Posts Tagged With: money


Karl Rove had a horrible, Grinchy, ugly idea.  Supreme court judges are prohibited from spending more than $5,000 to run for re-election in some states. Why not outspend them and get rid of “liberal” judges?

John Grisham wrote a book on just how it could happen.  It was fiction and being a fan, when I read it, it was a scary prospect, IF it could really happen.

In real life, could a well-financed shadowy,  group,  get an ordinary judge, one who made decisions for people suing for redress from corporate neglect, be replaced by a corporate leaning judge?  They began their push in the Southern States of Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas which is how they caught the attention of John Grisham.

Grisham appeared on LINK public television, along with members of Public Citizen and explained that it is happening all over the United States.  The Chamber of Commerce funds these power grabs,  attacking judges who make decisions in favor of ordinary people and replaces them on the bench with corporate friendly judges.

Here is how they did they did it to Judge Oliver Diaz of Oklahoma.

The Chamber spent $19 million dollars distorting his reputation, using decisions he made for a defendant, and dishonestly twisting the results in the newspaper.  When Diaz tried to buy ad time on television in his area, the Chamber used all the ad time and squeezed him out. He borrowed money from an attorney friend, Paul Minier, to defend himself with ads in the newspapers. The Chamber of Horrors immediately filed suit against him claiming that he made decisions in favor of this attorney. He was suspended from the bench. But, he had recused himself every time his friend came before his court. The case got thrown out after the opposition pulled delay after delay after delay. Then they filed suit against him for tax evasion while he was still in suspension. Again, delay, after delay and the phony suit was thrown out, costing the judge a million in defense, and three years off the bench. When he finally got back on the bench, he lost re-election to Keith Starret because people believe, where there is smoke there is fire. There MUST have been something shady going on.

There was. The Chamber of Horrors.

Chamber CEO Richard Bush has turned the Chamber of Commerce into the leading lobbying group for removal of judges and tort reform, which is another avenue of attack on ordinary citizens in favor of corporate rule. (More about that tomorrow.)

If a defendant has his leg cut off by a piece of farm machinery that was defective and goes for a jury trial and wins in court. The court has the power to reverse the decision, lower the amount, or throw it out and the defendant has to start over again.  Corporations win over 90% of the time against people suing for redress. This is the only weapon the people have against corporate neglect and we are losing our ability to fight because corporate money is strangling the life out of our democracy.

Make your vote count. Vote for corporate regulation and protect judges in your community. Support every measure you can to keep money out of politics.

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DSC06728 (Copy) While I was in Oregon working on the house, Doug would ask me, “Mom, are you having any fun yet?  Taking a day off?”  The answer was always “NO”.  In Calaveras County, our community is so lopsided and still in shock with 547 families burned out. Displaced people with their lives on hold, their future uncertain.  My friend, Nancy Stehura told me about a benefit dinner for fire victims at Prospector Brewing Co. on Main St. Murphys.  Nancy told me on the phone, “I know so many people who would love to have YOUR problems.”  Touche’

So Jan and I decided to stop and smell the roses, put any personal issues aside and go have dinner.

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We left her place and the sky above was a painting of puffy orange clouds.

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At the Prospector Brewing Company, we told the bartender we had come for the benefit dinner. He said, “We don’t serve dinner here. We aren’t having a benefit dinner.” The big question mark was on my forehead, how could this have happened two nights in a row? He pointed to a bin on the bar asking for lightly used clothing for fire victims. He handed us a beer and wine menu with a list of appetizers we could order. So, we ordered a drink and a bucket of unshelled  peanuts.

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The band set up and got going. If the sign on the wall is correct, they are the Samba Breeze and there was a donation box set up to benefit Jules and Sean Koopman.  Hmm.

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Not long after, Nancy arrived with about seven families who had burned out in the same neighborhood. The young girl and her mother, and the woman in blue, who I met later, Sue Koopman, burned out. Sue got up and made a speech from the band stand to support fire victims with donations. I couldn’t hear. In fact, sitting next to each other, Jan and I shouted our conversation over the music. But we got the gist of things and put money in the box and many other patrons did the same.

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My friend Nancy with her son. He is so tall, she fits under his arm. He burned out in Mountain Ranch and is bunking in with his mother in San Andreas, temporarily, part time. Someone, I think it was Nancy,  told me the ground was heated with the fire, the rains came and bulbs that normally bloom in the spring, are now poking shoots up through the ashes.

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Jan having a conversation with Sue, about the level of devastation, and the difficulty of finding places to rent, especially if people have pets. Jan offered her acreage to place a trailer on and the offer was accepted. Sue knows someone who does massage and Jan has a table in her house.  I’m cogitating how I can do the same thing. The trouble for most of the victims, is their jobs and connections are on the far side of the county, or like Sue, in Amador County. Too far to drive everyday.

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Sue and her partner, Danny, whose last name I didn’t catch, have decided they are going to accept a Fema trailer and stay on the property and rebuild. Danny has a place in Hawaii, where they could move, but, they want to rebuild. It’s the hard way, but we are so grateful that families are staying.  There is another benefit coming up for 5 firemen who lost their houses while they were fighting to save their neighbors.

Yes, it really is time to stop and smell the roses, be thankful, and find the green shoots coming up in our lives.


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Soggy, soggy, was our day. A bit of clearing in late afternoon sent us out to the Elks Club where a convocation of WINS was meeting. Jim left the WINS, which stands for Wandering Individuals Network, in 2007. Whenever he hears a group of WINS are meeting, he likes to reconnect with a group he really loved. There were ten rigs present at this venue, with more coming. And, likely we will run into them again as we head up the coast starting today. Margaret Murray, left, is a fellow blogger at

Many women are afraid to travel alone and Margaret gives you an idea of what it is like. Check out her great blog.

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I’m a new ELK member and was delighted to have a chance visit at the Harlingen Lodge. In their foyer, they have “Lucky” who collects money for Special Needs Children. In our Lodge #1587, Sonora, CA., each individual is given a purple pig to fill.

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Every table in the lodge also has a red pig. Jim and I put our change in, but we saw no money in any of them. We enjoyed a couple of drinks with our friends, (you have instant hugging friends  with the WINS).

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Then we headed back down 77 Sunshine Strip to pick up my bike at the bike shop. Don’t you just love the name of the street?

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Birds gathered to enjoy the clearing weather, or maybe they are getting ready for National Bird Day, that’s today. I hope I can get a few nice bird pictures while we visit South Padre Island.

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I went to lunch at the American Village in Mesa with my friend Joan Higgins  on Wednesday.  The pies here are renowned and I intended to try a piece.  But, the entree was so filling I never got a chance. Their sign  is really good advice.

I hadn’t seen Joan in two years and that happens with my ramblin’ lifestyle. Joan lives in Miwuk, near me in Murphys.  She’s a snowbird and spends winters in Mesa.

But, on the other hand, ramblin’ means I get to see people I wouldn’t have seen in many more years than that. My cousin Karen lives in Apache Junction. Still in her hospital uniform, we had breakfast when she got off shift on Thursday morning.

Yesterday, I did some  yoga, went swimming while the washing was running, and late in the day, watched an episode of PBS’s Downton Abbey on my computer, a program I’ve become addicted too. It has one more episode to the conclusion.

Joan gave me a great line. She said, “I’m not going on a cruise, I’m not getting a face lift, so I might as well spend it on my kids.”

Two lessons learned:   Eat dessert first, I can do that.  And, I’m not going on a cruise or having a face lift. Might as well spend the money. (It works like manure and makes things grow.)

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I’m still in the aftermath of my yard sale, but life is always full of interesting side trails, doncha know. My brother Will Moore is running for Congress in the newly drawn Sierra Foothills (CD-4) Congressional District. I frankly think he is crazy. You have to be crazy to run for any torture chamber, oops, I mean public office, especially in this devisive, vicious climate. Oh, well. He is 73 years old, not married, his kids are all grown and his Grandchildren, too. He has the time and the fortitude. Not that he hasn’t filled his retired life with work. He has. All volunteer. He has never held a public office, but he has been  politically involved all of his adult life. And like so many of us, disgusted with the way our Congress is going.

He is a member of the World Affairs Council, a think group that gathers people from all walks of life, from every ethnic derivation, to discuss and propose solutions to global problems. He has worked construction most of his life from the State of California, and his platform is about jobs in this country. He worked the politically controversial Alaskan Pipeline and he can tell you some hair-raising  stories about “cost overruns” or skimming, as he prefers to call it. He wants to stop that type of thing and get real people, not corporate executives, back to real work. He did a stint as a Fisherman in Alaska, one of the most dangerous professions on the planet. He lives on a pension, and his T-Party Opponent, McClintock, has never held a real job other than hopping from one legislative position to another, and McClintock doesn’t live in the district. Politics is such a crazy institution. Sometimes being mad as hell works. But, it is a tough run without big money.  Will  doesn’t intend to beholden himself to donations from Halliburton and the like as McClintock does.  No PACs. Well, I spent my morning working on his brochure so I’m all fired up. I’m biased, I love him, he is and always has been a hard-working individual. I still think he is crazy.

I’ll have to clean up the residue of my yard sale today, since I didn’t do anything productive yesterday. Just rested.


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As we…the United States of America continue to send all of our jobs and money to China…we’re also sending them something else of ours…the RVing lifestyle. Just yesterday my Blog posting identified how motorhomes in the U.S. are smaller and less flashy than just a few years ago.

Here’s the link from China Times…

Makes me wonder when this country is going to wake up. Must we wait until there are no more jobs and all are homeless?

The United States is such a beautiful country. It’s truly sad what the politicians have done to it! 😦

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2011
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