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Real public servants are free enterprising individuals who, inspired, embrace challenge, take risks, and create, sometimes big, and often, they create jobs in the process, all out of their ideas, and self initiative...

Friday, December 30, 2011

Our Growing Police State

Today, Afghanistan provides 90+% of the world's heroin while the largest military action in the 21st Century takes place in that country; the opium poppies in many cases grow right up to the razor wire of American bases. A de facto civil war is taking place between the government and the narcotraficantes in Mexico that has cost 36,000 lives. Today the street prices of cocaine and heroin are at historic lows. It would seem that the War on Drugs is truly lost and that our government simply doesn't care. And yet over $20 Billion/year is spent on the War on Drugs; most of it on law enforcement. This seems to be a very poor return on the investment.


Articles: Our Growing Police State

RDAs Hoisted On Own Petard | CalWatchDog

Some of my favorite quotes from this op-ed by Steven Greenhut:



"The CRA, the League of California Cities and the foolhardy Republicans, such as Sen. Bob Huff were outsmarted. They were so arrogant that they tripped over their own clever plans. They passed Prop. 22, which then forbade the one mechanism that would have saved redevelopment from the ash bin of history."


"Philanthropist Howard Ahmanson is best known in the liberal media for funding religious-right causes, but one of Ahmanson’s biggest interests for years was fighting redevelopment, for reasons of faith and justice. He supported two other heroes, Assemblywoman Beth Gaines and her husband, Sen. Ted Gaines, who both defied their parties and voted with the Democrats to end redevelopment."

It takes a big man or woman to give credit where it is due, regardless of how much you would normally disagree with the man or woman you are acknowledging. Here's a quote that does just that:


I can’t end without tipping my hat to Gov. Jerry Brown and the Democratic Legislature. I almost never agree with anything they do, of course. And I don’t for one minute argue that the state’s Democrats ended redevelopment because of any concern for property owners or property rights. But they did indeed do the right thing. They stuck with it. I don’t believe that we would have this great victory had the eminent-domain-supporting Meg Whitman become governor. Brown’s analysis of redevelopment did indeed show a remarkable understanding of more than the fiscal problems with it. This victory makes many of his other bad policies almost tolerable.

To read the post, go to: RDAs Hoisted On Own Petard | CalWatchDog

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Gadfly Radio Tonight: It's the Holidays but the news doesn't stop so neither do we!

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
Dec 27, 2011:  Tonight live at 8 p.m. PT on Gadfly Radio, Martha Montelongo along with Ben Boychuk of CA City Journal and special guest, Joel Mathis. 

Joel Mathis is a writer and stay-at-home dad living in Philadelphia. He co-authors—with Ben Boychuk—a weekly political column for Scripps Howard News Service, his own weekly column for Philadelphia Magazine's website, and is a regular contributor toMacworld.com. Visit his blog at www.joelmathis.blogspot.com.

While everyone is on holiday, a pernicious, many would call sinister bill has passed both houses and awaits the President's signature. the National Defense Authorization Act, NDAA is decried by watchdogs from all walks of the political spectrum, who believe in and defend civil liberty and civil rights. What is it and why should you care?

The Great CA Redistricting Sting:  California's redistricting of political districts turns out to be worse than even the Pro-Publica report suggested last week in How Democrats Fooled California's Redistricting ... - ProPublica

 The taxpayer supported Teacher’s Union Jobs Program, popularly known as California's K-12 Public Education System fails to adequately prepare more than 60 percent of all CA college bound kids,
despite billions of tax dollars spent on the K-12 public education.  "The remedial numbers are staggering, given that the Cal State system admits only freshmen who graduated in the top one-third of their high-school class. About 27,300 freshmen in the 2010 entering class of about 42,700 needed remedial work in math, English or both."

Larry Sand of The CA Teachers Empowerment Network wrote a piece today in which he argues that "there are those among us who think that teachers unions, collective bargaining and peer assistance review are the way to a better education for kids. They look like earthlings, but in fact are extraterrestrials."  Indeed, there are a rising chorus of voices that all vilify, denigrate, and dismiss with conspiratorial overtures, all organizations focused on reform that incorporate accountability with measurable results and integrity.   We'll touch on several of the targets of these attacks, and we'll stick to addressing the attacks on Democrats, liberal Democrats, just to be more than fair and balanced.  


We'll take your calls, questions and comments on the air at 1-818-602-4929 on on FB instant chat or Twitter.

Related links to the NDAA: The NDAA Repeals More Rights

The Moral Liberal - ‎4 hours ago‎

The recently passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) continues that slip toward tyranny and in fact accelerates it significantly. The main section of concern, Section 1021 of the NDAA Conference Report, does to the 5th Amendment what the ...

The Nation and the National Defense Authorization Act | World Socialist Web Site - ‎17 hours ago‎  | By Tom Carter and Barry Grey 

A comment by Robert Scheer published December 15 on the Nation magazine's web site dealing with the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) demonstrates that the left-liberal layers for whom the magazine speaks are ...


NDAA closer to becoming a reality in the United States | Examiner.com - ‎Dec 25, 2011‎

There is a growing concern in the Tri-Cities of East Tennessee over the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) because it contains provisions allowing Americans to be detained without trial, and even transferred to foreign prisons and is ever closer ...

An egregious violation of due process  | Washington Post -


Congress sent the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to President Obama with provisions making possible the indefinite detention of US citizens suspected of terrorist activities, without due process, in instances authorized by the president ...

Related links to  The CA Redistricting Sting:  More Proof Dems Manipulated Redistricting

Related Links to the Taxpayer Subsidized Jobs Program for incompetent K-12 Public School Teachers and Administrators: Are Teacher’s Evaluations a Substantive Improvement for Public Education Oklahoma is not the first state to adopt a teacher evaluation system based in part on student test results, but is part of a growing trend across states and schools to move to the growth or value added evaluation models.
By Megan Rolland Dec 25, 2011

These last three articles deal with the Teachers Union Establishment and their Spokespersons in the media demagoguing demonizing reformers and sanctifying the status quo.   The last piece is one Larry Sand must have been referring to in his oped about "extraterrestrials"


Letter: Don't let lawmakers hijack public schools

Posted: December 17, 2011

Charter schools are not the solution: The widow of famed UFT leader Albert Shanker blasts ‘reformers’
They are unwilling to work within the system

BY Eadie Shanker  NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Monday, December 26 2011

Teach for America: Liberal mission helps conservative agenda
  
By Valerie Strauss
This was written by Andrew Hartman, who teaches history at Illinois State University. He is the author of Education and the Cold War: The Battle for the American School. This was originally published at jacobinmag.com. It is long but well worth your time.  (See Larry Sand's reference to this piece above)



I am a stand for liberty, integrity, empowerment, and prosperity for all people; a stand for vibrant and innovative small businesses that create jobs, that in the process of prospering, nurture and support creative and dynamic culture, in the work place, and in our personal lives.



Thank you for supporting our program, by listening, sponsoring, and or sharing this post with others. 

It's a pleasure to share this program with 

CalWatchDog's team of government policy watch dogs and the great investigative work they produce! 

Tuesday nights live, on Gadfly Radio in Southern California or where ever you are. California, the land of beauty and unlimited possibility because of the abundance of our greatest capital resource, our human resources, when we get it right. Join us. 

Or you can listen to a podcast later, if you miss the live call-in show by clicking on the white player to stream or the orange player to download and or subscribe to Gadfly on iTunes:


iTunes

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Debates and Gary Johnson | Cato @ Liberty

And yet the Republican party and the big media have excluded the candidate with the second-most experience as governor. And so I wonder again, how does the establishment exclude a Republican governor who got elected twice—and served his full terms—in a Democratic-leaning swing state, had a successful record, vetoed more bills than all other governors combined, proposed the boldest policies in the country on both school choice and drug policy reform, and then left the state with a budget surplus? TThe Debates and Gary Johnson | Cato @ Liberty

Gadfly Radio with Martha and CalWatchDog: Tonight, Ben Boychuk, John Seiler, Special Guest, Yolie Flores, former L.A.U.S.D. School Board Member, catalyst for reform

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
Dec 20, 2011:  Tonight live at 8 p.m. PT on Gadfly Radio, Martha Montelongo along with Ben Boychuk of CA City Journal and John Seiler of CalWatchDog.com welcome special guest Yolie Flores of Communities for Teaching Excellence, on the web at 4TeachingExcellence.org


We'll speak with Flores about: 
  • her decision to leave the L.A.U.S.D. School Board, 
  • her decision to not endorse a candidate to fill her seat. 
  • The organization Communities for Teaching Excellence, she now heads up
  • What does she make of the latest contract agreement between the L.A.U.S.D. Superintendent and the UTLA teacher's union? 
  • What does she make of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
  • formally referred to as THE LAUSD-UTLA LOCAL SCHOOL STABILIZATION AND EMPOWERMENT INITIATIVE OF 2011?
 

We'll cover the latest hot talk from around the state of CA.   John Seiler has a new report up on Mexico:  U.S. Govt. Destroying Mexico | CalWatchDog,

and we'll talk with Ben Boychuk on the latest published on CA City Journal and his latest Head to Head weekly column with Pia Lopez:  To boost the economy should Congress extend the holiday on payroll taxes? 

Related Links: 

The Huntington Park campus newspaper infamously ripped into Flores when she began to push for change, very clearly echoing the hurt expressed by their teacher(s), who understandably don't want to shoulder the blame for the high school's terrible standing.
But Flores won't back down in her conviction that enough is enough. Now, she tells the Times: "This school has been waiting for decades, and people say wait a little longer. To me, it's a stall tactic. I'm tired of waiting."--Huntington Park High School Becomes Guinea Pig for Radical LAUSD Reform: 50 Percent of Teachers to Get the Boot --LAWeekly, By Simone Wilson Tue., May 10 2011

School Reformer Yolie Flores Departs LAUSD to Fight From Outside - Page 1 - News - Los Angeles - LA Weekly  She forced through the most radical idea in recent lausd history. So why’s she leaving for a Bill Gates start-up? By Jason S. Mandell Thursday, Mar 10 2011

Supt. John Deasy asks LAUSD board members to stay impartial on school control - Los Angeles Times October 01, 2011|By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times

UTLA signs contract with LAUSD that holds teachers accountable for student performance - LA Daily News By Barbara Jones, Staff Writer, 12/15/2011 05:15:30 PM PST, Updated: 12/15/2011 05:16:47 PM PST 

The UTLA characterizes the tentative agreement as a solution that "will stabilize schools by stopping the giveaway of sites to outside operators and limiting reconsitution." 
As Howard Blume reports in this morning's Los Angeles Times, the agreement, in negotiation for several months, "virtually [ends] the two-year policy that allowed [under the 2009 LAUSD School Board ruling on Public School Choice] charter operators and others to take over low-performing and new campuses."  --Unleashing the power of the professional": LAUSD brings back local control - California's Children 11-30-2011

The demands of the "Don't Hold Us Back" coalition, which includes the California Charter School Association (CCSA) went completely unheeded. Insiders will tell you that their protests could be dismissed as harmless "theatrics." The continuance of school board management is simply a continuance of union rule. While reformers have done a poor job organizing themselves, the results show that their efforts were wholly insufficient.  --Anthony Krinsky's Education Blog: UTLA members rubber-stamp 6 more years of union rule  Dec 16, 2011 

We'll take your calls, questions and comments on the air at 1-818-602-4929 on on FB instant chat or Twitter.

 

I am a stand for liberty, integrity, empowerment, and prosperity for all people; a stand for vibrant and innovative small businesses that create jobs, that in the process of prospering, nurture and support creative and dynamic culture, in the work place, and in our personal lives.



Thank you for supporting our program, by listening, sponsoring, and or sharing this post with others. 

It's a pleasure to share this program with 
CalWatchDog's team of government policy watch dogs and the great investigative work they produce! 

Tuesday nights live, on Gadfly Radio in Southern California or where ever you are. California, the land of beauty and unlimited possibility because of the abundance of our greatest capital resource, our human resources, when we get it right. Join us. 

Or you can listen to a podcast later, if you miss the live call-in show by clicking on the white player to stream or the orange player to download and or subscribe to Gadfly on iTunes:


iTunes

Monday, December 19, 2011

Million-Dollar Nurses Show California’s Struggle to Cut Payroll - Businessweek

Million-Dollar Nurses Show California’s Struggle to Cut Payroll - Businessweek

Scandal and insanity at Penn State, Durban and the IPCC: Climate fraud proves insanity of extending Kyoto, renewable subsidies and economic mayhem

Paul Driessen
In a repeat of Copenhagen, on the eve of the Durban climate change gabfest, someone released another horde of emails from alarmist climate researchers, including Dr. Michael Mann, whose infamous “hockey stick” was headlined in the 2001 IPCC report to justify the Kyoto agreement and demands that nations slash fossil fuel use and economic growth.
Meanwhile, back on Dr. Mann’s campus, Pennsylvania State University was confronting the sordid Jerry Sandusky affair. Sports Illustrated summarized the Augean Stables task in an article titled “Missteps at every turn: Efforts to clean up Penn State reveal how deep the institutional problems lie.”
As SI noted, a key judge in the case, Pennsylvania’s governor, Penn State’s new athletic director and even the attorney appointed to head up a “full and complete” internal investigation all have deep and longstanding ties to the university and/or its big-money football team. Noting these and other “blatant conflicts of interest,” the magazine quoted new PSU president Rodney Erickson as saying, “Penn State is committed to transparency to the fullest extent possible” [emphasis added] – in view of relevant financial, personal and other considerations, and special exemptions that Penn State enjoys from disclosure laws.
SI ended the article by asking, “Is Penn State cleaning house? Or simply rearranging the furniture?”
The same question applies to Dr. Mann. In the wake of Climategate 2009, Penn State hurriedly exonerated him and his department of any wrongdoing, as did NOAA and the National Science Foundation. The blatant whitewashes reflect the desperation of organizations intent on preserving their money train and perpetuating the Hollywood façade of manmade catastrophic climate change.
All three organizations are at the forefront of fraudulent climate alarmism and its agenda of “radically transforming” the energy and economic foundations of modern nations. As IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri has said, climate change is “just a part of” the effort “to bring about major structural changes” in “unsustainable” economic growth, development and lifestyles.
The agenda involves slashing carbon dioxide levels to 80% below 1990 levels. That would carry the United States back to emission levels last seen during the American Civil War – devastating the economy.
Together these institutions receive billions of dollars in annual government grants that foster one line of thinking on “global climate disruption” – another term concocted to spin weather and climate events as unprecedented disasters resulting from hydrocarbon energy use. Delegates from all three institutions get to attend annual climate confabs at exotic 5-star resorts, to promote “the cause” of ending mankind’s “addiction” to fossil fuels and establishing “global governance” under UN auspices.
For all these institutions, full-blown independent investigations – with adverse witnesses, cross-examination, and access to data and records denied to previous investigators – could result in lost income, prestige, and power over public policy decisions. Honest, replicable, truly peer-reviewed, robustly debated science into the causes, effects and extent of climate change would do likewise.
For Penn State, global warming represents a significant cash cow. As meteorologist Art Horn has noted, the university received a whopping $470,000,000 in federal grants and contracts between 2010 and 2011. Neither Mann nor Penn State is saying how much went to climate research. But since the US government spent over $106 billion on climate research money between 2003 and 2010, PSU undoubtedly received a hefty portion for promoting the official alarmist viewpoint.
No wonder they refused to turn over raw data and computer codes to other scientists, IPCC reviewers and even investigators – claiming these were private property, even though taxpayers paid for them and the results generated are being used to justify endless energy, job and economy-killing public policies.
At the tip of the policy iceberg are EPA’s (postponed) CO2 “endangerment” regulations, its boiler and refinery rules, its reams of restrictions on coal-fired power plants, the agency’s opposition to hydraulic shale fracturing and the Keystone XL pipeline, and its new automobile mileage rules, which will raise the cost of cars, reduce crash-worthiness and result in thousands of additional deaths in accidents. Mann’s deceptive models and hockey sticks are also being used to justify a $100-billion-a-year “climate change reparation and mitigation” fund for poor nations, to be financed directly by FRCs (formerly rich countries) or via “climate taxes” imposed on international air travel and imported and exported products.
Also benefitting from the corrupt Climate Armageddon research machine are crony capitalists and climate profiteers too numerous to count: the renewable energy and carbon trading firms that depend on climate scares to maintain renewable energy, “green job,” carbon trading, and similar mandates and schemes.
As Competitive Enterprise Institute analyst Bill Frezza has observed, the US Department of Energy invested $529 million in taxpayer-subsidized loan guarantees to build North America’s largest lithium ion automotive battery plant … to supply a Finnish electric car manufacturer backed by Al Gore’s venture capital fund … to ship 40 (!) cars to the USA to date … so that they can be purchased by “environment-motivated” millionaires like Leonardo DeCaprio, who receive $7,500 tax credits for buying the cars.
Add in billions for wind turbines and solar panels … billions to persuade the poorest nations on Planet Earth to endure “sustainable” lifestyles, rather than modernize through reliable, affordable and, yes, hydrocarbon energy … and billions for IPCC and other UN bureaucrats, who insist that drought and flood, cold and heat, storm and sea level events are no longer due to natural forces, but to mankind’s use of fossil fuels – and we’re talking serious money.
Global warming alarmism could ultimately cause the global economy trillions of dollars.
Meanwhile, what about average workers and families? They get none of these perks, sinecures, subsidies and handouts. Instead, they get to pay taxes to support the bureaucrats, pseudo scientists and activists. They get to pay soaring energy bills that subsidize wind, solar and climate schemes, while driving families into fuel poverty. They get to lose their jobs, as companies faced with skyrocketing energy bills lay people off, close their doors or ship jobs off to overseas factories that have cheap energy and cheap labor, because China, India, et cetera do not and will not operate under Kyoto-style restrictions.
What about families in destitute African countries, where 90% of the people still don’t have electricity – because radical environmentalists, IPCC and World Bank operatives, and Obama Administration bureaucrats collude to delay or prevent the construction of coal and even gas-fired power plants?
It’s remotely possible that we face a genuine manmade climate crisis. It’s highly likely that mankind will continue to confront natural climate changes that compel adaptation through ingenuity and technology.
However, Climategate 1 and 2, The Delinquent Teenager and other exposés make it clear that the climate crisis cabal deliberately altered data, misrepresented and withheld crucial information, squelched inquiry and debate, and presented a one-sided narrative, so as to protect their revenues and reputations, and drive an anti-hydrocarbon agenda. Until truly convincing evidence is presented, vetted and fully debated – that fossil fuels are causing catastrophic warming and climate disruption – Kyoto and its proposed successors should be terminated, and the frenzied rush to kill fossil fuels and embrace renewables should be ended.
Penn State needs to conduct a real investigation, by honest independent analysts who have no ties to the university or the climate crisis consortium. Its trustees took bold, decisive action on the Sandusky scandal. They need to do the same thing with Professor Mann, his department and colleagues.
Far too much is at stake – for the university, United States and world at large – to permit Penn State (or the IPCC and White House) to merely rearrange the furniture.
Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Non-Partisan Analyst Exposes California High Speed Train’s Flawed Finances

     As often happens when pipe-dreams collide with reality, the California High Speed Train project has just experienced its second major set-back in just the last month. After cost projections for the train-to-nowhere were doubled just a few weeks ago, a new report from the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office found that the high-speed rail plan “does not comply with key provisions of a ballot measure that voters approved,” according to the Los Angeles Times. The audit found that high speed rail officials must “must complete an environmental review and identify a corridor, a usable segment, all sources of committed funds and a schedule for the receipt of financing,” before any of the $9 billion that voters approved in 2008 can be requested, the Times reported.

Of course, none of these major failures were among the selling points when this boondoggle was pitched to voters three years ago. Similarly, no such prognostications of rapidly inflating costs and rapidly deflating benefits are being pitched with a similar ballot box boondoggle, the so-called California Cancer Research Act. This project, funded by a nearly $1 billion annual tax hike, duplicates existing programs, but still adds a brand new $16 million bureaucracy to California’s already bloated public sector. What’s worse is that this project’s spending continues year after year, regardless of whether the state can afford it or not.

     At a time when California is facing record level deficits, doubling down on the out-of-control spending that drove the state into the ground is surely not the way to go. Like working families across the nation, California bureaucrats should learn to live within their means.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gadfly Radio with Martha and CalWatchDog: Tonight, Ben Boychuk, John Seiler, Special Guests, Ben Chavis on School Boards, & Jack Dean on Public Pension Costs

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
Dec 13, 2011:  Tonight live at 8 p.m. PT on Gadfly Radio, Martha Montelongo along with Ben Boychuk of CA City Journal and John Seiler of CalWatchDog.com.  

Special guests tonight are Dr. Ben Chavis, author of  Crazy Like a Fox , of American Indian Public Charter School fame, on the critical role of School Boards in support of the current prevailing paradigm that is our K-12 Public Education System,  and Jack Dean of  Pension Tsunami on the significant increase in the level of the public's awareness to the dangerous current system of public policy formulas for wages, benefits and pensions for our Public Employees or Public Sector workers, including a look at the most recent Field Poll, Gallup Poll and political developments in San Jose, San Diego, and other happenings in CA.   

I love Whitney Tilson's write up on his blog, about Ben Chavis.  Here's an excerpt:
His schools are grades 6-12 and his first group of 27 seniors graduated last year -- and 100% went to four-year colleges. He's grown AIPCS from one school to five and all of them got API scores above 900 from the CA Dept of Education (scores range from 200 to 1000 with a statewide goal for all schools of 800; needless to say, nearly all other Oakland schools are nowhere near 900, much less 800). He told me his black and Latino kids are outscoring white and Asian kids -- so much so that leaders of the Chinese community in Oakland asked him to open a school in their community -- and it's his lowest-scoring school (so far anyway)! His brash, in-your-face style would make any reasonable person uncomfortable, but great leaders often have this trait (think Patton). Here's what I know: if I had to send my kids to an inner-city school, I'd want them at one of his schools (if there weren't a KIPP nearby of course; interestingly, critics level some similar charges against KIPP as they do against Chavis: the discipline is too harsh -- oh boo hoo hoo...).
 
John Seiler's latest hot piece up at CalWatchDog is another must read: New Chart: More Spending Impossible | CalWatchDog
And it's a must discuss too!  


Related links are a sampling from Pension Tsunami's posts for Today, Dec 13, 2011:


The State Worker: Poll: Government workers favor lower pensions for new hires 

PPIC POLL: Big majority support Brown’s tax increase plan | SignOnSanDiego.com

San Jose Needs to Continue Bargaining on Pension Reform (editorial - San Jose Mercury News)

Poll Finds Little Love for Big Gov; 64% of People Surveyed Said Big Government Is Biggest Threat to the Country (M.J. Lee / Politico)

PENSION PULSE: Most Misunderstood Asset Class Today? (blog - Leo Kolivakis)

We'll take your calls, questions and comments on the air at 1-818-602-4929 on on FB instant chat or Twitter.

 

I am a stand for liberty, integrity, empowerment, and prosperity for all people; a stand for vibrant and innovative small businesses that create jobs, that in the process of prospering, nurture and support creative and dynamic culture, in the work place, and in our personal lives.



Thank you for supporting our program, by listening, sponsoring, and or sharing this post with others. 

It's a pleasure to share this program with 
CalWatchDog's team of government policy watch dogs and the great investigative work they produce! 

Tuesday nights live, on Gadfly Radio in Southern California or where ever you are. California, the land of beauty and unlimited possibility because of the abundance of our greatest capital resource, our human resources, when we get it right. Join us. 

Or you can listen to a podcast later, if you miss the live call-in show by clicking on the white player to stream or the orange player to download and or subscribe to Gadfly on iTunes:


iTunes

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Obama’s Kansas speech: some suspect facts - The Washington Post

"...Finally, Obama blames the Bush tax cuts for “massive deficits.” It is certainly true that the Bush tax cuts helped blow a hole in the budget. But they did not do it all by themselves. We looked at length at this issue earlier this year, assisted by new Congressional Budget Office data.

The data showed that the biggest contributor to the disappearance of projected surpluses was increased spending, which accounted for 36.5 percent of the decline in the nation’s fiscal position, followed by incorrect CBO estimates, which accounted for 28 percent. The Bush tax cuts (along with some Obama tax cuts) were responsible for just 24 percent..."
Obama’s Kansas speech: some suspect facts - The Washington Post

Disloyal Opposition » Blog Archive » You can keep your not-so-new nationalism - Viewing the state with disdain, no matter who is in charge

..."So, when Barack Obama tramps back to Osawatomie to deliberately echo TR’s speech and views, color me nauseated. “[I]n America, we are greater together – when everyone engages in fair play, everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share. … [A]s a nation, we have always come together, through our government, to help create the conditions where both workers and businesses can succeed.”

Once again, the appeal to tribal identity, the call to submerge individual interests in the name of the greater good of the group — as identified by the speaker. And if you don’t agree with the speaker’s very specific idea of what’s good and right? Well, Teddy Roosevelt called you a “reactionary”; Obama, in our psychologized age, insists you and your co-dissidents have “collective amnesia.”

But we live in an age that’s not just psychologized, but fact-checked, and even the Washington Post called bullshit on much of Barry’s supporting evidence for his exhumed not-so-new nationalism..."



Disloyal Opposition » Blog Archive » You can keep your not-so-new nationalism - Viewing the state with disdain, no matter who is in charge

San Jose Council Approves Pension Ballot Measure | PublicCEO

San Jose Council Approves Pension Ballot Measure | PublicCEO

Field Poll: California public pension system - Field Poll Surveys, Data and Crosstabs

Field Poll: California public pension system - Field Poll Surveys, Data and Crosstabs

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Gadfly Radio with Martha and CalWatchDog: Tonight, Ben Boychuk, John Seiler. Steve Greenhut, maybe, and Oscar Cruz of Families in Schools

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
Dec 6, 2011:  Tonight live at 8 p.m. PT on Gadfly Radio, Martha Montelongo along with Ben Boychuk of CA City Journal and John Seiler of CalWatchDog.com.  Steven Greenhut, the Editor in Chief at CalWatchDog, may be joining us to discuss his latest posted commentary at CalWatchDog, addressing Gov. Brown's open letter to the CA Voters issued on Monday, Dec 5th, what Brown says and Steve's interpretation of what it says and means to all of us.   


We'll welcome Oscar E. Cruz, the President and CEO of Families in Schools, a partner with other groups such as 4Teaching Excellence in Los Angeles, committed to causing reform and transformation in what is known today as public education.  He'll give us a brief sharing of who they are, what they cause, who is impacted, how they measure their results and how can  listeners learn more about them.

Related link: 
The Small Business Action Committee joined with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and the California Taxpayers Association to file the initiative, which will re-establish the Gann Spending Limit of 1979. Although still in effect, the Gann Limit, named after proponent Paul Gann, was made ineffective by subsequent measures. Since that time, dramatic increases in spending have constantly put the state budget under water. The updated spending limit will stop the problem of unbalanced budgets.

 We'll talk with our listeners and panel about the future of Gadfly Radio, moving forward, what we stand for, and what we want to be accountable for in our communication.

Last time Steven was with us, I wrote the following about who Steve is, as he occurs for me, and it's so spot on, I want to repeat it, in case you missed it.  Steve Greenhut writes about policy on various news and think tank websites, on various issues, and they are all related and stem from a unifying set of core values and unwavering principles through which he analyzes and communicates.   His work is instrumental to help raise public awareness and consciousness of truths v how the public is manipulated by slick and effective media campaigns and public relations by those in positions of power over our "free" society.   His bias is for championing the individual, the underdog, the entrepreneur who respects others' rights as well as his own.   A truthsayer and a truth teller with a lot of heart, soul, wit and irony, he is self described curmudgeon.    He is a lover of liberty and I feel lucky to have him on our side.  

We'll take your calls, questions and comments on the air at 1-818-602-4929 on on FB instant chat or Twitter.

 

I am a stand for liberty, integrity, empowerment, and prosperity for all people; a stand for vibrant and innovative small businesses that create jobs, that in the process of prospering, nurture and support creative and dynamic culture, in the work place, and in our personal lives.



Thank you for supporting our program, by listening, sponsoring, and or sharing this post with others. 

It's a pleasure to share this program with 
CalWatchDog's team of government policy watch dogs and the great investigative work they produce! 

Tuesday nights live, on Gadfly Radio in Southern California or where ever you are. California, the land of beauty and unlimited possibility because of the abundance of our greatest capital resource, our human resources, when we get it right. Join us. 

Or you can listen to a podcast later, if you miss the live call-in show by clicking on the white player to stream or the orange player to download and or subscribe to Gadfly on iTunes:


iTunes

Monday, December 5, 2011

Guilty plea by former redevelopment chief | SignOnSanDiego.com

I missed this one. It's a news story from Nov, but it's just as timely today. These criminals get one year max when they engage in embezzled funds, much appropriated from taxpayers, and property deals that include property forcibly expropriated via threat of eminent domain, from poor and middle class property owners.

Guilty plea by former redevelopment chief | SignOnSanDiego.com

The American Conservative -- His-Panic

The American Conservative -- His-Panic

Dan Walters: Tangled political web could trap California cities on redevelopment - Sacramento Politics - California Politics | Sacramento Bee

Dan Walters: Tangled political web could trap California cities on redevelopment - Sacramento Politics - California Politics | Sacramento Bee

Probe examines LAPD's use of airport security funds - latimes.com

Probe examines LAPD's use of airport security funds - latimes.com

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gadfly Radio with Martha and CalWatchDog: Tonight, Ben Boychuk, John Seiler and Special Guest, Steve Greenhut on CA's Prospects for Liberty and Prosperity

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
November 29, 2011:  Tonight live at 8 p.m. PT on Gadfly Radio, Martha Montelongo along with Ben Boychuk of CA City Journal and John Seiler of CalWatchDog.com.  We welcome back Steven Greenhut, the Editor in Chief at CalWatchDog, for his take on the many current political, social and economic situations playing out in CA and the US.   


Steve writes about policy on various news and think tank websites, on various issues, yet they are all related and stem from a unifying set of core values and unwavering principles through which he analyzes and writes.   His work is instrumental to help raise public awareness and consciousness of the facts v how the public is swayed by conventional media and the public relations campaigns of the ruling classes of our "free" society.   His bias is for championing the individual, the underdog, the entrepreneur who respects others' rights as well as his own.   A truthsayer and a truth teller with a lot of heart, soul, wit and irony, he is self described curmudgeon.    A lover of liberty, I feel lucky to have him on our side.  

Related Links: 

Can't Live by Scenery Alone by Steven Greenhut - City Journal

Archive of Greenhut's latest blog posts and articles at CalWatchDog

Steven Greenhut's archive of articles in City Journal

Steven Greenhut, Author of "PLUNDER!: How Public Employee Unions are Raiding Treasuries, Controlling Our Lives, and Bankrupting the Nation" Speaks to the Lincoln Club - December 10, 2009 - YouTube Video 9 minutes

Steven Greenhut: Archives at LewRockwell.com

Hard Times Generation: Families living in cars - 60 Minutes - CBS News
Whitney Tilson refers to this news story which features some amazingly poised, mature, intelligent and articulate homeless children who live in cars, on the street, to admonish Republicans to take back their country from extremist whom he presumes don't care about these children because they are extremists who want to slash programs and oppose raising taxes on the wealthy.

Getting Serious About Ron Paul by Steven Greenhut

A Right Denied | The Critical Need for Genuine School Reform, a project founded by Whitney Tilson

California at or near the bottom in so many ways - Orange Punch : The Orange County Register

We'll take your calls, questions and comments on the air at 1-818-602-4929 on on FB instant chat or Twitter.

 

I am a stand for liberty, integrity, empowerment, and prosperity for all people; a stand for vibrant and innovative small businesses that create jobs, that in the process of prospering, nurture and support creative and dynamic culture, in the work place, and in our personal lives.



Thank you for supporting our program, by listening, sponsoring, and or sharing this post with others. 

It's a pleasure to share this program with 
CalWatchDog's team of government policy watch dogs and the great investigative work they produce! 

Tuesday nights live, on Gadfly Radio in Southern California or where ever you are. California, the land of beauty and unlimited possibility because of the abundance of our greatest capital resource, our human resources, when we get it right. Join us. 

Or you can listen to a podcast later, if you miss the live call-in show by clicking on the white player to stream or the orange player to download and or subscribe to Gadfly on iTunes:


iTunes

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Reckless Spending Initiative Just Perpetuates California’s Dysfunction

By Martha Montelongo

The big “news” from Sacramento this week is that the state budget is in trouble again. According to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, the state is going to come up $4 billion short of revenue projections this year. Now, massive cuts are on the table, including lopping off a full week of the school year.

But this week’s news wasn’t surprising: anyone who’s paid any attention to California’s budget drama already knew the $4 billion wasn’t going to show up. The state Legislature needed to pass a budget to start collecting their paychecks again, so they conjured up an extra $4 billion in projected revenue at the last second to meet the virtually useless requirement that they pass a “'balanced” budget. The budget – and the magical $4 billion – was just the latest way to kick the can down the road and refusing to deal with our state’s biggest budget problem: wasteful spending.

Decades of reckless overspending have put California in the dire position it’s in today. A Politicians and bureaucrats have fed at the public trough for years and years, larding up the state’s budget with perks, entitlements and wasteful spending programs. Making things worse, special interests have duped voters into creating countless new programs and spending mandates through the initiative process. The special interests pitch voters on the benefits of programs like stem cell researchor high speed rail, while very intentionally the neglecting to mention the rampant spending and bureaucracy these measures lock in, or the impact on our ability to pay for existing critical programs like education or public safety.

The latest ballot measure boondoggle is the so-called California Cancer Research Act, a ballot measure that’s going before voters this June. This measure would raises taxes by nearly $1 billion a year, just to duplicate programs that already exist. What’s worse, it mandates a whole new bureaucracy that can spend $16 million a year on overhead and $117 million every year on new buildings and facilities. This spending continues year after year, regardless of whether California can afford it or not.

Even worse, this new massive spending program is overseen by a new bureaucracy run by political appointees. But that isn’t surprising either: the measure is being pushed by a longtime career politician who used to run the state Senate. Who could be surprised that former legislator was the one to come up with a new spending program run by political appointees?

But the massive spending and bureaucracy in this boondoggle ballot measure is just the tip of the iceberg. Though this measure requires Californians to pay billions of dollars in new taxes, it doesn’t actually require the money to be spent in California! Our state already suffers from the worst business climate and some of the highest unemployment and tax rates in the nation, and now we’re being asked to pay more just to ship that money out of state? Of all the asinine policy prescriptions for the state, shipping California’s money across state lines has to rank near the top.

This measure has all the trappings of other projects sold to voters as magical cures to myriad woes that quickly devolved into good old-fashioned California money pits. Like high-speed rail and stem-cell research – or even the measure created First 5 LA, there is virtually no accountability and no guarantees that the new spending program has to deliver results. The fact is that this measure is just like the state’s lottery, where voters may never really know how much of the money goes into actual research not bureaucracy.

Our state didn’t find itself in our budget crisis overnight. Rather, California’s newfound standing as America’s Greece is the result of one boondoggle spending program piled on top of another. Politicians, in the thrall of the myriad special interests that run Sacramento, are only too happy to raise your taxes and spend more of your money. The only solution is restore fiscal discipline and sanity so that the state can begin to extract itself from the mess it’s in. Saying no to the latest ballot measure boondoggle next June ballot and this measure is a good place to start.

San José Mayor Issues Statement on Retirement Reform Ballot Measure | PublicCEO

San José Mayor Issues Statement on Retirement Reform Ballot Measure | PublicCEO

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dan Walters: School advocates talk more dollars than sense - Press-Telegram

11/16/2011
...The California Budget Project, a liberal group that advocates for more spending, continues the money obsession with a new report contending that public education is being woefully underfinanced.

The CBP calls it "a decade of disinvestment" that has "left public systems and programs ill-equipped to cope with the ongoing impact of the Great Recession and the challenges of a growing population and an ever-more-competitive global economy."

The report, citing data from the National Education Association and federal agencies, declares that California is 46th among the states in per-pupil spending at $8,908 per year, nearly $3,000 under the national average; 47th in school spending as a percentage of personal income; 50th in the number of students per teacher, and so forth.

It's a selective array of data, perhaps chosen to support a proposed tax increase for schools. It does not, for example, include the fact that California teachers are very nearly the highest-paid in the nation.

Moreover, it paints a much darker picture than data from other sources.

The Census Bureau, for instance, surveys all forms of school spending and pegs California's per-pupil number at $11,588, just $662 under the national average and 27th-highest in the nation, not 46th.

And it's much higher in some big-city school systems, such as Los Angeles Unified, which has more than 600,000 students, spends $14,100 per pupil and has about a 50 percent high-school dropout rate...
Read more here.

Tonight on Gadfly Radio w/ Martha & CalWatchDog, we have CA City Journal's Ben Boychuk & Special Guest Larry Sand of CA Teacher's Empowerment Network

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
November 22, 2011:  Tonight live at 8 p.m. PT on Gadfly Radio, Martha Montelongo along with Ben Boychuk of CA City Journal welcome Larry Sand, President of California Teachers Empowerment Network CTEN .

We'll talk with Larry Sand about two very important stories related to CA's critical financial situation and the crippling effect of an unsustainable public sector union group that swallows up more than 40 percent of the state's revenue and yet produces mediocre and worse results--the K-12 Public Education Establishment is the most powerful and organized, institution and public sector union bar none.

They have the most state of the art public relations agencies at their service and win and secure the hearts and minds, and pockets books of an uninformed and trusting loving public.

We'll talk with Larry about his article published today at Union Watch--A Project of the CA Public Policy Center, called California’s Looming Fiscal Disaster: Sunlight and an Informed Public are the Best Disinfectants

And we'll also talk about a very illuminating battle playing out in Los Angeles Unified concerning The Stull Act and JANE DOE, et al, v. JOHN DEASY, et al, a lawsuit filed by a group of anonymous parents along with Skid Row educator the Rev. Alice Callaghan against LAUSD and its two big employee unions, United Teachers of L.A. and the Associated Administrators of L.A.

We'll take your calls, questions and comments on the air at 1-818-602-4929.

 

I am a stand for liberty, integrity, empowerment, and prosperity for all people; a stand for vibrant and innovative small businesses that create jobs, that in the process of prospering, nurture and support creative and dynamic culture, in the work place, and in our personal lives.



Thank you for supporting our program, by listening, sponsoring, and or sharing this post with others. 

It's a pleasure to share this program with 
CalWatchDog's team of government policy watch dogs and the great investigative work they produce! 

Tuesday nights live, on Gadfly Radio in Southern California or where ever you are. California, the land of beauty and unlimited possibility because of the abundance of our greatest capital resource, our human resources, when we get it right. Join us. 

Or you can listen to a podcast later, if you miss the live call-in show by clicking on the white player to stream or the orange player to download and or subscribe to Gadfly on iTunes:


iTunes




California’s Looming Fiscal Disaster: Sunlight and an Informed Public are the Best Disinfectants

Union Watch | by Larry Sand | November 22, 2011

With the state and various cities on the brink of insolvency, it’s imperative that the electorate become more informed and demand that school districts and teachers unions do their negotiating in public.
This past Sunday’s Los Angeles Times above-the-fold headline screamed “Voters back tax hikes for schools.” It was déja-vu all over again. As I wrote in September,

“… a poll which is biased and does not take into account the knowledge of the people being polled is misleading and dangerous. The public is led to believe that the responders are perceptive and knowledgeable, when in reality so many are not.”

(And I could have added that a poll that misleads or misinforms its respondents is the most dangerous of all; I’ll address that shortly.)
Click here to read more.  


Tune in tonight at 8p.m. PT or catch us on the podcast for tonight's Gadfly Radio show, when Larry Sand is our guest and we discuss this story posted here below, and The Stull Act and Jane Does v. Deasy et al or intimidated parents who fear reprisal for suing for transparency, integrity, accountability and results v. the public education cartel of LAUSD and its two big employee unions, United Teachers of L.A. and the Associated Administrators of L.A.

Mercedes exec busted by Ala. law

Show me your legal I.D. or go to jail. Ask yourself, what if nobody notices you're missing? What if there is nobody to call collect to come help you? What if no one is able to help you, to get your papers from home or the hotel? Is this being a Free Society?

By TIM MAK | 11/22/11 6:30 AM EST

A German car executive is among the latest to be charged under the Alabama law targeting illegal immigrants after he was stopped by police and could not produce proper identification.

The 46-year-old Mercedes-Benz manager was stopped last week for not having a tag on his rental vehicle, the AP reports. Since he only had a German identification card, and not his passport or driver’s license, he was arrested and charged under the immigration law that some have called the strictest in the country.

Read more: Click here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tonight on Gadfly Radio w/ Martha & CalWatchDog's John Seiler, and Special Guest Former CA Senator Gloria Romero on "You Have Choice!"

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929  
November 15, 2011: Tonight live at 8 p.m. PT on Gadfly Radio, Martha Montelongo is joined by John Seiler of CalWatchDog.com and they welcome back Former State Senator and Former State Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero, Director of California's chapter of Democrats for Education Reform You can find them on Facebook at CA Democrats for Education Reform's Facebook Page I've subscribed to their text feed for the latest updates.

We'll talk with Romero about the initiative called You Have Choice! What is it? Who is behind it? Who should know about it? Why do we need this program? What's at stake? What is possible?
Ben Boychuk who can't make it tonight has submitted his own list of questions to ask Romero, including her thoughts on vouchers as part of a support for parental choice, and more.

This program focuses greatly on public policy and sound economic policy. Education makes up the largest percentage of public sector spending in CA, and yet we rank near the bottom in reading and math, and have done so for decades, with little improvement.   The National Education Association claims CA spends near the bottom of all 50 states on Education.  In 2010, the OCReg had CA per pupil spending on Education at 23rd.   It dropped in one year, as a result of cutbacks, but is 42nd out of 50 accurate, and does this number reflect the amount of tax revenue collected and spent via bonds voters continue to eagerly pass because of their deep commitment to public education?  And could we do better with less money?

John Seiler last year in August reported that LAUSD for example, spent $30,000 per student.

Other related stories and links from the CalWatchDog.com Blog and website:

Chiang: State Revenues Crashing John Seiler, Nov 15, 2011

Michigan $100K Club Fraction of CA’s John Seiler, Nov 15, 2011

CA Credit Lines Drawn Down 85 Percent Chris Street, Nov 14, 2011

LAO: CA Govt. Pensions ‘Generous’ John Seiler, Nov 11, 2011

Building State Schools Creates Jobs? Katie Grimes, Nov 10, 2011

We'll take your calls, questions and comments on the air at 1-818-602-4929 or tweet me at mmontelongo or instant message me at Facebook

I am a stand for liberty, freedom and prosperity for all people; a stand for vibrant and innovative small businesses that create jobs, that in the process of prospering, nurture and support creative and dynamic culture, in the work place, and in our personal lives. Thank you for supporting our program, by listening, sponsoring, and or sharing this post with others. 

It's a pleasure to share this program with 
CalWatchDog's team of government policy watch dogs and the great investigative work they produce! 

Tuesday nights live, on Gadfly Radio in Southern California or where ever you are. California, the land of beauty and unlimited possibility because of the abundance of our greatest capital resource, our human resources, when we get it right. Join us. 

Or you can listen to a podcast later, if you miss the live call-in show by clicking on the white player to stream or the orange player to download and or subscribe to Gadfly on iTunes:


iTunes




Disrupting Class by Larry Sand - City Journal

The "beta" what? You probably say that if you're younger than 27 years old. Even then, you'd have to be one of those kids with powerful memories of your first three years alive. By 1987, they were a disappearing option in the world of video rentals. VHS beat Betamax because of better marketing. Problem with Larry's choice for comparison, is that the Betamax was actually a better format, quality and picture than the victor, the VHS.

But Larry Sand's point is very well taken here. If you have kids, grand kids or friends with kids that are stuck in failing public schools, this is a great model, and viable option about which you need to know!


Disrupting Class by Larry Sand - City Journal

Terry Moe on His New Book “Special Interest” | Choice Media TV | education reform homepage

To understand the hopelessness of public education as it exists today, controlled and dominated by the teacher's unions and their very effective marketing and political tactics and maneuvers you want to read Terry Moe's book, "Special Interest."

Steven Brills book, "Class Warfare" was superb at outlining the problem, and at chronicling it's upward spiral and ascent to domination, and also at chronicling the evolution of the reform movement from within the two party political system, but predominantly from the within the ranks of Democrats who want reform and recognized the elephant in their living room--and I don't mean the GOP's elephant--I mean the Teacher's Unions.

Moe, unlike Brill, doesn't give in to the unions at the end of his book. He ends with hope and optimism, and a vision of one facet of viable solutions as a powerful anecdote: hybrid schools that utilize technology to solve the shortage of quality teachers, and to reverse our dismal rank, world wide--barley 40th...

Terry Moe on His New Book “Special Interest” | Choice Media TV | education reform homepage

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Politics Of Public Sector Unions | CalWatchDog

Instead of paring back union benefits and rooting out various abuses, ranging from those double-dipping DROP programs (Defined Retirement Option Plan) to “airtime” benefits that allow employees to buy additional retirement credits at a fraction of the cost to the taxpayer, the state Legislature continues to, at best, nibble around the edges of reform and even in some cases expand benefits, in the case of those cancer and heart-attack presumptions for public safety workers. Once, when asked what it is he ultimately wants for his members, a union president retorted, “more.” But despite lean times – in a state where unemployment averages above 12 percent, and where those numbers often exceed 20 percent in rural locales – the unions continue to implement more aspects of their benefit-expanding agenda.
The Politics Of Public Sector Unions | CalWatchDog

Sunday, November 13, 2011

US Poverty Stats: Where the Feds Are At Fault

Now, dear reader, we ask ourselves: how could the most sophisticated, most dynamic, best capitalized, high tech enhanced capitalism in history produce such an outcome?

The answer is simple: capitalism doesn’t give you what you want. It gives you what you deserve. And it usually does so with such a long delay that few people connect cause with effect.

Instead, they rant and rave. They blame the rich. They call for more regulation. More distribution. More handouts, subsidies, and bailouts.

They demand that the feds ‘do something!’…not realizing that the feds — more than anyone else — are responsible for their misery:



Read more: US Poverty Stats: Where the Feds Are At Fault http://dailyreckoning.com/us-poverty-stats-where-the-feds-are-at-fault/#ixzz1dcblVbUy
US Poverty Stats: Where the Feds Are At Fault

Vive La Revolution!

Bill Bonner is so ahead of the curve that even though this is a month old, it's dead on:

The guy has a legitimate beef!

It wasn’t his fault that the Nixon administration cut the link to gold in 1971. It wasn’t his fault the Chinese produced things better and cheaper. It wasn’t his fault that the feds kept stimulating the economy…and encouraging him to go deeper and deeper into debt at artificially low interest rates. And it certainly wasn’t he who caused the housing bubble to blow up…or who caused it in the first place.

But one thing you can depend on. Not many people will do the hard work of connecting the kneebone of this disaster to the legbone that caused it. And he won’t want to make the sacrifices necessary to protect himself from it either. (Our advice: cut expenses to almost zero…save money…buy gold…become a bankruptcy lawyer.) Instead, he’ll join the revolution.

Read more: Vive La Revolution!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Former CA State Senate Majority Leader and Current Director of CA Democrats for Education Reform will join us on Gadfly Radio next Tuesday night, to talk about You Have Choice


Next Tuesday night, Nov 15, 2011,  Gloria Romero, Former CA Senate Majority Leader and Current Director of CA Democrats for Education Reform, joins us to talk about You Have Choice.

Is Your Child in a Failing School? Find out!

Thanks to recently passed laws, California must now reveal the names of 1000 of its lowest performing schools! These 1000 schools, year after year, failed to show acceptable improvement. And year after year, the “edu-crats” who ran the schools refused to turn these schools around. Our children were simply left to fail. This is shameful. It is unacceptable that only 14% of our 4th grade Latino and African-American students can read at grade level, and only 10% of these 8th graders can do math at grade level.

In years past, parents had no rights to change these results: they were simply stuck behind five numbers: zip code. Until now, students were “zoned” for a school and told they had attend the school in their same zip code - even when it was failing! Parents were denied the right to give their children better opportunities by enrolling them in a higher performing school.

In this great nation, we have the freedom to shop in any shopping mall or eat at any restaurant. We can choose our doctors, lawyers, and even places of worship. But in education, children are assigned to schools based on their zip code - even when school officials KNOW that the school has been failing year after year.

Those days are over with the passage of California’s “Open Enrollment Law”. The state must now reveal the names of these 1000 failing schools. The school district must notify all parents of children enrolled in these schools that the school is on the Open Enrollment list, and tell parents they have a choice to stay enrolled or transfer to a better performing school.

This is the law now in California. You have rights. You have choice.

Click here to go to the site, which will help you use the Open Enrollment law

On the Facebook Page for You Have Choice,  above in the "notes" section you will find three documents: 1. How to find out if your child's school is on the Open Enrollment list. 2. How to find a better school for your child to attend. 3. How to transfer to a better school. Follow the directions for each document very carefully. Any comments or questions post on our Wall, and we will respond as quickly as possible. You Have Choice! Use it!

ANOTHER BILLION DOLLAR BOONDOGGLE –

Voters beware the Salesmen who come with hat in hand, pitching shiny or miraculous services and benefits for a bargain bottom price and the promise of a profit--Your Wallets and blank checks are their target.

With a ballooning price tag and doubts about federal funding, it is increasingly obvious that voters were sold a bill of goods by the backers of California’s high-speed train to nowhere... 

“More grim news on $99 billion high-speed rail plan, as showdown looms”--San Jose Mercury News


  “…the price tag for this risky transit gamble is now nearly $100 billion—more than twice the original estimate,”-- FoxandHoundDaily.com
George Runner, a member of California’s Board of Equalization and a former state Senator, in a post on an influential California political blog on Tuesday--“The new number is greater than California’s entire annual state budget. To fund the entire project today, every Californian, including men, women and children, would need to write a check for more than $2500.”  

When backers of high speed rail pitched the idea to California voters in 2008, they told Californians this project would pay for itself and even turn a profit in a few years. Today, three years and $60+ billion in higher cost projections later, it’s pretty clear backers weren’t being straight with California voters.

A similar dynamic exists with another measure, this one on the June 2012 ballot.

The so called California Cancer Research Act would increase taxes by nearly a billion dollars on Californians, to pay for another new government spending program and brand new bureaucracy to oversee it.

The CCRA’s backers – including one career politician who is behind the measure – are making a bunch of promises about the measure’s benefits.

Sound familiar?

Whether it’s high-speed trains or the latest tax and spend program with big-time benefits promised, Californians should have learned one thing about ballot measures by now: the promises are almost always too good to be true.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Election Night 2011: A Mixed Bag for Conservatives - Guy Benson

Trolling for news about San Diego, wanting to read about Carl D'Maio's race, I found this. A mixed bag indeed. Not a conservative, but we do share some fundamental agreement around public employees, their power, costs, impact and threat to a healthy economy and a free society.    Election Night 2011: A Mixed Bag for Conservatives - Guy Benson

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tonight on Gadfly Radio w/ Martha & CalWatchDog's John Seiler, CA City Journal's Ben Boychuk & Special Guest Marcia Friz of Fix Pensions First

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
November 8, 2011:  Tonight live at 8 p.m. PT on Gadfly Radio, Martha Montelongo along with Ben Boychuk of CA City Journal and John Seiler of CalWatchDog.com. We welcome back Marcia Fritz of Fix Pensions First . We'll talk with Fritz on the Hot Button role of Public-Sector Pension reform initiatives and the mayoral candidate races today, in two major cities in CA--San Diego and San Francisco. We'll talk with Marcia about the reform measures just recently proposed by Gov Jerry Brown, and we'll ask her about the two initiatives that California Pension Reform just filed with the CA Attorney General, reported in the OC Register on November 2, 2011 as Aggressive pension reforms closer to ballot box.   Do they go far enough?

We also want to chat with Fritz about their recently updated publication of the California-$100,000-a-Year-at a-Minimum-Pension-Club.  It's grown 99% in the past two years ($100K pension club soars 99% in two years)!

Related Links:

San Francisco’s Pension Crisis
by Judith Miller
San Francisco’s Pension Crisis:  Will the liberal city’s residents, worried about retirement costs’ “crowding out” services, embrace reform?
November 7, 2011

$100K pension club soars 99% in two years
by John Seiler,
CalWatchDog.com, November 3rd, 2011
Municipal Bond Credit Is Imploding By CHRIS STREET at CalWatchDog.com, NOV. 7, 2011


We'll take your calls, questions and comments on the air at 1-818-602-4929.

 

I am a stand for liberty, freedom and prosperity for all people; a stand for vibrant and innovative small businesses that create jobs, that in the process of prospering, nurture and support creative and dynamic culture, in the work place, and in our personal lives.



Thank you for supporting our program, by listening, sponsoring, and or sharing this post with others. 

It's a pleasure to share this program with 
CalWatchDog's team of government policy watch dogs and the great investigative work they produce! 

Tuesday nights live, on Gadfly Radio in Southern California or where ever you are. California, the land of beauty and unlimited possibility because of the abundance of our greatest capital resource, our human resources, when we get it right. Join us. 

Or you can listen to a podcast later, if you miss the live call-in show by clicking on the white player to stream or the orange player to download and or subscribe to Gadfly on iTunes:


iTunes




Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database

Key

Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.

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