If the 2024 Election is Trump vs Newsom

It is of course impossible to predict who will win the Democrat and GOP nominations to run for president in 2024. With 27 months to go, nobody saw Bill Clinton coming, or Barack Obama, or Donald Trump. Black swan events (2020) and dark horse candidates (1996, 2008, 2016) are the rule, not the exception. But if one must make a prediction today, Donald Trump vs Gavin Newsom would be a good bet.

This matchup presents a challenge for conservatives. The weight of every powerful American institution will be even more devoted to crushing a Trump candidacy than they were in 2020, and the pressure on independents and even Republicans to disavow Trump will be unrelenting. And yet the alternative, Gavin Newsom, is unthinkable. He will do to America what he’s done to California.

The reasons California succeeds at all in the 21st century are in spite of Newsom, not because of him. It has the best weather on earth, a diverse economy, tech leadership, and an infrastructure built in the 1950s and 1960s which, though strained nearly to the breaking point by 30 years of negligence, still provides enough of a foundation to support 40 million residents.

Newsom’s legacy offers nothing that builds on the impressive accomplishments of previous generations of Californians. His political partners are public sector unions, who collect and spend over $1.0 billion in dues every year and use it to enforce single party rule, along with “green” nonprofits that wield staggering wealth and influence, along with […] Read More

Union Sponsored AB 5 Hits Independent Truckers

For four days last month, independent truckers blockaded the Port of Oakland, preventing goods from entering or leaving. Threats of arrest, along with the possibility of personal liability stemming from a lawsuit filed against the protesters by the Port of Oakland were sufficient to bring the blockade to an end. But the reasons for the protest have not gone away.

California’s trucking industry already faced difficult challenges complying with the state’s strict environmental laws. A recent ruling by the California Air Resources Board requires semi-trucks and other diesel commercial vehicles to have engines built in 2010 or newer by 2023. Under this new regulation, an estimated 40,000 trucks in California will have to be retrofit by next year. For independent truckers who own their vehicles and survive on thin margins, this is going to put them out of business. Thanks to the shortage of semi-conductors, there is a shortage of new engines and compliant trucks, making a costly investment even more expensive. The rising cost of diesel fuel has also put a financial strain on truckers.

And now on top of that, California’s 70,000 independent truckers are being hit with enforcement of AB 5, which has redefined “independent contractor.” Under the new criteria, most independent truckers will not be able to qualify. They will be forced to sell their trucks and either retire from the business, or drive as an employee of a shipping company.

For a while, AB 5, passed in the fall of 2019, didn’t […] Read More

The Reactionary Politics of Silicon Valley

For a while, the internet was an unambiguously revolutionary phenomenon. Everyone could broadcast truth to the world. But as the internet became ubiquitous, and with the more recent impact of social media and broadband, what had been a revolution is becoming a coopted new manifestation of establishment power. The modern internet is a propagandist’s dream. Perpetual internet access to an infinite audience and infinite content has altered the human psyche, making it easier than ever to manipulate the beliefs and passions of entire populations. Control of this interaction by a small handful of mega corporations in Silicon Valley has given those companies almost indescribable power.

The ironic surprise in all this is how Silicon Valley’s tech companies have used their power. They have embraced a reactionary politics, reflected in who they promote and who they erase. What online behaviors they reward, and where they direct the herd. To understand why Silicon Valley’s big tech companies have become reactionaries, one must understand how the American Left – which includes the overwhelming majority of big tech company employees and founders – has over the past 10-20 years moved from opposing corporate globalization to fully endorsing it. This shift, gradual but steady, came into the open with the election of Donald Trump in 2016.

The Populist Uprising Against Globalism

Donald Trump’s heresy was to focus on the negative impact globalism was having on Americans. He catalyzed a revolution by challenging what had become truisms for the establishment—trade deficits don’t matter or […] Read More

Manhattan Beach Firefighter Average Pay $328K Per Year

Negotiations between the Manhattan Beach Firefighters Association and the Manhattan Beach City Council have been stalled since May, when an impasse was announced. As reported in a local publication serving Manhattan Beach and nearby cities, firefighters and their supporters packed a July 19 city council meeting to urge the council to alter its stance in labor negotiations.

In the article, “Firefighters from Manhattan Beach and their supporters storm City Hall,” some of the firefighter union’s positions were noted. One of them was for the firefighters to receive “the same cost of living salary increases the other city unions received over the last 3.5 years, a period during with MBFA has not received an increase.”

In that regard, it would be useful to report what full time firefighters with the Manhattan Beach Fire Department earned in 2021, using data downloaded from the State Controller’s website.

A few things should be called out in the above chart. First – the employee compensation data the City of Manhattan Beach reported to the State Controller did not include any allocation of the payment the city makes towards the unfunded pension liability. This means the numbers you see in the “pension” column are for the so-called “normal cost” and therefore no argument can be made that they are inflated. One could make the argument that since no allocation whatsoever is made to active duty firefighter compensation to account for the city’s substantial unfunded pension debt, the average per firefighter […] Read More

The Big Lies We Cannot Question

The following was posted on social media recently by a widely respected California-based journalist:

“I don’t like being an alarmist but the epidemic of misinformation is becoming critical and increasingly dangerous. It was bad enough when we had a lying POTUS but it is now clear that it’s become a political tactic of a large part of one of our main political parties. And, if one major party can get away with mass lying, so can the other one, so I fear this will spread across ideological boundaries.”

It’s fair to say this reflects a majority opinion among journalists throughout the American media, and it invites a response. This journalist accuses “one of our main political parties” of engaging in “mass lying,” obviously referring to the Republicans and obviously blind to the lies promulgated by the Democrats.

The biggest lie allegedly spread by Republicans, now called “The Big Lie,” is to claim the 2020 election was illegitimate. But even if the 2020 election was not compromised due to a relentlessly hostile and partisan media, endless political persecution designed to damage Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, voting rules that were violated and manipulated in swing states, Zuckerbucks, and possibly much more, this assertion still isn’t a Republican “lie.” For better or for worse, there are diverse opinions within the ranks of Republicans. Some think it was a stolen election; others don’t.

But no such dissent exists among Democrats over some of the biggest lies ever told.

The lies Democrats unanimously […] Read More

Solutions to California’s Water Crisis

AUDIO: In the face of unprecedented cuts to available water, California cannot possibly conserve its way out of water scarcity. Fortunately there are a variety of solutions that would create water abundance, if the special interests that profit from scarcity can be exposed and overcome. Edward Ring with host Will Swaim on the National Review’s Radio Free California.

The 25 minute segment on water begins 1:24:00 into the podcast.

The Special Interests Behind a High Density Agenda

AUDIO: High density housing is not an inevitable byproduct of adapting to climate change or achieving an environmentally sustainable civilization. There is plenty of room and there are plenty of resources. But the high density agenda is pushed by special interests that gain power and profit when density mandates artificially inflate the cost of housing. Edward Ring with Kara McKinney on Tipping Point.

California’s Water Mismanagement

As Californians cope with another blistering summer during what is their third consecutive year of drought, the state legislature has still done nothing of substance to upgrade California’s water supply infrastructure. From the Klamath Basin on the Oregon border to the Imperial Valley on the Mexican border, farmers can’t irrigate their crops, and in every major city, residents are having their access to water rationed.

Not only is California’s state legislature and various state and federal agencies failing to invest in new water infrastructure, but they are actively undermining attempts to deliver more water to the state’s residents. In May, the California Coastal Commission denied a permit to Poseidon Water to build a desalination plant that would have produced 60,000 acre feet of water per year.

If desalination is the irredeemable problem child of water infrastructure according to environmentalists, surface reservoirs are its evil cousin. Hence the proposed Sites Reservoir, which would provide another 1.5 million acre feet of badly needed storage capacity, still faces what may be insurmountable odds: the requirement to allocate half of its yield to ecosystems means the remaining water the Sites Project Authority will be permitted to sell to cites and farmers may not be sufficient to qualify the project for construction loan guarantees.

The environmentalist assault on California’s water enabled civilization, unchallenged by the state legislature, is full spectrum. On the Klamath River, with an urgency that is entirely missing with respect to constructing the Sites Reservoir, or any other reservoirs, plans to remove […] Read More

The Dehumanizing Tyranny of Densification

A filing cabinet of human lives Where people swarm like bees in tunneled hives, Each to his own cell in the covered comb, Identical and cramped — we call it home. – Apartment House, by Gerald Raftery

The conventional wisdom among America’s liberals, often seconded and almost never challenged by conservatives, is that population growth in the United States should be channeled as much as possible into the footprint of existing cities. Surrounding cities should be “greenbelts,” suburban growth should be rejected as unsustainable “sprawl,” and human settlement in areas defined as the “urban/wildland interface” should be discouraged and whenever possible reversed.

This movement towards increasing the population density of cities and reducing population in rural areas is already enshrined in numerous state laws in California, and is quietly rolling across the rest of the nation. It is marketed as enlightened, environmentally sustainable urban planning, but this moral pretext obscures a self-serving density agenda that is shared by several powerful special interests. Among all the misanthropic trends in public policy that threaten the freedom and prosperity of ordinary Americans, the density agenda is probably the least discussed.

Before considering how population densification serves the interests of America’s economic and political elites, it’s important to recognize how it will fundamentally undermine the ability of American individuals and communities to retain their freedom and independence. You don’t have to reference Agenda 2030 – about which it is now almost impossible to find any negative commentary online – to understand […] Read More

Information for Californians That Want More Water

AUDIO: As the entire American West continues to dry up, California’s state legislature continues to behave as though water rationing is the only acceptable solution. Here is a discussion of a new book that describes how the initiative process can bypass the state legislature, the impediments to getting such an initiative before voters, and what provisions such an initiative would offer in order to create a future of water abundance instead of scarcity. Edward Ring with Bryan Miller on Nation State of Play.