San Francisco raises minimum wage, kills beloved local bookstore, residents shocked


**Posted by Phineas

Didn't pay attention

Didn’t pay attention

Call it a “teachable moment?”

Due to the new increased minimum wage law in San Francisco, a beloved bookstore and mainstay of the Mission District has been forced to close its doors for good.

The minimum wage for San Francisco workers, currently at $11.05 an hour, soars to $15 an hour in July 2018. The store’s projected labor costs, reported ABC7 News, impelled Borderlands Bookstore to write its final chapter.

The store owner had this to say:

In November, San Francisco voters overwhelmingly passed a measure that will increase the minimum wage within the city to $15 per hour by 2018. Although all of us at Borderlands support the concept of a living wage in principal and we believe that it’s possible that the new law will be good for San Francisco — Borderlands Books as it exists is not a financially viable business if subject to that minimum wage. Consequently we will be closing our doors no later than March 31st.

But the best line came from one of the stunned customers:

“You know, I voted for the measure as well, the minimum wage measure,” customer Edward Vallecillo lamented. “It’s not something that I thought would affect certain specific small businesses. I feel sad.”

Evidently Mr. Vallecillo and the other voters of the Special City were asleep during their economics lessons — assuming that’s even taught anymore. Let’s review, shall we?

Labor is a cost, because the business owner has to provide wages and, often, benefits that cost him more money. When a government mandate increases that cost, the business owner has three choices: pass the cost along to the customer, who may decide it’s too much and stop shopping there; cut employee hours and stop hiring to save on labor costs, thus costing potential jobs and putting a burden on workers still employed; and, finally, just decide it’s not worth it anymore and close up shop. In the low-margin bookseller business, Borderlands’ owner chose the last course as the only one viable.

(Aside: It wouldn’t surprise me if one of the Leftists on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is considering a bill to prevent owners from doing just that. Can’t let the Kulaks get away with acting as if they own their own property, after all.)

In a functioning, literate polity that teaches its young fundamental lessons of civics and economics, an informed electorate could have looked at that proposal and said, “Nah, that’s going too far.” Instead, we have voters who feel good about themselves  for voting themselves more consequence-free stuff, and then feel sad when the consequences arrive.

Maybe they’ll learn something from the experience.


RELATED: This isn’t the first time we’ve seen the consequences of ill-thought policy regarding the minimum wage. Seattle voted a high minimum, and now businesses are considering leaving. Some companies are considering replacing now-expensive minimum-wage workers with computerized kiosks. Los Angeles wants to raise the minimum to $13.25. Can’t wait to see how many entry-level jobs are lost thanks to that, or how many low-skill young workers looking for their first job are priced out of the market because of it. More from Ron Radosh, and more posts on the minimum wage.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Gwyneth Paltrow: useful idiot for Liberal Fascism


**Posted by Phineas

"Ready for dictatorship."

“Ready for dictatorship.”

So, yesterday President Obama screwed up traffic here in Los Angeles so he could attend a(nother) fund-raiser at the California ATM, hobnobbing over $1,000 a plate meals with the Hollywood glitterati  at the home of actress and Obama fan-girl Gwyneth Paltrow. As Politico reports, her introduction of the President was cringe-worthy on several levels:

Gwyneth Paltrow wants President Barack Obama to know: she’s just like everyone else.

She makes $16 million per movie, sure, but that doesn’t mean that she’s not worried about Obama getting equal pay legislation through Congress.

At a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee held at her house in Brentwood Thursday evening, she called the issue “very important to me as a working mother.”

In front of a crowd that included fellow actors Julia Roberts (who took her picture in front of the presidential limo on her way out) and Bradley Whitford (that’s Josh Lyman from “The West Wing”), Paltrow told Obama she is “one of your biggest fans, if not the biggest.”

Reminding Obama that she hosted an expat fundraiser for him in London when she was living there, Paltrow described Obama as a president who would be studied for generations, and a role model for everyone of this generation.

“It would be wonderful if we were able to give this man all of the power that he needs to pass the things that he needs to pass,” she told the crowd.

Like I said yesterday on Twitter:

Because we all know “working moms” who struggle with making at least $16,000,000 per year, live in huge mansions in Brentwood and Bel Air, and have to get by with only a few dozen maids, nannies, groundskeepers, and cooks. Not to mention personal assistants.

Life must be hell for poor Gwyneth.

But that was nothing compared to the second highlighted statement, in which the “working mother” wishes Obama had absolute power. She yearns not for a constitutional chief executive, whose job is to enforce the laws Congress passes in an evenhanded manner. Nope, what she wants is a king, a caliph, an emperor, a dictator… a fuhrer.

Yeah, I went there. I’m not accusing Paltrow of consciously (1) being a fascist, liberal or otherwise; I don’t believe she’s bright enough or cares to really understand or care about such things. But she makes it clear that fascist leadership, in which all power is vested in a Leader who embodies the will of the nation and knows what’s best for it, is what she wants. Democracy is just too messy, and there are too many unenlightened people pushing their own wrongheaded agendas, in spite of what Gwyneth knows to be right. And so we need to get rid of it and just give Obama all the power he needs, because Gwyneth is sure Barack will only do good with it, progressive superhero that he is.

No, she’s not a liberal fascist. She’s just a useful idiot. A beautiful, smiling, and vapid useful idiot.

Trouble is, there are so many like her in our cultural elites.

RELATED: Other posts in Cult of Personality.

PS: Have a look at this photo of Paltrow staring worshipfully at the man who should have all the power he needs.

PPS: Oh, and here is how she finished her introduction of Him …er… him:‘Then turning over the microphone, she said, “you’re so handsome that I can’t speak properly.”  You may now barf.

PPPS: Speaking of liberal fascism, you need to read… well, “Liberal Fascism.” Trust me, it’s an eye-opener.

(1) There’s only one thing she’s conscious of.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

California Senate passes $13 minimum wage, jobs flee in terror


**Posted by Phineas

Depression-era unemployment

“But at least they raised the minimum wage!”

Perhaps they didn’t want to be left behind by their progressive friends in Seattle, but the California State Senate last Wednesday passed a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $13 per hour by 2017. From the legislative analyst’s summary:

SB 935, as amended, Leno. Minimum wage: annual adjustment.

Existing law requires that, on and after July 1, 2014, the minimum wage for all industries be not less than $9 per hour. Existing law further increases the minimum wage, on and after January 1, 2016, to not less than $10 per hour.

This bill would increase the minimum wage, on and after January 1, 2015, to not less than $11 per hour, on and after January 1, 2016, to not less than $12 per hour, and on and after January 1, 2017, to not less than $13 per hour. The bill would require the automatic adjustment of the minimum wage annually thereafter, to maintain employee purchasing power diminished by the rate of inflation during the previous year. The adjustment would be calculated using the California Consumer Price Index, as specified. The bill would prohibit the Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) from reducing the minimum wage and from adjusting the minimum wage if the average percentage of inflation for the previous year was negative. The bill would require the IWC to publicize the automatically adjusted minimum wage.

The bill would provide that its provisions not be construed to preclude the IWC from increasing the minimum wage to an amount greater than the calculation would provide or to preclude or supersede an increase of the minimum wage that is greater than the state minimum wage by any local government or tribal government.
The bill would apply to all industries, including public and private employment.

(h/t California Political Review)

“Leno” is Senator Mark Leno, whose district includes, naturally, San Francisco. You can kind of guess his politics. (He also backed a bill allowing children to have more than two parents. Yes, you read that right.) He’s also a prime example of Thomas Sowell’s observation about politicians who don’t have to suffer the consequences of decisions they impose on others. In this case, causing the cost of labor to skyrocket forces business owners to decide whether to pass on the cost to consumers, cut workers’ hours or whole jobs, or go out of business. As the head of CKE Restaurants told CNBC, people are doing all three:

CKE Restaurants’ roots began in California roughly seven decades ago, but you won’t see the parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s expanding there much anymore.

What’s causing what company CEO Andy Puzder describes as “very little growth” in the state?

In part it’s because “the minimum wage is so high so it’s harder to come up with profitable business models,” Puzder said in an interview. The state’s minimum wage is set to rise to $9 in July, making it among the nation’s highest, and $10 by January 2016.

In cities in other states where the minimum wage has gone up considerably, Puzder said “franchisees are closing locations” after riding out lease expirations.

If the federal minimum hourly pay shoots up to $10.10 from the current $7.25—as many lawmakers and President Barack Obama are advocating—Puzder predicts fewer entry-level jobs will be created. If this happens, CKE would also create fewer positions, he forecast.

A recent nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office study also predicted mass job losses, estimating that a hike to $10.10 could result in a loss of about half a million jobs by late 2016, even as it lifted many above the poverty line.

(h/t California Political Review)

For some reason, I don’t think those who lose their jobs because of the wage increase will see themselves as “lifted out of poverty.”

Minimum-wage jobs are not meant to be lifelong careers. For people just entering the labor market, they’re ways to acquire skills needed to move on to better-paying jobs. For others, they’re a means to bring in additional, supplementary income into the household. The pro-increase arguments distort facts and wrap them in myth, all to disguise what is really a wealth redistribution program.

CKE’s Puzder goes on to relate how, when minimum wage increases are combined with the added expenses imposed by Obamacare, franchisees have chosen not to open new restaurants or have even closed locations, meaning these are jobs lost. But they do it because they can get a better return on their investment money elsewhere, such as by putting it in bonds.

It’s called economic common sense, something Senator Leno and his colleagues are woefully lacking in.

PS: SB 935 has now gone to the Assembly, and I will be shocked if it doesn’t pass. It’s frightening to think we have to rely on Governor Brown to be the sane one in the room and veto this bill when it shows up on his desk.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Demon-fearing Los Angeles city council blames fracking for earthquake


**Posted by Phineas

Drill, baby, drill!

Drill, baby, drill!

Remember, kiddies, liberals are the party of science!

Los Angeles City Council members have discovered how to cause earthquakes. Three councilmen think fracking may be the cause of Monday’s earthquake in the Santa Monica Mountains, and they want the city, state, and feds to do an in-depth review.

Councilmen Paul Koretz, Mike Bonin, and Bernard Parks Tuesday introduced a motion calling for the city, the U.S. Geological Survey, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, and the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources to report on whether hydraulic fracturing caused the moderate 4.4-magnitude earthquake, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“It is crucial to the health and safety of the City’s residents to understand the seismic impacts of oil and gas extraction activities in the City,” the motion says. “All high-pressure fracking and injection creates ‘seismic events.’ . . .  Active oil extraction activities are reportedly taking place on the Veteran’s Administration grounds in West Los Angeles, nearby the epicenter of the March 17, 2014, 4.4 earthquake.”

Parks, who seconded the motion, tells National Review Online that while fracking is “reportedly” happening near the epicenter, those who signed the motion weren’t completely sure. However, he adds that “earthquakes are happening in areas that are not historically earthquake prone, but they are in places where fracking is going on.”

I’m sorry to say Mike Bonin is my city councilman.

Let’s be honest, here. If Koretz, Parks, and Bonin genuinely think fracking caused an earthquake, they know nothing about earthquakes and are just fearing demons in the night. Earthquakes happen when adjoining tectonic plates, which are constantly in motion against each other, suddenly break and move with a jolt. Sometimes a little bit, as in Monday’s quake, sometimes a lot, as in the 2011 Tohoku quake in Japan. In seismically active areas, such as the western coast of North America, small quakes occur every day and have since long before anyone thought of the words “hydraulic fracturing.”

Here’s the technical information for Monday’s shaker. Note the depth: six miles. This is what a USGS geologist had to say when asked about fracking causing that quake:

However, opponents of the moratorium argue that fracking has not been proven to cause any health risks and that claims that it caused this earthquake are not realistic.

“My first impression is that sounds implausible,” seismologist Lucy Jones said. “The earthquake was so deep. Induced earthquakes are almost always shallower than this.”

In other words, yes you might get hit by a bolt from the blue, but that’s no reason to ban walking outdoors.

This call for a study (borrowing from the neverending studies tactic of NY Governor Cuomo) is just another delaying tactic in furtherance of their earlier motion to ban fracking within city limits.  Hydraulic fracturing opponents are using what’s called the “preventative principle” (1) to stop a promising technology that could do wonders for the economy, because the idea of oil and gas exploration goes against their hardcore environmentalist agenda. And then they find lackwit politicians who know nothing about the subject matter, but who are ever so happy to take activists’ donations and campaign help, and get them to pass laws serving that agenda — to the public’s detriment. Their hope is that through delay after delay and more and more burdensome regulations, they can kill what they oppose altogether.

No matter how discredited their propaganda, no matter how safe fracking is shown to be, no matter that even the Energy Secretary of the most left-leaning administration in US history declares it safe, no matter how much this city, this state, and this nation need the economic boost intelligent exploitation of our vast oil and gas resources would provide, fracking opponents continue to throw anything against the wall in the hopes of finding something that will convince people to support a ban.

And sometimes they find the fools they need.

RELATED: Ten myths about natural gas drilling. The UK government thinks fracking is safe. Nancy Pelosi’s daughter even thinks the evil magic of fracking can cause earthquakes far out at sea.

(1) Watch for words like “may,” “might,” “possible,” “could” and other weak words that don’t require any evidence to back them up, just the doubt and fear they create in the (they hope) credulous listener.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Streisand pens note to Emily’s List supporters about being “lucky” to be born


Umm … well, this tweet sorta speaks for itself:

In case you didn’t know, Emily’s List is a “women’s rights” group that, natch, works to elect Democrat women who are pro-abortion. But yeah, Babs – you go on gushing about how you were “lucky enough to be born …”, ok?

Dum dum. o=>

Barbra Streisand

Not the sharpest tool in the shed … but a tool nevertheless.

California church replaces baby Jesus w/ Trayvon Martin in Nativity scene

Altered Nativity scene

Yes. This happened. Photo via David Allen, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Words fail. Via the LA Times (hat tip):

On the lawn of a Claremont church, just like at many churches at this time of year, cutouts of wise men on camelback head toward a makeshift stable, a meager wooden structure where Mary and Joseph have huddled inside.

But instead of an infant Jesus cradled in his mother’s arms, the Nativity at Claremont United Methodist Church — the creation of congregant and artist John Zachary — features a depiction of Trayvon Martin slumped over in his hoodie, a pool of his blood spreading over a bed of straw.

For several years, Zachary has brought his artistic interpretations of the Nativity — as well as the occasional controversy — to the church, as he used a scene that traditionally conveys themes of joy and innocence to spread messages of social justice. Over the last few years, his installations have touched on homelessness, poverty and acceptance of gay families.

He decided over the summer that this year’s scene would include the Florida teenager whose shooting death captured the nation’s attention. Zachary said he wanted to draw a parallel between rampant gun violence and the dark time in which Jesus was born.

“He was, in my view, an innocent child like the innocent children killed by King Herod,” Zachary, 57, said of Martin. “I think the Nativity has to be relevant to our time. I think Jesus is a symbol of hope and I think he has to be seen in today’s context.”

I’m just going to say this as plainly as possible: There should never, ever be any type of “replacement” for baby Jesus in the manger scene. Ever.  I don’t care what your “rationale” is, nor is it important to understand your “intent” or “meaning.” The story of baby Jesus is timeless, unique, spiritual, heavenly, and transcends anything that has or will ever happen here on Earth.

Consider this a PSA, leftists. Thanks!

Far left UCal groups write incoming president Napolitano a letter full of “demands”


And, trust me, none of their “demands” will be surprising to any of you. At all. Via Fox News (bolded emphasis added by me):

A letter endorsed by nearly a dozen student groups includes the phrase: “We demand that you implement the following across the UC system.” Those demands include making the system a “sanctuary” for illegal immigrants, barring the use of system funds or resources going to help Immigration and Customs Enforcement (which Napolitano oversaw in her previous job), impose mandatory sensitivity training on campus police and prohibit police from interfering with student demonstrations.

“As people of color, queer, undocumented, womyn (sic), and allies within the UC system, our work is to ensure that the UC is inclusive to our communities and that the UC system lives up to its mission ‘to serve as a center of higher learning,’” reads the letter, which was initially published on Sunday.

It goes on to cite Napolitano’s “specific experience in managing militaristic entities” as reasons why they are “uneasy” about her taking over the system. Napolitano, who oversaw the deportation of 1.6 million illegal aliens during the first term of President Obama, last month became the first woman appointed to head the sprawling system.

The letter was signed or endorsed by dozens of UC student activist groups, including Black Student Unions, Students for Justice in Palestine, American Indian Student Associations, Queer Alliances, Migrants Rights Awareness, Students Empowering Dreams and Students Informing Now.

My advice to Ms. Napolitano? Assuming she gives in to at least some of the demands – and I think it’s a safe bet that she will – how about throwing in at least a one year supply of baby rattles, pacifiers, and high chairs for each member of each leftist UCal group?   And hire several assistants who are familiar with how to burp babies.  She’s going to need them for this perpetually unhappy bunch.

Stop whining

I ”demand” that leftists grow up.

Cross-posted to Gateway Pundit. For an awesome update on his condition, click here – and keep praying!

In which the state of California continues to lose its collective mind


Via the MSN Living Family Room blog (bolded emphasis added by me):

Governor Jerry Brown signed transgender-rights bill AB1266 into law, which allows students “to participate in sex-segregated programs, activities and facilities” based on their self-perception rather than birth gender. It will go into effect January 1.

Parents of transgender students have often debated with school districts over what restrooms their children can use, and, many times these disagreements land in court.

Supporters of the bill believe it will curb discrimination and bullying.

Opponents of the bill say it could lead to an invasion of privacy. But Carlos Alcala, a spokesman for the bill’s author, says the law is about allowing transgender students to fit in.

Um, no, it’s about trying to get “transgender youth” to fit in – it’s about allowing the deeply confused youth of America to rule the roost when it comes to “deciding” what gender they feel more comfortable “identifying” as.  There is no right  and wrong anymore with the radical left.  No boundaries nor differences between boys and girls.  There just “is.” And as far as bullying goes, does anyone SERIOUSLY think that a boy who “identifies” as a girl and walks into the girls’ restroom is not going to be bullied at some point, and vice versa?  The guys and girls who aren’t “confused” about their gender are already confused about all other things related to sex and sexuality, and school cafeterias, bathrooms, and buses are going to be the perfect places for bullies to do what they do best.

Did I mention that this law allows boys who “identify” as girls to … use the girls’ locker room, and presumably the showers, too?   Liberals will laugh at this and call anyone who objects as “prudish” and “regressive” but I can tell you this for a fact: Sane LIBERAL parents object to their daughters sharing a locker room with a boy (and vice versa), I don’t care HOW he “self-identifies”! Expect lawsuits …

In any event, the bigger issue is not even the bullying, but the state of California having the audacity to tell kids and teenagers that even if they were born a boy or a girl as per the birth certificate, have all the parts they are supposed to, that it’s ok for them to “self-identify’ as the opposite sex if that is what they feel most comfortable doing.  As I said in June after news reports came to light of 1st grader Coy Mathis in Colorado who won “her” “civil rights” case to be able to identify as a girl even though she was born a boy:

How is it “discrimination” [to only allow boys in the boys restroom and girls in the girls restroom]?? COY IS A BOY, not a girl. Born that way.  No matter what Coy wants to believe about HIMself, and what his family clearly encourages him to believe.  If this child had been born a boy who had girlie parts or vice versa, I could understand the dilemma, but until they become an adult, this is nonsense.


Folks, the lunatics are now running the asylum, and children now officially rule the household. I’m at a loss for words here.

This is quite possibly one of the most moronic, unnecessary bills ever signed into law – how fitting it was in the People’s Republic of California?!

Coy Mathis

1st grade children like Coy Mathis are now allowed to determine their gender in Colorado, and students in California can now ‘self-identify’ as the opposite sex. Who needs a stinkin’ birth certificate?

WA state legislators demonstrate how “feminism” has once again failed us


Shaking my head (hat tip):

(Reuters) – Washington state’s governor signed into law on Monday the final piece of a six-year effort to rewrite state laws using gender-neutral vocabulary, replacing terms such as “fisherman” and “freshman” with “fisher” and “first-year student.”

Lawmakers have passed a series of bills since 2007 to root out gender bias from Washington statutes, though a 1983 state mandate required that all laws be written in gender-neutral terms unless a specification of gender was intended.

“This was a much larger effort than I had envisioned. Mankind means man and woman,” said Democratic state Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles of Seattle.

The new gender-neutral references, for example, include “journey-level plumber” instead of “journeyman plumber,” “handwriting” in place of “penmanship,” and “signal operator” for “signalman.”

“There’s no good reason for keeping our legal terms anachronistic and with words that do not respect our current contemporary times,” Kohl-Welles, the 475-page bill’s sponsor, told Reuters.

Several words, however, aren’t easy to replace, said Kyle Thiessen, the state’s code reviser, who heads up the 40-staff Washington Code Reviser’s Office agency.

The state likely won’t change the words “airmen” and “seaman,” for example, because of objections by the state’s Washington Military Department, he said.

Civil engineering terms such as “man hole” and “man lock,” also will not be changed because no common-sense substitutes could easily be found, Thiessen said.

Nearly 3,500 Washington state code sections, out of a total of about 40,000 have been tediously scrubbed of gender bias, although most involve adding pronouns “she” and “her” to augment the existing “he” and “his,” Thiessen said.

40, count ‘ em, 40 people staff the “Code Reviser’s Office  agency”? Wow. I guess Washington state has no more pressing issues to deal with than to tackle so-called “gender bias” where none exists.   The article mentions that – among others – my beloved state of North Carolina, sadly, has engaged in this effort to make man-haters feel relevant as well. Words fail …. *insert annoyed face here*

Head desk!

Head desk!

This is why California can’t have nice things: taxing email


**Posted by Phineas



Not yet, but a Berkeley (natch) city councilor thinks it’s a grand idea:

Gordon Wozniak, a Berkeley city councilman, proposed taxing email messages during a recent city council meeting in an effort to reduce the spread of “spam,” or unwanted emails.

Wozniak also said an email tax could raise money to keep the U.S. Postal Service functioning.

“There should be something like a bit tax … [it] could be a cent per gigabit and they would make, probably, billions of dollars a year,” he said.

First question for Mr. Wozniak: are you taxing the senders or the recipients? If the former, how do you plan to get Nigerian scammers and Chinese porn spammers to comply? If the latter, then how…. Wait, I know: “It’s for the good of the community.”

Can you imagine how fast businesses would leave California if email messages (or data transfer) were to be taxed? Hint: hard to believe, but even faster than they are, now. And what about people who rely on email for their small or micro-businesses, or their hobbies? The Internet has been a fabulous engine for wealth creation, so naturally progressive Luddites want to kill it through taxation.

And what is it with the leftist obsession with preserving dying institutions? The Postal Service is collapsing, in large part due to the efficiency and convenience of email. It can’t compete, so let it go and let other, better services take its place. Just like their obsession with railroads, “progressives” boldly look to the past, when the future is staring them in the face. And because the future frightens them, their reaction is to tax it to prevent it.

Meanwhile, a suggestion to Councilman Wozniak: If spam email so annoys you, stop whining and get a service or software with a good spam filter.

And keep your grasping paws off my wallet.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)