Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 51

Thread: California is toast thread

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Slave Region 10
    Posts
    55,032

    Default California is toast thread

    The New California Crime Wave

    A criminal-justice “reform” measure unleashes thousands of predators.

    February 29, 2016
    John Perazzo
    20

    184


    97





    Something amazing has happened in California. First, a brief background: Crime rates across the state, after a long period of steady decline, had reached fifty-year lows in 2014. Then, that November, a 60 percent majority of California voters—presumably incapable of accepting such good news without a measure of collective guilt—decided that it would be a really enlightened idea to pass Proposition 47, a ballot initiative bearing the cheery name “The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act.” The purpose of this measure was to downgrade many types of drug possession and property crimes from felonies (punishable by more than a year in prison) to misdemeanors (which often entail no prison time at all). For the benefit of squeamish skeptics, the self-assured proponents of Prop 47 condescended to explain that these reduced penalties would not only alleviate prison overcrowding, but would also make California's streets safer by placing drug offenders into warm-and-fuzzy treatment and counseling programs, rather than into disagreeable prison cells. If you think this sounds like a familiar old tune, you're quite correct. It was #1 on the left-wing hit parade throughout the 1960s, when it became the theme song of skyrocketing crime rates across the United States. And now the Golden Oldie is back, in the Golden State.

    The tangible results of Prop 47 were both immediate and breathtaking. Within a year, there were some 14,000 fewer inmates in California's state prisons and local jails, just as the Proposition's backers had promised.

    But the other half of their promise—improved public safety—somehow failed to materialize. In 2015:


    • Violent crime increased (above 2014 levels) in every one of California's 10 largest cities, while property crime increased in 9 of the 10.
    • Of 66 California cities whose crime trends were analyzed in depth, 49 saw their violent crime rates increase—usually by at least 10 percent.
    • Forty-eight of those same 66 California cities saw their property crime rates rise—and in half of those cases, the increase was 10 percent or greater. A typical case was San Francisco, where theft of merchandise from automobiles increased by 47 percent, auto theft rose by 17 percent, and robberies were up 23 percent.
    • The property crime rates for California cities as a whole increased, on average, by 116.9 offenses per 100,000 residents. By contrast, in states that hadn't passed Prop 47 or anything like it, the corresponding rates decreased by 29.6 offenses per 100,000 residents.




    These statistics are stunning.

    California criminals, meanwhile, ingeniously adapted their tactics to the new law, so as to maximize their gains and minimize their risks. The Los Angeles Times, for instance, profiled Semisi Sina, a practiced criminal who “rejoiced when he first heard about Proposition 47”—particularly its provision reducing to misdemeanor status the theft of any merchandise whose value was below $950. Semisi interpreted this as a green light for him to begin stealing, among other things, some higher-end bicycles—an offense that previously would have been classified as a felony. “Proposition 47, it's cool,” Semisi chirps. “Like for me, I can go do a burglary and know that if it's not over $900, they'll just give me a ticket and let me go.”

    Ain't “criminal justice reform” grand?

    Noting that “the most commonly committed felonies no longer carry a prison sentence,” Michael Rushford of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation says that when California police apprehend someone today, “they're just going to cite him and let him out again.” Palm Springs police chief Al Franz calls the new arrangement under Prop 47 “catch and release.” And sheriff's deputies throughout the state are well aware that they're generally wasting their time when they arrest and book suspects on narcotics charges, only to have them either released immediately or given minimal penalties. As a result, drug arrests by such deputies in California declined by 30 percent in 2015.

    Yet another promise of Prop 47 that failed to materialize was the happy notion that drug offenders and thieves would dutifully file into treatment/counseling centers to get their psychological and emotional houses in order. If Prop 47 has demonstrated anything, it's that without the credible threat of a felony conviction and a lengthy prison term, very few offenders are willing to proactively do anything to transform themselves into better citizens. According to Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell, enrollment in L.A. substance-abuse treatment programs is down by 60 percent since the enactment of Prop 47. From January through August of 2015, only 73 of nearly 2,200 drug offenders who were sentenced under Prop 47 guidelines entered any kind of court-ordered treatment program. “If the purpose of [Proposition] 47 was largely to rehabilitate drug offenders,” says Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, “that's not what's happening.”

    Supporters of Prop 47 think everything's going swimmingly, however. One of its authors, Lenore Anderson, executive director of Californians for Safety and Justice, buoyantly reports that “Proposition 47 is working. It's reducing the state prison population, it's giving people second chances and it's saving state money that has never been saved before.” Another Prop 47 backer, the ACLU of California, casually dismisses the ominous crime statistics cited above. “It's way too early to assess 2015 crime rates in California at all, let alone potential causes,” says the organization.

    It's a safe bet that the thousands of crime victims whose lives have been shaken—and in some cases destroyed—as a consequence of Prop 47, see things differently.
    They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
    "You think a wall as solid as the earth separates civilisation from barbarism. I tell you the division is a sheet of glass."
    John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir of Enfield (1875-1940): Author and Diplomat

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Slave Region 10
    Posts
    55,032

    Default


    Human Trafficking Is the New 'Crack-Cocaine Epidemic,' Says California Lawmaker

    He's right, but not for the reasons he thinks.

    Elizabeth Nolan Brown|March 2, 2016 5:20 pm




    At a hearing on new measures to address human trafficking, California Assemblyman Reggie-Jones Sawyer (D-Los Angeles) told fellow lawmakers that "the last time we’ve had this kind of emergency was when we had the crack-cocaine epidemic."
    Sadly, Sawyer was not referencing the ways in which the current popular panic about sex trafficking and governmental responses to it mirror the outlandish, hysteria-based, and detrimental state approach to the war on drugs. Rather, Sawyer sees our attention to the "crack-cocaine epidemic" as something we should now strive to emulate with human trafficking.
    In many, many respects, lawmakers, police, and federal officials already are treating sex trafficking in the same way they did the drug war. The dominant legislative response has been increased criminalization of all sorts of commercial sexual activity, as a report commissioned by the Department of Justice noted recently—although there's no evidence that this corresponds to less commercial sexual activity or more human-trafficking arrests or prosecutions.
    One way this increased criminalization plays out is in more stings on sex buyers, rather than sex sellers. In at least 21 states, "sex trafficking laws have been amended or originally enacted with the intent to decisively reach the action of buyers of sex," according to the anti-trafficking nonprofit Shared Hope International. The crack down on sex buyers operates under the theory that if we "end demand" for commercial sexual activity there will be no market for trafficked individuals. As I pointed out in a November 2015 Reason story on U.S. sex trafficking, it was also a popular drug-war rallying cry.
    "Ending the demand for drugs is how, in the end, we will win" the drug war, said then-President Ronald Reagan in 1988. In fact, he declared, ending demand was how we were already winning:
    "The tide of the battle has turned, and we're beginning to win the crusade for a drug-free America," Reagan claimed.
    In reality, the number of illicit drug users in America has only risen since then, despite the billions of dollars spent and hundreds of thousands of people locked away. In 1990, for instance, 7.1 percent of Americans had used some sort of illegal drug in the past month, according to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. By 2002 it had risen to 8.3 percent, and by 2013 to 9.4 percent.
    They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
    "You think a wall as solid as the earth separates civilisation from barbarism. I tell you the division is a sheet of glass."
    John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir of Enfield (1875-1940): Author and Diplomat

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Slave Region 10
    Posts
    55,032

    Default

    Californians Are Voting With Their Feet

    By Carson BrunoCalifornia has something of a migration problem. Yes, the state's population growth rate has been hovering just under 1% for a few years with natural increases and international net migration staying just strong enough for the state to continue growing, but California's consistent net domestic out-migration should be concerning to Sacramento as it develops state policy. As the adage goes, people vote with their feet and one thing is clear, more people are choosing to leave California than come.
    First, a note about population growth. A state's population grows (or shrinks) based on two major components: one, natural increase - i.e. the difference between births and deaths - and two, net migration - i.e. the difference between people moving in and out of the state. Within the migration category is domestic migration and immigration (i.e. international migration). Unfortunately for California, most of the categories are trending in the wrong direction for the state. While remaining positive, natural increases have been trending downward over the last decade-plus. Moreover, the state's domestic migration has consistently been negative. And even international migration, again while still positive, has been stagnant for some time.




    By understanding who these net domestic out-migrants are, we can get a better sense as to why more people are leaving California than coming to the Golden State. Using the Census Bureau's March Supplemental Current Population Survey, we can get an approximation of just that. Between 2004 and 2015, roughly 930,000 more people left California than moved to the Golden State -just three years saw net domestic in-migration. The biggest beneficiaries of California's net loss are Arizona, Texas, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.
    California is bleeding working young professional families. Approximately 18% of the net domestic out-migrants are children (ages 0 to 17), while another 36% are those between the ages of 40 and 54. From this we can tell that 1) children aren't packing up and leaving on their own - they are going with their parents and 2) those in the heart of their prime working-age are moving out. Moreover, while 18-to-24 year olds (college-age individuals) make up just 1% of the net domestic out-migrants, the percentage swells to 17% for recent college graduates (25 to 39 year olds). While California may still be doing decently well at attracting college students, they aren't sticking around.
    Looking at labor force categories provides more evidence that California is losing working young professional families. 57% are either employed individuals or not in the civilian working population, i.e. under the age of 16. And while the highest income quintile is experiencing net domestic out-migration, the lowest, second, and middle-income quintiles account for 85% of the net domestic out-migration. In fact, the fourth income quintile - the upper-middle class - actually sees net domestic in-migration. So while there is a narrative that the rich are fleeing California, the real flight is among the middle-class.
    Knowing that net out-migrants are more likely to be middle-class working young professional families provides some hints as to why people are leaving California for greener pastures. For one, California is an extraordinarily high cost-of-living state. Whether it is the state's housing affordability crisis - California's median home value per square foot is, on average, 2.1 times higher than Arizona, Texas, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington's - California's very expensive energy costs - the state's residential electric price is about 1.5 times higher than the competing states - or the Golden State's oppressive tax burden - California ranks 6th, nationally, in state-local tax burdens - those living in California are hit with a variety of higher bills, which cuts into their bottom line.
    This is particularly problematic since the Silicon Valley-Bay Area is really the only region in California performing economically well at this time. Considering the fact that Silicon Valley is dominated by one industry and is among the most expensive places to live in California - the region's median home value per square foot is 3 times that of the rest of the state - California's middle-income working young professional families have limited options when it comes to an affordable place to live or a decently paying job to afford the state's cost-of-living.
    This matters moving forward because as working young professionals leave the state, California's population grows older and more retiree-centric, which leads to a less economically productive environment and less tax revenue for the state and municipalities, but a need for more social services. And when coupled with the fact that immigrants - who are helping to drive population growth in California - tend to be, on average, less affluent and educated and also are more likely to need more social services, state, county, and municipal governments could find themselves under serious administrative and financial stress.
    As long as California is a significantly higher cost-of-living state with only a regionally concentrated employment market, the state's favorable climate and natural beauty can only anchor the working young professionals for so long. The conclusion is straightforward. California Republicans needs to stop worrying about the rich leaving the state and California Democrats need to start worrying that people are, in fact, leaving the state. Then, Sacramento can potentially address the causes of the state's net domestic out-migration to prevent its future implications
    They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
    "You think a wall as solid as the earth separates civilisation from barbarism. I tell you the division is a sheet of glass."
    John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir of Enfield (1875-1940): Author and Diplomat

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Slave Region 10
    Posts
    55,032

    Default



    Dem Gov. Jerry Brown Says If Trump Wins California Will Build Wall Around Itself To Defend Itself From Rest Of Country…


    Is that a threat or a promise?
    Via SacBee:
    Gov. Jerry Brown, mocking Donald Trump for his plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, suggested Monday that if the Republican frontrunner wins election, California might have to take protective measures of its own.
    “If Trump were ever elected, we’d have to build a wall around California to defend ourselves from the rest of this country,” Brown told labor organizers at a dinner in Sacramento. “By the way that is a joke. We don’t like walls, we like bridges.”
    Brown, the Democratic governor of a liberal border state, has signed legislation granting driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants and allowing undocumented immigrant college students to receive public financial aid. Like many Democrats, he has pushed Washington unsuccessfully for an overhaul of the nation’s immigration system.
    Addressing members of the California Labor Federation and State Building and Construction Trades Council of California, Brown said California has benefited from immigration to the state, arguing that young workers are an economic boon.
    They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
    "You think a wall as solid as the earth separates civilisation from barbarism. I tell you the division is a sheet of glass."
    John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir of Enfield (1875-1940): Author and Diplomat

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Slave Region 10
    Posts
    55,032

    Default

    California $15: "Reduce the Number of Bus Boys and Ask Servers to Bus Tables"

    March 28, 2016
    Daniel Greenfield
    1

    19

    3




    Nothing like a "living wage" that raises prices, cuts services, costs jobs and forces those who still have them to do more. That's how it works in the real world.
    Selwyn Yosslowitz said that minimum wage hikes add increased pressure to restaurants, which already operate on very slim margins. With the minimum wage going up, Yosslowitz said he's going to have to rethink his menu and what dishes his restaurants serve.
    "First, you have to raise prices, otherwise you'll be out of business," said Yosslowitz, president of the Marmalade Café, which operates seven Southland restaurants and an outlet at LAX. Restaurant owners also have to think about "re-engineering the menu" to require fewer kitchen workers.
    "We will try to re-engineer the labor force," he said. "Maybe try to reduce the number of bus boys and ask servers to bus tables."
    This is what happens in the real world when you announce that the minimum wage will be $15. What lefties never managed to grasp is that people still have the same basic requirements and that unilaterally allocating resources at someone else's expense won't just hurt the evil "running dog bourgeois capitalists", but will mean businesses adapting in the same way that destroyed manufacturing.
    So in this case that means
    1. Customers get less



    2. Workers have to do more
    3. Some workers lose their jobs
    This is what $15 looks like.
    Making tortillas in the back, Miguel Sanchez, 43, of Highland Park, also a part-time worker, said he was happy to hear a statewide deal had been reached.
    "Life is going to get a little easier," said Sanchez, who works at another tortilla market at least twice a week. "It's good for workers, but I imagine this is not going to be good news for employers and small businesses."
    He said his second job supplements the $1,600 he earns each month from Tortilleria San Marcos. But with a $1,000 month rent and nearly $300 in bills, he said he's left with very little for food and other expenses.
    He said he's the only one in the family working at the moment. He has a wife and two girls, ages 14 and 7. He said he began working his second job three years ago.
    Although he welcomes the extra money, he said that raising the minimum wage also concerns him.
    "Will the cost of things go up?” he said. “Are employers going to cut back hours because they can't afford it? I worry."
    They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
    "You think a wall as solid as the earth separates civilisation from barbarism. I tell you the division is a sheet of glass."
    John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir of Enfield (1875-1940): Author and Diplomat

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Slave Region 10
    Posts
    55,032

    Default

    They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
    "You think a wall as solid as the earth separates civilisation from barbarism. I tell you the division is a sheet of glass."
    John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir of Enfield (1875-1940): Author and Diplomat

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Slave Region 10
    Posts
    55,032

    Default

    UC Berkeley Forced to Cut 500 Jobs After $15 Minimum Wage Hike….
    Well done.
    Via Townhall:
    The $15 minimum wage hike in California has sent financially troubled UC Berkeley into decision making mode, and “the people who clean buildings, who work in food services or health clinics,” says Todd Stenhouse, will be the ones without a job.
    Stenhouse, a spokesman for the American Federation of StateChancellor, also said “There’s a very clear need for those front-line services. But the question is whether there really is a need to hemorrhage resources on executives.”
    Nicholas Dirks sent a memo to employees Monday informing them of the job reductions and said they will amount to “a modest reduction of 6 percent of our staff workforce.”
    Berkeley employs about 8,500 staffers, from custodians to administrators. Departments on campus were reportedly also told to reduce their budgets by 10 percent in whatever way they wish.
    Some staff members in at least one area, residential student services, were told by managers two weeks ago that they should prepare to be laid off.
    This may be the sad but true reality that many working people all across California will face in the coming future due to the recent decision to raise the state-wide minimum wage.
    They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
    "You think a wall as solid as the earth separates civilisation from barbarism. I tell you the division is a sheet of glass."
    John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir of Enfield (1875-1940): Author and Diplomat

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Slave Region 10
    Posts
    55,032

    Default

    21st Century California Reverts Back to the Wild West

    By Victor Davis Hanson April 24, 2016
    chat 1 comments

    21st Century California Reverts Back to the Wild West


    I grew up listening to stories of turn-of-the-century rural Central California from my grandfather Rees Alonzo Davis (1890-1976). He was the third generation of the Davis family to have lived in my present house—great nephew of Daniel Rhoades, who had walked into the High Sierra in early 1847 as part of a party sent to help save the Donner Party. Years later, after a small strike in the Mother Lode, Rhoades became a land baron near the shores of the now dry Tulare Lake, in modern-day Lemoore (where his strange mausoleum is currently a California historical site). He died, I think, when Rees was five or six, but his Rhoades portrait still hangs in my stairwell.
    Much of my grandfather’s lectures concerned the law and his appreciative sense of progress. Without law in the wild days of his preteen years, sometimes farmers, he lamented, shot it out to adjudicate competing claims over water rights from a common ditch. He referenced a land of early epidemics; his daughter, my aunt, caught a summer polio virus in 1921, and lived most of her life in the living room of my house (d.1980), courageously struggling against a disease that had left her scarcely able to move.
    My grandfather was born about 10 years after the Mussel Slough Tragedy (the inspiration for Frank Norris' classic muckraking novel, The Octopus, which is about the tentacles of the Southern Pacific Railroad and its land grab from early settlers).
    The Early 20th Century: Civilizing Fresno
    Sponsored

    As an aside, I had once reviewed in early 2006 a biography of Frank Norris for the New York Times (Frank Norris: A Life., by Joseph R. McElrath Jr. and Jesse S. Crisler), and remembered the authors’ description of the 32-year-old Norris’s acute appendicitis that led to rupture and death in 1902 in San Francisco. I recalled that passage in the biography during a trip later that year to Muammar Gaddafi’s newly opened Libya in 2006 to lecture on the antiquities; I had suffered from a chronic pain in my right abdomen for about a year (dismissed by doctors as another kidney stone). The appendix ruptured among, of all places, the ruins at Sabratha. And the symptoms seemed terrifyingly identical to what I remembered from the authors’ description of Norris’s, so I convinced my government “handlers” that I had a finite time to get back to Tripoli—finally arriving around midnight with severe peritonitis and in near shock. Hours later, we made it at last to a small Red Crescent Clinic. Hours after that, the staff found some ether, a government AIDS tester (required then before all surgeries), and mirabile dictu an Egyptian doctor in his pajamas and slippers who, about 48 hours after the rupture, saved my life.
    Mussel Slough is about 15 miles from my house, and my grandfather often related the anger of early farmers at jacked-up freight charges, land confiscations, and double-dealing, in the agrarian and populist sense that there was no law other than what the “railroad men” said there was. His grandmother had bought our farm in the 1870s for $4 an acre, with the understanding that after a set number of years the railroad could buy it back if it were not (arbitrarily) judged to be developed. (I wondered, given the dislike of the railroad, why my grandfather mortgaged his farm in the 1930s and 1940s and sent his daughters to Stanford University for undergraduate and graduate degrees, given Leland Stanford’s rail riches. He later told me that “education” is a “life raft” for women.)
    He talked fondly of the advancing civilization of the region, through landmark developments such as mosquito abatement districts, the systematic licensing of dogs and rabies vaccinations, the use of the Fresno scraper and concrete pipe to facilitate surface irrigation, and the formation of common irrigation districts run by the rule of law. He pointed to non-irrigated wild areas that were never farmed, to remind me what the land would look like without water and agrarians.
    The law was in his view holy, and it was supported by an array of local community clubs and organizations—the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, the Masons, the Grange, the Farm Bureau, the Sun-Maid growers cooperative—that sought to encourage civic pride and progress through self-improvement. Government employees—the postman, the county librarian, the dog control officer, and the local constable—were few and revered as public stewards who sought out public service.



    (Another aside: The once beautiful Temperance Union fountain at the edge of our city park was long ago torn down; in its place now rests a totem statue of the Aztec moon/fertility/agricultural goddess, Coatlicue [mother of Huitzilopochtli], with the inscription “Viva La Raza” [“Long live the Race”]. No comment on the comparative symbolism.)
    All of these milestones of progress were juxtaposed in his recollections with commensurate improvements on the farm and in the house: the indoor toilet that stopped the use of privies and cut down on contagion; the introduction of electric pumps and pressure systems that allowed deeper wells and cleaner water, and ended reliance on windmills and stale taste of water stored up in the metal tanks in towers. Culture fought nature to a draw.
    The theme of his some 86 years was the notion of progress -- that a mostly uninhabited desert (the landscape of jackrabbits, rattlesnakes, tumbleweed, and Jimsonweed), through the marvels of irrigation, the growth of small agrarian towns, and the rule of and respect for statutes, had bloomed, with steady material and ethical progress, into what he told me was “heaven on earth.”
    I was the beneficiary (born in 1953) of the work of past generations. In my early youth of the 1950s and 1960, I can’t recall that we locked the house or perhaps even had a house key. We still used a shared open telephone line (my great-grandfather had strung it up with redwood poles and vineyard 12 gauge wire on glass insulators). It was also certainly a multiracial and intermarried upbringing, as Portuguese, Armenian, Japanese, Mexican-American, and Punjabi farmers both collaborated and competed with one another on their 40-80 acre vineyard homesteads.
    Sponsored

    That entire world, of course, is gone, a victim of wealth, affluence, consolidation and corporatization of agriculture, globalization, high-tech appurtenances, the postmodern ethos that followed the 1960s, and massive influxes of illegal immigrants. What I regret most, however, is the disappearance of the rule of law. In some ways, we have returned to the pre-civilized days of the 19th century. When I walk or ride a bicycle in rural areas, I expect that the dogs that rush out from rented-out homes and trailers are neither licensed nor vaccinated—and that fact is of no concern to authorities.
    I remember that as late as the 1970s a harsh building inspector used to drop in and snoop around to ensure Romex wire was insulated in conduits and that outbuildings were not on-the-sly rentals. In his defense, the county man was trying to systematize rural dwellings, so that future buyers did not purchase hidden fire-traps.
    21st Century California Reverts Back to the Wild West
    Today I generalize that about every old rural farmhouse in these environs can be characterized by three traits: a) the house is a rental and not connected with the corporate fields around it; b) there are two to three families, in illegal fashion, living in ramshackle trailers and sheds on the property; c) the authorities don’t dare enforce zoning or health laws, on the grounds that enforcement is a bad investment of their limited time and budget.
    If I find a dead dog dumped on the alleyway (as I have three or four times over the last 12 months), with a rope around his neck and his insides exposed from dog fighting, I bury him and pass on calling the animal-control people. In fairness to them, what would they do, run an investigation into rural dog fighting—in a state in which felons are routinely released from prisons and jails, and sanctuary cities offer amnesties? I suppose a Queensland with his face ripped off is small potatoes. (Does multiculturalism trump the ASPCA or PETA?)
    Nor do I ever contact the state EPA or the county when monthly I collect baby carriages, car seats, tires, used paint cans, old Christmas trees, mattresses, and dirty diapers dumped on the side of the road—despite occasional junk mail signifying the address of the polluter. About 50 pounds of coils of old worn-out drip hoses are out in front of my house today, a huge pile of plastic junk dumped as if my roadside was a free waste site. (Is the theory that my house qualifies for public service waste removal and thus someone poorer, in our spread-the-wealth society, has a right to dump his trash there?) How can such a green state that refuses to sell plastic bags at the coastal grocery markets prove indifferent to the spoliation of its rural hinterland?
    The lawlessness is characterized by two facts: One, there are so many residing here illegally from Mexico and Central America that the system is overwhelmed; and, two, ideologically law enforcement has become a political, not a legal issue. As best as I can decipher, it works on the following principle. California has the highest bundle of gas, income, and sales taxes in the country, but borders on chronic insolvency. Social programs, subsidized health care, law enforcement, and crises in public education claim most of the budget, and the result is that the overtaxed state’s roads, reservoirs and once landmark water transfer systems are under-capitalized and dysfunctional. Various agencies operate on a fee basis -- informally of course and denied vehemently when asked.
    Take traffic tickets. A broken California a few years ago jacked up the fines as a way to raise revenue (the majority of residents do not pay income taxes; the top 1% pays half of all state income tax revenue: the best and worst place to be an income taxpayer). Yet those who are most likely to be punished for unsafe driving or defective vehicles are often precisely newcomers without capital, without legality, and without familiarity with U.S. driving laws, and who would not or could not pay their fines. Suspending licenses as a result of unpaid fees soon became a political issue, with all the hallmarks of the modern social state. As a result, for a while longer, you can have up to 80% of your fines reduced, but only if you make less than a state-specified income. The law assumes the following: A state or local official understands that if he were to pull over an illegal alien, for example, he would waste his agency’s precious time and money writing tickets that either would not be paid or would be amnestied. Far better to target a soccer mom, who most certainly will pay promptly and help to pay state employee salaries and pensions.
    California is hyper-lawful and lawless, completely free and without freedom, a condition entirely predicated on one’s sense of income and dutifulness. If one picks and chooses legal compliance, claims grievance, and earns ideological sympathy on the basis of race and class, then the law is negotiable; otherwise, he is a ripe target for bureaucracies and agencies to monitor every aspect of his life—on the principle that because millions now do not pay traffic fines and income taxes, file proper and legal names, and obey bureaucratic summonses, a few thousands must to the nth degree.
    We are back to the Wild West circa 1890; and all the iPhones, apps, and Teslas cannot change that fact. But with one key difference: In 1900, lawlessness in California was a result of the natural wild and the frontier; today it is a symptom of civilized wild and ideology. Historically, the latter is far more dangerous than the former
    They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
    "You think a wall as solid as the earth separates civilisation from barbarism. I tell you the division is a sheet of glass."
    John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir of Enfield (1875-1940): Author and Diplomat

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Slave Region 10
    Posts
    55,032

    Default

    We Have Seen the Blue Future and It Stinks -- Literally

    By Michael Walsh April 25, 2016
    chat comments

    We Have Seen the Blue Future and It Stinks -- Literally
    (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)





    America's most beautiful city is being torn apart by its own, ahem, internal contradictions:

    San Francisco, America’s boom town, is flooded with the cash of well-paid technology workers and record numbers of tourists. At the same time, the city has seen a sharp jump in property crime, up more than 60 percent since 2010, though the actual increase may be higher because many of the crimes go unreported.

    Recent data from the F.B.I. show that San Francisco has the highest per-capita property crime rate of the nation’s top 50 cities. About half the cases here are thefts from vehicles, smash-and-grabs that scatter glittering broken glass onto the sidewalks.

    The city, known for a political tradition of empathy for the downtrodden, is now divided over whether to respond with more muscular law enforcement or stick to its forgiving attitudes.
    Sponsored


    Hold it right there, New York Times; the city by the Bay is not known for its empathy for anything except its own beauty and a laissez-faire tradition of indulging crazies as long as they amuse the populace. Not for the first time, San Francisco (where I lived and worked for nearly four years back in the days of the Zodiac Killer, George Moscone, Harvey Milk and the Peoples Temple) is being riven by its high desirability quotient and the results of "tolerance" that leaves armies of homeless and psychos on the once-pristine streets.

    The Chamber of Commerce and the tourist board are calling for harsher measures to improve what is euphemistically called the “condition of the streets,” a term that encompasses the intractable homeless problem, public intravenous drug use, the large population of mentally ill people on the streets and aggressive panhandling. The chamber recently released theresults of an opinion poll that showed that homelessness and “street behavior” were the primary concerns of residents here.

    “We are the wealthiest big city in the wealthiest state in the wealthiest country in the world, and we have this situation on our streets,” said Joe D’Alessandro, the chief executive of San Francisco Travel, a tourism organization. “People believe that everyone has the right to be on the streets. However, I think there is a tolerance limit to bad behavior.”



    Right. The City (as it terms itself) is small, only 47 square miles, and its proximity to Silicon Valley has driven its already high real-estate prices beyond the means of any normal person. At the same time, California has always been the place where the flotsam and jetsam of the American experiment wash up, and the city's inability to control the latter creates exactly the situation it finds itself in today.

    Naturally, some blame... wait for it... the wealthy:

    On the other side is David Campos, a supervisor who opposes the increase in police officers and describes Mr. Wiener’s views as “a very knee-jerk kind of punitive approach that is ineffective and inconsistent with the values of San Francisco.” Mr. Campos and many others evoke the charitable spirit of the city’s namesake, St. Francis.

    “We are not going to criminalize people for being poor,” he said. “That criminalization is only going to make it harder for them to get out of poverty.” San Francisco’s liberal ethos, Mr. Campos said, was changing as the city focused more on business and the needs of the tech industry.

    “I think there has been a shift in the people who have come to San Francisco,” Mr. Campos said of the city’s new arrivals, a group that is well educated and well heeled. He deplores what he describes as a growing “sink-or-swim” free-market ideology that stands in contrast to the city’s traditions. “I don’t know which San Francisco will prevail,” he said.
    Sponsored


    Recall that San Francisco came into being thanks to the Gold Rush and the transcontinental railroad -- the city's real traditions, along with high culture and spectacular residential architecture and fine dining -- then place your bets. Only a liberal couldn't figure this out. And only a progressive could feel bad about it.
    They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
    "You think a wall as solid as the earth separates civilisation from barbarism. I tell you the division is a sheet of glass."
    John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir of Enfield (1875-1940): Author and Diplomat

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Slave Region 10
    Posts
    55,032

    Default

    California Businesses Already Fleeing The State Just A Month After $15 Minimum Pushed Through
    Not like we didn’t warn them…
    Via Daily Caller:
    California businesses are already starting to move out of state less than a month after lawmakers raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour, according to reports Monday.
    California beat New York by a couple hours April 4 to become the first state to raise its minimum wages to $15. The new law is a huge victory for advocates who had previously only seen success on the city level.
    Now, businesses are already starting to leave the state in response to the upcoming increase.
    Keep reading…
    They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
    "You think a wall as solid as the earth separates civilisation from barbarism. I tell you the division is a sheet of glass."
    John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir of Enfield (1875-1940): Author and Diplomat

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •