The EU

Google says the EU requires a notice of cookie use (by Google) and says they have posted a notice. I don't see it. If cookies bother you, go elsewhere. If the EU bothers you, emigrate. If you live outside the EU, don't go there.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Homelessness on the West Coast


For John, BLUFHomelessness is a growing problem, and I an not seeing any solutions.  One thing we can do is write our US Representative (in my case, Ms Lori Trahan, asking for the Federal Government to take the lead on reforming our mental health program.  Not take over, but help the States.  As you have, John.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From PJ Media, by Mr Kevin Downey, Jr, 9 May 2021, 12:47 AM ET.

Here is the lede plus three:

Democrat cities have allowed hundreds of homeless encampments to pop up along the West Coast.

Homelessness isn’t new to places like San Francisco, L.A., Seattle, Sacramento, and so on.  I was in Portland 12 years ago for a comedy gig.  The park in front of the club looked like a scene from Michael Jackson’s Thriller video.  Today it looks like the Walking Dead.

Homeless camps are popping up all over the West Coast and bringing violence, drugs, weapons, and defecation with them.  When I was a kid, camping meant fishing and catching toads, not getting shot and stepping in people poop.

Los Angeles has seen a 50% increase in homelessness over the last five years.  LA’s Venice Beach homeless encampment recently had an explosion and a shooting.  The question city officials are asking:  where did they find the ammo?

Homelessness isn't just one problem.  It is at least four different problems.

  • Adult Homelessness (Trifecta of mental illness, drug addiction and homeless)
  • Domestic Violence (DV) (relocation as a solutIon)
  • Homeless families without shelter (Perhaps even one employed)
  • Youth Homelessness (Often Couch Surfing at friends' homes)

Each is a separate problem, requiring separate solutions.  Some need mental health help.  Some need affordable housing.  Some need protection from an abusive partner.

On the West Cosast it looks like politicalization has gotten in the way of effective solutions.  That is sad for the victims and for the Citizen taxpayers. Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Reviewing the Vote


For John, BLUFAs we all know, the Electoral College elected Candidate Joe Biden President of the United States, back in January of 2021.  The question is, do we have a uniformly efficient, honest and effective voting system across the States and Territories?  This is about checking on that.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The Boston Globe, by Associated Press Reporters Jonathan J Cooper and Bob Christie, 10 May 2021, 1:15 a.m..

Here is the lede plus three:

On the floor of Veterans Memorial Coliseum, where Sir Charles Barkley once dunked basketballs and Hulk Hogan wrestled King Kong Bundy, 46 tables are arrayed in neat rows, each with a Lazy Susan in the middle.

Seated at the tables are several dozen people, mostly Republicans, who spend hours watching ballots spin by, photographing them or inspecting them closely.  They are counting them and checking to see if there is any sign they were flown in surreptitiously from South Korea.  A few weeks ago they were holding them up to ultraviolet lights, looking for a watermark rumored to be a sign of fraud.

This is Arizona’s extraordinary, partisan audit of the 2020 election results in the state's most populous county — ground zero for former President Donald Trump and a legion of his supporters who have refused to accept his loss in Arizona or in other battleground states.  Theses ballots have been counted before and certified by the Republican governor.  Much of the country has moved on.

And yet, in this aging arena, Republicans are searching for evidence to support claims they already believe.

The opening is a somewhat snarky look at the ongoing vote recount in Maricopa County, Arizona.

The Reporters then go on to say:

The effort has alarmed voting rights advocates, election administrators and civil rights lawyers at the U.S. Department of Justice, who this past week demanded confirmation that federal security and anti-intimidation laws are being followed.  Senate President Karen Fann responded Friday by telling the department it had nothing to worry about.
Why are various groups "alarmed" about this effort?  If this effort reconfirms the initial results it further tamps down concerns about the November outcome.  If it finds problems it gives us plenty of time correct those problems.

For an alternate view there is, from PJ Media, "The Morning Briefing:  What Are Democrats So Afraid of in Maricopa County?"

The disinformation campaign run by the Democrats about Georgia’s new election law shows how invested they are in making all of the “irregularities” from the last election permanent.  Those of us with questions about what exactly happened are just supposed to shut up.  Curiosity is racism or something now.

. . .

There’s been a lot of recent drama about the audit that’s been going on in Maricopa County.  The Democrats have been trying to shut it down and not having much success so far.  They are persistent little buggers though, and now they’re upping their game.

At this point I don't look to any media for truth.  It is the job of those of us out in Voter-Land to take all available information and to sort through it, looking for the kernals of facts and aligning them.

Good luck to us.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Not All Deaths Are Equal


For John, BLUFIt is not clear to me we have developed the statistics to help us understand the consequences of the protes, which oten became riots, in 2020.  Part of that equation is the response of local goverments.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Here is the sub-headline:

  • UMass PhD candidate Travis Campbell published findings in a pre-print study
  • Found that police shootings drop 15% to 20% in cities with large BLM protests
  • That equates to about 300 fewer police shootings nationwide over five years
  • But murder rates rose 10%, an increase of 1,000 to 6,000 additional homicides
  • The exact reason for the increase in murders remains a subject of study
  • Campbell suggests that a decrease in police enforcement could be to blame
  • He stresses that comparing murders to police killings is 'apples to oranges'

From The Daily Mail, by Reporter Keith Griffith, 22 April 2021, 16:01 EDT.

Here is the lede plus three:

A researcher has found that cities that had Black Lives Matter protests saw a significant decrease in police homicides, but a huge overall increase in murders.

Travis Campbell, an economics PhD candidate at the University of Massachusetts, published his findings in a recent pre-print study examining the impact of BLM protests on police use-of-force incidents.

His analysis, which is still undergoing peer-review, found that cities with BLM protests had 15 to 20 percent fewer police homicides than expected if the protests had not taken place, equating to 300 fewer police killings nationwide over five years.

But, in a revised unpublished version shared with DailyMail.com, Campbell finds that cities with BLM protests also saw a 10 percent increase in murders overall, equaling 1,000 to 6,000 additional murders nationwide.

Your average voter eligible citizen should be able to do rhe math.  Perhaps we are having a monologue rather than a discussion.

My speculation is that those hardest hit my a reduction in policing will be middle aged and older Black women.  Millions of them, who have felt some sense of security with the presence of police.  It will take some time for the data to flow in, but that is how I see this evolving.

The worst case outcome would be a demographic shift, with major cities becoming depopulated.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

School Boards Are Hot


For John, BLUFSchool Committees are findinding that the voters who elected them are a bit more restless than normal.  No doubt COVID-19 and accompanying school closures are a part of it.  However, another part is the use of wokeness to explain performance problems and develop paths for improvement  It may be worse if it appears to parents (some parents) that versions of Critical Race Theory are being imported into the local school system.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The Blaze, by Reporter Breck Dumas, 7 May 2021.

Here is the lede:

Former Wall Street Journal writer and Asian American immigrant Asra Nomani delivered a moving speech before the Virginia school board overseeing her son's education, lambasting officials for their "anti-racism" propaganda push before she was cut off and told:  "Go to your seat."
Unlike most other years, i am seeing a lot of anti-School Board animus this year.  The hotbed may be Loudoun County, Virginia, but it is showing up across the Fruited Plain.  (Northern California, Rochester, Palo Alto, Vail, AZ, Pheonix.)  Some of it is directed toward School Committees going "woke".  However, I expect, some is a result of resentment against teachers and their unions, who won't follow the sciece with regard to COVID-19.

In this case it is wokeness.  I loved this part:

But then a buzzer rang, signifying that Nomani's speaking time was up.  An official immediately began telling Nomani that her "time has expired," and repeatedly calling for the "next speaker" before ultimately telling the mother:  "Please, go to your seat."

In sharing the video of her speech on social media, Nomani tweeted, "I spoke from my heart to the @fcpsnews school board.  Watch board chair Ricardy Anderson rage at me.  Didn't she get the memo that watching the clock is 'white supremacy'?  She reveals the board's true anti-Asian animus.  @ricardy4Mason, YOUR time has expired."

My understanding, from Public School Civics, is that School Committees represent the voters and the interests of the voters with regard to Public Education.  It appears, to use a US Department of State expression, some School Committee members have "gone native".  They now represent the interests of the educators against those of the parents.  Frankly, there is a lot to be said for the professionalism and dedication of the School Staff in sum.  However, the School Committee that makes its allegience too obvious risks being voted out next term, unless the schools are suddenly very high performing.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Critical Race Theory Questoned


For John, BLUFWhy is this of interest, why it is of importance, at least here in Lowell, is the question of if our new School District program, "Culturally and Linguistically Sustaining Practices" is a form of Critical Race Theory.  So what is Critical Race Theory (CRT)?  This is about one view.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




From The New York Post, by Investigative Journalist Christopher F. Rufo, 6 May 2021, 7:25pm.

Here is the lede plus two:

Critical race theory is fast becoming America’s new institutional orthodoxy.  Yet most Americans have never heard of it — and of those who have, many don’t understand it.  This must change. We need to know what it is so we can know how to fight it.

To explain critical race theory, it helps to begin with a brief history of Marxism.

Originally, the Marxist left built its political program on the theory of class conflict.  Karl Marx believed that the primary characteristic of industrial societies was the imbalance of power between capitalists and workers.  The solution to that imbalance, according to Marx, was revolution:  The workers would eventually gain consciousness of their plight, seize the means of production, overthrow the capitalist class and usher in a new socialist society.

It didn't happen that way.  What resulted was, generally, misery.  Over 100 million died as a result of really smart people trying to overcome economics and stear nations toward controlled economies.

This article is by Investigative Journalist Christopher F. Rufo, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.  It was adapted by The New York Post with permission of City Journal.

In summary,

No longer simply an academic matter, critical race theory has become a tool of political power.  To borrow a phrase from the Marxist theoretician Antonio Gramsci, it is fast achieving cultural hegemony in America’s public institutions.
Part of the issue is how one understands "equity".  We tend to think of it in legal and financial terms.  However, the Critical Race Theoriests have a different understanding.  Since the Marxist class based approach didn't work, CRT would offer a different, more obvious classification, with enforcement:
An equity-based form of government would mean the end not only of private property but also of individual rights, equality under the law, federalism and freedom of speech.  These would be replaced by race-based redistribution of wealth, group-based rights, active discrimination and omnipotent bureaucratic authority.
On the one hand, we should all wish that everyone gets their fair share.  On the other hand, it has been American tradition that one earns what one gets.  And to an ever-expanding degree, the number of people with a fair share of the pie has been expanding.  As it should be.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Reaching All Students


For John, BLUFThe Lowell School Department is under pressure to help students do better.  Thus new lines of pedagogical improvement are being sought.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Here is the sub-headline:

Member Mike Dillon blasts as “Marxist”

From The [Lowell] Sun, by Reporter Alana Melanson (amelanson@lowellsun.com), 5 May 2021, 10:43 p.m.

Here is the lede plus three:

Lowell Public Schools have been working on a plan to unify and strengthen culturally and linguistically sustaining practices (CLSP) within the district, but some of the components may be a tough hurdle for some school officials.

Committee member Mike Dillon blasted the efforts as “Marxist” and not having enough “diversity of thought or politics.”

Chief Equity & Engagement Officer Latifah Phillips presented the plans to the School Committee Wednesday night, which include a proposal to hire a CLSP coordinator at an estimated $100,000 salary in the next school year to support the initiatives.

In outlining the three-step process of building a CLSP continuum, Phillips said it starts with understanding one’s own culture, lens of viewing of world and personal biases.  Next comes trust and relationship building, followed by developing cultural proficiency and practices that empower students, she said.

It appears that Lowell School Committee Member Mike Dillon thinks CLSP is the thin edge of the wedge of Critical Race Theory (CRT).  (See him talk at this link https://youtu.be/Cz_S1fQkQlg)  He is asking as to if CLSP is a neo-Marxist attempt to replace class consciousness and conflict with racial consciousness and conflict, with an end goal of replacing capitalism (and democracy) with a government controlled economy.

I expect that this will be resolved by discussions at the sub-committee level and by reassuring interactions between School Committee Members and School Staff.

There should be no doubt that there are disparities for students along racial lines.  The above linked Slide Presentation shows that.  But, it appears there are also issues within racial groups, which suggests there are cultural differences within racial and ethnic groups.  These need to be addressed and resolved.  Perhaps CLSP is the answer.  On the other hand, Critical Race Theory only promises misery.  It brings Venezuela on its wings.

Regards  —  Cliff

Building on a Dream


For John, BLUFPeople have dreams of what the perfect world would be.  Not all dreams are the same.  That different groups get to try out there dreams is possible in a nation as land and resource rich as these United States.  Nothing to see here; just move along.




Here is the sub-headline:

From Not the Bee, by Writer Joel Abbott, 7 May 2021, 10:20 am.

Here is the lede plus one:

In the great nation of America, the land of opportunity, even racist communists can achieve their dreams.

I mean that literally.  A group of ethno-communists is preparing to build a town high in the mountains of Colorado where white people will not be allowed[]

"White People".  Do you think he means Caucasians?

Is this a Great Country, or what?  That a group with unique ideas on Ethnicity and Economics can build a community and govern themselves is a great testimony to this Nation.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff