“Anything you do crazy, I can do crazier than you…no you can’t, yes I can, no you can’t, yes I can HULABALA!!!”
While that may not be an exact transcription – nor exact security camera video – from a recent state capitol elevator conversation between any two Democrats, they both capture the spirit of the end of this year’s loopy-lative session.
As Californians watch their state stolen from them $949 dollars at a time, the legislators focused on important issues like taking mushrooms and making sure that if teachers come across a person who identifies as a woman, has short hair, wears Birkenstocks, drives a Subaru, and works at FedEx in Long Beach they need to be ready to embrace her diverse lesbian culture (at least I think that’s what “cultural competency” means.)
It really was a race to the stupid.
The bills passed that will damage the state include a ban on evicting felons from their rental units (landlords can still ask if a prospective tenant has a record but – as with employment applications – do not expect that to last very long at all,) universal state-funded health care for everyone and anyone who manages to step a toe in the state, and having the Employment Development Department pay strikers unemployment benefits.
As to paying strikers, not only is it a misuse of unemployment funds and unethical as it would by definition extend strikes, it is also financially suicidal. The EDD is right now borrowing $15 million a day from the feds to cover its current, regular, bona fide unemployment claims. The total California debt is already $18.7 billion dollars, or about 73% of the total owed nationally; at least the Virgin Islands – which owes about $100 million – made an interest payment recently. The payment was only for $38.05 (seriously, that’s the number, it’s not a typo) but, unlike California, at least they’re trying.
If – not even thinking about the potential number of autoworkers and Kaiser employees who are/maybe soon going on strike – the law were in effect now, the writers and actors strike in Hollywood would cost the EDD about another $10 million dollars – every day. And, again, that’s money the state would have to borrow.
Of course, pro-trans (or pro-child mutilation, depending upon your viewpoint) issues were rammed through – if you are a parent who wonders if letting their 15-year-old lop her breasts off because she thinks she wants to do that, that could cost you custody of the child. Moving back to cultural competency, teachers in the state will – if Gavin signs the bill – have to take annual LGBTQIIA+ “cultural competency” training.
If, like me, you wonder exactly what that means, its seems the people who sell and support cultural competency training efforts have the same question as well. According to the Georgetown University National Center for Cultural Competence (God help me, it’s a real thing,) there “is no one definition of cultural competence.”
The Center – https://nccc.georgetown.edu/curricula/culturalcompetence.html – lists 12 possible definitions, but in general they revolve around “a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency or among professionals and enable that system, agency or those professions to work effectively in cross-cultural situations.”
I thought you were not allowed to use the word you are defining in the definition itself, but I guess that’s just reactionary colonialist thinking on my part.
But to the joy of administrators and consultants everywhere, cultural competency is not something you can just get and be done with it – it is a long, practically eternal, process of self-examination and training – training that costs money.
The legislature also banned counting ballots by hand because that hasn’t worked for the past 400 or so years and it added a new tax on gun and ammunition purchases to, um, well, stem the tide of gun violence? Personally, if I want to go rob a liquor store, an extra 27 cents for the bullets is not going to change my mind.
So – to make sure they stuck to their stupid theme – what did the Legislature not do? It didn’t cut gas taxes and it didn’t reform the civilization-threatening Proposition 47.
Finally, after massive public outcry and the legislative equivalent of having to get – without anesthesia – a root canal and a colonoscopy at the same time, it did decide yes – maybe, okay, would you shut up about it already! – that people who sell children for sex should be considered serious felons.
Good for them!
Thanks for reading the Globe!
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- Maria Ramirez: Los Angeles District Attorney Candidate - September 24, 2023
- Prop. 47 – ‘Not the Reason for the Theft Wave’ - September 23, 2023