Monday, December 15, 2014

High Density "Transit Oriented Development" in Bay Park and Linda Vista

I haven't looked at the ongoing process of amending the city's community plans to comply with SB 375 in a while, but the whole process moves slowly; prior posts on the subject can be viewed here.  The more I read about the sausage making of the process to amend the community plans the more my head hurts.  Apparently it's an arcane process intended to bore opponents to death and allow insiders and city staff to dominate the process.  Understand The Plan is a great resource if you are willing to dive into these details.

Currently the opponents of the 60 foot height limit are planning to propose amendments that would impose a 30 foot limit in Linda Vista near the proposed trolley station at Tecolote Road as well Green Area Ratio requirements to reduce the density of development.  These proposals will compete with planning department proposals that will go before the city council.  It's ironic that green initiatives that require open space are in conflict with green initiatives to increase  urban density to increase mass-transit ridership.

What is not clear is how the City Council will vote regardless of community pressure.  The city could certainly face lawsuits if it doesn't do enough to comply with SB 375.  This is how sclerosis sets into government.  There are so many competing requirements and mandates that eventually nothing can be done, but even doing nothing results in costly lawsuits.  I can envision a future where all city fundings is used in lawsuits because no local governmental action is possible due to laws passed in Sacramento.

It doesn't appear that the subject will come to a city council vote until January 2016 according to the planning document posted on the Understand the Plan site, but I can't find any confirming evidence that this process won't get on a faster timeline with developers waiting to make money on the zoning changes.

It's worth remembering that this whole process is somehow linked to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  I defy anyone to prove the building of high-rises along Morena Blvd will result in so much as one less ounce of carbon emissions.

What You Should Be Reading

  • Dalrock, because he shreds the fantasy that is feminism which resulted in the utterly, completely false UVA rape story. "It wasn’t just Erdely who fell in love with this perfect story.  Feminists across the media fell in love with the fantasy story as well."
  • My twitter feed, because I don't blog much anymore.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Death and Taxes and Eric Garner

The death of Eric Garner has struck a chord in a way that Michael Brown's did not.  For one thing, there is video evidence lacking in the Michael Brown.

The outrage over the tactics used to arrest a man for selling untaxed cigarettes has provoked outrage.  Further outrage ensued when a Grand Jury failed to indict, just as in the Michael Brown case.  But there are some big differences in these two cases.  Michael Brown credibly committed a crime against persons before his encounter with the police.  Further, there is evidence that Brown put the life of officer Wilson in danger.  From this video, we see that Garner was no such threat to the police.

We also have to ask why the police feel that they have to enforce tax policy?  Even if Garner was in fact selling smokes illegally, why can't you give him a ticket and a fine?  Why the arrest?  What the hell is going on that the police have literally become the health police in New York.

The answer is that this the ultimate enforcement power of government.  We should be careful about what we make illegal, because government has the force of arms to kill us to comply.  This is why the individual mandate in Obamacare is so pernicious.  I can easily imagine a scenario where someone dies as federal agents attempt to seize assets for non-payment of the health care penalty.  Gives new meaning to the term "Death Panels."

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Deny Obama Entry to Congress for SOTU Address - UPDATED

Under the concept of separation of powers, the President is invited annually by the Congress to address the "State of the Union."  While it is a constitutional requirement that the President provide a report or address as to the State of the Union, there is no requirement as to the form it takes.  In 2013, Speaker Boehner invited the President to deliver the address:
Dear Mr. President:
As we round out the first session of the 113th Congress, we look ahead to the new year and with it the annual tradition of the president’s State of the Union address.  In the coming year, Americans expect Washington to focus on their priorities and to look for common ground in addressing the challenges facing our country.  In that spirit, we welcome an opportunity to hear your ideas, particularly for putting Americans back to work.  It’s my honor to invite you to speak before a Joint Session of Congress on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol Building. Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to your response.
Speaker of the House
However, under the current circumstances of the President's unprecedented extra-legal usurpation of powers, especially, but not only with respect to illegal immigration; Speaker Boehner and soon-to-be Majority Leader McConnell should send a letter to the President that reads something like this:

Dear Mr. President:
As we look forward to the first session of the 114th Congress, we look ahead to the new year and with it the annual tradition of the President providing the Congress a report on the State of the Union address.  In the coming year, Americans expect Washington to focus on their priorities and to look for common ground in addressing the challenges facing our country.  However, through your executive actions that have exceeded the authority provided you under law, you have failed to include the Congress in addressing the nation's challenges.  In the spirit of Constitutional observance, we welcome an opportunity to hear your ideas on addressing these issue, but not through personal appearance, rather in the form of written correspondence to be delivered by January 28, 2015. Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to your response.
Speaker of the House
Such action is entirely within tradition and legitimate constitutionality.  The Congressional Research Service documents that:
Between 1801 and 1913, Presidents fulfilled their constitutional duty by sending their yearly report as a formal written letter to Congress. These written messages contained information about the state of the nation, and also included policy recommendations.
This action would underscore Congressional prerogative in the face of the President's unprecedented and unilateral usurpation of power.  There will be howls from the left; but no one can claim that anything other than Obama's feelings would be hurt.  However, that would hit him where he lives, because, like any would be dictator, he loves the trappings of power.  Indeed, the delivery of the SOTU was discontinued for a long period for just such a reason:
Likening it to a “speech from the throne” reminiscent of monarchy’s vestiges, Thomas Jefferson changed course and instead submitted his Annual Message in writing.
Obama can just get used to his coming retirement a little early by losing this perquisite due to his own arrogance.

Not Barack Obama, in any way. (Thomas Jefferson if you didn't know.)


Andrew McCoy (@DrewMTips), writing in the Ace of Spades blog, echoes my thoughts and adds this:
Yesterday, Boehner said, "The president had said before that he's not king and he's not an emperor," Boehner says. "But he's sure acting like one." 
Why would the Speaker invite such a man to address "the people's house"? All Obama would do would use the time to lecture members of a co-equal branch on what they must do and what he deems acceptable work product for them. Members of the United States Congress are under no obligation to sit mutely while the President brow beats them. 
Obama has said he doesn't feel compelled to listen to the voters who showed up to the polls a little over two weeks ago. The Representatives elected by those people should make it clear they are simply acting in kind, they will not listen to him.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Tweet of the Day - Defund Universities

@Runsonmagic tweeted this today:

I couldn't agree more, but since it is hard to make a nuanced argument on twitter, I would add the following.  The specific manner in which I would defund universities is to end the taxpayer subsidies and forgiveness polices for student loans.  Veronque de Rugy explains the connection:
". . . by keeping student loan rates artificially low, the federal government is contributing to the rapid increase in college tuition. As it did in the housing market, free or reduced-priced money has artificially inflated the price of a college education."
This inflated pricing is what keeps professors of comparative dance employed, indoctrinating America's youth in actual and social Marxism.  Further, under Obama, forgiveness of loans, especially for "public service" has greatly expanded.  Essentially, the student loan program has become a direct funding line to the leftist professoriat.  End these programs and let banks make loans to students based on the earning potential of their degree; drive the mewling manlets and manjawed feminist fatties of the left back to the brackish backwater that is their birthright.

She wants to indoctrinate your kids and maybe flirt with your daughter.

Meanwhile, why stop with the uni's?  All of the institutions of the left need defunding; Scott Walker and Rick Snyder have led the way in Wisconsin and Michigan by making union dues for state government workers non-compulsory.  For this reason, Scott Walker has been subjected to vilest vitriol.  Next, we should go after so called environmental advocacy groups, who receive a surprising amount of funding from the federal government.

And let's be clear, this defunding is legitimate, because those our your tax dollars being spent subverting the moral and rational basis for the republic.

What You Should Be Reading

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Seize the Initiative on Illegal Immigration

Republicans need to seize the initiative on illegal immigration and propose a plan before Obama takes executive action this December.  It won't stop the President from making yet another extra-consitutional move, but it would serve to highlight his unwillingness to to abide by the law and work with the Congress.  The GOP needs to deal with the issue because it will hurt them in the long run.  I am under no illusion that somehow dealing with the issue will make them suddenly popular with Hispanics.  I am also certain there are no votes to be gained if current illegals are granted citizenship.  However, the issue still hurts the party.
  • As more illegals continue to cross the border, they eventually spawn Democratic votes.  They either vote illegally, or eventually their children cast votes for Democrats.  This isn't to say that Republicans can't make inroads among descendants of illegal immigrants, its just not the way to bet.
  • The failure to solve the problem continues to eat away at the respect for the rule of law.  It sets an environment that makes it harder for Republicans to win elections.
  • Its bad for the country.  A country with a larger proportion in the middle class will vote more conservatively.
Unfortunately, the Republicans have no coherent policy to propose, because they did not campaign on this issue.  You could argue that that position served them well, but it makes it harder to govern.  What they shouldn't do is over react to the problem.  Massive deportation would be a horrible idea both in the short and long run.  Do we want the DHS to get in good practice with identifying and rounding up millions of undesirables?  Think of that power in another Democratic President's hands in the mold of Obama.  

Here is what should be proposed and why:
  • Secure the border with more technology, fences and the like.  But also make expedited deportation far easier.  You can have great border security, but once an alien born child sets foot on U.S. soil, he or she now has due process rights that adds time to the deportation process.  In the meantime, the illegal is released, often never to be seen again.
  • From a previous post: To keep the DHS accountable, if illegal crossings weren't reduced each year, the Congress should cut the budget for the immediate staff of the Secretary of DHS, and impose a hiring freeze on all portions of the DHS budget except border control.  Such ruthless tactics work; I know, because I work for the government.  But the Congress is never willing to hold agencies accountable. And frankly, part of the problem is that government is so huge.  Obviously its size needs to shrink.
  • From Newt Gingrich in 2012: "We must reconcile the goal of legality with the reality that there are millions of immigrants currently here outside the law, some with a long set of family and community ties, and some with no ties. A system has to be established that establishes legality but no citizenship for those with deep ties, repatriates those with no family or community ties in a dignified way, and quickly sends home those who have committed criminal and other destructive acts."  But the practical difficulties of such a program are immense.  I would prefer to the let those without criminal records come forward and legislation that aggressively deports those with felony convictions.
  • A guest worker program, but maybe later.  The supply side of this equation is changing rapidly.  New statistics will soon be released that show that Mexico is no longer accountable for most of the illegal immigration. Mexico's fertility rate has continued to fall to just barely above replacement at 2.2 births per woman.  Having skilled workers is good with good education is helpful to the economy.  The unskilled? Not so much.  

Mexican fertility rate from 1960 to 2012.

That downward trend has continued.  In some ways, I think that the problem of illegal immigration may solve itself, but not soon enough to prevent more damage from working into the body politic.  Republicans have an opportunity to upstage Obama on this issue.  As Krauthammer points out, his narcissism always gets the better of him, so why not use it to help the country and further disadvantage his party?

What You Should Be Reading
  • Left Coast Rebel has a nice score card of worthy candidates for whom he urged donations.  Well done.
  • KTCat excoriates DeMaio for his relentless negative campaign.  I still have a Carl DeMaio yard sign out front, but admit to feeling queasy about his attack ads that made Carl sound like a Democrat, complete with Mediscare tactics.  If DeMaio was a tea party favorite, why did he end up turning off so many of that persuasion?  KTCat wasn't the only one of my conservative or libertarian friends who abandoned DeMaio.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Democrats and School Choice

Democrats are reflexively against anything that gives parents more freedom to rescue their school children from the maw of the failed public education system.  RedState ponders how this may have influenced the elections in Georgia and Illinois this week.
My friend Roland Martin put one of these on my radar. In Illinois, prominent black ministers around the state cast their lot with the GOP. They encouraged congregants to abandon Governor Quinn in Illinois and support the Republican. That made a real difference in the metropolitan Chicago area, where the Republican this time outperformed prior Republicans.
Another one that is a real surprise to me is Georgia. But it is abundantly apparent from the turn out data and the anecdotal evidence. Black voters were turning out for Democrats in early voting. In fact, I’m told that privately the GOP saw Democrats outpacing them in early voting around the state. But on Election Day, black voters stayed home. 
One might wonder why Democrats are so adamantly opposed to school choice when it seems so popular with urban blacks, a big part of their base.  My answer: #unionism and #feminism.

At the end of the day, the teacher's unions donate far more money, "the mother's milk of politics" than the already locked up votes of blacks appear to be worth to Democrats.  The public school system is a way to recycle tax dollars into campaign cash.  Charters and their ilk are often non-union and upset this apple cart.

The more overlooked issue is feminism.  Charter schools are seen as a threat to the public school systems in the white suburbs.  In order to be free to "lean in" and "have it all" suburban moms and especially the core constituency of single moms need the free baby-sitting of the public schools.  Never mind that charters can also provide that function, the mere threat to the established order of government provisioning to their offspring is viewed as a threat by many such Moms. (Married women are far more likely to view the government as competitor for the family resources because married men are outperforming economically, so it makes sense for married women to reduce the competition for resources from the government.)  And don't forget that the public schools are a jobs program for women, much more so than men.  Not to say that there aren't great teachers, but reform of the schools is always attacked as a threat to the "middle class" as if the government creates the middle class.

Finally, the public schools serve as a great propaganda outlet for the left.  The left always is seeking to influence the culture, especially through the schools and universities.  Charter schools threaten the leftist union control of the message.  If you haven't noticed public schools getting more authoritarian with zero tolerance policies and the suppression of free speech, you're not paying attention.

So poor black moms hoping to "win the lottery" and get their kids out of poverty?  Sorry, we Democrats already haver your vote. Or do we?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Opportunity Lost

Watched Dennis Kucinich on Fox tonight, who is nothing else if not honest. He blamed the Democrats losses tonight on a failure to bring a coherent economic plan to the table.  More importantly, he said that both parties are the parties of Wall Street and the Banks.  I agree.  If you think that Republicans are going to end the cozy relationship between the Fed and the banks I urge you to heed W.C. Varones:
Nah, even if the Republicans take the Senate, I'm sure the Fed will find the new majority can be quite flexible...
The Republicans could have done something special to change the direction of the country, and win even more seats if they had coalesced nationally around a liberty agenda.  Instead, in two or four years, they will again suffer losses because they stand for nothing and will therefore accomplish nothing.

Sorry to be churlish, but the Schadenfreude of watching Obama and the Democrats get their inevitable comeuppance isn't enough to overcome the feeling that the GOP has no sense of direction to help the country.

Monday, November 3, 2014

It's the Culture, Stupid

Elections tomorrow are really only a rearguard action to slow the spread of the disease of leftism and its advance vermin of multi-culturalism and feminism in our society.  The attacks on all things traditional, including and especially the rule of law are intended to pave the way for leftist politicians with unlimited power to get away with ruling by decree because those laws are just "unreasonable." Like freedom of speech?  The left, in the guise of #feminism launches a campaign to mark some speech, #catcalling, as so offensive as to be in need of restriction.  Of course, it is only part of a larger scheme.  R.S. McCain explains:
You see? The whole point of the “catcall” video was to provoke conflict over a phony “issue” that is not really an issue at all. That is to say, everybody is anti-catcall, except those men who are actually engaged in this boorish behavior, so why is there an “issue” here?
Objectively, catcalling presents no cause for political controversy. Ah, but it does give feminists a chance to (a) demonize men, and (b) discredit any male commentator who attempts to dispute feminism’s authority to define what catcalling means as an “issue.” This is really about who controls the narrative, see?
. . .
Feminists can “win” arguments only if they are permitted to control the terms of debate, to decide what the issues are, to limit the parameters of discussion, and to disqualify critics who refuse to cooperate with feminism’s Orwellian thought-control project.
Fortunately, because of the racial content of the men depicted in the catcall video, there has been some blowback against feminism.  But that was only luck.  We lose the culture wars and then elections, when we allow the left to frame the debate.  Too often we win elections and the government still changes under our feet.

Mark Steyn makes that point regarding gay marriage:
In 1986, in a concurrence to a majority opinion, the chief justice of the United States declared that “there is no such thing as a fundamental right to commit homosexual sodomy.” A blink of an eye, and his successors are discovering fundamental rights to commit homosexual marriage.
What happened in between? Jurisprudentially, nothing: Everything Chief Justice Warren Burger said back in the ’80s — about Common Law, Blackstone’s “crime against nature,” “the legislative authority of the State” — still applies. Except it doesn’t. Because the culture — from school guidance counselors to sitcom characters to Oscar hosts — moved on, and so even America’s Regency of Jurists was obliged to get with the beat.
Because to say today what the chief justice of the United States said 28 years ago would be to render oneself unfit for public office — not merely as Chief Justice but as CEO of a private company, or host of a cable home-remodeling show, or dog-catcher in Dead Moose Junction.
Indeed, ballot measures to define marriage as between a man and a woman passed even in solidly Democrat California, but it made no difference.

So what's to be done?  The only way to fight back is to seize control of the narrative, to ridicule lampoon and shame the forces of cultural marxism, to call them out for the liars they are.

Rapes on campus? Sorry, you're a bunch of liars.  And who said you get to regulate sex on campus? And if your stupid statistics are true, why did you send your daughter to college, do you hate her?

Lena Dunham the spokesperson for her generation? Sorry, don't accept lectures from pedophiles.

Gay marriage? I find it disgusting to hear about men sticking their dicks in other men and most of you do too. Isn't that what gay marriage is about?

R.S. McCain continues with this great advice:
“Turn the camera around,” as Andrew Breitbart used to say. Instead of them demanding answers from you — “Look at this awful misogyny! Why don’t you denounce this misogyny? Is it true that you secretly hate women?” — you start asking them questions:
  1. Who appointed you as Grand Inquisitor?
  2. What is the basis of your authority to interrogate me about this? What difference does my opinion make?
  3. When did Americans elect you as Our Moral Superior?
  4. Where do you get the idea that I’m obliged to cooperate in this transparent political “gotcha” game you’re paying?
  5. Why is it necessary that I answer your questions?
  6. How much is the Democrat Party paying you to do this?
Indeed, because the whole point of the cultural marxism is to move the country to the left.  Because in a country founded on principles of limited government and liberty, traditional values are the bulwark of maintaining that form of government.  So the left seeks to destroy the values that preserve liberty, and this is why the culture ware is more important.

Sad to say, I am personally more comfortable with economics and policy, so I have left this topic alone for the most part.  The culture is not my forte, so I will most likely stick to my expertise on this blog.  But my growing understanding of the nature of framing the narrative by the left has dampened my enthusiasm for writing about the purely political.


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Liberty Movement California Ballot Recommendations

This year's ballot measure don't excite me one way or another, so I was late to analyze them.  But they still will have their impact on the state where I reside, so here are my recommendations.  I don't always agree with the larger Tea Party groups; these recommendations are my own small contribution to increase liberty.

Proposition 1 - Water Bond - NO

In this drought stricken year, who could vote against water bonds?  Well, I can, because the taxpayers get stuck with the long term bill for Big Government projects that won't deliver much more water.  The Libertarian Party argument is:
Water projects are best managed and financed by local water boards, rather than writing grants to state bureaucrats trying to secure expensive bond monies.

Proposition 2 - Budget Stabilization - NO

Proposition 2 would require 3% of state General Fund revenue be deposited in a “rainy day”
fund, and allows up to 10% of revenue be deposited in this account. The measure would
allow the rainy day funds to be spent only in the event of a drop in annual revenue below
the preceding year, adjusted for population and inflation, or in a declared emergency.  This seems like a reasonable idea; but I don't like the way that the measure controls how local districts manage their funds.  Under this law local school districts are limited in how much they can put away in a rainy day fund themselves.  In general, more local control is better for liberty.

Proposition 45 - Healthcare Insurance - NO

This measure is designed to continue to make California an unfriendly business climate, in this case for insurers.  I didn't have to research arguments from liberty friendly groups to know this is a loser.

 • Requires changes to health insurance rates, or anything else affecting the charges associated with health insurance, to be approved by Insurance Commissioner before taking effect.
• Provides for public notice, disclosure, and hearing on health insurance rate changes, and subsequent judicial review.
• Requires sworn statement by health insurer as to accuracy of information submitted to Insurance Commissioner to justify rate changes.
• Does not apply to employer large group health plans.
• Prohibits health, auto, and homeowners insurers from determining policy eligibility or rates based  on lack of prior coverage or credit history.

So vote no to prevent even more bureaucracy and those same bureaucrats from mucking with your healthcare insurance, even more than they do so already.

Proposition 46 - Drug and Alcohol Testing of Doctors - NO

Even more intrusive than Proposition 45; how is it the right of the state to commit law-abiding citizens performing their jobs to submit to intrusive monitoring?  It is not.  Further, it requires doctors to check state databases before prescribing you certain types of medication.  There would never be any identity confusion or stealing of information from government run databases that track your prescriptions, would there? Vote no against this madness.

Proposition 47 - Criminal Sentences. Misdemeanor Penalties. - YES

Here is where I am breaking with some in the Tea Party movement.  I think it worthwhile to post the summary of the initiative as it is little known:
• Requires misdemeanor sentence instead of felony for certain drug possession offenses.
• Requires misdemeanor sentence instead of felony for the following crimes when amount involved is $950 or less: petty theft, receiving stolen property, and forging/writing bad checks.
• Allows felony sentence for these offenses if person has previous conviction for crimes such as rape, murder, or child molestation or is registered sex offender.
• Requires resentencing for persons serving felony sentences for these offenses unless court finds unreasonable public safety risk.
• Applies savings to mental health and drug treatment programs, K–12 schools, and crime victims.
I am against three-strike laws and mandatory minimums, because too many travesties of justice have resulted.  This proposition is a good start in reversing a stupid judicial trend.  It also eliminates some felony categories for mere possession of drugs for personal use.  Restoring some reason to sentencing is worthy goal.

Proposition 48 - Indian Gaming Compacts. - Don't Care

Some Indian tribe would be helped, another hurt by this lawsuit over gaming in the Central Valley near Madera.  There will be federal court cases no matter how this turns out.  It seems unreasonable that some tribes get casinos through this process but others don't, but a vote either way on this measure won't solve the process problems.  UPDATE: My oldest, who works in the hospitality industry says that we should always vote for more casinos.  I am still not convinced.

That's all on the propositions.  I am voting for Republicans across the board for all other offices on my ballot, because the Democrats in this state have allied themselves with evil interests.


I am voting for Marshall Tuck for State Superintendent of Public Instruction based on the California Teacher's Association endorsement of his opponent.  From a HuffPo article on the race:
School reform groups have argued that strict work rules and powerful job protections for teachers have made it hard to fire incompetent educators or enact creative local initiatives - at students' expense.
Tuck, a former president of Green Dot Public Schools, a charter school organization, is allied with the reformers. He has the backing of former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and funding from billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad.
Torlakson, a former teacher who has been the state's superintendent of public instruction since 2010, has strong backing from California teachers unions.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Eating the Seed Corn of Society

Slate has an interesting article on fertility rates in America that becomes less interesting when the author, Sharon Lerner, offers policy prescriptions.  The discussion is over the fertility divide between professional and poor women.
Two new studies bring the contrasting reproductive profiles of rich and poor women into sharp relief. One, from the Guttmacher Institute, shows that the rates of unplanned pregnancies and births among poor women now dwarf the fertility rates of wealthier women, and finds that the gap between the two groups has widened significantly over the past five years. The other, by the Center for Work-Life Policy, documents rates of childlessness among corporate professional women that are higher than the childlessness rates of some European countries experiencing fertility crises.
In essence, childbirth in America is increasingly likely to occur to lower income (and unmarried) women.  While the article prescribes various remedies, the fact that feminist doctrine is more effectively inculcated in professional women is not mentioned.  Nor is the fact that poorest women experience an increase in disposable income when they have children.

Why are the facts of reproductive divergence problematic for our society?  From a purely biological perspective, women are the more fragile bearers of our species' genetic material.  Eggs are more perishable than sperm.  Gestation time necessarily limits the reproductive output of women.  This is why, historically, the survival of women was more highly valued than that of men during times of crisis.  (This also resonates with our gut instincts.)  We are selecting women to reproduce who typically have below average education and resources and fathers present to insure the future success of their offspring.  Further, professional women are waiting later in life to have children, which leads to its own set of problems.  Society would be better served if a social model other the failing one of feminism was in vogue that encouraged women to have babies at a younger age and delay entry into a profession until later in life.  One could argue that this limits the productivity of society, but what we are doing is essentially similar to a farmer in days of yore increasing his current income by selling his seed corn.  Unfortunately, the time horizon for our difficulties spans generations, not just years, so it is taking a while for the interlinked problems of falling marriage rates, lower male labor participation rates and childlessness among the upper classes to make themselves known.

I know from personal knowledge that your federal government is spending tax dollars allegedly going to defense research to encourage women in their teens to prepare to enter careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). I never participated in such outreach and actively avoided it.  I will continue to do so as long we keep sending the message that careers are preferable to motherhood for women.

To be clear, I am not calling for any government action, just some neutrality on the issue and an opportunity for us to change the culture.

Photo courtesy of the United States Army.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Persuading the Left

I have been thinking about how to persuade those on the left to see my point of view on at least some individual issues.  Because I don't "speak their language," it takes some research to understand their outlook.  For example, in doing research on the minimum wage, I tripped across some great examples of the left's thinking.  A scholarly paper from the left (by economist Bruce Kaufman) arguing for increasing the minimum wage argues that there is an imbalance (and implies a large one) in the bargaining power of businesses and workers.  Kaufman argues explicitly that for the unskilled, the purpose of a minimum wage is to protect the underdog and to level the playing field.  Arguments over the value of contract between two parties are given short-shrift because the unskilled workers are deemed incapable of entering into meaningful contracts because of their lack bargaining power (see p. 437).  I admit to a certain sympathy to the argument, except that the solution is not force employers to give workers more pay; but to examine and correct the causes of workers having no differentiating skills.

Even when I find an issue where common cause with the left might be possible, conservative or libertarian participation is rejected. The reasoning is revealing.  Writing in Salon in an article persuading those on the left to not ally with libertarians on the issue of NSA surveillance, Tom Watson had this to say:
That’s because libertarianism is a form of authoritarianism disguised in a narrow slice of civil liberties. In trumpeting the all-knowing, ever wise wonders of the totally free and unencumbered market, it bestows all the power on those with access to capital.
This was the purest exposition I have found of why the left thinks that libertarians and limited government conservatives are some sort of crypto-fascists.  The whole article is worth a read because of the insight it gives into the left wing mind set.  Now, my strongly held belief is that mere access to capital in a free market economy is made dangerous only because of the influence that money can wield over government.  The worst abuses of Wall Street getting rich, monopolies ripping off Americans (like my cable provider) are facilitated by government power, through the Federal Reserve and monopoly granting powers, respectively.  Reducing the size of government would certainly reduce the scope for abuse.  The left will not countenance such an outcome, because the government exists to do Good.

The left is invested in the idea of government as a countervailing force to undo the ill-effects of free enterprise.  In general, the leftist identifies with victims and the powerless.  My evidence in this area is Israel.  In the aftermath of World War II, the Jews and Israel were seen as victims.  Israel was surrounded by enemies and in danger of a second holocaust.  In general, the left supported their cause.  Over time, as Israel prevailed over the Arabs and become more and more successful militarily the left gradually shifted to outright hatred and its sympathies to the Arab losers.

I have speculated in the past on the psychological roots of such reasoning, but knowing the cause is insufficient to deal with the problem.
His [the leftist's] feelings of inferiority are so ingrained that he cannot conceive of himself as individually strong and valuable. Hence the collectivism of the leftist. He can feel strong only as a member of a large organization or a mass movement with which he identifies himself.
I think that quote is an over-generalization, but points to a way to talk to the left.  What little success I have had in communicating with the left has been to show them how government becomes the oppressor regardless of structures put in place to make it the liberator, if you will.  Understanding that the leftist argument comes from an assumption of victimhood and powerlessness is the best way to proceed in persuading.  Ordinary Americans do not feel this way, so exposing the left's assumptions are a good way to dissuade the average non-political person not to buy the left's solutions.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Raise the Balloon Walk - UPDATES

I walked in today's Raise the Balloon event down Morena Blvd.  It was a great day for a walk and by my estimate, about 350 people showed up; joining at various points along the walk.  I didn't learn much new about the problem, except the assertion that there is a lot of obfuscation at city hall as to who has the authority over this proposed change to zoning.  Allegedly, the planning commission has nothing to do with this, according to one of my co-marcher.  The change is a set-up, to automatically kick in when the trolley extension is built and blame it on SB 375 mandates to allow politicians to avoid responsibility for a clearly unpopular move.  More research is needed to judge the accuracy of this assertion.

As befits a San Diego protest, it was all very laid back, with a few squad cars keeping the marchers safe at some of the intersections we crossed. We changed to "No 60 feet" and waved to the traffic on the way.  I would like to give a shout out to "Ride On Espresso" (at the start of the march) and Jitters Espresso (near the end) who kept me adequately caffeinated to make the walk.

A few pictures from the event.

Starting out.

The balloon showing how high 60 feet would look like.

It's a great country and and a great city where a guy in shorts and tennis shoes, with a bullhorn constitutes "security." It worked. as everyone followed his directions and, in turn, he worked with police to keep traffic moving.

A friend who is temporarily living with us, just moved from Pasadena.  He told me that people who live in the Del Mar station apartments developed above lines in Pasadena aren't the sorts of folks who ride the rails to downtown LA.  They get in their cars like everyone else.  This whole idea that we will reduce our carbon footprint through trolley led development is clearly a sham.

What You Should Be Reading

  • WC Varones presciently predicts Bill Gross' departure from PIMCO.
  • Left Coast Rebel takes down Obama's characterization of Eric Holder's term in office.
  • Word Warrior explains how Obama is channeling LBJ.

Local CBS 8 News was the only media outlet to cover the march.  

6:30PM UPDATE | Bay Park residents fighting to keep view

Here is the legal stupidity behind the height limit changes.  Look at the big business - big green alliance.  The VOSD article hints that the new climate plan is a way for Republican mayor Kevin Faulconer to lock out opposition to new development with the help of the environmental lobby.  Brilliant strategy if it didn't wind up selectively screwing some neighborhoods at the expense of others.

In 2010, just 3 percent of the city walked to work. The plan doesn’t see that changing by 2020, but it wants to more than double it by 2035. 
Cyclists accounted for 2 percent of commuters in 2010, but that number is expected to increase to 6 percent in 2020 and 18 percent in 2035. 
And transit use would grow from 4 percent in 2010 to 12 percent in 2020 and 25 percent in 2035. 
These goals are not quite as ambitious as they appear. 
Those higher numbers are limited to areas designated by the city as locations for new, dense development, areas with high levels of employment and areas serviced by the trolley or the rapid bus. 
Here’s the current list of neighborhoods that qualify: Barrio Logan, Centre City, College Area, Kearny Mesa, Linda Vista, Midway-Pacific Highway, Mira Mesa, Mission Valley, Otay Mesa, Rancho Bernardo, San Ysidro, southeastern San Diego, University and Uptown.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Green Policies Hurt Neighborhoods

In an earlier post, I laid bare the hypocrisy and mendacity of the effort to rezone Morena.  Saturday, September 27, at 10:00 a.m., you have the chance to protest the green grifters and their plans for a whoreticulture of high-rises in Bay Park.  There will be a march along Morena by the "folks" whose neighborhood is under siege on the unproven theory that density is destiny, as far as carbon is concerned.

From the Raise the Balloon web site:

Path of Balloon march -Click Here

*Enter march from any adjoining street to Morena as Balloon approaches: (Ingulf, Jellett, Lister, Milton, Ashton, Littlefield, Asher, Vega, Dorcas, Buenos, or Cushman at Arizona Tile). 
*Linda Vista participants will join the march at Arizona Tile & Morena Blvd
*Marchers must remain on sidewalk (EAST side of Morena Blvd) -Single file is best for visual effect (volunteers- those holding bouquets of small red balloons-will help guide marchers)
*Stops will be made at various traffic lights/intersections
*Grassy area at City Chevrolet is available for our seasoned citizens to set up lawn chairs to view march
*Wear your Raise The Balloon T-shirts or order one for the march (we will will-call online orders at march) or wear something red
Part of my joy over this mass movement is the opportunity slash with a radicalinsky rapier against the forces of the red/green alliance who have used Alinskyite techniques to trample our freedoms.  At the same time, the parasite class with political pull can be denied the opportunity to make money at our expense.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The "Living Wage" Sham

The campaign to raise the minimum wage here in San Diego has been fraught with distortions and misleading information.  Thankfully, it looks like we will see the wage hike put to the voters in June 2015 2016.  Why the wait?  I'll find out.

The arguments for a minimum wage boost are fraught with emotionalism: always expected from the left.  But how much help does the minimum wage boost provide and does it do what its supporters say it will?  Since 79% of those receiving the minimum wage work part-time (national statistic), let's assume that a minimum wage worker averages 29 hours per week (from 2010 census data).  The San Diego minimum was set to increase $11.50 per hour against a new state minimum of $10.00 per hour (as of 2016).  That works out to $17,342 vs. $15,008 per year.  Can anyone support a family on $15,600 per year?  Of course not, but $17K isn't going to cut it either.

The main argument for increasing the minimum wage is that we should pay a "living wage" (also called a social wage by some economists).  The theory is that wages below that needed to pay for basic living expenses are exploitive because the employer shifts social costs to society. It presupposes that such workers are forever stuck in such jobs and have no other options.  It also presupposes that large numbers of people earn what the minimum wage law dictates, but that is only about 2% of the workforce.

In fact, minimum wage jobs are intended to be stepping stones as employees gain skills and work experience.  A study that is now over a decade old stated that nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers get a pay raise after a year on the job.  We also know that minimum wage workers are likely to be young (less than 24).  I posit that they are often living with their parents. This makes the calculation of a "living wage" problematic because the "social cost" of labor varies widely with age.  Certainly there are other circumstances that greatly vary the social cost of labor.  In order to help the relatively few workers who are full time heads of household, are we going to reduce employment opportunities for younger workers who need to build work experience?

The other myth regarding the "living wage" is that heads of household earning the minimum wage have no other supplements to income (some data based on two parents, one child making $17,000 per year):
  • Many minimum wage workers are in industries where tips supplement income.  Nationally, tips earn an average of $8 an hour.  (I have no local figures.)
  • The Earned Income tax credit can provide up to $3250 in additional annual income.
  • The annual value of food stamps is $1789 in California for low income persons.
  • The annual value of Medicaid for poor families is equivalent to a $4500 insurance policy in California.
  • Students who earn the minimum wage may use student loans for room and board while they gain skills to increase their employment value.  (Helping students was one of the arguments raised by the proponents of the increase.)
In general, we provide social safety nets for those making the minimum wage.  Raising it may feel good, but it penalizes employers whom we need to keep our fragile economic recovery on track.

There are some other myths used to support a minimum wage rise that I will take on in other columns.  I note that the studies regarding macro-economic benefits of minimum wage increases apply to states or countries, not individual cities and there is reason to believe that they wouldn't hold up for a single city.

What You Should Be Reading

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Screwing My Neighborhood for SB 375

I live in the Bay Park area of San Diego as many of you know.  During the Council District 2 race, I became aware of a controversy regarding a change to height limits to buildings along Morena Blvd, which runs north-south in parallel with I-5 on the west side of Mission Bay.  Since both main candidates opposed the changes, I figured this was a dead on arrival proposal and didn't think much more about it.  However, I continue to see homemade signs and professional yard signs in my neighborhood, which piqued my interest.  Here is the issue in a nutshell: In order to meet SB 375 targets to reduce per capita emissions from vehicles, the city planners are proposing to build high density, six story condominiums near the future trolley stations along Morena Blvd.  Screw that, to coin a phrase. As a current resident of the area, I am going to suffer massive traffic congestion to meet ephemeral emissions targets as no provision will be made for the influx of traffic.  No way will a majority of new residents be using the trolley to get to work downtown.  Hence the inevitable traffic mess.  Because the plan is intended to "reduce emissions," there won't be any more lanes on Morena Blvd, Clairemont Drive or Sea World Drive to handle all the extra traffic. (Have you tried to get on I-5 north from Sea World Drive during rush hour, even now?)

Annotated plan delivered to my doorstep by  Click for larger image.

All the rezoning going on this city is designed for social engineering to get the subjects in line with the goals set by the state's political elite.  If you want to reduce emissions, the better path is through a carbon tax that increases incentives to use fuel efficient vehicles without severely disrupting the economy or the value of our homes.  Of course, the left has never supported a carbon tax as a means to tackle pollution or climate change proving that their real goals are social engineering and socialism.

According to the CA Air Resource Board, San Diego region is required by SB 375, to cut per capita greenhouse gas emissions by 7% by 2020.  Somehow, building high rise condominiums close to new trolley lines is supposed to achieve that goal.  No mention of whether the fossil fuels consumed to build the trolley lines and the condos will count against the emissions cap.  Here is the Orwellian double-speak from the 2010 press release announcing the targets:
"These targets are ambitious, achievable and very good news for California communities.  Improved planning means cleaner air in our cities, less time stuck in your car, and healthier, more sustainable communities," said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "Cities that choose to develop Sustainable Communities Plans that meet these targets have an advantage when it comes to attracting the kinds of vibrant, healthy development that people want."
"Less time stuck in your car" translates we want to prevent you from driving by making driving living hell for you.  Thanks.  The folks at RaiseTheBalloon are a lot more polite in their criticism:
The pressure being exerted on our neighborhood to carry the 3 trolleys and the proposed development could lead to unsustainable urban compacting, displacement of our elderly and poorer residents, and put an unreasonable strain on our infrastructure while clogging our routes into and out of (ingress and egress) Bay Park, Bay Ho, and the Mission Bay areas.  We are encouraging the entire Clairemont Community to get involved and understand the issues.  Please see for more information.
If you troll through the planning document (Morena Blvd Station Area Planning Study), you will find that despite the planned increase to urban density, no changes to accommodate more traffic are contemplated (p. 121):

  • Motor vehicle traffic lane configurations and capacity on each of the major and  collector streets within the study area would remain essentially unchanged under the adopted community plan. 
  • Morena Boulevard (north and south of the two splits with West Morena) and West Morena would remain designated as major streets. Since major streets are to be designed to 45 mile per hour (mph) design speeds, existing travel lane widths and intersection designs are expected to remain. 
  • Traffic capacity enhancements would be limited to the planned extension of Knoxville Street as a 2-lane collector to West Morena Boulevard to provide a direct connection with the planned Tecolote station, while also allowing some motorists to avoid delays at the Morena/Tecolote intersection by providing an alternate route with a direct connection to West Morena. 
However, since there is considerable rush hour traffic out of Point Loma into this area, and no connection from Sea World Drive to West Morena, this does little to alleviate the foreseeable problems at the Morena/Tecolote intersection.  (Tecolote is an extension of Sea World Drive).

Please visit for more information on how to end this social engineering.

What You Should Be Reading

  • The CA Air Resources Board (CARB) is set to implement a cap-and-trade system for transportation fuel (gasoline) that will increase costs at the pump starting on January 1, 2015.  Bet voters didn't know they approved a gas tax with AB 32.  Tank the Tax has the FAQs
  • Dalrock is great reading for a Christian interested in the intersection of our faith with modern feminism.  He nails it again, pointing out the troubles from delaying marriage.
  • KTCat has some advise for San Diegans diving the Point Loma kelp beds

Friday, August 15, 2014

Minimum Wage Referendum Expected and Desired - UPDATE

San Diego's 10News is reporting that a campaign to repeal an expected rise in the minimum wage is being organized by the San Diego Small Business Coalition. (I urge you to "like" their Facebook page.)
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer vetoed the measure, but the San Diego City Council is expected to override it. If that happens, Jason Roe, spokesman for the San Diego Small Business Coalition, says he has already begun to fundraise and has "substantial commitments from small businesses." 
Roe says the group is ready to launch a ballot drive to repeal the hike. Some 34,000 signatures must be gathered in a month to get it on the ballot in June 2016.
Meanwhile Council President Todd Gloria is already asking people not to sign the expected petition.  Pretty clear that the referendum fight is game on.  The petition is a great idea that I will support by getting signatures and making donations.

If the minimum wage hike stands, it is going to be a nightmare to have a different wage in San Diego than in neighboring communities.  Enforcement will be tough.  How will the City Attorney collect records from out of town businesses?  Further, such a measure erodes the competitive edge of San Diego businesses at the margins.  The minimum wage hike will only hurt the working poor and punish businesses.  All the energy expended on an issue that only helps a very small 2% of the workforce is all the proof I need that something foul is afoot.  Minimum wage hikes are a back door way for unions to get wage concessions without bothering to bargain or strike.  When some thug tries to stop me from gathering signatures on my petition, I guarantee that they will have been paid by a union.

UPDATE - From the U-T:
The San Diego City Council voted Monday to override Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s veto of gradual increases in the local minimum wage to $11.50 an hour by 2017, starting the clock on a referendum campaign that business leaders have said they’ll pursue.
If opponents can collect the 34,000 valid signatures required for a referendum by Sept. 17, the wage increases will be held in abeyance pending an election in June 2016.

What You Should Be Reading
  • The supposed death of the Tea Party has been greatly exaggerated.  
  • Meanwhile the left is pinning their hopes of defeating Carl DeMaio's challenge to Scott Peters by tying Carl to the Tea Party.  (I guess its not good enough to actually be LGBT to get support from that community, you have to be the right kind of LGBT.)  
  • The VOSD fact checks claims and counter-claims in the Peters-DeMaio race regarding Peters' role in the pension scandal.  While they take DeMaio's claims to task, they also note that Peters' did not in fact solve the problem.  His involvement in the pension mess is surely a liability that no amount of left-leaning fact checking will wash away.  To be fair, I like a lot of the VOSD reporting, despite their clear bias.
  •  Having a tough time blogging, research getting tough?  Consider hiring a virtual assistant (VA) for $5 per hour.  Wait, will the city attorney come looking for me if my VA is in India, but I benefit from the work?  (Seriously, I have considered this, as the research and editing is slowing down my writing.)
Wouldn't you rather be doing internet research for me?

Public domain image of 1903 Chicago "sweatshop" workers.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Rule of Law and Medical Marijuana

The U-T reported this morning on San Diego city government's failure to shut down illegal medical marijuana shops.  To be clear, there are currently no legal medical marijuana shops in the city.  
 The case is instructive on the results of the failure of the rule of law, including the failure to pass implementing laws that unwelcome, but legal activity to proceed.  Councilmember Ed Harris wants a process that shines the light of transparency on the efforts to close the illegal shops.
The proposal comes as the abundance of illegal dispensaries has begun adding turbulence to the already complex approval process facing applicants trying to open the city’s first legal pot shops. 
Part of that process, which began in April, is getting the blessing of neighborhood leaders who serve on community planning groups. But multiple planning groups have said frustration about illegal dispensaries in their area makes them less likely to embrace the legal dispensaries being proposed 
In both Pacific Beach, whereas many as 25 illegal dispensaries operate, and Mira Mesa, where there are roughly half a dozen, community leaders say the illegal pot shops are tainting the process of approving legal ones.
It has been almost 18 years since California passed Prop 215 which legalized medical marijuana sales and somehow we can't figure this out.  The interference of the federal government in shutting down pot dispensaries hasn't helped, after the unfortunate Supreme Court decision in Gonzales v Raich, which expanded the interstate commerce clause unnecessarily.  However, San Diego never really came to grips with how it was going to allow this unwelcome but lawful (under California law) activity.  But then, Mayor Filner made it worse, of course, by announcing that he would not enforce the zoning laws regarding the dispensaries, and wouldn't wait for the legislative process to work this out.  The result has been predictable; with the growth of illegal dispensaries to 100.  (This seems to be playing out on the southern border as the President's repeated insistence that he would grant various forms of amnesty unilaterally has provoked a humanitarian crisis.)

I can only hope that we can speed the process of allowing the legal permitting of dispensaries, so that neighborhoods feel that they are protected by law and have a voice in where the dispensaries are located.  My concern is that the slow wheels of bureaucracy will have the same effect as the illegal tactics of Filner, only illegal dispensaries operating.  Lack of clarity in the law, failure to allow a path ahead for what should be legal activity and a failure to enforce the law have led to this mess.

Making matters worse, the California state legislature has again failed to pass a bill that would impose statewide uniformity on medical marijuana and further normalize the business.

Photo credit: "Medical-marijuana-sign" uncropped image from Laurie Avocado. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

What You Should Be Reading

  • Lots of military members angry at Ferguson law enforcement over tactics and paraphernalia heavier than what they used in Afghanistan.  See all the tweets
  • Professor Perry has a host of great links on the Ferguson MO issue.  My favorite is from Nick Gillespie: Let’s Make Cops Wear Cameras – “Everyone behaves better when they’re on video.”  The situation Ferguson also has to do with the rule of law.
  • KTCat continues to skewer the administration over its failure to deal with ISIS.

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Inevitable Fall of Iraq

Lately, I have been turning on CNN for coverage of the Middle East, and found them to be well, fair and balanced.  Anderson Cooper asks tough questions of guests and has a variety of them.  I was surprised at how well one guest summarized the roots of the conflict.  Essentially, the Shia majority under Maliki was abusive of its power towards the Sunnis.  (Of course, the Sunnis were favored by Saddam who brutalized the Shiites, but whatever.)  This has given rise to ethnic hatreds that fueled support for ISIS. ISIS claims to represent a swath of Arabic speaking peoples in the western Mesopotamia, parts of Iraq and Syria.  These people feel more loyalty to tribe than to the imagined country named Iraq.  Of course, I am not the first one to notice this. Writing in the CSM in 2007, O'Brien Browne laid out the case for separate nations to be carved out of Iraq.
Mesopotamia, as the region that includes Iraq was called until recently, had never been a "country" or "nation" in the modern senses of these words. The wise and largely benign rulers of the Ottoman Empire, who reigned over this land for centuries, realized that no outside force could ever rule this area by foisting preconceived notions of nationhood upon the population, whose loyalties lay with family, tribe, linguistic grouping, and religious orientation.
Unfortunately, when historic mistakes must be corrected, but the only means of correction is armed conflict, the most violent and ruthless group will come to the fore to lead the charge.  This is how the Bolsheviks came to power in Russia, to cite one well-known example. ISIS is nothing if not ruthless and bloodthirsty, but that will be their undoing as the administration of the apparatus of statehood requires skills other pure ideology.  Further, they have made too many enemies.  The governments of Syria, Iraq and Turkey are all going to work against them, as well as the Kurdish regional government.

Meanwhile, Browne saw the break up of Yugoslavia as instructive for what might need to happen in Iraq.
Unfortunately, this meant that wars had to be fought. Though vicious, cruel, and bloody, this process was vital. Its beneficial results can be seen on a modern map of the region: New countries such as Croatia have the telltale odd shape and wiggly lines of older, established, stable countries. Gone are those artificial border lines, the unreal trappings of a federation that should never have existed. Gone, for the most part, too, is the explosive anger that exists when ethnic groups are unwillingly thrown together. Instead, although Serbs, Croats, and the other groups do not love one another, they can now live alongside one another in relative harmony. Where this is not the case, as in Kosovo, ethnic tensions continue to bubble.
I think that ISIS has made too many enemies to survive, but the idea that the Sunnis of western Mesopotamia should have their own state will outlast these vile genocidal madmen.  There is no constitution capable of imposing trust between peoples riven by religious and ethnic conflict.

Some maps to help sort it out:  Iraq by ethnicity/religion source: Royal Burglee's Flatworld Knowledge web site:

Here is the situation today, according to a map on Wikipedia titled "Syria and Iraq 2014-onward War map" by Haghal Jagul - Own workTemplate:Syrian civil war detailed mapTemplate:Iraq war detailed map. Licensed under CC0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Map of Syrian Civil War and the Iraqi insurgency
   Controlled by Syrian rebels 
   Controlled by Syrian government 
   Controlled by Iraqi government 
   Controlled by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) 
   Controlled by Syrian Kurds 
   Controlled by Iraqi Kurds 
   Controlled by the Qaraqosh Protection Committee

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ebola Ethics

The Washington Post blog post about "white" Americans getting an Ebola serum reminds me of an old joke about the Post.  The Almighty gave the editors of the Post a call to let them know that the world was ending the next day.  True to form the WaPo headline read: "World to End - Women and Minorities Impacted Most."  Distribution of the serum to Americans has jack to do with the fact that they are white and everything to do with the fact that they are Americans.  The serum is being developed by an American company, Mapp Biopharmaceutical, based right here in San Diego, I am proud to say.
Before this outbreak, ZMapp had only been tested on monkeys. Mapp, the tiny, San Diego based pharmaceutical company that makes the drug stated two years ago: “When administered one hour after infection [with Ebola], all animals survived…Two-thirds of the animals were protected even when the treatment, known as Zmapp, was administered 48 hours after infection.”
Here are the ethics.  American technology and compassion are fighting Eblola and when the disease is brought under control, it will be because of America.  So Americans get first call on the vaccine.  To be fair, Arthur Caplan touches on some of this in the article.  He also asks why there is no process to allow more experimental use of drugs when a new disease is getting started.  Great question.  Our medical bureaucracy doesn't care if it kills a thousand people by withholding a treatment, if one life is saved that might have ended from a new treatment.

Unfortunately, Caplan concludes:
An ethical case can surely be made for an organization that puts health-care workers in harm’s way to acquire access to experimental drugs and bring staff home to get the best possible care. But that is neither a fair nor just policy for deciding what to do when an emergency arises and rationing is the only option.
Have to disagree, protecting the people doing good is always the right answer.

What You Should Be Reading