How Is A Raven Like A Writing Desk? (Or: A Fascist, A Socialist And A Communist Walk Into A Bar. The Anarchist Ducked.)

Dear confused Conservatives, Republicans, Libertarians, Tea Party members and general critics of President Obama,

It's really not logistically possible for the current administration in the White House (or ANY administration for that matter) to be “Fascist,” “Socialist” AND “Communist” at the same time. At least it's not possible when we apply the strictest and therefore most extreme definitions of each word – as many of you intend when you utter or write them. I suspect that those of you who use the words interchangeably are unclear on the basic concepts and are only familiar with the grand old tradition of casting them as epithets. (Some of you are also prone to throwing the word “Marxist” into the mix, but we won't go into great detail about that here because it's a specific KIND of Socialism/Communism.) You probably dozed off in Government or Political Science 101 when they were covered. It's okay, we won't judge you - because I have it on good authority that people who teach Politics can bore even themselves into a stupor on occasion.

"We're all a little mad here."
Attention RNC: I think I've discovered the perfect new slogan for your party.


"Don't F**K With Me, Fellas..."

I didn't mention this when it happened because it sounds kind of "tinfoil hat." But the day after Thanksgiving, I got up really early to make cinnamon rolls for Eric to take with him on a job. It was a very foggy and chilly morning.

"Why can't you give me the respect that I'm entitled to? 
Why can't you treat me like I would be treated by any stranger on the street?"

At around 8 a.m., someone rang my doorbell. Since very few people visit us - and only one person I know would do so at that hour - I opened the front door, expecting to see my neighbor Marilyn.


Some Suggestions For Fresno and Fresno County RE: A New Animal Shelter/Animal Control Agency. (Thanks For Asking.)

Okay. This is going to be a "no-frills" post because I'm really, really angry and my head hurts. (Yes, angrier than normal. Much angrier.)

I was asked this question with regard to a new animal shelter/animal control agency: "Jim, I'm almost afraid to ask, but what do you suggest be done?"

I am not ashamed to say that I know very little about the specific things involved with either issue, but I AM smart enough to know who to ask or where to find answers. And smart enough to know that you let THOSE people (each an expert or a professional in their own field or business) contribute pieces of the puzzle from their individual experience sets. That's how the BEST projects get accomplished. But, here's my answer to the question:

Well will you look at that? Fresno County has a shape that's roughly the same as ... the stereotypical dog bone.
Got irony?


"Daddy, I Do NOT Want A Boat Like This!" (Or: Look! That Guy Was Only Pretending To Be One Of The Zombies So They Wouldn't Eat Him!)

Hey Kids! How's everyone's summer going so far? Yeah, same here. Until this past weekend, the average daily temperature here in the Fresno area for the month of August was 103.5. Is it October yet? But I'm wandering again. We're not here to talk about the weather - are we? Let's talk POLITICS! (And I'm also going to try something new. Hold on to your hats: I'm going to be BRIEF. *gasp* I know, right?)

So today's "Presidental-Election-Year-OMG-I-Can't-Believe-That-Just-Happened-What-Were-We-Talking-About-Yesterday?" seismic attention grabber is the announcement that former Florida Governor Charlie Christ will speak at the Democratic National Convention. I hear cries of "So what?" Well, it's kind of unusual for a Republican politician to take the stage there. (Okay, technically Crist is an Independent, but you're getting ahead of me.) So naturally, there has been a LOT of indignant spluttering and mystified head-scratching going on among the Conservative set today.

Personally I don't get what all the fuss is about. The announcement makes perfect sense to me.

You are looking at a very rare animal -
a politician on the Right ready to play ball with his colleagues on the other side of the stadium!


Dear CCSPCA: A Contract Is Not A “Suggestion” (Or: How Much More Proof Does Everyone Need? Enough. This Crap Ends NOW.)

So I understand that the Executive Director of the CCSCPA, Linda Van Kirk, showed up at the last Downtown Rotary Breakfast and displayed her usual disrespectful and disdainful behavior – with a few new twists.

First, she berated both the City and the County (and of course the usual targets, the rescues and anyone who even thinks the words "no-kill"). Then, because some people from the City and the County have supposedly "come back hat in hand to beg" the shelter to continue doing the job, she informed everyone present at the meeting it would cost them MORE should it happen. Finally, after figuratively holding a gun to the heads of the City and County and demanding more money, she had the gall to inform everyone at the breakfast that the CCSPCA would actually be doing LESS too. Why? Because they are “becoming a 'No-Kill shelter'” and should they renew contracts with the City and County it would now be the responsibility of the City and the County to euthanize animals.

Apparently, if you want to catch a glimpse of the woman whose job description requires her to be "the public face" of the CCSPCA (but is rarely seen in public), you have to get up early. And serve pancakes.
But wear your flameproof underwear.


Taxes, Shmaxes! (OR: Hey Fresno! Guess What The CCSPCA Has Been Doing With YOUR Taxes?)

Remember my last post? I'm guessing lots of you do, because the tally of people reading it keeps climbing. The numbers are now far beyond anything else I've ever posted. But I digress... 

Here's the real scoop: I recently unearthed a decision issued by the United States Tax Court that fills in a lot of blanks in that story. More importantly, the court's ruling verifies many of the conclusions I reached in my previous story about Leroy Combs, former (and frequent) member of the CCSPCA Board of Directors and – by its own admission – one of the shelter's highest paid vendors. The decision also raises lots and lots of questions about who knew (or knows) what in local government and why they've been silent about these gross abuses of taxpayer money.


"What Is The CCSPCA Hiding?" Google Knows - And You Can Too

Since the CCSPCA abruptly announced two weeks ago that it was canceling its contracts with the City of Fresno and Fresno County to “focus on its core mission of preventing cruelty to animals,” many members of the community have been asking, “WTF? Why would an organization like the CCSPCA - which claims to be about helping animals above all - suddenly abandon a relationship with local government after more than four decades? Why, if they have nothing to hide, have they chosen to walk away - rather than stand and defend their position?"

I believe I've discovered part of the answer to that question. And in terms of things an organization that enjoys a "Public Support Percentage" of "97.590 percent" might want to keep hidden, it's a real whopper. (Incidentally, that "97.590 percent" comes directly from the CCSPCA's 2010 tax return.) If members of the City Council or the Fresno County Board of Supervisors were allowed to sit on the CCSPCA Board of Directors, they would most certainly begin asking questions about some of the things that any Fresno County resident with a computer, Internet access and a curious nature can easily discover for themselves.

What's going on in this building - and why did it cost $50,000 to $75,000 a year?