Tuesday, November 29, 2005
The capital of the People's Republic of California - San Francisco - has done it again. They're in the process of passing another law to make it economically unfeasible to continue doing business in the City.
This time, their proposal will require all businesses with 20 or more workers to pay for health care. Since when is the State able to dictate how a company runs it's business? I thought you let the "market" dictate the salary and benefits you gave to employees. I thought that capitalism let the market define costs and pricing. I know, I know, wake up a smell the socialism, but this is damned ridiculous. Will the City require buyers to pay more for goods and services purchased at these businesses that are being saddled with the Health Tax? Or do the owners just have to "eat it"?
Oh, this quote was rich:
"We have 40,000 people who are working hard every day and do not have health care," [Stupidvisor Tom] Ammiano said at a City Hall press conference before introducing the legislation at the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday. "I do not want people to choose between their rent and health care."Well maybe if these people had chosen to attend college to get a higher paying job, they wouldn't be in this situation. Or if they had chosen to live in an area with a lower cost of living. Or if they had the skill-sets needed to work for a company that offered health benefits. Or if they had made any of a thousand different decisions, their lives might be different. But NO, Tom needs to have Nanny fix their mistakes by forcing businesses - which risked their own capital to start their business - to subsidize the mistakes these people made.
Ammiano, never one to let facts or common sense get in the way, disregards this:
Just like supporting Illegal Aliens hurts the least-skilled workers in any economy (who do you think would be getting paid more if the Illegals were not artificially depressing wages?), the poor of the City will now become even more poor. Their jobs will either be eliminated so that the companies can afford to pay the new fees, or to get under the 20-employee tranche. Or... the businesses will just say, "Enough!" and move from the City.
"Supervisor Ammiano calls his coverage 'universal,' but the only thing universal about the Worker Health Care Security Act is the universal damage it will do to San Francisco's economy," said Mike Flynn, director of legislative affairs for the Employment Policies Institute in Washington, D.C.
"Expanding insurance coverage is a laudable goal," Flynn added, "but you can't wave a wand and do it by legislative command. His proposal would slap San Francisco's businesses with staggering costs and lead to tremendous job loss among the city's least-skilled workers."
Brilliant, Tom. Brilliant. Way to look out for the little guy.
Monday, November 28, 2005
On my ride in this morning, I was listening to a guy on the radio from the Center For Security Policy. He was discussing how a lot of the problems that are happening in Europe with Muslims have to do with birth rates. Ethnic Euro birth rates are declining and immigrants plus illegal alien rates are increasing. The clash in cultures - and the "haves and have-nots - is bound to cause problems.
He stated that by 2010 - and for the first time in recorded history - the number of Euros over age 65 will exceed those under age 14. Is this a problem? Yep, if you're an ethnic Euro with a big public pension, it could be. Do you think that all of these people coming into Europe will want to bust their butts to pay for your pension? Especially when these people have nothing in common with you? No common religion, history or culture....
Here in California, we have seen the white majority become a minority in numbers, at least. This is due in large part to immigrants plus illegal aliens entering our state. Clearly, the way you "fight fire with fire" is to start having more kids. This suggestion was brought up in India, to a firestorm of protest. To me, the problem has nothing to do with color or country of origin. It has to do with assimilation.
I think where we in America are going wrong is that we are no longer requiring our immigrant population to assimilate into Americans. They are Vietnamese-Americans, African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, etc., not just Americans.
I think we harm ourselves by encouraging diversity. We provide English As A Second Language classes. We publish our ballots in 2 or more languages. We have bilingual phone-trees when calling a business. The list is endless.
Instead of requiring immigrants to bend to our ways, we bend to theirs. Instead of engendering pride in America, we encourage immigrants to continue celebrating their "mother country". This mind-set is exactly what was followed in Europe.
Why should we think our result will be any different?
Saturday, November 26, 2005
I had mentioned in my last post that my bank was crawling with auditors - they prefer the term "examiners" - as we go through the process of changing our banking charter. It's very stressful, to say the least.
I had spent a week in Vegas - really it was work! - which kicked my butt. Then a full week preparing for the examiners, then two weeks with them here. Well, I'm here to tell you, it kicked my ass. I worked out of my house last Friday (18th) and was simply worthless.
Out on my ass over the whole weekend, off of work Monday and Tuesday. Went in on Wednesday - big mistake - and damned near didn't make it home I was so ill. Thanksgiving, I broke the sickness, and have been fine since then.
Well now, I have damned near two weeks of pent up politics boiling up inside of me. Be prepared for an onslaught next week! Tomorrow, I'll be at the Coliseum watching my suck-ass Raiders. I know, I know.... they won last week, but they should have lost. I'm going just to boo Collins. What a dirty dog's ass he is.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Since my return from Vegas, my life has been consumed with state and federal auditors. Don't worry, it's not that bad!
My bank is going through a charter change - we're going from a savings and loan to a regular bank. As such, our new regulators are doing a cursory audit to make sure we're a viable institution.
If you've never worked with government regulators, you may not understand my frustration. We run a pretty clean shop. Never been robbed (that's not by accident), never took a loss on a loan, we meet our CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) guidelines, etc. For some damned reason, if one of the regulators can't find something wrong, they start nit-picking you to death.
That's where we are right now.
Mr. S, can you explain why this network security profile had this specific change? Mr. S, can you explain why this policy was signed 2 days after the deadline? Mr. S, can you explain why I have to work for the government and couldn't get a job in the real world (sorry, that's just me being bitter)? On and on. Making sure the "T's" are crossed and the "I's" are dotted. Nothing that would even marginally place the bank at risk, but it's like they have the attitude of, "We gotta find something to justify our existence". Your tax dollars at work.
They are auditing my new department - loans - this week. Put a bullet in my head, please. These guys crawl out of my ass on Thursday. That will be a very good day, indeed.....
I've got lots to talk about: US Torture policy. More on a lot of conservative's obsession with regulating people's personal lives. How the California social and economic model can do nothing but fail [gasp!].
Lotsa fun to come!
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Well, the elections were held yesterday, and California has inched ever closer to a full-blown socialist state.
Statewide, we did as I expected, and shot down anything that had to do with personal choice or public responsibility. Prop 74 was shot down, so teachers still get job guarantees after working for only 2 years. I sure wish I had that kind of guarantee.
Prop 75 also went down in flames. This would have given union members the same rights as all other workers: You can't take money from me without my permission. What a novel thought! What is scary, is that union members overwhelmingly approved this measure.
Prop 76, which would have added spending limits, growth limits and broken down some of our state's entitlement programs, had it's ass beaten. The message is clear: We only want to bitch about high taxes, we don't want to actually do anything about it.
Prop 77 would have taken the ability to redraw district lines away from the politicians that have a vested interest, and placed that power, ultimately in the hands of the people. Three judges would have done the redrawing, and then it would have been voted on by all Californians. The ad campaigns for this were simply disgusting, but people fell for it hook, line and sinker.
The biggest gut-blow was for the sheeple in San Francisco. These morons approved a gun ban for the city. Measure H will prohibit the manufacture and sale of all firearms and ammunition in the city, and make it illegal for residents to keep handguns in their homes or businesses. This happened despite the fact that the SF Police Officers Union came out against this, basically saying that the police do not have the ability to protect, but only to investigate.
I literally have no words at this time to express my disgust.
Here's a scary number: Special interest groups on both sides of all of these issues spent $262 million on advertising.
Personally, this is just another deposit into my Move From California Fund. I increasingly have less and less in common with the socialist-oriented people in this state. I'm definitely moving - probably to Nevada - when I retire in 12 years. I need to begin to research the feasibility of making this move as soon as my boys are out of college in 5-6 years. I want to stop financially supporting this rat hole as soon as possible.
Monday, November 07, 2005
Tomorrow, we have a special election scheduled to help set our state right. The special interest groups - most notably the various teacher's unions - have spent enormous amount of money to distort what will really happen with each of the Propositions. If you're from California, take the time to read each item, and vote to reduce state government. Here are my votes:
Proposition 73 - Parental Notification of Abortion. This is a constitutional amendment that will require any unemancipated girl to notify her parents 48 hours prior to having an abortion. Has an "out" for the girl. If she does not want to tell parents, for any reason, she can go to a court for notification.
Why: I like the law itself, in that I believe that parents should know if their unemancipated girl is having a medical procedure. I'm voting no because I believe this to be an attempt by the anti-abortion crowd (I'm pro-choice, with limitations) to outlaw abortions. It changes the legal definition of abortion, and makes that part of our state constitution. Red flags abound.
Proposition 74: Change Teacher Tenure. This will change the current period for getting tenure from 2 years to 5 years.
Why: Why should a non-college teacher get tenure anyway? I thought tenure was to protect professors that had controversial ideas from being fired for those ideas. Why would a kindergarten teacher need this? They wouldn't. California is an At-Will employment state. That should apply to teachers, too. We need to rid ourselves of the deadwood.
Proposition 75: Union Dues Collection Restrictions. Requires unions to get a positive response from union members before using any portion of their dues for political purposes.
Why: It would put union members on par with all other workers. The employers of
non-union workers cannot take money from the paycheck of these workers for political
purposes without the approval of the employee. Union members should have those same
Proposition 76: State spending and school funding limits. Places limits on how much the state budget can grow; changes current spending amounts for schools; give the governor the ability to cut (never increase) budget items of his/her choice when the legislature is unable to agree on a budget.
Why: First step to reducing the size of our state budget, or at least limiting it's growth. This is a great Proposition that probably will go down in flames.
Proposition 77: Redistricting. When congressional districts are re-drawn after a census, has a non-political board of 3 retired judges make the recommendations, and the citizens get to vote on the re-draw.
Why: Takes the process of redistricting out of the hands of individuals with a vested interest in the outcome. This is a great idea.
Proposition 78: Discounts on prescription drugs. Sets poverty levels for getting discounts on prescription drugs. Will likely cost in the low-tens of millions of dollars each year.
Why: That's what I say, "Why?". Why build a bureaucracy to manage this project? Let
people get their own drugs. Similar, but less costly that Prop 79.
Proposition 79: Prescription drug discounts. State-negotiated discounts. Sets poverty levels for getting discounts on prescription drugs. Will likely cost in the tens of millions of dollars each year. Allow lawsuits for "drug profiteering".
Why: This one is even worse than prop 78. Plus, allows anyone to sue the drug companies if they believe the prices are too high. Insanity.
Proposition 80: Electric service providers. Forces utility companies into renewable resources; limits consumer ability to select their own provider; builds additional regulatory controls.
Why: Very convoluted law. Need to read the little details before I decide.
If you don't go vote, I don't want to hear you bitching. Ever. Get off of your ass and participate in your government.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
The Raiders Suck Ass.
Friday, November 04, 2005
I've mentioned before that I have two boys. One's a senior and one's a junior in high school. Good things have happened to both of them over the past week or so.
My oldest plays rugby. This is his 4th year, and he's really come a long way from his first year. Well, on Tuesday of this week, he was voted in as a team captain for the upcoming year.
This is a much bigger deal than it is in most American sports. The captains act as assistant coaches (in the pros, the coach actually sits in the stands during the game). He's the captain of the forwards (as opposed to the backs) and is also the over-all team captain. He determines who starts, who plays what position and when players get swapped in and out. He has really busted his ass, and it's paid off. Scholarship?....... we'll see.....
My younger boy has taken his own path, and it has usually been the one of least resistance! He generally just does what he must to get by. It's not that he doesn't have the ability to excel, he just doesn't have the drive.
We've always had our own Hierarchy Of Needs, so to speak, in our household. It all revolves around GPA - Grade Point Average. If you want to do anything outside of school work and one extra-curricular activity, you needed a 3.0 (B) average.
Our youngest is the type that can put off studying until the last minute, and come out smelling like a rose. This worked in grammar and middle schools - not so well in high school. You need to regularly turn in homework, have classroom participation, PLUS ace the tests. He's always languished in the 2.5 to 2.75 GPA range. It has been frustrating to me and my wife, because we know he has the brains to do better.
We thought that once he saw his older brother driving, he'd get motivated and bring up his grades. No dice. What did it was money (my boy... the capitalist!). His older brother started working about 6 months ago. He brings in about $250 every two weeks. Bingo! Instant motivation.
They just got their first semester grades. My youngest had 4-A's, 2-C's and 1-B! He actually beat his older brother in GPA. He's now starting his driver training classes.
If I could just get them to clean their rooms.....
Thursday, November 03, 2005
I get a daily email newsletter from the California Chamber of Commerce. It covers all kinds of things that affect businesses here in The Golden State. It's because of crap like this that businesses are leaving this cesspool in droves.
Workers' Comp for Undocumented Workers
A California appeals court has granted workers' compensation benefits to an injured undocumented worker.
Rafael Ruiz obtained employment with Farmers Brothers Coffee (Farmers) using fraudulent documents and used a fraudulent Social Security number when filing out his workers' compensation claim form for a work-related injury. Farmers argued that workers' compensation benefits should be denied because Ruiz was in violation of federal immigration law and not legally qualified to work. In addition, the company argued that the employment benefits Ruiz sought were obtained illegally, in violation of the state Insurance Code.
The court rejected both arguments. It ruled that Labor Code section 3351, which defines "employee" to include unlawfully employed aliens, and Labor Code section 1171.5, which extends protection of state law to all individuals regardless of immigration status (except reinstatement to a job as prohibited by federal law), do not conflict with federal immigration law or policy. Further, the court ruled that it was Ruiz' employment, and not the compensable injury, that was obtained through use of fraudulent documents. Farmers Brothers Coffee v. WCAB 205 Cal. App. Lexis 1618 (Ca. App. 2nd Dist.,2005)
Let's recap: Broke the law by sneaking into our country. Broke the law by filling out a fraudulent employment application. Broke the law by using a fraudulent SSN when applying for benefits. Broke the law, broke the law, broke the law.
What's the logical result? Give them money. Holy Fucking Shit.
This is just like the crap that happens when some hood is breaking into your house, breaks a bone or twists an ankle, and successfully sues the homeowner for an "unsafe work environment" or some such similar crap.
We need to have an Uber-law that states, "If you are harmed at an activity, and you came about doing that activity while breaking the law, you're screwed! All of your rights and avenues of recourse are disregarded, just as you disregarded the law of the land. Have a nice day!"
I swear people, I'm leaving this country when I retire if this shit doesn't change...
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals just ruled that it is OK for public schools to ask first grade kids if they masturbate.
Not really, but that's what all of the headlines are stating.
As the conservative Cyber News Service states, "Appeals Court Declares Parenthood Unconstitutional, Group Says". These people are clueless.
The 9th Circuit did more than rule against parents who were upset that their elementary school-aged children were being asked explicit questions about sex in class. They told all parents they have no right to protest what public schools tell their childrenThat is just a blatant lie. Here's what the court ruled:
But on Wednesday, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit dismissed the case, saying, "There is no fundamental right of parents to be the exclusive provider of information regarding sexual matters to their children...Parents have no due process or privacy right to override the determinations of public schools as to the information to which their children will be exposed while enrolled as students."As the justices explained, there can be no expectation that a parent can direct a school on how and what to teach to their specific child. The school board is the entity that directs educational content.
Judge Stephen Reinhardt, writing for the panel, said "no such specific right can be found in the deep roots of the nation's history and tradition or implied in the concept of ordered liberty."
Parents have a choice. Two, in fact. First, if they disagree with what is being taught in public schools, they can pull them out. Either send them to a private school, or home school the child. Secondly, they can vote on who sits on the school board. They can affect the content of the education of their children by voting for school board members that think as they do.
The specifics of this case are disgusting. Asking a seven year-old child about sexual activities is repugnant, and everyone involved should be fired. But the court was right: Kids in public school will be taught what the local school boards deem appropriate. The citizenry votes for the school board. Effect change with your vote.
And that's how it should be.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
The sub-headline said it all:
An influx of Hispanic workers in the wake of Hurricane Katrina has some officials wondering why locals aren't on the front lines of recoveryWhat really got my goat, was the racist comment made by New Orlean's Worthless-As-Shit Mayor Nagin:
"How do I ensure that New Orleans is not overrun by Mexican workers?"Why wasn't this guy torn a new asshole over this? Because he's black, that's why. Normal racist-remark "Code of Conduct" penalties apparently don't apply to minorities.
I'd answer his racist question quite easily. I'd tell him that if he stopped the Nanny State payments to the blacks in his city, they'd get off of their collective asses, go to work, and there would be no need for outside labor. Since he continues to dole out money and make excuses for failure, the blacks in his city have no incentive to work. Work needs to be done, so the Mexican workers are simply filling a worker vacuum.
This stupid prick can't see that his own policies and ineptitude are causing the very problems about which he complains. Again, not surprising, but sad.