California

Mexican cartels poisoning US national parks through hidden pot growing operations: report

Mexican cartel members – who for years have carried out large scale, hidden pot-growing operations in U.S. national parks in California – are poisoning water and wildlife through the use of illegal pesticides banned by the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a new report published Tuesday. Two Mexican nationals and suspected cartel members were arrested in September during a raid on an illegal marijuana operation hidden beneath the thick tree canopies in California’s Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Authorities found 8,656 growing marijuana plants and 232 pounds of processed marijuana, Monterrey, Calif.’s KQMS reported. About 3,000 pounds of trash, including discarded clothing, propane tanks and spent cans of insecticide, in addition to three miles of plastic irrigation pipes and open bags of fertilizer were also discovered at the site, suggesting the operation had been in use for years, National Public Radio reported. “The true crime here is the fact that they’re killing off basically America’s public lands, killing off the wildlife, killing off our water,” Kevin Mayer, a U.S. Forest Service law enforcement assistant special agent in charge, told NPR. “This is stuff that, you know, it’s not going to repair itself.” Though California’s national parks have been plagued by illegal pot-growing operations in the past, some of which were operated by hippies, the cartel operations are usually larger scale, well organized and use heavy-duty, illegal poisons to more vigilantly protect their cash crop from rodents and insects. Wildlife ecologist Greta Wengert, who was called in to survey the operation after September’s raid, told NPR she discovered gallons of concentrated carbofuran at the site. Carbofuran is banned by the EPA, European Union, Canada and Brazil for all legal purposes. It is produced in the U.S. by Pennsylvania-based FMC Corp and exported to Mexico, India and other nations. “It is incredibly toxic,” Wengert told NPR. “A quarter-teaspoon could kill a 600-pound black bear. So obviously just a tiny amount can kill a human. It remains in an ecosystem for a long period of time.” She said she’s detected these deadly toxins in cannabis plants, native vegetation, water, and infrastructure. Exposure to these chemicals can prove deadly for humans and wildlife alike. A California coalition – made up of environmentalists, law enforcement agents, politicians, wildlife ecologists and members of the legal cannabis industry – have joined forces to clean up the pollution caused by illegal cartel operations, according to NPR.

Wow..   Consider the irony here…  The next time you see someone smoking pot, tell them they’re hurting the environment.  When they go, “huh?”…point them to this article.   🙂

California city denies Straight Pride rally permit

A Northern California city has denied a request to hold a so-called Straight Pride rally at a park. Modesto city officials on Friday denied an application by the National Straight Pride Coalition for an Aug. 24 event at Graceada Park. Organizer Don Grundmann had estimated 500 people would attend. The group says it supports heterosexuality, Christianity and white contributions to Western civilization. Opponents argued the rally would promote hatred of LGBTQ people and minorities. City spokesman Thomas Reeves says the permit request was denied over safety concerns, because the group lost its liability insurance and the parks department determined the event wasn’t consistent with park use. However, Reeves says the city would allow the rally at a downtown plaza if the group proves it has insurance by Tuesday.

Hmmm..  Let’s wait and see if this group can provide it has the insurance…and then IF they have it, what the City of Modesto will do; whether or not it’ll issue the rally permit.  Regardless, just fathom a universe in which ANY city in California would deny such a permit to an LGBTQ organization to have their gay pride rallies and marches.  Of course, that’d NEVER happen.  And, we all know it.  One thing we love to do here at The Daily Buzz is show the brazen hypocrisy of the left, which includes Democrat politicians and the dominantly liberal mainstream media.  This is such an example.  The National Straight Pride Coalition has every right to have their rally.  It is their constitutional right, just as it is for the other side.  Freedom of association works both ways; not just for one side.

Cash or cigarettes?: Nine face vote-fraud charges, bribing homeless for signatures

Authorities in Los Angeles have indicted nine people on felony voter-fraud charges, accusing the defendants of using homeless people to forge signatures on voter-registration and petition forms. According to NBC News, the indictment involves 14 felony counts related to electioneering in the 2016 and 2018 political cycles, though none of the nine defendants has been charged on all of them. The charges in the indictment include, according to NBC, “circulating an initiative with forged or fictitious names, signing fictitious names, registering fictitious persons, and making payment for signatures.” The suspects are accused of bribing homeless people on Los Angeles‘ Skid Row with cash or cigarettes in exchange for the signatures, transactions that were observed by beat police and then by undercover officers. Seven suspects pleaded not guilty Friday in Los Angeles; the other two persons charges have not appeared in court yet, NBC reported. The charges could result in up to four years imprisonment.

California pot taxes lag as illegal market flourishes

Deep in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new budget is a figure that says a lot about California’s shaky legal marijuana market: The state is expecting a lot less cash from cannabis taxes. The Democrat’s proposed spending plan, released Thursday, projects the state will bank $355 million in marijuana excise taxes by the end of June. That’s roughly half of what was once expected after broad legal sales kicked off last year. Industry experts say the diminished tax income reflects a somber reality: Most consumers are continuing to purchase pot in the illegal marketplace, where they avoid taxes that can near 50 percent in some communities. Tax collections are expected to gradually increase over time, but predicting what that amount will be remains something of a guess. Tax collections for “a newly created market are subject to significant uncertainty,” the budget said. Josh Drayton of the California Cannabis Industry Association credited Newsom with taking “a realistic look at the challenges” after a bumpy first year of broad legal sales. Newsom also recommended a sharp increase in spending for regulatory programs, although it’s an open question whether it will be enough to help steady the state pot economy. The budget recommends just over $200 million for marijuana-related activities in the fiscal year that starts July 1, which would be over a 50 percent boost from the current year. Initially “the state was too optimistic about how the implementation of legalization was going to work. This governor has paid attention to that,” Drayton said. That said, Drayton added that legal businesses need a break from hefty tax rates that are driving consumers to the illicit economy. Various proposals have been made to cut state pot taxes. State taxes include a 15 percent levy on purchases of all cannabis and cannabis products, including medical pot. Local governments are free to slap on taxes on sales and growing too, which has created a confusing patchwork of tax rates around the state. The state’s top marijuana regulator, Lori Ajax, has said the state intends to get more businesses licensed and operating in 2019, while cracking down on rogue operators who continue to proliferate across the state. At year’s end, California’s effort to transform its longstanding illegal and medicinal marijuana markets into a unified, multibillion-dollar industry remained a work in progress. By some estimates, up to 80 percent of sales in the state remain under the table, snatching profits from legal storefronts. Drayton said more than half the municipalities in the state do not have laws governing the industry. That means pot businesses cannot locate there, since companies are required to have a local license before seeking one from the state. The budget also includes an additional $2.9 million for the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration to help chase down tax cheats. Meanwhile, the courts budget includes nearly $14 million for resentencing of thousands of drug offenders whose offenses are no longer crimes since California legalized recreational pot. Newsom, an advocate for legalized marijuana, said it has long been expected the new market would take five to seven years to settle in, with twists and turns along the way. The issues he intends to look at include the distribution pipeline and claims that local governments are gouging the industry. The state will “move expeditiously at licensing more and more dispensaries, making sure we go after the bad actors,” he said.

Wow..  What a mess..  Typical California big government.  It only knows how to raise taxes; not how to solve anything.  The whole state is under solid Democrat control from the governor to the state legislature which has a supermajority of Dems…  No wonder the state is on the verge of bankruptcy.

Los Angeles County agrees to purge up to 1.5 million voters from its rolls in settlement

Los Angeles County has agreed to conduct a purge of its voting rolls, in a move that could strip perhaps 1.5 million inactive voters from the lists of those eligible to cast ballots. The county made the deal in a settlement last week with Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest firm, saying that under a recent Supreme Court ruling, it has a duty to remove names of people who appear to have either died, moved from the county or lost interest in voting. The county committed to mailing hundreds of thousands of voters already deemed inactive to see whether they are still eligible voters, and to removing names of people who don’t respond to notices and who miss two subsequent federal elections. The county also agreed to try to weed out dead people still on the rolls. California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who was also part of the settlement, committed to send notices to all registrars informing them that they, too, must take steps to cancel voters who miss voting in repeated elections and fail to respond to follow-up notices. Judicial Watch called the settlement, involving both the nation’s biggest state and the biggest county, a significant win for conservatives who have been trying to harness the 1993 National Voter Registration Act, better known as “Motor-Voter,” to try to clean up voter rolls even as Democrats use the law to expand voter access. “This is a major NVRA victory — probably the biggest in the history,” said Robert Popper, the Judicial Watch lawyer who fought the case. He said he expects most of the more than 1.5 million names on the county’s inactive voter list will end up being removed.

Federal Court Strikes California Handgun Advertising Ban as First Amendment Violation

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California ruled on Tuesday that California’s ban on handgun advertisements violates the First Amendment. The ruling involved Tracy Rifle and Pistol (TRAP), Ten Percent Firearms, Sacramento Black Rifle, Inc., and PRK Arms, all of whom were supported by the Second Amendment Foundation, the Calguns Foundation, and California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees. The case was brought when Sacramento Black Rifle, Tracy Rifle and Pistol, and others were told aspects of their logo violated the state’s ban on advertising handgun sales with photographs and/or images of handguns. CBS Sacramento reports that Rob Adams, owner of Sacramento Black Rifle, was told he was breaking the law by having a pistol embedded with an “R” in his company logo. Adams said, “It’s a clear violation of the First Amendment, you know, advertising. It’s censoring.” California argued that the ban on handgun advertisements helps reduce suicides and crime, but court rejected these arguments, ruling that California did not provide evidence sufficient to support these claims Judge Troy L. Nunley wrote, ” In the absence of evidence and with no common-sense relation, the Government has not met its burden of demonstrating that § 26820 directly and materially advances that interest. In sum, the Government fails to show that § 26820 has any effect on handgun suicide or crime.” Nunley also addressed the issues put for by Sacramento Black Rifle owner Rob Adams, writing, “California may not accomplish its goals by violating the First Amendment.” He noted, “The Supreme Court has rejected this highly paternalistic approach to limiting speech.” Second Amendment Foundation founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb commented on legal victory, saying, “A state cannot legislate political correctness at the expense of a fundamental, constitutionally-delineated civil right. We were delighted to offer financial support to this case.” The case is Tracy Rifle and Pistol, LLC, v. Harris (No. 2:14-cv-02626).

Excellent decision!!  The court was exactly right, and slapped fascist California right across the face for their brazen violation of the First Amendment ostensibly to squash advertising of firearms.  Outstanding!!     🙂

Antifa members in Berkeley smash windows of US Marine Corps recruiting office during protest

An Antifa protest in Berkeley turned violent Sunday when one masked group member sucker-punched a detractor and other agitators smashed the windows at a Marine Corps recruiting post, cellphone video showed. Authorities arrested 20 people during the dueling California demonstrations between Antifa and individuals affiliated with the so-called “alt-right.” Three people suffered minor injuries after a group of “extremists” threw “explosives” — believed to be fireworks and flares — at police and the Alameda County Sheriff’s officers. No members of law enforcement were hurt. In a series of photos posted to Twitter by filmmaker Ford Fischer, members of Antifa can be seen smashing the windows of the U.S. Marines Corps recruiting office on Shattuck Avenue. “No police were around as the black bloc traveled down the street, and a handful used hammers to smash the windows of Shattuck Ave US Marine Corps Recruiting office,” Fischer wrote in a tweet. He added: “After I filmed the antifa break the Marine Corps office window and throw a torch into a dumpster, one of them called a few over to confront me. They basically told me to leave, implying attack if I didn’t. I left. ‘Get the f— back. Cops aren’t here. They won’t help you.” Besides the damage to the Marine Corps post, Berkeley police also said “an extremist element among a large group” damaged 21 city vehicles, setting one on fire, and slashed their tires. The group also set fires in trash bins, which were extinguished quickly. Officials did not identify the “extremist element.” The incident began percolating days earlier when two groups announced plans for a “No to Marxism” rally at the city’s Civic Center Park, an announcement that prompted plans for a “Sweep Out The Fascists” march. A counter-rally drew hundreds of people downtown. City officials said neither group had sought or obtained a permit for their respective rallies. On Friday, police issued rules prohibiting masks and items that could be used as weapons. Police said the list of banned items at Civic Center and Ohlone parks included metal pipes, baseball bats, glass bottles, pepper spray, knives or daggers, shields and slingshots, KTVU reported. Police also banned people from wearing masks, scarves or bandannas or anything covering their faces except for religious or medical reasons. Multiple videos taken of the demonstrations, however, showed several people — mostly Antifa-aligned — wearing masks. Sunday’s protests in California came one day after police in Portland, Ore. clashed with demonstrators. Protesters aligned with Patriot Prayer and an affiliated group, the Proud Boys, met in a park at a rally organized by their group leader, Joey Gibson. But they were met by Antifa protesters carrying signs saying “Nazis go home” and “Alt right scum not welcome in Portland.” Police reportedly ordered the counter-protesters to disperse, then moved in behind a volley of stun grenades. One of the rounds hit a counter-protester in the head, becoming embedded in his helmet and injuring him, reports said. One woman was taken to a hospital after being hit in the arm and chest with a “flash-bang” grenade. Another video showed an Antifa member wearing all black sucker punching someone as he was having a heated conversation on a sidewalk. At one point, authorities deployed “flash bang” devices to break up the feuding parties. Long sticks and homemade shields were confiscated, the AP reported.

Antifa is really just a bunch of suburban, white, skinny, millennial guys who still have peach fuzz on their face, and probably live at home.  You know the type.  What a bunch of self-righteous losers and cowards.  Hey you Antifa tools, how about you go back to that Marine Corps office and attack it…while the Marines are in there, and see what happens!  lol   Anyway, to see photos and videos of this event, click on the text above.