Meg Whitman – WTF (part 2)

Politicians and Political Action Committee’s (PAC) are convinced that YOU are an IDIOT.

Meg WhitmanSince politics have existed, slogans aren’t used because they’re factual, but because they alter the view of the constituent.

Advocates for one issue/bill/candidate or another will beat you about the head and neck with slogans because they’ve learned that if you hear it enough, your subconscious will buy in.

Never mind the truth, never mind intelligent objectivity and reasonable debate, “WE WANT THE WORLD AND WE WANT IT NOW!”

If you are simply a mindless troll who garners the bulk of your information from half-read headlines and TV and suffer from the affliction of lop-sided opinions fed to you by a single partisan viewpoint, then bail.  This will not interest you.

Sure I’m picking on Meg Whitman in this post, but no one is beyond reproach. And the idea is to get YOU to think for yourself.  Don’t be an armrest.  You know what happens when a group of citizens sit around and complain about everything but don’t participate?

”   ”

(nothing, start learning chinese because you’re not even a blip)

Making it Harder to Create Jobs

Time to dissect a statement or two from the Whitman campaign attacking California Attorney General and Gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown.

In a recent TV commercial, Meg Whitman asserts that Brown makes it harder to create jobs and has “1,100 attorneys ready to sue over government regulations”.

First of all, on the face of it, what the hell does that mean?

There’s no context stated or implied.

The snippet in quotation marks was made at a Democratic convention in San Jose in 2008, and was in reference to companies who don’t comply with environmental standards (can you say BP or Massey?).  It had nothing to do with jobs.  But let’s not allow the facts to get in the way.

Record unemployment

Whitman’s ad touts 11% unemployment as “Record Unemployment”.  Really?  Today, under a republican governor, unemployment is at 12.3%.  During the great depression California’s unemployment went from 3% to 25% almost overnight.

So which record exactly is she referring to?

Jerry Brown, Bell and Oakland

In a direct mail piece, Whitman assimilates the payroll/pension scandal in Bell, California to Brown’s stint as mayor in Oakland.  The mailer asserts that when Brown was mayor the number of city workers who earned over $200k increased by 740% and that the number of city workers earning over $100k grew by 47.5%.

First, they don’t mention that California Attorney General Jerry Brown is currently investigating the Bell payroll/pension scandal.

Second, the  jump was attributed to a small pool of employees – most of them firefighters – who were chalking up more than $100,000 annually in overtime in the 2005-06 fiscal year. Two years before that, five Oakland city employees made more than $200,000. In 2005-06, that number jumped to 42. Of Oakland’s top 25 earners that year, all but four were firefighters. The others were police officers, an engineer and former city administrator Deborah Edgerly, who Jerry Brown hired.

Third, none of those came close to the 1.5 million dollars that ex-city manager Robert Rizzo made or the $450k salary of police chief Randy Adams.

BTW: the city of Bell is pissed that Whitman exploited them for her ad.

Look, if you’re not willing to at least consider insightful discourse or an exchange of ideas amongst those in your community who share your ultimate objectives (you know, a better place to live and raise your family), then why not just join the Taliban?  I’m sure you’ll find like minded individuals there.

peace

San Clemente: Congratulations Bob, Jim and North Beach

The highly emotional, and sometimes controversial November 2008 elections in our Spanish Village by the Sea are behind us, FINALLY!

City council incumbent Jim Dahl and newcomer Bob Baker narrowly beat Steve Knoblock to nab two city council seats.  Measure W (North Beach Project) was approved by 53.4% of the vote.  Measure V (open space initiative) was a clear winner.

This political season was once again rife with vehement disagreement and biting criticism.  Opposing sides accusing each other of deception and fact distortion.  Apparently it’s not enough to simply disagree on an issue in today’s political climate and sort things out with intelligent thoughtful debate.  One group here in San Clemente finds it necessary to exaggerate certain aspects of an issue, and when that doesn’t work, they simply use their own math and spend tens of thousands of dollars to saturate the landscape with their skewed message of divisiveness.  Self-proclaimed defenders of posterity, employing questionable tactics in an exercise of ruthlessness.

One Notable event this cycle includes Save San Clemente Open Space stalwart and planning commissioner Brenda Miller being popped for illegally removing anti-Mann/Baker signs.  Ms. Miller was a fervent opponent to Measure C and intrinsically involved the Save San Clemente Open Space activities with Charles Mann.  Obviously, Ms. Miller was also involved with Charles Mann’s bid for a seat on the city council.  I remember Ms. Miller from the referendum petition drive in the summer of 2007 and a wave of suspicion washed over me upon learning that she had been chosen to be a planning commissioner for the city. Her recent actions in the removal of legally placed campaign signs is unacceptable and her next official move should be resignation of her position.  It would be the honorable thing to do, however honor is an unpracticed trait in the crowd she runs with.

Poor grammar aside, my heartfelt congratulations to Barack Obama, and the democrats, Jim Dahl, Bob Baker and the supporters of Measure W.  My intentional omission of Measure V is predicated on the opinion that the spirit behind it was purely for campaign purposes.  This assertion is supported by the actual text of the measure itself.  Upon close inspection of the document there is overwhelming evidence that it simply has no teeth, no current application and most likely will be shelved and forgotten.

Palin Pallin Pall

What a comfy skin
What a comfy skin

Americans are obviously stupid.  A character attack from Gov. Palin?  Shards of fallen glass from what was once your roof surround you.

Excerpt from Branchflower Report: (Oct. 11th, 2008)

Governor Palin knowingly permitted a situation to continue where impermissible pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda, to wit: to get Trooper Michael Wooten fired. She had the authority and power to require Mr. Palin to cease contacting subordinates, but she failed to act.

Such impermissible and repeated contacts create conflicts of interests for subordinate employees who must choose to either please a superior or run the risk of facing that superioor run the risk of facing that superior’s displeasure and the possible consequences of such displeasure. This was one of the very reasons the Ethics Act was promulgated by the Legislature.

***

Governor Palin has stated publicly that she and her family feared Trooper Wooten. Yet the evidence presented has been inconsistent with such claims of fear. The testimony from Trooper Wheeler, who was part of her security detail from the start, was that shortly after elected to office, she ordered a substantial reduction in manpower in her personal protection detail … an act that is inconsistent with a desire to avoid harm from Trooper Wooten or others.

…It is noteworthy that in almost every contact with the subordinate employees, Mr. Palin’s comments were couched in terms of his desire to see Trooper Wooten fired for reasons that had nothing to do with fear. His comments were always couched in terms that he was a bad Trooper, that he was not a good recruiting image for the AST, that his discipline amounted to nothing more than a slap on the wrist, that nothing had happened to him following the administrative investigation, and so forth…

I conclude that such claims of fear were not bona fide and were offered to provide cover for the Palins’ real motivation: to get Trooper Wooten fired for personal family related reasons.

~~~~~

IFILL: Governor, please if you want to respond to what he said about Senator McCain’s comments about health care?

PALIN: I would like to respond about the tax increases.

~~~~~

IFILL: Would you like to have an opportunity to answer that before we move on?

PALIN: I’m still on the tax thing … I may not answer the questions the way that either the moderator or you want to hear…

~~~~~

Of course this is ridiculous. I hope he has had many conversations with Bill Ayers. Prof Ayers is a leader in school improvement. Read his bio. He is a distinguished professor at a major University and has contributed a lot to the field of education. The Woods Fund is a foundation that supports grassroots change efforts. Its an admirable foundation. This and the plagarism charge demonstrate who is acting like politics as usual. Can it get anymore stupid? I am afraid so.

~~~~~

Yet Chryson maintains that his party remains committed to full independence. “The Alaskan Independence Party has got links to almost every independence-minded movement in the world,” Chryson exclaimed. “And Alaska is not the only place that’s about separation. There’s at least 30 different states that are talking about some type of separation from the United States.”

~~~~~

According to Governor Sarah Palin’s former staff member Larry Persily, the Governor thought it was a good idea and planned to make an appearance on G.Gordon Liddy’s program. When suggested that a Watergate operative may not be a smart choice, Arctic Power co-chair, Mike Navarre, suggested most people didn’t know of Liddy’s background and his role in President Nixon’s administration and demise.

~~~~~

Sarah Palin attacking Barack Obama’s relationship with William Ayers is ironic. She’s playing a pit bull, but it’s not the Palin we know. The Palin we know wouldn’t have known who William Ayers was.

~~~~~

Todd:

Hey, honey…

Sarah:

Yuh (from the kitchen)

Todd:

Get me a beer?

Sarah:

You betcha

Oops, you missed two.
Oops, you missed two.

There’s an “I” in San Clemente

“The leaders spoke in warped, vicious hatred that disregarded the truth almost completely, while the majority of the ‘common folks’ who agreed spoke out of ignorance warped by the ravings of their leaders”. -W. Eugene Smith.

The action of the movement residents of San Clemente are currently witnessing is positive. The empowerment of the constituency really is the motivation behind the composition of our constitution. The intentions fueling the energy behind the popular political positions we’ve faced these last six months have been innocent, powerful, yet directed. Directed and manipulated by the leaders of each of these seperate conspiratorial factions. There was a pact, an alliance born out of a desire to win. A need to win above all else. Above truth, above fair-play, above common-sense, above everything. Vicious charges? Maybe. A team of volunteers on one side of an issue scour the city and illegally remove the legally placed signs of the opposition. “Merely playing the game” is a response I’m given. Although that game could result in negative legal repercussions. Words disquised as informational material are strung together to emphasize perspective, instead of educate. Opinion is counted as fact, and defended. I don’t believe our founding fathers intended decisions to be made by one insulated, independent head supported by a recruited band of ignorants, or the mal-informed, but they most likely suspected something of the sort would occur. And it has. We are so busy with our busy lives that we don’t read the too far past the headline. And we’re so weak, that if all our friends have been converted, we follow along to remain part of the group. Regardless of how we feel on the issue, regardless of how it effects the community as a whole. That’s not true of everyone, but you know someone where that applies. So what do we do? Just give up like the Game 6 Lakers? No, we move on. As a community we will benefit from the participation and engagement of our citizenry in the operation and direction of our city, but it is a double-edged sword. If there is a passion to involve oneself in a cause, nurture the passion with knowledge. Don’t turn a blind eye or dismiss the ill behavior of those with authority in your group, because you are then an accessory. We can build a path together, where honest debate and respectful disagreement can actually enormously enhance our returns, or we can follow the herd right off the edge of the cliff. Questioning authority is not contemptuous. But taking action without understanding is.

“I” is for insolent

Aren’t safety, fairness and the pursuit of the ‘greater good’ the only reason to enact any law or ordinance? If Measure “I” (San Clemente) does not treat each of these Shorecliffs residents equally, then who does it serve? Being that California state law is based on precedent, this seemingly insignificant and isolated restriction does have a potential to inhibit some form of our freedom down the road. Shorecliffs Aerial ViewI understand how it got to the ballot, that is merely a result of overactive egos and lots of money in a small town. What I don’t understand is the myopic, self-serving attitude of those behind this debacle. Is it considerate to build a second-story that blocks a neighbors ocean-view? Absolutely not. Is it illegal? Absolutely not. Does removing the view lower your neighbors property value? Possibly. Is that potential loss mitigated by the upgrading of a neighborhood as a whole? Possibly. This mutant growth of “Me” generation ideology obviously feels that the whole world needs to be apprised of personal differences. Should we get in the middle of every fight between your kids as well? Measure “I” is a “Lose-Lose” proposition, regardless of the outcome. A “No” vote negatively impacts part of a neighborhood, sort of, meaning they still would have the freedom to build up to 25′. A “Yes” vote imposes a restriction on some of the houses in a neighborhood, but sets a precedent. Think about it people. And for those of you with 2-story homes and “Yes on I” signs in their yards, the “I” stands for insolent.

Mr. Kettle? My name is Pot

Jim Smith’s recent letter (SC Times, Vol. 2, issue 40) alleges that Pacific Golf Club’s owner has begun a smear campaign and that “Personal attacks are bread ‘n’ butter favorites”. And if that were true, he would know. He and his group started their smear campaign and personal attacks months ago. He also alleges that general manager Shahin Vosough “tries to discredit an open space supporter”, as he himself attempts to discredit Mr. Vosough. He asserts that Mr. Vosough is trying to fool readers about the size of the boondoggle, while he tries to fool readers about the scope of the project. Confused? You should be. There is a boondoggle afoot, but it rests solidly on the shoulders the faux-environmentalist group “Save San Clemente Open Space”. If their name reflected their true motivation, it would read “Save Muirfield, My Favorite Nine Holes”, because that is the only open space issue they have ever addressed. Mr. Smith refers to the survey that was distributed to the membership as “highly flawed”, citing that the members were never told the land was zoned open space. So when Mr. Smith signed the questionnaire (in favor of the project, by the way) that stated, “I acknowledge that the property owner will be developing a portion of the property and agree to have my name added to a petition requesting the City of San Clemente to approve the rezoning of this land to allow for development”, what did he think? This whole debacle is yet one more instance of a small special interest group with enough money to make a big enough noise using the tried and true tactic of emphasizing imminent doom and pushing your emotional buttons. Don’t be fooled by a few selfish disgruntled golf members.

David Kelsen