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!





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!





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.

 





Evan Wecksell and AB5: A long-shot write-in candidate may just shake things up

2 03 2020

Evan Wecksell

This weekend, I was invited to a meet-and-greet for Senate District 25 Write-in Candidate Evan Wecksell.

Current District 25 State Senator Anthony Portantino is up for re-election, and would be running unopposed had it not been for Evan, and one other write-in candidate stepping up to the plate.

Thank God, because Portantino has to go. he has mostly been a rubber stamp for the progressive agenda: from his six-year-long career in the California State Assembly (2006-2012), to his four years in the State Senate (2016), he has followed the party line from his anti-gun ownership stance, to his promotion and vote for AB5, the so-called “Gig Workers” law that has removed our right to choose to work in the way that fits our lives, our schedules, and our preference.

As part of the Facebook groups where those affected by AB5 organize: Freelancers Against AB5 and Freelancers Against the PRO Act, I posted my research on write-in candidates for District 25, and Evan reached out to me personally and invited me to attend the event in Pasadena. Along with promoting it to my friends and colleagues in the district, Lynn and I attended.

Evan talked about his journey to becoming a write-in candidate, he talked at length about the AB5 law and why it needs to be repealed:

I took a few Facebook Live videos to curate his major points, and he had some ingenious ideas on how the focus on independent contractors could be approached, the perspective on responsible gun owners, and undoing onerous laws:

He acknowledged the long-shot nature of his candidacy, but encouraged us that through word of mouth, texting, lawn signs, business cards and informing people of his candidacy, he could get enough votes to make the runoff in November.

I was impressed by Evan’s attention to detail, game plan, and ground game. Truth be told, the other write-in candidate was weighed in the same balance, and found wanting.

California District 25 encompasses the cities and communities of Burbank, Sunland-Tujunga, Atwater Village, La Canãda-Flintridge, La Crescenta, Montrose, Glendale, Pasadena, Altadena, San Marino, Sierra Madre, Monrovia, Bradbury, Duarte, Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Claremont, Upland, and San Antonio Heights.

CA Senate District 25

Former Governor Jerry Brown signed a law outlawing write-in candidates for the general election; so this is the one opportunity in the crazy California jungle primary to disrupt the one-party rule. If you live in District 25 and you haven’t voted yet, write in “Evan Wecksell”. If you are particularly unhappy with the direction in the state, this is your chance to force a choice.





AB5 and the State of the State

26 02 2020

So our idiot Governor Gavin Newsom delivered his second State of the State address last week. All the elected crooks were in session, including the useless Attorney General Javier Beccerra, whose only job seems to be to sue the federal government, and Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis fulfilling one of her minimal duties of introducing the Governor’s address.

If California was not in such awful shape, it would have been comedy gold: much of it looked like a Saturday Night Live sketch, with Newsom entering like a rock star, while assembly members, state senators, and others clapped like trained seals, and Botox Barbie “first partner” Jennifer Siebel Newsom being fawned over. His hollow inflation of how well California is doing was fairly nauseating. It is like someone strutting, thinking they are runway fabulous, but their hairy ass is exposed.

For those in California, I recommend you view the whole thing and see how many lies you can catch. His spending three-quarters of his speech on how he will attack the homeless crisis in the state is particularly disingenuous. Newsom has been collectively shamed by President Trump and a few of the mayors of the larger cities where homelessness is rampant and destroying the quality of life for tax-paying residents. Total strangers like activist Scott Presler have gone into San Francisco to clean up the poop- and needle-laden streets. But Newsom’s attempt to slap a “rah-rah” face on the crisis comes off as castles in the air postulating. While he rattled off many declarations and ideas, he gave no solid plans toward their implementation.

He tweeted part of his brilliant strategy on Twitter:

Gavin Stupid 1

So doctors are now realtors? So I can go to my doctor and say, “I want to live in the Governor’s mansion—write me a prescription please!” Ludicrous. He was rightly ratioed by many us:

Gavin Newsom Ratio 1Gavin Newsom Ratio 2Gavin Newsom Ratio 3Gavin Newsom Ratio 5

The last ratio points to Governor Newsom signing AB5 into law, which got nary a mention in his speech. He did make this baldfaced claim:

“In city after city, household after household, the hard work of this legislature is making dreams more real for more Californians than ever before.

“When Justice Brandeis wrote in 1932 that ‘a single courageous state may…serve as a laboratory’ of democracy, he could easily have been referencing California today.

“Because, unlike the Washington plutocracy, California isn’t satisfied serving a powerful few on one side of the velvet rope.

The California Dream is for all.” (emphasis mine)

Are you kidding me?! Over 160 professions ripped apart due to the effects of AB5. For thousands of California constituents, the California Dream became the California Nightmare overnight. But let’s talk about how we are going to solve homelessness in the state, when Newsom’s signing of this landmine of a law has done more toward exacerbating the crisis! I joined in the ratio myself by pointing this out:

Gavin Newsom Ratio-my reply

The total lack of self-awareness boggles the mind. But like Assembly speaker Harridan Lorena, they do what their union overlords tell them to do and they refuse to back down or apologize. The only thing either of them will understand is being voted out. I and others are working on that part.

Republican Assemblyman Kevin Kiley has authored a repeal bill to AB5: AB1928. It has wended its way through committee and will come up for vote on February 27. With the same Democrat Super Majority who voted it into place, it’s a long shot. But I appreciate that some of his colleagues, like Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, have signed on to Asm. Kiley’s effort to see AB5 stopped in its tracks.

 

State Senator Shannon Grove has also instituted bill SB875 to see the AB5 repealed.

 

Should these efforts be blocked or fail, it is clear we the people of California need to vote these bastards out. One-party rule by union fiat is neither protection nor is it healthy for a functioning state. It is a fiefdom, and none of us signed up for that.

Recall Newsom efforts are still underway, despite the blocking by secretaries of states who are fearful of losing their little corner of power. Early voting has already started, and Super Tuesday is March 3. Californians, please stop voting party lines and union lines, and vote for saving freedom to earn a livelihood in the way you see fit, and an electorate that works for you.

The true State of the State is dependent on you; not the empty-headed Ken doll in the governor’s mansion.





A funny thing happened on the way to 2020…

13 02 2020

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you know what happened; and it is not funny. Among the numerous freedom-killing laws the California legislature concocted and the Leftist Governor Newsom signed into law is Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), hilariously named, the “Gig Worker” Bill. This bill is the bastard child of Assemblymember (woman? Who knows? *eye roll*) Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher of District 80 in San Diego County.  Delusional, and drunk on power, she claims she just wants “workers” to have good jobs with good benefits. But you watch her Twitter feed, and actually confront her couched language, and she exposes her true goal:

Lorena True Reason for AB5 Union Tweet 09-16-19

Despite conversations, lobbying, protestations by truckers, small business, freelance writers, musicians, independent contractors, and other “gig” workers who don’t make money through the traditional channel of a 9-5 employee, #Harridan Lorena got what she wanted. The Democrat Super Majority voted it in, and Leftist Gavin signed it into law.

The law went into effect on January 1, 2020, and has wreaked havoc on millions of Californians; many who either didn’t think the law affected them, or just were too busy trying to earn a living (Hello!), that they didn’t see it coming.

If you follow my Twitter or Facebook feed, or just do an Internet search, you can read the articles, and see the stories of people limited and destroyed by this law. Professions like interpreters and translators, who work for multiple agencies via 1099, are also being hit horribly. Small non-profits, theater companies, opera houses have had to shutter their doors. All because a legislature, who is essentially bought-and-paid-for by big union interest, decided that the only valid employment is full-time (and union) employment.

Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher’s big dream is to be the Secretary of State in 2022, and then probably governor, which is always a stepping-stone to the presidency.

My goal is to shatter her dreams the way she has shattered my, and others, livelihoods:

Repeal AB5

“What the bill really did was make it illegal for Californians to choose how, when, and where to work to support their families. Overnight tens of thousands of people in various industries […] found their income streams either entirely eliminated or severely curtailed.” — AB 5 Facts.

Let’s call it what it is: Evil. With a vote you tell millions of workers that what they do does not matter, and that they can no longer do it on their own terms. This is not only un-American, it is destructive. And as John 10:10 tells me, “The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy…”

For those outside of California, who would say, “Oh, that’s crazy California, they get what they deserve…” Take a look at Virginia, New York, and Illinois to see that these power-hungry Leftists are never satisfied with destroying their own fiefdoms, but will be coming for yours very soon.

Last week, the United States House of Representatives voted to approve H.R. 2474, also hilariously titled “Protecting the Right to Organize 2019” Act  (PRO Act).  Long story short, it’s AB5 on steroids, and it is a nationwide bill that they hope to make a national law. They want to wreak the same havoc that is happening in California on your little state. Welcome to the party, folks!

It is now on the floor of the Senate, and Minority Leader Schumer of New York (huh), has promised to get the votes to have it pass the Senate. Even if that happens (there is much doubt), President Trump has said he will not sign the act, and then it dies until they get someone in office who will do their bidding (Hello, Bernie?).

But if I know one thing it is this: these people are like cockroaches: they keep coming back, and they bring 5,000 of their friends with them! They are not going to stop until they get what they want. Destruction of your constitutional and God-given freedoms.

So I am doing what I know to do, for myself and for all who are affected by AB5, and will be affected by HR 2474 (PRO Act).

I am not going to stop until I see AB5 fully repealed, and this PRO Act and any of its permutations destroyed. Like President Trump recognizes, social media is very effective. So my Assembly critter (who voted YES on AB5) Chris Holden, Governor Newsom, Sens. Diane Feinstein and Kamala Harris have heard, and will continue to hear from me via Tweet, post, as well as other traditional means like letter and fax. They supported these turkeys, and I will keep throwing that in their face until the outcry is deafening. And trust me, it’s getting there.

Here is another beauty part: California in its infinite wisdom moved their State elections to March 3, which allows us to channel the AB5 Resistance to the ballot box. While early voting is already going on, we still are able to affect change. I am encouraging California voters affected negatively by AB5 to vote against the Assembly person who signed on to this debacle. Aside from withholding money (which is the union’s threat), these jokers only understand being primaried or voted out of office entirely.

So beyond what work I can scrounge up, this has consumed my days. Pray for me, and hit the tip jar if you feel so led.

Even if you are not affected by this evil law, you can support or advocate on behalf of those who are. If you are on Facebook, follow: Freelancers Against AB5 and Freelancers Against the ProAct.

And speaking of Twitter, Faces of AB5 (#ProAct) is doing yeoman’s work in not only keeping California’s legislature’s feet to the fire, but promoting stories and news that tells the truth about the devastation caused by this evil law.

Here are some important links:

AB5 Facts – To educate you on AB5.

Shannon Grove AB5 Stories – One of our state representatives has graciously set up a questionnaire for those affected by the law.

AB5 Stories  – Stories of hundreds who have been adversely affected since AB5’s implementation.

AB5 Classification Form – I have created a form to quantify the number of professions and counties in California affected by this law. If AB5 is hampering or destroying your ability to work, please fill it out.

Special shout out to Lauri Jon Caravella for her artwork that channels our protest, anger, and advocacy. All the artwork posted is hers. I’ll leave you with this gem:

Freelancers Sinking Ship Artwork (Lauri Jon Caravella)








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