WATCH: Wage Gap Myth: All About Choice

Christina Hoff-Sommers, author of “Who Stole Feminism” and “The War Against Boys”; aka “the Factual Feminist”, brings her common sense to a new video from Prager U. 

In this piece, she explains why the gender wage gap is a myth.  Hoff-Sommers highlights that when ‘choice’ is included in the calculations, the true wage “gap” is 6.6 cents. 

Watch here.   Time well spent, for both genders.

California Storms, Generous Help, And Biblical Lessons

There are silver linings in storm clouds, more-so lately in California. 

In the last few months, California has been blessed with a tremendous amount of rain to combat years of drought, to the point where the state designation of “exceptional drought” has been removed.  Conversely, there have been dangerous and devastating consequences from the rain, from the Oroville Dam infrastructure issues to severe flooding throughout the Northern and Central state geographies.  One such area affected by severe flooding is San Jose.

Kieu Hoang, a Napa winery owner, is one of many silver linings in the storm cloud flooding of San Jose.  Hoang was born in Vietnam, and moved to California once the Vietnam War ended.  He generated wealth by saving and investing money throughout his career selling medical products.  In addition, he is a stakeholder in various pharmaceutical companies, such as Shanghai RAAS Blood Products. 

On March 1, Hoang gave San Jose officials a symbolic oversized check for $5 million to help those affected by the flooding.  He then provided the real deal and handed the check to Mayor Sam Liccardo.  The generous gift has been added to the $1 million in donations thus far, and nonprofits such as Catholic Charities and Sacred Heart are in the beginning stages of distributing funds to those in need.

“We’ll help people navigate the insurance companies, navigate the benefits, make sure people if they need another apartment can get what they need,” said Greg Kepfurle, CEO of Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County.

I do not know the belief or faith in any of those who are donating.  I do want to highlight the strength of personal responsibility, generosity, and grace; foundations in God’s Word, and how this blessing can be an example.

Many have complained that the government – local, state, and federal, have not done enough to safeguard residents of San Jose.  These complaints are decades old, yet little has changed.  Instead of relying on the government for the fix, why not take personal responsibility and fix it, as a community? 

Approximately 10 years ago, the federal government rejected a funding project to design flood walls, levees and other improvements to the low-lying San Jose neighborhood of Rock Springs.  The city owns most of the land along Coyote Creek, and at this point, has legal responsibility for maintenance.  If an individual had legal responsibility for a plot of land, and did not set up the necessary improvements to minimize destruction to others, a lawsuit and mitigations would occur, swiftly.  To this date, nothing has been done to force the city to make these improvements.  It is time for communities to take personal responsibility for their towns, and take the power away from governments.  Per the Constitution, government should focus on roads and military strength; everything else should be in the hands of the people, directly.

A few thoughts and suggestions to all communities, which can be extrapolated beyond land improvements:

  • Communities can band together and take care of one another without government, if each individual within the community builds wealth through biblical teachings
  • 1 Timothy 5:8 (KJV) But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse and an infidel.
  • Money is amoral, just paper and metal.  It is the spiritual maturity of the holder that determines how wealth is gained, and distributed.  Similarly, a brick is amoral.  Do you use it to build shelter, or harm someone by throwing it at him?
  • Wealth is not evil, and cannot be “fairly” distributed.
  • Proverbs (KJV):
    • 13:11 Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labor shall increas
    • 13:22 A good man leaventh an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just
  • God promises to feed us, but he doesn’t set the table with surf and turf.  We must work, use the skills given to us by Him, and live by His Commandments.
  • Wealth is uncertain, and requires a tremendous amount of maturity to handle it well.  Government does not, and will never, have such maturity.
  • God is never uncertain; He is steady and secure.  As Martin Luther said, “I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.”

I am not suggesting that people give up all their wealth and belongings; such a concept is nowhere in the Bible and frankly is not supported by biblical maturity.  For those of you who believe the Widow’s Mite is an example of giving to the point of bankruptcy, you’re wrong as you have not read the entire story.  Jesus notes she gave “out of poverty”; and He looked up at those “who devour widows’ houses“:

Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; Which devour widows’ houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation.” Luke 20:46-47

Luke is writing about Jesus condemning those elitists, who are immature in their spiritual wealth by taking everything they can, including from the weakest members of the community.  The widow provided everything she had to live on, even though the elitists took from her.

Reminds me of the vast array of taxes we pay.

Every town in the USA has fantastic communities of people with the potential to be personally responsible financially, and can grow into a spiritual maturity to handle wealth.  Government must eliminate entitlements, social programs, including social security, and give those tax dollars back to the people. 

Become active in your community to minimize government control and intervention.  Work to eliminate government intrusion, and set up your community to be self-sufficient. 

God Bless Mr. Hoang and all those who are helping San Jose.  Also, blessings to all of us throughout the Country, trying to achieve the spiritual maturity to develop wealth and give generously, while keeping our own homes intact, sans government.

As Expected, Philadelphia’s Tax On “Sugary Drinks” Results In Layoffs

Previously, I summarized the repercussions of the “sugary drinks” tax imposed by the city of Philadelphia.  As expected, the tax is causing layoffs, with an update from Teamsters Local 830 Secretary-Treasurer Daniel Grace:

  • Pepsi, Co., announced 80-100 of the 423 people employed in Philadelphia will be out of a job. 
  • Canada dry is planning 25 layoffs
  • Coca-Cola is planning similar layoffs

These, according to Grace, are “a direct result of the city’s onerous and discriminatory Beverage Tax.”

“Unfortunately, after careful consideration of the economic realities created by the recently enacted beverage tax, we have been forced to give notice that we intend to eliminate 80 to 100 positions, including frontline and supervisory roles,” Pepsi spokesman Dave DeCecco said.

Fran McGorry, president and general manager of Coca-Cola Refreshments from the Tri-State Metro Unit, released the following statement:

“We are sorry to hear that the hard working people who make, sell and deliver a wide range of beverages in Philadelphia are losing their jobs because of this beverage tax. There is no question this tax is hurting Philadelphia’s consumers, restaurants and store owners as well.  Everything we’ve said would happen by enacting this tax is proving to be true. We are evaluating how we will address the impact of this tax on our business. People are leaving the city to shop, small businesses are getting hurt, consumers are unhappy and people are losing their jobs.”

City of Philadelphia spokesmen claim these are scare tactics to prevent a similar tax in other cities.  Lauren Hitt confirmed the liberal city’s elitist attitude with a statement that Pepsi should not lay off workers since they make a profit.

“The idea that they can afford to do that but ‘must lay off workers’ should make every Philadelphian very skeptical of whether these layoffs are actually due to the tax,” Hitt said.  

The tax is to fund pre-K programs along with other city projects; to encourage parents to warehouse their children with strangers while they find jobs to pay for additional taxes to enjoy their Gatorade and Pepsi.  Mayor Jim Kenney’s office announced the universal warehousing pre-K indoctrination program has created 251 new jobs; 191 teaching jobs and of those 147 full-time positions.  The average salary for these new jobs is $14.72 an hour.

Also, as I previously wrote, people are leaving the city limits to purchase their “sugary drinks”, which goes beyond a basic Coca-Cola or Pepsi.  As a consequence, people are purchasing most or all their groceries outside the city.  This will cost local businesses everywhere, including purchasers, truck drivers, catering services, plus the many colleges, universities, and medical schools in the city that provide vending and cafeteria services to students.   Grace points to the city council members and those union leaders that supported the tax when it passed last summer:

We predicted this dire outcome from the outset. I hope they can live with themselves after knowing that their actions led to the devastation of an industry in the city and the loss of so many family-sustaining jobs.”

I am not sure they care, Mr. Grace.  Power is more important than common sense.

The nanny state is in full force.  Grab a beer, soda, cheesesteak, fries, your favorite cigar, and read this from phila.gov, plus, check out the related links to see how much control the city of Philadelphia wants to have over your life. 

Coming to a city near you…….

Elisabeth Dee “Betsy” DeVos is neither ignorant, nor a proponent of racial segregation

Prior to President Trump’s speech to Congress Tuesday evening, Betsy DeVos met with leaders of historically black higher education institutions (HBCUs).  As is typical for public relations, she released a statement, worth a full read here:

A key priority for this administration is to help develop opportunities for communities that are often the most underserved. Rather than focus solely on funding, we must be willing to make the tangible, structural reforms that will allow students to reach their full potential.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have done this since their founding. They started from the fact that there were too many students in America who did not have equal access to education. They saw that the system wasn’t working, that there was an absence of opportunity, so they took it upon themselves to provide the solution.

HBCUs are real pioneers when it comes to school choice. They are living proof that when more options are provided to students, they are afforded greater access and greater quality. Their success has shown that more options help students flourish.

Their counsel and guidance will be crucial in addressing the current inequities we face in education. I look forward to working with the White House to elevate the role of HBCUs in this administration and to solve the problems we face in education today.

This is a statement supportive of educational choice.  Of course, since DeVos is a republican and part of the Trump administration, this statement is considered ignorant and praises segregation.  Similarly to those democrats holding grudges to the point of disparaging a Navy Seal’s wife, this is another grudge sure to backfire like a petulant child on the grocery aisle floor wailing over not getting the candy bar.

Wade Henderson, president of the Leadership Conference responded to DeVos’ statement, harshly:

HBCUs were created in response to a racist system of segregation that saw the education of black people as a threat to white supremacy – a belief central to slavery — and that refused to allow black people to participate in the education system available only to white people.  HBCUs continue to play an important role in our education system.
There is no shortage of academic literature on this subject, including the seminal work, Education of Blacks in the South: 1860-1935, by noted historian James Anderson.  I would advise Secretary DeVos to check the facts, study the history, and refrain from suggesting that Jim Crow was about choice for anybody besides segregationist politicians.

This conference consists of approximately 200 organizations, principally liberal, such as the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Sierra Club, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, and Prison Policy Initiative.  From the diversity of organizations, one would think Henderson’s statement would be vetted to ensure accuracy.  Alas, no. 

The reason for this display of irrational disgust?  The National Education Association’s hold on the Democratic Party, since Jimmy Carter’s switch on vouchers to keep in good with the union  The money and political stronghold between the NEA and Democrats override any desire to listen to voters.  The children do not matter; only when used as pawns to extort more money from state and federal agencies.

As clearly articulated in The Federalist, Joy Pullman explains:

“…..since the inception of higher education people have always traveled for it. If there is more than one HBCU — in fact there are 107, several established before the Civil War, in addition to non-HBCU colleges like my alma mater, Hillsdale, that never practiced racial discrimination — then you instantly have plural options. Not none or one but many. We’ve moved from no choice to many choices, thanks to entirely voluntary efforts and despite government-mandated segregation. Which is precisely DeVos’s point.”

School vouchers have been in majority support for decades.  For example, one of the first modern school choice programs in America, Milwaukee’s vouchers, was spearheaded by longtime civil rights activist Howard Fuller.  In 2014, Fuller expressed his thoughts to Pullman:

“I use the term parent choice. It’s not an issue of schools choosing, it’s an issue of parents choosing. I don’t think you ought to have an America where those of us with money have the opportunity to choose the best environment for their children. If you have money in America, you have choice. Because if schools don’t work for your children, you’re going to move, you’re going to get those kids into another private school, you’re going to get tutoring, or all three. Low-income and working-class parents don’t have the opportunity to do it. For me it’s a social justice issue, not about free markets — trying to ensure that those families that have the least among us have some opportunity to choose the best environment for their children.”

In addition, research has shown this decades-long trend in support of alternative education:  Seventy-four percent of black Americans supported charter schools in a national 2016 poll. Choosing among public, private, charter, or homeschooling, only 25% chose public schools as a first choice.  Sixty-one percent support school vouchers, and 63 percent supported tax-credit scholarships. Forty-nine percent think public education is on the wrong track.”

As aptly stated by Pullman:

“What really offends critics is not that DeVos said historically black institutions offer options to children, but that Trump administration policies threaten Democrats’ political monopoly on the black vote.”

 

Philadelphia: Drop that Soda before someone gets HURT!

Hey Philadelphia!  Sit down and relax for a moment.  All that protesting makes one thirsty.  Open your favorite soda or sports drink, and wallet.

Two months ago, residents of liberal, democrat-run Philadelphia were ignored via implementation of the immense tax on “sugary drinks”.  The rationale to ignore constituents?  The government knows better.  You, dear Philadelphia residents, are fat.  You do not know how to choose a healthy beverage.  Plus, your pre-K kids need universal, government run education, because, well, Dad the city said so.  PSSA test scores from Philadelphia schools have declined because the tests are now “harder”.   In order to provide to you, dear children residents of Philadelphia, the proper education needed to succeed in life, more money is required. 

Confused?  A tax has been implemented on “sugary drinks” to encourage better choices and combat Fat Philadelphia, yet this tax is meant to bring in huge money for your kids to receive better education.  Hmmmm, let’s stop people from drinking “sugary drinks” in the city of Philadelphia, and somehow pump money into the city’s pre-K from the “sugary drinks” tax.  Dizzying.

Interesting for the tax to be on “sugary drinks” only, since if one is fat, I would render a guess there is more than a Coca-Cola’s worth of calories on the table at dinnertime, especially if there is an also-taxed Diet Coca-Cola accompanying that cheesesteak (with, please).  The “sugary drink” tax includes Gatorade, since those of you that do exert energy – profusely sweating with arms pumping as you heroically run those Art Museum steps after an inspiring photo with the Rocky statue – must be punished for downing that Grape Gatorade.  May I suggest a Yards Pale Ale, or the Love Stout (yummy!)?  Those are not part of this particular tax.

When you tax one industry to support another industry, you are going to fail.  Communities that house both industries will suffer economic declines.  Government is not meant to fund education, parks, recreation centers, etc. Nor implement ordinances that directly cause economic chaos and loss of liberty. 

Consequences of this malicious attempt at control:

  • Grocery store consumers were hit with huge price increases, and are now driving outside the city limits to purchase their “sugary drinks”, subsequently purchasing most or all of their other typical groceries outside the city as well
  • Due to the 30-50% decrease in purchases within city limits, tax receipts are lower than estimated by officials ($2.3 million vs $7.6 million)
  • One of the city’s largest beverage distributors is planning to eliminate 20% of its workforce
  • An owner of six ShopRite stores in Philadelphia plans to lay-off 300 workers this spring

“In 30 years of business, there’s never been a circumstance in which we’ve ever had a sales decline of any significant amount,” Jeff Brown, chief executive officer of Brown’s Super Stores, told Bloomberg. “I would describe the impact as nothing less than devastating.”

The response from Dad Mayor Jim Kenney is lock-step liberalism:

“I didn’t think it was possible for the soda industry to be any greedier,” Kenney said in an emailed statement to Philly.com reporter Julia Terruso. “They are so committed to stopping this tax from spreading to other cities, that they are not only passing the tax they should be paying onto their customer, they are actually willing to threaten working men and women’s jobs rather than marginally reduce their seven figure bonuses.”

Wow.  The city of Philadelphia is not backing down, even though the tax has resulted in cost to the city and not revenue.  Astonishingly, a city spokesman indicated the job losses are most likely not permanent, due to scare tactic collaboration between the soda manufacturers and local grocery stores. 

“We have no way of knowing if their sales figures and predicted job losses are anything more than fear-mongering to prevent this from happening in other cities,” said city spokesman Mike Dunn.

Coming to a city near you……..

WATCH: Ben Shapiro Hammers Snowflakes at Marquette University

Last evening, Ben Shapiro, Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Wire, engaged, entertained, and educated a standing-room-only crowd at Marquette University. Unlike other events, detractors were unsuccessful in their sabotage attempts.

This is long, close to 2 hours, but well worth your time. Shapiro articulates his analysis of topics ranging from victimhood and “white privilege” to conservatism and libertarianism.   The video includes the hour-long Q&A.

For those in need of a ‘quick fix’, Shapiro’s summary:

“When you tell people, falsely, that American society is out to get you, it turns out people give up. If you want people not to give up, you have to say this: your life is in your own hands. Stop navel-gazing; stop worrying about all the people out to get you. Turns out in American life, no one cares about you. No one does. You got your parents and you got your friends and you got your family, and that’s it. No one cares enough about you to try to stop you from fulfilling your dreams. And the government is the only body powerful enough to stop you from fulfilling your dreams, as a general measure. So it seems to me we should all spend less time worrying about what victims we are, and more time on how we are going to succeed. And if we do that, and if we fulfill basic standards of decency that are necessary for success in a free society, we’ll have a better, more decent society, not a less good, more divided society.”

This is worth your time to watch in full.  Thanks, Mr. Shapiro.

FBI Investigating a UC-Berkeley employee: possible assault during riots

The FBI is, reportedly, investigating an employee who works at University of California, Berkeley, for possible assault during the riots last week that canceled Milo Yiannopoulos’ February 1 talk.

The employee works in ‘advancement communications’. Via PJ Media:

“Last week, internet sleuth “Pave Darker” discovered a Twitter account with the handle @teen_archer and the name “Eugene V. Dabs” boasting about beating a Trump/Milo supporter outside of the event.  “Pave Darker” was able to connect this account to Ian Dabney Miller, a UC Berkeley employee who received $374,802.86 in compensation from 2008-2013, according to University of California Data Analysis.”

Deleted tweets from Miller, recovered by “Pave Darker”, state “hey come get your boy, he got ROCKED #miloatcal” along with a picture showing a man injured, lying on the ground.

While the UC Berkeley website does not show comments from officials, there was a note in Facebook this past weekend, “We are aware of the allegations involving a UC Berkeley employee.  UCPD is working with the FBI to pursue all leads in investigating the case and we will provide updates as warranted.”

In the early morning hours after the riots, President Trump stated, via Twitter, “If UC Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?”

If Trump is serious, he’ll need to work with Congress.  Federal rules and laws exist, beyond the Department of Education (i.e,, Department of Energy for certain academic laboratories).  Rewriting the Federal laws so individual states have more say would be a positive, pro-active stance to take.

Politically-Charged letter from Chicago Public School officials is why we need Betsy DeVos

Amazing the speed of life since the January 20th inauguration. We’ve seen/read/experienced bursts and bolus of opinions, innuendos, lies, attacks, and counter-attacks, with resultant exasperation, exhaustion and confusion.

Imagine how this is affecting our kids, especially in light of our Country’s sub-optimal public educational system. An example, you ask? Where do I begin……let’s say Chicago!

Imagine your sweet munchkin skipping through the front door, bright smile, ready to tell you about his/her/ze/it/unknown/indifferent/confused…… day at schrewl! Oh! A letter from the public school system; how nice that they write. No, this letter is not to ask your input on curriculum, or to let you know of an upcoming field trip to Planned Parenthood to learn about trial and error systems in math (with goodie bags!). This letter is to force a political point of view, while indirectly supporting school choice.

All 381,000 students received such a political letter from Chicago public school officials on February 6th. Now, all-of-a-sudden, the concept of balancing a budget is a problem. The current Republican governor, Bruce Rauner, has a challenge that the many (many) past democratic governors ignored: Doing the right thing by spending within limits despite pathetic rhetoric: this will hurt OUR CHILDREN (oh boohoo!)

“Please understand that this means your principal cannot provide everything she or he knows should be available for your children. The principals are doing the best they can.”

First, congratulations to the Chicago public school officials for acknowledging, directly, that their teachers are one of ONLY TWO genders: “he or she”. We are making progress in the subject of biology. Awesome.

From the CPS FY17 budget website,

“Update February 2, 2017: Due to the Governor’s veto of the bill that moved toward more equitable pension funding through CPS, we have amended the online budget to reflect a reduction of $104 million in appropriation through furlough days and a freeze of non-personnel funds at schools. The Board will vote on these changes February 22, 2017.”

The FY2017 budget, as of November 21, 2016, increased appropriations for capital project from $338 MILLION to an amount not to exceed $956 MILLION. How is it possible for public school officials to presume the lottery is theirs for the taking? And then presume all parents will welcome a politically-charged letter filled with their “woe is us” idiocy? Governor Rauner’s appropriate action will result in a budget amendment to reduce the bloating by $104 million, for now.

Chicago TV station WGN published the letter, and parent reactions:

“One CPS parent who contacted WGN wrote: “This is so inappropriate. How can he send political propaganda home?” The letter, paid for by taxpayers, does not mention democrats who have been in control of the city and state legislature for decades.
Government watchdog groups questioned the district’s decision to use such strong partisan language in a letter sent home with kids. “Invoking partisan politics – especially at the national level – is not the most effective way to build trust with parents and students,” said Sarah Brune of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.
Gov. Rauner’s office released a letter of its own Tuesday. Illinois Secretary of Education Beth Purvis wrote: “Rather than cutting services and creating a crisis to help justify a campaign to raise taxes in Springfield, it would be helpful to everyone if CPS would work with all parties to enact a balanced budget package that includes comprehensive pension reform and a new and equitable school funding formula.”

This brings us to Betsy DeVos. What can she do? Provide enthusiasm and motivation for parents and states to disengage from federally-forced, sub-optimal, politically-charged school officials and their systems. Also, she can provide a path for teachers to run so fast the unions will eat dust. How? Via five reforms:
– Decentralize education and abolish Common Core.
– Ask if a policy (or allocated monies) benefit kids, or unions. If the latter, scrap it.
– School Choice. School Choice. School Choice.
– Encourage, support, and harmonize homeschooling; if parents are in charge, maybe they’ll minimize warehousing their kids in daycare – wow!
– Promote freedom of speech, with intelligence, candor, and vibrant debate. No masked, Taser-wielding delinquents allowed.

Parents with kids in the Chicago public school system, and teachers that prefer to teach, must engage with Betsy DeVos. Take note, USA.