Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Streisand-Backed Measure to Block Whole Foods Wins in Malibu

Yes, the rich in CA are the movers and shakers in defining CA. And the little guy?  Forget it!  The irony is that the Whole Foods is NOT a Walmart.  But to the uber weathly, it might as well be.
The ballot item, Measure R, spearheaded by actor, director and producer Rob Reiner and backed by entertainment-industry figures including Barbra Streisand, Tom Hanks and David Geffen, passed with 59 percent of the vote, according to election results released today.

The measure’s passage “is a major victory for the residents of Malibu, all of whom now have a stronger voice over the future of our community,” Reiner, a Malibu homeowner for 21 years whose directing credits include “The Bucket List” and “The Magic of Belle Isle,” said in a statement. “Measure R will help preserve the unique character of Malibu and combat increased traffic and the destruction of open spaces.”

Sunday, October 26, 2014

THE MAKING OF THE AMERICAN POLITICAL GULAG: FEC takes aim at online political ads

It's time to take a machete to the Federal Budget and lop off these completely worthless agencies.

The democrats are a danger to our present way of life, what's left of it.  How could you not see this happen?  The government wants to control YOU.  That shouldn't surprise you.

It should scare the hell out of you.

Are you ready to be the first American Political Prisoner?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

UTTERLY STUPID: Hillary: 'Don't Let Anybody Tell You' That 'Businesses Create Jobs'

“Don’t let anybody tell you it’s corporations and businesses create jobs,” Clinton said.

“You know that old theory, ‘trickle-down economics,’” she continued. “That has been tried, that has failed. It has failed rather spectacularly.”
I.  Can't. Stand. It. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Foodies are FOOLED by McDonalds fast food. They think it tastes BETTER.

Slowly getting back into the swing of things.  I'm still in Seoul, but we're wrapping it up here.
I found this video simply priceless in showing the utter SHAM of the Organic Food craze.  These so-called food "experts" had no idea what they were eating.  If they can't tell the difference...should you even listen to them?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Treasury takes actions to deter inversions

I'm still not back to full speed right now.  Hopefully, in within the next month I'll be back.

First of all, the title of the article is disgusting.  This is like the reporter is on the side of the US Government on this.

I know this isn't the first time the Federal Government has put up road blocks to make it harder for corporations to locate overseas.  Apparently, it hasn't worked.  And this won't work either.

So, this is how it starts.  They put up barriers to prevent companies from leaving the country.  In the meantime, citizens who want to renounce their citizenship have seen the "fee" to do so go from free to $2,350.  Who knows what will be next to prevent people and businesses from leaving the country?

Once the Mexican-US boarder trails are used to flee the US instead of enter America in search of a better life....the border fence WILL be built.

What shall we call this?  The American IRONIC IRON CURTAIN?

Someone come up with a sarcastic, ignoble term to describe a border fence that will be used to keep US citizens from fleeing to a better life.  The term should show the stupidity of the US Government and the bitterness and irony of the situation.

I just can't believe what we have become.  It's startling.  It's despicable.  The enemy, the Soviet Union that we are credited with defeating...we are transforming into THEM!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Shrinkflation? Yes, because they really think you're that stupid.

I was watching a Peter Schiff video where he mentioned this.  What is it?  This is where an item's price stays the same, but the quantity is reduced.

And my response was "huh?"  Yes.  I'm afraid it's true.  Instead of calling what it is, SOMEONE somewhere makes up a new term: shrinkflation.

Here is a Bloomberg article that discusses it:

A former adviser to President George W. Bush, Malmgren is zeroing in on what’s come to be known as “shrinkflation” -- where companies charge consumers the same, or more, for less. That may foreshadow an overall jump in prices, an alarm she’s been sounding for a while.

“Shrinking the size of goods is exactly what happened in the 1970s just before inflation proper set in,” she writes in her new book, “Signals: The Breakdown of the Social Contract and the Rise of Geopolitics.”
What?  I'm sorry...repeat that?  "just before inflation proper sets in"?  Uh, ahem.  W. T. F.?  Can someone please tell me what "inflation proper" means?

Nevermind! I'll tell you want it means.  It means NOTHING.  Inflation proper is nothing more than that.  Inflation!  What an incredibly stupid and insulting article!

Why can't they just call a spade a spade?  And I know why they can't bring themselves to say it.  Admitting it really is inflation means the Dark Period has begun.  I can't help but feel the article's intentmay not to be to convince you there is really no "inflation proper" but to convince themselves, hey, we're ok.  We haven't been hit with inflation proper.  You know, inflation per se.

Here is my personal story of my first confrontation with inflation back in the 70s.  Well, maybe it wasn't my first.  But it is printed on my brain and I can't forget it.

 Inflation proper!  Indeed!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

NASA's Orion Space Craft Form Factor

This is really cool.  I always thought the Orion was a step backwards.  When I first saw the pictures of it all I could think was "This is the Apollo design!"  I was not happy.

For those who felt the same way as I did, this video might help you look at it not as the same old design, but a rather steep upgrade. But we'll see if promises are kept.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

ISIS Against the World.

Abdulluh and the other ISIS junior officers stood and snapped to attention as the General briskly walked in to join the meeting that was about to begin.

The searing heat outside had finally dissipated from Abdullah’s skin as they had been in their “war room” for a couple of hours now.  Earlier in the day they had finally run out the Iraqis from the city where they discovered this fortified building as it made an ideal Strategic Command Center.  The air conditioning from the LG Pinguini air conditioner felt good as the last of his sopping sweat evaporated.

“PBUY! “ The general said waving to the officers to sit back down. “Do we have the conference call in? “  He grabbed the chair at the head of the table and plopped down, elbows resting on the conference table, rubbing his hands together.

Abdullah swallowed and said, “Yes, commander.  We’re Skyped in and have on the other end an ISIS contingent battling on the border of Lebanon.  We were just about to discuss tactics.”  Abdullah tried to sound as calm and professional as possible but couldn’t help but be intimidated by the giant of a man who he considered almost a god (well, not really since TINOGBA).  They had made incredible progress mainly because of this man’s ingenuity and cunning - ABP.

They all sat together and faced the webcam “Greetings from the New Caliphate capital!”  The General said smiling. “Do you have a report for us?”

“General, I am honored by your presence! ABP! PBUY!“  The person at the other end of the video conference call smiled broadly.  The others around him were visible, all leaning in to be part of the conversation, trying to be seen by the general. They were all still wearing the face masks with only their fluttering eyes and white teeth visible.

“We are making steady progress in rooting out and killing the infidels.  We have massacred so far 25 Lebanese dissidents who defy the Law of Allah.”

“Stop right there.  You said 25?” The general snapped.

“Uh…Yes, General.”  As if following a script, the other insurgent faces lost their smiles and slowly, almost imperceptibly, started moving out of the webcam’s view.

The general smiled.  “That is significant progress!  Your last Tweet mentioned only 10!”

Relief spread throughout the group. The masked faces with fluttering eyes and white teeth quickly reappeared. “Yes General, I was just in the process of sending out the latest tweet.  You should receive it shortly!

While he was saying the words, the general felt his Samsung S5 phone vibrate.  He pulled it out and saw the new Twitter update from the Lebanese frontline. He smiled.

Several junior officers reached into their pockets as ringtones of various prayer calls alerted them of the new tweet. Except one ringtone sounded like his favorite Madonna song.

“Also, General, we have been dealing with logistics problems – .“  The screen froze for an instant and the Sony Laptop screen went BSOD.

The general and others moaned.  “Ahmed!  Where is Ahmed?  It’s happened yet again!” The general twisted around looking for their IT worker.

“Here, General!”  The ISIS tech, Ahmed, quickly moved in, twirled the PC around to assess the BSOD and read the codes to determine what the cause was.

“Where is your Apple Macbook Air?” The general barked.

“It’s back in the IT shop, several buildings down.  I have been telling Central Command to issue more Apple Macbooks but they won’t listen.”

“Why is that?”  The general started impatiently thrumming is fingers on the table.

“They said the best Quran Holy Prayer programs are written for the PC, not the Mac.”

The General grunted as Ahmed rebooted the Sony PC to continue the conversation.

As if on cue, someone passed out Cokes to help dissipate the last of the sweat. The General looked at his bottle intently as the ice slid off the sides of the bottle, just like in a commercial.  He frowned and with one swoosh of his giant hand he sent the bottle ricocheting off the Panasonic refrigerator the soldier took them from.  “I hate the sight of this….shit Coke!” And then in his best sotto voce he slowly parsed his words through gritted teeth saying, “I. thought. I. told. you. I. liked. Fanta.”

The group of officers sat quaking in silence.  The server lost his smile and bowed stiffly. “Yes, General, you did.  The Fantas are in transit but the Fiat broke down again.  I will obtain one for you when they arrive later today.”

The General shifted his eyes suspiciously at them.  Finally saying “very well.”  The relief in the room was like an overinflated tire that had the air let out.

Still steaming from the news, the General said, “Abdullah, please make a note for Logistics to get rid of all Fiats.  We must go back to either Toyota pickup trucks or modified Hyundai SUVs if we want to ever improve the reliability of the supply chain.”

Abdullah rapidly scribbled the order in his log on his Microsoft Surface Pro 2. “Yes, General!”

 “General, we have the Lebanese contingent on WhatsApp.”  Ahmed said as he frantically typed into the chat.

“I HATE WhatsAPP! What was Facebook thinking when they bought it? Anyway, I hate how it handles audio and video.”  The General objected.

“Sorry.  We can switch to Facetime.”  He typed into WhatsApp asking if the Lebanese contingent had a Macbook laptop with them.

“We don’t have Macs here.  Just PCs!”  Came the typed response.

Ahmed, the IT guy, typed furiously, sweat becoming visible on his temples as it trickled toward his cheeks as he could almost feel the sharp sword blade against his neck, “We have an iPhone here.  How about you?” He typed.

The response scrolled across the screen. “We don’t have any iPhones here.  We do have a couple of Windows phones, if that helps.”

The IT guy tried one more text “Do you have Kakao Talk?”

There was silence.

“We don’t even know what that is!” Finally came the response.

The general was just getting close to losing it. “What about Yahoo messenger?”

“It’s not installed.  If you give me a few minutes –“

The General was perturbed to say the least.  “Just restart Skype and let’s get this done.” He sighed.

Once the Skype connection was reestablished the ISIS Lebanese contingent leader at the other end continued “As I was saying General, we have some issues regarding the supply chain of weapons and fuel. But nothing we haven’t been able to overcome.”

The general regained his smile. “That is an excellent report!  Thank you so much for your time and…ABP!”

“General, one more thing!  We have great video footage of the carnage we have wrought.”

“That is very good news!  Make sure you upload it to Youtube as soon as you can.  We will have the Westerners quaking in their boots and peeing on their goats!”  He let out a belch and started laughing holding his belly. The other attendees belched and laughed along with him.

The conference call ended.

The General stood and smiled broadly saying, “We will finally show the evil corrupt infidels how stupid they are. We will crush their stupid anti-Islam culture, wiping out all they stand for and replace it with the far superior ISIS culture and religion and what it stands for!”

At that point a courier rushed in simultaneously pulling a folder out of his satchel.
“General, Sir!  Papers approving the deployment of troops to Baghdad. I need you to sign.”

“Yes, the final blow to the infidels.”  He reached for his pen, not finding it in the left shirt pocket of his vest where it normally resides.

Looking around, still patting his vest, he asked, “Where’s my Parker?”

Is the cost of a gallon of gas too high? An impoverished nation finds itself finding a commodity that hasn't changed in price, now to be too expensive.

A couple of years ago I had a conversation with another engineer. And with engineers, it's all in the numbers. I like to say we must let the numbers "speak" and that is what leads us in our decisions.

I had just bought some junk silver; several roles of mercury dimes. I don't like buying [Roosevelt] dimes since the dead prez is still on the 10 cent piece and people may not initially accept the silver [Roosevelt] ones.

I took three of the dimes to work and got into a conversation with a friend of mine. He was my age, but is not from the USA, so he has no reference point like I have.

I told him, "back in the early 70s, gas was incredibly cheap."

Using my middle three fingers hiding the coins, I slid the three dimes toward him on his desk and explained to him what happened. "This was the price of a gallon of gas before we went off the gold standard". I uncovered the dimes.  In actuality, gas could be had for even cheaper, but I had to pick a point for discussion.

At the time of my conversation with my friend, silver prices were higher than they are now and gasoline prices were much higher. "Here we are, 40 years later. These dimes are special in that they contain silver." He nodded. 

Looking him in the eyes, I said, "Do you know what the price of gasoline is now?" I let this sink in as I could hear the gears in his brain whirring away.

I took one of the dimes away. "THIS is what gas costs now." In relation to the price of silver at the time, gasoline would be only 20 cents.

He was absolutely stunned. He couldn't believe it. How was this possible? Right now, gasoline prices in Houston are just about on par with what they cost in 1970 in terms of the price silver! Today I would just leave the three silver dimes on the desk!

This is a very significant story to tell. And the implications are absolutely enormous.Even in the 1960s and 70s, the price of gasoline was considered CHEAP. It was not expensive. THE POOR WOULD BUY GAS and not complain. Everyone had a "gas guzzler" because gas was CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP.  Miles per gallon?  Are you joking?  What the hell is that?

And what about now? Do we consider the price of gas to be expensive? Or do we consider the price of gas to be cheap?

The answer is obvious. We consider gas to be EXPENSIVE when in never changed. We keep saying that the poor can't afford the cost of operating a car because the price to fill the tank is too high. But in actuality, if we had stayed on the gold standard the price of gas WOULD HAVE REMAINED THE SAME. Absolutely no one would be talking about the price of gasoline being too high. No. One.

And that is the problem. Our frame of reference in a post gold standard world has completely changed and not for the better. It is abundantly clear we are nowhere near the standard of living we enjoyed back in the 60s and 70s.

Thanks Nixon!

Someone noticed I referred to the dimes as "Eisenhower dimes" Hah!  No such thing!  I meant Roosevelt dimes.  

Thursday, August 28, 2014

California's Plastic Bag Ban Is Bogus

I don't think "bogus" is strong enough.  Stupid.  Repulsive.  Hypocritical.  Onerous.  Ignorant.  That should do it.

Symbolic gestures such as these can be important in inspiring broader, more meaningful environmental reform. But they risk fueling a self-congratulatory complacency that distracts from more serious challenges. Take furniture, for example. In 2012, Americans disposed of 11.5 million tons of furniture and furnishings -- a volume more than three times greater and far less recyclable than plastic bags because of the labor involved in disassembling a sofa into recyclable components. (The EPA reports that less than 1 percent of discarded furniture is recovered in any form.) Even worse, Americans wasted an indefensible 36.4 million tons of food in 2012, according to the same EPA data. Although compostable, less than 5 percent of the total was recovered in any manner. The rest was presumably laid to rest in landfills where -- because of the lack of oxygen -- it does little more than take up space.
Earlier in the article the author mentions that plastic bags should be banned, just not right now.  I thought that was a worthless bone to throw the activists and sort of self-steals some of their thunder.

On second try, California plastic bag ban passes Assembly

How can a state be so infested with so many stupid, stupid people.  If you're poor, leave.  Leave now.
Proponents argue that massive volumes of discarded bags clog rivers and landfills, saddling California with hefty cleanup costs. They point to the scores of counties and cities that have already enacted bag bans as evidence that the policy can be effective and enjoys popular support.

“We live in a throwaway society. We live a lifestyle that is ultimately non-sustainable,” said Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward. “What this bill does is to make an effort to do one little thing – get people to use reusable bags.”

But critics warned that the measure would cost jobs. They continued to lambaste the 10-cent fee, saying it would line the pockets of grocers and retailers.

“It is a tax increase we impose to benefit local businesses,” said Assemblyman Don Wagner, R-Irvine. “It makes absolutely no sense as tax policy, it makes no sense as a jobs policy.”

The measure now moves to the Senate, where it has yet to be tested with a floor vote.
I had no idea how lucrative it was for the grocers.

Also, where are those photos of plastic bag clogged rivers?  Where are the photos of mountains and mountains of plastic grocery bags in landfills?  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

THE LAW OF INNOCENT DEATH: FDA's New Food Regulations Are A Recipe For High Food Prices

We really need to get rid of the FDA.  I'm sick of their control of the food supply.  And they are basing their control on outdated ideas on low sodium intake.  It's stupid and archaic. This is yet another example of the Federal Government trying to do one thing - save lives - and accomplishing just the opposite.
Food prices continue to go up and consumers are feeling the pinch. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the price of food has spiked to its highest rate since September 2011. Consumers are now paying more for such staples as ground beef, chicken and turkey, eggs, bacon, citrus fruit, coffee, peanut butter, and margarine. Normally, politicians would try to alleviate this financial strain on American families. Yet, this administration seems to want to make food more expensive.

Consider the recent announcement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that it plans to create “voluntary” guidelines for food manufacturers and restaurants to reduce the amount of sodium in their products and prepared meals. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg explained the move with the classic “it’s good for you” rationale, saying, “We believe we can make a big impact working with the industry to bring sodium levels down, because the current level of consumption really is higher than it should be for health.”

But is American salt consumption really unhealthy?

According to a new study from researchers at the University of Copenhagen Hospital in Denmark and published in the American Journal of Hypertension, the daily salt intake guidelines offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (currently set at 2,300 mg per day for people under 50 years old, and less than 1,500 mg per day for people over 50 years old) are “excessively and unrealistically low.” The researchers found that most Americans consume more sodium than the CDC recommendations (at around 2,645-4,945 mg per day) and that when sodium consumption fell outside that range, there was an increase in mortality.
Did you read that last sentence? Reduced consumption of salt will kill you.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

After missteps, Dunkin’ Donuts set for California expansion

Interesting article.  Well written.  I just wonder if DD is ready for the whacked out labor laws there.
Dunkin’ plans to open its first traditional restaurant in Modesto, Calif., on Tuesday and a second store in Santa Monica in the following weeks.

Three additional restaurants in Long Beach, Downey, and Whittier are expected before the end of the year. Franchisees have signed agreements to open nearly 200 stores by 2020 and the company intends to eventually grow to 1,000 stores in the state.

“We’ve learned a lot about operating out West,” said Nigel Travis, chief executive of Dunkin’ Brands. “We’ve been incredibly impressed with the quality of the franchisees.”

But Dunkin’ had to learn the hard way.

Monday, August 25, 2014

California bill to delay cap-and-trade expansion finished for year

See?  CA politicians really DON'T give a shit about the citizens of the state.

Avoiding an election-year legislative debate over how California’s cap-and-trade program could affect gasoline prices, the leader of the state Senate has sidelined a bill that would have delayed a key aspect of California’s landmark emissions law.

Several years have passed since California enacted AB 32, a 2006 law meant to reduce heat-trapping emissions and which requires industries to purchase permits for the carbon they pump into the air. But transportation fuels such as gasoline have not yet come under the program. That is scheduled to change in January, prompting moderate Democrats and an oil industry-funded campaign to warn about a spike in prices and argue for a delay.

Assemblyman Henry Perea, D-Fresno, warned that the change would hurt residents of inland districts where unemployment hovers above the state average and long commutes are commonplace. His Assembly Bill 69 would have delayed bringing transportation fuels under the cap-and-trade program. Numerous moderate Democrats signed a letter supporting the concept.
If you're poor, get out.  Get out now.  Come to Texas.

2 state supreme court rulings on animal abuse make for harsher penalties

The idea of animals having basic "human rights" is a perversion.  We kill animals everyday.  We slaughter them by the millions if not billions for food.  Let's keep it that way.  Animals are property.  Once you deviate from that the road to the demeaning of human life is the final destination.
This month, two rulings by the Oregon Supreme Court granted animals some rights formerly reserved for humans. Now, people in Oregon guilty of animal abuse or neglect may receive harsher sentences. Also, police can save animals in danger without getting a warrant.

New York and California Migration is Helping Liberals Take Over America

Yep.  Texans are NOT happy that these leftists start at one state, destroy it, then move on to others, leaving in their wake a trail of tornado destruction.  Get the hell out.
It’s no accident that the places in once-red states where migrants have tended to settle — like the Virginia suburbs of Washington, the Research Triangle of North Carolina and the Denver metro area — are the places that have allowed Democrats to overcome huge deficits elsewhere in those states. Many of these migrants are Northeastern Democrats.

Colorado has gained twice as many migrants from blue states as from red since 2000, and blue-state expats now make up 12 percent of the population. In North Carolina, blue migration is occurring four times as quickly as migration from red states, and blue-state natives now account for 16 percent of the North Carolina population.

On the flip side, the movement of blue-staters into Texas, Utah and Idaho hasn’t helped Democrats as much, in part because many of the migrants are more conservative voters, such as whites from Southern California. Texas and the interior West have also drawn more red-state migrants than states where Democrats have recently won.
Internal to cities such as Austin and even Houston are bluer than blue.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

California push to avert higher gas prices stalls

And what a shame.  If there is one thing that would make me pack up and leave CA, it's the gas prices there.
Both bills have been stalled in the Senate Rules Committee. On Thursday, Democrats who control the Senate defeated Vidak's attempt to attach his exemption to an unrelated bill.
"Gasoline is not a luxury for most Californians; it's a necessity," Vidak said, saying the increase would harm poor Californians the most. 
Assemblyman Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, said Vidak's bill at least deserves a vote from the full Legislature, even it fails. 
"It just reinforces the fact that we're just completely out of step up here in terms of what's going on in the state," Wilk said.
And these final paragraphs are really the most disgusting:
While pump prices are likely to increase, the board projects that overall fuel expenses will drop by $400 per person per year by 2020. That assumes there are more electric- and hydrogen-driven vehicles available, and that consumers buy them, Young said.

It also assumes that more people walk, bike or take mass transit as a result of state-funded improvements and incentives funded by revenue from the cap-and-trade fees.  
 Yeah.  We call that REGRESSION. These are characteristics of a culture that is regressing. A person who can no longer drive his car will take to walking?  Riding a bike?

Assembly bill could lower cost of residential solar in California

I think solar cells are cool.  I would love to put them on my home, but I live in a townhouse in downtown Houston.  And they are expensive.  But I think if I wanted them installed, the whole process would take no more than a week.  In CA, it can take over two months.
Muratsuchi was prompted to create the bill after a visit to Verengo Solar in Torrance last year, where company officials told him permitting processes in some cities and counties add delays to solar installation work.

“They told me that it often takes 65 days to install solar panels on a person’s home, of which 64 of those days are spent wading through the local bureaucracy to get the necessary permits and approvals,” Muratsuchi said at a solar industry lobbying event this month at the state Capitol.

Muratsuchi and solar industry officials say streamlining the processes throughout the state will reduce those delays, which can be costly. The bill also prohibits homeowner associations from passing restrictions that increase the cost of solar panel systems by more than $1,000.
What I can't believe is how long it's taken for someone to come up with this law.  I talked about this YEARS ago on my defunct CA Swan Song website.  A study came out in 2010 - or maybe 2011 - detailing the enormous amount of red tape that installers had to deal with to install solar cells on residential homes.

California vs. Texas in fight to attract and retain businesses

I have to agree with this LAT piece.  Using monetary incentives to draw businesses to your state is an idea that can turn around and bite you bad. But the CA idea is....ok.  For a cash strapped state with high taxes, what else can you do?

California's new system has some key differences from Texas' programs. The so-called California Competes program is structured as a tax credit rather than an upfront cash grant. That gives the state more leverage if companies don't come through on their end of the agreement, California economic development officials say.

"We're not writing a check," said Will Koch, a deputy director who oversees the program in Gov. Jerry Brown's Office of Business and Economic Development, during a June meeting.

The program also has more specific requirements outlining the salary levels required to obtain funding.
Well, since TX doesn't have an income tax and only a tiny corporate income tax, what else can we do?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

POVERTY: Trends alarm Southern California economists Here are 5 key things you should know about the latest findings

I don't live in CA, but I do live in Houston and homelessness is visible.  I just can't imagine what it's like in LA or Fresno or some other city in CA. Redlands-based economist John Husing issued a dire warning Wednesday, as elected officials from across Southern California pledged to reignite Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty:
“If we do not solve this problem, we are not going to want to live in Southern California. The communities are going to become unhinged.”


Some of the results were alarming, said economist Wallace Walrod, who advises the Orange County Business Council.

They found disparities among the percentage of residents in poverty across counties: 19.1 percent in Los Angeles, 12.9 in Orange and 20.4 in Riverside. But Husing and others said the flow of goods and services is so closely integrated that poverty is a regional, not local, issue.
It looks like the economy is growing so maybe things will improve.  We can hope.

The five things include:  Poverty is rising, a lower percentage are getting high school diplomas, more children are in poverty,  lowest paying jobs are growing the fastest, and finally, there is growth in the industries that don't require degrees yet pay decent wages.

MONEY: No big bang for the buck in California

I guess this would be a big "duh!" and it surprises me that someone actually took the time to run the numbers.
Studies released this week of federal data show for the first time the real value of $100 in each state based on purchasing similar goods and services. And if you live in, say, Riverside County, the findings help explain the thinness in your wallet.

High-cost California landed near the bottom of the heap in consumer purchasing power, with residents able to buy $88.57 worth of goods for their $100, according to the Tax Foundation, a nonprofit research organization.

It gets worse.

Among metropolitan areas, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Orange County ranks among the highest-cost areas nationally at $84.60, with Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario better off at $94.07. The Tax Foundation released its metropolitan area study Wednesday evening.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Wheels Are Coming Off California's Ballyhooed Comeback

Oh brother.  I think it's starting:
"After four years of uninterrupted growth, states' tax collections saw a decline in the first quarter of 2014. Preliminary figures for the second quarter of 2014 indicate further declines in personal income-tax collections and possibly in overall state taxes.

Then came the show stopper:

"Most of the decline is attributable to a single state — California — where personal income-tax collections declined by $2 billion, or 11.1%. If we exclude California, personal income tax collections show a growth of 2.0% in personal income tax collections and a growth of 0.6% in overall state tax collections."

This time last year, liberals around the country were trumpeting the big fiscal comeback of the Golden State in the wake of Jerry Brown's giant tax increase — Proposition 30.

California's Economic Collision Course: Immigration and Water

Hard hitting CA article.  I've been following CA stupidity now for a number of years.  This article pretty much sums up the last couple of years pretty well.

Despite a much-heralded recovery in the media and by Governor Jerry Brown, California still has one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates. Also, more than 30% of the nation’s welfare recipients are Californians – even though California has just 12% of the nation’s population. It is not surprising, therefore, that California is ranked number one in poverty.

The cause for those bad statistics is bad government policy. California is the most regulated, highest-taxed, most in-debt state in America. According to government data, from the municipal to the state level, California governments have more than $1.1 trillion in debt – much of that tied to pensions.


[A]fter California Republicans fought for a greater emphasis on water storage, Brown agreed to a bond that spends $2.5 billion on water storage – a figure woefully short of what is needed. Obviously, Brown thinks high-speed rail is 27 times more important than water storage.

Neither that water bond nor any other state level effort currently underway will sufficiently add to the amount of available water now or in the future. Water equals jobs, however, and without a far-reaching effort such as building 60 desalination plants at the same cost as the high-speed rail project – plants that won’t need future subsidies, the California economy is on an economic collision course with immigration.

Monday, August 18, 2014

California's most conservative and liberal cities: Where's yours?

What surprised me was how several leftist-filled cities are so over-the-top leftist-filled.  I can't help but feel there is nothing natural about this, too.  I think the clarion call went out, calling Leftists to come on down.

I'm posting the two extremes. The first is of towns considered conservative leaning.

This is of Leftist leaning - I refuse to use the word Liberal.  There is no way Berkeley in any sense of the word "Liberal".

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Protesters in California prevent Israeli ship from docking

CA used to be the Land of Fruit and Nuts.  Now it is the Land of the just plain unhinged.

According to Dr Paul Larudee, a co-founder of the Free Palestine movement, thousands of activists waving Palestinian flags turned out to blockade the Israeli cargo ship Ever Lasting, which pulled into a harbour in the San Francisco Bay on Saturday morning.

The protesters intended to form a picket line to prevent work crews from unloading the ship, responding to the Palestinian General Federation Trade Union's BDS call for workers around the world to refuse to handle Israeli goods. "The Ever Lasting and its sister ship ZIM Piraeus were both due to be unloaded that day," Dr Larudee told MEMO.

"As it approached the docks, however, the Ever Lasting was ordered by the port authority to return to the entrance and moor to the side until further notice. In the meantime, the ZIM Piraeus had been treading water off the coast of Monterey since the previous evening."

He added that, "The reaction of the port authority and the decision to delay the arrival of one of the ships was apparently due to the knowledge that the dock workers were going to respect the picket line of the demonstrators."
But the real kicker is what one of the commenters posted:
mariamorningstarparker (signed in using yahoo) Unfortunately for everyone involved, the Everlasting is not an Israeli ship, nor does it sail to Israel. Its Hong Kong flagged and owned by a Chinese company. This error is embarrassing to the movement- and 5 minutes on the Internet could save a whole lot of explaining down the road, so i urge everyone to do their homework first, before we prevent another Chinese from unloading. We did the same thing in 2010, btw- you'd think we would have learned by now.


I love his "tell it like it is" attitude.  A breath of fresh CA air!

"[The politicians] do nothing here. The government of this state, everything they do is the opposite of what they should be doing. We're losing revenue. People are leaving for Nevada and Texas and Tennessee, with no state tax. What should we do? I don't know, let's raise state taxes to 13 1/2 %! That's going to make more people leave. Come on, guys!"

He continues, "This country was built on individuals. It wasn't built on the bigger government. You look at what's happening in California, with runaway production and all that. We're not going to keep business here. We do nothing to encourage business to be there.

"We've made it so hard for people to start businesses, of course they're going to go to Vegas,; of course they're going to go to Dallas; of course they're going to go to Nashville; they're going to go to Florida. They're going to go to places that are opening their doors."

The California Exodus

Well, unfortunately, the largest portion of CA'ians moved to TX.   We would actually appreciate it if they stayed away.

California has experienced rapid population growth for most of its history, but that trend has come to an end. California’s population grew by 2.9 percent over the last three years, only slightly above the nation’s 2.4 percent increase. Over the last few decades, millions of Californians have left the Golden State for opportunities elsewhere. According to census data compiled by my colleague Rob Gebeloff, the Pacific Northwest and fast growing Sunbelt states like Texas, Arizona and Nevada have attracted a disproportionate share of ex-Californians.
You might want to check out the bar charts they have posted, too.

L.A. Faces $15 Billion Bill as Pipes Spring Leaks: Cities

High debt, high taxes, high water rates, high sales taxes.  The tax payers are tapped out.  This is the face of a city that is destined for ruin.
About 240 miles of L.A.’s pipes are more than a century old, James McDaniel, senior assistant general manager of the Department of Water and Power, told the the City Council’s energy and environment committee on Aug. 6.

The utility replaces only about 18 miles of pipe per year rather than the 34 miles officials called for in 2012. McDaniel said managers want to be able to replace pipes at a rate of every 170 years -- which would be an improvement over the present change-out pace of every 315 years.

Garcetti, a Democrat elected last year after running on a “back to basics” platform, has said he doesn’t favor tax or water-rate increases to fund improvements, and he hasn’t proposed bond measures. He has said existing resources should be used more wisely.

As for the July 29 rupture, the cause was a bad joint, not an old pipe the city should have replaced, he said. Still, “we pay for this one way or another,” he told reporters Aug. 4. “If a main breaks, that cost comes back to ratepayers.”
Here is a proposal:  Pass a temporary tax but include a clause saying that if any councilman or other government worker votes to extend past a certain date he will immediately go to jail.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The case for free tampons

An insipid article written by a small minded woman who doesn't have the brains to follow through on the consequences of such stupidity.

In the United States, access to tampons and pads for low-income women is a real problem, too: food stamps don’t cover feminine hygiene products, so some women resort to selling their food stamps in order to pay for “luxuries” like tampons. Women in prison often don’t have access to sanitary products at all, and the high cost of a product that half the population needs multiple times a day, every month for approximately 30 years, is simply, well, bullshit.
Whatever it is, it's life.  Just deal with it.

Free?  I think this is the idea that most has me laughing. First, let's look at the present price of tampons.  Here's a clip from Walgreens website:

Since the author is most interested in helping the poor, I chose to look at the lowest cost product that Walgreens offers.

Basing my calculations on the $3.79, the price of each tampon is a whopping.....9.5 cents.

Since the author wants this product to be free - that is, price subsidized  by the government - what do you THINK would be the price the government would need to cover if they paid for it?  

Well, this is easy!  For every one worker, you will have 10 bureaucrats ordering him around.  the price of one tampon  - the price that the US Citizens would have to bear would probably go up to over one dollar per tampon.

What about quality?  Oh man, that's another easy one.  Women would find that they need more of them for the same mount of work.  Quality goes down.  That's a given!

And what about shortages?  Yes!  All we have to do is look at history to see what government control 
does to the availability of goods such as these. This article is from the Chicago Tribune published in 1989.  The article is about Czechoslavakia and other Soviet Satellite countries during the time when they were run by the Communist:
With some success, Czechoslovak officials tried after 1968 to buy off their people. Consumer goods became more available than elsewhere in Eastern Europe. To some extent, that`s still true. Butcher windows in Prague display mountains of pork and sausages. Beer remains plentiful and rich.

But here, too, the economy is shredding. There are shortages of toothpaste and toilet paper. Women demonstrated in Wenceslas Square because of a shortage of sanitary napkins.

Next we have this article written in 1987 about the USSR:
"Living together, climbing together tends to open people up," said Colette Shulman, a senior staff associate for Columbia University's School of International Affairs. "We had the best discussions I ever heard about sexual responsibility and sexuality."

Other American women said they were startled by what they heard about the shortages of contraceptives in the Soviet Union, not to mention the absence of sanitary napkins and tampons.
Now let's fast forward to the future where Communism has improved and as such, they have improved the lot of the Venezuelan man, or I should say woman...or maybe not:
In silence, Venezuelan women are the ones suffering the newest shortage: sanitary pads. Although I have enough for this month (naturally, I always buy one extra package in advance); when I heard about the shortages, I panicked. On my way to work I visited five different places - including four pharmacies and one supermarket - only to find out, to my disdain, that all sanitary pads of any type and any brand, had magically disappeared of the shelves. 
 And then there is Cuba:
There has been a shortage of sanitary napkins at local drug stores for the past three months.

Aida Rivero, a clerk at the "Tulipán" pharmacy, said that customers have been forced to use rags or pillow stuffing.

Sanitary napkins are available at dollar stores but at an elevated price.

Said frustrated customer Maritza Sánchez, "The health of the people doesn't matter to the government, just the image it projects to the world of a medical power."
Next, we spin the globe and look at North Korea:
This is not to say that North Korea came to resemble anything like a modern economy. In just one sign of long-standing deprivation, many women still have no choice but to use dried leaves as sanitary towels: a Korean-American missionary says the greatest gift you can give to a North Korean woman is a washable one made of fabric. “They cry with joy.”
There is NO DOUBT.  I have history on my side.  Government control, government handouts ALWAYS lead to less of something.  Never more.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Dollar Anniversary

A very nice article marking Nixon's decision to take the dollar off of the gold standard, in addition to implementing wage and price controls.
The rest of the world saw the U.S. money printing under the dollar/gold exchange standard, and noted the falling purchasing power of the dollars they held.

They began to race for the exits. They wanted to cash their paper dollars in for gold while they could.

On just one day in March 1968, dollar holders lined up to cash in their paper money and took 400 tons of gold off America’s hands. By 1970, the U.S. had only enough gold to cover 22 percent of the dollars held by foreign central banks.

Like a run on the bank, the demand to exchange dollars for gold was beyond containment.

It was a Sunday night when Nixon went on national television to announce his strangely Soviet-sounding “New Economic Plan.”


It was a ham-handed attempt to hide what was being done to the dollar’s purchasing power, freezing prices by governmental edict.

The price controls led to their own unhappy chain of consequences beginning with empty shelves in the stores and spreading shortages. Eventually the broad fixing of consumer prices was lifted, and goods returned to the shelves, although at much higher prices.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Judge Orders California To Teach English Learners

When we moved to Milan, Italy so I could work on a project, we put our daughter into the Italian public school system. Within a very short time, our daughter was amazingly fluent in Italian.   It wasn't until I met with the teachers that I found out how they were able to achieve this incredible feat.

They had brought in a teacher who worked one-on-one with our daughter.  And it made me feel sort of bad.  Had I known this, I would have hired a tutor to help our daughter.  I learned an important lesson then.  That parents should not wait for "something" to happen.  That to make it happen, they should ban together and make it happen.

So, when I read about the abysmal failure of the CA school system I asked: how pathetic is this?  How about fire the "teachers" and bring in non-education majors who will do a better job of teaching than the fraudulent teachers?

Are hispanics such little sheep that they can't see that they need to depend on each other and NOT the State to help educate their children?
California was ordered to educate all children who don’t speak English after reports revealed a quarter of its school districts fail to meet that requirement, which is mandated by both the federal government and California itself.

Judge James Chalfant said it is particularly important that the California Department of Education determine the best way to make sure the requirement is met in a state where more than fifth of students are deficient in English.

“You’ve got to go ferret this out because you can’t have even one child that isn’t getting their instructional services,” Chalfant said in issuing Tuesday’s order. “You have a report that 20,000 aren’t getting their instructional services. That’s not good enough.”
Teach English? Why? I think they are too busy teaching really important survival skills.  Such as teaching about Gays in history.

Or maybe the teachers are too busy teaching children deviant sex that they just don't have any time to teach them utterly worthless English.

Or maybe they are just too busy trying to convince the kids to help push Obamacare.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Big Oil Attacks California's Climate Revolution

Yeah, because Big Government is so clean and pure!

True to Huff-form a typical liberal screed.\

Don't be fooled. This is a battle between oil industry profits and the health, well-being and economic survival of California families, and it will set a precedent that will reverberate nationwide.

Big oil's latest tactic aims to frighten Californians with scare stories about a "hidden gas tax" that will send pump prices soaring next year. It's baloney, but it's effective.

As I mentioned last time, California's law called AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act, commits the state to curbing greenhouse gas emissions. To do this, California began charging polluters for their carbon emissions under a cap-and-trade system, putting a price on pollution and raising hundreds of millions of dollars that will go to clean energy and energy-saving projects. Those projects will create good, urgently needed jobs and help low-income families cut their energy bills.
Hidden gas tax baloney?  I don't think so.  But, hey, you never know.  We'll see what happens.

Green energy bringing urgently needed jobs?  Oh yeah, you bet.  Since regulations in CA are so onerous and so many businesses have fled CA, the jobs really are urgent.  But to think that green energy is going to provide the answer is stupid.

Then the author brings in the large profits that Chevron brought in as an excuse to berate them.  So, she thinks Chevron ought to operate the Richmond Plant at a loss?  As sort of "giving back" and some sort of social moral grounds.  This typifies Leftists Utopian idiotic thinking with no regard to the implications or unintended consequences of their ideals.

And if Chevron would decide that they would really operate the Richmond Plant as some sort of benefactor, allowing it to lose money... The author forgets that Chevron stock is in the hands of thousands and thousands of Chevron retirees who depend on the stock's dividends to offset their living expenses.  She would see that this be lost?  And what about the 10s of thousands of of people who own the stock or the thousands upon thousands of portfolios that contain Chevron stock as a core holding for other retirees?  She would want to see them impoverished?

Chevron upper management understand very well the effect of CA Carbon Taxes.  They stated so much in their quarterly report meeting that anyone can go back and read.  Below is an excerpt from my 2012 blog entry:

And so the expectation is that as we see hundreds of millions or billions of dollars of increased costs, that translates through into the price of the product and that was the basis for my comment earlier that California's consumers will continue to pay a higher premium than the rest of the country. And that is the policy path that we are on.

The issue of CARBOB [CA formulated gasoline] imports is one that we're very sensitive to because if those imports are not subject to some of the same obligations that manufacturers are, then you've got a competitive disadvantage. And that's a subject of discussion with the regulators. And if in fact it were more economic to import than to manufacture, and that's very well what we could do, that's got real implications for jobs and investment. So it's still an evolving and uncertain environment and frankly, we're trying to help people understand that the implications of these things, if it stays on the track that it's on right now, the implications are all bad.

Jason Gammel - Macquarie Research As a former California resident, you've got my sympathies.
Oh yeah.  Those EVIL Big Oil companies.

Monday, August 11, 2014

District drops federal lunch program

Go this via Drudge.   As usual, government always means making do with less.  Less food, less health insurance, less choices.  Nothing changes.

I'm glad people are finally saying no to handouts.  I just wish we could do this on matters that really count.

"The calorie limitations and types of foods that have to be provided ... have resulted in the kids just saying 'I'm not going to eat that,'" Fort Thomas Superintendent Gene Kirchner said.

The 2,800-student district joins a small but growing number of school districts across the country – mostly wealthy districts who can afford to forfeit the money – who have dropped out of the federal program in the wake of stricter nutritional standards.

Schools said students don't like the unsalted potatoes, low-fat cheese or the mandatory fruits and vegetables. They throw food away or decide not to eat at all.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Hog heaven! Bacon-powered motorcycle headed for California

This is the coolest thing I've ever seen.  I would have never thought of a diesel powered motorcycle.  I've got to have one!!
This hog runs on bacon.

A pig-fueled motorcycle is cruising across the country to promote the most delicious of breakfast meats.

“The journey is sort of the destination,” Scott Schraufnagel of advertising agency BBDO told the Austin Daily Herald.

The stunt is a guerilla marketing campaign funded by Hormel Foods to ham hawk their pork strips to the masses.

BBDO had the rare T800CDI diesel motorcycle retrofitted to run on a custom biofuel converted from pure bacon grease.

The result is a two-wheeler that gets 75 to 100 miles per gallon and smells like a diner griddle at breakfast time.
Looking online, I see the concept is not new and others have done it.

The video below is NOT related to the above article:

CA State Senate Passes Bill Requiring Schools to Teach About President Obama

We call this State Supported Propaganda.  This is morally repugnant.
Assembly Bill 1921 passed with a 30-1 vote, according to the Associated Press. It was introduced by Assemblyman Dan Holden (D-Pasadena). Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) says the bill would require the Instructional Quality Commission (which facilitates much of California’s Common Core framework) to consider teaching students about Obama’s election within the context of past voter discrimination, the AP notes.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Has California's plastic bag ban backfired?

This is not a new story.  I don't know why this is just now coming up.

The video mentions that, I think, the state or city now has a plastic bag cop.  How utterly ridiculous.  So, what will happen, the governmental entity will build a whole bureaucracy around keeping plastic bags out of the city, fining and penalizing hard working shop owners.  The 10 cents for paper sacks will NOT go to the city to cover the cost of the new "cops".  Even though the shop owners make money from the sale of the papersacks, they will still raise prices of the groceries to cover their loses.  So, in essence, the residents will pay for the ban thrice.

However, the effort to go green is costing some stores quite a bit of green. "It is increasing shoplifting," said Mark Arabo, president and CEO of the Neighborhood Market Association, a group of 2,400 small markets in the West. "We've received hundreds of phone calls from our members saying that once these plastic bag bans have been enacted, shoplifting has increased in our markets."

"What's happening is they're putting stuff in there," said Arabo, referring to shoppers placing items in reusable bags. "Frozen food items, health and beauty items, and when they get to the cashier, they are actually arguing with them and saying, 'I actually brought this in with me,' and the store has to check the (surveillance) tape, and it's just a bunch of red tape."

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Nestlé To Relocate Chatsworth Hot Pockets Facility To Kentucky

I don't think I need to say why.
Local business owners like Lonell, who has owned a small machine shop in Chatsworth since 2011, said she can understand the move given the city and state’s high tax rate.

“They tax you on the seat you sit in, the computer you use, the machinery you use, then you have to pay tax to keep the machinery and operate it,” she said. “It just doesn’t make any sense.”

It was not immediately clear what will happen to the facility once Nestlé USA completes the transition.

Economist William Roberts, director of the San Fernando Valley Economic Research Center at Cal State Northridge, told the Daily News that it will not be easy to repurpose the facility or replace the jobs.

“There is still a lot of empty space throughout the Valley so it’s not like there is a lack of places to buy and build something,” he said. “I’ve seen places lie vacant for five or six years.”
Well, that doesn't sound promising at all!  Lots of empty office space?  Vacant for 5 or 6 years! So, what part of that is "easy to repurpose"??

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

California an F for friendliness

I guess people don't realize.  It's not a bug.  It's a feature.
Among the 82 cities included in the final data, Sacramento was voted the worst for small businesses. San Diego was 78th, Oxnard was 76th and Los Angeles was 74th.

Overall, California received the lowest grade possible for small businesses’ experiences with labor and hiring, health and safety, regulations and ease of starting a company.

The state’s zoning process, tax code and licensing procedures all received D grades.

Monday, August 4, 2014

IRS Strikes Deal With Atheists To Monitor Churches

The easiest way to handle this is to tell the Federal government to take their tax exempt status and shove it up their rear ends.
The FFRF claims that the IRS has not adhered to the ruling and that the settlement amounts to enforcing both the Johnson Amendment and the court ruling.

But is the Catholic Church "politicking" when it proclaims its "Fortnight for Freedom" dedicated to opposing ObamaCare's contraceptive mandate and the government's forcing schools and charities it considers an extension of its faith to include it in insurance coverage or face crippling fines?

Are Protestant and evangelical churches "politicking" when they participate in "Pulpit Freedom Sunday" this year on Oct. 5 to encourage congregations to "vote their faith," which they consider to be an exercise of free speech and freedom of religion?

The FFRF says that such events at "rogue churches" have "become an annual occasion for churches to violate the law with impunity." But doesn't the Constitution say that Congress can make no such laws?

Rather than "rogue churches," it's the rogue IRS that needs to be stopped.
So, whenever a "law" is passed and Christians rail against it, it becomes "politicking"??

It's clear as the day is long aetheists don't care about freedom of religion.  Their goal is to completely ERADICATE any worship of any sort of God.

What despicable people.

'It would be best to speak English in classrooms' PRINCIPAL FIRED FOR ASKING STUDENTS TO SPEAK ENGLISH

I'm sorry...but what country are we living in??
Amy Lacey, the former principal of Hempstead Middle School, made national news this year: Amid allegations that she'd instructed students not to speak Spanish on the Hispanic-majority campus, Hempstead ISD's board placed her on administrative leave, then voted not to renew her contract. Lacey became a flashpoint in the debate over Spanish's place in American schools, but the terms of her administrative leave prohibited her from speaking to the media.
Signs such as this will start to appear in Hempstead, TX soon.

I'm working in Seoul, South Korea. My daughter attends a small International School where speaking in Korean is BANNED. Why? Because the school, and especially the parents, absolutely understand the importance of learning ENGLISH.

English and ONLY English is the international language of business.

The State of Texas needs to INTERVENE and confront the school board and have them EXPLAIN why their first priority isn't to teach ENGLISH.

Sorry, but I think the same should occur in the USA, too. Otherwise, we are forever sentencing our kids to second class WORLD STATUS.

On top of that, the Korean engineering firm we are working with - they have staffing in the THOUSANDS - has implemented a program promoting BETTER ENGLISH. Their slogan: "Speak Slowly. Ask Questions. Make sure you understand what the client is saying." They are trying to portray themselves as an international company open to clients not only from Korea, but the world. But, alas, it has been a real issue dealing with them. The company has many bright engineers whose English is so poor they can't express themselves well at all.

Apparently, the school board in Hempstead want to CONDEMN the children to a world where AMERICANS will have to "Speak Slowly" so that they can be understood by English speakers. I find this degrading, sad and absolutely pathetic.

We will find the Koreans, who completely understand the importance of learning English, come over hear trying to speak English only find no one here can speak it! And then...they will just take their business somewhere else.

I think we will have to call our "Educators" something else entirely. What do you call people who want to do the opposite?

Calif. School District Decides Learning about Diversity Is More Important Than Learning Geography

Absolutely incredible. CA students are already some of the stupidest in the USA.  So, why stop there,eh?
“When you negate their culture, they feel less than other students,” she said in an e-mail to Whittier Daily News.
 All the course will do is make students feel better about their stupidity. When they are asked to show on a map from whence their culture originated, all they will be able to do is shrug their shoulders and say "no sé".

How utterly pathetic and wretched. Leftist ideology has hollowed out the teaching profession in public schools leaving an ugly, empty, dry, crumbling gourd.

I fear for America's future. No. I fear America's present. The future is already gone.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Freelance workers a growing segment of California economy

This is such a phenomena that the LAT feels compelled to write about it.  
The number of day laborers remains high in California, and they're not just looking for construction gigs, Theodore, the Illinois professor, said. Former factory workers, service providers, restaurant employees — and more American-born workers than ever — are gathering at unregulated hiring sites to look for work, he said.

Freelance and piecemeal jobs are increasing, exacerbating already high turnover rates. Workers who float from position to position often feel less loyalty to companies, less incentive to be productive and less inclination to invest in training, economists said.

They're not tied to regular commuting patterns and are less likely to buy property. They delay marriages and births. They increasingly live in group housing and work in collective spaces, said Steve King, a partner at Emergent Research, which studies small businesses.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

NASA: New "impossible" engine works, could change space travel forever

Well, I find this interesting, but change space travel forever?  Space?  Like in deep space?  I don't see how.  Maybe I just don't see the big picture.

Shawyer's engine is extremely light and simple. It provides a thrust by "bouncing microwaves around in a closed container." The microwaves are generated using electricity that can be provided by solar energy. No propellant is necessary, which means that this thrusters can work forever unless a hardware failure occurs. If real, this would be a major breakthrough in space propulsion technology.

Obviously, the entire thing sounded preposterous to everyone. In theory, this thing shouldn't work at all. So people laughed and laughed and ignored him. Everyone except a team of Chinese scientists. They built one in 2009 and it worked: They were able to produce 720 millinewton, which is reportedly enough to build a satellite thruster. And still, nobody else believed it.
If you need a solar cell array to collect energy to produce the microwaves, the farther you get from the sun the less likely you'll collect a sufficient amount.  So, for satellite positioning, sure.  Looks like a great idea.  But if you're looking at interstellar travel, I think you'll need an atomic power supply.  That might do the trick.

I remember the old Voyager instellar space craft has a radioisotope generator onboard it.

But hey, I'm no rocket scientist.

This youtube video shows a benchscale model propelling the unit via microwaves.

Friday, August 1, 2014


Yes.  You read that right.  Even though the Brazilian ethanol production requires less energy to produce, it costs MORE than American home produced ethanol.  And the difference is 8 cents a gallon.

The report also showed U.S. ethanol isn’t just outcompeting gasoline on price—it is also outperforming ethanol from other key exporting countries, like Brazil. According to the report, “…even with depreciation of the real, U.S. ethanol has been more cost competitive than Brazilian ethanol in key U.S. and world markets over the past several years.” This has particular relevance in the California market, according to the study, because that state’s fuel policies strongly compel fuel suppliers to import Brazilian ethanol in lieu of U.S. ethanol.

“Use of Brazilian ethanol in place of U.S. ethanol theoretically raised the price of E10 for California consumers by 8 cents per gallon over the past four years,” the study found.

Based on a 20 gallon tank filled 3 times a month for 4 years, that comes out to $230 blown for absolutely no good reason.

Yet another case where CA really doesn't care about the poor.  Their ideology is more important than life itself.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

State funds dry cleaners’ shift to CO2

Wow.  What a great idea.

But... I don't know how they expect something like this to gain wide acceptance.  It's just so much more expensive.

First, the article:
The California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research Program has produced a dry cleaning machine that uses CO2. The carbon-based cleaning process replaces perchoroethylene chemical-based dry cleaning.

The machine is being tested by the Aramark uniform cleaning corporation in Los Angeles. Colorado-based firm C02Nexus received a $396,200 CEC grant on Dec. 3, 2009 to develop an alternative dry cleaning machine using C02.
Carbon Dioxide is a very powerful solvent.  It's used in the coffee industry to extract caffeine out of the coffee bean, it's that good.

But there is a real problem with this.  CO2 is a great solvent at its super critical point.   The only way to get there is extemely high pressures.

From CO2Nexus' website:
People are more familiar with the practical uses of carbon dioxide (CO2) than they realize. CO2 is the same stuff that puts the fizz in your soda at every restaurant, and dry ice is nothing more than the solid form of carbon dioxide. CO2 can exist as a gas, solid, liquid or supercritical fluid, depending on pressure and temperature.
 The diagram on their website explains where this super critical point is:  31degrees C and 74 bar.

That temperature isn't so bad - this is about 88 deg F. But the PRESSURE is about 1,073 psi!!  I don't know if this is gauge or absolute pressure, but the small difference is inconsequential.

To give you some sort of perspective, a car tire is inflated to 30-35 psi.  A can of hairspray is probably at about 100 psi.

Supercritical CO2 containment is EXPENSIVE.

On the other hand, perchlorethylene, the liquid used in most dry cleaning processes, is used at a much, much lower pressure and require no special containment requirements like supercritical CO2.

I think the answer is to avoid clothes that require dry cleaning.

Wolf Street: Breweries Expanding Outisde of Drought Ravaged CA

One of my favorite bloggers has an article posted about the beer brewery situation in CA.  Two  craft breweries are expanding outside the state.

“We are at the maximum growth threshold here in California because of water,” Leon Sharyon, CFO of Lagunitas Brewing Co, told the LA Times. Lagunitas, which makes one of my many favorite IPAs at its Petaluma brewery, less than an hour north of San Francisco, uses about 2 million gallons of water a year from the Russian River that has been reduced to a trickle.

Solution for Lagunitas? Heresy! It expanded to … Chicago! Next to Lake Michigan, so that brewery won’t run out of water for a while. Sierra Nevada opened a brewery in Asheville, North Carolina, with plenty of water from the Smokey Mountains. Others are following the same strategy.
Well, at least they are just expanding into other states. Not moving out whole hog.  Others are hanging tough and implementing tight water conservation methods.

If any have onsite power generation, they might want to consider extracting the water out of the exhaust.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Overhaul approved for troubled California refinery

Well, the city voted for the plant upgrades.

But opponents say the project does too little to limit pollution and improve safety. Environmental groups and some residents say Richmond bears the brunt of toxic releases by the refinery complex. Richmond has poverty levels nearly twice those of the U.S. and California as a whole, and Chevron's taxes make up about a third of the city's budget.

Two council members, including Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, abstained from the final vote, according to the Contra Costa Times.

McLaughlin called on Chevron's Judd to do more to reduce emissions. Judd said the company already was going well beyond legal requirements.

The Chevron refinery was built before the pollution-curbing requirements of the federal government's 1970s Clean Air Act.

Chevron still must get a county court to lift a judgment halting a previous version of the project before construction can begin, the Times reported.

Troubled California refinery overhaul up for vote

So, if the city votes down the revamp and the refinery shuts down, where will CA get it's "special blend" of gasoline?

Chevron Corp. seeks the Richmond City Council's approval for technological upgrades that would allow the refinery to process higher-sulfur crude oil, among other changes. Oil company officials earlier this month agreed to a plan backed by state Attorney General Kamala Harris that would cap the plant's greenhouse-gas emissions and reduce levels of sulfur processing as part of the overhaul.

Chevron officials hope those concessions will be enough to persuade the Richmond council to reject still-tougher health and safety requirements that city planning officials have recommended.
I love their term "pollutant-laced 2012 fire".  'Cause we all know fires are normally not laced with pollutants.  What propaganda!

Here's the video.  Hopefully, it will work.  Google is really bad about what embedded video code will work or not.

Scientist claims California university fired him over creationist beliefs

I think he should convert to Islam.  Then they would welcome him with open arms.
From Fox News:
Scientists who study dinosaurs have long believed that triceratops existed some 68 million years ago and became extinct about 65 million years ago.

Armitage's finding, however, challenged that assertion. He argued the triceratops must be much younger or else those cells would have "decayed into nothingness," according to the July 22 lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Armitage, a long-time microscope scientist who has some 30 published papers to his name, believes the bones are no more than 4,000 years old -- a hypothesis that supports his view that such dinosaurs roamed the Earth relatively recently and that the planet is young.

On Feb. 12, 2013, a science journal published Armitage's triceratops soft tissue findings. Days later, Armitage was fired from his position.


The lawsuit alleges that in the weeks leading up to his termination, Armitage's boss, Ernest Kwok, "stormed into" his lab and shouted, "'We are not going to tolerate your religion in this department!!"

California Drivers Alliance

I saw their ad on Hulu last night.  I smiled.  Cap and Trade.  What a surprise?  Didn't anyone believe that this was going to happen?  Are they that stupid?

Yes.  CA'ians are that stupid.

I visited their website and picked up a nice infographic from them.

And here is the ad from youtube:

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Plastic Bag Movie

I didn't realize this was out there.

California cities among slowest to recover since recession, study says

Gee.  You needed a study to prove this???
Not surprisingly, the rankings tended to mirror which areas were hardest hit by the housing crisis. Texas emerged relatively unscathed from the bubble, and cities such as Houston, Dallas and San Antonio all ranked in the top third of cities measured.

Those at the bottom also included hard-hit areas such as Phoenix, Las Vegas and Cape Coral, Fla.

"At the end of the day, it was a housing crisis where everything began," said Odysseas Papadimitriou, chief executive of Evolution Finance, which runs WalletHub. "So the areas that relied on housing, where you had some of the biggest bubbles, suffered the most."

Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego and Sacramento all ranked in the bottom half of WalletHub's list. The highest-ranked California cities were San Francisco, Bakersfield and San Jose.
Here's a snapshot of the cool graphic:

California dreaming is nuts in NSW

Yes, it's not only Americans who see the stupidity of CA.  Australians see it, too.
The NSW government must also be oblivious to the steady exodus of Californian businesses and jobs. Companies like Toyota, which after 60 years has moved its US headquarters to Texas, or Occidental Petroleum, which after 50 years has left for Houston. Chevron is next. Other stalwarts like ARCO, Getty Oil, Union Oil, Fluor, Calpine and Intel have all moved in search of a more business friendly environment and lower energy costs. Texas has been the main beneficiary. It has added 200,000 jobs in the energy sector in the past decade while California has barely managed 20,000. Texas leads California in the export of hi-tech goods.

“Big Oil” may be unwelcome in his brave new world, but California’s Governor Jerry Brown is not doing well at replacing jobs and investments lost to the Lone Star state. Brown promised to create 500,000 clean-energy jobs by the end of the decade, but this is now accepted as just a pipe dream.

Meanwhile, in the real world, California’s unemployment rate is 7.4 per cent (fourth highest in the country). It compares to 5.1 per cent for Texas and the national rate of 6.1 per cent. California’s relative joblessness lends weight to the UK Versa Economics study, which found that for every job created in the wind industry 3.7 jobs are lost elsewhere.

German Utilities Bail Out Electric Grid at Wind’s Mercy

Got this via freerepublic which linked to

After Fukushima, Germany dropped nuclear power like a hot potato.  How utterly short-sighted.

Unlike the USA, Germany has few non-green solutions to fall back on except for coal.  And they have lots of it.  Especially lignite, or also known as brown coal.  But coal plants are hard to power up on a dime.  Heck, even natural gas power plants are tough to start up quickly.

I'm no power expert, but this means you need to have a fossil fuel power plant always on a "slow burn" (I have no idea what the correct term would be) so that it could quickly be ramped up to replace the quirky and fickle wind and solar power.

But really bad news?  Germany is paying a hefty price to get the coal plants to supply this needed backup.
Twenty power companies including Germany’s biggest utilities, EON SE and RWE AG, now get fees for pledging to add or cut electricity within seconds to keep the power system stable, double the number in September, according to data from the nation’s four grid operators. Utilities that sign up to the 800 million-euro ($1.1 billion) balancing market can be paid as much as 400 times wholesale electricity prices, the data show.

Monday, July 28, 2014

With The Law Ignored, Border Surge Turns Into A Tsunami

If it was "O'Bama's intent to turn the USA into a war zone, he's getting close to succeeding.

The hard reality is, if the law is suddenly rendered null based on the treacly photos of cherubic toddlers and their moms, it's not going to be just Central Americans at our door.

As CBS News reports, we're now seeing a surge in illegal immigrants from Haiti, with the number soaring in the past two years from 12 in 2011 to 1,760 in fiscal 2013. The Colombian navy has been plucking illegals out of coastal waters from as far away as Bangladesh and Afghanistan. They're making their way to Central America and its vast human smuggling networks.

Just last weekend, the National Border Patrol Council said a large group of nationals from Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka were caught in the Rio Grande Valley, coming to get what Central Americans were getting.

These migrant waves parallel the migrant waves from Africa flooding the shores of Italy, Greece and Spain and are above all a commentary on the global development of powerful smuggling networks and mafias empowered by technology. They're able to do today what couldn't be done just 10 years ago. 

Plastic-bag ban a cash grab that hurts environment, consumers, workers: Guest commentary

But...the fact that grocery stores will be making mucho money from the sale of bags won't matter at all to those who think they know better.

So while the intent of SB 270 is a bit confusing, it doesn’t take long to connect the dots on this. The California Grocers Association, which previously opposed similar plastic bags bans, jumped on the bandwagon the second that Sen. Padilla decided to amend his bill, allowing them to keep all the fees that would be placed on the thicker plastic and paper bags. This is not surprising, especially after a recent study found that grocers could be in line for profits in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

Far from being a monumental environmental bill, SB 270 represents nothing more than a cash grab and a historic transfer of wealth from California consumers to corporate interests.

Chennai choking on plastic

This goes along with what I've said in the past:  Plastic waste management is a THIRD WORLD PROBLEM.  NOT a first world problem like here in the USA.  Without proper disposal management, trash ends up in the environment.  I saw this first hand in Mexico. Outside the city of Monterrey trash was dumped onto a bank of a ravine and allowed to just flow down the bank.  This trash ends up in the ecosystem.

Banning plastic in third world countries will not solve their problem.

Chennai figures among the top 10 largest plastic waste producing cities in the country. Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar’s announcement in Parliament that Chennai is behind only Delhi as a generator of plastic waste is a wake up call for the state environment department.

Greens complain that the state government allots crores of rupees every year for awareness on dangers of using plastic but fails to arrive at any firm policy decision to ban plastic by a suitable law.

Quoting the study by the Central Pollution Control Board and Central Institute of Plastic Engineering and Technology for 60 cities in the country during 2010-11, Mr Javadekar said, “Ten cities - Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Surat, Kanpur and Pune - generate more plastic waste.” He said the ministry has notified the Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2011 despite which waste generation was not regulated in the cities.