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Bruce Bialosky

Cruisin’ Europe

Once again, it is that time of year when I know I am on vacation. There are no keys in my pocket, no TV on all day and no cellphone invading my life because it is locked in the safe. This year we are doing what most people would not think of doing. Arguably most people think of going to Europe as Paris, London, Amsterdam, and Florence. No, we are touring the Balkans. So far, we have had a marvelous time. We started in two familiar spots. First Prague, which is a uniquely beautiful city and a joy to visit. Worthy of a return visit. So was Vienna, one of the most sophisticated places on the planet. It was there we encountered our first challenge. Just two days before arriving we received notice from our hotel that the Vienna marathon was going to block most roads to our hotel. Our plans, which had been in place for months, were being put in jeopardy — especially since the evening of our arrival we had opera tickets. You mustn’t be late for the opera. They will not allow you in until intermission. We cancelled our rental car and hired a driver. We then had to arrange another rental car for our departure from Vienna onward. We did get to the… Read More

A Veteran’s Plea: The Hidden Costs of Over-Regulating Veteran Support

As a proud Air Force veteran, I’ve witnessed firsthand the tremendous sacrifices made by our nation’s heroes. Unfortunately, upon returning home, I experienced the harsh reality that many others face—long wait times at the Department of Veterans Affairs and challenges getting the assistance many of us need.

With over 1.2 million veterans residing in California, providing comprehensive care and support should be a top priority. Yet, Senate Bill 1124 (SB 1124), championed by Senator Menjivar, has the potential to eliminate the many services we depend on.

SB 1124 aims to create new strict penalties on any organization or private entity that assists a veteran with their VA disability benefits while not being accredited by the VA on the federal level. While trying to shield veterans from deceptive practices and bad actors is an admirable goal there are many unintended consequences of this proposed law, the largest being that it will cut off access to private firms’ that play a vital role in filling the gaps left by overwhelmed Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs). Often founded by fellow veterans, these companies offer personalized,… Read More

Bruce Bialosky

Racing to Control Trump

Every administration makes plans nearing the end of their term. It can either be if they are seeking reelection and want to make sure they have all their bases covered if they don’t win, or they are nearing the end of an eight-year term and wish to complete some projects. I myself was part of such a plan as the Bush Administration appointed me to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council in mid-October 2004 just in case their plans for November did not come to fruition. The Biden Administration is doing this on steroids as they dread the thought of their work being destroyed by the evil Orangeman. A perfect example is the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) recent ruling outlawing non-compete clauses with a few exceptions. FTC Chair Lina Khan has set this as a major objective and moved forward with only a 3-2 vote in favor of the rule. The dissenting members said the FTC does not have the authority to promulgate such rules. The commission was immediately sued to stop the proposal on that basis. Ms. Khan took the position it was now or never; and, if you don’t like it, sue me. Of course, she is using our money to defend against the lawsuit while the… Read More

Bruce Bialosky

America’s Grifters

The definition of a grifter is a con artist; someone who pulls confidence games; a swindler, scammer, huckster, hustler, and/or charlatan. It is also said if there’s one type of person you don’t want to trust, it’s a grifter: someone who cheats others out of money. Grifters are also known as chiselers, defrauders, gougers, scammers, swindlers, and flim-flam men. A recent study showing how many college graduates work long-term in a job warranting a college degree leads me to conclude America’s grifters are those people who run our colleges. One doesn’t go to college simply to improve one’s path to earn a living. I am one who has consistently applauded my education — especially the first two years — for expanding my mind. I took such courses as philosophy, cultural anthropology, and speech. They taught me to think and analyze life from different perspectives. I also always had direction to graduate with an accounting degree and become a CPA. My first two years cost ten dollars per college unit, and I graduated debt-free while paying my own way. It seems clear that accumulating debt in the tens of thousands would… Read More

Bruce Bialosky

Is a Residential Real Estate Revolution Coming?

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) settled a series of lawsuits that is being trumpeted as “a radical change” in commissions paid to real estate agents for the purchase and/or sale of a home. There is so much misinformation being spread on this issue it boggles the mind. Let’s clear up some things. First, the misconceptions. The seller of the house is paying the buyer’s broker. Yes, the commission comes out of the sale proceeds of the house. But who is paying for the house? The buyer. When you go to a shoe store does the store pay the person who delivers the shoes to the store? Technically, yes; but the buyer ends up picking up that cost as part of the purchase price of the shoes. The buyer always pays. When the buyer does not use the current system and engages a separate buyer’s broker they will have that much more to come up with at closing. An additional $10,000 or more out of pocket will make the deal that much more difficult to close. Next, there is no fixed commission at 6%. Agents certainly try to get that rate, but it is always negotiable and can vary dramatically, particularly with increased home prices. Most agents… Read More

Bruce Bialosky

Get Off My Highway

Those who know me, and regular readers should after all these years, know that I have an indelible spirit when it comes to my love and belief in America. While people from both sides of the political spectrum bemoan the downfall of our way of life or “our Democracy,” I laugh and shrug it off. I tell them “This is America, the greatest country ever invented. We will adjust and we will endure.” Recently I even flinched. It is easy to question where we are heading with many of our society’s developments. The significant disregard for property rights is evidenced by the explosion of brazen theft attacks on our retailers. Likewise, the explosion of squatters believing they can occupy someone’s home without their consent. The worst part of this is the near-total emasculation of our policing authority with the demonstrative endorsement of many elected officials supposedly in the position to stop such acts. There are people living on our streets in mass numbers. Our elected officials tell us they are working on the problem – the one they don’t understand. The one they think is a housing problem and not a drug and/or mental illness problem. The… Read More

Bruce Bialosky

The Illegals Are Truly a Benefit

Of course, they are not really “illegals” as they should properly be referred to as “undocumented immigrants,” “unauthorized immigrants,” “non-citizens,” “without status,” and/or “unlawfully present.” As the Left stumbles over the correct characterization of people who have entered this country with no compliance to our national laws and remain here despite their continuing non-compliance, the Left is now telling us they are actually enhancing our economy. Our national press and elected leaders have finally woken up to the fact that Democrats have been conflating “illegal” immigrants with “legal” immigrants and combining them in one big punch bowl. This has been something the Left has been touting for years (and has been pointed out in this column for years) to validate the illegals and taint their political opponents as “anti-immigrant.” We are now being told that the Illegals are actually a huge benefit to the economy. The timing for this claim is odd, to say the least. Mayors across the country (nearly all Democrats) have been pounding President Biden to provide funds from that money tree just outside the Oval Office… Read More

Bruce Bialosky

The Ultimate Destruction of Private Property

The Ultimate Destruction of Private Property Many changes have occurred in American society over the past few decades, largely due to a surge of Socialism supporters. Most of them call themselves “Progressives.” The honest ones announce they are members of the Democrat Socialists of America. One of the primary tenets of Socialism is aimed to substitute private property for social ownership of public property. The most significant act of this private property destruction is spreading through our country, namely squatters. Many changes have occurred to the enforcement of our laws. We have seen flash mobs enter stores, taking large amounts of inventory and leaving with no interference attempted. We have seen people saunter into a drug store, take a few things, and walk out unimpeded. The level of disrespect for private property has risen to where a person will go to an inherited home from their recently deceased relatives and find an unauthorized stranger living there. When they go to change the locks, they will be taken away by police for attempting an unlawful eviction. The squatter remains in their house. How did we come to this? “Squatting” is… Read More

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