Monday, August 31, 2015

Thousand Oaks to consider starting trolley service vc star

Thousand Oaks to consider starting trolley service

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - The Thousand Oaks City Council will consider bringing a trolley service to Thousand Oaks Boulevard during its Tuesday meeting.
Public Works Director Jay Spurgin will lay out the options for the transportation service, which is among the council’s top 10 priorities this year. The proposed trolley would be similar to the ones offered in Westlake Village, Calabasas, Camarillo and Ventura. It would take riders on a 45-minute round-trip journey from The Oaks mall to Westlake Promenade, the plaza anchored by Bristol Farms and Cinepolis. The trolley would make scheduled stops about every three blocks.
Riders would likely pay 25 or 50 cents for the service.
The council is expected to give staff members direction on the trolley plan. The city could either rent or buy two or three vehicles. The estimated cost of having a trolley for three years will range from $1.2 million to $1.9 million.
Tuesday’s meeting begins 6 p.m. at the council chambers, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The real reasons Pundits want donald trump To disappear


The real reason pundits want Donald Trump to disappear

Trump is a loud, brash rebuke to the great American myth of meritocratic achievement

August 30, 2015 2:00AM ET

Mystified by the Sphinx-like appeal of Donald Trump, our professional pundit class is eagerly awaiting the moment when the real-estate baron and reality TV brand utters the one outrageous quip that causes the whole Trump bubble to expire.

GOP strategist Brad Todd told Politico that once the process of primary deliberation begins in earnest, the Trump campaign will take its rightful place in the dustbin of American political history. When people start "passing out actual ballots at elementary schools at a thousand Iowa caucus locations, making this less like 'American Idol' and more like a decision with consequences" Todd said, Trump will be toast.

But the widespread wish to dismiss Trump as a fly-by-night political celebrity gets no closer to the heart of his surprise one-man siege of the GOP's top tier. The unlikely spectacle of a billionaire media exhibitionist spearheading a populist conservative revolt more likely stems from the most obvious and fundamental truth about this primary cycle: Donald Trump is a loud, brash, self-promoting rebuke to the great American myth of meritocratic achievement.

Think about it. It's a long-standing political rite of passage for candidates to advertise their bona fides as self-made strivers. Even coddled princelings of the overclass, such as George W. Bush and his younger brother Jeb, had to peddle the laughable fable that they overcame personal adversity and assorted market challenges to hoist their already well-known names in the public firmament. More commonly, presidential hopefuls will play up the story of how they acquired their selfless devotion to public in the school of hard knocks.

Sometimes this saving wisdom arises from an inspirational, upward-tending personal biography (Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and countless others). For others, it's simply a self-evident gospel truth — an unshakable faith in plucky American enterprise (Ronald Reagan, Mitt Romney and all the Republicans of the 1920s). And in the most meritocratic American tradition of all, the apprenticeship to political leadership comes by way of the great character-building trials of military service (John McCain, John Kerry, John Kennedy and Dwight Eisenhower).

It's no exaggeration to say that Donald Trump makes a mockery of all of these lovingly burnished campfire stories of the presidential stump. He was draft eligible during the Vietnam War, but collected four student deferments, and has given various unsubstantiated accounts of his post-collegiate deferment on medical grounds.

As for his tour in college — that great proving ground of impartially achieved meritocratic success — Trump has flat-out refused to release his transcripts from Fordham and the University of Pennsylvania. It turns out that he graduated from the Wharton School of Business, but not, as he formerly claimed, at the head of his class. And it appears that he came into his college credentials the old-fashioned way — by exploiting moneyed family connections. He got into the prestigious Wharton program largely on the strength of an admissions interview with a counselor who was a high-school friend of Trump's older brother Freddy. This is a tale of meritocratic success in the same way that, say, Lance Armstrong's performance-enhanced reign atop the Tour de France was a triumph of the human spirit.

Of course, Trump's initial claim to fame — his vast real estate fortune — was never something he earned by the sweat of his earnest, striving American brow, either. He inherited the Trump family's New York real estate empire from his developer father, Fred, and proceeded to leverage it into a still larger land fiefdom through a slew of corrupt sweetheart deals with local and state governments, eminent-domain boondoggles and business alliances with the East Coast mafia. Any one of these deals would have been a major scandal for a candidate like Romney, who ran largely on applying his alleged business savvy to the public sector. Yet Trump uses them all as de facto credentials: He knows how to game an already rotten system, so we may as well give him the presidency.

Trump doesn't flinch before accusations about his mobbed-up business past because the image of squalid-yet-savvy corruption is the very essence of his brand. Ever since Spy magazine memorably dubbed him a "short-fingered vulgarian" in the eighties, Trump has played the part of an East Side Fauntleroy — or perhaps, Fauntleroy's lecherous, logorrheaic uncle — with gusto. Crusading populist leaders on the left, such as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, may deplore the way the American economic system is rigged in the plutocracy's favor; Trump, for his part, cheerfully offers himself as Exhibit A in the same case. 

Trump represents a threat to the punditry's belief that the exercise of power in our democracy should fall to figures who rack up the most baubles of privileged achievement.

By all elite media accounts, Trump's attacks on the cloistered logic of Beltway meritocracy should have disqualified him from viable candidacy. In these circles, to deride the war heroism of John McCain — a mascot of the D.C. media class who by this point should have his own plaque on the guest chair on "Meet the Press" — is nothing short of blasphemy. But Trump suffered no blowback in the polls for his (truly unjust) attack on McCain's war record, and continues to consolidate his status as front runner after whaling away at a whole host of insider savants, from Fox News's Megyn Kelly to GOP uber-pollster Frank Luntz to presidential rival (and enthusiastic McCain understudy) Lindsey Graham.

The GOP base, like most sentient beings, intuitively grasps that these figures are self-infatuated windbags — and perversely, Trump can claim his own unearned celebrity renown in the overlapping worlds of casino-promotion, reality-TV hucksterism and beauty-pageant glitz, to call them out. In the land of the blind, in other words, a hairpiece is king.

It's improbable for billionaires to position themselves as tribunes of populist discontent, but it can happen. Consider Ross Perot's phenomenally popular third-party candidacy in 1992: Perot benefitted greatly from the impression that a man so rich could be trusted to rise above the fray of venal moneyed corruption in American politics. Like Trump, Perot railed against the unfairness of global free-trade agreementsand promised to clean up the political scene and redeem America's beleaguered greatness. And yes, Perot, like Trump, built his data-processing fortune via the good graces of government contracts.

Trump's bigoted campaign against immigration is nauseatingly cynical and dangerous, but it, too, is noteworthy for its complete repudiation of the American meritocratic elite's uncritical support of more open borders. When Trump scapegoats immigrant workers for America's economic woes, and calls for the abolition of birthright citizenship, he manipulates the longstanding protectionist opposition to open borders in the older union movement — while simultaneously preying on the Tea Party's alarmist conviction that the one true middle-class and white America is under siege from a scheming, sinister multicultural criminal class.

These xenophobic outbursts — which echo, none too subtly, his earlier career as a birther who insisted that Barack Obama was not born in the United States — have found a robust following among the white working-class conservative base. A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll found that Trump, who regularly polls in the mid-20s in the crowded GOP presidential field, is the preferred candidate for nearly a third of non-college educated Republicans and independents. (Among college-educated Republicans, his support plummets to 8 percent.)

Pundits profess horror at Trump's rise for the same reason that they united to lambast Edward Snowden as a "slacker" and a "high school dropout." In each case, they understand that the pariah figure drawing their ritual ire represents a threat to their most cherished faith — the belief that the exercise of power in our democracy should naturally fall to figures who rack up the most baubles of privileged achievement. The immigration furor now convulsing the GOP is a proxy battle, in other words, over who should be rewarded for what sort of work in America, with pundits who benefit directly from an expanding pool of low-wage service labor in their vacation getaways and green rooms serenely dismissing the notion that open borders will drive down wages.

Trump and his backers, meanwhile, have taken up the old protectionist posture of the postwar American labor movement, and improbably made the call to revive blue-collar hiring a key focus of the GOP primary campaign. Trump is also a Republican outlier in professing his support for organized labor. Finally, he's criticized immigration policies such as the H1-B program that drive down wages for skilled foreign workers in the technology sector while STEM graduates in the United States endure severe underemployment — a departure from the standard entrepreneur's line.

None of this is to say, of course, that a Trump nomination, or a Trump presidency, would mark any sort of meaningful step forward for workers struggling for a secure foothold in today's ravaged blue-collar economy. It does, however, help to clarify just what's at stake for America's pundit and political-professional classes as they desperately long for Donald Trump to just go away already.

Sent from my iPad Iqbal Nick QUIDWAI Newbury Park CA USA

West Point professor calls on US military to target legal critics of war on terror

West Point professor calls on US military to target legal critics of war on terror

US military academy official William Bradford argues that attacks on scholars' home offices and media outlets – along with Islamic holy sites – are legitimate

Underclassmen attend a commencement ceremony at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.
 Underclassmen attend a commencement ceremony at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

An assistant professor in the law department of the US Military Academy at West Point has argued that legal scholars critical of the war on terrorism represent a "treasonous" fifth column that should be attacked as enemy combatants.

In a lengthy academic paper, the professor, William C Bradford, proposes to threaten "Islamic holy sites" as part of a war against undifferentiated Islamic radicalism. That war ought to be prosecuted vigorously, he wrote, "even if it means great destruction, innumerable enemy casualties, and civilian collateral damage".

Other "lawful targets" for the US military in its war on terrorism, Bradford argues, include "law school facilities, scholars' home offices and media outlets where they give interviews" – all civilian areas, but places where a "causal connection between the content disseminated and Islamist crimes incited" exist.

"Shocking and extreme as this option might seem, [dissenting] scholars, and the law schools that employ them, are – at least in theory – targetable so long as attacks are proportional, distinguish noncombatants from combatants, employ nonprohibited weapons, and contribute to the defeat of Islamism," Bradford wrote.

West Point is the revered undergraduate institution north of New York City where the US army educates its future officer corps. It prides itself on the rigor of its curriculum. Representatives from the school said Bradford had only begun his employment there on 1 August. 

william bradford
 William Bradford. Photograph: West Point United States Military Academy

Bradford's article, "Trahison des Professeurs: The Critical Law of Armed Conflict Academy as an Islamist Fifth Column", appeared in the most recent issue of the National Security Law Journal, a student-run publication at the George Mason School of Law. Bradford clarifies that the term means "treason of the professors", itself an allusion to a famous attack on French intellectuals from the 1920s.

In the paper, Bradford identifies himself as an "associate professor of law, national security and strategy, National Defense University", seemingly his previous job before West Point. But a representative of the National Defense University said Bradford was a contractor at the prestigious Defense Department-run institution, "never an NDU employee nor an NDU professor".


It appears not to be the first time Bradford misrepresented his credentials. He resigned from Indiana University's law school in 2005 after his military record showed he had exaggerated his service. (Among his paper's criticisms of supposedly treasonous lawyers is "intellectual dishonesty".)

The National Security Law Journal's editor-in-chief has called the article's publication a "mistake" and an "egregious breach of professional decorum".

"We cannot 'unpublish' it, of course, but we can and do acknowledge that the article was not presentable for publication when we published it, and that we therefore repudiate it with sincere apologies to our readers," the editor-in-chief, Rick Myers, wrote on the journal's website.

Bradford does not clearly name his academic opponents, instead using the neologistic acronym CLOACA, for "critical law of armed conflict academy" to describe them. (In nature, "cloaca" is also the name of a body cavity into which intestinal, reproductive and urinary tracts empty in some animal species.)

The CLOACA, in turn, are part of a GMAC, or "government-media-academic complex", which Bradford defines as an "aristocracy of senior government officials, elite media members, and university faculty, which squeezes non-members from public colloquy and shapes opinion on security, military and legal issues."

This "clique of about forty" scholars, Bradford writes, have "converted the US legal academy into a cohort whose vituperative pronouncements on the illegality of the US resort to force and subsequent conduct in the war against Islamism" represent a "super-weapon that supports Islamist military operations" aimed at "American political will" to fight. They are supported by "compliant journalists" marked by "defeatism, instinctive antipathy to war, and empathy for American adversaries", but Bradford considers the lawyers a greater threat.


The offending legal scholars "effectively tilt the battlefield against US forces [and] contribute to timorousness and lethargy in US military commanders", he writes. They are among several "useful idiots" who "separate Islam from Islamists by attributing to the former principles in common with the West, including 'justice and progress' and 'the dignity of all human beings'".

Bradford derisively quotes Barack Obama, who has prosecuted a globalized war against al-Qaida and now the Islamic State, discussing "co-existence and cooperation" with the Islamic world in his 2009 Cairo speech.

The West Point faculty member urges the US to wage "total war" on "Islamism", using "conventional and nuclear force and [psychological operations]", in order to "leave them prepared to coexist with the West or be utterly eradicated". He suggests in a footnote that "threatening Islamic holy sites might create deterrence, discredit Islamism, and falsify the assumption that decadence renders Western restraint inevitable".

Robert Chesney of the University of Texas, a founding editor of the influential national-security law blog Lawfare, is one of the legal scholars Bradford references as pernicious – for a 2011 paper that largely defended Obama's execution without trial of US citizen and al-Qaida preacher Anwar al-Awlaki.

"It's very hard to take this seriously except insofar as he may actually be teaching nonsense like this to cadets at West Point," Chesney said.

Bradford did not respond to emails and phone messages for comment. 

A spokesman for the US Military Academy, army lieutenant colonel Christopher Kasker, told the Guardian: "Dr William Bradford was hired on 1 August 2015 at the US Military Academy. His article in the National Security Law Journal titled 'Trahison des Professeurs: The Critical Law of Armed Conflict Academy as an Islamist Fifth Column' was written and accepted for publication prior to his employment at West Point. The views in the article are solely those of Dr Bradford and do not reflect those of the Department of Defense, the United States army, the United States Military Academy."

The US military's educational institutions have come under fire before for promoting "total war" against Islam. In 2012, General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, ordered a comprehensive scouring of anti-Islam training material after a course proposed "Hiroshima" tactics against Islamic holy sites, targeting the "civilian population wherever necessary".

The previous year, highly regarded counter-terrorism scholars affiliated with the US army aided the FBI in eradicating similar material from its own training. Those scholars came from West Point

Additional reporting by Kira Goldenberg and Megan Carpentier

Sent from my iPad Iqbal Nick QUIDWAI Newbury Park CA USA

Trump: Women (Who Love Their Husbands) Can’t be Trusted to Keep National Security Secrets

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to guests gathered for a campaign event at the Grand River Center on August 25, 2015 in Dubuque, Iowa.

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images  funny how he cannot Belen pronounce Huma, an easy name & he will negotiate with Ahmedinijad!! guess we have to learn Netherlands King,s Eng while he does not have to even know our name!!!would be funny if he was not the front runner of that stupid GOP!!!! nick

The Slatest
AUG. 29 2015 12:21 PM

Trump: Women (Who Love Their Husbands) Can't be Trusted to Keep National Security Secrets

Donald Trump was at it again last night at a fundraising event, where he took aim at everyone from Jeb Bush to Hillary Clinton. He also found a new target: Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her husband Anthony Weiner. Speaking to a boisterous audience that was eager to clap and cheer everything the real estate magnate said, Trump called Weiner a "perv" and made fun of the sexting scandal that ended his political career using some weird hand gestures. All that seemed par for the course for Trump. But what appeared to be (yet another) new low for the most popular Republican presidential hopeful was the implication that a woman can't be trusted to keep national security secrets if she is married and loves her husband. While talking about Abedin's access to Clinton's emails he said:

"If you think that Huma isn't telling Anthony—who she's probably desperately in love with in all fairness to Anthony because why else would she marry this guy? Can you believe it? Can't see straight—Look, think of it, it's coming through Huma, she's got lots of stuff, lots of information and she's married to a bad guy. … Do you think there's even a five percent chance that she's not telling Anthony Weiner—now of a public relations firm—what the hell is coming across? Do you think there's even a little bit of a chance? I don't think so…"

Trump then goes for the gold:

"Are there any women in this room who are in love with their husbands who wouldn't be telling them everything?"

Lest you think this was an off-the-cuff remark taken out of context, Trump defended his attacks on Abedin and Weiner, reiterating to NBC News that she shouldn't have access to confidential information. "I don't think she should have been part of the people receiving it, whether it's confidential, why would she be involved?" he said.

Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill defended Abedin. writing on Twitter that Trump "should be ashamed of himself" because "there is no place for patently false, personal attacks against a staff member."

Trump donated $2,000 to Weiner in 2010, according to the Washington Post.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

Sent from my iPad Iqbal Nick QUIDWAI Newbury Park CA USA