Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
His involvement in the business deal drew fire from people that disagree with him ideologically, such as the Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, and they raised enough noise that the business group decided to drop him from the deal so as not to endanger the deal.
So, a friend replied, and as I replied to that reply, I went off on a thought, and figured I'd post it here:
I totally agree with the business decision on the part of the other buyers. ... My beef is that none of us would even have known Rush was a part owner if he wasn't who he is. Without looking back at the story, can you tell me any of the other guys' names?
Off the top of your head, other than Steinbrenner, can you name any other teams' owners?
And, I find it amazing that a guy who *says* offensive things is treated worse by the left than people who *do* offensive things.
But check this: The whole concept of "owning" a sports team is garbage anyway, long before you bring Limbaugh into the picture.
Teams -- and players -- are bought and sold as investment properties by wealthy people. Sure, good players are paid tons of cash so they can buy shiny things to enjoy when their bodies finally give out and they're of no use to the owners anymore. And, if they get treated badly by the rich owner, well they can go be owned by someone else instead, and get shiny things from them until their bodies finally give out and they're of no use to the owners anymore.
And, no team *needs* to be owned. Imagine if people that lived in a state played a sport, and competed against other states? And non-players from those states would all get together and watch the games, and pitch in money for uniforms and equipment so they could enjoy the game?
And anyway, being a boss and having a stake in a team are two different things. Rush would have just been another one of the guys getting rich off the investment.
As an aside: Our culture treats athletes and entertainers better than teachers, soldiers, veterans and senior citizens. If all the athletes gave 25% of their huge salaries they get for playing a frigging game, and Hollywood actors did movies for $4 million instead of $6 million, there'd be no homeless problem, no hunger problem. Seeing as their wealth came directly from our adulation, shouldn't they "give back" a "fair share" ... ?
Thursday, September 24, 2009
I wanted to see some of the reviews, and I found this:
Who's the idiot?by DylanVoltaire
See Detailed Ratings
"September 22, 2009: After listening to the preview and reading the excerpt I can see that Beck is a master at arguing with straw men he constructs. I love the idea of a domino effect mindset of people who argue that the Second Amendment is out dated; as though these people want to nefariously end free speech and jury trials. I would like him to produce one serious critic of the NRA who has this in mind. The better argument against the NRA's interpretation of the Second Amendment is that the founders always believed in a state's power to regulate guns. The arguments that surrounded the inclusion of the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights were centered on the power of states to maintain and train virtuous male citizens for their militia to provide for the "common defense" of a young untested republic against the manifold threats extant. One of those perceived threats was the standing army of the National Government. In those days (and I suppose Beck would consider me an idiot for understanding this) "the people" feared a regular army in the hands of the national government; they wanted a small force if any. Today I would suggest that Americans want a well trained regular army to defend our nation. Therefore, in a very real sense, the idea of the Second Amendment is outdated. Now, that doesn't necessarily call for massive gun control, but it does lend to the understanding that states should, and always did, retain the power to regulate gun ownership according to their unique circumstances. In other words, a guy living in Wyoming has very different needs and concerns surrounding gun ownership than a family living in an apartment building in Philadelphia. The family in Philadelphia would like to go to bed at night knowing that the persons living on either side of them isn't going to accidently discharge their AK-47 and kill their child sleeping in its crib.
Here's an idiotic use of evidence: In 1831 the state of Missouri limited the right of citizens to carry concealed weapons. This was a factor in the case State v Mitchell. The statute, a state regulation of gun ownership, was found to be constitutional. That shows that states had the power to regulate gun ownership. Wow, what an idiot I am.
Hey, but Beck is dressed up as a soldier for Halloween this year. I'm convinced. At least he didn't try to dress up as a scholar."
Wow, Dylan, all that and you didn't even have to read the book.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
The Van Jones (non) feeding frenzy | Washington Examiner
Shared via AddThis
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Best part is, the article never mentions that Rangel, under two House ethics investigations, is a Democrat.
In fact, the word "Democrat" never appears in the story.
Odd, how this rich guy keeps refusing to admit what he owns or pay taxes on it, and the fact that his party is the one complaining about the rich not paying enough to cover the poor, and the Times leaves out his affiliation.
I truly believe that if Rangel were a Republican, it would say so somewhere in the story.
Just another example of (a) shoddy writing, (b) left-wing bias or (C) both.
Here's the story:
Rangel Failed to Disclose $500,000 in Assets for ’07
By DAVID KOCIENIEWSKI
United States Representative Charles B. Rangel, whose personal finances and fund-raising are the subject of two House ethics investigations, failed to report at least $500,000 in assets on his 2007 Congressional disclosure form, according to an amended report he filed this month.
Among the dozen newly disclosed holdings revealed in the amended forms are a checking account at a federal credit union with a balance between $250,0000 and $500,000; three vacant lots in Glassboro, N.J., valued at a total of $1,000 to $15,000; and stock in PepsiCo worth between $15,000 and $50,000.
The updated forms report that Mr. Rangel’s total net worth is between $1,028,024 and $2,495,000 — about twice the amount listed in the original disclosure statement, filed in May 2008, which declared assets totaling between $516,015 and $1,316,000.
Mr. Rangel declined to discuss the matter, saying he did not want to comment publicly while the investigations continue. In the past, he has explained omissions on financial statements, including his failure to declare $75,000 in rental income on a villa in the Dominican Republic or pay $10,000 in taxes on it, as unintentional bookkeeping errors. A spokesman for the congressman issued a statement saying the amended disclosure forms were Mr. Rangel’s attempt to rectify recently discovered omissions in his financial reporting.
“Congressman Rangel is confident that his records have been subjected to an exhaustive and complete review, and that the amendments accurately reflect his financial interests,” said the aide, Elbert Garcia.
Republicans said that Mr. Rangel’s inaccuracies in disclosing his assets and income, along with other ethics questions, were so egregious that he should be removed from his powerful position as chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, which oversees the tax code.
“This, again, raises serious questions about whether he should continue as chairman, given the multiple ethics investigations,” said Michael Steel, a spokesman for Representative John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio and the House minority leader.
Two House subcommittees are investigating Mr. Rangel’s financial dealings. One is examining his failure to report, or pay taxes on, the income from the Dominican beach house; whether Mr. Rangel may have violated the ban on taking gifts worth more than $50 by accepting four rent- stabilized apartments from a Manhattan developer at a price thousands of dollars per month under market value; and whether he improperly used his Congressional office to raise money for a charity — the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service — from donors with business interests before his committee.
The other subcommittee is investigating a complaint from an ethics advocacy group that has accused Mr. Rangel and four other members of Congress of violating the restrictions on accepting travel from donors who employ lobbyists by attending a conference last November in St. Maarten. It was sponsored by Citigroup, which received billions in federal bailout money.
In his amended disclosure form, however, Mr. Rangel reported that his trip was paid for by The Carib News Foundation, which had underwritten the congressman’s travels in the past.
Ethics experts say that although members of Congress are required to fully disclose their assets, omissions do not usually result in sanctions unless they are part of an effort to deceive. But Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonpartisan government watchdog group, said Mr. Rangel’s haphazard approach to his finances had undermined his credibility in Congress.
“Sloppy bookkeeping is not a valid excuse for a sophisticated member of Congress who is chairman of the committee that handles complex financial issues like the tax code,” she said.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Conservative kiosk not allowed at mallBy BETH SHAYNE / NewsChannel 36
July 22nd, 2009
CONCORD, N.C. -- “Impeach Obama. “
“Al Qaeda’s favorite days: 9/11/01 and 11/04/08.”
“Work Harder. Obama needs the money.”
The bumper stickers and posters sold at “Free Market Warrior” at Concord Mills are meant to be “biting,” the kiosk’s owner Loren Spivack said.
At least one passer-by found them racist and bigoted, and took time to tell the mall in a letter and a letter to the editor of the Charlotte Observer.
Whatever your opinion, the fact is this: At the end of July, “Free Market Warrior” will not be allowed at Concord Mills Mall. The kiosk chain’s owner shared e-mail correspondence with Newschannel 36 that explains that the mall management has decided that the items sold are not “neutral” enough. The lease will be allowed to expire July 31, 2009 without an option to renew.
Spivack, who first leased the space this spring, says the decision came as a shock to him. He says mall management seemed pleased with the kiosk just a few weeks ago.
“Nobody in that mall is selling anything from a conservative perspective. Plenty of people are selling things with a liberal perspective, with a pro-Obama perspective,” he said. “Given that we are in America and not North Korea, we probably should have some stuff on the other side.”
Spivack says he is careful not to sell things that personally attack a politician, and wants a fair exchange of ideas. “The material that I sell is about politics and ideas,” he told Newschannel 36. “It’s all legitimate criticism.”
Concord Mills, owned by Simon Property Group, would not comment for this story, cited a policy against talking about tenant and landlord situations.
Spivack says the company first contacted him about his lease after a letter to the editor appeared in the Charlotte Observer. The author, recent UNCC graduate Jennifer Ibanez, wrote,
““Free Market Warrior,” a kiosk located adjacent to Bass Pro Shops, specializes in memorabilia embellished with pro-confederacy statements as well as those opposing both the government and President Obama. In addition, these products support ideas such as racisms, sexism, and even slavery. While freedom of speech is a Constitutional right it’s difficult not to believe that something just isn’t quite right here.
I find it appalling that Concord Mills, North Carolina’s #1 visitor attraction, would condone such a message to be portrayed by their vendors and can’t imagine how the outside visitors’ perceptions of North Carolinians have been skewed by such an establishment.
It’s hard to stay open-minded when such uncivilized and outdated ideas are endorsed on a daily basis. It’s 2009; please, let’s at least try to put this type of bigotry to an end.”
Ibanez told Newschannel 36 she was so offended, she wrote the mall as well. She says a friend of hers also wrote in. Both threatened not to return to Concord Mills.
The owner of the mall group, Mel Simon, has been a generous contributor to Democratic causes and politicians, including Barack Obama. Spivack thinks the decision about his lease is political.
“If they have decided to make their malls conservative/libertarian free zones, where those opinions can’t be expressed, I do think it’s their right to do that, but it’s our rights to publicize the fact that they are doing that,” he said.
If the issue is about causing offense, he told us, the mall should police other stores. Spivack sent Newschannel 36 pictures of several t-shirts and banners from novelty stores at the mall that were so crude we’ve chosen not to share them.
“What I think the mall should have done if they thought that we were expressing one set of ideas and not another, is that they should have gotten another store to come in and sell their ideas,” he said. “I would’ve been all in favor of that. I would have helped them move in.”
Thursday, July 9, 2009
From my inbox this morning .... feel free to cut and paste and send to everyone you know.
WHEN A SOLDIER COMES HOME
This email is being circulated around the world - please keep it going
When a soldier comes home, he finds it hard....
..to listen to his son whine about being bored.
....to keep a straight face when people complain about potholes.
to be tolerant of people who complain about the hassle of getting ready for work.
...to be understanding when a co-worker complains about a bad night's sleep.
..to be silent when people pray to God for a new car.
...to control his panic when his wife tells him he needs to drive slower.
..to be compassionate when a businessman expresses a fear of flying.
....to keep from laughing when anxious parents say they're afraid to send their kids off to summer camp.
....to keep from ridiculing someone who complains about hot weather.
....to control his frustration when a colleague gripes about his coffee being cold.
....to remain calm when his daughter complains about having to walk the dog.
.....to be civil to people who complain about their jobs.
....to just walk away when someone says they only get two weeks of vacation a year.
....to be forgiving when someone says how hard it is to have a new baby in the house.
The only thing harder than being a Soldier..
Is loving one.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. John Murtha steered millions of dollars in defense work to a campaign donor and the Pentagon went along with it, even though two convicted drug dealers had been deeply involved with the company.
Records filed in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh starting in 2005 raise questions about whether the government ever checked into the background of William Kuchera of Windber, Pa., a constituent who has been doing government work for over 20 years.
The records point to the political peril of Murtha, a Pennsylvania Democrat, and other members of Congress directing federal funds to particular contractors, an oft-criticized process known as earmarking that has directed hundreds of billions of dollars in the federal budget to favored contractors and programs over the past two decades.
The companies owned by William Kuchera and his brother Ronald — Kuchera Defense Systems and Kuchera Industries Inc. — have received $53 million in federal contracts in this decade alone.
According to the court records, Kuchera was convicted of marijuana distribution in 1982 in Wisconsin.
In addition, a man who describes himself as an early partner in Kuchera’s business in the 1980s is a convicted cocaine dealer who has served two terms in prison, according to the records.
The man, Peter Whorley, sued the Kuchera companies and William Kuchera for a share of the money the companies have collected in federal contracts. Whorley lost the case when it went to arbitration.
On Friday, Kuchera’s lawyer said that his client had served nine months in prison and since that time "has built two highly successful and reputable companies with enviable records of quality, first-rate work."
In April, the Navy suspended Kuchera Defense Systems, William Kuchera and his brother for "alleged fraud," including "multiple incidents" of incorrect charges, along with allegations of defective pricing and ethical violations. Kuchera is appealing the suspension.
In 2007 and 2008, Murtha sponsored $14.7 million in defense earmarks for Kuchera Defense Systems. Before 2007, Congress did not disclose the identities of earmark sponsors, so it is impossible to say how much in earmarked funds Murtha directed to the Kuchera family business.
In one early link to Murtha, Kuchera made a $1,000 campaign contribution to the congressman in March 1992.
Kuchera and his uncle started doing business in the mid-1980s and Murtha became chairman of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee in 1989.
According to the court records, in 1985 William Kuchera approached his uncle, Michael, who was just starting up Kuchera Industries.
William Kuchera "confided to me that he had just spent time in prison and he was looking for a fresh start," Michael Kuchera said in an affidavit filed in federal court in 2005.
"After I agreed to go into business with my nephew, he introduced Peter Whorley to me," Michael Kuchera’s affidavit states. "One day shortly after I had met Mr. Whorley, Bill told me that Peter had agreed to invest in the business."
Under questioning in the lawsuit, Whorley said that he had invested $50,000 in the Kucheras’ new business. Before that, Whorley said, he had been in prison for drug trafficking. Answering questions in the lawsuit, William Kuchera said that the $50,000 from Whorley was a personal loan that "helped for my living expenses, it helped with marketing expenses, it helped with sales expenses."
Whorley said that he and William Kuchera were best friends and that they had been involved in "drug dealings."
In the statement Friday, Kuchera’s lawyer pointed to findings by the federal court in the lawsuit rejecting Whorley’s claims in their entirety. The court split the costs of the case, ordering Whorley to pay one-third and the Kuchera defendants to pay two-thirds.
"William Kuchera has built two highly successful and reputable companies with enviable records of quality, first-rate work," said Kuchera attorney Dennis McGlynn. "In doing so, he has also created 360 new jobs in the Johnstown area. He should be applauded for his accomplishments and not denigrated for a crime he committed almost three decades ago."
The government’s overall earmark spending reached $18 billion in 2009 and $18.3 billion for 2008, and adding to that to the decades of earmarks before, "you easily top a $100 billion and even more, into the hundreds of billions of earmark spending, in the last few decades," said Steve Ellis of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a group that tracks congressional earmarks.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
The US "shock jock" banned from entering the UK said today that he would carry on with defamation proceedings against outgoing home secretary Jacqui Smith, saying he had never incited violence among his listeners.Here's the full story: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/jun/02/shock-jock-michael-savage-jacqui-smith
Michael Savage, real name Michael Weiner, was included on a list of undesirables banned by the government from entering the UK last month due to "stirring up hatred and promoting their extreme views".
Savage said his "honour" was at stake over the "crazy" Home Office decision. "None of my words have ever led to violence for the simple reason that I do not call for violence, I do not provoke violence, and moreover, I want to say that provoking violence is illegal in the US as well," he told Victoria Derbyshire on BBC Radio 5 Live today.
I'm not much of a fan of Savage ... but to group him in with Klansmen and terrorists is a joke. Violent Muslims filling the streets, shouting "death to the queen" over a book, or a comment or a cartoon, that's left unchecked, but if someone voices their opinion in another country, and he's too dangerous to let enter the UK? He's the extremist?
Friday, May 29, 2009
Sotomayor Ruled in "D-Bag Case"
12:16 PM EDT, Thu, May 28, 2009
President Barack Obama’s nominee to fill a Supreme Court vacancy has yet another tie to Connecticut. She sided against a student in the infamous “douche bag” case, and that has upset some free-speech advocates.
In August 2007, Judge Sonia Sotomayor sat on a panel that ruled against an appeal in Doninger v. Niehoff.
Avery Doninger was disqualified from running for school government at Lewis S. Mills High School in Burlington after she posted something on her blog, referring to the superintendent and other officials as "douche bags" because they canceled a battle of the bands she had helped to organize.
The case went to court and in March 2008, Sotomayor was on a panel that heard Doninger’s mother’s appeal alleging her daughter’s free speech and other rights were violated. Her mother wanted to prevent the school from barring her daughter from running.
Sotomayor joined two other judges from the 2nd Circuit in ruling that the student’s off-campus blog remarks created a “foreseeable risk of substantial disruption” at the student’s high school and that the teenager was not entitled to a preliminary injunction reversing a disciplinary action against her, Education Week reports.
In their opinion, the judges said they were “sympathetic" to her disappointment at being disqualified from running for Senior Class Secretary and acknowledged her belief that in this case, “the punishment did not fit the crime.”
However, the judges decided they were not called upon to determine if school officials acted wisely.
“As the Supreme Court cautioned years ago, “[t]he system of public education that has evolved in this Nation relies necessarily upon the discretion and judgment of school administrators and school board members,” and we are not authorized to intervene absent “violations of specific constitutional guarantees.”
The ruling in this case has come under heavy criticism from some civil libertarians. Some say this case presents a solid rationale for rejecting Judge Sonia Sotomayor of New York’s Second Circuit Court of Appeals to fill the seat of retiring Justice David Souter.
“The continual expansion of the authority of school officials over student speech teaches a foul lesson to these future citizens,” Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, told the New Britain Herald. “I would prefer some obnoxious speech [rather] than teaching students that they must please government officials if they want special benefits or opportunities.”
Here's my question to you: Let's say you work for a company, and on your non-work blog you referred to company officials in a disparaging manner, would it be OK for you to be punished at work? For voicing your opinion, on your own time, from your own home, on a blog not connected to your workplace?
Friday, May 29, 2009
EXCLUSIVE: Career lawyers overruled on voting case
Justice Department political appointees overruled career lawyers and ended a civil complaint accusing three members of the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense of wielding a nightstick and intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling place last Election Day, according to documents and interviews.
The incident - which gained national attention when it was captured on videotape and distributed on YouTube - had prompted the government to sue the men, saying they violated the 1965 Voting Rights Act by scaring would-be voters with the weapon, racial slurs and military-style uniforms.
Career lawyers pursued the case for months, including obtaining an affidavit from a prominent 1960s civil rights activist who witnessed the confrontation and described it as "the most blatant form of voter intimidation" that he had seen, even during the voting rights crisis in Mississippi a half-century ago.
The lawyers also had ascertained that one of the three men had gained access to the polling place by securing a credential as a Democratic poll watcher, according to interviews and documents reviewed by The Washington Times.
The career Justice lawyers were on the verge of securing sanctions against the men earlier this month when their superiors ordered them to reverse course, according to interviews and documents. The court had already entered a default judgment against the men on April 20.
A Justice Department spokesman on Thursday confirmed that the agency had dropped the case, dismissing two of the men from the lawsuit with no penalty and winning an order against the third man that simply prohibits him from bringing a weapon to a polling place in future elections.
The department was "successful in obtaining an injunction that prohibits the defendant who brandished a weapon outside a Philadelphia polling place from doing so again," spokesman Alejandro Miyar said. "Claims were dismissed against the other defendants based on a careful assessment of the facts and the law."
Mr. Miyar declined to elaborate about any internal dispute between career and political officials, saying only that the department is "committed to the vigorous prosecution of those who intimidate, threaten or coerce anyone exercising his or her sacred right to vote."
Court records reviewed by The Times show that career Justice lawyers were seeking a default judgment and penalties against the three men as recently as May 5, before abruptly ending their pursuit 10 days later.
People directly familiar with the case, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity because of fear of retribution, said career lawyers in two separate Justice offices had recommended proceeding to default judgment before political superiors overruled them.
Tensions between career lawyers and political appointees inside the Justice Department have been a sensitive matter since allegations surfaced during the Bush administration that higher-ups had ignored or reversed staff lawyers and that some U.S. attorneys had been removed or selected for political reasons.
During his January confirmation hearings, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said that during his lengthy Justice Department tenure, the career lawyers were "my teachers, my colleagues and my friends" and described them as the "backbone" of the department.
"If I am confirmed as attorney general, I will listen to them, respect them and make them proud of the vital goals we will pursue together," he said.
Justice officials declined to say whether Mr. Holder or other senior Justice officials became involved in the case, saying they don't discuss internal deliberations.
The civil suit filed Jan. 7 identified the three men as members of the Panthers and said they wore military-style uniforms, black berets, combat boots, battle-dress pants, black jackets with military-style insignias and were armed with "a dangerous weapon"and used racial slurs and insults to scare would-be voters and those there to assist them at the Philadelphia polling location on Nov. 4.
The complaint said the three men engaged in "coercion, threats and intimidation, ... racial threats and insults, ... menacing and intimidating gestures, ... and movements directed at individuals who were present to vote." It said that unless prohibited by court sanctions, they would "continued to violate ... the Voting Rights Act by continuing to direct intimidation, threats and coercion at voters and potential voters, by again deploying uniformed and armed members at the entrance to polling locations in future elections, both in Philadelphia and throughout the country."
To support its evidence, the government had secured an affidavit from Bartle Bull, a longtime civil rights activist and former aide to Sen. Robert F. Kennedy's 1968 presidential campaign. Mr. Bull said in a sworn statement dated April 7 that he was serving in November as a credentialed poll watcher in Philadelphia when he saw the three uniformed Panthers confront and intimidate voters with a nightstick.
Inexplicably, the government did not enter the affidavit in the court case, according to the files.
"In my opinion, the men created an intimidating presence at the entrance to a poll," he declared. "In all my experience in politics, in civil rights litigation and in my efforts in the 1960s to secure the right to vote in Mississippi ... I have never encountered or heard of another instance in the United States where armed and uniformed men blocked the entrance to a polling location."
Mr. Bull said the "clear purpose" of what the Panthers were doing was to "intimidate voters with whom they did not agree." He also said he overheard one of the men tell a white poll watcher: "You are about to be ruled by the black man, cracker."
He called their conduct an "outrageous affront to American democracy and the rights of voters to participate in an election without fear." He said it was a "racially motivated effort to limit both poll watchers aiding voters, as well as voters with whom the men did not agree."
The three men named in the complaint - New Black Panther Chairman Malik Zulu Shabazz, Minister King Samir Shabazz and Jerry Jackson - refused to appear in court to answer the accusations over a near-five month period, court records said.
Justice Department Voting Rights Section Attorney J. Christian Adams complained in one court filing about the defendants' failure to appear or to file any pleadings in the case, arguing that Mr. Jackson was "not an infant, nor is he an incompetent person as he appears capable of managing his own affairs, nor is he in the military service of the United States."
Court records show that as late as May 5, the Justice Department was still considering an order by U.S. District Judge Stewart Dalzell in Philadelphia to seek judgments, or sanctions, against the three Panthers because of their failure to appear.
But 10 days later, the department reversed itself and filed a notice of voluntary dismissal from the complaint for Malik Zulu Shabazz and Mr. Jackson.
That same day, the department asked for the default judgment against King Samir Shabazz, but limited the penalty to an order that he not display a "weapon within 100 feet of any open polling location on any election day in the city of Philadelphia" until Nov. 15, 2012.
Malik Zulu Shabazz is a Washington, D.C., resident.
Mr. Jackson was an elected member of Philadelphia's 14th Ward Democratic Committee, and was credentialed to be at the polling place last Nov. 4 as an official Democratic Party polling observer, according to the Philadelphia City Commissioner's Office.
Efforts to reach the Panthers were unsuccessful. A telephone number listed on the New Black Panthers Web site had been disconnected.
The complaint said that the three men were deployed at the entrance to a Philadelphia polling location wearing the uniform of the New Black Panther Party and that King Samir Shabazz repeatedly brandished a police-style nightstick with a contoured grip and wrist lanyard.
According to the complaint, Malik Zulu Shabazz, a Howard University Law School graduate, said the placement of King Samir Shabazz and Mr. Jackson in Philadelphia was part of a nationwide effort to deploy New Black Panther Party members at polling locations on Election Day.
The New Black Panther Party reportedly has 27 chapters operating across the United States, Britain, the Caribbean and Africa. Its Web page said it has become "a great witness to the validity of the works of the original Black Panther Party," which was founded in 1966 in Oakland, Calif.
Friday, May 22, 2009
And, sadly, many people listen to what he says.
But, Penn is an idiot, and you should not listen to him. He's a far-left loon with too much money and too much access.
I'm supposed to value Penn's opinions on war and peace, democracy and communism, life and death? When he can't even figure out if he wants to be married?
Yet again, Penn has changed his mind about separating from his wife of 13 years, Robin Wright.
They did it in 2007, too, filed for divorce then changed their minds.
Penn calls his latest request for separation "an arrogrant mistake."
Look, aside from situations where there's abuse, being married is a simple decision: either you love someone and want to be with them, or you don't.
If he can't figure that out, maybe he should spend less time hanging around with Hugo Chavez and more time with his wife.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
It's not because "my guy" or "my side" fared so poorly in the elections; rather, it's because my idea of how this country should be has been tarred and feathered, labeled and lambasted, mocked and ridiculed by politicians, television and Hollywood. The decisions coming out of Congress and the White House are so backward, disgusting and sad that I can't even understand how any of them represent me.
I no longer feel like a part of this country. Instead, I feel like a servant, working each day to fund things I don't believe in, things I don't agree with. Every day I see bad things being protected and promoted, even though I know that in the long run those things will come back to haunt this nation.
There is no democracy here. The people are asked a question, and if the askers don't like the response they can get a liberal court to reverse that response. Or, liberal groups rally to collect as many ignorant and uninformed people as they can to vote for their side, with promises of easy money, freebies and sandwiches.
Nothing I care about seems to matter. No, all that seems to matter is how much tax money I can contribute to the voluntary destruction of my country.
But I received an e-mail today that sums up much of what I'm feeling, so I am posting it here. The only part of this that I don't agree with is the Subarus ... I like Subarus because they're great in the snow.
Here it is:
Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, Marxists and Obama supporters, et al:
We have stuck together since the late 1950's, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce. I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has run its course. Our two ideological sides of America cannot and will not ever agree on what is right so let's just end it on friendly terms. We can smile and chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and go our own way.
Here is a model separation agreement:
Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by landmass each taking a portion. That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it should be relatively easy! Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides have such distinct and disparate tastes.
We don't like re distributive taxes so you can keep them. You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU.
Since you hate guns and war, we'll take our firearms, the cops, the NRA and the military. You can keep Oprah, Michael Moore and Rosie O' Donnell (You are, however, responsible for finding a bio-diesel vehicle big enough to move all three of them).
We'll keep the capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart and Wall Street. You can have your beloved homeless, homeboys, hippies and illegal aliens. We'll keep the Bibles and give you NBC and Hollywood.
You can make nice with Iran and Palestine and we'll retain the right to invade and hammer places that threaten us. You can have the peaceniks and war protesters and PETA people. When our allies or our way of life are under assault, we'll help provide them security.
We'll keep our Judeo-Christian values. You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism and Shirley McClain. You can also have the U.N.. but we won’t be paying the bill.
We'll keep the SUVs, pickup trucks and oversized luxury cars. You can take every Subaru station wagon you can find.
You can give everyone healthcare if you can find any practicing doctors. We'll continue to believe healthcare is a luxury and not a right.
We'll keep The Battle Hymn of the Republic and the National Anthem. I'm sure you'll be happy to substitute Imagine, I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing, Kum Bai Ya or We Are the World.
Since it often so offends you, we'll keep our history, our name and our flag.
John J. Wall
Law Student and an American
P.S. Also, please take Barbara Streisand & Jane Fonda with you.
Monday, March 9, 2009
545 PEOPLECharlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.
By Charlie Reese
Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.
Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?
Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?
You and I don't propose a federal budget. The president does. You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations.The House of Representatives does. You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does. You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does. You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.
One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine Supreme Court justices 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.
I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.
I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash.
The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.
Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.
What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.
The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? Nancy Pelosi. She is the leader of the majority party.
She and fellow House members, not the president, can approve any budget they want. If the president vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.
It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.
If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.
If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red.
If the Army & Marines are in IRAQ , it's because they want them in IRAQ .
If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.
There are no insoluble government problems.
Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do. Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.
They, and they alone, have the power. They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.
Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees. We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!
Friday, January 30, 2009
Citing Obama Opposition, McDowell Warns Against Fairness Doctrine
Reimposition Could Undermine Kids TV Regulations, Public Radio
John Eggerton -- Multichannel News, 1/28/2009 3:27:00 PM MT
FCC commissioner Robert McDowell had a message for Democrats, or anyone else contemplating trying to reimpose the fairness doctrine: The move could undermine the justification for existing localism and children's TV regulations, and could be used against public radio.
He also suggested it would not come back wearing a big sign saying, "it's me, the fairness doctrine," but would likely instead be rebranded.
Those were some of the observations McDowell provided Wednesday in a speech to The Media Institute in Washington, which is a strong opponent of the doctrine.
The fairness doctrine, which was scrapped by the FCC as unconstitutional in 1987, required broadcasters to air both sides of controversial issues.In the speech, McDowell cited candidate Barack Obama's statement to B&C--through an aide--that he did not support the doctrine, adding that the new administration has a terrific opportunity to enunciate its strong opposition to anything resembling the fairness doctrine.
He spoke at length about the doctrine's origins and its use by both Democrats and Republicans against their opponents. He said he did not know whether recent calls for its return would bear fruit, felt it was a good time to talk to his audience--of media executives, lobbyists, journalists and others--about its creation, its historical abuses, and the legal difficulties involved with restoring it and trying to enforce it.
McDowell warned that if the doctrine were revived, it might not "wear the same label. That's just Marketing 101: if your brand is controversial, make a new brand," he told his audience.
He suggested the doctrine could be woven into the fabric of policy initiatives with names like localism, diversity or network neutrality. "According to some, the premise of any of these initiatives is similar to the philosophical underpinnings of the Doctrine: the government must keep electronic conduits of information viewpoint neutral," he said.
McDowell suggested that a stealth version of the doctrine may already be teed up at the FCC in the form of community advisory boards to help determine local programming. McDowell says he is fine with those boards if they are voluntary--some stations already seek such input. But that if they are required, as the FCC has proposed, "Would not such a policy be akin to re-imposition of the Doctrine, albeit under a different name and sales pitch?"
McDowell also said that efforts to reimpose the doctrine could stretch to cable, satellite, and even the Internet. "Certain legal commentators have suggested that a new corollary of the Doctrine should be fashioned for the Internet, on the theory that web surfers should be exposed to topics and views that they have not chosen for themselves," adding: "I am not making this up."
In a move obviously calculated to strike fear into the hearts of regulatory-minded Democrats, the same ones who have meen making noises about liking the fairness doctrine when it comes to reining in talk radio critics, McDowell had this:
"Actually, in a string of media cases stretching back over more than 20 years, various judges on the D.C. Circuit - both Democratic and Republican appointees - have suggested that it is time for the Supreme Court to rethink the concept of spectrum scarcity as a justification for limiting broadcasters' First Amendment rights. A revived Doctrine would provide a big, bright bulls-eye for those who wish to make that happen. That development would have implications far beyond the Doctrine itself. Much of our content regulation of broadcasters - including most of the FCC's existing localism rules and the regulations requiring three hours a week of children's programming - rest on the spectrum scarcity rationale. If that rationale is invalidated, serious legal challenges to all those other content rules may follow."
McDowell said he was hopeful that the Obama administration understood all this.
"As I watched his inaugural address last week," he said, "I was struck by the relevance of the debate over the Doctrine to a section of his speech where he said, 'To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history ....' 'I am encouraged that President Obama can, once and for all, end the speculation of whether something akin to the Doctrine will come back to life during his term."
Monday, January 26, 2009
*The Tax Poem*
Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table
At which he's fed.
Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.
Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for peanuts
Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.
Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.
Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.
Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers,
If he cries
Tax his tears.
Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass.
Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won't be done
Till he has no dough.
When he screams and hollers;
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He's good and sore.
Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he's laid.
Put these words
Upon his tomb,
Taxes drove me
to my doom...'
When he's gone,
Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.
Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Marriage License Tax
Personal Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge T ax
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service FeeTax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax
Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation was
the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national
debt, had the largest
middleclass in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.
And now that their greed has consumed them, they've come to *me* for help, and I don't have the option of saying 'no' ....
You know, these bailouts, for me, go far beyond partisan politics and power struggles -- to me, they represent the worst of American businesses' greed and the unfair role the common citizen plays.
They made their money on the backs of indebted Americans, then squandered the wealth they accumulated, and now the same Americans who were pillaged by these institutions are being forced to help them?
That's like a newly freed slave being told he has to go back to the plantation because his former master needs the free labor to keep his business afloat.
To add insult to injury, do you ever remember a time, when the banks were doing well, that they passed that good fortune on to us, in terms of high interest rates on our savings, or by lowering the interest rates on the money we owed?
No. They never helped us when we were down. Hell, kicking us when we were down made them even more money.
Just a few weeks ago, I had a credit card payment that was in 1 day after the due date (I forgot about the holiday), and my interest rate went from 12% to 22% -- no questions, nothing, just BAM, an additional 10% because of a 1-day-late payment.
And now that they're failing, it's up to us to save them?
And I know that there are jobs at stake, and a lot more at stake, but I can't shake the feeling that this is all so unfair. We're giving them money to continue the same pattern of behavior and greed, helping them continue to exploit us.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
For all the hype about the Bush Administration's oil-and-gas energy bias, one of its last official acts was to give the go-ahead to what could be America's first offshore wind farm -- thus enraging more than a few self-deputized environmentalists. Such are the ironies of the wilderness of mirrors known as the Cape Wind project.
For the last seven years and counting, the green entrepreneur Jim Gordon has been trying to build a fleet of wind turbines in federal waters near the upscale seascapes of Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. The site seemed ideal, given the stiff ocean breezes and the eco-friendly politics in Massachusetts. The company says its 130 towers could meet 75% of the region's electricity needs and reduce carbon emissions by some 734,000 tons every year.
The sort of people who can afford to use "summer" as a verb are in favor of all that. Completely in favor, really. But they did want to raise one quibble. Unfortunately, the wind farm would create "visual pollution" in Nantucket Sound, particularly the parts within sight of their beachfront vacation homes.
Mr. Gordon went ahead anyway, and the opposition rose to gale force. Supposedly the wind farm will lead to everything from the disruption of seabird habitats to "desecrating ancient American Native burial sites," in the words of Glenn Wattley, the head of an antiwind outfit funded by the likes of Bunny Mellon. But what really upsets these well-to-do Don Quixotes is the thought of looking at windmills that would appear about as tall on the horizon as the thumbnail at the end of your outstretched arm.
Then there is the political saga, with the Kennedy family as the Hyannis Port Sopranos, supplying the muscle. While Ted Kennedy was castigating President Bush for destroying the environment, the Senator was working furiously behind the Congressional scenes to kill Cape Wind. He even had the inspiration of getting former GOP colleague Ted Stevens of Alaska to slip wording into a spending bill that would have handed a veto to then-Governor Mitt Romney, another aesthetically minded opponent. Robert Kennedy Jr., a Time magazine "hero of the planet," tried to get the Sound designated as a national marine sanctuary to bar development.
Incredibly enough, this political sabotage has so far failed. And last week the Interior Department issued its long-awaited regulatory study, mostly finding "negligible" environmental impact -- apart from a "moderate" impact on the scenery. If the Obama Administration signs off, construction could begin next year.
Mr. Kennedy blustered that the report was rushed out: amusing, considering it runs to 2,800 pages. Bill Delahunt, the windy Cape Democrat, also denounced the action as "a $2 billion project that depends on significant taxpayer subsidies while potentially doubling power costs for the region."
Good to see the Congressman now recognizes the limitations of green tech, such as its tendency to boost consumer electricity prices -- but his makeover as taxpayer champion is a bit belated. Green energy has been on the subsidy take for years, including in 2005 when Mr. Delahunt was calling for "an Apollo project for alternative energy sources, for hybrid engines, for biodiesel, for wind and solar and everything else." The reality is that all such projects are only commercially viable because of political patronage.
Tufts economist Gilbert Metcalf ran the numbers and found that the effective tax rate for wind is minus-163.8%. In other words, every dollar a wind firm spends is subsidized to the tune of 64 cents from the government. The Energy Information Administration estimates that wind receives $23.37 in government benefits per megawatt hour -- compared to, say, 44 cents for coal. Despite these taxpayer crutches, wind only provides a little under 1% of U.S. net electric generation.
We'd prefer an energy policy that allows markets to shape the sources that predominate -- which would almost certainly put Cape Wind out of business. But President Obama seems determined to unload even more subsidies on green developers as he seeks to boost renewables to 10% of the U.S. electricity mix by the end of his first term and 25% by 2025; their share today is about 9% (5.8% of which is hydropower).
We wouldn't be surprised to see the President's green future wrestled to the ground by the likes of Mr. Delahunt, the Kennedys and other anticarbon Democrats. Environmentalists love the idea of milking Mother Nature for power, but they hate the hardware needed to make it work: huge windmills, acres of solar panels, high-voltage transmission lines to connect them to the places where people live. Of course, they still totally, absolutely, wholeheartedly support green energy -- as long as it gets built where someone else goes yachting.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
From WSJ Editorial Page :
Waiting for Dodd
Where are those Countrywide papers?
With the opening of the 111th Congress yesterday, all of Washington is tingling with the allure of a fresh start. Not so fast. We've got some leftover business from the 110th Congress -- namely, Chris Dodd's July 2008 promise to release the details of his sweetheart loans from Countrywide Financial.
The Connecticut Senator got favored treatment from the subprime mortgage purveyor, even as he was a power broker on the Banking Committee that regulates the industry. When the news broke, the Senator first denied that he sought or expected preferential treatment. He later admitted that he knew he was considered a VIP at the firm but claimed he thought it was "more of a courtesy." He also promised the Connecticut press that he'd come clean with the documents and details of the loans. But six months later -- nada, zip, nothing.
The rest of the press corps may have moved on, but we'd still like to know. All the more so because former Countrywide Financial loan officer Robert Feinberg told us last fall that Mr. Dodd knowingly saved thousands of dollars on his refinancing of two properties in 2003 as part of a special program for the influential. Mr. Feinberg also reported that he has internal company documents that prove Mr. Dodd knew he was getting preferential treatment as a friend of Angelo Mozilo, Countrywide's then-CEO, and Mr. Feinberg has offered to provide those documents to investigators.
- Dodd and Countrywide 10/10/2008 – The Senator should take the witness stand.
- Mortgage VIPs 06/25/2008 – Sweetheart deals are just a phone call away.
- Angelo's Angel 06/19/2008 – The senate bailout for Countrywide needs more scrutiny.
- Congress and the Countrywide Scandal 06/18/2008 – Some senators want a bailout for big political donors. What a surprise.
- Beltwaywide Financial 06/16/2008 – The new ARMs: Angelo-rated mortgages for senators.
Just before Mr. Dodd made his promise, Bank of America closed its acquisition of Countrywide and Mr. Dodd has continued to oversee BofA and the rest of the mortgage industry as Chairman of Senate Banking. He will now play a lead role in drafting legislation affecting the very business that gave him preferential treatment, yet he still refuses to release the mortgage documents that would illuminate this treatment. As the Senate Ethics Committee examines this case, Mr. Dodd's office reports that he is cooperating with the investigation and that he still intends to make good on his six-month-old pledge. But nothing in the Senate ethics process prevents Mr. Dodd from coming clean with the public whenever he wishes.
We suspect there's at least one habit of the 110th Congress that won't change in the 111th: The Members think they can get away with anything -- and usually do.