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Tuesday, October 02, 2007


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 fouse, gary c

California - A Banana Republic

One doesn't have to travel outside of the US to see a third world banana republic in action these days. We have a real banana republic right here at home. It is called California. I take no delight in pointing this out since I am a native of California, born and raised in LA. After a hiatus of 16 years living elsewhere as a government employee, I returned to my home state in 1998, just in time to see it sliding off into the abyss. There are too many problems here to count, from crime to illegal immigration to collapsing infrastructure to schools that have become a national disgrace. How has it all come to this? Part of the problem is a burgeoning population of folks that depend on government largesse to get through their lives. An even bigger part of the problem is our corrupt political leadership, which is eager to pander to that population-and feather their own nests in the process.

I have written several times about LA's mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, as cynical and brazen a politician as they come. Since being elected, Villaraigosa has squandered the taxpayers money on things such as services to illegal aliens. To take it a step further, Villaraigosa even appears at illegal alien demonstrations and marches with them as well, accompanied by his police chief William Bratton, who throws his own officers under the bus if they so much as lay a hand on illegal alien protesters when they throw rocks and bottles at the police. (LA is a "sanctuary city" for illegal aliens, and on one occasion, Chief Bratton, an import from the Big Apple, told his critics that if they didn't like it, they could leave the city and the state.) Of course, Villaraigosa's biggest embarrassment has been the recent revelation that he was in the middle of a divorce and was playing "hide the baloney" with Telemundo reporter Mirthala Salinas.

At the same time, the city attorney, Rocky Delgadillo is involved in a misappropriation scandal of his own since it was revealed that his wife had crashed a city car running personal errands and the bill was charged to the city. (That's illegal folks.) In addition, Delgadillo's subordinates have been used to baby sit the little Rockies-a misappropriation of city resources also. Nevertheless, Delgadillo still sits in the City Attorney's chair.

As for LA's schools, they no longer deserve the designation of school. For the most part, they are half-filled with kids who don't speak English, drugs, violence and gang members. When I attended University High School in the early 1960s, it was ranked as the number 2 high school in the nation. It also had one of the most beautiful campuses imaginable. Well, the ranking went away years ago and the campus is now cluttered with weeds, broken pavement and grass that rarely gets cut. In short, it is crumbling.

But don't worry. The LAUSD (LA Unified School District) is never short of administrative talent. The current administrator is a guy named Brewster, who can't even pronounce the mayor's name right ("Vilagarosa"). Before him, there was the political hack Roy Romer, former governor of Colorado and DNC Chairman who was hiding out after a publicized extra-marital affair in Washington. Under his "leadership", the LAUSD sank another 100 meters into the muck.

Well, so much for LA-what about San Francisco? This is a place that spits in the face of the military every chance it gets, from turning down the chance to have a battleship retired in San Francisco Bay to chasing recruiters out of the city. For San Francisco, illegals are welcome (also a sanctuary city), but our military is not. So who is running this place you ask? His name is Mayor Gavon Newsome, another slick operator out of the mold of Tony V. to the south. Want to know how slick Newsome is? Well, about a year ago, it was revealed that he was having an affair with the wife of one of his top aides, but of course, by SF standards, that's pretty mild.

Well, you say, can't Sacramento do anything about this mess? That's like saying, "If only Der Fuehrer knew what was going on. He would stop all these abuses." Sacramento is the problem. Schwarzenegger initially wanted to rein in all the madness, but he is an army of one, and he has caved in to the Democrats who control the capital. It must be stated here, that not only is Sacramento controlled by the Democrats, it is controlled by the far-left, activist wing of the Democratic party. You have characters like the former Lt Governor, Cruz Bustamante, who now occupies another musical chairs post in the state capital. You have Bill Lockyear, formerly attorney general-who basically was only worried about prosecuting corporations and polluters-never mind street criminals. He now sits in the musical chair next to Bustamante. The current attorney general is that grizzled old crime-fighter, Jerry Brown. Yes, that Jerry Brown. He is following in Lockyer's footsteps, looking under every bed for some polluter to put in jail.

Then there is the Speaker of the Assembly, Fabian Nunez (also like Villaraigosa, a former "co-respondant" of Ms Salinas). In today's LA Times, there is an article outlining the recent travels and expenditures of Speaker Nunez. As part of his duties conducting the business of the People of California, this guy has traveled the world in style- first class air fares, five star hotels, thousand dollar dinners, you name it.

Try these on for size; $47, 412 on airlines such as United, Lufthansa and Air France; $8, 745 at the exclusive Hotel Arts in Barcelona; $ 5, 149 for a "meeting" at Cave L'Avant Garde, a wine cellar in the Bordeaux region of France; $2, 562 for two separate "office expenses" at Vuitton; $1,795 for a "meeting" at Le Grand Colbert, a Parisian restaurant; a $1,715 "meeting" at Asia de Cuba Restaurant in West Hollywood and a $2, 428 "meeting" at 58 Degrees and Holding, a Sacramento Wine Bar and Bistro. (LA Times, 10-5-07) There is more, but I think you get the point.

When asked about these expenditures, Mr Nunez stated, "For me, it's a question of; is my perspective on issues broad enough? Do I have enough context when I make decisions? This is a big state to run. You've got to know what you're doing".

"These trips, at least the ones I've taken-I feel very confident and comfortable that they're not only justified but necessary for the decisions I need to make on a daily basis." (ibid)

" There's not too big a difference between how I live and how most middle-class people live", added Nunez (ibid).

The funds came from his "Friends of Fabian Nunez campaign account", which were disclosed in a mandatory filing with the state. The account was listed as having a balance of $5.3 million.(ibid)

This is the nature of the leadership that we have in California. Of course, we should vote them out of office and get some honest and competent people in there. The problem is we can't. It has gotten to the point where the voters who depend on government largesse outnumber the voters who are footing the bill. I hate to make this a partison issue folks-after, all, I am an independent- but California is solidly in the hands of the Democratic Party, and they are running it into the ground. Productive and hard-working people are leaving every day, and in many cases, taking their companies and jobs with them. They are replaced mostly by illegal aliens and welfare recipients. (San Francisco lured many homeless people to that city by giving them a $400 monthly stipend.) One would think that any responsible politician would want to fight that trend. Keep in mind, Villaraigosa, Nunez and Bustamante were all members in college of Mecha- a radical Hispanic Student group whose principle goal is the reinstatement of the American southwest to Mexico.

Well, you say- maybe the National Democratic Party would see the radicalization of California politics by their own party and try to moderate what is happening in our state. Consider this: Guess who is the National Co-Chair of Hillary Clinton's campaign. Answer: Antonio Villaraigosa.

gary fouse

 fouse, gary c

How Not to Run A City- Los Angeles

Under the stewardship of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the city of Los Angeles has sunk deeper into the muck and cemented its position as a national laughingstock. This week, the LA City Council reached a financial settlement with ex-firefighter, Tennie Pierce on his claim of racial mistreatment by his colleagues. The settlement is a textbook case of financial mismanagement of the tax-payers money.

In 2004, Pierce, while on duty at the Westchester Fire Station, had his spaghetti dinner topped with dog food by his fellow fire fighters. Pierce, a 51 year old African-American, did not find the prank humourous and proceeded to file a multi- million dollar lawsuit against the city based on racial grounds.

Subsequent investigation revealed that the fire station, like most others in LA, had a culture of pranksterism within its ranks. In fact, photos emerged of other firehouse pranks in which Pierce was a participant. One showed Pierce shaving the genital area of a fellow firefighter. It was also revealed that Pierce, who stands 6' 5", had given himself the nickname, "The Big Dog", and that he commonly called out: "Feed the Big Dog!" during firehouse volleyball games. The Fire Department and the city defended themselves by claiming that it was a harmless prank, one of many conducted by all the personnel including Pierce. Pierce and his supporters said that the prank had to do with his race, and that he was unable to continue his career with the LAFD due to his feelings of humiliation. Pierce's attoney brought in a sociology professor, David Wellman from the University of California at Santa Cruz who helped prepare the case. After studying the charges and looking through old LAFD files, Wellman concluded that the dog food was a symbol of the times when blacks were considered less than human, and that the spaghetti all'Alpo was part of a pattern of racism within the department. (Well, what did you expect a sociology professor from UC Santa Cruz to conclude?)

A few months ago, the LA City Council, a collection of mostly empty suits, came to an agreement to pay off Pierce 2.7 million dollars. An immediate negative reaction ensued from the public, kept up to breast of the case by radio DJs, John and Ken of KFI who heeped ridicule on Pierce, his attorney and the City Council. In the aftermath, Mayor Villaraigosa vetoed the settlement, one of the few fiscally responsible things he has done in office, and the city prepared to defend itself in court hiring a private law firm to assist in their case.

Well, this week, the City Council decided not to take their chances in court. Apparently, that law firm advised them that they would probably lose with a "downtown" jury. So now, the Council has approved a $1.43 million dollar settlement with back pay and retirement for Pierce. Opponents of the payout maintain that this was nothing more than a racial shakedown and the city should have stood and fought the case.

So what did the city gain from backing away from a 2.7 million deal and settling on the 1.43 million dollar deal? To hear the city fathers describe it, they have saved LA almost 1.5 million in payout by cutting the figure. But not so fast. What about that law firm that the city hired? They are also collecting 1.4 million in taxpayer funds for their "services". So much for a wide stewardship of the public's money.

Meanwhile, Mayor Villaraigosa, the laughingstock of LA, who has visions of being governor and maybe president someday (if the rest of the country doesn't hear about his antics as mayor), goes merrily on his way trying to get the public's attention off of his paramour, Univision reporter, Mirthala Salinas and his messy divorce. The latest ruse is his "million trees" planning project, with the actual number of trees planted hundreds of thousands below that number and thousands missing.

In addition, Villaraigosa is now proposing an "emergency referendum" by which the city would reduce its telephone utility tax from 10% to 9% for city residents. Sounds generous, right? Only until you consider that the tax is the object of three lawsuits as being illegal and likely to be thrown out-unless of course, the voters approve a tax of 9%. Now you see it, now you don't. Bill Clinton would be proud. The tax revenue at stake to the city is $270 million dollars, much needed in order to continue providing services to LA's ever growing illegal alien community.

What's in your wallet?

gary fouse

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