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The guiding law regarding ownership of beaches in California is the California Constitution,, which prohibits ownership of beaches and tidelands (defined as either the high water mark or the start of vegetation, depending upon which is higher). In other words, you can’t own a beach in California, regardless of what Vinod the Vile insists.

The guiding law regarding access to beaches is the California Coastal Act of 1976. This Act was intended to protect access to the coast by maintaining, at a minimum, the amount of access that was available in 1976. The Coastal Act created a new kind of property, access rights, which are created either by use in 1976 or by signing over access rights afterwards. Access rights are similar to the concept of a right-of-way, where an entity has the right to pass through a property on a specified corridor in order to perform some public good such as, say, provide and maintain electrical lines. In the case of coastal access rights, the entity in question is the general public of the State of California, and the public good provided is the beach.

Access rights can be total, conditional, or none, based on what the situation was in 1976. The Coastal Commission was required to inventory and document by the end of 1981 access to all of the beaches of California. Once inventoried, landowners had to maintain the level of access that was provided at that point. If they provided no access, they could continue providing no access or they could voluntarily sell a right-of-way to the State if they so desired. If they provided conditional access, they had to continue providing conditional access under the exact same terms as when the Act was passed, and were required to get a permit if they wanted to change the amount of access they provided in any way. And if they provided full access… well, same deal. They had to continue doing so, and again, would have to get a permit if they wanted to change the amount of access they provided in any way.

The Act doesn’t require the Coastal Commission to grant a permit. Indeed, the Coastal Commission can deny a permit if a) it would reduce access to the beach, and b) there is no documented ecological or environmental reason or documented public safety reason for reducing access to the beach. The Act calls for maximizing access to the beach, thus is crafted such as to deny permits that would reduce access unless there is an ecological or documented public safety reason for denying access to the beach. (A bunch of unexploded artillery shells due to use as a USMC artillery firing range prior to the passage of the Act would qualify as a public safety reason, for example). The Coastal Commission cannot, however, require a landowner to provide more access than was provided in 1976 without compensating them for that access. That’s the law — the Coastal Commission cannot simply take access rights away from landowners and grant them to the general public, they can only maintain existing access rights and must buy any additional access rights that the public wants.

So anyhow, this is the law in California — it basically freezes access at 1976 levels, and requires the State to pay if it wants to require a landowner to provide more access than at 1976, and basically prohibits a landowner from taking away access that existed in 1976. In 1976, Martins Beach was open to the public. They could walk down the Martins Beach Road from the pavement for free, or they could pay a gate-keeper a small sum of money to drive down Martins Beach Road and park at a parking lot near the beach. When Vinod Khosla bought the land surrounding Martins Beach in 2008, he was warned that he had to maintain this access at the same level as 1976. He did so for two years, then decided he didn’t want to view any of the little people anymore, and locked the gate and put armed guards to keep people out — despite the requirements of the Coastal Act.

So here we are in 2018. The California Legislature passed a law in 2014 reiterating that Martins Beach is public property and that the access rights grandfathered in 1976 continues to exist. The California Court of Appeals affirmed that law, and the California Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal because the law is pretty much cut and dried. Khosla continues to try to prevent access but is handicapped in that because the local Sheriff says he won’t respond to trespassing calls because the surfers who jump the gate and go down to the beach to surf have a legal right to do so. Khosla could probably hire beefy security guards to attack surfers, but the surfers aren’t exactly shrinking violets and the security guards would have to assault the surfers in order to prevent them from continuing down the right of way granted by the 1976 Act, at which point the surfers would defend themselves and beat the crap out of the security guards. Needless to say, security companies are not falling over themselves to have their security guards beat up and charged with assault on a public right-of-way.

So what’s a billionaire oligarch to do when all the courts in the state of California refuse to be bought by his billions? Well… Vinod the Vile knows what to do: Take it to the U.S. Supreme Court. He figures that the Supreme Court got bought by the election of 2016, so he can get his way there.

Will it work? We’ll see. On the other hand, the current status quo, where Vinod can’t call the sheriff to get people thrown out for trespassing and security companies are reluctant to get involved for fear of being charged with assault or having their guards beat up, means that whatever the U.S. Supreme Court decides will be mostly irrelevant. Vinod the Vile will continue to have to watch the “little people” use “his” beach — and will continue to be able to do nothing at all about it.

– Badtux the Beach Penguin
Note: My personal experience with Vinod the Vile dates back to fourteen years ago, when he was the lead investor in our startup and decided to use the company as his personal playtoy to prove out some bizarre theories of his. I left in disgust after three years and the company folded shortly afterwards after he managed to asset-strip it for his own benefit, managing to get four times more money out of it than he invested in the first place by stealing the money from the other investors with bogus loans and other means. Don’t ever, EVER go to work for a company whose lead investor is Vinod the Vile, and don’t *ever* approach him for investment. He will rape you, clear and simple. That’s what he *does*.

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I already pointed out that the unique labor demands of growing and picking cotton led to slavery being extremely profitable in the pre-Civil War South, to the point where slavery would have never died out naturally until the advent of herbicides and mechanical cotton picker machines in the 1950’s. I mentioned how slavery was continued somewhat in the sharecropping system that arose after the war, and the system of segregation that insured that blacks had little choice but to work in the fields or starve since they were blocked from most other jobs by the segregation regime. I also mentioned that my grandmother and grandfather on my mother’s side, both poor whites, were sharecroppers when they married, living in a one-room tar-paper shack with no indoor plumbing or electricity (the toilet was an outhouse) and working like dogs to grow and pick cotton, and how one of my mother’s least-favorite memories was picking cotton as a child.

So back to my question: Why are there so many uneducated poor white trash people in the South?

Well, it’s for the same reason that the South embraced segregation so heavily: by keeping most white people poor and uneducated, it meant that the Southern aristocracy could obtain cheap labor for their fields.

In short, Southern poverty was a deliberate decision of the Southern aristocrats who lost the military phase of the Civil War but won the peace afterwards. They deliberately organized their society so that schools beyond K-8 were too expensive for poor people. They deliberately kept industries that might have employed large numbers of poor whites in high paying jobs out of their states. It wasn’t until the mechanization of cotton production that desegregation could happen in the South, nobody dared push it before then because the South *would* have risen up again. It wasn’t until the surplus poor white population was no longer needed for cotton that industries like textiles and the auto industry were allowed to come to the South to employ the surplus poor white population, and the taxes to build good schools were never passed even then because educated people were a threat to the aristocracy.

The end result of that third world society — a sea of poverty and a small set of aristocrats on top — was that these states were poor. The aristocrats didn’t care. They could have had more money if they’d allowed the peasants to become prosperous and educated, but they cared more about being on top than about absolute wealth. It’s no surprise that in the 1960’s and 1970’s, as the power of the old Civil War descended aristocrats collapsed, the affluence of the South grew immensely. Even into the 1980’s, it seemed that the South was going to rejoin the rest of the United States.

Then progress stopped. Because a new aristocracy arose. An aristocracy that, like the old one, also was more interested in maintaining their power than in absolute wealth, though in many cases, like the Koch brothers of Oklahoma, they do have immense absolute wealth. And maintaining their power is easier with an uneducated populace. Thus the constant attempts to prohibit accurate teaching of biological science in Southern schools (modern biology simply cannot be explained without the theory of evolution), the prohibiting of teaching critical thinking skills in most Southern schools, and so forth. By keeping the poors stupid, ignorant, and superstitious, the poors don’t look up at their aristocrats and start measuring the aristocrats’ necks for nooses. By keeping the poors fixated on guns, gays, god, and godless Liberals, the poors don’t notice that the aristocrats have been fucking them up every goddamn orifice for the past two hundred forty fucking years.

All in all, it’s a nice scam. But it *has* required that they shut down prosperity again, which they’ve done via de-industrialization, replacing high-paying factory jobs with low-paying service jobs. Yet the rubes still haven’t caught on: their poverty isn’t accidental. It’s planned.

And the motherfuckers who planned it are getting away with it. Again. Because turns out that not only are the majority of Southerners ignorant, they’re also stupid, lacking the common sense to realize that it’s no accident that the Northeast and the West Coast are affluent and prosperous while they are mired in poverty…

So it goes. As it was, it is again, yessiree. When you have an entire class of people that benefits from keeping the majority poor and ignorant, only an idiot would blame liberals for that. But idiots are one thing not in short supply.

– Badtux the Economics Penguin

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Libertarians who say we don’t need government police, intelligence agencies, etc. because private enterprise can do all of that forget that their proposal was the norm for the United States until after WW2. The reason why we quit doing that is that we learned that the private police and intelligence agencies were corrupt and selling their services on behalf of the highest bidder even if the highest bidder was asking them to violate the law, and in the process were harming innocents with no recourse.

Equifax is a perfect example of that. Equifax started out as sort of a private Stasi intelligence agency, gathering files of dubious integrity on people via various means both legal and illegal and selling them to the highest bidder with no regard for privacy or accuracy. If you wanted to make sure you weren’t about to rent an apartment to a gay or an atheist or a Communist, you paid Equifax to find out whether the renter was one of those things, and Equifax in turn paid your neighbors to inform on you, just like the Stasi did. And if a neighbor you had a feud with decided to tell them you were a Communist even if you weren’t, well, you had no way of knowing that this was why you couldn’t get anybody to rent to you, and no right to see what information they had on file on you and correct it.

It wasn’t Utopia, regardless of what the libertarians whine about, and that’s why the credit reporting agencies are regulated now and only allowed to collect financial information, not information about your politics or sexuality or religion or whatever, and why they’re required to give you access to your file and required to correct information if it’s incorrect (though you may have to sue them in some cases). Libertopia just *doesn’t work*. Invariably it ends up with corruption, thuggery, and fraud. The fact that corruption, thuggery, and fraud might work better than the former government of Somalia is not a rousing statement. Giardia is preferable to cholera too. But you don’t see me running out to contract giardia…

— Badtux the Non-libertarian Penguin

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“Reached by phone Tuesday night, Shkreli refused to say where he would donate the money or what he would do with the remaining cash. Instead he unleashed a string of expletives and then requested to engage in a lewd act with a reporter.”

Yep, that’s our old pal Martin Shkreli alright :).

Pharma Bro be selling his Wu-Tang Clan album. And it’s nobody’s business where the money is going, he said to a Fox News reporter, before “requested to engage in a lewd act” with said reporter. LOL.

– Badtux the “Have fun in jail, Marty!” Penguin

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Those motherfuckers at Wells Fargo are either incompetent, or thieves. Either way, they don’t deserve your business.

In this particular bit of thievery, they stole thousands of people’s cars and charged hundreds of thousands more customers for auto insurance they didn’t need. They claim it was incompetence on their part. But I got this to say: that’s a damn convenient line to spew. My bet is that they’re a buncha fucking crooks.

But hey, it doesn’t matter in the end. Incompetent assholes? Crooks? Whatevs. If you bank there, don’t. If your business banks there, don’t. There’s other banks, and while Bank of America is just as venal and Chase is just as incompetent, you don’t have to use the Too Big To Fail banks. Just sayin’.

– Badtux the Credit-union-usin’ Penguin

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And they kicked a blind woman and her guide dog off a plane because they didn’t want to re-seat her to someplace where her dog could sit on the floor in front of her. Despite the fact that the Americans with Disabilities Act says they have to accomodate her and re-seat her if a seat can be found.

But they’re American Airlines, which has a long history of violating the law regarding service dogs. They regularly harass and bully people and claim impunity. They have even continued this conduct after signing a consent decree saying they wouldn’t do it anymore.

This is, of course, a blatant violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, but they don’t care about the law, because they don’t have to — a federal government that is 100% owned by big corporations is refusing to enforce the law against said big corporations.

So in short, American Airlines is a criminal enterprise that refuses to obey the law, and the government refuses to enforce the law against it. That’s the sort of situation that leads to massive lawsuits or, if lawsuits have been barred by law, eventually leads to violent revolution. And violent revolution never ends up well for the country that does it. I can’t remember one that turned out well, whether it was the Russian Revolution that put the Communists in charge, or the Egyptian Revolution that put the Islamists then the Army in charge, all that happens is that the most violent win and then impose their will upon the rest of the people at gunpoint.

— Badtux the “These people are criminals” Penguin

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Ro Khanna has received more money from Wall Street than any other House candidate in the United States.

Yes, the candidate claiming to be an “honest government” candidate has taken more money from the corrupt Wall Street establishment that bought laws that allowed them to crash the economy in 2008, then escape all consequences while getting billions in taxpayer bailouts for their corruption, than any other candidate in the entire United States of America. Even more than the New York City candidates who you would think would be the focus of Wall Street money.

This is why I can’t vote for Ro Khanna. He is a Republican Lite in the pay of the sleazy Wall Street types who crashed our economy in 2008 and then got paid to bail themselves out. I think Mike Honda has overstayed in the House, he is no longer capable and needs to designate a successor with similar ideals, but Ro Khanna is a dishonest sleazebag who has repeatedly made promises that he knows he can’t keep (because U.S. Representatives don’t have the power to fulfill promises such as “institute coding classes in all schools”) and Ro has repeatedly smeared a man who has served honorably in the House for almost as long as this sleaze has been alive. There are ways to run against an elderly man who served honorably in his day but is no longer capable. Dishonorable smear jobs and ugliness are not among them, and are what offends me most about Ro’s campaigns.

In short: Ro is *not* a suitable replacement for Mike Honda. Ro Khanna is part of the problem with our economy and our government (that is, pay for play politics), not part of the solution.

– Badtux the Santa Clara Penguin
Note: Yes, the San Jose Murky News endorsed Ro. They’ve never met a “pro business” (i.e., corrupt pay-for-play) candidate that they didn’t like. And your point?

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