Monday, December 30, 2013

EPA air pollution scare debunked by best data set ever assembled on particulate matter and deaths

I always thought the EPA's war on particulate matter (or PM) was a pile of crap.  Now the data is coming in to show it. you think this will change the narrow minds at the EPA?   More likely, they will double down.

Based on a comparison of air quality data from the California Air Resources Board and death certificate data for 854,109 deaths from the California Department of Public Health for the years 2007-2010, no correlation was identified between changes in ambient PM2.5 and daily deaths, including when the analysis was limited to the deaths among the elderly, heart and/or lung deaths only, and heart and/or lung deaths among the elderly. Although this is only an epidemiologic or statistical study that cannot absolutely exclude the possibility that PM2.5 actually affects mortality in some small and as yet unknown way, these results also illustrate that it would be virtually impossible to demonstrate through epidemiologic study that such an effect actually exists.

Next Shoe To Drop In Broke California’s Lopsided 'Recovery'

Wolf's use of the word "lopsided" is a good one.  If you have a degree and in demand, youre REALLY in demand.  Otherwise, you're toast.
If you come to San Francisco or Silicon Valley and look around, you’d arrive at the conclusion that California is booming, that companies jump through hoops to hire people, that they douse them with money, stock options, and free lunches. You’d see engineers spend lavishly and drive up rents and home prices to where landlords react with record evictions of the less-lucky. You’d see Google buses bring in people and trigger mini-demonstrations. You’d see entire layers of long-time residents getting pushed out because it has just gotten too expensive. In San Francisco, you’d see throngs of tourists from China and other places, spending money hand over fist. And there are a few other pockets in California where money is no objective.

But in the rest of the state, the picture isn’t that rosy.
A friend reminded me of the acronym "SNAFU".  I thought that would be an apt description...

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Texas, California embody red-blue divide

From the Washington Post:

California has been able to make progress after many years of stalemate in Sacramento because Democrats have the power to act, Brown said. But he also pointed to a downside of unified Democratic power — an almost limitless appetite by legislators to keep spending. “If I took my foot off the brake, we’d be back in the red within six months,” he said.

Texas has enjoyed a period of strong growth and continues to attract people and businesses. Californians argue they are rising again. More than any other pair of states, they stand as proxies for the national debate about the size and shape of government and which direction a divided America should go in the future.
The difference is the CA model just isn't sustainable.  But, then again, if energy prices take a nosedive, could TX rebound?  The answer is a strong most likely.  Why?  Because with low regulation barriers and fewer state laws, private commerce and businesses can quickly turn to other more profitable ventures.

If the CA model breaks down....what is your alternative?  There is none.

"Military Style" Raid On California Power Station Spooks US

What the heck?
Around 1:00 AM on April 16, at least one individual (possibly two) entered two different manholes at the PG&E Metcalf power substation, southeast of San Jose, and cut fiber cables in the area around the substation. That knocked out some local 911 services, landline service to the substation, and cell phone service in the area, a senior U.S. intelligence official told Foreign Policy. The intruder(s) then fired more than 100 rounds from what two officials described as a high-powered rifle at several transformers in the facility. Ten transformers were damaged in one area of the facility, and three transformer banks -- or groups of transformers -- were hit in another, according to a PG&E spokesman.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Peachtree Rock....has toppled

Crap.  I used to go there as a kid, just to see he inverted rock.  It was pretty amazing.

When I was in the 8th grade back in 1969 or 68, I've lost track. Tommy, my best friend, told me about this place called Peachtree Rock.  Sounded like fun so his mom drove us out into the sticks and dropped us off.

From a geological standpoint it was amazing.  Coquina everywhere.  Sandstone everywhere.  A small waterfall to boot.  Tranquil and serene.  Great hiking territory with rolling hills.

And the most amazing thing was the inverted pyramid rock.  At the time you could climb it and stand on it.  But over time, erosion and people defacing it by chipping away at the base have caused it to fall.

Tommy and I collected rock samples and I gave a presentation in my 8th grade geology class.  The science teacher, Mrs. Pamela Cromer was pretty impressed.  In fact, a few years later she was voted Outstanding Teacher and went on to work for the State.

No one ever said, but I think she in turn told others about Peachtree Rock, because within a few short years it became a State Park.  Anyway, I like to think that maybe I had something to do with it.

Here's a picture of the rock before the fall:

Here's the link to the video.  As usual, Blogger won't display non-youtube videos.

Here's a video of the rock from youtube:

And here's a video of the small waterfall.  Just to the left of the fall are some small holes.  Later, in college, I took a date out to the area.  I had hidden a bottle of wine in one of the holes.  I impressed the heck out of the woman when I produced it.

Thursday, December 26, 2013


Amazingly, as the Federal Government grows each year, there are cuts?  But expect more of this.
Former law enforcement officer Ken Selig found the sheriff's refusal to respond to any but life-threatening calls "unacceptable." He joined forces with friends and formed the North Valley Community Watch, which is one of many watches that have formed in lieu of sheriff's services.

Selig's community watch team consists of approximately 100 members, including 12 who are specially designated as an armed "response team."

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas California - No Shopping Days Left For Nuclear

Absolutely incredible.   Why are we so...FEARFUL?

California is getting a lump of coal for Christmas because it was naughty in shutting down the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) in San Diego this year. The lump of coal comes in the form of an extra 18 million tons of CO2 per year delivered to the atmosphere by replacing the 15 billion kWhrs of electricity each year with a mix of gas, wind and solar. Also lost will be 1,500 local jobs and $50 million in lost revenue to Southern California each year (EIA, NEI).


All we had to do was decrease one reactor’s output by 20% to solve the problem, which would have dropped total output of SONGS by only 8%. So instead of puting out 15 billion kWhrs of electricity each year, SONGS could have put out over 13 billion kWhrs of low-carbon electricity each year. This could have been sustained for 20 years.

Instead, California now has to maintain a shuttered plant for at least that long that is not producing anything and can no longer even pay its taxes for storing its nuclear waste. The cost will, of course, probably be passed on to rate payers somehow.
Why do you allow this to happen to you?

Merry Christmas

I and my staff (that ouwl be just me) want to wish all of you a Happy Christmas.

Back in 2010 I was working in Freiberg, Germany but living in Dresden.  I would take the train home to the Hauptbahnhof and then jump onto a  commuter train and finally, grab a bus.  The total commute was about 90 minutes.

While switching over to the commuter train, a choir was performing in the main hall.  I whipped out my iPhone and recorded the audio of the song that accompanies the youtube video below.

The photos are of the winter and Christmas time in Hamburg and Dresden.  Without a doubt, Christmas is the best time of year in Germany.  The Christmas Markets alone make it worth being there.  The woman and the child are my wife and daughter.  The guy dressed as St. Nikolaus..well, I don't know who he is.

The beautiful snowy picture was the backyard scene from our apartment.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Warnings from Bill Lockyer, California’s truth-telling treasurer: Thomas Elias

Nothing new here, but it all still bears repeating.  And I keep wondering when it will all implode.
One is that too much of California’s state revenue now comes from income taxes and not enough from other levies like the sales tax. Like others, Lockyer believes this is one reason California continues to see a net out-migration to other states, even as foreign immigration fuels some increases in population.

He also used the word “alarming” to describe the ever-increasing income gap between rich and poor Californians. Another way to view that gap is as part of the gulf that has developed between coastal and inland Californians.

New armored tank for town police sparks fear, war of words

What amazes me is the police chief just doesn't understand what all the fuss is about.

I guarantee you it's just a matter of time they start using this thing to serve warrants and to raze the person's house at the same time.

Critics took to the police department’s Facebook page to ask exactly why a city of 150,000 on the northern California coast really needs a vehicle designed for battlefield use. It’s more likely to be used against its own citizens, they said..

“That vehicle is made for war. Do not use my safety to justify that vehicle,” one wrote. “The Salinas Police Department is just a bunch of cowards that want to use that vehicle as intimidation and to terrorize the citizens of this city.”

‘To stop gang members?” another wrote. “Hmmm gang members don’t riot in mass numbers. It’s right in front of our faces and we don’t see it. Why would the ARMY!!! give something like that for FREE!!! Let’s think for once people.”

Police Chief Kelly McMillin said he doesn’t understand the problem.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

California fishers say quota system is all wet

I smell a lawsuit in the making.  Damned if you do.  Danmed if you don't.  This just sounds like yet another law that was supposed to help the little guy but as usual, the little guy gets stabbed in the chest, facing the culprit:  the Federal Government.

"Financially, I can only say that multiple trips have been cancelled due to a lack of availability of these monitors, millions of pounds of fish have not been caught, processed and sold to markets and this is a loss of millions of dollars," said Michael Lucas, president of North Coast Fisheries Inc., in a letter to federal regulators.

Silicon Valley investor wants to split California into six states

Hey, I think this is a good idea.
He told TechCrunch: “It is about time California was properly represented with senators in Washington. Now our number of senators per person will be about average.”

In October at Y Combinator Startup School, one tech entrepreneur called for Silicon Valley to secede from the United States altogether.

Balaji Srinivasan, co-founder of San Francisco–based genetics company Counsyl, gave a talk to aspiring entrepreneurs about "Silicon Valley's ultimate exit," which outlined his vision of a tech world free of the constraints of government.

"We need to build opt-in society, outside the U.S., run by technology," Srinivasan said.
Yeah.  Just like the NSA!  Sure!

Friday, December 20, 2013

'Food fraud' a growing problem in grocery stores

And all of those regulations are doing NOTHING to stop it.  Not working very well, eh?
The top fraudster foods: olive oil. Even the extra-virgin kind is the most adulterated food, usually cut by hazelnut oil, which could pose a dangerous threat to those with nut-allergies.

Even milk can contain added sugar and salt, and skim powder - none of it listed on the label.

Tea bags are sometimes being filled with lawn grass. More expensive white tuna is switched for cheaper escolar.
Most of these items are old news. A while back I switched to California extra virgin oil since it's been found to be the real thing. Months ago I switched to local honey and honey listed as unfiltered.

Could this be the underbelly of inflation?

Paglia: Duck Dynasty uproar ‘utterly fascist, utterly Stalinist’

Once homosexuals become a protected class, Christianity is OUT THE WINDOW.  Who didn't see this coming?
“I think that this intolerance by gay activists toward the full spectrum of human beliefs is a sign of immaturity, juvenility,” Paglia said. “This is not the mark of a true intellectual life. This is why there is no cultural life now in the U.S. Why nothing is of interest coming from the major media in terms of cultural criticism. Why the graduates of the Ivy League with their A, A, A+ grades are complete cultural illiterates, etc. is because they are not being educated in any way to give respect to opposing view points.”

“There is a dialogue going on human civilization, for heaven sakes. It’s not just this monologue coming from fanatics who have displaced the religious beliefs of their parents into a political movement,” she added. “And that is what happened to feminism, and that is what happened to gay activism, a fanaticism.”
 A FREE LAND that has embedded in the US Constitution that we have religious freedom.  That piece of paper is rapidly becoming a DOOR STOP.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

California might be first to mandate 'kill switch' for smartphones

Now why the hell does there need to be a LAW??
Still, at least one trade group, known as CTIA-The Wireless Association, has warned that a kill switch could make smartphones susceptible to hackers, who could theoretically gain unauthorized access to a phone and render it inoperable for its owner. This could potentially impact law enforcement officials and other federal agencies.
Hackers?  How about the local police?  I'm more fearful of them than hackers.

Also, how is the kill switch going to stop thefts? If you want to stop the thief from using your phone, call your carrier and they will deactivate the phone.

The main reason for a kill switch would be to wipe out the contact and SMS information. And you still have to call your carrier.

And to give you an idea how LEFTIST CA has become, this article shows the Mayor of London asking phone manufacturers to do more to prevent phone thefts.  No, he hasn't called for MORE LAWS.  He's doing it the smart way.  Whereas, CA's only solution is to pass a law.

Yes, CA deserves its nickname the Venezuela of North America.

Texas considers options to avoid pension shortfall

Now, this is how it's done.  Problems aren't expected until 2052, but the TX legislature will take on the problem NOW.
When it meets again in 2015, the Legislature could consider several options to improve the fund's health: a one-time payment of $4.5 billion; an increase in the rate of payroll contributions shared by employers and workers; a cut in benefits to future hires; or a separation of law enforcement employees allowed to retire earlier, according to officials.

"It's not going to be easy, and it's not going to be quick," said Ann Bishop, executive director of the Employees Retirement System. "It didn't happen overnight, and it's not going to be fixed overnight. It does take some discipline."
Now, Houston needs to confront its problems of too much debt.  I talked about this a while back, I'm sure.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

EPA: Chevron Violated Law at California Refinery

All this proves is that the EPA is a completely worthless watchdog and enforcer of any regulations and laws.  But they demonize Chevron in order to make themselves look as clean as the wind driven snow.

Go ahead!  Fine them out of existence and tack on another two dollars to the price of a gallon of gas!

Jared Blumenfeld, EPA's regional administrator, said investigators determined Chevron's culture does not place high enough emphasis on safety. He said the company failed to verify that its own risk management plan was being used by refinery staff.

"The reward system is focused on the number of running hours of the facilities, and how that affected bonuses and performance," Blumenfeld said. Chevron "needs to impose one where the risk management plan is put into everyone's job."
Of course!  It's Capitalism's fault!  Doh!

Public Support Is Low For A California Initiative To Cut Government Employee Pensions

That's too bad.  They really need to give the power back to the local communities.
The poll found that 24% of voters said they were opposed to a constitutional amendment that allowed government agencies to reduce employees’ retirement benefits, 20% said they were not sure how they’d vote, and 14% said they would vote against it. The remainder said they were “still considering” the issue.

“The fact that this initiative calls for the modification of retirement benefits only for years of services not yet performed makes little difference to voters,” pollster Fred Yang said in a statement. “Moreover, even with a neutral reading of the ballot, this measure fails to garner over 36% of the vote in the initial trial heat.”

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Rampant Food, Disability Lawsuits Land California Atop `Judicial Hellholes' List

Cangrats, CA!  You're the winner!

A dozen or so law firms, many of them veterans of the tobacco litigation jackpot, have filed 75 class actions against food companies in California and similar cases are running almost one a week, ATRA reports. Many involve the same plaintiffs and take advantage of the state’s stringent laws to target companies like Chobani and Trader Joe’s with claims that they mislabeled products – for example, using the term “evaporated can juice” instead of “sugar".

California bills to target 'ghost guns,' revenge porn

CA continues to try to form the state into its own image.  And Hallelujah! CA has seen the light and now oil and gas are good!!  They can tax it!

Yep, like I said in the previous posting, CA is such a good steward of your money, well, why not give them more to squander and throw down more rat holes?

Meanwhile, Democratic Sens. Noreen Evans of Santa Rosa and Mark DeSaulnier of Concord plan to introduce a new bill to tax oil pumped from the ground in California on a sliding scale of from 2% to 8%, with some of the money going to reduce tuition for those attending state universities.

Activist Tom Steyer launches California oil tax campaign

Because if there is one thing CA needs is more money since they've done such a bang-up job with the money they have already.
Environmental activist Tom Steyer, the billionaire Democrat who poured millions of dollars into 2013 campaigns around the country, launched a political drive Monday in his home state to call for an oil extraction tax that he argues will raise billions in revenue for California.

Steyer, in an opinion piece published Monday in The Chronicle, outlined what he said will be an aggressive effort by NextGenClimate Action, his political action committee, to "shine a very bright spotlight on an indefensible corporate tax giveaway that is costing California and its future."
I'm all for CA taxing the oil and gas out of the ground.  But, CA's problems are so deep and entrenched, money will not ever, ever solve those issues.

Monday, December 16, 2013

NEW: Video: Mike Rowe on the hidden cost of compliance

Great interview with Mike Rowe via

Health insurance enrollment by Hispanics is lagging in California

What a surprise!  I said a few months ago, once the illegal aliens see how much this is going to cost them, they would regret ever trying to be legal!  And the ones who are already legal, regret it even more.

Even though the administration has not released national Hispanic enrollment numbers, the California figures are a “red flag” for what might be happening more broadly, said Gabriel R. Sanchez, a pollster specializing in the Hispanic community and head of the Robert Wood Johnson Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico.

“California was supposed to be out in front of the pack on marketing efforts targeting Latinos,” he said. “The fact that their numbers don’t look good is pretty dire for the administration.”
It all comes down to the numbers.  Over 9 million Hispanics are eligible to buy insurance on the exchanges.  Most likely the numbers are coming in at the tens of thousands level.

What does this say?  It says the MILLIONS who don't have insurance either find the cost still to high or they just don't think they need it.

So, why force them?  What goodwill do you think that will get for you?

Sunday, December 15, 2013

What does Sriracha-geddon say of CA's business climate?

It says a lot.  It says, "don't do business in CA".

“California has a large tax load that in turn funds a large administrative state that has to be busy,” notes former California Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, now vice president at the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation in Austin. He has authored a forthcoming study showing that California employs far more regulators than most other states.

But perhaps Huy Fong officials will solve the problem by seeking out locations that don’t subject them to lawsuits and costly production stoppages. A spokeswoman for Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s office confirmed that it has “reached out” to Huy Fong Foods. Reports suggest the company may already be pondering a move to Pennsylvania. There’s an old economic saying that you get more of what you subsidize and less of what you punish. That doesn’t apply only to the production of hot sauces.

California’s troubles are on every corner

A little to pro-Brown for my tastes, but the issues are real.
Despite its financial woes, California continues to talk about a high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco that would cost tens of billions. On another front, the state ruled against allowing fracking for oil and gas despite having the largest shale deposits in the country. Many believe this one move alone could have helped release California from the grips of financial despair.

I have always loved visiting California, and the Bay Area in particular. But now I’m not so sure. The state’s problems are deep-seated and becoming clearly visible. In fact, the shivering evidence can be found on pretty much any street corner.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Not going so smoothly after all?  No surprise here!

"The back end is so backed up, and no one can give me an answer," said Thomas Gallo, who was a strong supporter of Obamacare. Gallo signed up for healthcare for his family on October 2 but did not hear back for weeks. When he followed up on his application, he was told at the end of November that it was lost. "What happens if we don't get coverage by Jan. 1? There are real problems here," Gallo said.

Blue Shield of California Chief Executive Paul Markovich admitted, "There are certainly some people who have enrolled or think they have enrolled and haven't received confirmation. It's our version of Black Friday right now and that is what we are coping with."
Wow!  This is a real mess!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Manhattan Apartment Rents Drop for a Third Straight Month

Well, this matches what I found looking at the U-Haul Index.  First, the article:
Manhattan apartment rents fell for a third month in November and the vacancy rate reached the highest in at least seven years, signs the market is weakening amid a spike in homebuying and the lure of leasing in Brooklyn.

The median monthly rent in Manhattan dropped 3 percent from a year earlier to $3,100, according to a report today by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. The vacancy rate climbed to 2.8 percent, the highest since the firms began tracking the data in August 2006.
Well, maybe since it's Mahattan, it's just more expensive regardless of the cost of things.   But a 14' truck for two bedrooms of stuff is a whopping $2,456.  But this includes an extra day and extra miles in the cost.  So, is it the same?

Possibly not.  The return trip is $932.  This is a ratio of 2.63  I don't remember how this compares to CA Fresno/San Francisco.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Baker says he’d rather go to jail after judge orders him to bake cakes for gay ‘weddings’

So, the persecution of American Christians switches to high gear.  I never in my life thought I would see this.
Phillips and his lawyers have argued that the religious nature of his objection to gay “marriage” warrants an exception to the anti-discrimination law, which also names religion among its protected classes.

But on December 7, Judge Robert Spencer ruled in the gay couple’s favor, equating Phillips’s deeply held religious beliefs against gay “marriage” with racial bias. To allow Phillips to refuse to serve gay “weddings,” the judge argued, “would allow a business that served all races to nonetheless refuse to serve an interracial couple because of the business owner's bias against interracial marriage.”

Wrote Spencer, “it may seem reasonable that a private business should be able to refuse service to anyone it chooses. This view, however, fails to take into account the cost to society and the hurt caused to persons who are denied service simply because of who they are.”

The judge also rejected Phillips’s argument that he was simply obeying the state constitution by refusing to recognize a same-sex relationship as “marriage.”

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

California Lawmakers Worry About Pollution Caused By Illegal Marijuana Grows

From a CA perspective, this makes complete sense.  Legalize pot, then regulate it out of existence.  But what will happen then is the illegal market will once again flourish.

How utterly, utterly stupid.

"We are concerned that existing guidelines do not address the long term detrimental threats these operations pose to the environment and nearby communities," read the lawmakers' letter. "We urge you to consider the significant impacts of drug cultivation operations on public and trespassed lands throughout the country and add new emphasis to countering the environmental damages of drug production."


You call this a success?  This is a disaster!
An estimated 70% of California doctors will not participate in the Obamacare-compliant health insurance policies offered by Covered California, according to the California Medical Association, as reported by the Washington Examiner. Though Covered California claims that 85% of doctors will participate, many doctors listed as participating are expected to decline payment, having learned that reimbursements will be very low.
Welcome to the Brave New World.

Monday, December 9, 2013

How Every Part of American Life Became a Police Matter

Well, I was hoping we would see a short period of austerity in this country.  This period was to usher in the New American Century with substantially less intrusion by the Federal Government.  But, it looks like to me, things will be much worse before they finally get better.

By now, the militarization of the police has advanced to the point where "the War on Crime" and "the War on Drugs" are no longer metaphors but bland understatements. There is the proliferation of heavily armed SWAT teams, even in small towns; the use of shock-and-awe tactics to bust small-time bookies; the no-knock raids to recover trace amounts of drugs that often result in the killing of family dogs, if not family members; and in communities where drug treatment programs once were key, the waging of a drug version of counterinsurgency war. (All of this is ably reported on journalist Radley Balko's blog and in his book, The Rise of the Warrior Cop.) But American over-policing involves far more than the widely reported up-armoring of your local precinct. It's also the way police power has entered the DNA of social policy, turning just about every sphere of American life into a police matter.


Despite a long-term drop in youth crime, the carceral style of education remains in style. Metal detectors—a horrible way for any child to start the day—are installed in ever more schools, even those with sterling disciplinary records, despite the demonstrable fact that such scanners provide no guarantee against shootings and stabbings.
And where does the school get the money for these metal detectors? Why, from the Federal Government, of course!  Believe, me, I think we can lay 85% of the problems at the feet of our Federal Government.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

U-Haul Index for December

Well, it looks like things have settled down for the winter and especially, Christmas.  This is normally the season few people move.  Kids are in school and no one wants to disrupt that.  Family, friends, food and drink.  And hopefully, deep spiritual reflection, too.

So, we see the U-Haul Index stabilizing:

Fresno ==> San Antonio, TX $1728

San Francisco ==> San Antonio $1395

San Antonio ==> Fresno  $691

San Antonio ==> San Francisco $821

Nothing of note here.  I have noticed that the cost of a U-Haul truck from New York has gone up dramatically.  Or, maybe it never went down.  But, the poor are fleeing there as well.  The cost was in the range of $2200 for the same size truck.  Just amazing.

Friday, December 6, 2013

San Francisco considers banning butterfly releases

Why would you want to live in a city that does this?  I just don't understand why the people that are voted in over and over consider banning butterflies would remotely consider them a threat to the environment.  How utterly, utterly stupid and idiotic.

The resolution states the commission supports a ban because the practice of releasing the insects at weddings and other celebrations can negatively impact the indigenous population and hamper conservation efforts.

“Many San Franciscans believe that butterflies are animals to be respected and valued as part of the city’s natural heritage and should not be used as decorations or for entertainment,” the resolution states.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

California lawmaker seeks investigation of Republican health care website

Here we see the continued death spiral of CA.  CA Republicans set up a website critical of Obamacare and an "investigation" is called for?  To hell with free speech, I guess!

Adding his voice to a rising chorus of criticism, a Democratic assemblyman called on Wednesday for a legislative investigation of a health care website created by California Republicans.

Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, D-Los Angeles, became the latest California Democrat to assail a website he says Assembly Republicans created to amplify critiques of the law, rather than help Californians enroll in insurance via Covered California, the state's newly operational exchange. Gomez has sent the Assembly Rules Committee a letter asking them to investigate.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Bakers, Mustard Makers Break Free Cottage food bill opens up sales from home kitchens

I reported on this some time ago.  I still don't like all the red tape, but it is more of a "California Compromise" if anything else.

And it works:

After a successful surgery, Hytken started baking. But health code regulations prohibited her from selling her many banana breads: chocolate chip, walnut, original, organic and gluten-free.

That changed earlier this year when Hytken became the first person in Humboldt County to receive a Cottage Food Operations permit under a new law that went into effect on Jan. 1. The law rips through decades of red tape that forbade sales of non-refrigerated homemade goods. The list of items that people can now make at home and sell to the public includes jams, jellies, granola, trail mix, chocolate-covered nuts, popcorn, vinegar, mustard, roasted coffee and any baked goods that do not contain cream, custard or meat fillings.
And it looks like the cottage industry is exploding.  I think this list is only for county Hytken is in:

Arcata Bay Llamas (Class A), Sherria Tyler, 822-8661. Plum jam and lavender and chamomile tea.

The Banana Bread Cottage* (Class A), Mary Ann Hytken, 443-5021. Banana breads.

Carlene and Anthony P. Coglaiti (Class B), 668-5550. Specialty breads, including bread bowls for Adel's in Eureka and naan for Bollywood Indian Cuisine.

Ewe So Dirty Products (Class A), Jamie Cohoon, 764-2161, Lanolin products from Cohoon's sheep, including lip balm, soap, massage oil and lotion.

Granny Be Jammin* (Class A), Cindi Hebard, 445-8362. Local fruit jams and jellies, raspberry bread and pies.

Honey Apple Farms (Class A), Rochelle Honig, 496-9958. Plum, strawberry and strawberry-rhubarb jams and apple butter.

Humboldt Hens (Class A), Autumn Glock, 672-2576. Jams, jellies, preserves, cakes, cookies, breads, marshmallows, candies and lozenges.

A Little Sugar Rush* (Class A), Jennifer Troeger, 499-6586, Specialty cupcakes (strawberry, mimosa), pies and breads for small gatherings. Norton Creek Farm (Class A), Roger L. Smith, 839-0786, Dried fruits and vegetables.

The Old Farmhouse Bakery (Class A), Charlou Weaver, 768-2057. Breads (white, wheat and flax) and cookies (chocolate chip, peanut butter and coconut). Closed for the season.

Trident Lightning Farms (Class A), Danielle Newman, 633-5467. Plum, blackberry and peach jam and lemon marmalade.

*Available at the Kneeland Glen Farm Stand (5851 Myrtle Ave., Eureka).

I think California needs to ponder on this and see what a success removing onerous regulations can do to lift the people out of poverty and empower its citizens.

I just hope we can see more of this and see the next Golden Age of the Golden State.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

What is coming to America: Inflation

The question is not if.  It's WHEN.  And this is really the sticking point. What I want to do is bring together several articles on inflation in various countries.  Also, I want to bring some perspective to the present inflation we are experiencing now.

So, a lot of people will call all of this a scare tactic.  And, yes, that's exactly what they are.  Scare tactics can be hoaxes.  But they can be real.

Inflation in the USA. I lived through the inflation in the 70s and early 80s.  I know what it was like.  I know the symptoms of inflation.  I know what the steps are.

The first realization that nothing would ever be the same:

I was in my late teens.  I took a summer job working for an appliance store named Cayce TV and Appliance.  It was located on Knox Abbott drive at the top of the hill.  It was close to the old Putt-Putt. Across the street was a Dunkin Donuts that I loved to visit.  I dated the daughter of the owner of the store.

Anyway, I worked with Charlie Powell, who was the pick up and delivery guy.  He drove an old Ford pickup that was fitted with a rusted steel pipe frame so that we could tie ropes around the appliances and secure them when careening around corners.

Old Charlie also had a night job as drummer and lead singer for a smooth rock band called "The Gas Lights".  I even went to go watch him one time.  He was great!

It was always fun riding with Charlie.  He did have a great voice.  I enjoyed singing, too, so we would end up harmonizing some song.  Or I would start singing something and he would finish the song.

In-between deliveries I had the job of dusting and arranging things on the showroom floor.  I also helped on of the old electricians keep his work area sorted out.  I helped alphabetize all of his old vacuum tubes for the TVsets.

One of my jobs was restocking the drink vending machine.  It took the old returnable glass bottles.  The drink machine was one of the real old ones where you put the money in the slot and then opened a narrow vertical glass door and yanked out a cold "Co-Cola" as we called it back then.

So, the drinks were delivered to us in a short wooden crate that held maybe 24 bottles.   Each crate had a grating of wooden slats to segregate the drinks so that they wouldn't rub together and crack or tarnish the bottles.   I would take the bottles out of the crate, put them in to the machine.  Then take straggler bottles that were just left all over the store and put them back into the emptied crate for the drink-guy to pick up during his delivery rounds.

But one day, something was different.

The bottles wouldn't fit.

Or, rather, SOME of the bottles wouldn't fit.  Yet some did.  No matter what I tried, some of the bottles just would not fit.  What the heck!??

And then I saw it.  The new bottles of soft drinks were only 10 ounces.  The other bottles were an ever-so-slightly fatter 12 ounces.

I could not believe it.  The drinks were being sold for the same price....but you were getting 16% less drink.

O.B. shrub trimmer faces felony charge

Just an absolutely amazing story.  There is no sanity.
Adame’s neighbors are outraged at the prosecution. Glenn Goss, for example, called the case a waste of taxpayer money. He said Adame is being prosecuted for doing the kind of pruning city workers should be doing.

“It’s sickening; it makes me so upset,” Goss said. “This community means so much to us. Here’s somebody who’s going out of his way (to trim the trees). It’s not his job, it’s the city’s job. Then they do this ridiculous thing. It’s mind-boggling.”

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Rube Goldberg Legal System Derails CA Bullet Train

Via Instapundit.  I had been following this, and frankly, none of it made any sense.  Now I know why!

Opponents of the plan won’t find much to cheer in the rulings; they’ll just extend deadlines, complicate the process and drive costs up even higher. One of the reasons America can’t build much these days is that our legal and regulatory systems have gradually morphed into insane Rube Goldberg contraptions. It takes years and even decades, not to mention millions and billions in legal costs and project delay costs, to get anything significant done.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


The stories are pouring in.
My best friend is one of the early losers.

A single woman of modest means, she’s being socked with a 65.5 percent increase in premiums starting in January for a “bronze” plan that covers slightly less than her excellent 2013 plan, which will be outlawed by the ACA.

She is not alone. A Manhattan Institute analysis of the Covered California insurance exchange found rate hikes for individuals in low-cost plans range from 64 percent to 146 percent.

Rate Hikes Hidden in California’s Glowing Obamacare Reviews

How utterly, utterly disgusting and despicable.

During a meeting last week, officials at Covered California, the state’s much-touted health insurance marketplace, made a pretty stark admission: Half of the approximately 1 million consumers whose health plans are being canceled will pay more under the Affordable Care Act.


“It’s not a success story,” said Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog, a group that supports a California ballot measure to regulate insurance rates. “It’s a success story only if you consider that the federal website didn’t work and ours did. It’s not a success story because people are in open revolt about how much they’re paying. The only people who are happy are people who have subsidized policies. The middle class is outraged.”

Is California the Great Obamacare Success Story?

As the song goes, "Accentuate the positive..." and ignore the negative.

From the Weekly Standard:

"What we have in California, then, is a proof of concept," writes Krugman. "Yes, Obamacare is workable — in fact, done right, it works just fine."

But in reality, the numbers are not impressive. Obamacare has canceled the existing insurance policies of 1.1 million Californians (something Krugman doesn't mention), and only 80,000 Californians had signed up for Obamacare by the middle of November (another thing Krugman doesn't mention). Is it really much of a surprise that 10,000 people are signing up for Obamacare each day if a million lost their plans and have nowhere else to turn?
Oh, it gets worse...

Sunday, November 24, 2013

I'm in Germany this week and naturally our hotel has crappy internet.

Will try to post later...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Against All Odds, Conservatives Defeat Modesto Tax Measure

Wow!  There is hope!

By Election Day, Mayor Marsh and the public safety unions had raised and spent nearly $220,000 to pass Measure X. When polls closed, the early absentees reflected their strong early push with 52% of ballots in favor. When the poll vote came in though at 41% to 59% it was clear they were in trouble. In the end, the Measure failed 49% to 51%, a stunning result considering the David and Goliath proportions of the campaigns.

So, in an election that saw a tidal wave of taxes and bond measures passing across the state, the scrappy Stanislaus Taxpayers Association stands alone. True grit I guess.

Monday, November 18, 2013

A comeback for ‘Made in America,’ and Southern California factories have a piece of the action

As the dollar cheapens, this sort of stuff will take off like a rocket.
For 20 years, the vintage-inspired furniture brand was sold to design professionals on the east coast. But the crippling economy of the last several years forced the company to rethink it’s strategy. It continues doing business with the trade, but over the summer, Bradshaw Kirchofer launched a web store, making its solid wood furniture in a palette of 21 finishes available to the public for the first time.

And at the top of the website it proudly states “Made in USA.”

Why gasoline costs so much in California

Not only is it because of taxes and special formulations, other events are converging to make gasoline in CA way too expensive:

For example, Rocky Mountain refineries paid $96.63 per barrel of oil in August, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. During the same month, California refineries paid $108.05.With no oil pipelines connecting California to other states, refineries here often pay more for petroleum than do their counterparts elsewhere. The difference rises and falls over time.

Finally, several California refineries experienced technical problems this year that trimmed their production, said Gordon Schremp, senior analyst with the California Energy Commission. But the state's current gasoline inventories are normal for this time of year, he said.

So, can we expect any pipelines linking the source to CA refineries?  Not on your life.

I shudder to think about what will happen when the refineries have to start paying for carbon.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

California law protecting chickens could hamper farm bill negotiations

King is a hack.  Let CA SUFFER.

Here is what will happen: out of state egg producers will ultimately abandon the CA market.  The capital cost associated with complying with the law will be too much or will take too long.

So what is the future of CA egg farmers?  It doesn't look good.  Here is a pro-hen report that describes what happened in Europe:

While the shrinking egg market can be positive in terms of the number of hens who suffer, as noted earlier, those who went out of business altogether were small- or medium-scale farmers who could not afford the facility investment. Large companies made the transition, and this can be negative for animal welfare reform in the long term. As discussed above, mass egg production is associated with the fundamental problem of hen welfare because it is almost impossible to induce natural behaviors in hens if thousands of hens are put together. Considering the scale of the factory farming and the level of animal welfare, a much smaller scale farming system is needed to produce eggs humanely when society is ready for much better animal welfare by reducing its egg consumption dramatically. However, if the phenomenon of smaller farmer bankruptcy continues, there will be no farmers who can take a role to provide humane egg production by the time the society can function with smaller scale farmers and no longer needs industrialized farming. 
Fewer producers mean higher egg costs.  And that's not even accounting for the new rules that will raise the prices of eggs to pay for the new infrastructure.

And those that are outside CA?  What if they don't want to comply with CA's new laws?  Oh, that's easy.  They will expand more into egg exports into other countries such as Mexico and Canada.
For table eggs, exports in 2012 were 127.6 million dozen valued at $122.6 million, up 54 and 59%, respectively, both records, and driven by increased shipments to Mexico, Hong Kong, and the European Union.

The top five export markets for table eggs are Hong Kong, 46.7 million dozen, up 30%; Canada, 26.1 million dozen, up 19%; Mexico, 16.6 million dozen vs. 1.3 million dozen in 2011; the UAE, 13 million dozen, up 66%; and the EU, 8.9 million dozen vs. 0.78 million dozen in 2011.

For egg products, 2012 was also a record-setting year, as total export value rose by 20% to $141 million.
So, in the end we could find ourselves egg-poor since they will all be sent overseas....

California to Las Vegas 'party train' hits snag

Too bad.  But to me, it looks like the whole thing is dead.

Las Vegas Railway Express had planned to shuttle partiers from an Amtrak station in Fullerton, Calif., to the heart of Sin City in a club on wheels called the X Train.

A year-old agreement with Union Pacific allowed the company to use a rail line that's currently limited to freight trains and hasn't served a passenger line since Amtrak discontinued its Desert Wind service in 1997 due to low ridership.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Tuesday, Railway Express officials disclosed that the Union Pacific deal had fallen apart, and Union Pacific would be keeping the company's $600,000 deposit.

Trader Joe’s Recalls Prepackaged Salads in California and 7 Other States

I always love this.  Organic foods can carry e. coli???  You bet!

The recall applies to all salads labeled Mexicali Salad with Chili Lime Chicken manufactured from Oct. 1 through Nov. 15 and sold in Trader Joe’s stores across California and seven other states, including Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico, according to the Trader Joe’s website.

In addition, Trader Joe’s has recalled its Field Fresh Chopped Salad with Grilled Chicken in stores across Northern California and Northern Nevada (Reno and Carson City), according to the grocery chain’s website.

Armed Robbery Spikes in California Gun Control Paradise

What a surprise!

In Oakland, a lot of people who shouldn't have guns have them, and a lot of people who might defend themselves from those people now have a much harder time obtaining a gun. Armed robbery is up 24% over last year.

It has gotten so bad that citizens have taken it upon themselves to hire their own private police force.
I've talked about the private police force already.

Colorado delegation pitches California companies on expanding in state Read more: Colorado delegation pitches California companies on expanding in state

The giant CA sucking sound continues.

The delegation also held a breakfast for Silicon Valley venture capitalists, who are an important source of funding in the state.

"People are paying attention to the entrepreneurial community in Colorado," said Kristin Russell, the state's chief information officer and a former Oracle executive.

Colorado has landed its share of technology-company expansions over the decades — including such giants as IBM and Hewlett-Packard — and seen homegrown stars such as JD Edwards and StorageTek swallowed up by larger California rivals.

Russell said there is a growing realization that if California does well, then Colorado will do well, too. That is one reason why the "Colorado Loves California" campaign has shifted its tone from an implied message of escaping the Golden State to one of mutually beneficial cooperation.
As companies do better, they realize they can maximize their profits by expanding outside the state.

Court upholds California’s cap-and-trade system

What a perversion of State responsibility.

The ruling means that California maintains its authority to limit greenhouse gases from power plants, factories and other businesses.
And what happened to that money they collected from can and trade?

The state has already raised nearly $1.1 billion from the sale of tradable carbon allowances. That money is supposed to go toward climate and environmental programs, but Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has borrowed $500 million from the fund to help pay for unrelated programs. He says it will be repaid with interest.
Yep.  Cap and trade is just another revenue generator for the state to pilfer.

Another U.S. city mulls bankruptcy due to soaring wages and pensions

Three guesses where this city is located.  Times up.  It's Desert Springs, CA.

"It's obvious we can't continue with salaries and pensions that are in the stratosphere, no matter how much love there is for our police department," said Russell Betts, a council member.

Desert Hot Springs, which is near Palm Springs, filed for bankruptcy in 2001 after losing a multimillion dollar lawsuit and still servicing $9.7 million of bond debt issued to fund its exit from Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

Sorry for the infrequent posts.  It's going to be this way for a while.  I have to refigure out my routine now that I wife works.

Monday, November 11, 2013

California ammunition sales limit overturned

Good!  Dismantle the stupid law!
Neither the law nor testimony by experts and gun dealers has provided "a common understanding or objective meaning of the term 'handgun ammunition,' " said Justice Gene Gomes in the majority opinion. The law's vague wording could lead to inconsistent and unpredictable enforcement, he said, and could make compliance difficult or impossible for mail-order and Internet ammunition sellers.
What?  No mention of this being unconstitutional??

Fixing California: Higher taxes don’t mean a better life

Good article but I wished he talked more about Tennessee.

But in spite of all the tax, fee and regulatory reasons for leaving California, I was deeply concerned that I would be stranded in an uneducated, lawless morass of tobacco-chewing Neanderthals driving old clunkers on dirt roads where churches were on every street corner and there wasn’t a hospital to be found.

To me the choice seemed to be between higher after-tax income versus a civilized society with a higher quality of life.

Little did I know.

Sacramento on FBI List of California’s Most Violent Cities

But at the top of the list is Oakland.

Oakland tops the list, with Stockton coming in second. Rounding out the top five are Richmond, Antioch and Modesto. Vallejo ranks just above Sacramento, with San Francisco right behind. The final two spots are occupied by Southern California cities Inglewood and Santa Maria at nine and ten, respectively.

Dan Walters: California’s high living costs create high poverty

And that's why they are leaving.

A good case in point is my sister-in-law and her husband.  They were barely able to get by even though both worked.  We kept telling them to GET OUT OF CA!

They finally did and their standard of living jumped sky-high.  They bought a house and a couple of cars.  Life was good.

This is, or should be, a matter of shame, especially for politicians who profess to represent society’s underdogs but who enact policies that raise their struggling constituents’ cost of living, or inhibit the creation of jobs that would lift poor Californians out of poverty.


Unfortunately, that has become its reality and while the state’s media and political elites may sneer at Texas and other states that lack our mild weather and scenic attributes, they should note that Texas’ poverty rate is just two-thirds of California’s and Iowa’s is just one-third.

You can’t eat an ocean view.

Conservative Groups Say They Have Enough Support To Repeal California Transgender Law

We'll see how this goes.  Knowing CA, the courts will rule the rescinding of the law unconstitutional since that would be...what?  racist?  discriminatory?  Who knows!

"Many people said we had no chance to collect over half a million signatures in just 90 days, but we have proven them wrong by gathering over 115,000 more signatures than the minimum needed," Gina Gleason of the group Faith and Public Policy, said in a statement.


Miley, enjoy your youth while you can. One day, much sooner than you think, you will be smoking that joint alone, your face dried and shriveled, boobs hanging down to your navel, crapping into your Depends and you sit...waiting for death.

And you will have you yourself and no one else as you relive this moment in your mind. Old and alone.

Miley, yours is not a full life. Yours is an empty life. But this is what you will be remembered for - if you're remembered at all. And once people remember, they will quickly forget and move on with their lives....and you will sit....waiting to die.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


This reminds me of the history of the lowly Stollen.   Stolen is sort of a poor man's fruit cake.  But what is so significant is what the makers of it went through to get it made:

In the 15th century, in medieval Saxony (in central Germany, north of Bavaria and south of Brandenburg), the Prince Elector Ernst (1441 - 1486) and his brother Duke Albrecht (1443–1500) decided to remedy this by writing to the Pope in Rome. The Saxon bakers needed to use butter, as oil in Saxony was expensive, hard to come by, and had to be made from turnips, although we now know this was a healthy option.

Pope Nicholas V (1397–1455), in 1450 denied the first appeal. Five popes died before finally, Pope Innocent VIII, (1432–1492)in 1490 sent a letter to the Prince, known as the "Butter-Letter" which granted the use of butter (without having to pay a fine) - but only for the Prince-Elector and his family and household.

Others were also permitted to use butter, but with the condition of having to pay annually 1/20th of a gold Gulden to support the building of the Freiberg Minster. The ban on butter was removed when Saxony became Protestant.
So here we are, facing bans on the use of butter FIVE HUNDRED YEARS LATER by the new religious left.  Not only butter but also other ingredients.

I'm sorry, but this has gotten out of hand.

According to Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist from Harvard University, the scientific consensus is that excessive sodium consumption by Americans is hazardous to your health. He suspects “sodium is next” to be looked at by the FDA.

Continuing down the slippery slope in light of Thursday’s FDA ruling, Tom Neltner, an analyst with the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington, D.C., asserts that the FDA will scrutinize sugar as well.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


We are witnessing the degradation of college education and it started in CA.

The UC Berkeley student government has banned the term “illegal immigrant” from its discourse, deeming the phrase racist, offensive, unfair and derogatory.

In an unanimous vote, student senators passed a resolution that stated the word “illegal” is “racially charged,” “dehumanizes” people, and contributes to “punitive and discriminatory actions aimed primarily at immigrants and communities of color.”

The “resolution in support of drop the I-word campaign” was approved 18 to 0 with one abstention on Oct. 30, according to a copy of the meeting’s minutes obtained by The College Fix.

Its approval marks at least the second time this semester that a public university’s student government has voted to eradicate the phrase. UCLA passed a nearly identical measure in late August.
So, it is NOT offensive, unfair, derogatory or racist  to LEGAL immigrants and LEGAL citizens?  I find their move HIGHLY offensive , derogatory, unfair and racist against me.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

U-Haul Index for November

Almost forgot!!

OK.  Here we go.

Here is the link for the U-Haul Index for October.

So, looking at November,

San Francisco ==> San Antonio   $1395
Fresno ==> San Antonio $1728

San Antonio ==> San Francisco $821
San Antonio ==> Fresno  $691

My numbers are based on a small two bedroom apartment.  This is their next cheapest option.  But so far, the numbers have stabilized. Christmas is coming, so moving around is going to slow to a trickle, I would think.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Fukushima Debris "Island" The Size Of Texas Near US West Coast

Sorry, guys.  I'm having to taxi my daughter to school 3 times a week.  So, until stuff changes, I will be posting light.

I've covered the debris that's supposed to hit the west coast.  Apparently, it's making its way.
Obviously, the NOAA in releasing such a stunner could well be hammered by the administration for "inciting panic" which is why it caveated its disclosure carefully: Many variables affect where the debris will go and when. Items will sink, disperse, and break up along the way, and winds and ocean currents constantly change, making it very difficult to predict an exact date and location for the debris’ arrival on our shores.
The model gives NOAA an understanding of where debris from the tsunami may be located today, because it incorporates how winds and ocean currents since the event may have moved items through the Pacific Ocean. This model is a snapshot of where debris may be now, but it does not predict when debris will reach U.S. shores in the future. It's a "hindcast," rather than a "forecast." The model also takes into account the fact that winds can move different types of debris at different speeds. For example, wind may push an upright boat (large portion above water) faster than a piece of lumber (floating mostly at and below the surface).

Still despite this "indemnity" the NOAA does come stunningly close with an estimate of both the location and size of the debris field. One look at the map below shows clearly why, while the Fed may have the economy and markets grasped firmly in its central-planning fist, when it comes to the environment it may be time to panic... 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Conservationists Push Back Against Desalination in California

Wow.  We have become so blind by our greatness.  This sentence really gets me:
California is in the process of building a series of massive ocean desalination plants on a scale not seen before in the United States.
The desalination plant will produce 50 million gallons of drinking water.  A "scale not seen before in the United States".  They say this like since the USA has never built anything this big it must be REALLY BIG.

But let's look at other countries.  Especially Saudi Arabia which has been doing desalination for decades.  This article mentions that presently, Saudi Arabia uses desalination to produce what calculates out to 1.1 TRILLION GALLONS per day.

The desalination we plan on doing here in the USA is PEANUTS.

Here's the video about the Carlsbad, CA desalination plant:

Thieves steal $400,000 worth of California walnuts

This is about the fourth story I've run across about this going on.  I reported on the theft of walnuts earlier.
In one of the biggest heists to hit the booming industry, bandits made off with 140,000 pounds of walnuts worth $400,000 Sunday in Escalon, a city just north of Modesto.

“It was just brazen,” said Bruce Blodgett, executive director of the San Joaquin Farm Bureau Federation. “They took a massive amount -- several truck loads. We need to find these folks.”

The nuts were taken from GoldenRiver Orchards, a grower and processor established in 1912. The company declined to comment.

Monday, November 4, 2013

California parents angry about school hands-on-knees policy

What an incredibly stupid idea.

The 'freeze position' has already been discontinued at one school in the Folsom Cordova District.

Parents said they are now fighting for what's right for their kids.

"My daughter is bent over and assumed this position. She could be like that for 10 minutes, until you get kids to bend over and freeze," said one parent during an interview with KXTV.

School officials, said it's supposed to calm kids down, make the walk back to class more orderly and prevent injuries.
So...walking back to class after recess is fraught with perils? Who are they kidding?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

You Also Can't Keep Your Doctor

In the Leftist's zeal to "help the poor" they have sentenced this woman to death.  I hope they are happy.
So if I go with a health-exchange plan, I must choose between Stanford and UCSD. Stanford has kept me alive—but UCSD has provided emergency and local treatment support during wretched periods of this disease, and it is where my primary-care doctors are.

Before the Affordable Care Act, health-insurance policies could not be sold across state lines; now policies sold on the Affordable Care Act exchanges may not be offered across county lines.

What happened to the president's promise, "You can keep your health plan"? Or to the promise that "You can keep your doctor"? Thanks to the law, I have been forced to give up a world-class health plan. The exchange would force me to give up a world-class physician.
I hope God has a special place in Hell for Leftist Ideology.  A place where the ideology will burn forever where everyone can gaze and watch it scream and writhe in the eternal pain it deserves. People will gaze horrified saying "did people really believe in that?"

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Energy Dept. Seeks Company to Turn Sunshine Into Gasoline

I'm not sure why we would want to take food - that being the carbon dioxide - away from the plants.  But, ok.  Let's go with it.

Researchers have been working on this idea for some time, according to a 2007 press release from the Sandia lab. At that time, one of the researchers speculated that although a prototype of a device to carry out the chemical process was already under development, it was "a good 15 to 20 years away from being on the market."

You can follow the link to the 2007 press release here.

Using concentrated solar energy to reverse combustion, a research team from Sandia National Laboratories is building a prototype device intended to chemically “reenergize” carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide using concentrated solar power. The carbon monoxide could then be used to make hydrogen or serve as a building block to synthesize a liquid combustible fuel, such as methanol or even gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.


“Our overall objective with this prototype is to demonstrate the practicality of the CR5 concept and to determine how test results from small-scale testing can be expanded to work in real devices,” Miller says. “The design is conservative compared to what might eventually be developed.”

Diver says the prototype should be completed by early next year. He hand-built the precision device in a shop at Sandia’s National Solar Thermal Test Facility and is now waiting on a few parts to finalize it. Initial tests will break down water into hydrogen and oxygen. That will be followed by tests that similarly break down carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide and oxygen.
The idea is interesting, and looking on the web it looks like others have come up with the idea (follow this link)....but.  And there are two buts.

The first kicker is the conversion of water to hydrogen and oxygen. The oxygen is for the most part, thrown away and the hydrogen is used with a Fischer-Tropsch reactor to convert the hydrogen and carbon monoxide to usable fuel.

At the present, there is no cheap or efficient way to convert the water to oxygen and hydrogen.  The near term solution - which is not a GREAT solution but relies on conventional technology - is to perform what is called a Shift Reaction.

You take some of your CO (carbon monoxide) combine it with water and  create hydrogen...and CO2 - carbon dioxide.  In essence, you put all that effort in converting the CO2 to CO, only to have to take half of your CO to convert it BACK to CO2 in order to get the amount of hydrogen you need to make the fuel.  That's the second but.

Just like for conventional refineries, the technology bumps into the scarcity of hydrogen.

Friday, November 1, 2013

California resident: ‘I was all for Obamacare’ until I got the bill

I would love to hear from others in CA that have experienced the sticker shock.
As Pam Kehaly, the president of Anthem Blue Cross in California, reported, she received a letter from one woman who saw her insurance rates rise by 50 percent due to Obamacare.

“She said, ‘I was all for Obamacare until I found out I was paying for it,’ ” Ms. Kehaly said, in the Los Angeles Times.


Jennifer Harris, Fullerton resident, said she was shocked to receive a letter from her Health Net Inc. insurer that her plan — which costs $98 a month — was being dropped. The cheapest plan she said in the Los Angeles Times that she found is $238 a month.

“It doesn’t seem right to make the middle class pay so much more in order to give health insurance to everybody else,” she said, in the report. “This increase is simply not affordable.”

Climate change pact signed by California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia

Climate Change Pact?  This is more like a suicide pact!  What utter incompetence and stupidity.  I am amazed at the complete idiocy of the people of these states/provinces.
Each state and the Canadian province promised to take roughly a dozen actions, including streamlining permits for solar and wind projects, better integrating the electric power grid, supporting more research on ocean acidification and expanding government purchases of electric vehicles.

"You are witnessing a historic small-but-powerful first step," California Gov. Jerry Brown said during the event, held at Cisco's San Francisco campus.
So, streamlining permits for wind probably means they will continue to ignore the endangered birds that are getting their heads chopped off from the turbine blades.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Interview: Heather Mac Donald on California in Decline

Legend Ed Driscoll interview with Mac Donald.
I think it’s the most beautiful state in the country; as a native, I’m obviously a little prejudiced, but I think it is a exemplar of identity politics, for one thing. There’s too many institutions that are convinced that the most important thing about its residents is their racial or ethnic national origin identity and — and increasingly, of course, gender and sexual identity. And we see that playing out in university admissions, in ideas about crime and policing and immigration policy, and I think that’s a betrayal of what California used to mean, which was a real meritocratic ideal, that anybody who came, through hard work could really move ahead and the — the state welcomed talent and achievement and did not worry about disparate impact or racial proportionality.

Monday, October 28, 2013

American Boondoggle Meets Chinese Methods

There are too many stories like this.  Bold BIG dreams that disintegrate into money wasted.
From Wolf Richter at Testosterone Pit:

BYD stands for “Build Your Dream.” And maybe that’s what they’re trying to do in China. But here they’re building a nightmare, lushly funded by hapless American taxpayers – and they paid Chinese workers in California $1.50 per hour to do it. Next time Gov. Brown and et al. go on begging missions to China, they need to keep that in mind.
In fact, I reported on the article that ran a few months ago. I guess it didn't work out very good...

 This reminds me of a story I thought I covered earlier: Millions spent on California water-storage plan that leaks.  Ideas that just aren't well thought out....
“They had a great vision,” said Reddy Pakala, who as Ventura County’s water director was expecting to benefit from the 18-mile-long trough running below orchards, tree farms and ranches. “It doesn’t work the way they told us it would work.” The Las Posas Basin Aquifer Storage and Recovery Project, about 50 miles northwest of Los Angeles, illustrates the risks of what’s known as groundwater banking — warehousing water below ground in aquifers to pump out during dry spells or emergencies.

Imagine a bathtub beneath the earth. If geologic conditions are right, water can be added to such a basin, supplementing naturally occurring groundwater and creating a reserve for future use, much like a water tank.

But at Las Posas, water instead disappeared.

Fed govt: No, Nevada, you cannot have oil-and-gas prosperity

And you know my #1 Posit: Disallow the Federal Government from owning land. The Federal Government amazingly owns over 84% of NV.  How is this possible?

They own so much of it, NV can't do a lot of drilling for oil like could have otherwise.

The only major obstacle to this potential boon? You guessed it: The federal government owns and controls most of Nevada, and while they will occasionally auction of some mineral rights and approve some drilling permits, they have steadily blocked the type of large-scale development we’re seeing elsewhere in the country. Unfortunately for Nevadans and Americans in general, that energy development could provide, according to one study’s estimates, more than 21,000 jobs and $100 million in revenue for Nevada — i.e., exactly the type of economic growth of which we’re sorely in need.

High school cheerleader car wash violates environmental laws

Environmental witch hunt.  So, when it rains on dirty cars, the dirt and grime DON'T end up in the storm water system?  The only other contaminant is liquid soap or detergent which nowadays is biodegradable.  So, what exactly is the pollutant?
“We had a visit from the city of San Jose Environmental Services Department who said that the car washes at Hoover [Middle School] are in violation of water discharge laws, therefore we had to cancel this and all future car washes,” said an email that was sent out to neighborhood email lists on Oct. 18.

“Anything that is not storm water or rain water is considered a pollutant,” said Jennie Loft, acting communications manager for San Jose’s Environmental Services Department. “If it goes into a storm drain, that pollutant will harm wildlife and habitats in the creeks. Water goes directly from the storm drains into our creeks.”
And these city workers are able to harass cheerleaders while San Jose is struggling with its budget.  If you ask me, the city hasn't cut its budget enough.

In his 2013-14 budget message, Mayor Chuck Reed wrote that while the city has managed to avoid service cuts for the second year in a row, San Jose needs “tens of millions of dollars more in annual funding” to restore services to pre-recession levels and needs to continue city worker pension reform.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

California Makes U.S. Citizenship Obsolete

Another great example that Leftists really never gave a shit about the little guy - the little US CITIZEN guy, that is.  All that matters is their ideology.  YOU can go to hell as far as they are concerned.

One of the historical hallmarks of tyrannical regimes is selective law enforcement. In California, leftist Gov. Jerry Brown has signed bills into law that have enshrined selective enforcement with regard to illegal aliens, violating federal immigration law in the process. His equally leftist Attorney General Kamala Harris has also decided the state will do whatever it wishes in terms of complying with federal law. Both of them do so with the utmost confidence that a compromised DOJ run by a corrupt Attorney General is more than willing look the other way. Eric Holder is confident he can look the other way because he has a “kindred soul” in President Obama, who unilaterally and unconstitutionally granted de facto amnesty to millions of illegal aliens, bypassing Congress in the process–even as that same Congress currently plots behind closed doors to reward millions of law-breakers in return for cheap votes and cheap labor.

This is where America stands in 2013. If left unchecked, one of the great ironies of all time may eventually be realized: millions of illegal aliens who have come to America to escape a Third World ethos, where the rule of law is supplanted by the rule of man, may discover, for all intents and purposes, they are right back where they started.

Fixing California: Regulation gone wild

Well, hey, you guys in CA voted for Democrats.  Did you expect anything different?  Wow.  An amazing article.
On March 12, 2009, officials from the California Air Resources Board met with representatives of U.S. automakers and auto-supply firms to discuss vehicle-paint standards that state regulators were moving to implement. Soon afterward, the auto-industry insiders’ WardsAuto website detailed how the meeting had left some attendees stunned — and major paint suppliers “tearing their hair out.”

The air board wanted to require heat-reflecting paint on vehicles as part of its effort to improve fuel efficiency. But its proposed “cool paints” initiative would have amounted to a de facto ban on black cars and trucks. And there was a fatal shortcoming with the board’s plan: Such vehicle paint didn’t yet exist.

A Tale of Two States, CA and NV: Part III

NV still has some of the highest unemployment in the nation.  But the state seems to be working hard to bring that down.  The article makes the point that NV will have to expand and grow new industries in order to make meaningful inroads in the job market.

Nevada has made tremendous progress, but it also fell further than most. For instance, its unemployment rate dropped 4.5 percentage points in the past two years — but it’s still the highest in the nation. And the state’s recovery isn’t going as fast as some would hope. Analysis from the Wall Street Journal suggested that Nevada wouldn’t return to its pre-recession employment peak until 2018.

Experts told CalWatchdog that Nevada still has to overcome serious deficiencies to reach its full potential.

University of Nevada, Las Vegas political science professor David Damore noted that, while Nevada ranks well in surveys about taxes and regulations, the state does much worse in other places like education, health care and infrastructure. He said that Nevada will have to have a more educated and better trained workforce before it can reasonably expect more major companies to move to the state.

A Tale of Two States, CA and NV: Part II continues their reporting on CA/NV:
Nevada’s pitch to firms interested in expanding or relocating to the state is simple. The state has some of the lowest taxes in America. California’s top income tax rate is 13.3 percent; Nevada has no state income tax.

Nevada’s regulations are limited. Given the state’s size, working with government is quick and easy (California businesses often complain about how long routine approvals take). Some firms — though certainly not all — are coaxed with even more tax incentives. And Las Vegas — known for its tourism, as well as the benefits that come with being a large metropolitan area — has always been a major selling point.

A patchwork assortment of agencies remains tasked with selling that message to firms that might want to expand or grow in Nevada.

At the top is the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. Historically, the lieutenant governor was tasked with running economic development in Nevada, but 2011 legislation centralized power in the governor’s office by creating the OED.

Fixing California: The green gentry’s class warfare

Ideology.  It's all about ideology.  No matter what. It's ideology even if it results in the destruction of everything.
In this sense, today's green progressives, notes historian Fred Siegel, are most akin to late 19th century Tory radicals such as William Wordsworth, William Morris and John Ruskin, who objected to the ecological devastation of modern capitalism, and sought to preserve the glories of the British countryside. In the process, they also opposed the “leveling” effects of a market economy that sometimes allowed the less-educated, less well-bred to supplant the old aristocracies with their supposedly more enlightened tastes.


Due to the rise of the green gentry, California is becoming divided between a largely white and Asian affluent coast, and a rapidly proletarianized, heavily Hispanic and African-American interior. Palo Alto and Malibu may thrive under the current green regime, and feel good about themselves in the process, but south Los Angeles, Oakland, Fresno and the Inland Empire are threatened with becoming vast favelas.

This may constitute an ideal green future — with lower emissions, population growth and family formation — for whose wealth and privilege allow them to place a bigger priority on nature than humanity. But it also means the effective end of the California dream that brought multitudes to our state, but who now may have to choose between permanent serfdom or leaving for less ideal, but more promising, pastures.

Massive Barge On San Francisco Bay Likely Secret Google Facility

Out-of-the-box thinking by Google runs smack into a bureaucracy that is incapable of thinking, period.

A BCDC official confirmed the agency has held discussions with Google about “hypothetical operations” on the water, but he complained the tech giant has been vague about how the barge would be used.

Larry Goldzband, BCDC executive director, said Google is free to build whatever it wants but the company needs to define the structure’s purpose if it wants a permit.

And that’s not the only hurdle Google faces in its quest for a permit. Docking the barge for an extended period of time at Fort Mason would qualify as “bay fill,” said a source with long experience in waterfront issues.

“The law is crystal clear in this case: The Bay is not to be used for something that can be built on land,” Goldzband said.

Friday, October 25, 2013

ObamaCare website ranks with the "World's Worst Airline" North Korean website

As I read this article I was struck by the similarities in the problems with the North Korean website with the problems that have plagued the Obamacare website.

From CNN:

After multiple trials to book a one-way ticket from Shengyang to Pyongyang, we failed to secure any reservation. Instead, we ended up with this message day after day: “We cannot find any flights for your flight schedule. Please change your schedule and try again.”

Other users have also reported slow response speeds, availability issues and other errors, according to Britain's The Telegraph.

The Korea Times reported that Air Koryo launched its website about one month after the "Supreme Leader" Kim Jong-un carried out an unannounced inspection of North Korea’s main air hub Sunan International Airport in July.

Kim called upon North Korea "to catch up with international standards" during the visit.
Yeah, we need nationalized healthcare like the rest of the world.   We need to catch up with them!

"Dear Leaders" from both countries fail miserably!

Here's one of the earlier reports of the ObamaCare website:

During the first few hours of a six-month enrollment period for health coverage via the online marketplaces, both state-run health insurance exchanges and, which is the portal for residents of more than 30 states, were plagued by crashes, long load times and error messages. The exchanges, also called marketplaces, are intended for people who don't get health benefits at work or are uninsured.

Over-Reaching California EPA Regulators Promoted A False Breast Cancer Link

That's a shocker!  The CA EPA overstating cancer claims?  No way!

All CARB and CA EPA have done is lie about the "health benfitits" of getting rid of diesel or coal power plants or other such nonsense.  And the deal with second hand cigarette smoke is a dead horse that people just keep beating.

At the time of the Cal EPA report, two prominent epidemiologists (one of whom was the Vice President for Epidemiology at the American Cancer Society ) came out and publicly criticized the agency’s conclusion that the evidence supported an association of ETS with breast cancer.

Furthermore, during the public comment period, a number of scientists (myself included) wrote in to correct errors and omissions in the draft report. However, there is no evidence that critical comments were given any attention by the agency.
They ignored the experts.  As the saying goes, why let the facts get in the way?

California gun grab triggers Colorado-style recall launch

Let's hope this works.   For places like Oakland where the crime is out of countrol, restricting firearms is no help at all.  In fact, it's putting more people in harms way.
The recall effort is being organized by the newly formed group Free California with the support of Gun Owners of California and several Republican state legislators, including Mr. Donnelly, who’s also running for the 2014 Republican gubernatorial nomination.

The drive comes two weeks after Gov. Jerry Brown signed 11 gun-control bills, including a ban on lead ammunition for hunting, and vetoed six others. Among those vetoed was a bill to ban all semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines, which would have included many popular hunting rifles and was considered the worst of the bills by gun-rights groups.

Free California spokeswoman Jennifer Kerns said organizers have identified a half-dozen Democratic legislators as possible recall targets, based on their voting records, the party registration in their districts, and the number of valid signatures required to force a recall election.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

'The Pornography of Meat': School offers course exploring connection between misogyny and meat

Of course, it's at a CA college!

A California college has invited a speaker to teach students that eating meat is misogynistic, and that our society degrades fish because "we don't view them as individuals."

The lecture, titled "The Sexual Politics of Meat," will take place at the University of Redlands on Monday, and is to explore the "relationship between patriarchal values and meat eating by interweaving the insights of feminism, vegetarianism, animal defense, and literary theory," according to the official website of the speaker, Carol J. Adams.

California Gives Break to Job Seekers With Criminal Past

This is incredible.  A Leftist State pass so many laws that one can't HELP but be charged with something.  Then realizes it, yet keeps all of those laws on the books.

Did it ever occur to these guys that the solution would be to get rid of the laws that are turning people into criminals?  Anyway, this article just doesn't make any sense at all:

California, with the most state and local government employees in the U.S., won’t ask job applicants if they’ve been convicted of a crime, in recognition that growing numbers in the workforce have such records.

A bill signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown requires that state and municipal governments first determine if an applicant is qualified for the job before asking if he or she has a criminal past. It doesn’t stop the agency from doing so later nor does it prohibit background checks before hiring.
Same with the Federal Government.  Instapundit has covered the problem of criminalizing everything often enough:

With the proliferation of criminal law, everyone is a criminal of some sort, whether they know it or not. That means that the most important decision is the decision whether to prosecute. But while we’ve larded criminal procedure with due process, the decision to prosecute — or not — is almost entirely discretionary on the part of prosecutors. We either need to cut back on the criminalization (my first choice) or start cabining prosecutorial discretion.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

LA Weighs Ban on Genetically Modified Organisms

It's bad enough that CA is running all of its poor out on a rail.  Now they want to take away their food and make them starve.

I just got into a big argument at work about how the Leftists (I don't use the word Liberals anymore) and the Democratic Party no longer care about the poor.  They don't care about the little guy.  All they care about is their Leftist Agenda and Ideology.

Los Angeles is considering a ban on the cultivation, sale, and distribution of genetically modified organisms that would make the city the largest GMO-free zone in the nation, reports say.

City Councilmen Paul Koretz and Mitch O'Farrell on Friday introduced a motion to curb growth and proliferation of GMO seeds and plants within the city, The Huffington Post reported.

It wouldn't affect the sale of foods containing genetically modified ingredients[JG: wink!  wink!].

"We don't want to consume mystery food," O'Farrell told The Huffington Post. "Since there's currently no requirement, anyone could unwittingly purchase a genetically modified product and not know it. I think that's irresponsible."

Yeah, the complete ban of GMOs is something the left would NEVER do!  God forbid!

NEW: A Tale of Two States, CA and NV: Part I

Calwatchdog. com does yeoman's work on CA issues.  They are carrying a series of articles comparing CA with NV.  The first one sets the stage after the disastrous drop in the economy not so long ago.

Recently, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a new pact with Nevada, effectively conceding to Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval’s demands that California be more open to economic development along the beautiful Lake Tahoe shoreline. It was a rare moment of agreement — created through deft political maneuvering on Nevada’s behalf — between two states that have taken different approaches to taxes, regulations, environmentalism and development.

For Californians, the moment should also be a teachable lesson about the differences between the two states — and how those differences will ultimately affect the quality of each state. But to understand how California will be affected, it’s important to first look at where Nevada was, where it is now, and where it’s headed.

It begins with the Great Recession.