Into The Belly Of The Beast

San Francisco and Sacramento, watch out! Here comes Crazifornia!

At 7 a.m. this Monday, Dec. 10, I’ll be talking Crazifornia on the Armstrong & Getty Show, which airs on KKSF 910 AM in San Francisco and KSTE 650 AM in Sacramento. This is really exciting, because the battered minority of people who “get it” in those two cities need some moral support, and the vast majority in both cities definitely need to hear what their crazy politics and policies are doing to this once-wonderful state.

The show also airs in Stockton on 1280 KWSX. Stockton, as you may recall, recently filed for bankruptcy, so folks there could use a little Crazifornia, too.

If you’re in listening range and aren’t still sleeping, tune in! You can also listen online by clicking the “Listen” tab here. A podcast also is available.

The Impossibility of the Possible

“Ho, Ho, Ho! was the caption for my agency’s 2006 Christmas card.

Waaay back in the mid-1970s, I read a book called “Earth, Energy and Everyone” that presented a number of alternative energy sources with the promise that with their adoption, America would no longer need foreign oil by 2000.

What year is it again? 2012?

One of the more memorable technologies presented in the book was tidal generation of electricity. Reversible generators would be placed in narrows where tide currents run strong, and each rising and ebbing tide would run through them, generating juice. But, as usual, it turns out there’s one little rub to this bright idea:

Scientists and whale-protection groups are sending a resounding message to [British Columbia] that it is unacceptable to consider energy-generating tidal turbines in critical habitat for threatened northern resident killer whales. …

Paul Spong, director of the OrcaLab, a Hanson Island whale research station, said he was shocked to discover the [proposal]. …

“It is outrageous that this idea is even being considered in vital orca critical habitat,” Spong said. “The population is officially threatened and critical habitat is designated to help them. To me, it’s preposterous to put something there that would further endanger a threatened population.” (link)

Closer to home in Crazifornia, we see the same thing, as environmentalists rally to stop plans for large-scale wind and solar power generation facilities.

San Francisco environmentalists foolishly want to remove Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite, which not only is an important source of water for the city, but also generates 350 kilowatt hours of electricity annually without burning an ounce of nasty stuff.

One of the leaders of the Restore Hetch Hetchy organization, Spreck Roskrans, wrote recently on Water Policy Professionals, a LinkedIn group I sponsor, that the loss of hydroelectric power would be no big deal:

Hydro production would be diminished by about 350 gWh per year – a significant but not insurmountable amount – about the same as the Trinity River Restoration Program which was broadly supported.

To this, another group member, Stuart Robertson, responded:

We can count on one hand the number of replacement supplies developed for the Trinity loss by coupling the thumb and first finger – “0”. Knowing what is required is different than understanding/recognizing that which can be accomplished in this regulatory environment.

Indeed. California has not permitted a significant new power plant in 30 years, and is hard at work making its current plants unviable. Unelected state eco-crats recently banned once-through cooling in power plants, a cost effective way to cool the plants by pumping seawater in, through and out of the plant. The practice kills too many fish larvae in the opinion of the eco-crats, so it  has to be replaced with huge cooling towers to hold water that will be cycled through the plants again and again.

Who do you see to get permission to construct those cooling towers? The California Coastal Commission – or, as I call it in Crazifornia, the Star Chamber of the Coast. If I owned one of those plants and faced the entrenched hostility of the Commission, I think I’d just shut it down and go into some other business.

Fish larvae counting maybe.

Crazed Greenies Suffer a Defeat

I knew Measure F, the San Francisco ballot measure that would destroy the city’s primary water supply in a massive grovel to the Earth Goddess, would fail.

It was worth watching anyway. If the measure were to get any more than 40 percent of the vote, it would be a clear sign that the looniest of the eco-loons still had a credible power base.

Measure F would have started the process of removing San Francisco’s primary water supply, Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite. Deep green environmentalists wanted San Franciscans to surrender one of America’s most reliable and best-tasting water supplies, then spend $10 billion to restore the Hetch Hetchy Valley to its primordial splendor and develop conservation and recycling programs to replace the water with cleaned-up urban runoff and sewage.

Even San Franciscans, who went 83.2 percent for Barack Obama yesterday, could see the measure was eco-stupidity, and 77 percent voted against it. After days like yesterday, look for silver linings wherever you can find them.

Only in San Francisco

This would probably be the most astounding newspaper correction of all time, if it weren’t for the fact that it ran in the San Francisco Chronicle, the paper that covers the city where such things are commonplace:

C.W. Nevius’ column about Most Holy Redeemer banning drag queen performers incorrectly stated that entertainer Peaches Christ appeared at an event at the church’s hall with a dildo shaped like a crucifix. He did not appear at the event, nor does he use the prop.

I’m sure glad we straightened that out.

Next up:  Holy Redeemer Church will no doubt face charges that it’s “homophobic.” Never mind that drag queens aren’t necessarily gay … or so I’ve been told, anyway.

Fortunately for folks elsewhere, this definitely can be filed under “Only in San Francisco.” Also fortunate is that I’ve chosen not to illustrate this post.

Thanks to Tweeter @cmarinucci for the heads-up.

After the Housing Crash, California Homes Still Cost Too Much

I’m avoiding my neighbor.  He’s a real estate appraiser, which means he delivers more bad news than Standard & Poors.  Besides, I just don’t want to know what’s happened to the equity of the California dream house we bought 20 years ago. Denial is our friend.

So you’d think with how tanked the California economy is, that housing affordability in the Tarnished State would be increasing, right? Wrong, according to a news release today from the California Building Industry Association:

Housing affordability in California decreased in the second quarter of 2011 as 16 of the state’s 28 metropolitan areas included in the report showed declines, the California Building Industry Association announced today.

On a statewide basis, the HOI found that a family earning the median income could have afforded 61.3 percent of the new and existing homes that were sold during the second quarter of 2011, down from 64.6 percent in the first quarter.

In a normal economy, the guy with the median income would be able to buy 50 percent of the homes on the market, but what’s normal about California’s economy? Primarily to blame for the continuing lack of affordability is the willful ignoring of the recession by California’s regulatory agencies, which continue to manufacture new burdens with an output on a par with what California manufacturers used to achieve … before they fled screaming from the state.

Regulatory over-zealousness inflates the selling prices all over California, with San Francisco being the worst, with a regulatory cost premium of $400,000 per home. Did you expect anything else?  Liberalism, after all, costs money.  Don’t be surprised, then, to learn that San Mateo and Marin counties, just south and north of San Francisco, respectively, track right behind Nancy Pelosi’s haunting grounds.

I’m covering this topic extensively in the “Worst for Business” chapter of Crazifornia.  Good Lord, there’s a lot to write about!

More Evidence Proposition Reform is Needed

With California’s legislature barely breaking into double digits in favorables, it’s not easy to make an argument for stripping the people of their power to make their own laws through propositions and overturn unpopular laws through referendums.  But then a couple proposed propositions come along that make compelling arguments for reform.

That’s the gist of my latest “Crazifornia” piece in the Daily Caller, which ran this morning.  Here’s the intro:

California’s system of initiatives, referendums and recalls, which started nearly a century ago as a defiant act of progressivism under the mantra of “people power,” has performed pretty much as one would expect. It’s brought the system to its knees.

Fiscally, propositions have given the people control over as much as 80 percent of the state’s budget, which has made balancing budgets impossible. Legally, propositions have been a boon for the trial lawyers who write them and then fleece any corporation that runs afoul of their arcane, ever-changing provisions. And morally — well, morally, California is doing all right, having remarkably held back propositions to legalize gay marriage and marijuana, even if more voters voted for legal pot than voted for Meg Whitman, the 2010 Republican candidate for governor. Still, most conservatives in the state feel a pro-gay marriage proposition eventually will prevail, and advocates for legal pot say the loss in California was a victory, making the issue mainstream and opening the door for future activism here and in other states.

Last week, news came of two new initiative drives, one statewide and one in San Francisco, that could potentially overshadow all earlier propositions in their negative impacts on life in California. The first is a clever bit of wordsmithing that would force the state’s two nuclear power plants to shut down. The second would ban circumcision in San Francisco.

Want to find out more about these two abominations? Read the rest of the piece here.

California Agencies Oblivious to the Budget Deficit

Why in the world would California – caught as it is in a budgetary black hole – give $250,000 to some outfit in Oregon to build a government-subsidized fish market at Fisherman’s Wharf, California’s foremost free market fish market?

The answer to that question and much more on the budgetary obliviousness of California’s 300-plus departments, agencies, commissions, councils and boards is given in my new Daily Caller opinion piece, which you can read here.