Be Smart About What You Support

Yesterday The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about the spending habits of The Congressional Black Caucus PAC (CBC PAC). It seems that the CBC PAC, whose purpose it is to raise money for potential candidates, spends more money on itself than it gives to candidates.

The article reports:

The CBC PAC claims its mission is to increase “the number of African Americans in the U.S. Congress” and to “support non-Black candidates that champion our interests, and promote African American participation in the political process-with an emphasis on young voters,” according to its website.

The PAC spent hundreds of thousands throughout the 2016 election cycle on administrative expenses that included bills for lavish trips that were paid by the committee.

A $5,000 payment was made in January 2016 from the PAC to the Buccaneer Hotel located in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, one of the “world’s top 50 tropical resorts.”

Later, on March 21, 2016, the PAC made another payment to a resort in the Virgin Islands. This time, the money went towards a stay at the “one-of-a-kind” Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort and Spa also located in St. Croix. The Renaissance is situated “among the foothills of a lush tropical rainforest and only steps away from the pristine sands of Estate Davis Bay.”

The PAC spent $820 on taxicabs while in the Virgin Islands. More than $2,000 was spent at Sweeny’s St. Croix Tours in the town of Christiansted, considered “the most beautiful town in the West Indies.” Sweeny’s provides an open-air bus for its guests as they embark on safari tours of the island. More than $4,500 was also spent by the PAC on catering at Un Amore, an Italian restaurant.

The group’s largest expenses were made in New York and Washington, D.C.

The article notes a number of expenditures on various luxury hotels and spas in New York City and California.

The article concludes:

Benjamin Branch, who provides administrative and managerial consulting services to the PAC, pocketed nearly $177,000 from the group.

The committee put $283,100 total towards administrative expenses while $127,000 went towards fundraising purposes. The PAC contributed just $91,000 to federal candidates, according to overall data of the PAC from the Center for Responsive Politics.

The CBC PAC did not respond to requests for comment on its expenditures by press time.

I wonder how many well-meaning people who might not have a lot of extra money donated to this PAC. While I don’t necessarily have the same goals as the CBC PAC, they do have a right to exist and to put forward their agenda. However, if I were a donor, I think I would give any money I had directly to the candidates I supported. The questionable priorities in their spending habits may be perfectly legal, but they are definitely not doing all that they should to advance their cause. It would be interesting to know if this sort of behavior was also found in other PACs.

There Is A List

On Monday, the White House released a list of 78 terrorist attacks that they considered underreported. The Daily Caller posted the list. I apologize for the length of the list, but actually that makes the point. This list is the reason we need extreme vetting of immigrants.

Here is the unedited list:

TIMELINE: September, 2014 – December, 2016
NUMBER OF ATTACKS: 78

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
September, 2014
TARGET: Two police officers wounded in knife attack
ATTACKER: Abdul Numan Haider

TIZI OUZOU, ALGERIA
September, 2014
TARGET: One French citizen beheaded
ATTACKER: Jund al-Khilafah in Algeria

QUEBEC, CANADA
October, 2014
TARGET: One soldier killed and one wounded in vehicle attack
ATTACKER: Martin Couture-Rouleau

OTTAWA, CANADA
October, 2014
TARGET: One soldier killed at war memorial; two wounded in shootings at Parliament building
ATTACKER: Michael Zehaf-Bibeau

NEW YORK CITY, NY, USA
October, 2014
TARGET: Two police officers wounded in knife attack
ATTACKER: US person

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA
November, 2014
TARGET: One Danish citizen wounded in shooting
ATTACKERS: Three Saudi Arabia-based ISIL members

ABU DHABI, UAE
DATE: December 2014
TARGET: One American killed in knife attack
ATTACKER: Dalal al-Hashimi

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
December, 2014
TARGET: Two Australians killed in hostage taking and shooting
ATTACKER: Man Haron Monis

TOURS, FRANCE
December, 2014
TARGET: Three police officers wounded in knife attack
ATTACKER: Bertrand Nzohabonayo

PARIS, FRANCE
January, 2015
TARGET: One police officer and four hostages killed in shooting at a kosher supermarket
ATTACKER: Amedy Coulibaly

TRIPOLI, LIBYA
January, 2015
TARGET: Ten killed, including one US citizen, and five wounded in bombing and shooting at a hotel frequented by westerners
ATTACKERS: As many as five ISIL-Libya members

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA
January, 2015
TARGET: Two US citizens wounded in shooting
ATTACKER: Saudi Arabia-based ISIL supporter

NICE, FRANCE
February, 2015
TARGET: Two French soldiers wounded in knife attack outside a Jewish community center
ATTACKER: Moussa Coulibaly

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK
February, 2015
TARGET: One civilian killed in shooting at a free-speech rally and one security guard killed outside the city’s main synagogue
ATTACKER: Omar Abdel Hamid el-Hussein

TUNIS, TUNISIA
March, 2015
TARGET: 21 tourists killed, including 16 westerners, and 55 wounded in shooting at the Bardo Museum
ATTACKERS: Two ISIL-aligned extremists

KARACHI, PAKISTAN
April, 2015
TARGET: One US citizen wounded in knife attack
ATTACKERS: Pakistan-based ISIL supporters

PARIS, FRANCE
April, 2015
TARGET: Catholic churches targeted; one civilian killed in shooting, possibly during an attempted carjacking
ATTACKER: Sid Ahmed Ghlam

ZVORNIK, BOSNIA
April, 2015
TARGET: One police officer killed and two wounded in shooting
ATTACKER: Nerdin Ibric

GARLAND, TX, USA
May, 2015
TARGET: One security guard wounded in shooting at the Prophet Muhammad cartoon event
ATTACKERS: Two US persons

BOSTON, MA, USA
June, 2015
TARGET: No casualties; one police officer attacked with knife
ATTACKER: US person

EL GORA (AL JURAH), EGYPT
June, 2015
TARGET: No casualties; camp used by Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) troops attacked in shooting and bombing attack
ATTACKERS: Unknown number of ISIL-Sinai members

LUXOR, EGYPT
June, 2015
TARGET: One police officer killed by suicide bomb near the Temple of Karnak
ATTACKER: Unidentified

SOUSSE, TUNISIA
June, 2015
TARGET: 38 killed and 39 wounded in shooting at a beach frequented by westerners
ATTACKERS: Seifeddine Rezgui and another unidentified attacker

LYON, FRANCE
June, 2015
TARGET: One civilian killed in beheading and explosion at a chemical plant
ATTACKER: Yasin Salhi

CAIRO, EGYPT
July, 2015
TARGET: One killed and nine wounded in VBIED attack at Italian Consulate
ATTACKER: Unidentified ISIL operatives

CAIRO, EGYPT
July, 2015
TARGET: One Croatian national kidnapped; beheaded on August 12 at an unknown location
ATTACKER: Unidentified ISIL-Sinai operative

PARIS, FRANCE
August, 2015
TARGET: Two civilians and one US soldier wounded with firearms and knife on a passenger train
ATTACKER: Ayoub el-Khazzani

EL GORA, EGYPT
September, 2015
TARGET: Four US and two MFO troops wounded in IED attack
ATTACKER: Unidentified

DHAKA, BANGLADESH
September, 2015
TARGET: One Italian civilian killed in shooting
ATTACKER: Unidentified

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK
September, 2015
TARGET: One police officer wounded in knife attack
ATTAKER: Palestinian national

EL GORA, EGYPT
October, 2015
TARGET: No casualties; airfield used by MFO attacked with rockets
ATTAKER: Unidentified ISIL-Sinai operatives

PARRAMATTA, AUSTRALIA
October, 2015
TARGET: One police officer killed in shooting
ATTAKER: Farhad Jabar

RANGPUR, BANGLADESH
October, 2015
TARGET: One Japanese civilian killed in shooting
ATTAKER: Unidentified

HASANAH, EGYPT
October, 2015
TARGET: 224 killed in downing of a Russian airliner
ATTAKER: Unidentified ISIL-Sinai operatives

MERCED, CA, US
November, 2015
TARGET: Four wounded in knife attack on a college campus
ATTAKER: US person

PARIS, FRANCE
November, 2015
TARGET: At least 129 killed and approximately 400 wounded in series of shootings and IED attacks
ATTAKERS: Brahim Abdelslam, Saleh Abdeslam, Ismail Mostefai, Bilal Hadfi, Samy Amimour, Chakib Ahrouh, Foued Mohamed Aggad, and Abdelhamid Abaaoud

DINAJPUR, BANGLADESH
November, 2015
TARGET: One Italian citizen wounded in shooting
ATTAKER: Unidentified

RAJLOVAC, BOSNIA
December, 2015
TARGET: Two Bosnian soldiers killed in shooting
ATTAKER: Enes Omeragic

SAN BERNADINO, CA, US
December, 2015
TARGET: 14 killed and 21 wounded in coordinated firearms attack
ATTAKERS: Two US persons

LONDON, ENGLAND, UK
December, 2015
TARGET: Three wounded in knife attack at an underground rail station
ATTAKER: Muhyadin Mire

DERBENT, RUSSIA
December, 2015
TARGET: One killed and 11 wounded in shooting at UN World Heritage site
ATTAKER: Unidentified ISIL-Caucasus operative

CAIRO, EGYPT
January, 2016
TARGET: Two wounded in drive-by shooting outside a hotel frequented by tourists
ATTAKERS: Unidentified ISIL operatives

PARIS, FRANCE
January, 2016
TARGET: No casualties; attacker killed after attempted knife attack on Paris police station
ATTAKER: Tarek Belgacem

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA
January, 2016
TARGET: One police officer wounded in shooting
ATTAKER: US person

HURGHADA, EGYPT
January, 2016
TARGET: One German and one Danish national wounded in knife attack at a tourist resort
ATTAKER: Unidentified

MARSEILLES, FRANCE
January, 2016
TARGET: One Jewish teacher wounded in machete attack
ATTAKER: 15 year-old Ethnic Kurd from Turkey

ISTANBUL, TURKEY
January, 2016
TARGET: 12 German tourists killed and 15 wounded in suicide bombing
ATTAKER: Nabil Fadli

JAKARTA, INDONESIA
January, 2016
TARGET: Four civilians killed and more than 20 wounded in coordinated bombing and firearms attacks near a police station and a Starbucks
ATTAKERS: Dian Joni Kurnaiadi, Muhammad Ali, Arif Sunakim, and Ahmad Muhazan bin Saron

COLUMBUS, OH, US
February, 2016
TARGET: Four civilians wounded in machete attack at a restaurant
ATTAKER: US person

HANOVER, GERMANY
February, 2016
TARGET: One police officer wounded in knife attack
ATTAKER: Safia Schmitter

ISTANBUL, TURKEY
March, 2016
TARGET: Four killed and 36 wounded in suicide bombing in the tourist district
ATTAKER: Mehmet Ozturk

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
March, 2016
TARGET: At least 31 killed and 270 wounded in coordinated bombings at Zaventem Airport and on a subway train
ATTAKERS: Khalid el-Bakraoui, Ibrahim el-Bakraoui, Najim Laachraoui, Mohammed Abrini, and Osama Krayem

ESSEN, GERMANY
April, 2016
TARGET: Three wounded in bombing at Sikh temple
ATTAKERS: Three identified minors

ORLANDO, FL, US
June, 2016
TARGET: 49 killed and 53 wounded in shooting at a nightclub
ATTAKER: US person

MAGNANVILLE, FRANCE
June, 2016
TARGET: One police officer and one civilian killed in knife attack
ATTAKER: Larossi Abballa

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN
June, 2016
TARGET: 14 killed in suicide attack on a bus carrying Canadian Embassy guards
ATTAKER: ISIL-Khorasan operative

ISTANBUL, TURKEY
June, 2016
TARGET: 45 killed and approximately 240 wounded at Ataturk International Airport
ATTACKERS: Rakhim Bulgarov, Vadim Osmanov, and an unidentified ISIL operative

DHAKA, BANGLADESH
July, 2016
TARGET: 22 killed, including one American and 50 wounded after hours-long siege using machetes and firearms at holy Artisan Bakery
ATTACKERS: Nibras Islam, Rohan Imtiaz, Meer Saameh Mubasheer, Khairul Islam Paye, and Shafiqul Islam Uzzal

NICE, FRANCE
July, 2016
TARGET: 84 civilians killed and 308 wounded by an individual who drove a truck into a crowd
ATTACKER: Mohamed Bouhlel

WURZBURG, GERMANY
July, 2016
TARGET: Four civilians wounded in axe attack on a train
ATTACKER: Riaz Khan Ahmadzai

ANSBACH, GERMANY
July, 2016
TARGET: At least 15 wounded in suicide bombing at a music festival
ATTACKER: Mohammad Daleel

NORMANDY, FRANCE
July, 2016
TARGET: One priest killed in knife attack
ATTACKERS: Adel Kermiche and Abdel Malik Nabil Petitjean

CHALEROI, BELGIUM
August, 2016
TARGET: Two police officers wounded in machete attack
ATTACKER: Khaled Babouri

QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA
August, 2016
TARGET: Two killed and one wounded in knife attack at a hostel frequented by Westerners
ATTACKER: Smail Ayad

COPENHAGEN, DENMAKR
September, 2016
TARGET: Two police officers and a civilian wounded in shooting
ATTACKER: Mesa Hodzic

PARIS, FRANCE
September, 2016
TARGET: One police officer wounded in raid after VBIED failed to detonate at Notre Dame Cathedral
ATTACKERS: Sarah Hervouet, Ines Madani, and Amel Sakaou

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
September, 2016
TARGET: One civilian wounded in knife attack
ATTACKER: Ihsas Khan

ST. CLOUD, MN, US
September, 2016
TARGET: 10 wounded in knife attack in a mall
ATTACKER: Dahir Ahmed Adan

NEW YORK, NY; SEASIDE PARK AND ELIZABETH, NJ, US
September, 2016
TARGET: 31 wounded in bombing in New York City; several explosive devices found in New York and New Jersey; one exploded without casualty at race in New Jersey; one police officer wounded in shootout
ATTACKER: Ahmad Khan Rahami

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
October, 2016
TARGET: Two police officers wounded in stabbing
ATTACKER: Belgian national

KUWAIT CITY, KUWAIT
TARGET: No casualties; vehicle carrying three US soldiers hit by a truck
ATTACKER: Ibrahim Sulayman

MALMO, SWEDEN
October, 2016
TARGET: No casualties; mosque and community center attacked with Molotov cocktail
ATTACKER: Syrian national

HAMBURG, GERMANY
October, 2016
TARGET: One killed in knife attack
ATTACKER: Unknown

MANILA, PHILIPPINES
November, 2016
TARGET: No casualties; failed IED attempt near US Embassy
ATTACKERS: Philippine nationals aligned with the Maute group

COLUMBUS, OH, US
November, 2016
TARGET: 14 wounded by individuals who drove a vehicle into a group of pedestrians and attacked them with a knife
ATTACKER: US person

N’DJAMENA, CHAD
November, 2016
TARGET: No casualties; attacker arrested after opening fire at entrance of US Embassy
ATTACKER: Chadian national

KARAK, JORDAN
December, 2016
TARGET: 10 killed and 28 wounded in shooting at a tourist site
ATTACKERS: Several gunmen

BERLIN, GERMANY
December, 2016
TARGET: 12 killed and 48 wounded by individual who drove truck into a crowded market
ATTACKER: Anis Amri

This Might Wake Some People Up

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article about a new policy being introduced by President Donald Trump. The policy is part of President Trump’s efforts to get immigration under control and the make people  aware of the actions of some Illegal aliens.

The article reports:

President Trump plans to publish a weekly list of crimes committed by illegal immigrants in the Big Apple and all other sanctuary cities that do not cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

The list will inform citizens and others about “public safety threats associated with sanctuary” cities, according to an executive order Trump signed Wednesday.

“The [Homeland Security] Secretary shall utilize the Declined Detainer Outcome Report or its equivalent and, on a weekly basis, make public a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens,” the order said.

…The list includes serious crimes such as felony assault, rape, murder and terrorism as well as gun smuggling and witness tampering.

Americans who came here illegally have already broken our laws. Those that behave in ways that are a threat to an ordered society or a threat to American citizens should be deported immediately. The list will help make Americans more aware of how much of our crime rate in some cities is attributable to non-existent borders.

Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article yesterday about a recent incident in New York City.

The article reports:

Yasmin Seweid, an 18 year-old college students, was charged with filing a false report based on false statements to authorities that three men called her a terrorist and chanted “Donald Trump” while she was riding a New York City subway. Seweid alleged that when she moved to the other end of the train, one of the men followed her and tried to pull off her hajib.

As John Sexton notes, Seweid’s “traumatic train ride” became a talking point for the anti-Trump media. It fit the narrative that Trump’s election has produced a rash of hate crimes. See Slate’s initial coverage, for example.

The New York City police department reportedly spent significant resources trying to verify Seweid’s story. It was unable to find any witnesses to the incident or any video that corroborated her story.

Finally, Seweid recanted. She said she made up the tale to get attention because she was having issues with her family at home.

In this case the news reported what they thought was a true story, but how many of the reports of this nature have also been made up?

The article concludes:

How much trouble is Seweid in with the police? Possibly, more than a little. A NYPD source explained that given the amount of time detectives spent chasing the phony story, and how politically charged the allegation was, police and prosecutors felt compelled to charge her. To make matters worse, they reportedly gave her numerous opportunities to come clean, but she repeatedly refused to tell the truth for weeks.

The left is determined not to “normalize” Trump. But one benefit of normalization would be a diminution of abnormal behavior like that exhibited by Seweid. Let’s hope the mass freakout over Trump’s victory subsides in the coming months.

I can only assume that the left is so terrified of Donald Trump for two reasons–if his economic ideas work, they will be out of power for a long time, and if he drains the swamp, they might find themselves going down the drain. All Americans need to support what our President-elect is trying to do. It could mean the difference between America living up to her potential or America losing her way.

In Case You Were Wondering About The ‘Spontaneous’ Protests After The Election…

These pictures from the Free Republic about the protests:

austinprotestbusesThese are the buses from the Austin protest–the protestors were brought in on busses!

This is an ad for a reporter to cover the New York protests:

austinprotestWe are being played by the media. Enough Americans have become aware of this to give Donald Trump the victory. Let’s do what we can so that everyone knows our media has lost its way.

You Can Tell They Weren’t Prepared–This Was One Of The Few Times The Protestors Had Hand-Made Signs!

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about the various anti-Trump demonstrations around America. The article points out that that demonstrations have been sponsored by MoveOn.org.

The article reports:

The gatherings – organized by MoveOn.org and allies – will affirm a continued rejection of Donald Trump’s bigotry, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and misogyny and demonstrate our resolve to fight together for the America we still believe is possible.

Within two hours of the call-to-action, MoveOn members had created more than 200 gatherings nationwide, with the number continuing to grow on Wednesday afternoon.

WHAT: Hundreds of peaceful gatherings of solidarity, resistance, and resolve nationwide

WHEN / WHERE: Find local gatherings here. Major gatherings include in New York City’s Columbus Circle and outside the White House in Washington, DC.

RSVP: Please email press@moveon.org to confirm attendance.

Protestors are burning flags and rioting. That is not the way Americans act after an election. It’s time to back up and look at who is funding this and why they are supporting something that is so divisive. Do they have anything better to offer or is this simply the new outlet for the anarchists?

Some Observations On The Presidential Debate Last Night

I think the interesting part of last night’s debate were the differences between what was discussed and what was not discussed. It is noteworthy that Hillary Clinton had to go back to a 1973 lawsuit to declare Donald Trump a racist. It has been reported that when Donald purchased his club in Palm Beach called Mar-a-Lago in 1985, he insisted on accepting Jews and blacks even though other clubs in Palm Beach to this day discriminate against blacks and Jews.

It was somehow overlooked that the birther charges in 2008 were closely aligned with those in the Clinton campaign. There was absolutely no reason to bring them up last night–they are totally irrelevant.

There was no discussion of how the foreign policy during the time Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State has thoroughly destabilized the Middle East.

There was no discussion of the fact that the press conference held by James Comey regarding Hillary Clinton’s emails clearly showed that she had been lying about her emails from the beginning and had carelessly handled classified information. James Comey chose not to pursue the case, but clearly presented the evidence.

Donald Trump was not active politically during the run-up to the Iraq War. Aside from the fact that the history of that war has been totally rewritten by the left, Hillary voted for the war–Donald made a few comments. It is noteworthy that there are videos of Donald Trump with Sean Hannity and Neil Cavuto showing opposition to the war. Somehow the moderator chose not to pay attention to that information.

The discussion of ‘stop and frisk’ was totally misleading. One judge declared it unconstitutional–the case was not appealed because New York City got a new mayor who did not support the policy. At that point the question was moot.

Just for the record, Hillary Clinton did support the Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement.

The good economy during the 1990’s was composed of two bubbles–the tech bubble and the housing bubble. During his presidency, Bill Clinton accelerated the policies that ultimately led to the 2008 recession (see YouTube).

This was not a fair debate–the moderator and Hillary Clinton debated Donald Trump. That seems a little unfair to me. However, I am not sure the Clinton campaign got the results they wanted.

You Can’t Win The War Until You Identify The Enemy

Israel has been dealing with terrorist attacks since the country was founded. They identify the bombings, shootings, etc. as terrorist attacks, pride themselves on being able to clean up anything in two hours or less, and continue on their way. Somehow America has not mastered these basic skills that unfortunately are necessary in the world we currently live in.

Over the weekend there was a stabbing in a mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota, on Saturday, a bombing in Seaside, New Jersey, on Saturday morning during a 5K Marine charity race, and two bombs in New York City on Saturday night–one exploded and one did not. The device in New Jersey was described as three pipe bombs; the devices in New York City have been described as pressure cookers with timers.

Houston, we have a problem. Part of the problem is that terrorism has come to America, and part of the problem is that our political leaders are reluctant to admit that terrorism has come to America.

The Observer posted an article today that makes some very good points about our current situation:

Unlike the powers-that-be charged with running New York City, you and I can be realistic. Intentionally placing two live bombs set to explode and intended to commit mass murder in a populated center of the most recognized city in the United States is terror. It does not matter if the perpetrator is part of a group or a lone wolf, it doesn’t matter if you are fighting for Islam or animal rights or if you are an anarchist. The definition is plain and simple. Using violence or the threat of violence to achieve a political end is terror.

The only time it is not called terror is when you want to keep the masses calm. Then you rely on antiquated definitions by the FBI and Justice Department. But those days are long gone.

…Our leaders want to package terrorists into nice neat boxes. So they conclude that if a terrorist is not a member of a terror group the violent act they perpetrate is not considered terror. The obvious example is the terror at Fort Hood, officially classified as workplace violence.

Even more poignant is the Orlando terrorist. The perpetrator was actually on the phone with local media bragging that he was part of ISIS and explaining that his actions were motivated by a need to defend Islam.  He even repeatedly chanted the Islamic terrorist battle cry: “Allahu Akbar.”  Yet, the US Attorney General still responded by saying “We may never really know the motivation behind the attack.”

If you are a regular reader of this website, you are familiar with the information in the following paragraph. If you are not a regular reader, this is something you need to be aware of:

In October 2011, elements of the American Muslim Brotherhood wrote the White House demanding an embargo or discontinuation of information and materials relating to Islamic-based terrorism. The letter was addressed to John Brennan, who at the time was Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.  Days later John Brennan agreed to create a task force to address the problem by removing personnel and products that the Muslim Brotherhood deemed “biased, false, and highly offensive.” This move in effect allowed the Muslim Brotherhood to control the information given to the people charged with stopping the terrorism initiated by groups affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. At this point, the 9/11 reports and other actual historic documents were altered to make them compliant with the new paradigm. (I thought only the Russians rewrote history.)

If we are not careful, political correctness is going to kill us all. The weekend attacks were terrorism–whether by a lone nutcase who thought he represented Allah or a member of a group. It really doesn’t matter–people were injured as a result of the actions of these people. CAIR (which is one of the major Muslim Brotherhood front groups in America–see the list of unindicted co-conspirators from the Holy Land Foundation Trial) works very hard to keep the Muslim community from reporting suspicious behavior and to keep our government unaware of what is being taught in some mosques. It is time to pay attention to the people among us who have refused to assimilate and who are fighting to undermine our way of life. That group of people does not include all Muslims, but it does mainly consist of Muslims, and until peaceful Muslims rein in the radicals among them, we need to watch the entire community. Refusing to call a terrorist attack a terrorist attack does not help anyone; and in fact, it simply emboldens those planning more attacks.

For Your Consideration

I hope this isn’t true, but I have no reason to believe that it’s a lie. Free Republic posted a story today claiming that Hillary Clinton was wearing an earpiece last night during the candidate forum.

The article reports:

While Clinton was fielding questions from NBC’s Matt Lauer and the public Wednesday night on live television, a quiet buzz started circulating in New York law enforcement circles about Hillary’s left ear. NYPD sources confirm Clinton was wearing an ‘inductive earpiece,’ the same technology employed by almost all lead Broadway actors to receive forgotten lines and stealth off-stage cues from directors. The flesh-colored earbud is easily concealed. There are no wires running directly to the ear like you see with the units employed by Secret Service protection detail personnel.

The skin-tone piece Clinton was wearing, however, was somewhat different from the standard issued stealth earpiece and is much different in appearance from a hearing aid. This unit is considered a “micro” earbud which contains all the technology but is a fraction of the size with a very high price tag. In fact, most of the units this size, approximately 3mm or comparable to a small pearl stud earring, are normally issued to law enforcement or corporate security teams, sources said. At a size that small, the earbud is designed to sit inside the opening of the ear canal, almost invisible to anyone. However, the unit does move and shift along with its wearer and at times can slightly pop out of the canal and require a quick readjustment, experts said.

Ironically, the revelation that Clinton was wearing such a unit might have only been recognized because of astute NYPD officers attached to her security detail who are accustomed to seeing the stealth apparatus at stage shows, conventions and security personnel of VIPs and international dignitaries at the United nations and elsewhere in the five boroughs. Likewise, NYPD detectives employ a parallel technology to communicate during undercover Ops.

Based on experts familiar with the technology, the stealth earpiece operates on a bandwidth from 300 Hz to 4KHz. Many such units are powered by SONY. The range of the unit can be unlimited depending on how the back end is set up. Technically, you could receive cues from 100 feet away or from someone sitting in Washington D.C. while you sat in New York City, experts said. The set up and range is flexible based on need and use. The unit does not require Bluetooth to operate via short distances but long range operations would require Bluetooth, which is easily configured.

This is the picture:

hillaryearbudIf anyone has a better explanation of what this is, please leave a comment. I would love to hear that she wasn’t cheating, but her history makes that doubtful. The really sad part is that she seems to think she can do anything dishonest that she wants and either no one will know or no one will care.

 

The Proof Of A Prediction Is Whether Or Not It Comes True

On Sunday, Gateway Pundit posted an article about global warming predictions made by ABC News in 2009. The predictions stated that because of global warming, by 2015 New York City would be under water.

Further predictions included:

…Gas over $9 a gallon? A carton of milk costs almost $13? Welcome to June 12, 2015.

Climate change is read–the climate of earth has been changing since long before man arrived on the planet. Greenland used to grow things, there was global warming in the Middle Ages, and according to some scientists, we are entering a mini ice age. The frightening global warming predictions are being made by people who can’t even tell you whether or not to bring your umbrella to work! None of the computer models that predict global warming have proven to be accurate. We need to do what we can to keep the earth clean; however, we don’t have to cripple the earth’s economy to do it.

 

The Economy Is Still Limping Along

Bloomberg News posted an article today about last week’s jobless numbers.

The article includes the following chart:

May12JoblessClaims

The article reports:

A jump in filings in New York state may reflect striking workers at Verizon Communications Inc., spring break holiday at schools or a combination of the two. Economists will continue to monitor claims data in the coming weeks before concluding that the labor market is taking a bigger step back.

 “New York accounted for most of the increase,” said Jacob Oubina, a senior U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets LLC in New York. “It’s not a clean read.”

Color me skeptical.

The article further reports:

A report last week showed that U.S. employers added 160,000 workers to their payrolls in April, the fewest since September and well below economists’ median forecast.

Another report from the Labor Department showed import prices rose 0.3 percent for a second month in April, largely reflecting a pickup in petroleum and food. While industrial supply costs increased, prices declined for consumer and capital goods made overseas.

I think we need a serious change in economic policies.

 

The Cost Of Paying A Higher Minimum Wage

Yesterday Twitchy reported that Wendy’s will be introducing self-service kiosks in their 6000 stores nationwide this year.

Investor’s Business Daily reported yesterday:

Wendy’s Penegor said company-operated stores, only about 10% of the total, are seeing wage inflation of 5% to 6%, driven both by the minimum wage and some by the need to offer a competitive wage “to access good labor.”

It’s not surprising that some franchisees might face more of a labor-cost squeeze than company restaurants. All 258 Wendy’s restaurants in California, where the minimum wage rose to $10 an hour this year and will gradually rise to $15, are franchise-operated. Likewise, about 75% of 200-plus restaurants in New York are run by franchisees. New York’s fast-food industry wage rose to $10.50 in New York City and $9.75 in the rest of the state at the start of 2016, also on the way to $15.

Wendy’s plans to cut company-owned stores to just 5% of the total.

There are some things those asking for significant increases to the minimum wage should keep in mind. Very few people are actually attempting to support families on minimum wage jobs–generally those holding those jobs are people attempting to enter the work force for the first time. These jobs allow them to develop basic workplace skills–showing up on time, being polite to customers, and showing up for work every day. Companies are in business to make a profit. If they do not make a profit, there is no reason for them to stay in business. No government has the right to determine what profit is acceptable–left alone, the free market will do that. Part of our current problem is that the government has interfered so much with the free market, that that normal checks and balances within the free market are not working as they should. The solution would be to get the government out of the marketplace–let businesses complete for workers and pay them what is necessary. It is also telling that because economic growth in America is currently slow, workers who would not normally be working in minimum wage jobs are working there.

A Religion Of Peace?

The February issue of Imprimis (a publication of Hillsdale College) features an article by Andrew C. McCarthy. Mr. McCarthy was Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, and from 1993-95. He led the terrorism prosecution against Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and 11 others in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a plot to bomb New York City landmarks. Following the 9/11 attacks, he supervised the Justice Department’s command post near Ground Zero.

These are a few highlights from the article:

…when I was assigned to lead the prosecution of a terrorist cell that had bombed the World Trade Center and was plotting an even more devastating strike—simultaneous attacks on the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, the United Nations complex on the East River, and the FBI’s lower Manhattan headquarters—I had no trouble believing what our government was saying: that we should read nothing into the fact that all the men in this terrorist cell were Muslims; that their actions were not representative of any religion or belief system; and that to the extent they were explaining their atrocities by citing Islamic scripture, they were twisting and perverting one of the world’s great religions, a religion that encourages peace.

Unlike commentators and government press secretaries, I had to examine these claims. Prosecutors don’t get to base their cases on assertions. They have to prove things to commonsense Americans who must be satisfied about not only what happened but why it happened before they will convict people of serious crimes. And in examining the claims, I found them false.

Mr. McCarthy goes on to explain that although Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman was severely physically handicapped, he was the unquestioned leader of the terror cell that bombed the World Trade Center and was planning a number of attacks in the New York City area. The Blind Sheik (as he was known) freely quoted Islamic scripture to justify his actions. When peaceful Muslims were asked about these scriptures, they replied that they were not competent to interpret them. In other words, the Blind Sheik, whose goal was the killing infidels, was considered the standard for Islamic interpretation.

The article concludes:

The dangerous flipside to our government’s insistence on making up its own version of Islam is that anyone who is publicly associated with Islam must be deemed peaceful. This is how we fall into the trap of allowing the Muslim Brotherhood, the world’s most influential Islamic supremacist organization, to infiltrate policy-making organs of the U.S. government, not to mention our schools, our prisons, and other institutions. The federal government, particularly under the Obama administration, acknowledges the Brotherhood as an Islamic organization—notwithstanding the ham-handed attempt by the intelligence community a few years back to rebrand it as “largely secular”—thereby giving it a clean bill of health. This despite the fact that Hamas is the Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch, that the Brotherhood has a long history of terrorist violence, and that major Brotherhood figures have gone on to play leading roles in terrorist organizations such as al Qaeda.

To quote Churchill again:  “Facts are better than dreams.” In the real world, we must deal with the facts of Islamic supremacism, because its jihadist legions have every intention of dealing with us. But we can only defeat them if we resolve to see them for what they are.

Our government has chosen to ignore the threat of radical Islam.  In doing this, the government risks the safety of all Americans. It is time to tell the truth about a group of people who want to kill us. They do not belong in our government, and we need to admit who they are and what their goals are. To do otherwise is to commit national suicide.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It is very enlightening.

The Law Of Unintended Consequences At Work

One of the political discussion of late has focused on the minimum wage. What it is, what it should be, and should it be raised. One thing that is often not considered in the debate is who are the people who work at minimum wage jobs.

The Pew Research Center reported in 2014:

Perhaps surprisingly, not very many people earn minimum wage, and they make up a smaller share of the workforce than they used to. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, last year 1.532 million hourly workers earned the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour; nearly 1.8 million more earned less than that because they fell under one of several exemptions (tipped employees, full-time students, certain disabled workers and others), for a total of 3.3 million hourly workers at or below the federal minimum.

That group represents 4.3% of the nation’s 75.9 million hourly-paid workers and 2.6% of all wage and salary workers. In 1979, when the BLS began regularly studying minimum-wage workers, they represented 13.4% of hourly workers and 7.9% of all wage and salary workers. (Bear in mind that the 3.3 million figure doesn’t include salaried workers, although BLS says relatively few salaried workers are paid at what would translate into below-minimum hourly rates. Also, 23 states, as well as the District of Columbia, have higher minimum wages than the federal standard; people who earned the state minimum wage in those jurisdictions aren’t included in the 3.3 million total.)

People at or below the federal minimum are:

  • Disproportionately young: 50.4% are ages 16 to 24; 24% are teenagers (ages 16 to 19).
  • Mostly (77%) white; nearly half are white women.
  • Largely part-time workers (64% of the total).

Often minimum-wage jobs represent an opportunity for someone with little experience or job skills to enter the workforce. Minimum wage jobs teach workers to show up on time, be responsible employees, and be reliable employees. These are skills that are valued at all levels of employment.

So what happens when you raise the minimum wage? On Friday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an article on the subject.

The article reports:

 

  • IBD’s Jed Graham surveyed six big U.S. cities that hiked the minimum wage in 2015 and found they took a serious jobs hit. “Wherever cities implemented big minimum-wage hikes to $10 an hour or more last year, the latest data through December show that job creation downshifted to the slowest pace in at least five years,” Graham wrote.
  • During the 1970s, Congress forced Puerto Rico to adopt the U.S. federal minimum wage. The result, according to a 1992 study by economists Alida Castillo-Freeman and Richard Freeman: “Imposing the U.S.-level minimum reduced total island employment by 8%-10%.” So Puerto Rico lost 1 out of every 11 jobs to the minimum wage.
  • A study by the American Enterprise Institute looked at Seattle’s recent minimum wage hike. After it began phasing in a series of hikes in 2014, Seattle lost 10,000 jobs between just September and November, and its unemployment rate jumped a full percentage point. As AEI economist Mark Perry notes, Seattle’s minimum wage hike from $9.32 an hour to $15 an hour amounts to a $11,360 tax on every minimum wage job.
  • A 2014 Congressional Budget Office study estimated that raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to just $10.10 an hour would kill half a million jobs. Worst of all, those who suffer most are the young, minorities and those with little education or training.

The article at Investor’s Business Daily focused on Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s CEO Andy Puzder, who has begun to automate his restaurants. Because the minimum wage has increased, his expenses have gone up, and he has used technology to keep expenses down.

Before anyone gets all up in arms about this, I would like to introduce a little history into the discussion. Back in the days of dinosaurs, I attended school in New York City. My family did not have a lot of money, but I did not have the option of taking lunch to school every day. We were expected to use our one hour lunchtime to find a place to buy and eat lunch near the school [which was located in the Pam Am Building (now the Met Life Building)]. Because my allowance was small, I often ate at the automat. I would put in 35¢ and get a ham and cheese sandwich. I would put in 10¢ and get a carton of milk. If I was feeling rich, I would spend 20¢ or so on a piece of pie or cake. No one was screaming about automation then. The automat eventually disappeared from the scene, but I am not sure why. It was a great place to eat lunch.

At any rate, actions have consequences. When you raise the minimum raise past the skill level of certain jobs, you eliminate people from the work place–generally those with limited skills or limited experience. Those are the people who with a little training and experience could go on to get good jobs that pay more than minimum wage. In trying to help them by raising their wages, you are actually preventing them from getting the foot in the door that they need to become successful.

 

Losing Our Civilization One Law At A Time

Last week The New York Times posted an article about some changes being made in law enforcement in New York City.

The article reports:

A package of eight bills to be introduced in the City Council on Monday would reduce the impact of the style of policing known as broken windows that has for two decades guided the Police Department to see minor disorder as a precursor to major crime, often alienating residents in the process.

Under the legislation, New Yorkers given tickets by the police for offenses such as violating city park rules, a misdemeanor now, would in many cases be steered to a civil process rather than criminal court.

The article explains that the new laws would make such crimes as littering, public urination, public consumption of alcohol, excessive noise and breaking certain park rules civil matters rather than criminal matters.

I understand that these bills may help with the problem of overcrowding in the courts, but they will not help with the quality of life in New York City.

One of my daughters attended college in New York City during the 1990’s. When Rudy Giuliani became mayor, he instituted something called the ‘broken windows theory.’ The idea behind this theory was that if you dealt with the ‘little things’ like broken windows, litter, vandalism, etc., then the atmosphere would change, people would take more pride in their surroundings, and all crime would go down. In New York City during the 1990’s, crime did go down, and the quality of life did improve for the residents.

I think this new package of laws is a step backwards–not forward.

Sometimes The Media Just Doesn’t Tell The Story

ABC News is reporting today that an agreement has been reached in New York City to insure the continuation of the horse-drawn carriage tradition.

The article reports:

“We are pleased to have reached an agreement in concept on the future of New York’s horse carriage industry,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a joint statement with City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the Teamsters union, which represents the carriage drivers.

The horses currently live in private stables on Manhattan’s West Side, and animal rights advocates have been fighting to get the carriages banned entirely, calling it inhumane to keep horses in loud, car-clogged Manhattan. The Democratic mayor also pledged when he was sworn in two years ago to end the popular carriage rides through the park. But that was met with public and political opposition.

City officials Sunday said the deal would eventually reduce the number of licensed horses from about 180 to 95 when a permanent home is built for them in Central Park by Oct. 1, 2018. The agreement also limits the operation of horse-drawn carriages, with the exception of travel to and from their existing stables to Central Park beginning June 1.

I am thrilled that the horse-drawn carriages will still travel Central Park. But there is a major part of this story that the media isn’t telling.

From The American Spectator via rightwinggranny in January 2014:

The bad guy in this drama, according to the carriage drivers, is  Steve Nislick, chief executive officer of a New Jersey-based real-estate development company, Edison Properties. The company “employs legions of lobbyists to influence city decisions on real estate and zoning in its favor,” journalist Michael Gross reported in 2009, pointing out that two of Edison’s businesses “have multiple locations in the same Far West Midtown neighborhood as the stables where the Central Park horses are housed.” An anti-carriage pamphlet Nislick circulated in 2008 made this interesting observation: “Currently, the stables consist of 64,000 square feet of valuable real estate on lots that could accomodate up to 150,000 square feet of development. These lots could be sold for new development.”

Notice that in this agreement the existing stables will no longer house the horses. Any bets on how long it will be before Edison Properties buys the existing stables, tears them down, and puts up a high-rise. It never really was about the horses, but somehow ABC News didn’t mention that.

When Is A Hate Crime Not A Hate Crime?

Haaretz is reporting today that the New York City Police Department has identified the arsonist who has set fire to seven Bukharan Jewish homes in Forest Hills, a heavily Jewish neighborhood of Queens.

The article reports:

Police said the fires are not hate crimes, but were motivated by the arsonist’s opposition to new construction of Bukharan Jewish homes in Forest Hills, a heavily Jewish neighborhood of Queens.

…“If seven Jewish homes had been burned in France within a month, there would be much more of an uproar,” said Boris Yuabov, a doctor who has lived in the community for the past six years.

“We are scared,” he added. “These fires are started in the dead of night in a neighborhood with many children and elderly individuals. This is a life-threatening situation.”

This is what anti-Semitism looks like. If these houses had belonged to a different group of people, I wonder if it would have been considered a hate crime.

There Is A Problem In The United Nations

It is becoming very obvious that the world has a terrorism problem. The civil war in Syria and the rise of ISIS in the Middle East have caused a tremendous amount of instability in the region and around the world. The goal of both the Iranians and ISIS is the establishment of a world-wide caliphate to be ruled by Sharia Law. They are in total agreement on that—what they don’t agree on is whether the Shia or the Sunnis should run the caliphate. Iran and ISIS have a lot in common in the way they treat non-Muslims, gays, and anyone who stands in the way of their desire for this caliphate. Enter the United Nations, established after World War II to prevent any more wars.

CNS News posted an article today about the United Nations’ comments on the cause of the violence in the Middle East.

The article stated:

Amid a wave of jihadist terrorism in France, Sinai, Lebanon and Mali, members of the United Nations met on Monday to focus on “Palestine,” with several speakers accusing Israel of fueling the violence across the region.

“The continued Israeli occupation of Arab and Palestinian territory is the main challenge before the international community to achieve peace and stability in the region and the world,” said Arab League secretary-general Nabil al-Arabi, in a speech read out by his representative.

“This occupation represents the main cause for the spread of terrorism and extremist ideology in the region,” he said.

“Failure to find a just solution to the Palestinian cause – as the core issue in the Middle East – has started fueling conflicts in the region, threatening to affect international peace and security,” said Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary-General Iyad Ameen Madani.

This statement is a result of what has happened to the United Nations in recent years. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has become the major voting bloc in the United Nations. One of the goals of the OIC is to rid the Middle East of the State of Israel. In attempting to reach this goal, the OIC has been behind numerous votes in the United Nations citing Israel for civil rights violations, war crimes, and anything else they could invent. The average consumer of news has no idea who the people behind these charges are or what their goals are.

The article further reports:

“We cannot separate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from this global threat,” he said.

Monday’s meeting in New York kicked off an annual intensive U.N. focus on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. This year’s U.N. “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinia People,” Nov. 29, falls on a Sunday so was marked instead on Monday.

Later on Monday, the U.N. General Assembly began considering a raft of reports and draft resolutions related to two ongoing agenda items, “the question of Palestine” and “the situation in the Middle East.”

(At the U.N., the “situation in the Middle East” does not refer to the situation in the Middle East writ large – for example, to developments in Syria, Iraq, Yemen or Iran – but deals solely with Israel and its relations with the Palestinians and neighbors like Syria.)

It is long past time for America to get out of the United Nations and remove them from New York City. The United Nations is telling the U.S. government how many and which refugees to accept from the Middle East. The United Nations is also involved in attempted to undermine the Second Amendment rights of Americans. The United Nations is also attempting to impose a legal definition of free speech on its member countries that would put those countries in compliance with Sharia Law. Any altruistic goals that might have been there at the founding of the United Nations have long since been replaced by petty politics. It is time to end what might have been a good idea at the time, but has become a miserable failure.

I Don’t Know Whether To Laugh Or Cry

The War on Terror has reached the stage where Americans are asked not to travel abroad. Brussels has recently been in lockdown. France is nervous. Americans are wondering who is walking among them. The world has become a truly dangerous place. Well, there is a ray of sunshine in the works for Americans who live in New York City. Obviously, New York City was a target more than once in the past, and the fear is that it will be a target in the future. Fear not, Giovanni Gambino, a member of the Gambino crime family has offered to protect the city.

The American Thinker posted an article today about the offer. I am reminded of something I heard Joan Rivers say in an interview a long time ago.. She commented that when the Mob ran Las Vegas a handshake on a deal to appear there was all you needed. I am not praising the Mob, I am just noting that they take business seriously. There was also an incident of a New England blogger who hosted a weekly radio show. Da Tech Guy Blog is written by a friend in Massachusetts who hosted a radio show. At times conservative bloggers have been under attack physically (that is the reason my name does not appear on this blog). Someone called in and asked if Pete was worried about being physically attacked. His reply was very simple–“For some reason people seem reluctant to get into a grudge match with a Sicilian.” True.

Back to the article.

The American Thinker reports:

So word to the wise: if ISIS warriors would rather not wake up with a pig’s head in their bed, have hellfire visited upon them, be dismembered in a pork sausage factory, or prematurely meet 72 virgins after being dipped in a vat of boiling bacon grease, maybe the bloodthirsty should pick another neighborhood to carry out the commands of the Quran.

And in case ISIS is willing to gamble, there’s a track record both here and abroad to prove that unlike Barack Obama, if ISIS dares crosses the “red line,” the family will not hesitate to follow through on their word.

Taking that into consideration, in a city that overlooks the capital of Sicily, ISIS’s made men have decided that because of the threat of Mafia retaliation, the mountainous region of Palermo may not the best place to wage terrorist attacks or establish underground cells.

An Italian security official disclosed that out of fear of being eradicated by mob bosses, ISIS cells are afraid to enter certain areas such as “Sicily, Calabria, Puglia and Campania – including the city of Naples.”

I am not fond of this solution, but it is a reflection on the ineffectiveness of both local and national governments in dealing with ISIS. Admittedly, part of that failure is due to the limitations of the U.S. Constitution (which I have no desire to change), but part of that failure is due to people in power who refuse to admit that Islamic radicals are responsible for the current wave of terrorism.

The article further states:

A little closer to home, Gambino reminded the wary that “[t]he world is dangerous today” and reassured “people living in New York neighborhoods with Sicilian connections [that they] should feel safe.”  Rest assured Giovanni means it when he says, “We make sure our friends and families are protected from extremists and terrorists, especially the brutal, psychopathic organization that calls itself the Islamic State.”

Speaking of “brutal, psychopathic organizations,” in truth, the Mafia is just a more effective facsimile of the U.S. federal government.  Both entities extort money with the promise of protection.  The difference is that the Mafia is an organization that actually delivers on the promise.  

Hmmmm.

Accountability?

Fox News posted a Wall Street Journal story today about a federal audit of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The article reports:

The Federal Emergency Management Agency can’t adequately account for more than 70 percent of the money spent on fuel for New York in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, a federal audit released on Friday found.

FEMA spent $6.37 million for 1.7 million gallons of fuel as a gasoline shortage crippled the New York City area after the October 2012 storm, according to the audit from the Office of Inspector General at the Department of Homeland Security.

Has it occurred to Congress that this might be a part of the reason federal government spending is out of control?

It gets worse:

But the audit found “incomplete and questionable” documentation for $4.56 million of that spending. Additionally, $1.81 million worth of fuel went to recipients outside the scope of work that FEMA established for the crisis, the audit found. As a result, FEMA can’t be sure any of that fuel went to approved power restoration or emergency public transportation work in New York, the audit said.

…The unaccounted fuel deliveries occurred because FEMA didn’t comply with federal regulations requiring the agency provide proper documentation accounting for its work, the audit found.

There is a bit of irony here–a federal agency did not comply with excessive federal regulations.

Continually raising the debt limit is not a solution, because it does not address the actual problem–the spending.

 

Is Death An Excuse For Missing Work?

Is death an excuse for missing work? I don’t mean a death in the family–I mean your own death. Well, not in New York City. The New York Post reported that that Medicaid-eligibility specialist Geoffrey Toliver was fired after not showing up for his hearing where he was to be accused of going AWOL because he had not shown up for his job since November 2013. Toliver died at age 65 on Dec. 8, 2014.

 

The article reports:

“How do you fire a man who is already dead? He deserves better. The agency itself should have known,” said Ted Willbright, who added that he considered Toliver as a brother.

“Some people he worked with were very supportive, so how did HRA the organization not know? He’s dead, and they’re saying he abandoned his job. He didn’t abandon his job, his job abandoned him. He was a good man. Truly, truly a good man.”

HRA officials said they sought to remove Toliver from his $38,000-a-year job after they couldn’t reach him for well over a year.

They marked the start of his absence as Nov. 12, 2013, and said calls and certified letters mailed to his home were never answered.

“We did everything we could to contact him and his family,” said HRA spokesman David Neustadt. “This employee was not paid when he wasn’t working, but we left his job open in case he recovered.”

He said that now that the agency knows of his “unfortunate death,” it would take no further action.

What would be the appropriate further action to take against a dead man?

Losing Your Rights In Your Own Home

Fox News posted an article in late June (I missed it. Sorry) about New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s plan to end smoking in apartments. That’s right, if you are renting an apartment in New York City, you would not be allowed to smoke in your apartment.

The article reports:

The mayor’s administration is planning to pay four health-advocacy groups $9,000 apiece to press landlords and developers to prohibit lighting up in their apartment complexes so neighboring tenants don’t breathe in secondhand smoke, according to the New York Post. The city has already banned smoking in bars and restaurants, workplaces, sports venues and parks, but has not moved against smokers who practice their habit in the privacy of their own homes.

City health officials emphasized the initiative is voluntary — at least for now.

“Everyone benefits from smoke-free housing. Residents enjoy breathing cleaner, healthier air in their homes . . . while owners see reductions in property damage and turnover costs,” a Health Department spokesman said.

Dozens of buildings containing hundreds of apartments have already kicked the habit, according to the Health Department. The de Blasio administration is actually accelerating an initiative started at the tail end of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s tenure.

I need to make a few things clear here. I am a non-smoker–I never smoked. I grew up in a blue haze in a house with two heavy smokers (both of whom died as a result of smoking-related illnesses). I really hate the smell of cigarettes and love the fact that I no longer have to smell cigarette smoke in restaurants. However, smokers have rights, too. If someone wants to smoke in the privacy of their own apartment, it bothers me that a law could be passed that would make that a crime. I thought Republicans were the people always being accused of wanting to make laws about what people did behind closed doors.

I agree with the idea that if a landlord wants to make his apartments smoke-free, he should be allowed to do so. Hotels have smoke-free rooms. The rooms stay cleaner, and it cuts down on the fire hazard of someone falling asleep while smoking. However, this should be the choice of the individual landlord–not the city government.

Meanwhile, many states are moving to legalize marijuana as they limit the rights of tobacco smokers. It just doesn’t make any sense.

Why I Am Not Overly Concerned About Global Warming

Newsbusters posted a story today reminding us of some predictions made on “Good Morning America” in 2008. Looked at in hindsight, the predictions are almost funny. At the time, I am sure there were people who took them seriously and were totally stressed out by the information.

This is the partial transcript of the news segment from 2008:

CHRIS CUOMO: Now, we will have a dramatic preview for you of an unprecedented ABC News event called “Earth 2100.” We’re asking you to help create a story that is yet to unfold: What our world will look like in 100 years if we don’t save our troubled planet. Your reports will actually help form the backbone of a two-hour special airing this fall. ABC’s Bob Woodruff will be the host. He joins us now. Pleasure, Bob.

 BOB WOODRUFF: You too, Chris. You know, this show is a countdown through the next century and shows what scientists say might very well happen if we do not change our current path. As part of the show, today, we are launching an interactive web game which puts participants in the future and asks them to report back about what it is like to live in this future world. The first stop is the year 2015.

CUOMO: I think we’re familiar with some of these issues, but, boy, 2015? That’s seven years from now. Could it really be that bad? 

…CUOMO: I think we’re familiar with some of these issues, but, boy, 2015? That’s seven years from now. Could it really be that bad? 

WOODRUFF: It’s very soon, you know. But all you have to do is look at the world today right today. You know, you’ve got gas prices going up. You got food prices going up. You’ve got extreme weather. The scientists have studied this for decades. They say if you connect the dots, you can actually see that we’re approaching maybe even a perfect storm. Or you have got shrinking resources, population growth. Climate change. So, the idea now is to look at it, wake up about it and then try to do something to fix it. 

The news segment also included predictions that New York City would be underwater by 2015 and there would be wildfires everywhere. You get the idea.

The bottom line here is simple–we really don’t have the ability to predict the weather seven years in advance or the ability to understand if man actually has the ability to impact the weather. My favorite website (which I have mentioned before) for accurate, scientific information on climate is wattsupwiththat.com. In the early days of this blog, that site was the source of my information about surface stations–the monitors that measure temperature for the climate scientists. I will admit that I lost a bit of respect for some climate scientists when I saw where some of these monitors were placed–on a small private airport apron where people warmed up their private planes, next to the air conditioning exhaust from an apartment building, in the middle of an asphalt parking lot, etc. There really is a lot more going on with so-called climate science than meets the eye.

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately, Government Money Usually Has Strings Attached

Somewhere along the line, many people in America have gotten the idea that government money is ‘free money.’ It has not occurred to many Americans that the government has no money except money it takes from people who earned it. It also has not occurred to many Americans that government money usually has strings attached–taking government money generally gives the government permission to get involved in whatever you are doing with the money. This is true at all levels of government–from local to federal.

A recent example of this appeared in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal. The headline states, “New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman Is Investigating Cooper Union.” Under that headline, the article states, “Probe focuses on financial decisions that led to school’s move to charge tuition.”

In the interest of full disclosure, I need to mention that one of my daughters graduated from Cooper Union with a degree in electrical engineering, so this article is very interesting to me. When she attended the school, it was tuition-free and she did get some help with her New York City living expenses.

So what did Cooper Union do that gives the State of New York the right to examine their decision to charge tuition? There are two actions that implicitly grant that right to the State of New York. The school owns the land in New York City that the Chrysler Building sits on.

The article explains:

As part of a long-running agreement between the school and the state, the school doesn’t pay property taxes on the Chrysler land and an amount equivalent to the Chrysler building’s property taxes are paid to Cooper Union rather than the city.

The agreement is partly due to the school’s status as a nonprofit and what its officials have argued is a force for social good.

Evidently these two conditions supposedly allow the State of New York to investigate the finances of a private college.

I think the telling paragraph in the article is:

Cooper Union’s financial portfolio is heavily invested in real-estate assets, public financial statements show. As it faced financial difficulties, the school declined to sell its land under the Chrysler building.

If Cooper Union sells that land, the property taxes from that land would be paid to New York City and not to Cooper Union. New York City is facing severe financial problems because of constant overspending and overtaxing–businesses and people are moving out of the city because they cannot afford to live there. I hope that this investigation does not force Cooper Union into selling the land under the Chrysler building–that is a permanent fix to a temporary problem. They are better off charging tuition until they get their books balanced. The State of New York really has no reason to investigate this other than to go after the land the has allowed the school to continue to operate. This is another example of government money with strings attached that are the size of the cables that hold up the Throgs Neck Bridge.