Walters: How long will one-man rule last?

For many weeks I have taken to call Gavin Newsom the Supreme Leader.  Now, it looks like Dan Walters, the renowned political journalist/observer in California is also recognizing the push by Newsom to end legislative action.  In this article Walters claims Newsom is moving our form of government from a representative one, with an elected legislative responsible to the people, to one of a system, where the Prime Minister (Supreme Leader) runs the legislature.

” Legislators are beginning to be annoyed at being left out of the loop.

Last week, in his initial analysis of Newsom’s much-revised 2020-21 budget proposal, the Legislature’s analyst, Gabe Petek, said, “In many cases, we are very troubled by the degree of authority that the administration is requesting that the Legislature delegate.” Petek urged the Legislature “to jealously guard its constitutional role and authority.”

Later, the chairwoman of the Senate Budget Committee, Los Angeles Democrat Holly Mitchell, echoed that position, complaining during a budget hearing that Newsom was bypassing the Legislature.”

Gavin Newsom is a Regressive—he wants to return California to feudal days when the Lords ran the show and the people and their property were owned by the government.  Freedom?  Not even allowed to be taught in government schools.  Instead “social justice” revisionist history, hatred and bigotry, demeaning religion, is what government schools are about.  Add to that, many school district allowed racists into the classroom promoting the killing of babies, 70% are those of color—a eugenics nirvana.. 

How long will one-man rule last?

Dan Walters, CalMatters,  5/24/20 

For the past decade, California has been a case study in one-party rule.

Democrats hold every statewide office and enjoy overwhelming majorities in the congressional delegation and both legislative houses. Republicans, due largely to their own failures, are irrelevant.

With no partisan competition, whatever Democratic leaders decide behind closed doors is quickly written into law, including the massive state budget. Even when hearings are held, committee chairs routinely limit testimony to a couple of brief presentations and require everyone else to just state their names and positions.

As worrisome as those aspects of one-party rule may be, we have now entered still another political phase in California — one-man rule.

On March 4, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency, allowing him to override virtually every law on the books.

The Legislature readily acceded, giving Newsom $1-plus billion to spend as he sees fit and abandoning Sacramento for the next two months. Newsom has issued multiple orders to control personal and economic activity and executed many high-dollar contracts with no public input and only very limited ability of journalists to question their efficacy.

Newsom has also not hesitated to crack down hard on those who don’t obey, an attitude tinged with irony since he first achieved political notoriety as mayor of San Francisco by defying a voter-approved state law prohibiting same-sex marriage.

In effect, we’re accidentally experimenting with how California would be governed were we to turn away from our current structure and adopt, instead, the parliamentary system used in Great Britain, Canada and most European countries.

Our structure, mirroring the federal government, is one of checks and balances — a separately elected chief executive, a two-house legislative branch and a court system to oversee acts of both.

It is, by design, an unwieldy system, requiring policy proposals to clear a series of procedural hurdles before becoming law, albeit truncated by one-party rule.

Under a parliamentary system, the party or coalition that controls the legislative branch also controls the executive. The prime minister, as the head of the legislative majority, can govern by decree as long as he or she holds the majority and does not lose a vote of confidence.

That’s pretty much Newsom’s position now. He can continue to issue decrees with the force of law as long as his emergency declaration is in place.

So, how long will that be? The pandemic could fester for many months, even years. The recession that Newsom’s shutdown orders induced could easily outlast the medical emergency. Would he just continue to exercise emergency powers indefinitely?

Legislators are beginning to be annoyed at being left out of the loop.

Last week, in his initial analysis of Newsom’s much-revised 2020-21 budget proposal, the Legislature’s analyst, Gabe Petek, said, “In many cases, we are very troubled by the degree of authority that the administration is requesting that the Legislature delegate.” Petek urged the Legislature “to jealously guard its constitutional role and authority.”

Later, the chairwoman of the Senate Budget Committee, Los Angeles Democrat Holly Mitchell, echoed that position, complaining during a budget hearing that Newsom was bypassing the Legislature.

The state law allowing Newsom to declare an emergency says he “shall proclaim the termination of a state of emergency at the earliest possible date that conditions warrant,” but also allows the Legislature to end it “by concurrent resolution.”

Republican legislators have introduced such a resolution. Its passage would be analogous to a no-confidence vote in the parliamentary system we now seem to have adopted, as least temporarily.

When will Media/Government Start Reporting Suicides and Suicide Attempts?

Every day the TV news gives us the number of people hospitalizations with the coronavirus, number of new cases and deaths attributed to the virus (real or not).  The media tells us about the unemployment due to the virus.  Yet they are keeping important information from us.

How many attempted suicides yesterday and in which States?  How many suicides, State by State.  How many crimes, how many criminals released without bail and criminals released from prison?

The media needs to give us the complete story of the victims of the virus—those victimized by a disease and those victimized by government.

Americans are victims of a virus and victims of the government response to the virus.  The question is, which is the cause of more deaths—and for the long term, the emotional destruction of a generation.

California Doctor Calls For End To Lockdowns Over Rising Suicides

By Tristan Justice, the Federalists,  5/22/20   

California doctors warn a surge in suicides is outspacing deaths from coronavirus as pandemic lockdowns take a far greater toll on American life than the virus itself.

Dr. Mike deBoisblank who serves as the head of the trauma department at John Muir Medical Center in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay told ABC 7 his hospital has seen a “year’s worth of suicide attempts in the last four weeks.”

“We’ve never seen numbers like this, in such a short period of time,” deBoisblank said, pointing at the state’s stay-home orders as the primary culprit for the spike in crises.

Now the California doctor is calling for an end to the lockdowns destroying the nation’s psyche.

“Personally, I think it’s time,” said deBoisblank. “I think originally, this (the shelter-in-place order) was put in place to flatten the curve and to make sure hospitals have the resources to take care of COVID patients. We have the current resources to do that and our other community health is suffering.”

Kasey Hansen is a trauma nurse who has worked at the John Muir Medical Center for 33 years and echoed deBoisblank’s concerns.

“What I have seen recently, I have never seen before,” Hansen told ABC 7. “I have never seen so much intentional injury.”

Hansen and deBoisblank both said they were seeing most suicide deaths occur in young adults, adding that they are worried this trend will likely continue as the stress of isolation and job loss under pandemic lockdowns will contribute to seemingly unbearable anxiety.

The national suicide hotline is 1-800-273-8255. More resources are here.

Even as states begin to reopen, life remains far from normal, and reopenings have still kept thousands of businesses closed and put millions of Americans out of work each week.

The mental health non-profit, Well Being Trust, estimates that upwards of 75,000 will ultimately succumb to the pandemic not through the virus but through deaths of despair by suicide and substance abuse. Last week, addiction expert Tim Ryan told The Federalist that relapses and drug overdoses as “through the roof” as Americans cling to numbing vices to cope.

As state and local lockdowns continue to take their crushing toll on the economy, the nation’s sanity already on the brink of collapse has begun to deteriorate under the uncertainty the pandemic presents. Extreme isolation, financial devastation, and the constant goalpost moving for a return to a semblance of normalcy have created for the perfect storm for the pandemic to exacerbate an existing mental health crisis.

Allysen Efferson, a therapist in East Tennessee told The Federalist that ending the lockdowns and allowing people to reclaim their meaning and dignity through work is one of the best first steps to rejuvenating the nation’s spirits.

“Getting Americans back to work is a way in which we can address the mental illness portion of this if not directly than indirectly,” Efferson said. “We know that in a job, people find purpose. There’s dignity in being able to provide for yourself and your family. Continuing to keep people in lockdown for the vast majority of us takes away our primary source of well-being: our job.”

Baltimore pastor tears up cease-and-desist order: ‘We’re gonna do it God’s way’

The Constitution is clear—Americans have religious freedom.  Politicians know that when folks gather at church they have common values and principles—moral and ethical values and principles.  These folks vote against the Newsom’s and Biden’s of the world.  So, why not use a virus as an excuse to keep religious people apart?  Claim it is for their safety.  Yet, while keeping people from the church doors, government is financing the efforts to keep the doors open for Planned Parenthood, for the purpose of promoting eugenics via abortions, the killing of babies.

““It has become abundantly clear that if we settle for permission, we will never have liberty again,” Shiflet told Fox News. “Either we have liberty to worship or we have permission to worship.”

Calvary Baptist Church is not the only church to flout governmental authority. In states such as Texas and Georgia, many churches have opened their doors before being given permission only to have close up again due to pastors and church staff testing positive for the virus.

In California 1200 Pastors have informed the Regressive Guv Newsom that they have the liberty to pray—and on May 31 they are going to exercise their liberty.  Imagine the optics of police closing down churches and arresting hundreds of Pastors.  When the Recall petitions come out in a couple of weeks, you will not need paid signature gatherers, just the Church people will be enough to create the Recall of the Regressive Governor.

Baltimore pastor tears up cease-and-desist order: ‘We’re gonna do it God’s way’

By Jack Hobbs, NY Post,  5/22/20    

A pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland tore up a cease-and-desist order that he was issued during a sermon on Wednesday night, a report said.

Stacey Shiflett, who was threatened with a $5,000 fine if he continued to hold in-person services, tore up the order proclaiming, “We’re going to do it God’s way,” according to The Hill.

In a video that was posted online, Shiflett can be heard exclaiming “So I’m tearing up this cease-and-desist order right here, and I’m telling you right now, we’re gonna do it God’s way! God tells us how to worship Him, nobody else gets to do that.”

On Friday, Governor Larry Hogan said that places of worship are allowed to reopen as long as they were kept 50 percent capacity. According to Fox News, while Calvary Baptist has been complying with state occupancy laws, it has been breaching local ones. Which allows only 10 people to be at a place of worship at the time.

“It has become abundantly clear that if we settle for permission, we will never have liberty again,” Shiflet told Fox News. “Either we have liberty to worship or we have permission to worship.”

Calvary Baptist Church is not the only church to flout governmental authority. In states such as Texas and Georgia, many churches have opened their doors before being given permission only to have close up again due to pastors and church staff testing positive for the virus.

Clear and absent danger: why proxy voting violates the American system

Pelosi wants twenty people to control the votes of Congress.  Under her plan you do not need 435 members of Congress, just 20 with proxies.  This is undemocratic.  People were elected to represent a community stay at home, collect their pay and no need to travel to Washington.  At the same time, 44% of the vote for the winning candidate for the California Republican Party chairmanship was by proxy.  Many of those folks NEVER attend a convention—they get an appointment—and then give their appointment to those in charge, to keep themselves in charge.  If you oppose Pelosi collecting Congressional proxies then for the same reason you must oppose the CRP proxy effort to keep activist Republicans away from the table.

“When House Democrats passed their $3 trillion coronavirus ‘relief’ package late last week, they also jammed through a rules change on proxy voting that fundamentally transforms the nature of the House of Representatives and junks centuries of tradition.

Because of a change to House rules, members will now be able to submit their votes from afar. They will not have to travel back to DC to vote: they can instead send their ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ to a colleague, who will submit it on their behalf. One member can submit up to 10 votes at a time, meaning that the will of the House, which normally takes 218 members in the chamber, could be determined with only 21 members physically present.

The Leninist approach to government, allow power in the hands of a few.

Clear and absent danger: why proxy voting violates the American system

Even in the face of a pandemic, Congress has a responsibility to show up

Rachel Bovard, American Spectator,  5/21/20 

When House Democrats passed their $3 trillion coronavirus ‘relief’ package late last week, they also jammed through a rules change on proxy voting that fundamentally transforms the nature of the House of Representatives and junks centuries of tradition.

Because of a change to House rules, members will now be able to submit their votes from afar. They will not have to travel back to DC to vote: they can instead send their ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ to a colleague, who will submit it on their behalf. One member can submit up to 10 votes at a time, meaning that the will of the House, which normally takes 218 members in the chamber, could be determined with only 21 members physically present.

The new rule allows this distance voting for up to 45 days for any coronavirus-related emergency. It can be extended. Now that the precedent has been set, expect it to be trotted out repeatedly as the House finds other reasons for members to execute their constitutional responsibilities from their couches.

This is a first for the House. Not during the Spanish Flu of 1918, other pandemics (Sars, Mers, swine flu) the Civil War, even 9/11 — when the Capitol was a terrorist target — did members shirk from the one job the Constitution gives them: to assemble and vote.

The shirking is very likely unconstitutional. The Constitution’s plain text errs strongly on the side of Congress’s duty to be present, requiring the presence of a ‘quorum’ (a sufficient number of members) to conduct business. Whether this presence is required to be physical or virtual is the crux of the issue, but given the Constitution’s repeated references to ‘meeting’, ‘assembling’ and ‘attendance’, we can reasonably draw the inference that the Founders didn’t mean ‘on Zoom’.

Proxy voting violates more than just the letter of the law, however. Consider the nature of our politics itself, and what we lose when we erase the physicality of ‘in Congress, assembled.’

Being together is a fundamental feature of our politics. Of any politics. Aristotle called man a political animal, and politics is, by its nature, social. In removing the face-to-face elements of persuasion, negotiation, and the accountability of being present, the House has removed the raison d’être of politics itself: the duty to bear witness to the changes, big and small, that collectively build the character of the country.

That duty has many forms. The act of voting is just the last step in the great, intangible stew of our legislative process. There is the drafting and writing of legislation, the active negotiation among members and staff, the objections and filibusters used to draw out and amplify disagreement, and the points of order that force members to hold and clarify their positions.

It is unclear how all of this plays out from a distance. It is far likelier that without members present, bills will be written by staff, with the influence of members replaced by that of lobbyists, bureaucrats, think tanks, advocacy groups, and the rest of the interests that remain in DC, pandemic or no pandemic.

But also missing will be the debate and deliberation which have litigated issues ranging from war, to civil rights, to impeachment. This is where we find the raw power of our self-government: in its ability to gather, to agitate, to articulate, to debate the type of country we want to be.

What if Daniel Webster’s famous 1830 address on slavery and nullification had been delivered from his couch? Imagine Winston Churchill exhorting the House of Commons to ‘fight on the beaches’ and ‘never surrender’ on a tinny, stuttering, poor-WiFi-enabled WebEx call. The greatest filibusters of our time are looked upon with awe less because of their subject matter, but because of the pure physical stamina it requires to stand for hours in the Senate chamber without yielding.

Even in the face of a pandemic, Congress has a responsibility to show up — even if they do so while social distancing. The Senate — whose members are more at risk, given their age — is proving this can be done.

And showing up in a crisis is what we expect from the people we elect to be statesmen. The preservation of our self-government depends on the willingness of our elected representatives to step into the breach when called upon, even in the face of risks they know the job entails.

Proxy voting violates the letter of the law, but more importantly, its spirit. Sitting at home in sweatpants while assenting to national policy on an app diminishes both the House of Representatives, and the long tradition of leaders on whose backs — and willingness to cleave to the fundamental duties of representative government — that House is built.

Rachel Bovard is the senior director of policy at the Conservative Partnership Institute.

Bowling Alone: How Washington Has Helped Destroy American Civil Society and Family Life

Did government, by policy, kill off society?  Is the latest shelter in place the final straw for people to work together, play together and pray together?  Is shelter in place really an effort to make people fear those they do not know, not to discuss and debate current events?  Is it an effort to end elections so that candidates raise lots of money, send out mailers and never have to answer tough questions—when the media either smears candidates or promotes those that agree to end a free and open society?

“The decline in bowling league membership parallels the decline of memberships in a number of other civic organizations including the Knights of Columbus, B’Nai Brith, labor unions, the Boy Scouts, the Red Cross, the Lions, the Elks, the Kiwanis, the Freemasons, parent-teacher organizations, the League of Women Voters and the Junior Chamber of Commerce to name only a few examples other than bowling leagues and churches.

What this means is that there are significantly fewer connections between people and fewer civic-minded discussions going on now than there were in the past. It also means the loss of identity tied to something other than work and consumer goods (see the explosion of adults spending their money on Star Wars or Harry Potter knick-knacks).”

In some cases politicians killed off organizations, like th Boy Scouts—yet promoted the killing of babies by supporting Planned Parenthood.  There is a connection.  One group teaches morals and values—the other claims life has no value, especially the lives of people of color.

Bowling Alone: How Washington Has Helped Destroy American Civil Society and Family Life

Sam Jacobs, Ammo,  5/20/20 

Church attendance in the United States is at an all-time low, according to a Gallup poll released in April 2019. This decline has not been a steady one. Indeed, over the last 20 years, church attendance has fallen by 20 percent. This might not sound like cause for concern off the bat. And if you’re not a person of faith, you might rightly wonder why you would care about such a thing.

Church attendance is simply a measure of something deeper: social cohesion. It’s worth noting that the religions with the highest rate of attendance according to Pew Forum have almost notoriously high levels of social cohesion: Latter-Day Saints, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Evangelical Protestants, Mormons and historically black churches top the list.

There’s also the question of religious donations. Religious giving has declined by 50 percent since 1990, according to a 2016 article in the New York Times. This means people who previously used religious services to make ends meet now either have to go without or receive funding from the government. This, in turn, strengthens the central power of the state.

It is our position that civil society – those elements of society which exist independently of big government and big business – are essential to a functioning and free society. What’s more, these institutions are in rapid decline in the United States, and have been for over 50 years.

Such a breakdown is a prelude to tyranny, and has been facilitated in part (either wittingly or unwittingly) by government policies favoring deindustrialization, financialization and centralization of the economy as well as the welfare state. The historical roots of this breakdown are explored below, along with what concerned citizens can do to mitigate its impact on their loved ones.

What Is Bowling Alone?

The urtext of this topic is Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community by political scientist Robert D. Putnam. He uses the decline in league bowling as a sort of shorthand for the overall decline in American participation in social life.

The local bowling alley was known as the blue-collar country club, and it was the invention of the automatic pinsetter that changed the game, making it faster and more accessible. The first million-dollar endorsement sports deal was Don Carter receiving a million dollars to bowl with an Ebonite signature ball designed for him in 1964.

Business was driven by league play. People would sign up to join a league, which had them in for 30 weeks of once-weekly play. In the course of doing this, they would rub elbows with teammates, opponents and whoever happened to be hanging out in the bowling alley at the time. Between 1940 and 1958, the United States Bowling Congress’ membership exploded from 700,000 to 2.3 million. The Women’s International Bowling Congress’ membership climbed from 82,000 to 866,000, with the American Junior Bowling Congress ballooning from 8,000 to 175,000. In their heyday, bowling leagues brought in a whopping 70 percent of all bowling alley income. Now they bring in a paltry 40 percent.

Again, the point here is not that there is something magical about bowling, which acts as a social glue in the United States. Rather, it is that the existence of bowling alleys as a third place in American life was the symptom of a vibrant and healthy civil society, not its cause. People preferred to socialize with others in a place outside of home or work. Putnam is quick to point out that the number of people who bowl in the United States has actually increased since the golden age of bowling – the problem is that they’re all doing it alone.

The decline in bowling league membership parallels the decline of memberships in a number of other civic organizations including the Knights of Columbus, B’Nai Brith, labor unions, the Boy Scouts, the Red Cross, the Lions, the Elks, the Kiwanis, the Freemasons, parent-teacher organizations, the League of Women Voters and the Junior Chamber of Commerce to name only a few examples other than bowling leagues and churches.

What this means is that there are significantly fewer connections between people and fewer civic-minded discussions going on now than there were in the past. It also means the loss of identity tied to something other than work and consumer goods (see the explosion of adults spending their money on Star Wars or Harry Potter knick-knacks).

Putnam lays the blame at the foot of technology. Television, and to a much greater extent, the Internet, individualized how people spend their spare time. Still, there is a solid case to be made that the decline of civil society and the resulting loss of social capital is not simply the result of new technologies. It is equally the result of government policies which, through design or through negligence, further erode civil society.

The Destruction of the Rust Belt

It is difficult to talk about the decline of civil society and social capital in the United States without looking at the destruction of the Rust Belt. The decline of the population in Rust Belt industrial cities over the last 50 years is worth a cursory glance before delving further into this topic:

  • In 1940, Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh were all among the 10 most populated cities in the United States.
  • By 1980, Cleveland and Pittsburgh had dropped off.
  • While Detroit hung around in the top 10 until the 2010 census, it was also the first city to have its population drop below one million.

Cities outside of the top 10 in 1940 paint an even starker picture:

  • Between 1960 and 2010, Buffalo lost over half of its population, plummeting from 532,000 (20) to 261,000 (71).
  • Cincinnati was hit about this hard during the same time period, with its population dropping from 502,000 (21) to 296,000 (63).
  • Gary, Indiana is perhaps the most extreme case of Rust Belt depopulation. It lost over half its population between 1960 and 2010, going from 178,000 (70) to 80,000 (unranked).

Most of these massive depopulations are tied closely to deindustrialization and the financialization of the economy. While other factors cannot be ignored, such as central air conditioning, which makes living in cities like Phoenix (439,000 in 1960 and the 29th largest city to 1.4 million and the 6th largest by 2010) much more palatable, a conscious set of policies contributed to the destruction of America’s manufacturing base.

If one sees the United States as nothing more than a group of consumers, there’s nothing to fret about here. If, however, one sees the United States as a nation with a value beyond its simple GDP, the replacement of civil society with the marketplace is a disastrous scenario.

The Destruction of Black Business Districts

Another place where this can be seen is the destruction of the black middle class. A frequently untold story of American life is that by the 1950s, the United States actually had a thriving black middle class. Black business ownership peaked during the years between the end of the Second World War and the Great Society. Every city with any significant black population hosted a black business district where a primarily black clientele spent their money within their own community. Black home ownership was likewise high at this point.

This is all very much a thing of the past.

The per capita number of black employers declined by 12 percent between the years 1997 and 2014. An article by Brian S. Feldman in Washington Monthly notes a significant decline in certain sectors of black business ownership as well, namely grocers, insurers and banks. Black-owned insurance agencies declined by 68 percent between 1989 and 1999 in what Black Enterprise magazine called “a bloodbath.”

The article in question lays this at the feet of not specific government policies, but at the doorstep of a more general trend toward market concentration.

It’s worth looking at the question of wealth and market concentration (separate from the question of so-called “wealth inequality”) from a freedom-minded perspective. The massive amounts of government handouts to big business, in the form of both direct subsidies as well as favorable legislation for regulations and taxes alike, creates an environment favoring those most capable of purchasing influence – namely, big business.

This is not the half-baked conspiracy theory of a college Marxist. No less an authority than the Foundation for Economic Education correctly identifies that the wealth concentration that made the destruction of black small business possible is choking the American economy at the expense of Main Street. Likewise, licensing regimes in a number of states choke the pipeline of small business competition by making it more difficult for people to enter fields, from nail tech to brain surgeon. The FEE likewise identifies health insurance requirements and increasingly rising minimum wage laws as government intervention raising the bar to entry into the market and crushing small business.

There is another, highly unlikely and ironic, culprit behind the decimation of black business and the black community – integration.

This is a position championed by Clay Middleton of the South Carolina House of Representatives. Basically, under segregation, black consumers were limited in their choices of business. They could not, in many cases, go to (for example) white hamburger joints. Instead, they had to patronize the equivalent business for black customers. In many cases, these businesses were owned and operated by fellow black Americans. Black hotels are another example of this phenomenon.

The point is not that Southern states should reintroduce segregation to prop up black businesses, but simply to give a broader and more complete picture of how and why black business districts have disappeared. It also offers some insight into the destruction of small business in America in general.

While cheap, imported widgets from Walmart benefit consumers with lower prices, they also create an intangible and difficult-to-quantify social problem. When big business replaces small business, wealth is not only centralized, it is also centralized outside of the communities that it serves. While larger businesses are arguably more “efficient” economically speaking, the loss of small business (most acutely seen in the black community) provides an illustrative example of how lost economic capital and lost social capital are often closely tied. Without black business, there is less of a “black community” than there is a “black marketplace.”

Strictly speaking, small business (black or otherwise) is business, not civil society proper. However, greater economic leverage of big business in the nation means an economically impoverished civil society.

Civil Society, the Welfare State, and Mutual Aid

While direct connections are difficult to establish, it is worth noting that there is a chicken-egg effect of the welfare state, which began during the New Deal, but accelerated under President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s Great Society.

What did people do before the advent of social welfare programs? This is a question that even few libertarians can answer without stammering something about private charity. And indeed, private charity did play a role in meeting social needs for the less fortunate. However, there is a hidden story in how communities met social needs prior to the advent of the welfare state.

Mutual aid in the 21st century is largely a nonprofit form of insurance, particularly life insurance – a sort of analog to the credit union. However, in earlier days they oversaw a number of social welfare programs.

Mutual aid societies, also known as benefit societies (or friendly societies in the United Kingdom and Ireland) date back to the Middle Ages. Medieval guilds were effectively mutual aid societies organized within skilled trades. In the United States, they were popular with black Americans during post-revolutionary times: the Free African Society dates back to 1787.

One of the key differences between mutual aid and benefit societies and the welfare state is the role of civil society and accountability. Mutual aid societies presented a counterweight to both the state and big business. They offered services such as healthcare, unemployment benefits, disability insurance and other services now provided by big business or state and federal governments.

What’s more, the mutual aid societies generally had a set of values tied to their services. Social values were advanced and an ethos of moral character and self-improvement underpinned membership in a mutual aid society. For example, the Ancient Order of United Workmen forbade its members from selling liquor on penalty of forfeiting their death benefit.

Finally, it’s worth noting the primary difference between mutual aid societies and the welfare state. Members who wanted to collect had to look a peer in the eye and request aid. This had a twin psychological effect: First, it diminished spurious claims. Let’s say “Jim” needed some unemployment insurance. His neighbors are also members of his mutual aid society. They know if Jim actually needs help or if he’s just goldbricking. The flipside is that Jim is also receiving aid from his friends and neighbors. This inspires him to look for work so that he can pay everyone back in his own way, in addition to providing a source of social solidarity during his hardest times.

According to A Life of One’s Own: Individual Rights and the Welfare State, in the year 1890, 112,000 Americans were living in housing provided by private charitable organizations. Compare this to 73,000 residing in publicly funded almshouses. What’s more, benefit societies were decentralized. The spirit was one of fraternity, not of paternalism. Reciprocity was a driving ethic, which in turn removed the stigma of receiving charity. People were not receiving handouts, they were receiving support from the very same people whom they had supported in the past.

Additionally, belonging to a mutual aid or benefit society was a lot cooler than receiving welfare. They had secret handshakes, among other secret symbols of membership. What’s more, the humble house-call doctor was a feature of mutual aid society membership. Society locals frequently hired a doctor to service a membership area. They have since been regulated to the point where they provide little in the way of services, except for life insurance and annuities, making them effectively non-profit financial organizations.

In addition to accountability, assistance beyond simple financial support and decentralization, private assistance carries other benefits. For example, philanthropic organizations tend to operate leaner and to be more innovative in how they tackle problems. Such organizations tend to tailor their assistance to the individual in need, rather than offering a one-size-fits-all approach. This is true of individuals and communities alike. Finally, philanthropic and mutual aid societies seek to treat the underlying cause, rather than just the symptom of need.

Such organizations are now limited by the federal tax code 501(c)(4), which greatly restricts the activities such organizations are allowed to participate in. Many of them, such as Mutual of Omaha, underwent demutualization and handed out stocks in place of membership. They are now for-profit financial organizations.

A Decline in Family Life

One of the main pillars of civil society is the nuclear family. Any discussion of the decline of civil society in the United States would be incomplete without a discussion of the decline of family life in the United States.

Perhaps the best numbers to look at with regard to the American family are from the 2010 Census. These are, admittedly, a bit old. However, there is no reason to suspect that the trend has reversed itself and that the nuclear family has experienced some kind of resurgence in the years since that census. If anything, the opposite is probably true. So what does the last United States Census say?

  • Non-college graduates are more than twice as likely to be single parents.
  • Affluent families are more common than poor ones.

Pew Research likewise has good data on the state of the American family:

  • Americans who have never been married reached an all-time high in 2012, with 25 percent of all adults over the age of 25 having never been married. In 1960, this figure stood at 9 percent.
  • Men were significantly less likely to have ever been married than women.
  • 24 percent of never-married adults were cohabiting with their partner.
  • For black Americans, the percentage over 25 who had never been married was 36 percent.
  • Pew Research indicates that it expects this trend to continue and that, while people are getting married later in life, it does not expect a significant increase in marriage as the population ages.
  • Financial security was cited as the main hurdle to marriage by one third of all those polled who wanted to get married.
  • 67 percent of Americans under 50 who are married are in their first marriage, compared to 83 percent in 1960.
  • 46 percent of children live with two parents in their first marriage. In 1980, this number was 61 percent. In 1960, it was 73 percent.

The above-cited figures point toward two conclusions: First, the nuclear family is in sharp decline. Second, it is far more common for educated and affluent Americans to form traditional families.

It’s difficult to assign direct blame to any one factor. The centralization of the economy cited above plays a role, as does the financialization and deindustrialization of the economy. In the 1960s, from where our earliest data comes, it was not difficult for a high school graduate or even a high school dropout to earn a living at a stable job that was effectively a career for life. With this job came a defined benefit pension, healthcare, etc. The wages and benefits made having and raising a family easier.

The welfare state is another significant driver of the decline of the nuclear family. Unsurprisingly, the black family is massively impacted. In 1965, 25 percent of all black children were born out of wedlock. In 2016, that rate had increased to 70 percent and even topped 80 percent in certain urban areas. In the 1940s, this number was five percent, which was comparable to that of white children. The Hispanic out-of-wedlock birth rate in 2016 was 52 percent, while for whites it was 30 percent.

The rise in children born out of wedlock cannot be separated from the massive expansion of the welfare state under Johnson’s Great Society. In a report from the Mises Institute, the basic argument is that welfare disincentivizes marriage. In times past, when women had children out of wedlock, it meant an incredibly difficult life balancing whatever work and charity they could get. It also carried a social stigma (from our old friend civil society), which further disincentivized single motherhood.

Today, however, there are a host of social programs specifically for single mothers. A partial list of programs assisting single motherhood includes:

  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) commonly known as “food stamps”
  • Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC), another food assistance program
  • Child Care Assistance Program, Head Start and Early Head Start, all daycare assistance programs
  • Section 8 housing assistance
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps single mothers pay their utilities
  • Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), health insurance assistance programs
  • Supplemental Security Income, often called “disability,” but accessible to those without bona fide physical disabilities
  • The Emergency Food Assistance Program and the National School Lunch Program, two more food assistance programs

These programs act as a disincentive toward family formation. Benefits are means tested, meaning that if one’s income is low enough, one qualifies. This means that it is advantageous in many cases for couples to remain unmarried so that only one income is counted for the purpose of benefits. Such programs, when coupled with a diminishing stigma against single motherhood, further incentivizes promiscuity and poor mate selection – why not have a child with a man who can’t support it when the welfare state is there to pick up the slack?

The impact of single-parent households is far further reaching than you probably think: In the most extensive study ever done on single parenthood (in permissive, tolerant and liberal Sweden), it was found that children in single-parent households were twice as likely to suffer from psychiatric disorders and addiction. This figure might be conservative, as it only includes hospitalizations. Some other striking statistics about fatherless households include:

  • 63 percent of youth suicides take place in fatherless homes.
  • 90 percent of all homeless youth and runaways are from fatherless homes, which is a whopping 32 times the national average.
  • 85 percent of all children with behavior issues come from fatherless homes, 20 times the national average.
  • 80 percent of rapists with established anger issues come from fatherless homes, 14 times the national average.
  • 71 percent of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes, nine times the national average.
  • 70 percent of those in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes, nine times the national average.
  • 85 percent of all juveniles in prison come from single-parent households, 20 times the national average.
  • 90 percent of adolescent repeat arson offenders are from fatherless homes.
  • Fatherless children are nearly twice as likely to be victims of abuse or neglect.

These striking statistics are a serious indictment of the decline of the nuclear family. If, as is common of behaviors, single parenthood is heritable, we have not yet begun to see a crisis.

The End of Civil Society in the United States

The big takeaway is that in the United States, civil society has declined. While the blame cannot entirely be laid at the feet of big government and big business (individual actors are involved), there is strong evidence to suggest that the crisis in American civil society is driven primarily by the welfare state and government policies favoring deindustrialization, financialization and centralization of the economy.

There is a reinforcing quality about the destruction of civil society. As the size of big government and big business increases, they become more capable of taking greater power. Smaller communities become increasingly reliant upon each, making it harder to resist further growth and greater disempowerment. It’s a vicious downward spiral.

So what’s the solution for a concerned individual or family? It’s not political. Instead, the best one can do to counteract these trends are to become as financially independent as possible, make durable local connections in the community, and learn to think critically in order to insulate oneself from the more pernicious effects of social decay and the power of the state.

In the NFL, cowardice drives grievance and racism

The NFL has decided it is a political operation, no longer entertainment.  This billionaire’s organization has decided NOT to hire the best coaches—but to interview based on race.  It is as if the KKK, in reverse, took over the professional football game.

“A recent example of NFL racism: only 29% of NFL analysts are black

Notice the significant bait-and-switch in this complaint. 

NFL analysts should not reflect the demographics of the black population (13%), but mimic the overrepresentation of minority NFL players.  Since 70% of NFL players are black, but only 29% of analysts, this gap is proof of racism.

Attempting to fix this problem is a fool’s errand.  If the NFL mandated that 70% of analysts must be black, activists would pivot to denouncing the NFL for lack of Muslim punters. 

Racism is now a part of the NFL.  An an opponent of racism, I can no longer care about football—expect to work to outlaw the racism of the rich people who use tax dollars to subsidize their game.  Want to support racism?  See an NFL game.

In the NFL, cowardice drives grievance

By Bode Lang, American Thinker,  5/21/20 

The NFL recently announced several proposals to increase diversity.

A few years ago, the NFL demonstrated its commitment to pleasing leftists by donating $100 million towards “social justice” causes.

But the left is insatiable.  Shelling out truckloads of cash to grievance groups attracts more predatory behavior than Bill Clinton and Joe Biden at a high school cheer competition.

There’s an abundance of white people naïve enough to believe that appeasing Democrats will bring about a ceasefire — but it never does.  Cowardly compliance creates new targets for future shakedowns. 

A recent example of NFL racism: only 29% of NFL analysts are black

Notice the significant bait-and-switch in this complaint. 

NFL analysts should not reflect the demographics of the black population (13%), but mimic the overrepresentation of minority NFL players.  Since 70% of NFL players are black, but only 29% of analysts, this gap is proof of racism.

Attempting to fix this problem is a fool’s errand.  If the NFL mandated that 70% of analysts must be black, activists would pivot to denouncing the NFL for lack of Muslim punters. 

For the grievance army, overwhelming the enemy with multiple attacks is a winning strategy.

A high volume of frivolous accusations makes the overarching claim appear more legitimate.

Therefore, the NFL is also racist for too few minority head coaches and general managers.  One solution proposed rewarding teams with higher draft picks for employing more coaches and managers of color.  Teams with the correct racial mix would jump ahead of competitors in the draft.  This proposal suggests that the solution to racism is discriminating against white people and patronizing black people by granting competitive advantages to their employers.

Another possible remedy is expanding the “Rooney Rule,” passed in 2003 and requiring teams to interview at least one minority candidate for head coaching positions.  By expanding the rule, teams must interview at least two minority candidates.

No matter how much society has progressed, the left’s inherent racism refuses to subside.  With exception to their affinity for baby murdering, the bigotry of low expectations towards black people is probably the most repulsive aspect of leftism.

The Rooney Rule presumes black candidates are incapable of elevating themselves without leftists’ altruistic hands to hoist them up.

Black coaching candidates aren’t as stupid as racist Democrats think they are.  Many resent the racist charade.  A former NFL coach told CBS about his reluctance to partake in the process, but activists pressure minority candidates to accept these interviews, “even if you felt like you are just being used.”  

Like many government regulations or diversity initiatives, when the rule fails, the solution is “more.”  Doubling down on ineffective rules or penalizing teams for improper demographics will not solve the NFL’s racist problem.  Marxists are never satisfied.  

If the NFL had stood firm and unapologetically declared that professional football is concerned with only performance, it would still be racist but keep its respect.  The Washington Redskins still have fans, and they’ve been racist for a decade.

Instead, the NFL chose the gutless route.  Once industries cave to these activists, they will continue catering to them as their complaints grow.  Cowardice drives grievance.  

The NFL has infected itself with a poison for which there is no antidote but courage.

These days, few corporations have courage.  Businesses desperate to get in the good graces of leftism are far more likely to die by a thousand paper cuts than developing courage.

Pelosi’s Leninist Stimulus Bill

What does taking away honest elections have to do with saving jobs?  What does violating Supreme Court decisions by giving $1200 to illegal aliens have to do with putting American students back in the classroom?  What does killing babies have to do with savings lives—from the government action causing suicides and drug over doses and alcohol abuse?

“As Martin Amis writes in his book on the Soviet Union, Koba the Dread (2002) — from which much of my analysis and data are drawn — Lenin’s inflationary policy rested on an underlying contempt for ordinary people, and especially for Russia.  From the beginning, Lenin’s strategy was to decimate the value of private property by means of inflationary printing of vast sums of money.  Lenin cheered Russia’s descent into starvation, believing that the crisis would increase his party’s support among the peasantry.  Those who were starving would have nowhere else to turn.  It was an early example of never letting a crisis go to waste.

The only problem, as Lenin saw it, was that the Russian people were not dying off fast enough, and Lenin did all he could to help things along.  Lenin’s collectivization policy alone accounted for 11 million deaths.  Altogether, just how many died under the communist terror is a matter of intense debate, much of it influenced by ideology, but Amis’s estimate, based on data from Robert Conquest, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and others, adds up to some 100 million souls (Amis, pp. 82–83).

The Democrats have figured out the Lenin problem.  Use a virus that is as deadly as the flu, kill the economy, create depression—both economically and emotionally—end education, close businesses, make government the only way to survive.  That is what the Pelosi Plan is about—an updated version of Lenin.  Expect different from her?

Pelosi’s Leninist Stimulus Bill

By Jeffrey Folks, American Thinker,  5/22/20 

As soon as the Bolsheviks took over Russia in October 1917, Vladimir Lenin began churning out rubles.  In fact, he spent half the state’s revenue on just the printing of new currency.  Within a year, the ruble was worth 100,000,000 times less than it had been before the communists took over.  Existing rubles, and any investment denominated in rubles, were worthless.

Lenin’s inflationary program was not a response to the need for an increased money supply.  It was a deliberate strategy designed to eliminate money as a means of transactions and, with it, to crush capitalism.  From that point on, the state would directly control the means of production and distribution, and the people would, in theory, be dependent on the state for all goods and services.  In reality, Lenin’s policy fostered a thriving black market, of which the communists were well aware and on which they relied to feed a segment of the population.  So began 73 years of economic demoralization and corruption, driving the people of Russia to secrecy, callous indifference, and even cannibalism. 

As Martin Amis writes in his book on the Soviet Union, Koba the Dread (2002) — from which much of my analysis and data are drawn — Lenin’s inflationary policy rested on an underlying contempt for ordinary people, and especially for Russia.  From the beginning, Lenin’s strategy was to decimate the value of private property by means of inflationary printing of vast sums of money.  Lenin cheered Russia’s descent into starvation, believing that the crisis would increase his party’s support among the peasantry.  Those who were starving would have nowhere else to turn.  It was an early example of never letting a crisis go to waste.

The only problem, as Lenin saw it, was that the Russian people were not dying off fast enough, and Lenin did all he could to help things along.  Lenin’s collectivization policy alone accounted for 11 million deaths.  Altogether, just how many died under the communist terror is a matter of intense debate, much of it influenced by ideology, but Amis’s estimate, based on data from Robert Conquest, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and others, adds up to some 100 million souls (Amis, pp. 82–83).

Now Nancy Pelosi has passed a fifth stimulus bill intended to keep the printing presses going in Washington.  Having already approved trillions in COVID-19 aid, Pelosi now wants another $3 trillion.  Pelosi said she was “thrilled” with the record-breaking HEROES Act, as she called it, with much of the spending directed at traditionally Democratic constituencies such as public-sector workers, teachers, students, and the poor.  The bill contains student loan forgiveness, extension of unemployment benefits, and another $1,200 in stimulus money for individuals and up to $6,000 for households, including checks for illegal aliens.  The bill also restores the State and Local Income Tax (SALT) deduction popular in blue states and promotes early voting and mail-in voting that might favor Democrat candidates.     

One of the most insidious aspects of Pelosi’s bill is that it would continue the distribution of funds to every American making less than $100,000.  Most of those persons have already received a stimulus check of $1,200, in many cases on top of unemployment benefits and other support.  Indefinite support is especially dangerous: workers can become accustomed to “free” income in a very short time.  Once the cash spigot has been turned on, it will be difficult to turn it off.

That is just what the Democrats want.  A guaranteed income would be popular among the poor, especially among those who have no intention of ever working, but printing another $3 trillion or more each month would soon undermine the value of that distribution, and it would come at the cost of anyone who holds cash or bonds.  That includes trillions invested in retirement annuities, life insurance, and ordinary savings.  The Democrats’ program would create an inflationary crisis that would reduce the value of money, just as Lenin did in post-revolutionary Russia, in effect weakening the capitalist system and replacing it with dependence on government distributions.

I don’t know whether Nancy Pelosi has read enough history to know what she is doing, but those who influence her certainly have, and they have taken their cue from Lenin.  Even a politician as daft as Pelosi should realize that the printing of $6 trillion or more in fiscal stimulus will undermine the value of existing currency and investments.  The federal reserve has expanded its balance sheet at the fastest rate in history, with expectations of it reaching $10 trillion by early 2021.  We are already seeing the effects of this inflationary policy as prices of basic goods begin to spike and as shortages multiply.  Grocery prices rose in April at the highest rate in 50 years, and there is no reason why this increase will not continue.

That seems to be what Democrats are praying for, just as Lenin prayed (no, he didn’t pray) for mass starvation.  The perennial strategy of the left, outlined in Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, is to foment a crisis and force government action as the “solution.”  Pelosi, who stockpiles $13-a-pint ice cream in her $24,000 fridge, appears to share Lenin’s contempt for ordinary people.  Hunger and shortages are mounting, and Democrats are eager to take advantage of the crisis.  Even as the masses were starving, Lenin and his cronies were eating well.

The result of unrestrained spending is permanent damage to our economy.  Once the inflationary genie is out of the bottle, it’s hard to put it back, and there are lasting consequences of lingering recession and government budget instability.  We’re not starving the way Russians were under Lenin, but we are seeing widespread shortages and substantial price increases.  Liberals cheer these developments, however painful they may be to ordinary Americans.  As more persons are impoverished, they are forced to turn to government, and liberals are eager to pass expensive measures of support that exacerbate the crisis.

All of this was child’s play to Lenin, one of the most ruthless and evil politicians in history.  As the latest stimulus bill shows, inflationary spending is becoming child’s play to Pelosi as well.  She sits in her Pacific Heights house with its freezer full of sweets, or at her Napa Valley vineyard or D.C. condo, thinking up ways to increase the dependence of ordinary Americans on government, and with it increased power and wealth to the political elite of which she is the head.

Pelosi seems intent on bringing state control of the economy to America. Another word for “state control of the economy” is communism.  Only GOP control of Congress and the presidency can stop her.         

Jeffrey Folks is the author of many books and articles on American culture including Heartland of the Imagination (2011).

Big City Schools: Where America’s Most Vulnerable Kids Languish

The facts are clear:  Minorities and kids in poverty are being held hostage in failed government/union run schools.  Hostage?  Unions refuse to allow minority children and those in poverty to attend charter schools where education, not indoctrination is the goal.   By every measure, government schools have failed our children—just look at the test scores. While the parents that have the means can provide private schools, tutors and other assistance, the minority kids are forced to stay in failed schools without help.

“● In 2010-2011, public schools in the nation’s capital spent $29,345 per pupil — nearly $600,000 per each classroom of 20 students —  yet the District’s 8th graders finished dead last in a nationwide proficiency test in math and reading.

● According to a 2015 report by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, 96 percent of 8th graders in Detroit’s public schools tested not proficient in math, and 93 percent tested not proficient in reading.

● According to a 2017 investigation by Project Baltimore, 13 of the city’s 39 public high schools had zero students who tested proficient in math.  Zero!  Of the 3,841 students in the remaining 26 high schools, only 14 tested at or above proficiency in math, less than one-third of one percent. 

By their action, unions are racists.  If a white company or private school provided these results the Faqke News media would be screaming racism—where are they when unions promoted failed education?

Big City Schools: Where America’s Most Vulnerable Kids Languish

By John Eidson, American Thinker,  5/23/20 

Democrats and Republicans alike say they’re fully committed to seeing that every child receives a quality education.  Bipartisan agreement notwithstanding, school children in urban America have gotten the short end of the learning stick for a long, long time.  How can anyone defend the following statistics?

● In 2010-2011, public schools in the nation’s capital spent $29,345 per pupil — nearly $600,000 per each classroom of 20 students —  yet the District’s 8th graders finished dead last in a nationwide proficiency test in math and reading.

● According to a 2015 report by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, 96 percent of 8th graders in Detroit’s public schools tested not proficient in math, and 93 percent tested not proficient in reading.

● According to a 2017 investigation by Project Baltimore, 13 of the city’s 39 public high schools had zero students who tested proficient in math.  Zero!  Of the 3,841 students in the remaining 26 high schools, only 14 tested at or above proficiency in math, less than one-third of one percent. 

For a half-century running, Democrat-run urban schools have robbed minority children of a realistic chance for a decent education.  In addition to earning an F-minus in their assigned duty to adequately educate students under their care, the three school districts named above have something else in common: they all are run by highly-paid Democrat administrators whose foremost priority is catering to the demands of teachers unions, one of the Democrat party’s most loyal constituencies.

In school systems with teachers unions, Democrats look the other way as the interests of teachers take precedence over the interests of children.  And no wonder. The overwhelming share of union dues paid by teachers is money-laundered straight through to the coffers of the Democrats.  According to a Brookings Institution study, nearly 99% of teachers’ union political donations in 2012 went to Democrats.  In 2016, teachers unions gave $43 million to Democrats, $260,000 to Republicans.

Teachers First, Children Second

Once sub-standard teachers have tenure, a Herculean effort is required to get rid of them.  The teachers-first, children-second pecking order in the school systems cited below exists in virtually every urban school district in America, where a king’s ransom of precious educational funding is frittered away to protect bad teachers.

● New York City public schools operate 16 reassignment centers, also known as “rubber rooms.”  Rubber rooms are off-campus facilities where teachers accused of incompetence or gross misconduct are warehoused, as their glacial, union-mandated appeals process drones on, often for years.  While receiving full pay and benefits, teachers in rubber room limbo spend each six-hour day napping, reading magazines, playing cards or other leisure activities.  Despite constant complaints that it would do a better job of educating minority children if only it’s given more money, the city’s bloated and incompetent public school system squanders $150 million a year paying hundreds of unionized teachers to do little more than kill time while waiting to find out if they’ll be fired.  Wasting $150 million would be one thing if the city’s public schools did even a minimally acceptable job of educating disadvantaged minority children, but New York City has some of the sorriest public schools in America.

● Getting rid of bad teachers is so difficult in Democrat-run school districts that Milwaukee’s public schools came up with a mitigation plan called The Dance of the Lemons.  Because teachers’ union contracts protect all teachers, including those deemed unfit to teach, school principals in Milwaukee found it virtually impossible to fire bad teachers.  To cope with the problem, principals hold a meeting at the end of the school year where one principal swaps his or her worst teachers in exchange for another principal’s worst teachers, with both principals hoping the lemons they get won’t be as bad as the lemons they swapped.  How are the interests of students served when unfit teachers are shuffled around from one school to another in an endless game of musical chairs where every bad teacher gets a seat?

● New York City and Milwaukee aren’t the only places where unionized, Democrat-run schools fail miserably at adequately educating minority children.  A 2010 investigation by L.A. Weekly found that the Los Angeles Unified School District spent $3.5 million trying to fire seven teachers for poor classroom performance.  Only four of the seven were eventually fired at the end of their union-mandated appeals process, which dragged on for an average of five years at an average cost of $875,000 per fired teacher.  Despite blowing through enormous sums of education funding, Los Angeles public schools graduated just 44% of its high school students in 2006, making it one of the worst-performing school districts in America.  Graduation rates in Los Angeles have since improved, but only after the Democrat-controlled California Department of Education changed its formula for determining graduation requirements.

Inexcusably sorry public schools in Democrat-run cities are nothing new.   They’ve existed continually for the last half-century, with millions of minority students left unprepared to succeed in later life.

The High Cost (to Students) of Bad Teachers

Just as it’s true that good teachers can have an extraordinarily positive impact on the future lives of their students, it’s also true that bad teachers can cause lasting harm to the futures of their students.

According to a study cited by Eric A. Hanushek, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University, “a high-value-added teacher in grades 4-8 has a noticeable impact on subsequent long-term outcomes, including college attendance, earnings and family creation.”  How can young adults who were stuck with sub-standard teachers in the public schools they attended possibly do well in later life?  To be fair, socio-economics also plays a role in poor outcomes, but which party is responsible for the welfare-for-votes policies that inevitably lead to broken homes, generational poverty and chronic despair?

School Choice to the Rescue

How can our society help urban students get out of rotten public schools, and into the same kind of safe, high-performing private academies attended by children of affluent families?  The surest way is through federally-funded school choice vouchers.

Unfortunately, the mutually back-scratching alliance between Democrats and teachers’ unions blocks school choice at every turn.  In doing so, their unholy confederation wreaks unmitigated havoc on inner city communities by robbing generations of urban children of a realistic shot at a decent education. 

Although Democrats and teachers unions know better, they say private schools aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.  Anyone who thinks that should ask the two brothers in the video below.  Their story should be the story of every disadvantaged child in America.

Senator Wiener Introduces ‘SB 50 Lite’ Housing Bill to End Single-Family Zoning in CA

Imagine California without single family homes.  That is the goal of SB 50 by Regressive Dem Senator Scott Weiner.  Here is how it works:  You end zoning, by State mandate, not local rule of single family .  Then developers come in, buy up single family homes and build apartments, duplexes and condo’s—ending the American dream, not by choice of the people, but a mandate of a totalitarian government.

SB 902, written by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) was designed as a ‘lighter SB 50‘, the controversial dense housing bill that failed in the Senate in January. The bill would allow for grant by-right zoning approval for two, three, and four residential units per parcel, removing all single family zoning.

It would specifically be based around city populations. Any city or town under 10,000 people would have to have two units per parcel in residential zoned areas. Cities between 10,000 and 50,000 would have a minimum of three units per parcel, while cities above 50,000 would need at least four per parcel. Buildings that offered rent in the past seven years can not be demolished under the bill, with rent controlled buildings and places with affordable units being protected from any demolition.

In clear language:  That means Simi Valley Roseville, Palm Springs would not be allowed to give permits to build any more single family homes.  The goal is to kill off the American Dream.  Shame on the Democrats for hating freedom of choice—you can choose to kill a baby but can not choose to live in a single family home.

Senator Wiener Introduces ‘SB 50 Lite’ Housing Bill to End Single-Family Zoning in CA

‘Senator Wiener should actually meet poorer people and see the neighborhoods in LA he’ll be destroying’

By Evan Symon, California Globe,  5/22/20   

On Thursday, final amendments were made to Senate Bill 902, which would effectively end almost all single-family zoning in California.

A ‘lighter’ SB 50

SB 902, written by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) was designed as a ‘lighter SB 50‘, the controversial dense housing bill that failed in the Senate in January. The bill would allow for grant by-right zoning approval for two, three, and four residential units per parcel, removing all single family zoning.

It would specifically be based around city populations. Any city or town under 10,000 people would have to have two units per parcel in residential zoned areas. Cities between 10,000 and 50,000 would have a minimum of three units per parcel, while cities above 50,000 would need at least four per parcel. Buildings that offered rent in the past seven years can not be demolished under the bill, with rent controlled buildings and places with affordable units being protected from any demolition.

Cities would also be giving greater choice in 10 units and above dense housing. Instead of having forced minimums, it would simply be easier to build high-density housing near transit areas, with cities having the final say based on ordinances being passed or being approved publicly. Environmental review could also be skipped under certain circumstances.

Supporters argue that extreme measures are needed to tackle the housing crisis

Senator Wiener and supporters such as Senator Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and housing advocates have argued that the state needs to take more extreme measures to stop the housing crisis in California and allow more units to be built to lower overall costs.

 “To tackle California’s severe housing shortage, we must all pitch in. By authorizing two, three and four units per parcel statewide, and by giving cities a powerful new tool to increase density even more, SB 902 recognizes that we’re all in this together and makes it easier for cities to do the right thing,” said Senator Wiener in a statement earlier this week. “We think this legislation will over time allow for a significant increase in the amount of housing, and will do it in a way that is a light touch. And also in a way where cities have significant latitude in how they do it.”

“Obviously I spent years trying to pass SB 50 and we were swinging for the rafters and it didn’t cross the finish line. But Senator Atkins handled this very wisely. She decided the way to do this was to convene a working group of senators who haven’t been quite vocal, senators who were on both sides of SB 50.”

Senator Atkins also noted that SB 902 was one of several bills that would fulfill her promise of more affordable housing legislation.

“I want to personally commit to each and every one of you, and to the people of California, that a housing production bill to alleviate our housing crisis will happen this year,” said Senator Atkins earlier this week.

Opposition to SB 902 quickly growing

Opposition to SB 902 has grown during the week, with many charging that it could be the end of single-family houses in California and that it would destroy entire neighborhoods. Many neighborhood associations that came out against SB 50 have already voiced opposition to SB 902.

“We have classic houses that are of historic value,” noted Charlotte Davis, who has represented historic neighborhoods in Pasadena and other Los Angeles adjacent cities. “There are entire neighborhoods of single family houses that are all owned by families. Many streets and public services are designed for lower traffic and fewer people. A lot of people want space for gardens and children and pets.”

“SB 902 destroys that. They won’t be knocking down blocks, but it puts a lot of houses at risk for duplexes and triplexes, buildings people do not want.”

“And developers aren’t bound to making everything affordable. For richer neighborhoods it generally stays the same, but for poorer areas it just creates gentrification, which is the last thing they want. That’s largely why SB 50 failed. And now they’re trying to do it again with SB 902.”

Leaders in poorer communities also largely agree.

“We’re very liberal here,” said Los Angeles community advocate Pedro Ramos. “And we pressured our Senator and Assembly member to vote against it.”

“The few new apartment complexes that have gone up here have priced out virtually everyone here. Newer expensive housing goes up in places where affordable housing was supposed to be. And SB 902 doesn’t guarantee cheaper housing, but simply more housing.”

“Especially now with so many people out of work or falling behind on bills. Why would we want even more places with expensive rents? Or buying a duplex with a loan a bank wouldn’t give us?”

“Senator Wiener should actually meet poorer people and see the neighborhoods in LA he’ll be destroying. He’s just thinking about his small area of San Francisco where this kind of bill can make sense. Here, and in most other places in California, it’s terrible.”

“And look, we’re some of the bluest districts in the state. That has to tell you something about how bad it will be for us.”

SB 50 also has increasing opposition from cities which thrive on single-family units or primarily construct and have a market for such homes, with many city leaders already coming out and saying that single-family zoning should remain an option.

SB 902 the crown jewel of housing bills this session

Other housing bills are also up this semester. AB 1279, written by Assemblyman  Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), would incentivize building denser, more affordable buildings in suburban areas. SB 1385, written by Senator Anna Caballero (D-Salinas), would make it easier for housing to be built on commercially zoned land. But SB 902 is the big bill this session as the successor to SB 50, already building controversy even before its first committee vote.

While Senator Wiener and Senator Atkins remain optimistic of the bills passage, the bill will be difficult to pass because of both Republican and Democrat opposition to the bill, similar to the situation with SB 50. Many law groups, who had planned on a legal challenge in January in SB 50 had been passed, have also indicated that it would be challenged in court if it is passed.

SB 902 is currently set to be heard during the Senate Housing Committee on May 26th and 27th.

SBA tells Planned Parenthood to return $80M in stimulus funds

What does it cost to kill babies?  In the case of Planned Parenthood, it is $80 million.  Instead of creating jobs with Federal tax dollars, Planned Parenthood is killing off future workers—70% of them minorities, to meet the eugenics goals of Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood and supported by the KKK.

“Planned Parenthood affiliates applied for and received $80 million in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program and now the Small Business Administration wants the money back because they should have been aware they are not eligible for the funds, according to a report.

The SBA is reaching out to the 37 affiliates to explain they are ineligible because they are affiliates of Planned Parenthood, which has more than 500 employees, Fox News reported Tuesday.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the nation’s largest abortion provider, has more than 600 employees.

Scam artists know to skim money from the needy, but they are greedy.  PP is a greedy death machine, using tax dollars to kill off black babies—where is Joe Biden?  Why isn’t he opposing the killing of black babies?  Donald Trump is opposing killing black babies.

SBA tells Planned Parenthood to return $80M in stimulus funds

By Mark Moore, NY Post,  5/20/20 

Planned Parenthood affiliates applied for and received $80 million in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program and now the Small Business Administration wants the money back because they should have been aware they are not eligible for the funds, according to a report.

The SBA is reaching out to the 37 affiliates to explain they are ineligible because they are affiliates of Planned Parenthood, which has more than 500 employees, Fox News reported Tuesday.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the nation’s largest abortion provider, has more than 600 employees.

The SBA in the letter warned that “severe penalties” were possible and that incorrect or false eligibility certifications for the stimulus funds could lead to criminal or civil sanctions if the SBA determines the borrowers knowingly made false statements.

The report said a Planned Parenthood affiliate in Metropolitan Washington will receive a letter saying, although self-certified that it was eligible for a $1,328,000 loan, according to the SBA’s guidelines, it will have to return the money.

The Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties received a $7.5 million loan — the largest granted to the organization’s affiliates.

Planned Parenthood, in a statement, said some of its nonprofit organizations applied and received awards “under eligibility rules established by the CARES Act and the SBA, which they met.”

“Planned Parenthood health centers play a core role in the social safety net, and there is no more critical time for the care they provide than during a public health crisis,” said the statement from Jacqueline Ayers, vice president of government relations and public policy. It went on to claim the action was a “political attack on Planned Parenthood health centers and access to reproductive health care.”

Republican Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Josh Hawley of Missouri called for an investigation, while demanding the money be returned.

 “There is no ambiguity in the legislation that passed or public record around its passage that organizations such as Planned Parenthood, whose parent organization has close to half a billion dollars in assets, is not eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program,” Rubio said.

“Those funds must be returned immediately. Furthermore, the SBA should open an investigation into how these loans were made in clear violation of the applicable affiliation rules and if Planned Parenthood, the banks, or staff at the SBA knowingly violated the law, all appropriate legal options should be pursued,” he continued.

Hawley echoed Rubio’s comments: “The money needs to be recovered and if anybody knowingly falsified applications, they need to be prosecuted.”

GOP Sens. Rick Scott of Florida and James Lankford of Oklahoma also demanded the funds be returned.

A request for comment from Planned Parenthood was not immediately returned.