WASHINGTON -- Forty years ago this past Sunday, more than 900 men, women and children killed themselves or were murdered in Jonestown, Guyana. Geography buffs will note that Jonestown is just east of Venezuela, where yet another crazed left-wing experiment is being played out today, though on a much larger scale. And hence, the prospect of death on an even grander scale is still possible in that once prosperous country.



California is king when it comes to environmental regulations, but the latest decision to mandate solar panels comes at a high price. For homeowners.

Those costs of freedom of choice and almost $10,000 higher construction expenses per home didn’t matter much to California’s proponents of solar panels or the liberal media which downplayed costs and critics when they mentioned them at all.



Drew Cloud was a prolific writer specializing in student loan issues, founder of the Student Loan Report, and “a source for news on the student loan industry, financial aid, and scholarships.” Media relied on him for sensational surveys about student debt issues and quoted him often.

Except Cloud didn’t exist.



Friday, California's High-Speed Rail Authority published its draft 2018 Business Plan. Its 800-mile bullet-train project's estimated cost is now $77.3 billion, up from $64 billion two years ago, and its final completion has been pushed out another four years to 2033. The current estimate is now more than 70 percent above the $45 billion presented to voters in 2008. The related Associated Press story failed to disclose that original cost estimate, as did three leading California newspapers.



At SFgate.com on Thursday, the San Francisco Chronicle's Mark Morford hit a new low. Early that evening Pacific Time, Morford justified the extraordinary number of death threats Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt has received and the resulting high cost of his security as deserved, given that Pruitt's conduct and policies as agency head represent "death threats to the world and all who live on her."



In an interview in front of a predominantly liberal audience Wednesday at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, California Senator Dianne Feinstein, 84, who has held that office for 25 years and has announced no current plan to retire, said of President Donald Trump: "This man is going to be president most likely for the rest of this term. I just hope he has the ability to learn and to change. And if he does, he can be a good president. That’s my hope." Though the video of the event contains some audible jeering at the end of that statement, the press coverage of her appearance has been wildly inconsistent and has vastly exaggerated the immediate negative audience reaction.



Our very secular national media have a favorite narrative when it comes to “hate speech” and religion. Since 9/11, our national sin is “Islamophobia." Anti-Semitism continues to exist in isolated pockets, but it's so... yesterday. “Hate speech” against Muslims is now a top shelf matter for the politically concerned. Apparently only "Islamophobic news organizations" covered the protests of Jewish groups protesting two Friday sermons by imams in California calling for the elimination of the "filth" of the Jews.



On May 12, California Governor Jerry Brown, during a visit to that state's Orange County, said, "The freeloaders — I’ve had enough of them." His statement came during what the Orange County Register called "an impassioned defense" of the state's recently passed "road-improvement plan. The "freeloaders" he targeted with his remark are the state's taxpayers, those who wish to recall a tax-supporting legislator, and Republicans involved in putting the tax on November ballot. The rest of California's press, as well as key national press outlets, have not taken note of Brown's remark.



A Sunday item in the San Francisco Chronicle covered what reporter Justin Phillips has found is a major challenge for that city's restaurateurs. You see, many of them are struggling with how much virtue-signaling is appropriate in the wake of the election of Donald Trump and that city's defiant insistence on remaining an illegal-immigrant sanctuary. In light of a recent Harvard study on the effect of higher-than-market minimum wages and dismal jobs data from the government, restaurateurs and the press which covers this industry and several others need to look harder at another far more important issue: how many of these establishments will be unable to remain in business.



One of the great mysteries surrounding the controversy over San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's decision to sit (or kneel) through the National Anthem at the beginning of his team's games (while wearing socks during practices depicting police as pigs) has been the National Football League's nonchalant response.

Perhaps the league thought that the matter would blow over in a week or two if it indulged Kaepernick, which it certainly did with its "it's his right" response, accompanied by no visible reminder that his actions and the actions of other players have the potential to damage the league's standing, reputation and popularity. The league also must have thought that Kaepernick's protest wouldn't be imitated by other players. This was a major miscalculation, and it's showing signs of hurting the league where it really counts — in the pocketbook.



Another major employer has decided to join the long list of companies moving jobs from California to more business-friendly states. This time, it's $12 billion titan Jacobs Engineering, which is moving its "corporate operations," almost definitely meaning its headquarters, from Pasadena to Dallas, Texas. Press reaction, especially outside of business-oriented outlets, has ranged from nonexistent to muted to, in the case of the Los Angeles Times, a bit snarky.



Americans For Prosperity won a huge court victory in California Thursday against that state's hard-left vindictive attorney general, Kamala Harris. Naturally, the national press is doing what it does when it doesn't want to cover a story: letting the Politico cover it and then pretending that this suffices.

Harris demanded that AFP provides the section of its not-for-profit Federal Form 990 identifying its donors. Anyone with an ounce of sense knows, despite Harris's lip service to confidentiality, that her motivation is to have the names leak out so that donors are subject to the kind of public intimidation to which those who supported the pro-traditional marriage Proposition 8 in California were subjected in 2008. Judge Manuel L. Real in the California District Federal Court forcefully denied that demand (HT Powerline). Deceptive headlines at two of the state's largest newspapers betrayed clear displeasure with the result.