Rights and Liberties

We’re all perpetual suspects: Portents of privacy-free era emerging in CA

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014
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The inexpensive ease with which law-enforcement authorities can monitor the citizenry has gotten some attention from the media, which has reported on how cell phones and cars are de facto tracking devices and on how NSA software allows it to readily track millions of calls made by Americans. But ...

Support for death penalty drops

Monday, September 15th, 2014
Kashkari death penalty

A new Field Poll shows support for the death penalty dropping to its lowest level in 50 years. The Times reported: After a series of botched executions raised questions about the use of capital punishment across the United States, support for the death penalty in California is nearing an all-time...

DMV crashes due process

Sunday, September 14th, 2014
Law and Revolution

One of the most crucial elements in the development of liberty was that every man deserves his day in court. As described by Harvard professor Harold J. Berman in his crucial "Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition," that check on arbitrary power has changed in recent deca...

Missing from CA’s economic ‘comeback': Los Angeles

Thursday, September 11th, 2014
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Gov. Jerry Brown's daily push to depict California as being in a sharp rebound from the 2007-2009 economic meltdown ignores the fact that the recession never went away in a majority of the state's 58 counties, especially those in inland areas. The journalists who are competent enough to point thi...

CSU fee addiction shows value of Props 13, 26, 62, 218

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014
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The newsrooms of California appear to have collectively decided that the state props that make raising taxes and fees more difficult for elected officials -- starting with 13, 26, 62 and 218 --- are irrational. This is regularly reflected in the coverage of Prop 13 that depicts it as a symbol of Go...

L.A. restaurants make plain there’s no such thing as a free lunch

Thursday, September 4th, 2014
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Is it a passive-aggressive way for independent businesses to let customers know about the cost of government regulation? Or just a trick that allows those businesses to charge more than they normally would without prompting grousing from their customers? Whatever the truth is, L.A. Weekly note...

CA Democrats’ ritual: Passing doomed gun laws to media cheers

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014
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House Republicans face fire from many quarters for the dozens of times they have voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and the critics sometimes aren't just the usual partisan soldiers. Plenty of editorial boards are incensed by this tactic. They say it is a symbol of Washington's allegedly hor...

Legislature should have heeded Brit regulators on plastic bags

Monday, September 1st, 2014
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Dubious bills often get passed on the final night of the state legislative session, and 2014 was no exception: A measure to make California the first state in the nation to ban single-use plastic bags. SB270 passed despite fierce opposition from plastic bag manufacturers and after initially failing...

AG’s low-key Vergara appeal has damage-control vibe

Sunday, August 31st, 2014
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Without fanfare, Attorney General Kamala Harris appealed the Vergara decision throwing out state teacher tenure and job-protection laws late Friday at the direction of Gov. Jerry Brown and with the encouragement of state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. Unlike with most major a...

Torlakson says real problem is low teacher pay, not tenure

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

This was predictable: Friday's announcement that state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson wanted an appeal of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu's ruling that teacher tenure laws are unconstitutional because they funnel the worst teachers to struggling schools with mostly min...