Rants and Raves

It’s the Oct. 3 edition of SJI’s Rants & Raves, an open forum where you set the agenda. It’s been a busy week in our city, state, nation and world. What’s on your mind?


  1. “And this has brought us to a world where the more a man produces, the closer he comes to the loss of all his rights, until, if his ability is great enough, he becomes a rightless creature delivered as prey to any claimant—while in order to be placed above rights, above principles, above morality, placed where anything is permitted to him, even plunder and murder, all a man has to do is to be in need. Do you wonder why the world is collapsing around us?”

    —Ragnar Danneskjold to Hank Rearden
      Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand, (c) 1957

  2. Now you’re talking, Pat!

    “Do you wish to know whether that day is coming? Watch money. Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion- when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing- when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors- when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you- when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice- you may know that your society is doomed.”

    -Francisco D’Anconia
    Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand,(c) 1957

  3. All is right with the world.  Stanford defeated UCLA. 

    However, no one seems to mention that Rick Doyle last week attempted to forward a policy which would restrict public comment on agenda items, even eliminate it in violation of the Brown Act.  Poor Doyle, the world thinks of Justinian or Clarence Darrow when it comes to the law, and shoe polish when it comes to Rick Doyle.

  4. The Mercury News continues to deliver its papers in single use blue plastic bags even when there is no sign of rain.  If the editorial board thinks it is a good idea to ban plastic bags in grocery stores, let’s see if the editorial board is willing to call for a ban on delivering newspapers in plastic bags. 

    When it does rain, the carriers should put the papers on the dry porch like many used to do rain or shine.

  5. All,
    If you are interested:

    Special meeting to focus on public safety and policing

    In the City’s efforts to maintain and improve police services and community relations, the Public Safety, Finance & Strategic Support Council Committee invites members of the public to a special meeting from 6-8 pm. Wednesday, October 14 in the San José City Hall Council Chambers, 200 E. Santa Clara St.
    The purpose of this forum is to elicit feedback on the City’s efforts to address issues related to public safety and policing in San José. The PSFSS Committee will hold another special meeting to hear from members of the public next April. Please join us at this meeting. Spanish and Vietnamese interpreters will be available.


  6. from Remarks CBS Sunday Morning – Ben Stein

    I Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late !!

    The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

    My confession:

    I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees.. I don’t feel threatened. I don’t feel discriminated against. That’s what they are, Christmas trees.

    It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, ‘Merry Christmas’ to me. I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a creche, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

    I don’t like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don’t think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can’t find it in the Constitution and I don’t like it being shoved down my throat.

    Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that’s a sign that I’m getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

    In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.

    Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her ‘How could God let something like this happen?’ (regarding Hurricane Katrina).. Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, ‘I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?’

    In light of recent events… terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school.. The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

    Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’s son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he’s talking about. And we said okay..

    Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don’t know right from wrong, and why it doesn’t bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

    Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with ‘WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.’

    Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world’s going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send ‘jokes’ through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

    Are you laughing yet?

    Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you’re not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

    Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

    Pass it on if you think it has merit.

    If not, then just discard it… no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don’t sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

    My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,

    Ben Stein

    • >> “we aren’t allowed to worship God as we understand Him”

      Mr. Stein,
          I’d like to send you my heartfelt apology for preventing you from worshipping God however you want. It was a misunderstanding, and it will never happen again. So sorry about your right to worship; I’ve been so careless.


  7. “Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’s son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he’s talking about. And we said okay..”

    This has been discounted.  http://www.snopes.com/medical/doctor/drspock.asp

  8. it would be cool if chuck reed and barack obama solve all the world’s problems by 12 noon, january 1, 2010.

    everyone employed in a job they love.  and everyone living in peace, prosperity and brotherhood.

    and then at 12 noon, january 2, 2010 a giant meteor flys through the atmosphere, killing all life on earth.  turning the planet into a smoldering ash heap.

    but at least for 24 hours we were special.

  9. please tell when the city of san jose is going to cut the “downtown coordinator” position? lee wilcox needs to get off his rear and find an actual “real” job. as long as nancy pyle is on the council, gobble gobble wilcox will have a cushy job big enough for his ego.

    i mean the guy makes at least 100k, with that $$$ you can staff alma senior center for a whole year! the city sent him on some all-paid for business trip that didn’t even serve the city any good.

    insider, jr

  10. Orange County Register


    The most common argument I hear from police justifying the lush pensions is that they die shortly after retirement. This is one of those absurd myths that cops and their union members either truly believe or falsely promote for political purposes. On its face, it’s a hard one to believe. If police died a few years after retirement, there would be no unfunded liability crisis. The crisis is caused by the large number of police officers who earn “3 percent at 50?” retirements for decades.

    Here is the typical argument I received from one local police officer: “Please show me what your death rates are, after retirement, in your profession. The average cop will die six to seven years after retirement.

    Here is the CalPERS life expectancy data for public safety members (police and fire, which are grouped together by the pension fund):

    • If the current age is 55, the retiree is expected to live to be 81.4 if male, and 85 if female.

    • If the current age is 60, the retiree is expected to live to be age 82 if male, and 85.5 if female.

    • If the current age is 65, the retiree is expected to live to be age 82.9 if male, and 86.1 if female.

    In other words, police and fire officials have the identical life expectancies as non-safety officials. A 55-year-old male cop is likely to live past 81, which is far more than a few years and it explains why pension liabilities are so costly for taxpayers.

    In other words, police and fire officials have the identical life expectancies as non-safety officials. A 55 year old male cop is likely to live past 81, which is far more than a few years and it explains why pension liabilities are so costly for taxpayers.

    And the Bureau of Labor Statistics can debunk the argument that police work is more dangerous than other work — it’s 12 on the list, after 11 private-sector professions including driver, roofer, contractor, farmers.


    My point: Let’s at least deal with actuarial reality rather than emotionally laden fantasy when dealing with the public policy issue of pensions.

    • SJ Pension Costs,

      I am surprised you don’t know that the San Jose Police department is NOT part of CALPERS since your title would imply you would know this. San Jose Police Officers pay into their own retirement system, and pay almost 13% of their gross salary into this fund plus another 5% of their gross salary to prefund their own medical benefits at retirement. I have known many of these officers who have died within a few years of their retirements and very few that ever make it to 80 or beyond. You can get a study to support whichever way you want the facts to go. Mine is from personally knowing some of these officers, seeing their failing health in early retirement, and never making it to 60, let alone older than that.

    • Out of all those occupations, being a police officer is the only job that our society asks to die as a routine part of the job description, if need be, in the protection of our society, as did the 4 Oakland officers who were assassignated recently.

  11. Does san jose have information about how long pd retirees live to prove your point of early death or is your statement just some personal examples not what is happening to everyone?

    If true – it is terrible that sjpd officers die so young

    why doesn’t someone find out why when other pd retirees live lots longer

    • I think if you read my post I already made the point the information is anecdotal and based on my personal experience and not some study. I don’t remember stating it was happening to “everyone”. I have known many SJPD officers who have died within 1-10 years of retiring and others who have been severely disabled because of job related injuries, and yes, I agree with you it is terrible.