Tuesday, February 28, 2017

For 3rd Graders and Donald Trump
    Where the water in a river comes from

In another move against the health and welfare of the people of California, the President of the Rust Belt today signed an order to start the process of eliminating the effective protection of our water.

The order directs the rollback of a 2015 environmental regulation that was issued issued under the Clean Water Act of 1972 to give the federal government authority to regulate pollution in smaller streams and rivers that flow into larger bodies of water like the Chesapeake Bay, Mississippi River, Puget Sound, and the San Francisco Bay.

The rule would have given protection to 60 percent of the US’s bodies of water, including wetlands. The rule was attacked by oil and gas developers, farmers, pesticide and fertilizer makers, and golf course owners, which claimed the regulation infringes on property owners’ rights and is bad for the economy. In 2015, the American Farm Bureau Federation led a lawsuit against the rule, arguing it puts the burden on farmers to get a permit for using fertilizers near ditches and streams. The case has been in the courts ever since, and the rule has never actually been implemented.

Trump's order basically puts defending the legal case on hold, directing the EPA to revise the rule. It was a clear action to continue the process of the Deconstruction of the Administrative State as advocated by Neoliberal Presidential Strategist Steve Bannon.

There was a typical Trump signing event:
“It’s a horrible, horrible rule. Has sort of a nice name, but everything else is bad,” Trump said at a White House signing ceremony, surrounded by Vice President Pence, first lady Melania Trump and top opponents of the regulation, including newly installed EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio.).

Farmers, homebuilders and county commissioners were also present.

“The Clean Water Act says that the EPA can regulate navigable waters, meaning waters that truly affect interstate commerce. But a few years ago, the EPA decided that navigable waters can mean nearly every puddle or every ditch on a farmer’s land, or any place else that they decide,” Trump said before signing the order.
It is reflective of Trump's ignorance, of course. Here's what I would expect third graders to understand.

Most of the water that river systems ultimately deliver to the ocean...

...and that floats the barges...

...comes from such locations as headwater streams...

...but in between the headwater streams, other waterways that ultimately run into navigable waters are polluted by agricultural irrigation runoff filled with pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizer...

and runoff from improper development carrying petroleum waste and sewage...

and industrial waste...

which besides killing wildlife gets into our drinking water...

...which in my opinion should be third grade level knowledge. I'm not sure where Trump thinks that nasty water in the puddle outside Trump Towers goes, but it goes somewhere.

California has a significant water quality regulatory program a lot of which depends upon federal regulations the enforcement of which has been delegated to agencies such as the State Water Resources Control Board and the Regional Water Quality Control Boards.

Fortunately, California's navigable waters are wholly within the boundaries of our State. That, combined with proposed new legislation, announced Thursday by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and his colleagues,as an attempt to ensure federal rules on air quality, water protection, endangered species and worker safety would stay on the books in California as explained in the last post California opens environmental defensive front in Trumpism's anti-California War will be enough to protect our children.

As I urged in a previous post we must not suffer fools gladly and never forget Cipolla's five fundamental laws of stupidity:
  1. Always and inevitably each of us underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.
  2. The probability that a given person is stupid is independent of any other characteristic possessed by that person.
  3. A person is stupid if they cause damage to another person or group of people without experiencing personal gain, or even worse causing damage to themselves in the process.
  4. Non-stupid people always underestimate the harmful potential of stupid people; they constantly forget that at any time anywhere, and in any circumstance, dealing with or associating themselves with stupid individuals invariably constitutes a costly error.
  5. A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person there is.
The Trump Administration is full of foolish people led by a fool who apparently lacks a third grade understanding of stream and river systems.

Most importantly despite what the news media says about how it will take time for these orders to actually become effective, we must understand that our defenses must be in place well before that can happen. In fact we must act as soon as possible as just as the implementation of the federal regulations has been stopped by a lawsuit making its way through the courts, the State will undoubted see such a lawsuit.

Understand that if we in California can get our act together soon enough to protect our waters we can feel badly for the people around Puget Sound if they don't get their act together soon enough. But we cannot keep the stupid people along the Mississippi River and its tributaries from harming themselves. We tried November 8, 2016, and they declared war on San Francisco Values.

Monday, February 27, 2017

For the sake of our children we must not suffer fools gladly
  What exactly does it mean to advocate "tolerance"

Wikipedia offers this definition:
Religion is a cultural system of behaviors and practices, world views, sacred texts, holy places, ethics, and societal organisation that relate humanity to what an anthropologist has called "an order of existence". Different religions may or may not contain various elements, ranging from the "divine", "sacred things", "faith", a "supernatural being or supernatural beings" or "some sort of ultimacy and transcendence that will provide norms and power for the rest of life."
Take some time to digest that definition, because the entry goes on to say:
"With the onset of the modernization of and the scientific revolution in the western world, some aspects of religion have cumulatively been criticized."
In a different entry, Wikipedia too carefully offers this definition:
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.
"Science" allowed us to achieve landing on the moon. "Religion" allowed some to say and "believe" that didn't happen and all the evidence showing that it did was fabricated. "Religion" allowed people to say their family members who died from smallpox moved on to a better place. "Science" allowed us to eliminate smallpox.

Wikipedia also offers this definition:
Ideology is a collection of beliefs held by an individual, group or society. It can be described as a set of conscious and unconscious ideas which make up one's beliefs, goals, expectations, and motivations.
The entry explains further:
Even when the challenging of existing beliefs is encouraged, as in scientific theories, the dominant paradigm or mindset can prevent certain challenges, theories, or experiments from being advanced.
When I read the full entry on "ideology," what I see is a description similar to "religion" in that beliefs are passed on that are not knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. Both religion and ideology require a belief at the core that does not permit a real world verification process that can be repeated by others. You either believe it or you don't.

Science is a curious "systematic enterprise." There are "beliefs" known as an "hypothesis" which is a suggested solution for an unexplained occurrence that does not fit into current accepted scientific theory.

Our common use of the word "theory" has caused confusion about science which those with political agendas have taken advantage of to advocate beliefs. From Wikipedia:
A scientific theory is an explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can, in accordance with the scientific method, be repeatedly tested, using a predefined protocol of observations and experiments. Established scientific theories have withstood rigorous scrutiny and are a comprehensive form of scientific knowledge.

It is important to note that the definition of a "scientific theory" (often ambiguously contracted to "theory" for the sake of brevity, including in this page) as used in the disciplines of science is significantly different from the common vernacular usage of the word "theory". In everyday non-scientific speech, "theory" can imply that something is an unsubstantiated and speculative guess, conjecture, idea, or, hypothesis; such a usage is the opposite of the word "theory" in science. These different usages are comparable to the differing, and often opposing, usages of the term "prediction" in science versus "prediction" in vernacular speech, denoting a mere hope.

The strength of a scientific theory is related to the diversity of phenomena it can explain. As additional scientific evidence is gathered, a scientific theory may be rejected or modified if it does not fit the new empirical findings; in such circumstances, a more accurate theory is then desired.... They describe the causal elements responsible for a particular natural phenomenon, and are used to explain and predict aspects of the physical universe or specific areas of inquiry (e.g., electricity, chemistry, astronomy). Scientists use theories as a foundation to gain further scientific knowledge, as well as to accomplish goals such as inventing technology or curing disease.
There is confusion about this in "the public square" where many Americans have come to believe it is important that everyone has a right to say anything and offer there own untestable "theories" that are equal to scientific theories. Thus we have:

And so now we have come to the crux of the matter, for in that web page above is used the word "truth." From Wikipedia:
Truth is most often used to mean being in accord with fact or reality, or fidelity to an original or standard. Truth may also often be used in modern contexts to refer to an idea of "truth to self," or authenticity.

The commonly understood opposite of truth is falsehood, which, correspondingly, can also take on a logical, factual, or ethical meaning. The concept of truth is discussed and debated in several contexts, including philosophy, art, and religion. Many human activities depend upon the concept, where its nature as a concept is assumed rather than being a subject of discussion; these include most (but not all) of the sciences, law, journalism, and everyday life. Some philosophers view the concept of truth as basic, and unable to be explained in any terms that are more easily understood than the concept of truth itself. Commonly, truth is viewed as the correspondence of language or thought to an independent reality, in what is sometimes called the correspondence theory of truth.
As the family curmudgeonly pessimist when I look at that definition of "truth" I immediately see a chance for someone to confuse "belief" with "truth" particularly because "belief is the state of mind in which a person thinks something to be the case, with or without there being empirical evidence to prove that something is the case with factual certainty."

A fact is something that has occurred or is correct. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability—that is, whether it can be demonstrated to correspond to experience. But people get these terms confused. The opposite of "fact" is "fantasy" which is not a "lie" but rather comes from  the activity of imagining things, especially things that are impossible or improbable. When one asserts that a fantasy is "truth" that person is either crazy or is talking about their religion or ideology.

Thus someone standing in the deepest snow they've ever seen in their hometown will say there is no global warming. For them their "truth" ignores their assumption that their "local weather" must be the same as their "regional climate" which must the same as the "global biosphere." That's not a fact, it's their "truth." And in a Trump world they can correctly consider anything contrary a "lie."

Thus when the Center for Religious Expression states "we believe the Christian's right to speak in the public square about these vitally important matters is fundamental because justice - as it relates to any of these issues - cannot exist without truth" they are 100% correct that their viewpoint about abortion, same-sex marriage, etc., is based on the truth.

It's their truth, not my truth, and may not be your truth. That makes truth entirely subjective, and therefore meaningless in a discussion except with the like-minded who don't want to be confused by the different meaning of fact and science.

For this curmudgeonly pessimist, "truth" is a word that has no meaning mostly because it is and always was about a fantasy precept dependent upon belief.

If you must use it, you must understand that it has to do with the intent of "deception." Deception "is a trick or scheme used to get what you want, like the deception you used to get your sister to agree to do all your chores for a month." Deceive is a word that comes from the Latin de- meaning "from" and capere, meaning "to take." In Christianity Leviticus 19:11 provides the "taking" context: "Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another." You see, the truth about "truth" can best be understood in the context of the intent of its opposite - a "lie." And that is different from the opposite of "fact", the term "fantasy."

Last week on his "Real Time" show, one of Bill Maher's guests was journalist and author Asra Nomani. According to her web site, among other things, she is "dedicated to ... principles of tolerance in the Muslim world."

Her website also tells us she "was raised in the foothills of West Virginia in Morgantown" and attended West Virginia University. That was followed by a long career in mainstream media journalism. But recently her views have appeared in Breitbart News stories.

In watching Nomani on the show, she explained she voted for Donald Trump and she has strong concerns that were quickly picked up and fairly reported by Breitbart News:
Nomani, who voted for Trump, stated, “[T]here are two issues that the Dems lost on, and one was Islam, and the other was on identity politics, and that’s what I think…I’m afraid that they’re going to go to the extreme, and that would mean [Representative] Keith Ellison (D-MN).”

She added that if Ellison is picked to run the DNC, it would mean “more apologetics on Islam, and more identity politics, and what I would prefer as somebody who is in the middle. We have this mayor from South Bend, Indiana, who — Mayor Pete [Buttigieg] is his name, and we have [Representative] Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), who was on your stage. she was amazing, centrist, a realist on Islam and extremism, and that’s what we need, civility, dignity.”

Nomani praised “true liberals” for giving her strength and courage as a Muslim reformer.

She further stated that a lot of liberals aren’t helping reform Islam, and are “selling America short. They are surrendering America.” Nomani criticized the Women’s March for “standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Muslims that are on the far right of the Westboro Baptist Church.”

Nomani concluded by arguing that civility has to [be] demanded “from the White House to the streets.”
In a discussion about a basketball player thinking the world is flat, fellow panelist Seth MacFarlane asked how she can reconcile supporting someone like Trump, who rejects science. He said to her she seems more intelligent than that. Her response was that we must all come together.

Effectively she is advocating "tolerance" which means to not appear to dismiss people whose beliefs might differ from you. That is what Maher, MacFarlane, and the rest of the panel were doing regarding the guy who says he believes the world is flat.

Nomani attacks those who would not suffer fools gladly, which according to the Cambridge English Dictionary means those who have little or no patience with people who are stupid or have stupid ideas.

"Tolerance" is generally offered up as a virtue. According to Wikipedia:
The term “toleration”—from the Latin tolerare: to put up with, countenance or suffer—generally refers to the conditional acceptance of or non-interference with beliefs, actions or practices that one considers to be wrong but still “tolerable,” such that they should not be prohibited or constrained. There are many contexts in which we speak of a person or an institution as being tolerant: parents tolerate certain behavior of their children, a friend tolerates the weaknesses of another, a monarch tolerates dissent, a church tolerates homosexuality, a state tolerates a minority religion, a society tolerates deviant behavior.
Thus one might allow the young basketball player to express his belief that the world is flat in the context of "non-interference with beliefs, actions or practices that one considers to be wrong but still 'tolerable',” such that they should not be prohibited or constrained." After all it is an American value established in the First Amendment which says:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
And so it is absolutely clear that the American value is to let people blather about their thoughts and beliefs. But we are not obligated to embrace those thoughts and beliefs - we put up with them, we suffer fools gladly, but in the town square we disagree vehemently with them.

Thus if the "flat Earthers" want to express their beliefs which are fantasy they can. But we who do not suffer fools gladly fear the stupid serving as officials in government and public schools. We fear that if you a person who believes something is "right, just, and moral" then even though others might not believe as you, you believe you must advocate imposing through government what is "right or just or moral" on us all.

And that is the problem with "tolerance." You see, the population Nomani spent her childhood with doesn't believe in science. And here I am not talking about Muslims, but way too  many West Virginians. From the Charleston Gazette:
The West Virginia House of Delegates completed its latest attack on the state's education standards Friday, blocking new science standards from taking effect because they mention climate change.

The Republican-controlled House voted 73-20 for legislation (HB 4014) that delays implementation of the science standards at least a year.

Delegate Jim Butler, R-Mason, said the state's new science standards “expect students to believe in” global warming and “prove it with evidence.”
Nomani is a Muslim. She is seeking a reformation in the religion of Islam because she does not agree with how the vast majority interprets the faith with regard to women. And she opposes terrorists who are also Muslims who believe their faith requires their violence.

She is serious about her reformation effort. And she has written a book Standing Alone: An American Woman’s Struggle for the Soul of Islam in which she explores her ideas. In a review of the book that appeared in Comparative Civilizations Review reviewer Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman, a writer and historian who formerly taught World History and Islamic Civilization at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, where she was also Executive Director of the San Francisco United Nations Association and was a frequent speaker for the World Affairs Council and the Commonwealth Club, observed:
Asra Nomani's pilgrimage opened her eyes to the discrepancy between what she thought was Mohammad's mission and the practices of fundamentalist Islam today. There is no such movement as "Reformed Islam," but because of her efforts and those of other American Muslims with liberal interpretations of their religion, there may soon be such a movement. Nomani has already staged sit-ins at her mosque, called upon American law to challenge her mosque's board on its discriminatory rules (it is a tax exempt organization), and banded with other liberal Muslims to create a new mosque where for the first time a woman led the call to prayer.

All of this is to be commended, but it is still just moving the furniture on the Titanic. Nomani approached her problems with Islam by picking and choosing among the commentaries in the Koran and its companion piece, the Hadith, in which are the memories of the family and friends of the Prophet Mohammad after his death. She did not even bother with the Sharia, which is the Islamic code of law that has no mechanism for change over time. Ninth century Sharia law is hopeless.

The only thing that comes through about the Prophet Mohammad's mission was summed up in the basic five pillars of Islam: affirmation that there is only one god, prayer daily, fasting one month a year, alms to the poor and widowed, and a pilgrimage to Mecca once in a lifetime. This is the core of a valid religion, and the rest is history and commentary. Even I, as a resolute secularist, find these rules impressive and think that if one must be religious at all, this is not an unacceptable modern choice.
That's fine. But whether it's a Muslim woman or a West Virginian Christian, arguing over interpretation of a religious faith falls into the category of arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. As Wikipedia notes the question has been "linked to the fall of Constantinople, with the imagery of scholars debating about minutiae while the Turks besieged the city."

When you believe in angels dancing on pin heads and you take over the government, one of your first legal priorities must be to protect pin heads.

And that is the risk with advocating tolerance particularly in the public square. That public square (or town hall) is the mechanism used by the stupid to take over your government.

You see, in the end if because of our belief structure we are fretting about tolerating the pin heads and not the collapse of the biosphere, then our children and grandchildren will likely not survive because of us.

It is urgent that we stop advocating "tolerance" as a primary value overriding any concerns about facts established by science through testing and observation of the real world.

The word "elite" meaning "a select part of a group that is superior to the rest in terms of ability or qualities" is used as a pejorative accusation in the form of the term "elitist." Another word, "stupid" means "having or showing a great lack of intelligence or common sense."

An Italian economic historian Carlo Cipolla in his The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity promulgated five fundamental laws of stupidity:
  1. Always and inevitably each of us underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.
  2. The probability that a given person is stupid is independent of any other characteristic possessed by that person.
  3. A person is stupid if they cause damage to another person or group of people without experiencing personal gain, or even worse causing damage to themselves in the process.
  4. Non-stupid people always underestimate the harmful potential of stupid people; they constantly forget that at any time anywhere, and in any circumstance, dealing with or associating themselves with stupid individuals invariably constitutes a costly error.
  5. A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person there is.
Because of that danger, I frequently say I have no tolerance for stupid people. That may make me elitist, but it doesn't make Cipolla wrong in saying "A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person there is."

To Asra Nomani I would say it is dangerous to try to find some middle ground between those who believe things such as the world is flat. I say that because the world is round. What is a middle ground, that the world is square? Maybe we should revise NASA and NOAH web pages to reflect a square world?.

While that may seem like a silly statement, the Earth's biosphere is in serious trouble and unemployed coal miners who worked in the Murray Energy Company's Monongalia County Mine (formerly Blacksville Mine) near where you were raised deserve assistance. They do not deserve us putting up with, countenancing or suffering their stupidity. They support a President who says we'll go back to prior levels of burning coal because of this lie (he said it with intent to take):

Ms. Nomani, Trump's Neoliberal Administration on behalf of your ex-neighbors (but mostly on the behalf of the entire fossil fuel energy industry) will have no problem at all revising NASA and NOAH web pages to reflect a biosphere free of global warming impacts.

And if you countenance that, you are equally stupid and dangerous, far more dangerous than the Muslims you seem to fear. This is foolishness that should never be suffered gladly.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

This week Bannon promises a dystopian future
  California opens environmental defensive
  front in Trumpism's anti-California War

Steve Bannon is the Trumpist ideologue, the official who teaches us Trumpism - which is not the ideology of Donald Trump but an ideological interpretation of Trump's speeches to support Trump Administration actions.

This week at CPAC Bannon offered the term "Deconstruction of the Administrative State" which is "alt-words" for eliminating that bumbling, imperfect bureaucracy that enforces regulations protecting you and your children from such things as:
  • preventing an Ebola outbreak;
  • job discrimination based on (in alphabetical order) age, ethnicity, race, sex, sexual preference, or unrelated disability;
  • school building safety during a hurricane or earthquake;
  • residential construction standards;
  • workplace safety;
  • bacterial contamination of food in stores and restaurants.
Let's be blunt about it. Most of these regulations are in place because businesses failed to protect their customers and employees from potential harm. All these regulations cost money. None of these pictures below are of the upper 1%:


At the same time Trumpism advocates the use of law enforcement to assail, detain, or round up people who "seem" Mexican or Middle Eastern or the son of Muhammid Ali or anyone else they deem suspicious...

...which along with many, many other news stories about federal police detaining Americans should by now make people think...

Meanwhile, back in California...

As we learned this week from the LA Times:
California lawmakers want to build a regulatory wall around the state, opening a new front in their brewing war with President Trump as they try to prevent any rollbacks in federal rules from weakening environmental protections here.

The new legislation, announced Thursday by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and his colleagues, is an attempt to ensure federal rules on air quality, water protection, endangered species and worker safety would stay on the books in California even if they’re loosened in Washington. Federal standards in place before Trump took office would become enforceable by state officials in California.

Another measure would try to prevent Washington from selling federal land in California to private developers without first offering it to state officials. A third proposal would protect federal workers, such as engineers and lawyers, from losing state certifications and licenses if they blow the whistle on problems at their agencies.

The sweeping package of legislation could be a prelude to drawn-out legal battles between California and Washington, and they arrive as President Trump prepares to loosen federal environmental regulations.

“California will undoubtedly test the limits of what it’s possible for a state to do,” said Cara Horowitz, co-director of UCLA's Environmental Law Clinic. The state, she said, “has made very clear that it sees itself as the environmental resistance in the United States.”
The signing by Governor Jerry Brown of Executive Order S-13-08 began in 2008 our Safeguarding California biosphere protection effort. The following series of posts explore how we Californians have joined the rest of the world overcoming an antiscience trend and what it means for the future well-being of our children and grandchildren:
  1. In California we are overcoming words that blind and bind since we want our descendants to survive
  2. In California we are overcoming words that blind and bind - such as the words global and climate
  3. In California we are overcoming words that blind and bind by discussing biosphere science
  4. In California we are overcoming words that blind and bind: about lie, error, digital and information
  5. In California we are overcoming words that blind and bind: avoiding the ideology of Neoliberalism
  6. In California we are overcoming words that blind and bind: the trap of the technology promise
With this proposed package of new legislation, the Legislature is launching a preemptive strike across a broad front of environmental issues in opposition to the Neoliberals in the Administration of the President of the United States of the Rust Belt. Once passed, this legislation should permit Californians to protect the future of our children and grandchildren by
  1. cooperating with people in other Pacific Rim nations that don't look like white America to attempt to reduce the impact of Climate Change and 
  2. by planning and carrying out adaptation programs to the inevitable impacts of climate change.

Meanwhile, back in the Rust Belt...

Many in middle America simply did not, and some still do not, think that Trump intended to carry out his promise to eliminate environmental protections. The following articles indicate completed actions to carry out Destruction of the Administrative State that impact on The Rust Belt, not California. This is what Rust Belt Americans apparently want, but we simply cannot permit this level of irreversible ignorance to be imposed on California's environment in order to make a few rich people richer:

Click on image to learn that what goes into
Appalachian streams ends up in the Mississippi!
Click on image to learn that the listing of these bees threatened
the sales of most widely used insecticide class with sales
of $2.6 billion soon to be dominated by Monsanto after mergers!
This, and much more planned by the Neoliberal Trumpists for America's environment, will not "just all work out ten years from now." Especially if you are a rusty patched bumblebee or live somewhere downstream from a river receiving this waste containing arsenic, lead, manganese, iron, sodium, strontium and sulfate maybe on another further downstream river that is your school's water supply, you need to be acting now.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Legislature must act now to protect Californians
  Trump anti-California War Second Wave
  begins with new orders, expanded forces

The most obvious truth about Donald Trump's January 25, 2017, Executive Order titled Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements now being implemented by the Department of Homeland Security is that it only orders the securing of our southern border which is defined as "the contiguous land border between the United States and Mexico."

The United States has 5,525 miles of border with Canada and 1,989 miles with Mexico. Our maritime border includes 95,000 miles of shoreline. That is 102,514 miles of porous border, 1.9% of which Trump and the Deplorables are apparently concerned about. Securing the other 98.1% apparently will not allow us to keep out foreign terrorists [... oops, there we go with the lies intended to create confusion ...] will not facilitate going back to the government sponsored bigotry of the 1930's.

In a November blog post I wrote:
The 2016 election discourse set off loud alarms.

Since it would be easy to dismiss the election discourse as meaningless election rhetoric, I feel the need to explain in some detail why this old Native Californian thinks it is time to recognize just how different California is from Ohio and North Carolina and why proposing that Congress authorize the separation of California from the Union is urgent.

Let's begin with a statement of historical facts. Migrants created the California we know today while white illegal aliens from the United States made California a part of the Union. What 96%+ of Americans don't know is the United States government run by the ancestors/predecessors of the current Deplorables...

  • from 1880-1943 prevented the families of one group of Californians - the U.S. citizen children of Chinese immigrants - from bringing their family members into California, targeting only this ethnic group of Asians,
  • from 1930-1946 in the Mexican "Repatriation" rounded up and deported one group of Californians - American citizens of Hispanic heritage
  • from 1942-1945 rounded up another group of Californians - American citizens of Japanese heritage - and put them into concentration camps, and
  • in 1954 Operation Wetback was begun which resulted in 1,078,168 arrests and deportations by the U.S. Border Patrol resulting in several hundred United States citizens being illegally deported without being given a chance to prove their citizenship.
Sorry America, but we Californians cannot permit a repeat of this kind of bigotry, discrimination, and violence against our people again. After the election, as well as during the campaign, we can observe that focused violence and bullying is growing in the U.S. as a result of Donald Trump and he isn't even President yet.
Well, he is President now. In a Washington Post article this week Trump administration seeks to prevent ‘panic’ over new immigration enforcement policies we learn:
...Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly’s memos have alarmed immigrant rights groups because they supersede most of those issued by previous administrations, including policies from the Obama administration aimed at focusing deportations exclusively on hardened criminals and those with terrorist ties.

Kelly’s directives seek to expand partnerships with local law enforcement agencies to apprehend undocumented immigrants, hire 10,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers and 5,000 new Border Patrol agents, and broaden expedited deportations, currently limited to those in the country two weeks or less, to those who have been in the country for up to two years.

The provisions mandate that the government detain immigrants until they are granted a hearing before an immigration judge, ending the Obama administration’s policy of releasing some to live with relatives until their hearings. Backlogs at immigration courts have delayed hearings for more than a year.
And yet today the headlines are focused on bathroom use in schools, bathrooms controlled by local school districts and the states, all of which have elected governing bodies. It is almost as if Americans don't understand our governments, don't remember our history and/or don't think the government-caused bigotry that caused untold psychological and physical trauma in the 1930's could happen again. Consider Immigrants: The Last Time America Sent Her Own Packing:

A 9-year-old girl stood in the darkness of a railroad station, surrounded by tearful travelers who had gathered up their meager belongings, awaiting the train that would take her from her native home to a place she had never been. The bewildered child couldn’t know she was a character in the recurring drama of America’s love-hate relationship with peoples from foreign lands who, whether fleeing hardship or oppression or simply drawn to the promise of opportunity and prosperity, desperately strive to be Americans. As yet another act in the long saga of American immigration unfolds today, some U.S. citizens can recall when, during a time of anti-immigrant frenzy fueled by economic crisis and racism, they found themselves being swept out of the country of their birth.

Emilia Castañeda will never forget that 1935 morning. Along with her father and brother, she was leaving her native Los Angeles. Staying, she was warned by some adults at the station, meant she would become a ward of the state. ‘I had never been to Mexico,’ Castañeda said some six decades later. ‘We left with just one trunk full of belongings. No furniture. A few metal cooking utensils. A small ceramic pitcher, because it reminded me of my mother…and very little clothing. We took blankets, only the very essentials.’

As momentous as that morning seemed to the 9-year-old Castañeda, such departures were part of a routine and roundly accepted movement to send Mexicans and Mexican-Americans back to their ancestral home....
We do not want a repeat of this trampling on the U.S. and State Constitutions known as the Mexican Repatriation in which bigotry became public policy. In the book Decade of Betrayal: Mexican Repatriation in the 1930s authors Francisco E. Balderrama and Raymond Rodríguez you can learn more about the subject. But in response to questions in an NPR interview Balderrama explains:
There was not a federal deportation act, even though in some of the literature, it makes reference to that. That did not occur. What one has to be sensitive to to understand this history, is that it occurred in different forms. During the Hoover administration in the late 1920s and early 1930s, particularly the winter of 1930-1931, William Mitchell, the attorney general who had presidential ambitions, instituted a program of deportations. And it was announced that we need to provide jobs for Americans, and so we need to get rid of these other people. This created an anxiety, a tension in the Mexican community. And at the same time, U.S. Steel, Ford Motor Company, Southern Pacific Railroad said to their Mexican workers, you would be better off in Mexico with your own people....

Now, there was the development of a deportation desk from LA County relief agencies going out and recruiting Mexicans to go to Mexico. And they called it the deportation desk. Now, LA legal counsel says you can't do that. That's the responsibility, that's the duty of the federal government. So they backed up and said, well, we're not going to call it deportation. We're going to call it repatriation. And repatriation carries connotations that it's voluntary....

Downtown Los Angeles around the area of the LA Plaza next to Olvera Street right across from, today, Union Station, near Our Lady Queen of the Angels Church. That particular area was cornered off February 26, 1931 - very different approach of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, who had not planned to do that until the unemployment coordinating committee in LA County announced that raids were going to happen in Los Angeles and then after the fact, informed Washington D.C. about that. And then they followed suit and had raids in Pacoima and San Fernando Valley. But the one here in Los Angeles received a great deal of publicity because it was cornering off a popular area of the city and even rounded up a Mexican vice consul and had him in custody as well. Now, the raid itself didn't net that many people that were deported. But more significantly is those are the banner headlines - that here in Los Angeles, the historic founding of Los Angeles, this great Mexican city, this is what happened. And with that, then we have days and weeks that many Mexicans are not visible publicly because they're afraid of these raids that are occurring.
In the Apology Act for the 1930s Mexican Repatriation Program, the California Legislature on behalf of Californians officially apologized for the what was done to 9-year-old Emilia Castañeda and the thousands of other American citizens. As explained in 2006 by the Apology Act's author State Senator Joe Dunn:
Repatriation is, in fact, a misnomer. That was the label put on this program by the Hoover administration starting back in 1930 and 1931. In essence, their theory was, `We're going to repatriate those born here in the United States but of Mexican descent back to their, quote, "mother,"' end quote, `country.' That was their words, not mine. And it was a misnomer because the vast majority of those that were illegally deported under this program were born and raised right here in the United States. And the numbers actually, Melissa, if I may for just a moment, are staggering. Almost two million individuals were illegally deported to Mexico, and it's estimated that almost 60 percent or more of those two million were actually United States citizens born right here in the United States.

The phrase that the Hoover administration used was `American jobs for real Americans.' Well, if you were born and raised right here in the United States but just happened to be of Mexican descent, in the Hoover administration's eyes, you were not a, quote, "real American," end quote.
In a 2006 USA Today article (which today seems a naive time), the lack of awareness of the Mexican Repatriation was explained along with a proposal for an apology to come from Congress, while a new 2006 legislative proposal leading to today's situation was defended and a "justification" was offered for what was done because non-Hispanic white people were unemployed:
...His mother was cooking tortillas when 6-year-old Ignacio Piña saw plainclothes authorities burst into his home.

"They came in with guns and told us to get out," recalls Piña, 81, a retired railroad worker in Bakersfield, Calif., of the 1931 raid. "They didn't let us take anything," not even a trunk that held birth certificates proving that he and his five siblings were U.S.-born citizens.

The family was thrown into a jail for 10 days before being sent by train to Mexico. Piña says he spent 16 years of "pure hell" there before acquiring papers of his Utah birth and returning to the USA.

If their tales seem incredible, a newspaper analysis of the history textbooks used most in U.S. middle and high schools may explain why: Little has been written about the exodus, often called "the repatriation."

That may soon change. As the U.S. Senate prepares to vote on bills that would either help illegal workers become legal residents or boost enforcement of U.S. immigration laws, an effort to address deportations that happened 70 years ago has gained traction.

On Thursday, Rep. Hilda Solis, D-Calif., plans to introduce a bill in the U.S. House that calls for a commission to study the "deportation and coerced emigration" of U.S. citizens and legal residents. The panel would also recommend remedies that could include reparations. "An apology should be made," she says.

Co-sponsor Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., says history may repeat itself. He says a new House bill that makes being an illegal immigrant a felony could prompt a "massive deportation of U.S. citizens," many of them U.S.-born children leaving with their parents.

"We have safeguards to ensure people aren't deported who shouldn't be," says Jeff Lungren, GOP spokesman for the House Judiciary Committee, adding the new House bill retains those safeguards.1

"It was a racial removal program," says Mae Ngai, an immigration history expert at the University of Chicago, adding people of Mexican ancestry were targeted.

However, Americans in the 1930s were "really hurting," says Otis Graham, history professor emeritus at the University of California, Santa Barbara. One in four workers were unemployed and many families hungry. Deporting illegal residents was not an "outrageous idea," Graham says. "Don't lose the context."

"We need their jobs for needy citizens," C.P. Visel of the Los Angeles Citizens Committee for Coordination of Unemployment Relief wrote in a 1931 telegram. In a March 1931 letter to Doak, Visel applauded U.S. officials for the "exodus of aliens deportable and otherwise who have been scared out of the community."
In fact, the United States Congress refused to pass a similar apology resolution even though it had taken action to apologize to the Japanese for the WWII internment program. Then again, Congress may not have wanted to be forced to bring up the 1950's Operation Wetback. So it should not be surprising but should be disturbing to all Americans that a similar program is about to recur today.

Trump's order includes these provisions:
 Sec. 10.  Federal-State Agreements.  It is the policy of the executive branch to empower State and local law enforcement agencies across the country to perform the functions of an immigration officer in the interior of the United States to the maximum extent permitted by law.

(a)  In furtherance of this policy, the Secretary [of Homeland Security] shall immediately take appropriate action to engage with the Governors of the States, as well as local officials, for the purpose of preparing to enter into agreements under section 287(g) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1357(g)).

(b)  To the extent permitted by law, and with the consent of State or local officials, as appropriate, the Secretary shall take appropriate action, through agreements under section 287(g) of the INA, or otherwise, to authorize State and local law enforcement officials, as the Secretary determines are qualified and appropriate, to perform the functions of immigration officers in relation to the investigation, apprehension, or detention of aliens in the United States under the direction and the supervision of the Secretary.  Such authorization shall be in addition to, rather than in place of, Federal performance of these duties.

(c)  To the extent permitted by law, the Secretary may structure each agreement under section 287(g) of the INA in the manner that provides the most effective model for enforcing Federal immigration laws and obtaining operational control over the border for that jurisdiction.
The California Legislature is considering SB54 which would make the State of California what is called a "sanctuary state." What that means is that state and local officials including law enforcement officers will be severely restricted in how much information they can provide to and how much they can work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other federal officials involved in implementing immigration laws. But as explained in California could become a sanctuary state. What that means:
The current version of the bill would kick ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection out of local jails and restrict their access to some state databases. It also would ban state agencies from asking and collecting anyone’s immigration status.

Police departments and sheriffs’ offices still would work with ICE and Customs and Border Protection on multi-agency task forces, which sometimes result in deportations. Federal immigration authorities still would have access to fingerprint data from everyone booked into a local jail.

Neither federal nor state laws have defined sanctuary cities, so the term means different things to different people.

“The biggest misconception is that people think that when you declare yourself a sanctuary it means that there is absolutely no contact with ICE, and that is not true,” said Marissa Montes, co-director of the Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. “If ICE wanted to have a raid in downtown LA and did everything procedurally correct, like get a warrant, the city would not be able to stop them.”
The bill has yet to complete its way through the various Senate committees and then must get through the Assembly. If it does all that, and Governor Brown signs it, it could become law almost a year from now. In the meantime, the feds are moving forward.

The California Constitution and various codes do allow the California Attorney General to engage in the strong and vigorous enforcement of state civil rights laws and protect from violations of their rights enumerated under the California Constitution all persons in the State. The California Department of Justice under the Attorney General has a Civil Rights Enforcement Section deals with the civil rights of all persons including immigrants through the Office of Immigrant Assistance.

From a legal standpoint California has had a very long history arguing against the federal government exceeding it's authority on issues involving immigrants. As part of the Compromise of 1850, California was admitted to the United States. Five years later the State Supreme Court set forth it opinion on the primacy of states regarding citizenship in Ex parte Knowles, 5 Ca. 300, 302 (1855) in which the decision reads as follows:
I come now to the consideration of the main question, whether the State courts of California...have the power to naturalize....

In the eighth section of the first article of the Constitution, enumerating the powers of Congress, is the following separate clause: "To establish an uniform rule of naturalization and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcy throughout the United States." By metaphysical refinement, in examining the form of our government, it might be correctly said that there is no such thing as a citizen of of the United States. But constant usage - arising from convenience, and perhaps necessity, and dating from the formation of Confederacy [this refers to the pre-1789 United States, not the South in the Civil War] - has given substantial existence to the idea which term conveys. A citizen of any one of the States of the Union, is held to be, and called a citizen of the United States, although technically and abstractly there is no such thing....

At the time of the adoption of the Constitution, the States had power to make citizens of aliens. Does the clause of the Constitution above quoted deprive them of it ? The true rule of construction as to the exclusiveness of the power of Congress is, First - That it must be granted exclusively ; Second forbidden to the States; Third - from the nature of the power, exercise by both must be incompatible and incongruous. Does power under review come within either of these positions ? If examine the language closely, and according to the rules of rigid construction always applicable to delegated powers, we will find the power to naturalize, in fact is not given to Congress, but simply the power to establish an uniform rule. The States are not forbidden to naturalize, nor is there anything in the exercise of power by them, incongruous or incompatible with the power of Congress to establish an uniform rule. That the States, if they choose to exercise the power as an original one, must abide by the rule which Congress makes, there cannot be the slightest difference opinion. The power given to Congress was, according to my appre- hension, intended to provide a rule for the action of the States, and not a rule for the action of the federal government....

...The District Courts of this State are fully invested with power and jurisdiction to naturalize foreigners who exhibit the qualifications fixed by the laws of the United States.
Now one might hesitate given the year in which the decision was made, before the Civil War and the Fourteenth Amendment. And the fact is that it was made in liberal California. So let's turn briefly to a more recent frequently quoted ruling in a case involving whether a person could become a sheriff by being a citizen of the state while not a U.S. citizen Crosse v. Board of Supervisors of Elections of Baltimore City 221 A.2d. 431, 243 Md. 555 (Md., 1966) made by the Court of Appeals of Maryland on July 1, 1966:
Both before and after the Fourteenth Amendment to the federal Constitution, it has not been necessary for a person to be a citizen of the United States in order to be a citizen of his state. United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542, 549 (1875); Slaughter-House Cases, 83 U.S. (16 Wall.) 36, 73-74 (1873); and see Short v. State, 80 Md. 392, 401-02, 31 Atl. 322 (1895). See also Spear, State Citizenship, 16 Albany L.J. 24 (1877).
However, just before the government put Japanese-American Californians into concentration camps the California Legislature modified the statutory definition of a state citizen to defer to Congress. That is unfortunate, and that law needs to be amended as suggested here.

It is important that Californians and the California Government act rapidly and firmly to legally disrupt any reinstitution of federal actions resembling Mexican "Repatriation" and Operation Wetback. If the institutionalization of bigotry isn't enough to generate a sense of urgency, there is this headline which you can click on to read the story:

In the meantime, there is this article:

1 Jeff Lungren, GOP spokesman for the House Judiciary Committee, in 2006 was defending HR4437, which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives but not the U.S. Senate, and which contained the following Trumpian provisions among others...

  • Requires up to 700 miles (1120 km) of double-layered fence along the Mexico–US border at points with the highest number of illegal border crossings. (House Amendment 648, authored by Duncan Hunter (R-CA52)
  • Requires the federal government to take custody of illegal aliens detained by local authorities. This would end the practice of "catch and release", where federal officials sometimes instruct local law enforcement to release detained illegal aliens because resources to prosecute them are not available. It also reimburses local agencies in the 29 counties along the border for costs related to detaining illegal aliens. (Section 607)
  • Mandates employers to verify workers' legal status through electronic means, phased in over several years. Also requires reports to be sent to Congress one and two years after implementation to ensure that it is being used. (Title VII)
  • Requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to report to Congress on the number of Other Than Mexicans (OTMs) apprehended and deported and the number of those from states that sponsor terrorism. (Section 409)
  • Formalizes Congressional condemnation of rapes by smugglers along the border and urges Mexico to take immediate action to prevent them. (House Amendment 647, authored by Ginny Brown-Waite)
  • Requires all illegal aliens, before being deported, to pay a fine of $3,000 if they agree to leave voluntarily but do not adhere to the terms of their agreement. The grace period for voluntary departure is shortened to 60 days.
  • Requires DHS to conduct a study on the potential for border fencing on the Canada–US border.
  • Sets the minimum sentence for fraudulent documents at 10 years, fines, or both, with tougher sentencing in cases of aiding drug trafficking and terrorism.
    Establishes a Fraudulent Documents Center within DHS.
  • Increases penalties for aggravated felonies and various frauds, including marriage fraud and document fraud.
  • Establishes an 18-month deadline for DHS to control the border, with a progress report due one year after enactment of the legislation.
  • Requires criminal record, terrorist watch list clearance, and fraudulent document checks for any illegal immigrant before being granted legal immigration status.

    ...which is why that article seems so naive - a product of Americans refusing to learn anything about their history and government.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Regarding "When We Rise"
    How history repeats itself and why we
    must protect "San Francisco Values"

San Francisco Values. The term has been associated with same-sex marriage, high minimum wages, anti-war activism, pro-choice politics, marijuana decriminalization, and free migration. But it was first created and used in a pejorative sense by conservative commentators and politicians to describe a secular progressive culture commonly associated with the city of San Francisco.

In fact San Francisco is the home of California Empirical Egalitarian Progressivism. It is under attack and we must defend it. Next week, ABC will be airing on its channels and through Hulu an eight hour miniseries that provides the historical context for San Francisco Values. This post offers some reflections on this event.

From When We Rise: My Life in the Movement by Cleve Jones, (pp. 113-116), Hachette Books, 2016, Kindle Edition:

     We all still began every morning with strong coffee and Herb Caen’s column in the SF Chronicle. But before we read Herb, everyone was reading a delicious new series called "Tales of the City," by a previously unknown writer with the improbable name of Armistead Maupin. Like Harvey Milk, Maupin had been a naval officer and a Goldwater Republican. Also like Harvey, Maupin came out a bit late in life, at 30. Born in Washington, DC, he grew up in North Carolina, a big fan of archconservative Jesse Helms. But he took a job with Associated Press in 1971 in San Francisco, a move that transformed him as he fell in love with the city and its characters.
     The city soon fell in love with Armistead as well, and delighted in reading the various escapades and dramas of Mary Ann Singleton, Michael Tolliver, Mona Ramsey, and the pot-growing landlady Anna Madrigal as well as the other characters, many obviously based at least partially on real people. For years people would love to claim that they or someone they knew was referenced in one of the installments.
     The news from south Florida was getting grim. The fundamentalist Christians that Anita Bryant had aroused with her libelous campaign equating homosexuality with the sexual abuse of children were on a roll. Money for their campaign to defeat Dade County’s nondiscrimination law poured in— raised by the faithful in churches across the country. The gay community sent Jim Foster and others to try to assist the locals, but Harvey— ever the outsider— was not impressed, seeing them as emblematic of the old strategies of keeping the spotlight away from gay people and relying on straight supporters and vague slogans of “human rights.”
     We all wanted to help, though, and a local producer decided to organize a benefit variety show at the Castro Theatre called Moon over Miami. Harvey got behind the idea and asked me to help get the word out. I was pleased that he’d asked me to get involved, so my friends and I plastered the neighborhood with posters. I started spending more time hanging out in his camera store.
     A few days before the show, Harvey was concerned that ticket sales were lagging and decided to hold a press conference to publicize the effort. We scheduled it at the Eureka Valley Recreation Center, sent out the announcements, and followed up with phone calls to the local media....
     The night of the event, the venerable old theater was packed and the audience loudly applauded, cheered, and stamped their feet after every performance and each speaker. Then Armistead Maupin took the stage and announced that he would be reading from his as yet unpublished next installment of "Tales of the City." The crowd hushed as Maupin began to read what turned out to be a coming-out letter written by Michael Tolliver to his mother, living in Miami. At the end of the letter Michael appeals to his mother to vote against the repeal effort. When Maupin finished there was a moment of silence, broken only by the sound of people sniffling and crying throughout the theater. Then we rose as one in a foot-stomping standing ovation.
     On June 7, 1977, Dade County voters, in record numbers, overwhelmingly voted to repeal the gay rights ordinance, and Anita Bryant danced a jig on TV and vowed to take her campaign nationwide.
     Large protests erupted in cities across the country, particularly in San Francisco. Thousands of people shut down Castro Street, and Harvey Milk stood among the crowd with a bullhorn and spoke for us, channeling our anger into a march that ended finally without violence at Union Square. The tension deepened when gay bashers randomly murdered a young gay man named Robert Hillsborough in the street just days after the Dade County vote.

From "How Great", a song from the Chance the Rapper album Coloring Book, 2016:

     The book don't end with Malachi.

On Monday, February 27, 2017, ABC will begin airing a four part docudrama miniseries "When We Rise", a 50-year history of the gay rights movement as experienced by four real people:
  • San Francisco AIDS and LGBT activist Cleve Jones who worked for Harvey Milk when he was a county supervisor amd was there the day he was assassinated, who in 1985 conceived the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt and who served as a historical consultant to this mini-series, staying in filmmaker Dustin Lance Black's home in the Hollywood Hills while writing his own memoir quoted above;
  • Early San Francisco women's rights leader, social justice activist and policy leader in public health, poverty, and homelessness, Roma Guy;
  • Bay Area African-American community organizer and Vietnam Veteran Ken Jones; and
  • San Francisco LGBT community health related issues and transgender rights activist Cecilia Chung.
Starring in the mini-series are Guy Pearce, Mary-Louise Parker, Rachel Griffiths, Michael K. Williams, and Ivory Aquino. Guest stars include Henry Czerny, Whoopi Goldberg, Arliss Howard, Sam Jaeger, T.R. Knight, Mary McCormak, Kevin McHale, Rosie O'Donnell, Denis O'Hare, Pauley Perrette, David Hyde Pierce, Richard Schiff, Phylicia Rashad, Rob Reiner and William Sadler.

As explained by ABC, the drama presents "the real-life personal and political struggles, set-backs and triumphs of a diverse family of LGBT men and women who helped pioneer one of the last legs of the U.S. Civil Rights movement, from its turbulent infancy in the 20th century to the once unfathomable successes of today."

"Unfathomable successes of today."

The project was initiated four years ago by filmmaker Black whose 2008 film Milk received eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, and winning two, for Best Original Screenplay (Black) and Best Actor in a Leading Role (Sean Penn). As a New York Times article noted:
But the world is a different place than it was when ABC first commissioned the project four years ago. Barack Obama was in the White House, and gay leaders were celebrating a series of court and statehouse victories, which would soon include the Supreme Court’s recognizing a constitutional right to marry by same-sex couples. After President Trump’s election, questions that seemed largely settled about gays in American society — same-sex marriage, equal treatment in the workplace and in housing — suddenly seem in doubt.

Mr. Trump is hardly a champion of gay rights, and Mike Pence, his vice president, has a record of explicit opposition to gay rights measures. Mr. Trump could well end up altering the ideological composition of the Supreme Court that handed down the marriage decision.

Still, as celebration has given way to intense anxiety, Mr. Black argues that the election’s outcome has made the mini-series even more urgent.
Black's argument is correct. We only have to remember the Tales of the City miniseries which interestingly has not been mentioned in any review.

Mentioned above in the excerpt of Cleve Jones' book is Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City series of novels, set in San Francisco. Jones references the first portions of which were published initially as a newspaper serial starting on August 8, 1974, in a Marin County newspaper, The Pacific Sun, picked up in 1976 by the San Francisco Chronicle, and later reworked into the series of books. The first of Maupin's Tales novels was published in 1978. Five more followed in the 1980s, a seventh in 2007, an eighth in 2010 and a ninth and final volume in 2014. In Babycakes, published in 1983, Maupin was one of the first writers to address the subject of AIDS.

HBO acquired the rights to the first two Tales of the City books in 1982 in the hopes of turning them into a weekly show. Pre-production began in the fall of that year with a pilot script by Richard Kramer. But in the face of the rising AIDS epidemic and a changing social climate in the conservative Reagan era, HBO reportedly felt that the book's attitude toward homosexuality and marijuana usage would not be deemed acceptable by the viewing public. The channel ultimately scrapped the project.

Finally, six-part miniseries was produced by Britain's Channel 4 Television Corporation in conjunction with San Francisco's PBS station KQED and PBS' American Playhouse. It premiered on Channel 4 in the UK on 28 September 1993, and was screened by PBS in the US in January 1994. Tales of the City gave PBS its highest ratings ever for a dramatic program. Despite the ratings success, PBS bowed to threats of federal funding cuts and backed out of producing or airing any followup installments.

Channel 4 eventually teamed up with Showtime to produce the sequel, "More Tales of the City", which premiered in the US and UK in 1998. The third installment of the series, "Further Tales of the City", was produced by Showtime (without Channel 4) and was originally aired in the US on Showtime in May 2001.

In 2005, Entertainment Weekly named "Tales of the City" one of the ten best miniseries on DVD. I would agree. We have them all on DVD. If you've never seen them, get the DVD set

IMDb indicates that the Production Company is ABC Studios with Distributors being the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) and Disney-ABC Domestic Television. That "When We Rise" is appearing on an American broadcast TV channel after the last election is surprising and indicative that indeed to some degree we do have "unfathomable successes of today", sort of.

What is really ironic is that "When We Rise" was originally set to air its entire eight hours over four consecutive nights beginning Monday February 27 but Donald Trump accepting Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s invitation to address Congress that Tuesday has forced ABC to shift the schedule skipping Tuesday with the last episode now on Friday.

The show has been attacked, mostly by the alt-right. One story led with "How much does liberal ABC-Disney Television Network  respect middle America?"

But let's reverse the question. How much does middle America respect San Francisco Values? It appears that answer is "not at all." When one realizes that San Francisco Values include love, peace, tolerance, diversity, creativity, freedom, spirituality, prosperity, community, truth, justice, and care for the environment it is a little hard to understand why anyone would not respect San Francisco Values.

Commentator O'Reilly said San Francisco values "seek to exclude spirituality from the public square but embrace displays like the bay city's gay pride parade, where Christianity is often mocked and demeaned."

In a sense, O'Reilly is wrong. And that brings me to the second quote above from "How Great", a song from the Chance the Rapper 2016 album Coloring Book: "The book don't end with Malachi." That refers to the last book in the Old Testament, the point being there is some confusion in the world of Christianity about the priority of the New Testament and Jesus of Nazareth.

By the time of the founding of the United States, that confusion was so bad and so warped that Thomas Jefferson assembled The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, commonly referred to as the Jefferson Bible, a book constructed by Thomas Jefferson in the later years of his life by cutting with a razor and pasting with glue numerous sections from the New Testament as extractions of the doctrine of Jesus. He explained in a letter to John Adams dated October 13, 1813:
In extracting the pure principles which he taught, we should have to strip off the artificial vestments in which they have been muffled by priests, who have travestied them into various forms, as instruments of riches and power to themselves. We must dismiss the Platonists and Plotinists, the Stagyrites and Gamalielites, the Eclectics, the Gnostics and Scholastics, their essences and emanations, their logos and demiurges, aeons and daemons, male and female, with a long train of … or, shall I say at once, of nonsense. We must reduce our volume to the simple evangelists, select, even from them, the very words only of Jesus, paring off the amphibologisms into which they have been led, by forgetting often, or not understanding, what had fallen from him, by giving their own misconceptions as his dicta, and expressing unintelligibly for others what they had not understood themselves. There will be found remaining the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man. I have performed this operation for my own use, by cutting verse by verse out of the printed book, and arranging the matter which is evidently his, and which is as easily distinguishable as diamonds in a dunghill. The result is an octavo of forty-six pages, of pure and unsophisticated doctrines.
Holders of San Francisco Values permit spirituality, but are careful how it infects "the public square." Their spirituality is Jeffersonian when it comes to Jesus, relying upon the words of Jesus. For instance:
  • With regard to those "Christians" who were following Anita Bryant in Florida the response might be: Judge not, that ye be not judged. He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.
  • When it comes to "Christians" accumulating wealth, the response might be: And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
  • When it comes to "Christians" resenting taxes, the response might be: Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.
  • With regard to "Christians" responding to insults and wishing to save face with violence, the response might be: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
  • And with regard to "Christians" telling you about commandments and rules offered in the Old Testament, the response is to explain that in the New Testament Jesus replaced all those with this simple commandment now known as The Golden Rule: Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
But even those words revered by Jefferson are not allowed to be embraced by a government guided by San Francisco Values because the separation of church and state is a necessary American tradition and the law of the land.

And so the four part docudrama miniseries "When We Rise" is about us. We will embrace it and defend ABC because we know that again we will have to defend vigorously its values: love, peace, tolerance, diversity, creativity, freedom, spirituality, prosperity, community, truth, justice, and care for the environment. We will continue to need people like Cleve Jones, Roma Guy, Ken Jones, and Cecilia Chung honored by "When We Rise" so that ordinary people like those portrayed in "Tales of the City" will not be deported or jailed or beaten or killed or simply abandoned to a death from disease.