Still More Evidence That No One Who Cares About Individual Liberty, Freedom of Expression And The Increasing Threat Of Totalitarianism In The US Should Live In California Voluntarily…

With AB 2098, California’s legislature passed a bill that would punish doctors offering “false information” on the Wuhan virus and its offspring. It okayed direct government action to punish speech based on content, and was obviously unconstitutional. Naturally, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed it into law anyway: he doesn’t believe in the Bill of Rights, his party doesn’t, and apparently the California voters that keep voting for him and officials like Adam Schiff don’t either.  Their state has devolved into a kind of Bizarro World gradted to the rest of the country, a place that increasingly rejects the underlying values and principles the United States was built on, and increasingly, basic logic as well. Here’s a meme that appeared on Powerline’s always entertaining “The Week in Pictures,” which I heartily recommend:

That’s not even satire. It’s just true, and emblematic of how ethically inert the entire stat has become.

The new law prevents doctors from providing “treatment or advice” “to a patient” “related to COVID-19” when that treatment or advice includes (1) “false information” (2) “that is contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus” (3) “contrary to the standard of care.”  Threatening disciplinary action (such as the loss of one’s license to practice) the law sends “a chilling message to physicians to toe the line.” in Prof. Turley’s words. Though a first year law student would quickly see the measure was unconstitutional, California has California-culture judges. In McDonald v. Lawson one of them held the law to be just fine. Now, however Judge William Shubb (E.D. Cal.) in Hoeg v. Newsom, another challenge to the law, has granting an injunction against its enforcement. Continue reading

The California Task Force On Reparations’ Proposal

I read something about the ridiculous recommendations forthcoming from California’s “Task Force to Study and Recommend Reparations Proposals for African Americans” a while back, and decided that it was just one more indicator of how the entire state had lost its collective mind, that The Great Stupid knows no bounds, and that some things are even too silly for me to write about. Now I think some attention should be paid. Because…

  • The task force reportedly will recommend giving $223,200 each to all descendants of slaves in California, on the theory that it will be a just remedy  for housing discrimination against blacks between 1933 and 1977. The  cost to California taxpayers would be about $559 billion, which is  more than California’s entire annual budget, and that doesn’t include the massive cost of  administrating the hand-outs and dealing with all the law suits it is bound to generate. Obviously, the recommendation is absurd for that reason alone, which makes it pure virtue signaling. The task forces is unethical by definition: spending public money to study an issue and issuing a recommendation that is politically and financially impossible to follow is irresponsible in the extreme.

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More Tales Of The Great Stupid: Legal Jaywalking

Guess why California just legalized jaywalking. Go ahead, guess. You know why.

The misleadingly titled “Freedom to Walk Act”—gee, would the old Twitter regime ban a “Red State” that a called a law that? Because we al have the freedom to walk, except where we know it’s not permitted. Are Californians free to trespass now? I think not—decriminalized jaywalking, which used to carry a fine, as long as the jaywalker isn’t deemed to be putting themselves or others in danger. It goes into effect January 1. Think about what such a law means: violating clearly indicated pedestrian rules that everyone is taught in childhood is now legal. So what are those rules, then? When a rule isn’t enforced, it isn’t a rule. It’s unethical to violate rules, but then California has such shattered and malfunctioning ethics alarms that it’s foolish to expect the government or the public to understand that.

Oh, right, that question: give up? Here’s the answer: the bill’s author, state Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco—I bet you could have guessed where such a law’s author came from too, right?) says jaywalking laws “are arbitrarily enforced and tickets are disproportionately given to people of color and in low-income communities.” Of course that was the rationale. That’s the reason petty theft is legal now in Ting’s city, and why shoplifting is OK. If there’s a law that “criminal of color” violate in numbers disproportionate to their demographic percentages, the easy solution is to just eliminate the law! By this logic, Chicago needs to make murder legal.

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Race Pandering Law Of The Year, And Of Course It’s In California…

…and also of course, master progressive panderer Gov. Gavin Newsom signed it into law.

Newsom signed a bill yesterday to limiting the use of hip-hop lyrics as evidence in the criminal trials of rappers, a blatant sop to the African-American fans of the artists, inevitably black, who have an alarming record for assaulting, battering, raping or killing people

The law, welcomed by rappers, their fans, record producers, record industry executives and Black Lives Matter, is the first in the country to ensure someone’s “creative expression” is not used to “introduce stereotypes or active bias” against a defendant or be used as evidence in a trial against them. Yes, that would be because Assembly Bill 2799 is an unnecessary law that would only surface in one of the very few states so thoroughly addled by extreme Leftist ethics rot that such a monstrosity would even be considered without causing crippling laughing fits. A similar bill in New York failed earlier this year—yes, New York is one of those states.

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Wow! Extreme Ideology And Resistance To Stubborn Reality Leads To Astoundingly Unethical And Irresponsible Policies…

I don’t understand this at all. I don’t understand how intelligent officials—and by “intelligent” here I only mean “smart enough to put their socks on before their shoes”—-can possibly convince themselves that ignoring common sense and the collected wisdom of centuries as well as the acquired knowledge of recent decades will have anything but disastrous results. But here we stand:

  • In June, the California Highway Patrol arrested two men after a search of their vehicle revealed a stash of cocaine and 150,000 fentanyl pills. Based on the amount of drugs involved, they were booked into jail with an initial bail amount of $1 million each. (Fentanyl kills people.) But a pre-trial risk assessment of the suspects resulted in the men being classified  “low risk,” so they were released on their own recognizance without either the local D.A. or law enforcement officials being consulted. The two men, 25-year-old Jose Zendejas and 19-year-old Benito Madrigal, faced up to 14 years in state prison. They were expected to show up back in court on July 21. Shockingly, they did not. Nobody knows where they are.Their release is part of the social justice movement to eliminate bail because it discriminates against poor people. It also helps with the over-incarceration problem, because it allows criminals to get away with their crimes and harm society again, while broadcasting the message to other would be criminals that they are in a low-risk, high rewards profession as long as they stay where fantasy-blinded progressives run things….like California.

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More Evidence (As If More Were Needed) Of Dead Ethics Alarms In California

Five years ago, California passed a law blocking most taxpayer-funded travel to states “deemed” to have passed laws that discriminate against LGBTQ people. The key word is “deemed.” Assembly Bill 1887 was a response to a North Carolina law that required people to use public bathrooms based on the sex shown on their birth certificate. That’s not discrimination. That’s “a legitimate approach to a difficult issue that a powerful voting bloc in California has strong feelings about.” Twelve states landed on California’s first boycott list, and then, on June 28th, the 52nd anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, gay Attorney General Rob Bonta (above) announced that he was adding Florida and four other states to its official travel ban list, claiming that they passed “anti-LGBTQ” laws that are “directly targeting transgender youth.”

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California Makes Its Values Depressingly Clear: Minority Privilege Over Children’s Lives

Forget it, Jake, it’s California Town.

Two days after the Uvalde shooting, as all of California Democrats, progressives and anti-gun zealots were metaphorically screaming “Murderers!” at those who aren’t willing to gut the Second Amendment to pretend that various restrictions would stop evil lunatics like Ramos, the California State Senate voted to end a legal requirement that students who threaten violence against school officials be reported.

The old law mandated that whenever a school official was “attacked, assaulted, or physically threatened by any pupil,” staff must “promptly report the incident to specified law enforcement authorities.”

Gone. So, for example, the teacher in that screenshot above, taken from a video of an in-class assault, would not be obligated to report it. How odd that the state would eliminate such a restriction as the question rages over how so many people aware that the Uvalde shooter was an anti-social, gun-obsessed menace never alerted authorities. What could possibly be California’s thinking?

Oh, come on. It’s easy! I guessed—that proves it’s easy. The ACLU’s statement on why it supports the repeal tells all:

Decades of research show the long-term harm to young people of even minimal contact with the juvenile or criminal legal systems. Once students make contact with law enforcement, they are less likely to graduate high school and more likely to wind up in jail or prison. These harms fall disproportionately on students from marginalized groups: Black, Indigenous, and Latinx students, as well as students with disabilities, are disproportionately referred to law enforcement, cited, and arrested.

Taking the photo above as an example, that student is merely the victim of centuries of systemic racism, and justifiably enraged by a racist white supremacist culture. Reporting him just compounds the injustice.

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Morning Ethics Heat-Up, 5/18/2022: More Judicial Review And Lies

Because I was otherwise obsessed, I missed noting yesterday a true landmark in law and ethics. It was that date in 1954 when a unanimous the  Supreme Court handed down the unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, ruling that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. Linda Brown, a young African American girl had been denied admission to her local elementary school in Topeka, Kansas, because of the color of her skin.

Written in 1896 as the KKK roamed the South, the SCOTUS ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson held that “separate but equal” accommodations in railroad cars conformed to the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection. Plessy was interpreted as justifying segregation in everything from buses to water fountains to elementary schools. The white school Brown attempted to attend was far superior to her the segregation-mandated alternative and miles closer to her home, so The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People  took up Linda’s cause. Thurgood Marshall led Brown’s legal team, and on May 17, 1954, Plessy was overturned after 58 years as “the law of the land” despite the siren call of stare decisus. The opinion written by Chief Justice Earl Warren declared that “separate but equal” was an unconstitutional doctrine in ringing terms: “We conclude that, in the field of public education, the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”  A year later, the Supreme Court published guidelines requiring public school systems to integrate “with all deliberate speed.”

1. Prudent and responsible, if not courageous. Speaking of SCOTUS, newly confirmed Justice-in-Waiting Ketanji Brown Jackson sat for an interview by the Washington Post and was asked about the leak of Justice Alito’s draft opinion in the Dobbs abortion case. Conservative media was triggered by this section:

Q: What was your response when you when you saw the draft leak [of a Supreme Court opinion that would strike down Roe v. Wade]?

A: Everybody who is familiar with the court and the way in which it works was shocked by that. Such a departure from normal order.

Q: Do you think it was a good thing or a bad thing?

A: I can’t answer that.

Q: What do you think about peaceful protests outside of Supreme Court justices’ homes?

A: I don’t have any comment.

Charles Cooke at the National Review writes, “This ranges from somewhere between cowardly and sinister, much like the failure of the justices to issue a joint statement that echoes the chief justice’s condemnation of the leak and statement of determination to identify the leaker, and that condemns the protests, which violate federal law.”

Wrong. SCOTUS justices should not issue opinions on such matters. Her statement that the leak was a breach of the normal order was factual, and breaches of normal order in any institution are unethical. She was right to go no further. As for the demonstrators, some of them may be arrested at some point, and a statement by a Supreme Court Justice regarding their conduct could interfere with a fair trial.

Her responses give me more reason to trust Jackson’s judgment, not less.

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The Road To Totalitarianism: California Shows, Once Again, Which Party Is Driving

Late yesterday, the State Bar of California  announced that Orange County attorney John Eastman (above), a former law school dean, law professor, and a long-time respected member of the bar, is the target of a disciplinary investigation into whether he violated laws while advising President Trump on options available to him in the wake of his election defeat in 2020. Eastman wrote two legal memos that advised Vice President Mike Pence that he could declare that the results in several states were disputed and therefore their electoral votes would go uncounted.  The State Bar’s chief trial counsel, George Cardona, announced  that Eastman has been the center of an investigation since September, saying in part,  “A number of individuals and entities have brought to the State Bar’s attention press reports, court filings, and other public documents detailing Mr. Eastman’s conduct.”

That’s odd: bar investigations of ethics complaints are supposed to be confidential, so complaints can’t be used as political weapons or to impugn lawyers’ reputations. Why is Eastman being treated this way? Oh, I’m sure there is some fine print exception somewhere, but the real reason is obvious from the LA Times story headline yesterday: Breaking News: Trump-connected lawyer John Eastman under investigation.” Eastman is “Trump-connected,” so it’s guilt by association, a Joe McCarthy specialty and a favorite tool of despots for centuries.  Beware, any lawyers out there prepared to give counsel, representation and legal assistance to He Whom Progressives Hate and Fear! There will be consequences. Continue reading

Another Fake Conservative News Or Mainstream Media Cover-Up Conundrum: A School’s Transgender Brainwashing

If this astounding tale is true, then public schools are even more dangerous than I thought they were. If it is false, some conservative provocateurs are getting awfully creative, not to mention bold. In either case, wouldn’t it be great if the U.S. had journalists it could trust to relay the news in an honest and objective fashion?

The Washington Times, New York Post, Fox News, and other conservative news outlets all are reporting that a lawsuit has been filed by Jessica Konen, a California mother, claiming that two teachers and a principal in the Spreckels Union School District manipulated her middle-school daughter into believing she was transgender beginning when she was in the sixth grade.

Starting in 2019, Konen says, teachers recruited her daughter, then 11, into a club for gender anxious students. They “planted” the idea that the student, identified in the lawsuit as “A.G.” was transgender and bisexual, even though she did not understand then what those terms meant. They encouraged her ”to assume a new [male] name and use it at school, but warned her not to tell her mother because she “might not be supportive and that she couldn’t trust her,” Konen’s claim states.

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