Tag: California

You Can Thank President James Polk for This Nation

John Keller | @keller4liberty

James K. Polk, the 11th President of the United States, mastered the art of diplomacy and foreign policy. Polk successfully used diplomacy to situate the United States as the dominant power in North America by securing the northern border with the British Empire as well as engineering a war with Mexico to acquire the American southwest.

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Black Belts Banned in California Over Public Safety Concern

Ryan Lau | @agorisms | Satire

In a shocking new development in California Sunday afternoon, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a law that would ban martial artists from becoming black belts. The measure passed through state legislature easily after the murder of an innocent man at the hands of a karate black belt.

Three weeks ago, 35-year-old dojo owner Jason Shreve was walking home from work when a masked man attacked him with a knife. In defense, he disarmed and broke the leg of the man, who died that night from hypothermia. One state senator called the act “inexcusable”, pointing to a recent rise in attacks by martial artists and comparing it to gun violence.

“You simply don’t see this pattern in other developed countries”, asserted Toni Atkins, the state’s Senate President pro Tempore. “And in those countries, people aren’t allowed to just turn themselves into military-grade weapons. This measure will certainly help to keep citizens of California safe”.

Penalties for Black Belts

The bill, which goes into effect March 1st, makes it a felony to knowingly promote a karate student to the rank of black belt or higher. Existing black belts may keep their positions, but may not advance in degree. Dojo owners in violation of the law will face a minimum fine of $100,000 and up to three years in prison. Black belts caught seeking training will also face a smaller fine of $5,000 for the first offense.

Additionally, it outlines severe penalties for practicing self-defense techniques in the real world. Lower ranks may continue to practice only in registered dojos. Anyone learning or teaching martial arts beyond a state-recognized location may face up to a year’s imprisonment. Black belts doing the same may also be subject to treason charges. The bill makes it clear that the government provides security for its citizens; therefore, the only reason people would need to turn themselves into weapons is to use themselves against the state.

In efforts to pacify martial artists in the state, California will be voluntarily buying back all black belts from March 1st to June 1st. Compensation will vary depending on the age of the belt and what school it came from. However, lawmakers warn that any citizen hoping to pass off their normal black belt for a martial arts black belt will face stiff penalties.

America’s Martial Arts Problem

Proponents of the law have pointed out how easy it is to begin martial arts training in America. Brown has previously noted that “it’s easier to begin the road to a black belt than it is to get birth control. You can just walk into a dojo and sign a form; the next thing you know, they’re converting your body into a deadly weapon. This practice is not American and does not represent the values we preach in California. I hope other states can follow our lead and bring this country out of the dark”.

All in all, the state legislature echoed Brown’s sentiment. They believe that the new measure will help to deter violence. Despite this, minority rights groups believe that the new law will unfairly affect minority colors.

“The government is clearly banning black belts while allowing white belts to still train”, remarked minority rights activist from the group Black Belts Matter. “I thought that we had abandoned these policies 50 years ago, but it appears discrimination in America is still rampant”.

Currently, seven other states require all martial artists to register themselves with authorities as lethal weapons. This move is unique thus far to the Golden State. However, the United Kingdom recently passed a similar measure that strictly outlawed all martial arts in formal dojos.


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LA Teachers Strike: Class Sizes Are Not to Blame

Michael Ottavio | United States

Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Teacher’s Union went on strike. In doing so, they turned down the two-year contract that would have given all teachers a roughly 3% raise each year. This led to a roughly 30,000-strong LA teachers strike to demand more funding and, most of all, lower class sizes.

It is no secret that California does not have the best public school system in the nation. As a state, California regularly ranks among the bottom 25. As USA Today reported, only 29.2% of fourth graders in the state of California are proficient in math, and 27.8% in reading. In addition, California has a graduation rate of about 83%, the 21st lowest in the country. However, California also has an average teacher’s salary of $77,000, the third highest in the country. There is some disconnect happening in California, and the students are not to blame.

The LA Teachers Strike

With chants like “Hey hey! Ho ho! We’re fighting to keep class size low,” this teachers strike is mostly about putting a cap on the number of students per class.  The strikers also got a statement from newly elected congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in several tweets. One stated that she was “Very proud of L.A. public school teachers today for taking a stand. Teachers are the unsung heroes of American democracy. Today they’re putting everything on the line so our nation’s children can have a better shot.”

Faulty Logic

It is no surprise that progressives in Congress and around the country are supporting the striking teachers. However, the logic doesn’t seem to hold up very well. There is little evidence to support the claims that lower class sizes will lead to better outcomes for students. Other countries such as Japan and Korea have class sizes that greatly outnumber class sizes in the U.S. Coincidentally, those same countries also test into the top ten most educated in the world.

Image result for class sizes by country usa today
Class size around the world

The Brookings institute has reported that even though there have been some studies that show a reduction in class size increases student achievement, there have been other studies that show the opposite or no effect at all. These studies list California as a state in which experimenting with lower class sizes yielded mix results. Currently, the evidence does not show a definitive correlation between lower class sizes and better student performance.  Results like that hold questionable relevance to legislative action.

No Improvements to Come

To clarify, people should always have the right to seek out as much money as they can make and the conditions in which they want to work under. However, the cause ceases to be morally justifiable when seeking more funding comes at the expense of the taxpayers you’re failing. These government-funded unions are holding over half a million students and their parents over a barrel.

The state of California has shown us many times that pouring millions into public education does not work. Of course, it is not going to work this time. Our country’s education system is failing. The same teachers who are failing their students by being ineffective are going to continue to do that whether the class size is 30 or 40. Until we see a massive education reform in our country and get rid of the tenure system that prevents the firing of ineffective teachers, public unions are going to continue to take advantage of the taxpayers that fund them. As a result, our students will continue to suffer for it.


71 Republic is the Third Voice in media. We pride ourselves on distinctively independent journalism and editorials. Every dollar you give helps us grow our mission of providing reliable coverage. Please consider donating to our Patreon.

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Gun Groups File Lawsuit in Defense of California Gun Owners

Thomas DiGennaro | United States

The FPC is at it again, furiously defending gun owners and their rights. This time, they have partnered with the Calguns Foundation, the Second Amendment Foundation, and the Madison Society Foundation to file a joint suit against the State of California, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, California DOJ Bureau of Firearms Chief Martin Horan, and California Deputy Attorney General Robert Wilson. This suit is filed by legal representation for two California residents, as well as the previously listed advocacy groups.

The two residents are Chad Lipton and Paul McKinley have previously (decades ago) been convicted of non-violent felonies in states outside of Californias jurisdiction, have had those felonies vacated by their respective courts, and have no federal prohibitions against firearm ownership. However, California DOJ has still not afforded them and outright denies them, their firearm purchases. The California DOJ is awfully aware that Arizona and Washington (the courts of original jurisdiction) have restored and recognized their Second Amendment Rights, which is a key factor in this lawsuit being filed.

This contradiction between Washington and Arizona’s courts to California’s courts extends the unconstitutionality of the matter from solely the Second Amendment to the Fourteenth Amendment as well, specifically the “full faith and credit” clause. Plaintiffs also argue that this contradiction occurs because California and its DOJ has set out to prevent as many citizens from being armed as they can make a legal justification for, no matter how remote or unconstitutional. They have “ignored the judgments and pronouncements of the courts of other states because they do not prefer the policy outcome“, and thus the Fourteenth Amendment violations. While California isn’t exactly known as the most gun-friendly state, there are still over 4.2 million gun owners residing within its borders, and many of the elected officials, as well as chief law enforcement, are working very hard to reduce that number. 

“The question presented by this case is whether the State of California, through its chief law enforcement officers, can prevent current California residents who are not federally or otherwise prohibited from purchasing and possessing firearms if their previously-disqualifying offenses, which occurred in other states, have been vacated, and especially when their fundamental, individual rights have been fully restored to them by courts of competent jurisdiction in those respective states”, reads the first lines of the key filings of the legal suit.

Firearms Policy Coalition is a well run, fierce, and vehemently pro-gun advocacy group that puts the dollars you give them towards legal action to defend the rights of gun owners in all fifty states. Prior to their role in this suit, they filed two separate suits against the ATF and the Trump Administration for the bump-fire stock ban and are actively devoting time and resources to the cause they stand for, unlike the NRA, who don’t earnestly fight for your gun rights.


71 Republic is the Third Voice in media. We pride ourselves on distinctively independent journalism and editorials. Every dollar you give helps us grow our mission of providing reliable coverage. Please consider donating to our Patreon.

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Minimum Wage Raises Are Causing Price Hikes – Just As Expected

By Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial

For us it’s very simple. There’s no big pot of money out there to get the money out of.

That was the statement of Mike Wiggins, owner of Granny Schaffer’s restaurant in Joplin, Missouri. He is being forced to raise the prices of food items up to 20 cents for one reason: the minimum wage increase.

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