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

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bloomberg Businessweek's Weak Assault on Prop. 13 - Public Sector Inc. Forum

"Christopher Palmeri's long feature at Bloomberg Businessweek attempts to trace U.S. decline to Californians' fateful decision in 1978 to cap the unchecked growth of property taxes...But Palmeri and his sources downplay or ignore two of the biggest reasons for California's perpetual budget crisis. Proposition 13 "effectively shifted the financing of portions of local government services and education from the property-tax base to the more volatile income- and sales-tax bases," Standard & Poor's said in a Sept. 8 report. True. Yet Palmeri fails to mention how the state ran budget surpluses until 2002, and local governments were so flush with revenue until 2007 that they would routinely vote to increase pension and health benefits for public employees, sometimes even retroactively..."



Bloomberg Businessweek's Weak Assault on Prop. 13 - Public Sector Inc. Forum

Click to go to PublicSectorInc to read this article by Ben Boychuk.
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Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

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

Key

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

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