28 Jan

CA to Ban Straws? Another Law that Sucks

Watching and writing on CA politics is difficult because not only are our elected officials mostly demagogues trying to sound important but the media who reports on them basically runs on Press Releases.

Let us take the example of (D) Assembly Majority Leader Ian Calderon’s newest bit of brilliance – banning plastic straws from restaurants.

If you were to read the media accounts of this you’ll see that under this newest piece of nanny-state-paternalism, waiters could be fined up to $1,000 for offering you a straw (Google News Screen shot presented as evidence with highlights added).

Google Straw Law Results

Sometimes a new agency will dig into some of the pertinent details such as when Reason Magazine pointed out that the 500 Million Straws # being cited by Calderon is nonsense: Read More

27 Jan

Season 2, Episode 4 – Jerry Brown Likes Trains

In this episode, technical stupidity aside, we talk about Kevin Kiley again in regards to his 10 Questions for Governor Brown as well and Joshua rips a little into his 10 Reasons to vote for Kiley.

We also look at Gov. Jerry Brown’s final State of the State address, specifically this nonsense:

The funds that SB 1 makes available are absolutely necessary if we are going to maintain our roads and transit systems in good repair. Twenty-five other states have raised gas taxes. Even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has called for a federal gas tax because the highway trust fund is nearly broke.

Government does what individuals can’t do, like build roads and bridges and support local bus and light rail systems. This is our common endeavor by which we pool our resources through the public sector and improve all of our lives. Fighting a gas tax may appear to be good politics, but it isn’t. I will do everything in my power to defeat any repeal effort that may make it to the ballot.

Since I have talked about tunnels and transportation, I will bring up one more item of infrastructure: high-speed rail. I make no bones about it. I like trains and I like high-speed trains even better. So did the voters in 2008 when they approved the bond. Look, 11 other countries have high-speed trains. They are now taken for granted all over Europe, in Japan and in China. President Reagan himself said in Japan on November 11, 1983: “The State of California is planning to build a rapid speed train that is adapted from your highly successful bullet train.” Yes, we were, and now we are actually building it.

Like any big project, there are obstacles. There were for the Bay Area Rapid Transit System, for the Golden Gate Bridge and for the Panama Canal. But build it they did and build it we will — America’s first high-speed rail system. One link between San Jose and San Francisco — an electrified Caltrain — is financed and ready to go. Another billion, with matching funds, will be invested in Los Angeles to improve Union Station as a major transportation hub and fix the Anaheim corridor.