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Economist called genius by left backs Prop. 13-style wealth protection

April 25th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

It may seem wonky and obscure now, but I bet it's going to emerge as a strong, enduring counterpunch to Proposition 13 critics. I refer to the fact that French economist Thomas Piketty -- the hottest, in the media sense, social scientist of modern times -- thinks that property taxes that rise in tan...

Map: Still the Anaheim Angels of Anaheim

April 24th, 2014 By John Seiler.

Back in 1996, I remember writing editorials in the Orange County Register against Disney grabbing $30 million from Anaheim taxpayers to renovate Angels Stadium. The city council, which Disney basically owned, approved the subsidy. But Disney agreed in the contract to rename the team from the Califo...

Push for sharp minimum-wage hike under way in San Diego

April 24th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

California's second-largest and the nation's eighth-largest city appears sure to have a six-month-plus debate over whether to raise the minimum wage much more than the state government has in store. The Democratic majority of San Diego's City Council is going to put a proposal on the November ballot...

Chart shows stock-market not at new highs

April 23rd, 2014 By John Seiler.

With the stock market soaring again, it seems that happy days are here again for the economy. Except a new Chart of the Day shows that the Dow Jones Industrial Average, when charted against the price of gold -- the only real money -- is nowhere near record territory.     This ...

Supreme Court effectively upholds CA affirmative-action ban

April 22nd, 2014 By John Seiler.

Today the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Michigan's ban on affirmative action. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote: "There is no authority in the federal constitution or in the [courts'] precedents for the judiciary to set aside Michigan laws that commit to the voters the determination whether racial preferen...

Trash train fiasco illustrates private vs. public double standard

April 21st, 2014 By Chris Reed.

This story in the Orange County Register illustrates a common CalWatchdog theme: In the private sector, incompetence leads to companies failing and people getting fired. But in government, all too often incompetence comes without consequence: "The Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County have spe...

On energy resources, will CA ignore lessons of North Dakota?

April 20th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

It was just less than two years ago that City Journal had the first high-profile story laying out the enormous economic potential of certain of California's natural resources: "The biggest onshore story is the potential of the Monterey Formation (also known as the Monterey Shale), a zone of petrole...

Al Gore: Global warm doubters ‘immoral, unethical and skeptical’

April 20th, 2014 By John Seiler.

Whenever you read about Al Gore, keep in mind that he frolics in a compound in Montecito valued in 2010 at $8.875 million. Now it's probably worth at least $12 million. Reported the Huffington Post at the time: "Records show that the approximately 6,500 sq. foot home boasts 6 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms,...

LAT: All hail ‘economic stability,’ surpluses achieved by Gov. Brown

April 19th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

The ability of Gov. Jerry Brown to convince the state press corps that he has righted California's listing ship continues to amaze. The Golden State has by far the highest poverty rate in the nation. One in six adults can't find full-time work -- the second worst rate in the U.S. At a time when inco...

Appeals court backs bloggers’ First Amendment rights

April 19th, 2014 By John Seiler.

The First Amendment protects, among other things, "the freedom of speech, or of the press." Yet modern governments, less solicitous of our liberties than the Founding Fathers, keep trying to curtail those  rights. The latest gimmick is to insist that only the Main Stream Media are protected by the ...

86 million private-sector workers support 148 million benefit takers

April 18th, 2014 By John Seiler.

U.S. Census numbers tell why America's economy is sluggish and likely headed downward again: There are just 86 million full-time private-sector workers supporting 148 million benefit-takers. So if you're a full-time worker in the private sector, such as yours truly, you're supporting 1.7 people g...

Santa Ana considers taxing … free Skype calls! Oh, the insanity

April 18th, 2014 By Chris Reed.

California is known as the world leader in lots of things -- pop culture, technology and wacky lifestyles. Now the Santa Ana City Council is helping the Golden State be seen as the world leader in Maniacally Stupid, Excessive Taxation. This is from the Voice of OC: "The Santa Ana City Council Tues...

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 ...

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