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FlashReport Weblog on California Politics

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Donald Wagner

Betrayal at the Supreme Court

Small government conservatives and libertarian-leaning constitutionalists comforted ourselves with the Trump Administration by rationalizing that we will get a good Supreme Court. Cleaning the swamp would be nice. But at least we will get a better Supreme Court than from a President Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden, a Supreme Court that enforces the laws as written, leaves to the elected representatives the right to make the laws democratically, and fairly enforces those laws once written.

So much for that idea.

The need for respect for the written laws — and for the people’s’ representatives who write them — has been manifest over the last few decades. Too often, the federal courts have ignored the law as written by the people’s’ representatives, or by the people themselves through direct democracy.

This abject failure of the judiciary to follow the law is dressed in appealing language as the “Living Constitution” theory. According to the theory’s most outspoken champion, late Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, the words written into the statutory law — or enshrined in the Constitution — must change their meaning depending upon the… Read More

Bruce Bialosky

Trump the Authoritarian

President Trump has been called an authoritarian a lot lately. He has also been called a fascist, dictator, totalitarian and autocrat. I do not think I have seen him called imperious or a despot perhaps because the name callers are unfamiliar with a thesaurus. Whether he is any of these is the question to analyze.

We can look at many cases in history, but we have two prime examples during recent times that define what these people call him. And when I say “these people” it goes all the way up to the Speaker of the House. The two cases are Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and his successor, Nicolas Maduro. These are prime examples of authoritarians.

The rule of these people has been relatively short — Chavez took over in February of 1999 and Erdogan became Prime Minister in March 2003. Though they came to office through open elections, during these respective periods of time they have coalesced power in their own hands through lessening the powers of the citizens and suppressing their freedoms, particularly the freedom of the press and simultaneously freedom of speech. Both countries are no longer free democracies.… Read More

Richard Rider

When it comes to homes, CA politicians act like white supremacists

Periodically we Californians hear friends and allies complaining that investors and “foreign speculators” are driving up the price of California homes. But consider this question:Why aren’t all these supposedly-evil investors buying in Houston? Or in most other areas of the country?

Houston has much stronger demand for houses than CA. In the last decade, in several years the CITY of Houston issued more home building permits than the entire STATE of California. Yet the Houston houses sell for far less than CA, and the prices rise much slower. Oddly enough, the median price of a home in 27 states is lower than the low Texas home prices!

Here’s my answer to the above question (speaking as a long time real estate investor and stockbroker):Never invest your R.E. money in a free market, where competitors (in this case, builders) find it easy to construct new homes and apartments. In the 70’s I foolishly bought interest in some Houston properties. The demand for homes boomed, but so did the supply of houses and apartments. I SHOULD have invested in CA properties where the state and local governments self-righteously collude… Read More

Bruce Bialosky

Who is Really Determining Our COVID Recovery?

The country is playing volleyball with the responsibility for returning businesses to normal during the pandemic. The federal government continues to allow municipal authorities within the confines of the Governors’ auspices to make these decisions. The Democrats and the national press blame Trump for not dictating rules that are clearly the purview of state and local authorities because they like to blame Trump for everything. Yet none of them is really controlling decisions because business operators are largely deferring to lawyers.

It is no secret that every business in America structures its operations with a view toward potential litigation. Businesses can feel confident they are in complete compliance with various laws for employment or safety and still be attacked by vultures.

Toward that end, both the states and federal government issued guidelines for reopening businesses in light of the lockdowns mandated by the closures from March 15th through the end of April. The government had to somehow justify why their employees were not laid off. They had to find something to do so they issued detailed guidelines on reopening. When I received these respective… Read More

Richard Rider

I support federalism — President Trump, let the cities burn

I support federalism. Whenever possible, state and local governments should be largely autonomous in how they deal with their problems. The federal government should seek to limit its function to national defense, and a few other narrowly federal issues. Including defending the Bill of Rights — specifically the 2nd Amendment.

As I see it, President Trump erred in sending in troops (“law enforcement units”) to Portland. It MIGHT be justified SPECIFICALLY to defend federal properties, but these forces expanded their role to countering local violence and unrest.

On balance — looking at the Portland example — I think that it’s better to let the federal buildings in such cities be destroyed. If they need to be rebuilt, build them in safer cities and states. Woke cities don’t need or want no stinkin’ jobs. Just ask their progressive goddess — AOC.

Trump is a man who (like our CA Governor Newsom) likes to rule by edict. It results in him too often unwisely dealing with issues the federal government should stay out of. Of course, to varying… Read More

Richard Rider

Our family’s secret weapon against COVID-19

In dealing with the coronavirus, my wife and I (age 75) wereverygood for the first two months. We really isolated. But now it’s July, and we’ve made some adjustments that increase our risks. PRUDENTLY, we hope — but an increase in risk, nevertheless.

And in the process, I think we’ve found one innovation that improves our odds — an innovation that no one is talking about. More on that shortly.

BACKGROUND: Twice this month we’ve had our older son and his two young kids (ages 9 and 6) visit us for several days at a time. Our grandchildren still enjoy being with us, and we’ve decided not to let this precious period slip by.

Remember, we are not a risk to our grandkids — they are a risk to us. As of 7/20/20, in California (40,000,000 people), not a SINGLE kid under age 18 has died from COVID-19.Not one! The coronavirus is 90+% a geezer disease.

While those three visited, we all didn’t wear masks inside the house. Social distancing was spotty at best. Wedidwash our hands fairly often,… Read More

Ron Nehring

The Virus is the Fire. And we are the fuel.

The COVID pandemic is new for most of us. I certainly was not around for the last one, the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918, and I’m not likely to be around for the next.

When people are faced with something completely alien to our experience, we naturally look for ways to make it fit within our existing view of the world. We revert to the familiar, equating what is new with something we already know, using the familiar as a guide to understand and respond to what now confronts us.

To some on the right, the government response is the problem, while to some on the left, President Trump is the problem. But the virus doesn’t care.

SARS-Cov-2, the virus which causes COVID 19, is the fire. And we are the fuel.

Just as fire cannot exist without a fuel source, the virus cannot long live outside of a human host.

The challenge before us is to separate the fire from its fuel, allowing the fire to burn itself out.

The evidence from Europe is clear: social distancing, minimizing interactions, better hygiene in the form of handwashing, and masks, when taken together, separate the fire from the fuel.

Our social media circles are… Read More

Bruce Bialosky

Bari Weiss Exposes Dangerous Anti-Semitism

Alan Dershowitz, a life-long Democrat and supporter of Hillary Clinton, has had a constant theme about anti-Semitism. He has stated that his concern for anti-Semitism from the Left far exceeds his concern for the amount radiating from the Right. The Bari Weiss incident validates that, but makes clear it is even more dangerous than we have thought.

Bari Weiss, an op-ed and political writer, started her career at two major Jewish publications then moved on to The Wall Street Journal. She most recently moved to the New York Times where she continued to build a name for herself as a credible writer even if she was someone I did not agree with most of the time. At 36-years-old she is still building a career that could last four more decades. She had become a major voice in the Jewish Community. Then she resigned from the Times with a scathing commentary that flashed across the news world.

The resignation letter which you can read here is multi-faceted. Her comment “Instead, a new consensus has emerged in the press, but perhaps especially at this paper: that truth isn’t a process of collective discovery, but… Read More

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