None of the positions stated below will be worth a Kangaroo Rat’s spit if the right-less march towards despot wannabes and authoritarianism perseveres and democracy is not preserved. Our forefathers gave us a wonderfully malleable scaffolding upon which to build and maintain a just and enduring republic – a governing republic long the envy of the civilized world. A republic nurtured by the intellectual honesty, integrity and good will of the members of Congress with whom this representative trust has been placed by its citizen voters. The Republican grab for ever diminishing individual votes increasingly lining the margins of an overwhelmingly moderate electorate – from their appointment of sympathetic, litmus-tested judges, to their gubernatorial redistricting of voter maps, to their installation of biased elections officials willing to overturn legal election results – is an existentially clear and present danger to the continuance of democracy. As a native Californian and 11th generation American, one who has taken the Oath of Office 3 times in the last 3 years and fully comprehends the gravity of its meaning, I will abide unreservedly by that oath – to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, not any political party nor moneyed lobbyist. Current geopolitical events ought to remind us of the fragility and preciousness of our own democracy, how real patriots are willing to fight and die for the freedoms we yet enjoy, and the right to determine their own future. I only hope that at the end of a desperate struggle supported by the world’s greatest democracy, we may send them a gift of friendship as once meaningful as France gave unto us some seven score years ago. Or perhaps, we we’ll just send them ours, if it no longer has meaning to us.
While money given to people to survive during the pandemic has likely been a contributor to inflation, it should be remembered that folks were being paid to remain home, away from public contact, in order to prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading widely and uncontrollably. It is likely more causal that the re-establishment of lagging supply chains and recurring disruptions in world markets by unstable players has provoked a perfect storm of international world trade leading to inflation of pricing of all goods. Elements of the problem may be changed over time, if we are willing to retain critical production at home, albeit at perhaps higher prices. There is little, if in fact nothing, that cannot be made in America, and should be, to avoid further unpredictable pricing fluctuations.
GLOBAL CLIMATE CHAGE
Global warming is settled science, as much a gravity is. We’ve all seen first hand the predictions of increasingly extreme weather, uncontrollable wildfires and crop failures come all too terrifyingly true. We are all “climate change undeniers” now. The only climate change deniers left are the ignorant, the insane, and the insecure. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC-6) I has just reported a 1.7º C rise in temperature, global warming for which there is now no escape. The only salient question remaining is are we willing to even attempt to prevent further warming – another 2, 3 …5 or more degrees Celsius – further disruption to world economies and livelihoods? The only answer is the concerted transition to non-fossil fuels, renewable energy – solar and wind. Requiring all new construction in California incorporate solar in/on its roofing, along with significant subsidies for retrofits feeding into the net grid avoids unnecessary acquisition and the harmful environmental impacts of exploiting large tracts of land. These choices have been made for us by corporate Big Oil’s 30 year political control and fabrication of junk science, and its denial of actual peer reviewed science. Perhaps in lieu of continually benefitting from record profits during times of geopolitical uncertainty and instability, Big Oil should be required to plow “windfall” profits into renewable energy programs.
One definition of insanity being doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, now must surely be the time to throw off the yoke of our fossil fuel masters and begin the full transition to a truly independent, renewable energy policy. A policy geared to both production and use of renewable energy. Private enterprise has been leading the way for over 30 years. Our armed services have long recognized the national security necessity of moving away from polluting fossil fuels to renewables. It is time for this nation and its leaders to take up the baton of renewable energy and get us over the finish line of true, sustainable energy independence.
Whisky’s for drinkin’; water is for fightin’ over – Mark Twain
Those words (unverified as to have actually been Twain’s) have been true for as long as the West has been the West. The vast Central Valley of California, the world’s fruit basket, is climatologically classified as ‘desert’, receiving on average less than 10 inches of rainfall per year. California is already the most dammed state in the union, with reservoir plumbing choking every free flowing river west of the crest of the Sierra Nevada. Building more reservoirs to catch and store ever diminishing amounts of melting snowpack due to warmer winters, seems a fool’s errand. Some low elevation reservoirs may be expanded for more rainfall storage, but the only solution at this time would seem to be continuance and enhancement of statewide water conservation measures, including a shift to less water intensive crops.
California lies at the nexus global warming, water, and the economy. Strong leadership both within and without the state is required to keep the wheels from coming off California’s future – a future inextricably tied to the rest of the country. California has always been the leader, the can-do state of milk and honey. California, and indeed the nation, needs leaders who comprehend the complexities of the problems too long avoided by the the weak and the bought. Leaders who are strong enough to compromise in service of a larger goal. California needs leaders who will lead.
DEFUND THE POLICE (NOT)
The only people who may truthfully be labeled as defunding the police are those Republicans who did not vote for $350 billion including police funding within the American Rescue Plan. Look no further than the present occupier of the 23rd, now 20th, House seat for a Defunder in Chief. I am the only candidate with actual governing experience, the only one who has a verifiable record of FUNDING the police in my community. I, along with my director colleagues, hire our police chief and have funded every request made of us, including the hiring of deputies. I’ve worked with our Neighborhood Watch to raise money for our police fund. I signed the CSD check for fully outfitted replacement police cruisers myself. I took a Narcan training course and gave my overdose kits to my police department. According to the 2022 BestPlaces.net ranking, my community, Stallion Springs, enjoys the lowest crime rate of any in the region. That scurrilous defund dog won’t hunt, that albatross cannot be hung around my neck.
The covenant the citizenry holds with law enforcement is that while it will provide police with the support necessary to do their job and to keep it safe, they will be held to the highest standards of accountability. Once the coin of social capital is spent it can take a very long time to earn it back from those served. With great power comes great responsibility.
Police are often given too many tasks to perform effectively at their best or within their training. Many incidents are better handled by harm reduction specialists and appropriate psychological support. In this way, potentially tragic consequences involving the use of deadly force may be kept to a minimum – if at all, even to the point obviating further intervention of law enforcement.
Social Security is, and has been for over 8 decades, the most successful, universally admired, and lifesaving and affirming of all the so-called entitlement programs. Republicans want to take Social Security and Medicare away from seniors. This is not conjecture. It was already tried for a time in the the last Administration. It was foremost on their regressive agenda to gut its payroll tax funding entirely had another term been won. Recent bills introduced in Congress confirm it is still in the bulls eye of the right. This is personal to me. I live on a fixed Social Security income. Seniors must vote their own interests, not those of the whoring media fact holes* exploiting perceived culture wars. I am with you because I am one of you. Vote for yourselves.
*fact hole: The gravitational black hole of ignorance, grievance and greed from which logic, rationality and fact cannot escape.
RIGHT TO CHOOSE
I believe in the individual’s dominion over their own body, except in situations of public safety. Regrettably, abortions will always be with us, legal or not. The question is whether they will remain safe or not. If they remain legal, as is now settled case law, they can remain as safe as possible for the mother. Those who choose to deny the right to choose to others must rationally also be for cradle to grave governmental support of the mother and child. That, seems like socialism to me. It follows that one might naturally assume that “Right to Life” would also preclude the use of the Death Penalty in capital cases. This is hypocrisy writ large.
America needs strong, defensible borders, not walls. Immigrants are the seed and backbone of our country and should be treated with the respect and dignity of any wishing to become legal citizens, no matter from which direction they arrive. Work visas to support temporary and seasonal work, should allow recipients to come and go as necessary, while still being strictly accountable to our laws in support of our economy.
It takes me at least four hours each year to do my relatively uncomplicated income tax return. I cannot afford to have it prepared by an expert or accountant. Income tax reporting must become much, much simpler for the average low to middle class wage earning American. Corporations, now judged to be citizens granted the rights of free speech by the Supreme Court Citizen’s United Ruling, must accordingly be required to pay taxes as individuals as well. The economic disparity between the top .01% and the bottom 50% has long ago exceeded that of the Guilded Age. There has been no equitable governmental support of those who have their labor locked in never ending cycles of decreasing economic parity and corporate welfare – no rising tide lifting all boats as blue and white collar wage earners are trickled down upon by the master corporations.
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
The second of our most fundamental Bill of Rights, as short and to the point as it is, is often abridged to to preclude the context of being framed around the necessity of a well regulated militia in deterring the unconstitutional actions of the federal government. No mention is included regarding the accountability and responsibility of citizen firearm ownership. It is no longer rational to throw up our hands in dismay at the gun violence in America. No other civilized society endures the gun violence America does, because they have dealt with the proliferation and accountability of guns. With increasing gun violence in our cities, we are all witness to what would be next to impossible if guns were not on the streets. I support gun registration, background checks, and the accountability of parents as legal accomplices to gun violence perpetrated by their minor children.