Dec242018

by Lou Binninger

Most all countries maintain borders and have rules on who gets in, how long they stay and why. Nations are not congenial to foreign lawbreakers.

While stuck in immigration at the Saigon airport a few years back due to a clerical error on Vietnam’s part the options were clear, return to Hong Kong or pay money to redo the visa. No negotiations pay-up or get out.

A school friend in the late 1960’s was arrested moving hashish through Europe and did a few years in a Spanish prison. When released he returned home fluent in Spanish. No whining. He did the crime and suffered the consequences.

The other night when talking with a Mexican single mother fighting deportation after being incarcerated for selling a pound of meth, she heartily agreed that “justice” south of the US border was neither fair nor humane. She is among hundreds of thousands fighting deportation after committing a crime while in the US legally or illegally.

Sitting next to her was an illiterate mother of four from El Salvador who had been arrested in San Francisco as El Salvador claimed she was wanted for a crime there. She could neither write nor read English or Spanish. She had been living in California collecting benefits for 7 years.

Incarcerated men are fighting deportation after serving time for multiple DUIs, domestic violence, assaulting law enforcement, homicide, drug dealing and sexual assault etc. Since they are not US citizens their crimes have nullified any permission to be here.

Thousands after serving their sentences have stayed for years in deportation facilities because they are waiting for their day in overburdened courts before too few immigration judges. They could be released to their homeland anytime but they want to win the “benefits lottery.”

At an estimated minimum cost of $100 per night stay not counting court costs, bureaucracy and transporting them back and forth to court the current crisis is costing millions a day due to a broken immigration processing system and liberals fighting all efforts to stop the chaos.

It is easy to find clips on You Tube of Bill and Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid and Barack Obama all opposing an invasion of illegals, citizenship for anchor babies and notions of amnesty. Then there was a change. Liberals realized lawlessness and a borderless country was the path to permanent Democrat control.

Today, illegal immigration has the country at a breaking point in terms of challenging the Constitution, no respect for the law, little assimilation into the American way of life, lower standard of living, poorer quality of health and a breakdown in societal order.

Consider the Sanctuary State of California, once fairly conservative. Today, one out of every four residents in California is now foreign-born. No California Republican has been elected to statewide office since 2006. The conservative middle class is leaving as ultra-rich liberals pay to sustain the largest poor population in America.

The now solidly blue states of the American Southwest ---Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico, voted red in 2004 for George W. Bush. No longer, progressives get it. Open borders are good long-term liberal politics. Closed borders and legal immigration are politically neutral.

The main stream media mock law enforcement and advocate with liberal politicians to eliminate ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). No border patrol combined with politicians forbidding local law enforcement to work with the federal government is the catalyst for chaos.

In 2018, ICE agents arrested 158,581 illegal aliens, surpassing the more than 140,000 arrests made in 2017 and the 110,100 arrests in the last year of President Obama’s tenure. Of the almost 160,000 illegal aliens, 66 percent were convicted criminals or those with pending criminal charges or about 140,000 of those detained.

Between September 2017 and October 2018, ICE agents arrested just over 6,600 convicted murderers and convicted sex offenders who were in the United States illegally.

Of that total, 4,975 of the illegal aliens arrested were convicted sex offenders. The other 1,641 had been convicted of homicide. Another 1,913 had pending sex offense charges against them, while 387 had pending murder charges against them.

Liberals oppose the wall, saying it just won’t work. However, it’s just the opposite. They oppose the wall because it will work very well. Walls keep millions of Chinese from fleeing to Hong Kong and protect Israel from Palestinian insurgents.

Building the wall will save billions of dollars now spent on a chaotic deportation process, dangerous criminals, benefits for noncitizens and unscreened people spreading diseases. It will also save the lives of illegals abandoned in the wilderness.

by Lou Binninger

Yuba County leaders count on residents to be a tad on the passive and dull side. Supervisors and the administration made up their minds to increase sales taxes by 1% to “rescue public safety.” Meanwhile they were keeping other revenue sources to fund employee pensions under wraps. Yep, we’re broke they said. But they weren’t.

The deception started with pitching the Measure K sales tax ordinance as a funding stream for public safety to be set aside in a special fund. That was both a lie and illegal. They said they only needed a simple majority vote to pass. That was wrong.

Restricting new tax-generated funds and setting them aside in a special account necessitates a 2/3s vote of the citizens, not a simple majority. In the November 6, 2018 election 53.04% or 7,964 voted for more sales taxes and 46.96% or 7,051 said no.

The promotion of the Measure K tax increase highlighted public safety and used hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars for the marketing campaign. Government is forbidden from spending tax dollars to lobby citizens for more of their money.

Then, as soon as the votes were counted the Yuba County Water Agency directors (5 of whom serve as supervisors) “discovered” that there was approximately $500,000 in property taxes annually being paid to the Agency by Yuba County to run Agency operations. We are told that agency directors suddenly realized that this money might not be needed any longer by the Agency since it had $100 million in reserves while paying the most lavish pay, benefits and retirement in the county according to Agency administrative people.

In 2017, Water Agency power and water sales generated $66,748,803 and in 2016, $51,201,672. The Agency since 2016 receives all revenue for water and power sales from Bullards Bar Dam. During the Measure K campaign the question was posed, why is poor Yuba County still giving any funds to the well-heeled Water Agency? No response was given until after the Measure K votes were counted.

Now, the Water Agency is saying that most of the supervisors’ effort is focused on the Agency serving as directors so maybe the Agency should reimburse the county for 50% of their salary and other costs. Really? That would have been helpful to pay for public safety, as well. Funny that did not surface before the election just 5 weeks earlier.

It’s confusing. The supervisors explained after nearly doubling their salaries before the recession in 2008 that their job was a fulltime affair. Of course, that was always questionable since they barely meet twice each month and then in the morning when few people can attend to question or challenge what really is going on. This is a classic example of “public servants” catering to the needs of “public servants” versus the citizens.

Would $600,000-800,000 a year from the Water Agency for the county make a difference if the objective was just to fund a few more deputies? Of course, but that never was the issue. The problem has always been as County Administrator Robert Bendorf euphemistically says “the cost of doing business.” The issue is annually escalating unaffordable employee pension and health costs.

Since the Water Agency has assumed control of all revenues from the Bullards operation this has created a conflict of interest for supervisors to serve on both boards. Is the Water Agency running the county now? Though the citizens voted to start the Agency and backed the bonds issued to fund construction of Bullards Bar Dam are Yuba County citizens now being dumped like an unwanted pet by the rich Agency?

A Board of Supervisors serving just the county could do so part-time at a far reduced salary from their current pay. Directors of the Water Agency elected independently could be reduced to five from their current seven, also saving funds. More importantly, it would stop the supervisors from double-dipping and from conflicts of interest.

The lack of transparency, manipulation and self-dealing doesn’t smell right. There is a lack of checks and balances as well as no accountability.

by Lou Binninger

Global Warming, Climate Change and give-us-control-of-your-life wizards are exempt from having a huge carbon footprint. A carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds emitted due to the consumption of fossil fuels by a person or group. This footprint is falsely touted as being bad for the environment, but the wizards get to be fossil fuel gluttons and shame you at the same time.

Since they are saving us from ourselves they can fly solo by jet to climate conferences, ride in gas guzzling SUVs, and dwell in energy sucking mansions. Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity took a vow of poverty to serve the poor. Climate Wizards enrich themselves while making the average person poorer.

The Chief Wizard is Al Gore. Gore’s credentials are for being an experienced politician and accomplished snake-oil hustler. Ten years ago, On December 13, 2008, Gore predicted the North Polar Ice Cap would be completely ice free in five years and then he continued to push the bad juju year after year.

A disappearing Ice Cap meant bigtime warming. However, the Ice Cap has increased in size and thickness. Meanwhile Gore was banking tens of millions of dollars from a carbon credit scam where businesses pay a penalty for their imaginary negative impact on the earth’s atmosphere. If the earth was in dire straits why wouldn’t Big Al donate his wealth to rescue the globe?

It turns out that Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Truth” contained little of it. He received the Nobel Peace Prize for this piece of fiction.

Gore said that sea levels could rise six meters (20 feet) with the melting of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. Remember, President Obama promised to protect us from rising ocean levels. Only in America can you go from crack addict to being God.

If a rising sea level is so catastrophic and imminent, why did Gore purchase a beachfront mansion? How many houses does he have now anyway? In fact, no banks in America are rejecting loans for beachfront developments due to rising tides. Should we believe bankers, or Gore and his band of discredited scientists?

Gore taught that CO2 is the match to ignite temperature increases. Remember, we exhale carbon dioxide and the plants use it to give us oxygen. That’s not so bad. In fact it’s a great deal. Politician-paid scientists claimed climate computer models said CO2 was driving temperatures.

However, satellite data show no increase in temperature for nearly 19 years despite a constant increase in CO2. The Sun, on the other hand, might have a much larger role in the Earth’s climate. Some scientists are actually talking about a significant cooling period because the Sun is “quieter” while the CO2 is way up.

Gore also claimed that Hurricane Katrina was man-made (CO2 triggered) and apocalyptic hurricanes would be the new normal weather-wise. However, the only man-made aspect was that New Orleans politicians criminally neglected the levees for decades. As for Katrina being the new norm, Gore was wrong once again. No Category 3 hurricanes landed on U.S. soil except for Hurricane Wilma in October 2005 up to 2017, the longest such “drought” ever recorded.

Climate cultists also predicted an increase of Category 3 tornadoes. However, there has been a downward trend for more than 60 years.

Since the Ice Cap would vanish, Gore said the Polar Bear population would suffer due to a lack of solid footing to reproduce. Well, the Polar Bear census says there are now more Polar Bears than when Gore was born. The Government of Nunavut and Inuit hunters have also noticed that the Polar Bear is thriving.

Another climate cult fallacy is that CO2 is “pollution.” Therefore, we must fight to control it to protect our children, save the planet, etc. from this “crisis.”

However, more CO2 is helpful. Agriculture benefits from increased carbon “pollution” as shown by increased crop yields. Plants love CO2. But for argument sake, if liberals are right that CO2 does need to be controlled, then libs have a problem with organic farming which is more greenhouse-gas intensive than conventional agriculture.

Al Gore has banked multi-millions in pushing junk science but today he is a pitiful soul. Like the climate models, nearly all his predictions are a humbug. An obese Gore lives like the rich and famous rather than a selfless martyr determined to save the planet. He and others like him if successful will destroy our economy and introduce an oppressive centrally-controlled society.

by Lou Binninger

Only in socialist countries or socialist states like California can you have massive natural resources, pay the highest prices in the country for them and have a shortage at the same time.

California has some of the greatest oil and natural gas supplies in the nation, but forbids the extraction and then PG and E charges 60% more than the national average for utilities. In addition, our tax dollars are subsidizing solar and wind turbine companies because these less efficient sources of energy are not profitable. So, taxpayers pay twice due to the hysterical belief in the junk science called Global Warming or Climate Change.

Sacramento socialists in 2016 saved us all from dairy cow farts corrupting the climate. This category of gases is called “short-lived pollutants” because passing gas thankfully comes to pass rather speedily. And everyone said, “Thank you Jesus.”

“This bill curbs these dangerous pollutants and thereby protects public health and slows climate change,” Governor Jerry Brown said in a statement.

The law requires ranchers to reduce methane emissions from manure to 40 percent below their 2013 levels by 2030, with the help of $50 million from the state’s fee charged to polluters, known as cap-and-trade. The money extorted from businesses will help a handful of ranchers buy dairy digesters, which use methane from manure to generate energy that’s sold to electrical utilities.

The legislation also allows the Air Resources Board (ARB) to regulate cow flatulence (cow farts) if there’s viable technology to reduce it. There are ARB experts now skilled in preventing the sky from falling, so the day of lassoing farts is definitely in sight. We got this.

However just when you are convinced God overlooked the problem of farts and global survival, agrobiologist and scientific researcher Dr. Albrecht Glatzle, author of over 100 scientific papers and two textbooks, publishes research showing “there is no scientific evidence, whatsoever, that domestic livestock could represent a risk for the Earth’s climate” and the “warming potential of anthropogenic GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions has been exaggerated.”

Glatzle writes, “Our key conclusion is there is no need for anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), and even less so for livestock-born emissions, to explain climate change. Climate has always been changing, and even the present warming is most likely driven by natural factors.” That seems logical. The seasons change in Yuba-Sutter Counties.

Glatzle continues, “The warming potential of anthropogenic GHG emissions has been exaggerated, and the beneficial impacts of manmade CO2 emissions for nature, agriculture, and global food security have been systematically suppressed, ignored, or at least downplayed by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and other UN (United Nations) agencies.

Furthermore, we expose important methodological deficiencies in IPCC and FAO (Food Agriculture Organization) instructions and applications for the quantification of the manmade part of non-CO2-GHG emissions from agro-ecosystems.

Finally, we could not find a clear domestic livestock fingerprint (or hoof print-author added), neither in the geographical methane distribution nor in the historical evolution of mean atmospheric methane concentration.”

“Between 1990 and 2005, the world cattle population rose by more than 100 million head (according to FAO statistics). During this time, atmospheric methane concentration stabilized completely. These empirical observations show that livestock is not a significant player in the global methane budget,” said Glatzle’s research abstract.

Genesis 1:25 says God made cattle and it was a good idea. So, having cows around shouldn’t ruin our lives. Dr. Albrecht Glatzle’s research is backing-up God 100%. Cow manure and cow farts complement the Earth’s cycle of life.

You can’t make a good decision without good information. The state legislature has been making bad laws based on environmental lies for decades and 40 million residents are suffering for it.

by Lou Binninger

Democrat National Committee (DNC) Chairman Thomas Perez thinks Republicans have an unfair advantage by what is spoken from the pulpits of America. Democrat political momentum is being undermined by preachers according to the DNC leader.

“We need to build a bigger orchestra,” Perez says. “They’ve had a big orchestra for some time and they’ve got the megaphones to amplify it, whether it’s Sinclair at a local level or Fox at a national level. I’ve learned this from the outreach we’ve done at the DNC. ‘Why aren’t we penetrating?’ I ask and I had someone in Northwestern Wisconsin tell me, ‘You know what, for most of the people I know, their principal sources of information are Fox News, their NRA newsletter, and the pulpit on Sunday.’”

The chairman’s remarks were not based on any scientific data but on hearsay. As church attendance is shrinking and churches are closing it is debatable just how much influence religious organizations really have on politics or the culture, whether liberal or conservative. In a typical election, as many Christian people abstain as vote.

However, recent presidential elections were slight exceptions according to Barna Research when 61 percent of evangelicals, followed by notional Christians (59 percent), and born again non-evangelical Christians (58 percent) cast ballots. During the 2012 elections, 59 percent of the evangelicals voted, while born again non-evangelical Christians came out in slightly higher proportion (60 percent). Only 55 percent of the notional Christians had voted that year.

Not all church goers vote Republican either. Blacks in church or not, traditionally in the high 90 percentile lean left. Hispanics historically are democrats. However, President Trump did better with both of these groups in 2016.

Perez may be seeing a pulpit pounding mirage. Most Christian pastors are spineless, afraid of their own shadows. Their chief concerns are attendance, size of offerings and being liked. National politics, capitalism vs. socialism, the Constitution or even Biblical moral principles will get little or no attention in the pulpit.

It was not always so.

In 1761, during the French and Indian War, Congregational ministers in Connecticut pledged absolute loyalty and submission to the King of England. However, by the mid-1760s, after Britain began taxing the colonies, searches and seizures without cause and confiscation of guns many of these same clergy were denouncing the king and justifying non-submission.

The pulpit played a key role in encouraging dissent. The political activism of these black-robed ministers earned them the name “the black regiment.” The Founders saw England’s actions as a plan to take away religious liberty and re-establish the rule of the Church of England.

Most churches saw their God-given rights being undermined and the King and Parliament violating the laws of God. Church leaders were aware of Romans 13, about submission to civil authorities, but also many passages that approve resistance to ungodly authority such as Acts 5:29. It is no surprise that the watchword of the American Revolution among patriots was “No King but King Jesus.”

At the bottom of the original Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress ordered copies of the Declaration first sent not to town clerks or newspapers but to ministers, who were “required to read the same to their respective congregations, as soon as divine service is ended, in the afternoon, on the first Lord’s day after they have received it.”

In 1775, Lutheran Pastor John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg preached a sermon on Ecclesiastes 3:1, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” Concluding the message, he declared, “There is a time to preach and a time to fight. And now is the time to fight.”

Muhlenberg then removed his robe to reveal his Revolutionary Army uniform. That afternoon he led 300 men to join George Washington’s troops and became Colonel of the 8th Virginia Regiment. Ministers turned the resistance into a righteous cause and served at every level in the conflict, from military chaplains, members of the legislatures, to taking up arms.

Either DNC Chairman Perez was just trash talking about churches or he is truly ignorant of American history and the deplorable state of the church today. Perez has nothing to worry about politically from this church.

by Lou Binninger

A Camp Fire photo of burned cars, big rigs and a school bus strewn helter-skelter on and off a roadway near Paradise looked like a Hollywood science fiction set, total destruction and no survivors.

Where did the people go, what happened? Did the fire burn over the road killing everyone and leaving this surreal look?

One bus load of 22 Ponderosa Elementary School children plus adults made it through the inferno with smoke billowing into the bus and embers sweeping across the line of gridlocked traffic. Fire, heat and fumes became so threatening that the group considered abandoning the bus to flee on foot.

Recently hired bus driver Kevin McKay who gathered the passengers, gave wet pieces of his shirt for breathing masks and courageously stayed the course is being called a “hero” and the “bus driver from heaven” by passenger and teacher Mary Ludwig.

McKay even provided refuge to a disoriented woman on the roadside who also happened to be a teacher. Ludwig said that the rescued teacher kept saying she was convinced she was going to die, and that the pair of educators prayed together as they continued on the journey to safety.

The bus survived the trek through Paradise “Armageddon” to reunite all passengers with loved ones.

Now, the desperation, fear and panic are understandable, but being employed at a government institution, Ludwig should not refer to McKay as the “bus driver from heaven” and teachers just cannot be praying together on the school bus. Isn’t it a violation of some state education code? Even calling Mr. McKay a “hero” may hurt the feelings of fellow drivers who work hard each day, as well.

Twenty-four hours prior to encountering what appeared to be the fires of hell in Paradise, teachers could not acknowledge God, forbade prayer on campus and told children they evolved from monkeys. If we indeed came from primates then there is no heaven and no one to pray to. And since there is no God then there are no miracles. Everything is a coincident. The humans in the bus were just lucky, McKay just doing his job.

Ponderosa Elementary like most schools has stopped referring to Christmas and Easter break using instead Winter and Spring vacation to make the purging of Jesus and the supernatural complete. No singing about God, nativity scenes, or talk of the resurrection.

The state religion is a God-free doctrine. However, there is the occasional slip-up calling the Earth mother which is a referral to witchcraft and also Gaia worship.

Even the nonprofit Red Cross people stopped victims and community volunteers from praying together at the Sutter-Yuba Fairgrounds. Red Cross founder Clara Barton would be dismayed at their callousness.

Maybe these God-free schools have an exception to the rules for when tragedy strikes or when the odds of dying are high? Is there a God lesson plan under lock and key not to be opened until lives are threatened or trauma occurs? If the dead simply become dust with no consciousness then why sweat the end?

Is permission granted by schools to cry out to God when your friend’s warm blood and brain matter are spattered on your face from a gunshot to the head? Are there exceptions when being held hostage or facing incineration?

People under duress (in warfare, prison, drowning, being murdered, facing fire and flood) often violate secular protocol and man’s rules prohibiting calling on God.

In the book of Jonah such a violent storm arose that a ship threatened to break apart. Gnarly veteran sailors were so shaken that each “cried out to his own god.” It was so desperate that they dumped the cargo overboard to lighten the ship. The ship captain confronted Jonah saying “Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us so that we will not perish.”

Amazing how a person can be motivated to pray and get focused on what’s important when facing death or serious harm. It’s also sobering how authoritarian, controlling and lost schools have become all while posing to really care for children.

When students are brain-washed that there is no God, then they face life’s tragedies and confusion without the most important resource available to them. They don’t know what they don’t know. Essentially, government schools blind children to the truth.

Fortunately, the occasional pants-messing tragedy lets God out of the bag.

by Lou Binninger

When Donald Trump was elected President against all odds, rogue deep state government agencies circumventing Congress were in the process of transforming America to a centrally managed state where all human activities would be dictated and authorized.

This was to be done by agency bureaucrats, not representatives elected by the people, creating and enforcing thousands of regulations to undermine liberty, freedom and the pursuit of happiness. This control would be over all business and personal activities.

It is no surprise that the deep state, along with activist judges and a complicit left media have done everything but assassinate the President whose election threatened their devious objective of a nonviolent coup of the American government and our of the people, by the people and for the people way of life.

Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp” was not referring just to removing paper weight politicians but also to hundreds of thousands of activist off-the-leash bureaucrats. One of Trump’s immediate actions was to freeze all EPA’s (Environment Protection Agency) contracts and grants for climate research, environmental justice and pollution-prevention programs.

EPA may be the nation’s most corrupt agency using junk science to justify its rules and refuses to allow scientific peer review to critique its severe regulations. It has revolving door hiring complicit with radical environmental groups, especially the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The EPA is staffed primarily with former NRDC people and other advocacy attorneys.

A corrupt media covers for EPA’s abuse and bullying of citizens and companies. EPA uses the deep pockets of government to go after the public to comply with eccentric regulations. Do you remember Al Armendariz, Director of Region Six EPA office in Dallas?

A video was leaked showing an EPA enforcement training and Al explaining “The Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean. They’d go into a Turkish town somewhere. They’d find the first five guys they saw and they would crucify them. And then you know that town was really easy to manage for the next few years.”

“And so you make examples out of people who are in this case not compliant with the law...You hit them as hard as you can...and there is a deterrent effect there. And companies that are smart see that, they don’t want to play that game, and they decide at that point it’s time to clean up.”

Al was referring to a hydraulic fracking company accused of polluting ground water. Fracking does not pollute ground water but EPA decided it did. After the video went viral the EPA dropped its suit against the company.

What happened to Al? He resigned and got a great job and salary with the Sierra Club. Corrupt groups take care for their own people. You probably have donated to the Sierra Club thinking they were legit.

President Carter’s EPA was created to lead in the clean-up of severe polluted areas. It is now run by the radical left touting pseudo-science to control every aspect of our lives. Their obsession with the crackpot idea of Global Warming, being complicit promoting junk science, and having no restraints from Congress have made them an enemy of the people.

Sterling Burnett of the Heartland Institute suggests disbanding the EPA and giving the power of rule-making and enforcement to the states. Then, utilize a council of the state environment departments to meet annually to address issues that cross state lines.

Michael S. Coffman, Ph.D. writes, “We all complain about taxes. In its annual ‘2016 Ten Thousand Commandments,’ the Competitive Enterprise Institute estimates that in 2015 taxpayers paid $1.82 trillion to the IRS while regulations cost another $1.885 trillion that same year.”

That’s $15,000 in regulatory costs per household each year. And people wonder why they can’t make ends meet. Americans want a clean environment. However, the deep state and Sierra Club-type groups are not about that, nor pursuing true science.

Drain the Swamp is not just a catchy political phrase. It is a must if our way of life is to be preserved.

by Lou Binninger

Some credit Benjamin Franklin with saying, “When the people find that they can vote themselves money that will herald the end of the republic.”

Whether he said it or not, it is true and is coming to pass. And, the democrats have mastered being Santa Claus. “Vote for us and government we’ll give you the desires of your heart.” Our founders believed it to be a devilish deception.

Liberals say “free, everything for free.” It’s a great message. Every unskilled illiterate in the world will risk life and limb to get here to win the fare-thee-well lottery. Just get in, hold out your hand, everyone wins. There will never be enough troops or walls to withstand the caravans of moochers crashing the borders until the national message changes.

The recent California election revealed a desire of the majority to reward government waste and corruption by voting billions more in borrowing that the upper and middle class will be burdened with repaying. In addition, the rash of victorious local sales tax measures will make the biggest ding on the poor as others will skirt the burden by buying products and registering vehicles in lower tax jurisdictions elsewhere.

Most voters must think CalPERS is a cat food brand rather than a union “con job” to coddle government employees and rip-off taxpayers. Local sales tax revenues will go for pensions. Don’t let your local official “BS” you.

In the 1970s, communists and socialists determined there was a better way than the costly wars in Southeast Asia to take over governments. That was by undermining the culture from within using government regulations and deceiving an ignorant populace by degrees.

Random street interviews using questions regarding Americana, founding principles, major wars and holidays show there is a spirit of stupid over the nation. Even educators and college graduates were stumped. As showman P.T. Barnum may have said, “There is a sucker born every minute.”

You can’t get this lame by accident. The founders were convinced that the nation must be a people of virtue rooted in Biblical scriptures. If people did not self-discipline, work hard and understand that government was not the answer they would see their way of life taken from them.

Romans 1:25 says, “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator, who is forever worthy of praise!” Government schools worship at the altar of non-science insisting that we came from primates and that there is a climate apocalypse ahead. The God-free system in turn advocates earth worship.

Psalm 81:11-12 says, “But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices.”

America’s founders believed that to preserve the republic the citizens needed to understand our national manual, the Constitution, along with the concepts of freedom, liberty, protection of private property and the imminent dangers of an all – powerful, tyrannical government.

The union-controlled government education system has succeeded in promoting socialism as the ideal and capitalism as a curse to be purged. No wonder simpleminded students believe the government will provide for their wants. They are repeating what they have been told.

Children in communist countries are wiser, much harder working, have better values and are not sissies. They see through the socialist sham and want out at any cost. They have suffered. American youth can’t spell it.

Nowhere is this cultural shift farther along than in California. Governor Brown and liberal comrades are smitten with arrogance and stupidity. They redirect water for farming to a species of fish. The timber industry is destroyed for an owl. Uneatable solar panels cover the best farmland in the world. Billions are wasted on a bullet train from nowhere to nowhere rather than invest in the state’s water, power and transportation infrastructure.

Illegal alien criminals are harbored and cared for better than citizens. The state prosecutes an investigative journalist who uncovers murdered babies being parted out and sold. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood escapes unscathed. Schools have become re-education camps teaching kids the pluses of deviant sexuality and gender identification.

Californians with no moral compass look the other way and in some cases rally to support ideas that shock the country and the world. Rather than a world leader California is now a byword for laughingstock.

by Lou Binninger

Humans have been on the move since the beginning, after the Creation, at the Tower of Babel, following The Flood, when famine hit Canaan land, and when God delivered millions of Israelite slaves from Egypt.

People relocate for many reasons --- wars, persecution, economics and a yearning to be free to name a few. In America, people pack-it-up for many causes, but high taxes, egregious regulations and better opportunities elsewhere top the list.

Since 2008, more than 1,700 companies are confirmed ex-Californians. The usual complaints of high taxes and heavy regulations have expanded recently to include the high cost of housing making it difficult to attract and retain workers.

Some high profile refugees include Toyota that moved its U.S. headquarters from Torrance to Plano, Texas; Occidental Petroleum relocated its headquarters from Los Angeles to Houston; and Nestle USA food conglomerate headquarters fled Glendale for Rosslyn, Virginia.

Now, Texas and California media are reporting that the second largest enterprise in California, the McKesson Corp. (pharmaceutical giant sixth on the Fortune 500 list) is preparing to move its headquarters from San Francisco to Texas.

McKesson is looking at the former NEC Corp. of America office complex on State Highway 114 in Irving, real estate brokers say. The two office buildings contain more than a half million square feet of space that could house more than 1,000 workers.

Apple is the only California company bigger than McKesson. McKesson had 75,000-plus employees and $198 billion in annual revenue last fiscal year.

Why would McKesson leave? McKesson stood to be the biggest loser from San Francisco’s Nov. 6 homeless tax. To fund another expansion of homeless programs, Measure C imposes a gross receipts tax on San Francisco-based companies which have $50 million or more in annual revenue. The tax (about .5%) is not on profits but on sales whether you make a profit or not.

McKesson is by far the highest-grossing San Francisco-based firm. Measure C is expected to generate $300 million a year, adding to the $380 million City Hall already spends for homeless people annually.

If Governor Brown feels anything for displaced businesses it is disdain. He says they lack the intellect to run the minefield of California taxes, fees and shackling regulations.

People are also moving. Brown and his comrades scoff that there are millions around the world that will replace them. Renting one-way outbound moving trucks is at a premium. Renting a moving truck earlier this year from Las Vegas to San Jose was about $100. In the opposite direction, the same truck will cost 16 times that, or nearly $2,000.

Golden State residents are doing the once-unthinkable, leaving. Why? Soaring taxes, unaffordable home prices, stifling regulations, horrible roads and schools and being tired of being told what to do. Those leaving are seeking freedom, financial and personal.

Indeed.com Chief Economist Jed Kolko notes that Census Bureau data from July 2016 to July 2017 show that California had a net loss of 138,000 people. Here’s where most went: Texas had a net population gain of 79,000, Arizona 63,000, and Nevada more than 38,000.

However, there’s more to it. Millions of middle income taxpayers are fleeing to be replaced with millions of illegal unskilled, uneducated poor. In fact, the state is looking like a third world country with the ultra-rich and the very poor. The taxed and harassed middle class, trades people and small enterprise owners are on the move.

The only new phenomenon is that there is now a net loss of people, hard-working taxpayers, otherwise known by Brown and his comrades as freeloaders, “deplorables,” and the guns and God group. Conservatives are leaving to be replaced by liberal voters.

In Los Angeles, a two bedroom apartment is $2,249 a month; in San Francisco it's nearly $3,400 a month. The same apartment in Las Vegas costs $1,122 a month; in Phoenix, it's $1,137. Gas prices are often a dollar cheaper just a state or two away.

Those who left say they miss friends and what God made in California, the beauty and the weather. They don’t miss the California man has made.

by Lou Binninger

Looney Governor Jerry Brown blamed the rash of apocalyptic-level forest fires on Global Warming deniers. His nonsensical and rash comments will not be missed.

Many will remember him for endangering Californians by ignoring the infrastructure needs of the state. Oroville Dam’s maintenance had been slipshod since its completion in 1968. Flakey inspections by state agencies risked the lives of hundreds of thousands of North State dwellers during the heavy rains and spillway collapse in February 2017.

The failure will cost taxpayers more than $1 billion to repair. No one has estimated the hundreds of millions it cost 180,000 people to evacuate and lose business and employment income.

Also in February 2017 the 315 foot Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge collapsed on Hwy 1 near Big Sur cutting off traffic and commerce along the North Coast. The new span took $21.7 million to install but thankfully the work was completed in just 8 months. Many of the state’s cumbersome rules were waived to perform the removal and rebuild. Typically, the state would take years to complete such a project.

Brown’s response to questions about cause and accountability in the spillway debacle was basically “stuff breaks and then you fix it.” He arrogantly directed the flagrant diverting of billions in maintenance dollars from caring for taxpayers’ safety and transportation needs to freebies for illegals. In fact taxpayers are “freeloaders” in Brown’s world.

Now, let’s talk fire. While local fire departments inspect businesses for fire risks and alert property owners to clean-up grass and brush in open areas, state and federal forests have been purposely allowed to become overgrown, laden with millions of dead trees and thick grasses and brush.

Ironically, on July 1, 2013 a $152.33 additional “fire tax” was levied per building on over 800,000 rural property owners for fuel reduction activities to lessen the risk of wildfire to communities and evacuation routes. Other activities included defensible space inspections, fire prevention engineering, emergency evacuation planning, fire prevention education, fire hazard severity mapping, implementation of the State and local Fire Plans and fire-related law enforcement activities such as arson investigation. That was the pitch.

By June 2015, $300 million had been collected with $43 million remaining unspent for prevention. In the devastating Valley and Butte fires of 2015, it was state not federal-responsibility lands that made up more than 80 percent of the areas destroyed.

When thinking about Green House Gases (GHG) the state does not consider forest fires a factor. However research for an article “Pollution: It’s Spreading Like Wildfire” noted that a single Alaskan wildfire emitted more carbon monoxide (CO) pollution than all human caused pollution from “tailpipes and smokestacks in the United States” during the same period. To the state bad forest management does not equal a human cause of GHG. Maybe God gets the blame.

“That single (Alaskan) fire emitted 6,600 times more CO during the 3 months it burned than all the pollution ExxonMobil, one of the top five corporate polluters, emitted during an entire year” according to researcher and author Zachary Gerber.

Gerber says the worst wildfire year on record in California was 2017 as 1,266,224 acres burned. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) those fires emitted more than 1 billion pounds of PM 2.5. PM 2.5 are particles 2.5 micrometers in diameter or smaller that have a damaging effect on health.

In comparison, the EPA estimates that California drivers in 2017 created 22 million pounds of PM 2.5 or just 2% of the fires’ output during the same time period. And the state doesn’t want to look at the impact of criminal forest management? Gerber estimates that it would take 50 years of California driving emissions to equal one of its wildfire emission events.

Do the liberal environmentalist groups really care about animals? Many biologists, land managers, ranchers and others believe wildfires are the greatest threat to species. The Arizona Bear Wallow Fire in 2011 is estimated to have killed at least 1.5 million vertebrate animals. Using the same survey methods 3.5 million animals perished in the fires of California in 2017.

Lefties are really quiet about pollution and flora and fauna destruction from fires in neglected forests. It just doesn’t fit their agenda.

When Smokey the Bear said “Only you can prevent forest fires” people thought about not being careless with matches. However, the human spark is not the biggest cause of most acres burned. Lightning-ignited fires destroy 1.5 times what human-caused fires ruin. Fuel, rather than the spark is the variable causing these massive devastation events.

Since the 1970s, horrific fires have increased while logging and grazing have been severely curtailed. More fuel, more and bigger fires. How many senseless deaths, towns leveled, millions of animals killed and massive pollution created before the insanity stops?

Many Californians are happy to see Governor Neglect move on.

by Lou Binninger

Have you noticed your government growing and becoming a bean up your nose at every turn? It wasn’t supposed to be that way.

Are you aware that instead of people, their liberty and their pursuit of happiness being the heart of the nation the government is now on the throne? It chooses what the laws are, which ones it will follow and directs your coming and going.

The Constitutional guarantees of free enterprise, private property and individual liberty are being undermined by government bureaucrats and nongovernment forces. They call it Sustainable Development. Thomas Lovejoy, a science adviser for the Department of the Interior said, “We will map the whole nation...determine development for the whole country and regulate it all.”

Under the false and concocted notion that there is an Environmental Armageddon coming bureaucrats and leftist groups want to change our economic system, our representative form of government and restrict our individual rights.

This contrived crisis will necessitate a massive government takeover and expansion to manage you, and place restrictions on your energy and water use. This change will be carried out via planning commissions and building, plumbing and electrical codes to transform free enterprise, private property and individual choice.

The policy called Smart Growth is being introduced using federal grant money to control county and city officials. It utilizes government/developer partnerships to attract the private sector and imposes eminent domain to destroy private ownership.

The goal is to eliminate cars, force people into inefficient and costly mass transit, create clone cities with the objective to control land and manage energy use. Low income neighborhoods will be replaced by high rise housing that the original residents cannot afford. They would be forced into government housing and onto welfare. The single family home will be a memory.

Smart Growth rules would make it impossible to live on the land in rural communities, thus destroying ranching, farming and timber industries, thus removing land from the private sector. These policies forbid cleaning the forest floor and will create “rewilding.”

Think about California today. Unaffordable housing, taking water from farmers, energy costs 60% higher than the national average, a wasteful bullet train to nowhere, horrible roads, and the highest poverty in the country.

Not long ago unauthorized intrusion into private property rights was strictly forbidden. Owners could take action against trespassers to secure their property. Today, that same sense of ownership and control has been lost. Government officials decide how you can use and if you can keep your property. And, nonelected regional boards are even ruling over local elected officials.

Property ownership is the most effective way to build wealth and escape poverty. Economist John Locke, whose writings influenced our Founders, said that “life and liberty are secure only so long as the right of property is secure.”

Consider this quote expressing the spirit of Smart Growth. “The chaotic growth of cities will be replaced by a dynamic system of urban settlement. The region is formed by the economic interdependence of it development, from the industrial complex to the industrial region. The region has a single system of transportation, a centralized administration and a united system of education and research.” This quote is from the book “The Ideal Communist City” written by Soviet Russian architect Alexei Gutnov.

New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio, an advocate of Smart Growth Sustainable Development said, “What’s been hardest is the way our legal system is structured to favor private property. I think people all over this city, of every background, would like to have the city government be able to determine which building goes where, how high it will be, who gets to live in it, what the rent will be.”

In 1997, Washington Supreme Court Justice Richard B. Sanders wrote “Property ... consists not merely in its ownership and possession, but in its unrestricted right of use, enjoyment, and disposal. Anything which destroys any of the elements of property to that extent destroys the property itself. The substantial value of the property lies in its use. If the right of use be denied, the value of the property is annihilated and ownership is rendered a barren right.”

Pay attention. Your rights are being undermined by your friendly government official.

by Lou Binninger

For those who hate President Trump, they hate everything he does even if they would have praised Obama for the same feat. When you are bitter even a beautiful day is a bitch.

Record breaking stock market, “jobs with shovels”, Obama’s people working, manufacturing positions increasing by 1,000 / day, people forgetting how to spell Isis, veterans being cared for, bad government employees getting canned, no need for “Cash for Clunkers,” more people have more money, but no good can be found if you’re pissed.

So, it is no surprise that whiny politicians and firefighters have gone ballistic over Trump’s critical comments about dangerous environmental policies contributing to California burning. Conservative critics can’t address politically incorrect topics anytime, in calm or crisis. However, this politically improper president can be berated at any moment and overtime for anything he says.

Critics (ranchers, forest managers, scientists, ecologists) abound against the nonsensical federal and state forest and land management policies that created millions of untouchable dead trees, sacred underbrush and thousands of Obama-era dictates and special interest litigation. The outcome is one inferno after another. This is governance by liberals.

Isn’t it odd? Local fire departments monitor poorly managed plots of land in the city and force owners to mow and trim for fire prevention. Offices of Emergency Services and insurance companies exhort rural dwellers to create clear spaces around buildings but our forests and open lands are ignored intentionally.

Trump is to blame of course for decades of idiotic environmental policies though he inherited the Deep State just two years ago. Whether the land is federal or state run, it has been ruled by liberal bureaucrats ignoring reality to serve a political agenda that ushered in disaster.

However, liberals need a villain to escape responsibility. In this case Trump hurt their feelings at the wrong time and then there is the Climate Armageddon bogeyman to blame.

In 2016, at the request of the Laguna Beach City Council, Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) authored SB 1463 which would have given local governments more input into fire-prevention efforts through the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) proceeding of making maps of fire hazard areas around utility lines.

Laguna Beach had experienced four fires started by utility lines and needed help with prevention efforts. The bill would have allowed cities and utilities to put lines underground, and work with the PUC to update fire maps by requiring the PUC to evaluate which communities are at risk from the consequences of wildfire.

Gov. Brown vetoed SB 1463, despite it being passed by the Legislature, 75-0 in the Assembly and 39-0 in the Senate.

“SB 1463 would have not only safeguarded Laguna and other high fire-risk communities in Orange County, but would have helped other vulnerable communities throughout the state that are often threatened by wildfires caused by sparks from shorted or fallen utility lines,” Sen. Moorlach said in a statement following the surprise veto. “The Governor’s veto impedes the necessity to more urgently address the California Public Utilities Commission’s focus on identifying high risk areas that should be prioritized for appropriate mitigation measures.”

Moorlach then crafted a 2018 version of SB 1463, calling it Cap and Trees, and tying fire prevention efforts to curbing greenhouse gases (GHG). The Air Resources Board (ARB) annually extorts millions of dollars from business to “save the planet” but the board ignores the impact of wildfire GHG. This bill would have committed 25% of Cap and Trade funds for counties to address utility threats, manage lands and fire prevention issues.

USA Today/Reno Gazette noted in 2017 that “for every 2 to 3 days these wildfires burn, GHG emissions are roughly equal to the annual emissions from every car in the entire state of California.” Last year, there were more than 9,000 major wildfires which burned over 1.2 million acres. Several of the large fires including the local Cascade Fire in Loma Rica were caused or exacerbated by sparking utility lines.

SB 1463 was killed in the liberal controlled Senate Environmental Quality Committee though there was no opposition to the bill. The decision was purely political, again ignoring the safety of Californians.

Rather than explore, develop, manage and innovate, Governor Brown wants to smother industry and re-wild rural areas by relocating residents to cities. This will insure that bugs and fish flourish. It’s a liberal dream that’s now a literal nightmare.

by Lou Binninger

After decades of using gas taxes and car fees on nearly everything but maintaining and improving roadways liberal state legislators passed SB 1 in 2017 to additionally tax fuels and vehicles. SB 1 added 12 cents/gal in gasoline tax and 20 cents/gal in diesel tax, an additional 5.75% to the diesel sales tax, and starting Jul 1, 2019 an additional 5.6 cent increase in the gasoline tax.

Beginning in 2020 the gas tax will be further raised according to the fluctuations in the Consumer Price Index. Based on the consumer index over the past few years, according to Department of Finance (DOF) economic forecasts, this will result in endless increases in the gas tax.

The already egregious DMV (Dept. of Motor Vehicle) fees for lousy service were also increased from $25 – 175. However, electric cars were given exemptions until July 1, 2020 when they will pay $100 annually for 2020 models and newer.

Each year $100 million of the new tax revenue goes to bike and pedestrian paths (not roads) and $5 million to workforce training programs which is code for union pay-offs. And then there is an annual $25 million for a stranded motorist patrol. Is this a tow service run by government employees?

Liberals legislators consider California taxpayers to be “freeloaders.” Illegal aliens and welfare recipients somehow are not.

In spite of the above, Californians (unofficially 55.6% voted No on Prop 6) suffering from Stockholm syndrome agreed with their rulers and voted to keep this massive theft from citizens though there was ample money to care for roads before SB 1 passed. The anti-Prop 6 liars sang a sky is falling tune to instill fear that roads and potholes would be ignored.

Even Prop 6’s title on the ballot was fraudulent. Rather than saying Prop 6 repeals the 2017 SB1 fuel tax and DMV fee increases, “Deceiver” General Xavier Becerra crafted “Eliminates Certain Road Repair and Transportation Funding.” That was enough to throw the typical overwhelmed and unprepared voter. Most voters probably missed the fact that Prop 6 would have stopped future tax increases without a vote of the people. Now taxes can be raised at will by politicians.

SB1 will cost the average family an additional $8,000 over its 10-year term to own and operate a vehicle. Meanwhile, politicians, premium-paid government employees with cradle to grave benefits along with union bosses continue the good life.

The vote was a classic California split (see the map at vote.sos.ca.gov/maps/ballot-measures). All coastal counties except Del Norte, San Diego and Orange wanted to keep the tax. So, most major metropolitan areas voted for the tax and most of the rest of the state wanted to repeal.

The counties in the State of Jefferson movement voted to repeal except for Lake and Butte. The top counties for repeal were Lassen (66.3%) and Yuba (62.5%) but they have few voters. The over 20 counties included in the State of Jefferson simply do not have the population to see their convictions become reality via the ballot box.

Los Angeles County’s votes rule over the entire north state included in the Jefferson movement (see soj51.org. for a list of Jefferson counties).

Voting for state-wide ballot issues is a waste of time when north state residents oppose their south state neighbors. Liberal metropolitan centers mainly in the south control the direction, government policies and the lives of those residing in the north. It is everything our Founding Fathers fought against, taxation without representation and being ruled from afar.

Most California residents in the north live different lives and share different values from those in south. The options for those in the north are conform, force a state split or leave.

by Lou Binninger

A friend changed his life after spending half his 40-some years in prison. He completed drug court and has remained free. He is married with 5 children but has struggled to acquire meaningful employment. That doesn’t mean he lacks skill. He is an accomplished barber having learned the trade in prison.

However, though customers would give him a chance with their looks, the government and the Barber and Cosmetology Board won’t. He must spend thousands of dollars and thousands of hours of training, pay testing fees, annual fees and endure oversight for the privilege of making a living.

In the 1950s, about 5% of the American workforce needed an occupational license but today it’s 30%. The practice now has a significant bearing on workers of all skill levels, and extends far beyond doctors, lawyers, nurses, and teachers. It also raises the prices to consumers while not providing them real protection according to researchers.

Occupational licenses are not just state-sponsored certificates to indicate workers have completed some level of training; occupational licensing laws forbid people from practicing their occupation without meeting state requirements. If the rationale for licensing an electrician is to protect public safety, what rationale supports licensing travel guides?

Yet, twenty-one states require a license for travel guides. Among these, Nevada has created the highest hurdle: in 2015 a person hoping to be a travel guide in that state must put in 733 days of training and pay $1,500 for the license.

Our nation is on a licensing binge claiming that the government is protecting the ignorant populace from unskilled and unscrupulous practitioners. It is nonsense and is keeping good people from making a living. Of course, licensing gives thousands of unproductive paper-pushing bureaucrats a salary and retirement for lording it over those who actually provide a product or service for a living.

Some states require that florists and make-up artists meet expensive and time-intensive requirements before they are legal to do their jobs. Also subject to licensing in various states are locksmiths, ballroom dance instructors, hair braiders, manicurists, interior designers, and upholsterers.

If the licensing is supposed to protect and saves lives then why do interior designers, barbers, cosmetologists, and manicurists all face far greater licensing requirements than do Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs)? And no one working in a restaurant needs an occupational license, but Americans run to them for meals several times each week.

Licensing is no substitute for reputation. In fact, licensing fails to insure quality or safety. For food establishments, the public relies on health inspections and customer complaints to give them confidence. In Third World countries you watch for eateries with a crowd or found with a referral.

The consumer protection argument is weak. It's impossible to take the justification seriously for many of the over 800 occupations that require a license in at least one state that regulates fortune tellers, florists, hair braiders, and movie projector operators.

As social media and the internet have provided numerous instant means to critique, rate, and crucify all kinds of services and products, the market has far surpassed a lame and lethargic government bureaucracy in “protecting the public.” Super-cyber “word of mouth” is more effectual and brutal than government clip-board or tablet jockeys.

Consumer protection from shoddy service providers can be found in current state tort laws and consumer protection bureaus, but best through market forces, without the need for many anti-competitive licensing rules. If consumers valued them, there would also still be a market for certifications, and thus the training that consumers want, not what professional societies believe necessary as a way to shelter their own members from new competition.

Most licenses amount to anti-competition schemes to protect veteran trades-people against new upstarts. It is anti-competition. In fact, licensing boards comprised of practitioners may be legitimate targets for antitrust litigation. The licensing racket limits innovation, keeps prices up and should be ruled illegal.

by Lou Binninger

Recently, Marysville Manager Marti Brown provided the 155-page City 2018-2019 Budget Draft to keep us informed. In addition to budget numbers it includes proposals and ideas to consider, a glimpse at past expenditures and revenue, a management bent to cut expenses and increase revenues, and an addition of new employees. It also explains 2017-2018 expenditures for the hotly contested 2016 Measure C 1% sales tax increase.

Marti Brown explains that Measure C’s victory led to Standard and Poor’s Bond Rating for Marysville being upgraded from BBB- to A-, a recognition of improved economic health. The rating is helpful when the City desires to borrow money.

The sad fact is that all levels of government are determined to add more debt to the taxpayers. Five bonds (borrowing) were on the recent ballot for Marysville / Yuba County voters to consider.

Brown says the increased sales tax revenue of Measure C allowed the City to address deferred public safety maintenance issues such as replacing vehicles and hiring police officers and fire fighters.

Measure C was a General Tax Measure where the funds could be spent for any purpose. Campaign advertising focused on public safety needs and ignored the main cause of the budget shortfall – the B Street Property purchase with bonds.

Measure C revenues were used in 2017-18 as follows: balance the General Fund - $439,360; hire 3 firefighters - $319,156; police vehicle fleet replacement bond payment - $185,523; hire 2 police officers - $160,230; parks - $20,742; website upgrade - $19,649; finance software - $10,430; for a total of $1.4 million.

The City Budget is described as roughly $15 million with 97 full and part time employees. It includes $9.2 million in the general fund of which more than 25% or $2.5 million is derived from the Measure C’s sales tax revenues. Brown describes this fact as a positive but also “sobering....an important consideration moving forward especially as Measure C’s 2026 expiration date approaches.”

The audit of 2017-18 showed Measure C generated $2.5 million versus a projected $1.4 million. No monies are noted from the Measure F Cannabis Tax in 2018-19 projections but the City Manager is hoping for a “Spring 2019 surprise” if the new cannabis outlet opens near Adventist Hospital.

Brown says the City’s optimism is challenged by unfunded pension liability and health care costs, “ever-looming B Street property bond payment” (approx. $630,000 annually), high commercial vacancy rates, bleak General Fund reserve, keeping pace with market rate salaries, diversifying the City’s income stream and preparing for the expiration of Measure C in 2026.

Under “The Path Forward” numerous revenue generating ideas are offered for councilmembers’ consideration. One is to assess a fee for medical aid and vehicle accident responses by police and fire. That should be an interesting discussion but Brown Town is not the first city to look at this.

Brown proposed the City establish full cost recovery programs for permitting, fees, and inspections. Update and increase all city fees as appropriate and create an “Impact Fee” schedule. Consider illegal control burn fines and billing for vehicle incidents involving negligence.

The budget says the council should re-evaluate the benefit of city assets such as Plumas Lake Golf Course and the Annex Building and consider repurposing or disposing of them. No specific mention is made of the baseball park or how much the taxpayers are subsidizing baseball.

Manager Brown recommends promoting cannabis related business activity to capitalize on Measure F taxes. The cannabis ordinance allows at least two outlets in the City.

Opponents of Measure C said the increased sales tax if passed would never end. The budget proposal says the city needs to plan for expiration of Measure C and consider another ‘Evergreen’ 1% tax in 2022. Opponents of “C” were correct.

The budget document lists instituting new and improved revenue generating programs, a city–wide parking payment program in commercial districts including meter installation and neighborhood permits. Most seasoned Brown Town residents remember parking meters and the city removing them all.

The budget is full of interesting information and ideas on how to save Brown Town. It even suggests drilling wells in the parks since the City cannot afford to pay Cal Water Service (CWS) for water. If the City can do this, can CWS hostages install their own wells to make Brown Town green again?

by Lou Binninger

Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association (HJTA), California’s leading taxpayer advocacy group named for the author of Proposition 13, is suing cities and counties for violating the rights of citizens.

In July, HJTA filed a lawsuit against the County of Los Angeles for “gross misconduct” when it “illegally spent” close to $1 million in taxpayer funds on political advertising. The lawsuit seeks reimbursement to the county treasury and civil penalties.

County officials spent the money on a campaign consultant and political advertising to promote Measure H, a sales tax measure in March 2017. The advertisements on television and radio, in English and Spanish, praised homeless programs that Measure H would pay for, using the tag line, “Measure H, Real Help, Lasting Change, Vote March 7.” The ads never mentioned that Measure H was a proposed tax increase.

While California law allows public funds to be spent providing voters impartial information regarding the pros and cons of a proposed ballot measure, it does not allow government to “‘take sides’ in election contests or bestow an unfair advantage on one of several competing factions” (Stanson v. Mott (1976) 17 Cal.3d 206, 217). It is a free speech violation.

In August, HJTA filed suit in the San Francisco Superior Court challenging the city’s illegal special tax on commercial property owners. The tax is a punitive gross receipts tax which may reduce commercial property values in the city by 11-12%.

Proceeds from the tax, if implemented, will fund early childhood education programs. Since the tax was stated to be for a special purpose, it required a 2/3 vote of the city’s electorate according to both Propositions 13 and 218. But it did not pass by that margin. The proposal, designated as Measure C, received only a 50.87% vote but city leaders celebrated the victory anyway.

“The California Constitution could not be more clear,” said Jon Coupal, President of HJTA. For 40 years, special taxes at the local level have required a two-thirds vote of the electorate. “Moreover, the two-thirds vote threshold mandated by Propositions 13 and 218 remain very popular in California notwithstanding the fact that the state has drifted leftward in the last couple of decades,” Coupal said.

The City of Roseville lost a case to HJTA over similar violations. Yuba County is violating laws concerning the use of public funds to promote Measure K, a 1% sales tax increase. The county has also promoted the measure as a public safety special tax needing to pass by a 2/3 majority but wrote the ballot measure declaring only a simple majority win is necessary. HJTA informed Yuba County that they are in violation.

Now, HJTA has received a response about its Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) complaint against L.A.’s Measure H. The FPPC found “probable cause” to charge L.A. County, as well as the individual members of the Board of Supervisors, with 15 counts of campaign finance violations. Not only is the “probable cause” finding by the FPPC welcomed by taxpayer advocates, it is timely.

California is a week away from the November 6 election and many local governments in California are illegally using taxpayer funds for political advocacy and failing to report the same as political contributions according to Jon Coupal.

The free speech clauses of the federal and state Constitutions prohibit the use of governmentally compelled monetary contributions (including taxes) to support or oppose political campaigns since “Such contributions are a form of speech, and compelled speech offends the First Amendment.” Smith v. U.C. Regents (1993) 4 Cal.4th 843, 852.

Moreover, “use of the public treasury to mount an election campaign which attempts to influence the resolution of issues which our Constitution leaves to the ‘free election’ of the people (see Const., art. II, § 2) ... presents a serious threat to the integrity of the electoral process.” Stanson v. Mott (1976) 17 Cal.3d 206, 218.

You shouldn’t need a law degree or to retain legal services to preserve your rights as a citizen but that is where we are as a country. That taxpayer’s are being defrauded by their elected officials.

by Lou Binninger

Was the Gridley City Council under a spell when they agreed to pay Chief of Police “Diamond” Dean Price $332,743 or $27,728 per month for his 2018-2019 salary / benefits? That nearly made him the top paid state law enforcement official.

His contract blocked the city from reducing his pay unless all employees got a reduction. The city actually paid his $300 gym membership since it was too much to expect him to tend to his own “wellness.”

Did the council confuse the top cop with an entertainer or elite athlete?

The city’s administration is also well-heeled for managing just 2.08 square miles of cityscape and its 6,074 residents. Gridley’s City Administrator Paul Eckert receives $206,672 for 2018-2019 or $34 per person annually for his services. Public Works / Electric Director Daryl Dye collects $301,730, Russell Hawes - Electric Supervisor $185,803, and Finance Director Juan Solis $178,876.

The city has its own Electric Company that the city draws more than a million dollars from annually to compensate their top 6 or 7 staff members. The citizens pay taxes and then have their utility rates tapped when the city runs short. Most people think that taking “surplus” from a municipal utility to float the city budget is assessing an illegal tax. However, cities and counties have sticky fingers nowadays regardless of law or ethics.

In September, “Diamond Dean” suddenly announced his retirement to avoid being dismissed. His last day was October 30. Maybe he will find work elsewhere. Hired to replace him is Interim Chief Allen Byers who retired in May from leading Oroville Police Department.

Byers comes with 20-years of experience and credentials. The good news in Gridley is that he’ll receive only $9,166 in salary/benefits each month versus “Diamond Dean’s” $27,728 for a monthly savings of $18,562.

Many people liked Chief Price. Did the council wake up from its financial snooze or did the Chief stumble? Hopefully, the council members are realizing that tomatoes are not $10 a pound and see about recruiting some lower priced officials to rule the town.

With cities and counties unable to fund promised pension and health benefits and Cal PERS unable to function honestly and remain solvent local politicians seem stuck. They blame the state for their demise.

In spite of plenty of blame to go around local “leaders” make the deals with employee unions that raise the pay and let the taxpayers pick-up the pension contributions. As Billy Sunday said, “There is a payday someday.” Politicians and administrators just hope they get theirs and retire to another state when the “someday” arrives.

Politicians and administrators have mismanaged jurisdictions into a financial hole and then try to shame the public into coughing-up more cash. These rulers have no red faces, making $100,000, $200,000 and $300,000 as they drain utility funds and ask households earning less than $50,000 to give more, more, and some more to fund the government’s future.

Raising sales taxes and gas taxes have the most negative impact on the very poor, taking a higher percentage of their monthly earnings. They cannot avoid taxes on fuel and cars. Liberals always have an answer though – offer them more “free” benefits funded by the rich and middle class.

by Lou Binninger

Last week, Sacramento Administrative Law Judge Coren D. Wong set aside Sutter County District Attorney Amanda Hopper’s January 17, 2018 firing of Chief Investigator Jason Parker and ordered his dismissal to be modified to a demotion to Senior Criminal Investigator. Wong also directed the county to pay Parker all back pay, interest, and benefits owed to him had he been demoted to Senior Criminal Investigator rather than fired.

The judge’s decision now goes to the Board of Supervisors on November 6 at 3pm according to County Counsel Jean Jordan so they can review the ruling and make their decision. They have some options according to court documents.

Supervisors can agree with the actions of the court. Or, Parker could be given his previous position back and the Board could alter the judge’s financial directives. The Board may also impose any appropriate disciplinary action based on the factual evidence but not to exceed the appeal punishment. Finally, the Board could disregard the judge’s ruling and impose a greater penalty. In that case the County Counsel must provide a synopsis or transcript of Judge Wong’s decision at county expense within 30-days to be reviewed by the Board and then they will vote.

If the Board disagrees with Wong’s findings and upholds Parker’s firing another lawsuit and financial settlement are likely. The County’s method has been to be sued and then settle.

Parker, out of work since his firing, sold his home and moved his wife and children in with other family members to fight his case. To be accused of numerous charges including being a liar in the Appeal Democrat by DA Hopper, Parker’s law enforcement career may be over in spite of a financial settlement.

When Yuba County Health Officer Doctor Joe Cassady was harassed by Supervisor Mary Jane Griego in the early 1990s, accused of illegal activities, and his reputation tarnished by lies he won his case for punitive damages against the county and kept his job.

Three other county employees were fired for conspiring to destroy his medical career. Cassady feared his reputation as a doctor had been tainted by the media coverage should he seek future employment elsewhere.

Key evidence kept from Judge Wong and the defense by Sutter County was the Solano County investigators’ 34-page interview of the male subject involved in the incident described in DA Investigator Brandon Oakley’s complaint against Parker. Oakley alleged Parker threatened to both assault and kill the man. The Solano transcript was discovered by the defense and Wong after the hearing, but Wong nonetheless declined to consider it since it wasn’t included in court documents.

The arrestee’s testimony did not agree with Oakley’s more exaggerated version of the events in the complaint. The Judge concluded Parker was genuinely threatened with being purposely vomited on and infected by a Hepatitis-C carrier in close quarters (front seat of vehicle) but Parker’s verbal response was “unsatisfactory and discourteous to the public.”

Judge Wong also concluded that Oakley’s testimony about the incident was “not persuasive.” His memory of the details of the event conflicted with DA Hopper’s testimony and his explanation for waiting nearly a year to file a complaint about Parker’s behavior “was not credible.”

Oakley’s complaint surfaced after Parker spoke with Oakley and the DA about office rumors regarding a romantic relationship between Oakley and Hopper.

Wong said the County failed to prove Hopper’s claim that Parker was insubordinate in changing trial assignments of investigators when there were scheduling conflicts. There was no cause for dismissal. Parker contended it was a part of his job, but quit making changes without DA approval following being confronted by Hopper.

Wong said the County proved Parker avoided forcing a long-time investigative assistant Francisco Cervantes out of his office to make room for new-hire Investigator David Whiteaker. There were other locations for Whiteaker according to Parker, and Cervantes felt the DA was discriminating against him. Cervantes filed a discrimination complaint against the County after being removed.

The court said the County proved Parker did not cooperate with one of two firms hired by the County to investigate his actions. Parker argued that he feared the firm may be biased since the investigation was directed out of the County Counsel’s office while he had a complaint against County Counsel Jean Jordan. The judge concluded Parker’s resistance was not justified but had no impact in the findings.

Supervisor Jim Whiteaker’s independence to judge Parker may be compromised due to his own legal issues with the DA’s office. No formal charges were ever filed against him regarding numerous accusations of a sexual nature over many years by high school girls. However, Yuba City Unified School District fired him after their investigation.

Also, in late 2013, Supervisor Sullenger was investigated by an outside firm regarding county employee accusations of gender and race harassment. County employee rules do not include discipline of Supervisors. Otherwise, if considered an employee Sullenger was in violation of county workplace behavior codes.

Oct222018

by Lou Binninger

The November 6 election is especially meaningful for Yuba County residents that care about their finances. There are 5 new bonds, a sales tax increase, and a gas tax / DMV fee repeal on the ballot. The outcome will either put money in their pocket or make them poorer.

Last week, Yuba County property tax bills were arriving. Once you take a look then go to HJTA.org, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association website. At the top of their homepage you can play “The Guessing Game” to determine how much your property tax would have been if you did not have 1978’s Proposition 13 protection. Type in the current market value of your home and it computes your property tax without Prop 13 limits.

Since I have lived in the same home since 1987, my taxes would be 8 times or 800% more without Prop 13. The non-Prop 13 protected taxes would take 5.6 months of Social Security (SS) checks to pay. If my tax bill’s added bonds and other charges are included it would take 5.8 months of SS money to pay the debt. Can you see how many senior citizens could not afford to remain in their homes after retirement up until 1978?

Be sure to exclude any additional charges like school, levee and utility bonds etc. for comparing 1978 to 2018 property taxes. Marysville residents are now paying off 3 Marysville Joint Unified School District Bonds (MJUSD), 4 Yuba College Bonds and 2 Levee District Bonds. Some Yuba County residents have expensive development fees and utility bonds, as well.

MJUSD put Bond Measure J on ballots in most of Yuba County. MJUSD needs 55% of the voters to ok $74 million in bonds (borrowing) to be paid off by 2054-2055. The pay back is estimated to be $ 150,748,926, or 2.04 : 1, interest to principal. But the state code allows up to 4:1 interest to principal, and no one knows for sure what the interest rate will be. The text of the measure says stated projects “may be” not “will be” funded with the bonds. The bonds could start out costing $60 for each $100,000 of assessed property valuation annually added to your tax bills.

Before Proposition 13, property tax was based on the current market value of your home. Proposition 13 made property taxes affordable and predictable by using the purchase price as the base and capping the property tax rate at 1% of the assessed value. (Before Prop. 13, the statewide average property tax rate was 2.67 % of the value.)

Prop. 13 also limits annual increases in the base to 2%, regardless of any changes in market value, and makes it harder for politicians to raise other taxes, requiring a two-thirds vote instead of a simple majority.

In 2020, liberal legislators plan to repeal the Prop 13 protection on commercial property. If that passes then the repeal of 13’s help on residential real estate will be next.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data on consumer spending Americans on average spent more on taxes than on food and clothing combined in 2017.

“Consumer units” (which include families, financially independent individuals, and people living in a single household who share expenses) spent an average of $9,562 on food and clothing in 2017, according to BLS. But they spent $16,749 on federal, state and local taxes.

In 2017, there were 130,001,000 consumer units in the United States. These consumer units had an average before-tax income of $73,573 and their largest average expenditure was $19,884 for housing--a sum that included the average property tax bill of $2,065.

Last week, columnist Dan Walters reported that in California, jurisdictions desperate for cash have 254 local tax increases on the November ballot – sales taxes, parcel taxes, utility taxes and hotel/motel taxes, mostly – according to the California Taxpayers Association, 65 percent more than there were four years ago.

All entities are holding hands going over the CalPERS government employee pension cliff together while dishonestly begging money for police and fire. Bureaucrats realize that the more citizens know about the CalPERS pension scam the angrier they get.

Few and possibly no private enterprises can afford to hire someone and commit to pay them for the rest of their lives after working 20-30 years. Depending on their occupation government retirees are making 60-90% of their peak annual salary till they die. And most of the pensions are funded by taxpayers versus employee contributions. Only a corrupt socialist government thinks this make sense.

California Water Service (CWS) is asking the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) to allow it to raise rates in Marysville 7.6% in 2020, another 4.4% in 2021 and then 4.4% in 2022 or a cumulative boost of 16.9% over the three years.

Cal Water's Marysville District began in 1930 with the purchase of Marysville Water Company and it serves 3,700 connections and 12,800 people according to their corporate information.

For decades, Cal Water kept Marysville green with reasonable rates. However, as corporate greed set – in high bills forced residents to give-up outdoor water use. Visitors to Marysville note that few people water their yards. Grass, shrubs and even trees are sacrificed.

Even tenants ignore requirements to care for the yard once they get their first water bills. Renters can be evicted but in California that is a long, tedious and expensive process tilted toward residents. Landlords and management firms look the other way, hands tied by government regulations and a monopoly on water.

How bad is it? In Marysville, water service costs $35.61 for a 3/4 inch meter with no water included. If the customer uses 15 units of water (1 unit or CCF or HCF equals 748 gals) in a month the cost is $77.31, not counting additional charges that Cal Water adds since it is a private company, like the Water Rate Adjustment Mechanism (WRAM). CWS also wants the CPUC to remove limits on some of their extra charges.

In Yuba City, a 1 inch meter includes 15 units of water for $35.84. In Wheatland, the cost is $47.47. And in Olivehurst the charge is $31.35.

If the residence uses more than 15 units, Cal Water charges an additional $2.92/unit up to 21 units, Yuba City $1.84/unit (no limit), Wheatland $.45/unit up to 45 units and Olivehurst $1.65/unit with no next tier of charges.

Yuba City, Wheatland and Olivehurst are municipal utilities and can only charge what it costs to deliver the water to the customers. Raising water rates there takes a vote of the people.

CWS is a private corporation with rates approved by the CPUC. Its revenues reward shareholders with strong stock prices and a record run of dividends. CWS has paid consecutively rising dividends since 1968, a fifty-year record that has allowed it to be classed as a “Dividend King.”

CWS is the place to invest and look for work. However, if you want a place to reside, your water will be acquired at a premium if coming from Cal Water.

CPUC members and utility executives have a mutually beneficial incestuous relationship including the administrative judges hearing rate cases. The CPUC is no friend of the public.

Whether it’s PG and E, Southern California Edison or a myriad of other utilities the CPUC has proven to be an ethical train wreck ripping-off consumers and richly rewarding monopolies. Cal Water’s corporate executives and board members earn hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars each year. Employees receive “Cadillac” health care plans, assistance with college education and numerous other benefits.

CWS touts its wonderful water quality. However, California sets the regulations for water quality and all water providers must comply with the same standards. Cal Water pays nothing for the water in Marysville.

The schedule to upgrade Marysville’s old 55-mile piping system is a mystery. To upgrade the aging pipe infrastructure purchased in 1930 and then expanded, Cal Water should be replacing 1-2 miles per year. That’s not happening.

Marysville, located between the Yuba and Feather Rivers, has been blessed with an abundance of well water noted in a high water table that does not recede even during the recent drought. Residents received no benefit from living above a full aquifer, but had to comply with the same water rationing as the rest of the state during the drought while paying the highest rates in the region.

CWS is now touting the fact that the average customer is using just 10 units of water and spending $50.84 a month to justify another small rate increase. This data reflects not irrigating outdoors because people cannot afford the water. The outdoors is where most water is used in a California household. Bills would be in the $100-200 range to keep yards green here again.

Is there any benefit in living in Brown Town?