Sky Links, 11-25-18

Leader: Cultivate humility
In a world that celebrates boastful, self-aggrandizing behavior, you might be surprised to learn that researchers and employment experts are highlighting an opposite quality as the key to better leadership at work:

It's the quality of humility.

Here are 10 behaviors humble people practice:
1. They listen.
2. They identify their weaknesses.
3. They work hard.
4. They praise others.
5. They learn from feedback.
6. They put the team first.
7. They help their people grow.
8. They ask for help.
9. They keep their word.
10. They apologize.
This 1 Quality Will Make You a Better Boss -Justin Bariso

How California Stopped Saving Water and Building Infrastructure
The 1964 Democratic Platform pledged to “continue the quickened pace of comprehensive development of river basins in every section of the country, employing multi-purpose projects such as flood control, irrigation and reclamation, power generation, navigation, municipal water supply, fish and wildlife enhancement and recreation, where appropriate to realize the fullest possible benefits.” (We might note that this was at a time when the Republican presidential candidate, Barry Goldwater, was musing aloud about privatizing TVA—a foolishly ideological non-starter.)
Yet Democrats’ ardor for infrastructure eventually cooled. The first Earth Day was in 1970, and it was then that they found a new love. In 1972, the word “reclamation” fell out of the Democrats’ platform (they lost that election). They never did return to the old ways of the New Deal. Instead they went green—and, of course, NIMBY.
Interestingly, around this same time, the Republican Party, too, began to de-emphasize public works. To some extent, the GOP had also gone both green and NIMBY, but for the most part, Republicans had a different motivation—they wanted to spend less. That is, the old TR-ish approach of building out the country was giving way to a new emphasis on bean-counting.
The result was a tacit alliance of greens on the left and libertarians on the right, united in a “green scissors” approach to snipping infrastructure spending.
Without a doubt, this left-right combo has been effective in shrinking public efforts. As the Bureau of Reclamation’s history page tells it, “The heyday of Reclamation construction of water facilities occurred during the Depression and the thirty-five years after World War II. The last major authorization for construction projects occurred in the late 1960s.”
This cessation of ambitious new public works—stopped by legislation in the ’70s and by litigation ever since—is regarded as a triumph of green thinking. Red ink-minded budget cutters, too, are probably pleased.
Yet here’s the thing: even if virtually all water development projects have been stopped—as detailed here by Fresno resident Victor Davis Hanson, who’s seen the desiccation first hand—population growth has not stopped. In 1970, Americans numbered 205 million; they number more than 326 million today.
So what do we do with all these people? Where should they live? That’s a question that nobody seems to want to answer. And so, in the absence of policies that permit the continued dispersion of the population to reclaimed land, the default has been to pack folks into increasingly crowded conurbations.
For instance, a look at a population map of California shows that its people are jammed into just a few clusters. The result of this dense packing has been runaway housing costs: the median home price in Los Angeles County—a place of 10.1 million—is $615,000. One might ask: how do ordinary people afford that? Answer: they don’t.
Yet whenever Californians seek to venture outside of the built-up cores, the lack of protective infrastructure haunts them—and burns them. That’s the unmistakable signal of the recent fires, which most grievously impacted small towns such as Paradise, California, in faraway Butte County. The town’s former residents—all 27,000 of them—will have to think hard before they return to the charred remains of their homes, knowing that they face the prospect of another inferno in a few years.

California’s Green Ideology Has Left It Burning -James P. Pinkerton

Victor Davis Hanson-
(2015) In mid-December, the first large storms in three years drenched California. No one knows whether the rain and snow will continue—only that it must last for weeks if a record three-year drought, both natural and man-made, is to end. In the 1970s, coastal elites squelched California’s near-century-long commitment to building dams, reservoirs, and canals, even as the Golden State’s population ballooned. Court-ordered drainage of man-made lakes, meant to restore fish to the 1,100-square-mile Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta, partly caused central California’s reservoir water to dry up. Not content with preventing construction of new water infrastructure, environmentalists reverse-engineered existing projects to divert precious water away from agriculture, privileging the needs of fish over the needs of people. Then they alleged that global warming, not their own foolish policies, had caused the current crisis...

...Just as California’s freeways were designed to grow to meet increased traffic, the state’s vast water projects were engineered to expand with the population. Many assumed that the state would finish planned additions to the California State Water Project and its ancillaries. But in the 1960s and early 1970s, no one anticipated that the then-nascent environmental movement would one day go to court to stop most new dam construction, including the 14,000-acre Sites Reservoir on the Sacramento River near Maxwell; the Los Banos Grandes facility, along a section of the California Aqueduct in Merced County; and the Temperance Flat Reservoir, above Millerton Lake north of Fresno. Had the gigantic Klamath River diversion project not likewise been canceled in the 1970s, the resulting Aw Paw reservoir would have been the state’s largest man-made reservoir. At two-thirds the size of Lake Mead, it might have stored 15 million acre-feet of water, enough to supply San Francisco for 30 years. California’s water-storage capacity would be nearly double what it is today had these plans come to fruition. It was just as difficult to imagine that environmentalists would try to divert contracted irrigation and municipal water from already-established reservoirs. Yet they did just that, and subsequently moved to freeze California’s water-storage resources at 1970s capacities.
All the while, the Green activists remained blissfully unconcerned about the vast immigration into California from Latin America and Mexico that would help double the state’s population in just four decades, to 40 million. Had population growth remained static, perhaps California could have lived with partially finished water projects. The state might also have been able to restore the flow of scenic rivers from the mountains to the sea, maintained a robust agribusiness sector, and even survived a four- or five-year drought. But if California continues to block new construction of the State Water Project as well as additions to local and federal water-storage infrastructure, officials must halve California’s population, or shut down the 5 million acres of irrigated crops on the Central Valley’s west side, or cut back municipal water usage in a way never before done in the United States...

...Water is to California as coal is to Kentucky—yet its use is being curtailed by those least affected, if affected at all, by the consequences of their advocacy. But environmentalists, who for 40 years worked to undermine the prudent expansion of the state’s water infrastructure, have a rendezvous with those consequences soon. No reservoir water is left for them to divert—none for the reintroduction of their pet salmon, none for the Delta smelt. Their one hope is to claim possession of the water in the ground once they’ve exhausted what was above it. Redistribution, not expansion of supplies, is the liberal creed for water, just as it is for wealth.
As the Hetch Hetchy reservoir drains, Bay Area man-made storage lakes will necessarily follow. Another year of drought will deplete even southern California’s municipal reserves sooner rather than later. When Stanford professors and Cupertino tech lords cannot take a shower and find themselves paving over their suburban lawns and gardens, perhaps they, too, will see the value of reservoir water for people rather than for fish. The new dust bowl may soon see a different generation of Joads abandoning California for a wetter—and more prosperous—Midwest.
Could California still save itself? New reservoirs to store millions of acre-feet of snowmelt could be built relatively quickly for the price of the state’s high-speed rail boondoggle. Latino voters—the state’s largest minority—might come around to the view that the liberal coastal elite’s obsession with environmental regulations leads to higher electricity rates, gasoline prices, and food costs, along with fewer jobs and economic opportunities. Barring that, there may be only two things left for California farmers to do: pray for the recent wet weather to continue; and, if it does, pray further that environmentalists do not send the precious manna from heaven out to sea.
The Scorching of California -Victor Davis Hanson

Michael Brown Appealed to The President to Tone it Down:

Many of those who voted for you did so because they wanted a fighter. They wanted someone with backbone. Someone who would expose the unethical tactics of many on the left. Who would not be intimidated by the hostile media. Who would face down world leaders without flinching.  In that respect, you have not disappointed your base.
And you have stood firmly for many of our most important values. In fact, your courage and tenacity and resolve have been outstanding. You have exceeded our expectations.

Sadly, however, your style and tone have also alienated many good people — and I mean people who could have been a strong part of your base. You have made it difficult for many evangelicals to garner more support for your excellent programs.

You have even opened yourself to the charge of being racist and misogynist, neither of which I believe to be true. Yet you have given unnecessary fuel to the fire of your critics.

And when you get in the gutter to fight your battles, not only do you dirty yourself, you dirty the whole nation. You also lose your lofty vantage point as the most powerful elected man on the planet.  
I was encouraged to read your interview posted earlier this week in which you expressed regret for some of the tone you used during these last few years. You said, “I would like to have a much softer tone. I feel to a certain extent I have no choice, but maybe I do.”

With all respect, sir, you certainly do have a choice.

Michael's readers commented:
-I saw him say yesterday that he wish he had taken a different tone the past two years, and while I've never been bothered by such a tone, it's safe to say it probably hurt the cause to a certain degree as those offended probably outweighed those who appreciate the fight. He's still in a good position though, as his coarse style could easily be written off as political inexperience. A change would not only potentially be good in terms of getting things accomplished, it also would potentially expose the Democrats for what they are: Void of ideas and full of hysteria. If the Democrats meet him half way, things get done, Trump benefits. If the Democrats continue their empty rage, the country suffers, but the Dems look bad and Trump benefits.
-It's 2018, as a Christian I have no desire to be "unified" with the secular left.
-Disagree. President Trump could talk in whispers, on his knees, with tears in his eyes and the radical Leftists in the MSM would treat him exactly as they do now. His tone has not opened him up “ being a racist and misogynist...”. Are we to believe that all this is really just about, or even significantly about, tone? The MSM and the radical Leftists labeled everyone who wouldn’t buy into “you MUST believe women” as misogynists. We’re all bigots for pointing out that Sharia-demanding Islamists are not compatible with our culture or Constitution. The same lunatics label anyone who wants to secure the border a racist. The only way to avoid the vitriol and any of these the labels is to agree with the Left....

-I disagree. I think President Trump would be fine to step it up a notch. The MSM lies about him non-stop. They started with saying he called Mexicans rapists and murderers. HE DID NOT. He said "Mexico wants to send us their rapists and murderers", which is TRUE. Mexico wants to keep their productive citizens and send us their expensive criminals. They have repeated the lie ad nauseam, convincing sheep that he is racist. Multiply that lie and resulting hatred x 1,000.

-I agree with you about our love of his "backbone". I cherished every moment of his press conference yesterday. He's the first president who pushes back. How long I have wanted a republican president to do just what he did instead of becoming a mewling toady before those on the left, and their mouth pieces in the MSM. They hate him, and by extension, us. Their only desire is to debase him, and us. As disappointed as you may be to hear this, I hope he doesn't change that. Not for the sake of "unity". Particularly when we have a left that clearly has no desire for it.

-I disagree, you cannot work with someone/or anyone who has absolutely no intention or desire of working with you...To me dealing with these people is like dealing with the Palestinians, pointless and fruitless. Furthermore, I think the attempts in the past to try and work with them have just emboldened them more, both to/with their tactics, and to their way of thinking.
The only way to deal with them is through strength, truth, and being VERY direct. He does not have to be mean, which I do not see him as that. As to the charges of racism and more, please enough already!

James Robison on Unity in the USA

Betsy DeVos Strikes a Blow for the Constitution -David French
The Department of Education has issued its long-awaited proposed regulations reforming sexual-assault adjudications on college campus. Not only will these rules restore basic due process and fairness to college tribunals, but they also — given how basic the changes are — highlight just how ridiculous university kangaroo courts have become.

First and perhaps most important, the rules will not only require colleges to permit cross-examination of witnesses (including the accuser), but will also prohibit universities from relying on the statements of any witness who refuses to submit to cross-examination.
Cross-examination is so fundamental to adversary proceedings that it’s is simply incredible that some universities have been prosecuting and expelling students without permitting the accused’s representative to question his accuser. Prohibiting cross-examination irrevocably stacks the deck against the accused. The Supreme Court has rightly called cross-examination “the greatest legal engine ever invented for discovery of the truth.”
But you don’t have to trust SCOTUS; the importance of cross-examination is among the most ancient of legal principles. Consider Proverbs 18:17: “In a lawsuit the first to speak seems right, until someone comes forward to cross-examine.”
Interestingly, however, the proposed rules prohibit the accused himself from cross-examining the accuser — instead requiring that questioning come from an “advisor.” While some complain this limits the rights of the accused, as a practical matter advisers (attorneys, for example) are far better equipped to cross-examine witnesses than are undergraduates or young graduate students.

In addition to mandating cross-examination, the proposed rules grant both parties “equal opportunity to inspect and review evidence obtained as part of the investigation that is directly related to the allegations raised in a formal complaint.”

'The Enemy of The People' -Andrew C. McCarthy

Before Trump zapped our politics with his lightning rod, it was a commonplace in conservative circles to complain about that most pernicious practice of the political press: the pretense of objectivity. No, we did not begrudge the New York Times and Washington Post their editorial pages, nor resent opinion pieces and programs clearly advertised as such. Our objection was to patently biased news coverage that was presented as if it were dispassionate, just-the-facts-ma’am reporting. The bias is seen and unseen, but pervasive. It is found in the reporting itself. It is intimated in the description of sources (e.g., conservatives always described as “conservative”; left-wing sources — the ACLU, SPLC, CAIR, etc. — described as civil-rights groups with no partisan agenda). Most important, it is concealed in editorial decisions about what gets covered and what does not, camouflaged by the thread that gets emphasis and the “lede” that gets buried.

To people who follow the news closely, it is patently obvious that the mainstream media — specifically, the news divisions of the broadcast networks and many major national newspapers, magazines, and websites — tote water for the Democratic party and progressive causes in general. Again, they are perfectly within their rights to do this. The problem is: They pretend they are not doing it. And it is a profound problem. By reporting this way, the media inculcate in the public the assumption that there is no other side of the story. The Left’s Weltanschauung is not presented merely as a worldview; it is portrayed as objective, inarguable fact, and any other way of looking at things is subversive, cynical, or psychotic.
Photo Credit: Spacebridge by longobord CC 2.0