Why Do We Celebrate Labor Day?

Why Do We Celebrate Labor Day?

Many people view Labor Day as one of the final summer barbecue holidays. It provides a relaxing three day weekend for everyone and lets people have a lot of fun. Unfortunately, this all means that the reason behind the actual holiday is often left forgotten. In fact, not many people could even tell you why Labor Day is celebrated.

Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday of September and it is to celebrate the accomplishments and achievements of the American workforce.

The holiday became a federally recognized holiday in 1894 as a result of several deadly strikes and rights protesting poor work conditions.

In the late 1800’s work conditions were pretty poor in America. People had to work 12 hour days, 7 days a week just to scrap together just enough money to survive for another week. Workers at this time faced unsafe conditions, few breaks, and poor sanitary conditions.

Eventually, workers became fed up with these conditions, and strikes became prominent across the country. Soon, these strikes became deadly which helped draw awareness to the cause.

The first unofficial Labor Day parade occurred on September 5, 1882 when 10,000 New York workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square.

As time progressed, the idea of a workman’s holiday became popular, and many cities and state began to enact laws recognizing the holiday for the first Monday in September. However, the holiday wouldn’t be recognized by the federal government for another 12 years.

After several bad strikes in 1894, Congress passed an act to make Labor Day a nationally recognized holiday.

As you can see, Labor Day is about more than just relaxing with a three day weekend. It is about celebrating all of the hard work you and other workers across the country do every single day of the year.

 

Don’t Let Your Stuff Get Added To The Collection

Don’t Let Your Stuff Get Added To The Collection

Everybody has stuff that they enjoy owning, and would hate to lose. Unfortunately, there are people out there that like to steal other people’s stuff. That is why the Los Angeles County Sheriffs are running a series of ads for the “Stolen Collection.” At first glance, one might think that the poster is an advertisement for some weird fashion line, when in reality it is an advertising to keep your stuff out of the Stolen Collection.

The idea of the campaign is to help keep the important stuff in people’s lives, save from criminals who’d try to take it.

The campaign reminds individuals to:

  • Lock doors at night. This includes their house, garage, and car doors. This can help deter would be criminals and keep them out of areas where you don’t want them. Many criminals only steal items because it was easy to grab them and keep moving. Don’t let an unlocked car or garage become an easy target.
  • Turn on exterior lights at night. The additional light will help deter would be criminals who like dark targets. The darker an area, the easier it is for a criminal to do something illegal without being noticed.
  • Remove valuable from vehicles. Cars are not safe places to store anything valuable or of importance. Items that you don’t want stolen should be taken out of cars at night and stored in your house.
  • Lastly, report suspicious activity. If you see anybody acting strange or in a way that sets off alarms in your head, report it to the proper authorities. After all, better safe than sorry.

While this may only be a campaign in Los Angeles County, it is still important for everyone. Nobody wants to have something of theirs stolen and added to the “collection” so it is important to take the proper preventative steps. By following these easy, yet important steps every night you can help ensure that your stuff stays in your possession.

 

Are Your Words Offensive?

Are Your Words Offensive?

As Americans we love our freedom, and one of our favorite freedoms is our freedom of speech. This is granted to us by the First Amendment of the US Constitution. The amendment allows us to speak our minds, practice any religion, and protest. The internet now allows us to exercise our First Amendment right daily and anywhere we’d like. The problem is that the internet is still a new world and no one is quite sure how to handle it yet.

The First Amendment protects people who we don’t necessarily want to protect. Website that may contain what could be considered hate speech are protected under the First Amendment. These sites can say horrible things, but are still allowed to exist so long as they do not incite violence or are what is referred to as a true threat. A true threat is classified as statements where the speaker means to communicate a serious expression of intent to commit an act of unlawful violence to a particular individual or group of individuals. As long as websites don’t cross that line they are protected under the First Amendment just like everyone else.

All freedom comes with a price, and the freedom of speech comes at the cost of allowing hate speech to exist. Hate speech, according to the American Bar Association is, “speech that offends, threatens, or insults groups, based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or other traits.” While being able to speak our minds freely, without fear of repercussion for a difference in opinions is good, not everyone has something nice to say. Many people out there don’t follow the age old adage of: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

There will always be pros and cons to everything in life.

While it may be good to allow people the freedom of speech, we have to be willing to acknowledge the bad that comes with it. Without freedom of speech we would be living in a completely different world. Speeches like Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream,” would have never occurred if we didn’t have the First Amendment in our country’s Constitution.

 

Don’t Cross While Distracted

Don’t Cross While Distracted

We all know that using a cellphone while driving is a bad idea. It distracts the drivers and makes it much more likely for individuals to cause an accident. While this is a big deal, there is another time involving cars when it is not a good idea to be on the phone. That is when a person is crossing the street.

Crossing a street can be dangerous if not done at a proper time, or if either the pedestrian or driver are not fully paying attention. In the city of Montclair, around 15% of all vehicle related fatalities occur in pedestrian involved traffic collisions. The city looks to reduce that number with their new city-wide ordinance.

This new ordinance makes it illegal for a person to cross a road while distracted by their cellphone or any other electronic device. Specifically, the law states that…

a person cannot be engaged in a phone call, looking at a mobile electronic device, or have an earphone in both ears while crossing any roadway.

A first time offense will earn a person a $100 fine. A second offense within the same year will earn a person a $200 fine. Anymore offenses within that year will cost the person $500. As you can see, this can add up very quickly.

This new city ordinance actually went into effect back in January, but police were only issuing verbal warning up until now. Starting in August, they will begin fining any pedestrian they see breaking this law. This will all be done in an attempt to help reduce pedestrian involved traffic accidents and keep people safe.

What do you think of this new law? Is it too much or do more cities need to follow suit? Let us know in the comments down below.

 

This Is Something You Hope To Never Need

This Is Something You Hope To Never Need

It’s a bright sunny day outside. You’re strolling around your favorite mall. You’ve decided to take a moment to yourself to indulge in a little bit of shopping. The birds are chirping and you feel completely at ease. That is until a person approaches you and asks for all your money. They didn’t ask nicely, and they appeared out of nowhere. In situations like this, what do you do?

If you’ve had the proper training, it would be wise to use it in a situation like this.

Self-defense is something we should all know.

Self-defense can range from many practices or options such as a taser, knife, gun, or pepper spray. Whatever you choose for your self-defense weapon, learn to use it properly.

Your body could be considered a self-defense weapon, if you engage in the proper training. If you’re looking for self-defense techniques, there are plenty of practices you can chose to follow:

  • Kickboxing
  • Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
  • Muay Thai
  • Krav Maga
  • Taekwondo
  • Karate
  • Boxing

If you choose to own a gun, you must do so legally. California currently has some of the strictest laws in regards to gun ownership. If you choose to a use a gun as your self-defense you need to aware of the laws. California has a Castle Doctrine that allows you to use deadly force within your home if you have a reasonable fear of peril. If an event happens outside your house, California law states you must have justifiable reason to use deadly force.

Don’t wait for an incident to happen, be prepared. Whether it’s taking karate classes or a self-defense seminar, it’s important that you are prepared. Not only should you be prepared, you should practice using you self-defense weapon of choice. Don’t just take one karate lesson and never practice it. Take classes periodically to practice, that way if an incident ever occurs, you’ll be ready.

No one ever wants to use their self-defense skills. Using them means that you’re in harm’s way or you can be seriously injured or worse. You can be hanging out with a group of friends, going to concert, or just shopping on your own and run into a bad person. Don’t let someone ruin your day of relaxation. Be prepared for the worst case scenario, but also hope for the best outcome.

 

Abuse, Threats, and Stalking Are Not Cute

Abuse, Threats, and Stalking Are Not Cute

Certain things in life are cute, like baby animals. Giving someone a sentimental, thinking of you, gift or complimenting someone’s outfit or attitude is cute. You know what isn’t cute? Abuse, threats and stalking. These acts are harassment. To be more precise, those actions fall under civil harassment.

Civil harassment goes beyond just being rude to someone.

Civil harassment is defined as abuse, threats of abuse, stalking, sexual assault, or serious harassment committed by someone who you have not dated and do not have a close relationship with.

If you have a close relationship with the person who is harassing you, it would be considered a domestic case.

If someone is harassing you, don’t wait to get help. Waiting for a situation to change or get better on its own risks your wellness. The more time you allow to pass, the more abuse you will have to endure. Civil harassment can be caused by aunts, uncles, cousins, and other distant relatives. Being harassed by family can make coming forward difficult because of the fear of the rest of the family becoming upset.

After reporting the harassment to the police, you can apply for a restraining order. You can ask for a civil harassment restraining order if a person has abused or threatened to abuse you and if you’re seriously scared or annoyed. Getting a restraining order is fairly simple to do in California. Some courts may charge a small fee, but the price of your safety is always worth it.

Abuse, threats of abuse, stalking, sexual assault, and serious harassment, is not normal.

Don’t allow a person who has these not-so-cute habits into your life. Only allow cute things in your like funny cat or puppy videos. Harassment should not be ignored, but dealt with in a safe manner so that you can continue living your life admiring cute things.

 

California’s Attitude Towards Illegally Obtained Evidence

California’s Attitude Towards Illegally Obtained Evidence

Most of us assume that the laws about what is and what isn’t legally obtained evidence to be black and white; however, there are actually quite a few gray areas when it comes to illegally obtained evidence in California.

One example of the murkiness surrounding how evidence is obtained is a police officer who happened to notice what looked an awful lot like a drug-related transaction. Unable to ignore the situation, the officer approached the car and after a brief skirmish, the officer found that the car was full of drugs, ammo, and an alarming number of weapons. The question is, since the officer didn’t have a warrant, could the evidence be used as proof of guilt.

The Fourth Amendment was created to protect citizens from illegal search and seizures, and to make it nearly impossible for the United States to become a “police state/country.” The problem is that a lot of time has passed since the Fourth Amendment was drafted and the world has changed a great deal. In an attempt to keep up with the increasing challenges law enforcement faces and to also honor the Fourth Amendment, courts all over the country, including California, have tweaked and even created some laws about what is and isn’t illegally obtained evidence.


In the case of the evidence collected by the officer who witnessed a crime in progress, the prosecution can claim that since the officer did witness an actual crime, the evidence can be used during the trial despite the fact that the officer didn’t have a warrant allowing them to inspect the car. However, if the defense can prove that the officer was staking out the driver or didn’t actually witness a crime taking place, it’s likely that judge will rule that the evidence was in fact obtained illegally and throw out the entire case.


Whenever there’s a case involving a car and evidence, things always get complicated. Technically, an officer can’t go through your car looking for proof of illegal activities; however, if they pull you over for speeding and there’s a bag full of drugs on your backseat, they can arrest you and use the baggie of drugs as evidence.

If you’re involved in a case and don’t think the evidence was obtained with a legal search warrant, it is in your best interest to hire a good defense lawyer who has a strong understanding of the Fourth Amendment.

 

Smoking Marijuana While Driving

Smoking Marijuana While Driving

While the rest of the country may be debating what to do about cannabis, Californians have already decided. California recently legalized marijuana for recreational use. We followed several other states like Oregon, Washington, and Colorado. While we weren’t the first ones to legalize weed recreationally, we are still one of the eight states that allows it recreationally. However, like with alcohol and cigarettes, there are laws that have to be followed.

Arguably the most important place to follow the law is behind the wheel. When a person steps behind the wheel of a vehicle they greatly increase the chances of causing harm to someone. Vehicle related deaths are some of the highest in the nation.

Before California allowed the sale of recreational marijuana, they passed several laws in anticipation. In particular they passed a law in regards to driving while smoking. According to this law, written by Sen. Jerry Hill, if a person is caught smoking marijuana while operating a vehicle or while riding in a vehicle, they can be subjected to a violation. The violation will include a fine of $70.

This really isn’t a new law for us. It’s already illegal to drive while intoxicated. Obtaining a DUI isn’t because you were drunk, it just means you were under the influence of some kind of substance. Along with not being intoxicated while driving, you cannot have an open container of cannabis in your vehicle. This is similar to you not being allowed to have an open container of alcohol in the vehicle.

Since we are one of the few states that have legalized the use of marijuana recreationally, we have to be the role model for other states in the future. As time continues, more studies will be released in regards to the use of marijuana, which will broaden our understanding of the subject as a whole. Until then, exercise caution, and just follow the law.

 

Can They Really Tax Soda?

Can They Really Tax Soda?

In recent years, cities across the country have begun to add an additional tax on sodas and other sugary drinks in an effort to reduce their sales. The hope with these taxes is that it will discourage people from buying the drink, and therefore help lower peoples risk of obesity and diabetes. Naturally, this is a very touchy subject for many people who dislike it when the government adds additional taxes onto things.

This all began back in 2014 when Berkeley, California became the first city in the US to put a tax on sugary drinks. The tax was 1 cent for every ounce of the drink. Since then, other cities have followed suite across the nation, which has the soda industry concerned. In fact, within California, the beverage industry is currently working on creating an initiative for the November ballot that would prevent cities from enacting taxes like this.

In order to prevent that, California lawmakers are currently working on bill AB 1838. This bill would prevent any local government from putting taxes on sugary drinks until 2031. The bill passed through the senate, and went on to be approved by Governor Jerry Brown, who signed it into law.

This means that local city governments will not be able to add taxes to sugary drinks for several years. On one hand, this means we won’t have to pay more for a soda at the store. On the other hand, it means local city governments will not be able to use this as an additional source of income. At least Californians will not have to worry about any new soda taxes for a very long time.