From my friends at Power Line Blog:
CNS News posted an article today about California’s vanishing middle class. Being middle class in California is not a successful long-term plan.
The article reports:
A survey recently released by the Public Policy Institute of California found that President Donald Trump is more popular in the deep blue state than the Democratic legislature.
Democratic consultant Steve Maviglio recently told the Los Angeles Times, “All they hear from Sacramento are proposals for more taxes and more spending for everyone except the middle class. And they rightfully wonder where the high taxes they already are paying are going.”
While the president’s approval ratings are underwater with only 38 percent of Californians approving of his job, this pales in comparison to the state legislature having only 34 percent among likely voters having confidence in them.
With voters still anxious about a gas tax hike pushed through last year, recent suggestions of a $2 billion tax hike on everything from water to phones by California Gov. Gavin Newsom hasn’t eased that apprehension.
Newsom holds a job approval rating of 45 percent among likely voters with 29 percent disapproving and a 26 percent responding “don’t know.”
California’s fiscal policies are going to result in bankruptcy at some time in the not-so-distant future. The bad news is that the rest of the country will be required to bail them out. The major cities in California, San Francisco and Los Angeles, have areas that look like third-world countries–unsanitary conditions, homeless people living in tents, and needle-strewn streets. Diseases that America has not seen for decades are cropping up in these areas. Meanwhile, the state government continues raising taxes and doing business as usual. There will be a tipping point fairly soon. People are leaving the state in droves. The only thing keeping the population stable is the flow of illegal immigrants who are generally not contributing to the economic well being of the state.
On Thursday, The Hill reported that Nevada’s Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak on Thursday vetoed the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which had been passed by the Nevada Assembly and Senate.
The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact would essentially nullify the Electoral College. However, it will not become effective unless enough states to control 280 electoral college votes pass the measure. The idea is that 280 electoral votes would be a majority of the Electoral College and would elect the person who got the most popular votes. At that point we would live in a county governed by New York and California–two states that have not done a particularly good job of governing themselves. That is exactly what our Founding Fathers were attempting to avoid (as explained by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 68).
In Federalist 68, Alexander Hamilton stated:
And as the electors, chosen in each State, are to assemble and vote in the State in which they are chosen, this detached and divided situation will expose them much less to heats and ferments, which might be communicated from them to the people, than if they were all to be convened at one time, in one place.
Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption.
The idea was that the Electoral College would give less-populated states a voice in the election of the president. A candidate for president would be required to gain a broad base of support–he would be required to represent the entire country–not just one or two sections.
To illustrate what elections would look like without the Electoral College, let’s look at where the campaign money comes from in elections.
According to opensecrets.org the top donor states are California (22 percent), New York (21 percent), Illinois (7 percent), and Florida (6 percent). The other states provided 44 percent of campaign donations. California has 40 million people; West Virginia has 2 million people. Without the Electoral College, how likely is a presidential candidate to campaign in (or represent) the people in West Virginia? There is a valid reason for the Electoral College.
Only American citizens can vote for President according to No, 18 USC 611, passed in 1996, which prevents aliens from voting in federal ( though not necessarily state) elections. This presents a problem for states and municipalities that are allowing non-citizens to vote in local elections. How do you set up your voting rolls to separate those qualified to vote in local elections from those qualified to vote in federal elections? That is the problem that California is now facing.
One America News posted the following video on May 28:
California is facing a new lawsuit over errors in its voter registration system. One America’s Pearson Sharp spoke with Mark Meuser, an election attorney, who said the secretary of state is violating federal law by opening the door for non-citizens to vote.
When America was founded, only property owners were allowed to vote because they were considered to be people who had a stake in the outcome of the election. Men only were allowed to vote because they were considered to represent their households. While I am glad those rules have changed, there was some logic to them. Intact families provide a stable foundation for our communities. People in families tend to be responsible and in the habit of thinking about others. I am not sure that I could say that about all of today’s voters.
Yesterday Breitbart reported that the Supreme Court will hear the case regarding putting a citizenship question on the 2020 Census.
The article details some of the history of the question:
The Enumeration Clause in Article I of the Constitution requires a nationwide census be taken every ten years. The Census Act empowers the head of the Commerce Department to determine what the census will ask, aside from the number of persons residing at every address in the nation. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross decided for the Trump administration that the census will ask each person in the nation next year if that person is a citizen of the United States.
That was a recurring question on census forms until recently. The first census to ask about citizenship was the one conducted in 1820, and the last was 1950. After 1950, the Census Bureau – which is part of the Commerce Department – has continued to ask that question on the “long form” census form that goes to some census-takers, as well as on its yearly questionnaire that goes to a small number of households each year, called the American Community Survey (ACS).
…However, when Ross put that question on the 2020 census, leftwing partisans sued, claiming that inserting this question violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). More surprising to many, Judge Jesse Furman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York agreed, writing a 277-page decision (which is shockingly long) holding that it is illegal to ask about citizenship.
The article explains that the case revolves around the APA:
There are three issues in the case. The first is whether it violates the APA for the census to ask about citizenship. The second is whether courts can look beyond the administrative record to probe the thinking of top-ranking government officials in an APA case. The justices inserted a third issue of their own, asking whether asking that if the APA allows the question, would that question nonetheless violate the Enumeration Clause.
In other words, the case is about whether asking about citizenship violates either federal law or the Constitution, and also whether it is out of bounds to chase down a member of the president’s Cabinet in such lawsuits.
This case has very significant implications. Legislative districting lines for Congress and statehouses are based on census data. Dozens of congressional seats and perhaps hundreds of state seats could shift if states drew lines based on citizenship, instead of total numbers of persons. Some even argue that congressional seats, and with them Electoral College votes for president, could be reallocated among the states based on citizenship data. At minimum, billions of dollars in federal spending is based on census numbers.
The states that will probably lose representatives and electoral college votes if the citizenship questions is on the census are California, New York, Arizona, and possibly New Mexico.
The question to me is whether or not people who are in America but not citizens should have a voice in our government. Would you allow a guest in your house to determine your household budget?
The Trump tax cuts made life a little easier for most Americans. They made life a little more difficult for some middle class and wealthy people in states with high taxes. Oddly enough, many of these states with high taxes are blue states with large populations and huge state budgets. Some of the most affected states were California, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, all reliably blue states. Those states control 116 Electoral College votes and send 106 Representatives to the U.S. House of Representatives (out of 435 total Representatives). Now, after all the complaining that the Trump tax cuts were tax cuts for the rich (which they were not), Democrats want to give the wealthy in high-tax states their tax cuts.
Real Clear Politics posted an article today about the Democrats’ plan.
The article reports:
Democrats often complain that tax cuts primarily benefit “the rich,” but apparently they only think it’s a problem when rich conservatives get a tax break, because they’re outraged that President Trump’s tax cuts scaled back a generous subsidy enjoyed by well-off taxpayers in liberal states.
A key provision of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was a new cap on the so-called State and Local Tax (“SALT”) Deduction, which allows taxpayers to deduct state and local taxes on their federal tax return. This provision forces taxpayers in low-tax states such as Florida and Texas to effectively subsidize those in high-tax states such as New York and California.
For years, blue-state Democrats have been able to raise state income and property taxes far higher than voters might normally tolerate. That’s because the SALT deduction softened the impact for taxpayers in those states, particularly for the rich campaign-donor class. Since the SALT deduction only applies to taxpayers who itemize their returns, its benefits naturally accrue to those in the highest income bracket.
There was previously no limit to how much taxpayers could deduct through SALT, but even though the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act capped the deduction at $10,000, almost 93 percent of American taxpayers will be unaffected. It’s likely that fewer taxpayers will elect to take advantage of SALT, since the law also doubled the standard deduction, but about 11 million of the highest-earning Americans living in high-tax states are seeing their federal income tax liabilities increase.
It’s curious that liberals who criticized Trump so vociferously for “cutting taxes on the wealthy” are so upset by an element of the tax reform plan that merely takes away a tax break enjoyed disproportionately by the wealthy.
The problem here is simple. The Democrats believe that President Trump cut taxes for the rich (which he didn’t), but it was the wrong rich. However, just for the record, since most of the tax burden falls on Americans who are relatively successful, their tax cuts are going to seem larger than those who pay little or no taxes.
The following chart is from a Pew Research article. The figures are from 2015:
People who make over $100,000 (which in some areas of the country is not a lot of spending power) pay over 80% of all income taxes paid. I think we need to reopen the discussion of a flat tax. Everyone needs to have an equal stake in the game.
The legislative action part of the National Rifle Association is reporting today that ruling on the legal case Duncan v. Becerra, Judge Roger T. Benitez of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California determined on Friday that California’s ban on commonly possessed firearm magazines violates the Second Amendment.
The article reports:
Judge Benitez rendered his opinion late Friday afternoon and handed Second Amendment supporters a sweeping victory by completely invalidating California’s 10-round limit on magazine capacity. “Individual liberty and freedom are not outmoded concepts,” he declared.
In a scholarly and comprehensive opinion, Judge Benitez subjected the ban both to the constitutional analysis he argued was required by the U.S. Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller and a more complicated and flexible test the Ninth Circuit has applied in prior Second Amendment cases.
Either way, Judge Benitez ruled, the law would fail. Indeed, he characterized the California law as “turning the Constitution upside down.” He also systematically dismantled each of the state’s purported justifications for the law, demonstrating the factual and legal inconsistencies of their claims.
The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states:
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
The Second Amendment protects American citizens from a tyrannical government–the Founding Fathers understood that the fact that they possessed weapons allowed them to free themselves from the rule of Britain. They wanted to protect future Americans from a tyrannical government. Beware of people who want to take guns away from America–that is the beginning of tyranny.
Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about Carlos Eduardo Arevalo from El Salvador, an illegal alien who brutally murdered a 59-year-old woman, Bambi Larson, in California.
The article reports:
Arevalo has a long criminal record of arrests for violent crimes, but the State of California refused to turn him over to ICE because California is a far-left “Sanctuary State” for criminal illegal aliens.
CBS Local reported:
“Carlos Eduardo Arevalo Carranza stalked this San Jose neighborhood and his victim,” said San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia. “He is a self-admitted gang member.”
Garcia then detailed his lengthy criminal record.
“His criminal history convictions consist of in Feb. 2013 he was detained by the Department of Homeland Security at the border near McAllen, Texas, and deported.”
“In 2015, he was arrested for drug paraphernalia. In 2015 he was convicted of burglary in San Jose. In 2016, battery of an officer, resisting arrest and entering a property. In 2016, he was arrested for battery in Los Angeles. In 2017, he was arrested and convicted of false imprisonment in San Jose. On April of 2018, arrested for paraphernalia again. In May, he was arrested for possession of methamphetamine.”
“In August of 2018, he was arrested for prowling. On October 2018, he was arrested for false identification and paraphernalia once again.”
Garcia said Carranza was currently on probation for the possession of methamphetamine, paraphernalia, false imprisonment and burglary.
“Unfortunately, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) placed detainers on this individual six separate times. Two in the Los Angeles area and four in the County of Santa Clara,” he said.
…Mayor Sam Liccardo took aim at the Santa Clara County sanctuary policy in a statement following the police press conference:
“It is long overdue for the County to reconsider its current policy of ignoring ICE hold requests for predatory felons, which undermines the safety of the very immigrant communities we collectively seek to protect,” said Liccardo. “The County’s policy has nothing to do with the City’s decades-long policy of declining to have police engage in federal immigration enforcement, which was implemented to protect public safety. In contrast, the current County policy of ignoring detainer requests for individuals arrested for strike offenses and convicted of multiple felonies undermines public safety, and violates common sense. I hope we can restart this conversation to make progress where we all agree: we can both keep our City safe from violent criminals and protect our law-abiding immigrant community.”
We need a wall, and we need to arrest and deport illegal aliens who break the law–the first time they break the law. If there is a wall, it will be more difficult for them to sneak back into the country.
This article is based on two articles, one posted at The Gateway Pundit yesterday and one posted yesterday at NBC 4 Los Angeles. Typhoid shots are often required for people traveling overseas, but it used to be a fairly unusual disease in America.
The article at NBC 4 reports:
Last year set a new record for the number of typhus cases — 124 in LA County for the year, according to the California Department of Public Health.
Last October, Mayor Garcetti vowed to clean up piles of garbage throughout the city to combat the typhus epidemic.
The Mayor allocated millions of dollars to increase clean-ups of streets in the Skid Row area, known lately as “the typhus zone.”
…Statement from Mayor Garcetti’s Office:
“Last fall we directed multiple City departments to begin a coordinated and comprehensive effort to improve cleanliness and protect public health in the Civic Center, including City Hall and City Hall East. In addition to increased trash collection and cleanings, aggressive action has been taken to address pests both in the buildings and in the surrounding outside areas — including abatement treatments and the filling of 60 rodent burrows and 114 tree wells. This work in busy and highly populated public buildings is executed carefully to protect workers and visitors, and the scheduling of extermination activities takes these factors into consideration.” — Vicki Curry, spokeswoman, city of Los Angeles
The Gateway Pundit notes:
Typhus is mainly spreading across the homeless population through fleas that live on the rats that rummage in heaps of trash, however Liz Greenwood, the Deputy City Attorney who works at City Hall contracted the disease.
Symptoms of typhus include fever, headache and a rash. Untreated cases are fatal.
I seems to me that Los Angeles needs to increase its efforts to deal with the sanitary problems in its streets and in its municipal buildings.
Yesterday CNS News posted an article that reported the following:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday reiterated that “Democrats are committed to border security” after President Donald Trump agreed to a deal to re-open the government for three weeks while the White House and Democratic congressional leaders negotiate over Trump’s proposed border wall.
“And we have no complaint,” Pelosi said on Friday.
The article continues:
“We look forward to Congresswoman Roybal-Allard [D.-Calif.] taking the lead in terms of the substance from her standpoint as Chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee and commend, again, our Chair of the Appropriations Committee [Nita Lowey (D.-N.Y.] for her leadership on this,” Pelosi said. “They bring knowledge, they bring perspective, they bring the enthusiasm of the consensus of our Caucus to that conference.”
So let’s take a look at Congresswoman Roybal-Allard for a minute. The Center for Security Policy put her on a list of “national security failures” – legislators who scored a total of less than 25%, based on all scored votes for which they were present. The Center’s findings indicate 149 Members of the House of Representatives and 46 Senators are national security failures based on their voting record in the 111th Congress.
It gets better. Opensecrets.org listed the details of the Congresswoman’s campaign contributions:
I am not sure that this is the most qualified person to put on the committee. California has been something of a shining example of the negative impact of unchecked immigration on a state’s finances and quality of life.
Somehow I am not looking forward to rational solutions to the problem at our southern border from the Democrats on the Homeland Security Subcommittee.
Every Friday I have a brief conversation with Lockwood Phillips that airs on 107.1 WTKF some time between 6 and 7 pm. This week we talked about the Cloward-Piven political strategy. This strategy was developed by Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven at Columbia University in May 1966. A description of the strategy was posted in the magazine “The Nation” with the title, “The weight of the poor: A strategy to end poverty.” I think ending poverty is a wonderful idea, although I don’t think it is possible. Deuteronomy 15:11 says, “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.” If you believe the Bible, we will always have poor people; it is our responsibility to treat them kindly and help them–not enable them to stay in poverty.
So what is the Cloward-Piven strategy to end poverty? It is a political plan to overload the U.S. public welfare system so that it collapses and then replace it with a system that provides a guaranteed annual income for everyone. Theoretically this will end poverty. Some of the people who have espoused this strategy are Bill Ayers, Saul Alinsky, Bernadine Dohrn, Frank Marshall Davis, and George Soros. Many of these people were very instrumental in the political career of former President Barack Obama.
So let’s look at where our welfare system is now (the figures below are from 2015):
- Roughly $1 trillion annually is given to more than 107 million Americans who receive some type of government benefits–not including Social Security, Medicare or unemployment
- Before President Obama took office there were 26 million recipients of food stamps. In 2015, there were 47 million. The number peaked in 2013, at 47.6 million. In July 2017, the number was 42.6. Economic policies make a difference.
In 2012, Forbes posted the following about President Obama’s welfare society:
- An increase of 18 million people, to 46 million Americans now receiving food stamps;
- A 122 percent increase in food-stamp spending to an estimated $89 billion this year from $40 billion in 2008;
- An increase of 3.6 million people receiving Social Security disability payments;
- A 10 million person increase in the number of individuals receiving welfare, to 107 million, or more than one-third of the U.S. population;
- A 34 percent, $683 billion reduction in the adjusted gross income of the top 1 percent to $1.3 trillion in 2009 (latest data) from its 2007 peak.
And let’s not forget new entitlements like Obamacare, which will result in government expansion and expenditures by 2022 to the tune of:
- Federal expenditures on Obamacare will total $2.3 trillion, a $1.4 trillion increase from the program’s initial estimates;
- The combination of budget cuts and sequestration will reduce defense spending by $1 trillion, while total government spending will increase by $1.1 trillion;
- Taxes will be increased by $1.8 trillion;
- Yet, the national debt will increase by another $11 trillion.
The Heritage Foundation summarized well: “In 1964, programs for the poor consumed 1.2 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). Today, spending on welfare programs is 13 times greater than it was in 1964 and consumes over 5 percent of GDP. Spending per poor person in 2008 amounted to around $16,800 in programmatic benefits.”
How will illegal immigration impact these numbers? What is the current financial situation of California? Do we want the financial situation in California to become the financial situation of America?
There are people in our government working behind the scenes to implement the Cloward-Piven strategy. The honestly believe that taking money from the people who earn it and giving it to the people who did not will end poverty. Most of the people working toward this goal are quite well off and somehow figure that their wealth will not be impacted. I guess if they succeed and are in control, it is possible that their wealth will not be impacted. Good luck to the rest of us.
On Sunday, The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about a recent statement by California Representative Nanette Barragan. Representative Barragan was elected in 2016.
The article reports:
“You have the wall built on U.S. territory,” Barragan said. “People can get up to the wall and they can still go to a port of entry and ask for asylum and you’re still on U.S. territory. What this wall essentially is going to do is help the president with his anti-asylum ban.”
Barragan explained that she knew this from visiting the border recently.
“They’re turning people away, even if they’re on U.S. soil,” she said. “What is it doing? It’s incentivizing them to break the law and come in within the ports.”
Barragan made these comments just a day after Democrats unilaterally rejected Trump’s offer to provide protection for refugee immigrants in exchange for a border wall. Trump offered to extend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), an Obama-era initiative that allowed children of Illegal immigrants to remain in the United States. Trump also said he would open up Temporary Protective Status, which allows refugees from foreign nations to seek asylum. In his plan, Trump would extend both programs by three years.
Let’s get something straight–no matter what method you use to come to America illegally, you are breaking the law. People don’t accidentally come here illegally–they make plans to do so. That is their choice–no one is incentivizing them–in fact, a wall might actually discourage them. When I lock my doors at night, am I incentivizing people to break a window to enter my house? I don’t think so.
I live very close to a national forest–a very large national forest. Watching what has happened in California makes me wonder how safe I am here. However, I am also aware that controlled burns in the national forest here are a part of summer life. I should also mention that generally there is enough rain during the summer to make these burns safe. Unfortunately that is not always the case in California, and sometimes a controlled burn is simply not practical. However, there are other ways to clear out brush and possible fuel for a fire.
The Washington Times posted an article about the California fires on Friday. What has happened in California is horrific, and we need to do everything we can to prevent it happening in the future.
The article reports:
A national logging organization is offering support to President Trump following catastrophic wildfires in California and a political debate over the causes of the destructive blazes.
“President Trump blamed poor forest management for wildfires in California and throughout the West, and there is truth to statements he has made,” said Daniel Dructor, executive vice president of the American Loggers Council, a coalition of state and regional associations that represents independent contract loggers.
“It’s time to rise above political posturing and recognize that active forest management — including logging, thinning, grazing and controlled burning — are tools that can and must be used to reduce fire risks and help mitigate the impacts to landscapes,” Mr. Dructor said in a statement.
According to the council, some 60 million to 80 million acres of national forest are at “high, to very high, risk of catastrophic wildfire.”
Citing research from the U.S. Forest Service, the council backs such methods as thinning stressed trees and prescribed burns to reduce wildfires but said “only a small fraction of high-risk acres are being treated.”
Mr. Dructor advised the Trump administration and Congress to expand public-private partnerships to manage the problem.
The article concludes:
“Loggers are America’s ‘boots on the ground’ to conserve our forests and reduce the risks of wildfire,” council president Chris Potts said in a statement.
We work in the woods every day, we understand forestry and see the dangers every day, and we know what needs to be done. Without forests, we are out of business. That’s why we’ll continue to work with Republicans and Democrats on needed reforms that will help to sustain our forests and protect our forests and communities from wildfire,” he said.
Lumber is a renewable resource. A properly managed forest can continue indefinitely. Good forest management will not only provide jobs and resources, it will create a healthy environment for wildlife and avoid the environmental catastrophe that the California forest fires have been.
Townhall posted an article today about the impact of green energy on the middle and lower class.
The article reports:
Liberals love to talk about helping the poor and the middle class, and they are obsessed with reducing income inequality. So why is it that across the country they are pushing one of the most regressive taxes in modern times?
I am talking about the fad “green” initiative in states such as California, Arizona and New Jersey that require local utilities to buy expensive renewable energy. These renewable energy standards require that utilities to buy expensive wind and solar power. They then pass these costs onto the poor and working class who get stuck paying the tab.
In Sacramento, California, the legislature is speeding ahead with one of the most absurd proposals of modern times by mandating 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. This would mean no coal, no natural gas and no nuclear power.
Meanwhile in Arizona, voters will decide on a ballot initiative funded by billionaire Tom Steyer that would increase renewable mandates to 50 percent over the next decade or so.
The article concludes:
Low-income households spend at least four to five times more out of their incomes in energy costs than do millionaires. For a family with an income of $40,000 or $50,000, an extra $500 a year in costs means less money for school supplies, day care, a family vacation or health insurance.
All of this is so unnecessary. If wind and solar are truly the energy sources of the future — with reliability and low costs — let the market determine that. Why do they need mandates and billions of dollars of federal subsidies to make them work? This is an experiment of imposing high costs on American small businesses, farms and families to pay off wealthy green energy investors. Could anything be more illiberal than this?
One of the benefits of the economic growth the Trump administration has created is the resurgence of the middle class–it is growing instead of shrinking (as it did under President Obama). The middle class is the strength of our republic–it is the only bulwark we have against the misguided proponents of socialism. When the middle class realizes the impact socialism will have on them, they oppose it. Unfortunately the students in our high schools and colleges are not getting that message. Using green energy as an excuse to increase the poverty levels is not a good idea. It is not a surprise that the people proposing the increase of green energy are the people least likely to be impacted by it.
Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about an attack on Rudy Peters, the Republican nominee in California’s 15th Congressional District. CNN has not yet reported this attack.
The article reports:
Farzad Fazeli, 35, allegedly made disparaging remarks about the Republican Party before pulling out a switchblade and attempting to stab Rudy Peters at a festival Sunday, according to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.
Peters is the Republican nominee in California’s 15th Congressional District, where he is challenging incumbent Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell.
The sheriff’s office arrested Fazeli on Tuesday and announced it to the public that afternoon.
This is not acceptable. I realize that political passions are running high at this time, but supporters of all candidates need to act with civility. There is no excuse for this sort of attack on a political candidate. Hopefully the attacker will spend significant time in jail in order to deter others from committing similar attacks.
The Independent Journal Review posted an article today about a new law that California is planning to pass.
The article reports:
In an attempt to reduce childhood obesity rates, the state of California is taking the reigns from parents and banning restaurants from serving sugary beverages to children.
The new bill restricts children’s drink options to be listed as just water or milk. The bill passed through the state legislature and is expected to be signed by Governor Jerry Brown.
The American Cancer Society led the charge on this bill, telling CBS 13, “Cancer is fought in the halls of government, not just in the halls of a hospital.”
…Mike Slater, a radio host in San Diego told Fox News, “It amazes me always, the progressive instinct to ban things they don’t like. Whether in California it’s banning plastic bags or straws, or even speech.”
Under this bill, parents are still allowed to ask for a different drink, such as soda or chocolate milk, but it cannot be listed as a default beverage by the restaurant.
If a restaurant fails to comply with the new bill, they could face a fine of up to $500.
Maybe it would be better simply to educate parents on basic nutrition. I also think that if a child is taken out to dinner by his (or her) parents on a special occasion, he (she) should be allowed to drink anything he (she) wants.
I remember in junior high school (back in the age of dinosaurs) that the class did a science experiment with mice. There were two mice. One mouse was fed potato chips and soda (the dream diet of many children), and the other mouse was fed vegetables and things that were considered healthy. After a few weeks, the junk-food mouse was actually skinny and not healthy looking and the healthy-food mouse was growing and doing well. Do they still teach basic nutrition in schools? Might that be part of the problem?
Just for the record, I am not sure that what the children are drinking is the problem. Admittedly, soda is not good for you. However, what about looking at the ingredients in the foods you buy in the supermarket every week. How much of our bread has high fructose corn syrup in it? Isn’t that a product that contributes to obesity? How much of our children’s cereal has high fructose corn syrup in it? What is the price difference between real maple syrup and syrup made up of everything but natural maple syrup?
Aside from the government intrusion involved in this law, I think it is taking aim at the wrong thing. Soda is the least of our worries in terms of what our children are eating.
The following is a December 2017 News Release from the U.S.D.A.:
VALLEJO, Calif., December 11, 2017 – The USDA Forest Service today announced that an additional 27 million trees, mostly conifers, died throughout California since November 2016, bringing the total number of trees that have died due to drought and bark beetles to an historic 129 million on 8.9 million acres. The dead trees continue to pose a hazard to people and critical infrastructure, mostly centered in the central and southern Sierra Nevada region of the state.
“The number of dead and dying trees has co ntinued to rise, along with the risks to communities and firefighters if a wildfire breaks out in these areas,” said Randy Moore, Regional Forester of the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region. “It is apparent from our survey flights this year that California’s trees have not yet recovered from the drought, and remain vulnerable to beetle attacks and increased wildfire threat. The USDA Forest Service will continue to focus on mitigating hazard trees and thinning overly dense forests so they are heal thier and better able to survive stressors like this in the future.”
Moore continued, “To increase the pace and scale of this important work, we need to fix how fire suppression is funded. Last year fire management alone consumed 56 percent of the USDA For est Service’s national budget. As fire suppression costs continue to grow as a percentage of the USDA Forest Service’s budget, funding is shrinking for non- fire programs that protect watersheds and restore forests, making them more resilient to wildfire an d drought.”
Though California received record -breaking rains in the winter of 2016-2017, the effects of five consecutive years of severe drought in California, a dramatic rise in bark beetle infestation and rising temperatures have led to historic levels of tree die-off. The Tree Mortality Task Force (TMTF), with support from the Governor’s office and comprised of more than 80 local, state and federal agencies and private utility companies, continues to remove hazardous dead trees. To date, the TMTF members have collectively felled or removed over 1 million dead trees; this includes over 480,000 dead trees felled or removed by the USDA Forest Service.
The TMTF members are using a triage approach to this tree mortality crisis, first focusing on public safety by removing dead and dying trees in high hazard areas. To further improve forest health, the USDA Forest Service and CAL FIRE have increased their pace and scale of prescribed fire. The USDA Forest Service has treated over 55,000 acres and CAL FIRE has com pleted over 33,000 acres in fuel treatment projects. By combining tree removal with prescribed fire, crews will be able to decrease overly dense stands of trees, reduce greenhouse gases, and protect communities across the state.
“Tree mortality at this magnitude takes on- going cooperation between public, non- profit and private entities,” said Chief Ken Pimlott, CAL FIRE director and California’s state forester. “California’s forests are a critical part of the State’s strategy to address climate change. By working together and using all the resources at our disposal we will be able to make more progress towards our common goal of healthier, more resilient forests that benefit all Californians.”
With record breaking levels of tree die-off, the TMTF has used t his event as an opportunity to collaborate on several fronts: from public workshops about reforestation, public outreach in urban and rural areas, and awarding over $21 million in grants aimed to protect watersheds, remove dead trees and restore our forest s. The TMTF continues to collaborate on the efficient use of resources to protect public safety and build consensus around long -term management strategies for California’s forest lands.
“The Tree Mortality Task force has provided an essential venue for co ordination of response efforts, exchange of ideas, reporting, and accountability for the ongoing statewide response to this incident,” said Supervisor Nathan Magsig of Fresno County. “Leadership from the Governor’s Office, CAL FIRE and Office of Emergency Services has helped to ensure county issues are heard and addressed. Monthly coordination of the 10 most impacted counties has resulted in a more effective use of resources and has allowed counties to share ideas and successes.”
With a staggering 129 mil lion dead trees in the state, the work of the task force is far from over. The strong foundation built will continue to be an advantage as the TMTF continues to address tree mortality and its impacts.
Learn more about tree mortality and the work to restore our forests in California at the USDA Forest Service ‘s web page Our Changing Forests . To learn about how to be prepared and protect your home against wildfire and your trees against bark beetle attacks visit CAL FIRE’s web page Ready for Wildfire.
Tree Mortality Website
2017 Tree Mortality Aerial Detection Survey Results
Tree Mortality Combined Map, 2014- 2017
Tree Mortality Progression Map, 2014- 2017
Animated Tree Mortality Progression Map, 2014- 2017
Tree Mortality Project Pictures
CAL FIRE Prescribed Fire Video B -Roll
CAL FIRE Tree Removal Video B-Roll
If you follow the link to the original article, there are multiple links in the Press Release.
Cleaning up the forests is one way to help control forest fires which can begin for a number of reasons. Some are man-made and some are the result of lightning strikes. Even in drought conditions, if the forest has been properly cleared of dead wood and potential fuel, a fire will be much more easily contained. The fires in California are tragic and the loss of property is enormous, but some of this disaster could have been avoided had the State of California cleaned some of the forests during the winter months.
This was an avoidable disaster.
On Saturday, PJ Media posted an article a recent lawsuit filed by seven in California.
The article reports:
Less than a week after that ruling, Janus v. Association of Federal, State, City, and Municipal Employees (FSCME), seven California teachers have filed a class-action lawsuit to recoup unjustly forced fees.
“This lawsuit will enable teachers like me to recover the agency fees that we were wrongly forced to pay against our will,” Scott Wilford, the plaintiff in the new lawsuit, told Education Week. Wilford filed the lawsuit in the Central District of California’s federal court on Tuesday.
Wilford and six others filed the class-action lawsuit against the National Education Association (NEA), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and others. The suit seeks “redress for the defendants’ past and ongoing violations of their constitutionally protected rights. The defendants have violated the representative plaintiffs’ constitutional rights by, among other things, forcing them to pay fair share service fees as a condition of their employment.”
The AFT, like other unions, used “non-political” agency fees for its annual convention in 2016, at which Hillary Clinton spoke.
It is not news to anyone that union dues were used for political purposes. It does seem unfair that people would be compelled to support candidates and causes that are against their political ideology.
The article concludes:
As Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, “To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical.”
The Supreme Court put an end to these ill-gotten gains last month, and Wilford, Friedrichs, and their fellow plaintiffs deserve an apology if nothing more. Wilford and Friedrichs especially deserve something, since their case was blocked for two years by a deadlocked Supreme Court.
Unfortunately, it seems unions are unlikely to give even that, as they staunchly attacked Janus as an unjust decision. Some contrition, and a direct settlement for Wilford and Friedrichs, might save the unions a huge headache — and a multi-million dollar lawsuit. Instead, it seems they’re in for the long haul.
Stay tuned. I suspect this is just the beginning.
Yesterday The Federalist posted an article about a protest in West Oakland, California. The protest occurred last year, but the video has resurfaced this year because of the Democrat’s idea to abolish ICE. The protesters were protesting an ICE raid in their neighborhood.
The article reports:
Assuming the agents were arresting illegal immigrants, people began protesting outside of the house.
Neighbor Hadar Cohen woke up to her roommate crying, saying she didn’t know what to do. The two of them and other housemates went outside to find agents on their street. Cohen, who was holding a “No person is illegal” sign, said that agents weren’t telling the neighbors what was going on.
This is what the protesters did not know:
The raid was part of an ongoing criminal investigation of a child sex trafficking in Oakland. Investigators were executing a federal search warrant, a fact which the Oakland Police Department later confirmed.
Agents were seen taking two individuals to their cars; both had blankets covering their faces to conceal their identities.
Protestors wrote in chalk on the ground “We love our neighbors” and “Oakland PD is a disgrace,” as the agents and police officers busted up the child prostitution ring.
So the protesters were supporting the rights of child sex traffickers rather than the rights of the law enforcement agencies trying to protect the children in the area. How loony have protests become? If these protesters had known the truth, would it have mattered? Would the protests be different if any of their children had been taken by these people?
The ‘resistance’ has totally lost its way. It has been so blinded by hatred of a person that it cannot see. One of the accomplishments of the Trump administration is the ongoing battle against child pornography and human trafficking. This raid was one example of that battle, and protesters who had no idea what was going on made fools of themselves.
CNS News posted an article today about an item that will appear on the ballot in California in November.
The article reports:
The State of California is “nearly ungovernable,” given its “diverse population and economies.” So says a newly qualified ballot initiative that would split California into three states — maybe — if voters approve the proposal in November.
The summary posted online by the State Attorney General’s office says the split would require the approval of Congress and undoubtedly the courts. If all parties approved the plan, “all tax collections and spending by the existing State of California would end. California’s existing state assets and liabilities would be divided among three new states. These states would make their own decisions about state and local taxes and spending.”
One of the new states would be named Northern California (or a name to be chosen by the people of that state). It would encompass 40 northern counties, including San Francisco and its surrounds.
The second state, tentatively named California, would include only six counties: Los Angeles, Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura.
The third new state, to be named Southern California (or a name chosen by the people), would include 12 counties, including Fresno, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Tulare.
Los Angeles Times cartoonist David Horsey has already proposed names for the three new states:
Los Angeles Times cartoonist David Horsey suggested naming the Northern California/Napa area “Weed” or “Merlot”; he suggested that the Silicon Valley area be named “iState”; and Los Angeles/Hollywood could be called “Bling.”)
The article points out two aspects of this change if it is voted in–first, California would then have six representatives in the Senate–making it more influential than states with only two representatives (but there is no guarantee all six senators would agree on anything). Secondly, California votes in the Electoral College might be split between candidates–giving Republicans votes from a state that generally does not give them Electoral Votes.
It will be interesting to see exactly how this plays out.
George Soros has a rather checkered past. He has been associated with Nazis in Germany when they were in power and has been accused of acquiring much of his wealth through collapsing the currency of various countries. He is one of the richest men in the world and tends to dabble in the political affairs of various countries–America included. He hasn’t had a lot of luck in America recently–Hillary Clinton lost and many of the California District Attorney candidates he funded lost. He believes in a one-world government controlled by himself and his friends. It won’t be a democracy, and the American Constitution would be irrelevant. Freedom would be optional. Well, I’m grateful things are not going his way right now. I am hoping that continues to be the case.
The Daily Caller posted an article about George Soros yesterday.
The article reports:
George Soros recently lamented the rise of President Trump and anti-establishment parties across the globe, saying “everything that could go wrong, has gone wrong.”
Soros made the comment in an interview with The Washington Post published Saturday. He also said that he did not expect Trump’s election, saying, “Apparently, I was living in my own bubble.”
The activist billionaire also made the bizarre claim that President Trump would be “willing to destroy the world.”
Soros has become known for using his immense wealth to influence politics in the United States and around the world.
Actually I suspect George Soros would be willing to destroy the world. He has worked very hard to undermine the national sovereignty of America. I don’t suspect he is giving up on that–just grousing that it is taking so long. Eight years of Donald Trump might make him go away.
Not every American high school student took part on the much-publicized anti-gun march in Washington last month. However, you might not have known that if you depend on the mainstream media for your news. Some California students wondered if a pro-life (anti-abortion) march would be treated equally by schools and in the press. Yesterday The Sacramento Bee posted an article that answers that question.
The article reports:
Rocklin High School junior Brandon Gillespie wanted to test school administrators when he planned a walkout Tuesday to protest abortion. Would the school punish anti-abortion protesters for leaving classes for 17 minutes, the same amount of time that students taking part in the National School Walkout left classes on March 14, without discipline?
The answer was no.
About 40 students holding pro-life signs left classes at about 10 a.m. and squared off peacefully in the quad with 10 or so students holding pro-choice signs, according to district officials, who would not allow media near the protest. Another dozen students looked on, according to officials. There were a few speeches, but after about 17 minutes, the students returned to class.
District officials said there were no plans to discipline the students.
The article also notes that about 350 schools nationwide participated in the march on Tuesday. How much news coverage did they get?
The article also notes another difference between the two marches:
Gillespie and Benzel both say that Tuesday’s protesters were not treated the same as the participants in the National School Walkout, who were given tents to shelter them from the rain and a public address system. Teachers also were directed not to discipline students who participated in the March 14 protest, Benzel said. She said similar directives were not given to teachers about Tuesday’s protest, although the district did say it would not punish students who participated in the protest Tuesday.
No, it’s not a level playing field. The media is not doing the job the American people need done. The death of the mainstream media will be the result of their own actions–they have no one to blame but themselves.
The Tenth Amendment states:
The Tenth Amendment assigns all powers not delegated to the United States, or prohibited to the states, to either the states or to the people.
Securing the borders is one of the powers delegated to the federal government, so California’s declaration that they are a sanctuary state is unconstitutional. However, there are other aspects of the actions of California that need to be looked at.
Yesterday The Western Journal reported that California will raise tuition for out-of-state students by nearly $1,000, a hike that will not apply to illegal alien students. So an illegal alien will pay less for an education in California than a legal American citizen from another state. That seems a little odd to me.
The article reports:
California Assembly Bill 540 mandates that illegal alien students can obtain in-state tuition if they attend high school in the state for a minimum of three years and earn a California high school diploma.
…UC regent chair George Kieffer reported that UC students have 31 percent less funding each in 2018 when compared with their 2000 counterparts.
“California is perpetually broke,” Mehlman told TheDCNF. “And yet they manage to come up with services for illegal aliens.”
The immigration advocacy spokesman elaborated on services the state provides to illegal aliens, such as grants, public housing, as well as various other state and local services.
Mehlman postulated that about half of illegal aliens work “off the books” and the other half use “bogus social security numbers.”
The demographic costs California taxpayers over $25 billion per year, according to FAIR.
TheDCNF reached out to the California Immigrant Policy Center for comment but received none in time for press.
I think if I were a legal American student from another state I would sue for discrimination. This policy makes no sense.
If your news sources are limited to the mainstream media, you may have the impression that President Trump is randomly breaking up families and deporting illegal immigrants. Stories in the mainstream show crying children whose parent or parents are being deported, and these stories just reek of sympathetic angles. However, when you look past the obvious, you often find out that what you are being told may not be the entire story.
Hot Air posted an article today about one such story about a deported illegal alien.
The article reports:
ICE agents took Armando Nunez Salgado into custody outside his home. According to family members, he was in the backyard when agents walked right in through the side gate. His 14-year-old daughter Isabel Salgado dissolved into tears.
“I cried. I got very emotional, I was really sad,” said Isabel. “I mean to watch someone who is part of your everyday life and then you just have to watch him leave without saying goodbye. It kind of hurts.”
Armando is a construction worker who has been in America more than 30 years. His wife Elena Ponce said his parents brought him to the U.S. when he was only four years old.
The article at Hot Air begins to tell us more of the story:
But it turns out, Armando does have a dangerous past. After our interview, his family members told KPIX 5 he was involved in gangs and drugs for a long time.
In fact, at one point, he was on ICE’s most wanted list for charges of felony force and assault with a deadly weapon.
…“On Sunday, Feb. 25, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) San Francisco Fugitive Operations Team arrested ICE fugitive Armando Nuñez-Salgado, 38, a citizen of Mexico and documented Sureño gang member, who has been previously removed by ICE on four prior occasions. Over the past 18 years he has accumulated criminal convictions in California that have resulted in more than 15 years of prison sentencings. His criminal convictions include assault with a deadly weapon (statutorily enhanced because of his gang member status), burglary, hit-and-run causing injury and evading a peace officer.”
The man had been deported four times and done fifteen years in prison! This is not an innocent man who is an asset to America.
There is a move in America to legalize marijuana. I don’t know if it can be stopped. I doubt it can. Marijuana is proclaimed to be a miracle cure for everything from headaches to ingrown toenails. Well, it may have medicinal value, but it also has a pretty serious downside. I remember looking at the Sunday paper in California after medical marijuana was legalized. The last four pages were ads from doctors who would prescribe it to cure any ailment. All you had to do was call. The legalization of medical marijuana essentially made recreational use much easier to do legally. So what are the consequences of legal marijuana?
The article states:
From a health standpoint, why is legalization of another mind-altering drug the right thing to do? The U.S. is already in the midst of a devastating prescription opioid and heroin crisis. And individuals from all walks of life struggle with the abuse of alcohol and drugs.
It may be too late, but taking an illegal drug and making it legal needs to be well-thought out, to determine what impact this major step will have on future generations.
…What is especially concerning is the fact that the marijuana of today is not the same as it was back in the 1960s or 1970s. Over the past few decades, the concentration of THC in the cannabis plant has been increasing, making it more potent than ever.
A fairly recent popular method of getting high is smoking THC-rich resins extracted from the plant. Extracts are quite powerful, delivering very large amounts of THC to the body. This has sent many users to the emergency room.
…Researchers are still studying the long-term effects of marijuana. But what is known is that the younger a person begins using pot, such as in the teen years, the greater the declines in general knowledge, impaired thinking, learning difficulties and lowered IQ.
The article discusses the medical claims and research on marijuana:
At this time, treating medical conditions using marijuana is still illegal on a federal level. There is still insufficient data from large, long-term, well-designed studies on the potential risks versus benefits of using marijuana to relieve symptoms of certain medical conditions.
There are however, ongoing studies on cannabidiol, a component of marijuana that does not have the mind-altering effects of THC. That may hold potential promise in helping conditions like drug-resistant epilepsy and some psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, substance use disorders, schizophrenia and psychosis.
The article concludes:
No matter how much fun using marijuana looks like on TV or in the movies, no matter what your friends say about it, no matter how many people tell you it’s harmless, and no matter what laws politicians pass to get votes or raise tax revenue, remember one thing: unless you have certain medical conditions where the drug may be beneficial, you are better off without it.
The campaign to legalize marijuana is not unlike the campaign to encourage smoking that went on in the motion picture and entertainment industries up until recent years. We all saw how well that turned out.