Doing The Right Thing (Even If It Is Years Late)

Yesterday The U.K. Daily Mail posted an article about California’s plan to deal with forest fires.

The article reports:

California is adopting former Donald Trump‘s plan to thin out the state’s 33 million acres of forests with controlled burns and raking the woodland floor – after state officials essentially laughed off the former president’s idea a few years ago.

Trump had suggested in 2018 that the Golden State start sweeping its forest floors of debris that often aids in the spread of wildfires. 

But by Aug. 2020, at the peak of the state’s wildfire season, his suggestion became an ultimatum when he withheld wildfire financial aid on the basis of California’s failure to clear its forests of dead trees, branches and leaves, Politico reported at the time.

The frustrating part of this is that if the plan had been adopted in 2018 when it was suggested or even a year later, how many acres of forest (and homes) would have been spared? Instead, because President Trump suggested it while he was President, it wasn’t done until after he left office (so he couldn’t be given credit for it).

The article notes:

During the 2020 California wildfires, 31 people died and another 37 suffered non-fatal injuries due to 9,639 fires spread across the Golden State, according to the website Cal Fire, which tracks wildfires throughout the state.

Then-President Trump continuously blamed the Democrat-dominated state for not doing enough to prevent the widespread wildfires in 2018 and 2019 during his presidency, while threatening to withhold relief funds as environmentally-conscious Californians balked at his ideas.

‘I’ve been telling them this now for three years, but they don’t want to listen,’ Trump said at the August rally. ‘The environment, the environment,’ but they have massive fires again.’

At some point we have to learn to do the right thing regardless of who gets the credit!

There are, however, still some naysayers:

However, conservation director for Los Padres ForestWatch Bryant Baker warns that these kinds of controlled burns threaten the native plant areas of Southern California’s national forests.

‘There are issues with just assuming this is some sort silver bullet in changing overall fires in the state,’ Baker said. ‘Prescribed fire is not going to be the thing that stops very large wind-driven fires that are occurring.’ 

Gov. Newsom is already asking the state’s legislature to give him $2 billion more in an effort to accelerate the forest thinning process in the fiscal year starting July 1, according to Bloomberg. 

‘Wildfires don’t stop at jurisdictional boundaries. As we respond to wildfires in real-time this summer, improving coordination between the major stewards of California’s forested land will help us protect communities and restore forest health across California,’ Newsom said in a statement obtained by Politico. 

I’m sorry that the controlled burns threaten the native plant areas, but somehow I don’t think the native plant areas have done too well in the recent wild fires.

Would You Be Comfortable Living Next Door To These Two Boys?

Our criminal justice system is supposed to keep people who are a danger to society away from people they might harm. Theoretically it is also supposed to help criminals become law-abiding citizens by punishing them for their crimes and showing them the error of their ways. Well, evidently California has lost that concept.

Yesterday The American Thinker posted an article about a recent court case in California that resulted in a very questionable sentence for the defendants.

The article reports:

In a case that’s drawing a lot of attention based on the insane level of leniency shown, two 14-year-olds who bullied, murdered, danced on the body of, and filmed a helpless 13-year-old, have been let off with the mother-of-all-slaps-on-the-wrist by a Riverside County Superior Court Justice. 

According to local radio station KTLA:

Two 14-year-old Southern California boys who beat a fellow student in 2019, causing his death, won’t go to jail but must undergo anger management therapy, a judge ruled.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Roger A. Luebs imposed the therapy as a probation condition before releasing the teenagers to their parents on Thursday, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported Friday.

On Sept. 16, 2019, the teenagers were videotaped attacking 13-year-old Diego Stolz outside classrooms at Landmark Middle School in Moreno Valley, east of Los Angeles. One boy struck the teenager in the head from behind and he fell, hitting his head against a pillar. The boys then continued punching the boy, who died nine days later from a brain injury.

Would you feel comfortable with these children living in your neighborhood?

The article also notes:

Parts of his (Riverside County Superior Court Judge Roger A. Luebs) sentencing were obnoxious, too:

Luebs directed that each offender enroll in character development and anger management classes, as well as perform 150 hours community service, not play violent video games, avoid social media and write letters of apology to the Stolz family. They were additionally ordered to permanently steer clear of one another.

Luebs warned the pair that any probation violation could land them in deep trouble, possibly resulting in time behind bars.

Why, exactly, are they getting ‘one last warning’ to behave themselves, when they’ve already done the worst they could possibly do?  These killers should have had their one-last-warning before they moved up to killing people. This didn’t happen out of the blue — one of these plagues-on-society was already on probation when he tried his hand at killing. How seriously are they going to take this latest ‘one-last-warning’? The message they’ve gotten so far is that if they get caught violating probation, all they will get is another one-last-warning. But remember, one more chance.

The article goes on to mention that California has been moving in the direction of reducing its youth prison population in past years. I guess its pretty easy to reduce your prison population if you don’t hold murderers accountable for their crimes.

A Governor Involved in Trivial Pursuit

California has problems. Governor Newsom is being recalled for various reasons (probably a good thing, only the last time California recalled a governor, they wound up with Arnold Schwarzenegger). But Governor Newsom is currently doing some things that might help businesses in the state that have been negatively impacted by his shutdowns.

Gregg Jarrett is reporting the following today:

California theme parks will reopen April 1, but with one caveat: shouting and screaming must be limited. How fun! California Attractions and Parks Association (CAPA) executive director Erin Guerrero said in a statement, “California’s amusement parks are excited to responsibly reopen under the recently released state guidance…these guidelines do not require parks to prohibit screaming.” However, that seems to be exactly what will happen.

The theme parks must abide by Governor Gavin Newsom’s updated Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Although Governor Newsom does not himself follow his own guidelines, he will demand the citizens of California to.

The anti-fun police are at it again. Let’s look at this a minute. The at-risk population for the coronavirus is the over-60 crowd or those with certain health issues. How likely are they to be on roller coasters? Can’t the state protect those at risk and let the people who are not at risk enjoy themselves?

The article notes:

In the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, California businesses must limit shouting and raised voices because, well, they are “known” to cause an increased spread of COVID-19. So, while Guerrero used empty words, “the California Attractions and Parks Association Responsible Reopening Plan addresses the need to limit shouting, screaming and hollering on roller coasters, thrill rides and other theme park attractions” reports The OC Register.

CAPA represents Disneyland, Universal Studios, Knott’s Berry Farm, Six Flags Magic Mountain, SeaWorld San Diego, Legoland California, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and California’s Great America. Don’t expect to have too much fun there as “CAPA proposes the theme parks can ‘mitigate the effects of shouting’ through the use of mandatory face coverings and modified seat loading patterns on amusement park rides.”

Good grief!

Bad Policies Can Be Fatal

One of the first Executive Orders by the Biden administration was to stop construction of the southern border wall. That decision has had consequences, some more serious than others. One sad result of that decision is that it is empowering the coyotes and the cartels.

Yesterday The New York Post reported that at least fifteen people were killed in southern California in a vehicle crash involving a van carrying illegal aliens.

The article reports:

Fifteen suspected illegal Mexican immigrants died in a horrific crash just north of the border in California when their SUV packed with 28 people collided with a big rig hauling gravel, officials said.

The collision happened just after 6:15 a.m. local time off Highway 115 in Imperial County where a red Ford Expedition, carrying 28 people, was t-boned by on the driver’s side big rig, police and hospital officials said.

California Highway Patrol Chief Omar Watson said it was unknown if the SUV had stopped at the stop sign — but it was clear that the overpacked vehicle caused “numerous” passengers to be ejected after the collision.

“Obviously that vehicle was not meant for that many people,” Watson said in a press conference. “It’s unfortunate that that number of people were put into that vehicle because there’s not enough safety restraints to safely keep those people within the vehicle.”

The article concludes:

The driver of the truck was one of the injured and was being treated at a local hospital, authorities said. 

Cops put the number of dead at 13 and counted 25 passengers in the SUV but hospital officials released the updated figures moments before the police press conference. 

Law enforcement and hospital officials said they were in contact with the Mexican Consulate in Calexico to help identify who was in the vehicle and track down the families of those killed. 

Dr. Adolphe Edward, the chief executive of the El Centro hospital, said he believed the passengers were “undocumented migrants,” according to the New York Times

Edward later referred reporters to law enforcement officials, who did not provide their country of origin.

US Border Patrol was assisting in translating, Watson said. 

“We’re not sure exactly what caused the collision but there was no law enforcement involved,” Watson said, explain that it was not connected to any type of Border Patrol pursuit.

Someone was well paid to transport these people into America. Obviously there was little regard for their safety. This is the result of bad border security policy.

The Californication Of America

Issues & Insights posted an article today about what to expect from the Biden administration.

The article notes:

Joe Biden promised Georgians a $2,000 check if they elected his party’s Senate candidates in the state’s runoff elections, and his bribery worked, with Democrats winning both, handing them control of the White House and Congress again.

But while Biden made the election all about battling COVID-19 and “healing the nation,” that is not what the far left that controls the Democratic Party cares about. It has bigger plans — namely, to turn the nation into a California-style one-party state.

By all rights, the 2020 elections should be a warning to extremists on the left. Biden eked out a victory with extremely narrow – and often questionable – victories in a handful of states after promising voters only that he would be a non-Trumpian nice guy.

Meanwhile, Democrats lost ground in the House, with the edge in their majority dropping from 36 seats to 10. And with the two Georgia wins, Democrats managed only a tie in the Senate, which is now split 50-50. (With Biden in the White House, Democrats can control the Senate because Kamala Harris will serve as the tie-breaking vote.)

The article reports:

Biden keeps talking about the need to “heal” the nation, which seems to fit the precarious position his party is in at the moment. Even if he believes that, his party doesn’t. And Democrats have been clear about the priorities they will pursue should they get control of the White House and Congress again.

No, we’re not talking about things like huge tax hikes or Obamacare, which is what they imposed the last two times they controlled both branches.

The stated goal today is to ensure a permanent Democratic majority so they can finally get their far-left agenda enacted.

In other words, they want to replicate what Democrats have already achieved in California.

This isn’t some right-wing conspiracy. This is what Democratic leaders have already stated as their plans or have already approved in the House.

For example, the very first thing Democrats did in the House this year, after seeing their lead shrink dramatically, was to approve a set of rules designed to neutralize Republicans as much as possible. Among others is a rule that will allow the House to pass massive new spending bills – a la the Green New Deal – without having to show how they’d be paid for. There’s a reason that socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is celebrating these new rules.

Please follow the link above to the article to read the rest of this. It is chilling. As far as healing the nation and bringing us together, the Democrats idea of unity is to simply shut down the opposition. Facebook and Twitter are already cooperating with that effort. I have a note of caution for the Democrats preaching unity–you can’t build unity on lies and fraud–it will fall apart.

Who Is Our Government Supposed To Represent?

A lot of us have questions about who our government is actually representing, but what about the question of who they are supposed to represent? Theoretically, the census determines how many representatives each state has and also impacts the electors in the Electoral College. So who should be included in the census? Various courts have been dealing with that question for a while.

Just the News reported today that a recent Supreme Court ruling states that illegal aliens will not be counted in the 2020 census. That makes perfect sense to me–if they are here illegally, why should they be represented in Congress?

The article reports:

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday vacated two lower court decisions that blocked the government from excluding illegal aliens during the process of allotting congressional seats.

The decision to remand the two cases to lower courts “with instructions to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction” follows a ruling by the high court earlier this month that allows the Trump administration to pursue plans to exclude illegal aliens from the apportionment base.

Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented from the high court’s ruling yesterday, just as they had in Trump v. New York earlier this month.

So what is the possible impact of this decision? California had been relying on its illegal alien population to counter the fact that many residents of that state are leaving the state to settle in other states. This is the result of continued poor fiscal policies in California and a refusal to deal with many quality of life problems. Homelessness in California is out of control while taxes on ordinary people are increasing and the cost of living in the state is increasing. Because of this ruling, California may lose a Congressional Representative and an elector in the Electoral College. Other states with large populations of illegal aliens may also lose representatives or electors.

Regardless of how you feel about illegal aliens, amnesty, a path to citizenship, etc., Congress is supposed to represent American citizens. They don’t, but they are supposed to.

Freedom Wins

I understand that the coronavirus is serious. Recently updated statistics about the survival rate of the coronavirus show that age is a major factor:

For people age 0-19 the survival rate is 99.997%, for people age 20-49 the survival rate is 99.98%, for people age 50-69 the survival rate is 99.5%, and for people over the age of 70 the survival rate is 94.6%. These are the CDC numbers reported at Breitbart on September 25, 2020. So why are we quarantining everyone?

Meanwhile the lockdowns are having a negative impact on not only the economy but also the mental health of Americans. Oddly enough, the lockdowns seem to be highlighting the differences between blue and red states.

The Hill is reporting today that the Rose Bowl will be moved from California to Texas because of the growing number of Covid cases in California. California has some of the strictest lockdown orders in the country, and yet the number of Covid cases there is increasing. Could it be that lockdowns don’t actually work?

The article reports:

California’s ban on spectator sports has caused a College Football Playoff (CFP) semifinal game to move from Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena to AT&T Stadium in Texas.

“The game in Dallas will still be played in the mid-afternoon window on New Year’s Day,” said CFP Executive Director Bill Hancock in a statement. “We are pleased that parents and loved ones will now be able to see their students play in the game.”

According to Hancock, the decision to move the game was mutually made by the CFP’s management committee and the Tournament of Roses, citing the “growing number of COVID-19 cases in Southern California.”

The article concludes:

The Rose Bowl’s inability to accommodate players’ families had caused coaches and school officials to complain, the AP noted, with Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly even going as far as to say the school’s players would boycott the game if they were selected and their families couldn’t attend.

Notre Dame is now scheduled to play Alabama in the game. 

According to Hancock, it has not been determined if the game played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington would still be referred to as the Rose Bowl. If not, this would be the first time since 1916 that the Rose Bowl has not been played.

I also suspect the game is being played in Texas so that it would not be subject to the whims of the Governor of California who seems to have no logic behind his shutdown orders. At least in Texas the teams involved can be pretty sure the game will be played.

 

 

Voting With Your Feet

California is a beautiful state. As a teenager I remember being enthralled by the Beach Boys and the lifestyle they talked about–beautiful beaches and surfing most of the year. At that point I was not smart enough to realize what the water temperature is along most of the California coast. At any rate, for a long time California was a very desirable place to live. Now–not so much. Taxes, the high cost of living, the homeless problem, crime issues, and generally poor leadership by the state politicians have taken a toll on the desirability of making California your home.

Yesterday Fox Business reported the following:

The smart money may be sticking together and sticking it to California.

Oracle is joining Tesla and Hewlett Packard Enterprise in moving some operations to Texas, detailing the move in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Friday.

“Oracle is implementing a more flexible employee work location policy and has changed its Corporate Headquarters from Redwood City, California to Austin, Texas. We believe these moves best position Oracle for growth and provide our personnel with more flexibility about where and how they work. Depending on their role, this means that many of our employees can choose their office location as well as continue to work from home part-time or all of the time. In addition, we will continue to support major hubs for Oracle around the world, including those in the United States such as redwood City, Austin, Santa Monica, Seattle, Denver, Orlando and Burlington, among others, and we expect to add other locations over time. By implementing a more modern approach to work, we expect to further improve our employees’ quality of life and quality of output” the SEC filing noted.

While the move signals working remotely is here to stay, it also signals more corporations could be becoming disillusioned with California.

The article notes that earlier this month, Hewlett Packard Enterprise also announced it was moving its headquarters to Houston. Tesla is also moving. The high taxes and bad government in California are driving businesses out of the state. This will result in a loss of tax revenue, tax increases for people and businesses who remain in the state, and eventual bankruptcy for the state. Unfortunately, depending on who controls Congress, the rest of the country may be asked to pay for the mistakes of California.

 

Looking For The Science In This Decision

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about Angela Marsden, the owner of Pineapple Hill Saloon and Grill in Sherman Oaks. Her restaurant is closed down due to the increased restrictions on businesses in Los Angeles. She has been forced to close down outdoor dining. Meanwhile, a film company working in an nearby area has set up outdoor dining in the same parking lot.

The article reports:

Angela Marsden, the owner of Pineapple Hill Saloon and Grill in Sherman Oaks, stated that she is no longer allowed to stay open with the new Los Angeles County order prohibiting outdoor dining. She also alleged that Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti approved tents and tables being set up for use by a film company. 

“I’m losing everything. Everything I own is being taken away from me,” Marsden said in the video which has gone viral. “And they set up a movie company right next to my outdoor patio … They have not given us money and they have shut us down. We cannot survive. My staff cannot survive.”

There is nothing scientific about the decision to close down Ms. Marsden’s outdoor dining and open up outdoor dining in her parking lot for a film company. This is a blatant example of government overreach. Ms. Marsden’s restaurant could contribute to the spread of the coronavirus, but the film company’s outdoor dining won’t. Where is the science in that?  If working people don’t begin to take back the freedom to work and to run businesses that the government has stolen, we will not survive as a country.

I Need Someone To Explain The Logic Of This Decision To Me

On Thursday The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about the current coronavirus restrictions in California.

The article reports:

A California judge ordered San Diego to reopen strip clubs even as local officials crack down on churches.

San Diego Superior Court judge Joel R. Wohlfeil ordered the state to end any actions that prevent the clubs from “being allowed to provide live adult entertainment,” according to the decision. The owners of two strip clubs argued that their business is legally protected speech guaranteed by the First Amendment—the same argument that churches have been making about their own services.

The judge’s decision is not final as that in a full hearing, which will occur at the end of the month, but it temporarily allows the strip clubs to reopen for indoor services, as other institutions close. In their legal complaint, strip-club owners argued they have complied with social distancing requirements. They also warned that another shutdown would mean financial ruin. The judge temporarily sided with them.

Religious-liberty advocates said that the case could pave the way for lifting coronavirus restrictions against churches. Paul Jonna, special counsel for the Thomas More Society, which is representing churches challenging the restrictions, expressed confidence that this decision bodes well for the churches. If strip clubs are entitled to constitutional protections, then churches are as well, he told the Free Beacon.

Somehow in the rush to stop a virus from spreading, we have lost the protections of our Constitution.

The article concludes:

Churches in California have been locked in legal struggles with state authorities for months as churches of different denominations take legal action to try to end the indefinite limitations on indoor services. Jonna said that the San Diego decision highlights “the absurdity” and double standards that have defined the state’s approach to lockdowns.

“A judge who understands the Constitution will recognize the absurdity of the current state of the law,” he said. “I think it’s a good sign that judges are starting to question whether the government has a legitimate interest in regulating any business or industry at this point.”

I am currently recovering from the coronavirus. I took ordinary precautions, but somehow contracted it. It is a virus. It is an airborne virus. To believe that we have the ability to tell a virus where to go and where not to go is the height of hubris. Vaccines will help curb the spread, but like the seasonal flu, this is now part of what we deal with. Stomping all over our God-given rights does nothing to prevent anyone from getting sick.

We Need Much More Of This

CBN News is reporting the following today:

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and their international counterparts arrested 113 alleged child predators across the US and South America from Nov. 2 – 6 in what is described by the Department of Homeland Security as phase seven of Operation Protected Childhood. (OPCVII)

Working in cooperation with Brazil’s Ministry of Justice and the Public Security and the Public Security Secretariat for Integrated Operation Cyber Laboratory, the agency’s operation simultaneously targeted the distributors and producers of child sexual abuse material throughout the Americas.

Law enforcement agencies in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Panama coordinated with Homeland Security field offices in their respective countries during the sweep.

Here in the US, Homeland Security field offices working with local law enforcement officials in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Tennessee, California, Colorado, and Florida executed a combined 13 child exploitation-related search warrants and made nine arrests for child exploitation offenses. 

Simultaneously, international law enforcement partners in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Panama also executed search warrants in their respective countries, totaling the following arrests: 

    • Brazil – 137 child exploitation related search warrants and 74 arrests
    • Argentina – 37 child exploitation related search warrants and 23 arrests
    • Paraguay – 2 child exploitation related search warrants and 2 arrests
    • Panama – 7 child exploitation related search warrants and 5 arrests

ICE officials especially praised Brazil for its efforts in the ongoing Operation Protected Childhood.

Thank God for law enforcement officers who are willing to search out and find the people exploiting innocent children. Please follow the link to read the entire article for further details.

Leaving California

Yesterday Deadline posted an article about The Daily Wire, the conservative media company started by Ben Shapiro, Jeremy Boreing and Caleb Robinson. The Daily Wire, founded in 2015, has always been based in California.

The article reports:

The Daily Wire, the conservative media company started by Ben Shapiro, Jeremy Boreing and Caleb Robinson, plans to move its headquarters from Los Angeles to Nashville.

Boreing said that the move was being made due to a declining quality of life in the city, including high housing costs and homelessness.

The publisher’s 75 employees based in Los Angeles are being given until Oct. 1 to decide whether to make the move, Boreing said. He said that it looked like about 80% would make the move.

The article continues:

“The dream of California and the weather were enough to draw us all here and keep us here, even when it was hard,” he said. “But it’s hubris to think you can keep making it worse and worse for people and that somehow the idea of temperate winters will be enough to make them stay forever.”

He said that he plans to move in November, and much of the staff will follow after that.

“L.A. benefits from the fact that, while it leans left, it draws individualists out to find their fame and seek their fortunes. They’re an ornery bunch. But they aren’t so ornery that this out of control government can’t break them.”

He said that they considered moving to Texas, but chose Nashville because it “offers the creative talent we need to keep growing the business.”

“We were shocked by the reception when we announced the move,” Boreing said. “But, of course, our employees see all of the same challenges we see and it’s even harder for them to afford this place.”

California used to be ‘the place to live,’ but due to bad governance, it has become a haven for homeless people and drug addicts. The cost of living there has gone through the roof as a result of high housing costs, high taxes, and over-regulation. There is still hope for California to return to normal, but it would take a voting population that wanted to correct the errors of the past.

We Need To Protect Our Children

Yesterday WND posted an article about a bill California lawmakers have sent to Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom for his signature.

The article reports:

California lawmakers have sent a bill to the desk of Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom that would reduce penalties for adults who have oral or anal sex with a “willing” minor child if the offender is no more than 10 years older than the victim.

The objective is to end “blatant discrimination against young LGBT people engaged in consensual activity,” according to its sponsor, Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener, who is openly gay.

SB 145, passed by the state Senate on Monday, would allow a judge to decide whether or not the offender should be registered as a sex offender, Breitbart News reported.

Wiener claims the bill “is about treating everyone equally under the law.”

The law aims at the particular sexual practices associated with the LGBT community. Senator Wiener claims that the current law discriminates against that community. For further details on that, follow the link to the article–I would rather not go into detail here.

The article notes:

Before talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh discussed the bill on his nationally syndicated show Thursday, he had to warn listeners to turn down the volume if there were any children nearby.

After describing the bill in detail, he addressed the problem with regarding children as “willing” participants.

“How do you get permission from an 8-year-old? How do you get permission from a 10-year-old? How is permission from a 10- or 12-year-old even valid?” he asked.

He predicted that “once this gets signed into law, that 10 years is gonna become 15 down the road, because, see, the way left operates, nothing is ever solved when they do legislation.”

“It’s just the beginning of the descent into even worse circumstance,” he said.

Limbaugh argued the bill has implications for the presidential election, because “this is who we’re up against.”

Does anyone remember that when sodomy was declared no longer against the law, some people who were labeled ‘right-wing extremists’ claimed that the ruling would lead to legalization of same sex marriage? We were told that we were crazy–they were just fixing an unjust law. What is happening in California will lead to things that many of us would be appalled by if we understood where this was going.

When Facts Get In The Way

Just the News posted an article yesterday dealing with presidential candidate Joe Biden’s claims about President Trump’s response to the coronavirus.

The article reports:

As Democrats and their presidential nominee Joe Biden gear up to attack the president’s response to COVID-19, they must grapple with a harsh reality: a third of all U.S. coronavirus deaths occurred in just three states controlled exclusively by Democrats.

Biden has sharply criticized Trump’s handling of the pandemic since the first case was confirmed in the U.S. in late January. The Democratic presidential candidate claimed last week that Trump has allowed the disease to ravage the country and kill more than 170,000 citizens.

“Just judge this president on the facts,” Biden said during his acceptance speech during the Democratic National Convention. “Five million Americans infected with COVID-19. More than 170,000 Americans have died. By far the worst performance of any nation on Earth.”

The article notes two important aspects of that number:

Biden’s assessment is only partly factual. The U.S. has indeed recorded the highest total number of COVID-19 deaths in the world, but adjusted for population the nation falls to number 10, behind numerous countries in Europe and South America, including the United Kingdsom and Spain.

Perhaps more notably, more than a third of the American deaths Biden cited have occurred in the Democrat-run states of New York, New Jersey and California.

The article concludes:

A range of policies appear to have had varied effects elsewhere. California, another Democratic stronghold, has also been under strict lockdown measures for months, and its adjusted death rate is comparatively low at number 28 in the nation. South Dakota, whose Republican governor has famously refused to institute the lockdown measures of most other states, is even better at number 39.

As November approaches, Biden may continue to criticize the U.S. as having “the worst performance” of any country worldwide, with the blame laid at the feet of the current Republican administration. Democratic-run New Jersey and New York’s respective adjusted death tolls, meanwhile, both remain roughly three times the national average.

One things the article does not mention is the fact that Governor Cuomo of New York sent infected patients into nursing homes. That fact alone resulted in huge numbers of virus deaths. I am hopeful that many Americans will see through the false claims of Joe Biden. Our future depends on it.

American Ingenuity At Work!

The Daily Wire posted an article yesterday about a very unique church service.

The article reports:

In footage of two instances that went viral on Thursday and Friday, Christians gathered in the government-approved venues of a Pennsylvania Wal-Mart and a Las Vegas casino to engage in the worship that authorities have deemed non-essential.

In a Thursday tweet that was retweeted by Vice President Mike Pence, Faith and Freedom Coalition Chairman Ralph Reed posted footage of a worship service in a Vegas casino, writing, “Packed house at #EvangelicalsForTrump prayer & praise event in Las Vegas. NV Governor banned church services but casinos can operate at 50% capacity. So we are praying in a casino.”

…According to The Post Millennial, a similar event also took place recently in the grocery section of a Wal-Mart in North Versailles, Pennsylvania, a town near Pittsburgh. In April, Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolfe urged churchgoers to find different ways to practice their religion than gathering in churches. “Religious leaders are encouraged to find alternatives to in-person gatherings and to avoid endangering their congregants,” he advised. “Individuals should not gather in religious buildings or homes for services or celebrations until the stay-at-home order is lifted.”

Wolf took flak when he broke his own state’s coronavirus lockdown restrictions in June by marching in solidarity with hundreds of protesters in Harrisburg following the death of George Floyd. In Harrisburg’s Dauphin County, gatherings were restricted to 25 people or fewer at the time, according to Pennsylvania’s color-coded reopening plan.

The article concludes:

The coronavirus pandemic has increased the tension between civil and ecclesiastical authorities nearly to the breaking point in states such as California, where many congregations are defying Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s July 13 order that re-instated lockdowns for churches and other establishments deemed non-essential by state authorities.

This week, Ventura County sued Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Thousand Oaks, California, for holding no-mask, no-distance indoor services. Rob McCoy, its senior pastor, said, “We would be the first to be masked and distanced, and willingly so, if this were meriting it, and it doesn’t. This isn’t a health issue, it’s an ideological issue.”

Grace Community Church, a congregation in Los Angeles pastored by prominent author and theologian John McArthur, also made headlines last month when he and the church elders penned an extensive statement explaining why they believe the secular government did not have legitimate authority to forbid in-person assembly indefinitely.

Explaining how they complied with state mandates at first, the church leaders justified their civil disobedience in part by claiming that the lockdowns done in the name of public health were causing spiritual damage to their parishioners. “Opportunities for believers to serve and minister to one another have been missed,” they wrote. “And the suffering of Christians who are troubled, fearful, distressed, infirm, or otherwise in urgent need of fellowship and encouragement has been magnified beyond anything that could reasonably be considered just or necessary.”

We need to be very careful not to give up our civil liberties in the name of preventing the spread of a virus. We know a lot more about the coronavirus now than we did at the beginning. We have developed a few successful protocols for treating the virus, and we have a fairly good idea of who is at risk from the virus. It is time to reclaim our civil liberties before we lose them for good.

This Doesn’t Seem To Be The Answer

Just the News reported yesterday that one month after California Governor Newsom unilaterally ordered state residents to wear masks in most public settings, the average daily number of coronavirus cases in the state has increased by over 160%. Wow.

The article reports:

Newsom’s June 18 order “mandate[d] that face coverings be worn state-wide” while in “any indoor public space,” while on public transit, during virtually every form of work in which the public might be involved in some way, while walking through “hallways, stairways, elevators, and parking facilities,” while in “any room or enclosed area where other people (except for members of the person’s own household or residence) are present when unable to physically distance,” and in outdoor settings where six feet of distance between individuals is not possible.

Every state resident older than two years old is bound by the mandate; a small number of exceptions exempt individuals due to medical conditions and other limited circumstances.

…The website of Johns Hopkins University, which offers pandemic tracking tools for every U.S. state, says average daily cases in California have increased from 3,385 on the day of Newsom’s order to 8,889 as of July 16, an increase of 162%.

Though Newsom’s mask mandate appears to have had little effect on the trajectory of the virus in California, the governor nevertheless this week imposed additional mask requirements on the state, ordering that most students who return to school in the fall will be subject to “strong mask requirements,” namely that “all staff and students in 3rd grade and above will be required to wear a mask or face covering” during the school day.

Can you imaging trying to keep a mask on the third grader all day? I don’t know why the masks did not help, but I think we need to look at this carefully. If the coronavirus spread that much with masks, why are we mandating them?

One Of Many Reasons We Should Not Trust The Government With Our Money

Any time the government starts giving away money, you can almost always bet that there will be corruption. The stimulus plan put into effect to help the country get through the coronavirus crisis is not an exception.

The Daily Caller reported yesterday

  • At least $4 million in PPP loans went to a real estate company at the center of a federal bribery investigation involving a Los Angeles city councilman.
  • Shenzhen New World Group, owned by Chinese billionaire Wei Huang, received two PPP loans for hotels it operates in Los Angeles. 
  • Jose Huizar is accused of accepting more than $800,000 in bribes from a real estate company chairman referred to in a federal indictment as “Chairman E.” 
  • Charging documents against Huizar make it clear that the real estate company in question is Shenzhen New World Group, which is working on a 77-story skyscraper project in Huizar’s district. 

The article continues:

The Real Deal, a website that covers the Los Angeles real estate market, first reported the coronavirus relief loans to Shenzhen New World.

The funds, issued under the Paycheck Protection Program, went to two of Shenzhen New World Group’s limited liability corporations (LLCs), Shen Zhen New World I and Shen Zhen New World II. The LLCs control the L.A. Grand Hotel and Sheraton Universal Hotel, respectively.

California business registration documents show that Huang signed the articles of incorporation for both LLCs in 2010. Shenzhen is proposing to redevelop the L.A. Grand Hotel into a 77-story skyscraper.

The Treasury Department on Monday released a database of PPP loan recipients, showing that both of the LLCs received between $2 million and $5 million each.

The article concludes:

The complaint against Huizar, who has held office since 2005, alleges that the Chinese developer provided the bribes in part because of his position as chairman of the city council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee.

“HUIZAR was poised to significantly benefit Chairman E’s desire and plans to redevelop Property E and transform it into a 77-story skyscraper, making it the tallest building west of the Mississippi River,” the complaint against Huizar says.

“This project would require official acts from HUIZAR at various stages of the City approval process.”

Huizar’s former aide, George Esparza, pleaded guilty on May 27 to racketeering charges as part of the probe.

According to Esparza’s plea agreement, he said that the Chinese developer began paying Huizar after he introduced a motion to keep the head of the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety in his position.

Virginia Clark, who is listed as the point of contact on Shenzhen New World’s applications for the skyscraper, did not respond to a detailed list of questions about the PPP loans and the FBI investigation of Huizar.

The Small Business Administration, which approves the PPP loans, did not respond to a request for comment. Huizar’s lawyer also did not respond to a request for comment.

Please follow the link above to the article for further details.

The Need To Pay Attention

In a speech in Dublin, Ireland, on July 10, 1790, John Philpot Curran stated, “The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance.” The quote has been changed slightly and attributed to other people, but that is the original quote. That quote is particularly applicable right now as there are those (some in our government) who are blatantly attacking one of the pillars of our representative republic.

On July 6th, I posted an article about the Supreme Court decision regarding the requirement that electors in the Electoral College vote for their state’s popular vote winner. That decision was a win for the Constitution. However, that decision is not the last we will hear on the subject.

Yesterday The New York Sun posted an editorial noting the next attack on the Electoral College. Understand that the Electoral College is what stands between the representative republic we now have and mob rule. If you believe that New York, California, and a few other populous states are well run, then abolishing the Electoral College would allow those states to run the entire country. That is a scary thought.

The editorial notes:

Now that the Supreme Court has vouchsafed the power of a state to require its presidential electors to vote in line with their state’s popular vote, a new question glimmers in the constitutional mist: Could a state require its electors to vote against the wishes of the state’s own voters? That might seem a ridiculous question. Feature, though, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.

It’s a workaround designed to commit the states to use the Electoral College to deliver the presidency to the winner of the national popular vote. It’s the first thing that came to mind when the Supreme Court today unanimously concluded that states have the power to punish faithless electors. Most justices credited the language in Article 2, which grants states the power to appoint electors.

The key phrase is that each state shall appoint its electors “in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct.” The court, in an opinion by Justice Kagan, reckons this gives the states the power to attach conditions to the electors it appoints, such as the requirement that they vote for the candidate their home-state voters prefer. It can punish them if they don’t.

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, though, is a scheme under which states agree to instruct their electors to ignore what their own state’s voters want and, instead, vote for the winner of the national popular vote. The compact goes into effect when it has been ratified by states whose combined electoral vote count is 270, i.e., enough to choose a president.

The editorial concludes:

Upholding The Constitution

The New York Post is reporting today that the Supreme Court has ruled that Presidential electors must cast their votes for the person who won the majority of the votes in their state.

The article reports:

The ruling, just under four months before the 2020 election, leaves in place laws in 32 states and the District of Columbia that bind their share of the 538 electors to vote for the states’ popular-vote winner.

The states’ Electors almost always do so anyway.

The unanimous decision in the “faithless elector” case was a defeat for those who want to change the Electoral College, and who believed a win would lead to presidential elections based on the popular or total number of votes.

But it was a win for state election officials who feared that giving more power to electors to make their own choice would cause chaos — and even lead to attempted bribery.

Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the court that a state may instruct “electors that they have no ground for reversing the vote of millions of its citizens. That direction accords with the Constitution — as well as with the trust of a Nation that here, We the People rule.”

The justices had scheduled arguments for the spring so they could resolve the issue before the election, rather than amid a potential political crisis after the country votes.

This was a unanimous decision. When was the last time all the justices on the Supreme Court agreed on anything?

This decision makes sense if you understand the purpose of the Electoral College. The Electoral College was put in place by our Founding Fathers so that a group of densely populated states would not be able to elect a President without the support of less populated states. Without the Electoral College, New York, California, New Jersey, and Connecticut would elect our President. Smaller states would never see a candidate, nor would their votes count. That is what the Electoral College was put in place to prevent.

Did Making Marijuana Legal Solve Any Problems?

Red State Observer posted an article today about the seizure of two tons of marijuana and $1 million in cash from an illegal growing operation in Southern California that was being run by an organization from China. Keep in mind that recreational marijuana use is legal in California, but the state has levied such high taxes on it that illegal growing and distributing operations are flourishing.

The article reports:

Nineteen people were jailed on suspicion of maintaining a drug house, theft of utilities, marijuana cultivation, marijuana sales and conspiracy, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said. Authorities served 23 search warrants that resulted in the arrests of residents of Hemet, San Jacinto, El Monte, Rialto, Rosemead, Arcadia and Calexico.

Search warrants also were served in Corona, Eastvale, South El Monte, West Covina and Lower Azusa.

Some 20,000 plants were eradicated and 100 pounds of processed marijuana was seized, a news release said. Deputies also confiscated equipment that can be used in growing operations, including 338 fans, packaging and 620 lights. Southern California Edison found an illegal electrical bypass underneath the electrical meters at 15 indoor grows, the release said.

Deputies froze 25 bank accounts containing an undisclosed amount of U.S. currency.

The searches culminated a four-month investigation into a drug trafficking organization. The San Jacinto Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Team, as it served previous warrants, determined that all the operations were being financed by the same group in the Los Angeles area.

The Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties sheriff’s departments, Hemet Police Department and Riverside County District Attorney’s Office assisted.

Legalizing marijuana may have theoretically brought the tax revenue to the state that they were seeking, but when the state continued to raise those taxes, the illegal marijuana industry began to reemerge. California needs to learn the lessons of the Laffer Curve.

I Think This Problem Was Preventable!

The Daily Wire is reporting today that Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims of California has stated that she is not enforcing Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom’s lockdown order because her team has their “hands full trying to re-arrest” criminals who are out on “zero-dollar bail,” a policy implemented in 2019. New York City and California seem to be having a lot of the same problems due to the same ridiculous policies.

The article reports:

In August of 2018, California set in motion their “zero-dollar bail” policy.

“California will become the first state in the nation to abolish bail for suspects awaiting trial under a sweeping reform bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown,” NPR reported at the time. “An overhaul of the state’s bail system has been in the works for years, and became an inevitability earlier this year when a California appellate court declared the state’s cash bail system unconstitutional. The new law goes into effect in October 2019.”

“Today, California reforms its bail system so that rich and poor alike are treated fairly,” Brown said in a statement.

The reforms to the bail system may treat the rich and poor who are suspected of committing crimes equally, but they are a nightmare for innocent citizens who become victims of the crimes committed by criminals not held in jail.

The article notes:

Moreover, as noted by The Los Angeles Times in March, the blue state granted early release to 3,500 inmates “in an effort to reduce crowding as coronavirus infections begin spreading through the state prison system.”

“Lawyers for Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday told a panel of federal judges the state is taking ‘extraordinary and unprecedented protective measures’ to slow the spread of the virus and protect those who live and work within California’s 35 prisons,” the report said. “The accelerated prison discharges — affecting inmates due to be released over the next 60 days — come in the face of pressure to do much more.”

The voters of California have only themselves to blame for this mess. What percentage of Californians voted in the election of Governor Newsom, and how many people voted for him?

Internet Censorship Can Be Hazardous To Your Health

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about a Laura Ingraham interview with Doctors Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi about what they have learned about the coronavirus through their testing and what they believe about what measures should be taken to prevent the spread of the virus.

The article includes the following video:

The doctors had originally placed a video on YouTube explaining what they have learned, but YouTube took that video down. The video was taken down because it did not agree with official WHO policy (which incidentally does not have a great track record for being truthful or helpful).

The article at The Gateway Pundit reports:

Doctors Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi said their facilities have tested over 5,200 patients for the coronavirus throughout the county, making up for over half of all testing in Kern County. According to their data, the death rate of the coronavirus is similar in prevalence to the flu. And they believe only the sick and elderly should be quarantined and that businesses should open. They also revealed that the state of California is pressuring doctors to pad the COVID-19 numbers.

These two doctors are not the only medical professionals stating that the nationwide lockdown is not the answer. It is becoming obvious to many medical professionals and many others that we have made a mistake by shutting down the entire country and need to reopen it.

The article at The Gateway Pundit also includes a longer video by Dr. Erickson explaining what the doctors have learned about the virus and why they believe that the current lockdown is not the right way to protect Americans.

Why Mail-In Voting Is A Really Bad Idea

In December 2018 The Federalist posted an article with the following title, “How Ballot-Harvesting Became The New Way To Steal An Election.” The article is still relevant today. So what is ballot-harvesting? Ballot-harvesting is the practice of party operatives collecting absentee or mail-in ballots and turning bunches of them in at a time. So why is this risky? A person can go into a nursing home with a handful of ballots, sit down with each resident (regardless of their mental capacity), fill out a ballot for them, have the resident sign it, and turn it in as the resident’s vote. There is no way of knowing if the ballot reflected the resident’s wishes.

The article notes:

With ballot-harvesting, paper votes are collected by intermediaries who deliver them to polling officials, presumably increasing voter turnout but also creating opportunities for mischief.

The latter is suspected in North Carolina, where uncharacteristic Democratic charges of vote fraud prompted an investigation into whether Republican-paid political operatives illegally collected and possibly stole absentee ballots in a still-undecided congressional race. A national spotlight was shone by The New York Times, which, like Democrats, often minimizes vote fraud; it flooded the zone in this case, assigning five reporters to a single story.

In California, by contrast, Democrats exulted as they credited a quietly passed 2016 law legalizing ballot-harvesting with their recent sweep of House seats in the former Republican stronghold of Orange County, thereby helping them win control of the House. In that case, it was Republican eyebrows that were arched. House Speaker Paul Ryan said what happened in California “defies logic.”

The article continues:

Only 16 states regulate ballot-harvesting at all, and their rules vary. In Colorado, one of three states to conduct all elections entirely by mail-in ballots, third-party volunteers are allowed to collect up to 10 ballots, though critics have long alleged that the practice is ripe for exploitation.

In November, Montana voters passed a state referendum banning the collection of ballots by third parties. Arizona’s 2016 ban against the practice, which had previously been linked to voter fraud in the state, was recently upheld by a federal appeals court, despite claims that it would disproportionately impact Latino voters who relied on third parties to help navigate the voting process.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. This is an activity that has successfully stolen elections in the past, and there is no reason to believe that it would not be used if voter laws were altered to allow voting by mail.

We Have Lost Critical Thinking (And Civility) In America

I did an experiment on Facebook yesterday. I posted the following observation:

To all of my liberal California friends who are constantly bashing President Trump. Has it occurred to you that if President Trump had not restricted air travel from Chine at the end of January (despite being called a racist by the Democrats for doing it) if you live near an airport that is a point of entry from China, he might have saved your life.

That is a statement based on comments by the medical experts on the coronavirus task force–it is not an original thought. The response the statement got was unbelievable–there were close to fifty comments, many of which (on both sides) used language that caused me to eventually delete the post.

There really are not two sides of that argument–the statement is based on scientific evidence about the virus and how it spreads. There should be nothing controversial about the statement.

So what did I learn? Critical thinking and civil debate are not doing well in America. By the time the comments thread was half way over, the word racist was used, President Trump was accused of acting like a king, the people who supported President Trump in his handling of the coronavirus were simply ignoring facts, and the people who opposed President Trump were simply stupid and uninformed. The basic fact of the statement was totally ignored in the discussion.  I mention this because it is dangerous for America. I wasn’t around for Pearl Harbor, so I don’t know if America came together at that point. I was around for 9/11, and I remember the leaked Democrat memo that suggested a strategy to undermine President Bush by supporting the war in Iraq and then pulling the rug out from under him. That is not the way to unite America, and may have been the beginning of the political games we see now. Just for the record, The New York Times ran an article in 2014 stating that our soldiers found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but somehow the rest of the media didn’t pick up the story.

My point is very simple. We are facing a crisis in America. Because a country without freedom chose to lie to the world about a new virus, we are challenged by a pandemic. Everyone has been told to stay at home for at least the past week, and some of us are going stir crazy. Insulting each other and bashing the President does not help the situation. Some of the statements made by our political leaders would be considered treasonous in a different time. It’s time to work together and ignore those who are using this crisis for political gain. We need to bring back critical thinking and civility.