Video: When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns

California Important / Relevant Gun Laws: 

It is unlawful to carry a loaded rifle, shotgun, or handgun in any public place or on any public street in an incorporated area or an area where firing a firearm is prohibited. Furthermore the open carry of any handgun, loaded or unloaded in an incorporated area has now been banned. 

In California, a firearm is considered loaded if unexpended ammunition capable of being used in the firearm is in a position from which it can be fired.

NRA-ILA

So, how are those new strict gun laws working in Oakland, California?

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Judging from the above video, not too well.

As its been said Ad nauseam, When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

Video shamelessly lifted from TTAG.

Benefits Street: A look at the type of ‘social prison’ the American left is trying to create here

As has been said over and over here at MCT, if you want to know what our future here in America holds, look at Europe. The American left is strangely enamoured with all things European: Socialized medicine (a disaster), green energy (failing) and a cradle to grave welfare state (another disaster).

As we here in the U.S. head down the European path, there are small signs that at least some people in the U.K. are slowly opening their eyes to the fact their generous social welfare system is an abysmal failure, is a recent, television series called benefits Street. The show (the most watch T.V. show in Britain) is described as follows:

Those expecting ‘poverty porn’ would be baffled: it is a fly-on-the-wall documentary shot in James Turner Street in Birmingham, where most occupants of the 99 houses are on welfare. Its characters speak for themselves. As quickly becomes clear, they are overwhelmingly kind, neighbourly and surprisingly upbeat, given that they are, in effect, inmates in a social prison.

The story continues and describes life in the ‘social prison’ constructed by the welfare state:

Life in this prison is pretty shocking. We see 14 Romanian workers crammed into one house expecting to be paid decent salaries, only to find they have been conned and the gangmaster will pay them each only £10 a day. (The immigrants seem routinely appalled by the other residents of James Turner Street, stunned that the British could be asked to live in such a way). We see a young woman visiting the bank machine at the stroke of midnight, when her welfare payment is processed, then immediately buying booze. We see a small boy, Gerard, hanging out with drug addicts as they drink on the street. ‘He knows way too much for a five-year-old,’ says ‘White Dee’, his mother. ‘What is there for him? Destined to grow up and be part of a gang? Because that’s society, isn’t it?’ Around there, it is.

The Spectator (U.K.) breaks down the math keeping people in government sponsored poverty:

The biggest scandal of Benefits Street, which Channel 4 is unlikely to reveal, is that White Dee is behaving rationally in deciding not to work. This is not something ministers like to divulge, but Policy in Practice, a welfare and employment consultancy, has run the figures for The Spectator. Dee is a single mother with two young children. Were she to earn, say, £90 a week as a cleaner, then the system would reduce her benefits by £70 — an effective tax rate of 78 per cent on that £90 she’s earned. She’d thus be slaving away all week for £20 — far less than the minimum wage.

It doesn’t get too much better higher up the scale. If she landed a £23,000-a-year job, her effective tax rate would still be 74 per cent – so she’d end up just £5,975 a year better-off than if she’d spent the year sitting on the sofa watching daytime TV and chatting to her pals on the street. If she then worked extra hours, or earned a pay rise, she’d keep a pitiful 9p in every extra pound paid. This is nothing to do with indolence. Which of us would work at a 91 per cent tax rate?

Sound familiar? Does this sound liberating? This is the scam Democrats in washington are peddling through the nonsense that freedom from work is liberating.

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I think the term the social prison is more fitting. Here’s a trailer for Benefits Street:

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Too bad our lap-dog networks here in the U.S. don’t have the nerve to create a show critical of the liberal agenda.

Anyone surprised that Democrats say not having to drag your butt out of bed every morning and go to work is ‘liberating’

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Why is anyone amazed by the Democrats insistence that not having to drag your butt out of bed every morning and go add value to the economy is, in their words, liberating? Via Rush:

Ladies and gentlemen, I sit here today, I am — yeah, I guess I’ll admit it. I am somewhat amazed. Last week, even though I knew this was coming, even though on Friday I predicted it to you, I’ll let you hear the prediction again in a moment just to refresh your memory. When the CBO report came out, the revised CBO report, they have now additional years of Obamacare to plug into the formula, and they learn that Obamacare is gonna kill even more jobs than originally thought. Two and a half million additional jobs killed by 2017 or 2018.

Now, in your old standard America that would have been devastating news for everybody. But the spokesman for the president, Jay Carney, came out and praised it, said it’s a good thing. These people are now liberated from the pressures of having to find a job in order to get health care. And then Nancy Pelosi came out and repeated her philosophy that this is one of the greatest bits of news that’s happened in her professional lifetime. Finally people are not gonna have to work in order to have health care in America. And then the New York Times picked up on it and endorsed the concept and said this is a liberating thing, finally.

This should surprise no one, since the American lefts has pushed the idea that government should be the solution to all of life’s ills has been around since at least FDR’s Second Bill of Rights announced in the State of the Union Address in 1944:

Let us remember the lessons of 1918. In the summer of that year the tide turned in favor of the allies. But this Government did not relax. In fact, our national effort was stepped up. In August, 1918, the draft age limits were broadened from 21-31 to 18-45. The President called for “force to the utmost,” and his call was heeded. And in November, only three months later, Germany surrendered.
That is the way to fight and win a war—all out—and not with half-an-eye on the battlefronts abroad and the other eye-and-a-half on personal, selfish, or political interests here at home.
Therefore, in order to concentrate all our energies and resources on winning the war, and to maintain a fair and stable economy at home, I recommend that the Congress adopt:

  1. A realistic tax law—which will tax all unreasonable profits, both individual and corporate, and reduce the ultimate cost of the war to our sons and daughters. The tax bill now under consideration by the Congress does not begin to meet this test.
  2. A continuation of the law for the renegotiation of war contracts—which will prevent exorbitant profits and assure fair prices to the Government. For two long years I have pleaded with the Congress to take undue profits out of war.
  3. A cost of food law—which will enable the Government (a) to place a reasonable floor under the prices the farmer may expect for his production; and (b) to place a ceiling on the prices a consumer will have to pay for the food he buys. This should apply to necessities only; and will require public funds to carry out. It will cost in appropriations about one percent of the present annual cost of the war.
  4. Early reenactment of the stabilization statute of October, 1942. This expires June 30, 1944, and if it is not extended well in advance, the country might just as well expect price chaos by summer. We cannot have stabilization by wishful thinking. We must take positive action to maintain the integrity of the American dollar.
  5. A national service law—which, for the duration of the war, will prevent strikes, and, with certain appropriate exceptions, will make available for war production or for any other essential services every able-bodied adult in this Nation.

These five measures together form a just and equitable whole. I would not recommend a national service law unless the other laws were passed to keep down the cost of living, to share equitably the burdens of taxation, to hold the stabilization line, and to prevent undue profits.
The Federal Government already has the basic power to draft capital and property of all kinds for war purposes on a basis of just compensation.
As you know, I have for three years hesitated to recommend a national service act. Today, however, I am convinced of its necessity. Although I believe that we and our allies can win the war without such a measure, I am certain that nothing less than total mobilization of all our resources of manpower and capital will guarantee an earlier victory, and reduce the toll of suffering and sorrow and blood.

Really, does it surprise anyone that Democrat (socialists) such as Obama and his cohorts are cheering the idea of liberating people from work?

obama sittingWhen you think about it, Obama and FDR are two sides of the same coin.

Detroit small business closes, cites government bureaucracy, regulations and corporate welfare

Businesses fail all the time, it’s the painful part of capitalism. That being said, small business shouldn’t have the deck stacked against them by the government.

The ‘Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe’ in Midtown Detroit (the growth area in Detroit) failed after being in business for 18 months. The main reason the small business failed is due to competition from big box retailer Whole Food Market and Meijer moving into their area which, by the way, took a whole lot of corporate welfare to make happen.

Via MCT (6/5/2013):

15 years to build a grocery store. Not only 15 years, it also took a whole lot of corporate welfare as well:

Despite the store’s prominent neighbors, it took a lot of heavy lifting to complete the deal. The $12.9 million Whole Foods store was financed with $6.1 million in equity from Ram and Whole Foods. Ram contributed 1.9 acres of land for the store valued at about $1 million, said Peter Cummings, chairman of Ram. The remaining $5.8 million came from state and local grants and the sale of tax credits tied to the project.

Whole Foods should send Michigan taxpayers a big thank-you note.

Even though Whole Foods moved into their neighborhood (with a ton of corporate welfare) our hard working entrepreneurs cite several additional reasons for going under that are worth reviewing:

 “There is no doubt that when (Whole Foods) opened, our sales dropped by 60% and have remained close to that ever since,” the brothers said in statement posted Saturday on the store’s website. “We knew when they announced their store in Detroit that we would have to evolve quickly once they opened.

We were close to acquiring a package liquor license and wanted to expand the craft beer and fine wine which really found a loyal audience,” the statement said. “We designed the store to be a one-stop food and beverage destination but that would take time and money, and with our high labor, leasehold, and utility costs, we couldn’t survive long enough to make the necessary changes and additions.”

“From the beginning, we supported the Whole Foods project because we believed that in the end, the city would need that just as much as our store. No city thrives with one dimensional retail. But in short term it did eliminate our chance. We were also a bit blindsided by the lower pricing structure Whole Foods was able to put in place at the Midtown store.

The State of Michigan bureaucracy slowed the entrepreneurs from obtaining a package liquor licence. Also, the State of Michigan established a Renewable Energy Standard that’s responsible for driving up electrical costs and lastly, the minimum wage law that drives up labor costs.

I wonder workers at Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe would take a temporary pay cut to something less than minimum wage in order to keep their jobs in the long term? Not that the owners of the Butcher Shoppe could make that offer, it’s against the law.

It’s Not Easy Being Green: Solar Thermal Energy Challenges Drought-Stricken California

solar thermal energy

Not only does those goofy solar thermal energy sites chew up copious amounts of land (measured in square miles) for paltry amounts of electricity, this type of solar energy plant also consumes vast amounts of water in the process:

California’s ambitious goal of getting a third of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030 is being tested by its driest year on record, part of a multiyear drought that’s seriously straining water supplies. The state plan relies heavily on solar thermal technology, but this type of solar power also typically consumes huge quantities of water.

The drought is already forcing solar thermal power plant developers to use alternative cooling approaches to reduce water consumption. This will both raise costs and decrease electricity production, especially in the summer months when demand for electricity is high. Several research groups across the country are developing ways to reduce those costs and avoid reductions in power output.

Do tell…

Solar thermal power plants use large fields of mirrors to concentrate sunlight and heat water, producing steam that spins power-plant turbines. Utilities like them because their power output is much less variable than power from banks of solar panels (see “BrightSource Pushes Ahead on Another Massive Solar Thermal Plant” and “Sharper Computer Models Clear the Way for More Wind Power”).

The drawbacks are that solar thermal plants generate large amounts of waste heat, and they consume a lot of water for cooling, which is usually done by evaporating water. Solar thermal plants can consume twice as much water as fossil fuel power plants, and one recently proposed solar thermal project would have consumed about 500 million gallons of water a year.

And these power plants produce very little electricity compared to traditional sources of electrical power.The SolarReserve concentrating solar thermal energy plant in Nevada will produce a measly 110 MW of power compared to a gas powered peaker station that produces 9 times the power on 30 acres of land.

Just think, if California would come to their senses, they could construct a natural gas fired power plant to run a desalination plant that would help alleviate drought conditions in the state.

It will never happen….

Why economic growth is a good thing

One thing missing from political discussions in Washington is the concept of economic growth. Why economic growth is important is, growth makes everyone’s life better.

Take it away  Dr Madsen Pirie, President of the Adam Smith Institute:

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It is so true that average people today live like the wealthy did in the 1950′s. If you go back 200 years, you get this, via Cato:

In Sunday’s Washington Post, Jonathan Yardley reviews Flyover Lives, a family memoir by Diane Johnson. She found diaries from some of her Midwestern ancestors, and Yardley notes what they tell us:

It must be just about impossible for a denizen of middle-class 21st-century America to imagine the toil and suffering that Catharine Martin [born 1800] and her counterparts underwent every day: living in crude houses — mere huts when they first settled in Illinois and elsewhere — slaving at open fires to prepare food for their families, and worst of all watching children fall ill and having nothing in their powers to help them: “Within a year of her marriage, with the fated fertility of women then, Catharine had her first baby, and named her Catharine Anne, after herself. They called her Sissie. This baby was followed by Charlotte Augusta in 1830 and Martha Olivia in 1831. When they were one, three, and five years old, all three little girls died in the space of a week or two.” Catharine herself was ill but survived to write many years later: “When I got up, my house was empty, three little prattlers all gone, not one left.”

Economic growth, not Federally mandated minimum wage, crony capitalism, central planning made these amazing leaps in standard of living happen.

After the hype: Solar power has increased from 0.02% to 0.2% of our generating capacity

It is always humorous when green energy fans try explaining how windmills and solar are the future of electrical generation considering how old windmills and solar (photovoltaic) power actually is.

Wind power’s been around forever and most people don’t realize how old the photovoltaic principle (solar power) is. The photovoltaic principle was discovered way back in 1839.
PHOTOVOLTAIC CELL - Google Patents

The development of solar cell technology begins with the 1839 research of French physicist Antoine-César Becquerel. Becquerel observed the photovoltaic effect while experimenting with a solid electrode in an electrolyte solution when he saw a voltage develope when light fell upon the electrode.

What discovery are people expecting in the next 5-10 years that wasn’t discovered in the previous 175 years?

These facts didn’t stop Obama and his green warriors.

However time has proven that the Victorian era photovoltaic technology isn’t delivering as promised. After the hype, billions of dollars plowed into failing solar power companies, edicts, REC’s and EPA standards our government was only able to move the renewable energy needle slightly from 0.02% of our total electricity generating profile to a miniscule 0.2%.

Solar power, which President Barack Obama promoted in his State of the Union Address, accounted for 0.2 percent of the U.S. electricity supply in the first nine months of 2013, according to data published by the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration.

That is up from the 0.02 percent of the total electricity supply that solar power sources provided in 2008, the last calendar year before Obama took office.

It would be fun to point and laugh at the stupidity of it all if it wasn’t for the real damage to average Americans due to increased energy costs.

Nonetheless, electricity has gotten more expensive since 2008—with the electricity price index now at its all-time high.

In December 2009, the month before Obama took office, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ seasonally adjusted electricity index was 193.965. In December 2013, it hit a record 203.186. In December 2008, the average price for a kilowatt hour of electricity in the United States was 12.4 cents. In December 2013, it was 13.1 cents—the most expensive electricity has ever been in December.

You can’t say Obama didn’t warn us…

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And low information voters still voted for this guy.

The rules are the rules: County shut down 11 year old girl’s cupcake business

Madison County, Illinois health department shut down 11 year old Chloe Stirling’s thriving cupcake business.

Why? Because she failed to prepare her cupcakes in a county inspected kitchen.

No, really:

Chloe Stirling, of Troy, makes about $200 a month selling cupcakes baked in her family’s kitchen, charging $10 for a dozen and $2 for specialty cupcakes, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

On Monday, the Madison County Health Department put an end to Chloe’s baking endeavor after a front-age article on the successful enterprise appeared in the Belleville News-Democrat.

“They called and said they were shutting us down,” Chloe’s mother, Heather Stirling, told the Post-Dispatch, adding that in order for Chloe to continue selling cupcakes, the family would need to “buy a bakery or build her a kitchen separate from the one we have.”

Amy Yeager, a health department spokeswoman, told the newspaper the county was only applying the law governing businesses that sell and distribute food to the general public.

“The rules are the rules. It’s for the protection of the public health,” Yeager said. “The guidelines apply to everyone.”

What is wrong with people?