Tag Archives: California

Californians Go Full Retard

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US appeals court upholds California bullet stamping law, by Sudhin Thanawala

Just because it’s technologically impossible to do a thing doesn’t mean a legislature can’t “require” the thing to be done, especially when it comes to firearms. From Sudhin Thanawala at abcnews.com:

A California requirement that new models of semi-automatic handguns stamp identifying information on bullet casings when fired is a “real-world solution” to help solve gun crimes, a divided U.S. appeals court said Friday in a decision that upheld the novel law.

The stamping requirement and two measures intended to make guns safer did not violate the 2nd Amendment because they left plenty of firearms for sale in California and were reasonable to further the state’s goal of keeping people safe, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a 2-1 decision.

Gun rights advocates had argued that manufacturers didn’t have the technology to implement the stamping requirement, so the law was effectively a ban on the sale of new guns in the state.

Writing for the majority, Judge M. Margaret McKeown said the inability to buy particular guns did not infringe the 2nd Amendment right to self-defense in the home.

“Indeed, all of the plaintiffs admit that they are able to buy an operable handgun suitable for self-defense — just not the exact gun they want,” she said.

McKeown, joined by Judge J. Clifford Wallace, also rejected the argument that the stamping technology was impossible to implement.

The 9th Circuit was analyzing the law under a less rigorous judicial standard in order to reach its “policy preferences,” said Brandon Combs, executive director of the Calguns Foundation, one of the plaintiffs.

“Really what the 9th Circuit is saying and has said in other cases basically is as long as a person that is law abiding has access to one handgun inside of their home, then that’s it,” he said. “That’s the extent of their right. We think that’s quite wrong.”

In a dissenting opinion, 9th Circuit Judge Jay Bybee said there was conflicting evidence about whether the stamping requirement was technically feasible. If the state adopted a requirement that no gun manufacturer could satisfy, the law would not help the state solve handgun crimes and would illegally restrict gun purchases, he said.

To continue reading: US appeals court upholds California bullet stamping law

Could California Flame Out? by John McNellis

California definitely could flame out, and probably will. From John McNellis at wolfstreet.com:

High housing costs & taxes lead to this: “Once we decided we had to get our employees out of California, we went about our search systematically.”

The phone rang early the other day. “Well, our center’s still standing,” my partner said. “The fire’s only a couple blocks from us, the whole town of Lakeport’s been evacuated. I think we’ll be ok, but it’s out of control.”

That fire is still raging as of this writing, the town is empty, the stores are closed, our shopkeepers are suffering daily losses that, while nothing compared to the loss of life and home that California’s wildfires are claiming, will never be recovered.

Not so very long ago I thought that global warming was a tragedy of epic proportions, but that it would have at least a few winners: Southern California might become truly unbearable, but Eureka would be the next Laguna Beach. I was wrong again. Writing in the New York Times about Montana, Sara Vowell summarized it like this, “Here in the Mountain West, there are no longer four seasons, only two: winter and wildfire.”

While not that apocalyptic, California’s wildfire season has been starting earlier and ending later. In the past, the season lasted a couple months, August through early October. This year it began the first week of July and last year–the deadliest and costliest wildfire season ever–it went on forever, finally petering out in the north in November and still devastating the south as late as December. The Thomas fire in Southern California, the largest single fire ever, broke out on December 4th.

In California, we pay the highest taxes in America. No other state has a base sales tax as high as our 7.25% nor does any state match our top marginal income tax rate of 13.3% (Hawaii’s a distant second at 11%). One resigned pundit called it a “Shangri-La tax,” the price we must pay to live in the Golden State. And thanks to what passes for political brilliance in Congress, Shangri-La became way more expensive as of January 1st when the Republicans eliminated the deductibility of state income taxes at the federal level, smacking the high-tax Democratic states they already had no chance of winning. All things being equal (they never are), a rich liberal will pay another 6.5% or so in federal taxes for the privilege of living in California this year.

To continue reading: Could California Flame Out?

The Plastic Straw Ban: Enforced With Violence, by Ryan McMaken

You don’t have anything approaching wise or just governance when you can do jail time and pay hefty fines for using a plastic straw. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

The latest trend in banning plastic stuff is the nationwide trend toward eliminating plastic straws from restaurants. A commonly-given justification for the ban is the fact that there’s a lot of plastic garbage floating around in the ocean. Of course, this rationale seems a bit odd for some locations. In Fort Collins, Colorado, for example — which is about a thousand miles from any ocean — locals feel the need to “do their part” by convincing local restaurateurs to ban the offending objects.

One can already see that this will be inconvenient for toddlers and their parents, and for the physically disabled, but with private firms choosing whether or not to use straws, it’s not really an issue that requires a strong opinion.

On the other hand, when it comes to government-sponsored bans on straws, things are considerably different.

This is because at the heart of every government law, rule, and regulation is the fact that violence must ultimately be employed to enforce those laws. Indeed, Santa Barbara, California has announced a new ban on plastic straws that brings sizable punishments, if violated:

Violating Santa Barbara’s plastic straw ban could land you in jail for up to 6 months and a fine up to $1,000 per violation.

However, the City says it won’t actually punish anyone that severely if they break the rule.

And how do we know the state won’t punish people accordingly? Well, we have nothing but the promise of its spokesperson. After all,

municipal code does state a violation could land the provider in jail for up to 6 months and lead to a fine up to $1,000; however, there are no plans to actually enforce that penalty. Instead, the city will do education and outreach in order to get providers to comply.

In other words, the actual statute makes it clear that any violators are subject to large fines and jail time for each infraction. That means passing out 5 straws could lead to years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.

To continue reading: The Plastic Straw Ban: Enforced With Violence

Trump To Revoke California’s Power To Fight Smog, by Tyler Durden

This will be a battle royale, fought in the courts: whether California can maintain more string auto emissions standards that the rest of the country. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

In a move that will infuriate environmentalists everywhere, but especially in California, the Trump administration is seeking to repeal California’s authority to regulate automobile emissions in a proposed revision of Obama-era standards, according to Bloomberg citing three people familiar with the plan.

The proposal which will be released later this week represents a “frontal assault” on one of Barack Obama’s signature regulatory programs to curb greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

It also sets up a high-stakes battle over California’s unique ability to combat air pollution and, if finalized, is sure to set off a protracted courtroom battle.

And since the revamp also includes California’s mandate for electric car sales, it represents a gut punch to the likes of Elon Musk, who recently announced (yet again) a deal to begin work on a factory in China.

The proposed overhaul would also put the brakes on federal rules to boost fuel efficiency into the next decade, instead it will cap federal fuel economy requirements at the 2020 level, which under federal law must be at least a 35-mile-per-gallon fleet average, rather than letting them rise to roughly 50 mpg by 2025 as envisioned in the plan left behind by Obama.

As Bloomberg details, as part of the stunning proposal, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will propose revoking the Clean Air Act waiver granted to California that has allowed the state to regulate carbon emissions from vehicle tailpipes and force carmakers to sell electric vehicles in the state in higher numbers.

Separately, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will assert that California is barred from regulating greenhouse gas emissions from autos under the 1975 law that established the first federal fuel-efficiency requirements, the people said.

Agencies are expected to claim it will reduce traffic fatalities by making it cheaper for drivers to replace older, less-safe cars, while paring sticker prices for new vehicles even if motorists have to spend more for gasoline.

In other words, in what amounts to a full-blown war between the White House and California, the administration will put its weight behind the dramatic overhaul, including the revocation of California’s cherished authority.

To continue reading: Trump To Revoke California’s Power To Fight Smog

She Said That? 6/16/17

From Tiffany Madison, American journalist:

Political corruption, social greed, and Americanized quasi-socialism can ruin even the most wonderful places. California proved that.

Splitting California into 3 Pieces Is Long Overdue, by Ryan McMaken

If California is split into multiple pieces, maybe sanity will reign in at least one of them. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

It now looks like California voters will have the chance to vote on whether or not the state ought to be split up into three pieces. The Los AngelesTimes reports :

If a majority of voters who cast ballots agree, a long and contentious process would begin for three separate states to take the place of California, with one primarily centered around Los Angeles and the other two divvying up the counties to the north and south.

This latest move is just one of many efforts over many decades to split California up, and make its constituent parts more responsive to the people who live there. This effort, however, is more successful than past ones — for example, the 2016 proposed ballot measure breaking up California into six states. That one failed to qualify for the ballot.

To say the least, breaking up California into smaller pieces is something that is long overdue. The population of California is a massive 39 million, making it larger than either Canada or Peru. And the GDP produced by that state is enormous as well. If California were an independent country, it would have an economy larger than that of the United Kingdom.

This means the California government — which can (and does) skim off substantial portions of that wealth — is among the richest governments in the world.

Moreover, the government holds a monopoly of power over a vast area which includes some of the best real estate in the world. Much of North America’s best coastlines, mountains, natural harbors, forests, and mountains are contained within California.

And, here’s one of the best things about being a huge state (from the government’s perspective): the government can make it extremely inconvenient to escape it: “You don’t like our policies? Well, then, feel free to move hundreds of miles away to Phoenix or Reno.”

It’s no wonder then, that the government of California has been able to abuse its taxpayers so freely. California has one of the highest tax burdens in the nation, and many leave the state because of it. More and more, the state is become a playground for the wealthy who have enough of a surplus to endure what ordinary people cannot. Thanks to endless regulations on development via environmental regulations and other measures, housing supply has been artificially limited, and thus the cost of housing in California has skyrocketed. This has led to a situation in which, as the Sacramento Bee put it “California exports its poor to Texas… while wealthier people move in.” But California apparently isn’t exporting all its poor — the state has the worst poverty ratein the nation when the cost of living is taken into account.

To continue reading: Splitting California into 3 Pieces Is Long Overdue