Monthly Archives: July 2012

July 31, 2012

California’s newest city withering on fiscal vine

Jurupa Valley in Riverside County lost millions when lawmakers tapped funds earmarked for cities last year. ‘Our survival is at stake,’ the mayor says.


Laura Roughton, mayor of Jurupa Valley, stands in front of City Hall, situated in a shopping mall. The city lost $6.8 million in state funds, or 47% of its yearly $14.6-million budget.

The jagged foothills, withered pastures and a web of horse trails along the Santa Ana River give the state’s newest city a hint of the Wild West. Jurupa Valley’s money troubles, though, are pure modern-day California.

Jurupa Valley may be broke in a year, even though the city is so new that it has no permanent employees, no generous employee pension plan and runs City Hall out of a leased strip-mall storefront next to the Lucky Wok Chinese restaurant.

Without a financial rescue, the city will have to shut its doors, sending the mishmash of Jurupa Valley communities back into the ether of unincorporated Riverside County.

Unlike San Bernardino, Stockton and Mammoth Lakes, California cities that have all reached the brink of insolvency in recent weeks, Jurupa Valley’s money troubles are not of its own making. They are Sacramento’s fault.

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Complete text linked here.


July 30, 2012

Shaking Hands with the Devil

Each year governments spend $120 billion on humanitarian and development aid, but an average of 60 percent never leaves the donor countries. It’s called “phantom aid,” and is spent on salaries, conferences, publicity, transportation, and contracts for Western businesses that make or deliver aid supplies. Miss Polman says the Americans are the worst offenders; an estimated 70 to 80 percent is phantom aid.

The perverse consequences of foreign aid.

What’s wrong with humanitarian aid? The short answer to the question posed by Dutch reporter Linda Polman in the subtitle of her book is “everything.”

When Smedley D. Butler called his 1935 pamphlet War is a Racket, he knew what he was talking about. He had fought as a Marine Corps officer in Nicaragua, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba, and concluded that he had been nothing but a “high-class muscle man for big business, for Wall Street, and the bankers.”

Likewise, Miss Polman knows what she is talking about when she says foreign aid is a racket. She has tramped through countless refugee camps in Africa, interviewing aid workers, refugees, African government officials, and rebel leaders. What she found is one of the biggest con-games of our time.

That there is genuinely terrible suffering, disease, poverty, and violence across much of Africa and Asia she does not question. That western humanitarian and development aid is the answer, or even part of the answer, she does question. She thinks all it does is perpetuate poverty, fund corruption, and foster dependence. To the question “So we should do nothing then?” she answers that that would be better than what we are doing now.

Miss Polman is not the first reporter or chastened aid worker who has come to that conclusion, yet every year the money spent on humanitarian and development aid increases—she says the idea of donor fatigue is a myth—and what she calls “the crisis caravan” rolls on. Why? The short answer is money.

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Complete text linked here.


Obama backs race-based school discipline policies

“It is too bad that the president has chosen to set up a new bureaucracy with a focus on one particular racial group, to the exclusion of all others,” said Roger Clegg, the president of the Center for Equal Opportunity.


In this June 25, 2012, photo, President Barack Obama addresses supporters during a campaign fundraiser at Symphony Hall in Boston.

President Barack Obama is backing a controversial campaign by progressives to regulate schools’ disciplinary actions so that members of major racial and ethnic groups are penalized at equal rates, regardless of individuals’ behavior.

His July 26 executive order established a government panel to promote “a positive school climate that does not rely on methods that result in disparate use of disciplinary tools.”

“African Americans lack equal access to highly effective teachers and principals, safe schools, and challenging college-preparatory classes, and they disproportionately experience school discipline,” said the order, titled “White House Initiative On Educational Excellence.”

Because of those causes, the report suggests, “over a third of African American students do not graduate from high school on time with a regular high school diploma, and only four percent of African American high school graduates interested in college are college-ready across a range of subjects.”

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And You Thought the Housing Crisis Was Over!

The Community Reinvestment Act is back, as if 2008 never happened. With the current administration in power, the perception is growing among minorities that everything in the economy can be had for free and that President Obama and his administration are going to provide it for them.

Do you remember that thing about how the banks wouldn’t lend to blacks and Hispanics because they were racists? And do you remember how they passed the Community Reinvestment Act so that banks were forced to reduce down payments practically to zero and lend to a lot of people they knew were bad credit risks? And do you remember how Wall Street bundled all these risky subprime mortgages and sold them to investors around the world so that when it became clear that those people weren’t going to be able to pay their mortgages banks everywhere were left holding the bag and all five of the Wall Street investment houses either went under or had to be bailed out by the federal government?

And do you remember how, when it was all over, liberals said it was actually the banks’ fault for “deceiving” all those people into thinking they could afford to buy homes and that the banks should be punished for it and some of those people be allowed to keep their homes anyway? And do you remember how all this cost the government close to a trillion dollars and put the whole economy in a hole that we really haven’t begun to dig ourselves out of yet?

Well, get ready because the whole thing is about to happen again.

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Complete text linked here.


Report From Occupied America: Thanks To Immigration (And The MSM), Not Walt Disney’s Anaheim

On Tuesday night, according to Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait, 200 people tried to force their way into a City Council meeting. The crowd swelled to 1,000, then blocked traffic for hours. When forced to move by police, the mob attacked police cars, set dumpsters on fire and blocked streets with them; smashed shop windows; looted stores; and battered civilians and police alike.

Beginning last Saturday night, July 21, Anaheim CA has endured four consecutive nights of rioting after police shootings that killed two Hispanics, Manuel Diaz and Joel Acevedo.

All that Main Stream Media initially reported about the Diaz shooting was that he was in an alleyway at 4 p.m. with some other men, all of whom ran when the police came, and that police believed that Diaz tossed a bag of heroin. However, a letter of correction from the president of the Anaheim police union published maintained that Diaz had acted as though he had a weapon and was going to fire on pursuing officers:

“Diaz, while being chased by Anaheim police officers indicated that he had a weapon on him by keeping his hands in his front waistband area then turning toward the officer while he pulled out an unknown object. No weapon was found. This same scenario played out the following evening, but in this case Joel Acevedo, after being chased, turned and shot at the police officers with a handgun.”

Police said Joel Acevedo was in a party of three driving a stolen SUV. A marked police squad car tried to pull over the SUV, but it crashed, whereupon the occupants fled. Acevedo, who was on probation, fired two shots at pursuing officers. They returned fire, killing him.

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Grover Norquist – Beltway’s Clint Eastwood by Ted Nugent

In an effort to control spending, Dirty Harry Norquist has got GOP politicians in a tax stranglehold by requesting each of them sign a pledge to never vote to raise taxes. That rocks. I recommend they also be requested to sign a pledge to slash spending at every opportunity.

The Dirty Harry of tax and government reform is Grover Norquist.

Dirty Harry Norquist, president of Americans For Tax Reform (atr.org), has never seen a tax increase he supports, which should immediately put him at the head of the line for a Presidential Medal of Freedom once Mitt Romney is elected. If there was a Hall of Fame of Common Sense, a huge statue of Grover Norquist would at be the front door.

Dirty Harry Norquist and crew released their “2012 Cost of Government Day” report, which would be more aptly titled “2012 Fedzilla Slopfest Report.”

ATR’s report states that the ordinary American has to work until July 15 to pay for the cost of local, state and federal government, which means that government beast known as Fedzilla consumes more than 50 cents of every dollar we earn and then borrows and spends hundreds of billions more each year that we don’t have.

Fedzilla is growing fatter, less accountable and less transparent by gorging itself on our tax dollars. Instead of tightening Fedzilla’s fiscal belt, government bureaucrats just buy him bigger belts and suspenders, and he gets fatter and smellier each day. The only good pig is a dead pig.

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Complete text linked here.


The Virginian 50th Anniversary at the Autry

The Autry and Gene Autry Entertainment will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the ground-breaking western television program The Virginian on Saturday, September 22, 2012. The day’s events include a panel discussion with cast members, episode screenings, autograph session, and more.

GENERAL INFO
Date / Time:

Saturday, Sep 22, 2012, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Location:

The Autry in Griffith Park
Admission:

Museum Admission Rates Apply / Free for Autry Members. Chuck Wagon Dinner with the cast: $50 per person. Celebrities charge for autographs
RSVP/Reservations:

The Autry and Gene Autry Entertainment will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the ground-breaking western television program The Virginian on Saturday, September 22, 2012. The day’s events include a panel discussion with cast members, episode screenings, autograph session, and more.

The Virginian cast members scheduled to appear are James Drury, Randy Boone, Gary Clarke, Sara Lane, Diane Roter, Roberta Shore and Don Quine. Symposium moderator is Boyd Magers author and editor/publisher of Western Clippings.

Owen Wister’s 1902 western novel The Virginian was one of the first great novels of the American West. Set in the semi-mythical town of Medicine Bow, Wyoming in the 1890s, it chronicled the lives and relationships of the people who came west and settled the wild land. Starring James Drury in the title role, The Virginian was the first 90 minute television western, airing in prime time on NBC from 1962-1971.

Chuck Wagon Dinner with The Virginian Cast
5:00 p.m. at the Autry. $50.00 per person, payable by check to Autry National Center and mail to Maxine Hansen, Gene Autry Entertainment, 4383 Colfax Avenue, Studio City, CA 91604. E-mail Maxine Hansen at mhansen@autry.com with your reservations or include them with your check. Required by August 1st.

The Virginian 50th Anniversary at the Autry


How Ignorance of History Leads Legislators to be Spineless

The whole notion of “replace” indicates that the Florida senator comfortably accepts federal meddling in health care, despite the fact that the Constitution enumerates no federal power to create and run a health care system for the entire U.S.


Florida state senator Don Gaetz

Florida state senator Don Gaetz would make an excellent congressman!

In a recent e-mail exchange with a constituent, the incoming Florida Senate president demonstrates the reverence of federal power and arrogance typical of so many in the political class necessary build a successful career in Washington D.C.

The constituent wrote Gaetz urging him to push the Florida legislature to nullify the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Niceville Republican made it clear he will have no part in nullifying, despite acknowledging the unconstitutionality of the PPACA.

“Like you, I believe Obamacare is unconstitutional and wrong-headed policy. I have consistently voted in the Florida Legislature for legislation that affirms our state’s options, obligations and sovereignty under the United States Constitution. I am working every day to ensure the election of national candidates who will repeal and replace this extraordinarily bad policy.”

I’m sure Gaetz will get some kudos from the Republican Party establishment for inserting the GOP talking point “Repeal and Replace.” Of course, this merely serves to demonstrate Gaetz doesn’t understand the division of power between the state and federal governments.

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Food Fight: Taxpayers Fork Out to Fight Impact of Programs They Subsidize (Video)

Billions in agricultural subsidies, millions in fighting obesity and even more money possibly gathered from taxes on the products taxpayers subsidize. Perhaps it’s time to fight obese government spending instead?

There’s a food fight going on in Washington and it’s eating up taxpayer money.

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group held a conference in Washington on Wednesday criticizing the 277 billion dollars in agricultural subsidies that the government has spent over 16 years. The group claims it’s a conscious policy to support commodity crops that are likely to be processed into junk food additives.

Their latest report ‘Apples to Twinkies’ claims 18.2 billion in taxpayer dollars has been spent since 1995 just on subsidizing 4 common junk food additives: corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, corn starch and soy oils. These additives are found in a variety of items from Twinkies to soda.

While taxpayers are forking out money for junk food additives, they are also helping to serve up costly government efforts to fight obesity. Earlier this year Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) was criticizing the spending of $230 million dollars in stimulus cash to promote efforts to fight off the impact of fatty foods.

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Video: Meltdown – Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

“The purpose of this legislation (The Community Reinvestment Act) was to target what was alleged to be discrimination in mortgage lending, and lending by banks. … In order to exonerate yourself, to protect yourself from possible lawsuits alleging discrimination, you, as a financial institution, basically should be extending loans … in the (minority) community itself. If you are not extending loans according to some percentage that government agencies will determine, then the presumption is that you are guilty of discrimination.” Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

Bestselling author and Mises Institute senior fellow Thomas E Woods, Jr., discusses the current economic crisis and why government intervention will only make things worse. Recorded at the University of Colorado, Boulder; 3 April 2009.