Got Tips? Want More Info? E-mail me at or contact me via Facebook. Our goal: Stamp out the corruption that empowers the Fascism that has taken control of our city.

**PAC Blog*Formerly Home*2 Wheels*Page 3*Parking Meter Poetry*Fast Food Wars*Holidaze*Wackemall*VHS**

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Brian Clarey: Biting The Hand That Feeds You

When James Lamar Gibson sent me the following Facebook message his facebook profile listed him as sales manager for Triad City Beat. Apparently, James being the intelligent young man I know him to be has jumped ship as Lamar's Facebook profile now shows him as being the Operations Manager at EDGE Funders Alliance.

You see, James Lamar Gibson didn't know it yet but he was being used by Triad City Beat founder and con man, Brian Clarey in an attempt to get me to be Brian's axe man in an attempt to steal customers away from competitor Yes-Weekly. Problem is, Brian Clarey grossly underestimated Billy Jones and the rest here at

You see the problem for Brian Clarey and Triad City Beat appears to be an inability to pay their bills as evidenced by this lawsuit filled by Yes-Weekly Publisher Charles Womack, Document #15CVD1433 filed in Guilford County on November 6 2015.

Seems Brian Clarey owes Charles Womack $8,700 since November of 2011 and never bothered to pay it back.

So you see, When Brian Clarey sent Eric Ginsburg to do the story  Playing with the numbers: Yes Weekly’s changing circulation on November 10th it was really about revenge, not numbers. But here's the part Brian Clarey and Eric Ginsburg never told you:

Charles Womack paid for Brian Clarey book with a $12,000 loan. Brian paid him back the interest-free loan for printing the book by having the money deducted from his paycheck  Brian was also supposed to pay Charles $1,700 for ads in Yes-Weekly and $7,000 in profits as a return to Charles in making the $12k loan. And for whatever reason Brian never paid it all off.

During the 10 years Brian Clarey worked for Charles Womack me got multiple DWIs and multiple drug paraphernalia charges as shown by these records provided by the Guilford County Courts and yet even knowing this Charles Womack let him stay on.

As for Yes Weekly's inflated circulation numbers: Brian Clarey and Jordan Greene worked at Yes-Weekly for a 10 years knowing there were problems with the circulation numbers and yet they did nothing about it, choosing to ignore it and collect the paychecks.

As Editor of Yes-Weekly, Clarey knew about the circulation problem for years. He could have even had a hand in it. Eric's Triad City Beat article proved nothing. Clarey and Ginsburg didn't run the story on circulation questions for 18 months as they tried to build a business competing with Yes-Weekly. They ran it when they got desperate for cash, when political ads failed to create anticipated revenues after 18 months of never asking the tough questions of local politicians for fear it might cost them advertising revenue.

 And after Brian was served with a lawsuit from his old boss.

Then Clarey and Company followed up with a second attack piece in a town so small everyone knows everyone else's business sometimes even before they sober up and learn about it themselves.

So when Brian Clarey claims that Triad City Beat was hacked, do you believe him? As I wrote in Was Triad City Beat Really Hacked? Part 2:

"I've never claimed to be a journalist and I still don't claim to be a journalist today, but EzGreensboro and the Internet have raised the bar for journalism in Greensboro. Get with the program or be prepared to be ripped to shreds. And watch your advertising dollars dry up just as we did to the Rhino."

Lots of us have made the mistake of getting hired by the wrong boss, James has it in him to go on to do great things. Bryan, I hear you're a pretty good bartender.  Jordan, there's still hope for you in journalism somewhere as you follow in the footsteps of your Daddy's best friend, the late Hunter S Thompson. As for Eric: I hear he'd be a good fit for the French Foreign Legion as you need not know French going in and need not be too bright to stand in front of incoming bullets. And it just so happens the FFL is hiring. Click the link, Eric, there's instructions as to how to join.

"Rent Seeking"

" is an attempt to obtain economic rent
by manipulating the social or political environment in which economic activities occur,
rather than by creating new wealth.

...spending money on political lobbying in order to be given a share of wealth
that has already been created.

Another North Carolina pay to play story Greensboro's News and Record probably won't report

"The Charlotte company under scrutiny for how it got maintenance contracts at state prisons has received about $7 million annually from a no-bid contract to maintain jails in Mecklenburg County, records and county officials confirm.

How would a newspaper respond 
to stories by other news outlets 
reporting about actions the News and Record has condoned
in its own sphere of influence?

Don't report anything about them.

The Keith Corporation and its executives, meanwhile, have in recent years given thousands of dollars in campaign contributions and consulting fees to Jim Pendergraph, a former Mecklenburg sheriff who approved the local contract in 1996.

Greensboro only different.

FBI agents have been asking questions about other contracts awarded to a Keith Corporation subsidiary, for maintenance at three state prisons. Those contracts were renewed over the objections of top state prison officials after Graeme Keith Sr., the company’s chairman, reportedly told state officials he had given a lot of money to political candidates and it was “now time for him to get something in return.”

As sheriff, Pendergraph was responsible for the 1996 decision to outsource the maintenance – a job previously done by sheriff’s department employees. Since 2001, he received more than $30,000 in campaign contributions from officials with The Keith Corporation – and about $86,000 more in consulting fees from the company’s jail maintenance subsidiary, now known as TKC Management Services.

The News and Record's top executives
have knowingly misled our community 
by not reporting what they should,
which makes them just as corrupt and complicit
in the same behaviors acted out by our local crooked cronies and elected officials, 
including Tony Wilkins, Nancy Vaughan, Mike Barber, Yvonne Johnson, 
Jamal Fox, Marikay Abuzuaiter, City staff and DGI's Zack Matheny.

Both Pendergraph and TKC officials say the consulting fees and campaign contributions had nothing to do with the contract."
"Comments have been disabled"; "Greensboro City Council approves grant for Lotus Lounge property"

Two more examples of what the News and Record won't report, as they are knee deep in it in Greensboro

Where is the News and Record? "The state agreed to extend prison maintenance contracts to a company owned by contractor Graeme Keith Sr., a McCrory friend and campaign donor."
This is Greensboro, 
the City whose News industry is in bed with local oligarchs
and their hired politicians.

Monday, November 23, 2015

In the comments...

Another anonymous letter to the editor concerning our schools:

"Legislators have continued to take jabs at the states funding for education but you would not be able to tell it by reading the salaries for some of the highest paid in Guilford County Schools (GCS) staff members!

Guilford County Schools is the third largest school district in North Carolina and each year staff from Charlotte and other school districts are coming to Gulford County to cash in on the benefits.  Maurice "Mo" Green the current superintendent is from Charlotte Schools and so are several of the members of district staff.   Mo continues to play his role of not taking a raise each year but as we all know there are thousands of perks of being the top of the educational food chain.

One of the top highest paid includes Nora Carr, Chief of Staff who serves as the Public Relations gate keeper for the district.  Mrs. Carr and her husband both who work for GCS are both from Charlotte, NC school district.

New Western Regional staff leader Anna Sheehan has come in the door this month straight from Wake County making a nice six figure salary.

Make no mistake the educators in Guilford County classrooms have a full time job educating over 71.000 students.  The hot spot to make the "duckies" is clearly in Superintendent's Cabinet, Regional Offices and the Exceptional Children's Department's Dream Team.  Many principals of low performing schools are also calling in the educational dollars.  

Its sad to see so many thousands of uneducated students who are faced with poverty be abused by the district cashing in on grants and pockets of money the Board of Education needs to take a deeper look at.

Point is the rich keep getting richer and the poor continue to have to deal with bad decisions from leaders of the school district!  

It is very clear that the November, 2015 Salary report is a areas that was not included in the Say Yes to Education audit or there spill to elected officials (Greensboro and High Point City Council and County Commissioners) when they road in to do all the back door presentations to promote Say Yes.   Before several organizations and individuals started to open there check books.  

Guilford County Schools must start improving the educational outcomes for the thousands of students who are not receiving their constitutional right to a "Sound Basic Education"!!  But at this point with salaries rising for top lead staff the community should be advocating for why are the leaders in the six figure salaries not held to a higher accountability for the failures of students in Guilford County Schools."






And it came with 2 attachments.

Attachment 1. Annual Salaries For All Employees

Attachment 2. Annual Salaries $50,000 or Greater

Some may want to give or accumulate a bit of physical gold this holiday season

If there is only one actual ounce of gold available to be individually held,
and there are 293 times as many 'electronic' claims 
for every ounce of physical gold which can actually be delivered,
having some of the real thing as opposed to not, 
suddenly seems like a pretty good idea.

The price seems counter-intuitive, doesn't it?

It's as though what we're told doesn't seem right.

It's as if the precious metals market is rigged.

It's as if most global financial markets go up and down 
because some said so, 
instead of real price discovery in a free market.

Randolph County/City of Greensboro Megasite Correspondence

From: Bonnie Renfro []
Sent: Wednesday, January 07, 2015 11:41 AM
To: Bonnie Renfro
Subject: Golden Leaf Foundation visit - Jan 13

Good morning,

We look forward to our meeting next week on Tuesday January 13 at 1 pm. The purpose of the meeting is a discussion of Greensboro and Randolph County's efforts to extend public utilities along the US 421 corridor into northern Randolph County. We will start our meeting at the PTIA Board room with working lunch and discussion followed by a drive along the corridor to the site. Please let me know if others in your organization will be in attendance for planning purposes. If
you cannot attend for any reason, please let me know.

Dan Gerlach, Golden Leaf Foundation
Ted Lord, Golden Leaf Foundation
Jim Melvin, PTP Executive Committee
Darrell Frye, Chair, Randolph County Board of Commissioners
Jim Westmoreland, Greensboro City Manager
David Powell, PTP President
Cyndi Dancy, Greensboro Economic Development Partnership
Same Simpson, Broker Owner, Simpson CRE
Bonnie Renfro, Randolph County EDC

Thank you,

Bonnie Renfro
Randolph County EDC
PO Box 2001
Asheboro NC 27204
336.626.2233 (o)
336.686.2135 (m)<>

Sunday, November 22, 2015

North Carolina, Greensboro and Guilford County, only different = Why NC Treasurer Janet Cowell isn't seeking reelection

"[Retirement System] may lower its return target; taxpayers may have to contribute more

Experts have warned for years that the state's largest public pension plan has overestimated how much its investments will earn, leaving taxpayers to pay billions of dollars more than expected.

Now the board of the California Public Employees' Retirement System is reconsidering.  As soon as Wednesday, the fund's board could approve a plan that would slowly reduce to 6.5% the current 7.5% it says it expects to earn on its investments.

North Carolina Teachers, 
State Employees and Local Government; 7.25% Unrealistic 'Expectation'

For taxpayers, that seemingly small change is significant.

Consider the average California Highway Patrol officer who now earns $105,000. Taxpayers currently contribute $47,000 a year for that officer's pension.

If calculated using an expected investment return of 6.5% instead, according to CalPERS documents, the taxpayer contribution would be $68,000 — an increase of more than 40%.

North Carolina Teachers, 
State Employees and Local Government; 7.25% Unrealistic 'Expectation'

"It has understated pension debt dramatically," said Joe Nation, a professor at Stanford's Institute for Economic Policy Research...

"They've been able to convince a lot of people things are OK when they aren't."

Many experts believe that even the 6.5% estimate is too optimistic.

The average corporate pension plan now uses a rate of 4% to determine how much money needs to be contributed overestimating expected investment returns, CalPERS and other pension funds have hidden the true cost of public worker retirements.

Most of what local government, school and state employees
have been told by the News and Record about the state's pension plan
has been a lie, and they won't say they are sorry,
because their excuse is they didn't know
as they are mostly financially illiterate 
and stenographers for socialist/fascist fallacies 
regurgitated by 'friendly' political allies
who profit from the contributions of 'supporters'
who profit from overcharging North Carolina's pension system
just like the 'folks' who run Warren Buffett's financial businesses do.

...Currently CalPERS says it is short about $117 billion for pensions already owed to government employees. That debt was calculated by assuming it would earn an average of 7.5% on its investments for decades into the future.

That hole would deepen more than 50% to $178 billion if the rate of 6.5% was used instead...

What would the shortfall be for North Carolina?

Most would think our press would ask, 
but they don't, and most likely won't untill it's too late
or the New York Times reports it
and the top execs working for Warren Buffett wax poetic
as his banks make money from overcharged North Carolina employees
via the Stable Value Fund in Janet Cowell's pension fund

...California cities have been forced to cut services ranging from police patrols to library hours to cover fast-rising payments to CalPERS. Skyrocketing retirement costs were at least partly to blame for the bankruptcy filings of three California cities in recent years, including Stockton and San Bernardino.

..."This is going to be pretty tough for a lot of cities," said Rudy Fischer, a council member in Pacific Grove, where pension costs are expected to soon consume as much as 30% of the general fund — up from 20% today. "We aren't able to do the sidewalk repairs and fix the street lights as much as we want to."

If anyone reading this thinks Tony Wilkins will rise to the occasion, 
they would likely be incorrect
as Tony played for the wrong team against City of Greensboro employees
along with Nancy Vaughan, Marikay Abuzuaiter, Mike Barber, 
Jamal Fox, Nancy Hoffmann, Sharon Hightower and Yvonne Johnson 
relative to the City's 457 retirement plan fees
for Jim Westmoreland and Mary Vigue

the exaggerated expected investment returns have allowed governments to promise workers pensions at levels that aren't sustainable.

"The public pension system model is all about pushing costs to the future," Nation said. "No one has been paying attention. Now it's caught up with them."
Same "Pay to Play" Campaign Contributions to NC Treasurer Janet Cowell as Chicago's Rahm Emanuel

The News and Record didn't report any of this 
and will most likely not do so, 
as either they don't understand the issue enough,
or they just plain old sold out
to being no more than a propaganda outlet
not unlike Triad Business Journal

"$30 Billion Unaccounted for in North Carolina State Pension Plan"

Crow Holdings Capital Partners LLC and Pay to Play with NC Treasurer Janet Cowell

NC Treasurer Janet Cowell "Investors as contributors"

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Rock, Paper, Scissors

"...It's supposed to be a game of pure luck, not skill
— and indeed, if humans were able to be perfectly random,
no one could gain an upper hand over anyone else.

There's one problem with that reasoning: Humans are terrible at being random.

...there are two paths to victory in RPS: Eliminating one of your opponent's options
— for example, influencing her not to play Paper
— and forcing her to make a predictable move.

In both cases ..."the key is that it has to be done
without them realizing that you are manipulating them."

...Expert players have observed that inexperienced ones tend to lead with Rock.

...remember the mantra "Rock is for rookies,"
and simply throw Paper at the outset of a game to earn an easy first victory.

"Rock is for rookies" should be kept in mind against more experienced players, too.

They won't lead with Rock — it's too obvious — so use Scissors against them.

This throw will either beat Paper or tie with itself.

If your opponent makes the same move twice in a row, t
hey almost certainly won't make that move a third time.

...With that option eliminated,
you're guaranteed either a victory or a stalemate in the next round.

If you see a "two-Scissor run," for example,
your opponent's next move will be either Rock or Paper.

If you throw Paper, then, you'll either beat Rock or play to a draw. can use the power of suggestion to influence your opponent's next move.

When discussing a game, for example, gesture over and over again
with the move that you want your opponent to play next.

...when people are not paying attention
their subconscious mind will often accept your 'suggestion,'"

...players often imitate their opponents' last moves.

Announcing your next move before a round starts
also seems to be an effective mind trick, though it'll only work once.

If you say you're going with Paper, for example,
your opponent thinks you won't...

...they'll shy away from Scissors (which beats Paper),
and choose Rock or Paper instead.

When you do end up throwing Paper, you'll score a victory or a tie.

...your opponent will often try to come back from a loss or tie
by throwing the move that would have beaten his last one.

If he lost using Rock, for example,
he'll likely follow up by throwing Paper.

Knowing this, you can decide what move to follow with yourself.

...monkeys show the same behavioral pattern.

...monkeys, like humans, are capable of analyzing past results
and imagining a different outcome...

Humans can take the logic one step further,
by imagining what their opponents might be imagining.

There's one more ploy

..."When you suggest a game with someone,
make no mention of the number of rounds you are going to play.

Play the first match and if you win, take it is as a win.

If you lose, without missing a beat start playing the 'next' round
on the assumption that it was a best two out of three.

No doubt you will hear protests from your opponent but stay firm and remind them
that 'no one plays best of one,'"..."
Via ConvergEx's Nick Colas,

...The big lessons: we have trouble thinking independently, we inadvertently pick favorites, and distractions really hurt rational decision making.  The best hints for winning RPS: rookies throw “Rock” on the first go, and “paper” is the least used choice of the three options.  When in doubt, go with that.  

There is an old Wall Street story, perhaps apocryphal, about a hedge fund manager who fell in love with a house in Greenwich in the mid-1990s.  This now-titan was just another guy with $100 million of walking around money at the time, so he could afford to tell the listing agent “I bid $10 million, cash” for the house, which was listed at $12 million.  The trouble was that the head of equities for a very large brokerage also wanted the house.  Not knowing our hero, he called the hedgie at work; “I will pay you $1 million to walk away.  My wife wants that house.”  Our now hedge fund master was offended.  His riposte: “Come to my house for dinner, and we’ll flip a coin for the house.  I don’t need the million.”  The offer only generated a dial tone.  But he got his house.
...Rock-Paper-Scissors' roots go back hundreds of years in Asian societies, and its long lasting appeal comes from both an inherent simplicity and the ability for the dedicated individual to improve through practice.  The basic rules, where something beats one thing and is beaten by another, generate a stable system that should generate random results.  It is a coin toss without the coin, ideally.

...RPS is, in fact, a useful example of how easy it is to skew the results of a theoretically balanced construct once you introduce the human element to the mix.  Academics and researchers from fields as disparate as mathematics to behavioral psychology actually incorporate RPS into their experiments.  And it doesn't take long to find some lessons for investing and even life.  We culled through some of the more widely cited experiments using the game as well as other source material and it wasn't too hard to generate a list of key learnings.  Call them RPS 101…

Lesson #1 – People who need people aren't lucky at RPS.  ...Researchers had 360 college students play 300 rounds of the game, noting their choices each time.  They found that if a player lost, they were likely to throw a different choice in the next game.  Moreover, the sequence of their choices tended to mirror rock, then paper, then scissors, just as in the name of the game itself.  Winners tended to choose their winning throw again. Win with rock against scissors, throw rock again.   Not random.  Not even a little.

This obviously goes against the ‘Smart’ way to play (be as random as possible), and there are other experiments that support the notion that people have trouble thinking independently as they make sequential choices.  Researchers at Indiana University found that, using a modified version of RPS, they could get subjects to cluster around certain outcomes rather than think independently.  Researchers in London took another twist – blindfolding the participants to see if that made any difference to the number of ties (both parties choosing the same option).  When both players were blindfolded, the number of ties was 33.3%, as expected.  But when only one was blindfolded, that rose to 36.3%.  Not a large jump, but big enough to convince researchers that people do unconsciously mirror each other if they can.

Lesson #2 – Distractions matter a lot.  If you search online for RPS tournaments – and there are a lot of them around the world – you will find that many participants dress with a certain flair.  Sartorial statements range from Cat-in-the-hat style getups to the genuinely racy.  Things that make South Beach resemble colonial Williamsburg.  That’s not exhibitionism (mostly, anyway); that’s strategy.  A distracted opponent will be more predictable and easier to read.

A fellow named Graham Walker, a five-time organizer of large scale RPS tournaments and book author on the subject, has some pointers for players:

Rookies play “Rock” on the first go more often than not, especially if they are male.  Experienced players try paper first, but they may be trumped by someone playing the fool but actually savvy to the game with scissors.  Pass the iocane powder if you followed that…

Inexperienced players will not usually play the same throw three times in a row.  So after two, look for one of the other options.

Rookies will also play the option that would have beaten their last throw.

Mess with their heads.  Tell your opponent what you are going to throw.  And then follow through, sometimes…

Actual choices made in competition don’t follow the 33/33/33% paradigm.  Walker estimates that “Paper” only gets the nod 29.6% of the time.  So when in doubt, go with that.

Watch others play and look for “Tells”.  Just like in poker, no one is a perfect ramdomizing machine with zero give-aways.  You aren’t playing the hand, you are playing the other players….
Lesson #3 – RPS is life, or at least the part of life that makes investment and other choices.  Behavioral finance has made its fame and fortune telling us that humans are really bad at making rational choices consistently.  The lessons behind RPS studies support that thesis and expand it.  We are, at every level, predictable creatures of habit.  Even when the challenge is something simple, like choosing the numbers 1, 2 or 3 or their RPS equivalent.

And yet in this downbeat message, there are signs of hope.  Every human – and certainly every group of humans – has certain predictable traits.  Rookies go with “Rock” – and they buy every momentum name that makes it to the top half of the fold in the newspaper.  We all tend to underweight “Paper” because it feels flimsy.  And who exactly was overweight bonds at the end of last year?  Yep, not many people.  Rates were going higher – bonds were too flimsy to own.

The bottom line is that RPS is a lot like investing.  You don’t have to beat the odds – you have to beat the opponent by finding their patterns and weaknesses.  And rest assured – they have them.

All is well; Pay no attention to the Federal Reserve behind the curtain
The world's central banks are out of ammo

"Magic trick turns into toxic mix.

Stocks have been on a tear to nowhere this year. Now investors are praying for a Santa rally to pull them out of the mire. They’re counting on desperate amounts of share buybacks that companies fund by loading up on debt. But the magic trick that had performed miracles over the past few years is backfiring."

Specialty drugs now cost more than the median household income

Verging on Plutocracy? Getting Real About the Unelected Dictatorship

“Plutocracy” seems almost mild to describe the rotten, dollar-drenched deep state of affairs. I am reminded of Marx’s phrase “the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie,” of Edward Herman and David Peterson’s notion that America is ruled by “an unelected dictatorship of money,” and of the late Sheldon Wolin’s notion that the United States was a “corporate-managed democracy” advancing a populace-demobilizing “inverted totalitarianism” of concentrated capitalist and imperial power.

...Wall Street is “the ultimate owner” of the “Deep State” that rules America beneath the more “visible” surface state and “marionette theater” of parliamentary politics and campaigns. This is because “it has the money to reward government operatives with a second career that is lucrative beyond the dreams of avarice— certainly beyond the dreams of a salaried government employee….