No money for Jerry Brown’s high-speed choo-choo?

March 19, 2017

Via Legal Insurrection:

A few, short weeks ago, I reported that President Trump’s Secretary of Transportation halted the transfer of millions of dollars in funding for the California bullet train, our governor’s legacy project.

However, those monies were not the sole source of funding. The main source of ongoing support for the train is the income from the cap-and-trade auctions that California sponsors.

It appears as if the all the air (carbon dioxide included) has gone out of the cap-and-trade market.

Let’s pause for a moment to contemplate that last sentence. What meaning can we draw from it? 

A boondoggle was being funded by a fraud.

I’ll let you read the rest of Leslie Eastman’s post if you wish, but here’s the summary: the governor and our leftist legislature tried to find alternate sources of funding for the high-speed rail project by granting it a share of revenues expected from our cap-and-trade auctions, established under Governor Schwarzenegger in a stupid quest to fight a problem that does not exist, catastrophic man-caused global warming.

But I digress.

The original funding has been tied up in lawsuits, and the Trump administration has already made it clear it’s not going to waste public money on this project. Thus the measure to divert cap-and-trade revenues. Only, for various reasons, no one is interested in buying the modern equivalent of Confederate war bonds. The auctions raise almost no revenue, threatening the viability of the high-speed railroad.

I call this a good thing.

I’ve inveighed against this stupid project before, so I’ll spare you another rant. California has many, many needs: our finances are a mess, our roads and highways are lousy, our schools are mediocre, and our dams are crumbling.

But Jerry Brown wants his legacy: a high-speed choo-choo that won’t meet the projected speeds and ridership, and is running way past projected costs.

As Victor Davis Hanson wrote:

Governors who cannot build a reservoir have little business fantasizing about 200-mph super trains.

Let’s hope the failure of the cap-and-trade auctions is the pinprick that finally bursts the Governor’s fantasy bubble.

h/t SteveinTN

PS: Speaking of aging infrastructure, we have another crumbling reservoir.


Welfare, Taxes, the Nanny State, and Supply-Side Economics

March 10, 2017

Remember, welfare traps people in poverty. It’s not a hand helping you up: it’s a hand grabbing your ankle and holding you back.

International Liberty

What’s the right way to define good tax policy? There are several possible answers to that question, including the all-important observation that the goal should be to only collect the amount of revenue needed to finance the legitimate functions of government, and not one penny above that amount.

But what if we want a more targeted definition? A simple principle to shape our understanding of tax policy?

I’m partial to what I wrote last year.

the essential insight of supply-side economics…when you tax something, you get less of it.

I’m not claiming this is my idea, by the way. It’s been around for a long time.

Indeed, it’s rumored that Reagan shared a version of this wisdom.

I don’t know if the Gipper actually said those exact words, but his grasp of tax policy was very impressive. And the changes he made led to very good results

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Putin, Trump, and False Moral Equivalence

February 6, 2017

Regardless of what the President says, there is no moral equivalence between the US and Putin’s Russia.

International Liberty

Back in the 1980s, I would get very agitated when folks made excuses for brutal communist regimes by asserting that the United States also did bad things. This “moral equivalence” argument is now being recycled by Donald Trump, who basically excuses Putin’s brutality because America supposedly isn’t in any position to throw stones.

Here’s the interview, set to start at the point where Trump discusses Putin.

This is wrong. Absurdly wrong.

Though let’s start by acknowledging that the United States is far from perfect. Our history includes black eyes such as slavery, mistreatment of native populations, incomplete legal rights for women, internment of Japanese-Americans, Jim Crow laws, persecution of gays, and other sins.

Even today, we have plenty of bad policies that restrict human liberty, often exacerbated by examples of thuggish actions by government.

But, at the risk of sounding jingoistic and patriotic, the United States began with a…

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BOMBSHELL – NOAA whistleblower says Karl et al. “pausebuster” paper was hyped, broke procedures

February 6, 2017

Welcome to Climategate 2.0? Here we have NOAA using flawed software, data not archived, replication impossible, and the principles lying about it. This is Bob Carter’s “Noble Cause Corruption” at it’s most blatant.

Watts Up With That?

They played fast and loose with the figures -NOAA whistleblower

The Mail on Sunday today reveals astonishing evidence that the organisation that is the world’s leading source of climate data rushed to publish a landmark paper that exaggerated global warming and was timed to influence the historic Paris Agreement on climate change.

A high-level whistleblower has told this newspaper that America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) breached its own rules on scientific integrity when it published the sensational but flawed report, aimed at making the maximum possible impact on world leaders including Barack Obama and David Cameron at the UN climate conference in Paris in 2015.

The report claimed that the ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’ in global warming in the period since 1998 – revealed by UN scientists in 2013 – never existed, and that world temperatures had been rising faster than scientists expected. Launched by NOAA with a public…

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We have no idea why the guy yelling “Allahu akbar!” attacked the Louvre

February 3, 2017
x

Vive la France!

So, a maniac wielding a machete decided for some unknown reason to attack the Louvre in Paris yesterday. Sadly (for him) he made the unwise choice of charging armed French soldiers. Sadly (for us), he was only wounded when the predictable thing happened and said assailant of unknowable motives wound up with several holes in him

Darn.

The article includes this paragraph, which contains no clues as to why this man would want to attack one of the focal points of Western culture:

While French officials have not expounded on their determination that the attack was “terrorist in nature,” police have said the suspect shouted “God is great” in Arabic during the incident.

Yeah, that’s a tough one to figure out. smiley thinking

Remember, folks: They’re still trying to kill us.

via Jim Geraghty’s “Morning Jolt” newsletter

PS: I haven’t time to write a longer post explicating why this jihadist fruitcake would do something so suicidal, but, if you’re interested, I suggest starting with Surah 9:111 of the Qur’an and working from there.


Why Trump is being inaugurated today

January 20, 2017
Fine as long as the mouth stays shut

“Thanks, Lefties. You helped make me a winner.”

Found this on Facebook. I’d say it’s nearly perfect:

how-trump-happened

 

And if that doesn’t get the point across, here’s an F-bomb laden tirade from a UK Lefty:

The Left isn’t the sole reason Trump won, of course. Something this extraordinary has many causes. But their sanctimonious jackassery was a huge part of it.

The next four years are on you, Social Justice Warriors of America. Own it, and enjoy.


Fake news? California did not just legalize child prostitution.

December 30, 2016

Send help.

“Fake news” has been all the rage in recent weeks as Clintonistas and progressives more generally search for any reason why Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump other than she was a horrible candidate.

The charge is, of course, horse manure for any number of reasons, but I’m going to level it here at a mendacious, tendentious article published in The Washington Examiner and written by Travis Allen, a California Republican Assemblyman. To wit:

No, California did not just legalize child prostitution.

If you’re like me and did a “WTF?” head-shake at the very idea that buying sex from a minor is now just groovy here, here’s a graphic of the headline, in case The Examiner changes it:

examiner

And here’s a quote from the article:

Beginning on Jan. 1, prostitution by minors will be legal in California. Yes, you read that right.

SB 1322 bars law enforcement from arresting sex workers who are under the age of 18 for soliciting or engaging in prostitution, or loitering with the intent to do so. So teenage girls (and boys) in California will soon be free to have sex in exchange for money without fear of arrest or prosecution.

This is, to put it kindly (and remembering this is a family show), ninety-five percent wrong and just right enough to mislead a lot of people.

Let’s do some digging, shall we? First, here is an excerpt of a press release (1) from Senator Holly Mitchell (D), the author of the bill:

The Governor has signed into law legislation that deems persons under the age of 18 who might previously have been charged with criminal prostitution as victims of sex trafficking, eligible for treatment rather than prosecution.

The law is supposed to protect vulnerable children from adult abuse, yet we brand kids enmeshed in sex-for-pay with a scarlet ‘P’ and leave them subject to shame and prosecution,” said State Senator Holly J. Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), who introduced SB 1322. “This is our opportunity to do what we say is right in cases of sex trafficking: stop the exploiters and help the exploited.”

When it comes to the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), the victims are criminalized under California law, often sent to juvenile hall and tagged with a rap sheet for prostitution.

So, Mitchell claims the bill treats child prostitutes as victims, rather than criminals. Regardless of Mr. Allen’s claims, this is not the same as legalizing child prostitution.

But a press release can be just as misleading as a news article, so let’s look at the bill’s actual text. Senate Bill 1322 (SB 1322) amends Section 647 of the California Penal Code. The relevant paragraphs are 647 (a) and 647 (b)(1) and (b)(2). I quote them here in full:

SECTION 1. Section 647 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

647. Except as provided in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) and subdivision (l), every person who commits any of the following acts is guilty of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor:

(a) Who solicits anyone to engage in or who engages in lewd or dissolute conduct in any public place or in any place open to the public or exposed to public view.

(b) (1) Who solicits or who agrees to engage in or who engages in any act of prostitution. A person agrees to engage in an act of prostitution when, with specific intent to so engage, he or she manifests an acceptance of an offer or solicitation to so engage, regardless of whether the offer or solicitation was made by a person who also possessed the specific intent to engage in prostitution. No agreement to engage in an act of prostitution shall constitute a violation of this subdivision unless some act, in addition to the agreement, is done within this state in furtherance of the commission of an act of prostitution by the person agreeing to engage in that act. As used in this subdivision, “prostitution” includes any lewd act between persons for money or other consideration.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), this subdivision does not apply to a child under 18 years of age who is alleged to have engaged in conduct to receive money or other consideration that would, if committed by an adult, violate this subdivision. A commercially exploited child under this paragraph may be adjudged a dependent child of the court pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 300 of the Welfare and Institutions Code and may be taken into temporary custody pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 305 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, if the conditions allowing temporary custody without warrant are met.

Read it carefully:

  • Paragraph (a) discusses anyone who in a public place tries to get another to have sex, including for pay. In other words, it includes a potential John making an offer.
  • Paragraph (b)(1) criminalizes the person the person who offers sex in return for money – the prostitute.
  • Paragraph (b)(2) removes the criminal penalties for prostitutes under 18, but makes them a dependent of the courts so that they can get help to escape that life, not a juvenile record. They can be taken into custody. They are not let off to do it again, they are not “free to have sex in exchange for money.”

What SB 1322 emphatically does not do is decriminalize perverts offering to pay for sex with a minor –paragraph (a)– or the prostitutes’ pimps. It does not decriminalize statutory rape, which is what sex with a minor prostitute would constitute. Those are still crimes in California. To state it plainly:

Child prostitution is still a crime in California.

One can debate whether Mitchell’s approach is the right one and whether the bill is prudent, but to say it legalizes something as horrible as child prostitution is “fake news” that defames Senator Mitchell and Governor Brown, and is insulting to California and its people. The Washington Examiner should at a minimum change the headline or, preferably, retract the article. Assemblyman Allen owes his colleague in the state senate an apology for insulting her and to the people of his district for embarrassing them.

There’s a lot wrong with my home state, but legalizing child sex is not one of them.

PS: To say 2016 has been a weird year is by now a cliche. Whether in politics or pop culture, this year has seen many saddening, maddening, and just plain weird occurrences.

But, here we go again. I’m defending California Democrats, the people running this state into the ground, Governor Jerry Brown, and my state senator, Holly Mitchell, a down-the-line progressive whom I’d never vote for. And I’m criticizing a California Republican.

Like I said, 2016 has been weird, man.

Relevant Link: The Blaze also states the truth.

UPDATE: Linked at Red State.

Footnote:
(1) Yeah, the headline for the press release says there is “no such thing as a child prostitute.” This is as much bunkum as Allen’s article. Selling sex in return for consideration makes one a prostitute, whether willing or not and whether adult or minor. This kind of avoidance of the truth helps no one.