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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...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

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.
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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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