California presses ahead with restricting doctors’ speech from going against “contemporary scientific consensus”

The California Senate Business, Professions, and Economic Development Committee approved bill AB 2098, which would punish doctors for disagreeing with the state’s chosen authority and spreading COVID “misinformation.”

According to the author of the bill, Democrat Assemblyman Evan Low, the controversial bill “helps ensure we tackle misinformation and disinformation” spread by doctors about COVID.

We obtained a copy of the bill for you here.

The bill was drafted after doctors sharing their opinions about Covid on social media was seen to be undermining public messaging.

The bill argues that misinformation by medical practitioners is negligent:

“‘Misinformation’ means false information that is contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus to an extent where its dissemination constitutes gross negligence by the licensee.”

An analysis of the bill by the committee concluded that it:

“Makes disseminating misinformation, as defined, or disinformation related to COVID-19, including false or misleading information regarding the nature and risks of the virus, its prevention and treatment; and the development, safety, and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, by a physician and surgeon unprofessional conduct.”

During the hearing of the bill by the committee earlier this week, it was heavily opposed, particularly on First Amendment grounds and the idea that doctors should be allowed to go against “scientific consensus,” as that’s how major discoveries of the past have come to be.

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Names, addresses of every concealed carry permit holder in California exposed

The names, addresses, and license types of every Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) permit holder in California were exposed as part of a data breach suffered by the state Department of Justice, according to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.

Officials say the California State Sheriff’s Association informed the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office about the data breach, which followed the publication of the state’s 2022 Firearms Dashboard Portal on Monday, KTLA sister station KSEE/KPGE reports. At the time, state officials described it as improving “transparency and information sharing for firearms-related data.”

Sheriff’s Office officials say the information released included the CCW holders’ name, age, address, Criminal Identification Index (CII) number and license type (Standard, Judicial, Reserve and Custodial). The information included every CCW holder in the state.

In response to the information being released, Fresno County officials say the state disabled access to the website hosting the data – but there are concerns that the information was copied and remains in circulation on social media and other parts of the internet. It is unknown how long the information was publicly accessible on the Department of Justice’s website.

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California bill 2273 would require websites and apps to verify visitors’ ID

California’s bill CA AB 2273, designed to enact the Age-Appropriate Design Code (AADC) is just one among the bills raising concerns in terms of how they might negatively affect the web going forward.

Like their counterparts in the EU, legislators in California, according to their critics, present online child safety as their only goal – and a stated desire to improve this is hard to argue with, even when arguments are valid – such as that the proposed bills may in fact do nothing to better protect children, while eroding the rights of every internet user.

Among other things, AB 2273 aims to require sites and apps to authenticate the age of all their users before allowing access. Attempts to introduce mandatory age authentication have also cropped up in other jurisdictions before, but have proven controversial, technically difficult to implement, with a high potential to compromise user data collected in this way, and intrusive to people’s privacy.

In California, the situation doesn’t look much different as critics of this bill say that authentication will require site operators and businesses to deal with personal data collection from every user, and worry about using and storing it securely.

We obtained a copy of the bill for you here.

In addition, some kind of government-issued ID – or surrendering biometric data such as that collected through facial recognition – is necessary to prove one’s age in the first place; and this is where forcing sites and services to require this information would effectively mean the end of anonymity online.

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California working on denying gun permits based on “ideological viewpoints”

The Supreme Court’s decision in Bruen on Thursday didn’t simply shoot down New York’s onerous “good-cause requirement” in the gun permit application process. It set up similar laws in other states for likely revocation. One of those states is California, where they have their own requirement that applicants must show a “good cause” or “special need” before a carry permit is issued. State Attorney General Rob Bonta sent out a letter on Friday to law enforcement and government attorneys noting the change and saying that the state’s current “may issue” regime should be able to be converted to a “shall issue” regime with few modifications. So that’s good news, right?

Not so fast. As Eugene Volokh points out at Reason, Bonta pivoted from signaling compliance with the new SCOTUS ruling to identifying another way to deny permits to people with no criminal record. He claims that the ruling will not impact the existing requirement for applicants to be able to demonstrate that they are “of good moral character.” On that basis, the state can start snooping around to see if you hold any unauthorized opinions or are prone to demonstrate “hatred and racism.” And how would they know that? Well, by going through your social media accounts, of course.

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350,000 trout to be euthanized after bacteria outbreak at two Eastern Sierra fish hatcheries

Two fish hatcheries in the Eastern Sierra are fighting a bacteria outbreak that is causing them to euthanize nearly 350,000 trout.

On Monday, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announced that nearly 350,000 catchable rainbow trout need to be euthanized as they are showing signs of Lactococcus petuari, a bacteria that sickens fish.

CDFW said this outbreak was first detected in April at the Black Rock Hatchery in Independence and Fish Springs Hatchery in Big Pine. According to CDFW, these two hatcheries usually provide fish for stocking waterways in the Inland Deserts Region.

‘Because this is a significant loss of fish that would normally be stocked for anglers in the 2022 season, CDFW is working to contract with an external vendor to provide catchable rainbow trout for planting in Mono County,” CDFW wrote in a statement.

CDFW said this contract could be approved by as early as July, allowing for stocking to begin shortly thereafter.

In the meantime, other CDFW hatcheries across California have stepped in to support the eastern Sierra hatcheries by providing and stocking fish in priority waters.

“This loss is a huge disappointment, but we were prepared for this possibility and are doing all we can to ensure to continued angling opportunity for the public,” CDFW Fisheries Supervisor Russell Black said.

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California animal shelter to require those adopting pets to support gun restrictions

An animal shelter in California will not allow anyone who does not support gun control to adopt their pets.

The Shelter Hope Pet Shop in Thousand Oaks, Calif., announced at the end of May that it had added the question, “Where do you stand on gun control?” to its standard adoption interview for potential pet owners.

“We believe that if we can make our voices heard on how we feel we can make an impact. We do not support those who believe that the 2nd amendment gives them the right to buy assault weapons,” Shelter Hope Pet Shop owner Kim Sill wrote on the organization’s website. “If your beliefs are not in line with ours, we will not adopt a pet to you.”

The shelter also requires owners to be at least 25, have a current driver’s license and submit to a physical inspection by the shelter if they don’t own their home.

Sill referenced the deadly mass shooting at a Thousand Oaks bar in 2018, writing that the shooter who carried out that attack had volunteered at Shelter Hope Pet Shop. Sill added that she had been told by officials that the gunman had considered targeting the shelter as a potential location to carry out the shooting.

“If you lie about being a [National Rifle Association] supporter, make no mistake, we will sue you for fraud,” Sill wrote.

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Gov’t to Steal Elderly Man’s House Over $573K They Fined Him for Working on Car in His Back Yard

Dan Alstatt is a retired 83-year-old from California who may spend the rest of his life “homeless and penniless” because government claims what you can and can’t do with your own property. Alstatt never harmed anyone, nor did he destroy or other wise harm anyone else’s property, but these facts are irrelevant to the state who claims Alstatt owes them $573,000 for using his private property the way he wanted.

Alstatt worked on old cars in his own yard and according to the city of Sacramento, this is illegal. When Alstatt disputed the city’s claim, the city then told Alstatt he owed them money. Now, Alstatt is worried that the state will come and seize his home because he cannot afford to pay the ridiculously high fines.

According to an article in the SacBee, Alstatt’s nightmare began in 2014 when he brought a van into his backyard to fix them — a code enforcement penalty — according to the local government.

He also had at least five other vehicles on the property, some of which he inherited when his brother died, he said. A neighbor complained, and the city cited him, claiming all the vehicles appeared to be inoperable. It also issued violations for other backyard items — car parts, generators, propane tanks and fruit that had fallen off his orange and grapefruit trees. Altstatt has since removed the inoperable vehicles and other items.

To be clear, none of the vehicles could be seen as they were in his back yard behind a privacy fence and the front of Alstatt’s home is well kept and maintained. Absolutely no one is being harmed or was ever harmed by Alstatt working on vehicles but the state still pursued the case.

Despite the fact that Alstatt has since removed all the “violations,” the city still claims he owes them over a half million dollars. He appealed their fines but lost that appeal this month.

Alstatt argued that the fines totaling over a half million dollars were “excessive” and violate his Eighth Amendment right to be free from “excessive fines imposed.” The city claimed that Alstatt’s accusations of excessive fines for working on vehicles in his own back yard were “unfounded and unsupported.”

Alstatt also accused the city of using code enforcement as a predatory means to collect revenue which will render him “homeless and penniless.” The city also claimed this was unfounded.

Imagine the type of mental gymnastics it takes for a city code enforcer to think that fining a retiree $573,000 for working on a van in his back yard is not “excessive” or “predatory.”

Nevertheless, the court took Alstatt’s claims, threw them out, and used them as an opportunity to mock him in their dismissal of his appeal.

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California panel set to release report calling for ‘comprehensive reparations’ to Black Americans

California task force on reparations  – the first of its kind in the nation – is set to release a report on Wednesday outlining several ways to address what it believes to be wrongs committed by the state against Black Americans.

The report calls for expanded voter registration, policies to hold police more accountable in cases of alleged brutality, and recommends the creation of a special office that would, in part, help Black Americans who descended from free or enslaved Black people in the country at the end of the 19th century document their eligibility for financial restitution.

The report, which runs 500 pages, will be the first government-commissioned study on harms against the African American community since the 1968 Kerner Commission report ordered by President Lyndon Johnson, task force Chair Kamilah Moore said.

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Voter Fraud Leads to Reversed Result in California Local Government Election

An election to the Compton, California city council has been overturned due to the discovery of election fraud in a close race in which the winning candidate has been charged with voter fraud and bribery.

Compton City Council member Isaac Galvin, who appeared to win his seat by the slimmest possible margin of one vote, was arrested last year, along with five other people, and charged with conspiracy to commit election fraud.

He will be replaced by his challenger, Andre Spicer, after a judge ruled Friday that four of the votes in the election were invalid because they were cast by people who did not live in the district.

The Los Angeles Times reported Monday:

Two-term Councilman Isaac Galvan must be replaced by his challenger, Andre Spicer, after a judge determined that four of the votes cast in the election were submitted by people who did not live in the council district that the two men were vying to represent, according to a 10-page ruling issued Friday by Superior Court Judge Michelle Williams Court.

After a contentious primary, Galvan and Spicer advanced to a runoff in June 2021, which Galvan won, 855 to 854. With the four illegal ballots disqualified, Court ruled that Spicer was the rightful winner of the election by a tally of 854 to 851.

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