Archive | August, 2021

Why I signed the petition, will vote for the recall, and will vote to elect Kevin Kiley for Governor

15 Aug

How soon we forget – did you really expect the state or the governor to really do anything about PG&E mismanagement when Newsom took over $200,000 from PG&E in the wake of the Camp Fire? And then proceeded to personally broker a deal to mitigate PG&E bankruptcy? Here’s that story from November 2019.

https://www.abc10.com/article/news/politics/newsom-pge-broker-bankruptcy-deal/103-eab02ef6-d2c2-4977-b335-10461b0beea7

“‘If the suggestion is somehow I’m influenced by that, you’re wrong,’ Newsom said of the $208,400 PG&E donated to help him win office.”

“In announcing that his office would seek to “broker” a deal to end PG&E’s bankruptcy, Newsom has inserted himself into a massively complex fight that pits fire victims, governments, shareholders, and bondholders against each other. Tens of billions of dollars are at stake.”

Some critics of PG&E believe the governor has given the company a gift in the form of this year’s hastily-passed legislation AB 1054, which is aimed at protecting power monopolies from financial trouble when they start future wildfires.

Two years later, PG&E has started more fires, burned more towns, killed more people, but still continues business as usual with no consequences for bad behavior. They have even been allowed to raise rates substantially to cover their losses. Look at your damned bill! And now “flex time” – in the middle of a PG&E caused wildfire that forces us to shut our windows?

Oh well, geeshy sakes, what ya gonna do? Call Ghostbusters? Well, I’m voting to recall the asshole that has brought one of the most prosperous states in the union to a state of total dysfunction.

One concern I have about this recall is the number of candidates running in this circus. Most of them are completely unqualified, like Elder has admitted of himself, and some of them proven disasters, like Kevin Faulconer. Do we want the state of San Diego?

Cox is an obvious outsider who is not familiar with California’s economy or politics. He keeps citing the “train to nowhere” – the real issue right now is corruption. Here’s a recent article from ABC news about what was really going on at the French Laundry – it was a lot more than a bunch of elitist pigs having a high-end meal.

https://www.abc10.com/article/news/local/abc10-originals/pge-gavin-newsom-lobbiest/103-2fc7d4f4-a0e0-492d-ac1d-ec674e58a67b

“It was an unforced political error that immediately put Newsom on defense from the appearance of hypocrisy for going against his own COVID safety advice to Californians… Newsom apologized profusely for the dinner. He was only human, he said. And it was a birthday party for ‘a friend that I’ve known for almost 20 years’.”

People, including myself, were outraged over the hypocrisy, while we had no idea it was really about brokering a deal for PG&E. Boy do I feel dumb now!

Newsom had inserted himself as ‘broker‘ of PG&E’s plan to exit bankruptcy. Bankruptcy documents show the company offered to support the plan only if its terms were ‘acceptable to the Governor’s Office.'”

After accepting campaign donations totaling $208,400 for his 2018 election. But he denies any influence? Why didn’t he just reject the money?

Here is candidate Kevin Kiley responded in 2020:

https://calmatters.org/commentary/2020/02/newsom-california-legislature-must-ban-pge-from-giving-campaign-contributions/

For decades, Pacific Gas and Electric has methodically executed what the New York Times called its “political playbook”: giving millions and getting its way.

This continued after PG&E’s first bankruptcy in 2004. It persisted after six felony convictions in 2016. And now, even after catastrophic wildfires and devastating blackouts, the playbook is bound to remain the utility’s most valuable asset—unless we make them throw out that book.”

I have introduced Assembly Bill 2079 to prohibit investor-owned utilities from donating to the campaigns of state politicians.”

Newsom, meanwhile, uses his position to influence California Public Utility Commission in favor of PG&E. From Kevin Kiley’s website,

Newsom’s Catastrophic Corruption

“Now, a whistleblower has come forward at the PUC. Former Executive Director Alice Stebbins says Newsom took ‘complete control’ over the agency’s oversight of PG&E and she was ordered to sign a safety certificate against her will. “

Here’s a week-old story from ABC News:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Three days after Gov. Gavin Newsom celebrated his 2018 election victory, one of his major corporate campaign donors caused a mass killing.

“The Pacific Gas and Electric Company pleaded guilty in June 2020 to felony involuntary manslaughter for killing 84 Californians in the 2018 Camp Fire.”

PG&E’s officials walked out of court to go back to work on turning a profit, aided by state policies Newsom crafted to help the company.”

In the months after the crime, Newsom not only signed new financial protections for PG&E into law, his office hired private lawyers in New York who wrote the legislative language.”

Please read that article further, you can read the actual court documents.

The documents were obtained as part of ABC10’s news series FIRE – POWER – MONEY: How Governor Gavin Newsom Protected PG&E, which investigated how California gave financial protections to PG&E by the state government in the wake of crimes.  

“AB 1054 resulted in PG&E obtaining official state safety certificates for two fire seasons since the Camp Fire.

“The law was written by the lawyers under a contract to represent Newsom’s office in PG&E’s bankruptcy, state records show.”

And here we are, living with the consequences of corrupt government – after murdering 85 people in their homes, PG&E has been allowed to start a new fire at the same location, burning down more towns, 4 people missing as of now, and how many cancer victims to come in the future? We’re breathing wood smoke. People who never touched a cigarette in their lives will die from lung cancer because of a corrupt governor.

So, I signed the petition, and I’m going to vote for Kiley, who is the only candidate bringing real issues to the conversation.

Are COVID numbers being fudged for money?

13 Aug

Reader Stephen Jackson submitted the following comment, and I wanted to make sure people see this information.

Juanita, I visited the Butte County Board of Supervisors this last Tuesday to present them with their own county death statistics from 2014-2021. Interesting to note that for the years 2014-2019, there were an average of 61 diabetes, 29 hypertension, 52 liver disease, 26 nephritis, 32 Parkinson’s, 54 flu/pneumonia, and 44 suicide deaths each year. When we arrived at 2020, we no longer reported these deaths….now we simply have a pandemic that’s claimed 204 people over 20 months. COVID arrived and miraculously, all other diseases “went away”? In reality, we know what happened in 2020, all these deaths from all these previously mentioned causes were reported under the primary cause of morbidity as “Covid” instead of reporting that these were deaths from Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, or hypertension, with COVID listed as the “co-morbidity” or secondary cause of death. Why did our county do this? Because of the money the medical industry was paid to categorize them this way! If this doesn’t feel criminal, it should. County leadership is allowing the numbers to be played like this, because they like the ability to control a man-made epidemic and operate with the people “locked down” and “locked out” of the workings of local government, this must end!

This is something my husband and friends noticed immediately. Early in the pandemic, we had checked statistics that showed influenza killed as many as 150,000 people a year. Now all we can find are charts from the American Medical Association or the Center for Disease Control, and those are showing far lower numbers, all the way back to 2015. Look at this chart from the AMA.

These numbers don’t match the numbers we were seeing early in the COVID pandemic.

This chart shows only about 50,000 deaths a year from influenze, while they have over 345,000 deaths from COVID in one year. Stephen Jackson has provided statistics from Butte County for the same period and asserts the numbers were fudged to get money. If you’ve kept up on the numbers, as I have, you might think so too.

The county board of supervisors just took $20 million in PG&E settlement money to pay down their pension deficit. I believe the board and their staffers in the Health Department are out of touch with their sense of morality, and yeah, I believe they would fudge numbers to get money.

Straight out of Orwell: Vaccine Influencer Training

12 Aug

I heard something so Orwellian on the news the other day, I had to google it just be sure.

https://www.kcra.com/article/thousands-without-power-elk-grove-after-vehicle-crashes-power-pole/37296304

Vaccine Influencers? I don’t know if that’s Orwellian or Pythonian.

First this article uses shaming, naming the zip code area that has the lowest rate of vaccination? How about the zip code area with the highest rate of smoking? Domestic violence? Obesity? Diabetes? Oh yeah – that’s all considered personal information.

In an effort to bring those numbers up, La Familia Counseling Center, a community-based organization, is hosting “Vaccine Influencer” trainings via Zoom.

Then concerns about the vaccine are belittled, they don’t even mention the side-effects that are listed on the CDC site. They offer one woman’s vague concern – “I’ve heard sometimes that people get worse when they get the vaccination and it concerns me a little bit to get it,” What does she mean by “get worse”? Does she mean blood clots? Heart inflammation? They don’t mention any of that.

And then this – “Vaccine Influencers who take people to receive their first dose will receive gift cards in exchange.

That seems a little inappropriate to me – are you going to trust people who are motivated by the promise of a gift card? Is there a limit, or is this some kind of bonanza? They’re targeting non-English speaking groups – again, can we trust these “influencers” to be truthful? Is there any oversight?

The world gets weirder by the minute. Again, I’m not an “anti-vaxxer,” but I do believe in full disclosure and honest discussions. This report from the CDC (Center for Disease Control, the accepted authority on COVID) admits cases of myocarditis and pericarditis in adolescents, but seems more concerned with suppressing the news of the risk than truly educating folks about it. They don’t give actual numbers, they don’t explain why it happened, and there’s no promise that it won’t happen again. They are more interested in killing any conversation about it.

The report details threats to COVID-19 vaccine confidence, content gaps and information voids, circulating mis- and disinformation, and action steps to take.

They just want to throw shit on people like me who want the real truth. We’re ” circulating mis- and disinformation ” just because we are asking questions.

How do you think most people would react if their neighbor came knocking on the door to tell them they are overweight and need to lose 20 or 30 pounds? How about a neighbor who wants to know what a single man is doing living in a three bedroom house when there’s a housing shortage? Should your neighbor be able to rifle through your grocery purchases and advise you as to your diet? Should they be able to look in your garbage? Come over to chide you about your smoking? Your porno collection? Your television habits? Arguments could easily be made that all those behaviors are bad for the community at large. How far are you willing to let other people “influence” your personal behavior?

Steven Greenhut: “Frankly, union power drives state and local firefighting policies”

10 Aug

Thanks Cynthia for sharing this 2020 article from Ed Ring. Ring documents the 20 year decline in California forest management, citing both the Sierra Club and the firefighters unions as the problem.

I think the title is a little broad – “Environmentalists”? A word that has become just another slur for people you don’t agree with, like Tree Huggers? I consider myself an environmentalist. I believe in proper forest management, thinning of dead and dying fuel, raking and burning tree trash – “biochar”.

And yeah, if I see a good looking tree, I’m liable to hug it.

No, we’re talking about The Sierra Club, an organization made up of the rich and entitled, for the rich and entitled, and supported by the rich and entitled. They don’t represent “environmentalists” as a class of people. Hey, do you pick up litter? Do you turn off the hose when you’re not using it? Congratulations, you’re an environmentalist!

“Sen. Feinstein blames Sierra Club for blocking wildfire bill,” reads the provocative headline on a 2002 story in California’s Napa Valley Register. Feinstein had brokered a congressional consensus on legislation to thin “overstocked” forests close to homes and communities, but could not overcome the environmental lobby’s disagreement over expediting the permit process to thin forests everywhere else.

I don’t agree with Ring that the lawsuit brought us where we are today. Our courts and legislature allowed that to happen, they backed down to a PAC that also donates heavily at election time – what do you think?

In 2014, Republican members of Congress tried again to reduce the bureaucracy associated with “hazardous fuel projects” that thin out overgrown forests. True to form, the bill got nowhere thanks to environmental lobbyists who worried it would undermine the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the law that requires thorough impact assessments ahead of government decisions on public lands.

Here’s what I think – as late as 2019, Feinstein bowed to pressure from the Sierra Club and the new Sunrise Movement, as well as her coworkers in the senate, and dropped her competing “more moderate” resolution on climate change.

https://theintercept.com/2019/03/01/dianne-feinstein-green-new-deal-sunrise-movement/

Her protest was weak, she really doesn’t want to go against these people. These PACs have a lot more influence than the average voter because of entrenched politicians like Dianne Feinstein. We need term limits as well as a limit on PAC contributions.

I have to agree with Ring’s friend Steven Greenhut, whom Ring quotes below – the firefighters’ unions are too powerful and they aren’t working for anybody but themselves:

Meanwhile, tragically, expect California’s politically powerful firefighters’ union to do little or nothing to support the timber industry or rural inhabitants who don’t want to move into urban condos.

As Steve Greenhut explained in a recent column in the Orange County Register: “Frankly, union power drives state and local firefighting policies. The median compensation package for firefighters has topped $240,000 a year in some locales. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection firefighters earn less, but their packages still total nearly $150,000 a year. The number of California firefighters who receive compensation packages above $500,000 a year is mind-blowing.”

No wonder firefighters are overwhelmed during California’s wildfire season. The state can’t afford to hire enough of them.

As long as PACs like Sierra Club and the unions are allowed to make enormous contributions at election time we will continue to see fire policy failure from the State of California.

Greenville has been “contained”! They call that “management”. New USFS chief says they will suppress fires in future – we’ll see if he can get that policy into place before Cal Fire burns down any more towns!

7 Aug

Enjoying the air quality? Smells like CANCER! Well, when you get your terminal lung cancer diagnosis, you can thank the US Forest Service and Cal Fire. It’s official – USFS policy is LET IT BURN. They call it “management”, which sounds appropriate, when you consider, they just MANAGED to burn down another town.

Greenville was a damned nice town. Not only did my husband lay a lot of flooring in that area, but I have relatives scattered all over the little towns between Chester and Quincy. What Cal Fire has done is criminal.

I’ve asked this question on various social media sites, but nobody ever comes back with an answer. If the Dixie Fire is growing by thousands of acres per day, how the hell can they say it’s “contained”? Well, my neighbor, who is retired law enforcement, told me, “that means, ‘burned’, it won’t burn again… not right away anyway…”

According to this article from Wildfire Today,

https://wildfiretoday.com/2021/08/03/forest-service-chief-says-wildfires-will-be-suppressed-rather-than-managed-for-now/

our new USFS chief, Randy Moore, is going to change this policy.

In an August 2 letter to the field, new US Forest Service Chief Randy Moore said that because there is in a “national crisis”, they will not “manage fires for resource benefit”. In other words, instead of allowing fires to burn in order to replicate natural conditions and improve the ecosystem, they will put them out — at least to the best of their ability.

Given the resources, money, and manpower – including inmates from prisons – this fire should have been out already. They’ve admitted they are allowing it to burn, even increasing the burn area (and the toxic smoke) by setting “back fires”.

Another article on the same page says the vegetation in the Dixie Fire has not burned for over 40 years. I don’t know if that’s entirely true, but I know, when I was a kid, which was over 40 years ago, they did “controlled” burns in the winter, having cleared and stacked dead and diseased vegetation over the spring and summer. Who in their right mind would try to “control” or “manage” a fire in the conditions we’re facing right now, instead of during winter rains?

Apparently, USFS had a historic policy called the “10 am Rule” – meaning, put the fire out by 10 am on the second day. But every time there’s a new chief for USFS or Cal Fire, policy changes. In 2008, Cal Fire officially stopped doing fire prevention, saying this was up to the various counties and other local agencies. That was it, and now here we are.

I know, I’ll get some nasty comments on this one – go for it idiots. What the problem is right now, is all these cowboys are on overtime. They work 48 hour shifts, do the math. We’ve watched them pour in from departments all over the state, from as far away as Hawaii! It’s an overtime party, is all it is, and we’re paying for it in more ways than one.

RECALL NEWSOM!

Yes, both Newsom and Biden want a mileage tax to pay for roads – the question being, how will they do it?

6 Aug

I got a note from a friend of mine regarding a proposed federal mileage tax. I’d heard something about it, and yesterday I read that California is already working on it.

The hold-up is that they don’t know how to collect it. You know, our silly civil liberties. They aren’t allowed to track us, are they?

I hear you – silly Juanita! Just today I got an email from Google, a complete report as to where I had been on my vacation. Even a roadside produce shack. I suddenly realized – we’d used Google maps to get around to various destinations. That’s like putting a tracking device behind your tire!

So welcome to 1984, Big Brother is watching, and don’t trust Big Sis either. I’m going to assume new cars will have the same technology standard, if they don’t already.

State of California’s rationale for the mileage tax is pretty thin – proponents claim that as more people purchase electric cars, gas sales will go down and the Gas Tax will be moot. Then there won’t be any money for road maintenance. Again they throw that at us.

Here’s one problem with that line – gas and diesel are used well beyond cars. As for my family, all of our landscaping equipment, our tractor, our generator, and other items we need in our daily routine require gas. Big rigs that haul our goods, workers that haul their own tools and equipment all use gas. And how about those firefighters – I don’t see them driving electric vehicles in their daily migration between the Dixie fire front and their night quarters in Chico. Those giant bulldozers they tote back and forth all run on petroleum, as do the enormous rigs that haul them. And the planes that fly all the way to and from Sacramento and Chico all use gas.

Furthermore, instead of taxing people TWICE, why couldn’t electric car drivers make up the difference with higher registration fees? When I told a friend of mine that he reminded me that gas is over $4.50 a gallon right now, and over 50 cents of that is the gas tax. According to CBS News California has the highest gas tax in the country. And it goes up exponentially every January.

Powering California Network, “A Coalition of Californians Advocating for Economic Mobility for Working Families,” also points out that both the Gas Tax and this proposed mileage tax are both regressive, meaning, they hit working and poor people harder because they have to drive farther to work.

https://poweringcalifornia.com/powering-california-network/

https://poweringcalifornia.com/analysis-vehicle-miles-traveled-vmt-tax/

California also has the highest housing costs in the country. California residents who cannot afford to live close to their work have to drive long distances to get to their place of employment, and as a result, they would have to pay more VMT taxes than those who can afford pricier homes near city centers. In many cases, these commuters driving longer distances are blue collar working families. And those working for minimum wage will be the most impacted. Many hardworking Californians living paycheck to paycheck cannot fill their tanks due to the high cost of fuel. The VMT would be an additional financial burden on them.

Not all people work at the same location every day, some have to drive to various locations in one day. Public transportation is not an option. But, our gas taxes go to pay for trains, busses and bike trails that only serve a fraction of the population. Those people use the roads, but only those of us who buy gas pay for the maintenance? That’s whack.

Now Biden has a proposal for a national mileage tax. Both California proponents and national proponents are saying that a mileage tax could replace the gas taxes now in place, but there’s no guarantee.

It’s a good time to let your representatives know you’re paying attention.

Here comes the recall! Are you ready?

3 Aug

As you may know, proponents of the Recall Newsom group gathered enough signatures from registered voters to get a special election. Of course that doesn’t mean Newsom is out, that’s up to all the voters. Remember, there are two questions – do you vote to recall, and then, either way, who do you want for governor.  A majority vote (2/3) is required for Newsom to be recalled. The candidate with the most votes on the second question would win the election, no majority required.

Forty-six candidates, including nine Democrats and 24 Republicans, are running for Newsom’s seat in the event the recall is successful. Yep. Whomever you decide to take seriously, you can check the box. Don’t skip the second question, or make a facetious vote for some outrageous celebrity – just because you don’t want the recall to succeed, doesn’t mean you want to throw out your right to vote for a viable candidate to take his place.

I was pleased to see Kevin Kiley was running. I don’t agree with him on everything but he’s been pushing to reopen schools and businesses after the COVID closures. He’s made detailed charges of abuse of power by Newsom. I’ve seen him in the news for a year or more now, and I like the issues that he’s raising. I could live with him as Governor for the short remainder of Newsom’s term. It’s not a decision we have to live with forever, but it should send a message to politicians who think they can make up the rules as they go along.

Normally I wouldn’t support recalls, they seem like a waste of money and time. But the COVID shut-downs really hurt our schools and our economy, and left our communities ugly and divided. Want to find out how ugly – walk into a crowded bar and loudly ask if everybody has been vaccinated! Or mention it on your blog!

And Newsom’s blatant misbehavior – not just outrageous stuff like the French Laundry, but his abuse of power, making weird, subjective, often conflicting and short-lived rulings on everybody else’s behavior. It was like when the adults would go out and leave the kids under the iron thumb of the oldest sibling. A little bit of power can go to a person’s head. We need to let them know, they work for us, not the other way around. Hopefully the message will reverberate out of California all the way to Washington DC.

However you feel, get ready, because it’s coming up fast – September 14. Registered Butte County voters should have already got a notice from Candace Grubbs asking if they want to get their ballot electronically or through the mail. That is also your choice, go get ’em!

God Bless Us Every One.