State of our Healthcare System: A Firsthand Encounter

I was involved in a car wreck earlier this year. The following is my story and commentary about the goings on. It should serve as an eye opener as far as your opinion of our healthcare system. Due to litigation, no names of doctors/clinics or nurses will be used.

I went to a local urgent care clinic to get my back examined as I had been in extreme pain from a car accident (not my fault). You check in at the counter and are handed a clip board. Also, they request your insurance card, so I produced and surrendered mine to the lady up front.

I started filling out the paperwork and as I was completing the stack of paperwork, the counter lady came out and declared they needed that back. I paused and stated that I was not one filling it out yet and she shot back “your healthcare plan doesn’t cover this.” Adding “unless you have a credit card, we cannot see you here.” She is correct, I knew this going into this visit. I have what is called a garbage policy…sorry…the politically correct term is an Obamacare bronze plan.

If you rewind to pre-Obamacare, I had the same plan: 5k deductible, 20% co-pay, and it ran $75 a month. Keep in mind I buy my own plan as an employer sponsored one is not available to me as an independent contractor. Fast forward to today. The same plan costs me $450 a month. Keep in mind this; I am very healthy and active swimming a mile every morning, lifting weights in afternoon, I do not drink anymore and have never touched any tobacco/drug product. But I digress, back to my story.

Same plan: Before Obamacare $75, after Obamacare $450

The visit costs $100 and I had a valid credit card. William and I have both spoken about the dangers of credit card debt in this space, of which I have none. They swiped the card, and I was good to go. Keep in mind if my card didn’t work or I did not own one, they would have referred me to a very, very expensive doctor also known as the emergency room. Imagine that, going to the ER for a backache, which would have resulted in a chiropractor or physical therapy referral anyways. Keep in mind, that visit could very well have cost several thousand, and well I guess I could pay, or not pay.

I saw the doctor. She prescribed some pain pills and said see you in a couple days. A few days later, lather, rinse, repeat, additional pain killers, and come back in a couple days. On my third and final visit, they finally took x-rays, I was then referred to a physical therapist. Take note, it was $100 each visit, plus $115 for x-rays. Which they were happy to collect.

In conclusion, I have no hard feelings toward this clinic, they are for profit, and obviously cater to a crowd of people like myself who have healthcare plans that are not ideal but are required to comply with law. They, unlike traditional doctors, are under no obligation to see you. I harbor no ill will regarding their initial actions toward me, since, I firmly believe in no pay, no play. As far as I am concerned, I would endorse these clinics as the first stop for all Obamacare users. We need to keep our ER for what they were made for; emergencies, not as the only option for poor/illegal/horrible healthcare plans. That being said, it is disturbing they were willing to schlep me over there to pay quite a large sum of money, and take valuable time and a room at the ER due to a sore back.

I wish to offer a solution. The urgent care needs to be the first visit for those of us who cannot see a primary care physician. This holds especially true for those on zero cost Obamacare. We need to allow the ER to be used for real emergencies, my sore back is not an emergency. The Urgent Care should serve as a “gate keeper” and be a referral center, this will free up doctors elsewhere and lower the costs for everyone.

It may not be the perfect answer, but we need something, visiting the ER for a sore back is a horrible policy—both medically and financially.


Bad Guys Humiliate Tesla Cops

The motto of the television show Survivor is Outwit, Outplay Outlast. Apparently, this idea has practical application for criminals as well.

Fremont, a city in the San Francisco Bay Area not far from famed Silicon Valley, is testing a fleet of Tesla cars in their police department. A few nights ago, police engaged in a high speed pursuit that didn’t go very well. Sadly, the Tesla’s battery died in the midst of the eight mile pursuit and the cops didn’t even have enough juice left in the battery to limp back to the station.

Bing Map showing Freemont and surrounding area

During the pursuit of a “felony vehicle” that started in Fremont and reached peak speeds of about 120 miles per hour on the highway, the officer driving the Tesla radioed in to dispatch that he might not be able to continue the chase he was leading.

“I am down to six miles of battery on the Tesla so I may lose it here in a sec,” Officer Jesse Hartman said.

“If someone else is able, can they maneuver into the number one spot?,” he asked fellow officers nearby, as the chase approached the Jacklin Road exit on Interstate 680 south in Milpitas.

However, shortly after Hartman called out the low juice warning, the person driving the car police were chasing began driving on the shoulder of the highway as traffic was thickening, prompting police to call off the roughly eight-minute chase at that moment for safety, according to police dispatch recordings on Broadcastify and a department spokeswoman.

So the Fremont cops pulled off the highway in San Jose and headed back to their city — but not before the officer in the Tesla made a pit stop.

“I’ve got to try to find a charging station for the Tesla so I can make it back to the city,” Hartman said over the radio.

He eventually found a charger in San Jose to juice up his car, said Geneva Bosques, a Fremont police department spokeswoman.

Fremont police Tesla runs low on juice during high-speed chase

Law enforcement agencies using vehicles powered by internal combustion engines later located the suspect’s vehicle crashed on the side of the road and abandoned.

Final score, Bad Guys 1, Tesla Cops 0

Review: Buying Dishwasher from Costco

We’ve been doing the Dave Ramsey snowball for going on five years now. Although the end is in sight for getting out of debt, several of our appliances have reached the end of useful life. A few months back, we bought a new washer and dryer. Next on the list was the dishwasher.

Our Dishwasher was in a sorry state. Both racks in our dishwasher were broken. All but two of the wheels on the bottom rack had broken off, some more than once, but the top rack the worst. It literally fell off the rail system. The rails would disconnect from the side of the dishwasher and the wheels in the rails were broken too. The end result was when emptying or loading, the top rack would fall onto the bottom rack. Also, since the top rack was broken, the mechanism for washing the top rack did not have water feeding into it. Frequently, the dishes in the top rack were not clean. We lived with this for the better part of a year. Finally we had enough money to buy a new one.

Off and on, all summer long, we looked at various makes and models. Prices range from about $500 on the low end to over $2K on the high end. Given our experience, we decided on a different manufacturer and were mostly concerned about the rack system. Anything with an abundance of wheels and plastic was shunned.

LG top rack–metal rails like dresser drawer

We found a model ( LDT7808BM) that we liked at the local Best Buy. Later, we found the same model, for the same price at R.C. Willey. Both stores required an additional charge of about $180 for installation and removal of your old unit.

As the summer went on, a suggestion was made to take a look at Costco. Costco did in fact carry the very same dishwasher. The difference was that Costco would double the manufacturer warranty and install the dishwasher for free. This sounded like a great deal so we decided to purchase the dishwasher from Costco.

LG bottom rack-wheels have bearings for smoother action

Note to readers: we are aware that if you buy such an item with the Costco credit card that you can get an even longer warranty with the purchase. However, we cut up all our credit cards about five years ago and pay cash for everything including, Christmas, vacations, and appliance purchases.

When payday arrived, we went to our local Costco to purchase the dishwasher. Guess what? You can’t buy it there even though they have a whole row of appliances on display. While they do have a part-time guy that can help you make your purchase on the Internet, it matters not since it must be purchased on the Costco website. Being that we are not Apple users and perfectly capable of operating electronic devices, we went on our way and made the purchase on the Costco phone app.

This began a series of adventures that I wasn’t expecting.

As you would expect, the charge was pending in our bank account almost instantaneously. However, about two days later, it dropped off of our checking account. About a week later, the charge showed up again and finally cleared. Like Amazon, I guess they don’t charge you until the item actually ships. Costco ships it directly to a third party with whom they have the installation agreement.

About two weeks after our initial purchase, we were contacted by the third party contractor used to install the dishwasher. Per Costco, you must agree to an installation date within ten days of being contacted by the third party vendor. When having work done in your house, the company is required to give you a four hour window for arriving to perform work. While you might think of the four hours as morning or afternoon; that is not in this case. Instead, these guys actually give you two time intervals on the same day. Interval number one is the time for delivery and interval two is for installation. When I found this out, I decided that I needed to burn a day off to get this done.

Dishwasher as delivered

The delivery window was something like 9 AM to 1 PM. Two guys arrived about 10 AM and were in and out of the house in about two minutes. They used a dolly to wheel in the new dishwasher and set it down in the kitchen area. Along with the dishwasher, was a plastic bag with new water and drain hoses.

Hosed and electrical cord arrived too

The installation window was 10 AM to 2 PM; so much for that morning or afternoon thing. I had tentatively set up a 12:30 lunch meeting at the salsa bar with Johnnie Does but the timing of installation was problematic. I was really hoping for a 10 AM start. Finally, at noon, I threw in the towel and cancelled the lunch. As expected, the installation guy arrived promptly at 12:30. Murphey’s Law in action.

As the installation guy was getting organized, I went outside and shut off the circuit breaker for the dishwasher. It wasn’t properly labelled but I got it on the second try. The installation guy began asked what brand we had purchased, and I said, “LG”. He responded affirmatively and said it’s a good thing we didn’t buy Samsung. He never explained why.

He then began to remove the old dishwasher. As he inspected the old the dishwasher, he said that it was hardwired into the circuit. He told me that this was against building code standards and that I needed an outlet to plug in the dishwasher. He then gave me the choice of getting an electrician and rescheduling the installation or writing him a check for $175 and he would do the work.

Folks, having a 20-amp circuit running from the breaker and terminating under the door of the dishwasher—which is what my old one did—seems like a very bad idea. Like some other things I am fully capable of doing myself, sometimes I’m willing to pay for the work because this guy has liability insurance and I don’t. I find comfort that I have some level of recourse if this goes sideways in the future. In the end, I agreed to the extra charge and the work proceeded.

Much of the accumulated stuff under the counters was evacuated to allow for the new install because in addition to the electrical junction box with outlet, the tech ran new hoses and drain line under the counter. Once all connections were made, the dishwasher was moved into place, leveled, and attached to the cabinet in which it is housed.

LG dishwasher

The dishwasher is quieter and lighter than our old one. It actually has three racks, the very top one for silverware. The one quirky thing is that is can connect it to your home’s Wi-Fi. I can somewhat understand using technology for operating lights and thermostats in your house but a dishwasher? Folks, you still need to manually add soap, so it seems an idea with limited utility.


Mama is happy to have a working device in her kitchen now. There is some truth to the slogan, “Happy wife, happy life” but the whole outlet charge was kind of a gotcha moment. I guess that’s as close to the Paul Blanco buying experience as I’ve gotten lately. It makes me wonder if Costco is familiar with this practice. $15 in parts and less than five minutes of work for $175 seems disproportionate. My “free installation” really wasn’t but…

The Transcript

Folks, its just as advertised yesterday.

I will say that we do a lot for Ukraine. We spend a lot of effort and a lot of time. Much more than the European countries are doing and they should be helping you more than they are. Germany does almost nothing for you. All they do is talk and I think it’s something that you should really ask them about. When I was speaking to Angela Merkel she talks Ukraine, but she doesn’t do anything. A lot of the European countries are the same way so I think it’s something you want to look at but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine.

Here are both sentences from the conversation related to Joe Biden. Per the transcript, this was a 30 minute call.

There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it … It sounds horrible to me.

Oh, lest you think the Biden thing is some deep, dark secret, sorry, its not. Link to unedited video and transcript is embedded in quote below.

Two years after leaving office, Joe Biden couldn’t resist the temptation last year to brag to an audience of foreign policy specialists about the time as vice president that he strong-armed Ukraine into firing its top prosecutor.

In his own words, with video cameras rolling, Biden described how he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden recalled telling Poroshenko.

Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time,” Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations event, insisting that President Obama was in on the threat.

Joe Biden’s 2020 Ukrainian nightmare: A closed probe is revived

Witch Hunt Two

Nancy Pelosi is taking a page from Barack Obama and that’s not a good thing. Obama’s phrase while in office was “Leading from Behind.” Nancy is Speaker of the House and Leader of the House Democrat Caucus; however, both titles are in name only. The Impeachment Express was leaving the station today with or without her when she gave up and hopped on board just to save face. Nancy’s days are numbered, both in office and on the planet. The Democrats are charging full bore down this track with no map or destination in sight.

Today’s action reminds me of Nancy’s quip about Obamacare, “We have to pass the bill to know what’s in it.” Nancy and company don’t know why they are Impeaching President Donald Trump. The Caucus feels that he surely deserves it for something, they just don’t know what yet. Think of today’s vote as a huge fishing license to subpoena the world.

As long as the Republicans, less Mitt Romney, have the majority in the Senate, this turkey will never fly. In addition, this action will put even more distance between the House and Senate and further isolate the Democrat minority in the Senate. One practical result will be Republicans pushing even more judicial appointments through without Democrat input.

The first casualty of this nonsense will be the Presidential aspirations of Joe Biden. As many have reported elsewhere, Biden did all the things that they are accusing Trump of doing with Ukraine. As Vice-president, Biden is even on tape bragging about his part in holding up one billion dollars in aid until Ukraine fired the prosecutor in charge of investigating their government’s corruption. The time from Biden’s demand to Ukraine’s compliance was about six hours.

Oh, in typical Biden fashion, he came out in full support of the Impeachment vote. Note to Joe: standing in from of the train and cheering for it to go faster when both your feet are between the rails is not proof of superior intelligence. Maybe Biden is elevating “career politician” to a new category in the Darwin Awards.

In contrast, Trump maintains that any delay in aid to Ukraine was to get our so-called allies in Europe to get off their butts and take out their wallets to have some ownership of the situation. To quote a sports phrase, Europe needed some skin in the game. Sadly, for the Democrats, this is the same thing Trump said in the last campaign… you know, the one he won. Trump does what he promises, and the Establishment just can’t wrap their tiny minds around that fact.

Also, Trump said that this delay in aid was not linked to any request about investigating Biden’s son. He was simply letting Ukraine’s government know that America has a new leader that believes in letting the chips fall where they may, even if it happens to be on the family of a public figure in our country.

Trump told reporters Tuesday that his request to withhold the aid was due to his desire to see greater European contributions to Ukraine’s defense, and not linked to whether the country would investigate the Biden family, which media outlets have reported Trump brought up on the call with Zelensky.

‘Can you believe this?’: Trump vents over impeachment push

Given all the political posturing today, Trump promised to release the transcript within 24 hours. Hardly the move you’d expect from a guy the media is trying to cast as a modern-day Richard Nixon.

Richard Nixon

Folks, give the track record of both sides, how can a rational person believe the Dems. We are back to the era where it’s not the evidence but the seriousness of the charges.

“The nature of the evidence is irrelevant; it’s the seriousness of the charge that matters.” Tom Foley, Democrat, Former Speaker of the House.

Not Nature of Evidence, Seriousness of the Charge

Folks I don’t want to rehash what others have already said on this today but as I thought about recent events, I couldn’t help but think of Aslan in the Chronicles of Narnia being killed on the stone table—which of course is a retelling of the crucifixion story of Jesus Christ. Here, the evil forces thought they had decisively won; however, the actions that they took ultimately insured their own destruction.

As Trump was happy to point out, not a single Democrat voted today on the basis of anything other than a single, uncorroborated story.

If Trump is exonerated when the transcript is released, then what?

I think this is the desperation Hail Mary pass with no time on the clock; and with it, the Democrats have sealed their doom for 2020. Democrats have played three years of prevent defense and Trump has been scoring at will against them (at least when Republicans decided to join him on the field).

Prevent Defense allows easy scores

This can’t end well for the Jackass team. As their quarterback, Pelosi will get the blame even though we all know she hasn’t been calling their plays for a long time.

Paul Blanco Targeted by CA Attorney General

If you live in many parts of California and your finances are a mess, then you probably know that Paul Blanco is your best bet to get a deal on a car. Paul Blanco targets his marketing at folks that generally don’t qualify for vehicle loans thru traditional dealership financing.

Paul Blanco locations in CA & NV

We will continue to provide much-needed services to Californians without a great credit score but who must have transportation to live, work and raise a family…
— Paul Blanco

Yesterday, news broke that California’s Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, filed a lawsuit against Blanco for being unethical.

A 32-page complaint filed Monday in Alameda County accuses the company of running a sophisticated scheme to lure customers into a dealership only to later lie about their incomes and the value of the cars they were purchasing to convince lenders to approve the loans.

The company paid for ads promising customers could get their credit checked over the phone, a tactic designed to avoid the embarrassing experience of having a loan denied in person. Call center operators had detailed scripts, which would include telling customers to “please hold while I process your application,” only to return five seconds later to congratulate them on meeting the credit criteria for “several of our lenders.”
But Becerra says an unnamed manager at the call center said operators would not process loan applications at all. Instead, the act was a ruse to collect information and generate sales leads.

Once customers arrived at the dealership, Becerra says the company would lie about how much money a potential borrower earned each year to deceive lenders. An audit by one finance company found that out of 320 incomes reported from the company’s location in Fresno, more than 78% of them were inflated by at least $500 per month.

Becerra also said the company made lots of money by selling optional add-ons, such as insurance or service contracts, by falsely telling customers they were required by law. In some cases, Becerra said customers did not know they were purchasing add-ons because employees would hide the paperwork by placing their hands over the disclosures – a technique employees at the dealership referred to as a “hands-down close.”

“We’re talking about hardworking families who make every dollar count, seeing their hard earned money swindled away by dishonest tactics that put them in unaffordable debt,” Becerra said.

California sues auto dealer for false ads, loan documents

My first thought upon hearing of this suit yesterday is “Who did Blanco forget to pay off in California’s Democrat Party?”

Neither Xavier Becerra nor his predecessor Kamala Harris seems to have cared too much that Wells Fargo Bank, headquartered in San Francisco, “…signed up thousands of auto loan customers for costly car insurance without their consent, resulting in many having their vehicles repossessed.”

Source: Wells Fargo Settling California Car Loan Suit for $385M

The scandals continue at America’s third-largest bank by assets, Wells Fargo. Already reeling from a fake checking and credit card accounts crisis that cost former CEO John Stumpf his job, the firm admitted on Thursday evening it placed hundreds of thousands of unnecessary insurance contracts with its auto loan customers.

In total, Wells Fargo said between 2012 and 2017 it placed approximately 570,000 customers into a form of insurance called collateral protection insurance, which duplicated their existing coverage. The CPI product, which protects lenders against vehicle damage, is often not a feature of many automotive loans because car buyers’ are covered under their existing auto insurance. Wells Fargo used a third party to place CPI policies when it believed customers were not covered under their insurance. However, the bank now says it accidentally duplicated coverage and added unnecessary costs to customers’ monthly loan payments.

Another Disaster For Wells Fargo: Troubled Bank Admits Charging Unnecessary Auto Insurance

Becerra’s suit accuses Blanco of similar behavior as Wells Fargo but on a much smaller scale. In a quick Internet search, I couldn’t find any mention of Harris or Becerra being in the forefront of going after Wells Fargo for much more egregious behavior.

Please note that Presidential wannabee Kamala Harris was San Francisco District Attorney and then California Attorney General during most of the period when Wells Fargo was ripping-off customers literally right in her front yard. Makes me wonder where Wells Fargo was spending their PAC money while this fraud was going on?

Don’t forget, California does require auto insurance and so do lenders. Did Blanco offer insurance as a way to have some level of vertical market integration just like the Democrat’s favorite, Warren “Uncle Pennybags” Buffett? It is well documented elsewhere on this blog that Buffett has made much of his fortune off the backs of the poorest Americans, some of it doing the exact same thing for which Blanco is accused.

Blanco website offers auto insurance if you need it

I know some dealers offer insurance coverage in case you don’t have any. Given Blanco’s clientele, perhaps after 17 years in business, he found that this was the best way for his customers to get insurance by building it into the payment.

Maybe this is all just a misunderstanding because Blanco simply forget to send his annual contribution to our pay-to-play Insurance Commissioner, Ricardo Lara?

Blanco did pay his protection money to the Liberals in 2018 but apparently not enough recently.

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — More than six months after a deadly shooting in her backyard, the grandmother of Stephon Clark is finding some healing from a helping hand.

This renovation of love started with digging up some physical and emotional dirt. It was six months ago when Sequita Thompson’s South Sacramento backyard became a crime scene after the shooting death of her grandson.

Amid the turmoil of the last six months and pleas for progress on the deadly officer-involved shooting has been a call for healing.

Word got around that the home was in need of a facelift. That’s when local car dealership owner Paul Blanco stepped in. He Donated $25,000 to give Thompson and her family a fresh start.

Kind Act Aimed At Healing Home At Center Of Stephon Clark Shooting

Folks, I’m not necessarily defending Blanco, just trying to point-out that other businesses in California exploit the poor much more than Blanco is accused of doing and they get a pass. Have you seen the interest rates at the payroll advance company in your neighborhood? Most folks are paying about 30 percent interest on revolving charge accounts including appliance purchases, credit cards, and the like. As long as they have the word “bank” in their name, such confiscatory rates seem to be legal.

Talk about disproportionately hurting the poor, have you see gasoline prices in California versus the rest of the country. Gasoline prices here are about a dollar a gallon more than most other states thanks to our State government. On top of that, the Legislature then steals the money collected on fuel taxes and puts it in the General Fund instead of maintaining our roads. Becerra’s Party is doing this without fear of reprisal or repercussions.

It looks to me that Becerra has decided to “shakedown” Blanco for being good at what he does. As many lawsuits as Becerra has filed against Donald Trump, I’m surprised he has time for Blanco. It really makes me wonder what Blanco’s voter registration is. This suit is the type of political grandstanding I would expect from Becerra in a hotly contested election year.

The likely outcome of this is that Blanco will agree to a fine and a change in business practices.

Neither Becerra, nor Kamala Harris before him, had a reputation for upholding the law; only the parts that they personally agreed with. (Can you say Proposition 8?) It’s sad when the chief law enforcement officer of the State has one set of rules for his friends and another for everyone else. Such behavior nullifies the concept of equal protection under the law and makes the law arbitrary and a political weapon. In the old days this was called tyranny now it’s just standard operating procedure in this once Golden State.

iOS 13 Shares Your Credit Card Info with Strangers

More bad news hit the streets today as multiple people using Apple’s iOS 13 report gaining access to credit card data of complete strangers.

That, however, doesn’t change the fact that iOS 13 is riddled with bugs that forced the US Department of Defense to issue a warning asking users not to update. Unfortunately for Apple, this wasn’t the end of it as a Reddit user found a severe bug in iOS 13. According to u/Thanamite, he was changing his iTunes credit card when he noticed that his credit card info was replaced by someone else’s credit card. He noted that the credit card belonged to a woman in Illinois and he was able to access all the information including the address and credit card number. This is enough information for someone to empty the card without the user even realizing it. This wasn’t the only case as another user published the same experience on Reddit a few hours ago.

Both the users noted that they have reported it to Apple who then escalated the issue to the senior management. Apple has told that the company is aware of the issue and is working actively to fix it. We don’t know if the issue will be patched with iOS 13.1 or not.

iOS 13 might be leaking your Credit Card details to random strangers

Apple’s spin doctors have yet to respond to these reports. The article concludes with this warning:

In the meantime, we would urge our readers to remove their payment information from their iPhone. We are not sure if the issue is specific to iOS 13 or not…

“…not sure if the issue is specific to iOS 13…” that’s comforting. I guess Apple’s ideas of sharing user data with third parties is a rather fluid definition of the concept.

Johnnie Does Pizza Hut “Stuffed Cheez It Pizza”

So, I saw a wild window advertisement at a Pizza Hut around the corner from my office…new Cheez It pizza.

Yeah, my neck almost broke it snapped so quick. I entered the store and inquired, because well…like who wouldn’t? The counter guy said it’s actually a stuffed Cheez It pizza…like that makes it better???? He told me you get 4 squares of stuffed Cheez It in either cheese or pepperoni and cheese. The squares are about 4 inches by 4 inches, comes with a side of marinara sauce, because…well why not. Sells for about $6, which I guess is not terrible if it comes with a side of ER visit/ambulatory transport.

Cheez It pizza squares

So as far as the review…yeah, we aren’t trying this. We value the gift of life too much to be aborted by this abomination. Like literally, we should protest both Planned Parenthood and Pizza Hut! This atrocity is going to kill a lot of children! Nothing says obesity in the USA than a F***ing stuffed Cheez It. Like the rest of the world is innovating…hell, even friend of the blog Elon Musk is trying to innovate…and Pizza Hut is stuffing Cheez It into pizza???? We put a man on the moon (allegedly) we fought and won world wars, we built the infrastructure in this country….and now we are stuffing Cheez Its???? I’m sure the greatest generation is proud.

What are we even doing anymore? This is literally crazy; I know we are about to storm Area 51 this weekend, but this could be even more outrageous.

Green Pride at Storm Area 51 rally

This dish has to have like 90 billion million quadrillion calories, in just 1 square, let alone 4! Oh, and the emergency side of marinara, you know…just in case. Take that back, its likely the healthiest part of this dish.

Worry not though if you consumed this beast, you can likely cancel your colonoscopy as I’m sure your colon will be found to be in fine condition.

Twinkies have a shelf life so long they allegedly will survive the Zombie Apocalypse

Lastly, word has it that the military potential of another food with the shelf life of a Twinkie is being investigated by survivalists in suburban areas cross America’s heartland. If this pans out as expected, look for Pizza Hut ads on the Glen Beck show really soon.

Johnnie Does

BTW Someone get Troll a date with Hope Hicks, he hasn’t been heard from lately and we think he is giving up Hope.

Why Don’t Conservatives Fight Back?

Folks, the way I see it, many states are running roughshod over the Constitutional rights granted to us as Christians under the First Amendment. This is especially true in regard to social issues. What I don’t get is where are the attorney groups that claim to represent us? In California, they all seem to have given up hope and just disappeared.

I think the defense for folks like us is very simple. Here’s a thumbnail of how it goes.

The Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution as a necessary condition to insure its passage. Colonists wanted specific assurances that abuses that led to the revolt against Great Britain would not occur under this new government. The Constitution was presented as a framework for a limited national government with enumerated powers—only those things specifically granted by the Constitution were permitted; thus, anything not specifically allowed was off limits to the new government. Representation and the ability to raise revenue were both strengthened when compared to the Articles of Confederation which preceded the Constitution.

The First Amendment acknowledges three areas of freedom: assembly, press, and religion plus the right to ask government to right past wrongs.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

U.S. Constitution – Amendment 1

I would like to narrow the scope of this post to freedom of religion; however, please note that the restriction is upon Congress not the States or the people. What is forbidden is a top-down mandate of the national government setting up a national church or interfering with a person practicing their religion. At the time of ratification, a majority of states had state sponsored churches.

This arrangement created by the Constitution was in place for about “Four score and seven years…”

Following the Civil War, the nation adopted three Constitutional Amendments. One of these, contains the infamous Interstate Commerce Clause, which was the basis of implementing much of Roosevelt’s New Deal. Lesser known however is that the Civil War Amendments also forced the States to adopt the Bill of Rights. This note is typical of what you find in the legal literature.

The 14th Amendment is important, but the first clause is the most important. Prior to the 14th, states were free to ignore the Bill of Rights; a series of Supreme Court rulings made it clear that the Bill was to apply to acts of the Federal Government only. With the establishment of the 14th, the Bill, or at least parts of it, is made to apply to state law, too.

Amendment 14 — Due Process

This, ladies and gentlemen, is a big deal when applied to the current problems that we are facing. Since the Bill of Rights must be enforced by the State as well as the national government and the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land; when the State, at some point in the future (like now) passes a law that conflicts with the Bill of Rights, they should lose every time.

Given this, I think any legal defense of religious beliefs must spring from this bulwark. To give the State any credence when they pass a law that violates our rights is unacceptable. When litigating a religious freedom case, we must lay a foundation that includes the idea that the authors of the Law were purposely targeting our beliefs and trying to outlaw and/or criminalize our beliefs.

For many years, the attitude of the Legislators in California has been if you don’t like what we do take it to court. They frequently state this in committee meetings at the Capitol. They may take an oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution but in reality, they don’t care. They will do what they desire and make no effort to be guided by an awareness of Constitutional limits.

As a result of this disdain of their obligations, I think any case that cedes the legitimacy of such laws is flawed. In my opinion, the best defense is put the law on trial not your client.

I think that attorneys in such cases need to lay a foundation that does two things: enters necessary Constitutional arguments for appeal and offer the jury an opportunity to nullify the law by acquitting your client.

I know trials try to introduce the minimum amount of evidence to persuade a jury but in a case like this, you need to give the jury and appellate court enough in the record to work with. Both need to be reminded of the history and heritage of our system of government. What this case is all about is a conflict between a protected individual (or class of people) and a subsequent law which is imposing a different and conflicting worldview upon folks that are put in the position to “obey God rather than man” Acts 5:29. In the final analysis, any law, no matter how well intentioned, that is at odds with biblical law is illegitimate.

My preference in such cases is get to a federal court. I think that generally speaking, you’re wasting your time in state courts; especially in places like California. Machiavelli said that justice cannot be had without money and this applies to such Constitutional cases.

Should you ever be involved in such litigation, please note that the folks on the other side of the table are also created by God and are due the courtesy granted to those made in his image—however flawed we humans may be. As such, when a conflict occurs between your religious freedom and a law demanding that you violate your beliefs, you have at least four options. Please consider each in light of your particular circumstances.

Option 1 is duke it out in court and go the distance. Please prayerfully consider if God has chosen you to be the person to litigate this issue. As Jesus said, count the cost. Also, God has called us to be faithful and leave the result up to him. This does not guarantee that you will win just that he will grant you the grace to endure this trial.

Option 2 see if the other party is willing to agree to litigate the case just to see what the court has to say on the law. Courts only agree to hear cases and controversies. Courts are not into playing “what if” …games. It occasionally happens that parties may both agree to disagree, present a vigorous case for their point of view, and see what happens.

Option 3 could be that the government offers you what they consider “a reasonable accommodation.” This option may not get you the result that you desire, i.e. the law being changed, but gets you out of being the one in a compromising position. For example, you might get out of teaching the LGBQ lesson to your students because someone else is brought in to teach it. Not the optimum result in your eyes but your conscientious objection was accommodated by the employer. Some laws specifically ban the ability to opt out for conscience sake so what do you do then?

Option 4 is a direct appeal to cost versus benefit of litigation. Many years ago, it was not unusual to spend upwards of a million dollars to litigate something all the way to the Supreme Court. I suspect it costs even more now. I will pick on the Elk Grove School District for this example because about 20 years ago, they went all the way to the US Supreme Court over the issue of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Suppose a teacher with 16 years’ experience gets caught-up in a controversy related to a conflict between his religious beliefs and the school’s curriculum. In such a case, it would be better financially if the District just bought-out the balance of the teacher’s contract by paying the balance of retirement to the 20-year mark and discharging said teacher than it would to litigate the matter. Also, should the district lose, they then owe back-pay and perhaps some type of damages. Given that, writing a much smaller check to CalSTRS is a bargain for them, they might be willing to do this.

As you can see, some solutions benefit an individual while others all of us.

I do think we need to find a way to reintroduce jury nullification into our courts. Jury nullification exists to be a check on tyranny and clearly much coming out of state legislatures in Democrat areas qualifies as tyranny. This is where we need to be “wise as serpents and gentle as doves” Matt 10:16.

We need to lift a page from the other side and use linguistic gymnastics and find a more modern name for jury nullification. Perhaps this would be good to slip in when explaining that the Bill of Rights applies to the states now. Weave in some history about the evolution of the jury system as a check on the courts; otherwise why have a jury at all, just let the judge decide. Then in the closing remarks bring it back up again as the historic right of the jury to judge the law as well as the facts of the case. Once the judge allows the concept to stand via testimony many days or weeks ago prior to closing arguments, he can’t put the genie back in the bottle later.

I’m still working on articulating my thoughts on this issue, but I just don’t get the feeling that our side is putting up a vigorous fight in the courts. Is it me, or do you get the feeling that they’ve just rolled over and ceded the ground to the pagans? Let me know what you think. Am I on the right track with this line of thinking?

Car Wars

There is nothing more iconic and universal in the United States than car ownership. Besides the Second Amendment, nothing symbolizes our freedom more. Which I guess is why the Left needs to attack it.

Yesterday, two news stories surfaced about Democrats wanting to outlaw cars and their private ownership. First up was Gavin Newsom responding to Donald Trump. Trump wants to strip California of its right to set its own standards for vehicle pollution. And then Presidential wannabe, Andrew Yang, commenting on cars and climate change.

Newsom on State’s Rights

Yesterday, Local television station KOVR posted an article from CNN called California Gov. Gavin Newsom: Trump Administration ‘Threatening’ Private Business

Folks, when I see a California Democrat accusing a businessman (Donald Trump) of threatening business, I know I’m about to take a journey of imagination through the Twilight Zone.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom slammed the Trump administration and Republicans for their “complete silence on state’s rights, but also free enterprise” in light of President Donald Trump’s decision to curtail state-set emissions standards.

“They’re calling private sector corporations to the mat and threatening them,” Newsom, a Democrat, told CNN’s Don Lemon on Wednesday night on “CNN Tonight.”

Folks, FYI, when you see Newsom talking about state’s rights then you know something is off. Newsom is using the State’s rights argument to flaunt Federal law. This is how California can have sanctuary cities, decriminalization of drugs, refuse to prosecute illegal immigrants that commit crimes, etc.

Then Newsom goes on to claim that he is for free enterprise? Really? OK Gavin, then why is free enterprise almost nonexistent in your state? Why are businesses, the middleclass, and retirees fleeing your state by the thousands every month?

Why is it OK for California to dictate to automakers what emission standards should be but the national government should butt-out?

What Newsom is calling “state’s rights” is newspeak for unchecked tyranny.

For decades, California has effectively forced the rest of the nation to adopt their auto emission standards because manufacturing is easier to one standard than too many.

California’s waiver under the Clean Air Act allowed it to set standards tighter than the federal government’s, which have been adopted by more than a dozen states and became the de-facto nationwide standard because automakers do not design different sets of vehicles to meet standards in different states.

Compared to the 1970’s, California has about triple the population and a fraction of the amount of air pollution. If you look at a cost/benefit graph of costs, we are at the point where any decrease in allowable emissions will cost a significant amount.

Folks, it’s one thing for California to want to have lower emissions from cars but California wants to outlaw car ownership altogether. California also aspires to be the first state in the nation to outlaw internal combustion engines for both cars and trucks. Trump is wanting to free the auto industry from the crazy standards that California and former President Obama agreed to for the next decade.

California has this strange idea that we are “green” and into “sustainability.” This of course is self-delusion and nonsense. Look at the collapse of our recycling program. We can’t send our crap to China anymore so it just goes from the recycle bin to the landfill. Which is worse, our current air quality or the long-term effects of all the stuff we bury that gets into the water table? If California was serious about the environment as they claim then we would recycle all our trash within our own borders. As previously stated on this blog, Elon Musk is better suited for this task than trying to run a car company.

Also, if Gavin cared about the private sector then why is there a bill on his desk (AB 1482) to confiscate all residential rental property and setup a statewide scheme of rent control? Why are Democrats clamoring to bifurcate Proposition 13 and jack-up the tax rate on businesses? Why do entry level jobs have to pay $15 per hour?

The article continues:

“Federalism be damned; state rights, 10th Amendment be damned; Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon be damned,” Newsom said Wednesday when asked why he thought a Republican administration was exerting its power over a state-level decision — traditionally a cornerstone of conservative policy.

Newsom pointed to Reagan’s efforts as the state’s governor in 1967 to address smog in Los Angeles, arguing that it led to the bipartisan Clean Air Act signed by Nixon, a fellow California Republican, in 1970.

Newsom raises a good question in the above quote but clearly he is shading the facts to make an argument he doesn’t really believe. On this side of the Civil War and the New Deal, what is the Tenth Amendment to a Liberal? Just that he acknowledges the validity of the Tenth Amendment might be viewed by some as an accomplishment. When Democrats are saying good things about Nixon and Reagan in the same sentence, it should make you wonder why. Newsom is cherry picking data points to make a prima facie argument.

The only real question that you need to have about the above quote is “What is the nature of the agreement that California can set stricter emission rules?” Is it a regulation or a law? If it’s a regulation then as head of the Executive Branch, Trump can change it, if it’s a law then only Congress can change it.

Contrary to the way Newsom framed his complaint, this is not the first time that California and the Federal government have butted heads over vehicle emissions.

Yang on Banning Car Ownership

Andrew Yang, one of the herd of Democrat Presidential Wannabees, had some really honest and shocking words yesterday on cars as well. In short outlaw them.

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang said the United States may have to eliminate private car ownership to combat climate change during MSNBC’s climate forum at Georgetown University Thursday morning.

He told MSNBC host Ali Velshi that “we might not own our own cars” by 2050 to wean the United States economy off of fossil fuels, describing private car ownership as “really inefficient and bad for the environment.” Privately owned cars would be replaced by a “constant roving fleet of electric cars.”

Andrew Yang

“Well I mentioned before that we might not own our own cars. Our current car ownership and usage model is really inefficient and bad for the environment,” Yang said.

The plan also includes a zero emissions standard for all new cars by 2030 and hundreds of billions of dollars in investments in emission-free ground and air transportation.

Yang: Climate Change May Require Elimination of Car Ownership

Folks as documented elsewhere on our blog, at current rates, there is not enough production of raw materials during the next 50 years to convert Great Britain to an all-electric fleet of vehicles let alone the whole world. The rare metals produced mostly via mining in Africa, South America, and elsewhere just can’t support such a demand. The utopian dream of an all-electric fleet is nonsense. And as we have previously documented, mining capacity is just one of many reasons that this can’t be accomplished.

My other thought is this, isn’t large scale strip mining, slave labor, and filling the treasuries of depots and dictators somehow tainting the idea of zero emissions? I thought Liberals frowned on rich people living on the backs of the poor, but enough about how you iPhone was made.

Folks all this emission and electric vehicle talk is just a way to deny us the freedom of mobility that we have known all our lives.

Oh, if you haven’t hear, Yang’s stock is rising in the Democrat field.

Yang enjoyed a recent polling bump and is now in fourth place in the California primary ahead of formerly “top-tier” candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.).

2020’s election is about our way of life and direction of our country. Do you want California values or American values?