Archive for the ‘California’ Category

Insanely left or insane lefties at MSNBC are blaming the National Rifle Association for the ebola outbreak.

Actually, that is one of the primary responsibilities of the United States surgeon general. There’s just one problem: Thanks to Senate dysfunction and NRA opposition, we don’t have a surgeon general right now. In fact, we haven’t had a surgeon general for more than a year now — even though the president nominated the eminently qualified Dr. Vivek Murthy back in November 2013.

He’d be one of those people who sees your right to protect yourself as a matter of “public health” requiring him to start regulating your rights – again, in the name of “public health”.  Of course, without the NRA to blame, there’d still be Manbearpig.

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Meanwhile, in California, Governor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown has signed a bill that allows family members to petition judges to remove their family members’ rights.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California will become the first state that allows family members to ask a judge to remove firearms from a relative who appears to pose a threat, under legislation Gov. Jerry Brown said Tuesday he had signed.

This does nothing to deal with the root causes of maniacal violence – that of the maniac.  Institutionalization is still nigh-impossible, yet removing constitutional rights without a trial, a hearing, or their knowledge from family members who said the wrong thing after Thanksgiving dinner is easier than ever.  Stasi-tastic!

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And in even less fun economic news, the US is churning about $8,000,000,000,000 in debt.

When discussing the national debt, most people tend to only focus on the amount that it increases each 12 months.  And as I wrote about recently, the U.S. national debt has increased by more than a trillion dollars in fiscal year 2014.

But that does not count the huge amounts of U.S. Treasury securities that the federal government must redeem each year.  When these debt instruments hit their maturity date, the U.S. government must pay them off.  This is done by borrowing more money to pay off the previous debts.  In fiscal year 2013, redemptions of U.S. Treasury securities totaled $7,546,726,000,000 and new debt totaling $8,323,949,000,000 was issued.  The final numbers for fiscal year 2014 are likely to be significantly higher than that.

So why does so much government debt come due each year?

Well, in recent years government officials figured out that they could save a lot of money on interest payments by borrowing over shorter time frames.  For example, it costs the government far more to borrow money for 10 years than it does for 1 year.  So a strategy was hatched to borrow money for very short periods of time and to keep “rolling it over” again and again and again.

From Breitbart:

When Siskiyou County, CA Sheriff John Lopey tried to buy an M1 Garand rifle through the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), he was denied and told he failed to pass the background check conducted via the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

Lopey is a sheriff: he carries a gun and enforces the law for a living. Prior to being a sheriff, he spent 33 years with the California Highway Patrol and is a retired Army Colonel. He had Top Secret clearance in the Army.

The FBI handles NICS background checks for firearms purchases. Ironically, Lopey recently went through and passed a background check to attend the FBI national academy.

Very interesting, since he’d bought guns within the past year and had no problems.  But then there’s the fact that he’s not very politically popular with the left and the Obama administration, mostly for opposing tyrannical environmental regulations that are destroying his county and region.

He holds ideas that are very unpopular with the current regime and has openly stated them at Support Rural America town hall meetings:

RED BLUFF — Sheriffs from nine Northern California counties on Saturday blasted government regulations and public agencies that, they said, have devastated their counties.

We were sworn to defend America against all enemies, foreign and domestic. It seems we have more enemies that are domestic these days,” said Jon Lopey, Siskiyou County sheriff. “There is a movement to destroy rural America as we know it.”

His pro-rural America, anti-fedgov-leviathan stance is one he holds pretty consistently:

Standing tall and trim in a dark suit and tie, Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey grimly delivers his message of resistance, warning of state and federal regulators moving to usurp control of local resources and constitutional rights.

“We’re in a fight to preserve our heritage, way of life, economy, public safety, health and the welfare of the citizens and the freedoms we hold dear,” he tells meeting rooms packed with his law enforcement peers and their constituents. “This is serious business folks.”

That specific statement went out to an audience of about 300 at a September gathering of sheriffs in Josephine County, Ore., one of more than a half-dozen such public meetings during the past year where Lopey’s remarks have been greeted with approving applause.

“We sheriffs have recognized that some agencies and several special interest groups are using money, influence, politics, regulations and sometimes lies to push an extremist agenda which threatens to literally destroy rural America and our way of life,” he said.

This Huffpo piece names Lopey as one of the left’s most-hated sheriffs in the nation (right next to Joe Arpaio), but the comments are much more informative about the condition of northern California than the Huffpo propaganda.

You can also just consider what Lopey has to say about the Second Amendment and consider if that might make him unpopular with the fedgov.

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Now, it’s just speculation that he’d be targeted, hence the “tin foil” tag… but given that the IRS, the ATF, and numerous other fedgov agencies have specifically targeted Obama administration opponents and continue to do so all lends credence to the idea.

Yesterday we brought up KU professor David “Death to Your Kids” Guth, but that’s not the only leftist wishing death to children.

California Democrat party communications chair Allan Brauer wished death to Ted Cruz’s staff and their children:

california dem wishes death to ted cruz

He and other Cali Dems apologized by saying that his kind of rhetoric distracts from the discussion of how evil Ted Cruz and Ted Cruz-like people are, so he’s sorry that people missed sight of hating Ted Cruz.

But in a tweet collected here, it’s easy to see what the problem is:

california dem wishes death to ted cruz 2

He’s doing the same thing that Alinksyites always do.  They polarize the problem and then stalwartly refuse to accept that there is any other side but theirs.  They are the angels, the other side are demons, and they must act, and act now against the demons.  They dehumanize and hate their opponents, and they will do anything to win and destroy and kill their political opponents.

Allan “Death to Your Children Tapeworms That Slithered Out of Your Asshole” Brauer is not only is he a violent cretin, he’s a ignoramus.

The Republican party doesn’t take bread from the mouths of starving children and medicine from the sick.  It asks: Why should someone who’s worked hard to provide food for their children and medicine for their own sick have government’s gun shoved in their face and be forced to provide food and medicine for those who don’t prepare?  Why is the ant being robbed by the government to provide for the grasshopper?

The ant has a natural right to the property earned by his labor, yet the emotional Democrat maniac sees Person A need, often whose life choices have undoubtedly taken some part in getting them to their crappy situation (or whose parents life choices have) and decides that Person B, who lives three states away and is working to take care of his own family, children, and friends, should have IRS Agent Z take money from Person B’s pocket, food from his table, and create a health-care system that penalizes Person B in order to provide for Person A.  Person B has been declared to owe Person A, while Person A has done nothing but exist and fail at life, and the Democrat solution is to subsidize failure rather than allow Person A to learn from mistakes.

IRS Agent Z and Democrat Candidate Y can claim moral superiority for feeding the poor and providing for the sick, but they do so by robbing from Person B (and of course buying Person A’s vote with handouts).  When Person B objects and elects Candidate C to represent him, IRS Agent Z and Democrat Y go after them for being “pubic lice whose asshole-slithering tapeworms need to die” because they want to keep more of the products of their own labor, and want to know where this debt to Person A came from.

There is no rational response.  There is either some gibbering about nebulous “social contracts” which are non-existent and then a whole lot of rage and hate from the would-be masters against the questioning workers.

Brauer’s rage is based on a completely false premise, but one that cannot be corrected because he has chosen his targets, he has polarized them, he has frozen them, and he is on the side of the angels and they the demons.  So of course their children must die.

California Needs MOAR Money

Posted: August 12, 2013 by ShortTimer in California, Democrats, Economics, Government, Leftists, Tax, taxes

From UT San Diego:

California may have the nation’s highest sales tax, but it’s still not generating the revenue it should be to keep up with the state’s economic growth.

A report released this week by the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office says Californians are spending less on taxable goods, and more on non-taxable services like health care, auto repair and groceries, which have increased in price. That means the state is generating less sales-tax revenue, about half of of which is used for the general fund while the rest is funneled to local municipalities. The average sales tax rate in California municipalities is now 8.4 percent. San Diegans pay 8 percent.

Citizens are spending that on health care because they need it (and while they still can before Obamacare sets in), spending it on auto repair because they can’t afford new cars, and spending on groceries to live.  There’s a depression on.

Of course, that’s no reason for the state of California to give up their spending habits and handout habits.  So they need MOAR!

moar

Of course, to the left, it’s all the market’s fault.

But it’s not the high rate that’s causing the drop in revenue – it’s that the price of taxable goods in California isn’t rising fast enough. Prices for services, which are not taxed, however, have increased 2.5 percent year-over-year faster than goods. That means they’re taking up a bigger chunk of income. In 1979, Californians spent 53 cents of each dollar on taxable items. In 2012, they spent 33 cents of each dollar on taxable items.

That’s contrary to what analysts expected when they started the research two months ago.

“We thought consumers were buying fewer lawnmowers and, as an alternative, buying more landscaping services,” said Chas Alamo, an LAO fiscal and policy analyst who co-authored the study. “Through our research and revenue forecasting, however, we discovered that the decline occurred primarily because prices of services have increased faster than inflation and prices of taxable goods have increased slower.”

It’s as though the idea of the government spending too much money can’t even occur to them.

Actually, the California treasurer did say this a few years ago – and he even says he can’t blame the Republicans because there aren’t any left:

And he notes they need Republicans to lead because culturally they’re fiscally more responsible.

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I am reminded of a joke by Richard Lewis about government: “They think there’s money left in the bank because they have checks in the book!”

Like the video title says, she wants her gun, but you should never have one, and she would strip you of your rights and leave you defenseless if she could.

Gun for me, but not for thee.  Self-defense for me, but not for thee.  She is the ruling class, and you are not.

With all the talk of other government abuses right now, it’s important to remember they’re still going to push for disarmament.  They will not stop.

Gotta remember to keep an eye on what the other hand is doing while we’re distracted by the NSA spying on all of us.

From Patriot Update:

What the IRS was doing behind closed doors may soon be official policy in California. Last week, the State Senate voted to revoke the nonprofit status of any group within the state that does not allow full participation of homosexuals, a move aimed directly at the Boy Scouts of America. According to the Associated Press, the bill “would require those organizations to pay corporate taxes on donations, membership dues, camp fees and other sources of income, and to obtain sellers permits and pay sales taxes on food, beverages and homemade items sold at fundraisers.” Groups that sponsor troops would also have their tax returns and membership policies scrutinized by the Franchise Tax Board, California’s version of the IRS.

The thread that connects California’s proposed tax policy with the IRS scandal of recent weeks is the unmistakable trend toward weaponizing the tax code. What was once a neutral instrument used for the purpose of collecting revenue for legitimate governmental functions is now employed to punish behavior that powerful people don’t like.  …

The government can indeed punish citizens monetarily. Until recently, monetary punishments were called “fines” and they were extracted for offenses such as parking in front of a fire hydrant. California cannot however, fine the Boy Scouts for their membership policy. Thirteen years ago the Boy Scouts fought and won a legal case called Boy Scouts v. Dale, which affirmed the organization’s right to freely associate. Private organizations are private and, as such, have the right to set their own membership requirements. Membership in a private club is not an equal rights issue.

Yet the totalitarian impulse of Left Coast liberals knows no bounds. What was once called a “fine” is now called a “tax” and is specifically targeted at ostracized groups such as the Boy Scouts, even if what they are doing has been upheld as constitutionally protected behavior by the Supreme Court. If the tax code were an “assault rifle,” the Boy Scouts would be looking down the barrel of it.

To cite just a few examples, the IRS required pro-life groups to provide information on “both sides” of the abortion issue, as well as to pledge not to picket Planned Parenthood. They even asked the Albuquerque Tea Party why they weren’t having a rally for the Democratic candidate for governor! The IRS was out of line in these cases for two reasons. First, because no private organization should face a fine—er, tax—for exercising their rights, and second because the same treatment was never applied to groups on the left.

But at least the IRS had the good sense to hide their tyrannical machinations. The California Senate wants to do the same thing, right out in the open. The right of private organizations to exclude anyone they want is well established and there’s nothing California can do to stop them; nothing, that is, except to extract a punitive “tax.”

Some of this really isn’t that new.  There have been punitive taxes and excise taxes levied against all forms of things that progressives in government dislike, from liquor to tobacco taxes to beer taxes to gun taxes to gas and car taxes.

Someone in government decides what they think is good, and they “nudge” you by inflicting crippling taxes.  Your behavior gets modified by some Cass Sunsteinesque soft tyrant who will simply make it financially burdensome to engage in an activity they have deemed is unsuitable for you.  If you’re filthy rich, the taxes are meaningless, but if you’re Joe or Jane Average, the taxes are behavior modification punishments intended for you.  You are being dictated to by a bureaucrat who’s decided that you need to be fundamentally changed.

The function of government is not to tell you how to live – the function of government is well-outlined by the Constitution as an entity that exists to preserve your freedoms to make decisions.  “Freedom” to be steered one way or the other by some progressive with the ability to tax your decisions away with “choice architecture” is simply a return to tyranny – a coercive paternalism that most on the left favor.  You aren’t doing what they want, and they will use every tool to make you do what they want.

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This story isn’t about the Boy Scouts, it’s about government and government interference in free association.  But there is one overlooked point in the gay scouting controversy well addressed by Dr. Rusty at Jawa Report:

So, the Boy Scouts of America is contemplating letting openly gay men serve as Scout leaders?

This is the dumbest thing I’ve heard gay rights advocates push for — ever.

The idea that a gay man should go camping with a bunch of teenage boys? Yeah, that’s insane.

Not because homosexuals are predatory by nature. Not because they are going to lure impressionable youths into the gay lifestyle. Foolishness, all.

Gays aren’t any worse than the next man when it comes to normal human impulses. But they certainly aren’t any better.

Would you let me take your 14 year old daughter camping? Kind of seems inappropriate.

So, you acknowledge that no matter how decent of a guy I might be, because I am a normal man subject to normal male passions, it’s probably not a great idea for me and my buddy — let’s say, Howie — to take a group of 14 – 15 year old girls on a camp out. Don’t forget to bring a pillow for the mandatory pillow fight!

Read the whole post here, and remember that the government is trying to force that situation by using weaponized taxation against the Boy Scouts.  The progressives have decided that it is a Greater Good, and to hell with any group that would disagree with their worldview.

Those inflicting the taxation will never have to deal with the consequences of their actions, because they’re hidden several layers away from their intended target.  If a boy scout is molested by a gay scout leader (who is an authority figure in the organization, remember), it won’t be the California taxation official who will be held to task for creating the situation – it will be the Boy Scouts.  Heck, the ensuing crisis that would push people away from scouting may even be the objective of the leftist government – to simply destroy the scouts by making them live under nonsense rulings that lead to their own demise.  It’s a win-win-win for the progressive – the scouts are financially punished, forced into the mold of what the progressive desires for society, or destroyed by the leftist demands that are incompatible not only with scouting, but with human nature.

More stuff that stacked up in my notes pile…  California’s looking to have non-citizens serve on juries.

Jury duty long has been held up as a privilege of U.S. citizenship, along with voting and a few other civic actions.

But in move that is drawing controversy, California is considering extending the right to serve on a jury to legal immigrants who are not naturalized citizens. The California Assembly passed a bill on Thursday that would  allow non-citizens who are in the country legally to serve on jury duty.

Not a jury of your peers.

Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, a Democrat, sponsored the bill, arguing that the state needs to broaden the pool of eligible jurors, and that fulfilling jury duty would help integrate immigrants.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, the branch that deals with naturalization, said that only U.S. citizens may serve on federal juries, but that some local jurisdictions in the nation allow non-citizens to be jurors. The same is true of voting, which at the federal level requires citizenship.

Local jurisdictions allowing aliens to vote on how you live in your country is absurd.  It surrenders sovereign franchise to aliens, whether they be illegal (which is the real point in Cali), or legal.  Legal permanent residents aren’t citizens.  They’re just living here, they aren’t Americans.  They haven’t so much as sworn any allegiance to the US, they’re just here on papers.

If they want to be Americans, then once they get citizenship they can enjoy the right to vote, and they can enjoy the right to serve on juries and convict or acquit their fellow citizens (though some may find that a dubious honor, given the time commitments).

Democratic lawmakers who voted for the bill said there is no correlation between being a citizen and a juror, and they noted that there is no citizenship requirement to be an attorney or a judge.

Yeah, actually there is.  A jury of one’s peers means having citizens of the country you reside in be your jurors.  That anyone can hire any attorney they want is no big deal, but that a judge, as a state official, could bear allegiance not to the US, but to a foreign nation, is frankly absurd.

The Democrat argument for it basically comes down to “we need them to serve on juries US citizens are too lazy to serve on”.

Noting that women were once kept off juries, Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, said the judicial system should be changed to allow a person to be judged by their peers.

He then went on to talk about apples and oranges.

Paula Hannaford, an expert at the Center for Jury Studies, confirmed that California would be the only place — state or locality — in the country to allow non-citizens to serve jury duty.

Because non-citizens on jury duty is patently absurd.

Why not just have Incitatus on the jury?  There’s nothing that says horses can’t serve on juries.