Powder Blue Report

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Monday, June 30, 2008

Grand Jury Report San Bernandino Style

So I was perusing Red County Blog earlier this afternoon and there was a lot of posts over at the San Bernadino Red County site. It turns out that there was a Grand Jury Report released today that drops the hammer on the Assessor's office out there. The office is held by Bill Postmus who is was a rising star in the GOP out there. I've heard that he is angling for Rep Jerry Lewis's seat when Cong. Lewis retires(or is hopefully defeated one day). If this Grand Jury report is accurate, and I stress the word accurate, then Mr. Postmus will probably not be moving up the political food chain like he may have hoped. His right hand man Adam Aleman was arrested earlier today and charged with six felonies ranging from three counts of preparing false evidence and one each of offering forged or altered documents as evidence, and destruction of public records and vandalism over $400. I was also told that the no bid consulting contract for $49,200that was handed out in the report was given to Republican political consultant Mike Richman. The report asserts that hardly any work was done to justify this expense. These are very troubling charges. These guys are innocent until proven guilty, but my political nose smells trouble for the accused. At the very least, the San Bernadino County Assessor Bill Postmus should not be handing out sweet no bid contracts to political cronies. Who does he think he is, Larry Agran or something? It stinks. It's a horrible way to run a government operation. It saddens me because I know Mike Richman. So far the blogpen over at Red County SB have been very tight lipped about this story. That's not good enough. I can guarantee them that other people will pick up the slack if they don't step up and start writing about this story.

RIP Kent Snyder

Ron Paul's right hand man/top aide Kent Snyder has passed away at age 49. I was lucky enough to be able to speak with Kent a couple of times over the past year or so during Ron Paul's run for the Presidency. The first time I met him was back in April of 2007 at the CRA State Convention in Ontario. Ron Paul came and spoke to us during lunch and I had a chance to chat with Ken for about twenty minutes after Ron was done speaking. The last time I saw him was last September at USC when Ron came to speak in front of Tommy Trojan. Here is Ron's eulogy of Kent:
"The Freedom Movement has suffered a great loss. Kent Snyder, chairman of my presidential campaign, lost his tragic battle with pneumonia last week. Kent was a true lover of liberty. He was an American patriot. He was my friend. And, he will be missed.

"Kent was a gentle man who carried himself with quiet dignity. While soft spoken, great inner strength lay behind his kind blue eyes. He was filled with conviction, and principles of decency, loyalty and respect ran to his core. Those fortunate enough to work closely with Kent were touched by his integrity and old-fashioned American work ethic. Stories of his youth in Kansas and lessons taught to him by his two greatest influences, his mother and father, were often shared with friends and colleagues. During difficult times, Kent was always a calm at the center of the storm.

"I first met Kent in 1987 when he, as a young man in his late 20’s, served on my first presidential run. Over the next twenty years, we worked together on countless projects in the name of Freedom. It was Kent, more than anyone else, who urged me to run again for president last year. I was skeptical, but he was much more confident that the time was right. Without Kent, I don’t think it would have happened. Though he was an optimist, in the end, even he didn’t expect what we achieved.

"Like so many in our movement, Kent sacrificed much for the cause of Liberty. He sidetracked a blossoming political career when he chose to work for a third-party candidate. He walked away from a lucrative career as telecommunications executive to work for me in Washington when I returned to Congress in the late ‘90’s. Ultimately, he sacrificed his health as he worked tirelessly around the clock on our presidential campaign, ignoring the pleas of his doctors to pull back.

"Kent poured every ounce of his being into our fight for Freedom. He will always hold a place in my heart and in the hearts of my family. We deeply mourn his loss.

"I hope we can celebrate Kent’s life, the wonderful man he was, the tremendous success of his contribution to the cause of liberty, and the bright path he helped blaze to a future where freedom springs alive once again. Kent should be remembered with every victory we achieve as we move forward together. Without Kent Snyder, the fight for liberty would not be where it is today. We all owe him a great debt."
Here is a pic of me with Karl, Kent Snyder, Eddie Karam, & Max Ukropina from the SC event. You will be missed a ton Kent.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Fox Business News vs Peter Schiff

It's rare when cable business networks like CNBC, Bloomberg, or Fox Business News let on someone who's been right all along about our crashing and burning economy like Jim Rogers or Peter Schiff, but when they do, fireworks usually ensue. These networks are always bullish on stocks and the economy. You'll hardly ever hear them question government statistics on things like inflation, GDP, unemployment, money supply, etc. So when a Peter Schiff goes on, tells the audience that the Dow will be worth an ounce of gold soon and gets bullied by kool-aid anchor Stuart Varney....well you can watch what happens below.

Wanna Have Lunch With Warren Buffett.....?

It will only cost you a cool $2.11 million. That's what the winner of Warren Buffett's annual Ebay lunch auction just paid. The winner was Zhao Danyang, a general manager at Pure Heart China Growth Investment Fund. Every year Warren has an auction on Ebay where potenial lunch guests can bid on the chance to ask Warren any question they want to during the three hour lunch. Proceeds of the auction go the Glide Foundation up in San Francisco. Last years winner was Irvine's own Mohnish Pabrai. Mohnish runs a very successful hedge fund here in Irvine that he modeled after Warren Buffett's early investment partnerships.

If anyone wants to have a power lunch with me...just drop me an email at gab200176@yahoo.com. I'm always up for good lunch and you won't have to pay $2.11 million for some sage advice about a good investment and my other brilliant opinions on things in general.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Supreme Court Upholds Individual Right To Bear Arms

I can't believe it even had to come down to this. By one vote, 5 to 4, the Second Amendment to the Constitution was upheld. So I am pleased with the Court's decision, but I am alarmed that there are four justices who believe there is no individual right to bear arms. I guess they don't teach Second Amendment Con Law at liberal law schools(I know I know, that's redundant) or they just choose to pretend it doesn't exist. The Bill of Rights is all about individual rights. When I get home this evening, I am going to pour over this decision and have more to say about it, but for now, I am happy that I will still be able to defend myself, my family, and my property with a gun. Here is a link to the Court Opinion. As loud as they're cheering this decision today, I wish my fellow Republicans would be just as loud in defending the rest of the Constitution.

I hate to do it, but I have to praise the nominee of my party, John McCain for his statement on today's ruling
Unlike the elitist view that believes Americans cling to guns out of bitterness, today's ruling recognizes that gun ownership is a fundamental right -- sacred, just as the right to free speech and assembly
He was taking a shot here at Barack Obama's recent statement at a San Francisco fundraiser that a lot of people in the country are bitter and they cling to guns and religion.

Monday, June 23, 2008

RIP George Carlin

One of my favorite comedians has passed away. George Carlin is dead at age 71. I remember to this day me listening to him on Dr Demento's old show on the famous LA radio station KMET when I was in grade school. I would have to listen with the radio at a real low volume lest my parents hear me listening to "racy material" by Dr. D. Sorry mom, it didn't work, I still listened :) Anyways, the only thing I don't remember was which bit it was. It was either "A Place For My Stuff" or "Icebox Man"...both classic bits. Of course George got his a lot of his fame from being sued by the FCC for his "seven dirty words" you can't say on tv and radio. The Supreme Court ruled that his speech was indecent and he was fined. His body of work was very diverse. He never liked to be grouped or pigeon holed into any stereotype. He always spoke of his healthy skepticism of the government. He was quite libertarian. In fact he asserted that he doesn't believe a word the government says. I find myself being in agreement with a lot of his "stuff" (no pun intended) he spoke about. This is a bit I first saw on HBO a few years ago, but it was linked today over at Lew Rockwell. It has to do with war. It's classic George Carlin.
"That's our new job in the world, bombing brown people. . . . When's the last white people we've bombed. . . the Germans, those are the only ones and that's just because they were trying to cut in on our action! They wanted to dominate the world. Bullsh_t that's our f___ing job!"
I will miss this man.

Still No Decision On The Ramos/Compean Appeal

The appeal of wrongly convicted border agents Compean & Ramos is still pending before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeal in New Orleans. It's been over six months since the oral arguments in the case. It should have been announced by now. I spoke to Rep Dana Rohrabacher at the recent Flag Day dinner. He wondered aloud why it was taking so long as well. The end of the court term is near. The decision should be announced at any moment.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

New OC Sheriff Speaks To GOP Central Committee

The ink is barely dry from the Supervisors appointing Sandra Hutchens as the new Sheriff in OC, but the new Sheriff is wasting no time in making the rounds to the OC Republican establishment. She was at Friday's Flag Day extravaganza with Jim Righeimer helping her work the tables just as diligently as a newlywed couple makes the rounds at their wedding thanking all their guests. Last night she spoke at the OC GOP Central Committee. She was introduced by outgoing interim Sheriff Jack Anderson. She admitted that she was a new face in OC political circles even though she's lived in Dana Point for a long time. She gave a rundown of her bio and resume...quite impressive I might add. I was astounded by the story she told of how she came to apply for the job. She discussed the job opening with her husband and ended up applying online with the executive search firm for the Sheriff's position. That's right...you read that correctly, she applied online for the OC Sheriff's position! Is this a great country or what. I have to admit though that while I'm impressed with her professional credentials, she is going to have to earn the trust of people through her actions of being the new Sheriff. She has her work cut out for her and I wish her all the best & success.

Monday, June 16, 2008

San Jacinto Peak Hike

As my date to climb Mt Whitney nears, I knocked out another local 10,000+ peak Sunday. San Jacinto Peak rises to over 10,834 feet. It towers over the Coachella Valley below. I ended up hiking the most direct route to the top, but also the hardest in the opinion of most hikers...the Marion Mountain Trail. The trail head begins at the Marion Mountain Campground near the town of Idyllwild. I went up Saturday afternoon and camped out instead of getting up at 3am in the morning to drive out there. I started my hike at about 6am, made it to the peak by 11am, and was back down to my truck at 2:30pm. On the way down I had a big scare. While cavalierly placing my foot on some loose rocks, I severely twisted my right ankle right below Little Round Valley up at 9500 feet. After a few high octave curses, I realized I needed to assess my situation and get down the mountain ASAP before any severe swelling set in. Luckily before the hike, I had taped my ankles. This mitigated further damage IMO. It was sore, but I was able to make it down without any further incident. I popped in a couple of Advil and then iced it when I got home. It's a little sore this morning, but it's not as bad as I thought it was. The other thing that saved me was having my hiking poles with me. If I didn't have those, I don't know what I would have done. I couldn't dial 911 because there is no service up there on the mountain. One guy I met at the summit had a satellite phone. Note to self: That seems like the ticket to have, especially when hiking alone when you're out of cell range. After all the drama though, It was worth it. The views from the peak are awesome. I was able to snap a bad cell phone camera picture of the sign at the peak.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Flag Day Dinner Roundup

Last night was the OC GOP's annual Flag Day Dinner. Lynn and I had a great time. These were my observations about the evening. I may be wrong, but I sensed that the room was not completely full like past years. The speakers didn't set the room on fire with any rhetorical flourishes either. In fact at one point in Florida Gov. Charlie Crist's speech, he made the mistake of mentioning our Governor's name Arnold Schwarzenneger. This was probably the funniest moment of the night. It took a second to sink in, but once people realized that he dropped Arnold's name on us, the catcalls and boos started, LOL. Memo to Mr Crist...know your audience better. You can't just ride in here from Florida, drop Arnold's name on Orange County Republicans and expect it to go unnoticed or worse yet expect us to clap. The guy has turned into a stark raving Democrat. Maybe the Dems can have Arnold for their Flag Day event. He'd fit in a lot better. The other thing about Mr Crist that was the buzz in the room was the dude's fake tan. OMG! I mean come on. He reminded me of guys like actor George Hamilton and local ABC Weatherman Dallas Raines's fake bake. I guess what I'm trying to say is that he's not going to get invited to do some skin cancer public sevice messages anytime soon.

A few other misc. items from the night. I got to meet OC's new Sheriff Sandra Hutchens. I congratulated her for her appointment and wished her well in the new job. Speaking of the new Sheriff, I was chatting with Steven Greenhut before dinner about all the drama of the past weeks Sheriff's news when Supervisor John Moorlach rolled up to us. I guess it was the first time that John and Steven had seen each other eye to eye after all the weeks rhetorical fireworks about who should be appointed as Sheriff. There was the biggest grin on both of their respective faces. It was a funny moment. Both of them are idealogical allies 80 to 90% of the time, but this issue was part of the other 10% where they disagreed and it made for great fodder on the local blogosphere. There were no Mike Carona sightings either, LOL.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Historic Collapse By The Lakers

So I was watching the Lakers v Celtics game last night. Lakers were up by 24 points at one point in the 1st Quarter and ended the quarter up by 21. I turned the game off to go workout. I get back from my hike and the the game is tied deep in the 4th quarter...WTF! As soon as I saw that score, I knew they were going to lose the game & the series. What a bunch of chokers. At least win the next game so Boston can't celebrate their championship in our house.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Big Ron Paul Announcement Tonight

The news from the Paul Campaign today is that he will officially end his run for the Presidency and launch his new project to elect libertarian minded Republicans across America. ABC News has the exclusive report.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Irvine Caveman Larry Agran

An interesting comment was just made from BFOL(best friend of Larry) Todd Gallinger over at Liberal OC. He states that Larry Agran...
"doesn’t use computers, doesn’t use email, and almost certainly doesn’t read this blog" (referring to The Liberal OC)
My response to this revelation: Larry needs to get out more. He's a dictator Councilman and former Mayor of a large suburban city here in Irvine. How does he not have use of a computer? Larry, join us in the new millennium. Maybe the Larry kool-aid drinkers at Liberal OC can take up a collection for him. I hope he has running water and electricity. The modern world is really amazing these days.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

There's A New Sheriff In Town....

and her name is Sandra Hutchens. Finally the long nightmare at the Sheriff's office is coming closer to an end. It's not over yet because justice has not been handed down in the Carona trial, but it will. This is a clean slate. I obviously supported Bill Hunt for Sheriff, but I am happy that Mrs Hutchens was appointed out of the two finalists.

Monday, June 09, 2008

OC Register Ron Paul Article

I spoke with Dena Bunis of the Orange County Register a few days ago about the Ron Paul campaign here in Orange County. Dena is the Washington DC correspondent for the Register. I was pretty happy with the way the article turned out except for the last line about us "scared about going to Central Committee meetings". I just want to be clear that I wasn't scared at all of the meetings, but some in the county GOP party were scared of all the activists showing up at first, but after they realized we weren't there bringing torches, pitchforks and marching on the meetings, we were treated very respectfully. A few other activists were quoted in the article along with me. Here's a link of the piece. I think a lot of newspapers are starting to write more about Ron Paul because of all the hits they generate for their online sites. Smart decision :) In fact I found this article by googling Ron Paul in the news category of Google.

******************6/9/08 Update************************

The article is in the print edition this morning of the OC Register.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Thank You

The results are in for the 70th District GOP Central Committee and I will be an elected member come next January! I'm very grateful for all the support I've received from so many. When it's all said and done, I'll have racked up over 11381 votes. I want to specifically thank all the activists in the Irvine Ron Paul Meetup, the CRA , Christina Shea, and the Irvine Republican Council. I will be your voice on the Central Committee. I will stand up for smaller constitutional government. I will object to cronyism and ethically challenged politicians & their policies that don't hold up Republican principles. Freedom had a good day yesterday.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Election Results

The first absentee votes are in for the 70th District Central Committee and as of right now I'm in 6th place. If the results keep trending this way, I will officially be an elected member of the Orange County GOP Central Committee. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the rest of the night.

Election Results Link

Member, County Central Committee 70th Assembly District - Republican
Completed Precincts: 0 of 393
Vote Count Percentage
MARY YOUNG 8871 12.7%
THOMAS A. "TOM" FUENTES 8678 12.4%
DICK NICHOLS 8015 11.4%
DOUG DAVERT 4894 7.0%
BOB BLISS 3230 4.6%
FRED AMERI 2979 4.2%
ETHAN JACOBS 2446 3.5%

Monday, June 02, 2008

My Mt Baldy Experience Yesterday

Ever since I have been a kid, I have always spied the San Gabriel Mountains on a clear day and told myself that one day I would climb the tallest peak in the range...Mt San Antonio or the more common name, Mt Baldy. This was my second big training hike for Mt Whitney. I had tried to summit Mt San Jacinto a few weeks ago, but I was stopped out at 9000 feet by a nasty blister starting to form on my left heel. I was not going to be denied on this hike yesterday. I even forgot to bring my trekking poles with me which compounded my misery coming down "The Devil's Backbone Trail". My route to the top was going to begin via the "Ski Hut" trail that begins at Manker Flats. It was quite the challenge. It gains over 3900 feet in about five and half miles. Your heart is pounding every minute of the way up. My time to the summit was three and half hours not including a fifteen minute break I took half way up at the Ski Hut to apply some moleskin and tape up a hot spot that was starting again on my left heel. The weather was perfect for this hike, clear and cool to start out and then gradually warmed up into the mid sixty degrees. While I was at the summit, I made some new friends that were also doing Mt Whitney later this summer. This was fortunate for me, because on my way down, I ran out of water about a mile from Baldy Lodge. Luckily my new buddy Mike provided me with a spare bottle of H2O he had. Once we reached Baldy Lodge, I decided that I would basically call it a day and proceeded to take the ski lift down the final 1300 feet in elevation. I need a few more of these type of hikes and I feel I'll be ready for whatever Whitney can throw at me.