Fundamental Contradictions that Doom the Left

There are two moral imperatives that the American Left relies on to attract supporters and demonize their opponents – saving the planet, and fighting racism.

In both cases, however the policies chosen by the Left to pursue these moral imperatives are in opposition to well established facts. Moreover, these facts that doom Leftist policies to failure are not subtle. They don’t require convoluted explanations. They are explicable to anyone with common sense, which is why the Left must rely on deplatforming and cancel culture; it is why they must accuse their critics of being “deniers” and racists. They cannot argue the facts.

Contradiction #1 – Ban Fossil Fuel Without Any Viable Alternative

Instead of addressing genuine environmental challenges, such as poaching of endangered species, overfishing the oceans, or grossly unhealthy air in cities like Beijing and New Delhi, America’s Left has instead focused almost exclusively on combating “climate change.” But their remedy, to eliminate fossil fuel, ignores the indisputable fact that fossil fuel production must rapidly increase in order to meet the demands of a growing world economy.

For everyone on earth, including Americans, to consume half as much energy as Americans currently consume, global energy production would have to increase to 2.5 times its current output. Meanwhile, in 2018, biofuel, solar and wind energy combined supplied just over 3 percent of total energy produced in the world.

Reasonable people can disagree over the so-called “carrying capacity” of planet Earth. Maybe mining the moon, the asteroids, and the ocean floor will yield more mineral riches than humanity could ever need. Maybe high-rise organic agriculture, aquaculture, synthetic (but hormone and antibiotic free) meat, and total water recycling will fulfill the nutritional needs of twenty billion people without degrading land and ocean ecosystems. Maybe fusion power, or satellite solar power stations, or carbon neutral biofuel grown in tank farms, will provide abundant energy. Maybe inviting mega cities will attract billions of people to move off the land in an entirely voluntary migration, taking pressure off wilderness.

To get from here to there, however, fossil fuel is absolutely necessary. The alternative is global energy poverty, leading to every environmentally undesirable consequence imaginable – stripping the forests for wood fuel and game meat, poaching beautiful endangered species to earn money for food, trawling the oceans for the last bits of protein, incessant wars over resources, and unchecked population growth to cope with life on a ravaged planet.

This dark scenario is what will happen if fossil fuel use is precipitously eliminated. Environmentalists need to support investment in breakthrough technologies, not cancel pipelines and shut down drilling operations. Soon enough, renewable energy will be economically competitive with fossil fuel. But for now, more energy, of all kinds, is desperately needed to deliver prosperity to billions of people.

Affordable energy equals prosperity equals literacy equals female emancipation equals voluntary family size reduction equals zero-population growth sooner rather than later. That is the equation that should motivate environmentalists, not the impossible demand to eliminate use of fossil fuel before there is a cost-effective alternative.

Contradiction #2 – Demand Racial Quotas Without Requiring Equal Standards

The United States over the past 50 years has engaged in one of the most radical demographic transitions ever experienced by a nation at peace. In 1965, when mass Third World immigration began under the Hart-Celler Immigration Act, the percentage of Americans self-described as White was 84 percent. As of 2015, America’s White population has declined to 62 percent.

This is only half the story, however, because the most common age of a White American in 2018 was 58, whereas the most common age for Asians was 29, Blacks, 27, and Hispanics, 11. In 2014, for the first time, racial and ethnic minority babies became the statistical majority of U.S. children under 1 year of age.

Also beginning in 1965 was the laudable passage of civil rights legislation designed to eliminate racism in America. But over time, these laws went beyond demanding a color blind society to demanding affirmative action to ensure that minorities are proportionally represented in all American institutions, from academia to corporations and even to the arts and sciences.

When “minorities” constitute 15 percent of America’s population, enforcing proportional participation in literally everything may be a crude way to combat racial discrimination, but the consequences are limited. But when the “minority” becomes the majority, the consequences are far reaching. Can America’s research universities, corporate labs, government bureaucracies, public utilities, military and law enforcement, etc., operate at maximum efficiency if all personnel at all levels have to display proportional representation of all ethnic groups?

The Left’s remedy to racism in America – to the extent it even still exists – is to enforce these ethnic quotas in all American institutions. But this ignores the indisputable fact that there are significant differences in average academic aptitude between ethnic groups.

One of the most objective measurements of scholastic aptitude is the SAT test administered to high school seniors. Scores on this test are highly correlated to future success in college and lifetime earnings. Average SAT scores differ sharply among ethnic groups. For example, in 2018, the average SAT score differed among ethnic groups as follows: Asians, 1223; Whites, 1123; Latinos, 990; Blacks, 946.

To put this in context, the bare minimum SAT score required to get into MIT is 1500. In 2018, that score was achieved by 7 percent of Asians, 2 percent of Whites, and less than one percent of Blacks and Latinos. To cite a more mainstream example, a score of 1250 is considered the bare minimum to get into UCLA. In 2018, that score was achieved by 46 percent of Asians, 23 percent of Whites, 9 percent of Latinos, and 5 percent of Blacks.

The implications of these facts are discomforting, and any solution is controversial. But the Left thinks the solution is to exclude more highly qualified people, and blame all disparities on racism. Not only does this result in America’s institutions being staffed by less qualified people, it foments justifiable resentment among those excluded, and equally justified insecurity among those preferred.

Confronting the Truth With Compassion and Courage

It is easy to follow the crowd and demand an end to fossil fuels. It is easy to blame differences in education and income on racism and demand mandatory quotas. But these are not solutions. Without apology but also without rancor, opponents of the Left must expose these contradictions, and offer practical solutions.

Those who understand the unavoidable necessity for fossil fuel development need to reject accusations of being a “climate denier” and offer forceful counter arguments using facts and logic. Instead of carpeting the earth with windmills, invest in renewable energy research. Solve the electricity storage challenge, without which renewables have no hope of replacing conventional energy. Invest in fusion energy, or biofuel that can be grown in tank farms. Support space exploration and industrialization, so energy and raw materials can be sourced from other terrestrial bodies in the solar system. Support environmentally safe extraction of minerals on the ocean floor. Recognize that fossil fuel is absolutely necessary in the short run and demand honesty from the Left, along with their allies in academia and the media.

As America becomes a multi-ethnic nation, those who truly care about everyone, regardless of ethnicity, need to remind the Left of the words of Martin Luther King “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” If the Left claims “colorblind” and “meritocracy” are “code words,” don’t just tell them to shut up, expose their true agenda. For decades they have spread a message of victimhood so they could keep people dependent, staff their government assistance bureaucracies, and, more recently, replace teachers in colleges and universities with grossly overpaid “diversity, inclusion and equity” administrators. Worst of all, their leftist dominated unions have destroyed our public schools, especially in low income minority communities. Maybe they should fix that before they keep on screaming “racism” at every failure they encounter.

The fate of not just America, but all of humanity, depends on debunking these two fundamental premises of the Left, both of which are easily contradicted by facts. Doing so will eventually doom the Left to irrelevance. Not doing so, on the other hand, dooms us all.

This article originally appeared on the website American Greatness.

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How to Simultaneously Lower College Tuition and Solve the Homeless Crisis

Two of the most pressing challenges facing Americans are unaffordable college tuition and an epidemic of homelessness. But an elegant solution is just waiting to be implemented by some innovative, progressive state or region. House the homeless on college campuses.

It isn’t as though colleges and universities across America aren’t already searching for new sources of revenue. A December 19th article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Seniors Want to Go Back to Class. Universities Want to Sell Them Real Estate” describes a new trend: growing baby boomers entering retirement at the same time as college enrollments are projected to decline. So across America, colleges and universities, which have already opened hotels and restaurants on campus to earn profits from visiting parents and faculty, are now building and selling condos for seniors.

Why not go one step further, and admit America’s homeless?

Doing this is consistent with the general mission and mentality of the faculty and administrators at America’s institutions of higher learning. After all, social justice indoctrination will be far more effective if it isn’t merely academic. Allow academia to practice real world equity; real world diversity; real world inclusion.

There might be a few hiccoughs implementing this plan. For example, on-campus cultural safe spaces, which would be excellent venues for homeless people to be afforded sanctuary, would have to be desegregated. Otherwise, campuses would not be eligible for FEMA money, HUD grants, or Section 8 vouchers – all of which cannot be tapped unless true integration is practiced.

Similarly, dormitories catering to students of disadvantaged or underrepresented genders and ethnicities would have to be desegregated, in order to permit the homeless to occupy adjacent rooms. Ideally, in the spirit of equity, diversity, and inclusion, it might be best in fact to integrate the homeless into each dorm room, so that each room would have a homeless person and a student living in it.

While an unwoke individual might be concerned that many homeless people are substance abusers, criminals, or mentally ill, a more enlightened and woke perspective would not find this troubling in the least. Integrating America’s homeless population with America’s college students would be a natural extension of “inclusionary zoning” which has become a basic principle of progressive urban planning.

According to the “science based” policy of inclusionary zoning, “the role of inclusionary zoning is to encourage the development of affordable housing in low poverty neighborhoods, thereby helping foster greater social and economic mobility and integration.” If this policy is being rolled out in America’s progressive towns and cities, certainly it can also be rolled out on the campuses from which these progressive concepts originated. College campuses are, almost by definition, “low poverty neighborhoods.”

And to the extent that “greater social and economic mobility and integration” does not succeed in motivating the homeless to forego continued drug and alcohol abuse, or provide the stability that is the prerequisite to alleviating their mental illness, or the “security from want” so they will no longer commit crimes, then perhaps the students and faculty may adapt, since it is only their privilege that prevents them from succumbing to these pathologies themselves, and since it is their obligation as woke progressives to make ongoing reparations to these victims of society.

And in any case, wouldn’t any conscientious progressive agree that heroin addiction is a legitimate lifestyle choice?

The logistics of integrating America’s homeless with America’s college students and faculty are not terribly daunting. Using California as an example, the numbers easily work. California has nine University of California campuses with 238,000 students and over 190,000 faculty and staff. These are elite schools, filled with world class progressive minds, eager to demonstrate their commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

A successful program to house California’s 140,000 homeless could start with the University of California, since all of these schools have spacious campuses including including hospitals and clinics, along with thousands of dormitories and other structures that could be adapted for housing.

Best of all, the University of California campuses are located in the urban areas where California’s homeless are concentrated. In the Bay Area, there is UC San Francisco, UC Berkeley, and UC Santa Cruz. In close proximity to the state capitol there is UC Davis. And in Southern California, there are five sprawling urban campuses, UC Santa Barbara, UCLA, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, and UC San Diego. Together, these campuses occupy nearly 7,000 acres, over ten square miles of prime urban land. Much of this land is unused, offering ample area for tent cities. Bring in the Army Corps of Engineers. Surely there’s space for 140,000 homeless people!

Many high ranking UC officials, if they are true to their ideals, will endorse this proposal. Jerry Kang, for example, UCLA’s Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion, during 2018 earned $468,919 in pay and benefits. In return for this lavish compensation, Kang and his devoted staff produced, for example, “Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Statements,” now required to be completed by all UCLA faculty applicants. Kang delivers talks on “inclusion strategies,” and surely would love to include the homeless on his list of disadvantaged and underrepresented groups to bring on campus.

A skeptic might suggest that there may not be enough room on UC campuses to accommodate 140,000 people, but such skepticism, more than anything else, reveals a poverty of imagination. Why not house the homeless in the hallways and offices of Jerry Kang’s Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion? Bring them in, and let them indulge their diverse lifestyles as they coexist with these intrepid, and very well compensated, woke warriors.

Doubters might consider the well compensated Kang to be an outlier, but he’s not. Here are some of the others: UC Berkeley, Oscar Dubón, Jr., Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion; UC Davis, Adela de la Torre, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Campus Diversity; UC Irvine, Doug Haynes, Vice Provost for Academic Equity, Diversity and Inclusion; UC Merced, Luanna Putney, Associate Chancellor & Senior Advisor to the Chancellor, Ethics and Compliance; UC Riverside, Mariam Lam, Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Excellence and Equity; UC San Diego, Becky Petitt, Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion; UC San Francisco, Renee Navarro, Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Outreach; UC Santa Barbara, Maria Herrera-Sobek, Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Academic Policy; UC Santa Cruz, Ashish Sahni, Associate Chancellor, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

For that matter, when examining administrative bloat at the universities – the real reason for unaffordable tuition – why stop at the diversity bureaucracy? A 2015 article in the Los Angeles Times gets at the bigger picture. Between 2000 and 2015 the UC system added a modest number of new faculty, growing faculty headcount from just over 7,000 to nearly 9,000. But during that same 15 year period, they more than doubled the number of administrators, growing from a headcount of 4,500 to over 10,500. Put another way, the ratio of teachers to bureaucrats in just 15 years changed from 1.5 to 1.0 in favor of teachers to 1.2 to 1.0 in favor of bureaucrats.

Surely all these bureaucrats, steeped in the art of creating safe spaces and promulgating progressive ideology can have their jobs repurposed? Surely they may now turn their diligence towards accommodating and providing wrap-around services for California’s homeless, in all their diversity.

Why should academia be merely for the academics? If they are changing our world, perhaps it’s time for us to change theirs.

This article originally appeared on the website American Greatness.

The Manger vs The Monster

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
Luke 2:7

Advocates for the homeless frequently invoke biblical passages in order to appeal to the Christian compassion that still guides the hearts of most Americans, whether they are religious or secular. “No room at the inn,” is a phrase the American Left relies upon to justify everything from open borders and immigration amnesty to affordable housing and homeless shelters. But what sort of inn? An inexpensive manger that is warm, dry, and safe? Or an overbuilt monstrosity? Both options are warm, dry, and safe, but the monster is so grossly expensive that only a few find shelter.

California’s policies currently favor these overbuilt monstrosities, with the biggest losers the homeless. The average cost for “permanent supportive housing” in California is now easily in excess of a half million per unit. A recent audit in the City of Los Angeles estimated the average cost at $550,000 per unit. According to a program overview released by the Santa Clara County’s Office of Supportive Housing, their average cost is in excess of $500,000 per unit. In San Francisco, according to a report released by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, over $700,000 per unit. Across the Bay in Alameda County, a 2018 report released by the City of Oakland discloses average costs of over $600,000 per unit. On Federal property in Los Angeles County, remodeling an existing building to provide permanent supportive housing is estimated to cost over 900,000 per unit. But the champion of all monstrosities is in Venice Beach, California, where developers propose to construct housing for the homeless at a cost of approximately $1.4 million per unit.

Dubbed by its opponents as “The Monster on the Median,” this building is set to occupy three acres of city owned property located in the heart of Venice Beach. The land is currently used for public beach parking, as well as periodically hosting farmers markets and craft fairs. If these three acres were zoned for mixed use commercial development, they would sell for around $100 million. Any rational policymaker would either leave this property alone, allowing it to remain one of the last scraps of publicly accessible open spaces in Venice Beach, or sell it to a commercial developer.

Instead what is being proposed is a 140 unit “community project,” a concrete blockhouse with a three acre footprint that will rise over the residential neighborhoods of Venice Beach like the fortress of an occupying army, which is not an entirely inaccurate metaphor. At an estimated construction cost of around $700,000 per unit, and including the value of the land, the total project cost of this monstrosity will exceed $200 million. This is an astonishing, criminal waste of public money. To house every one of the City of Los Angeles’s estimated 60,000 homeless in structures like this monster would cost taxpayers around $100 billion. That will never happen. What’s going on?

It doesn’t require a cynic to recognize that something’s rotten: The incentive to build monsters instead of mangers is because with these monsters, project developers and financiers have a larger monetary denominator to work with. Much larger. That’s more budget to accommodate overhead, fat consultancy contracts, huge payoffs to litigators, hefty payments to the public sector for permits and fees, lucrative deals with subcontractors, and the promise of endless additional work since at this rate, and at this cost, the problem will never get solved. But how is this ever justified morally?

Here’s where one of the more insidious manifestations of socialist ideology comes into play. Like all socialist principles, it reeks with compassion but is utterly impractical if not nihilistic in the real world. Building homeless housing and low income housing on some of the most expensive real estate on earth is to fulfill the ideals of “inclusionary zoning.” Relying on “scientific studies” that defy common sense, the role of inclusionary zoning is to “encourage the development of affordable housing in low poverty neighborhoods, thereby helping foster greater social and economic mobility and integration.”

“Greater social and economic mobility and integration.”

In practice, this means if you work hard your entire life to live in a neighborhood where your children can go to decent schools and feel safe walking the streets, if you skip vacations and take on a 2nd job to pay off an astronomical mortgage, it does not matter. If you lose the inclusionary zoning lottery, prepare to have an apartment house dumped onto the lot where your neighbor’s single family home just got demolished. Then, while investors pad their profits with property tax exemptions for creating “inclusionary” housing, prepare to have this property occupied by tenants who pay little or no rent out of their own earnings – if they work at all – because your taxes will be paying their rent for them. Prepare for them to openly consume drugs and watch your belongings since petty theft and heroin use is now decriminalized in California.

That is what happened to Venice Beach. And it’s coming to your neighborhood.

There is nothing compassionate about this. In the real world, people congregate in low income neighborhoods because they have low incomes. This is where developers build, at no cost to taxpayers, defacto low income, market housing. This is where charities build and operate shelters, because they are affordable. And when people are fortunate enough to be able to afford to move from low income neighborhoods to middle income neighborhoods or beyond, they expect to be rewarded for their efforts, not have to wonder if the Homeless Industrial Complex will destroy their new neighborhood.

The obligations of compassion don’t end when the Homeless Industrial Complex is finally forced to build inexpensive mangers instead of overwrought monsters. What if baby Jesus was born in a barn filled with addicts injecting heroin and smoking methamphetamine? What if the three wise men didn’t have to bring gifts, because gangs of thieves had set up lucrative criminal enterprises to pay for their drugs, and instead of the hospitality of the innkeeper providing food, King Herod dispensed free government meals?

Compassionate Christians who reelect these corrupt politicians should imagine that scene defining their next Christmas pageant. And while this all sounds horribly cruel during the holiday season of giving, true cruelty is to accept the solutions currently being pursued. They are wasting billions while suffering only increases.

These are the tragic consequences of a perfect storm of flawed legislation and court rulings. In California, the practical effect of Prop. 47, sold to voters in 2014 as criminal justice reform, has been to decriminalize possession of hard drugs and petty theft. At the same time, court rulings such as Jones vs. City of Los Angeles prohibit law enforcement from relocating or detaining anyone camping in a public space unless they can offer them “permanent supportive housing.” The final straw is the “housing first” regulations originating at HUD during the Obama administration that require virtually all federal grant money get spent on housing, rather than also on parallel treatment for substance abuse and mental health.

Tolerate vagrancy, drug use and petty crime. Permit an alliance of developers, service nonprofits, and government bureaucrats to hijack and waste every dollar taken from taxpayers to help the homeless, abetted by useful idiots who believe this impossible, toxic intersection of futile, corrupt strategies somehow constitutes “compassion.” The result? Billions have been spent, additional billions will be spent, and the population of homeless in California, already numbering over 130,000, will only get bigger and more unmanageable.

This is the fraud presided over by supposedly compassionate politicians such as California governor Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Hiding behind supposedly compassionate principles such as “inclusionary zoning” they are spending billions of dollars to construct monstrous housing boondoggles where homeless people will be given “permanent supportive housing” in order to “integrate with the community.” At the same time, California’s unsheltered homeless, the majority of whom are either mentally ill, substance abusers, criminal predators, or all three, shall be subject to minimal expectations.

Perhaps it’s time for the Homeless Industrial Complex bureaucrats to construct one of these housing monsters on the park property immediately adjacent to Gavin Newsom’s gubernatorial mansion. Isn’t that sort of “integration” the logical endpoint of “inclusionary zoning?” Perhaps these monstrosities should follow Gavin Newsom, and every other wealthy liberal who pushes these scams – and they are scams, designed to enrich the Homeless Industrial Complex, not to help the less fortunate – to the streets where they live and the schools where their children learn.

Instead of into the neighborhoods of hard working families, let California’s completely unaccountable homeless come en masse to the exclusive, “low poverty” enclaves of the liberal elites who engineered this crisis. Let them come, with all the lawless behaviors that California’s liberal laws enable. Let them urinate in your hedges, defecate on your lawn, shoot heroin and smoke methamphetamine in plain sight, beg, bellow, fight, rape, mug, murder, and, of course, steal everything that isn’t nailed down or under armed guard.

This is exactly what happened to Venice Beach. Fact. Where’s the difference?

And yes, we know, some of the homeless just need a helping hand. So how does it help the virtuous homeless when we fail to police the predators among them?

Isn’t it funny how politicians like Gavin Newsom are willing to impoverish the taxpayers with tens of billions in housing bonds that have not even begun to solve the problem, and leave unchallenged laws and court rulings that turn their state into a magnet for lunatics, addicts, predators, perverts and bums, and destroy neighborhoods across the state with “inclusionary zoning,” but make sure to leave their own streets and schools untouched by this growing nightmare.

Nothing about California’s homeless policies today qualifies as genuine compassion, because compassion has to be rational. Compassion has to have a winning strategy, not become an endless, losing war. California’s housing for the homeless policy is corruption masquerading as compassion.

If Gavin Newsom, Eric Garcetti and all the rest of them cared about the homeless, they’d build the modern day equivalent of mangers, warm, dry and safe, located in more affordable neighborhoods. They’d defy HUD’s preposterous “Housing First” mandate, rallying compassionate reformers in every Continuum of Care agency in the U.S. to back them up. They would use the money they saved to actually help the homeless in every way – managing their mental illness, treating their addictions, training them for jobs. That would be compassion worth its name, and worthy of the season.

An edited version of this article originally appeared in the California Globe.

The Inclusion Delusion

California’s public universities already apply variable standards to their undergraduate admissions programs in order to fulfill defacto racial quotas. Now they’re requiring their faculty applicants to submit “diversity statements.”

Both of these practices distract from more important questions: Are student applicants academically competitive? Are faculty applicants experts in their fields? As will be seen, California’s public universities have moved far away from these fundamentals. And as goes California, so goes the nation.

Prioritizing race and gender diversity over academic excellence has consequences, not the least of which is how those who object to these priorities are intimidated. Dr. Abigail Thompson, professor and chair of the Department of Mathematics at UC Davis is one of the most recent victims.

In a letter published by the American Mathematical Society, of which she is a vice president, Thompson objected to the “diversity statements” which are now required of all faculty applicants, and which she claims have become “central to the hiring process.” Thompson compared these diversity statements to the “loyalty oaths” that were required of UC faculty during the 1950s McCarthy era.

One specific example Thompson cites describes how these diversity statements are scored. Using UC Berkeley’s official “rubric to assess candidate contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” she shows how if a faculty applicant asserts that they will mentor and treat “all students the same regardless of background,” they will earn a score of 1 or 2, on a scale where 1 is the worst and 5 is the best.

This example epitomizes the problem with the entire emphasis on “diversity, equity, and inclusion.” It has moved beyond equal treatment to specifying preferential treatment, according to a dizzying array of intersectional categories of disadvantaged status. As Thompson puts it, making this into a political test governing hiring decisions “should send a shiver down our collective spine.”

The response to Dr. Thompson’s opinion on “diversity statements” is, if anything, more chilling than the political litmus test she was criticizing. Over 600 people, presumably all math faculty, signed a letter addressed to the American Mathematical Society entitled “The math community values a commitment to diversity.” The letter accuses Thompson of making “dangerous” and “ignorant” claims of reverse racism which have an “unsavory” history in and beyond higher education. But the letter did little to address Thompson’s primary point, which was that “requiring candidates to believe that people should be treated differently according to their identity is indeed a political test.”

Someone who probably typifies the politically correct activist that, now, even dominates mathematics departments in America’s colleges and universities is Chad Michael Higdon-Topaz, a professor at Williams College. On a since deleted Facebook post, a screen shot of which can be found in this article – Higdon-Topaz wondered how Thompson would “think this stuff,” characterizing it as “false equivalencies and both-sides-ism.” He recommended his followers “tweet at UC Davis, Thompson’s institution, to provide some good ‘ol public shame.”

For his trouble, Higdon-Topaz has earned his own share of public approbation. As reported here, “Academics offended by the extremism of Chad M. Topaz, a woke Williams College math professor, have organized a petition in response to his campaign to silence Abigail Thompson, a white female math professor at UC Davis. You can read and sign the petition here. So far, the petition has been signed by over 725 people including the chairman of his own math department, Richard De Veaux and four winners of the prestigious Fields Medal including David Mumford and Terence Tao. Colin Adams has told The College Fix that signatories also include eight former presidents of the American Mathematical Society (AMS).”

The Diversity Bureaucracy

Maybe, just maybe, members of the academic community have had enough. Or maybe not. The diversity bureaucracy in America’s colleges and universities has acquired stunning power and reach. On the public records act enabled online database Transparent California, take a look at these 2018 search results for job titles that include the word  “inclusion,” or “diversity.” Note that taxpayers funded a position for Jerry Kang, Vice Chancellor at UCLA for “Equity, Diversity & Inclusion,” that bestowed a total pay and benefits package worth $468,919 in 2018.

And what does Jerry Kang do? Read UCLA’s “Sample Candidate Evaluation Tool.” Or read UCLA’s “Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Statement FAQs” that presumably comes from Kang’s office. The response to this FAQ “Why Require an EDI Statement” deserves to be quoted in full:

“First, much like a candidate’s CV, research statement, or teaching statement, an EDI Statement provides the hiring committee with relevant, useful information about a candidate’s qualifications and potential for future success. Second, the request signals that the department genuinely values equity, diversity, and inclusion. For new hires, this signal will make it easier to attract a diverse pool of applicants, including individuals from groups that remain underrepresented in the field or discipline. For promotions, this request helps to deliver on the APM’s promise that contributions to equity, diversity, and inclusion will actually be credited and not ignored. Finally, as peer institutions increasingly adopt these practices, failing to ask for an EDI Statement may signal tepid commitment to these values, which could put UCLA at a competitive disadvantage.”

Nothing chilling about that. “Useful information” regarding a candidates “potential for future success.” “Signals” that the department genuinely values equity, diversity, and inclusion.” Easier to attract a “diverse” group of applicants, including “underrepresented” groups. Promises contributions to “EDI” will not be ignored when granting promotions. And, ominously, “failing to ask for an EDI statement” could put UCLA at a “competitive disadvantage.” Nope. Nothing chilling there. Nothing at all.

The Biggest Flaw of Diversity Mandates is Diversity Happens Anyway

The experience of Asian Americans provides irrefutable proof that “underrepresented communities” can achieve whatever they want in academia, or anywhere else in America, if they are sufficiently talented and possess the work ethic and focus necessary for success. Here is irrefutable proof that race and privilege have zero impact on academic potential if, and it’s a big if, members of a culture work to be successful: Math SAT scores by ethnicity.

Perhaps Jerry Kang might explain why, as depicted on the above chart, nearly fifteen percent of his Asian cohorts nearly aced their math SAT, and in 2019 the median score for Asians was 84 points higher than the median score for Whites. With this stellar performance, Kang might also explain why Asians might still require the services of his office.

The reason students in some identifiable ethnic groups underperform in school should not be oversimplified. But the experiences of America’s Asian immigrants, many of whom arrived as refugees with nothing but the shirts on their backs, offers strong evidence against the need for an expensive diversity bureaucracy. What was it that Asians brought with them to America that enabled them to succeed despite the supposed depredations of a White racist power structure?

The next chart, below, shows that 82 percent of Asian families with children under 18 have two parent households. This is higher than Whites (73 percent), and far higher than Blacks (33 percent). Could it be that intact families, along cultural values emphasizing hard work and education, might explain nearly all the disparity in academic achievement between ethnic groups in America? Why not? Asian immigrants by and large arrived in America with nothing, arguably encountering just as much racism as members of other ethnic groups, yet they are the most successful group in America today.

Lowering Standards Instead of Raising Expectations

It is impossible to create conditions of perfectly equal opportunity in any society. Overreaching in pursuit of that goal creates more problems than it solves. Mediocrity, double standards, and mutual resentment are some of the many negative consequences when you lower standards instead of raise expectations.

Never mind all that, however, the diversity warriors are doubling down on lowering standards in order to enforce racial quotas in college admissions. Despite the fact that SAT scores are a reliable predictor of success in college, they are being modified and in some cases eliminated entirely. How they are being modified is a classic example of the diversity mentality gone wild. SAT scores are going to have a third section. Along with math and verbal aptitude, there will be an “adversity score.”

While developing an adversity score to skew SAT scores upwards for students from disadvantaged backgrounds has an undeniable appeal to anyone with any sense of social justice, it has nothing to do with measuring a college applicant’s ability to do their coursework. But many schools aren’t even bothering with an adversity score, they’re scrapping the SAT entirely. This is being done despite the fact that SAT scores are the only completely uniform, totally objective criteria available to admissions offices.

It is delusional to mandate “inclusion” to the exclusion of setting objective standards. Unqualified students are admitted in the name of inclusion and diversity, then fail to succeed academically, while qualified students who could have done the work are denied an opportunity. This harms both of these students, and writ large, it diminishes the intellectual capital of the nation. And what about the most brilliant professors, experts in their fields, who have no time for filling out “diversity statements” for commissars who make more than they do? Why should they bother? The best among them can work anywhere in the world.

The sad part of the diversity bureaucracy isn’t just the obscene expense that translates directly into higher tuition costs, or the fact that many capable applicants for student and faculty positions are passed over in favor of the politically anointed. It is their delusional message – that race and ethnicity and gender matter more than hard work and academic achievement. This runs counter to everything positive in the American experience. It is backed up by selective facts and biased social “science.” It must be challenged at every opportunity.

This article originally appeared on the website American Greatness.

We Three Kings of America

This Christmas season, decorate your trees and hang your stockings, and know that three kings come again, bearing gifts. But this time, 2,020 years later, these three kings bear gifts not for the baby Jesus, but for the Democratic party. The biggest lie in American politics today is that Republicans are the party of the wealthy elite, and the Democrats are fighting for the little guy.

While corporate political spending is split roughly equally between Democrats and Republicans, in all other categories the Democrats are way in front. Labor unions, which collect and spend at least $14 billion per year in the United States, are almost exclusively committed to Democratic candidates. And while Republicans still have some mega donor individuals, most of them only contribute to candidates who espouse the same agenda as the Democrats – open borders, “free” trade, and endless wars.

The Democratic mega donors, however, not only outspend their Republican counterparts, they know how to get results. Which brings us to the first of our Three Kings of the 2020 political season.

Tom Steyer, with an estimated net worth of $1.6 billion. As a presidential candidate, Steyer has no chance. But behind his hopeless campaign is a deeper strategy. Steyer is bringing visibility and building support for several organizations he’s founded, all of them already powerful forces in national politics.

Steyer may not be the wealthiest mega donor on the scene, but he’s willing to spend what he’s got. As cited in Ballotpedia, Steyer “spent more money on the 2014 and 2016 elections—$73 million and approximately $100 million, respectively—than any other individual donor.” According to Forbes, Steyer spent an incredible $123 million to influence the 2018 midterm elections.

While 2016 didn’t go the way Steyer had hoped, 2018 was a different story. Control of the U.S. Congress flipped to the Democrats, and Steyer’s political action committee, NextGen, provided significant capital and political influence. For example, his NextGen Rising voter registration operation signed over a quarter million voters. As reported in Forbes, “With 750 staff on the ground and 15,000 volunteers, Steyer’s army flooded over 400 college campuses, claimed to have knocked on just under a million doors and sent 3 million text messages urging young folk to vote. According to NextGen, of the 40 congressional districts its program targeted, around 60% of those House seats flipped from Republican to Democratic.”

One of Steyer’s most effective tactics was in California, where he helped fund “vote harvesting.” In Orange County, armed with precise voter information, ballot harvesters knocked on the doors of registered Democrats, and in thousands of cases, collected the ballots and brought them to a polling center for the voter. According to Orange County GOP chairman Fred Whitaker, 250,000 ballots were dropped off on election day. The actual amount of harvested votes may have been much higher, since harvesting was occurring for weeks prior to the election. Out of 1.1 million ballots cast, 689,756, or 62 percent, were “vote-by-mail” ballots.

This is not your ordinary get-out-the-vote effort. For each congressional district in play, the cost per thousand full-time paid vote harvesters was approximately $125,000 per day. The Democrats spent tens of millions, and seven congressional seats in California flipped from Republican to Democrat in California. Ballot harvesting is now legal in 27 U.S. states.

Anyone can ballot harvest, of course, but in practice it’s a costly undertaking. And Steyer, for all his staggering largesse, isn’t working alone. Which brings us to our second of the Three Kings of America:

Michael Bloomberg, imagine this, is also running for president. With an estimated net worth of $55.6 billion, Bloomberg has money to burn. His campaign cannot be ruled out in what remains a wide open Democratic primary. But win or lose, Bloomberg intends to continue to leave his mark on American politics. Like Steyer, Bloomberg is funding political operations across the U.S.

In 2018, Bloomberg spent an estimated $110 million to help Democrats win. This included $28 million through his super PAC Independence USA, which backed 22 Democratic congressional candidates, 19 of which went on to victory. These efforts promise to be minor compared to what is to come.

Starting in early 2019, Bloomberg began building what The Atlantic described as “the most powerful political organization in America,” which will “collect data about voters on an unprecedented scale, match those data with consumer data, and then hire a team of engineers to do high-level analyses, looking for new ways to identify potential voters, and new ways to appeal to them. They want to match voter data to consumer information and social-media profiles, and look for new ways to break through. Then they want to build a new ‘tech stack,’ or system for processing and applying the data. The goal, they say internally, is to fundamentally change the core Democratic infrastructure.”

This is all happening now, and this machine will be deployed to support either Bloomberg or whoever is the Democratic presidential nominee. Perhaps of greater significance, it will be used to support every Democratic candidate in every contested congressional race in America.

When it comes to policies, Bloomberg embraces the mainstream Democratic positions on most issues, but distinguishes himself in two areas, gun control, and China policy. Earlier this month, as reported in Politico and elsewhere, Bloomberg unveiled a “sweeping gun control plan” calling for a ban on all assault weapons, mandatory permits for gun purchasers, police notification when owners have been prohibited from holding firearms and a crackdown on unlicensed sellers at gun shows or online.

Gun control is an ongoing priority for Bloomberg. In 2018, Bloomberg invested $112 million on 24 political candidates who supported gun control measures and won 21 of those races. In Virginia, where earlier this month voters handed full control of the state legislature to Democrats, Bloomberg’s gun-control lobbying group played a decisive role. Vastly outspending the NRA, which spent $300,000 in Virginia’s recent elections, Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety advocacy group spent $2.5 million to influence voters.

If Bloomberg’s gun control priority gives Republicans The Willies, his position on China ought to make every American voter nervous. Washington Post liberal commentator Josh Rogin, in an opinion column that came inadvertently close to being an endorsement of President Trump, ticked through all the reasons that Bloomberg’s business interests in China and his demonstrated naivete regarding the Chinese regime disqualify him for the presidency. Bloomberg’s recent quote “Xi Jinping is not a dictator” says all that needs to be said. Bloomberg’s version of globalism has the United States appeasing China until it’s too late. Which brings us to the third King of America.

George Soros has a reported net worth of $8.3 billion, which is deceptive, because in 2018 he transferred $18 billion from his family office to his Open Society Foundations. At age 87, Soros has been active in politics for several decades. His foundation is active around the world, and has drawn controversy for its alleged interference in national politics from China to Hungary and in dozens of other nations. But in the United States, Soros is a powerful force for democrats.

Information on contributions by Soros, just as with Steyer and Bloomberg, is never comprehensive. There are too many layers of foundations and PACs, too many state and local elections where he’s active, too many examples of indirect political spending such as public information campaigns. But we know he committed more than $25 million to Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, and donated oer $8 million to Democratic PACs in 2018. This is likely just scratching the surface.

A good example of how Soros can exercise a profound influence on U.S. politics yet, at least in this case, remain mostly under the radar, is in his comprehensive efforts to buy U.S. District Attorney elections. Quoting from the Los Angeles Times, “New York billionaire George Soros headlines a consortium of private funders, the American Civil Liberties Union and other social justice groups and Democratic activists targeting four of the 56 district attorney positions up for election on June 5. Five other California candidates are receiving lesser support.”

Efforts by Soros to remake the criminal justice system extend across the U.S. Michele Hanisee, writing for the Association of Deputy District Attorneys, describes how in 2016 Soros poured money into District Attorney campaigns in Colorado, Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, Texas and elsewhere. In all cases, Soros spent vast sums of money to help elect candidates sharing his political and social justice agenda, particularly regarding opposing incarceration. Come to any large California city to see how that’s working out.

For the 2020 election, in July 2019 Soros announced formation of a new super PAC, called Democracy PAC, to coordinate distribution of his donations to organizations supporting Democrats across America. Soros has called President Trump “a danger to the world,” and claims he is trying to “reestablish a functioning two-party system.” Perhaps he should apply his money to supporting that principle in California, an exemplary laboratory of democracy where a one-party system is firmly established – thanks precisely to an alliance of billionaires and public sector unions which, given half a chance, will do exactly the same thing to the United States.

The Three Kings of America Are Trying to Buy the 2020 Election

And they just might succeed. In October 2018, California Congressman Kevin McCarthy sent out a tweet saying that “Bloomberg, Steyer and Soros are trying to ‘buy’ election.” McCarthy eventually deleted his tweet because it generated accusations of anti-Semitism, and also due to its unfortunate timing. But there are two very distinct issues at play here. One is quite simple: Did Bloomberg, Steyer, and Soros try to buy the 2018 election? Of course they did. And while they didn’t manage to flip the U.S. Senate to the Democrats, they did help flip the House of Representatives. With the political future of America at stake, these are legitimate questions.

Would California have lost seven congressional seats if Steyer and Bloomberg weren’t spending millions to support Democrats in that state? What is the cumulative impact of Bloomberg, Steyer and Soros spending hundreds of millions of dollars every election cycle? How does that tilt the balance when there are no other individual players in American so committed not only to throwing around sums of money this large, but carefully managing and orchestrating the strategies of the organizations that receive the money?

McCarthy was right, and if he were to repeat himself with respect to the 2020 election, he’d be right again. And when you overlay the efforts of The Three Kings to the impact of union money in America, their impact is decisive.

The Three Kings don’t operate alone. Their money and their organizations supplement the efforts of a permanent army of full time union operatives, virtually all working for Democratic candidates and causes, who when necessary are easily seconded to political campaigns. Other professionals who are supported by union dues are employees and partners at political consulting firms, public relations and marketing firms, publishing and printing shops, and an assortment of nonprofits. These are Democratic party assets, funded by the torrent of union political money that’s used explicitly for politics when campaigning for candidates and lobbying for legislation, and otherwise used indirectly for politics through public education campaigns.

As for Congressman McCarthy’s deleted tweet attracting accusations of anti-Semitism, he denied these charges, saying “That [tweet] had nothing to do about faith. That was about Republicans versus Democrats. Michael Bloomberg put in $54 million into the campaign just in the last couple weeks in 24 districts. All I was pointing out was money that Republicans and Democrats were spending to defeat one another.”

Quite so. The faith of The Three Kings has no relevance to the fact that they’re trying to buy the 2020 election, just like they tried to buy the 2018 election, nor should it prevent anyone from calling attention to what they’re doing, or the significance of their actions.

This article originally appeared on the website American Greatness.

The Many Unintended Consequences of AB 5

By now anyone who works as an independent contractor in California has heard of AB 5, which will force companies to reclassify them as employees. The justification for AB 5, which was reportedly written by the AFL-CIO, is to prevent companies from exploiting workers. Without AB 5, the reasoning goes, companies hire freelancers to do the same work employees would do, in order to avoid paying for benefits such as Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, and workman’s compensation.

The Social Security argument has no merit, because freelancers are still required to pay Social Security taxes, and still get Social Security benefits when they retire. They pay the employee and employer share, because they’re self employed. Ditto for Medicare. The rate a self-employed independent contractor accepts in exchange for their services should take that into account.

While there may be some merit to the argument that companies hire freelancers to avoid paying unemployment insurance and workman’s compensation, there might have been other legislative solutions to that, such as setting up the means for independent contractors to purchase their own unemployment and workman’s compensation insurance – or, (gasp), roll a workman’s compensation individual option into Covered California.

Instead, AB 5 creates far more problems than it solves.

Predictably enough, those special interests with enough clout to carve out their own industries from being affected by AB 5 made their voices heard in Sacramento. Courtesy of CalMatters, here are some of the jobs that are exempt from the impact of AB 5:

Jobs Exempt from AB 5

Doctors: Physicians, surgeons, dentists, podiatrists, veterinarians, psychologists.
Some licensed professionals: Lawyers, architects, engineers.
Financial services: Insurance brokers, accountants, securities broker-dealers, investment advisors.
Real estate agents
Direct sales: Provided the salesperson’s compensation is based on actual sales rather than wholesale purchases or referrals.
Commercial fishermen (only exempt until 2023).
Builders & contractors: Construction firms that build major infrastructure projects and big buildings.
Professional services: Marketing, human resources administrator, travel agents, graphic designers, grant writers, fine artist.
Freelance writers, photographers: Provided the worker contributes no more than 35 submissions to an outlet in a year.
Hair stylists, barbers: Defined as a licensed barber or cosmetologist provided that person sets their own rates and schedule.
Estheticians, electrologists, manicurists (provided they are licensed).
Tutors: Provided they teach their own curriculum. Does not apply to public school tutors.
AAA-affiliated tow truck drivers

And who, overnight, will either have to be hired by the company they contract for, or be unemployed? Again, courtesy of CalMatters, here are some of them:

Jobs Affected by AB 5

Rideshare & delivery services: Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Postmates
Truck drivers: Heavy duty trucks, Amazon delivery trucks, some tow truck companies
Janitors & housekeepers: Commercial cleaning services
Health aides: Nursing homes, assisted living facilities
Newspaper carriers: The author agreed to delay implementation by one year in a concession to newspaper publishers.
Unlicensed manicurists: Licensed manicurists will get a two-year exemption.
Land surveyors, landscape architects, geologists
Campaign workers
Language interpreters

Killing the Gig Economy

There are several significant consequences of AB 5, chief among them, and the one most discussed, is that it threatens to kill the so-called “gig economy.” While no balanced assessment of the growing gig economy should fail to acknowledge the challenges it presents – less job security, no benefits – killing the gig economy is not the answer.

Many people working in the gig economy could not possibly work in any other way. They can choose their hours and they have steady work. For people who want to supplement full-time work, or balance their time between family obligations and work, the gig economy is unambiguously good. And since independent contractors still pay for and receive Social Security and Medicare, which are the main benefits they allegedly were going to lose, what’s really going on?

If you peruse the list of job descriptions exempt from AB 5, vs the list of those affected by AB 5, there isn’t a lot of logic. In general, highly compensated professionals are on the exempt list, but the trades were randomly distributed – hair stylists and estheticians are exempt, janitors and health aides are not. What’s going on?

Perhaps the most concise answer to that comes from California Governor Gavin Newsom, who personifies the alliance of big business and big labor that controls California. In a guest editorial for the Sacramento Bee, Newsom had this to say:

“This Labor Day, I am proud to be supporting Assembly Bill 5, which extends critical labor protections to more workers by curbing misclassification. While this step is important, we must do more to reverse the 40-year trends that have hollowed out our middle class and driven income inequality. We can do this by partnering with labor and supporting their efforts to create ways for workers to join together and speak with one voice. Across the country, unions are paving the path for new ways to organize – whether it’s the fight for a federal $15 minimum wage, organizing freelancers and contractors, or bargaining project labor agreements.”

“Partnering with labor.” “Paving the path for new ways to organize.”

Let’s be clear. Newsom understands this partnership very well. Big labor controls the workers. Big business controls the market. Small competitors wither away under the twin onslaught of union pay scales and work rules they’re not ready to match, and regulations they’re not yet big enough to afford.

Consequences of AB 5

If you assume the government has any role whatsoever in protecting the rights of workers, then what Newsom euphemistically refers to as “misclassification” is, at the least, an issue worthy of honest debate. And even right-to-work advocates recognize that collective bargaining, properly regulated, has a valid role to play in the private sector. But AB 5 is a poorly conceived overreaction to the challenges of the gig economy.

The reason AB 5 passed is because it will make it easier for labor unions to organize workers in a host of industries. Clearly they have their sights set on those gig economy jobs where very large corporations like Uber and Lyft dominate the sector. Californians should ask themselves, given what unions have done to the public sector, do we really want them organizing ride share workers, truck drivers, custodians and housekeepers, health aides, and so on down the list?

The biggest losers in the AB 5 implementation, ultimately, will not be the big companies like Uber and Lyft. These companies will adapt, one way or another, because they’re billion dollar companies. Don’t be surprised if they come to some sort of accommodation with California’s union controlled legislature, and withdraw their planned referendum to repeal AB 5.

Across all sectors, this is the defining theme: If you’re a billion dollar corporation, you’ll figure out how to manage AB 5, but if you’re a small company, you won’t. AB 5, combined with the $15/hour minimum wage, is going to kill small businesses in California. Does Gavin Newsom care? No. Because, as previously noted, he personifies the alliance of big business and big labor that controls California.

Freedom of Speech

The impact on small media companies is particularly troubling, unless you actually believe that corporate media stalwarts such as David Muir, Norah O’Donnell, Lester Holt, and Judy Woodruff actually engage in unbiased, genuine investigative journalism. Despite growing online censorship, the internet still provides an opportunity for truth seeking media entrepreneurs to deliver diverse points of view and contrarian analyses, and eke out a living. Not so fast.

Now, thanks to AB 5, the game just got tougher for anyone who writes for a small media company, whether it’s a community newspaper or a national website with a niche audience.

In a dazzling display of either blithe indifference or shocking cluelessness, the author of AB 5, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, agreed to exempt employers from having to hire their freelancers as employees so long as they didn’t contribute more than 35 articles per year. Exactly how might this work in practice? There are freelancers who are paid to contribute several posts per day, usually in the 200 word or less range, for which they are paid accordingly. Then there are freelancers who are paid to contribute lengthy feature length articles which can exceed 5,000 or even 10,000 words.

According to Gonzalez, apparently, there’s no difference whatsoever between these submissions. It reminds one of the contest Gimli and Legolas were having in the movie version of Lord of the Rings. They were competing to see who would kill more enemies. Legolas had just slain a gigantic war elephant. To which Gimli shouted “That still only counts as one!”

The reaction of freelance writers so far ranges from disbelief and denial to defiant schemes. But by this time next year, unless a successful referendum occurs, there will be a lot of silenced, bitter voices. AB 5 is a form of deplatforming, but less subtle and equally harmful. It is blatant oppression.

AB 5 and Political Campaigns

Less discussed but possibly of greater oppressive consequence is the impact AB 5 will have on political campaigns. It is certainly no accident that “campaign workers” are included on the list of workers affected by AB 5. But why? Working for political campaigns is one of the most temporary of vocations. Most people hired by political campaigns either have other jobs in different industries, or they are accustomed to working in political jobs during campaign season then finding other work between campaigns. Now campaigns have to hire them as employees.

Understanding how AB 5 impacts campaign workers furthers understanding how big business and big labor control California. Because in the one-party state, a permanent army of full time union operatives, most of them supported by public sector employees, are easily seconded to political campaigns. Other vendors who are part of the one-party political ecosystem are found in political consulting firms, public relations and marketing firms, publishing and printing shops, and an assortment of nonprofits. The full time employees of these vendors are defacto campaign workers, with job security funded by the torrent of union political money that’s used explicitly for politics when campaigning for candidates and lobbying for legislation, and otherwise used indirectly for politics through public education campaigns.

The financial stability enjoyed by the one-party political operatives, and the firms that employ them, makes them immune to the impact of AB 5. Public sector unions alone collect and spend over $800 million per year in California. That money, and the army it pays for, constitutes a formidable foundation, atop which California’s many generous – and very liberal – billionaires add their tens if not hundreds of additional millions.

The opposition, on the other hand, relies primarily on volunteers. When they scrape their way to having a paltry war chest to fund a campaign, there’s no extra money. AB 5 will have a chilling effect on underfunded political campaigns, making it even harder for them to challenge incumbents in the one-party state.

One final and very sad question raised by AB 5 is how it will affect signature gathering campaigns for ballot initiatives. To-date, it is impossible to qualify a state ballot initiative in California without relying on paid signature gatherers. Nonetheless, it is a powerful expression of citizen democracy and represents the only remaining way Californians can preempt their bought and paid for legislators. Changing signature gatherers from independent contractors to employees will add another layer of cost onto a very costly enterprise. But big labor and big business will not care. Another million, another ten million, that is not a concern. For the authentic grassroots campaigns, on the other hand, AB 5 could be the difference between success and failure.

One may hope all of California’s new one-party aristocracy, from Lorena Gonzalez to Gavin Newsom, are terribly proud of AB 5.

This article originally appeared on the website California Globe.

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Alliances Necessary for the Great Realignment

Anyone who doubts that a fundamental realignment in American politics is at least possible should come to California. With nearly 7 million of its 40 million residents living below the poverty line, and 150,000 homeless, the Golden State, for all its economic might and cultural clout, is becoming a failed state.

What Californians need is affordable energy, affordable housing, water that isn’t rationed, practical transportation options, law and order, a friendly business climate, and a quality system of public education. Californians get none of those things today. Instead they are subjected to a nonstop barrage of divisive political indoctrination on the topics of race, gender, and the imminent climate apocalypse.

It’s easy to give up, because there’s a reason Californians can’t afford to live in California, or run a small business, or get a decent education for their children in the public schools. California has reverted to a political economy that can best be described as feudal. There is an aristocracy of super rich tech billionaires, wealthy entertainment celebrities, and international investors. They are supported by a privileged elite consisting of unionized government workers, service professionals such as attorneys and CPAs, and those who are fortunate enough to manage or work for very large global corporations.

These privileged elites benefit from keeping things just the way they are. They control the media, academia, K-12 education, and the government bureaucracy. They’ve used their financial and administrative clout to buy nearly every elected official in the state. They exercise absolute control over California’s state legislature. And as goes California, so goes the nation.

Everyone else in California is essentially a serf, struggling to make ends meet. In that fact lies the foundation for a historical realignment. Nobody wants to be a serf. Californians accept their serfdom because they believe it is either the result of oppression or because it is necessary to save the planet. Both of these reasons are lies told by the aristocrats. But filled with engineered anger and fear, a supermajority of Californians consistently votes exactly the way the propagandists tell them to vote.

It isn’t enough to expose these lies. At the same time, the real source of serfdom—self-serving corruption, waste, and fraud—must be explained, and solutions must be offered that will provide a renewed path of upward mobility. Moreover, the solutions that would attract populist support are not terribly controversial. The reason they aren’t proposed, much less implemented, is because they constitute a deadly threat to the power of the aristocracy.

Solutions could include the following: School vouchers to make public education competitive. Right-to-work laws to force unions to compete on a level playing field. Declaring nuclear power to be renewable energy and keeping nuclear power plants open. Repealing laws that downgrade property and drug crimes, something that would eliminate 50 percent of the homeless problem overnight. Rolling back unreasonable excess in environmental laws, so new home construction can be profitable to the developer and affordable to the consumer.

The list goes on. Practical solutions exist. They have the potential to unite groups that currently are drifting further apart. Here, then, are the alliances necessary for the great realignment.

The Authentic Right and Conservatism, Inc.

The Authentic Right is not easily defined, but can probably be characterized as that cohort within America’s right-wing that prioritizes nationalism. That, and a willingness to engage, without reservations or disclaimers, in confrontational and controversial rhetoric, differentiates them from what has come to be called Conservatism, Inc. Before the growing rift becomes irreparable, both sides need to think about what’s at stake. The required compromises are difficult, but the cost of permanent discord between these core elements of America’s conservative movement is much higher.

Members of Conservatism, Inc. have to resist the temptation to preemptively silence or stigmatize more muscular voices on the Right. There are many of these commentators who may express opinions that aren’t constructive. They may explore subjects that are taboo, and on some issues, they may draw conclusions that are either dubious or pointless. But many of them are also uncovering facts that are suppressed, facts that are outrageous, and facts that nobody else wants to talk about; facts that are fundamental to our future as a nation. When Conservatism, Inc. denies the validity of everything these voices are saying because of the outrageous behavior of a few, it is Conservatism, Inc. that loses credibility.

Most of the people in the Authentic Right have no donor network, no organized pack of libertarian billionaires to tell them what to think. Conservatism, Inc., on the other hand, needs to stand up to their donors. They need to assert that the issues of trade and immigration are complex, and that America’s policies over the past several decades are causing epic disruptions and in ways that are not always good. They need to temper their torrent of libertarian dogma with authentic nationalist sentiment. They must dare to express versions of American nationalism that envision a peaceful community of nations, each looking out for its own national interest.

If the billionaire libertarian donors can’t accept this, they will show their true colors, and the foot soldiers of Conservatism, Inc. will then need to make a choice: either get a real job, and fight with integrity in your spare time, or continue to serve up paid-for ideas.

On the other hand, the Authentic Right, especially those who might be considered “alt-Right,” has an even bigger challenge. In the face of an establishment doing everything they can to prevent it, they have to hope that a multi-ethnic nation can nonetheless have a unified culture. They have to be willing to uphold the most fundamental of Western values, respect for individual agency, and reach out to everyone, regardless of their color, as individuals who may choose to join their cause. They have to ignore voting patterns and cultural obstacles, and dare to hope they can attract a critical mass of multiethnic allies. They have to have the courage to be optimistic, even now.

What might defuse the frustration and extremism so palpably felt by members of the Alt Right is the prospect that victory is achievable. It is not too late to work within the system to save America from corporate socialism. It is not too late to restore a color-blind meritocracy to our institutions. They have to visualize and believe in a future where a multi-ethnic America retains its cultural traditions and political essence, because despite the crowing of the liberal New York Times, or the logic of the pessimists within the alt-Right, demographics is not destiny. Nobody wants to be a serf. If the price of freedom and prosperity is embracing this nation’s values and adopting its culture—because it was this culture and these values that created freedom and prosperity to begin with—that’s a price worth paying and a concept we can make people understand given the right conditions.

Boomers and Zoomers

In the recent Harvard versus Yale football game, when an older announcer asked activists to vacate the field they’d occupied to protest climate change, they began to chant, along with sympathizers in the stands, “OK, Boomer.” The message was clear. Zoomers believe they are inheriting a world that’s about to come to an end, because Baby Boomers burned too much fossil fuel. The New York Times, of course, is delighted, as exemplified by their recent article subtitled “Now it’s war: Gen Z has finally snapped over climate change and financial inequality.”

True to form, the Left is encouraging Zoomers to blame Boomers for everything from climate change to unaffordable tuition and homes to “endemic” racism and sexism along with the usual smorgasbord of toxic phobias. This is unfair. Zoomers were SUV passengers to and from grade school, Boomers rode their bikes. Zoomers spend virtually all their time on energy consuming electronic entertainment, Boomers are slightly less addicted. But the more important point is that this phony divide is being curated by design to deflect the true cause of Zoomer anxiety—a global aristocracy that is turning the vast majority of Americans into serfs.

For decades, Boomers who weren’t on board with the plan watched helplessly as corporate socialism marched through America’s institutions, crippling their own upward mobility. They watched jobs go overseas at the same time as the nation imported workers who drove down the wages of the jobs that remained.

Skyrocketing rates of suicide, either overtly or through drug addiction, now afflict Boomers more than any other age group. Tens of thousands of Boomers are dying every year, before their time, in the hollow shells of what were once vibrant towns across the heartland.

Zoomers may have inherited a nation with diminished opportunities, useless degrees, crippling tuition debt, bad jobs and unaffordable homes. But Boomers lived through this confiscation, and suffer in equal proportions.

Instead of claiming that age has some sort of political relevance, Boomers and Zoomers need to recognize that the politics of feudalism have victimized all Americans regardless of age. They need to work together to take America back from the aristocracy.

The White Right and Blacks, Latinos and Asians

It’s true that Blexit and Lexit haven’t yielded seismic results. But this change won’t happen overnight. More importantly, it’s not enough for conservatives and nationalists to say “we have to reach out to people of color because their voting patterns combined with their rapid population growth threaten to turn America into California.” It would be nice to have a small fraction of the fees that top-tier political consultants have collected to conduct massive polling operations and prepare overwrought reports that boil down to that single obvious fact, and offered nothing more.

Reaching out isn’t enough, anyway. When you reach out, you need to have something to say. And the good news is that there is a message; one that will be more compelling with every upward gyration of America’s record high Gini index.

The message is powerful: You’ve been conned.

We need roads and freeways, not “diversity and inclusion” bureaucracies. We need practical environmental laws, not crippling edicts that drive home prices sky high. We need public schools that educate the next generation, not courses in “ethnic studies.” And we need to decide what kind of nation we want to give our children—a feudal state where most everyone lives like a serf, or a prosperous democracy. And this message can be spread without apology, by anyone, to communities that have been destroyed by the socialist aristocracy.

To become part of a winning political alliance, the compromises asked of blacks, Latinos and Asians are not too much to ask. Recognize that opportunities are more abundant for everyone when competition is restored to education, a meritocracy is reestablished to regulate participation in all our institutions, and realistic limits are placed on immigration. Recognize that America’s virtues are far greater than its flaws. Accept and embrace the traditions and values of Western Civilization, individual rights, private property, the work ethic, equality before the law. Understand that these values and traditions are the reason that so many people have made this nation their home.

Before anyone on the Right gives up on creating this alliance with America’s left-leaning ethnic communities, they must ask themselves: Have we really tried? And when we tried, what was our message?

Was it merely a bunch of vapid sound bites curated by political consultants who got rich convening focus groups and conducting polls, passed through ad agencies who collected lucrative commissions, broadcast a few times during campaign season, and forgotten? Because engagement is more than a biannual ad budget. And a political agenda compelling enough to trigger a massive realignment takes more than sound bites. That agenda exists, and serfs of all colors are ready to listen.

Choose Your BattlesAmerica’s Socialist Aristocracy is the Enemy

The more Americans are forced to live like Californians, the more they will realize that lowering the cost-of-living and raising wages depends on practical reforms to environmental and energy policies, and major changes to immigration and trade policies.

But the unifying principle that will forge these alliances is not only a great new political agenda that restores competition, protects private property, encourages merit, abandons quotas, reforms environmentalist overreach, invests in practical infrastructure, and saves public education. The unifying principle is ideological. Americans will recognize, regardless of their age or ethnicity, that corporate socialism, promoted by a globalist aristocracy, is the enemy.

This point is crucial. Leftism does not originate from within ethnic communities. The pandering Chicano Marxists who run California’s state legislature in a joint venture with public-sector unions do not represent the communities they claim to champion. Nor did they invent the leftist drivel that defines them; they are merely vessels for it. The reason they get elected and purport to speak for those communities is because they have been bought and paid for by corporate socialists. These aristocrats find it useful to have puppets in positions of power who spew identity politics and environmentalist extremism as a distraction. Never mind that you can’t afford to live here, we’re saving you from the racists and the climate deniers.

Socialism is seductive because it allows people to blame someone else for many of the challenges they face. In America it finds fertile soil in the minds of anyone who can be convinced that something about them, their ethnicity, their religion, their culture, their gender, has caused them to be oppressed. But socialism is based on a fundamental lie; that equality of outcome is achievable without the twin evils of economic decline, overseen by a tyrannical and privileged elite. The feudalism that ensues, most advanced to-date in California, is the best that any socialist can hope for. It is a miserable choice.

It is easy enough to give up and splinter into factions. Authentic Right versus Conservatism, Inc. Zoomer versus Boomer. Whites versus nonwhites. But that’s the strategic mistake our new aristocracy is counting on us making that will guarantee America’s descent into feudalism and their ongoing mastery over us.

To give up means that the Right will have succumbed to the same negativity that defines the Left. To give up on entire sectors of the American population is also to deny personal friendships that cross the boundaries of ideology, age, and ethnicity. It denies the part of us that feels empathy, and validates the part of us that does not. It violates our confidence and faith in the universal truths we cherish.

There are three choices facing Americans who recognize and resist the drift towards feudalism. Surrender. War. Persuasion. The time for persuasion is not over. In our quest to form alliances, the probability of success is greater when logic is expressed with love, when fear is countered with calm, resentment with friendship. The truths we fight for are timeless and inviolable. The manner in which we deliver them is completely up to us, and will make all the difference in the world.

In the long arc of human history, the good guys always win. A great realignment is possible.

This article originally appeared on the website American Greatness.

Can Americans Still Be Bigger Than Their Differences?

Sooner or later the lights up above
Will come down in circles and guide me to love
– Fall On Me, by A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera

What does it take to step beyond the mundane, the known, the settled certainties that govern our ideologies and alliances? What exceptional American passion still guides all of us, no matter how far apart we may think we are on so many issues that matter so much?

Last month the American Music Awards had its annual televised extravaganza. While show’s format inevitably presented fodder for conservative criticism, late in the program, singers Christine Aguilera and Ian Axel took the stage to deliver a new song of extraordinary beauty. Not only was the song utterly apolitical and touched universal themes, if you changed just a few words it could have been a gospel hit delivered by Hillsong.

The rapturous reception this song received, and the enduring power of a song like this before any audience, speaks to something universally present in the American psyche that can still be tapped – traits all Americans share of empathy, compassion, hope, and transcendental love.

So much has been alleged about how facts guide the conservative right-wing agenda, and emotion guides the liberal left-wing agenda. There’s probably some truth to this. One could go further and allege that to the extent the conservative agenda invokes fear and emotion, it is fear and emotion based on facts – welfare states cannot afford to absorb millions of unskilled immigrants year after year; the nations of the world cannot stop using fossil fuel without suffering economic calamity. Conversely, one might allege that the liberal appeals to fear and emotion – open the borders because otherwise you have no heart; abandon fossil fuel because if not the planet will swiftly become uninhabitable – are either blatantly counterfactual, or wild distortions.

But even if the most convincing assertions of the conservatives are correct, does this have to overshadow the things we share? Does this have to mean that conservatives can’t read this, hear this, experience this, and be moved by it?

I want to believe in a world we can’t see
Millions of particles passing through me
And I know there’s a meaning
I feel it, I swear

What is the connectivity that brings the passion of a Christian into alignment with the compassion of a secular artist who feels life just as intensely, who searches for meaning with equal fervor, who wants to do good works just as much, who shares the same concerns about the future, the same reverence for the world we can’t see? In a society polarized by billion dollar communications monopolies that optimize their profits with negative clickbait and addictive algorithms, how does love break through?

Douglas Murray, who argues in his 2017 book, “The Strange Death of Europe,” that Christians and secular conservatives have to join together to save Western culture, goes one step further in his 2019 book, “The Madness of Crowds.” While Murray is no left-winger, he recognizes that the extremism of the Left is not only the product of a blueprint being systematically imposed on society by a hardened elite. He also diagnoses it as an expression of the human need to believe in something higher than themselves. Replacing God is Gaia; replacing Christ is John Lennon’s brotherhood of man, absent religion. And Murray understands that this urge for meaning is amplified and distorted by the Pavlovian power of social media. His answer – replace shaming and canceling people with forgiveness.

Fall on me
With open arms
Fall on me
From where you are
Fall on me
With all your light

The problem here, of course, is that forgiveness is just a word, at the same time as Americans are being programmed to grow further apart. But here again, American music offers anyone willing to listen an opportunity to feel transcendental empathy. Earlier this year, in the 61st Grammy Awards, folk singer Brandi Carlile delivered a stunning rendition of her hit song, The Joke. This is an explicitly political song, telling the story of a bullied boy in the first verse, a battered immigrant woman in the second. But the raw emotion of Carlile’s performance was universal. It wasn’t about Left or Right, or this boy, or that woman. It was about everyone who has ever been down. When these artists sing their hearts out, read between the lines. This is America. This is our culture. We care. We can do better. We will do better.

Conservatives can offer facts and solutions at the same time as they can embrace fully and share the feelings these artists express. Conservatives can look past and forgive the righteous hatred is so often directed at them by liberals, knowing that most liberals, in their hearts, want the same good things to happen in the world.

Take away the puppeteers, take away the technology driven Pavlovian polarization unique to this era, and we are still Americans. We can be bigger than our differences.

This article originally appeared on the website American Greatness.

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California Pioneers Subsidized Housing for Public Employees

When it comes to affordable housing, what California’s state legislators have done epitomizes what happens when you have a government bureaucracy that serves itself instead of the public, one that is under the complete control of special interests.

They have enacted laws that have made it nearly impossible for the private sector to build homes, which has made homes unaffordable. Then to supposedly solve the problem they created, they brought in the public sector to build “affordable housing.” Their “solution” is a preposterous fraud that has already wasted tens of billions, and the worst is yet to come.

Nothing about publicly subsidized affordable housing is affordable. As a matter of fact, government funded “affordable housing” costs far more to construct than privately funded housing. But thanks to the politically engineered shortage of privately funded housing, and thanks to the result of this, a politically engineered and unaffordable price to rent or purchase homes, public housing is being sold to voters as a humanitarian necessity. And after the taxpayers foot the bill to construct this housing, taxpayers then foot the bill to subsidize the “affordable” rental rates charged the lucky occupants. Forever.

Subsidized housing developments were once known as the “projects,” which back in the 1960s were built as part of the “war on poverty.” These attempts at providing free housing backfired, as tenants with no ownership stake had no incentive to care for their property. But at least the projects were built cost-effectively. No such luck this time around. Certainly not in California. By the time the litigation has ran its course, and the many expert consultants have taken their share, and the public bureaucrats have collected their fees, and the financial middlemen have been allotted their skim, the cost of these new public housing “projects” exceeds over $500,000 per unit.

From Flophouse to Bauhaus – Courtesy of Taxpayers

Critics of this astronomical price tag may relax, however, because affordable housing is no longer called “project” housing. It’s been rebranded! The new names, along with “affordable housing,” are “supportive housing,” “community housing,” and “municipal housing.” And instead of stark red brick mid-rise blocks of apartments, reminiscent of Ceaușescu’s proletarian barracks, today’s public housing may still be big boxes of concrete and steel, but they’re designed by visionaries, integrating “social justice” and “green design” into “transit oriented” utopias, replete with curved surfaces, a calming color palette, and “pedestrian paseos.”

The latest scam being foisted onto voters is called “workforce housing.” Never mind that government policies made housing unaffordable – let’s borrow money to build subsidized housing for government workers. This new scam taps into a few reliable voter sentiments. Not only is this “affordable housing,” but it’s financed through a school bond which only requires a 55 percent vote to get approved vs two-thirds for most other public bonds. This scam also taps into voter sentiment favoring anything to support schools and “the children,” as well as sentiment favoring helping our “public servants.”

Perhaps before providing some examples of this scam, let’s reiterate why it is a scam:

(1) Housing is unaffordable in California because government policies have made it impossible for private sector developers to construct affordable homes.

(2) Instead of changing these government policies, a coalition of public sector unions, crony developers, and financial intermediaries have decided to present voters with bond measures – already totaling tens of billions – to construct “affordable housing.”

(3) Due to the morally corrupt (but entirely legal) process costs – government planning and oversight, nonprofit service providers and partners planning and oversight, expert consultancy, litigation and settlement costs, financing costs, “green” compliance costs, “inclusion” compliance costs, project labor agreement costs, permits and fees, plus spectacularly expensive ongoing administrative costs – the total project cost per unit for these affordable housing projects actually exceeds what private development projects incur per unit, to the insufficient, limited extent those private projects are approved.

(4) Public employees are indeed unable to easily afford to live in the communities they serve, but that’s because everyone is unable to easily afford to live in these communities.

(5) It is alleged that representing “workforce housing” as eligible for the lower threshold of 55 percent voter approval because it’s a school bond may be illegal.

Bearing in mind that the first four reasons are reasons enough for this new practice to be a scam in every sense of the word “scam” (scam: “a dishonest scheme”), nonetheless, examples of #5 should be exposed. With help from Richard Michael, who for years has fought local government corruption and publishes (and perpetually updates) his website “,” here are a few:

2018 Local California School Bonds that Included Funds for Workforce Housing

Pittsburg Unified School District, Measure P, $100 million

Jefferson Elementary School District, Measure U, $30 million

Palo Alto Unified School District, Measure Z, $460 million

Monterey Peninsula Unified School District, Measure I, $213 million

Pacifica School District, Measure O, $55 million

Perhaps we should be surprised that only five ballot measures of this nature could be found on local ballots in California during 2018. Then again, this is a whole new frontier of government expansion. Housing as not only a human right, but as an obligatory government entitlement, and never mind the fact that government policies made housing unaffordable.

Maybe the paucity of school bonds with “workforce housing” funding buried in the fine print is because it’s a new innovation. Or maybe it’s the fact that including “workforce housing” in a school construction bond is quite possibly illegal, since school construction bonds are for, imagine this, school construction. But the 55 percent threshold isn’t absolutely critical – three of these five were passed by over a two-thirds vote.

And what of bonds that require a two-thirds vote? How do they fare, and to what extent are these bonds offering “workforce housing”? A look at San Francisco’s Prop. A, which piled another $600 million in borrowing onto the tens of billions already spent by taxpayers to provide “affordable housing” and “supportive housing” offers a glimpse into the future. Because in Prop. A’s allocation of funds – which doesn’t unequivocally require a single unit of new housing, just rehabilitation of existing housing – is $20 million for “educator housing.”

San Francisco’s Prop. A was approved by 71 percent of voters.

Current California Housing Policies Are a Fraud

Across the state, voters have been conned into borrowing – against their future tax payments – tens of billions of dollars in pursuit of housing for the homeless, housing for low income residents, and, now, housing for public employees. All of this is a “dishonest scheme.” It is a monstrous fraud.

It is a fraud because the model being pursued will never solve the problem. By the latest estimates, California has over 150,000 homeless, well over 1.5 million state and local public employees, and at least 7 million people living below the poverty line. Shall all these 8.65 million people receive government subsidized housing?

A few basic calculations provides the answer: To provide “supportive housing” for all of California’s 150,000 homeless, even at $250,000 per unit – which is rock bottom and extremely unlikely to ever constitute the average cost – taxpayers would have to shell out $37.5 billion.

And what about “workforce housing”? Does anyone expect public employee unions to tolerate the lottery style allocation of subsidized housing to a select few, which is the process endured by low income families? One may rather expect these benefits to proliferate, finding their way into operating budgets as well as buried in bond measures. Again, even at a low-balled $250,000 per unit – taxpayers would have to shell out $375 billion.

As for “affordable housing,” it’s fair to say that the sky high home price equilibrium would be broken long before 7 million affordable housing units ever got built. But it’s also fair to wonder how on earth any private sector housing will remain in California – apart from plush high rise condos for the international investor class – when they’re competing with taxpayer funded developments at the same time as punitive laws continue to make it almost impossible to build without subsidies.

When it comes to housing, as with so many other things, California leads the nation. Instead of building practical enabling infrastructure and limiting their zoning laws and building codes to practical necessities, they have institutionalized a system of rapacious yet totally legal corruption, masked by moral imperatives.

It is a fraud of historic proportions, with incalculable cost and tragic consequences.

This article originally appeared on the website California Globe.

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Is Another YouTube Purge Imminent?

Get ready for the new euphemism for social media censorship: “no longer commercially viable.” YouTube on December 10 reportedly will implement new terms of service that allow the video-sharing goliath to end creator accounts summarily if they cannot be monetized. And how will YouTube decide if an account cannot be monetized? By removing ads from a channel ahead of the changing terms.

British nationalist Laura Towler sounded the alarm on Wednesday and urged her viewers to subscribe to her BitChute account after receiving a notification from YouTube of the impending changes. Towler reported that her videos were still monetized as of Tuesday. But after she received the notice, she discovered that YouTube had peremptorily removed all of the ads on her videos.

As a result, her channel is “no longer commercially viable.”

Since 2016, and with increasing frequency, conservatives and nationalists are seeing their YouTube channels erased, often with no warning or explanation. In the blink of an eye, years of work creating content and building an audience are lost, often along with the related income.

Towler is not the first right-of-center vlogger to warn of another impending purge. Earlier this month, Chadwick Moore, a columnist for Spectator USA with 51,100 Twitter followers, tweeted: “Any political YouTubers with remotely interesting, controversial, or right-of-center content needs to set up their @bitchute or other alt account now and start moving videos over and promoting their new platform. Sources say massive purge is starting mid-December. Worse than ever.”

The timing makes sense. With the Christmas season getting into full swing and the 2020 primary elections beginning in January, everyone’s a little busier than usual and might not notice that their favorite YouTube channel has disappeared.

In the depleted field of content creators that YouTube has still permitted to post despite their unwelcome content, who will be left standing?

The Nonaggression Pact Between Social Media Monopolies and Establishment Conservatives

If the entire weight of America’s libertarian-conservative billionaire network were deployed to defend the First Amendment and resist the decisions by social media monopolies to purge nationalist content, they might still do it, but they’d have a fight on their hands. But just as Molotov and Ribbentrop agreed to carve up Poland in 1939, it appears there is, at the least, a tacit nonaggression pact in place between establishment conservatives and the social media giants.

As an aside, and to show just how much has changed in American culture, there was a time when the ACLU would have defended Lana LokteffJames Allsup, and all the rest of YouTube’s digital desaparecidos.

Over the past few years, and especially during 2019, Google and Facebook have been buying their way into conservative and libertarian circles. Within the network of think tanks and PACs known as “Conservatism Inc.,” who knows how much money they’re throwing around. It’s a smart business move for these social media monopolies. When people who develop ideas are getting paid, they tend to develop paid for ideas.

Google and Facebook can afford to buy their way into pretty much anything. Google’s value as a company now exceeds $900 billion, and their most recent balance sheet shows they are sitting on an astonishing $109 billion in cash. Facebook, way behind Google and yet rich beyond comprehension, has a market value of $567 billion, with a mere $41 billion in cash lying around.

Several weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting two Google operatives who were staffing a table in the networking hall at a national libertarian/conservative conference which shall remain unnamed. Apparently these two Google employees had been experiencing nothing but warm affirmations of their private company prerogative to censor whomever they want, but they became uncomfortable when asked about their YouTube subsidiary’s systematic deplatforming of various independent channels such as Red Ice TV (still available on BitChute). The more poised of the two promised to refer me to someone in the Google organization who “would love to talk with you.”

Pick Your Purge

After multiple follow up emails sent in the subsequent weeks, a brief reply directed me to “” Following many more emails and voicemails left with Google’s press relations office, the following reply came on November 21:

“Hi — Per Susan’s Q3 Creator Letter, YouTube is built on the premise of openness. Based on this open platform, millions of creators around the world have connected with global audiences and many of them have built thriving businesses in the process. But openness comes with its challenges, which is why we also have Community Guidelines that we update on an ongoing basis. And over the last few years, we’ve been investing significantly over the past few years [sic] in the teams and systems that protect YouTube. This work has focused on four pillars: removing violative content, raising up authoritative content, reducing the spread of borderline content and rewarding trusted creators. Thanks, Google Press Team”

First of all, do these sound like the words of a platform, or a publisher?

Exactly what “Community Guidelines” were “violative” in the removal of Allsup and Red Ice TV? Could it be this?

“Our products are platforms for free expression. But we don’t support content that promotes or condones violence against individuals or groups based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, nationality, veteran status, caste, sexual orientation, or gender identity, or content that incites hatred on the basis of these core characteristics.”

The operative words here, to justify deplatforming, would not be to “promote or condone violence,” because channels are banned that haven’t done that. They must be “content that incites hatred on the basis of these core characteristics,” and there’s a huge problem with this. Because anything nowadays can be said to “incite hatred.”

YouTube is not a publisher. It is a platform and this means it is exempted from liability for whatever content appears on the channels of individual creators. If content doesn’t violate the First Amendment, it supposedly cannot be removed from a platform. The only reason YouTube can get away with it is that its parent company is sitting on $109 billion in cash and can overwhelm any legal challenge.

But who would challenge them? Not libertarians, because Google is a “private company”—as if that justifies violating the conditions of its platform exemption. Would Conservatism, Inc. challenge Google, or not? Is Google now pouring some of that $109 billion in cash into donations to the charitable foundations and PACs that dole out money to conservative groups?

The legal questions just got more subtle, however, with YouTube’s new “terms of service.” Who is to deny advertisers the right to demand their ads avoid various types of content? Who is to deny a platform the right to deny a forum to channels that lack “commercial viability”? Can you occupy part of the public square, if you don’t pay for it? But don’t taxes subsidize the internet?

And who will pay for the attorneys to make these arguments on behalf of the banished, if the ACLU and other powerful left-wing pressure groups, establishment conservatives and libertarians, and every major corporate online advertiser in America are paying legal fees for the other side?

Censorship Validates Extremist Rhetoric, Honest, Open Debate Does Not

YouTube and its parent company, Google, had better think carefully about what they’re about to do. Because the nationalist Right will consider another round of silencing not only to be a validation of their perception of a double standard, whereby social media monopolies hold conservative content to a different standard than liberal content but also that this shows how social media monopolies have bought off the more moderate right-wing. In other words, they will view the moderate right-wing as complicit in the corporate muzzling of free speech. Then what?

The strange case of Nick Fuentes offers a glimpse into what could come next. Only 21 years old, Fuentes likely would not have such a high-profile if not for the social media giants’ aggressive deplatforming efforts. It was only after other voices were silenced that he rapidly accumulated millions of views on his YouTube channel and his website attained an Alexa ranking that your average libertarian think tank only dreams of achieving. Fuentes not only became part of a shrinking set of alternative voices still active, all of his pronouncements—from inconvenient facts to outrageous invective to outright racism—gained credibility.

One of the best summaries of what Fuentes has done can be found on the channel of an anonymous British YouTuber with 61,000 subscribers who goes by the name “On the Offensive.” He presents a 30 minute series of video clips of college events hosted by Charlie Kirk’s Turning Point USA, where nearly every person during the Q&A asks uncomfortable questions about immigration and other issues where they feel betrayed by what they allege is a co-opted conservative establishment.

Thanks to Fuentes and others, including the more studious Vincent James, there is now an intensifying civil war between what might be described as the nationalist right vs the globalist right, despite the fact that both parties to this war are largely comprised of Trump supporters.

Red Ice TV’s Lana Lokteff, in a recent American Greatness interview, had this to say about deplatforming: “If an idea is harmful or just awful, best to talk about why that is and air everything out from every angle. The best argument wins. The truth should not fear any inquisition. If we do not, that is what creates desperate people doing radical things to be heard.”

You can agree with that sentiment even if you disagree with everything else.

Google, Facebook, and the rest of the social media giants, along with, perhaps, their new partners in Conservatism Inc., need to realize an historical truth. Every time you mow down another voice, the replacement voice arrives immediately, it grows faster and uses the censorship threat as justification for even more extreme speech.

Censorship validates extremist content, both for the producer and the consumer.

This article originally appeared on the website American Greatness.

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