Ponder This:

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

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gadfly Radio with Martha and CalWatchDog: Tonight, Ben Boychuk, John Seiler and Special Guest, Steve Greenhut on CA's Prospects for Liberty and Prosperity

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
November 29, 2011:  Tonight live at 8 p.m. PT on Gadfly Radio, Martha Montelongo along with Ben Boychuk of CA City Journal and John Seiler of CalWatchDog.com.  We welcome back Steven Greenhut, the Editor in Chief at CalWatchDog, for his take on the many current political, social and economic situations playing out in CA and the US.   


Steve writes about policy on various news and think tank websites, on various issues, yet they are all related and stem from a unifying set of core values and unwavering principles through which he analyzes and writes.   His work is instrumental to help raise public awareness and consciousness of the facts v how the public is swayed by conventional media and the public relations campaigns of the ruling classes of our "free" society.   His bias is for championing the individual, the underdog, the entrepreneur who respects others' rights as well as his own.   A truthsayer and a truth teller with a lot of heart, soul, wit and irony, he is self described curmudgeon.    A lover of liberty, I feel lucky to have him on our side.  

Related Links: 

Can't Live by Scenery Alone by Steven Greenhut - City Journal

Archive of Greenhut's latest blog posts and articles at CalWatchDog

Steven Greenhut's archive of articles in City Journal

Steven Greenhut, Author of "PLUNDER!: How Public Employee Unions are Raiding Treasuries, Controlling Our Lives, and Bankrupting the Nation" Speaks to the Lincoln Club - December 10, 2009 - YouTube Video 9 minutes

Steven Greenhut: Archives at LewRockwell.com

Hard Times Generation: Families living in cars - 60 Minutes - CBS News
Whitney Tilson refers to this news story which features some amazingly poised, mature, intelligent and articulate homeless children who live in cars, on the street, to admonish Republicans to take back their country from extremist whom he presumes don't care about these children because they are extremists who want to slash programs and oppose raising taxes on the wealthy.

Getting Serious About Ron Paul by Steven Greenhut

A Right Denied | The Critical Need for Genuine School Reform, a project founded by Whitney Tilson

California at or near the bottom in so many ways - Orange Punch : The Orange County Register

We'll take your calls, questions and comments on the air at 1-818-602-4929 on on FB instant chat or Twitter.

 

I am a stand for liberty, integrity, empowerment, 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:


iTunes

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Reckless Spending Initiative Just Perpetuates California’s Dysfunction

By Martha Montelongo

The big “news” from Sacramento this week is that the state budget is in trouble again. According to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, the state is going to come up $4 billion short of revenue projections this year. Now, massive cuts are on the table, including lopping off a full week of the school year.

But this week’s news wasn’t surprising: anyone who’s paid any attention to California’s budget drama already knew the $4 billion wasn’t going to show up. The state Legislature needed to pass a budget to start collecting their paychecks again, so they conjured up an extra $4 billion in projected revenue at the last second to meet the virtually useless requirement that they pass a “'balanced” budget. The budget – and the magical $4 billion – was just the latest way to kick the can down the road and refusing to deal with our state’s biggest budget problem: wasteful spending.

Decades of reckless overspending have put California in the dire position it’s in today. A Politicians and bureaucrats have fed at the public trough for years and years, larding up the state’s budget with perks, entitlements and wasteful spending programs. Making things worse, special interests have duped voters into creating countless new programs and spending mandates through the initiative process. The special interests pitch voters on the benefits of programs like stem cell researchor high speed rail, while very intentionally the neglecting to mention the rampant spending and bureaucracy these measures lock in, or the impact on our ability to pay for existing critical programs like education or public safety.

The latest ballot measure boondoggle is the so-called California Cancer Research Act, a ballot measure that’s going before voters this June. This measure would raises taxes by nearly $1 billion a year, just to duplicate programs that already exist. What’s worse, it mandates a whole new bureaucracy that can spend $16 million a year on overhead and $117 million every year on new buildings and facilities. This spending continues year after year, regardless of whether California can afford it or not.

Even worse, this new massive spending program is overseen by a new bureaucracy run by political appointees. But that isn’t surprising either: the measure is being pushed by a longtime career politician who used to run the state Senate. Who could be surprised that former legislator was the one to come up with a new spending program run by political appointees?

But the massive spending and bureaucracy in this boondoggle ballot measure is just the tip of the iceberg. Though this measure requires Californians to pay billions of dollars in new taxes, it doesn’t actually require the money to be spent in California! Our state already suffers from the worst business climate and some of the highest unemployment and tax rates in the nation, and now we’re being asked to pay more just to ship that money out of state? Of all the asinine policy prescriptions for the state, shipping California’s money across state lines has to rank near the top.

This measure has all the trappings of other projects sold to voters as magical cures to myriad woes that quickly devolved into good old-fashioned California money pits. Like high-speed rail and stem-cell research – or even the measure created First 5 LA, there is virtually no accountability and no guarantees that the new spending program has to deliver results. The fact is that this measure is just like the state’s lottery, where voters may never really know how much of the money goes into actual research not bureaucracy.

Our state didn’t find itself in our budget crisis overnight. Rather, California’s newfound standing as America’s Greece is the result of one boondoggle spending program piled on top of another. Politicians, in the thrall of the myriad special interests that run Sacramento, are only too happy to raise your taxes and spend more of your money. The only solution is restore fiscal discipline and sanity so that the state can begin to extract itself from the mess it’s in. Saying no to the latest ballot measure boondoggle next June ballot and this measure is a good place to start.

San José Mayor Issues Statement on Retirement Reform Ballot Measure | PublicCEO

San José Mayor Issues Statement on Retirement Reform Ballot Measure | PublicCEO

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dan Walters: School advocates talk more dollars than sense - Press-Telegram

11/16/2011
...The California Budget Project, a liberal group that advocates for more spending, continues the money obsession with a new report contending that public education is being woefully underfinanced.

The CBP calls it "a decade of disinvestment" that has "left public systems and programs ill-equipped to cope with the ongoing impact of the Great Recession and the challenges of a growing population and an ever-more-competitive global economy."

The report, citing data from the National Education Association and federal agencies, declares that California is 46th among the states in per-pupil spending at $8,908 per year, nearly $3,000 under the national average; 47th in school spending as a percentage of personal income; 50th in the number of students per teacher, and so forth.

It's a selective array of data, perhaps chosen to support a proposed tax increase for schools. It does not, for example, include the fact that California teachers are very nearly the highest-paid in the nation.

Moreover, it paints a much darker picture than data from other sources.

The Census Bureau, for instance, surveys all forms of school spending and pegs California's per-pupil number at $11,588, just $662 under the national average and 27th-highest in the nation, not 46th.

And it's much higher in some big-city school systems, such as Los Angeles Unified, which has more than 600,000 students, spends $14,100 per pupil and has about a 50 percent high-school dropout rate...
Read more here.

Tonight on Gadfly Radio w/ Martha & CalWatchDog, we have CA City Journal's Ben Boychuk & Special Guest Larry Sand of CA Teacher's Empowerment Network

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
November 22, 2011:  Tonight live at 8 p.m. PT on Gadfly Radio, Martha Montelongo along with Ben Boychuk of CA City Journal welcome Larry Sand, President of California Teachers Empowerment Network CTEN .

We'll talk with Larry Sand about two very important stories related to CA's critical financial situation and the crippling effect of an unsustainable public sector union group that swallows up more than 40 percent of the state's revenue and yet produces mediocre and worse results--the K-12 Public Education Establishment is the most powerful and organized, institution and public sector union bar none.

They have the most state of the art public relations agencies at their service and win and secure the hearts and minds, and pockets books of an uninformed and trusting loving public.

We'll talk with Larry about his article published today at Union Watch--A Project of the CA Public Policy Center, called California’s Looming Fiscal Disaster: Sunlight and an Informed Public are the Best Disinfectants

And we'll also talk about a very illuminating battle playing out in Los Angeles Unified concerning The Stull Act and JANE DOE, et al, v. JOHN DEASY, et al, a lawsuit filed by a group of anonymous parents along with Skid Row educator the Rev. Alice Callaghan against LAUSD and its two big employee unions, United Teachers of L.A. and the Associated Administrators of L.A.

We'll take your calls, questions and comments on the air at 1-818-602-4929.

 

I am a stand for liberty, integrity, empowerment, 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:


iTunes




California’s Looming Fiscal Disaster: Sunlight and an Informed Public are the Best Disinfectants

Union Watch | by Larry Sand | November 22, 2011

With the state and various cities on the brink of insolvency, it’s imperative that the electorate become more informed and demand that school districts and teachers unions do their negotiating in public.
This past Sunday’s Los Angeles Times above-the-fold headline screamed “Voters back tax hikes for schools.” It was déja-vu all over again. As I wrote in September,

“… a poll which is biased and does not take into account the knowledge of the people being polled is misleading and dangerous. The public is led to believe that the responders are perceptive and knowledgeable, when in reality so many are not.”

(And I could have added that a poll that misleads or misinforms its respondents is the most dangerous of all; I’ll address that shortly.)
Click here to read more.  


Tune in tonight at 8p.m. PT or catch us on the podcast for tonight's Gadfly Radio show, when Larry Sand is our guest and we discuss this story posted here below, and The Stull Act and Jane Does v. Deasy et al or intimidated parents who fear reprisal for suing for transparency, integrity, accountability and results v. the public education cartel of LAUSD and its two big employee unions, United Teachers of L.A. and the Associated Administrators of L.A.

Mercedes exec busted by Ala. law

Show me your legal I.D. or go to jail. Ask yourself, what if nobody notices you're missing? What if there is nobody to call collect to come help you? What if no one is able to help you, to get your papers from home or the hotel? Is this being a Free Society?

By TIM MAK | 11/22/11 6:30 AM EST

A German car executive is among the latest to be charged under the Alabama law targeting illegal immigrants after he was stopped by police and could not produce proper identification.

The 46-year-old Mercedes-Benz manager was stopped last week for not having a tag on his rental vehicle, the AP reports. Since he only had a German identification card, and not his passport or driver’s license, he was arrested and charged under the immigration law that some have called the strictest in the country.

Read more: Click here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tonight on Gadfly Radio w/ Martha & CalWatchDog's John Seiler, and Special Guest Former CA Senator Gloria Romero on "You Have Choice!"

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929  
November 15, 2011: Tonight live at 8 p.m. PT on Gadfly Radio, Martha Montelongo is joined by John Seiler of CalWatchDog.com and they welcome back Former State Senator and Former State Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero, Director of California's chapter of Democrats for Education Reform You can find them on Facebook at CA Democrats for Education Reform's Facebook Page I've subscribed to their text feed for the latest updates.

We'll talk with Romero about the initiative called You Have Choice! What is it? Who is behind it? Who should know about it? Why do we need this program? What's at stake? What is possible?
Ben Boychuk who can't make it tonight has submitted his own list of questions to ask Romero, including her thoughts on vouchers as part of a support for parental choice, and more.

This program focuses greatly on public policy and sound economic policy. Education makes up the largest percentage of public sector spending in CA, and yet we rank near the bottom in reading and math, and have done so for decades, with little improvement.   The National Education Association claims CA spends near the bottom of all 50 states on Education.  In 2010, the OCReg had CA per pupil spending on Education at 23rd.   It dropped in one year, as a result of cutbacks, but is 42nd out of 50 accurate, and does this number reflect the amount of tax revenue collected and spent via bonds voters continue to eagerly pass because of their deep commitment to public education?  And could we do better with less money?

John Seiler last year in August reported that LAUSD for example, spent $30,000 per student.

Other related stories and links from the CalWatchDog.com Blog and website:

Chiang: State Revenues Crashing John Seiler, Nov 15, 2011

Michigan $100K Club Fraction of CA’s John Seiler, Nov 15, 2011

CA Credit Lines Drawn Down 85 Percent Chris Street, Nov 14, 2011

LAO: CA Govt. Pensions ‘Generous’ John Seiler, Nov 11, 2011

Building State Schools Creates Jobs? Katie Grimes, Nov 10, 2011

We'll take your calls, questions and comments on the air at 1-818-602-4929 or tweet me at mmontelongo or instant message me at Facebook

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:


iTunes




Disrupting Class by Larry Sand - City Journal

The "beta" what? You probably say that if you're younger than 27 years old. Even then, you'd have to be one of those kids with powerful memories of your first three years alive. By 1987, they were a disappearing option in the world of video rentals. VHS beat Betamax because of better marketing. Problem with Larry's choice for comparison, is that the Betamax was actually a better format, quality and picture than the victor, the VHS.

But Larry Sand's point is very well taken here. If you have kids, grand kids or friends with kids that are stuck in failing public schools, this is a great model, and viable option about which you need to know!


Disrupting Class by Larry Sand - City Journal

Terry Moe on His New Book “Special Interest” | Choice Media TV | education reform homepage

To understand the hopelessness of public education as it exists today, controlled and dominated by the teacher's unions and their very effective marketing and political tactics and maneuvers you want to read Terry Moe's book, "Special Interest."

Steven Brills book, "Class Warfare" was superb at outlining the problem, and at chronicling it's upward spiral and ascent to domination, and also at chronicling the evolution of the reform movement from within the two party political system, but predominantly from the within the ranks of Democrats who want reform and recognized the elephant in their living room--and I don't mean the GOP's elephant--I mean the Teacher's Unions.

Moe, unlike Brill, doesn't give in to the unions at the end of his book. He ends with hope and optimism, and a vision of one facet of viable solutions as a powerful anecdote: hybrid schools that utilize technology to solve the shortage of quality teachers, and to reverse our dismal rank, world wide--barley 40th...

Terry Moe on His New Book “Special Interest” | Choice Media TV | education reform homepage

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Politics Of Public Sector Unions | CalWatchDog

Instead of paring back union benefits and rooting out various abuses, ranging from those double-dipping DROP programs (Defined Retirement Option Plan) to “airtime” benefits that allow employees to buy additional retirement credits at a fraction of the cost to the taxpayer, the state Legislature continues to, at best, nibble around the edges of reform and even in some cases expand benefits, in the case of those cancer and heart-attack presumptions for public safety workers. Once, when asked what it is he ultimately wants for his members, a union president retorted, “more.” But despite lean times – in a state where unemployment averages above 12 percent, and where those numbers often exceed 20 percent in rural locales – the unions continue to implement more aspects of their benefit-expanding agenda.
The Politics Of Public Sector Unions | CalWatchDog

Sunday, November 13, 2011

US Poverty Stats: Where the Feds Are At Fault

Now, dear reader, we ask ourselves: how could the most sophisticated, most dynamic, best capitalized, high tech enhanced capitalism in history produce such an outcome?

The answer is simple: capitalism doesn’t give you what you want. It gives you what you deserve. And it usually does so with such a long delay that few people connect cause with effect.

Instead, they rant and rave. They blame the rich. They call for more regulation. More distribution. More handouts, subsidies, and bailouts.

They demand that the feds ‘do something!’…not realizing that the feds — more than anyone else — are responsible for their misery:



Read more: US Poverty Stats: Where the Feds Are At Fault http://dailyreckoning.com/us-poverty-stats-where-the-feds-are-at-fault/#ixzz1dcblVbUy
US Poverty Stats: Where the Feds Are At Fault

Vive La Revolution!

Bill Bonner is so ahead of the curve that even though this is a month old, it's dead on:

The guy has a legitimate beef!

It wasn’t his fault that the Nixon administration cut the link to gold in 1971. It wasn’t his fault the Chinese produced things better and cheaper. It wasn’t his fault that the feds kept stimulating the economy…and encouraging him to go deeper and deeper into debt at artificially low interest rates. And it certainly wasn’t he who caused the housing bubble to blow up…or who caused it in the first place.

But one thing you can depend on. Not many people will do the hard work of connecting the kneebone of this disaster to the legbone that caused it. And he won’t want to make the sacrifices necessary to protect himself from it either. (Our advice: cut expenses to almost zero…save money…buy gold…become a bankruptcy lawyer.) Instead, he’ll join the revolution.

Read more: Vive La Revolution!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Former CA State Senate Majority Leader and Current Director of CA Democrats for Education Reform will join us on Gadfly Radio next Tuesday night, to talk about You Have Choice


Next Tuesday night, Nov 15, 2011,  Gloria Romero, Former CA Senate Majority Leader and Current Director of CA Democrats for Education Reform, joins us to talk about You Have Choice.

Is Your Child in a Failing School? Find out!

Thanks to recently passed laws, California must now reveal the names of 1000 of its lowest performing schools! These 1000 schools, year after year, failed to show acceptable improvement. And year after year, the “edu-crats” who ran the schools refused to turn these schools around. Our children were simply left to fail. This is shameful. It is unacceptable that only 14% of our 4th grade Latino and African-American students can read at grade level, and only 10% of these 8th graders can do math at grade level.

In years past, parents had no rights to change these results: they were simply stuck behind five numbers: zip code. Until now, students were “zoned” for a school and told they had attend the school in their same zip code - even when it was failing! Parents were denied the right to give their children better opportunities by enrolling them in a higher performing school.

In this great nation, we have the freedom to shop in any shopping mall or eat at any restaurant. We can choose our doctors, lawyers, and even places of worship. But in education, children are assigned to schools based on their zip code - even when school officials KNOW that the school has been failing year after year.

Those days are over with the passage of California’s “Open Enrollment Law”. The state must now reveal the names of these 1000 failing schools. The school district must notify all parents of children enrolled in these schools that the school is on the Open Enrollment list, and tell parents they have a choice to stay enrolled or transfer to a better performing school.

This is the law now in California. You have rights. You have choice.

Click here to go to the site, which will help you use the Open Enrollment law

On the Facebook Page for You Have Choice,  above in the "notes" section you will find three documents: 1. How to find out if your child's school is on the Open Enrollment list. 2. How to find a better school for your child to attend. 3. How to transfer to a better school. Follow the directions for each document very carefully. Any comments or questions post on our Wall, and we will respond as quickly as possible. You Have Choice! Use it!

ANOTHER BILLION DOLLAR BOONDOGGLE –

Voters beware the Salesmen who come with hat in hand, pitching shiny or miraculous services and benefits for a bargain bottom price and the promise of a profit--Your Wallets and blank checks are their target.

With a ballooning price tag and doubts about federal funding, it is increasingly obvious that voters were sold a bill of goods by the backers of California’s high-speed train to nowhere... 

“More grim news on $99 billion high-speed rail plan, as showdown looms”--San Jose Mercury News


  “…the price tag for this risky transit gamble is now nearly $100 billion—more than twice the original estimate,”-- FoxandHoundDaily.com
George Runner, a member of California’s Board of Equalization and a former state Senator, in a post on an influential California political blog on Tuesday--“The new number is greater than California’s entire annual state budget. To fund the entire project today, every Californian, including men, women and children, would need to write a check for more than $2500.”  

When backers of high speed rail pitched the idea to California voters in 2008, they told Californians this project would pay for itself and even turn a profit in a few years. Today, three years and $60+ billion in higher cost projections later, it’s pretty clear backers weren’t being straight with California voters.

A similar dynamic exists with another measure, this one on the June 2012 ballot.

The so called California Cancer Research Act would increase taxes by nearly a billion dollars on Californians, to pay for another new government spending program and brand new bureaucracy to oversee it.

The CCRA’s backers – including one career politician who is behind the measure – are making a bunch of promises about the measure’s benefits.

Sound familiar?

Whether it’s high-speed trains or the latest tax and spend program with big-time benefits promised, Californians should have learned one thing about ballot measures by now: the promises are almost always too good to be true.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Election Night 2011: A Mixed Bag for Conservatives - Guy Benson

Trolling for news about San Diego, wanting to read about Carl D'Maio's race, I found this. A mixed bag indeed. Not a conservative, but we do share some fundamental agreement around public employees, their power, costs, impact and threat to a healthy economy and a free society.    Election Night 2011: A Mixed Bag for Conservatives - Guy Benson

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tonight on Gadfly Radio w/ Martha & CalWatchDog's John Seiler, CA City Journal's Ben Boychuk & Special Guest Marcia Friz of Fix Pensions First

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
November 8, 2011:  Tonight live at 8 p.m. PT on Gadfly Radio, Martha Montelongo along with Ben Boychuk of CA City Journal and John Seiler of CalWatchDog.com. We welcome back Marcia Fritz of Fix Pensions First . We'll talk with Fritz on the Hot Button role of Public-Sector Pension reform initiatives and the mayoral candidate races today, in two major cities in CA--San Diego and San Francisco. We'll talk with Marcia about the reform measures just recently proposed by Gov Jerry Brown, and we'll ask her about the two initiatives that California Pension Reform just filed with the CA Attorney General, reported in the OC Register on November 2, 2011 as Aggressive pension reforms closer to ballot box.   Do they go far enough?

We also want to chat with Fritz about their recently updated publication of the California-$100,000-a-Year-at a-Minimum-Pension-Club.  It's grown 99% in the past two years ($100K pension club soars 99% in two years)!

Related Links:

San Francisco’s Pension Crisis
by Judith Miller
San Francisco’s Pension Crisis:  Will the liberal city’s residents, worried about retirement costs’ “crowding out” services, embrace reform?
November 7, 2011

$100K pension club soars 99% in two years
by John Seiler,
CalWatchDog.com, November 3rd, 2011
Municipal Bond Credit Is Imploding By CHRIS STREET at CalWatchDog.com, NOV. 7, 2011


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:


iTunes




$100K pension club soars 99% in two years - OC Watchdog : The Orange County Register

"...Here are our regular disclaimers:

We know that the average CalPERS pensioner collects $27,564 a year.
We know that the 12,199 public retirees in the $100K club are just a tiny fraction of the 536,234 retirees in CalPERS — about 2.3 percent.
But we also know that this percentage is growing by leaps and bounds every year, as illustrated above.
And we know that more and more public employees are paying more and more into their retirement funds — but that many cities and special districts still pay the employee contribution, as well as the employer contribution, nonetheless..."
$100K pension club soars 99% in two years - OC Watchdog : The Orange County Register

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Rural Rebellion Brewing | CalWatchDog

OCT. 31, 2011

The nearly five-hour drive from the Sacramento area to Yreka, in Siskiyou County by the Oregon border, was a reminder not just of the immense size and beauty of California, but of the vast regional and cultural differences one finds within our 37 million-population state.

Sacramento is Government Central, a land of overly pensioned bureaucrats and restaurant discounts for state workers. But way up in the North State, one finds a small but hard-edged rural populace that views state and federal officials as the main obstacles to their quality of life.

Their latest battle is to stop the destruction of four hydroelectric dams along the Klamath River — an action driven by environmentalists and the Obama administration. Most locals say the dam-busting will undermine their property rights and ruin the local farming and ranch economy, which is all that’s left since environmental regulators destroyed the logging and mining industries.




Rural Rebellion Brewing | CalWatchDog

MetroFarm



MEDICAL MARIJUANA MAYHEM!

Food Chain Radio Show #750 • November 5, 2011

••••••

Which government should be in control: Local or Federal?

••••••••

Marijuana was made illegal in 1937. Today, you may not legally consume any part of the plant, unless you have sneezed more than once since birth, in which case you are now eligible to consume the plant as medical marijuana.

•••••••

Thus, we have an interesting dilemma for all concerned: How does one obtain legal medical marijuana from an illegal marijuana farm?

••••

The good folks in Mendocino County, California crafted what they believed was a reasonable, home-grown solution to the dilemma by simply normalizing the farming of medical marijuana. Nearly 100 farmers agreed to participate in a county program that allowed for a maximum of 99 plants per farm. Each farmer paid the county sheriff $50 per plant to superintend production and enforce environmental rules and security procedures.

•••••••

When the Mendocino County Sheriff took control of medical marijuana farming, business blossomed for farmers like Matthew Cohen, whose Northstone Organics featured home deliveries to surrounding communities. Everybody was happy: Mendocino County made money; farmers made money; and those in need had their need satisfied. Other counties looked on the success of Mendocino County and began to make their own plans to take control of medical marijuana farming.

•••••••

Just when everyone was getting down to the business of living happily ever after, heavily armed agents of the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency brought a battering ram to Matthew Cohen’s front door, and chain saws to his medical marijuana garden. Said U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, “We are making this announcement… to put to rest the notion that large medical marijuana businesses can shelter themselves under state law and operate without fear of federal enforcement.”




MetroFarm

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Voter-Approved First 5 LA Program Spends $200 Million of Taxpayers Money without Oversight

By Stephen Kruiser

As the Los Angeles Times reports, a recent independent audit of the First 5 LA Commission revealed massive problems with the agency, including lack of accountability, spending oversight or competitive bidding.  First 5 LA is part of a statewide program created in 1998 by Prop 10, a measure which was supposed to use funds from a tobacco tax to promote health and education of young children.  According to the audit, it’s not exactly fulfilling its mission.  From the Times:

An audit by Harvey M. Rose of San Francisco found First 5 LA's commission was unable to monitor money that was being spent "since monthly programmatic expenditures are not presented relative to a budget." Auditors also concluded the agency was overstaffed while under-spending on programs for children.

So, First 5 LA is spending too much on public employees and not enough on kids.  Not to mention doling out $200 million without a competitive bidding process and operating with such a lack of oversight that there’s no way to determine if the agency has signed agreements "for inappropriate purposes or with unqualified vendors or grantees”.  Sounds like standard operating procedure in California, which has seen similar accountability and oversight problems with other initiative-created agencies as well.

And yet, former pro Tem and career politician Don Perata is pushing another measure – the so-called California Cancer Research Act – to create yet another unaccountable bureaucracy with six political appointees that can spend nearly a billion each year, including millions on staff salaries and pensions and overhead.  With huge budget problems and public pension costs spiraling out of control, the last thing California needs is another big-spending bureaucracy with no oversight or accountability.

The measure is slated for the June 2012 ballot in California. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tonight on Gadfly Radio w/ Martha & CalWatchDog's John Seiler, CA City Journal's Ben Boychuk, an Encore with Special Guest Anthony Krinsky on The "Don't Hold Us Back Coalition"

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929
November 1, 2011:  Tonight live at 8 p.m. PT on Gadfly Radio, Martha Montelongo along with Ben Boychuk of CA City Journal and John Seiler of CalWatchDog.com. And back for an encore, and because this topic spans across so many issues that plague our Country's current sorry state of affairs, we welcome back special guest Anthony Krinsky, the publisher of  Anthony Krinsky's Education Blog.

We'll talk with Krinsky on "The Don't Hold Us Back Coalition" pushing hard for real substantive reforms in L.A.U.S.D. Moreover, we'll talk with Krinsky about issues he raised last week and which we'll explore further including what the piece he posted by Ned Ryun, about Conservatives and the Tea Party means to him, and how he believes it plays out in the Education reform movement and its shortcomings?

From CalWatchDog, we'll talk with John about GM pulling its advertising from John and Ken on KFI. I got an email recently from a group called Cuentame, and it included a video of its Director or President Alex Caballero asserting that they were not backing down and that their intention to have John and Ken removed from the airwaves.

I bet there are a lot of groups that would love to have John and Ken removed, and many of them are in Sacramento, either as elected officials, lobbyists and or union bosses, all doing the work of backing the all powerful and in charge public employee army ruling CA.

This all mighty coalition includes the California Teacher's Union, the Prison Guards Union, CA law enforcement unions, the SEIU, and more. John and Ken lead the way to fight against police abuse of power and corruption.

John and Ken are powerful, influential voices for transparency and the rights and needs of free enterprising small businesses and wanna-be small businesses, if only those enterprising individuals can scale the ever growing snare of costs, fees, red tape, and cronyism.  

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:


iTunes




Democrats for Ed Reform--CA join the "Don't Hold Us Back" Coalition

Here's their PrOctober 31, 2011

Dear Education Partner,


Democrats for Education Reform has joined the efforts of the “Don’t Hold Us Back” campaign to ensure every child receives the quality public school education they deserve. 
While the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Academic Performance Index has improved in recent years, proficiency levels continue to disappoint: only 47 percent of students are proficient in English language arts and 52 percent in math.  Today, 54% of its schools are low-performing and nearly half of 700,000 students do not graduate high school on time. We are unequivocally failing our students.

Although, reform efforts over the last few years such as Public School Choice, the Teacher Effectiveness Taskforce, and the implementation of Pilot Schools have effected positive change, it is not enough.

Education is the cornerstone of every great society.  We succeed when LAUSD succeeds.

LAUSD is currently negotiating with UTLA on a new District/Teacher contract that would serve as an obstacle to effective teaching.  It does not address the pressing issues of teacher evaluation, accountability and autonomy.  Parents want greater autonomy and accountability in the classroom.  Parents need to be engaged, empowered and offered choices to provide the best education for their children.

On Tuesday November 1st, LAUSD & UTLA have an opportunity to create real systemic change.

It is time for both parties to move forward at a pace that reflects the urgency we feel to improve our schools.

DFER is calling on LAUSD and UTLA leadership to complete negotiations on a new contract focused on the needs of our children at a pace that matches the urgency of the teachers who want it, the students who deserve it and the parents who expect it.

We strongly urge you to contact the office of the Superintendent, LAUSD Board Members and UTLA President today!


School District
Superintendent John Deasy
213-241-7000, john.deasy@lausd.net

LAUSD Board President Mónica García
213-241-6180, monica.garcia@lausd.net

Board Member Tamar Galatzan
213-241-6386, tamar.galatzan@lausd.net

Board Member Bennet Kayser
213-241-5555, bennett.kayser@lausd.net

Board Member Marguerite LaMotte
213-241-6382, marguerite.lamotte@lausd.net

Board Member Nury Martinez
213-241-6388, nury.martinez@lausd.net

Board Member Richard Vladovic
213-241-6385, richard.vladovic@lausd.net

Board Member Steve Zimmer
213-241-6387, steve.zimmer@lausd.net

Teachers Los Angeles
UTLA President Warren Fletcher
213-368-6267, wfletcher@utla.net

UTLA/NEA Vice President Mary Jan (M.J.) Roberts
213-368-6227, mjroberts@utla.net

UTLA/AFT Vice President Betty Forrester
213-368-6250, bforrester@utla.net

UTLA Elementary Vice President Juan Ramirez
213-368-6236, jramirez@utla.net

UTLA Secondary Vice President Gregg Solkovits
213-368-6237, gsolkovits@utla.net

UTLA Treasurer Arlene Inouye
213-368-6218, ainouye@utla.net

UTLA Secretary David Lyell
213-368-6244, dlyell@utla.net


Sincerely,



Democrats for Education Reform
Monica Aleman\\ Deputy Director

TEXT

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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