Tag: Urban Issues

Classifying America: Government’s Power to Define Is the Power to Discriminate »

In one of the most famous phrases uttered by a Supreme Court justice, Potter Stewart defended his ruling in an obscenity case (1964) by refusing to offer a clear definition. Instead, he stated: “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be [hard-core pornography]; and perhaps I could...
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A “Smart-Growth” Revolt in California »

On June 18, the Larkspur City Council voted unanimously to kill a high-density “smart-growth” development plan for this community of 12,000 people 16 miles north of San Francisco. The plan called for building 39,500 square feet of office space, 60,000 square feet of hotel space, 77,500 square feet of retail space, and up to...
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Gun Control Encore? Someone Picked the Wrong . . . »

As an encore to their very successful, earlier video ads on personal self-defense, GLOCK Inc. has produced a new series of superb and humorous videos featuring R. Lee “Gunny” Ermey: Someone Picked the Wrong Convenience Store:

Taxpayers Are Shocked to Discover That When They Vote for Government Services, They Have to Pay for Them »

Taxpayers in Austin, Texas, are upset that their property tax bills are rising. This article reports that taxpayer Gretchen Gardner is “at the breaking point” because of her increasing property taxes. Gardner says, “I have voted for every park, every library, all the school improvements, for light rail, for anything that will make this...
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Victory! The Independent Institute’s Longtime Opposition to Inclusionary Housing Policies Lays Groundwork for Governor’s Veto »

On Sunday, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed Assembly Bill 1229, a measure that would have authorized California cities and counties to establish inclusionary housing requirements as a condition of development, allowing them to force housing developers to set aside units for low-income residents. The Independent Institute, and especially its Senior Fellow Benjamin W. Powell, provided...
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Form Trumps Function on Taxpayers’ Blank Check »

The elevated freeway that collapsed during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in Oakland had long been known to be non-seismically-sound. Engineering students at nearby University of California, Berkeley were directed to the structure as a case-study in negative harmonics, and we who drove on it regularly were well familiar with the almost seasickening wavy...
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Push Has Come to Shove in Some California Cities »

It seems that push has come to shove in some California cities. The Stockton City Council voted to give its City Manager the green light to file for bankruptcy—which could address the problem of that city’s debt, now thought to be in the range of $25-40 million. The City’s diminished income is not up...
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Why Do Politicians Pander? Because It Works. »

How has the vision of our forebears—of men and women, black, white, and every other complexion, standing tall, shoulder to shoulder, in free and full access to equal opportunities and enjoying the blessings of equal rights in the sanctity of our persons and property—devolved to skirmishes among dependent subjects of the state over the...
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From Sputnik to the War on Terror, U.S. Education as a “National Security Crisis” »

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) earlier this week released a little-noticed new report warning that “the education crisis is a national security crisis.” The report notes that American students perform poorly on international tests compared to other countries that are making far better progress, and cites results of the 2009 Program for International...
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Teach the “Unteachable” »

The Secretary of Education, representatives for the Civil Liberties Union, and others are rightly outraged by the recent release of a report from the Department of Education, showing that overall, black students are three and a half times more likely to be suspended or expelled from school than their white peers. How can a...
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