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Friday, September 07, 2018

Apple Allows Spyware

I hate Apple. They are a socialist company.

• They have one way to do things, their way.
• They make the bulk of their money from other socialists.
• They copy other people’s inventions and try to claim them as their own.
They never admit fault ; therefore, their groupies think their products are superior.

The most famous example was Apple’s Safari browser fiasco a few years ago. They touted it as the most secure Internet browser available and the same day it was released it was hacked six different ways by six different folks that all were able to take full control of the computers via different exploits.

Today we learn that the top paid antivirus app in the Apple store is spyware. This app sells for $5 and is the fifth most popular paid app in their store. It has been spying on people since 2015  and sending their personal data to an unknown server in—you guessed it—China. The good news is maybe we have finally found all the files from Hillary’s server.

In his blog post, Wardle noted, “The fact that application has been surreptitiously exfiltrating users’ browsing history, possibly for years, is, to put it mildly, rather f#@&‘d up!”

Security researcher Privacy 1st tweeted that they initially contacted Apple about the Adware Doctor issue on Aug. 12.

Adware Doctor, which costs $5, was the top paid app in the “Utilities” category, and the fifth top paid app overall, before it was removed Friday.

Please note that as usual, Apple only took action after this story became public even though they have known about this for almost a month. Again, this is typical behavior from Apple.


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#5 paid app in Apple Store

Security researcher Privacy 1st tweeted that they initially contacted Apple about the Adware Doctor issue on Aug. 12.

“What is sad is that it was reported by me on 12th of August and Apple didn’t even care… Attached are email screenshots”

Twitter URL—click here
A Popular Mac App That Stole Users’ Browsing History Has Been Removed

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A+ rating in Apple Store

Adware Doctor also turns out to have pushed the boundaries for years. Reed says that Malwarebytes originally started tracking it in 2015, when it was called Adware Medic, which was also the name of a legitimate scanner Reed had developed. Malwarebytes notified Apple and the company removed the app, but Reed says it resurfaced in the App Store within days as Adware Doctor. 

Malwarebytes continued to track the app over the years and found it suspect, because the app’s functionality was limited—its protections are based on generic, open-source offerings rather than effective, tailored tools. But the new findings from Privacy 1st indicate that the app may have recently added expanded suspicious functionality through an update. “It’s been scammy for awhile, but that was new behavior that we hadn’t observed before,” Reed says.

Adware Doctor also rides on a common strategy of posing as a security product to seem more trustworthy and gain the deeper system permissions that come with being a scanning tool.


One of Most Popular Mac Apps Acts Like Spyware

 

 

Posted by william on 09/07 at 12:25 PM
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Friday, August 24, 2018

Elon Musk Can’t Deliver

“You’re a legend in your own mind.”
Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry in Sudden Impact (1983)


Elon Musk is not just a legend in his mind but for many that uncritically accept his claims. Musk follows the axiom of selling the sizzle not the steak . The difference is that Musk is finding that he can’t deliver and a few folks that he has bewitched are waking from their stupor to find that reality is a cruel thing. 


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Is Tesla really the future?


Below are some quotes pulled from a New York Post story on Musk and Tesla.

Musk is walking a razor wire, another source says, between the things he’s promising and the things he can actually deliver. Until recently, Tesla investors and employees bought into Musk’s vision, even though Musk was “saying things that don’t make sense, because he’s accomplished so much.”

“He is very difficult to move off his stance,” says the source. “He’ll say, ‘The car can do X, Y or Z,’ And yes, that is possible — two decades from now,” the source said. “He bases his argument on the physically possible rather than the practical reality.”

One insider … says that when Musk tweets about a new functionality or feature, it’s often in response to a fan who has asked when such a thing might be available. Musk, says this source, will often email the tasked department, then tweet back to the fan the date it will be done, no matter how unrealistic the request.

Meanwhile, Tesla’s current great hope, the (relatively) affordably priced Model 3, is having its own issues, as is the sales force responsible for moving them.

On Tuesday, Business Insider reported that although Tesla hit its production goal of 5,000 Model 3s by the end of June, 4,300 of those vehicles required substantial fixes. That’s 14 percent making it through “first pass yield,” or an initial production line that requires no fixes at all.

This Tesla employee isn’t surprised.

“The Model 3s come in [to the showroom] scratched or damaged,” he says. “They don’t fit together properly. If you look at the panels, they’ll be mismatched. They won’t line up.

On Thursday, Business Insider reported that Wall Street analysts tore apart a Model 3 to find multiple failures, including “inconsistent gaps & flushness throughout the car, missing bolts, loose tolerances, and uneven & misaligned spot welds … The results confirm media reports of quality issues & are disappointing for a $49k car.”

Even as doubts fester within Tesla’s factory walls, few want to believe the trajectory may be downward.

“Elon emails us directly, saying ‘We’re on top, we’re going to prove [everybody] wrong,’” this employee says. “Everyone realizes it’s f–ked up, but everyone’s afraid of losing their job before Tesla ‘hits it big.’ It’s a mess.”

URL: Tesla insiders say ‘it’s a s–t show’ under beleaguered Elon Musk

Sorry but I’ve never believed all the hype on Elon Musk but I remember John DeLorean too.

Vision and success are two very different propositions.

 

Posted by william on 08/24 at 06:47 AM
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Crime Pays What?

Doubtless you are familiar with the phrase “Crime doesn’t pay” but actually is does; just not much unless you are in elected office.

I came across the latest wage schedule of what prisoners earn per hour when working inside the prison system. When compared to what Apple pays people to make iPhones, these guys are really doing well.

Depending on which report you believe, Apple pays somewhere between five to thirty dollars in manufacturing costs to assemble each phone. The hourly wage is estimated to be about $1.78. The guy in China making $1.78 per hour is probably having to support a wife and their government permitted one child plus all his household expenses.


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Making iPhones or big rocks into little ones pays about the same


More on iPhone costs
Here’s how much the iPhone 7 costs to make

Your iPhone Probably Costs Between $12.50 to $30 to Make

Note: no recent cost estimates were found, Apple keeps this info under wraps


On the other hand, incarcerated individuals pay no housing costs and get three squares a day. Their income is tax free and used primarily for their own use. They also get free healthcare that is better than whatever you’re getting on the outside. If they had to pay Medicare, Social Security, plus State and Federal taxes, they would have to be paid much more (as a percentage) to clear a dollar an hour in wages.

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2018 prison wage schedule


In many cases, taxpayers pick up this slack for guests of the California penal system and pay their families welfare, Obamacare, and other benefits.

Posted by william on 08/24 at 06:05 AM
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Thursday, August 23, 2018

Review: Ancestry DNA

I was inspired by the Sith Lord several years ago to consider doing Ancestry DNA and 23 and Me.
(FYI it’s called 23 because you have 46 chromosomes with 23 from each parent.)

The Sith Lord said that each website does it differently and provides different information. I’m still working on getting both done. At a retail price of $99 per test, you really have to want to do it.


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In brief the Ancestry test gives you two things:
First, the obligatory breakdown of origins. Where in the world did your ancestors come from? Some of the breakdown is logical but there are some trace outliers that raised a few questions with me. Hopefully 23 and me will address these when I get around to doing their test.

Second, Ancestry provides a list of other people that are related to me in some way. The trick is they don’t say how. It claims that 998 people in their database are my 4th cousins or closer. I know one person in their list but the others, nope.

Ancestry lets you use an online version of Family Tree Maker to try to add information to build-out your family tree. If you haven’t done this before you can really get carried away. Ancestry treats all family trees on their website as containing valid data and relationships. The old saying about garbage in, garbage out applies here.

I have some information about my family history and I still had to correct instances of the same spouse or child appearing on the tree as different people. You can only go back so far before the trail gets cold, unless someone really famous crops-up in the list. I traced my mom’s father back to William the Conqueror in 1066 AD. To get such results you must rely on other people and if one relationship is incorrect then the whole tree turns to nonsense. Ronald Reagan’s “trust but verify” applies to genealogy research too.

I researched a couple of nagging issues from a few years ago and did turn-up new facts while on the website this time around. The main one being a wedding record of my great-great-grandfather. His first wife died three years before the birth of my ancestor and this has always been unexplained until this summer. Since I looked last time, Ancestry has added more records to their database and I was able to answer one of my questions about this period of the family history.

I think its worth doing if you’re curious about genealogy.

Posted by william on 08/23 at 01:57 AM
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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Johnnie Does a Frozen Dinner

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By Johnnie Does…


Greetings, if you don’t know me I’m actually a very good cook, as proclaimed by a former professional chef I know.  Things took a rare turn this week and I felt the need to blog about it. As a Safeway club card member I received a free offer, or as the Blog Father would say…an offer I couldn’t refuse, for a PF Chang’s frozen dinner for 2 meal for a low, low cost of FREE.  Free?  Whoa! That’s weird!  I perused the aisles and discovered about 8 choices for said free meal, there was a shrimp one (yeah no) an orange chicken one (basically panda express) nope, I finally settled on Mongolian Beef.  The bag seemed small, but I returned to my dwelling, opened said bag and into the frying pan it went.  Don’t know why it’s called a frying pan when it sits over a burner, but oh well, away I went.  I took a gander at the ingredients; and was pleasantly surprised; beef with sweet and savory sauce, onions, string beans, and red bell peppers not a bad combination at all.  I immediately recognized the beef, string beans and red bell peppers, I didn’t understand the odd brown blocks that looked like Lego’s.  After a few minutes of cooking it all came into focus, the sauce was frozen into the Lego looking bricks.


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After about 15 minutes in a “frying pan” again…whoa that’s weird, the meal was ready and transferred to a plate.  I was not able to obtain the brown almost bamboo esque plate in the “serving suggestion” on the front of the bag, nor was I able to acquire the fancy looking chopsticks, so a generic white plate, and a small fork were used.  All my large forks were in a cleaning device most call a dishwasher.

The meal was actually very good, sauce was great, the string beans and bell peppers had a nice crunch and great taste, the beef was right on point.  I would go a solid 7.8 out of 10 on this meal.  Again not an everyday staple but an every so often when the girlfriend or wife is gone and I need something quick and easy (other than a hooker) I would buy this one. 


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My big drawback was the meal is that it’s not big enough for 2, it barely fed me…….Blog Father will collaborate my story I’m an average looking (besides the face for radio) 6 foot 200lb man… and it barely fed me.  Which is fine, but the branding of a meal for 2….unless you’re feeding Lindsay Lohan and yourself epic fail.  The cost when not free didn’t seem too out of line, $8.99 for the meal. Every so often I see Raley’s advertisements saying $5 on certain Mondays.  310 calories per serving, which means 620 for me, because I ate the whole meal, not complaining, but yeah I would go for it again.

Johnnie Does


San Francisco coming this week.

Posted by william on 08/16 at 06:29 AM
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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Balloons Are Next

Liberals always paint themselves into corners from which they can never extract themselves. As a result, they are forced to embrace logical fallacies, but depending on which proposition they embrace to the exclusion of others, they can accept the same premise and be on opposite sides of other related issues.

Liberals maintain that eating chemically enhanced foods is bad. Thus, they say no GMO’s and growth hormones. Many denounce meat (meat, eggs, milk) as bad either because of chemicals or because they don’t eat food with faces. Many have chosen a vegetarian lifestyle as a result. But for those of us old enough to remember the past (1970’s and Rachel Carson), environmentalists have proven that plants have feelings too. Thus, not to harm any other living creatures, the Liberals are left only with chemicals to consume.

This ladies and gents is circular reasoning on display.


The pop-culture fad of banning plastics is in full swing now. Especially targeted are those identified as “single use.” You can’t get a plastic bag at many retail establishments any more. Now straws are being targeted by these same selfish idiots. Liberals have announced that balloons are next.

Following efforts to limit plastic bags, the push by environmentalists against straws has gained traction in recent months…And the push may bring attention to other items people may not have considered — like festive balloons.

Prepare for a war on balloons, environmental experts say

Before I begin my next comments please be aware that I’m expecting Liberals to be logically consistent with their stated positions. This in itself is a fallacy because everything they do is based on feelings and facts; be it based on reason, science, or anything else don’t penetrate their shallow, bumper-sticker mentality. But if it did, the following argument would be even more laughable. (Oh, but they don’t have a sense of humor either.) Anyway, here it goes.


I wish to talk about how banning balloons crashes headlong into other cherished Liberal values. Balloons are made of rubber, often latex. They are being banned because they are a source of litter and hazardous to animals; be they mammals or fishes. The most common type of balloon that I encounter on my walks thru public spaces are those balloons manufactured for one-time use. These balloons are not just an eyesore but a public health hazard.

The balloons that I’m referring too are known by many names; raincoat, rubber, love sock, love glove, erasers, mood killers, etc. I have been in public places where children have found these things on the ground and tried to inflate them with their mouths (much to the horror of their parents.) I can think of few things nastier than finding these things on the ground.


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Raincoat—multi-use version


Liberal have tried to make them multi-use but the government won’t let them.

Yes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued an appeal to folks to not wash or otherwise reuse condoms.

“Incorrect use, such as reusing a condom or using more than one at a time, diminishes the protective effect of condoms by leading to condom breakage, slippage, or leakage,” Elizabeth Torrone, an epidemiologist at the CDC’s Division of STD Prevention, told BuzzFeed News.

“You should use the condom in the way the manufacturer has intended and tested,”...

Yes, the CDC had to ask people not to wash or otherwise reuse condoms

As government certified, single use balloons, using the arguments put forth by Liberals, condoms must be included as part of the forthcoming ban.


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Full, Festive, Happy, Single Use Balloons


Now imagine that you’re a young guy in college and are confronted by this issue. Do you side with your environmentalist friends to ban the balloon, thus causing your love life to suffer or do you oppose the ban? If you support the ban, you could suffer the ire of the abortion community and the rainbow people. If you are Liberal, straight, and male will you even be allowed to have an opinion on the issue? Smart money says to hell with all of ‘em and become a Libertarian.

Anyway folks, there you have it, when the rubber meets the road what will Liberals do? Who knows but it will be fun to watch.

 

Posted by william on 08/15 at 09:12 PM
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Friday, August 10, 2018

Tests Oaths on College Campus

In what is a natural step in the tyranny of diversity and intolerance, colleges are now requiring applicants to prove they are adherents to diversity and inclusion.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is rolling out a new policy to “require a diversity statement from candidates for all faculty and staff searches,” becoming the latest university among dozens nationwide that force job-seeking professors to pledge their commitment to equity and inclusion as a condition of employment.

Critics of required diversity statements have suggested they are a tool used to weed out candidates who do not agree with the leftist notion that identity politics should be the lens through which academics is taught. What’s more, critics contend, seeking to identify and hire underrepresented conservative and libertarian scholars is not the type of “diversity” sought through the statements. Finally, they argue, the statements are used to elevate applicants of color over other qualified candidates.

California public university latest to require ‘diversity statement’ for employment

I told you this was coming. This oppression of folks with different worldviews—especially targeting Christians and other conservative folks—will be spreading to other taxpayer funded employment and the private sector too. Look for this concept to be embraced and expanded once Garvin Newsom is anointed California’s next Governor.

The war on Western Culture is escalating right under our noses but few frogs are willing to jump out of the pot. Some days I think George Orwell just got the year wrong.

 

Posted by william on 08/10 at 09:41 AM
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Thursday, August 09, 2018

Johnnie Does Drug Addiction

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By Johnnie Does…


Addiction is a horrible thing, it changes people right in front of your very eyes. This is a real life account of 2 friends I’ve had to say goodbye to in the last 5 months.  By saying goodbye, I don’t mean they are no longer with us, quite the contrary, but they may not be with us much longer if they continue following the same trajectory they are on now.  I’ve had a relationship with the Blog Father for about a decade now, and he can attest first hand I am by no means perfect, and share his traits of being a slower learner, I am also very trusting, which led to my downfall.


The first is a former girlfriend of mine. We dated for over a year and a half, including her living in my house.  We got along great and shared many similar beliefs. It was almost too good to be true…because it was. 

I made clear when we began dating that I have a zero tolerance policy on any type of drug. I don’t care if California says it’s legal. She claimed to understand. Things were great at first and then things got weird after she broke her foot.  She instantly dropped her two night college classes and took a semester of unpaid leave from her job working at an elementary school. 


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This seemed pretty drastic as the Blog Father or myself would be expected to report to work within hours of the cast being set.  I felt bad for her and let her sleep in the other bedroom on a futon and have her own bathroom.  I screwed up. 

One day I was cleaning my house and was going to clean her bathroom next. Once she understood my intention, she got off the couch, ran by me using speed that would make a prospective college football recruit jealous and declared her bathroom off limits to me.  Whoa!  That’s Weird!  I relented, blaming myself saying I should have asked. I figured that it could have been a feminine thing she was worried about me finding…again I was wrong. 

One night I was up late doing laundry (my laundry closet is located next to her bathroom) when my eyes started burning and I was pretty much sobbing uncontrollably. I thought I might be going blind but it turned out to be nothing.  A few days later I came home from dinner with a friend, and with bladder at maximum capacity, I used her bathroom. I noticed a pink pipe and marijuana on my counter, in my house!  She declared it was her mothers and produced a text message saying as much. Her mother wanted her to buy product off a co-worker.  Sounded plausible, and her mother told me she was known to crank the hoon every so often, I mistakenly believed her. 

One night I returned home from work late (9 pm) and was greeted to a locked garage door and when I obtained access via my key, the front door flung open and someone ran out, it was her.  She claimed she had to put something in her car, looking back on it, likely weed.  In her haste, she left her journal out on the table open faced that night and I decided if it’s open then the perception of privacy is gone. I was stunned at what I read. The comments were primarily about doing weed brownies, edibles, smoking, and vaping, pretty much everything I said no to at the beginning of our relationship. It was like a pre-pubescent rebellious teenager only she was 27. 

I called her out and she denied everything saying its things she desired. Again she reiterated that she has never done any of that since we dated.  I believed what she said in spite of the evidence. And yeah that’s like strike 9 for me. Again, I’m a self-admitted slow learner.  Well things continued to get worse and she finally walked out.

A couple weeks after she moved out, my mother was helping me get my house in order. She began cleaning the bathroom used by my ex when suddenly, mom screamed. I ran in to see what had distressed her and she said, “What is this pile behind the toilet?” It was a pile of weed, likely 6 inches in height, and a foot in diameter.  Liar. 

While gathering the debris left behind by the ex from my house, I picked up a box of feminine napkins and as I set it down I heard a clank; yep, a glass pipe found inside.  Never smoked huh?  I undertook a painting project later and painted the spare bedroom she used for a few months. When moving the bed, I found a large pile of ashes from her smoking weed.  Literally, feet from carpet, and highly flammable bedding, also feet from a CA required smoke detector, conveniently located in each bedroom.  Yes that is right, she was cranking the hoon just feet from a device specifically designed to detect said smoking.  Then the big one was this past weekend, I cut my finger on a mirror and reached for a band aid, and found a vape pen.  My trust had cost me, I was a fool, unreal. 


Commentary: concerning my ex
You could have a great future; but you need to get your life’s priorities in order.  You have no money after the 20th of each month due to your addiction. You had no bills or obligations while living here.  You even shared in your journal that you crank the hoon with your co-workers at lunch. Hopefully this isn’t true because if it is you are felony stupid. That behavior is still illegal around schools and your dream of being a teacher will go up in flames faster than your next joint. You are living a lie and are in need of a reality check.  You possess no degree or full time work, this is due to your own laziness and addiction.  I know you read this blog and I will now tell you something that should upset you far more than anything else. You wanted to get married and that dream was going to become a reality. I was set to speak to the Blog Father during lunch together somewhere (I consider him a spiritual and personal mentor) and ask his guidance. If he signed off, I was fully ready to ask your father for his approval and then ask for your hand in marriage. You made the job easy, congrats.  Quit cranking the hoon, grab a book, maybe read it.


The second example involves a friend of mine closer to 80 than 60.  We met through church and are both in a religious group. I have known him for 15 years, maybe more.  He has a serious drinking problem, specifically the grape.  I would be remiss to say I didn’t share a few nights having more then I probably should but for this guy it’s a way of life.  Things for him have deteriorated quickly over the last few months. He had to have serious leg surgery and thankfully he didn’t lose his leg, but he was rendered pretty immobile and unable to work.  So I helped out, even going as far as going across town to get him food with nary a thank you or sign of gratitude. 

On my last visit he stated he needed food and was hungry. I told him I’ll have Safeway deliver groceries and said I would even pay. I asked, “What do you want?” He answered negatively.  I didn’t quite understand this. He insisted on me picking him up on my lunch break and taking him to Safeway. Keep in mind the closest Safeway to him is 20 minutes away, his house is 25 minutes from where I work and I have one hour for lunch. The math doesn’t work out. 


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It was during this time that I found out who I was in his life, the errand boy, also known as another term for a female dog.  I told him “No” so he found some other sucker to do the job; this person also is a friend of mine.  My friend drove him to Foods Co 30 minutes from his house, to get 3 items, yeah you read that right 3 items. 

Around July 4th our church was having a fundraiser selling a hot dog, chips, and a soda for $5 to benefit the church. Sure as the sky is blue he called me and said “shut up and listen” Whoa!  That’s Weird!  “Get me 10 hot dogs, no buns, chips, and a couple sodas. Tell them it’s free for me.”  Yep, next level arrogance there. Keep in mind I attend service at 7:30, nowhere near 12:00 when said BBQ was going to be going on. He knows this.  But like anyone with an addiction issue, it did not deter him. He called me later that night. I sent the call to voicemail. I was done with him. He started “crying” on the phone saying “I’m hungry, and you need to help a fellow brother in need”  “Where are the hot dogs? I need food.”  Yeah, I never retrieved said hot dogs. It was a fundraiser not a take advantage of us opportunity. Sorry dude.  No pay, no play. 

He called me the following Friday during my lunch, leaving a voicemail, saying you need to leave work early, get me food and just explain it later to my boss. Yeah I would get terminated instantly for cause, all for what?  He saw me at a meeting (a church one) and had an ear to ear grin, saying hey dude, I want some of that good wine (I’m the head bartender at our events) I poured him a glass, and told him leave me alone and to get bent.  He didn’t like this one bit.

Some background on this guy. He rents a house and sublets a bedroom. He has gone through no fewer than 10 roommates in the last decade, getting along with none of them. 

He called me later that night, and again the following 2 Sundays leaving voicemails each time. I finally decided to call him and extend a little courtesy, so I did. He answered saying he went to church and asked God for forgiveness and that I should forgive him as a result, keep in mind no apology or change in behavior on his part.  Then he claimed he was joking when he called me about the hot dogs. Yeah I told him no he wasn’t.  He claimed he was drunk when he called me saying to leave work early, the voicemail is time stamped 12:15pm, that’s starting very early, by anyone’s standards.  He then changed his story and said he has been on medication. Ummmm that’s a felony stupid reason to drink. 

Realizing he was going to get nowhere with me he has decided to do what any bully tries to do, force me out via proxy. He has contacted some leadership in our group and is trying to convince them I’m not worthy to lead.  That’s right, I own a house and recently cut a deal to be a part owner of a small business. Yes I’m the one with no leadership skills.  His biggest accomplishment in the last 10 years is his recording 2 DUI’s, demonstrating that he has as much credibility on the leadership issue as Geoffrey the Giraffe.  Here is his “chief issue” with getting me removed, I hold the #3 leadership position in this group and sadly for him I am universally loved by all members of this 257 member group, including our 2 priests.  The leadership is 100% behind me, and I don’t think anyone really likes him.


Commentary:  Concerning grape man
The book has pretty much been written about you already. You are in your last chapters of life. Put down the grape. If you lack the willpower to do that at least don’t start before 4 PM.  It’s made you a shell of your former self. You would rather get ripped than just have a good time.  You need serious help.

We went to a BBQ and you proceeded to grab 6 samples of hokee poke ahi tuna off a sample platter. Dude, take 1 or maybe 2, but 6?  At the same BBQ you demanded your burger be cooked medium rare. It was a frozen patty. Dude I’m pretty sure that’s impossible and then you barked at the poor guy grilling like you were a drill sergeant.  God bless him, I would have thrown the burger in your face and told you to eat poop. 


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As for your demand to get 10 hot dogs, just think about that for a minute……maybe a minute more. Yeah super unreasonable and to do it through proxy nonetheless.  Letting the messenger look bad not the source, classic bully move.  Rebuild your life. It won’t be the same but learn to accept people for who and what they are. Telling someone to leave work early because I’m hungry or saying I asked God for forgiveness so you need to forgive me is behavior straight out of the Devil’s playbook. I tend to be suspicious of folks that claim to know what God’s will for my life is especially when they didn’t get the beam out of their own eye first.

Learn these words, “I screwed up. I’m sorry. What can I do to correct this?” 

Most importantly come to grips with this: you have gotten at least 2 DUI’s in the last 10 years. At your stage in life, you should be a wise and honored person in our congregation but the master you serve is on tap, you know better. You need to own-up to your problems and deal with them. You behave more like a Pharisee than a follower.


Final Thoughts
Addiction is bad, really bad. The Blog Father will second my motion saying legalizing “the hoon” was a big mistake in California. We will look back on this one day as the opening of Pandora’s Box.  This will lead to the destruction of many lives.  My advice to people who have loved ones who struggle with substance abuse, try to be there, but it’s not your job to ensure sobriety.  Most of all, understand you need to let go. You cannot change people with substance abuse issues and don’t let them guilt trip you otherwise. Walk out of their lives like I did with my friend.  Or maybe consider the health effects. Hey ex, you mentioned having kids was very important to you, have you looked at the direct link between cranking the hoon and infertility?  Your eggs may not be fertile. 


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Maybe if you’re a junkie, or know one and you’re reading this blog, google Shaun Weiss arrest, he played Goldberg, the goalie, in the mighty ducks a movie from my childhood. He was around my age in that movie, Take a gander folks, he is 48 going on like 88.

Johnnie Does………out

Posted by william on 08/09 at 06:35 AM
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Monday, August 06, 2018

I See Dead People

“I see dead people walking around like regular people”
Haley Joel Osmen
The Sixth Sense


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At work, occasionally I see dead people too.

The State Agency for which I work is carrying debts owed by former state employees that have gone to their eternal reward; often, their demise can create an accounting legacy that lasts for years. You see, we have no ability to go after the estate of decedents to collect on the debt but we also have no way to write-off such debts even when we know we cannot collect them.

Back in the day, this was called a Mexican Stand-off (somehow, I think the plastic bag straw police will decide to make this term politically incorrect soon).

If you die before we tell you that you own the State money due to overpayment, then our legal department determined that you were not notified in a timely manner and we can write-off the debt. This risky and brilliant legal determination was committed to writing just last year. Note to readers, our unit has been dealing with this issue since 2011; thus it took six years to extract this legal opinion.

However, if we notified you prior to your passing then welcome to purgatory. Much like the infamous Hotel California, you may be checked-out but your debt may never leave.


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We have no guidance on what to do in such cases. Managers are so risk-averse that they are fearful to put the debt out of its misery. The usual reason stated eventually goes to having proper documentation to withstand the dreaded accounting audit.

For those not familiar with accounting, the function of the auditor is to come in after the battle and bayonet the wounded. ( -:


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Example, one guy met his maker in 2012 and the debt which is less than $500 is still on the books in 2018. We have had a copy of the obituary in our office for four years now. In fairness, last month we came up with a way to write-off the debt but as of this writing, it is still in limbo.

Eventually these uncollectible accounting items will be laid to rest but whether they stay buried is out of my control. Should they be uncovered by the dreaded auditors then it may require more silver nitrate, garlic, salt, stakes, or other assorted remedies for fighting the undead than we can muster.


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Yeah, the way government accounting rolls they may be back but hopefully not on my watch.

Posted by william on 08/06 at 06:06 AM
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Thursday, August 02, 2018

Johnnie Does Jury Duty

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By Johnnie Does…

Our “Johnnie does” segment depicts real life blogging of a correspondent wishing to maintain anonymity. He was given permission by the Blog Father to chronicle his exploits as long as content doesn’t turn into Johnnie Does Debbie or any female (or male) named herein; what follows is his account of jury duty.


I was called to “service” aka Jury Duty this past week. On Tuesday my group had to report, so I fired up the ole vehicle and made the trek to the Gordon Schraber Courthouse in Sacramento.  (If you wish to avoid your own legal entanglements with parking enforcement, arriving early is essential.) I made my way to the juror parking lot, found a space, parked the car, and walked to the Courthouse. 

As I approached the Courthouse steps, I was curious what sort of people that I might encounter during my visit. I kind of knew that the shifty and suspicious characters here to answer for their crimes entered the courthouse via a separate entrance; however, I was hoping to encounter attorneys or witnesses. I wondered whether they might try to influence their case by making me an offer that I couldn’t refuse. I’ve been known to be susceptible to the whiles of beautiful women in trouble or huge wads of cash but I found no one seeking to tip the scales of justice.  Alone and somewhat disappointed, I entered the courthouse.


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Gordon Schraber Courthouse in Sacramento


Upon entering, those of us reporting for our civic duty were herded like cattle through metal detectors at the security checkpoint.  As I was about to enter, the guy in front of me made the machine beep. He then proceeded to take out his phone, it beeped again, then removed his belt; beeped again, then his spare change….(For a minute here I thought perhaps the “Chief Blogger” was in front of me.) Again the machine beeped, and the man said “oh my wallet”; finally, the machine didn’t beep anymore and he was admitted.  Clearly this guy thought he was exempt from the signs instructing people to remove all said crap listed above from their pockets and place in a tray so it could be run separately thru the x-ray machine. In contrast, I passed right through and made my way to the jury room. 

I check in with the clerk at the window and was told to wait and enjoy a movie that would start playing shortly.  I was hoping the movie would be accompanied by a snack and complimentary beverage but sadly this was not the case. After seeing the prices marked on the nearby vending machines, I was hoping the person that came up with the prices would be on trial today for theft.

At around 9:30, they put on an old Sandra Bullock film (is it my age or aren’t all of her films old). Anyway, I had seen enough. I was ready to make an offer to the older lady sitting next to me….$50 to stay here and check me out at day’s end; I couldn’t take it anymore!  Shortly thereafter I looked at my watch, I was convinced a few hours had passed and it had to be close to lunch time…it was 9:35. 

About the time my sanity was threatening to leave me, a voice interrupted the movie. The announcement was made that they needed a jury and they began called names. I was one of the first ones called so I proceeded to Department 23 as instructed. (Each courtroom is called a department and has its own number.) I was lucky to be moving out of the accursed waiting room. It was time for the real entertainment to begin. I could now sit back and watch a few people get thrown off the jury and once they had a jury picked then I could be excused and sent home. My master plan was in motion! 

Upon my arrival at the appointed room; however, reality saw to it that I had no such luck. I was called to sit in the jury box in seat 11, pretty much font and center!  The judge read off a couple of preliminary items, saying because the defendant was black didn’t mean he was guilty, etc., etc.  We were then asked if we knew any of the other jurors, the judge or defense or prosecutors, I answered, “No”.  We took a 30 minute break at 10:30 with instructions to be back at 11; in what became a recurring theme during my time served, 11 turned into 11:30.

The judge very slowly and methodically began asking various canned questions to each of us on the panel. These questions included inquiring as to whether we had a family member convicted of a crime? A few of us raised our hands and the judge called on us individually.  I had to state what happened with a family member, to which the judge asked if I knew any of the officers being called as witnesses. I responded, “No”.  He then asked if I could put aside any bias I may have for a couple days I answered, “Yes”.  He asked a few more follow ups to the panel, then excused us for 2 hours for lunch.  I asked myself, 2 hours for lunch, can this be a professional gig? 


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We returned at 2:00 and waited. We were not called back into the court room until 2:20.  From here the two attorneys took over, and I was again under attack.  I was asked if someone was pulled over going 66 in a 65 zone if that was considered breaking the law, I replied, “Yes”.  The female defense attorney had a follow up saying she was deeply disturbed by my answer to which I replied, saying posted speed limits should be adhered to at all times but occasionally circumstances warrant someone’s speed to fluctuate over and under the speed limit.  She went as far as saying she had no witness list and solely planned to rebut everything the prosecutor brought up during trial.  She finished up and the prosecutor took over, asking another juror some follow ups. To my amazement, the defense attorney then trained her fire on me once again asking what my thoughts were on being pulled over for only going a mile over, I answered than I believed it was the officer’s discretion.  At this point I figured the defendant had been pulled over for something fairly ticky-tack then attacked and assaulted the three police officers at the scene, one being a women.  At roughly 3 pm the judge said someone had to be somewhere in 30 minutes and we were going to stop here for the day.  No one had been thrown off, and just a few questions so far had been asked of the prospective jurors.  Our day was over, but our “service” was not; we were required to report back tomorrow at 9 am. 

I reported back the following day and waited outside the court room doors. The other jurors began showing up and we waited until around 10:30 when the doors opened.  Everyone took their respective seats and the judge began to address the group. He said he will take the blame for today’s goings on but we could not proceed because the defense attorney was sick. As a result, we had to return the following day at 1:30.  He said he had a delta tunnels hearing in the AM.  Frustration began to set in with the jury pool. One young lady said her boss was forcing her to take off work while attending jury duty, another works night shifts and is essentially unable to sleep during this charade.  You could tell on the way out of the courthouse there was unrest brewing among the natives.

I returned yet again the following afternoon and boarded the elevator, the defense attorney got on next to me.  I asked if she felt better and she said yes. I said well I’m sure it was no big deal you were absent yesterday.  As we approached the courtroom I boasted to the fellow jurors “hey she isn’t sick anymore, she’s here!” To which she turned red as a tomato from all the clapping from us jurors.  I think at this point she came to the realization that most prospective jurors while leaning toward being more than fair had turned on her and her client.  As a group, we were sick of the delays and non-stop hurry up and wait mentality. 

At 2:30 they called us into the courtroom again, and the judge said there was a resolution, the accused had pled guilty.  The judge addressed us for about 30 minutes saying he was glad for our service and that we shouldn’t view this as a waste of time at all.  He talked about the new courthouse being built soon at the cost of 400 million and how this building was deficient and so on so forth.  He said something about us getting paid, I’ll believe that when I see it.  We had to go back to the jury room and get a sheet of paper saying we served 3 days, presumably to give to our employer so they wouldn’t have an excuse to fire us.  Then we could go.


My commentary:
This was the ugly underbelly of our justice system, which frankly I believe is rotten to its core.  There were many people in that court room whose life was inconvenienced over 3 days in the name of this defendant.  One lady drove all the way from Isleton for this, that’s more drive time than court room time for all you home gamers.  More frustrating was that we as jurors were the ones constantly in flux. It’s somewhat stressful finding parking, then you had to factor in getting to the right floor, then wait for the court to open.  Additionally there was no phone call saying no jury was needed since the defense attorney was sick. 

However I would be remiss if I didn’t say this was a very good learning experience. At first I was flummoxed the judge didn’t seem to allow anyone’s excuse to stand. He had a very calm demeanor and usually asked you a question where your answer meant you shouldn’t be excluded.  It wasn’t until after the jury duty was over I understood what was going on.

The judge was basically telling the attorneys this is going to be your only pool by which to pick from so of the 40 or so in this room try to find 18. (The jury is composed of twelve jurors plus some alternates.) I think he knew several of us were bound to get thrown off and as a result wanted both attorneys to use their 10 “challenges” as opposed to him throwing people off.  Additionally I believe that before the jurors were set to be readmitted to court, the judge told both parties I think we can have resolution now, then boom, a plea deal was reached.  I cannot definitely say justice was done because I was not there the day of the arrest for the crime, but I do think the defendant, by holding out until the last possible second, got the best deal possible.

Honestly the case was going to be nearly insurmountable for the defense to win, regardless of whether the initial traffic stop was legal.  The biggest hurdle to overcome was that the defendant was accused of assaulting 3 badges (police officers)—one being a female.  I say insurmountable because as a male, it would be very hard to acquit or even attempt to hang the jury when a male hits a female.  Hopefully he got a fair deal, as I’m sure jail time was on the table.  However if it would have gone to trial, I would be remiss to say I wouldn’t have wanted to be a fly on the wall hearing the defense attorney argue a case with no witnesses, videos, or her client taking the stand.

Now on to the judge, Kevin Culhane.  I thought initially he was long winded, slow and deliberate, and at one point seemed as if he was intentionally wasting time.


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Judge Kevin R. Culhane


To the contrary, Judge Culhane is a very distinguished civil court trial judge who has presided over a ton of civil suits.  In retrospect, it makes sense that he was very deliberate, and tried to make the prospective jurors feel at ease even though some of us were talking about some very uncomfortable things either in ours or our families’ past.  He always made it clear what the next steps were and apologized profusely for the defense attorney being sick and inconveniencing us.  He spoke to us at length prior to dismissing us, and told us he was appointed by the governor to address the 6 year backlog of criminal cases at the court, and to put together a strategic plan to get a new court house built. He accomplished both of these, the new courthouse will be shovel ready in a couple months!  All in all not a bad experience at all.

Johnnie Does San Francisco is next!

Posted by william on 08/02 at 10:30 AM
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Friday, July 27, 2018

Rush Limbaugh: On the Radio

Since its Friday, I wanted to take a timeout from the news of the day. I did read a headline about Rush Limbaugh offering to run Facebook after they lost 119 billion in stock value yesterday. Facebook has no value in any real metric. They do nothing and produce nothing. They have no tangible assets, they are vaporware. Facebook exists only on paper. If you liquidated the company, you could only get a few million for real estate and office equipment.

My purpose today is not to bash Facebook, as fun as that may be, but my mind did wander to Rush. I rarely listen to him anymore. I like him and enjoy his program much of the time but work and listening don’t always go together.

I do marvel at the staying power of Rush. He is an American institution. In my lifetime only Paul Harvey approaches him in the field. But Rush is superior. Why? Because Rush does what he does, three hours a day. Paul Harvey did two short broadcasts of less than seven minutes. However, without Paul Harvey, Rush would not be possible.


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Paul Harvey


So what does Rush do? First he is a vociferous reader and he has an eye for reading between the lines. He may not use the word but he understands the worldview of those he disagrees with. This is why he is so often right. He just looks at people and knowing what motivates them he can predict what they will do next. He has both a staff and loyal listeners that funnel information to him to sort thru so he can keep abreast of different events. Importantly, he has a sense of humor and knows how to poke fun at his adversaries. This is all well and good but doesn’t necessarily translate to good radio.

Think about it. What is radio?  At its core, radio is a guy sitting in an empty room by himself pretending to be having a conversation with his best friend. This dialogue is broken only by commercials and weather updates. Rush has been doing this three hours a day for about 30 years.


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Rush Limbaugh


Trust me when I say that normal people can’t do radio. I worked in radio in high school and college. The station where I worked in high school was WDDT—which at the time was running a top-40 rock format. WDDT was a small town dawn to dusk AM station. On Sundays, I had to arrive early in the morning and turn on the transmitter. Then at sunrise I had to change the broadcast power to increase the transmitter footprint for daytime operation. Thus I was running the programming and also the acting broadcast engineer.

The college that I attended for my freshman year owned a 50,000 watt AM station and also an FM one which were both on the west side of campus. The student station was confined to the campus and broadcasted via carrier wave thru the power grid of the school. Yes, reception was thru plugging your radio into the 110 volt wall outlet and then tuning to the correct frequency. (Trivia: You can now use this technique in your house to transmit Internet from one room to another.)

These experiences in radio give me a greater appreciation for how gifted Limbaugh really is. I’ve formally met Rush once. Shortly after he left Sacramento and began his nationwide program, he returned and did a political fundraiser in Sacramento. I paid my $100 and got to meet him at the event. He is not what you would expect. He was shy and uncomfortable in the large group. He impressed me as being an introvert when in the company of strangers. It’s part of the way radio works. You create an on air personality and like an actor playing a part, you cloth yourself with the character and take it off when it’s not needed.

My other claim to fame was that I was officially the only troublemaker to interrupt him during his first Rush to Excellence Tour. If you can find the video tape—I don’t think he ever put these on DVD, Rush is doing a bit on the stage about New York handing out condoms to people to protect them from AIDS. Said Condoms were stapled to an information sheet that was being given to people. Rush was mocking them for putting the staples thru the middle of each and every condom that was being passed out with the promise that their use would result in “safe sex”. During this monologue, I hollered-out the name “Lee Nichols” and Rush lost it and started laughing. After a few seconds he recovered his composure and continued him monologue. As a result of my outburst, I was featured prominently in two subsequent close-ups of the audience.


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Rush to Excellence ‘89


While the name Lee Nichols probably means nothing to you now, I will explain who he was. Nichols was a professor at Sac State. He left his wife and children to pursue a relationship with a man. Nichols was out of the closet before it was cool. He was very Liberal. He was part of the Lambda Community Center group in Sacramento.


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Lee Nichols photo from Sacramento Bee
Nichols obituary can be found here


Due to concerns about the FCC Fairness Doctrine, KFBK felt that they needed an afternoon host to counter the conservatism of having Rush on for three hours in the morning so they gave three hours a day in the afternoon to various Liberals. Of these, Lee Nichols was the best foil that they put up.

The reason my Lee Nichols comment was funny was because everybody in the room was thinking it but I was the only one willing to say it out loud and the timing was spot-on.

I’m glad Rush is still around and going strong. Like Trump, I don’t know if he is a Christian but I do know that God is using the man to teardown strongholds of evil and stupidity. Yeah, I guess that means that Rush (and Trump) are doing the Lord’s work.

Posted by william on 07/27 at 08:15 AM
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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The CRA Killed Itself

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By “X” the man with no name

As has been chronicled on this blog many times, I left the CRA a while ago. I watched it single handedly devolve into something that I no longer recognized. Barbara Alby (rest in peace) and her minions have destroyed any chance this group has of ever being viable again.  I will lay all this out for you, but the CRA was at one time a growing organization that did have quite a bit of clout within the party and the endorsement was coveted, not an afterthought as it is now.

You see Alby and her minions introduced and elevated “scorched earth tactics.” If you’re not with us you’re against us.  Alby went one step beyond others and put the whole thing in terms of a spiritual battle between the light and darkness.
Think Frank E. Peretti’s This Present Darkness.


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Spiritual warfare—CRA style


Alby got into power and then pushed out all of her opponents. This initial purge resulted in the formation of the California Congress of Republicans (CCR). Keep in mind that many of these people did not differ much on policy.  On the whole, it was purely due to the fact that they did not have allegiance to Alby and company.  Over the years, other leaders came and went. The group tried to regain its footing many times but continued to bleed members.

In 2011, you had the infamous Celeste Greig vs Karen England smackdown. Again, the losing side being wiped out of CRA entirely, many with lifetime bans.  During this struggle, the Park Brothers began to take over the group, coalescing power, and just like that, George Park Jr became the defacto leader. Think the Trojan Horse that appeared a gift but was really an unmitigated disaster.  I say Park was the leader because John Briscoe was just a useless puppet very similar to Bill Cardoza.  Once again it was jihad time against their own membership, people were again purged for the soul fact they were not ideologically pure enough. 

Then a movement to oust the Parks happened and CRA once again cleansed itself of people who were not worthy. Well not really, the current President was best friends with said Park brothers.  Naturally he shielded them from any criticism. Meanwhile, the rank and file were told Craig Alexander was preparing a large lawsuit to recoup damages. The legal action never happened and Craig hasn’t been seen in years. The Placer County Mafia sticks together and protects their own.

As for as the characters running for next CRA president?  I have no real opinion, but if there was a “none of the above” I’d vote that way.  Also, they have thinned their ranks so badly that no one wants to join the group either. In less than three decades, CRA has lost 99 percent of their membership going from 80,000 to 800. Last I checked, entire counties do not have any active units! Sad!  However, that’s ok because the only members left all think the same on policy and ideologically.

I remember the good old days of having endorsement conventions and crossing swords with people only to go out for a bite to eat or a drink afterwards, but those days are long gone.  The battles now go bone-deep with some friends being lost forever; causalities of a war for purity that no one can win. Some of these battles we fight internally are the equivalent of Jihad. Barbara Alby taught us well in the ways of scorched earth and Jihad.

I remember when getting picked for the endorsement convention used to mean something. All it means now is a meaningless meeting on a Saturday which in most cases involves considering the merits of the only Republican in the race. The endorsement is so worthless that the candidate (whoever he/she may be) doesn’t even bother to show up.  Yet somehow the delegates in attendance turn the meeting into a 3 hour BS fest complete with people needing to get on their soap box; each in turn beating their chest and promising that the good old days of Ronald Reagan could be right around the corner.  This is why some units don’t send anyone at all, because no one wants to go, yet the CRA leadership doesn’t see it that way.  Now the group is filled with nothing but policy wonks and people that want to have fights about Roberts Rules or whether someone is really a Republican or if they are a plant.  No current member of the Board knows how to fix this mess.

Then witness the endorsing of Ted Cruz. I was there when a motion was made to consider Donald Trump.  You could hear the groans. Delegates were horrified that they should even be considering the one person who had a chance to be nominated by the Republican Party. Mind you that Trump had all but secured the nomination when CRA took this vote. CRA was ground zero of the NeverTrumpers.  CRA endorsed Ted on the first ballot with over 80 percent of the vote, which is about how big Trump’s victory was when California voters had their say. 

This year, the CRA couldn’t endorse John Cox, they instead chose Travis Allen. Allen finished fourth. 90 percent of Republicans voted for another candidate. CRA endorsed candidates are getting destroyed at the ballet box year after year. This illustrates how out of touch this group is.  In many races, the Green Party guys get more votes than CRA’s candidate. This is why no one wants to join. You have kicked out every sensible, fair-minded person. Occasionally CRA will pick-up a single-issue voter that wants to kill Common Core, repeal the Federal Reserve, call a Constitutional Convention, or enact the State of Jefferson.


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John Cox—not good enough for CRA

How would I fix CRA?  Close the door and shut off the lights. 

In all seriousness, here are my suggestions but don’t expect them to be listened to or considered. 
• I would rename the group and adopt a new logo; the current name and logo are very stale and could use a refresh. 
• Stop kicking out members because you don’t believe identically on every issue. Purging 99 percent of the membership is proof you need work in this area.
• Stop having board meetings in seclusion and making people drive all over the State to attend. Conduct business over a conference call or Skype. Open them to the public and add some transparency. 
• Keep the meetings, including the regular meetings short and to the point. No more two-hour, long-winded sessions.  You are running off members.  No one cares to hear about your car ride to the board meeting.  Tell us what happened in a short synopsis. 
• Restructure the entire board and put the power down at the grassroots level. Allow new units without red tape.  Reward recruitment and grant breaks on dues owed the parent organization. 
• Have a strategic plan and stick to it. Stop being wishy washy.
• Move your endorsement calendar up so as to avoid embarrassment. 
• Remove rogue, alcoholic board members. This should go without saying, but actually do it. 
• Don’t give us rhetoric but no action to match it. 
• Do a deep dive on units who have had the same president for over a decade, there is something inherently wrong there.

Respectfully submitted in a spirit of charity,

“X”


Editor Note: Below is list of splinter groups formed as result of being purged from CRA.

California Congress of Republicans founded 1989

Conservative Republicans of California founded 2011

Impact Republicans founded 2015

Posted by william on 06/27 at 05:22 AM
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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Follow-up: CRA 2019 Convention

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


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response to yesterday’s blog


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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Fonzie (Henry Winkler) jumps the shark


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

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

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Windmills in the past


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

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

CRA 2019 Convention Preview

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


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Chuck E Cheese—where CRA happens next


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


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


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Wookie aspires to go from sidekick to hero


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


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Sith Lord stepping from shadows to assert control


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


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Drunken Jedi stumbling forward to lead rag-tag band


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

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

Posted by william on 06/25 at 07:26 AM
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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Painting Adventures with Zinsser Cover Stain

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

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

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

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

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

Cover Stain Technical Data CVS-03



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We purchased five gallons of Cover Stain


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

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

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


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Frog Tape recommended by Consumer Reports online reviews.


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

Here are photos of the results.


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

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More peeling

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All ten door jambs peeled just like this one.


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

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

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

The finished product looks nice.


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Room during carpeting process with pad installed

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Finished room


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

Posted by william on 06/21 at 08:54 AM
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