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...

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Here's a program you don't want to miss, if you love fresh food, fresh water, and CA and you want your food to be grown locally, vs imported

First, a couple of background news stories to bring the topic into focus for you: California farmers, ecologists square off over drinking water pollution
April 8, 2011 | 4:00 pm Read more here

Water wars: Little-known rules proposed for the Central Coast are causing a big fight that may be reaching Sacramento
By Jason Hoppin
Posted: 06/19/2011 01:30:37 AM PDT
Click to read more.

Here's a show this Saturday morning, you don't want to miss. You can catch it live, or listen via podcast, but don't miss it! We have to eat to live, but not live to eat... Although, what we eat makes a big difference. Also, do we want to be dependent on imports for our daily sustenance?

WATER WAR!
Food Chain Radio Show #733 • July 2, 2011

Can agriculture survive clean water?
Growing plants consist of approximately 90 percent water. Water carries essential nutrients to plants and provides the turgor that allows them to stand up to their environment. Water is the lifeblood of our agriculture.
But we are not the only beings inhabiting the environment. Many other creatures rely on water as well, and therein we find a problem.
To encourage our plants to grow and produce beyond what nature would otherwise allow, we must provide them with additional nutrients. The more intensively we farm, the more nutrients we must provide. In California’s Pajaro and Salinas Valleys we farm very intensively, and thus must supplement with a lot of nutrients.
Click here to read the post. After this week, you'll have to see the post by signing up to join the metrofarm community forum which you can find from this link.

Who is a Pawn? And who is a phony? Brown Vetos Card Check for Farmworkers is reported as if he'd thrown them under the bus. The Truth is he honored César Chavez's authentic and original intent.

http://www.calwatchdog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Cesar_Chavez_Day.jpgJune 28, 2011

Emotions run high as Jerry Brown vetoes farmworker bill

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed legislation tonight that would have let farmworkers unionize more easily, despite intense pressure from fellow Democrats and labor allies who considered Brown their best chance in years to pass the bill.
click here to read more:

Brown vetoes card-check legislation for farmworkers

Marisa Lagos, Chronicle Staff Writer
San Francisco Chronicle June 29, 2011 04:00 AM Copyright San Francisco Chronicle.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
click here to read more.

César Chávez Backed Secret Union Votes
Commentary
MAY 23, 2011
By DAVE ROBERTS
In 1976, Chávez placed Proposition 14 on the California ballot. Its goal was to ensure that farm workers would have secret ballots when deciding whether they wanted to be represented by a union. A UFW flier explained why it’s so important for farm workers to be allowed to vote in secrecy: read more at
Read more...

Hornberger's back to back commentaries on immigration policy: Immigration Controls and a Police State & Buchanan’s Anti-Immigration Rant

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Immigration Controls and a Police State
by Jacob G. Hornberger

Yesterday I commented on conservative Pat Buchanan’s recent anti-immigration rant. Today, I wish to comment on an aspect of immigration controls that both conservatives and liberals rarely confront — the federal government’s police-state powers that come with enforcing immigration controls. Click here to read more.

Hornberger's Blog - Buchanan's Anti-Immigration Rant

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Buchanan’s Anti-Immigration Rant
by Jacob G. Hornberger

Conservative Pat Buchanan went off on one of his periodic anti-immigration rants in an article yesterday entitled “Say Goodbye to Los Angeles.” In the article, Buchanan laments the fact that thousands of people in the Rose Bowl were cheering for Mexico in a soccer match against the United States.
Click here to read more.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tonight on Gadfly Radio, Martha w/CalWatchDog's John Seiler, City Journal & Claremont Institute's Ben Boychuk, and CA Sen. Doug LaMalfa on CA budget deal, a tax cut July 1st, and San Francisco may ban circumcisions and sale of pets in the city.

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
June 28, 2011 Tonight live at 8PM PT:
Tonight on Gadfly Radio, Martha Montelongo, CalWatchDog's John Seiler, CA State Senator Doug LaMalfa R D4, and City Journal contributing writer and Claremont Institute fellow and columnist Ben Boychuk. 


We'll discuss the new fake budget deal just cut (Seiler says Chiang should oppose this one too because it's also a fake budget) between the Dems in the CA Legislature and Governor Jerry Brown.  Californians are about to enjoy a sales tax cut come July 1st. 
Did CA Controller Chiang's  move to suspend pay to the legislators for their reject budget delivered June 15th blaze a new political trail in CA?  John Seiler thinks so. He thinks this is a showdown between the left and the fiscally responsible within the Democratic Party.  We'll discuss it.
We'll talk with Senator LaMalfa about policy shaping up under most people's radar, concerning AB 32's impact on water for CA agriculture and water and power for Californians including Southern Californians who seem blissfully unconcerned, as if the water wars don't concern them.   Two articles on the politics of water policy  here and here.
Ben Boychuk has been posting on Facebook about San Francisco's efforts to ban the practice of circumcision on infant boys within the City/County limits.   We'll talk about this and their efforts also to ban the sale of pets in the City.  Nannystate or deflection from their fiscal crisis?

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 enterprise, by listening, sponsoring, and or sharing this newsletter with others.  I value your patronage. 
It's a pleasure to share this program with CalWatchDog's team of government 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

John Seiler's Headline reads "John Chiang Blazes Future of CA Politics" Bold Prediction or Wishful thinking? A fun and thought provoking read!

As they said in old-school physics, nature abhors a vacuum. Passed last November, Proposition 25 marginalized California Republicans by dropping from two-thirds to a majority the threshold for passing a state budget. That left the Democratic majority in the Legislature unfettered in its spending mendacity.

Into the void stepped Controller John Chiang, a fellow Democrat, to run the numbers and say the budget was unbalanced — that it was no real budget. Therefore, as the guy who writes the checks for the state, he was docking the legislators’ pay.

The pay docking also was part of Prop. 25. Except that the initiative didn’t indicate exactly how the pay was supposed to be withheld. As with almost all initiatives in this state, it was badly written, with the details left to be sorted out by the courts — another full employment program for lawyers.

Excuse the legalese, but here’s the exact wording of Prop. 25 on the pay matter: Click here to read more.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tonight on Gadfly Radio: Martha Montelongo w/CalWatchDog's John Seiler on CA, 47th Worst Economy & Richard Rider on More CA Breaking Bad News.

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
June 21, 2011 Tonight live at 8PM PT:  
Tonight on Gadfly Radio: Martha Montelongo w/CalWatchDog's John Seiler discusses ALEC-Laffer's new State Economic Competitiveness Index report ranking California 47th on economic outlook and 46th for economic performance, and Richard Rider on more CA Breaking Bad News!   

Both will talk about CA Controller John Chiang blocking pay to the Legislators for their No-Budget Budget turned in and promptly vetoed by Governor Brown last Wednesday, June  15th.  


Rider's email alert this afternoon read: RICHARD RIDER COMMENT: CA State Controller John Chiang has declared that the legislative budget passed was not balanced, and hence does not satisfy the requirements of props 58 and 25. Bottom line -- no pay for CA legislators from 16 June until they submit an actual balanced budget.


Ever so wild however, Rider goes further than his prediction last November about the budget turned in "on time."  He makes a prediction about Chiang that is wilder then usual even by his own standards.


Steven Greenhut, who is not with us tonight has a powerful piece up at CalWatchDog.com on the budget impasse he refers to as California State’s Ongoing Nutty Budget Battle.
In it, he refers to Richard Rider's comments from last week when the budget came in "on time" and was promptly vetoed:  
Bogus Projections
Richard Rider, chairman of the San Diego Tax Fighters, described the failed budget as “a particularly imaginative piece—a disjointed combination of bogus revenue projections, even more accounting gimmickry, illegally passed tax increases and sources of revenue that this same Legislature was bound to reject when the follow-up bills came before them (such as selling state government properties). Brown did the only possible thing he could—he vetoed the mess.” Some of the “imaginative” elements included a legally dubious increase in the vehicle-license fee; the deferment of $3.4 billion in state payments to community colleges and universities; an effort to take $1 billion from early-childhood-development commissions; and an “Amazon tax” aimed at collecting use-taxes from online retailers, which may not pass legal muster. The budget also would have raided the state’s reserve fund and cut money from the state courts.

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 enterprise, by listening, sponsoring, and or sharing this newsletter with others.  I value your patronage. 
It's a pleasure to share this program with CalWatchDog's team of government 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

I feel like when Homer Simpson states the obvious and says "NEWSFLASH!" John Seiler writes today, "Calif. Economy 47th Worst of States"

What'd you expect? Anybody surprised? Anybody care?

John Seiler writes:
California’s stagnating economy suffered more bad news by ranking 47th of the 50 states for economic outlook. The ranking comes from the new, fourth edition of “Rich States, Poor States: The ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index.” It combines 15 economic rankings, such as top marginal personal income tax rate and average workers’ compensation costs.

I received an advanced copy of the rankings, and will discuss them here. It will be released tomorrow, June 22, by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a nonpartisan group of state legislators. I’ll put up a link to it then.

My favorite line: "The only states ranking worse on the economic outlook were New York, rock-bottom 50th, followed by Vermont and Maine. Along with California, all are high-tax, high-regulation, jobs-killing states. The three other states have bad weather." Click here to read more.

Monday, June 20, 2011

"They will destroy farming in California.".."It's the most bizarre thing I've ever seen in my life," said Peixoto, whose Lakeside Organic Gardens grows 44 kinds of organic vegetables on 1,200 acres. "It's holding us to a standard that's impossible to attain."

By Jason Hoppin
Posted: 06/19/2011 01:30:37 AM PDT

WATSONVILLE -- Pajaro Valley farmer Dick Peixoto minces no words when it comes to a proposed set of water regulations that could play a key role in state budget talks: They will destroy farming in California.

"It's the most bizarre thing I've ever seen in my life," said Peixoto, whose Lakeside Organic Gardens grows 44 kinds of organic vegetables on 1,200 acres. "It's holding us to a standard that's impossible to attain."

Peixoto is not alone in that view. Large and small farmers throughout the Salinas and Pajaro valleys have spent the past two years warning that the rules threaten agriculture, a top industry in the state and county.

Moving slowly toward a September vote, the rules would radically reshape how farms in the Pajaro and Salinas valleys are regulated, making Central Coast water rules among the toughest -- if not the toughest -- agricultural regulations nationwide.

But those controversial, and largely unknown, rules could still be part of the mix as Gov. Jerry Brown seeks a final budget solution that likely would need at least some Republican support, including possibly from Republicans whose districts include the Central Coast farmlands covered by the proposed rules.

TOUGH NEW RULES

Click here to read more.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Christopher Sheldon, Vice President of CWA District 1, calls Governor Christie and Democratic Leaders Nazis during an anti-pension rally in Trenton, NJ on June 16, 2011.


They're sounding desperate now.

"Unions like to portray such reforms as GOP assaults on labor, but Garden State Democrats are demonstrating that saving taxpayer money isn't always partisan."

Republican Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey and the state's top two Democratic leaders struck a deal on Wednesday to modify public employee retirement and health benefits, which would save the state at least $122 billion over the next 30 years. Unions like to portray such reforms as GOP assaults on labor, but Garden State Democrats are demonstrating that saving taxpayer money isn't always partisan.

Thanks to union giveaways by governors of both parties, New Jersey's pension system is running a $54 billion unfunded liability. Joshua Rauh, a finance professor at Northwestern University's business school, last year forecast that the system would go broke in 2018 without reform.

While the compromise with Democrats scales back Mr. Christie's original proposal, it's still a large step in the right direction. The deal would raise the retirement age for new workers to 65 from 62, and increase pension contributions to 7.5% from 5.5% for state workers and to 10% from 8.5% for public safety officers. The legislation would also suspend annual cost of living adjustments until the fund reaches a more healthy status. This provision alone could reduce retirees' pension value by 30% over the next decade. TEXT

After 40 years since doing so regarding Vietnam, U.S. City Mayors once again call to end our wars, and take care of infrastructure at home.

Mayors See End to Wars as Fix for Struggling Cities
By MICHAEL COOPER
Published: June 17, 2011
New York Times
"...downturn-weary mayors from around the country gathered here on Friday for the annual meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors, they decided to make a statement: they introduced a resolution calling for the speedy end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and calling on Congress to use the $126 billion a year the wars cost for urgent domestic needs.

The resolution, which will be decided Monday, seems likely to pass. “There are so many better uses for the money,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore. Mayor R. T. Rybak of Minneapolis lamented that cities across the nation were being forced to make “deeply painful cuts to the most core services while the defense budget continued to escape scrutiny.” And Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles said that the idea “that we would build bridges in Baghdad and Kandahar and not Baltimore and Kansas City absolutely boggles the mind.

The rare foray of mayors into foreign policy — 40 years after the conference approved a resolution calling for an end to the Vietnam War — reflects not just the nation’s increasing war weariness but a growing concern about the expense as Washington seems intent on cutting domestic spending even as many localities are struggling. ”
click here to read the article

Friday, June 17, 2011

It's too bad it requires a lawsuit by handful of Congressional Leaders to do what they're all sworn to do, to honor and uphold the law and framework of the U.S. Republic and U.S. Constitution.

Lawmakers sue President Obama over Libya
By REID J. EPSTEIN | 6/15/11 12:06 PM EDT

A bipartisan group of House members announced on Wednesday that it is filing a lawsuit charging that President Obama made an illegal end-run around Congress when he approved U.S military action against Libya.

“With regard to the war in Libya, we believe that the law was violated. We have asked the courts to move to protect the American people from the results of these illegal policies,” said Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), who led the 10-member anti-war coalition with Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.).

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0611/57032.html#ixzz1PYjFvuEc


Click to read more.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

CA Voters who Passed Prop 25 in 2010 have made us all a bunch of Wile E. Coyotes, off a cliff with a heavy anvil following us down!

Wile E. Cayote Genius CA Voters got what they signed up for. Yup! They fixed those Legislators Good. Gave up the 2/3rd requirement to pass a budget, and in return forced the legislators to pass a budget on time or else! NO BUDGET ON TIME, NO PAY! So, the clever devils "passed" a "budget" and the Gov promptly vetoed it because it was a sham. Business as usual except now Republicans have no power to veto tax increases. The rascals averted docked pay! The suckers are left falling off a cliff.
Clever CA Voters who passed California Proposition 25, Majority Vote for Legislature to Pass the Budget (2010)










Clever CA Voters think they've got it all handled now that they've removed all obstacles to the legislators who just want to do the right thing! Sure!
CA Voters i.e. Wily E. Coyotes, falling off a cliff--Gov Brown vetoes the stupid budget passed by the critters in the legislature so that they could do what they do every year--nothing that fixes our financial crisis--and still get paid on time, business as usual!
Here's Richard Rider's take on it:
JUNE 16, 2011 3:22PM
California budget Kabuki dance continues
by Richard Rider

The Sacramento Kabuki dance continues. As I publicly predicted, our state legislature (well, the Democrat majority) passed a state "budget" on time -- to avoid forfeiture of pay for tardiness. And as I predicted 10 November, 2010, Governor Jerry Brown has vetoed the absurd submission. The only surprise is the speed with which Brown rejected the legislators' fantasy plan.

The budget submitted was a particularly imaginative piece -- a disjointed combination of bogus revenue projections, even more accounting gimmickry, illegally passed tax increases and sources of revenue that this same legislature was bound to reject when the follow-up bills came before them (such as selling state government properties). Brown did the only possible thing he could -- he vetoed the mess.

Oddly enough, it's doubtful that many state legislators are upset with the veto. Indeed, it Brown HAD approved it, then the repercussions later in the year when the fraud became apparent would have been more harmful politically than the veto today.

Now comes the part that will shock the voters -- something that will become apparent in the next 24 hours of news analysis. Most will assume that, with the governor's veto, the forfeiture of all legislative pay will commence, as the budget is now past the 15 June deadline. But when Prop 25, the "Majority Vote for Legislature to Pass the Budget," was passed, few understood that it mandated only that a budget -- ANY budget -- must be passed by the state legislature by 15 June. A gubernatorial veto has no effect on the satisfactory completion of that requirement.
Click here to read more

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tonight on Gadfly Radio: Martha Montelongo w/CalWatchDog presents Assemblyman Chris Norby, on Tomorrow's CA Budget Deadline, Prison for Small time Pot Growers, Redevelopment dead or alive? & Matt Rexroad, an expert on the new Redistricted Maps--The First Draft

Tonight on Gadfly Radio: Martha Montelongo w/CalWatchDog presents Assemblyman Chris Norby, on Tomorrow's CA Budget Deadline, Prison for Small time Pot Growers, Redevelopment dead or alive? & Matt Rexroad, an expert on Redistricting on the new CA Redistricted Maps:  The First Draft--where do we go from here?
Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
June 14, 2011 Tonight live at 8PM PT:   CA Assemblyman Chris Norby R-District 72 and Matt Rexroad, a Sacramento based Republican Consultant with an expertise on Redistricting, particularly in CA.  John Seiler of CalWatchDog will be with us on the program.  
 
We'll talk with Chris Norby about the looming hard set budget cut off date of June 15, for California lawmakers, where no budget means no pay, not no deferred pay, but NO PAY for the legislators for the time they don't produce a budget. What does this mean for the taxpayers?   How seriously does this hard set deadline influence the legislators?

June 17th, America's War on Drugs is 40 years old.  Although in CA we have  adopted a somewhat more tolerant policy toward Marijuana use via Medical Marijuana Laws, we still put people in prison for growing plants for personal consumption.  We'll ask Chris about his support for AB1017, which would have allowed California prosecutors to decide whether folks caught cultivating marijuana should be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. 
The San Francisco Chronicle referred to its primary sponsor as "Uber liberal Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco." The bill failed and Norby is said to have ripped his fellow Republicans for not supporting it.  We'll ask him why? 

Governor Brown is said to still be determined to redact, not reform Redevelopment in CA  and using the revenue that now goes to Redevelopment Agencies, to go to pay for local city and county services instead.  Is the budget showdown a High Noon moment for Redevelopment? 

We'll ask Chris about the critical and obfuscated issue of Public Employee Pensions, possible reforms and initiatives being discussed in the Legislature, and what he sees as possible reform initiatives at the State level.


And we'll welcome Matt Rexroad, political consultant with a formidable grassroots political pedigree and an expert on Redistricting, to discuss the new CA political district maps, what they mean, the issues and possible challenges and changes before they become final.  Yesterday I posted an L.A.Times story on redistricting which cited Matt, and touched on a few of the questions I'll have him.  You can call in too, and share with Matt and the rest of us, your questions.  

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 enterprise, by listening, sponsoring, and or sharing this newsletter with others.  I value your patronage. 
It's a pleasure to share this program with CalWatchDog's team of government 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 redistricting may mean gains for Democrats in U.S. House - latimes.com

There are some rumblings that the new districts violate the Voting Rights Act. If you count increase in Latino population, and you assume that a predominantly Latino community should be able to elect a Latino representative, and you also have to assume that a Latino can't be elected if non Latinos outnumber Latinos in a given district. Those are all assumptions. There have been Latinos elected to the State Legislature that were not in predominantly Latino districts. Bob Pacheco, Rob Pacheco, and Abel Maldonado come to mind. They also all happened to be Republican.

Are the districts more competitive?


"Matt Rexroad, a Sacramento-based Republican consultant, cautioned that the maps are subject to change. But if the lines hold, he said, "There are three to five Republican members of Congress who don't return."

"We will see more competitive races without a doubt," Rexroad said. "Once these seats are a little bit more exposed to the waves that go across the country … you will start seeing some changes."

But the maps, while putting more House seats in play, could reduce the state's influence on Capitol Hill.

Dreier, at risk of losing his seat after 30 years in the House, is chairman of the House Rules Committee.

Howard L. Berman, a 28-year House veteran and the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, faces a tough race in a proposed new San Fernando Valley district against fellow Democrat Brad Sherman — who, in anticipation of the redistricting, has amassed more than $3 million in his campaign treasury."--Click here to read more.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Our Economic Future: From Best to Worst Case
 by Doug Casey in The Daily Reckoning.com

06/10/11 WORST CASE – WAR

War is the worst thing that can happen to an economy, but it’s also the most likely thing at this point. When the going gets tough, the people in charge like to blame somebody else for the problem. That’s compounded by the foolish – but widely accepted – notion that war is good for the economy and that, for instance, it pulled the U.S. out of the last depression.

Like all wars, this one results in a complete stifling of civil and economic freedoms. If my second scenario is unpleasant, this alternative is grim.

The big conflict has already been teed up – the continuation of the Forever War between Islam and the West. I’ll hazard the major situs will be Europe – which has pretty much always been the case for wars in general for the last 2,000 years. Europe will be the worst place to be over the next two decades. And North America will be locked down like a police compound.

China will have serious social turmoil as it is forced to reorient an export-driven economy catering to Europe and the U.S. As in the past, South America will be out of the conflict and in a position to benefit from it. India will also be a net beneficiary, largely uninvolved, and happy to watch their ex-colonial masters rope-a-dope themselves into poverty.


Read more: Our Economic Future: From Best to Worst Case http://dailyreckoning.com/our-economic-future-from-best-to-worst-case%e2%80%a8/#ixzz1OuNFlJEc


Click here to read more.

Libertarianism | Poverty | How libertarianism helps the poor | The Daily Caller

I found this piece in FFF.org's daily newsletter. I'm totally addicted to their newsletter. Thanks FFF!
"...libertarians oppose many of the governmental policies that are commonly thought to benefit the poor and working classes. Libertarians oppose redistributive taxation, oppose the minimum wage, oppose workplace safety regulations, antitrust laws, and many other restrictions on business. But none of this means that libertarians are indifferent to the plight of the poor. After all, just because you care about something doesn’t mean you want the government taking care of it..."

"People make three important errors when thinking about libertarianism and the poor.

The first mistake is to believe the government when it claims that its policies are intended to help the poor. They almost never are. The great bulk of redistributive taxation and subsidization goes to benefit interest groups that are politically powerful, not economically vulnerable. Think Medicare, agricultural subsidies, and the mortgage interest deduction. And most existing regulation of business is, paradoxically enough, for the benefit of business itself. Regulation raises the cost of doing business, and so establishes a barrier to entry that benefits large existing firms at the expense of their smaller competitors. Occupational licensing, for example, whether of doctors, lawyers, or barbers, is almost never forced upon an unwilling industry by public-spirited regulators. Rather, it is actively sought after by established members of the profession itself, eager to insulate themselves against potential competition. And politicians are all-too-willing to cater to the interests of the economically powerful. Libertarians, in contrast, believe in free markets, and truly free markets are the enemy of big business."

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/06/09/how-libertarianism-helps-the-poor/#ixzz1OuBank6P


Click here to read more.

Student Loans and DOE S.W.A.T. Teams by Wendy McElroy

Student Loans and DOE S.W.A.T. Teams
by Wendy McElroy, June 10, 2011

On March 11, 2010, Washington Post blogger Valerie Strauss asked an intriguing question: “Why is the Education Department purchasing 27 Remington Brand Model 870 police 12-gauge shotguns?”


"On June 7, 2011, the answer became clear. At 6 a.m. a S.W.A.T.-style team of 15 officers from the U.S. Department of Education's (DOE) Office of Inspector General broke down a door in Stockton, California. (The OIG is the semi-independent law-enforcement branch of the DOE which pursues criminal offenses such as student aid fraud.) The agents had a no-knock warrant that had been issued by the DOE. On the other side of the door were Kenneth Wright and his three children ages 3, 7, and 11. None of them had violated any law. Nevertheless, an officer grabbed the underwear-clad Wright by the neck and dragged him onto the front lawn, pinning him down with a knee in the back. Eventually, the handcuffed Kenneth and his children were placed in the back of a patrol car for six hours while the police searched his house."


"The DOE's flexing of power comes in the wake of an extreme expansion of its authority. The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 essentially nationalized the process of granting and administering student loans, so that the ...DOE provides such loans directly rather than reimbursing banks. In short, the government no longer backs student loans in the private sector. (The provisions are slated to go into full effect in 2014.) Critics point out that the DOE's monopoly on government-backed loans gives it an unprecedented power to determine who receives assistance, which careers are encouraged, and the curriculum offered by colleges."


Click here to read more.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thursday--Two days after the last episode of Gadfly Radio, I'm already looking forward to next week's show.

Next week, Assemblyman Chris Norby will join us and we'll cover what we planned to cover with him this past Tuesday night, and anything else that should come up that would take precedence. Also joining me will be Richard Winger, Publisher and editor of Ballot Access Blog, to talk with us about Americans Elect (Americanselect.org), an anecdote for our issue with a two party system and American's lack of real and meaningful voice or choice in our electoral process.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tonight on Gadfly Radio: Martha Montelongo w/CalWatchDog presents Assemblyman Chris Norby, and Publisher of Pension Tsunami Jack Dean: CA Budget Deadline, Prison for Small time Pot Growers, Redevelopment and Public Pensions

UPDATE--JUNE 9, 2011: Next week, Assemblyman Chris Norby will join us and we'll cover what we planned to cover with him this past Tuesday night, and anything else that should come up that would take precedence. Also joining me will be Richard Winger, Publisher and editor of Ballot Access Blog, to talk with us about Americans Elect (Americanselect.org), an anecdote for our issue with a two party system and American's lack of real and meaningful voice or choice in our electoral process.
Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
June 7, 2011 Tonight live at 8PM PT:   CA Assemblyman Chris Norby R-District 72 and Jack Dean of Pension Tsunami  join me on the program.  Steve Greenhut and John Seiler are on assignment.
We'll talk with Chris Norby about the looming hard set budget cut off date of June 15, for California lawmakers, where no budget means no pay, not no deferred pay, but NO PAY for the legislators for the time they don't produce a budget. What does this mean for the taxpayers?   How seriously does this hard set deadline influence the legislators?

We'll ask Chris about his support for AB1017, which would have allowed California prosecutors to decide whether folks caught cultivating marijuana should be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. 
The San Francisco Chronicle referred to its primary sponsor as "Uber liberal Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco." The bill failed and Norby is said to have ripped his fellow Republicans for not supporting it.  We'll ask him why?

Governor Brown is said to still be determined to redact, not reform Redevelopment in CA  and using the revenue that now goes to Redevelopment Agencies, to go to pay for local city and county services instead.  Is the budget showdown a High Noon moment for Redevelopment? 

We'll ask Chris about the critical and obfuscated issue of Public Employee Pensions, possible reforms and initiatives being discussed in the Legislature, and Jack Dean of Pension Tsunami can help us navigate what he sees as possible reform initiatives at the State level as well as the myriad of reform initiatives gaining steam and much resistance or blow-back in San Diego, San Francisco and San Jose.  


We'll take your calls 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 enterprise, by listening, sponsoring, and or sharing this newsletter with others.  I value your patronage. 
It's a pleasure to share this program with CalWatchDog's team of government 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

Editorial: Even Massachusetts gets it about unions - Orange County Register

June 03, 2011|By ocregister

In Massachusetts, liberal-leaning Democrats run the government. But to its credit, the Democratic-controlled Legislature has boldly acted to bring spending of taxpayer money under control by voting to curb collective bargaining rights on health care for municipal employees...


These otherwise public union-friendly lawmakers are acknowledging taxpayers are not a bottomless pit of cash, and there are limits on how much government can dole out.

The California Legislature, also controlled by liberal-leaning Democrats, would be wise to learn from their East Coast kindred spirits.


Click here to read the short pithy commentary

Epidemic or The Way it has Always Been? On eve of recall election, Hercules council candidate admits padding resume

Apparently CA Assembly Speaker “John A Pérez” (with the accent mark righteously in place) isn’t the only pol who runs for office on fake credentials and when the public finds out they’ve been duped, are stuck with the liar. Mark Twain said: "Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either." It should be grounds for immediate elimination. Period.
Click here to read the story.

Steven Greenhut: Bureaucrats don’t come to the rescue - Orange County Register

June 3, 2011
SACRAMENTO – As a tragic San Francisco fire that claimed the life of at least one firefighter Thursday has shown, public safety jobs at times can be very dangerous. But an incident from earlier in the week across the bay in Alameda has also shown, public safety agencies also can be so mired in bureaucracy that safety officials fail to act decently, let alone heroically.

Not only did Alameda firefighters and police stand around, watch and do nothing as a suicidal man, Raymond Zack, spent an hour neck-deep in the waters of San Francisco Bay,...
Click to read the article.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Despite the continuously bad news about the economy, jobs, and personal wealth, Obama's popularity is holding. Why?

This is an analysis I find inspiring, by friend Ralph Benko writing in Forbes today:
Strong Medicine For The GOP: From ‘Hope And Change’ To ‘Be The Change’
June 6th, 2011

Unemployment rate rises to 9.1%. Home prices resume their descent. The federal government is revealed as inept in two areas of greatest concern to voters: work and home. Weathering punch after punch of bad news about “the economy, stupid,” President Barack Obama remains, under the circumstances, astoundingly popular. The president is proving to be a crowd-pleasing palooka who just refuses to be K.O.’d.

Why is Obama’s popularity holding up?

The most compelling answer, one worthy of a Carville or Rove, came not from a Washington Pundit but from a mere voter like us. Dave Barry nailed it over a decade ago:

The Democrats seem to be basically nicer people, but they have demonstrated time and again that they have the management skills of celery. They’re the kind of people who’d stop to help you change a flat, but would somehow manage to set your car on fire. I would be reluctant to entrust them with a Cuisinart, let alone the economy. The Republicans, on the other hand, would know how to fix your tire, but they wouldn’t bother to stop because they’d want to be on time for Ugly Pants Night at the country club.

Another Excerpt:
There’s a lot more going on out here than just “Democrat vs. Republican,” “Left vs. Right,” “Libertarian or Authoritarian.” Educator and educational entrepreneur Michael Strong unraveled the puzzle in an under-noticed book published by John Wiley & Sons unassumingly titled Be the Solution: How Entrepreneurs and Conscious Capitalists Can Solve All the World’s Problems. A few additional heavyweights have contributed chapters: The guy from whom you probably buy your groceries, John Mackey, founder and CEO of Whole Foods; Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammed Yunus; Hernando de Soto, selected by TIME as “one of the five leading Latin American innovators of the century.”


Click here to read Benko's op-ed

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Why is the NAACP fighting African Americans? - The Washington Post

By Kevin P. Chavous, Published: June 3

The images are jarring. Photos of children with signs saying “NAACP, drop the lawsuit” and “NAACP, unite us, don’t divide us.” Video clips of parents, teachers and community leaders urging the NAACP to put the education of children first and to stop supporting the status quo.

It was so jarring because these children, parents and community leaders were black. Thousands of black Harlem residents rallied in the street May 26 protesting the NAACP.

Click here to read more...

Evidence from Southern California that redevelopment agencies don’t work | Redevelopment.US

"
Doug Tessitor is the mayor of Glendora, a city in Los Angeles County. He’s a self-described conservative and dead certain that preserving California’s redevelopment agencies (RDAs) is essential to his city’s fiscal health...Tessitor’s response is worth rebutting, not because his arguments are exceptional but because they echo those of other California Republicans who defend redevelopment. Read more..."

Click here for more...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Our View: Little sense to medical parole denial--MercedSun-Star.com

"If a quadriplegic prisoner is not eligible for release, who really is in dysfunctional state prison system?"

Here's another quote from the same Merced Op-ed above:
"State officials say that Martinez's medical bills average about $625,000 a year. That cost is dramatically escalated because when he has to be sent to an outside hospital, that adds $1,000 a day plus $2,100 a day for two correctional officers to guard him round the clock. This cost is outrageous and unnecessary."

What we have here is a jobs program for prison guards and prison guard union members.
Click to read the opinion.

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.

Blog Archive