Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving! But before you eat that turkey, thank private property!

Happy Thanksgiving! But before you eat that turkey, thank private property! Without it, Thanksgiving would be "Starvation Day." Here's why...

Agenda 21 in Namibia (Africa)

In case anyone needs confirmation about Agenda 21 and Smart Growth being a worldwide scourge of social engineers, check out this poster for "transit oriented development" in Namibia, a poor Sub-Saharan African nation. People want progress and freedom, not bureaucrats and control.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Shooting straight on state gas tax measure

Editorial: Shooting straight on state gas tax measure

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra speaks during an interview with the Associated Press. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra speaks during an interview with the Associated Press. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File) 
California has a long history of election meddling by state attorneys general who try to put a thumb on the scale before voters weigh in on ballot measures.
Now Xavier Becerra is using his entire fist to squash attempts to repeal the state’s new 12-cent-a-gallon gas tax increase and $25 to $175 boost in annual vehicle registration fees.
Repealing the taxes championed by Gov. Jerry Brown would be terrible for California, whose roads and bridges have deteriorated to a dangerous degree over the past decade. But the attorney general is stooping to new lows of electoral deception to try to stop it, and that’s just plain wrong.
The issue is an initiative by Assemblyman Travis Allen, R-Huntington Beach, to repeal the increased tax and fees. He hopes to qualify it for the November 2018 election.
Becerra insisted that the title on the signature petitions make no mention of repealing “taxes and fees.” Instead, he directed that it say it would “repeal revenues” for road repair and transportation funding.
Seriously. “Repeal revenues.” Whatever that means.
Becerra’s obfuscation is a pathetic attempt to hide the truth and discourage voters from signing the petitions. That is essentially what Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley concluded when Allen appealed the attorney general’s petition language.
The judge called Becerra’s title and summary “confusing, misleading, and likely to create prejudice against the proposed measure.” It “obscures the chief purpose of the initiative: repeal of the recently enacted taxes and fees.”
Frawley ordered new language, explicitly stating that the initiative would repeal those taxes and fees.
Becerra appealed to the state Court of Appeal, saying the judge overstepped his authority. Last week, the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento ruled in Becerra’s favor, deciding that his summation of the initiative was “neutrally presented.” State law gives the attorney general “considerable latitude” in writing the official description, the court ruled.
Common sense tells us Frawley got the substance right. Allen says he will appeal the decision, taking it to the state Supreme Court.
While this fight is over the initiative petition language, the attorney general also controls the wording on the ballot and the short summary in the ballot pamphlet. In each case, the wording is supposed to be true, impartial and convey the measure’s chief purposes and points.
But, like his predecessors, Becerra, who must stand for election next year, is using his power over initiatives to sway voters and score political points with supporters — in this case to protect the governor’s transportation tax plan. It was Brown who earlier this year appointed Becerra to replace Kamala Harris as attorney general.
There’s a remedy for this. The responsibility for presenting clear information to voters should be taken away from politicians and turned over to the non-partisan state legislative analyst.
Political leaders aren’t big on giving up power. So it will probably take a good-government initiative to get it done. We can only imagine what that petition title might say.

Marinwood CSD approves $77k plus "Martha Stewart" Fire Kitchen makeover- November 2017

The Fire Department wins approval of the "Martha Stewart" Kitchen makeover featuring luxury appliances like a $4500 Viking stove, custom cabinetry.  Lea Kleinman-Green argues that to "determine price" we must approve the $77,000 makeover and then deal with the contractor adjustments after the fact. The rest of the Marinwood CSD board eventually agrees unanimously.  Only months before the CSD REFUSED a generous $25,000 gift for less fancy kitchen by falsely claiming it was ILLEGAL to take the contribution.  The winning contractors have ties to people in the community.    The TAXPAYERS ARE BEING SCREWED.  In other business, the CSD is considering reorganization of the fire department in secret meetings.  The fire chief Tom Roach has not attended the last two meetings but no announcement has been made if he is on disability.  If he retires with his fat lifetime pension at age 50 (?) with a disability like recent firefighters, a large portion of his income is TAX FREE.   Again, the Marinwood CSD agree to this outrageous abuse of taxpayers like blind sheep.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Miller Landslide Repaired but still no agreement with the Marinwood CSD.

Apparently, the Marinwood CSD is not budging with the landslide repairs on the Miller property and would rather risk a law suit.  Eric Dreikosen, general manager feels that the law is on his side.



There is nothing so precious as Liberty

There was once a Wolf who got very little to eat because the Dogs of the village were so wide awake and watchful. He was really nothing but skin and bones, and it made him very downhearted to think of it.

One night this Wolf happened to fall in with a fine fat House Dog who had wandered a little too far from home. The Wolf would gladly have eaten him then and there, but the House Dog looked strong enough to leave his marks should he try it. So the Wolf spoke very humbly to the Dog, complimenting him on his fine appearance.

"You can be as well-fed as I am if you want to," replied the Dog. "Leave the woods; there you live miserably. Why, you have to fight hard for every bite you get. Follow my example and you will get along beautifully."

"What must I do?" asked the Wolf.

"Hardly anything," answered the House Dog. "Chase people who carry canes, bark at beggars, and fawn on the people of the house. In return you will get tidbits of every kind, chicken bones, choice bits of meat, sugar, cake, and much more beside, not to speak of kind words and caresses."

The Wolf had such a beautiful vision of his coming happiness that he almost wept. But just then he noticed that the hair on the Dog's neck was worn and the skin was chafed.

"What is that on your neck?"

"Nothing at all," replied the Dog.

"What! nothing!"

"Oh, just a trifle!"

"But please tell me."

"Perhaps you see the mark of the collar to which my chain is fastened."

"What! A chain!" cried the Wolf. "Don't you go wherever you please?"

"Not always! But what's the difference?" replied the Dog.

"All the difference in the world! I don't care a rap for your feasts and I wouldn't take all the tender young lambs in the world at that price." And away ran the Wolf to the woods.

There is nothing worth so much as liberty.


Important video. I would love to hear the rebuttal of Ezra Rapport by a constitutional scholar. No where does he mention the people right to self govern. His justification of "states authority" is positively socialist in concept. It changes our democracy into a authoritarian central planning model. I understand that Ezra Rapport was a lawyer.in his prior life.

I posed the question about how to rebuff Ezra Rapport's argument and received this response from a friend:

There are many arguments for local control but not based on the US Constitution. In the system of federalism, The federal and state governments co-exist as soverigns. The Constitution reserves the powers that belong to the federal government, and these pre-empt any contrary state or local laws. Anything not reserved to the feds belongs to the states to do as they please, as long as not in conflict with the Bill of Rights or other constitutional provisions. In contrast, the state and cities are not separate sovereigns. The cities are subordinate to the state, and derive any and all of their powers from what the state grants. The state has authority to delegate its powers to agencies, and has done so here. This is the constitutional explanation. As used here, I would argue it is bad governance, but it is constitutional.

Here are a few other comments: 

Constitutionally, he is right.

Just like, after the Reichstag fire in 1933, Hindenburg’s Reichstag Fire Decree suspending basic rights and allowed detention without trail, followed by Hitler getting the Enabling Act passed by the new Reichstag to respond to the emergency, and Hitler taking over as sole dictator of Germany after the death of Hindenburg, Hitler became all-powerful in a perfectly legal manner.

Remember the sequence in Star Wars III where Palpatine convinces the Senate to convert the Republic into the Empire with him as Emperor?

Guess what it was based on?

“A republic, if you can keep it.”

And this one:

Rapport may be correct that the state can subdivide into regional agencies, but this does not permit it to do so without democratic representation. Here is the portion of the Constitution, Article IV, Section 4: The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence. 

Article 4 Section 3 of the Constitution HERE

YIMBY s soak up developers cash to fund Astroturf Activism

The YIMBYs throw a gala from Mission Local on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Battle for the California Desert: Why is the Government Driving Folks off Their Land?

The Antelope Valley is a vast patch of desert on the outskirts of Los Angeles County, and a segment of the few rugged individualists who live out there increasingly are finding themselves the targets of armed raids from local code enforcement agents, who've assembled into task forces called Nuisance Abatement Teams (NATs).

The plight of the Valley's desert dwellers made regional headlines when county officials ordered the destruction of Phonehenge: a towering, colorful castle constructed out of telephone poles by retired phone technician Kim Fahey. Fahey was imprisoned and charged with several misdemeanors.

But Fahey is just one of many who've been targeted by the NATs, which were assembled at the request of County Supervisor Mike Antonovich in 2006. LA Weekly reporter Mars Melnicoff wrote an in-depth article in which she exposed the county's tactic of badgering residents with minor, but costly, code violations until they face little choice but to vacate the land altogether.

"They're picking on the the people who are the most defenseless and have the least resources," says Melnicoff.

Reason.tv collaborated with Melnicoff to talk with some of the NAT's targets, such as retired veteran Joey Gallo, who might face homelessness if he's forced to leave his house, and local pastor Oscar Castaneda, who says he's already given up the fight and is in the process of moving off the land he and his wife have lived on for 22 years. And, while Antonovich declined an interview, we did catch up with him at a public meeting in order to ask the big question at the center of all this: Why the sudden enforcement of these codes against people living in the middle of the desert, who seemingly are affecting no one?

Writer-Producers: Zach Weissmueller and Tim Cavanaugh. Associate Producer: Mars Melnicoff. Camera: Alex Manning and Weissmueller; edited by Weissmueller.

Approximately 9:48.

Music by Audionautix.com.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Donald Trump's Family Fortune was built with Affordable Housing Profits

Donald Trump's father built his 400 million dollar estate with Affordable Housing.

Most people think of Donald Trump as the brash developer of Casinos, Golf Courses and Luxury properties.  Not too many people know that his family fortune was built by on the foundation that his father Fred Trump (1905-1999) built with affordable housing in the New York area

[Fred]Trump embarked on a career as an entrepreneur through real estate development, building, and operating affordable rental housing via large apartment complexes in New York City, including more than 27,000 low-income multifamily apartments and row houses in the neighborhoods of Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Sheepshead Bay, Flatbush, and Brighton Beach in Brooklyn and Flushing and Jamaica Estates in Queens.[2]

The next time you hear about "non-profit developers" remember that there is huge money in public sector housing development.  A business must be organized as a non profit corporation to qualify for HUD financing.

The business plan may be different than market rate housing but it is very profitable just the same.  The average low income apartment costs $250,000 to $500,000 per unit  making it far more expensive per square foot than market rate real estate.

Remember that "low income" only refers to the resident.  Everyone else makes a very healthy living.  That is why developers love One Bay Area Plan and the mandate for low income housing.  

Low income housing provides greater certainty for profits at lower risk.

Just ask Donald Trump!

Holiday travel begins. Enjoy the ride.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

A Rebuttal to "Forceful solutions to Regionalism"

A Rebuttal to the San Francisco Gate Opinion piece. 

A need for Regional Thinking

Editor's Note: A reader sent me the following rebuttal to the opinion piece published in the the SF GATE HERE.   The commentary is published in bold type and the original article in italics.

"A giant tunneling machine dubbed Elizabeth is burrowing under London, part
of a $25 billion regional train line scheduled to open in 2018. The finished
product is intended to alleviate suffocating traffic, ease pressure on housing
costs and share growth across a booming urban center, not just the inner core."

London has a vast network of surveillance cameras equipped with facial recognition software, voice recognition,  cellular and digital surveillance.  Do we want to imitate London?
What works for London, doesn't necessarily work for us.

"Those problems, if not the solution, should get the Bay Area thinking. Our
locale shares London’s anxiety about the future and the next steps to improve

I have no anxiety about London's problems.
"Costly housing and inadequate transit are concerns that occupy Bay Area
residents nearly every day, topics taken on in The Chronicle’s “City on the
Edge” editorial series. As the expansive London plan shows, these
shortcomings can’t be isolated to the big-city center. They’re regional
concerns, taking in dozens of communities."

Anyone who understands regionalism sees it for what it is, an end run around
our representative government and our democratic process. Never a good thing
even if you think you're solving a problem.

"Other areas — notably the vast region surrounding New York that includes
New Jersey and Pennsylvania — are moving in the same direction as London.
It’s time there, as well as here, for serious improvements that move beyond
the normal boundaries and levels of planning."

This language appears to be an attempt to create a reality that does not exist. I
hope your readers don't fall for it.

"An emphasis on commuter lines that reach deep into the areas surrounding
city centers is one element."

Who asked we the people if this is what we want?

"Another is regional government that oversees and enforces policies on a
broad scale." 

Regional government is unrepresentative and is a shadow government to our
own. A very dangerous thing as those who have studied history know.

"Portland, Ore., has a wide-angle lens on development over an area taking in
the city and its suburbs."

Please look at the problems with this Portland plan before extolling its virtues.
It sets limits and directs growth, breaking down barriers between small
towns that ring the larger urban center.  (See article HERE )

This regionalism is about breaking political jurisdictions which take away the
political power of we the people to determine for ourselves how we want to live.
This is nothing less than Soviet Russian planning which didn't work there and
won't work here. This is the United States of America, land of the free, home of
the brave.
Ugly stucco "big box" apartments replace quiet neighborhoods.

"After years of public battling, Seattle overcame misgivings about in-fill
projects and pushed ahead with new buildings in older neighborhoods where
NIMBY wars often raged."

At whose expense?

"The Bay Area has all the elements of these solutions in place. BART handles
400,000 riders daily, its highest passenger counts ever, and has proven so
popular that it needs bigger stations, more rail cars and possibly a second