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« Happy Mother's Day | Main | An apology for all occasions »

14 May 2012


Michael Anderson

George, I'm 100% with you on "abolishing rogue agencies, rewriting its tax code in toto, and returning rights to the states as exquisitely prescribed by our Founders." I'm less enthusiastic about your call to "starve the beast," not because I like the beast and think its voracious appetite is a good thing, but because I think a less drastic solution will deliver better results.

For example, humans who go on starvation diets--reducing their stomach sizes with staples, drinking only fruit juice for 45 days, etc.--put their long-term health at serious risk. It's like trying to land a plane at a 45 degree angle under full power. You are risking the integrity of the aircraft to prove a point.

I endorse the Bowles-Simpson Plan, which has a much better glide slope, and also reduces the amount of high-calorie rhetoric embodied in any "starve the beast" plan.

Todd Juvinall

Government can only do what the money will allow. Starving the beast means simply the priorities of the politicians must change to fit the money. I would suspect the size of government would shrink dramatically if it was placed on a diet. As we can see though at the State and Federal levels, the "beast" is still fed with debt dollars. We have a State Constitution that requires a "balanced" budget yet we have not had one for many years. Why is that? Because the politicians and their helpers have decided to change the meaning of "balanced" and we were witness to all kinds of shenanigans regarding the budget. They borrowed from specifically restrained trust funds, they stripped redevelopment monies, they swiped bond funds, they "fee'd" everything that moves and doesn't move (calling taxpayers "customers"). Hell they wanted to tax the view of the ocean a few years ago. So, this disregard for our State's Constitution by the very people who swear to uphold it has given us all a cynicism about the veracity of the political motives. If they truly followed the Constitution (one of the most complex and longest in America) then the people perhaps would not be as determined to starve them. But they don't. They use smoke and mirrors to keep from cutting anything and the priorities are so ridiculous we are now the laughingstock of the planet. Starve the beast is the only way to corral the scofflaws. George is right on the mark.

Ryan Mount

Welp, we can't print money in California. It seems as if market forces maybe be starving the California Beast for us. Why are revenues down? Answer: because income and sales are not there. Duh. There's no "there, there."

We really only have a few options here: monetize/print money (can't do that here), borrow (yeah, right), raise taxes and/or decrease spending.

Governor Brown is proposing a mix of the last two, however the treasury has been fooling around with the bond market(borrow option) with less than spectacular results*:

- A 3% income tax hike for the highest income bracket
- An increase on the sales tax (a regressive consumption tax)
- Spending cuts (state workers, health and human services, and the courts)

The first two are up for a vote in November. If the voters turn them down, then it's gonna be even uglier. Approximately 8.5 Billion on this new disturbing 16 billion shortfall are expected to be filled with the first two tax increases. Any predictions?

And we're just talking about the short term deficits, not the long term obligations, which probably should be discussed elsewhere.

On a weird note (I thought it was weird), many of the State's revenue projections are based on the Facebook IPO, which is estimated to bring $1.5 billion (with a "b") in revenue.


George Rebane

RyanM 1133am - recall that I asked first for bets on such projections ;-)

California's long term obligations are way beyond the half trillion dollar mark. Continuing the insanity of narrowly focused revenue sources is an ongoing verification of how glaciated is progressive thinking - those birds are in permanent stasis, not an adaptive thought in their heads. And this reaches back to Teddy Roosevelt's days.

billy T

I won't touch the medical marijuana issue cause I don't care one way or another and its all just regulations anyway. But the recent news is filled with California "unexpected shortfall" of this year's budget by a mere 14 billion more. For those of us who remember, California temporarily raised the sales tax after the Oakland earthquake for rebuilding and earthquake retrofitting bridges post haste. Knew a guy who worked doing that. Bids were received and work started within 30 days. Government can streamline things when it wants to. One bridge he worked on started 15 days after his boss submitted a bid. When the sales tax was set to sunset, ole Willy Brown got up in front of the microphones and said "we must extended the sales tax because it helps all the poor people in Oakland." Well, nobody wants to be a heartless Scrooge and starve to death all the poor people in Oakland so it was extended. And extended, and extended again. So much for a temp sales tax increase. After all it is just a tiny increase and once you get used to it you won't even notice it. We face a much bigger calamity today and nobody wants to starve out our librarians or civil servants or Grannie's assistant care living arrangements. Not to mention our young buxom kindergarten teachers and our pre-kindergarten education programs. Without our pre-kindergarten programs, poor working people would have to kick down for child care or baby sitters and that would also hurt the poor folks in Oakland. Long story short: With the state in fiscal crisis (crisis is this case is not the usual embellishment of the word crisis) who in their right minds believe that the temporary sales tax would not be another permanent tax increase extended decade after decade?? Beam me up, Scottie, this place is full of tomfoolery. There are 120,000 households with an income of 1 million or more in the greater SF area. Tax the crap on them first and they can pay for the poor folks in Oakland and continue charging people $400.00 for the road cleanup after they crash their cars. And keep paying for cleaning up the stench caused by the output of low flow toilets clogging the sewer mains. Yep, tax the other guy. And vote NO on prop 29, which will hurt the poor folk in Oakland. Stats show that poor folk are more inclined to be smokers and taxing the cigs more will guessed it...hurt the po folk in Oakland. No on 29 and no on sales tax increases to help out all the po folk. Lord knows they don't have enough disposable income.

Ryan Mount

I would be surprised if California voters will vote in favor of spending more money they don't have in November. But if it's targeted at a class of people they envy, perhaps there's a glimmer of hope for the legislative teenagers.

Governor Brown's May Revision here:

Michael Anderson

Ryan wrote:
"- A 3% income tax hike for the highest income bracket
- An increase on the sales tax (a regressive consumption tax)
- Spending cuts (state workers, health and human services, and the courts)"

This is the better glide slope I was talking about.

And regarding the California long-term obligations, the real question is whether the obligations will survive, or the state government. I'm betting on the state.

Lastly, George wrote: "Continuing the insanity of narrowly focused revenue sources is an ongoing verification of how glaciated is progressive thinking - those birds are in permanent stasis, not an adaptive thought in their heads. And this reaches back to Teddy Roosevelt's days."

Really? Not a single adaptive thought? Not even one? This is the type of simplistic thinking that I am talking about.

George Rebane

MichealA 231pm - Gimme a break, the absolute in that profession of inflexibility is rhetorical license. The point made is that for over a century progressives have continued to prescribe, and their more aggressive elements have continued to repeateldy apply the same nostrums of public policy that simply don't work at best, and have given rise to untold human misery at worst.

It is the hordes of free market capitalists who have given humans everywhere a quantum leap in their quality of life over the last two centuries. And in the US this economic philosophy has reached its pinnacle when combined with personal liberty and overarching freedoms that are codified in law.

In response the collectivists have done nothing but double down on their stasist 'socially just' approaches to governance. Talk about simplistic thinking; and the best we can tell, you have every reason to rejoice, for you are winning.

Todd Juvinall

Hey MichaelA, how is that Red Chinese experiment working out? They seem to be utilizing capitalism to gain dinars and heck, they are even building an aircraft carrier with the money the get from us! I would suggest the Chinese, the commies at least, are wondering how the hell they can keep a lid on the inevitable freedoms their people are going to get when they all decide they want a microwave and an Ipod. So, please, tell us how why the communists there are utilizing capitalism ideas, I am all ears. Oops, that's I am all Obama ears.

billy T

I will take a risk and mention a story from the Bible. Libs, please remove any children from the room as this might be unsuitable for the surviving children of liberal parents. The story: The "children of Israel" were slaves in Egypt for 400 years. They got that slave mentality in their minds and blood and became a leaderless dependent people. One day they were told they could get out of Egypt. The group of slaves did not even make it 3 days before they started whining and complaining and even wanted to go back to Egypt cause they knew there would be "free food" and even through they were harshly treated, they knew what to expect and had become "institutionalized". Well, God said that mentality has to be smashed and led them through the "wilderness" until they all died off and a new crop of people who did not have the slave mentality walked into the "promised land". Even Moses was not allowed to step one foot in the land of milk and honey. Not one foot. Not one foot of anyone that had the slave mentality. California has the slave mentality. OWS has the slave mentality. Take care of us, almighty Pharaoh! Who will take care of us? The future is soooo scary. Being your slaves is better than relying on ourselves and rights bestowed upon us by the Creator. Send us back to Egypt! Maybe all the Dems in CA will have to die off before we can call ourselves The Golden State again.

George Rebane

billyT 557pm - that sounds about right to me; where do I sign?

billy T

The 1.2 million people who have fled The Golden State because of the high cost living here and doing business with the State took their liquid assets with them. How unfair. I declare them all political refuges.

Michael Anderson

I'm not going to even attempt to address the stuff from Todd and Billy above. I will answer our host, however.

George wrote:
"Gimme a break, the absolute in that profession of inflexibility is rhetorical license."
"It is the hordes of free market capitalists who have given humans everywhere a quantum leap in their quality of life over the last two centuries."

OK, we've established what free market capitalists have contributed. But your rhetorical license is getting in the way of a more balanced assessment. Is there nothing from the progressive movement since Teddy Roosevelt that was worthwhile? The FSA? The TVA maybe?

billy T

Well, since California is acting more like an Euroland country than a part of America, in the name of being positive and pro-active, perhaps we can follow Germany's example.

Todd Juvinall

Well golly, I guess MichaelA is unable to answer Billt and I because he really can't. Hey Billy, good job cornfusing the fellow.


I vote to starve the beast.

Brad Croul

Keeping marijuana illegal is good for one thing: taxpayer money for law enforcement, the courts, and prisons.

Making marijuana legal, and taxing the sale of pot, would add to our county coffers - but the sheriff's dept. would not get what they get now to fly around in helicopters and hike in the woods.

There is not enough room in our jails for this type of victimless crime anyway.

Ryan Mount

How about a proposal that will annoy everyone...

How about we just give all of the scripts to the county, and let them grow the 6 plants on behalf of the patients on some rural plot? Heck, I'll even go one step further and allow said patients to tend to their "crops" community garden-style. Maybe they can grow tomatoes and squash too!?

At harvest time, the county would supervise the plants and their distribution. Patients can pay a fee (a tax really) to have the government host their "grows" to cover things like security and oversight.

Of course there's this issue with the Feds having a nice convenient spot to invade and burn everything to hell. Not to mention a centralized place for them to document all of the patients. This would essentially be a dispensary, but without the retail middleman.


Does the county have a 'permit fee' for said operations?

Why do I need a permit to remodel my bathroom if my neighbor doesn't need one to grow 'medical pot?'

Lastly, the need for so much medical pot raises the question... why are so many of our neighbors sick?

George Rebane

In talking to 'community leaders' about such a centralized growing location (mine was based on the garden plots in European cities that cover the better part of a city block), I got little positive feedback, and a lot of pushback on costs, security, NIMBY issues, etc.

Yes, there are many places in our society where inefficiency, confusion, and ignorance bring in big money for certain powerful factions, and therefore attempting to eliminate them through common sense arguments gets us nowhere. The entire legal code is such a pig trough that is always full to overflowing for the lawyers. And the same can be said for the nation's drug laws in favor of keeping bureaucracies, law enforcement, religion, social services, ... in the green. The cartels are laughing their butts off at all of this; their main problem is not the state, but the neighboring cartels - capitalism unfettered ;-).

Ryan Mount


I'm with you. I'm just trying to draw a line straight up the middle.

It was pretty bad out here in Alta Sierra last year with those grows out on Annie Drive. I believe the activity took place on an abandoned/empty lot. People were scared.

Short of an all-out gun battle, which no one in their right mind wanted around a school let alone a relatively peaceful neighborhood, what were the options for the people of Annie Drive? Shoot first, ask questions later? Summon the Sheriff every day? Hide in their homes?

Douglas Keachie

THEMIKEYMCD: Why are so many neighbors sick? Simple, it's cheap to live in the woods, and much safer than in an urban ghetto. When you are sick your earning power is low and your means of self defense is even lower.

GeorgeR: I'm not sure using the Mexican Drug Cartels, Inc. as your poster boy for unfettered capitalism, is in the best interests of your cause. It may indeed be highly accurate, but....?

BillyT: You might try instead to see where at least some of those fleeing California are going. You might be surprised that I know several software engineers who come back to the USA to visit from time to time. They've been hired away overseas, for both their engineering excellence, and their insights into our culture, at wages better than what they get here.

George Rebane

DougK 1018am - my "cause" has never espoused unfettered capitalism, of which those who don't read well or understand properly have perennially accused me. The real debate has always been what form and level of fettering should be in place to let the broadest benefits of free market capitalism flower within the constraints of human nature which is long on selfishness and short on altruism.


Ryan, my neighborhood is fraught with large scale pot farms. Our estimates are that 1 in 3 homes on our road has 99+ plants.

I have done everything short of hiring 24hr security to protect my family from the inevitable raids by pirates coming to steal the product and cash my neighbors have on their premisses [close enough to our home to smell].

Not to mention the vagrants who put up tents along the road during harvest that God forbid get bored, inebriated/high enough to do stupid things to me and my family.

We live in a constant state of fear.

I would rather make the crap plentiful [available at convenient stores] to cut down on the supply needs.

Brad Croul

Ryan, good idea on having the county grow (and protect) the crop. Inmates could be used for labor. It's a win-win!

Michael Anderson

Mikey wrote: "I would rather make the crap plentiful [available at convenient stores] to cut down on the supply needs."

Agreed! And eventually it will happen, it is 100% guaranteed. So the hard work is in making it happen sooner rather than later. As has been mentioned here by many people, pro-drug-laws LE and drug dealers (a craven consortium) are the forces that must be overcome.

Ryan Mount


Those large scale farms are not reasonable by any measure. Many of these operations are running by proxy taking other people's scripts and growing on behalf of them. Or, as I'm sure is the case, they're simply growing illegally.

Is the area zoned for "agriculture" on that scale? Certainly Alta Sierra isn't. 6 plants is not really that unreasonable. 100? even 50?

And with regards to running scared, what are your options? The Sheriff? Move? Put up Smith and Wesson signs? None of these options seem reasonable. And it seems to me that their liberty (the freedom to grow unhindered) is pouring over into your liberty. Who settles those disputes? Well, if people won't be reasonable, it's gotta be the government.

So I see nothing wrong with government regulations in this regard because some growers "just don't get it" or frankly, just don't care. And I'm frankly trying to call all of the party's bluffs by suggesting that we allow the county to grow and dispense the crops. No dispensaries, no selling. No big grows.

But it appears we're gonna have to go to war with ourselves until we moderate our behavior. And frankly these large and unhindered operations are just inviting the Federal Government to come in an be the parent.

Paul Emery

Billy T

I'm surprised by you're rather cavalier attitude towards Medical Marijuana. Effectively enforced this ordinance will essentially put a fork in our local economy that has no substitute for the widely accepted 200 million dollars that this brings into our local economy each year. This will effect retail, sales tax revenue, mortgages and real estate values and school enrollment. It is indeed the largest non government cash importer into our county and there is no substitute plan to take it's place.

The fact that more people voted for Prop 19 than voted for Meg Whitman in the last election shows that this law does not have popular support and is impossible to enforce.

All indications are that this ordinance will end up causing expensive litigation and may be used as a model case by supporters of Medical Marijuana to prove that legislation of this kind is contrary to state law and the will of the people who passed Proposition 215 on November 5, 1996 with Fifty-six percent of voter approval.

Allowing law enforcement to set the rules is like letting doctors invent diseases and it insures a steady work product for them to attempt to enforce an unenforceable law. The details of the ordinance will allow government agents to enter private property without a search warrant and demand an inspection based on only the vaguest complaint. Fourth Amendments rights are thrown out the window in the search for illegal plants in our backyards. This no doubt involves a "taking" since it makes illegal today what was legal (under California Law) last year when the county used statewide guidelines to judge reasonable limits for cultivation.

The hypocrisy is humid here. With the notable exception of Rep McClintock, our host and the Libertarians there has been scarcely a peep from the Tea Party crusaders and property rights advocates for states rights and personal freedoms. The house bill described above, which was a rebuke Obama's Justice Departments raiding of dispensaries that were within state laws, was supported by a majority of Democrats and very few Republicans who chose not to get their hands dirty in a very clear question of Federal power and the "spanking" of States that get too independent.

My question to readers in this journal is why has this been ignored by the crusaders for personal freedom and States rights ?

Ryan Mount


Personal property and rights are only good to one's property line. So I guess those GMO soybean crops should be allowed to pollinate neighboring organic ones because they're protected by the 4th Amendment?

If I were to open a hydraulic mining operation on the Yuba, and that activity led to mischief, say, downstream, can I just tell the government to away and wave the 4th Amendment in their face? "Hey," I'll tell them, "this is my private property and I can do whatever I want." I also love to yell fire in crowded theaters because I'm protected by the 1st Amendment.

There. Are. Limits. To. Liberty. Unless, of course, one wants to live on one's own sovereign island.

If there is a complaint, you know the mechanism law-abidding citizens have to redress their grievances, can the government get a court order and/or warrant to search a property for violations as per the law? If there is no satisfaction, can the complaint be escalated to higher jurisdictions? I'm hoping that is a rhetorical question.

But for the record, I am in favor of the promiscuous Federal legalization of this drug for reasons stated by others above. We are in this situation right now because our brand of Federalism is breaking down. This MMJ law was "written" via the initiative process. And the electorate is a [very] poor choice for legislation.

Michael Anderson

Ryan and Mikey,
If this stuff was legal to grow by anyone at any time, then we could just look at this at a simple zoning question. Every piece of land in America has a specific zoning code, and this is how we prevent individual liberties from acting at cross purposes.
So, if we look at the land as AG, AR, UR, IR, O or C-O, RD, BP, SC, GC, AC, TC, M, F or FP, SM, PC, NPA, SPA, DW, NS, or MHP -- and all the variants under each of these categories -- we don't have to re-invent anything at all. No urgency ordinances! No confusion!

We could use corn as an example, but I think an even better comparison would be daphne. Can someone build and operate a daphne greenhouse in Alta Sierra? Maybe in some areas that are modified AG, but certainly not in the residential zones. In particular, since daphne has an extremely strong odor, there may be special restriction on this ornamental shrub that would be analogous to marijuana.

As for personal medicinal grows, those should be indoors and fairly small. For guidance there, we could look at existing regulations regarding home beer brewing. Got wort?

Paul Emery


Of course there are limits. They require search warrants. What Nevada County is proposing is the ability to enter and search your property without a warrant because it is not a criminal matter but instead an ordinance. In other words it seems they advocate that you would need to be served a warrant if you're property was to be searched for a burglary but no one if they enter because of a failed sniff test.
I'd appreciate any insight into this since it is my supposition based on sitting through both hearings at the supes.

Also, I also dislike the Proposition process but it does exist and should be a mandate that the Legislature enact legislation respecting the will of the people.

Oddly the odor or Marijuana is a manifestation of free enterprise since Marijuana with a strong odor is more valuable because it is an indication of quality. Free enterprise is so messy.


Do we need to return to the discussion of a Pig ranch in a suburban neighborhood to determine a Libertarian position on the limits of property rights that may be infringing on neighbors? Also, were there actually incidents of Pot Pirates in your neighborhood and are there any examples of invasions on your personal property by those involved with MJ farming?

Ryan Mount

Ordinance #2349, Section G-IV 5.12 documents the enforcement procedures. Specifically:

"The Enforcing Officer may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for a warrant authorizing entry upon the property for purposes of undertaking the work, if necessary." [BOLD mine]

If someone enters your property without a warrant, in most all situations, they can be shoooed away by waving the 4th Amendment in their face. Only in rare circumstances can law enforcement enter a property without one. For example, they believe there is eminent danger to someone, etc.

Anyhow, the ordinance cited above is pretty detailed and it seems that much of the language is a restatement of existing laws and regulations. And not to mention the County has to power to do this as granted by Article 11, section 7 of the California State Constitution:

"SEC. 7. A county or city may make and enforce within its limits all local, police, sanitary, and other ordinances and regulations not in conflict with general laws."

Paul Emery

Yes Ryan, I stand corrected on that, partly. The difference is that it is not a criminal search warrant but an inspection warrant which also requires judical judgement.

The scenarios are intriguing. If there is a MJ crop that is not viable from outside roads or properties and has not yet developed the well documented odor, that won't occur till late Sept, then what information would be available to generate a complaint? If you can't see it or sniff it than how do you know it exists? Would a judge issue a search warrant just because someone complains that that they think there is an illegal crop without any evidence? Demanding a warrant is not an admission of guilt only an exercise of your rights under the 4th Amendment so if an inspector obtains a warrant then the process of abatement could continue without prejudice.

Douglas Keachie

Sign on gate: This resdience is inhabited by the 4th Amendment and Mr. Weeks and his, band, The Exclusionary Rule.

"n Weeks v. United States (1914), the Supreme Court established what has been known as the exclusionary rule. The exclusionary rule states that evidence obtained through unconstitutional means is inadmissible in court and cannot be used as part of the prosecution's case. Before Weeks, law enforcement officials could violate the Fourth Amendment without being punished for it, secure the evidence, and use it at trial. The exclusionary rule establishes consequences for violating a suspect's Fourth Amendment rights."

Douglas Keachie

Drones, Paul, or cheaper yet, balloon borne cameras.

billy T

Paul, I won't get suckered into the medical marijuana debate because I find the whole thing rather boring. People are going to smoke it or not. I frankly don't give a damn. If I ever need medical marijuana for my eyes or appetite, then there is a process to legally grow it. Human nature as it is and always has been and always will be will have those that break the rules and every single law ever passed from murder to jaywalking. This issue has been elevated akin to the Opium Wars where Britain went to war with China because China would not let opium in their country. Now we have opium dens. Crap, I got suckered in. Bottom line, you what you do. I don't smoke or shoot up or even drink alcohol, but knock yourself out in the name of whatever cause you choose. It is my choice and the issue does not raise my curiosity. That Town Talk on The Union site has been overrun by people obsessed and afraid that they can't smoke and grow in the breeze where they please for weeks now. I have known people in the past (myself included) that literally worshiped the purple hairs and cannot image life without pot. I imagine life without grass today just fine, thank you. Guess I changed my sandbox. Keep doing what you are doing and you keep getting what you are getting. And yes, all those posts about WHERE are the Tea Party Patriots and the States' Rights folks and the libertarians joining forces to denounce the treading upon the individual's rights and denouncing Big Brother? Don't have a clue. Never even entered my mind. Glad to see the Town Talk today was finally void of Pot Talk and the hysteria has subsided. Reminds me of the streaking fad or the OWS 15 minutes of fame or the Jeremy Lin craze. Least no one hacked up an opossum. I once even called the FBI in the early 70's to report I saw Patty Hearst. They got all excited and asked for more details. I told them I saw her streaking down the highway naked as a jaybird. Click. I guess it is the company I now keep. I don't know anyone who still smokes pot, not one. In the days of yore, I would not associate with anyone that did not smoke pot. Things change. Smoke em if you got em.

Russ Steele

Paul @ 08:11

And, what about the grow next door that is visible on Google Earth and exceed the County guidelines?

Douglas Keachie

As long as the Feds or state endanger our ownership of land and our freedom, we do not smoke or grow pot. Wish we could grow it, easy spare change. The current culture around us is already changing at a mind blowing rate, who needs to accentuate the process, we've got enough to deal with as it is, no?

Paul Emery


To the best of my knowledge Google Earth is not considered reliable information to get a search warrant. I may be wrong about that so I'm open to correction. If you can see it from you're property that would be a legitimate complaint if your neighbor is exceeding limits. Most grows are not visible to neighbors or the public for obvious reasons.

What is your take on the States Rights issue on this and do you support Rep McClintock's position to cut off the Feds funding ?

Douglas Keachie

Google Earth is not reliable, but it gives LE a damn good idea of where to point their cameras to get stuff that is reliable. Studying the terrain on Google Earth is far less expensive than air time. Once you have got a couple of sites mapped out, you could even send in a couple of squad cars near each one to put up a red weather balloon, to make it even easier to zero in on.

Douglas Keachie

Here is a sample. Based on the shapes & shadows of the bushes, the shadow of a fenceline to the right of the bushes, extensive clearing, remote location, etc., I would check this out, no GG, not saying 100%, but definitely 90%. BTW I do have my own images from several years back, where I could verify on the ground what I was looking at.


Ryan Mount

I support the ending of harassing dispensaries. And I support McClintock's efforts in this are, which is what this bill was targeted at.

I'm not in favor of larger grows, regardless of the fiscal benefit they provide to this county. It seems to me that these growers are more concerned with tax-free profits, than civil disobedience or giving back to the community. Enlightened self interest? Yeah, right.

And as prices continue to fall in California as supply jumps, these growers are moving product to more profitable markets across State lines. And now you really have the attention of the Feds. Our hubris is gonna kill this over time.

And lastly, we need to be very clear about what we're talking about here: personal grows for ill people. (we all know the names of doctors in town who'll write scripts for vague don't take the high road on this issue) NOT large-scale commercial operations which are illegal and have not had the support, despite apologist's claims, from the electorate of California.

Earl Crabb

It used to be that when you came to the California border, a big cop would ask you, "Got any fruit?" These days it's the cops on the other side of the state line asking, "Got any pot?" We have become the new Mexico.

Douglas Keachie

If you don't know if your neighbors are growing pot, you can get one of these and 200 feet of line and some helium, and if it isn't shotgun blasted in a couple of days, they probably are not growing pot.

George Rebane

In one of those high-prized gizmo catalogs that arrived the other day, they are selling a 4-rotor small 'drone' that you can fly around your house or neighborhood. Soon it will have a little camera on it.

Michael Anderson

Yeah, quadrotors. Pretty cool.

Paul Emery

It's pretty interesting, the lack of Republican support for McClintocks bill. Property rights, States rights,fewer regulations? Not with that crowd. Also what I'm seeing is some self proclaimed Libertarian types on this blog running too hide under mama governments skirt if someone is growing a stinky plant next door. They are not really against regulation if it's something they want regulated.

Todd Juvinall

Yeah Paul just like those liberals who turned out to deny property rights under the law for their little housing plan. Yep, life just ain't fair sometimes.

Paul Emery

Todd I really don't know what you're talking about. Could you be more specific. However there's no doubt liberals like regulation on things they want regulated and the right wants the same for their peeves so in essence what's the difference?

George Rebane

PaulE 814pm - excellent observation. It is true that "libertarian types" are not against all regulations, only the ones they don't like. I think it was always that way; what do you think?

Paul Emery

Big question George. It's probably human nature to want a government (King, Queen, Puntah, Shah whatever) that is warm and cuddly to your personal needs and to act as a big stick for enforcement . Thus some of the same people who opposed NH 2020 as being an assault on their property rights will gladly call in the choppers against those who grow plants on their land they don't approve of. I have also had to deal with smokers of pot at music events that feel they have the right to light up anywhere anytime claiming "no smoking" doesn't apply to their indulgence.

Freedom and liberty require tolerance of behavior you don't necessarily agree with and temperance of our own behavior that affects others. The intrigue of MJ cultivation and marketing is purely the result of an archaic and obsolete law that under any reasonable evaluation should be repealed. It is also an unjust law because it cannot be effectively and fairly enforced and leaves it up the police to be judge and jury in deciding who to arrest. \

Ultimately it boils down to allowing the government to inspect our gardens for inappropriate foliage and gassing up helicopters to take photos of our backyards to make sure we are growing permissible petunias and tomatoes and not illegal scrubs.

Michael Anderson

"The first American patriot that shoots down one of these drones that comes too close to his children in his backyard will be an American hero."
Judge Andrew Napolitano

Fun times in the 21 century!

Douglas Keachie

Need to be careful what you shoot it down with. A water rocket would be hard to aim, but impossible to prove that it was deliberate. A rock might hurt someone. Helium barrage balloons? Fly a large kite, you have just as much right to the air space. Use a mirror to reflect light at the camera lens. WTF Morgan (Jay Leno)

Do you mean the libertarians here don't like pot?


Michael Anderson

Keach, I was thinking of something more along the lines of a Barrett M107 or a Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL).

Douglas Keachie

A low to medium powered laser would probably destroy the sensor, but there is a lot of law on the books against blinding pilots, and by extension, I would assume they'd quickly include even a remote pilot. Water balloons and surgical tubing slingshots would be just dandy! An array could be built. Whack-a-drone! If you can grab the wreckage and spirit it off, dump it in the Yuba, it would be hard to prove in court that it didn't just malfunction.

"They sent a drone, into the air,
It fell to earth, they know not where."

Boys and their's cops and robbers all over again, what a hoot!


So many targets, so little time...

Paul 8:14 afaik I'm the only self proclaimed Libertarian type at RR, and I've not been posting on this thread until now so "I'm seeing ... some self proclaimed Libertarian types on this blog running too [sic] hide under mama governments [sic] skirt if someone is growing a stinky plant next door" is false on its face. I could not care less about what my neighbors are growing, as long as they and their customers don't drive faster than 12 mph on the neighborhood road. In general, the left has a hard time dealing with political beliefs that are more Pro Choice, on everything, than they are and both Paul and Keach are guilty as charged.

"No bong hits for you!" -- The Pot Nazi

Shooting down one of those microdrones just takes a shotgun with target or birdshot loads, so no need to risk the confiscation of very expensive, difficult to acquire and probably felonious to possess (if only because it's not nice to receive stolen property) military equipment. The piloting of such things is done the same way as any model helicopter... the one with the controls is looking up from the ground. Illuminating it with a laser would do nothing.

It is amazing how the usual suspect is so devoid of rationality.


Prohibition ended when the prohibitionist persecutors couldn't reliably seat 12 jurors without at least one that, in the end, would not vote guilty.

Try to get Gary Dusseljee to move back to Nirvana Silly and educate the meeses showing up for jury duty:

I would not bet against GD owning a bong in Bangkok.

Douglas Keachie

Amazing how the usual suspect is so devoid of the range of types of drones available. He may also do the experiment with his camera and see what a direct blast from a medium grade laser will do to it. Maybe nothing, but most likely the imperfections of the lens would send the beam to most of the receptors, and some would get the full impact. If nothing else, it would drive the auto exposure all over the map trying to keep up, and possibly play havoc with the auto focus as well.

Discharging a firearm at night, or on parcels less than fire acres, at least used to be illegal. I wonder if someone's house is within range of the neighborhood road, for water balloons? Such fun! And here is probably your most likely "Whack-a-drone."


Keach, show me an RPV, civilian or not, that's flown by reference to a real time camera image. Cue final Jeopardy! theme, cut a check to the Merv Griffin estate.

Paul Emery

It looks like McClintock is on the popular side on this issue. Around 75% in a recently released poll want the feds to back off Medipot states.


Actually you weren't necessarily one of the NIMBY Libertarians I was referring to but you're lack of concern for Federal intervention of states rights in this issue is well documented so why not.

Todd Juvinall

It looks like some people on the left actually do have situational ethics. It all depends on whose "ox" is being gored. But if you smoke dope, any pot, oops, I mean port in the storm will work if it is even supported by the devil. What a hoot!


"you're [sic] lack of concern for Federal intervention of states rights in this issue is well documented so why not."

I can't imagine how that hallucination was inspired; Paul, I think you're just making that up. If it is well documented, it won't be hard for you to find.


"you weren't necessarily one of the NIMBY Libertarians I was referring to"

I'm blissfully unaware of any other Libertarians, NIMBY or otherwise, frequenting this blog. Who are you talking about?

Douglas Keachie

So I guess those guys north of Vegas just "envision" the landscape in Afghanistan? The other affects on the camera itself for taking the pictures of the pot still stand.

We have a new STEM program out on the Ridge. Everybody is building these things:

Douglas Keachie

Too late to be making comments. The other effects of a laser on the auto exposure and focus still stand, for the pot evidence camera, even with a guy on the ground, who would be exposing himself to risk. What if they are meth heads growing pot for their drug of choice? BTW, pole, rc helicopter (high end) and kite cameras occasionally use remote wireless video:

Here's just one example in which the pilot uses video glasses and remains on the ground:

Douglas Keachie

Cue evil buzzer, as Greg gets it so wrong!


"Here's just one example in which the pilot uses video glasses and remains on the ground:"

My statement stands; it is not being flown by the monitor view from the glasses, and the operator looks in the direction of the drone at all times, the reason the vid monitor is built into the glasses in the first place: because they need to be looking at it, not at a screen somewhere else.

The video can die and it will still be perfectly controllable.

Sorry Keach, you lose.

Douglas Keachie

Sorry Greg, if you fly the plane over a hill to take advantage of the safety of the hill, and you video conks and you have no line of site to the craft, you lose the craft, unless you can instinctively fly it in a climb up to where you can see it again.

"UAV Tactical Use

The Draganflyer X6 helicopter is a revolutionary reconnaissance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV); it can be transported in a lightweight softshell pack with a military grade backpack while always being ready for flight in minutes. Fly it over hills to get a safe view of what is on the other side. Draganflyer X6 Military Applications"

Would you like to play another round?

BTW, they have wireless video cams in toy trains that give you a trackside and level view there as well. Tempus Fugit


Keach, GPS driven RPV's like the Draganflyer are also not flown by reference to the video. You lose again. Your problem seems to be a basic misunderstanding of what is needed to control any aircraft.

The toy train videocam developed by Lionel, and Neil Young, was prototyped in the office I vacated at the Litton Building we (USR) moved to Crown Point Circle

Douglas Keachie

Let's see if I've got this right:

First you said the pilot had to see the plane in the air at all times, hence the glasses.

Now you say it is gps driven. If you send it over the hill via GPS, what do you use to point the camera,again blind luck? There is a huge hemisphere of possible camera positionings, that changes as the craft moves. You just rolled craps, again, and BTW, this is not the only craft I referenced.

You not only have to control the aircraft, Greg, you have to come back with usable footage, which is best obtained by being able to see not only where the craft is going, but also what is visible to the camera that takes the images. These may or may not be two different onboard systems.


"Let's see if I've got this right"

Nope. You're confusing multiple very different vehicles and different issues. The simple devices did not have onboard autopilots with gps, which was the case for the last one, produced for the military. The first one was a simple craft, and the goggles were not virtual reality devices, they merely allowed the guy with the controls to be looking at the craft (like any RC flyer) while being able to also see the video.

"There is a huge hemisphere of possible camera positionings, that changes as the craft moves." Yes, and you've just stumbled over the problem without noticing. You can't fly an aircraft by reference to a camera that can be pointed anywhere, you need more information than it can give. Piloting is a different function than gathering surveillance video; none of these were being piloted by reference to the camera. Nor could they.

"These may or may not be two different onboard systems"

They *are* two different systems. More than two.

I've an airplane with an autopilot that gets its roll stabilization (problem one) from a canted gyroscope (turn coordinator), heading info (problem 2) from either GPS, a directional gyro or a nav signal, VOR or LOC, and also has altitude hold and glide slope coupling (problem 3). I also have about 120 hours of logged flying by reference to instruments. It ain't as easy as it looks. Ask JFK Jr.

Problem 4 is pointing a camera. There's a reason you hire Gordo to fly the plane while you point and click.

Douglas Keachie

In my original post, I never said I was limited to "simple devices." Nor did I state that exact examples could be found in the two links. My internal point of departure was the drones that fly over Afghanistan, ect, and are flown from folks who work at Nellis Air Force base in Nevada:

"The Predator and Reaper pilots do their debriefings and classroom work at Nellis with weapons school students specializing in other aircraft. They fly the drones from nearby Creech Air Force Base, the control station used to fly drones in Afghanistan and Iraq."

~ ~

In lower end, sophistication-wise, craft, you could, but not very efficiently, both gather surveillance imaging and guide the craft once it was up in the air from a camera that was mounted in the nose of the craft which could be fixed at a 30 degree downward angle, with respect to the line of flight. Better would be to have the same camera capable of tilting from say minus 45 degrees to plus 15. So the two functions (of piloting (at least once up in the air and before landing) the craft and shooting images) could be combined into one camera.

BTW, I helped dear brother (back in the late 1960's) install WWII surplus gyro horizons into his and his friends' sailplanes, and no it is not as simple as one might like. For fun, you might enjoy checking out Kite Aerial Photography, and the complex rigs that are used accomplish the feats. The all time classic, however is the San Francisco Waterfront, as captured from a string of kites

"One of Lawrence's world renowned photographs is of the ruins of San Francisco, California after the 1906 earthquake. It is a 160-degree panorama from a kite taken 2000 feet (600 m) in the air above the San Francisco Bay that showed the entire city on a single 17-by-48-inch contact print made from a single piece of film. Each print sold for $125 and Lawrence made at least $15,000 in sales from this one photograph. The camera used in this photograph weighed 49 pounds (22 kg) and used a celluloid-film plate. [3]

In 2006, Juneau-based photographer Ronald Klein built a working replica of Lawrence's camera and used it to rephotograph San Francisco from about the same location (but from a helicopter, not a kite), 100 years after the earthquake. The rephotograph was actually taken by Mark Walsh, George R. Lawrence's great grandson, who rode in the helicopter, held the camera, and clicked the shutter."

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