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California’s Gun Confiscation Program Based on Faulty Gun Registry

February 6, 2014 | Filed Under 2nd Amendment, Anti-Americanism, California, Canada, Civil Rights, Constitution, Democrats/Leftists, Ethics, Freedom, Government, Government Corruption, Gun Control, Guns, Law, Liberals, Liberty, Los Angeles, Nanny State, New York, New York City, Progressives, Rights, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off

-By Warner Todd Huston

If you need any proof at all that governments in this very country intend to use gun registries as a means to track down and confiscate our firearms, California is only the latest example to prove it.

California used its registry of guns to begin a program of confiscating guns from people they claim are “criminals.”

But the system the state has devised to identify these evil-doers seems to be quite screwed up. Just ask Bakersfield resident Michael Merritt who was confronted with this roving goon squad of cops that have been cruising the state and confiscating guns from people who may or may not be guilty of owning guns in violation of “the law.”
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Actress Rose McGowan Rails on Twitter About Knockout Game Attack She Witnessed

January 4, 2014 | Filed Under Anti-Americanism, Crime, Democrats/Leftists, Entertainment, Hollywood, Liberals, Los Angeles, Movies, Progressives, TV, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off

-By Warner Todd Huston

Actress Rose McGowan is claiming to have witnessed a crime. But not just any crime. She is claiming to have witnessed the “knockout game” in an attack on a 65-year-old victim right there on the streets of Los Angeles.

The actress chronicled the attack on her Twitter feed on January

McGowan claimed that the attacker came cruising up on a skateboard and was wearing a mask as he smashed the poor elderly man in the side of the head.

McGowan said she tried to chase the attacker down but was unable to catch him. But she did write about what she witnessed on Twitter:
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College Students Say Obama Is Great, Deserves Nobel Peace Prize… Can’t Explain Why

September 23, 2013 | Filed Under Barack Obama, Democrats/Leftists, Education, Ethics, Liberals, Los Angeles, President, Progressives, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off

-By Warner Todd Huston

College kids at the University of California (USC) are 100 percent sure that Obama is a great president, doing great things, and deserves his Nobel Peace Prize. But when asked why they “feel” that this is the case… not a one of them could explain why Obama is so great and deserving. Not one. In fact, one kid didn’t even know Obama had gotten a Nobel!

These morons sure had a lot of “feelings” and were sure that Obama had “good intentions” but not one of them had any facts to back up their overly emotional twaddle.

One young woman even thought Obama had only been in office two years, but she was absolutely sure he was doing well.

“I just feel like in general being a good guy, it’s just creating a lot more peace and like, mellow. I love Obama, and I love everything he is doing. I just feel like everyone is so hard on him and it’s only his second year,” this know-nothing said.
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LA Times: Global Warming Will Cause Violence to Rise

August 5, 2013 | Filed Under Anti-Americanism, Business, Capitalism, Climate Change, Democrats/Leftists, Environment, Ethics, Journalism, Liberals, Los Angeles, Media, Media Bias, Newspapers, Progressives, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off

-By Warner Todd Huston

The Los Angeles Times has seen the future and it is filled with a rising tide of violence all due to climate change.

In a piece on the results of a study by several UC Berkeley researchers, the Times warns that if we don’t “get our act together” and address climate change, then we will see an “alarming” rise in war and “interpersonal violence” due to climbing global temperatures.

For the newspaper, science writer Monte Morin kicked off his report quoting crime novel author Raymond Chandler who helpfully noted in a 1938 crime novel that summer heat brings out the worst in people.

From that bit of pop culture, Morin claimed that “social commentators” have “long suggested” that high temperatures cause men’s temper to flare and then moved on to the Berkeley researchers who found “strong causal evidence” to suggest that global warming will have us all at each other’s throats by the year 2050.
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L.A. School District Knew of Sexual Misconduct Claims, Did Nothing

May 9, 2013 | Filed Under California, Children, Crime, Democrats/Leftists, Ethics, Liberals, Los Angeles, Progressives, Sex Offenders/Rape, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off

-By Warner Todd Huston

Earlier this year L.A. teacher Robert Pimentel, 57, was arrested accused by several students and one other teacher of sexual misconduct, but now documents seem to prove that L.A. Unified School District officials knew of allegations of sexual misconduct involving Pimentel going as far back as 2009 but took no real action.

One person accusing the school district of not taking action sooner is Luis Carrillo, the lawyer representing the families of the three students from De La Torre Elementary School who allege that Pimentel sexually abused their children.

Carrillo says the proof is in a document that appears to be from the school district and details a complaint about Pimentel made by parents in October of 2009.

“Parents stated that there is a male teacher named [Robert] Pimentel who has been known to touch female students inappropriately,” the document says. “The parents reported that he caresses the girls, gives them candy and photographs them without parent permission.”
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Newspaper Union Declares Koch Brothers Unfit to Own Newspapers

May 3, 2013 | Filed Under 1st Amendment, Business, Capitalism, Constitution, Democrats/Leftists, Ethics, Journalism, Liberals, Los Angeles, Media Bias, Newspapers, Progressives, Warner Todd Huston | 1 Comment

-By Warner Todd Huston

On the heels of reports that “half” the staffers at the L.A. Times would resign if the paper was sold to conservative billionaires the Koch brothers, the Newspaper Guild–Communications Workers of America, a journalist labor union, have issued a statement declaring the pair unfit to own a newspaper.

At the end of April, reports on an in-house awards ceremony held at the Los Angeles Times revealed that half the staffers in attendance claimed that they’d instantly resign if their paper was sold to Charles and David Koch, the brothers who have funded many conservative and libertarian causes.

It wasn’t long until the newspaper guild released a statement urging the paper’s owners to refuse to sell the the Kochs and claiming that the brothers “breed distrust” because of their “harsh right-wing positions.”

Naturally, none of these “harsh opinions” were detailed but were just taken for granted–an interesting position to take for a group claiming to have “integrity” in reporting.
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Search of L.A.Times: One Result for ‘Kermit Gosnell’

April 14, 2013 | Filed Under Abortion, Democrats/Leftists, Ethics, Journalism, Liberals, Los Angeles, Media, Media Bias, Newspapers, Pro-Choice, Progressives, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off

-By Warner Todd Huston

It appears that the L.A. Times joined the Old Media’s blackout of coverage of the disturbing trail of abortionist Kermit Gosnell, accused of committing hundreds of illegal born-alive abortions, among many other charges, at his Philadelphia abortion mill. A topic search using the words “kermit gosnell” returned only two results at the L.A. Times website by Friday afternoon.

In a trial where a purported doctor is being shown to have shoved sharp scissors into the heads of infants born alive in order to sever the spinal column to “abort” them, where conditions were filthy, where the bodies of dead fetuses hazardously piled up, not to mention where some pregnant women died from botched procedures, the Old Media establishment is simply not interested.

Some of the shocking findings in this trial are contained in the opening statements of the grand jury report.

“The medical practice by which he [Kermit Gosnell] carried out this business was a filthy fraud in which he overdosed his patients with dangerous drugs, spread venereal disease among them with infected instruments, perforated their wombs and bowels–and, on at least two occasions, caused their deaths,” the report states.
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LA Times: NRA’s School Plan ‘A Hail of Bullets Will Protect Everyone’

April 6, 2013 | Filed Under 2nd Amendment, Anti-Americanism, Constitution, Democrats/Leftists, Ethics, Guns, Journalism, Liberals, Los Angeles, Media, Media Bias, Newspapers, NRA, President, Progressives, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off

-By Warner Todd Huston

The National Rifle Association recently put out its National School Shield proposal elucidating its ideas on adding more security in the nation’s schools. And right on cue, the Los Angeles Times ridicules the NRA’s plan as but “a hail of bullets” that “will protect everyone.”

In an editorial from April 2, the L.A. Times’ Robin Abcarian opens her piece with a series of jokes lambasting the NRA’s plan as, “a kiddie version of the National Missile Defense program. Star Wars for Schoolyards. A hail of bullets will protect everyone!”

The NRA debuted its National School Shield initiative with front man Asa Hutchinson, a former Republican Congressman from Arkansas, leading a full court press campaign. Hutchinson’s pitch essentially stated that at least one armed security guard be stationed at every American school. This, Hutchinson said, would increase response times to attacks.

This idea–one guard at every school–is what Abcarian characterized as “a kiddie version of Star Wars” and a “hail of bullets” that would protect everyone.
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Pro-Palestinian Group Buys Anti-Israel Ads on New York Metro

March 30, 2013 | Filed Under Anti-Americanism, Anti-Semitism, Chicago, Christianity, Democrats/Leftists, Hezbollah, Islam, Islamofascism, Israel, Jews, Jihad, Judaism, Koran, Liberals, Los Angeles, New York, New York City, Palestinians, Progressives, Religion, Sharia, Society/Culture, Terrorism, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off

-By Warner Todd Huston

A pro-Palestinian group has commissioned a new billboard ad now appearing at some New York Metro Stations. The ads attack Israel, U.S. foreign policy, and calls for an end to “Israeli Apartheid.”

American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), an Illinois-based advocacy group, bought space at 25 stations on the New York City Transit Authority’s Metro North line and will run these placards for a month before the campaign moves to another city.

AMP calls itself “a national grassroots organization educating the public about Palestine and its rich cultural and historical heritage.”

The placards quote South African Catholic Bishop and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Desmond Tutu: “I’ve been very deeply distressed in my visit to the Holy Land; it reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa.”


(Click to see larger image)

The ad also says: “Americans give Israel $3 billion per year! End Apartheid NOW! Stop U.S. Aid to Israel.”

The ad features a silhouette photo of a gun-toting soldier and a small, crouching boy surrounded by prison-like concrete walls and towers.
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NCIS: LA Paints Patriots as Terrorists

February 21, 2013 | Filed Under Democrats/Leftists, Hollywood, Liberals, Los Angeles, Progressives, Tea Party, Terrorism, TV, Warner Todd Huston | 1 Comment

-By Warner Todd Huston

The February 19 episode of CBS’ NCIS: Los Angeles offered a veritable smorgasbord of liberal tropes–Tea Party types portrayed as terrorists, private healthcare insurance companies slammed and a potpouri of anti-capitalist themes.

The episode started off in an interesting direction when the NCIS team came across the murder of a 1960s leftist radical who had been on the run from the feds for inadvertently killing a fellow terrorist. But it wasn’t long before the idea of a ’60s-era radical became an attack on all things conservative.

As the team members entered into their investigation, they discovered a tie to a local college professor. The team decided to go undercover and, as Agent Kensi Blye (Daniela Ruah) began to socialize with students, she found one planning an Occupy Wall Street protest on campus.

All the talk about Occupy was entirely positive, of course, but in one scene as the peaceful Occupy gathering was in full swing, a group of violent thugs dressed in red and sporting bandana masks burst onto the scene. The thugs, wielding bats, assaulted the peaceful Occupiers and destroyed their displays.
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L.A. Police Have History of Seizing Fake ‘Rocket Launchers’

January 8, 2013 | Filed Under 2nd Amendment, California, Constitution, Crime, Democrats/Leftists, Ethics, Gun Control, Guns, Liberals, Los Angeles, Progressives, Regulation, Warner Todd Huston | 1 Comment

-By Warner Todd Huston


Chief Charlie Beck May, 2012

Earlier we reported that the Los Angeles Police Department made a big show of having found “rocket launchers” during it most recent gun buyback program. We pointed out that the so-called launchers were being misreported and the police were illicitly using them as a scare tactic. But now we find that this same Police Chief has done this before.

On December 27 L.A. Police Chief Charlie Beck displayed a pair of what he claimed were “weapons of war” turned in during his latest gun buyback program. Chief Beck told the media that a pair of “rocket launchers” turned up and he evidently wanted to scare his city and make waves in the media about his success in getting these “weapons of death” off the streets of L.A.

Of course, the “rocket launchers” Chief Beck showed the Old Media establishment were nothing of the kind. Instead, what Beck waved about during the December press conference were U.S. Army training devices that were dummy devices. They are essentially prop pieces made to show young soldiers what such anti-tank weapons look like and how they feel. These training devices have never been able to fire anything nor could they be made to do so.

After the press conference, the Old Media establishment dutifully posted stories with scary headlines such as the L.A. Times’ piece, “LAPD investigating rocket launchers taken at gun buyback.”
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Fake News: L.A. Cops/Media Tout Rocket Launcher Seizure That Wasn’t

January 8, 2013 | Filed Under 2nd Amendment, California, Constitution, Crime, Democrats/Leftists, Guns, Journalism, Law, Liberals, Los Angeles, Media, Media Bias, Progressives, Regulation, Warner Todd Huston | 5 Comments

-By Warner Todd Huston


Chief Charlie Beck and L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa, Dec. 27, 2012

The L.A. Police Department had big news on December 27. They had seized a pair of rocket launchers! This, of course, would have been shocking news if only they really had found “rocket launchers” in the City of Angels.

As the L.A. Police Department’s “gun buyback program” came to a close, Chief Charlie Beck had frightening news for his city. A pair of “rocket launchers” had been turned in.

Chief Beck proudly paraded the pair of launcher tubes at a press conference and gravely told those assembled, “Those are weapons of war, weapons of death. These are not hunting guns. These are not target guns. … they have no place in our great city.”

The media, of course, dutifully ran to press with the “news” of the dangerous weapons of war found on the streets of L.A.
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L.A. Times: Hey, Did We Mention That You Romney Voters are ALL Racists

November 6, 2012 | Filed Under Anti-Americanism, Barack Obama, California, Democrats/Leftists, Elections, Ethics, GOP, Government, Journalism, Liberals, Los Angeles, Media, Media Bias, Mitt Romney, Newspapers, President, Progressives, Race, Republicans, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off

-By Warner Todd Huston

Sandy Banks of the L.A. Times has figured out why anyone would vote against Barack Obama. Why, they are all racists, of course. Oh, you don’t use “the N word,” she tells us, but we know what you Romney voters really think.

Banks dropped all pretense of logic or fairness in her November 4 piece going right for the throat and claiming that the nation’s “kumbaya era” is over merely because a white man dared run against Barack Obama for the office of President of the United States.

Like all these hate-filled screeds that cast any non-Obama voter as a racist, Banks doesn’t bother trying to actually explain how a nation that elected a black man for president could suddenly, at the drop of a hat, revert to pre-civil rights oppression, she just states it straight as if it is obvious fact.

This has been the single most disgusting attack against Romney voters and, if Obama loses his bid for reelection, be prepared to see every last left-winger on TV and in the commentariat claim that the only reason Obama lost is because the country is filled with hood-wearing, Jim-Crow-loving, racists.

Banks notes that she and her “reporter” friends hear from people “on the campaign trail” who explain to them why they are voting for Romney this time.

When those flag-waving voters are asked what they mean, their take on the president makes it clear: He’s Kenyan-born, he’s a closet Muslim, he has European-socialist tendencies.

But, even those claims, she says, are lies fostered by Romney voters. Such voters, Banks says, are using Obama’s failure over the economy, his failures in foreign policy, and his bowing and scraping to our enemies as a “proxy” to hide their racist hearts.

No one is using the N-word these days. The “foreign” label is its proxy — a signal that Obama is the “other” in a nation trying to come to grips with seismic economic changes and unsettling demographic shifts.

Banks goes on to use that boring, pervasive idea popular among her fellows that code words explain how racism is as bad in America todayas its ever been. She can’t find any overt racism, of course, so she has to pretend she can read between the lines to find it.

This is the racebaiter’s oldest trick. As race relations improved in America — now to the point where but a relative few care much about race — the chiefs of the racebaiting industry have to employ mind reading exercises and plumb wild-eyed inference to “find” their racism so that they can continue to make money off of it.
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L.A. Times Nominates Worst 2012 Political Ads, Ignores ‘Romney Killed My Wife’ Ad

November 2, 2012 | Filed Under Barack Obama, Democrats/Leftists, Elections, Ethics, Government, Journalism, Liberals, Los Angeles, Media, Media Bias, Mitt Romney, President, Progressives, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off

-By Warner Todd Huston

For his L.A. Times column for Halloween day, Doyle McManus made to rate the best and worst political ads of this presidential campaign cycle. Yet, even as he presented some interesting entries, McManus completely ignored the hateful Obama ad that told viewers that Romney killed a steelworker’s wife. What other ad was as filled with lies as that one and how could McManus have missed it?

After bemoaning all the political ads he had to sit through on a visit to Ohio, McManus warmed to his theme saying, “But effective or not, the ads are still interesting — for what they tell you about the campaigns’ strategies as much as what they say about the candidates.”

The columnist went on to talk about the best positive ads of both campaigns, their most effective negative ads, and “the most artful ad.” Yet when it came to “the most deceptive” ads, McManus short shrifted the category.

Worse, the “most deceptive” ad McManus mentioned coming from team Obama was an ad that lied about what Mitt Romney said about the number of troops he wanted to keep in Iraq. Troops? What about the disgusting Joe Soptic ad where Obama’s surrogates claimed that Mitt Romney killed a steelworker’s wife? How is that calumny-filled piece of garbage not worse than a lie about Romney’s troop recommendations?
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Democrat in LA Dist. Attny Race Gets Porn Star Endorsement

November 1, 2012 | Filed Under Democrats/Leftists, Elections, Ethics, Government, Law, Liberals, Los Angeles, Progressives, Sex Offenders/Rape, The Law, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off

-By Warner Todd Huston

Well, what could be better than getting the endorsement of a porn star if you are running for District Attorney? Nothing says “law enforcement” like getting the slut industry behind you like Democrat Los Angeles DA candidate Jackie Lacey has!

I wrote about Lacey last week when I found out she had abused her position as an officer of the courts in order to get out from under accepting the consequences of a car accident that she and her husband caused, but this new turn to her campaign for the DA’s office is a pip.

Lacey’s opponent Alan Jackson recently criticized Lacey for having had a fundraiser with former porn star, Kira Reed Lorsch. And there is no question about the truth of this claim, either. Kira Lorsch’s husband even mentioned they hosted a Lacey fundraiser in an October 21 Facebook posting on his own page.
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LA District Attorney Candidate Jackie Lacey’s Influence Pedaling to Avoid Consequences of Car Accident

October 25, 2012 | Filed Under California, Crime, Democrats/Leftists, Elections, Ethics, Government, Liberals, Los Angeles, Progressives, Warner Todd Huston | 3 Comments

-By Warner Todd Huston

It seems Lacey will do or say anything for personal gain.

Throughout the years Jackie Lacey has quietly perpetrated an easily-documented battle with the truth, earning the career administrator significant and sizable rewards both personal and political.

On top of perjury and union-busting, it has come to this author’s attention that Jackie Lacey, the woefully substance free, establishment candidate for District Attorney, leveraged her administrative and courtroom relationships to avoid paying medical bills and material damages to the victim of a car accident caused by her husband, Mr. David Lacey, in 2007. Shockingly, the car Mr. Lacey crashed was a government-owned vehicle.

Additionally, Jackie Lacey, who was elevated to the DA’s second-in-command spot the same week she launched her campaign for DA, was a passenger in that government-owned vehicle driven by her husband, David. The facts of the case indicate that the Laceys were violating any number of policies and ordinances by driving the car outside of official County business (otherwise insurance would have covered all of the victim’s claims and this would not be a story).
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The NRCC Asks What do YOU Want to Tell Nancy Pelosi

October 19, 2012 | Filed Under Democrats/Leftists, Elections, Ethics, GOP, Government, House of Representatives, Liberals, Los Angeles, Nancy Pelosi, Progressives, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off

-By Warner Todd Huston

Now you have the chance to give San Fran Lib Nancy Pelosi a message — you know, the former Speaker of the House, heh, I LOVE to say former.

Yes, you really have the opportunity to send Pelosi a message. And you might be lucky enough to have your message flashed onto a mobile electronic billboard that will drive around Pelosi’s San Francisco office!

Just go to http://lolapelosi.com/ and type in your 100 character message and vote on the others that appear there.

You can tweet your message and encourage your friends to vote up your message.
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Actress Kyra Segdwick On Hollywood’s Mistake: Ignoring Midwest

September 8, 2012 | Filed Under Anti-Americanism, Democrats/Leftists, Entertainment, Hollywood, Liberals, Los Angeles, Media, Media Bias, Movies, New York City, TV, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off

-By Warner Todd Huston

Actress Kyra Sedgwick might be tempting fate in Hollywood with a recent interview on the Tavis Smiley show on PBS where she scolded her industry for ignoring the great middle of the country.

Sedgwick was on the show discussing her recently concluded series The Closer on TNT and noted that the show was a great hit in the Midwest, but not in L.A. or New York City. At first she said she felt insulted at this ratings truth, but it wasn’t long before she realized that this wasn’t a bad thing at all.

She told Smiley that she came to feel that Hollywood was making a mistake to ignore everything outside New York and Los Angeles.

“I think that there’s a … huge difference,” Sedgwick said, “between what people politically believe and what interests people in Los Angeles and what interests people in New York, and what they believe politically [in the rest of the country] … and I think to ignore that is really cutting yourself out of a huge part of your population that I feel… they’re under-represented, and I think that was the great thing about [The Closer series].”
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What’s Going Wrong at the Pacific Research Institute?

August 7, 2012 | Filed Under California, Capitalism, Conservatives, Economy/Finances, Free Trade, Health, Los Angeles, Obamacare, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off

-By Warner Todd Huston

Early in July extreme left-wing Mother Jones magazine published a piece claiming that Sally Pipes, the head of the Pacific Research Institute, was not doing a very effective job of leading the San Francisco-based conservative, free-market think tank. Unfortunately, whether the magazine is left-wing or not and whether these questions make me comfortable or not (they don’t), there seems to be some truth in the story.

The magazine focused on the excessive amount of money that Pipes has requisitioned from the think tank to pay for Public Relations agencies to assist her in writing the many books, papers, articles and the like that carries Pipes’ name. Calling her “supernaturally prolific,” Mother Jones reported that Pipes employs Keybridge Communications to do the writing.

In fact, according to Mother Jones, Pipes has spent “nearly $1 million — $400,000 alone in 2010″ on the services of Keybridge. This is a substantial amount of money considering that the institute has an annual budget of only $4 million. To have spent such a huge chunk on “research assistance” is quite a lot, indeed.

Pipes has a very high profile in conservative circles. She is a sought after speaker with a specialty in healthcare. She’s worked with such big name groups as the American Enterprise Institute and the Heritage Foundation, and her work appears in newspapers, magazines, and websites everywhere — such as Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, and National Review. Pipes is also listed as the author of at least a half dozen books.
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LA Times Styles Romney the Whites Only Candidate

June 26, 2012 | Filed Under Anti-Americanism, Democracy, Elections, GOP, Government, Journalism, Liberals, Los Angeles, Media, Media Bias, Mitt Romney, President, Republicans, Warner Todd Huston | 1 Comment

-By Warner Todd Huston

On June 18 the L.A. Times turned in a sly performance attempting to paint Mitt Romney as the whites only candidate in a piece headlined, “Romney, Cows and Ice Cream: Targeting Conservative, White ‘Backbone’.”

Romney is calling his current Midwest campaign stint a tour of the “backbone of America,” but it seems the Times is purposefully misconstruing that ages old saying about the Midwest, making it into a racial epithet, instead of the laudatory name it usually is, by styling it the “white backbone” of America.

The Times quickly goes on to quote partisan liberal author Ruy Teixeira, who also a senior fellow at the liberal Center for American Progress, who says that Romney is probably wasting his time on the tour because minority voters in some of the swing state he’s visiting are lost to him regardless.

Over the last 20 years, the percentage of white working-class voters in both states has dropped, while the share of minorities and white college graduates has risen, a trend apt to benefit Democrats over time, said Ruy Teixeira, a senior fellow at the liberal Center for American Progress.

Teixeira should have lost all credibility back in 2002 when he famously published a book titled, “The Emerging Democratic Majority.” In 2002 Teixeira claimed that the Republican Party was finished and the Democrats were sure to be winners for decades to come, yet Democrats have only controlled both the White House and Congress for two of the last 18 years. Further damaging his analysis, Democrats lost control of the House in 2010 in the biggest loss of seats suffered by any party in decades.
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Dangers of the Ballot Initiative

May 11, 2012 | Filed Under Anti-Americanism, Budget, California, Democrats/Leftists, Economy/Finances, Elections, Ethics, Government, Law, Liberals, Los Angeles, Regulation, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | 1 Comment

-By Warner Todd Huston

At first blush, the idea of having ballot initiatives on election day seems like such a great, democratic idea. Unfortunately, all too often, all they are is a way to enlarge government, chip away at freedom, and cost the taxpayers money without returning the benefits promised. California is the perfect example of these troubles.

The problem, of course, is not that it’s too much democracy, but that few of these ballot measures are true grassroots uprisings meant to make the lives of Californians better. Instead they are moneyed special interests using their deep pockets to buy the petition process in order to get their own narrow needs favored in Sacramento.

Even as far back as 2004, the L.A. Times had soured on ballot measures. In an editorial scoffing at the whole system, the Times ended saying, “Ballot-box legislating — often swayed by false or misleading advertising — is no way to run a state of 36 million people and such diverse needs.”

That same year in San Jose, for instance, a ballot measure appear that was supposed to go to funding of libraries. The measure was supposed to raise the budget for libraries to $48 million per year but despite that good natured taxpayers approved the budget measure the city ended up cutting the library expenditures down to $32 million annually. This is a typical case where tax hikes approved by voters never ended up going where voters thought they were going to go. This year, new ballot measures meant to correct the library budget deficiency are being proposed but these measures are likely to make matters worse.
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NEA Greed Machine is in Overdrive

April 29, 2012 | Filed Under Budget, California, Children, Democrats/Leftists, Ethics, Government, Larry Sand, Liberals, Los Angeles, Public Employees Unions, Taxes, Teachers Unions, Unions | Comments Off

-By Larry Sand

Tax Freedom Day is April 17th. Freedom from teacher union extortion? To be announced.

The National Education Association has thrown itself full force into the “corporate loophole” demagoguery campaign. According to the NEA, children are being victimized by avaricious corporate types who don’t pay their fair share of taxes. The NEA exhorts the American people to “stand up for the middle class and support closing corporate tax loopholes at the federal and state level, so that additional resources can be invested in public education and other services that build our communities.” In a message oozing with class warfare, we learn that “Corporate tax loopholes are costing our schools and communities resources that would help the next generation achieve the American Dream.” (Cue the violins.)

They then post a list of programs that would thrive if the greedy corporate bastards would just pay their fair share – Title 1, Pre-K education, etc. NEA of course fails to mention that these programs, though popular, are essentially federal boondoggles. They don’t really do what they purport to do. They do make work for unionized adults, however, which if you haven’t been paying attention, is all NEA really cares about. But I digress….

Using Citizens for Tax Justice as their source, NEA claims that closing the seven largest corporate tax loopholes would provide an estimated $1.487 trillion in additional revenues over the next ten years. Coincidentally, CTJ just happens to be the union founded and funded lobbying wing of something called the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.
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Welfare, Not Work: Obama Shuts Down Minority Business Agency

March 20, 2012 | Filed Under Barack Obama, Budget, Business, Capitalism, Chicago, Democrats/Leftists, Detroit, Government, Jobs, Liberals, Los Angeles, New York City, President, Stimulus, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | Comments Off

-By Warner Todd Huston

Hosannas. Obama has finally cut some federal spending. But noting which agency he shut down is sort of emblematic of his whole welfare/big government-pushing presidency.

On Friday, the Department of Commerce announced that it would be shutting down all five regional offices of the Minority Business Development Agency, an agency that was created by Richard Nixon to help develop minority businesses.

The administration claims that it will be saving around $30 million per year by eliminating the offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Chicago Congressman Bobby Rush is not too happy about the decision.
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American Cancer Society Attacks Me by Name Over California Tax Grab?

March 19, 2012 | Filed Under Anti-Americanism, Budget, California, Conservatives, Democrats/Leftists, Ethics, GOP, Health, Liberals, Los Angeles, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | 7 Comments

-By Warner Todd Huston

Oddly enough, a coalition of big tax hikers in California, including the American Cancer Society, has attacked me by name for daring to write about Proposition 29, a California ballot measure that will appear on this year’s ballot. Prop 29 will force Californians to foot the costs of nearly a billion dollars in new and unnecessary spending on the airy claim that the funding will somehow cure cancer and stop kids from smoking. Sounds a bit like Obama’s claims that his election would lower sea levels, stop global warming, make the U.S. beloved again, and put a unicorn in every garage, doesn’t it?

The accusation leveled against me is that I am “in bed with Big Tobacco.” Naturally, these left-wingers don’t bother with any proof. They just hang the claim out there and leave it at that. If I am working with Big Tobacco, I have to say that their checks are late. I didn’t even get a cool Joe Camel T-Shirt, the ingrates! (In case they pull down the page, I have a screen shot saved here)

But imagine. This coalition of deep-pocketed, big government-loving entities is coming after me by name. Seriously. Have you ever heard of billion dollar groups like these attacking a single blogger like this? It truly is a new world.

I certainly have written about Prop 29 many times over the last year, that I admit. But another hilarious line used against me in essence calls me a carpetbagger for doing so:
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Jerry Brown and CTA: Testphobic Twins

February 1, 2012 | Filed Under Budget, California, Children, Democrats/Leftists, Larry Sand, Liberals, Los Angeles, Taxes, Teachers Unions | Comments Off

-By Larry Sand

Children in the Golden State will get a better education when teacher quality becomes a priority

In perhaps the most in-depth study on the subject to date, three Ivy League economists studied how much the quality of individual teachers matters to their students over the long term. The paper, by Raj Chetty and John N. Friedman of Harvard and Jonah E. Rockoff of Columbia, tracked 2.5 million students over 20 years, and using a value added approach, found that teachers who help students raise their standardized test scores have a lasting positive effect on those students’ lives beyond academics, including lower teenage-pregnancy rates, greater college matriculation and higher adult earnings. (The authors of the study define “value added” as the average test-score gain for a teacher’s students “…adjusted for differences across classrooms in student characteristics such as prior scores.”)

The only caveat from the authors is that using test scores in teachers’ evaluations could lead to “teaching to the test or cheating.” Nothing new here. Some people, when involved in any kind of competition, will try to gain unfair advantage or cheat outright. Typically, it’s a small part of the population and those who do should lose their jobs and face criminal charges.

The lesson is clear: test scores can give us a great deal of information about who the really good teachers are. But California Governor Jerry Brown, unfazed by the blockbuster study, actually called for less testing in his recent State of the State address.
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PG&E Wants Higher Rates Even While Collecting Millions for Improvements Never Made?

January 28, 2012 | Filed Under Budget, Business, California, Democrats/Leftists, Economy/Finances, Energy, Ethics, Government, Liberals, Los Angeles, Natural Gas, Taxes, Warner Todd Huston | 3 Comments

-By Warner Todd Huston

Since the several disastrous accidents that claimed the lives of too many Californians, Pacific Gas & Electric has been fighting criticism over its dismal safety record. In response, the energy provider cried poor and said it needed billions for upgrades and repairs and wanted ratepayers to pay even more for its services. But a new report says that PG&E collected millions from ratepayers for repairs and improvements that it never actually made.

Early last year PG&E got a large rate increase, but by August the energy provider was at it again asking for an additional $2.2 billion for upgrades, repairs, and improving its explosion-prone delivery system, a cost to be born on the backs of the ratepayers.

This January, though, the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) reported that PG&E has already collected half a billion dollars that was supposed to go to these repairs and upgrades yet the repairs were never made.
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Exposing a 40-Year Education Crime: Why California Needs School Choice

January 28, 2012 | Filed Under Budget, Business, Democrats/Leftists, Education, Ethics, Jobs, Larry Sand, Liberals, Los Angeles, Public Employees Unions, School Choice, Taxes, Teachers Unions, Unions | Comments Off

-By Larry Sand

Busting LAUSD and every other school district in the state for negligence should help kids, but it’s anyone’s guess as to when. In the meantime, giving families more educational options would be a great help, but don’t hold your breath, California.

With National School Choice Week underway, we see many positive things happening across the country. In states like New Jersey and Louisiana, governors are taking the lead in proposing ways to break the devastating monopoly that government run schools – their educrat leaders, corrupt and/or inept school boards and the powerful teachers unions — have held for far too long.

As an example of Big Education gone bad, I write in City Journal about a crime that has been perpetrated on the children of California for 40 years and the lawsuit that addresses it:
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Visitors from Outer Space and Their Strange Ideas About Education Reform

December 30, 2011 | Filed Under Budget, Children, Democrats/Leftists, Education, Larry Sand, Liberals, Los Angeles, Pensions, Public Employees Unions, Taxes, Teachers Unions, Unions | Comments Off

-By Larry Sand

There are those among us who think that teachers unions, collective bargaining and peer assistance review are the way to a better education for kids. They look like earthlings, but in fact are extraterrestrials.

As the year draws to a close, newspapers, magazines and blogs are filled with best of and worst of lists that deal with everything imaginable. The Hoover Institution’s Koret Task Force got on the bandwagon early and posted Best and Worst in American Education, 2011 in November. All solid stuff. Can a reformer not be happy about the Parent Trigger being raked over the coals, yet surviving, or that many of Michelle Rhee’s reforms are still in place despite leaving her post as D.C. Schools Chancellor after a major push from the American Federation of Teachers? On the worst list, the Task Force includes the Atlanta teacher cheating scandal and the union-orchestrated overturn of Ohio’s recent anti-collective bargaining law.

Then lo and behold, we received a dispatch from Planet Ravitch on December 23rd. (Most people are not aware that shortly after astronomers ruled that Pluto was not a planet in 2006, a new planet would be identified. And it is inhabited!) The people who live on this celestial body (named after Diane Ravitch, a former reformer who turned into a champion of the failing status quo) are afflicted with a dyslexic-like condition: they have the entire education reform picture exactly backwards. The way to true reform is to hold their ideas up to a mirror with the resulting image revealing the best way to proceed.
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Tenure for Teachers: Enough is Enough

December 18, 2011 | Filed Under California, Democrats/Leftists, Education, Larry Sand, Liberals, Los Angeles, Public Employees Unions, Teachers Unions, Unions | Comments Off

-By Larry Sand

Every year untold thousands of school kids are harmed by teachers who shouldn’t be allowed in a classroom. Parents must be given an opportunity to send their children elsewhere.

A teacher arrives at work high on drugs…daily.

A teacher regularly flies into rages, terrifying kids and coworkers.

A teacher talks in explicit terms about sex to the students.

A teacher makes constant sexual advances to other teachers.

A teacher doesn’t teach her students anything.

These are a few of the teachers that new Perth Amboy schools superintendent Janine Caffrey has to deal with on a daily basis. She is quick to point out that most teachers are committed and talented, but there are a few….

The evil here is tenure or permanence, which in New Jersey bestows a position for life on teachers after just three years on the job. (It’s even worse in other states – in California, for example, a teacher can get into the untouchables club after only two years.) Tenure for teachers would be nothing more than a bad joke if it didn’t destroy the education experience for tens of thousands of children who are subjected to incompetent/cruel/perverted people on a daily basis.
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The Route to Teacher Union Extinction: Is the Other Shoe Dropping?

December 13, 2011 | Filed Under Budget, California, Children, Democrats/Leftists, Education, Larry Sand, Liberals, Los Angeles, Public Employees Unions, Taxes, Teachers Unions, Unions | Comments Off

-By Larry Sand

In addition to online learning, Democrat’s abandonment of their traditional union allies could put an end to the educational status quo and decimate the teachers unions

In my October 18th post, I wrote about Terry Moe’s book Special Interest: Teachers Unions and America’s Public Schools. I specifically addressed that part of the book in which he builds a scenario for the eventual undoing of the teachers unions. One of the two ways he claims this will happen is via technology, in the form of online learning. The other route to marginalization is the realization by Democrats that education is really a civil rights issue and that they are morally bound to get on board with reform and choice. By adopting this position, they will be abandoning their longtime political allies – the teachers unions.

As with the rapid ascent of online learning, Moe’s second nail in the unions’ coffin is picking up speed. In a recent Huffington Post entry, Joy Resmovits addresses the “new education lobby.
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