New California declares “independence” from rest of state
“The state of New California would incorporate most of the state’s rural counties, leaving the urban coastal counties to the current state of California.
“There’s something wrong when you have a rural county such as this one, and you go down to Orange County which is mostly urban, and it has the same set of problems, and it happens because of how the state is being governed and taxed,” Preston said.
But unlike other separation movements in the past, the state of New California wants to do things by the book, citing Article 4, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution and working with the state legislature to get it done, similar to the way West Virginia was formed.
“Yes. We have to demonstrate that we can govern ourselves before we are allowed to govern,” said founder Tom Reed.
And despite obstacles, doubters, and obvious long odds, the group stands united in their statehood dream.
The group is organized with committees and a council of county representatives, but say it will take 10 to 18 months before they are ready to fully engage with the state legislature.
This is not the first effort to split up California. In 2014, Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper submitted signatures to put a measure that would split California in six separate states.”
Raids on California Marijuana grow houses often find Chinese ‘farmers’ inside
|| Sacramento Bee
“It’s hardly unusual for police in the Sacramento region to find an illegal marijuana grow house in an otherwise quiet suburb. But in several recent police raids, the occupants of these grow houses have turned out to be Chinese nationals, raising questions about about who is recruiting them and financing their operations.
Recent police raids in Yuba, Yolo, Placer and Sacramento counties have resulted in multiple arrests of people with Chinese passports, some of them speaking no English and apparently providing little help to investigators.
One recent indictment obtained by McClatchy asserts that money from a southern China bank account was transferred to California to pay for down payments on homes that later became grow houses, suggesting that at least some in China are investing the illicit U.S. marijuana market.
“These are sophisticated operations,” said Thomas Yu, a longtime Asian gang investigator with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. “When we hear about Asian gangs, we think about young guys doing drive-by shootings. This isn’t like that. These are organized ad hoc enterprises, run by businessmen. They are in it for the profit.”
Colorado is another state where police have arrested Chinese nationals in pot house busts, including in far-flung locations, such as Garfield County in Colorado’s northwest corner.
Last year, Garfield Sheriff Lou Vallario and his deputies descended on an illegal marijuana farm, arresting 14 suspects. To Vallario’s surprise, all 14 were Chinese citizens.
Vallario and other law enforcement officials are quick to note that people from many backgrounds – U.S. citizens, Mexicans, Russians – are involved in the illegal marijuana trade.
“We’ve had nationals from all over coming to this part of Colorado,” he said. “There are grow houses popping up in every neighborhood.”
Chinese operators in particular seem to be expanding their reach.
In three separate raids in September, authorities in California’s Yolo County and the cities of Roseville and Elk Grove arrested 13 Chinese immigrants in raids on marijuana grow houses.
In a case filed in U.S. District Court in July, prosecutors allege that 10 Chinese suspects with out-of-state driver’s licenses were growing marijuana inside nine Sacramento-area homes.
North of Sacramento, in Yuba County, sheriffs deputies arrested 14 Chinese — some U.S. citizens and some with Chinese passports — in three marijuana busts between March and May. Those raids hauled in 8,000 plants, six firearms and thousands of dollars in U.S. currency, according to the county, which says it has turned the case over to the U.S. Attorney’s office.”
Santa Cruz police chief, feds in immigration probe spat | Apologizes for cooperating with federal govt
– Yahoo News
“SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A California police chief and a mayor accused federal agents Thursday of duping local officers assisting in the takedown of suspected members of a notorious El Salvador-based gang into helping make immigration arrests.
Santa Cruz is a so-called sanctuary city, which prohibits its police from cooperating with federal authorities investigating immigration violations.
Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel and assistant chief Dan Flippo said Thursday that Department of Homeland Security officials lied when they assured them a Feb. 13 joint operation in the region would not include immigration-related arrests during the gang raids. Flippo said he learned a “number” of immigration arrests were made the next night when dozens of protesters disrupted a Santa Cruz City Council meeting to voice their displeasure.
But James Schwab, a spokesman for the San Francisco field office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said in a statement that agents did only what they agreed to before the raid, and that any suggestion otherwise are “completely false, reckless, and disturbing.”
Santa Cruz police and immigration agents arrested 10 people allegedly associated with the MS-13 gang, also known as Mara Salvatrucha. Seven were charged with extortion and three with drug dealing. Some of those arrested have been connected to four Santa Cruz homicides, the chief said. The chief said the department no longer trusts DHS and will no longer work with the agency. ICE is a subsidiary of DHS.
“We can’t cooperate with a law enforcement agency we cannot trust,” Vogel said.
Flippo said the gang-related arrests were the culmination of a five-year investigation launched when a Santa Cruz resident called police to complain about gang members extorting local businesses. Flippo said his department enlisted the help of DHS because of the gang’s notoriety and global reach. He said the raids were made Feb. 13 because it appeared gang members were planning a murder.
Flippo said at press conference Thursday that an additional 10 or more people agents encountered at the dozen residences raided Feb. 13 were arrested on immigration charges. Flippo says it appears most of them were later released after being ordered to wear GPS monitoring devices and given future court dates in immigration court.
Schwab, the federal spokesman, acknowledged that 11 people were detained on immigration charges, but that police had agreed before the raid that some foreign nationals might be briefly held until their identities and case histories could be determined. Schwab said that’s exactly what happened, and 10 of the 11 immigrants were released. One of them remains in custody because of his criminal history and possible ties to the gang investigation.
Santa Cruz Mayor Cynthia Chase said she is “deeply disturbed and upset. I’m outraged.” The police chief and mayor each apologized to city residents for unwittingly violating Santa Cruz’s sanctuary city policy.
President Donald Trump threatened in January to withhold federal funding from some 400 cities nationwide that have adopted similar policies.
But federal officials also denied that the new administration had anything to do with their plans or actions.”
Univision’s Jorge Ramos Tells Latinos America Is “Our Country, Not Theirs”
“They say after a drinks, the truth always comes out. Not with Univision’s Jorge Ramos, as all he needs is a latino audience and a camera. The television anchor let it be known who he thinks the United States really “belongs to” at the Univision Music Awards.
Further ramping up his open opposition to President Trump’s immigration law enforcement policies, Univision anchor Jorge Ramos has let loose with an outrageous tirade that could best be described as equal parts nationalistic identity politics, racially-driven demagoguery, and yet another instance of the irresponsible conflation of legal and illegal immigration.
Here’s how the Univision/Fusion anchor kicked off his participation in the 2017 edition of the network’s annual entertainment awards show, Premios Lo Nuestro (“Our Awards”):
JORGE RAMOS, SENIOR NEWS ANCHOR, UNIVISION: I am an immigrant, just like many of you. I am a proud Latino immigrant here in the United States. My name is Jorge Ramos, and I work at Univision and at the Fusion network. And you know exactly what is going on here in the United States. There are many people who do not want us to be here, and who want to create a wall in order to separate us. But you know what? This is also our country. Let me repeat this: OUR country, not theirs. It is our country. And we are not going to leave. We are nearly 60 million Latinos in the United States. And thanks to US, the United States eats, grows and, as we’ve seen today, sings and dances. So when they attack us, we already know what we are going to do. We are not going to sit down. We will not shut up. And we will not leave. That is what we are going to do.
This certainly isn’t the first time Ramos has gotten fired up about immigration or anything Trump related, for that matter. The anchor was swiftly removed from a Trump presser over the summer.”
– Interesting to note, Ramos entered the United States on a ‘student’ visa to study journalism at UCLA Extension in Los Angeles. He had already been employed as a journalist in Mexico. He proceeded to start working immediately at KMEX in LA. He never attended classes as a student. Both actions made his visa fraudulent. Ramos is in fact an illegal alien working in the United States. /CJ
Family Argues Mexican National Killed by Border Patrol Had Constitutional Rights
“A Mexican family whose son was killed by a U.S. Border Patrol agent told the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday that the agent violated their son’s constitutional rights by using unnecessary deadly force. A preliminary issue is whether the Constitution applies to someone who is not a citizen of the U.S. and was standing on Mexican soil at the time of the shooting.
The incident occurred in 2010 on the Mexico-Texas border at El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico. Fifteen-year-old Sergio Hernandez Guereca was shot on the Mexican side when the agent was on U.S. soil. The family argues that the area was “controlled” by the United States. The federal government, through the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), maintains that the agent is entitled to qualified immunity.
In their petition filed in the U.S. Supreme Court, the family of the teen states “This Court should make clear that our border is not an on/off switch for the Constitution’s most fundamental protections.”
The oral argument came right after the Trump Administration issued directives calling for the immediate construction of a border wall, as reported by Breitbart Texas. President Trump signed an executive order on January 25th to build the promised border wall.
The federal case of Hernandez v. Mesa has made its way up the federal court system since the case was filed in 2011. The incident occurred in 2010.
Advocates for the family claim that Hernandez Guereca and others were playing a game in which they would illegally cross onto U.S. soil, run up to the barbed wire border fence and then run back, as reported by Breitbart Texas. U.S. Border Patrol agent Jesus Mesa was patrolling on his bicycle. Mesa said he acted in self-defense and the U.S. Justice Department determined in 2012 after an investigation that the shooting “occurred while smugglers attempting an illegal border crossing hurled rocks from close range at a CBP [U.S. Customs and Border Patrol] agent who was attempting to detain a suspect.”
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that Agent Mesa was entitled to qualified immunity “because he did not violate any clearly established rights flowing from [the Constitution.]” Hernandez, as a Mexican citizen, “had no ‘significant voluntary connection’ to the United States,” and cannot assert an excessive force claim they held. The court of appeals dismissed the case and a well-respected justice nominated by President Ronald Reagan Justice Edith H. Jones wrote, “We should discourage this litigation before it takes root.”
“Over sixty percent of California voters went for Hillary Clinton — a margin of more than 4 million votes over Donald Trump.
Since Clinton’s defeat, the state seems to have become unhinged over Trump’s unexpected election.
“Calexit” supporters brag that they will have enough signatures to qualify for a ballot measure calling for California’s secession from the United States.
Some California officials have talked of the state not remitting its legally obligated tax dollars to the federal government. They talk of expanding its sanctuary cities into an entire sanctuary state that would nullify federal immigration law.
Californians also now talk about the value of the old Confederate idea of “states’ rights.” They whine that their state gives far too much revenue to Washington and gets too little back.
Residents boast about how their cool culture has little in common with the rest of the U.S. Some Californians claim the state could easily go it alone, divorced from the United States.
Sound a bit familiar?
In December 1860, South Carolina seceded from the Union in furor over the election of Abraham Lincoln.
Lincoln did not receive 50 percent of the popular vote. He espoused values the state insisted did not reflect its own.
In eerie irony, liberal California is now mirror-imaging the arguments of reactionary South Carolina and other Southern states that vowed to go it alone in 1860 and 1861.
Like California, South Carolina insisted it could nullify federal laws within its state borders.
Like California, South Carolina promised to withhold federal revenues.
Like California, South Carolina and other Confederate states bragged that their unique economies did not need the Union.
They boasted that “King Cotton” had created the wealthiest class in the United States. Silicon Valley now often assumes that Google, Facebook, Apple and others are near-trillion-dollar companies that are a world unto their own.
Slavery and the extravagant income from cotton warped the Southern economy and culture. A wealthy plantation elite, with its millions of exploited slaves, ensured that there would be virtually no middle, working or small-business class.
Huge estates were surrounded by the impoverished shacks of servants. Hardscrabble farmers or small businessmen often fled westward to escape the shackles of wealth disparity.
The export-dependent Southern elite demanded unfettered free trade. It offered bitter resistance to Northern protectionism.
South Carolina elites were opposed to federal infrastructure projects such as the building of roads, canals, bridges and reservoirs, and other such unwelcome “progress.”
Confederates boasted that their antebellum culture was more romantic, natural, pristine, healthy and moral than was the bustle, grime and hyper-capitalism of Northern industrialism.
Southern aristocrats believed that they were culturally superior — in terms of music, art and literature — to other Americans.
Of course, this is 2017, not 1860, and California is super-liberal, not an antebellum slave-owning society.
Nonetheless, what is driving California’s current efforts to nullify federal law and the state’s vows to secede from the U.S. are some deeper — and creepy — similarities to the arrogant and blinkered Old South.
California is likewise becoming a winner-take-all society. It hosts the largest numbers of impoverished and the greatest number of rich people of any state in the country. Eager for cheap service labor, California has welcomed in nearly a quarter of the nation’s undocumented immigrants. California has more residents living in poverty than any other state. It is home to one third of all the nation’s welfare recipients.
The income of California’s wealthy seems to make them immune from the effects of the highest basket of sales, income and gas taxes in the nation. The poor look to subsidies and social services to get by. Over the last 30 years, California’s middle classes have increasingly fled the state.
“Gone With the Wind”-like wealth disparity in California is shocking to the naked eye. Mostly poor Redwood City looks like it’s on a different planet from tony nearby Atherton or Woodside.”
California’s Undocumented Kids—Why They Could be First to Lose Medical Care Under Trump
“On a recent rainy morning in Los Angeles, Maria Bernal’s stove clicks to life with a bright blue flame to toast bread on a griddle for her 9-year-old son Edwin to smear with peanut butter. As she scoops papaya chunks into the blender for a smoothie, she recalls her worry during all the years when she couldn’t afford health care and he suffered painful ear infections.
The waiting six months to get an appointment for Edwin at a county facility. The nights trying to calm him as he cried in constant pain. The months-long wait for each of three surgeries to insert tubes into his ears. The fear when the medical bills arrived.
At the time, she couldn’t afford health care, and he wasn’t eligible for regular government-funded Medi-Cal coverage because she had brought Edwin to the United States illegally from Mexico when he was 1. He qualified for a local program and emergency Medi-Cal, but that didn’t provide all the care he needed. Then last year, she heard on TV that California was creating a new program under Medi-Cal to fully cover poor undocumented children. Relieved, she rushed to sign Edwin up. As a result, she says, “I can take him in whenever he needs to go.”
Now, however, the ability of Edwin and some 164,000 poor undocumented California children to see a doctor for regular medical care hangs in the balance—with several experts predicting they could be among the first to lose health coverage if the Trump administration carries out its promise to end much of Obamacare, leaving California to try to make up the difference.
To be clear, the federal government does pay limited medical costs for kids in the country illegally under the restricted-scope Medi-Cal program, which is available to anyone regardless of immigration status for emergency and prenatal services only. Last May, however, California became one of a handful of states to provide state-funded full-scope Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program. About 71 percent of the program is funded by the state, according to the state Department of Health Care Services, with 29 percent paid for out of federal funds for emergency coverage. Also of note: Because the federal government funds emergency services, the state shares enrollee information with federal health officials.
In his most recent budget proposal, Gov. Jerry Brown allocated $279.5 million to cover approximately 185,000 kids in the coming year in what the state has dubbed its Health for All Kids program—double what the program was estimated to cost when it was approved.
With the election of Donald Trump, who took office last week, some health policy experts and advocates say the fledgling program is in danger. Assuming the new administration carries out plans to change how Medicaid is funded, California could stand to lose $17 billion the federal government currently provides for the Medi-Cal expansion that California adopted under the Affordable Care Act.Such a cut would leave state leaders unable to fully make up the funding difference—and could force them to revisit a decades-old debate over whether the state has an obligation to care for sick children regardless of their immigration status, or should focus limited resources on citizens and legal residents.”
Gov. Brown’s State of the State: ‘California Is Not Turning Back. Not Now, Not Ever’
“California Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday decidedly pitted the state against the Trump administration, in a call to prepare for “the battle ahead,” during the annual State of the State address.
Instead of focusing on California, Brown pointed to the East, warning Washington that the most populous state in the union views the future as “uncertain” after the election, and that “dangers abound.”
Brown said while federal law may overrule state law on immigration, California would use its enacted protective measures for undocumented immigrants. A variety of state measures offers the undocumented access to higher education and limit the state’s cooperation with federal immigration authorities.
“We may be called upon to defend those laws and defend them we will,” said Brown. “We will defend everybody — every man, woman and child — who has come here for a better life and has contributed to the well-being of our state.”
Brown’s promise comes as President Donald Trump has pledged to cut federal funding for so-called sanctuary cities, which could be millions for California’s major cities.”
– We note the striking and eerie similarity of Gov Brown’s claim that, “California is not turning back, not now, not ever….” to Gov George Wallace’s boast of “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”
Brown has thrown down the guantlet of nullifcation, of state’s rights in support of illegal immigration, just as Wallace did for segregation 60 years ago. It didn’t work then, and it surely will not work now.
Moreover, he tries to make the case that the state will welcome all who wish to come to the state, yet can only do so with the federal govt paying for almost all the costs. That is an alternate universe. /CJ
California schools may face cuts amid skyrocketing pension costs
– SF Chronicle
“Public schools around California are bracing for a crisis driven by skyrocketing worker pension costs that are expected to force districts to divert billions of dollars from classrooms into retirement accounts, education officials said.
“At least 9,000 companies have left California from 2008 to 2015, according to the 378 page study by Spectrum Location Solutions titled, California’s Forty Year Legacy of Hostility to Business.
Joseph Vranich, president of site selection consultants Spectrum Location Solutions (VLS) in Irvine, found that roughly 9,000 California companies moved their headquarters or diverted projects to out-of-state locations in the last seven years due to the Golden State’s “hostile” business environment.
Vranich reports that the bitter negative perceptions of California for business began during Jerry Brown’s first chaotic two terms as California Governor from 1975 to 1983. Things got so bad that the Governor instructed his aides in 1977 to begin wearing “California Means Business” buttons.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Brown tried to convince reporters on a late 1970s junket to Japan that “Our economic climate is very good.” He added, “I think this is dissipating a good deal of the political rhetoric surrounding the business-climate talk.”
VLS points out that despite the growing anti-business environment, California’s economy grew for the next three decades due to wonderful scenery and climate, a workforce with technical expertise, and trade access to Asian nations.
But since the start of the Great Recession and accelerating after Brown’s election as governor in 2009, a mass exodus of businesses from the not-so-Golden State to more “friendly” locations like Texas and Nevada occurred.
Vranich told the Dallas Business Journal that companies that are leaving California to escape escalating costs and regulations can move to Texas or Nevada that have no income tax and high relative purchasing power. According to Vranich, “I even wonder if some kind of ‘business migration history’ has been made.”
VLS estimates that many former California companies that moved to more business friendly locals have experienced “astonishing” operating cost savings of 20 up to 35 percent.
The top 10 states that California businesses have relocated to over the last seven years are in the following order: (1) Texas; (2) Nevada; (3) Arizona; (4) Colorado; (5) Washington; (6) Oregon; (7) North Carolina; (8) Florida; (9) Georgia; and (10) Virginia.
Los Angeles was at the top of the list of the 10 California counties that suffered the highest number of disinvestment events. L.A. was followed by: (2) Orange, (3) Santa Clara, (4) San Francisco, (5) San Diego, (6) Alameda, (7) San Mateo, (8) Ventura, (9) Sacramento, and (10) Riverside counties.
The Tax Foundation using data from The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimated the difference in purchasing power for $100 in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Only Washington D.C., New York, and New Jersey got less purchasing power than California’s $88.97. That compares to $103.73 for neighboring Arizona and a national high of $115.34 in Alabama.
VLS has found that on a national basis, Democrat-leaning northeast and west coast areas get less purchasing power for their dollars, compared to the Republican-leaning southeast and mid-west.
The Tax Foundation established a direct inverse correlation between purchasing power and the percentage level of state tax rate. California, with a 13.3 percent top state tax bracket, leads the nation.”