Putting An End To A Really Bad Idea

Breitbart reported yesterday that President Trump has announced that his administration is moving forward to eliminate the AFFH (Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing) rule. I wrote about this rule on July 1 (article here). The goal of the rule is to end single-family housing in the suburbs.

The article at Breitbart reports:

During his remarks last Thursday, the president targeted the disastrous Obama rule.

“The Democrats in D.C. have been and want to, at a much higher level, abolish our beautiful and successful suburbs by placing far-left Washington bureaucrats in charge of local zoning decisions,” Trump said on the White House South Lawn. “They are absolutely determined to eliminate single-family zoning, destroy the value of houses and communities already built, just as they have in Minneapolis and other locations that you read about today. Your home will go down in value, and crime rates will rapidly rise.”

Trump continued:

Joe Biden and his bosses from the radical left want to significantly multiply what they’re doing now. And what will be the end result is you will totally destroy the beautiful suburbs. Suburbia will be no longer as we know it. So, they wanted to defund and abolish your police and law enforcement while at the same time destroying our great suburbs.

“The suburb destruction will end with us,” the president said, adding:

Next week, I will be discussing the AFFH rule — AFFH rule, a disaster — and our plans to protect the suburbs from being obliterated by Washington Democrats, by people on the far left that want to see the suburbs destroyed, that don’t care. People have worked all their lives to get into a community, and now they’re going to watch it go to hell. Not going to happen, not while I’m here.

The article concludes:

The AFFH rule is a bald-faced federal government takeover of every community. By using its power to approve banking and funding, the federal government would have the ability to tell suburban areas who will be allowed to live in their neighborhoods and what kind of homes they can build to force immigrant and low-income residents into every neighborhood. In the end, the rule would destroy wealth and lower property values. It would also tend to undermine any bastion of conservative voters by injecting government-dependent voters into every single American community.

Ending this rule is a welcome idea to those who imagine that the federal government should not be telling people how to build their communities.

Notice that this is a government program–not a law passed by Congress. It is time we went back to the idea that laws are passed by Congress–not created by un-elected government bureaucracies.

Warped Programming

There is a saying in computer circles, “Garbage in, garbage out.” That saying also applies to learning and governance. A person’s basic perspective on life will determine their success, their ability to get along with people, and their general happiness. All of us at one time or another have avoided someone who simply is not pleased with or grateful for anything. Their warped perspective has prevented them from being happy. Well, we are about to see another warped perspective invade an area of our government.

Yesterday The City Journal posted an article titled, “Cult Programming in Seattle.” The subheading on the title is, “The city is training white municipal employees to overcome their “internalized racial superiority.”” This sort of thinking (and training) is not going to promote racial harmony. As soon as you accuse someone of something negative because of their race, you are making a racist statement. It really doesn’t matter what race you are or what race you are attacking–it is a racist statement. What is the difference between saying ‘you are racist because you are white’ and ‘you are less intelligent because you are black’?

The article reports:

Last month, the City of Seattle’s Office of Civil Rights sent an email inviting “white City employees” to attend a training session on “Interrupting Internalized Racial Superiority and Whiteness,” a program designed to help white workers examine their “complicity in the system of white supremacy” and “interrupt racism in ways that are accountable to Black, Indigenous and People of Color.” Hoping to learn more, I submitted a public records request for all documentation related to the training. The results are disturbing.

At the beginning of the session, the trainers explain that white people have internalized a sense of racial superiority, which has made them unable to access their “humanity” and caused “harm and violence” to people of color. The trainers claim that “individualism,” “perfectionism,” “intellectualization,” and “objectivity” are all vestiges of this internalized racial oppression and must be abandoned in favor of social-justice principles. In conceptual terms, the city frames the discussion around the idea that black Americans are reducible to the essential quality of “blackness” and white Americans are reducible to the essential quality of “whiteness”—that is, the new metaphysics of good and evil.

Again, the idea that white is evil and black is good is racist, just as the reverse is racist.

The article continues:

Once the diversity trainers have established this basic conceptual framework, they encourage white employees to “practice self-talk that affirms [their] complicity in racism” and work on “undoing [their] own whiteness.” As part of this process, white employees must abandon their “white normative behavior” and learn to let go of their “comfort,” “physical safety,” “social status,” and “relationships with some other white people.” As writer James Lindsay has pointed out, this is not the language of human resources; it is the language of cult programming—persuading members they are defective in some predefined manner, exploiting their emotional vulnerabilities, and isolating them from previous relationships.

It’s important to point out that this “interrupting whiteness” training is not an anomaly. In recent years, nearly every department of Seattle city government has been recruited into the ideological fight against “white supremacy.” As I have documented, the city’s homelessness agency hosted a conference on how to “decolonize [their] collective work”; the school system released a curriculum explaining that “math is a tool for oppression”; and the city-owned power company hired a team of bureaucrats to fight “structural racism” within their organization. Dozens of private companies now offer diversity training to public agencies. The idea that all whites have unconscious, “implicit bias” that they must vigilantly program themselves to overcome has become an article of faith across corporate boardrooms, academia, and law-enforcement agencies, even though the premise is unscientific and impossible to verify.

The endgame is to make Seattle’s municipal government the arbiter of the new orthodoxy, and then work outward. At the end of the session on “internalized racial superiority,” the diversity trainers outline strategies for converting outsiders and recommend specific “practices for interrupting others’ whiteness.” In effect, the activists have organized an ideological pyramid scheme—using public dollars to establish their authority within the government, then using that authority to recruit others into the program. As Lindsay writes, “the goal is no longer to indoctrinate on what is ‘rightthink’ and ‘wrongthink.’ It is to make the [subject’s] thinking be completely in line with the view of the world described by the cult doctrine.”

Please follow the link to read the entire article. It is chilling.

A Synopsis Of What Obamagate Was And How It Happened

Yesterday Andrew McCarthy posted an op-ed piece in The Washington Examiner detailing some of the highlights of Obamagate. Please follow the link to read the entire article. I am going to focus on a few highlights.

The op-ed notes:

The Trump-Russia inquiry was ingeniously designed. If the president demanded that his subordinates unveil the intelligence files that would reveal the prior administration’s political spying, he stood to be accused of obstructing investigators and seeking to distract the country from his own alleged criminality.

On that score, an underappreciated aspect of the saga is that Trump came to office as a novice. His unhinged Twitter outbursts obscure an abiding uncertainty about the extent of the president’s power to direct the intelligence bureaucracy. A more seasoned Beltway hand would have known what he could safely order reluctant bureaucrats and Obama holdovers to produce for him or disclose to the public. Trump, however, was at sea. That is why it was so vital for his antagonists to sideline Michael Flynn and Jeff Sessions, Trump loyalists with deep experience in intelligence and law enforcement, who could have put a stop to the farce if they’d remained, respectively, national security adviser and attorney general.

The article concludes:

There are two lessons to be drawn from all this.

First, Barr could not be more right that the malfeasance in our government today is the politicization of law enforcement and intelligence. The only way to fix that is to stop doing it. That cannot be accomplished by bringing what many would see as the most politicized prosecution of all time. The imperative to get the Justice Department and the FBI out of our politics discourages the filing of charges that would be portrayed as banana-republic stuff. Yet, even if Barr succeeds in this noble quest, there is no assurance that a future administration would not turn the clock back.

Second, when wayward officials are not called to account, the powers they have abused become the target of public and congressional ire. The problem is that the powers are essential. Without properly directed foreign counterintelligence, supplemented by legitimate law enforcement, the United States cannot be protected from those who would do her harm.

The Trump-Russia farce has destroyed the bipartisan consensus on counterterrorism, and on the need for aggressive policing against cyberintrusions and other provocations by America’s enemies. There is an implicit understanding: The public endows its national security officials with sweeping secret authorities, and those officials solemnly commit that these authorities will only be used to thwart our enemies, not to spy on Americans or undermine the political process.

That understanding has been fractured. In counterintelligence, government operatives have to be able to look us in the eye and say, “You can trust us.” Americans no longer do. The sentiment is justified. That will not make our consequent vulnerability any less perilous.

Consequences for the guilty parties would be appropriate. However, until the American public is educated on exactly what happened, any consequences are going to look political. What is needed at this time is a massive education campaign to bring the general public up to speed. Unfortunately, the mainstream media is not likely to participate in that campaign. I am concerned that because of the dishonesty of the mainstream media,  many Americans have no idea that there actually was an attempted soft coup against President Trump. Attorney General Barr and those working with him will need the wisdom of Solomon to navigate the maze that lies before them.

A Wonderful Idea That Will Go Nowhere

I have no idea how to drain the swamp in Washington. My first thought would be to fire all lobbyists, but somehow lobbying would still happen. Million dollar businesses always seem to find a way to survive. However, every now and then someone in Washington comes up with a good idea. That good idea does not always survive, but occasionally it does.

Just the News reported yesterday that four Republican senators are introducing legislation that seeks to eliminate government waste by establishing a bipartisan commission tasked with reviewing federal agencies and furnishing cost-cutting recommendations.

The article reports:

The Agency Accountability Act proposed by Florida Sen. Rick Scott, Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo, Indiana Sen. Mike Braun and North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis calls for the creation of a bipartisan Federal Agency Sunset Commission. 

The 13-person commission would be comprised of people appointed by House and Senate majority and minority leaders and one person appointed by the president. Of the three appointees made by each of the majority and minority leaders, two must be appointed from members of the respective chamber of Congress and one must be appointed from outside.

At a minimum the group would need to evaluate all federal agencies and advisory commissions one time each six years and then provide a recommendation about whether those entities should be reorganized, nixed or remain the same.

If the commission suggests changing or dispensing with a government entity, it is supposed to provide Congress with proposed legislative language to carry out the suggested changes. If the commission recommends no change it is supposed to explain its evaluation to Congress in a report.

This is a fantastic idea that will be fought tooth and nail by bureaucrats who support big government.

In The Long Run, This Would Not Have Mattered, But It Was Still Irresponsible

Yesterday The Daily Signal posted an article about the shortage of N95 protective respirator masks. Some of the media have stated that President Obama chose not to replenish the stockpile of these masks after the 2009 H1N1 virus epidemic. That is true, but there is more to the story. At this point I would like to note that the masks have a shelf life of five years–even if President Obama had replenished the stockpile, in order for the stockpile to be any good it would have had to have been replenished again in 2014 and 2019. The responsibility for the shortage of these masks rests of both the Obama and Trump administrations. However, I think that the blame actually rests on the bureaucrats running the CDC and other health agencies inside the government.

The article notes:

H1N1, also known as the swine flu, drew down about 100 million N95 protective respirator masks.

Afterward, an H1N1 task force recommended that the Obama administration replace the masks in the national stockpile, according to reporting by the Los Angeles Times and Bloomberg News.

“If the Obama administration didn’t respond to a request for additional masks, and if they did not communicate that need to the incoming [Trump] administration, that would certainly make the present situation more difficult,” Amy Anderson, a registered nurse and co-founder of the Global Nurse Consultants Alliance, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview.

…The Los Angeles Times reported March 20 that the U.S. government ignored warnings in 2009, making no reference to Obama’s being president at the time. 

The CDC, under the George W. Bush administration, published a “National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza” in 2005. In that case, the government heeded the agency’s advice to stockpile medical supplies. 

…The International Safety Equipment Association and the federal H1N1 task force recommended replacing the N95 masks after the response to the swine flu drew down 100 million masks from the federal stockpile, the paper reported.

However, association President Charles Johnson told the Times: “Our association is unaware of any major effort to restore the stockpile to cover that drawdown.”

The problem with a medical emergency is that you generally don’t see it coming. Blaming any administration for current supply problems is not helpful. Finding a solution to those problems is helpful. It would be nice if the mainstream media would attempt to unite us rather than divide us. The reporting during the Wuhan Flu epidemic has been horrendous and very unhelpful.

Who Is Making Our Laws?

We have reached the point in our representative republic where the people making the laws are not the people the voters elect and not the people the voters can hold accountable. A very large percentage of our laws are in the form of regulations that come from un-elected bureaucrats who cannot be held accountable by the voters. Yesterday the Conservative Tribune posted an article about the cost of these regulations.

The article includes the following graphs:

Hidden Government TaxHiddenGovernmentTax2The article reports:

Most troubling is the the nature of our regulatory system. They are designed by rogue and unelected bureaucrats. Regulations effectively become laws with little oversight or accountability. 

This isn’t a small problem. Take for example your elected representatives in Congress. In 2015, CEI finds that Congress enacted 114 laws (that’s probably too many). However, unelected bureaucrats issued 3,410 rules in that same year. In other words, the “fourth” branch of government that is unaccountable issued 30 regulatory decrees for every one law passed by Congress. That’s simply insane. 

In total, there are 178,277 pages in the Code of Federal Regulations which outline the 94,000 rules currently on the books. The cost to enforce all these regulations comes at a massive price. CEI finds that federal agencies spent $63 billion in taxpayer dollars to administer and police this regulatory enterprise.

As bad as this seems, it’s about to get worse. There are currently 3,297 new regulations in the implementation phase. Of this total, CEI finds that 218 are considered “economically significant,” a definition the government uses when a regulation will have an economic impact of $100 million or more. 

The hidden regulatory tax is becoming dangerous to American democracy. The regulatory apparatus is out of control. Over the past 23 years, the number of regulations has increased by 2,060 percent. Individuals that are not elected, or confirmed by elected representatives, should not have such great authority and power over our lives. 

Please follow the link to read the entire article. It is eye-opening.