Tag: California

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Whether you live in California, are a refugee, or understand that much of what happens in California eventually seeps eastward like a primordial Marxist ooze, every American has an interest in seeing some sanity on the Left Coast. This weekend, Whiskey Politics is scheduled to do an in-person, long-form sit down with the man who […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America get a kick out of Hillary Clinton trying to damage efforts to confirm Brett Kavanaugh by spreading a birth control lie that was thoroughly debunked days ago – even by liberals. They also recoil as an angry anti-Trump voter tries to stab a Republican […]

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The Perils of Compulsory Labor Arbitration

 

The Supreme Court currently has before it a petition for certiorari in Gerawan Farming Inc. v. Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB), which arises from a six-year labor dispute between Gerawan and the United Farm Workers (UFW). The petition asks the Court to invalidate the California ALRB’s Mandatory Mediation and Conciliation process (MMC), which forced a three-year contract on Gerawan Farming against its will, and over the objections of hundreds of Gerawan employees.

The case has added urgency because compulsory arbitration is likely to return to the national stage in lead up to the 2020 election. Progressive Democrats are sure to push yet again to amend the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by reintroducing the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA)—an oxymoron. That bill seeks to realign the balance of power among unions, workers, and employers by imposing compulsory government arbitration for first-time union contracts upon initial organization. Such mandatory arbitration strips employers of the key rights they now enjoy under the NLRA, which requires them to bargain in good faith with unions that win a representation election, but states explicitly that this obligation “does not compel either party to agree to a proposal or require the making of a concession.” Under current law, the union keeps the right to strike, and the employer keeps the right to lock out union members if they cannot resolve their differences. However, the NLRA does not apply to agricultural workers, which left a space for California to pass in 1975 its own Agricultural Labor Relations Act (ALRA), closely patterned on the NLRA. Powerful progressive political forces in California worked to pass the state’s MMC process in 2002.

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In a version of the “Spirit of McCain,” it’s time for a little straight talk about how conservatives, traditionalists and Republicans need to understand and approach the coming mid-term elections. The Democrats are becoming a coalition of “woke” anti-racist white progressives and various minority tribes, of non-whites and pathological whites, arrayed against the GOP’s mostly […]

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Welcome to the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast for September 6, 2018 (number 190!!!) it is the Zero Loyalty edition of the podcast with your unfailingly loyal hosts radio guy Todd Feinburg and AI-guy Mike Stopa. This week, in our loyal way, we discuss the treachery inside the White House, the head-rearing of the Deep […]

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Todd Starnes does a great job keeping an eye on things affecting our religious freedom. Check out what California Democrats are proposing: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/08/22/todd-starnes-california-dems-prepare-for-crackdown-on-churches.html More

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As a brief update from the California gubernatorial race, John Cox has released a new ad to set the tone for the general election. You all know the problems we face in this state so there’s no need to rehash that. But John’s message is to be a voice for the forgotten Californians who’ve been […]

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When Courts Play Public Nuisance

 

There is a deep and growing split between the conservative judges who are being appointed to the federal bench and the progressive judges who dominate state courts in places like California. The tension between these rival judicial philosophies is highlighted by the 2017 decision of People of California v. ConAgra and Sherwin-Williams, which on the basis of California law ordered these two companies “to pay $1.15 billion into a fund to be used to abate the public nuisance created by interior residential lead paint” in residential units built before 1951 in ten populous California counties. Of that sum, about $400 million will be used to identify residences that might contain some lead paint.

Yet it was undisputed that the sale of lead paint for interior use was both common and legal at that time and was only banned federally for interior surfaces as of 1978.

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You Hate Us, You Really Hate Us!

 

For the first few years I lived in Los Angeles, I mostly got the “come home” pleas from family and friends, which makes sense. After living here 12 years, however, not only am I getting pressure to get out by them, but the ever-increasing expenses and traffic, stupid laws, homeless encampments, and the rest of the country laughing at us have caused me depression and disdain for this place. I can’t say I blame them for laughing, but I do want to address some of these things to show how it really is. 

  • It’s expensive: It’s no secret that gas and rent in California are always higher, but in January 2009, gas dropped here to $1.75/gal. and our rent for a large one-bedroom including utilities was $950/mo. Today, gas is around $3.65/gal. (an increase of over 108%!) and our old apartment now rents for $1,545 (almost 63%!). The national averages on increase are about 78% and 16%, respectively.
  • Everything’s Illegal Except for Things That Should Be: I am sure you all know about the ridiculous “bag ban” and “straw ban” out here. It’s supposedly to save the environment, but I call BS. They didn’t outlaw plastic shopping bags, they just made thicker ones and charged 10¢ for them. It hasn’t changed anything, except create another tax. I still see bags (among other trash) everywhere. As for the straws, well that’s just plain silly, and I am certain the same thing will happen. However, living on the street or in cars here is not illegal. My neighborhood used to be safe to walk in, but in the last year or two, there are beat-up RVs parked up and down my street, a vacant parcel of land across from a park is full of trash and tents, and the sidewalks of downtown Los Angeles have been completely overtaken by tents and tarps. Mayor Garcetti’s solution is to tax us more and build new housing — the plans show luxury apartment complexes that are way nicer than mine (I don’t have in-unit laundry or a dishwasher). Now, that’d be great if the homeless were off the streets, but what percentage do you think are actually going to take advantage of this program? Since law enforcement cannot do anything about it, a large portion of these new homes will likely remain vacant.

So, things have gotten bad. I would like to stay because there really are great things here: many National Parks, beaches, beautiful weather, job opportunities, incredible music venues, amazing food, etc. 

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome the news that American pastor Andrew Brunson was moved from a Turkish prison to house arrest, and they condemn the bogus allegations that Brunson provided aid for the failed coup. They also welcome the news that the ten most popular governors in America […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America analyze the California Democratic Party’s decision to endorse California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s rival in the general election, Democratic state Sen. Kevin de Leon. They also criticize President Donald Trump for his inability to confront Russian president Vladimir Putin about multiple issues, especially election meddling, […]

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Joel Kotkin joins Brian Anderson to discuss California’s economic performance since the Great Recession, the state’s worsening housing crunch, and the impending departure of Governor Jerry Brown, who will leave office in January. After serving four terms (nonconsecutively) since the late 1970s, Brown is one of the longest-serving governors in American history. While California has seen tremendous growth during Brown’s tenure, the state has big problems: people are […]

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Supreme Court Rules Vegan Restaurants in California Are Not Required to Give Diners Menus to Neighborhood Steak Restaurants

 

Well, not really, but that was the analogy I made in this post last November on the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra case where the state of California obliges pro-life pregnancy counseling centers seeking to encourage women not to have abortions to post the following notice:

California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services (including all FDA-approved methods of contraception), prenatal care, and abortion for eligible women. To determine whether you qualify, contact the county social services office at [phone number of the local office].

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Engineering Failures: St. Francis Dam

 
St. Francis Dam nearly full.

I’ve been fascinated by the St. Francis Dam failure since I first found out about it. For those who are unaware of or who’ve forgotten about it, the St Francis Dam failure, which occurred in 1928, was the greatest civil engineering failure in the United States in the 20th century (the Johnstown Flood killed many more people, but it took place in 1889), and except for the San Francisco Earthquake, caused more deaths than any other event in California history. Until recently, however, it was relatively hard to find much information on the topic. There was a book about the disaster by a local retired rancher, Charles Outland, who had been a high school senior in Santa Paula at the time the St Francis flood waters raged through town, which was published in the early 1960’s, but that was about it. Since then a couple more books have been published and an engineering professor who has extensively studied the failure and developed a detailed analysis thereof has written and given talks on the subject so that it’s now possible to flesh out the subject in great detail (I’ll provide links to the books at the end of this article; all other links will be in the text). The most interesting aspect of the story to me, however, is the way in which this event touches on and impacts so many other stories.

Los Angeles Aqueduct

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America return with three crazy martinis. First, they shake their heads as President Trump tweets that those who died for our country would be really proud of his economic record. They also roll their eyes as liberal politicians and media figures express outrage over images […]

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In basketball parlance, the fourth and decisive quarter of this year’s election doesn’t commence until after Labor Day. But that doesn’t mean important trends haven’t developed. Hoover senior fellow and renowned pollster Doug Rivers explains what current survey data suggests about the political fortunes of President Trump, Republicans and Democrats. More

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The likelihood is that a Republican won’t even be on the ballot for governor of California come November. The state uses a primary system that only advances the top two vote-getters to the final round. It was signed off on by the state’s final Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzeneggar, as a way to defang the “Republican […]

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As I reported last week, the California gubernatorial race has two Republicans vying to get into second place in the upcoming June primary to face off against Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom in November. Well, now President Trump has weighed in with a tweet officially endorsing John Cox for Governor. This important endorsement could seal the […]

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Time constraints prevented me from posting this sooner but I still wanted to provide an update on what may be an interesting election year in California. More

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