#california

When the lights go out

Oh the irony of a company, PG&E, that has 100% knowledge of the diversity of its workforce and suppliers but is unsure of the status of the very infrastructure of the core business. It has been enforcing blackouts to assess the matter. That’s what one calls ‘progressive‘ in the world’s 5th largest economy. This cartoon sums it up.

Is it any wonder it filed for bankruptcy. Get woke, go broke.

Democrat wears Batgirl costume to impeachment vote

From parody to actual joke. Where on earth does California Democrat Rep Katie Porter think it was appropriate to wear a Batgirl costume to an impeachment vote?

While no one should have an issue with her wanting to get into the spirit of Halloween, surely in the quest to impeach the President she might think taking it seriously would be more fitting for the occasion? Obviously not.

Clown show. Is she the type of person America is craving to have represent them? Maybe the next Democratic primary debate should be fancy dress?

San Francisco Mayor should mind her own business, literally

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The tale of a typical liberal politician. City of San Francisco Mayor London Breed, a Democrat,  said she will no longer conduct business with 22 states that have laws limiting the ability of women to obtain abortions, specifically late-term. At present Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin have pro-life laws in place. City of SF employees will be prohibited from conducting business travel to states on the list, and from making any deals with companies headquartered in those states. 

The City of SF’s Director of the Department of the Status of Women, Dr. Emily Murase said,

In recent years, states across the country have passed a growing number of restrictive abortion laws. In accordance with Supervisor Brown’s ordinance, we identified state laws that prohibit abortion before viability and have recommended that these states be added to the City Administrator’s list…If any company that is headquartered in the listed states wants to continue doing business with the City, we encourage them to stand up for reproductive rights and advocate for a change to their state law. We applaud Supervisor Brown for her leadership in authoring this ordinance and for continuing San Francisco’s long history of fighting for women’s rights.

As regular readers would know, CM detests corporates getting actively involved in politics that are completely removed from the products they sell. Corporations are completely free to go down the path of whatever marketing path they desire. However, CM doesn’t need lectures from Nike, Gillette or Starbucks on their views completely unrelated to fitness, shaving or bitter burnt coffee. CM would prefer these corporations to leave it to customers to make choices solely based on the combination of utility, quality and price of the products they sell. CM is also against boycotting of any kind. Let individuals make these choices.

Unfortunately, too many corporations are folding to this type of virtue signalling. Corporations cannot guarantee that they have 100% support for unrelated political positions among staff, so why push agendas that have little or no relevance to the performance of the business for the sake of public preening? When scandal-clad banks make overt gestures of their moral superiority on matters outside of their remit, CM reaches for a bucket. On what grounds do banks have to lecture we peons on anything? Hypocrites.

Sadly for Breed, Coca-Cola, WalMart, AT&T, Aetna, Pfizer & Eli Lilly have donated to politicians who have advocated for abortion bans in some of those 22 states. Corporate donations to politicians that may support abortion bans don’t necessarily automatically convert to company policy on the same topic. Will City of San Francisco employees caught drinking Diet Coke be hauled into a room and read the riot act? Will an internal lunchtime order for Domino’s Pizza with 50% off a 2-litre bottle of Sprite special demand staff seek pre-approval from the mayor’s office?

True to form, liberals such as Breed have no compunction bullying big business to toe the line, much like the NBA now buckles to the whims of President Xi. While kneeling for the US anthem or shunning President Trump is considered an act of free speech, it is now mandatory for all players to stand for the Chinese national anthem. How wonderful liberals decide to back the side, not the principle.

Regardless of one’s views on the rights and wrongs of (late-term) abortion, it is rather ridiculous for a mayor to dictate terms to public officials in other states who were voted in by constituents that happen to hold different opinions.

Perhaps Mayor Breed should focus on the disastrous liberal policies that have led to a surge in homelessness, drug use and public human excrement clean up squads. Although she won on a ticket of cleaning up this mess, the trends remain in force with the 1Q 2019 trend at 6,700 fecal incidents. Homeless numbers remain high.

So before Breed starts berating her neighbours for their supposed shortcomings, perhaps she should concentrate on her own backyard first. Better still, perhaps she should run for mayor in one of the cities of the 22 states mentioned and push her pro-choice platform to see how far she gets. Didn’t think so.

The ultimate irony is that these 22 states probably have less to lose than San Francisco does with this action.

My Homeless are Your Homeless?

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The phrase, “my home is your home” is enshrined in cultural norms. However, is this applicable to the homeless? A lot of articles are circling around the rising crisis in homelessness in America. According to the terrible statistics of the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the overall trend has actually been declining over the last decade. According to the President of Environmental Progress, Michael Shellenberger,

The crisis [in California] is worsening. The number of homeless people in LA increased from 52,765 in 2018 to 58,936. Homelessness increased by 43% and 17% in Alameda County, which includes Oakland, and 17% in San Francisco, respectively. Deaths on the street rose 76% in LA and 75% in Sacramento over the last five years. Murders and rapes involving the homeless increased by 13% and 61% between 2017 and 2018. And 2019 data show that both deaths and homicides are continuing to rise rapidly.

In 2018, the people of California elected Gavin Newsom governor with 62% of the vote and a mandate to take radical action to significantly increase both temporary and permanent housing. He promised 3.5 million new units by 2025, which is 580,000 units per year. And he promised to create a homelessness czar with the power of a cabinet secretary to “focus on prevention, rapid rehousing, mental health and more permanent supportive housing.”

Newsom has not kept his campaign promises and the crisis is worsening. The number of people living outdoors has increased and violence both by and against them has risen by 30% and 37%. In June, the governor let a package of housing reform measures die. In August, he announced would not appoint a homelessness czar. And now the data make clear that less housing will be built this year than in any other year over the last decade.”

While collating statistics on homeless people is a challenge, one has to wonder whether the policies provided by largely Democrat-run states – e.g. California, NY, Washington – to provide ‘free everything’ are creating a marketplace to attract the homeless, hence why numbers in California are swelling while the national total is decreasing.

To flip the argument on its head, sanctuary cities have often spoken about the misguided altruism of their policies with respect to protecting illegal immigrants.

CM wrote back in July,

Remember when Trump said he’d ship illegals to sanctuary cities when Democrats held their resolve over funding border security? Why weren’t sanctuary cities, all publicly open arms about accepting illegal immigrants, instead of baulking at receiving busloads of them? The great irony is that a growing number of illegal immigrants are choosing to move OUT of sanctuary cities. In 2007, 7.7mn (63.1%) lived in the 20 largest sanctuary metros to 6.5mn (60.7%) in 2016 according to Pew. During that time 1.5m illegal immigrants were deported (12.2mn ->10.7mn).”

We can all accept the harsh realities of homelessness and the need to care for them. However, do politicians need to reevaluate how they are dealing with the problem? Solving it is one thing. Creating an environment that attracts caravans of ‘legal citizens’ which might be compounding the problem is another.

Follow the hips, not the lips. The system in California is clearly failing.

Democrats don’t believe in democracy

Just like Washington and Rhode Island, California is following up with Trump Derangement Syndrome by passing a bill to remove Trump from the 2020 ballot if he doesn’t offer his tax returns. Why do they bother? California is deeply Democrat. The last time Republicans won the state was George Bush Sr in 1988. Could it be California Dems are worried they’ll lose if they don’t propose this lunacy?

Hillary Clinton won 61.73% of the vote in 2016. Trump managed only half.

Why don’t the Democrat lawmakers just let individual voters decide for themselves whether his tax returns are an issue? Or do they feel compelled to remove the democracy from their own constituents?

Pathetic.

You won’t believe how California will help us save the planet this time!

At some point, Californians will end up with a list that tells them what they can do which will be shorter than what they can’t. The Democrat controlled state is banning those single use shampoo and body soap containers. The reason being that too much of this plastic waste ends up where it shouldn’t. So instead of encouraging more sensible disposal, let’s just ban it!

How ironic that at the World Economic Forum of all groups said with regards to plastic,

Many environmental activists are calling for a ban on plastics. However, the very properties that make plastic so dangerous – its durability and long lifespan – also make it a great asset. A material that will not die or be destroyed for five hundred years is valuable. We can reuse it almost endlessly. The problem is not plastic itself. The problem is using it irresponsibly….

…A material that can be constantly recycled is a great help to ecology and the economy, especially when the human population is growing rapidly and our lifestyle demands are increasing exponentially. The solution is not to ban plastic, but to ensure that it is used responsibly and recycled properly.”

Bingo!

Once again leftist governments think more regulation, rather than punishing irresponsibility is the answer.

Like all those who praised the banning of plastic shopping bags as being environmentally ‘woke’ when the facts reveal the opposite. Not to mention that we have to go aisle 7 to substitute the plastic shopping bags for plastic waste bin liners. Maybe our Sulo wheelie bins should be made of cardboard?

CM wrote,

In 2006 the UK Environment Agency did a study on the effectiveness of alternative packaging solutions to HDPE (conventional plastic bags) in terms of lowering environmental impact. It said,

The paper, LDPE, non-woven PP and cotton bags should be reused at least 3, 4, 11 and 131 times respectively to ensure that they have lower [impact] than conventional HDPE carrier bags that are not reused.”

So if conventional biodegradable plastic shopping bags are used to throw out garbage that means 6, 8, 22 and 262 days.

While we’re at it, do people realize that the majority of take away wax-lined coffee cups aren’t recycled even though you can feel good about yourself when disposing of it in the right bin? How many people elect to have their brew poured into a ceramic cup? Look next time – hardly any! The cost to recycle the 500 billion (and rising) coffee cups consumed annually is so astronomical (it is hard to separate the wax that stops the cup disintegrating because of the energy intensity involved to do so) that over 90% end up in landfill. No one talks about that 300 million tons of virgin paper used to make these cups! How many of us give it one thought when we need a shot of caffeine? Right?! Although Starbucks is trialing a 5p latte levy for those that elect to use a paper cup.

All this ban has done has inconvenience people. 60% of mismanaged plastic waste was from East Asia (i.e. China), 11% from South Asia; 9% from sub-Saharan Africa; 8% from MENA; 7% from LatAm; 3% from Europe and 0.9% from North America.

Instead of accepting Americans are 5% of the population and 0.9% of mismanaged plastic waste globally, Californians, at 12% of the US population, would ceteris paribus, be responsible for 0.1% of mismanaged plastic waste! Banning hotel shampoo bottles might lower it to 0.099%?

Way to go California! Your genius knows no bounds! A word of advice. Probably better to focus on the $1 trillion plus unfunded liability in your state pension system.

Liar, liar bush on fire?

As the old adage goes, there are lies, more lies and then there are statistics. Never a dull moment when a natural disaster and tragedy can be tied to Trump. While CM thought his comments the other week were highly inappropriate, it seems that the press now want to throw a ‘climate change’ angle as the main cause of the bushfires.

A study in the journal Science determined the global burnt area from fires, rather than growing, had declined by roughly 25% from 1999 to 2017. California wildfire data reviewed by the USFS  shows a trend that since the peak in 1980, there have been fewer and fewer wildfires in California. So no smoking gun (no pun intended) with climate change.

As pointed out last week, the budget of the US Department of Agriculture Forestry Service shows monies directed at wildland fire “preparedness” and “suppression” have risen 32% since he took office.

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So how are these fires being caused?

The Australian Institute for Criminology (AIC) noted over a 5 year study period that half of fires were deemed suspicious or deliberately lit. Another 35% were accidentally lit. So 85% were down to human factors, not climate. The statistics were based on data comprising on average 54,000 bush fires per annum. The US Department of the Interior (DOI) notes that 90% of wildland fires are caused by humans, 49% of that being deliberate.  So there is consistency in bushfire data across nations.

If CNN and others in the mainstream media did their homework they could have taken their other favourite form of social justice by pointing out the following facts. The AIC sees that while the data is somewhat sketchy that the most common profile of arsonists was “white male, mid-20s, patchy employment record, often above average intelligence, but poor academic achievement and poor social development skills…56% of convicted structural arsonists and 37% of bushfire arsonists in NSW had a prior conviction for a previous offence.

Had the simplest of research been done, rather than tie bogus claims that contradict pet activist causes, they could switch to identity politics instead.

Above all the political wrangling, spare a thought for those that have died, lost property and those  first responders dealing with the problem.