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Let’s drop by, gentle readers, once again to the People’s Republic of California and see what those wacky socialists are up to these days. Leslie Eastman at Legal Insurrection reports:

Meanwhile, in the #Resistance capital of the nation, the politicians are proposing legislation that is essentially a weapon at the heart of the First Amendment’s free speech protections.

California is considering creating a ‘fake news’ advisory group in order to monitor information posted and spread on social media.

Senate Bill 1424 would require the California Attorney General to create the advisory committee by April 1, 2019. It would need to consist of at least one person from the Department of Justice, representatives from social media providers, civil liberties advocates, and First Amendment scholars.

The advisory group would be required to study how false information is spread online and come up with a plan for social media platforms to fix the problem.The Attorney General would then need to present that plan to the Legislature by December 31, 2019. The group would also need to come up with criteria establishing what is “fake news” versus what is inflammatory or one-sided.

Golly.  Would anyone care to guess what sort of thing the California socialists would consider “fake news?”  I somehow suspect it wouldn’t be anything like what normal Americans consider fake news (CNN–hint, hint).  Deplorables that we are, we tend to think outright lies qualify, but I’m sure that’s hopelessly naïve.

Jarrett Stepman, an editor at The Daily Signal, notes that this approach is a European import.

…This bill mirrors the trend in Europe, where government commissions to police speech and the news are becoming common.

California, emboldened by a stridently progressive Legislature, is trying to bring these Orwellian fake news panels to the United States.

Oh, that’s right.  Europeans, including our British cousins, are not burdened by that outmoded First Amendment, which was written by privileged, racist, sexist white men.  I guess that’s just another part of the “living constitution” our intellectual and moral betters want to transform–for our benefit, of course.  It’s such a shame we’re not able to tell what’s good for us.

I cannot fathom why this #DeathPanel for real news is needed. Additionally, the legislation would require the social media platform have ‘Fact Checkers.

Well of course it would.  Odd though, that I’ve yet to find a “fact checker” with a record of accuracy and reliability beyond random chance, particularly when they’re fact checking anything not written by progressives.  And if that were not enough, those mirthful madcaps in the CA legislature have done it again:

The Association of Deputy District Attorneys is sounding the alarm over a measure that was signed into law in California after being hidden in an omnibus health spending bill.

In a startling abuse of the legislative process, a budget clean-up bill has just been used to sneak in radical and never-debated changes in the criminal justice system. It allows a defendant suffering from a mental disorder to be granted pre-trial diversion and the charges later dismissed for any crime if a judge finds the disorder played a significant role in the crime and if a defendant has “substantially complied” with mental health treatment during the diversion period. In short, this new law allows diversion and the dismissal of charges for any crime, including those where a victim was killed or seriously injured.

Well, what’s wrong with that?  I’m sure the whole thing is fair, rational and aimed at upholding the rule of law.  This is California after all.

Under AB 1810, a defendant charged with any crime can get those charges dismissed if they convince a judge the mental disorder they suffer from played a ‘major’ role in the charged crime; if a mental health expert says the symptoms motivating the criminal behavior would respond to treatment; and if the defendant undergoes ‘treatment’ during a diversion period with no minimum time period and a maximum of two years. Incredibly, only the defense gets to submit a psychiatric report; the prosecution has no opportunity to rebut that report with their own report or have their own expert examine the defendant. Finally, the mental health treatment shall be deemed ‘satisfactory’ and dismissal granted should a defendant ‘substantially comply’ with the diversion conditions and commit no ‘significant’ new crimes while in diversion, although what constitutes ‘substantial completion’ or a ‘significant’ crime is not defined in the bill.

Well of course they’re not.  Nothing is more important than the tender sensibilities of the insane criminal and their defense attorneys.  Or maybe not:

The normally supportive San Diego Union Tribune Editorial Board blasted the legislative stunt.

…A case can be made that a defendant’s mental illness should be considered by prosecutors and judges — it’s certainly relevant. Senate Bill 215, now before the Legislature, would have allowed this in defined, limited circumstances. But instead of vetoing AB 1810 and letting this debate proceed, Brown short-circuited it. He did so despite being warned by San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan that this is ‘the most irresponsible legislation our state has ever seen’ and that it would ‘wreak havoc in our criminal justice system.

Oh, I’m sure this is just a misunderstanding. California progressives would never do anything like this on purpose.  Would they?

credit: getyarn.io

It’s reminiscent of the classic scene from Blazing Saddles, where Mel Brooks’ governor is signing a bill that would convert the state mental hospital into the state gambling casino for the insane.  Brooks proclaims it a great step forward in the treatment of insane gamblers.  Governor William J. LePetomaine would be a perfect fit for contemporary California. Actually, so is Jerry Brown.

Various Californians keep trying to secede.  Sadly, a ballot initiative seeking to split California into three separate states was just obliterated by the California Supreme Court who apparently don’t want mere citizens having anything to do with their governance; they might make the wrong choices!  It might be better if we just turned Californians loose to build their noble socialist utopia based on ignoring the crimes of the criminally insane.  That’s always worked so well in the past.  And while we’re at it, we can add a bit to the wall.  It’s cheaper if we build it all at once.