Good News For Covid Patients In California

On Thursday, Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air about a recent ruling by US District Court Judge William Shubb on enforcement of AB 2098.

The article reports:

Can the state of California enforce its own idea of “scientific consensus” on doctors who treat patients for COVID-19? Not after last night, when US District Court Judge William Shubb slapped an injunction on enforcement of AB 2098. This undoubtedly sets up a showdown at the Ninth Circuit, but for the moment the gag rule on doctors has been shut down.

After reading Shubb’s opinion about how badly the state legislature crafted the law, however, Gavin Newsom might want to think twice about further exposure. In the first place, the law forces doctors to only convey the “scientific consensus” on COVID-19 rather than their own judgment, when no one — not the legislature or its attorneys — can provide a definition of that term in relation to COVID-19:

…Shubb agrees with the plaintiffs in this action, noting that the “scientific consensus” regarding a novel virus only under study for three years is at best an aspirational concept. In practice, as Shubb notes, the “consensus” — as defined by California’s reliance on public-health officials — has changed repeatedly in that time. That puts every doctor at risk for prosecution in California no matter what they might say in any given moment, a standard so unreliable as to practically embody the terms “arbitrary” and “capricious”:

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. Physicians know their patients better than the government. A physician is much more able to look at a patient, understand the degree of risk that person will have in dealing with Covid. There doesn’t seem to be logic in the way different people react to Covid, and doctors should be allowed to do what they think is best for their patients. For example, the doctors at Frontline Doctors had a very high success rate in treating Covid patients, yet the government did everything possible to silence them and to prevent them from successfully treating patients.

Hopefully this case is the beginning of patients and doctors reclaiming the rights of Americans to good medical care.

Taxing People Who Don’t Live There Anymore

Margaret Thatcher famously said, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” We are seeing that principle currently illustrated in the formerly great State of California.

On Monday, Fox News reported the following:

California lawmakers are pushing legislation that would impose a new tax on the state’s wealthiest residents — even if they’ve already moved to another part of the country.

Assemblyman Alex Lee, a progressive Democrat, last week introduced a bill in the California State Legislature that would impose an extra annual 1.5% tax on those with a “worldwide net worth” above $1 billion, starting as early as January 2024.

As early as 2026, the threshold for being taxed would drop: those with a worldwide net worth exceeding $50 million would be hit with a 1% annual tax on wealth, while billionaires would still be taxed 1.5%.

…The current version just introduced includes measures to allow California to impose wealth taxes on residents even years after they left the state and moved elsewhere.

Exit taxes aren’t new in California. But this bill also includes provisions to create contractual claims tied to the assets of a wealthy taxpayer who doesn’t have the cash to pay their annual wealth tax bill because most of their assets aren’t easily turned into cash. This claim would require the taxpayer to make annual filings with California’s Franchise Tax Board and eventually pay the wealth taxes owed, even if they’ve moved to another state.

The article includes a wonderful quote:

“A wealth tax could be particularly destructive in California, home to so many tech startups, because the owners of promising businesses could be taxed on hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of estimated business value that never actually materializes,” said Walczak (Jared Walczak, vice president of state projects at Tax Foundation). “Very few taxpayers would remit wealth taxes, but many taxpayers would pay the price. The only people who should genuinely love a California wealth tax are the ones who work in Texas’ economic development office.”

This is another really bad idea to come out of the State of California. I believe we fought a war to end ‘taxation without representation.’ If people no longer live in the state, they no longer vote in the state and are therefore not represented.

Good Advice For Parents

The world does not seem to be as safe for children as it used to be. There are adults in powerful positions that are supposed to protect our children that have in fact been putting them in danger. Some of the things our children are learning in school are not helpful for them and may actually be harmful in the long  run.

On Saturday, The Epoch Times posted an article written by child crimes investigator Terra Avilla, 36, of the District Attorney’s Office in Susanville, California.

The article notes three things parents can do to protect their children from predatory adults:

Number One–No Sleepovers

“I would not let them attend sleepovers,” she said. “This always draws a huge backlash, but after 11 p.m., there is nothing productive and good happening there.

“While I may trust the parents of my children’s friends, I have no control over who else may ‘pop’ in while my kid is there. The friends’ of their siblings, friends’ of the parents, neighbors, etc.”

Number Two–No Snapchat

“Nothing good comes from this app,” she shared in a video.

“Put all of their social medias on private and … refrain from talking to strangers on any social media platforms,” she told the newspaper. “Predators utilize fake accounts, pictures, even fake videos, phone numbers etc., to persuade young minds into thinking that they are their peers.

“Once they feel like this ‘person’—predator—is their friend, they have groomed them into sending photos and other personal information.

Number Three–No Keeping Secrets with Outside Adults

“Children need to know that an adult should never tell them to keep a secret,” she said. “Also, children should be told that they can tell you anything, and that no matter what anyone else says, you will love them no matter what.

“I have taken many heartbreaking cases where the perpetrator threatened to harm the victim’s family, pet sibling, etc.

“The victims are often told that the suspect’s behavior is their fault, that they will go to jail if they tell, etc.”

In a video, she also shared, “There’s a big difference between having a secret and keeping a surprise.”

There were also some other rules:

Number FourDon’t Force Your Kids to Hug or Kiss People They Don’t Want To, Not Even Family Members

…Number FiveKids Shouldn’t Use ‘Silly Names for Their Private Parts’

This is good advice for anyone raising children in today’s world.

Insanity In California

I suppose saying insanity is running rampant among California lawmakers is redundant, but it seems as if they are doing things to destroy their state’s economy on purpose.

On January 1, The Gateway Pundit reported the following:

Big rigs and buses made before 2010 are now banned from operating on California roadways.

The law, which went into effect on New Year’s Day, was part of a set of clean air regulations the California Air Resources Board passed nearly 15 years ago.

According to truck lobbying groups, the new law will prohibit about 10 percent of the commercial motor vehicles that are operating in the state.

“The rule applies to diesel vehicles that weigh at least 14,000 pounds. The air resources board said there are an estimated 200,000 vehicles that have yet to comply with the rule just days before the new year, including roughly 70,000 big rig trucks, or about 10% of the commercial motor vehicles operating in the state, according to trucking lobbying groups,” KCRA reports.

The board argued that newer engines are better at “filtering out harmful particulate matter.”

“When we passed the regulations in 2008, it was to reduce community exposure of toxic air contaminants, it is 100% to protect public health,” Gerald Berumen, spokesman for the air resources board, told the station.

The article notes:

A truck older than 2010 will be exempt if the engine is replaced with a model made in the last 12 years.

Those who drive fewer than 1,000 miles per year in the state can also apply for a low-use exemption.

The law making things more difficult for many truckers to operate comes as supply chain shortages are still a problem in many areas.

The article concludes:

“Many of us would have thought the consequences of California’s goods movements could be severe,” Rajkovacz (Joe Rajkovacz, director of government affairs for the Western States Trucking Association) said. “You can’t take that big of a percentage of the vehicles off the road, but with the slowdown in the economy, it remains to be seen what the impact will be.”

I understand the desire for cleaner air–most of us share that desire. However, to take 10 percent of the trucks off the road abruptly is going to create some serious supply-chain problems. I really wonder if Californians are happy with their elected officials.

Making Statistics Say Whatever You Want Them To

On Wednesday, The Washington Examiner posted an article listing the three most unsafe states in the country. The states listed were Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas. I wondered how New York, California, and Illinois didn’t make the list, but then I saw the criteria.

The article reports:

The results of the study were formed by taking 53 key safety indicators that were grouped into five categories, then comparing how all 50 states fared in each of these indicators. The data examined included the percentage of people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 , assaults per capita, and the unemployment rate, all of which fell under five categories: personal and residential safety, financial safety, road safety, workplace safety, and emergency preparedness, according to WalletHub.

Just for my own entertainment, I decided to look up some crime statistics for Chicago.

A website called vanlifewanderer reported the following:

Statistically speaking, Chicago is an slightly unsafe place to visit. In 2020, Chicago reported 26,583 violent crimes and had a violent crime rate of 967.93 per 100,000 people. Chicago’s violent crime rate is more than twice the national average and is on par with cities like Philadelphia, Houston and Cincinnati.

The same website reported the following about New Orleans:

In 2021, New Orelans reported 201 homicides, 712 rapes, 1,106 robberies and 3,196 aggravated assaults.New Orleans had the 14th highest violent crime rate in the country in 2020.New Orleans’s violent crime rate is 2.1x greater than the state average.New Orlean’s has a similar crime rate to Albuquerque, Baltimore and Kansas City.

The article at The Washington Examiner reported:

“There may be countless threats and hazards for folks to consider when considering areas to where they might remain or relocate,” said Rebecca Rouse, a professor at Tulane University in Louisiana. “Hazards include weather, climate, air quality, natural disasters, technological failures, accidental events, and more.”

The safest states included in the survey were Vermont, Maine , New Hampshire, Utah, and Hawaii . Vermont and Maine were in the top three states for personal and residential safety, while Maine ranked as the best state for emergency preparedness, the study found.

Based on the number of cases of people fully-vaccinated against Covid who have contacted the disease, I don’t think the rate of vaccination should be considered in calculations involving the safety of a state. The recent spike in subway crime in New York City and the amount of gun violence during an average weekend in Chicago would be much more concerning to me than whether or not the person standing next to me was vaccinated.

 

 

Cherry Picking The Facts

I belong to a few liberal groups on Facebook–it helps me understand some of the thinking that is going on among liberal Americans. Sometimes I am amazed by what I read. Today was one of those times.

The following comment appeared:

Proof positive that leftist policies and socio-cultural norms (both legislatively and socially)are not only ideal, but a proven success.
That’s right republicans, states you run are economic failures , that’s a proven fact.
Toss that bible and take a lesson from the left coast. We moving on up to 4.

The comment was in reference to an article that appeared in Bloomberg with the following headline:

California Poised to Overtake Germany as World’s No. 4 Economy

Contrary to popular belief, the Golden State has proven resilient, outperforming its US and global peers.   

Note–the article at Bloomberg is an opinion piece–not a news article!

The article notes:

Gavin Newsom is as familiar as anyone with the media narrative of earthquakes, persistent wildfires, droughts, homelessness and companies fleeing California to Texas for a tax- and regulation-free lifestyle. This is nothing new. California’s governor recalls a 1994 Time Magazine cover story citing “a string of disasters rocks the state to the core, forcing Californians to ponder their fate and the fading luster of its golden dream.”

And yet, “the California dream is still alive and well,” the state’s 40th governor said in a Zoom interview a month before his probable reelection.

Attention–gaslighting alert!

Please follow the link if you choose to read the rest of the article. Meanwhile, here are a few facts.

The California Department of Justice reports:

Facts for 2021:

Crime Rates per 100,000 Population
*
The violent crime rate increased 6.7
percent in 2021 (from 437.0 in 2020 to
466.2 in 2021) (Table 2).

*
The property crime rate increased 3.0
percent in 2021 (from 2,114.4 in 2020 to
2,178.4 in 2021) (Table 2).

*
The homicide rate increased 9.1 percent
in 2021 (from 5.5 in 2020 to 6.0 in 2021)
(Table 2).

*
The burglary rate decreased 5.3 percent in
2021 (from 365.4 in 2020 to 346.2 in 2021)
(Table 2).

*
The rape rate increased 8.6 percent in 2021
(from 33.8 in 2020 to 36.7 in 2021) (Table
2).

*
The motor vehicle theft rate increased 8.2
percent in 2021 (from 422.4 in 2020 to
457.1 in 2021) (Table 2).

*
The arson rate decreased 4.4 percent (from
29.6
in 2020 to 28.3 in 2021) (Table 2).

In January 2022, Channel 10 News in San Diego reported:

A story you may have seen claims so many people are leaving California that U-Haul ran out of trucks in our state.

It’s apparently true.

U-Haul put out a news release in which it said California was the state that saw the biggest loss of one-way U-Haul trucks in 2021.

…California’s population has been steadily declining as more people leave the state while the number of people moving here has dropped.

The California Health Care Foundation reported the following in June 22:

The number of people experiencing homelessness served by California’s homelessness response system (Continuums of Care) increased from 188,000 in 2017 to 255,000 in 2020.

The Public Policy Institute of California reports:

The gap between high- and low-income families in California is among the largest in the nation—exceeding all but four other states in 2020. Families at the top of the income distribution earned 11 times more than families at the bottom ($270,000 vs. $25,000 for the 90th and 10th percentiles, respectively).

None of this sounds like a great place to live. Between crime, homelessness, and the income gap, it doesn’t sound like a socialist paradise. California is beautiful and has a wonderful climate–why do you think so many people are leaving?

Does North Carolina Need Medical Marijuana

In the past, my objection to medical marijuana has been based on the abuses I have seen in other states. Before California legalized recreational use of marijuana and after California legalized medical marijuana, the last four or five pages on the newspapers in California were filled with advertisements from doctors who were willing to prescribe marijuana for pretty much anything from dandruff to a hangnail. The medical marijuana clinics were simply supporting the recreational uses by placing a very thin veneer over the recreational use of the drug. Now, some other problems with marijuana are coming to light. Even as we learn that marijuana has some valid medical uses, we need to look at the downside of legalizing medical marijuana.

On Wednesday, The Carolina Journal posted an article that contained some warnings about legalizing medical marijuana.

The article reports:

Dr. Christian Thurstone, director of behavioral health at Denver Health and professor of psychiatry at University of Colorado, held a media event in October warning North Carolinians not to repeat Colorado’s mistakes surrounding medical marijuana. He was invited to speak by the Triangle Christian Medical and Dental Associations in reaction to N.C. Senate Bill 711, the N.C. Compassionate Care Act.

The bill passed the state Senate 36-7 on third reading in June but did not move in the state House before session ended. A similar bill is likely to be introduced next session and could be considered in 2023.

Thurstone spoke for about 45 minutes and then gave those attending a chance to ask questions.

Thurstone’s main criticisms were that SB 711 allows marijuana in any form for patients, including powerful food products; allows marijuana as a treatment for too many conditions; allows for more than one caregiver to handle the drug; spreads distribution throughout the state, so counties don’t have the option of opting out like they do in Colorado; permits distributors to own more than one center, which led to commercialization of the marijuana business elsewhere; and allows those under 18 to receive marijuana if they have a signature from guardian without specifying safeguards to prevent forgery of signatures.

He said, “This bill is about creating an industry,” and is less about creating a compassionate new form of treatment available.

…Thurstone went through a number of slides showing data about the immediate but temporary bump in those under 18 using marijuana after their bill passed and the more sustained increase of those 18-25 using marijuana (which is now at 32% compared to 23% in the U.S. overall).

Later he spoke about the boom in new powerful products like gummies and drinks that were legally available and advertised. Many of these products and strains have 20-30% THC, which is 10 times stronger than traditional marijuana which had 2% or 3% THC.

The “concerns” section of the speech was subtitled “cars and kids,” as those were the two main areas he said N.C. should keep in mind. For cars, he mentioned a spike in traffic accidents where the driver tested positive for marijuana, rising from 9% in 2009 to 21% in 2019 in Colorado. And despite jokes that high drivers are better because they drive slower, he said the evidence shows they have twice the risk of car accidents, due to difficulty staying in lane, slower reaction times, more weaving, and worse attention and distractibility scores.

Medical marijuana is not compassionate. It creates more problems than it solves. The explosion of vape shops in the state in recent years has as much to do with the increase in vaping as it does the idea that when marijuana becomes legal for medical use (and then for recreational use, which will follow), the shops will already be in place.

Make no mistake–medical marijuana will follow a path very similar to Oxycontin–it may begin well, but it will not end well.

Making A Bad Situation Worse

As of April of this year, California had the highest gasoline taxes in the nation [51 cents per gallon (article here)]. Now Governor Newsom is going to do something that will increase the pain at the pump for Californians.

On Sunday, Townhall reported:

Just when Californians thought they were getting a break on high gas prices, they shot up again, hitting $7 in some areas. 

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif) called for an emergency session of the state legislature to propose a tax that will rip off what he calls the “greed of oil companies.” 

“I’m calling for a Special Session to address the greed of oil companies. Gas prices are too high,” Newsom tweeted, adding “time to enact a windfall profits tax directly on oil companies that are ripping you off at the pump.” 

The oil companies are not ripping you off at the pump. The higher gasoline prices are caused by the Biden administration’s war on fossil fuel and by The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) deciding to reduce production in order to keep prices high. The Biden administration has done what it could to limit lending to oil companies while also limiting their ability to drill for oil. It has also stopped pipelines that cheaply and safely move oil from one place to another. The rise in prices at the gas pump are simply a reflection of the economic principle of supply and demand. Governor Newsom either never studied economics or chooses to ignore what he learned.

Remember, corporations do not pay taxes–their customers do.

The article notes that the Governor was mocked on Twitter for wanted to raise the tax on oil companies. At least some people on Twitter understand the economics of the issue.

The article concludes:

Meanwhile, California Assembly GOP leader James Gallagher and Vince Fong, the Assembly Budget Committee vice chair argued for Newsom to not call for the special session. 

They said that lawmakers should suspend the state’s gas tax if the governor does take this action. 

Stay tuned.

What Parents’ Rights?

On Sunday, Just the News posted an article about a law Governor Newsom of California signed on Thursday.

The article reports:

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation Thursday allowing California to take “temporary emergency jurisdiction” over a child that traveled to the state for transgender drugs or operations, stripping parents of their authority over their kids.

“States across the country are passing laws to demonize the transgender community, especially transgender youth and their parents,” Newsom wrote to the California State Senate upon signing the bill, adding that “82% of transgender individuals have considered killing themselves, and 40% have attempted suicide, with suicidality highest among transgender youth. This is unacceptable – we must fight for our youth and their parents.”

The law has been a major source of controversy. Parental rights groups around the country raised the alarm about then-bill SB 107, arguing it violates the Constitution by wrongly claiming jurisdiction over families from other states.

This is totally insane. The statistics the Governor cites regarding suicide are related to the mental problems these children are having–thinking they are trans and wanted to surgically altar their bodies is part of mental illness. Children who believe they are trans should be strongly encouraged to hold off on any permanent body changes until they are over 25. Science tells us that their brains are not developed enough to make that decision before the age of 25.

The article concludes:

“SB 107 makes California akin to the Pied Piper, enticing minor children nationwide to leave their families and run away in pursuit of harmful drugs and sterilizing surgeries, all of which cause irreversible harm to the minds, bodies, and family relationships of America’s precious children,” the letter said. “According to the American College of Pediatricians, 80 to 95 percent of children who experience gender confusion will ultimately embrace their biological sex if they are not encouraged to pursue gender identity treatments. Children experiencing gender confusion need the love, support, and guidance of their parents.”

Newsom, though, signed the legislation, which passed along party lines and will take effect at the beginning of the year.

“With the signing of this bill, California will ensure these kids and their families can seek and obtain the medical and mental health care they need,” Newsom said.

This is not the medical and mental health care they need! First of all, children who believe they are trans need to be taken off of social media where it is ‘cool’ to be trans. Then, objective mental health professionals need to spend time with them helping them sort out the reasons they are feeling this way. At one point, a therapist who was dealing with a young boy who wanted to be a girl learned that the boy had a younger sister who was handicapped and the boy simply wanted his parents to pay as much attention to him as they did to his sister. It would have been a horrible mistake to encourage that child to undergo medical procedures that would forever alter his life.

The Pitfalls Of Legal Marijuana

Recently, Our Patriot posted an article about some of the consequences California has faced as a result of legalizing marijuana. Unfortunately there is a lot of money being spent on legislators in a number of states to encourage them to legalize marijuana.

The article reports:

After a 2016 referendum, marijuana usage for recreational purposes was made legal in California. Legalization advocates said transitioning to a regulated, taxed market would be preferable to the chaotic, criminal trade that existed before. 

They assured us the legitimate marijuana industry would eventually drive out the black market. The current trend is in the other direction. 

In summary, the results of federal inaction and reduced state sanctions for marijuana infractions are unfavorable.

Instead of reducing crime, establishing a regulated marijuana sector has pushed criminality out into the state’s rural areas and sunk local politics to a new low in every corner of the Golden State. 

To obtain growing permits and legislative support for the industry’s expansion, local politicians now receive and demand enormous bribes. The Los Angeles Times cites an unnamed source who said bribe demands usually are in the low six figures. 

A degree of participation from federal law enforcement has been present in sting operations and the prosecution of corrupt officials. A number of stones must be missed for everyone that is turned over. 

The article concludes:

Officers in numerous departments confront or fear reprisal from drug traffickers and illegal marijuana farmers if they act on or even speak out against these groups. 

When authorities do undertake raids, the kingpins behind illegal grows are only somewhat inconvenienced, at best. Typically, only low-level personnel are targeted; cultivation can be back to work in a matter of days. 

The biggest irony is a record harvest and falling cannabis prices are threatening the legal trade, which has become so large, it is beyond the grasp of law enforcement. 

The Los Angeles Times puts it this way: the reduction in criminal punishments for significant marijuana infractions “lowered the cost of business” for black market farmers. 

The effects of the marijuana legalization trend in California need to be made known to the public.

Do not forget the suffering of a state already having problems under the hardships of energy shortages, rampant crime, and an escaping population trying to seek a better life elsewhere.

Other states have experienced similar problems with the legalization of marijuana. One county in Oregon has seen a dramatic increase in crime (article here).

In January 2021, CBS New in Colorado reported the following:

While alcohol is still the drug of choice, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation says 47% of drivers are testing positive for marijuana, followed by amphetamines and cocaine. The Colorado State Patrol says DUI arrests involving marijuana are up 48% in the last year.

Legalizing a mind-altering drug does not solve anything.

Ironic?

As Californians flee the inept (and expensive) government of their state, their destinations vary, but there is one very interesting destination.

On Wednesday, Hot Air posted an article with the following headline, “Californians are moving to Mexico City and not everyone is thrilled about it.” Where is the headline, “Illegal immigrants are moving to New York City and not everyone is thrilled about it?” At least the Californians moving to Mexico are immigrating legally–you can’t immigrate to Mexico illegally!

The article quotes the LA Times (this is the link, but it is behind the pay wall):

The influx, which has accelerated since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and is likely to continue as inflation rises, is transforming some of the city’s most treasured neighborhoods into
expat enclaves.

In leafy, walkable quarters such as Roma, Condesa, Centro and Juarez, rents are soaring as Americans and other foreigners snap up houses and landlords trade long-term renters for travelers willing to pay more on Airbnb. Taquerias, corner stores and fondas — small, family-run lunch spots — are being replaced by Pilates studios, co-working spaces and sleek cafes advertising oat-milk
lattes and avocado toast.

And English — well, it’s everywhere: ringing out at supermarkets, natural wine bars and fitness classes in the park.

The article at the American Thinker continues:

A 38-year-old university professor labeled the trend “modern colonialism.”

“Mexico is classist and racist,” Bustos said. “People with white skin are given preference. Now, if a local wants to go to a restaurant or a club, they don’t just have to compete with rich, white Mexicans but with foreigners too.”

Anyway, the story says that most locals are extremely polite to the Americans who are moving in to their luxury apartments. But I guess it’s not just people in Boise, ID and Austin, TX who get fed up with Californians showing up with a lot of cash and no respect for the local customs. Unfortunately for Mexico City, the exodus from California isn’t likely to stop anytime soon.

There is a certain amount of irony in this story. How often do you hear Spanish spoken in major cities in America? Now the residents of Mexico City are complaining because they hear English. Irony at its best.

The Rate Of Recovery

On of the principles in the founding of America was that each state would be run individually and become a laboratory for new ideas. If a state had policies that were succeeding, other states would then be free to copy the ideas that worked. However, we are not necessarily seeing that concept currently put in practice. If it were, California would be copying the policies of Florida rather than trashing the Governor of Florida.

On July 5th, The Wall Street Journal posted an article illustrating the contrast in the economic conditions of blue and red states.

The article reports:

The pandemic has changed the geography of the American economy.

By many measures, red states—those that lean Republican—have recovered faster economically than Democratic-leaning blue ones, with workers and employers moving from the coasts to the middle of the country and Florida.

Since February 2020, the month before the pandemic began, the share of all U.S. jobs located in red states has grown by more than half a percentage point, according to an analysis of Labor Department data by the Brookings Institution think tank. Red states have added 341,000 jobs over that time, while blue states were still short 1.3 million jobs as of May.

Several major companies have recently announced moves of their headquarters from blue to red states. Hedge-fund company Citadel said recently it would move its headquarters from Chicago to Miami, and Caterpillar Inc. plans to move from Illinois to Texas.

The article includes the following:

Pandemic Recovery

The economic recovery of states since March 2020 has been uneven. Index of state progress, based on 13 metrics including economic output, employment, retail sales and new-home listings.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It is fascinating.

The article concludes:

California’s public-school enrollment has fallen 4.4% since the pandemic, according to American Enterprise Institute. In Oakland, the school board recently voted to close schools because of declining enrollment.

Florida saw a surge in new residents, many from the Northeast, where Covid-19 related restrictions such as school closures were stricter.

At the Ohana Institute, a private school in Florida’s Panhandle, for kindergarten through 12th grade, the waiting list for students grew from 95 just before the pandemic to 393 last fall, Executive Director Lettye Burgtorf said.

Mrs. Burgtorf said the school fielded requests from hundreds of parents around the U.S. who wanted to move to Florida to be closer to the beach. Many were also unhappy that their children’s schools in other states had moved to remote learning. The Ohana Institute went remote for several weeks, then reopened, with mask mandates. “The parents were really like, ‘We cannot educate our kids at home,’ ” Mrs. Burgtorf said.

For years, a real estate boom in coastal cities made many families wealthy because their homes appreciated. Now, that is happening in red states. Florida led all states with a 31% jump in the median home price in the 12 months through January, with prices soaring in the Panhandle.

Such price increases can narrow the cost-of-living differential with the blue states that the migrants are fleeing, and increase living costs for longtime residents who don’t own homes,

These days, Mr. DeSantis’s spokeswoman said, one of the top complaints the governor’s office receives is soaring rent.

The law of supply and demand is at work in the Florida housing market.

Aggravating The Supply Chain Problem

On Saturday, The Blaze posted an article about a California law that would seriously impact the ability of independent truckers to work in the state.

The article reports:

A California law threatens to unleash more supply chain misery and inflation on residents of the Golden State by forcing independent truckers out of the workforce.

California Assembly Bill 5 was introduced by former state Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, a Democrat, and signed into law in September 2019 by California Gov. Gavin Newsom.

AB5 called for “a person providing labor or services for remuneration shall be considered an employee rather than an independent contractor unless the hiring entity demonstrates that the person is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, the person performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business, and the person is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business.”

Certain professions were exempt from AB5, including insurance agents, health care professionals, investment advisers, realtors, barbers, and fishermen. However, truckers were not exempt from AB5.

It is interesting that companies like Uber, Lyft, and Postmates were exempted from AB5 after Proposition 22 was passed in November 2020. Unfortunately truck drivers were not exempted.

The article notes:

The trucking industry has been fighting the law ever since it went into effect, and secured an injunction that prevented AB5 from including independent truckers in January 2020.

The Epoch Times notes:

“It’s unclear at this point how it will affect owner-operators that don’t live in the state of California,” Bradley told The Epoch Times.

“We are evaluating and looking at it closely, but putting 70,000 people out of work is not the thing to do when we have raging inflation and supply chain issues

The article concludes:

Lorena Gonzalez – who authored AB5 and resigned from the state assembly in January – had no sympathy for the truckers.

“They’ve known for the last two and a half years that it was equally possible that this injunction would not hold,” Gonzalez said. “This is not a shock.”

“The fact that trucking companies will have to abide by basic labor laws in CA takes us one step closer to rebuilding the middle class that was almost deregulated out of existence,” tweeted Gonzalez – who now heads the California Labor Federation.

On Wednesday, California Republican lawmakers implored Democratic Gov. Newsom to either delay the implementation of the law or exempt truckers from AB5.

Laws such as this may be one of many reasons people are leaving California and moving to states where they are free to start their own business and work for themselves.

 

Breaking The Budget In California

On July 4th, The U.K. Daily Mail reported that California Governor Newsom has proposed a budget that offers all illegal immigrants in the state, regardless of age, health insurance. At the same time he is doing this, he is paying for ads in Florida encouraging Florida residents to move to California. California residents are also fleeing California for Texas.

Below is a chart from June 2019 posted by fee.org:There seems to be a pattern there.

The article at The U.K. Daily Mail reports:

The expansion in healthcare is part of Medi-Cal, which already offers coverage for illegal immigrants younger than 26 and over 50 – as well as recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Now, the state is expanding that coverage option to 700,000 undocumented residents in the Golden State between the ages of 26-49 starting January 2024.

Migration continues to surge at the southern border with the third straight month of increased crossings in May.

Thousands of migrants part of a caravan that started in southern Mexico ended their travels toward the U.S. border just two days after setting off when they were handed permits to stay in the country for 30 days.

Mexican officials handed out 3,000 temporary residence permits on Sunday and ended the march of mostly Venezuelans and Central Americans.

The move comes after a United Nations Missing Migrants Project report revealed that more migrants died in 2021 in America than in any other year since it started recording data in 2014.

How many American citizens don’t have health insurance because they can’t afford it? We need to take care of uninsured Americans and veterans before we insure people who are here illegally.

 

The Beat Goes On…

Anyone who has been paying attention for the last few years knows that there are some politicians who would love to take the guns away from law-abiding American citizens. I won’t speculate on their specific motives, but I am cynical enough to believe not all of them actually believe that separating Americans from their guns will make anyone safer.

On Friday, Just the News posted an article about a new law proposed in California that would make owning a gun an expensive proposition in California.

The article reports:

A California state senator introduced legislation that would require gun owners to obtain liability insurance for the “negligent or accidental use” of their firearms, according to a press release from her office.

State Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, introduced SB 505 in hopes that California would become the first state in the country with this kind of law in place.

“Guns kill more people than cars. Yet gun owners are not required to carry liability insurance like car owners must,” Sen. Skinner said in a press release Thursday. “Why should taxpayers, survivors, families, employers, and communities bear the $280 billion annual cost of gun violence? It’s time for gun owners to shoulder their fair share.”

Skinner’s office describes the gun insurance required by SB 505 as “similar to car insurance.” Her office says that under the bill, gun owners would:

Be held civilly liable for property damage, injury, or death resulting from the use of their firearms Have to obtain liability insurance that covers losses or damages resulting from negligent or accidental use of their firearm, including property, damage, injury or death Have to obtain proof of gun insurance, keep that proof with their firearm, and produce it when asked by a peace officer during the course of a lawful detainment.

In other words, let’s make gun ownership so expensive and so inconvenient that no one will own a gun (except for criminals who don’t follow laws). That makes absolutely no sense and would probably increase the crime rate astronomically (see Chicago, Washington, D.C., and New York City for examples of cities with strict gun control laws).

Now is the time to fight to keep our Second Amendment strong. Those who would separate law-abiding citizens from their guns do not have our best interests at heart.

Those Who Fail To Learn The Lessons Of History…

The North Carolina legislature is currently debating the legalization of medical marijuana. There are some medical benefits to marijuana, but we also need to consider the downside. There are some medical benefits to Oxycontin, but we know how that worked out. Remember, we were told that Oxycontin was the answer to pain that was non-addictive and safe. We are being told the same thing about marijuana. One problem with medical marijuana is the regulation (or lack of regulation). During a visit to California many years ago, when medical marijuana was legal and recreational marijuana was not, the last five pages of the Sunday paper were ads by doctors who would prescribe medical marijuana for anything from ingrown toenails to broken bones. We should also be aware that laws permitting recreational marijuana use are a small step from laws permitting medical use.

A member of the Craven County Sheriff’s office informed me that a recent event in the County brought the perils of legal marijuana to the attention of our Sheriff’s Office. A package was intercepted in the Craven County mail that contained marijuana. The package came from Josephine County, Oregon, where recreational marijuana is legal. Josephine County in 2021 had a population of approximately 88,000 people.

A website called crimegrade.org reported the following about Josephine County:

Another site comments that the crime rate in Josephine County is steadily rising. So, what has been the impact of legalized marijuana on this county? The cartels have come in to buy the land to grow more marijuana. Sixty-six percent of the land is forest, and that land is being viewed as a potential source of revenue as marijuana fields. People are being forced to sell their land to the cartels or face dire consequences. There has also been an increase in arrests for driving while impaired and an increase in automobile accidents. I have heard from various law and order sources that marijuana is indeed a gateway drug. Addicts begin experimenting with other drugs in order to find a ‘higher high.’

A member of the K-9 Unit in Craven County shared some information about the impact of legalizing marijuana on the unit’s drug dogs. If marijuana becomes legal, the dogs have to be retrained not to sniff it out and/or be retired. That is expensive, time-consuming, and a difficult process. It could also have legal ramifications–a defense attorney could claim that the dog smelled marijuana, not an opiate, and the search of the vehicle or person that followed was not legal. The result of this is that police departments and sheriff’s offices that have dogs trained to sniff out marijuana are generally retiring the dogs. Since the cost of replacing a dog is between $9,000 and $15,000 per dog, they are rarely replaced. That alone will increase the amount of drug traffic in an area. It is also highly unlikely that the increased tax money from marijuana will be used to replace the dogs (as we have learned from the other states with the same issues that legalizing marijuana has caused).

When we talk about legalizing marijuana, we also need to think about the people we are ‘competing’ with for the money involved–the cartels. In California and Colorado, the state taxes on marijuana increased so rapidly that the cartels moved back into the picture. In June 2020 I posted an article at rightwinggranny about the cartels moving back into California because the state taxes on marijuana had increased so dramatically (article here:  https://www.rightwinggranny.com/?p=39161). The cartels are not nice people. They bring more crime into an area. We also need to think about the risks to police when cartels are active in an area. Consider the fact that a small amount of drugs may be worth thousands of dollars. The mule carrying those drugs knows that if he does not give the money for those drugs to his boss, he may lose his life. The stakes are high, and police and others lose their lives in the process. This is one of the more serious results of legal marijuana and the tax policies that follow.

Medical marijuana sounds like a reasonable solution, but it is actually the beginning of many more problems.

The Unmentioned Cost Of Green Energy

On April 25th, a website called phys.org posted an article titled, “Analyzing bird population declines due to renewable power sources in California.”

The article notes:

A team of researchers affiliated with a large number of institutions in the U.S. has attempted to determine the vulnerability of bird populations to alternative energy production. In their paper published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, the group describes studying the impact on bird populations in California.

While touted as , are not always Earth friendly. Production of solar panels, for example, results in pollution emitted into the environment. More widely known are the adverse impacts of wind and solar farms on animals, particularly birds. Birds can be killed when they try to fly through the rotating blades of wind turbines and they can die from overheating when they fly over large solar farms. They can also die due to displacement from their natural environment. In this new effort, the researchers veered from simply counting the number of birds that are killed by alternative power sources and looked instead to gauge the impact of the combined toll that alternative power plants are taking on populations of vulnerable bird species in California.

The article concludes:

The researchers found that of the 23 species they studied, 11 experienced declines of at least 20% due to exposure to alternative plants. They also found evidence of dangers to several populations due to harm done to migration networks, threats that go far beyond the location of plants.

As I have said many times before, more research is needed before we totally buy into the concept of green energy. It would also be helpful if the government got uninvolved in the quest for green energy and let the free market run free. In a sense, we are in a search for the perpetual motion machine. It may actually exist if fueled by wind or sunlight, but we haven’t found it yet, and the government should not push us into unproven technology.

The Social Police Are Coming For All Of Us

On Monday, The Wall Street Journal posted an article about a new policy in Walmart.

The article reports:

Walmart Inc. is ending cigarette sales in some U.S. stores after years of debate within the retail company’s leadership ranks about the sale of tobacco products, according to people familiar with the matter.

Cigarettes are being removed in various markets, including some stores in California, Florida, Arkansas and New Mexico, according to the people and store visits. In some of these stores, Walmart has rolled out a design with more self-checkout registers, as well as other items such as grab-and-go food or candy sold near the front of stores in place of Marlboro, Newport and other tobacco products.

Walmart, which has more than 4,700 U.S. stores, is removing tobacco products from select locations where the retailer has decided to use the space more efficiently, a spokeswoman said. “We are always looking at ways to meet our customers’ needs while still operating an efficient business,” she said. She declined to say how many locations will continue to sell cigarettes but said Walmart isn’t halting all tobacco sales.

I am not a smoker and hate the smell of cigarette smoke. However, tobacco is a legal substance. People are addicted to it, but it is a legal substance. Any retail outlet has the right to sell or not to sell any product it wants to; however, I wonder if this is a portent of things to come. Will bookstores stop selling conservative books (many already avoid putting them in prominent places)? Will grocery stores decide meat is bad for you and stop selling it? Will drug stores stop selling over-the-counter pain medication because some people become addicted? The decision by Walmart may lead to equally bad decisions by other retail outlets.

The article also notes:

As with tobacco, Walmart has pulled back on sales of firearms in recent years after similar internal discussions. It raised the age to purchase guns to 21 after the 2018 high-school shooting in Parkland, Fla., and discontinued sales of ammunition used in semiautomatic weapons and handguns after a 2019 shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.

At Walmart, sales of cigarettes are generally less profitable than some other items sold near the front of stores such as candy, according to the people familiar with the situation. It is also an operationally complex sale, eating into profits. Tobacco is kept in a locked case or blocked from shoppers. Food and Drug Administration regulations require that an employee make the sale. At Walmart, that employee must be over a specific age based on local laws and trained in tobacco sales. Theft is high throughout the supply chain, said some of these people.

Was this a decision based on principle or profit?

Some Perspective On Gasoline Prices

Issues & Insights recently posted an article about some of the behind the scenes aspects of the rapidly rising gas prices.

The article notes:

That gasoline prices are becoming unaffordable to many Americans is becoming old news. What got us here, though, is a story unheard by much of the public. It starts and ends with green politics.

As gasoline reaches prices that made it a luxury good during President Joe Biden’s year in office, the White House is considering asking the Saudis to produce more oil. At the same time, the administration apparently wants more oil from Venezuela, which is languishing under a dictatorship that’s squarely aligned with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Iran, a member in good standing with the axis of evil.

“Joe Biden is frantically searching the globe to see if anyone but Texas might have some spare oil,” says a tweet from Bryan Dean Wright, a former CIA officer and Oregon Democrat, that sums up well the comical blundering as well as the corrupt decision-making of the current White House.

The article concludes:

But green politics won’t allow the U.S. to take advantage of its bounty of crude and natural gas. Oddly, though, the environmentalists who hold energy policy hostage when Democrats are in power have no problem with this country importing oil from nations where the drilling and transportation processes are dirtier than they are in the U.S., and the regimes are not democratically elected.

This is the California model. Officials and activists’ rush to create an all-renewables electricity grid has forced the state to import energy from producers in Arizona, Baja California, Colorado, Mexico, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah that rely on natural gas, nuclear energy, and coal, three sources that California wants to eliminate from its portfolio. But this is acceptable, because it’s happening somewhere else, outside the view sheds of the wealthy enclaves on the coast.

It’s the same with the mining of the natural resources that are needed to build batteries for electric cars, cell phones, and other modern conveniences. The political left is happy to use these items as long as the extraction for material used in their manufacture is done away from their myopic gazes in countries where environmental protections hardly exist.

Yes, this not-in-my-back yard attitude is hypocritical, but worse than that, it produces poor public policy. We hope some day a majority of voters consistently figures this out in election after election.

Green energy destroyed the Spanish economy and did not lower carbon emissions (article here). Let’s not do that in America.

A Lot Of People Saw This Coming

There have been a number of arguments to legalize recreational marijuana over the years. I am not going to get into the right or wrong of legalization, but I am going to post an article about a not-so-inevitable outcome of that legalization in California.

On Saturday, John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article about some recent problems in California that are the result of legalizing marijuana so that the state government could tax it.

The article reports:

How many industries have been damaged or destroyed by high taxes and excessive regulation? A lot. But I have mixed feelings about this one: California cannabis industry on brink as buyers return to dealers.

The cannabis industry in California is on the brink of collapse because of high taxes and onerous regulations that have burdened legal operators and allowed illegal growers to flourish, campaigners have warned.
***
About 75 per cent of cannabis consumed in the state comes from illegal sources, industry figures say. They blame taxes, too much regulation and a failure to tackle illegal competition, which is free from red tape and able to offer cannabis at much lower prices.

Marijuana is cheap and easy to grow. Legal sellers complain that police do little to enforce the laws against illegal dope, but once the government declares marijuana to be A-OK, there isn’t much reason to prioritize a crackdown on those who sell a legal product but dodge taxes. The case against legalized marijuana having been abandoned, legal sellers are in somewhat the same position as the taxi companies who tried to get Uber and Lyft banned in various cities.

The article notes that the marijuana industry is trying to get tax relief. Obviously, if legalizing marijuana was done to raise tax revenue, seeking tax relief goes against the whole reason for legalizing it. Having the police crackdown on people who are growing marijuana at home for their own personal use makes about as much sense as arresting someone for growing five tobacco plants in their backyard.

Ranked Choice Voting

On Wednesday, Just the News reported that a legislative committee in California is about to hear a proposal to ban ranked choice voting in the state.

Fair vote has posted a map showing where ranked choice voting is in use in America:

The Heritage Foundation has one of the best explanations for Ranked Choice Voting that I have heard:

Think about what ranked choice voting destroys. It destroys your clear and knowing choices as a political consumer. Let us call it the supermarket contemplation. In reality, you are choosing one elected official to represent you, just like you might choose one type of steak sauce to buy when you are splurging for steaks. At the supermarket you ponder whether to buy A1, Heinz 57, HP, or the really cheap generic brand you have never tried.

In the real world, you compare price, taste, mood, and maybe even the size of the bottle and then decide on your steak sauce. You know nothing about the generic brand, so you rank it last among your choices, while A1 is ranked a distant third. In your mind, it comes down to Heinz or HP, and you choose the Heinz. You buy that bottle and head home to the grill.

Now imagine if, instead, you had to rank-order all the steak sauces—even the ones you dislike—and at checkout the cashier swaps out your bottle of Heinz 57 with the cheap generic you ranked dead last. Why? Well, the majority of shoppers also down-voted it, but there was no clear front-runner, so the generic snuck up from behind with enough down ballot picks to win. In fact, in this ranked choice supermarket, you might even have helped the lousy generic brand win.

Just the News reports:

The proposal (to end Ranked Choice Voting), contained in Assembly Bill 2808, would prohibit ranked choice voting in state and local elections. A ranked choice voting system allows voters to rank candidates based on preference, having voters indicate their first choice, second choice and so on.

The bill’s author, Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell, said in a statement that ranked choice voting “allows an election to be gamed.”

“Our democracy and our recent elections may be under heightened stress and scrutiny right now, but our long-established voting system is strong,” O’Donnell said. “We are a model for the world. We must not abandon our voting principles to chase the election flavor of the month.”

If passed, the proposal would shift how elections are completed in several areas across the state. Berkeley, Oakland, San Leandro and San Francisco adopted a ranked-voting system in the early 2000s and have used it for more than a decade to elect city officials, according to Fair Vote, an advocate of ranked choice voting. Additionally, Albany, Eureka and Palm Desert were set to begin using a ranked-voting system for local elections starting in November 2022.

…This bill is not the first time lawmakers have backed measures to prohibit ranked choice voting. Tennessee recently moved forward with its own ban on ranked choice voting earlier this week. Gov. Bill Lee signed legislation on Monday prohibiting the system from being used in state and local elections.

O’Donnell’s bill could be heard in committee on March 21, according to the state’s legislative tracker.

This is something to keep an eye on. We do not want ranked choice voting to become a national fad.

Does America Still Have A First Amendment?

On Tuesday, The Daily Wire reported that Arizona Democrat Representative Ruben Gallego has called for seizing the trucks of protesters headed to Washington, D.C., and then giving the property to businesses looking to grow. Glad to see we have elected representatives who took their oath to defend and protect the U.S. Constitution seriously. Seizing property and giving it to others is generally called robbery. It is also one of the principles of socialism.

The article reports:

“Perfect time to impound and give the trucks to small trucking companies looking to expand their business,” Gallego tweeted in response to the following news headline: “Trucker convoy could shut down DC Beltway tomorrow.”

On Tuesday, Hot Air reported:

American truckers and their supporters are organizing and heading to Washington, D.C. to protest COVID-19 mandates. The People’s Convoy is patterned after Canada’s Freedom Convoy. Truckers will leave California tomorrow and arrive in Washington on Saturday, March 5. D.C. law enforcement is preparing for their arrival.

The People’s Convoy announced plans to launch a “peaceful and unified transcontinental movement” in Southern California. Organizers say their intention is to have a “law-abiding convoy” with truckers, blue-collar workers and supporters participating in it. According to the news release, they expect supporters from all walks of life. Their news release named some conservative-leaning journalists who will join the convoy to cover the event, providing daily updates as they travel across the country.

…D.C. law enforcement agencies are preparing and a request for assistance from the National Guard has been made. U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) released a statement that they are aware of the convoy’s plans and are on alert. The D.C. National Guard, if activated, will test its new activation process put in place after the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill.

I suppose we should be grateful that the National Guard will be called out to make sure the protest remains peaceful. I suspect the protest will be infiltrated by a few ‘bad apples’ to try to tarnish the cause. The question is whether or not those ‘bad apples’ will be government agents.

Meanwhile, not all of the news about the Canadian truckers is bad.

On Monday, The Patriot Journal reported the following:

As it stands, the Freedom Convoy has been painted into a corner and now they’re facing stiff penalties. Though they have plenty of public and financial support, the government’s power is clear.

In response, Rep. Yvette Herrell (R-NV) has introduced a new piece of legislation specifically designed to aid these truckers.

If it’s successful, it would give the protesters a safe port in the storm, so-to-speak. And it would show them that certain politicians in America absolutely support their right to protest.

It’s going to be an interesting week.

 

 

Exactly Where Did The Money Go?

On Wednesday, The Washington Examiner reported that Black Lives Matter shut down all of its online fundraising streams late Wednesday afternoon. California recently threatened to hold the charity’s leaders personally liable over its lack of financial transparency.

The article reports:

The move comes less than a week after a Washington Examiner investigation found that BLM has had no known leader in charge of its $60 million bankroll since its co-founder resigned in May. California and Washington recently ordered BLM to cease all fundraising activities in their blue states due to the failure of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, the legal entity that represents the national BLM movement, to report information about its finances in 2020, the year it raised tens of millions amid the racial protests and riots that followed George Floyd’s killing.

…The California Department of Justice told the Washington Examiner on Tuesday that “BLMGNF is prohibited from soliciting donations so long as its status is listed as delinquent.”

Despite the notice, BLM accepted a $1 donation from a Washington Examiner reporter based in California on Wednesday morning.

The California DOJ said Wednesday afternoon that it would not confirm or deny an investigation into BLM so as to “protect its integrity.”

BLM also received notice from the state of Washington on Jan. 5 to “immediately cease” all fundraising activities in the state. Washington warned the charity that it could face fines of $2,000 for each violation, but as recently as Monday, the charity accepted a $1 contribution from a Washington resident.

In April 2021, Townhall reported:

On Thursday, Facebook decided to censor a New York Post article about Black Lives Matter co-founder, Patrisse Cullors, a “trained Marxist” who has come under heavy criticism for the hypocrisy in her buying a $1.4 million home in a largely white neighborhood. The piece in question, by Isabel Vincent, from April 10, reported that “Marxist BLM leader buys $1.4 million home in ritzy LA enclave.”

On January 29, 2021, The New York Post reported:

Black Lives Matter transferred millions to a Canadian charity run by the wife of its co-founder to purchase a sprawling mansion that had once served as the headquarters of the Communist Party, public records show.

M4BJ, a Toronto-based non-profit set up by Janaya Khan and other Canadian activists, snagged the 10,000 square foot historic property for the equivalent of $6.3 million in cash in July 2021, according to Toronto property records viewed by The Post.

Khan is the wife of Patrisse Khan-Cullors, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter Global Foundation Network and a self-avowed Marxist.

It seems as if there might be a number of valid reasons for shutting down the online fundraising streams for Black Lives Matter.

 

Losing Our Competitive Edge

American Education has not been improving over the past few decades. Test scores have been going down, and America’s ranking among the other countries in the world has gone down.

According to an article posted on February 28, 2021, at a website called The Balance:

The United States is not investing as much in human capital as other developed countries. As a result, its comparative advantage is falling behind. For example, U.S. students’ math skills have remained stagnant for decades.1

This means they are falling behind many other countries, such as Japan, Poland, and Ireland, which have greatly improved. In fact, U.S. test scores are now below the global average. 

…The Program for International Student Assessment tests 15-year-old students around the world and is administered by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In 2018, when the test was last administered, the U.S. placed 11th out of 79 countries in science. It did worse in math, ranking 30th.2 

The U.S. scored 478 in math, below the OECD average of 489. That’s well below the scores of the top five, all of which were Asian nations: Singapore at 569, Macao at 555, Hong Kong at 551, Taiwan at 531, and Japan at 527. China was not included in this ranking, since only four provinces participated.

The article implies that this is the result of not spending enough money on education. I disagree, but I cited the article because I wanted to post some numbers to prepare you for what I am about to share.

On Monday, Fox News posted an article about California’s efforts to reform mathematics education in the name of social justice.

The article reports:

Hundreds of highly distinguished science and math professors have signed an open letter expressing “urgent concern” over California’s efforts to reform mathematics education in the name of social justice.

The letter, signed by 597 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals, said the California Department of Education’s (CDE) proposed new mathematics framework will aim to reduce achievement gaps by limiting the availability of advanced mathematical courses to middle schoolers and beginning high schoolers, making it more challenging for students to succeed in STEM at college.

Denying access to accelerated courses to advanced students will not improve the education of anyone. Different people have different talents, and allowing them to pursue those talents is helpful to all concerned. I can assure you that China and Russia are not limiting the progress of their advanced students.

The article notes:

The signatories demanded that all students, regardless of background, have access to a math curriculum “with precision and rigor,” and that students be offered multiple pathways to explore mathematics at varying grade levels of middle and high school.

“Far from being deliberately held back, all students should have the opportunity to be nurtured and challenged to fulfill their potential,” the letter said. “This is not only for their own benefit but also for society and the nation’s economic competitiveness.”

The open letter echoes similar concerns in an open letter over the summer, signed by more than 1,100 Californians working in science and technology, who argued it is “immoral and foolish to intentionally hold back the intellectual growth of students by forcing them to waste time in unchallenging classes.”

Bright students in unchallenging classes lose interest in school and tend not to continue their education. The California reform proposal is a recipe for disaster.

 

 

 

Do Harsh Coronavirus Measures Work?

Fox News posted an article today that included the statistics on coronavirus cases in California and Florida. California has mask mandates and other mandates impacting the freedom of the unvaccinated. Florida has no mask mandates and has pretty much been open since the original ‘two weeks to slow the spread.’

The article reports:

Watcher (Dr. Bob Wachter, chair of the medical department at the University of California-San Francisco) added that with low booster shot rates and waning immunity, “the end result is that we’ve plateaued in our improvements, both nationally and in California, and it’s likely we’ll soon see some significant upticks.”

“California has done very well over the past few months, but we still have too many unvaccinated people,” he added. “People are spending more time inside and being more active, and masking is going down.”

Florida, meanwhile, hit another new benchmark last week. The first hospital in the state to treat a COVID patient last year, Doctor’s Hospital, announced that for the first time since the pandemic, it has no virus patients in its care.

“This is great news! For two weeks and counting, Florida has had the lowest rate of new COVID-19 cases in the entire country – with no mandates, vaccine passports, or lockdowns. Overall, COVID hospitalizations have been declining for more than 70 days straight, and we’re at an all time low in terms of the number of COVID patients hospitalized statewide,” Gov. Ron DeSantis’ press secretary, Christina Pushaw, told Fox News on Monday when asked for comment about Doctor’s Hospital in Sarasota.

The article also notes:

Cases in California are no longer falling, with the rate increasing to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s red “high” level of virus transmission stemming from the delta variant, the outlet reported.

But Southern states such as Texas and Florida – where state leaders do not enforce face mask policies or support other strict mandates – are in the CDC’s orange “substantial” transmission level.

California’s vaccination rate is higher than states such as Texas and Florida, but that still hasn’t stopped the outbreaks. Sixty-two percent of California’s total population is fully vaccinated, while Florida reports 60% and Texas 54%.

Maybe it’s time to rethink the ‘science.’