipedia Royal U Grote Jr.
A week later, another friend—George Fincke—also died.
George B Fincke
George was also ordained a Bishop in the REC. George started out as the son of a Presbyterian minister in Cape May, New Jersey. He attended college at Bob Jones University and occasionally made life there a living hell for the Jones’. He attended college there in the 1970’s. While a student, George did a play at Bob Jones that was a parody of the original Star Trek. In the play, Spock was replaced by Bob Jones and the results, while hilarious, were unsatisfactory to Mr. Jones and his family. George also admitted to putting laundry detergent in the water fountain at the college’s main gate and creating a layer of foam three feet high in the fountain. He had a wonderful sense of humor and maintained a friendship with Bob Jones Jr. who was also a student there when he was.
Later George attended the Reformed Episcopal Seminary in Philadelphia and spent the next twelve years in the Presbyterian Church. Finally, he “saw the light” and moved to the Reformed Episcopal Church. I met George when he was recruited by Bishop Grote to be the minister of the parish in Vacaville California. At the time, many people were hoping to recruit Ray Sutton as their pastor but Grote had other plans for Sutton.
George and I became good friends. While in Vacaville, George suffered a stroke. He had to learn to speak again and also to walk. I spent many hours at his home during this time. That was 16 years ago. George had been made a Bishop about two years before the stroke but his life changed when this happened. He was effectively stripped of his duties and became a Bishop without a flock. It was an awkward period. Once he was recovered enough to resume preaching, he was transferred to Fargo North Dakota. Despite many years of labor, the Mission in Fargo faded away and about two years ago, George moved to Prescott Arizona and took a church there. At this point he transferred from the REC to the Anglican Provence of America.
Link: All Saints Prescott, AZ
It was a fresh start for his family and much closer to his grandchildren. Two months before he died, he and his wife had finally purchased a home in Prescott.
I miss his emails and posts on Facebook; mostly his wonderful friendship and sense of humor. He always was laughing and enjoyed life.
I have another friend that is in the last stages of his life and will soon go to his reward. Unlike the other two that I mentioned, he hasn’t made his peace with God. Should you happen to see this post Frank, I’m praying for you to find the peace that only Jesus Christ can give you.
Also in the last month, the wife and I decided to pull our son from the private school that he has been attending for the last 8 ½ years and send him to a different school. The academic rigor is not there this year and the mandatory purchase of an Apple product for the second trimester was the beginning of the last chapter there. We had to buy him this device not for learning but so he could play even more games than he already does at home. Now he can play games at school too. It was time to go.
Back in November, the oldest child moved out. We are enjoying the relative peace and quiet. This move has provided us with the opportunity to do lots of cleaning and organizing. The biggest beneficiaries so far are Goodwill and Ikea.
Adding to this cleaning opportunity is the weight that my wife and I have lost this year. I’m back to where I was in my 20’s and the wife will be there soon if she survives the Holidays. (-:
Our first trip to Goodwill this fall was over one hundred clothing items, many that still had tags on them. This has been followed-up by several more trips.
Lastly, I was given a promotion at work. God is good and we keep pushing that Dave Ramsey snowball down the hill. A debt-free scream is still in our future but we’re getting there.
I wish all my readers a Merry Christmas.
Thanks Mr. X for your contributions this year. I hope to see you at the salsa bar real soon.
Tuesday, December 06, 2016
I was ready to touch on the pension issue in Dallas but that will have to wait.
ESPN… seriously? This past weekend was huge for college football and you chose to push your liberal agenda. First things first, William has done a great job recently laying out the agenda that ESPN and other major television networks have been subjecting viewers to in the name of entertainment. However credit X for bringing this to the light a while back in one of his earlier articles.
Anyway back to the college football game X was watching this past Saturday night. Virginia Tech and Clemson, not because I like college football—honestly X could care less—but after working outside all day it was a nice break. The game hadn’t started yet, and Chris Fowler, the announcer of the game (more on him later) begins the game by saying, the ACC Championship game is usually held in North Carolina, but is being held in Florida this year due to HB2. (HB 2 is the so called “bathroom bill” saying use the bathroom of your gender, not the gender you think you might be that day.) In all fairness, I have no issue with this statement by ESPN resident lowlife Chris Fowler, however he couldn’t help himself. Fowler continued, “…this law is very harmful and discriminatory of transgendered people, and I support the ACC moving the game out of North Carolina.”
Sadly this has been the standard method of operation for ESPN for a while.
William and I have both laid out that ESPN has been bleeding viewers for about two years now as more and more people such as William have cut the cord. X has delayed cutting the cord as his “great deal” from Frontier has yet to run out. But back to my point, I do not tune in to ESPN to get my political news ; if I wanted that I could turn to the CRA website…..oh wait they aren’t relevant, so I would probably turn to Fox News. At least Fox News would have been fair and balanced—even Megyn Kelly would have been better than that political crusader, Chris Fowler.
In all honesty, I’m not sure what Fowler thought he was doing. I’m not sure if Fowler is a) transgendered himself, or b) has a friend or family member who is transgendered. I really don’t care whether he does or doesn’t or with whom; enough of your political rants already. I don’t want to hear it. I’m trying to watch a game and relax not get your take on the political hot button issue of the day.
Chris Fowler (photo from Internet)
Now to my commentary regarding Fowler…..Fowler is a sexual deviant. I know a very close friend who has seen it firsthand. A few years ago, Fowler was spotted by a person I will call “FOX” (a fiend of X) with fellow ESPN college game day host Kirk Herbstreit at a bar in Middle America. Both men were drinking adult beverages following a game they had announced together. What my friend observed was behavior so outrageous that it was reported by “FOX” to ESPN’s human resources department. The story relayed to me was this:
Fowler had way too much to drink, as did Herbstreit, but Fowler was acting a mad fool as the young people call it. Fowler was not only doing cat calls as young coeds walked by, he also was grabbing quite a bit of derriere. Actually Bill Cosby may have been jealous, as Fowler was so out of line. Worse yet he was openly bragging about how he worked for ESPN, and worst of all, Mr. Chris Fowler is married or at least he is when he is in his hometown…..yeah think about that for a minute, his wife, Jennifer Dempster, is a female model/bodybuilder.
Like a fool returning to his folly, Fowler stuck his foot in his mouth yet again after the broadcast. While commenting about a scenario in which the football playoffs had five eligible teams and only four could make the playoffs, Fowler, after listening to a couple guests, said he was flip-flopping on his picks and compared the situation as being similar to the winner of our recent Presidential election and his flip flopping. Thanks Fowler, you hate Donald Trump, we get it. Next time rather than listen to you, I’ll just cut the cord from cable, maybe then I can get some real rest and relaxation. I pray nightly that you make peace with your wife because based on the stories I’ve heard and those reported to me by witnesses, you need quite a bit of help.
Until next time,
Friday, November 18, 2016
Cyber Warfare: Why You Should Care
There is a silent war being waged all around the world and you are up to your neck in it if you own a computer, smart phone, tablet device, smart television, or recent model car. Both multinational companies and nation-states are doing their best to collect information on you.
Tracking cookies and the like are so nineteen nineties. Today, any device that you own can be accessed without your knowledge or permission. Laptop and cell phone cameras and microphones can be turned on by remote means; your television can see into your livingroom; your movement anywhere on the planet is tracked by your car, smart phone, or wrist device.
Stuxnet was just the beginning of what a carefully planned hack can accomplish. If you are not familiar with Stuxnet I recommend that you read up on it. Here are a few links:
Stuxnet is a malicious computer worm believed to be a jointly built American-Israeli cyberweapon, although no organization or state has officially admitted responsibility. However, anonymous US officials speaking to The Washington Post claimed the worm was developed during the Bush administration to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program with what would seem like a long series of unfortunate accidents.
Stuxnet specifically targets programmable logic controllers (PLCs), which allow the automation of electromechanical processes such as those used to control machinery on factory assembly lines, amusement rides, or centrifuges for separating nuclear material. Exploiting four zero-day flaws, Stuxnet functions by targeting machines using the Microsoft Windows operating system and networks, then seeking out Siemens Step7 software.
Link: Business Insider—The Stuxnet Attack On Iran’s Nuclear Plant Was ‘Far More Dangerous’ Than Previously Thought
Apple, Sony, and Lenovo are famous for putting rootkits on computers without user permission to spy on you. Visio televisions are also known to spy on users and report data back to somewhere.
WikiLeaks reportedly used spyware installed purposely by Lenovo to obtain information on the Democrat National Party and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Recently, Russia and China have been in the news on this subject.
Russia has stated that they want to move away from any software made by a foreign countries. While the biggest target for this announcement was Microsoft, they also had others in mind. They fear that the software may be compromised by backdoors programmed into the software. It is widely believed that the FBI, CIA, and National Security Agency can access any computer at will.
Link: Moscow’s government ditches Microsoft for Russian software
While Russia is trying to strengthen its defenses against spying and foreign snooping, China is again broadening its ability to keep tabs on the rest of the world. Instead of planting listening posts all over the world and circling the globe with satellites like the West, China is programming devices to report personally identifiable information to servers in their country. If you’ve been watching this subject then you know that any electronic device from their country is probably compromised or could be at a later date. Unlike us, they really have a military/industrial complex.
Here’s the latest example to be made public earlier this month. Only 700 million Android devices are affected by this one instance.
The firmware it uses receives automatic updates from the maker. The covert transmission of personal data is taking place periodically every 72 hours for text messages and call logs and every 24 hours for other personally identifiable information. The user has no ability to switch off the eavesdropping.
“The collected information was encrypted with multiple layers of encryption and then transmitted over secure web protocols to a server located in Shanghai,” Kryptowire said. “This software and behaviour bypasses the detection of mobile anti-virus tools because they assume that software that ships with the device is not malware and thus, it is white-listed.”
For about $50, you can get a smartphone with a high-definition display, fast data service and, according to security contractors, a secret feature: a backdoor that sends all your text messages to China every 72 hours.
Kryptowire has identified several models of Android mobile devices that contained firmware that collected sensitive personal data about their users and transmitted this sensitive data to third-party servers without disclosure or the users’ consent. These devices were available through major US-based online retailers (Amazon, BestBuy, for example) and included popular smartphones such as the BLU R1 HD. These devices actively transmitted user and device information including the full-body of text messages, contact lists, call history with full telephone numbers, unique device identifiers including the International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) and the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI). The firmware could target specific users and text messages matching remotely defined keywords. The firmware also collected and transmitted information about the use of applications installed on the monitored device, bypassed the Android permission model, executed remote commands with escalated (system) privileges, and was able to remotely reprogram the devices.
Link: Kryptowire finds Android firmware
So there we are. I bet many readers didn’t know that we were even in a global “Information Cold War”.
Donald Trump’s advocating the return of manufacturing back to the United States is the right thing to do—not just for economic reasons but because it’s actually a national security issue of the highest order. Most of our military infrastructure and weapons systems are dependent on parts from foreign countries—especially China. In addition, last I heard, Russian manufacturers make parts that are vital for our cruise missile weapons systems. Farming out our military to other countries might make globalists happy but in a time of national emergency it’s a suicidal foreign policy.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
I don’t know if there’s too much fluoride in the waters of Sacramento or whether there’s too much smoke from Humboldt County blowing into in the Sacramento Valley but the Purple People at SEIU are charging full ahead at the wage windmill. They have swallowed a bucket load of the economic crap cooked-up by Democrats wanting to cover-up the scope of economic malfeasance in our country.
Are they really dumb enough to believe we are in an economic recovery and the State of California is running a budget surplus?
California is the sixth largest economy in the world (according to the International Monetary Fund) and has a projected $11.5 billion budget reserve this year (according to the California Legislative Analyst Office 2016 – 2017 budget projection).
Link: SEIU Newsletter 11-16-2016
This isn’t the same story coming from the Legislative Analyst—Mac Taylor—who said today:
If all spending commitments remain unchanged, Taylor projects that California would finish the next budget year in June 2018 with $11.5 billion in total reserves. Most of it would go to required deposits in the state’s rainy-day fund, but about $2.8 billion would be available for the Legislature to spend or save as it chooses.
Link: KCRA TV-2.8 Billion Surplus
Look at this week’s posting to members.
We return to the table today, Nov. 15 and Thursday, Nov. 17, with some additional dates scheduled later this month.
Seems like SEIU is running out of time this month to negotiate, plus the State hasn’t budged on their offer. Last time SEIU met with the State, a mere week later they were scheduling the strike vote. Nothing has changed.
Yes the strike vote passed but BFD.
An overwhelming 92% majority of us voted YES to authorize any and all actions, up to and including a strike, in support of a contract we can all be proud of!
It seems like the best argument that SEIU can put forward for a 22 percent pay raise over the next four years is that it’s not nice to hit girls…at least not in the wallet.
• Our union is predominately women (66%), yet we are paid 19% less than the average for all rank-and-file state employees
• The state has made deals with male-dominated bargaining units that include wages 43% higher than our average pay
• A staggering 39% of us cannot afford a two-bedroom apartment in the county we live in
• In most parts of the state, we cannot afford childcare
Again, SEIU1000 represents non-essential government workers. They will get zero sympathy from the public which is their court of last resort.
Will they begin with a work slowdown or jump straight to a strike? Just in time for Black Friday shopping?
I think CCPOA (California Correctional Peace Officers Association) will have SEIU in court immediately to insure that their members continue to be paid despite any tantrum thrown by SEIU. CCPOA might even seek a 90 day cooling-off period just to put things off to the beginning of negotiations on the 2017-18 budget.
As stated before, many state workers will not be participating in the union action so will it make a difference?
Also, many state workers have several months of sick and vacation on the books so what will be the economic impact?
(Most have yet to learn that they don’t get paid while walking the line.)
Is Golden One Credit Union going to bail-out the striking workers like they did during the furloughs a few years ago?
Oh, lest we forget, it is illegal for state workers to strike. The union hasn’t exactly lead with that little nugget in any of their strike rhetoric.
So how can they strike? Good question. The way it works it that as part of the strike settlement, the state grants amnesty to those who participated in the strike. Thus striking remains illegal and unions are allowed to do it anyway with no repercussions.
It will be interesting to watch this drama unfold as we move into the holiday season.
Monday, November 07, 2016
SEIU Voting Update
I took some time out of my day today to go visit an SEIU polling place here in Elk Grove. I was mostly curious how they conducted the voting; especially, if they required a photo I.D.
I found three people sitting at a table in front of the AT&T store between Starbucks and GameStop Burger (Smash Burger has same color scheme as GameStop and they were there before Smash).
The table was covered with an SEIU table skirt. On top was a ballot box, two stacks of ballots with big boxes to check Yes or No, three stacks of envelopes—two white and one pink, a roll of stickers that said I voted, two lists of names, a clipboard, and some pens.
I observed on person vote. His eligibility was determined by typing his name into a cell phone. He was given a ballot, envelope, and pen. He marked the ballot and then was asked to complete the other side of the envelope before inserting it into the ballot box. On the envelope he had to have name, signature, and union number. The ballot was then placed in the envelope. Once the envelope was sealed it was placed in the ballot box.
As this person was finishing his vote, two other people tried to vote. The next potential voter was not verified with the cell phone but with one of two paper lists on the table. Her name was found on the first listed that was checked. After putting her cell number and email on the list, the poll worker checked the list again and then informed her that she was not a union member and needed to complete an application to join SEIU in order to vote. She commented that it was not clear from the union website that you must be a member to vote. She declined to join SEIU and then she and her companion (who was also hoping to vote) left.
The first guy that voted lingered at the table after his vote was cast and asked some questions of the union representatives working the table. In the course of the conversation, the SEIU rep that he was speaking with dropped a big bombshell. He was informed that it would be helpful for the SEIU if he would vote Yes on Prop 55.
Per the trusty voter guide from the Secretary of State, Prop 55 “Extends by twelve years the temporary personal income tax increases enacted in 2012 on earnings over $250,000, with revenues allocated to K-12 schools, California Community Colleges, and, in certain years, healthcare.”
OK so where in that description is there any mention of exorbitant wage increases for non-essential government workers?
The only analysis that makes sense is that if this temporary tax goes away then the General Fund will have to pick up the slack meaning less money is available to give gifts to SEIU.
Lastly, I asked about the 3.5 percent for retiree healthcare that was mentioned on the SEIU website. I was told that current employees would have to start contributing 3.5 percent of their wages to a trust fund for retiree healthcare beginning January of 2017. Thus the pay increase offered by the state will not even allow SEIU employees to break even with what they are taking home now. This is likely the real reason for all the strike talk and saber rattling.
The ballots are supposed to be counted this weekend but the poll workers did not know when or where; however, they did claim that the vote counting would be open to the public.
Wednesday, November 02, 2016
Why Democrats Should Vote for Trump
I could go into a lot of reasons why Democrats should vote for Trump but Democrats are not motivated by logic, facts, or reason so I will give a short synopsis and then explain why.
I know that some games with economic statistics started under George W Bush but the fact is that the Obama Administration has been cooking the economic books for the full eight years of his term.
• Quantitative Easing has been artificially propping up the financial markets.
• The Federal Reserve has been propping up monetary policy but they have already said they will raise the Prime Rate after the election.
• Given that one in five American households have no one working and there are over 94 million adults that are no longer in the workforce out of a population of 308 million people (including children and senior citizens) do you really believe that unemployment is only five percent?
• Economic growth under Obama has never been above 3 percent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in any fiscal quarter of his presidency—this is the first time in US history
• The auto loan market is in a financial bubble that is ready to burst (Americans owe over one trillion dollars in auto loans)
• The student loan debt is also over one trillion dollars
• Job creation under Obama is less than the number of college graduates entering the works force and has been for all eight years of his administration
• 36 percent of young people between 24 and 31 are still living at home
• Taxes, fees, and regulations have grown significantly under Obama
• Pension plans nationwide are trillions of dollars underfunded (one trillion just in California—State, County, and Local governments)
• Medicare and Social Security are facing insolvency in the next few years
This is only the tip of the statistical iceberg but you get the point, the house of cards will collapse sooner or later. You’ve had a good deal under Obama—or so you think—but the bills are about to come due.
We also learned from Democrats that capitalizing on disaster and tragedy is a cornerstone of how they operate. Spinning a crisis into political advantage is part of their playbook.
Here is your golden opportunity to do both. A vote for Trump is really a vote for future Democrat officeholders. Why? Because the economic system in the country needs a correction. Whichever party is in power when it happens will get the blame and you don’t want your guy (or in this case girl) in office when the stuff hits the fan. Trump can get the blame, fix it and then the next Democrat can ride the economic crisis all the way to the White House. If your Party spins it right then your guys could be in power for the next 16 years or better. Frankly, this might be a good reason to vote a strait Republican ticket. If Republicans own the Congress and Presidency then there is no way blame will go to your Party. In the long run you’ll be better for the experience.
Trust me, you want Trump when the economy takes a dump.
Saturday, October 29, 2016
Hillary’s Weiner Troubles
Drudge Report 10-28-2016
Why is it that when the Clintons get into trouble and the truth finally comes out that a Weiner always gets the blame?
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Just in Time for Halloween: SEIU Strike Vote
The dystopian worldview of the Service Employee’s International Union has finally caused them to ratchet-up their rhetoric and call for a strike authorization vote.
Yes exactly one week after they supposedly returned to the bargaining table with the State, they pulled the trigger on the vote. I have a few unanswered questions:
• What changed between June and October that they thought the State would negotiate?
• Did they really meet?
• What did the State offer?
None of these questions was answered; instead we get a tale of “two cities”.
On one hand, California is the 6th largest economy in the world and has a projected $11.5 billion surplus this year.
On the other hand, a staggering 39% of our members cannot afford a two-bedroom apartment in the county they live in.
And in most parts of the state, our members cannot afford childcare.
Even more alarming is the gender pay inequity we’re facing.
Our union is predominately women (66% female, 34% male). Yet we are paid 19% less than the average for all rank-and-file state employees. The state has made deals with male-dominated state worker groups that include wages 43% higher than our average pay.
Like all Californians, we should be able to provide for our families. Yet, the state is offering us only 2.96% per year with a 3.5% employee contribution to our retiree healthcare.
Our intention is to continue to negotiate in good faith on all remaining terms, but both sides have to act in good faith. When the state’s conduct doesn’t meet this standard – on livable wages and benefits – we must prepare for all options.
The voting period is scheduled to be October 31 to November 11.
(In my world these dates are known as Reformation Day to Veteran’s Day.)
Oh, even though I work for the State, I don’t get a vote, I just get to involuntarily contribute to the union as a condition of my employment.
As a taxpayer, you should have taken Nagan’s offer but since you didn’t, they’re coming for ALL your stuff.
Trick or Treat California.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Facebook and Censorship
I have a friend that had his Facebook account frozen in 2012 for supporting traditional marriage. Most of his posts were about his family but some were admonishing the Church to do its job and not compromising on biblical values. The account is still frozen and since then he created two more pages, one is Free Rev X’s webpage and the other is his initials.
Some people that I know recently released a movie favorable to the Second Amendment called Targeted. Their posts about the movie were routinely blocked and deleted by Facebook. How can you use social media for publicity when they delete your point of view just because of the subject matter?
Facebook has no ombudsman or contact email to appeal, they just ban and then you’re toast.
Lest you think this is an isolated couple of cases, the following excerpts will prove enlightening. Both articles quoted below are related but each is worth reading in their own right. As you’re reading, remember that Michael Savage’s mantra is borders, language, and culture ; so is Donald Trump’s.
Trump and Facebook
“Some of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s posts on Facebook have set off an intense debate inside the social media company over the past year,” The Wall Street Journal reports. Some employees argued that “certain posts about banning Muslims from entering the U.S. should be removed for violating the site’s rules on hate speech, according to people familiar with the matter.”
In the end, those employees did not prevail: “The decision to allow Mr. Trump’s posts went all the way to Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, who ruled in December that it would be inappropriate to censor the candidate.”
The story the goes on to state:
The implication would seem to be that there is one standard for presidential candidates and another for ordinary Facebook users. Had you published exactly the same proposal and somebody complained, Facebook might have censored you.
Here’s another incident of Facebook censorship
Although the post doesn’t mention it specifically, much of this feedback likely came as a result of a recent incident in which Facebook deleted posts containing an iconic Vietnam War image of 9-year-old Kim Phuc running down the road naked after her village was bombed.
Not only did Facebook delete the original image after a Norwegian newspaper editor uploaded it as part of a series on war photography, but the site deleted the editor’s post about the deletion as well. It then blocked his account, and even deleted a post by Norway’s prime minister, who protested Facebook’s censorship of the image.
Activists and political dissidents are also familiar with having their posts and even their accounts disappear from Facebook without warning. Investigative journalist Eliot Higgins has talked about how Facebook’s deletion of pages about violence in Syria has prevented journalists like him from collecting important information about the war there.
Facebook is willing to censor the Prime Minister of Norway and wishes in could censor Trump and those that agree with him; only when they get embarrassed by bad publicity do they back down from their Liberal bent. For their corporate culture, it’s more important to not be offended by hearing contrary views than to allow the free exchange of ideas.
Saturday, October 22, 2016
Talking Dead and the Presidential Race
Yesterday, you read about the dead voting. Estimates are that over 4,000,000 fraudulent and/or fictitious voters—including the dead—will cast ballots in next month’s presidential election.
Here are a few references on the severity of voter fraud:
2 Million Deceased Americans on Active Voter Lists
Like the deaths in Benghazi, Liberals don’t believe in voter fraud. No, to them its just a vast rightwing conspiracy.
However, today we have finally heard from The Dead. Yes, the dead are talking and they don’t sound very grateful.
Thanks to a street artist Sabo in L.A., The Walking Dead has entered into the Presidential election.
Friday, October 14, 2016
Warren Buffett Screws Even the Poorest Americans
Warren Buffett owns lots of companies through his investment vehicle subsidiary Berkshire Hathaway. X will give Buffett credit, he does give out very good investment advice such as; taking a long view on the market as opposed to trying to time it, and buying a wonderful company at a good price instead of buying a good company at a wonderful price. Turn on CNBC or Fox Business and the program’s host will probably mention Buffett several times throughout the day. He is known as both the “oracle of Omaha” and the “greatest investor ever.” For the most part this is true; however, let’s delve into a few select companies he owns and how they fleece the poorest people living in our country.
One such company is Clayton Homes. Berkshire Hathaway (Buffett) acquired them back in 2003 for 1.7 billion dollars. Clayton Homes builds and sells manufactured homes. X has no issue and actually believes Buffett made a smart decision to buy a company like Clayton. Manufactured homes are generally lived in by people who do not have much financially and that is not an issue; people do need to live somewhere. Clayton sells its products on sales lots similar to an independent car dealer. Typically, when customers visit Clayton’s lots, they encounter flashy signs and banners specifically to target their preferred demographic, the poor, and minorities. (More on this later).
Clayton was expanded over the years to produce many varieties of the same types of homes under different names, smart move as automakers do the same thing. Many towns have multiple Clayton Homes dealers but they were intentionally branded under different names to deceive shoppers. In some sparsely populated parts of the Midwest and South, one would have to drive past as many as five Clayton Homes dealers to find a non-Clayton dealer. In Texas, there are 12 Clayton dealers and not one competitor for over three hours away! In Carrolton, Texas—just north of Dallas, Buffet’s Clayton Homes controls 90% of the manufactured home market, yeah think about that for a minute.
Manufactured home selling isn’t unethical or anything so, why is X white hot at Rich Uncle Pennybags? It’s the way he markets, insures, and finances them. Clayton markets directly to the poor, but more so to minorities. One former Clayton supervisor said “We market to that demographic because they are not as smart as whites and don’t ask questions like whites do.” That’s not racist at all is it? Manufactured homes are a horrible investment to begin with because they depreciate in value extremely quickly, and if you don’t have the $45k to buy the unit outright then Buffett can finance it for you! Yup, he owns Vanderbilt Mortgage, a low income, high risk lender. Vanderbilt was the preferred lender for Clayton sales associates to steer their unexpected customers toward at financing time. Vanderbilt paid Clayton a royalty for each placed loan, and Buffett got a cut as well. (Kinda sounds like the Wells Fargo debacle right?) Vanderbilt charges very high fees, and the interest rates are exorbitant, often seven points higher than a typical home loan. So in today’s terms that would be around 11% interest a year. Other lenders charged around 3.8% higher than a conventional home loan, but remember Uncle Warren wants to get paid at every point of the process. Vanderbilt Mortgage has a staggering 40% of the manufactured home loan market, the second largest controls just 6%, that would be Wells Fargo.
Additionally Clayton has an insurance subsidiary, HomeFirst Agency. They were the preferred provider of insurance on all the homes sold by Clayton and financed by Vanderbilt. Again, the sales associates were telling customers that their current insurance company does not insure mobile homes so you should go with our in house option. So once again he duped unsuspecting people. So at this point of the sales process Buffett has profited several different times: the loan Clayton got from Berkshire to build the unit, Shaw Carpet and Benjamin Moore Paints to finish the interior (both owned by Buffett), the loan through Vanderbilt Mortgage, and the insurance through HomeFirst. Sounds like a heck of a gig if you can land it. However of the three main players in this article, Vanderbilt Mortgage literally may be the devil re-incarnated.
Vanderbilt doesn’t verify or ask for income statements from the individual getting the loan. This happened on purpose folks, Vanderbilt does this to make a profit up front on the fees and interest for the first few months, then they could repossess the unit and sell it again; lather, rinse, repeat. Or in the words of the Blogfather, Dewey, Screwem and Howe. Vanderbilt would tell the customers the loans could be refinanced at a lower rate in the future; not true, Vanderbilt did this so they could repossess. Vanderbilt customer service members would tell clients that called in pleading to refinance that they should and I quote “not buy medication or medicines, and encourage them to pawn off or sell any items they could to make that payment.” The customers could not refinance the loans as units depreciate extremely quickly. As a result, many customers lost their homes. Even worse, many customers lost their land which they had put up as collateral. In one case, while foreclosure was being introduced, Vanderbilt had already taken the unit and had it listed for sale on a Clayton lot again. These companies are so corrupt and unethical they defied the orders of a judge.
So once again to recap, the nice guy Warren Buffett who laments that his secretary pays a higher income tax rate then he does, owns companies that allow him to profit at every turn and plays by his own set of rules when it comes to steering customers into making poor financial decisions. Buffett is a fraud, plain and simple. He is a very greedy human being who is ruthless to the working people while he profits hand over fist. He should not be regarded as a great person or great investor, as in these cases with Vanderbilt Mortgage and Clayton Homes some people and families literally lost everything to a phony empire know as Warren Buffett. Wait until I unveil the next hit on him, regarding his profits over employee’s dealings.
Until next time,
Post Constitutional America is Here
Former Sacramento Congressman Vic Fazio was quoted back in the 1980’s as saying “Don’t go quoting the Constitution to me, let’s get back to reality”. Unfortunately, this Liberal Democrat was a harbinger of what has come to pass in the intervening years.
The song “Stop the World” by Randy Stonehill puts much of our wrongs into a succinct form:
We’re putting criminals in office
Cause it’s way too crowded in the jails
T.V. is our teacher now
The schools are overrun by thugs
And children skip their innocence
And graduate to sex and drugs
Right is wrong and wrong is right
White is black and black is white
Millions of people in this country have taken an oath to “…defend the country from all enemies foreign and domestic” but look at their actions, they clearly don’t believe it.
Not only have the barbarians repeatedly stormed the gates, but our leaders are inviting the barbarians—including those from the Seventh Century—to come here and stay. They are welcome to setup outposts of insurgence within our borders. Why? Because they have a common enemy: Christianity.
The American experiment in democracy appears to be experiencing its last dying breaths. The country is burdened with so much debt that all the wealth in the world could literally not pay all the obligations of government let alone the consumer debt of its people.
Yes, the United States is experiencing the same civil war that is raging in the rest of the West. Secular Humanism and Islam are uniting to destroy Christianity. Christianity is responsible for Western Culture but its heirs have forgotten God and think they can do it without Him. Each of our leaders—like their counterparts in the Biblical books of Chronicles and Kings—have done more wickedness than all the leaders before them. They glory in their wickedness. Our gods are called Choice instead of Moloch, athletes, actors, musicians, or politicians instead of Ba’al (local deities), Marvel and D.C. instead of Olympus or Valhalla and the power of the State is vested in Washington instead of Egypt.
Pluralism has the practical effect of establishing a modern Rome where you can have any god you want as long as Caesar is Lord. To hold to the supremacy of the Biblical God is anathema to our culture. This is even true of most self-identified Christians.
Sorry but it’s true. The pervasiveness of abortion, divorce, homosexuality, child abuse, drugs, tattoos, or any other metric of evil in our society is the same inside the Church or out. As a whole, there is no measurable difference between those calling themselves “Christian” and the general population. Most children of Christian families that are raised in the church leave their faith as soon as they go off to college if not before. Is it any wonder when only two colleges in the United States still believe the biblical account of Genesis? If Genesis is a myth then so is the rest of the Bible. Without “The Fall” there is no sin and no God; therefore, no need for a Savior.
The Clinton v Trump campaign may seem important to us at the moment but regardless of who wins, the trajectory of the country will continue to further decline. The vote will only determine how fast the decline will continue. The Republic is over; the only struggle now is what will replace it. Look for less freedom, more government, and more persecution. Jesus said to count the cost of following Him and we are beginning to see that even in this country the price is rapidly increasing. To openly follow Him will cost you, jobs, property, and your freedom; not in the future but now. Welcome to the curses of Deuteronomy 28:15–68
We are clearly under God’s judgment but instead of repenting, we are acting like Alfred E Newman from Mad Magazine and saying, “What, me worry?”
Alfred E Newman
The Constitution was supposed to be THE list of the powers of the national government—enumerated powers—but now it means the opposite, unless specifically prohibited, the nation government thinks its fair game to fill their coffers or interfere in you daily life. Rightly interpreted, the government created by the Constitution was so small and remote that it shouldn’t matter who is in office. As envisioned by the document, the President and Supreme Court had very little responsibility. Almost all power was to be in the Congress. (Remember that they just dumped a King and country and were looking not to repeat that mistake again.) As written, the leadership in Washington was to affect your daily lives as much as the winner of the San Francisco 49ers versus the Oakland Raiders game last year.
Triumvirates didn’t work too well in Ancient Rome and it is likely that ours will end-up in the same place. We have the Imperial President that rules by Executive Orders instead of edicts; a legislative branch that is a cheap parody of the Imperial Senate of Star Wars or Roman Senate under the Caesars. (Can you say symbolism over substance?) The only difference is that we have a Supreme Court. The Court gets to make laws too but they have become a laughingstock. They have no real power, no army or way to enforce anything and they serve at the pleasure of the President. When needed, they always fall in line to the will of the President. Lest you disagree with me, look back to Roosevelt and the New Deal. “A switch in time saved nine” is not a nursery rhyme but an historical fact.
Someday soon, a President is not going to leave the White House at the end of his term but remain in power. He might even change his title to Chancellor or caretaker. The Court will reluctantly find it Constitutional and the Congress will standby idly wringing their hands when it happens but that day is almost here.
Germany once laughed at Hitler and his National Socialists but everything Hitler did including the Holocaust was with the blessing of their Legislature and Courts . Well socialists now run most of this country, the only squabble is will we be National Socialists or Internationalist Socialists (Globalists)? We might even adopt a Fascist economic model just to spice things up and create the illusion of private ownership of the means of production.
I think Fazio was right; we are no long bound by the Constitution. Like people that go to church and don’t let their professed faith affect their daily lives, we pay lip-service to the founding document but don’t feel constrained to follow it. Conservative Protestants have been saying that we live in a Post-Christian world since Francis Schaeffer in the 1980’s; well I think it’s high time that we called our era in modern America the Post-Constitutional one. My only question is did Post-Constitutional America begin with FDR or Obama? I will have to ponder that one a while longer.
Friday, September 30, 2016
Movie Review: Targeted
My wife thought my previous version of this review was too harsh so I’ve rewritten this blog to reflect her critique.
Last night there was a nationwide screening of the documentary Targeted: Exposing the Gun Control Agenda.
Link: Targeted The Movie
The film was made by Jesse Winton and his father Randy . This is the Winton’s second film. Their first was on the subject of adoption.
I saw the movie at a theater in Folsom, CA. Jesse and Randy were both in attendance. I have known them for several years. Also in attendance was the sheriff of El Dorado County—John D’Agostini—who is featured in the film and Paul Shaver—who portrayed the gun maker in the film.
Targeted is the story of 20 year old Jesse Winton as he explores gun control and the Second Amendment. The story was believable and compelling. It reflected the Winton’s family values without being “in your face” about it. It was logically presented. The movie makes an historical case for the linkage of bearing arms and freedom. It begins in the present and explores the background of where the Second Amendment originated. It presents a logical case for how the Founding Fathers built upon the work of others and asserted that the Declaration of Independence was an expression of existing beliefs about the relationship of a sovereign to his people. The film was about an hour long plus the panel discussion that follows.
The film is a challenge to the American people to embrace their heritage. Winton reminds us that Rights come from God not government; therefore, government has no right to deprive people of Liberty; especially with false promises of security.
There will be another showing October 5th. I recommend that you get a few friends to go see the movie. However, please be careful how you invite people. If you mention the title of the movie on Facebook, know that your post and account will be subject to censorship or worse.
Please sir, can I have some more?
The thing I really wanted to see more of was politicians calling for gun control that had no idea what they were talking about. These video clips were presented in a staccato fashion and the moment passed too quickly.
I know this project took about three years to get from concept to cinema. I also know that there is lots of great footage that literally didn’t make the final cut. I hope they add a feature on the DVD to give us a look at some of this material. My recollection is that they have some great footage of Diane Feinstein saying some outrageous things about guns (probably on more than one occasion).
Comments on Production Quality
Production and editing were good; especially considering the shoestring budget that was used to make the film. Photography was good but a few spots were too dark or a little off on the exposure settings. Some shots using magnification were slightly pixelated—most of these were outdoor shots of scenery. (That’s the risk you take when you need to get something on the first take.) The film’s audio was well done; however, the panel discussion following the film had some audio issues but I’m not sure if it was from emulating stereo sound or just the challenges of miking five people simultaneously during a live production.
The most difficult thing to watch in the film was the television clips at the beginning. Several were hard on my eyes because the video quality was poor. It seemed like they were made with a camera in front of a television set or lifted from low quality YouTube uploads. Perhaps it’s one of those things where it looks great on a monitor but when magnified to the proportions of a movie theater screen, it just shows all the blemishes that seemed minor on a television.
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
The HD antenna that I deployed when our family “cut the cord” was really marginal. The antenna was located in our attic but many local channels were downright unwatchable. All we were able to get on some stations was pixels that changed every four or five seconds and highly fragmented audio. To watch many shows, I had to catch them on Hulu the following day. Watching the evening news was impossible on many stations and ditto for live sports.
Just in time for the new television season—such as it is—I went to Frys and bought a new antenna. (Assembly required) I then got up the nerve to get on the roof to install it. Our ladder is too short to reach the roof and standing on the top step is a dicey proposition—especially when working by yourself. Thankfully, my eleven year old is willing to help his old dad by holding the ladder.
I removed the DirecTV dish and replaced it with the new antenna. I used the same mast but had to exclude some parts from the clamp assembly to get it to fit.
It may not reach the advertised 70 miles but we do get more channels and at a much better quality. After filtering out the Spanish language and home shopping stations, we still have a fairly good variety of over-the-air stuff to choose from.
Clear Stream 4V Extreme Range Indoor/Outdoor HDTV Antenna