Sunday, March 31, 2013

Dairies in California consider incentives to move out of state

First they came for you r neighbor and you did nothing.  Then they came for your cows and you still did nothing...
In recent years, an average of 100 dairies have closed annually, said Leslie Butler, an agriculture economist at UC Davis who studies the dairy industry.

"Ten years ago, California was the low-cost producer," Butler said. With low milk prices and high feed costs, "it's become more difficult to dairy here."

Dairy farmers also complain that environmental standards in California are more burdensome than in other states. Those standards have been strengthened as environmentalists try to address water and air quality issues that arise from large-scale dairies, which on average have about 1,100 cows.


When you run a tight fiscal ship you can do this.  I'm curious if CA will do the same.
According to The Hill, Texas Transportation Department Executive Director Phil Wilson said, "flying is an integral part of commerce in Texas," and Texas decided to pick up the tab because "local communities are counting on these airports to remain open for continued economic success."

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Pawn Stars Rick Harrison tells Mark Levin Show how the feds are keeping him from filming on govt land

What a bunch of liars the Federal Government is populated with:
He’d be employing around 100 or so people to film the show and had all kinds of ideas as to what he could do. But it’s on federal government land run by the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) so he had to apply for a permit to film there. He said he just found out yesterday that he was denied, and the reason they gave him was ‘budget cuts’.
This was in Southern California.  Guess was CA?  You lose!

Listen to the audio.


You mean it's not worth less?

At end of the week, California's State Auditor released its annual financial report for the state. The report, compiled by Auditor Elaine Howle, found the state has a net worth of -$127.2 billion. If the state were a business, it would be a candidate for liquidation.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Sikh man cites religion in lawsuit against gun controls

I hope he wins.
“We’re required to wear what’s called a kirpan” or dagger, he said Thursday. “I feel, as far as my religion goes, it dictates that we should have all weapons of all kinds to defend ourselves. By not being able to carry an assault rifle or weapon that has a high-capacity magazine, I don’t feel that I can defend myself or my family.”

EPA taking aim at auto emissions, sulfur in gas: Raises prices 6 - cents per gallon

So, the EPA wants to make the rest of the nation look like CA.  The EPA claims it will only raise gasoline prices by a penny?  What are they fooling?

And yet again we are told that the new standards will SAVE LIVES.  That is the biggest load of BS I have ever heard.  They say we'll save BILLIONS in costs.

That's what they said about diesel and what they said about the new regulations on coal.  At this rate, we should all live to be 150 years old.  But we all know it's a big load of dog turds.

On top of that, natural gas derived blended diesel will be hitting the gas pumps in a few years. Naphtha from Fischer Tropsch based plants will be blended with refinery naphtha that will ultimately find its way to the gas pump.  Another path is natural gas =>methanol=>gasoline.

Guess how much sulfur is in it?


How do I know this?  Because it's what I do for a living.


But guess who will take the credit for it?  Those asshats at the EPA, that's who.

California Cities Crack Down on Unlicensed Maternity Hotels

Thank Goodness!
Wai-Min Liu of the Chinese American Association of Chino Hills wants the unlicensed clinics closed.

“We feel very bad about this kind of operation, and we sure hope the government does something about it," said Liu.

California weighs mattress recycling fee

Below the fold, so to speak, all the recyclers think the tax is a great idea.  Yeah!  We'll recycle them!

Of course they would!  You just gave them FREE MATTRESSES!  And they didn't have to do a thing!

All CA did was take the burden of bearing the cost for collecting all these mattresses just lying around everywhere and placed it on the consumer.

If this were really such a great idea, the recyclers wouldn't need what can only be described as a GOVERNMENT SUBSIDY.

As far as the landfills are concerned, if the state would do the right thing and allow gasification of trash, a huge part of the problem would go away.

Isn't this really just another example of Crony Capitalism?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

New York congressman introduces bill to abolish presidential term limits

After the O'Bama relection the next day at work, I was talking to one of the young engineers.  "I thought this was going to be the Jimmy Carter Presidency.  Instead, it's the FDR presidency."

Looks like I may have been more right than I thought.
New York Democratic Rep. Jose Serrano reintroduced a bill in Congress on Friday to repeal the 22nd Amendment, which places term limits on the U.S. presidency.

The bill, which has been referred to committee, would allow Barack President Obama to become the first president since Franklin Roosevelt to seek a third term in office.

Sports Website Mocks 'Exceedingly White' People Celebrating Win at NBA Game

I think when you mock someone because of their color...we call that RACISM.
From there, author Bill Hanstock - whose Twitter profile boasts that he's an editor and contributor to this website - wrote, "On Wednesday night, the Chicago Bulls halted the impressive winning streak of the Miami Heat at 27 games. Luckily, a gaggle of exceedingly white dudes had courtside seats (because white people looooooove courtside seats) and treated us to the above picture."

Americans Are Migrating To More Free Republican States

NY is the least free.  CA is second.
The study's findings also call into question claims made repeatedly by President Obama during last year's campaign that tax cuts and deregulation won't produce growth and prosperity. "They tell us," he said in one speech, that "if we just cut more regulations and cut more taxes — especially for the wealthy — our economy will grow stronger."

"Here's the problem," he said. "It doesn't work. It has never worked."

But if anything, the data show precisely the opposite.

O'Bama is a sad clown.

Awesome: Vacant federal properties cost taxpayers billions every year

One of my posits was that the Federal Government should own no property.
It is both fiscally and environmentally irresponsible for the federal government to continue to add more lands and properties to the already bloated and widely unkempt federal estate, since we have the money for neither new acquisitions nor their maintenance. Here we are going berserk over $85 billion in sequester cuts, but we could save at least several billion every year merely by getting rid of the top-heavy regulations that make it an inexcusably major headache to shed excess properties.

Yep.  The President is a LIAR.   This is allowed to go on while they cut out Easter Egg Hunts and shutdown White House Tours.  What an IDIOT.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

EPA Forces Man to Spend $200,000 To Expand Lake, Then Doesn't Grant Permit To Do It

I read stories like this and it breaks my heart.  Cut the damn government spending!  NOW!
Mr. Lathrop's story is a stunning example of the cost of over-burdensome government on real people's lives. It's a commentary on the sad state of affairs government over-expansion and over-reach has left us with in this country.

California City Bans Gun Shows

That's it CA!  You show your residents who is boss!!  You want guns to protect yourselves?  NO EFFIN WAY!
Glendale, Calif., has told the organizers of an annual gun show to find a new home after the City Council on Tuesday voted to approve a ban on the possession and sale of firearms by private dealers on city property.

Chico latest California city to restructure in deficit fight

Another one!!!

The City of Chico became the latest California city to undertake the incredibly complex task of restructuring its government after the city council approved Nakamura’s plan to “right-size” the organizational structure last month.

Nakamura’s bold plan calls for a reduction in the number of city departments from 10 to 5. “Our goal right now is to minimize resource expenditures, streamline our organization, and focus on core services,” Nakamura explained.

And yet, they still pass laws restricting people's use of bags. And who will be left to enforce the new law?  Every law has a public cost.

Indebted California county grants its administrator $400k salary for life

This is another article but mentions the financial problems in Alameda County.

With millions of dollars in debt and a $3 million projected deficit for 2013 alone, Alameda County is struggling to stay afloat. But rather than pay off its dues, the city is shelling out a $423,664 annual salary for a county administrator.

California watches as small city goes after Calpers

Wow!  Another one in the making??  I hope not!

"We can't afford to keep paying Calpers at the current rates - and we can't afford to get out," said Bill Kampe, Pacific Grove's mayor. "Fundamentally, we want to pay less to Calpers."

The Pacific Grove city council last week voted to "fully explore" ways in which it believes Calpers has "artificially inflated the City's liabilities." It hired an actuary as well as Karol Denniston, a San Francisco lawyer at Schiff Hardin who helped draft California's bankruptcy process law.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cyprus bail-out: savers will be raided to save euro in future crises, says eurozone chief

This reads more like a funeral dirge than a solution to the EU's problems.

Savings accounts in Spain, Italy and other European countries will be raided if needed to preserve Europe's single currency by propping up failing banks, a senior eurozone official has announced.
If I were in the EU....I wouldn't be for long.

Alameda County rewards boss: $400k…for life

An astonishing amount of money.  Is she worth it?
Muranishi has been with the county for 38 years, and she’s 63. When retirement day comes, she’ll be getting a lot more than a gold watch.

That’s because, according to the county auditor’s office, Muranishi’s annual pension will be equal to the dollar total of her entire yearly package — $413,000. She also has a separate executive private pension plan, for which the county chips in $46,500 a year

Monday, March 25, 2013

Because of asset seizures, I am starting my new company outside California

And the guy voted for O'Bama twice!
So what am I doing about it, other than speaking up?

Well, I am moving my new company — which is now closing a round of venture funding from world-class investors — to the East Coast. Because my last company created almost 200 jobs, most of which were in San Francisco, this is not good news for the State of California.

As I write this, I am hiring people on the East Coast who might otherwise have been hired in California. Some have already been hired. My California employees will be relocating to New York by early next year.
This guy is P.O.d

California marching toward adoption of green chemistry regulations

I foresee a bureaucratic meltdown that will become so untenable, that many companies will no longer do business in CA.
More than two years behind schedule, with no one apparently satisfied with the form of its regulations, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) appears to be taking the final steps toward adopting its green chemistry regulations, otherwise known as the "Safer Consumer Products Regulations." These groundbreaking regulations will establish a process to identify and prioritize consumer products containing chemicals of concern for evaluation of safer alternatives and the potential imposition of restrictions by DTSC.
The DTSC covers THOUSANDS of ingredients and chemicals.  Even some that have not been shown conclusively to cause cancer.  What CA should do, instead, is to concentrate only on those that have been shown conclusively to cause cancer.

But...that would make too much sense, no?

And what the hell is a "multimedia evaluation"???

Low carbon fuel standard: California's new regulations are infeasible for gasoline and diesel

Low carbon fuels are expensive to make.
When the standard was introduced in 2007, we were told it was a performance-based standard that would let the marketplace determine what fuels and technologies were best suited to lower California's collective carbon footprint.

Now we're being told the only hope for the standard is to compel some industries (oil companies) to invest in technologies they may not feel are economically viable or are incompatible with their long-term business objectives.

The problem is that no amount of money can change the laws of physics. Unlocking the secret to producing huge quantities of energy from things like wood chips and municipal waste has proved to be more difficult than imagined in 2007 when the standard was introduced. As the U.S. Energy Information Administration has reported, "Progress on the commercialization of cellulosic biofuels has been slower than envisioned in 2007."
Ethanol from wood (cellulosic ethanol, as it is called) is fairly easy to make.  The problem is hydrochloric acid is required (I'm going from my failing memory right now) which requires very costly metallurgy.  I am not up on the new technologies but from what I know, nothing has reached commercial scale as of yet.

The other problem is you have to get the wood/cellulose to the plant.  This is extremely expensive.  Some companies are pushing "mini- plants" located within a few miles of the sources of raw materials to try to reduce this cost.

I would love another source of cheap fue to be found, but so far we haven't come up with much.

Large California city heads to bankruptcy court

I guess it's finally official.
"Stockton has budgeted itself into insolvency. It is now trying to cram down a plan on those it did not favor, instead of focusing on creating a fair, equitable and long-term plan for all stakeholders," said Robert Tucker, managing director of Assured Guaranty.

Drudge: 40% confiscation of Cyprus bank accounts

To the young and unititiated, this looks like a lot of money and, yeah, it is.  But it's not just the Russians who have that much money in the bank.  Many retired and eldery who have scrimped and saved all of their lives have this money in the bank.

And the Cyprus government just took 40% of it.

The revised accord spares bank accounts below the insured limit of 100,000 euros. It imposes losses that two EU officials said would be no more than 40 percent on uninsured depositors at Bank of Cyprus Plc, the largest bank, which will take over the viable assets of Cyprus Popular Bank Pcl (CPB), the second biggest.

Cyprus Popular Bank, 84 percent owned by the government, will be wound down. Those who will be largely wiped out include uninsured depositors and bondholders, including senior creditors. Senior bondholders will also contribute to the recapitalization of Bank of Cyprus.
I see a Cyprus uprising.  A graassroots movement to pull out of the EU.  Elected officials will either lose their jobs.  Or lose their heads.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Government Sugar Policy: Buy High, Sell Low?

And you want to know why we have High Fructose Corn Syrup in our soda instead of cane sugar?  This is why.
It was recently reported that the federal government is considering buying 400,000 tons of sugar to prop up prices for sugar producers. The government would then sell the sugar at a loss of 10 cents per pound, costing taxpayers $80 million.
So if you are one of those people who believe that HFCS is the cause of the rise in obesity and want there to be limits on consumption of sodas along with a whole list of other rules, laws and regulations that empower the government to make criminals of us all...all you have to do is deregulate sugar.

Problem solved.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz: Sequester nearly starving staffers

Oh, this is rich.  My heart BLEEDS!  I guess they'll have to do like the rest of us.  Take their lunch to work with them.

Restaurants on the House side of Congress are increasing in cost so much that aides are being “priced out” of a good meal, she said, as Fox News reported.

If this doesn't tell you how completely out of touch the Democrats are with the rest of us, I don't know what does.

I guess they'll just have to eat cake.  And the Democrats are the ones portrays as for the little guy? As if!

Friday, March 22, 2013

California Gold

Oil, that is.  Black Gold.  Texas Tea...

It is time for some practical realism. Our growing population and industries require and will continue to require large amounts of affordable, reliable energy. Most green sources are far from affordable, plentiful or reliable. Other countries without exception will exploit energy resources and recovery methods such as ours when available, for the good of their people and their economies. It makes little sense for us to deny ourselves the benefits to our economy and to our standard of living while we wait, perhaps forever, for green energy to become affordable, plentiful and reliable enough to replace carbon-based fuels.
But not to fear!  CA will do just the opposite!!

Kosher Coke In California Looks Unlikely For A Second Year In A Row

Way ta go CA!  Your idiotic laws are crimping those who want only to freely exercise the religion of their choice.

Coca-Cola may be missing from Passover feasts for the second year in a row in California.

The Coca-Cola Co. said Thursday it once again won't be able to make "kosher for Passover" versions of its flagship cola this year because of manufacturing changes that were made in the state.

Regular Coca-Cola is sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup in the United States but the Passover version is made with sugar because many observant Jews do not use products made with corn during the holiday.

Last year, Coke directed its suppliers to change the way they manufacture caramel to reduce levels of the chemical 4-methylimidazole, or 4-MEI, after California listed it as a carcinogen. The company said the new caramel process has since rolled out nationally to streamline its manufacturing process. But outside California, it's still using the previous caramel process so that it can continue providing kosher for Passover products.
Wikipedia has an article on the food coloring.  When you finish reading it you might be like me trying to figure out what all the fuss was about.  The results are best are that the food coloring actually PREVENTS cancer.  At worst... the reults show there are no conclusive results!!

CA, you eff'd up again!

Cuomo Announces Temporary Tax On High-Earning New Yorkers To Be Extended

Boy, was this a surprise?   When are you going to learn that there is no such thing as a "temporary" tax.
“There will be an extension of the surcharge set to expire next year,” Cuomo said Thursday.

And when asked at if that wasn’t hypocritical, given his prior no-new-taxes positions, Cuomo tried to paint the tax hike as a tax cut, since the budget also provides the middle class with a $350 child tax rebate.

“Some taxes go up, yes, and others go down and the net is they go down. That’s why it’s a tax cut,” Cuomo said.
You see?  Right before your lyin' eyes a government official tells you, no, it's not a tax hike, it's TAX CUT!

Although there is plenty of history where government has kept its word, there are just too many stories of the opposite that should teach people to NEVER let this happen.

Case in point:  Shortly after I moved to Richmond, VA, the regulations for the toll way system was set to expire.  At that point, all toll roads were to revert to freeways.  Guess what?  Didn't happen!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Starbucks CEO: We support marriage equality, and if you don’t like it, sell your stock

Arrogant SOB.  I quit going to Starbucks quite a while back.  Their coffee SUCKS.  I've never owned their stock either.  Now I know I never will.
“In the first fill quarter after this boycott was announced, our sales and our earrings — shall we say politely — were a bit disappointing,” Strobhar said.

Unfazed, Schultz replied that the company’s decision to support marriage equality was not the bottom line, but about respecting diversity, reported KPLU.

“If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38 percent you got last year, it’s a free country. You can sell your shares of Starbucks and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much,” he said, to loud applause from the audience.

He said the company had delivered a healthy return last year, regardless of the boycott.

California bills could delay fracking

This is the bill that will pass.  What an unfortunate state of affairs that will be.  Remember, fracking has been going on in CA for decades.

And nobody ever noticed.

One bill calls for a moratorium on the practice until the state conducts a sweeping study of fracking's benefits and risks, including the potential for groundwater contamination.

Another piece of legislation would allow fracking while the state conducts such a study. But the same bill, from Sen. Fran Pavley, would slap a moratorium on fracking if the study isn't finished by 2015.

"What I'm trying to do is say to the oil companies, 'Look, if there's never been a problem with fracking, if it's safe, you need to prove that to the public,' " said Pavley, D-Agoura Hills (Los Angeles County).
Oh, that's easy!  Just look at the fact fracking has already been going on there for decades!

CA, you are saturated with idiots.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

California assemblywoman introduces two bills aimed at protecting schoolchildren

Because CA just isn't spending enough money!!
With local school districts failing time and again to recognize and report suspected child abuse, an East Bay assemblywoman is introducing legislation to beef up training of school employees and give administrators more power to remove abusive teachers.

Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo, cited the extensive reporting on the problems from the Bay Area News Group as she announced Tuesday the introduction of a pair of bills aimed at shoring up gaps in current law. Exact language of the bills has not been finalized.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I talked about this in November of last year.  The guy needs more money.  I hope he gets it.

Barron says BNSF and Amtrak have agreed to allow access to their leg of the route into Fullerton. A reservations service also has been signed, and a vendor to provide onboard chefs and meals has been hired.

But there is the issue of money. A year ago, the company officials said in an SEC filing they needed $35 million in capital to get started. After the company announced the Union Pacific track deal in November that figure rose to $80 million to $90 million. In a quarterly earnings report released last week for the period ending Dec. 31, the company says it now needs to raise $150 million.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Divestment movement gaining ground on California campuses

I already talked about the stupidity of college students demanding colleges divest themselves of fossil fuel investments.  Here's another just as idiotic movement to force colleges to divest themselves of Israeli company stocks.

Are CA colleges filled with kooks?
Pro-Israel Jewish students, perhaps more surprised than anyone, scrambled to block the resolution less than a day after hearing it was on the agenda.

"The news was a shock to the Jewish community on campus; no one had expected their 'friends' to deceive them and keep their plans a secret," wrote Jacqueline Zelener, a member of the campus group Highlanders for Israel in a letter to the university newspaper for members of Students for Justice in Palestine, the group behind the resolution, which Zelener said had been in dialogue with Jewish groups on campus.

Amal Ali, the president of Students for Justice in Palestine at UC Riverside, said keeping the resolution under wraps was the only way to "level the playing field," noting that similar resolutions on other campuses had been quashed by well-funded major Jewish or pro-Israel organizations.
Oh yeah, that EVIL JEWISH LOBBY.   And I thought they just manipulated US Congressmen!  Thy are everywhere!

What complete nonsense.

New SOS California Blog: California Oil

The people at SOS California have started a new blog called Californi Oil.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Smoke Gets in Your Rights

Comparison of Bloomberg and Levine.  I just don't understand why we need to make law abiding citizens criminals.

Observe, please, how Bloomberg and Levine have chosen the easiest targets a politician can pick on -- fat people and smokers. Not that they would call them fat people and point with derision. No, they moan about the ill effects of obesity on health. Ditto smoking.

These guys wouldn't dream of restricting the rights of people who engage in risky behavior that is popular. I asked Levine: Would his bill apply to people smoking medical marijuana?

"That's not covered in this," Levine responded. "I am much more concerned with cancer-causing secondhand smoke than cancer-easing medical marijuana."

That's interesting. According to the American Lung Association, "marijuana smoke contains a greater amount of carcinogens than tobacco smoke." What about all those apartment-dwelling children who risk being exposed to secondhand marijuana smoke? That's different.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Pat Caddell Says: Media Have Become an "Enemy of the American people"

Pat Caddell speaking frankly earlier a few months ago:


This is the most amazing, raw speech I have ever read.  It will break my heart if the GOP doesn't take this seriously and change their ways.
When an audience member asked Caddell why he, a Democrat, was offering Republicans advice that would help them beat his own party, his response was met with huge applause. "I'm not a fan of Barack Obama," Caddell said. "My first allegiance is to my country. I have paid a huge price, and when I watch you people screwing up I'm offended."

Nancy Smith, a grassroots activist who co-founded an independent Virginia group that focused on door-to-door canvassing and get-out-the-vote in the 2012 election, was effusive in her praise of Caddell's critique. "This talk by Caddell is what this entire conference should be about."

Here is Breitbart's clip of Limbaugh talking about the article. 

Kashi is leaving San Diego

Luckily, there are only about 30 people.
Fox 5 found crews loading moving trucks Tuesday morning outside the company’s office at 4275 Executive Square. Kellogg Corporation who owns Kashi said the company is moving to its headquarters in Battle Creek, Michigan with intensions of becoming better positioned for future growth.

It’s the second company this week to announce that it’s leaving San Diego. Digirad, a medical imaging device maker, said Thursday its moving headquarters from Poway to Atlanta.
Kellogg was smart to keep the whole thing on the down low until the last minute.  The photo on the website shows crates and boxes. CA officials tend to harass people if they announce early that they are leaving the state.

MetLife Moving 2,600 Jobs to North Carolina from Northeast, California

Wow!  That's a lot of jobs.

“What’s happening is there are 2,600 jobs in these locations that either we’re closing or we’re reducing. All of those positions are being transferred to North Carolina,” Calagna said.

The new jobs, paying average salaries of nearly $82,000 a year, would include product management, marketing, sales and customer support in Charlotte and information technology positions in Cary. The company had about 140 workers in Charlotte before last week’s announcement.

“The strong business climate, access to universities and colleges and the desirable cost of living in North Carolina were significant factors in choosing to establish these new campuses in Cary and Charlotte,” MetLife executive vice president Eric Steigerwalt said.

EU egg shortage: An alternate view on how long it will last

Another article on the impact of the ban on caged hens:

The bakery and confectionery industry claims it has been hit with a “dire and unprecedented” EU-wide egg shortage as suppliers of egg replacers look to profit and offer up their opinions on how long the situation will last.

Last month, The Association of Chocolate, Biscuit and Confectionery Industries (CAOBISCO) said a ban on battery cages introduced this year had led to egg shortages and price increases of around 75% over the last six months.

Three new California bills proposed to further regulate fracking

Just like everything else, CA will regulate fracking to death. And manage to kill the only thing that could possibly help them out of their revenue quagmire.  Fracking has been going on for 10 years and no one even noticed.

Last month, California legislators introduced three bills that relate to hydraulic fracturing. On February 20, 2013, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson introduced SB 395 to regulate water produced during fracking operations. The bill would require the regulation of “produced water,” defined to expressly include water produced by fracking, as a hazardous waste by the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). This would give DTSC authority to regulate the management of fracking wastewater, including the requirement for hazardous waste manifests to transport these fluids, and add another administrative layer to the regulation of fracking operations in addition to the rules that have already been proposed by the Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR).

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Egg Shortages Hit Europe. Soon to Hit America?


France is also facing a potential crisis by suffering a 10 percent shortfall, with the price of eggs having skyrocketed 75 percent since last autumn. In all, the EU is targeting 13 countries that didn’t meet the deadline.

It’s the basic laws of supply and demand—higher production costs from the new infrastructure translate into higher prices, which mean less demand. Supply is likewise reduced, especially in the near-term if farms still using now-outlawed methods and can’t sell their eggs.
What a stupid, stupid thing to do.

State bill would threaten farmers

Thanks CA.  It's not enough that you fuck up your own state.  But now you are providing the model to screw up other states.
There’s even more that will give farmers heartburn. A proposed Massachusetts law on egg production mimics the vague language of a 2008 California ballot initiative called Proposition 2, bankrolled by the Humane Society of the United States (unaffiliated with Bay State pet shelters). It’s unclear to California egg farmers what kind of housing they can legally use, and the Humane Society of the United States has given shifting answers. And when California farmers have sought to gain clarity in the court system, the Humane Society has opposed them.

If California egg farmers can’t figure out what barns they are allowed to build, they may simply go out of business. But that’s exactly what animal liberation radicals hope for.

For them, there is no animal product produced on any farm under any system that is “humane” enough. Not even if the hen stayed in a 5-star hotel.

Hidden funds rampant in California state government

Maybe they could take the money and stick it into the pensions....

t's not just Cal Fire under scrutiny, but also State Parks and Recreation, with $54 million in hidden fees -- also off the books. And now another government agency is in the spotlight.

"Last Friday, we heard about the Department of Fish and Wildlife, where revenues from multiple leases were improperly used," said Assemblyman Adam Gray, the Merced Democrat who chairs the Joint Legislative Audit Committee. "Is this just the tip of the iceberg?"

Testimony at the Capitol on Wednesday indicated a pattern of hidden funds -- something the state auditor will be examining this spring.

One recommendation offered to the committee -- asking the banks to provide records of all state agency accounts -- to determine exactly how many are off the books.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Lawsuit opposes excessive Coastal Commission restrictions

Good! What an awful agency!

Atid also pleaded for leniency, saying, “This has been with the Coastal Commission for more than two years. We have been trying very hard to find something that would work. It took us almost two years to get the use permit from the county.”

He also objected to the public access requirement, noting that it would be along the building’s highway frontage. “It’s important to have some sense of privacy because this is very exposed, it’s very close to the freeway,” said Atid. “And to have a public access right there we think is dangerous.”

The Reverse-Joads of California Low- and middle-income residents are fleeing the state. Sacramento's liberal policies may bear much of the blame.

If you've been reading my blog, you already knew this.  I analyzed the United Van Lines study and compared that to the U-Haul Index and determined that highly compensated workers were moving in, but lower middle class to the very poor were moving OUT.

But, here's the Wall Street Journal speaking:
As it happens, most of California's outward-bound migrants are low- to middle-income, with relatively little education: those typically employed in agriculture, construction, manufacturing, hospitality and to some extent natural-resource extraction. Their median household income is about $40,000—two-thirds of the statewide median—and about 95% earn less than $80,000. Only one in 10 has a college degree, compared with 30% of California's population. Roughly 40% of the people leaving are Hispanic.
The article goes on to say that while CA's low income workers are moving, they're going to states like TX to find work!!

I say, come on in!  TX has a big tent, unlike CA.

Gubernatorial candidate Steve Woods says 108 Maine towns ‘basically insolvent’

This is what dependence on government handouts will do:  wipe out your town if they stop.
Woods said the state now invests too much maintaining infrastructure to reach a widely dispersed population and it’s unsustainable. In his report, Woods states that 108 Maine towns receive five times as much in state and federal subsidies as they generate in local taxes and fees.

In short, the study contends the state’s “underlying problem” can be summed up as “more than 100 Maine communities that cost hundreds of millions of dollars a year to sustain while making very little contribution to the wealth and capacity of our state.”


In addition to cutting funding to those towns, he would seek to reduce the number of roads and highways — among other infrastructure obligations — the state is responsible for maintaining. Woods then would seek to support programs that would make it easy for residents in those targeted towns to pack up and move to more populated areas, perhaps through giveaways of publicly owned properties and tax waivers.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Broke Public Pension Funds And Exotic Boondoggles

Somehow I missed this over at Testosterone Pit:

So here in financially challenged California, John Dickerson ( applied these adjustments to the pension fund numbers as reported by the six counties in the Bay Area and the North Coast with independent pension funds. I’ll use one of them, Contra Costa County, as an example (PDF) because it will crop up again in our boondoggle story.

The pension fund reported total unfunded liabilities of $1.215 billion. After Moody’s adjustments have been applied, they explode to $3.519 billion. It gets worse. To paper over pension deficits, governments issue Pension Obligation Bonds (POB), which are often not reported as liabilities by pension funds. Pension funds grab the cash, governments hold the debt. When Contra Costa County’s $516 million in POBs are included, total unfunded pension liabilities rise to $4.037 billion—over 3.3 times the reported amount.

‘Killing Jews Is Worship’ Ad Campaign Rolled Out On SF Muni Buses

Oh, this is really rich. 
“Killing Jews is worship that draws us closer to Allah,” reads one of the ads, which has people debating the line between free speech and hate speech.
So, if I understand this correctly, the phrase"Killing Jews is worship..." is NOT hate speech but placing an ad exposing the hatred IS the hate speech?  That is about as TWISTED as you can get!
Geller, whose group also ran an ad campaign last year on Muni buses that referred to Muslims as “savages,” criticized the San Francisco city officials for holding today’s event against her campaign.

“They’re holding a press conference to denounce … my pointing out the truth,” she said. “The purpose of our ads is to show the purpose of jihad.”

“I am merely using high-profile Muslims and their own words. How does that paint every Muslim with the same brush? I don’t understand that,” Geller said.
I've worked with several Muslims and I must say they were very, very nice.  We got along swimmingly.  I consider them my friends.  But there are many that are beyond the pale (pail?)  in their characterization of Israelis that is spectacularly disgusting.

Consider this:

Elias: Utility regulators creating a banana republic?

I'm not into the workings of state PUCs.  But the article mentions the use of natural gas power plants to make up for the fluctuations in power put out by solar and wind power plants.
One odious example is the PUC’s order forcing customers to pay most of the bill for fixing the pipelines of California’s biggest natural gas company, hopefully ensuring there are no replays of the 2010 explosion that killed eight people in San Bruno — even though Pacific Gas & Electric Co. took “responsibility” for the blast.

Another was the decision to let a Spanish company build the 250-megawatt Mojave Solar power project near Barstow — far outside PG&E’s service area — to provide electricity for that company.

Now Iowa is targeting California businesses

And yet ANOTHER state is poaching!!
In a television interview, Branstad said the business climate in California comes down to: “If it doesn’t move, tax it.”

Last week, South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard was at the World Ag Expo in Tulare County, and he reportedly wanted to get a piece of California’s dairy industry to consider moving to his state.

The poachers come to California seeking companies they can convince to move because California has some of the most interesting companies.

JobsOhio working to attract California businesses

And the trend continues.
Kasich announced that JobsOhio had expanded to California yesterday during a speech to the Ohio Bankers League. JobsOhio spokeswoman Laura Jones verified the arrangement, provided Arabian’s name and said his contract with JobsOhio was for six months. 

Nevada takes a stab at luring California businesses

I think, and I have no facts to back this up, that a huge number of small businesses have moved to LV out of LA.  I think there has been more like a thousand cuts to CA from NV rather than a single "stab".

According to the Silicon Valley Business Journal, the Nevada Regional Development Authority is attempting to up its tech street cred with an announcement Tuesday that the group will now be known as the "Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance" and has moved into a new office called "The InNEVation Center."

Why the lag on business filings in California?

Well, this doesn't help!

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen blames state budget cuts for the many embarrassing shortcomings and backlogs in her office. Lack of money should not have been a problem. After all, the business portal side of Bowen's office — the place where entrepreneurs seeking to form corporations or limited liability companies or partnerships file their paperwork — is entirely fee-based. It's supposed to be self-supporting. The businesses pay for the cost of the operation.

In fact, California charges some of the highest fees of any state in the nation for what appears to be perhaps the worst service, as a limited survey by The Sacramento Bee's Jon Ortiz suggests.

In the depths of the recession, from 2008 to 2010, the governor and Legislature foolishly, and possibly illegally, borrowed more than $80 million in business filing fees to balance the state budget. The resulting staff shortages left thousands of business applications, many of them containing uncashed checks, sitting at the secretary of state's office for months waiting to be processed.

TRUTH – Allen West on exposing Democrats: Lynching and mobs did not come from Republicans

Straight from the words of a black man:

See, we refuse to expose the other side and what they believe in – I call it the four S’s. The Democrat Party has stood for this. They have stood for slavery. They have stood for secession. They have stood for segregation – if you don’t believe me go back and read. Jim Crow did not come from Republicans. Poll taxes and literacy tests did not come from Republicans. Lynching and mobs did not come from Republicans. And today, now this party stands for socialism.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Homosexual activists in Minnesota move to ban unsupportive speech in schools

This falls under SPEECH CONTROL.  Nothing could be more clear cut.  And yet, there will be no speech control on opinions concerning God and how stupid and idiotic Christians are.

The “Safe and Supportive Schools Act” defines bullying as:

…use of one or a series of words, images, or actions, transmitted directly or indirectly between individuals or through technology, that a reasonable person knows or should know, under the circumstances, will have the effect of interfering with the ability of an individual, including a student who observes the conduct, to participate in a safe and supportive learning environment. Examples of bullying may include, but are not limited to, conduct that:

1. places an individual in reasonable fear of harm to person or property, including through intimidation;

2. has a detrimental effect on the physical, social, or emotional health of a student;

3. interferes with a student’s educational performance or ability to participate in educational opportunities;

4. encourages the deliberate exclusion of a student from a school service, activity, or privilege;

5. creates or exacerbates a real or perceived imbalance of power between students;

6. violates the reasonable expectation of privacy of one or more individuals; or

7. relates to the actual or perceived race, ethnicity, color, creed, religion, national origin, immigration status, sex, age, marital status, familial status, socioeconomic status, physical appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, academic status, disability, or status with regard to public assistance, age, or any additional characteristic defined in chapter 363A of a person or of a person with whom that person associates, but the conduct does not rise to the level of harassment.

What nonsense!  One child will stand up and say that his religious convictions say that homosexuality is a sin and everyone will forget about the "religion" in #7 and make mincemeat of the poor kid.  The bullying will go into overdrive and in the end the family will probably have to escape to another state, if not another country to stop the incessant harassing.

Oakland violent crimes No. 3 in country

Calwatchdog article on Oakland crime.
“For restrictive gun laws to gain the public support needed for passage, the public has to be misled, their emotions manipulated, and their fears exploited,” Kurt Hofmann wrote in a 2009 Examiner op ed. ”The single greatest obstacle to passage of such laws is an informed public. The forcible citizen disarmament lobby is well aware of this, of course, and tries to dominate the discussion with its own version of the ‘truth.’”

In one paragraph Hoffman summed up what the gun-control zealots are trying to do.

The proof is that the story of Oakland’s most recent murder-spree, which should have been statewide news, was buried in the Sunday Sacramento newspaper. It should have been on the front page of every California newspaper, and Sunday opinion columns so that citizens could participate in the discussion.

Yet Even More Gun Intolerance News of the Future (Future Future Future...) STUDENT VIOLATES THREE DEGREES OF SEPARATION WHEN THINKING OF GUNS

And the words echo to fade...

LOS ANGELES, Calif -- Jonah Simpson was suspended at Freemont High School last week for violating the new Three Degrees of Separation rule the LA School Board approved to thwart students who may be thinking of going on a killing spree, says Gail Wilkingston, FHS spokesperson.

"Master Simpson violated our litmus test that was put in place to 'head off at the pass', so to speak, people we feeel might be contemplating some spontaneous or even planned act of shooting at the school."

This new concept, which has not been tried anywhere, was an idea foreign to this reporter.  When asked if Simpson was thinking of shooting any of the students, Ms Wilkingston replied, "No."

She went on to explain.

"With three degrees of separation, the student's thoughts should be as far from contemplating acts of violence as possible.  So, to play it safe, we chose three degrees of separation.  The student must not  only not be thinking of shooting students, but he must not be thinking of someone else who is thinking of someone thinking of shooting a firearm."

Jonah Simpson, who just turned 18 and is a senior at Freemont High School was asked about this.
"Wow. Where do I start?  I was in biology lab, talking with my lab partner as we were about to dissect a shark.  I told him that my dad was at the grocery store the other day and was talking to the guy bagging groceries who told him how his neighbor was thinking of shooting the squirrel that got into his attic.  The biology teacher overheard me.  I saw him start mumbling to himself  while his fingers counted one...two...three.  He jerked his head up and looked at me and his face started turning red.  He shouted to the other students 'Quick! Everyone!  Except Jonah!  Get behind me!'

Then he started yelling 'THREE DEGREES!!  THREE DEGREES!'"

When asked what happened next, he said, "Mr. Trencher, the teacher, had everyone get under the desks behind him.  He was really shaking while he dialed 911 to call the police.

Then, he called the Principal who announced over the PA system that the entire school was in lock down.  There I was standing there the whole time completely confused as to what I had done."

When asked about the police response, Jonah said, "What could they do?  There was no gun.  There was no threat.  There was nothing!  So they left."

This reporter later talked some more with Ms Wilkingston about the inability of the police to take control of the situation.  "Well, we realize this raises the whole issue of dealing with violence in the classroom to a new level.  We are working with authorities as to how to deal with very serious threats such as this.  We are also in communication with State Senator Pulaski about the pending legislation that criminalizes such behavior."

Mr. Trencher was asked about the ordeal. "Yeah, I was pretty scared.  I don't think I've ever been in such a harrowing situation.  It was almost as if I saw my life past before my eyes.  But you just have to suck it up and deal with the situation.  I had to put myself between Jonah and the other children.  There wasn't time to think about myself."

Stanford professor warns Costa Mesa about pension debt

Oh brother!  Here we go. Just when you think it's safe to get back into the water.

While some California cities have declared bankruptcy or slashed public safety spending as retirement costs rose, nothing of the sort is imminent in Costa Mesa. But Nation told officials they should be more realistic about future risks.

"If you don't deal with this, you won't have anything that you care about," said Nation, a professor of public policy. Officials need to consider raising taxes, lowering benefits for current employees, and sharing more of the cost with employees, Nation told the council. But they are legally constrained from taking some of the more drastic steps, such as reducing current employees' pension plans.

California regulators say 'no' to Navy sonar and explosives training off coast

Too bad.
By unanimous vote on Friday, the 15-member panel said the Navy had failed to prove that the training would be harmless to marine mammals, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

But the turndown by the California Coastal Commission, which regulates development up and down the state's 1,200-mile coastline, may only be symbolic.

The US Navy has ignored commission decisions before, in 2007 and 2009, and proceeded with similar training activities. The commission took the Navy to court both times in an effort to block the tests but lost, the newspaper said.
What's the point in even asking?

AT&T needs to fill more than 500 jobs in California

Good news!!

"We have spent 1.9 billion dollars in greater L.A., and now we need to hire people to get our services to our customers fast," Red says, adding that the company needs more than 160 technicians to splice wires and install setups in homes.

"We will train technicians," says Red, "but I think if you already have skills in that area, you’re bringing a lot to the table."

California v. Texas in fight for the future

I don't think there is anything new here.  But it's another CA vs TX article, so I'm posting it.
Texas and California are like two powerful teams competing to win the Super Bowl – with political and economic dominance at stake. Think of the governors as quarterbacks – the wily veteran versus the brash maverick. Brown has mellowed to the point where he relies on short passes and runs down the middle. Perry uses long passes to his right flank.

This is a game that promises to go on for quite some time.

State jobless claims shoot up due to layoffs in service industry

The service industry provides the lowest wages.  As minimum wages increase, employment decreases.
California’s jobless claims rocketed up by 26,683. The state attributed the change to layoffs in all sectors, with the largest increase in the service industry.

Minimum wage: California, U.S., other cities

The emasculating of the unskilled worker continues unabated.
Starting Monday, the minimum wage in San Jose will be $10. Automatic annual increases will be pegged to inflation.

Roadshow: California's gas tax will be nation's highest after upcoming increase

You guys are so screwed.
It would indeed, but first this: The state gas tax will rise 3.5 cents a gallon, to 39.5 cents, on July 1 after a recent vote by the state Board of Equalization. The increase means California will have the highest gas tax in the nation, at 70.6 cents a gallon when federal taxes are included.

According to an AP report, the increase was necessitated by a $157 million shortfall in gas-tax revenue in fiscal 2012, plus a projection of lower fuel consumption by California drivers as we buy more fuel-efficient vehicles.
 Who wants to bet if the same bureaucracy will ever LOWER taxes?

N.J. Mother Arrested, Guns Confiscated- By Attending Property Tax Dispute Forum

Sorry guys.  But this is what happens when you give too much money to the government.
When the Harts left the gathering, they were followed into the parking lot of the community center, and the same young man who had been so upset by Ms. Hart's comments in the community center, started screaming and shouting at her, took down the license plate number of her vehicle and said - "See if you are able to pay your property taxes NOW!"

Eileen didn't understand what that shouted threat meant, until she returned to her home with her family.

When they arrived, there were 5 police cars from the Franklinville Police Department. They advised her that the Clayton Police wanted to talk to her about the allegations.
It's so easy for bureaucrats to forget that they are there by the consent of the governed.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Obama ‘Justice’ Department Seeks To Block Asylum For German Homeschooling Family

I find this sick and disgusting.  What really steams me is that we allow millions of illegal immigrants roam the streets for no reason other than they are here looking for a job. But allow someone to come here on religious principles?  No way!  Send 'em back!
As Michael Farris observes: “The United States Supreme Court has made it very clear in the past that religious freedom is an individual right. Yet our current government does not seem to understand this. They only think of us as members of groups and factions. It is an extreme form of identity politics that directly threatens any understanding of individual liberty.”

In essence, the Obama DOJ is rejecting the fundamental principles of our Constitution and the Bill of Rights, which clearly deal with individual rights of religious liberty and conscience. This isn’t surprising, given the collectivist mentality of Obama and his minions running the White House and the U.S. Senate. They are totalitarians – and they will do whatever they can to undermine our fundamental individual rights.
Let the family reside the States, for crying out loud.  If they want to raise their kid in a religious environment, then let them!

From the HSLDA website are these comments from one of the defense attorneys:
In most asylum cases, there is some guesswork necessary to figure out the government’s true motive—but not in this case. The Supreme Court of Germany declared that the purpose of the German ban on homeschooling was to “counteract the development of religious and philosophically motivated parallel societies.”  
The prospect for German homeschooling freedom is not bright. But we should not reserve all of our concern for the views of the German government. Our own government is attempting to send German homeschoolers back to that land to face criminal prosecutions with fines, jail sentences, and removal of custody of children. 

We should understand that in these arguments by the U.S. government, something important is being said about our own liberties as American homeschoolers.

The Attorney General of the United States thinks that a law that bans homeschooling entirely violates no fundamental liberties.

It is important that Americans stand up for the rights of German homeschooling families. In so doing, we stand up for our own.  
 This entire incident says more about the US than it does about Germany.

Here's a Fox News Channel Mike Huckabee interview.

It is an unfortunate state of affairs that most of Europe is very antagonistic to Christianity.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

More Gun Intolerance News of the Future (Future...Future...Future)

The word is echoed as it fades away...


SACRAMENTS, Calif -- Three weeks ago, The Sacramento John Philpot Elementary School was in total lockdown after a student dropped his pencil and yelled "Shoot!" out of frustration.

"We were all shocked at the incident," said Ms Jensen, the student's math teacher.  "But our zero tolerance policy lists a few situations where Lockdown Protocol kicks in.  We are required to follow the Protocol to the letter without exception."

When asked about the Protocol the reporter was referred to the school spokesperson.

"We have a list of scenarios that trigger School Lockdown.   Examples of these are when an armed person is on campus.  We announce the Threat over the PA system and proceed with the call protocol."

When asked about this certain situation since there was no armed aggressor on campus she responded. "Well, we have no way of knowing whether there is or not.  We have our list of scenarios and words that trigger, uh sorry..I mean initiate... the Protocol. I apologize for that.  The word "trigger" is on the list."

She was then asked about the list of words.

"Words like SHOOT!  and POW!  and BANG!  These initiate the Protocol and require we lockdown the school and notify the authorities.  There are others such as BOOM! and KABLOOEY! but that is on a different list of words that tri..uh...initiate a slightly different protocol.

She was then asked how the school handles students in a situation like this.

"Well, it's quite easy - and mind you, we are very sensitive to situations like this.  We don't want to go overboard and have a student get a bad mark on his permanent school record.  Through the use of the School Counselor the child is first evaluated then sent to a two week re-education camp where he is taught more appropriate words to use than SHOOT!.

In this case, the student has been taught, and quite successfuly I might add, that he should yell out SHIT!"

We approached the student's parents about the situation to get their take.

"We can't believe it," said the father.  "We taught him to say SHOOT! because saying SHIT! was certainly not appropriate language for a nine year old.  Now we find out that it is?  That the school WANTS our son to say SHIT!?  What kind of nonsense is that?  What have we become?"

Gun Intolerance News of the Future (Future...Future...Future)

The word is echoed as it fades away...

This story comes from the City of San Francisco, which now, due to the flight of all child rearing families, has only one grade school left.

SAN FRANCISCO, Cal. -- John Staglioni, whose family immigrated to San Francisco in the nineteenth century, was let go last week.  His wife and mother were stunned at the news.

"We still haven't figured out what we'll do next," Said Ms Staglioni.  "John is devastated."  She wiped the tears from her eyes as she spoke to this reporter.

Timmy Turner was the recipient of Staglioni's brutal tirade. Timmy, who is nine years of age, was minding his own business in class and throwing wads of paper at the other kids.

"He told me to stop and started yelling at me."

When asked what he thought brought this on little Timmy replied, "I have no idea.  He didn't yell at me the first four times he told me to stop."  Timmy shook his head bewildered.

"And that's when it happened," Timmy continued, "he got all red in the face the veins in the neck started sticking out. Then he pointed his finger at me like he was going to shoot me!"  Just recollecting the horror, had Timmy shaking.

"Then he started jabbing it into my face.  I thought it looked like a bayonet at the end of a rifle."  Timmy stood and started thrusting his little finger down at an angle, mimicking what Staglioni did.

"Then he held his arm straight out as he was yelling and pointing.  And his arm was sort of shaking.   And it sort of reminded me of a what a machine gun would do as it was firing."  He demonstrated again what it looked like.

When asked if Staglioni's thumb ever shot up in the typical "pistol trigger" formation he said, "Well, a little I guess.  Maybe it wasn't straight up and down.  Maybe it was a little sideways.  You know, like the guys in the gangster movies hold a gun."

Mr. Jensen, the official spokesperson for the Market Street Elementary School, released a statement:
We at MSES, take weapons on campus very, very seriously.  We have a zero tolerance policy and refer all violations to the SFPD.  This is not the first infraction of our policy and we will deal with them one at a time.
 When the SFPD were asked for a status report on the referral, this reporter was told that they were aware of the situation and were in the process of having him arrested for threatening a child with a deadly weapon on school property. "We consider this a very serious offense and will make an example of Mr. Staglioni."

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Lancaster, California: Solar Panels On All Homes Will Be Required By 2014

I'm all for PV cells on my roof.  I would love to have them but I live in a townhouse with trees.  But I would never FORCE anyone to have to use them.  

There aren't many ideas I can think of that would price houses out of the affordability range than requiring that they all have solar cells.

The requirement that all new homes must be equipped with solar systems will be written into Lancaster’s “Residential Zones Update.” Reads a draft of the update: "The purpose of the solar energy system standards is to encourage investment in solar energy on all parcels in the city, while providing guidelines for the installation of those systems that are consistent with the architectural and building standards of the City."

Specifically, all newly built single-family family homes on lots larger than 7,000-square-feet must have a 1kW to 1.5 kW system. The minimum for rural homes on lots greater than 100,00-square-feet is 1.5 kW.

California bill would ban smoking in multi-unit housing

I've seen this article for a while. I covered this issue several months ago.  The most interesting thing is that it is pushed by Leftists.

At one time it was the Republicans who were always the brunt of the slogan "don't legislate what goes on in the bedroom."  People always fighting for liberties of one sort or another.

But now we see that the very people who utilized that slogan are the very ones guilty of legislating what goes on in the bedroom. And not only the bedroom but the whole house!

This is complete nonsense.

The California 'Mordida'

VDH is back on track with this great piece:
In short, California is a wonderful place to live for Bay Area, 30-something Google executives; young, rich Stanford students; and Malibu celebrities -- or recent indigents fleeing the abject misery of Latin America and needing generous public help. But it is not such an accommodating a landscape if you are in the shrinking middle class and seeking a good-paying job in energy, construction or manufacturing; a safe daily commute on good roads; reasonable taxes; an affordable house; or a good public school.

The governor and the legislature believe that higher taxes, higher prices and more regulations are worth the pleasures of California's weather, natural beauty and chic culture. Who would leave all that for low-tax but scorching Texas or Nevada?

They may be right. I am still here, writing this column in 70-degree March weather, gazing out at the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains, amid blooming almond orchards on the small farm of my ancestors -- while computing my soaring taxes and picking up the daily litter tossed by the roadside, after another near-death experience on an archaic California freeway.
Of course he's still there.  As I have stated in my blog where I criticized (I think I was a little too harsh, to tell you the truth) his analysis of CA:
For VDH, this moment has not come. Since he seems to be fairly well off, this "number" may not be reached for some time, I imagine. The magnitude of the vandalism and burglary on his property probably seems something just above an annoyance. If this were to happen to me at where I am in life, it would be heart rendering and I would start counting the costs and making plans to move.

But for him, at some point, that moment will come and he must decide what to do. Because, from what I can tell, things will get a lot worse before they get better.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Increasing minimum wage an uphill battle

You better hope it is.

"Look, it's become clear that corporations paying the minimum wage can now afford to pay more. It's not more complicated than that," said Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, who introduced the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 on Tuesday.

Miller's bill, co-written by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, would raise the federal minimum wage, in stages, from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour, and link increases beyond that to the cost of living. It would also raise the guaranteed minimum for tipped workers (primarily in restaurants) from $2.13 an hour - where it's stood for the past 20 years - to 70 percent of the standard minimum wage.
Last I checked, JC Penney was in no shape to pay higher wages to its employees.
After a year of re-branding efforts and sinking sales, JCPenney's quarterly numbers plummeted in its most recent earnings report. Nationally, JCPenney's revenue dropped 28.4% the last quarter, a larger loss than analysts projected.

Bakersfield JCPenney representatives aren't releasing their sales numbers, but they say the store isn't in line with the large loss.

JCPenney store leader George Cruz said, "I cannot disclose that information, I can tell you that we did a better than the company did for the fourth quarter."

A drop in sales has left many critics questioning the future of the 1,100 JCPenney department stores.
Sounds like a good way to kill a company that's been around for 100 years, or whatever it is.

Toward A Climate And Energy Literate Society: What Will It Take?

The term "climate change" is a meaningless term and conveys absolutely nothing.  Of course, the climate changes!  Who doesn't believe that?  But to put the blame squarely on humans is anti-science and anti-human.

NCSE has a host of recommendations, including supporting the climate and energy-related aspects of the forthcoming Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The new standards, which make teaching about climate change part of school curricula expected to be adopted by several states, are slated to be released this month.
In other words, indoctrination, propaganda, scare-mongering.  Make the kids feels it's all their fault for just BREATHING.

ENERGY: Photos used in heat study kept secret

What do you think fried bird look like? 

The experiments involved hanging euthanized birds near a power tower for up to a minute to expose them to different parts of the energy zone around the tower. Researchers found that feathers were singed only in the most intense thermal energy zone nearest the tower. That zone, according to other documents filed with the commission, is some 125 yards off the ground and extends for about 200 yards around the tower.

Christopher Ellison, a BrightSource attorney, said at the workshop that the photos should not be made public because the effects on birds are described in a report, according to an audio record of the meeting posted by on the energy commission website.

“But secondly, they are subject to being misused, frankly,” Ellison said.
So, they didn't look so bad.  Just a little singed.  In other words they didn't look like this:

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Obama’s Machiavellian Sequestration Pain Game: Putting Politics Over Public Safety

Man, I hate to say this but I was always against giving money to states.  Why?  Because of THIS!
His threats encompassed nearly every pressure point he and his team could muster.

via a Feb. 8th White House press release:

Threats to cut education

Threats to cut food inspection

Threats to reduce law enforcement and first responders

Threats to cut workplace safety inspections

Threats to cut senior citizens’ meals

Threats to cut the amount given to the long-term unemployed

Threats to cut nutrition assistance for 600,000 women, infants and children

Threats to put 100,000 formerly homeless people out on the streets

…and more.

You need to ask yourself when all this money giveaway started.  For one thing, if the Federal Government thought it needed to give money BACK to the states to be used for various reasons...why did it take the money in the form of taxation in the first place?

That's a good question.  the reason is CONTROL.

But when did it start?

It started with Nixon and something called "Revenue Sharing"

In October of 1972, Richard M. Nixon signed a program into law that would hugely aid the financial problems of individual governments across the United States. The Revenue Sharing Act allowed the tax money collected by the federal government to be distributed among state governments that needed the money. This policy provided direct financial aid across America and was based on the idea that local officials knew how to better use the money than a federal official.

The program was active for 14 years (1972-1986)

The total amount of money distributed from the federal government during the life of the program: $85 billion

Intense competition arose within communities over who got the larger sums of money

Communities held public audits and hearings to decide what to spend the money on to ensure the absence of discrimination
But in reality, did the program ever stop?  Federal money is funneled to states in numerous ways. Federal money is spent in states on education.  Federal money is used to feed the children in these school breakfast, lunch and even dinner.

The total?  Here it is:

In fiscal 2010, $654 billion in federal grants went to states and localities -- an amount that equaled 26 percent of all state and local spending.
Thanks to the Federal Government overstepping their constitutional authority, states are ADDICTED to the Federal money.

I say get rid of the Federal money except for that as called for by the US Constitution.  No more sequestration.  No more threats from the US Government against its people.

Fossil-Fuel Divestment — Part 2

Pretty soon, colleges in the USA will be bastions of bigotry, ignorance... 

...and investment portfolios of equities that will bankrupt them. And who will pick up the stock of the energy companies that Harvard, Berkely and others will dump?  Why, me!  and other people around the world.  The Chinese, the Singaporeans, the S. Koreans and anyone else left with a brain.

What foolhardy bigots we have become!

You may not have heard of the fossil-fuel divestment movement yet, but you will soon. While the campaign to have universities sell off any stock they may hold in large fossil-fuel companies is still in its infancy, the effort has spread to hundreds of campuses in just the past few months. This ambitious crusade to save the planet from global warming by crushing the world’s fossil-fuel producers is the brainchild of Bill McKibben, arguably America’s foremost environmentalist, and leader of the campaign to block construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. In the first installment of this three-part series, I traced the origins and development of the movement. Now it’s time to uncover the troubling ideology that stands behind the fossil-fuel divestment campaign.
Aren't these colleges also being pressured to divest themselves of Israeli stock???

Sunday, March 3, 2013

CA GOP Convention: DeVore lays out stark CA vs. TX contrast

A prophet has no honor in his own country...

In 2006, a study was done on the cost of regulations in California. DeVore said then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger did not want to release it. But finally in 2009, when unemployment hit a 70-year high for the state, the California State University-Sacramento study came out.

DeVore said the study laid out how California’s energy policy led to the highest gasoline tax and the costliest electricity in the country. No wonder, he said, that “people will move out of California and go to Texas.”

DeVore said even Canadians have figured out how to profit off the state’s regulatory culture. “California imports a lot of electricity, but it has to be green,” said DeVore. “BC Power, in British Columbia, which got caught manipulating energy costs in 2001, exports hydroelectric power to California at a very high profit.”

But the irony is BC Power has to import its own electricity because of how much it sends to California — and it comes from power generated by coal from the state of Washington and the province of Alberta. The coal is cheaper — and in the big climate picture, its use negates California’s use of cleaner hydroelectric power. Meaning California’s policies achieved no actual reductions in greenhouse gases.

Texas student suspended for finger gun

This is really, really, REALLY getting absurd.
The girl says she and her friends were pretending to be police officers. The schools says the teacher feared for her life.
The girls were pretending to be POLICE.  And the teacher was threatened with fingers!  oooooo!!!


In this case, I think the kid was just being disruptive. But you don't suspend a SIX  YEAR OLD kid for being disruptive during an assembly.  You pull him out and make him sit with the teacher.  Nothing is worse than that.
The boy’s mother, Lydia Fox, says the principal at Parkview Elementary called her earlier this month to tell her that her 7-year-old son had misbehaved during a school assembly by pretending to shoot a gun. As a result, the principal said the young boy would be placed in in-school suspension and face a more harsh punishment if it happened again.

Montgomery Co. student suspended for gun gesture gets school record cleared

Looks like a real trouble maker! Just kidding.

Parents Furious After Boys Suspended For Using Fingers As Guns

No.  This is not the same story!!

“Just pointing your fingers like this and then she did the pow sound and I just went like that and then I got sent to the office again,” Lynch said.

The school reversed its decision after Rodney’s parents appealed.

“They’re saying he threatened a student, threatened to shoot a student. He was playing,” said Rodney’s father, Rodney Lynch Sr.

“I do not believe maliciousness was involved here,” said child psychologist Dr. Joe Kaine.

First grader suspended for making gun gesture with finger at Maryland school

The kid is only SIX YEARS OLD...
A 6-year-old boy was suspended from his Maryland elementary school for making a gun gesture with his finger, pointing it at a classmate and saying "pow."

The Washington Post reports the first grader's parents are fighting to remove the disciplinary action, which the school said was due to the child making a "threat" to shoot another student in December, from the child's record.

The school says the child pointed his finger at a female student in his class as if it were a gun and said "pow." The school says the child had been warned before about similar behavior, but chose to do it anyway.

Now I wonder if I would get suspended for day dreaming at school about my uncle who talked about going hunting and how he told the story of someone who thought about shooting a bear.

7-year-old Colorado Student Suspended for Throwing Imaginary Grenade (VIDEO)

Another one of those jaw-dropping stories:
In Loveland, Colorado Alex Evans, a 2nd grade boy, was suspended from Mary Blair Elementary School for throwing a fake grenade while playing by himself during recess. In a game he called ‘Rescue the World’, the 7-year-old stated that he was pretending to be a super hero while he was saving everyone else from the end of the world.

10-year-old arrested after bringing toy gun to school

Get that?  ARRESTED!  He was arrested!  The 10 year old **KID** was arrested! reports that the child in question is (was?) an elementary school student in Northern Virginia. He is facing criminal charges after displaying a replica silver handgun to classmates on the way home from school on Monday:

The boy, a fifth-grader at Douglas MacArthur Elementary School in Alexandria, Va., was arrested and charged … Tuesday after he allegedly showed off the weapon on a school bus.

DC Breaking Local News Weather Sports FOX 5 WTTG

Halifax Co. Elementary School Students Suspended Over "Shooters"

Beyond the pail... or is it pale?  The pellets in question were...plastic.  Put out an eye?  I don't think so...
There were 15 kids involved on the bus.  Seems that this would be enough of a reason to suspend the kids for being involved in the melee.  Could be the pea shooters are just a convenient excuse.

Meadville Elementary School Principal Marliss Barczak says students used hollowed out markers and pens to shoot air gun pellets on the playground and even on the school bus.

One of those pellets hit a school bus driver.

The driver told Barczak and she handed down 15 suspensions.

"There could have been an accident. Someone could have lost an eye. I wanted to make it perfectly clear that we would not tolerate that, " said Barczak.

But the parents of some of those students are saying that punishment is too harsh.

"I don't consider it a weapon. I spit spitballs as well when I was a child. It's a child's game, " said parent Deanna Simmers.

Amy and Aaron Fisher say their son is an honor roll student who had never been in trouble before. - ABC13

Florence student suspended over picture of gun

The teacher in classic knee-jerk reaction turned the kid in without trying to scope out the situation.
Daniel’s father said after ABC15 contacted the school, the administration backed down and will let his son return to school on Monday instead of Wednesday.

“To me it's ridiculous. Three days for a picture? It wasn't like he was standing in front of the school holding the gun,” said Daniel McClaine Sr. “He should have got a warning. He shouldn't have ever been suspended. Not for something so frivolous.”

District reviews policy after kids suspended over pretend weapons

Nice to see there is SOME sanity out there.  Just not enough of it.
"When it comes to things such as a plastic toy gun, I don't think we should go over the deep end in our administering of that policy. I think we need to use good common sense and treat a child as his or her age appropriate way," said Kleinsmith.

The superintendent says they're reviewing their zero tolerance policy now for clarification when it comes to weapons, real or fake.

Districts in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Massachusetts have suspended or threatened to suspend students for minor infractions involving pretend weapons.

Hello Kitty Bubble Gun Gets 5-year-old Suspended

And the worst part?  There wasn't even a bubble pistol anywhere.  The little girl just talked about it.
Her family's attorney says she was at her school bus stop last week when she told a classmate she was going to shoot him and herself with the bubble gun - a gun she did not have with her.

According to the family's lawyer, district officials at Mount Carmel Area Elementary School questioned the girl for three hours without her parent's knowledge. She was suspended for ten days for making terroristic threats.

The Hello Kitty bubble is considered a toy. When you pull the trigger, it shoots out bubbles.

The family's lawyer says a psychologist examined the girl and said she was not a danger to others, so district officials reduced the suspension from ten days to four days.

Mount Carmel's superintendent would not comment on the suspension citing confidentiality concerns.

The family's attorney says the incident will go on her permanent record, which the family will fight. He says the family is also considering suing the Mount Carmel Area School District.

Over The Top: School Suspensions for imaginary guns

There is no doubt that guns and bb guns and so forth are being brought to school.  And students who do such a thing should be suspended.

But beyond that, the world of education has taken things a bit too far.  It's one thing to be intolerant of guns.  A good argument could be made that even "playing army" or "cops and robbers" at school should not be tolerated.  But educators ( and I use this term rather loosely nowadays) have taken this just a bit too far.

I'm going to start following this from this point just to show how the public school system has become dysfunctional in this regard.  I begin to wonder how far they would take this.  For instance, if a child should admit that he was daydreaming about going hunting with his dad, would the administrators boot him out of the school??

There is no sense of....measure.  And I don't think we understand how bad this has gotten.

So, here's the first article that I think sums up the situation rather succinctly:
On Friday, seven year old Josh Welch found himself suspended from school for two days. The reason? Welch, a second-grade student at Park Elementary School in Baltimore, Md., chewed a breakfast pastry in the general shape of a gun, Fox 45 reported.

Originally, Welch was trying to make the pastry look like a mountain, but that didn't work out too well.

"All I was trying to do was turn it into a mountain but, it didn't look like a mountain really and it turned out to be a gun kinda," he said.