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...

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Is the Tea Party Crazy or Just Nuts? - Reason Magazine

"Hey, what happened to people of conviction? Aren't the Tea Partiers "firebrands"? Isn't there little doubt where their hearts lie?

Rather than praise Tea Partiers as passionate advocates for their beliefs, many in the press have taken to marginalizing them with mean-spirited attacks on their sanity. Wellstone, who championed the rights of the mentally ill, would not be proud."

Click to read.

Grappling with the Banality of Evil - Wendy McElroy - Mises Daily

Wendy McElroy - Mises Daily

Click to read.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Uh-oh: Los Angeles County retirees won't disclose pension information - latimes.com & Brown vetoes replacement for senior care cut from budget - Bee Capitol Bureau

As I drive down the Freeway with my partner recently we're sensitive to the big expensive toys of our emperor class of Public Employees, we see a big new shining red truck with a fireman sticker on the back of it, new rims and cherry red and we think that guy should thank us.  We're paying for that truck.
He's probably retired and on his way to the lake to his second house.  Maybe he's got a double dipping job where he's working at a different public employee job and racking up some more retirement benefits.   My partner sighs, I should have been a fireman.  We'd be rich and retired now and living the life on some other guy's back.  We're both proud to not be doing so.  We do value our honor. 

Now the Legislature, whose political campaigns are largely funded by the public employee unions are stripping services for the old and poor and least able to fend for themselves in order to fund the lifestyle of the lucky dogs who chose to be public servants.  Never did any of us dream that they would end up having the retirement income and lifestyle of millionaires at our expense.    The rest of us are working away, if we're lucky to have jobs,  to foot the bill for all of them, and stay afloat ourselves.  

Well it doesn't look too good when greed is going to put seniors out of their homes and into warehousing institutions, leave kids with no summer programs to keep them out of trouble, and is forcing closed other programs for the needy.   It's just another picture for me to ruminate on in my head as we pass those trucks pulling boats to  cabins  owned by our contemporaries who hit the jackpot.  We jokingly laugh out loud how they should share their toys and homes with us, their friends in the private sector who are paying for all this wealth being sucked up by our new wealthy class of public servants.

Los Angeles County retirees won't disclose pension information - latimes.com
By Rong-Gong Lin II, Los Angeles Times
July 27, 2011
Los Angeles County retiree group won't reveal pension information
Even as other counties are being ordered to disclose pension amounts, the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Assn. is standing firm against the trend.


The Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Assn. is refusing to disclose how much its retirees are receiving, even as other counties have agreed to make pension information public.

In the last two months, appeals courts have ordered retirement associations in Sacramento and San Diego counties to disclose the information, and agencies in other California counties are complying with requests to release information on the  pensions of retirees.
Click here to read the article.
Brown vetoes replacement for senior care cut from budget - Bee Capitol Bureau Posted at 12:00 AM on Tuesday, Jul. 26, 2011By Torey Van Oot  
 Bee Capitol Bureau
Gov. Jerry Brown riled advocates for the elderly and disabled on Monday with an announcement that he vetoed legislation to create a replacement program for senior care services scrapped as part of this year's budget agreement.
Assembly Bill 96 would have allowed roughly half of the state's 300 Adult Day Health Care centers to continue to operate under a new, federally approved program. It was approved in response to an agreement to ax the Adult Day Health Care services to cut state spending.
Click here to read the article.

Tonight on Gadfly Radio, Martha w/CalWatchDog's John Seiler, CA City Journal's Ben Boychuk, Assemblyman Chris Norby, Carlos Rodriguez of CA Libertarios

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929 
July 26, 2011 Tonight live at 8PM PT:  Tonight on Gadfly Radio, Assemblyman Chris Norby of Fullerton, CA, John Seiler of CalWatchdog and Ben Boychuk of City Journal join us, and Carlos A. Rodriguez, Immigration Attorney, Libertarian Candidate for Congress in 2010, drops by to share a bit of what he got at Freedom Fest in Las Vegas two weeks ago.  We'll see just how lasting the good vibes he picked up have held up with him. 

We'll talk with Assemblyman Chris Norby, John Seiler and Ben Boychuk about: 
  • Steven Greenhut's published op-ed,  "Making [the] Public Pay for Budget Cuts,"  “'Armstrong & Getty,'” a talk-radio show in Northern California, recently featured a morning drive-time discussion during which listeners shared similar stories of police indifference. Police officials are blaming budget cuts for their cutbacks in service, but it’s hard to accept this explanation..."  "...'The California Highway Patrol is handing out more traffic citations than it did a few years ago, and that has generated tens of millions of dollars in revenue for state and local governments...'”  Public safety officials are handing out more tickets and shutting down services that are important to the public.  Why? What's the alternative? 
  • John Hrabe’s piece on redistricting,  Jeanne Raya Failed to Reveal Donations, about another California Redistricting commissioner who failed to disclose a campaign contribution to a political candidate.  The purpose of the Redistricting Commission is supposed to avoid the "taint of partisanship."
  • The CA Legislature's maneuvers to curb citizen direct democracy including a bill requiring an hourly wage and banning pay for per signature gathered, which is on the gov’s desk for signing, and two other reform measures in the Legislature, that curb citizen direct democracy.  
  • After getting present to the reality of CA's situation, we'll touch on a previous piece by John called Rutten's Amazon Attack Ignores Reality.  What is  Amazon's Referendum about and why the contempt from the Left on this issue?  "Rutten is upset that Amazon is using the initiative process, created a century ago by the progressives who battled Southern Pacific, to thwart the recent Amazon tax. (The tax actually hits 25,000 small “affiliates” a lot more than it does Amazon because Amazon and other companies fired their affiliates.) But until now, Amazon has had close to zero political involvement in California. It’s only involved because it was attacked by Rutten and crew.
  •  Last week we didn't have enough time to do justice to a piece by Joel Kotkin in the summer issue of City Journal Magazine, called  Lost Angeles: The City of Angels goes to hell so Ben Boychuk will talk about it tonight.  
We'll take your calls, questions and comments on the air at 1-818-602-4929.

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


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

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


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

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


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Russell Brand on Amy Winehouse: 'We have lost a beautiful, talented woman' | Music | guardian.co.uk

Not all addicts have Amy's incredible talent. Or Kurt's or Jimi's or Janis's. Some people just get the affliction. All we can do is adapt the way we view this condition, not as a crime or a romantic affectation but as a disease that will kill.
We need to review the way society treats addicts, not as criminals but as sick people in need of care. We need to look at the way our government funds rehabilitation. It is cheaper to rehabilitate an addict than to send them to prison, so criminalization doesn't even make economic sense. Not all of us know someone with the incredible talent that Amy had but we all know drunks and junkies and they all need help and the help is out there. All they have to do is pick up the phone and make the call. Or not. Either way, there will be a phone call.


Click to go to The Guardian to read Russel Brand's words on Amy Winehouse.

Help end the war on drugs.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Republic of Cannabis | California Watch

"California's lenient regulation of medical marijuana has drawn the attention of users, growers, lawmakers and law enforcement
officials worldwide. Meet those involved with the marijuana trade and explore how some local governments are dealing with the drug."

I watched the documentary called Republic of Cannabis without any idea what the bias would be. I thought it was a fair investigative report that lays out the issue in very stark terms and contrasts. The question I came away with was what side of this debate will the Conservatives in CA side with. It's a very important question. I hope they side with the people of California who passed prop 19.

Sheriff Tom Allen serves with integrity and respect for the residents of Mendocino County. He wants to comply with the law. He lays out how what we have brewed here in California is a conflict that can be best described as a State vs Federal issue, a Tenth Amendment issue of Nullification.

Click here to see the collection of reports at California Watch Founded by the Center for Investigative Reporting

Editorial: Transparency for government pensions | - Opinion - The Orange County Register

Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach, an accountant, shared a similar view when we asked him about the new rules. "It's a good thing," Mr. Moorlach said, "but GASB should have done this 30 years ago because, by not requiring the reporting of liabilities, it allowed some to work in the shadows."

The lack of a reporting requirement allowed for the "pillaging and plundering of public employee pensions," Mr. Moorlach said. "GASB is finally stepping up to the plate but they are too little too late."

Click to read the article.

Where Does All the Money Go? | Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association

For most cities and counties, the biggest category of spending for something other than public services is pensions. An enormous slice of the budget pie is consumed by former government employees who obviously, because they are retired, no longer provide any service to the public.


Click here to read the story.

HANSON: Living off the assets of bold dreamers - Washington Times

Today’s Americans rely on comforts provided by ambitious forebears

HUNTINGTON LAKE, Calif.

Our politicians love soaring platitudes followed by little, if any, follow-up. The more Americans are promised shovel-ready stimulus projects, new sources of power and other fantasies, the more we accept that bureaucracy, regulations, lawsuits and impact statements will prevent much from ever being done.

The president himself, after demanding nearly a trillion dollars in borrowed money for the budget, confessed that his “shovel-ready” projects proved not so shovel-ready after all. Much of the vast sums of borrowed money instead went to subsidize nearly insolvent pensions, entitlements and bloated state budgets. Unemployment is still at 9.2 percent nationwide, with nearly 50 million people on government-subsidized food stamps - even as American infrastructure is crumbling, the private sector is moribund, and national timidity prevents any new, large, visionary construction. Prior generations gave us space projects; ours is about ending them. Boeing once ruled the skies; now the government sues to stop Boeing from opening a new plant.

But it was not always so.

Click to read the column.

Making Public Pay for Budget Cuts | CalWatchDog

By Steve Greenhut

Police officials are blaming budget cuts for their cutbacks in service, but it’s hard to accept this explanation. The other day I saw an officer giving tickets to three teen-agers who were caught riding their bicycles without helmets. One downtown Sacramento officer rides around on a horse and gallops after people who jaywalk. There’s clearly the manpower to hand out tickets (but not to clean up the piles of manure the horses leave behind). It’s a question of priorities.

A recent Modesto Bee report points to this trend: “The California Highway Patrol is handing out more traffic citations than it did a few years ago, and that has generated tens of millions of dollars in revenue for state and local governments.” Another relevant statistic:

The average CHP officer who has retired in the past couple of years is bringing home a guaranteed pension of $98,000 a year (after 25 years of work), with automatic cost-of-living increases.


Click to read the column.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fear-Mongering and Servitude | The Freeman | Ideas On Liberty

Fear-Mongering and Servitude | The Freeman | Ideas On Liberty
by James Bovard

In his 1776 essay, “Thoughts on Government,” John Adams observed, “Fear is the foundation of most governments; but it is so sordid and brutal a passion, and renders men in whose breasts it predominates so stupid and miserable, that Americans will not be likely to approve of any political institution which is founded on it.” The Founding Fathers hoped the American people would possess the virtues and strength to perpetuate liberty. Unfortunately politicians over the past century have used trick after trick to send Americans scurrying to politicians to protect them.

Click to read.

My Opinion on The Buzz: Poll mixed on voter views of online 'Amazon tax' & CalWatchDog's Published Smoking Gun Report on Redistricting Commissioner Dr. Gabino Aguirre and his CAUSE.

The small time merchants who've lost a significant income stream when the employment prospects in CA only get darker, were already responsible for paying the taxes, on their own.
Amazon as a company, operated in the red for years and years, and for a state, even full-of-itself-California, to dictate to a company how they must act as the tax cop for the State Govt is tyrannical.

A rumor I heard at a recent Word Press blog camp I recently attended told of many individuals who were incorporating in Nevada to get around the law. Meanwhile the State is now out the income tax they were actually collecting from all those law abiding citizens who made an income in the high unemployment State of CA, and who paid their taxes on their income, as was the working model.

California is broke and we now have a higher unemployment rate than Nevada and our Legislators just slashed a major revenue stream because they are reactionary toward small business private enterprise, the job cow of the job market--providing well over 80 percent of the jobs when the economy is healthy. The small business economy is still the super majority of jobs provider, but the CA State Legislators beg one to assume they are innumerate or deliberate, or morally bankrupt, or for sale to the highest bidder.

Reminding me of while Rome burned, Republican authoritarian-leaning State Senator Tom Berryhill has co-authored a bad bill totalitarian and otherwise useless, in the name of protecting a dead child while Californians face a worsening unemployment situation and breakdown of cities on account of a fiscal disaster, as a result of the cost of government and the assault on private job producing companies.

Steve Chapman at Reason wrote this on Berryhill's co-authored bill, before Barryhill and his co-author, also Republican, Paul Cook, announced their co-authored bill for "Caylee's Law."

CRP Chairman, Tom Del Beccaro gets tough around the redistricting and the one commissioner who has a strong connection with CAUSE Central Coast Alliance United for A Sustainable Economy. The chart at CalWatchDog is a smoking gun.

I digress. Amazon tax stupid or reckless.
Click to read the article.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Best Introduction to Libertarianism by Laurence M. Vance

by Laurence M. Vance, Posted July 22, 2011

Libertarianism Today by Jacob H. Huebert
(Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2010), 254 pages.

Major books on libertarianism seem to come in pairs. First, in 1973, there was Murray N. Rothbard’s For a New Liberty (Macmillan, with a revised edition in 1978) and John Hospers’s Libertarianism: A Political Philosophy for Tomorrow (Nash Publishing). The year 1997 saw the publication of David Boaz’s Libertarianism: A Primer (The Free Press) and Charles Murray’s What It Means to Be a Libertarian: A Personal Interpretation (Broadway Books). Then, just last year, Jeffrey A. Miron’s Libertarianism, from A to Z (Basic Books) and the book under review here, Jacob H. Huebert’s Libertarianism Today (Praeger), came out.

Click to go to published article.

Some of My Favorite Public Servants by Anthony Gregory

Click here to read.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Majority of Young Hispanic Voters Favor Free Market, Low Taxes

According to a recent poll conducted by Generation Opportunity, a majority of young Hispanics believe that the federal government should cut spending and liberate the private sector. As Hispanics historically have voted Democrat and typically supported the Democrats' non-social agendas, the results mark a significant change.

The Blaze notes: "The survey, with a reported margin of error +/- 4 points, reveals 57 percent of young Hispanics agree that “if taxes on business profits were reduced, companies would be more likely to hire.” Likewise, a staggering 70 percent of Hispanic young adults say they would “decrease” federal spending if given the chance to “set America’s fiscal priorities.”

The poll also reveals a number of additional elements:

Click here to read the article.

And here is another article on this same story: Young Hispanics skeptical of big government
By: Michael Barone | Senior Political Analyst Follow Him| 07/20/11 5:23 PM

An outfit called Generation Opportunity (which boasts 842,000 friends on its “Being American” Facebook page) commissioned an online poll of adults age 18 to 29 in April from the Polling Company/Woman Trend Inc. The most interesting results are from young Hispanics. They preferred “reducing federal spending” to “raising taxes on individuals” in order to “balance the federal budget” by 1 69%-27% margin. Of these young Hispanics, 57% agreed that “if taxes on business profits were reduced, companies would be more likely to hire” and 56% agreed that “the economy grows best when individuals are allowed to create businesses without government interference.” Click here to read the article.

Could decriminalizing drugs actually save lives? | The Asheville Citizen-Times | citizen-times.com

Could decriminalizing drugs actually save lives? | The Asheville Citizen-Times | Written by
Ronald Hult, Weaverville
It's easy to see that the drug war is a losing battle. By some estimates up to 10,000 Mexicans per year are being killed needlessly in this war. For perspective, since the Iraq war began in 2003 around 4,500 Americans have died in Iraq. I'd be the first to admit that drugs can ruin lives; but I'd argue that drug use should be completely decriminalized, and that we treat addiction as an illness. Our archaic drug laws have led to the U.S. having the highest incarceration rate in the world, and we are devoting around 50 percent of law enforcement resources to the drug war.

Prominent politicians are now supporting drug legalization, including GOP presidential candidates Ron Paul and Gary Johnson and Rep. Barney Frank. A few years ago Portugal decriminalized all drugs, from marijuana to heroin. The Global Commission on Drug Policy concluded that decriminalization in Portugal and other countries has not led to an increase in drug use. In fact, heroin use has declined by 50 percent in Portugal since the legalization of drugs in that country.

Click to read the article.

My Opinion on "Ben Boychuk and Pia Lopez go Head to Head over Should California let universities use race as a factor in admissions?"

By Martha Montelongo

I was admitted to UCLA through affirmative action, and my ethnicity was a factor. How much of a factor? I don't know. And I always wonder if I could have been admitted without that as a factor, on my merit alone. My background was interesting and harsh, and would have been so, had my parents been Jewish, Polish, German, Italian etc. My resiliency, doggedness, and spirit could have been that of a Chinese or Vietnamese or an Anglo or Irishman just as well. So why would I get special treatment based on my ethnicity? The hardest thing about the question race as a factor for admissions raises for me is the cloud of doubt and denigration race based admissions has had on my own sense of self-regard. The doubt this issue casts in my own regard, over my ability without the advantage of the race card has been hurtful on many occasions.

Most recently I moved back to Whittier, CA after living in Santa Cruz for 23 years. I'm still in the process of sorting out my affairs but I had to change my medical group to a local group so that I could resume preventative and proactive personal health care for myself. The thought occurred to me several times as I was looking at the names of doctors in the assorted HMO groups available to me.

I remember Killer King Hospital, a.k.a. Martin Luther King Jr Hospital in Los Angeles County near Watts and South Central. Race trumped qualifications and the results were ghoulishly frightening. So many people died, were maimed, and tormented as a result of a policy that strictly adhered to race as the number one criteria for leadership, control and administration of this hospital. It was allowed to carry on it's reckless neglect and malpractice for years, and the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors failed to act because of their fear of standing up to the politics of race identity political groups that roared at the mere suggestion of any serious reforms in policy.

I say it often--I love being Latina. I love speaking Spanish. I love my Mexican American cultural heritage. I have fond and delightful memories of family gatherings and experiences and my music collection includes classics from the 30s, 40s and 50s of Mexican Bolero and Romantic songs. But I don't want to look at the name of a doctor and wonder, are they qualified or did they get here because of their name and cultural background? Did they get in to their medical schools by meeting the standards as an equal, or did they beat out a more qualified person because of their race?

Or let us ponder what if both applicants were equal in every since of their test scores and academic achievement, then, do we sanction a choice be made by a public government agent based on an individual's ethnicity and race?

It reminds me of an incident when I was a child of six or 7 years of age. A little girl our same age lived two houses up the street from us. For a few summers, we, my twin and I, would spend almost everyday at her house. She had so many toys and so many games and they always had a dough boy pool in the back and it was so hot and that pool and then the cool of the air-conditioned house and the toys and the snacks, were all so wonderful.

We'd endure her petulant and unfair behavior of taking the stack of Candy Land cards under the table in the middle of a game so that she would draw the best cards. She'd mess up every once in a while and one still had a shot at winning. We loved the colorful board, and all her games and playing together. And they were very generous with us.

But one day we had a disagreement over I don't remember what. It was a shouting match on her front lawn. She got so mad, she slapped my little sister who was only four years old, to get at me. Without thinking, and just reacting, her little brother, equal in age to my little sister was near me, and I grabbed his hand and slapped him. I was so instantly ashamed. It was a primitive reaction. I won't condone policy that acts in the way I did, in that moment.

Pia Lopez responds to comments in the piece posted here in the SacBee.

She implies that all other things being equal, that for the sake of diversity, so that the University environment reflects the diversity of the community, the race factor matters. She says: "The aim is to gather a pool of qualified candidates and then to look at each person, on a case-by-case, individually to see what they would bring to the mix in an entering class." What right does anyone have to play God in this mix? How about a lottery, all things being equal?

How about this Pia? How about we put all of our efforts into transforming, not just reforming, but transforming our public schools that are the only option for the poor in every community, save for the lucky few who get saved from the failures that are our public schools, because they win a lottery and get into one of the few Charter Schools allowed by cowardly and or compromised politicians and the teachers unions that control them? How about we stop perpetuating the myths that black and Latino kids aren't capable of high achievement in math, science, English, and more?

I got A's in my major at UCLA. I worked very hard to learn how to write a decent sentence, paragraph, and essay. I was too proud to quit, give up or fail.

I went to a high school that sent a lot of non Hispanic kids to elite colleges. We, those kids and I, had the same teachers. I got decent grades in those same classes. Why didn't those teachers have to teach such that when I got to UCLA, I wasn't below the basic Subject A course in skill level? I was fortunate in that the Affirmative Action Program, then directed by Steve Duarte, had a Summer Program component to it. They housed those of us admitted under special admission in a dorm for 10 weeks, and they gave us an intensive course in remedial math or English, depending on our major as well as two university undergraduate level courses, simultaneously.

It is a high price we pay as a society to tolerate and enable the job programs that dominate what passes for our K-12 Public Education System. We fail the majority of our students who are poor and or lower middle class, whose parents can't afford to move or to send their children to private schools or who are not educated enough themselves, to teach their own children.

Supporting race based quotas is to support a system that fails the majority and saves or gives a chance out of mediocrity and failure to a handful of tokens, so that liberals can feel good about themselves while they go on enjoying the luxury of our taxpayer supported State Universities, a welfare program for the rich and upper middle class in our country.

California's public safety workers: Police, firefighters on spot after Alameda incident - latimes.com

Op-Ed
The Alameda incident: 'First responders' who don't
Police and firefighters stood by and watched a suicidal man drown. We need to restore the principle that the real constituency for public safety is the public, not bureaucrats and government workers.

The incident sparked widespread outrage in Northern California, and the response by the Fire Department and police only intensified the anger. The firefighters blamed local budget cuts for denying them the training and equipment necessary for cold-water rescues. The police said that they didn't know if the man was dangerous and therefore couldn't risk the safety of officers.

After a local TV news crew asked him whether he would save a drowning child in the bay, Alameda Fire Chief Ricci Zombeck gave an answer that made him the butt of local talk-show mockery: "Well, if I was off duty, I would know what I would do, but I think you're asking me my on-duty response, and I would have to stay within our policies and procedures, because that's what's required by our department to do."

If you stand a better chance of being rescued by the official rescuers when they are off duty, then what is the purpose of these departments, which consume the lion's share of city budgets and whose employees — in California anyway — receive exceedingly handsome salaries?


Click to read article posted at latimes.com

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tonight on Gadfly Radio, Martha w/CalWatchDog's John Hrabe, CA City Journal's Ben Boychuk, Marijuana Policy Project's Morgan Fox

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929 
July 19, 2011 Tonight live at 8PM PT:  Tonight on Gadfly Radio, What's race got to do with it? The CA Redistricting Commission went dark a few weeks ago.  But one discovery written about by CalWatchDog investigative reporter John Hrabe touches on contorted measures taking root behind closed doors, to further secure centralized power for the CA State Democratic Party and the public unions and environmentalist groups they are beholden to, while conceding to collectivists demands by ethnic identity groups, for race to be used as a determining factor for districts' makeup, trumping the integrity, cohesiveness, natural boundaries, and community interests of neighborhoods, cities and counties. 

Cities are cutting vital services including police, fire and other services to make ends meet. Most other states are better off, but national unemployment has risen to over 9 percent now. Yet the Obama Administration has announced a reversal of its 2009 position that put marijuana enforcement as a low priority, seemingly respecting individual State laws.


What are the costs vs benefits of criminalizing medical marijuana in spite of CA's Medicinal Marijuana laws? What are the fears and the real consequences? What are the threats and dangers of the Obama Administration's reversal of policy if pursued as recently stated? Morgan Fox, Communications Director with the Marijuana Policy Project MPP joins us to discuss the impact of the Obama Administration's recent flurry of statements regarding Federal enforcement guidelines and policy and the MPP in CA. 


Ben Boychuk joins me, and among the other topics aforementioned, we'll touch on the latest issue of CA City Journal's subscription magazine's summer issue including a poignant piece by Joel Kotkin called Lost Angeles: The City of Angels goes to hell. Wow!

Ben will also touch on Steven Greenhut's hard hitting commentary in the same issue, When Heroes Become Bureaucrats: Why cops and firefighters stood by as a man drowned in San Francisco Bay. Zing!

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:


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Children Belong to the State — (1860s « LewRockwell.com Blog) Here, I will call it "In the Beginning" or "The Spawning of Public Education"

March 13, 2010
Children Belong to the State — 1860s
Posted by Christopher Manion on March 13, 2010 01:44 PM

Butler, it goes back further than that. Few Americans today realize that the public school movement began 150 years ago as part of an attack on the Catholic Church.

In the mid-nineteenth century, Protestant “Know-Nothings” railed against the millions of newly-arrived Catholic immigrants — “criminals” who had a lot of kids and were starting their own schools, complete with armies of foreign nuns and papist priests. According to Rousas Rushdoony’s history, Horace Mann, the founder of the public school movement in Massachusetts, believed that “the [public] schools are the means, instruments, vehicles, and true church by which salvation is given to society.” Given that goal, Mann “changed the function of education from ‘mere learning’ or religiously-oriented education to ‘social efficiency, civic virtue, and character” (by the twentieth century, character “ceased to be a concern” in the public schools, Rushdoony notes). Mann also demanded that control of community schools be transferred into state hands.
Click here to read the rest of this illuminating blog post at Lew Rockwell.

To understand further influences in the conversion of Education from what it was, free and privately delivered, read Temple of Man: Freemasonry, Civil Religion, and Education here.

We'll talk about Race on Gadfly Radio tonight, with respect to the Redistricting Commission, their actions and the profile of one of the Commission Members

The issue of Race and Ethnicity has gummed up the gears of redistricting. The CA State Democratic Party is lording over counties and cities for power, to keep power within the Party centralized as opposed to localized by regions and natural communities, or in vintners’ terms, micro climates.

These State wide Political leaders and the Statewide public employee unions that control both parties to some degree, and the Democratic Party, almost entirely. The State Democratic Party leaders are petulant arrogant politicians, with few exceptions, and barely a few whimpers. Senator Gloria Romero, retired is an exception, but she's termed out. We have no real effective leaders who stand with the entrepreneurial class, at a local level.

Redistricting in California is paramount. But not by race, but by principle of integrity of communities and regions.

I dig speaking Spanish, Español and I dig being Mexican American. Why not? That’s what I am! I have some great stories to share about it. But for the sake of our financial solvency and integrity, I want my leaders to respect enterprising individuals who work, and who create jobs, good jobs and who do good work for the community. I don’t care if they’re Latino. I care about their principles that support enterprise or don’t. And I want more than lip service.

About the political districts, communities should be in tack as much as possible. Politicians need to be connected with and accountable to their cohesive communities.

I more than dig speaking Spanish. I am a real authentic Mexican American. I have roots in New Mexico, Texas, and across the border, in Mexico, in Durango and in Ojinaga. All of my mother's family and much of my father's migrated to California from Texas, in the 60's. There were lots of jobs here. Good factory jobs. I grew up in Southern California. We came here when I was about three years old.

I lived in Barcelona, Spain, my junior year abroad as a UCLA student. I took a fifth year to complete my studies, and I went back to Spain between my fourth and fifth year. Barcelona was particularly interesting to me because they speak Catalan in the region of Catalonia, or Cataluña as the Catalans say it. I remember thinking for the first time how I got the concept of bilingualism, because Catalan was there long before the region became politically a part of Spain. I went there the first time only three years following the death of Franco, Generalissimo Franco, who'd reigned as dictator from 1938 until June 8, 1973 and died on Nov 20, 1975. He'd been dead a little over 3 years. They hated him. Their language had been forbidden under his regime. They had preserved it and the majority of the Catalan people had preserved their fluency in the language subversively.
Yet, it not only is a region in Spain, a beautiful region with coast line on the Mediterranean, and with the Southern tip of the Alps gracing the northern portion of this northern most region. It is a beautiful region, but equally notable, it is one of the most economically vital regions in Spain. And they do it their way. I loved that. I wish that it could have been this way for the Mexicans who were here before here stopped being Mexico and became the U.S. God forbid we were part of Mexico in that we wouldn't know American enterprising culture. But, imagine if the culture had been strong and preserved and also had adapted the American enterprising culture. What a dynamic and delightful place this would be.

Instead we had a group that wants us to forget Spanish and "just be American" on one hand, and on the other we have these incompetent boobs who insist we need to vote for them because they're like us( if you're Hispanic) as if all Hispanics were the same, as if there were no distinctions between being Puerto Rican, or from Central America or South America. Heck, there are distinction between the Mexicans who were from the South West, on both sides of the border which materialized in the mid 1800s.

Ranked Choice Vote Favors Asian SF Mayor published at CalWatchDog. Here we have the topic of race again. First Redistricting and the battles over racial identity make up and hacks (see Friday, July 15 in this blog.) and now this.

Does race matter if the choice comes down to the top four candidates who all happen to be Asian? If I lived in S.F. would that render me disenfranchised because I'm not Asian? No. Of course not. What I want to know is what do they each stand for?

San Francisco's Jeff Adachi, the City's Public Defender is Asian. I would vote for him. I applaud his integrity on the City's Public Pension crisis. If I lived in SF would I vote for him over a candidate who was Latino? Unless that Latino Candidate had been building credentials as a bonafide reformer who is committed to addressing the issue of public debt and costs of employees and services, absolutely! Unquestionably! Race is not relevant to me, unless a candidate makes it relevant; if he or she makes it relevant it's because he is thin and shallow in areas that would capture a plurality of voters who want responsible, accountable government. 

Based on and limited to the the information in this piece, Hall would be my choice candidate and I would vote for him as my number one, two and three choice.  Is that correct? Is that how you get the biggest boost for your candidate?   Click here to read the article.

The Banksters and American Foreign Policy: What's driving the debt ceiling debate

by Justin Raimondo, July 15, 2011

"Everyone agrees the United States is in a crisis of momentous importance: we’re approaching bankruptcy [.pdf], millions are out of work, and the emotional leitmotif of our culture can be summed up in one word: demoralization.

Is there a way out?

Well, yes and no. Yes – if ... no, if we’re depending on our "leaders" to pull us out of the abyss.

Let me explain...
...President Obama’s threat that Social Security checks may not go out after the August deadline is, like everything out that comes out of his mouth, a lie. The government has the money to pay on those checks: this is just his way of playing havoc with the lives of American citizens, a less violent but nonetheless just as evil version of the havoc he plays with the lives of Afghans, Pakistanis, and Libyans every day..."

"...How did this happen? There are two versions of this little morality tale, one coming from the "left" and the other from the "right" (the scare-quotes are there for a reason, which I’ll get to in a moment or two).

The "left" version goes something like this:

The evil capitalists, in league with their bought-and-paid for cronies in government, destroyed and looted the economy until there was nothing left to steal. Then, when their grasping hands had reached the very bottom of the treasure chest, they dialed 911 and the emergency team (otherwise known as the US Congress) came to their rescue, doling out trillions to the looters and leaving the rest of America to pay the bill.  


The "right" version goes something like the following:

Politically connected Wall Streeters, in league with their bought-and-paid-for cronies in government, destroyed and looted the economy until there was nothing left to steal. Then, when their grasping hands had reached the very bottom of the treasure chest, they dialed BIG-GOV-HELP and the feds showed up with the cash..."  Click here to read the article.

Monday, July 18, 2011

D.C. teacher performance evaluations - The Washington Post (The reforms are working)

The school system announced Friday that 309 employees, 206 of them teachers, were being dismissed for poor job performance. No pleasure can ever be taken from people losing their jobs. But there is cause for celebration if the rights of children to a quality education trump the self-interest of adults. Friday’s dismissals are a departure from recent practice when typically only a handful of teachers would be fired and then only because of gross misconduct.


Click to read the story.

Put Down Your Rights and No One Needs to Get Hurt! by Wendy McElroy

Defense attorney David Bigney says he rarely sees a case now where resisting isn’t a charge. “All these people want is to know why, what’s going on here, but the officer decides I’m just going to arrest you," said Bigney. And often it’s the only charge. In more than 25-percent of the 4000-plus cases Eyewitness News tracked, resisting was the only charge. That begs the question: if there’s no arrest for something else how could they be resisting arrest?


Click to read the article.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Don't neglect the Blog. Biggest lesson I got at the WordPress Camp in San Diego today.

I have a habit of going straight to my facebook to chat, and so only post the most compelling of the pieces I am thinking about. One of the inside jokes today with the wonks we were treated to for Word Press enlightenment, was something about cat videos. Dan found this one on the web to illustrate a cat video, and I was dying laughing!!!!... A Cat Walks Into a Fish - PetTube.

Fortunately, it immediately precedes another hilarious video, Boston Terrier dog likes his belly tickled!. Funny.

But just to assure you of my allegiance to keep my blog authentically political in commentary, here is the ultimate political satire in kitty theatrics: Cat barks like dog until someone notices.

Since Feds Won’t Change Policy, We Must Change Federal Law

— MPP Blog by Morgan Fox
(Morgan Fox will be a guest on Gadfly Radio next Tuesday night at 8PM.)

The last two weeks have been full of announcements from the federal government about marijuana policy. None of them has been positive, and none of them should be surprising.

First, the Department of Justice stated that it retained the ability to prosecute anyone who cultivates, processes, or distributes medical marijuana, regardless of state law. As noted earlier on this blog, this is not really a change in policy, but it is certainly disappointing to see the Department of Justice is unwilling to publicly recognize the legitimacy of state medical marijuana laws and would rather have patients purchasing their medicine from dangerous, illicit dealers.

Click to read the article

Friday, July 15, 2011

Redistricting Commissioner Gabino Aguirre’s Secret Political Past

This report is published at CalWatchDog.com


Independent “Citizen” Commissioner Concealed Partisan Political Activities, History of Latino Activism & Connections to Redistricting Interest Group
JULY 15, 2011

By JOHN HRABE

The California Citizens Redistricting Commission, the 14-member independent panel of average citizens, was created to end partisan gerrymandering and draw political boundaries in an open process, without the influence of special interests.

An investigation by CalWatchDog.com reveals that at least one commissioner, Dr. Gabino T. Aguirre, has made multiple political campaign contributions to Democratic candidates — contributions that were previously undisclosed to the Commission; a long history of political activism in support of Latino causes; and an extensive web of connections to a special interest group that has submitted its own redistricting proposals to the commission...Click here to read the report. 


I love being Mexican American...I speak Spanish fluently, I love it, and I love the music and literature and the sensibilities of the language and the culture. When I think about my childhood, I flash on a myriad of images that are the unique experience of growing up in an area where Mexican/Spanish Culture was established in the late 1600's. I get the same thrill attending functions of different cultures as well, including of European settlers. It's all very interesting, and I am moved by the way different cultures express our universal values for love,children, family, honor, dignity, and culture.

That said, it is quite another matter for those who call for, advocate, support, promote, encourage or defend the case for political leaders who claim to have a special interest and special qualifications to legislate laws and rights on my behalf because we share a cultural heritage.

Under the rule of law, we are all equal. Or at least, that is how it is supposed to be.  There is no carving up of rights by race or ethnicity that can ever serve us well.   There is no integrity in such an argument. 

Such concepts are collectivist, anti-individualist, and only serve to divide us into groups, among our fellow citizens, and serve to empower "caudillios" or power brokers.  They erode our freedoms and true equality under the rule of law.  We can not right wrongs of the past by consenting to and condoning wrongs in the present.   That is absurd. 

Individual liberty, rights and laws to protect the individual, regardless of race, creed, sex, or color--that is what makes good political leaders, neighbors and policy that supports being free and having opportunity to creating and proliferating economic prosperity.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Congratulations Speaker Perez – But Watch Out For That Referendum

"This is a powerful follow-up piece to the op-ed Tony Quinn wrote on Monday, and talked about yesterday on Gadfly Radio. "They need not spend money trying to elect more Democratic members; the Redistricting Commission has done it for them." and "The real partisan work is being done by their staff of Berkeley Democratic consultants. Every change made to Assembly maps since release of the first draft districts on June 10 has favored the Democrats; to believe this is all by accident is to walk through an orchard and believe all the rows of trees just grew there by chance."

The 54th Democratic seat is a doozy, but it does the job.


Click here to read the article

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tonight on Gadfly Radio, Martha w/CalWatchDog's John Seiler, Tony Quinn of Fox&Hound, CA State Senator & Chair of Dems for Ed Reform Gloria Romero & Lydia Grant, Community Activist & Student Liaison in L.A.U.S.D.

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
July 12, 2011 Tonight live at 8PM PT:   Tonight on Gadfly Radio, Martha w/CalWatchDog's John Seiler, Tony Quinn of Fox & Hound Daily, Chair of Dems for Ed Reform, Past CA Senator & Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero and Community Activist and Student Liaison Lydia Grant.  

Former CA State Senator and Senate Majority Leader, now Chair of CA Democrats for Education Reform issued a statement last week calling for sitting CA Board of Education member Patricia Rucker to recuse herself from the board's hearing tomorrow, Wednesday, July 13th, when the board decides on the final draft of rules for The Parent Trigger law in California in California.   If the rules are not adopted at this hearing, then the process needs to begin all over again.  

We'll talk with the Senator over her role in passing the Parent Trigger Law when she was in the CA Legislature, her support for the Parent Trigger Law, and why she is riding with two bus loads of parents, to Sacramento to appear before the CA State Board of Education in support of the The Parent Trigger Law.   


Tony Quinn joins us to discuss his passionate op-ed, Excluding The Public: The Redistricting Commission Goes Dark | Fox & Hounds Daily, published yesterday in Fox and Hound Daily concerning the "black out" we are now experiencing from our CA Redistricting Commission.  
We'll also speak with Tony regarding his Fox & Hound colleague Joel Fox's op-ed concerning the CA Legislature's attack on Prop 13, "First, They Want to Go After Business Property Taxes."


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

Monday, July 11, 2011

Excluding The Public: The Redistricting Commission Goes Dark | Fox & Hounds Daily

By Tony Quinn
Political Commentator and Former Legislative Staffer
Mon, July 11th, 2011

Running out of time, beset by rebellious consultants, and manipulated by partisans, the Citizens Redistricting Commission has decided to exclude citizens from the process. The Commission is going dark.

On Saturday, the Commission voted not to release a second set of draft redistricting maps to the press or the public on July 14 as promised. They also voted not to post maps of the districts they are drawing on their own redistricting website. Despite a $3 million budget and hundreds of thousands of dollars paid to their consultants, the consultants told them they had no time for public maps. Outside groups are being recruited for that task. Click here to read more.
(Tony Quinn joins me on Gadfly Radio Tuesday, July 12, at 8PM. Our other guests include Former CA State Senator, Gloria Romero, and Citizen liaison, activist, Lydia Grant)

FIRST, They Want to Go After Business Property Taxes | Fox & Hounds Daily

Here's the word and the sentence that stood out to me in Steve Lopez's Los Angeles Times weekend column on Proposition 13: It would make the most sense to go after commercial property taxes first, Villaraigosa said, since business has gotten the biggest break.

Underline and circle the word FIRST in that statement by the Los Angeles mayor. Seems to me the intent is to change the property tax system for all property owners. They just want to do it in pieces and begin with business property.
Click here to read more.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Senator Gloria Romero (Ret.) CA Director, Democrats for Education Reform issues statement urging SBE Board Member’s recusal

Posted at Mayor Sam Press Release Blog - Spin Zone of Los Angeles Politics: "CA Director, Democrats for Education Reform issues statement urging SBE Board Member’s recusal" Click here to read more.

Senator Gloria Romero joins Gadfly Radio next Tuesday, July 12, at 8PM, on the eve she boards a bus with 150 parents, to Sacramento, to speak before the CA State Board of Education, regarding her request for State Board of Education member, Patricia Rucker recuse herself from any deliberations or board decision regarding The Parent Trigger. Join us!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tonight on Gadfly Radio, Martha w/CalWatchDog's John Seiler, City Journal & Claremont Institute's Ben Boychuk & Hoover Institute's Bill Evers on CA Charter Schools in Peril, Congressional Candidate Craig Huey's Amazing Race, and Mike Shaner, Entrepreneur in business to Advance Liberty

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
July 5, 2011 Tonight live at 8PM PT: Bill Evers, a formidable specialist in CA Education Policy, along with fellow education policy expert and commentator, Ben Boychuk on the precarious condition and peril of Charter Schools in CA. What are these ominous bills, including AB 114 and AB 440 and SB 645.

Here's a comprehensive webinar put together by The Charter Schools Development Center, breaking down SB 645's proposed changes to current Charter School law in CA, and the severe impact these changes bode for the survival of Charter Schools in CA.

We'll also look at AB 86 by Tony Mendoza, which as currently amended would require at least half of all teachers and  classified employees (i.e., non-teaching staff) to sign off on any  petition to convert a school to a charter. (This is somewhat related to the Parent Trigger.) And as Boy Boychuk puts it, "speaking of the Parent Trigger (and in keeping with the rule of three), there remains the threat of AB 203, which could very well lock the trigger by giving districts more power to deny petitions, etc."
 

Next Tuesday, July 12,  Craig Huey squares off against sitting L.A. City Councilwoman Janice Hahn in the special run off election to replace Jane Harman in the 36th Congressional District.  The fact that Craig Huey is in this two-top-vote-getters race defies conventional wisdom about what is possible, even in a district that is as solid blue as this one.  Is it his message, his outreach, and are old and tired campaign strategies working for Janice Hahn, a poster child of Los Angeles political machine politics?

Mike Shaner, is an entrepreneur who is passionate about winning hearts and minds over to stand for liberty and stand up against the ever expanding size and power of government. He's got a very popular blog and he's active on FB too.   He's a transplant from Alabama and lives in Oak Park, CA, thus the name of his blog, The Oak Park Republic.  He's a convert from the left, to the far right, to libertarian policy.  We'll talk with Mike tonight about his first full op-ed ever published on Lew Rockwell, called A Tale of Two Elections: Historic or Unimportant. He's passionate and thoughtful. We'll get a taste of his talent tonight.

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

Friday, July 1, 2011

The media deportation of Jose Antonio Vargas--a powerful lesson in the hypocricy of so many engaged in matters of liberty and justice.

The media deportation of Jose Antonio Vargas

Journalism's self-appointed guardians have denounced Vargas's deception with no regard for the realities of his immigrant status


Vargas showed a lot of courage and a lot faith in his fellow journalists when he stepped out of the closet.  Problem for him, it was the wrong closet to step out of.  It's hard to imagine how he must have believed that the majority of journalists gave a damn about the individuals who live among us illegally.  He must have thought they had compassion for those who live a secret life in terror of being discovered.  He didn't interpret his colleagues' silence around the plight, treatment, and indignity of illegal workers who live in the shadows and are increasingly hated by self described freedom loving Americans as meaning they didn't care, or worse, that they agreed with such perspective.

He must have thought there was a silent concern and objection among his peers to the growing concessions made by legal citizens, of their own civil liberties, in exchange for the promise that illegals would be weeded out and deported, and anyone hiring or even transporting them would be punished.  

Surly, he must have thought, his colleagues would be inspired when they realized that a so-called illegal could be anyone!  Even a Pulitzer prize winning fellow journalist. 

His experience must be a living hell, to realize how those of his fellow colleagues whom he thought shared a real concern and compassion for humanity and freedom, were in fact shallow, petty and hollow.  

Vargas is a man persecuted by unjust laws for being who he is – an undocumented immigrant – trying to live not just a normal, but an extraordinary, life. For that, he should be applauded. Meanwhile, Bronstein and others in the journalism establishment are rewriting Vargas's tragedy as a boilerplate melodrama, with themselves playing the victims.--Excerpt from The media deportation of Jose Antonio Vargas | Daniel Denvir | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk Click here to read more.

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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