While many on the left have celebrated California’s push to legalize marijuana as a victory for a progressive, harm-reduction approach to combating addiction and crime, the pullback in the number of low-level prisoners entering the state’s penal system is leaving the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Court mandates to reduce overcrowding in the state’s prisons – combined with the legalization of marijuana, the most commonly used drug in America (aside from alcohol, of course) – have led to a sharp drop in the number of prisoners housed at state facilities in recent years. Interestingly, one byproduct of this trend is it’s creating headaches for the state officials who are responsible for coordinating the emergency wildfire response just as California Gov. Jerry Brown is warning that the severe fires witnessed this year – the most destructive in the state’s history – could become the new status quo.
To wit, since 2008, the number of prisoner-firemen has fallen 13%.
As the Atlantic reports, California has relied on inmates to help combat its annual wildfires since World War II, when a paucity of able-bodied men due to the war effort forced the state to turn to the penal system for help. More than 1,700 convicted felons fought on the front lines of the destructive wildfires that raged across Northern California in October.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 10, 2017.
President Donald Trump has made it known that he will not tolerate liberal cities like New York and Los Angeles openly stymying federal authorities’ efforts to arrest illegal immigrants. Since taking office, he has threatened to slash federal funding while ICE has circumvented local authorities to arrest undocumented immigrants during enforcement blitzes like September’s ‘Operation Safe City.’
But come January 1st, the administration will need to broaden its efforts now that California is set to become the first ‘sanctuary state’ in the US after Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 54 – aka the ‘sanctuary state bill’ – into law on Thursday.
The bill was drafted by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles) and would stop state and local cops, in every town across California, from helping the feds enforce immigration law. Under the measure, ICE agents would no longer be allowed to go into jails to deport undocumented prisoners, and they’d have restricted access to state databases. Meanwhile, jail officials would be allowed to transfer inmates to federal immigration authorities only if they have been convicted of certain crimes.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 8, 2017.
California is known for it’s wacky legislation. After all, it is the state where Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a law specifically intended to regulate cow flatulence…no, really (see: Here Are Some Of The Ridiculous New State Laws That Will Take Effect January 1st – Happy New Year!).
As such, it will probably come as no surprise that the state recently set aside nearly 2 million acres (for those who have difficulty conceptualizing what 2 million acres looks like, it’s roughly 3x the size of Rhode Island) in order to protect a frog, the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog to be exact.
And while many will just dismiss this as the latest example of a far-leftist government gone mad, a group of California farmers and ranchers, who could very well be regulated out of business by this latest California law, are fighting back and have sued the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. More from The Sacramento Bee:
The California Farm Bureau and two ranchers’ associations sued the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Monday, challenging a year-old decision to designate more than 1.8 million acres of rural California as ‘critical habitat’ for three species of frogs and toads that are protected by the Endangered Species Act.
Loggers and ranchers who harvest timber or graze cattle on public lands worry the new restrictions on land use will eventually make it more difficult – if not impossible – to make a living in the Sierra, said Shaun Crook, a Tuolumne County cattle rancher whose family also owns a logging company.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 2, 2017.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra apparently doesn’t think that $858 million is nearly enough taxpayer money to fight the Trump administration. That is precisely the amount that California’s state budget proposal, laid out by Governor Jerry Brown in January, allocated to Becerra’s Justice Department but in testimony before the Senate Budget committee yesterday Becerra said he needs even more to attract and keep qualified lawyers to defend the state. Per The Hill:
‘No one anticipated the extent to which federal executive actions would impact the people of California and the Department of Justice. Who knew that the federal government would play so fast and loose with the law and taxpayers’ pocketbooks?’ ‘I am operating with a budget that was assembled without addressing the needs of current mandates and before our new reality of dealing with federal executive orders,’ Becerra said. ‘If it feels like the attacks are constantly coming, it’s because they are.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on May 5, 2017.
Officials were warned twelve years in advance about potential safety hazards at the Oroville Dam in Butte County, California, which now faces the risk of flooding nearby residential areas as a result of a broken spillway and increased rainfall.
Local outlet Mercury News reports:
‘Three environmental groups – the Friends of the River, the Sierra Club and the South Yuba Citizens League – filed a motion with the federal government on Oct. 17, 2005, as part of Oroville Dam’s relicensing process, urging federal officials to require that the dam’s emergency spillway be armored with concrete, rather than remain as an earthen hillside.’
That never happened. The aging Oroville dam, which exceeded capacity on Sunday, began to overflow and spill over the earthen emergency spillway after the main spillway was severely damaged. These developments prompted flood warnings and a declaration of a state of emergency from Governor Jerry Brown. The spillway is on the verge of collapse, a potential disaster that prompted mass evacuations. Over 188,000 residents have been displaced.
This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on FEBRUARY 14, 2017.
Following a woefully belated response by California authorities’ to the dangerous situation unfolding at the Lake Oroville Dam in Northern California over the weekend, an evacuation order forcing some 200,000 people living below the tallest dam in the US remained in place early on Monday after residents were abruptly told to flee when a spillway appeared in danger of collapse.
The Oroville dam is nearly full following winter storms that brought relief to the state after four years of drought. Water levels were less than 7 feet (2 meters) from the top of the dam on Friday. State authorities and engineers on Thursday began releasing water from the dam after noticing that large chunks of concrete were missing from a spillway.
California Governor Jerry Brown asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Friday to declare the area a major disaster due to flooding and mudslides brought on by the storms.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 13, 2017.
Not going to happen, but it’s interesting to imagine it.
Several groups in California are pushing for a ballot measure that, if passed, would allow the state’s voters to decide, in a direct referendum, whether to remain part of the US or become an independent country.
I’d like to see California secede, on the basis that they want a green economy and they want to ‘adjust’ their immigration policies. It would be a sight to behold. Wide open borders and wind propellers everywhere. I’d give CA five years until total collapse.
It would be first state to secede and then beg to be let back into the country.
Its president, Jerry Brown, would release a statement: ‘This is a big oops. We miscalculated. It turns out we can’t afford open borders. And I’m not just talking about the upsurge in crime and terror attacks. The social services we provide all immigrants are overwhelming our institutions and our financial resources. No one wants to underwrite the loans we require. We’re screwed and we’re sorry. Please re-admit us to the Union. We need to become the biggest Welfare State in history right away.’
This post was published at Jon Rappoport on January 4, 2017.
Back in September we wrote about what we thought for sure would be the wackiest new state law passed in 2016. The law came from the state of California (of course) and demanded a 40% reduction in methane gas from cow flatulence by 2030. Here’s what we had to say about the bill:
In yet another attack on California businesses, yesterday Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill (SB 1383) that requires the state to cut methane emissions from dairy cows and other animals by 40% by 2030. The bill is yet another massive blow to the agricultural industry in the state of California that has already suffered from the Governor’s passage of a $15 minimum wage and a recent bill that makes California literally the only state in the entire country to provide overtime pay to seasonal agricultural workers after working 40 hours per week or 8 hours per day (see “California Just Passed A $1.7 Billion Tax On The Whole Country That No One Noticed“). According to a statement from Western United Dairymen CEO, Anja Raudabaugh, California’s Air Resources Board wants to regulate animal methane emissions even though it admits there is no known method for achieving the the type of reduction sought by SB 1383.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 30, 2016.
Government passes stupid laws, and the people respond reasonably.— Eric Scott (@EricScottUSA) December 20, 2016
The window is closing on freedom in the Golden State, as liberal government leaders and increasingly bureaucratic laws are being used to strip away the rights of the people.
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a slew of new laws, seen by many as unconstitutional, that will make it incrementally more difficult for Californians to keep and bear arms.
But in response to new restrictions on owning so-called ‘assault weapons’ and certain types of semi-automatic firearms, millions are lining up to make purchases during the last legal time frame to do so.
While the state tramples on freedom and bites back at the spirit of the founders who abhorred such bureaucratic tyranny, these patriots are sending a message that they won’t take it lying down, and will do all they can to hold onto their American heritage – and pass it down to future generations.
This post was published at shtfplan on December 22nd, 2016.
If you want to be a ‘Good Samaritan’ to the homeless in your community, you might want to check and see if it is legal first. All over the country, cities are passing laws that make it illegal to feed and shelter the homeless. For example, in this article you will read about a church in Maryland that was just fined $12,000 for simply allowing homeless people to sleep outside the church at night. This backlash against homeless people comes at a time when homelessness in America is absolutely exploding. In a previous article, I shared with my readers the fact that the number of homeless people in New York City has just set a brand new all-time high, and the homelessness crisis in California has become so severe that the L. A. City Council has formally asked Governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency. Sadly, instead of opening up our hearts to the rapidly growing number of Americans without a home, way too many communities are trying to use the law to force them to go somewhere else.
For nearly two thousand years, churches have been at the forefront of helping the poor and disadvantaged, but now many communities are trying to stop this from happening. Earlier today, I was absolutely stunned when I came across an article that talked about how a church in Dundalk, Maryland has been fined $12,000 for allowing the homeless to sleep outside the church at night…
This post was published at The Economic Collapse Blog
on December 6th, 2016.
Back in December 2015, international surfing phenom Kelly Slater set the internet abuzz when he released video footage of himself surfing what he called the “perfect” man made wave. Slater made headlines again in May 2016 when he announced the sale of a majority stake in his Kelly Slater Wave Company to the World Surf League, an organization that hosts surfing competitions around the globe (terms of the sale were not disclosed). We have to admit, it’s pretty awesome, dude.
Turns out that the perfect man made wave happens to be located in the middle of California’s Central Valley, over 100 miles from the coast. For those of you not familiar with the Central Valley, it’s an agricultural oasis in the middle of California that produces a large percentage of the fruits and vegetables consumed in this country (see our post entitled “California Is Turning Back Into A Desert And There Are No Contingency Plans“). The problem, as we’ve pointed out multiple times on this site, is that California’s historic drought has forced farmers in the Central Valley to fallow over 500,000 acres in recent years due to a lack of water. In fact, as can be seen in the charts below, state and federal water allocations to farmers in recent years have been all but non-existent. That said, farmers aren’t the only ones making sacrifices, water wells are running dry for rural homeowners in the Central Valley and Jerry Brown imposed the State’s first ever mandatory water restrictions on residential consumers back in 2015.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 9, 2016.
The recent book review ‘A Stark Nuclear Warning’ by Jerry Brown, in which he has shared views on William J. Perry’s memoirs ‘My Journey at the Nuclear Brink’, raises a lot of questions and concerns.
Jerry Brown unequivocally describes Perry, who held many important positions in the past, including the U. S. Secretary of Defense in 1994-1997, as a double-hated man.
On the one hand, as the U. S. Secretary of Defense he helped to build a formidable U. S. nuclear arsenal several decades ago, being responsible for important technological advances with respect to U. S. nuclear forces, like launching the B-2 a heavy strategic bomber; revitalizing the aging B-52, a bomber from the same category as SOA (Strategic Offensive Arms) inventory; putting the Trident submarine program back on track; and making an ill-fated attempt to bring the MX ICBM, a ten-warhead missile, into operation.
On the other, William J. Perry has been identified as a staunch proponent of avoiding nuclear danger, nowadays, when he has retired and embarked ‘on an urgent mission to alert us to the dangerous nuclear road we are travelling.’ He is clearly calling American leaders to account for what he believes ‘are very bad decisions’, such as the precipitous expansion of NATO right up to the Russian border (William J. Perry was a very brave man when he became the lone Cabinet member who opposed President Bill Clinton’s decision to give Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic immediate membership in the Alliance). William J. Perry has also not been supportive of President George W. Bush’s withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia in 2002.
This post was published at Zero Hedge by Vladimir Kozin via OrientalReview.org, Jul 29, 2016.
Two weeks after California Governor Jerry Brown signed into a law a slew of new gun regulations, among them a law that would ban bullet buttons that work around California’s onerous assault weapons ban, guns are flying off the shelves.
According to gun shop owner Ray Parga ‘The California compliant rifles right now are non-existent. There is nothing out there.’ He added that’We’re getting right now, probably 20 calls a day and we are a small shop. Generally they just want to be able to have one before they aren’t allowed to buy them anymore.’
This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on JULY 20, 2016.
Just three months after signing a $15/hour minimum wage into law, a proposal which as he himself admitted “doesn’t make economic sense” and which unleashed an exodus of locals departing for other states, on Friday afternoon, California governor Jerry Brown once again pandered to liberals (while ironically angering some democrats in the legislature) when he signed a sweeping package of gun control bills on Friday, banning high-capacity ammunition magazines and expanding the definition of prohibited assault weapons in the wake of mass shootings in San Bernardino and Orlando.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jul 2, 2016.
There is a major environmental disaster happening in the Los Angeles County suburb of Porter Ranch. You wouldn’t know it from delusional house humping cheerleaders that seem to think that nothing can happen in SoCal that would diminish the value of real estate. In fact, there are already lawsuits being put out regarding trying to keep home values inflated (forget about the health impact this disaster is having on local residents in freaking L. A. County!). This gas leak is major. Governor Jerry Brown just declared a state of emergency but this is a late notice for something that has been going on for some time. Many local residents have been evacuated and this is a bigger story than is being reported.
Gas leak impacting health of local residents
If you think local agencies and government are looking out for you, think again. Just take a look at how long it took for people to be notified:
‘(CNN) SoCalGas reported the leak from its Aliso Canyon storage well on October 23.
‘Why didn’t it (the state of emergency) come 12 weeks ago?’ Rocco asked. ‘When they came forth with it?’
Rocco’s family first noticed an annoying eggy smell.
This post was published at Doctor Housing Bubble on January 8th, 2016.
On the surface, California’s New Motor Voter Act doesn’t sound too controversial. It was written in response to California’s low voter turnout rates, and was recently approved by Governor Jerry Brown over the weekend. Essentially, the law automatically enrolls everyone as a registered voter when they get their driver’s license, unless they decide to opt out of the system. However, you can’t expect any bill to pass in this country unless it has an ulterior agenda, and the New Motor Voter Act is no different.
According to critics of the bill, it will make it easier than ever for illegal aliens to vote in Californian elections, since the state already allows illegal aliens to obtain a driver’s license. And since the vast majority of illegal aliens would vote Democrat if they could, the bill is beginning to sound like an underhanded attempt to solidify the Democratic Party’s grip over the state.
This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on October 12th, 2015.
Stumbling into the embrace of the homeland-security state, California’s state legislature has sent to Governor Jerry Brown a bill which, unless the Governor vetoes it by October 11th, will require that:
[T]he Department [of Motor Vehicles] shall require an applicant for an original driver’s license or identification card to submit satisfactory proof of California residency and that the applicant’s presence in the United States is authorized under federal law.
A. B. 1465 is unnecessary, would create severe problems for many Californians, and would discourage both immigrants to the US and residents of other states from moving to California.
As our friend Jim Harper of the Cato Institute has noted, the intent of A. B. 1465appears to be to make it easier for the DHS to claim that California is making ‘progress’ toward compliance with the REAL-ID Act.
Why would Californians want that?
The DHS has repeatedly threatened that if states don’t comply with the REAL-ID Act, including connecting their state drivers license and ID databases to the outsourced REAL-ID ‘hub’ operated by the AAMVA, residents of those states won’t be allowed through Federal checkpoints at airports and at entrances to Federal facilities.
But as we discussed here and here and in this presentation at Cato earlier this year, these threats are hollow.
The TSA allows people to fly without ID every day, despite false notices in airports that ID is required.
This post was published at Papers Please on September 15th, 2015.
A bill to stop the militarization of California police departments received final approval in the state legislature last Thursday. The bill is now on its way to the desk of Governor Jerry Brown.
A. B.36 establishes that California would ‘prohibit a local agency, other than a local law enforcement agency that is directly under the control of an elected officer, from applying to receive tactical surplus military equipment.’
It bans the transfer of ‘tracked armored vehicles, weaponized vehicles, firearms or ammunition greater than .50 caliber, grenade launchers, bayonets and camouflage uniforms.’
Introduced by Assemblywoman Nora Campos of San Jose, Assembly Bill 36 (A. B.36) – if enacted into law by the governor – will prevent the transfer of heavy duty weapons of war to local police departments.
Americans are increasingly concerned with the Pentagon’s now prevalent practice of arming local police departments with weapons of war, from grenade launchers to M-16 rifles and MRAP armored vehicles.
The bill specifically points out the dangers of police militarization, saying it would ‘declare that this is a matter of statewide concern.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/15/2015.
As if the drought was not disheartening enough, wildfires are now raging across many parts of northen and southern California focing Governor Jerry Brown to call a state of emergency. Nowhere is the crisis more evident than in NorCal’s Lake County where, as The LA Times reports, the untamed wildfire forced chaotic evacuations, is consuming hundreds of homes and businesses, and has outrun the efforts of a growing army of firefighters to corral it. However, as the following clip shows, one car-driver ran the gauntlet and managed to outrun “the worst tragedy Lake County has ever seen,” in a scene right out of a disaster movie.
As Reuters reports,
A swiftly spreading wildfire destroyed hundreds of homes and forced thousands of residents to flee as it roared unchecked through the northern California village of Middletown and nearby communities, fire officials said on Sunday.
The so-called Valley Fire, now ranked as the most destructive among scores of blazes that have ravaged the drought-stricken Western United States this summer, came amid what California fire officials described as “unheard of fire behavior” this season.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/14/2015.
California remains a tinderbox due to drought conditions.
Fires rage in multiple places and Governor Brown has declared a state of emergency with a new fire about to consume San Andreas, a town 60 miles East of Sacramento.
The Guardian reports Explosive Wildfire Threatens California Mountain Towns as Blaze Intensifies.
A mountain town is standing by to evacuate on Saturday and residents across a huge swath of northern California have been warned of ‘explosive fire conditions’ as a fierce wildfire across more than 100 square miles suddenly intensified.
California governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for the counties experiencing the inferno, as it approaches the town of San Andreas, about 60 miles south-east of Sacramento in the Sierra Nevada region.
This post was published at Global Economic Analysis on Saturday, September 12, 2015.