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Friday, September 16, 2016
SEIU and Rights
This week’s message from the SEIU to state workers is stand strong.
Throughout California, Local 1000 members are purpling up and standing shoulder-to-shoulder to show the state we’re committed to fight for a contract we can all be proud of. We’re telling the state their current contract offer does not value or respect the services we provide and we won’t stop until we win a contract we can all be proud of.
Link: Weekly update Sep 14th
Besides the obligatory slap at management this week, the item that really caught my attention is the section on rights. I get told what my rights are as someone involuntarily represented by SEIU but it got me to wondering. Let’s change the context slightly and see if I really have the rights SEIU is claiming.
I’m a Christian so do I have these rights too?
Support our God
You have the right to support our God and to express pro-Christian opinions to other employees and to management.
Wear our Christian colors
You have the right to wear buttons and stickers and to wear Christian clothing.
Display our Christian materials
You have the right to post and display Christian materials inside your workspace.
Distribute our Christian materials
You have the right to distribute Christian materials during non-work time.
Post our Christian materials
You have the right to display Christian materials on appropriate bulletin boards.
Attend our Christian meetings
You have the right to attend Christian meetings on nonwork time.
Somehow I think this is a one-way street.
If I were to offend someone with talk of Christ, I would get a stern talking to by my supervisor and told to cut it out.
If I involuntarily took money from my coworker’s desk it would be called theft but in government it is called a “fair share” payment to SEIU (“Fair Share” is 99.5 percent of what union dues cost.)
If I display too much Christian stuff and offend someone I would have to take it down but if I want to advocate socialism and statism then it’s my right; nay, my duty to do so.
So is working for the state a “hostile work environment”?
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
97 Reasons to Like Chick-fil-A
As happens about every two years, the drain in the kitchen sink is plugged-up. As a result, cooking and washing dishes is all but impossible at the moment. The plumber can’t be here until tomorrow.
Please note that this is a good thing. If you need a guy to do work on your house and he can start immediately you should not employ them. Those with skills are in demand and those without are anxious to start now. Hiring second tier people in construction trades usually ends badly. They have your money and you have a partially completed project.
Since the kitchen is out of order, Mrs. ReallyRight said, I don’t want to cook so let’s go out. I agreed and suggested Chick-fil-A. Four of us trekked over to our local Chick-fil-A.
Here was our dine-in order:
• Chick-fil-A Sandwich
• Deluxe Chick-fil-A Sandwich
• Harvest Kale Salad
• Spicy Southwestern Salad
• Three large waffle fries
• Large Diet Coke
• Large Sprite
• Large Dr. Pepper
• Medium Diet Lemonade
Total Price $0.97
Yeah ninety-seven cents.
Every few months we get a cheap date by “going to see the cow”.
So how did I do it? Simple
• Three Calendar cards –this month is free large waffle fries and large drink
• Two Chick-fil-A customer surveys—each good for free entrée
• One free entrée card due to slow service on a previous visit
• Plus $1.29 remaining on my McAfee rebate card
This company rewards their regular customers and I’m glad they can help a family on a budget.
Wednesday, September 07, 2016
Credit Theft: A Victimless Crime?
I recently got a new bank card because my bank said I had purchased something from a store that had a security breach. In this case I think it was Wendy’s. I was told that the card I was using would stop working on August 25th and needed to activate the new card before then. So I dutifully activated the new card on August 24th. The new card had a different account number and expiration date than my previous card.
On Labor Day morning (September 5th ), my wife comes into the bedroom saying the bank is calling with a fraud alert. Every few months I get a call like this because my purchasing habits go outside their normal parameters but I did nothing that would trigger such a call. I went on the Internet and sure enough several fraudulent charges had been made using my brand new bank card.
The second attempt at Rite Aid is likely what triggered the fraud alert.
Being that Labor Day is a bank holiday, all I could do was cancel my bank card. I had to wait until the next day to dispute the charges.
After the payments posted on the first three transactions, the declined withdrawal dropped-off the bank record and only the pending Walmart.com remained. The transaction said it would not post until September 7th. (I could only dispute the charges that successfully removed money from my account and not the pending Walmart charge.)
On September 6th, I contacted Walmart and my bank, hoping to thwart the last remaining transaction by these thieves. Even with the date, approximate time of the fraudulent purchase, and confirmation number of the purchase, neither was able (or willing) to help me.
Walmart said that without the actual order number that they could not stop the transaction. My bank said that they not only couldn’t block it but they couldn’t even tell me how much the final transaction would be until it posted. The lady at the bank couldn’t even see the pending charge until I pulled up my account on my cell phone and showed it to her.
Furthermore, they told me not to take money out of my account because they couldn’t promise me that any of my pending transactions would go thru if I did that. In short, I was told to take it in the shorts and just let the fraudulent charge happen and then I would get the money reimbursed from the bank in about ten days.
Being that my mortgage payment and other large transactions had not yet cleared the bank, this charge at Walmart.com could have been very substantial and depleted my bank account to the point that everything would bounce anyways. Faced with this nightmare scenario, what would you do?
The more I thought about it, the more violated I felt. As often happens in our country, you are first violated by the criminal and then a second time by the system.
I left the minimum amount necessary to cover all the outstanding checks that I had already mailed in my account and transferred the rest of the money to my wife’s account. Early this morning, I awakened to find that all pending transactions except Walmart had posted. At that point, I further reduced my bank balance to $75. When I got up to go to work, I decided I needed to transfer an additional $200 to my checking account. My bank separately posted one check later in the morning. They did ding me for a fee to cover the check but as of this writing, Walmart has dropped off my account.
I’m hoping that the worst is behind me now. It appears that the Walmart purchase was aborted; probably overnight. If the thieves had spent a small sum on my card, the transaction likely would have gone thru but I have the feeling that they “went for broke” or more literally tried to make me broke.
Of interest to me is the fact that two of the fraudulent orders that they charged to my account were intended for delivery at a physical address. The food order and Walmart order both had to go somewhere. A reasonable person would think this would make it easier to catch these guys but neither my bank nor Walmart indicated that law enforcement be notified of the fraud.
It reminds me of the time we got robbed and the policeman asked if we had insurance and as soon as we said yes, they were done looking for the crooks.
It really bothers me that such fraud is tolerated and so commonplace that nobody even seems interested in pursuing the thieves. For my bank, it is just an allocation in their general ledger and a cost for doing business.
My final thought on this is that God is watching and our family has asked Him to mete out a little justice now on these thieves and not let it wait until the next life. And yes I do believe that divine intervention prevented this from being as harmful to us as it could have been.
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
SEIU Rattling Sabers
This week, the SEIU is again pushing for members to be prepared for battle. However, I have still heard nothing about asking members to vote to authorize a strike.
Is this their “October Surprise” or do they want folks out of work in time for the holidays?
If they do pull the trigger on a strike then just wait ‘til the media starts talking about “non-essential” government workers striking. I think calling SEIU members “non-essential” government workers will bring a swift end to this folly.
Saturday, August 27, 2016
State of the CRA
• Remember when the Park Brothers were expelled from CRA for life?
• Remember the financial shenanigans they masterminded in both the Placer County Republican Assembly and at the CRA annual conventions?
• Remember the Brothers Park posting people’s home addresses and bank account numbers online?
• Remember when the new board of directors took them to court?
• Remember the multipage expose’ in the Sacramento Bee laying out the case used by the prosecution to win conviction?
• Remember the complaints that were filed with FPPC, FBI, DOI, various local District Attorneys and CA Attorney General?
• Remember the Emmy Award winning special on the Fox News Channel about the “Placer County Mafia”?
• Remember when the Brothers (Aaron and George) went to jail after being convicted by each and every single one of these entities?
Let me guess; you don’t remember any of these things happening do you? Because everything except the first three points are false and never happened.
X has been involved in the CRA for a little over a decade now and knows both Aaron and George very well; well enough to say both are so crooked you may be able to open a wine bottle with either one. Back in the day, Aaron once had a big problem abusing the sauce, but now he (and George) spend their leisure time abusing the truth. For them truth is not an absolute, it’s a matter of compensation and personal enhancement that determines their “truth”. But enough of those two Jeb Bush supporting, wannabe conservatives—for now.
George and Aaron Park with Jeb Bush on 05-13-2015
What Aaron really thinks about Jeb Bush on 05-18-2015
The California Republican Assembly (CRA) claims to be the oldest Republican organization in California. A quick look at their membership at the last convention would convince you that the claim is probably true. Sadly, the once proud CRA has devolved into an old white people’s club, except rather than play Bingo and shuffleboard, they reminisce about the old times when California frequently went Republican during statewide elections and occasionally for President. This group still fondly remembers when “The Gipper” called them “the conscience of the Republican Party.” However, like “The Gipper”, CRA has developed Alzheimer’s disease. They have forever lost their way.
If you need evidence of how out of touch the CRA is, you need look no further than their Presidential Endorsing Convention last February. On the first ballot, Donald Trump barely got 10 votes while Ted Cruz was overwhelmingly endorsed. When California actually cast ballots on June 7th, Trump got 74.8% of the vote while Cruz came in third with just 9.5%.
Likewise, the CRA Convention’s choice for US Senate, Tom Del Baccaro, was overwhelmingly endorsed on their first ballot. When Californians voted in June, Del Baccaro got 4.3% of the vote. Not only did he finish a distant fifth place in the field, but no Republican received enough votes to go on to the November 8th election.
Every two years, CRA chapters hold local endorsement conventions all across the state. These pyric events often break out into meandering trips down memory lane for these old geezers. You see, the CRA endorsement comes with no money for candidates or sweat equity to further their campaigns. It’s just symbolism with no substance. However, for those that believe, it’s a sacred duty that they take very seriously.
CRA claims to be an organization based on principles. However, I’ve personally watched a candidate get endorsed by CRA by promising to hold the line against higher taxes, only to break their promise and then the following election cycle be endorsed again (Mike Villines and Mimi Walters).
Sadly, CRA stands for nothing; they are just another GOP group with a different name and annual dues.
In my local unit, I’ve witnessed firsthand a three hour debate by two candidates running for the right to get annihilated by Doris Matsui. CRA will leave no windmill unscathed.
X left the CRA due to these types of people/actions, permanently.
You see the new CRA Board has stood idly by while the organization went the same way as the CA Republican Party; right down the commode. Yup, while our blind leadership was busy trying to set up a new unit in Compton and make sure all the incumbents in Orange County got re-elected in landslides, the world changed. Look at what CRA has been reduced to. The Park Brothers should be history from any type of political circle, and a DA in Placer County likely could have helped spearhead the effort but no, we would rather play nice. CRA failed to act either in self-defense or on principle. Between the CRA and rank-and-file Republicans, the disconnect has never been more pronounced. CRA is stuck so far in the past that they still think California has primaries. They still haven’t come to grips with a top two system. Despite much bluster and bravado, they are just as averse to conflict as the national party when squabbles break out.
The long extinct Woolly Mammoth—aka “long in the tooth Republican”
Like the Republican Party in California, CRA has run its course. Both are dimming memories in the consciousness of the political historian that is likely young enough not to know firsthand what a vibrant two party system looked like. It has been millennia since the proud elephant has roamed supreme in the western states of North America and almost as long since a living Republican has been spotted making a difference in the once Golden State.
Monday, August 22, 2016
SEIU and Crickets
This sound is often associated with silence, white noise, or just meaningless background. In the movies as in real life, when the crickets are silent, something very wrong is being foreshadowed.
In like manner, since the SEIU Board of Directors unanimously authorizing a strike vote, all that they have been saying publicly is nothing; just crickets. Nothing distributed to members via public channels even hints to their next move. Their silence over last few weeks is deafening.
I thought they would jump to calling a strike vote almost immediately. Instead, I’m starting to wonder if they are shopping legislative campaigns in search of sympathetic candidates who will sell their souls for campaign cash from this powerful labor union. Now that California is officially a one party state, it is a possibility worth considering.
I think it is clear that Governor Brown is not supportive of their cry for a 22 percent pay increase over four years for 95,000 state employees. Perhaps they are trying to shore-up their support in the Legislature before entering into further negotiations with the State.
As a recovering Republican, I’m not used to people playing chess in an arena where my side can’t even play checkers. The SEIU playing the long game is something I hadn’t considered until now but if August goes out like a lamb, then it’s likely they are banking on November 8th to improve their fortunes…literally.
Tuesday, August 09, 2016
Taxes, Lies, and Silence
A few years ago (2010), the City of Elk Grove put forward a ballot measure that claimed to reduce the local utility tax by .25 percent. The ballot argument submitted by the city attorney put this forward as the chief reason to support the measure.
Measure J: Shall an ordinance be adopted to reduce the existing Utility User Tax from 2.5% to 2.25%; modernize the current ordinance to treat taxpayers equally regardless of technology used for telecommunications and video services; to preserve funding for essential general municipal services, such as public safety?
FISCAL IMPACT The legal and technology issues could reduce the City’s projected General Fund revenues by as much as $600,000 per year. The General Fund pays for most of the City’s police, code enforcement, animal control, financial and administrative services, and some transit services. Some or all of these services could be affected by the lost revenue. Measure J would prevent the loss of those revenues.
There was no opposition to the measure. This tax argument was based on a willful lie or—as the Catholics call it—a sin of omission. The tax was technically a reduction; however, it more than doubled the amount of devices that were covered by the tax so in reality it was a huge, multi-million dollar tax increase . This was a textbook case of bait-and-switch.
The measure passed 76.57 % to 23.43 %
Since that time, many of us have vowed that no local tax measure would go unchallenged on the ballot. Unfortunately, those groups in our community that claim to stand for lower taxes and less government have failed to act. With both elected Republicans and Democrats acting in concert to raise taxes, these advocacy groups have ceded the argument and the fight.
Sacramento County is now trying to pass a sales tax increase for transportation called Measure B. Measure B—an 8.5 billion dollar tax over 30 years—will be on the November 8th ballot. As of a month ago, none of the so-called conservative leaders in the Elk Grove area knew anything about the measure and were surprised to hear it was going to voters. Furthermore, none plan to do anything about it.
Thanks in part to the work of one of my friends, the Elk Grove City Council decided not to go after a local sales tax after they had paid for all the groundwork to get it on the ballot in November. Prior to the vote he sent each Council member a letter outlining the spending excesses of the Council and some of the things they had foolishly done with taxpayer money. Since the total amount he listed was several times the amount they hope to get from the tax, the motion died with only one YES vote. Again no local groups did anything to oppose the tax.
But never fear faithful readers, yours truly promises that some sort of argument against Measure B will be on the ballot. Thus far, two arguments have been submitted in opposition—including mine—and as of yesterday no argument in favor had been submitted.
I will keep you updated on what happens. Arguments must be filed by close of business on Thursday and rebuttal arguments are due on Monday.
Jail House Vote
During the Clinton Administration, Democrats were desperate to stop Republicans and the quickest way to stack the voter rolls was to create more voters by giving felons the right to vote. The fight to stack to voter rolls with more Democrats resulted in Paul Shanklin recording a parody of Elvis Presley’s Jail House Rock in 1999. The parody, sung by Jesse Jackson was titled Rev. Jackson’s Jailhouse Vote.
This is actually happening again right now in Virginia. In a desperate effort to help Democrats, the governor, Terry McAuliffe —an associate of Bill Clinton’s—is adding 200,000 felons to the voter rolls in time for the November election.
Yesterday, I went to the Sacramento County Elections office and guess what I saw?
Yeah, the jailhouse voter rights sign.
Thursday, July 28, 2016
Watch the Skies
Look up in the sky…
No, it wasn’t a bird, or a plane or Hillary’s star falling last night. Instead it was a Chinese rocket—possibly a satellite killer—disintegrating as it entered earth’s orbit.
Except in movies, I’ve never seen anything like it. If you saw the “fireworks” at the end of Independence Day as Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum are smoking their cigars as they strut thru the desert or Sandra Bullock at the end of Gravity as she is finally riding home in the ruins of a Chinese space station, then you would have a good idea what was in the sky last night.
I was in Elk Grove Park last night with my wife and son, getting set for the first night of the Strauss Festival when my son looks up in the sky and says, “Dad, look, it’s a comet.”
I looked up, and due south of our location, at about half the height of the trees, was a bright object with a very long flaming tail moving very slowly from west to east. I’m old enough to know comets just don’t show-up in the sky, plus we were using our star watching apps, so I knew it was something else. My guess was that it was a satellite falling back to earth. The tail was composed of debris, similar to the way a bottle rocket has a flaming tail as it flies thru the air. As it moved across the sky, the tail got smaller.
After my son saw it, I took a few seconds to turn on my camera and switch to video and shoot a movie as it flew (mostly behind the trees). I got 72 seconds before I finally lost sight of it behind more trees. At about 46 seconds into the video, I saw that it had broken into two large pieces.
Below is a still from my movie. Unfortunately, the tail isn’t really visible due to the lack of light sensitivity that my phone has at night. With the naked eye, it was much more spectacular; especially, when we first saw it.
9:37 pm on 07-27-2016
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
From the Mouth of Babes: Woman President
This morning I got the following text from my 11 year old son.
“Dad, I know why in the constitution there is nothing about having a woman president. I think it is because the people who wrote it had wives.”
Monday, July 25, 2016
A week ago, I finally threw in the towel and changed my voter registration from Republican to No Party Preference. This was hard for me to do but I feel that it was time.
Several factors contributed to this decision. First, the Republican Party is dead in California. Second, it’s dead in the area where I live. Third, I’m tired of the personalities left as leaders.
Before I begin, let me preface by saying that I’m not a Ted Cruz supporter that is having a tantrum. I am a proud supporter of Donald Trump because he seems to have a spine. I’m tired of Republicans that retreat at the first sign of opposition. Their first impulse seems to be unilateral surrender. As a group, they have no core.
Rush Limbaugh always castigates the Democrats for using the same old playbook; unfortunately, Republicans are guilty of the same thing. How many times have you heard one claim the mantel of Ronald Reagan because he is for less government, lower taxes, more freedom, and favors small businesses…at least until they get in office? Unfortunately, that is all the depth that most have. They have no vision, no real answers, and no clue how to positively counter the Democrats. All Republicans end up being is the Party of “NO”.
Republicans have no vision for what the world would or should be like if they ran things. Look at Congress. John Boehner was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives when the Republicans became the majority. Instead of passing legislation that they thought the President would veto and directly challenging President Obama—and thus setting-up a difference between what the two parties wanted for the country—Boehner did nothing. He famously said that we are one half of one third of the government; thus excusing his legislative ineffectiveness. Silly us, we believed Boehner and elected a Republican majority in the Senate too. Guess what? Legislatively, nothing changed. If anything, Congress became more feckless and ineffective. Boehner proved that Republicans were part of the problem. Paul Ryan has continued to be ever more incompetent.
The Republican Party is dead in California. Demographically, this fate was assured when George Bush (the first one) agreed to closing the military bases in California after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Tens of thousands of conservative voters were no longer living in the state any more. Lockheed, Boeing, and other defense contractors left the Golden State as a result of the base closings. This demographic shift created a political shift as well that tilted the scales much more towards the Democrats.
At the same time, the Machiavelli tactics employed by Barbara Alby and her hostile takeover of the California GOP also contributed to its decline. Participation of volunteers, activists, and donors steadily declined. Barbara and her fellow travelers gutted the GOP and ran roughshod over those in her way. Ironically, this was done in the name of Jesus Christ. Somehow, the question of “What would Jesus do?” never occurred to her or those in her camp.
Barbara characterized her takeover of the California Republican Assembly and later the State Party as taking the Party away from the enemy and casting out those who were not with us. She did this with the sword and not the love of Christ. She wanted political power and used the evangelical churches as her base of operations to launch a guerrilla action to capture the CRA. In retrospect, it would have been better for her to either takeover the CRA in a straight-up way or start her own GOP group.
For example, when Barbara captured the Sacramento-Sierra Republican Assembly, she showed-up at the last minute with seven hundred paid memberships—almost all from folks that had never been to a CRA meeting—and she then elected her slate of officers. The existing members were forced out of the group; none were allowed even minority representation on her board. At the time, there were five CRA chapters in Sacramento County. The other four folded. Barbara took over their charters so she had even more delegates for the statewide convention. Members of these four smaller groups were from the local Operation Rescue organization. Once she had control of the state CRA Board, the other four chapters were collapsed into her unit.
The situation in Sacramento County’s Republican Central Committee is just as bad. Conservatives took over the group in the Alby era and then gave-up control. In 2006, a new conservative movement was begun with the Support the Platform PAC. This group was involved in trying to elect people to the Placer and Sacramento County Republican Central Committees. The efforts in Sacramento County resulted in the election of Sue Blake as the Central Committee chair.
Electing Blake as chair was an unmitigated disaster. I encouraged Blake to do something that would have been revolutionary; have the Central Committee create a county platform. The GOP brand was damaged nationally and also as a result of failures at the statewide level (Arnold Schwarzenegger.) I hoped that having a separate identity would inoculate the county party from being defined by the actions of others. My proposal was simple: “What would Sacramento County be like if Republicans ran it?” I wanted to give us a vision to work towards as well as a positive reason for voters to pick Republicans. This idea was greeted with laughter and dismissed out of hand. Blake’s advisor, political consultant Duane Dichiara told me that it was their job to elect Republicans, what candidates believe is up to them.
As the GOP faded in the county, Blake chose to erect barriers to participation in the Central Committee and adopted Dichiara’s advice to model the new bylaws after the San Diego bylaws. As a result, the Central Committee viewed itself as a private club with a pay-to-play membership fee of $100 annually. (Remember that most Central Committee elections were on the ballot every two years and even those that won by a vote of the people in their district were denied the right to vote unless they paid this $100 fee.)
In addition, no new business could be brought up during a meeting. Everything must be prescreened by the Executive Committee. The County Party became insular and unresponsive to voters. Meetings were no longer public. They claimed the right to eject anyone. When California voters adopted the top two primary system; this benefitted Blake’s regime by abolishing elections every two years.
The Central Committee cratered under Blake’s leadership. Last I heard, she finally threw in the towel on being the Chair.
Oh, during her leadership in Sacramento County, all Republican office holders in the Assembly, Senate, and Congress were defeated and replaced by Democrats . Republican registration in the county declined and the county is lost to the GOP for at least a generation if not forever.
Locally, the GOP club that I used to belong too—until I changed my registration—has decided to stop working to elect Republicans due to the 14 percent registration deficit and opted to work on local races. Unfortunately, the President has decided to spend his time backing a school board candidate that is wholly unqualified. The candidate is 21, and has yet to attend a single school board meeting. Yes, he took out papers to run but doesn’t even know what the job is.
If this is the future of the GOP, then I need to spend my time doing other things. When I was 18, I voted for Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton on the same ballot. Both men have left their mark on the political scene. I think I’ve done my penance for voting for Clinton—he lost in 1980 by the way.
Friday, June 03, 2016
Bern the Witch
Sorry, but I can’t help cheering for Bernie Sanders in his battle with Hillary Clinton. Bernie has such an uphill struggle against the Clinton Machine that he should have been out of this a long time ago. However, Mrs. Clinton is such a horrible and unqualified candidate that even her Party doesn’t like her.
Without the Super Delegates that pledged to her a year ago she would be filling out a resume or retiring to enjoy her life with Bill. (Like that will be actually happen.) I disagree with Bernie’s policies but I believe that he is a real alternative to the former New York Senator.
At least Bernie has blazed his own trail for much of his political career. He is the longest serving independent and didn’t become a Democrat until a year ago. He has more political experience than Bill and Hillary put together.
What are Hillary’s accomplishments?
• She slept with the President
• She let people die in Benghazi
• She had an unsecure server in her house that was hacked on several occasions and exposed national security secrets
The deck is stacked against Bernie but you’ve got to admire him. It’s a David and Goliath match that has been fun to watch. If June 7th is kind to him, just maybe the Dems will get their wish for a disputed convention. It worked so well for them in 1972.
Saturday, May 14, 2016
Jim Cooper’s Funny Business
I was minding my own business today when I saw the most incredible thing, this framed sign was next to the ice tea dispenser in the Elk Grove Dos Coyotes restaurant.
Jim Cooper—our local Democrat Assembly member is the small business of the month. Where is this award from; perhaps Texas?
Cooper is a waste of a politician. He wants to take away our freedom and give more power to the state. His only legislative claim to fame was introducing a bill to require Apple to put a backdoor into their phone operating system so government could snoop on its citizens any time they wanted.
Cooper, et al, hostile to business
Cooper and his Party have made California the worst business climate of any state in the union.
Lest you think I exaggerate, here is a small sample:
California is the Worst State for Business for the Tenth Year in a Row
Meanwhile, California, New Jersey and New York are ranked as the worst places to own or relocate a business due to their complex tax structures with comparatively high rates.
It must be rainbows, butterflies and unicorns for Sacramento liberals, as California successfully defends its crown as America’s CEOs again named California the worst state to do business-for the eleventh straight year.
California’s Worst Rankings
#50 Regulatory climate
#50 Incentives climate
#50 High school attainment: 82.1% of adult population
California has received a grade of F in small business friendliness, according to Thumbtack’s fourth annual Small Business Friendliness Survey, which surveyed over 2,000 small businesses in the state on a broad range of policy factors.
California not only earned an F in overall friendliness, but in ease of starting a business, business regulations, labor regulations, tax regulations, licensing forms and environmental regulations. The state also received a D+ in health and safety regulations and zoning regulations, as well as a C- in training and networking programs and C in ease of hiring.
Cooper lives off public sector
Before getting to the Assembly, Cooper ran for sheriff on a platform of financing the department solely by revenue from traffic cameras. Somehow the media didn’t think this was noteworthy enough to document at the time. The only reference I can find is listed below.
Proposed new taxes. Big proponent of red light cameras (in fact, it was the first thing he brought up when asked about budget issues on the 1380 KTKZ debate).
Lastly, California government—including Cooper—doesn’t produce anything. Cooper is getting $173,000 in retirement plus his salary as an Assembly member.
Assemblyman Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, $173,820. Cooper retired two years ago at age 50 as a captain with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.
At least 16 other state lawmakers collect two checks each month, including Assemblyman Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove), who retired two years ago at 50 as a captain in the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. When added to his legislative pay, Cooper’s annual pension of $173,820 brings his total income each year to $273,000.
The idea that Cooper could be called a small business man is ridiculous.
Do you believe in coincidence?
Lastly, I find it suspicious that a business based in the liberal enclave of Davis, just happens to pick Cooper as the business guy of the month at the same time ballots are being mailed to voters in his district.
Dos Coyotes has never had a business of the month until Cooper’s name just happened to show-up on their wall. I know, I frequently eat there.
I think this is backhanded in-kind contribution for some unnamed favor that Cooper did for them.
Thursday, May 05, 2016
Kirk Uhler and The Just Us Brothers
In Star Wars lore, when speaking of the Sith, “always there are two”. Similarly, the Just Us Brothers always seem to need a third member of the team to get into higher levels of mischief. In Placer County politics, their go to guy is County Supervisor Kirk Uhler.
Uhler you might recall, famously helped to loot the treasury of the Placer County Republican Assembly (PCRA) last May. Why any elected official would willingly interject himself in such a toxic situation and act so foolishly should be a concern to his constituents.
The short version was that George Park was Treasurer of PCRA and statewide Membership Secretary of the California Republican Assembly (CRA). He and his brother decided to leave CRA and metaphorically torched the place on the way out. In addition to purposely deleting all electronic records of the statewide organization, George Park liquidated the funds in the PCRA bank account on May 25th. Instead of checks, he converted the funds into money orders and disbursed the money as he saw fit. Then on May 30, Uhler—who was PCRA President at the time—presided over a sham meeting of the Board and voted to dissolve the Placer County chapter and disburse the funds of the group. (He knew the bank account had been closed five days earlier.)
CRA is a corporation and Uhler’s actions violated the CRA Bylaws and his fiduciary responsibility as President of PCRA. Had he any sense, Uhler should have kept his distance from Park’s actions. Instead he defended them in an email blast to the CRA Board and signed his name at the bottom. He also sent the email using his business account. (I don’t know about you, but I think emailing a jpg of my signature to 100 strangers is not the brightest idea.)
Uhler and his fellow travelers were threatened with both civil and criminal complaints for their behavior. Uhler’s behavior was described as “embezzlement”.
Embezzlement: Please be aware that the CRA Bylaws require all funds from units that are “seeking to leave” CRA to be forwarded to the CRA Treasurer. The specific language of Section 5.07 says, “Any chartered Republican Assembly that has ceased to be part of the CRA for any reason, or that is seeking to leave CRA, shall relinquish the name Republican Assembly, surrender its charter certificate to the Membership Secretary, and transfer all of its funds to the CRA Treasurer.” The Placer County Republican Assembly has ratified and agreed to be bound by the CRA Bylaws. Failure to forward the unit funds to the CRA Treasurer as required may constitute embezzlement and the persons involved may be subject to very serious civil and criminal sanctions .
Document provided by Aaron Park
CRA decided the cost was greater than their ability to collect damages so they reluctantly dropped the matter.
Aaron Park also has a history with Uhler. Aaron is a gun for hire and worked for Uhler’s Supervisorial campaigns in 2012 and 2016. Aaron’s brand of politics involves hit-pieces and constructing strawmen that he can then knockdown while besmirching the opponents of those who retain his services.
Occasionally, Aaron forgets to pull the pin before tossing his explosives. Somehow he survives to fight in the next cycle but some of his clients aren’t so fortunate. Just Google Aaron Park and Clint Parish. Aaron helped his client, Parish, lose his job and face the wrath of the California Bar. Why? Because Aaron sent a bogus hit piece out on Parish’s opponent.
This year, Aaron has set his sights on Victor Bekhet. Bekhet—like many people in Placer County—is tired of the antics of Supervisor Uhler. Victor Bekhet however committed the unforgivable sin; he had the nerve to pull papers to run against Uhler. Kirk Uhler then decided to retain Park’s services of character assassination and dirty tricks to steamroll Mr. Bekhet.
Aaron created a fake website and assembled a bunch of nonsense to smear the character of Bekhet. Aaron’s antics got a feature story at KCRA TV. KCRA has two slightly different instances of the story.
Article and Video
In the news story, Park claims “the website was created of his own accord.” The proof that this was a lie is two-fold.
First Uhler knows the contents of the fake website and approves.
Uhler responded to Bekhet’s claims in a statement to KCRA that reads in part:
“I wish my opponent the best of luck managing through what is obviously a disconcerting issue for him. Perhaps if there are items publicly available about my opponent that he doesn’t want publicly discussed, he should have considered that before running for public office.”
Any politician with an ounce of common sense would denounce Park’s tactics and distance himself from these kind of tactics. Uhler is OK with the fake website (VictorBekhet.com) and what Park said on it. Look at his quote above. He is blaming Bekhet for the content not Park.
Second, Park is on Uhler’s payroll for the current campaign. Per Uhler’s 430 filing for January 1 to April 23, 2016, Aaron scored $1,000 for Campaign Paraphenalia/Misc.
That Uhler and the Parks are thick as thieves has been well documented on Aaron’s blog and other places. All three (George, Aaron, and Kirk) claim to be good church going folks so why do they treat Bekhet like crap?
Aaron is a bully. He’s no Dirty Harry but I can picture him saying this to Bekhet
Listen, punk. To me you’re nothin’ but dogshit, you understand? And a lot of things can happen to dogshit. It can be scraped up with a shovel off the ground. It can dry up and blow away in the wind. Or it can be stepped on and squashed. So take my advice and be careful where the dog shits ya!
Clint Eastwood in Sudden Impact
A Christlike attitude would be more in line with Glen Kaiser’s quote, “The way you treat the person you love the least is the way you love God the most.”
My complaint with these guys is similar to my gripes about Ted Cruz; power politics is their goal. Their faith has no effect on their public conduct.
Park claims in a May first blog post that Bekhet has only raised $2,500. I don’t know if this is true but let’s assume that it is. Why does Uhler need to spend over $22,000 during the same period to beat this newcomer? Look at how much he paid Park to attack Bekhet. Would anyone call this a measured response?
Sadly, I think Uhler will be un-phased by my post. I picture him and Park discussing new ways to beat Bekhet like a piñata while humming the Tina Turner song, What’s Love Got To Do With It?
In a nutshell, this is why the America Church is so ineffective.
Friday, April 29, 2016
Rafael Cruz: Not a Christian Reconstructionist
More news stories are circulating today about Ted Cruz’s dad and his religious beliefs. All are raising the question of whether Ted agrees with his ole dad. This is not the same as Obama and Rev Wright because Ted is actively involving his dad in his campaign whereas Obama kept his distance from Wright—at least physically, ideologically might be a different story.
Here are the links on Drudge today.
The short version is Ted’s dad in a Pentecostal Reconstructionist. While both the Sith Lord and I find ourselves in agreement with Reconstructionism, what that looks like when blended with Pentecostal theology might be something altogether different.
Leaders of the Christian Reconstruction movement are post millennial and Calvinist. Pentecostal folks are pre-mil and dispensational so how that theological system looks to Rafael Cruz could be a different thing altogether. Some of the senior Cruz’s comments also imply an aspect of the prosperity gospel that is so popular in some dubious theological circles.
It is clear that neither Ted nor Rafael has read Gary North’s book on Exodus. Ted is drawing from Pharaoh’s toolbox and not from the faith of Moses. Ted can call himself whatever he wants but he is trying to run his campaign using the Power religion of the State and not biblical faith.
Christian Reconstructionism is a political theory that says what “ought to be” but does not map out how to get there. It does presuppose that it will not be imposed from the top down but from the bottom up. This I think is the Cruz dilemma. Cruz wants to force his idea of a Reconstructionist/Constitutional society from the top down.
I know of no leader of Christian Reconstruction that would agree with the tactics of Cruz. As I have mentioned elsewhere, North—during the height of the Reagan years—was saying that we are not ready. Our society has decayed significantly since that time. Only in the wake of a sustained national revival could Christian Reconstruction be implemented in our nation.
I’m not against standing up for what’s right and bringing reform to our society and government, but I fear that Ted Cruz would have us exchanging one form of tyranny for another.
Lastly, Ted maybe God told you to run for President but that is a far cry from promising you that you will win. Maybe he is refining you and thru this experience He will get the dross out of your heart so you will be a better candidate in the future. Next time do it His way and not yours.