SoCal Desalination Plant Inches Towards Approval

In a rare and commendable display of political courage and common sense, California Governor Gavin Newsom has been working to finally grant permits to construct a second major seawater desalination plant on the Southern California Coast.

But don’t count on this new water source just yet. Despite clearing major hurdles, the “environmentalists” and their allies in the media are not going to quit.

In a predictably slanted hatchet job, poorly disguised as an investigative report, the Los Angeles Times is doing everything it can to derail the project. According to their February 26 article, “environmentalists” have serious concerns about the proposed plant, set to be constructed in Huntington Beach and using a similar design to one already successfully operating about 60 miles south in Carlsbad. But why are the only environmentalists used as sources for supposedly objective journalists the ones that disparage desalination?

Here are some of the problems that “environmentalists,” who purport to speak for everyone who cares about the environment, have with the proposed desalination plant in Huntington Beach. Quoting from the LA Times article:

“Though the Huntington Beach facility meets the state goal of diversifying California’s water supply, it would undermine other environmental policies. The plant would require large amounts of electricity; it would sit next to a rising sea; and it would continue the use of huge ocean intakes harmful to microscopic marine life.”

These objections are easily answered. Every drop of water that is produced by the plant is water that […] Read More

California’s Jungle Recall

In 2010 California’s voters approved Proposition 14, which fundamentally changed how general elections are conducted in the state. Prior to Prop. 14, the general election ballot would include the names of every qualified party’s nominee. The new system created a so-called “jungle primary,” an open primary where all registered voters could vote for any candidate running regardless of their party affiliation, and only the top two finishers would move on to appear on the ballot in November.

The rationale for this, according to proponents at the time, was to eliminate the ability for candidates with extreme views, able to win in a primary contest against members of their own party, from moving on to compete in the general election. To-date the only result in California, however, appears to be the further destruction of GOP as a viable competitor in the one-party state. If the many state legislative contests that now just feature two Democratic candidates has resulted in winners with less extreme views, it’s not evident from the actions of the state legislature.

But California is about to experience a jungle free-for-all of a different kind, in the form of a special election that will permit voters to vote on a recall of Governor Gavin Newsom. The ballot will have two questions. The first will be “do you support removing Newsom from office, yes or no?” The second question, on the same ballot, will be “if voters remove Newsom from office, who do you vote for to replace […] Read More

In Defense of Multiracial Americanism

To broaden its assault on traditional American culture and values, and to account for the large and growing number of conservatives that are not “white,” the Left has now come up with a new concept, “multiracial whiteness.”

This term sprang into prominence with a guest column by Cristina Beltran published in the Washington Post last month. Beltran acknowledged that Trump’s performance over Latino voters actually improved between 2016 and 2020. She also acknowledged the “clearly Latino or African American” faces showing up in the January 6 incident at the U.S. capitol. Everything Beltran claims in her column is designed to further castigate “whiteness,” while acknowledging there are significant percentages of nonwhites that, as she puts it, “fervently backed the MAGA policy agenda, including its delusions and conspiracy theories.”

For example, one of the favored targets of the “anti-racist” movement in the United States are the Proud Boys, who Beltran describes as a “neo-fascist” group. Their leader, Enrique Tarrio, is Afro-Cuban, which makes him Beltran’s prime example of so-called toxic “multi-racial whiteness.” She claims the appeal of multiracial whiteness to nonwhites is “politics of aggression, exclusion and domination.”

This sort of message isn’t restricted to leftist academics anymore. Cristina Beltran, a professor of “social and cultural analysis” at New York University, and her cohorts throughout academia, now have the entire weight of America’s establishment institutions behind them.

A notorious and very recent example of institutionalized corporate anti-whiteness is a training seminar that Coca-Cola posted for its employees, featuring tips […] Read More

Questions for California’s Next Governor

The Recall Gavin campaign announced on February 25 that they have now collected 1,825,000 signed recall petitions. This means that if 82 percent of these signed petitions are validated by the county registrars, there will be a special election to see if Gavin Newsom remains in office as California’s governor. The proponents aren’t slowing down, however, nor should they. Lead proponent Orrin Heatlie, reached for comment on this latest milestone, was unequivocal. “The work isn’t done,” he said, “we need to secure greater numbers than are required in order to beat the rejection rate and we are still looking for two million signed petitions. If we can keep up the pace we’re at, we’ll make it.”

Heatlie, a man of extraordinary determination that has surprised every political expert in the state, now commands a statewide volunteer army of over 5,000 seasoned activists. His committee is joined by a parallel committee led by Anne Dunsmore, a veteran political consultant whose grit equals Heatlie. Dunsmore threw her energy and experience fully into the recall effort when nobody else would. The synergy generated by these two committees, with complementary strategies and skill sets, has made political history. With the finish line in sight, neither of them is about to slow down.

If there is a special election, the recall ballot will have two questions. The first will be “do you support removing Newsom from office, yes or no?” The second question, on the same ballot, will be “if voters remove […] Read More

Huge Waiting List for Orange County Classical Academy

In the 2010 documentary Waiting for Superman, there is an unforgettable scene, where parents and children anxiously await the results of a lottery. A lucky few will be able to enroll their children in a charter school. These New York City schools only have capacity to admit one in twenty of the applicants.

Charter schools are public schools and receive public funds, but they have the freedom to design innovative curricula. As documented in Waiting for Superman, as well as in more recent studies, charter schools on average deliver better academic results for less money. And since every charter school attracts students based on parental choice, underperforming charter schools do not last.

Across California, where barely ten percent of K-12 public schools are charters, the Waiting for Superman scenario plays out year after year. A new charter school in Orange County, the Orange County Classical Academy, offers yet another example. The upcoming 2021-2022 academic year will only be this primary school’s second year of operation, but they have over 500 applicants on their waiting list with only 60 slots available.

The Orange County Classical Academy opened last fall with 360 students, comprised of two 30 student classes at each grade level from kindergarten through fifth grade. Their plan is to add a grade level each year in order for the existing students to advance all the way through 12th grade while staying at the school. Hence for 2021-2022 they will add two 6th grade classrooms […] Read More

The Origin and True Agenda of “Anti-Racist” Politics

With President Biden and Kamala Harris steering the American ship of state, there isn’t much left at the federal level to stop “woke” politics from encroaching even further into all aspects of American society. In every federal agency including the military, in corporate America including sports and entertainment, throughout the colleges and universities, and even into the K-12 public schools, “woke” ideology now permeates the culture. It is a seductive, divisive philosophy that emphasizes group conflict over individual competition and achievement. If it isn’t stopped, it will destroy everything that has made America great.

To appreciate how far this ideology has progressed, a good example comes from Christopher Rufo, writing for City Journal, who describes a public elementary school in California that “recently forced a class of third-graders to deconstruct their racial identities, then rank themselves according to their “power and privilege.”

Third graders. And this is happening all over America.

A few graphics borrowed from the woke movement can summarize the progression of woke ideology in America. The first one, found on Wikipedia with multiple citations under “whiteness theory,” traces its origins all the way back to 1996. It is an early attempt at popularizing the now ubiquitous notion of “intersectionality,” the idea that intersecting identities define a persons position on a continuum that ranges from oppressed to privileged.

 

A logical corollary to intersectionality is the concept of implicit bias. The National Museum of African American History and Culture has produced a lengthy online resource […] Read More

The Choice Facing Libertarians

If you want to find a Libertarian party organization that has achieved relevance, look no further than Georgia. That’s where Shane Hazel, running for the U.S. Senate as a Libertarian, garnered 2.3 percent of the vote in November. Hazel’s showing may have been insignificant, but the Republican candidate, David Perdue, only needed 0.3 percent more votes to have avoided a runoff, where he lost.

America’s political system today, with rare exceptions, is a two party system. All that Perdue needed was for one in seven of Hazel’s voters to choose him instead, and the GOP would still control the U.S. Senate. In a two party system, it doesn’t take much to be relevant. Hazel now intends to run as a Libertarian for governor in Georgia in 2022.

Libertarians, to their credit, do not operate with the same level of lies and hatred as leftist Democrats. They also tend to be more willing to stand on principle, although this may be more a function of their status as spoilers. The actual challenge of governing requires compromises.

On the Libertarian Party of Georgia’s website there is a chart entitled “Common Sense on the Issues” that thoughtfully outlines their positions on issues. It compares them to Democrats and Republicans, showing areas of agreement and disagreement. This chart bears examination, both for its assumptions as well as for what it leaves out.

Libertarians object to the Left’s positions on regulations, “UN led US military actions,” eminent domain for private gain, […] Read More

Newsom Recall Still Needs Donors and Signatures

While the chances that Gavin Newsom will face a recall election are greater than ever, those chances are diminished whenever anyone says the signature gathering campaign has been successfully concluded. It is not done yet, and without ongoing financial and volunteer support in these final three weeks it could still fall short.

Even supporters of the recall have succumbed to premature optimism. On February 12, Assemblyman Kevin Kiley tweeted to his nearly 40,000 followers “It’s official. 1.5 million signatures.” Kiley knows better, as his subsequent tweets indicate. Nothing is “official” until 1.5 million valid signatures are certified by the California Secretary of State. To ensure that 1.5 million signed petitions are checked and confirmed as valid, proponents need to collect up to 2.0 million signed petitions.

As of February 17, the recall committees announced that 1,689,000 signatures had been collected. That’s encouraging to recall supporters, since it suggests they collected 189,000 signatures in five days. But they still could be as many as 300,000 signed petitions short of the safe zone, which means they’ll have to maintain this pace over the next few weeks in order to be certain the recall qualifies.

Lead proponent Orrin Heatlie put the latest petition numbers into context, stating “we believe 1.8 [million] gets us there, 1.9 puts us in the comfort zone, and 2.0 would remove all doubt.”

Heatlie’s committee, RecallGavin2020, which started the recall effort, has organized over 5,000 volunteers to gather signatures. To-date they have collected about 1.1 […] Read More

California Agencies Fail to Submit Timely Financial Data

With Californians about to enter their second year of restricted economic activity, and with all the resulting financial anxiety and hardship, it’s unfortunate that accurate and timely financial information isn’t available for the vast public sector. While public sector budgets and projections abound, actual audited financial data for recently completed fiscal years is subject to unnecessary months, if not years, of delay.

One of the few areas of excellence in California’s vast public sector bureaucracies is its public pay database. Initiated under former California State Controller John Chiang and continued by Betty Yee who replaced Chiang in 2015, this “Government Compensation in California” website offers an unvarnished and detailed look into how much we pay our public servants. That’s a look worth having, especially for 2020, a year that saw private sector workers and small business owners watch their income and wealth slip away. But don’t hold your breath.

The raw data the state controller makes available can be sorted by agency, it includes a record for every full or part-time state or local public employee, and for each record there is considerable detail, including base pay, overtime pay, “other” pay, deferred pay, health insurance, pension fund contributions, and more. To be sure, the data isn’t perfectly consistent or complete. Pension fund contributions may or may not include the payments to reduce the unfunded liability, despite the fact that the unfunded pension payment is now usually twice as much, or more, than the so-called normal pension contribution. The […] Read More

California’s Multibillionaires Intend to Conquer the World

As the oldest man in American history to ever be elected president begins his administration, his immediate blizzard of executive actions suggest the energy of someone much younger. The reason for this is obvious. Joe Biden is not running the country. He is a president in name only. The edicts coming out of the Oval Office, along with the imminent legislative initiatives, are being ran by the American equivalent of a soviet politburo, and the political and financial power behind this politburo is coming from California.

The political actors occupying key roles include Kamala Harris, whose role the tie-breaker that presides over the U.S. Senate makes her the most powerful vice president in history, and Nancy Pelosi, who presides over the U.S. House of Representatives. These two politicians are only the most visible Californians among a group that includes cabinet secretaries, administrative appointees, and what is by far the largest state Democratic congressional caucus.

More significant is the fact that Californians also provide the financial power behind the Biden politburo, as well as the cultural power that propels the Democratic narrative. This would include the well documented trillions in Silicon Valley wealth, the monopolistic power Silicon Valley wields over online communications, and the considerable influence of Hollywood – still the epicenter of America’s entertainment industry.

All of this Californian power is deployed in support of the ongoing “reset,” a titanic, historic transformation, imposed through manufactured consent, executive edicts, biased court rulings, and overwrought regulations emanating from the partisan bureaucrats […] Read More