Wednesday, February 22, 2017

What the Oroville Dam Spillway Fail Says About California's Priorities

About 200,000 people near the Oroville Dam were evacuated as the nation watched to see if hundreds of homes and businesses would be destroyed in a full breach of the dam's emergency spillway.   In the meantime, we find out that there were past warnings that it was unsafe.  According to a story in the Washington Post, the fix to keep the spillway safe would have cost about $100 million 11 years ago.  But, the State of California had other priorities.

Instead of taking care of its huge infrastructure problems, the state opted to build a high-speed bullet train between Los Angeles and San Francisco.   The original cost projection for that was $98.5 billion. Already, the easiest part of the "build" -- the Central Valley -- is seeing a 50% cost overrun (as being reported by the LA Times).  To put the original cost of the bullet train into perspective; it is more than 1000 times the money needed to fix the spillway.  By one estimate, California will have to spend $500 billion dollars over the next 2 decades to fix, expand, and maintain the State's infrastructure.

Instead, the priority was to build a bullet train to save the world from climate change, by getting cars off the roads and planes out of the air; even though some studies have concluded that the impact on climate change will be negligible. In the meantime, thousands of people are left at risk in Oroville. How many more are at risk from unfunded infrastructure hazards in California because of "climate change" projects like a bullet train?

References:

The government was warned that the Oroville Dam emergency spillway was unsafe. It didn’t listen: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/02/13/officials-were-warned-the-oroville-dam-emergency-spillway-wasnt-safe-they-didnt-listen/?utm_term=.2812180ddd0c

Taking California's bullet train to a greener future - LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-kelly-california-high-speed-rail-20140129-story.html

High Speed Rail Won't Impact Climate Change - California Policy Center: http://californiapolicycenter.org/high-speed-rail-wont-impact-climate-change/

California's Bullet Train to Cost $98.5 Billion: What Else That Can Buy: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Californias-Bullet-Train-to-Cost-985-Billion-What-Else-That-Can-Buy-133041823.html

California's bullet train is hurtling toward a multibillion-dollar overrun, a confidential federal report warns: http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-bullet-cost-overruns-20170106-story.html

California’s Crumbling Infrastructure: An Urgent Priority: http://www.westerncity.com/Western-City/February-2014/PresMsg-CA-Crumbling-Infrastructure/

Shocking rain damage is wakeup call to fix ailing roads, infrastructure, experts say: http://www.dailybreeze.com/general-news/20170218/shocking-rain-damage-is-wakeup-call-to-fix-ailing-roads-infrastructure-experts-say 


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Bully as President is not New

I've heard all too many claim that Trump is unlike any other President we've ever had.  That he's a bully.  Not politically correct.  That he intimidates the press.  Well, does anyone remember President Lyndon Johnson (LBJ)?  In fact, the following picture of LBJ pulling his dog up by his ears speaks volumes about him:

In a review of the book "The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume III", the reviewer, Michael Shelden, appropriately titled his review,  "A Lewd, Crude Master".  One of his initial comments being "...the reader is offered an unforgettable image of the big Texan giving dictation to a nervous female secretary while he urinates in a corner washbasin."  Shelden further wrote:
"LBJ had the manners of a barnyard dog and enjoyed shocking his subordinates, whom he bullied mercilessly. Like most bullies, he was a coward at heart who used flattery and evasion to dominate more powerful foes, reserving his insults and tantrums for lesser folk. If one of his underlings did not jump fast enough or high enough, he shouted obscenities and threw things. He demanded absolute devotion, declaring, "I want someone who will kiss my ass in Macy's window and stand up and say, 'Boy, wasn't that sweet!'
 In a similar article written for the National Review by John Fund, this comment was made about LBJ:
"As president, he cut a grandiose figure. He was a braggart and a frequent liar. He was suspicious of other countries, frequently saying, “Foreigners are not like the folks I am used to.” He had a reckless disregard for limits. He belittled and browbeat others to intimidate them and give him what he wanted. Historian Robert Dallek said that he “viewed criticism of his policies as personal attacks” and opponents of his policies “as disloyal to him and the country.”
Fund further commented:
"He would bully and insult reporters, saying of one that he “always knew when he was around, because he could smell him.” He told whoppers about voter fraud in his elections. But he did get things done, dominating the political scene for good and for ill."

And, let's not forget that following President Kennedy's assassination, Kennedy's wife, Jackie, firmly believed that Vice President LBJ had her husband killed.  That fact alone, speaks volumes about what she and others thought of him.

A lot was done during Johnson's presidency.  There was civil rights, equal pay, medicaid, welfare and a whole host of other legislative actions were passed into law.  As Fund also stated "Johnson was reckless, grandiose, and intimidating, but he got things done..."  Also, he made mistakes.  Failed actions during the Vietnam War were examples. It was those failings that created the Democratic Party's anti-war stance of today.

I think we should wait and see if Trump is as effective as President Johnson.  And, those complaining about his "style" should brush up on history.

References:

Trump Is a Lot Like the LBJ Whom Liberals Still Idolize: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/445060/lyndon-johnson-donald-trump-grandiose-bullying-colossal-figures

Photo Source: President Picks up Dog by Ears. Public Outraged: http://howdyyall.com/Texas/TodaysNews/index.cfm?GetItem=64

A lewd, crude Master:  Michael Shelden reviews The Years of Lyndon Johnson, Volume III by Robert A Caro: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/4728473/A-lewd-crude-Master.html

Jackie Kennedy believed LBJ had her husband killed according to tapes: https://www.google.com/search?q=did+lbj+kill+kennedy&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

LBJ's tragic “addiction” to Vietnam: The mistake that still haunts America 50 years later: http://www.salon.com/2015/07/28/lbjs_tragic_addiction_to_vietnam_the_mistake_that_still_haunts_america_50_years_later/

Monday, February 20, 2017

Dems Plot to Oust Trump as Mentally Unfit

It wasn't but days after Trump had beaten Hillary, that the well-known liberal, Keith Olbermann, brought attention to this excerpt from Section 4 of the 25th Amendment:
"Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President."
To the Democrats, "unable to discharge the powers and duties" means having Trump declared "mentally unfit". Then the plan would be to pressure the Vice President and a majority of his cabinet to act in accordance with the above text of the 25th Amendment.  Many see Vice President Mike Pence as a more reasonable alternative than Trump and his dismantling of decades of liberal progress.

Representative Ted Lieu, a California Democrat, has even proposed legislation that would force Trump to have a "psych eval".  This fact was published in an opinion piece in the New York Times titled: "Is It Time to Call Trump Mentally Ill?"   That "piece" was written by Professor of Clinical Psychiatry Richard A. Friedman at Weill Cornell Medical College.  No word as to who he voted for, but chances are he's a Hillary fan.  In that same "Times" article, he listed other instances where "psychiatrists" have questioned Trump's mental "stability".   Friedman also noted that the American Psychiatric Association requires its members to practice what is the "Goldwater Rule", which states that "it is unethical for them to diagnose mental illnesses in people they have not examined and whose consent they have not received."  Still, Democrats seem to think that they are competent to judge Trump's sanity; simply by what he says.

So, all these claims of mental illness are going nowhere unless Trump, himself, "consents" to a clinical examination(s).   Something I doubt will ever happen.  Even if he did, who would conduct such an exam?  Democrat Senator Schumer? I'm sure his law degree makes him eminently qualified. In addition, under the patient protections of the HIPAA law, the findings of any examination cannot be made public without Trump's approval. Further, do you really think the Vice President and Cabinet Members, hand-picked by Donald Trump, would turn on him?

For sure, the anti-Trump protestors are going to incorporate what they see as signs of "mental illness"  into their protest events.  Perhaps they would find a march on October 10th, World Mental Health Day, to be appropriate.  Of course, their plan is to oust Trump long before that.

References:

Keith Olbermann Has a Surprisingly Simple Way to Oust Donald Trump – WATCH: http://www.towleroad.com/2016/11/keith-olbermann-surprisingly-simple-way-oust-donald-trump-watch/

Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-fifth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution 

Is It Time to Call Trump Mentally Ill? https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/17/opinion/is-it-time-to-call-trump-mentally-ill.html

Democrats Go There: Invoke 25th Amendment Unless Trump "Gets A Grip": http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-19/democrats-go-there-invoke-25th-amendment-unless-trump-gets-grip

25th Amendment Could Declare Trump Mentally Unfit: https://www.yahoo.com/news/25th-amendment-could-declare-trump-163732166.html

How Can We Get Rid of Trump? https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/18/opinion/sunday/how-can-we-get-rid-of-trump.html?ref=opinion

 HIPAA Privacy Rule and Sharing Information Related to Mental Health: https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/special-topics/mental-health/

pb

Friday, February 17, 2017

The "Flynn" Fiasco Leaves a Lot of Questions

Forced to resign as Trump's National Security Advisor, former Lieutenant General Flynn apparently had someone eavesdrop on a call he made to the Russian Ambassador, prior to Trump even taking office. Then, the details of that call were leaked to the New York Times and Washington Post.  So, this brings up a number of questions:
  • Was it Flynn's phone or the Russian Ambassador's phone that was being tapped? Or both?
  • If it was Flynn's phone that was being tapped, then why?
  • Is there a "shadow government" at work within the Trump Administration that is out to undermine the activities of this President?  One that goes beyond the tapping of Flynn's phone?
  • Then, there is the obvious question of who leaked the information.
  • Because of all of the above, one has to wonder if loyalists to Obama or the Clinton's are behind this?
In my opinion, this is a serious issue that must be investigated; and not by Democrats alone.  

References:

Democrats call for an Investigation of Flynn: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4222244/Democrats-call-investigation-Michael-Flynn.html

Obama’s Shadow Presidency Well-funded Organizing for Action promises to crack conservative skulls to halt the Trump agenda: http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/265808/obamas-shadow-presidency-matthew-vadum


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Univision's Jorge Ramos Calls Trump a "Deportation Czar"

In a recent verbal tussle with Sean Hannity,  Hispanic journalist Jorge Ramos used some theatrics to slam Trump for separating families through deportation.  He pulled out a photo of a woman, Guadalupe GarcĂ­a, and her two children and tore the photo apart, leaving her pictorially separated from her children.


Apparently Trump's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)  deported her just a week earlier; literally leaving her children alone and "motherless".  Also note that she was being deported because of felony identity fraud. Just in case you don't think that her deportation was without cause.

Of course, this all sounds like a terrible situation.  However, if Ramos had done his homework, he would have found that  ICE reported that in 2013, alone, 72,410 parents of U.S. born children were deported under the Obama Administration; also tearing their families apart.  The writer of that story, which appeared at the Huffington Post, also reported this:

"When a parent is deported, their U.S.-born children sometimes leave with them. But some stay in the U.S. with another parent or family member. Some children end up in U.S. foster care."

Where was our "ace reporter," Mr. Ramos, when all that was taking place?  72,410?  That's a lot of photos that he would have had to tear apart to make a similar point about Obama.  Apparently, Trump has a lot of catching up to do to rightfully wear the "deportation Czar" crown.

References:

WATCH: Ramos Complains That Trump Deporting Illegal Immigrants Will ‘Destroy’ American Families: http://www.dailywire.com/news/13482/watch-ramos-complains-trump-deporting-illegal-frank-camp

Deportation Separated Thousands Of U.S.-Born Children From Parents In 2013: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/25/parents-deportation_n_5531552.html

pb

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

California's "Real" Calexit Problem

Taking its cue from Britain voting to secede (Brexit) from the European Union, some in California want to do the same by seceding from the United States; or, "Calexit" as it is known.  In fact, in the latest polling, 32% want to exit. At the heart of the issue is that the rest of the United States doesn't share California's values.  Of course, the election of Trump reinforced that belief since Hillary Clinton received more than 10 million of the State's nearly 15 million votes cast.  In any event, California's Secretary of State has authorized the collection of nearly 600,000 signatures to put Calexit to the vote on the next ballot.

For all this talk about "values",  California seems to be ignoring the fact that there already is a kind of Calexit  taking place.  From 2004 to 2013, 5 million people left the State; mostly over high taxes (including property taxes) and high costs of living.  In another study, California lost 9,000 businesses in a 7-year span.  Most citing a "hostile business" environment of high taxes and regulation.

California also has some serious structural problems that may accelerate the number of those wanting to do business elsewhere.  The State has the highest poverty rate in the nation at 20.6%.  Contributing to the poverty problem is the fact that the unemployment rate is almost a full percentage point above the national average. Further, thanks to the voter initiative passed into law that essentially emptied the State's prisons of supposed low-level criminals, there has been an "explosion" of property crimes across the state.  In addition, cities like Los Angeles have seen an increase of violent crime after decades of decline.

Exacerbating the exodus is the fact that California's lawmakers just keep piling up regulations.  In 2016, 800 new laws went into effect which the LA Times said "touch on broad aspects of California residents’ everyday lives, or address major issues such as voter participation, and life and death."  And, for 2017, hundreds of new laws also went into effect including a $15 minimum wage by 2020 which is sure to accelerate the business exodus.  In addition, employers are banned from asking any prospective employee if they have an arrest record or court detention prior to being 18.

The bottom line is that Californians, themselves, are making it less hospitable for people to live and work in the state; and they just can't see it.

A final note: While many of the laws on the books are beneficial to some or all of California's residents, many are very burdensome to businesses and contribute to what many already are calling a "hostile" business environment.

References:

Supporters for 'Calexit' initiative start collecting signatures: http://www.foxla.com/news/local-news/232714964-story

California's ballots have all been counted — more than 14.6 million: http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-updates-california-s-ballots-have-all-been-1481163154-htmlstory.html

An explosion of California property crimes — due to Prop. 47: http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/An-explosion-of-California-property-crimes-6922062.php

'Calexit' would be a disaster for progressive values: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-friedersdorf-calexit-unprogressive-20170129-story.html

5 Million People Left California Over the Past Decade. Many Went to Texas: http://dailysignal.com/2015/09/04/5-million-people-left-california-over-the-past-decade-many-went-to-texas/

California lost 9,000 business HQs and expansions, mostly to Texas, 7-year study says: http://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/blog/morning_call/2015/11/california-lost-9-000-business-hqs-and-expansions.html

Why Does California Have The Nation's Highest Poverty Rate? http://www.forbes.com/sites/chuckdevore/2016/09/28/why-does-california-have-the-nations-highest-poverty-rate/#79027b623e89

Violent crime in L.A. jumps for third straight year as police deal with gang, homeless issues: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-crime-stats-20161227-story.html

California Unemployment Rate: https://www.google.com/search?q=california+unemployment+rate&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

California's new laws for 2016: See how you are affected: http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-g-california-new-laws-2016-htmlstory.html

How will California's 2017 Laws Affect You: http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-pol-ca-new-2017-laws/#jobs


pb



  


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Arrest Mayors/Police Chiefs of Sanctuary Cities

Donald Trump wants to deprive sanctuary cities of federal funds, but there is an easier way of stopping the practice of providing "safe haven" for illegal aliens.  Arrest and convict the mayors and police chiefs of those cities that are in violation of federal law.

U.S. code "1907. Title 8, U.S.C. 1324(a)" states this:
"Harboring -- Subsection 1324(a)(1)(A)(iii) makes it an offense for any person who -- knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place, including any building or any means of transportation."
There is no question that these mayors and police chiefs in these cities, are both "knowing", and "in reckless" disregard of illegals in their communities.

Further, this U.S. code also states:
"The basic statutory maximum penalty for violating 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a)(1)(i) and (v)(I) (alien smuggling and conspiracy) is a fine under title 18, imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or both."
Additionally:
"...the basic statutory maximum term of imprisonment is 5 years, unless the offense was committed for commercial advantage or private financial gain, in which case the maximum term of imprisonment is 10 years."
More importantly, there is provision of the law:
"...if the violation results in the death of any person, the defendant may be punished by death or by imprisonment for any term of years."
Someone might remind San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee of that latter provision.  He was the mayor when Kathryn Steinle lost her life to a gunshot from an illegal alien in that declared "santuary city".  In fact, statistically, there are more than 820,000 criminal illegals in this country; of which 84% have either committed felonies and/or serious misdemeanors.   That's one-in-twelve who have violated our laws since they originally violated the law by coming into the country illegally.

In my opinion, arresting and trying mayors like Bill DeBlasio (New York City), Rahm Emanuel (Chicago), and Ed Lee (San Francisco) would be a much more powerful message than simply stripping their federal funds.

References:

Trump wants to strip federal funding from 'sanctuary cities': http://nypost.com/2017/01/25/trump-to-strip-federal-funding-from-sanctuary-cities/

U.S. code "1907. Title 8, U.S.C. 1324(a): https://www.justice.gov/usam/criminal-resource-manual-1907-title-8-usc-1324a-offenses

Mayors pledge to defend ‘sanctuary cities’ against Trump: http://nypost.com/2016/11/15/mayors-pledge-to-defend-sanctuary-cities-against-trump/

Family of woman killed by illegal immigrant files claims against San Francisco: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/sep/1/kathryn-steinle-family-suing-san-francisco-over-he/

Report: 820,000 criminal illegals, 84% with felonies, serious misdemeanors: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/report-820000-criminal-illegals-84-with-felonies-serious-misdemeanors/article/2609915