Friday, December 31, 2010

Spencerblog Sez:

Happy New Year from St. John.

Why the Long Face?

Have you heard of antijoke.com? It goes like this:
A horse walks into a bar. Bartender says, "Why the long face?" The horse does not respond because it is a horse. It can neither speak nor understand English. It is confused by it surroundings, and gallops out of the bar, knocking over a few tables.
Get it?

Happy New Year, Kids!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Is Michael Vick Drunk?

It's a fair question after that half.

UPDATE: Crack?

UPDATE II: Vicks' NyQuil?

Breaking Old News from The Onion


More here.

The "Nation of Wimps" Baloney

All this "Nation of Wimps" talk because of the postponing of the Eagles game Sunday night is, well, wimpy beyond belief. There is nothing wimpier than a lot of loud talk from a bunch of armchair second-guessers especially when it comes to a lousy football game.

Would it have been fun to see the Eagles and Vikings in a windy snow storm? Yeah. Would it have been "magical" as manfully suggested by Will Bunch of the Philadelphia Daily News? I kind of doubt it.

No doubt there would have been plenty of Eagles fans willing to brave the snow to see the Birds play in such trying conditions.

No doubt there would have been a few of non-wimps in the stadium with their shirts off drinking beer and throwing snowballs at Santa Claus.

But magical? Please!

We may be a nation of wimps but its not because a handful of corporate bureaucrats and government Democrats decided to postpone a football game.

We're a nation of wimps because we allow government agents to feel up our grandmothers, mothers, wives and daughters in the name of national security.

We're a nation of wimps because we allow our government to take from our children so that we may live more comfortably in our golden years.

We're a nation of wimps because we ask cops to protect us from crime instead getting a gun and protecting ourselves.

We're a nation of wimps because we continue to elect people to government who refuse to be fiscally responsible out of fear of being voted out of their cushy offices.

We're a nation of wimps because we allow government to insinuate itself into just about every facet of our lives from what what we eat and drink to what we drive and how we communicate.

We're a nation of wimps because we ask government to do things like take care of our parents and grandparents when they get old and sick instead of doing it ourselves.

We are a nation of wimps because we've allowed the government to take away rights and responsibilities that were taken for granted by our grandparents and great-grandparents just a few short years ago.

You want to talk wimpy? Go whine about having the pleasure of watching an NFL game in the snow taken away from you like a lollipop. There is nothing manly about watching men, real men, compete in a blizzard from the warmth and comfort of your own livingroom.

And there is nothing manly about casually slandering others for taking away your entertainment for an evening.

Sheesh.

UPDATE: Gov. Ed Rendell followed Bunch's lead:
Rendell viewed the NFL's decision as a referendum on the toughness, or lack thereof, of the United States.

"My biggest beef is that this is part of what's happened in this country," Rendell said.

"We've become a nation of wusses. The Chinese are kicking our butt in everything," he added. "If this was in China do you think the Chinese would have called off the game? People would have been marching down to the stadium, they would have walked and they would have been doing calculus on the way down."
First of all, Rendell belongs to the "Mommy party," the one that has been bent on making as many citizens as possible dependent on and subserviant to the Nanny State.

As for the Chinese. They are not kicking our butt in everything. And certainly not when it comes to freedom, free time and affluence. The One-Party state in China does not allow it's People to go marching anywhere without permission. You do, you get arrested and locked up. Like in China, this decision to postpone was made from the top down by politicians and corporate titans. If there had been a game, Eagles fans would have been at it. (And they certainly would have seen a more interesting game than they did Tuesday night.)

Rendell is auditioning for NFL commish and angling to become the People's Choice by talking and sounding tough.

But what's more wimpy, postponing a football game because of a blizzard, or not being able to come up with an on-time budget in 8 years and constantly looking to the federal government for handouts necessitated by your failure to be fiscally responsible?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

"The Crown Prince of Disloyalty"

Jay Homnick lets the bleating Arlen Specter have it with both barrels.
The outgoing Senator from the great state of Pennsylvania gave an oratorical summation, a peroration if you will, in which he waxed more wroth than eloquent. He spoke liltingly of the collegiality of yore and wiltingly of the disloyalty of the nonce. Why, there is political cannibalism today [read: Tea Party], where a sitting Senator [read: Jim DeMint] can work to checkmate a seatmate. In the old days the members of "this body" were above such monkeyshines; it was, in Specter's infelicitous phrase, "conduct beyond contemplation."

Disloyalty, eh? Betrayal, eh? Duplicity, eh? That a brother should be so perfidious?! You gotta be kiddin' me.

LOOK WHO'S TALKING. This man is the crown prince of disloyalty, the grand vizier of betrayal, the court jester of duplicity and the town crier of perfidy. This is a man who less than two years ago turned his back on a party which had supported him for nearly three decades, which had rewarded him with plum chairmanships. He traded his virtue for verdure he thought greener. Not only did he become a Democrat, he became the most docile lapdog of the President. When there were a few holdout Senators on Obamacare, their names were Lieberman, Nelson, Lincoln. The specter of Arlen was nowise visible.

So how many betrayals is that already? One, the Republican Party, as stated. Two, his fellow Republican Senators, the ones who let him take leadership roles. A leader abandoning his troops, a warrior deserting his comrades: apparently none of this is beyond contemplation. Three, President Bush, who backed him in his prior primary against a more conservative candidate. Four, the people of Pennsylvania who elected him under false pretenses.
And then he really unloads.

You Knew This Was Coming



Rated PG-13

Hat tip: Thanks Charlie!

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Spencerblog Christmas Not-Too-Exclusive

A four-year-old Chester boy and his two-month-old sister are getting a special visit from Santa Claus this evening thanks to a bunch of local cops touched by their story.

Earlier this month the kids were taken out of their home in Chester while abuse allegations against their parents were being investigated.

On Dec. 12th, a friend of the boys' mother was visiting their home and noticed the four-year-old was badly bruised around the head and the face. According to authorities, both the boy's eyes were blackened and nearly shut from swelling.

The woman convinced the mother to allow her to take child home with her. From there she called 911.

Glenolden police responded to the call and contacted Chester police to investigate further. The boy was questioned at Crozer Chester Medical Center and told police that his stepfather was responsible for his injuries.

After going to the mother's home, Police discovered the two-month-old also had also suffered bruising consistent with a beating.

The two-month old was taken to the hospital, where doctors' discovered he had a broken rib as well as bruises on his forehead.

The stepfather was charged in the beating of the older boy, the other matter is under investigation.

Children and Youth Services placed the children with their paternal grandparents.

Now, the nice part.

Having been moved by the children's situation, Chester police officers Jonathan Ross, Joseph Dougherty and Bill Carey started to take up a collection to make sure they had a decent Christmas this year.

According to one Chester officer, who asked not to be identified, the officers collected more than $1,600 from other cops to buy presents for the kids.

By yesterday, the fourth floor of the station house was inundated with cribs, bicycles, clothes and toys.

"I had to tell them to stop," said one fellow officer. "(I told them) You got too much stuff to put in their homes."

The gifts will be delivered early tonight by Santa (using two pick-up trucks instead of a sleigh). A number of Chester and Glenolden cops will be there too in hopes of making a couple of hard-luck kids happy.

It's that time of year.

UPDATE: Meet Chester police officer Joe Dougherty a.k.a. Santa's elf, just after delivering a load of toys to these two children that would sink a ship.

video

Illegal Love

At least he wanted to marry her.

The Fighter

Haven't seen it yet. But I'm going to.

Tis the Season for Giving

Arthur C. Brooks reminds us just who gives the most to charity and the needy out of their own pockets. Hint: It ain't left-wingers

Obama Teaches the GOP an Old Trick

Twas the Day Before X-mas and We Posted A Poem...

'Twas six days before Christmas and all through the bar,
The patrons were looking like they'd been hit by a car.
Their Eagles were cooked up there near New York
The Giants had just gotten out a big fork.

With 8 minutes left, Manning found Boss
And the Eagles looked destined for a soul-crushing loss.
The score was a lopsided 31, 10.
It looked like a game between young boys and old men.

But after the kick-off, there trotted a man
Out onto the field, who thought "Yes, We Can."
His manner was cool, but so lively and quick,
His teammates all knew that he must be St. Vick.

A "Saint?" Even Mike might offer contention.
Still, what the Birds needed was divine intervention.
He called out the signals, stepped back in the pocket,
Looked straight down the field and let go a rocket.
The crowd moaned as Brent caught it, and got away clean,
A few seconds later; 31, 17!

The Eagles were back, just two TDs down,
They still had a shot at the NFC crown.
And when Philly recovered the on-siding kick-off.
Back onto the field came the mighty Count Vick-off. (Sorry.)

From the sidelines, Coach Andy, his red hair a flame,
Whistled and shouted and called them by name:
"On Michael! On Celek, On Peters, McCoy
On, Dunlap, On Justice, on Jackson, Oh boy!"
"To the forty, the thirty, the twenty, the ten
"Don't give up this fight! Let's score again!"

Another two minutes ticked off the clock
Another Vick run and another big shock!
With 5 minutes left, Mike sneaked in for a score,
In the land of the Giants; 31, 24.

The crowd in the bar was no longer grieving,
From downers to doubters to downright
believing
Now, time for the defense to hold for God's sake,
They bent and they bent but the Birds didn't break.
Back came the ball to Vick's capable hands,
And a small frightened prayer went up from the stands:
"No miracles please! Not this time around.
"No miracles please! Remember the hounds!"

But God, in his mercy, doesn't think beagles
Down here on earth, down the field marched the Eagles.
The bar was electric, the atmosphere cracklin'
Hope sprung eternal when Michael hit Maclin.
Up went a cheer from among the besotted,
An extra point later the contest was knotted.

A stop by the Eagles and they'd get the ball
But with so little time left, OT was the call.
The defense held firm, and Giants would punt,
It was the right call, but that dog wouldn't hunt.

Back at the thirty, Deshawn Jackson waited
the ball came, Jackson dropped it, and then... hesitated...
As Giants collected around him and fell
Deshawn hit the gas like a bat of out hell.

Turning right at the forty, another gear found,
He shot down the field, barely touching the ground.
With a shattering block from Jason Avant
(who won't be confused with Immanuel Kant.)
But Kant's masterwork, "A Critique of Pure Reason,"
Can't hold a candle to "The Block of the Season."

An extra point later, the Giants were done,
The Eagles were winners, 38, 31.
The greatest of comebacks the world's ever seen.
Except, of course one, you know who I mean.

So up are stockings, the trees, and the lights.
Up are the spirits, flying like kites.
It's into the playoffs, the Eagles are headed,
The Giants, however, their dreams have been shredded.

It was then I remembered how Santa stopped by,
To wish all of Rick's a hearty "Hi, hi!"
The game was still on, the ending in doubt
Still there was less about which to pout.
It was then he exclaimed as we exchanged glances,
"I've the Birds - and the points - and I like my chances."

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Michael Vicktim

[Posted by Jake]

All the animosity directed at Michael Vick is an increasing concern. It is racism at its ugliest. Vick's expression of his desire to continue his rehabilitation with a pet unleashed a firestorm of negativity directed at our esteemed columnist, simply because he attempted to explore that controversial sentiment.

Racist hatemongers are demonstrating their ignorance and intolerance with this vendetta against Vick. Dog fighting is a cultural norm imported from Africa to the American South. Genuine diversity, as opposed to politically-correct lip service, demands we appreciate customs from outside of our Eurocentric experience. Just because it doesn't neatly fit into the paradigm of white suburban morality doesn't mean we should stigmatize the participants. Perhaps Vick's greatest crime was being born poor and black, in a blighted Newport News project.

Last time I checked, fox hunting was still celebrated as a legitimate upper class pursuit, along with horse racing, equestrian competitions and dog obedience trials. Dog racing and rodeo are enjoyed by less wealthy demographics. Male newborns are routinely mutilated by circumcision. Young women are disfigured by cosmetic breast surgery. Professional boxing, wrestling and mixed martial arts continue to cripple their combatants. Even the NFL and NHL are just beginning to understand the extent of the brain damage caused by concussions in their sports.

Yet against this broad panorama of pain and socially-accepted abuse, to people as well as animals, Michael Vick is somehow vilified as the poster child of cruelty?

Coming to Our Census

Mike Barone points out that America's growth states are the ones with no income tax. Go figure!

Grandmother, What Big Assets You Have!

U.D. man steals jewelry, coins and bonds from grandmom. Police Super Mike Chitwood sums it up:
"He’s a punk, especially to be stealing from the grandmother who raised him.”
Chitwood is going soft in his old age. Two years ago he'd have called the kid a "scumbag."

You Are What You Read

C.S. Lewis is still revelant and his books are for adults as well as children. Some people don't get it.
Lewis explored the life-changing power of stories by writing one of his own, "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," one of the seven books in "The Chronicles of Narnia." One of the key themes of this book is the old maxim—"You are what you read." He begins "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" with one of the most memorable lines in the series: "There once was a boy named Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it."
I always thought the maxim was "You are what you eat." The other makes more sense.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What We Want and What We Need

She is 45 years old. In the last two months, she has lost her job, her home and her husband. Thankfully, she still has two parents to help her take care of her two children and to provide a roof over all their heads.

It isn't going to be the best Christmas they've ever had. But they'll get through it because they have each other.

My print column is up.

UPDATE: A Secret Santa has come forward to make sure the kids have a very Merry Christmas. Thanks to all those who offered to help out. Cheers and Merry Christmas.

The Children's Hour: Part VI

Caught this story about the Chester County teacher accused of fondling a student being found Not Guilty last week and the nightmare of that ordeal.

Because the story was light on the facts of the case, I called up the stories on the trial. Here's the one on the verdict. And here's one during the trial. And here's the one about the girl's testimony.

What is clear from all three stories is that the prosecution had an unbelievably weak case from the get go. There was no corraborating evidence to the girl's rather fantastic story of having been tutored by the teacher, berated by him for being stupid and then groped between her legs by him.

No witnesses. No evidence that the two were ever even alone together. Just this 16-year-old girl's word, eight years after the alleged incident took place. From one of the trial articles there was this:
Also testifying was Chester County Detective Sgt. Jeffrey Gordon, who supervises cases of child abuse in his office.

He said that he had been notified of a possible assault from a Spring City counselor who was in touch with the girl. When he interviewed the girl, she explained that she had seen Monaghan in the hallway at the high school and started talking with her friends about how harsh he had been to her as a first-grader.

When one of her friends remembered how much she enjoyed his class, the girl got upset. Under cross-examination by Baer, Gordon said she told him that she went home, went to her room and cried. She said that was “the first time she understood this was physical abuse,” the investigator acknowledged she told him.
As for the girl's testimony:
The girl tearfully testified that Ryan Thomas Monaghan stroked her shoulders and arms before putting his hands underneath her underwear as she sat at her desk trying to read while her fellow East Vincent Elementary School classmates were away from the classroom.

Monaghan has been suspended from his position as language arts supervisor in the northern Chester County district since his arrest in May.

“He was lecturing me about (her poor reading), but I didn’t know what he was doing,” the girl, now a sophomore at Owen J. Roberts High School, told the jury of eight men and four women during the first day of testimony in Monaghan’s trial before Judge David Bortner, describing the alleged assaults. “I didn’t know what to say.”

The girl said Monaghan massaged her between her legs underneath her underwear while angrily correcting her reading, and then took her to the cafeteria or recess without discussing what had happened. The assaults occurred as often as twice a week during the 2001-2002 school year, she said in trial testimony.

“He would tell me, ‘You’re not doing this right,’” she testified. “'You’re really stupid.' He made me feel like I was totally worthless.”
All while having his hands down her pants? I don't think I have ever heard such an absurd story in my life. And any grown-up who would believe such a tale absent SOME sort of corraborating evidence, shouldn't be allowed to be around children, let alone have a badge, a gun or the authority to prosecute others.

We've seen this sort of thing before. Teachers and others being accused by children telling stories that require a suspension of disbelief to even entertain and cops and prosecutors irresponsibly deciding to let a jury decide who's telling the truth.

Sometimes prosecutors have more evidence of crime than can be presented at trial. If that was the case here it would be very interesting to hear what that evidence might be. Because based on what was presented, no jury in its right mind would have handed down a conviction. And any DAs office worth its salt should have known that. This sort of prosecutorial stupidity ought to be punished come election time. Too bad it almost never is.

The Net Neutrality Farce

John Fund explains the FCC's "net neutrality" as nothing more than a liberal/socialist power grab to control new media.
The net neutrality vision for government regulation of the Internet began with the work of Robert McChesney, a University of Illinois communications professor who founded the liberal lobby Free Press in 2002. Mr. McChesney's agenda? "At the moment, the battle over network neutrality is not to completely eliminate the telephone and cable companies," he told the website SocialistProject in 2009. "But the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control."
The whole project is being promoted by a few leftist foundations and a handful of other liberal groups desirous of greater government control of something that they find to be too free and unweildy for their long term goals imposing European social democracy on America.

In other media reform news, It was fascinating to hear Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) say he would like to see both Fox News and MSNBC disappear because of what they have allegedly done to the level of political discourse in this country. That's not exactly-even handed of him. FOX has twice the viewers of MSNBC. No wonder lefties like Rockefeller would like to see both players tossed out of the game for fighting. It would improve the messaging chances of his ideological fellow travellers.

New federal regulations on the Internet will do nothing to help consumers get internet access cheaper, its getting cheaper all the time. There is plenty of competition out there already with no monopolies in sight. This whole net neutrality ruse is nothing but a bait and switch to increase the role of government in controlling free speech and access. These efforts are always dressed up in Orwellian language like the "fairness doctrine" that used to allow the government to dictate political discussion the "public" airwaves. Political discussion in this country has slipped the leash of government handlers and the left can't stand it. They used to control the major networks and radio, now technology has allowed millions of other to get into the act and have their say. Liberals have lost the political debate in a free market so now they want to grant themselves greater control of the market. But too many people are on to them and their plan, which is why it will ultimately fail.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Is There a Doctor in the House?

From the incomparable Michael Ramirez:

And That Ain't the Half of It!

A Rhodesian ridgeback puts Octomom to shame giving birth to 17 puppies. Here's a few of them.

Larry David: Scrooge!

Larry David, who is rich beyond his wildest dreams thanks to his Seinfeld syndication loot, thanks the GOP and President Obama for extending the Bush tax rates.

Taking to the Op-Ed page of the New York Times Larry writes:
THERE is a God! It passed! The Bush tax cuts have been extended two years for the upper bracketeers, of which I am a proud member, thank you very much. I’m the last person in the world I’d want to be beside, but I am beside myself! This is a life changer, I tell you. A life changer!

To begin with, I was planning a trip to Cabo with my kids for Christmas vacation. We were going to fly coach, but now with the money I’m saving in taxes, I’m going to splurge and bump myself up to first class. First class! Somebody told me they serve warm nuts up there, and call you “mister.” I might not get off the plane!

Wait a minute... Oh, I get it. He's being sarcastic! He doesn't think it's fair for a rich guy like him to pay at the top 35 percent rate. He thinks he should pay more. So why doesn't he?

The United States Treasury is happy to accept gifts from individuals that are not coerced by the force of law. They can be sent to:
Gifts to the United States
U.S. Department of the Treasury
Credit Accounting Branch
3700 East-West Highway, Room 622D
Hyattsville, MD 20782
Larry David can put his money where his very funny mouth is. Instead of flying First Class to Cabo, he can give another four, five, six or 10 percent of his income to the U.S. government and try to convince his rich, liberal friends to do likewise. How about that for an idea?

Cynthia Tucker Hates America

I figure it's alright to say that since it's OK for her to call Republicans "unpatriotic" for failing to support Start II. (She says they're also "hyper partisan," "petty" and "petulant" but I think she just likes alliterating P-words.)

Leftists like Tucker used to bristle at having their own patriotism questioned for merely pointing out their beloved America's many flaws? Such name-calling was considered the last refuge of right-wing scoundrels. Now, among the left it's all the rage to accuse their opponents of being unpatriotic for disagreeing with them about whatever; tax rates, war, civil rights, whose better looking George Clooney or Brad Pitt, Don't Ask, Don't Tell, etc.

It's gotten to the point where such an accusation doesn't mean much any more. Cynthia Tucker would be better off accusing Republicans of having cooties. It's funnier.

Goodbye Kwanzaa


Jenice Armstrong at the Daily News asks the burning question of the day: Why are fewer African Americans observing Kwanzaa?

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Kwanzaa was always a baloney holiday invented by a black separatist thug and convicted torturer of women.

Armstrong refers to Kwanzaa creator Ron Karenga as a former college professor but it isn't until far down in the story she tosses in his conviction for "torture" in 1971. My friend Paul Mulshine played that part of the story much higher in a 2002 piece for Front Page Magazine:
The inventor of the holiday was one of the few black "leaders" in America even worse than Sharpton. But there was no mention in the Times article of this man or of the fact that at that very moment he was sitting in a California prison. And there was no mention of the curious fact that this purported benefactor of the black people had founded an organization that in its short history tortured and murdered blacks in ways of which the Ku Klux Klan could only fantasize.

It was in newspaper articles like that, repeated in papers all over the country, that the tradition of Kwanzaa began. It is a tradition not out of Africa but out of Orwell. Both history and language have been bent to serve a political goal. When that New York Times article appeared, Ron Karenga's crimes were still recent events. If the reporter had bothered to do any research into the background of the Kwanzaa founder, he might have learned about Karenga's trial earlier that year on charges of torturing two women who were members of US (United Slaves), a black nationalist cult he had founded.
After mentioning Karenga's conviction, Armstrong quotes a father of two girls.
"Your mind tells you that something great can come from someone of a poor background, but at the same time I look at it as 'what's up?' " said Childress. "It's not like these are African traditions that we kept up through slavery. It would be different it if were a tradition we'd been practicing all the way through. Most blacks are Christians and sometimes it feels like Kwanzaa is trying to take away from Christmas."
Well, of course, it was. But not only that, it was part of a black militant and separatist movement for losers.
One Kwanzaa advocate Blair S. Walker told Armstrong that he made a point of celebrating Kwanzaa when his daughters were younger but he's "given up."
"If you ask them to tell you the principles, you'd get the 1,000-yard stare," Walker said. "We are living in an 'American Idol'-type of era. People can't even name the secretary of state, so you know they don't know anything about Kwanzaa."
It wasn't America Idol or ignorance that killed Kwanzaa. It was hatred and ignorance that gave birth to it in the first place.

If this sham of a holiday is going into the ash heap of history, it's not because kids today refuse to learn their lessons. It's because they've decided, one way or another, not to be played for suckers.

UPDATE: Maybe this will help:

A Mosque at Variance in Upper Darby

A proposed mosque is drawing opposition in an Upper Darby neighborhood and as far as I can tell for all the right reasons; concerns about parking and property values.

Nobody is claiming that the mosque presents any sort of threat or would be a haven for would-be terrorists. Only that it would impinge on the character of a residential neighborhood.

The planners of the project are asking for a zoning variance to convert a large single-family home into a religious center that will be used for prayer five times a day beginning at sunrise and ending at sunset. Plus religious classes for children on weekends. They also want relief from parking restrictions, including the right to be allowed to park cars in the front yard.

It is standard procedure for neighbors to be against such projects and quite reasonable too. And it seems unlikely that the zoning board will grant the variance being requested.

So far, no one seems to be suggesting that religious intolerance is at work here. That's good. We'll see if that holds up.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Damning With No Praise

He comes not to praise Arlen Specter, but to bury him.
One of the most ignominious political careers of the modern era will at last sputter to a pitiful end when the 111th Congress finally relinquishes its strangle-hold on the American Republic. Arlen Specter, outgoing senator from Pennsylvania, personified the sort of elite, politically opportunistic, government careerism that the American people have grown to so justifiably loathe. He will not be missed.
Ouch!

Please See

I saw this movie the other day and liked it a lot. The ending is just right. Please Give could be called Family First. Here's the trailer:

Biden vs. Linus and the Spirit of Christmas

Yes, Virginia (Ave.) There is a Santa Claus!

Things got a little nutty at Rick's Cafe in Folsom yesterday. From rumors about Santa Claus being arrested in the wee hours of Sunday morning to the Eagles' impossible comeback victory against the Giants it was all, well, oddly magical.

The proof can be found here.

This Says It All...

In My Awesome Opinion...

Frank J. thinks the idea of firing Bloomberg out of a canon is actually funny.
A mother is suing McDonald’s for making her kids want to eat there — and apparently she’s a horrible mother and they’re the boss or something. If she wins, I assume the kids will force her to spend all the money on toys. And when the kids are older, they’ll probably keep their mother’s corpse in the attic to keep collecting her social security. That’s what happens to bad mothers: corpse in the attic.

Anyway, this once again demonstrates the need for some remedial freedom as a disturbing number of people don’t seem to get the concept at all. Everyone in the country should have to attend, and if you fail you get fired out of a cannon so that you land in another country (or the ocean). I get to fire Bloomberg.
Heh. Mother's corpse in the attic. Heh.

Taxed to Death

The U.S. tax code is a nightmare. Fixing it requires going back to ask the fundamental question, "What are taxes for?" In an excellent column, Dan Henninger asks and answers it.
A compelling, even frightening article in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal about a tax system that is a morass of extenders, extrusions, loopholes, credits and bubble-gum fixes ended with the story of a grievously ill cancer patient balancing the benefits of taking an experimental drug against the estate-tax benefits to his family of an early death.

Whether the tax rates in place for most of the past 10 years are extended for two more years this week or next month is politically interesting but doesn't get to the more important question we should be asking Govs. Palin, Romney, Pawlenty and the rest: What exactly do you think taxes are for?
Read it all.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Letter to Santa Panned

Michael Vick asks Santa for a puppy and somehow - according to the comments - I'm the bad guy.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Blatter Explosion!

The president of the international soccer association, FIFA, has apologized for suggesting gay people refrain from having sex during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
"I regret my comment, I didn't want to hurt anyone. We are against discrimination. I apologise for that comment," (Sepp) Blatter told a news conference ahead of Saturday's Club World Cup.

Gay rights activists have reacted furiously after Blatter joked that gay football fans should "refrain" from sex during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.
Blatter later clarified his comment. What he meant to say was gay couples should not have sex on the field or in the stands during World Cup play. He added "and that goes for straight couples too."

Question: How did a country as backward and uncivilized as Qatar with it's crazy and oppressive laws, get awarded the World Cup in the first place?

Come Watch the Birds With Moi!

Michael Vick looks forward to the day when he will be allowed to own a dog.

Yes, well... at the risk of being clonked on head with a frying pan by Mrs. Spencerblog, I look forward to that day too. Maybe something in Labradoodle.

I will be writing about this very important issue for Sunday's column. Readers interested in offering their own opinions will be able to find me at Rick's Place in Folsom Sunday afternoon where I will hosting the Daily Times fancast of the Eagles-Giants NFC showdown, starting at 1 p.m.

Be there or be square.

No Limits To Government's Power

If it is constitutional for the U.S. government to require you to purchase health insurance under penalty of law, then there is NO limit to what it require you to buy or to do.

David Harsanyi sums it up pretty well:
As U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson, who found the mandate unconstitutional recently, points out, "the same reasoning could apply to transportation, housing or nutritional decisions. This broad definition of the economic activity subject to congressional regulation lacks logical limitation."

Maybe that's the point. Force someone to buy a gun? Awful. Force someone to buy insurance? A victory for fairness. The limits of this philosophy depend solely on the subjective ideals and imaginations of powerful advocates.

Cops, Kit Updates

More than a dozen Delco cops remain under investigation for allegedly cheating on the state re-certification test. It's "ado about nothing," says FOP lawyer S. Stanton "Skip" Miller. It's a little more than that, but not very much more.

Also Kit Summers is sentenced. My print column is up.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Knife Is In...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Summers Sentenced

I'm just back for Linwood District Court where Kit Summers was formally sentenced after being found guilty last month of disorderly conduct and harassment. The charges were based on a complaint from his neighbor Craig Essick, who claimed Summers threatened him with deadly force.

Summers was charged with making terroristic threats and the lesser charges and hauled off to jail for almost a month.

This morning, DJ David Griffin sentenced Summers to time served, after pointing out that his attempt to have both Summer and Essick enter community mediation to help them get along better didn't work out. He didn't say why, but it was because, despite Griffin's order, Essick refused to show up for it.

In court last month, Essick testified that Summers blocked his way when he attempted to drive away to work in the morning and threatened to get a gun and shoot him. However, there were no witnesses, and no one who lives in the 12th St. Trainer neighborhood seems to believe Essick's story. No fewer than four neighbors said that it was Essick who was the problem person in the neighborhood, not Summers. But none of them could testify in the matter.

Under cross examination Essick's story became confused. At one point he accused Summer's lawyer Ted Hoppe of questioning his honesty. "You're just trying to trip me up," Essick carped.

Despite, Essick's lame testimony, Griffin found Summers guilty of disorderly conduct and harassment.

Hoppe says he's going to appeal the conviction to Media, where he expects the case convictions to be overturned or simply dropped for lack of evidence.

In the meantime, Kit and his neighbors have signed a petition asking Essick's landlords, Helen and Ira Lawrence of Chester, not to renew his lease and testimonials as to why. Most say Essick is confrontational and a "bully."

"All of us who signed below want this guy out of here - we are pleading for you to tell him he has to move. Please help us to make this a better neighborhood."

If he pays his rent on time, I doubt the Lawrences will be disposed to look for another tenant. But you never know.

Here's Kit after the hearing:

video

The American No Reponsibilities Union

The Pennsylvania ACLU has a new handbook for the public school students called "Know Your Rights." As for students knowing their responsibilities, the ACLU is curiously silent.

The handbook is full of tips for students on things like how to ask for a lawyer if a policeman or even their principal want to question them in school.

My print column is up.

Killer Mom Insists on Plea

Amy Beyers pleads guilty to killing her 7-month-old child. She could've entered an open plea that would have allowed the judge to give her a lighter sentence. But against the advice of counsel she took the stiffer 15 to 30 years sentence.

It appears Beyers believes she deserves the longer sentence for her terrible crime. Maybe she does. There is something strangely refreshing and even noble in Beyers willingness to take responsibility for her actions and do more time behind bars rather than less.

She asked to start her time in state prison immediately so she can begin the counseling she so obviously needs. We wish her well.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Yankee Fan Reacts to Lee Snub

Notable Quotable

Charles Krauthammer on being called "brilliant" by Bill Clinton for recognizing Obama's political smarts for making the tax deal with Republicans:
The fact that he praised me means that my career is basically over, although perhaps — I think NPR has an opening, I think the Juan Williams spot. …

Or I could return to psychiatry. The House Democrats could really use someone right now. They’re very agitated. I would go into that caucus and just do a Valium spray and get all of ‘em at once.
The donkey party would be better off for it. Better to leave them unmedicated; yelling, screaming, filibustering so Independents can know who and what they really are.

Attempted Execution Foiled

Murder suspect Tyrone Blake sentenced himself to die for the stabbing death of Darlene Montgomery. Blake's method of execution was to hurl himself off the 6th Street Bridge into Chester Creek in hopes that that the fall or hypothermia would kill him.

Fast-acting police foiled Blake's attempt at self-imposed justice and pulled him from the icy water. As of this writing he was resting comfortably in a hospital bed, having been arraigned gurney-side by District Justice Rich Capelli.

It will now require a jury of Mr. Blake's peers to adjudicate his guilt (or innocence) in the matter. Unless, of course, he pleads guilty. In a way, he already has, hasn't he?

Human Prosperity on the March

Hans Rosling shows and explains the world's progress in health and wealth the last 150 years. Very cool. Or as he might say, "Pretty neat, huh?"

What A Steal, Lee is Ours!

Cliff Lee is coming back to the Phillies next season, giving the franchise what is could be the best starting rotation in baseball, EVER!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Obamacare Struck Down

A federal judge rules Obamacare unconstitutional.
The ruling by District Judge Henry Hudson says the law “exceeds the constitutional boundaries of congressional power” by requiring individuals to purchase health care coverage under the “individual mandate.” It is the first federal ruling against the law.

“Neither the Supreme Court nor any federal circuit court of appeals has extended Commerce Clause powers to compel an individual to involuntarily enter the stream of commerce by purchasing a commodity in the private market,” Hudson wrote. “In doing so, enactment of the [individual mandate] exceeds the Commerce Clause powers vested in Congress under Article I .”

Strange (and Expensive) Bird


A review of Richard Whittle's new book The Dream Machine: The Untold History of the Notorious V-22 Osprey

Writes Matthew Continetti:
What makes "The Dream Machine" interesting is the light it sheds on Washington's "permanent government," the lobbyists and consultants and bureaucrats and contractors who sometimes seem to live in a different universe from the rest of us. One of the lessons of Whittle's book is that no one misses a chance to swim in the giant pool of money and power that is the nation's capital, where the defense industry is the biggest fish of all.

As long as Marines in combat are happy with the Osprey, we might as well be happy too. Of course, even if the Marines weren't happy, something tells me the dream machine would still find a way to fly.
UPDATE: Richard Whittle alerts us that he was on the Jon Stewart show hawking his book a few months ago. Here's that clip. (Say what you will about Stewart's politics, he gives and gets good interview.)

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Richard Whittle
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

The New Class Warfare

Public employees and their unions vs. private workers and their unions. Time for your haircuts, boys!

Ridley's Believe It or Not!

Matt Ridley hawks his book "The Rational Optimist" on You Tube.



With the economy just coming out of recession and millions unemployed, times may seem pretty tough, and yet compared to the past, in Western Countries, even the "poor" have things, the kings of the past could only dream about; cars, air conditioning, access to advanced medical care, etc.

That recession was just a blip in the ongoing progress and prosperity of human kind.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bipartisan Budget Games

A Little Holiday Cheer

Matricide?

Did Darby's Steven Molin intentionally kill his 85-year-old mother? Part II. My print column is up.

The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name

An Ivy League political science professor named David Epstein is charged with incest for allegedly having consensual sex with his adult daughter.

Does that it matter that he is liberal? Does it matter that he writes for the Huffington Post? Does it matter that he hates Sarah Palin?

No. But it helps.

Already, some liberals are defending Professor Epstein asking where does the government get off making laws prohibiting what two adults choose to do sexually in the privacy of their own home, hotel room, etc. Fair enough.

Based on it's reasoning in Lawrence v. Texas, in which the U.S. Supreme Court found that the states (i.e. The People) had no rational basis for laws against consensual same-sex sodomy, it would seem the the court would have to rule anti-incest laws to be unconstitutional as well.

It will be interesting to see if Epstein's lawyers, or others in the incest community, attempt to make such a case. For now, Epstein's lawyer is saying the professor deserves the presumption of innocence, not that the law is unconstitutional.

Some people, like Jeff Jacoby predicted that what Lawrence did for homosexuality, it could do for incest. Ross Douthat had his doubts, based on the "ick" factor. I say, give the "ick" factor a little time and incest will just become another lifestyle choice.

Here's a dramatic example of our white male culture's intolerance to such relationships.



UPDATE: And here's the xtranormal version of that classic scene:



UPDATE/Clarification: Above I write that "Already, some liberals are defending Professor Epstein," but mostly the decriminalization of incest is supported by libertarians, most of whom believe that absent a rational and necessary basis for acting, government should butt out of the personal sex lives of its citizens.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Rational Optimist

Peter Robinson interviews author Matt Ridley about his book The Rational Optimist.



This is segment two of five, the others are available on You Tube. Good stuff.

Reminds me of Louis CK great bit

The Real Deal

Upon his most recent imprisoning, Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo said this:
I have no enemies, and no hatred. None of the police who have monitored, arrested and interrogated me, the prosecutors who prosecuted me, or the judges who sentence me, are my enemies. While I’m unable to accept your surveillance, arrest, prosecution or sentencing, I respect your professions and personalities, including Zhang Rongge and Pan Xueqing who act for the prosecution at present. I was aware of your respect and sincerity in your interrogation of me on December 3.

For hatred is corrosive of a person’s wisdom and conscience; the mentality of enmity can poison a nation’s spirit, instigate brutal life and death struggles, destroy a society’s tolerance and humanity, and block a nation’s progress to freedom and democracy. I hope therefore to be able to transcend my personal vicissitudes in understanding the development of the state and changes in society, to counter the hostility of the regime with the best of intentions, and defuse hate with love....
I do not feel guilty for following my constitutional right to freedom of expression, for fulfilling my social responsibility as a Chinese citizen. Even if accused of it, I would have no complaints.
– Liu Xiaobo, 23 December 2009
Today he was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. One could not find a braver or more deserving recipient.

Our Conversation About Race

The flap about a White Student Union at West Chester University made clear one thing. Despite what U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said about America being a "nation of cowards" when it comes to talking about race, there are plenty of people around who aren't a bit shy about having that conversation.

There were more comments to those two columns than any I've written in a couple of years. And a lot of those comments were people going back and forth responding to each other.

Many of the comments were actually thoughtful, others were snarky, silly, or just plain stupid. Still, that's what you get when you ask for such a conversation among a broad range of people.

So, the question is just how useful is that "conversation" in moving the country forward toward greater understanding and racial harmony?

My feeling is that it's a little bit useful. Not very, but a little bit. Because it shows where most people are on the question.

There are those who are stuck in the 60s, believing that race is everything and that being black is the ultimate disadvantage in our society. They believe that despite, all the civil rights laws that were passed and all the anti-discrimination boards, agencies and commissions that have been established to hear complaints from aggrieved victims of racism, that America is barely out of the dark ages when it comes to being fair to black people.

Not surprisingly, a large percentage of these people are black themselves. But a good number of them are white liberals who take a special kind of satisfaction in announcing the historical and contemporary guilt of their own race when it comes to oppressing black people. Such a person is a guy named Tim Wise, who makes his living lecturing college kids and anybody else who'll listen about what he calls the "pathology of white privilege."

Then there are the white people who are simply sick of hearing about how tough it is being black in this country and how America still owes today's African Americans reparations for slavery and other historical injustices. Some of these white people truly are racists. They think black people, as a group, are inferior human beings, less intelligent and less moral and America would be a better place without them.

But I think the vast majority of whites believe in an inclusive, diverse, merit-based and increasingly color-blind society. That actually believe in judging people by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. And there are many black people who share this same vision for America.

It seems to me that America's racialists and race hustlers are finally being marginalized. While they still hold sway on many college campuses where the tenured radicals run all sorts of departments devoted to "victim" studies, the real world is moving on. Try as they might to indoctrinate students to their victim-based world view, the vast majority of students graduate to see America, as it is: a place of excellent opportunity. If you are smart, willing to be pleasant, and show up for work, you'll do fine. And that's true even if you're not that so smart.

As for "white privilege," I'll give the final word to Shelby Steele, one of America's foremost writers and thinkers on matters of race. As he told John Stossel not too long ago:"
I grew up in segregation. So I really know what racism is. I went to segregated school. I bow to no one in my knowledge of racism, which is one of the reasons why I say white privilege is not a problem... the real problem is black irresponsibility. ... Racism is about 18th on a list of problems that black America faces."
Mr. Steele is right.

Single-parent households, bad schools, crime, drugs, and a culture of victimization, those are all in the top ten. It's time black (and white) America got our priorities straight.

Steve Molin Speaks

He is accused of brutally killing his mother, running her over several times with his work truck. He says it was all a "horrible, horrible accident."

My print column is up.

The Untouchables

Thursday, December 9, 2010

John DuPont R.I.P.

I think the most interesting thing about the story reporting on the death of John DuPont was this comment to it from a man who claims he was a fellow inmate:I
WAS IN CRESSON STAE PRISON WITH THIS MAN IN 1997 ALTHOUGH WE DIDNT SPECK I STILL REMEMBER HE TRIED TO BUY ALL THE INMATES OF THE JAIL A TV LOL THEY WOULDNT LET HIM LOL BUT HE TRIED I WAS IN THE YARD WITH HIM ALOT AND SEEN HIM ALOT AND NEVER SEEN A MEAN BONE IN HIM WHILE THERE FOR A FEW YRS R.I.P. JOHN "
Fair enough. Here, here.

"Fair Game," Lame! Plame? Shame!

"Fair Game" receives another bad review when it comes to telling the truth and from someone, Judith Miller, who actually went to jail covering that story.

She concludes:
"Fair Game" suggests that Ms. Plame's outing inflicted severe damage on the CIA's sources. But this, too, may be untrue. In a letter to the Washington Post on Nov. 12, R.E. Pound, a retired CIA agent who helped assess the damage allegedly caused by the leak at one location, concluded: "There was none." He also challenged as "ludicrous" Ms. Plame's claim, echoed in the film, that her outing forced her resignation.

Mr. Pound ought to know: His own CIA affiliation was exposed in 1978 by Philip Agee in his book, "Dirty Work II." Yet he continued working at the agency for nearly 34 years. Ms. Plame famously posed in a Jaguar wearing spy gear for Vanity Fair, and later left the agency. The film portrays that decision as her reluctant acquiescence to her heroic husband's desire to "tell our side of the story."

And so they have. Having bought an expensive home in Sante Fe, Mr. Wilson and Ms. Plame now make a living giving speeches about WMD and the Bush administration's venality. Asked about the film's accuracy by the Washington Post, Mr. Wilson gave this review: "For people who have short memories or don't read, this is the only way they will remember the period." Precisely.

Smarties Pants-ed!

Walter Russell Mead has some interesting stuff to say about the inability of America's intellectuals to see how the world is changing and how to help it change for the better.

More information, freedom and responsibility for individuals, less controlled by government and bureaucratic elites. But what fun is that for the intellectualoids?

Plame Fame Game

Anyone thinking about seeing the film "Fair Game," in which Valerie Plame and her husband Joe Wilson are portrayed as victims and truth-telling martyrs ought to read this first.

The Washington Post, without getting into too many details, calls the film dishonest and inaccurate. Nevertheless, there will be those who see the film and believe what it depicts as true because, well, it says it was "inspired by true events."

What inspired this film was an adolescent hatred of the Bush Administration, a political agenda and a whole disregard for published facts that would have undermined the whole project.

Is Steve Molin Guilty of Matricide?

Yesterday, I drove 3 hours down to Snow Hill, Maryland, to interview accused murderer Steven Molin. The Darby man and now prison inmate is accused of taking his mother out of the Media nursing home where she resided, driving her to a remote area in Maryland, and intentionally running her over with his truck.

I will be writing about this for tomorrow's newspaper.

But a couple of things struck me about Molin. He has been described as mentally challenged but I didn't sense that. He is a strange bird. He may have psychological problems or a personality disorder of some type, but he didn't appear to me to be slow witted or mentally retarded in any way.

More than once he told me what happened was a "horrible accident." He also told me why he brought his mother all the way down to Maryland that night. (I'll save that for my column.)

He obviously hated that his mother was taken away from him last year by a court order and put in a nursing home. He blamed the nursing home and her court-appointed guardian for what he claimed was his mother's deteriorating mental condition.

"My mom was my whole life," he said. "We did everything together."

He is an only child and 58 years old. Like I said, he is a strange bird. But is he a murderer?

More tomorrow.

Meet Mike Pence; a Real Deal Conservative

George Will sings the praises of Indiana Republican, Mike Pence, a principled conservative:
To those who say conservatives should set aside social issues and stress only economic ones, Pence replies: Economic problems are urgent, but social problems remain important in a way that blurs the distinction between social and economic issues. With the fluency of a former talk radio host, he says: "You would not be able to print enough money in a thousand years to pay for the government you would need if the traditional family continues to collapse." This is, he says, "Moynihan writ large," referring to the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan's preoccupation with out-of-wedlock births, which now are 41 percent of all American births.
Pence was one of the Republican congressman, along with our own Pat Toomey, who voted against the Medicare busting prescription drug entitlement passed under George Bush, and the only House member to vote against both Tarp I and Tarp II.

Also from the column:
That weekend, Pence, who voted no, was at a Boy Scout jamboree at the Henry County Fairgrounds. He was approached by a man who had no scout there but wanted to thank Pence for opposing TARP. The man said that although he had lost his job the day before, "I can get another job but I can't get another country."
Good stuff.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Excessive Self Defense?

Don't know if Mark Much's combined strategy of PTSD and self defense is going to fly in this case, but that his client stabbed the victim 80 times might bolster the PTSD assertion while undermining his self defense claim.

WSU at WCU? Nope!

The White Student Union flap at West Chester University explained. My print column is up.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

New Study: Gays Punished More by Schools, Cops, Courts

A new study finds that gay teens are punished by schools, cops and courts, more severely than their straight counterparts.

Color me skeptical, especially of the the claim that school administrators, who are, as a group, far more liberal and progressive than the public at large, punish gay students more often and more severely than straights.

I'll be very interested to see if the study stands up to scrutiny. It ought to get a lot of it.

Dreaming of a White Christmas?

You may be in luck.

Real? Or Not Real?

Wiki Rape Case: Too Stupid for Words!

Julian Assange, Wikileaks founder and America hater, has been arrested in London on sex charges brought against him in Sweden.

Based on this report, the case against him is quite simply ridiculous: a couple of star-struck females didn't like the fact that he slept with another woman within hours of sleeping with her.

Assange should be arrested (or assassinated) for commiting espionage against the United States. The sex case, if this report is accurate, is utter nonsense.

UPDATE: Dianne Feinstein wants to prosecute Assange. Here's the problem. How do you prosecute him and not the New York Times and Washington Post?

Assange was given stolen classified e-mails and distributed them to the Times and Post. The Times and Post knowing they were classified and stolen published them. Aren't the all essentially guilty of the same thing?

The Day a Sleeping Giant Awoke

The wake-up call came via Imperial Japan. Remembering Pearl Harbor.
Charles Cook had almost gotten a full night's sleep after his evening shift on a Pearl Harbor control tower when he heard the alarm gong and was evacuated from his barracks.

"I was dressed with a T-shirt, underwear and a pair of shoes and socks. That's how I reported to duty," said Cook, 96, as he recalled the event in his Churchville living room 69 years later.

"The Japanese are attacking Pearl Harbor," he was told. "They've already sunk three or four battle wagons."

Monday, December 6, 2010

It's Mine, Mine Mine!

Robert Samuelson on Governments Gone Wild:
Modern democracies have created a new morality. Government benefits, once conferred, cannot be revoked. People expect them and consider them property rights. Just as government cannot randomly confiscate property, it cannot withdraw benefits without violating a moral code. The old-fashioned idea that government policies should serve the "national interest" has given way to inertia and squatters' rights.
Read it all.

Reminds me a little of this:

Get This Man Some Ice!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Lawrence Holmes: Havertown's Moral Tutor

Haverford Township Commissioner Larry Holmes responds to my Nov. 19 column about his effort to create a local Human Relations Commission to combat the imaginary problem of anti-gay discrimination in the township.

Holmes writes:
When governing bodies declare that such discrimination is wrong, several things happen. People who suffer actual discrimination have an avenue of relief; people who look to their elected officials for leadership and example see a clear illustration of it; and, finally, people who are gay have the positive reinforcement of their leaders standing up for them and declaring that discrimination of that nature is wrong. Whether people suffer real discrimination or not, they have the confidence to know they live in a society that may not be perfect in its practices, but strives toward perfection in its goals.
First of all, who looks to a bunch of township commissioners for "leadership" on anything, let alone to be their moral tutors and punishers if they don't live up to their liberal ideas of who should qualify for special protections under the law?

Contrary to what Mr. Holmes says, It actually matters whether gays are actually suffering discrimination to determine whether a law is actually needed.

As I pointed out in my column, Swarthmore Borough passed such an ordinance and created such a board three years ago. In that time, not a single complaint has been made. Swarthmore mayor Susan Smythe admitted to me that the ordiance they passed and the Human Relations board they formed turned out to be "a solution in search of a problem."

But it worse than that. Holmes' proposal is an act of moral grandstanding. He fancies himself to be "example" for his constituents to follow. I very much doubt Haverford residents elect their township officials to be their moral tutors. They elect them to get the cops paid, the streets cleaned and all that other boring stuff. They certainly don't elect them to be avatars of identity group politics.

A White Student Union? Big Deal!

West Chester University works very hard to keep its students from saying and doing things that might offend particular minority groups on campus. It should do a little less.

In fact, it should do a lot less and start treating students like grown-ups instead of overly sensitive children who desperatelly need their over-weening protection.

My print column is up.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Unfair Game

I watched the preview of "Fair Game," the supposedly true story about the Valerie Plame affair, starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn and got a big kick out of its claim that the film is based on a "true" story.

Well, sorta.'

The Washington Post, however, demolishes that false claim in no uncertain terms.

From its editoral:
Hollywood has a habit of making movies about historical events without regard for the truth; "Fair Game" is just one more example. But the film's reception illustrates a more troubling trend of political debates in Washington in which established facts are willfully ignored. Mr. Wilson claimed that he had proved that Mr. Bush deliberately twisted the truth about Iraq, and he was eagerly embraced by those who insist the former president lied the country into a war. Though it was long ago established that Mr. Wilson himself was not telling the truth - not about his mission to Niger and not about his wife - the myth endures. We'll join the former president in hoping that future historians get it right.
Kudos to the Post for blowing the whistle on this nasty bit of revisionist history.

Welcome to the White Student Union and Losers Club

West Chester University was rocked by the news that a student or students wanted to form a White Student Union.

Officer Shields Meets Plaintiff James Healy

Former Haverford Township police officer Billy Shields meets plaintiff James Healy after his failed lawsuit in federal court.



UPDATE: Mrs. Spencerblog saw The Hangover for the first time last night and she got a real kick out of this scene.

Spencerblog Announcement

Friday, December 3, 2010

Tax Me! Tax Me!

Don Surber has a little fun at the expense of self-proclaimed "undertaxed" billionaire Warren Buffett.



Read more here.

Storm Chased, Caught!


OK, so Drudge had this image of a super cell first. It's still pretty cool looking.

A Homeless Unemployed Alcoholic with Zero Prospects

Dave is homeless, unemployed and an alcoholic. He is also smart. He claims he hasn't had a drink in a year and a half. So why can't he find work? My print column is up.

Junking the Tax Code

David Brooks roots for a bipartisan overhaul of the tax code. He imagines President Obama going before Congress during his next State of the Union and declaring the current tax code is rotten and needs to be junked. He supports the proposal of Democrat Ron Wyden and Republican Judd Gregg.
The Wyden-Gregg plan simplifies the tax code and reduces the number of rates from six to three. Most taxpayers would be able to use a one-page 1040 I.R.S. form. It preserves some deductions, like the mortgage interest deduction and the child tax credit, but eliminates many others. The Heritage Foundation calculated that the measure would reduce the federal deficit by $61 billion a year and create 2.3 million jobs. The Tax Policy Center found it would make the tax code more progressive and reduce the tax bill for most families making less than $200,000.
Sounds reasonable.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Looking for Work?

Our story on local people facing the cut-off of unemployment benefits included a photo of this guy, who is not local.

Here's the AP cutline:
A person looking for work stands on a street corner in Portland, Maine. Unless Congress acts before the end of the month to extend unemployment benefits, thousands will lose their unemployment benefits during the next few months.
Excuse me, but THAT guy is not looking for work. That guy is panhandling! And nothing Congress does or doesn't do will prevent him from panhandling in 2011.

As for our local citizens collecting unemployed, 99 weeks is a pretty long time to be out of work. And excuse me again, but this also jumped out at me from our story:
"Barbara said she can’t get a more physically demanding job due to a disability. That does offer her the ability to apply for Social Security disability insurance, but for someone who has spent much of her life working toward independence, the thought of moving back in with her parents is devastating."
"Devastating?" Really? I don't know Barbara's parents but how bad can they be? Isn't that what families are for, to be there to help each other when hard times hit?

UPDATE: Then there's this story about the fake war veteran in New York. Get a load of Bob McMahon (not to be confused with our very own Media Mayor and real Vietnam War vet Bob McMahon.)
That missing arm, suddenly reappeared after a hard day's work guilting commuters into giving him money.

You've got to hand it to him, at least the only taxpayers he's a burden to are the ones who voluntarily subsidize his lifestyle, such as it is.

(Hat to: our Bob McMahon and The New York Post)