CalWatchDog.com Blog

 

NEW: L.A. County ground zero for invasive state surveillance

April 17th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

"Enemy of the State," the 1998 movie about government using technology to track everyone, feels less like sci-fi all the time, especially if you live in Los Angeles County. This is from the scoop by the Center for Investigative Reporting: "COMPTON, Calif. – When sheriff’s deputies here noticed ...

CA going Third World

April 16th, 2014 By John Seiler.

It took California more than a century to rid itself of Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that spreads yellow fever, by the 1970s. It has taken less than 40 years for it to make a comeback, a clear sign that California quickly is descending to Third World status. CBS San Fran reported: MENLO PARK (KCBS)...

Tax Day lamentations

April 15th, 2014 By John Seiler.

Today is government workers' favorite day, the ultimate pilfering of taxpayers to pay for all the lavish public-employee pay, perks and pensions. It's the Day of Reckoning for the rest of us. Pay up or go to prison. Give our 50th Anniversary celebration of the Beatles coming to America, time f...

This is an ‘expedited’ review? Nerve-wracking times on bullet-train front

April 15th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

Nine weeks ago, the news seemed promising on the bullet-train follies front. Now the picture looks a bit murkier. On Jan. 24, Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris asked the California Supreme Court to conduct an expedited appeals process that considered the state's newly filed chal...

“Captain America” sequel: The first libertarian popcorn movie

April 14th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The stars and heroes of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" may be government employees, but the messages of the movie amount to entry-level libertarian thinking -- messages with massive resonance for current policy and political debates. Among them: 1) Don't trust a state that gathers secrets ...

Colbert rips Common Core

April 14th, 2014 By John Seiler.

Stephen Colbert plays a "conservative" on Comedy Central. When he takes over the the "Late Show" from David Letterman next year, Colbert supposedly will reveal his inner liberal self. We'll see. In the meantime, Colbert just attacked President Obama's "Common Core" dumbing-down education scheme t...

Subsidize opera?

April 13th, 2014 By John Seiler.

I think everything should be privatized. But as the April 15 Day of Tax Doom approaches, if I'm going to be taxed to death, it might as well be for something useful, such as opera. The San Diego Opera is in trouble over some problem with government grants. I say: Just forget about it. And give th...

What IS going on in CA schools?

April 12th, 2014 By John Seiler.

California's government school students score among the lowest on national tests. Now this: Uproar over classroom scuffle reflects a profession under siege Groundswell of support for teacher who wrestled disruptive student to the floor shows the public is fed up with the disciplinary problems and ...

Puerto Rico experiments with tax cuts

April 11th, 2014 By John Seiler.

California is experimenting with high taxes. Seventeen months after voters passed Proposition 30, which raised taxes $7 billion a year, California's unemployment rate remains high at 8 percent, fourth worst in the country. While the government got the taxes to fund 4.5 percent raises for state gover...

Why CalSTRS fix is impossible: It would force cut in teacher take-home pay

April 11th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The California State Teachers' Retirement System is terribly underfunded. The last official report put its shortfall at $74 billion. State officials say it needs an infusion of $4 billion more money a year for decades to come. This week, as reported by Cal Watchdog founding editor Steve Greenhut ...

Californians: Government is a ripoff

April 10th, 2014 By John Seiler.

I've been wondering when most people would figure out that government is nothing but a ripoff, with the swag going to billionaire crony capitalists and highly paid public "servants." As the dreaded April 15 approaches, when government gets serious about the thumb screws and water torture to get our ...

CA media: GOP dysfunction bigger topic than mass poverty

April 10th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The Los Angeles Times' news analysis about how recent controversies are likely to hurt California Republicans with two constituencies they are trying to woo -- Latinos and women -- isn't loaded or biased. It's likely true. Here's a bit of it: "On Monday, a GOP gubernatorial candidate's inflammatory...

No, San Jose not struggling to retain city workers — just police

April 8th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

In the comments sections of news pages and blogs throughout California in recent days -- including Cal Watchdog -- I've seen claims that San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed's aggressive pursuit of pension reform had backfired spectacularly, causing the wealthy city to suffer a brain drain as disaffected emplo...

IRS targeted ONLY conservatives, NO progressives

April 7th, 2014 By John Seiler.

We've had some exchanges on our site over the IRS harassment of conservative groups. Some of our more liberal commentators have insisted that progressive groups, also, were targeted. It turns out that part is not true. Only conservative groups -- that is, opponents of President Obama, who runs th...

Oposition swarms against splitting CA

April 6th, 2014 By John Seiler.

Like hornets rising from a disturbed nest, opposition is swarming against venture capitalist Tim Draper's proposed initiative to split dysfunctional California into six states, a couple of which might turn out functional. The Chronicle reports: "Steven Maviglio, a Democratic consultant, and Joe Rod...

California leads way in emergence of thoughtcrime vigilantes

April 5th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

California continues its emergence as the base for those who wish to enforce thoughtcrime penalties and launch group-hate campaigns against people with unacceptable political and social views. There have been glimpses of this mindset for years among the academic left and the progressives who routine...

Middle class fading away…

April 5th, 2014 By John Seiler.

The middle class in California and the rest of America keeps fading away under assaults from Republicans and Democrats, Presidents Bush and Obama, Govs. Schwarzenegger and Brown. The latest from AP: "Since 2008, the number of people who call themselves middle class has fallen by nearly a fifth, acc...

The reality of politics

April 4th, 2014 By John Seiler.

He wasn't as eloquent as Machiavelli, but President Bill Clinton summed up the essence of politics more pithily: "I take care of my friends and I [expletive deleted] with my enemies." The rest is just rhetoric to fool the masses. But the masses are catching on. Reason.com reports: Americans don...

Coverage of L.A. ‘pothole tax’ never mentions why budget is bare

April 4th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The city of Los Angeles' finances are in terrible shape. The city's economy is sluggish and revenue is stagnant. Meanwhile, retirement benefits for retired city workers -- especially police and firefighters -- eat up ever more of the budget. “As of June 30, 2013, the City’s two pension funds,...

For The Los Angeles Times, a highly revealing juxtaposition

April 3rd, 2014 By Chris Reed.

If you're a conservative or libertarian who's not just mad but astounded by how much the media protect Barack Obama, Wednesday's front page of The Los Angeles Times was likely to generate either a stroke or a snort of disbelief/amusement. But if you are someone who may not be ideological yet is open...

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Know Your Bloggers

Joseph Perkins
Joseph Perkins, now assistant editor of the Orange County Register Opinion Pages, started his career as an editorial writer for the Wall Street Journal. After serving on the White House Staff of former Vice President Dan Quayle he wrote for the San Diego Union-Tribune where he authored a nationally-syndicated column. Before writing for CalWatchdog.com, Mr. Perkins was also Business Editor for San Diego Magazine.
Chris Reed
Chris Reed is a regular contributor to Cal Watchdog. Reed is an editorial writer for U-T San Diego. Before joining the U-T in July 2005, he was the opinion-page columns editor and wrote the featured weekly Unspin column for The Orange County Register. Reed was on the national board of the Association of Opinion Page Editors from 2003-2005. From 2000 to 2005, Reed made more than 100 appearances as a featured news analyst on Los Angeles-area National Public Radio affiliate KPCC-FM. From 1990 to 1998, Reed was an editor, metro columnist and film critic at the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin in Ontario. Reed has a political science degree from the University of Hawaii (Hilo campus), where he edited the student newspaper, the Vulcan News, his senior year. He is on Twitter: @chrisreed99.
Brian Calle
Brian Calle is Editor-in-Chief of CalWatchdog.com and the Opinion Editor for the Orange County Register. His work has appeared in Bloomberg, Fox News, Forbes, Real Clear Politics, Human Events, Real Clear Markets and City Journal, among other websites and publications. Find him on Twitter: @briancalle
John Seiler
John Seiler has been writing about California for 25 years. That includes 22 years as an editorial writer for the Orange County Register and two years for CalWatchDog.com, where he is managing editor. He attended the University of Michigan and graduated from Hillsdale College. He was a Russian linguist in U.S. Army military intelligence from 1978 to 1982. He was an editor and writer for Phillips Publishing Company from 1983 to 1986. He has written for Policy Review, Chronicles, LewRockwell.com, Flash Report and numerous other publications. His email: writejohnseiler@gmail.com

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