|FROM ||Rick Moen
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [Hangout-NYLXS] Hey, Ruben! Plastic bag initiatives!
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Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2016 15:40:44 -0700
From: Rick Moen
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Subject: [Hangout-NYLXS] Hey, Ruben! Plastic bag initiatives!
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tl;dr: I have analyses posted on the Web of the June and November
ballots at my address in California that may interest even
right-coasters. URLs below. November one covers the last gasp of the
plastic bag industry to overturn California law, about to go down in
smoke. Ruben is invited to be annoyed. ;->
Ruben won't be seeing this thread until after Shabbos, but we feckless
goyim (and people in further-west time zones) can palaver in his
Last May, Ruben was having a cow (subspecies virtual) over a minuscule
tax on single-use plastic shopping bags then being debated in NYC and
Albany. How'd that turn out, by the way?
At the time, I mentioned part of our experience in California. All
around the cities and counties of San Francisco Bay Area starting in
2007, and in a number of other cities in other parts of the state (151
cities total) there's been for _quite_ a few years the same sort of bag
ordinance. You no longer get paper _or_ plastic grocery & pharmacy bags
'free' [sic]. Either paper or _thick_ (multi-use) bags remain available
if you need them at (typically) 10-25 cents each. You are encouraged to
either reuse, or (better) just bring from home the now-ubiquitous canvas
bags or other bags you already have.
And this ordinance has been a roaring success everywhere it's been
enacted. Just about all the blowing plastic-bag litter: Pfft. Gone. =
(The percent remaining will be in part leftover from pre-ordinance =
days and part litter brought in fron non-ordinance jurisdictions.)
And the people who were shouting persecution pretty much all found the
new arrangement really easy to deal with, and NOT ONE of the 151 cities
or dozen-odd counties has repealed its ordinance. Zero. Pretty nearly =
everyone prefers things this way. Polls continue to show heavy public
support, even in the parts of California with no local bag law.
Except, of course, from the plastic bag industry, which _really_ got
into the game after Governor Brown signed into law SB-270, a _statewide_
bag statute imposing a minimum 10 cent fee for throwaway paper or
plastic grocery & pharmacy bags. They've so far thrown at least $5M
into getting SB-270 overturned, _and_ succeeded in both getting SB-270
held up pending a voter referendum (Proposition 67) and also threw onto
the ballot a second 'trojan horse' bag measure (Proposition 65) to muddy
the waters, sabotage the statewide ban if it passes, and with luck annoy
voters into voting 'no' on both measures -- an old trick.
Polls are so far showing that California voters are _not_ being fooled,
though the day is young and we'll know for certain only on Nov. 8th.
But _even if_ the plastic bag industry is able to buy enough statewide =
influence, they'll still have the huge problem of those 151 successful,
popular city ordinances and dozen-odd county ones.
And, oh, the California Republican Party endorses the plastic industry's
'trojan horse' decoy proposition. (In fairness, they don't oppose the
Anyway: These last two election cycles (June and November 2016), =
I've expanded slightly something I've always done for my family and
close friends: ballot analysis.
For years, I've written an e-mail prior to each major election, listing
all the ballot issues and candidates, and saying in a separate, marked
section for each issue/candidate, how I'm voting and why. These have
been very popular, in part because there's no goddamned polemics in it.
Many people including Our Good Host seem to fail to realise that there's
an _art_ to the writing and publishing of rants. If you get it wrong, =
all you accomplish is to annoy and get ignored if not killfiled, thrown
off mailing lists where you've gone bezerk, etc.
Unless you're Seth Meyers, Samantha Bee, John Oliver, or Bill Maher,
your political rant is going to just make you look stupid and rude, the
more so if you _push_ it at people, e.g., at subscribers of a mailing list.=
Such things are so widely understood to be noxious that even polite
recommendations that you _don't_ push at people must be written
I _think_ I've been pulling that off. Judge for yourself:
You in the Empire State might find some of that good reading even if you
have no real interest in the Left Coast, if only because the crazy =
stuff Golden State voters try out often knocks on your own door =
a couple of years later.
Y'all might find the Top-Top Primary bit interesting, in particular.
It's one of two recent reforms (along with an independent redistricting =
commission) that have pretty much ended partisan gridlock in Sacramento.
You might want to give it a try.
And feel free to laugh at California throwing _seventeen_ ballot
proposition at voters on the November 8th ballot. I sure do.
Quoting Rick Moen (rick-at-linuxmafia.com):
> Quoting Ruben Safir (mrbrklyn-at-panix.com):
> > On 09/06/2016 09:02 PM, Ruben Safir wrote:
> > > has anyone followed the imprisonment and months long interment in
> > > Solitary Confinement of Francis Rawls, of Philadelphia? He is accused
> > > of watching child pornography and they are holding him in contempt of
> > > court because his systems are locked with cryptography.
> Are you forwarding mail from your evil twin Ruben Safir?
> You did not bother to provide the news article, just the full text of an
> advocacy blog post. The interesting legal question is: What evidence
> did prosecutors provide to the judge to support application of the =
> 'foregone conclusion' doctrine's exception to the Fifth Amendment?
> Without understanding the legal issue, your covering this matter is
> pretty fruitless. If you agitate about legal issues without bothering
> to understand the law, you are just making noise.
> NY Times article says on that point, 'Parts of the court documents that
> would explain the reasons for Mr. Rawls=E2=80=99s detention and the court=
> are still under seal.' So, we presently do not know.
> The doctrine was developed by the USSC in 1976 in the case Fisher v.
> United States, 425 U.S. 391, 411 and reaffirmed in United States v.
> Hubbell, 530 U.S. 27 (2000). The Fifth Amendment privilege against
> 'self-incrimination' has always been ruled to extend only to
> 'incriminating communitcations... that are testimonial in nature' (US v.
> Fisher was an IRS case in which defendant Fisher refused to produce
> documents sought by IRS, citing Fifth Amendment privilege. The USSC
> disagreed, ruling that "the act of producing [the papers]=E2=80=94the onl=
> which the taxpayer is compelled to dowould not itself involve
> testimonial self-incrimination." The Court held that the government
> can compel production when the "existence and location [of documents]
> are a foregone conclusion and [the defendant] adds little or nothing to
> the sum total of the Government=E2=80=99s information by conceding that h=
> fact has the papers." Thus, the act of producing papers wasn't
> testimonial; it was not functionally equivalent to admitting-guilt words
> from Fisher's mouth. =
> By contrast, the USSC disagreed with prosecution in the Hubbell case,
> where a grand jury had subpoenaed documents from an official who refused
> to comply. Here, the Court found that the prosecution had _lacked_ =
> a priori knowledge of the subpoenaed documents, and thus compelling the
> papers would have constituted a testimonial act.
> Lower courts have tended to follow dicta in the Hubbell case and
> requiring the state seeking compulsion under the 'foregone conclusion'
> doctrine to be able to show the court independent, convincing evidence =
> of the 'existence, custody, and authenticity' of the material sought --
> all three of those elements, not just police handwavium. =
> Moveover, because of subsequent cases, in three District Courts (DC
> Circuit, Ninth Circuit, Eleventh Circuit), prosecution must also have
> existing knowledge of the subpoenaed documents with "reasonable
> particularity" before "the communication inherent in the act of
> production can be considered a foregone conclusion." (Philadelphia's
> served by the Third Circuit.)
> _So_, the implication in the Rawls case is that the judge has seen other
> evidence (so far under seal) that already convinced him/her past a
> reasonable doubt that the hard drives' contents are child pornography, =
> which is why he ruled that decrypting them isn't a testimonial act, and
> refusing his order to do so is contempt of court. Rawls's public
> defender's job was to convince the judge that whatever-that-was _didn't_
> establish the 'existence, custody, and authenticity' of kiddie porn on
> Rawls's hard drives -- but on the evidence he didn't succeed. =
> Now, you can dislike the court's holding if you like, but at least you
> understand it better.
> And, next time, don't try to understand legal issues by reading advocacy
> blog postings.
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