Tag: California legislature

California Leftists Want To Control How You Eat

Indri Schaelicke | United States

In an effort to promote the local restaurant industry, the city of San Francisco, California is considering adopting a new law that prohibits employees of large tech companies from eating in cafeterias on their campus. The proposed law will achieve this by banning companies from maintaining on-site cafeterias, forcing employees to bring their own food from home or leave the corporate campus to get lunch. Proponents say that enacting this legislation will help the restaurants in the area, which have lost business as companies build on-site cafeterias, to recover and thrive again.

While this move seeks to help small businesses and restaurant workers, it may, in fact, hurt them. Jobs in catering and cafeteria service tend to pay more than those in traditional restaurant settings. Ending jobs in this industry could limit upward mobility in the world of entry-level restaurant jobs.

Companies first started building cafeterias in their buildings in an effort to boost worker productivity. If employees can cut down their lunch break, simply by eliminating a long round trip drive to lunch, they can spend more time working and networking, something that all companies seek to promote. If the proposed legislation passes, workers will be made to take time away from their work habitat which could stunt social enterprise.

Driving off campus decreases the time workers have to be productive and imposes extra costs. Employees will have to spend money on gas and overpriced restaurant food, at a time when the cost of living is already so high. The high volume of employees leaving work to go to lunch will no doubt worsen existing traffic issues. Twitter’s location alone has over 2000 employees, and although the ban only impacts future workplaces being built, imagine the amount of congestion if 2000 employees all descended upon the city at the same time to eat lunch. Forcing people to leave work and eat is not only immoral but will worsen existing traffic.

The fact that the ban only applies to the building of workplaces in the future means that companies will have a hard time starting up or even expanding in Silicon Valley. Businesses will not be able to build new workplaces that have cafeterias on site, which is a huge blow to businesses. Companies offer free on-site lunch as a perk to potential employees, and if they cannot offer this, they cannot attract workers. It is in this way that this ban limits future growth.

The success the proposal has had thus far is concerning as it is a classic example of one group trying to take the rights of the other. Restaurants are trying to take away the right of private property owners, in this case, tech companies, from engaging in whatever business practice they choose to on their own property. It is no business of the state to determine what someone can do on their own property, so long as it does not cause harm to their life, liberty or property. This proposed ban is a direct attack on the principles of private property rights and should not be adopted.

This is just another example of the strangulation that California legislatures have placed on the open market. This past week, Santa Barbara passed a law that will outlaw plastic straws. Along the West Coast of California, the grip of government is becoming ever tighter. Great effort must be made to save whatever shred of liberty is left if totalitarianism is to be avoided. Knowing California’s disdain for liberty and lack of respect for individual rights, it is unlikely that much will be done to stop it.

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California Legislation Goes After “Fundamentalist Christian” Views of Sexuality

By Jason Patterson | California

Does freedom mean freedom to speak, or does it mean freedom to censor speech that you don’t like?

In the state of California, left-wing lawmakers are attempting to pass a bill that would ban the sale of books that includes “fundamentalist” Christian views on sexuality and marriage.

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 to engage in ‘sexual orientation change efforts with an individual,’” according to the National Review.

That’s a lot to be taking in. So let’s break it down, looking at both sides without bias.

• Some Christians threat it could lead to also banning bibles due to verses that could be considered anti-homosexual.

• California is one of the most “queerest” states in the country and San Francisco has more LGBT civilians than any other city in the country.

• This isn’t a simple ban in “public libraries,” but rather a ban on a book being allowed to be sold in any form, private and public.

The bill is sure to spark further controversy. Whether or not it will pass has yet to be determined.

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California or The Ministry of Truth?

By Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial

Due to recent fears over the spread of fake news, various state, local, and national governments, along with private organizations, have worked to halt further dissemination of false information.

The most recent of which is the California state government. SB-1424 outlines strategic plans for dealing with “false information” in the news realm. While this may seem like a good-intentioned piece of legislation meant to protect the marketplace ideas, intentions are not results.

The primary goal of the legislation is as follows:

(a) Any person who operates a social media Internet Web site with physical presence in California shall develop a strategic plan to verify news stories shared on its Internet Web site.

The way they will go about doing this is outlined in the (b) section of the legislation:

(b) The strategic plan shall include, but is not limited to, all of the following:
(1) A plan to mitigate the spread of false information through news stories.
(2) The utilization of fact-checkers to verify news stories.
(3) Providing outreach to social media users regarding news stories containing false information.
(4) Placing a warning on a news story containing false information.

There are many issues with this legislation, and it is an action outside of the boundaries of government authority.

The first problem with any legislation similar to this is that it gives government authority over the truth. Anyone who has read Orwell’s 1984 will wisely be skeptical of any method to do such a thing. When those who have a monopoly on violence are now the arbiters of truth, incentives are skewed in a way so that state power will only increase. As Rothbard said in Anatomy of the State:

For… acceptance [of the state], the majority must be persuaded by ideology that their government is good, wise and, at least, inevitable, and certainly better than other conceivable alternatives.

Any state will seek to make itself seem great in the eyes of the populous. Allowing for the state to have a say in what the news can and cannot sets a precedent that would allow it to take incremental steps and eventually sway all of the media in favor of its power (assuming it has not already).

The founders of the United States saw the media as a check on government. It is why we have freedom of the press embodied in the first amendment. They had good reason to do this, for the incentives for government do not pressure it to limits itself. An outside apparatus must limit it, one of which is the press.

It shouldn’t be the other way around.

Sub-point 2 requires organizations to use “fact-checkers.” The problem with this is that getting news startups have tight resources. A professional or state-approved “fact-checker” may be a drain on resources that will keep potential news companies out of the game. This decreases competition and increases the risk of monopoly.

That is not the only way that they “little guy” will be trampled upon. The “fake news” Trump and the MAGA crowd is upset with is astronomically different than that which a left-leaning government such as California’s will be upset with. While a Trumpian anti-fake news crusade would go after organizations like CNN, left-leaning fake news witchhunts are going to target alternative media sources, which tend to have fewer resources to defend themselves.

There is not going to be a nonbiased way of keeping the news real. Somebody is going to have an agenda, and that will be pushed. If you have doubts, ask yourself the question: Is the government of California really going to go after green or liberal media that is based in their state?

This legislation also intensifies the view of the state as a maternal entity. The government doesn’t think Californians are wise enough to discern between real and fake news, so it sweeps in and does it for them. While that should be insulting to all Californians, it also turns the state into a nanny of sorts. A nanny state causes individuals to throw their problems towards the government. People quite literally turn into grown-up babies.

Although many of the impacts of planks of this legislation seem far-fetched, it is a matter of the principle behind the matter and the precedent the legislation will set. When you expand government authority into a realm without any sort of proper limiting mechanisms, there is no reason to believe it will stop itself there.

The government has no incentive to limit itself, so we should be fighting back every time it tries to move an inch. Because if you give the state an inch, it will take a mile and half your paycheck.

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California House Leader Proposes a Ban on Restaurants Offering Unsolicited Straws

By Owen Heimsoth | CALIFORNIA

If AB-1884 passes through Congress in California, your waiter or waitress will not be able to offer you a straw.

The assembly bill reads, “This bill would prohibit a food facility, as specified, where food may be consumed on the premises from providing single-use plastic straws to consumers unless requested by the consumer. By creating a new crime and imposing additional enforcement duties on local health agencies, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.”

Regarding potential fines, it says “Existing law requires, except as otherwise provided, a person who violates any provision of the code to be guilty of a misdemeanor with each offense punishable by a fine of not less than $25 or more than $1,000, or by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not exceeding 6 months, or by both.”

The rest of the bill can be found here.

Voleck Taing, a senior assistant to Assemblyman Calderon, had an interview with Reason and said they intend to amend the bill to remove the fines. A ban on offering straws would remain.

This bill was proposed by Rep. Ian Calderon. He is the Democratic majority leader of California’s lower house.

“We need to create awareness around the issue of one-time use plastic straws and its detrimental effects on our landfills, waterways, and oceans,” stated Majority Leader Calderon.  “AB 1884 is not ban on plastic straws.  It is a small step towards curbing our reliance on these convenience products, which will hopefully contribute to a change in consumer attitudes and usage.”

It is unknown how many straws end up in waterways, but the California Coastal Commission during its annual Coastal Cleanup Day found a total of 835,425 straws and stirrers since 1988, or about 4.1 percent of debris collected.

The National Parks Service “The Be Straw Free Campaign” stated that Americans use 500 million drinking straws a day. It is obviously unknown about how many of these appear in waterways each day.

At 9 years old, Milo Cress started this campaign saying, “Plastic straws are made of our dwindling oil resource, and simply by offering them instead of serving one with every drink automatically, we can reduce our consumption in half or more.” He also added that 50 to 80 percent of people decline a straw when offered, but this cannot be confirmed.

This isn’t the first time this idea has been thrown around. San Luis Obispo and Davis cities in California have made a similar ban and up in Seattle, restaurants won’t be allowed to offer plastic straws or utensils as of July.

Image from Berkleyside.


California Kicks Off 2018 With Statewide Legalization Of Marijuana, Kinda

By Emily Merrell | CALIFORNIA

A law in California kicked in on the New Year allowing anybody 21 or over to grow up to six plants of marijuana, own one ounce, as they join Oregon, Colorado, and New Mexico into recreational pot legalization. California legislature voted on the law in November 2016, which has given many licensed retailers to sell marijuana.

“It’s been so long since people could walk into a place and feel safe and secure and be able to get something good without going into  a back alley.” Says Jeff Deakin who waited outside a dispensary with his wife in Oakland before opening.

While the laws are not perfect; no purchasing before 6 AM or after 10 PM, no use in vehicles (even if you’re a passenger), no smoking in public places, etc. this is only one step in a direction towards freedom for drug users.

Marijuana purchasers will also be heavily taxed, as they are in other states where the plant is legalized. California is imposing an increase of 15% tax on all pot sales and in Oakland taxes for pot users will increase from 14.25% to 34.25%. This is creating a 70% increase in marijuana cost overall for users, which will give the state a predicted seven billion dollars in revenue.

While this looks like a step in the right direction, it also isn’t. The state is using the drug to increase taxation which is unnecessary. Yes, marijuana users can now smoke freely in private places. But, they will also have heavy regulation and have to pay a huge price for it. This is the same case in other marijuana legalized states, however, it just proves that the state is here to regulate what we do no matter what.

However, there is one more bright side. The more states that legalize marijuana, the less evil it will look like to the public eye that still alienates it. The people may even start to judge the state more and question its regulations. This is one step in the right direction while giving pot users the right to put what they want in their body. We still have a long way to go, though.