I first encountered the upper middle class when I attended a big magnet high school in Manhattan that attracted a decent number of brainy, better-off kids whose parents preferred not to pay private-school tuition. Growing up in an immigrant household, I’d felt largely immune to class distinctions. Before high school, some of the kids I knew were somewhat worse off, and others were somewhat better off than most, but we generally all fell into the same lower-middle- or middle-middle-class milieu. So high school was a revelation. Status distinctions that had been entirely obscure to me came into focus. Everything about you—the clothes you wore, the music you listened to, the way you pronounced things—turned out to be a clear marker of where you were from and whether you were worth knowing.
Shaming, eh? Salam imagines guilt-tripping families that make $200,000 a year or so into sacrificing their mortgage interest and college savings tax breaks for the greater good. If we could only get the people who have gained some decent economic security to stop paying attention to their own self interest, we could avert the destruction of America — that’s Salam’s idea. I’m not exaggerating: the article accuses the upper-middle class of “ruining America.”
Meanwhile, liberals are always fretting about the way less-than-upper-middle-class Americans are failing to pay attention to their own self interest. That’s “What’s the Matter with Kansas.”
Exactly how selfish are we supposed to be? Promoting unselfishness is a strange business, but I don’t trust the big shamers and guilt-trippers of this world. They have their own self-interests, and they’re choosing to promote them by tromping about in the darker parts of our psyche.
Those are the last recorded words of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old black man, who decided that it would be cute to try to football tackle a Ferguson, Missouri police officer named Darren Wilson, who also happened to be a white man.
A grand jury was convened, and the decision took a very long time. All the facts were considered. Witnesses were questioned, inconsistencies and outright lies were discarded. The facts are that this black man of 18 years of age and crazed on THC, attacked a white officer and was shot dead. Officer Darren Wilson was doing his job and because of that, was not convicted.
So, why is it that Ferguson last night basically went up like a match stick and is threatening to do so tonight? The simple answer is this here: Cultural Marxism. Cultural Marxism is embedded deeply into the community and into the psyche of good part of the black race. There are exceptions to this rule; but not very many at all. It is not only in the black race, but also in the good majority of the Latino races as well, especially among Mexicans.
These Marxist uprisings or as they are commonly called, “Protests” are springing up all over the country. In fact, even here in Detroit there are protests, on the freeways. Think about that for a second: People here in Detroit are actually taking the freeways here in Detroit, risking getting killed, and getting arrested, to supposedly “Protest” about a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri doing his job.
This which is happening now, underscores my issue with the black race in general; and that is that if a white police officer or even a white person kills a black man or woman; it is considered a national story and a horrible crime. However, if a black man or police officer kills a white man, it is seen as no big deal. Let us just be real about this whole thing, shall we? If the police officer in Ferguson were black and this 18-year-old kid were white — you would have never heard about it in the media.
However, because this whole story fits the liberal progressive and Cultural Marxist narrative, it is a national news story. This is what gives that racial grievance-mongering crowd oxygen into their movement. The sick and insidious part is that the current President of the United States of America and the United States of America Attorney General have basically given these thugs the wink and a nod to carry out these Marxist uprisings. This is also what happens when you have a Democrat Governor and a Democrat Prosecutor who declined to convict, knowing full well that this decision would spark riots and uprisings across the Country.
However, the tide is turning. Americans are seeing what they elected in 2008 and in 2012. Republicans made some serious gains in many important places; even in Illinois, which is very shocking. It is expected that the Republicans will do well in 2016 and maybe then, we can get this Nation back on its rightful track.
It gives new meaning to the term “shotgun wedding”: Government officials in New York have told an upstate farming couple that they must host same-sex “weddings” on their property — and because they refused to do so they must pay a $13,000 fine.
The hapless farmers are Robert and Cynthia Gifford, who have owned Liberty Ridge Farm in Schaghticoke, New York, for more than a quarter century. During much of that time at least, writesThe Daily Signal’s Leslie Ford, they have opened “the farm to the public for events like berry picking, fall festivals, and pig racing” — and, sometimes, for weddings. This was never a problem until 2012, when, reports Ford, “Melissa Erwin and Jennie McCarthy contacted the Giffords [by telephone] to rent the family’s barn for their same-sex wedding ceremony and reception. Cynthia Gifford responded that she and her husband would have to decline their request as they felt they could not in good conscience host a same-sex wedding ceremony at their home.”
Unbeknownst to the Giffords at the time, however, the phone call was being recorded.
What happened next was that Erwin and McCarthy filed a discrimination complaint with the government. On what basis? Ford explains, “New York’s Human Right’s [sic] law (Executive Law, art. 15) creates special privileges based on sexual orientation that trump the rights of business owners. Because the Giffords’ family farm is open to the public for business, New York classifies it as a ‘public accommodation’ and then mandates that it not ‘discriminate’ on the basis of sexual orientation.”
The Giffords were then found in violation of the law and were “ordered by DHR [Division of Human Rights] Judge Migdalia Pares and Commissioner Helen Diane Foster to pay $10,000 in fines to the state and an additional $3,000 in damages to the lesbian couple … for ‘mental pain and suffering.’ Additionally, the Giffords must provide sensitivity training to their staff, and prominently display a poster highlighting state anti-discrimination laws,” reports Lifesite’s Kirsten Andersen.
This issue strikes especially close to the Giffords’ heart because “marriage ceremonies on the farm typically take place in and around the couple’s home, where they live full-time and are raising their two children,” writes Andersen. “They consider the farm their home,” said the Giffords lawyer, Jim Trainor. “They live there, they work there, they raise their kids there.” In fact, not only is the couple intimately involved in planning weddings they host — providing catering, floral arrangements, and everything else save a wedding official — but they even allow part of their living quarters to be used as a bridal suite.
None of this mattered to the NYS DHR, however. This prompts Ford to ask, “Should the government be able to coerce a family farm into hosting a same-sex wedding?” She then answers, “In a free society, the answer is no” and explains, “Government shouldn’t be able to fine citizens for acting in the market according to their own — rather than the government’s — values, unless there is a compelling government interest being pursued in the least restrictive way possible.” As many critics would point out, however, there’s the rub. What constitutes a “compelling government interest”? And should the state have the power to use private property for its own interests in the first place?
We live in a sick and sad, sin-depraved society that long ago rejected the Christian values that this nation was founded upon; this story proves that little notion. Christians talk of revival; what bunk! — that ship sailed long ago. Judgement is coming, but, there is hope.
I don’t think I’m ready to become a Republican yet … In good conscience, however, I can’t continue to call myself a Democrat. In becoming an independent, I think I’m maintaining the independent (dare I say, libertarian?) mindedness and patriotism that my parents endowed me with. For the country’s sake and for their own, I hope the Democrats wake up.
I was a Democrat because while it was clear to me that the Republican politicians were out of touch and cared for only the upper class, Democrats like Franklin Roosevelt cared for the masses and helping the working man … By and large, none of these values are represented in the Democratic Party today.
From where I’m standing, the party has largely abandoned its commitment to civil rights and instead allows race-baiters to be national power brokers. As spokesman for the Boys and Girls Clubs of New Jersey, I am hurt that there is not one Democrat in Washington who cares enough about the great inner cities of this country to help those in dire distress from poverty and crime. These cities are in worse shape than those countries from which all those illegal ‘children’ crossing our borders daily are coming….
Most disheartening, though, is the Democrats’ weak commitment to a strong defense and maintaining America’s place in the world as the only superpower. All I see is an American foreign policy led by a Democratic administration that is floundering when it comes to things like dealing with Iraq, Russia and Syria, inept when it comes to crises like Benghazi, and weak at the knees when it comes to protecting our strongest Middle Eastern ally, Israel.
When you lose someone, like this guy? You know your political party has issues.
Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was killed by a police officer, sparking protests around the nation, was shot at least six times, including twice in the head, a preliminary private autopsy performed on Sunday found. One of the bullets entered the top of Mr. Brown’s skull, suggesting his head was bent forward when it struck him and caused a fatal injury, according to Dr. Michael M. Baden, the former chief medical examiner for the City of New York, who flew to Missouri on Sunday at the family’s request to conduct the separate autopsy. It was likely the last of bullets to hit him, he said. Mr. Brown, 18, was also shot four times in the right arm, he said, adding that all the bullets were fired into his front.
Dr. Baden provided a diagram of the entry wounds, and noted that the six shots produced numerous wounds. Some of the bullets entered and exited several times, including one that left at least five different wounds. “This one here looks like his head was bent downward,” he said, indicating the wound at the very top of Mr. Brown’s head. “It can be because he’s giving up, or because he’s charging forward at the officer.” He stressed that his information does not assign blame or justify the shooting. “We need more information; for example, the police should be examining the automobile to see if there is gunshot residue in the police car,” he said. Dr. Baden, 80, is a well-known New York-based medical examiner, who is one of only about 400 board-certified forensic pathologists in the nation. He reviewed the autopsies of both President John F. Kennedy and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and has performed more than 20,000 autopsies himself.
So, you see, the media lied. The black liberal activists lied. Just like the black radicals lied when they said that a black man was shot, face down at a blind pig in Detroit; which sparked the 1967 riots in Detroit. It’s all the same, start a rumor,rile the people up and force change. This is how the left works, they have been doing it for years.
Dateline Monday June 16, 2014 – Portland Oregon: On Thursday evening I decided to attend and film an event called “The Edifice Complex – A critique of how Capitalism Affects the Built Environment.” Held at Portland State University (PSU), this was an event open to the public. I went to sit and peacefully film. The event was sponsored by the International Socialists Organization (ISO) which teaches Trotsky Communism. Grant Booth, a senior member of the organization, who teaches Marxism at the University, decided to try to have me ejected. Booth’s group is heavily subsidized by the taxpayer on campus. After giving me looks that could kill, Booth calls Campus security. When Security arrives they of course tell me I can stay.
Update: Here is my video commentary on the above video and story:
Notice that it is perfectly acceptable for black people to oppose the demographic change of their neighborhood. If the races had been reversed, the national media would be screaming “RACISM!”
Consider this statement from the Portland African American Leadership Forum. They “remain opposed to any development in N/NE Portland that does not primarily benefit the Black community.” This would be a national controversy if the races were reversed. They would be denounced as the Ku Klux Klan.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Trader Joe’s grocery-store chain has dropped a plan to open a new store in the heart of the city’s historically African-American neighborhood after activists said the development would price black residents out of the area.
The grocer, whose stores are found in urban neighborhoods across the nation, said Monday it wouldn’t press its plan, given community resistance, The Oregonian (http://bit.ly/1n7Jyqb ) reported.
“We open a limited number of stores each year, in communities across the country,” it said in a statement. “We run neighborhood stores, and our approach is simple: If a neighborhood does not want a Trader Joe’s, we understand, and we won’t open the store in question.”
The Portland Development Commission had offered a steep discount to the grocer on a parcel of nearly two acres that was appraised at up to $2.9 million: a purchase price of slightly more than $500,000. The lot is at Northeast Alberta Street and Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and has been vacant for years.
So, why did Trader Joe’s decide not to build there, well for two reasons:
Critics said the development would displace residents and perpetuate income inequality in one of the most rapidly gentrifying ZIP codes in the nation.
…and the biggest reason? This:
The Portland African American Leadership Forum said the development commission had in the past made promises about preventing projects from displacing community members but hadn’t fulfilled them.
It sent the city a letter saying it would “remain opposed to any development in N/NE Portland that does not primarily benefit the Black community.” It said the grocery-store development would “increase the desirability of the neighborhood,” for “non-oppressed populations.”
Mayor Charlie Hales and the urban renewal agency’s executive director, Patrick Quinton, signed a letter in January that described what they said was the commission’s contributions “to the destructive impact of gentrification and displacement on the African American community.“
We don’t want no honkeys in our neighborhood! If you ain’t black, we don’t want your business here!
Now, could you imagine, if a business, who was owned by a black man, wanted to open a store, say in like Troy, Michigan or Rochester Hills, Michigan; which are, for what it is worth, predominantly upper middle class/wealthy class, white neighborhoods and a group of white people starting complaining about it and starting saying that it would cause the neighborhood to go into decline? Man, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would be all over it!
There would huge protests and it would be all over the media. However, because this is a black thing, and the company is white owned; it is no big deal, nothing to see here, move along.
This is why I continue to run this blog; regardless of the fact that I make little or nothing on this blog at all, despite the fact that I make little or nothing on this blog, since Google Adsense dropped me. Because this sort of stuff is NOT reported by the national media; least of all by MSNBC and CNN. Fox News most likely will not touch it either, because of the taboo subject.
Furthermore, I believe that the Conservative right just will not touch this one; because they are afraid of being called racists. I do not have such issues. I simply do not care what blacks really think of me; least of all black liberals. Considering what happened to my cousin and myself; I think I’ve earned the right to point this stuff out.
By the way; these are Obama’s people and don’t you ever forget it.
The specter of “paranoid libertarianism” continues to haunt American liberals. Hot on the heels of Sean Wilentz’s recent fretting in The New Republic that Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, and Julian Assange have undermined the case for big government by drawing too much attention to various instances of big government malfeasance, former Obama administration official Cass Sunstein has now weighed in with his own contribution to the genre, an op-ed titled “How to Spot a Paranoid Libertarian.”
According to Sunstein, paranoid libertarianism is characterized by such pathologies as “a presumption of bad faith on the part of government officials–a belief that their motivations must be distrusted,” as well as “a belief that liberty, as paranoid libertarians understand it, is the overriding if not the only value, and that it is unreasonable and weak to see relevant considerations on both sides.”
Sunstein tries very hard to make that sound like dangerous and exotic stuff, but in fact what he’s really describing is mainstream American jurisprudence when it comes to such vast areas of the law as free speech, voting, abortion, privacy, and gay rights. In those areas, our judicial system basically operates exactly as Sunstein describes: it subjects government regulations to what lawyers call strict (or intermediate) scrutiny. In essence, judges presume that the government has acted illegitimately when it legislates in such areas, and therefore forces the government to shoulder the burden of proof and justify its actions with extremely convincing rationales. Why do the courts place these government actions under the microscope? To protect the people’s liberty to speak, vote, associate, and enjoy various forms of privacy. One more thing: American liberals overwhelmingly favor this approach in such cases.
Politically, I consider myself a paleoconservative, rather than a libertarian. However, I do harbor a deep mistrust of my Government; and I have since 9/11. My mistrust of the Government proceeded Barack Obama. I was one of the wise people, who knew for a fact, that absolutely nothing would change in Government, with a change of political parties.
So, Cass Sunstein can take his or her, (I don’t know which) condescending, elitist, attitude towards those of us who still believe in civil rights, liberty and the Constitution of the United States of America and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine!
As the writer I quoted above said, much of what this Sunstein, which sounds like a Jewish last name, by the way —- is disparaging, is a staple among liberals, who actually care about such things, such as civil rights and the like. Funny how that works, isn’t it? How ironic is it, that some immigrant from a nation of jewelers would take a swipe at true American values, such as liberty.
It is this sort of idiocy, that fuels people like David Duke and his ilk; and rightfully so. What more can one expect from the same group of people, who put the Savour of this World, The Lord Jesus Christ on the cross?
It is very telling about the mentality of the progressive left towards anyone, who has any sort of money or success.
I see the New York Times has published yet another article about very privileged people whining about the ACA.
In this case, said article features a couple making $100,000 a year who, under the ACA, will be paying $1,000 a month for health care covering themselves and their two sons. Take it away, Dean Baker:
Here they are with a front page story telling us about the tragic situation of the Chapmans, a New Hampshire couple making $100,000 a year who will have to spend $1,000 a month for insurance with Obamacare. This would come to 12 percent of their income. The piece tells readers:
“Experts consider health insurance unaffordable once it exceeds 10 percent of annual income.”
That’s interesting. If we go to the Kaiser Family Foundation website we find that the average employee contribution for an employer provided family plan is $4,240. The average employer contribution is $11,240. That gives us a total of $15,470. Most economists would say that we should treat the employers payment as a cost to the worker since in general employers are no more happy to pay money to health insurance companies than to their workers. If they didn’t pay this money as health insurance then they would be paying it to their workers in wages.
A couple of years ago, when my ex-husband and I were paying for health insurance under COBRA, we were shelling out something like $1,200 a month for just the two of us — and we were making far less than 100K a year. In fact, we were earning more like half that.
Enough already. In the real world we live in, $1,000 a month for good health insurance for a family of four in the top quintile of U.S. household income is pretty damn good. Upper middle class people, quitcher whining already — and New York Times, please stop enabling this nonsense.
I say it is telling, because it is the flawed mentality of the progressive left. Anyone who does not accept the idea that Obamacare is the perfect solution the problems of our Nation’s healthcare system are derided as whiners. Which is, in my opinion, a bunch of bullcrap.
This healthcare fix, was nothing short of a disaster. But, to this Obama apologist, the “yuppies” or those who actually work for living; ought to just shut and take what they’ve gotten. It is a flawed mentality and it will cost the Democrats votes in 2014 and 2016; I can assure you of that one.
I think it goes without saying; but this Democratic Party of my grandparents, and even of my parents era — is not the Democratic Party of today. Heck, this modern post-2008 Democratic Party is not even the same party that I voted for in 2000 and in 2004. Needless to say, I will not voting for that party any longer. Because the Democratic Party and the progressive movement as a whole, have proven to me, that they really do not give a darn about those of us, who usually want to work and those of us, who would like our own personal freedoms. It is a sad thing to say about a party, that Ronald Reagan once called the honorable party.
Needless to say, that honor left that party long ago.
Several New Mexico police officers are under investigation for a routine traffic stop that devolved into a chaotic car chase last month. In their attempt to apprehend an uncooperative driver, the officers smashed a baton through the woman’s car window and fired several bullets at the children-filled vehicle.
The incident was recorded by a police dashcam video, which was released last week to KRQE News 13. According to a report from Taos News, the incident started when a New Mexico State police officer pulled over 39-year-old Oriana Ferrell for speeding 16 mph over the limit on a state highway.
The officer (whose name has not been revealed) approached Ferrell’s minivan in what appears to be a calm manner and told her to wait while he returned to his vehicle. Ferrell then sped off, starting a chase. When she pulled over again, the officer returned to the driver’s side window visibly agitated.
She ran, she could have gotten her ticket, kept her mouth shut; and everything would have been fine. But, no, she started arguing with the cop and then on top of that, she takes off —- twice! You cannot do that and not expect the police to get pissed off!
She had her kids attack the police; if that had been me; that 14-year-old would have ended up in a body bag when I shot him!
I think it is important to point out; she is black. Which basically means that she will most likely get a slap on the wrist and will file a lawsuit and get a bag full of cash; and live high on the hog. Because some evil, racist white police officer actually decided that he was going to do his job. (and yes, that is sarcasm…)
Sorry, but Reason magazine is full of crap on this one; this woman broke the law and paid the price for it. The only person that is to blame for this woman’s kids getting shot at; is Oriana Ferrell and that is the only person who should be blamed.
Like my earlier posting’s video said; blacks seem to believe that they can do as they damned well please, because the actions of white men 300 years ago and it is never, ever their fault; it is the fault of the evil white man and society.
Police State? Not on this one. More like a stupid black woman.
I called Costco headquarters in Issaquah, Wash. hoping to get answers. The nice lady who answered the phone told me she was aware of the issue and chalked it up to a “human error at a warehouse.”
“It’s all fixed,” she said.
But actually, it’s not fixed – because there’s a boatload of Bibles in the Simi Valley store still marked as fiction.
At that point, the nice lady on the phone became not-so-nice and promptly informed me that Costco doesn’t talk to the press.
“Nothing to report,” she said curtly.
A very important thing to remember:
On the one hand Christians should not yell out ‘persecution’,” he said. “We aren’t living in Iraq or Iran. But on the other hand, I believe that we do need to stand up for our faith and we need to be vocal about our concerns.” That’s a message that resonates with pastor and author Robert Jeffress.
“Let’s hope Costco’s explanation is true and not the result of having been caught attempting to marginalize the very foundation of Christian beliefs, the Bible,” Pastor Jeffress told me. “Christians need to call out organizations like Costco whose actions undermine Christianity – regardless of whether those actions are accidental or intentional.”
Sometimes, a mistake is just that; a mistake. But, it does, like I am sure it does all that will read this, who are believers —- really wonder what Costco’s motivations were or are. Also too; it would be easy for me to label this an “Obama World” thing. Well, I will not do that one; not on this one. Because what private businesses do are not the fault of the President. Most likely, if anything at all. This was done by some smart mouthed punk in a warehouse somewhere. So, I won’t blame politics or even atheists for this at all.
Not shocking at all, most liberals do not like being questioned.
Comments can be bad for science. That’s why, here at PopularScience.com, we’re shutting them off.
It wasn’t a decision we made lightly. As the news arm of a 141-year-old science and technology magazine, we are as committed to fostering lively, intellectual debate as we are to spreading the word of science far and wide. The problem is when trolls and spambots overwhelm the former, diminishing our ability to do the latter.
But even a fractious minority wields enough power to skew a reader’s perception of a story, recent research suggests. In one study led by University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Dominique Brossard, 1,183 Americans read a fake blog post on nanotechnology and revealed in survey questions how they felt about the subject (are they wary of the benefits or supportive?). Then, through a randomly assigned condition, they read either epithet- and insult-laden comments (“If you don’t see the benefits of using nanotechnology in these kinds of products, you’re an idiot” ) or civil comments.
A politically motivated, decades-long war on expertise has eroded the popular consensus on a wide variety of scientifically validated topics. Everything, from evolution to the origins of climate change, is mistakenly up for grabs again. Scientific certainty is just another thing for two people to “debate” on television. And because comments sections tend to be a grotesque reflection of the media culture surrounding them, the cynical work of undermining bedrock scientific doctrine is now being done beneath our own stories, within a website devoted to championing science.
I guess they haven’t heard of using methods like Bad Behavior, Akismet, Disqus, and others commenting blockers. They aren’t perfect, but certainly cut down quite a bit.
There are many Warmist websites I’m blocked from commenting at. Same with other Climate Realists like Steven Goddard, Tom Nelson, Anthony Watts, etc. Because Warmists do not want debate: they want people to sit down, shut up, and smile as Government becomes more intrusive and controlling. All based on a lie.
This is pretty much what I was thinking too. If you have a blog or a website; and you do not allow comments, what you basically have is a pulpit with an empty Church. Now, I moderate comments, because this blog sometimes like to attract the attention of some trollish folk who like to make appearances here. But, anyone can comment and as long as the comments don’t blatantly violate my comment policy, I will let them stand. This is because I do not mind people coming back and commenting. I also like it when they donate, but I digress.
The Navy is 20% black and Washington DC is 50.1% black. Yet the spree killer killed no black victims. Of the 13 fatalities that have been identified, one is a very Caucasian looking man from India. The rest are white. All the fatalities are civilian workers, though some are Navy veterans. Being a heavily black area and a government agency known for aggressive affirmative action, it is reasonable to assume that a large percentage of the people on site during the shooting were black. Yet, so far it appears that none of the fatalities are black.
We also know that the spree killer was a liberal who supported Obama. We know know that he talked about race and blamed white people for his shortcomings.
Mr Suthamtewakul, who runs the Happy Bowl Thai restaurant, described Alexis as being like his “big brother.” He told The Daily Telegraph: “I first met him at the Buddhist temple. He had been in the Navy but he was unemployed. I saw he was struggling with his finances, and I said why not move in and you can just pay the electricity bill? He was doing online school, something about electronic stuff and aircraft
“He never got angry with us. He was always very nice to us. He had a couple of issues with being black. He felt he hadn’t been treated right, not by the Navy, just generally. He didn’t have a lot of friends – me, my wife and family, and people from temple.”
So there you have it, a headcase black man who supports President Obama — that my friends is who killed all those people in that Navy Yard. I guess it is true what Dr. Michael Savage says, that liberalism IS a mental disorder. For that matter, so is blaming white people for all of your problems. That would be like me wanting to blame blacks as being the reason I cannot find a job. Both are just as stupid.
This is a very interesting report and it is coming from the Detroit Free Press which is basically liberally biased.
Here is the meat and potatoes of the report:
For this report, the Free Press examined about 10,000 pages of documents gathering dust in the public library’s archives. Since most of those documents have never been digitized, the Free Press created its own database of 50 years of Detroit’s financial history. Reporters also conducted dozens of interviews with participants from the last six mayoral administrations as well as city bureaucrats and outside experts. Among the highlights from the review:
■ Taxing higher and higher: City leaders tried repeatedly to reverse sliding revenue through new taxes. Despite a new income tax in 1962, a new utility tax in 1971 and a new casino revenue tax in 1999 — not to mention several tax increases along the way — revenue in today’s dollars fell 40% from 1962 to 2012. Higher taxes helped drive residents to the suburbs and drove away business. Today, Detroit still doesn’t take in as much tax revenue as it did just from property taxes in 1963.
■ Reconsidering Coleman Young: Serving from 1974-1994, Young was the most austere Detroit mayor since World War II, reducing the workforce, department budgets and debt during a particularly nasty national recession in the early 1980s. Young was the only Detroit mayor since 1950 to preside over a city with more income than debt, although he relied heavily on tax increases to pay for services.
■ Downsizing — too little, too late: The total assessed value of Detroit property — a good gauge of the city’s tax base and its ability to pay bills — fell a staggering 77% over the past 50 years in today’s dollars. But through 2004, the city cut only 28% of its workers, even though the money to pay them was drying up. Not until the last decade did Detroit, in desperation, cut half its workforce. The city also failed to take advantage of efficiencies, such as new technology, that enabled enormous productivity gains in the broader economy.
■ Skyrocketing employee benefits: City leaders allowed legacy costs — the tab for retiree pensions and health care — to spiral out of control even as the State of Michigan and private industry were pushing workers into less costly plans. That placed major stress on the budget and diverted money from services such as streetlights and public safety. Detroit’s spending on retiree health care soared 46% from 2000 to 2012, even as its general fund revenue fell 20%.
■ Gifting a billion in bonuses: Pension officials handed out about $1 billion in bonuses from the city’s two pension funds to retirees and active city workers from 1985 to 2008. That money — mostly in the form of so-called 13th checks — could have shored up the funds and possibly prevented the city from filing for bankruptcy. If that money had been saved, it would have been worth more than $1.9 billion today to the city and pension funds, by one expert’s estimate.
■ Missing chance after chance: Contrary to myth, the city has not been in free fall since the 1960s. There have been periods of economic growth and hope, such as in the 1990s when the population decline slowed, income-tax revenue increased and city leaders balanced the budget. But leaders failed to take advantage of those moments of calm to reform city government, reduce expenses and protect the city and its residents from another downturn.
■ Borrowing more and more: Detroit went on a binge starting around 2000 to close budget holes and to build infrastructure, more than doubling debt to $8 billion by 2012. Under Archer, Detroit sold water and sewer bonds. Kilpatrick, who took office in 2002, used borrowing as his stock answer to budget issues, and Bing borrowed more than $250 million.
■ Adding the last straw — Kilpatrick’s gamble: He’s best known around the globe for a sex and perjury scandal that sent him to jail and massive corruption that threatens to send him to prison next month for more than 20 years. The corruption cases further eroded Detroit’s image and distracted the city from its fiscal storm. But perhaps the greatest damage Kilpatrick did to the city’s long-term stability was with Wall Street’s help when he borrowed $1.44 billion in a flashy high-finance deal to restructure pension fund debt. That deal, which could cost $2.8 billion over the next 22 years, now represents nearly one-fifth of the city’s debt.
With all the lost opportunities over decades, with Detroit’s debt mounting, with the housing crash and Great Recession just over the horizon, 2005 turned out to be the watershed year.
Although no one could see it at the time, Detroit’s insolvency was guaranteed.
This is an interesting article on the President, and is basically what I already knew about him….
As for Barack Obama he was the stranger with the vaguest and nebulas agendas ever. He offered Hope and Change. He also said he would fundamentally change America. Since Obama was Black and viewed as a Liberal they wanted to and still do believe Obama was somehow one of them. Obama has his own ideas and they are a lot of things but traditionally Liberal is just not one of them.
The only thing I will add to the above is this; Barack Obama is not of Clinton stripe or even Truman or Roosevelt stripe. Obama is what is known as a neo-leftist. The only difference between a neoconservative and a neo-liberal is their differences on the opinion of scope and role of Government. Both are foreign policy hawks and both are okay with big Government, as long as they control it.
Obama and his people are neo-progressives. They are also, like the Clintons, internationalist Democrats and Wilsonian foreign policy devotees as well as devotees of the frankfurt school as well.
I was not going to write about this; but seeing that I got on twitter and shot my mouth off, I figure that I could at least explain myself in long form here on the blog.
It appears that defending pedophiles and saying that they are not criminals is in vogue with the progressive left. Which is to be expected of them, seeing that they really see living, breathing babies as nothing more than a blob of tissue and not worth really to be spared what I happen to consider a butchering at the hands of a Godless doctor.
There is a painfully uncomfortable episode of “Louie” in which the comedian Louis C.K. muses that maybe child molesters wouldn’t kill their victims if the penalty weren’t so severe. Everyone I know who watches the show vividly recalls that scene from 2010 because it conjures such a witches’ cauldron of taboo, disgust and moral outrage, all wrapped around a disturbing kernel of truth. I have similar ambivalence about the case involving former Montana high school teacher Stacey Dean Rambold. Louie concluded his riff with a comment to the effect of “I don’t know what to do with that information.” That may be the case for many of us, but with our legal and moral codes failing us, our society needs to have an uncensored dialogue about the reality of sex in schools.
As protesters decry the leniency of Rambold’s sentence — he will spend 30 days in prison after pleading guilty to raping 14-year-old Cherice Morales, who committed suicide at age 16 — I find myself troubled for the opposite reason. I don’t believe that all sexual conduct between underage students and teachers should necessarily be classified as rape, and I believe that absent extenuating circumstances, consensual sexual activity between teachers and students should not be criminalized. While I am not defending Judge G. Todd Baugh’s comments about Morales being “as much in control of the situation” — for which he has appropriately apologized — tarring and feathering him for attempting to articulate the context that informed his sentence will not advance this much-needed dialogue.
I do think that teachers who engage in sex with students, no matter how consensual, should be removed from their jobs and barred from teaching unless they prove that they have completed rehabilitation. But the utter hysteria with which society responds to these situations does less to protect children than to assuage society’s need to feel that we are protecting them. I don’t know what triggered Morales’s suicide, but I find it tragic and deeply troubling that this occurred as the case against Rambold wound its way through the criminal justice system. One has to wonder whether the extreme pressure she must have felt from those circumstances played a role.
I’ve been a 14-year-old girl, and so have all of my female friends. When it comes to having sex on the brain, teenage boys got nothin’ on us. When I was growing up in the 1960s and ’70s, the sexual boundaries between teachers and students were much fuzzier. Throughout high school, college and law school, I knew students who had sexual relations with teachers. To the best of my knowledge, these situations were all consensual in every honest meaning of the word, even if society would like to embrace the fantasy that a high school student can’t consent to sex. Although some feelings probably got bruised, no one I knew was horribly damaged and certainly no one died.
If religious leaders and heads of state can’t keep their pants on, with all they have to lose, why does society expect that members of other professions can be coerced into meeting this standard? A more realistic approach would be to treat violations in a way that removes and rehabilitates the offender without traumatizing the victim. The intensity of criminal proceedings, with all the pressure they put on participants, the stigma, the community and media scrutiny, and the concurrent shame and guilt they generate, do the opposite of healing and protecting the victim. Laws related to statutory rape are in place to protect children, but the issue of underage sex, and certainly of sex between students and teachers, may be one in which the law of unintended consequences is causing so much damage that society needs to reassess.
So there you have it. This above is nothing more than a progressive liberal justification of underage sex between school students and teachers — because underage kids have, as she calls it, “sex on the brain.”
What bothers me about this piece is, for one; it is saying that people that commit acts of pedophilia should not be subject to the legal system. Another thing that bothers me is this here:
No, I am not complaining that she is a woman — please, I am not that big of an idiot. What bothers me about this article and its author is that she is a liberal minority. In the world of the progressive left, you can pretty much say and do what you damned well please —- because you are liberal minority. In progressivism, being a minority of any sort is an automatic ticket to be as outrageous as you want to be, without having to worry about repercussions. It is, in fact, a cover for them.
Some from twitter might have noted that I called this idiot liberal minority woman a “Jap.” I really have no idea really, what her ethnic background is, nor do I really care. She does appear to be someone from the Asian region. For what it is truly worth, you can click here and find out what I really do truly feel about the Japanese and their idiotic Country. Some of us have not forgotten about what happened on December 7, 1941. Some people forgive and forget —- I choose not to do such a foolhardy thing. My family fought in that war, and spilled blood for that cause; and I choose not to just act like that never really happened.
As I wrote above, being a liberal minority is a ticket to be as outrageous, or as in recent times — as criminal as one wants to be; and there is a double standard when it comes to that as well. This was proven when a black thug, by the name of Trayvon Martin decided to stalk and beat the living crap out of a Latino man named George Zimmerman and ended up being shot to death by Zimmerman. Who, in fact, was defending his own life; the liberal media went crazy, calling Zimmerman a white man in hopes of starting a race riot in this Country — which failed thankfully. It seems the American people, including blacks, have a bit more restraint than the liberal media in this Country.
Now to show you what rather rank hypocrisy exists in the liberal media and in the progressive movement, altogether I give you two documented incidents:
Why is this, you ask? Because in the world of liberal minorities, especially blacks — there is a mentality, that any violence or any other sort of misdeeds perpetuated by blacks toward white people is somehow or another justified. It is to be justified by liberal progressives, and yes, blacks themselves — because of the horrible things that happened in this Country over 300 years ago. I am referring to the importation of criminal blacks into the United States from Africa to be used as slaves.
What I have just described to you is nothing more than the anti-American works of the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory at work. The problem is that there are some so-called Conservatives and some so-called libertarians who are of that same mindset. There is a common name for whites who do this sort of thing; it is called white guilt.
In conclusion: This article should, not shock Conservatives and those who disagree with the progressive left; it is simply the manifestation of the works of the Frankfort School. Those who are of the Frankfurt School mentality consider anything that is moral, law abiding and or that promotes American values racist. Dr. Michael Savage said it best, “Liberalism is a mental disorder” and this Washington post opinion piece and its idiot liberal author are living proof of that fact.
American version of it or not. I simply do not trust it and this here is why. This comes via Memri TV:
Some of you might say, “But, aren’t you a Buchananite type?” Yes, indeed I am. Which simply means that I am not a fan of Wilsonian Foreign Policy and that’s all it means. If Al-Jazeera TV is putting this sort of garbage on it’s Arab speaking network, it has zero business being in the United States of America. This is nothing more than Anti-Jewish propaganda and it furthers the blood libels that the terrorists thrive on and use to commit acts of carnage.
If our President were actually worth a tinkers damn, he would tell Al-Jazeera TV, “You either do something about that, or you can pack your little network up and go back to mecca, where you truly belong.” But, because we have a President who kowtows down to Arabs and their religion, instead of defending Jewish Americans, you have this network Al-Jazeera TV here to brainwash Americans into believe that 9/11 was somehow justified.
…and that, my friends, is a great American tragedy.
The Center for Public Integrity was founded in 1989 by Charles Lewis. We are one of the country’s oldest and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative news organizations. Our mission: To enhance democracy by revealing abuses of power, corruption and betrayal of trust by powerful public and private institutions, using the tools of investigative journalism.
Anyhow, here is why I don’t trust Neocons, nor do I trust Democratic Party liberals or Neo-leftists:
President Bush, for example, made 232 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and another 28 false statements about Iraq’s links to Al Qaeda. Secretary of State Powell had the second-highest total in the two-year period, with 244 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 10 about Iraq’s links to Al Qaeda. Rumsfeld and Fleischer each made 109 false statements, followed by Wolfowitz (with 85), Rice (with 56), Cheney (with 48), and McClellan (with 14).
The massive database at the heart of this project juxtaposes what President Bush and these seven top officials were saying for public consumption against what was known, or should have been known, on a day-to-day basis. This fully searchable database includes the public statements, drawn from both primary sources (such as official transcripts) and secondary sources (chiefly major news organizations) over the two years beginning on September 11, 2001. It also interlaces relevant information from more than 25 government reports, books, articles, speeches, and interviews.
Consider, for example, these false public statements made in the run-up to war:
On August 26, 2002, in an address to the national convention of the Veteran of Foreign Wars, Cheney flatly declared: “Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us.” In fact, former CIA Director George Tenet later recalled, Cheney’s assertions went well beyond his agency’s assessments at the time. Another CIA official, referring to the same speech, told journalist Ron Suskind, “Our reaction was, ‘Where is he getting this stuff from?’ “
In the closing days of September 2002, with a congressional vote fast approaching on authorizing the use of military force in Iraq, Bush told the nation in his weekly radio address: “The Iraqi regime possesses biological and chemical weapons, is rebuilding the facilities to make more and, according to the British government, could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as 45 minutes after the order is given. . . . This regime is seeking a nuclear bomb, and with fissile material could build one within a year.” A few days later, similar findings were also included in a much-hurried National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction — an analysis that hadn’t been done in years, as the intelligence community had deemed it unnecessary and the White House hadn’t requested it.
In July 2002, Rumsfeld had a one-word answer for reporters who asked whether Iraq had relationships with Al Qaeda terrorists: “Sure.” In fact, an assessment issued that same month by the Defense Intelligence Agency (and confirmed weeks later by CIA Director Tenet) found an absence of “compelling evidence demonstrating direct cooperation between the government of Iraq and Al Qaeda.” What’s more, an earlier DIA assessment said that “the nature of the regime’s relationship with Al Qaeda is unclear.”
On May 29, 2003, in an interview with Polish TV, President Bush declared: “We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories.” But as journalist Bob Woodward reported in State of Denial, days earlier a team of civilian experts dispatched to examine the two mobile labs found in Iraq had concluded in a field report that the labs were not for biological weapons. The team’s final report, completed the following month, concluded that the labs had probably been used to manufacture hydrogen for weather balloons.
On January 28, 2003, in his annual State of the Union address, Bush asserted: “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production.” Two weeks earlier, an analyst with the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research sent an email to colleagues in the intelligence community laying out why he believed the uranium-purchase agreement “probably is a hoax.”
On February 5, 2003, in an address to the United Nations Security Council, Powell said: “What we’re giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence. I will cite some examples, and these are from human sources.” As it turned out, however, two of the main human sources to which Powell referred had provided false information. One was an Iraqi con artist, code-named “Curveball,” whom American intelligence officials were dubious about and in fact had never even spoken to. The other was an Al Qaeda detainee, Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi, who had reportedly been sent to Eqypt by the CIA and tortured and who later recanted the information he had provided. Libi told the CIA in January 2004 that he had “decided he would fabricate any information interrogators wanted in order to gain better treatment and avoid being handed over to [a foreign government].”
The false statements dramatically increased in August 2002, with congressional consideration of a war resolution, then escalated through the mid-term elections and spiked even higher from January 2003 to the eve of the invasion.
It was during those critical weeks in early 2003 that the president delivered his State of the Union address and Powell delivered his memorable U.N. presentation.
In addition to their patently false pronouncements, Bush and these seven top officials also made hundreds of other statements in the two years after 9/11 in which they implied that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or links to Al Qaeda. Other administration higher-ups, joined by Pentagon officials and Republican leaders in Congress, also routinely sounded false war alarms in the Washington echo chamber.
The cumulative effect of these false statements — amplified by thousands of news stories and broadcasts — was massive, with the media coverage creating an almost impenetrable din for several critical months in the run-up to war. Some journalists — indeed, even some entire news organizations — have since acknowledged that their coverage during those prewar months was far too deferential and uncritical. These mea culpas notwithstanding, much of the wall-to-wall media coverage provided additional, “independent” validation of the Bush administration’s false statements about Iraq.
The “ground truth” of the Iraq war itself eventually forced the president to backpedal, albeit grudgingly. In a 2004 appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, for example, Bush acknowledged that no weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq. And on December 18, 2005, with his approval ratings on the decline, Bush told the nation in a Sunday-night address from the Oval Office: “It is true that Saddam Hussein had a history of pursuing and using weapons of mass destruction. It is true that he systematically concealed those programs, and blocked the work of U.N. weapons inspectors. It is true that many nations believed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. But much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong. As your president, I am responsible for the decision to go into Iraq. Yet it was right to remove Saddam Hussein from power.”
Bush stopped short, however, of admitting error or poor judgment; instead, his administration repeatedly attributed the stark disparity between its prewar public statements and the actual “ground truth” regarding the threat posed by Iraq to poor intelligence from a Who’s Who of domestic agencies.
On the other hand, a growing number of critics, including a parade of former government officials, have publicly — and in some cases vociferously — accused the president and his inner circle of ignoring or distorting the available intelligence. In the end, these critics say, it was the calculated drumbeat of false information and public pronouncements that ultimately misled the American people and this nation’s allies on their way to war.
Bush and the top officials of his administration have so far largely avoided the harsh, sustained glare of formal scrutiny about their personal responsibility for the litany of repeated, false statements in the run-up to the war in Iraq. There has been no congressional investigation, for example, into what exactly was going on inside the Bush White House in that period. Congressional oversight has focused almost entirely on the quality of the U.S. government’s pre-war intelligence — not the judgment, public statements, or public accountability of its highest officials. And, of course, only four of the officials — Powell, Rice, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz — have testified before Congress about Iraq.
Short of such review, this project provides a heretofore unavailable framework for examining how the U.S. war in Iraq came to pass. Clearly, it calls into question the repeated assertions of Bush administration officials that they were the unwitting victims of bad intelligence.
Above all, the 935 false statements painstakingly presented here finally help to answer two all-too-familiar questions as they apply to Bush and his top advisers: What did they know, and when did they know it?
The real sick and sad part is this; the same people that are having a hissy fit on the right about this program existing under Obama, are the same ones who were perfectly fine with it existing under Bush. In other words, they trusted the program under Bush. like idiots. My question to that crowd is this; why do you not trust Obama? Because he is black or because he is a Democratic Party liberal?
Anyone and I mean anyone, who puts their trust in this Government of ours, based upon partisanship is nothing more than a darned fool in my opinion. Both of these political parties are two sides of the same coin and that is corruption and big Government socialism. Both parties promote it, both parties contribute to it. Government hand outs are Government hand outs; whether it be in the forum of welfare or Government subsidies. It is big Government statist and it flies in the face of our Constitution and in the face of what this great Nation was founded upon.