Ponder This:

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...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tonight on Gadfly Radio w/ Martha Montelongo and CalWatchDog's John Seiler on CA Government, politics, Latino voters, Altas Shurgged--the movie, and Redevelopment

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929

This weekend I saw Atlas Shrugged, and I loved it.  I had some issues, but over all, I thought it remained true to Ayn Rand's novel of the same name.  We'll talk about it. Last week I posted a review by Steven Greenhut called Audience Didn't Shrug at Atlas Screening, and this week, he's posted an updated review, Statists Fear ‘Atlas Shrugged'Flick about the film.

A property rights victory in National City is a stark example of the abuse of Redevelopment to rob poor of their property, by politicians and big rich developers who want it for private development.  Blight is the slur used to justify the legal power for Government to steal land and disrupt and destroy community.  How does this recent court victory impact the future of Redevelopment?

A just released L.A. Times/USC Poll says Latinos self describe as "conservative" more than their  non-Latino white counter-parts.   John Seiler reports:
The poll doesn’t include blacks and Asians. And it doesn’t get more specific by including “libertarian” among its political labels, presumably subsuming that into “conservative.” Moreover, political labels nowadays are much fuzzier than they were a decade or more ago.

Still, how do we explain that Latinos, at base, are “conservative,” yet vote for liberal Democrats in California?

John puts forth his opinion in answer to this question.  I have a few theories of my own.

Other Stories, if we have time:
Poor Should Pay Their Fair Share

Steven Greenhut: "I was recently on a left-leaning radio show where the host and callers echoed the standard Democratic talking point that the key to solving the state’s budget crisis is to make the rich pay their fair share of taxes. If the rich paid their fair share, of course, the tax burden would increase dramatically on the middle class and poor given that the rich pay far more than their fair share."

More San Francisco companies wonder why Twitter's tax break would be exclusive
Crony Capitalism thrives in leftist San Francisco. 

In Court rejects retro pension cut, what’s next? Ed Mendel writes about Orange County's failed lawsuit attempt to reverse a retroactive pension increase for Deputy Sheriffs. I found the comments most interesting.  We'll talk about the significance of this lawsuit in the future of Public Employee Pension reforms for California.

In The Return of Bilingual Ed Plague? John Seiler looks at the history of bilingual education, the politics, costs, failures and detriments.  I personally don't have an issue with bilingual education in theory, but, like education in general, it's all in the delivery, quality and the measurable results, and first you have to clear the political hurdles. I would have loved to raise my sons to be bilingual, and schooled in both languages. If we had had the financial means to be  free to choose, if Government was not the purveyor, save for the rich who can afford private schools of their choice, it would have been possible and it would have been my preference.  Why?  I'll tell you why. 

Join us Tuesday nights, on Gadfly Radio live in Southern California or where ever you are. No matter how bad things are, California is a land of beauty and unlimited possibility because of the abundance of our greatest capital resource, our human resources, if we can 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 player below:
 

This Story Underscores the hideous Nature of Redevelopment Used Against the Poor. The Victory is Sweet but Unique and Exceptional: Boxing Gym Scores Knockout Blow for Property Rights

Posted at Cato.org By Ilya Shapiro On April 25, 2011 @ 8:43 am, In Government and Politics,Law and Civil Liberties
Last month, I wrote about [1] a major eminent domain struggle in National City, California. City officials had decided to declare almost seven hundred properties blighted even before conducting any sort of blight study, which eventually turned out to be riddled with errors.

At the center of the fight is a private, nonprofit boxing gym that has helped keep hundreds of at-risk kids in school and off the streets. The city wanted to bulldoze the center so a wealthy developer can build luxury condos and stores.

In 2007, the Institute for Justice teamed up with the gym and filed suit to stop the city from taking the property, and here’s video about their legal fight:


Four years later, IJ scored a knockout blow against eminent domain abuse: Last Thursday, the Superior Court of California struck National City’s entire 692-property eminent domain zone and found that National City lacked a legal basis for its blight declaration.

This is a major victory for California property owners, and the first case to apply the property reforms that the state enacted to counter the 2005 Kelo decision.
Click here to learn more about this story and this issue.

Free Association: Talking Education on Reason TV



Sheldon Richman is editor of The Freeman, published by The Foundation for Economic Education in Irvington, New York, and serves as senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation. He is the author of FFF's award-winning book Separating School & State: How to Liberate America's Families; Your Money or Your Life: Why We Must Abolish the Income Tax; and FFF's newest book Tethered Citizens: Time to Repeal the Welfare State.

Calling for the abolition, not the reform, of public schooling. Separating School & State has become a landmark book in both libertarian and educational circles. In his column in the Financial Times, Michael Prowse wrote: "I recommend a subversive tract, Separating School & State by Sheldon Richman of the Cato Institute, a Washington think tank... . I also think that Mr. Richman is right to fear that state education undermines personal responsibility..." Click here to go to Sheldon Richman's Blog.

The Sustainable Development Hoax "basically a slogan without a specific meaning"..."Linked to Earth Day (April 22)"...

April 22, 2011 | S. Fred Singer | American Thinker

...term itself was invented by Gro Harlem Bruntlandt, a Norwegian socialist politician and former prime minister...
For Earth Day 2011, the National Association of Scholars (NAS), composed mostly of conservative-leaning academics, released a Statement that critiques the campus sustainability movement. NAS president Peter Wood said:
Sustainability sounds like a call for recycling and clean drinking water. But its proponents are much more ambitious. For them, a sustainable society is one that replaces the market economy with top-down regulation. They present students a frightening story in which the earth is on the brink of disaster and immediate action is needed. This is a tactic aimed at silencing critics, shutting down debate, and mobilizing students who never get the opportunity to hear opposing views.
“Sustainable Development” (SD) is basically a slogan without a specific meaning. Linked to Earth Day (April 22), it masquerades as a call for clean air, green energy, and suggests a pristine bucolic existence for us and our progeny—forever. But in reality, it has become immensely useful to many groups who use the slogan to advance their own special agenda, whatever they may be.

The term itself was invented by Gro Harlem Bruntlandt, a Norwegian socialist politician and former prime minister. After her term there, she landed in Paris and, together with Club of Rome veteran Alexander King, began publicizing SD. Indeed, the concept is a successor to the neo-Malthusian theme of the Club of Rome, which began to take hold around 1970 and led to the notorious book Limits to Growth. In turn, the “Limits to Growth” concept was developed a few years earlier by U.S. geologists like Preston Cloud and King Hubbert. In a report published by a panel of the National Academy, they promoted the view that the world was running out of resources: food, fuels, and minerals. According to their views, and those of the Club of Rome and Limits to Growth, most important metals should have become unavailable before the end of the 20th century. Click here to read the article.

Friday, April 22, 2011

John Seiler at CalWatchDog explains Why Republicans Hate Tax Increases--and explains the Difference Between Supply-Side Economics and Milton Friedman's Monetarist Economics--Good Stuff!

(Why Republicans Hate Tax Increases)

APRIL 22, 2011

By JOHN SEILER

Republicans are ridiculing President Obama’s call to increase taxes on the rich.

And in California, so far Republicans in the Legislature have resisted siren calls to join Gov. Jerry Brown and the Democratic legislators to back tax increases, or even to put tax increases on the ballot. Why is that?

David Cay Johnson is a well-known investigative reporter formerly with the New York Times. He takes a stab at the story in the S.F. Bay Guardian. (John posts a one-page version at this point in the article, at CalWatchDog.com.)

Unfortunately, he seems not to have done his homework, even though he was born in 1948 and lived through this whole period.

His story is called “The Failed Experiment.” Subtitle: “How misplaced faith in tax cuts and other economic myths are destroying the country”

It begins:

For three decades we have conducted a massive economic experiment, testing a theory known as supply-side economics. The theory goes like this: Lower tax rates will encourage more investment, which in turn will mean more jobs and greater prosperity — so much so that tax revenues will go up, despite lower rates.

Actually the phrase “supply-side economics” was popularized in the 1970s, and formed a major part of the theories behind California’s Proposition 13 tax cuts in 1977 and Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts of 1981 and 1986. But the theory goes back much further than the name. Click here to go to the article at CalWatchDog.com

RIVERA: Don’t destroy small vintners, brewers and distillers Relics of Prohibition should crawl back under their rocks

By Dick Rivera-Washington Times | Thursday, April 21, 2011

(A few nights ago, on my way home from the gym, I had a hankering for a brew. Problem was I left my wallet at home so I had no tender, except for the loose change in my car's cup holder. There were a lot of pennies mixed with some silver and nickle plated coins. I counted them and thought, if the liquor store sells singles, I'm good. But alas the only singles they sold at this particular establishment, which was on my way home, were twenty two once size. I would have bought one, if I'd had another thirty cents, but alas, the only ones I could afford were the only ones that would be available period, if this crony capitalist law takes hold. The owner kept showing me variations of the options I could buy with with my limited cash on hand, and I kept telling him, no thanks... I want a real beer, I want a real beer, a beer with body, flavor and character, thanks.)

One of the surprises in this “lost decade” of economic growth has been the explosion of smaller, family-owned wineries. Dotting the landscape from coast to coast, small vintners in locations previously unknown for their winemaking prowess have led an impressive surge in the market, and given consumers greater opportunity to sample wines that, otherwise, they never would have had a chance to taste.

A prime mover in this expanding market is the practice of shipping directly to customers: Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia now allow the shipping of wine directly from the vintner to the drinker. By utilizing direct sales over the phone, at tasting bars and on the Internet to bypass national wholesalers - for whom it isn’t economically feasible to distribute the products of smaller wineries - consumers have been presented more options than ever before and smaller wineries now have bigger markets than ever before.

Unsurprisingly, the marketplace has responded to this expanded freedom by trying new wines from across the country: Between 2004 and 2008
April Click here.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Obama Seeks Both Support and Money (He gets FB's Mark Zuckerberg to Sport a tie and Sports Jacket, and Addresses a Hand picked Audience of 500 Attendees.) | Fox & Hounds Daily

So Obama got Zuckerberg to put on a Sports coat and tie. Gosh, how cool... Yet, I have faith in Zuckerberg. I have to. I hope that ultimately, his conscious yearns for, responds to and thrives on wisdom over being "in" with the "in" crowd. After all it shouldn't be hard for Mark to see these powerful "friends" are no different than all the other fools he's already encountered. The question of grave importance to the world, is what captures Mark's devotion for what purpose will he use his genius?

(I posted a comment at the bottom of this article written by John Wildermuth at Fox & Hound.)
President Barack Obama's Wednesday afternoon visit to Facebook, the grandfather of the social networking biz, showed that his team has grasped political truism that has eluded many California campaigns: Bucks ain't ballots.

Now it's true the president reportedly plans to raise a breathtaking $1 billion for his effort to win four more years in the White House and yes, that's billion with a "b."

And since no one in the campaign business has ever suggested that "Big Daddy" Jesse Unruh's observation that "money is the mother's milk of politics" is any less valid now than when the former Assembly speaker made it in 1966, the $35,800-a-napkin dinner he had with 60 of his closest friends Wednesday night in San Francisco was a pleasant reminder of why it's good to be the president.

But as Meg Whitman ($178 million for her governor's race) and PG&E ($46 million for last June's Prop. 16) discovered, all the cash in the world won't help a campaign that can't rally the troops. Which is why the Facebook stop was likely the most important event on a presidential trip this week that's expected to shake the California money tree for $7 million in contributions.

There weren't any surprises in what the president said:  Click here to read more of the article.

Job and liberty destroyers--Rahn says call them out, underscore how they do it, and replace them.

llustration: Barney Frank by Alexander Hunter for The Washington Times
By Richard W. Rahn | The Washington Times | 6:12PM |  Monday, April 18, 2011

Which two have done more to improve your life - Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs, or Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi? Some people, in their pursuit of profit, benefit their fellow humans by creating new or better goods and services, and then by employing others. We call such people entrepreneurs and productive workers. Others are parasites who suck the blood and energy away from the productive. Such people are most often found in government.

Perhaps the most vivid description of what happens to a society where the parasites become so numerous and powerful that they destroy their productive hosts is Ayn Rand’s classic novel “Atlas Shrugged.” The just-released movie version is an entertaining, tension-filled struggle between the productive and the parasites who ally themselves with the envious and evil. Go see it.

When wages are rising faster than inflation (i.e., real wages), and the number of adults as a percentage of the population at work is rising, times are good; but when real wages fall, misery results. For the past several months, real wages have been falling, and...Click here to read more.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Nullifying the Drug War--by Jacob G. Hornberger

A re-post from Jacob Hornberger's Blog on April 18, 2011:
(A fascinating, thrilling story that warms the heart and fuels the spirit of all who love, without apology, the poetic beauty and justice of sweet liberty.)

No doubt to the chagrin of many judges across the land, a New Hampshire jury has shown, once again, that juries are the final judges of both the law and the facts in criminal cases, contrary to what all too many judges falsely inform juries in their courtroom.

The New Hampshire case involved the drug war. A man named Bob Constantine was charged with felony possession of marijuana, to wit: growing marijuana plants in his house. Constantine suffers from arthritis, and there was no evidence that he used the marijuana other than simply consuming it himself. Apparently, some nosy neighbor snitched on Constantine to the authorities.

Constantine defended himself at the trial. Before trial, he was offered a plea bargain involving a guilty plea to misdemeanor marijuana possession with 60 days in jail. It would have been a smart move to take the plea, given that Constantine had no defense to the felony charge. However, Constantine knew that this is how the drug war is often played, and he decided not to play the game. He went to trial and rolled the dice, obviously hoping that the jury would engage in some jury nullification.
Click here to read the article

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tonight on Gadfly Radio w/ Martha Montelongo and CalWatchDog's John Seiler on CA Government

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929

 Tired of the propaganda mainstream media machine that agitates, divides, obfuscates, distorts, ignores and or sensationalizes news to keep you polarized and frozen in your corner?  Unplug from the "matrix" and tune in to a program that presents reason, analysis, discussion, possibilities and ideas.

Tonight, meet Adam Kokesh, a former U.S. State Marine, and now the host of a new program on RT America on the Air, Monday through Friday, 7 PM ET, and the shows are archived and available at Adam vs the Man.    He's unplugged from the "matrix" and is bringing it to the man, and wants to bring people together, to be effective against "the man."  He takes on the issues you don't hear discussed in mainstream news media, including the Fed, the War on Drugs,  and the Warfare/Welfare State, and is firmly rooted in the principles of and committed to advancing liberty.

John Seiler of CalWatchDog joins us to talk about some of his latest posts at CalWatchDog.com:
Arnold’s Back — Crass as Ever
Gov. Jerry’s Pension ‘Reform’ Joke
Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Government’s Favorite Day 
Monday, April 18th, 2011

CA Business Exodus Accelerates
Thursday, April 14th, 2011

CA Court Rejects Pension Reform
Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Will July CA Tax Cuts Spur Recovery?
Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Atlas Shrugged Premiered this past weekend, and we'll talk about it with John.   Steven Greenhut wrote a thoughtful review of the film, posted at CalWatchdog.com
Join us Tuesday nights, on Gadfly Radio live in Southern California or where ever you are. No matter how bad things are, California is a land of beauty and unlimited possibility because of the abundance of our greatest capital resource, our human resources, if we can get it right.   Join us.
To listen to a podcast later, if you missed the live call in show:
 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Hillary Clinton Says Drugs Are Too Expensive for Legalization | Repost from StoptheDrugWar.org

Hillary Clinton Says Drugs Are Too Expensive for Legalization

In an interview on Monday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a very precise demonstration in how to dramatically misconstrue the fundamentals of drug prohibition. It's one of those perfectly incoherent explanations that would be almost comedic if it weren't for the tens of thousands who get murdered in the streets thanks to logic like this.
QUESTION: In Mexico, there are those who propose not keeping going with this battle and legalize drug trafficking and consumption. What is your opinion?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I don't think that will work. I mean, I hear the same debate. I hear it in my country. It is not likely to work. There is just too much money in it, and I don't think that – you can legalize small amounts for possession, but those who are making so much money selling, they have to be stopped. They can’t be given an even easier road to take, because they will then find it in their interest to addict even more young people. Mexico didn’t have much of a drug problem before the last 10 years, and you want to keep it that way. So you don’t want to give any excuse to the drug traffickers to be able legally to addict young people.
Click here to read more.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Colombia Is No Model for Mexico's Drug War

 What's made clear in this Re-post of a Borderland Beat post is that, as in the United States, the War on Drugs is a war on the poor.  It isolates them, makes them subject to more criminals, and U.S. and Colombian authorities are indifferent to their plight. The big cartels were busted up and no one drug king pin is allowed to become like the Medellín Cartel and its successor, the Cali Cartel.  But what does occur is that there are now more small drug dealers, still operating and profiting, so much so, that coca production is higher not lower than before a war in which American Taxpayers have spent billions to support a militarization of Columbia's police.  Their are more "mules," farmers,  coca farm workers, and their families, all victims of the drug trade, helpless, defenseless, and ignored collateral of our insane policy.   The operation is tooted as a model for success, because the Government stopped the in-their-face terrorism against them, the Government itself.
Now, the Government has its power secure, the money for "fighting" the "War on Drugs" continues to fund military, police and government expansion and abuse of powers, and no one cares that the poor are the target, used in greater number to run the illegal trafficking of drugs and in the U.S. to fill the prisons, a growing industry of slave labor with no rights. 
A powerful film that underscores the plight and terror faced by the poorest in Columbia, and any other country where poor are coerced easy prey of dealers to transport their trade into the U.S., as a result of the "War on Drugs" is Maria Full of Grace.

Colombia Is No Model for Mexico's Drug War

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 | Borderland Beat Reporter Gari
By Sanho Tree
Institute for Policy Studies

Far from breaking morale, the tactic of taking out the heads of trafficking groups gives junior thugs a shot at becoming the kingpin--if only briefly.

When Washington ramped up its anti-drug efforts through Plan Colombia, more than 90 percent of the cocaine consumed in the United States came through Colombia. A decade later, we get about 97 percent of our cocaine via Colombia.

Amazingly, officials are hailing the program's "success" and want Mexico to learn from Colombia's experience. While Plan Colombia may have helped make that country safer from guerrilla attacks, it has failed as a drug control strategy. Adapting that program in Mexico won't staunch that country's bloodbath and isn't likely to produce better results. Click here to read the rest of the article.

And here's another article on the failure of Columbia's War on Drugs:

The Drug War Fails Again – Coca Production in Columbia Sky Rockets

Yet again the drug war has fallen flat on it’s ugly face. More specifically – Plan Columbia has gone and shit the bed.
Today the UN revealed that Columbian coca production increased 27% in 2007. 27 percent! That works out to 382 square miles of coca plants being grown at a time when the fight against coca growing is at its highest.
The US has spent 3 billion dollars since 2000 in an attempt to eradicate the coca plant in Columbia. And of course, quite predictably, the price and availability of coke in North America hasn’t changed over that time period. And now we see that the more tax dollars they spend on killing coca, more coca is grown. I won’t even mention that Columbia is also growing opium poppies now.
So what has the DEA and the US Federal Government accomplished in Columbia? The only thing they’ve done is spray poisonous herbicide on Colombian nationals, destroy the rainforest and cause/condone enormous human rights violations by the Colombian military. Not to mention that the US tax payer could have had better health care, schools, city infrastructure, libraries, parks, etc. with that 3 Billion dollars instead of having it go to a useless prohibitionist measure.

Click here to read the article.

'Why Open Borders Make Sense' a lecture by Jacob Hornberger on his April 16th UStream TV Show

Many people ask me where I stand on Immigration. Well, I just listened to Jacob's show from earlier today, and I agree with him 100% and then some. I only wish the recording hadn't gone staticie at about 15 minutes, and still, I listened to the end. I hope you like it.

Video streaming by Ustream

"The only solution that will work."
"Federal interventionism" "Welfare Statism" "Out of control federal spending" "Classic Federal Socialism" and Federal Interventionism are controlling Immigration and the free movement of people. Is it any wonder it's not working?

A favorite quote of Jacob's in this presentation is about Immigrant's values and immigrants not adopting our values, he asks and states what are our values? Our values are of liberty!

Sandy Springs, Georgia: The City that Outsourced Everything | Reason TV

While cities across the country are cutting services, raising taxes and contemplating bankruptcy, something extraordinary is happening in a suburban community just north of Atlanta, Georgia.

Since incorporating in 2005, Sandy Springs has improved its services, invested tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure and kept taxes flat. And get this: Sandy Springs has no long-term liabilities.

This is the story of Sandy Springs, Georgia—the city that outsourced everything.

Approximately 8 minutes.

Produced by Paul Feine and Alex Manning.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Saving the Warfare-Welfare State

A repost from The Freeman | Ideas on Liberty
The Goal is Freedom | Sheldon Richman

Saving the Warfare-Welfare State
The difference is over means not ends.
Posted April 15, 2011

Why does everyone think Washington is plagued by excessive partisanship? The contest over how to address the fiscal debacle says otherwise: Both divisions of the uniparty (Democrat and Republican) agree that the warfare-welfare state must be saved. It’s the means not the end that divides them.

Rep. Paul Ryan, who leads the Republican side, declares that his goal in seeking a balanced budget (someday) is to save the three pillars of the welfare state—Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid—for “our children’s generation.” “I support these missions,” he says. He would “voucherize” Medicare and give states discretionary Medicaid block grants because, he says, the alternative is insolvency. He would maintain Social Security, while permitting people under 55 to put one-third of their Social Security taxes into government-guaranteed accounts. (They would still have to pay current retirees’ Social Security benefits.) His substitute for Obamacare would give a cash subsidy—he uses the Washington gobbledygook “refundable tax credit”—to “[ensure] universal access to affordable health insurance.”

So, although couched in the rhetoric of liberty and self-reliance, Ryan’s plan aims at saving the welfare state from itself, while giving insurance and investment companies more of a role, not to mention a cut of the taxpayers’ money.

Click here to read more.

Mexicans Are Fed Up with the War on Drugs-- The Beacon

By Robert Higgs
Sunday April 10, 2011 at 11:32:17 AM PDT


A few days ago, tens of thousands of Mexicans in scores of Mexican cities participated in public protests against the War on Drugs and the use of the Mexican army as anti-drug warriors. The violence that has accompanied the Mexican government’s attempts to defeat the drug dealers during the past several years has claimed perhaps as many as 40,000 lives. Some cities, especially Ciudad Juarez, across the river from El Paso, Texas, have become virtual battlefields.
All of this would be sufficiently dreadful if it had accompanied legitimate efforts to suppress real criminals. But although the drug dealers have committed murders, robberies, and other genuine crimes, to be sure, the foundation of this entire “war” is the U.S. government’s attempts to suppress actions — possessing, buying, and selling certain substances — that violate no one’s natural rights. Not to mince words, the War on Drugs is completely evil, from alpha to omega. No one who believes in human liberty can coherently support it. That its prosecution should have resulted in death and human suffering on such a vast scale constitutes an indictment of every person who has conducted or supported this wicked undertaking from its outset.
The Mexican people are showing in many ways, and with unprecedented determination, that they are completely fed up with this gringo-prompted war in which, in recent years, they have become the most devastated victims. Governments that treat their people in this way have no legitimacy whatsoever. They deserve to be brought down. And if the people of Mexico bring down Calderon’s government, then peaceful, rights-respecting people everywhere will have reason to cheer and hope.
Click here to read more.

(I was stunned by the bold, frank unapologetic voice in this article.  It's powerful and poignant, and I'm  grateful to Higgins for writing it.)  

Friday, April 15, 2011

Khan Academy: A Name You Need To Know in 2011

- Bruce Upbin - Tradigital - Forbes

This is one of those why-didn’t-anyone-think-of-that stories about what is rapidly becoming the most influential teaching organization on the planet. Salman Khan was a hedge fund analyst educated at MIT and living in Boston in the summer of 2004. The job was okay but he so much more enjoyed recording Web videos to tutor his younger cousins in New Orleans in math and science. Other people started asking him for tutoring help so started putting math videos up on YouTube. He’d put 70 videos up in a row on algebra, geometry and calculus. Soon a lot of people started watching the Khan Academy–our Name You Need to Know in education.

Since Khan started putting videos up, his Khan Academy videos have been watched 24 million times. You Tube told him he has the most popular open-course video library on its site, with more views than MIT, Stanford or UC-Berkeley. Khan has produced 1,600 videos so far, all simple 8- to 20 minute takes on subjects such as torque, ebitda, debt loops, probability, exchange rates, the Paulson bailout, binomials and the battle of Trafalgar. Khan records each himself. You never see him. You only hear his baritone and watch the trail of his track pad pen scribbling on a black screen.
Click here to read more

Why Are The Republicans So Silent On The Falling Dollar? - Forbes.com

Why Are The Republicans So Silent On The Falling Dollar?
Seth Lipsky, 04.14.11, 12:01 AM EDT
The failure of our fiat currency is up for political grabs.

The most astounding feature of the political fray as the 2012 election comes into view is that not a single Republican other than Congressman Ron Paul is stepping forward to brand as his or her own the issue of honest money. The whole party is into the negotiation with the president over the budget, and the underlying issue--the failure of our fiat currency--is up for grabs.

Click here to read the rest of this commentary

Thursday, April 14, 2011

CA Business Exodus Accelerates | Repost from CalWatchDog

NEW: CA Business Exodus Accelerates
APRIL 14, 2011
By JOHN SEILER
As fast as was the business exodus from California last year, it’s even faster in 2011. The new Pharaoh, Jerry Brown, also is not relenting in his oppressions of business.
According to the latest update from Business Relocation Coach Joseph Vranich:
California is experiencing the fastest rate of of companies relocating to out-of-state or out-of-country locations since a specialized tracking system was put into place two years ago. The disturbing trend is reflected in a review of activity from Jan. 1 through April 12 of this year when 69 California company disinvestment events occurred, an average of 4.7 per week — greater than the 3.9 average per week last year….
Unfortunately, the stage is set for California to lose additional companies, capital and jobs in the future. That’s because the business environment worsened yesterday when Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a requirement that utilities obtain one-third of the state’s electricity from renewable sources. California companies, which already pay 50% more for electricity than companies in other states, can expect costs to increase by another 20% or so.
Another factor is the continuing imposition of AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. Backers, such as then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, said it would rejuvenate the state by creating new high-tech jobs. Critics said it would kill a million jobs. Looks like the critics are being proven right — assuming the critics haven’t left the state.
Vranich writes:
Click here to read more.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tonight on Gadfly Radio w/ Martha and CalWatchDog's Steve Greenhut and John Seiler on CA Government and Lydia Grant on the harm and danger of unchecked police power against children in LAUSD

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
Gadfly Radio, with me and CalWatchDog's Steven Greenhut and John Seiler on the latest and hottest stories up at CalWatchDog.com and in L.A. Children are being injured and their futures destroyed, by none other than the L.A.U.S.D.'s own police force with the help of the LAPD and the L.A. DA's Office and LAUSD's Complicit School Administrators.

A Black High Schooler in Los Angeles, CA uses a Cell Phone Camera to record a Police Officer beating a Student, is Charged with Attempted Lynching and faces Fourteen Years in Prison
Lydia Grant, education reform activist, parent, an LAUSD student safety activist and community liaison joins us to talk about the "seemingly weird case of Jeremy Marks, who is charged with "Attempted Lynching" and how the numerous examples of a gross abuse of power in this case are not so uncommon.  The difference in this case, the victim's mother is getting some help to fight back, to expose a web of what appears to include a framing of an innocent bystander, dangerous harassment and intimidation by police officers against parents and children involved in the case, a cover up, and a gross abuse of power by police agencies with assistance from the Los Angeles DA's Office.

A kid was severely beaten by a police officer for smoking a cigarette, and Jeremy Marks faces fourteen years for video taping the assault and not plea bargaining with the police. "If he pled guilty to charges of obstructing an officer, resisting arrest, criminal threats and "attempted lynching," he'd serve only 32 months in prison." Documents have been lost, kids' homes raided at gunpoint by swat teams in gear, and other kids with similar stories have come forward. What is flying for "law and order" is criminal, immoral, unethical and dangerous for all of our children in public schools in Los Angeles.  

From the files at CalWatchDog.com, your eyes on California Government:
NEW: Govt. Fights Citizens’ Right to Know
How do we know there are over sixteen thousand retired public employees, from CalSTRS, CalPERS and Cal's UC alone, receiving over $100,000 a year in retirement income? Well it took legal battles to get documents disclosed. This is information the public is entitled to know. We are entitled to know how our Government works, what they do,  how they serve us, and how their actions impact our tax liabilities, burden are obligations. The average citizen's ability to find out what the Government will not willingly disclose is what is now under direct assault.

From CalWatchDog's Breaking News Page:

NEW: High-Speed Rail Rides Again
APRIL 12, 2011 By KATY GRIMES Another attempt to stop the unchecked spending on high-speed rail was killed in committee on Monday on a party-line vote. That happened despite research proving that taxpayers cannot sustain the inevitable subsidy the project will require, and claims that voters...

NEW: Guards Imprison Gov. Brown
APRIL 12, 2011 By JOHN SEILER Call me a bleeding heart, but I think prisoners should be treated humanely. In most American prisons, they're treated like animals -- actually, the ASPCA would get anyone who treated animals like that arrested for cruelty. But given that prisons are run by gove...


NEW: Public Pensions Crowding Out Services

(or, "Cutting Redevelopment to Solve Pension Crisis"

APRIL 12, 2011 By WAYNE LUSVARDI A Chinese folk tale tells of a sculptor that placed fake money on a tree to trick villagers into cutting it down for him. But so many people believed the tree to be sacred that the sculptor was warned that if he cut down the tree he would be cursed. At the ...

NEW: Forced March to the May Revise
APRIL 11, 2011 By JOHN SEILER Things are looking bleaker by the day for Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed $12 billion tax hike. So far, Republicans have remained rock solid against it, denying him the two GOP sellout votes he needs in each house of the Legislature to put a tax-increase before voters...

My mission for this radio program is (and I quote here the mission statement of  The Future of Freedom Foundation, with whom I have no affiliation other than that I agree with their stated mission,  by which I am inspired and for which I stand, to the best of my ability), "to advance freedom by providing an uncompromising moral and economic case for individual liberty, free markets, private property, and limited government."

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

Join us Tuesday nights, on Gadfly Radio live in Southern California or where ever you are. No matter how bad things are, California is a land of beauty and unlimited possibility because of the abundance of our greatest capital resource, our human resources, if we can get it right.   Join us.

To listen to a podcast later, if you missed the live call in show:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Graph and Chart Comparing CA with Texas on Jobs and Economic Growth

A bipartisan delegation of CA legislators and business leaders, are going on a junket to Texas to try to understand why Texas is growing jobs while CA continues to lose them.  Really? They need to go there to understand the difference?   Here are two great visual aids included in the press release from the CA Republican Caucus Office today:

Ron Paul Libya strikes unconstitutional only Congress can declare war

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tonight on Gadfly Radio w/ Martha and CalWatchDog's Steve Greenhut and John Seiler: Gov Brown's Yawner Budget, Suicide by Public Employee makes Costa Mesa Ground Zero in the Battles Over Public Pensions

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT
To Listen Live, Click here, on Channel 2:

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
Gadfly Radio, with me and  CalWatchDog's Steven Greenhut and John Seiler on some of the latest and hottest stories up at CalWatchDog.com

Brown’s Pension Reform A Yawner
 Jerry Brown's Pension Reform Proposal for California Is a Yawner and today is the first Costa Mesa City Council meeting since Huy Pham, 29year old maintenance worker’s suicide in Costa Mesa, after he was called in to receive his notice of termination?   Bloomberg News reported today, Costa Mesa, California Is 'Ground Zero' for Pension Battle After Worker Suicide (Christopher Palmeri / Bloomberg)

Sky Not ‘Falling’ on School Budgets
What's the story behind these  “cuts” in education we have been hearing about on radio ads 24/7?  CalWatchDog's reporter, Wayne Lusvardi refutes the “sky is falling” claims we’ve been bombarded with on the airwaves.  We'll discuss his report and tell the side the mainstream media is not telling you.

Card Check Bill Passes CA Senate, reported by Katy Grimes on March 31: The “card check” bill, SB 104, authored by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, passed the Senate this morning 24-14, after a heated debate.  “This bill would permit agricultural employees, as an alternative procedure, to select their labor representatives by submitting a petition to the board accompanied by representation cards signed by a majority of the bargaining unit,” reads the bill.  "On the Waterfront" anybody?  And to do this the most vulnerable workers in the name of protecting them is doubly immoral.

Dependency Bill is a bill that if passed would put government powers back in check where parents and children were safe from abuse by social workers' powers to remove children from their parents and put children into foster care without due process, or merit, or accountability.  Will it survive the next phase?

 Show Us Your Papers Please!
"Republican legislators gathered on the north steps of the state Capitol today to pitch AB26, which would clamp down on illegal immigration. Modeled after Arizona’s controversial anti-illegal-immigration law, the bill would “beef up enforcement of immigration laws against employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants and make being in California illegally punishable as a misdemeanor,” according to the Victor Valley Daily Press. “It aims to end so-called sanctuary cities by enabling residents to sue the government over lax enforcement.” Members of the Service Employees International Union were on the sidewalks making catcalls as various officials and crime victims addressed a crowd that seemed dominated by Tea Party members."

"The bill certainly expands government powers.   Steve Greenhut's "main concern is summed up by a sign holder who was an official participant at the event, someone who was standing in the group surrounding the Assembly members: 'I would be happy to show you my papers any time. Yes AB26.'
Is this right? Are self-styled supporters of freedom and the Constitution really willing and happy to show government agents their papers at any time?
American citizens of Latino heritage know that they will be the ones repeatedly asked to show their papers in any such scenario. This explains the opposition to it from so many people. Once again, we see Republicans who are advocating laws that are in direct conflict with their stated goals of promoting liberty."

My mission for this radio program is (and I quote here the mission statement of  The Future of Freedom Foundation, with whom I have no affiliation other than that I agree with their stated mission,  by which I am inspired and for which I stand, to the best of my ability), "to advance freedom by providing an uncompromising moral and economic case for individual liberty, free markets, private property, and limited government."

It's my privilege to share this program with CalWatchDog's team of government watch dogs!

Join us Tuesday nights, on Gadfly Radio live in Southern California or where ever you are. No matter how bad things are, California is a land of beauty and unlimited possibility because of the abundance of our greatest capital resource, our human resources, if we can manage to get it right.   Join us.

To listen to a podcast later, if you missed the live call in show:

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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