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Religion, Politics, & Culture: Defined and Explained


Sunday, July 31, 2016

SEIU Holding Strike Vote

Hi, I told you a month ago this was going to happen.

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www.seiu1000.org/0731

Posted by william on 07/31 at 09:51 PM
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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Watch the Skies

Look up in the sky…


No, it wasn’t a bird, or a plane or Hillary’s star falling last night. Instead it was a Chinese rocket—possibly a satellite killer—disintegrating as it entered earth’s orbit.

Except in movies, I’ve never seen anything like it. If you saw the “fireworks” at the end of Independence Day as Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum are smoking their cigars as they strut thru the desert or Sandra Bullock at the end of Gravity as she is finally riding home in the ruins of a Chinese space station, then you would have a good idea what was in the sky last night.

I was in Elk Grove Park last night with my wife and son, getting set for the first night of the Strauss Festival when my son looks up in the sky and says, “Dad, look, it’s a comet.”

I looked up, and due south of our location, at about half the height of the trees, was a bright object with a very long flaming tail moving very slowly from west to east.  I’m old enough to know comets just don’t show-up in the sky, plus we were using our star watching apps, so I knew it was something else. My guess was that it was a satellite falling back to earth. The tail was composed of debris, similar to the way a bottle rocket has a flaming tail as it flies thru the air. As it moved across the sky, the tail got smaller.

After my son saw it, I took a few seconds to turn on my camera and switch to video and shoot a movie as it flew (mostly behind the trees). I got 72 seconds before I finally lost sight of it behind more trees. At about 46 seconds into the video, I saw that it had broken into two large pieces.

Below is a still from my movie. Unfortunately, the tail isn’t really visible due to the lack of light sensitivity that my phone has at night. With the naked eye, it was much more spectacular; especially, when we first saw it.

image
9:37 pm on 07-27-2016

Posted by william on 07/28 at 03:38 PM
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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

SEIU—Ready to Strike?

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The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) finds itself in a difficult position. Earlier this year, they promised members a twenty-two percent across the board pay raise for all California state workers that they represent—which is 95,000 of them. Negotiators for the State countered with a ten percent raise over the same period—four years. Then to add insult to injury, the Governor signed the budget without any pay increase for state employees.

The SEIU and other unions fought hard for the fifty percent increase in the minimum wage ($15 per hour) figuring that their members would get a proportional boost in pay. Oh, as a side benefit, the unions also get a boost in the loot they collect in the form of increased dues.

Just so you know, a twenty-two percent increase in worker pay is still less than a five dollar an hour increase for state workers in the bottom rungs of the pay ladder.

Unfortunately for them, the unions are finding themselves left out in the cold with nothing to show their members after working to devalue their pay.

The SEIU stopped negotiating for a new contract in June. There is currently no contract in place. In July, they held a series of townhall meetings to explain their negotiating position and the state offer. Now the SEIU is boxed into the proverbial corner. They made a promise to members but have no face-saving way to move forward. Logically their next step should be a call for a strike authorization vote in August; however, this will put a looming state worker strike front and center in the public eye just in time for the Presidential Election season.

The union needs a strike authorization to get a better deal from the state but doing so would elevate this process to one of national consequences. The political blowback on the Democrat politicians that they worked so hard to elect will get really ugly.

I think the union severely miscalculated and has no good way forward. With 94 million less people in the workforce now than when Barack Obama took office, they will not get much sympathy from the general public. From a political point of view, their timing is horrible. Their endorsed candidate Hillary Clinton will be hurt if this thing blows-up like I think it will.

Posted by william on 07/27 at 04:34 PM
News & PoliticsPermalink

From the Mouth of Babes: Woman President

This morning I got the following text from my 11 year old son.

“Dad, I know why in the constitution there is nothing about having a woman president. I think it is because the people who wrote it had wives.”

wink

Posted by william on 07/27 at 11:53 AM
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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Democrats and Revolution

Modern Liberals have a fraudulent and counterfeit alternative for just about everything. Take the American Revolution for instance. They love to claim that our revolt against the British was the template for the French Revolution. They love the French Revolution.

Yeah, there was a war and a king, that’s about the extent of the comparison; after that the whole idea crumbles rapidly. But why let the facts get in the way of a good story?

The French Revolution was great in the eyes of Liberals because first and foremost, they ran those evil Christians out of the country or executed them on the spot. The French also killed off their version of the one percenters and pretty much everyone else that owned a business. Just like their new friends at ISIS, the French cut-off people’s heads and the Liberals admire that. They had peasants with pitchforks; Liberals have Occupy and Bernie Sander supporters to fill the same role. Everywhere the Liberals gather, filth, crime, censorship, and suppression of opposing ideas can be found. This too is modeled on the idyllic French.

The French had Napoleon; Liberals have Presidential Executive Orders, a living Constitution, and judicial legislation.

To lift a phrase from Rod Serling, their boundaries are that of imagination. “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?” The Liberals do; and they flaunt it in your face and your living room every chance they can.

All this makes watching the Democrat Convention this just a bit more entertaining.

• Trump can’t have a wall but the Democrats have one four miles long around their convention (and most of their multimillion dollar mansions).

• Sanders supporters are trying to storm the convention even after their beloved leader sold them out.

• Sanders signs are confiscated from delegates but somehow that’s not censorship.

• Democrat leaders are apologizing that 21,000 emails were leaked that prove the fix was in on Bernie and they hate Jews and homosexuals. They aren’t apologizing for the contents of the mails just that they were leaked.

• No America flags are proudly displayed only those of Palestine and the former Soviet Union.

• The Convention is characterized by filth, traffic jams, a horde of protestors, and other nonsense.

• 61 speeches into the event and still no mention of the threat of ISIS.

• Featured speakers at the Convention advocate the indiscriminate killing of policemen, yeah, those same guys keeping the riffraff out of their convention.


Like the French that started the Revolution, the conflagration that has been fed by Obama, Clinton, and Sanders may very well get away from them. Instead of a path for victory in November, it could very well be their undoing.

Posted by william on 07/26 at 05:15 PM
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Monday, July 25, 2016

Bye Republicans

A week ago, I finally threw in the towel and changed my voter registration from Republican to No Party Preference. This was hard for me to do but I feel that it was time.

Several factors contributed to this decision. First, the Republican Party is dead in California. Second, it’s dead in the area where I live. Third, I’m tired of the personalities left as leaders.

Before I begin, let me preface by saying that I’m not a Ted Cruz supporter that is having a tantrum. I am a proud supporter of Donald Trump because he seems to have a spine. I’m tired of Republicans that retreat at the first sign of opposition. Their first impulse seems to be unilateral surrender. As a group, they have no core.

Rush Limbaugh always castigates the Democrats for using the same old playbook; unfortunately, Republicans are guilty of the same thing. How many times have you heard one claim the mantel of Ronald Reagan because he is for less government, lower taxes, more freedom, and favors small businesses…at least until they get in office? Unfortunately, that is all the depth that most have. They have no vision, no real answers, and no clue how to positively counter the Democrats. All Republicans end up being is the Party of “NO”.

Republicans have no vision for what the world would or should be like if they ran things. Look at Congress. John Boehner was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives when the Republicans became the majority. Instead of passing legislation that they thought the President would veto and directly challenging President Obama—and thus setting-up a difference between what the two parties wanted for the country—Boehner did nothing. He famously said that we are one half of one third of the government; thus excusing his legislative ineffectiveness. Silly us, we believed Boehner and elected a Republican majority in the Senate too. Guess what? Legislatively, nothing changed. If anything, Congress became more feckless and ineffective. Boehner proved that Republicans were part of the problem. Paul Ryan has continued to be ever more incompetent.

The Republican Party is dead in California. Demographically, this fate was assured when George Bush (the first one) agreed to closing the military bases in California after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Tens of thousands of conservative voters were no longer living in the state any more. Lockheed, Boeing, and other defense contractors left the Golden State as a result of the base closings. This demographic shift created a political shift as well that tilted the scales much more towards the Democrats.

At the same time, the Machiavelli tactics employed by Barbara Alby and her hostile takeover of the California GOP also contributed to its decline. Participation of volunteers, activists, and donors steadily declined. Barbara and her fellow travelers gutted the GOP and ran roughshod over those in her way. Ironically, this was done in the name of Jesus Christ. Somehow, the question of “What would Jesus do?” never occurred to her or those in her camp.

Barbara characterized her takeover of the California Republican Assembly and later the State Party as taking the Party away from the enemy and casting out those who were not with us. She did this with the sword and not the love of Christ. She wanted political power and used the evangelical churches as her base of operations to launch a guerrilla action to capture the CRA. In retrospect, it would have been better for her to either takeover the CRA in a straight-up way or start her own GOP group.

For example, when Barbara captured the Sacramento-Sierra Republican Assembly, she showed-up at the last minute with seven hundred paid memberships—almost all from folks that had never been to a CRA meeting—and she then elected her slate of officers. The existing members were forced out of the group; none were allowed even minority representation on her board. At the time, there were five CRA chapters in Sacramento County. The other four folded. Barbara took over their charters so she had even more delegates for the statewide convention. Members of these four smaller groups were from the local Operation Rescue organization. Once she had control of the state CRA Board, the other four chapters were collapsed into her unit.

The situation in Sacramento County’s Republican Central Committee is just as bad. Conservatives took over the group in the Alby era and then gave-up control. In 2006, a new conservative movement was begun with the Support the Platform PAC. This group was involved in trying to elect people to the Placer and Sacramento County Republican Central Committees.  The efforts in Sacramento County resulted in the election of Sue Blake as the Central Committee chair.

Electing Blake as chair was an unmitigated disaster.  I encouraged Blake to do something that would have been revolutionary; have the Central Committee create a county platform. The GOP brand was damaged nationally and also as a result of failures at the statewide level (Arnold Schwarzenegger.) I hoped that having a separate identity would inoculate the county party from being defined by the actions of others. My proposal was simple: “What would Sacramento County be like if Republicans ran it?” I wanted to give us a vision to work towards as well as a positive reason for voters to pick Republicans. This idea was greeted with laughter and dismissed out of hand. Blake’s advisor, political consultant Duane Dichiara told me that it was their job to elect Republicans, what candidates believe is up to them.

As the GOP faded in the county, Blake chose to erect barriers to participation in the Central Committee and adopted Dichiara’s advice to model the new bylaws after the San Diego bylaws. As a result, the Central Committee viewed itself as a private club with a pay-to-play membership fee of $100 annually. (Remember that most Central Committee elections were on the ballot every two years and even those that won by a vote of the people in their district were denied the right to vote unless they paid this $100 fee.)

In addition, no new business could be brought up during a meeting. Everything must be prescreened by the Executive Committee. The County Party became insular and unresponsive to voters. Meetings were no longer public. They claimed the right to eject anyone. When California voters adopted the top two primary system; this benefitted Blake’s regime by abolishing elections every two years. 

The Central Committee cratered under Blake’s leadership. Last I heard, she finally threw in the towel on being the Chair.

Oh, during her leadership in Sacramento County, all Republican office holders in the Assembly, Senate, and Congress were defeated and replaced by Democrats . Republican registration in the county declined and the county is lost to the GOP for at least a generation if not forever.

Locally, the GOP club that I used to belong too—until I changed my registration—has decided to stop working to elect Republicans due to the 14 percent registration deficit and opted to work on local races. Unfortunately, the President has decided to spend his time backing a school board candidate that is wholly unqualified. The candidate is 21, and has yet to attend a single school board meeting. Yes, he took out papers to run but doesn’t even know what the job is.

If this is the future of the GOP, then I need to spend my time doing other things. When I was 18, I voted for Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton on the same ballot. Both men have left their mark on the political scene. I think I’ve done my penance for voting for Clinton—he lost in 1980 by the way.

Posted by william on 07/25 at 03:11 PM
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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Review: AMD RX480

I went toCho- Choo” Fry’s in Roseville last week-end and bought their last AMD 480 video card. It was made by Diamond.
Link Fry’s: Diamond AMD RX 480 8GB PCIE GDDR5 Graphics Video Card
(For those that don’t know, AMD and NVidia make video chipsets and sell them to various manufactures that customize them and sell them under various brands.)

This is the super-duper video card that has very high specs even when compared to cards costing more than twice as much. (NVidia’s comparable version is GTX 1060.) The card has 8 GB of video memory and this particular model has three Display Ports and one HDMI connection.

I bought a two pack of Display Port to DVI cables for $21.99 since the old monitors have DVI connectors.
Link: Amazon Display Port to DVI Two Pack

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Like most video cards, this one takes up two expansion slots on the motherboard and it is long, almost ten inches.
Diamond Spec Sheet
Diamond Video Card

When the Display Port to DVI cables arrived, I installed them to the computer and nothing happened. The cables did not seat properly on the video card. After a visual investigation, I determined that the video ports on the back of the computer were too close to the metal support between the slot openings on the back of the computer case. (If you recall, the video card is two expansion slots wide.) I had two choices, either cut the metal support on the case or try a different set of video cables. I opted for different video cables. I swapped the cables that I bought on Amazon with some older ones at work. My work computer is happy with the new cables and the computer at home is happy too.

The other challenge was getting the video driver to install. Simply downloading the driver from AMD and clicking “RUN” was a miserable failure. To make it work, download the driver. Uninstall your existing video driver. Then in your Download folder, right click on the driver file and select “Run as Administrator” or the equivalent.

Now I just need my son to put it to the test when he gets back with from his summer trip with Grandma and Grandpa.

Posted by william on 07/14 at 07:08 PM
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Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Jerry Brown and Homelessness

A few days ago, I saw that Governor Jerry Brown had signed a bill granting 2 billion dollars to building housing for homeless folks.

I have two concerns with this legislation. First is the optics. The Governor’s approval of this bill says that “fleece the rich and give to the poor” is a moral action of the government. He is using class envy and homelessness for his political advantage. Second, the numbers used in the discussion of mentally ill homeless folks are seldom analyzed in a critical manner.

Here is the first paragraph of the story that I wish to discuss.

The measure allows the state to sell bonds for homeless shelters and repay the debt with money from a 2004 voter-approved tax on millionaires.

Link: Brown approves 2 billion to house mentally ill homeless

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Photo from Bing

For those of you that are low information voters, the 2004 voter approved tax on millionaires (Prop 63) is about to expire. It is up for renewal on the November 2016 ballot. Brown’s press release about signing the bill is political propaganda on display. Brown needs that tax to stay so Democrats can continue their spending binge.

Why does the state need to sell bonds for this when the tax has yielded billions to the state? Why not pay cash?

Thus far, the state of California has collected 14. 65 billion under this tax. Prop 63 now accounts for 24 percent of the State’s mental health budget.
Link: MHSOAC History

Is Prop 63 effective?

But beyond anecdotal examples, there is no common data pool to show how the money raised is being spent and if it is making a dent in the state’s mental health crisis, according to the commission.

Link: Impact of millionaire tax to fund mental health care still hard to gauge



Despite all the money being spent, institutional care is almost nonexistent.

The California Hospital Association says 20,000 people sought treatment for mental illness in county hospitals last year. John Boyd is with Sutter Solano Medical Center.

“It’s not the right place,” he says. “Many communities throughout the state have open crisis stabilization units or psych emergency rooms and in those cases, people go to an environment that’s designed to provide the kind of specialized care that they need and that they benefit from in both the short and the long term. Sacramento closed that back in 2009.”

Link: Few Psychiatric Beds For Tens Of Thousands In Need


When looking at the issue of homelessness, many numbers just don’t make sense.

Legislative analysts expect the measure to fund at least 14,000 units. Federal housing officials estimate more than 29,000 homeless Californians were living with serious mental illness in 2015.

Link: Brown approves 2 billion to house mentally ill homeless


Here is our first math fact. Per the above story, 29,000 homeless Californians have mental illness.

An estimated 26% of homeless adults staying in shelters live with serious mental illness and an estimated 46% live with severe mental illness and/or substance use disorders.

Link: Mental Health by the Numbers


Our second math fact is from the National Alliance on Mental Health. 26 percent of those in shelters and 46 percent of all homeless have mental health and/or substance abuse disorders.

Ok, using the above numbers:

29,000 divided by 46 percent is 63,000 homeless in California.

California has one third of all welfare cases in the United States (because we pay more in benefits than other states) it would seem logical that we would have a large share of mentally ill also.

2 billion divided by 14,000 is $142,857.14 per homeless person.

Remember, this isn’t total expenditures on the homeless, this is just one program.
There are an array of government and private assistance to the homeless. Plus homeless can get welfare and SSI payments each month.

When it comes to the mentally ill, lots gets spent every year but the State has nothing to show for it. Government only has one solution for failure: more programs and more money are required. Some of these folks need to be in institutions but there aren’t any. And this brings us to my second issue.


A Brief History of Homelessness
Governor Jerry Brown has a history with mental illness issues. No, not because he was called “moonbeam” when he was previously governor. Much of the current homeless problems lead back to his previous time as governor. Brown helped put the mentally ill on the streets. Yet somehow he gets a pass and Liberals have laid this at Ronald Reagan’s doorstep. 

Below are excerpts of an article from the New York Times

In California, for example, the number of patients in state mental hospitals reached a peak of 37,500 in 1959 when Edmund G. Brown was Governor, fell to 22,000 when Ronald Reagan attained that office in 1967, and continued to decline under his administration and that of his successor, Edmund G. Brown Jr.


One of the most influential groups in bringing about the new national policy was the Joint Commission on Mental Illness and Health, an independent body set up by Congress in 1955. One of its two surviving members, Dr. M. Brewster Smith, a University of California psychologist who served as vice president, said the commission took the direction it did because of ‘‘the sort of overselling that happens in almost every interchange between science and government.’’

‘‘Extravagant claims were made for the benefits of shifting from state hospitals to community clinics,’’ Dr. Smith said. ‘‘The professional community made mistakes and was overly optimistic, but the political community wanted to save money.’‘


Charles Schlaifer, a New York advertising executive who served as secretary-treasurer of the group, said he was now disgusted with the advice presented by leading psychiatrists of that day. ‘‘Tranquilizers became the panacea for the mentally ill,’’ he said. ‘‘The state programs were buying them by the carload, sending the drugged patients back to the community and the psychiatrists never tried to stop this. Local mental health centers were going to be the greatest thing going, but no one wanted to think it through.’‘


Dr. Bertram S. Brown, a psychiatrist and Federal official who was instrumental in shaping the community center legislation in 1963, agreed that Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson were to some extent misled by the mental health community and Government bureaucrats.

But, he continued, ‘‘It happened much faster than we foresaw.’’ The discharge of mental patients was accelerated in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s in some states as a result of a series of court decisions that limited the commitment powers of state and local officials.

Link: NYT How release of mental patients began


Starting in the 1960s, there has been a worldwide trend toward moving psychiatric patients from hospital settings to less restricting settings in the community, a shift known as “deinstitutionalization.” Because the shift was typically not accompanied by a commensurate development of community-based services, critics say that deinstitutionalization has led to large numbers of people who would once have been inpatients being incarcerated in jails and prisons or becoming homeless.
Link: Involuntary commitment


OK so what was happening was in the 1960’s was two different movements were developing that both were focused on reversing the institutionalization of the mentally ill.

Government
The federal government was leading the charge to move patients from state hospitals to community clinics. The effort was at the behest of the mental health community. Reducing government’s expenditures and better drugs for patients were factors in this decision.

ACLU
At the same time the community clinic idea is gaining political momentum, the ACLU and likeminded folks were filing legal actions to stop involuntary commitment of the mentally ill.

Mental hospitals in the early 20th Century were much influenced by the Eugenics movement. Practices such as forced sterilization were widespread. By the 1960’s, they had a reputation as sewers where the unwanted were dumped and warehoused. Their reputation was so bad that people wanted to find an alternative.

One person on Democrat Underground described it this way:

Left “reformers” and right ‘budget cutters” came together and deinstitutionalized patients in mental hospitals held against their will.  Left-wing reformers who thought they were protecting the “rights” of mental patients teamed up with right-wing libertarians to discharge patients.

There were many cases of people charging that they were being held against their will and reports of severe abuse and inhumane treatment in large facilities.

There isn’t much the family of a mentally ill person can do to get treatment for someone who refuses it because at least half the states forbid involuntary treatment unless the patient is an immediate danger to himself or others. Many mental illnesses, particularly schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, prevent the sufferer from perceiving that he is ill or in need of treatment.

The charge from the left was people were being “jailed” for no good reason and for plenty of bad ones, including discrimination, family retribution and so forth.

There is no easy solution to this, some people will refuse treatment and what mechanism should be in place to protect people from unfairly being held against their will?
Link: Democrat Underground Discussion #10

At the same time that the government was moving to a community clinic model, civil libertarians were creating rights for the mentally ill not to be institutionalized.

I know that there was (is?) a movement on the part of civil libertarians (ACLU, etc..) that wanted to halt the practice of institutionalizing people against their will. They felt that this practice was at odds with the concept of a free society. There comes a point were even a mentally ill person has a right to refuse treatment against his or her will.
Link: Democrat Underground Discussion #2


Please note that it was a combination of Democrat leadership including: the President, Congress and California Governor Pat Brown that started this migration from state run facilities to local ones here in California. This practice was continued under both Ronald Reagan and Pat’s son, Jerry. Reagan tried to move the system from state run to a publicly funded partnership with private companies.

The paragraph from the New York Times needs to be mentioned again.

In California, for example, the number of patients in state mental hospitals reached a peak of 37,500 in 1959 when Edmund G. Brown was Governor, fell to 22,000 when Ronald Reagan attained that office in 1967, and continued to decline under his administration and that of his successor, Edmund G. Brown Jr.

So under the eight years that Pat Brown was Governor, the mental hospital population went from 37,500 to 22,000. This is a 41 percent decrease. Over the next 16 years, the population under Reagan and Brown Jr. declined to the point where the hospital system was no longer financially viable.

Jerry Brown did nothing to reverse the policies of his father. In fact, he was forced to release virtually the entire population onto the streets.

The final nail in the coffin of the mental hospital system was the June 26, 1975 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in O’Connor v. Donaldson.

O’Connor v. Donaldson, 422 U.S. 563 (1975), was a landmark decision in mental health law. The United States Supreme Court ruled that a state cannot constitutionally confine a non-dangerous individual who is capable of surviving safely in freedom by themselves or with the help of willing and responsible family members or friends. Since the trial court jury found, upon ample evidence, that petitioner did so confine respondent, the Supreme Court upheld the trial court’s conclusion that petitioner had violated respondent’s right to liberty.
Link: O’Connor v. Donaldson

In this case, the majority found no constitutional grounds for most confinement:

May the State confine the mentally ill merely to ensure them a living standard superior to that they enjoy in the private community? That the State has a proper interest in providing care and assistance to the unfortunate goes without saying. But the mere presence of mental illness does not disqualify a person from preferring his home to the comforts of an institution. Moreover, while the State may arguably confine a person to save him from harm, incarceration is rarely if ever a necessary condition for raising the living standards of those capable of surviving safely in freedom, on their own or with the help of family or friends.

May the State fence in the harmless mentally ill solely to save its citizens from exposure to those whose ways are different? One might as well ask if the State, to avoid public unease, could incarcerate all who are physically unattractive or socially eccentric. Mere public intolerance or animosity cannot constitutionally justify the deprivation of a person’s physical liberty.

In short, a State cannot constitutionally confine without more a non-dangerous individual who is capable of surviving safely in freedom by himself or with the help of willing and responsible family members or friends.

Writing for the majority—Associate Justice Potter Stewart
Link: Caselaw O’Connor v. Donaldson


The Supreme Court decision was in the first year of Jerry Brown’s administration. Brown had seven years to create an alternative system but did nothing. The only thing left after the court decision was the local clinics and that is what he went with.

Brown could have created some sort of sanctuary system so those turned out on the streets had places to go. If this was a voluntary system then it would not conflict with the Supreme Court ruling. Instead communities enacted no loitering and vagrancy statutes. Homeless camps are periodically razed by law enforcement and public health officials. There is no safe place for the homeless. Some communities have shelters for sleeping at night but many of these are only open in the winter.

I don’t believe that anyone has a complete solution but giving many a safe place to call their own with a laundry, bathing facilities, mailbox and a small storage area would seem helpful.

Perhaps no politician wants the tag of “Hooverville” attached to their legacy so they never tried this approach. I know that private citizens who have wanted it have been rebuffed by local government. Maybe the logistics of policing such an area are too difficult under modern theories of how law enforcement should work. Perhaps many of these folks just don’t want any one telling them what to do.

One thing life has taught me is that some people would rather be homeless than live under rules: any rules. This is freedom to them. Bob Dylan had it right when in 1980 he said, “You gotta serve somebody”. If you don’t, this is how low you have to go to escape in our society.

Clearly, after a century of trying, the government is ill equipped to deal effectively with the mentally ill.

Lastly, before closing this topic, I wish to circle once again back to the number of homeless.

The final part of this blog is an examination of population.

Many mentally ill people were let loose as a result of O’Connor v. Donaldson. The numbers grew thru the rest of the 1970’s and into the 1980’s. In the 1980’s, Mitch Snyder, was going around the country claiming that the homeless population was three million people. Snyder was proclaiming that this was a crisis. Many media outlets latched on to this issue as a way to attack the policies of President Ronald Reagan.

Snyder’s campaign was effective and he was able to get more government funding for shelters—even though most of what he said was based on a series of lies that were willingly parroted by the media.
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Mitch Snyder 1943 - 1990

Ultimately, when Snyder was pressed on his figure of 3 million homeless, he admitted that it was a fabrication. Journalists had been hounding him for a specific number, he said, and he hadn’t wanted them to walk away empty-handed.
Link: Seattle Central


A statistical analysis of the available data for the 1980’s has found that the national homeless population varied between a low of 200,000 and a high of 400,000—depending on which year and statistical model that you use.
Link: Homelessness Paper See Table 4

Despite increases in the general population, the number of homeless folks has not increased accordingly. There is a steady base of people—many enslaved by drugs and alcohol, while others enter and leave homelessness. It is not a permanent condition or station in life for all.
Conclusion
Governor Brown started the State’s policies on the treatment of the mentally ill homeless over 40 years ago.  He and his Party have owned all the levers of power in California for many years but neither they nor their counterparts in other states have found any solutions for the homeless. Is this another instance where a Party would rather have the issue at election time than fix the problem? Or perhaps Jesus was right when he said, “For ye have the poor always with you.” Matthew 26:11 In which case it’s not a government solution that’s needed but a spiritual one.

Posted by william on 07/05 at 03:24 AM
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