THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CALIFORNIA - This site is dedicated to exposing the continuing Marxist Revolution in California and the all around massive stupidity of Socialists, Luddites, Communists, Fellow Travelers and of Liberalism in all of its ugly forms.

"It was a splendid population - for all the slow, sleepy, sluggish-brained sloths stayed at home - you never find that sort of people among pioneers - you cannot build pioneers out of that sort of material. It was that population that gave to California a name for getting up astounding enterprises and rushing them through with a magnificent dash and daring and a recklessness of cost or consequences, which she bears unto this day - and when she projects a new surprise the grave world smiles as usual and says, "Well, that is California all over."

- - - - Mark Twain (Roughing It)

Friday, February 12, 2016

Nuns who help homeless face eviction in San Francisco

The Super Rich of California 
Ignore the Homeless

  • I just love the ultra wealth liberal do-gooders of the People's Republic.  They have the power to help people but they ignore the problems of society.

(ABC News)  -  Nearly one year after the ABC7 Chicago I-Team reported on a group of nuns whose West Side heating system broke down, the nuns' organization is now in similar dire straits in San Francisco, where the Sisters of Fraternite of Notre Dame is facing eviction.

In San Francisco's Tenderloin district, the group of Chicago nuns are facing eviction from the building where they run a soup kitchen - although they may end up saved by a public relations campaign very similar to the one seen in Chicago a year ago when the boiler went out at their West Side church and feed-the-homeless center.

The Sisters of Fraternite Notre Dame have been feeding the homeless in San Francisco's Tenderloin district for eight years. Their landlord recently informed them of a rent hike from $3,500 to $5,500 a month. The past two days, the sisters' story has been on TV and in the newspapers, with the nuns saying that they cannot afford such a rent increase.

"But you have to think to the other people. The people who are suffering and struggling on the street," said Sister Mary Benedict. "You have to make money, you can make money, but you have to help the poor people. So you have to find the right balance," said Sister Mary Benedict, Fraternite Notre Dame.

Homeless in San Francisco

That is the same approach they used in Chicago one year ago after their boiler broke down during a cold snap. But in San Francisco, the very same nun was deployed from Chicago to make the public appeal. Sister Marie Valerie publicly criticized the landlord, whose lawyer now says he will meet with the nuns in an effort to work something out.

"The owner of the building is kicking us out," Sister Marie Valerie said.

After the boiler break-down, the I-Team learned their French religious order owned millions of dollars in homes, buildings and land in McHenry County and was planning a multi-million dollar construction project near rural Marengo. That controversial project was shut down by McHenry zoning authorities and the nuns' organization is now suing because of the denial.

One thing not reported in the San Francisco coverage is that the nuns are not recognized by the Vatican or the Roman Catholic Church. They call themselves a "traditional Catholic religious order" and some donors may believe that the organization is approved by the church, but it isn't. They are part of an unsanctioned French order and overseen by a priest who the Chicago Archdiocese has said is not in good standing with the church.

Read More . . . .

The Liberal Bullshit of Silicon Valley
The super rich Internet billionaires shelter their money in non-profit foundations to avoid taxes. Other than paying high salaries to their staffs and covering massive "overhead" these foundations do next to nothing to solve real world problems.
Phony ass clowns like Bill Gates could get off his yacht for a few minutes and write a check to the Sisters of Fraternite of Notre Dame to cover the extra rent.  But obviously living his ultra wealthy lifestyle is more important to him than the plight of average people.

Bill Gates' $330 million yacht vacation
Gates "cares" so much about people

Microsoft founder Bill Gates is more concerned with helping to save the world than creating the next big gadget. But when the world’s richest man goes on vacation, he does it like no one else.
The New York Daily News captured some photos of Gates aboard “The Serene,” a $330 million dollar yacht that Gates and his family are renting for $5 million per week.
In addition to its 12 staterooms, the 450-foot, seven deck vessel also comes equipped with its own saltwater pool, climbing wall, library, health spa, outdoor theater and even a nightclub spread out over the boat’s combined 48,000 square feet.  Read More . . . .

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Republican lawmaker folds US Senate campaign in California

Assemblyman Rocky Chavez

California GOP nears extinction

--- The GOP is so pathetic that even with an open U.S. Senate seat they cannot attract a candidate.

(Fresno Bee)  -  Republicans are hoping for a surprise this year in California's U.S. Senate race.
It won't be coming from Rocky Chavez.
The Republican legislator and retired Marine Corps colonel abruptly ended his campaign Monday, after piling up nearly $43,000 in debt and displaying scant evidence he was gaining ground in the race.
Chavez was one of several little-known Republicans hoping to upend conventional political thinking this year. Democrats are favored to hold the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, in a state where the party holds every statewide office and controls both chambers of the Legislature.
However, Chavez's exit could bolster the chances of one of the remaining Republicans who face a difficult challenge: making it through a June primary in which only the top two vote-getters advance to the November ballot.
Democrats have two prominent candidates in the race: state Attorney General Kamala Harris and 10-term congresswoman Loretta Sanchez of Orange County.
Last year, the San Diego County lawmaker expressed confidence that he could win in a state that has sent Democrats to the Senate for a generation, and he contrasted his background in the military with the credentials of Harris, a former San Francisco district attorney.
But he struggled to find financial support and independent polls showed him stalled in the single digits.
He made the announcement at the start of a debate with other Republicans on KOGO-AM radio in San Diego. He says he's decided to seek re-election to the Assembly.
Republicans left in the race include two former state party chairmen, Silicon Valley attorney Duf Sundheim, who has positioned himself as a moderate, and Tom Del Beccaro, a lawyer aligned with the party's conservative base.
Curious Californians gather to view the rare
and nearly extinct Republican elephant.

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/news/state/california/article59248033.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/news/state/california/article59248033.html#storylink=cpy

Friday, February 5, 2016

Celebrity donors pour money into California congressional seat

Director James Cameron, from left, actor Christopher Lloyd and
director Ivan Reitman have all contributed to candidates in the wide-open
race to represent the 24th congressional district in the Central Coast.

Perhaps the #1 Targeted Seat

(Los Angeles Times)  -  What do Christopher Lloyd, the director of “Ghostbusters,” one of the nation’s largest coal companies, James Cameron and a political action committee representing the nation’s dentists have in common? They all have opened their wallets to influence what is shaping up to be the hottest open-seat congressional race in California.

Among the four open seats in California’s congressional delegation, the race to replace retiring Democratic Rep. Lois Capps (Santa Barbara) is attracting some of the most attention. As the crowded field of at least seven candidates prepared to debate Thursday, here is a look at the dollars flooding the district.

2014 General Election

The Central Coast’s 24th congressional district

Capps’ retirement, and her daughter’s decision not to seek the seat, prompted a mad scramble in a peculiar district where Democrats have a slight advantage in voter registration — 37% Democratic, 34% Republican and more than 23% of voters choosing no party preference. Though President Obama carried the district by 11 points in 2012, tea party favorite Chris Mitchum — actor Robert Mitchum’s son — came within four percentage points of ousting Capps in 2014. A last-minute influx of $170,000 worth of attack ads and phone banking from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee may have saved the party an embarrassing upset.

This time around, Democratic Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal and 27-year-old Republican businessman Justin Fareed are building formidable war chests, hoping to make it out of the top-two primary on June 7.

It isn’t surprising that Carbajal leads the money race with just under $1.38 million raised over the course of the year and $970,309 in the bank. He has received Capps’ endorsement and a seal of approval from the party’s leadership — including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco). Over the weekend, he also won the support of 82% of local Democratic delegates giving him strong odds of winning the California Democratic Party’s backing at its convention later this month.

The lion’s share of his campaign’s money —$1.2 million — came from individual donors ranging from famous Santa Barbara County philanthropist Michael Armand Hammer to filmmaker Peter Douglas and hundreds of other donors. The most common profession listed on federal forms for Carbajal’s donors? Retired, attorney, president/CEO and owner.

Another sign of his strong establishment support: $134,096 of his campaign’s money has come from political action committees and leadership committees: $5,000 from House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer’s AmeriPac, $10,000 from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers PAC and $10,000 from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ fundraising PAC, called the Committee for Hispanic Causes/Building our Leadership Diversity PAC, or CHC BOLD PAC.

Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider, a Democrat, is lagging far behind in the money race, though her campaign touts her support from women’s rights groups and a summer poll she conducted showing her leading Carbajal.

Schneider raised $479,183 in 2015 and ended the year with almost $246,947 in the bank. That means Carbajal raised $900,774 more dollars than the next best Democrat in the race.

Schneider boasts financial support from environmental activist Suzy Amis Cameron and her husband, “Avatar” director James Cameron. “Back to the Future” actor Christopher Lloyd gave $5,400 to Carbajal while the original “Ghostbusters” director, Ivan Reitman, gave to both Fareed ($2,500) and Schneider ($2,700).

Achadjian (L) and Fareed

Republicans Katcho Achadjian and Justin Fareed

Republican State Assemblyman K.H. “Katcho” Achadjian of San Luis Obispo is the fourth-best fundraiser — though he enters the race with perhaps the best name recognition among local voters. The former San Luis Obispo County Supervisor led both the poll released by Schneider’s campaign last year and one released by his own campaign this week, showing him with 20% of voters while the two Democrats each got 12%. The rest of the field all had less than 7%.

He raised just under $386,915 in 2015 and has $257,084 in cash on hand. He received $2,000 from the American Dental PAC as well as a few thousand dollars from other members of the state assembly, the San Luis Obispo County Wine Community PAC and the San Luis Obispo Deputy Sheriff's Association PAC. Achadjian received $345,000 from individuals, including several Central Coast businessmen. Among that group was developer Gary Grossman and vineyard owners George and Daniel Daou.

Fareed — who works for his family’s business, Pro Band Sports Industries Inc. — raised more than any other candidate in the last quarter with $438,353 to cap off a year with $869,398 raised. He ended the year strong with $767,265 in cash on hand.

He also received most of his money from individual donors, including Santa Barbara County Supervisor Peter Adam and investor Stephen D. Bechtel Jr., the former chairman of the Bechtel Corp.

He also has received support from GOP Rep. Duncan D. Hunter (Alpine) as well as Kentucky Rep. Ed Whitfield’s leadership committee, Thoroughbred PAC, which contributed $5,000. Fareed once worked for Whitfield in Washington, D.C. Murray Energy Political Action Committee, the political wing of coal mining giant Murray Energy Corp., gave Fareed’s campaign $5,000.

Fareed, who came 615 votes short of beating Mitchum in the 2014 primary to face Capps, is making a strong run for the seat. He hired Kay­la Berube, who was Wis­con­sin Gov. Scott Walk­er’s state polit­ic­al dir­ect­or in New Hamp­shire, to be his cam­paign man­ager. He also has hired Gridiron Communications as consultants — a firm that counts presidential hopeful Florida Sen. Marco Rubio as a client — and Harris Media LLC, an online and digital strategy firm that has worked for Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s presidential campaign, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud party.

Read More . . . .

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

High Speed Rail Corruption Goes On and On

The Train to Nowhere

  • The corrupt Bullet Train is sucking down tax dollars and destroying homes and businesses all over California's Central Valley.
  • Keep in mind that an Amtrak train from Bakersfield to the Bay Area and Sacramento is available right now. There is no need for "high speed."

(Fresno Bee)  -  More properties in the San Joaquin Valley continue to fall in the crosshairs as the California High-Speed Rail Authority pushes forward on building the first stretches of a statewide bullet-train line.
The State Public Works Board, acting on requests by the rail agency, adopted five resolutions Friday declaring a need to use eminent domain to acquire about 27 acres of land in Madera, Fresno and Kings counties. Those resolutions bring to 305 the number of actions taken by the Public Works Board since December 2013, targeting more than 1,160 acres in Fresno, Kings, Madera and Tulare counties.
Eminent domain, or condemnation, is a legal process by which a government agency can go to court to acquire property for a public project when the agency and property owner cannot agree on price or terms.
The first step is adoption of a resolution of necessity, and then the agency can file an eminent domain lawsuit in the county where the property is located. A judge first decides whether the agency is entitled to the property; in a second phase of the case, a trial determines the fair market value and other “just compensation” due the owner. The verdict can be no lower than the agency’s offer and no higher than the owner’s counteroffer.
Aaron Fukuda has been fighting for a number of years to protect his
from the California High-Speed Rail Authority. Fukuda's 2-acre
property sits on one of the proposed rail routes.
(Apolinar Fonseca/The Sentinel)
Hanford Sentinel

The land identified in the state’s resolutions of necessity – some are only partial pieces of larger parcels, while others are complete properties – are needed by the state as right of way for the high-speed train line as well as for associated structures such as road over- or underpasses and bridges.
The Public Works Board is made up of the heads of the state’s Finance, Transportation and General Services departments. The board governs property acquisition and fiscal issues for state construction projects and programs.
One piece involved in the latest resolutions is just under eight acres of a larger 47-acre property along the BNSF Railway tracks west of Kingsburg, and is proposed as a radio communications site for the high-speed rail project as well for the actual rail line between Kamm and Conejo avenues. The smallest is about three-quarters of an acre – part of a larger 14-acre parcel of farmland – that is about a mile farther south, on the east side of the BNSF tracks at Clarkson Avenue, and is needed by the rail authority for the realignment of Clarkson.
Another notable parcel is the former Lamoure’s Cleaners building on G Street between Tuolumne and Merced streets in downtown Fresno. The Public Works Board’s resolution describes it as a full acquisition of the entire 0.84-acre parcel.
To the north, in Madera County, the fifth resolution calls for the condemnation of about 12 acres of a 316-acre piece of farmland between Avenues 10 and 11, west of the BNSF tracks, for construction of the rail line and new overpasses at both avenues.
Right of way acquisition has been one of the factors that has slowed progress by the California High-Speed Rail Authority on its first 29-mile construction segment in Fresno and Madera counties.
As of Nov. 20, the rail authority reported that of the 711 parcels needed in that section, 376 had been delivered to its contractor. Major construction began near Madera last summer for a bridge that will span the Fresno River, Highway 145 and Raymond Road. Several other sites in downtown Fresno are expected to become active construction sites in the next couple of months.

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/high-speed-rail/article55308165.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/news/local/high-speed-rail/article55308165.html#storylink=cpy
Read More . . . .

Friday, January 29, 2016

PUC jacks up fees on solar panels

Big Utility Companies Try to 
Chip Away at Solar Power

(Las Vegas Review Journal)  -  California has delivered a narrow victory to the solar industry by maintaining a policy that has underpinned rooftop solar's dramatic growth while introducing fees that were smaller than utilities requested.

After two years of rancorous debate, California's Public Utilities Commission upheld net metering by a vote of 3-to-2 on Thursday, allowing homeowners with solar panels to keep selling the excess power they generate back to their utility at the full retail rate.
Homeowners with solar panels cheer net metering as it lowers their power bills. But net metering has been criticized by utilities and some ratepayer advocates for rewarding solar users while leaving others to shoulder the cost of maintaining the electricity grid.
The decision was being watched far beyond the Golden State by states and utilities that are working to integrate ever larger amounts of rooftop solar onto their power grids.
Most states have passed laws allowing net metering, but a 40 percent drop in the cost of residential solar installations in the last five years has prompted some to review those policies amid calls by utilities to roll them back. Most recently in Nevada, regulators last month approved changes to the state's net metering policy that prompted some solar companies to stop doing business there.

The narrow victory in California reflected what the Commission said was the difficult job of balancing its desire to support the growth of rooftop solar while making sure solar customers pay their fair share.
"I will be the first to say that I think we really have a ways to go before we have a really enduring rooftop strategy," said PUC President Michael Picker, who voted in favor of extending the policy.
In response to critics, the PUC did make some changes that will drive up the cost of going solar.
Solar customers will have to pay a new fee of between $75 and $150 to connect a system to the grid, and will be required to move to time-based utility rates, paying more for power during peak hours. They will also be required to pay monthly fees of about $6 for certain utility programs.
The revised structure serves as somewhat of a placeholder, as the PUC will reconsider net metering again in 2019.
Net metering, which has been in place for 20 years in California, has been critical to making it affordable to go solar. It is largely responsible for the rise of major rooftop solar installation companies like SolarCity Corp and Sunrun Inc.
Solar company shares soared following the decision, with SolarCity's stock up nearly 8.4 percent. Sunrun's stock was up more than 20 percent.
Industry groups like the California Solar Energy Industries Association and environmentalists applauded the decision.
Two commission members who voted against the proposal indicated the PUC had gone too far in supporting the industry when it backed away at the eleventh hour from imposing transmission charges on solar owners.
The state's three investor-owned utilities, Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric, initially argued for fixed charges for solar customers, but in the last month authored a new proposal that would preserve net metering but reduce the rate at which solar customers are compensated for the excess power they produce.
PG&E spokesman Donald Cutler said the utility was "extremely disappointed" in the decision.
Read More . . . .

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Escaped California inmate was ordered deported in 1998, but never left

The Eternally Broken Immigration System
Democrat or Republican. No matter who is 
in charge nothing is ever fixed.

(Fox News)  -  One of the three violent convicts who escaped from a Southern California jail Friday had been ordered deported to his native Vietnam in 1998, but was able to remain in the U.S. and rack up more criminal convictions.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Tuesday that Bac Duong, 43, came to the United States legally in 1991 but was ordered removed seven years later after he served time in state prison for a 1997 burglary conviction. However, the Orange County Register reported that Vietnam routinely refused requests from the U.S. to accept Duong and other deportees.
Duong escaped from the Orange County jail on Friday along with Jonathan Tieu, 20, and Hossein Nayeri, 37, by sawing through a quarter-inch thick grill on a dormitory wall and climbing through plumbing tunnels to reach an unguarded area of the roof. There, the men moved aside razor wire and rappelled to the ground using bed linen.

Immigration officials said they took Duong into custody a second time in 2003 and released him the following year. He continued to check in with authorities as required until 2014, the statement said.
In the intervening years, Duong also faced a series of charges involving burglary and drug possession and did stints in state prison. Last year, he was charged with attempted murder and assault in the shooting of a man outside a home in Santa Ana.
Federal officials can't keep immigrants locked up indefinitely while they await deportation. Most must be released after six months, except those accused of posing a terrorist threat or deemed especially dangerous.
In 2008, Vietnam agreed to provide travel documents for deportees, but only those who entered the U.S. since July 1995, eaning it didn't apply to Duong.
Duong's case is is one of thousands involving criminal immigrants who federal authorities want to deport but haven't been able to because their native countries wouldn't take them back.
In 2012, ex-convict Binh Thai Luc was charged with killing five people in San Francisco after Vietnam didn't issue the travel documents needed to repatriate him.
Read More . . . .

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Opponents of rooftop solar are lobbying the PUC to impose fees

There are solar panel companies right now using the current tax system to install solar panels on individual homes at no cost to the home owner.  My son works for one of these companies.  It is not unusal for his company to install the panels reducing a person's power bill from about $300 a month to $60.

Big Business Wants New Taxes

  • As a John Muir-Theodore Roosevelt style Conservative I find myself on the side of many Democrats who are pushing for rooftop solar panels while the Big Business public utilities want higher taxes and fees.

Today, California has more solar rooftops than anywhere else in the country. Thousands of solar companies call the state home, employing more than 54,000 workers. In fact, more Californians now work in solar than for the state’s five largest utilities combined. Customers across the state are projected to save billions of dollars on their electricity bills. This is a true California success story.
When I was elected mayor of Los Angeles in 2005, it was clear to me that the state’s and the city’s coal-heavy power mix had to change if we were to move toward a more sustainable future. Los Angeles is a city with more than 300 days of sunshine, with an appetite for bold actions. I set the path for the L.A. Department of Water and Power to reach 20 percent renewables by 2010, and we achieved it. I also announced L.A. would stop using coal-fired power by 2025 and replace it with clean energy sources, including more rooftop solar.
On average, families save 10 to 20 percent on their electric bills, which puts more money back in their pockets. More and more, the solar revolution is being driven by the middle and lower middle class: according to the Center for American Progress, roughly 60 percent of rooftop solar installations occur in homes with incomes ranging from $40,000 to $90,000.I support rooftop solar because it is good for the environment and it creates jobs – local jobs closer to where people live. California has increased solar jobs over the past decade, and what’s driving this job growth is solar’s appeal to a broad spectrum of Californians.

Regardless of whether a family has gone solar, all Californians benefit from rooftop solar because it increases clean energy generated in our communities, reducing the need to build costly new power plants to keep up with the energy demand. It eases the strain on the electric grid during peak demand hours, which can affect pricing during the hottest days of the year. And going solar saves everyone money.
While we see the immediate impacts of rooftop solar on a customer’s bill, we also know that increasing solar and clean energy production reduces climate impacts, promotes water conservation, builds a more resilient power system and protects public health.
For some of California’s most disadvantaged communities, cleaner energy means better health. California has some of the highest asthma rates in the nation, causing our children to miss an estimated 1.47 million school days every year. The White House estimates that across the country employing cleaner energy solutions, such as solar, can result in avoiding 3,600 premature deaths, 1,700 heart attacks and 90,000 asthma attacks each year.
Let’s create pathways, not roadblocks, for meaningful local solar growth. The California Public Utilities Commission’s recent proposed decision on the future of rooftop solar wisely continues the successful net metering policy and rejects utility proposals to end net metering and undermine customer choice. Opponents of rooftop solar are lobbying the PUC to change course and impose more fees on new solar customers. The PUC must stand firm against these attacks.
We need to support and encourage the growth of local rooftop solar rather than making it harder for customers to embrace clean energy. Now, more than ever, California needs to think big when it comes to our energy production – and by thinking big, I mean thinking small, with rooftop solar.
I urge the PUC to continue to embrace the positive impacts rooftop solar has on California’s communities and support its continued growth.
Antonio Villaraigosa is the former mayor of Los Angeles.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/op-ed/soapbox/article55773985.html#storylink=cpyAntonio Villaraigosa is the former mayor of Los Angeles.
Yes to Solar Power
You can provide billions in tax breaks to giant corporations to build coal or oil based plants that produce energy, or you can allow individual home owners to put up their own solar panels and lower their power bills.  Empowering the individual is a truly Conservative position.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Monsanto sues to keep herbicide off California list of carcinogens

Will we ever know the truth?

  • It is "crazy" back to nature types vs Big Business selling $4.8 Billion worth of this one single product last year.  Both sides will spin facts.
  • I do know that antibiotics injected into cattle have been absorbed by humans.

(Reuters)  -  Monsanto Co stepped up its defense of a widely used weed killer on Thursday by filing a lawsuit in California seeking to prevent glyphosate, the main ingredient in its Roundup herbicide, from being added to the state's list of known carcinogens.
The seed and agrochemicals company said it filed the suit against the state's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) and the agency's acting director, Lauren Zeise, in California state court, according to the filing seen by Reuters.
California law requires the state to keep a list of cancer-causing chemicals to inform residents of their risks.
OEHHA said in September that it planned to add glyphosate to the list after the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified it as a probable human carcinogen last March.
Spraying poison on the food we eat.
Sure we can raise more crops but at what price?

Monsanto has disputed assessment, citing decades of studies deeming glyphosate safe, including a 2007 study by OEHHA that concluded the chemical was unlikely to cause cancer.
"The IARC classification of glyphosate is inconsistent with the findings of regulatory bodies in the United States and around the world, and it is not a sound basis for any regulatory action," said Phil Miller, Monsanto's vice president of regulatory affairs.
Monsanto's lawsuit argues that listing glyphosate under Proposition 65, as the state's law is known, based on IARC's classification cedes regulatory authority to an "unelected, undemocratic, unaccountable, and foreign body" that is not subject to oversight by any state or federal entity.
OEHHA did not comment, as it had not seen the lawsuit.
The case is Monsanto Company v. Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, et al, case number 16-CECG-00183 in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Fresno.
Roundup is used by farmers around the world, generating Monsanto $4.8 billion in fiscal 2015 revenue. Genetically modified seeds designed to tolerate glyphosate are immensely popular among corn and soybean growers.
But questions from environmentalists and other critics about the safety of the herbicide have dogged Monsanto for years.

Since IARC's classification last year, Monsanto has been named in numerous lawsuits accusing the company of knowing of the dangers of glyphosate for decades.
Read More . . . .

Monday, January 18, 2016

Supreme Court justices are about to tip the scales in California politics

Shaking up California Elections
A Supreme Court ruling could limit the 
influence of non-voting immigrants.

(Los Angeles Daily News)  -  California politics could be shaken up this spring when the U.S. Supreme Court hands down its decisions in two potentially landmark cases.
The framers of the U.S. Constitution thought they were keeping the judiciary out of politics, but it hasn’t worked out that way. Today the Supreme Court exercises so much power over our lives that if one of the justices mentions retirement, half the country experiences chest pains. And the stress is not unwarranted: Policies that were created by judges can be reversed by judges.
Right now the Supreme Court is considering whether to change the rules that control state redistricting, and whether to abolish mandatory union dues for public employees. The impact of the two decisions could make California’s predictable elections a lot less predictable.
In the redistricting case, Evenwel v. Abbott, the issue is whether Texas should be allowed — perhaps even required — to draw its legislative district boundaries based on eligible voters instead of total population.
The 5th State Assembly District
California state legislate seats are the largest in the U.S. with 500,000 people in each.
They are far, far too large for anyone to represent the people or to campaign in.

For example, an Assembly district might have a population of half a million people but far fewer citizens who are eligible to vote. The court’s ruling could result in the district’s boundaries being redrawn to take in new geographical areas with more citizens and fewer immigrants. The decision could scramble the political map in Texas and potentially in other states with a high proportion of non-citizens, including California.
Until the mid-20th century, the federal courts stayed out of state redistricting. That changed when Chief Justice Earl Warren decided to get involved.
As governor of California in the 1940s, Warren had opposed a plan to draw district lines based on population instead of geographical area. At the time, rural Senate districts with fewer voters had the same political power as urban districts jammed with voters. The votes of city residents were, in a sense, unequal to the votes of rural residents. Los Angeles was outvoted on everything.
As chief justice, Warren had second thoughts about the fairness of that arrangement. In two landmark decisions, Baker v. Carr and Reynolds v. Sims, the court imposed a “one person, one vote” standard that required voting districts to have roughly equal populations.
But the Evenwel case could be a new landmark.
Read More . . . .

A Legislature that Represents the People
In California the 80 State Assembly members represent districts of 500,000 people. With super-sized districts only millionaires or candidates willing to be bought off by big special interest money can win election to office.
Meanwhile in Pennsylvania the 203 members of their lower house represent districts of only 63,000 people.  Average people have the ability to seek and win public office.
It is way past time to reform the California legislature.
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Democrats may expand ban on assault rifles

They are coming for your guns

(San Jose Mercury News)  -  California's Democrat attorney general is backing a renewed effort to expand the state's ban on assault rifles in the wake of recent mass shootings.
The bill introduced Thursday by Democratic Assemblyman David Chiu of San Francisco would bar the sale or transfer of most semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines.

Attorney General Kamala Harris says AB1663 would close a legal loophole that allows firearms manufacturers to include "bullet buttons" that let firearm owners rapidly exchange empty ammunition magazines for ones full of bullets.

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed similar legislation in 2014.

A narrower bill, AB1664 by Democratic Assemblymen Marc Levine and Phillip Ting, would only outlaw bullet buttons.

Lawmakers are planning to introduce numerous gun control bills this year following a deadly terror attack involving assault rifles in San Bernardino last month.

Read More . . . .

Charlton Heston -
From My Cold, Dead Hands!