"The most significant threat to our national security is our debt," Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, August 27, 2010

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

California Law on Voice Recording

California Wiretapping Law

"California's wiretapping law is a "two-party consent" law. California makes it a crime to record or eavesdrop on any confidential communication, including a private conversation or telephone call, without the consent of all parties to the conversation. See Cal. Penal Code § 632. The statute applies to "confidential communications" -- i.e., conversations in which one of the parties has an objectively reasonable expectation that no one is listening in or overhearing the conversation. See Flanagan v. Flanagan, 41 P.3d 575, 576-77, 578-82 (Cal. 2002).  A California appellate court has ruled that this statute applies to the use of hidden video cameras to record conversations as well. See California v. Gibbons, 215 Cal. App. 3d 1204 (Cal Ct. App. 1989).
If you are recording someone without their knowledge in a public or semi-public place like a street or restaurant, the person whom you're recording may or may not have "an objectively reasonable expectation that no one is listening in or overhearing the conversation," and the reasonableness of the expectation would depend on the particular factual circumstances.  Therefore, you cannot necessarily assume that you are in the clear simply because you are in a public place.  
If you are operating in California, you should always get the consent of all parties before recording any conversation that common sense tells you might be "private" or "confidential." In addition to subjecting you to criminal prosecution, violating the California wiretapping law can expose you to a civil lawsuit for damages by an injured party. See Cal. Penal Code § 637.2."

Monday, April 28, 2014

Euphemistically speaking

A good friend of ours, and TheFundamentals, of long standing, has been quite consistent over many decades in focusing on just a few key issues.  Key among them has been America’s constant and growing trade deficit – the dislogic of treating certain groups of people in America as “protected” versus others and, the Democrat party’s constant need to come up with a word or two or three to mask the vote buying game they are playing.  This post is about the latter category:

Affirmative action – this term has lost some of its cachet of late.  It actually can be used to stigmatize a recipient – not good.  We now have a top judge who proudly claims to be one of its poster girls.  Of course, implicit in that claim is her self judgment that she would otherwise have never been recognized for her many skills, talents and gifts.  Or, in simple language, she deems herself to be a gift to all of us (remind you of anyone who is cautiously considering a run for president?)   Be careful of anyone, affirmative action baby or not, who so sees himself/herself.
War on women – this term is recent, political and quite insulting to those who actually do go to war where the stakes are a bit higher than being able to hire a trial attorney on a pure contingent fee basis with the hope of winning a lottery style settlement at the expense of all the rest of us.
Living wage – this dopey term has always been our supporters #1 bugaboo.  Today we most frequently find it applied to the movement to raise the “minimum wage.”  We recently pointed out to our friend/supporter that TheFundamentals was going to take the stand supporting the minimum wage increase but only if we could get it up to $25 or $30 an hour because that shift would do away, hopefully,  with all the fast food franchises and their eyesore presence across America and elsewhere.  It would also drastically reduce their advertising on the Hollywood media and keep their other garbage and debris off our streets and front lawns.
Immigration reform – this catchy phrase usually means – accelerated citizenship for those who enter and remain in the country illegally.  So why have any immigration laws at all if those who ignore them get more favorable treatment than those who follow them?  Also, this essayist cannot fathom visiting a foreign land, ignoring their laws about anything, and then seeking favorable consideration for such actions.  Anyone who implies a consequence with no intention of enforcement is a fraud; a bluffer.
The right to choose – now this one continues to be a problem.  The right to choose has this one big downside – a declining population – which is antithetical to any political movement that depends on a “Ponzi” style scheme to keep things going (which is why the Democrats need very loose “immigration reform” policies). 
The Democrats have stolen Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi playbook.  Mr. Madoff never called his investment programs a Ponzi scheme.  To do so would have been self defeating but everyone who invested with Mr. Madoff and hung around for all the great returns turned into a loser – big losers.  For many years, Madoff garnered quite the reputation as a wunderkind capable of producing spectacular results consistently.  Sound familiar?  It should.  The Democrats are doing it to you right now – buying votes with fake money; fake commerce; fake output; fake results.
The not-so-clever ways of presenting these vote buying schemes (euphemisms) are just part and parcel of a “Ponzi” scheme to keep Democrats in power.  And many people flock to get something that a reasonable person knows is fakery.  But we ask this simple question of you who buy into the scheme – name one Ponzi scheme that lasted?  That’s all – just name one.  For a few dollars today you are willing to sell out your family; their future and that of your neighbors also.  What should we call that?
The top Democrat calls it – hope and change.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Please contact FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler

The FCC is the regulatory agency that is responsible for the Comcast disaster – the regulatory agency that can say “yes” or “no” to Comcast’s request to expand its successful wealth building project for its ownership – the Roberts family while burdening the American public with its disastrous stranglehold on America’s broadband distribution and information/entertainment services.

The FCC’s top guy is Tom Wheeler.  Here is Tom, in a speech on April 4, 2014 to the National Association of Broadcasters:
“Today, I have the American people as my client, and the actions we take at the FCC are built around the interests of that client.
Our mantra at the FCC is “Competition, Competition, Competition.” We believe that competition is better than regulation at stimulating innovation and protecting consumers.”
In light of Tom’s words above, let’s take a quick look at some facts that Tom must know.
Last year, ESPN carried the telecast of 31 out of a total of 35 NCAA "bowl" football games.  If you wished to watch any of these games you had to pay a provider who pays ESPN/ABC for the right to watch a commercially supported broadcast.  (Think about that. You pay to watch commercials!)  So ESPN/ABC charges exorbitant fees for the commercially supported signals for these games, which we, the public pay for in the form of exorbitant package fees for TV programming.  But here is something you may not know:  did you know that ESPN owns 11 of them?  Yes they own the game.  Our ESPN sources are:  http://espn.go.com/ and http://espnevents.com/
Now where is the competition Tom?
Did you know that Comcast has a virtual monopoly in all the cities where it offers it broadband services and its cable TV services and its telephone service and its security service.  Where is the completion Tom?
Did you know that Comcast wants to buy the number two broadband/cable TV company, Time Warner Cable?  Did you know that Comcast says that will not be anti competitive even though it means that Comcast will be the sole provider of costly TV/Internet bundles to 4 out of 10 American homes and will control 55% of the US market?  Comcast will then be the MONOPOLISTIC BROADBAND/CABLE TV PROVIDER in 20 of America’s top 25 cities.  They may as well be selling us swamp land in Florida or a bridge in Brooklyn.  So Tom, we ask you, where is the competition?
Tom has the words right – competition best serves the American people.  Alas, Tom thinks that words suffice – forget about the follow through, the actions, the results.
We recently sent Tom a brief email asking him to visit a local Comcast office to conduct a simple transaction – say, pay a bill or return some equipment or just seek some information about a product or service.  We have done this exact same thing at three Comcast offices in two states and it can take up to 50 minutes.  It actually reminds us of one of those pictures of eastern European people standing in line in a communist country to get a loaf of bread or a quart of milk.
We ask that you contact Tom and share with him your Comcast experience.  Or just tell Tom how much you like Comcast and hope he continues with his program to enrich the Roberts family.
Here is Tom’s email address:  Tom.Wheeler@fcc.gov

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Comcast – time for a change

Our position on the value and utility of the Internet to the American economy is basic – this electronic, digital delivery mechanism will continue to change the way commerce, education, health care and societal interactions are conducted.  It is as important to our developing world as electricity and telephone.  The basic delivery, meaning the availability, must be efficient, reliable, low cost and high quality.

Comcast is opposed to efficient, low cost, high quality Internet availability and delivery.  Yes, we know, their propaganda says otherwise.  Words are cheap as we all know from listening to our politicians and bureaucrats.  Words can be manipulated now, routinely, to bear no relevance to fact and reality.
The reality of Comcast is that people who need to use the company’s services and offering hate the experience – the cost; the inconvenience; the horrible customer service experience but, mostly, it is just too darn expensive for most of us.  And, of course, no one wants to be forced to buy something they don’t want; don’t use; and never will.  Comcast jams down our throats “packages” of crap programming and acts as if it is some form of public service.
In our opinion, Comcast is now the best example we have of a government authorized organized crime syndicate run by one American family – the Roberts family.
Here are the comments coming from the recent quarterly report of Netflix, Inc. regarding their experience with Comcast as well as its recent announced plans to acquire the number two Internet/entertainment company – Time Warner Cable.
“The Internet faces a long term threat from the largest ISPs driving up profits for themselves and costs for everyone else as detailed in our recent blog post. 

If the Comcast and Time Warner Cable merger is approved, the combined company’s footprint will pass
over 60 percent of U.S. broadband households, after the proposed divestiture, with most of those
homes having Comcast as the only option for truly high-speed broadband (>10Mbps). As DSL fades in
favor of cable Internet, Comcast could control high-speed broadband to the majority of American homes. Comcast is already dominant enough to be able to capture unprecedented fees from transit
providers and services such as Netflix. The combined company would possess even more anticompetitive leverage to charge arbitrary interconnection tolls for access to their customers. For this
reason, Netflix opposes this merger.”
The position of TheFundamentals is stated above – the Internet pipeline into American homes and businesses is a utility that must be regulated to meet the above criteria - efficient, reliable, low cost and high quality.  Comcast does not meet these criteria so it is time for a change.  Permitting Comcast to expand its coverage would be an obvious step away from low cost, high quality broadband access.  The best way to communicate this position is an email to your congressman, senators and the FCC which will decide on the merger.  To do this go to:
http://www.fcc.gov/contact-us (if you only have time to send one email, please go here)
How much money and control does the Roberts family need?  They have more than enough right now.  Does our government represent our interests or the interests of the Roberts family?  So far, the Roberts family is way ahead in that arena.  So, we say to our representatives; our senators and our regulators at the FCC – you represent us, not this one family.  Do your job now; stop this merger; break up Comcast (let them offer all the crap programming that the market will bear) and let’s get everyone low cost, efficient, reliable and high quality broadband Internet access.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

The measure of a man

He that walks with the wise will be wise, and he that walks with a fool will harm himself – Proverbs 13:20:

We prefer the shorter version - lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.

So, is this political desperation or just one more crafty, albeit transparent, Axelrod/AKPD messaging manipulation scheme to get out the vote?  Time will tell.  It does speak volumes to the character of Mr. Obama and his ineptitude at leadership and governance.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Issues, issues , issues

First, because he is president, we present Mr. Obama’s issues:

·         All republicans are racist, greedy basterds
·         All republicans are doing their utmost to keep the gals barefoot and pregnant
·         All republicans hate gays
·         All republicans are  white men who belong to fancy country clubs
·         All republicans seek to send all Latinos back to where they came from, and
·         All republicans want to fight any and every possible war as soon as possible
For some unknown reason, these are also the issues covered regularly by:
·         NBC/Comcast/the Roberts family (all one and the same)
·         PBS, NPR and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (all one and the same)
·         CBS
·         Disney/ESPN and ABC – all one and the same, and
·         The NYTimes
Here are the issues that are really affecting most Americans:
·         Too much government but mostly way too much federal government
·         Too many bureaucrats getting paid way too much hoping/waiting for their excessive pensions
·         Way too much debt burdening every one and every thing
·         Way too little jobs – because business will not do business here anymore, because:
o   There are way too many lawsuits, way too many bureaucrats issuing and enforcing way too may rules and regulations, and
o   Way too many taxes burdening everyone but mostly business
For some unknown reason, these issues that are really affecting most Americans are not covered by – well, you know who – just look above.
Get used to it.  It will just get worse, much worse, between now and November 4, 2014.




Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Easy Addiction Solution Years (EASY)

Voters are addicted; more than half of them.

The entire Democrat party and its union masters – full blown 24/7 addiction.  They and tens of millions of government employees have an advanced case of EASY.  Started in the 1960’s.  The years have become decades.
Many Republicans – closet addicts – many others out of the closet – all EASY addicts.
Washington DC is addiction central – ground zero for the EASY epidemic – but all across America, in large cities and state capitols – EASY addicts are running governments.
What are they addicted to?
EASY solution substances.  We list many of the substances of choice:
·         Borrowed money.  Yes, we have been addicted to this EASY solution for some time now but, and this is a big but, after a while lenders get leery which leads us to….

·         ….Printed US fiat currency – until 10 years ago, this substance was not available in America.  You had to travel to distant spots – Brazil, Somalia, Venezuela, Timbuktu and Argentina to get a fix.  No more.  Legal in Washington – widely available in all 50 states.  No prescription required. 

·         Low interest rates.  Occasionally used by some in the past – now available anywhere except the following locations:
o   Your friendly neighborhood bank/credit card issuer
o   Your friendly neighborhood juice loan provider

·         Extended unemployment benefits – available only from the feds.  A guaranteed solution if a society seeks to embed a large portion of their working age population in leisure pursuits.  This substance has had remarkable results in expanding the leisure class.

·         Marijuana.  Only makes sense.  Something to occupy the time of all the slackers that the extended unemployment EASY solutions create.

·         Rising minimum wages.  This is one of our favorite EASY solutions.  Very much in vogue today.  TheFundamentals has encouraged the comprehensive and extended implementation of this solution.  Why stop at $10.00 or $15.00 per hour.  Go directly to $25.00 or $30.00.  This addiction has a wonderful unintended consequence – it will go a long way in eliminating the hideous display of fast food outlets, their unattractive signage and their debris scattered around our neighborhoods.   How about an $8.00 slider?

·         Affordable health care for all.  Just pass a law – make it confusing but include some EASY solutions such as:
o   Kids can stay, live off and bug their parents into their mid 20’s (extra credit:  name one other species where the parents do things to encourage their young to hang around the nest)

o   Everyone gets free care except those who work – they must buy it (this addiction comes from the EASY addiction rationale described above for “extended unemployment benefits”)

o   Free contraception for the gals – free abortions if they just didn’t have the time or interest to use it before that “magic moment.”   Can anyone think of any downside to a government policy that implements this “EASY solution” for all its young women of child bearing age?

·         Lawsuits.  For any reason.   Make them EASY to file and don’t hold the filing party responsible if their suit is unfounded.  Fill the airwaves with ambulance chasing attorneys pleading to come on in – no charge – tell us your story – let’s get some money.  Attorneys know they can scare the defending party into settling – this is one of America’s great, ongoing, EASY solutions.  Just pump out hundreds of thousands of lawyers with nothing to do but file lawsuits.  The rest of the world has done away with this addiction – America has expanded it.
America is addicted to EASY substance solutions.  Once you get addicted to EASY solutions, the world is your oyster.  We wonder if Obamacare covers treatment for this addiction?
What happens when America runs out of EASY solutions?    Should we talk about that?

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Ivy League Way

“Mr. Hanlon left after an hour and told the little tyrants that he welcomed a "conversation" about their ultimatums. They responded in a statement that conversations—to be clear, talking—will lead to "further physical and emotional violence enacted against us by the racist, classist, sexist, heterosexist, transphobic, xenophobic, and ableist structures at Dartmouth." They added: "Our bodies are already on the line, in danger, and under attack."

Some clarity or explanation may be required if you are not familiar with the above subject matter.
Mr. Hanlon is Phil Hanlon, president of Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire.
Dartmouth College is a member in good standing of the eight colleges and universities that make up the Ivy League.  The Ivy League does not issue, extend or otherwise fund/finance/enable its student athletes other than the extent to which it assists any student with the combination of skills and potential to gain admission to one of the eight schools and a bona fide financial need.  Anyone wishing to solve the silliness of Division I men’s athletic programs at every other faux student athlete program elsewhere in the United States need only adopt the Ivy League student athlete admissions standards.  Here it is:
Ivy League schools share a tradition of academic excellence and broad-based, successful NCAA Division I athletics. The Ivy League annually finishes among the top Division I athletics conferences in national competitive rankings, and Ivy League student-athletes earn the country’s best records in the NCAA Academic Performance Ratings, operating under the Ivy League model of athletics as a significant educational component of the student's undergraduate experience. Ivy student-athletes grow from their athletics experiences to become national and community leaders across the spectrum of 21st century life in business and technology, education and philanthropy, law and government, medicine and research, and professional sports and entertainment.
As you pursue opportunities to study and compete in intercollegiate athletics, please keep in mind the following admissions and financial aid policies common to all Ivy League schools.
Ivy League schools base admissions decisions on each candidate’s academic achievements as well as personal strengths and accomplishments, such as athletic achievement, other extracurricular activities and community service.
·         Remember:  To best prepare for admission to an Ivy League school, you should take the most challenging high school classes available to you.
Ivy League schools provide financial aid to students, including athletes, only on the basis of financial need as determined by each institution’s Financial Aid Office. There are no academic or athletic scholarships in the Ivy League. A coach may assist a prospective student-athlete to obtain an estimated financial aid award, however only the Financial Aid Office has the authority to determine financial aid awards and to notify students officially of their actual or estimated awards.
·         Remember:  A prospective student-athlete who receives an estimated need-based financial aid award is welcome to share it with other Ivy League schools. In some cases Ivy League financial aid offices may reevaluate and adjust an estimated financial aid award based on a written need-based award or estimate from another school.  Ivy League coaches may not discourage a prospect from sharing an award, or from obtaining an estimated award from another Ivy institution.
Ivy League coaches are knowledgeable about admissions policies, can be valuable resources in guiding prospects through the application process, and may offer advice and counsel based on feedback from admissions.  Coaches may make a commitment to support a prospective student-athlete’s application. However only the Admissions Office at each Ivy League school has the authority to admit an applicant and to notify an applicant of admission. Only formal correspondence from the Admissions Office should be considered an admissions decision.

Beginning July 1 prior to a prospective student-athlete’s senior year in high school, an Ivy League coach may ask the Admissions Office to review the prospect’s academic credentials, such as transcripts and standardized test scores, for a preliminary assessment.  The preliminary assessment may then be shared with the prospect. Any further positive assessment by the admissions office requires continued strong academic and personal performance, and will be based on a thorough final evaluation of a completed application, including recommendations regarding both academic achievement and personal qualities.


Coaches may communicate to the Admissions Office their support for candidates who are athletic recruits. Candidates are encouraged to ask coaches directly about the coach’s level of interest in them as potential athletic recruits, and should be prepared for coaches to inquire about the candidate’s level of interest as well.  Ivy League coaches may indicate the extent to which a candidate’s interest will affect their willingness to support an application, so that candidates can make informed decisions about potential opportunities.  Please note that while a coach may ask whether or not his or her school is a candidate’s top choice, a coach may not require a candidate to refrain from visiting or applying to other schools, or to withdraw applications to other schools, as a condition for support during the admissions process. Candidates should expect Ivy League coaches to be honest and forthcoming during the recruiting process. We ask candidates to be honest with coaches as well.
·         Remember:  A “verbal commitment” by a coach is not an offer of admission, as only the Admissions Office has that authority. An Ivy League coach can only commit his or her support in the admissions process.
There are various options for submitting an application and receiving an admissions decision. Prospective students who have decided on their first choice may apply to one Ivy League school by November 1 in order to receive notice of Early Decision or Early Action in December.  Students may also apply under the Regular Decision application process to receive a decision in late March.  Under certain circumstances institutions may issue a letter prior to the final admissions decision indicating that a candidate is “likely” to be admitted. This letter means that as long as the applicant sustains the academic and personal record reflected in the completed application, the institution will send a formal admission offer on the appropriate notification date.  Only the Admissions Office can issue a likely letter, and only after receiving a completed application and all required materials. Likely letters may not be issued prior to October 1 of the prospect’s senior year in high school.
Good luck with your college search!  If you have further questions or if any problems or issues arise, please contact the Ivy League Office at admissionsinfo@ivyleaguesports.com© Council of Ivy League Presidents and The Ivy League. All Rights Reserved.
Oh, back to Mr. Hanlon and the above quote from the WSJ.  A bunch of punks, claiming to be students at Dartmouth, invaded Mr. Hanlon's office and issued that statement involving that list of modern day insults to anyone who believes in hard work, discipline and a few of the other fundamentals that we discuss on these pages.  This same group is demanding such important changes as funded sex change operations and more African American study programs and “womyn” issues nonsense.
Whatever Mr. Hanlon does to deal with idiots is his business – he took the job.  But, at least he has a job.  The idiots occupying his office have two choices looking forward:

1.     Continue on this path and join the pathetic ranks of the unemployed for a long, long time (well they possibly could seek “work” in politics/government/media/community organizing), or

2.    Hopefully grow up enough to realize that the world is producing gobs of graduates who are disciplined, work and study hard, and find a way to make peace with all the rest of us sexist, racist, etc. blah – blah – blah (transphobic ????) people who also are employed.
Good luck, Mr. Hanlon. 
For the rest of the NCAA corruption cabal – the answer is alive and well in the Ivy League.  By the way, don't you love the homey "reminders" the Ivy League offers its applicants? 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Lessons learned - and abandoned

A brief history lesson contrasting two view points; one from a successful general; one from a successful politician.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, January 17, 1961:
  • Crises there will continue to be. In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great or small, there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties. A huge increase in newer elements of our defense; development of unrealistic programs to cure every ill in agriculture; a dramatic expansion in basic and applied research -- these and many other possibilities, each possibly promising in itself, may be suggested as the only way to the road we wish to travel.
  • But each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader consideration: the need to maintain balance in and among national programs -- balance between the private and the public economy, balance between cost and hoped for advantage -- balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable; balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual; balance between actions of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration.
  • In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
  • The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.
  • Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society's future, we -- you and I, and our government -- must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.
Lyndon B. Johnson, May 22, 1964:
  • The Great Society is a place where every child can find knowledge to enrich his mind and to enlarge his talents. It is a place where leisure is a welcome chance to build and reflect, not a feared cause of boredom and restlessness. It is a place where the city of man serves not only the needs of the body and the demands of commerce but the desire for beauty and the hunger for community. It is a place where man can renew contact with nature. It is a place which honors creation for its own sake and for what is adds to the understanding of the race. It is a place where men are more concerned with the quality of their goals than the quantity of their goods.
  • It will be the task of your generation to make the American city a place where future generations will come, not only to live, but to live the good life.
  • A second place where we begin to build the Great Society is in our countryside.
  • A third place to build the Great Society is in the classrooms of America.  In many places, classrooms are overcrowded and curricula are outdated. Most of our qualified teachers are underpaid and many of our paid teachers are unqualified.
  • These are three of the central issues of the Great Society. While our Government has many programs directed at those issues … we are going to assemble the best thought and the broadest knowledge from all over the world to find those answers for America.
  • Will you join in the battle to build the Great Society, to prove that our material progress is only the foundation on which we will build a richer life of mind and spirit?
The America of General Eisenhower was one of massive accomplishment – discipline – common goals.  Four years later, the new leader had a vision – unattainable but so grandiose as to refute every principle of the General.  Every principle was abandoned – in a four or five year period and to this day, we chase unattainable visions of comfort and mythology at great cost to our financial condition and devastating cost to our societal community.
One politician – blathering about greatness – forgetting every lesson the man who actually attained it taught us all.