Tag Archives: California

California’s Failed Response To COVID, by Dr. Jayanta Bhattacharya and Dr. Martin Kulldorff

One man deserves a lion’s share of the blame: blow-dried, posturing, hypocritical, and incompetent Gavin Newsome. From Dr. Jayanta Bhattacharya and Dr. Martin Kulldorff at aier.org:

Now that we’ve “celebrated” the first anniversary of COVID-19 in California, it’s a good time to take stock of the state’s response.

From the beginning, the Golden State has taken an aggressive stance toward the epidemic, including imposing the earliest shelter-in-place order in the nation; ceasing in-person schooling for the vast majority of public-school kids; shuttering churches, parks, and playgrounds; mandating masks, with hefty fines for violators; and forcing the closure of “non-essential” businesses that cannot operate using distancing technologies, such as videoconferencing. Even Disneyland has been closed since March 2020. In short, California has followed one of the strictest lockdowns in the country.

Though the state’s response received high marks in July from the “covidian” high priesthood, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the state has seen exploding coronavirus cases and deaths. Through March 28, 2021, 8.9 percent of all Californians have been identified as COVID cases—3.6 million cases. Since most infections are not recognized as cases, a much larger fraction of the population has been infected with COVID. Through March 29 this year, nearly 57,800 people have died in California with COVID.

To put these numbers in perspective, it helps to have a comparison state that has followed a very different policy. For that, we should consider Florida, which partially lifted its lockdown in May 2020 and then further relaxed restrictions in September (based in part on focused protection ideas advocated by us).

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It’s officially an offence now to LEAVE England, by Simon Black

Totalitarian regimes often won’t allow their citizens to leave. Simon Black’s weekly chronicle of the absurd at sovereignman.com:

Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, risks to your prosperity… and on occasion, inspiring poetic justice.

It’s officially now an offence to LEAVE England

After four hours of debate yesterday in the House of Commons, the United Kingdom has approved an emergency measure that will, among other restrictions, fine Brits who LEAVE the country without a qualifying reason.

Ironically, the British government insists they can legally impose these new rules because of authority that was granted to them under a law called the Public Health Act… which just happened to be passed in… 1984.

Starting on Monday, anyone who leaves England must submit papers making a certified declaration of their reason for leaving. The authorities will then retain the discretion to fine travelers £5,000— nearly $7,000, if the reason isn’t valid.

The government has provided a list of 14 valid excuses, such as a professional football team traveling for a match. This is totally fine.

But someone who wants to attend a religious pilgrimage is forbidden to travel. So is someone who wants to visit an elderly parent they haven’t seen since 2019, unless it is a parent whom the traveler “reasonably believes is dying.”

How magnanimous.

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New York & California Democratic Voters: You Got What You Voted For, by PF Whalen

The only people we should feel sorry in California and New York are the non-blue who for whatever reasons can’t move out. From PF Whalen at thebluestateconservative.com:

Twentieth-century journalist H.L Mencken was notoriously cynical, particularly when it came to the virtues of democracy. One of Mencken’s more colorful comments on the topic came when he offered the following observation, “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” Over one hundred years after that statement was made, there is arguably no better example of its occasional accuracy than the situations we currently see unfolding in New York and California.

New York and California are two of the bluest of all blue states. They’re both run by Democratic Governors with legislatures dominated by Democratic majorities, and are two of the most populous states in the nation. They’re also both states with an electorate that currently appear to be suffering from buyers’ remorse. If you’re a resident of New York or California, however, and if you vote Democrat every November without giving the decision a second thought like so many do, you’ve got no one to blame but yourselves. If you voted for Gov. Gavin Newsom in California, or Gov. Andrew Cuomo in New York, or any of the scores of other Democrats that have been handed the keys of power throughout your states, you shouldn’t be surprised: this is what you get.

Visitors from outer-space arriving last November without any previous knowledge of New York politics would no doubt conclude that Governor Cuomo’s precipitous fall has come totally out of left field; unexpected and shocking. But they would be incorrect.

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California’s Energy Policies Hurt Minority Citizens the Most, by Jude Clement

Green energy is more expensive than petroleum based energy, especially when it is a product of government mandate and not market forces, and that hurts the poor the most. From Jude Clement at realclearenergy.org:

In 2020, some 9 million Californians were unable to pay their energy bills. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) reports that customers of the major investor-owned electric and gas utilities accumulated $1.15 billion in unpaid bills during the year.

As a “clean energy” climate leader, California seeks to achieve a carbon-free economy before 2050, ensuring that its electrical system can withstand extreme weather events and supply affordable energy to 40 million people.

That last goal might be the biggest challenge.

The wind and the sun may be free, but deriving electricity from them is anything but.

California’s residential electricity price in 2020 was 20.50 cents per kWh, or 55% higher than the national average of 13.20 cents – an expensive energy problem that is only getting worse (see Figure).

The latest iteration of California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), the 100% Clean Energy Act, was enacted in 2018. It requires California utilities to use 100% clean energy by 2045, with an interim requirement of 60% by 2030.

The costs are immense.

Experts at the University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute reported in November that “electricity prices increase substantially after RPS adoption,” adding $30 billion in extra costs after just seven years.

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California Collapsing, by Martin Sieff

It takes a monumental effort to screw up a state with California’s myriad advantages, but the Democrats have done it. From Martin Sieff at strategic-culture.org:

California now fulfills Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s nightmare vision in his prophetic masterpiece “The Possessed” as to what unlimited liberalism must inevitably create – if not stopped in its tracks and rolled back.

Where California goes today, the rest of the United States and much of the Western world goes tomorrow. But what we are now seeing in America’s most populous state is the complete internal collapse of the entire liberal progressive civilization and the society that has most frantically tried to fulfill it

For well over a hundred years, California, the self-styled “Golden State” has trail-blazed  the future of America especially through the two famously American industries of aerospace and motion pictures. Telecommunications, computers and Artificial Intelligence are now led from Silicon Valley and the state has dominated the national politics of the United States too.

California rapidly grew into the wealthiest and largest population US state. It has produced two two-term presidents (Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan), one of the most important Chief Justices of the Supreme Court (Earl Warren) and the likely next president – current Vice President Kamala Harris if 78-year-old Joe Biden cannot complete his term.

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What’s Next, Inevitably . . . by Eric Peters

Houses use a lot of power, which could mean that a compulsory downsizing for many Americans is on the green agenda. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

 
 

Electric cars are, of course, merely for starters.

Because it follows, inevitably, that if Americans must give up fossil-fueled cars in order to “reduce their carbon footprint,” no matter the cost to Americans – they will be told they may no longer use fossil fuels to power their homes. 

To keep them warm. To heat water. To cook food.

No need to wait, either.

People in California have already been told. Decrees have been issued by the same people decreeing the wearing of the Holy Facial Burqa – and the closing of businesses – that in future (by 2023, the not-far future) building codes will require new construction homes to not use fossil fuels such as natural gas for heat, including hot water.

It is very probable that existing homes that have gas heat – or fireplaces, even – will be the object of “break their will” policies such as punishing taxes on natural gas, propane and bans on the use of wood-burning stoves to heat these homes – the latter already also a decree in parts of California.

And since California now determines national policy, attempts will be made to impose similar measures nationally as the same kinds of people who have their hands on the levers of power in California also have their hands on the levers of power practically everywhere.

Including Texas.

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California Is Worse Than You Think, by William Anderson

Why do Californians keep voting for politicians who make their situation worse? From William Anderson at mises.org:

My colleague from the philosophy department was becoming increasingly angry.

He was trying to be polite, but it was clear that he was raging inside. After a few minutes, he smiled a very strained smile and excused himself.

Our conversation was about California, or to be more specific, California governance. As readers can imagine, he was bullish on how the Democratic Party governs the state, California being perhaps the most one-party state in the USA. Every statewide election has gone to a Democrat in the last decade, and Democrats have a supermajority in the state legislature, which means that there is no meaningful Republican opposition and whatever the Democrats want, they get.

Not surprisingly, California governance is squarely progressive. The unions representing government employees effectively run the legislature, and as a result, pay, benefits, and pensions for those workers increasingly are straining the state budgets. (Steven Greenhut, a libertarian journalist based in California has documented the unsustainable growth of government in that state for nearly two decades.) Yet, the state continues to march politically and economically in the progressive direction as though the laws of economics didn’t matter.

For the most part, I have observed progressive California from far away, but my life took a different turn a few years ago, and the state is becoming my new home. I married a retired nurse from Sacramento in 2018, and because of health issues with her adult daughter, she has had to remain in that city, something not in our original plans. Because our campus either has been closed or severely restricted during the covid-19 lockdowns, I have spent most of the past year working from my wife’s home.

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California “Techsodus”: Tech Companies, Billionaires, Millionaires, Tech Employees Flee San Francisco & Silicon Valley, by Wolf Street

Money and business do tend to migrate to where they’re treated the best. From Wolf Richter at wolfstreet.com:

And we coined “Management by Zooming Around.” Which is what Oracle’s Larry Ellison is doing.

When on December 11, Oracle disclosed that it “is implementing a more flexible employee work location policy and has changed its Corporate Headquarters from Redwood City, California to Austin, Texas,” it was another step in the process that we will henceforth call “Techsodus.”

The exodus of tech companies, executives, billionaires, millionaires, and regular tech employees from California, and particularly from San Francisco and Silicon Valley, is a combo of fleeing California and a shift to work-from-anywhere. Texas, Florida, Colorado, and other states have been among the destinations. Texas and Florida don’t levy state income taxes, so sure.

But Larry Ellison, co-founder and chairman of Oracle, isn’t moving to Texas along with the headquarters of his company. He has moved his primary residence to Hawaii, following Oracles new doctrine of working from anywhere. And Hawaii’s state income taxes are not far behind California’s.

Oracle already has a 560,000-square-foot campus in Austin, which it opened in 2018 – and moving its headquarters to Austin might not change all that much at first in terms of employment. Oracle said that it would “continue to support major hubs for Oracle around the world,” including its soon-to-be former headquarters in Redwood City. Oracle, founded in 1977, is one of the older tech companies that helped make Silicon Valley.

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California vs. Texas

California has had a nearly identical case trajectory as Texas.

In TX, schools are open. Businesses are open. People can go for a walk.

California’s Looming ‘Green New Car Wreck’, by Anthony Watts

The state that doesn’t have enough electricity is mandating electric cars. From Anthony Watts at wattsupwiththat.com:

The numbers don’t pencil out for the future where just 25% of cars in California would be electric.

Governor Newsom announces major climate initiative, September 23, 2020. (Screenshot via California Gavin Newsom)

On September 23, California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order that will ban the sale of gasoline-powered cars in the Golden State by 2035. Ignoring the hard lessons of this past summer, when California’s solar- and wind-reliant electric grid underwent rolling blackouts, Newsom now adds a huge new burden to the grid in the form electric vehicle charging. If California officials follow through and enforce Newsom’s order, the result will be a green new car version of a train wreck.

Let’s run some numbers. According to Statista, there are more than 15 million vehicles registered in California. Per the U.S. Department of Energy, there are only 256,000 electric vehicles registered in the state—just 1.7 percent of all vehicles.

Using the Tesla Model3 mid-range model as a baseline for an electric car, you’ll need to use about 62 kilowatt-hours (KWh) of power to charge a standard range Model 3 battery to full capacity. It will take about eight hours to fully charge it at home using the standard Tesla NEMA 14-50 charger.

Now, let’s assume that by 2040, five years after the mandate takes effect, also assuming no major increase in the number of total vehicles, California manages to increase the number of electric vehicles to 25 percent of the total vehicles in the state. If each vehicle needs an average of 62 kilowatt-hours for a full charge, then the total charging power required daily would be 3,750,000 x 62 KWh, which equals 232,500,000 KWh, or 232.5 gigawatt-hours (GWh) daily.

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