Obama Kills Fulltime Jobs—Democrats have Plan to Kill Part Time Jobs

Since Obama has been president approximately 70% of all the jobs created have been part-time jobs. Thanks to ObamaCare, most small businesses cannot afford the cost of health care, so full time workers became part time. Many restaurants ended full time workers and keep the employees under 30 hours a week.

Now the Congressional Democrats are going to make it difficult to hire and keep even part time workers—new riles and costs. The winner in all this are the robots and those that make them—from making hamburgers to taking orders—humans have no value. Why is real unemployment in the nation 12.1%–and we have historically high non labor participation rate.

“Very often workers get fired when they would like to talk about their schedule, and the owner exercises his complete authority and power and says, ‘You’re fired.’ That’s got to stop. That’s not good for the business enterprise,” Miller said in an interview with KQED Wednesday (audio embedded below).

His proposal would also require companies to pay their employees for an extra hour if they had less than 24 hours notice of a schedule change. It also guarantees that part-time workers would be paid for at least four hours of work when they are sent home early.”

jobs obama sotu

Rep. George Miller Proposes New Rules for Part-Time Work

KQED News Staff, 7/17/14

Unpredictable hours and low pay are just some of the challenges that face part-time employees in the modern U.S. workforce. About 7.5 million people nationwide say they’re working part time only because their hours were cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time jobs. And the number of these “involuntary” part-time workers increased by 275,000 people in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

During the recession, the number of involuntary part-time workers skyrocketed. Since then, things have improved. But there are still almost double the amount involuntary part-timers now as there were in 2007.

San Francisco recently passed an ordinance that lets employees ask for predictable work schedules without fear of retaliation. Last month President Obama ordered federal agencies to grant employees the right to request flexible schedules. Now, East Bay Congressman George Miller plans to introduce a bill that would extend those protections nationally, barring employers from denying workers’ requests for time off because of a caregiving or school-related conflicts unless there is a provable business reason.

“Very often workers get fired when they would like to talk about their schedule, and the owner exercises his complete authority and power and says, ‘You’re fired.’ That’s got to stop. That’s not good for the business enterprise,” Miller said in an interview with KQED Wednesday (audio embedded below).

His proposal would also require companies to pay their employees for an extra hour if they had less than 24 hours notice of a schedule change. It also guarantees that part-time workers would be paid for at least four hours of work when they are sent home early.

“In some cases workers show up for jobs — they may have commuted an hour, an hour and a half to get there. Spent money on transportation and then be told we don’t need you today,” Miller said. “So what we’re suggesting is, first of all, employees can’t be retaliated against for simply requesting a more flexible or predictable schedule, and that if a worker arrives at work ready to go to work, and then you say that you don’t need them, that they get at least four hours of pay.”

Business associations have been vocal about opposing such regulations, saying they will hurt profits and ultimately the ability to create jobs. The New York Times reports that restaurant and retail groups say the proposals turn employee scheduling into an onerously bureaucratic process:

“The hyper-regulation of the workplace by government isn’t conducive to a positive business climate,” said Scott DeFife, an executive vice president of the National Restaurant Association. “The more complications that government creates for operating a business, the less likely we’ll see a positive business environment that’s good for the economy and increasing jobs.”

Mr. DeFife pointed out that the daily ebb and flow of customers necessitated flexibility in scheduling.

David French, a senior vice president of the National Retail Federation, said many people chose careers in retail because of the flexible work hours.

“These proposals may sound reasonable, but if you unpack them, they could be very harmful,” Mr. French said. “Where employers and employees now work together to solve scheduling problems, you’ll have a very bureaucratic environment where rigid rules would be introduced.”

 

Santa Barbara Police: Illegal Aliens OK—Over Watering Lawn Now a Crime

What will the Santa Barbara police do if they find an illegal alien landscaper over watering your lawn? They will give a ticket to the homeowner, worth a $1,000 fine, then give a pat on the back to the illegal alien costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars each year. As my friend Dr. Stan Monteith says, “the world has gone crazy!” In Santa Barbara the taxpayer pay for police to monitor your watering and water use habits—and leave the criminals to do as they please.

The craziness is that the public does not seem concerned or upset. Why are decent people leaving California? Because the cops refuse to do their job.

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Santa Barbara cracking down on water criminals during historic drought

By Randol White, KCBX, 7/17/14

Cachuma Lake, Santa Barbara’s main water source is rapidly disappearing.

The City of Santa Barbara is getting far more serious about water theft in light of the ongoing drought crisis.

The city’s police and public works departments are joining forces to put pressure on those who steel the precious commodity.

The act of unlawfully taking water is now considered a misdemeanor that comes with a fine of $1000.

Water Systems Manager Cathy Taylor says, sadly, this type of crime is nothing new.

“Water theft is always a concern and we have always had water theft, but now that our supplies are dwindling it’s more of a concern,” said Taylor.

Examples of theft would include water trucks filling up without using a meter, altering or disconnecting your meter at your home or business, or tapping into a vacant property’s water system.

 

Why is California in a Depression? One EPA Rule to Add $240 Million to Cost of energy in State

California is in a Depression due to high taxes, spending $25.3 billion a year for illegal aliens, AB 32 killing jobs and lengthy hearings and high fees to build in the State. Then you have affordable housing mandates that raise the cost of housing for those paying market price (which includes the subsidies for the affordable units).

Sacramento Democrats do not need any help to keep the former Golden State in a Depression. Yet the EPA has decided to do its part to keep the people of California poor. They have made just one rule that adds $240 million to the cost of living in this State. They have other rules that are even worse. Obama is helping our confused Guv Brown to dig the hole deeper. Picked out the city in Texas to which you will escape yet?

“The rules call for new emissions control measures for storage tanks, waste-gas flares and coking units at refineries. It would also require facilities to conduct “fenceline monitoring” to ensure that excessive amounts of pollutants are not leaving the premises.

Costs for implementing the new rule are estimated to be approximately $240 million.”

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Why is California in a Depression? One EPA Rule to Add $240 Million to Cost of energy in State

EPA hears testimony in Wilmington on proposed refinery rules

Jed Kim, KPCC, 7/17/14

Members of the public were invited to give testimony at a hearing in Wilmington on a proposed rule for reducing air pollution from petroleum refineries. Jed Kim

Officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency were in the Los Angeles Harbor community of Wilmington on Wednesday taking public comments on proposed new rules to reduce toxic emissions from oil refineries.

The EPA says oil and gas refineries release toxic air emissions like benzene, toluene and xylene that can cause respiratory problems and other health issues. Under the proposed rules, the agency estimates that 5,600 tons of toxic air pollution will be removed annually nationwide. The rule would also lead to reductions of 52,000 tons of volatile organic compounds and 700,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents.

The rules call for new emissions control measures for storage tanks, waste-gas flares and coking units at refineries. It would also require facilities to conduct “fenceline monitoring” to ensure that excessive amounts of pollutants are not leaving the premises.

Flare systems are safety mechanisms that allow excess hydrocarbon gasses to be vented and burned. New operational requirements would ensure that those gases would be efficiently burned.

Costs for implementing the new rule are estimated to be approximately $240 million.

There are currently 142 large and seven small petroleum refineries in the country. Wilmington is home to three major refineries with others in surrounding communities. Dozens of people came to the public hearing Wednesday to give testimony.

Jesse Marquez, the executive director of the Coalition for a Safe Environment, said the rules should do more.

“Yes, you’re doing good stuff, but hey, this is a modern day and age. We have new technologies, we have new health research studies that can be performed that you should be including in this new law,” Marquez said.

Petroleum industry officials also spoke at the hearing. Michael Wang is with the Western States Petroleum Association. He says his organization wants more clarity on what the rules mean, especially considering that California already has some of the strictest guidelines in place.

“Some of these things kind of don’t make any sense. Maybe they should be thought about – certainly that the costs should be more clearly reflective of things that have been done so far,” Wang said.

EPA will continue to take public comment on the rules until Aug. 29th.

 

Citizens United Question Going On California Ballot–For NO Purpose

The purpose of elections are to elect office holders, decided bond measures or policy changes. The cost of a measure on the ballot is large. It cost money to count the ballots. Now the Left in the Legislature has decided to put an advisory item on the ballot—should the U.S. Constitution be changed to stop free speech? The way the Left put it is to limit donations to promoting ideas and candidates on the ballot. Since it is only asking for such a change, it is worthless.

It takes 2/3 of the House, 2/3 of the Senate and ¾ of the States—not even going to be close. So why should California waste money on an advisory measure? So the Left can use it to bring out voters as this was a meaningful effort.

“Brown let the legislation calling for the advisory question become law without his signature. Democratic Senator Ted Lieu authored the bill. In a statement, Brown says the bill and the vote will have no legal effect and he says ballots should not be cluttered with nonbinding measures. But, he says he understands the legislature’s enthusiasm for the issue and he also opposes the Citizens United ruling.”

ShakingHandsWithMoney

 

Citizens United Question Going On California Ballot

Katie Orr, capradio, 7/17/14

This fall California voters will be asked what they think of a controversial US Supreme Court decision. But their answer may not mean much.

Governor Jerry Brown is allowing an advisory question to be placed on the November ballot. It asks Californians if they think the US Constitution should be amended to overturn the Citizens United ruling. That 2010 decision by the Supreme Court allows corporations and unions to spend freely in political campaigns.

Brown let the legislation calling for the advisory question become law without his signature. Democratic Senator Ted Lieu authored the bill. In a statement, Brown says the bill and the vote will have no legal effect and he says ballots should not be cluttered with nonbinding measures. But, he says he understands the legislature’s enthusiasm for the issue and he also opposes the Citizens United ruling.

“I too believe that Citizens United was wrongly decided and grossly underestimated the corrupting influence of unchecked money on our democratic institutions,” he says in a statement.

Brown says he’s withholding his signature as a way of indicating he won’t make a practice of approving advisory questions for the ballot.

In a statement, Lieu praised the governor’s decision.

“Gov. Brown and the Legislature understand that free and open elections are central to our Democracy,” he says. “They also know it’s outrageous that out-of-state interests can spend millions to influence state elections. This must stop.”

Lieu says he agrees with Brown that advisory questions should be used sparingly.

Court Could Give Control of All Groundwater to the State

San Luis Obispo County has put a moratorium on new uses for groundwater. If you expand a home, hotel or farm, the water used must come from a current user. Democrat Senator Pavley has a bill to give the management of all the groundwater in the State to Sacramento. In textbooks that is called fascism—you still have private ownership—but government controls the use of the product or service.

Now a judge may have superseded the legislature and ruled that government MUST regulate groundwater, “to protect a river”. That is the end of private farming since farmers would have no incentive to maintain, expand or build new wells, since government will control the use of the water. If this decision is upheld, California will quickly see the end of all farms, new building (homes and commercial). Only government desired and approved plans will be allowed—since it will own all the water in the State.

“Attorneys on both sides say it’s the first time a California court has ruled the “public trust doctrine” applies to groundwater. The doctrine says the State of California holds all waterways for the benefit of the people.

The lawsuit claimed groundwater pumping in the Scott River Basin is partly responsible for decreased river flows – limiting the public’s use of the river and harming fish habitat.”

ManInWater

 

Regulation Judge Makes Precedent-Setting Sacramento Ruling On Groundwater

Ed Joyce, capradio, 7/16/14

A Sacramento Superior Court judge issued a ruling Tuesday requiring regulation of groundwater pumping to protect a river in Siskiyou County.

Attorneys on both sides say it’s the first time a California court has ruled the “public trust doctrine” applies to groundwater. The doctrine says the State of California holds all waterways for the benefit of the people.

The lawsuit claimed groundwater pumping in the Scott River Basin is partly responsible for decreased river flows – limiting the public’s use of the river and harming fish habitat.

Jim Wheaton with the Environmental Law Foundation was lead attorney for the plaintiffs. He said the ruling is “a monumental decision.”

“Because California is famously the only western state that has no regulation of groundwater pumping at all. And so this decision for the first time is going to say that well at least where that groundwater pumping affects surface waters, you’ve got to regulate it and control it so you don’t do harm,” said Wheaton.

The lawsuit named the California State Water Resources Board and Siskiyou County.

Attorney Rod Walston represents Siskiyou County. He said under current state policy, groundwater regulation is a local responsibility.

Walston said the ruling by Superior Court Judge Allen Sumner fundamentally changes that system.

“By requiring, not allowing or permitting, but rather requiring counties to regulate groundwater by application of public trust principle,” said Walston.” He said the trial court ruling will likely be appealed and the final decision may be made by the California Supreme Court.

The ruling comes as California is in the third year of a drought which has brought calls for an organized groundwater management system.

July 15 Siskiyou County Groundwater Ruling

 

Who Gives a Frack? Every Californian and Those Wanting a Job

North Dakota cannot find enough workers and now has billions in surplus—this for a State that has a population smaller than that of Ventura County. Texas has a boom. In the past ten years, one third of all the jobs created in the nation were created in Texas. Gov. Perry has given his State a real surplus. California companies are flocking to the Lone Star State—and fleeing our State.

After over one hundred years of fracking in California, without any problems or incidents, the Democrats have decided to hold hearings for the purpose of killing off the one industry that can save the economy of California—almost overnight. Democrats once again prove they prefer poverty and welfare to freedom, free market and success.

“DOGGR, which has collected more than 150,000 SB 4–related comments from California residents since November, released a revised version of the bill in June based on input from previous public workshops and conversations from other agencies. Changes include ensuring that wells be tested before and after earthquakes and undergo more rigorous testing following earthquakes stronger than a 2.0 magnitude; that an “acid volume threshold” be determined to weed out routine well cleanings from well-stimulation treatments; that a searchable index be created for people to see the pressurization and acidization history of every individual well; and that the type of water and how much water used in a drilling session be disclosed. But many environmental groups have since contended that the bill still contains too many loopholes.”

Photo courtesy of Lyndi&Jason, flickr

Photo courtesy of Lyndi&Jason, flickr

 

Who Gives a Frack?

State Regulators Hear Arguments For, Against Drilling Law

By Lyz Hoffman, Santa Barbara Independent, 7/17/14

The dozen or so people who aired their grievances before the state’s oil and gas oversight agency on Tuesday all agreed on one thing: Senate Bill 4, the law that will place new regulations on hydraulic fracturing and acidizing operations across California in January, has reached its tipping point. What they didn’t agree on was which direction the bill should go. Instead, environmental activists and oil-industry officials took turns before the microphone, imploring the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) to not allow the other side to have too much of a hand in the law’s final draft, which the environmentalists argued isn’t tough enough and the industry said could soon go too far.

The first of five three-hour public meetings DOGGR will hold on SB 4 across the state, Tuesday’s session ​— ​hosted in the Board of Supervisors’ Santa Maria hearing room ​— ​attracted only about 50 attendees and petered out after about an hour. The Water Guardians ​— ​an activist group behind Measure P, the November ballot measure that would ban all new hydraulic fracturing (known as fracking), acidizing, and cyclic-steam operations in Santa Barbara County ​— ​held signs outside the building prior to the meeting’s start.

DOGGR, which has collected more than 150,000 SB 4–related comments from California residents since November, released a revised version of the bill in June based on input from previous public workshops and conversations from other agencies. Changes include ensuring that wells be tested before and after earthquakes and undergo more rigorous testing following earthquakes stronger than a 2.0 magnitude; that an “acid volume threshold” be determined to weed out routine well cleanings from well-stimulation treatments; that a searchable index be created for people to see the pressurization and acidization history of every individual well; and that the type of water and how much water used in a drilling session be disclosed. But many environmental groups have since contended that the bill still contains too many loopholes.

Katie Davis, one of the most prominent Water Guardians, shared her thoughts with the DOGGR representatives ​— ​who didn’t respond to any of the comments but took notes for the final version of the bill ​— ​after a series of area oil-industry officials said they support SB 4 but asked that it not be made tougher. That the industry is supporting the law, Davis said, “may be an indication that your regulation is insufficient.” Davis suggested that DOGGR continue studying fracking ​— ​she noted the several communities across the state that have recently banned the practice ​— ​and consider adding to the bill’s watch list the practice of cyclic steaming, which has grown increasingly popular in Santa Barbara County. Cyclic steaming ​— ​the most-proposed technique on the county’s radar ​— ​involves injecting steam into the ground to thin the oil, while fracking and acidizing involve breaking and dissolving the rock formations, respectively.

Sticking to cyclic steaming, Davis noted the seeps suffered at Pacific Coast Energy Company’s Orcutt Oil Field operations, a long-lasting spill in Canada, and the method’s overall four-times-greater contribution of greenhouse-gas emissions compared to conventional drilling. With SB 4, Davis said, DOGGR should look to “privilege human health, preservation of our precious water supplies, and our obligation to reduce emissions to protect the future livability of our planet” over oil interests. “That would be real regulation,” she said.

But the industry officials who spoke before and after Davis stressed that California ​— ​and Santa Barbara County in particular, which enacted stringent fracking rules in 2011 ​— ​is already home to some of the toughest regulations in the country. Strengthening SB 4 in the eyes of environmentalists ​— ​by declaring moratoriums on certain practices, for instance ​— ​many industry reps argued, would mean weakening an economy-fueling industry. “That’s not what SB 4 spells out. SB 4 was a consensus bill, and we are urging you to implement that fairly,” said Brendan Huffman of the Coastal Energy Alliance. Joe Armendariz, of the Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association, said that “environmentalists should be celebrating their success” with what SB 4 has spelled out thus far, but he cautioned DOGGR against doing anything that would “undermine” the bill’s regulatory-only aims.

The state has until January to finalize the bill’s language, and DOGGR will hold four more public meetings up and down the state (Long Beach, Sacramento, Salinas, and Bakersfield) in the next couple of weeks. Legal and fiscal analyses of Measure P will come this summer.

 

What Recovery? CA Sales Tax Revenues Down Three Months—Housing Sales Tank

In April, California sales tax collections were down 2.1%, in May they were down 3.2% and in June they were down over 11%. That shows the lack of confidence in the economy—saving, paying off debt instead of spending. California real unemployment (U-6 of the Bureau of Labor Statistics) in June was 16.7%. California ended the last fiscal year with a $1.9 billion “surplus” (you get that by forgetting the $340 billion debt and hundreds of billions in unfunded pension plan liabilities). California is in a Depression and our confused Guv Brown cannot even understand the finances.

Now the housing market is tanking as well. Another sign the California economy is going south (while those in the south are invading us in the north).

“In June, non-distressed property sales increased 2.8 percent while sales of distressed properties fell 9.1 percent.

“June marks the sixth consecutive month that sales have been lower on a year-over-year basis,” says Madeline Schnapp, director of economic research for PropertyRadar. “The lack of distressed property inventory and rapid increase in median prices has definitely taken a toll on demand.”

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California home sales tanking

Central Valley Business Times, 7/16/14

•  Rapid price increases fading into memory

•  “Sixth consecutive month that sales have been lower on a year-over-year basis”
California single-family home and condominium sales gained 0.6 percent in June but were down 12.6 percent from a year earlier, according to a report Tuesday evening from real estate information company PropertyRadar Inc. of Truckee.

Year-to-date sales for the first six months of the year are the lowest since 2008, it says.

In June, non-distressed property sales increased 2.8 percent while sales of distressed properties fell 9.1 percent.

“June marks the sixth consecutive month that sales have been lower on a year-over-year basis,” says Madeline Schnapp, director of economic research for PropertyRadar. “The lack of distressed property inventory and rapid increase in median prices has definitely taken a toll on demand.”

In June, the median price of a California home reached its highest level since December 2007, up $5,000, or 1.3 percent, to $390,000 from $385,000 in May. On a year-ago basis, median home prices gained 10.0 percent.

Driving the month-over-month price increase in June was the 2.8 percent increase in the sales volume of higher priced non-distressed properties, which accounted for nearly 83 percent of total sales, says PropertyRadar.

The median price of non-distressed homes was up only 0.8 percent over last year, indicating the 10.0 percent overall gain was primarily due to a shift from distressed to non-distressed sales, it says. The deceleration in price increases is even more apparent at the county level. In March, double-digit price increases occurred in 16 of the 26 largest California counties but by June that number had fallen to eight.

“The nearly uninterrupted double-digit monthly increases in median home prices from August 2012 through March 2014 has slowed considerably,” says Ms. Schnapp. “That’s good news for buyers who were finding themselves rapidly priced out of the market.”

Other highlights of the report include:

• Cash sales remained elevated in June, accounting for 22.2 percent of total sales. Despite the historically high levels of cash sales, cash sales have been steadily declining, falling 31.6 percent, since reaching an interim peak in May 2013.

• Flip sales fell 6.6 percent for the month and were down 30.0 percent for the year and are down 40.4 percent from the October 2012 peak.

• Negative equity remains elevated in California and continues to impart negative headwinds to the real estate market. In June, nearly 1.1 million California homeowners, or 12.9 percent remain underwater.

• Foreclosure starts, or Notices of Default (NODs), fell 2.0 percent between May and June, extending a longer-term downward trend. Foreclosure sales fell 5.2 percent for the month and are down 12.6 percent for the year. The June decline decelerated compared to May.

“Affordability and tight credit have slowed or stopped price increases despite lack of inventory,” says Ms. Schnapp. “Going forward, we expect low sales volumes and flat prices until increased supply forces prices lower or looser credit makes current prices more affordable.”

Surgery Center of Oklahoma: Proving Free Market Medicine Works

The Free Market works for the people. Government works for government and the special interests. Free market solution are based on individual needs—government plans are based on the masses, never the needs of the individual. Obama thinks forcing doctors, hospitals and patients into a net with the noose tightened by government is best for all. The Free market says that each person has different needs and tries to find a solution for the person, not society.

In health care there is a prime example of lower cost and higher quality by using the free market and it is found in Oklahoma.

  • “The national average cost of a mastectomy is between $9,000 and $50,000. But SCO offers a mastectomy for $5,005, saving consumers between $3,995 and $44,995.

  • A spinal fusion costs an average of $50,000 to $150,000. But at SCO, the procedure costs just $16,500.

  • Similarly, a hip replacement runs $40,000 at most hospitals. At SCO, the procedure costs $19,400.”

Which do you want, the free market or Barack Obama as your doctor.

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Surgery Center of Oklahoma: Proving Free Market Medicine Works

National Center for Policy Analysis, 7/16/14

The New American recently profiled the Surgery Center of Oklahoma (SCO), a health care facility that has challenged and debunked the claim that free markets and health care do not mix. Founded 17 years ago by two anesthesiologists, Keith Smith and Steven Lantier, the facility does something remarkable in today’s health care market: it provides transparent, up-front, all-inclusive pricing for its services.

SCO’s founders were frustrated by the fact that pricing and quality in the American health care system were not the product of free competition but the product of deals between hospitals and insurance companies. Five years ago, SCO decided to post their prices online — a stark illustration of just how much most consumers overpay in health care costs:

  • The national average cost of a mastectomy is between $9,000 and $50,000. But SCO offers a mastectomy for $5,005, saving consumers between $3,995 and $44,995.
  • A spinal fusion costs an average of $50,000 to $150,000. But at SCO, the procedure costs just $16,500.
  • Similarly, a hip replacement runs $40,000 at most hospitals. At SCO, the procedure costs $19,400.

Dr. Smith said of the pricing practice, “What we’re doing here should not be that remarkable. What we’re doing is what every other industry in the United States does that operates fairly. We say, ‘Here’s what we do and here’s how much it is.’ We identify our costs, build in a marginal profit, and then display those prices. That’s how every other industry works, and it promotes healthy competition and keeps quality high and prices low.”

Americans in need of medical care have been flocking to SCO in Oklahoma City for a better deal. Some businesses are even paying the entirety of their employees’ hospitals bills when their employees go to SCO, because the facility saves them so much money. When Oklahoma County put SCO services on its public employee health plan, the county saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in the first month alone.

On top of this, SCO boasts a near-zero infection rate — a rate which ranges between 4 percent and 10 percent at other hospitals across the United States.

Dr. Smith told the New American that he thinks that the high prices of Obamacare may inadvertently create a new consumer market that will transform the American health care system back to an affordable system “where insurance wasn’t even necessary for the most part.”

Source: William F. Jasper, “Healthcare’s Free Market Alternative,” New American, June 24, 2014.

 

Report: They’re tracking your personal health data – and you don’t know it

Every time you visit a web site, a “big data” collection firm is gathering your information. Buy something on the Internet, ask for information on a subject through Google, every web site visited—is all collected, sifted through and you get profiled by a data company. Then that information is sold to marketing firms, government agencies get it—and not through the NSA, but through legitimate sources. Go to a web site and ask about diabetes—that goes on your data record. Ask about cancer, which is now on your record.

No need for a data company to steal personal information, we give it away every day—and others make money from selling it!

“Just using cellphones, credit cards, going to certain websites and even using store coupons clipped from the paper leaves trails of data that are often harnessed by third parties, sometimes without consumers’ knowledge. These pieces-n-parts of data are scooped up by firms specializing in parsing “big data” for their clients.”

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Report: They’re tracking your personal health data – and you don’t know it

Central Valley Business Times, 7/16/14

•  People leave wide open trails of data – without knowing it

•  “The potential to paint a detailed health profile of individuals”
Americans are letting third parties unknown to them get a thorough picture of their health, thanks to the mining of “big data,” says a report from the California Healthcare Foundation.

Just using cellphones, credit cards, going to certain websites and even using store coupons clipped from the paper leaves trails of data that are often harnessed by third parties, sometimes without consumers’ knowledge. These pieces-n-parts of data are scooped up by firms specializing in parsing “big data” for their clients.

“Aggregated and analyzed, these data flows, which occur with and without our knowledge, have the potential to paint a detailed health profile of individuals, as well as to describe whole communities based on location, health conditions, or other factors,” the foundation says.

Most people are unaware that they are leaving their personal data behind, says the foundation, and that some of this information is not protected by HIPAA – the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 – which is supposed to protect health information from prying eyes.

Despite HIPAA, data brokers are able to build health profiles of individuals to sell to marketers just be gluing together information outside of the law’s shield.

Don’t like it, assuming you could find out about it? Too bad. Consumers lack recourse to obtain or correct their information, says the foundation.

But it’s not all skulking about by evil-doers, the report says. There are positives to this data mining.

Examples:

• It can make clinical trials faster and more effective

• It can help anticipate epidemics

• It can help manage chronic diseases such as asthma

• It can help individuals focus on their own health goals/

But there are growing concerns, the report says. For example, computers will make decisions on mathematical models that are kept from the public.

“We are outsourcing decisions to a virtual entity which has none of our humanist notions or a sense of fair play,” the report quotes Fred Trotter, a health technology expert with the research firm O’Reilly Media Inc. of Sebastopol.

 

L.A. Mayor Garcetti Wants Obama Imported Gang Members Brought to Los Angeles

Eric Garcetti has decided to bring thousands of illegal aliens to Los Angeles, though the town might already have more than 500,000. Then he wants these to be kids under 16. That means our crowded government schools will be more crowded and the school district will demand more bonds, to build more schools for these kids imported by the President.

The good news is that many of them will have “jobs” when they get here. Not legal ones (after all they are illegally here.) No, local gangs and transnational gangs will have new recruits brought into the country by the President and into the city by its Mayor. Oh, and all the relocation costs paid for by the American taxpayers.

“The transnational gang phenomenon dates back decades, to the initial mass migration refugees fleeing civil war in El Salvador and Guatemala. Central Americans began arriving in the U.S. in large numbers in the 1980s, when both countries were suffering through the height of conflict. Many settled in Los Angeles, especially a large population of Salvadorans, who moved into working-class urban neighborhoods like Pico-Union and Koreatown.”

Photo courtesy of Eric Garcetti, Flickr.

Photo courtesy of Eric Garcetti, Flickr.

 

Transnational gangs: The Central American migrant crisis’ LA connection

Leslie Berestein Rojas, KPCC, 7/16/14 

As children, teens and families continue to arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, many of these migrants and their advocates have cited gang and drug related violence as one of the main factors driving them north.

But much of that gang violence isn’t rooted in Central America. It’s rooted in the United States, particularly in Los Angeles. It’s part of a long and complicated history between the U.S. and Central America, in which the deportation policies of recent decades figure prominently.

“Gang violence has increased steadily over the last decade or two, and one factor that has contributed to it is that the U.S. has deported a lot of convicted criminals back to Central America,” said Marc Rosenblum, deputy director of the U.S. immigration program for the Migration Policy Institute in Washington. “All three of the countries in the northern triangle are pretty weak states, and so that’s given criminal organizations an opportunity to sort of establish themselves and flourish.”

The transnational gang phenomenon dates back decades, to the initial mass migration refugees fleeing civil war in El Salvador and Guatemala. Central Americans began arriving in the U.S. in large numbers in the 1980s, when both countries were suffering through the height of conflict. Many settled in Los Angeles, especially a large population of Salvadorans, who moved into working-class urban neighborhoods like Pico-Union and Koreatown.

There was already heavy gang presence in Los Angeles, predominantly Mexican-American and African-American gangs. Some Central American youths began drawing together for protection, the kernel of what eventually became Mara Salvatrucha, an L.A. gang that has by now become now a powerful international criminal organization. Others joined the rival 18th Street gang, an offshoot of an established gang that accepted Central American youths.

At the same time, U.S. immigration laws were growing tougher in relation to immigrants who committed crimes, especially those with gang ties. From the late 1980s on, a series of laws made it easier to deport immigrants with criminal records.

But one particular 1996 law sharply stepped up criminal deportations to Central America. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, or IRAIRA, broadly expanded the list of crimes for which people could be deported, even if these offenses were committed in the past. It also took away protection for legal residents, meaning even people who were in the U.S. legally and had spent most of their lives here could be removed if they committed a deportable offense.

It became, as former Mara Salvatrucha gang member Alex Sanchez recalls, like “a witch hunt.”

“What this created was a witch hunt of people that had been convicted of a crime 10 years prior, 20 years prior,” said Sanchez, who now directs Homies Unidos, an organization that focuses on gang prevention and helping ex-gang members adjust to society. “That created masses of individuals that were detained, persecuted and picked up at their homes and then processed for deportation.”

Between the early 1990s and the late 1990s, IRAIRA essentially doubled the number of criminal deportees being flown back to Central America, Rosenblum said.

And when these young men arrived, there was no infrastructure to help them adjust. Many did not speak Spanish well, if at all; some no longer had immediate relatives still living in the country.

Sanchez, who came to the U.S. with his parents during the war when he was 7, was deported when he was 22 in 1994, a couple of years before IRAIRA took effect.

“I was one of those individuals that … ended up in El Salvador in an airport with only a piece of paper and an address scribbled,” Sanchez recalled. “I didn’t know which way to go. Luckily for me, I had a home that belonged to my grandfather, where I went to. Many other individuals didn’t have the same luck. Many ended up homeless.”

Some tried to seek shelter at churches, he said. Others tried to seek out relatives but were rejected for their gang tattoos or  for “the stigma that was created in El Salvador and in Central America in general around tattooed individuals, who were considered the worst of the worst,” Sanchez said.

But there was one receptive audience: Disenfranchised local kids. Sanchez says there were a few local gangs in El Salvador before deportees from the U.S. began arriving, but that the mass deportations created a monster.

“Many of these people that were in El Salvador had tattoos that belonged to gang members here in Los Angeles,” he said. “That became really attractive to many youngsters that were homeless themselves, that were street children. I witnessed some of these children transition from being a street individual, that nobody gave a damn, to an individual that just by putting a tattoo [on] their face, on their body, where they were seen, now demanded respect and created this sense of fear among the people that used to treat them bad before.”

Sanchez returned to the U.S. and eventually won the right to stay, thanks to his work with former gang members. He says Homies Unidos has tried to work with criminal deportees in El Salvador, but anti-gang vigilantes and death squads have made this kind of work dangerous.

The danger that Central American migrants say they’re fleeing is tied not just to gang violence, but also to a related rise in drug trafficking through the region, said MPI’s Rosenblum. As this has occurred, gang presence has spread more heavily throughout Guatemala and Honduras, where traffickers have been operating. Organized crime has become hard to escape, he said, even for average citizens.

“There are parts of all three of these countries, particularly in El Salvador and Honduras, where there is very little state presence,” Rosenblum said. “So that the gangs are present in schools; they are present in communities. A lot of their business model involves extortion and demanding protection, either protection payments from families or demanding that young adults and kids become involved as foot soldiers or to transport drugs, or to be lookouts, or to become part of the gang’s criminal activity.”

While state presence is heavier in some areas, “there are pockets, there are communities, within all three of these countries where criminal organizations have a stronger presence than the state and have a stronger presence than the police,” Rosenblum said.

And as he puts it, people who don’t want to live with this find themselves in a difficult situation, so they’re leaving — or sending their kids north.