Tag Archives: California

Victoria Taft on ‘Crazy California’ on OAN Talking About Homelessness

If you live in California you’re well aware of the overwhelming homeless issue. Homeless camps have sprung up seemingly out of nowhere. In river beds in the shadow of Angels Stadium. In the tinder dry hills homeless campers fire up their grills, putting nearby home owners at risk during fire season. The beaches are the daytime homes for droves of people who occupy the park space near the public beaches. In Oxnard, a homeless encampment has sprung up on an “environmentally sensitive” area, but they haven’t been driven out or been subjected to screeching environmental activists.

I don’t need to tell you about San Francisco. You’ve probably seen it on TV. I’ve seen it for myself. You may have too. Those people need help and I have ministered to them as well as involved myself in the Southern California homeless issue. That’s not virtue signaling, that’s just telling you that I know what I’m talking about.

But California is home to 25% of the nation’s homeless. These folks aren’t all native Californians. Why is California such a destination?

On Friday, I talked about this on One America News Network’sThe Daily Ledger” where I’m a contributor. Fill-in host Alex Salvi asked me about the homeless, gun bans and the movie “The Hunt” among other issues in my regular “Crazy California” segment.

Adding to the homeless problem are high housing costs in the area. Rents are ridiculous. There is a net outmigration in LA and Orange counties because of these high costs and other problems in California, including bad schools. But even more ridiculous is the state and local government indulgence in lawlessness. We’ve seen people shooting up drugs on the street, in BART stations and in homeless camps. It’s illegal.

Instead of treating homeless people with the “soft bigotry of low expectations,” make these people tow the legal line as the rest of us must. Then, we’ll be able to get back to better identifying the people who truly want and need help.

As Long as Dems Are at it: ‘Recount’ California

As long as the Democrats continue their see-saw, Chinatown duplicity on voter fraud–there IS voter fraud, there is NO voter fraud–let’s just find out once and for all, shall we?

Recently, Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Hillary Clinton’s campaign alleged voter fraud in only three states, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan–all typical Democratic party strongholds–until Donald Trump came along.

Ms. Stein received 1% of the vote in all three states but, as ABC News put it, wanted a recount to check the integrity of the vote:

“Stein, who received about 1 percent of the vote in all three states, says her intent is to verify the accuracy of the vote. She has suggested, with no evidence, that votes cast were susceptible to computer hacking.”

Mind you, the candidate who stood absolutely no chance of winning and then received 1% of the vote wanted a recount to … verify the accuracy of 1% of the vote?

Obviously not. Stein is a stalking horse for Hillary Clinton.

The two presidential candidates demanded recounts, alleging that somehow, if you squint your eyes and turn around three times, that the Russian government had penetrated the voting machines in the three states’ separate voting systems and had swung the vote for Donald Trump.

Though the candidates had evidence with all the weight of a box of hair, the media and the Democrats, but I repeat myself*, seized upon the mere request for recounts as prima facie evidence that obviously something was amiss–especially since Hillary Clinton lost a race the media predicted her win.

The speculation about the Russians potentially hacking voting systems began last summer when Senate minority leader Harry Reid set the media bait for the story by asking the FBI to investigate if such a hypothetical situation was possible.

Having no time to report on real FBI investigations apparently, the New York Times promptly transcribed a story with all the stability of Galloping Gertie: 

The Senate minority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, asked the F.B.I. on Monday to investigate evidence suggesting that Russia may try to manipulate voting results in November.

In a letter to the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey Jr., Mr. Reid wrote that the threat of Russian interference “is more extensive than is widely known and may include the intent to falsify official election results.” Recent classified briefings from senior intelligence officials, Mr. Reid said in an interview, have left him fearful that President Vladimir V. Putin’s “goal is tampering with this election.”

Now in fairness, note that at the time, hackers had been conducting a slo-mo bloodletting of the Democratic Party. First, with the email leaks of the Democratic National Committee, which led to the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The emails showed Ms. Wasserman-Schultz used the apparatus of the DNC to sabotage Bernie Sanders’s campaign in favor of Mrs. Clinton. After Wasserman-Schultz was drummed out, she confirmed her ardor for Hillary and joined the Clinton camp.

The leaks of Hillary Clinton intimate and campaign chair John Podesta also revealed embarrassing  inside information.

USA Today reports the “juiciest” emails were ones in which Clinton insiders mocked  white people, Catholics, “needy Latinos”, and disparaged Christians in general. They revealed that the #2 at the DNC and CNN contributor* was leaking debate questions to Mrs. Clinton. Worse, they showed seeming collusion with the Justice Department over the probe into Mrs. Clinton’s private server and leak of classified information.

Many people believed that Russian hackers were behind the leaks.

Things were looking pretty bad for the Democrats. They were squirming. This was the only time that Democrats conceded publicly that, gosh, hacking emails is a bad, bad thing (see Democrats’ response to Republicans holding hearings about Hillary Clinton’s unsecured email server).

Fast forward to the ‘champagne anyone?’ November 8th Hillary Clinton loss, and as quickly as you can say ‘voter ID is  voter suppression,’ Jill Stein bagged a few mil to order recounts, you know, for voter integrity’s sake.

But this  Hail Mary effort is a three-fer.

For the Democrats it could net Mrs. Clinton more popular or even more electoral votes. For another, the rhythmic media story line about electoral votes vis a vis popular vote may help marginalize Donald Trump and his mandate to get things done, if only for the Mother Jones or The Nation crowd.

But the third pay off is that Republicans have been handed by leftists and the media, the moral authority to ask for more election integrity, including voter ID.

Jill Stein has already established that it doesn’t matter if the candidate didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning, the question about the ‘integrity’ of the process is all the pretext one needs.

So bring it on. And let’s start with California.

President-elect Trump took incoming fire when he made the above statements about voter fraud. The media portrayed him as kooky, out-of-touch, having “no evidence,” and engaging in a flight of fancy or whatever pejorative they could ascribe to him.

But the thing is, Trump was right when he said,

“Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California-so why isn’t the media reporting on this? Serious bias-big problem!”

And the group, True the Vote, agreed with him, issuing a statement:


The statement read:

HOUSTON, TX. – November 27, 2016: True the Vote (TTV), the nation’s leading voters’ rights and election integrity organization, today released a statement with respect to President-Elect Donald Trump’s claim that “millions” of individuals illegally voted in the 2016 Election.

“True the Vote absolutely supports President-elect Trump’s recent comment about the impact of illegal voting, as reflected in the national popular vote. We are still collecting data and will be for several months, but our intent is to publish a comprehensive study on the significant impact of illegal voting in all of its many forms and begin a national discussion on how voters, states, and the Trump Administration can best address this growing problem.”

True the Vote (TTV) is an IRS-designated 501(c)(3) voters’ rights organization, founded to inspire and equip voters for involvement at every stage of our electoral process. TTV empowers organizations and individuals across the nation to actively protect the rights of legitimate voters, regardless of their political party affiliation. For more information, please visit www.truethevote.org.

As I pointed out in my story for Independent Journal Review on prosecuted voter fraud cases, they are but an infinitesimal number of the actual, suspected cases of voter fraud.

The Public Interest Legal Foundation conducted a limited study–limited by government officials–demonstrating that more than 1000 illegal voters cast ballots in only eight counties. All tolled, the illegal voters voted 300 times.

As voter fraud expert and journalist John Fund pointed out about the limited Virginia study:

He was able to get voter-registration records from eight of Virginia’s 133 cities and counties, and found 1046 illegal aliens who were illegally registered to vote. In the decade between 2005 and 2015, a number of those aliens had voted some 300 times.

Imagine if the organization had been able to match actual voters with voting records in all 95 Virginia counties.

As John Fund also pointed out in National Review, early on the Obama administration has instructed its lawyers to look the other way on voter fraud cases, even though Pew Research showed millions of voters registered to vote in two states or whose information is outdated on the existing voter rolls:

Even though that’s a rich vein of potential mischief for fraudsters, the Obama administration hasn’t filed a single lawsuit in eight years demanding that counties clean up their voter rolls, as they are required to do by the federal “motor voter” law. I’ve spoken to three Justice Department lawyers who attended a meeting on Nov. 30, 2009, in which they claim then-deputy assistant attorney general Julie Fernandez said the DOJ would not be enforcing that provision of the motor voter law because it ran counter to the law’s overall goal of “increasing turnout.” (Ms. Fernandez did not respond to repeated requests for comment.) [emphasis added]

As I also pointed out in my piece, the head of California Election Integrity Project, Linda Paine, told me that voter fraud is a natural by product of California’s laissez faire policy of letting everybody vote.  It is the actual carrying out of the Obama desire to “increase turnout” by doing nothing to stop fraud:

“What we’ve documented in California is a systemic failure in the voting process. By not enforcing existing rules on verifying voters, registrars erode the integrity of the process.

 There’s an overall manipulation of the voter process, including lax statewide standards, that allow people to be impersonated at the polls. And because poll workers don’t check signatures or ID, there [is] almost no way to catch it — unless they choose to.”

Those who would be willing to manipulate the voting process can do it.

It’s got so many open doors to fraud that it’s like Swiss cheese.”

Indeed, she says they don’t even bother calling it “voter fraud” anymore. It’s really “voter impersonation” and it happens all the time in California. How often? We have no idea because:

“You cannot actually catch a person who is doing an impersonation at the polls.”

But, you can tell where and how they’re doing it.

As Paine told me for another piece in Independent Journal Review on how this is done, outside of every polling place is something called the street index. As I wrote:

The list is a trove of information. The names, addresses, and party affiliations of every registered voter in that precinct is displayed. People who have already voted have their names crossed out.

Paine says the mischief starts at 4-5 p.m. in the afternoon. Anyone can avail himself of the Street Index, find out who hasn’t voted, write down that individual’s name and address, and go to the poll and pretend to be that person. Because no identification is required in some places, there’s no way to catch an impersonator.


And where is it happening? Not necessarily at the same polling place where the frauds get the info. They pick up a telephone and call or screenshot with their smart phone the information from the street index and phone it to their buddies somewhere else, such as Los Angeles because, as Paine told me:

“LA County says they count 90% of provisional ballots.

And LA COUNTY had 4.8 million registered voters in  2012 and 5.078 million this year.

If I were going to impersonate a voter, I’d go to LA County and do it.”

Even more telling?

“California has 40% of all provisional ballots voted nation wide.

Registrars have been told not to worry about it because it takes too long to verify [legitimate voters].”

Paine’s group has submitted its evidence to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. After a year’s review, it was forwarded to Washington, D.C. where Paine says nothing has been done.

Provisional ballots cover only federal races, so in a presidential election year, they’re very important.

So, as long as we’re going for recounts, let’s ask for one in California.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

But let’s not stop there. Let’s match votes with voters and find out how many people had their identities stolen–fraudulently hijacked by what is clearly an organized crime outfit to steal the vote by impersonating voters.

After all, as presidential candidate Jill Stein and her new friend Hillary Clinton have established,  it’s all about election integrity and verifying the vote.

Let the recount and investigation begin.


A California Teacher Just Retired at 61. His Salary Made Me Audibly Gasp.

no Twitter with current idA few weeks ago I was in Laguna Beach checking out the sights and decided to pick up the local newspaper, The Laguna Beach Independent. What I saw made me reach for my phone to take a picture of this story:


Photo: Laguna Beach Independent
Photo: Laguna Beach Independent


The story was about a dedicated teacher who, after 25 years, is retiring. It was also about the see-saw battle over who would replace Mark Dressler at his dual job: full time teacher at the local high school and a 40% job at the local middle school.

His former principal was amazed by Dressler’s dedication:

Mark was pretty well tied up for every hour of his day.

Dressler worked 8 hours a day. By teachers’ standards this apparently qualifies as extraordinary.

To be fair, however, Dressler’s job meant some after school and evening work.

Why? Was he a STEM teacher? Did he teach hard sciences or math? Did he lead his students to the Intel awards or even the local science fair? Maybe he led the high school students to win the Constitution Debate contest which required occasional weekend competitions. Could that be it?


Dressler was a drama teacher.

And now he has been enticed to retire at age 61 at a salary of $208,982.56.

Reg Pay              Extra Pay   Benefits         Total

Laguna Beach Unified, 2013
$168,778.00 $3,380.00 $36,824.56 $208,982.56

Source: Transparent California

If you look at the graph below from Ed.100.org , you’ll see how California teachers pensions are quite generous. By year 30, teachers make a fortune in their pensions for the typical salary. The pension dwarfs their salaries.

The graph below expresses the total financial compensation a hypothetical teacher in Oakland receives each year, including each year’s increase in promised lifetime STRS pension benefits. This example is based on the Oakland salary schedule in 2006, a suitably representative example.


The organization makes anyone with eyes to see who and possesses a pulse ask: Can California afford this?

Well, actually no.

Photo: YouTube
Photo: YouTube

The LA Daily News reports the unfunded liability from the teachers pensions are up to $70.5 billion.  And if you count all public employee pension plans, the number grows to a staggering, at $198 billion. Billion.


That’s 31 times the unfunded liability 10 years earlier.

Which brings us back to Mr. Dressler.

According to The Independent, Dressler was given an offer he couldn’t refuse:

At 61, Dressler is taking advantage of an infrequent retirement incentive that kicks teachers retiring early into a higher pension bracket.

Photo: YouTube
Photo: YouTube

Here’s the description of the incentive the California Teachers Association was granted by negotiators on behalf of the tax payers:

The employer pays the benefit’s costs and associated administrative fees to CalSTRS. The terms of the Memorandum of Understanding may place additional, more restrictive eligibility requirements on employees, or may specify groups of employees eligible to receive a 2+2 benefit, a retirement incentive to provide two years of service credit and two additional years of additional age factor.

Dressler got some variation of this deal. He’d be stupid not to take it.

And what did Laguna Beach schools get?

The loss of a beloved, experienced (and, yes, highly paid) teacher.

And they’re hiring two teachers to take his place. Those teachers get pensions, too.


I checked salaries at some of the other districts in California 2012/2013:

San Diego’s Grossmont School District:

teacher grossmont

Santa Barbara School District:

teacher santa barbara



Political Vanguard: Why Jerry Brown’s Water Plan Isn’t Serious

California’s Problem of Long Standing is a Shock! Shock, I Tell You! to Pols in Sacramento.

Divining Rod - Photo provided by  Victoria Taft

In response, our savvy Sacramento swashbuckling legislators have now taken out their mighty divining rods, put their ears to ground, put a wet finger in the air, assessed the political climate and determined that now is the time to rip up our lawns and shorten our showers — or else.

As any 5th grader can tell you, California is comprised of eleven different types of climates which can be simplified into four basic categories: Mediterranean Dry, Look at the Trees, Why Is it So Foggy Here, and, Hella Hot. The Mojave Desert is often the hottest place in the country in the summer. We’re in year four of a drought. But, as Tom Del Beccaro points out here in Forbes, we’re still ‘enjoying’ the wettest century California has had in 7,000 years. In short, the problem is not new.

The question then becomes, what have our elected leaders done about it?

Recently, lawmakers have spent time trying to put Sea World out of business, given money in energy grants to build solar arrays that make birds explode in mid-air — pfft! — incentivized people who aren’t even citizens of California (or the country) to come and receive ‘free’ stuff taken from taxpayers, and planned to spend $68 billion on a slo-mo train to nowhere.

Apparently legislators think money grows on the trees farmers haven’t been forced to rip out in the Central Valley for lack of water.

But instead of pointing at the budget priorities of the state he leads, instead of acknowledging the actual California climate, instead of wagging a reproving forefinger at the environmentalists who have driven the natural resources agenda which diverts water to bait fish over people, Governor Jerry Brown on Sunday blamed something else:

“I can tell you, from California, climate change is not a   hoax. We’re dealing with it, and it’s damn serious.”

Gov. Jerry Brown - Photo Credit Victoria Taft

… said the man who proposed the $68 billion choo choo but killed an $11 billion water storage bill proffered by State Senate Republicans in 2014 because it would ‘break the bank’.

Cue dead pac mac music.

Jerry Brown wants you to believe the cyclical California drought is new-and-worse-than-ever-and-how could he possibly have known? 

Let’s go to the tote board where a cursory check of expenditures yields these figures used for water programs in just the last few years:

2006: $660 million (flood diversion)

2014: $870 million

2014: (voters) $7.5 billion (only $2.7b of which would be used for water storage)

2015:  $20 mil from Feds to farmers

2015: $1billion (including for food baskets for workers in the Central Valley who have lost their jobs due to environmentalists succeeding in diverting water it for the restoration of the ‘delta smelt’ and ruining farms.)

People rightly wonder why the expended billions have not resulted in new reservoirs and desalination plants either started or in the pipeline. That’s because water for people, while a basic function of government, has been taken for granted.

Conservationists have done magnificent things to improve air and water quality in California, but as environmental advocacy has turned into Big Green, they’ve also stood in the way of getting water to people. Under environmental law, individuals have standing to bring lawsuits against anything. The environmental review process takes years to navigate and lawsuits add time and expense. The private desalination plant in Carlsbad was subjected to 14 lawsuits, for example. At long last, notwithstanding attempts to kill it by environmentalists, the plant is coming on-line in the fall — just in time to deliver more water to people.

Environmentalists have overseen the removal of 12 dams in the state from through 2014 in an attempt to return rivers back to their wild state, but that also potentially means less water for people.

Government inertia is also responsible for lack of water. While Governor Brown promises he’ll fast-track water projects this time under his executive order, his administration still hasn’t put in motion half the projects from Emergency Drought Relief passed by the legislature last year.

California also loses 10% of its water from leaky pipes, according to state figures. Last week, 82,000 gallons of water spilled from Santa Clarita after a series of earthquakes. Last July, a water main break near UCLA sent 20 million gallons down the drains along Sunset Boulevard.

Conserving water is the right thing to do, of course. I’ve lived in California on-and-off since the 1980’s and conservation efforts have been a part of the message from water departments since then, if not before. This is California, after all.

Short showers, turning off the water while I brush my teeth, re-using dog water to water plants, low flow everything are just part of life for me. I took those habits with me when I moved back to Oregon, where water is plentiful.

But I have a solution to ease the pain for citizens subjected to Brown’s deputizing of the water police to go after lawn waterers, car washers and people with green lawns.  While Brown is ripping up the earth to put in the slo-mo train to nowhere, he can count it against the 50 million square feet of lawns he demanded be ripped out to conserve water.

That’s something at least.


Tom Del Beccaro: California’s present tells nation’s future. It ain’t pretty.

 “High debt, high taxes, high regulations & high poverty”


You have heard it before: “As California goes, so goes the nation.”  If that is the case, the national economy will be harmed for decades to come because of California’s misplaced priorities today.  Indeed, by emphasizing high-speed rail over water and failing to deal with its debt crisis, California poses a long-term threat to our national economy and is on an economic collision course of increased immigration and lack of water.

Despite a much-heralded recovery in the media and by Governor Jerry Brown, California still has one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates.  Also, more than 30% of the nation’s welfare recipients are Californians – even though California has just 12% of the nation’s population.  It is not surprising, therefore, that California is ranked number one in poverty.

The cause for those bad statistics is bad government policy.  California is the most regulated, highest-taxed, most in-debt state in America.  

Beyond debt, Governor Brown recently signed a huge tax increase featuring a top rate of 13.3%.  Overall, California taxes are 42% higher than Texas. 

Read the rest of Tom’s piece at Forbes: 


Worse & Worser: California’s plastic bag ban bill

How one California State Senator should have quit while he was behind. Vote expected Thursday.

plasticbagimages_thumb_180x160 The idea, Senator Alex Padilla thought, was to outlaw plastic bags altogether. Banning plastic bags was a winning issue! Everybody was doing it: San Francisco! Portland! Laguna Beach! Seattle! LA! The biggest brains and brightest lights were backing a bag ban.

It was supported by air tight logic. Plastic is evil–everybody knows that. Those bags are like ebola to marine life. Entire schools of fish and collections of cetaceans dine out at garbage island and–BOOM!–they’re dead within days. If they can ever actually find garbage island, the Health Department will give it an “F” rating,  just you wait.

After researchers found no garbage island, activists went out and found one. Note the size of the raft next to it. Note, too, plastic fishing line, but no plastic bags.

But those bags are a menace on land, too. Those light weight ‘T’ shaped-bags are collecting like snow drifts along California curbs! In fact, at this moment, there could be a sea turtle who emerged from the water spill who passes his days munching bags on Sunset Boulevard.

Bag banners conjured this image to sell idea sea mammals eat plastic bags, a claim which has been debunked.
Bag banners conjured this image to sell idea sea mammals eat plastic bags, a claim which has been debunked.

These bags are such a menace they end up in land fills. Who do we think we are using bags made out of captured-off-gas to hold our groceries? What kind of monsters are we when we recycle them at the store or reuse them to pick up dog poop or line our trash cans? And, more horrifically, how dare we take that reused bag and  THEN THROW IT AWAY where bags make up an infinitesimal (0.40%) space in land fills! 

Plastic bags aren’t even really ‘plastic’ as we traditionally know it. Bag banners wish to extinguish the light weight “T-shirt” bags made from ethane gas. The ethane gas is ordinarily emitted into the atmosphere while processing natural gas, but, in the US, bag manufacturers capture it and make the bags. Put another way, a greenhouse gas is stopped from polluting the atmosphere and made into something useful.  

The environmentalists are against that. (Call 1-800-Whip-Lash if you suffer injury due to that pretzel logic.) But there’s more bad news for the plastic-bags-are-evil crowd! There is no bag-filled garbage island, no plastic bag induced fish die offs and no snow drifts of plastic bags. 

But that doesn’t mean this issue isn’t a winner for State Senator Padilla. Voters don’t seem to know the facts. And the media? They’re eating up the battle! Grocery stores versus plastic bag manufacturers! BOOM! Grocery stores against poor people! BAM! Scribes scrum! Cameras hum! Microphones are slung! All eyes on him!

In fact, Alex Padilla is so devoted to the idea of banning bags, alterations to his bill are getting more absurd.  He first set out to appease the spotted -owl-global-cooling-warming-chaos-climatephobia scare mongers. He proclaimed the proposed statewide plastic bag ban a ‘compromise.’

Now let’s be honest. Accepting the dodgy “facts” of the people behind provably false claims, writing a bill based on them and claiming it’s a compromise is a little like bidding against yourself at an auction or like government collective bargaining. 

So Padilla appealed to common sense. You know, the kind employed by 12 year olds. It goes something like this: Oh, c’mon, Mom, everybody’s doing it! The state senate analog is since 90 + cities in California have a plastic bag ban, the state should naturally follow along, providing a common, streamlined, predictable law for the entire state. Which might make sense if the ban had been built on, you know, facts…and stuff.

When Padilla got blow back from the bag manufacturers for killing plastic bag jobs, he tried to pay off manufacturers by allowing them to apply for “grants” (read: cash giveaways) to make politically correct bags. Seeding needed changes in manufacturing with enticements by government money giveaways might make sense if the ban had been based on, you know, facts…and stuff.

When he got blow back for proposing a new fee on paper bags and forcing people to buy more expensive reusable bags (usually built in China–helllllloooo, carbon footprint anyone?) he changed his bill again, giving poor people an exemption. Which would make sense, I guess, if the bill had been a moral imperative built on, you know, facts…and stuff.

Each time the state-senator-turned-candidate-for-secretary-of-state has changed his bill, he has outed it as an expensive, unnecessary fraud, based on nothing but the airy fairy, hoped-for-verisimilitudes which might make sense if it had been built on, you know, facts…and stuff.

But it’s not. California lawmakers should say ‘no’ because at least a ‘no’ vote is built on, you know, facts…and stuff.

Drought: Thieves steal water from California fire department

Sign of things to come? The second major water heist occurs in Northern California town.

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 11.23.57 AM

Thieves have stolen thousands of gallons of water from a Northern California fire department, leaving that community high and dry in case of a fire. It’s the second time in two months huge amounts of water have been stolen.

“It’s absolutely terrifying. We count on our fire department to be ready and take care of us.”

I’ve heard of people stealing metal to turn into meth and siphoning gas to get to work,  but this is a first. Though we don’t know the motives of the water rustlers in the Northern California town of North San Juan, we do know they stole thousands of gallons. …From the fire department. …During fire season. 

It could be that since things are so bad in California what, with environmentalists trying take out dams which hold water for people and being responsible for diverting water from people and farmers to ‘save’ a non indigenous bait fish, that it appears water is the new gold.

This is not even the first time this has happened. Neighbors say a school near Camptonville lost six thousand gallons two months ago.

CBS reports it looks as if the water rustlers had big trucks to cart off the water.

Investigators believe the thief has to be someone with knowledge of water tank connectors and someone with a large enough truck to haul it away.

California “landlord” finds downside of Airbnb

A woman’s Palm Springs condo is like a twisted Hotel California, she can check him in, but he’ll never leave.

Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 10.55.23 AM

Airbnb (Air Bed and Breakfast) is a great idea. You rent out your property and make a little money on it while it’s not being used. I’ve successfully used a similar service–FlipKey–for a foreign vacation a few years ago and I briefly considered using Airbnb to occupy our unsold house. A neighbor was using the service and I thought, why not? Now I’m glad I didn’t have to confront that eventuality.

In this story, the ‘tenant’ knew how to game the system and took advantage of the condo owner, Cory Tshogl. It will now be put on the list of landlord’s worst nightmares.

I pick up the story from the San Francisco Chronicle,

The guest booked the space for 44 days from May 25 to July 8 and paid for the first month in advance through Airbnb. After 30 days, Airbnb notified Tschogl that its attempts to collect the balance due “did not succeed” without specifying why. 

Under California law, the renter was a ‘tenant’. That means the ‘landlord’ was screwed,

Cory Tschogl says she knew something was amiss when the guest who goes by the name “Maksym” complained that the tap water was cloudy and he didn’t like the gated entry to the complex. Tschogl had a bad feeling so she agreed to his request for a full refund for the 30 days he had paid in advance. But then the guest changed his mind and decided to stay, Tschogl tells the Chronicle.

The man refused to pay the remaining balance due, however, and he refused to leave. Tschogl decided to let him stay for the full 44 days. But the renter still wouldn’t leave, so Tschogl threatened to turn off the power.

His response: He was legally entitled to stay in the condo, and the loss of electricity would threaten his at-home work, which pays up to $7,000 a day, the Chronicle says. He also said his brother visited and became ill from the tap water.

While it’s not clear what was going on inside her condo, it appears the cheat was running servers or some other energy gobbling enterprise from her condo, 

Tschogl realized that she couldn’t legally cut off the electricity, although her SoCal Edison account showed daily usage was triple to quadruple normal. Her father went by the unit several times and photographed it with the sliding glass doors and windows wide open, presumably while the air conditioning was going full blast to combat the 114-degree heat.

She had an even bigger beef with Airbnb for its failure to help her. The start up has since stepped up and helped her defray her legal bills which will undoubtedly be enormous. She’ll have to evict him. 

I wonder if she’ll ever use Airbnb again?



California city says ‘No’ to shelter for illegal alien border crashers

Escondido Planning Commission says ‘no’ for second time to shelter for Central American children who crashed the border. Appeal is expected.

Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 2.29.40 PM

The Escondido Planning Commission has said ‘no’ for a second time to converting a senior center into a shelter for dozens of illegal alien children who crashed the border.  Backers of the shelter, including the ACLU, showed up en masse to convince the Commission to change its decision and were reminded, “We need to take on the moral responsibility of standing against bigotry, hate and intolerance.”

The ACLU organized a rally before the meeting.

Before the Planning Commission voted ‘no’ for a shelter, this woman claimed a shelter for illegal aliens would create jobs,

The children were brought out as human shields, outside–

10News reports the protesters may appeal the decision to the Escondido City Council. 

Murrieta protest organizer: As long as it takes.

William Satmary believes the group he’s a part of is responsible for the Feds diverting buses away from Murrieta in Riverside County

Photo by Channel 8, KFMB TV.
Photo by Channel 8, KFMB TV.

A total of 75 protesters (and counter protesters) turned up Monday afternoon at the Border Patrol station in Murrieta, California in an effort to turn back buses bringing illegal aliens. Murrieta has been ground zero for protests against the Obama Administration’s smuggling of children and families from Central America into the United States.

Agents block the entrance to the Murrieta, California Border Patrol facility on July 7th. Photo by Victoria Taft for www.VictoriaTaft.com
Agents block the entrance to the Murrieta, California Border Patrol facility on July 7th. Photo by Victoria Taft for www.VictoriaTaft.com

Satmary has helped organize what he calls the ‘ad hoc’ protests and told me they’ve been successful so far.

This organizer told me she was horrified the president is using children as human shields for his unpopular immigration policies.

Reporters from as a diverse a group as Southern California’s Eyewitness News, Alex Jones’ “Infowars” acolytes, to The London Times were there to record whatever happened. Some of the brown shirted, anarchist bandana wearing, “Atzlan” supporters (see post here) attempted to pick fights with the peaceful protesters and got things spun up, but there was no violence or arrests of the sort that occurred July 4th, when some of the brown shirts clashed with cops.

Although the activists received earlier word the buses wouldn’t be coming yesterday, protesters stayed and actually grew in number as the day wore on. Perhaps it was the media presence there. Perhaps it was a mistrust of the federal government’s promises not to bring the buses that day. Whatever it was, on a dusty, wind whipped, 97 degree day people came and they stayed. 

As Satmary, a retired Lt. Col. in the Marines told me, we’ll stay as long as it takes to send the message.


Murrieta Border Patrol protest racists: “Your cracker ass.”

I found the racists at the Murrieta illegal alien protest on Monday.

Brown uniformed "Chicano Power" men came to protest to "protect the children." Photo by Victoria Taft www.VictoriaTaft.com
Brown uniformed “Chicano Power” security men came to protest to “protect the children.” Photo by Victoria Taft www.VictoriaTaft.com

A quartet of counter protesters, some wearing uniforms of brown shirts and some wearing brown bandanas over their mouths, appeared at the protest in front of the Border Patrol station in Murrieta, California on Monday. The brown shirted men said they were there to “protect the children” spirited from Central America and hauled in buses and dumped in the United States by the Obama Administration. Protests (and media coverage) kept the buses at bay. They were diverted to a San Diego County Border Patrol installation instead. 

The brown shirts wore berets and shirts similar to the Guardian Angels of old. That’s where the similarities end, however. A patch on the front pocket depicted a Mexican flag, the beret bore a patch reading “Atzlan,” and another shirt patch spoke of “Chicano Power.” Others wore brown bandanas over their faces ala Occupy anarchists. Members of the group were arrested during the July 4th protest for, among things, jumping a cop, according to witnesses. For a primer on the Atzlan reference, see this old video on the movement. Grab a sweater, it’s chilling.

I was there to cover the protest for www.VictoriaTaft.com and to get a first-hand view for back ground for working on San Diego talk radio. While collecting photos and video, I came across one of the brown shirted men who came to engage and instigate conflict with the more peaceful anti illegal immigration protesters. Unprovoked, he called me a ‘dog’ or ‘bitch.’ I came back to ask why he’d attacked me like that.

The 75 or so protesters says they’ll keep coming back until the Obama Administration stops using Murrieta as a dumping station. See nearby posts. 

Busted California Democrat Yee offered to connect informant with terrorist group

yeeDemocrat State Senator Yee is not a garden variety California Corruptocrat.The FBI says Yee offered to broker a deal between an informant and a “Muslim separatist” group in Philippines.

A California Democrat Senator was busted Wednesday and his offices scrubbed by FBI looking for clues into his alleged nefarious dealings with gun dealers, corruptocrats and a Chinatown felon. 

yee2The biggest part of the story isn’t that Yee is the third California Democrat recently to be indicted, nor that he portrays himself as a tough on guns lawmaker and was gun dealing, or even that he hangs out with some genuine bad actors with membership in the Chinese Triad.

No, for my money, when the Democrat candidate for California Secretary of State offers to hook up an FBI informant with rifles and missile launchers from a renegade Muslim separatist group –a terrorist organization–you’ve got some big problems in little China. From the Union Tribune:

Investigators said Yee discussed helping the agent get weapons worth $500,000 to $2.5 million, including shoulder-fired missiles, and explained the entire process of acquiring them from a Muslim separatist group in the Philippines to bringing them to the U.S., according to an affidavit by FBI agent Emmanuel V. Pascua.

The FBI says group with which Yee claimed to have contact is the Moro Islamic Liberation Front–MILF (really)–which has been warring with the government of the Philippines for decades. The group is known for beheadings, assassinations and kidnappings. 

According to the FBI document, Yee actually offered some insight into the group’s recent peace treaty with the government of the Philippines. Yee claimed the ‘peace’ was a blind by the government to hide its corruption. 

Here’s the 137 page affidavit supporting an indictment of Yee and several others. 

Needless to say, Yee’s campaign for California’s Secretary of State might–just might–have been set back a bit.

Transgender student lies about bathroom attack; media hilarity ensues

I would love to know how long the Associated Press agonized over how to write the headline which in one dumb sentence marveled at how “swift[ly]” a California school responded to a transgender girl who claimed to have been beaten in the boy’s bathroom. They did so while wholly ignoring the real story.

This, in journalism parlance, is known as burying the lead. In fact, the headline should have reflected, you know, the actual story. How about this suggested headline:  “Transgender teen lies about bathroom attack.” Boom. It’s shorter, even. 

An actual Associated Press headline on Yahoo news.
An actual Associated Press headline on Yahoo news.
The AP decided the response to the big, fat lie was more important than the story. Here’s the lead paragraph:
Police, civil rights activists and school district officials in the San Francisco suburb of Hercules responded aggressively when a transgender teenager showed up at his high school health center saying he had just been beaten and sexually assaulted in a school bathroom.
The next graf outs the scam:
[T]he 15-year-old student who alleged the attack recanted, acknowledging during a follow-up interview with a detective that he had fabricated the whole tale…”
The idea of a public school student being able to use a bathroom or locker room depending on what gender they happen to identify with on any given day defies common sense and propriety. Sadly, the California State Legislature is in short supply of both and so passed a bill which went into effect in January that allows teens to suit up for any gender they want –and use the facilities. This change, of course, is irrespective of what makes other students feel comfortable, safe, and protected. 
The student “fabricated the whole tale” because…well, we don’t know why. It might have something to do with creating a cause celebre before the signature gathering campaign to refer the issue to the voters was over. The signature-gathering campaign to refer the issue to voters has failed. Though organizer Bob Tyler of Advocates for Faith and Freedom says they have 21 days to re check all of the signatures. He told radio host Mark Larson on KCBQ Tuesday “there’s a real liklihood of getting it on the ballot.” We’ll see. If it does make the ballot, I’ll report it here.
And I won’t bury the lead.