No one should write off the Golden State. But it will take massive reforms to reverse its economic decline...

Written By MICHAEL J. BOSKIN and JOHN F. COGAN

Long a harbinger of national trends and an incubator of innovation, cash-strapped California eagerly awaits a temporary revenue surge from Facebook IPO stock options and capital gains. Meanwhile, Stockton may soon become the state's largest city to go bust. Call it the agony and ecstasy of contemporary California.

California's rising standards of living and outstanding public schools and universities once attracted millions seeking upward economic mobility. But then something went radically wrong as California legislatures and governors built a welfare state on high tax rates, liberal entitlement benefits, and excessive regulation. The results, though predictable, are nonetheless striking. From the mid-1980s to 2005, California's population grew by 10 million, while Medicaid recipients soared by seven million; tax filers paying income taxes rose by just 150,000; and the prison population swelled by 115,000.

California's economy, which used to outperform the rest of the country, now substantially underperforms. The unemployment rate, at 10.9%, is higher than every other state except Nevada and Rhode Island. With 12% of America's population, California has one third of the nation's welfare recipients.

Partly due to... http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405270230453790457727724268236469...

 


 

By Larry Klayman

Andrew Breitbart still lives. That heroic and fearless Internet guru who collapsed recently is perhaps even bigger in death than he was in life. During his time on earth and now from his grave, Breitbart was and is not afraid to report on issues involving Barack Hussein Obama’s association with black supremacists and fraudsters and racial politics in general.

I got to know Andrew about a year and a half ago when we met to discuss the burgeoning, but thus far “under the radar” African-American agricultural loan scandal, which he was one of the first to have reported. Spurred by Andrew’s new revelations about the scandal, in an editorial earlier this year, the Washington Times, described it this way:

“Race hustlers are shaking down taxpayers for payoffs, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is falling for the scam. The controversy involves discrimination claims against the USDA for allegedly denying loans because of race. A federal judge approved payments of $50,000 or more based on low levels of proof. This encouraged a mad scramble for cash based on false claims.

“The ‘Pigford Settlement,’ an agreement that came out of the original 1997 lawsuit by Timothy Pigford and 400 southern black farmers, resulted from some apparently legitimate instances of discrimination. However, plaintiffs’ lawyers got involved, and the number of supposedly aggrieved farmers grew exponentially. Eventually, more than 94,000 claims were filed even though the U.S. Census Bureau never counted more than 33,000 black farmers in America during the years in question.

“In 2007, then-Sen. Barack Obama began working to pass legislation providing even more money for a whole new class of claimants via ‘Pigford II.’ This push ignored fraud in and several convictions over the original settlement, but Mr. Obama was advised his legislation could help him in a Democratic presidential primary fight against then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. As president, Mr. Obama rammed this new, $4.6 billion boondoggle through Congress during last year’s post election, lame-duck session.” See “Editorial: USDA’s Pigford Fraud – Obama Initiative Ignores Corruption to Redistribute Wealth.” [Washington Times, Feb. 2, 2011]

In essence, the Pigford scandal – appropriately named for its pork-laden largess on behalf of alleged black farmers – constitutes reparations for over a century of alleged white discrimination. The court settlement – rubber stamped by a liberal Democratic federal judge in the predominantly black District of Columbia, Paul Friedman, who paid little attention to its proclivity to create “open season” for fraudulent claims – has been misused as a back door way to get “whitey” to pay reparations to blacks without regard to whether or not each individual black claimant indeed has a claim to the settlement money. Even worse, this scam of the American taxpayer – so cash-strapped these days with the continuing deep recession – has soldiered on without any real scrutiny by Congress, save just a few lawmakers like Michele Bachmann and Stephen King, because the establishment Republican leadership is afraid to touch on issues that involve African-Americans and race, particularly during an election cycle. Ironically, however, the Obama administration’s continuing support of the Pigford settlements amounts to little more than solidifying and buying black votes to re-elect the president and his leftist, socialist minions to office in 2012 – at a time when many black voters are dissatisfied with the Democrats’ efforts to give them the bigger “piece of the pie” they were promised during the prior 2008 election cycle.

But the Pigford fraud cannot just be explained as a cold and calculated effort by Obama and his comrades to buy votes. Recent revelations by Breibart’s still vibrant websites manned by his gifted surviving partners and staff have disclosed videos linking Obama to black supremacists and anti-Semites like former and recently deceased Harvard law professor Derrick Bell. Coupled with the president’s past association with the likes of radical anti-white and anti-Semitic Reverends Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrahkan, among many other bigoted black “leaders,” this more than explains Obama’s penchant to pay reparations under fraudulent pretenses. The old proverb that “you are who you associate with” applies.

Bell’s racial view of whites and Jews in particular can be boiled down to two of his quotes. As WND reported recently, Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro commented, “This is a man so extreme that … he wrote a story in 1993 in which he posited that white Americans would sell black Americans into slavery to aliens to relieve the national debt, and that Jews would go along with it.” Adopting a statement from an older black lady who lived in the South and allegedly suffered discrimination, Bell’s motto became, “I lives to harass white folks.”

WND has also reported on Bell’s multiple visits to the Obama White House, once (and perhaps not coincidentally) on the day the president was to give his 2010 State of the Union address.

Months ago I wrote a column about Obama entitled “A president of ‘His People,’ not ‘We the People.’” This characterization has certainly been borne out even more with the Bell revelations and the president’s penchant to further the Pigford fraud.

The Breitbart videos linking Derrick Bell to Obama, showing the president as a Harvard law student leader asking his black compatriots to open their hearts and minds to this racist and anti-Semite, and then hugging Bell, more than unmasks who Obama really is. Whether it is Pigford black reparations or his disdain if not latent hatred for the Jewish state of Israel and his endorsement of the Ground Zero mosque – or a host of other similar outrages toward whites, Jews and Christians – this president certainly does not represent “We the People” but instead “his own people.”

That is why we must use all legal means to remove Obama and his racist, anti-Semitic comrades from access to the White House, and we must do so in short order before the country devolves further into a racial and religious civil war, and our nation and Israel are destroyed, by virtue of the president’s actions.

Larry Klayman is a former Justice Department prosecutor and the founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch. His latest book is "Whores: Why and How I Came to Fight the Establishment."

 

Click here for Attractions Spa website


 

WASHINGTON, DC — Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties) today introduced a bill that will protect the Navy’s ability to test weapon systems at Naval Base Ventura County’s San Nicolas Island and other testing areas in the wake of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s failed sea otter translocation program.

Gallegly’s Military Readiness and Southern Sea Otter Conservation Act will create new military readiness areas around all testing grounds off the Southern California coast, so as sea otters migrate into these waters the Navy will be able to continue its current activities while still offering protections for the animals.

“This bill will allow the Navy to continue testing and exercises off the Southern California coast, which is vital to our national defense, while also allowing the southern sea otter to expand its habitat to wherever it wants,” Gallegly said. It also protects endangered abalones and Southern California commercial shellfish fishing industry.

Sea otters were placed at San Nicholas Island in 1987 in hopes that they would establish a population there and stay out of the FWS’s no-otter zone south of Point Conception. The otters did not cooperate, however, and repeatedly violated the no-otter zone.

While the program was abandoned in 1993, it is only now being officially terminated.

Under the program, the Navy was allowed to treat the sea otters as a threatened species. With termination of the program, any sea otters that remain on San Nicholas Island would have to be treated with the more restrictive endangered classification.

If the Navy is forced to treat the sea otters as endangered it could jeopardize all testing and other activities around San Nicolas Island.

Gallegly’s bill directs FWS to take into account the recovery of endangered black and white abalone, along with the commercial harvest of shellfish fisheries, when enacting a new management plan for the recovery of southern sea otters. Both abalone and shellfish are prime food sources for the southern sea otter.

 


 

There’s an old adage that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. When it comes to politics, it nearly always is.

Say for instance a politician told you he could lower the cost of sending your kids to college by 2/3rds. You’d probably respond, “Great. What’s the catch?”

Your caution would be warranted. If a recent proposal by Speaker John Pérez becomes law, you might get some help with those soaring college fees, but don’t count on your kids finding jobs once they get that diploma.

The Speaker’s proposal, which he’s dubbed the “The California Middle Class Scholarship,” would impose a $1 billion dollar tax hike on “out-of-state” businesses to provide financial aid for college students. The plan targets a 2009 tax formula change that only became effective last year—after California voters rejected a November 2010 ballot measure that aimed to repeal it.

In his own words, the Speaker claims: “We're closing that loophole that only benefits out-of-state corporations at the expense of the rest of us in the state. And we're taking that benefit and directing it to middle-class families who are struggling to put their kids through college.”

Sounds good, right?

But there’s always a “catch.” This time there’s at least three:

First, many “out-of-state” companies, including manufacturers, retailers and others, have significant investments in California and employ millions of Californians. Like it or not, imposing a billion dollars in new taxes—without offsetting tax cuts—will tempt these companies to downsize their California presence, costing countless jobs. Given that California already has the second highest unemployment rate in the nation, that’s not the brightest idea.

Second, college costs aren’t fixed. When Californians lack jobs, revenues fall. When revenues fall, politicians raise college fees. Imposing new taxes on struggling job creators will only make this cycle worse, increasing college fees further. Plus, if the state’s revenue picture gets worse, the Speaker’s program could be cut too.

Third, taxpayers are footing the bill, but California’s hostile business climate increasingly means college graduates must leave California in order to find jobs. The Speaker’s “middle class scholarship” won’t create middle-class jobs in California; instead, the tax hike will educate the future workforce of Arizona, Oregon and Texas, to name a few.

Don’t get me wrong. Education is vital to the future of our state and a college education significantly improves one’s prospects of finding a job. California’s problem, which stems from our high tax and onerous regulatory climate, is that there simply aren’t enough jobs.

This scarcity means that college students with significant debt end up with jobs that only require a high school diploma. They displace the kids who only have high school diplomas. So now those kids must also go to college to have a chance of getting a job that only requires a high school diploma.

For California to succeed, our politicians need an education too. Even a basic understanding of economics would help them understand that rising college fees are a symptom, not the source of California’s problems. To solve the real problem, we need to attract middle-class jobs back to California, rather than drive them away. A billion dollar tax increase is not the solution.

And who knows? With good jobs, Californians might even be able to afford to send their kids to college without Speaker Pérez’s help.

Elected in November 2010, George Runner represents more than nine million Californians as a member of the State Board of Equalization. For more information, visit www.boe.ca.gov/Runner.

 


 
Governor’s Plan Would Also Destroy $267 Million in Business Investment

George Runner today criticized the Governor’s plan to impose higher taxes on working Californians. He released an analysis showing that a half cent sales tax increase would cost California thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in lost investment.

“Tax policy has consequences” said Runner. “As this analysis shows, a higher sales tax rate would take money out of the pockets of working Californians, destroying more than 23,000 jobs and $267 million in business investment. The projected job losses would be equivalent to every worker in a medium-sized California city like Glendora or West Sacramento losing their jobs.”

When considering tax increases, policymakers rely on static analyses that ignore behavioral changes by consumers and business owners. A dynamic analysis, like the one released by Runner, estimates the likely behavioral changes that could result from a higher tax rate.

The analysis, conducted by the State Board of Equalization, projects that nearly all of the proposed sales tax increase would be passed along to consumers. The state would receive $222 million less in revenues than projected by a static analysis, an 8% loss in potential revenue.

Runner added, “Since July of last year, lower tax rates have enabled Californians to keep more of their hard-earned dollars, and our economy is growing stronger. Let’s not rewind our progress by reinstating even a portion of the tax burden Californians endured during the Great Recession.”

The full analysis is available online at www.boe.ca.gov/Runner/info/pdf/Dynamic_Revenue.pdf.

Elected in November 2010, George Runner represents more than nine million Californians as a member of the State Board of Equalization. For more information, visit www.boe.ca.gov/Runner.

 
Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement H.R. 3808, Scott Gardner Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Drunken driving is a serious crime that resulted in 10,839 deaths in 2009. Yet, there are numerous documented cases of illegal immigrants who receive convictions for drunken driving and then are not deported. Although these illegal immigrants have no right to be in our country, they remain in the United States. They are simply released and often go on to drink and drive again. This problem can’t continue to be ignored.

In a recent and egregious example, Carlos Martinelly-Montano drove while drunk, crashed into an oncoming car, killing one passenger and critically injuring two others. According to an ICE report, Montano had been arrested for drunken driving twice and reckless driving once. In two of the three cases, his immigration status was never checked – even though he was convicted and sent to jail for the first offense.

Even when he was placed in ICE “custody” after his second DUI arrest, he was released into the streets with a GPS device. However, GPS monitoring doesn’t prevent a released criminal from driving drunk. And we know that drunken drivers involved in fatal crashes are eight times more likely to have a prior drunken driving conviction than other drivers.

On August 1, 2010, Montano got behind the wheel of his vehicle yet again after he had been drinking heavily. This time, tragically, he plowed into a car with three Catholic nuns inside, killing one and severely injuring the two others. Montano was subsequently convicted of felony murder and involuntary manslaughter.

The report claims that Montano would have been detained under subsequent ICE guidelines because he was a repeat offender and he demonstrated himself to be a danger to public safety. However, an anonymous ICE official stated that two drunken driving incidents by an illegal immigrant “aren’t enough to warrant detention.” There is absolutely no reason for the administration’s outrageous policy.

Montano is not an isolated case. In June 2011, an illegal immigrant and habitual drunken driver named Saul Chavez ran over and killed Dennis McCann of Chicago. Chavez had recently finished a sentence of two years of probation for an earlier aggravated drunken driving offense. Chavez was apprehended at the scene of the crime and booked in a Cook County jail. ICE issued a detainer on Chavez, who already had a prior criminal record. The Cook County Jail ignored the detainer and allowed Chavez to post bond. Chavez has since failed to appear in court.

How many people must die before illegal immigrant drunken drivers are detained and removed? Why is it that they are not a priority for our administration? Congress has no choice but to act since the administration apparently is not going to. Rep. Myrick’s bill solves the problem and ensures that illegal immigrants who drink and drive are detained and processed by ICE.

The bill contains common sense measures that:
• Requires the detention of illegal immigrants who are apprehended for drunken driving after they are released from custody by local law enforcement,
• Instructs the Department of Homeland Security to prioritize the deportation of an illegal immigrant who is convicted of drunken driving,
• Requires a state or local law enforcement officer to verify with federal databases the immigration status of a person who the officer has apprehended for drunken driving and has reasonable grounds to believe is an illegal immigrant,
• Gives local law enforcement the authority to issue a federal detainer to keep an illegal immigrant arrested for drunken driving in custody until he or she is convicted or transferred to a federal facility.
I strongly support this bill. It ensures that public safety is maintained, that the law is enforced, and that dangerous killers are removed from our communities.

 
City of Fillmore
City of Fillmore

CITY OF FILLMORE CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING
TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2012 6:30 P.M.
FILLMORE CITY HALL, CENTRAL PARK PLAZA, 250 CENTRAL AVENUE, FILLMORE, CALIFORNIA 93015-1907

AGENDA

1. Call to Order: 6:30 P.M.

2. Pledge of Allegiance

3. Roll Call: Councilmembers Conaway, Gonzalez, Sipes, Mayor Pro Tem Brooks and Mayor Washburn

4. Approval of Agenda

5. Presentations and Announcements

6. Public Comments

7. Consent Calendar

Recommendation for Items A. through B. is to Approve.

A. Warrant List for MARCH 13, 2012.
B. Minutes of FEBRUARY 14, 2012, Regular Meeting.

8. Department Reports

City Manager

A. AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF FILLMORE REPEALING SECTION 3.08.090 OF THE FILLMORE MUNICIPAL CODE (Second Reading and Adoption)

Recommendation: 1). Waive further reading and adopt by title only Ordinance No. 12-833 AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF FILLMORE REPEALING SECTION 3.08.090 OF THE FILLMORE MUNICIPAL CODE

Community Development Department

B. Consider Information and Provide Direction to Staff Concerning whether the City should submit a Revision Request to Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) in order to reduce Regional Housing Needs Assessment by 271 units for the period of 2014 through 2021
Recommendation: Provide direction as to whether City staff should submit a Revision Request by March 15th to SCAG for a reduction in the Very Low-Income and Low Income categories to request realistic and attainable figures. Although the City accepted the Housing function role when the Successor Agency was created, the State did not make any housing funds available.

9. Committee, Commission, and Board Reports

10. City Council Reports, Recommendations, and Comments

A. City Councilmember Travel Requests/Brief Reports

B. Any Councilmember May Propose Items for Placement on Future Agenda

C. Council Referrals/Brief Comments

11. City Manager

A. Follow-Up on Requests from the Public/City Council

12. Closed Session

A. Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation [Subdivision (a) of Section 54956.9]. Peter Egedi v. City of Fillmore, Fillmore City Council and Fillmore Fire Department; Ventura County Superior Court, Case No. 56-2010-00370737-CU-NP-VTA.

B. Conference with Labor Negotiators: (Government Code Section 54957.6) Agency Designated Representatives: City Manager Yvonne Quiring, Finance Director Glenda Jay, Jack Hoffman, Hoffman & Associates; and City of Fillmore Unrepresented Employees: Municipal Services Director, Finance Director, Fire Chief, Interim Community Development Director, Interim Civil Engineer, Community Services Supervisor, Fire Captain, Senior Planner, Public Works Supervisor, Assistant to the City Manager, Deputy City Clerk/Administrative Assistant, Information Technology Technician, Finance Administrator and Accountant.

C. Conference with Labor Negotiators: (Government Code Section 54957.6) Agency Designated Representatives: City Manager Yvonne Quiring, Finance Director Glenda Jay, Jack Hoffman, Hoffman & Associates; Employee Organization: Union of Operating Engineers Local No. 501.

D. Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation [subdivision (a) of Section 54956.9]: City of Industry and City of Livermore v. City of Fillmore, et. al. Case No. BC411865, Los Angeles County Superior Court.

13. Adjournment: City Council adjourns. The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 250 Central Avenue.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Agenda Posted: March 9, 2012, 5:00 p.m.

 
Blogger exposes loophole in $1billion fleet

Jonathan Corbett claims he could easily smuggle explosives onto a plane

Strip-search scanners banned in Europe over cancer fears

Written By Lee Moran

Controversial nude body scanners used at U.S. airports have come under fire again - after a blogger claimed he could easily smuggle explosives through them onto a plane.

Engineer Jonathan Corbett has published a video where he shows how he took a small metal case through two of the TSA's $1billion fleet in a special side pocket stitched into his shirt.

This is because, he suggests, the scanners blend metallic areas into the dark background - so if an object is not directly placed on the body, it will not show up on the scan.

The metallic box, he claims, would have set off an alarm had he passed through the old detecting system.

His revelation comes just weeks after Europe banned the 'airport strip-searches' over fears the X-ray technology could cause cancer.

MailOnline has decided not to publish the video because it details exactly how to circumvent the safety procedure - but it is freely available to watch online.

Corbett, standing in his living room as he speaks to the camera in the video for his 'TSA Out of Our Pants' blog, acknowledges the technique could be used by terrorists.

But he believes... http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2111417/TSA-nude-body-scanners-J...

 

WHO: Sen. Tony Strickland and his constituents

WHAT: This event is open to the public and provides an opportunity for local constituents to hear the latest news in state government, as well as provide input of their own and ask questions about state-related matters. The Senator will also discuss the services and resources his Senate Office provides.

WHEN: Saturday, March 10, 2012 ~ 8am – 9am

WHERE: Marie Callender’s ~ 185 East Daily Dr., Camarillo, CA 93010

VISUAL: Sen. Strickland and “Meet your Senator” signage

 

Only 10 days after undergoing a successful double lung transplant, State Senator Sharon Runner (R-Antelope Valley) is being released today by her doctors at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

“The medical team led by Dr. Abbas Ardehali and Dr. David Ross at UCLA has been amazing,” said Runner. “There are not enough words to express my gratitude to this group of surgeons, doctors, nurses and health care professionals for their care and professionalism. These dedicated individuals give their patients the best medical care each and every day.”

“As much as I am grateful for the care I’ve received, I am glad to be leaving,” Runner added.

Dr. David Ross, Medical Director of the Lung and Heart-Lung Transplant Program, praised Runners’ recovery.

"We are thrilled with Sharon's rapid progress. Her new lungs will enable her to resume normal activities and responsibilities soon."

A limited scleroderma patient, Runner caught several lung infections in December which led to her reenlistment on the organ transplant list. There are an estimated 300,000 people living with scleroderma; and nearly 80 percent are women.

Placement on the transplant list is determined by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) organization’s national centralized computer.

Over the next few weeks, Runner will be required to make daily visits to her doctors and therapists for pulmonary rehabilitation. Following a series of successful rehabilitation programs, Runner is expected to return to the Capitol by late spring.

Runner expressed appreciation to the anonymous donor for their final act of humanity.

“Without this person’s generosity, I would not be able to continue my community activism and public service. This person’s family and friends will always be in my prayers.”

About Scleroderma
Limited scleroderma, or CREST syndrome, is an autoimmune condition affecting the body’s connective tissue. The purpose of the body’s immune system is to fight infection and disease; however, with limited scleroderma, the immune system attacks the healthy connective tissue as well. For more information, please visit the Scleroderma Foundation’s website at www.scleroderma.org.

About United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)
United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is the private, non-profit organization that manages the nation's organ transplant system under contract with the federal government.

Each day, an average of 75 people receive organ transplants according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

DonateLifeCalifornia
Over 8.7 million Californians are registered donors. To give the gift of life, residents can sign up at DonateLifeCalifornia.org or simply mail in the pink donation registration card in their DMV renewal packet.

About the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center
The UCLA lung transplant program provides comprehensive care and develops an individualized strategy to improve the quality of life for patients. The UCLA lung transplant program is Medicare certified.

About Senator Sharon Runner
Senator Sharon Runner represents the residents of the Seventeenth Senate District, which includes portions of Los Angeles, Ventura, Kern and San Bernardino Counties. Contact her office at 916-651-4017, or via email at senator.runner@sen.ca.gov.

 

The date of Jeff Gorell's homecoming event has been rescheduled to Wednesday, April 4th. Time and location have not changed. In case you missed the initial invitation, please see event details below.

"Welcome Home Jeff Gorell" event:
Wednesday, April 4th
5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

California Lutheran University's Gilbert Sports and Athletic Center Arena
60 W. Olsen Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

Please RSVP for this event at: www.WelcomeHomeJeffGorell.org.

For more information, contact Amanda Broggie at (805) 651-9618 or amanda@jeffgorell.org.

 
Uncle Sam doesn’t need to do more, he needs to do less

The government has grown so large that nobody really knows where its $3.8 trillion in annual spending goes. Each year, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) tries - and fails - to make sense of federal-agency ledgers. On Thursday, GAO refused once again to certify the official balance sheets because they are so shoddily kept.

The green eyeshades complained that Defense Department books are so bad they can’t be audited. Throughout the rest of the government, there are “hundreds of billions” in unreconciled funds. These are the same conclusions the GAO has come to year-after-year for the past 15 years, and yet Uncle Sam still refuses to get his act together.

Private companies would never be allowed to get away with maintaining ledgers this sloppy, but Washington gives itself a pass. The numbers don’t add up for a simple reason: The bureaucracy doesn’t care about spending your money wisely. Bureaucrats don’t even care enough to keep track of it.

Instead of replacing... http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/mar/2/big-government-expectatio...

 
Obama administration efforts dangerously out of touch with reality

Written By Mike Huckabee

I have just returned from Israel, where I spent 10 days and had the opportunity to visit with people from the prime minister to street market vendors in Jerusalem’s Old City and gained perspectives ranging from Knesset members and rabbis to Arab Israelis, Christian Israelis and Muslim merchants. I can attest firsthand that the threat of Iran's government to “wipe Israel off the face of the map” is taken far more seriously than in the Obama administration, where the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Martin Dempsey, spoke for the president by saying that “Iran is a rational actor.”

Really? A government is “rational” that denies the Holocaust, publicly boasts of its goal of obliterating entire nations, is poised to execute by hanging a young Christian pastor because his faith offends the sensitivities of a government that will shoot women in the streets of Tehran should they dare question the results of a phony election? Calling such a government “rational” is not only irrational, but recklessly dangerous and not just to Israel, but to every nation in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Africa and the United States, not to mention the decent and civil people who live in Iran, but who do not share the radical, racist and ruthless outlook of their own maniacal government.

Last week’s failed United Nations mission to Iran, which ended with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors denied access to a military site at Parchin, demonstrates that time is running out on a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Steel vessels at the Parchin site indicated explosives testing connected to a nuclear-weapons program. The IAEA’s Feb. 24 report was damning, remarkable for a U.N. agency normally given to diplomatic doublespeak.

Like the discovery... http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/mar/1/time-to-act-on-iran/

 
About to get a Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card?

Written by Robert Spencer

Al-Arabiya is reporting, in Arabic only so far, that the U.S. is talking with the Egyptian government to free the blind Sheikh and 49 other Egyptians currently imprisoned in the U.S. in exchange for the freedom of the 19 Americans the Egyptians are holding.

The blind Sheikh, Omar Abdel Rahman, is in prison for his role in masterminding the 1993 World Trade Center jihad terror bombing. If he is freed, it will be the apotheosis of Obama's policy of appeasement toward the Islamic world.

"Omar Abdel Rahman at the head of Egyptian-American swap deal," from al-Arabiya (Arabic), February 28 (thanks to Emad). This is my translation from the Arabic:

The Egyptian government has started real action to respond to a U.S. offer offering to release 50 Egyptians in American prisons, including Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, in return for the release of 19 Americans accused of foreign funding of nongovernmental organizations, as confirmed by Major General Mohamed Hani Zaher, an expert on military research and the fight against international terrorism.
Zaher told the newspaper that the Egyptians need to exploit the weak U.S. position, especially after the conviction of their nationals on charges affecting Egypt's sovereignty over its territory, and not to allow this deal to take place without the agreement of the U.S. administration to release more than 500 Egyptian prisoners in U.S. custody; the Egyptian Foreign Ministry does not know anything about them.

He added that the Egyptian Foreign Ministry asked the Egyptian Embassy in Washington for a list of Egyptian prisoners in the United States of America, and the Egyptian consulate there had already started procedures to account for the number of Egyptian prisoners and detainees in custody on a number of charges in the United States, he said, adding that among the prisoners in the Consulate files was Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the Mufti of Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya (the Islamic Group) and currently imprisoned in America....

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2012/02/al-arabiya-us-in-talks-to-swap-jihad-t...

 

State Senator Sharon Runner (R-Antelope Valley) is recuperating at UCLA Medical Center after undergoing a successful double lung transplant.

"My family and I are thankful to the talented team of doctors, nurses and health care professionals for their care," said Runner. "My heart and gratitude go out to the family and friends of the anonymous donor."

"While they have lost a loved one, I hope they find comfort in knowing the power of their generous donation. This gift of life helped save eight lives and enhanced 50 others."

A limited scleroderma patient, Runner caught several infections last Fall which led to her reenlistment on the lung transplant list. Placement on the transplant list is determined by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) organization's national centralized computer.

There is an estimated 300,000 people living with this condition; and nearly 80 percent are women.

Runner's doctors expect her to make a full recovery. Within two to three weeks, Runner will be released from the hospital to resume her public service and will initially work from home. Runner anticipates returning to the office in the Spring.

About Scleroderma
Limited scleroderma, or CREST syndrome, is an autoimmune condition affecting the body's connective tissue. The purpose of the body's immune system is to fight infection and disease; however, with limited scleroderma, the immune system attacks the healthy connective tissue as well. For more information, please visit the Scleroderma Foundation's website at www.scleroderma.org.

About United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)
United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS ) is the private, non-profit organization that manages the nation's organ transplant system under contract with the federal government.

Each day, an average of 75 people receive organ transplants according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services .

Over 8.7 million Californians are registered donors. To give the gift of life, residents can sign up at DonateLifeCalifornia.org or simply mail in the pink donation registration card in the DMV renewal packet.

About UCLA Medical Center
The UCLA lung transplant program provides comprehensive care and develops an individualized strategy to improve the quality of life for patients. The UCLA lung transplant program is Medicare certified.

 
City of Fillmore
City of Fillmore

CITY OF FILLMORE CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2012 6:30 P.M.
FILLMORE CITY HALL, CENTRAL PARK PLAZA, 250 CENTRAL AVENUE, FILLMORE, CALIFORNIA 93015-1907

AGENDA

1. Call to Order: 6:30 P.M.

2. Pledge of Allegiance

3. Roll Call: Councilmembers Brooks, Conaway, Gonzalez, Sipes and Mayor Washburn

4. Approval of Agenda

5. Presentations and Announcements

6. Public Comments

7. Consent Calendar

Recommendation for Items A. through B. is to Approve.

A. Warrant List for FEBRUARY 28, 2012.
B. Biennial Review and Adoption of Resolution No. 12-3329, Amending the City’s Conflict of Interest Code

8. Department Reports

City Manager

A. AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF FILLMORE REPEALING SECTION 3.08.090 OF THE FILLMORE MUNICIPAL CODE

Recommendation: 1). Waive further reading and introduce by title only Ordinance No. 12-833 AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF FILLMORE REPEALING SECTION 3.08.090 OF THE FILLMORE MUNICIPAL CODE

City Attorney

B. Sales Tax Litigation Update Presentation.

Recommendation: 1). Receive the presentation.

Community Development

C. Direction to Staff to verify Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) numbers from the previous planning period and assess its possible impact on current RHNA numbers and General Plan Build Out as well as presentation of information related to current RHNA numbers for the period 2014 through 2021

Recommendation: 1) Direct City staff to verify RHNA from previous planning period and report back to City Council on March 13 to determine if an appeal should be made.

City Manager

8D. Consideration of the Tot Lot Design and direction to Staff to proceed with taking the necessary actions to bid the Tot Lot Project to be constructed with $320,621 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds at Two Rivers Park and to authorize the City Manager or her designee to take all necessary actions to accomplish the Council direction

Recommendation: 1) Direct that an agreement for project management be developed with the Fillmore Unified School District;
and
2) Direct that contract specifications be prepared to enable the bidding of the Tot Lot at Two Rivers Park with whatever changes are necessary to include the Davis Bacon consultants required by the County or any other statutory requirement.

9. Committee, Commission, and Board Reports

10. City Council Reports, Recommendations, and Comments

A. City Councilmember Travel Requests/Brief Reports

B. Any Councilmember May Propose Items for Placement on Future Agenda

C. Council Referrals/Brief Comments

11. City Manager

A. Follow-Up on Requests from the Public/City Council

B. Announcements and Upcoming Issues

12. Closed Session

A. Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation (subdivision (a) of Section 54956.9): City of Industry and City of Livermore v. City of Fillmore, et. al. Case No. BC411865, Los Angeles County Superior Court.

13. Adjournment: City Council adjourned. The next regular meeting of the City Council is scheduled for Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 250 Central Avenue.

 

Written by Madeleine Morgenstern

A Canadian father was arrested and strip-searched Wednesday after his 4-year-old daughter drew a picture of a gun in her kindergarten class.

Ontario dad Jesse Sansone told the Toronto Sun his little girl’s drawing was supposed to be him, getting monsters and bad guys. Her teacher apparently thought differently, and the school contacted child protective services. When Sansone arrived to pick his daughter up, three police officers were waiting to take him into custody.

“I’m picking up my kids and then, next thing you know, I’m locked up,” he told the Waterloo Region Record. “I was in shock. This is completely insane.”

Police questioned Sansone’s daughter... http://www.theblaze.com/stories/dad-arrested-strip-searched-after-daught...

 

Written By JEREMY PELZER

CHEYENNE, WY — State representatives on Friday advanced legislation to launch a study into what Wyoming should do in the event of a complete economic or political collapse in the United States.

House Bill 85 passed on first reading by a voice vote. It would create a state-run government continuity task force, which would study and prepare Wyoming for potential catastrophes, from disruptions in food and energy supplies to a complete meltdown of the federal government.

The task force would look at the feasibility of Wyoming issuing its own alternative currency, if needed. And House members approved an amendment Friday by state Rep. Kermit Brown, R-Laramie, to have the task force also examine conditions under which Wyoming would need to implement its own military draft, raise a standing army, and acquire strike aircraft and an aircraft carrier.

The bill’s sponsor,... http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/wyoming-house-...

 

 

Written By DANIEL HALPER

In order to make sure gays and lesbians are adequately represented on the judicial bench, the state of California is requiring all judges and justices to reveal their sexual orientation. The announcement was made in an internal memo sent to all California judges and justices.

“[The Administrative Office of the Courts] is contacting all judges and justices to gather data on race/ethnicity, gender identification, and sexual orientation,” reads an email sent by Romunda Price of the Administrative Office of the Courts. A copy of Price’s memo was obtained by THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

“Providing complete and accurate aggregate demographic data is crucial to garnering continuing legislative support for securing critically needed judgeships,” Price writes.

The process of... http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/california-asks-judges-gay-or-straig...