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Bernardo de La Paz

Profile Information

Member since: Fri Jul 16, 2004, 11:36 PM
Number of posts: 10,671

About Me

Lived most of my adult life in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. Left a piece of my heart there.

Journal Archives

Links. Try to be progressive. There is no sarcasm about this. People's lives are at stake.

Housing First: get the homeless housing and then all the other problems become more tractable.

Medicine Hat: http://www.theplaidzebra.com/a-city-in-canada-tried-giving-free-housing-to-the-homeless-and-its-working/

Thankfully, Canada has been relatively accepting of the Housing First initiative in places other than Medicine Hat. Six other cities in Alberta, including major cities Edmonton and Calgary, have taken a Housing First approach, and have seen a 16 per cent overall drop in homelessness since 2008 as a result. In Vancouver — a city notorious for its rapidly increasing homeless population in the 1990s and early 2000s — hundreds of homeless people have been put into permanent homes, though the city still has much work to do in this respect. The federal government has also devoted itself to a Housing First plan until at least 2019.

Other countries have followed suit, with the Obama administration listing the method as a best practice for eliminating chronic homelessness, and Finland and France both instituting similar measures.


Medicine Hat: http://www.mhchs.ca/
Medicine Hat: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/05/15/medicine-hat-homeless_n_5332531.html

Until recently, Clugston was on the other side of the debate about how to end homelessness. He spent six years on council before becoming mayor late last year. “When I first got elected on council I was a bit of a cowboy, and I was actually speaking against a lot of these projects. I was one of their biggest detractors,” he said. But Clugston said the members of the Medicine Hat Community Housing Society spent six years making a convert out of him.

“And now I’ve become their advocate and have to admit it’s the right thing to do, it’s the moral thing to do. And it makes sense financially,” he said.

“If you can get somebody off the street, it saves the emergency room visits, it saves the police, it saves the justice system — and so when you add up all those extra costs … you can buy a lot of housing for that amount of money.”

And once people are housed, it’s easier for support workers to help them with a co-ordinated delivery of social services to address issues such as substance abuse and mental health problems, Clugston said.


Utah: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/09/22/home-free

It may seem surprising that a solidly conservative state like Utah has embraced an apparently bleeding-heart approach like giving homeless people homes. But in fact Housing First has become the rule in hundreds of cities around the country, in states both red and blue. And while the Obama Administration has put a lot of weight (and money) behind these efforts, the original impetus for them on a national scale came from the Bush Administration’s homelessness czar Philip Mangano. Indeed, the fight against homelessness has genuine bipartisan support.


Almost free housing in San Francisco ($375 avg): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community_Housing_Partnership

Still think it is a stupid idea worthy of a sarcasm tag?

Or is it a progressive idea proven to work that is worthy of more serious consideration than you are willing to give it?
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Fri Apr 15, 2016, 03:13 PM (1 replies)

+1. Time invested writing a good video summary is a good investment for many reasons

1) Efficiency: When a poster takes 2 minutes to write a couple of paragraphs summarizing the video it saves hundreds of people minutes of time which multiply out to hours. Two minutes to gain hours for others is a good expenditure of time.

2) It takes a lot more time to evaluate a video than the seconds it takes to read a summary. It often takes a few minutes or at least a minute to get a sense of where the video is going and how it is going to make its points. If a person would prefer a documentary approach, they will switch off a rant after a minute or so. But that is a minute lost and when you consider hundreds of viewers that is a lot of time wasted.

3) Most people will not invest 30 minutes to watch a 30 minute video when they can read the summary.

4) If the video is any good, then a decent summary will actually convince more people to invest time watching.

5) If the poster can't be bothered to write a couple of informative paragraphs, then I almost always skip over the video. It certainly didn't inspire the poster so I have little expectation it would inspire me.

6) Not all DU members are perfectly able. Some can't see or can't see well and might use talking browsers. Others can't hear.

7) Reading (and skimming) is very efficient compared to video.

8) Video is very time consuming compared to reading. Time yourself reading a newspaper article. Then time yourself speaking it out loud.

9) There may be a bridgeable generation gap. More seasoned DU members (older members) are not as used to or as demanding for videos for their information. Post a good summary along with the video and you reach everybody: vid fans, readers, deaf, and visually impaired.

10) Even so, there are some times when images and moving images inform people in depth better or more efficiently than a written word. Or when an experience is as important as the information. If that is the case for the video, make the case!
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Fri Apr 15, 2016, 12:06 PM (0 replies)

Wherever homeless are giving FREE HOUSING, overall costs go down a lot.

This has been proven multiple times.

What is the biggest barrier to getting a job: having an address and having a place to live, to shower, to rest. Give people a place to live and a large number (half?) end up getting jobs and paying for their own place to live.

You save tax dollars for fewer emergency room visits, fewer police interactions, less crime against and by homeless people, less court costs, less mental health care, better nutrition, longer lives, more productivity, less wasted education dollars, ....

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/08/13/housing-first-federal-election_n_7949510.html . . . Excerpt:

The principles of Housing First are not new. It began in New York City in the '90s with Greek-Canadian psychologist Sam Tsemberis. He kept seeing the same patients over and over while doing mental health outreach, and asked them what they needed most. The answer was blindingly obvious — a place to live. So he founded Pathways to Housing based on a theory that would later become known as Housing First.

"He said, 'Why don't we try getting these people into apartments, regular apartments, provide them the psychiatric medical and mental health support that they need and see if it works?' And it did," explains Richter. "It's taken off from there."

It's also become a bipartisan success story because you can help people and save money doing it. The political right has taken the lead on growing the program. George W. Bush's administration picked it up first, bringing it into the mainstream. The man Bush appointed to head up his efforts to combat homelessness Philip Mangano put Tsemberis’s housing first theory into nationwide practice and the result was that the "chronically homeless" fell 30 per cent between 2005 and 2007.

The Great Recession hit in 2008, but chronic homelessness fell an additional 21 per cent because Obama picked up the Housing First baton, first with the $1.5 billion stimulus-based Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program and then as the centerpiece of his "Opening Doors" plan. A 2015 update reconfirmed that Housing First "is the solution" and declared chronic homelessness would be eliminated in the U.S. by 2017 and that youth and family homelessness was on track to be ended by 2020.

Homelessness in Utah has fallen 91 per cent since launching its Housing First program in 2005. State housing director Gordon Walker told the Desert News in April that "the remaining balance is 178 people. We know them by name, who they are and what their needs are." To further assist the no-longer-homeless, Utah recently started a pilot program to expunge minor crimes from their records to facilitate finding employment.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Mon Apr 4, 2016, 07:13 AM (1 replies)

Corey Lewandowski -- A nasty piece of work and the C-word

2013 -
But some of his most fiery clashes came with a female official who ran one of the states under Lewandowski’s control. The relationship ― and patience for Lewandowski within AFP ― reached a tipping point in October 2013. On the sidelines of a meeting of the group’s board in Manhattan, Lewandowski loudly berated the employee for challenging his authority, getting in her personal space and calling her a “c---” in front of a group of AFP employees, including some senior officials, according to three sources who either witnessed the exchange or dealt with its aftermath.
-- Politico

2014 - "most recent job with the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity landed the group under investigation for voter suppression in North Carolina in 2014." ... "The voter registration effort that Lewandowski headed was shut down after the 2014 elections and Politico said he left the organization shortly thereafter as it “became clear that Lewandowski didn’t have much of a future with the group.”" -- Daily Beast

Lewandowski boasted about threatening to “blow up” the car of the organization’s chief financial officer over a late expense reimbursement check during the 2012 election cycle, according to multiple sources who are familiar with his claim. (Lewandowski in an email denied this account.)
-- Politico

2015 -
Roger Stone, ... quit the campaign last year citing the candidate’s lewd attacks against another female journalist, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly. Multiple insiders say they detected Lewandowski’s fingerprints on the departures of Stone and another longtime Trump official, Sam Nunberg, asserting that Lewandowski seeks to shield Trump from receiving other advice.


2016 - In January after pulling Trump out of the debate Lewandowski threatens Kelly:
In a call on Saturday with a FOX News executive, Lewandowski stated that Megyn had a ‘rough couple of days after that last debate’ and he ‘would hate to have her go through that again.’ Lewandowski was warned not to level any more threats, but he continued to do so.
-- DailyWire

March 8, Lewandowski assaults reporter Michelle Fields.

And, separate from the incident with the Breitbart reporter Fields, other reporters who have covered the Trump campaign described instances in which Lewandowski was rough with journalists, using his body to push reporters away from the candidate. They described the former New Hampshire police officer as occasionally acting more like a security guard than a political operative.
-- Politico

Additionally, reporters told POLITICO that Lewandowski has made sexually suggestive and at times vulgar comments to ― and about ― female journalists who have covered Trump’s presidential bid. One reporter who was on the receiving end of such comments described them as “completely inappropriate in a professional setting.” Lewandowski said in an email that he’d never behaved inappropriately with female journalists.
-- Politico

Ref.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/03/16/the-shady-past-of-corey-lewandowski-donald-trump-s-campaign-manager.html
http://www.politico.com/story/2016/03/donald-trump-corey-lewandowski-220742
http://www.dailywire.com/news/4036/trumps-campaign-manager-thinks-violence-shouldnt-hank-berrien
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sun Mar 20, 2016, 09:56 AM (0 replies)

Right Wing Authoritarian Followers:

http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authoritarian_personality

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-wing_authoritarianism

According to research by Altemeyer, right-wing authoritarians tend to exhibit cognitive errors and symptoms of faulty reasoning. Specifically, they are more likely to make incorrect inferences from evidence and to hold contradictory ideas that result from compartmentalized thinking. They are also more likely to uncritically accept insufficient evidence that supports their beliefs, and they are less likely to acknowledge their own limitations. Whether right-wing authoritarians are less intelligent than average is disputed, with Stenner arguing that variables such as high verbal ability (indicative of high cognitive capacity) have a very substantial ameliorative effect in diminishing authoritarian tendencies. Measured against other factors of personality, authoritarians generally score lower on openness to experience and slightly higher on conscientiousness.

Altemeyer suggested that authoritarian politicians are more likely to be in the Conservative or Reform party in Canada, or the Republican Party in the United States. They generally have a conservative economic philosophy, are highly nationalistic, oppose abortion, support capital punishment, oppose gun control legislation, and do not value social equality. The RWA scale reliably correlates with political party affiliation, reactions to Watergate, pro-capitalist attitudes, religious orthodoxy, and acceptance of covert governmental activities such as illegal wiretaps. Although authoritarianism is correlated with conservative political ideology, not all authoritarians are conservative, and not all conservatives are authoritarian. It is also worth noting that many authoritarians have no interest in politics.

Authoritarians are generally more favorable to punishment and control than personal freedom and diversity. For example, they are more willing to suspend constitutional guarantees of liberty such as the Bill of Rights. They are more likely to advocate strict, punitive sentences for criminals, and report that punishing such people is satisfying for them. They tend to be ethnocentric and prejudiced against racial and ethnic minorities and homosexuals. However, Stenner argues that authoritarians will support programs intended to increase opportunities for minority groups, such as affirmative action, if they believe such programs will lead to greater societal uniformity.

In roleplaying situations, authoritarians tend to seek dominance over others by being competitive and destructive instead of cooperative. In a study by Altemeyer, 68 authoritarians played a three-hour simulation of the Earth's future entitled the Global change game. Unlike a comparison game played by individuals with low RWA scores, which resulted in world peace and widespread international cooperation, the simulation by authoritarians became highly militarized and eventually entered the stage of nuclear war. By the end of the high RWA game, the entire population of the earth was declared dead.
-- Wikipedia (emphasis added)
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sun Mar 13, 2016, 01:25 PM (0 replies)

"The sustained health of Progressive politics will have four pillars:" . (Trudeau)

broad economic opportunity, transparency, innovation and diversity.

"Fear is easy" . . . "Diversity is strength"

Later, Trudeau delivered a speech and took part in a hosted question-and-answer session sponsored by Canada 2020 and the Center for American Progress.

The sustained health of progressive politics will have four pillars, he said: broad economic opportunity, transparency, innovation and diversity.

"No progressive movement can succeed if it doesn't embrace the fundamental truth that diversity is strength. Canadians know this — they live this truth every day, as do our American friends," he said.

"Fear is easy. Friendship? That takes work. But Canada and the United States have proven, time and time again, that finding common ground is worth the effort."


http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/03/11/pm-to-speak-today-in-u-s-venue-rife-with-historical-symbolism_n_9436038.html
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Fri Mar 11, 2016, 09:56 PM (1 replies)

Trump's "business acumen" is nothing special

(Based on his on claims) Trump has kept pace with the S&P 500 index from 1982 to present:

http://www.quora.com/Did-Donald-Trump-inherit-a-lot-of-money-and-then-increase-his-net-worth-at-an-unremarkable-rate

Nicely done, but not impressive.

Exposing How Donald Trump Really Made His Fortune: Inheritance from Dad and the Government's Protection Mostly Did the Trick: Inherited wealth from his father (who benefited from US government largesse), cushy education, bankruptcy protection, and tax money spent on regulating the stock market, among other things:

http://www.alternet.org/story/156234/exposing_how_donald_trump_really_made_his_fortune%3A_inheritance_from_dad_and_the_government's_protection_mostly_did_the_trick
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Fri Mar 4, 2016, 04:00 PM (0 replies)

Yes. Cruz was not natural born, but was naturalized instantly at birth by his mother's citizenship.

It's an odd quirk of US citizenship law.

If you are born on US soil (regardless of parentage), you are "natural born" and a US citizen that way and eligible for the Presidency.

If you are born off US soil to a US citizen parent, you are "naturalized" a citizen at birth by that fact, but not natural born and thus ineligible.

If you are born off US soil to no US citizen parent, but immigrate into the US and fulfill legal obligations such as period of residency, then you become "naturalized by law" and also ineligible.

In McCain's case, he was born on US soil (Panama Canal Zone at the time) and thus natural born and eligible.

Obama was born on US soil in Hawaii and obviously eligible.

George Romney (Mitt's parent) was naturalized at birth in Mexico City and thus ineligible but nobody raised the issue at the time and his failed presidential campaign made the issue moot.

Ted Cruz is naturalized but not natural born. Ted Cruz is ineligible for the Presidency.

Rubio was natural born on US soil. He is eligible.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Tue Mar 1, 2016, 07:58 AM (1 replies)

Yup. Most of conservative base is Authoritarian Follower, fearful, & seeks affirmation, not reality

Does the future Threaten You, or does the future Thrill You?

If you are fearful of muslims, fearful of change, fearful of "losing", fearful of old white America disappearing, then you are likely a member of the Republican / Tea / Conservative base.

The authoritarian mindset includes the follower mind set, which may mouth stuff about the Constitution, but basically likes to follow a strong-man, and likes having one state religion (christian fundamentalist / evangelical) to follow. This is why you see Trump followers often expressing admiration for Putin, for example. Their base warps the Constitution so they believe it advocates christianity over everything else and thus they see a "war on christmas / christians" all around them.

The conservative mindset seeks simple solutions. It is more likely to indulge in binary thinking, boiling down complex issues to yes/no answers. Republicans are famous for saying "We don't do nuance". Hence the appeal of Trump's blustery over-the-top nonsense like building a wall and making the Mexicans pay for it. They think that simplistic stuff like putting "god" into the Pledge of Allegiance and (christian) prayer back in schools will solve lots of problems.

Both bases profess admiration for the truth, but the conservative base seeks evidence to shore up / buttress their world view / narrative and writes off conflicting evidence: witness the success the Kochs et al have had pushing the "man-made global warming is a hoax".

The progressive / scientific mindset takes the opposite approach and seeks evidence to destroy its theories so that any theories that survive are stronger. Thus, for example, in the US, non-christians and atheists often know more about the bible and christianity than christians. Progressives are more likely to read rightwing sites occasionally than RW are to read progressive sites occasionally.

The Republicans sell fear. Hence they heighten the sense of America surrounded by enemies (build a wall, see Russia from front porch, muslim invaders, etc.) and amp up war fever (even calling them crusades). They whip up fear of immigrants stealing jobs. They build on fear of change by harkening back to the past: TheRump's "Make America Great Again" (note the "again" which is all important to the base) and Rubio's "Morning in America Again" ad.

If you are thrilled by diversity, thrilled by new developments in tech / arts, optimistic about winning in new ways, thrilled by multiculturalism, then you are likely a member of the Democratic / Progressive / Liberal base.

The United States is basically, and always has been, forward looking and progressive. That's how Obama won big with Hope and Change.


Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Fri Feb 19, 2016, 03:44 AM (2 replies)

It's impossible to be progressive without advocating metric measurement

Here is a map of all the countries using the imperial system of measurement which (in addition to the points of the video) is based on the King's thumb and foot. Remember, conservatives love British royalty!

If Obama wants to make a legacy, and drive the Tea party so far around the bend they disappear into their own anatomy, he would push through proper metrification in 2015 after we get out the vote in 2014 to make a Democratic majority.

If metric is good enough for the US Army and schoolchildren, it is good enough for the USA. Or we comfort ourselves that at least we have Burma among advanced countries with us.

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sun Jan 12, 2014, 07:18 AM (3 replies)
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