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  1. #1
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    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

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    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.
    “As a general rule, the earlier you recognize someone is trying to kill you, the better off you’ll be.”

    "You think a wall as solid as the earth separates civilisation from barbarism. I tell you the division is a sheet of glass."



  2. #2
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    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.
    “As a general rule, the earlier you recognize someone is trying to kill you, the better off you’ll be.”

    "You think a wall as solid as the earth separates civilisation from barbarism. I tell you the division is a sheet of glass."



  3. #3
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    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.
    “As a general rule, the earlier you recognize someone is trying to kill you, the better off you’ll be.”

    "You think a wall as solid as the earth separates civilisation from barbarism. I tell you the division is a sheet of glass."



  4. #4
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    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.
    “As a general rule, the earlier you recognize someone is trying to kill you, the better off you’ll be.”

    "You think a wall as solid as the earth separates civilisation from barbarism. I tell you the division is a sheet of glass."



  5. #5
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    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.
    “As a general rule, the earlier you recognize someone is trying to kill you, the better off you’ll be.”

    "You think a wall as solid as the earth separates civilisation from barbarism. I tell you the division is a sheet of glass."



  6. #6
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    They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
    “As a general rule, the earlier you recognize someone is trying to kill you, the better off you’ll be.”

    "You think a wall as solid as the earth separates civilisation from barbarism. I tell you the division is a sheet of glass."



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