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China’s Undeclared War with the U.S.

| Opinion | October 29, 2019

by Rob Werner

China has been at war with us since it became communist. When the Chinese appeared to adopt capitalism, trade began.

However, the capitalism China subscribes to is Nazi – national socialism on steroids. Whereas American capitalism has morphed into crony corporate capitalism in which the government directs business to political contributors, the Chinese government dictates policy and survival requirements for businesses within its realm. China operates as a communist business.

The Chinese aid our enemies. Their army is 50% larger. A million people are in concentration camps. Religions are persecuted. It’s illegal for them to congregate. China is a dictatorship without a free press. Their culture generates obedience to the state, dishonesty and theft in business, and a false face and demeanor to the outside world. They are the worst polluters. Workers are often treated like slave labor. There are no unions and no OSHA. They are racist. They prohibit foreign employees from utilizing facilities open to locals. They generate a billion dollars from the forced harvest of body parts. They do everything within their power to damage the U.S. and become the world’s dictator.
Let’s count the ways.

  1. But for Chinese support, North Korea would have collapsed.
  2. They invent, produce and export opiates such as fentanyl to the U.S., addicting and killing Americans.
  3. They manufacture and export generic prescription drugs with deficient standards, jeopardizing lives.
  4. They counterfeit millions of our currency.
  5. They money launder ten billion dollars a year in the U.S.
  6. They conduct 90% of known corporate espionage in the U.S. In 2018 it was determined that they caused almost nine billion dollars of damage in one field.
  7. They promote theft of corporate secrets, disinformation, political indoctrination and election interference in our country.
  8. Through price fixing, currency manipulation, free trade their way , international US postal rates cheaper than domestic and monopolistic practices, they successfully destroyed most competing American factories.
  9. They invited remaining major world and American businesses to invest and do business in China, creating a model where they could steal the companies’ business procedure, copy products and produce similar products at a lower rate.
  10. They make major corporations from Disney to Microsoft dependent on Chinese labor, and thus afraid of offending the Chinese dictatorship.
  11. They established dependency on Chinese production and an annual trade deficit for the U.S. amounting to $378.6 billion in 2018.
  12. Moneys from the trade deficit are used to buy influence, gain interest in ownership of our corporations and build on their efforts to take control of outstanding markets. We built the Panama Canal; President Carter gave it to Panama and Panama sold major ports on both ends to China.
  13. When China didn’t have a movie industry, they just stole work. Now they finance the production. They dictate required biases and policies, and blacklist actors and others from working who participate in a production that offends their ideology.
  14. Our dollar is still the reserve currency for 62% of the world. It contributes to our being the strongest economy in the world. They wish to destroy the dollar and replace it with a Chinese controlled currency.
  15. Nike manufactures their shoes in China. Most of the information companies have major investments in China, making them all subject to China dictating anti-American views and limits on freedom of expression.
  16. They bribe and blackmail politicians. The FBI discovered that China hacked Hillary’s e-mail. Political families are generating income from China.

Maybe we would be better off with no Chinese trade.

‘But Her Emails!’ A Final Farewell to a Fake Scandal

| Opinion | October 24, 2019

by Dick Polman

Did you catch the important news story about Hillary Clinton the other day? I’m guessing you missed it, because it was buried beneath the latest bombshells about the Russia-abetted grifter who barely beat her. Indeed, if you happened to see the print version of The New York Times, the story was inexplicably consigned to page 16:

“A years-long State Department investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server found that…there was no systemic or deliberate mishandling of classified information.”

Let’s repeat that conclusion, this time by quoting the report released by Trump’s State Department:

“There was no persuasive evidence of systematic, deliberate mishandling of classified information.”

Gee, whattaya know. The fake scandal ginned up by candidate Trump and amplified by a complicit mainstream media turns out to be a nutrition-free nothingburger. Too bad the hyperbolic brouhaha about her private server tilted the 2016 election to an aspiring authoritarian who vandalizes the Constitution and sells out America to its enemies. Compared to Trump’s impeachable acts, what Hillary did was tantamount to jay-walking in traffic.

The lesson for the mainstream media, a lesson that by now should be obvious, is that false equivalence is a crime against fact.

Candidate Trump’s sordid past – his mob ties, his multiple bankruptcies, his financial dependence on Russia, his stiffing of small contractors – got a fraction of the media coverage that Hillary’s emails received. By the late summer of 2016, that’s basically what most Americans “knew” about her – the vague unfounded suspicion that she might be a risk to national security.

That suspicion, preposterous back then, looks especially so now thanks to a new report by the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee. The reporth documents the Kremlin’s systematic 2016 campaign to get Trump elected, a campaign so successful that Russian operatives literally drank champagne on election night. And they’re still celebrating. Trump’s military retreat from Syria is a boost for Russia, according to Russia. As one Moscow commentator wrote this week, “Putin won the lottery!”

It’s weird that Trump assails reporters as “enemies of the people,” because he arguably owes his ascent to their obsession with Hillary’s emails. For most of 2015 and 2016, they covered the “story” relentlessly, despite the dearth of actual evidence she’d breached national security. Most of the time, the nothingburger was stuffed with fillers like “Questions are being raised.” This was a typical New York Times paragraph in August 2015; “But the email account and its confusing reverberations have become a significant early chapter in the 2016 presidential race and a new stroke in the portrait of the Democrats’ leading candidate.”

Even last Friday, while reporting on Hillary’s exoneration (and burying the story), The Times wrote that the State Department report “appears to bookend a controversy that dogged Mrs. Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.” Oh please. She was “dogged” by the “controversy” precisely because the press saw it as “a new stroke in the portrait.”

One commentator, legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin of CNN, has at least copped to his complicity. Bravo to him. On the air Monday, he discussed the exoneration and said: “This is also a story about the news media, about how much time we spent on (Hillary’s emails) and that’s something that I have felt a great deal of responsibility for, because I talked about the emails here at CNN. I wrote about it in The New Yorker, and I think I paid too much attention to them, and I regret that, and I hope a lesson is learned.”

We’ll see about that. Eying 2020, Trump is already running the same false-equivalence playbook. He’s trying to sucker the media and citizenry into believing that the Biden family’s so-called “corruption” is worse or no worse than his own.

Hillary’s exoneration should be a wake-up call. Shame on this benighted nation if we sanction a second con.

Copyright 2019 Dick Polman, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Dick Polman, a veteran national political columnist based in Philadelphia and a Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, writes at DickPolman.net. Email him at dickpolman7@gmail.com

Who Goes There, Friend or Foe?

| Opinion | October 24, 2019

by William Tozzi

Are you a friend or are you a foe?
It’s something I’d like to know.
Just because we may disagree
Doesn’t mean you’re my mortal enemy.

Are you biased or are you fair?
Will you twist my words in the air?
Is your ambition to impeach?
Does it cling to you like a leech?

Are you left or are you right?
Will you talk or will you fight?
Are you on a different page?
Are you filled with hate and rage?

Do you come in peace or armed for battle?
Do you make sense or do you just prattle?
Can you open up your mind wide
To communicate with the other side?

Are you politically correct (PC)?
Do you constantly babble that idiocy?
Or will you have a logical conversation
About what’s good for this entire nation?

Can you learn to compromise?
See the world through the other’s eyes?
Where’s the caring and the kindness?
Your bias has caused love blindness.

Will your ego get in the way
Of what you want to do every day?
Recognize we are all prejudicial
And our opinion may be superficial.

Is your state red or is it blue?
Either way I’ll talk with you.
We’re not that far apart, you’ll find
When our decisions are colorblind

Do you want us get along?
Or will you sing another song?
Are we both too blinded to see
That I’m like you and you’re like me?

Do you speak lies or speak the truth?
Are you polite or are you uncouth?
Do you preach and do the opposite?
Are you filled with facts or full of it?

Are you human or an animal?
Are you absurd or are you rational?
Do you need love, or don’t you care?
Do you soothe or do you scare?

Socialism will only bring misery.
We’ll no longer be the land of the free.
You can kiss goodbye to your liberty
And say hello to the third degree.

Russia, Russia, Ukraine, Ukraine.
This pony show gives me a pain.
All the resources we have wasted.
Too few answers we have tasted.

Are we hearing things differently?
Do we see only what we want to see?
Liberal or conservative, which one are you?
Just remember—To thine own self be true.

Copyright 2019, William Tozzi, Golden Pen Writers Guild, Santa Clarita, CA

Letter to the Editor

| Opinion | October 24, 2019

Newsom Veto of AB-211 (See veto below)
In other words, it’s OK to spend more than $50 million of the taxpayers money as long as the money is controlled and dispensed by local politicians, but it is not OK for individual taxpayers to make decisions about how to fund higher education for their relatives with $13 million in uncollected taxes.
The taxpayers money, according to the governor, should be used to advance political causes only incidentally linked to higher education.
The ScholarShare program has been vetted by the IRS, other programs listed in the veto message have yet to pass muster with the IRS.
-Greg Whitney

Governor’s Veto Message:
To the Members of the California State Assembly:  
I am returning Assembly Bill 211 without my signature. 
This bill would allow an income tax deduction for contributions to qualified tuition savings programs, known as 529 plans, for qualified taxpayers.  

My Administration is supportive of the underlying goals of increasing affordability and access to higher education for all Californians. In partnership with the Legislature, the 2019 Budget Act made significant investments and expansions in the Cal Grant program. Additionally, the 2019 Budget Act increased provided $50 million to spur the creation of child savings accounts for every child in Kindergarten through establishing a state-level program in conjunction with the ScholarShare program and through the provision of grants to local governments and nonprofit organizations that sponsor or create local or regional child savings account programs.  

While I appreciate the Legislature’s intent, a careful balancing of the benefits of the proposed tax deduction in relation to the revenue losses, approximately $13 million, would be better addressed through the annual budget process.  
Sincerely, 
Gavin Newsom 

Always Advocating Alan – It’s Fire Season and We are Living with Past Decisions and Unintended Consequences

| Opinion | October 24, 2019

From the moment when each of us performed a head-first dive into a life of our own, and then shortly thereafter decided to show our discomfort with our new world by crying when the doctor slapped us on the rear, we have needed to make decisions to support our continued existence. In our early years, it was pretty simple. All we had to do was let out the signal we were hungry or dirty, and miraculously our problem was solved for us. The results and consequences of our actions were therefore always positive, but unfortunately for us all, it would not remain that way for long.

Next came a period of experimentation. In some cases, we might have discovered the negative consequences of our actions by ourselves. We touched something hot and it hurt, giving us the first realization of situations where something negative might occur if we did not understand the environment before acting. But there was also the time when we thought our actions were proper and even fun, yet Mom or Dad held a distinctly different view. You may have thought, If someone took all that time to put those pages in a book, why wouldn’t it be OK to rip them all out again? This led to behavior that might also have left us crying, though this time it was Mom or Dad who slapped us on the rear. There went our first experience with unintended consequences.

As we grew older, we learned to make decisions within societal boundaries. Obviously, if we had not, we would have gotten metaphorically slapped again, but not by Mom and Dad. Plus, as we traveled through life, possibly getting married and raising children of our own, probably starting a career that necessitated accounting for the wellbeing of our employees or co-workers, our decisions and their consequences became even more relevant. We also came to understand that sometimes our decisions had negative consequences that could not be avoided. We realized there would be many occasions when we would have to take a risk, hoping that such events would not occur. We had to balance the positive and negative aspects of our action plans to determine if the inherent risk was necessary. Then, every so often, we would get bit by an unintended consequence we had not considered.

So, I ask you to look inward and answer this question- but please, do it quietly by yourself. Did you ever want to do something so desperately that you ignored substantial risks and went ahead with reckless abandon? I know I did, and fortunately for me, the risks never materialized in a way that surprised me. I raced motorcycles for 17 years. Did I know there was a substantial risk of personal injury? Of course I did. Was I ever injured? Oh yeah, I was. Fortunately, it was never permanently debilitating, and it did not endanger anyone else.

This leads me to my assertion: the wider the net of your responsibility is, the more careful you need to be in determining your course of action. As the number of people impacted by a decision increases, so too should the diligence exercised in reviewing the benefits, analyzing all the risks and thinking over how to deal with the consequences. During my career, I needed to consider the potential effects on my family, my 100 employees and the company as a whole. That seems to pale in comparison to the responsibility of an elected official who has our entire city’s population of 220,000 residents to think about. But when things go wrong in Santa Clarita, I hear too often about unintended consequences, when I just cannot believe our leaders were unaware of the issues involved.

With fire season upon us, I think about open space and affordable housing in particular because these two areas have a direct effect on each other. If you were a resident of Santa Clarita in 2007, you may remember the sales pitch for establishing the Open Space Preservation District. Councilmember Laurene Weste championed the initiative for the purpose of forming a green belt around the city, providing a permanent wildlife habitat and slowing down urban sprawl. I thought a reasonably sized green belt was a good idea then, and it still remains a good idea today. If you jump in your car and drive south through the Los Angeles area, you will find yourself traveling from city to city without noticing any visual demarcation between them. It is nothing new. I remember driving in the 1950s from my parents’ house in Studio City to the Toluca Lake Bob’s Drive-In wondering what street defined the border of North Hollywood and Burbank. Having a defined border can help instill pride in our city and also provide other benefits.

However, slowing down or preventing urban sprawl is not something open space will accomplish. In reality, a green belt promotes urban sprawl. “How?” you might ask. First, a green belt of open space around Santa Clarita prevents the city from expanding outward, causing individuals who want to live inside the city to build projects with greater density on the available acreage. Second, as vacant land inside the city becomes a more valuable commodity, it causes prices to rise, making homes less affordable and less available to lower-income residents. Lastly, if an individual cannot afford the price tag on a home inside the city, they simply look on the other side of the green belt, where land and homes are more economically priced. Hence, the open space strategy promotes urban sprawl and makes housing inside the city less affordable. I do not believe any of this was unknown to city leaders. But the unintended consequences do not stop there.

Every year the Santa Clarita Valley suffers fire damage. The unintended consequences of open space and poorly maintained county easements are unfortunate. It is these spaces that provide the fuel for most fires in our area. Since our valley experienced a very wet rainy season this year, the fuel source created by the summer’s hot sun was even more jam-packed and ready to ignite. It doesn’t seem to matter if the brush is ignited by a car’s catalytic converter, a downed power line or a match. When the smoke begins to rise and the flames turn red and yellow, it takes a lot of our firefighters’ efforts to put it out. Then, if the situation gets bad enough and you are asked or told to evacuate, our lack of infrastructure also becomes apparent.

So, after carefully weighing both sides of this issue, I still believe a reasonably sized Green Belt around the city is a good idea, provided the city places a reasonable limit on its depth, incorporates fire brakes where open space backs up to residential properties, and provides adequate fire roads, including water availability. The wider the net of responsibility our council and staff casts, the more careful they need to be when determining a course of action, reviewing the benefits, analyzing the risks and thinking over the consequences. I’m sure our city staff will be up to the task, provided our city council makes this public safety issue a priority.

The World’s Got a Bellyache

| Opinion | October 24, 2019

by Dale Paule

Every once in a while, we humans get a bellyache. It’s a perfectly normal occurrence, and the cause is usually nothing more than having eaten too much or consuming something not on our stomach’s acceptable fare list.

And when you think about it, the world reacts in much the same way, sending clear signals that something has been forced upon it that it dislikes, and it responds with a bellyache. When that happens to the world, chaos follows. Like our stomach, the world demands the unwelcome irritant be rejected.

And that’s where things start to get messy.

Unfortunately, it’s beginning to look a lot like the world is working up to having one hell of a big bellyache.

This isn’t anything new. The world has had bellyaches before, lots of times. For example: two world wars, then Korea, followed be Vietnam, followed by still more “minor” conflicts, all of which left thousands of their “souvenirs” behind in the shape of little white crosses in our cemeteries.

Each and every time, both the cause and the resolution were the same: a buildup of resentment and anger until the world finally signaled its resentment with a bellyache, followed by its usual “cure” of war close behind. As each war got resolved, the one thing that was permanent was the loss of thousands of American lives, not to mention the waste of half a decade or more to untangle us from each and every one.

So, what causes these bellyaches? Not surprisingly, it’s fear- fear of another person, state or country trying to impose their will and way upon one’s own person, state or country. When that fear turns to anger, look out! Here comes the bellyache, then war. It’s as predictable as “Ouch!” surely follows a poke in the eye.

So, is this some anti-war, better-red-than-dead, 1960’s hippie mantra? Well, yes in a way, and no. Or, as my Grampa would have put it, “Not on your Tintype, sonny!”

Yes, meaning nobody in his or her right mind wants war with its inevitable cost of American lives.

No, meaning sometimes there is just no other way to live in peace and maintain our way of life when some foreign country insists upon putting their boot on our neck. When that happens, our message should be crystal clear; “Don’t Tread on Me.”

Here is the bottom line: no more fighting other people’s wars, but if we must enter into one for our own sake, let us do so with full intention of winning it as quickly and completely as possible. Then- and this is the big one- get the hell out, bring our American troops home and close the door behind them!

Most people will cringe at the mention of it, but the stark reality of history proves there are societies and cultures in the world that hold beliefs that will never be compatible with ours. Such societies and cultures have no desire or intention to ever be a part of our American concept and ideals. “Ain’t no way, ain’t no how,” as that wise old Wizard once put it.

How many more centuries of wasted lives and ruinous turmoil do we have to endure by getting entangled in other people’s wars until that reality is accepted as fact? How many times around that merry-go-round do we need to go until we realize it ain’t our brass ring?

You see, there are some on this big marble we all share, whose ways and culture are not compatible with ours. That doesn’t necessarily mean we are superior. I’ll leave that decision to the one who created the big marble. I’m simply saying, “You do your thing over there, and we’ll do our thing over here!” Or, as one of the world’s wisest philosophers eloquently stated it, “Why don’t everybody leave everybody else the hell alone!” That philosopher’s name: Jimmy Durante.

Easier, Shorter Commandments for Smith, Hill and the Crew (An Abridged Guide for the Morally Challenged)

| Opinion | October 24, 2019

Do Unto Others/Do Not Bear False Witness

If you were accused of hate speech, you’d ask for proof, as the publisher of this paper, Doug Sutton, has. Since Christy Smith and her followers haven’t been able to produce that proof, or have refused to produce it, they could be seen as libelous, immoral liars, right? If Smith has apologized for her fascistic attempt to SHUT DOWN HER OWN CONSTITUENT’S PRESS BUSINESS due to objecting to Doug’s political views, I haven’t heard about it. As there’s no response, we’ll chalk it up to the Left’s continual projection of their bigotry. Her fellow deplorables also continue to libel Doug Sutton, and by extension, this paper and its readers. We’ve elected someone who doesn’t know her own Constitution, or holds it in contempt. If she had the decency, she would resign.

No Other Gods Before Me

Quit being easily led by what’s popular, transient and insipid. Do not follow false idols of consumerism, conservatism, leftism, environmentalism, socialism, social justice-ism, etc. Radicals put the cart before the horse, making a cult religion out of such things. As soon as you aren’t as religiously “progressive” enough in their view (and their progressivism has no end) they will turn on you and smear your reputation too. Stop voting your pocketbook, or Mao’s Little Red Book, and vote the Good Book. Only then will you make the world a better place.

Do Not Steal/Covet

Someone will always have more stuff than you, and if you can’t accept this or the fact that stuff won’t keep you happy, then you never will be happy – but you will be a drag on friends, family and society. If you aren’t content with what you have now, you will never be content with more, because there’ll always be more stuff to have. Penalizing others that have more than you is envy, and redistributing their earnings is theft. You never see immigrants begging – they’re too busy working and earning their livings. If you want more stuff, don’t vote to make others give it to you by political force, earn it yourself – a key to happiness.

Do Not Murder

If the baby wasn’t alive, the Left wouldn’t feel the need to take that life for the sake of convenience. Or for cult-politics. You have a God-given conscience for the purpose of conviction and repentance. Use it or lose it. Jesus said to love your neighbor, let alone your kid, as yourself. That includes not murdering reputations. And don’t think that Christ is left off your Left’s slander campaign – you’re just saving Him (and your worst libels) for last. The ethics of the Left is to say you can kill your child even after birth now, but you cannot put them in homeschool, nor be allowed parental choice via vouchers. And yet you think you know better than us.
Bonus Advice for the Crew

Lenin used the bitterness in those he termed “useful idiots” to bring untold misery and enslavement to hundreds of millions. Envy and bitterness, like happiness, are a choice. Grateful people are happy people, and those who aren’t grateful aren’t happy. Don’t lure the lives of others onto the rocks wrecking yours – and don’t wreck yourself to serve only as a parable of warning to others. May conviction, confession, repentance and redemption come to those now attempting to destroy the best experiment in self-government and freedom (and the best chance for prosperity and happiness for all) in all of human history. Don’t wreck it for yourself, and don’t selfishly wreck it for everyone else. Learn history – the wise learn from the mistakes of the past.

Richard Hood, retired public school history teacher, had his union dues diverted to Christian and pro-life charities of his choosing, and so can you.

A Million Here, A Million There

| Opinion | October 24, 2019

After painfully listening to the Democratic presidential debate last week, I was left with the impression that their understanding of the federal budget and the economy was remarkably naive. If we were to take all the people’s income in the United States and confiscate the assets of the wealthy, there still would not be enough money available to pay for the proposed programs such as “Medicare for all” and the Green New Deal.

This is a far cry from Republican Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois (1959-1969), who demonstrated his understanding of financial proportions when he famously stated, “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.” The likes of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders seem incapable of understanding this wisdom from the past. To these would-be presidents, “A trillion here and a trillion there” falls far short of real money.
The Democrats do not understand the disaster that will befall our country if their leftist-progressive ideas are adopted. Once upon a time, there were Democrats that had common sense and understood history. Consider these quotes by one of Hillary Clinton’s predecessors in the Senate. The New York Democrat Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote:

“In my view – which could be wrong, but it is my field – there is no better formula for social instability than to divide a society between two ascribed characteristics that are seen as opposite.”

“The liberal left can be as rigid and destructive as any force in American life.”
“Somehow liberals have been unable to acquire from life what conservatives seem to be endowed with at birth: namely, a healthy skepticism of the powers of government agencies to do good.”

Daniel Moynihan was a patriot who served as advisor to both Democrat and Republican administrations. His quotations reflect how incredibly far the Democratic worldview has plunged into the murky disaster that is Communism/socialism.

Once upon a time, the self-described Democratic leftist-progressives declared that Venezuela was the model demonstrating the brilliance of a socialist form of government. Oops! If you go there, be sure to bring your own food and toilet paper. They have switched to pointing to Sweden and Denmark as socialist paradises. The Scandinavian leadership points out that their ability to afford social safety nets is due to the success of their proudly capitalistic economic systems.

There is no question that today’s Democratic party is committed to reshaping the United States into the latest version of a “Utopian Socialist Paradise” and destroying free market capitalism.  Their domination of our education system has allowed the leftists to rewrite our history books and eliminate from common awareness the many atrocities, tyrannies and failures of 20th- and 21st-century socialists and Communists. I believe that is, in part, why they oppose school choice. They do it out of fear that their great deceptions will be exposed.

The leftist seeks a society where nearly every aspect of our lives and economy is controlled by a strong central government. Its policies call for taking from the productive job creators and drivers of the economy, skimming off the top for the self-appointed ruling elite and giving it to the unproductive in order to gain their support. The idea is absurd. This policy takes away from the productive assets which they could otherwise use to innovate and grow, while destroying the incentives for the unproductive to improve themselves by working harder and developing newly needed skill sets. This is not the same as paying for an effective social safety net.
Our founders’ vision for free market capitalism is based on the concept of enlightened self-interest. Build a better mouse trap, treat your customers well, charge a fair price and the world (your customers) will beat a path to your door.

Katie Hill – Rule Breaker?

| Opinion | October 24, 2019

by Joe Messina from his The Real Side Website

After taking office in Jan 2017, California Democrat freshman Congresswoman Katie Hill was quick to call out the “archaic sexism” running rampant in Washington DC and promising to eliminate it. From the looks of it, she’s working overtime on that mission! But she isn’t eliminating sexism. She’s giving it a new lease on life and in the immortal words of Shifty Schiff, I’ve seen the evidence with my own eyes! (Pass the eye bleach!)

It seems the MAJORITY of Democrats in DC are working overtime to perfect hypocrisy. It’s like watching an “Animal House” marathon 24×7. I am so done with the blatant in-your-face disregard for law and the seemingly never-ending hypocrisy of the Left.

They accuse Republicans of not being transparent. For being secret. Being sexist, racist, liars, thieves, and pretty much every other name in the book. This new breed of young Progressive Democrats gives a whole new meaning to indulgence, unfettered power, and total lack of responsibility.

My Congressional district seat is occupied by Congresswoman Katie Hill. A Democrat. She was part of the “Year of the Woman” for the Democrat party during the 2018 election cycle. And just like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar, she has no boundaries, no rules, and no real understanding of our Constitution.

A few weeks back I started covering stories about this new wave of young Democrats and the blatant, in-your-face way they conducted business. Let me tell you, within 24 to 48 hours I received a flood of emails, links, and calls with more details that “I needed to know and see.” I have received over 700 images, pictures, texts, and notes on the escapades of one Katie Hill, both before and after her election.

NOTE: Ms. Hill is currently in divorce proceedings with her soon to be ex-husband. This piece is not about the divorce issues. That is their personal business and should be no one else’s business. This piece strictly focuses on her total disregard for her position as a Member of Congress and her inability to live up to and follow the same rules she holds others to, like President Trump and every Republican on the planet.

Katie’s campaign was amazing. Millions came in from Bloomberg, Pelosi, and the rest of the Democrat team to make sure she and other local Democrats took control of a very strong Republican area in California. Katie’s young team worked hard for her and got her elected.

Upon arrival in Washington DC, one of the first things she did was comment about how sexist DC was, lamenting that she was being hit on and nasty comments being made about her. Younger Congresswomen said they were being looked “up and down” and that some were greeted with “Hey Beautiful.”

Others were criticized for their attire.

Katie and the others declared this sexism would no longer be tolerated, vowing they would be “pulling back the curtain on what many see as a pervasive, institutionalized culture of sexism on Capitol Hill, calling out specific incidents of sexism directly to try to force change in the way Washington works.” GREAT! I think that’s wonderful.

In a CNN article from April 2019 Rep. Katie Hill said, “It is archaic sexism.” In another CNN interview Katie was quoted saying, “I think it’s more of this ingrained institutional piece of it that has to be broken down and the only way it can be broken down is by seeing women as your peers and over and over and over again and having those kinds of behaviors not be accepted.”

In an interview with Lily.com she raised eyebrows when she revealed a conversation, she had with a male member of Congress about one-minute speeches that were being made on the House floor.

“I called him ‘Mr. One Minute’ or ‘One Minute Man,’ or something.” Hill told Lily.com. (I guess making an off colored joke?) “I didn’t even think about it that way, but he was like, ‘I can also be Mr. Five Minute Man or Mr. Whatever Minute Man You Want.’ It was in front of people, and the rest of us were all looking at each other. One of my young colleagues said, ‘Well, that took a turn.’”

Hill says that is not her only example of inappropriate comments and situations she’s endured since taking office in January.  It must have been Hell for her in that kind of environment, considering all that sexual inuendo and pressure.

Many stories (note I said stories) about these young Congresspeople in DC having a great time partying and enjoying their newfound power and money, all the things they railed against. How quickly they adapted!

After all of Katie’s complaints about off-color jokes and comments, she was, ironically, caught on camera by VICE during the campaign making a sex joke about one of her staffers. She refused to apologize. The video provided a glimpse into the culture of the Hill campaign’s headquarters.

During a major fundraising push, Katie was heard saying: “We are all doing like booty-call texts. Well, Kelsey is. She is texting all of her ex-hookups.” Hill goes on, saying: “You have 28 minutes. That’s probably longer than most of the times you’ve slept with them.”

The staffer is seen staring uncomfortably at her laptop during the joke. Sexist? Another staffer exclaims, “Katie! You are on …” and abruptly stops. Why stop if it’s OK? Isn’t that a form of sexism? Just askin’!

Katie told the Times she was just being herself. Good to know!
Katie Tweeted that she “opposed the Kavanaugh nomination because he is a threat to reproductive health, campaign finance reform, and our workforce. But now we’re talking about putting a serial predator up for a lifetime appointment in the highest seat we have in the U.S. That can’t happen.” Take note of the “serial predator” part, we’ll come back to that in a bit.

Stay with me here people, I’m laying a foundation to show you the unmistakable solid hypocrisy and disdain that people on the Left, like Rep. Katie Hill, has for many Americans and their values.

The Washington Blade wrote a story that started with: “Rep. Katie Hill, an out bisexual from Southern California’s 25th District, announced her decision to vote for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.” And quoting Katie as saying: “I believe in our country, in the Constitution, and in the checks and balances we have in place to protect our democracy. Those rules have ensured that our government is and will always be of the people, by the people, and for the people. At this point, I believe a threshold has been crossed by this President and those checks and balances are in jeopardy.”

Take note of the words: Those rules have ensured that our government is and will always be of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Shortly after that story ran, Hill’s Husband posted on his Facebook and Twitter accounts, “Out Lesbian? She has been married to me for 15 years and for the last year she has been sleeping with her campaign finance director.” Nothing illegal going on there. But definitely hypocritical considering her stance on sexism and all the sexual garbage she complained about going on in DC.

Pictures I’ve seen show her in sexual situations with her female finance campaign staff member. Text messages confirm that they were in a “relationship” (while still married). The Finance Director for the campaign at that time was Graham Kelley. The name is important, not to embarrass, but to validate how this all ties together.

The young lady in those pictures is still on her campaign staff and to date has been paid over $8 thousand according to financial reports. However, Mr. Kelley no longer works for the campaign and is now employed in Hill’s Congressional office as her Legislative Director.

And therein lies the problem.

Remember when Hill said “Those rules have ensured that our government is and will always be of the people, by the people, and for the people?” Well, congress has rules. Rules she swore to uphold. Rules she chose to ignore and break. Yes chose!

According to ETHIC’S COMMITTEE RULES…18. (a) A Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner may not engage in a sexual relationship with any employee of the House who works under the supervision of the Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner, or who is an employee of a committee on which the Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner serves. This paragraph does not apply with respect to any relationship between two people who are married to each other.

If rules are made to be followed, then they should be followed by everyone. Neither Hill nor her campaign has denied any of this. News sources have reached out to her office with no reply. There have been several stories in national papers and still no comment from Hill’s office.

Democrats and the media will usually jump all over a Republican for not denying allegations… Well Katie?

Hill calls herself a leader in the Party. Is this what we can expect from their Party leaders?

Many Democrats fought Trump from day one. Waters, Schiff, Pelosi, Schumer and so many more saying or suggesting that the Russians had the goods on Trump that made Trump a threat to national security because they had proof he was in a hotel room with Russian hookers and they had nude pictures. Schiff wanted them so bad that he got scammed into believing that Russian pranksters had those pictures for him.

So what does all this mean?

If I was able to get all these files from several sources (none of them Russian or Ukrainian), what’s to keep the Ukrainians, Russians, Turks, or any other group from getting these same files and more? Remember, Democrats were worried about National Security with Trump? AND I have seen worse pictures and explicit texts! (I’ll be in therapy a long time!)

Did you know Rep. Katie Hill currently serves on:
House Armed Service Committee
Subcommittee on Tactical Air & Land Forces
Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces
VERY POWERFUL COMMITTEES!
House Science, Space, and Technology Committee
Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics
She has access to very sensitive information. With her lack of regard for rules and respect for the position she holds and her inability to really secure her information, can we really trust her to keep America safe?

I say NO!

Katie Hill needs to step up apologize and then resign.
Just like they have asked many Republicans to do for doing much less.

More to come!

“Bums and Boxcars”

| Opinion | October 17, 2019

By Dale Paule

I come from an era when the Country was finally beginning to recover from the “Great Depression.” It was still not uncommon however, to see ragged men, and even women sometimes, huddled together in a boxcar as a train clickity-clacked it’s way through our town on a cold winter day.

They were the few remaining among those who had lost it all in the, “Crash of ’29,” and were continuing to drift across the country, in hopes of finding better luck, and work, somewhere, anywhere!

But among those honest, “Hobo’s,” as they were called, there were also a few who had no interest in looking for work; not when they could “Bum” a nickel or two out of some unsuspecting citizen; or worse, steal it from them. It’s not clear where the term, “Bum” came from, but it was a derogatory word back then, and except when referring affectionately to those, Brooklyn Dodgers, as “dem Bums,” it wasn’t something you ever wanted to be called.
These days, we refer to the many who are unemployed through no fault of their own, as “Homeless;” not Bums, or even Hobos.

But, like apples, there are some good ones, and some rotten ones, and plunking them all in the same basket wouldn’t be fair, so let me stress that I’m referring here, only to the rotten kind; the Bums! Which just happens to land me on the intended point of all this scribbling.

Back then, Bums often escaped work, and just as often, the Law, by catching a ride in a boxcar on a passing train heading out of town—the fastest one, and farther away the destination the better !
If they were a skilled Bum, they’d managed to score a couple of dollars from a few of the town’s citizens before vamoosing. And if they were also lucky, the boxcar chosen would have a nice warm bed of straw to keep them comfortable on their journey. Back then, that would have been considered, “Livin’ high!”
But my, oh my, how things have changed since those, “Good Old Days!”

Today, trains still have boxcars, and they still criss-cross the country, but with that change, came a new kind of train; one that’s even more popular, and a whole lot more comfortable; it’s called the, “Gravy Train,” and like those former Bums, those who catch a ride on it seek escape from the drudgery of hard, honest work, and as before, sometimes even the Law.

The big difference this time is, they’re doing it in style and comfort.

Those catching a ride on this “Gravy Train” won’t be settling for just some crummy bed of straw; no sir, from now on, it’s nothing but the best for these Bums.

And the best part of all about this train, is that it guarantees it’s passengers a virtual paradise of lifetime luxury, and wealth at the end of the line!

Now, that’s what I call, “Livin’ High!”

But wait!

“Sounds expensive; where do they get all that money to pay for the ride on this, “Gravy Train?” you ask.

The answer to that, fellow citizen, can be found on the stub of your weekly paycheck in that little section entitled, “Tax.”

And, “Who the Hell are these people riding that “Gravy Train?” you ask again.

I’m sure you’ve already guessed the answer to that, but for the benefit of the terminally naïve out there, they are the “Career Politicians,” who’s entire lives are spent aboard that, “Gravy Train.”

But to me, they’re just the same old, “Bums!”

Times That Try Men’s Souls

| Opinion | October 17, 2019

December 23, 1776
“THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph”-Thomas Paine

Trying times indeed! The House Democrats have been obsessed with bringing down the Constitutionally elected President and his Supreme Court nominees. Charges made against the president during the Mueller investigation have not been proven and there is evidences that much was contrived by the so called “Deep State”. Word is that there are many nervous people at the top of the FBI and Justice Department.  Staged accusations against Justice Kavanaugh proved to be specious. Even Ms. Fords friends have said she is not to be trusted.

Proclaiming a love of, and a desire to protect and defend the Constitution, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her Committee Chair appointees have declared an investigation to support impeachment. In an abuse of the separation of power, the Constitution and a disdain for the traditions of the House, they have gone forth with complete contempt for procedure and due process.

I saw on the news a direct quotation by one clear and reasoned voice on impeachment. I ask all to please read it, take it to heart and share it with your Congressperson. (Say hello to Katie Hill and Adam Schiff).

“The effect of impeachment is to overturn the popular will of the voters. We must not overturn an election and remove a president from office except to defend our system of government or our constitutional liberties against a dire threat. And we must not do so without an overwhelming consensus of the American people. There must never be a narrowly voted impeachment or impeachment supported by one of our major political parties and opposed by another. Such an impeachment will produce divisiveness and bitterness in our politics for years to come and will call into question the very legitimacy of our political institutions.”

This quote was broadcast on the Ingraham Angle 10/08/2019. The statement was made by the current Democrat Chairman of The House Judiciary Committee, Jerry Nadler when addressing the process of President Clinton’s impeachment in 1998.

Such soft tyranny’s as we are experiencing at the hands of the House of Representatives have led to revolutions.
“There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations; and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest…… The war is inevitable and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”-Patrick Henry

Impeach Trump!

| Opinion | October 17, 2019

by Rob Werner

Since Trump got elected, politicians, intelligence agencies, news and entertainment medias have called for Trump’s removal. FBI agents allegedly made attempts to utilize the 25th amendment to declare the president “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office…” and thereby removed from office.

Early on, the press gave Trump a mountain of publicity, figuring him the easiest Republican to beat.

It’s reported the Obama administration authorized spying on Trump. They assumed they would get dirt on the guy and could control him. The Democrat party and the Clinton campaign paid an old intelligence agent to manufacture an incriminating report on Trump regarding Russian influence. The FBI utilized it when he took office. Mueller’s congressional testimony following his report makes it clear that the goal of the Special Counsel’s investigation was to cause the removal of the President from office. Why else would Mueller have refused to investigate the origin, purpose, bias or reliability of the Steele Dossier which had been utilized to get the CIA and courts interested in subpoenas and hearings.

FLASHBACK

Over five years ago, Trump was known as a billionaire and entertainment celebrity. He had a long history of recognition for compassion and promotion of equality for minorities and women. He received humanitarian awards with Rosa Parks and Sister Teresa. Reverend Jesse Jackson admired him. He put women in charge of businesses. He fought for equality in housing and non-discrimination in sports clubs. In his home city of New York, he rescued the city in the development of Central Park and after 911 paid for cleanup. Oprah Winfrey and other celebrities treated him kindly and respectfully. John Kennedy Jr., his good friend, believed Trump could be president.

Like many celebrities, he has divorces. Yet his ex-wives respect him. Unlike others, his kids are successful and not druggies or idle rich. A daughter converted to Judaism and he embraced not only the daughter but his son-in-law and grandchildren.

IDEOLOGY

Although he declared himself, Republican, in a previous decade, he could have been Democrat. His major campaign themes, controlling illegal immigration, promoting factory jobs, attacking China trade practices and getting out of other people’s wars were themes of previous Democrat campaigns. But his support of these themes has been repeated over many years – he believes this stuff.

He is neither a traditional Republican nor libertarian. He has no issues spending large sums to fight disasters or to assist welfare. He thinks that government should fund programs such as the Special Olympics. He wants to rebuild our infrastructure even if we don’t have available funds.

HOW CAN WE GET RID OF TRUMP?

Trump defeated Hillary; therefore, he must be a racist, anti-Semite and fascist. Everything he says or does must be spun negatively.

We must be able to finds something in his life that can be twisted against him. If investigators are given unrestricted access to every financial deal he has made, every tax statement and every other document and individual connected to him, then something is bound to show up. Don’t start impeachment proceedings but an inquiry, so that there can be a relentless search for anything we can claim is impeachable.

The important thing is not to investigate or discuss any corruption unless its focus is Trump. Any defense he raises must be utilized against him. Remember if he is removed from office, we can also remove Pence, and Nancy Pelosi is next in line to be president.

Trump Stonewalls the Constitution, Democrats Say ‘Bring it On’

| Opinion | October 17, 2019

by Dick Polman

The constitutional crisis has officially arrived. To the surprise of nobody with a cognitive intellect, Donald Trump has hauled us to this treacherous precipice. The good news is that the House Democrats, empowered by the midterm voters to hold Trump accountable, are eager to prevail in the historic showdown to come. And their strategy is a win-win.

Have you read the letter, authored by Trump’s legal eagles, which decrees that the White House will refuse to cooperate with the impeachment probe? As government documents go, it’s a doozy. The lawyers’ Trump armbands are wrapped so tight their brains have been starved of oxygen. The result is a smorgasbord of recycled MAGA catechisms.

My favorite claim is that the current impeachment inquiry is “constitutionally illegitimate,” despite the Constitution’s Article II provision that grants the House sole power to hold our highest officials accountable – a provision that traces it origins to 14th-century Britain.

The letter also claims that a House impeachment probe can’t be launched unless the full House votes to launch it, but the Constitution says no such thing, not one word. Remember when Republicans prided themselves on being “strict constructionists” who took the Founders’ words literally?

There’s also some whining in the letter that the impeachment inquiry seeks to “overturn” Trump’s election, when in truth the whole point of an impeachment inquiry is to examine presidential abuses of power after an election. If Trump’s lawyers (and Trump) were to enroll in a remedial history course, they’d learn that Richard Nixon was targeted for impeachment in 1974 despite the fact that he’d won the 1972 election in a 49-state landslide.

House Democratic leaders, having digested and spat out the letter’s various Orwellian tidbits (the impeachment probe “threatens grave and lasting damage to our democratic institutions”), are actually fine with the fact that the ultimate battle has been joined. Their win-win goes something like this:

Since they already have the goods on Trump’s most blatant impeachable act – he sought to extort Ukraine for domestic campaign dirt against Joe Biden – anything they get from new documents and Trump witnesses would be gravy. And if the Trump regime stonewalls on delivering documents and witnesses, then presto, that’s further grist for an article of impeachment detailing obstruction of justice. As suburban Philadelphia congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon, vice chair of the House Judiciary Committee, said on Tuesday, “the more obstruction there is, the more quickly this (inquiry) moves.”

Trump and his lawyers want to sucker the House Democrats into a long court fight over the documents and witnesses, hoping to run out the clock to 2020. But the Democrats don’t need to play that game, so they won’t. Trump wants to stiff the inquiry? Fine. Intelligence panel chairman Adam Schiff said that stonewalling would be “yet additional strong evidence of obstruction of the constitutional functions of Congress.”

Trump is so anxious to hide the damning truth about his Biden dirt-digging (as the documents and witnesses would reveal) that he clearly prefers to take the hit on obstruction of justice. That’s how badly he is cornered. And there’s zero evidence that stonewalling the inquiry will win over the electorate. A national poll, released Tuesday, says that 58 percent of Americans support the House inquiry, and only 38 percent oppose it. This past spring, those percentages were virtually reversed.

And another new poll, released Wednesday morning, is even more brutal for Trump: 50 percent of registered voters support Senate conviction and removal.

Granted, it strains credulity at the moment to believe that the Republican Senate would throw him out, since they hail disproportionately from red states overfilled with bitter-end MAGA fans. But it’s already highly plausible that a craven Senate exoneration would leave obstructionist Trump seriously or mortally wounded by the stink of his smoking gun.

So, it’s game on. As the poet Ralph Waldo Emerson penned, “Things are in the saddle/ And ride mankind.” And for once, the Democrats are snapping the reins.

Copyright 2019 Dick Polman, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Dick Polman, a veteran national political columnist based in Philadelphia and a Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, writes at DickPolman.net. Email him at dickpolman7@gmail.com

Always Advocating Alan – Is California Losing Its Golden Image?

| Opinion | October 17, 2019

The end of World War II, a little over 70 years ago, left the United States as a manufacturing giant. We were producing products at an astounding rate, in order to serve what appeared to be an ever-ballooning market. Skilled manufacturing workers were in high demand, and many companies were willing to provide the education and training needed to get the job done. It was a time, when a company’s goal was to produce an ever improving and less costly product, looking to capture a larger part of the available market share. The companies considered themselves successful, if their number of customers increased, in addition to bolstering their gross profit.

Rolling on to the late 1960’s and 70’s, companies philosophy started to shift. Articles and books were being published which changed the outlook of business in America. It was being revealed a company could make far more money by selling a product, than manufacturing it. American business executives became consumed with changing the United States from a “manufacturing based” to a “service based” economy. Many a company’s senior management set goals which provided their technologies to countries which had substantially lower wage rates, in order to reap the profits of selling the final product to our domestic customers. I remember discussing the concept with an older “grey beard” at the time. It seemed like all our consumer electronics where being manufactured in Japan, and with their companies holding a lot of U.S. cash, they were subsequently buying up stateside real estate in record quantities. His take on the matter was, “not to worry,” because they cannot take the properties home, and at some time in the future, they will be forced to sell them back at substantial losses. Well, his predictions were correct. But then, other countries started to undercut Japan’s labor rates while producing quality products also. Along with the shift in production partners, American big business dynamics continued to evolve, as bottom line profit became more important than the product a company would develop or sell.

Sorrowfully, this same dynamic has extended itself to California’s public utilities. So far, our state has continued to prosper doing more with less, but I see the tipping point looming in the future which could change all that. For example, think about our state’s growth compared to future water availability. Realize it or not, we live in a desert. A great amount of the water needed to sustain Southern California, is imported from other areas. If it had not been for the foresight of implementing Mr. Mulholland’s plans for reservoirs and systems to transport water from northern California, our area would be very different than it is today. Then, 20 years ago along came the issue of the “Delta Smelt” being caught in Sacramento Delta water pumps used to propel water down our aqueduct to a thirsty Southern California. Also, it should be understood, between the northern California water supply and Southern California’s large urban cities, is a food producing area unlike anywhere else. I remember, driving up Highway 5 just after Y2K and seeing all those signs reminding the public, “Food Grows, Where Water Flows”. You would think an unnecessary disruption in the food supply would be treated as an emergency. Instead, California politicians, and our courts, have tossed this issue around for the last 20 years, with no solution in sight. First came the idea of building a peripheral canal around the Sacramento Delta, then when the plan stagnated, a new idea was brought forth to create tunnels under the Delta. Now two decades later, nothing has happened. Farmers desperate to stay alive have over pumped their aquifers to a point where the mid coast ground is sinking, and many “produce products” are currently being imported from other countries. The environmental, as well as financial damage, caused by the inaction of our California Legislature is appalling. Hopefully, a solution will be implemented before the damage becomes permanent. Remember all the legislature needs to do, is flip ON the water pump switches and the immediate problem would be eliminated, allowing them time to find and implement a permanent solution.

In the meantime, if you care to check our local future water plan, you will note our local water company does not have sufficient water availability to sustain projected development. Their plan revolves around you conserving and using less. Plus, as our area uses less of their product, they raise the price to make up for the consumption shortfall. So much for the goal of an ever improving and less costly product, to capture a larger part of the available market share. They now consider themselves successful, if their gross profit is stable as the water demand decreases.

If you feel the situation with water is disconcerting, be advised our electric utilities have been stepping in the same business model quagmire, and they went “over the top” this past weekend. Here too, our electricity suppliers have been asking us to lower our use, by turning up our thermostat in the summer, accepting the idea of rolling blackouts, and instead of rewarding consumers for using their product, they developed different rates punishing customers for the quantity of electricity used and the time of day they use it. This weekend Electric Utility Senior Management took another dive into the abyss and displayed how poorly managed their power distribution system has become, when they announced their plans to blackout some areas this weekend, due to a “Red Flag” high wind warning. Of course, they claimed it was being done for public safety, but I believe their plan was orchestrated to mask the fact they had not been properly maintaining power lines across the state. If my Electric Utility Senior Management Team was here in front of me, I would ask; Why haven’t you planned for Santa Ana wind conditions? Don’t we experience them every year? Why haven’t you been upgrading the power grid to account for new development? Why should I have to pay increased rates, when I use more electricity?

This is extremely important, because in an emergency, the lack of electricity can be even more detrimental to your wellbeing than a lack of tap water. At least, most homes have a supply of water sitting in their refrigerator and hot water heater. Plus, if you have an advance warning, you can fill every available container you own, but not so with electricity. When the power goes down, your household appliances go down also. For example, you will lose heat as modern Forced Air Furnaces will not operate without the electric blower running. Should you lose power long enough, the food in your freezer and refrigerator will spoil. If you have an electric stove, you will not be able to cook. Think you might be able to drive to a relative or friends house? Pray you have enough fuel in your vehicle, because gas stations without power will not be able to pump gas? Think you’re safe by owning an all-electric vehicle? Hope you charged it after you drove it last. Want to check the news to see how bad the emergency is? Might be a problem if your Internet Connection, Voice over IP Phone system or Cable Service is down? Providing you have the power to turn on your TV and home network to check if the rest of the stuff is running. But the worst of the worst may occur if you have someone living in your home who needs special medical equipment to survive. Most life-saving medical equipment will have a battery backup, yet how long will it last, and will the power come back on in time?

I know a percentage of our population has prepared for power disruptions by using natural gas-powered generators or a Solar system with battery storage, but most of our residents do not have any electricity back-up systems in place and therefore remain at the mercy of the power grid.

Unfortunately, this past weekend, our area experienced a devastating fire. Electric utilities shutting down areas with perceived potential problems did not prevent recurrence of this issue. As a community, we deserve better than having to put up with shoddy utility services. It is another reason California needs new blood in our legislature, representatives who will provide our friends and neighbors the services we desperately need. Let’s make our voices heard and let’s get some action started in Sacramento. California should be shining again as the Golden State, and not continuing down the path of becoming America’s first 3rd world country.

Raging Moderate – You Can’t Do That

| Opinion | October 10, 2019

by Will Durst

All of Washington is vibrating like the foam on a latte in the cup holder of a convertible jeep riding railroad tracks over a bridge. Republicans are scrambling to hold together their diverse coalition of rich white men frightened about the next election and well-to-do white men worried about the next election. Democrats also seem mildly engaged, which to them borders on a frenzy.

It’s all due to the substantial evidence that Donald Trump conspired to withhold military aid to Ukraine unless President Volodomyr Zelensky agreed to assist in the upcoming election by digging up dirt on Joe Biden’s family. A great way to resolve this would be to launch an investigation into corruption activities by all family members of the executive branch of government, past and present, but that’s probably not going to happen.

The proof of Mr. Trump’s malfeasance consists of texts, emails, depositions, multiple whistleblowers and a little thing called Trump’s own admission. Either he doesn’t believe he can commit a crime, doesn’t think anybody cares, or considers himself untouchable (stemming from the fact that lately, nobody wants to touch him).

The problem with swimming with Trump is he’s constantly pooping in the pool and expecting everyone to pretend not to notice while smiling at the honor. Then he pees from the high board and calls it liquid gold. And still his enablers are surprised when they get out and no one will lend them a towel.

It was bound to happen: you cut enough corners, eventually all you’re left holding is a hole, hopefully big enough to hide in. Which is what all of his staffers and appointees are looking for right now as the investigation spreads like basement mold.

He then didn’t just double down, he quintupled down by publicly threatening to ask China to do the same thing. First he leverages Ukraine, then China, who’s next; Wakanda? Ruritania? Fredonia? He’s already got Absurdistan’s support, aka: Fox News.

Why does Trump have to dig up dirt on anybody when he has plenty Trump branded dirt in his own back yard? Obviously, he’s not going to give away his extremely valuable dirt for free, but couldn’t he lend Biden a couple of wheel barrels full at 10 percent interest?

The man has never heard the words, “You can’t do that.” From anybody. Ever. Whether it concerned legal, ethical, moral or strategic matters. He’s Billy Mumy in that Twilight Zone episode. Either you agree with what he wants or suffer the consequences. Hopefully he’ll hear, “No, I’m sorry, you can’t betray your oath of office, you’re fired” from the American people soon.

But right now, the president is double-dog daring Congress: “Yeah, I did it, and I’ll do it again, and who’s going to stop me? You? Right, you and what army?” Even though he’s under intense fire for abuse of power, the House of Representatives – controlled by Democrats – decides this information is so critical, they immediately spring into action…and take a two- week recess.
But in the middle of October, when they get back, Congress is expected to buy a one-way ticket on the Impeachment Train without any idea of where it’s going, when it’ll get there or how much it’s going to cost.

And as usual, checked bags are extra.

Copyright 2019, Will Durst, distributed by the Cagle Cartoons Inc. syndicate.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comic and former sod farmer in New Berlin, Wisconsin. For a calendar of personal appearances, including his new one-man show, “Durst Case Scenario,” please visit willdurst.com.

A Tale Worthy of a Parable

| Opinion | October 10, 2019

When the Obama administration began investigating opposition candidate Donald Trump, the Dems and press were silent. When Trump suggests investigating the apparently corrupt Biden’s, he is accused of violating the Constitution.  Referring to the Biden’s, Obi-Wan Kenobi/Pelosi/Schiff are heard incanting, “Those are not the Droids you are looking for.”

In my last two articles I have discussed the foibles of human perception and the deductions and reaction errors we can make based on these.

In those articles I targeted examples based on the actions and charges being made by Democrats in Congress and the media. I admit that both sides of the political spectrum can fall victim to this form of jumping to conclusions. It is a good time once again to remember the words of James Madison, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”

As Madison points out, men are not angels, and it is vital that we are a people of principle who follow the law. The law is not perfect but it is the best tool we have.
In the case of the elected Democrats and the Deep State against President Trump, all issues of proper evidence and due process of law have been thrown out. It matters not how sure you may be of the President’s guilt; those basic rules must be followed to protect ourselves from ourselves. Consider the following:

The rules of allowing hearsay evidence from whistle-blowers were changed just to be able to embarrass Donald Trump
The legal organization to protect whistle-blowers was established specifically to bring down Donald Trump
The lawyers employed by the whistle-blower represented the Clinton’s
Nancy Pelosi has not followed regular order by not calling for a vote on impeachment
The Democrat led committees investigating Trump and the Ukraine conversation have refused to let the Republicans cross-examine the witnesses. Further, the Republicans have not been permitted to present exculpatory witnesses
Hearsay evidence and creative writing by Adam Schiff has been given more credence than actual transcripts of the conversation and direct statements by the President of the Ukraine. Opinion has more credence than evidence
Ignoring the Constitution, the President has not been allowed to directly confront his accuser

The actions by the Democrats and the Deep State have made it impossible for any President to conduct foreign policy in private with other heads of state.  That is a violation of the balance of power and borders on treason.

Israelis Prime Minister Golda Meir is attributed to saying, “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.”

Today we might say, “The current insanity will not end until Democrats love their country more than they hate Donald Trump.”

Donald Trump was declared guilty before he took his oath in office. Ever since there has been a massive search for the evidence of his guilt. Despite proclamations no evidence has risen to the level of impeachment. Nancy Pelosi ignoring due process is typical of fascist dictators. The surprising thing is that Democrats do not fear Republicans showing the same lack of character when the tables are turned. They are likely correct. They know that unlike what they are doing, Republicans respect the Constitution. It is a tale worthy of a parable.

Always Advocating Alan- Why are California Highways and Byways in Such Bad Shape?

| Opinion | October 10, 2019

Relocating to the Santa Clarita Valley in the mid-60’s was a smart move. I had become involved with Desert Cross Country Motorcycle Racing and it seemed like my wife and I were traveling to the Santa Clarita Valley every weekend, visiting friends and getting prepared for another Sunday race event. I had become a member of the Four Aces MC, an American Motorcycle Association District 37 Racing Club, and several of our members had taken up residence on Dewdrop Street, which at that time was in Saugus. It didn’t take long before Pam and I started house hunting, and within a short time, my young family had taken up residence in what is now Canyon Country.

I must admit, I was a lot younger and more resilient at that time. Sundays’ race normally required the family to pack our necessities Saturday night, leave home about 4am on Sunday morning, and drive 100 miles to the event.

Yet, it was a great time for all who participated. Almost every open area was able to be used, and even though there were about 40 events per year, there was enough open land so that no one considered reusing another club’s racecourse. Revisiting where your club had put on a race the following year, you could see an outline of the course by looking at the new green vegetation cropping up in the tracks of last year’s race. It demonstrated how well the land had rejuvenated itself.

Motorcycle Desert Racing was getting increasingly popular. Each Hare and Hound was a minimum of 80 miles in length and by the time the “View Finders” ran their signature event in 1966, which was televised on Wide World of Sports, it was not unusual to have up to 3000 riders waiting for the race to start. Then, after the day’s race was over and all our club’s riders were accounted for, we packed up, headed home, got a good night’s sleep and it was off to work on Monday morning. Like I said, “I was a lot younger and more resilient at that time.”

Some racing events were even farther away from home, and something became very noticeable. It seemed like the farther away from home we traveled, the worse the roads became. It ended up as a standing joke. I remember numerous conversations about how well-maintained Los Angeles County roads were in comparison to when we crossed the county line, and again when we crossed the California state border.

Unfortunately, that is no longer the case and my assessment of today’s road conditions are very different. As time went by I retired from motorcycle racing, but my love of riding two wheeled motorized vehicles has stayed with me to the present day. Of course, I traded my dirt bike for a street touring model and have traveled around the country. With my wife Pam, in the passenger’s seat, we traveled from Orange County to Washington D.C. with the Vietnam vets, then meandered our way west taking 17 days to get home by clipping the northern top of Texas and then taking a shortcut home through Canada. It has been fun to ride and visit friends in Oregon, motor to Sturgis, do the Yuma Prison Run, ride to Arizona Bike Week, sit in the saddle all the way to the Anacortes Oyster Festival in Washington State and travel to the Little Bighorn National Monument in Montana.

I love motorcycle touring. While traveling and seeing the wonders of our country in a car is far better than watching a travel show on television, riding in the open is just that much better of an experience. You become part of your surroundings, and on many of our trips, rather than race to get where we were going, we staged at National Parks enabling us to ride through in the freshness of the morning air.

Yet, as much as I love motorcycles, I am fully aware two-wheeled suspension is not as good, or forgiving, as a modern automobile, therefore road conditions become even more noticeable. So, when a discussion comes up about what the road conditions will be on a trip, the consensus seems to revolve around how much better roads are when you view California in the rear-view mirror. Not only are the roads better maintained and cleaner, the speed limits are more realistically set, with drivers being far more interested in traveling at the legally set speed. All one needs to do is, set the cruise control, relax and enjoy the trip.

I am not sure how you feel about it, but I am very curious why our neighboring states have roads in so much better shape than ours. Isn’t California supposed to be the Golden State? I keep hearing about how California represents such a large part of the nation’s economy, and if that is true, why don’t we have the best maintained roads in the country? I’ll bet there are a lot of you who will answer the question by saying, “Our roads are in the shape they are in because of the monetary policies our elected leadership in Sacramento have put in place. They spend tax payer dollars on things which do not benefit California’s tax paying residents, they pass laws which make building and maintaining roads more expensive than other states so as to line the pockets of their friends and they place an overwhelming amount of emphasis of enriching themselves by funding bloated pension plans.”

In addition, our Sacramento geniuses keep putting nonsensical ballot measures before the public to mitigate the roadway problem, which duped the public… time and again. Take the 2016 “Measure M” initiative for example. It was supposed to, in part, help fix Interstate 5 congestion by generating $860 million per year. Metro spent a ton of money on public outreach in order to sell this initiative. At a public meeting held in Valencia, I, along with some other folks raised the issue, “The major cause of Interstate 5 traffic congestion is the bottleneck created by the 5/Hwy 14 interchange.” Yet, what they proposed to do, and subsequently did, was add lanes along Interstate 5 between Castaic and Newhall.

Why — so you can get to the bottleneck faster? Plus, those same lanes were committed by the previous passed ballot initiative. Nothing is being done by Measure M to alleviate traffic at the interchange. Then came the special gas tax initiative, to fix our Highways; but all it seems to have done is increase fuel and transportation costs, making the cost per gallon of fuel higher in California than anywhere in the country.

Now, California Governor Gavin Newsom wants to take gas tax money to pay for his housing project. He is looking to use $1.75 billion to entice communities to build more affordable housing at an accelerated pace. This is nothing new; for example, from “2007 to 2010, $1.3 billion in transportation funds was spent not to build or repair state roads but to finance other programs that were apparently more politically rewarding (i.e., generated more votes) than fixing bridges and filling potholes.”

California voters must fix this problem at the ballot box, by electing representatives who have pledged to support the California taxpayers, by providing road improvements and the services we desperately need. In 2018 California voters missed an opportunity to reduce gas taxes by failing to pass California Proposition 6, and we are now seeing the result at the pump. We must not let that happen again.

Yet, with all that being said, Santa Clarita city residents may not be fully aware of the problem, because while California highways and byways crumble, Robert Newman and his public works team have been doing an admirable job maintaining and top coating our city streets.

John Brennan and the Destruction of America’s Intelligence Service

| Opinion | October 10, 2019

by Rob Werner

John Brennan, born 1955, was an immigrant blacksmith’s son and CIA Director from 2013-2017. He joined President Carter’s CIA team in 1980. His entire career was in intelligence and his reported assets were $33,500,000.

During consideration for Director he disclosed his 1976 Communist vote for President when Russia was the Soviet Union. If true, he was given a pass by someone with similar sympathies. This was before double agents Aldrich Ames (CIA) and Robert Hanssen (FBI) were discovered. From 1975-76 Brennan studied Arabic and learned about the Muslim religion in Egypt. Maybe, despite Carter’s liberal views, Brennan was offended by his Christianity.

Brennan served as the daily intelligence briefer for President Clinton from 1994-1995, Chief of Staff to CIA Director Tenet from 1999-2001 and Deputy Executive Director from 2001-2003. In 2008 he became Obama’s man in Homeland Security and had substantial influence and ability to secure the employment of like-minded people in the intelligence service.

He shared with Obama the view that one should not refer to Jihad when referring to terrorists and had a much different opinion of Muslim terrorism and communism than former White House National Security Adviser, Retired U.S. Army Lt. General, Michael Flynn, who unabashedly referred to Jihad terrorists. Flynn, a Democrat, was Director of U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency from 2012-2014. Flynn believed that more attention should be concentrated on communist countries.

Brennan, a progressive, mixed partisan views with CIA duties. He wanted to pick his President and was so upset over Trump’s election that he rarely addressed him as such. Trump’s National Security Advisor sent him into panic mode. Flynn knew the system and the people; heads were bound to roll. So, Brennan peddled the dossier generated by Fusion GPS via the former spy Christopher Steele, which had been sponsored by the Clinton campaign and the Democrat National Committee, and claimed there was collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. He did this even after he knew Steele had not been in Russia for 10 years and the unreliability of the document. He also got help from the FBI to get rid of Flynn.

There is no evidence that Flynn had been involved with any collusion; but encouraged by Brennan, the FBI manipulated him into pleaded guilty to lying on a question. This issue is currently being challenged, but the press has long since concluded he is a felon and he can no longer do damage to the people they support.

Recent revelations of former Vice-President Biden and his son’s corruption and ill-gotten gains in the Ukraine have been overshadowed by the Democrat’s new claim that Trump raising the issue was an impeachable offense. Intelligence whistleblower rules were recently secretly modified to permit hearsay. A whistleblower, still in violation of the new rules, met with the Democrat committee leader prior to filing a charge.

Brennan, still running the show, tweeted, “A reminder to federal officials. There is no limit on the number of individuals who can use the whistleblower statute. If you think you were involved in unlawful activity as a result of a directive from Mr. Trump or someone doing his bidding, now is the time to report it.”

Was Brennan planted as a sleeper for the Communists in our CIA? Was he recruited by Muslim radicals while in Egypt? Is his wealth the result of ill-gotten gain? Fact checkers will tell you there is no evidence of any of these things. Without an investigation, we will never know. Many will not tolerate an investigation because they are afraid of what it might reveal.

“Things That Aren’t There Anymore”

| Opinion | October 10, 2019

by Dale Paule

Some of you may remember a popular television series called “Things That Aren’t There Anymore” from a while back, hosted by a fellow named Ralph Story. It was all about things and places which no longer existed; places like Clifton’s Pacific Hawaiian Café, Ascot Raceway, Helms’ home delivery (I’ll never forget the distinct harmonic sound of the drivers whistle!), Pacific Ocean Park Pier, the Ostrich Farm, Marine Land, and finally, one I miss the most, Pacific Electric Red Cars with it’s clanging bell.

It was a wondrous trip down nostalgia alley for those of us old enough to have known and visited many of those long-gone things and places, and sadly, to remember and miss them.

Unfortunately, those things and places aren’t the only things that aren’t here anymore; and these are things I miss even more than the ones you could touch, walk or ride on. I’m talking about people; people of a time when laughter was heard a lot more often and in a far happier, fun-loving America than the one we seem to live in now.

A time when it was considered an honor to stand for the National Anthem. A time when you could proudly fly the flag on your front porch on the Fourth of July and not have to worry about complaints from some neighbor claiming to be offended by it; or worse yet, having your home surrounded by sign waving morons demanded you take it down “or else!”

It was a time when it was possible to watch television with your kids in the living room and not be concerned that swear words would suddenly spew out of the screen and into young ears. It was a time when you could spend the day with your family at a happy place, like Disneyland, without jumping at the sound of what just might be gun-fire.

These are the things I miss the most.

Where did it go, and why? Was it because, following the Great Depression and World War II, we’ve slowly grown used to having it too good, thus losing our sense of appreciation because things came too easy? Was it because we succumbed to other people’s concepts of how we should live our lives, and forfeited our individuality in the process?

There’s probably a place somewhere where kids still laugh and play and make up their own fun, rather than get it from some hand-held device. A place where parents don’t panic when the radio reports a shooting nearby while their kids are out somewhere with their friends. A place where simply laughing at an innocent joke doesn’t “offend” someone.

There might be such a place, but it sure isn’t in this part of the country.

If we really wanted to recreate those “things that aren’t there anymore,” the one’s made of brick and stone and steel, it probably wouldn’t take all that much to get enough architects and builders together and we could have them all back again in no time.

Sadly, I’m afraid that all the King’s architects and all the King’s builders couldn’t put our other, “things that aren’t there anymore” back together again.

Well, Bless Their Little Hearts

| Opinion | October 5, 2019

Due to the flawed nature of the human condition, one of the most difficult things to do is to perceive and react to things as they are. Most act on their preconceptions as to the nature of truth and existence. Human perception is always being distorted by expectations.

Try listening to a language you are not familiar with and then repeat the foreign words you just heard. It is nearly impossible because you are not hearing sounds or words that you were expecting. Those expectations have prevented you from hearing the sounds properly. For the same reason, witnesses to a crime see and describe the event quite differently. Just ask any investigator.

A test as to your ability to judge and properly react to reality goes like this: You are driving late at night on a freeway you have traveled dozens of times before. You know every inch of the route by heart. In the distance you see a pair of headlights aimed at you coming from your side of the freeway. What do you do? Do you ask yourself what is going on, keep driving and think, “That does not belong there?” Or do you see that there is something wrong and dangerous going on and immediately seek an exit route. Most people when confronted with danger and the unexpected will freeze before they react. That moment of pause can be the difference between life and death. That is the reason why first responders, law enforcement and the military train so hard to have automatic, proper reactions to dangerous situations.

With these principles in mind, I have been considering the absurdity of the endless allegations being directed at President Trump by our Democrat ruling elite. If for the sake of argument, and assuming that they are not mentally ill, profoundly evil or consumed by a lust for power so strong that they would destroy the nation to achieve their ends, how can their behavior be explained?

The answer is that they are all victims. They are victims of a multi-generation systemic indoctrination regarding the nature of human relations in a civil society and how human history works. Blame the schools, universities and main-stream media who are all animated by the teachings of the Marx/Engle’s dialectic. Their world view tells them that individual liberty, free market capitalism and the teachings of 5000 years of Western civilization exampled by the values of Judeo-Christianity are evil. Donald Trump is a living example of Capitalism and a professed man of faith. Therefore, anything he says or does must be an expression of that evil. To achieve the collective salvation of the leftist-progressive elected Democrats, Donald Trump must be destroyed. That desire has become an obsession (Trump Delusion Syndrome).

The truth is that President Trump, like all of us, has flaws. However, he is a decent and caring man whose policies have benefited all Americans, especially those who have been labeled as underclass by the left. His request to ask the President of the Ukraine to continue to assist investigating possible corruption by the Biden’s is consistent with his job as the chief executive. There was no quid pro quo. The Democrats appear unable to see the obvious corruption of the Biden’s in the Ukraine and China.

The problem is that the Democrats false perceptions of Trump are so ingrained that they have become unable to accurately perceive reality. Unfortunately for the American people, they have acquired the power to act on their delusions. As they often say in the South when talking about people who have limited mental resources — “Well, bless their little hearts!”

Return of the “Swamp Zombie”

| Opinion | October 4, 2019

by Dale Paule

Just when you thought it was safe to go near “The Swamp,” out of the fog of lies and “polititalk” the “Swamp Zombie,” once thought to have vanished forever beneath those dark and slimy waters, has suddenly appeared once again. She’s bringing with her even more reasons why she was cheated out of her rightful place in history as “Goddess of the United States.”

She has tried relentlessly to plead her case with reasons for being denied her rightful turn on the throne in the Big White Castle. According to myself, here are a half-dozen more which she may have overlooked, so that her fans may once again take solace in knowing how she, and they, were cheated:

  1. “Trump was given unlimited ‘Face-Space’ time by those right-wing journalists at CNN, which of course robbed me of enough time to counter his lies!”
  2. “Oh, and did I mention, being a girl doomed my chances from the very beginning.”
  3. “Too many deplorable gun totin,’ Bible thumpin,’ banjo playin,’ ‘low information,’ voters out there who put their “X” in the wrong box!”
  4. “James Comey should have shut up and just stuck with the ‘she’s not guilty’ part!”
  5. “What did they expect me to do; go to every %*&#@’ing state in the &%$#@’ing union to campaign?!”
  6. (And my personal favorite ) “The dog ate my campaign strategy plans!”

If you’ve ever watched any of the old horror movies, like “Dracula” or “Frankenstein,” you know that near the end it looks like the “monster” has been defeated. But just as you start to breathe a deep sigh of relief, it suddenly re-appears to make one last stab at our hero or heroine before it receives that final, fatal blow and once and for all sinks back into the murky depths from which it came—“sigh!”

Well, that’s the point we’re at now with our “monster,” the “Swamp Zombie.”

We’re just now at that point of waiting to see that final defeat, which will put the “Swamp Zombie” to rest, once and for all (or at least until some future Presidential election).

And here’s an additional bit of good news you probably hadn’t considered: Had the “Swamp Zombie” actually succeeded in becoming, “Goddess of the United States,” as she intended, she would have no doubt decreed a new “Three Dollar” bill be minted, and we would have suffered the never-ending horror of seeing her face on it every day for the rest of our lives!

Maybe “fate” ain’t such a bad thing after all?

Always Advocating Alan – Test Your Luck and Adopt a Duck

| Opinion | October 3, 2019

It is hard to believe a year has passed so quickly. October has arrived and with it comes the start of fall and one of my favorite annual events, The Dixon Duck Dash (formally the Rubber Ducky Regatta).

Now, some of you may just remember the Rubber Ducky Regatta from viewing pictures of all those ducks swimming down a water filled raceway, along with smiling children watching them go by; but there is a lot more to this event and it gets better each year. It is a time for family fun, an opportunity to meet your neighbors, witness some of our valley’s youth perform, learn about local organizations and have a chance to win cash prizes.

For the younger set, or those young at heart, there will be a climbing wall, face painting, a photo booth, a special kiddie duck decoration table and special race; as well as the opportunity to watch the three duck heat races and a final duck race main event. There will also be a band, elected officials in attendance and a funny looking guy in clown shoes as the day’s MC.

General admission is free. Still, you can buy into a targeted raffle, purchase a snack from the food trucks and grab on to some very authentic Dixon Duck Dash related merchandise, which will be offered at cost. The Samuel Dixon Family Health Center (SDFHC) staff wants you to have a great time. You will even have an opportunity to get a picture with Dorothy Dixon Duck, our very yellow, large duck mascot.

This event is Samuel Dixon Family Health Center’s only fundraiser of the year, and in order to win one of the grand prizes of $2000, $1000 or $500 you will need to test your luck and adopt a duck, and then cheer your duck entry on for the win. A duck can be adopted for $5, a Quack Pack (6 ducks) for $25, a Duckie Dozen (12 ducks) for $50 or a Duck Flock (24 ducks) for $100. Ducks can be adopted by visiting any SDFHC location, on the sdfhc.org website or at the event itself.

It was not but a few weeks ago when a family crisis reminded me, again, that nothing is more important than your health and the health of your loved ones. Please think about how your duck adoption contribution will go directly to provide medical services for someone in need. I hope it makes you feel as warm inside as it does for me.

The prospect of directly lending someone a helping hand is what makes the SDFHC and this event so special. Being the Dixon Duck Dash committee chairperson for the past five years and currently the SDHFC Board of Director Treasurer allows me to witness, firsthand, how all of our resources are being used to aid our community members.

This need has been there for a very long time, and it all started with us some 40 years ago when the first Samuel Dixon Family Health Center was established by Reverend Samuel Dixon in Val Verde. Reverend Dixon realized there was a need to provide health care for his flock and surrounding residents, so he took that leap of faith and answered the challenge by acting. Today, SDFHC is a California non-profit corporation, and their vision has expanded to three health care centers — Val Verde, Newhall and Canyon Country. Two outreach locations have also been established, one at College of the Canyons and the other at the California Institute of the Arts. Yet, even though SDFHC is now a corporation, it retains the founding family’s ideals, traditions and values; with Dr. Samuel P. Dixon seeing patients on a regular basis. The forward-looking progress enacted by the SDHFC Board of Directors can be seen by the addition of mental health services and expansion of the Canyon Country Health Center, currently in progress.

SDFHC provides “immunizations and vaccines, physicals, screening and diagnostic tests, well baby care, preventative programs, family planning, women’s health services, prenatal services, treatment of illness and injury and more,” “with all charges based on the individual’s ability to pay.” Many times, the services provided “prevented illness and injury from getting worse, eliminated the need for unnecessary trips to the emergency room and enabled family members to gain employment.”

I hope you will decide to bring your family and participate in the Dixon Duck Dash on Saturday, October 12, in Bridgeport Park, from 11am to 2pm. It will be a time to have a lot of family fun while we help provide health care for those in need, and perhaps you will get to take a prize home as well. Plus, please also make a point and say “hello,” introduce yourself and shake the hand of the MC, because if you have not figured it out, the “funny looking guy in clown shoes” will be ME.

For more information visit www.sdfhc.org

The Only Shock About Trump’s Actions Is That We’re Shocked

| Opinion | October 3, 2019

by John L. Micek

The explosive release of a federal whistleblower complaint alleging that President Donald Trump abused the power of his office, and that “unidentified White House officials” then attempted to cover it up, is sending shockwaves throughout Washington.

And while the underlying details of the complaint were eye-opening and alarming, its fundamental premise was not.

Given the choice between protecting and promoting his own interests, or the interests of the nation he was elected to govern and whose Constitution he swore to uphold, Trump’s interests win every time.

From crassly pitching his ailing Doral resort in Miami as the site of the next G7 meeting to revelations that the Air Force essentially propped up a Trump property in Scotland to a lawsuit alleging that Trump is illegally profiting from his hotels and restaurants in Washington, D.C. and New York, the priorities of America’s reality star-in-chief have been on public display for months.

But there is something so singularly offensive about Trump’s utterly transparent request for dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. It makes every previous assault on our Democratic norms by the narcissistic 45th chief executive look like an amateur hour performance in comparison.

“In the course of my official duties, I have received information from multiple U.S. government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election,” the whistleblower wrote in a 7-page memo.

Finally, in plain English: Trump’s avarice laid bare.

Trump, predictably, has pushed back, dismissing the Congressional impeachment inquiry as the latest iteration of the ongoing “witch hunt.” He can bluster and deflect as much as he wants, but the undeniable proof of his self-dealing is vivid in the rough transcript the White House released on Wednesday. It’s an extraordinary exercise in mob-style shakedowns, prefaced by only the slenderest of pleasantries.

By early Friday morning, a majority of the House’s membership – at least 225 of the 435 sitting lawmakers – supported some kind of impeachment action.

The bulk of those votes were overwhelmingly Democratic, though, as NBC News reports, they are not unified in voting to impeach Trump. Some Democrats, as well as Rep. Justin Amash, I-Mich., have asked for an inquiry, while others support an investigation initiated by the House Judiciary Committee.

Some Democrats, mainly from vulnerable districts, have yet to announce their intentions.

While much work remains for Democrats who serve on the six congressional committees charged with conducting the inquiry, it’s more than safe to say that impeachment will become the definitional debate of the 2020 campaign.

Trump will use it to rail against Democrats in his hockey stadium rallies, as he carpet bombs his ever-loyal base with conspiracy theory after conspiracy theory. Democrats will use it as a cudgel in their ongoing argument that Trump lacks the fitness to lead. Everyone who believes something will continue to believe it, and the needle among loyalists won’t move.
Where this gets worrying for Trump, beyond the prospect of carrying the mark of impeachment with him into history (assuming he and it get that far), is his standing among the independent voters who were so critical to his election in 2016.

The Mueller affair, while damning, was difficult to quantify. Here we have, in the president’s own words, an attempted shakedown of a foreign leader to secure his own re-election. And he’s selling out the country to do it. Every voter who’s seen an episode of “The Sopranos” can recognize that.

It’s a nice presidency you got there. It’d be a shame if anything happened to it.

Copyright 2019 John L. Micek, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

An award-winning political journalist, John L. Micek is Editor-in-Chief of The Pennsylvania Capital-Star in Harrisburg, Pa. Email him at jmicek@penncapital-star.com and follow him on Twitter @ByJohnLMicek.

Reforming College Education

| Opinion | October 3, 2019

by Rob Werner

With Democrat presidential candidates calling for college student loan forgiveness and free colleges for all, it is time for us to examine what drives the price up, what encourages student loans and why college education has become a financial loss.

College professors are great at telling everyone else how to run our society but are poor at managing their own institutions. The major cost of college comes from the employment of teachers. Full time employment runs from a maximum of 12 hours per week at the junior colleges to just three hours a week in the University of California and major private colleges. Educators may claim that they need the additional time for research or for preparation or grading, but very few professors are needed for research. The tech age has made preparation and grading simpler. Once the teacher finishes the first year, little needs to be changed. If college teachers, with few exceptions, were required to teach 20 hours a week it could reduce teaching costs by 75%.

Students are often forced to buy books whose primary purpose is to generate income for their teachers. It is reported that Senator Elizabeth Warren, an advocate of college loan forgiveness, earned a salary of $192,550 plus benefits from teaching one class. She required her students to pay hundreds of dollars for a book she published. This cost could be eliminated by prohibiting the demanded use and sale of such products. Standard texts for such things as math, science and history do not need to be changed unless there are major new discoveries. It doesn’t matter if the books are 20 years old and one third the cost of new editions.

Like business, there should be a review of the cost effectiveness of mandated classes. In a free market, there would be financial interest of lenders to loan money to students who through educational pursuits will achieve a high paying job. Under our current program of guaranteed loan payback, the lenders make money on students who don’t complete college or who acquire a useless degree. There is too much incentive to offer loans. Colleges love the loan programs. It represents a massive form of income. Students are immediately directed to loan programs – all the excess money leads the universities to constantly increase charges. Colleges that don’t warn the students of the risks and difficulties of paying the loans are defrauding their own students.

In my opinion, the current student loan program takes advantage of women. They are often steered into useless degrees and acquire monumental debts far surpassing the guys.

We need to reexamine the purpose of college education. It has morphed from career and work-related classes to mandated social reeducation. Students should not be forced to pay for classes that teach them what they should think, or promote progressive causes. These types of classes now encompass about 20% of the courses required for graduation. So, let’s eliminate these classes and pass that savings onto the students.

Colleges need to form a partnership with businesses, industries and professions. The courses they require, and the subject matter taught should be what is needed for employment. Many current blue-collar jobs require some technical expertise and colleges need to constantly be flexible to meet the needs of both students and their employers.

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