William wrote a great article about the debt the other day and it got me thinking, which is quite dangerous by the way. The debt is absolutely insurmountable and as a millennial, it’s my future, so I asked quite a few friends of mine, for their thoughts. The answers will likely not surprise any reader of this site.
To put it bluntly, they do not care. Most of them work for the state/city/county and view their jobs and pensions are guaranteed. That should scare everyone, regardless of your thoughts on pension guarantees. The general approach by my generation to debt is one of apathy and compassion.
I’ll start with the latter first; it’s borne out of feelings and wanting to throw money at a problem in hope good will come from it. For example, healthcare for literally everyone and continued support of government run programs such as: food stamps, and other social justice programs into infinity. We want to give the homeless guy/girl/it a place to live, and 3 square meals a day along with spending money in hopes he will get a job…it doesn’t happen. However, we will keep trying because, we’ll just throw more money at it, and it eventually works itself out right?
Now to the apathy part; debt is already a large part of our lives, mostly via student loans. We just view all debt as, well it’s there and as long as I make the payment, I’m good till next month. We see ourselves in massive debt and just assume we will eventually take care of it…. or we petition the government to get rid of it. Much like the 65,000 people who have applied for their loans to be forgiven only to be rightfully denied by the government. We know it’s there and it’s a part of our lives, but we don’t take it seriously.
However, the ones most at fault are the older generations (55-75). They are responsible not just for running up the tab on generations not yet born, but for installing in us a belief that debt is not a big deal. They removed any personal finance/budgeting classes from our school system, and never really gave us an allowance or anything while we grew up. They also, claiming it was for our own good, outlawed minors from virtually every type of work they did when they were growing-up.
For my generation, our budgeting consisted of, hey dad I need $100 for jeans, and you gave it to us. We never had a checkbook just plastic, which again allows you to run up debt at an alarming pace under the guise of buy now, pay later. You told us college was an investment in our future, so we went to college and ran up six figure student loan debt. We needed a car and instead of getting an economical used vehicle, we got a sporty type car fresh off the lot, and a loan to boot. Credit card, auto loans, and student loans created a toxic cocktail that is just starting to show its affects.
Just to be clear here, I’m not placing the blame of the debt on anyone, just the attitude of the millennials. We do not view a paycheck as wages for services rendered, we view it as money to spend. We don’t view credit cards as for emergencies only, we view it as a means of satisfying ourselves with short term happiness. We do not see this as money being spent, it’s just the swipe of a card, then the bill comes. But that’s ok, because we only have to pay a very small portion of the bill, then we keep spending. Our debts? Well almost every liberal politician, and probably some so called Republican ones, talk about wiping out our debts…therefore we vote for them. Debt to us is just a way of life, and we see a paycheck and annual mandated cost of living raises as a way by which to pay for it.
In closing, I will add this, I am a 33-year-old millennial who has no student loan debt, never had any, and I have no credit card debt. I own a house so there is debt there; however, I see it as at least having equity as opposed to paying a landlord in exchange for nothing. I am very lucky but none of my friends choose to live their lives like me; instead, they have mountains of student loan debt, credit card debts, and expensive car payments to boot. They make minimum payments, and all have nicer stuff than me. Their attitude is the government will bail them out at some point, or just wipe away the debt.
Owe money to the IRS just call a number…poof gone. Too much credit card debt…. personal bankruptcy…poof gone. Mortgage on a house you don’t like anymore…. walk away. Best of all regarding the last 2, (credit cards and mortgages), in several years you can do it all over again. However, my generation, like many others, is in for a real wakeup call soon because those rules do not apply to our nation’s debt. Your pension is not likely to be guaranteed–at least not at the levels they predict. Your government job may be cut, and Social Security for those of us in the private sector, is likely a figment of our imagination or soon will be.
Blog Father did a really good job on Nextdoor. I want to elaborate just a touch further on the topic of message boards on the internet. Nextdoor was actually a useful source for the first couple years I was on it. As a new homeowner in a mostly starter home neighborhood, I wanted to know the goings on around my new digs. There was good information on it initially, crime, new stores, garage sales, giveaways…then it all changed.
The night I cancelled the app, it seemed like all of Elk Grove was chiming in about a neighbor (nowhere near my house) whose camera picked up a couple of youths seeming to be casing the neighborhood. The back and forth among adult men and women was atrocious, allegations were thrown, assumptions were being made…..yikes. It was all the normal bars; are you sure they were casing? Why didn’t you do something about it? Were they Black? Mexican?
The only redeeming quality for the site was you had to post under your actual name, not an internet pseudonym, (more on this later), and it had the neighborhood where you lived listed as well. It devolved into neighbors playing Salem Witch Trial type gotcha’s on one another. My neighbor is playing music too loud! Look out for this truck because my neighbor’s kid drives too fast! How dare you let your dog off the leash to play fetch in the park! I’m off the app, I see it hasn’t changed and I’m glad I waste no more time on it.
Now on to something far worse, comment sections and message boards, the free type. This is the worst of the worst. Anyone can make a free account, it takes only minutes, and most create several free accounts. From there…well, let hell rain on everything. Whatever you think about Trump on Twitter, it’s tame compared to what these folks post. Check them out yourself. Yahoo.com, almost any message board, online newspaper, forum, you name it. Heck you should see what we get in our spam filter on this blog. If you insist on checking out my claim yourself then I recommend showering afterwards because it is a sewer in there. Right, left, middle, young, old, it’s almost all retirees and non-stop cable watchers, but boy is it bad. I’m positive not a single normal person posts there, it’s just a bunch of hot take machines arguing back and forth about the dumbest stuff.
In conclusion, sadly, this is where we are as a country now. You can be totally anonymous on a message board and spew your filth all over the internet unchecked. It gives the unemployed, retired, and those who are just not bright an avenue to feel important. I agree with William, they just hit F5 on their desktop all day looking for a fight to pick or an argument to make. But I guess to some, it gives power to the few to try to have influence over us all. These folks do to the Internet what the homeless do to San Francisco’s sidewalks. Sad state of affairs we live in now.
We had an editorial board meeting here at Really Right last week when the news was dropping about Tesla rolling out their in-house auto insurance department. We agreed to let Aaron Park take the first crack at this one, since you know, he’s an insurance agent and all. Aaron didn’t act, so we feel we must report so the people can decide.
It was announce that Tesla has formed its own insurance company, drum roll please……….. Tesla Insurance. Oh, the millions I’m sure that were burned on that one. The consulting firm that came up with that name is one of pure genius. This new division offers insurance, but only to Tesla drivers in California, which is strange, this being, well… California. You see, California has the most diverse rating factors of all the states in the union outside of Michigan. This is very puzzling.
Tesla’s insurance license with the state of California lists the automaker as a property-broker agent and a casualty-broker agent. The documents show the license has been active since August 2017.
Like the auto industry, insurance is a low-margin business, as increased competition has made the costs of acquiring customers more expensive, Krzysztof Kujawa, the chief product officer at the insurance-shopping website Gabi, said. That means Tesla Insurance may not drive profits for a company that has posted losses in all but four quarters since going public in 2010.
Correct, Tesla is now: a dealer, a financer, and an insurance company all in one. Sounds like Elon is trying to mimic the Oracle of Omaha with this take on vertical marketing.
Berkshire Hathaway’s (NYSE: BRK-B) (NYSE: BRK-A) Warren Buffett argued in the company’s annual shareholder meeting earlier this year that Tesla’s decision to get into the insurance business could be a mistake. “It’s not an easy business,” he said. Buffett knows a thing or two about insurance. Not only is GEICO a Berkshire subsidiary, but Berkshire owns insurance companies that insure other insurance companies. “Our [insurance business] has been the engine propelling Berkshire’s growth since 1967,” Buffett wrote…
However, this arrangement raises a set of questions that Elon will never be able to answer, and even better I spoke to the California Department of Insurance and they couldn’t answer either. First off, Tesla has a unique reputation of blaming the driver, not the car for anything that goes wrong. They use their vehicle’s telemetry logs and recordings to back this up; as far as insuring the vehicle goes, do the claim reps have access to this or does an independent third party? Well, it won’t be a third party…so scratch that. That is disturbing. Is this a backdoor way to limit product liability? But like the Ronco Knife sales guy on QVC says…but wait there is more!
Tesla is making a bold claim that customers will save 20% over their current carrier but savings can be up to 30%!
“Starting today, we’re launching Tesla Insurance, a competitively priced insurance offering designed to provide Tesla owners with up to 20% lower rates, and in some cases as much as 30%,” the company said in a blog post.
“Tesla Insurance offers comprehensive coverage and claims management to support our customers in California, and it will expand to additional U.S. states in the future.”
I am not sure this is a great promise to put out there, as with most commercials you see on TV from other insurance carriers, such statements are heavily disclaimed at the bottom of the ad. It is a very bold claim to say you can reap that kind of savings from a company who only insures Tesla’s over larger carriers with far more exposures to mitigate their risk. This creates bad will with your vehicle owners not to mention distrust. In addition, how can you be so sure your price is that much better…. most companies offer a bundled discount with home and additional vehicles. I hope they did their research on this one, yet something tells me they didn’t.
Tesla’s capitalization structure should be called into question as well. For example, at my company: Auto/home/life/health/bank/mutual fund businesses are all separate and must have separate capital to prove solvency. This capital must be held in separate reserve accounts, and in the case of Tesla, the California Department of Insurance (CDI) will look at their books every year to prove compliance. Just to point out that pretty much every pundit in the field has major questions about Tesla’s finances. Given that the company is burning through cash, issuing additional stock, taking out high risk loans, and their only real source of income is selling climate credits, I think you have to ask the obvious question….
How will Tesla pay out claims? Remember, Tesla may have extensive info on their own cars, but what about the car their driver hits? What about injury accidents? Will Tesla only allow the vehicles to be repaired in-house, even though this violates CA insurance laws? Will they even fix claimant cars, or will they be like AAA and just say fix it yourself and send us the bill? Too many questions here for me.
Tesla owners have dealt with high insurance costs due in part to the relative difficulty of finding replacement parts and qualified body shops. AAA raised insurance rates for Tesla vehicles in 2017, though Tesla argued that AAA’s decision was “severely flawed” because it compared Tesla’s Model S sedan and Model X SUV against dissimilar competitors.
Tesla’s have long been a question mark for insurance companies, Business Insider Intelligence analysts say, due to their built-in sensors and Autopilot software. In 2017, AAA said that Tesla owners should pay more than traditional vehicles due to “abnormally high claim frequencies,” Automotive News reported in 2017.
I called the CDI about Tesla Insurance and they too were short on answers, like how they are capitalized, and their company structure (claims/underwriting/service/sales/special investigations etc.). Actually, more disappointing, a contact I have in this regulatory agency suggested Elon may have been able to put one by Ricardo Lara (the elected commissioner) because they are a “green friendly” company. Or maybe Lara owed Elon a favor after getting elected? Lara, like Aaron Park, has a policy of contributing to him first if you want an endorsement.
Final thought here, and likely the most disturbing, by the way. Look at the exposure Tesla has (there are not many) but look where their customers are all located (mostly coastal areas). What if a wildfire strikes that is similar to the magnitude of the one in Napa a few years ago? (Or the Oakland Hills fire many years ago) Such losses to a small company could be enough to wipe them out, and let’s not kid ourselves, Tesla’s are not cheap cars as referenced by their price.
In case you missed it, last week USWNT soccer player Carli Lloyd was invited to a joint practice between the Eagles and Ravens, two NFL teams. During the practice Lloyd went out and kicked a few 55 yard field goals and made them…which is saying a lot as offseason kicking is through a much smaller goal post than used during the regular season. It went viral and started rumors she could play for an NFL team, and as recent as today, she claims a team offered her a chance to kick in a game Thursday.
Okay, let’s snap back to reality for a minute here folks and get serious.
But first let me throw this out there, it’s very cool she had her moment. At 37 years of age, she is in the twilight of her soccer career as witnessed by her being a substitute during the World Cup. Her being able to drill a kick like she did is awesome because it was a no-win situation. Hear me out, she made the kick, and she went viral, a couple Ravens players even say she should get a try-out. Flip side, she misses the kick and all the alpha male types call out “stick to the kitchen” “it’s a man’s game” etc., etc. You know the type. But she made the kick the offers apparently have come in…and Lloyd is considering trying out next year in a real game. Big mistake if she takes them up, take it from me, I played in High School.
What she was doing was akin to going to a local high school or junior college and while wearing athletic attire kicking from the 45 (the end zone adds 10 yards) against air. Folks it’s one thing to kick field goals wearing soccer cleats, gym shorts, a sports bra and that’s it. I will allow fellow writer, The Troll, to speculate on whether or what type of underwear she was wearing…however, her being married means he should just move on or keep longing for Hope Hicks. The NFL requires players to wear football cleats (ask any of us, there is a big difference) shoulder pads (try wailing your arms out like she does when she was kicking…you can’t). In addition you must wear a girdle consisting of pads on both hips, and a tail bone pad, now you can have smaller pads but they must be worn, adding another difference to her normal uniform. She would not have to wear thigh or knee pads, since the kickers typically don’t. She would have to wear a helmet impeding her vision as well. She also took about 5 steps to kick, in the NFL you get about 2…it makes a difference. Also she will be kicking while facing 11 guys trying to block the kick.
It’s a safety issue more than a gender issue. This was even pointed out by Keenan Allen who plays for the Chargers, what happens if the kick is blocked? Remember kicking in the preseason means you are playing against people trying to fight for a couple open slots on the roster, not a bunch of laid back starters going through the motions. I hate to say this but I would take bets one or two players intentionally try to “blow her up” to just send a message to all females. When a kick is blocked, you cannot just get out of the way…more players have been injured in the outskirts of the play or pile than in the pile. Think those guys want a girl to score on them? A message would be sent.
In short, Carli you have had a great career and in my opinion you are an excellent role model for all young women in this country. Not to mention you called out your pink haired, looney teammate who kneeled for the national anthem. Carli, you and any women who feels they can hang, are more than welcome to kick back and if the coaches allow you, sure take a few kicks during practice. But kicking in a game situation would very likely result in serious injuries and possibly debilitating ones. My thoughts about your attractiveness aside (you’re very good looking), use your platform as a world champion and keep speaking your mind about things you care about. You had a great few moments in the spotlight, but when your friends tell you most NFL kickers play into their 40s they have also been training for this their entire life, you just started. Painkillers and steroids are also rampant in the NFL and most of those guys are hawked-up to the point they cannot think straight. Your NFL dreams may get crushed before they start. Think about it.
I was treated to a special on Fox News while at the local gym the other night. It was a series of reports from Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle regarding the homeless issue. (Click on City name to view the video.) It was cringe worthy at best and flat out gross at worst. They discussed a vermin epidemic in San Francisco, Typhus outbreak in Los Angeles, a public health crisis in Portland, and a dire situation in Seattle where businesses are closing shop.
By the way, typhus, as described by our Governor, is a “medieval disease…in California….in 2019.” Think about that. We view ourselves as a state on the “cutting edge” of both medicine and technology and we have an epidemic of Third World diseases in our largest population center that we are powerless to stop.
The special showed makeshift tent cities, homeless camps, and some very elaborate dwellings built from scraps of cardboard and pallets. These camps are almost like their own city or municipality; complete with stoves, buckets used as a latrine, some set ups had a living room and a kitchen. These are not your typical homeless camps from years ago. The program also featured the incredible rat and vermin issues…which spread to the business districts nearby due to the sheer size of these camps. Keep in mind that these camps aren’t under an overpass anymore…they are behind businesses, in alleys, fields, parks etc.…they cannot just be shooed-off.
The process for their removal works similar to an eviction notice for a landlord, a sign must be posted to allow them to remove their belongings, and usually they get 72 hours to do so. Only then can a crew come through and throw away the piles of trash and feces left behind.
The program spoke about how this is all the fault of liberals, feel good policies and good money spent to solve the problem. However, the Blog Father and I disagree somewhat; we will lay it out later.
So, what caused all this? Well its complicated, but it’s a mixture of quite a bit. While electeds will say job loss, those folks look pretty raggedy for recently losing a job. Some say foreclosure…that crisis happened a decade ago. Some say insufficient wages to cover rents, and in some cases that could be true, have you seen rents in the Bay Area lately? Even that argument doesn’t hold much water once you consider that the same cities infested with the homeless are also home to “good paying” tech companies that are buying up land in that same area.
It’s amazing. Every one of these political folks fall over one another to get on camera and promise they have a plan to fix the issue…it just takes XXX millions of dollars a year…and a new fee or tax hike will pay for it! Pay attention to the word I used…. “folks” not Democrats, because there were likely several Republicans who voted for these very policies or fees! That’s correct, only recently was the GOP driven out of the inner city entirely, and the holdouts voted for these policies because “they were needed at the time, we thought it was the answer, or I needed to vote that way to fund the budget.” Because of these holdouts, the GOP is unable to make the argument that the Democrats “own it.”
This concept never seems to motivate the GOP. We always have a handful of weak-kneed turncoats who vote with the other side to allow the solution to seem bipartisan. Additionally, you can always count on a right leaning group or two to throw their name behind it because… well if it works, we can say we were a part of the solution. As a result, when the plan fails, the Left–who basically run the city government–can claim it was a bipartisan error, and “we all got it wrong.”
I have never understood the point of this needless compromise. If you make the other side vote in its entirety for some program…and it fails…with no opposition party support, they cannot call it bipartisan. At that point, the opposition can then say that our plan could have worked but we never got the opportunity. However, come to think of it, my side never has a solution so that would be a moot point, my guys just love to just vote “No”, and say it ain’t so. “Repeal and replace Obamacare” is the posterchild for the fecklessness of Republicans. Sadly, this is the rule and not the exception.
This issue is one where the tide is turning without any contribution from the GOP. Republicans won’t be picking up any new voters from this crisis, but it’s fun to see some of the natives getting restless. A prominent moderate Democrat radio host in San Francisco said the Democrats have been an abject failure on the homeless issue. A local Sacramento small business owner lashed out, saying she was tired of finding her store broken into, vandalized, having to shoo away homeless people, throw away cups of urine, feces, or syringes. She is moving to Austin, Texas by the way. The problem is very bad in downtown Sacramento. I have seen it first-hand. Residents in Los Angeles County want to know how the 118 million in new taxes were spent to combat the homeless when the issue has gotten worse. You now have moderate Democrats, independents, and Republicans on the same side of an issue.
Problem is there is no solution. You see, homeless people actually have the most freedom of any group in the country. They can camp wherever they darn well please, be a nuisance, create tons of trash, and face no repercussions. Liberal judges have granted them incredible rights to do as they please. Go to a big city and see for yourself. The touristy areas may be somewhat homeless free, but any business district is sure to be crowded with them. Hypodermic needles, syringes, urine, feces etc. all are common as well, because someone else will clean it up. Furthermore, they face no criminal charges since the politicians/Democrat voters passed Prop 47 which decriminalized almost every type of theft a homeless person is capable of.
Worse yet, our society actually attracts people into homelessness. As noted above you can pretty much do anything you feel like and get away with it, or if you need healthcare/dental care/eye care, just get arrested and the taxpayers will cover it free. In addition, we have places that will give you a couple square meals day such as Loaves and Fishes, or the “rainbow” Methodist church near me who proudly shares; they offer free breakfast and lunch on weekends. Also, there is Elk Grove Food Bank and various other charities that provide food as well for them to stock-up on.
Homeless folks also get taxpayer money given to them with no strings. Yes, they get Social Security money each month just for being a 30-year-old drug addict. They get paid out of the part of Social Security call SSI (Supplemental Security Income).
We spend millions on cleaning up their camps and the trash that comes with it. We provide them free needles to continue their drug habit. All of this is being done under the guise of we are trying to help them. We even are building housing to house them. Keep in mind all this is free for homeless people or those who game the system. The only adverse thing about being homeless is every so often they come to clean up your mess and you have to vacate the area with all your belongings for a few hours.
You see the issue here is despite all these well-intentioned laws and mandates, they never addressed the biggest problem within the homeless community…drugs and alcohol abuse. You see if you are under the influence of any of these substances, you cannot enter into any housing designated for homeless people. Thus, condemning them to the streets. It’s a viscous cycle, and this is a big reason why the situation is not improving. We can spend all the millions we want, and it makes no difference, literally. Some people want to spend even more! I see political types and nonprofits get in front of the camera constantly and always are offering up a plan, and it involves ample amounts of government money to make it work.
The City of Sacramento has been trying to remodel the Old Hotel Berry for years to house the homeless. Last I checked, they were just going to tear it down and figure it out later. However, in the end the City decided to remodel the Old Hotel Berry for 24.5 million in taxpayer dollars. Each room is for single person and that comes out to about $240,000 per unit. Each of the 104 units is between 151 – 317 SF.
The truth is that most homeless people would rather live down by the American River as there as very few rules when you live in a tent city.
To fix the problem I recommend repealing Prop 47 and criminalizing low level misdemeanors again. This will land more homeless in jail upfront but over time, the problem gets better. In jail, homeless people will be provided for materially and mentally in a drug free environment. This is cheaper and more cost effective for both the community and the homeless people. Reforming the laws will make the police and business owners keep a closer eye on their neighborhoods and not be apathetic like they are today.
Ideas such as this one will infuriate Republicans, but the government should hire a cleaning crew similar to what BART did in the Bay Area. The crews do major deep cleaning, and after that they do a normal clean every week; “poof” the smells of feces and urine are gone, and trash removed! The homeless don’t typically congregate in areas where they will be shooed away, so the problem will deteriorate over time.
While it is not easy to accept a form of reality most are not accustomed to in America…some problems are not fixable. Some people do not wish to work, or live in housing, or play the by the rules of others (drugs and alcohol are all they care about). They do not want to clean up after themselves and this is all due to a problem we created. We have provided all these services for free. Cities like San Francisco have decided to try to “round up the homeless and force them in shelters” but the ACLU responded to the idea by announcing that they will provide free representation in court to the homeless. So, we all lose out.
Buckle in and fasten your chinstrap, this one is getting messy. This is what a full-on nanny state looks like, meals provided free, housing provided free, clean up services…free…. clean syringe…. free… government assistance… free…. outside groups willing to offer legal assistance… free. A lesson again, once you allow people a certain freedom or benefit good luck taking it away even if it’s for their own good.
Back in 2015, a young Grant High School football player, Jaulon “JJ” Clavo and 3 friends were in a car going to get fast food prior to their game. Clavo was shot and killed, and his teammate Malik Johnson was shot but not killed. A few days later teenage thug Keymontae Lindsey, a high school transient was arrested and charged with killing Clavo.
Lindsey fit all the descriptions of a killer, he was 15, in the Strawberry Manor Bloods gang, not in school, troubled home environment, and owned a gun. He killed an icon in the area’s football team! Should be an open and shut case, right? Incorrect.
Enter SB1391, which was passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Brown. This law bars anyone under the age of 16 from ever being tried as an adult. Since this law was signed in 2016 it should not apply to Lindsey, right? Incorrect, language hidden in the law actually allows cases to be re-opened and, in most cases, re-sentenced in juvenile court. So, the bill was like the DeLorean actually going back in time instead of setting a forward-thinking precedent. So, Lindsey, whom juvenile court had already decided could not be rehabilitated (jail doesn’t rehabilitate anyway ask any corrections worker), now had his case re-opened. Citing this law, the judge ruled he had to be tried as a juvenile. The Sacramento DA appealed, and the CA Supreme Court affirmed the judge’s decision. Ultimately, he was to be tried as a juvenile.
Lindsey was found guilty in a bench trial of premeditated first-degree murder, premeditated attempted murder, and discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle. That sounds very serious because it is, and if Lindsey was an “adult” at the time, life in prison without parole was the likely outcome. Because he was tried as a minor, he must be released from custody before his 25th birthday, Lindsey is 19 now.
Wait a minute. Back up. Did you say what I thought? Correct. A very dangerous person now will get his walking papers from jail at age 25, after killing 1, and make no mistake, he could have killed 3 more, as the bullet was not meant for Clavo it was meant for Jackson. How is this justice when a mother lost her son, and another family likely will lose theirs as Jackson has since joined a gang for protection? If you are unfamiliar, Grant High School is located in a very rough part of Sacramento, where even the police take their time responding to emergencies as to not get caught in the crossfire.
So, what about this law was “well intentioned?” I am of the belief that every story has at least 2 sides, yours, mine, and the truth. I don’t like reading stories of people going away for life based on just one thing, however Murder and anything with aggravated violence is a different story. This Lindsey guy was a gang member and did the deed. Why does he get the same treatment as a first-time offender who may have a real chance to turn his life around? In this deep blue liberal state in which we live, I understand the thought behind the process, it gives a second chance. I reject this thinking but at this time we have no opposition party willing to get into the mud and fight these things. I guess this country was built on second chances, but the person who authored the law (Ricardo Lara) doesn’t seem to understand the way gangs work or worst doesn’t care. First you create a blanket policy, removing the judge from the judicial process, and contrary to public belief, most gang members (especially those currently incarcerated) are very bright when it comes to the law. This case should underscore it, Jackson was not killed by Lindsey, Lindsey killed him because as someone under the age of 16, they knew he would be out at 25.
Don’t believe me? Ask any sheriff who works in the jail, or an officer who works in a gang suppression unit. The law related books are always sold out in the jail library and the members who are incarcerated read them all day…they have nothing better to do. They rely the info back to the street members, and viola, you will soon see a spike in under 16-year olds killing people, because they then can kill another one after being released! The Bible may need to be rewritten to an “eye for two eyes.”
Long ago there was a similar law that was repealed after the gangs exploited it to kill people by getting their youngest members to pull the trigger. Thus, the law gave birth to initiation by murder. Oh, anybody was fair game not just other gang members. It took much effort to repeal the law and give discretion to the courts and local law enforcement. In this case, we are literally repeating the mistakes of the past. Like socialism, apparently some folks on the Left think that the only problem with the idea is that the right people just haven’t tried it yet.
In conclusion I hear a lot about unfairness in the judicial system and this underscores it! Think about the victim’s family. She already must live a daily reality of her son being taken from her and now she gets to go to bed knowing the killer will be out in about 6 years? Where is the justice? I hear from lawmakers all the time claiming that our system punishes people of color…in this case they were both black! (Statistically, blacks are almost always killed by other blacks.) Where is Black Lives Matters here? Clavo was by all accounts a good kid…this Lindsey…a scum of the earth thug. When did the GOP stop caring? Where are the DA’s, the Sheriffs, the judges, the people we are told actually are tough on crime? More people will die because of this, and all I hear about is a half-baked recall plan to remove Governor Newsom or about how we need to spend millions more on “homeless” initiatives; we need to wake up people! Why do I get a feeling this Lindsey fellow probably wouldn’t be turning in his gun if we passed a law saying he must do so? Anyone want to take bets this Lindsey is back in prison or 6 feet under within a short time of being released?
The Blog Father and I speak often about liberalism and both of us believe it is a disease. I think that thesis is supported by laws like these. It’s a feel good, well intentioned law, but it winds up backfiring. Also notice, it was never voted on by the people, it was legislated, and signed by the governor as to not allow us pawns to weigh in. The ruling Party can’t risk a disaster like when we voted for Prop 8. Like I said above, I think a repeal vote should be in order, but I don’t have the money or the knowledge to run something like this. When you are a super minority party, it’s time to fight the battles you can win on.
Oh, by the way Ricardo Lara, the author of this garbage, is the Insurance Commissioner and boy does he have some radical ideas he is working on! Too bad worthless Aaron Park won’t share them on his blog…strange since Aaron claim to be an insurance agent in a wildfire zone!
Unless you are related to Aaron Park, you may have heard that disgraced human piece of excrement Jeffrey Epstein died this past weekend. Without wanting to be a conspiracy theorist, I will examine this through an unbiased lens. Epstein “allegedly” committed some heinous crimes towards underage children, involving adults of age. Crimes so gross the Blog Father and I decided not to discuss them in this space.
So, let’s have a look at the circumstances of his suicide…this is where things get very murky. You see Epstein was on suicide watch and when in jail, suicide watch means someone is physically watching you and supposed to be checking in on you every 30 minutes; think of a wellness check on steroids. Jails are very controlled environments and protocol is stressed big time, as lawsuits are very damaging since “the inmate is in PROTECTIVE custody” while in jail. Epstein was apparently removed from said suicide watch, which is odd since he tried to kill himself earlier. About this same time, he had a mysterious female visitor for two hours—in private. Then days later, he was found dead. A subsequent investigation somehow got us more questions than answers. First the guards were apparently faking making rounds checking on him. The cameras malfunctioned, for a time. He was moved to a different cell, had a cellmate, then didn’t. The hyoid bone, by the way, is a bone that is typically broken in strangulation not suicide, just keep that in mind.
Odd when you think about it, he knew exactly when to die so the cameras wouldn’t catch it, the guards wouldn’t be making the rounds, the autopsy would take days, then bam on a Friday afternoon the autopsy is done…death by suicide. Friday afternoon by the way is the slowest day in the news cycle…also when no one is paying any attention mind you. All this occurring less than 72 hours after he said he had info on former Gov. Bill Richardson and former Senator George Mitchell. Normally I would not call shenanigans on this but let’s delve into the other Clinton acquaintances who ended up “dead by suicide.”
James Mcdougal–of Whitewater fame, he was Ken Starr’s “star” witness, was found dead of an apparent heart attack in solitary confinement in jail
Mary Mahoney–a White House intern, was found murdered in a Starbucks. This occurred just after she was supposed to go public with her sexual harassment claim against Bill.
Vince Foster–he was a Clinton counselor at Rose Law Firm…yup that one…single gunshot wound to the head.
Ron Brown–former Sec of Commerce and DNC chair, found dead in a plane crash. Oh, he had a wound to the head consistent with a gunshot. Oddly enough he had spoken bout cutting a deal with prosecutors involving the Clintons…days later an air traffic controller on duty that day committed suicide.
C. Victor Raiser II–died in a single plane crash in 1992
Paul Tulley–a major DNC donor and Clinton friend, found dead in a Little Rock hotel room in 1992.
Ed Willey–a friend of Clinton and major fundraiser, found dead in the woods in VA. Gunshot wound to the back of head, ruled suicide, died same day his wife was set to come forward with allegations of Clinton groping his wife.
Jerry Parks–head of head of Gov Clinton’s security team, found dead in his car in rural Arkansas. His son said he was working on a dossier about Clinton and was set to go public. Where else have I heard that word dossier????? The dossier was removed from his house and never found.
James Bunch–suicide by gun shot. He claimed to have had a book about prominent politicians who visited prostitutes in Texas and Arkansas.
James Wilson–died from alleged hanging; he had ties to Whitewater.
Kathy Ferguson–died of a gunshot wound; ruled a suicide. There were packed suitcases in her house where she died. She was the ex-wife of Clinton co-defendant Danny Ferguson in the Paula Jones case. Kathy was seen as someone trying to “collude” with Jones. Collusion???? Where have I heard that before?
Bill Shelton–fiancée of Kathy Ferguson and a state trooper in Arkansas, objected to the suicide ruling of his fiancée. He also died of suicide at her grave site of…single gunshot wound.
Gandy Baugh–an attorney for Clinton buddy Dan Lassater, died by jumping out of a window of a high building. His client was a convicted drug dealer.
Florence Martin–a CIA member, involved in the Barry Seal, Mena Arkansas airport drug smuggling venture was shot 3 times, ruled a suicide.
Suzanne Coleman–had an affair with Bill, was pregnant, died by suicide of a bullet to back of head. Suicide while pregnant…back of head shot…. strange.
Paula Grober–died in a single car crash; she was Clinton’s speechwriter for the deaf.
Danny Casolaro–investigator of the Arkansas airport smuggling scandal, slit his wrists halfway through the investigation.
Paul Wiltcher–was an investigator alongside Casolaro, found dead on a toilet in Washington DC three weeks after delivering a document and statements to Janet Reno. Guess he wanted to go out like Elvis???
Jon Parnell Walker–investigating Whitewater, he jumped from a very high building, suicide by concrete.
Barbara Wise–a Commerce Department worker, was found naked, and bruised, also dead locked in her office. Death ruled unknown.
Charles Meissner–died in a plane crash. That’s a lot of plane crash deaths so far here.
Dr Stanley Heard–a family doctor for the Clintons, died in a small plane crash and oddly enough his lawyer was on board!
Barry Seal – the drug running TWA pilot at the center of the Arkansas scandal…dead, maybe this one wasn’t an accident???
Johnny Lawnhorn Jr. – worked on Clinton’s cars, found dead in a car wreck where he hit a telephone pole, had a check made out to Clinton in the trunk of a car at his body shop. Woah that’s weird!
Stanley Huggins–he and Walker were investigating Madison Guaranty, his death a suicide, report was never released to the public.
Hershell Friday–big Clinton fundraiser, his plane exploded Kevin Ives & Don Henry these two stumbled upon the Arkansas drug running scheme the initial autopsy said they died when they fell asleep on the rail tracks…huh? Then it was ruled they were likely slain and put on the rail tracks to cover up…that sounds more believable.
Then there are these 6 who had info on the Ives/Henry case above:
Keith Coney–motorcycle hit the back of a truck
Keith McMaskil– stabbed 113 times
Gregory Collins–gunshot wound killed him
Jeff Rhodes–killed, mutilated and found burned in a trash dump
James Milan–found decapitated, coroner ruled “natural causes.” Huh???
Richard Winters–he was a prime suspect in the case, was killed in a set up robbery
Looks like someone wanted these boys dead and gone from this earth, and to scare off any other folks who had info.
These are all bodyguards of the Clintons found dead:
Major William S. Barkley, Jr.
Captain Scott J . Reynolds
Sgt. Brian Hanley
Sgt. Tim Sabel
Major General William Robertson
Col. William Densberger
Col. Robert Kelly
Spec. Gary Rhodes
The most recent to die:
Seth Rich–former DNC staffer shot off camera (highly unlikely) in DC, I guess the shooter knew where the cameras didn’t record. Also, he was robbed…get this, of nothing! Julian Assange claimed to have the good on the killer mind you!
Sal Cincelli–an FBI agent investigating the Clinton foundation was found dead in the middle of a dance floor at a club, from 2 gunshot wounds to back of head…ruled a suicide.
There was a handful of others including celebrity Chef Anthony Boutdain who exclusively said on Twitter if found dead by suicide it wasn’t one…yet he was found dead and was ruled a suicide.
Again this is not to stir up conspiracies but that is a lot of people who are close to the Clintons dying of “multiple gunshot wounds” “plane crashes” and single gunshot wounds ruled as suicide. No wonder I got a lower rate on my life insurance when I said I was not related to the Clintons in anyway, even a chance encounter.
Editor’s Note: Shortly following the posting of this extensively researched blog post, the Chief succumbed to a fatal dose of lead poisoning. Apparently, as his teepee caught fire, the lead paint was absorbed into his lungs and caused his demise. At least that was the finding by the medical examiner that autopsied his charred body. The fire was so hot that the lead congealed into two large fragments about .45 caliber each.
Joe Biden is going to be the nominee…everyone knows it…everyone says it. He thinks he is running against Trump now…and it very well may be…however here is a good contrarian look at how “inevitable” he is.
In some cases these folks are correct. Biden is polling around 28% nationally and if that number holds, he will be hard to beat. But I want to caution, that is a national poll where; CA, NY, TX, FL, IL, and a handful of other states are way oversampled. Remember Democrat primaries tend to favor the very far left, not the middle or centrist types to whom Biden thinks he is.
Take for example Iowa, the first Caucus. As someone with family in Iowa (one of my ancestral hunting grounds), I can tell you they take the Caucus very seriously. In essence everyone from the town joins in a local meeting hall like the Y or a gym and they go into a certain corner or part of the room to indicate support for a specific candidate. You are in a public setting in front of your friends, family, and other citizens…they also can persuade you to join “their side.”
This process is very dirty. Let’s say the Warren and Sanders people decide they need to join forces to beat Biden, games are played. Trust me on this. In this age of Internet and cell phones, caucus strategy can be coordinated statewide which also adds another level of complexity to this process. Alas Biden is not polling that well in Iowa and Sanders has a very organized operation there. Let’s say Sanders wins, and Biden takes a disappointing 3rd.
Next up is New Hampshire, 8 days later. It’s a traditional primary, but Sanders should do very well as should Warren as they are from neighboring states. Momentum is a huge thing in politics and with candidates dropping out after a poor Iowa showing and dried up fundraising, suddenly a 28% national poll number doesn’t seem great. 11 days later is Nevada and you could have a similar issue of Biden, coming off what could be 2 losses, scoring another third place showing to boot. Again, Sanders should do well. In the wake of the Nevada primary, more candidates drop out and that “other” 72% is not spread amongst so many candidates anymore. Biden should win South Carolina, but it could be too little too late.
Super Tuesday is next, but I won’t cover that. There are too many states and it is way too early. Just understand when you hear inevitability, it very seldom is the case. Think back to 2008, it was Hillary vs McCain, inevitable right? Hillary won right? Mitt Romney was a shoo-in to beat Barack Obama. It was Jeb Bush in 2012 right? Bernie was a total joke, who would ever support a socialist?
You must remember momentum is the name of the game. After the last debates Marianne Williamson, Andrew Yang, and Kamal Harris looked good…Biden was widely panned as having a bad night. You can be sure with billionaire Tom Steyer in the race now–he is pushing for impeachment ASAP–so there is another person cutting into that 28%. Keep in mind Sanders and Warren have hard support. Their people are fired up and are not switching unless it’s to block someone from winning. Biden has soft support that seems to drop a little after each week…
This blog and commentary is the result of current events over the last year exposing CalRecycle as a farce and nothing more than a government mandated “feel good” program. This mostly came to a head with the shut down and bankruptcy of RePlanet, a large recycling conglomerate, on Tuesday of this week.
Citing the increased costs of processing recycled items, RePlanet, California’s largest operator of recycling redemption centers has closed, leaving 750 employees out of jobs.
The Ontario, California-based company has closed all 284 of its centers, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
Company President David Lawrence told the newspaper the decision to close was due to increased business costs and falling prices of recycled aluminum and polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, plastic.
Recycling was essentially mandated in California in 1989 and on its surface it actually was a good idea. The premise was that we should try to divert as much waste as possible from our landfills. The program introduced recycling and green waste composting programs to help toward a goal of diverting 50% of all waste over a period of 30 years. In Sacramento County, we had just a garbage cart, then we got a green waste cart for all yard waste, and got 3 small bins for recycling. We had to separate the recycling into a separate bin for paper, glass, and plastics and aluminum. As a result, instead of 1 truck picking up said waste now a 2nd truck was required since the yard waste and recycling is collected on alternate weeks. In some parts of California such as the Bay Area, recycling is picked-up on a weekly basis.
As with any government program, an entire new department was created “The California Integrated Waste Management Board” to oversee this program as well as the California Redemption Value Program (CRV). This CRV is what you pay to the State of California on most plastic, glass, and aluminum products when they are bought at the grocery or liquor store. Prior to this, glass recycling was done at a local level by the private sector. Buy a Coke or Pepsi product at the grocery store and return the bottle and you got a nickel from the store. Government was not involved or mandating this program, it was purely a function of the private sector. Now, what the store collects is remitted to the State. I will now discuss the demise and issues with this system.
First the city and county administered programs: I cannot blame them entirely since when the state mandates it, you either do it or face a daily fine until you comply. After a few years, the 3 separate bin system with replaced with an additional cart, for mixed recycling. This was due largely to more material being eligible to be recycled, but I have a feeling worker comp payouts mounted due to a person having to physically lift and dump these bins into a contraption that loaded into the truck.
I am in favor of collecting more recycling and diverting it from the landfill, but this was a case that backfired. There was never a system or check in place in regard to contamination….this is how the program was destroyed. You see the bin is collected, and the contents of the truck are compacted and smashed repeatedly until the truck unloads at a sorting facility. There workers manually separate, combine and package the recyclables to be sold to China or another broker who does the physical recycling. Up until a couple of years ago, China took everything and asked no questions. Recently, they have tightened up their contamination standards and as a result quite a bit of “recyclable product” has been diverted to the landfill. Please note that China’s change of heart on taking our trash to be recycled predates any controversy related to President Trump’s trade policies.
Yep, we aint recycling the contents of your recycle bin, just burying it in the ground like everything else…but hey…you still get to feel good about saving the environment and the planet (at least until you read this blog).
Let’s take look at how lucrative this program has been to Sac City residents….according to their website “recycling sales” or product sold to China/broker etc. totals .79% of the revenue….OUCH!
The reserves have been depleted to a point the City will be increasing residents monthly trash bills by $12 a month over the next 5 years. Think about that one! Also the City has to start collecting “food waste” by 2021, so an additional cart, added fees, and a new rodent problem anyone? The program is literally bankrupting a local municipality.
Now let’s take a look at the downfall of RePlanet. RePlanet is or was a recycling outfit known for their small container sized booths usually located in shopping center parking lots that collected cans and sometimes plastics for recycling and paid you for the product.
On Tuesday, RePlanet closed all of its 284 locations and laid off all 750 employees citing an uncompetitive environment to do business. Digging deeper, the dirty little secret of how this business failed should not surprise anyone, as 40% of all recycling locations have closed in the past 5 years. It was a scam. Did you ever notice that at the register you were charged $.05 or $.10 “deposit” on the product, that is per item, but if you then took the container to a recycler, you were paid a rate “per pound” meaning you collected far less than your deposit. So if you didn’t actually recycle the material yourself, say you put it in your bin, the state kept the money and subsidized these operations taking place all over the state. The state payments did not keep up with inflation/regulation and as a result, these recycling centers have disappeared.
As someone who recycled religiously, I can say firsthand that it started making very little sense to do so a few years ago. The payments became less and less to the point where you questioned even making the trip. Honestly, if you think about it, look at it this way; RePlanet–like any other non-government entity–is in business to make money. They have to rent the space for their booth (this isn’t cheap, and can run about $1000 a month by the way), pay the employee minimum wage (this company had Bay Area locations paying higher than Sac County wages), benefits, workers comp, and had to pay customers for the product. The numbers did not add up at all. Couple that with smugglers bringing product in from over state lines (NV and AZ don’t have a recycling program) so they use ours to their advantage and you have a basically bankrupt CalRecycle program. RePlanet’s demise is a very big hit to a portion of the population that recycles for the cash as a means to make ends meet, and believe me there are quite a few. In years past, you might remember homeless folks scavenging your recycle bin the night before pickup but they haven’t been doing that lately, now you know why.
So here we are, stuck in a nasty catch 22; on one hand, we have a state department of recycling mandating that we divert 50% of our waste (that number is going higher by the way) and on the other hand, we have China is no longer accepting our recyclables. State officials are presiding over a bankrupted system as far as redemptions go, but they are still happily collecting the CRV taxes.
I spoke to a member of my church who was heavily involved in creating the program for the state and he was very contrite with me saying the program had good intentions but has badly missed the mark…he even spoke of regret setting this system up. He said the idea of household recycling was great, except people intentionally contaminated their bin, leading to the load being trashed as opposed to re-used. You encourage people to bag their own recyclables and take to a recycler, but when you are paid only a pittance, what is the point? He also shared that before he retired, for 10 years in a row, more pounds of aluminum cans were recycled through one of these “redemption centers” than were actually sold in California! Try that one on! Especially when he said participation among residents could not have been higher than 20%. In addition, the cost to recycle items in this state far outweighs keeping them out of the landfill…his words not mine.
Final Thoughts: It should surprise no one this is ending badly; whenever the government gets involved, the outcome is less than ideal. A new department was created, hundreds or thousands were hired, and here we are trying to pick up the pieces and do an autopsy on the recycling program while the CRV program is charging full speed ahead on autopilot. It started as a great idea and it remains a good idea, which may upset some readers of this blog, but keeping things out of our landfill where they can leach into our water supply is paramount to our existence. The problem is when the program is taken advantage of by scammers or intentionally contaminated by people not caring. As a result everyone is losing, we pay more for garbage service, can no longer reap a benefit of recycling, and now have reusable bags and containers foisted upon us constantly.
I think the answer is something of a hybrid, I think the recycling system for residents should be optional… but you pay a higher price if you opt out. This stops people who don’t care or intentionally are contaminating. Opting in, gives the local hauler or municipality the right to inspect your container to make sure it isn’t contaminated…you’re getting a substantial discount so you give up privacy, sorry. The centers that collect products should be more readily available and maybe this is a collaboration of business and government where a detailed business plan and rate of return can be achieved. Ok maybe not the greatest answer to a problem, but once again a crisis has come out of something we thought was an easily solvable “green” answer.
I think the State of California needing to ship our waste to another country to run a sustainable recycling program is proof that this recycling scheme was poorly thought out. By the way, California is not the only State shipping waste to other countries. To lift a phrase, what happens in California should stay in California. We should recycle our own waste. While I prefer a private sector solution, this might be something the Prison Industry Authority (PIA) might want to get involved in. How about some welfare to work program opportunities? Folks, as rare as it is for me to say it, this kind of problem is one where Elon Musk might actually be the go to guy. Elon likes to dream stuff up and use taxpayer money to make it happen; plus, he likes a challenge.
As I made my way back to my dwelling after a day of work, I found a letter from Pacific Gas & Electric, which allegedly supplies gas to my house. I figured it was a bill and I could use some comic relief as my bill usually runs about $4.25 a month…and due to a climate credit…I have had a credit balance going for about 8 months now! However, this was no such bill. It was essentially a dear homeowner letter informing me of their intent to do construction on my property! Wait…What…the…. actual…F**K!
The backstory here is I live in a cul-de-sac house and a neighbor and I have essentially a shared driveway spanning both our front yards. So, as a result, the gas meter is exposed to a driveway and they are concerned about damage to it from my or his vehicles. So, they will be installing a protective barrier…maybe they ran my DMV driving record…or my neighbors? The meter is attached to the house, and for both of us, if we were to hit the meter, we would likely do severe damage to our home before we got anywhere close to hitting said meter. I tried to question the necessity of the work and was rebuffed… When you buy a house, buried in all that paperwork is a form saying utilities can do whatever the hell they damn well please and you can’t object…so there is that.
My question is, why wouldn’t you have your authorized contractor send this out?
Lest I remind you of your sterling safety record in San Bruno…or the Paradise fire sparked by your faulty equipment in Concow? Or the various other fires in the state? Yet this is your priority…protecting my gas meter from a vehicle? Maybe I should install a barrier around my house to protect me from you! Seriously, your safety record basically makes you about as qualified as Geoffrey the Giraffe of Toys R Us fame to work on my house!
Oh, by the way, haven’t seen any of your bogus commercials claiming you are committed to safety and have removed 150,000 trees over the past few years…is it because you’re bankrupt? Does that tree figure include all the trees your equipment killed when it “malfunctioned?” I also heard a confirmed conversation between your executive and CAL-FIRE and an effort to mislead their investigators as to the fire’s origin…too bad it didn’t work. CALFIRE is about as morally bankrupt as you guys and yet you couldn’t come to an agreement…SAD!
Then you tried to buy off the legislature here and you kind of did by creating a pool for all utilities to pay into as a fund for future fire risk…I’m not sure how you can sleep at night knowing you’re trying to weasel your way out of paying for damage you caused! Your stonewalling has already caused Merced Mutual to go out of business and has inspired discussions of other small insurers to leave the state! It’s so bad, all the major insurers have joined forces creating an Ad-hoc committee to sue you and get our money back from your fire damage…see we all know that turnip doesn’t have much blood left in it…so let’s all pounce at once!
Yet you choose to focus your safety efforts on putting a barrier around my meter, so I don’t hit it with my car…. that’s rich. Yes, I should be priority number one, all while you file for bankruptcy to avoid paying a bill that was solely caused by your negligence. Guess I’m moving back to a Teepee.