Tag Archives | California

How Much Does The Right To Vote Cost In California?

It now costs at least three hundred dollars cash (plus days wasted and lost wages.) Via Notes From Class:

California requires a valid driver’s license to exercise the right to vote, and that new residents acquire new tags and registration immediately upon relocation. Documents needed: birth certificate, vehicle registration, smog test, vehicle inspection, statement of facts, divorce papers.

Smog Test: $38
Douglas County Court Records: $26
Registration/License Plate Fees and Taxes: $200
Driver’s License Fee: $40
Estimated Fuel Cost: $6

Actual Cost of California Driver’s License, Vehicle Registration, and My Voting Rights: $310

This is why people are so angry, or should be, about being required to present a valid state driver’s license at the polls. The total cost would change, of course, if the potential voter had no car: but so would the time and wages lost to long bus rides to the DMV to get a license. There has to be a way to prevent “voter fraud” without disenfranchising those who are living in poverty.

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Brutal Police Raid On California Marijuana Shop Caught On Video

By Samantha Tata and Michelle Valles, NBCLosAngeles.com, via MSNBC:
A raid on a marijuana dispensary in Long Beach was caught on video showing officers smashing surveillance cameras and stepping on a suspect, moves that prompted accusations against the officers of excessive force. More than a dozen police raided THC Downtown Collective in the 300 block of Atlantic Boulevard (map) on June 19, officials said. The video was posted to YouTube by user "Long Beach Raids" on July 1. Officials said they learned about the video on July 3. The two-minute-long video opens to show a man surrendering to police, three of whom surround him while two put him in handcuffs.

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One of the officers is seen stepping on volunteer employee Dorian Brooks' back with both feet before stepping on his neck, with what Brooks described as 300 pounds of pressure...
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California To Vote On Labeling Genetically Modified Foods

Should people have a right to know what corporations are feeding to them, or is it none of their business? The Guardian on a referendum this November which could change how food is sold across the country:

Last month, nearly 1m signatures were delivered [in] California calling for a referendum on the labeling of genetically engineered foods. If the measure, “The Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act”, passes, California will become the first state in the nation to require that GM foods be labeled as such on the package.

Lawmakers in states like Vermont and Connecticut have also proposed labeling legislation, which has gone nowhere in the face of stiff industry opposition. What makes the referendum in California different is that, for the first time, voters and not politicians will be the ones to decide. And this has the food industry worried. Understandably so, since only one in four Americans is convinced that GMOs are “basically safe”, according to a survey conducted by the Mellman Group.

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How California Could Force the Rest of the U.S. to Label GMO Foods

Reports Tom Philpott on Mother Jones:
In November, California voters will decide on a ballot initiative that would require labeling of all foods containing ingredients from genetically modified crops. The initiative made it to the ballot after almost 1 million Californians signed a petition in favor of it—nearly double the 504,760 signatures needed under the state's proposition rules. The campaign that organized the push to get the measure on the ballot focused on possible health effects of GMO foods. This news will not likely be applauded by my friends over at Croplife America, the main trade group of the GM seed/agrichemical industry. The big GMO crops—corn, soy, sugar beets, and cotton—are processed into sweeteners, fats, and additives used widely by the food industry. Everything from high fructose corn syrup-sweetened Coke to soybean oil-containing Hellman's mayo would have to bear a label reading something like "Contains GMO ingredients."...
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Beach Rocks that Burned California Woman Had Elevated Phosphate Level

Map: Lencer (CC)

An update to this story, a California woman who brought home a handful of greenish rocks her children found on the beach had a very painful surprise when the rocks caught fire in her pocket. She suffered second and third degree burns due to the flaming stones. Her husband suffered similar injuries while attempting to help her.

Lab reports indicate that the rocks contained “elevated” phosphate levels, most likely contamination from a man-made source. San Clemente Island, just miles off the coast where the woman’s children found the rocks, is owned by the military. They’ve denied any responsibility for the pollution and injuries, and for now the investigation continues.

Read the full story at the Washington Post.

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Andy Caffrey Plans To Smoke Marijuana on the Steps of the U.S. Capitol (If Elected)

Andy Caffrey For CongressInteresting report from Austin Johansen on death and taxes:

Andy Caffrey is a 54 year-old candidate running for Congress from California’s 2nd District. Aside from the Crocodile Dundee-esque hat and his sweeping, silver ponytail, Caffrey is a fairly unassuming man in the state of California. He’s tired of both Republicans and Democrats, loves his country and has his own ideas to make improvements, which is more than some politicians can say. He also takes pride in being a part of the Green Movement … in more ways than one *cough cough.*

In the 1991 Oakland Firestorm, Andy “lost everything.” He writes on his website that he spent five years as a homeless man and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder following his sister’s suicide. His ailment led him to become a prescribed medical marijuana patient, and he’s on the campaign trail to make his defense of its medicinal use perfectly clear … or a little hazy.

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Mysterious Flaming Rocks Spontaneously Ignite, Severely Burning Woman

The flaming rocks. Photo: Orange County Health Care Agency

The flaming rocks. Photo: Orange County Health Care Agency

California beachcombers may need to be more careful about picking up cool looking rocks to take home, although no one can explain how these combustible rocks arrived. Rick Rojas reports for the LA Times:

What could possibly cause rocks picked up at a popular state beach to ignite in the pocket of a woman’s cargo shorts?

To scientists, the answer is — well, there is no clear answer.

The case of an Orange County woman severely burned after rocks collected last weekend from San Onofre State Beach ignited in her pocket has puzzled scientists, who say they’ve never seen anything like it and aren’t quite sure how it happened.

“It’s pretty implausible,” said Larry Overman, a professor of chemistry at UC Irvine.

The 43-year-old San Clemente woman, who remained hospitalized Thursday with second- and third-degree burns, visited the northern San Diego County beach last Saturday with her family, authorities said.

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