Will He Stay Out This Time?

According to Fox News, after the not guilty verdict in the Kate Steinle murder, federal officials are now charging Jose Ines Garcia Zarate with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and for being an illegally present alien in possession of a firearm and ammunition. If he is convicted on either charge, he could face a maximum of ten years in jail.

The article also reports:

After Zarate’s acquittal, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement also announced last week that they planned to take Zarate into custody and remove him from the U.S. after the case was completely over.

When you consider the fact that Zarate was in the country illegally after having been deported five times. Why do we think that deporting him a sixth time will keep him out of the country? This man is a classic example of the reason we need to control our borders. We need to know who is coming into the country, what their purpose is in coming here and how long they plan to stay. Why are we putting the so-called rights of someone who is here illegally above the right to life of an American citizen?

Common Sense Comes To The Park Service

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today about a recent decision by the National Park Service.

The article reports:

The National Park Service told the Washington Free Beacon it is no longer providing funding for a controversial project “honoring the legacy” of the Black Panther Party after outrage that the agency would spend taxpayer dollars to memorialize a group that murdered a park ranger in the 1970s.

The Free Beacon revealed last month that the Park Service gave roughly $100,000 to the University of California, Berkeley for a research project on the Marxist extremist group to “memorialize a history that brought meaning to lives far beyond the San Francisco Bay Area.”

“Committed to truthfully honoring the legacy of [Black Panther Party] BPP activists and the San Francisco Bay Area communities they served, the project seeks to document the lives of activists and elders and the landscapes that shaped the movement,” the National Park Service stated in the grant awarded for the project.

A captain in the Black Panther Party murdered National Park Service ranger Kenneth Patrick while he was on patrol near San Francisco in 1973. Patrick was shot three times by Veronza Leon Curtis Bowers Jr., who is currently serving a life sentence for first-degree murder. Patrick left behind a widow and three children.

In 1997 David Horowitz published a book called Radical Son. The book details Mr. Horowitz’s experiences as a 1960’s radical and details his involvement with the Black Panthers during that time. He details the story of the murder of a friend of his that he had recommended as a bookkeeper for the group. Shortly after she began asking questions about the books she was keeping and the financing of the group, she was murdered. This is not a group that needs to be either memorialized or celebrated.

A New Way Of Causing Divisions Among People

Divide and conquer can be defined in politics, sociology and economics, as a strategy to gain or maintain power. It is possible to set up artificial divisions between groups of people that prevent them from getting together exercising their freedom and rights. If a government can keep people fighting each other, it can prevent them from looking at any problems the government may be causing. It can also cause people to be preoccupied with their differences while an overly powerful government takes control. That is exactly what is going on in American today.

Here is one example reported by CBN News:

College campuses across the U.S. are participating in a poster campaign to raise awareness about “institutional oppression.”

The posters list several categories of privilege but puts an emphasis on “Christian privilege.”

“If you can expect time off from work to celebrate your religious holidays, you have Christian privilege,” said the poster which originated at the University of San Francisco

…Posters put up at Virginia Tech, Oregon University, and the University of San Francisco suggests that Christians receive an assortment of unearned advantages. 

“Today, I was diagnosed with privilege”, said Elizabeth Campbell, chairwoman of the conservative Young Americans for Freedom chapter at Virginia Tech. 

“Symptoms: white, Christian, straight, ‘cisgender,’ and able bodied,” Campbell wrote on YAF’s website. “Virginia Tech deciding who does and does not have privilege is not okay. Going up to a sign and reading that you should ‘check your privilege’ just because of the situations you were born into, and paths you have chosen for your life, is categorizing and dividing people further.”

Parents, take a good look at what your children are learning in college. How much is it costing you to have them fed this garbage?

Teaching Our Children Really Bad Political Practices

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about political correctness run amok. The story was about an election at a San Francisco middle school.

The article reports:

A student government election at a San Francisco middle school had its results ignored after a principal decided the candidates elected were too white.

Elections were held at Everett Middle School Oct. 10, but on Oct. 14 principal Lena Van Haren sent an email to parents saying the results were being ignored, without being made public, because those elected did not reflect how diverse the school is. While Everett is more than 80 percent non-white, Van Haren said the election results “weren’t representative” of that.

“That is concerning to me because as principal I want to make sure the voices are all heard, from all backgrounds,” Van Haren told local KTVU News.

The students voted. No one twisted their arms. There was no illegal registration or restriction of the vote. The students chose who would represent them.

Stop and think for a minute. Teenagers know who has it together and who doesn’t. They probably picked the most popular, the best looking, and someone they thought was the smartest. Isn’t that true equality–you pick the person that meets the standards you set, regardless of race, color, religion, looks, height, sex, etc.?

The article further reports:

“The organizers are saying things like, ‘we want everyone’s voice to be heard,’ but in truth, the voters’ voices are not being heard,” seventh grader Sebastian Kaplan told KRON, another local news station. “The whole school voted for those people, so it is not like people rigged the game, but in a way, now it is kinda being rigged.”

Van Haren went on to say that she is considering a variety of fixes to the problem, including appointing several new positions in order to ensure more minorities are represented without kicking out those who actually won the election.

So the principal is simply diluting the voices of the children who were elected in order to reach her idea of ideal racial balance. What lesson does that teach the children?

Let’s See How Serious Congress Is About Protecting Americans

On Wednesday Breitbart.com posted an article about an amendment Representative Kevin Yoder introduced to the 2016 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill. The bill has been passed in the House Appropriations Committee. Let’s see how far it goes after that.

The article reports:

The revision serves to withhold funding from cities with sanctuary policies and inhibit enforcement of immigration law.

Thousands of Americans fall victim to crimes by illegal aliens each year that could be prevented, such as the July 1 death of Kate Steinle in San Francisco. Her murder may have been prevented had the “sanctuary city” not released a five-time deported, seven-time convicted felon back out onto American streets.

Steinle’s killer made a jailhouse confession in which he indicated that he chose San Francisco for its lax immigration enforcement.

…The House Appropriations Committee is also pushing to keep U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement from releasing criminal illegal aliens from custody before they are deported, the Associated Press reported.

Some 1,400 criminal illegal aliens released under the Obama administration in the 2014 fiscal year committed additional crimes, Breitbart News reported Tuesday.

When Viewing The Statistics, Follow The Money

On Sunday, Michael Barone posted an article at the Washington Examiner about mass transit in America. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) announced last week that Americans use of public transportation was at an all-time high.

The chart below tells a different story:

So why would the American Public Transportation Association be telling us that ridership of public transportation is up? Well, it has to do with the way highway funds are distributed.

The article explains:

APTA is promoting the idea of a transit boom because it would like to see lots of federal money continue to be spent on transit. It already is: as King et al. point out, transit receives about 20 percent of federal surface transportation funding while accounting for only 2 to 3 percent of U.S. passenger trips. And as Cox points out, two-thirds of the recent rise in transit commuting occurred in the six “transit legacy cities”–New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston and Washington. These six cities have the nation’s six largest concentrations of downtown office employment, and transit routes were designed to funnel people into and out of these concentrated areas. Transit use has languished in other areas with subways or much touted light railway systems like Portland‘s.

Those who complain about the condition of the nation’s highways need to remember that since the 1980’s, money has been taken from highway funding to pay for bike paths and other items that are not related to maintaining highways. The program with our highways is not lack of money–it is how the money is spent. The amount of spending on public transportation in relation to the percentage of the population that uses public transportation is another example of the government trying to force people to do something they are not interested in doing. That is not the government’s job.

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Your Tax Dollars At Work

Below are some of the provisions in the current farm bill being debated on by the House and the Senate. Are these really things we need to do when we are currently more than $17 trillion in debt?

Some highlights:

…provide for “Economic Adjustment Assistance” that would pay domestic manufacturers of cotton products $66 for each ton they use of “upland cotton”—the most common type of the fiber grown in the United States

…grants have included $1,055,996 to the Unison Resource Company, San Francisco Carbon collaborative, and EcoAnalytics to prevent global warming by reducing intestinal methane emissions from cattle

…transforming goat manure into “biochar” (a.k.a. charcoal) to mitigate global warming. Said biochar is buried to eliminate the greenhouse gas emissions that would otherwise occur from the natural degradation of goat manure

…a tax of 15 cents per (Christmas) tree on sellers to support a marketing program for enhancing the image of the industry

…$100 million and the House $225 million for the “Rural Energy for America” program. Recipients have included the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center in Patagonia, Arizona, which was awarded $45,263 to install a solar energy system. The center is dedicated to “whole-person enlightenment” under the direction of an ordained rabbi, “acknowledged” yogi, and four-year Native American Sundancer. (Just FYI: The body-cleansing regimen starts at $3,159.)

…subsidies for “Access to Broadband Telecommunications Services in Rural Areas.” The Senate would double the current spending—to $250 million—and include subsidies for “ultra-high speed broadband.” The House proposes to maintain spending at $125 million

Just as some of the smart phone commercials used to say, “There’s an app for that,” Americans can say in almost any case, “There’s a government program for that.” I don’t think that is a good thing.

 

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Sometimes Going Green Has A High Price Tag

Steven Hayward at Power Line posted an article today about the unintended consequences in cities and counties that have banned plastic bags in supermarkets. It seems that the use of cloth bags has caused some unintended problems.

The article quotes U. of Penn. Inst for Law & Econ Research Paper 13-2:

San Francisco County was the first major US jurisdiction to enact such a regulation, implementing a ban in 2007. There is evidence, however, that reusable grocery bags, a common substitute for plastic bags, contain potentially harmful bacteria. We examine emergency room admissions related to these bacteria in the wake of the San Francisco ban. We find that ER visits spiked when the ban went into effect. Relative to other counties, ER admissions increase by at least one fourth, and deaths exhibit a similar increase.

The article also quotes an article at Bloomberg.com:

Klick and Wright estimate that the San Francisco ban results in a 46 percent increase in deaths from foodborne illnesses, or 5.5 more of them each year. They then run through a cost-benefit analysis employing the same estimate of the value of a human life that the Environmental Protection Agency uses when evaluating regulations that are supposed to save lives. They conclude that the anti-plastic-bag policies can’t pass the test — and that’s before counting the higher health-care costs they generate.

Back to the drawing board…

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When Common Sense And Government Part Ways

I love flowers and shrubs. I don’t have a green thumb, but I keep planting, and the strong survive. I do try, however, to keep things in perspective. I think most of us do. But then, there is the government.

Yesterday CNS News posted a story about moving a bush as part of a highway renovation project. Doesn’t sound like much–all of us occasionally move plants around our yard, right? Well, when the government gets involved, strange things happen.

The article reports:

The bush—a Franciscan manzanita—was a specimen of a commercially cultivated species of shrub that can be purchased from nurseries for as little as $15.98 per plant. The particular plant in question, however, was discovered in the midst of the City of San Francisco, in the median strip of a highway, and was deemed to be the last example of the species in the “wild.”

Prior to the discovery of this “wild” Franciscan manzanita, the plant had been considered extinct for as long as 62 years–extinct, that is, outside of people’s yards and botanical gardens.

So I guess it doesn’t matter what the plant is–it matters where it grows. Since the plant was in the “wild,” various federal agencies needed to be consulted (not to mention scientists and other concerned organizations). Before this story was over, it involved comments by and information from the Department of Interior, Dr. Daniel Gluesenkamp, a botanist who was then the director of Habitat Protection and Restoration for Audubon Canyon Ranch, a  biologist from the Presidio Trust , the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the California Department of Fish and Game. A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was developed for saving this one bush from the highway project, for which ground had been broken in December 2009.

The article further reports:

While the MOA did not detail all the costs for moving the bush, it did state that in addition to funding removal and transportation of the Franciscan manzanita, Caltrans agreed to transfer $79,470 to the Presidio Trust “to fund the establishment, nurturing, and monitoring of the Mother Plant in its new location for a period not to exceed ten (10) years following relocation and two (2) years for salvaged rooted layers and cuttings according to the activities outlined in the Conservation Plan.”

Furthermore, Presidio Parkway Project spokesperson Molly Graham told CNSNews.com that the “hard removal”—n.b. actually digging up the plant, putting it on a truck, driving it somewhere else and replanting it–cost $100,000.

The MOA also stated that Caltrans agreed to “Transfer $25,605.00 to the Trust to fund the costs of reporting requirements of the initial 10-year period as outlined in the Conservation Plan.”

Please read the entire article to get the detailed picture of moving this plant. The article states that the cost of moving this plant was at least $205,075 in 2010. It was partially funded by the stimulus program. I’m glad to see that Vice-President Biden was keeping a close watch on how the stimulus money was spent.  

 

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It Really Does Depend On The Parents–Not The State

Hot Air posted a story yesterday stating that McDonald’s has found a way to get around the food police in San Francisco.

The article reports:

Come Dec. 1, you can still buy the Happy Meal. But it doesn’t come with a toy. For that, you’ll have to pay an extra 10 cents.

Huh. That hardly seems to have solved the problem (though adults and children purchasing unhealthy food can at least take solace that the 10 cents is going to Ronald McDonald House charities). But it actually gets worse from here. Thanks to Supervisor Eric Mar’s much-ballyhooed new law, parents browbeaten into supplementing their preteens’ Happy Meal toy collections are now mandated to buy the Happy Meals.

Today and tomorrow mark the last days that put-upon parents can satiate their youngsters by simply throwing down $2.18 for a Happy Meal toy. But, thanks to the new law taking effect on Dec. 1, this is no longer permitted. Now, in order to have the privilege of making a 10-cent charitable donation in exchange for the toy, you must buy the Happy Meal. Hilariously, it appears Mar et al., in their desire to keep McDonald’s from selling grease and fat to kids with the lure of a toy have now actually incentivized the purchase of that grease and fat — when, beforehand, a put-upon parent could get out cheaper and healthier with just the damn toy.

I can’t even remember the last time I ate at McDonald’s. My children probably went to McDonald’s when they were living at home about eight or nine times a year. That’s not because I was a great parent, I just figured out that some of the local hole-in-the-wall restaurants sold better food that didn’t really cost much more. However, I hate to see the food police make rules on eating establishments that have nothing to do with actual food safety. What children eat is the responsibility of their parents. If we are not properly educating the parents on what to feed their children, is that not the problem that we should be addressing. I understand that it is hard to juggle a job and familly and manage to cook healthy dinners all week, but taking the toys out of Happy Meals does not address that problem. The true solution is to help parents find alternatives to McDonald’s that are healthier, while leaving McDonald’s as an occasional option.

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