Archive for the ‘California’ Category

Welcome to California, The Welfare State

California is one of the most generous states in the nation toward illegal immigrantsteachersthe unemployed, and single mothers. It’s also just about bankrupt. As the saying goes, it’s easy to be generous with other people’s money.

One of the biggest money pits that the oh-so-generousCalifornia taxpayers are funding is the state workers’ pension fund. California public employees have some of the cushiest retirement packages around. These so-called public employeesoften get fatter paychecks in retirement than they did when they were working.

The Golden State? The Welfare State seems more appropriate.

Something is horribly wrong with California’s pension system, and unless something is done to reform it (soon!) the pyramid scheme will collapse. Early retirement ages combined with longer life expectancies means that retirees often collect more checks during retirement than they did during employment. This is not a pension — this is welfare.

No one needs to retire at the ripe-old age of 55 and receive an average of 75% of their last annual salary for the rest of their life. California is unique in this, as all other states average salaries over the last 3-5 years on the job when determining pension payouts. Because of this ‘one year’ rule, California retirees are often able to artificially inflate their salary by switching to a high-earning job for one year, or cashing out years worth of accrued vacation time.

Read the rest at The Stir

California Lawmakers Care More About Gay Awareness Than the Three R’s

California State Senator Mark Leno has introduced a bill in the legislature that would make it mandatory for public school teachers in that state toteach their students about lesbiangaybisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful Education Act, or SB48, on Tuesday, and supporters say it will help prevent bullying of gay students by their classmates.

Bullied straight students are apparently S.O.L.

Seriously, what is wrong with disciplining kids for bullying for any reason? Are we now going to distinguish between regular bullying and hate bullying? Oh wait, it seems that teachers aren’t always allowed to discipline their students for bad behavior. Just ask Professor Frank Rybicki of Valdosta State University, who was arrested for battery after closing a student’s laptop when she refused to stop web surfing during class.

Read the rest at The Stir

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Low-flush toilets are ridiculous. The concept is good, especially inCalifornia where water is in high demand and short supply. But the practicality of water-saving toilets is non-existent.

Once upon a time, people did their business in buckets or holes in the ground. Fancy rich people used decorated chamber pots, and they employed people to empty them. I’d like to see Dirty Jobs’ Mike Rowetackle that task. Actually, I take that back. I have no desire to watch anyone clean out a chamber pot. Ever.

Then someone brilliant invented flushing toilets with the revolutionary U-bend, which kept the smell of the sewers from coming up through the bowl. Within a century, toilets as we know them today became commonplace in developed countries.

Add the invention of Charmin Ultra-Soft, and toileting became a much more pleasant task than it had once been.

In 1994, Congress decided that water was too precious of a commodity to waste flushing waste, so anew law was put into effect mandating low-flush toilets. Where toilets once used up to seven gallons a flush, the new law made it illegal for toilets using more than 1.6 gallons a flush to be sold in the United States.

And people have been flushing three times for number two ever since.

Read the rest at The Stir

Schwarzenegger Gives Convicted Knife Fighter a Break: What About the Victim?

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger spent his last moment in office Monday morning grabbing a cigar and wishing luck to returningGovernor Jerry Brown. Before he lit up in a pubic building in one of the most anti-smoking states in the Union, the Governator reduced the sentence of the punk son of one of his political cronies.

Esteban Nunez (now 21), the son of former California State Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, was serving 16 years in prison formanslaughter, which he pleaded guilty to. In the fall of 2008, young Nunez and three of his hooligan friends went drinking in San Diego and tried to crash a frat party. They got tossed out, so they did what all sensible young men do when their feelings are hurt: They went looking for trouble.

The group of miscreants eventually found Luis Santos and his friends and challenged them to a knife fight. The fight ended with Santos’s death. Sharp metal pointy things thrust through the heart do have a tendency to kill people. (As a side note, maybe we should ban all knives in order to make the world a safer place … that would work, right?)

Read more at The Stir

In a move that’s crazy even for California, the land of fruits and nuts isbanning 100-watt incandescent light bulbs. We have to save Santa from global warming, after all. Starting January 1, 2011, California will begin a yearlong phase-out of the offensive bulbs, emptying store shelves of them by 2012.

The other forty-nine states will follow next year. In 2007, the Energy Independence and Security Act was enacted to ‘Save the Earth.’ It bans the production, sale, or use of 100-watt incandescent bulbs across the country by the year 2014. Because people aren’t smart enough to make their own decisions about how to light their homes.

Many people will choose to replace their evil incandescent light bulbs with those curly compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). According to the government, it’s better to potentially expose your children to mercury than to use a tiny bit of extra energy. CFLs contain mercury, and most be disposed of at a toxic waste facility.

Read the rest at The Stir

‘Naughty’ Santa Fired from Macy’s

After twenty years of playing jolly old St. Nick at a Macy’s in San Francisco, John Toomey was canned last weekend after making some inappropriate comments. As a parent, I can’t even imagine the sickening feeling of witnessing a childhood hero violate my children’s innocence by speaking to them inappropriately.

Except that’s not what happened.

The joke has been in his Santa bag for decades. But after thousands of tellings, the 68-year-old retired caretaker for the elderly finally hit the wrong recipients – apparently an older woman and her husband, who considered it inappropriate.

Toomey – who stays in Oroville most summers and winters in San Francisco while he does the kiddie-on-the-knee gig – said he’d never had complaints before about the joke, which he saves for the occasional grown-up who visits him.

“When I ask the older people who sit on my lap if they’ve been good and they say, ‘Yes,’ I say, ‘Gee, that’s too bad,’ ” Toomey said Monday.

“Then, if they ask why Santa is so jolly, I joke that it’s because I know where all the naughty boys and girls live.”

The kids who sit on his lap, he said, get only his trademark laugh and questions about what toys they want.

The kind of grown up with a sense of humor enough to pay a visit to Santa should be able to appreciate the adult jokes. No, they’re not appropriate for children, but there’s a bigger difference between adults and kids than size alone. If people can’t tell the difference between grown-ups and kiddos…well that’s just sad. And an indication of San Francisco’s nanny state mentality that regard all adults as children, incapable of making their own decisions — like whether or not to buy happy meals.

While much of the country rejoices in last night’s GOP wins (HelloSenator-Elect Rubio!), California conservatives weep. Jerry Brownwas elected, Barbara Boxer won, prop 23 failed — and pot wasn’t legalized, so we can’t even dull the pain with a reefer.

Jerry Brown is entering his third term as California Governor (he was elected in 1974 and reelected in 1978). Due to grandfathering laws, he was (unfortunately) eligible to run again in this cycle. Given his experience, it should be easy to see what kind of governor he will be over the next four years.

In eight years as governor, Jerry Brown managed to turn a $6 billion surplus into a $1 billion deficit, did serious damage to our education system, and watched the unemployment rate soar under his leadership. In 1992, he admitted that he lied about everything as a politician, and in 2010, he refused to condemn someone from his office for calling opponent Meg Whitmanwhore. He believes that raising taxes and imposing business-crippling mandates will save California.

Socialism worked so well in Cuba. Or was it the USSR? Venezuela? Bueller?

As for Barbara Boxer … what can I say? She’s one of the most liberal members of the Senate. She’s an elitist that cares more about trees and smelts than people.

And prop 23 failed to pass. It would’ve suspended California’s very own cap & tax law, AB 32, until unemployment could be reduced to 5.5% for four consecutive quarters. Obviously, the best way to save the environment is to drive all businesses out of California. Why don’t we all go back to the days of horse drawn buggies, when manure was piled on the streets? Remember, trees are more important than people!

In other California news, San Francisco hates children. The board of supervisors voted Tuesday to limit toys in children’s meals to those that meet certain nutritional guidelines. That’s right – San Francisco banned Happy Meals. Meanies.

Voting might be over for this year, but there’s still one thing to bet on: How long until California completely collapses?

Cross Posted at The Stir

Prop 19: Should Marijuana Be Legal in California?

In less than two weeks, California voters will have an opportunity tolegalize marijuana (at least at the state level) for recreational use. If passed, proposition 19 would allow the state to regulate and tax the drug, which could be sold to adults ages 21 and up.

The arguments for prop 19 are fairly straightforward. It would generate massive amounts of money to put toward things like parks, schools, public safety, and bloated pensions for government employees. It would put police priorities in order, since hundreds of millions of dollars would no longer be spent arresting non-violent pot smokers.

Maybe the biggest argument for legalizing marijuana is that it would cut off funding to violent drug cartels across the border.

The arguments against prop 19 are clear-cut as well: We’re talking about legalizing a mind-altering, gateway drug. What’s next? Heroin? Coke? Are we headed down the proverbial slippery slope?

The libertarian streak in me wants to legalize pot. At first glance, I like the points for passing the proposition. Not to mention that I’m all about the personal freedom to make our own decisions, for better or for worse.

Upon further examination, I don’t like what I see in the legislation. I’m one of those crazy Tea Partypeople who actually thinks you should read a bill before voting on it, so read it and read about it I did.

It turns out that while pot sales would be taxable, it would be left up to each city or county to design its own system of regulation and taxation. Furthermore, dealers would not be required to pay the taxes to the state, because marijuana sales are still illegal at the federal level, and the Fifth Amendmentprotects us from self-incrimination.

Prop 19 would create a ‘legal quagmire‘ for employers across the state, as well as threaten public safety. There is no definition for what constitutes being under the influence of marijuana in the legislation. While smoking a joint on the job or behind the wheel is or could be prohibited, there is nothing preventing someone from lighting up before operating heavy machinery.

I even had one conservative friend say she would vote against the pot prop because it would kill the free (drug) market, wiping small sellers off the map and out of business. You know that we right-wingers love our free markets!

On a completely personal note, I think the best argument against legalizing weed is that California voters are already boneheaded enough. After all, we’ve been voting Barbara ‘Call Me Ma’am’ Boxer to the Senate for over two decades. We’re also responsible for Nancy Pelosi and one of the only true RINOs around – Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Maybe this whole thing is a moot point anyway. Our farmers can’t even get any water to their crops. Not even cannabis can grow without a little H2O.

What do you think? Should pot be legalized?

Cross-Posted at The Stir

Living the High Life … On Welfare

It seems that President Obama isn’t the only one taking too manydistasteful vacations in these economically trying times. Some welfare recipients have been living it up in HawaiiLas Vegas,Miami, and other vacation hot spots.

The California Department of social services has recently determined that more than $69 million in California welfare money has been used in hotels, shops, restaurants, ATMs, and other places in trendy vacation locations.

As a highly taxed Californian, I can’t help but be hurt at the callousness of people that claim to need a little extra help paying their bills, then spend my money on vacation. I can’t help but feel betrayed by a government that takes my hard-earned money and gives it to someone else for the common good, but then doesn’t track where that cash is spent.

Is human decency dead? Who are these people that demand financial assistance for “living expenses” and then spend it on plane tickets and hotels and restaurants? Does everyone deserve a little getaway? Where did this sense of entitlement come from?

Welfare recipients do not deserve a vacation. They deserve the same thing as anyone else in America — respect and opportunity regardless of race, gender, age, socio-economic background, or anything else in the other category. Vacations? Those are niceties, not necessities.

Stories like this show why the tea party movement is so popular. Average Americans are Taxed Enough Already, and know that the answer to our economic woes is not to raise taxes. There is already enough money in the system; it’s just being taken advantage of and going unchecked by the authorities.

A state audit last year found that none of California’s 58 counties was adequately following up on information that could help root out fraud, including monthly computer matches that list clients who are receiving duplicate aid from other states, those who are ineligible because they’re in prison, and others who have died.

We don’t need to pay more taxes, we don’t need more government programs, and we certainly don’t need any new regulations. Let’s start enforcing the systems we already have in place. I find it hard to believe that California can give me a ticket for talking on my cell phone while driving, but can’t get a handle on welfare abuse.

Cross Posted at The Stir

In Her Right Mind – Episode 0004

I interview Matt Friedman, candidate running against liberal Susan Davis in California’s 53rd district.