Welcome Komrade to Kalifornia

I’m really disturbed by the California legislators.

Recently, they’ve approved several measures regarding guns and ammunition. Individually these measures are innocuous but when you pull back and look at these measures as a tapestry, Then the picture is chilling.

First I think many of us would agree that the California legislators absolutely want to deprive Californians of their 2nd amendment rights.

However, they know that an outright assault on the 2nd amendment of the United States Constitution would fail.

Regardless of how stupid you might think the legislators are, they’re not stupid at all. (Always respect your enemy. Never underestimate their ability, doing so will cause you to make mistakes.)

They’re very cleverly creating a situation where you can own a gun. But you can’t afford to shoot it.

With the microstamping law, you can’t even buy a gun in California unless manufacturers decide to incorporate the microstamping technology.

Then there’s this lovely set of laws they’re OKing;

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Ladies & Gentlemen, this is how it ends. Our rights stripped from us in the legal wrangling of politicians.

These politicians are using State Law to circumvent the constitutional protection that the 2nd amendment confers upon US Citizens.

If these Bills and others like them are signed into law, California will become a gun free zone just like Chicago and Washington DC. Which means we can reasonably expect to see increasing crime until it reaches the same levels as Chicago and DC.

Is this what you want?

There have been at least two research firms that confirmed Crime Rates drop as Gun Ownership rises.  National Institute of Justice statistics show that over at least the past decade gun crimes are generally dropping not increasing.

One very interesting statistic is that 40% of the inmates who’d committed a crime with a gun stated they’d gotten their gun from an illegal source.

Why then is the Federal government and California State government continuing to pursue laws aimed at restricting the 2nd Amendment?

That’s the question to ask.

Read the statistics for yourself. I realize if you’re a reader of this blog I’m probably preaching to the choir. But if you can direct  other people to this blog then maybe we can educate them before bills like those above become laws.

Remember, other states look at what California does before writing their own laws.

Just Sayin.

Interesting article about California

I have no idea how I stumbled upon this web site. I was probably reading something in a news piece and clicked on a random link. Thank goodness my Virus protection is up to date or I’d be watching German cartoon porn or something.

Anyhoo, 

I liked what the author had to say and thought I’d share it. I’m going to put the links to the website and also a PDF of the article here in this post. One of them should work.

I’m not sure that I totally agree with all of Mr. Hansons points but I did enjoy the article very much.  There were some parts of the piece that resonated with me enough that I’ve gone on to read some of his other articles. 

If I find others of equal interest, I’ll post them here too.

It’s long, but worth the read.

The 30 year  time frame Mr. Hanson cites is almost an exact match for the time that I’ve been in California. I’ve been here 35 years.

It’s comforting to me to know that I’m not the only one who has seen changes for the worse in the Golden State.

Here is the link to the original article

Here is the PDF of the article.

Works and Days » California at Twilight » Print.pdf

Here we go again

It’s that wonderful time of year… The time when the Gas prices shoot through the roof.

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This year they’re starting earlier than usual. I guess the Oil executives have to pay for their Christmas yachts somehow…

Of course the local California media is asking Why? They’re also promising a full investigation.

Investigate? How about just looking at the facts.

The problem is as simple as this. California only sells gas that is refined in California.

So if there’s the slightest glitch at any of the refineries, the oil companies get to put a hot poker up all our asses.

This isn’t a smart way to do things. Anyone in manufacturing knows that sole sourcing isn’t smart.

California isn’t the only state that has regulations forcing fuel being sold in the state to have been refined in the state.

I pick on California because it’s the state that I know the most about being one of the people raped at least twice a year by the oil companies. Although in recent years it’s looking more and more like 3 times a year.

As I’ve said before, it’s stuff like the refinery is being maintained, or the refinery needs a bit of paint. Opps, one of executives passed nasty farts. In short, any little excuse to simulate an emergency and thereby jack the prices up.

I’m not driving un-necessarily. I suspect that no-one else is either. Here in my household we’re planning all our trips very carefully and we don’t go anywhere we don’t have to.

This means, no movies, no dining out, no shopping, no bar hopping, in short no luxuries.

If a lot of people in California are adopting similar strategies then pretty soon the California economy will dip.

This means that any layoffs in retail, or food services can be laid squarely at the feet of the oil companies. And they should be!

Crude Oil prices are lower than last year. Brent Crude is about the same. So why the run up?

Can you say Greed???

Good! I knew you could…

Sandy Hook was a tragedy but lets think shall we?

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Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner has proposed that California impose a waiting period on bullet sales.

Her sound bite on TV last night was so insane I thought my head would explode.

Most gun owners always keep a supply of ammunition around. Oh and for your information… 200, 250, 500, even 2000 rounds of ammunition isn’t that much, despite the mock breathless shocked reporting of the talking heads on CNN.

At a shooting match, you go through 250 rounds. On the shooting range you can easily fire 300 rounds. Why? because you’re practicing!

How many golf balls do you hit at the driving range? How many baseballs do you hit in a batting cage?

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If you’re practicing to hit a target, you use a lot of bullets, just like any other situation where practice improves skill.

This “Lawmaker” obviously doesn’t know what the term “Pre-Meditated” means.

NO, It doesn’t mean that you meditate seeking karmic balance before you get your gun and go shoot up a school. 

It means that you plan well in advance your actions. 

That being said a waiting or cool down period before you can purchase ammunition is pointless.

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Do you think that James Holmes wasn’t planning?

Lets see, allegedly he had guns and ammunition in his car along with body armor. He didn’t stop at the army surplus store and buy that stuff on the way to the theater.

Holmes also took the time to boobytrap his apartment and was probably not intending to come back but was trying to take out additional fire and law enforcement officers that he knew would come to investigate his residence.

So Ms. Skinner what kind of waiting period do you think you’d like to impose? A month? 6 months? A year? 

No it’s pretty obvious that you’re trying to impose and eternal ban on bullets followed by an eternal ban on guns.

The last time a bullet ban was proposed environmental protection was the vehicle. After all we don’t want lead in the environment do we?

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Adam Lanza didn’t stop at “bullets r us” on the way to the Sandy Hook school. He had all the ammo he needed because it was in the gun cabinet.

The problem is that people are trying to assign meaning and rationality to the insane actions of people that are… pardon my technical terms here, crazy as fucking hell.

There is no logic, no sense, no reason behind these events. These individuals were / are out of their minds.

I for one am sick and tired of everything being tied back to the Sandy Hook tragedy and the way that tragedy is being used to forward the agenda of the gun control lobby.

I personally find it obscene that the gun control lobby, our liberal politicians, and the media are using the murders of children to push their agenda forward.

Let’s stop engaging in knee jerk reactions. Let’s look at these tragedies in the harsh light of reality.

Crazy people, do crazy shit. There’s nothing more complicated about it than that. If we want to live in a free society we accept that there will be a certain element of risk.

A question I’d like to see answered is this.

Why is it that when I was growing up no-one would even have thought about shooting up a theater or even more unthinkable a school. What has changed in the fundamental fabric of our society that allows what was once unthinkable, to be manifested in reality?

That’s what we need to identify and fix.

Why excessive regulation is a bad thing.

We’ve all experienced them one way or another.

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Regulations

You know those natty little issues that prevent you for pursuing happiness YOUR WAY.

Obviously, some regulations are good. I personally think it’s a great thing that in general folks aren’t allowed to store their excrement in a big pile in the back yard.

In this extreme example, it really is about public health and safety.

But what happens when the regulations become so all encompassing and pervasive that they retard innovation and growth?

Then you have California…

…where the light at the end of the tunnel is actually an oncoming train of smothering laws… all implemented “For the public good“.

Here are some short examples of regulation gone wild.

Gas Prices

California gas prices recently made national news because they were the highest in the nation. Heck they even beat Hawaii!

How is that possible? Hawaii is an island in the middle of the Pacific and has to import everything by ship. WTF?

Well the simplest answer is that California has regulations that make it different from all the other states in the country. California is not unique in this, there are a number of states that have “Boutique” gas blends they’re also in as risky a position as California.

California gas is “special” due to AQMD regulations, EPA, and no doubt tons of extraneous laws that help to drive the legal system. For the sake of  argument California Gas is refined only in California therefore making it sole sourced.

That’s the problem with insisting on being different and then tying your wagon to a single source of anything. I’d bet that since the auto industry has pretty much standardized on emission control devices… these “boutique blends” are relics of a time long past and no longer necessary.

VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)

Have you tried to find a small mom & pop independent auto body shop lately? Guess what? There are a lot fewer of them in California than there once were. Why? because regulations came into effect that forced these folk to either work with paints that are a lot more delicate and far more difficult to apply or get out of the body shop business.

I wonder, how many small independent shops have closed since the VOC regulations took effect? How many people ended up unemployed? How many people took their businesses and tax revenue out of the state?

This affects everyone here in California, because excessive regulation has limited competition. A door scrape that used to cost $125 to fix, now costs $550. Why?

Because in addition to there being less competition you now have to sand and repaint the ENTIRE Door, not just the area surrounding the scrape.

It seems you can’t mix water based paints with oil based paints (No Shit Sherlock) and since many auto manufacturers are still using oil based paints to initially paint their vehicles YOU,  the consumer get stuck with higher repair bills. That translates to higher insurance costs too.

Independent Offset Printers, have exactly the same problem. There was an article in the Orange County register that discussed a business owner who moved to Nevada. He was able to assist his employees in the move, and was also able to provide them with fully paid healthcare due to savings he realized once he was out of California. By the way… The business owner was still able to make a profit because is was after all an evil capitalistic pig.

The funniest part of it was that his company had switched over to inks that were water based and he only very rarely used anything with any kind of VOC.

Like most of us would, when the quality of water based inks was equal to the older VOC based inks he switched.

It was better for him, his employees, his equipment, and made for a more pleasant working environment. 

However,  because he was an offset printer in California he still had to pay all the fees as if he was using the older inks.

Even if he never used anything containing a VOC again and turned away some jobs, His designation as an Offset Printer demanded that he paid for the privilege of running his business.

Essentially, this small business owner was regulated right out of the state.

Building Codes

I’ve touched on building codes several times in this blog. I agree fundamentally that a certain level of building regulation is a good thing. After all you do want your house falling apart in a few years?

OH Wait… My house IS falling apart after just a few years… and it passed all the inspections. 

Honestly, I’d have rather had the building code less concerned with how many damn lights were in the ceiling and MORE concerned with the materials in the house and the way those materials were being used. That’s another story entirely, so I’m not going into it here.

Just as an aside… If you’re looking at buying a house in California, buy something that’s older. The quality is going to be better and you’ll get to duck a lot of the stupid regulations unless of course you decide to remodel. Word to the wise… DON’T REMODEL.

My original house built in 1992 was far superior to my rebuilt house built in 2009. I’m reminded of that each and every Winter as I freeze my ass off.

Automobiles

This is one of those things that I simply can’t wrap my head around.

California has different regulations for cars. There are bolt on improvements today, that can make your car run more efficiently. I’m not talking about some lame ass “As seen on TV” hunk of junk. I’m talking about manufacturer approved modifications.

Take my car for example… I could change the air intakes, add a larger oil cooler, change the exhaust (Keeping the catalytic converter mind you) and increase my horsepower by 10HP. That translates to the engine running more efficiently and increases my MPG by a minimum of 2 MPG, estimates are it would be closer to 5MPG. That’s not even changing the computer programs that control the engine.

All of those modifications are illegal in California

Why? Because the California regulators haven’t been paid to test and approve these modifications and therefore these modifications are by definition bad.

I’d push my base EPA milage to 30MPG, Save money, the environment, and use less fuel. How the hell is that BAD?

I could go get these improvements in neighboring states. But then I’d risk the possibility that when I needed to get smog certificates and other California regulatory inspections I’d have to put everything back to “Factory” (read California inefficiency) specifications.

It’s probably easier to just move to a state that doesn’t have the same restrictive regulations.

Apparently the SmartCar gets something close to 100MPG in Europe.

Here in the United States, it gets a paltry 38MPG Why is that???

Regulations! In this case it’s probably something to do with protectionism of the American auto industry. But that kind of regulation flies directly in the face of good ‘ol capitalism.

Isn’t it supposed to be that the guy who builds a better mouse trap gets more business? And by building the better mouse trap, the guys competition begins to innovate and in their turn build an even better mousetrap?

In the age of over regulation that doesn’t happen. If your’e in a protectionist market why compete or innovate?

Then you have Proposition 39

The California legislature has realized that businesses are in fact leaving, and putting their manufacturing in other states. The California Lawmakers in a tacit acknowledgement of this fact have decided to add yet more regulation to the companies who have already moved the majority of their businesses out of the state.

I can’t seem to locate the actual text of proposition 39. Here is the closest link I could find.

This proposition is about imposing taxes on companies for the privilege of having any of their corporation based in California.

WTF???

I can pretty much guarantee that companies affected by this proposition if it’s approved, will move the rest of their corporate holdings out of the state and with them go untold numbers of jobs.

This is how a regulatory mentality destroys an economy. The people making the regulations just don’t get cause and effect.

As I’ve watched California over the past 30 years, there has been a definite trend towards a more controlling state government.

I find now that I can’t really blame businesses for leaving places that are excessively regulated, highly taxed, and whose infrastructure is crumbling.

Proposition 39 is a prime example of what’s wrong with our state and what may be wrong on a broader national basis.

Instead of reviewing the underlying reasoning behind why corporations chose to shutter their operations here  and then addressing those factors. Our politicians are saying they’re going to “Close the tax loopholes” (Crapspeak) and impose taxes on corporations that still maintain a presence in California.

I think I see myself moving out of California in the very near future.

Hey, you have to go where the jobs are…

I think it’s time to start an UN-Occupy movement in California

Let’s face it, California is in the news again and not in a good way.

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One of the news headlines this morning was “California’s Insane Gas Prices Just hit a New All-Time HighPhoto credit AP Images

$6 a gallon there on the sign. Wow!

Given the high unemployment and the insanity of the price of gas. It’s time for Californians to stand in solidarity.

I suggest the following.

Nobody go to work!

Take a few days off.

Don’t occupy anything!

Avoid, Businesses, Schools, Malls and Freeways.

Stay home, watch TV. Play with your kids and don’t go anywhere.

The Oil companies and the State government want to play games with the state economy… FINE, Lets Play! 

We the people of California still have the ability to make a major impact on these people. What do you think they’ll do when no-one reports to work, or buys gas, or does anything?

Without people buying gas, the Oil companies don’t make a profit.

The state government loses out on tax dollars. The People of California can kick off the Holiday season with a Bang. The losses can be laid right at the feet of big oil and over regulation.

The PEOPLE can have the satisfaction of flexing their muscle reminding the “Players” that we still hold their leash.

Remember the infamous “Day without Mexicans”?

Folks noticed… 

How about making a Day without Californians?

Just a thought…