Two  WSJ articles regarding California are included in this email.  The first, California is Coming for You and the second, is  California’s Radical Indoctrination.  Both are alarming and need to be stopped before the rest of the country is subjected to the radicalism that has overtaken California.   Nancy

California Is Coming for You

Its energy, tax and regulatory failures are the Democrats’ ideal for national policy.

 by Andy Kessler     August 30, 2020

I didn’t have to read the entire Democratic Party platform, let alone the spend-tasmagoric Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force recommendations. Sitting here in California, I’m already living it. If polls are to be believed, left-coast policies are coming to you soon—and you’re not going to like it. California is an early glimpse for the rest of the country of a blackout-rolling, water-deprived, tax-hiking, spending-spiking one-party state longing for its old incandescent glow.

The U.S. may flip to one party rule; California is already there. Democrats have controlled the state Assembly since 1997 and the governorship since 2011—or 1999 if you ignore Arnold the Governator, as most do. Single-party rule means single-party rules. We’re No. 1 in the top marginal income tax rate at 13.3%, including for capital gains. That beats New York City. We’re also No. 1 in state sales tax, but only ninth when you include local levies. Still impressive! Everything else follows.

This month Californians have been subjected to rolling blackouts because of the state’s renewable energy mandates—33% today, 60% by 2030 and 100% by 2045. When the sun goes down, which I understand happens every evening, solar cells are worthless. So California has to buy energy on the spot market—sometimes for 10 times normal prices when it’s hot. So we get rolling blackouts. This craziness could be yours too in the near future. Get used to higher bills and resetting your clocks.

California is No. 3 in the nation in water prices. Sad, since it grows 90% of America’s broccoli, 95% of its garlic, 71% of spinach, 69% of carrots and two-thirds of fruits and nuts. Your prices are going up. And kiss incandescent lightbulbs goodbye—most were outlawed in California as of Jan. 1. Someone please send a box of 60-watt flame-tip candelabra base bulbs my way. I’m getting desperate.

And of course, California spends money like a drunken sailor. The state is blessed with tax dollars spouting from employees of Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft via LinkedIn, Amazon (whose search operation is based in Palo Alto), Twitter, Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Palantir and—oops, check that, Palantir is moving its headquarters to Colorado. Can’t say I blame them.

Where does the money go? A clue recently emerged after a pushing incident and subsequent lawsuit involving an Oakland deputy sheriff and the president of the Toronto Raptors at last year’s NBA Finals. Twitter wags quickly noted the deputy made $287,000 in 2016. A deputy! Teachers aren’t far behind. Menlo Park certificated teachers’ compensation averaged $106,986 in 2018, and they still got a 5% raise last October.

There’s no question that the state is a parasite. But the first rule of parasites is: Don’t kill the host. California is trying nonetheless, especially with innovation dynamos Uber and Lyft. Assembly Bill 5 kicked in on Jan. 1, reclassifying many “gig economy” workers as employees, a blatant move to help unions organize.

It’s a mess. Close to home, freelance journalists are limited to an arbitrary 35 submissions. Monday, Aug. 31 is the deadline for several bills to provide journalists and others exemptions. But holding it up, quelle surprise, is a debate over giving exemptions to “certified translators” but not to interpreters. What a surprise, the interpreters are up in arms. You can’t make this stuff up. Stop micromanaging; better to repeal AB 5 outright.

Uber and Lyft, the real targets of AB 5, threatened to halt California operations rather than classify drivers as employees. On Aug. 20 an appeals court allowed them to continue temporarily. They and DoorDash are funding a ballot measure in November, Proposition 22, to exempt drivers from reclassification and provide new minimum wages and benefits. This paper reported that only 2% of California Uber drivers used the app for more than 40 hours a week, and only 14% of Lyft drivers drove more than 20 hours a week. Some drivers use both apps, but it’s still overwhelmingly part-time work.

So what do the 300,000 Uber and 200,000 Lyft drivers actually want, as opposed to what California says they want? Like any good tech experiment, let’s do an A/B test. Have Uber drivers classified as employees and Lyft drivers as independent contractors, or vice versa. Within a month we’d see which model drivers prefer. I’m tired of power grabs under the guise of good intentions.

A law as stupid as AB 5 could never go nationwide, right?

Think again. The U.S. House of Representatives has already passed the blatantly union-friendly (though refreshingly honestly named) H.R. 2474—Protecting the Right to Organize Act, which is “revising the definition of ‘employee.’ ” It’s like “Poltergeist”: “They’re here . . .”

Earlier this month, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told the Verge website, “I do think we have the system that’s optimized . . . it’s called capitalism. It’s not called labor-ism. It’s not called socialism.” Except in California, laborism probably is the right word. And be warned, it’s about to spread.

Write to

California’s Radical Indoctrination

A bill would establish a K-12 curriculum in the ‘four I’s of oppression.’

Wall Street Journal Editorial Board   August 30, 2020

Conservatives and fair-minded liberals are alarmed that high schools are drawing up plans to teach the “1619 project,” the New York Times ’ revisionist account of race and the American founding, in history classes. The reality is turning out to be worse. The largest state in the union is poised to become one of the first to mandate ethnic studies for all high-school students, and the model curriculum makes the radical “1619 project” look moderate and balanced.

Last year California’s Assembly passed its ethnic-studies bill known as AB 331 by a 63-8 vote. Then the state department of education put forward a model curriculum so extreme and ethnocentric that the state Senate’s Democratic supermajority balked. The curriculum said among other things that “within Ethnic Studies, scholars are often very critical of the system of capitalism as research has shown that Native people and people of color are disproportionately exploited within the system.”

The bill was put on ice, but protests and riots in recent months gave Sacramento’s mavens of racial division more leverage. The education department delivered a new draft model curriculum this month, and AB 331 has been revived. It passed a Senate committee Aug. 20 and is expected to go before the full body soon. If Gov. Gavin Newsom signs it, the legislation would require all school districts to offer a semester-long ethnic studies class starting in 2025.

The model curriculum now on the education department’s website says the course should “build new possibilities for post-imperial life that promotes collective narratives of transformative resistance.” Yes, this is a course for K-12 students. It suggests teachers provide “examples of systems of power, which can include economic systems like capitalism and social systems like patriarchy.” Students can then be taught “the four ‘I’s of oppression”—ideological, institutional, interpersonal and internalized.

The state guidance includes more than 200 pages of approved course outlines. Some of these seem to mandate student political activities, potentially raising First Amendment concerns. “Students acquire tools to become positive actors in their communities to address a contemporary issue and present findings in a public forum,” says one outline. Among the approved topics: “Racism, LGBTQ rights, immigration rights, access to quality health care, income inequality,” and so on. What about the fifth “I” of indoctrination?

It’s not a coincidence that many radical left movements are infused with anti-Semitism. They posit theories of control by shadowy capitalist groups that often echo anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. One course outline tips its hat at this. “Students will write a paper detailing certain events in American history,” it says, “that have led to Jewish and Irish Americans gaining racial privilege.”

This is ugly stuff, a force-feeding to teenagers of the anti-liberal theories that have been percolating in campus critical studies departments for decades. Enforced identity politics and “intersectionality” are on their way to replacing civic nationalism as America’s creed. Liberals who consider themselves moderate and don’t understand the sense of urgency and assault felt by so many Americans ought to read this curriculum. And responsible statesmen in Sacramento ought to stop it.







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