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Archive for the ‘Bradley J. Fikes’ Category

My Blogging Whereabouts

Tuesday, November 29, 2011
posted by Bradley J. Fikes

I’ve taken down my previous post about Doug Manchester and his split with his wife. My employer has expressed a wish that I not blog on local issues anywhere except the North County Times, and I agree that’s a wise decision. So I won’t be blogging anymore on SD Rostra.

However, I’ll still be blogging, and reporting, at the North County Times and the Californian (our sister paper in Southwest Riverside County), where I blog about science and technology, and general business issues.

Enjoying A Working Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 24, 2011
posted by Bradley J. Fikes

Holiday duty is an inevitable part of being a newspaper reporter. News doesn’t stop on holidays, and unlike Santa, journalists don’t have elves to help them out.

But for me, working on a holiday such as Thanksgiving or Christmas is fun and not a chore. It’s a change of pace, and a chance to be more creative. And of course, there’s always the chance that something unexpected (almost always bad) will happen.

The blessings of a warm meal and companionship seem even more poignant on Thanksgiving, as it was for this man at Escondido's Salvation Army branch.

The blessings of a warm meal and companionship seem even more poignant on Thanksgiving, as it was for this man at Escondido's Salvation Army branch. Photo by Bill Costello.

Just What California Needs! Another Push to Raise Taxes!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011
posted by Bradley J. Fikes

Yet another attempt to raise California’s taxes is rearing its head, this time from a group calling itself Think Long California. It’s already getting the usual uncritical reception from a fawning media.

(UPDATE II: The LA Times for a change doesn’t fall into this category. It published a fair article on the tax hike proposal, complete with appropriate headline)

Tax hike given its proper description

Tax hike given its proper description


The Huffington Post bluntly spells out the net effect of this  (UPDATE: I added this image below from a HuffPost article on the effort for Alger’s benefit, because he expressed doubt in the comments that this is really a tax increase):

Climategate 2.0 — More Global Warming Emails Apparently Released

Tuesday, November 22, 2011
posted by Bradley J. Fikes

A second release of the controversial Climategate emails from global warming scientists appears to have  just taken place.

The most important question is whether these emails are real and not some hoax. If they’re real, the cover-up of biased global warming scientists has become even flimsier. And the task of their dutiful allies in the mainstream media has become much tougher.

Like the first, the second batch contains a number of emails showing how supposedly objective global warming climate change extreme weather scientists were in fact activists for what they called “the cause”, and planned how to influence political action.

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My Response To Jim Sills On John Lynch’s Support of Corporate Welfare

Monday, November 21, 2011
posted by Bradley J. Fikes

Since comments to Sills’ last post appear to be closed, I’m placing my reply in its own post. This reply-reply-to-reply format is cumbersome, so I’ve shortened it — hopefully without distorting the meaning. Read the original thread linked above to get everything.  My comments are in boldface.

I respect Sills’ spirited defense of alleged conservatives John Lynch and Doug Manchester, but some of my own views have been misunderstood in the process. I’m for free enterprise. I’m against corporate welfare feeding at the public trough.

Corporate welfare pigs at the trough


In OB Saturday Afternoon NOW – Local Bloggers at Pizza Port

Saturday, November 19, 2011
posted by Bradley J. Fikes

The San Diego Local Order of Bloggers are right now (3:20 pm. Saturday) having beers and pizza at Pizza Port Ocean Beach. We’ll be there until 5. If you’re in the area, drop on down!


U-T Must Shill For Chargers, Says John Lynch – UPDATED

Thursday, November 17, 2011
posted by Bradley J. Fikes

UPDATE: The news in the VOSD story is every bit as bad as I feared. From the story, John Lynch says:

He wants that sports page to be an advocate for a new football stadium “and call out those who don’t as obstructionists.”

“To my way of thinking,” Lynch said, “that’s a shovel-ready job for thousands.”

“We’d like to be a cheerleader for all that’s good about San Diego,” Lynch said. “Our motivation, both of us, was to do something good for San Diego.”

OWS’s Roots: Downward Mobility In The Regulatory Class

Sunday, November 13, 2011
posted by Bradley J. Fikes

I’m cheerfully stealing this meme from Patterico, which has an insightful roundup of opinions about the social motivations of the Occupy Wall Street crowd. The trigger for their rage isn’t really the banking industry, but the increasingly bleak job prospects of the lower rung of the would-be regulators and do-gooders.

These types did everything dutiful big government left-liberals should do; they went to school and racked up huge debts, got involved in the right left-wing causes. But when they looked for jobs to pay off the bills and save humanity, the cupboard was bare.

Solyndra -- Crony capitalism at its finest

Solyndra -- Crony capitalism at its finest

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Doug Manchester Interested In SDUT Purchase: VOSD Report

Monday, November 7, 2011
posted by Bradley J. Fikes

UPDATE: Credit Where Due Dept: Don Bauder of the San Diego Reader discussed the rumor that Manchester was buying the U-T in a Sept. 29 blog post. Bauder properly called it a “strictly a rumor”, but one worth reporting.

I think that was the proper way to handle it. The rumor was widely given credence by local insiders, and journalists should let the public know what the insiders are saying to each other. (Ex-UTer Dave Ogul tweeted last week that Manchester was in escrow to buy the U-T. UPDATE – Ogul also took care to call it a rumor).

Another Snuff Video From Global Warming Activists

Friday, November 4, 2011
posted by Bradley J. Fikes

UPDATE: The poster of the global warming snuff video was getting hammered in the comments from us evil Koch-funded global warming deniers. So he disabled commenting. Fools like that live in their own isolated enclaves of moonbattery in which burning up skeptics is funny. Exposure to the real world must have chilled his resolve.

So I suggest you instead look at this repost  below — with comments active — and add your thoughts:

The direct link to YouTube is available by clicking this sentence.


Because fantasizing about a horrible death for those who disagree with you is so scientific and moral!

Nancy Pelosi Thanks Me — For What, I Don’t Know

Wednesday, November 2, 2011
posted by Bradley J. Fikes

There has got to be some misunderstanding.

I’ve never contributed any cash, not even a fetid dingo kidney, to Democrats. Or for that matter, to Republicans or Libertarians.

Not even a fetid dingo kidney

True, I once registered as a Democrat, but that was many years ago.

Yet look at what popped into my inbox earlier this evening from the former Speaker of the House (emphasis in original):


Bradley –

Thanks to your extraordinary support we hit our Federal Election Commission fundraising grassroots goal, raising over $1.1 million. You helped ensure that House Democrats had a strong and powerful showing before we reach the one-year-out to 2012 mark.

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UPDATE WARNING LIFTED: SD CityBeat Hit By Warning of Malware

Wednesday, November 2, 2011
posted by Bradley J. Fikes

UPDATE: The malware warning was gone when I checked at 2:50. So cruise on over once again to SD CityBeat.`


Those hipster cats at San Diego CityBeat are having a rough day: Their Web site has been flagged as containing malware. Not only that, but so have other, unrelated CityBeat Web sites across the country, such as in Cincinnati.

What could cause this? One possibility is that an “upgrade” at the Cincinnati CityBeat’s Web page is responsible. A Sept. 8 post about its makeover has a comment about it being flagged as containing malware. (The link goes to a non-CityBeat blog in Cincinnati). Could that be related to SD CityBeat’s woes, even though the two have different corporate owners? Perhaps a return to its old name of SLAMM might help . . .

Metropolitan Water District Unfunded Liability Exceeds $600M

Wednesday, November 2, 2011
posted by Bradley J. Fikes

A new story of mine at the North County Times gives the deets:

Metropolitan Water District, Southern California’s biggest water wholesaler has accumulated more than $600 million in unfunded liability for retirees since 1999.

The analysis comes from a new report issued Tuesday by a local taxpayers’ group, San Diego Taxpayers Educational Foundation.

Customers of Metropolitan, or taxpayers, will ultimately be responsible for paying these unfunded costs, according to the report. Metropolitan supplies about half the water used in San Diego County and much of the water used in Southwest Riverside County.

LA Times Covers For Calif’s High-Speed Train Debacle

Tuesday, November 1, 2011
posted by Bradley J. Fikes

On Oct. 29, the Los Angeles Times published its version of what’s wrong with plans for a high-speed rail system from Northern to Southern California. Was the story about rising cost estimates and unrealistically high ridership estimates?

Of course it wasn’t! This is the Los Angeles Times, which is not devoted to facts, but rather its higher goal of indoctrinating the public in the proper way of thinking. That ideology proclaims big government (in the hands of the left) is good, raising taxes is good, and corporations and conservatives are bad for opposing the first two.

Occupy Oceanside . . . Filling In The Ellipsis

Saturday, October 29, 2011
posted by Bradley J. Fikes

The “Occupy” movement came to Oceanside yesterday. And as with all the “Occupy” movements, the question is, what’s their purpose?

A brief preview story in the San Diego Union-Tribune provided this tantalizingly elided quote from an Occupy Oceanside press release:

“The big banks, multinational corporations and unscrupulous billionaires … have far more influence on the democratic process than ever intended by our Forefathers,” said Occupy Oceanside spokeswoman Rena Wallenius in a news release.

Curious newshound that I am, the “…” grabbed my attention immediately. What was left out of the quote from the press release?

I really wanted to see the mayoral debate on Wednesday, but my day job kept me until it was too late to go. But from what’s been printed about it, I didn’t miss much.

Only two of the top four candidates even showed up — Nathan Fletcher and Bob Filner. Kudos to them for showing up. As for Carl DeMaio and Bonnie Dumanis, their no-shows were disappointing.

OB Rag wrote:

Trick The Bridesmaid

Tuesday, October 18, 2011
posted by Bradley J. Fikes

Another Bad Lip Reading production to sequel Mitt Romney, here’s the POTUS.


And Michele Bachmann

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Mitt Romney Stuffs The Ice Chest

Monday, October 17, 2011
posted by Bradley J. Fikes

As compiled by Bad Lip Reading. Funny, no matter what your political views are.

Thanks for all the sea fish!

H/t to National Review Online.

Deal For Chargers Stadium? Not So Fast!

Thursday, October 13, 2011
posted by Bradley J. Fikes

Eager to secure his legacy before leaving office, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders is rushing to get a stadium built in downtown San Diego’s East Village for the Chargers.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports:

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders has hired a financial adviser to help city and county officials draft a plan to pay for a Chargers stadium in East Village. He hopes to have the public vote on the project in 13 months.

For the first time, Sanders gave a rough estimate of the potential public contribution to the venue: $38 million a year. An aide later said that arrangement over 30 years could cover a bond that generates half of the funding for an $800 million stadium.

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Wrong, SD GOP . . . Sigh

Thursday, October 13, 2011
posted by Bradley J. Fikes

This is not how Republicans should be making the news . . .

From the San Diego Union-Tribune:

Twitter accounts of county GOP, chairman yanked

A good (old fashioned?) cyber-spat between San Diego County’s Republican and Democratic parties has broken out on — where else? — Twitter.

On Wednesday, local Democratic Party Chairman Jess Durfee issued a press release about the social network suspending the accounts of the Republican Party of San Diego County (@SDRepublicans) and that of its chairman, Tony Krvaric (@TonyKrvaric).

Dangerous Questions From Darrell Issa

Sunday, October 9, 2011
posted by Bradley J. Fikes

“We want to know what and when they knew it.”

– Rep. Darrell Issa on new subpoenas to be issued regarding Fast and Furious, on “Fox News Sunday With Chris Wallace.”

More from Issa:

“But more importantly, we have to understand — at what level of the authorization really come? It wasn’t an ATF operation. They were part of that. It was a joint operation in which DEA knew more than ATF.

WALLACE: “Drug Enforcement Administration. ATF, Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

One More Pension Reform Signature

Monday, September 26, 2011
posted by Bradley J. Fikes
Carl DeMaio and pension reform supporters, Sunday, Sept. 25

Carl DeMaio and pension reform supporters, Sunday, Sept. 25

Here’s a photo I took of San Diego mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio and supporters collecting signatures for San Diego City pension reform at a supermarket in Del Mar Heights Sunday, Sept. 25.

After months of procrastination, I finally gave my signature there. So thank you, San Diego Firefighter Willie Alegre and colleagues, for helping galvanize my decision.

Nice San Diego You Got There . . . Shame If Anything Happened To It

Wednesday, September 21, 2011
posted by Bradley J. Fikes

“And we all know that an aging population of firefighters, police officers and lifeguards who can’t afford to retire isn’t best for our safety. Be fair and be safe. Refuse to sign.”

— San Diego firefighter Willie Alegre, ever-so-subtly advising city of San Diego voters it wouldn’t be in their interest to sign the pension reform measure now being circulated.


I heard this heartwarming message of concern (MP3, 500K) Tuesday morning on the Mike Slater show.

The message from our devoted public servants couldn’t be clearer: Don’t reform the pension system . . . if you value your safety.

Misleading Ocean Climate Stories From City News Service (via KPBS) And Union-Tribune

Tuesday, September 13, 2011
posted by Bradley J. Fikes

(UPDATE: With new graphic illustrating press release journalism.)

In honor of Al Gore’s global warming scareathon beginning Thursday Wednesday, here’s a phony climate scare story, carelessly reported by City News Service and carried uncritically by our local public media outlet KBPS radio, and independently by the San Diego Union-Tribune.

First, please examine this chart. I’ll explain why it’s important later in this post.

La Jolla sea level rise, from NOAA - 2.07 millimeters per year

La Jolla sea level rise, from NOAA - 2.07 millimeters per year

The story lead (my emphasis) says:

On Sept. 14, Al Gore launches another of his increasingly influential science-based appeals to fight global warming. Here’s a taste of the enlightenment:

Directed to our use of reason and logic, in the grand tradition of last year’s highly successful 10/10 “No Pressure” campaign:

The message to unbelievers is clear:

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