Besides dealing with my wife’s cancer, we have been going forward with our plans to exit California. As part of that process, we decided to buy a barn as an interim home. (More on that as this article unfolds.) Anyway, we needed to layout the interior design of the barn that we purchased.
I decided to look online for some software that was affordable that I could use to reproduce the barn floor plan that we had purchased and then insert furniture, plumbing fixtures, and do a basic electrical design. Also, we would need additional drawings to submit with our building permit application. I know that I didn’t want to spend several thousand dollars on a program like AutoCAD but making the design in 3D was a necessity.
Frankly, the search on the internet was frustrating because it was more about companies paying for endorsements and product placement than anything else. As a result, I decided to start checking out websites of various companies. Many of the programs offered online were very old and clearly not actively supported.
After much searching, I did find a company that was actively supporting their products but then I faced another question, were the lower priced tiers of the product worth it or just a way to make you upgrade to get the features that you really wanted—I’m thinking like software that lets you design but not print or save—if you’re tried enough limited demo programs you know what I mean.
Still unsure, I decided to view some of the tutorial programs available on their website. I also searched for reviews of the product.
First the reviews. The product reviews for home design software are often as useless as the ones on Amazon. A certain amount of the contributors are computer illiterate people that don’t know their right mouse button from their left. (Those with one mouse button are irredeemable.) Others said that the learning curve was steep but doable. These folks were at least trying to make the software work for them. On the whole, this group was satisfied or happy with the product.
The real selling point to me was the online videos. First, it told me the product was actively being updated and second that even without the software, you could follow what was happening as the program was demonstrated.
After several days of looking around, I decided to shell-out about $100 for the lowest tier of home design software by Chief Architect. Current price is $129.(Reader note: the Chief that contributes to our blog is not related to or being endorsed to support this product.)
Folks, the first thing you need to do is download this software and then go eat lunch or spend a long period on “the throne”. Trivia: On the throne is actually from the Old Testament. See Judges 3: 12-25.
You have been warned. If you try to install this program immediately after downloading it won’t work. Like a good apple pie, it needs to rest a few minutes. It seems that until Windows Defender has a good, hard look at it, Windows won’t allow it to install.
As with any software package, have the license key handy. By the way, this program allows you to have multiple copies of the program on various computers. Turn the license off on one machine and then activate it on the other. This allows me to switch from my desktop computer to the wife’s laptop and back. There are no limits on moving the license key, only that one device at a time can be active on the license.
I started to learn the program with a basic rectangular floor plan with doors and windows. It also had stairs and a loft. Placement of the stairs took a lot of trial and error to figure out. By the time that I mastered the program basics, my wife had seen enough to run the program too. To get the roofline and everything like I wanted was eleven hours, but the next day my wife was able to sit down and layout all the furniture, bathroom fixtures, and the kitchen in just a few hours. Then she went on to move stuff around, paint the inside and add floor coverings. Once you get the hang of it, it becomes fun.
You can place electrical outlets and fire alarms, sinks, bookshelves, granite or quartz countertops, and just about anything else you can think of. Some of this includes name brands of appliances, sinks, cabinets, hardware, paint, carpet, decking, doors, and more.
This tier of the program will do some remarkable things but if you want a full material take-off, floor joist and roof plan, or the ability to print formal blueprints then you need to step up to a higher version of the product.
The 3D views were nice to see but did seem to be limited in one important visual aspect. The program can show backgrounds and textured ground level, but when we tested it, the entire building foundation seemed to be sitting on the ground and not partially sunken into the earth. This makes any building on a stem wall look abnormally tall.
The best 3D view is from the Doll House perspective. In the actual program, 3D renders can be rotated by moving your mouse and/or changing the camera perspective.
You get a variety of textures and furnishings to put in your virtual home and have the option to buy even more on Chief’s website. The program will allow some colors and textures to be input into the program but frankly my wife can do that easier than I, because I never spent much time with this part of the program.
Oh, Chief Architect is based out of Idaho. I won’t say that the limits of this program are your imagination, but it gets really close.
Like the title says I went on what has to be the craziest first date I’ve been on in a long while. Not anything she wore, did, or ate/drank made it strange. What was wild was the look into her lifestyle and her definition of the word “busy.”
First some backstory. We had been texting for a few weeks and we had been in the “lets pick a date” stage for about 10 days. She was the busy one, I can respect that as my “busy” evolves from work, and extra-curricular events, such as church and gym. I figured she had legit reasons, so I let it go. D-Day finally came, I showed up early, as did she. Things got off to a good start but then things went awry. I inquired as to her work, and she obliged. She was a young professional working for the county; however, this is where things got odd. She was describing her job as a typical 8-5 desk job, while she was explaining her work, I noticed she appeared to be wearing some kind of war paint, as she had brown smears on her cheeks. Turns out after she realized her makeup malfunction that she excused herself to use the lady’s room. She did properly “put on her face” and then returned to our table. I guess no harm no foul. First dates can be hectic, and most guys have it pretty easy in this regard, as most of us don’t spend much time on getting ready. After she returned, we tried finding common ground but very little was found.
Then things took a turn for the bizarre in my opinion. I asked her what she liked doing for fun, and she replied, “she is always very busy.” When I asked about hobbies, I got the same response. Ditto for places she wants to go, and things she wants to do. That being said, I basically asked what goes on in your life outside of your 8-5? Keep in mind I already had mentioned all my goings on. She went on to mention she watches the SF Giants baseball team religiously, never misses a pitch. Also watches; The Voice, America’s Got Talent, The Bachelor/Bachelorette, America’s Next Top Model, Shark Tank, Top Chef, and to be honest I quit paying attention after that. This girl isn’t busy with life, she is busy with fantasy land TV shows. Just by my count, Giants games are roughly 3 hours, and the other plethora of shows are about an hour long each. While I will readily admit I doubt all these shows run on same days/seasons we can all agree that’s a lot of T.V. The night continued and after dinner she offered to pay, she actually insisted going as far as grabbing the bill. Her card was returned/declined/rejected twice. I picked up the tab.
The night ended with her driving me back to my car. I was parked about 3 blocks away. Her car was messy and trashed. I wished her good night and we exchanged “we both had a great time.” She texted the following day how much fun she had, but I could not let this go any farther.
To wrap this up, here is my reasoning and why I call it a bad first date. First, I don’t let the makeup thing become a deal breaker, I believe she was rushed; however, I think it was her “prep time” interfered with “show watching time.” The idea of all these TV shows paints a bad picture. It paints a picture of her being glued to the couch whilst watching one show after another. Embracing fantasy land as opposed to real world things. None of the shows she watched except maybe the ball game are even based on the real world. The cards being declined is a peek into the way she manages her life, no regard for money, buy now pay later. The car being trashed is just icing on the proverbial cake, she lives on an “I’ll get around to it basis.” If the car is trashed what does the apartment look like? Nice girl, but she comes off as a 24-year-old recent college grad as opposed to a working professional. The TV is always on, and personal finance and hygiene take a back seat. I wish her the best, but this was doomed to fail badly.
When looking for a match, having very little in common isn’t a deal breaker, but the “busy” in her life were things she has chosen to be busy with. I cannot fathom sitting in front of a TV with a messy car, and my financial house not in order while watching shows that are of little significance to my life. Not to mention the “after shows” that usually take place following.
This is just a quick note to explain why I haven’t been posting too much lately. Its not that we’ve run out of content, I’ve just been busy with life. I took a new job a few weeks ago and the learning curve is steep both in terms of learning new processes and procedures as well as a crazy amount of new jargon and acronyms. The job I took is with California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) and yes there will be some posts on my misadventures at EDD in the coming weeks. I also have enough material on Kirk Uhler to regularly beat him like a piñata until next Cinco de Mayo. In my spare time, I’ve been painting the exterior of the house.
The rest of the staff has been waiting patiently for the Chief to pony up at least two more articles on Dominic Foppoli. Sadly, we have agreed to hold much really damning stuff on Dominic until the court cases against him go live. Trust me, whatever you’ve read is just the tip of the iceberg. Oh, and accuser number seven has gone public with her accusations.
My family’s plans to escape California took several big steps forward this past week.
First, we are getting proper access to our property installed from the main road by a contractor that we hired. The driveway should be completed in a few weeks. The house plans are slated to be ready soon as well.
We also took steps to get utilities installed on the property. The final price is unknown but the local government overseeing everything has had their preliminary fees paid to do the necessary engineering. We also met with the person installing electrical service to the property. Unlike California, where we are moving, hydroelectric is considered a reliable renewable energy source.
As part of our plan, I have accepted a promotion with a new agency, the dreaded Employment Development Department (EDD). Per conversations with some folks working there, it’s supposed to be an improvement from where I was before. The only concerning part is that the interview process was very minimal which makes me think they are just throwing as many people as they can at their problems. It is a “limited term” assignment which means I could be there 12 to 24 months, unless they convert me to permanent. I’d settle for the 24-month option. It will be more pay which of course will allow me to get more when I retire in two years …such a bargain.
I find it funny that after all these months of working from home, two weeks before I leave my current agency, I finally was issued the official department laptop. This laptop from Dell is perfectly fine, or it was before the IT department got ahold of it. Folks, I’m a better IT guy than almost anyone they have on their payroll. After years of trying to get hired by them, I finally gave up. Anyway, the laptop that I was issued was missing the accounting program and the VPN (Virtual Private Network) software. I had to get our building’s IT guy to install the programs. When I got it home and tried to use it, I found even more problems. The IT department stripped out the default Windows Power Plans and set it to use one of their own design. The max CPU usage I can get out of the thing is about 15 percent. My Excel program tops out at 2 percent CPU usage when under load and running macros in Excel. My Windows XP box from ten years ago was faster. Due to all the Group Policies, poor patching, and other nonsense, this thing is 85 percent brick and 15 percent computer. Oh, i7 processor and 16 GB of RAM should be faster. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think it was a 32-bit OS. The IT guy tried to remote in and fix it, but he doesn’t even know that Windows has Power Plans or how to configure them. Oh, this thing is so slow that web pages won’t resolve because they time-out’ thus looking for help on the Internet is impossible with this machine.
Also, there is no antivirus program on the laptop. I should have McAfee End Point Enterprise AV but that too is missing.
When transferring to the laptop, I abandoned about 90 percent of the files on my desktop machine and only transferred a few working files, and my photos and podcasts that I had accumulated over the last ten years. It’s a good thing I didn’t try to transfer everything. I have about 250 GB of data on my desktop and the laptop SSD is about 250 GB so it wouldn’t all fit anyway.
In light of my impending move to EDD, my question was how to get my personal stuff off of the laptop. Over the years the IT guys have gradually blocked thumb drives, DVD burners, and cell phones. I tried file transfer via network and Bluetooth but that didn’t work. Since I can’t get webpages to resolve, I couldn’t even use email to move anything. I know BIT Locker has been hacked but I had decided not to brute force any solution. I had about 50 podcasts and about 25 GB in photos that I wanted to move plus a few other odds and ends. (In most cases, the photos were copies that I probably had elsewhere but I wanted to compare them to my master copy on my home computer before deleting them.) I did many web searches on my desktop computer before I found a solution that worked. Thankfully, the IT guys don’t run Windows 10 in the real world so what I did was use something already baked into the OS.
Here is the solution that I found:
On both your home computer and the laptop, go to Setting > Shared Experiences and turn on both sharing buttons.
Then in Windows Explorer you can select files and broadcast them from one machine to another. I found that this usually worked but I was limited to about 14 files at a time. To move 25 GBs of photos at this rate would take forever. As a workaround for this file limit, I found that I could zip a whole directory of photos and transfer them as one file. I was able to move 8.5 GB of photos in a single zip file. I then deleted the stuff on the laptop. I recommend that you add Shared Experiences to your toolbox of things to consider as a method for moving files. The speed is limited only by your Wi-Fi.
Say it isn’t so but here we go again. A New Year, a new president, and yet same old, same old, out of our favorite out of touch person. He came into the office proclaiming 500,000 had died of Covid and asked me if I still thought it was a hoax. With all the editorial crew of this blog to back me, I have never once said that. I believe, just like we all do here, that it was a harsh overreaction by a loud minority of folks who believe everything they see on TV. I heard about how 1,000 people had died in Sacramento County, a county of almost 1.8 million mind you. He hid in fear during this entire time, and yet he insisted young folks and “essential” folks report for duty in case he needed to spin the reels at the Indian Casino. My favorite was his explaining to me the different variants of Covid; CA, NY, South Africa, European, etc.…things I frankly could not care less about. Folks this virus has very similar characterizes to the flu in the opinion of my doctor and many other medical experts; sans Fauci. The flu mutates annually and as a result the flu shot is either a “hit” or a “miss” depending on science and research.
Just to be clear, I do not see much on Covid anymore, it must be since we have a new president or a Governor who is about to be recalled. But I used to look at KCRA or CBS local affiliate news sites for info on Covid and I see nothing anymore except for the rare announcement that a drive thru vaccine clinic is in town. Apparently, this info is readily available to folks who have nothing better to do. As a blogger who is consumed with work, church, politics, and other extracurricular activities, I cannot let Covid break or destroy my mind. I know it is there, and the vaccine will not be available to me for a great while due to my young age. I also know I cannot control things outside my control, I wash my hands, wear a mask as required, and generally live my life.
While 90-Day Guy was on his diatribe about the variants I asked if he enjoyed watching so much television and what he specifically watched. Predictably he got upset and proclaimed he doesn’t watch TV. He took a phone call and began to recap last night’s episode of The Bachelor and parlayed that into a discussion about The Voice with a client. When I casually brought up The Bachelorette, I was told that ended weeks ago and to “get with the program.” I don’t have cable, nor do I care about those shows. But it makes my point, he watches quite a lot of TV. He also readily admits to watching Hannity, Tucker, and Laura Ingraham daily, adding 3 more hours to the docket. He also brought up how he watched a Giants baseball game the same night. Folks, baseball is not in season, it’s Spring Training, and the players worth a rip are out of the game by inning 5, yet he is “so busy” that he watches no TV.
For the heck of it, I decided to play a game with him. I said name all 50 states, I could care less the order named, I just wanted to hear them listed off. He asked to write them down, I okayed it. He correctly listed 44, and included Washington DC, which will likely soon be a state. He left out of usual ones located in New England, left out Pennsylvania, and Illinois, which while forgettable, they are large states. Then I mentioned list all capitals. This was not a great look. He listed 20, and some of the “capitals” had me puzzled; Seattle, New York City, Tulsa, Miami, and Portland were listed. He gave up shortly thereafter and claimed again he doesn’t watch much TV. Yikes.
The point of this blog is not to antagonize but to point out how brain drain is a real thing. Liberalism is a disease, but at the same time look at what TV does to your mind. This guy could name off all the variants, and stats Covid related, were he found them I do not know. He could also give a detailed run down of reality TV to a point of obsession, and watching an entire preseason baseball game, whilst simultaneously saying he is too busy all the time. However, he could not pass a basic test of something that has not changed in our lives. This is brain drain. Stop worrying about Covid, it’s a tertiary thing in our lives right now, additional info will come in time, but to make it an obsession is not good.
Note: This blog is a place where I share how I feel or what I’m doing, often to let off some steam; however, occasionally, it’s just a place where I park notes to myself in case need them later. This article is one such note to myself; however, you still might learn a thing or two about how your tax dollars are spent. If you read on, remember that you’ve been warned.
Background—including Jargon and Vocabulary
In terms of technology, one of the most backwards places to work is the State of California. Yep, while the State may be home to Big Tech, your government is stuck in the past. In a sense, I can’t blame them. Government has zero incentive to become efficient, innovate, or do better. One reason is that everybody is represented by a union whether or not they are even a member of said union. As such, no jobs can be eliminated without their express permission—which never happens. Any media reports to the contrary are lies or smokescreens to trick the public—usually for sympathy to further the union’s grip on state government.
A legacy piece of technology which is the aging backbone of California’s finances is CalSTARS (California State Accounting and Reporting System). I have written about this software before. It is a Unix based mainframe system that was brought online when Ronald Reagan was President in the 1980’s. This is the same software that desperately needed patching as part of the Y2K scare. It is still in use today.
California has spent over a billion dollars of your money to try and get their new accounting system deployed to replace CalSTARS, but as usual, it is many years behind schedule and hundreds of millions over budget. This gem is called FI$Cal (Financial Information System for California). The acronym is pronounced fis-cal [with short “I”) Think of it as pausing between syllables of the word “fiscal”.
The next thing you need to know is that within the State of California, there is no formal way for one agency to talk with another. Lazy people might blame the right to privacy in the State Constitution. This privacy clause was sold to voters as a barrier to keep agencies from sharing information and to cripple “Big Brother” from spying on citizens. Voters we told that by passing it, government would be prevented from compiling comprehensive files to track citizens. Think Soviet Union Politburo and KGB surveillance.
I have two comments on that promise. First, who needs government to do that when we have credit agencies and Big Tech to do it for you. If you want the goods on a conservative, just ask Big Tech; if you want the same info on a Liberal you better get a court order. Such is life in Biden’s America.
Second, somehow liberals argue the this right to privacy—banning the government from keeping comprehensive records on citizens—must also include a right to abortion. Abortion was never mentioned by the campaign advocating passage of the right to privacy back when it was passed in the 1970’s.
Anyway, it is impossible for peers within agencies to speak directly with each other unless you are a lifer in state service and happen to have a personal relationship with someone in another agency; usually because you were once coworkers. If my agency has a question for the State Controller, Franchise Tax Board, Dept of Motor Vehicles or any other state agency, we get to call the very same 800 number that you do as a member of the public to try and get help. Needless to say, with no way to prove who I am, where I’m calling from, or why my question is related to my duties as a state employee, I can get no help. Managers have no secret backdoor or liaison to go thru to get answers either.
This communication barrier extends to email also. Even when I have the email address of someone, say at the State Controller’s Office, my experience has been that email outside that agency is refused by the mail server and/or firewall. In the wake of Covid and other state activities, perhaps this will eventually change.
My point in bringing up communication is this, no one at my agency can get the State Controller to find a better way to send us accounting documents other than snail mail. The accounting documents that we get arrive in drips and drabs (when they make it to us). Each envelope or box has two copies of each accounting document. These must then be sorted and scanned into Adobe PDF files. These PDF files are then run thru an OCR program and then manually attached into our accounting system. My question, for the entire time that I have been a state employee (12 years), is why can’t we get this information in an electronic form?
The answer is simply that no one in my agency knows who to ask at SCO to make this happen or even if it’s possible.
Anyway, we typically get 2,500 – 3,000 unique pages, plus their duplicates, per month from the State Controller. When SCO screws-up employee payroll, then we get extras. Lots of extras. In January, we were supposed to get over 19,500 extra accounting documents (plus their duplicate copies). Snail mail being what it is, the documents did not arrive in a timely manner and yours truly was tasked with finding a way to get them from the old Unix system so we could manually attach them into our accounting system (not FI$Cal).
What follows is my account of how I solved the problem of getting these missing documents for my agency and making them usable.
Via the Unix/mainframe computer program mentioned above, we can log in to the State Controller system with Read Only access. In theory, users can go other places too, but you need user and firewall permissions which I don’t have. Oh, I don’t have access to the State Controller site either. I have to use some else’s account.
You see, the Information Technology people where I work never interact with actual users, just each other. They have no clue what we need, they just take their best guess, filtered thru the lowest bidder, and deploy it to us. We are expected to like it, even if it is outdated or underpowered equipment when its brand new. Ditto for software. IT doesn’t care what our job is, just that each budget is spent and not exceeded. Thus, about five or six years ago, they went from giving access to almost everyone to taking it away. Apparently, the per seat costs were too high so they cut to the bone and beyond.
Anyway, using the log in information that I possess, I went hunting for the missing documents. We use a terminal program to access the mainframe. This software is capable of being configured to do bulk screen captures. Screen captures are the only way to get the missing documents. The only option is whether to print to a file or a physical printer.
Using my three hour per day window to be in the office, I went in on consecutive days to capture our missing documents. The missing documents were on two different dates. With a practical limit of about 80 screen captures per batch, I did over 35,000 screen captures during my six hours in the office. Each batch was saved as a PDF file. The PDF batches were then merged so all those on the same date were in a single file.
My next step was to sort the pages by agency, a four-digit number on each page. By doing research, I found that Adobe Acrobat had no built-in way to do this. I tried converting the file into Microsoft Word, an RTF file and a few others only to have Adobe Acrobat crash completely after the better part of an hour. After crashing Acrobat about a half dozen times, I gave up on any type of file conversion.
After more diligent research on the Internet, I found a different solution, a Java batch file run in Adobe Acrobat.
Here were the steps that I followed:
First, I had to see if it was possible and if so, how? This thread said it could be done.
By looking at the below line of code, I found the missing thing needed above, parentheses.
var n = str.indexOf(“welcome”);
What the wonderful Java script mentioned above does is this; it looks for a string of text on the page and if it finds a match, it copies the page to a new file. Thus, I enter the agency number as the string to search for and then everything matching my agency is copied into a new file. As counter intuitive as it seems, I filter out what I want to keep and not the other way around.
The documents that were the result of the screen captures had only one problem, the font size was too small to be used in the macro process which I will describe below in a moment.
Increase Font in Acrobat Files
Once again, I found that Adobe Acrobat lacks a feature that I desperately need now. Acrobat has no ability to increase the font size of a PDF document. The reason for the need to increase font size is due to how the macro operates. The macro searches a location on the page for a document number. The margins on the page were too large and font too small. I felt that this would be a problem going forward.
Other than a few mentions about magnifying the size of a document on the page—which is not the same thing—I could find no solution. I came to the conclusion that improvisation was needed. I took the files created by the script above and then printed them to a new PDF file while increasing the magnification of the printed output to 115%.
The result was a page with a font size and page layout similar to the snail mail copies that we normally get. Once the font size was increased, I merged all files for the month into a single PDF.
Each month, I must take the existing PDF file for the month and run a series of macros on it. The end result of the macros is three parts:
First, is a list of comments that is bulk uploaded into the accounting program.
Second is that the merged file of all PDF documents is split into individual files that are labelled by document number.
Third is a list of accounting documents that need to be manually uploaded one page at a time into the accounting program.
As part of the Macro process, each page of the PDF file is imported into an Excel workbook as a separate worksheet. This was the largest Excel workbook I every created with over 20,000 worksheets. This baby took lots of CPU power but unlike Acrobat, Excel didn’t crash under the strain.
Sadly, the next two steps of the macro failed to find the needed document number to continue.
After a review of a few worksheets, I noticed that the part of the monthly PDF file created by the process described above were all the same, which was good, but the rows were not where I needed them to be. There were blank rows at the top of the worksheets. I thought, what if I can remove the top row of all these at the same time?
In the dark recesses of my mind, I remembered that this was possible, but I forgot how. After a quick Internet search and creative use of the Shift key, I deleted the top row of one selected page and after an interminable wait, the first row was deleted from all the other selected worksheets as well.
I reran the failed macro steps and found that everything worked just like clockwork.
Elapsed time for the above was a week of my life.
Now 18 of us are manually attaching all the documents created above. Each of us has 1,080 (or more) PDF files that we are attaching one at a time to line items in the accounting program. This takes about 12 hours per person of uninterrupted time or about 216 manhours just for this month.
I’m sure it is possible to do this entire process in a matter of minutes if the people controlling the budget layer cared about a fiduciary responsibility for taxpayer money, but we work for the union not you so such waste in baked into the system.
Stay tuned for more tales of how your tax dollars are spent.
I was reading some highlights of various things said by Rush Limbaugh this last week and while it was not on the topic of race, it seems to touch on the subject. Here’s a few quotes from Most Limitations Are Self-Imposed
It’s easy to be a victim. Look how easy the Democrat Party has made almost half this country think they’re victims of something.
And what happens to you when you’re a victim? Well, when you’re a victim, you automatically have a built-in excuse for failure. When you are a victim, it’s always somebody else’s fault. When you’re a victim, success is not possible. When you are a victim of something, you are acknowledging that you are as far as you’re gonna get, and you can’t get any further, because there are more powerful forces arrayed against you than the force of yourself against it.
And the Democrat Party does this on purpose. The Democrat Party makes as many people victims as possible because it freezes them right where they are. And that’s usually in lower middle class or abject poverty. It makes them resentful. If you’re a victim, you’re not happy. You can’t be happy. It’s impossible to be happy. It’s even difficult to be content. If you’re a victim, you’re always mad, but never at yourself. You’re mad at somebody else.
The Democrats have parlayed this into one of the biggest political movements in human history. And that would be of the victimized. Look at how many victim groups there are. And they all happen to be Democrat constituency groups. They all are on the protest march. They’re all angry; they’re all enraged.
Some of them are women, some of them are minorities, some of them are illegal immigrants — you name it — but they all have one thing in common: They have given up on the notion that they could be somebody and instead have descended into full-fledged victimhood and the comfort of being in a group of like-minded failures. Why isn’t everybody a victim? It’d be easy. Anybody could choose that if they wanted to. Being a victim is almost as easy as being a liberal. It’s one of the most gutless choices you could make.
It doesn’t take much. There are built-in excuses for failure. Built-in excuses for being miserable. Built-in excuses for being angry all the time. No reason to trying to be happy; it’s not possible. You’re a victim. Victim of what? … You’re a victim of something. The Democrats got one [a group] for you. If you want to be a victim, call ’em up.
Call Schumer and say, “Hey, I want to join you. I want to be a victim. Do you have a group for me?” He’ll have one. … you can keep it flowing if you just do two things: Stay a victim and vote Democrat.
Folks, the difference between Conservatives (and most Republicans) is that we see people as individuals while Democrats can only see people as groups. Democrats lump people together by the color of their skin (or other characteristics). They have no place to look at each person based on the content of their character. Looking at each person as an individual with great value is a biblical concept, the fact that the Republican Party adopted it and championed the freedom of slaves, and to some extent the unborn, is an outgrowth of the influence of this biblical truth.
I have many stories that I never got to in a timely way but I at least feel they deserve a mention on the blog before I delete the URL’s (links) from my desktop. They seem to fall in three groups: Hunter & Joe Biden, lies we’ve been told about Covid, and more of vote fraud in the Presidential election.
Hunter & Joe Biden (at the time this topic was censored by Big Tech to protect Joe Biden)
Hunter Biden discussed leveraging his connection to his father in a bid to boost his pay from a Ukrainian natural gas company, according to an email he sent around the time he joined the firm’s corporate board.
The Delaware computer repair shop owner who turned over the Apple Macbook Pro containing Hunter Biden’s emails, photos and (according to Rudy Giuliani) a sex tape featuring Hunter Biden and another woman has come out to the public in an interview with Fox News.
John Paul Mac Isaac told Fox News that he is legally blind, and therefore he “can’t be 100% sure” that the individual who dropped off the laptop was Hunter Biden. But when he was backing up the hard drive, he stumbled upon “disturbing” images, including “pornography”, that freaked him out. Apparently, although Isaac’s blindness prevented him from positively ID-ing Hunter Biden, it didn’t stop him from viewing the contents of the hard drive.
By New York Post. Sen. Ted Cruz laced into Twitter boss Jack Dorsey and “big tech billionaires drunk on their own power” Saturday over censorship of The Post’s exposé of the Biden family foreign business dealings.Dorsey is expected to receive a subpoena and be grilled next Friday by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
GOP leaders are seeking answers for why the company decided to censor new emails published in The Post raising new questions about Joe and Hunter Biden’s relationship with executives from the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.
“This is a power grab from big tech billionaires drunk on their own power. That is abuse of monopoly power by big tech,” Cruz told reporters on a press call Saturday. “It appears Twitter is throttling [in a] brazen attempt to manipulate the election outcome and it is continuing as we speak.” (Read more from “GOP Leaders: Twitter Censoring Hunter Biden Exposé Is ‘Election Interference’”
Echoing the 2016 election, establishment media justified its refusal to investigate the Biden-family, influence-peddling story by claiming it was the work of “Russian disinformation.
“U.S. intelligence officials have denied the claim, and no evidence has emerged to support it.
Now, NBC News is reporting Friday in a story prominently linked by the Drudge Report that there’s a “dossier” that explains everything.
Under the headline “How a fake persona laid the groundwork for a Hunter Biden conspiracy deluge,” NBC reports a 64-page document “that was later disseminated by close associates of President Donald Trump appears to be the work of a fake ‘intelligence firm.'”
Joe Biden repeatedly has denied knowing anything about son Hunter’s lucrative work on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma.
“Hunter Biden is a private citizen and a lawyer. The former vice president does not endorse any particular company and has no involvement with this company,” a spokeswoman for Joe Biden said in a December 2015 statement to the New York Times.
Biden has stonewalled on the topic ever since.
“I’ve never discussed my business or their business, my sons’ or daughter’s. And I’ve never discussed them because they know where I have to do my job and that’s it, and they have to make their own judgments,” he told the “CBS Evening News” last October.
And yet, an email obtained by The Post shows a senior Burisma executive thanking Hunter for the opportunity to meet Joe Biden just 12 months after Hunter joined the Burisma board at a reported salary of up to $50,000 a month.
By Townhall. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website disclosed the shockingly small number of people who died from only the Wuhan coronavirus, with no other cause of death mentioned. Hold on to your hat because here it is: out of the 161,392 deaths in the CDC data, just six percent, about 9,700 deaths, were attributed to the coronavirus alone. According to the CDC, the other 94 percent had an average of 2.6 additional conditions or causes of deaths, such as heart disease, diabetes, and sepsis.
Instead of protecting the vulnerable – the elderly in nursing homes and those with comorbidities – health “experts” recommended locking everyone up and prescribing for Americans a wide range of ailments such as depression, suicide, missed early cancer screenings, unemployment, substance abuse, and poverty.
According to The New York Times, potentially 90 percent of those who have tested positive for COVID-19 have such insignificant amounts of the virus present in their bodies that such individuals do not need to isolate nor are they candidates for contact tracing. Leading public health experts are now concerned that overtesting is responsible for misdiagnosing a huge number of people with harmless amounts of the virus in their systems.
“Most of these people are not likely to be contagious, and identifying them may contribute to bottlenecks that prevent those who are contagious from being found in time,” warns The Times.
A New York Times report found that as many as 90% of the people who have tested positive for COVID-19 have such insignificant amounts of the virus that they don’t need to be isolated or traced.
N.Y. Times: 90% who test positive for COVID-19 are NOT contagious
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new coronavirus data last week, depicting how many Americans have died from COVID-19, as well as how many who died had other contributing conditions.
The CDC data table is based on an analysis of death certificates that mention COVID-19 as a cause. For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned, the CDC notes.
The other 94% list COVID-19 and other conditions together. Among those deaths, there were, on average, 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death, the public health agency said.
Three university professors, two of whom are physicians, are calling for COVID-19 vaccinations to be mandatory, with no allowance for religious objections.
The Case Western Reserve University scholars, writing in USA Today, advised that “disincentives” be imposed to ensure compliance, Christian News reported.
“Private businesses could refuse to employ or serve unvaccinated individuals,” the professors propose. “Schools could refuse to allow unimmunized children to attend classes. Public and commercial transit companies — airlines, trains and buses — could exclude refusers. Public and private auditoriums could require evidence of immunization for entry.”
‘No religious exemptions’: New push for mandatory COVID vaccinations
Catholic bishops said Monday that under the current “sufficiently serious” conditions of the pandemic, Catholics may take the COVID-19 vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna but should avoid the “morally compromised” AstraZeneca vaccine due to its use of aborted baby cells.
“In view of the gravity of the current pandemic and the lack of availability of alternative vaccines, the reasons to accept the new COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are sufficiently serious to justify their use, despite their remote connection to morally compromised cell lines,” United States Conference of Catholic Bishops chairmen Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas said in a document released Monday.
The bishops noted that “while neither vaccine is completely free from any connection to morally compromised cell lines, in this case the connection is very remote from the initial evil of the abortion.”
The AstraZeneca vaccine, however, is “more morally compromised” and thus “should be avoided,”the bishops said.
“It may turn out, however, that one does not really have a choice of vaccine, at least, not without a lengthy delay in immunization that may have serious consequences for one’s health and the health of others,” the bishop chairmen added. “In such a case … it would be permissible to accept the AstraZeneca vaccine.”
The pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute has released information on which coronavirus vaccines have been made using cells obtained from aborted babies.
The Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) released a new chart Thursday examining whether eight leading COVID vaccines were either produced or tested using cells obtained through abortions. The institute’s analysis found that most of the vaccine candidates did not use cell lines derived from abortions in their production, though several used abortion-derived cell lines in laboratory testing.
The potential that the much anticipated vaccines would use cells from aborted babies poses weighty moral problems for many Americans who object to abortion.
Religious leaders such as Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas said earlier this year that he would refuse the vaccine if “we use body parts of aborted children,” saying, “I will not kill children to live.”
We cannot accept a Covid-19 vaccine that was developed using the bodies of aborted babies.
A Pennsylvania judge ruled in favor of the Trump campaign Thursday, ordering that the state may not count ballots where the voters needed to provide proof of identification and failed to do so by Nov. 9.
State law said that voters have until six days after the election — this year that was Nov. 9 — to cure problems regarding a lack of proof of identification. After the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that mail-in ballots could be accepted three days after Election Day, Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar submitted guidance that said proof of identification could be provided up until Nov. 12, which is six days from the ballot acceptance deadline. That guidance was issued two days before Election Day.
By Breitbart. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) on Wednesday announced that the state will conduct a “by-hand recount in each county” in the Peach State.
“At 1 p.m. today, I will make the official designation of which race will be the subject of the RLA [risk-limiting audit]. At that time, I will designate that the RLA will be the presidential race,” Raffensperger announced, emphasizing that the RLA, in this case, will require a by-hand recount. Typically, an RLA involves officials examining “a statistically meaningful sample of ballots.”
A Justice Department official responsible for investigating elections crimes abruptly resigned Monday after Attorney General William Barr authorized federal investigators to look into allegations of vote fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
Election Integrity Project, Nevada (EIPNv) has found 2,410 persons who are registered to vote in Nevada, subsequently registered in California, but voted in Nevada’s November 3 election. EIPNv had previously reported 1,411 such voters. An expanded analysis, matching mailing addresses and phone numbers, found approximately 1,000 more suspect voters.
First of all, every swing state that accepted ballots after Nov. 3 needs to be challenged in court. Indeed, while the Constitution does give the states the authority to establish voting procedures, state law cannot violate federal law, and both the Constitution and various U.S. codes clearly state that Congress has the authority to set the “date,” not dates, for federal elections. Moreover, Article II of the Constitution also clearly authorizes Congress to set a “date” and says the “Day shall be the same throughout the United States.” The words date and day obviously mean one day. While liberal judges in lower courts have ruled that these words don’t matter, it should to the originalists who now dominated the Supreme Court.
Two Los Angeles men have been charged with voter fraud after attempting to submit 8,000 ballot applications for nonexistent or deceased voters.
Hawthorne, California, mayoral candidate Carlos Antonio De Bourbon Montenegro, 53, and Marcos Raul Arevalo, 34, planned the effort in an attempt to help Montenegro win his bid for mayor, Los Angeles District attorney announced Tuesday.
The county is accusing Montenegro of submitting more than 8,000 fraudulent ballot applications on behalf of “fictitious, nonexistent or deceased” voters between July 1 and Oct. 15 of this year, according to a felony complaint.
Honorable Mention—arguably I saved the best story for last
Also worth a mention is this post by Dennis Prager. I’ve never been a follower of Prager but he has something that really caught my eye. We often project the present into the past to project the future. Prager rethinks this concept. Here is the beginning of his column. I strongly urge you to read it in full. The link as at the bottom of the excerpt.
As my listeners and readers can hopefully attest, I have been on a lifelong quest to understand human nature and human behavior. I am sad to report that I have learned more in the last few years, particularly in 2020, than in any equivalent period of time.
One of the biggest revelations concerns a question that has always plagued me: How does one explain the “good German,” the term used to describe the average, presumably decent German, who did nothing to hurt Jews but also did nothing to help them and did nothing to undermine the Nazi regime? The same question could be asked about the average Frenchman during the Vichy era, the average Russian under Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Leonid Brezhnev and their successors, and the millions of others who did nothing to help their fellow citizens under oppressive dictatorships.
These past few years have taught me not to so quickly judge the quiet German, Russian, etc. Of course, I still judge Germans who helped the Nazis and Germans who in any way hurt Jews. But the Germans who did nothing? Not so fast.
What has changed my thinking has been watching what is happening in America (and Canada and Australia and elsewhere, for that matter).
The ease with which tens of millions of Americans have accepted irrational, unconstitutional and unprecedented police state-type restrictions on their freedoms, including even the freedom to make a living, has been, to understate the case, sobering.
For the last month, our master bath and bedroom have been undergoing a remodel. The work is not yet concluded but being down to one bathroom has put the men in conflict with the women over the age-old question of should the lid to the toilet be left up or down?
Here’s the situation:
We had to move everything out of the master bedroom including emptying the closets. The bathroom was completely gutted. While I advocated for using the old toilet as a flower planter in the front yard, mama wouldn’t hear of it.
(Sorry mama but I was just trying to relate to the Democrats in the neighborhood by sending less to the landfill.)
Anyway, the remodel forced us to use the kid’s/guest bathroom as our own. We’ve been perfectly content to let our son do whatever he wanted in this bathroom for many years and now he is forced to share with mom and dad.
Point of Conflict:
Sadly, for us men, mama went in there one to many times at night and found the seat up. Granted mama could have turned on the light before trying to do her business but she chose not to. Mama’s seat was not finding the other seat where she expected it to be. This happened several times.
Mama’s wrath was terrible to behold. She got some tools and removed the toilet seat altogether. Yep, if she can’t have it then nobody can. She hid it from us. This went on for several days. I pulled junior aside and recommended that he apologize but it never happened.
Lucky for me, junior got an invite to flaunt the Governor’s tyrannical Covid orders and went on an overnight church outing with youth from other households. While he was gone, mama relented—hoping us men folk had “learned our lesson”—and re-installed the toilet seat. This, she thought, had surely taught the men what was expected of them.
Within hours of being back, junior had left the seat up twice. I put it back in the position that mama demanded. I pulled him aside and reminded him that mama’s wrath was fierce. Furthermore, that I couldn’t always cover for him. He agreed with me to do better.
Junior’s Genius Solution:
A few hours late, as I was getting ready for bed, I went in the bathroom and was shocked to see his solution to always forgetting to put the seat down.
Yep, white duct tape was on both sides of the seat holding it down. No chance he will forget to do the right thing anymore. I thought it was genius and had mama come see the brilliance of our teenaged son.
Now mama is happy, I’m entertained, and junior has found a solution that doesn’t involve him actually having to remember to do anything.
Yep, you’re minding your own business and just living your life when Facebook, Linked-In, or some other social media alert is sent to you reminding you that you’ve been friends with Aunt Martha for ten years or Uncle Bob has been on the job for 12 years. The only problem is that you distinctly remember going to Uncle Bob’s memorial three years ago or Aunt Martha met her untimely end back when you were still in high school.
In my life, I have two people that I know are dead that kept popping-up several times each year in my email alerts. I finally got mad about it and took action. The platform that I went after was Linked-In. Here’s my experience. I’ll use only one person as my example in this post.
George was one of my old pastors back when I was attending a now defunct parish of the Reformed Episcopal Church. When he transferred out of the area I kept in touch. He loved the Internet and social media. My only gripe with him was that he was an Apple user. Apparently when he died of a heart attack, he left no master list of accounts and passwords for his wife to delete his digital footprint.
I went to his memorial service several years ago but Linked-In kept sending me reminders on his behalf such as these.
Congratulate George XXXXXX and 2 others for work anniversaries
Congratulate George XXXXXX for 6 years at XXXXXX the XXXXXX Church
The last reminder about George was received this week. I finally got tired of these messages and contacted Linked-In. Amazingly, they actually wrote me back.
I certainly appreciate you taking the time to contact us about this.
Due to the gravity of the situation, we have a formal notification process to address the death of one of our members. Please complete the following form and we can proceed with our confirmation process:
The form was simple which surprised me; however, you do need a Linked-In account to access the form. Linked-In asked for your contact information and then that of the dead person.
Information about the Deceased Member:
Name of the Deceased Person:
Please copy and paste the URL of the LinkedIn profile from your browser: linkedin.com/in/XXXXXXXX
Your Relationship to the Deceased Person:
Email Address of the Deceased Person:
Date They Passed Away:
Link to an Obituary or Relevant News Article:
Do You Have Any Additional Information to Add?:
I submitted the form and 12 hours later I got a response that the account had been closed.
George still has active pages on Facebook and other social media locations. As recently as yesterday, I found another active account that he had opened on yet another website. George made quite an impact on me and I don’t need to be reminded of his contributions, at least not by Linked-In.
If you have similar links for Facebook or other sites, I’d be glad to post them on the blog.