by Lou Binninger

Due to the Left’s agenda to make America socialist few people today understand that America, the government, constitution and value system were created by followers of Jesus Christ. Ninety-eight percent of the initial immigrants arriving here were Protestant Christians fleeing persecution to start a new life based on Biblical principles.

Equality, inclusion, liberty and freedom are Protestant Christian values that many still hold dear. Before the Protestant Reformation people thought heaven could only be obtained through the Catholic Church. However, these newcomers believed in the revolutionary idea of the priesthood of the believer which removed a priestly class that stood between God and the believer.

The concept that everyone was a priest and therefore of equal value led to the freeing of the slaves, the equality of women, free speech and conscience, religion and the many other rights we still are unique for. However, for the last 50 years there has been a furious assault by the Left against Christianity, its followers and our nation’s founding principles.

The revolutionaries of the 60’s were deceived as they deceived others. That deception and darkness have continued with amazing effectiveness in undermining the key institutions of American society – education, government, media and the family while a good portion of the people now follow blindly like dumb sheep.

You can’t have the inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness unless there is a God or you have respect for those with faith in God. Atheists and/or socialists could never have successfully created this nation. They could however destroy it.

In 1962, the Supreme Court removed prayer from schools. For 170 years there had been prayer in schools. A ruling of 6 to 1 found that it was unconstitutional. Not only forbidding prayer, the ruling affected what is taught as now it had to remain on the low that the Pilgrims were Christians fleeing religious persecution. Children were deprived of their true history. What’s more, the Pilgrims, Columbus and even Thanksgiving had to be denigrated.

The Left talks of inclusion but it routinely divides by ethnicity, gender, and sexual preference, creating division and class conflict. The Left talks of tolerance and free speech but wherever the movement gains control both are undermined. Followers of Jesus have become a hate group, the scriptures hate speech and neither will be tolerated by the ‘tolerant.’

One early Christian heresy was that sin was contrary to human nature and if Christians would just do good works they could create heaven on earth without divine intervention. Proper church teaching was that sin is a part of human nature and it was man’s pride that thought he would build and create without God’s involvement.

Today, the Left is a cult that worships at the altar of political correctness. The movement decides what is ‘righteous’ or politically correct and then any deviance from that way will be attacked and perpetrators punished. The politically correct movement is anti-God and atheistic.

If government would simply enforce politically correct doctrine then the Left believes we can have paradise on earth. This is a devilish doctrine that God has opposed from the beginning.

The Left desires to silence the conscience, speech and the defense of beliefs it detests. The basis of our freedom is religious liberty and therefore our freedom of conscience. The movement is at war with those that disagree with them. The Left hates Christians, the Bible and the God that is behind it all.

The Left adheres to the satanic doctrine. This evil way rests upon the tenets of “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. Ordinary morality is only for ordinary people. Intolerance is evidence of impotence.” Anything goes, short of the Judeo-Christian ethic.

California State Board of Education member Feliza Ortiz-Licon believes in teaching our smallest children about oral and anal sex, including photos and explaining all the deviant sexual life styles. She says the curriculum is about people’s civil rights. Parents are forbidden from interfering in the mandatory instruction.

We are close to endorsing adult-child and human-animal sexual relations.

Regarding abortion rights Alabama assembly member John Rogers says “Some kids are unwanted, so you kill them now or kill them later. You bring them into the world unwanted, unloved, then you send them to the electric chair. So you kill them now or you kill them later.” Liberal leaders scramble for the title to kill the most and the oldest infants and do it with ease and do it at taxpayers’ expense. This is insanity.

Never in our history have more leaders of our most respected national law enforcement agencies lied, deceived and been lawless while attempting a nonviolent coup to remove the President of the United States.

We are in trouble because most are just dumb sheep. Others won’t pay the price to fight for freedom.

 

by Lou Binninger

To be reminded of the insanity of today’s government you just have to read the headlines about the governor appointing a new board member to CalPERS, the largest public employee pension fund in America.  This fund manages $362 billion of government employee retirement monies.

One headline reads, “Gavin Newsom appoints transgender city councilwoman to CalPERS.” Lisa Middleton has been a Palm Springs City Councilmember and worked at the State Compensation Insurance Fund from 1974 to 2010. Are you impressed? Except for a unique sexual bent “she” was a career bureaucrat and elected to oversee a city of 44,000 people.

The 13-member board oversees CalPERS chief executive officer and sets direction for its investment goals and health care plans affecting millions of people. However, there is no news about Middleton resurrecting the finances of a city, being an investment legend, or having the skills of Buffett. No, she’s a “woman in a man’s body,” that’s the big news here. That’s what’s relevant to direct $362 million.

The CalPERS board has shifted from once having people with noted investment skills to political patrons. Do they even have to pass an investment competency test?

CalPERS’ current tattered reputation has hurt its ability to hire people with needed expertise. CalPERS last choice for CEO was Marcie Frost, who has a high-school education, no finance training, and no experience managing investments. She then was accused of falsifying her background.

In spite of this the board approved giving Frost a 4% raise resulting in a salary of $330,720 for the 2019 fiscal year and a 26.7% bonus of $84,873 for the 2018 fiscal year.

CalPERS’ conduct provides insight into the corrupt relationships between state and local government pension systems and private equity fund managers nationally. A former CalPERS CEO is now in federal prison serving a four-and-a-half-year sentence for bribery and fraud, and a former board member killed himself before his prosecution began.

In 2002, the CalPERS board promoted Fred Buenrostro, a politically connected insider, to the position of CEO. Buenrostro is now in federal prison for fraud and bribery, after taking kickbacks from former CalPERS board member Al Villalobos. Buenrostro funneled $58 million in investments to Villalobos, who was acting as a middleman for Apollo and four smaller private equity firms. Villalobos killed himself before his trial began, and three trustees who were also implicated left the CalPERS board.

CalPERS is not an outlier. Alan Hevesi, the former comptroller of New York State and sole trustee for the state’s pension fund, went to jail, in part, for accepting bribes from a private equity firm. The former treasurer of Connecticut, Paul Silvester, entered prison for a bribery scandal involving a D.C.-based private equity firm, Carlyle.

CalPERS has been paying lavish 7% fees for investment services. Any mutual fund amateur knows that is ridiculous. How about 1-2%?

Private equity firms with an in to handling billions of pension funds direct campaign cash to politicians with connections to the big pension funds. The entire system is criminal.

            Up and down California local politicians have the same DNA as their deceptive state cousins taking money from unions, voting for unaffordable salaries and pensions, burying the taxpayers in future commitments and taking out more loans to cover current expenses.

            Supervisors and city council members cannot afford to fill job openings due to exorbitant pay and pension / health unfunded liabilities. So, officials then blame the taxpayers for not giving enough for public safety. It is all a big ruse.

Campaign finance laws are violated as politicians spend tax dollars to lobby to obtain more money from citizens, violating the public’s free speech rights. The courts, funded from taxes, typically side with the bureaucracy.

What person would of their own free will ask the government to manage money for them? Like all Ponzi schemes, the first people to cash-out get a great deal. Once the pension fund collapse occurs future retirees may be in a fix.

 

by Lou Binninger

It is interesting to study research that tells us what we do and then tries to explain why we do it. Arthur C. Brooks wrote “Who Really Cares” to describe those that are the most generous and compassionate people of America as America is the most charitable country in the world. 

Brooks found that people in Mississippi, the poorest state in the union, were the most generous when giving is measured as a percentage of income. Brooks’ findings were similar to Jesus’ observation in the synagogue as told in an account commonly called the Widow’s Mite.

Mark 12:41-44 says "He (Jesus) sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, 'I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.

The worldview of many Early Americans was Bible-based and shaped a value system of work, frugality and honoring God. This mindset created an America that became an international economic powerhouse in the first 100 years.

Today, like then, some Americans govern their lives according to Biblical principles and others do not. The Bible teaches that just any concept of God will not do and there are plenty of power encounters in the Bible between God and Brand X beliefs (I Kings 18) to illustrate that point.

Last week was National Day of Prayer (May 2). As church affiliation has been dropping over the last few decades and even the number of serious God followers, recent surveys show America still is a praying nation when compared to the top 102 wealthiest countries on the globe.

            The Bible is not anti-wealth. It tells how to build wealth but it also cautions not to be stumbled by riches to forget the God that enabled that wealth to be gained. There are plenty of sad stories today telling of people sacrificing their families, integrity and a relationship with God for the love of money. So, wealth can get in the way of devotion to God but it doesn’t have to.

            The Pew Research Center found that the U.S. is unique in that it has both a high level of wealth ($56,000 per-capita GDP- gross domestic product in 2015) and a high level of daily prayer among its population (55% according to the 2014 U.S. Religious Landscape Study).

            In other wealthy countries surveyed – those with a per-capita GDP over $30,000 – fewer than 40% of adults say they pray every day. For example, in Japan, where per-capita GDP is about $38,000, roughly a third (33%) pray daily. In Norway, where per-capita GDP is about $68,000, fewer than one-in-five adults (18%) do.

The survey did not include wealthy countries in the Arabian Peninsula, such as Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, which would be expected to have high levels of prayer. These are Islamic countries and prayer is mandatory.

            At the other end of the economic spectrum, countries with less wealth tend to have higher rates of prayer. Every country where at least 70% of adults say that they pray each day has a per-capita GDP under $20,000. For example, in Egypt, where 72% say they pray every day, per-capita GDP is about $11,000. And in Afghanistan, where 96% of adults say they pray every day, the per-capita GDP is about $2,000.

            However, again, countries ruled by Islam, rich or poor, are forced to pray which skews the survey results. In Vietnam and Bulgaria – where per-capita GDPs are $6,000 and $19,000, respectively – the share of adults who say they pray daily are 14% and 15%. (Among the 102 countries examined, the national average share of people who say they pray daily is 49%.)

            Why does the U.S. have higher self-reported daily prayer than other wealthy countries? Some believe because there is a freedom for spiritual pursuit here. However, any honest research of the founders and their wrangling to establish a new country cannot miss a strong prayer DNA in America. They were convinced that a living God guided the establishment of the United States.

            According to President Washington, “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”

 

by Lou Binninger

How much should a worker collect in retirement? You shouldn’t care if it’s not your money. If someone worked harder, invested smarter, lived frugally, then they may be much better off than others when dialing work back.

When it comes to retirement in the private sector, you set-aside some of your earnings each month in savings, mutual funds or some kind of investment that will increase in value. When retiring you hope for sufficient monies to meet your needs.

            The idea of course is that you should not have the expenses in your 60s and beyond that you had in your child-rearing and home-buying years.  Most private sector workers supplement their savings with a social security check. They adjust to how much or how little they have. That’s life.

            When it comes to government employees should you care or even have a say as a taxpayer in how much they collect in retirement. Again, if their contribution to their own fund did well then who should care? However, that’s where the government pension system goes off the logic rails. Private sector workers are also paying the pensions of public employees.

            Not only does the government employee not pay all the funds of their own pension but they are guaranteed a defined amount per month upon retirement regardless of how the investments fare. That’s pension nirvana.  And it is on the backs of future taxpayers to pay more and more taxes and be responsible for loans to cover deficits created by the guarantees of politicians to future retirees.

            Politicians are beholden to those unions bosses and union employees to get elected rather than to the taxpayers who actually pay the pension bills. When there are labor negotiations with union representatives the taxpayer does not have a seat at the table nor do citizens vote on any salaries of any workers or elected officials in the county or jurisdiction.

            Last year, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) issued 30,969 pension checks of $100,000 or more on an annualized basis, according to TransparentCalifornia.com.

            The 2018 data reveals that CalPERS is currently paying over $23 billion annually in pension benefits, 17 percent of which will go towards those receiving annualized pensions of $100,000 or more.

The growing number of $100K-plus pensions reflects an increase in newer retirees who benefited from the pension enhancements passed in 1999 and 2001. As noted by reporter Ed Mendel of Calpensions.com, union controlled CalPERS lobbied the legislature for these enhancements by falsely claiming that they would not cost “a dime of additional taxpayer money.”

These enhancements are part of the reason that governments in this state are actually bankrupt and are using short-term borrowing and local tax increases to postpone going into receivership. The truth is that the state pension system is nonsensical, unaffordable and corrupt.

The average 2018 annualized pension for general retirees was (state - $63,057, local $74,599) and for police /fire (state - $74,599, local $108,320). Since you citizens are paying for it how does it feel?

If employees invested in their own retirement fund, when they retired the taxpayer would have no liability for them, but that is not how it works. Yuba County is short a shocking $147 million to cover what they owe to employees via CalPERS. And, the County needs to prepare for a 64% increase in pension costs over the next 5-6 years. That debt or liability is coming out of the general fund affecting all services.

If you had to come up with a 64% increase in your house or car payment, for health insurance, or school tuition what would you do? You would be downsizing and drastically changing your future.

County leaders would not tell the truth of the pension catastrophe choosing instead to spend hundreds of thousands of tax dollars to deceive voters that Measure K was all about public safety. Now county-hired attorneys are defending Measure K in court saying it had nothing to do with public safety. They are liars.

If Measure K was advertised as a tax increase to put-off bankruptcy for a few years due to a pension fiasco it would have never passed. Supervisors / water agency directors also kept other revenue streams on the low to not undermine their public safety scare campaign. The voters could not be trusted with transparency and the truth.

Don’t try this at home or at work. You may end up divorced or in jail.

           

 

by Lou Binninger

Faux holiday Earth Day 2019 has gladly come to pass like the school student’s dreaded stop at his least favorite class and most boring teacher.  Self-absorbed lefties praised one another for their ‘voice’ in saving the planet. Oh, please!

 They can’t cure their own cold or constipation but they have the answer for a contrived crisis on earth. God laughs in the heavens at such arrogance and ignorance.

            The environmental movement’s anointed ones (Al Gore, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and actors) get an exemption from Gaia to travel by personal jets to adorn big Earth Day events while living as 1%ers, owning multiple homes, some 10,000 feet and more in size.

They get a pass for conspicuous consumption because they are the liberal aristocracy. Lefty VIPs get to mess over the planet to tell the rest of us how horrible we are for counting the blessings of fossil fuel. OMG I think I teared up right there.

            The pompous left acts as if recycling and conservation somehow began with them. Conspicuous consumption is noted among Americans of all political flavors today but incompetent land and forest management, so-called ‘green energy’ nonsense and climate-change fear – mongering have been owned by liberal politicians.

            While ignorant sky-is-falling devotees lose sleep over melting ice caps preventing polar bears from copulating, few take the time to see whether the propaganda they swallowed was true. They don’t get out much. They hear stupid and repeat stupid.

            Former Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore had harsh words for the modern environmental movement, calling global warming “the greatest scam in history” and denouncing the use of “fear and guilt” to push the message.

Moore says, “You’re afraid you’re killing your children because you’re driving them in your SUV and emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and you feel guilty for doing that. There’s no stronger motivation than those two.”

“This abomination that is occurring today in the climate issue is the biggest threat to the enlightenment that has occurred since Galileo. Nothing else comes close,” Moore insisted, likening the contemporary environmental movement to “a toxic mix of ideology, of politics and religion.”

            Moore tells the truth, “CO2 is the food for life! It’s not pollution.”

            Is it not suspicious that liberals shut down the west coast timber industry to save the spotted owl with no scientific evidence that humans were the problem? Then liberals closed thousands of miles of public terrain because of various creatures of concern.

At the same time the Obama Administration gave exemptions to wind turbine companies to chop-up tens of thousands of birds each year including Bald Eagles without a peep from the Sierra Club or the Audubon Society to produce some of the most expensive electricity in history.

The carbon footprint to produce ethanol, wind and solar power, along with electric automobiles is far greater and more costly than using hydro-electric, fossil, and nuclear power. None of these ‘green’ approaches could survive without taxpayers giving corporation’s billions in subsidies and then consumers paying a premium for the product. This policy was never about creating better and cheaper.

Solar panels and wind turbines are making electricity significantly more expensive, a major new study by a team of economists from the University of Chicago finds.

The cost to consumers has been staggeringly high: "All in all, seven years after passage (Renewable Portfolio Standards) , consumers in the 29 states had paid $125.2 billion more for electricity than they would have in the absence of the policy," they write.

Author James Delingpole wrote a book titled “Watermelons – The Green Movement’s True Colors.” The fruit is green outside and red inside. The green movement has zero to do with saving the earth and everything to do with central state control of property and people – or socialism / communism. It’s all red inside with a green front.

If a business is not making a profit by coming up with a better product or service then if it fits the left political agenda business can receive government subsidies (welfare) and the product/service (green energy) is forced upon consumers. Then the state undermines profitable industries it does not like.

As Governor Newsom acts as if he hasn’t a clue why fuel prices are high his liberals have done all they could short of sabotaging refineries to run oil companies out of California. The state has been cursed by the voodoo science-driven politicians in Sacramento.

This green movement is about a socialist deep state running the nation and has nothing to do with a pristine environment, wise resource management, and pollution. Socialism and Communism do not need to make sense or be cost effective. Their proponents spare no expense, resource or lives to achieve total dominance and control.

 

by Lou Binninger

          People familiar with the Bible smile as science “discovers” a record of a king and kingdom or an aspect about the universe when the information was noted in the Bible long ago.

            Early man thought of the earth as flat, but Is. 40:22 referred to its shape as circular. Job 26:7 says the earth is suspended in space. However, the ancient world thought that it must be supported by something.

            Before the telescope was invented, people believed they could count the stars. Even astronomer Johann Kepler numbered the stars at just over one thousand. Not until modern times did man realize that counting the stars is impossible. Jeremiah 33:22 says, “As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, nor the sand of the sea measured.”

God instructed (Lev. 13:45-46) Israel to quarantine those with infectious diseases. This procedure was unique among people groups at the time and is used today.

The children of Israel were forbidden to drink water from small or stagnant pools or from water that had been contaminated by coming into contact with dead animals or meat (Lev. 11:29-36). It is only in the last 100 years that medical science learned that contaminated water can cause typhoid and cholera.

To further prevent the spread of disease Deut. 23:12-13 says, “You must have a place outside the camp to go and relieve yourself. And you must have a digging tool in your equipment so that when you relieve yourself you can dig a hole and cover up your excrement.

With regard to science, Biblical writers were unique among their contemporaries in the following ways: (1) they did not repeat the common errors of their day (2) they spoke of things that only present-day science has come to realize as scientifically accurate.

            However, even with no knowledge of germs, many ancient civilizations had an understanding of the need for careful sewage disposal, but this insight was lost or ignored in the Middle Ages in Europe. The result was terrible sanitary conditions, polluted waterways, and periodic outbreaks of disease.

One of the greatest advances of the modern era was the recognition that disease could be caused by pathogens, and that poor sanitary conditions were a prime culprit in the spread of disease. Sanitary engineers in the nineteenth century were in the forefront of the development of sewer systems that protected the public from epidemics of cholera and other water-borne illness.

A survey conducted by the British Medical Journal in 2007 asked a group of experts and doctors what they considered the greatest medical advance since 1840. The answer, preferred over antibiotics and modern surgical methods, was sanitation.

Liberal think is now understood to be a mental illness. Therefore, world class cities of San Francisco (SF), Seattle, Los Angeles and San Diego now run by liberals have welcomed a resurgence of epidemic-style illness by allowing transients to poop and pollute where they wish. This is considered modern progressive revelation.

Since 2011, there have been 118,352 reported deposits of human fecal matter on San Francisco streets. The city has taken steps to clean up the mess but not stop it. Over the last year, the Department of Public Works instituted a “Poop Patrol.” Initially consisting of five employees, each worker earns $184,000 in pay, perquisites and pension benefits.

However, pooping and polluting in public spaces is increasing as politicians are perplexed as to how to persuade people to not excrete where we eat. Reported SF incidents increased from 5,547 in 2011 to 28,084 in 2018. It’s as if today’s leadership has ingested a stupid pill.

Romans 1:21-23 states, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.”

Look for a lot of sickness and sadness before today’s leaders rediscover what has been known for a few thousand years.

 

College Graduates Know the Three Stooges

by Lou Binninger

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." The Amendment was included to protect the citizenry from a tyrannical government like the one ruling over us today. The Founders wanted people equipped to take back their government.

Last week, the Yuba County Sheriff’s Department (YCSD) announced online concealed weapon applications where one can now have 5 instead of just 3 guns listed. That is good news for a socialist state like Komifornia but it is philosophically light years away from what the Constitution intended where no registry of guns was mandated. In the meantime, kudos to YCSD for heading in the right direction.

There is a liberal movement nationally to undermine and disrespect law enforcement while removing guns from citizens. Liberals also want no borders and for American taxpayers to pay the living expenses of lawless foreigners settling in Sanctuary Cities.

This is all coming at a time when there is a national dumbing-down of students that can no longer recognize the distinctive attributes of the American way. A survey by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation found that 2 of 3 college graduates thought Karl Marx’s quote “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” (The Communist Manifesto) was written by America’s Founding Fathers.

Marx’s slogan was an endorsement of centralized government control where wealth would be taken from those that had and given to those that had not. Wherever this system of governance has been implemented economies are ruined. (See Venezuela and Cuba for current examples).

According to the Wilson Foundation Survey, only 1 of 3 graduates could describe a right protected by the First Amendment. Ten percent thought the Bill of Rights included the right to own a pet. Only 53% knew that the first Ten Amendments were called the Bill of Rights. Just 35% of graduates could quote the first three words of the Constitution, “We the People.”

One-half of the graduates did not know the term limits of the Senate or the House of Representatives. One in ten thought Congress could outlaw atheism. Forty percent did not know Congress had the power to declare war. More could name the Three Stooges than the three branches of government. Ten percent thought Judge Judy serves on the Supreme Court.

If put to a vote today, only half of those surveyed said they would vote to adopt the Constitution. Even fewer believe that Congress should follow the Constitution. The idea of a society anchored to morality and the rule of law seemed irrelevant to most of those queried.

George Washington said the “education of our youth in the science of government” is vital because they are “the future guardians of the liberties of the country.” Yet the National Center for State Courts found that only 1 in 5 U.S. adults can correctly name all three branches of government, and 2 in 5 couldn’t name a single one.

Samuel Adams wrote that the nation’s freedom would be secure so long as “virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people.” However, the tank is near empty of both attributes.

Thomas Jefferson said that a nation cannot be “both ignorant and free.” For the sake of our nation as it was designed and our personal freedom, it is essential that we return to teaching American Civics. We are failing the founders.

Our form of government initially based upon a seedbed of virtue and self-discipline has produced a prosperity and liberty unmatched in human history. A man once said that any idiot can receive a blessing. It takes someone with intelligence to discover the purpose of the blessing or in this case the way of life that brought the blessing.

Today, college graduates’ Civics “IQ” would be considered deficient or moronic. For those who do get it, we are in real trouble.

 

by Lou Binninger

Those that run late paying bills are in financial trouble. However, debt-laden families can reduce their spending and look for new ways to earn money to meet their obligations in a timely fashion.

If families have incurred credit card debt (overspent) and cannot pay-off the card each month or have borrowed money for cars or projects, they are paying interest and therefore a premium to make purchases prior to being able to afford them. Some call this practice living above our means.

Since 2015, GOBankingRates has asked Americans how much they have in savings. Each year, the survey results have shown that a majority of adults don’t even have $1,000 in a savings account and are thus living paycheck to paycheck.

That’s bad news and bad thinking. If workers become unemployed for just a short time it will mean disaster.

My parents had one loan, a loan to purchase a home through the GI Bill following World War II. They were blue collar workers. No consumer debt was incurred.

 Cars were purchased with cash. They feared debt. If they didn’t have the money, nothing was purchased. Maybe the trauma of the Great Depression and WWII kept a rein on their wants.

My father extended some credit to customers at his business. He kept track on 3X5 cards. Watching him “do the books” and occasionally hearing a weary comment about unpaid receivables was a life lesson.

Wasting money, overspending and paying thousands of dollars in interest reduces wealth. Many owe far more than they earn and have in assets. Owing more than you are worth is considered being bankrupt.

For the wealthiest nation in the world, many families and government being in horrible financial shape is a tragedy. Often, through a change of course an individual or family can right the financial ship.

However, government does not have the will to change its ways. Government does not produce goods but takes money from the citizens via taxes, hundreds of them, to operate. And, a massive bureaucracy has an interest in keeping the status quo.

If enough taxes cannot be raised to satisfy the spending whims of politicians then borrowing funds to burden later generations is the strategy. Presuming that the future will be financially brighter is foolish and will lead to bankruptcy and ruin.

Borrowing makes a mismanaged government appear affordable. If borrowing was forbidden spending would come under much greater scrutiny. Nothing sharpens the mind as having to face the full cost of one’s choices with limited resources.

Borrowing creates a gross injustice burdening those too young to vote and the unborn. As environmentalists rightly argue that we should leave the earth in better shape than we found it, we are leaving a toxic financial future for our children.

Governments like Yuba County hide the fact that they are broke, being consistently unable to meet financial obligations with cash flow. In fact, it wasn’t until 2012 that the unfunded debt owed for employee pensions was mandated by state accounting standards (GASB #68) to be included in the books. Prior to 2012, millions in debt was hidden from the taxpayers per the politicians and union leadership.

Appeal Democrat writer Chris Kaufman noted on March 28, 2019 that Yuba County was to borrow $9 million from the Yuba County Water Agency to fund road repairs. Not a whimper was heard from citizens who feel impotent when it comes to stopping short-sighted politicians from plundering the county coffers.

This $9 million isn’t one of these short-term 12-month loans to pay down runaway pension debt. It has a 10-year payback with more than $1.1 million in interest according to Kaufman. So, if the $9 million for roads is wisely spent then taxpayers paid $10.1 million for $9 million in road work. Taxpayers lose $1.1 million of their hard-earned money as a penalty for bad management.

This is lousy stewardship no matter whether county supervisors created a sweet interest rate at the water agency or not. Taking 10-years to pay for a road is crazy, but crazy has become the norm for government. What will the condition of the repaired roads be in 10-years when the payments are complete? Do we borrow once again?

In 10-years the current supervisors and bureaucrats will be gone while leaving the debt burden for a future generation. Borrowing leads to more mismanagement, poor spending scrutiny and an expanding government bureaucracy.

 

by Lou Binninger

Americans are incredibly spoiled and naïve, taking life here for granted. Liberal Americans are spoiled and dangerously stupid.

In 1987-88 while making trips to the Otay Mesa section of Tijuana to build a 2-story addition on an orphanage the power and water would go off for a few hours each day. We worked around socialist dysfunction, poverty and bribery to complete the project.

After being in all the Communist countries along with other Third World, resource-rich nations, Mexico gets the bouquet for bribes, police corruption, and inept management.

The average resident was wonderful but clueless to what just 10 minutes north made America rock with prosperity. TJ was huge, poor and lawless. The cartel gangland-style shootings along with the political and journalist murders had yet to come.

Socialists can’t make their country successful but want to come to the US to cash-in on the benefits produced from the absence of political and regulatory oppression. The ideological blindness of immigrants will produce the same sh..hole nation here that they insist on gaining asylum from.

Venezuela was once the US of South America. It was modern, wealthy, stable and resource-laden. Then, the socialists got their way. Most all business was nationalized including one of the world’s greatest oil reserves.

The people swallowed the stupid pill. Everything in life rises and falls on the quality of leadership. Socialist leadership became wealthy while guiding the nation to ruin.

Venezuelans have not resorted to eating their off-spring but they are headed that way. Most people have lost an average of 20 pounds or more on the “Maduro (President Nicolas Maduro) diet.”

Big rigs full of food and supplies are hijacked on the way to cities by criminals and starving people. Pets, dumpsters and zoo animals are backfilling the government’s inability to maintain the food chain.

Now, since most businesses have pretty much stopped and the electricity and water are off for hours at a time, people are digging up graves to retrieve jewelry and gold fillings to buy needed items. It’s a nation-wide Donner Party experience.

Murders and crime have also spiked. Oh, candles are also in short supply.

This is a rare opportunity for American university professors to organize student summer opportunities in Venezuela to study socialism where it is operating without hindrance. The fragile students may be offended however by the snacking on dogs, cats, and zoo-kind.

However, while stomachs are empty the churches are now full. Maybe Venezuelans in the good times were like Americans today. Why would you need God when you are doing just fine on your own. You can cheat on a spouse, have sex with the same kind, an animal or a demon and still prosper. You can lie and steal and be a leader. What a country!

Venezuelans today are in a life-threatening crisis. They are dying from untreated diseases and a lack of food. When the nation becomes so screwed-up and dangerous that you lose confidence in a political solution the idea of God resurfaces.

Churches of all flavors in Venezuela are growing. People are calling out for mercy. Diabetics that have gone months with no insulin are looking to God. Asthmatics with no medicine are asking for a miracle. People have lost everything.

While millions have fled the country those remaining to suffer the disaster are seeking God for deliverance. Live or die those that renewed or discovered the faith are preparing for their socialist future.

 

by Lou Binninger

In August of 2014, World Net Daily (WND), an online news publication, produced an article “The Big List: Female Teachers with Students.” The piece was updated on 1/25/17 giving 13 pages of accounts (approximately 20 per page) of female school teachers having sex with underage students, in most cases males.

            WND has carried numerous stories about what it calls a national epidemic of sexual abuse in schools. The irony is how often the female predator or perpetrator gets off with probation. Similar acts performed by a male teacher with an under-aged female or even by adult non-teachers outside of school would get years in prison.

            The joke used to be that in union-controlled government schools it would take a teacher sexually assaulting a student to get fired and lose their credentials. Not so true anymore.  And poor work performance or bad character isn’t a job killer because of the cost to prove it is prohibitive.

However, job termination for lustful misdeeds may not be an option in the future as sexual-deviancy interest groups lobby for new consent laws allowing for child / adult sexual relations. Rhode Island (RI) is one of a few states where it is legal for teachers and other school employees to have sexual relations with students once they turn 16.

Rhode Island also received a D grade from a year-long study by “USA Today” for how well states track and share information about teachers who are abusers. In Michigan, sex between a teacher and student is prohibited at any age. Laws vary state by state.

Both the National Education Association and the United Federation of Teachers opposed a Rhode Island bill this month to make it a crime to have sexual interaction with students after their 15th year. Union officials and their members are well aware that sexual predators move from district to district and state to state and that threat of termination and loss of credentials are not sufficient deterrents and do not protect children. A district may get rid of an abuser but they have no ongoing concern for where they end up.

In a 2018 report, NPR’s (National Public Radio) Erin Logan says: “That cycle — abuse, dismissal, rehire and abuse again — is one that experts and researchers say is far too common across the nation. It has long been known as ‘passing the trash,’ and despite years of efforts to make policies to keep it from happening, no one really knows how often it does.”

The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) became law in 2003 setting standards of behavior in lockdown institutions and declaring a zero tolerance for rape. Mandatory trainings are conducted for all employees to prevent fraternization with inmates as well as a sexually charged work environment and harassment. PREA seeks to insure that jails and other correctional settings protect inmates from sexual assault, sexual harassment, "consensual sex" with employees, and inmate-inmate sex.

Yuba County Office of Education (YCOE) placing 41-year-old teacher Heather Frey on administrative leave for an alleged improper relationship with an incarcerated juvenile hall minor raises a number of questions. Do YCOE employees working in detention facilities or at the Thomas E Mathews (TEM) Court school have PREA training?

If not, are there teacher-pupil standards of behavior that instructors agree to when being employed by YCOE? In 2015, a 26-year-old female teacher was arrested for having sex with a 15-year-old boy at TEM.

Is YCOE contributing to NPR Erin Logan’s described cycle of abuse, dismissal, and rehire of predators to abuse again? To fill Ms. Frey’s position, Jim Whiteaker, dismissed by Yuba City Unified School District for repeated accusations from female students of sexual abuse, has been hired by YCOE.

                                                                                                         


           

 

           

by Lou Binninger

In traveling to communist countries since the early 1990’s, there was once an appreciation for the freedom and lack persecution and government corruption in America.  However, the differences have dissipated.

            Both China and Vietnam have economically mimicked Western ways after experimenting with socialism and starvation, living off insects, critters and global hand-outs. Beginning around 1990, Vietnamese were allowed to operate their own businesses and keep much of what they earned. Vietnam is now making huge economic strides. China got about a 10-year head start on Vietnam allowing commercial freedom to realize their economy turnaround.

 However, government and police bribes are still everyday occurrences there, along with political and religious persecution. Communists are extremely paranoid and prefer a police state.

China is currently on a rampage to shut down churches and other religious groups and destroy meeting places. Government-authorized churches where pastors are hired and told what to say by bureaucrats are using facial recognition technology at building entrances to monitor who is there. Children, young people and the military are forbidden to attend. Google is assisting the government to track people with technology.

Communist Party members with a religious bent have been asked to submit to re-education, renounce their faith or resign their position of prestige and power. Being a party member is like being in the US Congress–lots of benefits.

Political activists and religious folks disappear to show-up not in court but in camps. For some with the right DNA, their body parts are “donated” to those from around the world eagerly paying the government for a new organ. Some hospitals specialize in parting-out prisoners and notifying next of kin that their loved one has passed. There is no Freedom of Information Act there.

In America, the last two decades have not been kind to government transparency and economic or religious freedom. There is no move or decision made here that is neither taxed nor managed by an overseer. Thousands of new regulations created during the Obama reign crushed particularly small businesses and restricted the ability of citizens to do what they wanted.

 Politicians and bureaucrats are routinely bought.  Leaders in our most respected agencies have proven to be despicable in trying to overthrow the Presidency. Bureaucrats known as the Deep State are in full rebellion working to sabotage our government and the policies of the current administration.

Our schools are now indoctrination centers. Published in Econ Journal Watch (September 2016), a study of faculty voter registration at 40 leading universities found that out of 7,243 professors, Democrats outnumber Republicans 3,623 to 314, or by a ratio of 11 1/2 to 1 or more than 90% liberals.

Out of five departments analyzed by the authors, the field friendliest to conservative scholars is economics, where there are only 4.5 liberal professors for every conservative. Conversely, history was by far the least conservative-friendly department, where liberals outnumber conservatives by 33 1/2-to-1.

The campus is the last place you would go to find tolerant people. Thinking of themselves as intellectuals they have become fools. Liberal professors need only apply.

If a student follows Jesus, is pro-Israel, pro-life, pro-military / law enforcement /America, a capitalist, heterosexual, questions evolution and man-made global warming, he or she may be shamed in class, mocked, and even physically attacked. Grades are influenced by political persuasion.

If you are a visiting campus speaker holding a view other than the dictated liberal ideology your event could be blocked, boycotted, or disrupted. Rather than the university being a market - place of free, different and critical thinking it has become a “no-think” zone inhabited by political and cultural zombies.

Admission costs are over-priced, corrupt, and entrance rules racist. Unless students are seeking a technical degree like engineering, accounting, medical or mechanics etc. attending a college is a waste of a good brain and hard-earned dollars.

America’s courts have been corrupted by politicians posing as judges doing what is right in their own eyes. A Muslim bakery can refuse to make a wedding cake for a homosexuals but a Christian bakery cannot. Muslims have religious freedom to pray and teach their ways in government schools but Christians do not. Judges look more like political puppets versus being safeguards of the Constitution.

It was conservative and Christian organizations targeted by the Internal Revenue Service and harassed by the alphabet soup of enforcement agencies under Obama. No country is perfect, but America is a mere glimmer of the beacon of light it once was.

Churches, once the voice of activism in the colonial era, are irrelevant to the culture today. They have been silenced. The Deep State comes to take what it wants while citizens cower behind their doors with earbuds in place.

lou

After 5 years of doing live talk on a Nor Cal AM/FM station Lou Binninger is now using No Hostages Radio to give his take on the local, state, and national political and cultural scene.

Weekly radio episodes will appear at nohostagesradio.com as well as articles written for the Territorial Dispatch.

Listeners can also use their favorite podcast source to reach “nohostagesradio.”

by Lou Binninger

            Free enterprise and competition have led to an astounding abundance and prosperity throughout the Western world and wherever they have been tried, even in what once was known as the Third or Underdeveloped World.

             Never have so many people moved out of abject poverty, gained access to clean water, enough food, education and technology as in the last 50 years. Innovation, freedom and competition have sparked the burst forward.

            However, Tony Thurmond, California’s new Superintendent of Schools, maintains that competition has no place in government schools. What utter nonsense.

Tony suffers from a mental flat spot. His cure to low performance is always more money (higher prices for education). Why didn’t the fast food industry think of this?

            It wasn’t long ago in the early 1990s that Yuba-Sutter parents wanting to homeschool were harassed by school officials and threatened with legal action. However, County School Superintendent Ric Teagarden launched the Yuba County Career Preparatory Charter School (first in the area) and was met with disdain by the unified district. Teagarden set parents free by allowing them to teach their children under his charter school covering.

            Now, charter schools are everywhere and the unified districts offer all types of educational alternatives for students that don’t fit into mainstream methods. However, even the government charter school people see through socialist glasses being adamantly against private competition in education.

            The government sees no problem with forcefully removing money from taxpayers for schools including from those having no kids in the system. And it sees no problem with choosing the school where kids attend. If you don’t like it you can pay a second time for private schools as the government keeps your school monies.

            Low performing teachers are horrified at the thought of losing tenure and facing competition. And lousy schools that should be given a decent burial want laws that keep kids on their education plantation. These anti-choice mandates are not tolerated elsewhere in society.

            Why not extend the socialist policy of no competition and force all union teachers to only buy from a single vender like one restaurant, one grocery store, one car dealer, one clothing store, stay at one hotel, etc. Why not - because unions and politicians are hypocrites.

            In the meantime, our monopolistic government schools are indoctrinating children against the tenets of our founding fathers, the Judeo-Christian ethic, the Constitution, and traditional sexual values.

            A new California sex-education framework will be voted on by the Board of Education May 8-9. The draft recommends the book “Who Are You?” for pre-k–3rd graders as a “guide to develop their gender identity.”

The book explains to children that gender is a spectrum – unlimited and ever-expanding, rather than two biological sexes. Gender is defined as “boy, girl, both, neither, trans, genderqueer, non-binary, gender fluid, transgender, gender neutral, agender, neutrois, bigender, third gender, two spirit…” The draft describes sexual orientations as fluid. LGBTQ+ is noted as an ever-changing spectrum with expanding concepts to include “queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, allies and alternative identities (LGBTQQIAA).”

Informed Parents of California,” a group of more than 12,900 concerned parents, assembled a 24-page summary of the guidelines for k-6th graders that includes some of the recommended supplemental materials. Lessons for 6-year-olds offer details about sex like: “The man’s penis goes inside the woman’s vagina,” and “sperm can swim out through the small opening in the man’s penis – and into the woman’s vagina.”

A book for third graders shows a drawing of a penis ejaculating sperm while inserted into a vagina. Another book introduces 10-year-olds to anal sex, and the slang for male and female genitals.

Earlier this month, Lily Eskelsen García, National Education Association (NEA) president, read sections of “I am Jazz,” a book about a sexually confused child, to a kindergarten class in Arlington, VA. Parents had a fit.

Of course, the NEA is fond of confused Kevin Jennings and bestows honors his way. Kevin is founder of the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN). This group conducted the “Fistgate” conference at Tufts University in Massachusetts in March 2000. There, state employees gave graphic instructions about “fisting,” and other forms of sexual activity to children as young as 12.

Parents are in an uproar throughout the state as NEA and GLSEN have free-rein pushing sexual deviancy dogma to children that are mandated by law to sit-still and whose parents’ wages will be garnished should they fail to pay their taxes for this child abuse. It’s time for vouchers and freedom for families.

Apr12019

by Lou Binninger

       As social media continues to sizzle with Measure K controversy one pro-tax combatant mocked that the argument is only about 1 cent on the dollar. He did not reveal that he is a CalPERS pension recipient and at the highest retirement rate. 

Pro-tax people are often the last to donate to charitable causes (See book “Who Really Cares”). And, there is no law to prohibit people donating to the government to cover the unfunded pension deficit if they wish.

            Actually all taxes amount to a few pennies on the dollar. The problem is that there are hundreds of them and most of the money is wasted via bad management and corruption. There is nothing like being nickel and dimed to death, right? At the end of each year those coins amount to thousands of dollars per person.

            Depending on who is paying, when all taxes and fees are totaled it could come to 40%-70% or more of income. On top of that add California’s spiked prices for fuel and energy and the increased costs off products connected to these resources due to the state’s outrageous regulations. And how are those road repairs working for you anti-Prop 6 people?

            For a driver traveling 12,000 miles per year and getting 30 miles per gallon, he is paying $456 more for gas in California compared to the national average. And now, a Yuba County resident purchasing a $30,000 vehicle will pay an added $300 compared to buying before April 1.

            Here is a list of more than 90 taxes that some or all Californians pay; Air Transportation Taxes (just look at how much you were charged the last time you flew), Biodiesel Fuel Taxes, Building Permit Taxes, Business Registration Fees, Capital Gains Taxes, Cigarette Taxes, Court Fines (indirect taxes), Disposal Fees, Dog License Taxes, Drivers’ License Fees, Employer Health Insurance Mandate Tax, Employer Medicare Taxes, Employer Social Security Taxes, Environmental Fees, Estate Taxes, Excise Taxes On Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans, Federal Corporate Taxes, Federal Income Taxes, Federal Unemployment Taxes,  Fishing License Taxes, Flush Taxes (yes, this actually exists in some areas), Food And Beverage License Fees, Franchise Business Taxes, Garbage Taxes, Gasoline Taxes, Gift Taxes, Gun Permits, Hazardous Material Disposal Fees, Highway Access Fees, Hotel Taxes, Hunting License Taxes, Import Taxes, Individual Health Insurance Mandate Taxes, Inheritance Taxes, Insect Control Hazardous Materials Licenses, Inspection Fees, Insurance Premium Taxes, Interstate User Diesel Fuel Taxes, Inventory Taxes, IRA Early Withdrawal Taxes, IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax), IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax), Library Taxes, License Plate Fees, Liquor Taxes, Local Corporate Taxes, Local Income Taxes, Local School Taxes, Local Unemployment Taxes, Luxury Taxes, Marriage License Taxes, Medicare Taxes, Medicare Tax Surcharge On High Earning Americans Under Obamacare, Obamacare Individual Mandate Excise Tax (if you don't buy "qualifying" health insurance under Obamacare you will have to pay an additional tax), Obamacare Surtax On Investment Income (a new 3.8% surtax on investment income), Parking Meters, Passport Fees, Professional Licenses And Fees (another form of taxation), Property Taxes, Real Estate Taxes, Recreational Vehicle Taxes, Registration Fees For New Businesses, Toll Booth Taxes, Sales Taxes, Self-Employment Taxes, Sewer & Water Taxes, School Taxes, Septic Permit Taxes, Service Charge Taxes, Social Security Taxes, Special Assessments For Road Repairs Or Construction, Sports Stadium Taxes, State Corporate Taxes, State Income Taxes, State Park Entrance Fees, State Unemployment Taxes (SUTA), Tanning Taxes (a new Obamacare tax on tanning services), Telephone 911 Service Taxes, Telephone Federal Excise Taxes, Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Taxes, Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Taxes, Telephone State And Local Taxes, Telephone Universal Access Taxes, The Alternative Minimum Tax, Tire Recycling Fees, Tire Taxes, Tolls (another form of taxation), Traffic Fines (indirect taxation), Use Taxes (Out of state purchases, etc.), Utility Taxes, Vehicle Registration Taxes, Waste Management Taxes, Water Rights Fees, Watercraft Registration & Licensing Fees, Well Permit Fees, Workers Compensation Taxes and Zoning Permit Fees.

            Are you still up for more? The Governor wants to add another tax on drinking water. And in 2020 there will be a proposition to repeal Prop 13 tax limits on business real estate. If passed that will be the beginning of the end for residential real estate tax protection as well. Politicians are using a divide and conquer strategy, wooing homeowners to throw business property under the real estate tax bus. Losing property tax protection will make homes unaffordable for all but the uber-rich and drive more business out of state.

            With 51 California cities and counties raising sales taxes on April 1 we have come a long way since 1913 when a vast majority of the population paid a personal income tax rate of 1 percent while the highest marginal tax rate was 7 percent. And there were very few of the taxes noted above. What changed? Socialism bred massive government growth.

 

 

by Lou Binninger

The first Measure K Sales Tax Increase court hearing occurred on March 19, with the “guvmint” taking two of two issues. The State of California, who is to enforce the law and collect taxes wanted out of the suit and escaped unscathed. The motion for an injunction postponing the tax until the lawsuit is settled was also rejected.

So, the additional 1% sales tax (now at 8.25%) will be collected beginning April 1st and the funds held until the suit is resolved. If the county loses, then the funds will be refunded. However, to obtain a refund should Measure K be invalidated purchasers need to possess all receipts to make application for return of their tax dollars.

Purchases in Yuba County will be assessed a higher sales tax than surrounding jurisdictions such as Yuba City / Sutter County. So, consumers can choose to shop elsewhere to avoid the increase except for auto and other purchases processed through the Department of Motor Vehicles. Those items are taxed by where the purchaser lives versus where the sale occurs.

In the hearing, Superior Court Judge Stephen Berrier contended from the beginning that he thought the case against K was weak and that “essential services” could mean libraries and parks, suggesting this was a general tax versus a public safety tax. Measure K opponents in the courtroom audibly reacted to the judge’s outlandish conclusion after a nearly a year-long public safety campaign for K. They were admonished for their outburst.

However, when Judge Berrier was reminded by the plaintiff’s attorney that the judge’s initial comments sounded like his mind was “made-up” prior to hearing arguments and seeing evidence, Berrier walked back his statement.

The pressure is certainly on the opponents of K to show the judge in the courtroom that Measure K was pitched as a Public Safety tax throughout the marketing campaign.

The numerous campaign town hall-style gatherings were not called pension fund meetings, library and parks meetings, general services or homeless fund meetings. They were called “Public Safety Meetings.” And neither the librarian nor parks department director gave a talk. Neither did the Health Department or Human Services representatives speak. Human Resources people were missing as well.

The experts were County Administrator Bendorf, Sheriff Durfor and then Sheriff Anderson, fire department representatives, District Attorney McGrath and Probation Director Arnold. The attendees were told that the county had a “public safety” crisis. Night after night the Public Safety road show told tales of woe, of skeleton crews and one-hour 911 response times.

Outdoor signage scattered everywhere reflected the need for law enforcement and fire protection. However, the Grass Valley law firm hired with tax dollars to defend the county and the bait and switch campaign is hoping the judge lacks discernment, is a “guvmint” man, and the people have amnesia.

On September 11, 2018, County Document 820/2018 offered details provided by the public safety leaders (noted above) to the Supervisors for an annual expenditure of projected K Funds collected, between $4.3 and 4.9 million. The lower figure was used for budgeting.

            The document purposes monies for 14 deputies $1,692,000; 4 dispatchers $360,000; 2 jail correctional officers $180,000; associated equipment and training for sheriff’s department $244,800; 3 positions in the District Attorney’s office $309,600, 2 positions and increasing medical costs ($157,725) for Probation / Juvenile Hall $309,600; Fire Services $860,000, and $344,000 of the $4.3 million or (8%) for “Essential Services” described as economic development, infrastructure, marketing, and resident services.

There was no mention anywhere of libraries and parks under “essential services” as Judge Berrier speculated.

Since the election and Measure K’s supposed passage, the Yuba County Water Agency overseen by the same five people that serve as County Supervisors serendipitously found $635,000 (return of county tax dollars and payment of 50% of Supervisors’ county salaries) to send the county’s way annually. However, the money is to reside in the general fund rather than the “special fund” reserved for “public safety.” All the attention lately is on adjusting Water Directors’ and Supervisors’ salaries versus the urgent need to hire more deputies.

The next court date will set the schedule to argue the merits of the lawsuit brought by Measure K opponents.

by Lou Binninger

 A long-time meth user and frequent speaker at parole and probation meetings liked to tell a story depicting the moral deprivation of addicts. He said an addict would steal his friends stash and then spend the rest of the night empathetically searching for it with his victim. The speaker’s willingness to be vulnerable always got a laugh from a mix of parolees, their overseers and agency workers.

            Eighteenth century philosopher Adam Smith explained in “A Theory of Moral Sentiments” and in “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations that for the market place to function and grow there must be a “moral sympathy” or we would say today moral empathy between buyer and seller. Though all participants are driven to do business out of self-interest to better their lot in life, it would only work successfully to benefit society if there were a morality or fairness existing in the interaction.

            In the drug trade the person that fronts money is thought to be stupid or foolish. However, in much of mainstream America money is often fronted or partially so in deals, down payments and such. Money is deposited in banks or investment companies expecting there is a mutual trust and benefit involved.

The Bernie Madoff’s and the Charles Ponzi’s of the world are the outliers. Others scheme to rip-off Medi-Cal, Medi-Care, ATMS, the EBT system etc. The nation uses law enforcement agents to reign in abuses as hundreds of millions of transactions occur daily.

            However, what happens when the government is the con, the shyster, the fraud? What is the recourse of the citizens when the government can no longer be trusted? It steals from the people, files frivolous suits, removes money from personal accounts, and comes to your home with CNN reporters and dozens of agents for an arrest and publicity.

 The top people in the FBI, the IRS, the CIA and the DOJ have been proven to be involved in the highest level conspiracy in the land. They are liars and cheats, common sleazes and have committed treason. But rather than go to jail or be shot, they leave with their retirement and a book deal in hand.

Americans need no longer mock Banana Republics for lawlessness but just look at any level of US government.  Transparency is obtained legally about as easily as extracting an impacted tooth. Citizens are treated with contempt and disdain.

Proverbs 29:2 says “When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan.” Ecclesiastes 5:8-9 says, “If you see in a province the oppression of the poor and the violation of justice and righteousness, do not be amazed at the matter, for the high official is watched by a higher, and there are yet higher ones over them. The increase from the land is taken by all; the king himself profits from the fields.”

 Micah 7:3 reads, “They've all become experts in evil. Corrupt leaders demand bribes. The powerful rich make sure they get what they want.” Genesis 6:5 “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

            Leaders compete to be touted as the most aggressive baby killer. Tax dollars are forcefully taken to kill in the womb and on the way out. Neither political party is sickened by it. Even church pastors pitifully look the other way.

The most trusted in the country conspire to destroy a duly elected President of the United States. Conservative groups and religious nonprofits are targeted and harassed by the IRS for having the wrong political bent.

Californians are lied to by the government about the road tax repeal (Prop 6) to defeat it and preserve SB1’s massive tax increases. And now, as the billions of dollars are rolling in, the governor forbids using the funds for roads unless socialist housing program goals are met.

            Transsexuals and other sexual deviants are used as role models in our government education system. In fact, the entire curriculum has been corrupted by scuttling the Biblical and Constitutional bedrock the nation was established on.

            Elections are stolen using illegal voters. Good people are abused by the powerful as the Fake Media propagates deception. Businesses are harassed and extorted by politicians.

Our founding fathers encouraged taking-up arms against such oppressors. However, most Americans have been subdued. May God help us expose the sins of leaders in government, corporate America, education and the media.

           

by Lou Binninger

               Proclamations like “We’re Number One” or “We’re the Best” should be noted with skepticism. Other mottos in the same genre could be “You can trust us” or “We’re transparent.” The reason these slogans sound out of tune is that conclusions or praise should be reserved for the general public to make about an enterprise, not the business about itself.

            Proverbs 27:2 (GNT) advises, “Let other people praise you - even strangers; never do it yourself.”

            The Yuba County Water Agency (YCWA) likes to “toot its horn” about how wonderful they are and transparent. Indeed the Yuba County Supervisors who survived the 1955 flood launched a water project miracle that now over 50 years later is blessing Yuba County. And the county is fortunate that Pacific Gas and Electric paid the bonds off before going belly-up.

For those alive when the New Bullards Bar Dam was voted on by residents, financed with bonds and constructed, efforts today to alter that history are met with skepticism. To say that the people and the county had no responsibility should PG and E fail is a stretch.

YCWA took issue with last week’s March 11 article “Big Payouts at CalPERS” by touting “inaccuracies and misleading information” about YCWA. However, there was no mention of what those miscues were or a specific rebuttal. What is provided by YCWA is a list of monies given to benefit county government, nonprofits, schools etc. and then a list of policies.

YCWA says, “Where we find a connection to our mission areas – reducing the community’s flood risk, ensuring water supply reliability, hydropower generation, improving fish and wildlife habitat, and providing recreation at New Bullards Bar Reservoir – we invest heavily for the benefit of the people of Yuba County.”

The problem is who is determining the connection or nexus. There is a glaring conflict of interest having the Yuba County Supervisors serving as YCWA directors and making decisions over YCWA monies. Was it a coincidence that supervisors running for office were included in news releases and photos giving away YCWA money and assets during the election?

YCWA found a nexus to pave a county roadway into their power house. They gave money to hill fire departments and law enforcement to provide services around the dam. That makes sense.

YCWA then pays nearly $5 million to pave North Beale Rd and Olivehurst Avenue because “people will use those roads in an evacuation.” Really, a nexus? Then, why not repair Marysville city routes, the death trap of the county when it comes to an escape from flooding? YCWA directors could at least find a nexus to water or flooding to pay for 12,000 life vests which are less costly than asphalt.

Funding the paving of escape routes is interesting, but what about law enforcement and fire agencies that actually manage the very emergencies that YCWA finds a nexus in? YCWA directors see no connection in funding fulltime hill deputies that manage emergencies, eradicate water polluting marijuana grows and hopefully have some plan against a terrorist assault on the dam itself?

YCWA spent hundreds of thousands of dollars cleaning-up the river bottoms’ garbage and toxic waste, but now does not consider the continued polluting by vagrants of the river ecosystem worthy of vigilance. What about a deputy or two to stop the destruction along our waterways?

Not having separate boards over YCWA and the County will always create suspicion in spending hundreds of millions of dollars. The poor treatment of YCWA director (non-supervisor) Charlie Mathews because he raises questions about the low interest rates earned on reserve funds, certain grants, about who cashes in on water sales, and questions giving raises to the YCWA directors brings into question the integrity of YCWA board.

Recently, Director Brent Hastey offered a motion and Mike Leahy a second with a unanimous vote in Mathews’ absence  to increase YCWA directors monthly base salary from $1283 to $2000/month effective after full Board approval; Increase the monthly salary by 5% annually in January for 10 years; Increase additional compensation to the Chair of the Board from $250 to $375/month; Add a monthly stipend for the Vice Chair of the Board of $250/month; Increase special assignments compensation from $100 to $150/month; establish a $200/month auto/travel allowance for travel within Yuba County.

Directors already receive a per diem allowance as Supervisors.

The YCWA board modified the raises after Mathews complained. Threats to censure Mathews or remove him from committees by Brent Hastey will further undermine the credibility of the agency.

The lack of honesty of the County Supervisors about Measure K has also brought into question the workings of the YCWA since the same individuals serve both and are moving monies back and forth at will between the county and the agency.

by Lou Binninger

When Marysville decided to license marijuana dispensaries opponents accused the city of being biased as to whom would be awarded a permit to operate. Two permits were authorized by the council and a zone where they were to reside. However, the zone moved depending on who wanted a permit.

            Rumors in Sutter and Yuba County tell of offers of big money to pass favorable grow ordinances and in – kind gifts for the supervisors’ favor.

            So goes the unclean relationship as government attempts to suck more and more money from business and business attempts to avoid harassment or tries to cash-in on bureaucratic micromanaging.

            The legalization of marijuana (MJ) has brought the dirt to the surface as MJ business people troll politicians with thousands in cash and government lusts after the big MJ tax money. All the while the black market which was supposed to wane away after legalization is booming.

            An article by Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times, “California is awash in cannabis cash. Some is being used to bribe public officials,” includes an amazing collection of corruption cases while legalization is just 2-years old.

            Most will remember Sheriff Jon Lopey who was offered $1 million if he would keep deputies away from certain illegal cannabis farms in Siskiyou County. Lopey contacted the FBI who video recorded numerous deliveries of thousands of dollars in envelopes to him. The brother sister duo, Chi Yang and Gaosheng Laitinen were arrested and prosecuted.

            Most people have a price at which they can be bought.  McGreevy says, “California is awash in cannabis cash from inside and out of the state, partly because pot remains an illegal drug under federal law, so banks won’t accept cash from the businesses. The state’s black market for cannabis was estimated to be worth $3.7 billion last year — more than four times the size of the legal market, according to the firm New Frontier Data.”

            Last year, the mayor pro tem of Adelanto, Jermaine Wright was charged with agreeing to accept a bribe to fast-track a marijuana business. FBI agents also served search warrants at the home of Adelanto mayor Rich Kerr, at City Hall and at a marijuana retailer.

            Last March, a federal jury found Michael Kimbrew guilty of bribery and extortion. He was a field representative to then Rep. Janice Hahn when he took cash from an undercover FBI agent while pledging his "undying support" to protect a dispensary the City of Compton wanted to close.

            An Oakland case involves developer Dorian Gray accused of offering bribes to then-Oakland City Council President Larry Reid and Assistant City Administrator Greg Minor.  Gray allegedly offered the councilman cash to help obtain a cannabis dispensary permit, and Reid reported the offer to authorities. Gray is charged with offering Minor, who oversees marijuana permitting for Oakland, a free trip to Spain.

            Marysville Mayor Ricky Samayoa was paid $5,000 by the current Marysville dispensary during his election and during its appeal to obtain a permit to operate. The company’s application was previously rejected. Another $5,000 donation was provided by others related to the dispensary owners.

            There have been other convictions in the past as medical marijuana was permitted two decades ago. The former mayor of the City of Cudahy was sentenced to one year in federal prison in 2013 for taking cash bribes in exchange for supporting the opening of a “medical marijuana” store.

The head of the city’s code enforcement division and a city councilman were also convicted of being in on the pay-off.

“Corruption is always worse at the local level because there are so many more local officials and they aren’t under as much scrutiny as those in Sacramento,” said Dale Gieringer, director of California NORML, a pro-legalization group that supported Proposition 64. State agencies, he said, “have been doing their best to expedite licensing, but too many local players have been getting their hands in the pie.”

Law enforcement is aware of tons of marijuana being exported from California throughout the country. Sam Clauder, former congressional aide and San Bernardino County Democratic Party official pled guilty in 2017 to charges in Texas of possessing 130 pounds of cannabis on his way east from California. He said he was earning $30,000 a trip as a runner and made 45 trips prior to being apprehended.

Corruption wasn’t born with the legalization of MJ. Big money being made by business is tough for most politicians to pass-up.

           

by Lou Binninger

After Yuba County misappropriated hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to promote Measure K and a 1% sales tax increase, it is now spending more to hire a private Nevada County law firm to defend the Measure in Yuba County Superior Court before Judge Stephen Berrier.

            Yuba County and the State of California are being sued by Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, Charles Mathews and John Mistler to invalidate the ordinance because the plaintiffs say the Measure needed a 2/3s approval versus the simple majority vote it received.

The Measure was promoted as a tax needed to maintain proper levels of public safety since there were no other monies available. The public was assured the needed new taxes would be secured in a special fund.

Since the November 2018 election hundreds of thousands of dollars are being released annually to the county general fund ($635,000 announced recently) from the Yuba County Water Agency. In spite of the county prophets of public-safety-doom there are no guarantees that these “newly discovered” dollars will be used to hire deputies and fund fire agencies. This is astonishing when recalling the pre-election scare-the-hell-out-of-‘em rhetoric.

 The irony is that prior to the election it was implied that a lack of public safety dollars led to the wounding of two Yuba County deputies responding to a parolee vandalizing a marijuana grow. The county administrator, five supervisors along with two additional water agency directors have that responsibility on them and not the citizens. There were hundreds of millions of dollars in the water agency account but they played a shell game risking the lives of public employees.

The real story here is the same throughout the state, counties and cities are going broke, unable to make their pension payments. However, few bureaucrats and politicians are honest enough to tell the truth. Instead the public gets razzle-dazzle and euphemisms like the “cost of doing business” is going up.

The state pension fund CalPERS is going under due to over-generous benefits, incompetent and corrupt union management, and politically correct stupidity in investing. Every week there is a new CalPERS crisis or miscue in the news.

The latest is “California state workers hoarding vacation days, creating $3.5 billion debt for taxpayers.” (These figures do not include local jurisdictions). State workers can cash-out unused vacation days. These amounts are not reflected in the unfunded pension liability noted on the books.

Melody Gutierrez with the LA Times wrote, “After 36 years as a California government transportation engineer, Bijan Sartipi retired with much more than a goodbye party: He was paid $405,000 for time off he never used — one of more than 450 state workers who took home six-figure checks when they left their jobs last year. And Sartipi didn’t top the list — a prison surgeon in Riverside pocketed $456,002.”

The crisis is caused by lax enforcement of the cap on vacation time accumulation and other benefits. State workers have hit the pension lottery. And the $3-4 billion vacation payout last year did not include legislative or University of California personnel.

The unfunded liability also does not include figures for employees who used stockpiled days-off at the end of their careers to remain employed while not actually working, boosting the value of their pensions.

Employment rules state that vacation balances for most employees be capped at 640 hours. However, poor enforcement of the rule, along with an increasing number of state workers retiring, led to a 60% rise in the number of six-figure payouts since 2012, when 280 employees each cashed in unused paid leave totaling $100,000 or more the LA Times analysis found.

Stanford public policy professor Joe Nation blames government mismanagement. “It’s like having a speed limit but not enforcing it,” he said. “This is not a good way to run any organization.” It seems like a mismanagement virus is affecting California government at all levels.

In the private sector, some businesses offer “use it or lose it” paid vacation approaches. Others cap vacation accrual benefits between 40 hours and 400 hours and do not allow time to be earned beyond those limits.

Meanwhile, in Yuba County, state attorneys will appear before Judge Berrier to ask to be released from the Measure K legal action at a 2PM hearing on March 19, 2019. A motion for an injunction against the tax taking effect will be heard, as well.

by Lou Binninger

Politicians are at their worst when imposing sin taxes on tobacco, alcohol and marijuana (MJ).  Alcohol is the most widely used and devastating substances to society when considering addiction, health impact, auto accidents, crimes and offensive behavior. The country tried prohibition but has resorted instead to heavily taxing and regulating the industry.

Government takes a similar punishing approach to tobacco short of making the product completely illegal. The costs and taxes are so egregious that a flourishing black market has emerged. The same pack of cigarettes in Sacramento for $9 can be purchased in Saigon for 90 cents. The price difference between one state and another inspires bootleg cigarette entrepreneurs to move truckloads into the higher cost jurisdictions.

The enforcement and collection of revenues is so lush that there is the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to root out ne’er-do-wells who want to save or make thousands of dollars a year for their enjoyment. You can sin but you have to pay for protection to the government.

 Libertarians say let people partake of what they want as long as they are just harming themselves.  Let’s do away with government profiting from people’s preferences in life.

However, with a socialist medical system where “the poor” get a free ride, if the taxpayer is paying for the medical bills resulting from imbibing and inhaling, then should society be able to recoup its investment in livers and lungs? Some may say let’s have a market –driven approach to determine how to medically address drinkers and smokers who cannot pay their way.

The biggest cash cow that could be taxed are fat people who scientists say are over-dining for a disease or just plain wearing-out their body by packing around an extra 50-500 pounds.  However, others say the medical expenses even-out because fat people die sooner saving the taxpayers.  And, skinny people living “too long” can blow a couple million dollars in a health crisis at 85 by utilizing extraordinary life-saving equipment, super drugs and expensive procedures. Socialized medicine gets complicated.

Maybe all people could weigh-in at the health department each year to be charged by the pound for not making weight. That money could go into a co-op to pay for medical care.

Since 1996, when Proposition 215 permitted the use of marijuana with a prescription (215 Card) from a doctor, society has been evolving toward legalizing MJ and hemp for whatever ails you or just a buzz.

Though many very sick people have tried and/or benefitted from MJ, most people with a “wink and a nod” got the card to get high recreationally. Who wants to tell a cancer or severe seizure patient suffering on narcotics that they cannot try a MJ product anyway?

With the new recreational use passed in California the costs of both recreational and medical MJ are extremely high for growers, middle men, dispensaries and consumers. The fees to obtain a permit, jump through innumerable hoops, and taxing every phase from farm to fork are extremely high, so high that legitimate businesses have a tough time staying solvent. And, there are a huge number of illegal dispensaries who show-up then pack-up overnight with the state lacking the enforcement personnel to manage.

The black market will remain alive and well and keep ATF and other law enforcement types in business. This is another government-driven fiasco to profit politicians.

Along with government cashing-in there is a plethora of myths, bologna and wild claims about the benefits of MJ. Allen Berenson, a self-described libertarian who is married to Dr. Jacqueline Berenson, senior psychiatrist at Mid-Hudson Forensic Psychiatric Institute (for the criminally mentally ill) has written “Tell Your Children, The Truth about Marijuana, Mental Illness and Violence.”

A Yale graduate with a respected journalism career, Berenson did research on the connection between cannabis, mental illness and violence. Talks with his wife about her clients prompted his alarm and interest in the subject.

Berenson accuses the media, MJ advocates and politicians of under-selling the dangers of MJ use while over-selling the benefits. He says, “For centuries, people worldwide have understood that cannabis causes mental illness and violence just as they’ve known that opiates cause addiction and overdoses.”

Currently, the government is making the big money from MJ but are authorities intentionally ignoring the studies and statistics on the risks with MJ usage? While the dangers of tobacco, alcohol, opiates and a bad diet are frequently publicized today maybe it’s time to help people make a wise choice on whether marijuana is right for them. In our current socialist system taxpayers will pick-up the tab for the trouble that arises.