Sunday, September 1, 2019

Convert CGM to PDF to JPG Files for Free on Mac or Windows - Updated (2019)

Convert CGM or PDF Files to JPG in Mac OSX or Windows

Without Paying for Expensive Application Software

A few years ago, I was asked if I was aware of a way to convert a .cgm (computer-generated metafiles) file into a .jpg image.
Specifically, how to CONVERT CGM or PDF to JPG without expensive software.
It is no longer news that ADOBE offers the Creative Cloud platform that makes the entire catalog of ADOBE software available to customers via subscription. For the monthly price of $49.99, you have access to all the software and cool apps from ADOBE.

ADOBE CC is available for free for 30 days without any commitment, so you can perform this conversion for the cost of the time to download and install Creative Cloud.

Method 1: Convert Your CGM Files to JPG/PNG or CGM File to PDF Using Adobe Illustrator CC

To follow my the first of my suggested methods to covert CGM to jpg or pdf download ADOBE Illustrator.

Converting a CGM File Into a JPG, PNG, or PDF Using Adobe Illustrator CC

  1. Open up your cgm file from within Illustrator
    • Click on file -> open and then locate your cgm file and open it
  2. Export the cgm file as either a jpg or png file within Adobe Illustrator
    • Click on file -> export -> export as and then select jpg, png or whichever option you desire from the dropdown list at the bottom of the "export as dialog box."
  3. Save the cgm file as a pdf file within the Adobe Illustrator
    • Click on file -> then save as and the choose pdf format and make sure you take a second and make sure that you have named the file correctly up at that the top of the "save as dialog box."

Method 2: Convert CGM Files to PDF or CGM Files to JPG/PNG For Free

Download the latest and free copy of Apache Open Office. You can find this from SourceForge or here for immediate download. Install Apache OpenOffice, and from the home screen, click on Drawing.

Apache OpenOffice to convert CGM files

Open up the cgm file that you want to convert and then export it as a pdf file: File > Export as PDF.

At this point, Mac users and Windows users will be forced to choose different methods of converting the pdf to jpg.

For Mac OSX

  1. Right-click (or command+click) on the pdf file that you wish to convert to a jpg;
  2. Open the pdf file using the preview application; and,
  3. Within Preview, go to File and choose Export and choose to export the file as a jpg.

For Windows OS

Find a Mac to borrow or buy; or,
  1. Open MS Paint;
  2. Open the pdf file, make sure that the entire pdf image is visible on your screen and then take a screenshot of it - press the "PrintScreen" key while holding down the "alt" key;
  3. Place your mouse pointer in the drawing area of MS Paint and right-click the mouse, select the paste option and you will successfully import your into Paint; and,
  4. Under File, select Save As and save the pdf as a jpg.
Mission accomplished, and unless you actually purchased a Mac for this last bit, you were able to do this without spending a dime.

Best of luck to you and I hope you found this a bit interesting.

Monday, April 8, 2019

3 Excellent Reasons to Build the Wall

Three excellent reasons to build a wall along the US/Mexico border.

Controlling the USA/Mexico border and how people can legally enter the U.S. from Mexico has been discussed since the Nixon administration.

Select History of U.S./Mexico Border Legislation

1969 – President Nixon launched Operation Intercept, calling for the inspection of any or all persons crossing the border by plane, car, or foot. The dispatching of thousands of agents worked. For the first time in history, illegal immigration via car was virtually shut down. Mexico's Foreign Affairs Secretary, Antonio Carillo Flores, complained bitterly about this legislation.

1980′s – Intermittently, border officials question people crossing the border by foot and cars. Heading south to enjoy the Mexican beaches with only a driver's license was a luxury that millions of U.S. citizens enjoyed.

1993 –  President Bill Clinton called for constructing a "Border Wall" spanning 13 miles separating San Diego, CA and Tijuana, MX. At $39M, this wall was to reduce the number of arrests for illegal entry from 100,000 to 5,000 per day for those 13 miles. Unlawful entry was found using other paths.

1996 – President Clinton signed The Illegal Immigration Reform and Responsibility Act. This act increased the fines for illegal entry, increased the number of law enforcement agents at the border, and funded more fence construction. Unauthorized access shifted from the previously used crossings to private land. Landowners began to fence their property to keep people from entering the U.S. via their land. 

2006 – President Bush signed The Secure Fences Act. This legislation promised 700 miles of a physical barrier and a virtual wall protecting the entire 2000-mile border.

2007 – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) requests $12B in additional funding because the rugged terrain at the U.S./Mexico border makes constructing the previously agreed upon barrier, a fence or wall, impossible. 

2008 – The U.S. announced a mistake during construction, placing the barricade between 1 and 6 feet inside Mexican territory; therefore, we must relocate this part of the barrier immediately. Attempting to complete the barrier project within the year, Congress approved The Department of Homeland Security's circumvention of 30 years of environmental laws.

2010 – The New York Times reports: since 2006, officials found 51 unauthorized tunnels running under the border walls in Nogales, AZ, and Nogales, Sonora, MX. These tunnels served as a tool for the trafficking of drugs, not illegal entry.

2011 – DHS finishes 649 miles of barrier comprised of 350 miles of fencing to prohibit foot traffic ($6.5 million/mile) and 299 miles of vehicle barriers ($1.7M/mile). However, the $1B spent on a "virtual wall" only protects 53 miles of coverage in Arizona. DHS urged President Obama to cut the funding for the costly "virtual wall." 

2017 – President Donald Trump renews his campaign promise to build "a great, great wall" to secure the remaining 2,000 miles of the border. Executive orders increase the number of border patrol agents and Immigration & Customs Enforcement by 5,000 and 10,000, respectively.

Current Status and Effectiveness of The Wall

First and foremost, a barrier, slightly longer than 600 miles, exists between the U.S. and Mexico.

The current wall has been effective. The border wall/fence in San Diego has worked quite well. Before it was in place, in the early '90s, approximately 600K people attempted to enter the country illegally. After the barrier was constructed along with increased Border Patrols, that number decreased by 93.5% to 39,000 in 2015.

Also, in 2006, more than 122K people entered illegally in El Paso. In 2017, illegal crossings near El Paso dropped almost 75% to 25K after constructing a border wall.

Unfortunately, the current border is not entirely secure; what we have in place does not stop caravans of people from finding their way across our border illegally.

Walls Exist Throughout The World

Since World War II, 70 nations constructed border walls. Interestingly, 55 of those 70 walls were built after the Berlin Wall fell.

Some examples are:
  1. India-Bangladesh;
  2. Israel West Bank;
  3. Northern Ireland;
  4. Finland-Russia;
  5. France at Calais;
  6. Morocco-Western Sahara;
  7. Saudi Arabia-Iraq;
  8. Baghdad to separate Shiite and Sunni populations;
  9. Botswana-Zimbabwe;
  10. South Africa-Mozambique; and,
  11. Egypt-Gaza.

Three Excellent Reasons To Build The Wall
build the wall for these 3 reasons

  1. The border wall will save lives by creating a deterrent and minimizing the "pull factor." A minor or a family will be less likely to make the dangerous journey (many die on this journey, and somewhere near 80% of the women are raped along the way) from Central America to the U.S. border only to face a 30' barrier or Border Patrol. Additionally, when legitimate asylum seekers cross the border illegally, they are subject to arrest. The wall would "guide" them to seek entry through the established ports of entry and prevent them from being arrested and separated from their families.

  2. Although a wall is not a perfect solution to block illegal entry, a physical barrier would slow illegal crossings down. Additionally, there are almost 21 million acres of federally protected land along the southern border. Smugglers and traffickers drive all-terrain motor vehicles across this federally protected land, causing substantial damage to the environment.

  3. The wall would protect the property of legal U.S. citizens. Two Mexican border cities are among the most dangerous cities in the world, and the cartel members often cross over illegally to pillage the neighboring U.S. cities. They intend to steal what they want and take the items and vehicles back to Mexico.

Construction Cost Is NOT Problematic

According to the opponents, the cost to build "Trump's Wall" is estimated at $77,000M ($77B) to construct and $750M annually to maintain the wall. The opponents agree that the annual cost of illegal aliens is $43,000M ($43B)

Using these costs, the construction of the wall would increase the costs spent on illegals by $34,000M ($34B). However, once the wall is completed, the federal savings would be approximately $33,500M ($33.5B). 

Undoubtedly, the overall cost of the wall is substantially less than the amount spent on illegals.

So how about it? Let's build the wall! It is best for all.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Real Estate License With A Criminal Record

Can you earn a real estate license with a criminal record

Applicants for a real estate license in California must meet the California Department of Real Estate (CalDRE) standards for eligibility. DOJ and FBI criminal background checks are performed on all applicants to ensure that the applicant can function as a real estate broker or sales agent.

A further investigation into CalDRE's criminal screening process is warranted to identify the illegal behavior that results in the application being denied and what conduct does not cause ineligibility for a real estate license.

Crimes That Bar Licensure In Real Estate

The disclosure of all prior convictions and pending criminal charges is required for all real estate license applicants.
Convictions include:
  • a guilty verdict by judge or jury;
  • a guilty plea;
  • a nolo contendere (no contest) plea, and
  • bail forfeiture within any court system (state, commonwealth, possession, or country).
To ensure that every applicant does not have a criminal record that conflicts with the duties of a licensed real estate professional, the CalDRE conducts a detailed background check against DOJ and FBI records via Live Scan Fingerprinting. [Cal Bus & Prof Code §10177(b)]

Crimes that bar licensure in real estate

The CalDRE lists the following convictions that commonly result in the application being denied:

  • assault with intent to commit rape;
  • bribing a public officer or employee;
  • burglary;
  • criminal conspiracy;
  • embezzlement;
  • extortion;
  • filing false police or fire reports;
  • forgery;
  • fraud;
  • grand and petty theft;
  • murder;
  • obtaining money by false pretense;
  • perjury;
  • sexually-related conduct affecting a non-consenting observer or participant;
  • possession of drugs for sale or transport;
  • soliciting a lewd act from a minor or non-consenting adult, and
  • tax evasion.

CalDRE's Review of Criminal Background and "Substantial Relationship"

Each conviction is carefully considered by the CalDRE before the decision is made to approve or deny the application.

A broad recommendation to deny an applicant occurs when the applicant:
  • has a felony or misdemeanor conviction substantially related to one's performance as a licensed real estate professional;
  • had a business/professional license against which a state or federal government agency took administrative action or
  • failed to disclose any criminal charges or disciplinary action against them.
Denial of an application based on a criminal record requires that the convictions or actions are substantially related to the fitness to practice as a real estate professional [Cal Bus & Prof Code §480].

A substantial relationship exists when criminal activity includes:
  • fraudulently taking or appropriating another person's funds or property;
  • counterfeiting, forging, or altering an instrument or making a false statement;
  • willfully attempting to gain financial benefit through nonpayment of government taxes, assessments, or levies;
  • bribery, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation;
  • sexual conduct affecting a non-consenting observer or participant;
  • willfully violating or failing to comply with laws controlling professional real estate licenses;
  • willfully engaging in business activity without obtaining a license or permit required to carry out the activity;
  • committing an unlawful act for financial or economic benefit or with the intent of harming another person or property;
  • willfully failing to comply with a court order;
  • conduct that demonstrates a repeated disregard for the law or
  • two or more convictions involving alcohol consumption or drug use when at least one of the convictions involves driving under the influence. [CalDRE Regulations §2910]
In summary, the screening process is to identify criminal activity demonstrating dishonest and unethical behavior that conflicts with the typical duties of a real estate agent or broker.

Rehabilitation efforts and the severity of each crime are considered by the CalDRE, such as:
  • payment of restitution to the injured party;
  • expungement of convictions;
  • expungement of sex offender registration;
  • enrollment in or the completion of an economic self-improve course(s); 
  • the discharge of debts; and,
  • if two years have passed since the most recent criminal conviction. [CalDRE Regs §2911]
A pending charge or arrest cannot be the basis for the denial of an application. [Cal Bus & Prof Code §10177(b)]

my criminal record may prevent me from getting a job. what are my options?

Is There Anything I Can Do? I Have Changed.

Yes, there is something you can do. You can file for relief, commonly referred to as having your record expunged. If you have completed your sentence and stayed out of trouble, you may be a candidate for "expungement."

What Crimes Cannot Be Expunged?

While the majority of crimes can be expunged, there are a few that are not subject to relief from PC 1203.4.
  • PC286(c) - Sodomy through means of force, violence, or fear.
  • PC287(c) or of former section PC288a - Oral copulation with a minor under 14 years of age
  • PC288 - Lewd acts with a minor under 14 years of age
  • PC288.5 - Sexual abuse of a minor with whom you have recurring access
  • PC289(j) - Sexual penetration of a minor under 14 years of age and 10 years younger
  • PC311.1, PC311.2, PC311.3 - Child pornography
  • PC311.11 - Child pornography
  • Any misdemeanor falling within the provisions of VC42002.1 - Failure to stop and submit to inspection
  • Any felony conviction pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 261.5 - Statutory Rape
  • Violations for which a defendant has served time in prison, excluding County-Prison eligible violations under the 2011 Realignment Act

A real estate application/license shall not be denied solely on:

  • a felony conviction for which a certificate of rehabilitation was issued;
  • a conviction that has been dismissed under Cal Pen Codes §1203.4, §1203.4a, or §1203.41
  • a misdemeanor upon completion of the criteria of rehabilitation developed by the board.

So, if you have taken any of the above steps since your conviction, you may have a chance at having your application approved even with your criminal history.  CalDRE RE Form 222: Applicant Eligibility Information

You may qualify! Get your criminal record expunged.

Will Delinquent Tax and Child Support Payments Result in a Denial?

The rejection of an applicant is required if the applicant:
  • has outstanding tax obligations to the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) or State Board of Equalization, over $100,000; or
  • failed to comply with court-ordered child support payments.

Exceptions to Being Denied Based on Delinquency

If the applicant meets all other qualifications, except for being current with child support payments, the CalDRE may issue a valid license for 150 days. This allows the applicant to pay any back child support payments. To avoid license revocation, clearance from the Department of Child Support Services must be received by the CalDRE within 150 days. The applicant's cost for processing the temporary license is $95. [CalDRE Regs §2716.5]

If the applicant is denied only due to outstanding tax obligations, the CalDRE may issue a license valid for 90 days, within which the debt is to be satisfied. The CalDRE must receive confirmation from the FTB or BOE that the applicant is paid in full, or the license will be revoked.

Applicants are not entitled to a refund of application fees. [Cal Bus & Prof Code §494.5(g)(3)]

Even though delinquent tax or child support payments are not considered by the CalDRE to indicative of being unfit for licensure, these delinquencies cause an automatic block to application approval.

Noncitizenship and Undocumented Immigration

Since January 1, 2016, citizenship or immigration status is no longer used by the CalDRE as a basis to deny an application.

Additional Reading:

The complete regulations of the California Real Estate Commissioner [CalDRE Regs]

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Illegal Aliens Commit More Crimes In Proportion to Legal Residents and Citizens

3% of the Population Commits 11% of the Crimes - Illegals Commit More Crimes In Proportion to Legal Residents and Citizens

The proportion of illegals sentenced in federal courts is 3.5 times more than the percentage of illegals living in the United States.

It seems that there is some confusion about this fact among those advocating for the rights of immigrants.

Immigrant rights advocates blasted the amendment as a thinly veiled attempt by Republicans to legitimize the Trump administration's continuous claims that undocumented immigrants are violent criminals. Multiple studies have shown that despite the Trump administration's protestations, immigrants commit crimes at lower rates than their United States-born counterparts. -Massoud Hayoun There's An Anti-Immigrant Amendment Tucked Into Dems Gun Control Bill

How Many Illegals Live In The United States of America?

illegal immigration must stop
In 2016, 10.7 million illegal aliens were living in the U.S. representing 3.3% of the total U.S. population. The number of illegals living in the U.S. has been declining, but for this critique, it favors my opponents to overestimate this number. So in the interest of fairness, I will risk slight error.

The Federal Sentencing Statistics compiled by the United States Sentencing Commission provide the truth about the disproportionate number of illegals sentenced in a federal court.

The Number of Sentences Issued By Federal Judges To Illegal Immigrants

During the fiscal year of 2017, the total number of federal sentences, excluding immigration crimes, was 45,954. U.S. Citizens were sentenced 37,478 (81.56%) times, and illegals were convicted 5,361 (11.67%) times. The data is shown in the table below.

Illegals are sentenced 3.5 times more than their proportion of the population


Yes, it is evident that those making up a small number of a population would be sentenced less than the majority. However, when you examine the data, in proportion to the number of people living in the U.S. illegals commit a much higher number of crimes. If the number of illegals sentenced was proportionately equal to or less than the amount living in the U.S., 1,516 (3.3%) not 5,361 (11.67%) of the 45,954 total sentences would be issued to illegals.

Proportionately, illegals are sentenced 3.5 times more than citizens.

There is no need for any studies on this topic as the data is collected every year as mandated by the Sentencing Reform Act provisions of the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984.