Tag Archives: California

We can see how Democrat presidential candidates would govern from Democrat-run states

California's ignorant Democrat governor Jerry Brown keeps failing
California’s ignorant Democrat governor Jerry Brown keeps failing

A lot of low-information voters decide who they are going to vote for based on the words the candidates speak, and how those words make them feel, and what their peers will think of them. They see their vote as membership in a club, not as a way to get policies that will actually produce real-world results. Thankfully, we can know what results Democrats produce by looking at Democrat-run states.

Let’s start with the Democrat-dominated state of California, which has pursued some of the most aggressive Green New Deal policies in recent years. The prediction from Democrats is that Green New Deal energy policies will lower the cost of energy and produce abundant energy to fuel economic growth. Is that what happened?

Consider this article from National Review:

More than 2 million people are going without power in Northern and Central California, in the latest and biggest of the intentional blackouts that are, astonishingly, California’s best answer to the risk of runaway wildfires.

[…]The same California that has boldly committed to transitioning to 50 percent renewable energy by 2025 — and 100 percent renewable energy by 2045 — can’t manage its existing energy infrastructure.

[…]California governor Gavin Newsom, who has to try to evade responsibility for this debacle while presiding over it, blames “dog-eat-dog capitalism” for the state’s current crisis. It sounds like he’s referring to robber barons who have descended on the state to suck it dry of profits while burning it to the ground. But Newsom is talking about one of the most regulated industries in the state — namely California’s energy utilities, which answer to the state’s public utilities commission.

So, what happened? What happened is that the Democrats pursued a pretty standard play book in which they regulated the energy industry, forcing them to focus on green energy. And the result of that policy was higher electricity prices, higher gas prices and blackouts. By the way, the utility company has filed for bankruptcy, which is certainly not going to help matters.

They really should have known that this would happen, because other countries, like Germany and Canada for example, tried it first. And the results are the same: higher electricity prices and rotating blackouts. Is it any wonder that business owners are fleeing the state, or outsourcing their operations to areas that are more reality-based?

But that’s not all. What else do environmentalists do? They block the thinning out of forests which prevents forest fires. So what happened next?

Meanwhile, California has had a decades-long aversion to properly clearing forests. The state’s leaders have long been in thrall to the belief that cutting down trees is somehow an offense against nature, even though thinning helps create healthier forests. Biomass has been allowed to build up, and it becomes the kindling for catastrophic fires.

As Chuck DeVore of the Texas Public Policy Foundation points out, a report of the Western Governors’ Association warned of this effect more than a decade ago, noting that “over time the fire-prone forests that were not thinned, burn in uncharacteristically destructive wildfires.”

In 2016, then-governor Jerry Brown actually vetoed a bill that had unanimously passed the state legislature to promote the clearing of trees dangerously close to power lines.

The result of their environmentalist policies? Massive wild fires. California already has a homeless epidemic going on, and the wildfires will only make that problem worse.

But that’s not all, there’s more failure to achieve in other areas:

Californians know that having tens of thousands of homeless in their major cities is untenable. In some places, municipal sidewalks have become open sewers of garbage, used needles, rodents, and infectious diseases.

Yet no one dares question progressive orthodoxy by enforcing drug and vagrancy laws, moving the homeless out of cities to suburban or rural facilities, or increasing the number of mental hospitals.

Taxpayers in California, whose basket of sales, gasoline, and income taxes is the highest in the nation, quietly seethe while immobile on antiquated freeways that are crowded, dangerous, and under nonstop makeshift repair.

Gas prices of $4 to $5 a gallon—the result of high taxes, hyper-regulation, and green mandates—add insult to the injury of stalled commuters. Gas tax increases ostensibly intended to fund freeway expansion and repair continue to be diverted to the state’s failing high-speed rail project.

Residents shrug that the state’s public schools are among the weakest in the nation, often ranking in the bottom quadrant in standardized test scores. Elites publicly oppose charter schools, but often put their own kids in private academies.

Californians know that to venture into a typical municipal emergency room is to descend into a modern Dante’s Inferno. Medical facilities are overcrowded. They can be as unpleasant as they are bankrupting to the vanishing middle class that must face exorbitant charges to bring in an injured or sick child.

No one would dare to connect the crumbling infrastructure, poor schools, and failing public health care with the non-enforcement of immigration laws, which has led to a massive influx of undocumented immigrants from the poorest regions of the world, who often arrive without fluency in English or a high school education.

Stores are occasionally hit by swarming looters. Such Wild West criminals know how to keep their thefts under $950, ensuring that such “misdemeanors” do not warrant police attention. California’s permissive laws have decriminalized thefts and break-ins. The result is that San Francisco now has the highest property crime rate per capita in the nation.

Nothing is working. It’s a complete disaster. And it has to be blamed on Democrats, because they have super-majorities in the state House and state Senate, not to mention the Democrat governor.

Although Democrats like to present themselves as science-based and intelligent, the best way to measure scientific understanding and intelligence is by comparing intentions to results. Smart, reality-based people achieve what they tell others they will achieve. If a Democrat claims that they will get X result (e.g. – you can keep your doctor, you can keep your health plan, your health insurance premiums will go down) and they get opposite results across the board, then you know that they are not scientifically-literate or intelligent.

The best way to get the results you want is to elect people with a record of achieving results. That’s why we look at a candidate’s resume and references before hiring them – at least in the private sector. Democrat voters should know better than to hire candidates based on appearances and words and feelings. We need to learn from their failures.

Should Christians who vote for socialism expect to keep their religious liberty?

Four white Canadian police officers arrest black pastor
Four white Canadian police officers arrest black pastor

I saw two interesting news stories about how Catholic hospitals were targeted by the secular left government and courts. The first story comes from progressive state of California, where the courts wanted to force the Catholics to perform sex-reassignment surgeries on transgender people. The second story comes from Canada, where the state wanted the hospital to perform euthanasia.

Here’s Evolution News reporting on the first story:

A Catholic hospital chain known as Dignity Health refused to perform a hysterectomy on a transgendered male, as against Catholic moral teaching. The patient sued for discrimination, but the case was dismissed on the basis that the hospital was legally following its faith principles. Alas, a Court of Appeals reversed the decision, reinstating the case to the active docket.

Here’s the court’s decision – they said it was illegal discrimination on the basis of “gender identity”:

The pleading alleges that Mercy allows doctors to perform hysterectomies as treatment for other conditions but refused to allow Dr. Dawson to perform the same procedure as treatment for Minton’s gender dysphoria, a condition that is unique to transgender individuals. Denying a procedure as treatment for a condition that affects only transgender persons supports an inference that Dignity Health discriminated against Minton based on his gender identity.

So, the secular courts, which are filled with government employees whose salaries are paid by Catholic taxpayers, decided that Catholics don’t have a right to act like Catholics. In California, Christians must be forced to act like atheists.  Or else be punished by the legal system.

Here’s the second story out of Canada, from Global News:

Under the threat of a possible court challenge, Nova Scotia has quietly changed its policy on medically assisted dying at a Catholic hospital in the province.

In a statement to Global News, the Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) says: “Assessments and provision of MAiD [medical assistance in dying] will be available in a section of St. Martha’s Regional Hospital complex at the Antigonish Health and Wellness Centre.”

St. Martha’s Regional Hospital was exempt from assisted dying services as the result of a 1996 agreement between the Nova Scotia government and the Sisters of St. Martha that gave control of the hospital to the Nova Scotia government.

The agreement made medical assistance in dying forbidden at the hospital in Antigonish, N.S. The Sisters of St. Martha say they believe in protecting life until the end.

Because Canada has a “Medicare for All”, single-payer health care system, all payment for medical services is performed by the secular left government. Christian nurses, doctors, hospitals, etc. thought that it was “compassionate” for government to take over the provision of health care, so they allowed the government to come in and take control of their hospitals. Today, Christians have a choice. They can either perform abortions, sex-changes, IVF (which usually involves discarding embryos), breast enlargements, etc. OR they can stop practicing medicine.

American Christians in non-SOGI-states should take note of how the secular left treats Christians in health care. This is how they want to treat Christians in every area – public, and private. It’s already happening in Canada. Teachers, police, lawyers, judges can come into your home, and tell you how to live, and how to raise your children according to secular leftist values. And Christians in Canada are paying the atheist progressives to rule.

Remember: the government that is big enough to give you everything you want – free schools, free health care, free education, etc. – is big enough to take everything you have.

It would be nice if Christian parents and Christian churches had taught young people about the critical importance for smaller government as a requirement for a society that allows religious liberty. I see a lot of concern from Christians about global warming, illegal immigrants, refugees, etc. But not much about which policies allow Christians act like Christians in public.

I know that Christian parents are so busy, and Christian churches are not really places where young people can develop a Christian worldview. If you learn anything from a Christian upbringing, you learn how to color pictures, memorize Bible verses, say “the Bible says so”, and sing praise hymns. Is all that good protection against the policies of the secular left? How many young people today who were raised in the church think that “medicare for all”, “green new deal”, etc. won’t affect their religious liberty? How many of them know what it’s like to be a Christian in atheist socialist states like North Korea – or even in less communist countries like Canada?

Democrat bill to ban public expression of Biblical morality passes California assembly

Young people seem to like gay marriage more than they like individual liberties
Young people seem to like gay marriage more than they like individual liberties

I hate California, and would never live there. I would never pay money to Sacramento Democrats to waste it on their secular, socialist priorities.

California is banning the free speech rights of Christians. That’s not my headline, that’s sensible David French in National Review:

[…][T]he California State Assembly is set to vote on a bill that would actually — among other things — ban the sale of books expressing orthodox Christian beliefs about sexual morality.

Yes, ban the sale of books.

Assembly Bill 2943 would make it an “unlawful business practice” to engage in “a transaction intended to result or that results in the sale or lease of goods or services to any consumer” that advertise, offer to engage in, or do engage in “sexual orientation change efforts with an individual.”

The bill then defines “sexual orientations change efforts” as “any practices that seek to change an individual’s sexual orientation. This includes efforts to change behaviors or gender expressions, or to eliminate or reduce sexual or romantic attractions or feelings toward individuals of the same sex.” (Emphasis added.)

This is extraordinarily radical. Christian orthodoxy is simple — regardless of a person’s desires (their “orientation”), the standard of right conduct is crystal clear. Sex is reserved for marriage between a man and a woman. When it comes to “gender expression,” there is no difference between “sex” and “gender,” and the Christian response to gender dysphoria is compassion and treatment, not indulgence and surgical mutilation.

Put another way, there is a fundamental difference between temptation and sin. California law would intrude directly on this teaching by prohibiting even the argument that regardless of sexual desire, a person’s sexual behavior should conform to Biblical standards.

This bill has actually passed in the California assembly.

I just want to point out that David French has a JD from Harvard University. He’s not an idiot – this is what Christians of all walks of life are expected to believe. I’m not quite as successful as David is, but I haven’t even kissed a girl on the lips. I certainly would never have sex with a woman outside of marriage – what would that even communicate to her? So yes, we really do take these rules seriously, and not because we’re stupid or poor or ignorant.

When I say that people should not be having sex outside of marriage – gay or straight – I walk the walk. And I ought to be able to freely speak my view. I ought to be able to lend someone a book expressing my view, too. I ought to be able to buy a book that takes the Biblical view of sexuality seriously. This bill outlaws all of that – and violators would be persecuted using money taken from them in taxes.

You can read more about the bill here, on the California Family Council web site.

Can people change their “sexual orientation”?

A friend of mine decided to post some peer-reviewed evidence that people can and do change their “sexual orientation”.

Here is what he wrote:

Here’s the data I’ve seen:

“Among the 14% of Dutch adult males who reported ever having physical attraction to other males, about half noted that these feelings disappeared later in life”
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-006-9088-5

“Only 38% of exclusive same-sex attracted females stayed in this group with the rest moving into ‘occasional’ same-sex attraction (38%) or exclusive opposite-sex attraction (25%). One half of female and one third of male 21-year olds with occasional same-sex attraction only had opposite-sex attraction as 26-year olds.”
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-006-9088-5

“Although most (97%) heterosexuals maintained their heterosexual identity, nonheterosexuals frequently changed their identity label over the life course: 39% of gay males, 65% of lesbians, 66% of male bisexuals, and 77% of female bisexuals.”
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-006-9088-5

“The instability of same-sex romantic attraction and behavior (plus sexual identity in previous investigations) presents a dilemma for sex researchers who portray nonheterosexuality as a stable trait of individuals”
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-006-9088-5

“in a 5-year study… of young adults (Dickson et al., 2003)… only 65% of the men with same-sex attraction and 40% of the women with same-sex attraction did so [maintained a consistent rating of attraction over 5 years]”
http://midus.wisc.edu/findings/pdfs/1153.pdf

“in a longitudinal study of women who identified as lesbian, bisexual, or unlabeled at the first time point, 67% had changed their identity at least once over a period of 10 years (Diamond, 2008).”
http://midus.wisc.edu/findings/pdfs/1153.pdf

“Research shows that women’s sexuality tends to be more responsive to normative influences [peer pressure] than men’s sexuality (Baumeister, 2000)”
http://midus.wisc.edu/findings/pdfs/1153.pdf

If non-heterosexuals change their attraction that much on their own, I think it’s worthwhile to rigorously study therapy to find the best practices and see what can be done.

That’s the science. As a Christian, I have every reason in the world to speak about this evidence to people who are experiencing unwanted same-sex attractions. I have a right to read it in a book. I have a right to buy a book that says it. I have a right to give someone a book that says it. California would take my money and pay themselves to prosecute me for all of that. If you’re a Christian, it’s the wrong place to live. Pay your taxes in a state where the politicians respect your liberties.

Illegal immigrant deported 5 times, returns to cause $61 million in forest fire damage

Forest fires really harm the environment
Forest fires really harm the environment

This story comes from the Washington Times.

Excerpt:

Angel Gilberto Garcia-Avalos had been deported five times in just the past four years, yet each time he has managed to sneak from Mexicoback into the U.S., where he ended up in more mischief: driving without a license, attempted burglary and felony weapons charges.

In August, he graduated to full-fledged mayhem, sparking a fire in the Sequoia National Forest that has already cost the government $61 million and left some of the country’s most beautiful landscape scarred for years to come.

Garcia, who pleaded guilty last month and faces 13 months in prison, had only recently been released from the Kern County Jail. He likely would have been deported again, but local authorities were unable to report him to immigration authorities because of California’s new sanctuary city law, which prohibited the sheriff from communicating with federal agents.

Federal agents now say they will kick Garcia out of the country once he serves his latest sentence, but the damage has already been done.

[…]Of the 29,000 acres that were touched by fire, more than half sustained moderate or high-intensity burns. Communities were evacuated in two counties, and a handful of cabins and outbuildings were scorched.

It took six weeks to fully contain the fire. Officials warned at the beginning of October that hot spots could persist until the first snows blanket the area and snuff out the last vestiges.

[…][I]t took more than $60 million to contain and extinguish the blaze. Mr. Chatel submitted an emergency restoration plan at a cost of $500,000. That doesn’t include long-term restoration of campsites, cattle-grazing areas and long-term revegetation.

[…]Garcia has admitted to his role in the fire but shows little remorse.

Now, I have a friend who is an evangelical Christian ex-Democrat, now moderate Republican, and he is a strong backer of amnesty for illegal immigrants, and bringing in more Muslim refugees. And the first question he asks me when I send him illegal immigrant crime / refugee Islamic terrorism news stories is this: “how do we know that illegal immigrants / refugees are more likely to commit crimes or terrorism than natural born Americans and skilled legal immigrants?”

Good question, here’s the answer from the article:

Fires sparked by illegal immigrants are more common — and more controversial — along the border.

[…]GAO [Government Accountability Office] investigators reviewed 77 human-caused fires along the Arizona border and concluded that 30 of them were caused by illegal border crossers.

Worse yet, the presence of the illegal immigrants made fighting the fires even tougher. One investigator told The Washington Times that armed agents had to accompany firefighters.

In California, Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said the problems go beyond fire. He said marijuana grows are becoming more frequent on federal lands. When they are raided, the grows are usually found to be manned by illegal immigrants — some of them forced into the labor. State and local law enforcement have become engaged in shootouts at the grows.

“They’re destroying the landscape of our national forest,” the sheriff told The Washington Times.

Democrats are responsible for passing the laws that make it easy for illegal immigrants to continue to re-enter the United States:

Garcia has a long criminal record that includes auto theft, burglary and firearms charges. Nabbed last year after failing to appear in court to face felony charges, he was sentenced to more than a year in jail and was released for good behavior after serving 194 days.

In the past, Kern County would have reported him to federal immigration agents and his criminal record and repeated deportations would have made him a priority case. But California’s Trust Act, signed into law last year by Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, put an end to that cooperation.

“We didn’t hold him because he did not meet the Trust Act,” Sheriff Youngblood said.

I think this story is interesting, because the people who are in favor of illegal immigration also tend to be environmentalists. So it’s kind of a funny situation where their support for open borders is actually having a negative impact on the environment. The far left Washington Post says that forest fires make global warming even worse. And the California Democrats who claim to love nature are the ones who voted for this “Trust Act”. They caused the forest fire because of their “compassion”.

Now, I’m no global warming alarmist, but I am very supportive of conservation and nature preserves. I like trees and animals, and I think we should be careful so that we don’t harm them. I’m all for skilled immigration, but also for protecting and conserving nature. But the people on the left have a dilemma – illegal immigration, or protecting nature?

Scott Walker endorses Ted Cruz for President, Cruz trails Trump by 1 in California

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker endorses Texas Senator Ted Cruz
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker endorses Texas Senator Ted Cruz

The big news, which was reported everywhere, is that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who was my first choice in the primary early on, has endorsed my current first choice in the Republican primary: Ted Cruz.

The Washington Times reports:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz for president Tuesday, giving Mr. Cruz a major boost ahead of the April 5 GOP primary in the Badger State.

“I am proud to endorse Ted Cruz,” Mr. Walker said on WTMJ radio. “After a lot of time looking at speeches, looking at the records, looking at what the candidates not only say but what they have done in the past, it was an easy call for me to support Ted Cruz.”

Many Republicans in recent weeks who have endorsed or supported Mr. Cruz have cited stopping GOP front-runner Donald Trump as part of their calculus. But Mr. Walker said he wanted to make sure he was supporting someone and that he wasn’t against something or someone.

Mr. Walker, who called Mr. Cruz a “constitutional conservative” capable of taking on special interests, said the Texas senator is best positioned both to win the GOP nomination and defeat Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in the fall.

Mr. Walker said he got to know Mr. Cruz a bit better during the campaign.

“He is a decent man, he loves his family, he loves his wife — he adores his children,” Mr. Walker said. “He loves his country. He and I are both preacher’s kids, so I certainly can appreciate and feel strongly about the impact that his father had on him as a minister.”

[…]In a statement, Mr. Cruz said Mr. Walker has been “an outstanding leader in the conservative movement.”

“Gov. Walker courageously stood up to special interests and won in a bitter fight in Wisconsin,” Mr. Cruz said. “His leadership has made a profound impact on the people of Wisconsin and I welcome his advice on how we can unite the Republican party and defeat Hillary Clinton in November.”

Mr. Cruz, along with Mr. Trump and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, are in Wisconsin this week trying to build support ahead of the state’s primary next Tuesday.

Mr. Walker said he does anticipate campaigning with Mr. Cruz ahead of the primary next week.

Here’s the actual radio recording of Walker endorsing Cruz (4 minutes):

This endorsement will help Cruz a ton in Wisconsin, because Walker has a very high approval rating among Wisconsin Republicans:

“While Walker’s approval numbers have hovered below 40 percent statewide in polling after his exit from the 2016 race, his rating among Republicans is 85 percent, according to a Marquette University Law School poll taken last month. And his actions still attract attention from conservatives across the country.”

And more:

Walker was viewed favorably by 88% of all Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (a total of 9,725 voters) surveyed by Marquette between 2012 and 2014 — and unfavorably by just 10%. His popularity is highest on the right, but his negatives are low among almost all Republican groups:

  • he has a 95% favorability rating among “very conservative” Republicans, a 91% favorability rating among “conservative” Republicans and a 78% favorability rating among “moderate” Republicans (pooling Marquette’ s 27 surveys since 2012).
  • he has a 96% favorability rating among Republicans who like the tea party and a 75% favorability rating among Republicans who don’t like the tea party.
  • he has a 90% favorability rating among Republicans who are frequent churchgoers (Walker is the son of a minister and an evangelical Christian) and an 85% favorability rating among Republicans who seldom or never go to church.
  • he has a 92% favorability rating among Republicans who are opposed to abortion (Walker is staunchly “pro-life”) and an 86% rating among Republicans who favor abortion rights.

“It does bolster his claim to unify the party and appeal across lines,” says Marquette pollster Charles Franklin, who provided the polling data. While moderates and tea party opponents give Walker his lowest ratings among Wisconsin Republicans, “even they are three-quarters favorable,’ says Franklin. “They’re just not at 95%.”

Cruz is doing well in other state polls, too. In a poll of likely voters in deep blue California, conducted by the radically leftist Los Angeles Times, Cruz trails Trump by 1 point.

The Hill reports:

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump holds a razor-thin lead over rival Ted Cruz in California, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times statewide poll.

Among likely June primary voters, Trump leads Cruz by just 1 point, 36 to 35 percent. John Kasich falls far behind, at 14 percent.

In all, about 75 percent of voters who were surveyed in California had an unfavorable view of Trump. Among Republicans, 43 percent had an unfavorable impression, while 51 percent had a favorable view of the front-runner.

Why is Cruz surging in the polls? Well, I think part of it is that people are realizing that Donald Trump is in no way, shape or form a conservative – not in his personal life, not in his political record. He’s been a Democrat all his life, and he’s a Democrat playing a Republican now. But I think the change in poll numbers has something to do with Trump’s constant stream of abuse against women, and in particular, against Heidi Cruz, as I blogged about before. Women voters are turning away from Trump.

But what can Ted Cruz do to convince those women voters who won’t vote for Trump to vote for him instead? That question was asked of Cruz in a town hall forum last night on CNN.

Watch Cruz respond to her:

There is a lot about his family background described in his bookI do think that you can look at a person’s family history and choice of spouse to find out more about them. Ted Cruz married a skilled, accomplished, hard-working woman – Heidi Cruz. And his mother studied math and then got a degree in computer science from Rice University.

Obviously, I think that women should stay home with young children when they arrive – that’s what is best for the children and for the marriage. But it helps a man a lot when the woman who makes that decision to put family first has a good education, good experience and maybe even some savings to help with the downpayment on the first home. And I have to say that Heidi Cruz is doing a great job of helping her husband with this election. Her education and skills are assets, not liabilities.