Monday, November 01, 2010

Election Day II

I forgot to mention, I’ve forgiven David Harmer.  The reasons: Every candidate has some goons and/or idiots hanging around him.  I don’t blame Rand Paul for the fight that took place outside where he was debating.  No matter how unfortunate the events were you just can’t blame him!

Also, I don’t think they picked me out.  It’s not like they said “there’s that ‘joe’ – Get him!”   They volunteers were just incompetent morons.

And lastly the Congress of the United States isn’t about my feelings; it’s about electing someone who will make wise decisions and keep us free.

Election Day!

I wasn’t going to come out with any “recommendations” this year.  I didn’t feel like gumming up the political process too much.  But I can’t resist at least saying where I’m leaning on election day:

For Mayor of Manteca, Carlon Perry is the obvious choice.  We are also electing two councilmen:  I’d go with Richard Behling, he seems like a smart guy who understands some deep concepts about the role of government.  And for the other council position – I have no idea, name your poison.

For Governor of California, Meg Whitman and for senator Carly Fiorina.  At least they created at least one job in their lives, which is more than Brown or Boxer have done.

There’s a bunch more candidates.  But no stand outs so you might as well let your parakeet peck at the sample ballot and pick one.  Or – NONE.  Yes, you can pick “none.”  You just don’t vote for those.  It will count as an “undervote” but the rest of the ballot will count.  There’s no requirement to vote for every single office or every single ballot measure if you don’t know which to pick.  Check with election officials if you don’t believe me.

So far as propositions:  Prop 19 is a step in the right direction – just in terms of “harm reduction” regardless if you believe using marijuana is good or bad.  No one will make you “smoke pot” and if there are those that say it helps them, what do I care?  Get the government out of this equation.

I’m still analyzing some of the others.  Here, rather than spoon feed you the proposition numbers and a “yes/no” I’ll just spout a few principles to keep in mind.

There’s a proposition on suspending AB32, the “Global Warming®” law.  That’s a no brainer – of course yes, suspend it.  In this economy?  And the whole fear of global Al Goreism is way overblown.  Way.

Currently, the legislature has to agree on a budget with a 2/3 vote.  We want that.  I don’t care how late the budget is.  If you lower that to simple majority, that will just make it “easier” to spend your money on a budget that’s not so agreeable.  Also, if you cut the legislators’ pay if the budget is late – you’ll get a budget on time even if it’s the worst budget on earth.

Lets see what else there is… this ballot looks like the SAT…..

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The power of one, part II

Now we see the real power of one, finally.  Here in this video clip.

This occurred after the harassment at my seat in the back for roughly 5 minutes, the “guy” chasing me around causing a disturbance and after I asked for simple clarification “Am I allowed to film here, yes or no?”  Which no one would answer.  (Except “the guy” who had no authority to be harassing me and telling me not to film.) 

Notice after all this, now a 2nd Harmer staffer is stepping in front of me.  The original guy hasn’t given up, and now also Sara Blicharz is moving in front of me to obstruct and interfere with me.  That’s at least three “after me” not including another nondescript fellow moving around the place with some urgency.

Now, in this video we pick up as the 2nd Harmer staff, the first harassing guy and Sara Blicharz attack.  At this point, one courageous citizen has the guts to stand up and ask the obvious:

Why are you bothering this guy?  Everyone else is filming; there’s a fellow filming right there (points to the center) who’s been sitting there filming the whole time….

He didn’t get much of an answer; but the question was enough. 

And guess what, the harassment stopped.    This ended the incident for practical purposes.  Suddenly no one cared what I did or where I sat, no one bothered me.  This is after telling the harasser didn’t work; telling the Harmer team didn’t work.  Talking to Blicharz didn’t work.  The power of one man’s objection was the only thing that meant anything.

Note the calm at the end of the video.  hmm.

By the way, I’m sorry for so many “guys” in this story and so few names.   I count “guy1 thru guy4” And I think I do know the guy who stood up for me he was familiar, but I just can’t be sure the video is unclear.  But I’ll be sure to thank him when I see him next.

Oh, and just to answer one more question I’ve been asked why didn’t you simply ask if it was ok or not.  Well, I did.  Here.  Note how Blicharz carefully considers my question, fully investigates my complaint, and politely explains….  (cough)

This clip is just a minute prior to the above clip.  I’ll… just let it speak for itself.  Viewer discretion is advised, due to it’s content, this video is not suitable for viewing.  By anyone:

Previously, part I here.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The power of one, part I

This is simply an accounting of the events of Sep 14, 2010, at the Meeting of the South San Joaquin Republicans.

The Manteca Bulletin, at first, reported that for some inexplicable reason, some madman just got up and disrupted the meeting.  It was only after I demanded the correct story be told that the Bulletin re-wrote their accounting of events.  Maybe I’m just sensitive, but there’s something about being called a “meeting disrupter” that bothered me.  I went to the meeting just to hear and support my candidates in peace; I brought a camcorder because it might be interesting, I guess, I really didn’t have any reason.  But there were dozens of both still and video cameras going in that room. 

I know this is a boring accounting but here it is.  By the way no one now disputes this what really occurred so I don’t know why I bother, but just for the record:

Image9503  About an hour into the meeting, I’ve been sitting there filming whatever I thought might be interesting.  I’ve been filming for 31 minutes, 22 seconds when some guy sits down next to me and tells me he’s going to ask me to leave if I don’t stop filming.  I pointed out the obvious (I’m invited, the leader of the meeting knows I’m filming and never complained, everyone else is filming, etc..  So I’m confused and just “thanked him” for letting me know.)  But continued filming on and off, just as I did for all the other candidates there.

Image9509Note I’m clearly in the back of the room, in a chair, minding my own business.  The “harassment” from this “guy” has been going on for 4 minutes, 20 seconds.

Image9517 So I get up and move from the back, and this guy gets up to follow me.  This is at :36 minutes, 00 sec.

Image9519 He followed close.  Only 4 seconds to catch me.


Image9522 trying to block my view, and you can see, again, I’m still at the back of the room.

 Image9525I’m moving toward the front now, a look back – see who’s following me?  And who else?Image9526 Image9527At the front, but even here, note I’m on the left front, not directly in front of the speaker.

Image9528 But I’m “pushed” closer to the center.

Image9530 Now someone is on the move, see the figure in the rear right?  (under the “2” in 0:37:02)

Image9532 We have our little dispute.  Some words are said.  You don’t have to lecture me, I know there are always better ways to handle things; but cut me a break, I’m being harassed here!

Image9546 So now I’ve moved to the back again.  Now a 2nd guy starts jumping in my way, blocking my view.

 Image9551 Now the same guy hasn’t given up! 

Image9552He’s still harassing me.  And wait a sec, who’s that other body on the right that’s stepped in front of me?

Next:  Part II: The Power of One.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Saturday, July 03, 2010

New edgy presidential address

This is how it's starting to look to me:

Weekly Address: Jobs Creation from White House Weekly Address on Vimeo.

Happy Independence Day!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

What scoundrel took my flag?

fog 005

It went missing Wednesday morning.  Probably some communist. And they took the pole too!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Election Results – We hate PG&E, except we hate government supplied electricity more.

The referendum to require a vote of the people before government can take over electric power generation failed to get enough votes to pass.  It seems like an odd result to me.  People voted to deny themselves the right to vote on something.

Probably PG&E could have run a better campaign.  It was about more than just politicians spending money.  In addition it was about the collective right to steal or “take” property from the PG&E owners (millions of shareholders throughout the state).

What may have won the day was this feeling that “corporations are greedy evil bastards!” and “they are always ripping us off!”  Fair enough.

It reminds me of the campaign against the railroad companies in the late 19th century.  Then the complaint then was about how “unfair” it was that some railroad routes were shorter and cost more than some longer routes.  It was an obvious rip off!  (Or so they thought, the actual reason was economics).  So, after the public demanded action, the government took over the pricing and raised the prices of all the cheaper routes.  Now things were “fair” and everyone was “happy!”

So the question is, if PG&E are greedy bastards, then what is SSJID or other government entities?   They are men, not angels, just as politically greedy as any corporate board.  So, in effect the voters decided that greedy men serve you better if they have guns and can extract money from you by force. (Through taxation.)

Look at the results of the election, by county below left.  And the map of PG&E “territory.” (There are some small govt utilities in that “service area though)

prop16 pge

In the dark counties, the voters rejected prop 16, i.e. they hate greedy PG&E.  Notice anything odd?  These are generally the counties served by PG&E!  At first glance, sure, it makes sense, PG&E must be terrible, they would know, right? 

But on the other hand, look who approved prop 16.  They hate the government power worse

Is it just a case of “the grass is greener?”  That’s for you to decide.  But if public power was all it’s cracked up to be I would have expected people served by government power to not hate it so much.  It seems like they wish they could be served by PG&E!

Note particularly, the high level of hatred of government power in Orange and Riverside counties.  (Just about 60%).  Also, why did San Joaquin approve the measure and demand a vote on the matter?  Could it be that we’re tired of the propaganda from SSJID? (15% less than what?)  What about Stanislaus county, also rejecting public power.  That is the place where SSJID is telling us “they are so happy they got rid of PG&E!”  Well it doesn’t seem so from the election results.  The warning is clear; people with government power are telling us “don’t do it, it’s worse than PG&E if you can believe that!”

Election Results - June 8, 2010, Statewide Direct Primary - California Secretary of State

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Monday, May 24, 2010

After 35 years?

Check out the lawyer in this video. He sounds more cynical than me!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Editorial - Rand Paul and the Limits of Libertarianism -

Or, as the New York Times tells us, “the importance of enlightened government.”

Rand Paul’s comments are a great chance to expose the propaganda of “the conventional wisdom.” The CW is this unstated cannon of general principles that just about everyone in the press lives, frames their world, and is so indoctrinated by, they can’t even see their own bias. Like the fish that’s covered in water its whole life, “the fish doesn’t know it’s wet.”

And this editorial hits them all. Or at least the big ones. Lets look at them; one at a time!

Where are these philosopher kings of an enlightened government? How do we find these people? Even if they existed, how would they be elected? If mankind is greedy and evil, then why would you want to put other greedy and evil men over your life to rule it?

How was it possible for “neighborhood associations” to discriminate based on race? Who upheld those contracts as valid? The courts, a part of the government. Based on laws.

Who fixed the “lunch counters” that refused to seat blacks? Was it the government or public shunning? The NYT editorial laughs at you if you thought “public shunning.” Did you notice that? But guess what; read history, it was public shunning, and not any court orders that ended the now famous Woolworths lunch counter discrimination. (This was in the ‘50’s and the “civil rights act of 1964” was almost a decade later.) But the government takes credit for “giving you civil rights!”

How has “liberty” been shown to be ineffective at promoting a “civil” society? (Set aside for a minute if being “civil” is more important than being “free.”) What do they mean the “freedom of a few to discriminate meant generations of less freedom for large groups…?” Not in a free market! Only in a powerful, top-down government can “a few” control “many.” In a free market, there’s very little a few persons can do.

The next example -- we should be so thankful the government ended slavery and something they call “Jim Crow.” (Usually they are called “Jim Crow Laws” but that would have been too obvious.) Let me get this straight. We should be thankful that the government that enabled slavery saw fit to stop enslaving us? And if the government that enforced separatist, “Jim Crow” laws has seen fit to stop doing that, we should be grateful?

Slavery could never have existed but for government support. Neither could “Jim Crow” laws. Or separate (but equal) schools, or even water fountains, which were chiefly in government buildings. I’ve read reports of frontier towns in Kansas territory that educated all their children “white” and “negro” in a one room school house. But the state officials commanded them to build two separate schools! The townsfolk didn’t see any need and thought the school was perfectly fine. (History Channel) But that was the point, the state couldn’t allow whites to “accept” negro children in their school! What would that lead to? Equality and everyone just “getting along?”

Who is the editor to say “neither (slavery nor Jim Crow) would be eliminated by a free market?” These were both created by the government, of course the free market would have ended both sooner than they were but for government action. (See Milton Friedman).

Next are the two big doozies. The two big lies we’ve been taught by the government schools since we were children. And in the press all the time, and most of us believe:

1. The government rescued the economy from the Great Depression! Oh god does anyone still believe this? I know we’ve heard this our whole lives, but there’s a large body of scholarship that says exactly the opposite. The “Great Depression” was a blip or hiccup in the economy until both Hoover and FDR “tried to fix” it. Everything they did made things worse. Hoover made it worse, he was voted out of office and FDR came in and did more of what Hoover was doing, making things even worse than they were. The result was more than a decade of poverty.

2. The government promoted safety and equality in the workplace. John Stossel goes over this better than I can. The result of free enterprise was that the workplace was getting safer and safer. When the government finally stepped in and formed “OSHA” the safety record continued about the same as it was before (getting better all the time). But the government stepped in front of the parade and took credit for the “improved workplace safety.” As is common. (See Stossel.)

So far as promoting equality? See the congressional hearing in the 1930’s regarding the new laws to protect and enable the labor union movement. The main reason the unions were asking for special protection from the government was to protect the white workers from competition from “negro labor.” And we should be “thankful” that the government grants us equality?

Editorial - Rand Paul and the Limits of Libertarianism -

Friday, May 21, 2010

Harmer claims Emken "lobbied for Obama Care???"

The phone rang around 2:30 pm yesterday.  It was some guy calling himself "Harmer" and told me that Elizabeth Emken "lobbied for Obama Care" or Obama's health care plan.

Actually, I'd just talked to Emken a few times and each time the center of her campaign was the repeal of Obama-care.   In fact in the video a few weeks ago, there is a place where she is against the "Obama health care bill" but it got cut out because of noise and distractions.  (Someone was handing her clipboards to sign and we got distracted.) 

If anyone has any doubt I can find that part of the video for you, but it's really not needed.  The issue has been discussed a lot.  And what is in the video is a discussion of how she can be "against the Obama health care bill" when she had, in the past, asked for more research and treatment of autism.  Based on the answer it's obvious she's against the "health care" bill. 

That's the problem with these robo-call whisper rumor calls.  When you make a public statement the other side can respond to it.  But there's something insidious about these secret calls.  And who is this "Harmer" fellow?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Kagan's abortion stance has both sides guessing

I think it’s completely absurd that anyone can be appointed judge for life and we “don’t know” what she thinks of certain things.  Things that are important to a lot of people.

They should have me interview her.  I’d get it out of her!  Just see the previous video.

Kagan's abortion stance has both sides guessing -

Candidate Meeting

This is the meeting of the South San Joaquin Republicans candidate night.  Sorry about the shakey video, my inflamed nerves were acting up and the lighting in there is a nightmare, windows all around, everything is backlit.  The sound in there isn't so good either.  But here it is, submitted for your approval.  As bad as it is, there are some amusing parts.  Heck, the rendition of the National Anthem at the end is worth the trip.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Joe the plugger’s idea

Here’s my idea for plugging that darn oil leak in the gulf of Mexico.  If you use it, I want a small piece of the action.  Note there are modifications such as the cable or chain tensioners.  The plug can be solid or filled with weights.  etc. 

They were somehow able to get that giant “box” in place, so why not some kind of thing to jam in there.  The idea is it has to be able to get in there with the oil and gas escaping under high pressure. 

click to enlarge:

plug4 plugs0002

plugs0001 plugs0003

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Critters of Manteca

This is some kind of spider found on a cactus in the backyard. It lives in a little silk "house" on the side of the cactus and when someone comes near it jumps out and stares at you. With at least four eyes. Also note the highly colorful greenish turquoise appendages. It's about 2 cm in length. I decided not to mess with it and it's still living out there. If I'm missing it's because this thing crawled inside and got me in the middle of the night.
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Monday, April 26, 2010

City adds $1000 to cost of housing.

Background: Two meetings ago I questioned a proposal to adopt what the city calls “building standards.”  What that means is new mandates about how homes (and businesses) are to be built.  The stated goal is “energy efficiency.”  Absent from any of the documents was any estimate of how much these new rules would add to the cost of a home.

Well a few weeks later there was a “public hearing” on the matter.  Odd, because the measure had already been approved in the first reading.  The 2nd reading and passage and “public hearing” were at the same time.  In other words, it didn’t matter much what “the public” thought about the idea, the “hearing” was a mere formality. 

Well here were things take a strange turn.  After the public hearing, the “Building Guy” says he’s got some information for me.  For me?  Why yes.  And sure enough they actually attempted to find an answer to question I asked at the earlier meeting.

First, note that in the email I got a promotion to individual from my  previous rank of no one

So in response to the query, the chief guy from the state pulled a figure out of his ass of estimated from $590 to $1,095 in additional costs and further guessed calculated that over the lifetime of the house it could save as much as $5,157.  I asked how long this “life of the house” was.  No one knew.  But it wasn’t 20 years. (“No, longer.”)  Over the next hundred years?  “Hm, not sure if that long.”  So according to government figures you’ll enjoy these savings sometime between the next 20 to 100 years.

Seems like a lowball figure to me on the costs.  Maybe one of you in the building trades can say.  The estimate has absolutely no supporting calculations other than “what the guy at the state said.”  And the savings is based on an assumption that the wonder-house will use 15% less energy.

My guess is that the estimate doesn’t include compliance costs.  Those are the costs of following the code.  The code is in three large volumes and specifies everything from where to bang in nails to tables and graphs to figure out how much insulation you need.  Compliance costs are what it costs in your time to read and understand these books, and to modify your architectural plans, and everything else associated with actually following the code.  I wonder if the state’s estimate is simply the costs of the added insulation, the more efficient lighting fixtures, etc.  Which may be only a fraction of the total.

Image45I was about to move this issue off my radar screen when I noticed one other thing.  On the paper someone scribbled to figure the “percentage increase” in costs.  It has two math errors.  Where it says =3.52% that should be 0.352%.  It’s off by a factor of ten.  Sure easy enough mistake, I’ve made that one a few times.  But now we’re left wondering.  The initial estimate at the first meeting was given at 1 to 2 percent.  Just 1 percent is $1,677.  So who knows, are the percentages correct and the real figure is ten times more?  ($5,900 to $10,950 ? )  Probably not, but one never knows. 

By the way, if all they did was come up with three phonebook sized books on “how to build a house that uses 15 % less energy” why not just publish that and let builders build that if they wanted to?  What customer wouldn’t want a house that costs less to heat and cool?  So why is the government involved at all? 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


It’s a name only Spock’s mother could pronounce.  Now you know why the press calls it “that volcano in Iceland.”  

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ow! My gut!

I haven’t updated lately.  I’ll try to avoid going into a Manteca Bulletin-Ruby-shooting-oswald2esque tale of personal woe (How I was a fat kid, how I fell off my bicycle, how I can’t eat onions, how I got a bad haircut, how we used the hot tub at our honeymoon at Half Moon Bay, etc.)

At right is an artist’s conception of what I looked like at the emergency room Tuesday afternoon.  Oh, I’m not going to go into the excruciating pain, urinating blood, the vomiting, turning colors, etc.  But I guess I just did.

It all turned out well.  Jackie did a yeoman’s job as an ambulance driver.  I’ll be damned if I was going to pay those people a $1,000 for a glorified taxi ride.  And the people at San Joaquin County Hospital did a fantastic job.  Despite the fight taking place in the waiting room when I staggered in doing my impression of Oswald meets Ruby, they took me in right away really took good care of me.  I even got a CT scan.  The machine looked like it was the first one ever made.  But hey, it did the job.

Time to stop being appreciative for all that everyone did for me and get back to complaining. 

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Earth Hour

This is how I celebrated “Earth Hour.”  Hope you got your Viking helmet and mayonnaise.


Saturday, March 27, 2010


For a fascinating look at the NUMMI plant be sure to tune into This American Life today. If you're in the Stockton-Modesto area, it can be heard on 91.3 FM (KUOP, Capital Public Radio) at 6 pm. It's a whole hour.  I think every American and in particular, every Californian should hear the story. It's both inspiring and damning; about how the workers and leadership failed, then succeeded, and failed.   But mostly failed.

Monday, March 15, 2010

We Are What We Watch by Karen Kwiatkowski

Avatar’s militaristic state corporatism drew an angry response from some Marine Corps defenders, and The Hurt Locker simultaneously dehumanized and minimized occupied Iraqis even as it failed to address why Americans are in Iraq getting blown up in the first place.

We are concerned about the odd bacteria on a leaf of lettuce transported in record time across the country in refrigerated trucks, but not so much about the tons of depleted uranium dust we’ve blown into Iraq’s air, ground and water. We worry that there are deficiencies or dangerous additives in the pet food we purchase, but after seven years, we don’t mind that we still haven’t fixed the urban sewage systems in Iraq we had crushed…

We Are What We Watch by Karen Kwiatkowski

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sometimes it's just the little things

They changed the painting I “complained” about.  Here.  Someone must be reading.  To refresh your memory, this is what it looked like when I called it ah… a prison camp:

From Manteca Live!

And here is the new improved version:

sbpainting 007

As for why it’s adorning the school board men’s room I’m not sure.  But it is right across from the public meeting room so that’s something.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Symphony of Science - The Poetry of Reality

Kids, stay in school and learn science! I thought this was an inspiring video/song/whatever it is.

"The world looks very different to you. And that understanding empowers you."

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Featured Article -

This is one of the last interviews with Milton and Rose Friedman together.  Milton died in 06 and Rose just last year.     

That last part, about the war of aggression I found interesting.  And I wonder if he’d lived the last few years, he would have even further realized the futility of “winning.”

Also he settles the issues with Keynes, and with why the deficits were “under control” in the ‘90s (it wasn’t Clinton!) and what really killed the Republican party. 

Featured Article -

Monday, March 01, 2010

Questions? What questions? What ordinance?


Just for the record.  I sent a letter to the city council with a list of questions about the new “code enforcement” ordinance.  You know, the one that turns Manteca into a giant homeowners association.  There was no response from any council member.  That was over two weeks ago.

At the meeting I asked if any had received my questions.  The City Clerk verified that “her staff sent a copy to each member.” 

I also asked if any of the council members had read the law they were voting on.  None of them, as best I recall, said anything definite about having read the text of the proposed ordinance.  In other words, they were voting on something they had not read.

After I left the podium the mayor was kind enough to acknowledge that he remembers getting my thoughtful letter but that “I didn’t read it.”  I’m sorry for wasting His Honor’s valuable time.  I’ll include pictures next time.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

It's OK to Walk Away From Your Home -

Is he right?  This from the Wall Street Journal:

Millions of Americans are now deeply underwater on their mortgage. If you're among them, you need to stop living in a dream world and give serious thought to walking away from the debt.

No, you shouldn't feel bad about it, and you shouldn't feel guilty. The lenders would do the same to you—in a heartbeat. You need to put yourself and your family's finances first.

ROI: When It's OK to Walk Away From Your Home -

Friday, February 05, 2010

Hayek vs. Keynes Rap

I wasn't expecting this! A "rap" about economics. And it for the most part accurately sums up a century of argument. Does the government need to control the economy as Keynes thought, or is that a "fatal conceit" as Hayek thought?

I'll give you one hint though, for the last half century or so, America has been dominated by Keynesian thought (under both Republican and Democratic rule). The "bailouts," the TARP, the "stimulus" are all Keynes ideas. But for brief periods In the past, the economy has flourished under Hayekian free market ideas.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Guilty until proven innocent

Here’s the complete text of the proposed “code enforcement” law I talked about at last city council meeting.  I think this will work, I had to scan it in.  The city isn’t responding to any questions about it so far.

In addition to the other complaints, I also noticed something odd in the law.  On page 8 it says you don’t have to pay the fees if you can get a Notice of Compliance.   But look at page 12, it says you have to pay all the fees before you can get the Notice of Compliance!  And if the director doesn’t feel like giving you the notice of compliance for any reason, his decision is final and can not be appealed!  Ever.

And this is the just the “enforcement” procedures.  We haven’t even considered what rules they are going to be enforcing.  But suddenly, Manteca would be a giant Homeowners association with the code enforcer the chief busybody who can demand to inspect your home any time he feels like it? 

completeC12.pdf - Google Docs

p.s. I almost forgot, notice how many times it says if we don’t notify you of any violation, even if it’s the city’s mistake, you’re still guilty or if there’s a fine or fee, you still owe it even if we forget to notify you or for any reason you don’t get the notice.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

From “Enforcement” law:

scanpg7 Here’s page 7.  Read the second paragraph “Authority to Inspect.”  You thought I was kidding?  (click on image to enlarge)

Enabling law on agenda tonight

There’s an odd item on the “consent” calendar at tonight meeting of the Manteca City Council called Administrative Enforcement Provisions.  (Consent Item 12 CC)

Only the introductory remarks are on the city’s website.  The PDF file doesn’t include the actual language of the new law.  But after obtaining the actual text, a couple things got my attention:

  • The law involves “code enforcement” and claims to be needed to protect the “health and safety” of the people of Manteca.
  • Section 1.10.040 – Authority to inspect.  Grants just about any city employee the authority to enter upon any property or premises within the city to ascertain whether … this code, … uniform codes, or … state codes are being obeyed.
  • In other words, the code enforcer doesn’t even need a reason or any suspicion of any violations.  He can simply demand entry to any home or business in Manteca at any time?
  • The code enforcer is permitted to set up scientific equipment and take photographs and to take “samples.”  In other words, he can enter your home, take pictures, and if he sees anything interesting, he can simply take it?
  • If you refuse to permit entry, they can attempt to get an “administrative inspection warrant” and then charge you a fee for their trouble.
  • The procedure for administrative hearings ends with failing to comply with the administrators decision is a misdemeanor.
  • Further, a companion ordinance will establish a $100, $200, and $500 fine for every citation.  In the definitions a citation is a document issued by an enforcement officer … for violating … this code or … state code.  You don’t get a hearing, you don’t get to plead your case to a judge, the “officer” can simply look at you or look at your home, and issue you a fine. 

I don’t usually write things before the meeting but this law is so outlandish, I don’t even know what else to say about it it’s shocking.  Has the constitution been repealed and I wasn’t notified?  I’m still reading.  I urge you to find out about this regulation and tell the council what you think.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Grammy Awards 2010: The 21st century arrives, finally.

gal_gagaIn case you missed the “Grammy’s” it was a hell of a performance.  You know how they’ve been complaining “where’s my rocket car?”  You know, how the future “in the year 2000” didn’t turn out like “they” predicted.  Well, if I were transported from then to the year 2010, this is what I was expecting stage performance to look like.  Finally I’m not disappointed!  

Maybe there’s something about American creativity.  It seems like the most “depressed” times economically are fonts of creativity.  Think 1939 and the movies.  Wizard of Oz lost the Oscar because it was a spectacularly creative year.  Maybe there’s hope. 

If you get a chance check out the video of the opening by something called “Lady Gaga” (pictured) and the performance by “Green Day.”  I don’t know if they are any good but they put on some kind of performance – and the thing I caught my eye is they are working on a Broadway musical called American Idiot.  hmm.

Grammy Awards 2010: Elton John and Lady Gaga duet as they sing Your Song and Speechless | Mail Online

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Revolutionary Holocaust - Live Free or Die

I'm not a fan of Glenn Beck, but he's made a riveting one-hour documentary to refute revisionist history that leads many Americans to believe that vicious dictators like China's Mao Tse Tung and sadistic revolutionaries like Che Guevara are heroes that we should look up to. Everyone should see "The Revolutionary Holocaust - Live Free or Die" that aired today on Fox News Channel. Beck has uploaded the documentary in 5 parts on YouTube and we're presenting it here for your viewing.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

GOP congressional candidate forum video available

If you missed last week's GOP forum with the 6 Republican candidates hoping to win the nomination to run against Congressional District 11 Democrat Jerry McNerny, the website Tri Valley Patriots has video available

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fallout from Monday's GOP debate - Amador asks for investigation

There has been a lot of buzz since Monday's GOP debate about candidate Robert Beadles' assertions that the January 4 raid on his home and business (RBI, a construction safety company) was politically motivated. Beadles also alluded during the debate that one of the other candidates has hired illegal aliens and cheated on taxes, though that wasn't reported in the papers.

Today's Stockton Record has an article "Probe of raid urged" which reports that another candidate, former US Marshal Tony Amador, sent a letter to California Attorney General Jerry Brown asking him to investigate the allegation by Beadles that the raid was politically motivated in an attempt to intimidate Beadles and discourage or dissuade him from running for office. I'd post a link here to the Record article, but they've gone to a "pay wall" format this week so you wouldn't be able to read it unless you have a subscription.

On Beadles' official campaign website, he has a copy of what basically is a press release sent out the morning of the raid from his competitor's office (Farwest Safety) notifying Brad Goehring, Jerry McNerny, the Contractors State License Board and every newspaper in the area of the raid. Also on Beadles' website is a signed statement by one of his employees recounting a phone call he received from an employee of Farwest Safety while the raid was in progress. The timing of the phone call and the press release are suspicious, as if Farwest Safety knew in advance that Beadles' business was going to be searched.

A few weeks ago, Contra Costa Times political editor Lisa Vorderbrueggen uncovered information that a campaign consultant for Brad Goehring had been anonymously bashing three of the other candidates, including Beadles and Amador, on a conservative political blog. When he was confronted, the consultant David Creager admitted it and said he didn't realize it was a conflict of interest. You can read the entire article here.

In a statement to The Record, another consultant for Goehring, Carl Fogliani, said that the Goehring campaign had nothing to do with the search of RBI and called the accusation "delusional." Sheriff Steve Moore, whose office headed up the investigation of the complaint against Beadles, has endorsed Goehring as a candidate but claimed he had no idea that Beadles was also a candidate until a briefing on the raid on January 4.

Keep an eye on this story, it might have "legs." There is nothing new about political opponents trashing each other's reputations.... we all witnessed the vicious campaign against Lathrop Mayor Kristy Sayles in 2008. This campaign seems even more vicious if the accusations by Beadles against Goehring turn out to be true and even more disturbing if it involves the sheriff's department.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

6 candidates vie for chance to unseat McNerny in District 11

Manteca Live attended the South San Joaquin Republican meeting January 11 to hear from the 6 candidates (so far) hoping to get the chance to unseat Democrat Jerry McNerney in Congressional District 11 this November. Usually held at Chez Shari Restaurant, this gathering was hosted by Crossroads Grace Community Church in Manteca. There was a large crowd, at least several hundred people, and the mood was a far cry from the depressing SSJR meeting a year ago after the 2008 election.

SSJR President Frank Aquila did a fine job organizing the event and the debate format was well-done. Each candidate was given 2 minutes to make an opening statement, then questions were divided into three groups with each candidate getting 1 minute to answer each question. I think the first group of questions came from the SSJR, the second group of questions came from the candidates themselves (previously submitted) and the third group came from questions previously submitted by the general public which were randomly drawn by the candidates. The topics covered a wide range of issues including the economy, the war and foreign policy, the UN, the military, health care reform, taxation, immigration and (unfortunately) abortion and gay marriage. After the debate, the candidates stayed and talked to anyone who was interested.

My first impressions:

David Harmer - A little stiff and rehearsed, maybe too removed from the issues of the Central Valley since he lives in wealthy San Ramon in Contra Costa County. Held up several books he wrote and one on Ronald Reagan written by his father, former California Lt. Governor John Harmer. Had a big colorful chart of the bureaucratic nightmare healthcare reform will create. Nice props but I wasn't real impressed with his answers, reminded me of a career politician.

Tony Amador - Former LAPD patrol officer and US Marshal, currently resides in Lodi. Seems like a nice enough guy but in my opinion, he has too much union involvement for him to be a good representative so I won't make any other comments.

Elizabeth Emken - The only woman in the group, sort of Sarah Palin-like, well-spoken, has a degree in economics (a big plus). Lives in wealthy Danville in Contra Costa County, but seemed well-informed on most issues. Left out Representative Michele Bachmann when listing Republican women in congress that she admires and that disappointed me.

Brad Goehring - Cocky and sure of himself, told the audience several times that he was wealthy enough that he didn't need the job of congressman for the money. He also boasted that he has the endorsement of many in local government (including Manteca mayor Willie Weatherford), which is reason enough not to vote for him. Couldn't name any Republican members of Congress. Born and raised in Lodi, currently resides in Clements.

Robert Beadles - Young and a little rough around the edges, seems earnest, resides in Lodi. He was distracted by recent troubles with the law when the police searched his home and business and arrested him for possession of stolen property on January 4. There is some evidence that a competitor reported him to the police to damage his business and his political campaign. He was subsequently released, not charged and his property returned. Wants to make a difference and probably should start off running for local office instead of aspiring to national office on his first try.

Jeff Takada - Takada, a graduate of East Union High School, is the only Mantecan running for congress. Young, intelligent and well-spoken, he garnered the most response from the audience out of all the candidates. People responded to his humor and spontaneous applause interrupted several of his answers. He named former presidential candidate Congressman Ron Paul as someone he admired and, being a Ron Paul fan myself, this is a definite plus. Down-to-earth with good ideas, he could be a dark horse in the race.

There was some drama towards the end of the debate when Robert Beadles gave his closing comments and recounted the raid by police on his business. A collective gasp arose from the audience when he turned to Brad Goehring and asked him to "do something about this" implying that Goehring was behind the accusations that he had stolen property.

You can visit each candidate's official website by clicking on their names.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

talking points?

I said Christina Romer "knew better" this morning at 7:30 am or so. The comment was picked up by C-SPAN and broadcast. At 12:38 pm Rush Limbaugh said the same thing. Great minds think alike? Maybe. Or maybe he's watching Washington Journal, and reading me. Not that that's a bad thing, I put the comments out there in to the public for anyone to use.

It's just that the next time someone who doesn't know me tells me I "take my talking points directly from Rush Limbaugh" I can tell them, "no, Rush Limbaugh takes his talking points from me!" heheheh

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Plunder!: How Public Employee Unions Are Raiding Treasuries, Controlling Our Lives and Bankrupting the Nation - Book TV

Don’t miss this talk about government unions.  The author is from California.  Note how many things sound familiar: from issuing edicts on Friday afternoon and voting then into law on Tuesday night to how we are getting less and less government “services” for more and more taxes we pay.  And how the union’s plan is to simply keep raising taxes – forever.   From the website:

Steven Greenhut takes a critical look at government workers and the unions that represent them.  Mr. Greenhut argues that government employees, who receive salaries, benefits, and a level of job security that far outpace workers in the private sector, have become a huge drain on state and federal coffers.  He spoke at Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Orange, California. 

Economics - Plunder!: How Public Employee Unions Are Raiding Treasuries, Controlling Our Lives and Bankrupting the Nation - Book TV

Click on the “watch” link on the right side of the page to view the video of the presentation.  It’s about an hour.