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Doug’s Rant

| Doug's Rants | September 12, 2019

Clear and Present Danger

 When Christy Smith pronounced her encouragement of boycotting the Gazette newspaper a few weeks ago, while alarming, it was a foggy and somewhat distant danger. Her attempt was a pale comparison to what is happening now.

As I peck at this keyboard our State Senate has already passed a measure that is a clear and present danger to this newspaper and perhaps many others. By the time you read this I’m quite sure the Assembly will have rubber stamped this bill.

The measure is AB 5, which will, in part, require newspapers and the distribution companies they use for delivery to treat the independent contractor carriers they utilize as employees. I can’t speak for other newspapers, but the increased cost of transitioning these folks to employees will be cost prohibitive; in other words it would be expensive as all get out!

The main intended target of this bill is Uber and Lyft drivers, but the collateral damage is landing straight on newspapers and the part-time delivery folks who rely on the extra income they earn to help make ends meet. Of course, in the infinite wisdom (or lack thereof) of Democrat controlled Sacramento who don’t seem to give much thought to the companies that could be forced out of business, or to leave the state with the resulting financial hardships left for their employees and service providers to suffer.

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Another fallout from the bill will be the restriction on freelance writers that limits the number of articles they can submit in a year to keep them eligible as independent contractors. Again, the double edged sword of the bill will hurt newspapers that rely heavily on freelancers (including the Gazette) and curtail the income of those writers.

It’s well documented that many newspapers have been reducing staff, cutting expenses and eliminating pages to save on printing costs as advertising revenue declines in the present day culture of the internet. The last thing we need is for a liberal legislature, that has no clue as to how real world of business works, to implement a potential death knell measure for newspapers to help make them feel better about themselves as progressive legislators.

A Cry For Help:

 This little ole’ newspaper isn’t the only one shaking in their boots over this; a full page ad appeared in the LA Times this week sponsored by the California News Publishers Association. The headline read: “Newspapers-Both Big and Small-are Vital to Democracy. Don’t Let the Legislature Kill Them Off.”

Included in the ad were statements from California Black Media, The Sacramento Bee, The Orange County Register, The Vallejo Times-Herald and the LA Times.

Each newspaper wrote of their concern in the ad and as an example this is what the Orange County Register provided — “All we ask is that state lawmakers do us no harm – that, to ensure the survival of local journalism, they let us to continue operating under the same rules that have governed us for more than 40 years.”

Of course I add an AMEN to that, but it looks like it’s too late.

I will tell you I reached out to Senator Scott Wilk who opposed the bill and helped put across amendments exempting certain industries, including newspapers. However, he didn’t seem too optimistic they would be voted in and he was right.

Here are the thoughts of two other senators:

“AB 5 employs a one-size-fits-all approach that won’t work for Californians. We’re talking about college students, single moms, and many other hard working individuals who need flexibility to pay their bills. The majority party is once again taking away choice from the very people they were elected to serve.” – Senator John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa)

“Over 2 million Californians choose to work as independent contractors and AB 5 only protects certain industries. I am proud to have stood with my Republican colleagues in offering better solutions to protect workers in industries such as healthcare, transportation, and newspapers carriers and distributors. If the governor truly believes in supporting a California for all, then he needs to do the right thing and veto AB 5.” – Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield)

Do you think there is any chance Gavin Newsom will veto this bill? I don’t either.

Oh….Now I get it!

“Trump donors and their businesses face fresh wave of boycotts, public shaming.”

That was a headline of an article I ran across that caused me to slap my forehead and think, “Now I know where Santa Clarita’s local lefties got their idea to boycott the Gazette, they’re just freaking copy-cats!” Of course they’re not really copy cats, they just have the same mindset as most nonsensical liberals across our land do.

Their thinking is that rather than engaging in constructive and mature dialogue on issues they have a problem with, they put on diapers, pout, yell, scream, cry and pour out hateful indignation towards individuals with personal attacks and harmful tactics to smear and cause financial hurt. They think this is the best way to bring about change. How thoughtful and adult that is.

In reference to the article, apparently the mud-slinging and smear campaigns being directed at supporters and donors of Trump is escalating with “a revived effort by Trump critics to name and shame them, with the apparent goal of hurting their businesses.” (That sure feels familiar)

A new website in the Pittsburg area is set to launch that will include “a database of Trump supporter-owned businesses in the Pittsburgh area, as well as tips for how to get those specific businesses closed down.” Similar to Trump hating, Gazette detractors in our city want to cost people their livelihoods just because they don’t agree with them politically.

It seems as though I’ve ranted a hundred times in this space about the absolute hypocrisy this nonsense is in regards to the attempted destroying of President Trump. If any of these actions were to have occurred against Obama, Congress would have held every hearing imaginable to get to the bottom of the horrible racism besetting our president. That is just another example of how screwed up this whole culture of hate is.

And Then There’s This:

Is it just me or are the Dem candidates doubling down on climate change in addition to their hateful Trump rhetoric? Sure they are; each of them is looking for something non-economic to gain some sort of traction as they stare at the backside of poll leading Joe Biden. (Can you imagine the clenching of teeth going on with them as they can’t gain much ground on Biden, they’ve got to be thinking, “If I can’t beat this guy what am I doing in this race and who can I beat?”)

Back to the climate change thing, I read where someone suggested these questions be asked of the candidates regarding their climate change policies:

  1. Would your climate policies trigger a recession?
  2. Would your climate policies put U.S. households in economic peril?
  3. Do the benefits of your climate policy justify the costs?
  4. Will you acknowledge the serious methodology and transparency problems in the U.S. National Climate Assessment?
  5. Is there really a climate crisis?

I will add: How in the world do you propose to implement your strategies without turning the whole country upside down as far as our American way of life, let alone financially?

Kimberley Strassel wrote in the Wall Street Journal; “When you talk about banning fracking. When you talk about a carbon-free economy by 2030 or 2050, you are saying we are going to kill every coal job in the country, every oil and gas job, all of the shipping jobs that they do — we’re talking about millions of positions, that we’re gonna kill with the Democrat agenda.”

She is right on. We need some common sense here; even if climate change is caused by us humans (many don’t buy into that notion) how about recommending some practical solutions that won’t cause unemployment to go through the roof and send the nation’s debt into the outer stratosphere. In my opinion detonating the debt bomb that is already ticking mightily is much more of a danger to all of us than climate change.

Quips Quotes & Headlines:

“We won’t allow hateful rhetoric to be here, the fact that Chick-fil-A is opening on the streets of Toronto is something that is quite alarming.” (Justin Khan of a local LGBTQ organization)

*The guy was holding a sign that read “HATE SHOUDLN’T TASTE GREAT”. I would ask this dude where the hate really lies.  (Me)

 “My son Henry, who’s 8-years-old, he asked me, ‘Dad, if you win and you become President, we get to live in El Paso, right?’ I said no, we’d live in Washington, DC. But he knew that our community will become uninhabitable, will not sustain human life along this current trajectory unless something changes” (Beto O’Rourke)

 *I ask you to listen to this guy ramble and tell me if you think he has the smarts and common sense to be the leader of our nation. (Me)

“We have to unify the country around this project (climate change)… This is the hardest thing that we will have done in my lifetime, on par with winning World War 2, perhaps even more challenging than that. (Pete Buttigieg)

 *Come on Mayor Pete, an estimated 70-80 million people died in that war, including 500,000 Americans, I think you and your peeps need to revise your talking points along with your priorities. (Me)         

 “4 prominent Democrat senators voted for a wall in 2006.  Their names? Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer and Joe Biden. Most Democrats have supported border security their entire time in office… until President Trump took office. What changed?” (Charlie Kirk, Founder and Executive Director of Turning Point USA )

 If Elizabeth Warren truly believes college should be more affordable, shouldn’t she ask her husband to forego his $400,000 a year Harvard Law salary? (Charlie Kirk)

 “Bernie Sanders spent $300,000 in one month on private jet travel. But instead of giving up his private jet to lower carbon emissions, he would rather abort babies.” (Charlie Kirk)

 “If Obama really cared about fixing urban communities why didn’t he invest $15 million into crime prevention and scholarships in Chicago instead of buying a $15 million mansion in the most privileged secluded resort community in America?” (Charlie Kirk)

*Charlie is one sharp Millennial! (Me)

Letter to the Ranter:

Doug,

I also looked and looked for the racist statements in your column. I also never understood introductory algebra and wasn’t allowed to take the class once in high school. And I also know that America is great, and I voted for Trump. Marina

 

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About Doug Sutton

Doug Sutton is the publisher of Santa Clarita Gazette, Canyon Country and Pet Me Magazine. Doug is active in Rotary Club of Santa Clarita, Heart of the Canyons Church, and a past board member of the local Chamber of Commerce. Doug and Jeannie have been married for 35 years, living in the Santa Clarita Valley for over 20 years, raising their 3 sons here.

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