California’s public sector unions, money, and politics

The California Political Review calculates the money taken in every year by public sector unions in that state, and shows how it gives those unions a powerful say in the running of the state. In the wake of the Janus ruling, it is useful to estimate just how much money California’s government unions collect and spend each year. Because government unions publicly disclose less than what the law requires of public corporations or private sector unions, only estimates are possible. . . . In summary, subject to the limitations in the available data and what appear to be reasonable assumptions,

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The battle for the Internet in the third world

The Economist notes that US internet giants are squaring up to their Chinese counterparts, not so much in the USA and China as in the third world.  It calls the struggle “The most titanic commercial battle in the world“. Facing off are the towering giants of American and Chinese tech, led by the FAANGs (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google’s parent, Alphabet) on one side and the BATs (Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent) on the other. These are some of the planet’s biggest firms, with a combined stockmarket capitalisation of more than $4trn. At play are some of its most promising

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Child sexual abuse under cover of the education system?

I was astounded to read this article by a blogger calling herself “Autistic Momma”. Our story begins 3 years ago when our 6th child was born. The changes caused our then 7 year old autistic child to experience anxiety and frustration. He began biting his hands as a way to cope. We documented each bite and the school was aware. We implemented in home services and within 2 months the biting stopped. We thought this was the end of the story but we would later realize that it was only the beginning. Fast forward 3 years, our 3 year old

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Illinois: corruption, regulatory capture, unions, and pension promises

We’ve discussed Illinois’ catastrophic pension situation in these pages on several occasions.  Wirepoints has now conducted an in-depth study of the situation, and points out that the narrative being portrayed by the state government, unions and the mainstream media there is simply not correct.  The problem is that unions have been promised largesse by the state that simply can’t be afforded. One graphic perfectly captures the absurdity of Illinois pensions over the past three decades. In 1987, pension promises made to active workers and retirees in the state’s five state-run pension plans totaled just $18 billion. By 2016, they had ballooned

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Welfare and immigration: a contradiction in terms

Karl Denninger points out the fundamental incompatibility between immigration and a welfare state. Fundamentally-incompatible things can be serious trouble. Put gasoline in your diesel-fueled vehicle and see what happens.  Or the converse. Drink a bunch and then go operate some sort of machinery.  The outcome is likely to be very bad. Welfare in general — where you are given a right to take from someone else by force something you want but have not earned — is incompatible with a lot of things. One of the things it’s incompatible with is an “open border”. This is math, not politics.  America

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Judge to Feds: “You had your chance, and you blew it. Now go away.”

I’m pleased to see that the judge in the Bundy case has finally showed prosecutors the door. A federal judge rejected prosecutors’ request Tuesday to reconsider her dismissal of the case against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, his two sons and friend Ryan Payne. U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro dismissed conspiracy charges against the four men on Jan. 8 after finding that prosecutors had acted “with prejudice” throughout the trial, The Oregonian reported. Federal prosecutors violated federal law and failed to share evidence favorable to the defendants case with the court. (RELATED: Bundy Case Dismissed, Judge Orders Rancher Released) “The

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Know your enemy #2: The silencing of opposing voices

The progressive, far-left-wing faction in US politics is aggressively pursuing so-called “deplatforming“:  denying their opponents any outlet or medium or channel from or through which to make their views known.  It’s more than censorship.  It’s a blatant attempt to ensure that an entire viewpoint or perspective never reaches those who might be persuaded by it. Fortunately, its ideological proponents make no secret of their motivation – and thereby expose their own intolerance. We are seeing the worsening of a trend that the 20th century German-American philosopher Herbert Marcuse warned of back in 1965: “In endlessly dragging debates over the media,

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