Sunday, August 29, 2021

SB NEWS-PRESS: THE INVESTIGATOR: A LESSON ON "CONSPIRACY THEORY"








https://newspress.com/a-lesson-about-conspiracy-theory/


There is a vast difference between legitimate issues and the kind of conspiracy theory derangement that caused a Santa Barbara man to murder his two young children earlier this month. 


Matthew Taylor Coleman, 40, who owns a local surfer school with his wife, drove his young son and daughter across the border into Mexico and, a couple days later, admitted to having murdered sweet innocent Kaleo, 2, and Roxy, 10 months old —ritualistically, it appears—with a spear gun and stakes through the heart.  


FBI agents who intercepted Mr. Coleman at the border upon his return to the United States, sadly absent of his children, soon extracted an admission from him and reported in court documents that Mr. Coleman “was receiving visions and signs revealing that his wife possessed serpent DNA and pass it on to her children,” adding, “he believed his children were going to grow into monsters so he had to kill them.”


A senseless tragedy leading to unspeakable anguish and heartbreak for the family—and which sent shockwaves through the community.


Although Mr. Coleman’s motivation appears to have been his belief in a farfetched “reptilian” conspiracy theory, his evil actions are, clearly, the result of mental illness. I’m not a psychiatrist but it is fairly obvious Mr. Coleman was suffering psychosis, perhaps induced or enhanced by hallucinatory drugs. His derangement ought not be used by mainstream media as an all-too-common attack by association on everything they so enjoy labelling “conspiracy theory” as a means of justifying their ongoing narrative.

 

 

            BILDERBERG

 

 

I first became a journalist (in 1976) by investigating a topic most folks considered to be little more than a right-wing conspiracy theory.


I’m talking about the Bilderberg Group—an assembly of movers and shakers, captains and kings from North America and Europe who meet annually in secret for lofty discussions on how best to mesh their beliefs about how foreign and economic policy should be shaped going forward.


My research began while I was a student at American University in Washington DC where, from my dorm room, I wrote to numerous government agencies and foreign embassies seeking more information. No one was forthcoming; in fact, even those who acknowledged Bilderberg’s existence knew (or would say) nothing more.


This reply from the (UK) Foreign and Commonwealth Office: “Unfortunately, we can find no trace of the Bilderberg Group in any of our reference works on international organisations.”


(Never mind that Denis Healey, Britain’s treasury secretary at the time, was one of Bilderberg’s founding members.)


A State Department flunky named Francis J. Seidner, a “Public Affairs Adviser,” even advised me to mind my own business.


Some people thought I was nuts. They said I was a “conspiracy theorist.” And they tried to discredit any talk of Bilderberg by associating it with folks who write about the Illuminati, an actual secret society created in Bavaria in 1775 by Adam Weishaupt, who believed that the Freemasons (another secret society, to which he had formerly belonged) were not doing enough to bring about revolution.


Yet Bilderberg had been meeting secretly since the mid-1950s with the specific objective, to the best of the abilities of participants within their various spheres of considerable influence, of manipulating the foreign policies and economic platforms of Western European countries and the United States.


After three months of walking a labyrinth, I tracked down a charity in New York City called American Friends of Bilderberg.  I visited the low-profile if elegantly-appointed office of the mundane-sounding Murden & Company (a cover) in midtown Manhattan and received a cordial reception. This was where Bilderberg’s Steering Committee, in coordination with a European Steering Committee, based in The Hague, decided agendas and participant invitation lists for upcoming Bilderberg meetings.

 

I earned an A on the term paper I wrote about this for my International Politics course. More important than a good grade, the thrill of the search incentivized me to pursue a career in journalism and, indeed, an obscure British magazine soon reshaped my term paper into a lengthy feature story.





But even those who read it questioned whether the existence of such a group was for real or fantasy, such was the power of those who would cast “conspiracy theory” aspersions on any mention of Bilderberg.


Until April 1977.


That is when the Bilderberg Group next met, in Torquay, on the Devonshire coast in southern England. (Bilderberg traditionally stages its 3-day conferences at alternate 5-star resort hotels in Europe and the USA. The meeting they were supposed to have convened in Williamsburg, Virginia in spring 1976 was cancelled after Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands was caught taking bribes from the Lockheed Corporation and forced to resign in disgrace as Bilderberg’s chairman.)


I had forecast the Torquay conference in my magazine piece, identifying the luxury Imperial Hotel as its venue.


This marked the end of Bilderberg’s anonymity.


Because, sitting in the Imperial’s lobby, a smattering of Fleet Street reporters, all in possession of the actual magazine in which my story had appeared 6 months earlier, appeared to be taking bets amongst themselves on whether or not any such so-called “Bilderbergers” would actually manifest themselves. 



Helmut Schmidt
Arriving in the dark of night,
none too pleased at having his photo snapped
And suddenly, like gnomes, there they were, as the lobby began to fill with the likes of Henry Kissinger, NATO Secretary-General Joseph Luns, Fiat’s Giovanni Agnelli—and even German Chancellor, Helmut Schmidt—leaving seasoned reporters with mouths agape.






I was there myself watching when a white Range Rover deposited a rumpled David Rockefeller at the Imperial’s front entrance.


Mr. Rockefeller, then chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank and unofficial chairman of The Establishment, was shocked to see reporters and photographers milling around, flashbulbs popping. And they were just as shocked to see him. (I should probably have introduced myself to him as the reporter responsible for this debacle.)


Bilderberg was for real. And no longer secret or anonymous.




A bemused Joseph Luns
Secretary-General of NATO,
out for a stroll

I, a rookie of 22, was the only reporter among several veteran newspaper luminaries who knew anything about the secretive group. I got wined, dined, grilled and willfully exploited—and for the first time in its 23-year history, the existence of Bilderberg got reported by the mainstream media—to include the (UK) Sunday Mirror, (London) Evening Standard and Bill Blakemore of ABC News, with whom I’d consulted a week before the confab. (I wrote my own story for a New York-based weekly magazine called Seven Days, which commissioned me to report from Torquay.


This is what I was able to tell them:




Joseph Retinger

Bilderberg was rooted in a 1946 address by Joseph Retinger (a Polish political philosopher) to the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London. His topic: the threat posed to Europe by the Soviet Union. This speech spawned the idea of a European Movement. 


Utilizing his high-level contacts as an eminence gris, Mr. Retinger harnessed Prince Bernhard to figurehead his project. Realizing the need for American support, he and the prince together traveled to the USA to recruit super-banker David Rockefeller and CIA Director Walter Bedell Smith into the mix. (The CIA, through a cover entity called the American Committee for a Unified Europe, had, earlier, secretly channeled more than $3 million to Mr. Retinger for moving his movement forward.)

In May 1954, in Oosterbeek, the Netherlands, at Hotel de Bilderberg (from which the group took its name), 80 of the most influential men from Western Europe and the United States spent 3 days bonding and super-networking.


They arrived at this conclusion, stated in the confidential minutes of that event: 

“When the time is ripe, our present concepts of world affairs should be extended to the whole world.”


Their main concept in that era: a unified Europe.


And, acting from behind the scenes, in secret, they succeeded.


The late George McGhee, former U.S Ambassador to Germany once declared, “The Treaty of Rome, which brought the Common Market into being, was nurtured at Bilderberg meetings.”

Ambassador McGhee would know. He attended a Bilderberg meeting—in Garmisch, Germany, September 1955—when, according to the confidential record of that meeting, “It was generally recognized that it is our common responsibility to arrive in the shortest possible time at the highest degree of integration, beginning with a common European market.”


The European Movement turned into the Common Market; the EEC turned into European Union; and, simultaneously, an Atlantic Alliance flourished. 


But while they managed to stave off another WW in Europe—their main objective—they made a cockup of the rest of the world, from the Vietnam War to Middle East policies, from selling out Western manufacturing to China to not keeping it promises to republics once part of the USSR—all the way to Afghanistan.



Torquay, England, April 1977
Intrepid reporter RE dogging a rather uptight William Bundy, Secretary-General of Bilderberg North America and chief architect of the failed Vietnam War.


 

 

            SLEIGHT OF HAND

 

 

If there is a moral to this story, it is this: When any powers-that-be use the term “conspiracy theory” to cast aspersions on a subject for the purpose of discrediting whomever is trying to learn more about it, it signals time to triple-up efforts to investigate and intensify the spotlight on those who prefer to keep us in the dark.


For instance, the notion that COVID-19 was developed in the Wuhan Lab, partly funded by the National Institute of Health with Anthony Fauci’s blessing, is not conspiracy theory. It is actually a no-brainer (though too bad we’re surrounded by people with no brains).  In time, when all the dust has finally settled and polemics are removed from the process, post-mortems will most likely concur this as fact.


Until recently, anyone and everyone who expressed a belief in UFOs over the last 70 years was, according to the U.S. Government, a certified conspiracy theorist; yet now we’re told by the Director of National Intelligence that UFOs “clearly pose a safety of flight issue and may pose a challenge to U.S. national security.”


What a turnaround!


Concerns that the experimental COVID-19 vaccine may be unsafe for some folks in the long-term, are legitimate issues (conceded by the Federal Drug Administration) and not merely the domain of “anti-vax conspiracy theorists,” as anti-social media might have you believe, censoring the likes of U.S. Senator Rand Paul for not buying into their preferred narrative, along with their quashing of any news about therapeutics that are being used, with great success, to beat back the novel virus.


The term “conspiracy theory” has become vastly over-used and abused, casting a pall over a constitutional right we hold sacred: freedom of speech and expression.


“It was the CIA who in 1967 first injected the term conspiracy theory in the public lexicon,” wrote Peter Janney in his remarkable book, Mary’s Mosaic. “A term that has continued today to be used to smear, denounce, ridicule, and defame anyone who dares challenge a prevailing mainstream narrative about any controversial high-profile crime or event.”


Rule of thumb: Never believe whatever the government tells you; they lie about everything. And if you don’t believe that, turn on your TV and listen to all the bald-faced lies being told by USG’s top enchiladas in defense of this country’s ill-planned, humiliating surrender to and retreat from the Taliban in Afghanistan. 


President Biden chose to reverse policies that dealt with a real border and energy self-sufficiency but kept the Trump Administration’s policy to remove troops from Afghanistan. Ultimately, this wasn’t about if or when we should leave Afghanistan but how. Leaving behind tens of billions of dollars in armaments, U.S. citizens and those Afghanis (and their families) who cooperated with us was not the correct how—made all the worse by the failure of the executive branch to be honest with the American public by admitting their goof and taking the correct remedial action instead of pretending everything is peachy dandy and compounding the bungle with additional ineptitude, from semantics to a Taliban-owned evacuation.


An intelligence assessment seen by The Investigator forecasts what the Taliban will do after the US military departs: “Take down the internet, expel foreign journalists and begin the Afghan version of the killing fields.”


As for Matthew Coleman and the senseless murder of his children—a horrible, nightmarish tragedy. By now, Mr. Coleman has probably come to his senses, mortified by what he did and full of remorse, perhaps suicidal. No doubt, his public defender will plead “not guilty for reason of insanity” and Mr. Coleman will spend the rest of his life (or most of it) in the psych ward of a federal penitentiary.


Chalk one up for the devil.


(Sad to report, the devil is making out like a bandit this summer.)




Thursday, August 26, 2021

SB NEWS-PRESS: # 1 MOST POPULAR POST




 


With the Recall Governor Newsom Election already underway, we note that our premiering column four months ago is this week the most popular story on the SB News-Press website.

Here it is again:


Once upon a time I directed an intelligence service for a European prince and his principality. 

In that capacity, I traveled to San Marino, a tiny microstate surrounded by Italy and one of the world’s oldest republics. Luca, the chief of San Marino’s central bank, told me how “democracy” worked in his country: Six families take turns running it.

Don’t laugh. This is what the Clintons, Bushes and Kennedys evidently had in mind for our republic (and maybe still do).

Which brings us to California and the curious familial relationships of Gov. Gavin Newsom, 53, and the concept of “autocrazy” (autocracy with a twist), involving four families bound by blood, marriage, extramarital dalliances, money and politics.

Gov. Newsom, who faces recall and a new election after 2,117,730 Californians (600,000 more than needed) signed a petition demanding his disqualification and removal from office, is related to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi through his uncle-by-marriage, Ron Pelosi.

But it was the divorce of Gavin’s parents when he was only 2 years old that left him largely under the wing of another illustrious California family: The oil-rich Gettys. 

Gordon and Ann Getty “informally adopted” Gavin, gave him a room in their Marina District home, took him on safari to Africa as a teen and generally treated him as a son.

Gordon Getty’s own father was family patriarch J. Paul, founder of Getty Oil and once the world’s richest man.

But before we get into the Gettys, let’s explore the relationship between the elder Newsoms and Edmund “Pat” Brown, a Democrat whose run for governor they sponsored in 1959 after first bankrolling his election as district attorney in San Francisco.

In return, Gov. Brown awarded the Newsoms and John Pelosi (father of Ron and his brother Paul, Nancy’s husband) lucrative contracts to operate Squaw Valley Resort (site of the 1960 Winter Olympics) near Tahoe City in the Sierra Nevada range — all costs covered by the state in exchange for nothing in return, screwing the taxpayer. (This issue partly led to Gov. Brown’s defeat when he sought a third term in 1966 against Hollywood star Ronald Reagan.)

Following in the footsteps of his father, Gov. Jerry Brown favored the Newsoms, giving William Newsom III, Gavin’s father, a Superior Court judgeship in Placer County and, three years later, a seat on the state Court of Appeal in San Francisco.

In a column two years ago, Ken Herron wrote: “The four families of Pat Brown, William Newsom, John Pelosi and J. Paul Getty have dominated California politics for over 60 years.”

Now back to the Gettys.  

Before becoming a judge, William Newsom III had been J. Paul Getty’s attorney. While a judge he ruled on legal issues favoring the financial situation of J. Paul’s heir, Gordon Getty. Then after retiring from the bench, Mr. Newsom became administrator of the Gordon P. Getty Family Trust, which had benefited from his judgments.  (It was Gavin’s dad, when John Paul Getty III, J. Paul’s grandson, was kidnapped, in 1973, who couriered to Italy the ransom of $2.7 million in cash to buy his freedom.)

William, who passed away in 2018, made no bones about it, famously saying, “I make my money working for Gordon Getty.” (By 1983 Gordon was declared — by Forbes magazine — the world’s richest man with a fortune of $2 billion.)

When young Gavin, now the guv, started his PlumpJack Group wine and hospitality businesses in June 1991 with one of Gordon’s sons, Billy Getty, it was Gordon (who’d attended St. Ignatius College Preparatory with Gavin’s father, William) who supplied the big bucks and even gave the business its name after an opera he had written.

SFGATE reported in 2003: “Getty owns 49 percent of the concern that manages all the PlumpJack businesses; 96 percent of the winery; 96 percent of the partnership that runs the Squaw Valley Inn; and more than 80 percent of Newsom’s real estate development firm.”

An aside here: PlumpJack received $2.9 million in federal funding through the Paycheck Protection Program stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown while hundreds of other small business owners struggled in vain for such assistance. Almost three million dollars for only 14 employees. 

And while the governor has placed his ownership in a blind trust, he continues to receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in gross income each year from the company. Dare I say, whenever there’s a government giveaway, it’s all about knowing the ins and outs of how best to game the system — and being able to afford the right lawyers to do so.

Another PlumpJack partner is Isolep Enterprises, Paul and Nancy Pelosi’s personal investment company (Isolep is Pelosi spelled backwards), incorporated in late 1991 to invest in arenas that may warrant further attention from The Investigator.

Getty family members contributed $500,000 to Gavin’s successful run for governor, having already been Mr. Newsom’s top financial benefactor from the very start of his political career, including elections for two stints as San Francisco mayor and two terms as lieutenant governor, ensuring Gavin’s fast-track to the top — in addition to paying him for “investment advice,” helping him purchase a Pacific Heights house and paying the bills for lavish receptions, including his Great Gatsby-themed thirtieth birthday party.  

Gordon Getty, now 87, also funded the rise to power of Vice President Kamala Harris.

So where do we go from here?

If Gavin is garroted (and this is political mafia, with mainstream media omertacomplicit), where do Nancy Pelosi’s political interests and Getty wealth interests land?

Stymied.

That is because, by Nancy Pelosi’s own decree, no one in the Democratic Party is allowed to challenge Gov. Newsom in a special recall election — or risk becoming persona non-grata within the party if they do.

“I think it’s an unnecessary notion,” Speaker Pelosi said at a press conference in March, disparaging a perfectly legitimate legal process.“I don’t think it even rises to the level of an idea.”

Which means that Nancy’s daughter, Christine, who dabbles in law and Democratic politics but has never quite made a political name for herself beyond ill-tempered Twitter tweets, is not ready to assume the position.

Meantime, the Getty family continues to lose its heirs as members off themselves through drug abuse. John Gilbert Getty died earlier this year from a fentanyl overdose while his brother, Andrew, succumbed to methamphetamine intoxication six years before.

As for Gavin: The Los Angeles Times and Politico are believed to be investigating reports that the governor — married with four children — is having a sexual affair with his Deputy Chief of Staff Lindsey Cobia, which could lead to charges of sexual harassment due to the strict legal standards that exist in California to protect employees from employers that exert control over them in the workplace. (This is not a lifestyle change for Gov. Newsom. When he was mayor of San Francisco in 2007, Gavin was exposed for having an affair with his appointments secretary, Ruby Rippey-Tourk, the wife of his close friend and campaign manager Alex Tourk. At the time, Mayor Newsom blamed his poor judgment on excessive use of alcohol and said he would seek help, but never did.)

According to the San Joaquin Valley Sun, “Gov. Gavin Newsom was engaged in multiple alleged extramarital affairs over the course of 2020, a time where many of his orders shuttered nearly all personal and economic activity across the nation’s largest state.”

(The governor’s mask-less appearance at the ultra-expensive French Laundry restaurant after ordering everyone else in California to remain cloistered at home may be the scantiest garment of his own dirty laundry.)

Thus far, mainstream media has been shielding the governor from these salacious reports.

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON?

It is well known that Gordon, a reputed philanderer, kept a second family in Los Angeles with three daughters. It is less known, if believed in certain quarters, that Gordon is actually Gavin’s biological father. Despite questions posed to all parties concerned, there has never been a denial to the contrary.

All of this sounds awfully like the general disarray in which the union’s most populous state finds itself amid the highest COVID casualty rate in the country, lack of adequate vaccine supply, chronic homelessness, a troublesome electrical grid, drought, the highest state tax rate in the nation (13.3%) and government spending like there’s no tomorrow (which there won’t be for your grandkids when they’re enslaved with massive debt and higher taxes).

The industry that thrives best in California these days is the cultivation and sales of cannabis, leaving one to wonder if a haze of idiocracy has settled upon the Golden State.

Because one thing is for sure: The “six families” who take turns running “democracy” in San Marino do a much finer job of governance than the inept political “leaders” of California.


If you have a story idea for The Investigator, contact Robert Eringer at reringer@gmail.com.



Sunday, August 22, 2021

SMOKY SUNSET





Sort-a normal for California these days.

Nonetheless, a genuine golden globe (thankfully devoid of "celebrities" because nature has it covered.)


 

SB NEWS-PRESS: THE INVESTIGATOR: ON SAFARI: A (JUNGLE) CRUISE DOWN STATE STREET





 


https://newspress.com/on-safari-a-jungle-cruise-down-state-street/








When this columnist first moved to Santa Barbara 20 years ago, State Street was a carnival of color and vibrancy, anchored by a Borders bookstore with on-site coffee bar, in front of which, on Saturday afternoons in autumn, professional musicians performed to appreciative, jovial crowds of shoppers and strollers. Nearby, on De la Guerra Plaza, a book fair would be in progress.


The theme was happiness and gaiety. And what an amazingly magical place it was!


But now?


Tragically, the exact opposite.


Borders is no longer, traded out for a low-end discount warehouse. 


And no music on the piazza outside its doors. 


The only cheeriness is among consumers who, trying to satiate a short-term consumer fix, uncover a bargain inside Marshall’s.


Instead, much squalor.


You can’t even sit down; the benches are all occupied by rude and unkempt homeless people and their multiple bags. And if a bench suddenly becomes available? From the look of most of these scabby bench-dwellers, a 144-ounce bottle of extra-strength Lysol wouldn’t bring it back to life.


Who’s responsible for this? 


You can partly blame Borders’ demise on Amazon. Call that “progress” if you will—or cast blame on a culture that is becoming less book literate and more ideological each day judging by the radical teachings of our activist educators along with the shortened attention span our children cultivate from anti-social media.


But whom do you blame for all the abandoned premises up and down the long boulevard? Commercial desertion resulted from a combination of oppressive COVID-19 lockdowns (bad governance, read the science censored by anti-social media) and greedy landlords (who have, poetically, discovered a reversal of fortunes). And, perhaps (again), blame Amazon.


Ultimately, however, the responsibility for Santa Barbara’s State Street decline into a cesspool must be shouldered by those who govern us; our own self-important public officials who have not earned their (highly-paid) keep but instead failed us with misguided policies and who, consequently, no longer deserve our trust or confidence. They have all performed abominably at maintaining city standards since the turn of the century.  They propose (or pretend) solutions as they allow the decay to proliferate while disallowing law enforcement from keeping our community safe. (This new slogan comes to mind: Refund the Police.


Which brings us back to the dire homeless situation.


The running joke among Santa Barbarians two decades ago, when the homeless problem was reasonably containable, was that police in cities across the country were providing their own homeless populations with one-way bus tickets to our paradise by the sea with its year-round temperate climate ideal for sleeping rough.


Maybe it wasn’t a joke. For certain, it’s no longer funny. And you can be sure, this is no longer paradise. Especially when the homeless in their mini-tent city encampments—887 homeless individuals at last count but, like immigrants streaming illegally into the country through Mexico (many infected with COVID-19), that number is increasing all the time… especially when they place the whole city, county and state at risk of property loss, injury and death due to their nightly campfire cook-up of meals or crystal meth in our drought-stricken, highly ignitable region.


One young woman, fearful for her safety, telephoned The Investigator and said, “It’s like a war zone down here!”


In this spirit, The Investigator set off on safari through the wilds of State Street, see what up in the hood, maybe make a new friend or two, but at least discover up close and personal what everyone’s been complaining about: belligerent panhandlers, public urination and an edgy ambience.


Trust us on this point: Whatever spirit can be summoned is quickly crushed and deadened. And forget about making friends.


 

            THE SENSES


 

Let’s start with the olfactory sense. In a word, State Street stinks. Not your typical summer gutter stink. This stink has depth. A pervasive putridity.


Next is sight. What you see is filth and degradation. And large hollow buildings where Macy’s, Nordstrom and Saks once successfully anchored the State Street shopping experience. And now (we just noticed) even the landmark Starbucks—corner of State and De la Guerra—is history, having followed the footsteps of its old neighbor, Coffee Bean, a victim of the long, torturous COVID-19 lockdown. There are, however, plenty of new shops up and down State Street to see. Unfortunately, according to their signage, they all share the same name: For Lease.


Auditory: The loud and comically authoritative banter of homeless drunks (when they’re not yelling at one another or everyone else).


Tactile: For God’s sake, don’t touch a damn thing!

 

As for gustatory: Let’s just say, the whole experience leaves a bad taste in your mouth that descends to the pit of your stomach and urges you to shift elsewhere, not just two blocks off the main drag (an improvement, for sure) but perhaps to a whole other state.


Because what was once charming and full of character is now depressingly reduced to an urban cancer metastasizing in all directions.


And what if you see a homeless person urinating or defecating in public (now a commonplace occurrence)? A Santa Barbara deputy sheriff explained law enforcement’s perspective on this to The Investigator: “We have to see it ourselves to make an arrest. We can’t take the word of a witness. The witness has to swear a citizen’s arrest. But all that means is, we take the individual in, hold him a few hours and then release him.”


            

    FOR WHOM DOES THE SIREN WAIL? 


            

Our bookish friend Steven Gilbar came up with this line and gave it to us as a gift.


The siren is wailing for you, dear reader and fellow Santa Barbarian. It’s a wake-up call at the 11th hour—if it’s not already too late.


City councilmen, mayors, administrators—they have all pursued agendas that, while perhaps politically correct, have slayed the magic and good cheer once so commonplace in Santa Barbara. Our governing class should be ashamed of themselves, if not outright tarred, feathered and run out of town.


To tourists: don’t bother coming to Santa Barbara anymore, you will be both disappointed and disgusted by the scum, not just along the city’s main drag but also the ocean at East Beach, which this summer is contaminated with unhealthy levels of fecal coliform bacteria, otherwise known as sewage.


Of course, the answer, as always, will be for official-dumb (for that’s what they truly be) to create a new tax that would ostensibly pay to clean things up. But as we all know, that is not what happens. No. What always happens is this: such funds are squandered on “studies” and “commissions” that, after many months or years, conclude what was already known—and then there’s no money left to actually solve the problem because it was all swallowed up by somebody’s cousin. But you can bet your bottom dollar—which is all you’ll have left—that the new tax will never ever go away.


And so, you might ask, why don’t you leave?


Answer: Working on it.


It is the domain and privilege of every elder generation to lament that the world has gone to hell in a handbasket. But given the alarming state of State Street, that phrase is as apt as it is accurate, while the rest of Santa Barbara—one could say—is (literally) going to pot, with growers’ skunky scents and dispensaries at every turn.


So, when California’s high taxes (sales and income), wasteful welfare programs, devastating fires, mudslides, worsening droughts plus threat of earthquake and tsunami see off those fleeing from here, we ask that the last person to leave please turn out the lights.




Tuesday, August 17, 2021

BIDEN: I'LL TAKE THE BUCK BUT NOT THE BLAME

 




Joe Biden plagiarizes Harry Truman like he has plagiarized so many others.





Joe Biden says, "The buck stops with me." But he blames Donald Trump, the Afghan leadership and the Afghan military.

Mr. Biden, you are no Harry Truman. 

You are a feeble old man who, as former Defense Secretary Robert Gates once said, "has been wrong on nearly very foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades."

Joe reversed all of the policies that were working toward the best interests of this country (a real border and energy self-sufficiency, among them) yet
kept Trump's Afghanistan policy, albeit without the muscle Trump would most certainly have deployed if the Taliban did not abide by the terms to which they agreed. 

The Taliban never would have done this to Trump; they would have been too fearful of how he would respond.

But Biden? The Taliban, China and Russia are running circles around him as he continues to embarrass and destroy our country.

Now he hides out in Camp David trying to figure out which way the wind will blow so that, as usual, he will blow with it.

Biden deserves to be tarred, feathered and blown back to his credit card benefactors in Delaware.



Monday, August 16, 2021

ONE-TERMERS


 

Gerald Ford: one-term president


Jimmy Carter: one-term president


Joe Biden: with any luck, half-term president



A LOT OF KABUL

 





The lesson here for Americans: 

Never, ever send your children off to war, whatever our feeble leaders work you up into believing.


The lesson here to all other nationalities: 

Never, ever assist the United States with the expectation that it will look after your back, whatever promises it makes.


Shame on Joe Biden and shame on the intelligence community.

They have turned the eagle into a...





BOOK DRIVE








https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/book-drive-robert-eringer/1136591083



Sunday, August 15, 2021

SB NEWS PRESS: THE INVESTIGATOR: PUBLIC SERVANTS MUST BE ACCOUNTABLE TO THE PUBLIC






https://newspress.com/public-servants-must-be-accountable-to-the-public/


The mayor and city council members, Board of Supervisors, City Administrator and staff, City Attorney and staff should be reminded, on a regular basis, that they are public servants; that their salaries and benefits—which are exceedingly high compared to the salaries of public officials in other California cities—are paid for by the taxpayers i.e. we the people. 

And luckily for them, we Santa Barbarians are a generous (if lackadaisical) bunch.

 

 

            SALARIES & BENEFITS PAID IN 2019

 

 

City Administrator:  Base salary $277,000 + Benefits $40,000 + “Other Pay” $11,000 + Pension Liability $50,000 = a whopping grand total of $380,000.


City Attorney: Base Salary $260,000 + Benefits $35,000 + “Other Pay” $15,000 + Pension Liability $37,000 = a whopping grand total of $347,000.


Board of Supervisors: Base salary $97,000 + Benefits $7,000, + “Other Pay” $5,000 = $130,000.


Mayor (considered a part-time job): Base salary $55,000 + Benefits 8,500 + “Other Pay” $10,000 + Pension Liability $20,000 = $104,000.


Police Chief: Base salary $230,800 + Benefits $68,000 + “Other Pay” $20,500 + Pension Liability $78,750 = a whopping grand total of $398,050.


To give you a sense of how well Santa Barbara public servants are paid, Santa Maria’s police chief salary earns a mere $117,860  in comparison–almost half the amount paid to Santa Barbara’s police chief.


(These salaries rise by about $10,000 each year. For more detailed information, readers are encouraged to visit transparentcalifornia.com.)


For a start, these salaries tell you the pecking order of who is really running this city—and it ain’t the mayor and city council. If you haven’t been paying attention, the position with all the power is City Administrator, who is appointed, not elected.


At least this aspect of governance is transparent (as it should be, if not truly democratic).  Other aspects are much less crystal clear, such as the results of investigations that are initiated as a result of public servant transgressions.


The concept of public servants spending taxpayer money on investigations into other public servants and then not allowing the taxpayer to know the contents of such reports is a gross affront to the intelligence of everyone who pays the aforementioned high salaries.


Sure, their fallback is “privacy issues” but this is poppycock—a self-serving state and city code that never should have been codified. These are public servants, not private servants. They should be accountable to we the people, especially when we the people are paying out the nose to have them serve us—and then paying even more when the alleged miscreant behavior of some public servants demands investigation. Otherwise we are living in an Orwellian nightmare in which the farmyard pigs are more equal than others.


Transparency is the rule in any democracy. Or should be.


If someone governing us has screwed up, we the people have the right to know the truth about whatever occurred, not trust that the findings held in confidence by other public servants are dealt with properly. Because what’s to say, in the contentious arena of 2021 politics, such “private” information isn’t used by those who possess it to further advance their own careers or agendas?


If you desire “privacy,” you should not enter public service. And if you’re already serving the public and cannot deal with the exposure of any bad deeds you may commit, please leave quietly.

 

 

            MACHIAVELLIAN INTRIGUE 

 


Police Chief Lori Luhnow unexpectedly retired ahead of schedule (she apparently left quietly). When complaints against Ms. Luhnow were registered, City Attorney Ariel Calonne hired an independent investigator to look into whatever allegations had been made. The results of that investigation were never released to the public.


Assistant City Attorney John Doimas responded to The Investigator: “The report was not released as it is exempt from disclosure because it is protected by the attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine, as well as the reasonable expectation of privacy employees have that is afforded to them under the California Constitution.”


Recently, City Administrator Paul Casey announced his surprise departure, effective September 10th.


City official Anthony Wagner was suspended on paid leave and then, once “cleared” (by a detective agency on a mere $7,000 investigative budget), had no position to return to because Police Chief Bernard Melekian eliminated a title that perhaps never should have been created in the first place, thank Ms. Luhnow for that for reasons still unexplained.  (Unlike previous investigations conducted by the same outside agency—Sintra, ex-police officers—into former police chief Cam Sanchez and the police/DUI case of Peter Lance, the results of this low-budget/near (not far)-reaching investigation were—hallelujah—released to the public.)


In his groundbreaking Los Angeles Magazine article last March, Mitchell Kriegman pointed out “a significant potential conflict of interest for Mr. Calonne to investigate his own office and his assistant city attorney, Tava Ostrenger, who worked closely with Wagner.”


It is obvious to anyone with half a brain that there is some Machiavellian intrigue going on beneath the city administration’s surface that needs to bubble up.


This extends, of course, to the curious case of Rob Dayton, the transportation and parking manager for the city, who has, very mysteriously, been on paid leave since May. Assistant City Attorney John Doimas, again, to Noozhawk, about Mr. Dayton: “I am unable to offer any comment due to an employee’s privacy rights related to their employment.”


Again, an outside firm was contracted by the city to investigate whether or not Mr. Dayton had, within city government circles, been discriminated against due to his religious beliefs.


Again, the resulting report of this investigation has been branded hush-hush and is discussed only in city council closed session, contemptuously rendering we the people as children without a need to know.


In his e-mail to The Investigator, Mr. Doimas pointed out that “The legal authority for the exemptions asserted are California Government Code section 6254(k),” which indeed exempts from disclosure of “records of complaints to, or investigations conducted by, or records of intelligence information or security procedures of law enforcement agencies, although specified information from arrest records and police reports is disclosable.”


In other words, we were fed the usual government mumbo-jumbo that (to their minds) justifies keeping we the people in the dark.


It is high time for local media—which generally and politely accepts the status quo in Santa Barbara—to delve into such matters and attempt to access (through the back door, if necessary) reports paid for with public funds. This is what the fourth estate does (or is supposed to do) for keeping those who govern us in check—and also to keep the governed informed even while government strives to keep the public un-informed by hiding behind a curtain or “code” that serves only themselves and not the perpetually-paying public.


Otherwise, welcome to the PRC (Peoples Republic of California), where mandarins rule and everyone else should just accept the little they’re told and not ask questions.


The Investigator asked former city council member and mayoral candidate Randy Rowse where he stands on all this so-called “privacy” nonsense and what, as mayor, he might do to remedy the situation.


Mr. Rowse did not respond. (We shall reach out to the other mayoral candidates in due course on this and other issues.)


While it may seem strange that a candidate campaigning for elective office prefers not to declare his stance when asked by a representative of the media about a particular issue, the truth these days is quite the opposite, as absurd as that may sound if explained by a political operative (and ally of Mr. Rowse) who told The Investigator, “Of course, he doesn’t want to tell you where he stands on this—he wants to win the election!”


Or, as Mr. Rowse himself succinctly put it to this column: “I’m pretty vanilla.” He was speaking generally, not to the specific issue requested of him. Which means we’re not sure what to make of this candidate’s stance on issues in general, only that we prefer chocolate, as in, please take a friggin’ stand based on your true convictions or move aside for someone who will.


(Little wonder the voting public has become cynical about politics and politicians, about where they truly stand on issues and if they’ll keep their campaign promises—sadly, a rare occurrence.)


Back to city employees. Given the whistleblower law, we’d like to point out that the lower ranks of filing clerks and secretaries are fully entitled to blow the whistle on wrongdoing and make the reports mentioned above available to the media for dissemination to the public. Whistleblowers are protected by law; anonymity is guaranteed if they contact this column with the goods.




 

            THE SKUNKY SCENT LEADS TO A GUILTY PLEA

 

 

Helios Dayspring, a San Luis Obispo cannabis dispensary owner, has pled guilty in federal court to paying bribes to former SLO Supervisor Adam Hill, who a year ago committed suicide by drug overdose. 

 

Needless to say, in addition to the FBI hunting down public officials on the take—and also those who offer bribes—the IRS becomes involved when recipients of corrupt money do not include their illegal windfall on income-tax returns.


Between late 2016 through 2019 the late (and disgraced in death) Mr. Hill received corrupting gifts totaling $32,000 from Mr. Dayspring, who also tried to bribe San Luis Obispo’s mayor.


Mr. Dayspring has agreed to pay restitution of $3.4 million to the IRS and must also cooperate with the federal government’s ongoing investigation into public officials in this county suspected of malfeasance.


Anyone with information about public officials in Santa Barbara accepting bribes should contact the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office: 310.477.6565. (Or let The Investigator know and we’ll take it from there.)