Crime linked to … criminals!

Editor’s note: The powers that be at have told Michael Ackley he may submit the occasional column. As Golden State madness has accelerated, Mr. Ackley has succumbed to the urge to get back in the game. Hence, the items below. Remember that his columns may include satire and parody based on current events, and thus mix fact with fiction. He assumes informed readers will be able to tell the difference.

The April 3 shootings in downtown Sacramento, California’s capital city, led to a new world record. It was 29.2 seconds after the last echo of gunfire had faded, with the scent of cordite yet hanging in the air and bodies still lying in the street, that the first public official called for more stringent gun control legislation.

Close behind came the predictable call for more publicly funded efforts to keep young people – especially minorities – off the streets. Putting kids into mentoring programs and onto basketball courts apparently will keep them from playing with guns.

Never mind that three arrests (so far) linked to the shootings were of adult men who were convicted felons, and felons already are forbidden to possess guns. One of the three had been released early from a 10-year prison sentence.

This was despite the prediction by Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert that he would commit more crimes.

It’s almost as though California politicians don’t understand that most crime is committed by criminals, or that criminals are entirely comfortable breaking laws designed to keep guns out of their hands.

California’s Proposition 47, laughingly titled “The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act,” was approved by the electorate in 2014. The ballot measure retroactively downgraded many crimes from felony to misdemeanor.

The electorate, sold on the idea that thousands of unfortunate offenders were languishing in state penitentiaries for jaywalking, gave the proposition nearly 60% of the vote. Some Californians think this may account for an upsurge in crime. Go figure.

Meanwhile, the Golden State continues to lead the nation in gasoline prices (we’re No. 1!), and Gov. Gavin Newsom thinks the Legislature should ease the burden on consumers.

Naturally, you may think cutting the gasoline tax would be on the table, but the governor has a better idea. He suggests keeping the extremely regressive tax but rebate tax money to California motorists.

His idea is to send car owners $400 per vehicle, up to $800 per household. Consumers then could use the money to gas up their cars, or – as the funds are fungible (fungible funds!) – use the money to pay for groceries or other goods that have had their prices inflated by the Biden administration’s war on fossil fuels.

Newsom aide Howard Bashford thinks that if the rebate concept catches on, it could be expanded to cover virtually the entire California economy.

Bashford, the governor’s special deputy associate assistant sub-secretary for economic affairs, told us Newsom’s cabinet is considering a plan to collect all of California’s gross state product and rebate it – as needed – to the taxpayers.

We asked how the funds would be allocated, and he said, “The general concept is: ‘From each according to his ability; to each according to his need.'”

When we said the slogan sounded familiar, Bashford replied, “It does to me, too. But, really, it’s what the governor has been aiming for all along, and it would be a lot more efficient that the current system.

“Why should we have citizens collect their individual paychecks, send part of them to us, and have us turn around and spend the revenues according to our complex system of laws? Why not have ‘single payer’ for everything?”

“Don’t laugh,” he added. “We’re not kidding.”

Meanwhile: California State Sen. Nancy Skinner, described on her webpage as – among other things – “a social justice advocate,” wants to eliminate bias in parole hearings. Her Senate Bill 875 seeks to do this by barring consideration of the usual things – race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.

But her bill also says parole boards shouldn’t apply a negative connotation to such subjective factors as “verbal or nonverbal communication, tone of voice, volume of speech, facial expressions, body language, eye contact or the candidate’s ability to articulate complex or abstract concepts.”

So, Parole Board members should be advised to avoid language they might be inclined to use with their teenage offspring.

You know: “Don’t you give me that look,” and “Don’t take that tone with me,” and “Look at me when I’m talking to you,” and “Don’t slouch.”

Also, don’t ask a parole candidate anything so complex and abstract as, “Do you understand the relationship between crime and punishment?”

This just in: The courts have slapped down the California Legislature’s attempts to force corporate boards to have minority and women members, but the state’s lawmakers still think they can force companies to do just about anything.

The latest move is a bill by state Assembly members Evan Low and Christina Garcia. The two Democrats want to require that companies with 500 or more employees adopt a 32-hour work week.

Of course, that would be employers of 500 or more right now. One would expect that threshold to drop in later years. And the bill would require such companies to pay their workers what they get now for 40 hours work.

But don’t worry. This is unconstitutional, too. Besides, pretty soon the Golden State won’t have any employers, regardless of the number of workers they employ. They all will have gone to Texas.

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