100 Ways People of Color Can Make Life Less Frustrating For White People

Has that title got your attention? Maybe it’s a bit over-the-top? Perhaps the author has finally gone too far?

Maybe not. Maybe it’s time for more articles starting with titles like this, because it seems to be perfectly acceptable for someone to write an article with the roles flipped. In fact that’s what happened earlier this year, when Vice.com published “a few suggestions,” ok, one hundred suggestions, in an article entitled “100 Ways White People Can Make Life Less Frustrating For People of Color.”

Right away let’s establish something: The author of “100 Ways White People Can Make Live Less Frustrating for People of Color,” and others like her, do not speak for “people of color.” They speak for the leftist identity politics industry. They claim to represent “people of color,” but they only represent their dwindling, divisive movement. And to the extent they are rebuked here, that rebuke is directed at them, and the racist, separatist, seditious, angry, hyper-sensitive fringe they are a part of, not “people of color” in general.

Such an article invites a response. Ideally, every one of the 100 “suggestions” in this article invite a response, because every one of them oozes great gobs of “people of color” privilege, condescension, arrogance, sanctimony, over-simplification, and, of course, hostility. But in the interests of not boring our readers to death, let’s just review some of the highlights.

The author begins (#1) by telling us that “just because we can’t see racism doesn’t mean it isn’t happening,” […] Read More

Government Union Power in California and the Janus Ruling

AUDIO: A discussion of how government unions exercise nearly absolute power in California and speculation as to whether the Janus ruling will have any impact – 45 minutes on AM 870 Los Angeles “The Answer” – Ed Ring on Radio Free Los Angeles.

http://civfi.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/2018-07-01-Ed-Ring-on-Radio-Free-Los-Angeles-40-minutes.mp3

Gavin Newsom’s California Dream Team – the Oligarchs and the Agitators

If one were to distill the essence of California’s Democratic party into a one page document, it would be hard to beat a recent mail piece showing the SEIU’s candidate endorsements for California’s top jobs. According to their website, the Service Employees International Union, Local 1000, commonly referred to as the SEIU, “is a united front of 96,000 working people employed by the State of California, making Local 1000 the largest public sector union in California and one of the largest in the country.”

Occupying the entire upper right segment of the obverse side of this mailer is a portrait photo of Gavin Newsom – a beatific smile revealing perfect teeth, coiffed hair swept back in an elegant pompadour, eyes shining with courage, equanimity, love. Gavin Newsom, the visionary leader, who will lead California into an even more enlightened future. And joining Gavin Newsom, the woke white puppet of the Getty oligarchy, arrayed in a row of eight portraits beneath his beneficent gaze, are his hardscrabble minions, the SEIU’s preferred candidates for California’s other state offices.

Gavin Newsom and his SEIU endorsed dream team of running mates

Unlike their debonair white male overlord, Newsom, these candidates were born woke, and virtuous by virtue of their genetics. Five Latino males, two Asian females, and a Black male constitute Gavin Newsom’s electoral coterie. And with that prerequisite established, only one additional virtue is required to please the SEIU, a commitment to hard left identity politics. And […] Read More

How Libertarian Candidates Could Hand Control of the U.S. Congress to Democrats

With control of the U.S. Congress to be decided in less than five months, many factors have been identified that could affect the outcome. Will voters in California flip five congressional seats from GOP to Democrat? Will the “blue wave” wash across America, emanating from the coasts and inundating flyover country? Will Trump’s gambles on trade and foreign affairs turn out to be triumphs or setbacks? With the America’s future hanging in the balance, one perennial (and growing) threat to GOP control does not receive nearly enough attention: Libertarian candidates.

America is a two party system. That’s reality. When a third party candidate runs an effective campaign, with rare exceptions, they siphon votes predominately away from one major party’s candidate. In 1968 George Wallace took votes away from Richard Nixon, who won anyway. In 2000 Ralph Nadar took votes away from Al Gore, who would have otherwise won. In 2016, pothead Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson received 4.5 million votes, and nearly handed victory to Hillary Clinton.

There are currently thirty races across the country for U.S. Congressional seats that are considered toss-ups. These thirty are all considered toss-ups by three reputable national political analysts, the Cook Political Report, Sabato’s Crystal Ball, and Inside Elections. It is important to note that if you widen the search to “competitive races” instead of neck and neck toss-ups, that number grows from 30 to around 100. And of just those 30 toss-up congressional races, at least ten of them have viable […] Read More

Water Rationing Law Exemplifies the Malthusian Mentality of California’s Legislators

As reported in the Sacramento Bee and elsewhere, on May 31st Gov. Jerry Brown “signed a pair of bills Thursday to set permanent overall targets for indoor and outdoor water consumption.”

After pressure from the Association of California Water Agencies and others, the final form of these bills, Assembly Bill 1668 by Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, D-Glendale, and Senate Bill 606 from state Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Los Angeles, offers water districts more flexibility in enforcing the new restrictions. But the focus of AB 1668, limiting indoor water use to 50 gallons per resident per day, is a step too far. Way too far.

There’s nothing wrong with conserving water. But urban water consumption in California is already low, and squeezing even more out of Californians will be costly and bothersome without making much difference in the big picture. Here is a table showing California’s overall water consumption by user:

Total Water Supply and Usage in California – 2010

As can be seen, in a state where total human water diversions total around 65 million acre feet (MAF) per year [1], in 2010 residential customers only consumed 3.7 MAF [2, 3]. According to more recent data obtained by the Sacramento Bee from California’s State Water Resources Control Board, by 2017 the average California resident consumed 90 gallons per day, which equates to around 4.0 MAF per year. Slightly more than half of that is for indoor water, which means that on average, Californians are […] Read More

Imminent Janus Court Ruling May Severely Impact Government Unions

The U.S. Supreme Court is about to rule on Janus vs AFSCME, a case that challenges the ability of public sector unions to force government workers to pay union dues. Depending on the scope of the ruling, this case could dramatically affect the political power of big labor in the United States.

The case hinges on the assertion by plaintiff Mark Janus, a public employee in Illinois, that everything a public sector does is inherently political. As a result, Janus argues, even the so-called “agency fees” the union charges – ostensibly to fund nonpolitical activities such as contract negotiations – are a violation of his right to free speech. He’s got a strong case, because nearly everything public sector unions negotiate have a direct impact on public policy.

When a public sector union negotiates for increased pension benefits, for example, every other budget item is affected. In states like California and Illinois, costs for public employee pensions are exceeding 10% of total tax revenuess in some cities and counties, crowding out other public services with no end in sight. And everywhere public sector unions are active, their impact on budgets, along with their negotiated work rules, significantly alter how our elected officials set policy priorities and how they manage our government agencies.

HIGH STAKES

The stakes in the Janus case are epic. Nearly half of all unionized workers in the United States are government workers. Public sector unions collect and spend nearly $6.0 billion per […] Read More

California’s Failure to Store Water Exemplifies its Political Dysfunction

In 2017, when cracks appeared in the Oroville Dam’s spillway, more than 180,000 Californians faced the prospect of floods. The emergency came a few years after Californians had overwhelmingly approved Proposition 1, a ballot measure to spend $7.1 billion on water-storage projects. In the drought-stricken Golden State, where runoff from rain and snowmelt races uselessly into the Pacific Ocean, the proposition won wide support, with voters approving it, two-to-one. But four years after passage, the state water commission has yet to assign a dime of funding for storage.

California once performed miracles in building infrastructure to quench the thirst of its residents and agricultural producers. In the 1960s, Governor Pat Brown oversaw construction of the San Luis Reservoir, capacity 2 million acre-feet. Approved for construction in 1963, it was completed by 1968—five years from start to finish. Those days are long gone. Any surface-storage project now faces years of litigation from environmental groups such as the powerful Sierra Club. At every stage in the construction process, delays of months or years ensue to resolve well-funded lawsuits launched under every conceivable pretext, from habitat destruction to inundation of Native American artifacts.

Nevertheless, the California Water Commission has finally announced its plans to fund new projects with the money from Proposition 1. Many Californians were surprised to learn that the proposition’s fine print stipulated that only a third of the money was ever intended to fund water storage. The rest is earmarked for other […] Read More

How to Revive California’s Republican Party Which is Currently Dead

Anyone taking a look at California’s June 2018 state primary ballot would have plenty of evidence to suggest the Republican Party in that state is dead. For starters, California’s GOP has two credible candidates for governor, businessman John Cox and State Assemblyman Travis Allen, which in a normal state might be a good thing. But California’s Republicans are a super-minority party in an open “top-two primary” that pits them against at least two well-funded Democratic candidates, Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Although Cox is polling better than Allen, they’re both likely to be aced off the ticket in November.

Worse, California’s Republicans have no viable candidate for U.S. Senate. The most recognizable candidate—indelibly listed as “Republican” on the ballot despite being kicked out of the recent GOP state convention—is Patrick Little, whose campaign website’s home page includes a “learn more” button on the topic of “How We Will End Jewish Supremacism.”

There is not one higher state office in California where a Republican has a realistic chance of victory. Nearly every position—lieutenant governor, attorney general, treasurer, controller, and state superintendent of schools—Democratic candidates are likely to win. The lone exception is insurance commissioner, where the respected Steve Poizner, who has already held that office as a Republican from 2007 to 2011, is now running as an independent.

California’s GOP Party Organization Has Failed If you go […] Read More

California’s Transportation Future, Part Three – Next Generation Vehicles

The next generation of vehicles will transform transportation in several fundamental ways. What is coming will be as revolutionary in our time as the transition from horses to horseless carriages was over a century ago. Some increments of this dawning revolution are already here in realized products. Electric drivetrains. Collision avoidance systems. Self-driving cars. Cars on demand. Aerial drones. Nearly all of the enabling technology for this dawning revolution is already here. Artificial intelligence. Visual recognition and sensor systems that use radar, sonar and LIDAR laser scanning. Mapping capabilities. GPS. Data collection. Memory chips. Communications systems. And every one of these technologies, along with investment capital, more than anywhere else, is concentrated in California.

As this revolution unfolds, our conception of what constitutes vehicular transport will change. Many vehicles will be modular and reconfigurable. On the road surface, the wheeled chassis, or “skateboard,” will contain the essentials to power and navigate the vehicle. Depending on the duty cycle, a skateboard chassis may be small, only capable of carrying a two passenger cabin, or small freight payload. Other skateboards will range in size from those capable of carrying a sedan or SUV sized passenger unit, all the way to the largest versions which, with freight or passenger units attached, would weigh up to 80,000 pounds.

Even more variation will be present in the passenger modules. An SUV sized passenger module, for example, might hold 6-8 passengers like a mini-bus. Or it might be a conference room or an office where […] Read More

California’s Climate Agenda Sets an Impossible Example

California has acted decisively and aggressively to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change, with a state goal to reduce emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. – Excerpt from Introduction, Governor’s Budget Summary, 2018-19

Indeed it has. Glowing tributes to Governor Brown’s legacy understate how long California has been proclaiming itself the leader in fighting “climate change.” It actually began with Brown’s immediate predecessor, Gov. Schwarzenegger, who pivoted left after failing to reform public employee unions in 2005. Schwarzenegger promoted, then signed, AB 32, in 2006. This so-called “Global Warming Solutions Act,” set the initial targets for greenhouse gas reduction, empowering the California Air Resources Board to monitor and enforce compliance with laws and regulations aimed at achieving these reductions.

Other significant legislation followed. SB 107, also passed in 2006, mandated a “renewable portfolio standard,” wherein by 2010 at least 20% of California’s electricity would come from renewable sources.

The legislation has been unrelenting. SB 1, 2006, mandated utilities pay rebates to homeowners that installed photovoltaic panels on their roofs. AB 118, 2007, funded the “Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program,” the first step towards mandating a minimum percentage of electric and hybrid vehicle sales. SB 375, 2008, the “Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act,” directed cities and counties to increase the housing density of their communities.

When Jerry Brown took over as Governor in 2010, legislation accelerated. SBX1-2, 2011, raised the renewable portfolio standard to 33% by […] Read More