Recall Gavin Effort Booms Despite Media Blackout

When the history of the 2020 election in California is written, the prevailing question will be why didn’t the California Republican Party take advantage of one of the biggest populist movements in modern history, the ongoing campaign to recall Governor Gavin Newsom. The period this recall effort has been allocated for signature gathering overlaps neatly with the peak political season, hence there is a tremendous opportunity for CAGOP to capitalize on its momentum.

It’s easy enough to understand why, despite gathering hundreds of thousands of signatures, and being on track to gather more signed petitions than any volunteer effort, ever, there is virtually zero media coverage. California’s establishment radio, press, and television networks are determined to ignore the Recall Gavin 2020 campaign for the same reasons the CAGOP ought to embrace – it is a rebellion that has attracted millions of disillusioned Californian voters and it has the potential to fundamentally transform the political landscape of the state.

For California’s media, this blackout is merely malpractice. Their partisan bias – expressed in how they frame issues, what issues they choose to cover, what facts they choose to emphasize over others, and their many sins of omission – is well established and comes as no surprise. In the case of CAGOP, their lack of support is, to be charitable, due to an excess of caution.

To appreciate the weight of the populist uprising sweeping California, the media, and CAGOP, might choose to attend the next large event organized by the […] Read More

Homeless Anarchy in Los Angeles

Anyone thinking about blaming the police for the anarchy that grips America’s liberal cities is not paying attention. The police know how to do their jobs, but the politicians, elected by progressive liberals, do not let them. And often enough, even when there are laws left on the books that might permit prosecution, activist prosecutors, also elected by progressive liberals, do not press charges.

Life in California, as usual, epitomizes this dysfunction. In 2014 voters approved Proposition 47, which downgraded drug and property crimes. In 2016 voters approved Proposition 57, which released thousands of nonviolent criminals. Back in 2006, the ACLU prevailed in the Jones vs City of Los Angeles case; the judgment prohibits arrests for vagrancy unless there is a space available in a homeless shelter.

The result of these laws is predictable enough. California’s unsheltered homeless population is now more numerous than all the rest of the homeless in the United States combined. And why not? Along with great weather, there are no serious legal consequences for being intoxicated on methamphetamine or heroin, much less marijuana or alcohol, nor are their serious legal consequences for stealing to support your drug habit. And if you want to set up a tent, almost anywhere, nobody can make you move along until they provide you a shelter.

If California is ground zero for urban anarchy, Venice Beach is one of the epicenters. Well before the COVID-19 pandemic and pre-election planned rioting turned the anarchy up two notches, […] Read More

Firefighting Unions Can Help Fix Forestry Mismanagement

What we quaintly refer to as “super fires” have incinerated nearly 5,000 square miles of California’s forests so far this year. In response, Governor Newsom has declared he has “no more patience for climate deniers.” But it isn’t climate change that caused these superfires. It was negligent forestry.

When it comes to facts that matter on the issue of our burning forests, perhaps Newsom is the one who is in denial. Because when Newsom denounces “climate deniers,” he denies the following far more pertinent facts about wildfires and climate:

The timber industry in California has been cut to a small fraction of what it was in 1990 in terms of employment and board feet of timber harvested. In 1990, 6.0 billion board feet were harvested from California’s forests, today the harvest rarely exceeds 1.5 billion board feet. Dense, overgrown forests result in unhealthy trees, because the increased number of trees are competing for the same amount of sunlight, water and soil nutrients. This is the reason so many of them cannot resist disease and infestations, not climate change. Year after year, millions of acre feet of snow and rain fall on these dense tree canopies and either evaporate immediately, or are sucked up by the overgrown, water stressed biomass as soon as they hit the ground. Far less water makes it into the aquifers and rivers as a result. The overgrown forests are not only packing up to ten times more fuel than what is historically normal, […] Read More

Mismanaged Forests Burn, Newsom Blames “Climate Deniers”

What we quaintly refer to as “super fires” have incinerated nearly 5,000 square miles of California’s forests so far this year. In response, Governor Newsom has declared he has “no more patience for climate deniers.” But it isn’t climate change that caused these superfires. It was negligent forestry.

When it comes to facts that matter on the issue of our burning forests, perhaps Newsom is the one who is in denial. Because when Newsom denounces “climate deniers,” he denies the following far more pertinent facts about wildfires and climate:

The timber industry in California has been cut to a small fraction of what it was in 1990 in terms of employment and board feet of timber harvested. In 1990, 6.0 billion board feet were harvested from California’s forests, today the harvest rarely exceeds 1.5 billion board feet. Dense, overgrown forests result in unhealthy trees, because the increased number of trees are competing for the same amount of sunlight, water and soil nutrients. This is the reason so many of them cannot resist disease and infestations, not climate change. Year after year, millions of acre feet of snow and rain fall on these dense tree canopies and either evaporate immediately, or are sucked up by the overgrown, water stressed biomass as soon as they hit the ground. Far less water makes it into the aquifers and rivers as a result. The overgrown forests are not only packing up to ten times more fuel than what is historically normal, […] Read More

The Riots Ought to be Against Romney, Bush, Biden and Harris

Not quite a year ago, online journalist Kaitlin Bennett interviewed a Rutgers student who said “neoliberalism has torn through humanity.” Without meaning to, the student neatly expressed the reason Donald Trump appeals to increasing numbers of Bernie Sanders voters, and why NeverTrump Republicans are better suited to be Democrats.

Among the populist leftist movement in the United States, apart from the relatively few people who are hardcore Communists and anti-white racists, you’re left with a vast, embittered population of Americans who have indeed had their lives torn apart by neoliberalism.

For the uninitiated, neoliberalism sees all humanity as an undifferentiated mass of consumers, with borders, language, cultures, and national sovereignty as nothing more than obstacles to global corporate governance.

NeverTrump Republicans, on the other hand, have been treated very well by neoliberalism, as have the Silicon Valley moguls and Wall Street raiders who now constitute the moneyed core of the Democratic party.

Through an impressive sleight of hand, America’s neoliberal corporate elite have succeeded in making Trump, who wants to bring jobs back to America and stay out of foreign wars, the target of nationwide rioting. These efforts by Trump make him an enemy of neoliberals.

By contrast, Mitt Romney and Joe Biden epitomize those neoliberals who have gotten rich by gutting America’s economy, and George W. Bush and Hillary Clinton epitomize those neoliberals who have dragged America into endless wars that drain our wealth and murder our youth.

It’s hard not to have contempt for these […] Read More

Environmentalists Destroyed California’s Forests

Millions of acres of California forest have been blackened by wildfires this summer, leading to the usual angry denunciations from the usual quarters about climate change. But in 1999, the Associated Press reported that forestry experts had long agreed that “clearing undergrowth would save trees,” and that “years of aggressive firefighting have allowed brush to flourish that would have been cleared away by wildfires.” But very little was done. And now fires of unprecedented size are raging across the Western United States.

“Sen. Feinstein blames Sierra Club for blocking wildfire bill,” reads the provocative headline on a 2002 story in California’s Napa Valley Register. Feinstein had brokered a congressional consensus on legislation to thin “overstocked” forests close to homes and communities, but could not overcome the environmental lobby’s disagreement over expediting the permit process to thin forests everywhere else.

Year after year, environmentalists litigated and lobbied to stop efforts to clear the forests through timber harvesting, underbrush removal, and controlled burns. Meanwhile, natural fires were suppressed and the forests became more and more overgrown. The excessive biomass competed for the same water, soil, and light a healthier forest would have used, rendering all of the trees and underbrush unhealthy. It wasn’t just excess biomass that accumulated, but dried out and dead biomass.

What happened among California’s tall stands of Redwood and Ponderosa Pine also happened in its extensive chaparral. Fire suppression along with too many environmentalist-inspired bureaucratic barriers to controlled burns and undergrowth removal turned the hillsides […] Read More

Prop. 15 Empowers Big Business, Destroys Small Business

California’s state and local governments, and the public sector unions that exercise nearly absolute control over the politicians who supposedly oversee them, have always had an insatiable desire for higher taxes. The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has added even more urgency to their insatiable quest for more money from taxpayers, but through the years their basic game plan and goals have been remarkably consistent.

For example, the so-called “Split Roll” property tax increase which has finally made it onto the November 2020 state ballot in the form of Prop. 15, is something that has been proposed for years by California’s government unions and their supporters. This new tax is designed to undermine the historic 1978 Prop. 13, which limits property reassessments to when there is a change in ownership, and from that baseline keeps increases to maximum of two percent per year. Prop. 13 also freezes the property tax rate at one percent, although countless local “fees” have elevated the actual amount owners have to pay.

The way Prop. 15 is being sold to voters is based on its impact being restricted to commercial properties. Because residential properties are unaffected by Prop. 15, at least initially, proponents expect voters who own homes to not feel threatened by the measure. The airwaves are already saturated with ads in support of Prop. 15. To paraphrase, the themes are “make the wealthiest corporations pay their fair share,” “relieve the crowded classrooms,” “help local communities respond to the impact […] Read More

Why Don’t Alternative COVID Therapies Get More Trials in America?

In case anyone still thinks so, the COVID-19 pandemic is not a hoax. How and why it originated may never be known for certain. How societies ought to respond to it, and who are most vulnerable to the disease, are both topics of intense debate. But deaths in America from all causes are up year-to-date by over 200,000 compared to recent years, and while we may hope the worst is behind us, this is not over.

The single most authoritative source for statistics on deaths in the U.S. is the CDC website, and a way to eliminate any doubt about cause of death is to simply bypass the categories and look at deaths from all causes. If that number is only marginally up this year, then you can argue that COVID-19 is overhyped. If that number is up significantly, then something terrible is going on, and COVID-19 probably accounts for most of that. As it is, for 2020 through the end of June, deaths from all causes are up by 15 percent over the average for the past six years, even adjusting for population growth.

The following chart shows deaths from all causes by week, starting when flu season starts in October, with data displayed through September for the six most recent previous years, and through August 26 for the 2019-20 flu season. The pattern of deaths from all causes tracks pretty evenly across the years, roughly 50,000 people per week die in America, except during flu season, when […] Read More

Union Power is Behind Fullerton’s Push for Higher Taxes

Did you know your taxes are being used to advocate for more taxes? Well, not exactly. It’s against the law for public agencies to engage in “advocacy.” The people running these agencies who want to raise your taxes may only spend public funds in order to “communicate” with you about their proposals. And so they “communicate” good and hard. And then you vote.

To make perfectly clear what’s really happening here, the communications are only one side of the coin. When they decide to put tax increases on the ballot, city councils use public funds to hire expensive consulting firms to help them engage in “communications” with voters. At the same time, the public sector unions who arguably control these city councils – unions that need all that money to raise their pay and fund their pensions – hire political professionals to wage campaigns to voters that explicitly advocate these tax increases.

An example of this, and there are many, is the City of Fullerton. Like most California cities, it’s in financial trouble these days, if it wasn’t already. And like most California cities, public sector unions exercise inordinate if not absolute power over the city council.

Public Sector Union Power is Behind the Push for Higher Taxes

Fullerton is a city with a long history of public sector union influence on elected officials. In a 2012 article entitled “Fullerton Police Union Intimidates Reform Candidates,” author Steven Greenhut writes about two councilmen at the time, Bruce Whitaker and Travis […] Read More

When Will A Prominent Black Athlete Stand Up to the Mob?

The recent expressions of support for Black Lives Matter by professional athletes can be understood as a legitimate reaction to tragic episodes of injustice that occur in the United States. But everything beyond that noble sentiment is flawed.”Systemic racism,” to the extent it even exists, explains very little of black underachievement, and the Black Lives Matter organization offers absolutely nothing that will help the black community.

The reality for at least the last forty years in America is that Blacks are beneficiaries of programs – college admissions preferences, incentives for minority-owned businesses, quotas towards achieving proportional representation in corporate hiring and promotions, and subsidized housing, to name a few – designed to uplift them. These programs have been administered at a cost that by now probably amounts to trillions of dollars. If Black activists and the politicians who pander to them for votes truly think “reparations” are justified, reparations have already been tried and are ongoing. They’re not working. They may have actually done more harm than good.

Most every citation of “systemic racism” either references things that were ended several decades ago, or they are based on flawed statistical analysis. To the first point, slavery was eliminated in 1863. Segregation was abolished in 1965. Redlining was outlawed in 1968. And as noted, starting in the 1960s, incalculable sums have been spent on systemic benefits and preferences designed to help America’s Blacks. So much for institutionalized racism persisting in America. If anything, it’s the opposite, institutionalized anti-racism.

[…] Read More