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Tens of thousands of Californians escape their homes to open beaches during a heatwave despite Gov. Newsom's pleas for them to stay home as state reached 40,000 cases

Thousands of Californians flocked to open beaches during a heatwave Friday despite Gov. Gavin Newsom's pleas for them to stay home. 

The nation's most populous state recorded its deadliest day yet in the pandemic, with 115 fatalities in the 24 hours from Wednesday to Thursday. As of Thursday there were more than 40,000 confirmed cases in the state; the death toll stands at 1,597. 

But Californians locked down for weeks during the coronavirus pandemic came back to local beaches as the weather warmed, prompting Gov. Newsom on Friday to plead for social distancing during the continued heat wave expected this weekend.  

Newsom tweeted Friday: 'It’s going to be nice outside this weekend. You might be feeling cooped up. Ready for life to go back to “normal.” But can’t stress this enough: CA can only keep flattening the curve if we stay home and practice physical distancing. You have the power to literally save lives.' 

Hungtingon Beach Officer Angela Bennett told ABC7 : 'We're trying to ask people to maybe put themselves in our residents' position and think about the fact that our residents also have limited parking'



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  Seattle's CHAZ: Homesteaders or Illegal Squatters?
06/12/2020Jeff Deist

Listen to the Audio Mises Wire version of this article.

Protestors in Seattle have taken over whole city blocks in a neighborhood known as Capitol Hill, just a bit north of downtown. They occupy city streets and parks, as well as (apparently) a police precinct building. This enclave, dubbed the "Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone" or CHAZ, is now making headlines around the world. Its newly assembled residents have declared CHAZ an independent nation apart from both Seattle and America, and thus exempt from laws and local police jurisdiction. They have set up fences and checkpoints around the area (so much for open borders), and already urban legends are proliferating about warlords taking over, extortion and shakedowns replacing taxes, and new forms of quasi-private security taking hold. Nobody knows how long the situation will persist, but recall how 2011's Occupy Wall Street demonstrations lasted many months.

Of course Capitol Hill, like all urban neighborhoods, is a mix of "public" and private property. Ingress and egress for residents and businesses take place via public streets, which are severely impaired at the moment. Property values, the viability of retail stores, and the general quietude and livability of this gentrified neighborhood are very much in flux. Anyone who owns a condo, shop, or restaurant in the area has a right to be angry and an argument for monetary compensation from both the protestors themselves and the city government that has so badly failed them.

Good luck with that in a Seattle courtroom.

But what about the purely "public" (i.e., government owned) land and buildings around Capitol Hill? To the extent that the occupied buildings and streets "belong" to the city of Seattle, are the protestors legitimately occupying them? Can anyone, Seattleite or not, make a valid claim to such property? Are they illegal squatters or legitimate homesteaders?

It seems like an absurd question on its face, and it is: surely the forceful takeover of a long-established area cannot be legitimate, even if a few government-owned roads and buildings muck up the principles involved. But no less than Professor Walter Block likens government-owned property to virgin territory, albeit stolen, available to any claimant for homesteading. In Block's conception, anything owned by the city of Seattle—libraries, buildings, equipment, roads, you name it—is as wide open to anyone as a virgin tract of land in deepest Alaska never touched by humans. 

I do not at all claim that property such as government roads or libraries is "unowned." Rather, I claim these holdings were stolen. I agree that the state now possesses them; I argue, only, that this is unjustified. And, yes, I insist, the same libertarian analysis can be applied, in this context, to virgin and stolen land. Why? This is because for the libertarian, at least as I construe him, stolen land is de jure virgin land, ready for the next homesteader to seize it (on the assumption that the rightful original owner cannot be located, or he acquiesces in the state’s seizure, or that, arguendo, we can ignore this rightful owner.)

Seattle's mayor Jenny Durkan may not go quite as far as Dr. Block, but she does appear to acknowledge the new, uh, "community" essentially colonizing major thoroughfares in the Emerald City. She may not be ready to grant the CHAZ outright ownership of the streets in question, but neither is she setting any deadlines for eviction:



Clearly the mayor is in the midst of a dangerous situation, both literally for the people in the CHAZ and in terms of her own political career. It's a public relations nightmare. And from a purely legal perspective, what grants her authority over who occupies Capitol Hill?

One answer is taxes, says Dr. Hans-Hermann Hoppe. In his view, the streets of Seattle are not virgin territory available to homesteaders, but rather akin to land held in trust by (admittedly unworthy) state agents on behalf of taxpayers. If those trustees won't sell the land or other property outright and return the funds to taxpayers, Hoppe's view is that they at least ought to operate and maintain such property on their behalf. So, for the purpose of countering Dr. Block's contention that government property should be viewed as open to homesteading—and only for that purpose, Hoppe says—"public" property should be viewed as being owned by taxpayers. As such, it should be managed on behalf of the long-suffering (net) taxpaying citizens as a matter of simple justice.

Principles aside, the essence of ownership is control. Bureaucrats, police, and politicians who control access to and use of "public" property are its de facto owners, because only they can sell, encumber, or control its use. The average American's ownership claim to the local playground or a city library is virtually nil. Simply try sleeping in them overnight, and you'll quickly find out who really owns them. So, for the moment, the Seattle protestors have the greatest control over Capitol Hill and hence an ownership claim of sorts under the brute force of "possession is nine-tenths of the law."

Whether their claim is valid comes down to whether they are illegal squatters or righteous Lockean homesteaders. In a densely settled area like Seattle, with a long history of property titles flowing from valid sales, the question becomes absurd. Their protests and encampments directly affect the undisputed private property all around them. The Seattle government has thoroughly controlled the roads and police using funds forcibly taxed from Seattle residents. Capitol Hill residents, businesses, and visitors rely and depend on existing understandings and contractual arrangements. Seattle cannot be homesteaded, not even city property, in any conceivable manner that does justice to its current inhabitants. And to the extent that they've paid for it all through taxes, their right to evict the CHAZ protestors clearly supercedes any "right" to conflate occupation with protest.   

It's tempting to dismiss the Seattle protestors en masse because of their terrible and violent political beliefs, and their terrible designs for remaking America without property or markets. But that doesn't change the thorny question of how to deal with them here and now. If they are illegal squatters—not to mention disruptors of many who live or work in the area—then their forcible removal is justified. But New York City lacked the political will to remove Occupy Wall Street campers from Zuccotti Park for many months. Will ultrawoke Seattle in 2020, with its obliging mayor, evict the CHAZ protestors anytime soon?

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California Secedes From Black America
photo credit: Bigstock

I have several close friends who moved from California to Arizona to live in “redder” territory. This has not been a good month for them. AZ’s turning bluer than the balls on an Elder Scrolls neckbeard. And even if you want to scream “voter fraud” regarding the Biden win, the fact is that Arizonans haven’t had two Democrat senators since the days when The Democrats Were the Real Racists™, and now that they do, the entire country has to pretend for the next six weeks that Georgia matters.

Thanks, “pardners.”

The irony is, my own Beverly Hills went even more solidly for Trump this year than in 2016. When Rodeo’s redder than the rodeo, you know you’re living in screwy times.

And on the subject of Californians and electoral surprises, commentators left and right have been puzzling over the fact that we defeated an attempt to bring affirmative action back to a state that banished it in 1996. Proposition 16, which would have allowed for favoritism of nonwhites in public employment, education, and contracting, lost by a wide margin. Yet the backers of Prop. 16 outspent the opposition $30 million to $2 million. And what a list of backers it was! The California Democrat Party and every Democrat officeholder in the state championed Prop. 16, as did every major newspaper. Every leftist “social justice” organization—the ACLU, NAACP, NOW, the ADL, BLM, even the Sierra Club and the PTA—backed Prop. 16. So did the Chamber of Commerce, Twitter, Facebook, Netflix, Microsoft, Uber, Dropbox, Reddit, Lyft, Yelp, AirBnB, Instacart, Gap, Levi’s, United Airlines, Wells Fargo, the 49ers, the Giants, and the Oakland A’s.

Soros backed it. The Chan/Zuckerberg Initiative backed it. Ava DuVernay backed it. Kaiser, Blue Shield, and PG&E backed it.

All those heavy hitters. All that money, and in a “blue state” no less. And yet…it wasn’t even close. The big bucks, the big endorsements, the push from big business and big tech, came to nothing. And the pundits are baffled.

Several rightist colleagues have told me they believe that voters were confused by the wording of Prop. 16. The 1996 affirmative action ban stated that public institutions cannot “discriminate,” and since Prop. 16 would have overturned that ban, voters mistakenly thought that by defeating 16, they were doing the thing the racial justice lobby wanted them to do. In other words (according to my colleagues), 16 lost because Cali voters are so brainwashed by the diversity cult, they mistakenly acted against it thinking they were doing the converse.


That’s a nihilistic, “we’re so screwed even our victories are defeats” way to view the situation, and it plays into the right’s general disdain for California. But in fact many leftists also went with the “voters were confused” angle. “Unclear ballot language explains affirmative action loss,” lamented EdSource, a California education analysis site. The San Francisco Chronicle pointed to “voter confusion” and a “ballot summary that voters found difficult to understand,” and Inside Higher Ed blamed “confusing wording” for the defeat.

The L.A. Times editorial board blamed the loss on “confused Latinos” who were too stupid to understand what the proposition was about. The board also slammed “the electorate” for being “conservative when it comes to confronting racial inequity.”

“So much for California’s racial reckoning,” the editors mournfully wept.

Meanwhile, establishment conservatives at National Review, Hot Air, and elsewhere took the defeat of Prop. 16 as proof that “minority voters reject identity politics,” because inside every Ibram Kendi is a Thomas Sowell crying to be freed. “Demography is not destiny,” wrote John Sexton at Hot Air; nonwhites are “opting out” of the Democrat identity-politics machine.

Reading these analyses is like watching a barnyard of decapitated chickens. Leftists simply can’t believe that in a year of “racial reckoning,” a minority-majority state like Cali would turn its back on “justice.” So of course, voters must have been “confused.” Conservatives, meanwhile, are torn. The ones who can’t bring themselves to see any good in this state also blame “confusion,” while the flags ’n’ Jesus optimists claim Prop. 16 went down because “nonwhites are natural Republicans we all bleed red” whatever whatever.

Dimwits fellating their confirmation bias.

As the imbeciles on both sides succumb to their intracranial stenosis, let’s indulge in some clearheaded thinkin’.

No, the wording of the proposition was not confusing. The ballot summary was crystal clear: “Proposition 16 permits government decision-making policies to consider race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin to address diversity.” That’s hardly Aramaic. And knowing what Prop. 16 was, whites, Asians, and Latinos in California voted against it. Only blacks overwhelmingly supported it. And at a paltry 5.8% of the state population, black “overwhelming support” plus two bucks buys you a McNugget and Coke.

Yes, Asians were the strongest in opposition, and they led the field with individual donations to fund the No on 16 campaign. But Asian voters alone cannot decide a statewide initiative; at 15% of the population, they don’t have the numerical strength. It was actually the Latinos wot dun in Prop. 16. All fourteen of California’s Latino-majority counties voted against it.

But no, Prager U grads, Latinos and Asians did not rebuff Prop. 16 because they “rejected identity politics.” Something was indeed “rejected,” but no one wants to acknowledge what it was. Here’s a simple truth that none of the analysts left or right are willing to admit: Prop. 16 was a referendum on blacks. Not “diversity,” not “identity politics,” but blacks. Everyone with half a brain understood that Prop. 16 was there to help blacks, and blacks alone. Asians and Latinos are doing exceptionally well in the UC system (Asians are overrepresented, and Latinos, represented at roughly their percentage of the population, outnumber non-Hispanic whites). Blacks are the ones who need the “special help.” They’re the ones who feel like they can’t compete without being given extra points for melanin.

Proposition 16 posed a question to the people of California: Wanna help a brother out?

And Californians said no.

Asians said no for reasons of simple self-interest. For the average California Asian, this wasn’t dim sum but zero sum: A “leg up” for blacks means a kick up the **** for Asians. For every unqualified black who’s affirmative-actioned into college, a qualified Asian is denied.

For Latinos, affirmative action isn’t really their thing…because they don’t need it. Not due to academic excellence (à la Asians), but because Latinos get their way through numerical superiority, not begging, guilt-tripping, and bullying (à la blacks). Give Latinos an open border, and they’ll do the rest. It doesn’t profit them to give blacks special perks that come at the expense of the majority because in many California cities, Latinos are the majority (and they’re the largest plurality statewide).

Latinos see themselves as the future of the state. Blacks are the past (as I’ve covered in previous columns). For Latinos, every current black neighborhood is a future Latino neighborhood. The sooner blacks move out, the better. So there’s no motivation to make it easier for them to stay. You wanna go to college, Ja’Marquis? Move your black **** back to the Deep South and your beloved HBCUs.

Bottom line: California Latinos don’t need no stinkin’ affirmative action. Hispanics might use it when it’s there, because why not? But to them it’s a strategy, not the strategy. Whereas for blacks, it’s all they’ve got.

Now, with whites, one could argue that passing Prop. 16 would’ve been a logical progression of 2020. This has been a year of strong-arming whitey into sacrificing in the name of “racial justice.” Police protection, safety and security, peace and quiet, personal property; whites in cities across the nation have surrendered these things in the name of the “debt” they supposedly owe to blacks. Prop. 16 asked whites to give up even more. And a lot of whites (primarily in L.A. and the Bay Area) did vote yes. But more voted no, and—combined with the Asian and Latino votes—that was enough to beat the bejesus out of the measure…even in the face of an imposing coalition of billionaires, corporations, tech giants, advocacy groups, and top politicos pushing for its passage.

The defeat of Prop. 16 was a black defeat, but not at the hands of conservative whites. That’s what makes this story instructive; it’s an illustration of how the demographics of “new America” will inevitably contribute to a waning of black influence. Nonblack minority-majority California just said “no” not only to blacks, but to every leftist “opinion leader” in the state who interceded on their behalf. It’s thoroughly grim news for black Americans, and it bodes poorly for the future, especially as most of the tricks black advocates have up their sleeve involve getting other demographic groups to act against their own best interests (not just regarding hiring and admissions preferences, but on issues like criminal justice “reform”).

In California, whites who care about their own best interests, combined with and emboldened by Latinos and Asians who do the same, were able to say no to the people to whom you’re never supposed to say no. And they dared to say “no” in this, the Year of Our Lord George Floyd’s martyrdom. When a numerically small community amasses outsize influence via temper tantrums, guilting, violence, and threats of violence, the tactic only works when everyone else buckles before it. On affirmative action, California found its sea legs. If this state contained any intelligent and capable GOP leaders—and it doesn’t—the same coalition that defeated Prop. 16 could in theory be assembled again to reverse some of the most damaging concessions the state has made to blacks in the past two decades (namely, the weakening of law enforcement).

That Asians and Latinos voted against Prop. 16 doesn’t mean they’re “natural Republicans” (sorry, Con Inc.). What it does mean is that in this of all years, white, Asian, and Latino Californians voted self-interest when blacks and their powerful allies told them not to. That’s seismic. A favor was asked by a rapidly declining population that rarely sees fit to prove worthy of those favors, and never returns them. And the favor was denied. Lord help blacks if this catches on. Next thing you know, Californians will realize they don’t have to let their **** get stolen.

Mind you, Prop. 16 lost on its own; the GOP didn’t lift a finger to defeat it. And today’s GOP, which would rather win a few black votes than an actual election, is unlikely to learn any of the lessons that 16’s ignominious end might teach.

Still, a man can dream.

Black Americans and their leftist overseers won a lot of victories this year via intimidation and terrorism. But they lost this one, and it was a key battle in a key state. Whether it’s a one-off or a trend, no one can say. But at least it’s not bad news, and in 2020, “not bad news” is the best we can hope for.

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