Friday, June 19, 2015

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Father's Day

House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy gives us his weekly report. In his words:

 "This week was marred by senseless tragedy in Charleston, South Carolina and Judy and I send our thoughts and prayers to the victims and their loved ones during this time of grief.
 As the weekend rapidly approaches, I want to take a moment to thank all the dads this Father’s Day weekend. My father Owen was a tremendous role model in our family, and while he left us too soon, he taught us many important values and lessons that I have sought to pass on to my children.
 "Being a father has been the most rewarding and will be the most important job I will ever have.  Fathers throughout our community go above and beyond to provide for their families and children. They devote time and energy to ensure that their children can have every opportunity they can dream of. And I know that like my father, they try to instill in their children the foundation for them to succeed in the future.
 "Many of our dads will be away from their families serving our country, and we keep them in our thoughts and prayers as they sacrifice for all of us.
 "This Father’s Day, let us take a moment to say thank you to the father figures in our lives that have helped us along the way.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Rachel Dolezal's confused identify provides plenty of fodder for social media, local anchor Jackie Parks shuts down a scammer and yet more on that mulch scam

 * ... SCAMS: KERO TV anchor Jackie Parks is not one to be trifled with, and her response to a would-be telephone scammer is priceless. Said Jackie: "I keep getting a call from a guy claiming to
be from Microsoft. I must have hung up on him five or six times. But one day I answered and said, 'No you're not (from Microsoft) and you know you're not. Why can't you apply your intelligence to something useful and stop trying to rip people off?' I haven't heard from him since."

 * ... MULCH SCAM: I have been writing about the local gardener who goes from house to house selling mulch, and then scamming folks by charging four to five times the original estimate. Local Realtor Walt Newport said he dealt with the same people recently. "Richard, I read your article this morning about the scam artist that quotes you a price for mulch then before job is done shows you the empty bags he used. Then he sells you more to get the job done knowing you won't leave it unfinished. The first time they came by I turned them down. The next time we were in front yard flower bed and they came by again. I had them quote the job and after they measured what they would need I agreed. I left the front yard for a few minutes and when I came back to front they tried to pull the scam showing me 20 empty bags. They were less than half done. I raised my voice and said they were trying to scam me and I wasn't falling for it. I told them to finish the job at the price they quoted me or rake up their mulch and leave. They finished the job and left. By the way our flowers are thriving better than ever."

 * ... GLUTEN: Dr. Gerald Tadej responded to my post about gluten with this: "I understand your column is just for laughs, but 'modern bread' is much different than what our ancestor’s ate 30,000 years ago. Your re-tweet is off by a few years, but the recent allergies are due to GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Much of our food supply has been genetically modified and is now being shown to be harmful to humans. Monsanto did not do this on purpose, they modified our foods to increase profits and the FDA does not require testing. A good book for you to read is 'Wheat Belly' by Dr. Richard Davis or 'Brain Grain' by Dr. David Purlmutter."

 * ... SPOTTED: Lots of feedback on social media on the strange story of the seriously nutty Rachel Dolezal, the white woman and NAACP executive who has been posing as black. On Twitter was this: "I eat at Chipotle twice a week. Therefore, I identify myself as being Mexican." (Dolezal also claimed she grew up in a teepee and her parents hunted for food with bows and arrows, providing yet more fodder for comedians and critics)

 * ... DOLEZAL: And speaking of Dolezal, my friend Peter Wonderly posted this on Facebook: "With all this talk about transgender and transracial issues I think it is time to come clean with my secret. I'm transfinancial, and that means I am a rich man born in a poor man's body." And the hits keep coming.

 * ... OVERHEARD: A middle aged man is sharing this story with a colleague: "Our neighbor is the scourge of the neighborhood. Every weekend her son has a party and the street is littered with beer cans. I pick them up and toss them on her lawn."

 * ... SUMMER READING: Looking for a quick read next time you are on the beach? Check out Kent Haruf's "Our Souls at Night," a bittersweet story of two people coming together later in life and dealing with the challenges that come their way.

 * ... ACHIEVER: The American Petroleum Institute handed out some scholarships recently and one of the recipients was Kolby Buller, a Liberty High graduate who is now in his third year studying mechanical engineering at San Diego State University. Thanks to his proud grandparents, Rick and Erma Giachino, for alerting me to this achievement.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A reader shares the uplifting story of rescuing a starving pit bull, more on those gardening scams about town and just what is a transracial person?

 * ... STRAY PIT: For every sad story about dogs being abandoned by their owners there are folks like Beth Morse who give us hope. Morse shared her story of rescuing a blue pitiful that she found in her neighborhood, skinny and starving after giving birth to a litter. (She submitted an
adorable picture of her grand daughter cuddling with the pit) "She was as thick through as my index finger is long. She weighed 35 pounds. After a night in my side yard with food and a bed I introduced her to my dogs while I figured out what to do with her. Keeping her on a leash for my dogs protection, she stepped on the lead and just froze, never trying to take another step. I knew then she had been staked out somewhere and had quit trying to walk around. We figure she was so starved the puppies didn't survive and since she wasn't a good breeder (although being a 'rare blue') it was easier to dump her. She suffered a dislocated hip and had been so hungry she had eaten a corncob which lodged in her intestine. Today, three and a half years later, Lucy Loo Loo is a wonderful part of my daughter's family."

 * ... STRAYS: And Carol Knapp added this: "It is sad to hear about all the abuses to the animals in our county and even sadder to know that that the idiots that commit the abuses more than likely are illiterate and can't read the paper. We need to have more public announcements in regards to spay and neutering dogs and cats on multiple ethnic radio stations in Kern County."

 * ... SCAMS: More on local scams thanks to reader Carol Craig: "Richard thank you for reporting on the mulch scam happening. Unfornately they got us in the fall of last year but for a lot more money, $1,100. They also stated we would not have weeds which was not true. I would like to warn folks of another scam going around. I have received calls from a group stating they are calling from Geek Squad and of course there are problems with your computer. They sound like the same folks that would call and stated they were from Microsoft. Of course I contacted Geek Squad and they don’t make random calls and of course neither does Microsoft."

 * ... GROVE: Now that Assemblywoman Shannon Grove has denied linking God's anger to the California drought, I hope we can put this episode behind us. And as reader Susan St. Laurent reminded me: "It made me think of this quote from Thomas Merton: 'Our idea of God tells us more about ourselves than about Him.'"

 * ... SPOTTED: On a lighter note I spotted this on Twitter: "Isn’t it weird that after 30,000 years of eating bread, everyone is gluten allergic now?"

 * ... NAACP: And there was this from Baxter Canfield on the story of the Spokane, Wash., NCAAP president who has been posing as an African American: "I just heard that Rachel Dolezal is a new 'trans' now. It is 'transracial' when a person from one race identifies with another race. I feel left out so I created my own 'trans' called 'transager.' This is where one person is old and thinks he/she is still young."

 * ... GOOD SERVICE: Nancy and Jim Bryant wrote to give a shout out to Southwest Garage which has taken care of their family cars for more than 30 years. "Southwest Garage exemplifies a business who persists in getting the job done. We have always been impressed by their service, but this goes way beyond our expectations."

Sunday, June 14, 2015

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy rips California's high speed rail, "a project that takes time and money" away from drought relief

 House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy gives us his weekly view from Capitol Hill:

“They act like they have an unlimited purse.”

 "No, not the LA Dodgers. Instead, that’s a Southern California resident talking about Democrat leaders in Sacramento and Washington and their willfully blind support of the flawed California
High-Speed Rail project.
 "California is a land with abundant resources that has given opportunity and hope to so many who came west to establish a new and better way of life. But the status quo is not always sustainable.
 "Just because California is a land of plenty doesn’t mean we can waste our resources and taxpayer dollars. But that is exactly what is being done with California High-Speed Rail—a project that takes time and money away from what is truly needed, like drought relief.
 "Since being presented to the voters, California High-Speed Rail costs have exploded, ridership estimates have shrunk, and speed projections have been questioned when analyzed by engineering’s brightest minds.
 "At the same time, our state has endured the worst drought in a century that has been exacerbated by planning and judgment errors from government leaders. And years into the crisis, infrastructure and long-term solutions are nowhere to be seen.
 "The big problem in California is that time and money that should be spent responding to the drought has instead been wasted on a boondoggle that California residents don’t even want.
 "Residents up and down the high-speed rail route—from blue-collar suburbs to city centers—are coming out in protest to the project, which would negatively affect dozens of schools, churches, and parks along with tens of thousands of homes.
 "But the negative impacts stretch beyond areas near the tracks. Current estimates state that the high-speed rail project will cost over twice as much as the original plan voters approved in 2008. Private investment that was promised remains nonexistent and Republicans in Congress are committed to not putting another federal taxpayer dollar to this flawed project.
 "Just last week, the House of Representatives passed a transportation bill that blocks federal funding for the California High-Speed Rail project. Since taking the majority in the House, Republicans have been committed to ensure hardworking Americans’ tax dollars aren’t wasted on projects that don’t reflect today’s reality or tomorrow’s potential.
 "But just imagine what could be done if the energy used in pursuit of this fundamentally flawed project was instead used to help relieve the drought. Water storage projects that never got off the ground could have actually been built and more water could be flowing to people’s homes, farms, and neighborhoods.
 "Former Representative Tom Campbell has the right idea, and put it very simply in the OC Register: “California should take the money going to Gov. Jerry Brown’s train and use it to build more water storage.” If the governor did that, we could take advantage of the next rainstorms and the winter snow pack to make sure Californians get the water they need, not the train nobody wants.

More alerts on a local scam going on around town, bad form at the Cal State Bakersfield graduation and did God punish California with the drought because of abortion?

 * ... SCAM ALERT: Last week I wrote about a young woman who felt she was scammed out of $400 by a gardener who overcharged her for putting mulch in her yard. Well it looks like the same guy struck again, this time charging a woman $530 for what she thought was a $100 job. The scam
works like this: a man named Ernesto shows up at door and in Spanish agrees to mulch the yard for $8 a bag. When he is done, he charges four, five times as much as the agreed price, showing empty bags as 'proof' of his work. Christina Stark explains what happened to her mother:  "She was shocked to find that the guys completed the ENTIRE front lawn and told her they used 100 plus bags. She said no way they used that many bags. Mom was furious ... Ernesto had a fake apology for my mom and the crew looked down, trying to make her feel sorry for them. She didn't feel right about this; felt sick to her stomach. Ernesto proceeded to count bags to prove that he used a lot of bags. I believe he already had empty bags and that's how he scams people, ignoring their wishes and proceeds with his scam."

 * ... BAD FORM: You knew we couldn't get through graduation season without someone making a fool of themselves, and spoiling it for the rest of us. Deidre Schilling was at the CSUB graduation this past Saturday, and sure enough seated behind her was "the rowdiest group of low class folks imaginable," screaming so loud that it attracted the attention of the entire crowd. It turns out a couple from Oregon was there to see their niece graduate, but they missed her name being called because of the rowdies. "The nice lady from Oregon leaned over and told the rude woman that she was the most selfish person she had every seen and told her that her loud behavior had caused her to miss her niece's name," she said. "The rude lady proceeded to call this nice women every profanity she knows. The rude lady's language caused the nice woman's daughter to cry. It was heart-breaking. Loud lady stayed a bit longer then left... flipping off the nice family as she went. After the ceremony, I told the woman that I was so sorry that she couldn't hear her niece's name. She proceeded to tell me that the niece's parents are no longer here with us, so they were attending the ceremony as her 'parents.' We tried as best we could to show her that not all the people who live here are inconsiderate."

 * ... FREAKY FRIDAY: Two stories broke last Friday that come under "can you believe she really said that?" department. First, the head of the Spokane, Wash., NAACP was outed as a white woman after posing for years as an African-American, and more close to home, state Rep. Shannon Grove implied that the drought may be God's way of punishing us for abortion. I understand the concept of an omnipotent God, but this strikes me as pandering in its lowest form. Memo to my friend Shannon Grove: those dragons on Game of Thrones? They's not real. (photo of Spokane NAACP president)

 * ... DROUGHT: More blowback on the statement by California Water spokesperson Yvonne Kingman that artificial turf does not qualify for drought resistant subsidies because you have to hose it off often. Said Barbara Oberg of Tehachapi: "I installed this terrific product in my back yard 14 months ago and I am a great proponent of it. You do not use water to clean it; we just blow it clean once a week so no chemical runoff either. Does it get hot? Yes but so does concrete, sand etc ... my yard stays beautiful and green all the time. Yvonne Kingman obviously does not have the correct facts!"

 * ... GOOD FORM: Frances Sinclair gives a shoutout to a local judge: "Everyone should have the privilege of being a prospective juror in Superior Court Judge Brian McNamara’s courtroom. He gives a heartfelt civics lesson on why we need to do our duty. And oh, does he ever value our military and our teachers!"

 * ... SPOTTED: This on Twitter: “'Lazy' is a strong word. I prefer to call it selective participation."

 * ... MEA CULPA: I am blaming this one on the 'Spellcheck' function on my computer: I used 'palates' instead of 'pallets' in describing how a food store displays products. As reader Liz Keogh reminded me: "What a disgusting shopping experience THAT would be. Do they have people lying down on their backs on the floor with their mouths open so that the items for sale can be featured on their 'palates?' The palate is the roof of the mouth. f you meant to refer to those square-ish wooden (sometimes heavy plastic) thingies on which items are stacked, those are pallets."