Southern California No water anywhere? No drop to drink?

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As our friends in TX and OK are now saying, water, water everywhere!!!. They are faced with flooding and tremendous property damage that will go into the millions of dollars. We must turn this phrase and change it to no water anywhere, and we must not waste what we have. Our state is in a desert and we are now facing a huge water shortage. The only way to save ourselves now is through conservation. Mother nature has not supplied us with the water necessary to continue our lifestyle. We must do the simple things to save water (shorter showers, shorter lawn watering, don’t run water while doing dishes). Every effort should be made to ensure that we are using less of this precious commodity. The State of California through Governor Brown has issued executive orders regarding water usage and the need to conserve. Local governmental entities are trying to enforce the order with mixed results, at best.

However, one must question how we got ourselves into this current situation?. We have all been asleep at the proverbial switch. We have continued on with our prior lifestyle choices and have not paid attention to the plight we are now in. The bulk of our water comes from northern California (Sierra snowpack). As weather patterns have changed, our need and use of water has not. Our population continues to grow and the use and need for water also is growing exponentially in the wrong direction.

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In order to avoid water rationing, we all need to curb our use of excessive amounts of water. When in the shower., soap up and then rinse off. We do not need to run the water while we are soaping up. Every gallon saved allows this important and dwindling resource to be used for another day. We must make water stretch as far as possible to see us through for another day, week, month, year. Perhaps next rainy season will indeed be rainy and allow us to bask in the fruits of our conservation efforts.

Water is like real estate. There is a finite number of this commodity around. We cannot manufacture more water than what we have. The most potential viable option for more water is desalinization. This is used in Israel extensively. However, the cost of this is not cheap. We have the ocean water right off our coast. Do we want to use this resource? How long will it take to become operational? How much will it cost? Will the public pay more for water? If so, how much? 

Pacquiao Fight Over – Litigation Begins

Now that the advertised “fight of the century” has been completed, litigation is now starting. A class action lawsuit has been filed against Pacquiao, his promoters and Top Rank Boxing alleging that they all failed to disclose to the Nevada Sports Commission that Pacquiao had a shoulder injury. The basis of the lawsuit is that the fight itself (and the resulting prices charged) were artificially inflated and that people would not have paid the sums requested ($100 for pay per view) had they been apprised of the true status of the shoulder injury. Additionally, the class action allows people who wagered on the fight to become part of the class and potentially entitled to recovery.

The promoters contend that they disclosed all pertinent information regarding the shoulder injury including what medications were being used to treat the shoulder. The outcome of this publicity grab may be decided on the checking of a box. Who checked the box? Was it a clerk? Was it someone in the boxing commission? Was it the promoters? Trainers? Or someone else? Little things can have great consequences! This saying is not confined to the current boxing result. Remember the Al Gore presidential litigation dealing with dangling chads on a ballot?

Sports, like politics is big business. Why else would people invest millions into these endeavors?  Given this, should gamblers be entitled to recoup any losses? Is this a case where you (as the old saying goes) pay your nickel and you take your chances?  Did Pacquaio believe that he could tough out the fight with Mayweather in spite of his shoulder?  Did the shoulder worsen during the fight with Mayweather?  All of this seems to deliver us into the proverbial sports/ money quagmire. Is there any way out? Is this part of Shakespeare where the first thing we’ll do it kill all the lawyers?!!!

Which direction do you think this issue should go?

Should this be settled in the boxing ring on a rematch?

Should everyone just move on? Should litigation continue?  

Black and White: Color of Police Cars or Justice in America?

With the recent notable incidents involving minority people resulting in death and/or serious injuries, one must indeed question what is going on?

Are the police poorly trained?

Are they making the decision to be judge, jury and executioner?

Are the victims of these incidents to blame?

Are the police operating under the AWB (arrested while black) premise that somehow fosters and/or excuses bad conduct on their part?

These incidents are not confined to one section of the country. In recent months, we have had incidents in California and other places too numerous to mention. Should the imposition of the use of deadly force be examined by all police departments? Once deadly force is used, you cannot put the genie back in the bottle. The victim or recipient of this force is dead. The use of chest cameras by the police may help the situation. This will show the conduct of the officers from their point of view and may eliminate the popular concept of “testilying” that has become popular among people who do not trust the police. Police car cameras will also aid the process of trying to establish trust between the police and populace. We all tend to judge people by the proverbial book cover. Although this should not be case, in the vast majority of times, it is. A black “gang banger” looking person appears to be far more threatening than a White financier. Although the financier can inflict far more damage (see Bernie Maddoff and Enron oil).

It takes years, perhaps decades, to undo bad experiences that some segments of our society have had with the police. The police may have had good cause to act the way they did in the past, but they need increased accountability now and going forward. If the police and courts don’t respect the Constitution, why should people respect the law? This is the issue squarely confronting the courts and the police. People aspire for safety in their homes and on the streets. How they achieve this is the key balance point for the courts and society. The vast majority of candidates running for judicial office are prosecutors. They bring with them a particular slant toward the criminal justice system and the people who are part of the system. They are dealing with the end product of the system, the effects of crime after it has occurred.

Society must decide how to deter crime. Is it worth stiffer prison terms? Should we provide meaningful jobs for minorities? Should we further promote the goal of affordable education for all? Is there something to break the cycle of gangs, drugs, crime in certain neighborhoods? The overwhelming number of people in prison are black and brown (Latino). The question that

society should be addressing is how can we avoid staying in the present situation in terms of the crime problem? The California courts have implemented various procedures to lessen the strain on prisons with the modifications of the previously enacted Three Strikes Law which had been previously approved by the electorate.