Del Beccaro: California: The Physical Collapse Of A Social State

Tom Del Beccaro is doing what political leaders should do—not hide from the press, refuse to promote Republican/conservative values and principles.  He is proudly proclaiming the problems of California and some of the solutions.  He is not running from ideas—he understands that ideas bring people to a political party.  Refusing to promote ideas pushes people away from a political party.

“So, what is an impoverished California to do?  It’s not an academic question.  California leads the nation in poverty when cost of living is factored into the equation.

According to Brown and the Democrats, the answer is: fight for future immigrants, refugees, sanctuary cities, social issues and global warming. Social justice for all – in other words – served on high speed rail.

Perhaps one day, the Brown and his Democrat friends will understand as Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan did that there is no social justice without a job – but don’t count on that any time soon.”

Republicans have a great opportunity to show that conservatives, Trump and the Republican Party stands for jobs, better lives, quality education and safe streets and nation.  Will we hear that from our California GOP folks?

Tom del Beccaro

California: The Physical Collapse Of A Social State

Thomas Del Beccaro, Forbes Online,  2/22/17

Welcome to California.  It is a state of a perfect set of laws – at least in the minds of those wedded to the legislative pursuit of social justice.  Under the one-party Democrat rules, spending on fairness tops $100 billion every year. Meanwhile, the basic infrastructure of the state, so necessary for the economy long and short term, is collapsing.

The California legislature has been busy making the news these days.  They are determined to fight President Trump tooth and nail – and they are putting the taxpayers’ money where the legislature’s mouth is.

California Democrat after Democrat has decried President Trump. The day after the election, a “Joint Statement from California Legislative Leaders on Result of Presidential Election,” issued in part by California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (formerly Kevin Leon), stated:

“While Donald Trump may have won the presidency, he hasn’t changed our values. America is greater than any one man or party. We will not be dragged back into the past. We will lead the resistance to any effort that would shred our social fabric or our Constitution.”

The legislature hired former Obama Attorney General Eric Holder as legal counsel for their fights with the federal government.  Their new state attorney general, Xavier Becerra, was appointed “to protect California’s economy and our sensible policies on climate change, health care, civil rights and immigration,” – so said Governor Brown who made the appointment.

California, of course, is the front-line for Sanctuary Cities – so many of which have also pledged to fight Trump.  Cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento prohibit law enforcement from cooperating with immigration authorities – Kate Steinle notwithstanding. They are all willing to risk millions of dollars in federal funds for their current residents essentially to provide social justice for those here now illegally and in the future.

Long before all of that, of course, California has led the way for its brand of social justice on social issues as well.  When they have, they do more than talk about it – they spend money on it, including in the schools.

Finally, we cannot forget that California has the most stringent and expensive regulations in the world as part of its effort to fight “climate change.” Estimates run to over a billion dollars spent in California each year to change the world’s climate – or at least to prevent it from changing any more. Now Mr. de León wants to prevent the use of any fossils fuels in the state by 2045.

Of course, it is no small irony in an epic year of rain, those same Democrats continue to claim that because of a lack of social justice in the hearts of Americans, climate change is real and will result in prolonged droughts in California. Indeed, taxpayer funded NASA climatologist Bill Patzert predicted last year that “We are in a drought forever.”

Mother Nature, of course, does not listen to politicians or predictions.

California has indeed had an epic amount of rain this year – far, far greater than anyone predicted. So much so that California infrastructure is being exposed for what it has been – ignored.

The biggest non-social justice headlines have gone to people fleeing Oroville Dam, which holds back Lake Oroville, the second largest man-made lake in California.  For over a decade, despite many warnings, the social justice warriors have not only refused to build new water infrastructure to feed a population growing with the immigrants and now refugees they want to protect, they have also refused to spend money to protect the infrastructure they have.

It is said that California has over $77 billion in deferred road, highway and bridge maintenance.  It showed this week with a sink hole in LA because of the rain they didn’t predict.  There is also the collapse of part of one of its main highways in the North, Highway 50, from the rain they didn’t predict – not to mention the Oroville dam, the break in a Central Valley levee and over-flowing dams causing flooding in places like the southern part of Silicon Valley.

Of course, there is the whole issue of the lack of water infrastructure in California.  There is not enough of it to store and supply the water needed for its industry and residents.  Indeed, the system was designed for half those living in California today. Keep in mind that, three years ago, even the EPA said California needs $44.5 billion to fix the infrastructure that it has.

Those numbers, as this last winter of damaged infrastructure, roads and dams have proven, are understated.  All of which brings us to . . .

High Speed Rail.  Gov. Jerry Brown wants to spend at least $70 billion to build high speed rail that really no one outside of a construction union and Sen. Diane Feinstein’s husband (his company “won” one of the construction contracts for $1 billion) wants.  Jerry Brown doesn’t want the spending train to stop there, however.

Brown also wants to spend $15 billion to $25 billion (yes, the estimate range is that wide) on water tunnels of unknown value because they will be tied up in courts for years. Keep in mind that it would be far cheaper to simply direct water to the Central Valley instead of releasing so much of it to ocean, which global warming enthusiasts say is rising anyway.

So, what is an impoverished California to do?  It’s not an academic question.  California leads the nation in poverty when cost of living is factored into the equation.

According to Brown and the Democrats, the answer is: fight for future immigrants, refugees, sanctuary cities, social issues and global warming. Social justice for all – in other words – served on high speed rail.

Perhaps one day, the Brown and his Democrat friends will understand as Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan did that there is no social justice without a job – but don’t count on that any time soon.

 

Bill Would Lower Threshold for Local Tax and Bond Measures

California government can not spend money fast enough—or get enough money to spend, buy votes, political power and donors for future campaigns.  Now there is a move to use 55%, instead of 2/3 to pass massive tax and bond measures.  Apparently passing 80% of the scams presented to us is not enough.

“Under a constitutional amendment proposed by Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters), a two-thirds supermajority would no longer be required for bond or special tax measures. Instead, tax hikes or bond measures for transit, water, parks and low-income housing projects could pass with just 55%.

“Local communities know their priorities best,” says Aguiar-Curry. “This constitutional amendment will offer an important tool for local leaders to support projects and determine how to pay for them.”

This is one of the reason the middle class is fleeing California—folks can no longer afford to pay taxes and live a quality life in the former Golden State.  Either we say NO to all tax and bonds—or find a great home—costly less than half of a garbage California home, in Texas.

vote-ballot-election

Bill Would Lower Threshold for Local Tax and Bond Measures

California County News,   02/26/2017

One California lawmaker is trying to make it easier for local governments to raise taxes.

Under a constitutional amendment proposed by Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters), a two-thirds supermajority would no longer be required for bond or special tax measures. Instead, tax hikes or bond measures for transit, water, parks and low-income housing projects could pass with just 55%.

“Local communities know their priorities best,” says Aguiar-Curry. “This constitutional amendment will offer an important tool for local leaders to support projects and determine how to pay for them.”

According to the assemblywoman, nearly 80% of measures put before local voters since 2001 that required a two-thirds supermajority garnered more than 55% but failed because of the lofty threshold. Critics say local economies and infrastructure suffer greatly as a result. A similar reduction of the voter approval threshold occurred for school bond measures in 2000. They now require sanction from 55% of voters.

Aguiar-Curry isn’t the only one trying to reduce voter approval requirements. Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) has proposed a similar amendment that would apply only to transportation projects.

Why Trump’s Attack on a California Railroad Should Trouble You–NOT

Jerry Brown and his Democrat buddies are trying to spend hundreds of billions on a failed train system.  We just found out that BART is deeply in debt and ridership has declined, plus they LIED in order to scam the voters into passing a $7 billion bond (interest and principal).  High Speed Rail has destroyed hundreds of businesses, paid off unions and special interest, while signing billions in contracts, without the funds to pay for them.  If a private firm did that, the mangers would be housed in the Graybar Hotel.

“You should have, even if you’re not one of Caltrain’s 60,200 daily riders, or don’t live in the region, or even the state. By delaying this particular grant—which would electrify Caltrain’s rails, so trains can ditch diesel—the Trump Administration didn’t just deal a temporary blow to the health and economy of the Bay Area. It may have launched the opening salvo in what could be a war against public transit, with national consequences.

No the war is against GOVERNMENT transportation companies.  Public transportation does not exist, government transportation does.  It is time to sell off AmTRAK, CalTrain, BART and all other conduits for political payoffs and massive taxpayer subsidies.  Creating Transportation for the public and end the scam of government transportation—owned and controlled by unions and special interests of the political class.

trump-debate

Why Trump’s Attack on a California Railroad Should Trouble You

Wired,  Aarian Marshal, 2/23/17

Chances are, you ignore the federal budgetary process. If the esoteric language and shifting deadlines don’t drive you away, the decades-long timelines and internecine politics will. So it’s understandable you didn’t dig up the details when, last week, the Federal Transit Administration delayed a $637 million grant for Caltrain, the San Francisco Bay Area’s commuter rail system.

You should have, even if you’re not one of Caltrain’s 60,200 daily riders, or don’t live in the region, or even the state. By delaying this particular grant—which would electrify Caltrain’s rails, so trains can ditch diesel—the Trump Administration didn’t just deal a temporary blow to the health and economy of the Bay Area. It may have launched the opening salvo in what could be a war against public transit, with national consequences.

Whoever you are, here’s why you should follow this money.

You Ride the Caltrain

This one’s easy. “Electrification is a really basic upgrade to the railroad, which hasn’t been upgraded in 150 years,” says Ratna Amin, transportation policy director at SPUR, a Bay Area urban policy research and advocacy organization. For an already jam-packed rail system in a jam-packed region set to add 802,000 jobs by 2040, the benefit goes beyond curbing pollution from diesel locomotives.

Electric trains accelerate faster than diesel ones, cutting travel times between stops. Their rail cars each carry their own propulsion system, so hitching up a few more of them doesn’t slow the whole train down. In exchange for electricity, Caltrain promises more frequent service, shorter rides, and space for up to 25 percent more passengers.

You Ride the Tech Bus

Say you prefer commuting around the Bay Area aboard your employer’s plush, WiFi-ed private shuttle. You still want Caltrain to get that $637 million.

For one, the zappy stuff will make these trains quieter and less stinky, and reduce pollution in a region where transportation produces 40 percent of emissions. And while electrification certainly will not solve San Francisco’s horrifying traffic, it should mitigate the damage. Three out of five Caltrain riders own a car—meaning they’re choosing a train commute over a stop-start one. Better train service could mean more people riding instead of driving, and fewer vehicles for your cushy tech bus to crush on its way to campus.

Your company should care, too. “Our most important asset, our employees, are stalled in traffic, with longer and longer commutes that take longer and longer periods of time,” says Carl Guardino, who heads up the 400-member Silicon Valley Leadership Group and serves on the California Transportation Commission. “They’re increasingly frustrated about trying to live and work in Silicon Valley.” If the region doesn’t get this mobility mess sorted out quick, it might lose flashy (and wealthy) companies.

Oh, and this project might even save the region some $$. Adding trains means more fare revenue, especially since Caltrain is the rare system that serves major demand in both directions (city slickers who work in the valley, and suburbanites who toil in San Francisco).

You Live 400 Miles Away

Ah, the eternal NorCal-SoCal rivalry, in which San Franciscans wave their sanctimonious, carpal tunnel-ridden fists at Los Angeles, and Angelenos … forget San Francisco exists. But pay attention, rest of California—this electrification’s for you, too. It’s a necessary step to completing that long-awaited high-speed rail system from the top of the state to the bottom. “The future of California is cities, and cities connected by rail,” says Amin. “There’s no other way we can grow.”

Skipping around California could one day be as easy as traveling through Europe or Japan. Even the smoggy Central Valley—where Republican representatives have pushed hard against electrification and the statewide rail network—could benefit from emissions reductions.

You Live in an American City

Choo-choo: Here come the politics. The Feds say they’ll take a closer look at the project as part of  Trump’s 2018 budget. On the one hand, that’s NBD. “It’s a routine thing for new administration to call a halt to signing new major grant agreements that are going to bind them financially for the next four or five years until they can get their budget together,” says Jeff Davis, a senior fellow at the Eno Center for Transportation who studies federal transportation funding.

On the other (and more sinister) hand, some advocates worry the DOT’s decision signals it will be be none too generous with big public transit projects. Especially since California had already lined up the bulk of what the $2 billion electrification project will cost and completed all the legal requirements.

 

“Having a separate funding program stop giving money to projects that have made it through statutory requirements should make people across the country very nervous,” says Amin. “This is a very worrisome precedent for public transit.”

Consider that the 2016 GOP platform suggested eliminating the federal transit program, from whence the electrification grant comes. Throw in fears that the new administration could play political hardball with sanctuary cities’ funding, and you’ve got a recipe for a public transit project pileup: in the Bay Area, sure, but also in New York (where the Second Avenue Subway grinds on), in Baltimore (where an expanded tunnel would let larger trains pass through the city), and in New Jersey cities, where officials hope to add rail service. (The DOT did not respond to a request for comment.)

Caltrain hasn’t run out of juice quite yet. But keep an eye on this drama, even if you live far away. Power outages tend to spread.

 

Polanski Plead GUILTY to Statutory Rape of 13 year Old—Attorney Claims “Alleged” Rape

Roman Polanski is a RAPIST.  He pled guilty to statutory rape—rape of a 13 year old.  This NOT alleged as his attorney pretends—Polanski ADMITTED it.  “Oscar-winning filmmaker Roman Polanski — who has lived overseas for decades to avoid prosecution in the alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl — will not attend a March 20 hearing on the matter, his defense attorney said today.”  Alleged?

“Polanski struck a deal to plead guilty to statutory rape but fled the country before he could be sentenced when the judge in the case threatened to throw out the plea deal and order a sentence of 50 years.”

Polanski, a Hollywood elite thought he could get away with raping a 13 year old—but the Judge noted this is a 50 year in prison sentence type crime.  So, Polanski ran.  Now he wants to come back to Hollywood.  After watching the Oscars, he would fit in.  He needs to serve his time in prison—50 years.  Rape is wrong, even for the Hollywood elite.

Photo credit: Michael Coghlan via Flickr

Photo credit: Michael Coghlan via Flickr

Filmmaker Roman Polanski Will Not Attend LA Hearing

LA Media West, 2/27/17

Oscar-winning filmmaker Roman Polanski — who has lived overseas for decades to avoid prosecution in the alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl — will not attend a March 20 hearing on the matter, his defense attorney said today.

“We want him to come back,” attorney Harland Braun told City News
Service, but Polanski will remain overseas for now “because he’s been lied to
so many times,”

Braun accused prosecutors of wanting the director to “cool his heels”
in a local jail while awaiting any resolution.

“We’re suspicious,” he said.

The defense attorney filed a motion earlier this month asking Los
Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon to unseal a transcript in the case.
Braun believes the 2010 deposition of a prosecutor confirms a plea deal
negotiated in 1978 calling for Polanski to be sentenced to time already served
behind bars.

Braun plans to file another motion in the coming weeks, asking Gordon to
rule on whether Polanski has in fact served his time.

“It comes down to one simple question,” Braun said. “He was promised
42 days and he’s done over 300 days.”

That total includes time Polanski spent in prison in Chino and also in
jail and under house arrest in 2009 in Switzerland as Swiss authorities
considered an extradition request.

Southern California authorities have fought for years to bring Polanski
back to America, pursuing legal action in France, Switzerland and Poland.

The director was arrested in 1977 on charges including rape, a crime
alleged to have happened at the home of actor Jack Nicholson.

Polanski struck a deal to plead guilty to statutory rape but fled the
country before he could be sentenced when the judge in the case threatened to
throw out the plea deal and order a sentence of 50 years.

“(Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Laurence J.) Rittenband broke his
promise,” Braun said.

No current deal is on the table from prosecutors, the defense attorney
said, adding that he believes it’s up to the judge.

“The judicial system made the promise,” said Braun, who aims to “have
a court decide … (whether) our word is worth something.”

A spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office said Polanski needs to
return to Southern California if he wants argue his case.

“Until Mr. Polanski returns to the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles
County Superior Court for formal sentencing, he remains a fugitive from
justice,” Shiara Davila-Morales said. “Therefore, he is not entitled to
litigate this matter anywhere except within the jurisdiction from which he
fled.”

Polanski, 83, lives in France, which forbids extradition of its citizens.

Though free to live openly in Paris, Polanski has been unable to travel
to London, where his daughter reportedly lives, or to visit the Culver City
grave of his murdered wife, Sharon Tate, and the couple’s unborn son.

When Polanski traveled to Poland in 2014, he kicked off another series
of legal actions.

Though Los Angeles County prosecutors once again sought to have the
director extradited, a Krakow judge ruled that turning over Polanski would be
an illegal deprivation of liberty because the state of California was unlikely
to conduct a fair trial and provide humane detention conditions.

That ruling was appealed and the outcome was ultimately affirmed by the
Polish Supreme Court in December.

Braun maintains the proceedings in Poland also made clear that his
client has served more than the time promised to prosecutors.

Polanski’s custody in Switzerland counts as time served under California
law under the legal principle of comity, Braun said, adding that Deputy
District Attorney Michele Hanisee admitted as much to the Polish court.

McNamee: Could Your Child Be Taken Away for Eating Pop Tarts?

State Senator Richard Pan is a Democrat, before he is a parent.  He is an authoritarian that believes you are only a sperm or egg donor, children, he thinks, belong to the State.  Under SB 18, if you home school your child, the State of California, when it decides that homeschooling is NOT appropriate, can and will take your child from you—but YOU will continue to pay for the kidnapping.  Think your child can have a hamburger or hot dog?  Pan would have the State of California kidnap your child.  SB 18 will be used to scare families out of California.  Homeschool your child and the State kidnaps the kid?  Of course you will escape to a FREE State, like Arizona or Nevada—or Texas.

“But the devil is in the details. Questions one should ask – What research-based studies will be used? What standards will be established and by whom? What metric will be used for these standards and how will these be monitored and evaluated for compliance by the State on a case-by-case basis? Who will enforce these standards and what penalties or fines will be imposed on parents who are not to the State’s standard?”

SB 18 is really about forcing the middle class out of California—it is not about what is god for children, but to get responsible parents to flee the State.  This leaves behind the rich, with good lawyers, the poor who do not care and the illegal aliens.  This Third World State will be embedded in granite should SB 18 pass.

Kids

Could Your Child Be Taken Away for Eating Pop Tarts?

By Dr. Kevin McNamee,  2/28/17

There is a place in Minnesota, out there on the edge of the prairie, called Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average. So goes the closing words of Garrison Keillor’s monolog for his weekly radio show Prairie Home Companion. For an hour or two, his audience is transported to a simpler time where neighbors talked and the day’s toughest decision is if one should drive into town and have breakfast at the Chatterbox Café. If life was that simple.

Unfortunately, because we live in California, we can’t live at Lake Wobegon or any resemblance of such an idyllic town. We have been saddled with the Sacramento legislature who continues to disrupt our lives by serving us ample helpings of wacky laws, smothered in good intentions and garnished with social engineering.

The latest example is Senate Bill 18 called the Bill of Rights for Children and Youth in California,  sponsored by Richard Pan. On the title’s face, it sounds reasonable. Who would not vote for children and youth having rights not in the Constitution?  The bill, if it becomes law, declares that all children and youth have the inherent rights to the following:

  1. The right to parents, guardians, or caregivers who act in their best interest.
  2. The right to form healthy attachments with adults responsible for their care and well-being.
  3. The right to live in a safe and healthy environment.
  4. The right to social and emotional well-being.
  5. The right to opportunities to attain optimal cognitive, physical, and social development.
  6. The right to appropriate, quality education and life skills leading to self-sufficiency in adulthood.
  7. The right to appropriate, quality health care.

The legislative intent is “to establish a comprehensive framework that governs the rights of all children and youth in California, outlines the research-based essential needs of California’s children, and establishes standards relating to the health, safety, well-being, early childhood and educational opportunities, and familial supports necessary for all children to succeed.”[i]

But the devil is in the details. Questions one should ask – What research-based studies will be used? What standards will be established and by whom? What metric will be used for these standards and how will these be monitored and evaluated for compliance by the State on a case-by-case basis? Who will enforce these standards and what penalties or fines will be imposed on parents who are not to the State’s standard?

Education:  Many parents have embraced home schooling, where parents choose to educate their children at home instead of sending them to a traditional public or private school.[ii]  By 1993, home schooling has become legal in all 50 states.[iii] From 2003 to 2012, the number of American children 5 through 17 years old who were home schooled rose by 61.8 percent.[iv]  Success of home schooling is reflected in the high school graduation rates where 66.7% of homeschooled students graduate, compared to 57.5% of traditionally educated students.[v]  Colleges and universities embrace homeschooled students, recognizing that they are often better prepared than their brick-and-mortar schooled peers.[vi]

By all measures, home schooling compared to brick-and-mortor schools, is a success built on the freedom a parent has to teach their child  skills to survive and thrive in our society. But what happens to California’s 6.8 million home schooled children[vii] when a research-based study establishes a standard that is in conflict with the parent’s values and curriculum?  Does the State come in and remove the children using SB18 and the long arm of Child Protective Services (CPS)?

Healthcare: A 2004 article in Paediatr Child Health provided physician guidelines when deciding health choices for children. It states that, “…parents usually have the legal and moral authority to act as surrogates for their children or adolescents, this is not always the case. For instance, parents might not be appropriate decision makers for a child or adolescent…”[viii]

If SB18 becomes law, the State is given ultimate authority to decide healthcare decisions for the child. What happens when a parent takes their child to a doctor who recommends a course of therapy but the parent declines and selects other treatment options?  Is the doctor obligated under SB18 to report this to CPS similar to the legal obligation to report unusual bruising or burns as  potential child abuse?

When parents and physicians disagree about a child’s treatment, CPS can contacted. CPS can take the child from the home and terminate parental authority. The term “medical kidnaping.” has been used in these interventions.  It can be done without a court order and with the assistance of  local police.

The parents of an Amish girl in Ohio stopped her chemo therapy, however an Ohio court overturned a previous judge’s ruling and awarded custody of the girl to the hospital’s nurse/attorney and continue the chemo. The hospital claimed the child’s life was in danger if she did not continue with it. The child’s parents reported she was doing better without chemo and that chemo was actually killing her. An assertion was made that the child was part of a study for an experimental drugs. Discontinuing the treatment therapy could cause the hospital to lose substantial funding for ending the drug trial too soon.[ix]

SB 18 on the surface sounds very attractive but thinking it through, it becomes clear that it will be difficult to implement, difficult to evaluate all cases fairly and apply the same standard. It impose the will of the State and increase its reach into families by usurping parents decisions over their children and interfere with the parent-child relationship.

Garrison Keillor said, “If the government can round up someone and never be required to explain why, then it’s no longer the United States of America as you and I always understood it. Our enemies have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They have made us become like them.”[x]  He is a very wise man.

 

Dr. Kevin McNamee, a 2018 candidate for the Thousand Oaks City Council, is a 20 year resident of Thousand Oaks and business owner for over 28 years. As a member of the Thousand Oaks Rotary, he volunteers his acupuncture and chiropractic clinical services at the Westminster Free Clinic to many of the city’s illegal immigrant and under-served population. Dr. McNamee’s Anti-Drug presentations in the middle and high schools have helped change student attitudes about illegal drug use and abuse. He is a part-time instructor at Ventura College in the Water Science Department.  www.CaliforniaHealthInstitute.com

[i].          https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB18

[ii].         http://www.parents.com/kids/education/home-schooling/what-is-homeschooling/

[iii].        https://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/000010/PoliticsOfSurvival.asp

[iv].        http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/1773000-homeschooled-children-618-10-years

[v].         www.onlinecollege.org/2011/09/13/15-key-facts-about-homeschooled-kids-in-college/

[vi].        www.onlinecollege.org/2012/06/11/the-homeschoolers-guide-to-getting-into-college/

[vii].       http://a2zhomeschooling.com/thoughts_opinions_home_school/numbers_homeschooled_students/

[viii].      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2720471/

Treatment decisions regarding infants, children and adolescents  Paediatr Child Health. 2004 Feb; 9(2): 99–103.

[ix].        http://healthimpactnews.com/2013/ohio-amish-girl-escapes-with-parents-from-forced-chemotherapy-father-claims-she-was-on-experimental-drugs-without-consent/

[x].         Keillor, Garrison, “Congress’s Shameful Retreat from American Values,” The Chicago Tribune, Oct. 4, 2006 http://www.notable-quotes.com/k/keillor_garrison.html#zfF2uMsQv4mffqhD.99

Sanctuary Cities Use Legal Tactics From The Civil War South

In 1860, the South decided that the laws of the United States no longer applied to them.  In 2017 Los Angeles, San Fran and other sanctuary cities have announced that Federal laws do not apply to them—though they demand the Feds continue to finance the lawlessness of their cities.  San Fran wants the people of Iowa to finance their law breaking—then refusing to respect the laws of the Land.

“The federal “sanctuary city” statute at 8 U.S.C. 1373 was enacted in 1996 to force sanctuary cities to cooperate with federal agents in enforcing federal immigration statutes. The law requires all levels of government to respond to requests for information from DHS’ Immigration and Naturalization Service about the immigration status of any person. Although sanctuary cities vary in their practices, the essence of the sanctuary city movement is to defy this law.

As long as sanctuary cities act like two bit thugs, stealing from 320 million Americans, the President needs to cut off the funds financing the criminal acts of Garcetti, Lee and the other thugs in charge of cities.

Maria Ortiz, at left, a Mexican immigrant has been living in the United States for 23 years. "I am single. I work so hard to stay. I never needed support from the government," Ortiz said. She is not a citizen and works as a janitor, she said during an immigration protest outside Rep. Ed Royce's office in Brea. ///ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:   – MINDY SCHAUER, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER – Shot 111713 – immig.fast.11.19 Advocates for immigration reform will camp our near the office of Rep. Ed Royce for five days, where they will stage a fast.  They are asking OC's Republican leaders in Congress to publicly support an overhaul to the nation's immigration laws, including the so-called pathway to citizenship that would create a process for some 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally the right to become citizens.

Maria Ortiz, at left, a Mexican immigrant has been living in the United States for 23 years. “I am single. I work so hard to stay. I never needed support from the government,” Ortiz said. She is not a citizen and works as a janitor, she said during an immigration protest outside Rep. Ed Royce’s office in Brea.
///ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: – MINDY SCHAUER, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER –
Shot 111713 –
immig.fast.11.19
Advocates for immigration reform will camp our near the office of Rep. Ed Royce for five days, where they will stage a fast. They are asking OC’s Republican leaders in Congress to publicly support an overhaul to the nation’s immigration laws, including the so-called pathway to citizenship that would create a process for some 11 million people living in the U.S. illegally the right to become citizens.

Sanctuary Cities Use Legal Tactics From The Civil War South

The current sanctuary movement is more akin to the ‘nullification’ movement in South Carolina before the Civil War than to the biblical sanctuary cities.

 

By Thomas Ascik, The Federalist,  2/27/17

Although it has taken second seat to the controversy surrounding his executive order on refugees from the Middle East, President Trump’s executive order setting out his plan to defund sanctuary cities could have a greater long-term effects.

As the Obama White House explained in 2014, “For more than a half century, every president—Democratic or Republican—has used his legal authority to act on immigration.” Now, the sanctuary city of San Francisco has filed suit in federal court seeking to continue to defy federal immigration law while still demanding to receive federal grant money.

Trump’s January 25 executive order on “sanctuary jurisdictions” is aimed at “aliens who illegally enter the United States and those who overstay or otherwise violate the terms of their visas.” Citing “national and public safety,” it seeks to “prioritize” the removal of aliens who have been convicted of or are chargeable with criminal offenses.

San Francisco Has Long Been a Test Case

The executive order references the federal sanctuary-city statute and goes on to require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to compile a list of non-compliant sanctuary cities with the purpose of making them no longer eligible to receive federal grants of any kind, “except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes by the attorney general.” San Francisco says that all federal grants make up 13 percent of its annual budget. DHS has not had time to carry out the executive order, so no list of sanctuary cities yet exists.

Federal “grants” to state and local governments occur in every federal department and are awarded across the complete range of social policy: health, safety, welfare, education, and law enforcement. As San Francisco points out in its lawsuit, this includes Medicaid, but not Social Security and Medicare, because in those two programs federal money goes directly to individual citizens. The Congressional Budget Office says grants to state and local governments constitute 17 percent of all federal outlays.

In general, “sanctuary cities” are concentrated in the Northeast and the three West Coast states. Los Angeles was apparently the first sanctuary city, so designating itself in 1979 when it prohibited the city’s police officers from making arrests for violations of the federal criminal law prohibiting illegal U.S. entry. San Francisco then went further and decided to prohibit the use of city money to assist federal immigration enforcement. That is, a sanctuary city was the first to cut off public funds for enforcing immigration law.

The federal “sanctuary city” statute at 8 U.S.C. 1373 was enacted in 1996 to force sanctuary cities to cooperate with federal agents in enforcing federal immigration statutes. The law requires all levels of government to respond to requests for information from DHS’ Immigration and Naturalization Service about the immigration status of any person. Although sanctuary cities vary in their practices, the essence of the sanctuary city movement is to defy this law.

Sanctuary Comes from Law, Not Breaking the Law

There is no history or tradition of “sanctuary” as resistance to and repudiation of public law. In the biblical book of Numbers, Moses was commanded to set up “six cities of refuge” to protect the limited category of killers who “slay without intent” from blood vengeance from the victims’ families.

Later, in Christian civilization, “sanctuary” (“sacred place”) came to be a place where accused criminals or other fugitives from state power were granted temporary asylum. Church sanctuary was abolished in England in 1621, and it never had any legal or constitutional status in this country. Thus, the current sanctuary movement is more akin to the “nullification” movement in South Carolina before the Civil War, to certain contemporary proposals to amend the Constitution to allow for state nullification of federal laws, and to the California secession movement.

Pursuant to an act of Congress in 2008, the Department of Homeland Security implemented a comprehensive plan, known as Secure Communities, to enforce all immigration laws, criminal and civil. But in 2014, DHS, at the direction of President Obama, substantially endorsed the sanctuary city movement by replacing the Secure Communities plan with “priority enforcement,” under which DHS decided to not enforce civil violations and to severely narrow its enforcement of criminal violations of the immigration laws.

This change also put into effect a new “prosecutorial discretion” as well as “humanitarian” concerns in federal enforcement of immigration laws. However, in 2016, the Obama administration started to partially backtrack, and the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs issued a directive stating that recipients of federal law enforcement grants must be in “compliance with all applicable laws and regulations,” including the sanctuary city law, “Section 1373.”

‘A Single, National Approach’ Is ‘Imperative’

In its court filing, San Francisco makes only a glancing reference without development to what is probably the most relevant court case, in which the Supreme Court held against the famous Arizona sheriff, Joe Arpaio, that “The Government of the United States has broad, undoubted power over the subject of immigration and the status of aliens.” As The New York Times editorialized on the case, quoting the position of the Justice Department, “It is imperative that there be ‘a single, national approach’ to immigration.”

All in all, no one would dispute the executive branch’s general authority to see that federal grant monies are spent in compliance with federal law. Both the Obama and Trump administrations have agreed about the Justice Department’s specific authority to force state and local governments receiving law-enforcement grants to comply with federal law, especially the sanctuary-city law.

The larger issue of defunding all federal grants appears to be new. That may be because the federal government’s precedent and authority has not been challenged by jurisdictions that, after all, are always the grateful beneficiaries of federal money. Meanwhile, since the DHS has not yet compiled its official list of sanctuary cities, San Francisco has no case, and its suit should be dismissed.

Thomas Ascik is an attorney in North Carolina.

 

CalPERS Killing Off California Cities: Modesto in the Crosshairs

Like most California cities, Modesto is about to make the streets less safe, the roads and streets worse, give shorter hours to libraries.  Basic services are being cut, taxes and fees raised while honest citizens suffer, Brown and his buddies are also foisting illegal aliens and so-called refugees on the local communities.

“Brandvold said he asked for these steps, adding that he is most concerned about rising pension costs. The city report states that Modesto expects its pension costs to increase by more than 50 percent in five years.

The city expects to pay the California Public Employees’ Retirement System $21.27 million in its current fiscal year. Local governments across the state are bracing for higher pension costs. The report also says Modesto’s general fund revenues are flat.

But this belt-tightening comes as the council will look at higher pay for some firefighters.

Yup—no more firefighters, just try to keep those on board.  Modesto, like the rest of California will be in a recession starting July1.  Thank you CalPers!

Calpers headquarters is seen in Sacramento, California, October 21, 2009. REUTERS/Max Whittaker

Calpers headquarters is seen in Sacramento, California, October 21, 2009. REUTERS/Max Whittaker

Modesto considers freeze on hiring, promoting as pension costs loom

By Kevin Valine, Modesto Bee,  2/27/17

Modesto is considering a freeze on hiring and promoting workers and a review of spending to help the city weather drastically higher pension costs and a potential recession within several years.

The freeze would not apply to the Police Department’s efforts to increase its staffing from 218 to 240 officers or “other essential positions as approved by the (City) Council,” according to a city report. Mayor Ted Brandvold said the freeze also would not apply to firefighters. The council will consider approving these measures Tuesday.

Brandvold said he asked for these steps, adding that he is most concerned about rising pension costs. The city report states that Modesto expects its pension costs to increase by more than 50 percent in five years.

The city expects to pay the California Public Employees’ Retirement System $21.27 million in its current fiscal year. Local governments across the state are bracing for higher pension costs. The report also says Modesto’s general fund revenues are flat.

But this belt-tightening comes as the council will look at higher pay for some firefighters.

The council will consider on Tuesday approving incentive pay for 18 firefighter paramedics and 33 firefighters assigned to the Fire Department’s technical rescue program. The paramedics would see their incentive pay increase from 6 percent to 10 percent and those in the technical rescue program would receive 5 percent incentive pay. These increases are expected to cost Modesto nearly $191,000 total in its current and its next fiscal year.

Brandvold defended the incentive pay, saying it was an outstanding issue the city agreed to address after reaching its most recent labor agreement with the Modesto City Firefighters Association in April 2016.

The report on the hiring and promotions freeze and spending review does not say how much money Modesto expects to save or the impact on city operations. City Manager Jim Holgersson would report back to the council on this. The review requires the city manager’s office to approve purchases budgeted but not yet made and new spending requests. Brandvold said he envisions the review will be for large purchases and not routine expenditures.

In other action, the council will consider:

▪  Banning smoking in city parks and other publicly owned spaces, including plazas and recreational areas. The penalties for violating the ban range from $100 to $1,000.

▪  Terms for a proposal that would provide American Specialty Healthcare with 150 free parking spaces in two city downtown parking garages for five years. The company is in the process of buying the City Mall office complex at 11th and J streets for its corporate office. In exchange for the free parking, American Specialty Healthcare will keep 150 jobs at its headquarters. The free parking will cost the city $144,000 a year, but a report says that will be more than made up for by the jobs’ economic impact. The firm will relocate about 80 workers from existing sites and eventually hire an additional 100 workers for its headquarters.

 

 

Feds Spending $393,790 Studying Transwomen in Uganda (Really)

This story is not about transgendered people—it is about the abuse of the American taxpayer by ideologues and corrupt politicians paying off academics for political support.  Is it the role of the American taxpayer to finance a study about “transgendered” people in Uganda?  Can anyone find that country on a map?  Why don’t the taxpayers of Uganda paying for this?  Because they are smart enough not to waste their money—but are willing to let us waste ours.

“The National Institutes of Health is spending nearly $400,000 studying transwomen in Uganda.

A new grant worth $163,996 was awarded just six days into the Trump administration, continuing a project that was initially awarded in April 2016.

Leading researchers on the project say it is “problematic” that there is an “almost complete lack of research examining the HIV risk of sexual minority women and transgender people” in the African country”

Maybe the World health organization, instead of providing support for the health needs of terrorists could use that money for this reason.  Just another example of Obama pissing away our money for corrupt studies, wasteful studies and political payoffs.

whitehousemoney-300x166

Feds Spending $393,790 Studying Transwomen in Uganda

‘Individuals who self-identify as women should not be classified in research as men’

BY: Elizabeth Harrington, Washington Free Beacon, 2/26/17

The National Institutes of Health is spending nearly $400,000 studying transwomen in Uganda.

A new grant worth $163,996 was awarded just six days into the Trump administration, continuing a project that was initially awarded in April 2016.

Leading researchers on the project say it is “problematic” that there is an “almost complete lack of research examining the HIV risk of sexual minority women and transgender people” in the African country.

“HIV/AIDS is a major contributor to morbidity and mortality in Uganda, with an estimated 7.3 [percent] adults HIV Positive,” according to the grant for the study. “[M]en who have sex with men (MSM) bear a particularly high disease burden, with 13.2 [percent] living with HIV. Despite this increased risk, there is a considerable dearth of scientific literature documenting the barriers and facilitators to behavior change in this vulnerable Population. We need to better understand the HIV risk and protective behaviors of MSM and other sexual minority men in Uganda, if we are to develop effective Prevention programming.”

The Center for Innovative Public Health Research, a nonprofit group based in California that focuses on technology-based research, is conducting the study.

One recent study released by the group found that gay people are more likely to be victims of “revenge porn.”

“[T]he almost complete lack of research examining the HIV risk of sexual minority women and transgender people is also problematic,” the grant for the Uganda study states. “Despite assumptions that sexual minority women are not at risk for HIV, compelling seroprevalence and HIV risk behavior data suggest otherwise.”

The researchers argue that the few studies of transgender individuals in Africa have incorrectly classified biological men who think they are women as men in scientific research.

“[O]f the handful of studies that have been published on African transgender people, all but one included these women under the rubric of [men who have sex with men] MSM,” the grant states. “Individuals who self-identify as women should not be classified in research as men.”

The researchers added that the “lack of research including transgender men in Uganda is concerning.”

“Given the invisibility of the sexual and gender minority (SGM) populations in Uganda fueled by stigma, Discrimination, and anti-gay laws, what little is known is largely based upon data collected in Kampala,” the grant states.

The goals of the study include a comprehensive survey of HIV risks facing sexual and gender minorities in Uganda to find online and text message interventions for this population.

The study is also conducting focus groups to “identify sexual decision-making behavior” and “salient language to query sexual and gender identity.”

The project has received $393,790 since it began under the Obama administration. A grant worth $163,996 for the second year of the study, which is set to continue through January 2018, was issued on Jan. 26, 2017.

Are California’s jeopardized Middle Class Scholarships worth saving?

Jerry Brown and his Democrat buddies are trying hard to squeeze the middle class out of California.  LAUSD is segregated—9% white students.  San Fran schools are segregated—13% white students.  Santa Ana schools are segregated—3% white students.  Toyota, Nestle, Carls. Jr and many other large firms are leaving the State of Confusion.

““This award was a symbol of the state’s support for my education, and that symbolism meant more to me than the amount,” said Graves, who didn’t qualify for any other financial aid before becoming one of the first recipients of a taxpayer-funded Middle Class Scholarship in 2014.

His parents were like many others—too cash-strapped to cover his tuition by writing a check, and too well-off to get one of the more generous grants reserved for the poor. Health problems prevented his mother from working and forced his family of five to rely on his father’s sheriff’s deputy salary, but even that hardship failed to open doors to extra help.”

In California the rich can afford college.  The poor and illegal aliens get major scholarships—the middle class must graduate with massive debt—or not attend college at all.  Jerry Brown does not want to educate the middle class.  Texas appreciates the hate of the California Democrats—makes Texas a great State.

graduation cap diploma isolated on a white background

graduation cap diploma isolated on a white background

Are California’s jeopardized Middle Class Scholarships worth saving?

by Jessica Calefati, CalMatters, 2/22/17

The $300 state grant Devon Graves got his senior year at Cal Poly Pomona was only enough for gas and groceries—it didn’t make his $20,000 in student loans any easier to manage. Still, it meant a lot to the teen from Murrieta, a commuter town on the edge of Riverside County.

“This award was a symbol of the state’s support for my education, and that symbolism meant more to me than the amount,” said Graves, who didn’t qualify for any other financial aid before becoming one of the first recipients of a taxpayer-funded Middle Class Scholarship in 2014.

His parents were like many others—too cash-strapped to cover his tuition by writing a check, and too well-off to get one of the more generous grants reserved for the poor. Health problems prevented his mother from working and forced his family of five to rely on his father’s sheriff’s deputy salary, but even that hardship failed to open doors to extra help.

Now, with the state’s financial fortunes beginning to worsen, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed axing the financial aid program for nearly 50,000 students to save money and help close a nearly $2 billion budget gap—even as the University of California and California State University systems prepare to hike tuition for the first time in six years. Under Brown’s plan, current recipients would continue receiving grants.

Democratic Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon of Paramount criticized the governor for turning his back on middle class families and vowed to “keep college affordable” by protecting the program, which was championed by one of his predecessors. But some college-access advocates and even a top university administrator say it isn’t working as designed.

Fewer students qualify for the awards than the state first projected, and many of those who do get relatively small checks under program rules that offer less to applicants whose families make more.

And because there’s no income floor written into the law, a third of scholarship recipients come from low-income families making less than $80,000—even though the program was designed to help middle-income families making $80,000 to $150,000 annually who don’t qualify for much other relief.

It’s those disadvantaged students whom the program wasn’t intended to serve who have the greatest need, get the largest checks and would be most harmed if it disappears.

“We’re pro funding for students of all income levels,” said Dean Kulju, CSU’s director of student financial aid services and programs, “but the Middle Class Scholarship program isn’t hitting its target.”

Former Assembly Speaker John Perez first pitched the financial aid program for middle class families in 2012 as an antidote to recession-era budget cuts that led UC and CSU tuition to almost double in four years. By closing a $1 billion corporate tax loophole, Perez estimated the state could reduce college fees by two-thirds for close to 200,000 families.

“Too many families are getting squeezed out of higher education,” Perez said at the time.

But the legislation died on the last day of the 2012 legislative session, and later that fall, voters passed Proposition 39, which closed the same loophole and instead steered the resulting savings to solar energy projects. Lacking another way to fund the scholarships, Perez worked with Brown to craft a program with smaller awards whose costs would be phased in over four years and paid for out of the state’s general fund.

That scholarship program is now in its third year. It costs the state $74 million to administer, far less than what Perez first projected, and offers awards valued at up to a maximum of 30 percent of tuition—$3,690 for UC students and $1,644 for CSU students. If the program is around next year, it will begin covering up to 40 percent of recipients’ tuition.

Still, data collected by the state shows the average value of awards distributed so far this year—$1,107 for UC students and $799 for CSU students—to be far lower than those ceilings because many recipients come from wealthier families who qualify only for small awards.

“It’s hard to argue the program has helped with access,” said CSU’s Kulju, who noted that students aren’t notified of their awards until July, well after most enrollment deadlines. “It hasn’t been as efficient or effective as one would like.”

H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for Brown’s Department of Finance, wouldn’t say why the governor chose to target the program to help close the budget gap, or whether he doubts its effectiveness. He stressed, however, that Brown’s proposed budget preserves other higher education commitments, such as promises to increase funding to UC and CSU campuses and maintain the Cal Grant program for needy students.

The Institute for College Access and Success, a nonprofit advocacy group, has opposed California’s financial aid program for middle-income families since its inception, arguing that the state should direct all public resources to the neediest students.

Its vice president, Debbie Cochrane, said she wouldn’t mind seeing the state dismantle the program so long as it uses the savings to help expand Cal Grant scholarships. That program only has enough funding to help 25,000 students annually, turning away another 300,000 applicants each year whose grades and family income qualify them to receive the support.

“We should not be cutting money from financial aid,” Cochrane said. “However, where we spend the money we have matters.”

Since 2001, poor California students who apply for a Cal Grant straight out of high school have been entitled to a full ride.

But students who wait a year or more to enroll forfeit that right and instead must compete against thousands of other deserving applicants for assistance. The California Student Aid Commission found that some low-income Middle Class Scholarship recipients are students who sought, but failed to win, one of those competitive Cal Grants.

In an interview, Rendon said he won’t stand to see the program “thrown out,” although he’s open to a “mid-course correction” that re-shapes its application criteria. “The Legislature is often criticized for not doing enough to help middle class families,” Rendon said. “Protecting this program is one of the Assembly’s top priorities.”

Democratic Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León of Los Angeles, who proposed eliminating the program in 2014 to fend off the last round of tuition increases, declined to comment on Brown’s proposal.

As for Devon Graves, he’s now a 23-year-old UCLA graduate student studying higher education administration and financial aid. He said Brown’s threats to eliminate the program are “concerning.”

“I understand the governor is worried about balancing the budget,” said Graves. But the state must not forget “the promise it made to middle class students and families when it created this program and come up with a budget plan that supports them.”

 

Californians Opposed to Governor’s Transportation Plan

If our very confused Guv Brown had his way, he would have billions more in slush funds to pass out to donors, special interests and the unions.  Instead of building and repairing roads, money could be used for environmental purposes, affordable housing (to “prevent” traffic clogs) and other scams.  He asked us for $7.5 billion in water bonds in 2014, including $2 billion for dams.  He has REFUSED to spend the dam money—instead begging Pres. Trump for $200 million to fix the Oroville dam, instead of using the money the voters gave him for that purpose.

Brown can not be trusted with our money.  He does not note the $1.5 trillion debt, the collapsing pension system, the failed government schools and the worse roads in the nation.  Anybody think he could spend $43 billion honestly?

“In PPIC’s most recent statewide survey, 61% of Californians say that spending more money on the maintenance of roads, highways, and bridges is very important for California’s future quality of life and economic vitality. At the same time, a majority of Californians (54%) oppose the governor’s proposal to do so. His transportation funding plan would provide $43 billion of additional spending for state and local transportation projects, with money coming from a new $65 vehicle fee and an increase in gasoline and diesel taxes.”

If the Brown budget passes—the deficit will be close to $10 billion for the fiscal year and his slush fund will grow, as the productive people become poorer—or smarter.  Smarter?  Yes, they leave for a Free State, like Texas.

los-angeles-freeways

Californians Opposed to Governor’s Transportation Plan

Lunna Lopes, PPIC,  2/21/17

In PPIC’s most recent statewide survey, 61% of Californians say that spending more money on the maintenance of roads, highways, and bridges is very important for California’s future quality of life and economic vitality. At the same time, a majority of Californians (54%) oppose the governor’s proposal to do so. His transportation funding plan would provide $43 billion of additional spending for state and local transportation projects, with money coming from a new $65 vehicle fee and an increase in gasoline and diesel taxes. Republicans are overwhelmingly opposed to the governor’s proposal and independents are divided. Among Democrats, a slight majority (53%) favor the plan while 42% oppose it.

Californians’ reluctance to support the governor’s plan is understandable in light of another survey finding: many are not satisfied with the way transportation funds are being spent now. When asked what is most needed to improve the quality of California’s roads and surface transportation, 51% of adults choose the wiser use of existing funds. This response contrasts with what Californians said when asked a similar question about higher education funding in December. Just a little over a third (36%) said that the wiser use of existing funds alone would significantly improve the quality of public higher education.

Among Californians who oppose the governor’s proposal, 64% say that the wiser use of existing funds is the best way to significantly improve the quality of the state’s roads. Only 30% say that both wiser use of existing funds and more state funding is needed.

Across parties, 80% of Republicans and 69% of independents who oppose the governor’s plan think that the wiser use of existing funds is the best approach. Notably, Democrats who oppose the governor’s plan are far more likely than those who support it to say that the wiser use of funds alone is a way to improve California’s roads, highways, and bridges (55% to 31%). If the governor hopes to win the support of some of those 42% of Democrats who oppose his plan, he will likely have to overcome the perception that transportation funds are not being put to good use now.