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Addressing mass shootings: Every idea on the table

For some children of the ’60s, the decade’s most traumatic crimes weren’t the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy or the martyrdom of Martin Luther King — or even the appalling 1963 Klan church bombing that killed four black girls in Birmingham. It wasn’t even the rape, torture and strangulation of eight student nurses by a psycho named Richard Speck in Chicago in mid-July of 1966.

The most terrifying violence came two weeks later when a former U.S. Marine named Charles Whitman killed his wife and mother before taking an arsenal to the University of Texas tower and shooting everyone

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Original Article: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/11/11/addressing-mass-shootings-every-idea-on-the-table/
Date: 1510479865

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Town halls and the rise of the organic green tea party

Over the last year a number of Republican members of Congress have returned to their districts and been screamed at during town hall meetings over health care reform, tax cuts, the various Russia investigations and any number of other hot-button issues.

Many of these attendees seem to believe the louder the profanity-laced tirade, the more their congressman and the press would understand that they mean business.

After all, nothing seduces a congressman quite like treating them as if they were a United Airlines gate agent on a delayed flight.

The media largely billed these spectacles as proof that President Trump’s voters have

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Original Article: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/10/25/town-halls-and-the-rise-of-the-organic-green-tea-party/
Date: 1509000767

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Will next governor end California government corruption?

The well-documented corruption in various wings of California state government shows few signs of abating soon.

Even though Gov. Jerry Brown’s latest questionable appointees to the state’s powerful Public Utilities Commission have been held up, no one has yet been penalized for several fix-is-in decisions there that are costing consumers billions of dollars.

Energy Commission members who handed out many millions of dollars in hydrogen highway grants to cronies with conflicts of interest weren’t punished; they were reappointed.

Nothing happened to University of California President Janet Napolitano and her aides who accumulated a $175 million slush fund while students were assessed about

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Original Article: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/10/02/will-next-governor-end-california-government-corruption/
Date: 1506999140

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Crisis fatigue will lead to dire consequences

How big can a crisis get before people just move on?

That’s the question the Equifax hack has set at our feet. The breach, which affected an impossible-even-to-envision-at-once 143 million Americans, put the functional equivalent of everyone’s online identities and personal data at risk of theft, exploitation or publication.

And what’s the reaction?

Enterprising clicksters online have made annoying discoveries that shrank down the case for panicked action. Enter a random string of numbers or gibberish into Equifax’s have-I-been-hacked page, for instance, and you got an automatic yes answer. Or, here’s a good one: Equifax turned out — until companies compensated in

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Original Article: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/09/16/crisis-fatigue-will-lead-to-dire-consequences/
Date: 1505606894

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Manson family killers must never get out of prison

Just when you think California officials can’t get any worse, they go ahead and vote to let one of the most violent, remorseless and deranged Manson family killers out of prison.

The bloodthirsty monster that I’m referring to is Leslie Van Houten, who was granted parole last week by a panel of state commissioners in Chino.

This is the second time — out of 21 attempts — the parole board has voted to release the now grandmotherly-looking, 68-year-old murderer from the pokey.

The lack of logic, common sense or decency for the victims and their families is astounding.

Sure, she was an active

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Original Article: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/09/13/manson-family-killers-must-never-get-out-of-prison/
Date: 1505345734

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Sewer fees could leave us up to our necks in tax hikes

Sometimes, California’s laws are like a guillotine on a timer.

By the time the blade drops, everybody who set it up has made a safe getaway.

To illustrate, consider four different laws that did their damage long after the perpetrators moved on, and a brand new one that’s likely to raise rents and perhaps tax Californians right out of their own homes.

In 1999, the Legislature passed and Gov. Gray Davis signed Senate Bill 400, which increased the pensions of state workers, even those already retired. At the time, everyone was told it would cost taxpayers nothing because the pension fund’s investment

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Original Article: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/09/03/sewer-fees-could-leave-us-up-to-our-necks-in-tax-hikes/
Date: 1504475989

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Causes of government fraud are right there on paper

Last year, Medicare sent out $60 billion in the wrong amount, to the wrong person, or for the wrong reason, and that’s just one chunk of an iceberg of federal funds that are going where they’re not supposed to go.

The Government Accountability Office announced in July that Medicare is one of the programs at “high risk” for what officials call “improper payments,” because of the program’s size, complexity and “susceptibility to mismanagement.”

The U.S. government estimates that it sent out $144 billion of “improper payments” across all agencies in 2016, up from $137 billion in 2015.

Some of the losses can’t

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Original Article: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/07/29/causes-of-government-fraud-are-right-there-on-paper/
Date: 1501343138

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Cap and trade is about the money, not the climate

There is one thing that is not up for discussion as Gov. Jerry Brown battles to win support for the extension of California’s cap-and-trade program: the flow of cap-and-trade funds to the bullet train.

“If that’s a killer for you, then you have a dead body,” Brown told this newspaper’s editorial board.

The governor is urgently pressing the Legislature to pass Assembly Bills 398 and 617, two bills that are the product of months of private negotiations to reauthorize the cap-and-trade program for an additional 10 years. It’s currently set to expire in 2020.

What’s the rush? Brown says the world is

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Original Article: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/07/16/cap-and-trade-is-about-the-money-not-the-climate/
Date: 1500212221

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Is California anti-family?

In its race against rapidly aging Europe and East Asia, America’s relatively vibrant nurseries have provided some welcome demographic dynamism. Yet, in recent years, notably since the Great Recession and the weak recovery that followed, America’s birthrate has continued to drop, and is now at a record low.

Nowhere is this decline more marked than here in California. Once a state known for rapid population growth, and above-average fecundity, the state’s birthrate is also at a historic low. The results are particularly dismal in coastal Southern California. Los Angeles’ population of people under 17 already has dropped a precipitous 13.6

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Original Article: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/07/09/is-california-anti-family/
Date: 1499602755

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Trump, Poland and Russia

It shouldn’t be difficult for U.S. presidents to get their tone and content right when it comes to Poland and Russia: Poles are brave and good — and loyal friends to America. Russia’s leaders, not so much.

Yet a string of U.S. commanders-in-chief have flubbed their lines over the years. In a 1976 debate with Jimmy Carter, President Gerald R. Ford intended to proclaim that Soviet occupation of Poland could never conquer the spirit of the Polish people. Inexplicably, it came out this way: “There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe and there never will be under a Ford

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Original Article: http://www.ocregister.com/2017/07/09/trump-poland-and-russia/
Date: 1499602748

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