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Posted on May 3 at 11:11 p.m.
Lars - Bush had Bin Laden cornered at Tora Bora in 2001 and did not listen to his intelligence (I am talking about the "boots on the ground" feeding him the facts, not his mental capacity). He did not make the decision to go in and get him, he wimped out. Later, when pressed by a reporter on getting Bin Laden, Bush said in a interview that , "I am truly not that concerned with him (Bin Laden)". Almost ten years after Bush promised to get him "Dead or Alive", his successor had the resolve and cojones to find Bin Laden and take him out. Only one person in the government has the authority to make the "kill decision" on a high value target, and it is the Commander in Chief, and ours is President Obama. Sure, our elite commandos were the actual ones who pulled off an almost impossible mission, even after losing a helicopter and still succeeding in their mission. I don't think that any other president has ever joined the Special Forces on these missions, so I think it is disingenuous to assert that Obama deserves no credit for this major success. It would be like saying that FDR and Churchill didn't have anything to do with D-Day. They had to "pull the trigger" on an operation that could have been a disaster, as did Obama on Friday. It takes enormous courage and leadership to pull off a mission like this, especially with no loss of American lives.
On Why I Can’t Vote For You Again, Mr. President
Posted on May 2 at 1:13 a.m.
This just in - President Obama can walk and chew gum at the same time.
Prior to surveying the savage tornado damage in the South Friday, then flying to Cape Canaveral, and attending and performing at the White House Correspondents' dinner on Saturday, President Obama had already met on Friday with the National Security Council to discuss and evaluate the intelligence that had led them to discover to the location Osama Bin Laden. Before performing all the above-mentioned presidential duties, the President had already given the order to apprehend or kill Osama Bin Laden, which, as we now know, was successful, without one US casualty. Something that his predecessor promised to do, but could not, even when he had him trapped at Tora Bora because he listened to the same morons who convinced him that invading Iraq was a good idea.
My point - while some of you grouse about inane details ("show me your papers!") that have no bearing on the Presidency, Obama is actually out there doing the job, even when we are not privy to every little detail. All we hear about are the talking points that we get from the media from both sides. I recommend that instead of whining about what could have been, or what should have been, why not examine what HAS been accomplished, and ponder what the alternative would have been if one of the Seven Dwarfs who covet his job would have done. Based on the former president's track record, we'd already be a third world country, if we are not already there. Try to shake the unimaginable image of the fact that he is a black man out of your heads and try to focus on what has actually happened in the last two+ years. In spite of a Congress that has fought everything he has proposed, he has accomplished more than any president since Roosevelt, or at least Johnson. I personally would have liked some additional things accomplished, like single payer health care or the expiration of the tax reductions for the wealthy, but I also understand the concept of compromise. As the Rolling Stones so wisely said, "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need". We need someone who can walk and chew gum at the same time.
Posted on January 22 at 12:25 p.m.
"Mental health evaluations are supposed to be made within 7 to 10 days, but the timeliness of care can be a problem." Is this a typo? It should read "... 7 to 10 HRS! The fact that this is the "standard" should reveal a lot about this company, and our County, who pays them
Being mentally ill is not a crime, however, once a mentally ill person finds him or herself in the jail system (for whatever reason, be it a "5150", acting out due to unavailability of meds, or just "acting strangely"), many can never get out of it, many are seriously injured (either by progression of their disease, or by violence inflicted on them by inmates and guards), and many just give up and die, by whatever means available to them.
There just is no coordination of these services, and there is a lack of will on the part of the Sheriff's department to change it, despite what he says. What does the contract with PHS pay for their "services"? Could this money be better spent on proactive care for the mentally ill, rather than triaging them ("triage" is probably the wrong word, since the standard for intervention is 7-10 days, and "triage" implies a sense of urgency, which is severely lacking in this county's approach to mental illness.
The mentally ill are among those least able to speak up for themselves, and, lacking family or friends to speak up for them, they languish within the 'system" until they "go away".
The article states that, mentally ill persons are asked a series of medical questions, including questions about medications. If the officer recognizes the person’s mental health to be an issue, a nurse is called. How is a deputy assigned to a jail qualified to make such a decision,? Only a mental heatlh professional can do that. Some mentally ill people can appear "normal" when they are not, and it takes a particular skill set to determine that.
Shame on the Sheriff for "outsourcing' this long-standing problem to a for-profit company that obviously has the "bottom line" as the guideline for what constitutes appropriate care of these persons.
How much has the County had to "pony up" in lawsuits for mistreatment of mentally ill patients in the past five years? I would imagine that it is just a fraction of what it could be if these extremely vulnerable persons felt like they could fight "the system" for which they are dependent on any care at all.. My experience with these types of lawsuits (and even just protestations with out legal involvement) is that the County requires the patient to never be able to get services from the County in the future, even if their diagnosis changes for the worst.
Again - shame!
On When Prisoners Are Patients
Posted on October 28 at 10:29 a.m.
AZ2SB - I beg to differ - it seems to me that they both are "whacked", especially Mrs. Quaid.
On Quaids Flee 'Star Whackers'
Posted on October 15 at 12:28 a.m.
I agree with the above comments. Someone on another article suggested that there might be some hanky panky concerning accounting for every gram of cannabis that has been confiscated this year, both in residential, urban, and public property grow sites. When you are out in the wild, and there are all those plants, and all that evidence - I'm just sayin'.
My expectation as a citizen is that literally every gram, ounce, pound, kilo, or ton - whatever - must be accounted for. There are chain of custody protocols for all evidence, especially drugs and cash - both present in large quantities this summer - and I wish someone credible who could, would assure the public that these raids have not only made political points for or against the "Drug War", but have not enriched the very people who crusade against this "evil scourge".
It wouldn't be the first time, and we are talking of millions of dollars in "product" and cash. When you're making $70K a year and are being asked to take a pay cut by the very people you serve, maybe you can make it up "on the side'.
I'm just saying ........
On Cannabis Club Raids Continue
Posted on October 13 at 12:41 p.m.
Last night, I saw a "Yes on Measure S" commercial on local TV. It was a group of prominent local people in positions of power and/or influence from both the Republican and Democratic parties, all of whom say that they support Measure S.
The thing that I feel is both intellectually and morally dishonest about this ad, it that it NEVER describes WHAT Measure S is. Mayor Schneider says that "$5 Million will be spent on (and I paraphrase) mental health or rehabilitative issues". The Sheriff says that "it will make SB County safer". The others simply state their political affiliations and comment how they all can agree on the efficacy of Measure S in spite of their political differences. Again, the fact that there is a tax increase to build a jail is NEVER disclosed. If this commercial is the only thing that a voter sees or reads about this, they would have no clue as to what the measure is about, other than people of both parties support it, $5M goes to mental health issues, and that residents will be "safer".
I would hope that most voters take the time to educate themselves on what these local "measures" or State propositions mean, but, unfortunately, there are all to many who do not. I personally know several people who vote strictly along party lines (both Republicans and Democrats), or on what they have "heard" about local measures. Sadly, many people with whom I have talked won't even think about them (local measures and State propositions) until just before they fill out their ballots.
The fact that some measures and propositions are deliberately written to confuse voters into voting against their own beliefs (Measure T and Prop 23 are two glaring examples), where voting "yes" is "no", or vice versa. To compound that with deliberately misleading or incomplete advertising is, at a minimum, dishonest, if not unethical.
The issue of building a new jail in the North County is fraught with many issues that transcend just needing more space to house "criminals", as illustrated in this article. This has been a local political hot potato for a long time, and I think this ad just shows that a straightforward discussion about this issue won't stand up, and those who want the jail will support deceptive advertising to get what they want politically.
On Expecting Different Result?
Posted on September 23 at 1:47 p.m.
I agree with the above, however, based on my personal knowledge of relative executive job value in today's economic environment, all three, with the possible exception of the CFO, seem on the high end, especially if they have a very "rich" benefit package, which I expect that they do. Another observation is that most private corporations which are looking hard at cost savings do not have "Assistant General Managers" or COO's at that pay level. In my experience, the intermediate (assistant) job is often redundant, if the Chief Executive, who commands an almost $200,000 per year salary, plus most likely, a significant percentage over that in health care, retirement, vacation, and sick pay benefits, and maybe others about which I am aware, is doing his or her job well.
I think further investigation is warranted, and, if it is found that these positions are not in line with comparable salaries and benefits of similar positions as defined by their job descriptions and the amount of responsibility they have (budget, number of employees, etc.), then the Board of the Goleta Water District must be held accountable for not performing adequate oversight, at the least.
But I guess we should not put the cart before the horse - let's see what the JD's, budget, and number of FTE's supervised reveals.
I recommend that EVERY management position of all the governmental entities in SB be looked at - the County, the City, and the Goleta Water District, for starters. This economy cannot support the "status quo", when oversight of wasteful spending is allowed to continue unabated.
On Salary Watch: Goleta Water District
Posted on September 19 at 12:23 p.m.
I wonder if Randy is trying to get into character for another "Vacation" movie, in which he plays crazy "Cousin Eddie". He and his already-crazy wife seem to be "off". First, they do $10,000 worth of damage to a resort hotel, then they "squat" in a home and cause $5,000 in damages. How does one even do that? What is up with these people?
On Quaids Arrested for Squatting
Posted on September 18 at 2:50 p.m.
A few observations from someone who has been dealing with EDD for more than a year and one half:
1) There are only 2 phone numbers to call, and, despite what "silver43" says, I have never been successful in getting through to a human, I guess I must have hung up before 103 minutes.
2) Once you have been notified that you are "in the system", be sure to completely fill out and mail in your claim form every two weeks, and be sure to sign it. I had my payments held up for more than 6 weeks because "you did not sign you claim form". I am certain that I did, & it took intervention by my assemblyman to get paid.
3) When you reach each successive extension, be prepared for about a 6 week delay before you get your 1st payment, even though your claim form says that it will be "automatically filed, and you don't have to do anything".
4) When you have ANY problem with EDD, I strongly suggest that you call your State Assembly representative. They have a direct phone line to the person who oversees EDD claims processing, and they can either get you on the phone with that person, or tell you what you need to do to get paid. My claim form clearly was completed properly and clearly listed the positions for which I had applied, as born out by my photocopy, and I was able to convince the person on the phone, who, in real time, went into the computer system, and "unblocked" the first of three payments that were due to me, with claim forms for each of the subsequent claims following, each a day apart. I have had to call Nava's office four times to date, and though it is harder and harder to get answers as the unemployment crisis in CA continues to strain the system and the assemblyman's staff, who are interns, but I have had a resolution of each of my issues.
5) Be persistent, and don't give up. Having dealt with the State and Federal bureaucracies on more occasions than I would like to remember, the roadblocks and land mines are intentional, to get some people to give up trying. Like "not being available for the phone call" throws you into limbo and not knowing when your next check will come, or even IF it will EVER come. Like having two phone lines, but having only one designated to talk to a person, which has a recorded message that says "due to the unusually high volume of calls" it tells you to call back later, then HANGS UP ON YOU, no mater what the time of day is. Like requiring the phone interview to "verify" the information that you have already submitted and signed "under penalty of perjury", which makes the phone interview unnecessary and redundant, but it successfully "weeds out" or delays some claims when people are not available at the time prescribed (you don't have any choice), which is the primary object of the phone interview. Like holding up payments due to "irregularities" on your claim form which are just made up, but still delay your payments.
On Unemployment Benefits Blues
Posted on September 15 at 11:21 a.m.
I second the sentiment re: NPR. I stopped listening to 1490 on a regular basis after last summer, "The Summer of Discontent", was reprising itself at the beginning of this summer, "The Summer of Hate". Both Fox AND Progressive Radio have become even more shrill, with people shouting over each other, trying to convince us what we should think. Even though Progressive Radio tends to be more fact-based vs. the made up stuff on Fox Radio and TV, it has had to attempt to become as shrill in order to compete for ratings, and, let's face it - facts are just not as viscerally exciting as attacking someone or something in the basest terms possible, truth be damned.
I have found that NPR gives me enough of the news that I need to remain adequately informed, and paces it with a lot of non-political news that is, at least for me, important for intellectual balance. NPR combines a good combination of hard news, politics, entertainment, comedy, pop culture, science, and insight into other cultures and peoples of the world. It is not "All Politics, All The Time". I got burned out, having been a "political junkie" since I was 16. NPR presents the facts, and lets me decide what they mean - they don't preach to me. I realize that many people prefer it the other way around, hence the financial viability of Fox "News" Radio and TV. I am capable of digesting the facts, filtering out the rhetoric from both sides, and arriving at a conclusion of my own. I welcome hard facts from both sides of the issues, and I stress the word "facts". To hear a commentator, even those with whom I share a world view, push a particular agenda over and over again, and often "going off" on their own self-important rants to either sell books or just inflate their own sense of importance grows old. Fox "News" has created a business model that works, not because they have the market on the truth cornered, but because they have found a formula to market their "truths" in a manner in which people who are uninformed, under-informed, or just plain ignorant in general find appealing.
It is sad that both sides of the political discourse cannot be supported in a city like SB, with two other stations airing right wing propaganda all day, every day. One editorial comment - maybe better local programming would have helped. The local shows, on the whole, were very weak. One business comment - interrupting a program which is discussing an important social issue with local semi-pro baseball games, or women's basketball is not conducive to building a loyal following. I'm just saying ....
Finally, those of you who wish to follow the shows formerly broadcast on 1490 AM can stream them live in the same time slots on 1150 AM, "LA Talk-Radio" on your computers.
On Progressive Talk Radio 1490 Off the Air
The Santa Barbara Bird Sanctuary will dedicate a new learning ... Read More
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