Rants and Raves

In SJI’s weekly Rants and Raves column, thoughts on any topic are welcome. What’s on your mind?


    • > Ah, the hypocrisy of it all. The right wing and tea baggers don’t know what they stand for:

      Well, gosh!  That settles it for me.  I’m voting AGAINST tea baggers.

      You’ve changed the world, Mad Hatter.  Give yourself a group hug.  But watch your hands; don’t grab any places you shouldn’t be grabbing.

    • madhatter:

      many of us libertarians don’t agree with many Republican policies, so don’t taint us with the same brush. Agreed that REpublicans have been inconsistent on health care reform. Luckily, the Democrats have held firm on their opposition to GW Bush policies that they objected to so viciferously during Bush’s presidency, and we now live in a world where:
      * Gitmo has been closed
      * The Patriot Act has been repealed
      * We’ve pulled out of Iraq
      * We dont murder innocent Afghanis with Drone attacks
      * We’ve started to pull out of Afghanistan
      * We don’t extradite terrorist suspects.

      Thanks goodness that the Dems have proven such objects of integrity. This, I am sure, accounts for Obama’s stellar approval ratings and the flocking of independents to the Democrat’s banner.

  1. Redevelopment=Public Funds for Economic Development

    Use is to stimulate economy

    1) Santa Clara voters have approved two projects in thirty years for professional stadiums.

    2) Use of funds to invest in a Stadium Project has received overwhelming support.

    3). Project develops well for residents

    Opposition group has been using it’s contributions to reimburse each other for large spending on items with little value.

    Yes on J

  2. Given the state of our city’s budget crisis, it’s obvious that the current mayor and council members do not have the answer, or willingness, for curbing the city’s costs; as a collective whole, they have failed to adhere to any fiscal responsibility.

    They have not made the tough decisions to layoff employees or to take a strong stand against the eleven different unions that it must negotiate with in an effort to right the budget.

    The upcoming election is an opportunity for the taxpayers of San Jose to take a stand against the status quo and elect people who are willing to make a change instead of advancing a career.

    That being said, below are the people I am voting for come June 8th:
    Mayor: Susan Barragan
    District 1: Tom Kruse
    District 3: Timothy Hennessey
    District 5: Aaron Resendez
    District 7: Patrick Phu Le
    District 9: Chad Greer

  3. I stand corrected! I will vote for David Clancy for District 1 and Tom Kruse for SCC District 1 supervisor. I have no desire to vote for any of the county DA and sheriff candidates.

    Vote for change so that there are no more $471,118 salaries paid to former Deputy Police Chiefs who are now employed by other cities within the SAME county! (SJM 3/26/10).

    Vote for change so that there are no more “City Association of Management Personnel” or “Confidential Employees’ Organization” type unions (SJM 3/24/10).

    It’s no wonder the city budget is a mess; 6,354 employees represented by 11 different unions! Time to out-source.

    • Let us look at Unions in America. The fact is the expansion of unions in the 50’s and 60’s created the middle class earning a big slice of the corporate pie, and unprecedented wealth. Since the demise of unions the pie has gone outrageously to the upper class. I suggest you travel a bit and talk to Scandinavians and ask about their vibrant services and the proportion of proportion of private contractors performing municipal services. And then ask the pay level of their fire and police personnel. And then ask if their high taxes are a good value. Remember, its the voters who keep voting for candidates supported by the uniformed unions. I will always wonder where we would be now if Pandori had made it, the only candidate articulating a specific platform.

    • You should do your homework before you vote for new comer David William Clancy. Know not only WHO you are voting for but WHAT you are voting for.

      Clancy has gone around telling lies about the incumbent. Clancy doesn’t have a clue what he talking about, if he thinks he is speaking the truth then perhaps the two of you should do yoiur homework together.
      I would bet he’s lying and knows it, and does so because he is competitive person that just wants to win for his own personal gain.

      • Here something to think about. Do these two things if you never do anything else before voting.

        First. Listen to this video of a candidate forum. (especially about 5 min, 25 seconds in) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMuFb9VjvYA

        Second, read this article posted in the Mercury News /Internal Affairs on Mother Day, titled:

        A funny thing happened at this candidate forum

        So it turns out both the fellas challenging the re-election of San Jose City Councilman Pete Constant — a former cop — have had some scrapes with the law.

        At a recent candidate forum, someone asked the contenders whether they had ever been arrested, and challengers David Clancy and Tom Johnston acknowledged they had.

        Records a tipster provided to IA showed that Clancy, who works in commercial real estate,
        was arrested in December 2005 at a police checkpoint in Saratoga for drunken driving; he later pleaded no contest to reckless driving. Clancy also was cited in July 1998 for falsely reporting his kid brother missing at the San Jose arena in an attempt to find his friends at a game.

        “I made a mistake, and I’m sorry,” Clancy said. “My life’s not perfect.”

        Johnston, a city community coordinator, was arrested in January 2001 for public drunkenness during a night on the town near San Pedro Square. He later pleaded guilty after missing his initial court appearance.

        “I made a mistake when I was younger,” Johnston said. “I have nothing to hide. I’m embarrassed by it.”

        But both men found it a bit odd that someone would be dredging up old dirt on them in a race where the incumbent is widely expected to be re-elected. Johnston said he was surprised it came up at the forum.

        “It was like, ‘Wow, they’re really digging for this stuff,’ ” he said. “I try to be real positive and stay away from negative campaigning.”

        Clancy thinks Constant somehow had a hand in the dirt-peddling, noting that when he acknowledged his reckless driving conviction at the forum, Constant piped up to clarify that it was a “wet reckless” — i.e., a drunken-driving charge.

        “It’s so obvious,” Clancy said.

        Both Constant, who said at the forum he’s never been arrested, and the anonymous tipster told IA the incumbent wasn’t behind the revelation of his rivals’ records. “I’m just responding to a concern one of my residents had,” Constant said.

        end of article

        So now what part of “complete disclosure” is Clancy talking about when he forgets to mention he lied about his lil brother missing, which wasted resources i.e. 50 security officers and 9 SJPD officers for several hours for what…his own personal gain of finding his friend (now business partner.)

        This reminds me of the “Balloon Boy incident” a missing and possibly distressed 7 year old boy who may be in danger. IN FACT, in both incidents the suspects (Balloon Boys Father & David Clancy)both received the same sentence of Community Service and a fine for wasting resources, (City & Private resources).

        Hey Clancy.. Full & Complete Disclosure on that question means you should have talked every time you broke the law not just the last time you broke the law.
        And one last thing Clancy, It was me, a concerned District 1 resident, voter & community leader who does their homework who brought about your records.
        I don’t want some self serving liar who wastes our city resources to be making decisions for my district let alone the city I live in.
        You can’t return to the arena (you’ve been banned) but you can run for office as city council. 

        I can not believe that just anyone can run for office without a criminal background check, for Goodness sakes, the next thing you know we will have some crackhead in sitting in a congressional seat.

      • Dear D1 Resident,

        I’m sorry that the two offenses of my past offend you so greatly. As I have said both in response in the Mercury and at the Candidate Forum, “I’m sorry and I made a mistake.” As to the first instance it occurred when I was a teenager, was dropped to a Disturbing the Peace Charge, and was sealed after I finished my community service. So I’m a bit confused how you got the information unless you are in law enforcement or the DA’s office. I didn’t mention it at the Forum because I hadn’t thought of it in over a decade. As to the second event from 2005, which was dropped to a reckless driving charge, I paid my fines, took the classes, lost my license for a month, had a restricted license for longer, etc. There is nobody more ashamed of this than I. Now thirty, married and the co-owner of a successful commercial real estate company my life is a little different.

        Have you ever made a mistake D1 resident? Do you believe in redemption? You helped put my two most embarrassing moments to print on Mother’s Day and now you’re here calling me a liar. As far as I know we’ve never met. Feel free to call or email me if you’d like to get to know the person you’re attacking so vehemently.

        I’ve tried to run a positive campaign so I’m a bit stumped where you think I went wrong. Since I started my campaign in February, my focus has always been on the issues.

        Of the $116 million dollar deficit this year, $52 million of that is the amount San Jose had to bailout its employee’s pension plans; $42 million for the police and fire pension plan. It can be difficult to talk about compensation of those who keep us safe because that is how we value them, but they’re driving the city towards bankruptcy. The binding arbitration requirement with the police and fire unions has led to the increase in their pensions from 75% – 90%  since the late ‘90’s and has brought the pay for the vast majority of them to $120k – $200k last year (http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_14710803). Meanwhile retirees depart with six-figure annual pensions and six-figure vacation & sick-pay cashouts. Even though the police and fire employees represent less than a third of the city’s overall workforce, they make up about 80% of the city’s salaries and benefits. Many have focused on the other city employees. They certainly have a role to play through pay reductions but make up too small a percentage of the overall payroll costs to solve our long-term problems alone. 

        As far as the incumbent, I have constantly described him as an honorable man and commended him on his work to help grow the neighborhood associations. I have never attacked him personally and it will stay that way. As a police officer on disability retirement, former member of the Board of Director’s of San Jose’s police union, twice endorsed by the police union, etc. I simply think he is too close to the problem at hand. The incumbent accepted money from the SJ police union and countless active & retired officers for his first campaign. This campaign, as the incumbent, he can afford to pick and choose his donors. He also has expressed a desire to be Sheriff on this very website, a feat that seems impossible without the support of the police union.

        The last two contracts the current Council has unanimously passed for the Police & Fire Unions are:
        Resolution 74002, which increased firefighters’ pay by more than 17% over a three year period and increased their maximum pensions to 90% of their single highest year’s salary; matching an agreement with the Police Union the year before.
        Resolution 74803, which just last February, delivered another two-year 10.25% increase in base pay for police officers, whose starting pay is nearly double that of Los Angeles officers.

        Why does it take an election for the Mayor to float the idea of amending the City Charter to remove the binding arbitration through a ballot initiative?

        I encourage anyone interested to watch the District 1 City Council Forum in its entirety: http://www.d1leadershipgroup.com/2010-candidate-forum/candidates-for-d1-councilmember

        Anyone with questions or concerns about these issues or any others feel free to contact me:
        Telephone: 408 676-VOTE (8683)
        Email: [email protected]

        • Mr Clancy,
          Sorry David I do not work for the District Attorney nor do I work in Law Enforcement. I am not and have never been a police officer or an employee of the City of San Jose. I already stated who I am, I am a concerned resident of District 1 who is shocked to find out that criminal background checks are not performed on candidates running for office. Therefore for I have done my own due diligence on all three candidates.  Only two came up with a criminal background, You and Johnston. I asked this question at the forum, that was your chance to come clean on EVERYTHING, but you held back information, which to me is lying by omission. Even if it was sealed, if you can’t be completely honest all on your own even when it means admitting you made a mistake without someone else proving it first, Then No one will trust you to sit in a position making decisions about how we are going to live.

          Your adult criminal records are public information. Anyone can walk into the criminal courthouse and ask to run a background check giving only your name and D.O.B. or approximate age. In your case 2 cases numbers came up and the files were made available for viewing at no cost.Your record for filing a false report was not “sealed” just because you carried out your sentence.Sentences are meant to be carried out. Records are only sealed if a person is found factually innocent. You were not. 

          I am a 45 year old woman who is raising her children here in San Jose and I want to be sure that the people making decisions about my district and in my city are responsible both personally and professionally and not just out for their own personal gain. I have lived an honest life without run-ins with the law, I would think that those who hold a higher position than just “resident” would too, for they are the example my children will learn from and follow.

          District 1 resident

        • I approached our current council member Mr, Constant with reports in hand to ask why no one checks for this kind of thing. He said it is not a requirement to submit to a background check prior to running for city council. So I asked the question “Have you ever been arrested, had a civil complaint against you or filed bankruptcy?” at the April 24, 2010 candidate forum to test the honesty and integrity of the candidates.As you can see..asking isn’t always enough. Background checks must be done for the protection of the city.

  4. Lets hope they all win. We can watch the City turn into a 3rd rate joke, with the already low supply of educated and motivated workers devoting there careers to public service. After all they should be the ones to be punished for the Airport and City Hall boondoggles. They should allow the lies to perpetuate that their salaries are anything but what they are, mediocre. Which of one of your listed willing to put a change in the City Charter to remove arbitration from those 2 unions making up 2/3 of employees making over $100k? And yes, let us lay off and reduce services because so we can continue to build Olone Towers and other industry stimulating developments. 20 years at the City a professional degreed engineer, living in a 1964 1400 sf home and owning one new car, my kids attending public school and State University. My wages never keeping up with the cost of living with constant freezes. Did you know Debra has not even mentioned the $5k to $10k payed to each manager for unused vacation? I believe in outsourcing, that is to go 3rd party with Council and the City Managers office, and rename all closed Libraries “Shirakawa Jr./Gonzales Library”.

  5. The definition of stupid has to be someone who sees someone else do something stupid, and then does the same thing, only more of it.

    Everyone, except editors at the Mercury News and oxygen-deprived eggheads at Stanford, seem to be aware that the wheels have fallen off of the “global warming” wagon. 

    Scientists around the world are arguing about which if any historical temperature records are NOT full of lies or intentionally distorted data.  Scientists who formerly supported “global warming” are now calling for the UN’s IPCC to be disbanded. 

    So far, the global warming quacks have avoided jail, but just wait until the Corrupto-crats are thrown out of Congress, and we have some REAL Congressional investigations and find out what the crooks have been up to.

    And yet, the clueless administrators of the San Jose Tech Museum put on a shameless and opulent gala for the Chief Charlatan of global warming, Al Gore, and obsequeously deliver him a “humanitarian award”.  And the Tech Musem wonders why they are experiencing declining public confidence and support.

    And now, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, standing on the shoulders of the Tech Museum, and undoubtedly inspired by the same claque of self-absorbed, supercilious ignorati, now advise that they, too, are going to proselytize on behalf of “global warming”.

    Dumb.  Really dumb.  Really, really dumb.

    I am not against the idea of spending an hour or two of my life looking at variuos fishes, sharks, octopuses (octopi?), clams, etc.  I do prefer looking at a filet of sole on a plate sauteed in butter and almonds.

    But I am not going to spend a nanosecond listening to the packaged enviro-marxist propaganda delivered through tax-exempt fronts spouting bogus alarmism.

    Just stick to the fish, and leave the “global warming” politics to really smart people like —oh say—Barbara Boxer.

      • I for one need more confirmed data.

        Right now, people who can’t predict consistently when and where it will rain within the next 72 hours are purporting to tell us how much the ocean levels will rise 50 years from now.

      • Climate change is a proven thing. Nobody is arguing that. What is being disputed is the effect that humankind has on the natural pattern of climate change. That needs to be settled by real data analyzed by real scientists and verified by real results predicted by the models.

        That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be doing as much as possible as individuals to take care of our environment. But it does mean that politicians should wait for the science to be resolved before making policy that could hamstring economies and prevent third world countries from developing.

        In my fantasy world, science is unaffected by politics. Would that it were so…

        • I suspect that solar activity has as much or more to do with our climate and weather than all of man’s feeble efforts.  Nonetheless, having visited superfund sites and seen smoke stacks, I’m sure we’re having a real positive impact with all of our good works.

          BTW – Hybrid drivers should do the plug in mod for extended range and then equip both their home and workplace with solar to reduce their real (and not just perceived) impact.

    • Where do you get your information? The back of a cereal box? Most people who don’t know what they are talking about prefer not to shout from the rooftops thereby letting others know of their ignorance. At least you are proud of being clueless. Your comments are both comedic and frightening at the same time. Your belief in fantasy does not bode well for your children and future generations. Fortunately you belong to a fringe group and do not represent mainstream common sense.
      Hopefully your views will remain just where they belong—on SJI.

      • > Hopefully your views will remain just where they belong—on SJI.

        Tragically, Terry, your hopes have been dashed.  The MAJORITY of the civilized world is now aware that human caused global warming is a scientifically bogus, fear-based scheme to suck money out of developed economies and divert it to the Swiss bank accounts of global kleptocrats.

        The reason you don’t realize this is probably because your radio is still tuned to Air America.

        That static you’ve been listening to for the last few months is not a station break;  they’ve gone off the air.

  6. Don’t take conservatives word for it – let’s go to the tape.

    From: Kevin Trenberth (US National Center for Atmospheric Research). To: Michael Mann. Oct 12, 2009
    “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t… Our observing system is inadequate”

    From: Phil Jones. To: Many. Nov 16, 1999
    “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature [the science journal] trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie, from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”

    From Phil Jones. To: Michael Mann. Date: May 29, 2008
    “Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise.”

    Climate change sceptics tried to use Freedom of Information laws to obtain raw climate data submitted to an IPCC report known as AR4. The scientists did not want their email exchanges about the data to be made public.


    “SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.”


    “The chairman of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has used bogus claims that Himalayan glaciers were melting to win grants worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.”


    Pretty darned inconvenient if you ask me.

    Global warming “believers” are of two types:
    Well connected and benefiting from the warming fraud politically or financially.
    You’re a useful idiot.

  7. “Its the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine…”  (REM)

    The city of San Jose stand on the brink, like exceptional industrialists in past eras, the best at what they do in terms of big government, big paychecks, labor peace, revolving door politicians, lasseiz-faire development policy and all the rest.

    It’s like their running the best railroad at during the rise of the airplane.  Or making the best buggies when Henry Ford was starting to put out Model T’s.

    And we’ll inherit the mess that’s left when the entrenched and vested interests fight and win their Pyrric victory.  Pensions won’t be touched, wages won’t be adjusted to reflect market realities and core services will be cut while overhead remains (middle managers will be able to supervise better as they have less line workers, so they’ll be able to micromanage their remaining charges.

    Since unions are too powerful in San Jose to every change things, how about having multiple unions compete for the business of running each department.  Like a bidding out system, the union would bid on delivering the service with performance measures, and the losing bidders would vacate their jobs and if possible seek positions with the winning bargaining unit.

    Oh, I know that’s a wacky pipe dream, but I’m tired of all the pragmatists who are hell-bent on accomodating everyone and leaving no-one with hurt feelings and in the process letting the whole ship go down because their too timid to ask some to bail water and others to abandon ship.

    That’s all from me.

    • The city of San Jose would be in fine shape if it had taken a lesson years ago from some of it’s neighboring cities such as Santa Clara or Sunnyvale. Those cities built their industrial and business base before boosing population to increase the tax base. They are friendly to do business with. San Jose went crazy building high density residential and chased business out of the city. They also have a very anti business climate to do business with. San Jose has spent millions, if not billions of dollars on projects that have nothing to do with core services, while cities such as Santa Clara and Sunnyvale not only created a huge tax base but they did not spend surplus funds on feel good projects.

    • I say we put the union leaders in a ring down at the Shark tank and have them duke it out for contracts. The city can sell tickets to generate much needed revenue.

      Might not work because the unions would sue for medical expenses.

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