Author Archives: DCG

On his way out of office, Chris Christie signs law requiring gun owners to turn in their bump stocks

Chris Christie celebrity softball game for charity at Yankee Stadium June 4, 2015

ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

RINO Chris Christie is out as governor of New Jersey. On his last day, he signed a lot of bills including a bump stock ban. From NJ.com:

New Jersey has now banned “bump stocks,” controversial firearm accessories allegedly used by the shooter in last year’s Las Vegas massacre. The devices can be affixed to semiautomatic riffles to allow them to fire bullets, mimicking automatic weapons.

But under the new law — which takes effect immediately — anyone who owns one has 90 days to surrender them to authorities. Retailers have 30 days.

Christie, a Republican, signed the law even though he has long opposed new gun-control measures in the state.

“We applaud Gov. Christie’s signing into law of a ban on bump stocks, the device used by the Las Vegas mass shooter to effectively turn his weapons into fully automatic machine guns, leading to the largest mass shooting in modern US history,” said The Rev. Robert Moore, executive director of the Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action. “We are very pleased that partisan politics played no part in this move toward making the people of New Jersey safer from such mass shootings.”

For those unfamiliar with bump stocks, here’s an explanation of how they work:

“Bump stocks are simple pieces of equipment that replace the stock of a rifle and add a small “support step” in front of the trigger. The shooter rests his finger on this step and pulls forward on the barrel or forward grip to press the trigger against his finger. The recoil of the shot then propels the rifle backwards into a gap in stationary stock where the loose fit gives the rifle freedom to bounce forward. This, along with sustained forward pressure on the rifle, has the effect of ‘bumping’ the trigger back into the shooter’s unmoving finger. So long as a shooter maintains forward pressure, the rifle will continue to fire at a rate much faster than could be accomplished with even the quickest possible series of manual trigger pulls.”

The end result is “bump firing,” where your semiautomatic firearm shoots bullets much quicker, in a fashion similar to fully automatic mode.

Banning bump stocks will not stop anyone from bump firing. All you need to do this maneuver is your finger and belt loop. See a demonstration video here. It’s really quite simple – I’ve even tried it – although not as masterfully as the guy in the video.

So there’s Christie’s legacy: A ban that violates the Second Amendment and prevents no one, absolutely no one, from practicing bump fire. Good job, RINO.

DCG

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LA Times asks, “Why is liberal California the poverty capital of America?

nancy pelosi tweet

Demorats own this.

Doesn’t take an econ major in junior high to solve this riddle.

Kerry Jackson at the LA Timeswrote this op-ed piece: Guess which state has the highest poverty rate in the country? Not Mississippi, New Mexico, or West Virginia, but California, where nearly one out of five residents is poor. That’s according to the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure, which factors in the cost of housing, food, utilities and clothing, and which includes noncash government assistance as a form of income.

Given robust job growth and the prosperity generated by several industries, it’s worth asking why California has fallen behind, especially when the state’s per-capita GDP increased approximately twice as much as the U.S. average over the five years ending in 2016 (12.5%, compared with 6.27%).

It’s not as though California policymakers have neglected to wage war on poverty. Sacramento and local governments have spent massive amounts in the cause. Several state and municipal benefit programs overlap with one another; in some cases, individuals with incomes 200% above the poverty line receive benefits. California state and local governments spent nearly $958 billion from 1992 through 2015 on public welfare programs, including cash-assistance payments, vendor payments and “other public welfare,” according to the Census Bureau. California, with 12% of the American population, is home today to about one in three of the nation’s welfare recipients.

The generous spending, then, has not only failed to decrease poverty; it actually seems to have made it worse.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, some states — principally Wisconsin, Michigan, and Virginia — initiated welfare reform, as did the federal government under President Clinton and a Republican Congress. Tied together by a common thread of strong work requirements, these overhauls were a big success: Welfare rolls plummeted and millions of former aid recipients entered the labor force.

The state and local bureaucracies that implement California’s antipoverty programs, however, resisted pro-work reforms. In fact, California recipients of state aid receive a disproportionately large share of it in no-strings-attached cash disbursements. It’s as though welfare reform passed California by, leaving a dependency trap in place. Immigrants are falling into it: 55% of immigrant families in the state get some kind of means-tested benefits, compared with just 30% of natives.

Self-interest in the social-services community may be at fault. As economist William A. Niskanen explained back in 1971, public agencies seek to maximize their budgets, through which they acquire increased power, status, comfort and security. To keep growing its budget, and hence its power, a welfare bureaucracy has an incentive to expand its “customer” base. With 883,000 full-time-equivalent state and local employees in 2014, California has an enormous bureaucracy. Many work in social services, and many would lose their jobs if the typical welfare client were to move off the welfare rolls.

Further contributing to the poverty problem is California’s housing crisis. More than four in 10 households spent more than 30% of their income on housing in 2015. A shortage of available units has driven prices ever higher, far above income increases. And that shortage is a direct outgrowth of misguided policies.

“Counties and local governments have imposed restrictive land-use regulations that drove up the price of land and dwellings,” explains analyst Wendell Cox. “Middle-income households have been forced to accept lower standards of living while the less fortunate have been driven into poverty by the high cost of housing.” The California Environmental Quality Act, passed in 1971, is one example; it can add $1 million to the cost of completing a housing development, says Todd Williams, an Oakland attorney who chairs the Wendel Rosen Black & Dean land-use group. CEQA costs have been known to shut down entire homebuilding projects. CEQA reform would help increase housing supply, but there’s no real movement to change the law.

Extensive environmental regulations aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions make energy more expensive, also hurting the poor. By some estimates, California energy costs are as much as 50% higher than the national average. Jonathan A. Lesser of Continental Economics, author of a 2015 Manhattan Institute study, “Less Carbon, Higher Prices,” found that “in 2012, nearly 1 million California households faced … energy expenditures exceeding 10% of household income. In certain California counties, the rate of energy poverty was as high as 15% of all households.” A Pacific Research Institute study by Wayne Winegarden found that the rate could exceed 17% of median income in some areas.

Looking to help poor and low-income residents, California lawmakers recently passed a measure raising the minimum wage from $10 an hour to $15 an hour by 2022 — but a higher minimum wage will do nothing for the 60% of Californians who live in poverty and don’t have jobs. And research indicates that it could cause many who do have jobs to lose them. A Harvard University study found evidence that “higher minimum wages increase overall exit rates for restaurants” in the Bay Area, where more than a dozen cities and counties, including San Francisco, have changed their minimum-wage ordinances in the last five years. “Estimates suggest that a one-dollar increase in the minimum wage leads to a 14% increase in the likelihood of exit for a 3.5-star restaurant (which is the median rating),” the report says. These restaurants are a significant source of employment for low-skilled and entry-level workers.

Apparently content with futile poverty policies, Sacramento lawmakers can turn their attention to what historian Victor Davis Hanson aptly describes as a fixation on “remaking the world.” The political class wants to build a costly and needless high-speed rail system; talks of secession from a United States presided over by Donald Trump; hired former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. to “resist” Trump’s agenda; enacted the first state-level cap-and-trade regime; established California as a “sanctuary state” for illegal immigrants; banned plastic bags, threatening the jobs of thousands of workers involved in their manufacture; and is consumed by its dedication to “California values.” All this only reinforces the rest of America’s perception of an out-of-touch Left Coast, to the disservice of millions of Californians whose values are more traditional, including many of the state’s poor residents.

With a permanent majority in the state Senate and the Assembly, a prolonged dominance in the executive branch and a weak opposition, California Democrats have long been free to indulge blue-state ideology while paying little or no political price. The state’s poverty problem is unlikely to improve while policymakers remain unwilling to unleash the engines of economic prosperity that drove California to its golden years.

h/t PJ Media

DCG

Demorats own this: Previously deported illegal alien accused of killing two cops wishes he’d killed more

illegal luis bracamontes

Illegal alien Luis Bracamontes free to roam in sanctuary California

Demorats choose to provide sanctuary to illegal aliens who kill our citizens. Shame on them.

The death of an American citizen, Kate Steinle, by the hand of an illegal alien, meant absolutely nothing, NOTHING, to them.

SHAME ON THEM.

From Sacramento Bee: There’s never been much dispute over whether Luis Bracamontes shot and killed two Sacramento-area deputies in October 2014.

Hehas repeatedly admitted to it in court hearings, and at the start of his trial Tuesday his own lawyer essentially convicted the illegal immigrant alien of killing Sacramento sheriff’s Deputy Danny Oliver and Placer sheriff’s Deputy Michael Davis Jr. in a daylong spree of violence that started in a Motel 6 parking lot near Arden Fair Mall.

“Let me be clear and up front,” public defender Jeffrey Barbour told the jury hearing his case. “Mr. Bracamontes is responsible for the death of Deputy Danny Oliver and Detective Michael Davis. “He shot them both.”

The statement came during an extraordinary opening day during which the proceedings devolved into a spectacle of the defendant threatening to kill more people, giggling as a prosecutor described his crime spree and his own lawyers once again questioning his sanity.

“I wish I had killed more of the mother——-,” he boasted to the jury as prosecutor Rod Norgaard described the outbreak of violence.

Smiling broadly, Bracamontes added, “I will break out soon and I will kill more, kill whoever gets in front of me … There’s no need for a f—— trial.”

That outburst led to Sacramento Superior Court Judge Steve White briefly removing the jury, then warning Bracamontes. “You will not disrupt this trial, you will not speak out,” White told him. “If you do, you will be removed from the courtroom.”

Barbour, who along with partner Norm Dawson has questioned Bracamontes’ sanity, then asked the judge to reconsider his finding that Bracamontes is mentally competent to stand trial.

“Your motion is denied,” White told Barbour. He then had the jury come back in and instructed them not to pay any attention to what had happened. All of them indicated they could do so, and Norgaard concluded his opening statement just before noon.

Barbour and Dawson then renewed their efforts, asking the judge outside the presence of the jury if they could enter a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.

“We believe Mr. Bracamontes’ outbursts, his laughter, are a function of his mental illness,” Barbour said.

But the judge was having none of it, noting that the issue already had been litigated in previous hearings and that if Bracamontes chooses not to help his lawyers that’s up to him. “He is not incompetent to stand trial,” White declared.

The jury returned after a lunch break and, after Barbour conceded his client killed both deputies, he urged the jurors to listen to evidence presented that may be of use in the penalty phase, when they will have to choose between the death penalty or life in prison if he is convicted.

Bracamontes, 37, an illegal immigrant alien from Mexico, is on trial along with his wife, Janelle Monroy, 41. She faces a possible sentence of life in prison.

Part of the evidence defense attorneys hope will spare Bracamontes from the death penalty is the fact that after his arrest a blood test found an “excessively high” amount of methamphetamine in his system that may have made him paranoid and agitated, and that he wrote a suicide note in the house where he holed up before surrendering to authorities.

“Forgive me, God,” the note read. “Please take me with you. I love you, Janelle.”

Prosecutors say the suicide note was written after Bracamontes turned on the burners of the home’s gas stove and tried to have it ignite to kill him and any officers who rushed in. Instead, Bracamontes crawled out of the house and surrendered meekly.

He is charged with killing both deputies, shooting a motorist in the head to steal his car and wounding another Placer County deputy in Auburn. His wife is accused of assisting Bracamontes after Oliver was killed by helping move an assault-style rifle from car to car as the couple fled authorities.

The case is being heard by two separate juries, one for each defendant. Monroy’s attorney Pete Kmeto attempted in his opening statement to draw a sharp line between Bracamontes’ actions and hers.

“There’s no issue as to whether or not she shot anyone,” Kmeto said. “She didn’t.”

Instead, he portrayed her as a victim who lived in fear of her husband, especially after she saw him kill Oliver. “The evidence is going to show that this woman who loved this man and was married to him for years was stuck in a car with a crazy person,” Kmeto said.

Norgaard, a Sacramento prosecutor who is handling the case with Placer County Deputy District Attorney Dave Tellman, had a different perspective, telling her jury that she moved Bracamontes’ weapon from car to car as the pair embarked on a 40-mile rampage that ended in Auburn.

“They were in it together all along,” Norgaard said.

The case has drawn widespread media attention, partly because of Bracamontes’ status as an illegal immigrant alien and his history of arrests and deportations in Arizona. President Donald Trump has weighed in on the case, mentioning it during a speech to Congress last year and introducing the widow of one of the slain deputies.

Read the rest of the story here.

h/t Twitchy

DCG

Four demorats plan to boycott President’s Trump SOTU address

Fine by me!

From Fox News: Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson added her name to a growing list of Democratic lawmakers who say they are fed up with President Trump and will boycott his State of the Union address at the end of the month.

Wilson, who was elected in 2010 and made headlines last year for fighting with Trump over his telephone call to the widow of a fallen soldier, cited the president’s “recent racist and incendiary remarks about Haiti and African nations” for reasons why she wouldn’t be attending the Jan. 30 speech.

“For the first time since I began serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, I will not be attending the president’s State of the Union address,” Wilson said in a statement late Sunday. “I have no doubts that instead of delivering a message of inclusivity and an agenda that benefits all Americans, President Trump’s address will be full of innuendo, empty promises and lies.”

Wilson joins Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.; Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.; and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., in boycotting the event.

“Why would I take my time to go and sit and listen to a liar?” Waters said on MSNBC over the weekend. “Someone who lies in the face of facts, someone who can change their tune day in and day out. What does he have to say that I would be interested in? I don’t appreciate him and I wouldn’t waste my time sitting in that house listening to what he has to say. He does not deserve my attention.

Lewis made his announcement Friday, citing reports that Trump had referred to some African countries as “s—holes” in a conversation with lawmakers about immigration. “I cannot in all good conscience be in a room with what he has said about so many Americans,” Lewis said on MSNBC Friday. “I just cannot do it. I wouldn’t be honest with myself.”

Blumenauer said he would be skipping the event before Trump’s remarks became public, but said it would be a waste of time and that he was staying home. “Rather than listening to another destructive, divisive speech by Trump, I will not attend this year’s annual address to Congress,” Blumenauer said in a statement. “Instead, like I did during his inauguration, I’ll be working at home listening to Oregonians about what they think about the State of the Union.”

On Sunday, the president addressed the people who are accusing him of being a racist. “I’m not a racist,” Trump told reporters. “I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed. That I can tell you.”

The State of the Union boycott isn’t the only protest planned by Democrats.

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., said she is planning on wearing black in order to stand in solidarity with victims of sexual harassment, while other House lawmakers say they are planning on inviting victims of sexual assault to attend the president’s first State of the Union address. “Some members will be bringing survivors of sexual assault and advocates as their guests,” an aide to Florida Rep. Lois Frankel told NBC News.

Other ideas that have since been nixed include holding mock trials with the women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct.

Trump has denied any claims of sexual misconduct.

Democrats’ boycott of the annual address isn’t something new. In 2016, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, skipped former President Barack Obama’s last State of the Union address. That same year, three conservative Supreme Court judges — Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia — were also a no-show.

Scalia, who died in 2016, had missed the State of the Union address more than a dozen times, and called the event “a childish spectacle.”

DCG

“Transgender” sex robots could be coming to a bedroom near you

real doll transgender

When technology meets transgenderism meets a machine.  Reality is no longer an authentic – or desired – truth.

From The Sun: Transgender sex robots could be a new and exotic way to spice things up in your bedroom. The Sun has learned that the Californian start-up responsible for the female Harmony sex droid is now considering a trans version too.

Realbotix has been constantly in the news in recent months thanks to its revolutionary robot sexual companions. Powered by artificial intelligence software, the lifelike bots have their own personalities, and can even have a conversation with you.

The female Harmony model was launched last year, and a male version was recently announced to be in development.

But a senior Realbotix director has told The Sun that a “transgender” model could be the company’s next big project. “We do believe there is a market not only for transgender, but for any other sexual preferences of gender,” said Guile Lindroth, who heads up AI at Realbotix.

Lindroth said a trans robot is “not out of our plans” once the male robot is in production later this year. He also told The Sun that it’s “not difficult” to re-design the physical robot design for a mixed-sex version.

The AI whiz explains that Realdoll, the company that started Realbotix, “already offers the option of transgender” sex dolls – without robotic functionality, of course.

Realdoll currently offers penis attachments for female sex dolls. And the company offers to create custom-built “trans” dolls for anyone willing to pay.

The challenge, Lindroth admits, is adapting the actual robot software to be compatible with “variations” of Realbotix dolls. “So we are starting with female and male before going further.”

Realbotix recently revealed a new male version of its flagship Harmony sex robot, promising “bionic penises” that would be “better than a vibrator”.

The company is constantly developing its robotics and AI software to make its products more lifelike. Latest models feature a mechanical articulated neck, lip-sync mechanisms for speech, and work with a dedicated app for your smartphone.

Realbotix says its software delivers “the most enjoyable conversation and interaction you can have with a machine”.

But trans activists have doubts about whether so-called “transgender” robots would be a good thing for the LGBT community.

Christine Burns MBE, a trans rights activist for nearly 30 years, told The Sun that a sex droid might just promote “the porn industry’s idea of a ‘she male'”.

She says this is a “creation which some kinds of men get aroused over”, but which bears “no resemblance to everyday trans people”.

“This kind of exploitative fantasy creation simply reinforces the idea that trans women are sexual objects.”

Burns says some men see trans women as “something to be aroused by, but harbouring a surprise package between their legs when undressed. The idea of ‘chicks with dicks’ is a representation created by men to exploit a market.

“I don’t begrudge people getting their thrills in what private way takes their fancy, this is in no way any kind of advancement or ‘acceptance’ for trans people. They spend their lives striving to live an authentic existence.

Speaking to The Sun, Stephanie Davies-Arai, spokesperson at Transgender Trend, added that making a connection between trans people and “so-called ‘chicks with d***s’ pornography” could be harmful. “This of course damages the new carefully-constructed image of transgender as having nothing to do with sexuality or fetish.”

No development work has begun on “transgender” sex robots yet, but male models are due to launch in 2018.

DCG

Beyond “normal” deviations: New Oakland bridge expected to be two years late, $6M over budget

shocked face

If there’s anything that’s normal: massive project overruns in California.

The environmental impact review did not indicate toxic dirt was at the site? Sounds suspicious to me.

From SF Gate: A bridge in Oakland that was supposed to cost no more than $24 million could now come to well over $30 million, and the city says toxic dirt is mostly to blame.

On top of the extra dollars, the project won’t be completed until December — two years later than the original target. Though some City Council members said they felt Oakland was being overcharged, they nonetheless approved the cost increases, reasoning, in part, that most of the funds are from the federal and state governments and that abandoning the contracts midway through construction would be more disastrous than pumping additional money into the work.

“It’s extraordinary,” said Councilwoman Lynette Gibson McElhaney. “It’s way beyond what I consider normal deviations.”

The undertaking to demolish and replace the 50-year-old Embarcadero Bridge that ran over the Lake Merritt Channel, just south of Interstate 880, is part of a years-long seismic safety retrofit program in California to upgrade some 2,000 bridges so they can withstand big earthquakes.

To get it done, the city hired Flatiron as its primary contractor, along with T.Y. Lin International Group, AECOM and Biggs Cardosa Associates. The firms did not respond to requests for comment.

In Oakland, the new bridge will be wider and taller than the old one, giving space for bike lanes and an underpass to connect Lake Merritt and the estuary for small boats. The project also includes better street lighting, landscaping, restrooms and rainwater treatment areas.

The bridge is seen as a critical connection between the Embarcadero Cove, the massive Brooklyn Basin development, Jack London Square and Jingletown.

At the outset, construction was supposed to begin in April 2015 and be done by December 2016. But workers at the site soon came across soil and groundwater contaminated with hydrocarbons — likely from old fuel leaks — plus lead and other metals, according to Sean Maher, spokesman for the city’s Public Works Department. The level of contamination was unexpected.

That required the contractors to erect a special dam and containment booms to prevent the pollution from getting into the bay, Maher said. The soil then had to be tested and sorted by how hazardous it was to determine which type of landfill could safely hold it.

The start of construction was delayed 15 months. A report from the city, which is disputing some of the contractors’ new payment requests, said that as of November just 40 percent of construction was done yet 65 percent of expenditures were gone.

Contamination was only half the story. City officials have repeatedly referred to a permit dispute with the contractors, but have declined to provide details. The parties are now in mediation over the issue as well as disagreements over the cost increases.

“We’ve been fighting with them for months about how much they’re asking, and we haven’t been accepting,” Mohamed Alaoui, a city engineer, told the City Council last month.

The city is trying to figure out what went wrong with an initial environmental review, which didn’t catch the amount of toxins present.

“It can be a challenging science,” Alaoui said. “You go out in the field. You have specific locations where you take samples. You make interpolations from that. You assess risk levels from that, and then you move on. And in this case it did not work.”

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

Worker who “hit wrong button” (twice) about Hawaii’s missile threat feels terrible, will face counseling

hawaii missile alert error

I predicted this person would not be fired. Alas, he’s being “reassigned.”

It’s good to be a government employee.

From Fox News: After Hawaii emergency officials confirmed that an alert about an inbound ballistic missile was a mistake, they said the employee who pushed the wrong button feels awful about the panic-inducing incident.

Vern Miyagi, who oversees the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (EMA), said at a news conference late Saturday that the civil defense employee who pushed the wrong button regrets what took place.

“This guy feels bad, right. He’s not doing this on purpose – it was a mistake on his part and he feels terrible about it,” said Miyagi in a press conference Saturday afternoon.

Miyagi, a retired Army major general, said the employee would be “counseled and drilled so this never happens again,” but he did not say whether there would be disciplinary measures.

Rather than triggering a test of the system, it went into actual event mode. He confirmed that to trigger the alert, there is a two-step process involving only one employee — who both triggers the alarm, then also confirms it.

“There is a screen that says, ‘Are you sure you want to do this?'” Miyagi said. The employee confirmed the alert, inadvertently causing a panic in a state already on edge over saber-rattling missile threats from North Korea. 

Hawaii Gov. David Ige said there wasn’t a process in place to send out a message stating “that this is a false alarm.”

“You know, we were not prepared for that, the fact that an alert was issued that was incorrect,” Ige said. “So we have that built now.”

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG