Steven Greenhut writes about CA Enviornmentalists’ lastest Boondoggle

in

California’s Latest Environmental Boondoggle

The facts about Jerry Brown’s misguided plan to “save” the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

an excerpt:

“The administration’s plan will tear up the Delta for at least 10 years. We know how government infrastructure projects are always delayed, so it’s anyone’s guess how long it actually will take. Even its advocates admit that they aren’t sure about the unintended consequences of the project.

As part of its ecosystem restoration program, this boondoggle will flood a large portion of the Delta’s land, destroying vineyards, farmland, orchards, and marshes. It will submerge islands. There will be land confiscations.
Environmental groups believe the re-engineering of the ecosystem will destroy salmon and other fish habitats. No one in their right mind would hand over a precious region such as this to bureaucrats, but in Sacramento these days the Brown administration is trying to relive the glory days of the New Deal where central planning and big spending are the in thing.
Here’s a case where free-market advocates such as myself and true environmentalists should make common cause – to stop a misguided project that will raise water rates and increase the state’s debt load to provide limited and questionable gains.”

Click here to go to, and read the article

Join me on Talk Back with Chuck Wilder, while I guest host a cast of friends of liberty, on CRNTalk.com, Noon to 2 pm

Ben Boychuk of City Journal California and the Sacramento Bee will talk about how the Democrats in the California state legislature are working to undermine the initiative process that has kept government excesses in check for the past century. He’ll also talk about California’s efforts to undermine the Second Amendment.

Wayne Lusvardi of CalWatchDog.com will talk about his Special Report just recently published up at CalWatchDog.com, Brown proposal would force local school tax increases, a brazen betrayal of his word to the voters if they passed his signature ballot initiative, Prop 30 last November.

We’ll have Chuck Michael from the CA Pistol and Rifle Association  and the CA Chapter of the National Rifle Association NRA,  join us on the latest developments in the State’s efforts to disarm citizens or make it so expensive that only the rich can afford to have guns and protection.

Wednesday, Feb 13, LIVE on CRN1  from Noon-2:00 PM PST
CALL (800) 336-2225 to Join the Conversation!

 

Greenhut illustrates how when mob rules, right is whatever the mob says, stealing is justified, force is deified, liberty is suppressed and denied

From AppealDemocrat.com Steven Greenhut: Despite his apologies, Mickelson had it right
January 26, 2013 09:52:00 PM

Rebels, non conformists, free thinkers, independent-minded ones, anyone who believes in individual liberty, the human spirit, the power of entrepreneurship, this is a serious wake-up call.

After hearing the storm of criticism directed toward golfer Phil Mickelson for his modest comments about California’s highest-in-the-nation tax rates causing him to consider relocating, I was left wondering what country we live in. Did you ever have one of those moments?

“If you add up all the federal and you look at the disability and the unemployment and the Social Security and the state, my tax rate is 62, 63 percent,” Mickelson said. “So I’ve got to make some decisions on what I’m going to do.” He pointed to “drastic changes” that are driving his decision — an obvious reference to the income-tax hikes California voters placed on millionaires like him. Media critics were aghast and mocked this poor rich guy for his complaints.

The spectacle of Mickelson apologizing on Sunday, then doing so a second time later in the week, was the worst part of this spectacle

Click Here to Read more: http://www.appeal-democrat.com/articles/mickelson-122859-tax-consider.html#ixzz2JJJ6mqZv

Greenhut on CA’s Real Financial State: A fantastic spin and denial of reality

Sunday’s The Daily Democrat published State’s wall of debt dead ahead, by Steven Greenhut, potent enough to keep you up at night, if you practice a habit of conscious critical thought.

A cursory glance at Gov. Jerry Brown’s new budget could make you believe that California’s days of fiscal gloom are over as he champions a balanced budget and newfound “fiscal restraint.”

 
But it’s all manipulated spin to divert your attention to the details. Here are a few nuggets to rattle your nerves if you dare:

The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office agrees that the budget is basically balanced, but the agency’s head, Mac Taylor, expressed concern:
“It doesn’t pay all of the wall of debt within the time period. It builds up very little of a reserve by the end of that period, and it does nothing regarding our various retirement-related obligations.”

 

Even more disturbing:

Others were blunter about California’s financial health. As the Los Angeles Times reported: “It owes Wall Street more per resident than almost every other state. And it has accumulated a crushing load of debt for retiree pensions and health care, now totaling more than taxpayers spend each year on all state programs combined.”

There’s more, and I don’t expect anyone of those who prefer to continue living in a delusional state of denial.   This addiction to living as if money can be plucked from whomever has it, at will of any elected officials and their supporting voters is more powerful than any addiction to nicotine, hard drugs or alcohol.   It appears evident that there is no hope for a recovery until the collective abusers and enablers hit rock bottom.

Unfortunately a lot of people will be hurt in that process.    There’s a lot more sober talk by Greenhut in this piece.  Click here to read it in full. 

Kafkaesque: U.S. Govt. Seizes Nearly 7 Million from Foreign citizen, doing legal business in a foreign country.

My thanks to a friend on my facebook page for summarizing the point of this story. The innate evil of the State is starkly evident in this story, yet so many among us will still wring hands and agonize over what we can and should do to make government be good.

DOJ nabs nearly $7 million from Antigua resident accused of violating U.S. gambling law in Antigua–where his conduct is legal.
On December 16, 2012, Scott Alexander Meiner reports:

The United States Department of Justice settled a forfeiture controversy with William Paul Scott, forfeiting $6,976,924.00, seized from the Royal Bank of Scotland International as an amount roughly equivalent to what Scott’s company held in its foreign account when U.S. authorities first pursued the funds. Incident to the settlement, Scott was convicted of one count of conspiracy to violate the Wire Act and three counts of international money laundering. Prosecutors accused Scott, a resident of Antigua and former U.S. citizen, of making online gambling available to U.S. citizens. While such gambling is legal in Antigua, U.S. prosecutors nonetheless maintain that it is illegal if accessible and/or targeted to U.S. citizens.

Click here to read the full commentary

Feds probe drug task force in south Texas– More evidence, the War on Drugs corrupts law enforcement

The police officer sons of two south Texas law enforcement chiefs who made fighting corruption the cornerstones of their careers have been taken into custody on suspicion of waylaying drug caches coming across the border from Mexico.

Federal agents investigating several border departments west and south of McAllen arrested Jonathan Treviño, the son of Lupe Treviño, sheriff of Hidalgo County, and Alexis Espinoza, the son of Rodolfo Espinoza, Hidalgo’s police chief, the McAllen Monitor is reporting.

CA Renewable Energy Electricity Strategy is Crony Capitalism on Steroids–Taxpayers and poor made poorer, more dependent on Govt Aid

It’s a win-win for Big Govt and Crony Capitalists, a big loss for affordable clean energy, accountability, a healthy free market economy, free people.

This L.A. Times story tells a lot:

Taxpayers, ratepayers will fund California solar plants
THE SOLAR DESERT
A new breed of prospectors — banks, insurers, utility companies — are receiving billions in subsidies while taxpayer and ratepayers are paying most of the costs. Critics say it’s a rip-off.
September 20, 2012|By Evan Halper, Ralph Vartabedian and Julie Cart, Los Angeles Times

Who are the Cronies?

“Banks, insurers and utility companies have jumped in, taking advantage of complex state and federal tax incentives to reap outsized returns. Among the solar prospectors in the Mojave are investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., General Electric, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and technology giant Google Inc.”

What are the costs and who pays no matter what the outcome?

“Stanford University economist Frank Wolak, an expert in the California electricity market, said the state’s renewable energy strategy could boost electricity rates 10% to 20%, depending on a number of factors. Potentially, consumers’ bills could go up by 50%.”

“The low-interest, government-guaranteed loans — more than $16 billion for renewable energy projects so far — pay up to 80% of a project’s construction costs.

“If this were a modern-day fairy tale — and in many respects it is — solar developers would be saying, ‘Mirror, mirror on the ground, look at all the money I found!’ ” said one county official, who did not want to be identified because of pending negotiations with a solar developer.”

“Even renewable-energy advocates, such as the Bay Area-based Climate Policy Initiative, acknowledge that the nation’s first forays into utility-scale solar plants will be expensive.

The group estimates that 43 cents of every dollar of energy produced by the Ivanpah facility will be paid for by taxpayers.”

Hey regular Joe, you think Public Utility Commission is your friend, looking out for you first?  Ha!

The state Division of Ratepayer Advocates, whose purpose is to represent consumers, concluded in a report last year that the power contracts the PUC has been approving have put consumers on the hook for $6 billion in excess costs.

“What the commission’s practice has been is not to consider the cost of renewable power but to approve every renewable project that came before them,” said Joe Como, acting director of the division. “We really spent too much money. It’s frustrating as hell.”

Read the complete piece here.

Whitney Tilson’s emails’ coverage on CTU’s Strike–some excerpts

From Sunday September 16, 2012  at 8:13 AM PDT

1) Here’s the latest from Chicago, courtesy of DFER’s Joe Williams. It’s hard to tell how strong Rahm stood (keep in mind, below are the highlights provided by the union, which is trying to persuade its members to accept the deal):

Union delegates will vote on the proposed deal at 3 p.m. Chicago time, which would then end the strike and set the stage for classes to resume tomorrow. According to the union, the deal includes:

·         Raises of 3 percent, 2 percent and 2 percent over the next three years, with the option to extend the deal to four years “by mutual agreement” with another 3 percent raise.

·         Preservation of extra “step’’ increases based on experience, with new increases in the three highest steps.

·         The hiring of 600 additional teachers in art, music, physical education, world languages and other so-called “special’’classes.

·         The requirement that teachers be allowed to “follow their students” to other schools if the teachers school is subject to “school action,” such as closure.

·         10 months of “true recall” to the same school if a position opens.

·         One-half of all CPS hires must be laid-off CTU members.

·         In new teacher evaluations, limits to 30 percent the weight given to student growth, down from what had been a maximum of 40 percent, and provides the right to appeal a “neutral” rating.

·         Reimbursement of school supplies up to $250.

·         An agreement to hire more nurses, social workers and school counselors if the system gets new revenue, including from tax increment financing funds.

Other stuff:

– DEAL COULD LEAD TO LAYOFFS, TAX HIKES, SCHOOL CLOSINGS: http://www.suntimes.com/15149998-761/teacher-deal-could-lead-to-property-tax-hikes-school-closings-layoffs.html

– KAREN LEWIS SICK OF BEING TOLD WHAT TO DO BY BILLIONAIRES: Makes it seem like the strike was about air conditioners in schools. http://www.suntimes.com/15177062-761/union-head-teachers-tired-of-billionaires-telling-us-what-to-do.html

You can see her entire speech here: http://abclocal.go.com/wls/video?id=8812091
From Sunday September 16, 2012 8:12:25 PM PDT

In an astonishing development, the Chicago Teachers Union today voted to continue its strike until at least the middle of this coming week.

My first thought is that my heart goes out to the hundreds of thousands of Chicago parents and children who are going to be hurt even more by this needless strike.

My second thought is that the outrageous, selfish, greedy behavior by the union is an absolute godsend to we reformers. Parents in Chicago – and everyone else who’s paying attention across the country – are so mad that they can’t see straight – and it’s now 100% directed at the union. This will benefit us in Chicago and nationally for years to come.

This type of behavior isn’t an outlier of course: so many teachers unions in cities and states all over the country are so disconnected from reality, so arrogant, and so used to bullying everyone that they do self-destructive things like this regularly, greatly diminishing whatever public support they might have. It may well be the greatest asset we reformers have.

Off the top of my head, in the pantheon of the many amazingly dumb things the unions have done in recent years to diminish their support, this far surpasses the recent killing of the bill in CA to make it easier to fire sexual predator teachers and trails only the unions going all in with Hillary in the primaries four years ago, thereby ensuring that Obama, once elected, owed them nothing.

I almost feel sorry for Randi: she’s smart enough to understand what a disaster this is for the unions. I’ll bet she’s wondering what she did to deserve Karen Lewis – who, by herself, is the #1 godsend to we reformers have right now. I wish I could put a blue ribbon on her mouth – every time she opens it, she helps us so much!

Below is a statement from Michelle Rhee and an article in the Chicago Tribune.
——————-
Statement from StudentsFirst CEO and Founder Michelle Rhee

Despite reaching an agreement on a framework for a deal on Friday, the CTU announced that it would extend the teacher strike into its second week this evening with CTU President Lewis stating:

“Our members are not happy.  They want to know if there is anything more they can get.”

[AP, September 16, 2012]

Michelle Rhee, CEO and founder of StudentsFirst, issued the following statement in reaction to the news:

“I was disappointed to learn that Chicago’s school children won’t be in school tomorrow morning, and outraged when I heard President Lewis’ reason why.

We heard a lot of talk from union leadership about fewer students in each classroom, about improving training, and about the very real challenges teachers face. But by extending the strike tonight, the union proved that this wasn’t about addressing any of those issues.

It’s clear this was only about job security and compensation for union members. It is as President Lewis herself said this evening about “anything else they can get” even if it means kids are kept from the classroom for longer.

If it were about the kids, we wouldn’t be negotiating the idea that increased compensation should come with more accountability for learning — not less. If it were about kids, we wouldn’t be negotiating whether principals should be empowered to choose the best teachers available regardless of fit or effectiveness.

And if it were about the kids, 350,000 students would be in class tomorrow morning instead of at home or on the streets.

Chicago families have paid enough. The education of Chicago’s children should not be a chip at the bargaining table for one hour longer so that the Chicago Teachers Union can see if “there is anything else they can get.”  StudentFirst.org/Statement
——————-

Court hearing to wait a day, union to meet Tuesday
By Jason Meisner and Hal Dardick, Tribune reporters
8:39 pm, September 17, 2012

Chicago Public Schools students will miss a seventh day of classes Tuesday as Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s attempt to get the courts to quickly end the teachers strike did not produce immediate results.

Instead, a judge opted to hear arguments on the mayor’s request Wednesday from the school district and the Chicago Teachers Union.

By then, the legal matter could be irrelevant. Union leadership could decide at its Tuesday meeting to end the walkout in anticipation of a vote by teachers down the road on a new contract proposal that was hammered out during marathon negotiations last week.

If the strike is not called off, however, Cook County Circuit Judge Peter Flynn will listen to the merits of granting the school district an injunction against the union…

…he school district attorneys also made a second argument, asserting that the strike is “a clear and present danger to public health and safety.” The district noted that 84 percent of CPS students are eligible for free and reduced-price meals served at the schools, that no student has been shot in a school since 2007 and that special education services are provided to 50,000 students who “may suffer from loss of or decline in critical life skills.”

Several labor law experts said Monday that the city has a strong case when it says the primary issues cited by the union do not allow it to strike.

“This is a strike over noneconomic issues” said L. Steven Platt, a prominent city labor lawyer, noting that only economic issues are legal cause for a strike under state law. “Of course they insist there are other issues, but the main issues, the ones that are driving the strike, are noneconomic issues.”

That view was not unanimous. Martin Malin, a professor at the Chicago-Kent College of Law who specializes in labor law, said that some issues being negotiated, like air conditioning in schools, affect working conditions that are legal grounds for a strike.

Labor law experts did agree on a couple of points, however. One is that it will be very tough to prove that the strike represents a clear and present danger to public health and safety. “We’ve never had a teachers strike enjoined under this standard since the statute took effect,” Malin said.

Another point took the form of a question: Would a judge up for retention be willing to rule against the labor unions that historically have played a key role in city elections? Flynn is seeking retention on the Nov. 6 ballot.

“You tell me what chancery judge is going to issue an injunction against the teachers union,” Platt said. “Believe me, the unions have long memories. Every union is going to remember this judge … come election time.”

One option would be for the judge to try to settle the matter in chambers, without issuing a ruling that risked offending unions or even the mayor, the experts said.

The school district will first have to prove to Flynn that the matter should be in his court and not before the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board.

The union has stated that the strike was partly over unfair labor practices. It filed a complaint with the state labor relations panel and argues that board is the only agency with the right to ask a court to stop the strike. A preliminary ruling on the unfair labor practices matter is expected Tuesday.

Ideals like those of Michelle Rhee, around education, are the core of a pivotal battle taking hold in the Democratic Party

How Michelle Rhee Is Taking Over the Democratic Party

Molly Ball | Sep 8, 2012
In a major shift, education reformers are now influential at the highest levels of the party once dominated by the teachers unions. Click here to read the story

Gadfy Radio: Richard Rider, Wayne Lusvardi–Schemes, Theft, Lies, and CA Government

Tuesday September 11, 2012, at 10 AM PT, Martha Montelongo, with Wayne Lusvardi,  contributing writer at CalWatchDog.com, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal welcome Richard Rider, Chairman of the San Diego Tax Fighters.

Rider will talk with us about his recent post about CA State Assemblyman Ben Hueso’s poison-pill ploy to sabotage pension reform by hurting workers’ in their nest egg for their retirement.   It’s poison and a fallacy.  There is a way to reform pensions using a 401K like structure, and he’s got the goods on how it’s done!

Wayne Lusvardi will talk with us about his latest post at CalWatchDog.com, Lt. Gov. Newsom threatens mortgage eminent domain threateners.

Newsom is threatening to call in the U.S. Department of Justice against any banks, Wall Street investment firms, bond rating agencies or others who may consider “boycotting” any county or joint powers authority that wants to use eminent domain to acquire mortgages that exceed the market value of homes.

Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com on CRN 1 or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!”
If you tune in on CRN, give the player a few minutes to pop up and start streaming. Give yourself enough time so you don’t miss the program.

Sometimes the programing display for CRN 1 is not current, and it may say another program is playing. You can be sure Gadfly Radio is from 10 am to 11 am PT, Tuesdays!

Related Links:
Social Security by Choice: The Experience of Three Texas Counties
by Merrill Matthews | Thursday, April 12, 2012 |NCPA.org

Follow  Rider on Facebook.
Surprise! Chase Is Refinancing Your Mortgage
By Les Christie | September 9, 2012 |CNNMoney.com

Pension woes backdrop to Chicago teachers’ strike
By Steve Malanga | September 10, 2012 | PublicSectorInc.com

Everything you need to know about the Chicago teachers’ strike, in one post
Byy Dylan Matthews | September 10, 2012 | The Washington Post

‘Cool roads’ AB 296 threatens Southern California’s groundwater
By Wayne Lusvardi | September 10, 2012 CalWatchDog.com

Police Unions Employ Mob Style Tactics to Protect and Expand Their Power and Profits

Tuesday September 4, 2012, at 10 AM PT, Martha Montelongo, with John Seiler, Managing Editor at CalWatchDog.com welcome Adam Elmahrek, who, last Tuesday, reported on Police Unions Bullying City Councilmen, in this Voice of OC article.
(Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal is out this week.)

Update:  Wayne Lusvardi will be joining us on Gadfly.   He’s got a new piece up at CalWatchDog.com:  

Prop. 31 would regionalize state revenue sharing
Wayne Lusvardi | Aug. 30, 2012 | CalWatchDog.com
I asked Wayne to help me understand what it means to me, in one sentence, two including a byline:

Prop 31 is a mixed bag but has more bad than good in it.  It would likely divert State funds from suburban cities to big cities with large unfunded pension liabilities that are running budget deficits.  
It is being oversold as a state budget efficiency measure but it is really a way for the governor to grab more power away from the legislature and work independently with strategic area plan committees to do local projects. 

I get it now.   We’ll talk with Wayne about this horrific bill!  Why are Republicans backing it?  What is their spin on it?  Do they not get it, or do they not care?

We’ll talk with Adam Elmahrek about his news report at Voice of OC:

“Members of a handful of Orange County city councils Tuesday told stories of attempts by police unions to bully them into voting for generous labor contracts and said a flood of similar revelations is yet to come.

In a news conference led by Costa Mesa Councilman Jim Righeimer outside Costa Mesa City Hall, two council members from Buena Park and one from Fullerton recalled how their cities’ police associations had a councilman followed, blogged that officers should target cars belonging to council members’ children and bullied women employees at a local coffee shop that posted campaign signs supporting a councilman.

The allegations come just days after Righeimer accused unions of orchestrating a botched attempt to have him arrested for drunk driving.

The common thread, the council members said, was controversial law firm Lackie, Dammeier & McGill, which does labor contract negotiations consulting work for police unions. The law firm had posted on its website a slew of bullying strategies to secure lucrative labor contracts, the Orange County Register reported earlier this month.”

Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com on CRN 1 or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!”
If you tune in on CRN, give the player a few minutes to pop up and start streaming. Give yourself enough time so you don’t miss the program.

Sometimes the programing display for CRN 1 is not current, and it may say another program is playing. You can be sure Gadfly Radio is from 10 am to 11 am PT, Tuesdays!

Related Links:
A Darker Shade of Blue
By Steven Greenhut | Sept. 3, 2012 | CalWatchdog.com

“What you have here is police associations and their law firms hiring private detectives to dig up dirt on elected officials that they can then use to extort them, embarrass them, or worse, in order to get the elected official to vote against the best interests of the city to protect themselves,” Righeimer told me. “That’s the definition of extortion.”

Police Unions Cross Line While Bullying Public Officials
California cops employ mafia-style tactics against their critics.
Steven Greenhut | August 31, 2012 | Reason.com

How police play hardball at bargaining table
Tony Saavedra, Register investigative reporter | August 16th, 2012 | O.C. Register
There is a link in this article to the website for the Upland law firm Lackie, Dammeier & McGill, which featured “their play book for twisting arms during impasse negotiations,” but the content on the law firm’s page has been removed, and reads this instead:

“This portion of the material has been removed from the website. What was intended to be informational, historical and educational material has been misconstrued by some as advice on negotiations “tactics.” Accordingly, to avoid the misperception, [they must mean misconception, or then again, maybe not] the information has been removed.”

Police Unions Bullying City Council Members–This is the Hammer, Jerry’s Pension Reform is the Puppet Show
GadflyRadio.com | August 30, 2012
The two houses have passed and sent to the Gov for signing, AB 2451, which extends the number of years a claim may be filed for a work related fatal injury or illness, from 4 years to 9.

Nero Fiddles While Rome Burns–Here’s what’s in store for cities across CA unless we shut off the spigot that feeds the beast

GadflyRadio.com  | August 30, 2012
A prescient report by Tony Saavedra on The City of Stanton, a haunting look into the near future for many cities in CA.

“The Biggest Reason Why California is Bankrupt” by Conor Friedersdorf explodes with bold, sharp, focus!
GadflyRadio.com | August 28, 2012

“…California’s state government had 9.3 percent more employees in 2011 than it did 10 years earlier – closely tracking overall population growth – but its payroll costs had jumped by 42.4 percent, according to a new Census Bureau report.

Needless to say, California residents are not earning 42.4 percent more than they were just prior to 9/11…”

Chamber launches ‘California Comeback’
Joseph Perkins | Aug. 31, 2012 | CalWatchdog.com

Police Unions Cross Line While Bullying Public Officials–California cops employ mafia-style tactics against their critics.

Steven Greenhut | August 31, 2012
California city officials typically spare police officers even modest reductions in the pay and pension packages that are a main source of local budget problems, even when the other alternatives are cuts in public services or even municipal bankruptcy.
The common explanation is politicians are afraid of the cop unions’ political muscle come election time. That is true, but disturbing behavior by operatives associated with the Costa Mesa police union paints a much darker picture of the fear such unions instill in local officials. The incident has statewide and even national implications.

Costa Mesa Councilman Jim Righeimer… Click here to read the full article at Reason

Police Unions Bullying City Council Members–This is the Hammer, Jerry’s Pension Reform is the Puppet Show

How serious are the Legislators, to real pension and retirement healthcare reform for public employees? The two houses have passed and sent to the Gov for signing, AB 2451, which extends the number of years a claim may be filed for a work related fatal injury or illness, from 4 years to 9.
Katy Grimes reports on this bill here.
The Calfire Blog has a softer spin on the bill here.

Why don’t the politicians just say no, and stand up to the abuse of the public trust? Well, many of those who do are facing the wrath and fury of the Police Union.

PublicCEO.com today has posted a story today, Council Members Allege Widespread Police Union Bullying, linked to the story reported Tuesday in the Voice of OC.

Members of a handful of Orange County city councils Tuesday told stories of attempts by police unions to bully them into voting for generous labor contracts and said a flood of similar revelations is yet to come.

And,

The common thread, the council members said, was controversial law firm Lackie, Dammeier & McGill, which does labor contract negotiations consulting work for police unions. The law firm had posted on its website a slew of bullying strategies to secure lucrative labor contracts, the Orange County Register reported earlier this month.
Shortly thereafter, the Costa Mesa Police Officers’ Association fired the law firm.

 

Nero Fiddles While Rome Burns–Here’s what’s in store for cities across CA unless we shut off the spigot that feeds the beast

In case you’re lulled or enticed into buying the spin from Jerry Brown or the Legislators who cower when the most powerful and richest of the special interest groups gnash their teeth, here’s a look into our collective future if we don’t turn off their spigot of cash they use to buy, bully, and control our legislators at all levels of government.

Steep budget cuts over the last four years have left Stanton, population 38,000, a shell of a city.

Visitors to Hollenbeck Park will find it fenced off, because the city can no longer afford to water the grass. Children who once played in the sprinkler-like water attraction at Dotson Park will now find it dry. Over at Zuniga Park, volunteers are taking care of maintenance and paying for water.

The city recreation department has been virtually disbanded, with most after-school programs closed. Gone are the days when children nibbled on city-funded snacks at the park. Graffiti is staying up longer because the public works department has been whittled down to three.

At City Hall, staff has been cut to 23 people, who empty their own wastebaskets because the clean-up crew was let go. One employee stays late to vacuum the floors. A part-timer paid through a government program cleans the toilets.

 

The city of Stanton is planning to possibly close three of its parks to save money on its annual budget.

And Stanton can no longer afford membership in the League of California Cities.

In 2010, when council members were running unopposed, the city canceled the election to save $32,261.

“There’s nothing else we can cut,” Marsh said. “It’s scary. If we laid off every single employee left, it still wouldn’t close the gap.”

Marsh said the city is paying for only the things it is legally required to provide…

“…Every city is in trouble to some extent. Some are just starting to confront it, but we’ve been loud and noisy in trying to fix it all along. I don’t know if that was wise, from a PR-standpoint – but we are going to have a balanced budget.”

The city is focusing its budget knife as a last resort on police and fire spending – the biggest drag on the 2012-13 $16.4 million operating budget.

Police and fire amounts to 77 percent of the city’s general fund. By contrast, the city of Vallejo’s public safety spending hit 80 percent when it declared bankruptcy.

From this article, Financial doom may loom for at least one O.C. city
published in the OC Register on July 14th, posted by Tony Saavedra, Register investigative reporter

“The Biggest Reason Why California is Bankrupt” by Conor Friedersdorf explodes with bold, sharp, focus!

The Sacramento Bee unearths a stunning fact about the growth in spending on state workers.

California’s state government had 9.3 percent more employees in 2011 than it did 10 years earlier – closely tracking overall population growth – but its payroll costs had jumped by 42.4 percent, according to a new Census Bureau report.

Needless to say, California residents are not earning 42.4 percent more than they were just prior to 9/11.

The details:

In 2001, the state had the “full-time equivalent” of 372,678 employees and was paying them $1.7 billion a month. By 2011, the FTE’s, as they are dubbed, had increased to 407,321 and payroll costs to $2.4 million billion.

Over the 10-year span, which included two major recessions separated by a brief period of economic expansion during the housing boom, FTE’s in higher education, the largest single component of the state workforce, increased by 23 percent from 128,665 to 158,229, and prison payrolls, the second largest, jumped by a nearly identical amount — from 48,896 to 60,007.

Click here to read this poignant piece.

In CA is Relief by Reform Dead? Serious problems with no relief from the law makers

Tuesday August 28, 2012, at 10 AM PT, Martha Montelongo, with John Seiler, Managing Editor at CalWatchDog.com, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal welcome Troy Anderson, to discuss his recent article published on CalWatchDog.com, Stockton leads tsunami of Calif bankruptcies.

As a growing number of cities in California are contemplating or filing bankruptcy, some pension experts say they are disappointed that the cities are choosing to default on their debts and cut public services instead of dealing with the exploding costs of public pensions.

“They won’t touch pensions,” says Joe Nation, a professor of the practice of public policy at Stanford University. “In the case of Vallejo, they literally reduced the number of police officers by about one-half. It’s horrible. They don’t want to even take modest steps to deal with the pension problem.”

Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com on CRN 1 or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!”
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Related Links:
Stockton leads tsunami of Calif. bankruptcies
By Troy Anderson | CalWatchDog.com | Aug 27, 2012

Fighting public service ‘corruption’
By Steven Greenhut | CalWatchDog.com | Aug. 27, 2012

Bluto’s Ghost: Reform — Dead!
By Joel Fox | Editor of Fox & Hounds and President of the Small Business Action Committee | Fox & Hounds Daily | Aug 27th, 2012

Troy Anderson is an award-winning reporter and editorial writer at the Los Angeles Daily News, The Press-Enterprise and other newspapers for 20 years.  He writes for Reuters, Newsmax, CalWatchdog.com and many other media outlets. His stories have also appeared in the Chicago Tribune, The Huffington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Jose Mercury-News. He’s won more than two dozen writing awards, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and was featured as an investigative reporter in The McGraw-Hill book, “Careers For Puzzle-Solvers & Other Methodical Thinkers.”

A magazine he writes for – Rebel – won a 2011 Eddie Award for the best series of articles, the “Rebel With a Cause” feature he writes.  He can be reached at troyanderson.writer@gmail.com.

CNN Reports On CTA’s Donations Killing Child Molesters Bill, Legislators Hide: This is a battle for the heart and soul of the Democratic Party

Gloria Romero, former CA State Senator and former CA State Senate Majority Leader, speaks out in this stinging investigative report which shows how powerful the special interests are, even at the expense of the safety of our children from sexual predators.
According to Maplight, the four Democrat Senators in the powerful Education Committee who abstained from voting, which is the equivalent of a no vote in this case, included Wilmer Carter of Rialto who according to Maplight has received $7000 from the CTA since 2009 (she sold out for the cheapest price), Mike Eng of Alhambra who has received $18,000 since 2009, Betsy Butler of El Segundo who has received $11,000 from the CTA since 2009, and Das Williams of Santa Barbara, who has received over $30,000 since 2009.

SB 1530, proposed by state Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Pacoima, was introduced in response to the sex-abuse scandals at Miramonte Elementary and other campuses in Los Angeles Unified. It would have streamlined the process for terminating teachers in cases involving sex, drugs and violence against children.

The measure was supported by Los Angeles Unified officials, including several board members who testified during the hearing. However, the powerful California Teachers Association, as well as United Teachers Los Angeles, lobbied against it, saying it would have violated due process for teachers.

The vote of the 11-member committee was 5-2, with four abstentions. The measure needed six votes to advance.

DailyNews.com

What if Fullerton PD Officers who witnessed Kelly Thomas’s killing came forth instead of being silent? As of now, they are not safe to speak out.

The 9th Circuit Should Reverse Ruling in California Police Whistle-blower Case

Dahlia v. Rodriguez Sets Dangerous Precedent, Chills Police Officers’ First Amendment Rights

Aug. 21, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Burbank police officer who blew the whistle on police misconduct is protected by the First Amendment, Public Citizen told the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today. In a petition asking a larger panel of the appellate court to overturn a ruling by three of its judges, Public Citizen argued that if the decision in Dahlia v Rodriguez stands, police officers would not be protected when speaking out about misconduct by fellow officers — and so no officer would speak out.

Beginning in 2007, Angelo Dahlia witnessed fellow Burbank Police Department officers beating, threatening and choking suspects. After he complained within his department, officers threatened Dahlia himself. Shortly after Dahlia disclosed to another law enforcement agency and to his officers association the abuses he witnessed, he was placed on administrative leave and lost pay and a promotional opportunity. In response, Dahlia filed a lawsuit alleging that his First Amendment rights had been violated.

On Aug. 7, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit ruled that Dahlia was not protected by the First Amendment because reporting misconduct is part of his job as a police officer, not an action undertaken in his role as a citizen.

In asking for the case to be heard by an 11-judge panel of the 9th Circuit, Public Citizen argues that the scope of a police officer’s job duties and what speech is protected should be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Public Citizen also warns that the decision by the three-judge panel, if allowed to stand, will deter police officers from speaking out about misconduct within their ranks.

“Courageous police officers like Dahlia are in many circumstances the public’s best or even only available source of information about police corruption and abuse,” said Scott Michelman, an attorney for Public Citizen. “If the case is not reheard, it will exert a powerful chilling effect on officers who might otherwise report official misconduct and abuse.”

Attorneys at the firm Lackie, Dammeier & McGill of Upland, California, brought the case and are co-counsel on the petition for rehearing.   Click here to visit Citizen.org to learn more about Dahlia v Rodriguez and the Thin Blue Line that muzzles good cops.

Jack Humpreville–Stop the Pension Scams-Yes on Prop 32 & Hubris to the N’th Degree–Forget the Judge’s Ruling–Doors Remain Locked to Parents and their Children’s Education

Tuesday August 21, 2012, at 10 AM PT,  Martha Montelongo, with John Seiler, Managing Editor at CalWatchDog.com, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal welcome Jack Humpreville, the LA Watchdog for CityWatch and David Phelps, National Communications Director for The Parent Revolution.
Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com on CRN 1 or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!”

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Call in number: 1-800-336-2225

Jack Humphreville, LA Watchdog of LA CityWatch, on the central role of Public Employee Pensions in the Tsunami of of fiscal bankruptcies coming to cities throughout the state of California, and why he advocates a Yes on Prop 32.

Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee and the Ratepayer Advocate for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council. Humphreville is the publisher of the Recycler — www.recycler.com . He can be reached at: lajack@gmail.com.

David Phelps, new National Communications Director for The Parent Revolution on the shocking hubris of the Adelanto School Board which decided to ignore a judge’s order in the Desert Trails (Calif.) Parent Trigger Petition decision handed down 30-days ago by Judge Steve Malone in the San Bernardino Superior Court. We’ll also talk with David about the upcoming Hollywood film, “Won’t Back Down,” starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, inspired by real events. “Won’t Back Down” premiering in September, is the dramatic story of a community taking back and fixing its failing school.

Related Links:
CalPERS Thuggery Highlights Pension Scam
By Jack Humphreville | 08.16.2012

Won’t Back Down – In theaters September 28

Trailer for Won’t Back Down

Adelanto School Board Decides To Violate Court Ruling on Desert Trails Parent Trigger Petition

Victorville, Calif. – August 18, 2012 – In the wake of Superior Court Judge Steve Malone’s historic July 18 ruling in favor of the Desert Trails Parent Union (DTPU) Parent Trigger Petition the Adelanto school board on Friday night, August 17, voted to flagrantly violate Judge Malone’s order and to continue its never ending attempts to preserve the status quo at any cost.

Proposition 32: A fraud to end all frauds
Proposition 32, on the November ballot, is nothing but an attack by Republicans and conservatives on unions and their members.

Steven Greenhut: Bankruptcy no panacea for pension mess
OC Register | Aug. 17, 2012 Updated: Aug. 18, 2012 9:20 a.m.

Moody’s Warns of Mass California Municipal Bankruptcies
By Chriss Street | August 18, 2012

CalPERS Thuggery Highlights Pension Scam author, Jack Humphreville joins Gadfly Radio next Tuesday, Aug 21 @ 10AM PT

Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee and the Ratepayer Advocate for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council. Humphreville is the publisher of the Recycler — www.recycler.com. He can be reached at: lajack@gmail.com

See his piece CalPERS Thuggery Highlights Pension Scam

Bankruptcy is supposed to be bottom, and a new beginning–Unless it’s used to favor and further plunder

LA WATCHDOG – In a stunt that would make South American strongman Hugo Chavez proud, the imperious California Public Employees Retirement System (“CalPERS”) and the bankrupt City of Stockton conspired to give an absolute preference to Stockton’s $147 million pension obligation ($245 million over the next ten years) to CalPERS over Stockton’s remaining creditors who are owed an additional $550 million.

But this sweetheart deal where bondholders and other creditors are treated like dirt will have major ramifications in the markets for California bonds and notes as credit rating agencies will lower their ratings and investors will require greater security and significantly higher rates of returns on these higher risk investments.

Click here to read Jack Humphreville’s latest piece at City Watch, posted Aug 16, 2012 Jack Humphreville

Former CA State Senator Gloria Romero, DFER stands up to Union Bosses, for “Yes on Prop 32″

Senator Romero joins Gadfly Radio Tuesday, Aug 14, at 10 am PT. Romero has always been a champion for civil liberties, throughout her entire career as an elected official. She was a teacher before she went into politics and she has always been popular and respected for her courage and bold leadership on issues that bear a disproportionally heavy impact on poor black and Latino communities.
Tuesday,  Aug 14, Former Senator Gloria Romero,  joins Martha Montelongo, with John Seiler, Managing Editor at CalWatchDog.com, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal.
Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com on CRN 1 or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!”

If you tune in on CRN, give the player a few minutes to pop up and start streaming. Give yourself enough time so you don’t miss the program.

Sometimes the programing display for CRN 1 is not current, and it may say another program is playing. You can be sure Gadfly Radio is from 10 am to 11 am PT, Tuesdays! You can count on that!

Call in number: 1-800-336-2225

Former Senator Romero’s convictions run deep. As a life long Democrat, she continues to champion fundamental civil rights and dignity with courage and bold leadership.  She and the California Chapter of Democrats for Education Reform boldly stand for Proposition 32, against the power of the CA Democratic Party and the union bosses who want to hold on to their dues and power no matter what. 

If money and grassroots networks rule, the odds are against Prop 32, simply because of the amount of money that the unions will contribute to the NO on 32 campaign. A brief summary of the largest donors’ with contributions over $50K as of July 8, 2012 on Ballot-Pedia show the Yes on 32 side outspent by a margin of 6 to 1. This is not the final tally.  The No side will have the deepest, largest pockets and the ratio will persist and broaden up to the finish line.

Despite the main stream media covering for the bosses and their bought and paid for politicians, the average voters are on to them.  Will outspending Yes on 32 ten to one  prevent what happened in Wisconsin?    Have things gotten bad enough here yet for the average to understand why roads and schools and parks and services are falling away?

We’ll cover the stories we didn’t get to last week, with John Seiler and Ben Boychuk. We’ll talk with John Seiler on his piece about The Great Rip-Off. Police Chiefs and other municipal administrators who are earning higher salaries retired, than when they were working. They’re earning six figure incomes, and cities have revolving doors of new hires, and new retirees. It’s like a looting taking place in broad daylight, and no one to stop it, because the people the public would expect to serve and protect us are the ones doing the looting.

Related Links:

StopSpecialInterests.org for “Yes on 32″ Campaign information.
Unions air statewide radio ads against Prop. 32
August 7, 2012 | 4:51 pm

California Proposition 32, the “Paycheck Protection” Initiative (2012) Ballot-Pedia

Behind the Prop 32 Curtain
Steve Smith | Aug 8, 2012 | The California Majority Report

Of course Prop. 32 would slam unions
Aug. 9, 2012 | By John Seiler | CalWatchDog

LA’s Pending Insolvency and Prop 32
By Jack Humphreville | Fox & Hound Daily | Friday Aug 10, 2012
LA Watchdog writer for CityWatch, President of the DWP Advocacy Committee, Ratepayer Advocate for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, and Publisher of the Recycler
Friday, August 10th, 2012

Good-government groups call Proposition 32 deceptive I read this title as “Good Government” groups call Proposition 32 deceptive.
LA Times | Jul 23, 2012
Representatives of the League of Women Voters of California and Common Cause denounced Proposition 32…

The Damage to Modern Policing by Our War on Drugs

By Sean Dunagan, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
Posted on Radley Balko’s site, The Agitator

The war on drugs has claimed innumerable victims. The tens of thousands killed in Mexico, the half a million incarcerated here for nonviolent drug offenses, the taxpayers who have funded it all to the tune of a trillion dollars. But one of the greatest victims of the drug war is law enforcement itself.

I don’t mean the bloated bureaucracy of DEA or the robber barons of the prison-industrial complex. I mean the foundations of civilian law enforcement.

(click here to read more)

Stephen Downing on Redress for Anaheim, Wayne Lusvardi Outs the Big Ruse–Hidden State Funds? Really? John Seiler on Highway Robbery by Cops

Tuesday, August 7, Retired L.A.P.D. Deputy Chief of Police, Stephen Downing, and Wayne Lusvardi join Martha Montelongo, with John Seiler, Managing Editor at CalWatchDog.com, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal.
Stephen Downing, Retired Deputy Chief of Police, L.A.P.D. joins us to discuss the issues with Anaheim. Points to consider for redress. How to foster peace officers to serve and protect, and to work with the communities they serve, and not occupy them.

Wayne Lusvardi joins us to talk about the big magic show acts hailing from Sacramento. John Laird, an old life long progressive from Santa Cruz, now a CA State Senator from the region of environmentalist rulers, appears in the middle of a big ruse, a trick to deceive and dissemble to the pubic. What’s the real story behind all the supposedly “hidden funds?”

John Seiler on The Great Rip-Off. Police Chiefs and other municipal administrators who are earning higher salaries retired, than when they were working. They’re earning six figure incomes, and cities have revolving doors of new hires, and new retirees. It’s like a looting taking place in broad daylight, and no one to stop it, because the people the public would expect to serve and protect us are the ones doing the looting.
Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com on CRN 1 or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!”

If you tune in on CRN, give the player a few minutes to pop up and start streaming. Give yourself enough time so you don’t miss the program.
Sometimes the programing display for CRN 1 is not current, and it may say another program is playing. You can be sure Gadfly Radio is from 10 am to 11 am PT, Tuesdays! You can count on that!

Call in number: 1-800-336-2225

Related Links:
Quiet protest outside Disneyland | police, outside, biggest | The Orange County Register | Aug. 4, 2012 | By Mary Ann Milbourn
Mom to stop marching in weekly Anaheim police protests | The Orange County Register | August 5, 2012 |by Eric Carpenter

Theresa Smith says she appreciates support from peaceful protesters in recent weeks, and she wants to ‘do positive things.’…
…Jaclyn Conroy, of Anaheim Hills, whose nephew Justin Hertl was shot and killed by police in 2003, said she will continue protesting. She marched with other protesters to Disneyland on Sunday.

“It puts a tear in my eye that people from outside the area have come to support us,” she said. “They’ve helped bring a national spotlight and that allows us here locally to talk to people about the problems we’re having with police.”

Anaheim shootings, protests: Anger, politics, power | The Orange County Register | By Doug Irving, Eric Carpenter, Denisse Salazar and Alejandra Molina

In June – a month before the most recent shootings and subsequent protests – three Latino leaders filed suit against the city, demanding changes in city government. Their lawsuit, backed by the American Civil Liberties Union, calls for council members to be elected by districts rather than at-large; a change they believe would break up the Anaheim Hills’ political dominance and encourage more people from more neighborhoods to run for office.

One of the leaders who filed suit, Jose Moreno, 42, a trustee of the Anaheim City School District and president of the group Los Amigos, said the city and its Police Department have work to do to improve relations with Latinos.

“Police don’t do their work in a vacuum,” he said. “For them to rebuild relationships in our communities, we need to feel like part of the political system – like we are sharing in the resources of this city.

“In the same way, kids don’t decide to join gangs in a vacuum. Those city resources aren’t coming to us.”

‘AFRAID TO COME OUT’
Police estimate that 2,500 documented gang members claim turf in Anaheim. They belong to some 35 active gangs – all, police say, are Latino except for one African American gang.

By comparison, the police force arrayed against them is overwhelmingly white. The department has 363 officers; 82 are Hispanic and 249 are white. [ Ethnic make up of the police aside--the City Council can be responsible for police practices, policies and community relations.]

The relationship between Anaheim’s police force and its Latino communities has long been strained.

Mayor takes on Anaheim violence | CalWatchDog | August 6, 2012 | by Steven Greenhut

Unfortunately, in my view, the city’s Police Department has embraced the wrong kind of policing methods — ones that are unkind and tend to undermine people’s freedom. I don’t see police officials there using their brains to handle a situation resulting, in part, from overly aggressive policing tactics and insufficient police accountability and transparency.

Clearly, the cultural changes the mayor is trying to implement in the city bureaucracy need to filter into the police department — a point Tait also makes.

Steven Greenhut: Mayor on right path in Anaheim | Opinion – The Orange County Register | August 3, 2012

In Anaheim, voting by district could alter the power dynamic | Los Angeles Times | August 4, 2012 | Nicole Santa Cruz, Doug Smith and Christopher Goffard, Los Angeles Times

Anaheim is now under growing pressure to switch to district voting, which usually makes it easier for minority groups to win council seats.

Fund transfers are purging earmarks from state budget | CalWatchDog | August 1, 2012 | by Wayne Lusvardi

Park fund scandal a ruse to grab gas tax funds from off-roaders | CalWatchDog| August 6, 2012 | by Wayne Lusvardi

Stockton police chief rips off $204K pension | CalWatchDog | by John Seiler | August 6, 2012

Police Chief’s $204,000 Pension Shows How Cities Crashed | Bloomberg | By Alison Vekshin, James Nash and Rodney Yap | Jul 31, 2012

“Is California the welfare capital?” Uh, I would say yes

Is California the welfare capital?  Delving into why California has such a disproportionate share of the nation’s recipients

WELFARE IN CALIFORNIA
34% Of the nation’s welfare recipients live in California but only 12% of the U.S. population resides here.

How we compare
California: $179
New York leads the nation: $256
Idaho is at the bottom: $17

Next time you hit a pot hole, or another service is cut, remember this. It’s not just the fact that we have a huge drain on city and county budgets do to runaway pensions and retirement benefits. We’re also the go to destination if you want to kick back in a place with ideal climate and great welfare benefits. Check out the story here

San Francisco Needs a Free Market, Not Free Water–My mother would call them cínicos, y hipocritas, cynics, hypocrites

Steven Greenhut writes in  a column at Bloomberg.com:

…ironic: “In the past, San Francisco environmentalists and the Chronicle have supported river restoration efforts on the Trinity and Klamath Rivers, even if hydropower generation was reduced. Could it be that San Franciscans are fine with sacrificing energy generation for environmental benefits, so long as their energy isn’t being touched?”

 

John Seiler posted the column on CalWatchDog’s blog, aptly titled S.F.’s hypocrisy on water.

 

Unethical Unscrupulous Run CA and Literally Fleece and Plunder While Our Economy Weakens, Our Middle Class Shrinks.

Parks Scandal Highlights Government Mismanagement

Amid a fervent campaign to convince the public that they should tax themselves $8.6 billion dollars more, Governor Brown’s Parks Department is under fire for a secret stash of $54 million dollars that was recently uncovered.  A smaller scandal – an illegal slush-fund vacation payout to state park employees – led to the discovery.

Here is a scenario: Click here to read the article at Fox and Hound. 

Anaheim P.D.’s Criminally Violent Weekend and Track Record, with Gustavo Arrellano of OC Weekly

Tuesday, July 23, Gustavo Arrellano, reporter and editor for The OC Weekly   joins Martha Montelongo, with John Seiler, Managing Editor at CalWatchDog.com, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal.

We’ll speak with Arrellano  about a story that has gotten very little public scrutiny despite the high number of fatal shootings in the past few years, involving Anaheim Police Department APD officers.   The killings have been committed in a poor, low-income and predominantly Latino neighborhood, and have been ignored by the main stream media.   But this past weekend,  when an APD unit responded to a crowd of angry citizens who gathered to protest the fatal shooting earlier the same day, of unarmed Manuel “Stomper” Diaz, a rolling CBS News Camera caught APD police firing rubber bullets, and red-pepper balls, and unleashing a K9 into the crowd of men, women, children and babies.

There are  similarities between this story and the Fullerton Police Department’s corrupt culture of criminal violence which this past June, resulted in a recall of three sitting City Council members .

Also on the program, Larry Sand, President of CTEN, frequent contributor at L.A. Daily News, L.A. Times, City Journal, Union Watch, and more.

Almost half of CA’s budget goes to pay for Education, yet we’re at the bottom, or second from the bottom in results. The CA Teacher’s Union and all their bought and paid for politicians at all levels of government block any reforms, even the most narrowly tailored, that would modestly improve the chances for poor and lower middle class kids to have access to quality teachers and schools.

Two lawsuits have just been filed, to take on the teacher’s union, in the courts. Last week we talked with Larry Sand about one of two suits just recently filed.

This week, we’ll speak with Sand about the suit filed by Students Matter, a nonprofit founded by Silicon Valley entrepreneur David Welch. The student plaintiffs in the case “attend school in four districts, though the complaint targets only two—Los Angeles Unified and Alum Rock Elementary Unified in San Jose.”

Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com on CRN 1 or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!”

If you tune in on CRN, give the player a few minutes to pop up and start streaming. Give yourself enough time so you don’t miss the program.

Sometimes the programing display for CRN 1 is not current, and it may say another program is playing. You can be sure Gadfly Radio is from 10 am to 11 am PT, Tuesdays! You can count on that!

Call in number: 1-800-336-2225

Related links:
Near-Riot Follows Anaheim Officer-Involved Shooting
After an OIS in Anaheim Saturday afternoon, a near-riot broke out. Police fired rubber bullets into the crowd. Jay Jackson reports | CBS Los Angeles  Must See News Video

The video is a powerful 2:50 mins which includes footage of horrific images. Police officers are shooting at a stunned crowd which includes many women and children who are panicked, screaming, scrambling, fearing for their lives and for their children. You see the officers running up close range as they shoot at their victims, and herd them as if they were wild animals. The footage has the effect that the photo of Kelly Thomas’s face had. No report is going to justify what this crew of police did to the crowd of angry and scared citizens. It is very important that the public see this video, before and after they listen to the PR from the APD’s spokes person.

Fullerton City Councilwoman and Candidate for CA State Assembly, [Sharon] Quirk a No-Show At Anaheim Protest
By The Fullerton Shadow | Friends For Fullerton’s Future Blog

“On Sunday various groups, objecting to what looks a lot like an assassination by the cops, and what was a police induced riot later, held a protest at the Anaheim Police Headquarters…where was our would-be squishy-feely Assembly person for the 65th District, Sharon Quirk? I have no idea.”

Anaheim shooting: 2 cops on leave, 1 dead, 5 arrested
Published: July 22, 2012 Updated: July 23, 2012 11:20 a.m.

OC Register news report and a photo slide show of the protestors on Sunday, following the Saturday of the APD Shooting of Manny “Stomper” Diaz. The protesters protested at the APD’s station, and several of them went into the building.

[UPDATED: DA Seeks Photos From Witnesses] Anaheim Police Fire Rubber Bullets at Crowd After Officer-Involved Shooting
By Amber Stephens Sun., Jul. 22 2012 at 9:15 PM
OC Weekly | Crime-iny Category

 

“He’s Still Alive!” Video Emerges of Immediate Aftermath of Anaheim Police Killing of Manuel Diaz OCWeekly.Com Navel Gazing By Gustavo Arellano Sun., Jul. 22 2012 at 10:25 PM
Categories: Crime-iny
This video was taken on Saturday, July 21, by a witness in a crowd that gathered at the scene just after the killing of Manual Stomper Diaz. The citizens are horrified with the police actions taken and not taken.

Police shooting almost causes riot
5 wmctv.com | Jul 23, 2012 4:57 AM PDT Updated: Jul 23, 2012 5:04 AM PDT
Attempts to rationalize actions by ADP and politicians speaking so as to quell the raging concerns by announcing that actions are being taken, that the dog being released into the crowd including a baby in a stroller, was an accident.

“[I] want to personally apologize for the police dog incident,” said Chief John Welter, of the Anaheim Police Department.

Welter says officers were trying to preserve the shooting scene. He said some known gang members joined the crowd and someone started throwing rocks and bottles.

Are there pictures taken at the scene of the rocks and the bottles the police claim the crowd was throwing at them. I can understand why the crowd would their plastic water bottles, as that was all they had to defend themselves.

Fatal police shooting incites melee in Anaheim BY CINDY CARCAMO | THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
News report and photos of scenes of this weekend on Saturday and Sunday.

On Sunday night Anaheim police shot and killed a suspected car thief late Sunday night in the 400 block of West Guinida Lane:
[UPDATE: PHOTO OF BODY WITH GUN] Anaheim Police Department Kill Another Man After Day of Protests
By Amber Stephens Mon., Jul. 23 2012 at 11:00 AM |OCWeekly
Categories: Crime-iny
This link includes a photo produced by the APD of the suspect killed Sunday night, and it shows only his legs, and curiously, a gun on the grass right between the victim’s legs. Are we supposed to believe the gun fell there between  his legs, on the grass, when they shot him down?

Not the Mortgage Crisis, Not the Economy, but Foolishness! Greenhut calls it, in “Bankrupt cities suffer for officials’ foolishness”

“California’s exclusively Democratic leaders not only are unwilling to rein in the costs of benefits for their patrons, the public-sector unions, they have been erecting roadblocks in the paths of localities that want to fix the problem on their own. Yet all the political hurdles in the world cannot fix the basic problem of insolvency.”

Click to read the article at OC Reg, July 22, 2012

Government Rip-offs & Rackets that Rob Children & Adults of Their Savings, and Future on Gadfly Radio Tues. at 10AM PT

Tuesday, July 17,  Wayne Lusvardi, regular contributor to CalWatchDog.com,  self employed real-estate appraiser, and formerly an eminent domain appraiser for over 20 years,  joins Martha Montelongo, with John Seiler, Managing Editor at CalWatchDog.com, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal.

Also on the program, Larry Sand, President of CTEN, frequent contributor at L.A. Daily News, L.A. Times, City Journal, Union Watch, and more.

Almost half of CA’s budget goes to pay for Education, yet we’re at the bottom, or second from the bottom in results.  The CA Teacher’s Union and all their bought and paid for politicians at all levels of government block any reforms, even the most narrowly tailored,  that would modestly improve the chances for poor and lower middle class kids to have access to quality teachers and schools.

Two lawsuits have just been filed, to take on the teacher’s union, in the courts.  Larry Sand will fill us in.

Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com on CRN 1 or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!”

If you tune in on CRN, give the player a few minutes to pop up and start streaming.  Give yourself enough time so you don’t miss the program.

Sometimes the programing display for CRN 1 is not current, and it may say another program is playing.  You can be sure Gadfly Radio is from 10 am to 11 am PT, Tuesdays! You can count on that!

Call in number: 1-800-336-2225

Related links:

US Housing Crisis – Negative Equity Infographic – Zillow

Bad news for CA housing recovery | CalWatchDog
July 9, 2012
By Steven Greenhut

Should San Berdoo cherry pick underwater mortgages? | CalWatchDog
July 13, 2012 | By Wayne Lusvardi

What a ripoff. San Bernardino County wants to use eminent domain to let a private mortgage lender cherry pick “underwater” mortgages without paying damages to the lenders. Doing so supposedly would stimulate the resale market for homes.

Eminent domain mass delusion hits San Berdoo | CalWatchDog
July 16, 2012 | by Wayne Lusvardi

“…the mania of the San Bernardino County Joint Powers Authority to seize “underwater mortgages” on homes through the use of eminent domain.”

Students vs. Status Quo–California lawsuits target teachers’ union work rules. by Larry Sand – City Journal | June 6, 2012

Debt Ridden Govt Agencies are Ganging Up on Little Guys–Predominanly Mexican Food Truck Owners

I met Tuesday in Santa Ana with about 12 owners of catering trucks — mobile eateries that sell mostly Mexican food — and they told a disturbing tale of how the state’s Orwellian-named tax agency, the Board of Equalization, is targeting and mistreating them. The business owners assembled in the room blamed their tough times more on state tax authorities than on the economy.

The truck owners say the state is handing them tax bills for tens of thousands of dollars, based on unrealistic estimates of their taxable sales. When you buy food at the trucks, a burrito and Mexican-bottled Coca-Cola (the kind with real sugar, rather than the icky corn syrup) may cost, say, six bucks. That’s all you pay, as opposed to a restaurant, where state tax would be added onto the transaction. The trucks don’t collect a per-item tax, but owners later estimate their sales and send their money to the tax man.

Click here to read Tax collectors bite taco trucks | CalWatchDog

Travis Keiger, Newly Elected And Sworn In City Councilman of Fullerton, CA on The New Majority in Office, and the Change They Pledged

There are plenty of cities in CA that are in hot water.  Stockton, followed closely by Mammoth Lakes are in bankruptcy.

The City of Fullerton, CA, a City in Orange County, is unique in that they just ran a recall of three sitting Councilmen who have been on the City Council for many years.   Travis Kiger and a crop of supporters and two other new council members, ran to address the issue of a corrupt and abusive culture within their police department, and against the tacit approval shown this same corrupt department in the face of a brutal murder and then cover up which was denied to be a cover up.

But it wasn’t just the murder of Kelly Thomas that drove the three new council members into office.   A lavish and crony capitalist Redevelopment Agency, a bloated City Government budget, and more all fueled the fire in the hearts and minds of the voters.   We’ll talk with Travis Kiger on their new roles, their promises, challenges, and first orders of business.  Next Tuesday on Gadfly Radio

Tax Initiative gets approved, but what’s the hold up on Reform Initiative that was submitted earlier?

In California Forward Waits and Waits, Joel Fox writes:

Is today the day the Secretary of State will announce if the California Forward governance reform initiative has the signatures necessary to appear on the November ballot? Time is running out. The constitutional deadline for achieving ballot status is Thursday. Supporters of the measure are demanding to know why the count is not done yet.

They have good reason to be curious. Even though the end date for a random sample verification of signatures for the California Forward measure is July 2 – after the constitutional deadline to make the ballot – the recent approval of the governor’s tax measure raises questions.

Click to read the story

A Life Long Republican, and Top Cop 20 Years on the Force Says for Safety Sake, Legalize drugs.

What if the best way to combat drug abuse, danger and violent crime is to legalize, and regulate?

Life-long Republican, Stephen Downing,  spent 20 years with the Los Angeles Police Department.

He started as a street cop and rose to deputy chief. Along the way, as commander of the Bureau of Investigations, he oversaw the Administrative Narcotics Division. Today, he insists that for the sake of cops, and in the interest of logic and public safety, the United States ought to legalize drugs, starting with marijuana.

Is he nuts?   Is he a immoral?  Unethical?   Does he have no respect for law and order?   Does he hate families?   Does he not care about children and their safety and exposure to drugs and drug abuse?   Why does he say what he says?   Find out, tomorrow on Gadfly Radio, at 10 am.   GadflyRadio.com

Related link:
A former L.A. cop calls for legalizing drugs
‘Prohibition is not the answer and it will never be the answer, because it does not and will not work,’ says Stephen Downing. He favors legalizing, regulating and controlling illicit substances.
June 17, 2012|Steve Lopez
 

Marcia Fritz, Fix Pensions Now: “We Can’t Afford to Party Like it’s 1999,” Joins Gadfly Radio to talk Dollars and Sense

Tuesday, June 19, on Gadfly RadioMarcia Fritz, C.P.A., and an active voice for Fix Pensions First | FixPensionsFirst.com, joins Martha Montelongo, with CalWatchDog‘s managing editor, John Seiler, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal.

Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!”

Related links for the show:
Viewpoints: When it comes to pensions, we can’t afford to party like it’s 1999 | Fix Pensions First

April 16th

By Marcia Fritz

The Legislature has until June 28 to put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would require all state and local government employees to contribute one-half the cost of their pensions. Future employees would be eligible for a hybrid plan that includes a defined benefit (pension) component, but with limits. The balance of the governor’s plan can be enacted through legislation.

Paying half of pension costs won’t be a shock to teachers and state employees – most pay half or close to half today. But thousands of local government employees retire at 55, collect six-figure pensions and lifetime health care benefits, and contribute nothing to their retirement plans.

Voters douse most tax-increase fires | CalWatchDog
June 15, 2012

By Dave Roberts

“…Despite fire tax proponents spending $177,000 (to zero spending by opponents), the tax hike failed to gain a majority of the vote, let alone the two-thirds required to pass.

It was always going to be a tough sell asking for an additional $2,200 per home over 10 years when most people have lost 39 percent of their net worth in the last three years and many are still staggering from the aftershocks of the Great Recession. But the district board decided to go for it anyway, doing the bidding of the firefighters union as it seeks to increase salaries, benefits and jobs.

Fire tax hikes were not that popular throughout the state. In addition to the failure of the East Contra Costa tax hike, a $100 tax hike in Higgins, a $40 hike in North Auburn-Ophir, a $79 tax in Placer Hills and a $59 tax in Crest all failed.

There were two successful fire tax measures: a $150 tax in Newcastle and a four-year extension of a $65 tax in San Mateo County.

Steven Greenhut: ‘Reforms’ will raise California taxes | The Orange County Register
June 16, 2012
By Steven Greenhut

SACRAMENTO – God help California from its current crop of wealthy “moderates” who believe that the only thing that will save our state is a dose of higher taxes. They continue to embrace electoral rule changes that ultimately will undermine the Republicans’ supposedly hard line against tax hikes.June 5 saw was the first election to use the “top two” primary system, a form of open primary designed specifically to elect more candidates who resemble former state Sen. Abel Maldonado and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the two politicians most responsible for its implementation. These are two of the least-effective and least-principled Republicans to attain higher office in recent years, so let this serve as a warning about what is to come.

The emerging California Fusion Party | CalWatchDog
By Wayne Lusvardi
June 18, 2012

Political fusion is an arrangement where two parties on a ballot list the same candidate. Fusion has been outlawed in many states.

A version of fusionism emerging in California is this under the new Top Two system, which voters approved under Proposition 14 back in 2010. The majority party floods election ballots with at least two of its candidates. Then it only allows the minority party to influence election results by endorsing one of the major party’s candidates. Another name for political fusion is cross-endorsement…

Now, the Union Pushback: Following big victories for public-pension reform in California, the union empire takes to the courts.
by Steven Greenhut – City Journal
June 12, 2012

The nation’s public-sector unions have become so emboldened by years of political victories, and so insulated from voter concerns, that they apparently never considered the possibility that voters, given a clear choice, would turn against them. Last Tuesday was as close as the nation gets to a clarifying election, the result of union overreach in Wisconsin and union intransigence in California. “Election results in California and Wisconsin this week are being viewed as a turning point for organized labor—to its detriment,” reported the Los Angeles Times, echoing a story line repeated nationwide.

Steve Greenhut’s Take on the 2012 Fullerton Recall–People taking their governments back

Libertarian columnist Steve Greenhut wrote a recap on the Fullerton Recall, and put it in the context of people taking their governments back. He had lots of good things to say about the Recall and FFFF.org, and the FFFF.org folks posted the piece on their website. It’s definitely an inspiring and instructional story.

“…A campaign-sign slogan captured the essence of the recall: “Failure to lead.” And the final hit mailer against the buffoons, focused on the absurd city-worker compensation packages that exploded during their watch, reinforcing that these officials were not leading the city, but following the demands of union workers.

It was time for a change, and the pension-abuse issue, bolstered by these leaders’ duck-and-cover routine after the Thomas killing, was enough to spark the recall. They were bounced by nearly 2-1 margins, so it wasn’t a fluke. And the ground had been plowed by Bushala and his merry band of local-minded libertarians, thanks to their Friends for Fullerton’s Future blog. Granted, the three soon-to-be-ex-council members provided plenty of side-splitting fodder…”

Click here to read the full op-ed

If they don’t come up with a budget today, no paycheck, but if it’s a wasteful fraud, S&P downgrades CA’s credit rating. Up Against the Wall!

Standard & Poor’s is threatening to downgrade California’s outlook if lawmakers don’t balance the budget without gimmicks. “We are  being disciplined by our lenders who will downgrade us for fudging,” said Assemblywoman Diane Harkey, R-Dana Point.

Bad old  Wall Street bankers are forcing California to clean up its financial mess in order to prevent a catastrophic economic tsunami.

California’s economy is nearly one-eighth of the entire country’s gross domestic product. It totals 30 percent of the debt carried by all 50 states, according to Gabriel Petek, an S&P analyst. Petek, interviewed by FOX Business, said that California is overly reliant  on personal income taxes, and that the state’s tax structure is behind the deficit because of this reliance.

In 2009, the Legislature voted to allow the state to pay … (click here to go to S&P forces Democrats to balance budget | CalWatchDog

No matter how much it hurts, how many more jobs it kills, how less competitive it makes CA businesses, clean energy now, outrageous costs be damned.

The problem is that the state’s target for renewable energy generation is far ahead of the market for such energy. In fact, private R&D funding for renewable energy is $1 billion less than it was 10 years ago, according to the state energy commission.

That’s because, for all the promise of renewable energy, the price of electricity generated by solar, wind, geothermal and other renewable sources remains higher than the price of electricity generated by natural gas and nuclear power, which, between them, continue to generate 70 percent of the Golden State’s electricity.

That’s why lawmakers have mandated an artificial share of the state’s electricity market to renewable energy. That also is why the state government continues to directly and indirectly subsidize renewable energy.

Click to read more, at  State promotes renewable energy at all costs | CalWatchDog

Pleasant Hill police chief retires, says CA pension so lucrative “it doesn’t make sense to keep working.”

Pleasant Hill police Chief Pete Dunbar to retire – ContraCostaTimes.com

Post CA & WI Primaries Analysis with Wayne Lusvardi and John Seiler of CalWatchDog

Tuesday June 12, on Gadfly Radio,  Wayne Lusvardi joins Martha and John Seiler, managing editor of CalWatchDog, to discuss the election results of the  pension reform initiatives in San Diego, and  San Jose, the failed recall of Scott Walker in Wisconsin, the victorious recall of three sitting city council members and the election of their replacements,  in Fullerton, CA, a spectacular story.   and  some of the hot and contentious candidate races that developed  in last week’s CA Primary Election.

Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal is away, on assignment. 

Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!”

 

Some Related Links:  for more, check out CalWatchDog.com  Ask me questions on Facebook,
Pension reform or double-dip storm in San Diego and San Jose?

June 6, 2012 By Wayne Lusvardi A pension reform ballot proposition was passed by the voters in the city of San Diego by a margin of 66.2 percent in favor to 33.8 percent opposed.. A similar pension reform measure in the city of San Jose is lead…

Beware the California Pension Reform Foxes
Liberal downfall of San Diego falsely blamed on conservatives
State voters did the right thing | CalWatchDog
By Steven Greenhut
June 11, 2012 By Steven Greenhut SACRAMENTO — Several years ago, Fullerton Councilman Dick Jones cornered me at a political event, asked my opinion on.
CalWatchDog

RealClearPolitics – Public Unions’ Icarus Moment
by Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post
The Lauzen Plan: How to Rein In a $3 Trillion Rogue Pension Elephant – Forbes by Ralph Benko

There is a simple, humane and practical solution to Illinois’s threatening insolvency: the “Lauzen Plan.” If tried successfully and emulated it promises to staunch the red ink threatening the viability of many states and municipalities. Lauzen is leaving the state Senate, after 20 years of service there, where he, together with other legislators of integrity, consistently predicted, and tirelessly formulated solutions to, the cascading fiscal catastrophe now manifesting. The officials blithely ignored or aborted the solutions.

My personal message to Travis Kiger, newly elected City Council member  of the City of Fullerton: “Congratulations. I am thrilled with your victory, and the team you are part of.  You’re awesome and inspiring. I thank all of you, and you individually.” and “I want to congratulate you on such a marvelous fantastic thrilling victory. I have followed from before Kelly Thomas, and you had a stage set already. You were able to catch that wave and ride it like champions!
Bravo. I love it.”

Robert Higgs Refutes Paul Krugman, & Primary Election Day in CA on Gadfly Radio

Tuesday, June 5, on Gadfly Radio, Robert Higgs, Senior Fellow in Political Economy for The Independent Institute and Editor of the Institute’s quarterly journal The Independent Review, joins Martha Montelongo, CalWatchDog‘s managing editor, John Seiler, and Ben Boychuk, Associate Editor with City Journal.

Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT on CRNtalk.com or on USTREAM TV’s CRNStudioLive!”

To spend, tax and regulate, more, to get us out of our economic depression.  That’s what Celebrity  Economist, Paul Krugman calls for.   He ignores the growth, power and corruption of Big Govt and the effect of war economics, and the erosion of liberty, and the devastation on  the small business private sector.

A debate rages across the Atlantic, and here, in the U.S.

Greece already hit breaking point and the news today, as I write,  is people are resorting to barter, to manage in the economic crisis that resulted from the bloated, wasteful unproductive public sector and massive borrowing on public works.

Spain is in even worse shape only the breaking point has yet to hit.  The unemployment for young adults 25 and under is well over 51 percent in Spain.

England is also in severe economic crisis, the current government has recently implemented what they call severe austerity measures, but the situation has only worsened.

In the U.S., several states, with California leading, neck and neck with Illinois, are routinely compared to Greece.

Political and, I must not forget, Nobel Prize Winning Economist, Paul Krugman ( I force myself to omit the quotation marks, for Hayek, too, won a Nobel Price for Economics), has been getting a lot of press of late, in the U.S. but also, abroad, in Europe.

He is and has been promoting his book, End this Depression Now!

He calls for policy that includes much more Government spending, and a deliberate allowance of “some” inflation, to occur.

Krugman mocks those who compare a country’s debt crisis with that of a family that has spent itself into bankruptcy, and would reduce spending to get out of debt.

He dismisses those who call for a return to a gold standard as fool hardy.

And he points to Sweden and Austria, with  government work forces that make up over 50 percent of the economy,  as  models we should follow.  He asserts, these big-government nations  are better off, and are weathering  the storm well, compared to Great Britain, Spain, Greece, Portugal, and the U.S.
This why I loved Ralph Benko’s recent piece,  Unemployment Reality To Paul Krugman: “I Refute It Thus.”

The title alone made me laugh.  A shared sentiment, so cleverly expressed!   I experienced wonderful delight.   But also, I loved the quote:

“After we came out of the church, we stood talking for some time together of Bishop Berkeley’s ingenious sophistry to prove the nonexistence of matter, and that every thing in the universe is merely ideal. I observed, that though we are satisfied his doctrine is not true, it is impossible to refute it. I never shall forget the alacrity with which Johnson answered, striking his foot with mighty force against a large stone, till he rebounded from it — ‘I refute it thus.” — Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson

 

I refute what Krugman is advocating, but I would like to have Higgs, please explain, in short pithy words with brevity, and clarity.

So much hangs in the balance.

Robert Higgs is the Author of many important works, including “Crisis and Leviathan,” Depression, War, and Cold War, and new, just out in May, in both Hardcover and Paperback,  Delusions of Power: New Explorations of the State, War, and Economy

I received a hardcover copy of  Krugman’s book as a gift, by a concerned and loving friend, and then I bought it as a Kindle version, and then also, as an audio file.    I  want to see Robert Higgs’ books I mentioned above, available in digital, and  audio.

I listened to an audio of his Higgs’s  interview with Tom Woods, and Nick Gillespie and of  presentations he has made on Depression, War and Cold War and Leviathan and I want to hear and learn more.  I hope he sells many books.  His message is profound.

Click here for a collection of articles and videos on Robert Higgs, defying Paul Krugman’s ideas, and Higgs, on Big Government, TARP,   and the impact of war on the economy and small businesses.    This is a a great collection!

Higgs is compelling. He communicates with a deep compassion for and faith in humanity.  We’ll talk with him about Krugman’s assertions in End This Depression Now!

More Related Links:
Krugman: More Economic Destruction Needed To Revive Economy | The Daily Capitalist  (A Refute!)

Paul Krugman, European celebrity – Paul Krugman – Salon.com  (I think “celebrity” is not intended as ironic.)

Krugman in his own words:
Paul Krugman: Mitt Romney Doesn’t Mean Anything He’s Saying: The New York Times columnist talks about Romney, the European austerity trap, and why stimulus isn’t a dirty word
By Tierney Sneed | – US News and World Report  ( This is a  point by point case on Krugman’s  arguments for more, bigger spending and regulating to save us, in 900 words ).

 

 

CA Lawmakers exemplify definition of insanity–The more harm they cause, the more they copy failed EU States, and cause yet more harm

Consider California, Illinois EU-Style Failed States
By HOWARD RICH
05/22/2012 06:09 PM ET

Brown is pushing to raise California’s sales tax (already the highest in the nation) from 7.25% to 7.5%. He also wants to slap higher income-tax rates on those making more than $250,000 — while raising the state’s marginal income-tax rate on millionaires from 10.3% to 13.3% (thus establishing the highest state income-tax rate in America).

Californians don’t have to look all the way across the Atlantic to see that this approach is destined to fail. They need only look halfway across their own continent.

In Illinois, income tax hikes haven’t solved the state’s budget crisis. That’s because most of the revenue generated by a 2011 marginal rate hike was earmarked for a $4.5 billion pension payment — not the state’s $5 billion deficit or its $9 billion backlog of unpaid bills.

Of course this $4.5 billion barely made a dent in the state’s long-term pension problem.

Click here to read the article

CA Assembly passes bill to protect “public servants” from investigative reporters who seek to out fraud, waste, and abuse of public funds, trust, & welfare

“The state is about to destroy the most significant source of public records, and create an open invitation to fraud and theft in order to combat a phantom threat. The bill was introduced by a legislator who ought to know better, Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles). Not long ago, Feuer argued that openness is the key to stopping abuse in his city’s terminally troubled children’s court system, but now he is the champion of secrecy.”

The California Assembly, in a move that reminds me of my my childhood friend who’d take the Candy Land deck of cards under the table to “shuffle” them, just passed AB 2299 by a vote of 68-0.   This bill reinforces the evidence that the CA legislators are beholden to the new aristocracy of California, the public employee unions and their members.   If the bill becomes law, it eliminates the inconvenience of laws that allow reporters and citizen journalists to investigate and expose fraud, waste, abuse and corruption.   It still has to pass the CA Senate, and be signed by the Governor.

This gives Organized Crime a whole new meaning.  Click here to read Steven Greenhut’s article

Government is not the answer! How does Govt make life worse? Steven Greenhut spells it out!

Entrepreneurs take risks. They often fail, but they sometimes make great strides forward. Government employees, on the other hand, go to jobs where they cannot be fired except in the most extreme circumstances. They regulate us and provide “services” few of us want. They retire at young ages with pensions that make them the envy of their neighbors. They consume an ever-larger share of the money earned by those who take risks and create growth. Then their unions lobby for more government. And unfortunately, writes Steven Greenhut, our fellow citizens willingly vote for the politicians who perpetuate this system. Read the rest at Reason.com here

On Education, More Money Doesn’t Equal Better Results–This truth is factually buttressed, but buried by rhetoric, again, as usual

Stanford studies showing no correlation between spending, school quality hijacked again | Calwhine.com

“Getting Down to Facts,” I actually read about a thousand pages of the reports. And as I wrote back in 2007, buried in all the multiple studies, here is the lead: A review of all California school districts shows “essentially no relationship between spending and student outcomes” and that spending more is futile until “extensive and systemic reforms” are in place. In other words, the problem is much more about the stupid way money is spent than the lack of money.

Read more: Stanford studies showing no correlation between spending, school quality hijacked again | Calwhine.com

How Big Government Is Killing California


When you’ve lost the entrepreneurs, free-spirits, and dreamers, you’ve lost the Golden State.
Steven Greenhut | April 27, 2012

The new USC study pointing to a much-slower population growth rate in California has been greeted by demographers and urban planners as good news, in that it supposedly gives our state’s leaders a little breathing room to plan better for the future. The rate of growth has slowed to about 1 percent a year, the result of fewer immigrants coming here and so many Californians heading to other states.

 

Click here to read the article

Senator Gloria Romero on Parent Trigger & Steven Greenhut on Pensions & Healthcare Benefits for Public Emp Retirees on Gadfly Radio Tues., April 3 @ 10AM PT

Tuesday, April 3 at 10 AM PT, Senator Gloria Romero and Steven Greenhut join Ben Boychuk, John Seiler and myself on Gadfly Radio, on CRNtalk.com or on USTEAM TV, on CRNStudioLive!

Senator Gloria Romero is the Director for the CA Chapter of Democrats for Education Reform.   On the Adelanto School Board, the Teacher’s Union blocks the Parent Trigger.  Fraud charges raised.– related links:  California’s school reform ‘parent trigger’ law doesn’t need rewriting – Los Angeles Times

Viewpoints: Failing schools dishonor civil rights heroes – Viewpoints – The Sacramento Bee

On Steven Greenhut, VP of Journalism with The Franklin Center for Govt and Public Integrity, some related links:

Steven Greenhut: Bankruptcy may be only way out for cities, states| bankruptcy, unions, reform – Opinion – The Orange County Register Feb 24, 2012
The problem in the public sector is that government never is allowed to fail. There never is a day of reckoning no matter how poorly government provides its so-called services.

What happens when failure is no option? – HUMAN EVENTS  Feb 28, 2012
SACRAMENTO — In my latest column, I documented how the state’s pro-union Attorney General Kamala Harris provided an unfair and dishonest title and summary to a pair of pension reform initiatives submitted to her office, thus effectively killing the measures. Last week the unions tried — and almost succeeded — with an even nastier stunt designed to undermine democracy.

If Stockton Is Broke, Then Why Isn’t San Diego?: Steven Greenhut – Bloomberg March 1, 2012

California Refuses to Fix Public-Sector Pensions – Reason Magazine  March 9, 2012
Golden State lawmakers close their eyes and pretend the looming pension crisis doesn’t exist.

Special Series: Broke Municipalities Look to Bankruptcy Option | CalWatchDog  March 9, 2012
This is the second in a CalWatchDog.com Special Series of 12 in-depth articles on municipal bankruptcy.

Public Unions Send Medical Bills to Taxpayers – Bloomberg  March 15, 2012
The U.S. public pension mess, with its $2 trillion to $3 trillion in unfunded liabilities, is such a volcano of gloom that it takes a potentially bigger problem to turn our eyes away from it.
Turn your attention instead to the size of the taxpayer- backed health-care obligations for public employees.

Are there Other Stocktons Out there?
By Kevin Klowden
Director, California Center; Managing Economist
Monday, April 2nd, 2012 Want to ask Steve what he thinks of Klowden’s remarks here:

“There is hope on the horizon, however. Negotiations to reduce future pension and benefit obligations are bearing fruit and will clearly show long-term improvements for cities such as Stockton. Construction of intermodal port facilities in the city are creating jobs both in the near and long term. The concern is that neither of these developments helps Stockton and cities like it right now.”

 

 

 

Steve Greenhut joins Gadfly tomorrow, April 3rd! Here’s a taste…

Steven Greenhut: Bankruptcy may be only way out for cities, states| bankruptcy, unions, reform – Opinion – The Orange County Register Feb 24, 2012
The problem in the public sector is that government never is allowed to fail. There never is a day of reckoning no matter how poorly government provides its so-called services.

What happens when failure is no option? – HUMAN EVENTS  Feb 28, 2012
SACRAMENTO — In my latest column, I documented how the state’s pro-union Attorney General Kamala Harris provided an unfair and dishonest title and summary to a pair of pension reform initiatives submitted to her office, thus effectively killing the measures. Last week the unions tried — and almost succeeded — with an even nastier stunt designed to undermine democracy.

If Stockton Is Broke, Then Why Isn’t San Diego?: Steven Greenhut – Bloomberg March 1, 2012

California Refuses to Fix Public-Sector Pensions – Reason Magazine  March 9, 2012
Golden State lawmakers close their eyes and pretend the looming pension crisis doesn’t exist.

Special Series: Broke Municipalities Look to Bankruptcy Option | CalWatchDog  March 9, 2012
This is the second in a CalWatchDog.com Special Series of 12 in-depth articles on municipal bankruptcy.

Public Unions Send Medical Bills to Taxpayers – Bloomberg  March 15, 2012
The U.S. public pension mess, with its $2 trillion to $3 trillion in unfunded liabilities, is such a volcano of gloom that it takes a potentially bigger problem to turn our eyes away from it.
Turn your attention instead to the size of the taxpayer- backed health-care obligations for public employees.

Are there Other Stocktons Out there?
By Kevin Klowden
Director, California Center; Managing Economist
Monday, April 2nd, 2012 Want to ask Steve what he thinks of Klowden’s remarks here:

“There is hope on the horizon, however. Negotiations to reduce future pension and benefit obligations are bearing fruit and will clearly show long-term improvements for cities such as Stockton. Construction of intermodal port facilities in the city are creating jobs both in the near and long term. The concern is that neither of these developments helps Stockton and cities like it right now.”

John Hrabe on Cal State College Admin pay outrage, & Avik Roy on Obamacare and the Supremes

Tuesday, March 27, on Gadfly Radio, ‎Martha Montelongo and John Seiler are at a conference withformer CalWatchdog editor Steve Greenhut, so I will be hosting Gadfly Radio all by myself tomorrow on CRNtalk.com, CRN1. Tune in LIVE at 10:00 a.m. PDT.

I’ll be talking with CalWatchdog.com’s John Hrabe about the Cal State University administrative pay outrage. Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Avik Roy will join me in the second half hour to analyze the latest from the fight over Obamacare this week at the United States Supreme Court. Don’t miss it!

GAO pension survey reveals endemic corruption hiding in the hedges

A Commentary by FRANK KEEGAN | March 22, 2012
in State Budget Solutions–Real Solutions for Real Budget Problems

“Anybody who ever questioned how many layers of corruption are woven into state and municipal pension systems, should take a look at the latest Government Accountability Office report on “Challenges of Hedge Fund and Private Equity Investing.”

“Challenges?” That’s a genteel way of putting it. Why not put it in English: Ripping off taxpayers and public workers.” Click to read the full commentary.