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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...

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

In "War Against All Get Closer" it looks like Joel Fox is saying "See. I told you so!" about CA's Prop 25 in 2010, and the Public Employee Unions backing it.

By Joel Fox
Editor of Fox & Hounds and President of the Small Business Action Committee
Tue, May 31st, 2011

I read with interest John Seiler's column last week in CalWatchDog.org in which he described the plans of the California Federation of Teachers to raise taxes - many taxes: higher income taxes on the rich; oil severance taxes; business property taxes; taxes on services. Seiler was quoting from an article written by Marty Hittelman, president of the CFT.

What particularly caught my attention was Hittelman's comment from the magazine article that passing Proposition 25 for a majority vote budget last year was only a first step. The goal is to lower the two-thirds vote for taxes.

I debated Hittelman a number of times on Prop 25 when it was on the ballot. I pointed out Prop 25's flaws, that it opened up the possibility to new taxes and that the ultimate goal was to get at the two-thirds vote on taxes. Hittelman denied this. Click here to go to the story
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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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