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Friday, August 27, 2010
Contact UCLA Chancellor Gene Block
Many politicians and pundits pin the economic travails of the State of California upon our tax rates.  However, my experience leads me to believe that the number one cause for the economic malaise of our once great State emanates from our regulatory climate.  Here is but one example.

    It is most unfortunate that few Californians are aware of the scandal surrounding the California Air Resources Board (CARB).  CARB has been in the process of establishing a Diesel Engine Rule that will require all engines in the State of CA to be replaced twice in the next ten years.  The fiscal impact of this rule can easily cost the California economy in excess of $40 billion.  It will impact trucking, construction, and farming, as these industries rely heavily upon diesel engines.  Is the expense for this rule justified?

    CARB has been arguing that the particulate emissions from diesel engine exhaust causes premature deaths in the State of California.  However, Dr. James Enstrom of UCLA, has proven there is no such health impact and his research has been peer reviewed and replicated by other scholars.  Dr. Enstrom has a PhD in Physics from Stanford, and he has been a research scientist in the University of Ca. for nearly 40 years!

    Additionally, Dr. Enstrom discovered that the lead researcher working for CARB on this project, Hien T. Tran, faked his Ph.D, having purchased it on-line!  Further, the Chair of CARB, Mary Nichols help conceal this fraud from her fellow board members!  

    Yet, after all this, the person being fired is Dr. Enstrom!  Despite the fact that he has been with UCLA for some 34 years, he has been slated for termination simply because his colleagues don’t like the effects of his research.

    This episode mirrors the international Climategate scandal.  As you recall, the leaders of the movement to curtail greenhouse gas emissions were caught in email exchanges discussing how to squelch and punish any researchers who dared challenge their scientific findings.  

    These efforts to squelch debate and silence opposition are an affront to the honesty and integrity of academia and undermine the very foundation of the regulatory efforts underway.

    Dr. Enstrom is a fine gentlemen having had the courage to been one of the only scientists out there who has been willing to go against the current of politically correct junk science.  His research has been a great help to the business community as they attempt to resist the onslaught of regulations threatening to overrun our economy.  He was fired by fellow staff members in a closed meeting.  Some of these fellow staff members have a grudge against him for his work associated with this scandal at CARB!

    We are asking the Chancellor of UCLA to give Dr. Enstrom the due process of a fair hearing that will enable him to hear the charges against him and the opportunity to defend himself.
 
Please email the Chancellor and ask him to hold a FAIR Hearing on this matter.
The contact for UCLA Chancellor Gene Block is chancellor@conet.ucla.edu 
 
To hear an interview with Dr. Enstrom follow this link:  
http://www.colabsbc.org/radioshow.aspx
 
Andy Caldwell is the Executive Director of COLAB, The Coalition of Labor, Agriculture and Business of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties.  Andy also hosts a daily radio show on the Central Coast.  For more information, contact Andy at
andy@colabsbc.org
Posted at 15:27 PM By admin | Permalink | Email this Post | Comments (0)



Friday, August 20, 2010
Small Businesses Can Be Leaders In Changing Washington
By Janet Cronick
Tomorrow, I and other women business owners from the Southern California area will gather at the Anaheim Sheraton Park Hotel to discuss the challenges we face, and the issues that impact our businesses’ bottom line. Government spending and our nation’s fiscal crisis played a big role in this discussion.

Daily, troubling economic news has left anxious Americans wondering if the worst of the economic crisis is truly behind us.  All Americans have been effected by the financial crisis and ensuing recession, but small business owners have faced particularly tough challenges.  Unfortunately, counter-productive policy and the government's fiscal recklessness have only added to the problems..

The collapse of the housing market destroyed the assets of millions of Americans. With less savings, consumers reduced their spending, which affected the bottom lines of businesses everywhere.  Employers that planned to expand instead laid off valued employees.  Companies and would-be entrepreneurs today find it difficult to obtain loans from a skittish financial sector. 
 
Companies have been doing more with less as a result of these hard economic times.  Families also have been cutting back.  In contrast, our federal government has been on an unprecedented spending spree with our tax dollars, and the future tax dollars of our children and grandchildren. 

This year alone, the federal government will add $1.5 trillion to the national debt.  While politicians try to justify this borrowing as necessary to bolster the economy, Americans know all to well that too many of our tax dollars are simply being wasted.  Senators John McCain and Tom Coburn recently published a disturbing report highlighting 100 of the most wasteful projects funded by the so-called “economic stimulus” bill.  The examples are jaw dropping: $89,298 for a new sidewalk leading to a ditch; $554,763 for new windows for a closed-down building. 

Such waste is infuriating, but it isn't unexpected.  This is the way that Washington has run for decades.  Policymakers on both sides of the aisle have grown accustomed to using taxpayer money as if it was Monopoly money, to be distributed to favored constituents and interest groups, for projects that would never receive support from the private sector.    Many leaders in Washington have found it more politically expedient to run up debt, while ignoring warning signs about the long-term consequences of their fiscal recklessness.  

The consequences of this profligacy are catching up with us quickly. Our national debt is currently $13.3 trillion, which is equivalent to more than 90 percent of our gross domestic product.

Economists warn that countries with debt in excess of 90 percent of GDP retard their economic growth.  The United States has already surpassed that threshold.  How much worse might our economic problem be down the road?  

And far from reining in spending, just last week Washington passed yet another round of bailouts – this time, $26 billion for states still mired in their own fiscal messes.
As a nation, we must ask ourselves: how can we reverse course so our economy won't drown in a tidal wave of debt? 

The answer is simple: the American people must demand those we elect to Congress make getting the nation’s fiscal house in order. We must hold them accountable. Small business owners have enough problems without the confidence-crushing uncertainty that is coming out of Washington. Elected officials must commit to focusing on this bigger picture of our overall economic health.  Terry Neese, a small business advocate, has a saying, “If you run a business and you’re not involved in public policy, then public policy will run your business.”

Small business owners can serve as leaders in demanding greater responsibility from Washington.  Every day we are making tough decisions, balancing our companies' budgets, economizing, and making prudent investments.  Washington politicians should have to do no less.  

Janet Cronick is owner and CEO of Ultimate Gifts, a promotional products logo merchandise company located in the Orange County, California area.
Posted at 14:48 PM By admin | Permalink | Email this Post | Comments (0)



Friday, August 20, 2010
The challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda
By Andy Caldwell

I would like to share some observations pertaining to the following quote from the late Michael Crichton, “The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda.”
 
First, with respect to an assault on our national sovereignty, I would like to discuss the building of a mosque at Ground Zero.   President Obama has couched his support of the project in the name of freedom of religion.  Unfortunately, our President is not living in the reality of a post 9/11 world.  In the political and historical world view of some radical followers of Islam, the building of a mosque is akin to our army raising the American flag in a territory conquered by our army.  In fact the name of the project, Cordoba, was borrowed from just such a mosque erected in Europe in the aftermath of a military conflict centuries ago.  To some, the Muslim faith is not just a religion, it is a political ideology, a call to arms and a constitution, and the mosque represents the establishment of the same.  President Obama and the fools running the City of New York are in essence rolling out the red carpet to conquerors who are not here in the name of peace, goodwill or international understanding.
 
My next points have to do with the assault on our economy.  Our State government and three regulatory enforcement agencies it has vested with authority to promulgate and enforce State law are creating a whirlwind of destruction as they ravage our economy in the name of saving the environment.  The Water Quality Control Board, the California Air Resources Board and the California Coastal Commission are all in the midst of a regulatory pogrom that seeks to give their agencies control of land use and zoning authority as they usurp the same from local government. 
 
In essence, these agencies are trying to eliminate any and all impacts to water, air and land regardless of the cost to our economy and our rights.  They are issuing standards that will make it impossible to build homes, grow food, raise livestock and manufacture goods as they prohibit the most negligible impacts to the environment arising from the same.  The standards of environmental impact that will trigger prohibitions, fines and penalties are so low that they are technologically and fiscally impossible to achieve.  We need to be able to use energy, water, and land to produce food and goods.  As these agencies try to eliminate impacts arising from the use of our natural resources, the only way to oblige the regulators is to quit doing business!
 
My final related observation has to do with unions.  I am actually a fan of unions because my own experience having worked in an industrial setting for over 11 years is that some employers will always pay the absolute minimum they can in terms of wages and benefits.  If it were not for unions, we would not have many of the benefits and protections afforded us all in the workplace today.  Having said that, too much of a “good thing” can itself become a problem.  And in the case of at least some sectors of organized labor, the greed and importunity is now on the other foot.  To any union member that will listen, please consider the fact that the politicians you keep helping to get elected are anti-business and anti-growth, even as they promise you everything you ask for.  Well, they can no longer deliver!  Politicians and government have nothing to give you that they didn’t first take from someone else.  The sad fact is they are now incapacitating the very source of plunder!
 
Andy Caldwell is the Executive Director of COLAB and a 42 year resident of the Central Coast.  For contact information, visit the COLAB website at www.colabsbc.org
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Monday, August 16, 2010
Tolerant To A Fault
By Harris Sherline

Just how tolerant should we be? Are we, that is, we Americans, tolerant enough toward others? When do or should we draw the line between tolerance and allowing ourselves to be manipulated?
 
The issue of the mosque at Ground Zero has evolved into a national discussion about our tolerance toward the Islamic faith, and as people line up on both sides, the schism between many of our political leaders and the general population has become increasingly pronounced.
 
The latest shot from the bow of our government’s ship of state has been leveled by none other than the president himself, who declared that Muslims “have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country.”  It’s especially interesting that he made this statement last Friday at an Iftar meal at the White House, which observed the end of the Muslims’ Ramadan fast. Obama further stated that they have “the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan.”
 
Those who favor construction of a mosque just a stone’s throw from the World Trade Center (WTC) have based their argument on property rights, which presumably allows the Muslims to do anything they want on their own land.   
 
But they are wrong.
 
If their property rights are unlimited, why do we have zoning laws, and why are some properties designated as Historical Sites, in addition to being required to conform to a plethora of building codes and labor laws that exist in abundance in every jurisdiction in the nation. Not just in New York City, but in every city, county, borough and state in America. Every community has limitations on what an owner can do with their real property, as well as when and how.  
 
The assertion that because the site of the proposed mosque is “private property” as the rationale for allowing the Muslims to build the mosque they are proposing at Ground Zero is absolute nonsense. It’s a sophistry, “a deliberately invalid argument displaying ingenuity in reasoning in the hope of deceiving someone.”
 
Think about the community where you live. Can you build anything you want on your own land? Of course you can’t. So, I believe it’s time we stop those who favor the mosque at Ground Zero from using a false argument in an effort to buttress their case.
 
But, there’s more. How about religious tolerance? If we are supposed to be tolerant of the concerns of Islamic believers in America by respecting their desire for a mosque at a particular location, how about also expecting the Muslims to reciprocate, perhaps by allowing a Jewish Temple to be built next door or across the street from their own place of worship? 
 
Unfortunately, considering that one of the basic tenets of Islam is the total destruction and/or domination of the Jews, it’s highly unlikely that the Muslims would tolerate a Synagogue next door to their site at the WTC. Case in point: Try building a Christian church of any denomination or a Jewish temple anywhere in Saudi Arabia and see how far you get.
 
Furthermore, has anyone thought about the daily calls to prayer that are sometimes broadcast from the towers of mosques, calling the Muslim faithful to prayer five times a day? How about laws that limit noise levels in many communities? Should they be waived on the grounds that this mosque is exempt because it’s an integral part of the Islamic faith? 
 
So, where does tolerance start and end? Is it just one-way? Should those Americans who disagree with building a mosque at Ground Zero cool it and stop raising objections, or should their concerns also be “tolerated” by others, including the Muslims? 
 
And how about the families and friends of the thousands of people who were killed by Muslims on 9/11? They, along with many other Americans, see a mosque at Ground Zero as an insensitive, in-your-face act by those Muslims who support the construction of the mosque and Muslim cultural center at that location.
 
So, which side should be challenged to be “tolerant” and respect the rights and concerns of others? Just those who believe tolerance should be limited to the people who oppose the mosque at Ground Zero or both sides?  A recent CNN/Opinion Research poll found that 68% of Americans oppose the plans for construction of the mosque at Ground Zero, while only 29% favored it. So, who should be admonished to be “tolerant”?
 
The resolution of this problem is really quite easy. Why not just move the mosque to another location that everyone can find acceptable? Or is that too much to ask of the Muslims?
 
© 2010 Harris R. Sherline, All Rights Reserved
 
 
Read more of Harris Sherline’s commentaries on his blog at
www.opinionfest.com
Posted at 08:52 AM By admin | Permalink | Email this Post | Comments (0)



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