What’s Happenin’ Hump Day? I’ll Be Part of a Panel on KLRN Online Radio!

12 05 2021

The Girl will be joining my dear Patriot Sister Leslie Ann Dowd, as well as DJ Shagoury, JeSuis, and host Rowdy Rick Robinson on KLRN Radio tonight. Tune in at 10:00 p.m. Eastern, 9:00 p.m. Central, and 7:00 p.m. Pacific for a rousing, roundtable discussion you won’t want to miss!





Happy Mother’s Day!

9 05 2021

Happy Mother’s Day to all the women who birth, care, nurture, and shepherd life. Whether that life is of your own blood, of your own heart, human, or fur, you are honored today!

I wrote a memoir what seems like eons ago. It is yet-to-be published, and with this much space between the last time I pitched it and now, it will probably need ample rewrites and of course, new content. But, there are certain chapters of which I am quite proud: and this chapter about my own mother, Bernice Oliver, and the matriarch of our family, Annie Foxx is one of them.

An excerpt about mothers and grandmothers, on this day to honor the mother’s in your life and world.

Excerpted from Fried Chicken and Sympathy, Chapter 1: Affectionately Known as Bay

My mother’s given name was Bernice Betty Jo Foxx, but everyone called her “Bay.”  Born on August 10, 1931 in Tyronza, Arkansas, she was the fifth of the eight children born to Annie Belle Simmons Foxx and Joe Henry Foxx.  Tyronza is one of those towns that if you’re driving through it and blink, you’ll miss it. It borders on Arkansas and Tennessee, and its population today is just over 1,000.  That’s the number of people in a four-block radius in most major cities.  The small-town ethic of family, religion and community remained a part of Bay all her life, even though she lived most of it in big cities.  But Bay was never really happy in the city, and spoke often about moving back down South.

Bay was a beautiful girl, with what we would call a “high-yella” complexion.  This was sometimes a point of teasing between her and her sisters, who were much darker than she was.  She had curly brown hair that she wore short to frame her face, and she had a petite figure that was made for the fashions of the ‘50s and ‘60s.  Two pictures of her that always stick in my mind are her eighth-grade and high-school graduation photos.  In her eighth-grade photo, she is standing in a shin-length white petticoat dress, and white strappy shoes découpage shoes.  Along with the white corsage, she wore a stoic expression which would later come to characterize her general demeanor.  Her high-school graduation photo was much more carefree, even happy—which is a term I would rarely use to describe my mother.  It was a head and shoulders portrait, in her mortarboard and robe, and Bay has her head posed to the side, with an upturned smile, as if looking forward to the future.  That picture gives a glimpse of the Bay I never knew, and the Bay that probably attracted my father, Oliver, to her.  Unfortunately, the years of death and destruction, beginning with his murder in 1970, wiped that woman completely out, and only the picture is left to bear witness that she ever existed.

Bay and her seven brothers and sisters picked cotton for extra money, while Grandpa Joe worked in a mill, and Grandma Annie cleaned houses and raised chickens in order to sell the eggs.  When Mom was in the fourth grade, they moved to Memphis, where they had greater work opportunities.

Tyronza was a spit in the dirt compared to Memphis.  Grandpa Joe worked as a houseboy at the once-prestigious Peabody Hotel, and also at the King Cotton, and Grandma Annie worked as a maid at both hotels.

My Uncle Joe Louis, Bay’s youngest brother, added, “Grandpa was a ‘sharecropper’ in Arkansas, so moving to Memphis and getting a job in a hotel was a step up.  And believe it or not, it was also easier work.”

With Grandma Annie working nights, my mother went to school during the day and worked during the evening, sharing the responsibility of caring for her toddler brother (Joe Louis) with her sister Cornell (Honey).  She graduated from eighth grade, and went on to Washington High School, while working nights in a hospital.  When today’s teenagers talk about the pressure they’re under to make good grades and work at the same time, I shake my head.  Bay made exceptional grades and worked pretty much full-time—concrete proof that one can do what one sets one’s mind to.

Being the third girl, Bay was closest to her older sisters, Geraldine and Cornell, or “Honey,” as I came to know her.  As my Aunt Allene, who was born after Bay, attests:

“Of course we were close,” she said.  “We argued like most siblings, but we didn’t fight.  Mama didn’t allow that.”

The Foxx way of hard work, family and sacrifice was part of Bay’s genetic code, and was passed down from her unique and visionary parents.  Uncle Joe Louis elaborates:

“Based on what I heard and saw, they had a difficult time in the South.  By ‘difficult times,’ I am only referring to what was most likely a universal state of affairs for Blacks in the South at that time.  Most had large families and low-paying or no-paying jobs.  There was never enough money.  In the case of Daddy, it was a no-paying job.”

Uncle Joe elaborated on what this type of “employ”—sharecropping—really entailed:  “A person lives on someone’s farm, and plants and harvests the crops for a share of the profits when they are sold, but this was the replacement for slavery.  They were owned economically, because after the crops were sold, and the profits divided, and the indebtedness paid, there was usually very little left for the sharecropper—so the cycle started all over again with an indebtedness.”

Grandpa Joe Henry and Grandma Annie Belle both had the wit and wherewithal to move out of a no-win situation, in order to attain a better life for themselves, and their children, and they were strong influences on their children and grandchildren—but Grandma Annie, in particular, left certain distinctive marks on Bay.

Grandpa Joe Henry’s grandmother had been a slave, and somewhere in the lineage we have Native American—most likely Cherokee or Blackfoot-blood, although Aunt Everette, Bay’s baby sister, says that we also have Crete in our line.  Grandpa Joe had that burnished mahogany skin, hooked nose and chiseled countenance that is typical of Native Americans, and it shows in the black and white photos I have of him.  Annie Belle was also the granddaughter of slaves, and was a proud woman who kept a clean home and was no-nonsense about almost everything.  Her life revolved around her children, her church and her community; she took these things seriously, and expected everyone around her to do the same.

Bay inherited the no-nonsense persona from Grandma Annie.  Silly and lazy just didn’t rate in her book.  You were either about business, or you were up to no good.  When my sisters were younger (somehow, the brothers were exempt), Saturday mornings always started early, doing laundry, cleaning and ironing.  One of Bay’s constant expressions (I’ll call them “Bayisms”), was, “An idle mind is the Devil’s workshop!”  I’m quite sure she heard this first from Grandma Annie’s mouth, and she definitely learned under her tutelage to never to be idle.

Annie stood 4 feet 11 inches tall, but according to those who knew her, she packed a wallop.  She’d go on tirades without warning, and the whole house would shake.  My cousin Ricky called them her “5150 episodes,” borrowing the police code for someone having a psychotic breakdown.  Her storms ranged from swearing up a blue streak to throwing pots, pans and any furniture that wasn’t nailed down.

Since she died before I knew her, most of the information I do have is thanks to my brothers, sisters and cousins.

Some of that fire is just the Foxx nature, but I also suspect that Grandma Annie’s short fuses were due to brain damage.  She’d had a stroke in 1958, which left her partially paralyzed on her left side.  But Annie had a strong will, and refused to let it immobilize her.  She regained her speech, and with the help of a cane, she was able to walk and get around quite well.  Although she couldn’t work full-time, she still tended to the house and her family.

Where Grandma Annie was volatile, Grandpa Joe was as even as a river in summer. A calm, peaceful man, he was happy and smiling, always humming a tune—especially when Grandma Annie went 5150—which only irritated her more.  But the more she fussed, the more he hummed and sang.  Guess everyone has his way of coping, and that was his.  He died from brain cancer a week after I was born.  Bay started keeping a family history in 1983, and she wrote this about Grandpa Joe’s death:  “August 1966 was the death of my father and the children’s grandfather.  He was missed very much.  He died of cancer, starting with a kidney that had to be taken out and it spread to his brain.  After they operated, he passed away.”

June remembers Bay breastfeeding me at Grandpa Joe’s funeral, a towel draped over her shoulder for modesty.  So I guess you can truly say my life began with death.





What’s Happenin’ Hump Day? We Started a Podcast!

5 05 2021

A few months ago, I had a great time interviewing Marc Ang for our RedState VIP members.

Marc is a political activist and community organizer through his Asian Industry B2B organization, Pass The Beacon, and the Lincoln Club of Orange County. He does political advocacy, marketing, and fundraising through Visualyft, and he is also an estate and financial planner with Mangus Finance.

Marc found my three-part expose on the Carmel Foster-Phil Ting affair at Communities Digital News, and wanted other political allies to hear the story and understand how Sacramento manipulates and controls legislation not according to the will of the people, but through their preferred interests groups, and how they will use vulnerable individuals like immigrants and illegal aliens toward those ends.

It was a successful night, and Marc and I exchanged information in order to collaborate on other kindred projects in the near future.

That future is now! The Red Beans & Fried Rice Podcast is an hour of conversation and observation. Marc and I talk about politics, pop culture, food, music, and race. We also have great guests on who embody many of those aspects of our lives: from activism to community outreach to political and creative endeavors.

This week, we’re happy to host musician, band, and worship leader Aaron Gayden! His deets are below, but like many of us, Aaron has become an activist because of AB5; so we’ll get to hear more about that journey and his game plan to continue to fight against this horrific law, and its bastard cousin, the PRO Act.

Join us live via Zoom, 4:30 p.m. on Thursday. Visit the Facebook page to stay up to date on our happenings and past episodes, follow our Twitter, or visit my YouTube Channel to catch up on the visuals of past episodes!





IN MY ORBIT: Friday Follies

30 04 2021

Well, the blog has been neglected for a bit as The Girl laid down her footprint in other places. One of those places is RedState.com, where I have become a regular contributor. I am blessed to be part of a significant conservative platform that manages to hold on to its unique brand. That is part and parcel due to the gifted writers who contribute, and I’ve had great fun working alongside them, as well as participating in several VIP chats!

If you have missed any of the articles on my Facebook page, go to my Author page on the site and catch up! You can always hit the RSS RedState subscribe button to the left, to get regular updates when I publish anything new.

Here are the Friday highlights on some pieces you might have missed:

Local Yokels

Between the activist Los Angeles District Attorney and our activist Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, people are literally dying. This blood is on the hands of LA BOS, who chose to stop enforcing the full parole on an elderly murderer. As soon as his parole ended, sadly, he found a new victim.

Los Angeles Elderly Paroled Murderer Accused of Killing Again After Release

The State of the State

The good news: The Gavin Newsom Recall organizers had 1.6 million signatures officially certified by the Secretary of State, which means we qualify for an election. Now the hard part begins: first, combatting the big monied interest and Democrat Party that wants to keep Newsom’s political future alive. From the billionaire owners of the Wonderful Company:

WHO FUNDS THE GAVIN RECALL DENIERS: Meet The Resnicks

To the California Democrat Party using their coffers to push more funds in Gavin’s direction:

WHO FUNDS THE GAVIN RECALL DENIERS: What’s up With the CA Democrat Party Coffers?

To the California Association of Realtors, and some elite Real Estate barons seeding dark money to save His Hairfulness:

WHO FUNDS THE GAVIN RECALL DENIERS: CA Association of Realtors, George Marcus, and Nicholas Pritzker

Then there are the candidates, which I’ll cover in more detail on another day. Suffice to say that Caitlynn Jenner is dead on arrival. The only people interested in making her look like a viable candidate are The Democrat Party and Conservative, Inc.

Don’t be fooled, people. Nothing to see here… move along.

Regional Flavor

In the “Truth is Stranger than Fiction” file is this story from North Carolina. A middle-school coach chose to take a walk on the wild side with a drug cartel. Suffice to say, it ended badly.

Beloved NC Basketball Coach Dies in Shootout with the Sinaloa Drug Cartel

National Nightmares and other things to keep you up at night

President Dementia Joe actually made it for over an hour to deliver the State of the Union address, and I managed to stay awake. I am so glad I did, because the Republican Rebuttal brought by South Carolina Senator Tim Scott was everything.

SC Sen. Tim Scott’s State of the Union Rebuttal Expresses Gravity Rimmed With Optimism

And for further digestion (or indigestion), the United States Secretary of Labor, who is just a Big Labor plant to see their agenda done, came out for the PRO Act and against Independent Professionals. I beg you, distribute this one far and wide, flood his office, and your Senator’s office with phone calls, emails, and texts. Demand they vote “No” on the PRO Act. Whether you are an independent contractor or not, your livelihood will depend upon it.

US Secy. of Labor Marty Walsh Is a Liar, Doing Biden’s and Big Labor’s Bidding

That’s all that’s In My Orbit! See on the next revolution.





Debates, Part Très: Trump Broke It

22 10 2020

Despite some doubts a few weeks ago, the final Presidential Debate is indeed happening: live, socially-distanced, and in person, in Nashville, Tennessee.

In its infinite wisdom, <insert *eyeroll*> the so-called bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates decided to change the rules (what a surprise). Now the President and candidate Biden will have their microphones cut off as the other one delivers their opening two-minute responses to the debate topics.

From NBC San Diego:

The 90-minute debate is divided into six 15-minute segments, with each candidate granted two minutes to deliver uninterrupted remarks before proceeding to an open debate. The open discussion portion of the debate will not feature a mute button, but interruptions by either candidate will count toward their time in the second and final debate Thursday.

Much has been written about the left-wing activist-cum-journalist moderator, NBC’s Kristen Welker, so I won’t belabor it here. She deleted her entire Twitter account as a pre-emptive strike, so that should tell you something.

Welker’s topics will be: fighting the coronavirus, race in America (didn’t we already cover that in the first debate?), climate change, national security, leadership and American families. Following in the tradition of 2016 where Trump invited Juanita Broaddrick to his debate with Hillary Clinton, the President has invited Hunter Biden’s former business partner Tony Bobulinski.

Who is he, you might ask? Bobulinski has done what the media said couldn’t be done: confirmed that the email referenced in the New York Post’s expose on Hunter Biden’s laptop is indeed real, and that Joe Biden was indeed “the guy” who takes the 50 percent cut of the Chinese deal that Hunter Biden referenced in the email. Bobulinski can do this because he is the recipient of said email, and has all the receipts. Best not to fuck with a former Navy officer whose family is steeped in intelligence.

Joe Biden won’t need to be interrupted, all President Trump will have to do is point to Bobulinski to confront Biden’s denial and lies.

Can’t wait.

Go read my posts on Part 1: It’s Time to Change the Format of the Debates, and Part 2: Don’t Kill Debates, Kill the Moderator! to get my take on what could have been done to improve the debate format, as well as stop the ridiculous food fight that happened with Chris Wallace at the first Presidential debate.

Of course, that same thing occurred with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie at the Trump Town Hall on the 15th, and during Trump’s unedited and unfiltered release of the 60-Minutes interview with CBS’s Leslie Stahl. Does professionalism diminish as the paycheck increases? In their cases, apparently so.

Bottom line: No matter what may occur tonight, or who wins the election, suffice to say this geriatric and outdated Commission on Presidential Debates is done. They have shown themselves to be partisan, unprepared, out of touch, and obsolete. John Danforth, one of those geriatric members of the Commission, and a Republican, took to print and the airwaves to rebuke Trump for his criticism of their methods, to emphasize how important this Commission is to the national conversation, and to let you know what an august and truly bipartisan body they are. Yeah… right.

Put them on the list of things that Trump broke.

Harmeet Dhillon, stellar attorney and GOP Women co-chair tweeted a great thread that encapsulated it best:

Now it’s off to the store to buy some popcorn and wine; it’s going to be a chomp-worthy 90-minutes!





Open Letter to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors opposing their declared Opposition to Prop 22

9 10 2020

This is not what I wanted to see on a Friday. It is a tweet from the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors’ District 1 representative Hilda Solis.

Despite the supposed poll data, it is clear from this move that Yes on Prop 22 is on the path to winning; so this is Labor’s pre-emptive strike to oppose the will of the people. I will not allow this to stand, and you shouldn’t either.

Solis used to be Secretary of Labor during the Obama administration (first term), and I actually met her in Washington, D.C. when she hosted a Jobs Panel to which I was invited. I was facilitating a Career/Jobs group called Tuesdays with Transitioners, and my focus was training the 20th Century worker in 21st Century technology. While this was maybe a year or two before app-based technology exploded, I trained people in the mindset of depending on their skills, ingenuity, and smarts to find employment. To rethink employment outside of the box of a full-time job, and to consider themselves the commodity (and not the job), and to do their utmost to market that commodity to employers or individuals/companies wishing to contract with them.

The 2011 Jobs Club Panel hosted by United States Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis in Washington, D.C.

Then-Secretary Solis gave high praise to my methods, even mentioning me in her newsletter (above).

Now in her second (and thankfully, last) term as Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for District 1, Solis seems intent on appeasing her Union backers. Sadly, this is the way of the world in California and elected officials who are beholden to their Labor interests, rather than the people they are elected to serve.

Like most legislative measures, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors allows for public comment on their website: https://publiccomment.bos.lacounty.gov

Along with filling in the limited comment box, I attached a long letter which I am reposting here. It is raw, but real. Feel free to copy, share, or borrow any of my language.

This evil attack on the working professionals, gig workers, women, minorities, and those who do not work in a typical way must be ended. If you live in Los Angeles County, I encourage you to lodge your Opposition to this measure, and even show up to the hearings on October 13 if you are able.





Don’t Kill Debates, Kill the Moderators!

8 10 2020

The Presidential Debate Commission is a complete joke, and now everyone knows it.

After last night’s Vice Presidential debate went off without a verbal brawl or a hitch, you would think all the Commission and traditional media handlers would have been pacified, and the debate train would be on track to the second presidential debate. In sad, swamp-like fashion, that is not the case.

Vice President Pence clearly won the debate, exposing Senator Kamala Harris for the empty neophyte she is. I call her Kama-Chameleon. I have watched her career since her star started to rise in the mid-1990s, and it has been obvious that she will shift with whatever winds suit her ambitions. While she is clearly an intelligent woman, she lacks conviction, depth, and relies upon canned platitudes and a complicit audience to get her through. Someone with the policy gravitas and elective experience of a Mike Pence easily exposed this, and he did it with charm and style; despite the cackling fools of the traditional media crying about “mansplaining” and misogyny. Their response is only further proof that Kamala cannot hack any debate, let alone being a heartbeat away from the presidency.

Whether President or Vice President, you have to instill confidence, and she sorely lacked in that department. Instead she lead with fear, which seems to be the default Democrat playbook. I rolled my eyes when she started in on her “They’re coming for you!” speech. We’re in the middle of a global effing pandemic—don’t nobody want to hear that. It only served to diminish any confidence in her ability to lead.

And don’t get me started on The Fly.

But, I digress….

Despite it being a “successful debate”, it was still a stilted affair weighted in one direction. Moderator Susan Page, yet another traditional media retread who has authored a biography on Speaker Nancy Pelosi (remember Gwen Ifill?), asked softball questions of Senator Harris, yet crafted accusatory and slighted questions of Vice President Pence. She also gave Harris more time, but yeah, no bias here.

I’ll say it again: for people who have years of experience at interviewing subjects, you would think they’d be more adept at asking questions that actually delve and encourage debate. Page was so intent on “we have to stick to the schedule” that she failed to allow hot topics like VP Pence’s volley of court packing, and Harris’s charges of President Trump encouraging racism and white supremacy, to play out. It worked for Page, because she got through her questions and even had a bonus question from an 8th grader; which, to be honest, was better crafted than any she had written. Who it didn’t work for was the American people. This. Is. A. Debate. If the debate is raging, then let it burn.

Even Fox News’s Harris Faulkner saw this was lacking:

As I said last week about the Presidential Debate, the first huge change that needs to happen is with the moderators. If the Presidential Debate Commission really cared about engaging the American people, they would replace the traditional media retreads with new media trailblazers. It would be nice if some of them were outside of the mainstream media-news-political complex, and I mentioned those names, some of them below:

Joe Rogan, Sharyl Attkisson, and Charlamagne tha God are
just a few of the choices for fresh debate moderators

But after the VP Debate, the Presidential Debate Commission decided it needed to change the format of the next presidential debate in Miami from live to virtual. Not exactly what I was looking for, but okay.

They claimed it was because of President Trump’s recent Covid diagnosis, even though he’d be well past the infection period by October 15.

In typical Trump fashion, he told them to go pound sand. Trump decided he’d do a rally instead, Biden decided he’d do a Town Hall with George “Bimbo Eruptions” Stephanopoulos. Same retreads, different day.

Last word was that the presidential debate had been pushed back to October 22, with a third go-round up in the air. Apparently Slow Joe isn’t interested in doing a Town Hall so close to election day.

This has all brought up uncomfortable questions about the nature of the Presidential Debate Commission and why they even exist. Yashar Ali wrote a newsletter piece that ripped the Bandaid off this oozing sore.

From, “The Swampiest Swamp: The Commission on Presidential Debates Is Out of Touch”:

“The three co-chairs of the Commission on Presidential Debates—the nonprofit, bipartisan organization that sponsors and produces the presidential and vice presidential debates every four years during the general election—are all over the age of 70 (two of them are more than 80 years old), are all white, and all are deeply entrenched in the clubby Washington, D.C., world of former politicians, think tanks and lobbyists.

“Of the remaining 10 members on the commission’s board of directors, seven are more than 70 years old, two are in their 60s, and the youngest is 46. One is Black, one is Latina, and one is Asian.

“There is little regional diversity among them. 

“The people who make critical decisions about the country’s presidential debates—events that impact how Americans will vote or if they vote at all—are, for the most part, elites who are part of the D.C.-New York clique known as the swamp.”

[…]

“The makeup of this commission should come as no surprise: It’s largely how power, especially political power, has always looked. But it’s worth discussing, and in the era we’re living in, where diversity is more valued, it would be foolish not to put pressure on the commission to change.”

Thanks, Yashar Ali, and I agree. This is my pressure to see that change happen. While Ali advocates for changes in membership, my advocacy is to nuke the entire operation.

Get rid of the members, get rid of the format, remove the “swamp” from the equation altogether—and that includes the traditional media. Chris Wallace beclowned himself and then whined like a little bitch when called on it, blaming everybody but himself; Susan Page was better, but that’s not saying much: same partisan, different day.

Which brings us to Steve Scully, who is scheduled to moderate the now-October 22 debate. Because he’s an Old, he obviously failed Twitter 101: Use DMs if you don’t want to put yourself on blast. He didn’t, and ended up posting this publicly.

For those not in the know, Anthony Scaramucci was Trump’s Communications Director for all of 10 days back in 2017, before he was unceremoniously shown the door. He grifted for Trump for a while, then decided he’d do a Project Lincoln and become #NeverTrump. Now he’s working for the other side. As the Hoteps say, “It’s grifting season”.

What I find fascinating is a grown-ass man is asking advice from a failed Comms Director who no longer has any significant connection to Trump; but, we live in strange times.

I asked the Debate Commission whether he was up to task of moderating. After all, he is an Old; but then, so are they.

Scaramucci responded to Scully, like a Real Housewife ready to spread gossip:

This bunch is already attempting a new narrative for why they won’t let Trump debate. The grift goes on…

If October 22 does happen, my hope is that we see a fresh face doing whatever format is decided upon. Steve Scully didn’t even hit the stage before beclowning himself.

Time for these Retreads to take a lid.





It’s Time to Change the Format of the Presidential Debates

30 09 2020

2020-09-30 08_03_52-(26) First 2020 Presidential Debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden - YouTube

After the Dumpster Fire production last night, otherwise known as the first Presidential Debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, the Commission on Presidential Debates is rushing to change the format of future debates.

Per the Washington Post:

“After a chaotic and nearly unwatchable first presidential debate that devolved into interruptions and insults, mostly by Trump [this is bullsh*t, but peak WaPo, AGT], the Commission on Presidential Debates said it would look into changing the format of the remaining debates.

“The televised debates are supposed to be “for the benefit of the American electorate,” the commission said in a statement Wednesday, implying that Tuesday night’s unruly slugfest did not achieve that goal.

“Last night’s debate made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues. The CPD will be carefully considering the changes that it will adopt and will announce those measures shortly,” the statement continued.”

How about losing the “additional structure” and totally changing the structure? In terms of Presidential debates, the Lincoln-Douglas format is pretty much dead. We have social media, new media, and a host of ways for the candidates to battle over their record and platform points.

Instead of more structure on a dead model, or CNN’s and the Atlantic’s rallying cry to get rid of debates entirely, how about we find new formats and ways for Presidential candidates to debate:

Here are The Girl’s recommendations:

Get better moderators

No one cares about Chris Wallace. I will say it again, NO ONE CARES ABOUT CHRIS WALLACE!

For that matter, people also don’t care about Norah O’Donnell, Brett Baier, Jake Tapper, Dana Bash, Martha MacCallum, Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes or Hugh Hewitt, et al. The list goes on of legacy media retreads left, right, and center who think anyone cares about seeing them outside of their panel sound bites or the hour box they are confined to on their respective networks. Much like the debate form is dead, so is the need for a “respectable” figurehead type ala Walter Cronkite and Tim Russert. The trust level of the traditional media is lower than the Congress’s, so these gatekeepers need to step aside and either cede or share a platform with new media; which most of us are digesting these days anyway.

Spotify’s Joe Rogan was being floated across Twitter last night, and his easy, free associative and direct style would have been a welcome change to Nanny Chris.

Other thoughtful, insightful, and popular new media personalities that could facilitate debate: Stephen Smith of ESPN, Jason Whitlock of Outkick, Rodolfo Roman of The Roman Show, Charlemagne tha God of The Breakfast Club, Sonnie Johnson of SiriusXM’s “Sonnie’s Corner”, Sharyl Attkisson, Daily Wire’s Andrew Klavan, John Solomon of John Solomon Reports, Daisy and Mockarena of Chicks on the Right, Michael J. Brooks and Sam Seder of The Majority Report… you know where I’m going with this.

Fresh voices, different perspectives, all sides represented, and questions that actually force the candidate to probe and ponder, not put him or her on the defense or give him or her an easy out.

And it would also be nice if traditional media did their research and got their facts straight. How many interns does Fox News have?

  • Proud Boys is not a white supremacist organization, no matter what the Southern Poverty Law Center says, and Antifa is not an “idea”. Portland residents and business owners wish they were.
  • The “fine people” comment has been debunked multiple times, and Joe Biden did call living troops, “Stupid Bastards.” All on video, could have been aired in real time had you taken the time to actually research.
  • Critical Race Theory is not just “Sensitivity Training”. One of its accolytes is Ibram X. Kendi, who took to Twitter to compare Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s adoption of two Haitian children to white colonizers who wanted to civilize the children and remove the parents! Nothing sensitive about that…

2020-09-30 14_18_00-Ibram X. Kendi on Twitter_ _Some White colonizers _adopted_ Black children. They

We remember Candy Crowley, and other media gatekeepers massacring facts to help one candidate over another during debate. Can we for once get some real reporting that undergirds the debate questions? Real delving into both sides of an issue before you craft the questions? It’s like these journalists only report what they have heard, rather than report what they have investigated.

Change the format

I would love to see an NDT-style debate with President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence v. former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris, on their domestic and foreign policy visions. Maybe bring in Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, (even White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany), with two people who represent Biden-Harris’s domestic and foreign policy.

It would give both candidates a much-needed break and would also give a broader spectrum of the “team” who is running or will be running the country.

Another format change: break this debate over two days with three topics into a two-hour format. We are in a terrible time in our nation. Between The Rona, The Riots, and everything in between, I wanted more than 5–10 minutes for President Trump and Biden to discuss these issues. Instead it resulted in the expected: blame and name calling, and false declarations which neither candidate will probably live up to.

Finally, in the Town Hall-style debates, poll real people from across these 50 United States and get their questions and concerns. I doubt very seriously anyone in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho is concerned about climate change, but they might be concerned with an environmental policy that restricts their lives and livelihoods. They may be concerned about a mass shooting and desire to work to prevent that, but they also don’t want their gun rights restricted.

Here in California, where I live, I would welcome some limit to these draconian environmental policies that are the reason we have poor forest management, which in turn is causing these massive wildfires.

I would also welcome a conversation on #AB5, which outlaws independent contracting, and is destroying the livelihoods of women, minorities, and the middle class, along with the California economy.

Newsflash to those outside of California: the A-B-C test in #AB5 has been baked into the PROAct, which the U.S. House of Representatives passed earlier this year. If the Senate gives it a thumbs-up vote, it could take AB5 and its restrictions national. Bye, bye, Right to Work. Bye, bye, building a business through bootstrapping. Bye, bye, side hustles… NATIONALLY.

Don’t get me started on the newest hell for freelancers and independent contractors, the so-called Worker Flexibility and Small Business Protection Act that Washington State Senator Patty Murray is now trying to inflict on hard-working individuals and small business. So, if you don’t think other State’s politicians and the ridiculous policies they bring to D.C. won’t affect your little Red or Blue State, then I have a mountain cabin in Florida to sell you.

One of the reasons debates are mostly irrelevant in changing hearts and minds is because they fail to connect macro issues to micro concerns.

Start there, and maybe the next Debate will actually elucidate these issues and where the candidate and the President stand on them, rather than distract from them with trash talking and bar room brawling.





AB5 and the War on Lyft/Uber expose why Black Jobs Matter

18 08 2020

Well, Lordy, lordy, who would have thought that a bad law and a pandemic would render a response from Civil Rights organizations that actually address the real needs of their people? The NAACP and other business and civil rights organizations sent an urgent letter to Governor Gavin Newsom calling for him to stop the war on the gig economy and to use his emergency powers to suspend #AB5, and to protect the work of drivers for Uber and Lyft.

Another anti-AB5 colleague found it, but I promptly tweeted it out:

NAACP Calls Newsom to Stop War on Gig Economy

For those of you who have been under a rock, #AB5 has all but decimated the economic prospects of independent contractors, freelancers, and gig workers in California. On top of this, the State of California is doing its utmost to end Uber and Lyft operations in California: filing lawsuits, lodging fines, and faux organizing by disgruntled drivers (totally engineered by the Labor Unions) in order to extract money that they claim the state and their drivers are owed.

Uber and Lyft have refused to cave, but in light of the court upholding an injunction forcing the app companies to convert their drivers to employees by August 20, both Uber and Lyft have said they will suspend operations in California through November. The vote on the Prop 22 ballot measure, which would allow Californians to decide whether these drivers should be able to be an independent contractor or an employee, will be the deciding factor.

Then Covid-19 with its subsequent lock downs and closed businesses rendered the death blow. Governor Newsom’s schizophrenic and inconsistent response and actions, appearing perfectly groomed and coiffed while the rest of us developed gray hairs and lumberjack beards, were just more nails in the coffin.

Both the evil law and the virus exposed unintended consequences (what else is new?). The fact that Blacks and Hispanics are more susceptible to the virus and more likely to be adversely affected by it, and the so-called experts still have no idea why this is the case. The lack of any proper measures beyond mask wearing has made some of us understandably cautious about trying to go among people and look for work—if there is any work to be had.

CBS News reported on a University of Santa Cruz research survey that found that 40 percent of Black businesses in major cities like New York, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles have been lost, and probably will never come back.

“There were more than 1 million black-owned businesses in the U.S. at the beginning of February, according to research from the University of California at Santa Cruz, which drew from Census survey estimates. By mid-April, 440,000 black business owners had shuttered their company for good — a 41% plunge. By comparison, 17% of white-owned businesses closed during the same period, the UC Santa Cruz research shows.”

Back in May, on my Communities Digital News page, I reported that women and minorities make up a huge chunk of independent contractors, and this law disenfranchises us; particularly during this pandemic, when we all could be working from home.

So, the fact that the NAACP recognizes this and took action came as a huge surprise. Writer baldilocks replied to my tweet with this apt response:

Baldilocks Response to NAACP Tweet

The rest of that phrase goes, “is right twice a day.” And it’s true. As much as the organization has moved away from true racial justice and equality, on this particular issue of the evils of AB5 and the Uber/Lyft war, it has stepped up to the plate.

Other organizations who sponsored the letter include the Los Angeles Urban League, Ex-Offender Action Network, and Independent Professionals Association.

It is quite an amazing missive, and you can read it in its entirety here. While I don’t agree with all its suggested solutions, the outlining of the case that AB5 and the injunctions against Uber and Lyft need to go is spot on.

An excerpt from the letter:

“The fact is that this crisis demands a new approach. COVID-19 has exposed just how broken the existing safety net programs are for people of color. Unemployment insurance in the U.S. is a patchwork of state-controlled programs originally designed to allow states to exclude Black domestic and agricultural workers during the Great Depression. The challenges faced by Black Americans in accessing unemployment assistance, business loans, and other pandemic assistance funding today are the direct result of racist policies that systematically disenfranchise Black Americans because they do not look like the traditional employees and businesses for whom these programs were designed.”

It ends with this:

“Governor, for African Americans, self-employment is not just a matter of pride – it is a matter of principle. Our people have been fighting for the right to profit from our own labor for over 400 years. We are proud of our resilience and entrepreneurship in the face of odds that have always been stacked against us. But while the coronavirus is destroying Black businesses, we must not allow this disease to destroy our independence.”

Boom. The NAACP laid bare to the Governor why Black JOBS Matter.

Let’s hope Newsom grows a brain and listens.

 





Prop 22 Fight stirs outrage from Veena Dubal’s Sock Puppets

13 08 2020

Blocked by Veena on Professions affected by AB5

On my Communities Digital News page, I have written extensively about University of California Hastings School of Law professor Veena Dubal, and the evil she has caused to those affected by the California law AB5. You can read those articles here, here, AND here.

Dubal helped assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez ruin the lives of 4.5 million independent contractors by supplying the bones of the AB5 text, and in her vocal support and advocacy of the so-called “gig workers” law. Apparently, she now feels it is her goal to debunk and convince people to vote NO on Proposition 22, which is on the California November ballot. This ballot initiative is Uber and Lyft’s response to AB5: Let the voting public and drivers decide how they wish to be treated: as independent contractors, or employees. Proposition 22’s stated goal is, “protects app-based drivers’ flexibility while establishing new earnings and benefit guarantees, and protecting public safety and consumer choice”.

Should this initiative pass, it would do damage to AB5. Independent contractors and freelancers know this, gig workers and drivers know this, and it’s sure as hell Lorena Gonzalez and the Unions know it. Which is why Veena Dubal and her league of unexceptional followers are on the warpath to tear the Proposition down.

Here is what is wrong with this: Veena Dubal delights in using her so-called scholarship to insert herself into debates about labor law and how best to use it to destroy the independent contractor model; this is exactly what is being done with AB5 law and the nationwide PRO Act bill.

However, when legitimately challenged on her positions, Veena turns tail and blocks the critics from her Twitter. But she goes beyond this by rallying her sock puppet followers to cry foul and claim harassment on her behalf.

Dubal freely admitted this after the publication of my series:

Veena Dubal-Read my scholarship

Dubal would know about dissemination of false information. When independent contractors, freelancers and gig workers were desperate to get PUA (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance) payments, and the California Employment Development Department was playing fast and loose with giving them that information, Ms. Dubal directed them to file for unemployment in order to bolster the misclassification claims against Uber and Lyft. Once those claims were rightly denied, she steered them toward a Legal Aid lawyer as referenced here:

Veena Dubal--EDD Misclassification-Misdirection

This is the same woman who applauded the rising Covid-19 numbers because it justified the need for “employee protections”:

Veena Dubal on Mocking COVID19-Sick Leave

Veena Dubal is neither innocent, nor ignorant of the molotov cocktails she throws, nor of the damage it causes, no matter how much she tries to hide behind the: I’m just a scholar, I don’t influence laws schtick.

Veena Duval-Not an elected official

Veena Dubal-You Know you've arrived

Veena Dubal-Arrogance about who writes laws

If anything, she revels in it, particularly when she has a sock puppet army to supply cover.

The campaign for Yes on Proposition 22, freely admits it is funded by Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash. What people don’t bother to check is who is funding the opposition: Those astroturf driver’s rights groups like Gig Workers Rising (GWR), the one who Dubal freely supports and retweets.

Among the heavy funding from non-profit organizations, GWR gets financial support from the Teamsters and SEIU, the two biggest labor unions in the country. These same unions funded Lorena Gonzalez and the other California legislature tools who pushed through AB5.

So please, cry me a river about the heavy corporate funding on Yes on Prop 22.

The Yes on Prop 22 campaign has been going gangbusters, spotlighting the drivers who want to continue to work unencumbered by “employee protections”, and keeping us all abreast of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s campaign to destroy the app companies.

On August 6, the campaign took to Twitter to mock Dubal’s hypocrisy and how easily she uses her Blocker Trigger Finger against her critics.

Yes on 22-Blocked By Veena Thread

This is a question that has been asked by independent contractors, freelancers, and gig workers who have been the recipient of this treatment. So a representation of the 4.5 million affected by AB5, and who have been blocked by Dubal responded:

Piano Man-Alfera-Stop Publishing Scholarship that Hurts People

Industrious Bird-Rebuttal

There were even responses by some who never even engaged Dubal on Twitter, but were pre-emptively blocked!

2020-08-13 10_09_39-(1) Evan Miller on Twitter_ _@VoteYesOn22 I don’t even recall interacting with h

Why is someone who is 1) a labor lawyer; 2) an academic; and 3) claims to be a champion for the marginalized so feckless at defending her own positions?

More importantly, how do you get unions and politicians to come to your defense? Along with the drivers, union-sponsored accounts, and yes, bots, District 27 Assemblyman Ash Kalra, who co-sponsored and championed for the passage of AB5 waded into the melee to express his outrage.

Ash Kalra 🌱 on Twitter_ _.@veenadubal does her work

One wonders where his outrage was over South African immigrant and domestic worker Carmel Foster, who his colleague Assemblyman Phil Ting bedded and used for four years to craft legislation. But, I digress….

Then Nicole Moore, a supposed Lyft driver leapt to Dubal’s defense.

Nicole Moore-Veena's Defense

Nicole Moore is active on Twitter to expose the “extremely exploitative business models” of Uber and Lyft and defend the need for drivers to unionize. What has been discovered is that she is a union plant. Several drivers and independent contractors have pointed this out, but this one brings the receipts.

DINO MANELLI on Twitter_ Fake union salter Nicole Moore poses as Lyft driver to support care

Now, the unionized writers have gotten into the game. Slate writer Aaron Mak came to Dubal’s defense with a piece titled, “Why Is an Advocacy Group Funded by Uber and Lyft Hounding a Law Professor on Twitter?” Writer Mak decries the “targeting a law professor on Twitter over her efforts to get their workers classified as employees.”

To Mack’s credit, he does point out that Dubal has been a prominent advocate of AB5 and vocal critic of Prop 22. Here is where he starts shredding the truth: “On Twitter, she was buffeted with threats and vulgar harassment, often denigrating her identity as a woman of color. Other accounts circulated false rumors about her, alleging that she was harassing independent contractors on Twitter.”

Mak then supplies tweets (with the names blocked out—how considerate), to back up these “threats and vulgar harassment”, while ignoring other tweets (the majority, frankly) calling Dubal to account for her involvement in AB5 and in pushing an agenda to derail Prop 22.

Dubal’s sock puppets want to paint every critic who has been blocked by her as evil, or the typical response of those who have no defense, as bots bought and paid for by Uber and Lyft, when much of the push back she receives is either legitimate concern that her “scholarship” and advocacy hurts not just drivers, but freelancers, independent contractors, and the self-employed. While this writer cannot yet find a union connection to Dubal’s fixation in destroying the independent contractor model, the fact that the propagandist for the California Federation of Labor and Union salter Nicole Moore come to her defense reeks to high heaven.

But if fully addressed, that would change the narrative from poor, put upon academic who is just trying to help “the worker” gain equity, to a narcissistic, privileged, and entitled fraud who cannot take any criticism, and manipulates people into defending her empty scholarship, gaslighting, and lies.








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