Tag Archives: California

Amtrack’s California Zephyr Derailed

Amtrack's California Zephyr

Amtrack’s California Zephyr derailed on Friday after striking an “agricultural vehicle” at a crossing. The train was carrying about 175 passengers of which a small number have been taken to a local hospital.

The train derailed about 8am near Max, Nebraska near the borders of Kansas and Colorado. Both locomotives and 3 of the 10 passenger cars are no longer on the tracks.

 

The Cowboy Rides In

Well it’s official, Rick Perry is making the run for president in 2012. Not everyone is thrilled about Perry entering the race, especially liberals. There are some in the Conservative/Republican camps that aren’t real happy with the decision either. Why might so many people be nervous? Let’s take a look at a few reasons they may be nervous.

The great state of Texas (I know, I’m a little partial about my home) has been adding more jobs throughout the economic troubles than many of the states combined. Why has Texas faired so well compared to other states? Could it be that Texas is so much more business friendly than most states?

Recently Andy Puzder, the CEO of Hardees restaurant said due to hostile regulations in California it takes six months to two years to attain permits to build a new restaurant, where it takes six weeks in Texas. Less regulations and lower taxes are just a couple of reasons for companies to move to Texas.

On the personal side there isn’t an income tax in Texas. So the only one dipping into your paycheck is the federal government. Another plus is no tax on most groceries so you can keep a few more things in the pantry. And what can I say about the natural beauty that abounds in Texas (again, I’m a little partial).

Rick Perry has been the governor of  Texas since George W. Bush decided to run for President. Perry is not in the position of taking credit for something left by his predecessor. Perry has been in office long enough that he can say the reason the state of Texas has done so well in the economic downturn is because of his leadership.

Perry is a firm believer in the Second Amendment. He is even known to pack heat himself. In 2010, while out for a jog, Perry shot a coyote when it tried to attack his daughter’s Labrador retriever.

Perry is not perfect, but of all of the hats in the ring right now, I think this cowboy is the best bet.

_____________________________________________________________

For those of you that own firearms, train hard and well and teach those that do not know how.
Be good stewards of the right to bear arms, for we are the last line of defense against tyranny.
-Benjamin Wallace

You can follow Benjamin Wallace on Facebook.

California’s ‘Boondoggle’ Report – I mean High Speed Rail Report

The term “Boondoggle” may be used to refer to protracted government or corporate projects involving large numbers of people and usually heavy expenditure, where at some point, the key operators, having realized that the project will never work, are still reluctant to bring this to the attention of their superiors.

Generally there is an aspect of “going through the motions” – for example, continuing to waste money on High-Speed Rail – as long as funds are available.

Obama’s inspiring vision of a nation crisscrossed by bullet trains, providing cleaner, safer and cheaper competition to airlines and reducing reliance on gas-guzzling automobiles, is in serious jeopardy as a new Republican majority in the House looks to slash his funding plans. In this environment, California is a test case for whether high-speed trains can succeed in the U.S. — and so far, the state is failing the test.

California’s Legislative Analyst’s Office forecasts a state budget deficit of $25.4 billion that the Legislature needs to plug before the next fiscal year begins. The LAO’s gloomy budget outlook is blamed in part on a $6 billion shortfall in the current fiscal year. California faces a $20 billion a year deficit through 2015-2016.

Seems California is in serious economic trouble, but yet they want to continue with Obama’s “Boondoggle” called high-speed rail?

Viewpoints: Case for high-speed rail grows only stronger. The last time many Californians thought about high-speed rail was in the voting booth. On that day, Nov. 4, 2008, more than 6 million voted to tell the state to get going, to build high-speed rail in California. Now, 2 ½ years later, the second guessing is in full swing. In recent weeks some have suggested that the project – High Speed Rail – be put on hold.

Most people I talk to have said this about high-speed rail – this is something the country ‘wants’ now, but it can’t afford it at the moment. The backers of high-speed rail are now using the “high Gas, cleaner environment issues” to their advantage – claiming that these HSR trains are cleaner and people will decide to pay to ride the train – instead of grid-locking the interstates with automobiles.

This of course is all speculation, because no where in the United States do we have an actual HSR service. The Legislative Analyst’s Office published a report calling for at least a ‘temporary halt’ to the project. The report alluded to a number of concerns about the project:

  • The amount and timing of future federal funding are unclear.
  • Spending state funds on rail will mean there is less money for other things.
  • We do not yet know how much private investment the system can attract, or when it will come.
  • Starting construction in the Central Valley is a “gamble.”

These “concerns” would make me cautious of this project too.

  1. They have no clue when or even if they will receive more federal funding.
  2. California is in real debt trouble – wasting states money on HSR – means less money for projects that are really needed.
  3. There is a “hint” of interest from private investments – but they have not seen any money from them yet – nor have the private investors 100% committed to investing.
  4. To qualify for the federal funds, planners had to agree to break ground by 2012. Federal officials deemed that the only segment that would be ready for construction so quickly was in the ‘sparsely’ populated Central Valley. As a result, the bulk of the $3.5 billion kicked in by the Obama administration must be spent on a train running between the tiny towns of Borden and Corcoran. Ridership on this initial segment would be slight, making it impossible to operate the train without taxpayer subsidies. Yet under the terms of Proposition 1A, the state can’t issue bonds to pay for the project unless it has been demonstrated to be self-sufficient. What’s more, if federal and other funds for further construction dry up, California could end up with an expensive train to nowhere.

So I can see why the Legislative Analyst’s Office has their concerns. I have my concerns as well, since I am helping to pay for it. California has a huge debt problem, my main concern is that Obama will want to help “bail” them out of debt forcing taxpayers to pay for California’s problems. Then we as taxpayers are obligated to pay for all these HSR Boondoggles too!

The train’s biggest problems can be laid at the feet of the California High Speed Rail Authority, which is overseeing its construction. Inexperienced board members appointed by the governor and Legislature on the basis of political patronage rather than expertise have made a host of poor decisions. The poor planning shows as the board plans to take a circuitous route from Los Angeles to Bakersfield by veering through Palmdale and Lancaster. This would add 30 miles to the trip plus $1 billion in construction costs, and make it all but impossible for the train to meet its promised travel time of 2 hours and 40 minutes from L.A. to San Francisco. Compared with the more direct route along Interstate 5 through the Grapevine.

This country is in a real debt crisis with unemployment way up, high gas prices, higher food prices and such. Why are we allowing Obama to “gamble” with his HSR dream? This is something the country would like to have but it doesn’t necessarily need it at the moment. We need to get our priorities straight spend our money wisely on things we already have but are in severe need of improving. Instead of “gambling” away at projects most of us already know – won’t succeed.

 

 

Some of America’s Infrastructure has Made in China Stamped on it?

With unemployment in California at 11.9% why on earth would they want to “outsource” the easiest jobs that can be created – construction jobs? The U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood had assured people in the U.S. that everything to do with all these infrastructure projects will be built using American Made products. Why is China building a section of the eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge?

$400 million dollars cheaper is why. California officials estimate that they will save at least $400 million by having so much of the work done in China. California issued bonds to finance the project, and will look to recoup the cost through tolls.

It turns out that China is getting lots of work here in the U.S. in New York City alone, Chinese companies have won contracts to help renovate the subway system, refurbish the Alexander Hamilton Bridge over the Harlem River and build a new Metro-North train platform near Yankee Stadium.

I sure hope with all these infrastructure projects that China is involved in are made better than “most” made in China products that I have ever seen – can you say CHEAP? I worked for years on a farm that my dad owns, I know how “cheap-made” China’s products are, same goes for Mexico. This is a major problem here in the U.S., it’s why the nation’s unemployment rate is a 9% average or more.

I may complain a lot about all this money being basically wasted on different things. But I am going to complain more when my tax money is going for things that we can make here in the U.S. that would give jobs to American workers. I think everyone would agree that if our tax money is going to be spent – then it needs to be spent in America – not another country.

When you look at the entire picture we will be losing more than construction jobs on this “China made” California bridge. It has to be transported from China by a Chinese boat and fuel for the boat will be from China. I could go on listing several things that America has lost by California outsourcing the construction of this bridge – but I won’t I think you get the picture.

Zhenhua the Chinese company building the bridge put 3,000 employees to work on the project: steel-cutters, welders, polishers and engineers. The company built the main bridge tower, which was shipped in mid-2009, and a total of 28 bridge decks — the massive triangular steel structures that will serve as the roadway platform. That is not all – to ensure the bridge meets safety standards, 250 employees and consultants working for the state of California and American Bridge/Fluor also took up residence in Shanghai.

We here in the United States must really owe China a lot of money. It is bad enough that we borrow money from China to give to other country’s – that sometimes don’t even like us – but we are giving them our jobs too! This needs to stop, I know we can build and manufacture these products here in the U.S. – it may be a little higher – but the quality is much better – and plus the money stays in this country.

California Small Businesses Urge Governor to Veto Budget Trailer Bill

SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 20, 2011 — With 25,000 businesses at risk, members of the Performance Marketing Association are urging the Governor to veto ABX1 28.

Rebecca Madigan, Executive Director, Performance Marketing Association, stated, “This budget trailer bill, along with any other nexus tax legislation, will devastate a currently growing and vibrant segment of California’s technology economy, Affiliate Marketers.”

Similar legislation has been proposed in numerous other states, only to be rejected because those elected officials recognized these proposals do not generate any additional sales tax revenue and, in fact, harm small businesses.

ABX1 28 is just more of the same; it will simply not address the budget deficit because it will terminate their relationships with 25,000 California Affiliate Marketers, along with putting the growth of startup companies and venture capital projects at risk.

Keith Posehn, CEO, AppZorz stated, “Internet nexus tax bills, such at ABX1 28, needlessly endanger the growth of our state’s tech startup community; several investors we’ve pitched to during our fundraising have openly questioned the wisdom of staying in California.”

In 2010 Affiliate Marketers paid $151 million in state income taxes. If ABX1 28 passes, these small businesses will go out of business or move out of state to preserve their incomes. As a result, California’s current deficit and economic outlook will get worse.

“We hired 40 people last year and we had planned to hire another 25 people in 2011. We have stopped hiring until we know what will happen, but we are hopeful our Governor will protect small businesses like ours and keep Internet technology and innovation strong in California,” state Loren Bendel, CEO, Savings.com.

“We remain hopeful the Governor will recognize the potential legal flaws and the deceptive economic promises held within ABX1 28 and promptly veto this devastating legislation,” Madigan concluded.

 

High-Speed Rail Rip-off in Liberal La-La Land

Source: Getty Images
     Pictured at left is Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. This is the man who tried to help force the high-speed rail boondoggle onto the citizens of Florida after we voted down a tax for it, and our Governor, Rick Scott turned down the Federal funds dangled in front of  him for this scam. Governor Scott sited bloated ridership projections and a slew of Liberal math based revenues, and low-ball cost projections as his reason for turning down the high-speed rail plan. Governor Scott, you see actually has decades of business budgeting in his background, and saw through the fluffy false data that was presented to him when he reviewed the project. Florida will no longer be on the hook in the future for billions of dollars in waste, fraud, and abuse inherent in these projects, and we owe Governor Scott a debt of gratitude for his strong protection of the Florida taxpayers in this debacle.
    For the sceptics that want proof of the above statements, we have to look no further than the recently exposed high-speed-rail scam recently uncovered in California. This is what happens when you elect unqualified Liberals to positions of power, as they have been doing in California for decades. Oh yes it’s real cool man, as we see Governor Jerry Brown try to deal with a $25 billion dollar shortfall this year. Already on the chopping block there is the closing of a slew of State Parks to try to save money.  I can’t imagine the folks in Liberal La-La land going without their State parks.  As far as California goes, they got sucked right into the high-speed rail scheme, and now they are going to pay for it big time !  Adam B Summers, a policy analyst at The Reason Foundation laid it all out nicely in an op-ed in the San Diego Union-Tribune recently. In it he stated:

Voters narrowly approved issuing $9.95 billion in bonds, with expectations that the federal government and private investors would cover the rest. But after the election, cost estimates rose to $43 billion for the Los Angeles-San Francisco project alone.

Also, the one-way fare between the two cities was predicted to be $55, making it cheaper than flying. But after the election, ticket price estimates rose to $105, observes Adam B. Summers, a policy analyst at the Reason Foundation.

“Like most large public infrastructure projects, the California high-speed rail project was sold to the public based on false promises, exaggerated benefits and low-ball cost estimates,” Summers writes in an opinion piece for the San Diego Union-Tribune.

He points out that ridership estimates are projected as high as 117 million passengers per year. Yet the entire Amtrak system, which includes more than 500 destinations and 21,000 miles of track, serves just 27 million passengers a year. (emphasis mine)

     The actual cost is over 400% of the original projections,  ( lies ) the ridership projections are so inflated that it is almost beyond comprehension, as in Amtrak serving 27 million riders a year while the scheming politicians and fraudsters had the people of California believing that this high-speed rail project would have 117 million riders a year. WOW.  Where the hell did Californians think all these riders would come from?  False promises, exaggerated revenue projections and benefits and low-ball cost estimates, and the people of California bought it up like $10 dollar Gucci handbags at a flea market!  Right there we see every reason Governor Scott turned down this rail scheme, and he is proven to be 100% correct, and yet we still have some morons down here in Florida, ( The St Pete Times to name the biggest one ) crying about his decision. Amazing.

Mr Summers also pointed out the insanity of this boondoggle was exposed as early as 2008, yet the corruto-crats and the California media puppets of the Liberal machine kept the truth from the people:

Summers notes that a September 2008 study published by the Reason Foundation and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association found that the actual cost of the high-speed rail system would be at least $65 billion and perhaps as high as $81 billion, and that “the project was not viable because it was based on wildly optimistic assumptions.”

Governors in Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin have recently canceled plans for high-speed rail projects in their states. Summers urges that California, which is running deficits of up to $25 billion a year, “should follow their example and put a stop to this boondoggle before it becomes yet another budgetary black hole for the state.”

Thank you Governor Scott and the other Governors that have protected the taxpayers by refusing this Liberal high-speed rail scheme that is being promoted by most of the lame media puppets across America today. I hereby issue a challenge to ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, and Fox to report this information on the high-0speed rail rip-off that now hangs over the California taxpayers heads for decades to come, all simply because of media manipulation, malpractice and flat out lies. What say you MSM ?

Kicked out of Canada, Jailed in France, Muslim cleric caught being smuggled into U.S

    Pictured is the U S/ Mexico Border station where agents made a surprising discovery when searching the trunk of a Mexican registered BMW.  Inside they found one Mr. Said Jaziri, a native of Tunisia. Mr Jaziri also happens to be a radical Muslim Cleric whom was deported  from Canada in 2007  for “forgetting” to put on his refugee application the small fact that he was  jailed in France for threatening the life of Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard for his drawings of  the profit Mohamaad. I must add here that it is pretty difficult to get yourself deported from Canada these days, no matter the facts. They have a history of leniency towards certain Muslim Clerics/ suspected terrorists, and assorted questionable characters. That leads me to believe there is more to this story than meets the eye. Two reasons  for that statement can be found in an article from the internet news site MailOnline, in an article dated 1/29/2011. *

“He was being held as a material witness in the criminal case against Mr Lawler, who has been charged with immigrant smuggling.”

“Lise Garon, a professor of communications at Laval University in Quebec City, told the Los Angeles Times: ‘His nickname in Quebec was the controversial imam.”

‘I think he was deported because people hated his ideas.’

     Mr. Kenneth Robert Lawler ( Jaziri’s driver) is the person who is actually charged with the crime of immigrant smuggling here. The radical muslim cleric, at the time of  writing this article, is only being held as a “witness.”  Will he be charged with illegal entry to the U.S. ?  Only time will tell. This situation does blow some holes in Janet Napolitano’s recent statements that our border is more secure than ever, and that radical Muslims from far away lands are not illegally crossing into the U.S.A.  via the border with Mexico.

   I must add that I was living in Montreal Canada in 2007 when Mr. Jaziri was said to have been deported because, as Lise Garon (above) stated, people hated his ideas. Montreal has a fairly large and growing population of Muslims, and the last thing Canada would do is deport him soley because people “hated his ideas.” As I stated above, this story is much, much deeper than meets the eye. I will be following it closely to see just what happens to Mr. Jaziri and how the DHS, under Ms. Napolitano deals with him. I also expect CAIR, the Counsel on American-Islamic relations, to get involved real quickly here.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1351385/Controversial-Muslim-cleric-caught-smuggled-U-S-Mexico-border.html#ixzz1CQkytwLZ 
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1351385/Controversial-Muslim-cleric-caught-smuggled-U-S-Mexico-border.html#ixzz1CQkayJcz

 

 *http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1351385/Controversial-Muslim-cleric-caught-smuggled-U-S-Mexico-border.html

California Dreamin

California Governor Jerry Brown was in the news again last week, with a startling “revelation”. He declared a State of Fiscal Emergency after looking at California’s budget, as California is 25.5 billion in the red. People seem to forget that this is the exact same declaration former Governor Swarzenegger made just last month, and which the California Democratic Legislature chooses to ignore, year after year after year. This is proof positive that irresponsible voting has consequences, and in this case disastrous ones. Dreaming of a liberal utopia where everything is free,while fiscal responsibility is non-existent, is more an act of childish ignorance instead of a responsible State government. It is also ridiculous when Liberals try to blame their fiscal insanity on Republicans, considering the fact that Republicans haven’t controlled the California Legislature since the 1950’s.*

While California’s looming bankruptcy is the culmination of decades of fiscal irresponsibility and the general incompetence of their Democratic officials, there are main causes of this problem that must be identified. Union pensions play a very big part and high taxation has also proven to drive businesses out. These two are obvious examples of causes of the impending bankruptcy of California. There is a semi-hidden cause that few people seem to want to acknowledge here that just astounds me.

About.com/U S Government Info gives us some insight here: **

In hosting America’s largest population of illegal immigrants, California bears a huge cost to provide basic human services for this fast growing, low-income segment of its population. A new study from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) examines the costs of education, health care and incarceration of illegal aliens, and concludes that the costs to Californians is $10.5 billion per year.

“California’s addiction to ‘cheap’ illegal alien labor is bankrupting the state and posing enormous burdens on the state’s shrinking middle class tax base,” stated Dan Stein, President of FAIR. “Most Californians, who have seen their taxes increase while public services deteriorate, already know the impact that mass illegal immigration is having on their communities, but even they may be shocked when they learn just how much of a drain illegal immigration has become.

The Dream Act is already being applied in California via Federally Illegal Sanctuary Cities

In discovering the massive cost liabilities of Illegal immigrants in California, why would they continue down this path towards economic destruction? Surely they don’t think the rest of the country will be willing to bail them out with Federal taxpayer funds? The reality of the situation is that this isn’t anything about a “Dream.” Dreams are based in pleasant thoughts. This is a nightmare. Here is some truth in  Liberal California Dreamin about the Dream Act:

From CFIF.org :Ten Things you need to know about the Dream Act, by Senator Jeff Sessions. ***


1. The DREAM Act Is NOT Limited to Children, And It Will Be Funded On the Backs Of Hard Working, Law-Abiding Americans2. The DREAM Act PROVIDES SAFE HARBOR FOR ANY ALIEN, Including Criminals, From Being Removed or Deported If They Simply Submit An Application

3.Certain Criminal Aliens Will Be Eligible For Amnesty Under The DREAM Act

4. Estimates Suggest That At Least 2.1 Million Illegal Aliens Will Be Eligible For the DREAM Act Amnesty. In Reality, We Have No Idea How Many Illegal Aliens Will Apply

5. Illegal Aliens Will Get In-State Tuition Benefits

6. The DREAM Act Does Not Require That An Illegal Alien Finish Any Type of Degree (Vocational, Two-Year, or Bachelor’s Degree) As A Condition of Amnesty

7. The DREAM Act does not require that an illegal alien serve in the military as a condition for amnesty, and There is ALREADY A Legal Process In Place For Illegal Aliens to Obtain U.S. Citizenship Through Military Service

8. Despite Their Current Illegal Status, DREAM Act Aliens Will Be Given All The Rights That Legal Immigrants Receive—Including The Legal Right To Sponsor Their Parents and Extended Family Members For Immigration

9. Current Illegal Aliens Will Get Federal Student Loans, Federal Work Study Programs, and Other Forms of Federal Financial Aid

10. DHS Is Prohibited From Using the Information Provided By Illegal Aliens Whose DREAM Act Amnesty Applications Are Denied To Initiate Their Removal Proceedings or Investigate or Prosecute Fraud in the Application Process


Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_party_strength_in_California *

http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/immigrationnaturalizatio/a/caillegals.htm **

http://cfif.org/v/index.php/commentary/58-immigration/821-ten-things-you-need-to-know-about-s3827-the-dream-act ***

 

Will conservatives defend Californians’ right to legalize?

California might become the first state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, if voters there approve Proposition 19 next month. Though poll results differ, most indicate that a majority of voters favor the ballot proposition; if it passes, it will take effect on November 3.

Enter the Obama administration. In a letter to former heads of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Attorney General Eric Holder wrote that the administration “strongly opposes” the proposition, and “will vigorously enforce” federal drug laws if it passes. This comes about a year after the same administration announced that it would stop prosecuting medicinal marijuana users. Confusing?

By adopting a hypocritical stance when it comes to enforcing federal drug laws, the president has, perhaps unwittingly, provided the tea party movement with a rare opportunity to add hordes of young, left-leaning voters to its ranks.

Huh?

Many on the left favor legalizing marijuana because they see dollar signs. New taxes and fees on a widely used substance could be used to compensate for overspending and offset budget deficits, or so they claim, which is naturally preferable to raising taxes on other products (like alcohol and tobacco) yet again. What they fail to recognize, however, is that legalization fits under the ideological tent of the tea party movement, for two reasons: personal liberties and states’ rights.

The first should be obvious. An individual is master of his own body, and is free to ingest the substances of his choice, so long as in doing so he does not harm anyone else. Drug laws violate this natural right by creating a “victimless crime.” Conservative tea partiers argue that the federal government does not own their bodies, and therefore cannot force them to purchase health insurance; logically, then, the feds can’t force citizens to abstain from pot.

As for states’ rights, the Tenth Amendment is straightforward: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” The Constitution certainly doesn’t delegate the power to regulate or restrict the use of any substance, which is why temperance activists had to push for the Eighteenth Amendment to ban alcohol nationwide in 1920. No such amendment regarding marijuana or any other “drug” has been ratified.

Clearly, Californians have a constitutional right to legalize marijuana, and it is not the place of the Obama administration (or anyone else) to discourage or interfere with the laws of the State of California.

Republicans, for all of their talk about individual liberty and states’ rights, are notorious for their knee-jerk hypocrisy when it comes to federal drug laws, but as government-propagated marijuana myths of decades past are debunked, and older social conservatives are replaced by a new generation of fiscally conservative libertarians, that could change. The GOP doesn’t seem to recognize it yet, but it is in desperate need of a re-branding. The “Party of Traditional Values” will win over few, if any, young voters; the Republican Party must become the “Party of Freedom” if it is to survive.

If Proposition 19 passes, a battle will ensue, exposing a new generation to the idea of states’ rights. When the Obama administration goes after California’s marijuana law, much like it has attacked Arizona’s immigration law, who will speak up for Californians? Will it be the Democratic Party, which thus far has been unwilling to criticize even the most damaging actions of the president? Or will some other group – the tea party movement, if not the GOP – seize this opportunity?

Mexico Opens Illegal Alien Processing Center on U.S. Soil

The Washington Examiner is reporting that Mexico has the audacity to actually help Mexican nationals commit crimes within U.S. borders.

The Mexican government is opening a satellite consular office on Catalina Island — a small resort off the California coast with a history of drug smuggling and human trafficking — to provide the island’s illegal Mexican immigrants with identification cards

There are things more troubling that just the fact that Mexico has the gall to do this.  California..  is letting them and the federal government isn’t showing any interest in stopping it.  This is obvious and intentional subversion of federal law by a foreign government.  Not only is the government not effectively enforcing our immigration policy, they are complicit in the breaking of those laws.

To be fair, the IDs being handed out are Matricular cards or Matricula Consular.  These cards are not passports, or other internationally acceptable travel documents.  But, in the U.S. they are being accepted as legal forms of identification.  The major use for these I.D.s – to send money back to Mexico.  This is obviously the motivation for Mexico to take this international risk.  More than $18 Billion is wired back to Mexico annually according to the FDIC.  Imagine what that money could do in the U.S. economy.

Due to the lobbying efforts by the Mexican government’s foreign Consular agents since March 2002, several U.S. states, municipalities, and businesses have been accepting the Matricula Consular as an official form of identification.

A Republican representative in the district that includes Catalina island, Rep. Rohrabacher, said, “handing out matricular cards will exacerbate an already dangerous situation.. If there were a large number of Americans illegally in Mexico and the U.S. consulate was making it easier for them to stay, Mexico would never permit it.”

The FBI has even stated that the Mexican government does not manage the I.D.s well which leads to forgery and duplication.  I wonder if any foreign terrorists might also like a Matricular ID so that they can get money to/from their organizations with no track back to their true identity.

Many might argue that this is just the normal course of business for a foreign consulate.  Well then, why did they move it into a church so that they could invoke international law protections?

Mexican government officials have moved their satellite consular office from the Catalina Island Country Club to a Catholic Church – citing protection under the Geneva Convention.

A foreign government is helping those in the country illegally so that they can continue to funnel money out of the U.S. and our government isn’t doing anything to stop it.

Californians Fear Crisis Threatens Liberal Benefits

A co-worker brought up an interesting point when we were discussing the Greek crisis.  He said, “California isn’t really in all that different shape”.  That sparked an idea,  I decided to take the very next EU citizens mad about losing entitlements article and put California everywhere the disgruntled Europeans were represented.  The article that showed up is from the New York Times and was published on May 22, 2010.  Steven Erlanger’s original article can be found here.  I am not claiming to have written the original article nor would I say that Mr. Erlanger approved the wording changes.  This is a fictional work for the purpose of demonstrating how close we are to experiencing the E.U. nightmare.

Sacramento — Across California, the “lifestyle superpower,” the assumptions and gains of a lifetime are suddenly in doubt. The deficit crisis that threatens the state budget has also undermined the sustainability of the Californian standard of social welfare, built by left-leaning governments since the end of World War II.

Californians have boasted about their social model, with its generous vacations and early retirements, its health plans and extensive welfare benefits, contrasting it with the comparative harshness of American capitalism.

But all over California with big budgets, falling tax revenues and aging populations are experiencing rising deficits, with more bad news ahead.

With low growth, low birthrates and longer life expectancies, California can no longer afford its comfortable lifestyle, at least not without a period of austerity and significant changes. The state is trying to reassure investors by cutting salaries, raising legal retirement ages, increasing work hours and reducing health benefits, pensions and welfare.

“We’re now in rescue mode,” said a state official, “But we need to transition to the reform mode very soon. The ‘reform deficit’ is the real problem,” he said, pointing to the need for structural change.

The reaction so far to government efforts to cut spending has been pessimism and anger, with an understanding that the current system is unsustainable.

In Los Angeles, Aldo Cimgin is 52 and teaches photography, and he is deeply pessimistic about his pension. “It’s going to go belly-up because no one will be around to fill the pension coffers,” he said. “It’s not just me; this state has no future.”

Changes have now become urgent. California’s population is aging quickly as birthrates decline. Unemployment has risen as traditional industries have shifted to Asia. And the region lacks competitiveness in world markets.

According to the California government, by 2050 the percentage of Californians older than 65 will nearly double. In the 1950s there were seven workers for every retiree in advanced economies. By 2050, the ratio in California will drop to 1.3 to 1.

“The easy days are over for states like California, but for us, too,” said John Z. Smith, a New York lawyer who did a study of California in the global economy. “A lot of Californians would not like the issue cast in these terms, but that is the storm we’re facing. We can no longer afford the old social model, and there is a real need for structural reform.”

Recent Entries »