Tag Archives: San Francisco

Colin Kaepernick is making his choice: Activism over the NFL

kaepernick-taking-a-knee

Actions have consequences…

Translation: No NFL teams wants to deal with the negative impact of Kaepernick’s toxic opinions.

From Yahoo (by columnist Dan Wetzel): In a flurry of tweets and retweets Monday night, Colin Kaepernick used his sizable social media platform (1.1 million-plus followers) to comment and promote issues concerning police violence involving minorities and the prison-industrial complex, notably the use of inmate labor.

This isn’t new. His Twitter feed is a near daily display of activist messages and arguments. Last weekend he retweeted a couple images that compared modern police officers to slave catchers of the past. To some it was a history lesson. To others who see the many honest and fair members of law enforcement that are trying to build a better future, it was an insult.

Maybe you agree with his posts or maybe you don’t. Maybe they cause you to think about the issue for a second. Maybe you’re bored with anything Kaepernick has to say. This column isn’t about changing any opinions. You can take it up with Kaepernick. He doesn’t seem to mind the debate.

What Kaepernick hasn’t been tweeting about, or speaking about, or granting interviews about is that he remains an unsigned free agent as NFL training camps creep closer and available jobs are being filled. Kaepernick, who once started in a Super Bowl but is most famous for taking a knee during the national anthem last year, is unemployed.

No one says he should replace Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers or even be slotted in as a starter. He is undoubtedly better, however, than some of these third-stringers with camp invites.

As team after team passes him by, the obvious conclusion is that his high-profile political stances have made him, in the minds of NFL decision-makers, a liability greater than the perceived value he would bring to the team. Make no mistake, if Kaepernick completed 69.9 percent of his passes for 38 touchdowns against just 7 interceptions last season (MVP Matt Ryan numbers), he could tweet whatever he wanted. After all, there are plenty of other players who joined him on one knee during the anthem who will be suiting up next season.

When your perceived-negatives outweigh your perceived-positives though, you’re done. This is pretty much how it works in every profession, let alone one as cutthroat as the NFL. Kaepernick completed just 59.2 percent of his passes while starting for a 2-14 team. He’s a back-up at this point. So here we are.

Yet he doesn’t seem to care … or at least care enough to change his behavior in an effort to ease fears from clearly skittish teams who tend to like quiet, compliant back-ups. The simplest advice for Kaepernick if he wants to play in the NFL next season is to just be quiet. He won’t be quiet. He won’t back down.

Whether you agree with his stances, disagree with his stances or find some reasonable and some not, it’s worth offering at least a nod of respect for a guy willing to risk so much for what he believes in. On this, he is putting his money where his mouth is.

(This is in addition to what his website claims is already $700,000 in donations – out of a pledged $1 million – to “organizations in oppressed communities.” Each donation, most to grassroots organizations, is carefully noted.)

If you look at the website kaepernick7.com, other than the jersey number in the domain name, there is very little acknowledgement that he is even a football player – it’s all about his foundation and its “Know Your Rights” campaign. There are links to pro-Kaepernick sports columns under “media,” but that’s about it.

And he’s yet to come out and complain or even comment about how his NFL job hunt is going.

“He is a starter in this league and I can’t imagine somebody won’t give him a chance to play,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said earlier this offseason. Carroll is wrong; it’s pretty easy to imagine that no team will give Kaepernick a chance to play. NFL coaches dread so-called “distractions” and Kaepernick is clearly considered one of those. For different reasons, so are Tim Tebow or Johnny Manziel, although neither of them ever led a team to the Super Bowl.

In Seattle’s case, Carroll said he didn’t sign Kaepernick because his contract demands were more than Seattle could handle for a back-up position … which is also a major factor here.

To say politics isn’t a factor here for at least some teams, though, is disingenuous. You can blame the teams for this or you can agree with it. That’s reality, and Kaepernick is very well aware of that fact.

When he chose to make a political statement by sitting, and later kneeling for the national anthem, he knew that he was creating a major stir. His handling of the attention wasn’t always smooth – he was willing to speak at length and with great passion about his positions and how it did or didn’t effect the San Francisco locker room, but he also struggled with details at times and famously decided to skip out on voting (even for ballot initiatives) last November. Becoming a national activist isn’t easy.

Whatever, he decided to try and so he tried. He decided this was important to him, so he made it important to him. He decided that he couldn’t be silent about what he believes, so he spoke out, presumably well aware of the potential repercussions, like being out of the league at age 29.

And now, faced with reality, he hasn’t changed his course at all. He’s Colin Kaepernick, take him or leave him. (And it appears the NFL is leaving him.)

DCG

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California Democrats flip off Donald Trump and Shout “F*ck Donald Trump”

john burton and nancy pelosi

Pelosi and her foul-mouthed buddy, John Burton

Remember, “Love Trumps Hate.”

From Sacramento Bee: The anti-Trump fervor at California’s Democratic Party convention this weekend can be summarized in choice words from outgoing chair of the California Democratic Party, John Burton: “F*%! Donald Trump.”

The always foul-mouthed Burton, 84, stood before thousands of Democratic delegates at Saturday’s general assembly, and as a rallying cry asked the crowd to join in. He then shoved two fists in the air, flipping the bird. Across the room at the Sacramento Convention Center, many in the audience followed suit.

On stage were House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, Rep, Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, state Sen. Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, and others.

Democrats over the weekend were fired up about Donald Trump’s presidency, investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign and the heated health care debate in California. Nearly every politician who took the stage at Saturday’s convention denounced Trump and his agenda.

“We are President Trump’s worst nightmare,” California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León said in a speech.

Burton, who took over as chairman of the state Democratic Party in 2009, fired off expletives throughout the three-day convention.

“Put your f*&#! sign down man, we’re all for it,” Burton said to a crowd of nurses urging fellow Democrats to support a bill in the Legislature that would create a publicly funded, universal health care system for California.

Friday night, hecklers shouted down Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg moments before Democratic National Party Chairman Tom Perez took the microphone, chanting in support of single-payer health care. “Hey shut the F$@# up or go outside alright?” Burton said.

h/t Gateway Pundit (See the video there.)

DCG

Sacramento may start paying for legal defense of illegal aliens

darrell steinberg

Mayor Steinberg: Robbing legal taxpayers to benefit illegal aliens

Just following in the footsteps of their fellow proggies in liberal King County. Suck it, taxpayers!

From Sacramento Bee: Sacramento leaders are poised to spend up to $300,000 to boost the city’s status as a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants, even as the federal government threatens to crack down on jurisdictions providing such immigrant protections.

The City Council will vote Thursday on a proposal to invest in an education and legal defense network for undocumented immigrants illegal aliens, with the money coming out of a general fund that supports most core city services. The plan under consideration would also strengthen Sacramento’s status as a sanctuary city by turning into law privacy policies that prohibit city employees – including police – from making inquiries into immigration status.

“It is a modest investment, but it is a very important investment,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “It says very clearly to our community, especially those who are affected by these unconstitutional orders, that ‘we are going to stand with you.’ We have to back up our values with real action to help people who feel at risk and who may be actually at risk.”

Both the sanctuary city ordinance and legal defense fund were proposed by a Safe Haven Task Force formed at City Hall in February. The task force was put in place in response to executive orders by President Donald Trump calling for increased enforcement of federal immigration laws.

Councilman Eric Guerra, who headed the task force, said turning the city’s sanctuary stance from policy into law would put “more teeth” in its position and “makes it relevant to the context we see today, the scapegoating of immigrants.”

About 49,000 Sacramento residents are not citizens, including roughly 4,100 children, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s about 10 percent of the city’s residents. Some of them are here legally, some are not – the census bureau does not ask about legal status.

The new money would help fund what is being called the Sacramento Family Unity, Educations and Legal Network for Immigrants, or FUEL, a collection of local immigration attorneys, nonprofits and law schools specializing in immigration law.

The group will hire up to two attorneys to provide legal assistance to an estimated 750 families each year and conduct “Know Your Rights” information sessions in schools, churches and other community gathering places for hundreds more. The network will likely seek grants from other nonprofit agencies to expand its financial capacity.

Attorneys will be tasked with representing immigrants facing deportation and helping undocumented parents “prepare for the worst” by creating guardianships for children and protections for homes and other assets should they be deported, said Guerra.

Guerra said Sacramento hasn’t yet seen federal immigration raids, but “the fear is intense” in immigrant communities and “what we don’t want is families to be separated because that leads to bigger social issues.”

Blake Nordahl, a supervising attorney in the immigration clinic at the McGeorge School of Law, said the network will expand the local roster of attorneys trained in immigration law by working with lawyers whose expertise is in other fields.

“We have a large immigrant population in Sacramento, so hopefully this is just the beginning of being able to work together,” said Nordahl, whose clinic is part of the city-funded network. “I think there’s a real commitment to showing respect to our neighbors and recognizing that Sacramento is based on a city of immigrants and we’re going to take care of our neighbors.”

Sacramento’s vote would follow other California governments that have spent public money to aid undocumented immigrants.

Santa Clara County in January voted to spend $1.5 million over two years to help defend undocumented immigrants illegal aliens facing deportation. San Francisco recently set aside $200,000 for legal aid, and Oakland has allocated $300,000 for a similar effort. A similar public-private fund that could hold up to $10 million has also been proposed for Los Angeles city and county.

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

Legislators in California introduce bill to exempt teachers from state income tax

churchlady_isnt-that-special

From Fox News: Legislators in California recently introduced a bill that would offer educators major tax breaks in an effort to keep them in the classroom and combat the state’s growing teacher shortage.

The measure quickly drew fire from taxpayer advocates who criticized it as politically inspired favoritism.

California’s state income tax rate ranges from 1 percent to 12.3 percent, depending on taxable income. For example, taxable income between $40,774 and $51,530 draws a 8 percent tax rate while taxable income between $51,531 and $263,222 draws a 9.3 percent tax rate.

Another enticement in the bill would give new teachers tax credits for the money they spent to earn full teaching credentials. These credits would cover such costs as college tuition and certification tests, and these expenses could be entirely recouped entirely over five years.

Teachers are the original job creators. The teaching profession is critical to California’s economic success and impacts every vocation and profession in the state,” Stern said in a press release. “SB 807 addresses the immediate teacher shortage and sends a loud and clear message across the state and nation:  California values teachers. We will help train you and we want you to stay in the classroom.”

Stern – a former teacher – said one-third of all California teachers quit before their fifth year because of the financial hardships placed on them due to low pay and the state’s high cost of living.

“You’re not going to be able to get paid $50,000 a year and go live in the Bay Area, go teach at the local school…. we think it’s a pretty creative tool, we’ll see how the fiscal conservatives in this house want to approach this,” Stern told Fox 40.

The median household income in San Francisco is over $88,000 and more than $61,000 statewide. Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the Bay Area is just shy of $3,500 a month.

Fiscally conservative groups, including the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, criticized the bill. Jazz Shaw, writing on the group’s website, said that for lawmakers to pick certain groups to get privileged treatment is a slippery slope.

If you take an entire class of people based on their occupation and say that they are somehow ‘more deserving’ than everyone else and should be exempted from paying state income taxes, what other groups might qualify? It’s not hard to imagine quite a few of these ‘deserving’ professions being rather quick to have their hands out,” he wrote.

The bill is expected to enter committee review by the end of the month and has so far faced no opposition from lawmakers in either party. It is unclear, however, what the estimated loss in tax revenue to the state would be if the measure is approved.

“It’s time California leads the nation and sends a clear message to all current and future teachers: You are valued and California will reward your commitment to California’s kids and future,” Bill Lucia, president of the Sacramento-based lobbying and research organization EdVoice, told the Los Angeles Times.

Currently 75 percent of all California school districts face a teacher shortage, and researchers say that one-third of all teachers in the state are older than 50. The problem is compounded by the fact that the turnover rate among teachers remains high and that less people are entering the profession, according to data compiled by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

In the 2014-15 school year, enrollments in teacher preparation programs dropped to 20,881 — down 40 percent from 2010-11 and 73 percent from 2001-02.

The California Teacher Association has so far not taken a stance on SB 807, but agrees that the shortage of educators in the state is a serious problem.

DCG

Sacramento lawsuit charges that lack of court hearings for undocumented immigrants violates Constitution

I might be illegal

From Sacramento Bee: For a year and a half, Jose Garcia-Alcazar has been sitting in jails in Richmond and Elk Grove while his lawyers fight the government’s efforts to deport him to his native Mexico. For more than six months now, Garcia-Alcazar, who has three children who are U.S. citizens, has not had a hearing to determine whether he is eligible for bail while the immigration courts figure out what to do with him.

Lawyers for the former car-wash employee in Rohnert Park call his extended stay in jail a case of indefinite detention. They also call it unconstitutional, and they say it stands in direct defiance of a 2011 appellate court ruling that guarantees incarcerated aliens a bail hearing – even if they have criminal records and made their way back to the United States after having already been deported. Garcia-Alcazar, 30, has drug convictions and once associated in Mexico with “coyotes” who smuggled people into the United States, one of his lawyers said.

Earlier this month, Garcia-Alcazar’s attorneys filed a lawsuit in federal court in Sacramento seeking class-action status to try to reinstate bail hearings for him and an untold number of other undocumented immigrants illegal aliens. In the lawsuit, the lawyers are challenging a memorandum issued by an immigration judge in San Francisco that says people like Garcia-Alcazar who return to the U.S. after being deported are not entitled to “redetermination” hearings that would give them a chance to make their case for bail.

While an immigration judge’s decisions are usually confined to his or her own courtroom, lawyers for Garcia-Alcazar say the one made by Anthony S. Murry on Dec. 12 has been reduced to an eight-page memo that is now being widely distributed. The plaintiff’s attorneys noted that the memo came out and that bail hearings began to be curtailed just a month after President Donald Trump was elected on a campaign that promised to build a wall across the southern border of the United States and cut off illegal immigration from Mexico.

“It is kind of weird that it started happening toward the end of the year,” said Joseph LaCome, the attorney who wrote the briefs in the case filed in Sacramento and who has filed similar lawsuits in Phoenix and San Francisco.

According to LaCome, it had been common practice in immigration courts before the election for judges to hold the bail hearings. He said such proceedings have since tailed off to “nothing.”

On Tuesday, the Trump administration released two memos outlining its enforcement strategy on illegal immigration. Along with the construction of the border wall, the plan called for hiring 10,000 new immigration control officers and 5,000 additional border security officers as well as for having local police departments use their personnel as immigration officers.

The administration’s memos also proposed a surge in “the deployment of immigration judges and asylum officers to interview and adjudicate claims asserted by recent border entrants.” They call for “establishment of appropriate processing and detention facilities,” within a hundred miles of the Mexican border. And they aim to achieve a sharp reduction in what the administration calls the parole of aliens while their immigration cases are pending, which has enabled thousands of them, the administration contends, to abscond from the law.

In response to Trump’s action plan, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s immigrants rights project, Omar Jadwat, said, “Trump does not have the last word here.” Jadwat promised legal action “if they go back to discredited detainer policies that we’ve already beat in court numerous times,” an outcome that the Garcia-Alcazar lawsuit suggests is already taking place.

Kathryn Mattingly, the spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Executive Office of Immigration Review, which oversees the nation’s immigration courts, said in an email Wednesday that Murry’s memo “was an independent decision by an immigration judge for one particular respondent.” She said such memorandums “are not distributed to EOIR staff as they apply only to the individual case for which they were written.”

Plaintiff’s attorney LaCome, however, said he has been told by an attorney for the Office of the Chief Counsel – the arm of the Department of Homeland Security that prosecutes cases in immigration court – that Murry’s memorandum is now being distributed around the country, making the case to deny bail hearings to immigrants from coast to coast.

“The OCC attorney told me they took it and ran with it all over the 9th Circuit,” LaCome said. “The attorney told me it also was going all over the country.”

A spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which oversees the government’s lawyers in immigration courts, declined to comment on any pending case.

LaCome maintains in the suit, filed Feb. 9, that the Murry memorandum violates the 2011 Diouf decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that entitles aliens to bail hearings every six months, even if they have been rearrested after deportation.

The Garcia-Alcazar petition seeks “an immediate custody hearing before a federal district judge or magistrate, or an IJ (immigration judge) other than IJ Murry,” to determine whether the memorandum is lawful. It also wants to stop the U.S. Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the Executive Office of Immigration Review and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement “from continuing their policy of influencing Immigration judges within this Circuit to deny Diouf bond hearings.”

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

Donald Trump will publish a weekly list of crimes committed by illegal aliens

maga

This will no doubt trigger the pro-sanctuary city mayors. Works for me.

From Daily Mail: Donald Trump will publish a weekly list of crimes committed by illegal immigrants aliens under an executive action he claims will ‘enhance public safety’.  Trump signed the order on Wednesday which also stated that sanctuary cities that refuse to arrest immigrants over their illegal status will lose federal funding.

The list, also known as a Declined Detainer Outcome Report, will include a comprehensive list of criminal activity committed by illegal aliens that will ‘better inform’ the public.

The document states that the 300 sanctuary cities which currently exist nationwide violate federal law as they attempt to ‘shield aliens’ from deportation. Trump added that these cities have caused ‘immeasurable harm’ to Americans.

Although the president does not have power to withhold all federal funding, he can pressure cities to comply by cutting grants. The administration also plans to crack down by hiring an additional 10,000 immigration officers. 

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio vowed not to ‘deport law-abiding New Yorkers’ in a news conference on Wednesday. Mayors in Santa Fe, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle and Boston have all defied the president’s order and pledged to protect immigrants illegal aliens.

New York Police Department has a list of 170 criminal offenses that are not covered by the sanctuary policy, such as felony assault, rape, murder, terrorism, and gun smuggling and witness tampering, the New York Post reported.

NYPD is required to report illegal immigrants aliens charged with those crimes to federal law enforcement. 

DCG

California lawmakers want third-gender option on IDs

genders

From Fox News: Democratic lawmakers on Thursday introduced a bill supporters say would make California the first state to add a third gender option on state identifying documents.

State Sen. Toni Atkins’ bill would add a non-binary gender marker option for driver’s licenses, birth certificates, identity cards and gender change court orders. The San Diego Democrat says SB 179 would also simplify the process for changing one’s gender on those documents.

Transgender people face discrimination in their everyday lives when they use IDs that do not match the gender they appear to be, Atkins said. The legislation would help transgender people and those who do not identify as either male or female to obtain official documents that match their gender identity, she said.

SB 179 would end the requirements that a person get a doctor’s sworn statement and appear in court even if no objections have been filed when petitioning to change their gender on official documents. The bill would also allow minors to apply for a gender change on their birth certificate.

This legislation would be the first of its kind in the country, said Jo Michael, who works with Equality California, a group that advocates for LGBT rights and is co-sponsoring Atkins’ bill.

“As a person who identifies as transgender and is non-binary, this piece of legislation is important to me on a personal level,” Michael said during a press conference on the bill. “For the first time, Californians could have accurate gender markers that truly reflect who we are.”

The federal government does not offer a third gender option for official documents such as passports. The issue drew national attention in November when a federal judge asked the U.S. State Department to reconsider its decision to deny a passport to a Colorado resident who does not identify as male or female. Government lawyers argued that moving beyond two gender choices on federal documents would hamper officials’ ability to verify identities and backgrounds because they rely on state documents including drivers’ licenses and birth certificates with only male and female gender options.

The California Family Council, a conservative Christian group, opposes adding gender options beyond male and female to state documents, the group’s CEO Jonathan Keller said.

“We believe government documents need to reflect biological facts for identification and medical purposes,” Keller said in a statement on SB 179. “Laws like this will simply erase any meaningful gender definitions, if being male or female is completely divorced from biological facts.”

Sen. Scott Wiener is coauthoring SB 179 and said he thinks California should lead the way in enacting protections for transgender people.

The trans community is under assault in this country. California needs to go in the opposite direction,” the San Francisco Democrat said. “When they go backwards, we go forwards.”

DCG