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This is more than a local story as you will see by exploring all 30-plus linked pages on my nonprofit website, which over a million visitors have witnessed. With 2012 rapidly approaching, mankind is hungry for the truth about aliens, UFOs, and Bigfoot, and here is a native San Diegan who claims to have stumbled onto the Rosetta stone that has unraveled some of mankind’s greatest mysteries. So what if some other publications have covered this groundbreaking event in the past? It’s time for the Reader to step up to the plate and fulfill your obligation to cover this historic event for your community. Click on the link to my United Kingdom interview to see the possibilities. If you’re interested, I’ll charge you the same price I’ve charged everyone else to use my photos: nothing.

Mike Orrell

via email

Thanks For Calling

Hello, I appreciate your concern about the traffic to our website and your deft attempts to make me look naïve (“Media Hawk,” January 14). But allow me a minute to clear up some just plain mistruths.

I, Scott Lewis, am the CEO of voiceofsandiego.org, not the editor. That designation belongs to my longtime friend and associate Andrew Donohue, who runs one of the most productive and inspired teams of reporters I’ve ever known.

You say our traffic went down according to quantcast. com. May I direct you to that measurement source again (http://www.quantcast.com/ voiceofsandiego.org). Not sure what you were looking at, but you completely misread it. You say our traffic has “taken a free-fall to 20,000–25,000 per month.” There’s nothing on the Quantcast graph that comes close to those numbers. And as you can see, we’re right back where we were before the website redesign (and its new comment policy) at more than 94,000 people per month.

You write that I seemed unconcerned. That’s because I’m not concerned. I hate even talking about those numbers because we measure our success based on our impact, our loyal readership, and our number of members, which are all growing well. But nonetheless, I figured that if you’re going to play the part of a media columnist and use these graphs to make your point, you might want to read them accurately. Furthermore, if you want to use that measurement, I wonder why you don’t highlight sandiegoreader.com’s estimated numbers on Quantcast (http://www.quantcast.com/ sandiegoreader.com), which show it at well below half our readership. I don’t think that means anything about attendance at your own “congress” or whether you’ve gone “soft” but “some have speculated…”

Which brings up the last point: you say “some have speculated” that Jim Madaffer provided the tip on the SEDC investigation. That’s hilarious, if only because the man wouldn’t even speak to us after we called for his resignation in 2006. We followed the SEDC story through for two and a half years of hard-nosed investigative reporting. While we certainly miss Will Carless as a person and an incredibly talented journalist, he wasn’t the first, last, or only investigative reporter on our staff. We’ve replaced him and even grown our reporting staff since he left six months ago. In fact, we’re in the process of finishing up what will be our third multi-part special report in the last two months.

Thanks for calling, at least. Had I known you wanted to write about more than just our traffic numbers, I’d have loved the chance, as would Donohue, to have offered up perspective on it. Sorry you didn’t give us the opportunity.

Scott Lewis



Funding Hoax

The Reader has printed several articles about the so-called government “budget shortfall”: “Nonprofits Nonplussed” (Feature Story, December 31), “Free Lunch for Banks” (“City Lights,” January 14), and “More Community, Less College” (“City Lights,” January 14). These topics have something else in common: failure to report a budgetary hoax upon us. There is no shortage of government funding! In fact, there is a huge surplus waiting for us to claim as our rightful property.

Besides the familiar annual budgets that we see/hear reported by the news, there are the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFR). These reveal that government entities, on average, made three times the gross income that was showing on their corresponding budget reports. Due to accounting chicanery, these assets and income streams are hidden, often listed as expenses.

Based upon 20 years of research, Walter Burien launched the website CAFR1. com to inform us about this scam. You can find the details there. To summarize some of his findings: The collective governments’ (local, state, and national) gross earnings from all sources (investment, taxation, and enterprise) amounted to $14 trillion for the year 2007. The entire U.S. population’s net income, after direct and indirect taxes, was $5 trillion (out of a gross of $10 trillion). The public sector is far wealthier than the private sector! Are we down the rabbit hole with Alice or what?

Over 54,000 government entities in the USA collectively own and control more assets and wealth than that of the entire private sector in the USA. This represents the fulfillment of the economic model called Fascism. Think of it: two-thirds of government’s annual gross income has come from nontax sources. Yet, only tax sources are revealed in annual budgets, and “budget shortfalls” are trumpeted as the reason for more taxes and more cuts in services.

This scheme for skimming off up to half of tax revenues and sending them to Wall Street has been going on since 1951 — 59 years! As of 1999, cumulative totals of all “liquid” investment assets of local, state, and federal government entities in the USA conservatively exceeded $60 trillion. Totals as of 2008 were approaching the $100 trillion mark.

There is a remedy: the profits from this collective ownership, amassed by government, can revert back to the people to pay all government costs, resulting in the phasing out of all taxation. In November 2008, Mr. Burien launched the Tax Retirement Fund Association (TRFA) at http://TaxRetirement.com to facilitate this process. Happy New Year!

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strawman Jan. 20, 2010 @ 8:17 p.m.

Re: the letter about the funding hoax. Now I understand why the USA has been in 50+ wars since WWII and has military bases in over 150 countries around the world. I just never believed that "American interests" were at stake all over the world. I thought it was just a metaphor for "our values (democracy, freedom, etc.)" which were at stake. Since our boys and girls are dying for them, why not enjoy some of those profits?


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