The shot heard round the world, updated

April 19, 2016

I’m a bit red-faced Blushing that it took a British blog to remind me that today is the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775, generally regarded as the opening skirmish of the American Revolution. Tory Historian points out that both sides claimed victory, but perhaps I can be forgiven a bit of national pride for arguing that we won on points: the advance column withdrew under fire and was considering surrender when it was rescued by Percy’s brigade. General Gage then found himself besieged in Boston. Flag

Regardless of any “Monday-morning generalship,” it is fitting that the anniversary comes just a few days after the Tax Day Tea Parties, a genuine grassroots movement that organized itself to protest Washington’s mad plans to borrow and spend like drunken sailors on pay day — and, inevitably, to make us pay for it all with ruinous taxation.

In 2009, just as in 1775, popular sentiment erupted to send distant masters a message. Thankfully, this time, shots weren’t needed, but the point was made just the same: Don’t tread on us.

treadflag

PS: This is a re-posting of something I wrote in 2009, in honor of the Battle of Lexington and Concord. If, however, you want to read an account of the bloodiest battle of that day and its all too human cost, read about the fight at Metonomy.

 


Failing State: $15 minimum wage drives clothing manufacturer out of Los Angeles

April 17, 2016
"But at least we won the election! Obama!!"

“But at least we raised the minimum wage! Yay, Jerry Brown!!”

In my posts on the minimum wage and the Left’s push to raise it ever higher, I’ve tried to point out one key truth: Labor is a cost of doing business that businesses have to account for. When costs go up, these firms have only a few choices:

  1. They can pass on the cost to the consumer, risking the loss of customers’ business.
  2. They can cut labor costs by reducing hiring, cutting back hours, laying off employees, and automating.
  3. They can decide the reduced profit isn’t worth it and close shop, costing all employees their jobs.
  4. They can move out of the jurisdiction, probably costing local employees their jobs.

The government of California recently decided to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022, an increase of 50% from today’s state-mandated rate. At the bill’s signing, the Governor said the measure didn’t make “economic sense.” (1)

One employer, at least, agrees with him:

Los Angeles was once the epicenter of apparel manufacturing, attracting buyers from across the world to its clothing factories, sample rooms and design studios.

But over the years, cheap overseas labor lured many apparel makers to outsource to foreign competitors in far-flung places such as China and Vietnam.

Now, Los Angeles firms are facing another big hurdle — California’s minimum wage hitting $15 an hour by 2022 — which could spur more garment makers to exit the state.

Last week American Apparel, the biggest clothing maker in Los Angeles, said it might outsource the making of some garments to another manufacturer in the U.S., and wiped out about 500 local jobs. The company still employs about 4,000 workers in Southern California.

“The exodus has begun,” said Sung Won Sohn, an economist at Cal State Channel Islands and a former director at Forever 21. “The garment industry is gradually shrinking and that trend will likely continue.”

When San Francisco raised the city’s minimum wage, a beloved bookstore closed shop because the cost of business had grown too high. Seattle has lost 700 restaurant jobs because the restaurant industry’s thin profit margins cannot support a $15 minimum wage.

And it’s not just current workers who are harmed: low-skill or unskilled youths looking for that first job are going to discover its harder to find one. Not only will fewer jobs be available out of the limited pool of funds set aside for hiring, but employers are going to want more for their money: employees who already have skills, who require less training. The unskilled 17 year old looking for his or her first job is going to be a lot less attractive.

Great work, legislature and governor, activists and union leaders.You’re driving businesses out of state, costing people jobs, and making it harder to find work. Well done.

They say the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. In this case, that road runs through Sacramento.

RELATED: Moe Lane notes that AA was bleeding cash from paying already-uneconomical wages.

Footnote:
(1) I leave it to the reader as an exercise to determine why a governor would sign a bill he says make no economic sense. Or, you can read the article.

 


(Video) Protester to @HillaryClinton – “You are evil and guilty!”

April 16, 2016

But, really, tell me something I don’t know:

The Free Beacon explains:

Two protestors interrupted a Hillary Clinton campaign event on Saturday, with one being escorted out after shouting that the Democratic presidential frontrunner is “evil” and “guilty.”

Clinton was speaking to a crowd of supporters in Los Angeles when two individuals separately protested the rally and her candidacy. One man could be heard shouting, “She is guilty, she is guilty, she is evil,” as security removed him from the event.

Supposedly these were Sanders supporters. If so, take note of this moment: it is the one time I will probably ever agree with Bernie Sanders fans on anything.

Bipartisanship at last!


El Nino collapse appears to be underway

February 10, 2016

I had a feeling the current El Nino was turning out to be an “El Wimpo.” Still, we received some pretty good snowfalls in the Sierras, which is what California really needs, so here’s hoping this is the start of a growing trend.

Watts Up With That?

Global temperature anomalies since 2005; map courtesy Dr. Ryan Maue, Weather Bell Analytics, NOAA

The collapse of El Nino in the tropical Pacific Ocean has begun and it will be rather dramatic. The current strong El Nino event reached its peak intensity level in December 2015 and all indications suggest it will completely flip to La Nina conditions by later this year. One of the important consequences of the current strong El Nino event in the equatorial Pacific Ocean was a spike in global temperatures. However, if recent history is any guide, expect global temperatures to drop sharply after La Nina conditions become well-established in the tropical Pacific Ocean – likely during 2017 and perhaps beyond. –Paul Dorian, Vencore Weather, 5 February 2016

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(Video) Is America racist?

January 18, 2016

For Prager University, radio talk show host Larry Elder explores a question that’s quite fitting for Martin Luther King Day: Is the United States a racist country? The Democrats, their candidates, and the Left (1) tell us it is over and over (and over and over). If you take what they say at face value, then America is a racist hellhole in which Blacks are regularly oppressed by Whites and in grave danger of being killed by police at any moment. Racism is so ingrained in us as a nation, they say, that even the president says it’s “in our DNA.” And, of course, this idea gets carried across the nation and the world by a largely left-leaning media.

But what’s the truth? Do the facts comport with reality? In this brief video, Elder puts reality up against the Leftist fantasy, and reality wins:

This isn’t of course to say that there aren’t any problems, some of them personal, others structural.

But, I am so sick and tired of the “America is ‘AmeriKKKa'” garbage the Left spews to make its arguments, I just wish that some major figure on their side –even just one– would acknowledge that we’ve made tremendous progress since the days of slavery and Jim Crow. (2)

But they can’t, because they rely on ethnic resentment and the lie of a hateful America to gin up votes and win elections. If it weren’t for their “America is awful” sales pitch, they’d have nothing to offer at all.

Footnotes:
(1) But, of course, I repeat myself.
(2) The former of which Democrats fought a civil war to defend, while their children and grandchildren spent decades building and preserving the latter. Just to be clear.


Drought buster? Up to 10 feet of snow this week for California’s Sierra Nevada

January 5, 2016

Let’s just say “fingers crossed.”

Watts Up With That?

Here is some good news for drought-stricken California; the latest forecast model output from WeatherBell suggests that the Sierra Nevada snow-pack will get a fresh dump of up to 10 feet of snow. The Sierra snow-pack has already been reported as above normal (at 136 percent of normal) in the most recent snow survey conducted by the California Department of Water Resources.

DWR Director Mark Cowin said the heavy snowfall so far during Water Year 2016 “has been a reasonable start, but another three or four months of surveys will indicate whether the snowpack’s runoff will be sufficient to replenish California’s reservoirs by this summer.”

Each water year begins on October 1 and ends on the following September 30. DWR conducts five media-oriented snow surveys in the Sierra Nevada each winter – near the first of January, February, March, April and May – at the Phillips Station plot (elevation 6,800 feet)…

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Man, I wish I had bought firearms stocks in 2007

January 3, 2016
"It's all good. No worries!"

“America’s Number One Gun Salesman”

Because Obama would have made me a millionaire by now. Check this headline at PJMedia:

“Obama Urges Citizens to Stand Up Against the National Rifle Association”

It seems the Gun Salesman-in-Chief has come back from his vacation bound and determined to do by “executive action” (read: constitutionally questionable orders) what he cannot get through Congress: further restrictions on the natural right of Americans to keep and bear arms for self-defense. As usual with him and his allies, he set the NRA up as a straw-man:

In the address, Obama went on to urge citizens to stand up against the groups like the National Rifle Association, with which he has had a contentious relationship since entering office.

“The gun lobby is loud and well organized in its defense of effortlessly available guns for anyone,” he said. “The rest of us are going to have to be just as passionate and well organized in defense of our kids.”

Of course, Obama has had that “contentious relationship” because he continues to attack the very rights the NRA was established to protect. It would be noteworthy if the relationship were amicable.

Naturally, Obama left many things unsaid in his address. First, absolutely none of the terrible massacres that have taken place in recent years would have been prevented by anything Obama and the gun-control lobby are proposing. Not Sandy Hook, not Virginia Tech, not Charleston, and not San Bernardino. In the case of San Bernardino, the killers were Muslims waging jihad, one of whom was utterly missed by the Obama administration’s vaunted screening system as she entered the country. California’s notoriously strict gun laws did nothing to stop her and her husband from acquiring their weapons. More laws won’t stop the next mass murders, either.

But that really isn’t the point of what Obama and the gun-control lobby are trying to do, or, at least, “for the children” is more a political club with which to pound Second Amendment advocates than it is an actual goal. If it were a real goal, he’d mention the horrific homicide rate in Democrat-controlled Chicago, again with some of the strictest gun laws in the nation.

That, however, would be politically inconvenient.

What Obama and his allies really want is control and a monopoly on deadly force for the State. Push hard enough, and they’ll say that what they have in mind for “reasonable regulations” is “something like Australia.” And there’s your clue: Australia’s response to the massacre in Tasmania was confiscation of most firearms via a mandatory buyback program. That is what Obama wants.

To do so, he uses the tried and true tactic of his community-organizing training as developed by Saul Alinsky:

Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

The target to “personalize” is the NRA — “The NRA keeps our kids in danger!” And though he hasn’t attacked individuals (yet), he has by extension smeared the membership of the NRA, American citizens one and all.

That’s what a community organizer does: organize one faction and set them against others to achieve his goals.

And that is apparently what the president of the United States plans to do over the next year.

To us.

 


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