Thursday, November 10, 2016

NATION: Illegal Immigrants Fear Deportation Under Trump?

Disclaimer: I am neither a Hillary nor a Donald fan. Like most folks, I'm not thrilled with either. I'm an issue guy, and this is (yet another) issue-based, not partisan-based, discussion. Like all politicians, Trump makes a lot of promises, not all of which he will keep. Like Obama, let's wait him out and see what he does. How'd Barack do on closing Gitmo? Keeping your health plan if you like it? Etc. If you showed patience for Obama, how about extending it to Trump (or to Hillary if she were to have been elected).

Begin Commentary: Why didn't illegal aliens fear deportation under President Obama? During Obama's nearly 8 years in office, he deported far more illegal aliens than any other president before him. You can read about it on ABC News by clicking here. Sadly, our media propagates this fear of deportation without regard to the facts. Uneducated illegals apparently believe everything they hear on TV and take it as gospel. Sad.

8 years (almost) of President Obama: 2,500,000 illegals deported.
8 full years under President Bush: 2,000,000 illegals deported.
Fully 25% more illegals deported under President Obama. So many, in fact, that many immigration groups refer to him as the "Deporter in Chief". 

More inconvenient truths. 

Just one quote from the above artcle, if you are too lazy to click on it:

"Based on statements so far, Trump's plan to remove the undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes is similar to what President Obama declared in 2014."


Above: Rick and Chris had a Haunted House in El Segundo again this year. During a break, I took this "Mad Monk" selfie with some kids in line. Blog photos are more interesting with photos. 

I find it hard to deal with all the misinformation put out there by those who know better. Apparently, their intention is to upset (and bring to tears) illegal aliens in our country, and turning them towards their political side. How about some facts?

What will Trump do in regard to deportations? Probably about the same as Obama. That's why you can tell those who have broken our laws to enter or stay in our country.

E-Verify: Hopefully, the Trump administration gets the E-Verify system working correctly (another epic government failure) so that employers have a way to figure out if an employee can work here legally. There have been serious problems all along with E-Verify, as you can read by clicking here.

Here's a quote from the article:

"E-Verify’s accuracy problems mean that Americans are and will continue to be barred from work due to false positives.  Roughly 0.15 percent of all E-Verify queries result in a false “final non-confirmation.”  While that is an admittedly small percentage, if applied nationwide to an American labor pool of roughly 125 million workers, it would result in 187,500 wrongly issued FNCs to American workers each year. "

Saturday, November 5, 2016

NATION: Private Unions Good - Public Unions Bad

*****UPDATE: 11/5/2016
I am in favor of unions (under certain circumstances), such as when they are used to correct unfair work conditions and pay, and to deter illegal discrimination. However, public employee unions are a conflict of interest. Union members support politicians with their member donations, and the politicians, in turn, give out generous benefits (too generous to afford, in the case of California!) to the union members in exchange for their politicking and donations. Simple quid pro quo
Above: blog posts are boring without photos. "Abnormal Activity" Haunted House, 2016, El Segundo, Calif. Click to enlarge. Scene from the 1973 movie, "The Exorcist".

The government does not oppress it's workers - just the opposite. It coddles them, then pays them more than private sector workers (when you add up the lifetime pay AND benefits). I'm not saying that public workers don't perform necessary services - indeed, they often perform them well - I'm saying that public taxpayer-funded unions are unnecessary, based on the traditional union role to right the wrongs inflicted on the workers. With a government job (even more so with a government UNION job) you are in for life, you can never get thrown out, unless you do, as Donald Trump famously stated, "stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody".

Sunday, October 30, 2016

SLO Homeless Update: "50 Now" Program and the New "Homeless Services Center" (HSC)

*****UPDATE 10/30/2016: The Tribune ran a column in the Opinion Section on 10/30/2016 which you can read by clicking here. They are promoting the new homeless services center (HSC), and asking for the final donations needed to bring it into fruition. The foundation needs the final $250,000 in donations to build the center, which could be completed as soon as October 2017 (doubtful).  To donate, go to www.40prado.org/donate-now. The center should be called an "Emergency" (i.e., short term) Shelter, because it only houses 100 of our 2,000 homeless in the county. The only more permanent shelter after the HSC is the "50 Now" program. 
Above: Image from the above Tribune article, which I "borrowed" from them - I hope they don't mind!

The emperor has no clothes: we don't have any ability to help more than a handful of our many homeless in the most meaningful way possible: providing them shelter (permanent or semi-permanent). We have to do better than this, people! Step up! If you have a home, a bed, and food, then help those who do not! Set your pre-conceived notions of the homeless aside and help a fellow human being. Please! Peace.

Also, the various programs in place around the county to "help" the chronically homeless simply are not effective, likely due to insufficient resources. Occasionally I refer a homeless  person to these services, but for a variety of reasons, they are unable to help them, even though they desperately want help. Unless I follow up with these non-profits and government agencies, I never hear back from them. When I do follow up, they report that they were unable to help that person, leaving them to walk the streets and live in our creek beds and hidden homeless camps. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

AMERICA: Government Prevents Tiny Homes from Being a Solution

It's true. Check out this article from the Los Angeles Times: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-tiny-homes-20161014-snap-story.html

A few quotes from the LA Times story:

“There are so many roadblocks out there to selling them,” said Saenz, 75. “If they want to buy it, they don’t have the land. If they have the land, it’s not zoned for a tiny home. Or they don’t have enough cash.”

At first glance, the tiny home movement seems like a perfect multipurpose solution. Often priced at $50,000 or lower, they could be affordable to millennials burdened with student debt and baby boomers with skimpy retirement savings.
Above: Years of effort, thousands of hours, and so far, no "Tiny Home Village" in San Luis Obispo. Our government gives lip service to a tiny home village, but doesn't actually do anything to help make it happen - why? why? why? One possible answer: they already have a home, so tough luck for the poor and low income unfortunates. It's the "Let them eat cake" solution. Photo: "Cabin on Wheels" from HopesVillageofSlo.com

The LA Times story continues:

Travis Saenz of Adventure Cabins, a San Bernardino company that makes tiny homes, has had trouble selling the dwellings because of [government] zoning restrictions. 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

SLO COUNTY: 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness is NOT WORKING!

My blog is filled with things that people can do to help the homeless. Remember, "there but for the grace of G*d go I", which means - it could be you that is homeless, instead of them.  So do something helpful.

Our public officials display no sense of urgency in dealing with our unhoused crisis. I have no doubt that they are well-meaning, but: They write goals in annual plans to "end homelessness", then just worry about re-election. That's what I observe, anyways. At government meetings, I just want to stand up and scream: 8 years into your 10 year plan to "End Homelessness", there are MORE HOMELESS PEOPLE THAN WHEN YOU STARTED - doesn't that bother you just a little? Enough to do something - anything - about it?????


On July 15, 2016, the San Luis Obispo Tribune ran this letter to the editor about how we should be doing much better on our 10 year plan to end homelessness, given that it is now year 8. Please read the letter from Karen Wyckoff Bren entitled: SLO County Can Do Better for It's Homeless Population. I have been saying this so long that my tongue is bleeding.

Here are just a few excerpts from Ms. Bren's letter:

We are now in year eight of this plan. And given what I see on our streets and in our parks today, I question our progress toward this goal. I’m educating myself about homelessness, and I know how severely our state is being impacted by it — 22 percent of America’s homeless reside in California.


I call upon the Leadership Council Committee that generated this impressive 10-year plan to hold a meeting to update our community about our progress toward housing San Luis Obispo County’s homeless.


Finally, here is a link to SLO County's 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness, so that you can educate yourself on how poorly we are doing compared to the plan's "goal".

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Sunday, July 10, 2016

SAN LUIS OBISPO: Every Night of August 2016 - Homeless Shelter Overflow

Please consider helping homeless families in our community! CAPSLO’s (Community Action Partnership SLO) Maxine Lewis Memorial Shelter in SLO has limited beds for the homeless compared to the current need. Additional shelter is provided by the “Homeless Shelter Overflow” each month by 12 different Houses of Worship covering all 365 days per year. 
Being an overnight volunteer involves coming in at 6:15 pm and spending the night with another volunteer until 7:00 am. Only one volunteer needs to stay awake and the House of Worship for August 2016 has a nice lounge and couch where each volunteer can spend 1/2 the night. Bring reading material and sleeping bag. Snacks are provided. Wi-Fi is available. 
Above: Theo the backpacking dog, taking a needed rest. Beveridge Ghost Town, Inyo Mountain Wilderness, May 2016.

CAPSLO staff provides all the professional support needed for the homeless clients! CAPSLO also can be called anytime at night if there are questions or concerns. Please consider giving it a try! 
You will find out the location of the House of Worship in SLO once you sign up. Use the Sign-Up Genius link below and your email address to volunteer for a particular night in August 2016:
http://www.signupgenius.com/go/904044aa8ae22ab9-august1
If you have any questions, please contact Amanda Bailey (CAPSLO Volunteer Coordinator). Please pass this along to anyone that may want to help.
Amanda Bailey – Volunteer Coordinator
Phone (805) 544-4355 x121
abailey@capslo.org
www.capslo.org 
www.facebook.com/capslo

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Monday, July 4, 2016

MIND OF WAAG: This and That!

I've been spending a lot of time with the homeless lately, and our law firm is VERY busy, so haven't had time to do much posting. Wanted to put out some general thoughts while getting ready to put on a 4th of July BBQ and Party for 35 homeless guests at the CAPSLO's Homeless Shelter Overflow.

1. WE CAN DO BETTER! We need to do better with helping the homeless!  This month at the overflow there are about 9 babies under the age of 3 living in the homeless shelter, including 4 babies under 1 year old. Babies should NOT ever live in a shelter - sorry, they just shouldn't. We have to do better than we are doing!

2. THEO AND I ARE CONFUSED ABOUT TRADE: Fascinating that it used to the Republicans in favor of trade and the Democrats against it. Now its just the opposite. Except Hillary is against Obama's TPP, so maybe both parties are against Free Trade. Of course, Hillary was in favor of TPP before she was against it. It's hard to keep track sometimes. Personally, I am in favor of Free Trade, but then, nobody cares what i think (except my wife) which is fine with me! Photo of Theo the Dog - he is both confused about trade and all wet!!!
3. FAILURE TO PULL THE TRIGGER ON BREXIT? I have a libertarian bent, so I wouldn't like living in a country (such as the UK) where a faceless bureaucracy from another country tells my country what to do, so I tend to favor BREXIT. Go BREXIT! However, right now, I believe the odds are strong that the Brits will never invoke the BREXIT notification to the EU. Why? Because nobody expected it to pass, and Britain's political Brexit crowd has no idea what to do, and is running away from it as fast as their little British legs will carry them. Sure is entertaining to watch from our vantage point on the "other side of the pond"! Will the Brits pull the trigger on Article 50 and start their 2 year exit timetable? I doubt it. Time will tell, but I think I'm right!

4. HILLARY WORKS THE SYSTEM BETTER THAN TRUMP! For years, I had a Top Secret Clearance, as well as HIGHER classified clearances. One time, many years ago, I left a piece of classified paper out on my desk overnight in a completely classified building with armed guards. The result? I got written up! Indeed, I was told, 1 more violation, and I would lose my clearance and be fired. Oh, and never be able to get a Security Clearance EVER AGAIN! What makes something classified is the information itself, and not a "Classified Stamp". Anyways, months ago, I called it that there was no way that the FBI or DOJ would go after Hillary, no matter what they found. Could you imagine how the world economies would crash if Clinton was indicted? Anyways, I was right. Clearly, there are those who will get away with it (the big guys) and those that will get prosecuted (the little guys; i.e., most of us, like me).  If I did what Hillary did, I'd be in jail - period. And its not even close. The system IS rigged - it always has been - you just didn't know it! Mr. Comey's boss (President Obama) was out publicly campaigning with Hillary on the day that Comey released his findings. If Obama didn't know the outcome of the investigation, is there any way he would have been with Hillary when the results came out? No way! Plus, he endorsed Hillary while the investigation that might criminally indict her was still under way - would he do that if he knew she was headed for Jail? Think about it, people.

5. HILLARY TO ENTERTAIN US FOR 4 MORE YEARS! It's come down to this: I no longer think it really makes a difference who is in the Oval Office, with a few exceptions, such as nominating Supreme Court justices. Since Hillary is like nails on a chalkboard to me, and she can't seem to keep her foot out of her mouth, I want her to win, simply for the entertainment value that she will provide to us. Yes, even more entertaining than "The Donald"! Hardworking Americans will continue to make the country function, even if our leaders are clueless and continue to work against our interests. Go Hillary!!!!!! (You gotta love that face - you better, because you'll be seeing a lot in the next 4 years!)
6. ALL ABOUT POLITICS: SUPREME COURT, IRS, DEPT. OF JUSTICE, FBI, YOU NAME IT:  The current Supreme Court makes decisions based on the political beliefs of the individual justices, and not the law - they simply ignore what the law says, and vote their political persuasion. Witness the recent utterances of Justice Ginsberg made on separate occasions during July 2016, calling Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump names and saying she would move to New Zealand if he was elected. The Supreme Court, along with all other courts, are supposed to maintain an air of impartiality. That ship has now sailed: the Supreme Court is just another political body that is rigged against us. Yes, justices can hold political beliefs - they just need to keep it to themselves. Sad, indeed.

The IRS goes after conservative groups, government IRS employees plead the 5th, and it's business as usual - nobody is held to account. And on and on it goes. Why did Comey let Hillary off the hook? Read about some potential answers by clicking here. What's in it for Mr. Comey, head of the FBI? Perhaps he is promised a plush job by the Clinton machine after he leaves government, or even better, $500,000 speaking engagements like those Bill C. gets, perhaps? Here's a new one: Comey actually wanted to provide evidence of HRC's extreme guilt, yet, uncharacteristically for the FBI, gave a recommendation not to indict, thus ending the suspense. Had Hillary been indicted, then a much more electable Joe Biden would have stepped in and beat Trump. So, by Comey's actions, he produced a storm cloud over Hillary's election, yet ensured that Biden would not have to step in - very clever! Yep. Against Hillary, Trump has a small chance to win - against Uncle Joe - no chance! It sure appears that the system is rigged, though we'll never know for sure, because they are never going to tell us what is going on behind the scenes.

7. My Recent Affliction - I Have a White Savior Complex!  Now, I have had my issues with the police over the years, but I still consider myself a "law and order" kinda guy (even when it comes to homeless issues). After the "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" mantra was revealed by a multitude of minority witnesses to be completely false, it is still the narrative of a group that only believes one racial class "matters". We quickly learned that insisting that "All Lives Matter" makes you a racist. That same group occasionally chants for the killing of law enforcement officers (or "pigs"), without any consequences. Law enforcement has largely caved in to their demands, allowing looting, burning, and overturning cop cars to go on without consequence, and now we have increases in violent crime, particularly murders. How can this be good? Anyways, I'm a white male so I am automatically a racist - fine, if you insist. For the last few decades, I've been helping a lot of homeless people, many of whom happen to be minorities, and now I find out that I apparently have a "White Savior Complex" too! So what am I to do? Answer: continue to do the right thing, and try my best to ignore the PC crowd, no matter how "in my face" they try to be.

8. BEING IN FAVOR OF "LAW AND ORDER" IS JUST A "DOG WHISTLE" CALL FOR BEING A RACIST: Well, it's a new one on me, but okay - if I'm for "Law and Order", then I'm a racist. I'm really getting tired of this. Not convinced? You can read about how I am even more of a racist than I was before, because in no. 7 above, I said that "I consider myself a law and order kind of guy" - read about the twisted logic by clicking here.

Peace and have a great 4th of July.