AB 450/466: Takes Away RIGHT to Concealed Carry Permit in California

Your right to a concealed carry permit in California is now on the desk of the anti-2nd Amendment Guv Brown.  While he has a 24/7 armed bodyguard, you need to protect yourself.  A bill, AB 450 and 466 passed the legislature.  This is want they do:

  • tAB 450 CCW Permit Fees
    • Would require that the fee charged for a CCW application must cover the full costs of both issuing and enforcing the permit.
  • AB 466 CCW “Good Cause” Definition
    • Would require that the applicant present facts to distinguish the applicant from the average person and must show that the applicant faces greater harm that the general public.

You will have to prove ISIS is after you or the Crips listed you on their website as Public Enemy #1—otherwise, you will have to violate the law to protect yourself.  We already have lots of decent citizens refusing to be victims and carry guns without government permission—they have the permission of the U.S. Constitution, not a hack in City Hall or a political police chief like Beck of L.A.  It no longer matter he cost of the permits—which will increase, the fact reminds you will have to prove a real threat—and terrorists and gangbangers do not count.  Feel safe in California?

Photo courtesy of krazydad/jbum, Flickr.

Photo courtesy of krazydad/jbum, Flickr.

Assemblymember McCarty Introduces CCW Reform Legislation

Assemblyman Kevin McCarty,  8/23/16

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Today, Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) introduced two bills to reform the concealed weapon process. The bills would require a showing of a reasonable need to obtain a concealed weapon permit and ensure that the fees to obtain that permit cover all the costs to the county or city issuing that permit.

  • AB 450 CCW Permit Fees
    • Would require that the fee charged for a CCW application must cover the full costs of both issuing and enforcing the permit.
  • AB 466 CCW “Good Cause” Definition
    • Would require that the applicant present facts to distinguish the applicant from the average person and must show that the applicant faces greater harm that the general public.

The existing requirements for obtaining CCW permits are that the applicant must show that they have a “good cause” to obtain the license and that they are of good moral character.  The issuing authority, usually a county sheriff, may charge a fee to process the permit application.  However, there is no guidance on what constitutes a “good cause” or how much to charge for the application fee.  A recent U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision, Peruta v. County of San Diego, has given some guidance.   In Peruta, the Court found that the policies of San Diego and Yolo County Sheriffs, which require that an applicant show that they face more harm than the average person, did not violate the 2nd Amendment.

The current law has caused unequal treatment across California and budget shortfalls for local governments.  Sacramento County is facing a $250,000 shortfall caused by inadequate CCW application fees and is facing cuts to essential programs.

“A CCW permit is a privilege and should only be given to those who have a genuine need to carry a concealed firearm,” said Assemblymember McCarty, adding “already strained local governments shouldn’t be forced to cut essential programs because the fees for this privilege don’t cover the full costs to Police and Sheriff’s Departments.”

“The wild wild west of CCWs needs to be reined in with common sense guidance on who gets to carry and who doesn’t. A recent example of a CCW holder, who stated he hates government, found blocks from the state capitol with weapons and ammo, raises serious concerns about our sheriff’s ability to decide who gets to carry a concealed weapon.”  Said Steve Hansen, Sacramento City Councilmember.

“California taxpayers should not be forced to pay for someone’s privilege of carrying and concealing a firearm” said Phil Serna, a Sacramento County Supervisor who recently challenged the use of discretionary county general funds to subsidize the issuance of CCW permits.  His colleague, Supervisor Patrick Kennedy, who also questioned CCW funding, added that “As a county supervisor, I can tell you we have many other needs for scarce general fund monies, including putting more well-trained law enforcement officers on our streets.”

 

U.S.-NAFTA freight value drops 6.4 percent, reports BTS–18 MONTHS of Decline

Is a global recession in the making?  Europe is economically falling apart.  The EU $14 billion “fine” on Apple will force that and other Ireland based firms move south into the now low tax England.  This pushes Ireland into a Depression and Europe into further chaos and economic struggle.  We know California ports have had a declining import/export business—and Guv Brown is signing a bill to kill off the shipment of coal overseas—meaning business fo Canadian and Mexican ports and workers—unemployment for Americans.

Now we have the NAFTA numbers from our two biggest customers and suppliers—Mexico and Canada.  It does not look pretty and for the long term it signals the global economy is retracting, killing off jobs and revenues.

“The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) recently reported that that U.S. trade with its North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico saw a 6.4 percent annual decrease to $92.7 billion in June, coming on the heels of a 3.1 percent drop to $89.8 billion in May, and a 3.3 percent drop to $90.4 billion in April.

This marks the 18th straight month of declines for the total value of U.S.-NAFTA freight.”

Eighteen months of decline—that is a trend that can not be ignored—even if CNN, the Times, Post and mainstream media ignore it.  This is part of the reason our economy has stagnated—and Obama is proud of the oncoming collapse.  Start saving!

Los Angeles Port

U.S.-NAFTA freight value drops 6.4 percent, reports BTS

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) recently reported that that U.S. trade with its North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico saw a 6.4 percent annual decrease to $92.7 billion in June.

Logistics Management,  8/31/16

Air-transported commodities were up 5.0 percent, due in large part to a 35.6 percent increase in the value of imports of pearls, precious stones and metals, said BTS, with rail down 4.4 percent, truck down 5.8 percent, pipeline down 15.6 percent, and vessel down 19.7 percent, with crude oil price declines driving the decreases in the dollar value of products shipped by vessel and pipeline.

BTS said that trucks moved 65.4 percent of U.S.-NAFTA freight, representing $31.2 billion of the $49.2 billion in imports, or 63.5 percent, and $29.4 billion of the $43.5 billion in exports, or 67.5 percent. Rail was next at 15.2 percent of all U.S.-NAFTA freight, followed by vessel (6.0 percent), pipeline (4.5 percent), and air (4.0 percent).  Truck, rail, and pipeline accounted for 85.1 percent of total U.S.-NAFTA freight flows.

From June 2015 to June 2016, the value of U.S.-Canada freight flows fell 7.2 percent to $48.2 billion as all modes of transportation except air carried a lower value of U.S.-Canada freight than a year earlier. And for the same period the value of U.S.-Mexico freight dropped 5.5 percent to $44.5 billion as all modes of transportation except air carried a lower value of U.S.-Mexico freight than a year earlier.

Sen. Glazer Opposition Sparks Fight Over BART Bond Measure

Steve Glazer is a Charles Munger, jr. Democrat.  He is a State Senator because Republican were scared out or threatened not to run against him in a special election.  Glazer supports tax increases, billions in bonds, job killing environmental regulations, not a friend fo students wanting quality education, a supporter of union monopolies.  But on ONE issue he is responsible—which some feel makes up for the socialist votes he casts.

“Glazer, the former mayor of Orinda, was elected to the state Senate last year largely on a campaign promise to try ban BART strikes. He said in an interview last week he’s basing his “no” vote on what he calls “a collection of errors and poor leadership” at the agency “over the last many years.”

Those missteps, he said, included the two strikes that crippled the system in 2013, the pay increases that followed the strikes, the failure to train replacement workers to run the system in the event of a new labor action, a more recent controversy over dummy security cameras on BART trains, and what he called “a lack of planning for the deterioration of the system that’s now reached a crisis point.”

Note he wants to ban BART strikes—but does not oppose teacher or other government workers striking.  He wants union to have monopoly control over government agencies and workers—refusing to allow workers the choice of paying dues to an organization they oppose.  But, he opposes a BART strike, so “Republicans” support him.  Any wonder Republican registration is down?

Steve Glazer and Jerry Brown, credit KVRM

Steve Glazer and Jerry Brown, credit KVRM

East Bay Lawmaker’s Opposition Sparks Fight Over BART Bond Measure

By Dan Brekke, KQED,  8/29/16

In this corner: state Sen. Steve Glazer. He says he’ll vote no on BART’s $3.5 billion bond measure in November and likens the agency’s leadership to misbehaving children who shouldn’t be trusted with the public’s money.

And in this corner: Tom Radulovich, longtime BART board president. He calls Glazer’s opposition “petty” and says it threatens to undermine service on an aging transit system that’s suffered through a siege of breakdowns, overcrowding and passenger frustration.

Glazer, the former mayor of Orinda, was elected to the state Senate last year largely on a campaign promise to try ban BART strikes. He said in an interview last week he’s basing his “no” vote on what he calls “a collection of errors and poor leadership” at the agency “over the last many years.”

Those missteps, he said, included the two strikes that crippled the system in 2013, the pay increases that followed the strikes, the failure to train replacement workers to run the system in the event of a new labor action, a more recent controversy over dummy security cameras on BART trains, and what he called “a lack of planning for the deterioration of the system that’s now reached a crisis point.”

“At some point you can’t reward bad behavior, and you gotta do as a parent does with an unruly child — you gotta just sometimes say no, and you gotta go back and do it right and rebuild the trust that has so deteriorated,” Glazer said.

BART says the bond is necessary for critical infrastructure needs, including extensive electrical, track and structural upgrades throughout the system. The bond would also pay for a new central computer control system that would allow trains to run closer together and relieve crowding on a system that saw a 22.5 percent daily ridership increase between June 2011 and June 2016.

The bond, Measure RR, will be on the ballot in San Francisco, Contra Costa and Alameda counties. To pass, the proposal needs a two-thirds yes vote — 66.66 percent of the total vote in the three-county district.

Radulovich, the BART president, said Glazer’s opposition will only serve to undermine a system the state senator professes to support.

“He is not getting back at the board or the workers by not supporting the bond,” Radulovich said. “He’s merely making sure BART can’t meet its obligations in terms of the service the Bay Area needs. So it’s petty.”

Radulovich also flatly rejected a criticism voiced by Glazer and others — notably East Bay Times columnist Daniel Borenstein — that the bond will make it possible for BART to shift other funds in its budget from long-term projects to worker salaries and benefits.

The funds at issue involve operating revenue from fares and other sources that BART sets aside to help pay for upcoming capital expenses, such as acquiring new train cars and expanding its Hayward maintenance facility. BART officials have said the agency will spend $1.8 billion from operating revenue over the next decade for its capital needs.

But Glazer and Borenstein note that BART’s commitment on $1.2 billion of that operating revenue is not binding and that the money could be spent on worker salaries and benefits, which they complain are already too high. Glazer says the agency should have agreed to place a portion of its future operating revenue in “a lockbox” to ensure it’s spent as BART is promising now — a notion Radulovich dismissed.

“We can’t put it in a lockbox the way he would like us to or imagines he can,” Radulovich said. “He should know this — the state can’t do this either.”

Radulovich also said BART has a strong history of using its operating revenue to support the system’s long-term needs.

“As far as funds going from capital to operating, actually the story, as long as I’ve been on the BART board, nearly 20 years, has been the other way around,” Radulovich said. “We take operating money and put it in capital. We’re doing $140 million this year. We have sustained that transfer from operating to capital for every year I’ve been on the board, through the worst recession in BART history.”

Glazer said BART riders fed up with chronic rush-hour overcrowding and train breakdowns should elect a new BART board to restore public confidence in the system. Only then should they consider revenue measures, he said.

“First, they should participate in the election and throw their BART directors out,” Glazer said. “Most of them have been around, with one exception, and have been part of the problem that has built up over these many years. So they [riders] should engage, and their voting opportunity is the place to engage.”

Radulovich said the choice for voters in the BART counties is whether they’re willing to invest in the system at a time that state and federal support for transit is shrinking.

“We’ve done the best we can to make do with the resources that are there, but they’re simply not adequate,” Radulovich said. “The people of the Bay Area put a lot of their own money in to build the BART system 50 years ago, and it’s served us incredibly well. And we’re asking the Bay Area to do that again.”

UC Davis To Launch Gun Violence Research Center–NO Interest in STOPPING Crime

Great news for those that think government has too much money.  The Feds and the special interest that oppose the Second Amendment have figured out a way to spend $5 million on studying way to end gun violence.  Think they will figure out a way to stop ISIS, the Crips and the drug cartels from getting guns? (they can stop some of the guns getting into the hands of the Mexican drug cartels—stop Obama from allowing the Department of Justice selling guns to them).

“University of California officials Monday announced  that UC Davis will establish the West Coast’s first research center dedicated to preventing gun violence.

UC President Janet Napolitano said the center will be led by Dr. Garen Wintemute, an internationally known epidemiologist and emergency room physician who gathers and analyzes gun violence data with an eye toward prevention. The new California Firearm Violence Research Center will be funded by $5 million in taxpayer funds allocated over five years, and will build on Wintemute’s existing efforts.”

Switzerland has a law that says every citizen over 18 must have a gun—they have extremely low crime rates.  Chicago has laws outlawing any guns—they had 78 murder s and 400 shootings in the month of August.

The answer to lowering gun crimes is to make it easier for honest folks to have and carry guns. See, I just saved the taxpayers $5 million.

Airsoft gun

UC Davis To Launch Gun Violence Research Center

By Cynthia H. Craft, California Healthline,  8/30/16

University of California officials Monday announced  that UC Davis will establish the West Coast’s first research center dedicated to preventing gun violence.

UC President Janet Napolitano said the center will be led by Dr. Garen Wintemute, an internationally known epidemiologist and emergency room physician who gathers and analyzes gun violence data with an eye toward prevention. The new California Firearm Violence Research Center will be funded by $5 million in taxpayer funds allocated over five years, and will build on Wintemute’s existing efforts.

For 29 years, Wintemute directed the violence prevention research project, a pilot program he founded as a research arm of the UC Davis Medical Center. In tight budget years, Wintemute kept the project going with $1.3 million of his own money.

The $5 million for the new center was included in a package of 11 gun-control measures the state legislature approved in late June after high-profile mass shootings by a terrorist couple in San Bernardino and by a gunman at an Orlando, Fla., nightclub.

Even before that, however, Gov. Jerry Brown, had fast-tracked the funding by inserting it into a state budget trailer bill that was approved by the Legislature ahead of the gun control laws.

Wintemute said the funding was needed to fill a gap created 20 years ago when Congress halted Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grants for “any research engaging in any activities to advocate or promote gun control.”

Dr. Timothy W. Wheeler, director of Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership, expressed opposition to the $5-million allocation in a March letter to state Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, who had proposed the funds. “Now supporters of gun control in California wish to fund the same flawed and politically motivated advocacy research” that Congress nixed at the federal level, Wheeler wrote.

Napolitano said the center will be the first fully publicly funded institution of its kind and will provide unbiased data and recommendations for policymakers attempting to reduce gun violence.

On the East Coast, Johns Hopkins University and Harvard University operate such centers, both funded partially by private donations.

Napolitano could have put the firearm violence center on any of the UC campuses, but said she selected the UC Davis program because of its established resources.

UC Davis will take the lead in designing a plan for other UC campuses to participate in the research. “It is important that we draw upon the power of all the campuses to help tackle this issue,” she said.

Wintemute said the boost in funding was long overdue.  “Funding for violence prevention research is crucial now, as we have a lot of catching up to do. For more than 20 years, there has been a moratorium on funding firearm research,” he said.

“Lack of a federal funding stream has prevented a full understanding of the root causes of violence and effective approaches to contain it.”

Napolitiano said UC Davis would accept applications for small grants from other UC campuses and encourage philanthropic support to sustain the research.

An advisory board for the center will include scholars, law enforcement officials, elected officials and other experts to provide research input, according to a university press release.

Establishing the center “demonstrates great leadership by the state and presents a unique opportunity for the University of California to be at the forefront of researching a growing public health issue,” Napolitano was quoted as saying in the release.

 

Sand: CTA’s New Gambit to Cheat Taxpayers Annually

SB 2835, if passed would mandate $70 million a year to indoctrinate teachers to liking the theft of their paycheck by radical unions—this is an mandatory 30 minute meeting each year, run by the unions to explain why extortion and blackmail is a good thing—and in LAUSD why using teacher money to create chaos in the classroom is good for the students.

“However, AB 2835 goes way beyond that, requiring local governments to set aside half of an hour – within the first hour of any orientation it provides – for each union representing public employees to speak, with almost no restrictions, to new employees. “It won’t matter if local governments are using an online or video orientation to maximize tax dollars and avoid unnecessary travel expenses. It won’t matter if a police officer or firefighter should be on-call to respond to emergencies instead of meeting with his or her union representative. Every employee. In-person. Thirty minutes during the first hour of an orientation. Every time.”

This requirement would place an enormous administrative burden on government, and it won’t come cheap. The California State Department of Finance has estimated that the mandate would cost taxpayers “more than $70 million annually for local governments and more than $280 million annually for school districts.”

This is theft by monopoly unions using techniques that are outlawed for private groups.  Please note that except for this article by Larry Sand, the mainstream media has been quite about a bill that steals $70 million from education and gives it to bullies—to force teachers into compliance.  These teachers are role models for the students—shut up, your paycheck belongs to unions and you have NO constitutional rights to a job or to bring quality education to schools.  Is this one of the reasons LAUSD has a 54% graduation rate—teachers have little respect from the students?  Teachers tell students not to be bullied—but the teachers are bullied by the unions?  I support the right of every teacher to join a union—it should be their choice.

Teacher

CTA’s New Gambit to Cheat Taxpayers Annually

By Larry Sand, Union Watch,  8/30/16

A bill, near passage, would require you and me to pay for union indoctrination sessions in California. 

California is a fabulous place. Fantastic weather, fertile fields, glorious mountains and a thousand mile coastline have long beckoned many to the Golden State.

And then there is the state legislature.

This law-making body is very far from fabulous. Its main activities in our one-party state are taxing, spending and regulating our business community, workers and economy to death. Additionally, many of its members are in the pocket of the California Teachers Association, which is by far the biggest political spender in the state, unleashing $290 million on candidates and causes between 2000 and 2013.

The latest legislative sop to the unions is AB 2835, a CTA-co-sponsored bill that, if it passes, will force local governments, including school districts, to provide 30-minute in-person orientations, paid for by the taxpayer, to each and every new public employee during work hours within the first two months of their being hired. But as pointed out by several government officials in a piece that ran in the East Bay Times recently, cities, counties and special districts already do that, spending “the better part of a full day educating new employees on the benefits available to them, policies on harassment and violence, and how to respond to possibly harmful workplace situations. Our employees begin their public service with the knowledge they need to serve their communities.”

However, AB 2835 goes way beyond that, requiring local governments to set aside half of an hour – within the first hour of any orientation it provides – for each union representing public employees to speak, with almost no restrictions, to new employees. “It won’t matter if local governments are using an online or video orientation to maximize tax dollars and avoid unnecessary travel expenses. It won’t matter if a police officer or firefighter should be on-call to respond to emergencies instead of meeting with his or her union representative. Every employee. In-person. Thirty minutes during the first hour of an orientation. Every time.”

This requirement would place an enormous administrative burden on government, and it won’t come cheap. The California State Department of Finance has estimated that the mandate would cost taxpayers “more than $70 million annually for local governments and more than $280 million annually for school districts.”

AB 2835 would especially pose logistical problems for schools because the 30 minute orientation sessions would be held during the work day. Colleges, which have numerous collective bargaining units, would be especially affected.  As the Association of California Community College Administrators points out, allowing each collective bargaining unit 30 minutes to make a presentation, “will result in a significant length of time, which will require colleges to hire additional staff to cover classes and other critical campus safety services during the orientations.”

Not surprisingly, the bill is backed by a gaggle of labor organizations. In addition to CTA, the California Faculty Association, California Nurses Association and SEIU are behind it. The opposition includes the California School Boards Association, the League of California Cities and the Association of California School Administrators.

Just as onerous as the cost and disruptiveness will be the quality of the orientation session. This is going to be a hard sales pitch, plain and simple. Or, in less polite terms, indoctrination. I guarantee that the results of a study released in April by the Heritage Foundation – which found that between 1957 and 2011, mandatory collective bargaining costs a family of four between $2,300 and $3,000 a year – will not be a topic of discussion.

Also missing from the pitch will be a recent study by Cornell researcher Michael Lovenheim. He found that “laws requiring school districts to engage in collective bargaining with teachers unions lead students to be less successful in the labor market in adulthood. Students who spent all 12 years of grade school in a state with a duty-to-bargain law earned an average of $795 less per year and worked half an hour less per week as adults than students who were not exposed to collective-bargaining laws.”

Will the orientation stress that collective bargaining creates significant potential for polarization between employees and managers? Or that it decreases flexibility and requires longer time needed for decision making? Or that it protects the status quo, thereby inhibiting innovation and change? Or that it restricts management’s ability to deal directly with individual employees? Nah.

AB 2835 was birthed when CTA leaders were frightened that the Friedrichs decision was going to go against them and decided they needed to deliver a sales pitch to teachers who would no longer be forced to pay money to the union as a condition of employment. But with Antonin Scalia’s death and the Supreme Court’s subsequent refusal to rehear the case, this bill is irrelevant; CTA and the smaller California Federation of Teachers still have a captive audience. Just about every public school teacher in the state will continue to be forced to pay a union if they want a job in a public school. But if CTA and other unions still insist on trying to convince prospective members of their value, they should do it after hours and not ding the taxpayer in the process.

The bill sailed through the California State Assembly and now rests in the State Senate where it must be voted on by August 31sttomorrow, for it to become law. So, if you live in the Beholden State, please contact your state senator immediately and keep your fingers crossed. And should the bill become law, prepare for even more money to be transferred from your wallet to the unions’ already healthy coffers.

Larry Sand, a former classroom teacher, is the president of the non-profit California Teachers Empowerment Network – a non-partisan, non-political group dedicated to providing teachers and the general public with reliable and balanced information about professional affiliations and positions on educational issues. The views presented here are strictly his own.

 

Ring: How Government Unions are Hypocrites that Betray the Public

Here is the situation.  Government mandates that government workers pay bribes to unions, if they want to work.  The unions take the money and buy elections so those in office know if they do not do as demanded by the unions, they lose office.  When contract negotiations start, those on BOTH sides of the table represent the unions.  The public and taxpayers have no one at the table.  Why do we have a pension crisis forcing cities and counties to cut back basic services like law enforcement?  Because unions negotiate from both sides of the table and do not care if a city goes bankrupt or must raise taxes.

“To that end, here is a partial list of how the actions of government unions contradict their rhetoric, and betray the public they are supposed to serve:

(1) Demonizing “Profits.” From the classroom teacher to the professionally prepared press release, the rhetoric of government unions promotes the idea that “corporate profits” are unjust. The academic focus from primary school through public universities is invariably swayed, thanks to government unions, to challenge the capitalist system. Yet without profits there are no tax revenues. Governments survive financially because corporations make profits. Government unions support legislation that has made California the toughest state in the U.S. to do business. The impact: Brainwashed youth, and fewer successful companies offering fewer good jobs.”

Why is the Democrat party the American Socialist Party?  Because unions own it, lock, stock and barrel.  Even FDR did not believe that government workers should be members of a union.  He understood the problem of monopolies and mandates.  The Democrat Party of today also understands it—which is why they demand everybody pay a bribe to a union if they want to work in the United States.  Freedom is not part of the value system of Democrats or unions.

Unions2

How Government Unions are Hypocrites that Betray the Public

By Ed Ring, president, California Policy Center, 8/30/16

Government unions are not unions in any traditional sense of the word. They elect the bosses they “negotiate” with. They are paid through compulsory taxes rather than via a company that has to earn a profit in the competitive market. And they operate the machinery of government which allows them extraordinary latitude to intimidate any business interests who may challenge their agenda.

Among the informed, these assertions are beyond serious debate. Even supporters of government unions acknowledge them – just not on the record. But to inform the public, it is probably too abstract to question the legitimacy of government unions because they “elect their own bosses,” “use taxpayers money instead of earned profits,” or “control the bureaucracy.” Perhaps instead it is better to explain how union control of government harms people in their everyday lives.

To that end, here is a partial list of how the actions of government unions contradict their rhetoric, and betray the public they are supposed to serve:

(1) Demonizing “Profits.” From the classroom teacher to the professionally prepared press release, the rhetoric of government unions promotes the idea that “corporate profits” are unjust. The academic focus from primary school through public universities is invariably swayed, thanks to government unions, to challenge the capitalist system. Yet without profits there are no tax revenues. Governments survive financially because corporations make profits. Government unions support legislation that has made California the toughest state in the U.S. to do business. The impact: Brainwashed youth, and fewer successful companies offering fewer good jobs.

(2)  Demonizing “Millionaires and Billionaires.” Government union rhetoric frequently resorts to accusing anyone who wants to expose their destructive hypocrisy as funded by “millionaires and billionaires,” as if that should automatically nullify their arguments. These unions have carefully nurtured a public hostility and resentment towards individual wealth. The problem, however, is that almost anyone who retires after a full career in public service is a millionaire – often many times over. The average full career pension for California’s state and local government workers is over $70,000 per year. The ordinary private sector worker would have to save at least $1.5 million to generate a $70,000 annuity for the rest of their life – with no guarantees. The impact: Higher taxes and reduced services to support government worker pensions that make them all millionaires, leaving the rest of us behind to pay for it.

(3) Defending “Working Families.” That is one of the mantras of the government unions. Fighting for the “working families.” But how does this work in reality? California is one of the hardest states to practice a profession or trade. Certifications and licenses require prohibitive amounts of time and money, excluding the most deserving, aspiring citizens. Workman’s Compensation insurance rates are among the highest in the U.S., making it much harder for small companies to compete and grow their businesses. Crippling regulations. Absurdly time consuming and expensive permitting processes. The impact: Reduced upward mobility, far less opportunities for low income entrepreneurs.

(4) Always “For the Children.” The level of hypocrisy here almost defies description. Government unions have imposed their agenda on education, turning public schools into propaganda mills, indoctrinating students to believe their success or failure in life is primarily determined by whether or not they have “privilege,” and whether or not the state provides sufficient benefits, instead of teaching them the skills they will need to succeed in life on their own. Government unions have defeated any meaningful attempts to hold teachers accountable, or allow principals and superintendents to effectively manage. What they have done to California’s rising generation of students can be accurately characterized as child abuse. The impact: A generation of Californians who are unprepared to assume the responsibilities of adulthood.

(5) Respect for “Contracts.” The selective moral outrage mustered by government unions when it comes to “contracts” is exemplified by their response to pension reformers who want to lower the pension benefit formulas – just for work to be performed in the future. Because back in 1999, these same unions lobbied successfully to raise pension benefit formulas not just from then on, but back to the day each active government worker began their career. According to the same body of California contract law, they claim these retroactive benefit increases were justified, yet they fight – and win – in court whenever anyone tries to decrease these same benefits only from now on. The impact: Taxpayers are condemned to bail out these financially unsustainable pensions.

(6)  Fighting “Big Money in Politics.” The problem with this ersatz fight by government unions is simple: In state and local elections in California, nobody spends as much money as government unions. Just government unions, just in California, collect and spend over $1.0 billion per year in dues. About one-third of that, nearly $700 million every election cycle, is spend explicitly on politics and lobbying. An equal share probably goes to public education campaigns designed to promote the government union agenda. There is no special interest anywhere with the means, much less the desire, to challenge these unions. They are active in every political contest, no matter how small or how big, with access to as much cash as they need. The impact: Unions are the “big money in politics,” and their interests trump the public interest.

(7) Fighting “Big Business.” By now it should be clear enough – “big business” has no interest in challenging government unions. They collude instead, in a partnership where the government unions – who control legislation that will either favor or thwart business interests – are the dominant partner. And why shouldn’t big business partner with government unions? When oppressive regulations drive innovative competitors out of business, the monopolistic established corporations have the financial resources to comply. Why not let excessive government regulations destroy the competition? The impact: Less innovation, fewer new jobs, higher prices to consumers.

(8) Fighting “Wall Street.” This is the most ridiculous claim of all by government unions. Because when government unions successfully negotiate pay, benefit and hiring decisions that cause government deficits, Wall Street firms make billions underwriting new bond issues. And when government unions negotiate pension benefit enhancements, the union controlled pension funds invest even more money with Wall Street firms including hedge funds and private equity funds. Government is Wall Street’s biggest customer. The Wall Street influenced policies that have destroyed the ability of ordinary Americans to save for retirement or buy an affordable home have been a boon to the super rich and the pension funds. The impact: The government union alliance with Wall Street is a major factor in the hollowing out of America’s middle class.

The fact that most Californians still don’t understand the difference between government unions and private sector unions should come as no surprise. Government unions have spent literally billions of dollars over the past decades, hiring the best professional public relations talent in the world, to convince Californians they are on their side. But they’re not. Quite the contrary. Their hypocrisy is only matched by their corrosive impact on our economy, our freedom, and our democracy.

*   *   *

Ed Ring is the president of the California Policy Center.

Google to launch ride-sharing service in Bay Area, taking on Uber, Lyft

Competition is great.  Now Google is going to challenge Lyft and Uber.  But note no mention of the dying taxi industry, that is partially unionized and highly government regulated.  The people of the Bay Area and around the world are voting with their dollars, and Euros that taxi service no longer works for them.  Google, getting into this service is in part due to the unions putting roadblocks in the way of FREE bus service provided by the tech forms for their workers in the area.

If successful, this will put thousands of more cars on the roads and streets, clogging up the already gridlock system—just because unions are upset with free, non union bus service.

“In the San Francisco pilot, any area Waze user can sign up as a driver, but ridership is limited to roughly 25,000 San Francisco-area employees of several large firms, including Google, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Adobe Systems Inc. Riders are limited to two rides a day—intended to ferry them to and from work,” the paper reports.

“In the planned expansion, anyone with the Waze app in the San Francisco area could sign up to be a rider or driver, the person said. Though Google currently doesn’t take a cut, the company is exploring different rates in Israel and San Francisco, the person said.”

The further slow down of traffic in the Bay Area will be directly the fault of the unions.  Will anyone complain?

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Google to launch ride-sharing service in Bay Area, taking on Uber, Lyft

Riley McDermid, San Francisco Business Times, 8/30/16  

Google will launch its own ride-sharing service this fall in the San Francisco Bay Area, taking on Uber and Lyft, after launching a test pilot program in May, news reports said Tuesday.

Google will connect riders via its traffic and commute-sharing app Waze and will recruit drivers through the app as well, reports the Wall Street Journal, which broke the news.

Google began a pilot program around its Mountain View headquarters in May that enabled thousands of local workers at pre-designated companies to use the Waze navigation app to connect with fellow commuters.

“In the San Francisco pilot, any area Waze user can sign up as a driver, but ridership is limited to roughly 25,000 San Francisco-area employees of several large firms, including Google, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Adobe Systems Inc. Riders are limited to two rides a day—intended to ferry them to and from work,” the paper reports.

“In the planned expansion, anyone with the Waze app in the San Francisco area could sign up to be a rider or driver, the person said. Though Google currently doesn’t take a cut, the company is exploring different rates in Israel and San Francisco, the person said.”

Representatives for Uber and Lyft didn’t return a request for comment from the Business Times on Tuesday. Google declined to comment further.

Uber is valued at $68 billion, much more than Lyft, which has been rumored to be a takeover target. Uber was once partners with Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), which invested $258 million in Uber when it was still a startup in 2013. But tension between the two companies has grown as their interests have collided and Uber’s growth has boomed.

That friction has sometimes spilled over into the board rooms of both Google and Uber, which have poached employees from one another amid an increasingly competitive market for top tech talent in the Bay Area. Google executive David Drummond resigned from Uber’s board on Monday.

“Uber, which has long used Google’s mapping software for its ride-hailing service, recently began developing its own maps,” The Journal said

Earlier this summer, General Motors told Lyft’s board of directors that the automaker was willing to pay $6 billion for the ride-sharing company, a price tag well below the $9 billion Lyft had been hoping for in any sale.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, The Information reported that GM offered Lyft $4.5 billion plus matching cash for what Lyft currently has on hand, which is believed to be about $1.5 billion. Last week, news broke that Uber CEO Travis Kalanick had told investors that the company wouldn’t spend more than $2 billion to acquire Lyft, if at all. Kalanick also had reservations about buying Lyft because of antitrust concerns.

How well Lyft will fare now that it must compete with both Uber and Goole remains to be seen.

Waze has 65 million active users and operates as its own unit of Google. And Google’s unfamiliarity with the ride-sharing market may be overcome by how familiar local drivers and riders are with Waze, a driver said Tuesday.

“They have a lot of people who trust Waze,” Robert Rickett, a 29-year-old nonprofit worker in Sacramento, Calif., who drives for Waze, told the Journal. “If they can capitalize on that, they could pull some market share.”

 

CA Democrats nearly double state Republicans

The Democrat Party has the unions, special interest groups, their own State Party and a variety of professional ethnic group’s out and about registering voters.  Since the first of the year 700,000 Democrats have been registered and only 130,000 Republicans.  Until recently, and still may be the policy, since March 2013, the California Republican Party spent zero dollars on voter registration.  The results show.  Oh, the CRP did outsource voter registration to an organization run by the people that ended partisan primaries and caused NO Republican on the November ballot for U.S. Senator from California, 16 legislative seats with just one candidate on the ballot and 28 legislative seats with only ONE Party on the ballot.

The results are clear—this could cause the GOP to lose seats in the Assembly, State Senate and Congress.  It is the policy that makes a difference.  The GOP has a problem for the future.  It takes time to gear up for a registration drive—targeted at first, statewide in the future.  In only five years we will be redistricting, so we need to be prepared with new voters everywhere.

“That widened the gap between the parties to a distance not seen in over 10 years — 45 percent for Democrats to 27 percent for the GOP. And though Republicans nationwide have feared that Donald Trump’s anti-establishment campaign could de-register some party faithful, in California, at least, the upsurge in Democrats could not be attributed to switches in affiliation. “Much of the increase in party registration seems to have come from the ranks of those not already registered to vote,” the Bee noted. “Overall, the number of Californians registered to vote increased by about 825,000 between January and July to 18.1 million. That equates to 73 percent of California adults eligible to vote.”

The California Republican party has been raising millions—some of that money needs to bring new voters, new registered voters into the fold.  It make be too late to save the 2016 elections from the policies of the past—but we can build for 2018.

Photo courtesy of DonkeyHotey, flickr

Photo courtesy of DonkeyHotey, flickr

CA Democrats nearly double state Republicans

James Poulos, CalWatchdog,  8/30/16

California Republicans hit a new low in statewide registration relative to Democrats, whose ranks have surged in the Golden State despite a sour public mood and a less charismatic presidential nominee than in recent election cycles. “The California Democratic Party added about 700,000 voters between January and July of this year, a 10 percent increase,” the Sacramento Bee reported, citing new data from the California Secretary of State. “The Republican Party in California added about 130,000 voters, a 3 percent increase, between January and July. The number of voters not stating a party preference rose by about 70,000, or 2 percent. The number of third-party voters fell by about 90,000, or 10 percent.”

That widened the gap between the parties to a distance not seen in over 10 years — 45 percent for Democrats to 27 percent for the GOP. And though Republicans nationwide have feared that Donald Trump’s anti-establishment campaign could de-register some party faithful, in California, at least, the upsurge in Democrats could not be attributed to switches in affiliation. “Much of the increase in party registration seems to have come from the ranks of those not already registered to vote,” the Bee noted. “Overall, the number of Californians registered to vote increased by about 825,000 between January and July to 18.1 million. That equates to 73 percent of California adults eligible to vote.”

Incumbent problems

Yet in the face of such numbers, the Trump campaign’s unpopularity in California has forced some in-state Republican incumbents into a delicate balancing act. To hedge against Trump’s high-profile spat earlier this month with the Muslim parents of Humyun Khan, an Army captain killed in the Iraq War, Rep. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, “called Trump’s comments about Khan’s parents ‘deplorable,’” the Los Angeles Times recalled. Meanwhile, “Republican Assemblyman David Hadley of Manhattan Beach penned an opinion piece in the Daily Breeze saying he won’t vote for Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton. Both are locked in tough re-election fights and were called out by Democratic rivals to denounce Trump.”

But the Trump factor has ratcheted up the local stakes most in the race against Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, who unseated leading Republican Rep. Dan Lungren in 2012. Bera’s challenger this year, Sacramento county sheriff Scott Jones, “stepped into the public spotlight in 2014 when he decried President Obama for the nation’s immigration problems shortly after a twice-deported Mexican national killed two police officers during a Northern California shooting rampage,” the Times noted. But his endorsement of Trump gave Bera an opportunity to hold his feet to the fire on the Khan controversy — a dynamic which has yet to let up.

Farther right

At the same time that they face pressure from the left, California Republicans have also had to contend with a small but growing alternative to their right. While some voters have simply dropped their party affiliation — the state’s 4.2 million “no preference” bloc now amounts to over 23 percent of voters, as CBS San Francisco observed — disaffected Californians on the right have pushed the American Independent registration into a commanding position in the second political tier. “Among third parties, officials said 454,946 voters are registered American Independent, 78,604 voters are registered with the Green Party, 116,628 voters are registered Libertarians and 70,695 voters are registered with the Peace and Freedom party,” according to the station.

And the American Independents have nominated Donald Trump for president despite Trump not actively campaigning for their support. “The American Independent Party is best known for supporting segregationist George Wallace in the 1968 election where he won five states, a feat that has not been replicated by any third party candidate since,” TPM noted. Despite a periodic insistence that Trump will change California’s political dynamic to the advantage of Republicans, few analysts think the effort will help the state GOP shift its numbers toward greater support.

 

Senator Stone’s bill, signed by Gov. Brown, will expand healthcare in the Coachella Valley

SB 1261 why government is a danger to the health and safety of Californians, especially the poor among us.  GOP Senator Stone provided the bill to make it easier for out of state doctors, certified in their States to VOLUNTEER their services to the poor in our State.  Why is such a law needed—why doesn’t Guv Brown and his Democrats want the poor to receive free health care services?  The current law harms the poor—and it is a Republican that wants to help them.

““This is an important law for many parts of our state, especially the Coachella Valley where many retired and semi-retired doctors come to spend the winter months,” said Senator Stone. “Health clinics often call on these doctors to volunteer at community events and health screenings, but those doctors have been limited by state law.”

The bill passed both the Senate and the Assembly by unanimous votes.

Current law limits these out-of-state doctors to only practice at specified events in California and also limits the amount of time they can volunteer to just 10 days.”

This is another example of what President Reagan once famously said, “Government is the problem, not the solution.”

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Senator Stone’s bill, signed by Gov. Brown, will expand healthcare in the Coachella Valley

State Senator Jeff Stone,  8/30/16

Sacramento – Senate Bill 1261 by State Senator Jeff Stone (R-La Quinta), was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown.  This bill will expand medical care to California residents by allowing out-of-state doctors to volunteer their time and skills while visiting the state.

“This is an important law for many parts of our state, especially the Coachella Valley where many retired and semi-retired doctors come to spend the winter months,” said Senator Stone. “Health clinics often call on these doctors to volunteer at community events and health screenings, but those doctors have been limited by state law.”

The bill passed both the Senate and the Assembly by unanimous votes.

Current law limits these out-of-state doctors to only practice at specified events in California and also limits the amount of time they can volunteer to just 10 days.

Senator Stone’s new law, which goes into effect on January 1, 2017, will allow these doctors to volunteer their services during their entire visit to California.

“Allowing these skilled physicians to give their time to assist residents of the Coachella Valley, and other regions of California where medical care can be scarce, will help improve the lives of children and families across our state,” said Senator Stone. “I thank Governor Brown for signing this important piece of legislation.”

 

California’s Recycling Industry is in Rapid Decline

Looks like the push for recycling is dying out.  Have you tried to wait in line, on a hot day to return your bottles and cans—they have to go through them, one by one, to prove you do not have liquids in them—that is how it works in Simi Valley at a recycling center next to Von’s.  Dirty, slow, hot—all because government steals your money when you buy a product—now many just give up and lose the return money—the time and effort is not worth it.

“After several years of a steady decrease, the amount of garbage sent to California’s landfills spiked to over 33.2 million tons last year, an increase of approximately 2 million tons. The Los Angeles, San Diego and Inland Empire areas saw the largest spikes in waste disposal tonnage, though most of California saw recycling decline while landfill disposal increased. The bottom line is that after several years witnessing the state recycle over half of its trash, that rate fell to 47 percent, the lowest in several years.

Most people have decided not to separate newspapers, from garbage, from cans—just to make a bureaucrat and San Fran Al Gore worshiper happy.  The landfill will continue to grow as government makes it more difficult after a hard day at work, fighting traffic, trying to make dinner, make sure the homework is done, to spend an hour or two on the recycling line for a couple of bucks.  It is time to make the system user friendly.

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image9659043

California’s Recycling Industry is in Rapid Decline

by Leon Kaye, Triple Pundit,  8/31/16

More recyclables in California are finding their way into landfills.

California has long basked in its reputation as a sustainability leader. From its booming solar sector to its cap-and-trade program, the Golden State sets environmental standards that others strive to follow. But a series of trends threaten to have California fall far short of its 2020 goal to recycle 75 percent of its municipal waste. And as is the case with the rest of the country, the state is struggling to recycle the easiest items, such as single-use disposable containers.

After several years of a steady decrease, the amount of garbage sent to California’s landfills spiked to over 33.2 million tons last year, an increase of approximately 2 million tons. The Los Angeles, San Diego and Inland Empire areas saw the largest spikes in waste disposal tonnage, though most of California saw recycling decline while landfill disposal increased. The bottom line is that after several years witnessing the state recycle over half of its trash, that rate fell to 47 percent, the lowest in several years.

The state’s population has gradually increased, after taking a dip during the aftermath of the 2008-2009 fiscal crises. Meanwhile the economy improved, motivating more Californians to buy more goods. The results: 44 million more tons of trash ended up in landfills, while 24 million fewer tons were recycled in 2015 than in the previous year. And in environmental terms, that means 200,000 more metric tons of carbon emissions were emitted into the atmosphere.

Several forces are contributing to this reversal. First, as mentioned earlier, more residents are enjoying the benefits of a recovering economy, so they are buying more things. But the slump in oil prices also means that companies are not motivated to buy materials such as plastic resins derived from recycled material if conventional options are cheaper. Meanwhile, after years of a commodity boom, other raw materials are at their lowest prices in years. With virgin materials cheap, the bottom has dropped out of the recycling market, even in the eco-conscious Bay Area.

The effects were felt across the state as hundreds of recycling centers closed. Even before the mass closings, materials such as glass and plastic have never compensated for the expenses incurred in collection, so the state of California has long subsidized those costs. Many recycling centers therefore chose to close their doors, which puts even more pressure on the state’s waste-diversion agenda. California has the luxury of sending less than 1 percent of its garbage to landfills out of state, and that option is not slated to see an increase at any point soon.

As a Guardian report earlier this month revealed, the closing of recycling centers not only adds to California’s environmental woes, but also hits the state’s poorest residents the hardest. Scooping plastic bottles and cans out of the trash is the last thing the vast majority of residents want to do, but for some of the most vulnerable in society, collecting recyclables is a way to get by — and is even a badge of pride for those who would rather not be reliant on the state for any means of social welfare. Alexander Sammon, an editor at Mother Jones, suggested that recycling provides the state as much as $9 million in revenues and 3,000 jobs; watch for those figures to plunge if there is no turnaround.

As of now California, has no solution for this growing problem. Clearly the state’s CRV (California Refund Value) fees on all disposable containers, which vary by the size of each bottle or can, is not helping. Based on what’s being purchased at a Costco or any big-box store, it seems most Californians are not sensitive to the tax imposed on each individual container. A higher surcharge could motivate residents to return those bottles and cans in order to gather their refunds, a common routine in much of the nation when bottle deposits were the norm until the 1970s.

But new habits, including those created out of convenience, are resistant to change. Until someone finds an answer, watch for the cost of both garbage collection and environmental cleanup to surge in the long run.