As my colleague Jerry Wilson reported, Governor Gavin “Hair Gel” Newsom has decided that the threat of COVID is just too horrible, and California needs to stay under a state of emergency in order to be able to combat that threat. Newsom retains emergency power over California, which means he can bypass the legislature and anyone who might challenge him.
Anybody who follows the science actually asks, “What threat?”
The continued emergency is puzzling, given national trends. Since September began, the number of cases has fallen sharply. Florida is now down to just 1,500 cases from the August average of more than 21,000 per day. Even California’s seven-day moving average has gone from nearly 15,000 at the beginning of September to under 6,300. How is this a cause for panic? Other than the panic Newsom and other state officials might feel when they consider how Florida is open for business and California … well, isn’t.
California has a 72.6% vaccination rate. That’s almost three out of four. This is quite a number, in my opinion. It is time to talk about the herd protection mantra that our benign overlords like to use.
The threat is Hair Gel finding out he’ll actually have to govern this state at some point, rather than play overlord and use the bogeyman of COVID to maintain control. Northern California’s City of Oroville is fed up. They aren’t seceding, but have tried the best they can to keep the city of Oroville together. Southern California Record reports:
California’s tiny town is establishing itself as an independent refuge from COVID-19 mandates.
The Oroville city council voted 6-1 to approve a resolution on Nov. 2 that establishes the Sacramento-adjacent town as a constitutional republic to protect the individual’s rights and freedoms, according to media reports.
“It’s a deeper question of how much control should the government have over our bodies and, at this point, mandating vaccinations on kids at schools, for me, is crossing the line so, we’re making a stand,” said Scott Thomson, vice mayor of Oroville.
It’s not surprising, is it? Newsom has declared California a “sanctuary state” against ICE enforcement throughout the state. In 1989, while he was San Francisco’s Mayor, Newsom declared San Francisco to be a sanctuary for the opposition. The Oroville City Council has taken a page from the book.
What’s sauce for the goose… or in today’s case, gravy for the turkey.
CBS Sacramento documented the Oroville City Council’s vote.
CBS is calling it a “Resolution Revolution,” which is apt. Scott Thompson, Vice Mayor of New York City made it clear that
“This mandate is not saying we are against laws or for anarchy,” Thomson explains it’s the city’s effort to send a strong message to state and federal leaders. “I think it’s time for us to draw a line in the sand,” he adds. “Enough is enough.”
Although it may seem like Oroville is fighting David, Oroville actually has five more smooth stones. This city has its own resources that they can use to cause severe damage to the State.
Oroville hosts one of America’s most important man-made dams. Lake Oroville is the nexus for California’s State Water Project, providing 39 million people in the state with drinking water, and is the main irrigation hub for 750,000 acres of farmland throughout California. Oroville Dam was built in the ’60s and early ’70s to carry rain water and snowpack from the Sierra Nevada mountains to parts of the San Francisco Bay, Central Valley, and Southern California. Oroville residents also depend on the dam’s full functionality and operation to get their utilities.
In April, the dam was almost dry thanks to the State’s mismanagement of water, cutting off access for farmers and growers, but still allowing Delta water to flow to the ocean in order to protect the Delta smelt. Newsom’s Plumpjack wineries? There were no restrictions.
The California Globe reports:
According to the Department of Water Resources, the state uses 47.5 percent of the developed water supply it has for its environment. This includes wild river flows and wildlife preserves as well habitats and water quality control. In drought times, water can be diverted to Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. It leaves much less for irrigation, or to Californians to drink. However, a newly passed law has now made it mandatory that California residents consume 55 gallons of water per day.
So, the battle between Oroville and the California government is long and bitter, but became particularly pronounced over the last few years of Newsom’s reign, as U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa told the Globe:
“Lake Oroville was at full capacity two years ago, as well as in 2017,” said LaMalfa. “This dam was designed to provide water and power through five years of drought. Governor Newsom’s administration mismanaged and wasted so much water that Oroville ran out of water in just a year and half. The state gave water from the lake throughout the winter and spring, while we were experiencing drought conditions. Our water has been used by the government for pet projects such as the Delta smelt project, which is a rare fish that no one has seen in more than three years. However, families and farms have experienced dramatic reductions in water supply. Our water resources are being mismanaged, resulting in a loss of 450 megawatts for power, recreation and drinking water. Everybody loses because of the states wasteful management,” LaMalfa said.
I suspect that part of this power play is to wrest control of one of the State’s critical resources from Sacramento, whose water boards are favorable to Newsom, and return the Dam to local government control. It would be clear to send the message that Sacramento and San Francisco have been stripped of not only their water resources but also some power usage.
However, the Oroville City Council resolution has national implications. Biden’s Executive Order 14042, and the OSHA-engineered mandate that followed requires employees who work for large corporations to be fully vaccinated or risk losing their jobs. Vice Mayor Scott Thompson stated that the OSHA mandate has been placed under suspension by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals pending decisions on lawsuits filed in the 6th Circuit Court. Southern California Record that it is a huge point of concern for Oroville’s city management.
The Oroville city council’s resolution creates a path to opt-out of enforcing state or federal orders on their 20,000 residents that the council considers in violation of constitutionally protected rights or that are overreaching.
“More than anything, it’s a declaration that we don’t agree with the way our government is handling this,” Thomson told the Southern California Record “Pushing something that does have a risk on everybody is a violation of our freedoms and the sad thing is our country used to be one where we live and let live and where we can agree to disagree. The sense is that this country is being radicalized on both sides and being able to have an open objective discussion doesn’t appear to be happening in our current political climate.”
Thomson stated that the city was prepared to comply with any federal and state mandates. However, the city could lose funding eligibility if it does not follow these requirements.
“We did pass our own tax measure in the last election,” he said. “On open.gov, you can see we’re doing pretty well financially. We have millions in surplus and not to say that if the state were to cut funding on a specific thing, that it wouldn’t hurt our citizens, but, it would be hypocritical if Gov. Newsom did that when San Francisco didn’t face any financial repercussions.”
Oroville is leading the charge. What will happen to other California freedom-loving cities and counties?