Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Federal Compensation Is Available to Those Who Were Improperly Foreclosed Upon

If you lost your home through the foreclosure process in 2009 or in 2010, then you might be eligible to receive $125,000 in federal compensation. The federal government has underwritten a program called the Independent Foreclosure Review (IFR), which has funds to compensate homeowners who were improperly foreclosed upon in those two years.

It is urgent that prospective applicants file their requests for compensation by December 31, 2012. You can get more information about the IFR program from this East Palo Alto Today article: Deadline rapidly approaching for foreclosure victims to apply for federal compensation  and from a video excerpt taken from the television talk show I did called Assistance for Foreclosure Victims.

Please pass this information on to anyone you think might be eligible for the available compensation. Speed is of the essence. So don't delay!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Confronting Our National Nightmare

Much will be said, probably for years to come, about the horrific mass shootings in Newtown, Connecticut that left 26 people dead: 12 young girls and 8 boys, all between the age of 6 and 7, and 8 adults, including the gunman and his mother.

This terrible event will become another footnote to this country’s other mass shootings, such as the ones in the Aurora, CO theater on July 20, 2012; at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, WI on August 5, 2012; and at Oikos University in Oakland, CA on April 2, 2012. These are just a few of the mass killings this year.

The massacre at the Sandy Hook school in Newtown is now described as the worst mass murder since the Virginia Tech shooting incident on April 16, 2007, when 56 people were shot and 32 were killed.

Before the tragedy at Virginia Tech, there was the one at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO on April 20, 1999, which led to the wounding of 21 people and the deaths of 13.

Thirty years before Columbine, there was the deadly shooting on August 1,1966 at the University of Texas at Austin, when a former Marine shot 16 people before he, too, killed himself. How quickly the mass murders in the U.S. become a part of history. See a list of mass shooting in the U.S. since 1999 and a listing  of the deadliest U.S. shootings in history.

Many in our country and many throughout the world are now in mourning for the latest victims in Newtown. President Obama said, “Our hearts are broken…. May God bless the memory of the victims, heal the broken hearted and bind up their wounds.”

As we mourn, we need to ask ourselves, “When will all of the massacres and our mourning over them lead our legislators to take concrete steps to try to prevent similar mass shootings?”

We’ve heard all too often from those who support the rights of individuals to bear arms that guns do not kill people, people kill people. People do kill people with and without guns, but it would have been impossible for a murderer to so quickly kill all of the people, who died together in any of the massacres, with anything less than a firearm.

It’s time this nation and our legislators faced the truth. We might protect the rights of law abiding citizens to bear arms. But how do we protect ourselves and our loved ones from the law abiding citizen who suddenly goes on a shooting rampage with the firearms that he or she is legally allowed to obtain?  It’s the law abiding who become the law-breakers.

The gun massacres taking place in this country represent a living nightmare and it’s time we addressed this nightmare head on. It has plagued us far too long.

We can put our heads in the sand or we can work en masse to keep guns, especially assault rifles, out of the hands of those who don’t need them and shouldn’t have them: law abiding residents as well as the law-breakers walking our streets.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, said that she plans to introduce a bill on the first day of the new Congress in January to ban the sale of assault weapons. Her bill will be an important step in keeping assault weapons out of homes and off the streets. It’s time we get our legislators to enact comprehensive laws that will tighten restrictions on gun ownership.

It’s all too obvious that we must do more than observe a time of mourning whenever mass shootings, or any type of shootings, occur. We need to commit ourselves to putting an end to this nation’s recurring, gun nightmare once and for all. Ending gun violence, particularly the violence that results in mass murder, will not be easy, but we have to do a better job in keeping guns out of the hands of the people who should not have them.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Will the Real Mitt Romney and his True Supporters Please Stand Up

Talking with Henrietta - The Changing Face of America's Voters
Taped on November 8, 2012

With the November 2012 election over, the Republican Party is left to do considerable soul-searching. Many of the party’s leaders are going to great pains to explain why Mitt Romney lost his bid to be the nation’s president. But Romney is giving explanations that even his Republican colleagues, who supported his campaign, are taking the time to publicly disavow. 

If Romney had any sympathy as a loser, then he is quickly beginning to turn away even some of his ardent admirers. His latest comments attributing Pres. Obama’s re-election to “extraordinary financial gifts” that he gave to this country’s ethnic voters, is turning prominent members of his own party against him. If nothing else, he has made it all too clear that his earlier comments, claiming that 47 percent of the American population wanted government handouts, were not misinterpreted.

Before his latest comments about the “gifts” that were given, some political analysts speculated that the Massachusetts governor ran to the far right in order to defeat his very conservative opponents in the Republican primary and to gain the support of Evangelicals and Tea Party members. They said that he was far more moderate than he appeared in the early stages of his campaign and that he did not have enough time during the endgame with Pres. Obama to express moderate views that might have made him more appealing to the voters.

Well, the new statements Romney has made to some of his big donors to explain his defeat show that he is still keeping his moderate views under wraps.

I know that losing what one has put one’s heart, soul, dreams and millions and millions of dollars into can be a bitter pill, and accepting defeat can be particularly difficult, especially when a resounding victory seemed right around the corner.

But Romney’s fixation, with identifying and separating the groups in this country that he considers the givers from the takers, is giving observers like myself additional insight into who Romney really is.

Since his most recent statements about the gifts that were given are consistent with some of those he made from the beginning, it’s becoming more and more apparent that we’ve probably been seeing the real Romney all along.

Not only might we be seeing the real Romney, but his defeat and his repeated statements about giveaways might also be giving his fellow Republicans the freedom to express their real views.

Louisiana’s Gov. Bobby Jindal is now saying that the Republican Party needs to be more inclusive. According to Jindal, "You don't start to like people by insulting them and saying their votes were bought. We are an aspirational party," he said.

Even Meghan McCain, Sen. John McCain’s daughter, is on record as saying that the Republican Party should wake up and that she will consider leaving the Republican Party if things don’t change.

 I don’t personally recall her saying anything like this during Romney’s campaign.

Well, there is nothing like a big loss to bring out what people might really think: those who’ve lost and those who supported the losers. It makes you wonder whether these new views are genuinely held or whether they simply reflect an opportunity that Romney's former supporters are taking to put more distance between themselves and their failed candidate.

One thing is for sure: Romney was, in fact, right in in his assessment that there was a coalition of voters who supported Obama. But there is obvious disagreement over the reasons these groups supported the president. See what my guests say about this new coalition in my latest Talking with Henrietta show, The Changing Face of America’s Voters, which is shown at the top of this blog post.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Video Updates: Talking about the Issues

Did you know that you could eat a lot of food and still not be well-nourished? On one of my recent television interviews, I discussed how you could be overfed and undernourished. That was, in fact, the title of the show: Overfed and Undernourished. If you missed it, you can see an excerpt from the show here.

There are so many issues that we talk about each day. The issues we discuss are probably all worthy of attention. In April, I talked with a California State Assemblymember Jerry Hill and Santa Clara County Supervisor Liz Kniss to discuss the issues that they thought were important. You can compare the issues they selected for attention with the issues you'd select. The discussion I had with them was aptly called, Targeting Major Areas of Concern. Here is a video excerpt from our discussion.

Talking about issues of concern: Millions of people use Facebook everyday and its recent IPO captured worldwide attention. But local residents in several cities adjacent to and near its corporate headquarters in Menlo Park, CA have their eyes on Facebook because of what they think the company owes them. What does the company owe them? See how they answer this question on my show: Obtaining Community Benefits from Facebook. Click here to get an overview of their points of view. These are just a few highlights of what my television guests and I have been talking about. Please feel free to add your thoughts.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Talking with Henrietta Interviews

I have produced three additional television interviews since my last posting. If you've missed any of them, you can use the links below to see video excerpts from the shows.

The latest video interview is with State Assemblymember Rich Gordon. We talked about "Dealing with the Challenges." You can an excerpt from our discussion at

On the previous show called "The Demise of Redevelopment Agencies," we discussed the fallout from the California Supreme Court decision which eliminated redevelopment agencies statewide. An excerpt from the show can be seen at

Since times are tough financially for many people, another show was devoted to "Surviving Financially in Today's Economy." You can see an excerpt at

My other show involved a discussion about how community residents can receive wraparound social services which assists individuals and families. The discussion was called "Nurturing Children from Cradle to Grave." Here is an excerpt from the show -

Excerpts from most of my shows can be seen at