Debbie Arnold- A Solid Conservative

What you see here is a preview into what my future will like. For this audio assignment, I created a radio-show format to educate everyone about Debbie Arnold.

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Live Twitter Feed- Ed Waage Campaign Event

I will be at Ed Waage’s campaign event today from 4 to 6 pm and I’ll be tweeting live- you can see it in the Twitter feed in the bottom of the post.

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Opinion: Aggregating Assignment- SARP Editorial

The San Luis Obispo Tribune had an editorial last Thursday about supporting Sexual Assault and Recovery Center (SARP) which can be read here:

SARP is a non-profit organization that, as suggested by the name, offers help those who have been victims of sexual violence. Unfortunately, as the editorial states, the organization has run up deficits as a result of cuts from federal and state funding.

As a result, SARP now has had to cut back in the following ways:

  • SARP will no longer be open on the second and fourth Monday of every month
  • It won’t be able to provide services to schools, businesses and other organizations on those Mondays

The SLO Tribune editorial board hopes that the Violence Against Women Act that’s being debated in the Senate will pass to reauthorize funding to SARP.

The editorial believes that SARP is vital to the community because:

Since it began operating 35 years ago, the organization has been providing an indispensable service to our community. Over the course of the past year, it served approximately 300 different clients and, in addition, made 329 educational presentations that reached nearly 2,800 people, most of them younger than 18.

My opinion? Obviously I’m for care for those who are victims of sexual violence. However, given that we’re $15 trillion in debt (and counting!) we can’t afford to continue funding SARP.
I believe that these kinds of programs should be privately funded via donations. If it’s truly a good program that’s important to the community, the people will fund it.
And no, raising taxes is not the answer- that’ll just slow economic growth. Growth is the key to gaining revenue, not higher taxes. But that’s for another post.
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Self Evaluation

It’s been a unique experience keeping a blog. It’s a preview of what my career will look like, so it’s good for me to have this experience.

I like the topics I’ve written about- it’s stuff I’m interested in and I like expressing my opinions about them.

I was glad my blog posts have been described as “punchy”. That’s my style.

I have been disappointed at the lack of feedback- I’ve gotten some feedback but not as much I’d like, and I don’t have any comments on my blog posts. Each one of my posts I’ve linked to Twitter and Facebook, but unfortunately I’m not sure what else to do to promote it.

Also, my biggest weakness with my posts has been silly grammar/spelling errors- I need to do a better job revising my posts.

I’ve noticed also that I tend to use the same format for my posts. For my remaining posts, I will try and change up the format.

Overall, I have enjoyed maintaining this blog and I hope to get more readers in the future.

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Opinion: Diversity Forum Nothing More than Liberal Propaganda

The Diversity Forum at first may have sounded like a good program about respecting diversity, but really it was just a platform to spew liberal propaganda.

Now nobody get me wrong, I think that it’s a good thing to respect all races, all religions, all types of sexual orientation, etc and not be prejudiced to anyone about any of them.

But the Diversity Forum instead gave off the message of that conservatives are racist bigots.

The forum started off with local radio host Dave Congalton saying to end divisiveness by ending national talk radio.

For those who can’t read between the lines, this a clear slap in the face to my heroes- Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin and the like, since after all talk radio is dominated by conservatives.

I’m sure that means he’d be in favor of the First Amendment-restricting Fairness Doctrine. Congalton must be jealous that he’ll never get the ratings to become a famous national talk show host like Rush or Levin.

Then Congalton said that racism was present because he got a bunch of angry phone calls about how a Muslim mentioned Sharia Law in an article in the SLO Tribune and he called them “paranoid”.

No sir, they weren’t paranoid. You don’t seem to realize that Sharia Law advocates global jihad, making women second class citizens, and other disgusting things that go against our principles of ordered liberty.

Later, two people came onstage to perform some musical numbers. The music was nice, and the lyrics were powerful- until the woman said that the Oscar Grant shooting (BART Police shooting in Oakland) was borne out of a country run by TEA Partiers, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and the like.

I found that to be deeply offensive, as I am a TEA Partier and a regular listener of Rush and Beck and I certainly am not a hateful racist.

Then of course they had a Diversity Panel, where a bunch of students/faculty members began spewing the need for affirmative action (which is reverse racism) and the DREAM Act (giving illegals preferential treatment over those from out-of-state), to name a couple.

Yes, there were some things that I liked about the forum- seeing Joe Schwartz’s extensive photography portfolio displayed was cool and President Jeffrey Armstrong had a good speech.

But overall I came out of there feeling very offended. Something’s wrong with that if someone came out of a Diversity Forum feeling offended.

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News: Latest City Council Meeting

San Luis Obispo City Hall

SLO Surplus

The San Luis Obispo city council meeting tonight showed that unlike Congress, the San Luis Obispo local government has its fiscal house in order.

The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report was presented at the meeting to show the state of the city’s finances for the Fiscal Year 2011.

The report showed that on July 1, 2010, the beginning of the fiscal year, the General Fund Balance (the amount of money the city had) was $11,114,000. By June 30, 2011, the end of the fiscal year, the balance was $12,907,900.

This means that SLO ended the year with $1,793,800 more in the coffers.

According to the report, the top revenues for the city were the general sales tax, Measure Y sales tax, property tax, and the Transient Occupancy Tax (ToT).

The reaction from the city council was naturally positive.

City council member John Ashbaugh and Mayor Jan Marx praised the Measure Y sales tax, as it stood as the second highest generator of revenue for the city and is relatively new.

City Council member Andrew Carter did point out one area of concern.

“We have underfunded CIP,” Carter said. “Our primary expenses have increased over time, our CIP has been at best flat. If you do that for too long it will come back to haunt you.”

Overall, the report was promising for the city.

“We are in a good position, despite the past three years where we’ve had some tough financial times,” Ashbaugh said. “We’ve had to make some tough decisions and we’re starting to bear the fruits of that.”

Historical Preservation Program

The other main topic at the meeting was the presentation of the Historic Preservation Program by Phil Dunsmore and Derek Johnson.

The program had been around since 1976, creating historical districts within the city to become tourist attractions.

Dunsmore and Johnson highlighted the benefits of the program, including maintaining heritage, enhancing property value and provide distinct identity.

The two pushed for the city to have a Historical Context Statement (description of the city’s historical development and land use patterns).

The city council liked the idea.

“Whenever I see that a community has that brown sign it draws my attention,” Ashbaugh said. “I’m a lot more likely to explore that community.”

One San Luis Obispo citizen suggested that a historic district should be made downtown.

The following citizen to speak, Josh Friedman, agreed.

“We need to keep addressing the preservation of our history if we want to continue our tourism,” Friedman said.

The city council as a whole supported the idea and said they’d support the idea in the future.

Other Issues

During the public comment portion of the meeting, Donald Hedrick came up to the podium wearing a big hat and made what he called an unusual request.

“Look at the relationship the city has with Downtown Association,” Hedrick said. “Recently they (the association) have been manipulating the police to tell me to tell me that if I don’t stop coming to Farmer’s Market with my chariot I’d get ticketed. We’re having our First Amendment threatened.”

City council manager Katie Lichtig assured Hedrick that there was going to be some refinement with the police and he was free to bring his chariot.

Other issues of note brought up by the citizens during the public comments section included one citizen calling for the council to reject the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and another calling for action to help clean up the SLO creek.

The council said that there was legislation in the House of Representatives to repeal parts of the NDAA and the creek was contaminated because of an animal problem.

Going to city council meetings like the one this week isn’t the only way to get involved in local SLO politics. The map below shows where the council meetings are at, as well as other places in the area are to get involved.

County Government Center, where the county supervisors have their meetings

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Opinion: San Luis Obispo County Supervisors Banning Plastic Bags is Stupid

Say goodbye to plastic bags like these- you can't get them here in SLO county anymore.

Fellow San Luis Obispo residents, if you have a grocery plastic bag at home, keep it and cherish it as much as possible. You won’t be getting any plastic bags from a grocery store in San Luis Obispo anymore.

On Jan. 12, the San Luis Obispo county board of supervisors passed an ordinance that banned grocery stores and stores like Wal-Mart and Target from distributing plastic bags to their customers.

The new regulation has citizens up in arms, and rightfully so.

“The e-mails we got were overwhelmingly against the plastic bag ordinance,” Atascadero City Council member Jerry Clay said. “Mayor said we never got so many e-mails against something.”

First, the ordinance is harmful to consumers. According to the San Luis Obispo City Tribune, the ordinance allows stores to charge 10 cents per paper bag.

Remember that every time you go to a grocery store you don’t have to pay for any of those plastic bags. Now if you’re in San Luis Obispo, you have to cringe every time the cashier reaches down to pick up another paper bag because now you lose even more of your hard earned money.

“Ten cents may not seem like that much,” Frannie Falcone said, a worker at Public Relations firm Meridian Pacific who volunteered to spread the word about the ordinance. “I know people who carry twenty bags of groceries.”

For those of you who don’t feel like doing the math in your head, that means $2.00 less in their pockets. After awhile, costs like that add up, especially in this terrible economy.

Sure, those costs can be saved if you bring your own bag to the grocery store. But isn’t that just inconvenient?

“Plastic bags help things flow,” Clay said.

Indeed, it is much easier just to have the cashier smoothly put your groceries in the bag than to have to decide to bring your own bags (which you might overestimate or underestimate how many you need) or have to pay ten cents for a paper bag.

But what’s especially ridiculous about the ordinance is the penalty for violating the law- six month jail time and a fee of $1000 a day!

“There’s more of a jail sentence for that than if you’re caught with pot,” John Peschong said, owner of the local Meridian Pacific. “To me, that’s heavy handed.”

Even Dennis Elliot, adviser of Cal Poly’s Green Campus program and supporter of the ordinance, thought the penalty was onerous.

“That’s not reasonable. The store should be fined, not the individual,” Elliot said.

And how is that going to be implemented exactly? Having plastic bag police go around making sure plastic bags aren’t being handed out- something our tax dollars will have to fund?

“If my 17-year old brother hands an old lady a plastic bag, then he goes to jail for six months,” Falcone said.

This especially would be tragic if her brother was unaware of the law and did it on accident. It’s this part of the ordinance that makes it feel a bit like a police state.

Of course those looney environmentalists will just brush of these arguments with fear-mongering like this: (via The Tribune)

Many marine mammals and seabirds die from plastic ingestion or entanglement from littered bags, and Wednesday some of the dozens of people who turned out to support the ordinance illustrated their assertions with slides showing suffering wildlife and polluted shorelines.

Elliot mentioned something similar in explaining his support of the ordinance.

I’m sorry, but these environmental claims are absolute bunk.

First, it’s interesting how people like Elliot claim to see plastic bags littered everyday as a result of negligence or from bags blowing off landfills, when those against the ordinance like Clay say they don’t see that happening. That argument is clearly a matter of selective perception.

Also, it seems that the argument is tailored towards the concern of littering. Shouldn’t the solution then involve some sort of litter control rather than banning plastic bags?

Elliot said he also supported the ban because he thinks we should all switch to reusable bags since plastic bags are a petroleum product while reusable bags are made from recycled plastic or cloth and can be used more.

Here’s Angela Logomasini of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Energy and Environment giving the real facts: (via CNS News)

Paper bags take up much more space in landfills, whereas plastic bags generate 80 percent less waste and can be reused. Plastic bags are also made from natural gas, while reusable bags are made from oil. The weight of 2,000 plastic bags is 30 lbs. The same amount of paper bags weigh 280 lbs.

The link also mentions this:

“Moving consumers away from plastic bags only pushes people to less environmentally friendly options such as paper bags, which require more energy to produce and transport, and re-usable bags, which are not recyclable,” said Mark Daniels, vice president of sustainability & environmental policy at Hilex Poly, which manufactures plastic bags.

And don’t forget about the plastic bags that are banned that are used on mini garbage cans here in SLO.

“Every household has at least four mini garbage cans in SLO county,” Falcone said. “Those trash bags have plastic bags. The alternative is bigger, longer more expensive bags.”

Falcone also said the bags will put 8 times as much into a landfill.

So clearly, not only does it harm consumers economically, it even harms the environment, completely contrary to what the advocates of the ordinance claim!

Sure, there may be a concern with littering since plastic bags last longer. But the answer is not to implement a ban. The answer is what Clay suggests.

“I support reducing plastic and paper bags but I think we should do it on an educational program,” Clay said.

What did Elliot say about the possibility of it being a choice rather than a regulation?

“I prefer to see people change their behavior, but the Integrated Waste Management Authority (IWMA) has a responsibility to make a decision,” Elliot said.

With all due respect Mr. Elliot, but that’s a typical utopian statement. We’re smart enough to elect our own politicians, but yet we’re too stupid to decide what kind of bag we want to use?

If you like paper bags or reusable bags better, that’s ok. Go ahead and use them. But don’t force us what bags we should or should not use.

This plastic bag ordinance is not to protect us or the environment. The ordinance is an example of government overreaching its boundaries to restrict our personal freedom, with the environment as it’s “justification” do so. This is what my hero “Mark Levin” calls enviro-statism.

Adam Hill and James Patterson on our the board of supervisors voted for this ordinance. I talked about Hill in my last post. Patterson, for this vote alone, deserves to lose to his opponent Debbie Arnold for voting for this ordinance.

Make your voices heard. Do not let our elected officials trample upon our rights like this.

Get used to paper bags like this- you'll have to use these instead of plastic bags.

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Twitter Feed Added

Hello everyone! I have finally gotten a Twitter account. It’s at the bottom of every post, where you can follow my tweets. From my Twitter account I will be updating you all about new developments in my weekly blog post as well as any other local news in San Luis Obispo.

If you want to get an idea as to what I’m writing about each week, follow me @bandlersbanter. You can click the follow button below each post. You may have to log in into your Twitter account if you click the button.

For an inside look into my latest banter, follow my Twitter account!

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Opinion: After scandal and bad policies, San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill Needs to

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San Luis Obispo county supervisor Adam Hill is up for reelection this year. At a time where people are losing their jobs, it’s time that Adam Hill loses his job as county supervisor in June.

The most recent scandal he’s involved in is enough to make Hill undeserving of keeping his position.

Ed Waage, Hill’s opponent, found something rather odd in the Letters to the Editor section in the newspaper.

“There was a letter by someone named Jan Woern and said she lived in Arroyo Grande,” Waage said.

But what was odd was that this same Jan Woern had a written a letter in another paper, but said she lived in Pismo Beach. In both instances, the letters were bashing Waage.

“I suspected they were phony,” Waage said.

His suspicions were reasonable. And yet those suspicions were further exacerbated when Waage got a phone call from his friend Sheila Blake, saying she got a voicemail from someone pretending to be Waage. The message said: (via CalCoastNews)

Hi Mrs. Blake, I read your letter in the Tribune, are you a communist, or a socialist, or both or maybe a Marxist, this is Ed Waage. Just wanted to let you know what I thought.

Intense. But Blake could tell that the voice was not Waage’s voice.

“It sounded like Adam Hill, but it’s hard to prove. I thought it might be, but I wasn’t certain,” Waage said.

Waage mentioned the phone message and the letters to Karen Veilie of CalCoastNews, who discovered that no one with the name Jan Woern exists.

Being a good reporter, Veilie e-mailed Adam Hill. And this is what Adam Hill had to say about it: (via CalCoastNews)

On Wednesday evening, Blake says Hill, a good friend, called to explain that he had made the call as an “innocent joke.”

Hill said Wednesday he did not remember making the call when asked about it on Monday.

“I did not even know what the heck you were asking about when you emailed me the night before you ran your story,” Hill wrote in an email on Wednesday.

What? I’m sorry Mr. Hill but there are just too many things here that don’t add up. First there are these phony letters from Jan Woern, and then this phony phone message, all during a reelection campaign, and the best you can do is say you didn’t understand what was clearly a simple question from a reporter? You’re either completely incompetent or you’re lying.

This scandal aside, Hill’s tenure as county supervisor wasn’t exactly pretty.

Brendan Pringle, the current President of the Cal Poly College Republicans Club, wrote a column in the Mustang Daily about how the San Luis Obispo city government cut its designated driver shuttle program. It was particularly hurting Jeff Goldenberg, owner of Beach City Cab Co.

So what did our fine county supervisor Adam Hill do about this?

Pringle said it best in his column:

Even our San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Adam Hill refused to have any part in this critical issue.

So Hill did nothing to help out the honest man trying to scrape by. Typical heartless bureaucrat.

“It is critical that he is replaced, along with Patterson, as these politicians are out of touch with the concerns of the private sector,” Pringle said. “They tend to side with special interest environmental groups instead of truly representing their constituents.”

This is very evident when Adam Hill and his Board of Supervisors passed the Climate Action Plan which in a nutshell tries to reduce the greenhouse gas level to 15% by 2020.

In a bad economy and an especially dismal housing market, policy like this will only hurt taxpayers as green energy is too expensive. Consequently, energy costs will skyrocket. And for what, to appease those who believe in this hoax known as global warming? (If you want more detail on this just read a column I wrote about the subject back in 2010)

To top it, Waage told me about instance where a lady was speaking to the Board of Supervisors and Hill turned off her microphone because he didn’t like what she had to say. That’s just poor leadership.

Adam Hill, it’s time to step aside in June and allow Ed Waage to take over.

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